Wednesday, December 31, 2008
On a side note, my husband was asking me about a book that he had read as a child. It was not one that I remember reading (and of course now I can't remember the name of it). He was amazed that I hadn't read it or had it read to me. That got me thinking about my childhood. I learned to read at age 4. As my older cousin was learning in school she taught me. I remember reading for endless hours, especially in 5th grade. That was the year Pizza Hut started the BookIt program. A girl in my class and I were in a very heated battle to see who could read more books. I think at some point the teacher got sick of us and stopped keeping track, either that or she just ran out of room on the chart. I also remember some out loud reading time in school occasionally. The thing I do not remember is my parents reading to me. That's not to say they didn't. It's merely saying I do not remember it. Maybe it's because I preferred reading to myself. Maybe because I learned to read at such a young age I can't remember before that.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Six years ago, after my son was born, I had my tubes tied. Since that time, I have struggled with extremely heavy menstruation. It is very regular, just very heavy. I am not sure if the two things are related or not. I am just exploring all my options to get this to stop. The last cycle was the worst. I was in church, just sitting. When I stood up I had to go home and change my clothes. I was nearly in tears. But I was reminded of the woman who touched the cloak of Jesus and was instantly healed. I prayed hard after that, and was better all afternoon and for the rest of the time. I am trusting God, and making some lifestyle changes that are supposed to help. But I am still curious if someone else has had this problem, and if having a reversal would actually help. I would also love to chat with anyone who has had a reversal to find out the results of that. I am considering the reversal for another reason as well, but am also considering adoption. Please weigh in your thoughts on that as well.
On an unrelated topic, does anyone have any good ideas on how to motivate kids to do their math?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
1 tsp of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 slices of bacon
1 lb ground beef
2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 slices American cheese, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 pkg jumbo pasta shells (about 18 shells), cooked and drained
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 13x9 baking dish. Heat oil in large skillet over medium. Add onion and bacon; cook until onion is tender. Add beef; cook and stir until beef is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into cooked shells; place in prepared baking dish. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until hot.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
1. Clean soap scum from shower doors.
2. Clean windows.
3. Clean mirrors.
4. Cheap and effective fabric softener. $2.99 for a huge bottle as opposed to over $5 for the small bottle of fabric softener. And I think my clothes and towels are softer. Plus it helps get the sweaty smell out of Chris' work clothes.
5. Cooking (better not forget the obvious one)
6. Salad dressing (another obvious one)
7. Soothes stings from jelly fish. Always carry a spray bottle to the beach. If you forget, the lifeguards do have it on hand.
8. Volcano experiments (just add a little baking soda and some red food coloring you get great lava, Mentos and Diet Coke make great fun too)
9. Cleaning coffee pots.
10. Ant repellant
11. Coloring Easter Eggs
12. Decalcify chicken bones (it was an experiment to show how important calcium is to our bones, the bone turns rubbery)
13. Kill weeds on the driveway and sidewalks
Thanks to my friends for the next suggestions.
14. Gum removal from fabric
15. Tenderize meat
16. Clean tile
17. Pickle eggs
18. Clean silver (with the help of baking soda and aluminum foil)
19. Remove stinky odor from wet sneakers.
20. Apple cider vinegar for dandruff and athlete's foot.
21. I learned from a friend that apple cider vinegar has all sorts of health benefits, but I think I'll save that for another blog. I will do more research and possibly some self testing first.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
So once he has my attention and talks about God's love being lavished on us like a big plate of mashed potatoes, he goes on to an analogy with even more impact. He talked about the difference between foster children and adopted children. Being an adopted child myself, I am profoundly aware of that difference. Adopted children are chosen for life. We all have been chosen by God to be adopted into his family. I was adopted as an infant, but as a teenager I really struggled with being adopted. Being raised Catholic, I believed in God and Jesus, but I didn't understand about having a relationship with Christ. I didn't see God's love being lavished on me. I thought if my own mother didn't want me, how could anyone else possibly love me. I felt like I had a hole that could only be filled by my mother. The truth is, it was a hole that could only be filled by my Father. At age 19, I had that hole filled by opening my heart to God and receiving His love. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. At that point, I finally realized that my self worth had nothing to do with my mother and everything to do with who I am in Christ. I am a child of God. He loved me enough to die for me and my selfish sins. It didn't matter if anyone on earth ever loved me. However, it was at that point that I also realized that my parents chose me. I was not an unwanted accident to them. They chose me. But I never really thought about God choosing me, until last week. My self centered brain thought I chose Him. Chris and I have been reading through Romans. Romans 8:29-30 says, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified." I didn't really get that until yesterday. My parents chose me, but God predestined me. What that means to me is that He chose me before I was able to be chosen. I didn't yet exist, and God chose me. But it gets better. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 8:39-39. That is the love that is being lavished upon us. If we tried to lavish our love on each other, we all put together couldn't come close to God's love. But even that minute amount would make the world a wonderful place. So remember, in this time of political turmoil: God is in control, and nothing can separate us from His love.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We had a little trouble with the menu for India. I wish the new restaurant they are putting in the mall had opened up. That would have made my life so much easier. But Chris managed to make a curry chicken that was quite delicious over rice. Actually it was a mix that we got at Publix (before I found it cheaper at walmart). Just followed the directions on the box. We also made the mango drink from the book Another Trip Around The World. That was probably the only thing the boys enjoyed about the meal.
We are going to take a couple of weeks off from our travels due to moving. I don't want to have all kinds of library books checked out and accidentally get packed. But when we resume we will be starting with Japan and a trip to the Wasabi Japanese buffet. If Chris gets enough overtime, we may also hit the Japanese steakhouse. Anyone know of any Russian restaurants around here?
Monday, August 18, 2008
In continuing our tradition of eating our way around the world we are having a Chinese dinner tonight. I am sure it is not very authentic, but it is easy and will give them an introduction. I am not a big eater of Chinese food myself, so I had to pick stuff that I knew would get eaten. The menu is: Chicken Fried Rice (Chicken Helper from Betty Crocker), Lo Mein (Asian Sides, Teryiaki Noodles from Knorr), and Chicken Won Ton Soup (Campbell's). We probably should be having some stir fry vegetables or something, but we're not.
Next week we are travelling to India. I am not at all familiar with Indian cuisine. Anyone who has any suggestions, please comment.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
It is always difficult when we face trials. But sometimes, all it takes is a little perspective and we realize our trials are not so bad after all. Take a look back through history. Go to the book of Exodus. Read about what the Israelites had to endure wandering in the desert for 40 years. I read a book this week about a woman travelling the Oregon trail back in the early 1800's. The women and children spent most of the trip walking. Yes, I said walking, from Missouri to Oregon. Finding enough time to work out was not an issue. Putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, then the dryer, then folding it was not on their list of luxuries. Absolutely, we need to consider laundry a luxury. My family has more than 2 outfits each. We have clothes for every day of the week and beyond. I am blessed to have a washing machine and clothes to fill it with. I do not have to go down to the river and scrub my one outfit (other than the one I'm wearing) on a rock. Though there are still people in the world that have to do that. So today, I will consider it pure joy to do a load of wash. Because it means I am blessed.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
First, from Matthew 6, verses 25-33 is Jesus speaking. He says, "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food or drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everthing you need."
This passage is repeated almost word for word in Luke. It must be pretty important for us to remember if God included it twice. But then Jesus expands on this idea a little more. Luke 12:16-21 Then He told them a story: "A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, 'What should I do? I don't have room for all my crops.' Then he said, 'I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I'll sit back and say to myself, "My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!" "But God said to him 'You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?' "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God."
That is all I can share today. I am going to continue to investigate this topic, and pray that God will unravel it for me and teach me what it is I need to learn.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
1 batch of Tomato/Citrus Marinade (see below)
1 batch of Marinated Onions (see below)
4 cups Water
1 1/2 lbs shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 Tbsp cilantro
Hot Sauce to taste
2 Scallions (the white part plus one inch of the green)
Prepare Tomato/Citrus Marinade (can be done the day before). About 4 hours before serving prepare Marinated Onions, use half in the recipe and half for garnish. In a large sauce pan, combine water and scallions, bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer 2 minutes. Add shrimp. Remove from heat and let stand a few seconds until shrimp turns pink. Drain and discard scallions. Rinse shrimp under cold water. Cut shrimp in half crosswise. Add shrimp and cilantro to Tomato Marinade. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic and refridgerate 2 to 3 hours. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
1 cup Water
1 lb medium sized tomatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp worcestershire
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp black pepper
1 - 2 tsp hot sauce
Bring water and whole tomatoes to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Remove tomatoes with slotted spoon and let cool. Slip off skin of tomatoes. Put tomatoes in blender and blend until smooth. Strain out seeds. In medium glass bowl, mix tomato puree, citrus juices, ketchup, worcestershire, mustard, oil, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir. Cover and refridgerate up to one day.
1 medium red onion halved and sliced lengthwise into paper thin half moons
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Pour hot water over onions. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. In small mixing bowl, combine onion, juice, salt, and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temp until onions turn pink, about 3 hours. It is best to make the day you are going to serve.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always prseveres. Love never fails.
It has been a crazy, but amazing eleven years. Twelve years ago, I was very single (and possibly contemplating becoming a nun). On this very day, in 1996, I went to the wedding of my very good friend. It is a very crazy story of why I asked Chris to dance, but that's for another day. The point is, we did dance. A very short 36 days later, we were engaged. So, on this day in 1997, we were married. Five months later, we were expecting a son. September 1998, Lucas was born, and then we moved across the country. At that point we really learned the meaning of "Love is patient". We were both working crazy schedules to keep Luke out of daycare. We were sleep deprived, living in a new place, never saw each other, and had the stress of a new baby. What were we thinking? The ooh, aah feelings of new love were not there at that point. But praise God, that love did persevere. That's the thing, no where in that verse does it say that love is a feeling. We could not have gotten through that, or made it eleven years by relying on feelings. However, the other thing is, once we persevered through that our feelings followed the action. Chris is an amazing man. He supports every crazy thing that I do. He loves God, loves me, and loves his children. No, the circumstances of our life are not perfect. We are not living in a dream house, have all sorts of money to go on lovely vacations, the list could go on and on. But would I give him up to have all of that? No way. He is the man not of my dreams, but that I never imagined possible. All that, and he can cook. What more could a girl ask for.
So, today I shout it from the mountain tops "I LOVE MY HUSBAND". I am so looking forward to the next 11 years, and beyond.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Today's verse is from Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
This is a verse that I have claimed for a long time. I loved the power in remembering that it's not my strength that I need to get me through the tough times, it's His. Then, I discovered that there is a similar verse in Matthew, and one in Luke. Then I started to dig further, and found many more verses that emphasize the same fact. So over the next many weeks I am going to look into this further and post one verse every Friday. When God wants to tell us something, He puts it in the Bible. When there is something He really wants to tells us, He puts it in there over and over again. Today, I pray that you will know God's strength and power, and turn to Him for your strength.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Then we started our journey here in the United States. Part of the fun of learning about cultures is food. So we are going to eat our way around the world. You think because we live in the U.S. there wouldn't be anything to learn. However, there are so many different regions of the U.S. that are very different. We made New England Pumpkin Cake, Rocky Mountain Trail Mix, and Grits. I had wanted to have apple pie, but we did not get to that.
We are now moving on to Mexico. Last night we had Tacos and Bolillos (Mexican Hard Rolls). Chris made some Gondules (pigeon peas) also. But we forgot they needed to be made ahead of time, so we did not get to eat them yesterday. We will probably have them tomorrow with some rice. Gondules are not Mexican. I think they are actually Puerto Rican. But that is part of the North American unit as well. I thought about making some Mexican Wedding Cakes for dessert, but they are not actually Mexican either, and I don't really like them. Besides, as you can see from my other post, we were busy making a volcano cake. I never realized how much fun school could be. I just wish my kids would realize how good they have it, and appreciate the fun.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Start with one cup of shelled, ROASTED peanuts.
Add 2 TBSP of oil.
I added just a smidgen of honey for sweetness, but not necessary.
The roasting is the important step that I missed before. To roast peanuts, simply put in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (laid out flat on a baking sheet).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it painted and erupting. But let me tell you, if your kids are bored, take them outside and let them play with baking soda and vinegar (or diet coke and mentos). The boys and girls from 3 to 12 were immensely entertained by playing in the dirt and erupting volcanoes.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The boy and his dog are going to baseball. The dog has the ball. The boy has a hat on. The dog is following the boy with the baseball shirt. The boy is wearing clete baseball shoes. The boy's team is the Red Sox. The Red Sox have won all 16 of their games. Right now, they are going to the championship game. The boy plays second base. He is by his team. He will get ice cream if they win, or maybe french fries. He may get a pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. The dog will do a dance.
Our experiment this week was building a compass from a magnetized needle and a cork. Unfortunately it was hard for the floating cork to stop moving because it was so windy outside. But at least the kids know how to build a compass if they are ever lost in the middle of nowhere with a sewing needle and a cork. But I think they will also remember what a magnetosphere is. And most importantly, they learned that we are not here by accident. I will have to remember to take pictures next week.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
As I was reading ahead in the book a bit. I also learned that the sun is growing brighter and hotter each year. At the rate of increase, if you were to go back billions or even millions of years, life on earth would not have been possible. The sun would have been too dim and cold. Things that make you go hmmmm. It also does give some credence to the theory of global warming, but not in the way it is portrayed by the media.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Unit 1 was about the solar system in general. We spent about 2 days reading the lesson. Then we were instructed on how to build a model solar system. We did not use their directions, because I had bought my children a model solar system kit for Christms. It is just a bunch of various sized styrofoam balls with some wires to attach the planets to the sun at the appropriate length. I got it at Michaels, and it was under $10.
Unit 2 is about the sun. We just started today, and had soooo much fun. Halfway through reading the lesson, the book suggested we act out the earth's orbit. Since we don't have much space inside, we put the books down, put on our shoes and ran outside. We went over to the sand volleyball pit in our community. I liked the sand, because I could draw out the earths orbit for someone to follow. One person was the sun, and stood in the middle of the orbit. One person was the earth, and had to walk slowly around the sun while spinning. We skipped the spinning part, because that was just a little too much. Then, one person had to be the moon. This was the difficult job. The moon has to run around the earth while the earth is walking around the sun. I got dizzy just doing that. You see why spinning could get a little much.
I am super excited to see what is still to come in this book. I will try to keep posting the experiments as we do them. I know one of them involves a magnifying glass and some chocolate. I will try to group the posts together so they are easy to find.