Welcome to Holland

For anyone reading this who may be in a different place in life than where you expected to be, you might enjoy the following poem/essay.  It was written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley, about having a child with a disability, yet its message applies to “multitudes.”

“Welcome to Holland” 

When you are going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make all your wonderful plans: the Coliseum, Michelangelo’s David, the gondolas in Venice.  You may even learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands.  The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland ?!?”  you say.  “What do you mean Holland?  I signed up for Italy!  I’m supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy”

But there has been a change in the flight plan.  They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It’s just a different place.

So you go out and buy new guide books.  And you learn a whole new language.  And you meet a whole group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you’ve been there awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and begin to notice Holland has windmills- and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone one you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they are all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go.  That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, and very lovely things about Holland.




50 Pounds of Mashed Potatoes….to Bless With!

We have the privilege every Thanksgiving season to provide a banquet feast for all the invalid residents of a local health facility where we meet for church.  This year we provided the 50 pounds of mashed potatoes that were needed for one of the evenings. Potatoes are pretty high carb, so although Autumn may not be able to eat more than a tablespoon or so – she can cook them up and serve them!




Many of the residents are part of our Sunday congregation. We cook up and bake all the Thanksgiving goodies, set up the tables with festive fall decorations and candy favors, meet them at the door with hug or a hand shake, warmly inviting them to a home-style evening of fellowship – complete with lots of piano playing, harp, flute, violin….  and singing! Never let the diet keep you away from the opportunity of serving others!




“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they have no means to repay you. “(Luke 14:13)



IMG_0225It is more blessed to give, than receive” (Acts 20:35)

It’s Sunday, so…..

…That wonderful smell must be chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven!

Chocolate chip cookies are to Sundays what pizza is to Fridays….Mainstay Yum!

Warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven are the one food that EVERYONE in our family of 11 (and counting) agrees are absolutely the best food life has to offer (well almost :)).

So of course we had to find a recipe for Autumn as  well – and we did!  Sometimes she will have these along with a chocolate or vanilla shake or chocolate milk!

Here is what you will need (Click on “Recipes”tab for exact measurements):


Weigh and combine all ingredients in small dish:


Put dime size amount of batter on parchment-lined cookie sheet:



Place in 350 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes depending on your oven:


And serve up! That is once again…Keto Joy!


Let Your Life So Shine

I “met” Natalie on Facebook when we were just starting our seizure journey last year.  Natalie is the mother of Gianna, a stunningly beautiful, brown-eyed  8-year-old girl who has more challenges than I can even name.    I broke out crying the first time I watched a video of Gianna that her mom had shared.  I cried because of the incredible grace of this mother…never giving up….always encouraging her daughter to press on.  She has given her life to searching for answers to help her daughter ….and along the way she helps all of us.  Her life is like a stalworth, beaming lighthouse for others to catch a glimpse of… on the murky waters trying to find their way in the storms and fog….and it keeps shining.

One day Natalie posted that someone had watched one of her videos of Gianna and left the following comment;

“Why don’t you just kill her, and save the government money.”

Shock…Horror…What? …Really?!!!!

It literally took my breath away when I read it.

So what does Natalie do?  She keeps going.  She is not existing.  She is living – living perhaps more “lively” than many who have none of these challenges and are just merely existing in their own self-centered world.

We need to get beyond ourselves.  “Whoever loses his life shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

To the Natalies’ of this world…faithfully serving the beautiful Giannas’ of this world… I salute you…and am indebted to you.  Thank you for giving us a stunning example of grace. For those of us who have the ability or resources….let us take the example set before us…find someone whose load we can lighten…today…and everyday.


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“Let your life so shine” Matthew 5:16

Wonderful Wednesday Waffles

Well….Wonderful Waffles any day of the week!

The wonderfully, warm, maplely,  aroma when these are  “baking” in  the waffle iron inevitably brings one of my kids…then another and another….into the kitchen saying, “Yum that smells so good, what are you making?”  but alas…they are only for their  Keto- sister Autumn to enjoy – oh, the benefits of being on the diet!  This recipe comes from The Keto Cookbook  listed under resources.   We quadruple the batch, several times over, and then freeze them so they are ready to have on hand whenever you want to serve up, well… “Wonderfulness” 😉

Here are the ingredients you will need (See “Recipe Tab” for exact measurements)


The first thing you need to do is measure out how many pecans you will need. You then “grind” them until they are into very small pieces.  We have tried using a blender, but for some reason pecans just don’t grind well.  We put the nuts in a double plastic bag and get out the good old meat mallet (works great when you can’t find a hammer as well 🙂 ) and start pounding away.  To save time, we “pound” a big batch of nuts at a time. This only takes a few minutes and some of the kids think its fun.  Any extra nuts you have, store in the fridge – which is where we keep all of our nuts to keep them fresher longer.


Next beat your eggs, and add a bit of maple flavoring – or any other flavoring you might like.  Bickford Brands is the brand that Debbie Snyder recommends in Keto Kid. Then add the rest of your ingredients, stir it up and pour into waffle iron.



Depending on your waffle iron they will cook for about 7-8 minutes – and your house will smell so good!


After these are cooled we wrap each one in its own bag and then put them all in a large freezer bag and into the freezer they. They are then ready when you are.   When it comes time to eat one, we top it with whip cream (don’t let anyone discourage you by saying you have to use a lot of cream on the diet – I only wish I could enjoy as much as my daughter does!) and berries.  Measure your cream, beat it up, add a bit of your preferred sweetener…IMG_0031IMG_0033

Spread it on…yum…


measure your berries…IMG_0037

top that waffle….IMG_0039And ENJOY a bite of wonderfulness!IMG_0043