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® (
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.