Redeeming a meal

Lately I’ve been trying more new recipes than probably my dear family would prefer.  Trying to eat cleaner and decreasing the meat at a meal.  So, I can think of at least 2 that my family is ok with, and both in the Mexican flair – Chicken Tortilla Soup and Corn Tortilla and Black Bean casserole (which we had tonight). 

Strangely to most I would think, I try to ask Father “what’s for dinner?” and listen for His preferences.  Yes, to some, this is a weird thing, and personally, I think it a bit weird as well.  But I’ve experienced cooking in the kitchen with the knowledge of His presence and guidance in this everyday occurance of cooking a meal for my family, and I must say, it’s extraordinary. 

So Monday, I kept pressing for “what’s for dinner?”  and He kept coming back with this new soup recipe, Curried Lentil Soup.  I’d already made Molasses Spelt bread that morning, along with Pecan Sandie cookie dough to freeze for a playdate, and THEN I tried a spinach casserole of lunch which was eaten by 2/3 of us.  Sawyer Wayne said “yucky.”  Well, worth a try is what I say.  So I finally relented after continuing to seek Him, and made the Curried Lentil soup.  It was eaten by 1/2 of us; kids gave it a thumbs down but Tony and I managed to eat it (it wasn’t that bad).   But it’s not to be in the menu rotation, if you know what I mean. 

So now I have this full “cool whip” container of Curried Lentil Soup.  And it’s been cold here where we are.  And sometimes I just get downright chilly.  So the other day for a warm up snack, out comes the curried lentil soup.  It had lost it’s soupiness, so I put about 3 scoops of lentil soup and 1 c. of water.  I added more cumin and curry, along with some salt (which was helpful) AND some red pepper flakes for extra extra spice and warmth!   And MY OH MY, that was some GOOD STUFF!  I then became delighted that I had that soup all to myself.  And to help bring down the  heat in my mouth, two bites of Greek Goddess Honey yogurt.  Wow.

So, that’s my story of a redeemed meal.  I say it’s better to try something new than not.  Is that maturity?

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Food: 5 MORE fridge/pantry staple items, + 5 more

I ran out of this yesterday after writing my first post on my 5 pantry or fridge staple items. POPCORN! We eat popcorn at least 3 times a week for snack or movie time. I forget the brand since I store it in a jar in the pantry. But we get it from our local health food store and it’s organic. I’ve fluctuated between it and the Food Club brand. There IS a difference in the quality and not that much difference in price. Even if I went with Orval Redenbaucher’s (whew – I probably just butchered that, but you know the brand), I think my organic is cheaper. I’ll check on that today since we’re making a trip for several staple items we are out of.

SO, here’s 6-10 in the pantry/fridge

6. Popcorn, organic
7. EGGS – we eat A LOT of eggs and when I made my fried rice last night, I was 1 egg shy and really prefer three in my fried rice when I don’t add meat
8. Corn tortillas – we do taquitos on Saturday morning or Sunday night, along with soft tacos with beans and spanish rice
9. Rice – still settling on brand, but usually choose to save money here; prices fluctuate, but I prefer Jasmine or Basmati, but usually get Food Brand, long grain
10. Dry beans – black or pinto, usually both. I have a great crock pot recipe for beans and do these at least once a week.

There it is! For me more than anyone else! Off to the store since we are out of some of our staples 🙂

UPDATE:  After trip to the Granary, my favorite organic popcorn is Arrowhead Mills, 1.75 lb. bag for $2.75.

12. Peanut Butter, Arrowhead Mills, sometimes organic, sometimes not

13.  Albacore Tuna in water

14.  Onions, i always cook with yellow onions, prefer the sweet ones, but right now, any onion I’ve brought home has made my eyes water :/

15.  Avocados, these use to be a luxury item, now they are a necessity!  And today, Walmart had them for 44 cents!

Food: Staples in my pantry/fridge

My friend Faydra, at Groundspeed, blog tagged me to give up our 5 food staples in our pantry. So here goes!

1. Spelt Flour (has replaced my forever used unbleached all-purpose)
2. NOW brand Maple Syrup (time for a Granary trip – we are out of this)
3. Nuts – anykind, sometimes peanuts in shell, almonds. Our freezer has many bags of pecan pieces I order in the fall;
I use these for my fruit salad and anything else they need to go into.
4. Farmer’s Cheese, homemade (aka Tvorog cheese) – this serves as my sour cream, yogurt (mix with honey or syrup). Yummy. Goes well with muffins or fruit. Everyone is happy when they eat it!
5. Apples, Apples, Apples!

Ok. I may have put more info with that than needed/wanted. I’m continually developing my staples list and one day hope to have it easily available on paper, other than in my forever-forgetting mind!

Parenting Books I just might read

I’ve been reading since….and I think I get a little cranky when I stop taking time to read. It’s been more challenging since I’ve had 2 kids, but I want them to see MOM reading and enjoying it! Sunday afternoon after playing a bit of baseball and kickball with the kids, I gave Sammy time to ride his bike along our side street while I sat out and watched; Saw does his own thing but his “leash” is shorter. So I took a book with me (fiction) I wanted to read…..and in maybe 20 minutes, read 2 pages. Twice. Sigh.

Some time ago I tossed all the parenting books aside. But yesterday I ordered a book I KNEW I needed since a lot of her information is on her website. From something I encountered recently I was faced with the question of what my parenting philosophy is. Hmmm. So after a not-so-fun-parenting incident on Monday evening, I went back to Raising Godly Tomatoes. I’d been recommended this site by a friend some time last year and I remember in July settling on it – and it worked. And then, I guess, somewhere along the days that ran into weeks, I stopped using the methods. Actually, what happened was, I gave my eldest a longer “leash” than he had earned. But, this works for us. So I’m anxiously awaiting my book (but have already gleaned enough from her website to put into action the methods we need to survive/thrive until then). And as I’ve said to my husband before “It would be great if you and i could at least be in the SAME BOOK, even if not on the SAME PAGE!” LOL! And after 48 hours of re-implementing this approach/method/philosophy, we’ve had us some great two days!

The other parenting book I’ve poked my nose into recently is Tim Kimmel’s “Legacy of Love.” One of the kids actually took this book off the shelf one day and laid it on top of my stack by my chair. When I ran out of the house for a little diet vanilla coke down at the local Sonic after a particulary challenging day, I went to grab my bible and anything else that might jump out at me…and Legacy of Love did. And it was helpful and Father nailed for me why I was so troubled that day by my eldest’s behavior. It was an issue of character. And when I got home, Tony and I talked with him and we were able to settle it with God’s Word. Amazing.

I’ve picked up another book recently at a fabulous used book store in a nearby town. I could just stroll in that store for hours just reading the titles of books! It’s like a big ole’ hug from the books when you walk in. Love it. There I found a book “Whole Child/Whole Parent” by Berends. No doubt, it challenges my reading level – LOL! But it’s got some gems in it and after reading a bit out of it, I had new eyes for my boys. Inquisitive. Accepting. Understanding. Listening.

Certainly on my list: Wild at Heart, Bringing up Boys, The Strongwilled Child (this should have come out with Sammy when he was born!), The Birth Order Book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. All these in no particular order.

Well, so many books. So little time. Not to mention all the wonderful blog info that’s out there! I hope to later share about the stack of fiction books that’s crossing my threshold.

Surviving “no naps”

It was 8:41 pm when I walked out of the boys room – both asleep. Last night it was 8:32 pm. When they do nap (like on a Sunday) they don’t go to sleep until 10:30pm and that makes for a l.o.n.g. day. I can’t remember what happened on Monday night, but I had them up around 7am and they were getting cranky at Noon, at which point I fed them, read to them and we snuggled down in my bed for an hour and half nap!

I’ve been toying with “no naps” even before the holidays. It’s SO easy to go back to napping! Sometimes I don’t sleep well and I need a nap! My youngest (3 in three weeks!) could probably still use a nap, but he doesn’t want to miss anything! One thing I did try was having oldest rest on his bed with a book while I put youngest down for a nap (who likes for me to “lay down me” for him to go to sleep). This worked sometimes and Sammy and I would go do some school work and then take 30 minutes to rest (which Sammy usually fell asleep). And sometimes (when I wanted it to and even when I didn’t), Sammy would fall asleep reading his book! And Monday, I tried waking up Sammy after an hour nap – he woke up, changed positions, and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes!

So these past few days have been fairly easy to work through our afternoon “lull.” Tuesday we had organic produce co-op pick-up at 2:30, and errand, and then I took us to the park for park and bike riding time. Today we had to run a lunch into town for Dad. We’d made ourselves a picnic for the park but it was SO COLD (due to wind and no sun) that I couldn’t finish my lunch! The kids had already ran off without finishing their lunch, knowing their time was short! We’ll return on a day that the sun is out. So we picked up some Wendy’s chili on the way home, ate, I did some clothes folding while the kids played, and then I joined in for some block playing. We snuggled in a big chair for 30 minutes of Sense and Sensibility, then it was time for me to do some kitchen work. And surprisingly, the meltdowns we had encountered previously trying no naps haven’t popped up. I was on the verge of one today, but reigned myself in! LOL!

So here we are. Trying. Highly grateful for more peaceful bedtimes (for they have not always been this way even BEFORE trying no naps). To continue to survive, I hope to plan a walk to see our neighborhood horse we feed carrots to, do some art (I’m still working up the courage to do finger paints…), go see relatives, read, read, read our library books, play a game.

I think we’re going to make it.

Stone Sunday Chronicles – Last week!

Today began early as we were scheduled to serve as MVP (most valuable parent) in Saw’s class today. It began with Tony and I working together to throw a pork loin roast into the oven. Fortunately (albeit grudgingly) I am learning to bathe the night before so there’s only makeup and hair to contend with. Easy breakfast with farmers cheese (tvorog), honey, granola and banana. Sammy would love a return of my “famous Sunday muffins” but he and I are going to have to make it a routine to mix the dry ingredients the night before.

Way before we had kids, Tony and I were involved in a large Sunday school class where everyone was having kids before us. I loved that class and the people in it and was very passionate about encouraging others in their relationship with Christ. One of the members had twins at one point – and then “fell of the face of the earth.” And I remember it making me sad that she no longer attended our class, or church, that I knew of. Perhaps to make it more challenging, I think her husband worked on Sundays. And although our class visited and encouraged her, nothing changed. However, believing that a parent, as a Believer, had the greatest responsibility of leading their child to faith in Christ, and in my opinion, worshipping with other believers is a part of the process of teaching them to live out God’s Word, could not understand her absence and rememember thinking “God didn’t give you those babies for you to drop out of church!” Well, this was my simple prayer when I got home and was changing clothes “Thank you Father, for helping us to work through the challenges of GETTING to church! Thank for for the tenacity and perseverance it often takes on a Sunday morning to not give up and to keep moving us (especially 2 small people!) forward so that we can live out our faith by worshipping with other Believers.” Because believe me, I encountered some small, yet viable opportunities this morning to throw my hands up in the air and say “FORGET IT! IT’s TOO HARD!”

Our time was well spent in worship (didn’t get there for song, only message). Pastor is still preaching on 2 Corinthians and giving/money. It’s been a great series. Tony is PUMPED about starting Dave Ramsey’s course in a few weeks.

Our next tour of duty was changed – we were to be MVP’s in Sawyer’s class (a breeze) but were asked before worship if we could switch to Sammy’s class. My response: I’m not prayed up for that! That class is 30+ strong. But we were willing – and always will be, to step in where we’re needed. Sammy was NOT happy about Momma being in his class, but Dad is the fun man of the two of us and was able to win him over by playing a game of “ball” in the fish tank (no fish or water) and this won him over easily. They divide the boys and girls up after getting started and we were in charge of sharing about Jesus being in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, how hard it must have been for him and how He made the right decisions to lean on/into Father during this testing. We made a 80 link chain yellow/black, representing day and night. My Sammy was a great help. I don’t know who was the rowdiest, the girls or boys. But both groups LOVED my husband. This is how it always is. Our previous next door neighbors had a daugther – she saw me more than Tony (he was working nights at the time), but she ALWAYS remembered his name and would ask about him – and then say “What’s your name again?” Anyhow, we survived 30+ kindergartener’s and were glad to get home!

Since I’m finishing this post a week late, I can’t remember much past that! But there were a few things I thought worth reading. Maybe a sentence or two.