Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thoughts and a Fun Recipe

This transitioning business is hard stuff.
We knew it was the right thing to do to leave our forever-gone-there church, and then our home of over a decade, where we brought home newborn Caleb and 19-month-Isabelle four years later. Some days I move forward in our new church and home without so much as a glance backward, hopeful for what lies ahead. And then there are other days, days like this one. It's dark and raining today, which presented some additional challenges in getting Caleb and his broken leg and still-awkward crutches into school this morning. There was a behavior incident with Isabelle, so I needed to speak with her teacher this morning as well-- maybe I'll write more about that later. Not the greatest start to the day, that's for sure.
Then I decide to drive by our old house.
Big mistake.
I realize I've never told the story about the sale of our home on the blog before. Skip ahead if you want to avoid the drama, because I have a feeling it's going to be a doozy today.
If you've read for a while, then you know that we decided to put our house up for sale for three main reasons: 1) to secure the funds to complete another adoption; 2) to have a bigger yard; 3) our backyard neighbors had grown increasingly hostile towards us and our children -- and I think they are literally a little crazy in the head No, for reals.
Our house sat and sat. Minimal showings for 2 months, and we were really frustrated and discouraged. Then in late August we get an offer. It was an insulting, low-ball kind of offer from who we assumed was a single mother from Massachusetts, given the one name on the offer contract. For this reason, we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and not write the offer off completely. She was also asking for the clubhouse/swing set and sandbox to stay, AND...for us to close on the house within 10 DAYS. We figured it was so she could get her children up here and settled before school started. We talked about it, prayed about it, and decided upon a counter offer price, and that we could be in 12 days. (We had been packing things up all summer long, and we'd arranged to stay with Bill's parents temporarily should the need arise.) We packed and packed and scrubbed and cleaned and cleaned again- I was literally in tears the day I walked out of that house for the very last time because it looked so beautiful! Not to mention all the memories...
Imagine our surprise when at the closing at the bank, in walks a neighbor and who we thought was a friend, without his wife. I didn't get it. I was completely dumbstruck. All that time I had it in my mind that we were helping out a poor single mother who was trying to start over, based on the information that had been given to us. Now we're hearing that his Mom wants to be closer to the grandkids. Fair enough. But then the story keeps changing. As it turns out, our friend's mother was purchasing the house for him, in her name and his, but not his wife's. That was the big rush, to complete the purchase while his wife was out of town. It had nothing to do with schools and starting over and helping single mothers. My heart sank so low that day it took a good week to feel it begin to lift again. I was heartsick over his wife - my good friend - and family. This man used information attained through friendship as a means to then use it all against us. Worse, we felt like we were co-conspirators. It was horrible. Then the house sat empty for the next three weeks.
So, back to today. I drive by the house and tears begin to spill before my brain can even register what my eyes are seeing. Every plant, every flower, every one of our children's special trees, demolished. The tree we wrapped in Christmas lights, gone. Our favorite shade tree in the back, now nothing but a slight indent in the ground, already covered with dirt. I know, I know. It isn't my house anymore. I have no right to be upset about anything like this.
But I'm human. And I'm spit-mad. I mean, would it really have been that big a deal to Facebook me and say, "Hey, so we're ripping out every living thing in the yard, anything you might want to come and get?"
I don't even have the right words. Disappointed? Betrayed? Belittled? Just plain sour. There is a consuming sourness about it all. One thing I forgot to mention- in my haste to get out of the house so quickly, I never went back and got snips of the special flowers, the Columbines from my mother, from her mother; those bigger-than-life peonies, given to me on my first Mother's Day as a Mama of three little boys; the beautiful lilacs and hydrangeas that I had to ask for help hoisting up into the car because of my Caleb-swollen belly that first summer we lived there. All those hours working, planning, digging, caring for, enjoying, studying, capturing in pictures, and memories.
And now seems like the right time to give in to the good cry so desperate to surface, and then to move on.
The owners of this house had kind of let things go, so we've been working hard. Just wait till you see all we've done in the yard here so far!

Oh yes, the recipe. Just a little one that we've been enjoying a whole lot lately.

Sometimes (okay, all the time) I crave something sweet that I know isn't going to sabotage my efforts to slim down. I saw gazillions of recipes floating around Pinterest a while back and tried a few out. They were mostly referred to as "Energy Bites," and the ingredients were all fairly similar; however, a couple didn't taste quite right, and others simply fell apart on the plate. The recipe I liked the most still tasted a bit too sweet (I know, what?!?), and I wanted even more nutritional stuff in there, so I changed it up slightly. These are a great pick-me-up for tired or even grumpy little scholars after a long week at school. Make some and watch those frowns turn upside down!  =)

Here's What You Need
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup coconut (more or less, depending on your taste, but less keeps the calorie count down)
1/2 cup mini chocolate morsels
1 scant tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey

Here's What You Do
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients until well combined; Chill 20-30 minutes. Once chilled -- if mixture is too sticky, chill for 10 more minutes; if too crumbly, you may need to add more peanut butter or honey to bind ingredients together -- shape into balls. They're supposed to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, but that has never applied to this family. They are g-o-n-e gone in twenty seconds flat! Enjoy!

This recipe is totally adaptable and allows for endless variations. We've added raisins, cinnamon, chopped almonds, dried name it, it goes in there!

Adapted from this recipe.

ps-  if you made it to the end of this post, I owe you some thanks! Have a great day!

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