Thursday, September 29, 2011

tamale pie

It's October! Isn't that crazy! It is usually my more favorite time of the year, but this year is different. I just don't want to let go of the long summer days, the swimming and lazy weekends spent outside. Don't get me wrong, I am so over 100 degree days for sure! I love the crisp air that is starting to present itself. I will have to pack this fall with all the favorites to get me in the mood! So far, last week I made pumpkin squares and they were the only thing I ate for about a 24 hour period I fear. I did half with chocolate chips and boy those hit home!

I've been in the kitchen more than ever these days. I have the cooking bug and I have a feeling it won't be leaving soon because I have so many new recipes I can't wait to try. Pinterest seriously is amazing when it comes to cooking for me. I've already tried recipes I've found on there and love them! Tonight Ryan wasn't even coming home after work, but I decided I couldn't wait another day to try making this Tamale Pie recipe. My mom made Tamale Pie growing up but it wasn't my favorite of her dishes. I was more a fan of the tuna casserole (some of you are gagging right now), another I don't know the name of I think its kind of like shephards pie, and others. Well this one just looked so good in the picture I had to try it. Its from an issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I give it a 4 out of 5. I think all I'd change is to saute some onions in with the ground beef and I didn't add the full amount of salt and pepper it called for. That is odd for me because I err on more salt because s&p are the best way to "season" dishes (so the chefs have told me). I also added in black beans and corn with the olives. I cooked it all in one large deep casserole dish rather than smaller ones. I used a corn bread mix from Trader Joes and it was AMAZING!!! I couldn't figure out why we never have cornbread. It has whole pieces of corn it for goodness sakes! So, here's the recipe straight from the magazine (above). I also served it with sour cream on the side. Oh and the cilantro is a must! Yum! Just inviting a little more fall and cooler weather into our lives! Now if only mother nature will cooperate.

Fall "Must-Do" #1 Cook lots of yummy comfort foods!

What's on your list of Fall "Must-Do's"?

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Fixing" Autism

I am feeling peace. I am feeling strength. It is because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

What would you do if you knew the road ahead of you would be bumpy and rough?

We all are bound to have challenges in this life. It is inevitable! This one, I would have never imagined for myself, for Gavin, potentially for more of our future children.

I was reminded of a talk I read many years ago about learning from the past, preparing for the future, and living in the present (I can't seem to find it. I think it was by President Monson and I think it was back in 2004-2006???). That reminder by the Holy Ghost has been my saving grace this week - to LIVE IN THE PRESENT. I feel at peace. I can only do all I can to prepare for the future, to learn and increase my understanding of Autism and what we need to do to help Gavin, but most importantly TODAY I can be the best mother I can to him. I can give up more of the things I want to do for myself (that don't have any eternal significance) and sacrifice because I want him to have the best life and best outcomes possible for his life. TODAY I can strive to live the gospel of Jesus Christ better than I did yesterday so that I can receive more strength and help from my Savior, more blessings. TODAY I will do more to strengthen my marriage so that we can prepare ourselves for storms ahead and grow closer together through this, rather than farther apart. TODAY I can kneel in more humble prayer more frequently when I just can't hold back the tears. My closet has become the most sacred place in our home. TODAY I can find joy in the very small improvements G is making and hope that more will come tomorrow. TODAY I have peace because of God's Plan of Happiness which provides understanding of our purpose here on this earth, that OUR SPIRITS ARE NOT DISABLED, and that through the atonement of Jesus Christ my sorrows, fears, and pains can be swallowed up in him as I lay them at his feet. I am finding happiness in this time of adversity.

P.S. I still cry! We still need an amazing support group! Want to be part of this support group? Then watch this YouTube Video to start (Isn't that song perfect! I love Coldplay and that song "Fix You" stuck out to me a few months ago as we've been journeying through early intervention. I love that he used it!). Educate yourselves about Autism. If you don't know where to go for accurate information, email me: The greatest gift you can give is to educate yourselves and then educate others around you.

P.S.S. For more information on the above and God's Plan of Happiness go here. It will change your life and your perspective! It will bring peace, I promise!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Yesterday G discovered a mud puddle while Ryan was washing the car. He was in heaven as most little boys are when it comes to mud. He invited me to join him in enjoying it. After some limited oohing and ahhing, I realized that if I really want to make a change in his world I had to get down and dirty (literally) with him. So, we spent the next 30 plus minutes making mud soup and pretending to drink it. We used magnolia leaves to make sail boats and float them in the "river". We built a "bridge" out of weeds and added lots and lots of "sticks" to the "muddy river". We stomped and stomped and stomped in the water and splashed each other up one side and down the other with mud it seemed. And then when I'd had enough and went inside he came back inside and said "Come mama". Back outside it was for more until I convinced him we could play in the mud another day.

knock, knock

Knock, Knock!
Who's there?
Bye, Bye (slams door).

** POST EDIT - After initially posting this I realize that it could be misunderstood. I have already read that mothers of children with autism have a funny sense of humor when it comes to dealing with acceptance and emotions. This joke doesn't imply that G doesn't have autism, it is meant to express through humor (my lame attempt at humor, sorry) that in fact G was diagnosed with Autism and my initial reactions to it. Hope that helps! We are still in the grieving/processing phase but I promise to write more soon. Thank you for all your love and support through this!