Sunday, November 29, 2009

some progress:)

Again, this is just a small update...

I finally got my pants' size down to a single digit number! I'm glad that all of the early morning trips to the Y and south beachin' it have paid off. I've indulged a little bit over Thanksgiving, but I'm going to keep at it and hopefully keep those pesky pounds from coming back.

Monday, November 02, 2009

So I'm pretty busy lately and our hard drive is dead, but I'm going to try to leave little posts here and there when I get a chance. I've just started the south beach diet, which is my first attempt ever at a formal diet. My thirties haven't been very good for the bottom or waistline. Ahem...

I'm encouraged about my progress so far, but would love to hear some suggestions from anyone who has tried this diet or a similar one. Did you have any favorite recipes or websites that were helpful?

Stay tuned for another brief and choppy update...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a good reminder borrowed from another woman's blog

“Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with a store to last him for months, but his provision was given him as a daily pension (2 Kings 25:30). Herein he well pictures the happy Position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June does not need to be quenced in February for we do not feel it as yet. If we have enough for each day as the days arrive, we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy…You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above…In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you…enjoy your continual allowance. ~C.H.Spurgeon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

another song

The shape note documentary I saw at St. Elmo Pres. (Awake My Soul) has left me craving more. I keep thinking of getting away to one of the local singings to try it out and I would LOVE to host a showing of the documentary and a sample singing at our church in Flintstone too. The community we're in would probably love it. At our church on Sunday, we sang a an old hymn that was adapted from the Sacred Harp hymnal. This hymn was also sung a few times during the documentary and I was so excited to sing it, even if the tune was slightly changed. Here it is, and I hope it edifies you and encourages you as much as it has me. Click on the link below to hear the tune. The organ doesn't really do the song justice, but you'll get the idea. It's hauntingly beautiful to hear it sung in the shape note way, with over a hundred people belting out the notes and keeping time together. For now though, I have to be satisfied with humming it to myself while I do the dishes.

I know that my Re-deem-er lives— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
What com-fort this sweet sent-ence gives— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
Shout on, pray on, we're gain-ing ground— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
The dead's a-live and the lost is found— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!

He lives, He lives, who once was dead— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
He lives, my ev-er-last-ing Head— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
Shout on, pray on, we're gain-ing ground— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
The dead's a-live and the lost is found— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!

He lives to bless me with His love— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
He lives to plead for me a-bove— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
Shout on, pray on, we're gain-ing ground— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
The dead's a-live and the lost is found— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!

He lives, all glo-ry to His name!— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
He lives, my Je-sus, still the same— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
Shout on, pray on, we're gain-ing ground— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!
The dead's a-live and the lost is found— Glo-ry, hal-le-lu-jah!

More about shape note/sacred harp music...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

what i'm humming today

Hallelujah! Praise Jehovah

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Put no confidence in princes,
Nor for help on man depend;
He shall die, to dust returning,
And his purposes shall end.

Happy is the man that chooses
Israel’s God to be his aid;
He is blest whose hope of blessing
On the Lord his God is stayed.
Heaven and earth the Lord created,
Seas and all that they contain;
He delivers from oppression,
Righteousness He will maintain.

Food He daily gives the hungry,
Sets the mourning prisoner free,
Raises those bowed down with anguish,
Makes the sightless eyes to see.
Well Jehovah loves the righteous,
And the stranger He befriends,
Helps the fatherless and the widow,
Judgment on the wicked sends.

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns forever,
Through all ages He is King;
Unto Him, thy God, O Zion,
Joyful hallelujahs sing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

keeping it real

I've gotten a few very nice compliments that I didn't deserve lately and I think it's due to the fact that I only post when I'm in a good mood and I've had a productive enough day to sit down and tell about it. Consequently, most of my posts are about good days and things that are working for me. I suppose those who know me know me well enough to understand that our life is much messier than that and I, like most people, really don't have it all together.

In the spirit of keeping it real, and hopefully opening a few minds, I am going to put myself out there a bit and share something that is a real struggle in my family. Growing up, ADHD was something like the sixth member of my five person family. It affected all of us to some degree, even if it was just by association. Back then, there weren't really labels for it and even when pediatricians and teachers finally recognized it as a real problem, they didn't know what to do about it aside from pushing meds like ritalin on desperate parents. Now, years later, practically everyone says their kid has ADHD and our society has been so inundated with information on it, that no one really takes it seriously anymore. More often than I would like, I've heard people tell me that it's just an excuse not to parent your children, or that it's just another label we put on kids to explain away their bad behavior. To me, it seems like we've gone from bad to worse. ADHD is real, just as real as dyslexia or any other disorder that profoundly affects learning that way. And, despite it's notoriety, it's really misunderstood.

Now, I find myself in a really unexpected role. My son, Dana clearly has ADHD and I am struggling with what to do to encourage and equip him to learn and thrive. Thankfully, Dana is homeschooled and his world has been a fairly safe one so far. At home he has the freedom to be his quirky little self without being ridiculed or bullied. At church, in Sunday school and evening classes, he has to interact with other children and obey his teacher, which has been a needed challenge.

Still, at soccer practice and any other place where there are lots of children and a good amount of noise, he's completely overwhelmed and he shuts down. Poor Matt. He coaches Dana's team and to every other parent watching from the sidelines, it probably looks like we're making the kid play soccer against his will. In reality, Dana begs us to let him play and then by the second or third practice, he refuses to try. Fear of failure and inattention take over and the pep talks begin. Thankfully, we had a great practice tonight. Between Matt coaching and me shouting encouragement from the sideline, Dana was fairly focussed and really proud of himself. At one point, a parent kindly volunteered to step in and assist Matt with the coaching. He started barking orders at Dana and the three other boys he was working with. He spoke so fast and he seemed to be talking over them. Within seconds, Dana was flopping his arms and legs around and walking like a straw man, completely tuning this well-meaning father out. I'll be honest, I was angry and fighting back tears. Thankfully, Dana listened to me as I did my best to repeat the man's instructions and he was able to stay on task. Tonight was a good night, but lately I'm weighed down with the struggles that he'll have to face as he gets older. Especially, because no one seems to care that he's struggling and very few people are willing to accomodate his needs. I know he's not the only kid that struggles with this either.

Lately, I've been spending my spare time learning about what Matt and I can do to help him. Here are my main goals, at least for now:

1- Encouragement... he needs a lot of that, and at the very least, he needs as much encouragement as he gets discipline. There's so much to praise him for anyway. I didn't mention this earlier (shame on me), but ADHD kids have some kick-butt attributes too. They're usually very bright and incredibly creative, not to mention good at problem-solving.

2- Structure... each day needs to be pretty much the same around here, with the exception of friends visiting and Sundays. Dana thrives on routine and I bet most kids do, but when we don't have one, he flounders.

3- Consistent, godly discipline... I need to work on keeping my cool when I'm at my wits' end. Tired or not, he needs to know that no matter what, the rules in our house don't change and neither do the consequences.

4. Diet... this is a work in progress, but gradually, I'm going to try to keep sugary foods out of the house and stick to all natural foods.

5. Exercise... as much as he struggles with it, I really think he needs the social and mental benefit of playing a team sport. It's good for him to learn to work in a team and to stretch himself to persevere when he's tired. Unless he really starts to hate it, we're going to keep plugging away at this. Thankfully, the soccer program he's playing in is really low key and kid-friendly anyway.

6. Open communication... we haven't done it yet, but Matt and I are going to sit down and talk about this with Dana. It's time that he understood why he struggles more than other children do. I'm sure those of you who are anti-labels will have a hard time with this. Why would we put a label on our child? It's simple. He knows he's different and he's struggling with feeling inadequate. He needs us to say, Dana these are your strengths and weaknesses and this is why you are the way you are. God made you this way. He doesn't make mistakes.

Again, keeping it real, I know I'm going to botch this all up over and over again, but here I am again, clinging to my God's hand, asking for mercy along the way. God made us who we are for a purpose and I'm trusting that He knows exactly what He's doing with Dana.

In the meantime, if you have any great insights or resources, send them my way.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

pictures in my mind

We did it. We completed our first week of homeschool. I somehow managed to perform all (most) of my regular daily chores as well as parent four children with vastly different needs, teach a first grade curriculum for the first time and start kindergarten with Janie. I'm not bragging, but I have to stop and admit that it was a tall order and I did it. It's possible and it was a good week, not a horrible one. Today I need to make up for the laundry I didn't do all week, or at least the rumpled clean laundry I didn't fold, and clean the bathroom. Neither one is looking appealing. I'm groggy and waiting for my iced coffee to kick in.

For now, I'm going to allow myself a blog post. I don't have tons of photos of our week. I wish I did. It was enough that I did what I planned to do, which was a lot. Looking back, though there were some moments that I've saved and pictured in my mind. I hope my memory is good enough to always remember these things, but just in case I forget they'll be recorded here.

On Monday, my biggest surprise came from Janie. I knew that she had learned from watching Dana do his schoolwork. I knew she was smart. Still, she wowed me. She sat up straight and expectant as I gave her first one task and then another. Each time, she looked at me with eager eyes and said, "What's next Mommy?" AND, at the very end, when I had run out of things to do with her, she said, "Is that it?" She was smiling, but I could tell she expected more of a challenge. After all, she's been working quietly beside Dana for over a year, listening as we work and singing along to the little kindergarten songs we sing. Why am I surprised at all?

One of the greatest joys of teaching my children at home is watching their God-given desire to learn flourish and blossom all on it's own. I can't take any credit for their desire to learn. God made them curious and creative, and I get to be the one to guide their discoveries. This week, I have so enjoyed watching my little Clara Joy learn along side her big sister. She sits quietly next to me while Janie works on this or that project. Every so often, Clara shows me a letter she has drawn or asks me to recreate the work Janie is doing, so that Clara can do it too. Her drawing and hand-eye coordination have come so far, and I'm not making her do anything. I just get to watch her learn and grow all on her own.

Dana is doing well too. Handwriting has been a little painstaking, but he's making improvements and as far as I can tell, he's right where he should be. So far, Math appears to be his strong subject, which is funny, if you know me. Math was always a struggle for me. What struck me about this week wasn't his lessons or the strides he made in Reading or Math. It was his compassion for his little sisters and brother. This morning, as he left for the first soccer practice of the season, he wouldn't leave until he kissed each one of his sisters and his baby brother goodbye. He also took a minute to reassure Janie that it wouldn't be long until she had her first practice too and that he wouldn't be gone very long. She really is his closest friend and he knew she was sad that they were on separate teams this year. I can't help but look forward to the day when he shows that kind of sympathy and love with his own children. He's my sweet boy.

It's been a good week and I'm ready for that lazy Sunday nap, even though it's still Saturday.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's begun

I'll actually start teaching next Monday, but really, the school year has begun. Matt's back to work, I'm planning and brainstorming for Dana's 1st grade curriculum, and we're back to our normal daily routines, minus a formal teaching time (we're always learning). It's a good feeling over all, but still a bit hard to say goodbye to our fun summer. The kids are sad that Daddy's gone all day again, but life is simpler and Matt's got a clear daily purpose again.

And while I'm feeling inspired and energetic, I'll put in a little plug for our curriculum. So far we have used My Father's World for Kindergarten and we're about to use it for 1st grade as well. It's been a perfect fit for us, because it's very hands-on Charlotte Mason approach to education, and yet it's planned out for me, with careful lesson plans for each day of the year. Kindergarten took us about an hour or more to complete each day, with a lot of our play and outings focused on the same weekly themes. Dana seemed to catch concepts instead of me having to drill it into him. On the whole, it was very natural and it suited Dana's personal learning style so well. The fact that he still loves learning is testimony to that. The next best thing about it, though was that it was so inexpensive, literally less than half the price of other comprehensive curriculums. This year, I'm really excited about his 1st grade curr. It's very hands-on again, and the theme for the year is Bible History. Everything he will study falls under that umbrella, which reminds me of something I forgot to mention. I have really appreciated the way MFW teaches from a biblical world view without being isolationist. MFW does a great job of insulating children from the secular world around them, not isolating them from it. Children study the world that they're actually in, and they engage their culture, while at the same time understanding that God is sovereign over it. MFW isn't the only curriculum like this, but I'm thankful that it's so well-done. I'm too mentally scattered to pull something like this off on my own, and that's the truth.

So, even if you're not clicking over to their website to order their stuff :), I have to put in another plug for the art program we're starting this year. This book is amazing.

The cover illustration was drawn by a 5 year old after taking an art class with the monart method. The monart method teaches children (or adults) to recognize basic line shapes (squiggly, curly, angled, etc.) in what they see and to use that art alphabet and their imagination to draw (or paint) a creative and more skilled picture. Before I teach it, I'm supposed to go through the exercises myself, which may take a few days. In the meantime, I'm really excited to see how Dana does. He's already showing so much natural artistic talent that I know he'll love this.

What about you? Anything you're excited about teaching this year?

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's been awhile...

I'll post something soon I promise, even if it's just for myself. We've been soooo busy and I am just plain tuckered out from it all. But here we are, one week left of summer. Matt has inservice next week, starting Monday. As hard as it is to say goodbye to the summer break, I think we'll all benefit from some sort of regular routine again. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the spontenaity a little longer and procrastinate my homeschool to do list for a bit. Whatever it is that I need to do can certainly wait one more week, right?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

our butterflies

are dead, but we enjoyed watching them grow in our butterfly garden

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

My sister...

is a cooking genius! I'm definitely not a cooking genius, but I love to cook too and in honor of our shared interest, we've launched a cooking blog. It's all about what we're making for dinner. She's providing the adventurous recipes and I'm providing the kid-oriented ones. Well, it probably won't be that cut and dry, but check it out here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ABCs and 123s

If you have kids and you like They Might Be Giants even a little bit, you've got to check these videos out. They're on youtube, but I think we'll need to buy the DVD/CD combo sets sometime soon. Thanks to Michelle for reminding me about these last night. Now I'm wondering how we could get the whole family to a concert somewhere.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Check this out. It's part funny, part true, part offensive. Click on it to enlarge and read he text this is a Good Housekeeping article from 1955 and I've had it emailed to me a few times.

What I do like about it is that it encourages wives to put their husbands first. What I don't like is the underlying assumption that husbands shouldn't be expected to lift a finger or that men are somehow superior to women. Obviously, some of the comments are a little over the top. You can't help but laugh at most of it. Thankfully, I have a husband who sacrifices himself daily for me and for our kids. He's very helpful and doesn't get bent out of shape about our cluttered house, because he knows I'm doing my best.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


This week was Matt's spring break and we just wrapped up our restful week with a very busy work day at our house. I'm lacking the mental power to explain it all, so I'll just say that I'm so grateful for the generosity of the folks who came to share their labor today. We are so blessed with great friends.

And on top of all of this, it's Easter weekend. In all of the hustle to get the house ready for the work day and keep the work day running, I've had no time to reflect or to share the Easter story with the kids again. Even though the kids got to bed late tonight, I kept them up just a bit longer to tell the Easter story to them. I tried to tell it simply, though that's hard to do with certian details. I told them more about how Jesus suffered than I've ever shared with them and thankfully, instead of squirming and being silly, they took it all in and listened with thoughtful eyes. At one point, when I told them about Jesus' loved ones standing close to him as he died, Dana's eyes welled up with tears. He said, "Mommy? Was His mommy so sad?" He wiped his eyes and I couldn't help crying with him. Dana's only 6, but he knows what it cost Jesus to die that horrible death. Thankfully the story doesn't end there and we were able to talk about Jesus coming to life again with a new body, just like we will some day. You know, even with the diaper changes, messy bath times, stomach viruses, and sleepless nights it's my joy to be their mommy and there's little in this world that compares with watching their eyes light up with love for Jesus. And as I bumble through the daily tasks that make up my life with them I'm clinging to the power that Jesus showed when He conquered death and saved us from ourselves. I don't have it all together and my crazy messy house stands as a testament to that. I need my Savior and I'm so glad He lives.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Matt updated our mac from tiger to leopard and now I can't upload pictures to my blog or to anything else... we're working on it, but I have a feeling that there won't be much progress until after Spring break. Both of us are teaching Sunday school this quarter and Matt's finishing up a seminary class and taking an exam.

So no pictures. But, I'll leave you with this fabulous quote from Dana.

I'm ironing in the kitchen and Dana says (as if I'm the child and he's the Daddy), "Wow, Mommy! You're ironing! Good for you!"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

joy in the little things

Clara ate a whole English muffin this morning and she's been much easier to handle so far. I know that God worked through our friends and family's prayers, because today feels so much more hopeful and calm. Jonathan even sat happily in his baby swing while I made breakfast, which never happens, even on a good day. Over the past few nights, this bedtime song of ours has been bringing tears to my eyes. I'm sure you know it well, but it's especially sweet to me right now.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
they are weak,
but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

When my little ones are sick, really sick, the only true comfort to me is knowing that they belong to Him and that He's far stronger and wiser than me. And I'm so thankful at times like these that He works through our neighbors and loved ones to care for Clara and for me. The bonds of the body of Christ are really beautiful to witness, even when it's shown through a phone call or a small act of kindness.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

a little discouraged

We've been to the ER twice this week and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday Clara had a fever over 105 and she's been struggling with vomitting and diarrhea. Her fever is gone today and she's doing better, but we're fighting to keep her hydrated and she's been a bit of a tyrant to care for. I'll be honest. I'm wiped out and really weary of the whole thing, but I know things may get worse and I'm trying to steel myself against the possibility of Jonathan or one of the other kids catching this. I'm praying and praying about this, but I know God is good despite the worst case scenario. If you think of it, will you pray for us? I need the grace to get through tomorrow and I would so love to see Clara all better. I hate to see her laid low and miserable and I really don't want to go through this with anyone else.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Four Months

Just read a helpful link about introducing solids to breastfed infants. It's been on my mind lately and I think this time I'm going to try something different. I've always struggled to maintain a decent milk supply into the later months of my baby's first year and so I'm going to hold off on the solids for a bit. I'm going to try to feed him more often during the morning hours and wait until he's clearly reaching for our food to introduce any solids. For a number of reasons, this just feels right for me and for him.

On a side note, Clara Joy is beginning to recover from a horrible 24 hour stretch of vomiting and nausea on top of the chest cold that's been lingering for far too long. Can Spring come quickly enough? I'm praying that no one else gets it and that we can enjoy some blissful good health soon. In the meantime, we're hibernating with some redbox movies and plenty of clear liquids. Peace and health to you and yours.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

momentary truce?? ;)

just a little shot from the aquarium today

Thursday, February 26, 2009

wherein my blog begins to be more than just text

Well folks, I finally have a camera and even though it's not the one I was drooling over, it's here. AND, just to prove that I can post a photo still, I'll post a picture, demonstrating the effects of no sleep and a lousy cough (and a slightly crooked smile, what's that about?). Lovely circles under the eyes, eh?

Since that wasn't really blogworthy or incredibly interesting, here are a few others from our first day with the new camera...

Monday, February 23, 2009


"Diapers are on sale up to 20% off at

And if you use the coupon code THAT2215 you get $10 off, FREE 2-day shipping, and NO SALES TAX

I just wanted to share, I’m sure there are other mommies out there who could use a good deal!"

Saw this on craigslist this morning. Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009


headache, swollen glands, sore throat... let the fun begin. I think I'll have a cup of hot tea and wade my way through some laundry piles that are mocking me.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So I'm not really great with words these days. I've got that befuddled mind that settles in somewhere around month two with a newborn. I find myself stuttering through sentences while I talk to other adults or when I'm talking to the kids. I'm not complaining about the baby. He's pretty amazing and I love being his mommy. I do wish I had some more clarity of mind though.

I keep writing posts in my head and then lose them somewhere between nursing sessions and homeschooling. My life is so full right now. In all of the business, my rattled brain is constantly forgetting what day it is and a million other important things. And now I'm shedding all kinds of unnecessary things that bog me down, like perfectly folded clothes and socks that match. Until today I never realized what fun it was to set the jam, bread, and peanut butter on the table and watch the kids make their own lunch. Sure they were a wee bit peanutty in the end, but we all had fun and no one whined impatiently for me to hurry up with the sandwiches. I'm not fighting the girls to put on a matching outfit anymore either. If they want to live life in a frilly dress from the closet, so be it. I don't have time to enforce a pointless rule that makes us all unhappy. Man, I've been such a control freak. I'm trying to mend my ways.

Also, just an update on the baby sling... I'm lovin' my Maya wrap. I haven't tried much else besides the Bjorn, but I love that I can take him out of the house at naptime and let him sleep in the sling. No more baby screaming from the carseat anymore while I'm cruising Target! Most of the people I meet when we're out wrapped up love it and make lots of comments about how comfy he looks. It'll really come in handy on the big whopper of a camping trip we're going to take this summer. I don't know how he'll sleep otherwise.

Hey, one more thing about the Bean (aka Jonathan). He's lovin' his toys, but I haven't been able to find his little play mat with the hanging toys. Does anyone have a playgym-type mat that I could borrow for a few months?

Friday, February 06, 2009

He sucks his thumb

If he weren't already cute enough...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Guess who's learning to read?!!!

Okay, so our camera is officially dead and this picture is a backwards webcam shot... but check it out! My boy is sounding out words and soaking this stuff up like a sponge! This picture he made is of Matt doing karate and it says "MASTER DAD". Can I get an Amen?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

just a little update

We heard back from the pediatrician about Jonathan's whooping cough test and it was negative. After two rounds of antibiotics, he's starting to kick his ear infection too. I'm so thankful that he's starting to feel better and that we're both getting some sleep again. The older kids are on the mend too. Janie is half way through her second round of antibiotics and appears to be getting over the ear infection and strep and the other two are over their cough. We even went to the playground today, which was such a treat. We've been so cooped up and crabby. The sun was shining and the kids played so well with some lovely new little friends. Five kids all very close in age and homeschooled too... a huge encouragement to me. The kids played so nicely and I got to chat with their mom and her friend for a bit. I've been discouraged with homeschooling lately and so lonely. I know God orchestrated the whole thing and I'm so thankful for it.

With the weather and all of the kids being sick, discipline has kind of been an uphill battle lately, culminating tonight with all of the kids whining the entire way through dinner. Everyone hated what I made and I don't know why, but that's always so hard to take. I don't know how to make dinnertime more peace and less war. It's always a battle of wills and whining, well not when we eat pizza or hot dogs :). The other parenting issue is screaming and crying. When Janie gets hurt or when she gets in trouble, she screams so loud that she makes herself hoarse, or she runs into her room and starts sobbing and intermittently crying out for one of her favorite people like Daddy or Grandma Pam or Grami, not me of course. Maybe God's humbling me, because for the first time in a long while, I really don't have the slightest clue about a solution to all of this. I'm praying about it and I know God's at work in this, but I'm so tired and out of ideas. It's funny that the further into mothering I get, the less I know ;).

In the meantime, I'm waiting on God to give me some new insight and I'm enjoying the sunshine that's been pouring in my windows and the bare beautiful tree limbs outlined against the sky.

a new recipe

I clipped this out a long time ago and stuck it in my recipe binder, but never made it until last week. It's pretty good especially if you like rutabaga, mmm. I mentioned it on facebook and Allison asked for the recipe, so here it is. Gail L. Jenner from Etna, California submitted it to Southern Living, but I don't know which issue it was in. My apologies to the MLA.

"Can't Be Beat Pot Roast" from Southern Living

1 3-to-4-lb. beef chuck roast
1 T. cooking oil (I used olive oil)
1/3 c. sweet Marsala wine (didn't have any, so I used Merlot)
2 t. dried basil, crushed
1 t. garlic salt
1/2 c. plum preserves (didn't have it, so I used strawberry)
4 med. potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into sixths
4 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and halved crosswise (I used baby carrots)
1 large rutabaga*, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 med. onion, cut into large wedges
2 t. cornstarch
1 T. cold water

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven brown meat on both sides in hot oil. Drain off excess fat. In a small bowl stir together Marsala wine, 1/3 c. water, basil, garlic salt, and 1/2 t. pepper; pour over meat. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
2. In a small saucepan melt preserves; pour over roast. Add potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, and onion to Dutch oven around meat. Cover and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring vegetables once during cooking. Transfer meat and vegetables to serving platter; cover to keep warm.
3. For gravy, measure juices and skim off fat. If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal
1 1/2 cups. Return to pan. Stir together the cornstarch and the cold water. Stir into juices in the pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Serve with meat and vegetables. Makes 8 servings. (We got two meals out of this)

*Rutabaga looks like a huge turnip. It tastes like a cross between a carrot and a cabbage and it's delicious cut up in sticks and eaten fresh. If you don't like rutabaga, you could put a different vegetable in there or just add twice the potatoes and carrots. But, how could you not like rutabaga?!

Monday, January 26, 2009

lurkers speak up

I need a good breast pump. Jonathan won't take a bottle of formula when I have to be gone for more than an hour. I've used the Avent Isis manual pump and it's useless to me. I can't get more than an ounce of milk, so I sold the one I had at the last Jack and Jill Sale. Have any of you used the Dr. Brown's electric single pump or the Lansinoh double electric pump? OR do you have one you like that's under $100?

my new favorite thing...

the maya wrap... it's so handy with a sick baby that won't sleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

want a nasty cough?

Come and visit us and you might just catch one. Four kids with ear infections and the littlest one might have whooping cough. We've got two Blockbuster movies, tons of antibiotics and we're fully prepared to hole up and hibernate until it's over. I'm going to grab a cough drop and hit the sack. Nighty night everyone.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

so I'm not exactly current, but...

Have YOU heard about this yet? Are you as frustrated as I am with TVA for not being forthright with the public about this?

Read about the TVA Coal Ash Disaster in Kingston, TN and check this out too

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My smiley baby just laughed at me ;)