Life Changes

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dear blog readers,

Here is the view from our window lately...

Here is the only menu I've been looking at...

Here is the jewelry I've been wearing...

Here is a glimpse at our latest reading material....

Here is where my heart is right now...
I will be stepping out of the food blog world for a time, while we devote our hearts and souls to taking care of our 16-year-old son, Spencer, who was just diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. 

He began treatment yesterday with an aggressive round of chemo that likely will keep him in the hospital for the better part of several months.  We are scared and overwhelmed at what the next few months will bring for our family, but already have felt the power of angels (earthly and heavenly) buoying us up and bringing us strength.  

Our needs are being met wonderfully well and we do not need anything other than your prayers for him and for our family. 

With love,
"I believe God not only resides in the joy and new life of spring, like a reward if we make it through the winter. We can find him in every season, if were willing to look. I just happen to be in a tough season right now. Its winter for me. I trust a new and joyous season is on the way, God will bring me spring when he is ready. He just wants to meet me in the winter right now"  

I don't know where this quote originated, but within hours of his diagnosis, my son made this quote his Facebook status.  



JODI January 13, 2012 at 5:32 PM  

Spencer and your entire family will remain in my prayers until he is healed. God bless.

dara,  January 13, 2012 at 5:56 PM  

Your family is within my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself too while your son is being taken care of during treatments. Goddess bless you.

RebekahRose January 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM  

Oh my gosh... my heart aches for you and you are all in my thoughts and prayers... healing and comforting thoughts heading out...

Jessica January 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM  

Oh my...We will pray for you all!

Debbie January 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM  

I am the mom of three sons Lara....I will pray for you and your family. God Bless you. I will be thinking of you. The quote at the end from FB just gave me goosebumps. Beautiful.

Christy January 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM  

How terribly scary. It sounds like you're trusting in the right Power. May the Lord continue to give you strength and comfort and success in beating this cancer.

Bonny,  January 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM  

Oh Lara, this post made me cry. Thank you so much for keeping all your readers posted as to what's going on. I am thinking of you and your sweet boy daily, and keeping all of you in my prayers.
Bonny Reckner

Kellie January 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM  

My heart and prayers are with you and your family!!!

Kimberly,  January 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM  

Praying for you and your family!

Anonymous,  January 13, 2012 at 8:22 PM  

Many prayers for you and your family during this difficult time...

Anonymous,  January 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM  

Lord God, please watch over this sweet boy. Help to heal him and hold he and his family in your loving arms. Lord God, keep him safe.

Lara, I never comment, but reading this just now; I am in tears. My heart goes out to you and to Spencer. Cancer is tough, that's an understatment, but there are things that cancer cannot do. You have a beautiful boy and his faith will be a catalyst in his healthing.

My prayer and thoughts,
A Fellow Foodie Blogger

Felicia January 13, 2012 at 9:01 PM  

I can't think of anything to say except I'm so sorry. You'll be in my prayers.

Vintage Marigold January 13, 2012 at 9:08 PM  

prayers for you! my mom had a form of AML and she beat it with a bone marrow transplant 8 years ago! Please let me know if you have questions or we can help!

Jessica January 13, 2012 at 9:22 PM  

I go to oak marr ward and someone tipped me about your blog. Your family is beautiful and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Marie W January 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM  

I am a friend of Mika, who introduced me to your blog, and have a son named Spencer also. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you've introduced to our dinner table. We'll praying for your sweet son and family.

Coleen January 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM  

My heart goes out to you and your family. I will pray for you every day. God Bless Spencer.

Jenn Clark January 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM  

My thoughts and prayers with Spencer and your family. May God provide healing and strength to you all!

Leslie January 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM  

Coleen from Coleens Recipes sent me over.
I am so terribly sorry to hear this news. As a parent, we never want to see our children in pain or scared and I am sure your son is experiencing both. I will pray for you to have strength to keep your Son strong.
My thoughts will be with you and your family in this most difficult time.

Randy and Tasha January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM  

Our prayers are with you and your family as well! Hang in there!

Martha A. January 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM  

As a long time fan of your blog....I am so sorry! I will miss your recipes, but totally understand!

Anonymous,  January 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM  

I am a long time lurker and recipe trier. Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. You and your son and your family our in my prayers. May God strengthen and comfort each of you as you go through this trial. May you sing his praises and honor him with glory during the mist of it. He is a healing God.

Michelle January 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM  

Lara.I am praying and sending hugs to you all.I wish for quick healing...

Angela January 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM  

I had to come over to give you some encouragement after reading Coleen's post. I have a cousin who found out her son had 2 masses on his brain back in November. Her son is currently undergoing Radiation. He too is 16. The Lord is truly doing miracles in his life right now and I know that he will do the same for your son. They have a facebook page for my cousins son at Praying for Jeremy where they have been updating what all the Lord has done for him every week. I believe in miracles and the healing power of Jesus and I pray in Jesus name that your son will be healed.


SnoWhite January 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

Lara... I don't even know what to say. But I do believe in our Great God and I pray for hope, for healing, for peace in the midst of this storm. You will daily be in our prayers, as will Spencer.

Cindy Rescigno January 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM  

I believe that God never gives us more than we can handle...although we feel like He takes us to the edge sometimes. Praying for you and your family.

fourkidsmom January 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM  

I have never read your blog but read Colleens and she told about your son. I will be praying continually as I'm sure others will be. "Where two or more are gathered together there will I be." Lean on his trusting and faithful arms. He is there to sustain you and your family. He will never leave you. Jesus says also in Isaiah that "he know you by name..." Isn't that wonderful to know that He knows each of us by our first name. Such a friend we have. God bless you all.

Julie January 13, 2012 at 11:07 PM  

That is a wonderful quote. Many prayers for your son and family.

Krista English January 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM  

You may or may not be reading your comments, but I felt compelled to write and say, while I can't understand what a mother goes through in a time like this, I understand what your son is going through as I've been through the same, twice and a bone marrow transplant. AML is NOT a death sentence, as my docs told me when I first had it, but it is a 6-month inconvenience (seriously!) For me, it was also an incredibly focused time that I wouldn't trade because God used, and continues to use the suffering I went through and He'll do the same for your son and you. Our prayers are with you. I blogged about the ordeal with encouragement even in the tough times, at

Pampered Chef Consultant Carol January 13, 2012 at 11:23 PM  

I can't imagine what you, your son and your family are feeling. Clearly, he's a remarkable young man. The quote speaks volumes!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous,  January 13, 2012 at 11:30 PM  

Thinking and praying for you and your family.

Kristi,  January 14, 2012 at 12:07 AM  

Praying for y'all now: Lord, please bring healing to his body. Please comfort him and shower him with your loving kindness. Praying for peace that passes all understanding. Please strengthen the family and fill them with your hope!!

In Jesus Name....


Laura January 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM  

Oh I'm so so sorry. Will keep you all in my prayers. xox

Brownieville Girl January 14, 2012 at 4:11 AM  

You are in my thoughts and prayers - what a wonderful and mature person he is to choose such a beautiful quotation.

I too have been going through a winter period and have found this inspirational:
"I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars"

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 5:20 AM  

God Bless your son during this cancer. Prayers sent... God will heal.

Maria_NJ January 14, 2012 at 7:49 AM  

Spencer knows where to go to ask for help, good for him and to you for showing him the way...

a prayer was just sent up...

megan pagel,  January 14, 2012 at 7:50 AM  

Hi, my seven year old son was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in 2010. This is a very deadly and rare form of cancer. He has just finished his last hospital stay yesterday. Kids are very strong. Parents are too. I never thought I could handle what our family has been through but I did. God gives you the strength. Call on you and your sons angels to help. Your family will be in our prayers. Megan Pagel

Laurie January 14, 2012 at 8:39 AM  

My prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.

Pam January 14, 2012 at 9:06 AM  

Your family is in our prayers. Passing this on.

Kim January 14, 2012 at 9:13 AM  

Lara - Words can't express how sorry I am. I will be praying for you and your family and thinking of you often. xoxo

Jana Endris January 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM  

Praying for Spencer and your family! Psalm 139:13-16 God has a special plan and purpose for Spencer!

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM  

You are not alone. Stay strong and take it one step at a time. There is no recipe for what you are going through but you do have all the right ingedients. Love and Faith are the most powerful spices in life. You have that. No measuring required. Live your faith. I know he will be alright.

Tammy January 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM  

Continue to pray life over him, do not let fear into the equation, speak life over him. God is with you and he is your stength during your weakness. Remember Spencer is God's child and he will finish what he started with his life for His good purpose. God bless you and your family.

teresa January 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM  

oh lara, i got teary reading this. i have a friend that is fighting the same battle right now. lots of prayers and love your way. i wish i could give you a big hug!

Peggy Clyde January 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

My thoughts and prayers will be with you. I know how hard it is to have a loved one with cancer. May Heavenly Father bless and comfort you and your family.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM  

I will be keeping your son and family in my thoughts and prayers.

crookcorner January 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM  

My prayers go with you and your family on this difficult journey! My heart fills with love for your trials. Keep the faith that God knows everything!

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM  

Prayers your way!

brlracincwgrl January 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM  

I am a avid reader of your blog, not always commenting but always enjoying your posts. My thoughts and prayers go out to Spencer and your family.

Stay strong!

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

Lara, my heart sank as I read your blog. Life changing indeed. I'll be praying for your son and the rest of your family as you begin this new journey. I can relate to how you feel. The diagnosis is beyond overwhelming. Our son was diagnosed with ALL ph+ (leukemia)over 3 yrs ago at the age of 16 mths. He went through some really intense treatment. It was hard, but he made it through. Our family we made it through. Our son is now 4.5 yrs and is doing extremely well! I write this to encourage you and to bring you hope. This is one of the many verses I clung to throughout our son's treatment: Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


DysFUNctional Mom January 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM  

I admire your family's faith!
You will all be in my prayers.

A Stone Gatherer January 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM  

My heart goes out to you and your family! I will be praying for strength, comfort and healing for your son! I love his facebook status, it is very true!

Deborah W,  January 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM  

We will pray for you, your family and your sweet son. My God is a BIG God, and He is in the healing business. Love in Christ

Tammy,  January 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM  

I am praying for you and your family. May God give you all blessings and strength.

Beth (A Mom's Life) January 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM  

Prayers for your son and for you family.

I am so sorry that you guys have to go through this but I love your son't attitude and I love his Facebook quote.

I hope you continue to feel the love and prayers from everyone around you as well as from all of your blog readers.

Please keep us updated on Spencer. Every time you post, it will be a great reminder for all of your readers to pray for your son.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 3:19 PM  

Your blog has saved my life making dinners for my family! i know if your kids like it, mine will. It's been fabulous every time. No worries on a break. There is quite an index to keep us afloat while you are taking care of your baby. I'm sorry you have to cross this bridge right now. I will keep you in my prayers!

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM  

THoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Stay strong

elizabeth January 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM  

Prayers! (over from Coleen's!)

The Atwoods January 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM  

Lara - got your link from SnoWhite's twitter feed. I'm so sorry to hear about your son, and the tough valley your family is going through right now. You will be in my prayers, as will Spencer and the Doctors and nurses who are tending to him right now. Praying God gives you an enormous amount of strength and peace during this very difficult time.

Laura Delgado January 14, 2012 at 5:58 PM  

Keeping Spencer in my thoughts and prayers. May you have strength in this troubled time.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM  

I have had two friends who both had teenage sons and they went through the same thing. BOTH have been cancer free for at least ten years. BUT my most vivid recollection regarding Leukemia is an ad that was on TV showing a football stadium. It said, this is how many people survived Leukemia in 1950, and it was nearly empty, then 1960 and fuller, 1970 fuller still,1980 even fuller and 1990, nearly full. The strides medicine has made in curing Leukemia is remarkable. I cannot imagine the pain and fear you are going through, but there will be light at the end of this journey.

Janis January 14, 2012 at 7:33 PM  

My heart was breaking reading your post. May the Lord sustain you and strengthen you, your family and son as you deal with his illness.

I am one of the several ladies compiling the FHE for a year based on the 2012 primary outline and I was directed to your blog as I was searching for a lesson on Joseph Smith. We had someone do the wrong lesson for December. I wanted to give you a heads up that your lesson may appear in the final document. The names will remain on there of who did the lesson.

Lots of love and prayers to your family. Stay strong. :)


Anonymous,  January 14, 2012 at 8:29 PM  

I will be praying for your son and family during this difficult time.

Bethany January 14, 2012 at 8:38 PM  

My prayers are with you and your family.- Beth

Mamie January 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM  

God is good! He will carry you through this. Your family will be in my prayers.

Lisa,  January 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM  

My prayers are with your family. May you all feel God's presence and experience the healing He can grant. Take care!

Lynda January 14, 2012 at 10:34 PM  

My prayers are with your family at this difficult time. How hard it must be to see your "baby" this sick, but God is more than able to meet your every need and restore your sons health. He will carry you through this time Lara. God Bless-I expect there to be good report!

Amy & Mike January 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

I am a big fan of your blog. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Linda-Temecula CA,  January 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM  

Your blog has brought so much enjoyment to me. God Bless and prayers for your family.

Anonymous,  January 15, 2012 at 1:42 AM  

I am blown away by your son's faith & what he wrote on his facebook page. Such powerful & amazing words coming from the heart of a 16 year old. I am praying for your son & your entire family as you begin this new journey. May God give you the strength you need to get through each day & the peace you need to get through each night. Lifting you all up in prayer!

Anonymous,  January 15, 2012 at 8:35 AM  

Thinking of you and your family.

Anonymous,  January 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM  

Thinking of you and your family! Sending prayers your way!

Debby@Just Breathe January 15, 2012 at 1:21 PM  

My heart is yours. I will hold you close in my thoughts and prayers.
Praying God hears all these prayers and heals Spencer with a miracle.

Mrs4444 January 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM  

Praying for you and your family....

Anonymous,  January 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM  

Sending positive energy your way and hoping for the best.

Melissa January 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM  

Our families heart and prayers go out to you all at this. Time we have enjoyed your blogs and pray that spring comes your way really soon. Thanks for all you have givin the world.

Marie January 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM  

My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Spencer's FB comments really touched me! May the Lord strengthen and carry you through this difficult time.
I will pray that Spencer's spring comes soon!!

Melody January 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM  

Oh my goodness. This breaks my heart. My prayers are with you and your family. You have raised a very special boy.

Anonymous,  January 16, 2012 at 1:07 AM  

You and your family will be in my prayers. It's hard sometimes to put trust in the Lord but I know that He is always mindful of us. I hope you and your family are given the peace and comfort that you need through this trial.

Tomi,  January 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM  

I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through right now. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you!

Lisa January 16, 2012 at 8:06 PM  

Prayers to you, your family and your son! Keep up your strength too!

Words Of Deliciousness January 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM  

I was at the Fruitcake in the kitchen blog and she had posted what you were going through and I felt that I need to come to your blog and post something. In 1994 our son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, he had just turned 6 years old. His first day of treatment he was given a overdose of one of chemo drugs by mistake (we were told he was given 25 times too much of the medicine) and were told that they did not know if he would live and if he did he would probably have brain damage. Today Jon is 23 years old, a college graduate, and is doing great in life. Kids are strong and amazing. My prayers are with you. You can and you will get through this.

Romney Family January 17, 2012 at 8:19 AM  

Oh my I am so sorry to hear that. Your son and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know our Heavenly Father will be watching over you guys!!

Kelly January 17, 2012 at 9:01 AM  

thoughts and prayers with you and your family.

Pip January 17, 2012 at 9:03 AM  

Much love, many prayers.

blessedx4 January 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM  

I have been following your blog for quite some time. I do so enjoy it. Please know that your son and your family will be in my prayers. May God lift you up during this difficult time and cover you with the comfort and peace only he can provide. Please keep us updated on your son.


Heidi January 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM  

Praying for your family.

Leigh January 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM  

I'm so sorry to hear about your son! I am adding him to my prayer list. As a mother I cannot imagine how heartbreaking this is, praying for you as you mother through one of hardest seasons in your sons life.

Anonymous,  January 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM  

I'm so sorry for what your son, you, and the rest of your family are going through right now. I can't begin to imagine what you're going through. You will be in my thoughts and prayers during this time and I pray that God will touch your son with His healing hand and provide you all with His comfort and peace.

Heidi January 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM  


I am praying for your son and for you. What great faith he has! Thank you for sharing this tender news. I loved reading all of the encouragement from your blog followers. You are loved!

Susan January 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM  

I have been checking your blog daily for years and LOVE your recipes. It broke my heart to read about what your son is going through. I have a 16 yr old son, so I know he is still your baby. :) I am praying for your family constantly.

Loy January 19, 2012 at 7:25 PM  

I think God put winter before spring so that when spring comes, it is all the more wonderful. The same is true of the winters we experience in our lives. Your son seems to be a very mature 16. If prayers are what you need, then prayers and more prayers it will be.

Anonymous,  January 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM  

With tears I'm praying for you and your precious Spencer. Those life changes are so hard.... just have to lean harder on Jesus.

Anonymous,  January 20, 2012 at 12:54 AM  

Please tell your son to stay strong and beat his cancer quick!

Kaylene January 20, 2012 at 9:55 PM  

Your family is in our prayers morning and night. I can't help but look back to when my own sons were Spencer's age. I am reminded of the blessing your husband was in their lives. I am forever grateful to your family, may God bless you during this very difficult time. We love you.

amber January 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM  

You have never met me, I'm not even sure how I came across you blog but I have been a regular reader for more than a year .... and yet my heart aches for you. If you son has the ability to put that in his facebook status, then he has a great relationship with God. I will pray for him for the stregnth to fight it. No prayer is to great or small and you have to hand your worries over to God and he will take care of you all. God Bless.

Kirstin January 21, 2012 at 9:20 PM  

I just found your blog. I will be praying for peace, joy and complete healing for your Spencer!!!!

Katy ~ January 28, 2012 at 8:01 AM  

Prayers are being sent for your beloved son and family. xoxo

K January 29, 2012 at 7:05 PM  

I just wanted to add a comment to get you to an even 100.

You know we continually pray for your whole family! We love you and are grateful for all the effort you put into everything you do, including this blog! Wish I lived closer Lara!

Lisa,  February 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM  

Oh man, I bopped over here looking for a little dinner inspiration...
so sorry to hear what you are going thru, but with all the good karma you have shared over the years, may the best outcomes happen for you.

Anonymous,  March 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM  

I hopped over to your site looking for some help with kids recipes. And I was very pleased with what I found in recipes. I then read your update on your son. Our thoughts and prayers go with you and your family thru the days ahead. But please do not ever apologize for putting your family ahead of this site. We sincerely understand what comes first. Prayers and hugs for all.

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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