Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cooking lessons

One of the things I like to do with the kids is that they get one meal a week. One meal to plan, making sure it is at least somewhat balanced, and then they prepare it with my help.

So I asked Daisy ans she wanted to make "noodles that look like a shell, with the white sauce on it."

Ok, pasta with alfredo sauce, that's fairly easy. What protein?

Her first idea was ranch style beans. Now I love ranch style beans, but I don't know about loving them with alfredo sauce. After some more thought, she decided on chicken.

And mushrooms.

And onions.

(I know there was also a vegetable but I have forgotten what it was.)

It turned out well, she enjoyed it except it took so long to cook. Possibly it took so long because she kept bumping the burners down to low.

Then for Junior's meal he chose spaghetti with meat sauce. And Broccoli as a veggie.

Before we started cooking, I sat down with him and asked if he liked how I made spaghetti sauce. Then "are you sure you like it? Do you want to make it just like Mommy always makes it?" He said yes, and then I told him I always cook it with onions. Always.

He burst into tears because he "hates onions." He did decide that if I always cook it with onion and he likes it, the onions can't be completely evil. Sometimes I also use bell pepper, but I thought that would be pushing too much.

So we got out the mandolin and he put in the onions that were then fried up with ground beef. The pasta was boiling in a separate pot and he asked if he could put in the sauce.

Yes, I confess we use jarred sauce. Specifically Ragu Super Chunky Mushrooms (don't tell Junior).

So I tell him sure he can pour in the sauce.

And he did. Right into the pasta water.

I stopped him before he got very much in there but . . . apparently he really needs the cooking lessons.

Then the broccoli was just frozen broccoli cooked in the microwave, then we sprinkled salt and real parmesan cheese (not that stuff in the green can, real parm yumm).

Both meals turned out beautiful, and so each was satisfied with their efforts.

Try letting your kids cook, they might enjoy it.

And maybe even learn onions aren't completely evil.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Doncha just hate it . . .

When you feel awful but you have things to do so you throw on some clothes and go do it.

And you know you look awful.

But it doesn't matter because you never see anybody you know anyway.

Then you do see people you know.

Lots of them.

Lots and lots of them.

And you look like a "before" shot but there is no "after" picture.

That was my weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Way is it Friday again! 7 Quick takes

1. Well the TV is officially dead. They don't feel like coming to fix it, so they are sending a replacement check. Some of you suggested that we not be in a hurry to replace it.

But I like being married!

No seriously, TV is how Hubby decompresses from work. If he felt led to give up TV in some form, I would be ok with it. But I can't push of it myself.

2. We had Tae Kwon Do belt ceremony last night, Junior is now a yellow belt. He did really well, and this time he didn't have the wiggles as bad. Last time he was doing pretty well until his dad got a Big Red and shared it with Junior. At least a sugar bowl with a spoon wouldn't have carried a risk of staining, and still have less sugar than Big Red. sigh

3. The Ultimate Blog Party is ending today, and it has been amazing. Wow.
I have found some new bloggy friends through it, which is cool.

4. Years of public school taught me that all my friends are going to be the same age as I am.

So sometimes it comes as a shock that someone who's blog I am enjoying is not my age. Some are quite a bit younger than me - one mentioned wanting to build a web page in High School - then others have kids my age. But in my mind, almost everybody is between 32 to 38.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. (think Littlest Engine That Could, except the reason for this is that I am not the littlest).
There is a new challange over at 2nd Cup of Coffee to move for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 2 weeks.

That's all. Just committing to 2 weeks.

Yesterday, I went and did my walk/jog with Daisy for 20 minutes. Then later I went by myself for 10 minutes to burn off some steam. I calculated it up and I walked/jogged 2 miles!

Today I biked for a little over a mile (to figure out distances) and then walked my mile. which ended up being 30 minutes again.

6. Daisy is working on learning crochet. She is making a washcloth because . . . they are small and very forgiving. It doesn't matter too much if it looks like a blind drunk made it. She is doing pretty well on it. It doesn't look bad, but it clearly isn't made by an experienced crocheter.

7. Yesterday Daisy asked if I was the tooth fairy. She said that it would "explain alot."

I am still not quite sure what she meant by that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This could get ugly

In the household, I am the one least addicted to the tv (possibly because I only get to watch what I want after everyone else has gone to bed).

The rest of them would have it on 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Well maybe not while asleep.

But that is about the only time they want the tv off.

That is why I think it might get pretty ugly in the morning.

I am thinking that our tv might have possibly died.

I don't know, but I am thinking that a black screen and a high pitched whine is not a good thing. Especially since the only way to turn the tv off right now is to unplug it.

We noticed the screen acting funny when Junior was playing a Wii game, and thought it might be the game.

Then after everyone went to bed, I was watching some tv, and the screen went really messy (I don't know what else to call it).

Then the screen went black and the TV started playing its own funeral dirge.

Seriously, the whine almost sounds like bag pipes.

So when Hubby gets up to check the weather (because he works outside alot) he won't be able to see the radar map for the latest forcast.

And when the kids start asking about TV and video games (even though there is a no tv rule until after 3) they may just cry.


The good thing is that we actually bought the extended warranty.

Because the warranty that came with the TV expired in November.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I am tarred! that's Texan for really tired

Since spring is here, we had to get busy with the garden. Saturday, we went and got some seedlings in addition to the seeds we already had.

Hubby had his heart set on finding one particular type of tomato, golden pear, and so we went to every nursery in town looking for it.

Ok, just 5 but it seemed like every nursery.

Then we met his parents for dinner and I got to eat one of my very favorite meals.

(this is not my picture and I have never seen it cooked with artichoke. And not so often with lemon either. Around here is is cooked with potatoes and corn on the cob).

I am guessing that some of you are wondering what that is.

Mud bugs! Also known as crawfish. It is one of the few foods that will set your hands, lips and mouth on fire - all at the same time.


I will spare you the details for those that would be jealous. Or squeamish.

Today was our turn to bring a snack to our Bible Study Class and so I made Pineapple Bread Pudding. So that it would be nice and hot, I got up early enough to make it, baked it in the slow-cooker pottery thing. Then was able to leave it on warm in the slow-cooker. I don't think I have ever seen the class that enthusiastic about a dish before (and we are Baptists so we like to eat).

Then we came home and worked on the garden.

We planted the okra, a tomato, crookneck squash, zucchini squash, strawberries, and cantaloupe (musk melon). If all we had to do is stick the plants in the ground, it wouldn't be so bad.

Unfortunately we had to weed and build beds in some areas, others just needed weeding.

But I am already anticipating the harvest.

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's a party!

Wow! A party I can attend in my pajamas! And you can't even see the coffee stain on my shirt!

Ok, there isn't really a coffee stain. There may be a bit of pear juice from an extremely juicy pear . . . but I will neither confirm nor deny it.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

If you stumbled here through the Ultimate Blog Party 2009, let me introduce myself.

I am Christi. Yes, nice to meet you too.

I am married to Hubby over there, yes that is him rewiring something. We have 2 kids, Daisy who is 9 over there baking some bread and Junior, just turned 6, who is over there with the video games.

We homeschool our kids, which is turning out to be a learning experience for all of us, not just them. We have tackled things like canning, preserving, entomology, nature study, and history.

We live in East Texas where there is always plenty to blog about. Not just hurricanes. You might want to look at my favorite posts, they are over there on the sidebar.

Ummm, I think that is all. Although, I am pretty sure I am forgetting something.

edited to add:

I realized what I was forgetting, the prizes I am most interested in.

There are so many wonderful prizes and I would be glad to get any of them, my top picks though would be 19, 21, 22, 17,18, 12, 49, 5, and 2.

I also thought I would mention, I have a tag going here if you are interested.

7 Quick Takes

1. Because it is an absolute pain to take it in the morning, I have started taking my thyroid medicine at night. It needs to be on a completely empty stomach, so no food for 2 hours before or an 1 1/2 after. So morning would seem to be easier, but if I plan on walking/jogging in the morning I might do a bit better with some fuel. Since I can't eat for 1 1/2 hours . . . .

Texas in the spring can get pretty hot, so I don't want to wait until later in the day. Not to mention I can't think of as many excuses when I exercise first thing.

2. Junior had a wonderful birthday, our homeschool group did kickball for the kids (and then softball for the older kids) and he had fun with that. Then we went to eat at a place he picked out. Yes, he did get the "San Diego Jones" game as he is now calling it. He also got a Indiana Jones whip, a transformer, and fighting robots.

A good friend of the family made him an apron out of denim and red ticking. It is so adorable! She made one for Daisy for her birthday, but Daisy's is pink and green.

3. I thought I would attempt to make Bakerella's cupcake pops, as featured at Pioneer Woman's blog for Junior's birthday. Bakerella recommends cream cheese frosting or some other storebought frosting. (But I read elsewhere cream cheese store bought or home made)

I thought I would do butter cream. I do love butter cream frosting.

Buttercream does not work on cupcake pops. The butter softens way too easily and so it really doesn't do what you want.

So now I have a bunch of these little balls that taste divine and are probably about 5,000,000 calories apiece.

Oh, help.

4. St Pat's day I had that awful headache. I finally took 1/2 of a tylenol with codiene (a whole one would completely knock me out, which I really hate doing). By the time it was the kids story time, the medicine had gotten rid of the headache.

It also loosened my tongue. I chattered about skiing, told a skiing story, finally read the book about Curious George skiing, then discussed the copywrite dates on the book and on and on and on. I also discussed why mad hatters were mad, and what OSHA does now to prevent that. And then we read the other book.

The next day, I asked Daisy if she thought I was talking alot. She got a little twinkle in her eye as she nodded.

5. This taking the thyroid pill at night is probably good for me. It keeps me from snacking at night. Not being able to eat for 3 1/3 hours does that.

I didn't realize though, how much I did snack at night. And it was mostly all mindless snacking. And it is so hard to quit doing that.

6. The no snacking though, is good for my crochet and knitting. I need something to do with my hands and so I do handwork like a mad woman.

What do I make? Dish towels. I have made socks but really dish towels are more my thing. I can finish them in just a few hours.

I love them to do dishes with. They are wonderful to work with, even if they are a little lopsided.

7. Don't forget to check the post below. I have a tag going. I promise, if I send a lopsided dish towel, I will also send something else with it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pay It Forward Tag

Before I forget, JLI asked me about the apple butter and peach butter recipe. I have to find the peach butter recipe (long story), but here is the best recipe for apple butter and if you are brave you might want to try this Yummy Peach Salsa. When I find the Peach butter recipe, I will post it.

And now

I won a tag! And so now I get to offer you the opportunity to play.

Here is the deal :
Here's a fun blogging game...

Be one of the first three people to leave a comment on this post and you'll receive something handmade from me sometime in the next year.

But there is a catch. You have to do the same thing on your blog. And then once you get the item from me you have to comment about it on my blog!!

As for commenting something in particular, I can't think of anything to ask for other than favorite simple breakfast. I am getting kind of burned out on cold cereal, and am not really fond of ham, bacon or eggs (sausage is just nasty). I like oatmeal, but it is warming up and hot oatmeal on a day that's going to be in the 90's is just miserable.

I just recently found though that I actually like scrambled egg with a thin slice of lunch-meat ham on a half of an English muffin. Since I kind of dislike 2 out of three, I was really surprised. If I eat it every day though, I will get tired of it.

So more ideas?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My little Heffalump

It seems like yesterday you were an infant in my arms. You weren't really tiny, just 1 ounce shy of 10 pounds at birth. You were a happy baby, you hummed while you nursed. I called you "the little Heffalump" because you were such a chunk; we were thrilled that you were a chunk.

As a toddler, your were creative in finding things you shouldn't do. You used my good scissors on the cord to a lamp; it scared you and melted holes in the blade but you weren't hurt. You ate the pecans off of a sticky trap at the library, which scared the librarians. You dropped staples in the floor plug at the library, causing sparks and again scaring the librarians.

You have always been curious why things work the way they do and how they work. As a toddler on the merry-go-round, you watched the gear movement up above your horse.

This past year it has been such a joy to watch you grow and mature. You have such a loving spirit and kind nature. I am blessed when I see your tender heart in action.

This past you you decided to ask Jesus into your heart. We were amazed because it wasn't something we had talked about, we didn't know that you were ready for those talks.

Even with your tender heart, you are all boy. You are doing great with Tae Kwon Do. You are fascinated with Star Wars, Legos, Batman, Transformers and other boy stuff.

You are my favorite little boy in the whole world.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What a wonderful hubby I have

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley." Robert Burns

I had plans for a wonderful meal tonight but . . . it didn't happen the way I planned it. I put the corned beef in the crockpot and so that was bubbling nicely when we went to go run a few errands.

About 4:30 I started to get a headache, by 5 it was really bad. Between 5 and 7:30 I was laying down and trying various headache medicines (finally had to try the narcotics).

I don't know about you, but I don't find narcotics and cooking a good mix. Luckily, my wonderful Hubby stepped up and made mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage. He is an excellent cook with both, and I didn't feel like talking to tell him the recipes I had intended.

So we had a good Irish meal that included a version of everything I had intended (except the bread which I wouldn't ask him to make).

And the kids were grateful none of it was green except the cabbage.

Junior had said today that he was "never, ever going to eat anything else green." When we pointed out that some of his favorite food is green, he decided that if it was supposed to be green, it was ok (weird kid, he likes spinach, asperagus, broccoli, and green beans).

Corned Beef

I am trying to make corned beef today, along with mashed potatoes with pesto (to give it a hint of green) cooked cabbage and Irish soda bread.

Since all of this is new, hopefully we won't end up eating peanut butter and jelly.

If it is good, I will post the recipes.

Happy Saint Patricks Day!

My kids were delighted. yep, that's sarcasm.

This morning I made green eggs and ham. The look on their face was . . . really pretty funny. They were absolutely disgusted.

Daisy decided that the eggs weren't too bad, but she had a hard time eating them, and she isn't a big fan of ham.

Junior declared he was absolutely not eating anything green, but then ate most of his ham and some of his eggs.

He thought it was kindof cool when he decided it was something you are supposed to do on St. Pat's day.


I just posted the best most evil white queso recipe. The stuff is merciless, it put 3 lbs on me last weekend.

But I had to force myself not to buy the ingredients yesterday at the store.


I am weird. I like to can and make our own preserves. Especially since I can do stuff that we can't buy easily at the store.

For instance I love, love, love peach butter. Fruit butters are made with less sugar than jams or other preserves and have no added pectin. Peaches are perfect for this because they are so naturally sweet. In fact, I don't do peach jam unless I add jalapenos to it (which is much better than it sounds).

Strawberry jam is good, but I haven't made it. I did help my daughter make banana split jam though - it is strawberry banana with a tiny bit of chocolate syrup. It is pretty good, but a little too sweet for me.

Pumpkin butter is also a favorite but according to the govt, it isn't safe to can even with a pressure cooker. (It is too thick and the heat can't reach to the center and kill all the cooties. Most fruit preserves are high enough in acid to kill cooties, but pumpkin is too borderline). So it goes in the freezer.

Most autumns I make apple butter, because nothing smells better in the kitchen.

When hubby suggested years ago that I learn how to can, I looked at him like he was insane. But is is alot more fun than I thought.

And delicious.

Monday, March 16, 2009

He's got my hand

Have you ever walked with a toddler, somewhere that they needed a hand holding them.

And they fall.

They always fall.

They are hanging there by the hand that you are gripping so tightly it has to hurt. It has to be scary for them.

Not being sure if they are going to be dropped.

Sometimes they spin around, sometimes they still get scraped up. Undoubtedly though, they would have been hurt worse without your hand.

Would you let them go, to fall to the ground?

Of course not!

That is how I see God's grip. Even in trying times, horrible difficulties, He has got our hand.

The world may be spinning, but He has got us in His hand.

We may be scraped up, but we would have been hurt more if we didn't have His hand.

This isn't to say that life as a christian is easy. There are the same stressors - cancer, failed marriage, job loss - but we still have His hand.

Sometimes He walks with us into places we don't really want to go, things that stretch us and grow us. But He still has our hand.

He won't let go.

Ignoring it won't work

I have tried to ignore it but it keeps coming.

Junior is going to turn 6.

My baby will be six no matter how much I try to ignore it.

We have been counting the days starting at 10 which was "a very, very long time" according to him. Then around day 7, he started perking up, but it is still long.

When we moved to only one hand, he was pretty excited.

His birthday is on Wednesday.

I may just cry.

When we were talking about his birthday, I asked what kind of party he wanted.

"Indiana Jones!" Ummmm why? He has never seen Indiana Jones (it is way too graphic and scary).

So I said, "why not Star Wars?" since he is hugely into Star Wars.

Nope, Indiana Jones, so I asked why.

"because if I have a Star Wars party, I will get Star Wars stuff."

So what are you wanting that is IJ?

"Well, a cake but you probably can't do an IJ cake and . . . "

No, Junior, what toys are you wanting that is IJ?

"Lego Indiana Jones" - Basically he is wanting his whole party planned around one game that he is wanting for the Wii.

Why on earth would you want a Star Wars party when you already have the Wii game?

Time change

I have come to the only reasonable conclusion.

God hates daylight savings time too.

That is the only explanation for this miserable cold snap. He is mad that we did the time change thing. Again.

I agree completely with Him. It is a horrible plan. And if we are honest, everyone agrees except the people that benefit.

People like . . .

ummm . . .

I got nothing. I can't think of anyone who likes daylight savings time.

So why not get rid of it?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

7 quick takes - nature edition

I am doing a theme with my quick takes this time. Yes, some of them are a bit of a stretch. But oh well.

1. I made some Jasmine tea (loose leaf that I had gotten at World Market a few years ago. Then I drug Daisy outside to find some Carolina Jasmine, which is blooming right now. Although they are different flowers, they do smell fairly similar.

The Jasmine are the beautiful yellow trumpet-like flowers. I will try to get a picture but we are having a cold snap so I don't know if I will be able to.

They have a sweet smell, almost like honeysuckle. Which makes the unsweet tea a little odd. I haven't tried it with honey, but I don't really like sweet teas.

2. Yesterday we went to the zoo, and had a great time. Our zoo is a small town zoo so it isn't an EVENT like the big city zoos, but it is still a good zoo. There are 2 hippos, a rhino, a giraffe family, and several varieties of alligator and crocodile, just to name a few.

We saw 2 peacocks trying to woo a female peacock (who was clearly uninterested). The males will fan out their tail and then somehow vibrate it so that you can actually hear it. It sounds almost like a cell phone vibrating.
The female is standing in front of the colorful male, you can just barely see her.

It was a beautiful display, especially since one was an albino peacock while the other was the usual bright colors.

There were actually 3 peacocks wooing, but one was much, much younger. One of the adult males looked at the teen as if to say "just go home kid."

3. There is a "lake" which is more of an overgrown pond right outside the zoo. The lake has signs that says no swimming because of alligators. People don't really believe the sign, but we have been seeing the alligator for years. This time in addition to seeing the adult alligator, on a nature walk around the lake we saw a baby alligator.

So it is not just an adult alligator, there is apparently a breeding pair. Yikes.

4. I have been wanting a lemon tree for . . . a few years. I finally got one on Sunday, a Lemon Drop which is supposed to be a cross between a lemon and a kumquat. I am hoping that like other hybrids it will be more than a regular plant (for some reason hybrid for the first generation or 2 tend to be sturdier, more productive, etc).

Right now it has some little tiny lemons on it, and then the lovely smelling flowers.

5. Hubby is trying to grow some tomatoes from seed. He was reading somewhere that the stalks grow thicker (and so do better) if you put them under fluorescent light 24 hours a day.

Especially when compare to the sunshine coming in through a window that his wife keeps closing the curtains on.

Junior found these and was pretty upset. He is now convinced that we are both pretty stupid because "plants need light from the sun, not from a light bulb."

At least he didn't say "Duh"

Then later he was eating a pear and he said "Who made pears?" waited a moment the continued "God did! Let's thank Him" and bowed his head to say a quick thank you for the pears.

He was a little mad at me when I bought them because they were "brown pears" and he was positive that brown pears couldn't be as good as green pears.

6. This I thought was nature related. Proving once again, I have blond hair.

I went to the credit union to get some tax stuff and once again noticed these measuring things. They look like the measuring things on the side of the road in flood zone areas, so that you don't drive over the flooded road (I grew up in west Texas where the streets would flood if someone over watered their yard.)

Anyway, I had been looking at those for awhile and each time thought, "wow, that would be bad if the water came up to 5 feet or more in here." This time I asked it the CU was in a flood zone (ignoring that it is on a hill).

When the lady gave me a blank look, I started to explain I was wondering because of the measuring bars that start at 5 feet . . . and as I said it, I knew what they were for.

You may have seen them in service stations too. It is really handy for telling the police that the thief was almost 6 foot or whatever.

7. Yes, this one is stretching it but I really don't care.

Junior loves Curious George. I like it but find myself getting irritated with the man in the yellow hat. Almost every episode he says "be a good little monkey." And that always results in mayhem.


But there is also my favorite phrase from Curious George, "George was curious." I really want Junior and Daisy to continue to be curious. I want them to want to learn for the sake of learning.

I am grateful that Junior is no longer experimenting with abandon since the seam ripper incident.

All the same, I want him to be curious, just not destructive.

Child-like Faith

We have all heard of a "childlike faith" and that we must become as a child.

What does that mean? How can we achieve that?

Here is what I think, Do you remember being a child? Do you remember going on car trips with your family?

Perhaps you were like I was, laying in the back seat. Sometimes I would hear Dad and Mom talking about where we were. Sometimes we would be lost, but there in the backseat it didn't matter. Daddy would take care of it. We wouldn't be lost forever.

As an adult sitting in the passenger seat, being lost is nerve wracking. I know in my head that we won't be lost forever but the unknown is . . . scary/frustrating/aggravating/whatever.

Why is it so much more harder to be a front-seat passenger than a backseat passenger? Maybe because I feel like I need to help fix it.

"Turn here. Lets turn around and go back. You missed the turn"

Instead of letting my Daddy fix it.

And how often to I do that with my Heavenly Dad?

"You need to fix this. You need to do that. Here is how to correct this course. Fix the economy by doing this. Have this person be president. Heal this person."

How do we get back to the backseat where we trust our Dad can take care of it? That is an everyday challenge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dumber than I used to be

I am dumber than I used to be.

I used to easily read the classics like Jane Austin. At the time, I didn't find the writing style difficult and I read classics for fun.

Fun! I tell you. I read Tale of Two Cities for fun; Pride and Prejudice for fun; the Count of Monte Cristo for fun.

And this was in high school, to be honest, not an age known for its intelligence or depth.

This year I struggled through the first half of Persuasion.

I needed silence to be able to focus enough to understand it.

I will admit that by the time I was halfway through though, it was easier, I got back into the language and the cadence. But that it was that difficult really galls me.

I finally finished it and now I am reading Sense and Sensibility.

Now I get it enough to see an insult. I wanted to share something with you:

However dissimilar in temper and outward behaviour, they strongly resembled each other in that total want of talent and taste which confined their employments, unconnected with such as society produced, within a very narrow compass. Sir John was a sportsman, Lady Middleton a mother. He hunted and shot, and she humoured her children; and these were their only resources. Lady Middleton had the advantage of being able to spoil her children all the year round, while Sir John's independent employments were in existence only half the time. Continual engagements at home and abroad, however, supplied all the deficiencies of nature and education; supported the good spirits of Sir John, and gave exercise to the good breeding of his wife.

I really don't want to be like Lady Middleton. I prize being a mother, and a homeschool mom. I also see that as what God has called me to do.

But I also want to continue to grow as a person and in my walk with God.

I am not talking about dropping them off at the sitters so I can go shopping but taking time to do things that enrich me. Such as doing my morning devotions. And working out. And reading books that stretch me.

Obviously I haven't been doing that but I want to.

I'm gonna do it

Some of you may remember my post on I Hate Cancer. I felt like all around me people were being diagnosed, or fighting it, or having it return. Some of this, I don't feel free to blog about, it is too personal and too close to home.

That said, I am so extremely grateful for the advances that have been made in cancer research. Cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was.

These advances have given us more time, and hopefully more time to find a cure.

Rather than ranting at a disease that doesn't care and doesn't discriminate, I am going to join the fight.

I am participating in my first Relay for Life.

I am participating in memory of my grandfather and in honor of my dad. While my dad's prognosis isn't dismal, I would really, really rather he was cancer free.

I know almost nothing about Relay for Life other than I will be walking alot and it is to raise money.

Please support Relay for Life. If you don't want to walk it, then donate.

And pray for a cure.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Fever

Well Spring Fever has struck.

This year that means redecorating.

Last year I painted the living room, this year I remodeled the blog.

I honestly am not sure which is harder.

The painting took longer, but I didn't have to think hard.

I am not done yet. I want to add some fripperies like butterflies and flowers.

I am also thinking of putting a box around each post so that there is a white background. I think it will make it easier to read, I am just not quite sure how to do it. So that will take some figuring.

Unless someone can tell me how to do it.

So what do you think?

how our family grew to a family of three - part IV

This one is a bit long, but it was either one long one or two short ones. It is also the last one about my first pregnancy, which was the easy one.
If you missed the previous installments here they are Part I and Part II and Part III


I had the cerclage removed when it was safe for me to go in labor, about 2 weeks before my due date. Sometimes that can start labor, but not for me.

I wasn't due for another week, and about 11'O clock on Friday my mom called. She needed open heart surgery and had was sure that she had told me when it was going to be done. I didn't hear her until she called me that Friday morning because she had noticed that I was oblivious. Her surgery was set for wednesday.

I was shocked and then flew into a panic. More than almost anything else, I wanted my mother there when I gave birth but the contractions had completely stopped. Because around here the Doctors only do a half day on friday, it was too late to talk to my OB about inducing. I pulled out my herb book and looked up herbs to start labor. I went and bought black cohash, blue cohash, and every other herb mentioned. I tried balsamic vinegar. I tried talking to the massage therapist who had told me that there were areas to avoid while pregnant because it could start labor.

I did everything I could, all weekend.

And. Nothing. Happened.

Sunday night, I thought I would take a bath. While in the tub, I faced my fear that my mom would die during her surgery and would never see her grandbaby. Sobbing, I poured my heart out to God and told Him that He had better have a better plan than I did.

Finally at peace, I got out of the tub and sat down to write in my pregnancy journal.
I had admitted that it was God who was in control, not me. It was about midnight and absolutely peaceful. The only sound was the sound of my pen scratching on the book.

Then I heard a pop.

I thought nahhh, but then realized my water broke.

So I woke up hubby, we got in the car and drove over to the hospital. On the way, I called my parents so they could be there (they lived 2 hours away).

By the time I got there the labor was pretty painful and so I was glad to finally get a pain shot. I will freely admit to being an absolute wimp.

I was finally able to get an epidural and it was wonderful. Finally around 9 our little princess arrived.

She had the cord wrapped around her neck.

But she had put her hand up by her face first so her arm prevented her being choked.

She was born on Monday and my mom was there in the delivery room.

Wednesday, still on a new grandbaby high, my mom had successful heart surgery.

God had every detail worked out perfectly.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I love 7 Quick Takes

My favorite thing about this is that I get to post the various little things that aren't really big enough for their own post.

Although I could ramble on long enough for each one to make its own post.

1. I cooked the simplist chicken Thursday night for supper. Boneless chicken breast cooked in apple cider vinegar (although you can use a different vinegar, just not white distilled) and some water. Then when the meat was close to done, I added some honey to sweeten the sauce/glaze.

Junior thought it was the best, until he asked what was in it. Then he said he hates vinegar. Honestly if I avoided the stuff he hates, we would eat PB&J and cereal. The trick is not letting him know one of his forbidden foods it there.

I didn't measure but it was 4 chicken breasts, around 1/3 - 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/4- 1/3 cup water and then 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Cook over medium until the meat is done and then the glaze/sauce reduces.

2. Our church had a ladies coffee Thursday night and it was alot of fun. We had special coffees (I had a hazlenut latte) and then got to chitchat. It was fun and relaxing girl time.

3. I am a thief. When I was 4 years old, I stole a pack of Charlie's Angels gum because I thought my mom would say no.

That night when she saw me chewing the gum, I had to fess up. The next day, I had to go back into the 7-11 and tell the man what I had done and pay for it.

I still remember that.

But I have never shoplifted again.

4. I almost hate to say this, for those of you that live where it is cold.

We went on a nature walk to look for signs of spring.

Before we missed it.

Summer may be here week after next.

But we found redbuds and Carolina Jasmine blooming. Trumpet honeysuckle has it's flowers budding out, but not blooming. And the ever-present mosquito larvae.

5. I got an order of tea today. A friend had asked for advise on what to try for hot tea. I told her to go to Adagio Tea. They have this starter set that comes with a great tea maker and 4 samples of tea. Then you can order samples of other teas that sound good (most of the samples are $2 a piece and make 10 cups, although some cost more and make less.)

It had been awhile since I ordered, and saw they have added alot of new teas. So I just had to order some samples of teas. Honestly though, I think Daisy was really wanting to try at least one of the teas. She has been nagging for 2 days to look at the list. She heard "chocolate tea" and was really wanting to try it.

Yep, I said chocolate tea. Oh my stars!!! This stuff is good. It isn't pre-sweetened, so it is like a sugar-free fat free chocolate bar.

I just drank some peach ginger tea and I love it. I may have to go make another cup.

Some of those bagged flavored teas, just have a hint of the flavor and mostly taste like black tea. They are just really underwhelming. But Adagio teas smell and taste wonderful.

Just so you know, I have no affiliation with Adagio, although I would love to. Hint, hint.

6. Last night, I read the poem that goes
What are little boys made of?
Oh, what are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails,
that is what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
Oh, what are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice,
that is what little girls are made of.

Junior didn't like it. I thought he didn't like it because it has boys made of gross stuff (snails).

Nope, he didn't like it because it was wrong.

Little boys are made out of skin.

7. Junior is really enjoying tae kwon do now. He has a great teacher who keep them in line (no pun intended). Then there are about 3 who take turns helping out.

One is a mom who is great with the kids - kindof like a mom figure.

Another is a high school boy who is also great. He is fairly quiet, but has kind eyes. He reminds me of my brother.

The third, is another teen . . .sigh . . . I really want to bring him some ex-lax. I am pretty sure he is constipated. He just seems cranky.

Okie Dokie, thats all. Except, I tried Adagio's cinnamon tea (instead of another peach ginger). YUMMMM. It isn't like the spice cinnamon, it's like red hots. I think it's another winner.

Some of the best news!

I finally broke down and went and bought me a new pair of jeans.

Because my favorite jeans are way too big.

The ones that used to give me a muffin-top less than a year ago.

The new ones I bought (on sale, cha-ching) are 2 sizes smaller.


I wish it was as easy to run in reality as it is to imagine myself running.

See I have a vision in my head of me running laps, maybe not like a track star, but running fairly easily.

The reality is far different. Jogging I get red faced and gasping. It isn't pretty. Or easy.

But if it helps me get into smaller jeans . . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just a mom

I don't know who Glenn Beck is, I don't know his politics or anything else about him.

I do love this post of Kelly's. It is an incredibly affirming thing to read.

Grocery List - Works for Me

I don't like grocery shopping. Especially when I forget some of the stuff I am there after.

I have tried making a handmade list. You know the type where you hand write items as you think of them.

I would try to then go aisle by aisles but would always have to go back at least once. Sometimes, after backtracking several times for different things, I decide we don't need milk or bread because I don't want to back track again.

Finally in a fit of frustration, I wrote down what the major things on each isle were. In my store, the first section is fresh fruit and veggies, then freezer, then bread etc.

Once I had that list, I sat down and typed up the things that we buy fairly regularly in order of what is on each aisle.

It didn't have to be perfect, over the next few weeks I added what I had missed.

It took a bit of time to set up (maybe an hour) but now I have a customized list, set up to follow my store of the things I buy fairly frequently.

When we need eggs, I circle eggs. I don't have to write it out, I don't have to think about what order to write down items.

The list also has the added benefit of reminding me of items needed. Seeing trash bags on the list has reminded me that we are low on trash bags.

You can look at my list here.

It may not be perfect but it Works-For-Me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Shooting sports

Since I knew nothing about what "4-H shooting sports" is, I am guessing that most of you don't either.

So I'm gonna tell you.

Pretend you care.

The kids learn weapon safety (i.e. don't point the gun at anybody, don't carry a loaded gun, stuff like that).

Then depending on their age, they have different positions to shoot in. Daisy's age they only do prone, which is laying on their belly. In a couple/few years she will be able to do all three: prone, kneeling, and standing.

Sounds pretty simple huh?

Except the targets are little. They are about the size of a silver dollar. The grown ups use binoculars to see if the kids are hitting the target.

And not just good binoculars. They use high powered binocular.

And you want to hit as close to the center of the target as you can (think of a dart board with its bulls eye. Except the bulls eye is smaller than a pencil eraser.)

And you are 50 feet away.

Wanna see?

I circled her targets with red. They have 3 sheets of paper with 12 circles - 2 practice targets and 10 real targets.

I am not telling you all this so you think "WOW! Daisy must be a great shot."

Cause she isn't.

She is awful a pretty bad shot on these targets.

Then again, I suppose being able to hit the piece of paper means she could hit a deer.

How blogging can be like hair

When I was a kid, every summer we would go to my Grandmothers. While we were at my Grandmother's, I would get a perm.

A tight curly perm.

I looked like a poodle who had been put in the drier on fluff.

It was bad.

As a teenager, I continued to get perms and each time I would hope that they would turn out well.

Apparently sometimes I don't think.

The last perm I got was right before I found out I was pregnant.

Thankfully there are no pictures of it.

Yet I still get the temptation to get another perm.

How does that apply to blogging, I can hear you wondering?

Simply this, I keep thinking I can put extra bells and whistles on here, and it messes everything up.


I tried feedburner and somehow it completely messed up my feed. Other people can use feedburner without a problem, but not I.

Then I thought I would try commentLuv.

I finally got it working after banging my head on the keyboard using my head constructively.

Except, the process ate a couple of comments that were done today.

Exactly 2 (I'm sorry Kim, I have them in my email).

But I think it will be cool now that it is working. I saw it over at Jamie's blog.

So my point is even though I get aggravated and have problems every time I add something new, I keep wanting to do it.

I keep forgetting the headache involved.

I keep thinking that this time will be easy. This time is will look ok.

Just like a perm.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Never say quit

I am pretty sure that this February was the longest month ever in the history of the world. At least it sure seemed that way because of how packed it was. Some was good (wedding), some was bad (cancer and death), some was just busy (youth fair), some planned, some unexpected.

Which reminds me, I have posted the recipes for the baguette bread and pineapple bread pudding. They are over at my recipe blog. I don't yet have Junior's applesauce bread up, hopefully that will be up soon.

Anyway . . .

Our busyness continued until the very last day of February. Junior had a tae kwan do tournament down in Houston. We had to be there at 8:30 and it is a 2 hour drive (Hubby had to work the night before). So the kids and I got up at 5, Hubby got home at 5:30 and we were out the door by six.

But the tournament went well, it was a real confidence booster. For Junior's age group - tiny tigers, how cute is that - they all get first place for something. Junior got first place for "fastest kicks and punches" which is a polite way of saying he was hyper. So Junior came home with a medal. And Mr. Negativity actually told me it was fun. He said he was scared but it he had fun.


Then today the other kid, the one who never rarely complains gave a huge sigh when I said she had shooting sports today. I asked what was wrong and her answer was "I don't like shooting sports."

She doesn't like the practicing, she doesn't like shooting in the prone position (the only one she is allowed to shoot in for her age), the gun is heavy and hurts her arm, the strap that helps hold the gun hurts . . . and so on.

So whats good about it? Getting to touch a gun.

Hubby and I discussed letting her drop out since she is usually game for any project and rarely complains. He wanted her to learn gun safety which she had, I wanted her to quit nagging about trying it. We agreed that she could drop out if she wanted.

So we called her in and gave her the choice.

She doesn't want to drop out.

I don't know why.

I am not sure she knows why.

But she is staying in shooting sports.

Even though she doesn't like it.

I dearly love booklists

As a confirmed bibliophile, I have to admit one of my favorite things is booklists. Children's booklists, adult booklists, Christian booklists, I love them all.

So when Ang over at Hanging Out The Wash posted a booklist of classic children's literature, I had to look it over. She got the list from Best Children's Literature.

I am going to italicize those that we have already read and bold those I have read. If it is bolded, I will probably read it to my kids, or have them read.

Classic children's literature - Kindergarten through Grade 6

* Recommended children's literature for K-3, either for reading by children or for reading to them.

  • Adamson, Joy * Born Free

  • Aesop * Fables*

  • Alcott, Louisa May * Little Women

  • Andersen, Hans Christian * Fairy tales

  • Atwater, Richard and Florence * Mr. Popper's Penguins*

  • Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin * Miss Hickory

  • Barrie, J.M. * Peter Pan

  • Baum, L. Frank * The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  • Bemelmans, Ludwig * Madeline series*

  • Bond, Michael * A Bear Called Paddington

  • Boston, L.M. * The Children of Green Knowe

  • Brink, Carol Ryrie * Caddie Woodlawn

  • Brown, Margaret Wise * Goodnight, Moon*

  • Brunhoff, Jean de * The Story of Babar*

  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson * The Secret Garden

  • Burton, Virginia Lee * Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel*

  • Butterworth, Oliver * The Enormous Egg

  • Clark, Ann Nolan * Secret of the Andes

  • Cleary, Beverly * Henry Huggins series

  • Coatsworth, Elizabeth * The Cat Who Went to Heaven

  • Dalgliesh, Alice * The Bears on Hemlock Mountain*
    * The Courage of Sarah Noble*

  • De Angeli, Marguerite * The Door in the Wall

  • De Jong, Meindert * The House of Sixty Fathers
    * The Wheel on the School

  • Dodge, Mary Mapes * Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates

  • Du Bois, William Pene * The Twenty-One Balloons

  • Edmonds, Walter D. * The Matchlock Gun

  • Estes, Eleanor * Ginger Pye
    * Moffats series

  • Farley, Walter * The Black Stallion

  • Field, Rachel * Hitty, Her First Hundred Years

  • Fritz, Jean * The Cabin Faced West

  • Gilbreth, Frank B. and Ernestine G. Carey * Cheaper By the Dozen

  • Gipson, Fred * Old Yeller

  • Godden, Rumer * The Mousewife*

  • Grahame, Kenneth * The Reluctant Dragon*
    * The Wind in the Willows

  • Gray, Elizabeth Janet * Adam of the Road

  • Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm * Grimm's Fairy Tales

  • Hawes, Charles * The Dark Frigate

  • Haywood, Carolyn * Betsy series*

  • Henry, Marguerite * King of the Wind
    * Misty of Chincoteague

  • Keith, Harold * Rifles for Watie

  • Kelly, Eric * The Trumpeter of Krakow

  • Kipling, Rudyard * Captains Courageous
    * Just So Stories for Little Children*
    * The Jungle Books

  • Kjelgaard, Jim * Big Red

  • Knight, Eric * Lassie Come Home

  • Krumgold, Joseph * ...and Now Miguel
    * Onion John

  • LaFarge, Oliver * Laughing Boy

  • Lamb, Charles and Mary * Tales from Shakespeare

  • Latham, Jean Lee * Carry on, Mr. Bowditch

  • Lawson, Robert * Ben & Me
    * Rabbit Hill

  • Leaf, Munro * The Story of Ferdinand*

  • Lear, Edward * Book of Nonsense*

  • Lenski, Lois * Strawberry Girl

  • Lewis, C.S. * Chronicles of Narnia series

  • Lindgren, Astrid * Pippi Longstocking series

  • Lofting, Hugh * Doctor Doolittle series (I remember reading one of these on a drive from Sydney to Melbourne, so it is hard for me to think of these without remembering the Aussie countryside)

  • London, Jack * The Call of the Wild
    * White Fang

  • MacDonald, Betty * Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

  • MacGregor, Ellen * Miss Pickerell series

  • McCloskey, Robert * Blueberries for Sal* every year when we go pick blueberries

    * Homer Price
    * Make Way for Ducklings*

  • McSwigan, Marie * Snow Treasure

  • Meigs, Cornelia * Invincible Louisa

  • Milne, A.A. * The House at Pooh Corner*

    * Now We Are Six*

    * When We Were Very Young*

    * Winnie-the-Pooh*

  • Minarik, Else Holmelund * Little Bear

  • Montgomery, L.M. * Anne of Green Gables

  • Mukerji, Dhan Ghopal * Gay-Neck, the Story of a Pigeon

  • Norton, Mary * The Borrowers series

  • O'Hara, Mary * My Friend Flicka

  • Pearce, Philippa * Tom's Midnight Garden

  • Perrault, Charles * Cinderella*

  • Potter, Beatrix * The Tale of Peter Rabbit*

  • Pyle, Howard * The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

  • Rey, H.A. * Curious George series*

  • Richter, Conrad * The Light in the Forest

  • Selden, George * The Cricket in Times Square*

  • Seuss, Dr. * The Cat in the Hat*

  • Sewell, Anna * Black Beauty

  • Sorenson, Virginia * Miracles on Maple Hill

  • Speare, Elizabeth George * The Witch of Blackbird Pond

  • Sperry, Armstrong * Call It Courage

  • Spyri, Johanna * Heidi

  • Steinbeck, John * The Red Pony

  • Stevenson, Robert Louis * A Child's Garden of Verses*
    * Kidnapped
    * Treasure Island

  • Travers, Pamela L. * Mary Poppins series

  • Van Loon, Hendrik * The Story of Mankind

  • White, E.B. * Charlotte's Web
    * Stuart Little

  • Wilder, Laura Ingalls * Little House series

  • Williams, Margery * The Velveteen Rabbit*

  • Wyss, Johann * Swiss Family Robinson

  • Zion, Gene * Harry the Dirty Dog*