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.