Thursday, November 27, 2008

Santa's come to Bass Pro

We are fortunate to live really close to the "grandaddy" of all sporting goods and fishing shops, Bass Pro in Springfield. It's something else...And pretty much a field trip all in itself. It also happens to be one of Josiah's favorite places to visit in the whole wide world. And because it's free we go frequently. Bass Pro has done something pretty neat this year and created a whole little North Pole Village with activities and a free picture with Santa Claus. We went last weekend (it was crazy busy). Josiah made a paper train for the Christmas tree, shot some sort of gun and got to sit with Santa. This Santa was especially good. He really took his time with the kids. Josiah told him that he wanted a Bumble Bee (transformer) and some Indiana Jones toys. Good times.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My mom bought Josiah a cookie decorating kit from Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. We just made them. I think he actually interesting in eating the frosting rather than decorating the cookies. Who can blame a boy.

The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again

Josiah has lost two teeth in the past few weeks. The first tooth was worth 50 cents. Not much I know, but the economy has hit the tooth fairy pretty hard, too. He lost the second tooth this week. Because the tooth fairy was short on cash she wrote Josiah an IOU and enclosed a coupon for a trip to the Dollar Tree. He was pretty thrilled. He is going to be really upset with me when he founds out mom has been moonlighting as the Tooth Fairy. This is serious stuff. I was going to take a pic of the gaps in his mouth, but they aren't any. Josiah's adult teeth start growing in months ago behind his baby teeth. Instead I settled for a picture of his note from the "Tooth Fairy".

What's a girl to do?

We are experiencing the last days of cable television, at least for a while, at our house. Because we are poorer than Job's turkey currently, we have had to do some budgeting. Our cable really wasn't all that's just one of those things. We don't watch a whole lot of network I will miss my cable shows. I am a bit of a reality television geek...and when I say reality...I mean of all sorts. The cooking shows, the decorating shows, the biographies about dead people (or alive), documentaries about ancient worlds...hey..I'm there! We also love old movies and those sweet sappy movies on the Hallmark Channel. Troy does the whole sports watching thing...I just don't get it. I am currently following the most recent season of Top Chef. Those Top Chefs really can curse up a storm. Makes you wonder. But I do have to say that that is the kind of competition that I can really get into. (not the cursing part, obviously) It also makes me want to start grabbing stuff out of the fridge and the cabinets to see what I can come up with. I'm not sure who I like yet in this new season. I really enjoyed Richard of last season...he did have a bit of a potty mouth on occasion, but though he knew he was exceptional he didn't rub it in and seemed play well with others. There are a few guys on this new season that come across a bit cocky.

I really love to cook, but there are things I can't cook. I can't cook sweet stuff very well. And this has been a problem since my youngest years of cooking. I remember making my first meal entirely by myself when I was 10 or 11. I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese and angel biscuits. Yummy. Then I made a birthday cake for my mom that was highlighted by floating blueberries that swam merrily along the top of a white cake. They weren't supposed to float. In fact, I don't think I was following any particular recipe. I made the cake from scratch as well as the frosting. I guess the blueberries sounded like a good idea...only the cake needs to be completely cooked inside and cool...not to mention the frosting needed to be the right consistency. Powdered sugar and water just doesn't cut it. I also never come out with the right aboumt of cookies. If it says it will yield 2 dozen...I get 3 and a half...not dozen....just 3 and 1/2 cookies. And it's not because I've been sampling the cookie dough either. My sister says I don't follow directions very well...I do too! I just maybe mix it up a bit...which is something that you can't do in baking apparently. So here I am waiting any day now for the cable to go out and I will be forced to wait until Saturday afternoons to watch cooking on PBS...and nobody on PBS is throwing it down in a quick fire challenge.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My apologies to Mozart

Ah! What was I thinking when I wrote last night that I didn't care for Mozart's Queen of the Night Aria? I like it very much, but didn't mean to put it on my playlist...I like opera, but for the sake of my opera loathing friends I was very choosy about the few I did put on my list. After all, who can resisit Pavarotti and his glorious Nessun Dorma....Oh well...I have offically "outed" myself as a true geeky gal.

Thanksgiving Recipes (part 1)

I am hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for my family this year. My house is little, but I don't mind squeezing everybody in. My parents are in the beginning stages of renovating their farm house and since I'm feeling much better I volunteered. I've also started making up my list of what to have. There are some things we just can't do without for Thanksgiving. Christmas we've always been a little more adventurous. That is with my side of the family...Troy's family has the same things...Christmas and Thanksgiving. We alternate Holidays. We went to Indiana our very first Christmas together...Troy's mom put on a spread, but what was amazing to me was how much she delegated out to a variety of pie shops, deli's, etc. My family (most of us wanna be amateur gourmets) made everything from scratch. I realize now that most of that was economical. I am not the pie maker in my family, but this year I will be attempting a few. Here are a few recipes that I have used year after year and I imagine will find their way to the family table once again.

Corn Casserole
This corn casserole recipe is to die for! There is nothing better than corn and cheese – together. This is a pretty rich recipe and can be totted faithful to any potluck supper or family dinner. And it is pretty! Plan on getting lots of compliments on this dish!

2 cans of cream-style corn
1 package of Jiffy Corn Mix
2 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon of milk
One-half cup of onions, chopped
One-fourth cup of butter
One-half pint of sour cream
One-half cup of grated cheddar cheese

Sauté chopped onions in butter. Mix corn, muffin mix, eggs and milk in a large casserole. Add onions and mix together. Dot with sour cream and add the grated cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. This casserole raises so be sure to use a big casserole dish.

Not sure what to have with this dish? Try it with a tender pork loin or a juicy meatloaf. Accompany that with a potato (any style) and some slow cooked green beans. Mmm-Mmm!

Broccoli Tree Salad
I’m not sure if this is the right name for this salad, but every time my mom asks me to make it -this is what she calls it. Kind of like when she kept calling, “Hobby Lobby”-“Lobby Holly.” Anyway, this is a tasty salad with a lot of surprises. I have taken several recipes I have seen and kind of added everything I like together. It has the right amount of several good flavors.

Four cups of raw Broccoli (I just get the stuff already cut for you in the bag)
One pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled (be sure to use real bacon-bacon bits just don’t cut it!)
One-fourth cup of green onions, chopped
One-half cup of golden raisins
One-half cup of sunflower seeds
One cup of mayonnaise
One-half cup of sugar
One-half cup of red wine vinegar

Just dump everything in a big bowl (be sure to mix up you mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar in a separate little bowl first-this will let you get it good and stirred around-then add to the big bowl). Stir everything around really good and refrigerate for a little bit. Unless everyone in your house is opposed to “green stuff,” I guarantee this salad won’t last too long!

Superior Cheese Cake
This is the best cheese cake recipe on the planet. It was given to my mom when I was teenager by a dear friend who had moved from the East Coast (she also catered my wedding rehearsal dinner). We have been having it for birthdays and special occasions ever since. It seems like an awful lot of work, but it is well worth it. Plan a lot of time to cook it, because it has to stand in the oven for two hours after it is cooked.

1 pound of Cottage cheese, sieved
1 pound of Cream cheese
One and one-half cup of sugar
Four Eggs
One Tablespoon of lemon juice
One Teaspoon of vanilla
Three Tablespoons of flour
Three Tablespoons of cornstarch
One-fourth lb. Of butter, melted and cooled
One pint of sour cream

Cream cheeses and sugar together. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch and flour. Add melted butter and mix until smooth. Blend in sour cream. Pour into a greased 9-inch spring-form pan and bake 1 hour at 325. Turn off oven and let cake stand in oven for 2 hours, with door closed. Remove and cool thoroughly before removing sides of pan. It makes about 12 nice servings or more. Can be served with strawberry glaze, cherry pie filling or pineapple.

I will try and add a few more this week. I make my turkey a specific way (I might have already blogged about that) and my mom-in-law makes two special desserts every holiday that are absolutely delish.

Rankin and Bass Come Home

So I have been messing around with my blogspot here. Unfortunately, I messed around without paying attention and deleted most of my little widgets. Hah! Laugh if you will, but I spent time and energy putting all of those little widgets in place. My poor little widgets. Now I have to go find new ones. For who wants a naked blog! One of the first things I did was create a new music box. I think I have 3 or 4 different accounts on the playlist site. I can never remember what email or username I used. I had fun. For those of you (especially those who have really ever known me as sister pastor) astonished at some of my choices of music please keep in mind that I am a bit fruity. But these are some of my fav's of all time. Except for a few. It was late when I was digging around the playlist site and I added a few of Mozart's I really don't care for. The Queen of the Aria (or whoever she is) wound up there by mistake and I couldn't figure out how to properly remove her. So please feel free to move on down the list.

In other news, I went and had dinner with my besty from High School, Lavonna. Bless her heart. The only child in her home is her 15 year old step daughter. She was treated to all of my dear son's exhibitionist tendancies. He does show out. If he wasn't so stinkin' cute it would be a problem. She did treat us to cashew chicken...which is like my favorite food in the whole wide world. After dinner, Josiah and I went to Sam's Club did some impulse shopping. In my defense, I did attempt to call Troy at work to see if we could swing it. But, I just couldn't help myself. One of the traditions Troy and I developed years and years ago B.J. (before Josiah) was that we decorated our Christmas tree while watching all the old Rankin-Bass Christmas know the ones. Santa Claus is coming to town...Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Anyhoo, when we made the final switch to DVD all of our Christmas VHS tapes were obviously no longer watchable. Josiah watched at least 2 of them when we got home. He's hooked. It's pretty neat when your child falls in love with something that was part of your childhood. Wonder if he'll feel the same way about The Cosby's, Little House and the Smurfs.

Well...I better get to bed. I've really enjoyed my unemployed situation so far. My house is cleaner, we've had real food to eat and I'm actually getting to do a few things I enjoy putting all those little widgets in my blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here I go again

I'm up late tonight. Possibly just taking advantage of my newly unemployed "can stay up a little later" state. I'm overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" I have neglected in my attempt over the past several months to be "all things to all people." It can be exhausting being a people pleaser. My most recent project today was cleaning and organizing my son's room. I found things in his closet that do not resemble anything I've seen in my lifetime. Bless his heart.

There is much that I have neglected in my attempt at what I like to call "life as a normal person." There are issues in my life that have prevented me from functioning at full capacity for quite some time. Every so often I throw a tantrum and take matters into my own hands. This last attempt involved working within the field of my education. Too bad all those years of college didn't do more to improve my immune system. Not a good career path for someone with major chronic health issues. Oh well. At least my sweet son can benefit from my 125+ hours of education. I was on the computer early this morning...researching online degree programs and federal grants. Don't know what I want to be when I grow up, yet.

Anyhoo, despite all of that there is a strange sense of anticipation in the Teague home. Could it be that God is getting ready to send us off again into ministry? I sure hope so. I do admit that we have learned some valuable lessons that could have only been learned on our self-imposed sabbatical. We know ourselves much better now. Some of it we like...some...well....the less said the better. What it has done has reaffirmed our passion for the least what we consider our "philosophy" or "world view". It's all about the folks...right? And those relationships we have built and people we have been able to touch and those who have touched us. It's about doing "unto the least of these". We could care less that the people we care about the most won't find their way to any positions of power or halls of fame.

If I could turn back time and tell my younger self anything it would be to not sweat the small stuff...worry less about the programs and appearances. Don't worry about pleasing everyone. And treasure those people up...keep the big picture in focus. Most importantly, just let God do what God needs to do. Don't get so defensive and relax...and as a good friend of mine always reminds me "it will all come out in the wash."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hello, Again.

It's been quite a while since I posted a blog on this particular site. Life gets busy! Hopefully, things in my life will settle back down for a bit and I will be able to concentrate on the things I love the most. Josiah and I have been busy doing school work. Probably, not as busy as we need to be, but we have had fun. I'll try and post pics of some of the projects and lapbooks we've been working on.
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