resolution and a recipe

Next week, our little family will head to the Detroit area to visit with Nancy Kaufman, an expert in Childhood Apraxia of Speech.  I think of it like this: school speech therapists handle  every problem in the speech disorder spectrum, like a coach that teaches every sport.  Nancy, however, knows apraxia.  She only coaches Rylie’s kind of kids.  We have 4 days of 2-hour therapy with her and are hoping to leave with a better understanding of what Rylie’s future holds. 

Friday, Ry’s school therapists suggested we consider taking Ry to a genetic counselor.  When she was 2 years old, we took her to the children’s hospital to be evaluated, and it was decided that there was nothing ‘deeper’ going on besides idiopathic apraxia and all the motor-planning issues that commonly accompany it.  Now that it’s been 2 years, it may be a good time to have some medical testing done to see if anything shows up.  We’ll ask Nancy if she agrees.

The suggestion did not go over well with me.  It made me tired.  And, truthfully, sad.  I think I’ve been secretly hoping (and expecting) that with much effort would come much progress… and yet, we still find ourselves on the ‘we’re not sure what’s going on’ side of things. 

Some specific prayers, if your gate swings that way:

• that our visit with Nancy would give us some realistic expectations and renewed motivation to press on. This is a marathon, not a sprint. 

• that Rylie and I would find some balance in our daily life.  I have not been handling my role as a parent well lately.  Our last few months have been an incredible battle of (freakishly similar) wills.  I have expected Rylie to grow faster than she can, to understand more than she is able, to be patient even where I am not.  I forget she is four.

• that Winter would not suffocate me.  I have been lazy with my work as a parent and wife as the temperatures drop.  I want to be better with my time.    Plan dinner, be on time to appointments, get dressed before noon.  Hello.  Be an adult 🙂

Here’s to a better (and more realistic) tomorrow.  Cheers. 

The recipe below breaks no culinary boundaries, but it’s comforting.  It’s heavy and warm and perfect with bread.  Sometimes at the end of a rough Winter day, that’s exactly what you need.

Baked Potatoes and Stew

  • 1 potato for each person, scrubbed clean and rubbed in olive oil and salt AND pricked with a fork 
  • 1 pound of stew meat, dredged in flour and browned in a splash of oil 
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped 
  • 1/2 of a Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 16 oz. of beef broth
  • butter, sour cream and cheese for serving, if desired

Stew usually has pieces of potato in it… but pouring the stew over a baked potato allows you to freeze any leftovers.  Potatoes don’t freeze well.  Meat and broth and vegetables?  They freeze fabulously.

Turn your oven on to 375°.   Put your potatoes in (no need to preheat) and check after 45 minutes.  Extra large ones may take an hour.  The oil and salt on the skins make them nice and crispy.

Once you get your potatoes in: brown your meat, add your vegetables and stir until the onions are translucent.  Now add your broth (and maybe a little leftover beer? hello.) and turn your heat down as low as it will go.  Leave it here to simmer while the potatoes finish cooking.

Break open a potato in each person’s bowl.  Add butter and cheese to melt, and then pour a ladle of stew over the whole deal.  A helping of sour cream on top, a chunk of bread, and you are all set.  Dig in.

Serves 2.5 with leftovers.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

26 responses to “resolution and a recipe

  • Cathy

    Prayers coming your way esp. for Rylie. The beef stew recipes sounds good even without the baked potato!

  • Amy B.

    Just reading your recipe is comforting. I need that this morning. Hope you find some comfort as well in today. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  • elspethcordelia

    I’ll pray for y’all and Rylie.

    Also, how cute is she in those pictures!

  • beckyswann

    Oh I will definitely pray for you. Thanks for telling us how we can pray specifically. There is power in a parent who prays for her child! isn’t it a great comfort that God doesn’t change, as much as we sway with the wind, God remains the same!

  • Grace

    I will be praying too. Sometimes the best things we can do as a parent (and a person!) is to let people know how they can be lifting us up to our loving Father.

  • Amy

    I will certainly be thinking of y’all and your little cutie pie. I hope you get lots of answers, and I hope Rylie has a great time playing in therapy!

    And also, winter (especially in Michigan i imagine) is hard. I want to eat and hibernate, not play and be creative….so I totally hear ya on the “being an adult”. I am going to add that to my already long mental list of resolutions 😉

    Many hugs and warm fuzzy thoughts….

  • Sunday Grant Photography

    wow! i have been having those exact same feelings on being a parent. i forget BellaRose is just 3 1/2. I expect a lot out of her. right now she is doing my dishes so I can be on the computer! I will be praying. I look forward to hearing the results as I am sure you do as well. I love you!

  • Miss Laura

    Oh, girl. I’ve got your back on the prayers. It’s so hard sometimes to remember that kids aren’t just miniature adults. And the whole “late to everything lazy don’t really wanna shower or do my hair and can’t seem to manage my time well for the life of me”? Yup. I get that all day long, sans the kids.

    Listen to the podcast of Sunday’s message at Mars with Shane Hipps. It was pretty fabulous in general but I think it might speak some good things to you in the midst of all this.

    Should have gotten stew meat, darn it. Sounds perfect. Can I cut up a roast?

  • Christy jackson

    Rylie makes me smile everytime I see her picture!! I’ll be praying for all of you!!!

  • Susannah

    will be praying. for answers and renewed purpose and endurance.

    i feel your sluggishness. the country is a beautiful place in winter. but it is also isolating and cold. and it makes everyone a little crazy.

  • Mandi

    I’m praying for you, Friend. Parenting is the hardest possible job, and winter, the hardest season. Hang in there! Spring always comes! And the Lord’s mercies are new EVERY morning!

  • Jessica

    Wow… I love you and your family and will surely be praying for all the above. It is so easy to get sucked into our house isnt it. Winter does that to us!!

  • Renee

    I will pray for you all and your time with the specialist. The marathon is hard but we are in it with you. I will pray for you in the diligence arena (this typed while in my pjs and robe at 11:45am). I may need to be a little more diligent myself but am having a day. Thanks for the stew recipe. Needed that! Love you all!

  • Abbie

    You are so loved! I’ll definitely be praying!

  • shanda

    I think a post like this is a great example of what it means to live in Christian community. Thanks for letting us carry some of your burden. It is a honor to pray for friends.

  • Jim

    Thoughts comin your way.
    I’m trying a new gumbo will sent it your way if it turns out good. Stew sounds yum will make it while skiing. Yell if you need anything next week, we will be here the first part anyway.

  • Kim Aguilar

    Why is being an adult so dang hard? Oh. I Love You. And I love Rylie. And I know that she has the best mom in the world. And my prayers are with you all.

  • jtp

    thanks for giving specific prayer requests 🙂 will do my friend. and your recipe may be just what graces my table tonight 🙂

  • mc@knittwotogether

    Thanks for sharing. It helps me to know that I’m not the only one wanting to resolve to be the awesome mom in my mind that gets it ALL done and never has the winter blues…and maybe I am in my “lounge pants” at 1:30pm… I will pray for you and Rylie. Thanks for the stew recipe! Yum!

  • Margie

    Wanted you to know that since my gate does swing that way that you’ve already been prayed for, as has Rylie. (When I read these posts on my phone, I find it’s darn near impossible to comment as technically as unsavvy as I am, so I apologize for the publicly late response to your request.) And please don’t forget that you’re still in the weeds – Gus isn’t yet one, Rylie’s only four, and your every moment is spoken for by their needs. We all get this. We understand. Parenting is the hardest job out there.

    I have already copied this recipe. It’s being made at our house either this week or next. THANK YOU for this.

    Okay – so you knew Shauna? I noted the Grand Rapids connection in her book, but never even once did it cross my mind that your paths might have crossed. What kind of crazy small world is this? I loved Bittersweet, by the way, and am now scouting for a copy of Cold Tangerines. And everyone in my little writers group really loves her stuff.

    • texasnorth

      Aw, thanks, Friend.
      And, how’s this for random? Shauna did my makeup for my wedding. Her husband, Aaron, started leading worship the year I joined the team and I left shortly after they moved back to Chicago… so my memories of Mars Hill include them in every way 🙂 It was a blessing, for sure.

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