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Friday, April 25, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Ham and Cheese Crescent Bake, Pinterest Stuff (Fun Things To Do With Kids in the Backyard), A Little Bit of My Story - Part 4, Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Lucky you!

I have a few more Easter pics on the blog today!


Roxie and Grandmother.


Roxie and Zac doing the "selfie" thing.


Brad and Stephanie.

I don't know how I left this one out of the post Tuesday.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Roxie's Mission Trip to Guatemala is fast approaching, and my cool, calm, serene exterior is crumbling.

She is so excited, and her prayers are being answered with big ol' "AFFIRMATIVES" right and left.

I will admit, we are praying different prayers, The Chick and I.

My prayers sound something like this...

Prayer - "Dear God. If for any reason you do not want Roxie to go on this Mission Trip, I pray you will delay her passport's arrival to our mailbox until the day after the plane leaves."

Answer - The passport arrived in record time. I actually think the President of the Passport Company hand delivered it himself.

I know there isn't a President of a Passport Company.

I'm just saying.

Prayer - "Dear God. If for any reason you do not want Roxie to go on this Mission Trip, I pray there will be a shortage of 'stuff' the doctors use in tetanus shots and she will not be able to get her vaccination on time."

Answer - The doctor offered me an appointment today, two appointments Monday, three appointments Tuesday... You get the picture.

The Chick gets her tetanus booster Tuesday morning.

Prayer - "Dear God. If for any reason you do not want Roxie to go on this Mission Trip, please make it impossible to find Dramamine and insect repellent between now and the day of departure because she cannot possibly go to a hot, foreign country traveling by plane, bus and mule without these two items."

Answer - I know. The Chick is going to Guatemala.

My prayers are changing.

My heart is changing.

And if the trip was scheduled for 2016, I'm pretty sure I would be ready.

As it stands right now...

We'll see!

We'll see.

RANDOMNESS #3 - The azaleas and bumble bees have made an appearance.





RANDOMNESS #4 - This "part" of my story describes exactly where I was five years ago. On Tuesday, I'll update you and let you know where I am in 2014.

A Little Bit of My Story - Part 4

Where am I now? I ask myself that question all the time. I appear to be much improved. I feel like everything is right under the surface, ready to take over at any given moment. I can't let my guard down, which is part of the problem. It's always in the back of my mind.

Has it changed my life significantly? In some ways. I'm not comfortable doing some things I used to do. Since two of the attacks happened in Walmart, I rarely go there anymore (rarely meaning once a week at the most). I have to make myself go that often.

Church is difficult, again because I've had several attacks there. I spend much of the service making myself stay put, but not really getting much out of the message or the worship music at this time.

While nighttime used to be my favorite time of the day, I dread the evening hours now. My attacks are always worse in the evening.

Although Mike rarely goes out of town, on the occasion when he does, it is very hard to keep our family schedule... but I make myself continue.

I make myself go out of town. I make myself go camping. I make myself go shopping alone with Roxie across town. I make myself do many little things I used to take for granted.

At one point, I was on the Internet constantly reading, reading, reading about panic attacks versus heart attacks. What were the differences? What did this symptom mean? I finally stopped going to the Internet at all for any information. I will not allow myself to do it because it causes more anxiety, not less.

Off and on for a while, I would check my blood pressure several times a day. Now, I will only check my blood pressure when I go to the pharmacy to specifically pick up medicine. I do not make special trips all during the day.

I overheard a woman ask another woman one time if it was okay for a Christian to be depressed. The woman paused, and then replied, "It's okay to be depressed. It's just not okay to stay depressed." This was a woman who had obviously never had a mental illness.

While I wasn't angry with her, it did strengthen my resolve to try to help people understand it is not a choice. It is not a choice to have epilepsy. It is not a choice to have asthma. It is not a choice to have severe food allergies.

And it is not a choice to have OCD or panic attacks or depression. These illnesses are just as real as anything mentioned above. If you suffer from any of these very debilitating illnesses, it doesn't mean you have less faith in the healing power of God. It does not mean you are a "weak" or "immature" Christian.

No one would ever say to a mother of a child with chronic migraine headaches, "It's okay to have a headache every now and then. It's just not okay to have them all the time."

It's time for people to try to understand. It's time for people to have compassion for the things they cannot always see. It's time for people to stop being "uncomfortable" and start a dialogue. And it's really time for people to stop being ashamed of having an illness they have no control over.

I, for one, am tired. The last three and a half years have been exhausting... mentally, emotionally and physically. And the years have taken a toll on the Faulkner Five.

However, if it enables us to be more aware so we can help another family, or befriend someone who is going through something feeling very alone or gives us a chance to tell how God helped us time and time again... then that's what we'll do.

When all is said and done, I don't want what little I've gone through to not have meaning or a purpose. It is okay to have a mental illness. It is okay to talk about it, and feel sad about it, and even be angry about it sometimes. It is NOT okay to keep everything bottled in, and be secretive, and feel shame because you're sick.

Blog Linkage - Go to eighteen25 under My Blog List and read the post entitled "Past Projects/Teacher Appreciation." They have some great ideas.

Ham and Cheese Crescent Bake


This tastes as good as it looks. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and since we had leftover ham from Easter, I made it this week.

It takes a little time, but the end result is a delicious dinner... with leftovers!

You will need the following:

Crescents

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 green onions, diced
2 cups cubed, cooked ham
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
2 cans (8 ounces each) crescent rolls

Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the green onions, ham, garlic and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Open the crescent rolls and divide each can into 8 triangles. Place a mound of the filling mixture on the wide end of the crescent roll and roll up. (I totally sealed the crescent.)

4. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then the milk. Cook until the mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Spread a small amount of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Place the rolls in rows in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls. Sprinkle the 1 cup of cheese over the top.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Let cool slightly.

Pinterest Stuff

Fun Things To Do With Kids in the Backyard

Investigate your yard with a magnifying glass.

Have a backyard toy car wash.

Put down some painter’s plastic, grab a hose and have a homemade slip and slide!

Find, sort and make a leaf scrapbook.

Make mud pies.

Play with a hose. (Most fun EVER.)

Make bird feeders and feed some birds.

Wash a real car.

Catch and release some frogs. (I was a BIG frog catcher back in the day.)

Take some books outside and create a comfortable reading nook under a tree. (Blankets, pillows, snacks, etc.)

Pick flowers and paint with them.

Some of these I tried when the kids were small, and some were new to me.

Weekend Happenings

1. If you go to the Gumbo Gala at Sloss Furnace this weekend, be sure to find Mikie. He will be helping with the Gala Friday and Saturday. He has helped before and when he comes home, he smells delicious.

If you are interested in attending, go to www.episcopalplace.org for all the info... and enjoy.

2. Austin is working Friday and Saturday evenings.

3. For some reason, Josh got off Friday, so he's home until Saturday afternoon. He's planning on going to the movies with some friends this evening.

4. Roxie and I will be having a Girl's Day Saturday. The Chick needs shoes, capris and shorts, and I need some one-on-one time with The Chick.

5. Also, the plan as of this minute is for Roxie, Katie and me to see Bears tomorrow evening.

Yes, I know we are 17, 20 and 52, respectively, but we really like Disney animal movies.

A lot.

And buttered popcorn with giant Cokes.

And Raisinets.

You gotta have some Raisinets.

I'm thinking it's going to be a good day.

6. On Sunday, I feel the need to go somewhere to eat after church. Part of me wants to go to Slice...

And part of me wants to go to Original Pancake House for a mid-day breakfast...

And another part of me wants to try something different.

Who am I kidding? We'll probably get a giant sack of Krystals and eat off napkins around the dining room table. (I have coupons, you know.)

Have a fantastic weekend. I'll be back Tuesday with Part 5 of A Little Bit of My Story, another new-to-me recipe, Mother's Day ideas and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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