Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another House Update and Some Perspective

Our computer is so super dodgy at the moment. Just shuts down at a moment's notice and basically is set on a course of meltdown in the not too distant future. This has put me off blogging along with the fact that our SD card reader is busted. My sil's camera takes a different type of card and that's why I can still update the house reno. Anyway, all that said, I miss being able to share pics of our fam as they happen but this season shall soon pass too! lol
In the meantime how about a quick house update?
Ok so since I last blogged here, Brett had to delay heading out to the house because I had a wisdom tooth pulled, that then turned into a bacterial infection, Ezekiel had an ear infection (his first one poor sausage) . We got through all of those things and so Brett went out to do more on the house and the second day he was back went.
Fully packed it in.
Praise God for His amazing provisions!
Neighbours and family from near and far came to help out; bringing meals, offers of help, wiping up, bathing kids, getting Zeeki in and out of his cot since I couldn't even do that. I fely completely helpless on my own, but with others around, we still got through a successful homeschooling week (our first one back for the year!)

So you'll remember our main bedroom originally looked like this...

...then last time I showed you it looked like this...

...and now it looks like this!
No joists or bearers at all, fireplace completely removed, all the dirt and debris shovelled out and taken away and most of the piers gone too.
The piers that are there need to be fixed and more need to be added so we bought a second hand (but in BRILLIANT condition) cement mixer this week!

This was repeated in most of the rooms. The other major job that Brett wanted to tackle this past week was to install a new damp course into the mortar to help combat the rising damp issue. Brett's dad is helping him learn so much about all this kind of stuff! They had to buy a special type of silicone and drill into the mortar every 10cm and then inject this silicone into the holes. It spreads to form a new damp course. It's expensive but was our best option in preventing the same damage from happening again...

And last time the fireplace in the learning room was uncovered...

Now it has been completely removed and again all the floor below the joists has been cleared and cleaned out properly now too!
Way to go my beautiful Brett, Poppy and Sulley as well!
You guys are doing amazing things!

Now onto the 'perspective' part of this post.
It's funny, well not ha ha kind of funny but you know funny weird, that most families we know who have a child on the Autism Spectrum go between various phases during their child's early life.
I don't have all the energy I need to blog about it all right now but I wanted to make a few small notes.
I've greived and now I've gotten busy!
We have mental health care plans drawn up now, referrals written and specialists ready and willing to help all booked in.
We have resumed a regular rhythm for our learning and this has helped greatly!
I'm being very deliberate and specific about who and when people come to visit only out of complete necessity so that my two little people who struggle so greatly with change are able to cope at this unpredictable time when Daddy might be away and the house plans are a bit up in the air. Again, it seems to be helping!
I've decided (having been inspired by my lovely friend Donna!) to do a rotating menu plan. We are still chemical free (5 years now), Liji is lactose free (also 5 years), I am gluten free and all the family is back on low-moderate only salicylates except for Shabbat (sabbath) where I do a meal with a couple of *extra* high fruits/vegies thrown in. This is only a temporary measure and we hope to wean back on to regular fruits and vegies again soon after we've kind of 'reset' our systems again.
I have enjoyed looking back over the years over the various stages; challenges and highlights too, of our time on diets.

So I thought, purely for my own record, I would make note of our rotating fortnight. It's a temporary measure to once again help me stay on top of things when I am here being a single-parent, homeschooling and shopping with 5 kids while Brett works on our house. He's not gone every week but for when he is away, this works FABULOUSLY for us!

So here is my Week 1 Dinner Menu:
{nb: all the food photos below are from my archives!}

Monday: Vegie & Rice Noodle Stir Fry
Main Ingredients are: Carrots, Celery, Red Cabbage, Shallots, Garlic, Water Chestnuts, Cashews (when tolerated) and Tamari

{at the moment we can't have capsicum - a high salicylate- as featured in this photo but we are hoping to be able to again sometime soon!}

Tuesday: Beef & Barley casserole in the Slow Cooker
(Old slow cooker book page 21)

Wednesday: Frozen Fish (Skinless NZ Hokki from Aldi) with homemade potato wedges/gems or mash

Thursday: Gluten Free Vegie Frittata
Main Ingredients are: Eggs, Rice Flour, Grated Carrots, peas, Zucchini (high sal), cheese, garlic
To mine I also add some cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and various herbs
(Recipe from the Gluten Free 4 Ingredients book pg 171 - the BEST frittata recipe I've ever used!)

{at present we have to have ours without the tomatoes since they are very high in salicylates; a natural chemical found present in various levels of all fruits and vegetables. Most people are not intolerant to them however, if you are and come off them, it can really help! Well that's generally been our experience. This time round I'm not 100% sure but we are still hanging in there with them.}

Friday: Slow Cooker whole chook then shredded and eaten on rice wraps
Other than the chicken and wraps, the main ingredients are homemade lacto-fermented sauerkraut, lettuce, cheese, carrots (mod salicylate) and a few slices of cucumber (again high salicylate)

Saturday is our family's day of rest and is the only day I plan to do two special meals;
Saturday (Shabbat) lunch:
Baked Rice
(Gluten Free 4 Ingredients book)

Shabbat Dinner:
Sclow cooker Roast Beef with oven roasted Safe Vegies

{delicious oven baked potatoes}
 Baked Pumpkin and Beetroot Risotto
Main Ingredients are: Butternut pumpkin (moderate salicylate) and beetroot along with aborio rice and chicken stock

{old photo. Looks much more appetising when you have beetroot and pumpkinnd a little fresh parsley with it!}
Week 2 Dinner Menu

Monday: Italian Soup Mix in the Slow Cooker served with homemade crusty garlic bread

Tuesday: Beef Satay in the Slow Cooker with rice
(Recipe in our Family Recipe Planner)

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Rice Pasta and Vegie soup
(Newer s/c bk Page 39)

Thursday: Slow Cooker Oriental Chicken
(Old s/c bk pg 64)

Friday: Slow Cooker Autumn Bounty
(Old s/c bk pg 111)

Shabbat Lunch: Bean Nachos
(a very high salicylate meal and therefore MASSIVE treat for us all to look forward to!)

Shabbat Dinner: Slow Cooker Savoury Mince with Gluten free rice pasta/spaghetti or plain rice

Sunday: Pancakes served with 100% maple syrup, soy icecream, safe fruits
(Recipe found in our Family Recipe Planner)

Anyway, gotta fly but basically am feeling much more optimistic, hopeful and refreshed this week.

5 things I am thankful for today:

1. Sunshine after so much rain! Time to have together in a park :)
2. All the help we've recieved recently from SO many people! Truly thankful for each and every person.
3. A card, gift and chat with my beautiful treasure of a friend Kaz D.
4. That even after a hard day, there is always a fresh beginning each morning
5. A dose of perspective. When those around you are doing it tougher than you are in a vartiey of ways, it really makes you stop and think and helps you to count your blessings. It puts it all in perspective.

Today sweet Sebby would have been 5 months old.
My heart ached for Natti today.
Just wanted to make note of that too.

Well, more to come another time soon.
Love to you and yours, my friends in blogland!

Ps: Neen, if you are reading this, you've been on my mind heaps. Will try calling this week. xo


Heidi said...

Shabbat Shalom, Lusi! Wow, houses are definitely built different in Australia! I've enjoyed the pics. I'm so glad you are feeling better and more empowered. It feels so good to have a plan and routine. I would definitely eat at your house! :)

Nat said...

Some of those slow cooked meals sound super delish hun - I'd particularly love the recipe for the Italian vegie soup pretty please?

Thanks for the phonecall and remember my darling Sebby.

Today Zeeki is 5 months old. How is he going?

Love you xx

Channi said...

glad to hear that you feel a little more settled with a plan and some boundaries in place to help everyone. Feeling a bit helpless out here, Lus! Please tell Brett that he and Tony are still welcome to eat with us or stay here or anything they need when they are out here?

Leah-in-the-Kia said...

So glad things are getting better for you, what a stressfull time you have had! Love the meals too, can you post some slow cooker reciepes??? i use mine but not to its full potential like you do! they look yummy!!!

Anonymous said...

So glad you had support when you needed it. Praying your house will find it's happy rythum soon.

Chrissy said...

Love my slow cooker too and your meals look yummy! It's always fun to see your house updates too honey. :) Remember to be kind to yourself when Brett is away, as a veteran of the "often working away from home hubby" I think I have learnt that I expect too much from myself and become run down super fast, even now and our munchkins are older! Love and blessings to you Lus. xx

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read you have been having a tough time health wise. I do hope your back recovers ASAP and you can be mobile again soon.

It's so frustrating when you can't do everyday things isn't it. I get a "bad" back every now and again (originally acquired through a ski accident many years ago). Please take care of yourself and don't do more than you can manage.

Very happy that lots of other people have offered their help lately, that's wonderful. I am happy to help too, and am only an email away if needed.

Those meals sound and look delicious. You have inpsired me to cook something new for dinner tonight.

I didn't know you had to eat gluten free foods. My mum needs that too and she often tells me of different gluten free foods she finds in the health food shop and supermarkets. I think the food companies offere a much better choice thesedays compared to 10 years ago which is a relief for those who need it.

Have a good week and take it easy. Well done to your husband for all the hard work he is putting into the new house. It's coming along nicely.

From Susan McGuire (smiles1965) at


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