Showing posts from November, 2011

my newest skill: pie making

pumpkin for our dinner with Anthony's aunt & uncle an apple our dinner with Anthony's aunt & uncle Angus Black Chess Pie just because two apples for Thanksgiving - crumb & lattice triple layer chocolate pumpkin for Thanksgiving oatmeal raisin for Thanksgiving mini pumpkins because I had leftover stuff the only one I missed a picture of was my pumpkin but it looked like a pumpkin pie. I got to try each of these except the triple layer chocolate pumpkin (the 3rd layer is that white sweetened sour cream - really good). I'll just have to make it again (and eat it myself bc Big A wasn't so fond). I spent about 8 hours on my feet the Friday after Thanksgiving making pies. I learned a good lesson - wear shoes. My feet hurt terribly for a few days afterward. But I enjoyed every second of pie-baking. I learned I don't like pre-baked crusts (or at least need pointers on it). I learned to read the whole recipe first and get all of

Ener-g (review)

Ener-g's mission statement : Our mission at Ener-G Foods, as one of the country's foremost producers of foods for diet-restrictive individuals, is to provide a wide range of ready-made foods and mixes that are wholesome, nutritious, risk-free and great tasting. We are constantly responding to the demand for special diets with research, innovative products, and convenience foods. The company started out in 1962 to help pre-dialysis patients with low protein diets. Since then, they have expanded to wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free products, low protein, yeast-free, egg-free, and soy-free. They are also certified Kosher! That's a lot of restrictions that their company works around to help families affected by various allergies and sensitivities. Our family was blessed to try a variety of their products these past few weeks. We focused on the gluten-free products but would also go for the casein-free (dairy-free) produc

Writer's Workshop: pies

I attended a pie-making class at our church recently and since then I'm a pie-baking expert. Ok, expert may be too strong of a word...but I love to do it! I've made an apricot pie (at the class...and I didn't really make the stuff just put it together but it was delicious), 2 apples, and a pumpkin. Today I made an Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie - I'm beginning to be daring. I've found this book at the library, "Pie" by Ken Haedrich. I'm hoping for (but not holding my breath for) this book for Christmas. I wanted to share with you the pie I made today. Basic Flaky Pie Pastry (single crust) 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1 T sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 c. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces 1/4 c. cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces 1/4 c. cold water To make by hand: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss well, by hand, to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and toss to mix. Using a pastry blender (which

Wordful Wednesday - A Thanksgiving Feast

Moose's class had a Thanksgiving Feast on Monday. It was more than I expected. For Halloween and last year's Valentine's parties we had snacks but this truly was a feast. Turkey, mashed potatoes (with gravy), buttery corn, buttered rolls, and pumpkin pie! Yum. Before feasting we read a book about a moose family (how appropriate for our Moose) who invited a turkey to Thanksgiving not as Thanksgiving dinner. Very cute. Then our feast, which was good! Squirt didn't eat his corn and Moose didn't eat his turkey - this mama was happy to eat the rest of theirs. Then we did the Turkey Trot (not a 5K, although I wouldn't have minded) - a dance. I'm kind of sad. Moose will be moving to the afternoon class next semester. He has started to not take naps during the day and his teacher had asked me awhile ago if we wanted to try the afternoon class. It's a smaller class, so a lot less chaos, and she thinks he'll thrive there. But I have quite a few friends i

Chloe's Winter Wonderland & The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (DVD review & giveaway)

From the NCircle Entertainment studio, I bring to you my review about The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Told From the Cold and Chloe's Winter Wonderland (both available from  your local retailer or at NCircle's website for $9.99 each).   My family loves The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That. I, like many of my generation, was raised on the Cat. I've read most of the books by Dr. Seuss and seen several adaptations of The Cat in the Hat . So this striped-capped feline and I go way back. I have enjoyed getting to learn new things in a fun way with my kids through the other CitHKaLAT (ha) DVDs we have, and Told From the Cold (aren't the titles clever?) is no different. In this one you join Nick and Sally to learn about snow, penguins, and black bears. Moose and Squirt enjoy the songs from Cat in the Hat... and I tend to end up singing along with them (or later in the grocery store by myself) because the songs are so catchy. You just really can't go wron

running shoes? help!

I scoured the internet for running shoes tonight for hours. Seriously. There are so many choices but 1. I don't have that much money. I have $120 - which is a lot of money but shipping costs can add up. 2. All of the cool color combos I have found in shoes I like....are men's and they don't have my size. 3. The coolest looking ones are minimalist ones and I'm not sure I want to make that plunge. If I don't like how I feel when I run in them, I can't return them. I don't have that money to waste. If anyone has a size 9 or 9.5 that they would like to loan me to try (or just give me) I'm game. LOL 4. I kind of do want to try minimalist but again, scared it won't be for my body. Nike Free Runs are awesome though. 5. Really wish I had the money for Nike ID shoes - I designed some sweet ones tonight! 6. My husband is awesome and said we can go to the closest "big" town to look for shoes this Wednesday. So I need to know what I'm looking

testing, testing, 1 2 3 - anyone out there?

I would apologize for not blogging for awhile but I am so not sure who is still reading (I know I have more blog stalkers than comments!). It's been quite the week. Today is Day #3 of watching 2 extra boys. Phew am I worn out! I don't know how you mamas of 4 do it. Last night at MOPS, I had to take both boys since Big A had a basketball game. Moose seemed SO excited about it, but both boys acted like crazy fools who had never heard the word "stop" or "follow directions" before. After (finally) getting Squirt into his room, he was fine the rest of the evening (ten big thumbs up, man!). Moose was so good after switching him rooms at the beginning (from one of structure to one of playing)...for about half the time. I tried my best to stay calm (and according to one eye witness, I looked the part) but my insides were just furious! Long story short, I come home and cried. The best part of my evening was the drive home - neither boy made so much as a squeak unti

Nature's Path Foods (review)

With Moose's autism, we have encountered a lot of differing opinions about his diet, his supplements, his allergies. All well-intentioned people, I'm sure, but changing anything in our son's life will always be a decision that Big A & I come upon as a couple, rather than being influenced by fads. That said, we (more I) have heard so many testimonials of moms of other autistic children about the improved behaviors once gluten (a protein found in wheat) and casein (a protein found in milk) are removed from the child's diet. Usually gluten is only taken out of a person's diet if they have celiac disease, but this has also become a trendy fad in Hollywood (I believe Gwenyth Paltrow is on this diet). I'm wary of trends and fads, but also interested by the personal testimonials of real life moms. Obviously we were more than interested as we took our son to the allergist. Although those findings are questionable (at least to us), we have decided to go ahead & t


Last night we got our first snow fall of the season. It had rained for a few days prior (I was thinking about praying to Noah to see if I could borrow his ark) then the flakes started as I was coming home from the gym last night. This morning it was a slick winter wonderland as I headed to Bible study. I think snow is amazing when you see it from your kids' perspectives. Moose knows snow - loves it! All he wants to do is walk in it, run in it. After school today, I taught him to make snow angels. That brought him much joy. Moose also enjoyed our snow ball "fight" - I threw some snow at him (which he loved!) and he picked up some and chucked it at me. Even got me a few times. This is my polar bear. Squirt is another story. It's cold and wet. He dislikes it much. He's interested enough to touch it, maybe walk in it. But he always ends up whining and wanting to be picked up. Squirt is definitely a sun bear; he enjoys the nice weather and warm temperatures. I lo

slow cooker potato soup (simple!)

I made this soup last night & it was delicious, if I do say so myself. My MIL had made some sort of potato soup a few weeks ago and I knew her ingredients, but wasn't so sure of how she put it together. And since we don't exactly have a phone-calling kind of relationship, I made it up myself. I also googled potato soup recipes, but most called for frozen hash browns. Anyway, here's my recipe. 2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup 1 can of milk (filled up one of the COC soup cans) 8 potatoes, cut & peeled (you could leave them unpeeled but ours were getting green so I just peeled them) 4 chicken breasts, thawed & sliced Put everything in the crockpot on low for 2 hours. Then I put mine on high for 2 hours (while the kids napped) just to make sure the potatoes would be done. Then on low again for 2 more hours. I'm sure on low for 6 hours would have done the trick but our potatoes and chicken were perfect. Shut the crock pot off about an hour before (

back to pre-baby thoughts

My friend, Sarah, is due any day now with her first baby. On Facebook, she has been asking for advice on some topics: diaper bags, when you can fit back into pre-baby pants, etc. I thought maybe I would help her out and see what advice you guys have! 1. What kind of diaper bag did you use? Purse-type? Diaper-bag type? Did your husband carry it? Did you use the straps to hold it on to the stroller? Did you also carry a purse? 2. When did you fit back into your pre-baby pants? Did you buy larger pants or stay in maternity pants after baby? 3. Favorite brands of diapers? Wipes?  4. Where did baby sleep those first few weeks (or longer)? Your bed? Bassinet? Crib? In your room or his/her own? 5. How long until baby made a public appearance? Where was baby's first public appearance? 6. Most useful baby item? I ran into a girl shopping for a baby gift in Target & she was looking at hooded towels. I said they were useful but should have thought of more useful ite

starting the day out right

Last Sunday, our pastor spoke about the Holy Spirit. He asked how many of us rely on the Holy Spirit daily...honestly. Most of us get by without His help, we do! Isn't it incredible? We just go about our day and do not ask for the help (and subsequent blessings) of our Counselor? I decided to wake up every day and ask for help. I've looked back at my life, my recent life, and realized that it's so hard alone. Sure, I'm walking with Christ and growing in my relationship with God. But I know there's more. I don't want an ordinary life, just going through the motions. I want extraordinary! I want God's full blessings. I want the Fruit of the Spirit! So every day this week, I've woken up and just laid there and cried out to the Holy Spirit. That's a little strange to me; I didn't grow up praying to the Holy Spirit - I don't think most churches do that. But we should! He prays for us and intervenes for us! I am truly desperate for help through

Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont (review)

Back in August, I had the opportunity to attend the Women of Faith conference (read more about my experience here ). Patsy Clairmont has been a speaker for this women's conference for many years and she was a keynote speaker for this event, too. Much of Patsy's talks for this event stemmed from her new book, "Stained Glass Hearts," in which she she writes about "seeing life from a broken perspective." I'll admit, I was prepared for a more lighthearted, witty commentary from this woman whose petite stature doesn't compare to her large sense of humor. However, once I got into the book it was definitely a good experience. Throughout the book, there were references to stained glass alongside the insights from Patsy's walking with God. Following each chapter was The Art Gallery where Patsy shared some inspiring quotes, songs, pictures, museums, etc that fit into each chapter. This book was not what I was looking for. I wanted a deeper book an

drumroll please...

Although the boys did the local business' trick-or-treat as Mario and Luigi... That night, Moose decided to become Mickey Mouse. Mickey's costume? My tights (lace on the thankful he doesn't know that's a girl thing), his shorts, his 3T (yes 3T!) Mickey Mouse jacket with ears, and my black t-shirt. Thank goodness for a non-picky kid! And, consequently, I become Minnie Mouse. Squirt looked like a strange kid with a mustache because he refused to wear his hat for Moose's Halloween party at school. But the dirt cake was delicious! Moose thinks he is really Mickey Mouse, playing the piano here. And here's our family ensemble. Mario & Mickey, Minnie & Luigi.  Luigi didn't make it far trick-or-treating. 3 falls on the sidewalk wiped him out (pun intended). Mario took him home & put him to plumber's slumber.