Sunday, February 23, 2014

Friends, Food and Surgery

This week-end has been full of precious moments with dear friends.

On Friday night we had our dear friends, Dave and Tracy over for dinner.  Natalie made delicious pesto and sundried tomato chicken breasts, and I made dairy free garlic mashed potatoes and The Best Broccoli Ever for dinner. Tracy brought a delicious gluten free hot lava cake for dessert and we enjoyed some freshly brewed dark organic coffee along with it. It was a delicious meal and the visit with dear friends was priceless. I forgot to take a picture of our dessert.

Pesto and Sundried Tomato Chicken Breasts: Four Chicken Breasts, cooked in a skillet until tender, juicy and no longer pink. While they are cooking, in a separate pan, combine 1/3 cup organic chicken broth, a dash of salt, pesto and sundried tomatoes to taste. Heat thoroughly. When chicken is fully cooked, transfer to platter and pour sauce over the top. Add fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:

One cube butter (I used grass fed), coconut, almond or rice milk and fully cooked potatoes. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, add butter, (Himalayan) salt, minced garlic and beat with mixer until desired texture. Add milk as needed to desired consistency.

Best Broccoli of Your Life: Spread broccoli out on a cookie sheet.  Add dabs of coconut oil to the garlic until there is coconut oil evenly distributed on the broccoli. Grind Himalayan salt and some pepper, evenly over the entire pan of broccoli.  Mince three or four cloves of garlic and distribute evenly as well.  Mix well with a large spoon and place the cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about fifteen minutes or until the edges are a little crispy. Remove from oven and add basil to taste, the juice of one lemon and the zest from it as well. Mix thoroughly. You can also add pine nuts or walnuts and some grated parmesan cheese if you wish. Place back in oven for about five minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!


Best Garlic of Your Life Pesto and Sundried Tomato Chicken Breasts Pesto chicken

Yesterday we visited with some other friends. We live about forty-five minutes apart, but the road between our houses is short because the trip is so worth it. We had such a sweet visit with Carlton and Tracy and their four lovely children.  They have three little boys and recently added a little girl from China to their family. You can read about their adoption story here:

I got to meet little Kya over a month ago, but the rest of our family met her for the first time last night.  She made her way into our hearts immediately with her sweet little round cheeks and beautiful brown eyes that study each person she meets, intensely.

She was wearing this cute little tutu and making her way around the house in her walker.


Christine couldn't wait to visit with Kya and get acquainted. She has a huge heart full of love for little babies and children. Her arms were itching to hold Kya, but she patiently spent time kneeling down on Kya's level, talking to her and allowing her time to feel comfortable with her first.

It didn't take long for Kya to feel comfortable with Chrissie. Pretty soon her tiny little hand reached out to touch Christine's hand.

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While Chrissie and Kya were getting acquainted, Tracy and I got busy in the kitchen putting together several gluten free pizzas for dinner and eventually Christine gave Natalie a chance to get to know Kya while she whipped up some gluten free cake donuts for dessert, following a recipe Tracy supplied her with.


The pizzas were incredible.  These are two that I made. The one on the left is a sausage (natural, nitrate free), olive, red and orange pepper, and natural cheddar cheese (Kerrygold) from Ireland and traditional pizza sauce.  The one on the right is a pesto chicken pizza with organic oven dried tomatoes, mixed organic greens, artichoke hearts, olives and mushrooms.  They were delicious and I used a different brand of gluten free dough mix than I used in the past. We liked it much better. If you want a good GF pizza dough, I recommend Glutino. Tracy made a barbecue chicken pizza that is delicious!

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Rich, Carlton, Levi and Tim played a few good natured rounds of "Trouble" while Noah, Colton, Grantham and Jackson played upstairs.

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I enjoyed snapping a few pictures of Chrissie, Tracy and her cute little tutu girl.


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Natalie had no problem making friends with Kya. All she had to do was pull out her favorite books and her baby doll and Kya was perfectly content to sit on Natalie's lap and "read."


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 Kya has a serious heart condition, as well as digestive issues and tummy issues. Tomorrow morning she is going in for surgery to hopefully fix the tummy and digestive issues and then have a heart catheterization done.  The hope is that all goes very well and she can have her heart repaired after she recovers from tomorrow's procedures. Please keep Kya in your prayers and her family, as they walk through this with her.

You can see in these pictures that her tummy is very round.

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Tracy put Kya in the "tub" and she was so cute playing with her little cup and splashing softly in the water.

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The doughnuts turned out great and Tracy made some delicious French pressed coffee to go with them.

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Did I mention that Kya warmed up to Christine rapidly?  Christine had a great time packing Kya around and Kya appeared to enjoy it just as much as Chrissie did.

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Kya smiling on her Daddy's lap.  Levi, as you can see here, was very enthralled with her.


 We watched a few "Messy Monday" clips and some "Kid Snippets."

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It was a really sweet week-end and we wrapped it up today with a day full of Sunday School, an incredible sermon at church and a relaxing afternoon as a family, watching the snow fall while we snuggled up in our living room by the wood stove and watched a movie together.

I will be praying for our friends tomorrow and if the weather is decent and it all works out, I may even surprise Tracy and join her down at Children's Hospital. She will be taking Kya down there by herself while her hubby holds down the fort with all the boys. I know they covet all the prayer coverage possible.

Blessings to you all and thanks in advance for all the prayers for our dear friends.


  1. What a wonderful weekend filled with food and fellowship!! Do you have a surgery update yet? I said a quick prayer for the sweet little one and will continue to do so throughout the day.

  2. Thank you, Jodi! She is still in surgery right now. It's the most serious part of it....dealing with her tummy and digestive issues, but the heart cath came back positive and that's really exciting. It looks like they will be able to repair the problems with her heart. It will require a few surgeries, but that is excellent news. Please keep on praying for them! I can't wait to hear that she is out of surgery today. I'll update as I hear. (((hugs))

  3. Wow, those recipes look yummy! And that sweet little Kya--I just want to kiss those cheeks!! :) Bless her heart. Love all your photos. Sounds like an awesome weekend!

  4. Jodi, I added a page called Prayers for Kya, at the top of my blog. Kya's Mom sent me a really detailed update yesterday that I posted and I went down and spent the afternoon with them today, so I'll add some more pictures tomorrow. :)

  5. Thanks, Laurel! :) It's good to hear from you and yes, that little Kya is a doll. I got to snuggle with her for a while today. What a blessing! It's good to see her tummy looking normal now and to see her on the road to recovery from one surgery. She has two more major heart surgeries to prayers are really appreciated. :)

  6. oh, thank you!!! I'll go look at it now! :)

  7. These pics are simply beautiful. Your blog is beautiful and I can tell you helped celebrate this sweet and beautiful girl.

  8. Thank you, Cindy. :) We sure loved Kya and while we are glad she is no longer suffering, we will miss her so much. <3