Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Year Blogoversary

Today I have been blogging for one year, and to celebrate, I thought I would have a give away.  Would you like to have a set of four of these hand-made Christmas coasters to help decorate your house this season?  If so, there are three ways you can enter:
  1. leave a comment.
  2. post about this give away on your blog, and leave another comment stating that you did.
  3. share a recipe next week on Recipe Fun Friday.  It doesn't have to be a new one, just one that you would like to share with the rest of us.
This contest will be open until next Friday night at midnight EST.  I will have John draw a name out of a hat sometime over the weekend and will post the winner Monday.  (I am working next weekend, so I won't have time until Monday.)  This contest is open to anyone in the United States and Poland.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I wanted to wish all of my readers a happy Thanksgiving yesterday, but I was not able to get online until late. I'm sorry. We had a church service yesterday morning. I'm sure it was a good one, but I was in the nursery. When we got home, I immediately started cooking things to take to my parents' house for dinner. As soon as everything was ready, we left and stayed there until 7:00. We had a really nice day with family and friends.

I told John about a month ago that I wanted to shop Black Friday this year, and he was fine with that. I have not shopped Black Friday since I went with my sister about 15 years ago, and I wanted to see what kind of deals I could get. However, when I looked through the sale papers yesterday, there just wasn't anything we needed. And I hate shopping just to shop. There was one place that had some things I would be interested in: Toys R Us.

When John has taken Sarah Beth to a local toy store, she has really enjoyed playing with the train set there. So he wanted to get our children a set for Christmas, but train sets are expensive. We also want to set the track up and glue it together (with a glue gun so we can take it apart later) so Sarah Beth can play with it since she is still too young to put it together by herself. We thought it would be nice to have a table, too, but those are really expensive. Well, Toys R Us had an inexpensive table on sale, and if you bought it, you received a free train set. I decided that was worth it, so I made plans to get to Toys R Us early. (John didn't think I would which made me want to even more!)

I had planned to get up at 4:30 because the store opened at 5:00. I knew I would be a little late, but I didn't think I could get up any earlier. I just needed the right incentive. Daniel woke up at 3:30 wanting to be fed. After I put him back in bed, I dressed and left. I arrived about 4:30, and there was already a loooong line, but I decided I had come this far already, and I was going to stay. It was an adventure, right? As I got my buggy and headed to the end of the line, the man giving out the buggies said these were the last ones. If I had realized how long the line was when I got there, I probably would have left, but I decided to wait half an hour to see what happened, to see where I ended up. A couple of women behind me thought it would take us an hour just to get inside the store. After they opened, it actually only took 15 minutes to get inside. I went straight to the train area, grabbed one of the two tables, the train set, and headed to the diaper area. (There was also a good sale on diapers.) I picked up a couple of games (BOGO) on the way to the line, where I was informed that that was the beginning of the line, and I needed to head all the way around the store to find the end. It only took me about 20 minutes to get my things, but I had no idea how long I would have to wait in line. I have heard lots of stories of people waiting for hours in line just to check out. Fortunately, I was one of the first on line, so I only had to wait about 20 minutes. And there was a nice lady behind me, so we chatted to make the time pass more quickly.

I got home about 6:15 after stopping at McDonalds for a biscuit. I crawled back into bed about 6:30, and I got a good laugh when John said, "Have fun." I told him that I was already back. Boy, was he surprised. He had slept through my feeding Daniel, dressing, and leaving!

I have to say that there was a Providential feel to my shopping this morning. I know that God loves me, but does He really care if I get this train set and table for my children for Christmas? Apparently, He did. If Daniel had not gotten me up when he did, I would have been too late to get a buggy, and there is no way I could have gotten that table without the buggy. I could hardly get it into the buggy, so there is no way I could have carried it through the store, especially not with my other finds. And there were only two tables left; as many people as were ahead of me in line, I really thought they would be all gone. But there was one for me. And it did not take nearly as long as I thought. My other concern was Daniel: what if he woke up while I was gone? What would John do since he won't take a bottle? Well, since I fed Daniel before I left, I didn't have to worry about him anymore. Did God want me to have a successful Black Friday? I think He did. Why does it surprise me that He cares so much for me?

John asked if I wanted to do this again next year. I just replied that I would have to wait and see what kinds of deals there were!

Did you go shopping today? What kinds of deals did you find?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WIP Wednesday


I don't feel like I got much crocheting done this past week, although I spent all day on the couch yesterday. I should have gotten something accomplished, shouldn't I? I did get the placemat done. Now I just need to crochet the poinsettia motif for the three placemats and tack them on so we can use them. I need to get that done soon, don't I?! Maybe Friday.

I had to rip out the baby blanket and start all over because it was just too small. That is the problem with making ones that are a useful size for a carseat or bassinet: I have to adjust the pattern from a normal-sized one, and there is no way to tell from the starting chain whether is it long enough or not. Sometimes, I cannot tell for a few rows which is what happened with this one. Now it's too wide, but that's okay.

Do you have a work in progress? If so, link up over at the Place of H. If you don't, head over there anyway to see some neat knitting projects.

Mastitis Day #2

Thank you for all of your well wishes and prayers. I felt almost normal last night (but very weak) when I went to bed. Today I feel just about well except for a lingering weakness, a little soreness, and some redness. Oh, and my head wants to hurt. I don't understand that, but a little ibuprofen works wonders.

My mom and my husband took great care of me and the children yesterday, but I still had a mess to clean up this morning. John brought me chicken and noodle soup from Chick-fil-A on his way home last night from work, then he took Sarah Beth out to give me some quiet time at home. He brought me some chicken and dumplings from Wife Saver (a local chicken joint) which was delicious. I had not had that before.

This morning the children slept in until 8:00 which is unlike them, especially Daniel. Yesterday he was up at 6:30. That gave me some time to get my shower, read my Bible, and eat breakfast. I fixed a bigger one than usual since I had eaten so little yesterday. Scrambled eggs and pancakes. I couldn't eat it all, but it was fun trying!

This mastitis came on at a very good time. Monday is my cleaning day, so that got done. I had very little on my to do list for Tuesday, and it could all wait until today except the bill paying which John did last night. Today the big thing to do is make pies which I plan to do tonight after Daniel goes to bed. Definitely, I will wait until John gets home so he can help lick bowls! Maybe I should wait until both children are in bed, so John and I don't have any help licking bowls from Sarah Beth. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mastitis

I woke up this morning with mastitis. I was a little painful during the night, but I figured I was engorged since Daniel missed a feeding yesterday evening. But his eating this morning did not take away the pain. And I have all of the other classic symptoms. Ugh!

Earlier, I could not get warm. When I took my temperature, the highest number I got was 97. I took it about ten times because I've never had my temperature that low. It was 95.4 twice in a row. (I even used two different thermometers because I just knew the first one had to be wrong.) My mom came over to help with the children. She got me settled with two blankets and a heating pad, Daniel down for a nap, and she left with Sarah Beth.

Finally, I am warm. But now my temperature is 100, but it was 101 earlier. I feel much better now, except that I'm burning up. I've been trying to drink a lot, but there is little food that interests me. My doctor called in a prescription for me which my mom picked up. She is gone again to run some errands and feed Sarah Beth lunch. Then she will come put Sarah Beth down for a nap. Daniel is down for another nap right now. I am so glad that he still takes two to three naps a day.

The nurse told me not to nurse Daniel on the affected side, but my research on the internet says to continue to nurse. So I will. The funny thing is that it is usually new mothers who get mastitis, not mothers who have been nursing their child for nine months. And there are no cracks or sores to account for it, either. And Daniel misses feedings at least once a week when I run errands and leave him with a babysitter. I don't understand why I have this.

Anyway, do you have any suggestions? I read about moist heat, so I am trying that. Since I am starting to get hot, I think I will go take some Tylenol. At least, I'm not shivering anymore. That was awful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Preparations

Last year, John, Sarah Beth, and I went to Louisiana to spend Thanksgiving week with his family. John's sister came in from Houston, so his whole immediate family was there, and we had a fun time. This year, however, we did not want to make the long trip with a nine month old, so we are staying here to have Thanksgiving with my family, at least some of it. We will have Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house with my sister and her family. I think my older brother will join us, but my younger brother will spend it with his wife's family. (Our big family get-together is at Christmas.)

What kind of Thanksgiving plans do you have? Will you be hosting your family, or will you head to someone else's house?

Laura asked me for these recipes Saturday, and I thought you might enjoy them, too. They are quick and easy to prepare, and they taste good! The best combination for a recipe, don't you agree? (By the way, I plan to make them myself for our Thanksgiving!)

Easy Key Lime Pie
(from Real Simple June 2008)
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 6 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate (not thawed)
1 cup heavy cream
1 6 ounce graham cracker piecrust
zest of one lime

Place the condensed milk, limeade concentrate, and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until fluffy and soft peaks form. Pour the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until chilled and loosely set, at least four hours (and up to overnight). Sprinkle the pie with the zest before serving.

Corn Bread Pudding
(from Taste of Home August/September 2006)
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 package (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1/4 teaspoon paprika

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Stir in corn bread mix just until blended. Pour into a greased 3-qt baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

What dishes will you prepare? Isn't this a great time for old and new recipes that you don't get to make very often throughout the year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork


I found a pork tenderloin in the freezer recently, and I hoped I could find a recipe that would let me cook it in the crockpot. I found this one on All Recipes, and I thought it sounded a little strange because of the French dressing. However, almost all of the reviews were good, and it was easy, so I decided to give it a try. This recipe was worth trying just for the delicous smell it gave to my house all day long! I thought it was a very nice way to fix the pork, but John wasn't as enthusiastic. He thought it was good, but not that good. Since it was so easy, we will be having it again. I served it with mashed potatoes because I thought John might like to put some of the meat sauce on them, but he didn't. (I like my mashed potatoes plain! Yummy!) I did make a couple of changes to the recipe: I used cranberry sauce with cranberries in it, and I left out the onion.

Since I received the same suggestion from several people, I will now open Recipe Fun Friday to any recipe, not just new ones. Also, I will not host it next Friday since it is the day after Thanksgiving, and I assume that you will be spending time with your family. I may head out for some Black Friday shopping. It will be my first time, if I do.

Do you have a recipe that you would like to share? If so, leave a link.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

Yesterday, I packed up the children to run some errands. We also stopped by the Board of Elections in order for me to cast my ballot. For those of you not in Georgia, there is a run-off for one of our Senate seats. I had not realized that we were able to vote early in the run-off, but when I called the other day, I realized I was wrong. So...those of you who live in Georgia, don't forget to vote!

I think I am finally getting comfortable running errands with both of my children. It's been hard, as I am sure you know from experience. Daniel is big enough to sit in the front of the shopping cart, and I have a leash, er, harness for Sarah Beth. She is not bad about running off; she gets distracted and stops to look at things. Now that we are attached, I don't have to worry about leaving her behind in the store. I have peace of mind knowing that someone can't just snatch her, and she loves walking along like a big girl. You ought to see her grin! And I don't have to carry Daniel anymore in a carrier.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I finished that blanket for my coworker, and I gave it to her this past weekend when I worked. She was thrilled to receive it. It turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself, although I forgot to take a picture of the finished project.
I started this blanket for John's friend's wife who is having a baby. Dan was one of John's good friends throughout college, and he was in our wedding. Incidentally, Daniel is not named for Dan; Daniel is John's middle name. Again, I am at the "scarf" stage of this blanket, as John calls it.
I am still working on this placemat. The crocheting goes fairly quickly, but the weaving is tedious. The finished project will be worth it, though. We don't think that John's mother and her husband will be here for Christmas which means that I only need to have five done before Christmas Day. I hope to have my parents over for breakfast that morning. Of course, the world will not end if they are not done.

You ought to head over to the Place of H where Mrs. H hosts Work in Progress Wednesday. Usually, there are several knitters with beautiful projects in the work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions about Recipe Fun Friday

I have hosted Recipe Fun Friday for a few months now, and I thought I would check with you to see how it is going. Honestly, it is not accomplishing for me what I hoped it would, i.e. increasing my blog traffic. I do enjoy trying new recipes and sharing them with you, but I had hoped to get more out of this experience. I had also hoped for more participants.

I have some questions I would like to pose to those of you who have participated or will participate in Recipe Fun Friday. First of all, do you enjoy trying new recipes and posting those recipes on your blog? Does Friday work for you, or is there a day that works better for you? Are the recipes that others share ones that you would like to try? Should we limit it to new recipes or open it up to all recipes?

As I'm sure you can tell, I am thinking about making some changes to Recipe Fun Friday. I don't know what yet, so I would be glad for any suggestions that you might have to make it more user friendly. As of right now, it will be the same format this week. I was not planning on having it next week because it is the day after Thanksgiving, and I figure that you will be spending time with family.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Spiced Carrot-Zucchini Bread


I had some friends over yesterday for our monthly Mommies' Group, and I decided to try out a new recipe on them. Laura had a Pampered Chef party last month which I was not able to attend, but I did order their loaf pan, and it came with this recipe. I hope Pampered Chef does not mind my sharing this recipe!

Do you know the verse in Matthew about not building a tower until you have counted the cost? Well, don't double (or triple) a recipe before counting your eggs! I bought three zucchini for this recipe and realized that I had way too much, so I decided to double the recipe. I still had plenty of zucchini and decided to triple the recipe. After I had everything but the eggs in, I realized I only had seven. I needed six for the bread and two for the quiche I was also making. Thank you, again, Laura, for helping me out!! Now I have two loaves in my nice new freezer!

Spiced Carrot-Zucchini Bread
2 1/4 cups flour (I used half all-purpose and half wheat.)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp gound cloves
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I don't like nuts, so I left them out.)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cloves. Add Remaining ingredients; stir just until moistened.
Spoon batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees 60-65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

(These ingredients make one loaf.)

This bread was very good. Laura, Ivy, and my other friend who was there all asked for the recipe. Actually, they asked if I was going to post it today. Of course!

What new recipe did you try this week? Share it with the rest of us by leaving a link!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apology and Project

I want to apologize for my lack of posting, really, since Friday. It has been one of those weeks where busy-ness has combined with a dearth of material leading to no new posts. I'm sorry. But I am still here, and we are all fine.

I have a friend who loves working on projects around the home. I hate projects! She does not like the daily routine; I won't say that I enjoy it, but I find comfort in the familiar. Because I hate projects, there are things that I have not gotten around to doing even though we have been in this house for six months now. (But my house is neat and clean; that should count for something.) Last night, I took it upon myself to hang pictures in Daniel's room. I have had some of these pictures since before we moved, but I just bought some last week. Since I am so very proud of myself for finishing a project, I thought I would share some pictures.

This quilt is from Daniel's "bed-in-a-bag;" of course, we can't use it with him, but it makes a nice wall hanging. I bought these pictures at Penny's last week. I could not resist them since they go with the quilt so well. You cannot see them, but the green one is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and the blue one is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." The pre-sale price was $21.99 each which I never would have paid, but I got them for $7.99 each.
My sister gave me these two pictures when her son outgrew them. You can kind of see the trains in this picture. Those curtains came with Daniel's bedding, but they were not quite right for his windows, so Mom embellished them. Didn't they come out nicely? We finally got them hung a couple of weeks ago. Mom had them done right after we moved. (Aren't I a slacker?)


Here is the recipient of the fruits of my labor. He's a stinker but an awfully cute one, if I do say so myself!

I hung a couple of pictures in Sarah Beth's room this morning, but she is currently taking a nap, so no pictures for now.

Of course, they each still have two blank walls in their rooms, but I just don't know what to do with them yet. I hate to do too much especially with Sarah Beth's since she will probably be moving out of her crib into a big bed soon.

As to the rest of the house, well, there is nothing hung on those walls yet. One thing at a time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ladies Only Give-away

Kristin over at Bits and Pieces from my life has a $30 gift certifiate from Expressiva to give away. Here is the give-away. Expressiva sells clothes for nursing mothers, so if you are one, will be one, or know of one, you ought to enter. The contest ends tonight, so you had better hurry!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Strawberry Lemonade Cake

One of my friends and I are throwing a baby shower for Laura next week. She is due with her fifth child New Year's Day, and we are all very excited. Anyway, I found this recipe for Raspberry Lemonade Cake in my inbox one day, and I thought it would be good for the shower. John has advised me in the past not to try new recipes out at events like that, in case they don't turn out well. So I made a trial cake this week to see how it tasted. It was delicious! Even John liked it, and he agreed that it would do well at the shower.

The recipe, like I said, is for Raspberry Lemonade Cake, but I like strawberries better, so I substituted strawberry Jello for the raspberry. Other than that, I made the recipe as stated. Maybe in the future, I will experiment with the icing in order to make it myself, but not next week. Laura, do you prefer strawberries or raspberries? You get to choose since it's your shower.

Did you try a new recipe this week? If so, leave a link.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sarah Palin Links

Here are the links I could find to what had me so riled up this afternoon.

Fox News reports that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent and did not know the member nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- the United States, Mexico and Canada -- when she was picked for vice president.

Newsweek reports that Palin spent far more than the previously reported $150,000 on clothes for herself and her family.

I found these quotes here but not on the Fox News website or at Newsweek. Funny.

Here is Rush Limbaugh's take on the whole thing.

I have a squirming, fussing baby on my lap right now which I hope will explain why this post is not more coherent than it is.

Sarah Palin

Have you heard what they are saying about Sarah Palin right now? I don't believe a word of it, and it makes me so angry I could...I don't know. Something bad!

Book Review


Earlier this week, I promised a review of Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific by John Rosemond, and here it is: wonderful! You want more? Okay.

John Rosemond is an evangelical Christian, but I did not discover this in his book. I read it in an article he wrote that was in our paper a few weeks ago. This book does not have Bible verses in it. Did I just hear you gasp? Rosemond gives practical advice, the kind, as he says, that you would get from your grandmother. And if you can point me to the verses that talk about potty training my child, I would be most grateful.

Rosemond starts his book by describing the typical two year old -- he is busy learning about the world. A child makes the hardest transition of his life during his second year; he goes from being the center of the universe to, well, not. I see this clearly in Daniel and Sarah Beth. Daniel thinks the world revolves around him, and it does. When he cries, I do what I can to help him stop. His requests are fairly reasonable right now: hunger, fear, dirty diaper. However, if Sarah Beth continues to be the center of her world, she will end up a spoiled brat.

Rosemond says that it is normal, it is good, for this age child to explore his world by rummaging, testing limits, etc.. That is how he learns. Parents need to provide a safe environment for this exploration.

After setting the stage for "normal" behavior, Rosemond gives practical advice on promoting development, discipline, potty training (the reason I bought this book), bedtime, and aggression. He even has a chapter on where children this age should be: at home with a parent.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has or will have a child this age. He has more books for older children, and I plan to read them when appropriate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I am still working on this baby blanket from last week. Here is a close-up of the pattern. The more I work on this blanket, the more I like the pattern. That is a great thing! I doubt I will get it done before this weekend when I work with the recipient, but I picked up an extra day next weekend, and hopefully, I will get it done before then. If not, well, we work at Wal-Mart, and who really needs an excuse to go there?


I am also working on this placemat. Here is what it will look like finished. This one is the third I have made; I was hoping to get eight done before Christmas, but I don't think that will happen. Maybe next year.
For other works in progress, head on over to the Place of H. There is usually some really neat knitted stuff that makes me wish I liked to knit.

Afraid

I am afraid. I am afraid of what will happen to our country now. I am afraid that we will "cut and run" from Iraq, thereby inviting more terrorist attacks to our own country. I am afraid the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans will be slowly and surely taken away from us. I am afraid that our government will get even bigger. I am afraid that more people will become dependent upon the government for their subsistence. I am afraid of rising prices due to more unionizing while wages fall due to higher taxes. I am afraid of what Obama with Congress' help will do to our country. I am afraid that posts like this will soon be termed "racist" and therefore illegal. I am afraid.

But...I know that God has a plan. I know that He is in control and that nothing, nothing happens without His foreknowledge. He did not just know that Obama would win the election, He caused it. Why? I don't know, and I don't have to know. There is comfort knowing that God's will is being done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Important Issues

Today is Election Day, and only God knows how it will turn out. Will Obama be elected with a Democrat-controlled, filibuster-proof Congress? Heaven help us if he is.

As important as my vote is in this process, currently we are working on something on which I have a much bigger impact. (Let's face it: my one vote will not make any difference in the grand scheme of things, not even in the local elections.) Sarah Beth is learning to use the potty!

We started last week, but I was so disappointed with our last efforts that I did not want to chronicle our current trials here. This time, however, I was armed with John Rosemond's book Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific which I plan to review later this week because it is excellent. His chapter on potty training is the shortest by far in the book. Basically, he says to set up a potty chair in the room in which the child spends the most time, tell them to use it when they need to, and ask for help if they need it. And he says to leave them alone! That was the biggest problem last time; I could not leave Sarah Beth alone.

We started Monday, and I used that day to train myself to leave Sarah Beth alone. She wanted to use the normal toilet not a training potty, so Tuesday I taught her to pull her pants down, climb on the stool to get on the potty, pull her pants back up, and flush the toilet. Things got better slowly but surely from then on. Yesterday while I was on the computer, I heard her go into the bathroom, turn the light on, use the potty, then flush the toilet. And I stayed on the computer the whole time! I think the key this time was leaving Sarah Beth alone and letting her do it by herself. As Rosemond says, toilet training is not so much an issue of cleanliness as it is of independence.

Of course, the M&M's and marshmallows help!

Don't forget to vote!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Undecided Voters

I keep hearing about "undecided voters" from the media, and it seems that the media thinks these undecided voters are virtous because they are undecided. I totally disagree. Undecided voters cannot have any positions they hold strongly to. If you think abortion is wrong, you cannot vote for Obama. If you think the war in Iraq is wrong, you cannot vote for McCain. Undecided voters cannot have any values. Am I the only one who feels this way?

By the way, don't forget to vote tomorrow, if you haven't voted already. If you don't vote, you don't get to complain about the outcome!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints' Day

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy All Saint's Day. Also, because I forgot yesterday, Happy Reformation Day!