What a weekend (it includes a fight)!

We had a fairly eventful weekend and a good time as a family.

Friday night our neighbors came over for our weekly installment of the Jeeves & Wooster series.

 Jeeves & Wooster

Can I say this is one of the greatest tv series ever put on tv? Cause it is. It’s clean, it’s funny, it’s British humor (which I am just beginning to understand and appreciate) and it’s got Hugh Laurie in it. And when he’s paired with Stephen Fry it’s even better (they also were together in Black Adder Goes Forth and some other shows). We got the complete series for Christmas and we’re trying to get them all watched before we move. Because our neighbors like J&W too (and they’re British so they can explain things to us that we would completely miss otherwise). I made French Onion Soup from Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and it was fabulous.

French Cooking

Saturday Du took Reagan to Lowes for their bi-weekly build it series for kids. This time they made a little Jimmie Johnson race car. Can anyone tell NASCAR will be back soon? Later we all went to the CMU Jennie’s basketball game. I think that’s the first women’s basketball game I’ve been to. Ashlyn was interested for most of the game. We were surprised at how well she did. Vienna sausages and a cheese stick might have helped do the trick as well.

Today, after church, we headed up to the closest shopping around…45 minutes away. When going to Target is a major day out you know you live in a small town. Our new place of residence will have major shopping within minutes of our house…one of the reasons we chose to live there 🙂 This would have been a nondescript shopping experience were it not for

a kid slapping Ashlyn in the face while I was holding her.

I kid you not. We were standing around the water fountain explaining to Reagan the dangers and just plain grossness of licking the fountain (don’t ask). I was holding Ashlyn in my arms when a woman walked out of the bathroom with her two young sons. As they were walking past one just ups and slaps Ashlyn on the side of the face–hard. She begins to scream immediately. The mother is trying to scold her son and I’m standing there in shock. I’m giving one of the dirtiest looks I have ever given. I wasn’t able to move. My mind/body wanted to grab the kid and shake him, slap him back, yell at him…with curse words. Controlling myself by giving a nasty look was the only thing I could do. She blurted out that she was sorry, her son is autistic and adhd, but it didn’t sound very apologetic. That’s when the fear for my daughter shifted to compassion for this mother. Ashlyn was already starting to calm down and now all I could feel was remorse for wanting to take her kid to the ground. And of course her apology didn’t sound very apologetic–she probably has to apologize all the time. After walking away and catching my breath I went back over to her (she was still there because right after the boy slapped Ashlyn he beat his own brother and pushed him down) and let her know that Ashlyn was ok. I cried as I walked away knowing that this would affect us for maybe five minutes of our lives, this woman must deal with autism for the rest of hers.

 After Ashlyn’s first fight we then went to see THE PIRATES THAT DON’T DO ANYTHING!!!

 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything

That was a good movie, as are most things Veggie Tale (our personal favorite: “Do the Moo Shoo” song on the Ultimate Silly Song Countdown). Reagan is able to sit through a full-length feature now that she is almost six. Ashlyn, who is almost one, was able to go about five minutes before she started commenting on everything like she was on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fortunately the theater wasn’t crowded and everyone else was in our same situation. We still kept her quiet to the best of our ability.

So, there you have it. Our crazy, fun, somewhat violent weekend.

National Amber Alert Awareness Day

Today is National Amber Alert Awareness Day

If you have a child and haven’t thought about what you’d do if your child went missing today’s the day to start thinking.

Here is a link that gives ideas on different types of child identification to have. I imagine if you’re out running around today you’ll see sites set up that will allow you to obtain fingerprints, etc. of your children.

Here is a link to the states’ Amber Alert plans and contact info.

Here and here you can find out if sex offenders live near you.

Think about getting a video or book like this one that will be able to help teach kids what to look out for.

Having your child stolen from you, among other topics, is something you never really want to think about, much less discuss with your kids. But, unfortunately in today’s broken world, you have to start early.

Our cool new Austrian playtoy

Axbo Alarm Clock The one and only aXbo Schlafphasenwecker

I guess it’s a stretch to call an alarm clock a toy, but this has been so far. Well, for me it has been. Du has actually had to use it to wake up. The cool thing about it is that it monitors your sleep cycle and will wake you up when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep. Supposedly you feel more refreshed and not so sluggish and dead when you wake up in your lightest sleep phase.

The verdict is still out as to whether it’s totally worth it. But, since he got it, Du hasn’t been complaining about how crappy he feels when he wakes up. I doubt he’ll ever leave the house skipping and whistling, but I’ll take what I can get.

Validation

Well, the other night I had my first official rejection pertaining to the business. I submitted my website to a blog whose main purpose is to say how cool different kiddie things are, which in turn makes the blog readers want to rush out and click and buy those things. The blogger would decide if she wanted a sample of the goods and then would decide if she would even write about it. I received the rejection email, which stated my products weren’t “a good fit” for the site.

Why not? Because they’re super cute baby things? Because they’re handmade by a loving mother who wants to make sure all babies have cute monogrammed acceories? Because I’ve done something wrong? I think the main reason it stung was because it was a woman, supposedly a trendy, crafty mother, rejecting another mother who likes to think she’s trendy and crafty.

And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t need to worry about what this blog owner thought about my goods, or what she happened to think about me (pretty prideful of me to think that person was even thinking about me at all). I know exactly what God thinks of me and I have only to rest in that. Every other opinion shouldn’t matter. I’d like to think God put that in my mind right then.

And I believe He did. The very next morning my devotion was about…you guessed it, seeking affirmation or validation from sources other than God. To quote:

“When we draw close to God and discover the soul-affirming joy of fellowship with Him, then we find what we have truly been longing for. We learn that God can fill our empty spaces deep inside. We stop looking to sin-filled people in a fallen, broken world to validate us. While affirmation and validation will always be nice to have, we find we don’t need them the way we once did…People will always let you down, but God never will.”

It turns out, in another post submitted after my “rejection” this person admits she is one who likes modern, sleek, streamlined things. Well, obviously we’re not a good fit. My goods are more traditional, heirloom, southern with contemporary twist. No Swedish modernism here. (You might be wondering why I didn’t see that to begin with and know things wouldn’t work. Well the stuff on her blog isn’t all Swedish and modern, there’s lots of cute things on there too).

So, no need to worry for me. And I can rest in the fact that I am validated and accepted by God. AND, I went out and found a blog ring that lets me advertise for free.

Redeeming myself

*The SITStas are at it again! I am going to could win a $100 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and a camera if my amazingly delicious recipe below is chosen. I swear they’re rolling in the dough there (har har). What’s that? You want to play too? Ok, but if you win you have to split the gift certificate with me. And I get the camera, unless you really want joint custody. If my recipe is chosen as one of the finalists then I will be bugging the crap out of you to vote for me. And who knows, I may share the gift certificate with one of my loyal voters (hint, hint).*

The Great SITS Recipe Contest

OK, to redeem myself from that last post and to show you I can make my way around the kitchen I am posting an original recipe created by me. And it’s been published, so don’t even think about copping it as your own–but please do let me know how it turns out if you try it!

This was developed in one of my rare creative moments in the kitchen. I ALWAYS need a recipe. I wish I didn’t, but I don’t have the confidence yet to just throw things together with a dash of this and a pinch of that to suit my own taste. Fortunately I’ll eat almost anything (except leftover cornbread made into bitter cornbread pudding) so I don’t usually feel the need to fly by the seat of my pants. However, this night was different and I decided to become a chef/scientist.

BACON BASIL CHICKEN

  • Chicken breasts
  • 1 egg mixed with a little water
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Flax seed (optional but really healthy…who would have ever guessed they’d hear that coming out of my mouth)
  • 2 bacon slices per breast (using precooked bacon shortens prep time)
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil to drizzle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Italian bread crumbs and flax seed together. Slice chicken breast, almost all the way through. Dip closed breast in egg and then dredge in the bread crumb, flax seed mixture. Open up the chicken breast while it’s sitting in the bread crumbs (this just controls mess) and place the following inside the breast: two pieces of bacon, a small handful of mozzarella cheese and some basil leaves. Close up breast and place in shallow roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over tops of chicken. Bake until internal temp reaches 165, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Yum! Maybe I’ll make that tomorrow night instead of the other experiment I had on tap using the cabbage left over from the Asian wraps. Yikes!

Kitchen failure

In my attempt to be frugal and actually use leftovers for once I repurposed two separate ingredients from two different previous meals and came out with one dud and one absolute disaster. Both were delicious in their initial incarnations:

  1. brocolli slaw (like shredded cole slaw veggies) used as the innards for Asian wraps (with beef and yummy Asian sauce)
  2. cornbread (dense and sweet, perfect with butter)

I am not gifted in knowing how to regift leftovers so, of course, I searched the internet and came up with two great-sounding recipes. I will not post those here, as they are probably actually good if made either 1) with fresh ingredients or 2)by someone else. The first one was a minestrone soup that used shredded vegetables for cole slaw. It was very easy to make, so I’m not sure where I went wrong. This was the dish that ended up a dud. It wasn’t gross, but I’ll never make it again.

Here’s where I went really wrong. For the cornbread I found a recipe that was a response to an inquiry sent out by someone wanting to know how to use leftover cornbread. “Score!” I thought since that was my very dilema. The first clue that I missed: the recipe was unnamed. Second missed clue: no measurements whatsoever. I should have passed this one up, but being adventurous, I bit.

I substituded canned diced green chilis for the called jalepenos. Aren’t green onions those long skinny green grassy looking things with little tiny onions on the end? ‘Cause that’s what I thought I was supposed to use. The recipe called for adding this to the crumbled up cornbread then adding milk and egg. It even suggested adding vanilla and sugar…but the thought of adding those with green chilis and onions didn’t appeal to me.  

It was smelling pretty good baking in the oven. My hungry husband sat with eyes fixed, drool rolling, waiting to scarf some down (because he wasn’t that interested in the minestrone). I pulled it out of of the oven, scooped some on a plate and we took a bite. OMG, it was horrible. There was this aweful, bitter taste…you know when you eat something that’s gone bad or drink rotten milk? Oh, you don’t…well, um…it’s pretty aweful and bitter. I couldn’t get it out of my mouth fast enough. My husband tried to save my ego and make nice by telling me there was just one thing off…if we could just find out what that one thing is it would be delicious. Thanks, Du, but I can see right through that. There’s no way I’m going to try to make this recipe right by trying it again.

So, strike one for me on the repurposed leftover front. I’m not giving up though. Some of the best cooks I know reuse food all the time. Du left for church searching the cabinets looking for something portable and edible. Meanwhile, I ended up having a super delicious dinner. Heaven resides on earth in the form of Thin Mints. Thank God for the Girl Scout who delivered my boxes (I will not tell you how many) of Thin Mints last night!