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 ;)