Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bullet

Bullet post! Cause today is a busy day.
  • Today I start a 3-week job for my husband's company making phone calls from home. Easy. Lets see how it goes with the kids.... Abby is getting paid to play with Will all day, haha. Which is good for her, because she has to do work to earn money to buy her secret santa gift.
  • I feel sick today. I guess that is a good sign. 
  • We are ordering pizza for lunch. Because I am tired, have work to do, and I really want a buffalo chicken sandwich.
  • I am now slightly concerned that I won't actually be able to eat the above mentioned sandwich.
  • My Christmas cards are all ready to go - I just need to get stamps!
  • I made an insurance mistake, and now have to fill out a completely different form and send in 50 million copies of different paperwork items all over again, because I had the incorrect application. Ack! Oh well. 
  • Abby is doing better today, but is still missing Penny.
  • It doesn't help that her little brother keeps asking where Penny is... eek.
  • I'm not sure I can give up caffeine for this pregnancy. Once my current coffee runs out, I am going to replace it with decaf and then stop drinking sodas. I am going to need big time prayers when that happens. For those of you who also drink coffee to get you through the day - you know what I mean.
  • Being out of printed ink in a homeschool family, is a very bad thing!
  • I got a kids prayer book for Abby, and she likes to turn the prayers into songs. I love it.
  • Will hates wearing pants. Sigh. 
  • Our Jesse Tree and Advent wreath devotions are going well. I'm quite pleased.
  • Putting out the Christmas candy within sight of the 2 year old was a bad idea...

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Mass Translation and the Threats

Ok, so the title of this post is talking about 2 completely different things! Haha.

So, the new translation of the mass was introduced officially. We actually enjoyed it. Of course, we haven't been saying things a certain way for us our whole lives, but I thought the wording was much more "royal" sounding and traditional, which I liked, and I loved that more was sung rather than just spoken. I felt it was much more powerful to me emotionally. It is sad to me that I have seen so many articles about people complaining about the mass translation. Although I'm sure the news is making it into a much bigger issue than it truly is - at least I hope so. But as for my family, we thought it was beautiful (and my husband who is still memorizing things anyway, really liked that everyone was having to hold a paper with the words and not just him, haha!)


Now, the "Threats". We have had so many people say we are having twins, that we are nearly convinced it is! Haha. We will know on the 19th I guess! Twins do run in my family, and I feel WAY more exhausted this time around than I did in my other pregnancies (although, I do have a 2 year old running around, which I never had before during pregnancy either). I am calling them "threats" because, I dunno, it just sounds scary! Its like people are almost threatening us with it, OH TWINS! It's gonna be twins and you will be so tired! Oh what will you do with twins! Geez, I dunno - I hadn't even considered it until about 10 different people brought it up! Of course, if it IS twins I will be very joyful and thrilled, albeit a little bit terrified! Haha. And if its not, well I will still be joyful and thrilled to have 1 sweet little one.

A sad day for Abby...

Abby has pet rats. She loves them and cuddles them and plays with them. Its too cute. But this morning we found that Penny the rat had died sometime during the night. I had noticed over the past month or so, that there were some tumors (in both her rats). I talked to Abby about them, and we knew it was a possibility that one or both could pass sometime soon. I guess we just weren't expecting it to be today, or so soon. Last night Penny seemed fine, but I guess that is how it often is. We got them as older rats, so even from the beginning we knew they wouldn't be with us for that long. Abby is just having a really hard time, understandably. I'm not sure how to comfort her, so I just hold her while she cries. She is holding the other rat now, Callie, because she thinks it will make her feel better. I hope so. I tried the dogs, and they didn't bring her any comfort. So maybe holding Penny's little friend will bring her some peace. Adam is back at work today. So I had to handle the cleanup alone. It was unpleasant, but at least Abby wasn't there to see all of that. Its a sad day. I'm not sure what to do. So we will just go about our day, and Abby can lay down and cry and do whatever she needs to do today. My poor sweet girl.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent

...begins tomorrow! A new church year, the beginning of Advent, our family is very excited! We are doing our holidays quite a bit differently this year due to some pretty big changes we have had around here, but we are very excited!

We are going to be doing a family advent wreath, which we blessed before dinner this evening, and we will be doing a Jesse Tree and letting the kids color little paper ornaments this year to put on the tree each day. We will be celebrating St. Nicholas day with stockings, which the kids are super excited about.

I still have quite a bit of holiday shopping to do, but thats ok. Most of it is going to be online through Amazon (yay Amazon!), so it shouldn't be too bad. I'm feeling super festive and happy this year about Christmas. We aren't really going to be doing any traveling. We will visit local friends and family, but thats about it. We discussed traveling, but I've been so tired, and I have a doctor's appointment now, and with Adam's work schedule, it was going to be tricky and stressful. I didn't want to do that this year, since I'm sure next year will be mandatory traveling with the new baby, in order to meet everyone. This year we will take it easy.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We found out we will be hosting the Taylor family Thanksgiving beginning next year, so someone please clue me in on how to cook a turkey between now and then, thanks! Haha.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray! It's Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!! I hope you are all blessed with a beautiful day, surrounded by your loved ones and delicious food! Don't forget to be thankful for everyone in your life today, and for all the things that God has blessed you with. I've had a rough morning, but I keep reminding myself of all the amazing blessings God has given me! He is so good!
I am off to go finish up my assigned foods for the year, but before I do, let me finish off with my Thankful Thursday post, on this day of all days to be thankful! =o)

Today I am so very thankful:
1. For my husband. I love him dearly, even when he makes me so mad I want to punch him. He makes me laugh, he gave me 2 beautiful children, with #3 on the way, and he works so hard to provide us with everything we need and more. He is a good man, he loves Jesus, and he puts up with me. I am so very thankful for that!
2. For my Abby. We are very much alike, and we butt heads constantly, but she has taught me so much and is probably one of the best big sisters in the world! She is such a little mom, and her heart and empathy for others is huge. She loves justice, she thinks everyone should be happy and loved, and she is just a little bit crazy and silly. I've had to learn to adjust myself a lot because of her, and she has helped me many times in my faith. She has a deep understanding of things regarding faith just naturally, and her love for God is so sweet.
3. For my William. Oh this boy. He keeps me on my toes. He is nonstop, and while he is lacking the drama that came with Abby, his rambunctious and hilarious personality has its own issues. When I am about at the end of my rope, his crazy funny antics relieve the pressure I am feeling and he gives me a moment to restart. He loves people, but in a different way than Abby. His is not nurturing so much as it is a lightening. He is so random and funny, and I don't know how I would get through my days sometimes without his humor.
4. For this new little one we are expecting. I get so excited thinking about what this baby will look like, will be like, what new dimension and blessings (and stress, haha) will be added to this family with the addition of this new babe. I am so thankful that this baby is a result of my husband's decision to follow the church's teaching about life and children, and that we were so quickly blessed with another child for our family after his heart and mind were changed. This baby, to me, is a confirmation of the gift of life.
5. For family and friends who love us and have supported us in all the changes we have been experiencing lately. With our faith, with our family, with our upcoming move, just everything. It has been such a blessing to feel loved and supported by so many.
6. That we have a home to be moving to in the new year. The space and yard will be such a blessing to my entire family, and I think it will help me a lot in managing my home and in learning to accept some things about my vocation in life that have been difficult for me. It will undoubtedly be more work for all of to have an actual home to maintain, but the benefits and joys it brings will far outweigh any of the things that might make it more work.
7. For a beautiful day to spend with family, and that we can all be together. That my husband is blessed with a job where we know holidays will always be off and he will be home with us, and that we can all be together to celebrate and be a family.
8. For family traditions and delicious food. Eating the same thing every year, and knowing what to expect, just feels so homey and comforting, and I am really appreciating that more as I get older.
9. For my crock pot being areeable, and holding up to one more day of cooking - it has a crack in it that I noticed this morning, but I think its pulling itself together for me today. =o)
10. That I am blessed with more than enough. Now I pray that I will remember that even after this day of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Prep

Preparing for Thanksgiving tomorrow! The kids are so excited. I have mashed potatoes cooking today, and I will finish cooking them tomorrow in the crock pot. I've also got to make sweet potatoes tomorrow (we do cajun, not sweet marshmallow ones) and the green bean casserole. Yum! Listening to the kids play, singing Thanksgiving songs, and getting ready for a nice long weekend with my family. Love!

On another note, Adam's grandma has an aneurism that she has had for a while, but it has worsened and she needs to have surgery on it. They will be doing a CAT scan next week to determine the exact type of surgery necessary to fix the issue. She is obviously worried, but has also been informed that she needs to stop smoking in order to have the surgery (which we have been pestering Adam's entire family to stop doing for years anyway!). So if you could pray for her and Adam's family - everyone in the family is going to stop smoking with her to offer their support. Thanksgiving over there could be a bit cranky tomorrow... and of course we want a successful surgery and healthy Great Granny too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pregzilla



That's the new name my husband has given me. Isn't he just the sweetest? Although, I can't say I am undeserving. Sigh.

If this t-shirt shows up though, we might have a serious problem. Talk about going on a rampage...

Monday, November 21, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream...

I am sooooooo tired. I don't remember feeling this way with prior pregnancies. I crawl into bed as soon as the kids pass out, I take a nap during the day, and all day I'm just thinking of bed. And when I am getting a ton of sleep (I have to admit, it HAS been nice....) I am having weird pregnancy dreams.

Today during my nap with Will (um, yay! I forgot how much I loved taking naps), I had a dream that we went to our friends house - the ones who have all my cloth diapering stuff - and the husband was asking his wife "Where is their stuff?! What did you do with it?!" And she totally lied to him and said she gave it all away or it got old blablabla, and then I looked in her living room and she had storage shelving like would be in a garage all along the ceiling (I know, odd and makes no sense, but it was there) and I SAW my big PUL bag that I had given her all the cloth diaper stuff in. So while Adam was in the other room watching them argue with each other, I climbed on furniture and got my bag of diapers and ran out of the house with it and started throwing it into the trunk - but the trunk was full of tons of baby stuff that I guess we had been going around and collecting from other people we know who I had lent it out to, and I couldn't fit it in, so I kept trying to jam it all in. I was trying so hard to shut the trunk that the trunk like ripped and I realized we had been ripped off when we bought our car because the trunk was made of cheap plastic! I was freaking out and knew we were going to get caught, so I just started shoving things inside the car on top of the kids and started screaming at Adam to run that we had to go NOW NOW NOW.

Apparently I am kinda a pregnant thief.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picture Post!

...Because I have been so neglectful lately.


Finally, some pictures from Abby's race! It was an early morning (can't you tell? haha). We had to BE there at 7 - which meant getting up far too early in order to eat breakfast, get ready, and drive there.


This is her "Girls on the Run" group that she joined to practice and run with. They all completed the 5K, which is great!


And here is my Lady - whose name is not very fitting to her because she is not in the LEAST bit lady-like. Doesn't she just look like a naughty? I love her anyways.



Sometimes I get my camera, and find out that some little sneakies have been using it. How do I know? Because I find lovely gems like these when I download all the pictures...




Moving on...

 I've been trying some new dinners lately, and one we REALLY like is this Italian Frittata. It is
 so amazingly simple and delicious.

 

And here is a picture I took recently of my kiddos. I love it. Its really one of the best I've been able to get in a long time - sad really, haha. But it just shows them how they are really well. I love that Will's hair is just a mess and crazy. He has curls and his hair is more red than this picture, but the mess of the hair is what I deal with on a daily basis. It is untameable...but I refuse to cut it short, haha.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Thirsties Duos?

SO - I need to buy cloth diapers again. I loaned out my diapers to a friend...and well. Lets just say I doubt they are going to be returned.

I loved my thirsties covers - and I see now they have Thirsties duo wraps. Has anyone tried these? They only seem to be about a dollar more than the regular covers, which seems like it would be more cost effective...but I'm wondering if they truly work as well as the regular Thirsties.

I'm just going to go with prefolds and my Thirsties this time around. I found before with my fitteds and pocket diapers that I had as well, that it just wasn't worth the extra effort or money for me to invest in those. So I won't be again.  I'm curious about others experience with the Duos though. So if you've used them, let me know!

Children are a Blessing!

I read an article this morning, which made me feel so sad. It discusses that the number of births in the U.S. have gone down every year for the past 3 years - while some of this is good news like the teen birth rate dropping 9% (even then I don't feel 100% comfortable saying it is "good" only because I know most of that is probably through birth control and abortion, and not abstinence as it should be, sigh,) most of the article was just so sad to me, because it shows the mindset our country has towards children.

I have encountered this attitude several times in recent weeks, and the article just reflected that same thing that I have been hearing from people I know. For example, I have been told by several married acquaintances that they won't be having children either because they want to be by themselves as a couple and don't really want to deal with children, or they can't afford it. Now, I don't know their financial situation, but I know ours, and we live on a very restricted income and keep a tight budget. Its not easy to have one parent stay home now - at least, it isn't easy to do and live the lifestyle that society tells us we should be living! We have had many people comment that we must be "rich" to be having a third child, and several have asked how we afford everything. My answer is usually "Its cheaper than you think, and God always provides". And both are so very true. Don't get me wrong, it costs money to have children, but no where near, at least in our experience, what "they" tell you it is going to cost. Especially if you are responsible about it, don't buy silly baby things you don't need, practice simplicity and modesty in your lifestyle, etc. We meal plan and budget, we cloth diaper (mostly), we breastfeed (when possible), we don't expect to be paying completely for our kids college or for them each to be handed a car, and we also don't let them watch commercials and we don't buy them every new fangled toy they see or want. We aren't in 10 different activities, and we homeschool. There is so much that can be to "save" money and live reasonably well on a limited income. What it really comes down to is what type of lifestyle are you living and what are you expecting?

In the article, parents were getting their tubes tied to avoid having children. A couple who has been longing for children stopped trying to conceive because one of them lost their job. It just breaks my heart when people turn away from these gifts of God because of a lifestyle choice, or just ignorance. I just feel so sad about it. I guess it hits close to me right now, since even though we are so excited, and so many people around us are excited, about this new baby, we also know that there are many people who have a negative feeling about our having a third child. They may not all voice it, but you can tell when people aren't excited and happy for you. I don't feel hurt or badly about it, those reactions by those people were actually expected, but it makes me just so sad for all those people out there who don't really understand the joy and blessing of having children. Even on those crazy terrible days, what a blessing! I suppose I better get used to the comments, stares, looks, etc. now. I have heard from several people with large families that once they went from 2 to 3 children all of a sudden the "comments" even from total strangers sometimes began. Adam said we should "Duggar it up" just to show them. ;o)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday - on Thursday!!! (Just barely)

Aha! Before I run out of Thursday! ;o)

I am so very thankful

1. That we survived the incident earlier today! And are none too worse for the wear.
2. That I have not yet been having any "morning sickness", because I think today might have done me in if I had been! haha.
3. For a delicious dinner "out" that we brought home and enjoyed with the sickies. Chips and salsa are tasty, but now my stomach is none too pleased. This has happened in both my previous pregnancies, so I'm glad I was able to enjoy that last bit of salsa for 9 months.
4. For getting to cuddle up on my couch and watch tv with my 2 kiddos this evening. They need some extra cuddle time over the next few months I think.
5. That my amazing doctor that I had with William is still in town and accepting my insurance! While it isn't exactly what I hoped for, it will be covered financially, and I will be at peace because I truly trust this doctor and I know she will listen to me and my hopes for this pregnancy and birth. What more can you truly ask for or expect?
6. For a daughter who loves to be the little mom, and is ever so helpful, even when her Mommy is having a nervous breakdown - especially when her Mommy is having a nervous breakdown.
7. For a son who will randomly say I love you, and knows when you need a little squeeze and extra love.
8. For a husband who took on sick child duty this evening for a while, to give me a break.
9. For all of our needs being met, and being blessed far more than we often realize.
10. For this beautiful day with my kids, and every moment of it, even the ones that I wished weren't happening. Because someday, its days like today that I will look back on, remember, and laugh about. And that, I treasure.

Kelli and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Poop Incident

I gave you  fair warning. This is a poop story.

And I am only posting it, because I am sure it will make some of you other moms feel like you aren't alone in the not so joyous moments of parenthood. I am sure someday I will laugh about this. But not today.

The kids were quiet and happy, so I thought I could run to the restroom. Ha! Has anyone else noticed that as soon as you take the opportunity to go to the restroom, some child desperately needs to go? We only have 1 bathroom (less than 2 months Kelli...less than 2 months...) so of course I hear this banging on the door of a child desperately needing to go. I thought, surely this child can wait just a minute. I was oh so wrong.

As I rushed out the bathroom to get the little bugger, I realized it was indeed too late. The underwear contained a bulge that indicated something terrible had just occurred inside of them. I brought my sweet darling son into the bathroom to clean him up - I wasn't mad. He tried. He just really had to go and he hadn't been feeling well. No big deal. Until he starts wiggling. You know how you try to keep them so totally still and just slowly peel the underwear down and keep the mess contained? Well this plan was about to fail, so as I was freaking out and trying to get him to listen and be still, of course he starts saying he will help and he will try and begins to wiggle all the more vigorously. Failure. Poop plops onto the tile floor. Ok - no big deal. Throw him up on the toilet and I can clean this up real quick while he sits there, then I will handle him.

But oh NOOOOOO because who should then run into the room but my not so little puppy who then begins to EAT the poop. I am not even joking. And it gets worse. You may want to grip the sides of your seat. I grab her while screaming (I lost all control here, it was just too much at this point) and flung the dog into the bathtub, but on the way there she dropped poop out of her mouth and let it fall all over Will's legs as he is sitting there ever so innocently on the potty - btw this dog who never listens and fights to get out of the tub stayed in there, I am assuming because she saw the crazy look in my eye. Either that or as God looked on in amusement he took this small amount of pity on me. However, she must have stepped in the poop when I grabbed her, because as she was running about in the tub, she was smearing poop all over it.

At this point I realize I am in over my head, and I call for Abby to come help me. She sees the mess and is just mortified, and I instruct her to run and get me the cleaner I need and paper towels. She returns with paper towels - and the wrong cleaner. I send her back. Again she returns...with the wrong cleaner. Third times the charm right? Nope. Not the right cleaner. You would think I would just take whatever she had and make it work, but no. I needed the right cleaner, because I am obsessive and crazy. So I had Abby hold down the poop situation while I went and got the right cleaner. All the while steam is coming out my nose and my eyes have glazed over and Abby is smartly keeping quiet to not tempt the mommy beast.

I come back with the cleaner, all is well. Except it ISN'T because right when all seems to be fine, when it all seems to be coming to a close, one more thing must go terribly wrong! Abby steps in the poop on her way out, freaks out, and flings all the poop clinging to her foot into the hallway and onto the carpet.

It's all clean now. And we all survived. But for a little while there... I was doubtful we'd get through it. Go ahead. You can laugh at me. I would have laughed at you.

Sick =o(

Oh dear. Looks like a stomach bug is sweeping through the house. Abby was sick last week with it, but she is old enough and at the point where she just prefers to handle it herself unless it gets really bad, so that was a breeze. Adam was feeling it a few days ago, but his stomach bug stint only lasted him about 24 hours. Will seemed to have it a bit yesterday, but this morning it is on in full force. We've been making multiple trips to the bathroom this morning. Its especially sad though because he wants to eat and drink so badly, but every time he tries we have to run to the bathroom again. He was just laying in the chair at the table, poor baby! I seem to have been able to convince him now that he will feel better if he lays down. I offered to make him a nice pallet on the floor....which he declined in favor of the couch (sigh- my couch is only 2 months old! haha).

Sure glad I went ahead and did that work yesterday even though I didn't feel like it... today may be a little rough.

I feel like this year the kids have gotten hit really hard with sickness. I can't even remember them getting sick last year at all, and this year its just been one thing after another. No good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whiny Me

Even though I don't have that much to get done today, cause we have already done most of what we usually get done, I am being a bum. I just don't feel like folding that last basket of laundry. Or doing those few dishes in the sink. Or repacking that 1 box the dog bit holes into (sheesh). But, I think I will do it anyway.

Do ever get in a mood? All of a sudden you just.... want to sit and be bored? Cause I do FEEL bored. I know most of the real work for the day is done, and I just gotta finish up. But I'm just kind of tired. Haha. Time to sip a coffee and git er done.

Is it ok for me to be drinking coffee??? I don't remember these things anymore. Googling.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Beginning

I don't know if its the baby or my crazy brain, but so far I am:
  • losing my mind - I told Adam my first appointment was going to be October 19th and did he already have that day off from work... this was via email. He responded to me asking if I meant that date (being sarcastic of course, that Adam), and I assured him that yes October 19th was the correct date. He was like - KELLI!!!!! Oops. (random note - Adam does NOT like it when I say He was like blablabla or she was all like bleebleeblee, but I find myself always doing it. High school has forever changed me in some ways I'm afraid, haha)
  • Gagging on toothpaste. This has happened in both my previous pregnancies, in fact it was the thing that triggered me to take a test when I was pregnant with Will.
  • I am STARVING. I eat, and I still feel sooo hungry. But, everything sounds blah. Not bad, just not good. I remember this feeling when I was pregnant with Abby. Didn't have this issue in my second pregnancy. Signs of a girl? Abby thinks so - its what she has been praying for apparently!
  • I am sooo tired. I am a night owl and am usually up til midnight. By 8:30 I could seriously go to bed for the night. Unfortunately, my kids usually aren't and the house is usually still in disarray, so I end up staying awake later. Right now I am just waiting for poor Will to pass out so that I can then go hit the sack myself.
So, its very possible I am crazy. Its still so early I really think it probably is my mind psyching me out. But I might as well get used to it either way. =o)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Exciting News!

Well, I wasn't going to share this (as some of you already know) for a little while yet... but since today my husband and daughter managed to tell every single one of our friends and family members (haha), I guess I might as well let you all in on it!
As I'm sure the big ticker on the left clued you in - we are expecting baby number 3! Yes, that was fast. I've already been called several interesting names which I will not repeat here by family and friends, haha. But needless to say we are SO excited and happy. Of course its still EXTREMELY early yet, so prayers for healthy baby would be wonderful, and for a not too sick Mama would be appreciated.

Baby #3 is due July 24th (ish) - a long time yet. Looking at the counter is horrifying, so I might just remove it, haha. But Abby, even though she was so happy she cried (!!!!) is concerned about having to share her birthday (July 14)! She should be a bit worried I guess. My babies tend to come a little early anyway, so it very well could happen on her birthday. She already has to share her birthday with a cousin, and Will has to share his with an Uncle! This next baby has to share a birthday with someone else too I suppose. Its only fair, hehe.

We're already thinking of names and throwing them in a jar. We would like something that goes with Abby and Will (Abigail and William), and preferably a saint name. Yes, it seriously will take us the entire 9 months to agree on something! Any wonderful suggestions you have would be welcome!

Also, we are considering doing our first homebirth using a midwife. I have to call the insurance company and see what we can get covered and start trying to figure it all out, so prayers for that too please, if you don't mind too terribly much. ;o)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Delayed Thankful Thursday (again)

Should I just rename this Thankful Thursday OR Friday? Goodness! I have hardly been doing this and I already can't seem to keep up!

SO, even though it is a bit delayed, here we go!

I am thankful

1. for people who have supported us during the last couple of months.
2. for tylenol and other pain medicine, because without it I don't think I would have made it through today without having to ask Adam to stay home from work.
3. that I am halfway-ish done with Christmas shopping and wrapping.
4, to be able to celebrate the holiday season in a very meaningful way this year.
5. for leftovers, because I can just heat up dinner tonight.
6. that God has been trimming things out of my life and putting everything back in order.
7. that so many of you wonderful people blog about your faith and your home life, so that I can get encouragement, help, ideas, etc.
8. for yet again (!!!!) the cool burst of weather that has been around the past few days.
9. for comfy fleece pants on days when you aren't feeling your best.
10. the dishwasher.

On another note, I think my husband and I (and Abby who couldn't help but add her 2 cents) have decided how we plan to celebrate the holidays this year and have it all written out. I know what we need to get and have my list ready to finish everything up. Yay! Feels good to have it all figured out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red beans and Rice

Does anyone else just LOVE red beans and rice? My husband always has, and after years of marriage I developed a taste for it, and found a fabulous (and easy) recipe. I just threw it together and put it in the crock pot, so I thought I would share the recipe with you all.

Ingredients:

1 pound dried red kidney beans that have been soaked in water overnight.
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning  (I usually add a little more, its up to you)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
2-3 stalks celery, chopped


Throw it ALL in the crock pot (make sure your beans have soaked and are rinsed!). I then throw in 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 2 cups of water, and stir it up real good. You can cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Check on it every so often to make sure it isn't running low on water, and stir to make sure it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom of the crockpot. All you gotta do is make some rice to serve it over, and you are good to go!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

O Antiphons Ornaments

OH MY GOODNESS! I am loving loving loving LOVING these! *Squeal* (Did I just say squeal? How embarassing....)





I may try to finagle this into my budget. If not, well there is always next year!
They also have Jesse Tree ornaments that are similar to this, but I think that may be too much for us this year. But I think this may be just perfect for us.

Coffee, Bread, Oatmeal, etc.

I hate having to title posts, but it seems like a required thing to do. Blah!

Moving on, haha. I was just sitting here with a hot cup of my mocha coffee concoction that I have everyday (yum!), and it just feels so nice. The warmth just runs straight through me. Hearing the coffee brew and mixing it all together just feels so comforting. That's a big thing with me lately - comfort. I want my home to feel warm, welcoming, comforting. Having people over is so hard for me. I enjoy it, but I get *stressed* out - didn't I mention that I am a loner? I have accepted much more the fact that I just like to be alone. I don't like to have a ton of friends. Not in a bad way, but it is what it is. At the same time, I don't want this to make me seem distant or somehow unfriendly or unwelcoming. So I do plan to host people in my home when we move, and I so look forward to it, but I also look forward to the peace and comfort and calm that we will have in our everyday. It feels more like how things should be.

Now, Bread. I have been using my book and making bread! I started out with the master recipe and it turned out pretty well. I then moved onto using the same recipe but with a loaf pan - ok so now we know that my family prefers this! Good to know! We have been eating an insane amount of bread. Apparently, we really like delicious bread! Thinking about store bought bread now sounds absolutely disgusting. I really need more room in my fridge. And a few other things. I don't need all the special supplies right now, I've been making do just fine. But one thing I would LOVE to have is a pizza peel and a good bread knife! I learned that my bread knife is junk. Investing in a good new one may be on the short to-do list. But seriously, this bread is so quick, easy, and delicious. I mentioned to Adam that we had some leftover store brought bread he could use for lunch since we were running low on my current loaf and I didn't want to make a new one the next day (I was trying to save it to use with dinner). But he looked so distraught about having to eat the other bread that I gave in and let him take it. I figure today the ducks will get to have the remainder of the store bread that we have sitting in the house.

Now, Oatmeal. We eat a ton of oatmeal and cream of wheat for breakfast around here. I usually get the little instant packages, but have decided that we are spending too much money when we could just be making it ourselves (we're at home all day, so really what's the rush?). Plus, the oatmeal instant packs have high fructose corn syrup, which I'd really rather avoid. Here is my problem - we think regular oatmeal is nasty. We love the flavored instant packs, but I have no clue how to recreate these. I have tried, and the kids gagged. So if anyone has some delicious oatmeal recipes or know how to properly flavor it up, please please please I beg of you tell me how you do it!

I'm also working on preparing things for the holidays. I've got Christmas cards started ( I LOVE to send Christmas cards! So if you want one and you aren't on my list, please send me your address! Really! Please!!!!) Also with Advent approaching, I have to figure out what we are going to do! I need something easy. I know we will do the advent wreath (which reminds me that I need to buy a new one since when packing things away I shattered mine, sniff), and we will do St. Nicholas Day as well as our typical Christmas Eve and Day stuffs along with family visiting and whatnot, but I'm trying to think of some other Advent things we can do that will be meaningful and not overwhelming for this noob. Afterall, we can always add in more things later, and I am on a simplicity kick. =o) But still, I'd love your ideas if you have any special things that your family does and that you enjoy!

Also, just to note, I am feeling so blessed this morning. I truly am. So many wonderful people have just come alongside our family in the past month, and offered us so much love and support and friendship. Last night I had a rough night. I didn't even realize that I would be so upset over this certain topic that came up, but I was just heartbroken and aching and longing. I know it will happen in God's timing and all will be well. And I am so thankful for all the blessings that we do have. Last night my heart was turned from aching into patient. It still longs, but there isn't hurt today. Its a good day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Running!

My super amazing daughter ran in her first ever 5K on Saturday. I do have pictures, but I'm on the laptop so am unable to share them right now. I will edit them in later!

We are SO proud of her. She came in 14th place for her age group (which is amazing, because there were a TON of girls her age running in the race because she is part of a large girls running group that has groups all over the city, and every group in the city was at this race. We were so proud! She completed the race in 32:21. Woohoo!!! That's so awesome! That is 3.1 miles in 32 minutes! She is running a 10.5 minute mile. Whew. Makes me tired just thinking about it. ;o)

But, she LOVED the race. She wants to race again. So we are looking for one in December and one of us will run it with her. I guess its a good thing, it will get me out there running again! I am going to try to get out there early tomorrow before Adam goes to work to get a run in. Abby hasn't been feeling well since yesterday, so she won't start practicing again until she is feeling well again. Wish me luck, I might not make it back, lol!

Turns out that Adams boss ran in the same race as Abby. Adam knew he was running in a race that day for his daughter's Catholic school, but Adam didn't realize that Abby's race was for a Catholic School. We didn't see him there, but Adam confirmed yesterday that it was the same race. Wonder if Abby beat Adam's boss, hehe.

Let the Holidays Begin...

I don't know about you, but for me as soon as Halloween hits, the holidays just hit and fly by! Time speeds up and everyone is busy preparing, visiting, shopping, baking. Ah this time of year makes me smile. All the wonderful smells and the comforts of the holidays.

Doesn't it all feel magical? Like you are a little child again? When I was a kid though, I looked forward to different things. Now that I am older I appreciate the tradition, the smells, the feelings. But the magic still lingers. Something about this time of year just feels comforting, like home surrounds me.

We will be preparing for Thanksgiving soon. I have made a bigger deal out of Thanksgiving the past couple of years, and will even more this year. We sing Thanksgiving songs and hymns, and we make a "Tree of Thanks" - although this year I think I am going to change thank up and maybe do a basket or something. Not really sure. But we will start that next week. I am so excited for Thanksgiving dinner - even though this year I will be making several things so it will be more work for me, haha. Next year we may even be hosting it in our own home, so I think it definitely will be good practice for me!

Anyway, we've been listening to this song today, and I really like this arrangement. I don't know why, because usually with hymns I'm pretty traditional, but this one I just really like, and I think it makes me happy to see the kids enjoying it as well. Usually when I am listening to hymns there is groaning and people leave the vicinity...I guess I am a bit old fashioned in some but not all of my music tastes.


What are you doing to prepare for Thanksgiving? Is it a big deal, or just a practice Christmas?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: VocabularySpellingCity

A while back I received a free Premium membership for VocabularySpellingCity in exchange for a review of the program. It took me forever (whoops!) but here it is.

Overall, its a good online program. My daughter enjoyed the games, completed the activities willingly (which is always a plus), and understood how to use the website without issue. I was able to create my own spelling lists for her based on whatever we were studying, or words she was having trouble with. But I could also look up lists on the website and use the pre-made ones that had been listed. I also really liked the the activities included vocabulary activities as well as spelling - I think the two subjects are pretty inter-related so this made it easy to knock out 2 birds with one stone.

Here is my only issue - my daughter didn't remember anything. She played the games, practiced, everything, but at the end of the week, was clueless as to how to spell the words. I thought maybe its because it was on the computer and I was having her physically write out the words when I quizzed her myself, so I tried to have her do it on the computer instead. Still with typing them out, she got the majority completely wrong. Now, this could be something that is just connected to my child. She is a terrible speller - so another student might use the program and learn the spelling no problem. Now, the vocabulary she was able to retain (but this is something she doesn't have an issue with - her vocab is huge, she just can't spell it).

So all in all, I would say its a good program. It didn't work for my daughter, but I would be willing to give a shot with another child because I'm not sure how much of the issue was my daughter's learning style and how much was the method of using the website. If your child likes computers and doesn't have a really hard time spelling, then I would give the website a shot. I think with children who have spelling issues though, this program probably won't turn out to be the magic solution you are looking for.

Mother of Divine Grace?

Just quick post to ask-

Does anyone have experience with Mother of Divine Grace Curriculum? I am looking into it for next year, but may be using a different science and a different math. Everything else looks good to me, but I am unsure about the spelling and grammar only because what we have currently I do really like, so that I may leave as is. But I wanted thoughts on the other subjects, the layout of the syllabus, the history curriculum I am especially interested in. Thoughts?

Edited to add that now I'm also really liking Catholic Heritage...anyone have experience with them as well???

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beautiful

What a BEAUTIFUL day! The weather is cool and crisp but the sun is shining.

We've all been up early and went to the cemetery to visit Aunt Frances, and we also found Betty Jo! She is my Memaw's sister who died when she was only 6. I had no idea Aunt Frances had been buried next to her. We left flowers and said a rosary. My sweet Abby cried. She really loved Aunt Frances and misses her very much. I think going really helped her though. She was happy to leave a rose. Next time we will know to bring a rose for Betty Jo too.

I made a loaf of bread last night, and it was delicious, but turned out a little wonky. I tried again today with much better results. The master recipe bread will be perfect for lots of things, but we need some sandwich bread. So after we use up all this dough, I will try one of the sandwich recipes. Adam was concerned about this bread because he didn't want to have little bread for his sandwiches - he said it reminded him of Spinal Tap (have you ever seen Spinal Tap? Its very terrible, but its funny. I'm sure if I watched it now though, I would react to it much differently than I did years ago!) I don't have all the special items that the book calls for - baking stone, pizza handler, nonstick loaf pan. But I've been making do with what I do have, and I'm satisfied with the results. I do think I will be adding a few items to my Christmas list though! It is VERY easy and VERY fast. Doesn't take up much time at all. And its amazing how much happier everyone is when you can smell bread baking, haha!

So, I will leave you with my Thankful Thursday items, on Friday, since I forgot yesterday. Whoops!

I am thankful:
1. for so much clothing that its near impossible to get all the laundry put away (haha....)
2. that once again, a cool front blew through. That's 3 weeks in a row now, on every Thursday!
3. for you tube, where you can find nearly any video or clip you could possibly want.
4. for friends who let me talk when I need to, but understand my need to escape.
5. for my husband's boss, who is really a very good man and gives my husband a wonderful work environment, most of the time. ;o)
6. for St. Francis of Assisi, because the last few days my pleas to him to pray for me may be the only reason I haven't strangled my dog....
7. for Walmart putting their pumpkins on clearance. I got 3 for $3, and we are gonna have a bunch of yummy pumpkin seeds later tonight!
8. for my quilt. Handmade a few generations ago, and still cozy and warm.
9. for relatives who buy themselves really nice new things, and give me their really nice used things!
10. for our sponsor child, who draws me sweet pictures of things from Africa, and reminds me of what is really important.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mmmmmmmm Bread!

My new book came in the mail from Amazon today! Don't you just love Amazon? Anyway, the book is "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I've decided that surely I can make my own bread! And I've seen the method online and it doesn't look too difficult at all. We will see how it goes.... I am going to be attempting to make my own bread for the next 2 weeks. Do any of you have this book, or use this method? My Aunt uses it all the time, and her bread always looks so delicious (she lives in Georgia though, so unfortunately I only get to see pictures and never get to have a taste!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Delete

Do you ever write a big long post and realize, you don't need to post it. Not because it was bad, but because its just you needed to get it out and its now so unnecessary? Yah.

On a quick note, I've been seeking more solitude in my life. Not from my family, but from the pressures of the world on me. We need to slow down. We need to be separated. At least, I really do. Facebook got deleted today (not deactivated, but deleted). So did twitter. I'm keeping my blog, but really that's it besides good old fashioned email (haha). I feel relieved already. I need to distance myself from these wordly things, to turn to God. I'm easily distracted.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

What a fun time we had trick or treating! We usually go with some other family members, but this year we kept it to just us - and I have to say I liked it much better. We got to go as a family instead of some of us being at a house passing out candy and some of us out trick or treating. It felt good to be all together.

Here is our Jack-O-Lantern - the B got messed up, but it still worked.
Abby and Will getting some treats! We usually stayed back on the sidewalk and watched, unless the doors were set far back in which case we walked up closer. But Abby usually took Will up and they rang the bell together. She was so good about helping him and making sure he said thank you. What a sweet big sister!

And here they are in all their scariness! We may be rethinking this next year. We just aren't sure. But this year the costumes were already purchased, so we went with it.

And today is All Saints day! I decided to keep it fairly simple, since we have never celebrated this before and I don't know half of what I am doing, haha! But we read the All Saints Day pages from our "Around the Year: Once Upon a Time Saints" book. We also looked up St. Abigail and St. William and learned about them. Glad I picked Saint names without knowing it. Haha! We will also be going to mass this evening. Even though for us it isn't a Holy Day of Obligation, because we intend to start RCIA as a family in January as soon as we get moved into the house (YES!!!!! We are!!!!), we decided we just do our best now to live as if we were already Catholic, because, well, it just seemed the right thing to do!

And, tomorrow we have All Souls Day! So much going on in a short few days. I love how its all connected. Tomorrow we will be going to visit the gravesite of Aunt Frances, who passed away a couple of years ago. She is my Memaw's sister, and was a faithful Catholic in her life. She had no children of her own, as her fiance died in Pearl Harbor and she never felt the urge to marry after that. My Memaw's children (my step-dad and uncles) adopted Aunt Frances in a way, and she was always at all of our holiday gatherings. There are some funny Aunt Frances memories (like the time she fell asleep on the couch and Abby and my brother Kaleb stole her wig off her head and began dancing around with it singing "I'm Aunt Frances!!!!" - so embarrassing, especially when Aunt Frances woke up, but she thought it was so funny!) Abby remembers her and cries sometimes thinking about her. So I thought it would be a good idea tomorrow to go and bring her some flowers, and to say a pray for her. I don't know exactly how purgatory works, but I know if she is there our prayers will be appreciated, and if she is in heaven then she will be praying for us. We miss you Aunt Frances! I have a feeling you may already be in heaven and have had your hand in all of the changes happening in our home. =o)