Friday, August 31, 2007

Grocery Shopping with children

"You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store...........
.......As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”
Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

~Read this hillarious story of a woman's grocery shopping experience with her kids, who is selling the pokemon cards that her kids had slipped into her cart.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tomato, rice and basil soup

~This is so good, loved by all in my family. (even those who don't like tomatoes!)

1 lb. tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 quart/ 1 liter vegetable stock
1/2 cup long grain rice
2 TBSP butter
black pepper
Bunch of fresh basil or 2 tsp. pesto sauce
2 TBSP freshly grated parmesan cheese to garnish

~Put the tomatoes, onion and celery in a saucepan. Cover the pan and cook over a very low heat until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. (about 30 minutes)
~Pour the tomato mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan, add the stock, and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cover the pan and cook over a very low heat for about 15 minutes, (if using brown rice allow an extra 20 minutes cooking time) or until the rice is tender.
~Stir in the butter, add a little pepper and either sprinkle with the chopped basil or stir in the pesto. Serve sprinkled with the grated parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

George Eliot

"It's never too late to be who you might have been."

~George Eliot


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Green sites and today's two moons

Two moons on 27th August 2007* Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August.
It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65 Million miles of earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons.
The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

~ Some great "going green" sites I've found lately, are:

* a blog called Green SAHM who has good ideas.
* a web site called, Tree Hugger full of information, links, forums, etc.
* a web site by National Geographic called, The Green Guide that is full of information, and gives all kinds of advice on completely greening your home and life. I am going to try to add "The green guide" on my sidebar where you can view updated topics weekly, and click on a topic, to link to the site. Look for it to come in my sidebar.


Round Here

~ One of my favorite web sites to look at is, Round Here a photography site with beautiful pictures. They feature a picture weekly, or you can view the others by clicking on the thumbnails.

Some of my favorites...enjoy...

Iguaza falls, I want to go there.

here too...

....awesome pictures..... which one is your favorite?

The Community of Believers

"... a sense of brotherhood and community is not derived from the actions and attitudes of others toward us, but our actions and attitudes toward them. As we imitate this approach to other believers, we will form cords of love not quickly broken."
~Beth Moore

~It seems like attitude can change just about any situation. I have such a hard time with this, I kind of adopt a "feeling," and then I am stuck for awhile. For instance, I don't like going to church.

I didn't say I don't like church, or anything about church, I just don't like the act of going there.
I think this is because, first of all, growing up, Sundays were relax at home days for me, or play with friends, I didn't go to church, it was like a "free day" of the week. So I've had a hard time changing my mindset about Sundays, getting up and going like it's a busy day of the week.

Well, I worry that somehow this unspoken feeling of mine, or maybe my attitude about church is rubbing off on my kids, because they never want to go, I have to drag them to get dressed, eat breakfast, get out the door, etc. They walk slowly down the halls, and cry when they go in their class.

Secondly, I have an attitude about the people though, which again I need to change. I instantly feel "judged" when people realize that I have three kids. I feel like as soon as someone knows that someone my age has three kids, they are weirded out. So my guard is already up before I even begin to interact with people. I'm in and out, and I feel like they are thinking, "there goes that young mom with three kids again...." And that somehow, being young makes me inadequate or something. Again, all my perception. I just keep my head down, and keep walking...

After reading this quote in my bible study, it hit me, maybe they aren't thinking those things, maybe they are thinking, "why doesn't she want to talk to anyone?" And even if they are thinking those things, who cares? Wouldn't my attitude toward them matter more, and possibly change the way they are feeling or thinking?

I am going to try to change my attitude about church, about people, and stop assuming what they are thinking and saying, and try to be friendlier, and hopefully it will rub off on my kids.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Storm and I'm a dork.

~ My experience with the storm last night, felt like it could have been the makings of a scary movie, or maybe a comedy. Last night I was frightened, today I laugh at myself.

The storm brought loud thunder, bright lightning, strong winds, and hard rain. The electricity went out, and all I had to light my way was the only flash light in the house, which is a dinasaur that roars when you turn it on. My two year old was scared, and "can't like thunder," so was my dog, so we all huddled in the bed together in the dark.

At ten o clock pm., my four year old came home from his sleepover, he was scared too. After watching my friend nearly blow away as she shepherded my son to the garage, we went up stairs soaking wet, now lighting our way with his light saber, and my flash light. I got them tucked in, in my bed- the two boys, our big dog, and I all drifted off to sleep.
About an hour later, I woke up to noise outside, it was still storming, and we still had no electricity. I peeked out the window, and saw a car parked in front of my house. It was creepy. I could see the light of a cell phone or a lighter in the back seat, and they were just sitting there, in front of my house. I went to my phone, only to find that the battery was dead. After watching them for awhile, get out of their car and then back in again, I felt like I really needed to have my phone, just for peace of mind. I grabbed my sons light saber, made my way down stairs, jumping at every noise, and whipping the light saber around to light every corner of the house. (It has really cool sound effects too- by the way)

I went into the garage, where I sat with the car running, charging my phone. I then realized that the exahaust fumes weren't good for me, ( I thought, "great now I'm going to accidentally kill myself just trying to charge my phone.)

With my phone barely charged, I went back inside, and continued to spy on the people in front of my house. A lot more people came and went from the "party house" on the street, but there the car sat, in front of my house, the people getting in and out of their car, lighting cigarettes, and talking on their phone.

The electricity finally came back on around 12 am, and I was finally able to sleep. I am terribly afraid of the dark, my imagination runs wild, and makes a normal storm into a dramatic night.

This morning the car was gone, and a large tree was on the deck of my neighbors house, taking off a corner of the roof as well. Thank God everyone is okay.

Parenting and Housework.

My friend Jessie and I were asking each other one day about how we find time to do housework. We talked about how it's moved from doing housework to have a nice, clean and lovely home, to only doing housework for necessary, and cleanliness reasons, because of lack of time. Because it has to be done sometimes, and it has to be squeezed into minutes of the day that don't really exist most of the time, we were talking about tricks to get it done more easily.

Here are some things we talked about:

*First we were talking about how we have to accept that we can't spend an entire day cleaning the house, and if we do, it won't all be perfectly clean by the end of the day, because we are sure to face many interruptions. So doing housework chopped up, and squeezed in, seems to work best.
*For bathrooms, She was telling me that one of her friends cleans her bathrooms when the kids are in the bath, which I have recently tried and it works very well, and seems to go faster.
*She also was saying that she will spend one entire day doing the laundry, and wait until the end of the day to fold it all, while watching a movie or something fun.
*She also had tips on storing the folded laundry. One idea is to get laundry baskets for each family member and put the folded laundry in there, and have them help put away. Another idea is to have bins for kids instead of a dresser, and put all their pants in their own bin, shirts in their own bin, etc. etc.
*For my own kids, I have little buckets with rags, brushes, and a squirt bottle of water and vinegar. I show them what they can spray and wipe down. They love it and actually ask if they can "clean" sometimes. Mostly it just buys me time .
~I have a previous post on this same topic, with some good comments.

~So do you have any special tricks or tips to fit in your cleaning?


Friday, August 24, 2007


It is finally raining! It's been the hottest in TN history, and we've been experiencing a drought, we were in bad need of rain. Balloons were popping on the grass, and you couldn't walk on it barefoot.
So thank you Lord for sending us some rain!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lessons in sharing

~The curious george sound track is one of our favorites to listen to. (featuring Jack Johnson, one of my sons imaginary friends, when he was 3 years old.) We were singing the "sharing song" the other day, and he still sings the song wrong.

This is how it is supposed to go,

"It's always more fun to share with everyone...If you have two give one to your friend... if you've got a sandwich, cut that thing in half..."

how my son sings it:

"It's always more fun to share with everyone.....If you've got a friend, cut that thing in half"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good for snacks

"Health Balls," yes that is their name, but they are yummy, and the kids like them too.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. bran
1 cup rolled oats
1 TBSP oil
1 tsp. vanilla

~Mix together, roll in ball shape, can coat with chopped nuts, sunflower seeds. or coconut. Refrigerate.


Going Places

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. "
— Steven Wright


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Green America"

"the task of avoiding ecological disaster may seem hopeless, and some environmental scientists have, quietly, concluded that it is. But Americans are notoriously reluctant to surrender their fates to the impersonal outcomes of an equation. One by one—and together, in state and local governments and even giant corporations—they are attempting to wrest the future from the dotted lines on the graphs that point to catastrophe. The richest country in the world is also the one with the most to lose."

A really great article from Newsweek about why going green is a trend among all Americans, Liberals, Republicans, and Religious. This article explains the whys behind this necessary trend.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Reflections for Ragamuffins

I love the Brennan Manning books that I have read. He speaks to those that know they are not perfect, and that yearn to know the love and trust of Jesus more deeply. I am reading his devotional now, and nearly every day there is something that jumps out to me. This is my second time through it, and there is still just so much wisdom you can get from his words.

~Here is an excerpt of one of the points that rings in my ears.

" Here is the essence of perfect sincerity in conduct- to care for nothing but God's judgment on our actions; not to vary our attitude to suit the company we are in, not to hold one opinion when alone and adopt another in conversation, but to speak and act as in the sight of God who can read our inmost thoughts. Sincerity means trying to make the outward man more and more like the inner man, by simply being true to one-self, so that no human respect can make us false."

*Question: Do you think that being sincere with yourself, and with others, being able to be totally consistent and transparent, takes confidence or comfort?


Under the weather

...or plagues as it may seem.

1. My oldest son just finished his antibiotics for his ear infection
2. My 2 year old just got over his stomach-diareah thing
3. My husband has Strep throat
4. My baby has a virus that causes pink eye and a rash
5. I have strep throat, a stomach thing, and my eyes and ears hurt.
6. My older two have not had the strep or pink eye virus thing... uh oh....

We've been confined to our house since Thursday. I've only escaped to the drug store and the doctor a few times. My kids are going stir crazy. We've played every board game in the house, colored lots of pictures, and since I'm not feeling well, (not thinking straight) I accidentally bought some "moon sand," instead of play dough and it is very very very messy. Like wet sand. So don't buy that. I also had to dig through my box of "non green" cleaners, sprayed my house with lysol, and have been wearing gloves and a mask while cooking. I may be becoming a germaphobe, I don't know.... but I am staying positive by telling myself that we are just gearing up our immune systems for the coming school year, maybe, right?

~Pray for us, and stay away from us until all these antibiotics take effect.....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Write them a letter...

~If you were to write your child a letter for them to read in the future, what topic would you choose? I've heard of some moms writing their child a letter every year of their birthday and giving it to them when they turn 18. I've heard of parents writing their un-born babies letters, for them to read at some point.

I just read through a collection of letters written from parents to their children. Some were sweet, some were funny, and they were all unique. Some of the titles were,

~"To be read on your wedding day," "To be read when you realize that I do not know everything or, more specifically, on the first day of your college philosophy class," "To be read when you first dent the car," "To be read on your first day of work."

Since reading them, I've been contemplating writing my boys a letter, but am still mulling over the topic and time I want them to read them, or bit of random wisdom I think they should know. What would you, or have you written to your children?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy 5th Birthday!

Blue is 5!

~The first thing he asked me, and Brody, and most people he saw that day was, "Pick me up.....am I heavier?" He's a big boy now, not 4 anymore, he likes to remind me.

(His interview)
As a 5 year old, he likes:

~the color green
~light sabers
Favorite thing of being 5... "no more nap!"

Things that help him grow:
"eating veggies, picking up things, and lotion."

Pain Free Splinter Removal...

~I don't know about your kids, but my son screams like crazy if we try to remove a splinter. It scares him, hurts him, and he hates it. I had the doctor do it last time, and it took three of us to hold him, and I am not sure it was worth the $150 dollar "in office surgery fee."

I found this way that may work for some not so deeply embedded splinters.

1. Wash area with soap and water

2. Apply some white glue over splinter opening and let dry.

3. Peel off, and most splinters will come out with the dried glue.

4. Apply some antibiotic ointment, and a band aid if needed. Then they're off to play without feeling traumatized.


Banana Blueberry Swirl Popsicles


Makes 10 ice pops
3 to 4 ripe bananas (1 pound)
1 1/2 cups yogurt
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries


In the bowl of a food processor, puree bananas until smooth. Add yogurt, sugar, and lemon juice; pulse to combine. Remove half of the yogurt mixture; set aside.
Add blueberries to processor, and pulse until just combined. Layer blueberry and reserved yogurt mixtures into ten 1/3 cup ice-pop molds. Using a wooden skewer, swirl the two flavors together. Insert ice-pop sticks. Transfer to freezer until frozen, about 8 hours
Dip molds quickly in hot water to unmold.

(From Martha Stewart FOOD magazine.)


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sense of Humor

"Every survival kit should include a sense of humor. "
— Author Unknown

~ I am a lazy launder-ress apparently, who doesn't like to check pockets before throwing clothes into the laundry. Normally that doesn't matter, except for the occasional tissue or chap stick that gets left. Today, about 2 minutes after I threw in my husbands recently removed jeans, he came running in asking,
~"My jeans aren't in there are they?"
~"Uh... one of your pair of jeans are..."
~"Yeah, my ticket, my rental car and gas reciept are in my pocket... "

We quickly stopped the machine, fished out the jeans and carefully unfolded the sopping wet, very important pieces of paper out of his jeans. Thankfully I have a husband, who has a good sense of humor and thinks it's funny that he's got to send in his crumpled, barely readable ticket, and was okay with me laughing through the whole ordeal. I think I may start checking pockets from now on though.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Green Clean and your dishwasher

I always thought that I should pre wash my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher to avoid getting a ton of food buildup and clogging my dishwasher, but apparently you don't need to do that! You can monthly check the drain and reservoir for food scraps, (didn't know to do that) and save time and lots of water by not pre rinsing! That makes me very happy to know that.

~To weekly maintain your dishwasher, you can put a cup of vinegar in the detergent reservoir and run it empty. You can also sprinkle the bottom of the dishwasher with baking soda, to keep away bad smells. To save a little energy, this book says to not use the dry cycle and just open the door.

This is all news to me, I never knew I needed to "maintain" a dishwasher, or that my pre rinsing the dishes I was wasting time and water. All good to know.

*Also about the detergent. Most of them contain chlorine and phosphates, which pollutes our water. A third of the phosphates in our US wastewater come from automatic dishwashing liquid. A great alternative is Mrs. Meyers brand ( a lot of grocery stores are starting to carry that brand now), or any other that is vegetable based, not petroleum based, (which is non biodegradable).


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thoughts from todays message...

The topic of todays message was from Luke 15:1-3 (The pharisees were disgusted with Jesus for teaching and eating with sinners) and Luke 15:20-32. (the story of the prodigal son, and how his brother was disgusted with his father's welcoming reaction to his brother)

The pastor was talking about how we are most like Pharisees when,
~when we define our own righteousness.
~when we show no compassion for those who are far away from God.
~when we show anger when God dispenses mercy. (It is easy to want mercy for ourselves, and justice for others.)
~when we live with an unforgiving spirit. He told a story about a letter he'd recently recieved from a man whom he'd known 40 years prior. During that time he hurt this man by something he'd said, and they talked about, he asked him for forgiveness, the man accepted the apology, and they went on their seperate ways. 40 years later now, the man writes him a letter replaying the entire hurtful experience, and is still angry and hurt with him.

He said we need to start each new day fresh without keeping record of wrongs, being very quick to forgive and let go. He talked about the importance of not living in the past, and by truly accepting God's grace for us, we'd bestow that on others. He prayed that we'd all never get over God's grace, that it would continue to amaze us, and fill us with gratitude each day.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

It goes too fast

~Not long ago, he was my baby. He's turning 5 this week. I realized how fast he moves from the moment he wakes up until the moment he closes his eyes at night, and how I am involved in less and less of all those moments throughout the day. I realized that he's growing away from me. I know he should, I know that this is what is supposed to happen, and I am very happy of who he is, but I had no idea how bad it would hurt. Today, while the other boys napped, instead of stealing some alone time for me by handing him some books, or putting in a movie, I layed on the floor with him and we talked. I realized he's a person, that I can have a relationship with. He educated me on Star wars, and we talked about how we should cut his hair. We picked our first cherry tomato, and colored some pictures. When we heard the little ones waking up, he hugged me, and I told him I missed him. He hugged me harder.

~I realized the importance of getting to know your kids, and how I haven't been doing that enough. I seem to try to get through to the next thing all the time, that I don't spend much time in the moment.
I am glad that he's older and that I have the priviledge of having a relationship with such an amazing person, but when I hold him, apart of me remembers his smiling baby face, and my heart squeezes inside my chest.
Tomorrow will come, and life will pick back up it's usual fast pace, and I won't be able to keep up with him, while feeding my baby, and holding my 2 year old, and there he'll be as always one step ahead, with one foot out the door. I need to remember to freeze it once in awhile, to stop things when we do have the chance, to live in that moment whenever we can, and talk to him, because he's not a baby anymore.


Your best Piece of Parenting Advice....

...."You can raise your kids or you can grow your kids. Growing them means just giving them food water and necessities, raising them means getting to know them, building a relationship with them and guiding them with morals, values, and love."

...."You can tell your child a million things, but it's what you do they'll remember." Ginger Colllins

...."Open your ears before your mouth, listen to the child, remember being the age of the child, and remember how you felt in similar circumstances." Michelle Yendall

...."Plan on getting nothing done." Anna Fontenot

..."Cultivate a sense of humor." Jennifer Green

..."Enjoy the moment, because it will be over soon." Misha Neidorfler

(taken from Real Simple Family magazine)

So what is your best piece of parenting advice you've received or given?

Friday, August 10, 2007

This will make you laugh.

~I don't understand why is it funny to put things on cats, but it is, and this blog will cheer you up, make you laugh or at least smile.

Get Checked

If you are a woman without Health Insurance....Go to this site to find information on getting low cost mammogram and pap tests.

Cancer Burden†

• In 2003*, 181,646 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 41,619 women died from breast cancer.

• In 2003*, 11,820 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,919 women died from cervical cancer.

†U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 2003 Incidence and Mortality. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2007.
*The most recent year for which statistics are currently available.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 pound thin beef (steak) strips
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 (.87 ounce) package Brown Gravy Mix
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tsp. ginger powder, (or some fresh ginger-grated)
1 clove garlic minced
Can of water chestnuts
Can of mini corns

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef strips; saute 3-4 minutes; add in broccoli, ginger and garlic.
Combine Gravy Mix, water and black pepper. Pour over beef mixture. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 5-8 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Add water chestnuts and mini corns to heat up.
~Serve over brown rice, with some soy sauce.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Anais Nin

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

~Anais Nin


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

9 months and 12 inches apart

Aiden and Zion are cousins, and they are now best friends. They immediately bonded after having not seen each other since they were babies. They had a great time together on this vacation, speaking their own languages, running through the house with blanket capes, yelling "suppa man!" and "joo joo man!" They shared their food and had fun giggling late into the night. They were sad to say goodbye, and it was hard to watch these two little ones hug and cry. We know, and can assure them that they will see each other again, and that this is just the beginning of their lifelong friendship and relationship.

~After the goodbyes, we left the house at 7:30am and arrived at our home in TN., around 8:00pm. Our flights were long, but there were no tears or any problems, we all got naps, were so glad to be home safe. Now the challenge is to get the baby to sleep through the night and back on his schedule, so any suggestions would be helpful!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

August 5th = 7 happy years....

~Brody and I have been married for 7 years now, and I can honestly say they have been the best years of my life. I thank God every day for Brody, and for bringing me a husband that would fit so perfectly with me. We've laughed through great times, cried through hard times, all the while falling more and more in love. He puts up with me, he understands me, he makes me laugh, he helps me, he is my partner, and my best friend.

Happy 7th Anniversary Brody, I love you.

(We are wrapping up our vacation, saying our goodbyes and will be spending all day Monday traveling home...)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

~This is very easy and yummy. I use less green chile peppers when making this for kids.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (1 pound) package frozen pepper and onion stir fry mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
4 (14 ounce) cans vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn
12 ounces tortilla chips
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the pepper and onion stir fry mix, garlic, and cumin, and cook 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix in the tomatoes and chile peppers. Pour in the broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes.
Mix corn into the soup, and continue cooking 5 minutes. Serve in bowls over equal amounts of tortilla chips. Top with cheese and avocado.

(recipe from All Recipes)


Celebrating in Tahoe

~We are celebrating our 7th Anniversary in Lake Tahoe. This place is so beautiful. I grew up living an hour from here, and we spent a lot of time up here biking, hiking and swimming. I have really missed this place! Last night we went up to the top of a mountain in a cable car, up to 8200 feet. It was a beautiful sight. We ate some dinner and played a game of gigantic checkers, (I lost badly) and then retreated to our room, donated to us by some wonderful friends. We were up all night with the baby, who has not slept good this entire trip, and slept possibly the worst last night! Nonetheless, we are enjoying our retreat up to Lake Tahoe, which is in my opinion, the best place to vacation to in CA. (If you are ever wondering where you should go in CA)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Quote~ John E. Southard

"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. "
— John E. Southard