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.