Wednesday, January 30, 2008
My chocolate chip muffin recipe is from All Recipes. I love that site because people can rate recipes as to how much they like them. Even better, people leave comments on how to improve recipes. I really appreciate that because I am no good at experimenting with recipes. If I make something, and it doesn't taste good, I just don't make it again. I have no idea what to do to make it taste good. Oh, yeah, I'm giving you the improved recipe.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
This recipe makes a few more than a dozen, about 14 or 15 muffins.
Homemade Wheat Bread
This recipe is from Crystal at Biblical Womanhood. I really like it because the bread machine does all the hard work, but the bread bakes in the oven and is so good. We use this as snack bread; I still buy bread to use for sandwiches.
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespooons oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
Put all ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Set on dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished, take dough out and shape into a loap in a greased bread pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
This blanket turned out much bigger than I expected, so I need to make another one that is small enough to use in the bassinet and in the car seat. I think I will do one like this one, but in a heavier yarn since it is winter. The pattern was fun to work on, and it worked up quickly. I've got two weeks; do you think I can get it done? If not, I've got one of Sarah Beth's old ones I can use.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
(As you may recall, I don't write about John very often in here, and I am trying to remedy that.)
As we were eating supper, John asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I have to admit that my first reaction was to ask, "Are you sick?" My birthday is April 14 which is two and a half months away. This man waits until the last minute to shop; last year he went out on my birthday to buy my gifts. I had not even thought about it yet because I figured I had another two months before I needed to come up with something. I do want my mom to make me some napkins, but he can't help with that.
Then John noticed my new watch. This is not the one that I bought with the gift card my parents gave me. No, I bought this one with the gift card to Wal-Mart my co-workers gave me as a baby gift. I am the kind of person who likes to know what time it is even (especially!) in the middle of the night, so I wanted a watch with a light that was digital so it wouldn't tick-tock in my ear in bed at night. This will be my middle-of-the-night-feeding-the-baby watch. I wear it now when I'm home cleaning to keep my nice watch nice. Anyway, John just noticed it for the first time last night which doesn't surprise me since I don't usually wear it when he's around. By that time, I'm showered and wearing my good watch. I only mention this because of his follow up comment, "Are you going to put this in your blog?"
The third thing, however, got him into his own hot water. Remember those Girl Scout cookies I found yesterday? I told him about them, and he said that he remembered that they were from my box. My box? Oh, yeah! John likes to gobble up treats when we get them; I like to savor them. What ends up happening is that John eats 75% of the treats, and I only get 25%. I am selfish; I admit it. So when I buy treats, I usually buy two boxes or bags, and this only happens a few times a year. That way, he can eat his as fast as he wants, and I can savor mine as long as I want. It annoys him because his are gone in a couple of days, but mine still sit on the counter, but he can't have any. Anyway, that's what happened with those cookies. Apparently, I took so long eating them that I forgot I had them! I was still going to share with him, but he didn't want any. I have to admit that I didn't try too hard to persuade him. Now I have some more for today!!
My silly, sweet husband, already concerned with my birthday, noticing new things about me, and letting me eat my own cookies. What a sweet, wonderful man I married. And I haven't even mentioned what a terrific father he is!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sarah Beth is now awake from her nap which means that I have refreshed my spirit and vacuumed. The bread has been baked, and it is good! I made my list for my errands tomorrow. The only thing I did not get to was sewing those buttons on. I hate sewing buttons on. I wish, well, I wish I didn't have to do it!!
Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is hosting Making Your Home a Haven Monday. I like to join in because it gives me the extra push I need to get things done around the house.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Dear Lord, I bring to Thee my son
Whose tender years have scarce begun.
In this wee frame I know full well
A living soul has come to dwell
Who needs Thee now at childhood's gate,
Ere he shall grow to man's estate.
I covenant through hours apart
To pray for him with fervent heart,
To teach Thy Word with winsome voice
By day and night until his choice
Be but Thy blood for sin's deep stain,
And my small son is born again.
Then onward shall I pray the more
And teach Thy precepts o'er and o'er,
That he may grow, each boyhood hour,
By Thine indwelling risen power.
Lord, some small boys with none to care
Will never hear a mother's prayer;
Prepare my son with love aflame
To reach them with Thy saving name.
And make him, Lord, a polished tool,
A learner in Thy highest school.
A mother's part seems, oh, so frail!
But Thy strong arm can never fail.
To teach, to pray, to stand are mine;
Expentantly I yield to Thee
The little boy Thou gavest me.
Friday, January 25, 2008
12. Turn off the television!
I wonder what sort of reformation and revolution might occur if all true Christians turned off their television set or removed it entirely from their homes, and used that time in serious Bible study, family worship, and works of mercy and ministry! That the television occupies the central place of the home, that is, its altar, is symbolic of our culture, and the impotence of American Christianity to change lives radically or affect the culture in any meaningful way.
I know that too many times I turn on the tv because I am tired and/or lazy and don't feel like finding anything else to do. I do try very hard to keep the tv off when Sarah Beth is awake because I don't want her getting used to watching it or even just having it on. I watch a few minutes in the morning while I am feeding Sarah Beth her oatmeal to catch the news for the day. Then I watch the evening news to see if anything important happened during the day. I usually watch a little bit, also, during her naps while I crochet.
I have a great respect for people who don't even own a television, but there are things about owning one that I enjoy. And I don't think that it is necessarily wrong to own one as long as it isn't worshipped (or watched all the time).
Similarly, the other thing that occupies too much time and attention from our families these days is the internet. I know that I have to keep an eye on the time when I am online because the time can get away from me so quickly when I am reading your blogs or doing a little shopping. I try to stay off the internet in the evening when John is home because I had all day to do what I wanted to do and it takes me away from the little bit of time we have together during the day.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Yesterday, before I left for the party, I tried to recall the last time I bought jewelry. Other than the watch I bought after Christmas with a gift card, I realized that I have bought no jewelry since I went to the last jewelry party my sister hosted which was about six years ago. The last jewelry that I was given was a replacement engagement ring (yes, I lost my engagement ring), and that was three years ago.
I decided it was time to buy something new. I picked out a pearl bracelet and earrings, faux, of course. I did not even look at necklaces because right now is not a good time for those with little, grabby hands. I cannot remember the last time I wore a necklace. Honestly, the only jewelry I wear is my new watch (which I love!) and a pair of gold stud earrings that John bought me for Christmas several years ago. I am looking forward to my new purchases coming in and being able to wear something new and different. Won't that be fun!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Have you noticed differences in your pregnancies?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
John asked me this morning if I had blogged about our trying to sell our house. I told him that I had not because he had asked me to keep it quiet. (I'm sorry, Laura and Ivy; I wanted to tell you.) Well, he released me this morning from my "vow of silence."
When we got married, I rode horses a lot. I owned one that I boarded at a local stable. John became involved in riding as well, and we bought another horse. Our dream was to own our own farm which we finally did -- and do. The problems (they're not really problems!) started when I got pregnant. Pregnant women should not ride once they start showing; it throws off their balance. I had to stop riding when I was pregnant with Sarah Beth. After having her, it was still hard to ride with a newborn. Finally, I was able to ride again. But I got pregnant again. John does not like to ride by himself, and he does not want to be gone from us to go ride. So he has not ridden much the past couple of years, either. As a matter of fact, he has not ridden his horse since September.
We came to the difficult decision that it does not make sense to own a farm and horses if we are not going to ride. We tried to sell our place in the spring but got discouraged. We recently put it back on the market with a different (and hopefully better) agent with the determination to see it through this time. We still have a few horses to sell, and we are not having much luck with that, although a woman is looking at John's horse this morning. We've got our fingers crossed about that one because we think it would be a good match. We've known her for years.
I like living out here in the country. I like how quiet it is, how there is no traffic, that the grocery store is really nice but never busy. I like the solitude. John has a great commute to work: it is about 20 minutes with almost no traffic or traffic lights. We would move into a nearby suburban neighborhood that would be very different, but John and I both grew up in similar neighborhoods. John's commute would be horrible, though. They are doing a lot of construction on the interstates around us. It would probably take him 45 minutes to an hour to get home, and it would be an unpleasant drive.
Anyway, I am writing all of this for the reason that someone is coming to look at our house today. I have a few last things to do, then Sarah Beth and I are leaving to go run errands and take a nap (her not me) at my mom's house.
I would like to say, "Please pray that our house sells quickly," but I am not sure that I want it to. With this baby coming in a month, I don't feel capable of packing up the house. And I certainly don't want to try with a newborn. I would really rather we not sell for five or six months. However, God could use our selling the house now to show us (me!) that we cannot do it all ourselves, that we need to ask for help. John and I both have huge independent streaks running down our backs. I have been praying for God's will to be done. That is what I ask you to pray as well. Thank you.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
A few months ago, I read about another candidate that interested me in World Magazine. (Can you tell I like this magazine?) His name is Duncan Hunter, and I hadn't heard of him since because he is not in the top tier of candidates. I saw a yard sign for him yesterday; it had his website on it, so I checked it out to see if he was as good as I recalled. He is. First of all, he is staunchly pro-life. He wants a constitutional amendment protecting the life of the unborn and defining life at conception. He also wants to build a fence to keep illegal aliens out. He does not think that children born to people who are here illegally should automatically be citizens just because they are born here. (I've been saying that for years.) He wants educational choice, and he wants to protect the right to homeschool. He wants to protect our rights under the Second Amendment to keep guns in the house to protect it. I could go on, but if I have piqued your interest, you can read more here.
I know that he won't win any primary, and so he will not be the Republican presidential candidate. But the primaries are a time to vote for who you want to be the president, and I want Duncan Hunter to be our next president.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I love my husband, and I am glad when he is home to spend time with Sarah Beth and me. I am looking forward to the two weeks that he will take off when this new baby comes. He is a sweet husband and a great father. No, he's not perfect, but neither am I. Do I not write about him because he is not here most of the day? I don't know. What do you think?
Monday, January 14, 2008
I started counting down the weeks until I'm due. I thought I had six weeks left; somehow I miscalculated. I only have five. And my doctor wants to induce me a week early because of this baby's size. Sarah Beth was almost 8 pounds when she was born, and my doctor doesn't want me to have one bigger than that. So, I only have four weeks before this baby comes. I'd better get moving! The crib needs to be set up, his clothes need to be washed, I need to finish cleaning out his room, etc.. Oh, and I have casseroles to make. Oh, my. It sounds like a lot with only four weeks. But it will be okay if it doesn't all get done. I'm not going to wear myself trying to get it all done.
I was induced with Sarah Beth, and I didn't think it was a big deal, that is, once I got my epidural. Lovely, lovely epidural! I would almost rather be induced this time just because of Sarah Beth. We would be able to drop her off at my mom's house the night before and not have to worry about her. But we will have to see; this little boy may want to come early which, at this point, would be fine, too.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I have a friend Ivy who moved to Poland with her family this summer. No, she's not a missionary; her husband is Polish, and his family lives there. She is pregnant and due at the end of May or the beginning of June. Obviously, she needs a place to have the baby. The problem is that there is no anethesiologist at the hospital in the town where she lives who does epidurals. She went to a birthing clinic a couple of hours away to check it out. There were good things and bad things about it. If you are interested in more details, please check out her blog. She could also use a bunch of prayers for wisdom to know how and where to have this baby. I feel so bad for her, and I do not know what I would do in her place.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I got my order in from Vision Forum the other day. I've been needing to update my reading list, so I am going to do it now. I cannot believe I bought so many books, but I know that I will enjoy every single one and probably read it several times. And I know that I will want some good reading when this baby comes.
John promised me that he would go to Goodwill today and take some of the accumulated junk out of the new baby's room. I cannot wait. It's such a wreck in there. I will take some pictures so you can commiserate with me. I will take before and after pictures because I think it will be a big change. Then I will finally be able to get in there and start getting things ready for this baby. Twice this week people have asked me how I'm going to decorate the nursery. Honestly, I hadn't thought about it. My sister has some pictures she is going to give me, so that will help. Poor baby! At least, he's a boy and probably won't mind nearly as much as a daughter. I hope!
Friday, January 11, 2008
I am looking for some advice from those of you with more experience in mothering than I do, especially from those of you who have more than one child. I know that I need a double stroller; which do you prefer: tandem or side-by-side? I won't need one for a while because I intend on putting Sarah Beth in the stroller we already have and carrying our son in the Bjorn carrier my sister handed down to me. Do you prefer a sling for a newborn? One of my friends just got an Ergo and loves it; what is your opinion? I would appreciate anything you can offer. Thank you!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Remember that faith is an action, based upon knowledge, with an expected result. That result may or may not occur because of reality. I start a trip to Atlanta, based upon knowledge of a particular route, with the expected result of arriving safely and on time. However, reality (in essence, God’s Providence) may intervene with a flat tire, a traffic jam, even an accident, perhaps a serious one. My knowledge may be faulty and I get lost and never get there. And, if I never get in my car, I never really exercised faith (action) in the first place.
Christina Schafer is one mother who decided she wanted to take a different approach with her fourth child.
She gave birth for the first time at home and didn't even have a nurse present. "Being at home, it's your domain. You're the one in charge, not the doctor," Schafer said.
Giving birth to her son at home allowed Schafer the opportunity to move freely during labor. She monitored the baby's heartbeat herself and when she was ready, she pushed the infant out into a birthing pool, located in her bedroom.
"I'm doing this because I think this is the safest option for him and the safest option for me and I'm not taking it lightly. It's not some kind of hippie decision," she said before her son was born.
The safest option? What if something goes wrong? I have heard about a lot of people having births at home with a midwife, and if that's what they want to do, that's fine. But having a baby at home by yourself? It sounds to me like there is the potential for disaster. As for me, I will be glad to have my baby in a hospital.
What do you think?
Monday, January 7, 2008
First, I gathered all the boy clothes, sheets, etc. that need to be washed. I probably ought to get started on that soon, or our little boy won't have any clean clothes to come home in. I had to pick a few pink ones out and put those in Sarah Beth's closet. Thankfully, I had already sorted most of them. I also took the few newborn girl's clothes I had bought and put them in her closet. Back in the early fall, there were two big consignment sales here in our area. I didn't know yet what I was having, so I bought a couple of outfits for either, just in case. Here is my load of laundry, or I should say "loads."
Then I took out other things that didn't belong in a baby's closet, like my crutches from when I broke my leg, a couple of pictures I had cross-stitched a few years ago, etc.. I also removed the bassinet. I probably should put it together soon, but I need to wash the linens first. I don't know about you, but I like to wash everything so it's fresh for my new baby, even though it was clean when I put it away. It has been almost two years. Here is my after picture. It looks a lot better, doesn't it?
Thanks, Crystal, for the inspiration to get started. I needed it.
A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!
The winner will receive a brand new Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow!!
About the mixer:
From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
This is how!
Can you tell how much Sarah Beth loves her baths? She climbed in there all by herself this morning. It's the first time she's done it. I found her when I went looking for her to feed her lunch.
For those of you who don't know me, I love to read. More than that I love books. I have a running joke with John that I want to be a librarian when I grow up, and he responds that I am on my way to having enough books to start a library. Sarah Beth seems to have inherited my love for books. Here she is surrounded by them!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Today we woke up to a temperature of 18. The high today is supposed to be 45, and the wind is only going to be around 5 mph. Much better. I'm heading out to Wal-Mart in a little while. Sarah Beth needs a hair cut, I need a few things, and John asked me to get a new lamp. We need one in the well house to keep the well from freezing, and the one we had out there died. We've been using one of our bedside lamps, but you have to touch it to turn it on which is a hassle since the well house is boarded up. John wants one he can turn on, leave on, and just plug in when we need it on.
I have to admit that I am excited about wearing my new leather jacket that I got on Monday. I wasn't really planning on going out again this week and was debating putting off my trip to Wal-Mart until next week. But John asked me specifically for that lamp last night, and I do need to go to the post office anyway. Besides, it's nice to get out of the house a couple of times a week.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
1. My little girl's sweet, mischevous smile.
2. Any compliment from my husband.
3. The smell of something good cooking (I've got a chicken on the stove right now!)
4. A good night's sleep. I don't get those very often any more, and I won't for a while!
5. Pride and Predjudice -- the book. Everyone talks about how good the movies are; have they not read the book? It's one of my favorite.
6. Getting done with a crocheting project and having it look exactly like the picture.
7. Having time to read a good book.
If you haven't been to Tiany's blog, you ought to check it out.