Saturday, June 15, 2013

Being A Mom Is...

Being a mom is being an investigator; What's that stain? Where did that come from? Who done it? When will Caillou end?  Why is it not bedtime yet? If you happen to be a mom with a blog, it also makes you and investigative reporter! Here is my hard hitting investigative report on the hole in the guitar.

At approximately 1:30pm on June 15, 2013 it was discovered that Chloe's acoustic guitar had a hole in the back of it measuring 1.5 inches in diameter. Chloe had just arrived back home after being away with friends over night. She shrieked then began making accusations which were quickly shot down by the head detective (A.K.A myself).
Elijah was the first suspect who quickly started putting the blame onto Gavin, even making an eye witness account as to how it happened. The story didn't stick well with those around so more questioning continued. Again Chloe made more accusations about how it happened, citing that Elijah probably used it as a step stool to reach her blue Powerade on the shelf, because it too was gone. I informed her that, no, I removed the beverage from her room, which I found on her dresser, since it is not allowed in there. I knew my chances of getting honest information was running thin, so I changed my demeanor and asked once more, "Elijah, I would really appreciate the true story of what happened."
He replied, "I was trying to reach the Powerade, it fell and landed on the guitar."
Ah, hah! That makes perfect sense! The Powerade fell from a distance of approximately 6 feet from the closet shelf onto the unsuspecting guitar which was laying face down on the closet floor. It landed cap down puncturing a lid sized hole onto the back surface.  
As judge (my other duty), I determined that both parties, Chloe and Elijah, are guilty! Chloe I believe has learned her lesson for bringing beverages into her room- though future infractions will be disciplined as a secondary event, she will get off this time due to the loss of her beloved guitar. Elijah is guilty of attempting to take Chloe's items from her closet and damaging her property in the process. There will be a meeting with my council to determine how replacement or repayment will take place.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stories From The Past

I have been meaning to write out some stories from my life and never get around to it. I suppose I should start-now! I will start out with "how I met your father" it is a love story without an ending, be prepared for mushy.
(photo by Photography By Joyelle)

When Chloe was 3, almost 4, I started to really question what my future held-as far as dating was concerned. I had only really been on one date in the previous 4 years-okay 1 and 1/10 of a date -1/10 because we left and were heading to a theater and I knew it was a waste of my time (freaked out a little) and asked to be taken back to my car. I earned myself the title of "Black Widow" from all my friends after that, thanks to that moment and turning down a number of other guys.
I began praying harder for clarity and peace. I soon knew that God wanted me to rely on him and put my hope in him and not a husband. I prayed that I just wanted to know there was a man for me, not who or when, just that one day it would happen. Immediately God showed me Bobby (ahem, Robert), to which I nearly doubled over in laughter and said "haha funny joke God-I hate that guy!"
Back story-two years prior I had taken on a few shifts at the Starbucks he worked at. The store was disgusting! Filthy! When I got there I was assigned ALL of the daily duties, you know the ones normally split between 10 people to be done over the course of 18 hours. All of them. Bobby didn't do this, but he came into his shift halfway through my cleaning spree, and leaned on the counter while I was on my knees scrubbing mildew. He sat there talking and doing not much of anything, then looked at me and laughed. He said, "you don't even work at this store and you are the only one cleaning!" That one comment infuriated me more than I can explain. I'm normally pretty easy going, but that made my blood boil! Occasionally he would come into my store for a drink and after he left I would tell everyone what and arrogant jerk he was (sorry hunny!). I saw him in church a few times and decided to be friendly and say hi, he blew me off-twice. Once even asking, "who are you?"

Alright back to my story; I get asked, "how did God show you it was Bobby?" after this frequently. Well it was a moment I can't quite put into words, but I will try. I was in church when I was praying this and Bobby was sitting 3 rows in front of me, there were other people between us and the room went dark, everyone disappeared and a glowing light came down on Bobby and I just "knew". Only there was more to it-way more in the months that followed, you will just have to trust me on this. If you have had spiritual experiences you understand that it cant be put into words, there are colors and emotions that don't even have names. So after I picked myself up from laughing at God, I felt a complete peace and went on to stop even hoping to find "the one" instead I focused on my relationship with God. A few months went by and I forgot about it(don't ask how I could forget that, I think it was intentional)   . He was coming into my store more and more frequently to study. Eventually we started talking. I would go out on my breaks and vent to him since he understood what was going on in the store. Then my breaks started getting longer, by accident... One day he asked for my number as I was heading back to work. I said, "no" laughed and walked off-in my Black Widow style. A few days later we were talking again and he reached over and stole my phone and called his own. Effectively stealing my phone number. We would talk on the phone for hours, text a million times, then fall asleep for an hour or 2 before heading back to our 5am shifts. During that time we both began having dreams about each other and about each others pasts and futures. Things that only God could have shown us. In the morning we would call each other and ask about what we had dreamed only to find out it was something that had happened to them or in their past. There was so much going on spiritually between us even though we were not "dating" by the modern term of the word. The day we talked about dating we agreed, we were not going to "date" just to date, we were going to be married. I bought my dress and had the church booked before I even got my ring! Less than 5 months later we were married! I was in love then, and now, now I am so in love, I am addicted, I am bound and completely connect. He is my other half. 
 Have times always been easy? No. People who say that are lying or were just married yesterday. Love is continuing the action of care and affection even when your feelings are not in line. Love is a commitment to the other. Stress will come, sleepless nights will come, life will happen, hormones change. Love is honoring the commitment you made at the alter, even if you do not want to, because that life that happened, or stress that came, it will leave, it will change again. For better or worse, from better to worse and back from worse to better again.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Soup Weather Is HERE!

It finally feels like Fall and I am so glad! I have been missing soups and it is so hard to eat a steamy bowl of soup when it is 98 degrees outside. Last night I made (decaf) Pumpkin Lattes for everyone and we all enjoyed them. The kids were squealing as they drank their "coffee." I used canned pumpkin puree and had half a can leftover-assuming I would just make another batch another day it was saved. Come lunch time today all I wanted was soup-it didn't matter what kind but I HAD to have soup! Then I remembered the pumpkin! My creative juices started flowing-though not as much as I was salivating. The concoction I came up with is both delicious and wholesome, it is also low calorie (until you start dipping saltines into it...) it also is not overpoweringly pumpkin-y like many pumpkin soups I have tried in the past. Right now the kids are diving into theirs, Elijah took a break to spoon feed Addie and complain that she got food on "his" rock and roll shirt-from when he was a baby. I made half of the recipe below for myself, Addie, and Elijah (who had just eaten a pb&j also). This should make about 6-8 side servings or 3 good size main dishes, For around $4 maybe less.

Easy Peppered Pumpkin Soup
6 carrots -or more if you wish -diced or sliced
1/2 stalk celery-diced or sliced
1/2 small yellow onion-diced
2 bouillon cubes (I use "No-chick'n")
1 15oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree
Cornstarch (for thicker soup)

Place carrots, celery, onion, and bouillon into a medium to large sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover veggies. Bring to boil then simmer until veggies are tender. At this point I mashed some of the veggies with a whisk so there weren't any large chunks-but not completely I like some chunk. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk in well. Add a dash or 2 of pepper. If soup is too runny put 1-2 tsp cornstarch in about 2 Tbl COLD water and mix well, then add to hot soup and bring back to low boil. Once placed into serving dishes sprinkle on more pepper. We ate ours with saltines. Enjoy!
Some stores sell a frozen "mirepox blend" which is carrot, onion, and celery- here it is 88 cents-though fresh is always better!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

Yawn, I have been lazy...or overworked. I never find the time to keep up on here anymore, I'm sorry. I know so many of you enjoy laughing at my days, so here is a quick laugh and a recipe (sorry it has to do with poop, yeah I know it doesn't go well with a recipe).
A few days ago Addie walked up to me in the process of going number 2, I asked if she was and and she replied "poop" then went and got the potty chair-better late than never? The following day I saw "the look" and asked if she needed to go poop-we haven't been potty training her up to this point. She immediately ran to the bathroom and brought the potty out, then began undoing her diaper, then went-YAY! Later that day she pointed to her hiney and said "poop" stripped down then, again, ran to the bathroom and fetched the potty chair. She set it down and was instantly distracted by daddy's laugh from the other room. She paused and watched him for a moment then headed back to sit down on her throne-but wait! Who ids that cute thing in the mirror? She climbed up on a bench and began dancing. Naked. In front of the mirror. Then pooped. While dancing. In front of the mirror. So it looks like we have a ways to go as far as distractions are concerned, but I will enjoy her desire to be potty trained-unlike her 3 1/2 year old brother who just last week went back to underwear!
Now, forget about the poop, on to the recipe!
When my husband asked for theses this morning and I Googled recipes I wasn't happy with any, so I winged it.

Pumpkin pancakes

2 1/2 c flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine dry ingredients, then add;
1 15oz can pure pumpkin puree
2 Tbl flaxseed
2 Tbl oil
1 Tbl molasses
2 cups soy milk
1/4 water -more if batter is too thick
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Stir well and cook like a pancake. If you need more instruction on that part I am sure there are tutorials ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Luscious Lips! Ooh La La!

Sorry it has been so long since I have graced your screen with my words, life has been a bit crazy for some time now. For starters we have another little bit on the way, due February 3, 2012! A bit of a surprise to us and others considering my husband "got snipped" early this year! We are excited though as clearly God willed this little bundle into being!
So what pearl of wisdom can I leave you with today? Just a touch of fear and a resolution to one tiny part of it.
Lip gloss and chap stick!
Little girls beg for it so they can feel a little more grown up. At first I allowed chap stick and avoided giving Chloe lip gloss at all cost. Eventually, however, she attained it, one way or another. An entire container of it. So the other day when I saw her applying it, I asked her to bring it to me so I could read the ingredients.
First let me say that the FDA does NOT have control over cosmetics, those companies can put almost any chemical, toxin, and even known carcinogens into makeup, shampoo, mascara, and baby lotion (that goes for diapers, wipes, washes, shampoos, creams, you name it). Some of the most popular brands are the worst of the worst. (You can check out brands you use here and see how they rank). It is scary, it is sad, and it sucks that these companies advertise to our emotions and pretend that their products are "gentle" and that they help us care for our children. They don't, most (there may be a few good ones), they care about green-but it is not the earth.
So, what is in this little tube of lip gloss, that is marketed towards little girls? Mineral oil, Hydrogenated polyisobutene, ethylhexyl palmitate, silica, BHT, Propylparaben, and fragrance. So I checked them out (already knowing that mineral oil is not good for you, parabens are linked to cancers, and BHT is bad) many of the ingredients have not been tested-let alone for use on kids!
So we made our own! And you can too, the hardest part was washing out the roller tubes full of chemicals-which gave me a migraine just from breathing in around them, how safe can they be?
Once you wash them out-or think you have, roll up a napkin, squeeze it in and twist. Then fill half way with water, add a drop of dish soap, shake then rinse thoroughly. Now you only need 2 ingredients
olive oil or coconut oil
pure extract (peppermint, vanilla, or almond work great)
Fill the tube about 3/4 of the way and add 2 drops of extract. replace the roller ball and lid, then shake well. Your done! You did it, you made a safe, moisturizing lip gloss that is safe for your children to lick off their lips! It works better than chap stick at moisturizing and will assist in healing dry, cracked, burned lips. Did I mention that olive oil is also used by many women to prevent aging? Your lips will love you for it! We also did one tube using 1 drop of pure lavender oil-do not put more than 2 drops max. Then you have an age defying aromatherapy lip gloss! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Meaning To Easter Eggs

My daughter Chloe always asks the deepest theological questions when I go to tuck her in bed. Maybe I need to start accounting for that and send her to bed 30 minutes earlier... So tonights question is one that is hard for people of any age to grasp "How did God start? Cause he didn't just go 'bloop' and appear-I mean when did he get made?" Did I mention she is 8? I was speechless for a moment. I told her that he has been around forever. Then I admitted that this is an area I struggle understanding and that it is really hard for any adult or child to truly grasp no beginning or end thing. Eternity is hard to describe if you think about it. Then I saw half of an Easter Egg on her floor. (thank you Lord I know it was left there for a reason!). I held it sideways then asked her what shape it is.
"A circle," there was a look of 'duh' with the answer.
"So where does the circle start?"
As I am explaining this it is being explained to me as well, I was taught in school that a line <-> is never ending...but what if there is a wall 5 miles -> that way? And there is infinity but that doesn't come up much in my daily life.
I am glad it clicked with her and that she then asked with a big grin "so that means Heaven will never end?" I love seeing what we have been teaching sink in!
So why do we not have a symbol for God? The cross represents Jesus and how he died for us-I would rather have a loving symbol than a torture device though. I purpose a circle! Never beginning, never ending. It seems like a great reason to be using (plastic) Easter eggs this year!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dalmas! What You Have Never Heard Of Them?

All the cool people are doing it! Like Italians and Greeks...and stuff.Dalmas are stuffed grape leaves. Stuffed with what you ask? I'm getting there. We all know the benefits of grapes and wine :) so you can imagine the benefit of eating the actual leaf-go ahead imagine, because there are more than I am going to list. Things like reduction in edema, heart healthy stuff, and only about 2 calories per leaf. Traditionally they would be stuffed with a rice mixture usually containing meat of some sort. Lets just say that when I made them they were gone almost instantly, and I thought I had made enough for a few days-silly me! First of all, where do you find this oddity? I found it at HEB I am sure some Kroger's carry them but I did not find them at the one near us-though I can not seem to find most forms of healthy food there so I am not surprised. Second, prior to making these you will need to do 2 things cook rice (I use whole grain), and blanch the leaves.
To blanch the leaves, remove the amount you will be using-what the heck use the whole jar. Gently un-roll them and lay them out, then place them in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Don't stir just let them be. Carefully remove them from the water and let the leaves cool while you prepare the rice mixture.
Here it goes-Im sorry I dont measure things when experimenting
Zingy Dalmas
Cooked Rice approx 3 cups if you are using the whole jar of leaves
Lemons 2 (reserve 2tsps juice for later)
Italian seasoning
Garlic pepper
sauteed garlic and onion (optional)
olive oil

Mix the seasonings to taste into rice. zest one lemon and mix that in as well. Then squeeze in some good ol lemon juice, again "to taste". Add onion and garlic if using.
Then comes the hard part-rolling! You will use 1-2 TBL of the rice mixture per leaf. Place the mixture in the center of the leaf then fold the side closest to you over the rice. Press down gently to pack the rice snuggly, then fold the sides over (right and left side) then roll forward till it is a snuggly wrapped dalma. Why is this hard? You will find out for yourself once you start, but the leaves tear easy! They are pretty small when finished-about the size of a womans thumb. Place in container and use remaining lemon juice and olive oil to drizzle over dalmas to keep moist and add an extra zing. The reason I do not use salt is that the dalmas come in a salty brine, if you were to be so fortunate as to have fresh leaves you will want to A. blanch them longer, and B use salt.
Use hummus to dip them in-but that is a whole post in itself! So for now I will recommend the Sabra brand-the original, roasted red pepper, and roasted pine nut are all great-oh and the roasted garlic.