Friday, March 28, 2014


Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago

How can we comfort our children when they are sick? How do we respond when the medical advice is, "There's nothing we can do."? What should our next steps be when we've done all we thought we had to do, tried it all and still see our child in the same condition. 

I've seen my son pushing on through his times of feeling really horrible. I encourage him to get up and go to school even when he years for rest. Sometimes it's just been a bad night. Blood sugars will rise without a reason. The insulin pump decides to work solo and do it's own thing. We end up awake as the moon watches us from outside and this makes for a not so wonderful morning. What are we to do?

I said the other day, perhaps ignorantly, "Lord, I wish you would have made mothers with the ability to place our hands inside our children and remove the sickness, the pain, the disease, the affliction, the infection and the problem." After venting to the walls, a scripture came ever so clearly. 

Yet He himself bore our sicknesses, and carried our pain. (Isaiah 53;4-5) By His wounds we are healed.

And so this is all I can do. I will continue to pray and trust in God's promises. Diabetes, I remind you that Jesus bore you, carried you on himself and provided healing for my son. Not only for my son, but for every child and person afflicted by this condition. Lord, I don't know when or how long my son will have this in his body, but this I declare. I will live each day believing you have taken it. And because you bore it, my son will live a long life, enjoy life, and grown in strength. 

We can comfort our children with our prayers, our songs besides their beds, our reading to them and our declarations of faith in the midst of their discomfort. We can comfort our children with our hugs, kisses and our love. Comfort will also come as they understand that God is working in their bodies and healing will come. Remind them they are loved and that God loves them. His will is for them to proper. Don't stop praying. Continue to hold on to hope. Comfort will come for you, the parent as well. You're in God's hands.

If you enjoyed this blog, share and pass it on to someone who might be blessed today. God bless you greatly!

Kirk Franklin, "My Life is in Your Hands" You Tube video

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Angie’s Kitchen

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

We want to prepare healthy meals to set before our families, but in today's economy, many, if not most households are on a tight budget. The truth is, meals will get sacrificed because our finances get stretched to the point of no return but we do our best. I know you chefs out there are creative in tough times.  No shame here, folks. Most of us know what I'm talking about. Reality, not sadness or embarrassment, because our needs are provided by our Heavenly Father and He has promised to always provide for our needs. And, well, sometimes we have to be creative with the manna that falls from heaven, right?

What do you do when you can't fill the portions on the plate according to how the doctor recommends or the nutrition plate teaches us to do? We improvise! Mom and dads of the world, we don't go crazy saying, "Oh, what will I do with this little bit I have?" No. First, if you're a person of faith, you pray over your ingredients for them to be a blessing for your family and for the Lord to multiply so that there is abundance.

What are some of the meals you plan for those days when, well honestly, you struggle a little? Key word here is "plan". So, let's think of what are the main parts of your dinner and how you should try to buy in bulk or large amounts so that it can last longer. Some people don't like store name brand. It's like pride gets in the way and they think supermarket crackers are for poor, homeless people and we should only buy name brand crackers. Well, it's all crackers to me. I look at the ounces and pounds and compare weights with price. Are you really getting the best deal with the specials or are they just trying to get rid of all the extra stuff that was delivered. I also look at the labels for idea on carbohydrates (total sugar) and sodium (salt).

Make a list of things that will not waste quickly but you can use daily. Don't be embarrassed to use store coupons. They help. Find them in the Sunday paper, flyers, with your receipt after a purchase, or online.

rice -beans -potatoes -oatmeal-crackers-peanut butter 
-cornmeal -dry pasta -tomato sauce -bread -cheese
-applesauce -dry nuts etc.

What can you buy in large quantities? I like the store brand family size meat pack. The meat comes with enough to get two meals from it, depending on your family. Buy veggies and fruit as needed because many times they spoil if you don't eat them right away. Rice comes in large bags as well.

The important thing is to put together something your family will enjoy. My kids ask for IHOP breakfast every one in a while. It just means to make breakfast for lunch or dinner. They love it! Sometimes you don't need the rice and beans together. Just rice, corn on cob, or potatoes with meat and vegetables if you can is enough.

There are so many sites and blog with healthy, budget friendly cooking that I decided to let you do your own search and find what you need based on your taste preference. I hope you don't get frustrated when your finances get tight and you don't know what to buy or cook. Enjoy your time preparing meals for your loved one and they will be blessed.

photo from
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   Angie’s Kitchen
By Angeline M Duran Santiago

It's been a while since I shared what's going on in our home. Jacob's pump was adjusted and his sugars went from lots of lows back to highs. So, I'm adjusting the pump tonight myself. Yup, gotta be nurse and doctor here, too. (lol)

A pilon for grinding garlic.
One of the things we keep struggling with, (besides my weight) is keeping dinnertime fun and interesting, without sacrificing Jacob's health. It's like everything is high in carbs, and high in sodium. This over due blog is in response to some friends who want an idea how I cook. I'm not a chef. I'm just an old school, Brooklyn girl who can be a little ghetto in the kitchen like most of you out there who know what a Puerto Rican kitchen is like. We can create a whole meal with a lot as well as with barely anything, (Yeah, you know I'm referring to white rice with eggs or salchichas) We've learned to make things happen in times of plenty and in times of need. I don't just cook how my Boricua mom taught me, but I mix my roots, my Italian and Irish friends, and all the blessed people in my life who have shared a family recipe with love for my son Jacob over the years. 

I had asked for some dinner ideas to try at home and got a few. Unfortunately, they were meals I already make at home. So, it's back to being creative, going online for recipe ideas, and learning from the older people in my life (Best teachers ever). If you have family background with High Blood Pressure, or Diabetes, you should also change how much salt, (if any) you add to your meals. I assure you that if you start off without the salt, your kids won't even notice it's gone. I use pepper to season eggs, no salt. Sometimes I cheat and add a little adobo, but I try not to. I try to add green beans or cucumbers to the meal when I can.

So, what's mealtime like here? I think it's good. My kids complimented my "Grandma's Spaghetti" tonight. I buy the pasta I find with the less carbs. Usually the store brand has the least. I look at the sauces and use the one with least carbs and sodium. I wish I knew how to make homemade sauce, but I don't. I don't use ground beef. I only use ground turkey because it is healthier, you don't get all the oil and salt, and it settles much nicer in your stomach. Buying garlic bread is tricky as it will also have lots of everything that's a big no in our home. So, if you purchase the lowest carb whole wheat bread, you can make your own garlic bread. I think it's so much more delicious when you make your own.

My rice is made with no salt. Just water, rice and a small amount of oil. I use a lot of vegetables for my beans just the way mom taught me. Except, no salt, and a small amount of adobo. I make my own recaito or some call it sofrito. I only use Sazon with achiote if I ran out of Tumeric.
For my beans, I use onions, parsely, oregano, green and red peppers, garlic, cilantro and sometimes potatoes. Beans have a lot of carbs and adding potatoes increases the carbs. So, I try to add natural flavors and it taste great. Sometimes I add a dash of pepper.

My meats are seasoned with adobo, oregano, parsley, and tumeric. I don't fry anything, unless it's an absolute emergency. I make everything in the oven or I broil the meal. Watch it so that the water doesn't evaporate and then it ends up fried or burned. You can usually make most meat in the oven.
Tomorrow my bigger kids are having friends over and movie night. Movie night means pizza, popcorn and all the goodies for a Friday get together. When buying popcorn, I always choose low sodium and butter. My contribution to the gathering is something Jacob loves and they do too. I will be making a grilled chicken salad.  I love preparing salads with lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, radish, cucumbers, sometimes bits of cheese, and grilled chicken. I put it on the table and my family love it with nachos. I will also have a small fruit salad on the table. This way Jacob can make healthy choices and still enjoy the party. Oh, I'm sure he'll go for a piece of pizza, but he knows if he wants to feel well once he goes to sleep and not have crazy high sugars, he will need to make smart choices. Don't worry, I don't allow going crazy with the food that is a bad choice for my son, but Movie night is cheat night in our home.

Another way I prepare salad is by making Mexican night style salad. I place tacos, sauce, cheese, and a big bowl with a chicken salad, or ground turkey meat on one bowl and the salad on another. They make their own tacos and love it. I make soup when I can. I add veggies, celery, carrots, etc. I make noodles or rice on the side, just a little, then place it in a small bowl for those who want to add it to their soup. It's filling and healing.

We try to buy almond milk when we can. Our cereals are usually the ones with the fiber, the oats and barely any sugar. But, like I said, when they get used to it, it's what they eat without a problem. Why am I so picky? I have to keep my son healthy. His food portions are measured. We use 
a measuring cup set to measure his meals and then that lets us do the math for how much insulin he'll need to get. It's not a perfect science, but I am still learning and don't think I'll ever have it all together. 

Don't get me wrong.We cheat every now and then. He's still a kid and I have ice cream sometimes, movie night on Fridays with pop corn or pizza(high in carbs). So he has to limit the amount he'll eat. Once in a blue moon I let him have something else. But I always have something tasty and healthy as first choice before the option for pizza or any high carb meal. I hope this answers your question (dear friend who asked) on how I cook. It's not all but I can't fit it all in one blog. Hope this at least helps for now. I'll share more later with more details. God bless you.

If you like this blog, go ahead and share it. Let the blessings keep moving forward.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

You said, "What?" "Talking to me?"
I say, "Yes, this is for you. Listen to me."
To the parent, provider, mommy and dad,
Grandmother, Grandpa, and Caretaker, too.

And, the beat begins....Hit it! 
(Imagine it with me, smile)

You're amazing!
You're wonderful!
Where would we be without you!
You are an example of strength!
You are courageous!
You're an overcomer!
Wow! Are you smart!

You break night by your child's side 
and still wake up to make breakfast. How do you do it?
You're loving.
I see your sacrifice.
You are special!
There's no one like you.
You've taught me to have faith.
You showed me to love everyone.
Your an example of actions speak louder than words.
You help me see my potential.
You show me it's easy to trust God.
You show me how to forgive.

Great! You're simply great!
How do always have the right words to say?
Where would I be without your hugs?
I didn't know you could jump rope?
Jumping jacks is my new fun game after playing with you.
Thank you for listening. 
Walking with you is fun.
You're the best summer camp ever!

No one sings me to sleep the way you do.
You have the best kisses in the world.
Your kisses always heal my boo boos.
You always have time for me and I love you for that.

You're super!
No, you're a super hero!
You're perfect
No, you're perfection!
You're better than birthday cake.
You're happiness in my life.

You keep me going.
You help me believe.
You inspire me.
Your love gets me going again.
Your hugs are great.
Thanks for being there when I was young.
During a heartbreak, it's healing to know you'll just sit with me, listen and hold me.
You're incredible like the Incredibles!

You're precious.
God loves you.
He made you especially for me.
God bless you, always.

It's hard to explain how cute you are.
You're cool, cooler than the Fonz. "Heyyy!"
You're sweeter than ice cream.
You're such fun!
I love you!
You are mega amazing.
You're supercalifragilisticespialidocious!
You're my rock!
My life would never be the same without you.

Just wanted to encourage some parents out there and remind them they're doing a great job!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

As parents, we are always looking for ways to help our children feel better when they're not feeling well. Regardless if their symptoms are physical discomfort or sadness of the heart, we are on duty, upright shoulders to hold, absorb tears, or give some medication.

I know that as a parent, your days are sometimes difficult. You may even identify with an oncoming storm as you push yourself physically and emotionally when you're called to be there way after the moon has closed it eyes and lulled to sleep. Our journey into the unknown is exactly that, unknown. We never know what is coming next. 

We plan and prepare as best as we can to effectively provide for our children, even as they walk into young adulthood. I think our hearts never tire of calling them our kids and it is in us to want to nurture, advise, and pull away from the oncoming storm.

Today I vent before you because it's been a long day. Tomorrow is foreign to me and I know the road before me is endless. My journey is different than yours, but no less of a challenge. As I sighed I remembered one thing. I cannot be perfect, only try. With the tools I have, I can only do my best and you can only do your best. We pack our bags and begin to walk into the woods of our lives and may encounter tigers, lions, and bears "Oh, My!" and who knows, a few crazy monkeys and an old, ugly witch that wants to scare us away.

Life can be scary, right? When our child is sick, or going through the motions and you are out of answers, life can be a ride through a haunted house. As I vented, I was drawn to my knees. I haven't been faithful to humbling myself before the Lord as I used to. I talk a lot sometimes, about praying and seeking God. The truth is, the rush of life keeps me with a short prayer and I walk into the woods with confidence in God but unsure so many times because I didn't take the time to connect with the Lord. 

Connecting with the Lord early in the morning, when the piles of snow fall upon you, when all craziness breaks forth as you get ready to go to school and work, that's when we need to say, "Wait! Just like I need my morning cup of Joe, I need my time with the Lord." On my knees, I felt like a child sitting at the feet of her loving mom. There, before His presence, I was wrapped in loving arms and all my anxieties were released as He reminded me He provides, He takes care of my children's needs as well as mine.

Our roles as parents will have easy days and some adventurous ones as well. As you plan for tomorrow, place prayer and God's word into your bag. The journey into the unknown will be full of surprises. When we place our hope and trust int he Lord, we become fearless, confident, and bold faced to push against the currents that blow our way.

Monday, March 3, 2014


 By Angeline M Duran Santiago

For about two years, my son had told me he wanted to be a football player. It runs in our veins to love sports, and my brothers love for football had rubbed on my boys as well. I lived in an area where the only sport was baseball, and after putting him to play for two years, he was not enjoying himself, not to mention the coaches were not really dedicated to their team or games. Constant game cancellations and Saturdays wasted on waiting for game to end up being cancelled discouraged us all.

My daughter decided to Google football to see if we could make Jacob's dream a reality. She found a league, 
The Queens Falcons, that promised to provide everything and more Jacob wanted. I was afraid I would not be able to meet the financial demands for him to participate, so off to work and saving I went for a whole year. 

 While I saved and promised my son he would join in 2013, the negative people began to appear in my life. The words of encouragement I needed became sentences filled with doubt, warning, and fear. I was reminded of all the risks I was taking and the danger to my son. I was reminded, (as if I didn't know) that my son is a Type 1 Diabetic. "What will you do if he gets a low while playing?" "What if he starts getting asthma while he's running?" "Don't you know the running around can make him drop into a coma?" "How will you make sure he has juice and something in case he feels sick while his levels drop?" "What if...?" "What if...? I was like, "STTTTOPPPP!!!!"

As a diligent mom, I turned to the best resources to prove to those that wanted me to turn my son away from football they were wrong. I turned to his doctor who gladly wrote a letter of Jacob's ability to participate. (1 point for us) I turned to my family and they were supportive and promised to cheer him on. (2 points now) But, above all, I turned to God in prayer. He gave me such a peace that His presence silenced every opposition. 

I will not lie, that I was really on top of things the first few weeks. It was a very huge learning experience as I had to retrain myself on many things I thought I knew and of course, didn't know. I had to learn how to make sure his sugar was at a good level before practicing or playing. Many times he had to sit down. In the beginning, he would throw up a lot and I learned how to best prepare him so he wouldn't have high blood sugar but was stable.

My son missed two games. He was beyond able to get up and go, but in his heart and mind he was out there with his teammates. He played one game while feeling sick and pushed himself til he had to sit down. We checked him and saw he had a high fever and took him to the hospital right away. He was very sick, but as soon as he pulled through, he was back on the field.

I am grateful for the men God placed in my son's life during Jacob's first year in football, 2013. They were men who not only lived and breathed football, but they encouraged him, pushed him to believe for greatness, and dared him to reach for infinity and beyond.  He looked forward to practice, to games, to going to camp and just being with his new friends. I am thankful for my brother Alex who took time to add encouragement, support and lots of advice for the field.

Type 1 Diabetes, Asthma, or any physical condition is not a limitation or a reason to sit down and stop living life. Excluding my son from football would have been his downfall. This year, my son has barely rested looking forward to rejoining the Queens Falcons. He won two trophies as the season ended and I knew that even if all he'd receive was a congratulations, my son was and is a winner. Coach Al shared awesome words that proved my son belonged in this sport.

If you have a child with Type 1 Diabetes, Asthma or any medical condition, and your child wants to be in sports, do not discourage them or keep them on the sidelines watching all the other kids live their lives happily. Educate yourself on how to best support your child and reach out to the Coaches, work together and watch your child blossom with confidence and joy!

To me, my son is a star! Every parent believes their child is the best and that's great! Had I listened to the negative people that I shared with about my plans, I would've never seen the warrior in my son take his place. You know, we can't share our dreams and ideas with everyone. Many people have the gift of killing dreams and plans. Surround yourself with people of faith that will walk with you in the good times and the not so great! 

 I end it here, Football, here we come! Jacob's ready! 
Lord, one more season, trusting in You! He's in Your hands. 

Thank you, to all the Coaches in Queens Falcons and Gotham who were in my son's life during the 2013 season. 

Thank you for working with my son and never seeing limits, walls or barriers. 
Thank you for seeing just one more boy ready to learn and play. 
May the Lord use you all powerfully in 2014. 
You will never know the blessing you all are!