Friday, November 12, 2010

It's CHRISTmas, Not Just a Holiday

I copied and pasted this entire thing from this blog. I felt it was good enough to pass on, and hope you will take the time to do what she is suggesting.

Wish the ACLU a Very Merry Christmas

What a clever idea!

Yes, Christmas cards. This is coming early so that you can get ready to include an important
address to your list.

Want to have some fun this CHRISTMAS? Send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS CARD this year.As they are working so very hard to get rid of the CHRISTMAS part of this holiday, we should all send them a nice, card to brighten up their dark, sad, little world. Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.

Here's the address, just don't be rude or crude:

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Two tons of Christmas cards would freeze their operations because they wouldn't know if any were regular mail containing contributions.So spend 44 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone. Also tell them that there is no such thing as a

"Holiday Tree."
It's always been called a
For those of you who aren't aware of them, the ACLU, (the American Civil Liberties Union) is the one suing the US Government to take God, Christmas or anything religious away from us. They represent the atheists and others in this war. Help put Christ back in Christmas!

Now mind you - I think that the ACLU can do wonderful
things for people and their causes...
WHEN it's appropriate.
I would never campaign to take the rights
away from those who believe differently than me.
I believe that all holidays should be given respect.
I would never want Hanukkah Menorahs banned.
I would never want to force atheists to
attend worship services.
But I don't believe that my rights should be
taken away!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Night I Hope to Never Repeat

Well, yesterday started off like a good enough day. I woke up with a determination to get my house in order, so I spent the better part of five hours sweeping, mopping, doing dishes, vacuuming, and sorting laundry. I even rented a Rug Dr. and steam-cleaned the couches- my above and beyond chore for the day.

Afternoon came. I was feeling pretty good, the house was looking pretty good, so I decided to go in the kitchen and fulfill my family's request for baked goods. I made another batch of my cinnamon raisin bread as per Forrest's request, and homemade granola bars for Ashlee. I then got a start on my pan of lasagna to put in the oven for dinner.

No sooner was the lasagna ready to come out of the oven than I felt a wave of nausea coming on. "It'll pass," I thought, "just get some dinner in your stomach." Mind you all I had had to eat in the day was two peanut butter banana smoothies, one with protein powder, and a couple of samples here and there of cheese slices and granola bar dough as I worked in the kitchen.

Well, I never made it as far as dinner. Within minutes of that first feeling of nausea I was up in the bathroom feeling violently sick. I kept thinking that relief would come, but it never did. In the heat of the moment I started processing what could have been the cause of this sudden onset of sickness. Was it the flu? Was it that I hadn't eaten enough? Or worse yet, was it something bad that I had eaten? Certainly this couldn't be just pregnancy hormones. I even had Forrest Google "botulism" from the raw honey that was in the granola that I ate. There had to be an answer to why I was being wracked with such torment. After the third round I climbed into bed, so exhausted I could only keep my eyes open half way, and fell asleep. I stayed nauseous for the first half of the night, but slept soundly for the most part. It wasn't until this afternoon that the feeling fully passed.

What I did gain from this experience is a sympathy for women who go through this all the time. I really don't think I would have many kids if this is the way I felt in pregnancy. I am still trying to figure out the rhyme and reason behind morning sickness, including why I've been spared from it this time around. If that is all I suffer, than I consider my duty paid. In the mean time, God-speed the next 2-3 weeks...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Looking Ahead

Just thought I'd share some yummy recipes I found for the week's menu:
(click on the links.)

Tuesday: Seafood Fettuccini

Wednesday: World's Best Lasagna

Thursday: Good 'Ol Hamburgers and French Fries (no recipe required- this one's for the hubby)

Friday: Date Night (Yo-Yo dinner: You're On Your Own)

Saturday: Ali's Lamb and Winter Vegetable Stew
-can't wait to try this one!
(private blog, so I'll include the recipe):
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound lamb stew meat, cubed (request from grocery store butcher)
2 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups peeled, seeded, and sliced butternut squash
1 cup peeled, sliced parsnips
1 cup peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
1 cup sliced celery
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1.Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and brown the lamb meat on all sides. Drain fat, and stir in the beef broth and wine. Season with garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

2.Mix in the squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery, and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3.In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and flour. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup of the hot stew mixture.

4.Stir the sour cream mixture into the saucepan. Remove the bay leaf, and continue to cook and stir until thickened.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Best Blueberry Muffins

Forgive me for being all about food, but we had the best blueberry muffins this morning and I wanted to share. I think the secret was in using buttermilk pancake mix in lieu of white flour (I was all out.) Whatever the case, these were moist, healthy, and delicious, and gone before church.

Best Blueberry Muffins

1 c. Trader Joe's Buttermilk Pancake Mix
1 c. fresh ground whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. whole milk
1/3 c. canola oil
1 egg
1 c. blueberries
(fresh or frozen- I used frozen and let them thaw in a collander overnight.)

Mix dry ingredients.

Combine wet ingredients and gently stir into dry.

Fold in blueberries.

Line a muffin pan (stoneware is the best) with paper cups and spray bottoms only with cooking oil. Fill 12-14 cups.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes exactly.

(These aren't mine; ours were gone before I could take a picture!)

Daylight Savings Ends

Hope y'all remembered to set your clocks back last night. Now it's going to be even easier to get the kids in bed by 7:30. I'll just be curious to see how many people show up to church an hour early today...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

I woke up with a craving for something freshly baked. I didn't have enough blueberries to make muffins (and after having Katie's Alaskan blueberry muffins knew I'd be disappointed with anything less) and didn't want anything too sugary. Being that raisins and cinnamon are staples in my house, I decided on cinnamon raisin bread. I found a recipe online and adapted it a bit.
This bread was soft and moist with just the right amount of sweetness, and far exceeded my expectations. The first loaf was devoured within minutes.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
(I made the dough in the bread machine, rolled it out by hand, and baked in the oven.)

1 1/2 c. plus 2 Tbs. milk, heated
4 Tbs. butter, softened
1 tsp. salt
3 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
3 Tbs. white sugar
2 tsp. yeast

(1 c. raisins to be added later on.)
(additional butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar for filling.)

*add above ingredients to bread machine, proofing yeast if you'd like.

*add 1 c. raisins about half way through kneading cycle.

*when done, remove dough from bread pan and roll out into large rectangle on a floured surface.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 Tbs. brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.

*melt 2 Tbs. butter and brush over rectangle.

*sprinkle cinnamon sugar over all.

*roll up lengthwise and cut into two loaves. Place in greased baking pan and let rise 30-60 minutes.

*bake in 350 oven for 35-40 minutes.

*slice and serve.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

T.V., Laundry, and the Importance of 5:30 Dinner

(a.k.a. another real-life random post.)

I am so excited. Tomorrow morning between 8-10 we have a date with the Comcast guy! That's right, after nearly five years of going without, we are getting T.V. put back in our house. I had an embarrassing moment the other night when I was in Bel-Air picking up some Halloween candy for the Trunk-or-Treat. One of the guys from Chase bank struck up a conversation with me. We talked briefly, and as I started to walk away, he said to me inquisitively, "Go Giants?"

"Huh? Um, no, we don't really follow sports."

"Well are you a Giants fan?"

"I don't know, I could be...?"

He smiled and let me walk away.

I continue to the check out, noticing all the cashiers decked out in their Giants gear. Clueless.

It wasn't until I got back into the car that Forrest informed me we were in the midst of the World Series. The WORLD SERIES! And I hadn't a clue. Hooooowww embarrassing. Seriously, I'm that detached. What do you want from a homeschooling SAHM whose social interactions are limited to Sunday church and the Mom's club?

Want to know what I am most excited about? A Baby Story and Food Network. Those are my faaaaavorite. Every time I go into my bank it's Rachel Ray or that cute Italian lady on the screen and I practically step out of line to watch. I can remember the days when I would stay home sick from school as a kid and spend all day watching cooking shows (back then it was Yan Can Cook!) Anyhow, I love them. I want Martha Stewart to teach me how to make a Thanksgiving turkey and homemade place cards this year.

I'll have you all know that I am completely caught up on my laundry, and intend to stay that way. I've decided it's so much better to feel sick in a clean house than in a dirty one, so today I slaved. The kids slaved. And to top it all off, we ended the night with a Family Home Evening lesson on division of chores and Mom's expectations, and how our house is like the temple and we should keep it clean.

Me: "Did you know that a mom on my blog said that if her kids can operate a DVD player, or put on a video game, they can run the washer and dryer?"

Forrest: "Yeah, and if you can play Monopoly you're ready to go out and get a job. If you can ride a bike you might as well go get groceries." (can always be counted on for a good dose of sarcasm during FHE.)

But in all honestly, I agree with this concept. After a break down of what needs to be done daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly so that "a guest could come in at any time and use our bathroom and we would not be embarrassed," the kids are eager to help... more than they already do. Tonight, my house is clean, and I am optimistic. (Sometimes I wish my mood weren't so directly related to the state of my house, but it is so I'm going to run with it.)

Another testimony I gained tonight: the importance of adhering to a schedule. To have dinner served, cleaned up, cookies made, and the dishwasher going by 6:30 p.m. is a beautiful thing. And when the kids are bathed and in bed and the clock reads 7:35, life is a little sweeter. Now I can blog, write in my journal, fold a load of laundry, spend some R&R with my husband and still be in bed at a decent hour. This week I will try to remember this- it all starts with 5:30 dinner.

Anyhow, that's all I have for tonight on the list of things-that-mean-much- more-to-me-than-they-ever-will-to-you. I only hope that someone, somewhere, can relate on some level. In the grand scheme of things, we're all in this together. Tomorrow, it's me and Martha... or Giada... or Paula...? Eeeeeeee! (That's a squeal of excitement.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Good News for the Day

Rachel had a follow up echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) at Kaiser this morning, and the results revealed that she is in deed showing signs of improvement since her last visit. The pressure in the right side of her heart is still decreasing, and she has been put in the "mild case" category as opposed to the "moderate case" like she was before, meaning she is definitely clear of being a surgery candidate at this point. Yahoo!