Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Husband Rocks!

Other than a cute little doggie that hubby and I decided was our Christmas presents to each other, he has been on a mission to get the house clean. My disorganized brain just doesn't lead to de-cluttering or cleaning in a very efficient manner. I am so blessed that he doesn't bark at me about our messy house. My dad always wanted a clean house and griped at my mom about it, but he can not get himself organized. God put him with my Mom, and my dear sweet, kind, loving, adorable husband with me. I have a plan, he is going to "assign" me one or two simple chores to do, since he seems to have the better organized brain for these kinds of things. This was my idea, I get so frozen up about all the things that need to be done, that nothing gets done. this really needs to change if I am ever going to teach my children to help around the house. They seem to want to help, but when they pour out an entire container or hand soap in an attempt to clean the sink, it makes things messier, not cleaner. Hubby and I make a great team, just not in traditional roles.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Holy Family

Since today is the feast of the Holy Family, I thought I'd share a revelation that Number One Son had last week. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph are the Holy Family, So I know their names: Joseph Holy, Mary Holy and Jesus Holy."

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I wonder if the Ugg boot company tells you not to wear socks so the boots will get stinky and you have to buy another pair?

I'm not like other kids

Really? Number One Son said that to me when we were getting ready for bed the other night. I asked him what he meant and he proceeded to tell me that he liked to build things and he likes science experiments and animals better than playing sports. He also likes to talk and that is not necessarily conducive to little boy play at the park. He will climb trees and toss the basketball around, but he is too young to understand the big boy war games. He is very verbal, but that only helps him with the girls. Girls are generally much better listeners. He is perfectly willing to play along, but if he is in charge, they are creating something (robots, airplanes,cars, etc...) if the others have something to say about it, it is a fort.

Cranberry Apple Candy

Last night when I got home from work, Hubby had a pot of sugar on the stove, he had promised the kids that he would make them candy. He looked at it and said someone had put something in it. Number One Daughter admitted that she put soy milk in it, after we asked her , "Did you put soy milk in it?" It looked like soy milk and we, as parents often play the guessing game to get through stalemate conversations. He proceeded to make the candy and he allowed me to help him with the candy thermometer. I greased and dusted the pan with tapioca starch, he poured it out and then cooled it down. We were all excited to taste it. Our kids can't have hard candy because it all has corn syrup in it. I thought it tasted like soap, but I had just washed dishes, Hubby thought it tasted like soap, I tasted it again, it definitely tasted like soap. Number One Daughter finally admitted that she had drizzled a little Apple Scented Dawn in the sugar while Hubby was out of the kitchen. The kids are happy to eat it, but I'll pass, I have memories of Beaver on "Leave It To Beaver" getting his mouth washed out with soap and tasting soap to see if it was really that bad, it was!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wo Hoo

It appears that Big Dog and Smart Puppy have established who is who in the pack and now they are getting along okay. If the kids would just leave them alone, I think they might snuggle up together. The cold weather has made the kids very rambunctious and mischievous. Number Two Son got in to a container of ink for a fountain pen, that was scary looking! Number One Son and I sat down and did some reading today, he is a bit silly, loved that I had him spell "b-u-t". It was hard to get back on track after that, but we did. Smart Puppy has had fewer accidents today, or I haven't found them yet, we will see. I guess Number One Daughter extreme helpfulness yesterday was an oddity, she back to her old "You do it!" or, "I can't today." I have hope, plus payday is one day away and I get to go to work an hour later and I rescheduled the canceled appointment so I still get paid. Yea!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a very random thought

I'm not really complaining, but it is darn cold here. It is a day when I want to stay in bed as long as possible and sit around and drink hot chocolate, but Mom's don't usually get what they want, at least not in this lifetime. I was reminded yesterday that I don't always know everyone else's struggles. This is true, but if we could at least look normal on the outside, maybe I wouldn't care so much about the other things. I want to protect my children from other's judgment, because it is hurtful. Maybe I'm over-reacting. Most people just take them for who they are. Honestly, I think one of the many reasons we changed churches (again) is because Number One Son was not appreciated for the beautiful little soul he is. As a parent, I appreciate and take heed if a person notices not only the bad, but also the good. It still burns me that a pre-school religion teacher would tell a mother that a 4 year old boy was wiggly. Come On! this year at our old church, things are much better, they see the wonderful little soul he has. I just wish classes were not on Sunday. With me working every other weekend, K4J once a month and Cub Scouts once a month, plus Church, it has made our one day of rest WAY over scheduled!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Love Simon

Agave Marshmallows (corn and egg free)

We made Smapples (instead of Smores) with these when we went camping with the Cub Scouts last month. We used apple slices instead of graham crackers and they were yummy!

3 envelopes Knox gelatin
1/2 cup water

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup water
1/4 t. salt
8 drops LorAnn marshmallow flavoring (optional) www.lorannoils.com

spray canola oil or solid oil (I used coconut oil) to grease pan (9" x 13" pan)
3/4 to 1 cup tapioca starch (Bot Nang)

Oil or grease the pan and then cover with the tapioca starch, you should not be able to see the bottom of the pan.

Put the gelatin and water in the bowl of a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment (not the whisk). The gelatin should bloom for at least ten minutes before you add the hot syrup to it.

Bring the sugar, agave nectar, water and salt to a boil over medium high heat and continue cooking until it reaches 250-260* or hard ball stage.

Turn on the mixer to low and drizzle the syrup into the gelatin. Increase the speed to med-high and mix for 8-12 minutes or until the marshmallows are sticky and super fluffy. Drop the big glob of marshmallow fluff into the pan, sprinkle it with a generous amount of tapioca starch and then turn it over and press it out. The starch should keep your hands from sticking. Cool for three hours in the pan, cut and then dust the edges with the starch left in the pan.

Store in an airtight container.

Is your mouth watering yet? The kids are looking forward to making these again and dipping them in chocolate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Hubby got his wish, the house is not longer quiet, especially at 3:37 AM. Smart Puppy woke me up this morning and I didn't want another accident, so I took him out (after tripping over hubby to get the leash that was awkwardly attached to the crate)and then Big Dog was barking so she went out too. I think the rain might have woken Big Dog up. In addition to being a wife and mother, working, home schooling, making allergy free food, nursing a baby, taking care of a puppy and a grieving dog is not a piece of cake. I hope Santa is good to me this year and makes my life a little easier, if only for a day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A New Puppy, really

When Number One Son and I got home from RE and Church today, the Tahoe was gone (Hubby used the spare key) and there was a note on the table "Gone to look at a dog." Well, I knew what that meant. there was a picture of a cute poodle puppy on the computer from Craig's List. Hubby got home about and hour later, new puppy sure is cute. We don't have a name for him yet, the name he came with doesn't seem to fit. He is a 10 week old miniature poodle, white with blond ears. No dog can take the place of Little Dog, maybe Hubby needs this to move on. It has been so quiet the past few days, I love the quiet. Puppy is pretty quiet, until we put him in the crate. Big Dog is quiet until she sees Puppy. Puppy is so good with all three of the kids and the cats too. He is a nibbler, two or three bites of food at a time, I will have to change that. I guess I'll get out my pet care book tonight after all have gone to sleep. Am I really ready for this? I think I might still be numbed by Little Dog's sudden death.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It is getting harder

It has only been two days, but we are really missing Little Dog. Last night when I fed Big Dog, it was very quiet. Little Dog always barked like a little wind up toy around dinner time, first to be fed and then to go out side. I opened up the cabinet to get out a bowl, and there were two. Hubby was ironing this morning and almost saw Little Dog peeking around the corner, waiting impatiently, as usual to go outside. The kids don't know what to think, but when they see Momma and Daddy crying, the run up to us and hug us, even Number Two Son. Hubby was looking at pound dogs available on the internet yesterday. He always said, no more dogs when these are gone! We will see. Our first priority is getting ourselves and Big Dog through this without too much more stress.It is still so unbelievable, Little Dog will never wake me up barking in the middle of the night, howl at trains, bark to go outside when we set down to dinner or bark when I'm on the phone. How will I ever know if someone is knocking on the door?

Friday, December 5, 2008


Today the entire family went to make gift bags for our local Catholic Worker House, Mary House. Hubby and I try very hard to emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus and the Holy Family, not about getting lots of presents. We are blessed to have a large generous family, the kids get so many toys and things that we hold some back and divvy them out for several weeks or months after Christmas (Hubby's idea). We have very small, mostly family birthday parties because we don't want to foster the "gimmies" or "I wants" anymore than the tiny bit of commercial television that they watch on Saturday mornings. We live in a tiny house, we can't seem to get rid of anything, so we don't need a bunch of consumerism ideals ingrained into our precious gifts from God. Our children know that we love them, we don't need to buy them oodles of the latest things to prove it. There is one problem with us protecting our children from video games (they will never have a wii or Nintendo)and commercial and cable television. They have no idea what to ask for at Christmas. We will have to work on that and I'll stop ranting. I'd really like to know when Christmas changed from being about Jesus and started being about shopping?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

RIP Little Dog

A pet owners worst nightmare and greatest wish came to fruition this morning. I got up and went into the kitchen. Little Dog was lying in his crate, I walked over closer and checked for breathing. He was not breathing. He had been a little more fussy over the past few weeks, but he didn't seem really sick or in pain. As of today he was 11 years, 10 months and 3 three days. I think that makes him about 82 in people years. Honestly, I thought he would be around for 20 years! Little Dog was mine and hubby's first big test. Hubby said if I could get Little Dog to eat homemade dog food and get along with the cats then anything else we had to do together would be a piece of cake. Little Dog ate homemade food most of the past eight years and quickly bowed down to the big cat. One of the funniest moments of our early married life was early one morning or very lat eon night, I heard a werewolf snarl, I screamed bloody murder and hubby groaned like a zombie. I thought Little Dog was going to eat up hubby's kitty. Hubby and I still laugh about this moment today. The kids and I picked out a special sheet to bury him in and the kids put a ball and rosary cross with him. Number One Son and Number One Daughter knew just where we should bury him, the "sunny spot" in the yard. I spent some time soaking the spot so that when hubby got home the ground wouldn't be so rock hard. We all cried today, extended family included. Little Dog was a blessing and his peaceful death was a gift to hubby and me too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Facebook Flashback

Why can't the excitement of seeing friends at a reunion last? I've been out of high school 24 years and college since 1992. I am my worst enemy when it comes to maintaining friendships. I allowed ex boyfriends to control me and lose contact with many of my friends. I went to college far away from home and lost contact with my high school friends and then when I left college, I moved away and lost contact with them. Little Sister encouraged me to sign up on Facebook. I was not prepared for the onslaught of folks coming back into my life. It has made me retrospective and apprehensive. After my 20 year high school reunion, we talked about getting together, but that petered out quickly. Are we just a bunch of old farts trying to recapture some of the energy and resilience of our 20 something old selves? New/Old friends would be nice. Making friends is kinda like dating. I'm happy to be married to a wonderful man and not dealing with that stress! New/Old Friends already know my flaws and see the real me. I'm curious as to what will happen next.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Corn Free Divinity

I am so happy that his turned out today. I made this last year and it didn't work. I think my candy thermometer was on the fritz.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites at room temperature

Bring sugar, agave nectar, water and salt up to 10 degrees above hard ball (270). While the syrup is bubbling, beat the egg whites in a Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. When the syrup is at 270, drizzle it into the whipped egg whites at medium high heat. Beat about 5 minutes, until the candy starts to hold shape. Quickly pour out on a pan, cool and cut or, with help, get the candy dropped onto waxed paper before it starts to harden.
My dad really loves this candy, when I was growing up, my mother would use a hand mixer, sometimes to the point of it smoking to make this candy on a cool, not humid day. Three or four of us would drop it on waxed paper before it would start to harden. Today, I dropped about 12 before it started to harden, but all of it was very yummy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beanie Muffins

I can't believe that I haven't posted this recipe. The kids have been on a cookie phase and we haven't had muffins in a while, but they have eaten them often.Today, Number One Son requested blueberry chocolate chip.
oven 375*
1 cup beanie flour
1 cup sugar
2 T. flax seed, ground in a coffee/spice grinder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup tapoica flour or 3 T. minute tapioca ground in coffee/spice grinder
1/2-2/3 cup water (depends on how dry the beans are)
1 T. apple cider vinegar
mix ins: chocolate chips, blueberries, seeds, crasins, pureed carrots (use less water), applesauce, chopped apples, coconut, etc... use about 1/2-1/4 cup of whatever you like

Stir all the ingredients together, it is better if the batter is thick, they hold together better. Put in muffin cups lined with paper or a well oiled muffin pan. Fill about 2/3 full, they do not puff up much. Bake for 15-20 minutes, cool. They get more firm as they cool down. Makes about 12, more if you add more mix-ins.

Friday, November 21, 2008

dustin' off the old

I think I made corn syrup! My old camp box has been in the attic for over six years, a bottle of corn oil spilled out and yup, it is as sticky as syrup. I hadn't planned on having to un-stick everything in addition to packing it off. The old vinyl tablecloth didn't make it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find some things we might use. I used to remember everything, not so much anymore. Oh, how I'd love to have one night of uninterrupted sleep.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have many things on a list to do today. We need to go to the grocery store, do laundry, pack clothes, make corn-free marshmallows and pack as much as we can for our cub scout camping trip. It really sucks that this camping trip is a week before payday. 7-11 and i-tunes and a new transmission have drained our bank account and CVS has put our credit card close to the limit. I have to be very, very careful when I go to the grocery store. I just saw that we will need to have cash for our camping trip (communication needs to improve with the Pack and Den)which means that our bank account will be gasping for air until Wednesday. On a good note, Number One and Number Two Sons and I gathered up fallen branches for firewood. I need some peace and quiet to make a very detailed grocery list. I HATE to go to the store and have to add things in my head, especially when all three children are with me, constantly asking for things. I'll try to say a few prayers before we leave.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Dogs For Sale!

Just kidding. We had a "moment" today. It ruined my morning. I am going to do my best to turn the day back around. Number One Son and I had two full hours of awesome school time and then Number One Daughter and Number Two Son woke up. Number One Daughter woke up in a meltdown thanks to ingesting a cracker or cookie at the park yesterday. She has to come down on her own, but in the meantime Number One Son was taking Big Dog out and she got away from him and peed on Hubby's bed! Little Dog barks at everything and has been barking non-stop so he has has some vacation time out of his crate so he has peed and pooped all over the front room for day. After cleaning up Big Dog's pee, I've relocated Little Dog back into his crate so I can clean up his mess and avoid any more. This is just gross! Little Dog has been increasingly fussy since we changed his crate at the end of the summer. He is just going to have to get used to it! I do a very poor job at keeping my house clean and organized and the last thing I need is creature excrement. Ugh!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pea Pie

Hubby was talking to the kids about omelets and asked why I never made them. We explained that omelets and fritatas are the same thing. All three kiddos like green peas. I thought Number One Son was allergic to them, but he is doing fine eating them on occasion. Number Two Son can only eat them this way, no more stir fry with peas for him, last time more than one ended up in his nose!

1 cup, thawed frozen green peas or one can drained canned peas
6-12 eggs (depends on the number of portions)
salt, onion powder, dried or fresh dill, to taste
canola oil
1/2 cup of cheese, grated (optional)

Put about a tablespoon of oil in cast iron skillet, add peas and then eggs that have been whisked up with the seasonings. Gently pull the eggs away from the edge of the pan until the eggs are mostly set. Finish for 15-20 minutes in a 350* oven. Sprinkle with cheese for the last 5 minutes. Our kids like to eat this with homemade mayo.

They love egg days, which makes them dread the no egg, no bean day. I guess since I grew up as a meat eater, this is as close to home cooking as I can get. I pray that they don't become allergic to eggs or anything else. We have enough on our plate.

Friday, November 14, 2008


This salad sounds strange and I'm not sure how it came together, but the kids love it, especially if I use the hearts or romaine instead of the whole head.

1 head of romaine lettuce
1 granny smith apple peeled and sliced
1 can chickpeas
1/3 cup sweetened, dried cranberries
1-2 T raw, shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 ounce canola oil
1 t. flax seed oil (optional)
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
pinch of salt
sprinkle of garlic powder
sprinkle of onion powder

Slice the lettuce how you like it, toss the apple, drained chick peas, raisins and seeds on top. Mix the vinaigrette well, pour it over the salad and toss.

Oh No!

Number Two Son has grown tall enough to reach up and pull items from the counter top. Ohh No, maybe he'll forget he can do it. Naaahhh

Thursday, November 13, 2008

HOP Rocks!

Hubby added memory to our computer so I was able to load the CD ROM for the Hooked on Phonics program that Number One Son and I have been working on since August. He spent 2 hours reading on the computer yesterday! It tracks the words he can read and as of this morning, he can read 54 words. He can probably read a few more than that since we have also been working on sight words that I thought were important. He is so proud of himself. He could barely go to sleep last night after he heard the little bee say, "You are a reader!" If Momma or Daddy say it, nada. It just doesn't stick like when a little animated bee says it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Thought I Wore the Crown

I went yesterday to get my permanent crown after wearing a temporary crown for three weeks. After several adjustments, our dentist got it to fit, x-rayed it, glued and then had me bite on a cotton rod. POP! "What was that?" I said, he said, "Your crown broke, but it wasn't anything you did, at least it happened here and not once you got home." Darn! They called back to day and I have to go back for new impressions. Good thing Hubby is home sick today. That sounds rather insensitive, but I can't imagine having to figure out when I can go to the dentist, for an hour and a half, without the kids, when I work three days after Hubby gets home and he works late the other two days. This is our crazy world.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Proud of Being Catholic

(Excerpts of an article written by Sam Miller,
a prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman -

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.

Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example,12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church , 41.8 % of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States . Then remember what Jeremiah said:

'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'.

Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you're a Catholic.

(Reprinted excerpts with permission of the Buckeye Bulletin - courtesy of Brookside Council #3297, Cleveland Diocese)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our First Pinewood Derby

Hubby is still under the weather, so Momma got to be the Akela today. Number One Son was a little bit surprised to see Momma so excited that his car kept advancing. His car raced eight races, I think he was in the top 12, maybe top eight. It might have been more fun if some of his den friends were there. I only saw one other scout from his pack and they left before I got to talk to them. I think we need to tweak his car a little bit more before the Pack Pinewood Derby in the Spring. Number One Brother-in-law has been through a few Derbies with Number One Nephew. He really helped us not make the rookie mistakes. Number One Daughter is looking forward to painting a "Hello Kitty" pink car for a sibling entry.
Since Hubby is ill, Momma will also take Number One Son on a hike with his Tiger Cub Scouts tomorrow. This in addition to RE, church and I'm on call for work. Sunday is a day for rest, but for us, it seems to be the busiest day of the week.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Yuckies

Hubby and I had been married almost a year when both of us were sick at the same time, can you believe that was when we got in out first fight ever? Being ill is never an easy thing. Hubby wears a green scapular because he was so sick last year. It was one thing after another. He is fighting a cold/sinus infection right now. This week, Number One Daughter had an allergic reaction that turned into sinusitis resulting in challenging behavior from headaches, cold medicine and generally feeling yucky. Number One Son has been having increasing asthma difficulties and has been very defiant and mean as a snake. Now, Momma comes down with a cold or fall allergies. Number Two Son doesn't know what to think about all the strange behavior. Our house including laundry, cleaning, dishes and shopping get put on hold. Not feeling well, no clean clothes, no clean dishes, short temper... good thing we are on the mend and hopefully we can go to Nana and Poppie's house tomorrow to get Number One Son's Pinewood Derby car built and ready to race.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A fancy, time consuming, but easy treat for the kids to talk to parties (on egg days).
Oven 225*; 2 or 3 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Large pastry bag or gallon sized zipper bag.

3 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup superfine sugar (add on T. at a time)
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
8 drops LorAnn flavoring (contains propylene glycol, but no corn)

In a stand-type mixer, add egg whites and slowly turn it up to high speed. Add sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time, every 20 seconds. After the final addition, beat an additional 2 minutes. Gently transfer to pastry bag/zipper bag (If you are using a zipper bag, push out all the air before you zip it, then cut off one corner with scissors.) Pipe out golf-ball sized meringues on the parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, them remove from the parchment paper. If you do not, they will steam and get sticky in the middle. I have a gas oven and I do not need to leave them in the oven for additional baking. Store in an airtight container, if you have leftovers. We rarely do!
Some times I make lots of little tiny meringues and other times, I make them bigger. They generally take the same amount of time to bake.

We LOVE Cranberries

When the Natropath told me several years ago that we need to add astringents to our diet, I was happy to find out that one of Number Two Daughter's allowed foods was especially good for her. We do buy the super sweet dried, sweetened cranberries (our ONE convenience food), but the kids also like to chew on frozen unsweetened ones too. We almost always have some form of cranberries in our house.

Cranberry Juice
14-16 ounce bag frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 gallon water

Cover the cranberries and sugar with water and add the rest of the water to the storage pitcher. Bring to a boil, avoid stirring to often. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, strain, add juice to additional water and save the cranberries for sauce.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
add 1/2 cup sugar to the above cranberries, eat warm or cold

Jellied Cranberry Sauce
14-16 ounce bag frozen or fresh cranberries
1 cup water
one cup sugar

Put all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, strain through a medium-fine colander. Add the seeds and skins to your whole berry sauce or compost them. Cool.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

and the countdown begins

We were going to go to Nan and Poppie's house on Tuesday morning, but I think we will wait until Thursday. I want hubby to be able to vote and not have to walk several blocks in the dark Tuesday morning or Tuesday night. Poppie's birthday is Tuesday, but we can celebrate on Thursday. Hubby and I were talking today that we might not know who is our next president on Tuesday or even Wednesday. I can't remember how many days it took eight years ago. Another homeschool mom suggested praying rosaries at polling places or at home, whatever we can manage. I think I'll do that and pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet also. When I get stressed and can't sleep, thinking about St. Faustina and how she gave herself totally to God, helps me focus on praying the chaplet. Jesus I Trust in You!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Thank You top all the anonymous 78704 neighbors who allowed our kids to have so much fun last night trick-or-treating. Speed race was his usual charming self, but St. Philomena was very bold in going up to houses and saying, "Trick or treat!." Little St. Francis was carried by Hubby for several blocks. I try to explain to the kids that Halloween is all about the kindness of strangers and try to avoid all the scary, evil stuff. We will approach that as they get older. Right now, they can be "not scary" things for Halloween. I think I have one more year to choose Number Two Son's costume and then I'll have tp plant seeds all year long about what they might want to dress up as. It helps that Momma is willing to make their costumes, right?

Friday, October 31, 2008

down to the wire

As of this minute Speed Racer , St. Philomena and St. Anthony are ready for Trick-or Treating. I still need to buy some red thread to finish Speed's scarf, but if he has to, he can go with raw edges. Last year, Number Two Son was sick, so this will be his first adventure in a costume. Last year I didn't make the kids costumes. I really enjoy making costumes, I have this thing about not having the same thing as everyone else does. I wasn't feeling so hot last year either, so Number One Son wore his circa 1970s Spider man costume that he got for his birthday and Number One Daughter wore a hand-me-down Cinderella costume. She had planned to be a pink pony, but changed her mind on the way out the door. Number One Son, got the cutest look on his face when he pulled his Speed shirt over his face and saw himself in the mirror. I can see him transforming with the hair and eyebrows tonight. Honestly, I was very surprised when Number One Daughter decided that she wanted to be St. Philomena. She never takes my suggestions. I believe that we will butt heads until the end of time. She is excited and I think she knows enough about out dear St. Philomena that she can answer questions if anyone asks. Hopefully, they will once again agree to trading their Halloween treats for Mom and dad allergy-safe bought candy (chocolate).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a worry a day...

I am a born worrier. I'm not sure if my constant tummy aches as a child were from food allergies, worrying or both. I did spend eighteen months in therapy to deal with anxiety issues in the late 90s. I still suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia. This election has really gotten to me. I am saddened by the prospect of a president that will not protect the unborn humans in America. I worry about assassination attempts and riots, no matter who is elected, that will throw our country backwards to the 60's, like the OJ Simpson Trail did in the 90's.I am in awe of the families, across religions, that have come together to pray for leaders who will protect the citizens of this great country from conception to natural death. As a Catholic, I am concerned about the souls who choose to vote for death and them bring themselves to Communion. I am concerned with the Priests in the confessional who will be confronted with millions of Catholics that will take themselves to the sacrament of confession after the election. In the back of my mind, I wonder if the Pro Life/Pro Family Movement will have to go underground like the resistance did during the World Wars. I do know that many Catholics are just too polite to tell others the sins they are committing in fear of being judgmental. We struggle with our humanness often fighting the LOUD and CLEAR messages from God. Jesus I Trust in You!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

offering sacrifices

Since we all have food allergies, I thought I'd take the opportunity to teach the kids about offering sacrifices as a form of prayer. Honestly, I am a cradle Catholic and I can't remember being taught about sacrifices (outside of Lent) and I went through RCIA with my husband and helped the next year. I was fretting on how to teach them. We rented Therese, and although it was a lovely movie, it really skimmed over her offering sacrifices. They totally missed it. They have a working knowledge of the word sacrifice. I simply told them that when they made a choice to not eat a food that they are allergic to or to not eat something that they love, they could offer it up as a sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. To my amazement, they immediately understood and have made it part of their daily interaction. It was suggested that in addition to the Novena for Faithful Citizenship, that we also offer sacrifices for our country. I have given up night time television. Watching TV at the end of the day is just making me to anxious. Number One Son and Number One Daughter are still thinking about what to do, Hubby has given up at-home computer time. God Bless America, Our lady of America, pray for us. Jesus I Trust in You!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sun Butter Cookies

All of the kids loved these so much that I had to lock them up in the pantry so they wouldn't eat them all in one day. Number One Daughter even passed up chocolate chip cookies for these. These are nut, wheat, corn, rice, potato, egg, oat and grain free. Number One Daughter and Number Two Son love to eat beanie cookie dough. Since it doesn't have eggs, it is fine to eat before cooking.

Oven 375*
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup SunButter® (www.sunbutter.com)
1/2 scant cup canola oil (use a dry measure cup and don't fill it all the way up)
2 Tablespoons flax seeds (grind before adding to mix)
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups bean flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a mixer bowl, add sugar, molasses, oil, SunButter®, water and flax seed that has been finely ground in a coffee/spice grinder; beat well. Add bean flour, baking soda and salt; beat until well combined. Shape into one inch balls, roll in sugar and place one inch apart on a ungreased cookie sheet. Crisscross with the times of a fork. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Beanie cookies do not spread out, so they can be placed closer together. Avoid making them to thick. If you want larger cookies, be sure to press them down well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scrambled Tofu

4 ounces hard tofu, crumbled
1 Tablespoon canola oil
sprinkle of turmeric
sprinkle onion powder
sprinkle dill
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese (optional)

Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add oil, tofu, herbs, spices and salt. Stir occasionally until the water from the tofu has evaporated and the pan is dry.

This was a hit this morning, served with pinto beans and soy milk (today is a soy day). Even Number Two Son cleaned his plate. I've eaten this wrapped in a tortilla or crumbled over beans. I've also added chili powder and cumin, but the kiddos like it best this way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Momma, Big Dog's peein' in the front room!"

Now how can this happen? Big Dog is closed up in her crate waiting patiently until Number One Son brings little dog back inside. Oh, Number One daughter thought it might be funny to let Big Dog run around the house? Big Dog can only run around the house after her morning pee! It was funny, only to her, until we discovered what Big Dog's big bladder got wet. Number One Daughter has learned a lesson, anytime toys or books have to be thrown away, she is devastated. I hope she remembers not to let her out again, but at least it was pee, there is nothing worse in my book than dog poo. Ewww...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now I wear the Crown

Sara Hickman is my favorite singer songwriter, she has a cute little song called "I wear the Crown" We danced to it at our wedding. Anyway, I got my first crown today. I had to have an old silver filling replaced on the other side. I think that old filling was 20 years old! My entire upper lip was numb for most of the day. I was a sight trying to drink and eat. I couldn't even drink out of a straw, add laughter to my situation and liquid came spewing out. Hubby and I thought I looked a little botoxed or maybe a little like Jack Nicholson's Joker. I'll have to search for the SNL skit/fauxmercial where the ladies were drooling due to too much of something. I see it as God's comic relief for having to spend $350.00 on a teeny tiny white crown.

Monday, October 20, 2008

a word about chick peas

I've never been a fan of chick peas, but Number One Daughter loves them, so they have become quite a staple in our diet. I've never had much luck cooking them, so I've usually bought them in cans. Name brands are generally bigger and organic is usually tastier. They are a hot item at our grocery store. I frequently have to climb up on the top shelf to get the last few cans. I recently tried to cook them from dried and was pleasantly surprised with how tasty simple chick peas can be. The need to be soaked overnight or they will get mushy and split. After soaking, cover them with water and cook on high in a Crock Pot for about 4 hours, add one Tablespoon of Kosher salt (for one or two pounds), cook an additional hour. I drained them and put them in freezer bags. They thaw in about 30 seconds in the microwave. When I fry them, they stay together and when I mash them for No Tuna Salad, the texture is just much better.

and one more thing

Saturday night when I put frozen turkey in the microwave to thaw it out for the cats, our microwave made a terrible sound. It has just turned nine years old, the diagnosis was clear. Now we had to come up with the money for another over-the-range microwave. The over-the-range variety are much more expensive than the counter top models. Fortunately for us, they are also cheaper that they were nine years ago. I found one for $149.00 at Home Depot, Yea! I took the three kids to Home Depot to get the new microwave while Hubby took the old one out. I get home and we start to put it in and it was missing the little package of nuts, bots, screws, etc... I went back to Home Depot and five holes in the cabinet later, it is installed! It is a little louder than the old one, the fan turns on automatically when it runs, but even if it lasts half the time, we saved money. I am ever so thankful for the invention of the microwave.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Full Moon

No one can sleep, the kids are acting like little aliens, the dogs and cats are trying to run away. I'll be glad when this passes. Now the new moon is another story...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

drip, drip, drip

How many people can have a leaky roof for over 4 years and never get it fixed? It is not like we have not tried. There is at least two gallons of black goo up the roof in additional to some really cool roof netting. Sometimes the patch works for a little while and sometimes it is just a waste of my dear Hubby's time. It is raining in the house today for the first time in a while. It simply hasn't rained and even though roof repair has been on our to-do list for many years, feeding our children and paying bills ranks higher that an occasional nuisance. Repairing or replacing a roof is a huge expense and making the wrong choice of contractor has frozen us up. That's how we roll.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

pray, pray, pray and Vote

Below is a letter from two Bishops in Texas. I am thankful that we have a Church hierarchy. We will continue to pray for those whose eyes are closed to the evil of the Democratic presidential nominee.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The month of October is Respect Life Month in our churches. It is a time in which we as Catholics are called to reflect upon the gift of life that has been entrusted to us by our Creator and to focus our attention on the many attacks against human life that exist in our culture today. This year, Respect Life Month takes on a more profound meaning as we face an election in our country where the protection of human life itself, particularly that of the unborn, is very much at stake. Therefore, as your Bishops, we wish to take this opportunity to provide clear guidance on the proper formation of conscience concerning voting as faithful Catholics and to articulate the Church's clear and unambiguous teaching on life issues as they relate to other issues of concern.

The Church teaches that all Catholics should participate as "faithful citizens" in the public square, especially through our voice in the voting booth, and that we have the responsibility to treat the decision for whom we will vote for with profound moral seriousness. We must approach the right and duty to vote with a properly formed and informed conscience in accordance with the teachings of the Church. Last November, the Bishops of the United States issued a document entitled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, in which we and our brother Bishops issued clear moral guidelines to aid the faithful in proper formation of conscience with regard to the many issues we face in our nation today. Through this joint statement to the faithful of Dallas and Fort Worth, we seek to briefly summarize the key points and dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you concerning the teaching contained in the document, especially that which may have arisen from recent public misinterpretation concerning this teaching.

1. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship clearly teaches that not all issues have the same moral equivalence. Some issues involve "intrinsic evils"; that is, they can never under any circumstance or condition be morally justified. Preeminent among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of same sex unions and "marriages", repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research.Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship clearly states: "There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called ‘intrinsically evil' actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, ‘abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others' (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed." (22)

2. The destruction of the most innocent of human life through abortion and embryonic stem cell research not only undercuts the basic human right to life, but it also subverts and distorts the common good. As Pope John Paul II clearly states: "Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good... It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop..." (The Gospel of Life, 72; 101)

3. Therefore, we cannot make more clear the seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion – while not the "only issue" – it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the last 35 years. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 48 million innocent lives have been lost. Each year in our nation more than one million lives are lost through legalized abortion. Countless other lives are also lost through embryonic stem cell research. In the coming months our nation will once again elect our political leaders. This electoral cycle affords us an opportunity to promote the culture of life in our nation. As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act, and to vote to abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can until it is finally abolished.

4. As Catholics we are faced with a number of issues that are of concern and should be addressed, such as immigration reform, healthcare, the economy and its solvency, care and concern for the poor, and the war on terror. As Catholics we must be concerned about these issues and work to see that just solutions are brought about. There are many possible solutions to these issues and there can be reasonable debate among Catholics on how to best approach and solve them. These are matters of "prudential judgment." But let us be clear: issues of prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic evils. No matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues, it does not outweigh a candidate's unacceptable position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion or the protection of "abortion rights."

As Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship states:"The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed." (28)

5. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, in paragraphs 34-37, addresses the question of whether it is morally permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil – even when the voter does not agree with the candidate's position on that evil. The only moral possibilities for a Catholic to be able to vote in good conscience for a candidate who supports this intrinsic evil are the following:

a. If both candidates running for office support abortion or "abortion rights," a Catholic would be forced to then look at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the evil done; or,

b. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this is sound moral reasoning, there are no "truly grave moral" or "proportionate" reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.

To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or "abortion rights" when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil – and, therefore, morally impermissible.

6. In conclusion, as stated in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the decisions we make on these political and moral issues affect not only the general peace and prosperity of society at large, but also may affect each individual's salvation. As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate moral gravity and in doing so, realize our continuing and unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose destruction by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day. With knowledge of the Church's teaching on these grave matters, it is incumbent upon each of us as Catholics to educate ourselves on where the candidates running for office stand on these issues, particularly those involving intrinsic evils. May God bless you.

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell
Bishop of Dallas

Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann
Bishop of Fort Worth

Friday, October 10, 2008

God Bless America

I think some of the time, American's are too quick to judge the situation with immigration and what immigrants can offer our country. I am humbled by the courage that it takes immigrants to leave their families and sometimes move a world away, not knowing the language and giving up their support system. Some immigrant families live very meager lives so that they can send money home. I have the privilege of knowing a few families that have given up their traditional extended families and come to America. Tonight I met a young Korean couple. They were involved in a serious car accident about a month ago. He had a brain injury and her jaw was broken as well as many other broken bones that left them in the intensive care unit for many weeks. I can not imagine almost losing my life, not understanding that language and not having my family to support me. How can their bodies heal with all of that stress? I can only pray that the company that he works for will continue to proved support so that they can either go home or stay, whatever is best for them. When I hear nasty comments about closing off our borders to immigrants, I try to turn it around and point out the blessings that these new, patriotic Americans can bring us. They appreciate their families, they hold democracy close to their heart, they enlist in the military so their families can join them. They put their lives on the line to fight for the freedom that they left everything for and we so often take for granted. I am trying to teach our children that Jesus loves us all, why should an arbitrary line in the sand change that?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby

Dairy free, wheat free, corn free, rice free, nut free YUMMY dessert!
French Silk
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Melt chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, it takes about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, cool. In a kitchen Aid with the whisk beater, cream together sugar and coconut oil, drizzle cooled, melted chocolate into sugar mixture, add one egg and beat on high for 5 minutes, add one more egg and beat on high for 5 minutes, add one more egg and beat on high for 5 minutes, add the last egg and beat on high for 5 more minutes. It is okay to stop and scrape the bowl. Pour into a glass serving dish and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. You can make this into a mousse type dessert by leaving it in the bowl, refrigerate it for an hour and then whisking it up again. It is yummy with fresh blueberries. I've also put it in a pastry bag and decorated with it like icing. I've doubled the portions, it works fine with 1 1/2 ounces chocolate, 1/2 cup coconut oil, 3/4 cups sugar and 2 eggs. It is so yummy that there are no leftovers with only a single recipe.

Our family doesn't miss the crust or the butter or vanilla that the original recipe had in it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Polka Dotted Eggs

Today is an egg day and Number One Son loves puffy (aka scrambled), cheesy eggs. I figured out a way to stretch our eggs with black beans. Now he calls them puffy, cheesy, polka dotted eggs.
4-6 eggs stirred to break the yolks, add a pinch of salt and onion powder
1 can ranch style black beans, drained and rinsed
canola oil
cheese (optional) Number One Daughter loves them without cheese (one of her allergies)

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add eggs, stir until they are almost done, add beans and stir until the eggs are done. Grate cheese over the top and serve. Yum! These are good wrapped in a tortilla also.

We buy big blocks of cheese (Colby Jack or Cheddar) and use it for everything. Grated cheese in bags contains potato starch or some other kind of starch that Number One Son is allergic to.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dulcis Potato

We are learning Latin names for foods and since we had sweet potatoes for breakfast, the kids asked me to look up the Latin word for sweet potato. Hubby always reminds me that the oven is on (but it is not) when I put sweet potatoes in the oven at night for breakfast the next morning. I've only recently started setting the timer for the oven to cook one of the few complex carbohydrates that we can eat while we sleep. It is nice to have a warm breakfast that is ready when we get up and it is still cool enough that the kitchen is not miserably hot all day from using the oven. I wrap them in foil, put them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 400* for 1 hour. Sometimes they sit in the oven for a couple of hours before we eat them, by then they are just right. Number One Son has always loved them, it was the food that helped him sleep through the night when he was seven months old. Number One Daughter was allergic to them, but they are one of the foods that she can eat once a week and not have a reaction. Intuitively, she will eat them one day and then not want them for a while. Number Two Son loves them, especially sweet potato chips. We found out mandolin slicer which makes frying much quicker and easier. I prefer to make them since a bag of sweet potato chips costs almost $4.00 and I can make them for the cost of a couple of sweet potatoes (<$1.00 per pound).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Poopy Day

Well, our Sunday could have started off better. Saturday, little dog couldn't poo, so hubby fixed him a special dinner of oatmeal, lettuce and olive oil. Both dogs ate up, went outside and then in their crates for bed. I don't know what time it was but big dog started chirping like a weak-battery fire alarm. Hubby got up, apparently big dog had pooed in her crate and wanted out, so she busted out. At 5 AM hubby put the tray from the crate outside and tossed a blanket in the crate for big dog to sleep on. The sun was just coming through the blinds and the chirping started all over again, and then the smell traveled into the bedroom. yuck! The baby gate and the door were closed, but big dog wanted in, so she made enough racket to wake all of us up. Number One Son woke up Hubby to tell him that Big Dog pooed all over the kitchen floor! Next time when little dog can't poo, Big Dog gets her regular food, poor girl, poor hubby, poor sleepy family!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Even I Will Wear Pink

My mother's oldest and youngest sisters are breast cancer survivors and this month I will wear pink on a few occasions to honor them. I haven't liked pink for a long time. I think it stems back from Molly Ringwald and I sharing a similar hair color and similar skin tone and my oldest cousin telling me I looked like her in, "Pretty in Pink." Number One daughter loves pink, but I try to fill in her wardrobe with other colors too. Thankfully for her, Number Two Niece loves pink so there are plenty of hand-me-downs. Anyway, I am thankful that my Aunts have survived their breast cancer and are more than five years post-treatment. I sent a very pretty pink ribbon rosary to Nana's church for their silent auction, I pray that it ends up in the hands of someone who will use it. The auction was supposed to have been in September, but due to Hurricane Ike it was rescheduled to October, how fortuitious. I will not donate to the big-name breast cancer foundation due to thier funding of immoral research an pro-death political stand.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Number Two Son

Oh, the faith of little children. Number Two Son is just 18 months old, but he likes to say prayers along with all of us. This afternoon when I was nursing him, I was reading (or trying to) St. Faustina's Diary. It has a red cover, his favorite color and he pulled it away from me and smiled. I pointed to Jesus and St. Faustina and said, "Jesus" and "St. Faustina." He nursed a little longer, I read about a page and then he took the book from my hand hugged it and kissed the picture of Jesus. (187) "O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Intercession of St. Philomena

Today instead of studying out of our Seton Religion Text, we read out of our Catholic Saint Flash Cards from CHC. I was looking for Padre Pio, but I didn't find it so I chose St. Philomena. I've spoken to the kids about her and have asked for her intercession for Number Two Niece for her emotional and learning disabilities and trichotillomania. I just recently read a little book about her and we plan on making a pilgrimage to a statue of her in thanksgiving and for her continued intercession. Well, anyway, there is a little prayer for you to ask for her help and Number One Son and I asked her to help his hands work better. Not even an hour later, Number One Son wanted to do a puzzle from a Spiderman workbook. I sat across from him and told him how to do it and letter by letter, the child that can only write his first name, wrote out R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y. I was in tears. My initial thought was, "I can't believe it!" but then I changed my words, "With God, all things are possible!" Thank You God! Thank You Mary! Thank You dear St. Philomena!


Number One Son had a breakthrough in reading yesterday. First, he asked me to do school. We had to go to the grocery store before our school time yesterday. He read his books without me asking and then I sat him down with a new story and he did it all by himself! He read it again because I was so excited and said, "I'm going to do it again, because I like to make you happy." We were hugging, kissing and giving high fives. We stopped while we were ahead, I like him to leave wanting more. It seems to be working.

Monday, September 22, 2008

the little Church that could

Last week before Hurricane Ike, the Pastor at Nana's church called (literally phone called, with help) everyone together to pray for the safety of the Church and the community. He is also a devotee to The Divine Mercy, they frequently say it during the Pastor's intentions during Mass. I can't recall right now, but I think they said a Rosary and a Divine Mercy Chaplet in addition to Mass. The community lost electricity, but there was no other damage. All of the newly planted palm trees are still standing. Praise God! This is the same Church, that with Divine intervention, prayed and prayed for the Trans Texas Corridor to go somewhere else and it did. Number One Son is complaining about not wanting to go to church (he loves going to Adoration), of all the places we have been to Mass, Nana's church is the only one he likes to go to. I respect that Father David is a true father to his parishioners. He manages to teach and make them listen and respond, even if they do not want to. Our children love to pray because we've shown them how God answers their prayers. Father David has managed to do this for his parish. He is truly a shepherd to his flock!

Friday, September 19, 2008

a bump in the road

Last night after hubby got home and we all watched "Ugly Betty" I had to run to Office Depot to make copies for our 4 H Clover Kids meeting. I stopped on the way home at a convenience store and when I got back in the car to go home, it wouldn't start. Darn! No Clover Kids meeting and no work, and we really need the money. Fortunately, Number One Son and Hubby can take the bus to his Cub Scout Go and See It on Sunday. At least I was only a block away from home, but it cost us $89.00 to have it towed home. Uggh!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Cinnamon Toast"

Today is a soy day and since the kids can't have wheat or cinnamon, I created this for the them. My mother used to make us cinnamon toast before we'd go outside and wait for the school bus. I made this for Number One Daughter when Number One Son was still eating wheat, so she got to name it.

1 package extra firm tofu
canola oil
brown sugar
white sugar

Slice the tofu into thin pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Brush each slice with oil. Put a pinch of brown sugar on each slice, spread out and then sprinkle with white sugar and a tiny amount of allspice. Broil on high for 7 minutes or until the tops are bubbling.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who Stole My Son?

Today has been one of those days that started off fine, but as breakfast and schooling progressed and Number One Daughter woke up things started going terribly wrong. Today we read about St. Michael the Archangel. Part of me wants to think that Number One Son is physically not feeling well, why else would things have turned so ugly? For a long time, I've thought that eggs might be the culprit, today is an egg day. He had his asthma and allergy medicine. I am puzzled, we are following our routine, there is really nothing different about today. I've noticed that if he is exposed to chemical cleaners he will get angry, defiant or aggressive. As far as i know, he wasn't exposed to anything this morning. Could the dye in the purple Elmer's glue stick have done it? He told me the devil got into him. I told him to get him and then we had a funny moment when he started blowing and I told him, "Don't blow him in my mouth!" We skipped formal "math" today. We said the Divine Mercy Chaplet together and he kept up with the number prayers pretty well. In addition to all the other prayer intentions, Number One Son wanting to learn to read would be a very big blessing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Always an Outsider?

For most of my adult life I've struggled with being part of the a group. I have friends, but we don't have a group of families that we socialize with. Last night we had a party with our field trip co-op. Several of the families know each other from church, Hubby and I would like that, but we have trouble fitting in. Since I've lived in Austin, I've been to three or four different parishes. I've always been Catholic (although not always Catholic). For the first time in a long time we are coming together with other homeschooling families. It is nice for me and the kids on park days, but Hubby doesn't get to participate. I have to have faith that we are on the right path and God will lead us where we need to be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Love My Husband

Most men could not put up with my messy ways, hard head and strong opinions, but God sent me a special man. We rarely fight, we are passionate in discussions sometimes, but we respect each other and things work their way out. Number One Son is not writing well, despite two years of occupational therapy and he is just starting to read. Yesterday at Cub Scouts, hubby was embarrassed for Number One Son because he couldn't do what was asked of him at Cub Scouts. Hubby helped him and Number One Son was very proud of what he did. Our discussion was about what was best for Number One Son, how could he learn in our messy home and we need to might need to re-think homeschooling. It did frighten me a little bit. I'm not ready to give up. We are really just beginning. The big thing that I've learned so far is that all children learn at their own pace, especially children who are blessed with challenges of poor concentration and poor fine motor skills. I pray daily for God to give me the gift of patience and thank God for blessing us with such wonderful gifts. I am additionally thankful for Number One Son's positive attitude and that other children see him for the beautiful person he is. We really can't ask for more than that. When we walk into a room, he is like a Rock Star, all the children say, "Hi Number One Son." or "Number One Son is here!" I can't believe that traditional school would be good for him, how could it? He'd be in trouble all the time for talking and he'd be away from the other kids for special help in writing and reading. I'm a product of that, it took a long time for me to move beyond that, I'm really not sure that I ever have.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fried Chickpeas and Carrot Catchup

I rarely deep fry thing for the kids, but when I am at a loss about what to make on a dreaded "Bean Day", this fills their tummies:

Deep Fryer at the highest temperature (mine has worn off), you will need a basket with a small enough mesh to strain the chickpeas , these have not worked for me on the stove
1-2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) darling Number One Daughter calls theses "Pea Chicks"
paper towels

Turn on the deep fryer. Drain the chickpeas and then dry them as best you can on paper towels. For two cans, I divide them into 4 batches, they contain a lot of water so they will bubble and cool down the oil, less is best. Fry for 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown, careful, they pop! Sprinkle with salt.

Carrot Catchup
1 can unsalted carrots
1/3 cup brown sugar
a dash of allspice
1 t. salt
1 T. apple cider vinegar

Drain the carrots, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium and then high until smooth. Put in a rinsed agave nectar bottle (reduce, reuse, recycle!) and serve with the chick peas.

Our children also like fried chickpeas with brown sugar on them. Traditionally I think they are sprinkled with curry powder or another spicy season salt, but we like then just with salt.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Today the kids can have soy milk and we have created a yummy breakfast or snack.

Individual serving:
1/2 cup Unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T. raw sunflower seeds
1 T. raw pumpkin seeds
1 t. raw sesame seeds
1 t. black sesame seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries and or 3 chopped dates
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or 1/2 ounce shaved dairy free chocolate bar
1 T. brown sugar
1/2-3/4 cup soy milk

The amounts are estimates, I just grab handfuls and toss them in a bowl, but they are pretty close to the measures.

Our home

Our little old house is in need of repairs, but we can't seem to get our brains around how to pay for them or for us to do them ourselves. Last night my dear sweet hubby and I spent three hours trying to put a new lock and deadbolt on the door. Hubby broke a key off in the lock and the lock would only lock from the outside, so I decided it was best to buy an new lock instead of digging a key out of a broken lock. After a phone call to my Dad, losing the half the lock outside and digging around in the dark to find it, we finally got it on and working. Today in the daylight we will put the strike plate on and hopefully that will be the end of this project. One of these days I'll have to sit and make a list of all the things we need to do for our little house. We are so blessed to own a home, but life gets overwhelming for both of us sometimes and we just don't know where to start.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

scary medicine

Ekkk! Today when Number One daughter and Number One Son were at the doctor for a well check/immunizations, the doctor told me that new research is showing that people who have had the flu shot at least 10 times in their lifetime have a 100% chance of getting Alzheimer's Disease. Number One Son has to get it because he has asthma, but I guess the rest of us will be sitting out the traditional shot and exploring alternatives at our local holistic pharmacy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vegetarian Kids

At night after the kiddos have gone to sleep, I wonder if I am screwing them up by making then Vegetarian. There are many "meat" commercials on late night television. Sometimes I think that other kids just don't eat meat AKA picky eaters, but my kids will tell you that they, "Don't eat God's precious creatures." Number One Son starts Cub Scouts this year. I'm sure that they will work with us about food allergies and food choices, but it is the fear of telling them about it that gets me. The "I don't want to deal with this" look. Personally, I'd look up information so I wouldn't screw up and feed someone else's kids something or unintentionally exclude them, but not all folks have the strange brain that I do. Number One Son and Number One Daughter are much more tempted to eat allergic foods than meat. I've seen them shake their head and run at the offering of a hot dog or the, "No Thank You, I don't eat meat." I've kept them pretty sheltered, but I have to admit, I am often surprised what other people consider healthy. maybe I can get up on my high horse because fast, convenient foods are just not an option for us. Cousins eat Fruit Loops and our kids eat chickpeas straight out of the can for snacks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Birthday Parties

We went to a birthday party for a true friend of Number One Son. We have been to family parties and children of my friends, but this was his first real friend party. He told me last night that he got to go to his friend's bedroom because he was a "special friend." Park days are great because Moms get to talk and the kids get to play, but the have been hard because it has been so hot and now we are back to one working vehicle. Sweet Husband walked to work yesterday, we picked him up, drove me to work and then they picked me up from work. Number Two Son got a much needed early nap yesterday, Yeah! I make cake and bring it along so we they can partake in cake along with everyone else.

Free of Almost Everything But Eggs Cake

Oven 350*
12 ounces of dried unsweetened coconut ground in a coffee grinder (I think it works best if the coconut has been in the freezer)
1 cup sugar
9 eggs (reserve three egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup tapioca starch

Stir the 6 whole eggs plus three egg yolks until they are just combined, do not stir them too much, if you do , the cake will separate. Stir all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined (there might be lumps of coconut, but I don't mind). Pour into pans coated with spray oil or cupcake pans with paper baking cups. Smooth out the top s. Bake for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes, 30-40 minutes for 9 inch round cake pan. Cool on wire racks.

Fluffy White Icing
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
pinch of salt
8 drops LorAnn flavorings (optional) We like Marshmallow

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium high heat until boiling and the sugar has melted. This happens very quickly. Turn on your Kitchen Aid with the whisk and slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup as you beat the egg whites at 10 (High). Beat for 5-7 minutes. You will hear a change in the way the mixer sounds when the icing is ready. Ice the cake/cupcakes and enjoy the same day.

I discovered that you can make meringues with the leftover icing. Pipe out (or make small globs) meringues on parchment paper or silicone baking sheet and bake for one hour at 225* , turn off the oven and then leave them in the oven for most of the rest of the day or overnight. These are chewier than my regular meringues, but less messy that just eating leftover icing out of the bowl.

Saint Faustina

I've been reading the Diary of Saint Faustina. I am very interested in how the Divine Mercy and how things came to be. It is not easy reading, but I am determined to read it. When reading about what Saint Faustina went through, I feel so silly about griping about all of my little things. Jesus talked to her and she was so humble. I'd like to think I'd be the same way, but come on, I'd have to struggle with not bursting with excitement if Jesus talked to me. Now if he asked me to do what she did, I'd probably have a breakdown, then I can relate to her struggles. I started saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on an almost daily basis a couple of months ago. It has been such a blessing, I have struggled less with insomnia since I started doing this. What a gift!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Egg Day

Today is a no soy, but eggs okay day. I have to admit, this is probably my favorite day on the rotation. I think the kids like it best too. We are down to 6 eggs, so I'll have to ration until we can get to the grocery store when hubby gets home. Tomorrow is a birthday party for a park day friend and I need to make coconut flour cupcakes and egg white icing for Saturday and for park day on Monday. The kids and I have been having a birthday party for Our Lady for the past several years. We also make a cake for Jesus' birthday on Christmas Day.

My Mayonnaise
1 egg
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
1 t. salt
dash of dried mustard (optional)
1/2-3/4 cup Canola oil

Add the egg, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a blender. Turn it on a low speed and drizzle the oil in until it is smooth and creamy.

No-Tuna Salad
1 can drained chickpeas
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 boiled eggs
1 rib celery
dash of onion powder
dash of dried dill
2 T. pickled turnips (home made with dill)
1 T. (optional) 365 Mustard (corn-free but has paprika which Number One Son reacts to but Number One Daughter loves it)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have to say that when Number One Daughter started eating, I thought I'd never find something she wasn't allergic to. God sent me the blessing of tapioca.
This is a yummy dairy-free pudding:

1 cup water
3 tablespoons Minute Tapioca (contains soy)
13.5 ounce can 93/cal per serving Coconut Milk
1/3 cup sugar

Optional Flavorings: 1 ounce baking chocolate, LorAnn Flavorings (We are big fans of 8 drops Egg Nog flavoring plus a pinch of nutmeg)

Soak tapioca in the water for 15 minutes, add sugar and coconut milk, cook over medium high heat until it boils. Cool for 20 minutes. Yum!

Beanie Cookies

Today is a no egg, no soy day. I hate beanie days. After doing this rotation diet for a year, it gets harder for me to be creative in the kitchen. These cookies are always a hit, especially if I put chocolate in them. Number two son will be 18 months old on Monday and isn't talking much but he can say "chocolate" and "cookie."

Oven 350*

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons flax seed ground in coffee grinder and added to 1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cup beanie flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional Mix-ins (dairy-soy free chocolate bar-2 ounces chopped, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds,1/4 cup flaked coconut, etc...)

Grind the flax seed, add it to the water in a small bowl, give it a quick stir and set aside. Cream the coconut oil and sugars until fluffy (this does not get as fluffy as butter or Crisco). Add the flax/water mixture, beanie flour, baking soda and salt. Add desired mix ins. Drop or roll in wet hands rounded teaspoons full on a greased (spray oil okay) cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. These are dense little cookies and do not spread out much at all. Sometimes I leave them as little balls, sometimes I roll them in sugar and sometimes I criss-cross them with my fingers or a fork. Carefully remove from the cookie sheet right out of the oven. They will harden as they cool.

These cookies are egg free, wheat free, corn free, gluten free, rice free, oat free, soy free, nut free. Pretty hypoallergenic. The coconut oil can be substituted with other solid oils (Palm, Crisco (contains soy), butter (contains dairy), etc...)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beanie Flour

Our Beanie Flour tastes so much better than soy or garbanzo bean flour. Number one daughter likes Navy Bean flour because cookies look like cookies. Personally, red bean or kidney bean flour combined with black bean flour (I cook one pound of each together) tastes the best.We use this almost every day. It does not contain any gluten, so things don't stick together without adding ground flax seeds, tapioca or eggs.
Crock Pot
Food dehydrator with a fan, not just a heating element (the beans will mold)
Coffee grinder (I use a Kitchen Aid brand because you can put the top part in the dishwasher)
1. Rinse and pick out the pebbles from the beans.
2. Put them in the crock pot and cook on High 6-8 hours or overnight. You might need to hot add water to the beans, it depends on how dry the beans are. Avoid stirring the beans, just leave them alone.
3. When the beans are well cooked, pour them into a wire colander to drain the liquid off. It is okay to let them cool for 30-45 minutes, but you don't have to.
4. Spoon the cooked beans onto the drying sheets of the food dehydrator and dry at 145* for 1-2 days or until they are completely dry. They will crumble in your fingers. If your beans look like they are going to fall through the slits in the dehydrator, purchase some unbleached 100% cotton fabric and cut it to fit the inside of the trays. After you have dried the e=beans, toss the cloth in the washing machine and dryer and they are ready to use again. Be sure and use unscented laundry detergent, if not you food might taste like your clothes smell.
5. Grind the cooked dried beans in the coffee grinder until it looks like four. There are always a few larger pieces, we don't mind, but you can sift and re-grind the larger granules of beans. You can store the cooked dried beans or you can grind it all and store it as flour. I usually store mine in the freezer. I don't know if it necessary, but I've spent a lot of time making it and I don't want it to go bad on me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Food Allergies Number One Son

When our son was born, I expected him to be sick with ear and sinus infections, it just ran in the family. He wasn't a sick baby, just fussy. He needed Little Tummies, Tylenol and Motrin to make it through his first two years. Maybe we needed him to have the medication, he cried so much. I couldn't bear to hear him cry, I thought that too much crying would make him sick. That kinda makes sense if you've ever had a marathon cry. Your nose and throat are swollen after crying for hours. I wanted him to be healthy. He had diaper rashes, but it wasn't until little sister was born that I discovered that diaper rashes are proof positive of food allergies. After 18 months of nursing a new pregnancy made me wean him (I know it wasn't necessary, but it was time, he is such a Momma's boy, that he'd still be nursing if I let him). All sorts of food allergies started showing up. Our very wise doctor told us that he couldn't have environmental allergies like us Until he was two. Sure enough, I read through his food journals and every time he ate peanut butter, he'd get a runny nose for two or three days and run a slight fever. I just thought he had a good immune system and got over colds quickly. We started eliminating foods and thought we had them all figured out before we made it to the allergist at four. I searched out an allergist that did not skin test children. I have had it done three times and did not want to torture him if I had a choice. At the last minute, we added "wheat" to the RAST test. I couldn't believe it when it came back that he WAS allergic to wheat. I took him off wheat for three weeks and he immediately potty trained. I let him eat it again and he wets his pants, no coincidence there. The nutritionist recommended that we take him off of corn since number one daughter was very allergic and his RAST was positive. I did and he really settled down. I was rather annoyed when the RE teachers at Church felt the need to tell me that he had trouble sitting still and had to go to the bathroom (even if we went right before) every class (even though it was only an hour). We sent popcorn as a snack since sister wasn't around and he couldn't eat the gold fish crackers. No more corn, no more wiggly Number One Son and no more excessive potty breaks. I have taught RE for 8 years and I have NEVER pointed out the obvious to a parent. Did they think they needed to tell me he was a busy boy? I swear, if I have one more person ask me if his has ADD, my head will pop off. It seems as if the world is full of psychologists and always ready to offer an unsolicited opinion. The good news is that on an elimination diet, he is pretty healthy, the bad news, he doesn't seem to be outgrowing his food allergies.

Finally getting started

My husband read something about people making money from specific blog site and suggested that I might help parents of kids with food allergies(I'm still not sure how I can make any money, but I think I need to vent sometimes). Our kids are allergic to more foods than most and all the non-allergy fast or convenience foods contain at least one or two "no-nos." Thankfully, we haven't had any life threatening reactions. I am constantly dumbfounded by adults that ask what happens when my kids eat allergic foods. Do they not trust me? If they don't end up in the ER is it okay to give them goldfish crackers because everyone else is eating them? NO!!! Number one son will willingly accept food from anyone, number one daughter will sneak foods that she is not supposed to have and number two son is still a baby/toddler and picks up all kinds of things and puts them in his mouth. I hate for my kids to be sick, I refuse to give them antihistamines just so they can eat "whatever everybody else is eating." Another gripe is family members trying to feed them meat or orchestrating a big meal where bacon or ham has been added to every vegetable and the only thing we have to eat is a big bag of premixed salad! Hubby is a teacher and when our oldest was just a baby, he came home and said, "We are homeschooling." I was freaked out about it, but loaded my brain with information and have gradually added a nice support system. I was beginning to think that my kids would never have any friends. I work 6 hours a week and this puts a damper on social activities. I was never in to Mom's Groups because I wanted to keep my kids healthy and exposing them to kids who were out and about all the time wasn't something that I wanted to do. I like that they play at home, the BIG downside to this is that our house is always messy. We have a Park Day once a week and it has been a true blessing. Number one daughter is so shy, but she has found a friend. Number one son, can't stop talking and he has also found a friend who doesn't mind. Number one son or Mom have not been diagnosed with ADD, but the syndrome runs in the family and we have "focus" issues. I have partially written a cook book, I think I'll post it here, I just can't get things together enough to shop it around to publishers.