Monday, November 23, 2009

Just In Case You've Wondered...

I have not dropped off the face of the blogosphere. My internet situation is still limited and my free time has become even more limited than ever! And, I'm still learning to "deal" with the drama that my family just can't seem to do without.

Here's where I am, in list form:

1. Preparing for Thanksgiving...12 adults 9 kids

2. I'm thinking, "what was I thinking?"

3. My rolls are baked and in the freezer

4. I'm making my cranberry sauce tomorrow

5. Tom the turkey is defrosting in the fridge

6. I'll make pies on Wednesday evening...after work

7. I'm trying to think up a chocolate dessert to take to Dan's uncle's house on Saturday...

8. I'm in the process of reupholstering this dining room chair I bought at a thrift store for $5 today. I spent my whole morning removing the old chair cover...I think there was horse hair in there...not sure, but it was old! I love the needs a new seat though. Maybe I'll post a picture tomorrow...yeah right! Maybe next month!

I love "Thanksgiving Saturday." Dan's uncle always has us over the saturday after Thanksgiving and I just love's a great time of fellowship with Dan's family and all the kids get to be together. I get to have Thanksgiving dinner without any of the work that goes with's just a good time.

Here are some pics from the last month...


Monday, October 26, 2009

All I Can Do is Laugh!

Life has been quite busy around here. Dan had surgery on both of his shoulders 3 weeks ago, the twins are moving full steam ahead in Kindergarten, I'm pluggin' along with my 2 full-time jobs at home and my part-time job as a Dental Hygienist, and... the saga with my extended family continues.

I've tried to remove myself from the whole situation, and I've done a pretty good job of removing myself physically, but emotionally...well, how does one not think about such a situation? I try to pray about it instead of worry about it or become angry about it, but, well, what can I say? I'm an imperfect human. I'm really just very blue about all of this. Especially because the holidays are fast approaching and my sister won't talk to me and my parents are upset with me because I haven't taken my sister's side in all of this. Let's all say it together, "DYSFUNCTION!"

The lighter side? This could relieve much of the holiday stress that I usually have to face. I won't have to referee at the dinner table, or facilitate small talk. This could be good.

On a brighter note, Adam & Katie are just taking off in Kindergarten! They are like little sponges soaking up all the fundamentals of reading and math, and science. It is so exciting to see them learning so much and so quickly.

Sophie goes to Noni & Bomas' house for a 2-day sleepover every week. She's being are they! They've never had the experience of having just one grandchild at a time. I think they really look forward to Sophie's weekly visit. It will be sad for them when she goes to preschool next fall.

Dan is doing well with his recovery, although his range of motion is very limited right now. He goes to physical therapy once a week and should be getting back to normal in the upcoming months.

Well, that's all I have to say about that. Life! What a journey! I'm looking forward to the destination!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Monday was Picture Day at school, so I took an opportunity to click my own pics before sending Adam & Katie on their way. I have to say, these are some stinkin' cute kids! They struck their own poses for these the school pics come back with dorky smiles.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You'll Find a Gift in the Present!

How many times have you been so riddled with anxiety you couldn't think straight? I've been down that road more times than I care to admit. The best way to describe the root of anxiety is "the mind going in 2 or more directions at once."

What does that look like? Well, that often times looks like our daily life. We have kids that need to be fed, laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping, occasional bathing ;). The problem is, there is constantly "one more thing" to do before we can "relax."

How do we fix this? First, we recognize that what we're feeling is in fact anxiety. Then we identify the different "directions" in which we're being pulled. Then, STOP! SLOW DOWN to a snail's pace. Come into the "present." Make an effort to stop will find peace, and comfort there. You will also find God there!

The best way to become "present-minded" is to go out into nature. Nature is very present; it cannot help but be present. Watch the ind blow through the trees and consider the source of the wind. Watch a bee collect pollen from a flower. Watch the can never, not find ants here in sunny Florida. You will find that for just a brief moment you won't be thinking about anything but what you're seeing...everything pressing will melt away. This is the gift of the present.

I have realized God resides in the present! A lot of times we get stuck in the past...past hurts, pat hang ups, past habits. The past is a dangerous place for Christians to hang out. Reminiscing about past hurts just brings about anger, pain, and judgement. We have to remember, "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ."

Even more often, we have a tendency to be future-minded. "I'll be happy when..." Or, I'm worried about this, this, and this. I've learned a valuable lesson about living in the future. First of all, as I said before, God resides in the present, not the past, not the future. Worrying about what's going to happen later today, tomorrow, or at the end of the week or month is not only anxiety-provoking, but it's ungodly. The Bible says,

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God
what you need and thank Him for all he has done. Then you
will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can
understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in
Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

So, stop reliving the past, stop trying to control the future, and start living here and the present.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I See a Potential for Needing Bigger Jeans!

The bread...awesome! It's so easy to make that I could easily bake (and eat) a loaf a day. The problem is not with the bread as much as it is with the buttah. (for those of you who don't get the New York Jewish accent, that's butter) I love a nice chewy, fresh-baked bread with a glob of buttah on top!

Here's the photo play-by-play of the No Knead, Dutch Oven, Crusty Bread..............

The Rising Dough...looks like a science project...oooh bubbles! Add Image

The Risen dough...I used 1/3 whole wheat flour for this loaf and dusted the top with wheat bran (because I just happened to have wheat bran in my pantry for one of Dan's many diets :-)

This is my Romertopf clay oven. It was a wedding gift (that I registered for, I can't imagine why). I used it once, 10 years ago. I baked a chicken in it. I must not have been impressed because I haven't used it since. Until today...I've used it twice today to bake my bread. I don't have a heavy dutch oven, but I do have this and I have to say, it's like having bread baked in a brick oven. Outstanding! I can't remember who gave this to us but I'm so glad they did!

The End Product...

which all 3 kids, and my beloved loved!

Look at those holes! This bread looks like it came from some centuries-old family run french bakery in Paris.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Might As Well Face It...I'm Addicted to Bread!

I've never been a big "sandwich" bread person, nor have I been one who requires bread with every meal. However, I've discovered the "medicinal" effects of bread. A nice crusty loaf from Panera with some above-average sweet cream makes everything better! Well, almost everything. But, at $2.45 a baguette. and the trek to Panera...I needed to rethink my new "medication."

My friend Kris told me about a bread recipe that is very easy and turns out a nice loaf of artisinal bread. The bread doesn't require any kneading. Huh? Bread that doesn't require making a huge mess of flour all over the counter? This can't work. If it does, it can't be bakery-quality. I had a chance to try the bread recently and it truly was bakery-quality. A nice crust on the outside, a good hearty chew on the inside. Check out the recipe at this link:

I haven't baked it myself dough is currently "resting" on the kitchen counter. I'll be baking tomorrow and I'll post the results...if I can get an internet signal.

Speaking of internet, there has been a crew of workers down the street for the past couple of weeks. They've installed additional telephone poles, I also saw that they've buried some kind of new lines. I have my fingers crossed that these lines are for DSL. One can only hope.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coyote Hunting...

It's 7:30pm and I'm sitting in my upstairs room huntin' coyotes. It's a long story, but the short of it is that the coyotes ate 5 of our chickens last Sunday evening and we've been watching for them (with a loaded rifle by our side) ever since. I have to say that with all this family "stuff" that's been going on the past week I'm in the mood for shottin' somethin'. Not very Christ-like I suppose...what can I say, I'm a work in progress.

I haven't seen anything yet and I'm not too squimish about shooting one of those rotten animals...since they've eating about 2 dozen of my cickens over the past 4 years. I just hop that if I do get the opportunity to "take one out" I get a good shot and it's a quick and painless death...although I don't imagine my chickens' deaths were neither quick nor painless.

Ok, enough rambling. Ever seen that show from the '60s, Green Acres? Some days I feel like Ava Gabor. I never imagined I would be on a coyote stakeout, with rifle in hand. Good times!