Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Edition (Random Thoughts)

Here are a few random thoughts. The Christmas Edition. Consider it my Christmas card to you…and possibly the only Christmas card most of you will receive from me this year.



1. Speaking of Christmas cards. I purchased a beautiful box of Christmas cards at T.J. Maxx last month for 5.99. They had a glittery Victorian Angel on the front and something about Christmas blessings and a scripture verse. They are really pretty. And still sitting in the box on my dining room table.


2. Josiah and I watched the Ballet together last night. Actually it was a documentary about the Kirov Ballet in Russia. Obviously there was a lot of Russian spoken and dancing going on. He finally told me, “Mom! All of this dancing and Spanish speaking is driving me crazy!” He thinks every foreign language he hears spoken is Spanish. We did do a introductory Spanish course this past year. I let him pick out what we watched after the Ballet. He picked Scooby Doo. Sigh.


3. So. Show of hands. How many of you have been out doing your last minute Christmas shopping. ‘Cause you’re all crazy! I went to Aldi’s the other day. Along with half of the Senior Citizen population of the Ozarks… and the Amish. You don’t mess with the Seniors when they are doing serious shopping. I thought I was going to lose a limb. The Amish, however, were exemplary shoppers. They seemed pretty delighted by the whole chaotic scene. I couldn't even drive my buggy down the aisle...it was like the 76 Strip at Branson during the tourist season. Crazy crowds make me nervous. I break out in hives. The Seniors eat so much better than we do. They had all sorts of fruit in their carts. I covered up the box of Frosted Flakes with my coat in shame. In my defense, the Frosted Flakes were for The Studly Muffin.


4. I have another confession. I have not wrapped a single gift. Except for the empty boxes we used for a memory verse game in Children’s Church on Sunday. Normally, I am all about the present wrapping. I get all of my paper and bags ready (matching, of course). Bows, gift tags, tape. I make myself a cup of something hot (this year I have a box of Holiday Chai Tea I am enjoying) and put on White Christmas. I am a little obsessive about the whole thing. I blame it on my mother. She is the quintessential last-minute present wrapper. One year, she waited so long that our little town in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas ran out of scotch tape. Our presents were brought down Christmas morning in laundry baskets. Not that we complained. But it did kind of take the whole “Santa came down the chimney and left these for you” magic out of the morning. There have been years I have gone to her house and wrapped her presents for her. Last night she called me from road (she and Dad are spending Christmas with Baby Sister in OHH-Klahoma) and she had yet to wrap any presents.


5. It happens. Every once in a while. I find myself in what appears to be a episode of "Hoarders." You know it's bad when you call your son and if he doesn't answer right away, your first instinct is that he has been buried underneath the avalanche of coats, wal-mart bags and scrapbook paper spilling out of the hall closet. It's time for an intervention. It doesn't help that we live in a 600+ square foot apartment. Maybe people in urban cities can do it, but I was raised in the country, ya'll! I have to spread out a little. Plus, there are things (like books, dishes and my son) that I can't live without. But not to fear! The Studly Muffin leant a hand over the weekend and the clutter has been conquered (at least this week)!


6. We are doing a bit of Holiday traveling tonight. The Studly Muffin gets off work at 1:30am. We are piling in the little Ford Contour (Sadly, Bertha the Buick…my car has no heat and bad tires) and heading up to St. Louis. The Studly Muffin likes to travel at night. Except that he likes me to stay awake to keep him awake. What’s up with that! One of the great things about traveling at night is the sleeping!


7. Have you ever been so discouraged that you couldn't even prayer for yourself? I've been there. And there have been times in my life when I am convinced that the prayers of those around me made the difference. I love this quote by Abraham Lincoln "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.”Of course, the flip side to this is that we need to be on our knees in the good times, too. Right now I know of some pretty serious needs. Crisis doesn’t take a Christmas Holiday. My heart has been so burdened for many friends and family. As we celebrate with our loved ones, let’s all remember those around us who need a miracle. No matter how big the problem, God is still in control. And what better time for a miracle!

Merry Christmas!

Rebekah

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hot Chocolatey

It's C-C-C-Cold here in Missouri. At least it's cold for us Hillbillies. We like our winters cold enough we know that ole Jack Frost has paid us a visit. Give us a few snowman building days and we're good.  If it gets too cold our stills and possum traps start acting out of us! Kidding! Most of us don't have stills and I haven't eaten possum in ages! :<) For me it's all about the boots. A few months of cute boot wearing weather is worth all the chilly days and nights.
There are a few benefits to a frigid night at home. For one, the whole "night at home" thing is pretty good. It doesn't get any better than enjoying some snuggle time with the family. And being Christmas and all, we get to watch our fill of Christmas movies.  And what's better than watching White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman & It's Wonderful Life than with something chocolatey and warm. Is "chocolately" even a word?  Probably not.

As I write this, my family and I are currently snuggling together around a good "end of the world disaster flick"....2012. Not my idea. I am hoping to take control of the remote. Maybe if I distract the holder of the remote. I am not a disaster flick fan. They don't give me any thing warm or fuzzy. Anyhoo.

Here are some recipes and links for some fun Hot Chocolatey Recipes. Yum!

My Mama's Hot Cocoa Recipe

This is the recipe I grew up with. We didn't have little packets of cocoa in the country.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

Just heat on your stovetop. Serve with whipped cream and candy canes.


If you are really ambitious, Martha Stewart has a recipe for Homemade Marshmallows. I have made these before. Granted they didn't look as pretty as Martha's, but I'm no Martha.




Our Best Bites has a wonderful collection of recipes to change up your Hot Chocolate. These look really yummy simple. There are great recipes like Raspberry Truffle or Peppermint Stick.


Maybe you would like something a little more substantial with your cup of cocoa.  I have a friend who has a recipe for a chocolate microwave cake in a mug. You can find it here.




But how about making these Hot Cocoa Muffins In A Cup for the whole gang. Or better yet. Invite your friends over for a movie and a muffin in a cup! (hint. hint).

 Blessings!

Rebekah

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Present - EVER!

So have you made your Christmas list yet? I have an unofficial one (new tires, a new printer, a house with a yard, maybe a job, boots, a Circut, to return to my wedding dress size)…but there’s not much on it ;<). Josiah has his list. I will tell you that most of it involves Indiana Jones. There are many families this year that have had to simplify their Christmases. We aren’t alone on that island. We have been blessed to be blessed in this country and there have been many Christmases that my “stocking” was filled to the brim. But I would have to say that my favorite Christmas present ever wasn’t a new purse (though the Studly Muffin has done a good job in that department in years past). It wasn’t a bottle of fancy perfume or a new teapot. 9 years ago on December 10, Troy and I officially received parental custody of one Josiah Bevan. 6 months or so later we become his forever parents. Somewhere in all my boxes I have pictures of a tiny Josiah wearing a little Christmas outfit and a peppermint stripped hat. I think I spent that whole Christmas in some sort of surreal existence. Troy and I had been married 10 years. There had been things that had happened in our 10 years of marriage that no young couple should have to experience. Yet, here we were. Looking at our Christmas miracle. Wrapped up in all the things we thought we might never get to experience. Midnight feedings, dirty diapers, colic. They were glorious!


So here I am 9 years later. I am gazing at a handsome young man. He is wearing a pair of well worn Iron Man jammy pants. Picking his nose. He has dragged out all his action figures to the middle of the living room floor where it appears he attempting to save the world from certain doom. I think his Indiana Jones action figure is hanging from my floor lamp. He didn’t eat a bite of supper tonight (full from the Krispy Kreme we took to our friend Kim’s today) and has discovered that Mom gets really annoyed when he tries to burp “Jingle Bells.” I won’t tell him this, but all of it (even the nose picking part) is glorious! How blessed I am. So even if Santa doesn’t make a stop at my house this year I already feel that my Christmas present has arrived. I am at this moment telling him to keep his hands out of his pants…and probably will send him back to his own bed at least a dozen times tonight. But what a Present!

Josiah - Age 9 - At Ama and Papa's Farm in Stella

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some Christmas Goodies to Give or Take

I wanted to share with you some of the ideas I have discovered on the web this week. I am totally planning on trying these this year. That is if I can get my act together. Right now I am having difficulty mustering the energy for the grand culinary undertakings of Mac and Cheese. I expect the creative and crafty Christmas bug to infect me at any moment...Of course, if it winds up happening around Valentine's Day you can expect to receive a handcrafted Christmas goodie from me. Just receive it with love. And put it back for next year.


Here is an idea for Pie In A Jar. I love pie! And what better is a cute little pie in a jar to hand out to neighbors (and me). This particular site (Our Best Bites) has a lot of cute recipe ideas.



This Fruit Candy Popcorn is another recipe from Our Best Bites. I am for sure going to do this one. I have plenty of jello hiding in my cabinet. This is a perfect treat to enjoy for a family movie night. Plus it looks festive.



And you can't get any cuter than this! Here is a Santa Party Mix. It looks just a little time consuming, but absolutely worth it if you want a snack mix to give or take that is unique.  This comes from a cute blog, Cookies and Cups.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Corn Casserole

So tomorrow night is our church Christmas dinner. Our small group is in charge of the set up, clean up and stuff in between so it's going to be a long day (but lots of fun!) One of the guys in our group is going to bless us with lunch...he is a particularly gifted "smoker of meats" and has barbecue sauce recipe to die for. He should bottle it up and sell it, seriously. Then we've got the Christmas dinner to look forward to that night. There is nothing better than a church potluck dinner. At least for those of us with the adventurous spirit. I plan on taking the very unadventurous Corn Casserole. It's comfort food at it's best. I've posted a Corn Casserole recipe before. I have taken the Corn Casserole to many a family dinner, church potlucks and neighbors in need.

Corn Casserole

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.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hershey Kiss Pretzel Candy Thingys

Okay. Because I didn’t post on December 1, I am doing a little bit of catching up. And I am doing it with another easy, peasy recipe. I’m really not sure what to call these…except for those Hershey Kiss Pretzel Candy Thingys.

These are some of my favorite treats to make. I start hyperventilating just a little when I think about making candy. My mom did it all. Peanut Brittle, Fudge, Divinity, Toffee. And I loved helping with every bit of it. But let’s just say that The Candy Making Gene didn’t stop for me. Baby Sister got it. And the Art Gene. And the really good Hair Gene. And the Gardening Gene. But I’m not bitter. I did get the Music Gene. Stink. She got that one too! Still not bitter.
Back to the subject at hand. These treats are simple, bimple (I am really into this rhyming nonsense words tonight). Josiah helps me with these. He doesn’t have to wash his hands every 30 seconds (he doesn’t like for his hands to be messy for very long) and you can’t mess them up. Which is a really good thing for me. I also love the combination of salty and sweet.


Hershey Kiss Pretzel Candy Thingys

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kisses or Hugs
M&M's candy (I like to use the red and green Christmas colors)

That's it! That's all you need to make them. Now some fun begins. Heat the oven to 170F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (I use my Pampered Chef Stoneware pan without the parchment paper). Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.

Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.



These are really cute in a treat bag tied with red or green raffia. I try and make bunches of little bags every year. They not only make a pretty gift, but a tasty one as well!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friendship Tea Mix

It was my intention to post something "Christmasy" every day this month until the big day. As you can see, I am late to my own party. And it's hard to admit this, but I am not in the Christmas spirit quite yet. My tree is up and Josiah has had Christmas movies going...But I'm not quite "there" yet. It will come. I think. Meanwhile, I am taking inventory of my baking supplies. There are a few things we have to make for Christmas. Even though I am diabetic and have issues with moderation...but that best left for another post.  Another little hiccup in my Christmas activities is that I've misplaced Jesus. No. I'm not having a crisis of Faith. At least not this week. I've literally misplaced our Nativity. We have a cute Precious Moments set that we have had for years (long before Josiah was born) and I can't find it. It's not in storage. Hmm. Anyhoo. I need to find Jesus. Or least purchase another set. We can't have Christmas without Him.

I'm sharing with you today one of my favorite gifts to make. Most of my favorite recipes and traditions are ones I remember as a little girl. I've added a few of my own. This one I remember my mom making and giving to friends and neighbors. It's simple and doesn't involving turning on your oven. Which, for me, could go either way. This involves a trip to the grocery store and some measuring. And the result is absolutely delicious. Your friends will Oooh and Aww.


Friendship Tea Mix
 (also called Russian Tea Mix)

18 ounces Tang drink mix

1 cup instant iced tea

2 cups granulated sugar

1 package powdered lemonade mix

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix and place into a covered jar or other container. For hot tea mix 2/3 tablespoon to 1 cup of hot water. For iced tea mix substitute cold water and pour over ice

The nice thing about this recipe is it can be made sugar free. I have used Mason Jars (decorated with fabric and rafia) or my new favorite (and cheap) alternative storage is a ziplock bag and a bag topper. I usually design my own with scrapbook paper and a computer, but here is a link for a cute printable.

Bag Topper Printable
You can also attach a cinnamon stick for extra pizazz. I even make it for myself (the sugar free version) just to enjoy on a cold winter's morning. And it's great when you are suffering with winter sinus ailments.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Randomness

My guy a few years ago on the occasion of his 7th birthday. My mom took the picture.
It's a crisp fall evening in the Ozarks. Our little dab of rain last night was enough to shake a few leaves from their trees and give those of us who are friends with Arthur (arthritis, that is) extra reason to complain. And I have certainly taken advantage of my "complain all you want" pass today. Oh well. Here are a few random thoughts for the day.

1. I am watching Dancing With the Stars this season. I could never be a participant on one of those things. For one, I would feel the need to read all the entertainment blogs and comments about the blogs. I would probably spiral into a deep depression. I would then try to comfort myself with a gallon of Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt from Braum's and start writing snarky comments defending myself under the alias 'you ain't all that'...which would lead to more depression and a daily trip to Krispy Kreme. You can tell I have moderation issues. I feel so sorry for Bristol Palin. I think it's sad that so many grown-up people have become so mean spirited. I mean really. It's a show about dancing. Dances with names like 'cha-cha' or jive. They wear ridiculous sparkly costumes and are addicted to the spray tan. Get a grip America. If Bristol Palin wins Dancing with the Stars the sun will still rise and set. Winter will still come. And Starbucks will still charge a ridiculous amount for a latte whatever. Get over it. Just enjoy the Sparkle.

2. They are having a potluck at The Studly Muffin's place of employment tonight. He was the organizer. He is always  the organizer. Which kinda means I am the organizer's assistant. I have spent many Tuesdays picking up pizza, making cakes (or pancakes) and shuffling chili to his work. Can one shuffle chili? I'm not sure. I'll leave it though. A Random Thought means just that. Random. Even if it involves Shuffling Chili. Anyhoo. I've been thinking. Nobody every brings me a doggie bag or invites me. If I am the unofficial Chili Shuffler don't you think I should get at least a in-vite? I'm just sayin'.

3. I had a doctor's appointment today. The waiting room had a pitiful selection of magazines. I looked at a Family Circle that was at least 2 years old. I usually try and take a book. I know about Doctor's appointments. I usually have to take a granola bar, a couple of  books to read and I make sure my phone has full battery capacity. You never know when you're going to have to camp out. I am also a secret people watcher. Have you ever thought about those people in Dr.'s waiting rooms? What are their lives like? What kind of things do they face? I know. A little bit too heavy. One thinks of those things. That all the random germ spreading going on.

4. Josiah and I went to the park today. I had promised him yesterday and wound up not keeping my promise (bad mama!) He loves to swing. He could swing for hours. We were also supposed to go on a nature walk. We did do a nature drive-by. Does that count? We are doing a project with Fall leaves this week. Remember leaf collecting? I saw a cute project on one of my homeschool sites that made really cool art out of fall leaves. Cool and Art usually don't mix together in my universe.

5. I really do love this time of year. But I have a secret. I have to take extra steps not to totally freak out in a big way. I tend to be a bit of a neurotic overachiever in some areas. In other words I don't know when to stop. I always have some project I take one...One that I usually don't give myself enough time to accomplish. Josiah and I are going to start our First Thanksgiving Study this week. I have had to promise myself that I won't try and recreate the first Thanksgiving Feast, weave our own place mats and make a detailed replica of the Mayflower. Girl has to have a limit. Somewhere. I wonder if making little homemade soaps for everyone at our family Thanksgiving this year is too much?

6. One reason it is my favorite time of year is because of my baby boy. Who is will be 9 this month. I can't even express to you what I was feeling 9 years ago at this time. I was terrified and thrilled and excited and a nervous wreck. All at the same time. Adoption is a wonderful thing. It is a scary thing. And an uncertain thing. But it is a wonderful thing. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I were so fortunate. But I count my blessings everyday and at the very top of the list is one Josiah Bevan.

7. I am trying to decide what I am going to take to our Family Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's farm. Mom is trying to keep things low key and simple, but I don't know if I can do that. I am going to have to take the decorations as it is. She doesn't know it yet. You see I have this problem. And it will drive me crazy if we are sitting around the table(s) and everything looks like it's just another day of the year (minus the large Turkey and my Dad wearing a shirt to the dinner table). We need to have pumpkins and fake leaves lying around. I draw the line though at decorating the TV area for The Studly Muffin and my brother-in-law, Greg's football watching marathon. If they want Team Pendants and pompoms they will have to do it themselves.


That's all for today, friends. It's my goal this week to write a post about Josiah's adoption. I don't think I've done that yet. It's a beautiful story. And one worth sharing.

Blessings, Rebekah

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salute!


 Lonnie LeMaster (my great-grandfather)- Lonnie joined the service on January 26, 1917 to fight Pancho Villa of Mexico. After training he was sent to the Philippine Islands and from there to China. While in China he was seriously ill and spent over six months in the hospital. One 3-day period he was screened off because he was expected to die. He was at various times in Korea, Guam, Japan, and the Hawaiian Islands. (Thanks to my Aunt Susie...who is our family historian)

Today we salute our Veterans. We didn’t do anything specifically to honor our military at our house. I did put a little extra Italian Sausage in the spaghetti sauce tonight. Troy is our in-house Veteran. He served in the Air Force BB (Before Beke). I hope he appreciates my Sausage Salute!

He is blessed to come from a military family. His Dad, 2 of his brothers, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, and a nephew have served and/or currently serving. I am so proud of all of them. I think it shows the strength of character of a nation where so many voluntarily offer their lives so the rest of us can enjoy such freedoms. I don’t want to take any of it for granted. I am also fortunate to have in my life friends who have also answered the call of service to our country. What a blessing they are!

We can’t either forget those who fought in wars long past. Those who joined up or those whose number was picked from a “hat.” They didn’t run away or protest. They quietly kissed their families good-bye and went off to change the world. I have great-grandparents who fought in WWII, a great-uncle who was at The Battle of the Bulge, a grandfather who served in the China Sea. Friends who fought in Vietnam. They all came back…many more made the ultimate sacrifice. The Veterans in my life do not seek glory for themselves. They are honored to serve. There is a lady of my acquaintance who in served in the Secret Service in WWII. She does not speak of her experiences. Her only acknowledgement of her sacrifice today was a WWII Veterans hat.

I Remember all those brave men and women who have served so gallantly. I Salute those who continue to continue to serve. Thank you for fighting so I can worship, so I can speak my mind, so I can pursue happiness…








Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One of Those

My mom took this little bluebird's picture. He lives on their farm. He also looks a bit miffed.
Maybe he's having one of those weeks!


I am having what is termed "one of those weeks." Of course, it could be said that the past few years of my life have teetered on the edge of insanity. We all experience those kinds of days, weeks and years. And we all have ways we cope with it. My preferred method involves holing myself up with Kettle Cooked Lays,Krispy Kreme and a good murder mystery. Of course, that method has contributed to my unhealthy weight gain, a laundry pile gone wild, and a glimpse into the criminal mind.  I also have done a lot of bad writing. It's generally all over the place. So I don't usually share it with anybody. Not even Troy. Or my momma. Hopefully, this post makes some sort of sense. Instead of getting all maudlin and preachy on you I've decided just to share a few odds and ends.

1. My bottom is dragging. Not that bottom. The bottom of my car. Somehow I have managed to knock some sort of plastic panel loose. It started dragging on my way to church tonight. I stopped by Troy's work and he tied it up with a plastic thingy (like my technical term?). Unfortunately, it came loose again and I drove the 8 mile round trip to church sounding like a wave machine. And to top it off there was something big going on downtown tonight and when I drove by the throngs of people coming out of the Expo Center I got all kinds of stares. I was mortified until I realized they really couldn't see me in the dark. Troy promised he's going to fix it tomorrow. If not I will have to imagine myself at the beach...

2. Josiah told me tonight that he sure hopes nobody asks him to sing in a boy's choir. I'm not sure where that comment came from. Except that our choir director from church called to tell me that we weren't having choir practice tonight. So if anybody out there was thinking of asking him to join up with a boy's choir...forget about it. It's not going to happen.

3. Another week is almost over. I don't know whether to jump for joy or moan in despair because we are one week closer to the madness that is "my Holiday shopping" (or lack thereof). Either way I am apparently way too dramatic. This week has been a busy one for me. I'm working on a top secret project (so secret that if I told you I would have to use duct tape to seal your silence forever...or at least until Christmas).

 
4. It is possible...more than likely...yep, it happened...that I wore two different flip flops to church a few weeks ago. And of course my homies at small group are so polite no one said a word. I didn't realize my "oopsie" until the day after when I put my flip flops back on and realized that, yes, one was black and one was brown. Not a biggie, you say? Probably not. It is rather ridiculous to think that anyone was so fixated on my newly pedicured toes to notice my boo boo. The whole thing is still indicative of my present state of mind.

 
5. I found some suspicious looking smears on the wall in Josiah's bedroom today. They have the appearance of boogers. He has developed a nose-picking habit as of late. I am not sure what to do about it. Is this something one shares with the public at large? I imagine that divulging this nugget of info is something he won't appreciate when he is older. Right now he thinks that boogers are pretty stinkin' cool and apparently add to the decor of his bedroom. 

 
6. In addition to being a bona fide nose-picker he is also quite the ladies man. He has a few girls on the line at church. One is an older woman of 10. His most recent sweetheart is younger than him. He told me the other night that half his heart belonged to (insert name here). Hmm. I am assuming that the other half belongs to (insert name here- the older woman). I think we're in trouble. If he can get over the whole nose picking thing before he starts dating (when he's 37 or so) he is going to be quite the heartthrob.

7. I have some pretty great people in my life. They make my days and weeks brighter...no matter what's going on. That's all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting Ready For the Holidays! (I sneaked a peak at Molly's Money-Saving Digest)

If you could see me now the first thing you might notice is the big grin I have on my face. I just read Molly’s Money- Saving Digest “Preparing Our Hearts and Homes For the Holidays” Let me first say I love, love the Holidays. I start getting all misty-eyed when thinking about my mom’s famous peanut brittle, the gingerbread house my little boy and I made last year, my collection of snowmen and of course, our little ceramic Nativity. What happens next is something fringing on hysteria. “What! Thanksgiving is only how many weeks away? How many shopping days until Christmas? I just got my flip flops put up from the summer! And what are we going to do this year special on our limited budget?” Molly’s November Digest gave me so many useful and inspiring nuggets of ideas and information.

I am (if I do say so myself) a pretty good cook. However, I am somewhat of a hit and miss baker. Sometimes I create a hit…Most of the time I miss. I start out great every year. I dig out the recipes that have been passed down through the generations and then I find new treasures. I gather my ingredients and then I go into a baking frenzy. More often than not the results are disappointing. Right of the start Molly gives us a primer on Baking. I can tell you that I have been baking for years and never even knew some of this stuff. Did you know that there is a way you can test the usefulness of your baking soda and baking powder. Do you why you need to stay away from light margarines when baking? There is even advice on sending your goodies through the mail. My nephew in the Air Force is going to love me this year! There is so much fantastic information here I can’t gush enough. Maybe I will finally be able to hold my head high at our annual Cookie Swap!

Another treasure I found in the November Digest is the ever helpful weekly meal plan. How great is that! I struggle with meal planning. There never seems to be enough time. Not only are the meals in Molly’s Digest do-able for a busy family (and look scrumptious), but Molly provides a grocery list. It’s like having your own personal assistant…sans the actually assisting. What a help during the hectic Holiday season! I think the Family Salad Bar has to be my favorite idea. I can see incorporating that particular meal night on a regular basis.

If you are like me you are trying to instill into your kids a sense of decorum and manners…especially at the table. This month’s digest features a kid’s primer on dining etiquette. There is even a placemat to print out so your child can take what he or she has learned and illustrate a table setting. I think I might even take it one step farther and plan a Holiday Tea with my nieces, nephews and son. We will have our own little dining etiquette lesson using the printable placemat and all Molly’s dinner party advice.

There are so many treasures in this particular issue of Molly’s Digest. But what I appreciate the most was the very timely reminder of what we as God’s children are really celebrating. It really hit home. I also need to be grateful for the resources that God has placed in my hands and use them as creatively and generously as I can. I was reminded that I need to ask God for help. He orders my steps. Thanks, Molly! I feel like I am heading into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season with not only a game plan, but a refreshed spirit.

This issue has so much more, from great FREE Holiday planning links to table decorating ideas. There are instructions for a bread basket craft and a great testimony from a family who worked to pay off their 54,000 debt in 33 months. What a terrific article for a husband and wife to read together. It will certainly inspire anyone who desires to live debt free. If you are able I would encourage you to check out this issue of Molly’s Money- Saving Digest. You will not be disappointed!


(P.S) I have purchased several issues of Molly's Money-Saving Digest in the past. I have always found them to be very useful and affordable. Click HERE to find out more!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Loopy in Missouri

It's quiet this morning. Really quiet. Except for the wailing of the sirens. We live downtown. There is always some siren wailing somewhere. But at least it's quiet in my house. My boys are in Illinois (outside St. Louis) visiting family for the weekend. I stayed home because I'm sick. I'm feeling better. I think. That's a good sign. Cardiomyopathy and diabetes don't leave a girl with a quick recovery time when she's sick. It usually takes me weeks to get better when a bug has caught up with me.

Anyhoo, I've got some things to share. Keep in mind I'm on some sort of medication that makes me a bit loopy. I would try and use that excuse in my everyday life, but most days I'm just plain loopy...without any help.

1. Springfield, MO is a snake free zone. Let me rephrase. Springfield, MO is a rubber snake free zone. All I am asking for is a cheap bag of rubber snakes to add to our Indiana Jones Trunk for Trunk or Treat Sunday night. Is that too  much to ask? I don't think so. Rubber spiders, rats, dinosaurs, bugs...I've seen them all. No rubber snakes! Except for a freaky "put in water and watch me grow" snake I found at the Dollar Tree. I would have to buy like 40 of them to make a proper snake pit. And what is an Indiana Jones Trunk without snakes I tell you?

2. I am a hoarder. I hoard children's books (I actually hoard other kinds of books, too, but one step at a time.) This week I am cleaning out Josiah's room. Because it was time to free him from himself. Poor guy. He might not have inherited Mommy's DNA, but he certainly inherited my "messy room gene" (and there is one, I am convinced...and it's "nurtured"). Anyhoo, I packed up all of his books that he has outgrown. Good Night Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Can You Give A Mouse A Cookie, The Rainbow Fish....I have boxes of books that are going to be banished to the dark recesses of our storage unit. And no, I am neither generous or practical enough to give them away. I actually got weepy. Our copy of Good Night is raggedy, but I've had it for almost 20 years. I'm still not sure I won't wind up rescuing them...

3. I guess Krispy Kreme is not an appropriate supper. Especially when one is diabetic and needing to lose poundage in the double digits (at least). Shhh. Don't tell. So much for a "Be Good To Beke" weekend.

4. I went through the Drive Thru at a popular fast food joint to get a pop and was sitting in line before I realized I hadn't actually ordered the pop. I just pulled up behind the car waiting at the window. That's what snot on the brain will do to you. I really shouldn't have been allowed out of the house.

5. I was in Hobby Lobby this past week. You can find me there every other Tuesday and once a month on Wednesdays (just kidding...I'm not quite that bad...I'm too poor to truly be addicted to Hobby Lobby). Anyhoo, I saw this guy walking through the store. He had on sunglasses indoors(proof right there that this guy was all that and a bag of chips). He was talking on the phone..."waz up...that's the way I roll." He even quoted lyrics from a popular rap song.  He paused in the conversation. Apparently the person on the other end asked him where he was.  "Oh, I'm at Hobby Lobby," He says. . It really caught me off guard. I tried to suppress the giggles that were welling up within me and snorted instead...scaring a little old man looking at the model airplanes. 'Cause nothing says bad-to-the-bone gansta like Hobby Lobby

6. There are all sorts of things you can get away with when you are by yourself. I actually left the bathroom door open this weekend. I'm sorry...That's probably too much information. But it was really quite liberating. Nobody was trying to get in...Nobody needed to find their keys...Nobody wanted me to make them a peanut butter sandwich. We really need to get some reading material in there if this is going to keep happening.

7. I got to watch some girl movies this weekend. When I say "girl" movies I really mean ones I can watch on the flat screen without somebody trying to talk me into letting them play Wii or watch a ballgame. Troy actually likes a lot of movies I do. I am fond of the musical. I found myself doing a little choreography along with the movie.  Which probably disturbed my downstairs neighbor to no end.

8. It's tough being home sick. I did venture out yesterday and was forced into having lunch with my friend. You know what they do. They call you up. "Hey, I'm craving Cashew Chicken. You want to meet for lunch. I'll treat." And you know what you do. "Sure, say in 30 minutes?" You see the kind of friends I have. They can guilt me into anything.

Shew. That's about as much as I got tonight. Actually, I have some more, but I am taking some sort of medication that makes me a little loopy. Did I say that already? Any further comments might incriminate me...And I might confess things I'd have to explain to my momma later on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mom's Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Tonight I dusted off my mom's Old-Fashioned Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe. I remember my mom fixing this particular recipe quite often when I was young. It was always a treat. I know there are some more "sophisticated" recipes out there today, but this one has them all beat. It is inexpensive and easy to fix. Plus, it's just plain yummy. Of course, any dessert that has more sugar than flour is not going to be good for the waist line, but this only serves six so there probably won't be lots of leftovers to tempt you! I am trying to  think of the half eaten pan of Hot Fudge Pudding Cake that's sitting on my kitchen counter this very minute! Anyhoo, My Aunt Susie asked me to share the recipe (via Facebook) so here 'tis.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake


Cake Part:
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Top With Before Baking:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups hot water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 3/4 cup of white sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together in a bowl. Combine milk, melted butter and vanilla; add to dry ingredients. Stir gently (leave the mixer in the cabinet!) to combine, then spread into an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan. Combine brown sugar, white sugar, and cocoa powder; sprinkle over top of batter. Pour hot water over top of cake, and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. It's yummy with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, October 22, 2010

OOOOH-Klahoma

So my mom treated Josiah and I to a mini-fall vacation to Oklahoma this past week. My only contribution was sitting in the passenger's seat...which I can tell you becomes more involved when one travels through Oklahoma (more on that later).  We visited Baby Sister (mine) and her lovely little family. Instead of boring you with the play-by-play, I decided to share a few thoughts...about OOOH-klahoma, Baby Sister and Buffalo. With visuals. Taken mostly by my momma.  Who am I kidding. I took like 2 pictures. And both of them are bad.

1.  My first thought does not have a picture to go with it. But imagine with me a very long, very bad, very expensive road. I would like to know why these Oklahomian people think everybody else needs to pay to drive on their roads. They really aren't that great...in fact, once we were back in Missouri it was like driving on 'butta'...It's highway robbery I tell you! (literally) And because Baby Sister lives in the Southwest corner of OOOH-klahoma we had to pay 8 tolls coming and going (actually, my mom paid them...but I am righteously indignant for her sake).


2. This is Baby Sister. She is actually 32. She is also exactly 6 years and 6 months younger than me. But I'm not telling how old I am. Isn't she cute? I know you can't tell 'cause of the shades, but take my word for it. She got all the good genes. Mine started oozing out of my pores when I hit my early 20's. She is standing in front of some lake in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve. I'm not sure which one...I wasn't paying attention. I was too busy trying not to step in Buffalo poo.



3. See in Oklahoma they let the cows wander all over the place. If this happens in Missouri you get a bunch of farmers chasing after them in pick-up trucks and golf carts waving their hands and yelling. I was told that this is actually a Longhorn (What-ever) and they are allowed to wander the Animal Reserve. There was all sorts of road work being done here...This cow (or Longhorn) didn't seem to care.



4. So one day we thought ('we' is used loosely) it would be fun to drive up Mount Scott...which is located in the Wichita Mountain Range.  I can tell you that I've been to Wichita, Kansas and there aren't any mountains...by far. So imagine my surprise when everybody thought this sounded like a great idea. I had the  unfortunate pleasure of being on the side of the car where this lovely view was being played out.


5. A little higher.

6. And higher. At this point I am looking through my fingers over my eyes....It's a good thing I wasn't driving!


7. And we reach the top! My favorite adventurer is asked by his grandmother to pose for a picture at the edge of a cliff...He's all about it. I (on the other hand) am clinging for dear life to the antenna on the car.  Like that is going to save me from plunging to certain death. Keep in mind that Josiah has been telling his own adventure story the entire trip up the mountain. "Wouldn't it be cool if we crashed into the rock and the car got all crushed up and we had to hang from that tree and bounce off that cliff and we broke our legs and had to crawl down the mountain." Thanks, Bubby. If you look really close you can see windmills behind Josiah.


8. And this is what vacation means when you are 8. Doing battle with your cousin in the backyard. I would have joined in if it weren't absolutely ridiculous. I would have pulverised them both.

9. One of the highlights of our trip was supposed to be this great buffalo hunt.  This was as close as we got. Is this the best you can do OOOH-klahoma? Pahleease. How do we know those are real buffalo? Looks like some park rangers got mighty desperate.
10.  We went to a delightful little place called Medicine Park. This is the old jail. Everybody looks happy enough...except for Josiah. He said, 'nobody should be happy in jail.'


11. If I could have gotten away with it I would have packed 2 little girls in my suitcase to bring home with me. If their momma wouldn't have called the po-lease on me...despite the fact that I am her big sister. And she owes me one for writing all over my desk with my favorite pink nail polish when she was 6. I think claiming her 2nd and 3rd born children for my own sound like a fair trade-off. I would let her come visit...maybe.

A few more thoughts...sans photography

12. Baby Sister and her hubby don't have the internet. What! They are both younger than me. What kind of young hip people don't have the internet. They have it at work and they have iphones...is that supposed to count? What about Internet Addicted older sisters who come and visit? What are they supposed to do? I was without FB for like 162 days..it was like being without water or something like that. Very traumatic. I have been online the entire time in the 7 hours I have been home today. So there.

13. We had takeout from a place called Yummy Yummy. It was a Korean BBQ place. It was delicious. We had something called Bouca-Buuka or something like that. I considered taking the leftovers home in my suitcase...along with my nieces. And my sister's bedding set and her dining room furniture. And her good knife. 

14. Baby Sister did have cable. Which means that my mom, Sister and I sat around watching HGTV for days. 'Cause we could. We did have to wrestle the remote away from my channel surfing nephew..who just turned 9! Yes, ladies. It starts young. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Studly Muffin

On October1,1991(19 years ago) I got married. And I've been married ever since. To the same fella. And what a fella! What I first saw Troy he was trying out as the Children's Pastor at Nixa Assembly of God in Nixa, MO.  He came sauntering down the hall towards me after service.  He had on a cowboy hat, chaps, and a badge that said "Sheriff PT."  He was also 29 years old...I was19. I have now been married to Troy half my life. And I would have to say that he knows me better than about anybody. There have been good times and some bad times. Some really hard bad times. But, God knew what He was doing when He sent Troy into my life. Plus, he still floats my boat.




Troy is a great dad. He is Josiah's guy. They share a love of golf, Polo Blue, Superman and of course,Mom. Troy wanted to take Josiah camping last summer, but they only got as far as the living room because it got too hot. Troy slept in the tent...On the wood floor.



We adopted Josiah when he was just two weeks old. Here he is just 6 months old. When Josiah was teeny tiny, Troy would wake up with him at night to give him his night bottle so I could sleep.

 Troy as Psalty the singing song book. Only a real man would wear blue tights and make-up to match.


Troy on our wedding day. He doesn't look a bit nervous, right?

This is one of my favorite pictures of Troy. I dig the hat...and the rest of him. He kind of floats my boat. I try not to think about that fact that I would have been around 7 when this picture was taken.

Cutie Pah-tootie. Of course, my parents were still in junior high when Troy was this old. But what's a few years among soul mates.

Happy Anniversary...My Studly Muffin. Thank you for loving me "as is."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Perspective

Sometimes I feel as if the best parts of me have been chipped away. Over the past several years I have been so wrapped in crisis after crisis that the hopes and dreams I carried seemed to drift away. That's not to say that I haven't had some truly beautiful times. The adoption of our little boy and the years that have followed have been so special. I love being a mom and I love this quirky little brown-eyed fella. But in all honesty, there have been some pretty tough years. And I, like so many of us, have been guilty of wallowing in a little self-pity and forgetting that there is more to me and more to God's plan for my life than the limited existence I have frequently found myself in. There is only so much daydreaming I can do about my former size 6 jeans, the dreams of lots of happy children playing in the back yard and all those hopes and dreams that seemed have been forgotten amidst the doctor's visits, hospital stays, church problems and simply the stresses of every day living.  Then again...there are some good parts of me that wouldn't be in place if I hadn't experienced the things I have...it's just learning to keep perspective.  You know? 

Steal Your Dollar City

There is a theme park not far from us.  It's called Silver Dollar City. Silver Dollar City is a unique 1800's-themed park and has more than rides. It features native craftsman, music, and some quirky good old-fashioned fun.  There are plenty of Ozarkians who refuse to go within 5 miles of the park...Old Silver Dollar City can get pretty crowded and like any theme park it's expensive...it also has oodles and oodles of places to buy things. Like woven baskets, hand-dipped candles, hand blown glass, salt-water taffy...Hence, my dad has always called it Steal Your Dollar City.  I personally love Steal Your Dollar City and if I made more dollars they could steal anything they like (as long as I get a bowl of skillet potatoes out of it). 
It's particularly beautiful in the fall and around Christmas. I have been going for years and somewhere exists a picture of me sitting on a pumpkin when I was around 4 or 5. Yesterday, my brother treated Josiah and I (Troy had a bike ride) to a day at Silver Dollar City.  His work gave all the employees tickets and there were a few extras from those who weren't going to use them.  I didn't drag out my camera (it's having issues and I'm hoping that Santa takes pity on me and drops me a new one), but my sis-in-law Stephannie had a few I am passing along. It was a beautiful day. I got to watch a guy plank huge logs for a log cabin and in true Silver Dollar City form heard a quartet sing a tribute to the Beatles, "We All Live In a Yellow Mobile Home" and "Hep, I Need Somebody" (no, that is not a typo!)

 My little brother. He has a weird aversion to large crowds and plays video games like he's still 12, but he's cool. We have a similar sense of humor...which is a little frightening. I think he's trying to not look at his wife taking his picture.
 This was one of those roly ball thingy fountains (how is that for a description!) The kids were fascinated with it...Every time we passed it they had to lay hands on it and say a little pray for whatever strange affliction it was suffering with (well, we are pentecostal!)
 One of my brother's oldest. I say "one of" because Christopher is the male half of a set of twins. They are 13. Christopher is also the only boy...which makes him a well-seasoned 'button pusher.'
 This was a place called "Geyser Gulch." There weren't too many other people around Geyser Gulch. It could be because Geyser Gulch has numerous water features and it was 70.  The beautiful girl with my brother is his other oldest, Kalynn. The other beautiful little girl is Ryan's youngest, Madalyn (Maddie Paige). I think they are shooting a water gun at some poor unsuspecting duck.
 Silver Dollar City has a section of the park called The Grand Exposition. It takes its cues from the old World Fair. One of our favorites was the Tea Cups.  My sister in-law also took pictures of me riding the Tea Cups, but I refuse to post them on my blog. One doesn't look her best when swirling around in a large cup.  The two cuties are Madalyn and Alexandra. Ages 6 and 7, respectively.
 Alex is caught by a "gotcha" water feature at Geyser Gulch.
 This was a little morbid. They thought it was great fun.
 More water at Geyster Gulch. I will say that shortly after this we went on a ride called the Lost River. I rode it once (it's my fav) and the kids (including Josiah) and my sister-in-law, Stephannie rode it 3 times.  If I had control of this camera I would have taken pictures of Stephannie's soaked jeans.  They looked like they had just come out of the washer and she stuck them on. I would have displayed the picture at Thanksgiving...right along side the turkey and my mom's chocolate pie.
This is Alexandra sitting on the fence post. She's always good for a pose. I loved all the Scarecrows displayed all the over the park. If I could have stuck that one behind her in my purse and not been stopped by security on the way out of park (and if I wouldn't have felt so guilty for stealing...we are pentecostal) I would have. He could have sat on my couch.

As much fun as we had I am suffering for it today. Silver Dollar City is hilly...it is located in the hills after all. Even my toenails hurt.  But I can tell you we had a wonderful time.  And now that I think about it I haven't seen that bag of salt water taffy we brought home in a while. Somebody is going to pay!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ida Brown's Fresh Apple Cake, Maybe


There was a sweet little old lady in my parent's church in Choctaw, Arkansas named Ida Brown. I've got some stories about Mrs. Brown, but for now we will pay homeage to her Fresh Apple Cake.

If you live anywhere near apple trees you will know that they are falling off by the bushels.  So like every practical Missourian I am finding every which way I can to make the most of the overabundance of apples this year. I have given more advice and shared more apple recipes this year than I can remember. There is a potluck at church Sunday and I can guarantee that the Ida Brown's Fresh Apple Cake I am taking will not be the only apple offering.

I also should give a disclaimer. No...this cake will not give you chest hair (sorry, Josiah) nor will it cause shortness of breath (unless you eat too much of it and then you are on your own). The disclaimer is that Ida Brown's actual recipe is locked away in my parent's storage building while they are in the midst of renovating their farm house. This is kind of sort of from memory...kind of sort of.  But how can you go wrong with apples, sugar, eggs and oil? Something scrumptious is bound to come from it.

Ida Brown's Fresh Apple Cake

5 apple - peeled, cored and chopped

2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

5 tsp. brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and white sugar for 15 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer. Add oil and blend in. Add flour mixture and mix well. Add vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over cake. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blackberry Bread

I found the most delicious recipe for blackberry bread. Actually, I had never made blackberry bread before. But, I had a few bags of beautiful blackberries from my Dad's bushes in the freezer and I found this.  It is really more like the texture of a cake...but who cares!  I took one loaf to my pastors and we kept another one...and its gone.  I found myself circling the little plate I was keeping it one for crumbs.  I'm pathetic.

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 c. fresh or frozen blackberries, drained
1 c. black walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil, blackberries and nuts. Stir just until mixed. Bake in 2 well greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans at 350 degrees for 60- 70 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes.

*Make sure your blackberries aren't too moist. I used frozen ones, but let them thaw out and drain for a while.  Also, don't mix very much when add your blackberries. This keeps them whole (relatively speaking) and makes beautiful bread.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Randomitis

So I'm sitting here on couch chilling out until it's time to get ready to go church. Wednesday nights are busy, busy. Josiah has JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz-it's a competition that helps kids learn the Bible), then he has Royal Rangers (it's a kind of like a Faith-based Scout program), I'm teaching a ladies Bible study and then I have choir.  We always have lots of fun, but Wednesdays are tough! I really need to be doing other stuff...but, hey!  Why not waste time sending random thoughts into cyberspace...nobody needs really reads this except my Momma! Here are my thoughts for today.


1. I just asked Josiah to pour me a glass of iced tea.  Normally, when I ask for a favor of such world wide significance I get "wailing and gnashing of teeth." He is always too busy saving the world with Indiana Jones and a host of happy meal toys to help poor mom.  Then...out of the wild blue yonder...he made me a glass of Nesquick chocolate milk!  What a sweetie!  I almost got teary. I guess I am forgiven for smacking him over the head yesterday with his handwriting workbook.


2. Parts of our building is being painted. The sweet old fella has been perched up on one of those "lifty" things with a paintbrush in hand.  He is dressed entirely in white and has some sort of tablecloth hanging out of pocket.  He also has a moustache that would inspire any follicaly challenged young man. Somewhere Wilfred Brimely is seething with jealously. We're going to miss him and his ever beeping contraption (you know, that lift thingy).  He helped Troy look at my ailing car and assured us that he was pretty convinced it was the battery and not the alternator.  I wonder if they might consider keeping him on...He could be the resident Fella.


3. I worked out today at the Y with a friend. She happens to also be the Aquatics Director and she is making time for me every week to inspire and give me a much-needed kick in the boot-tah. Today we went into the Wellness room.  It had walls of mats, little weights, resistance bands, kick thingys and most obviously distressing...mirrors. I've never really been into working out in front of a mirror.  I found I couldn't quite look myself in the eye.  Is that a problem?  Then again, I don't think I've seen a full body reflection of myself since 1994. I had to come home and eat cheetos just to ease my distress.


4. No call about a job yet. And since my last interview was over a week ago and they needed to hire someone this week...oh well. Maybe I didn't want to work anyway. Who needs groceries and toothpaste anyway?  Yesterday I was slightly hysterical about it...today I'm not. We have had a week filled with blessings.  God has reminded us over and over that He has it under control. It's sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees....Or something like that. Sometimes I get all my deeper philosophical phrases confused. I should have paid closer attention in my philosophy class in college. Instead of making grocery lists...and napping.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Randomology

It's a beautiful day in the Ozarks. We made a trip to Wal-mart for a prescription, ran through the pick-up window at the library for some books I had put on hold...now we are busy doing school stuff. We are doing a Unit Study on the classic "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel." I will have to do a post at another time about some changes I made this year...Some things we've tried just don't work for us.

Oh well...Here are a few things on my brain today. 

1. Josiah told me last week after his gym day at the Y that he had made a new friend. This friend was a girl and he couldn't remember her name, but he thought she was cute. There is always a cute girl somewhere on Josiah's radar...which is a little worrisome considering he is not yet 9!  Anyhoo, yesterday he pointed her out to me. She has to be 15!  Josiah and the older ladies.

2.  I was rushed for lunch today (I am feeding my family + my nephew) so I made some spaghetti noodles, opened a can of spaghetti sauce (which I generally don't use)and threw in a few frozen pepperoni.  Topped it with a little cheese and called it "Pizza Spaghetti."  Oh, they raved!  They loved this Pizza Spaghetti. What is the deal? I would toss my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe (made completely from scratch, mind you) forever if the canned stuff didn't make my teeth hurt.

3.  Early morning is my friend. Yesterday, I got up...had my quiet time with a devotion, wrote on my blog, made a gallon of iced tea, put supper in the crockpot, copied off a few pages for Josiah's Mike Mulligan Lapbook, made whole grain (from scratch) waffles...shew! By the time that the rest of the crew got up I was ready to head back to bed..but I sure felt accomplished.

4. I am not doing a very good job proof reading. I write all of this stuff from the top of my head...which can be dangerous. I wrote a little blurb for a photobook my mom and I made my dad for his b-day.  There were 2 mistakes in it!  I need a personal editor. I also need a personal assistant. And the laundry fairy. And maybe someone to come and fix my hair every morning....I better stop there...this is getting out of hand.

5. I have a bicycle sitting in my living room. My Studly Muffin is an avid cyclist and was recently blessed with a new bike. As we live in the city in an apartment building with only a balcony he has decided to house the bike somewhere inside the building. I hope eventually he finds a nice corner outside our common laundry room, but for now it has taken up housekeeping between the bookshelf and the television. Josiah decided he needed to bring his bike in from the balcony. I nixed that idea. What's the deal? Next we are going to try parking the car in the hall.
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