Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Blueberry French Toast


If it were not for Recipe Fun Friday, we would have had leftovers last night. However, since I had to have a new recipe for today, I prepared this dish. It was delicious. Now we have leftovers for tonight and tomorrow night. Yippee!

I halved this recipe since there are only three of us who can eat it. This recipe is from Best of Country Breakfast & Brunch.

Blueberry French Toast
12 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed (I used my homemade wheat bread.)
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey.)
sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon butter (I forgot the butter, and we could not tell it was missing.)

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes; place half in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Cut cream cheese into 1 inch cubes, and place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and syrup; mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes longer or until golden brown and center is set.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8-10 mintues or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve with French toast.

Like I said, this dish was yummy! I will definitely make it again.

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


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Learning for Little Ones -- Reading

I love to read. However, with all of my motherly and wifely responsibilities, I do not have much time for reading. I feel lucky to be able to read a few pages in the bed at night before I turn out the light. I did find some time to read a new book I got, Making the "Terrible" Twos Terrific by John Rosemond, and the author encourages parents not just to read to their children but just to read. I know that it is important to read to Daniel and Sarah Beth, but I see now how important it is for them to see me reading my own book. Besides showing them that reading is fun and important, it gives the opportunity to teach things like "mine." I find myself saying very often, "This book is Mommy's, and you may not have it right now." This week I have made time for this very, very important occupation of mine (that I also dearly love!) in order to teach my little ones that reading is a good thing!

For more ideas about teaching your little ones new things, head over to Babychaser's blog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Remember that baby blanket I was working on a couple of weeks ago? No, I did not finish it. I discarded it because it had a couple of problems with it that I would not be able to fix without ripping it all out and starting over. First, it tracked to the right; instead of the edges being straight up and down, they were slanted to the right. The other problem was that the second skein of yarn I used did not exactly match the first. I was tired of that pattern anyway, so I picked a new one. Do you like it? I do, but I have already had to rip out a couple of rows. I have not had so much trouble with a baby blanket -- with anything -- since the very first blanket I made. And I didn't know anything then.

John reminded me the other night that I need to make a blanket for one of his college friends whose wife is having a baby. I had forgotten. I think I need to make a list somewhere of everything I need to crochet. Otherwise, I will keep forgetting.

Be sure to visit the Place of H to see other works in progess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Christmas Presents


Have you thought about Christmas yet? Obviously, I have with all of those stockings, placemats, and coasters I have been making. What about the gifts I need, er, want, to give others? I did make that pot holder for my mother-in-law, and I stumbled across something for my mom. But then I found this website which has a listing of women who sell things they have made online. Since I have no idea what to get my mother-in-law's husband (they have been married only a year), I thought I might find something interesting which I did. I think he might enjoy getting soap that looks like doughnuts. I also like the fact that I am supporting women who try to make some extra money while staying home. For those hard-to-shop-for people on your list, you might want to browse some of these sites yourself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Voting!

Have you voted yet? Here in Georgia we have the option of advanced voting which I took advantage of a couple of weeks ago. I arrived about 9:15, and I was completely done in about fifteen minutes. However, a line formed just after I got there. So many people are voting early that our county has opened up two more voting locations. They expect a 90% turnout in our area, so I am glad I got that done. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to avail yourself of it. I enjoy knowing that I have done my civic duty. (And since I voted, I can legitimately complain about politics!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Sweet Pineapple Muffins


I have been given the title "Queen of Muffins," and I do not know where that came from. Not at all.

John loves pineapple, and I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook Best of Country Breakfast and Brunch (I told you that you would see a lot of recipes from this book). I had to try it, didn't I?

Sweet Pineapple Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cans (8 ounces each) crushed pineapple, undrained
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. In another bowl, mix the pineapple, eggs, and oil; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yields about 20 muffins.

These muffins were delicious. As you can see from the picture, I stirred them too much; that's why they're flat. I was trying to get all of the lumps out, but then I realized that the lumps were pieces of pineapple. Oops! My batch was very, very moist; really they were too moist because they fell apart when I removed them from the muffin pan. I was going to advise you to add more flour to firm them up some when I realized that I had changed the recipe just a little. You see, I didn't have two small cans of pineapple, I had one large can. A 20 ounce can. And I poured it all in. There was too much pineapple in my recipe. I'm sure that if you make it correctly, the recipe will turn out fine. If you like pineapple, you will love this recipe!

Did you try a new recipe this week? Leave a link, and share it with the rest of us!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cooking with Sarah Beth

This morning I decided to make the pumpkin bread that Laura wrote about last week. As soon as I started measuring, Sarah Beth grabbed a chair to come help. Daniel was asleep, so there was no hurry, and I thought what a great way to spend some time with her. My mom did not teach me how to cook, but the fault is all mine because I was not interested. I want to encourage Sarah Beth as much as possible so she won't have to "experiment" on her husband. (Also, I cannot wait until she can take over cooking one night a week, at least.)

Here is Sarah Beth mixing the batter. It was really hard for her, so Mommy had to help out some. (Check out her shoes. She found her Sunday shoes, and just had to wear them. My little girl has a real thing about shoes, and she definitely does not get that from me.)

I wonder who taught her to lick the bowl?


Do you think she had fun? Do you think she will want to help Mommy bake bread again? Do you think she enjoyed licking the bowl? I think so!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Backyard Surprise!

Look what I saw in my neighbor's backyard the other day.

How did that picture get there? This is what I saw:



Can you see her? No? Well, she came back the next morning, and I switched the lenses on the camera. Is this better?

How about now?

John said that he sees deer often when he is jogging in the morning. Since he jogs at 5:00 AM, I am not surprised. However, I do not get up that early, so I was surprised to see this doe at 9:00 AM. We live in a normal, suburban neighborhood, but we do have some undeveloped land behind us. I guess the deer are looking for some safe places to feed since deer hunting season has started.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Award!


Ivy bestowed another award on me, so that makes two in less than a week! Wow!!! I will accept this award, although I do not feel very creative. (And I have to admit that I find it annoying that "creative" is spelled wrong.)

I am now supposed to list six things that make me happy.
  1. My salvation through Jesus Christ is what makes me happiest.
  2. My sweet, sweet husband makes me happy, even though he exasperates me sometimes, too.
  3. Of course, Daniel and Sarah Beth are on this list. Sarah Beth's silliness and Daniel's adorable smiles just make me laugh.
  4. I love living in town for many reasons; one of the main ones is that I get to see my friends more often.
  5. So, I should add my friends to this list.
  6. Books! Books for me are like the icing on cinnamon rolls. Without the icing, the rolls would be good; but with the icing, they are delectable.

I shall pass this award onto Mykidsmom, Angela, Dayna, and Marva. I would give it to Laura, also, but Ivy already did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday

I almost panicked yesterday. I did not know what I was going to make for this week's Recipe Fun Friday, and I did not know what we were going to have for supper. What I had planned to fix for both fell through because I did not have one of the major ingredients. There's no substitute for carrots. The nice mail lady saved me, though; she brought a recipe book that I had ordered. Best of Country Breakfast & Brunch has lots of delicous-looking recipes in it, so you will be seeing a lot from it in the future. I am sorry, however, that I forgot to take a picture.

Orange-Cinnamon French Toast
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used a whole teaspoon; you can't have too much cinnamon, can you?)
3 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 slices bread

In a bowl, combine butter, honey, and cinnamon. Pour into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan; spread to coat bottom of pan. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, orange juice, and salt. Dip bread into egg mixture, and place in prepated pan.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a serving plater; serve with honey, if desired. (I did not invert it onto a serving platter because my platter was too small. The cinnamon stuck to the bread lovely, so it really did not need to be inverted.)

We liked this recipe. John could not taste the orange juice, but I could. He also thought it would be better with syrup, but I liked the honey.

By the way, I tried Mykidsmom's Iced Pumpkin Cookies, and they are delicious. John liked them, and I did not think he would. Even my mom said they were good.

What new recipe did you try this week? Leave a link, and join the fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Award!


Ivy gave me this award, and I'm so excited! Blogging Friends Forever! I know exactly to whom I would like to bestow this award: Mykidsmom, Laura (although Ivy already gave it to her, and she's more of a real-life friend), Marva, and Nikki. I would, also, like to give this award to Angela and Dayna who are actually my real-life cousins, if that doesn't break the rules. Now it is your turn to pass along this award!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WIP Wednesday -- Baby Blanket

Have I mentioned before that my very favorite thing to crochet are baby blankets? Well, they are! One of the women I work with is having a baby at Christmas, and I think she will appreciate receiving a blanket. I do not know her well at all since I do not work very often, but I will enjoy making this blanket. I am tired of my pot holder (I finally finished it, and I don't understand why it doesn't look like the picture); I'm bored with my place mats; I cannot believe how many coasters I still need to make; and I cannot get any enthusiasm at all to work on another stocking. I was so bored with all of that last week that I just could not post about it.

But now I have a baby blanket to work on!!! The sun came out from behind the clouds. There is a new desire to crochet. Oh, life is good!

John calls this stage of the blanket the "scarf" phase since it is so long and thin. I took a picture of a small area so you could see the detail of the pattern. I have only done a handful of rows, but I think it will make a nice, warm blanket for this Christmas baby.

Drop by the Place of H to see what other works-in-progess are going on.

Razzberries!

I need some help from you more-experienced mothers: Daniel has started blowing razzberries when I'm feeding him. He has been blowing them for a while, but he just started Monday blowing them while he is eating. Is there anyway to stop him? Please, oh, please, help me! I'm tired of getting green beans, bananas, and sweet potatoes all over my face!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Weekend at Work

I worked again this weekend. Yes, it has only been two weeks since I last worked, but I switched weekends in September because our trip to the beach fell on my work weekend. Now I am back to normal....work schedule-wise, anyway.

Things went very well; we had no major problems to solve, and our customers were pleasant for the most part. When I got home last night, John said that he hates it when I work because, well, for lots of reasons. I thought about it, and I realized that I don't hate working anymore. I do not look forward to it, but I do not dread it anymore, either. The work situation here is sooo much better than my old job: there is enough help, and customers cannot accost me, asking if we carry fish or hair.

I thought I would give you some tips for getting prescriptions filled. You may already know these, but in case you don't, here they are.
  1. The first day of the month is a bad day to go to the pharmacy because it is so busy.
  2. Mondays are the worst day of the week to get a prescription filled, again, because it is so busy.
  3. It only makes sense then that the first Monday of the month is a very bad day to get a prescription filled.
  4. The absolute worst days to get a prescription filled are Tuesdays after Monday holidays. For example, do not go anywhere near the pharmacy on the Tuesday after Labor Day. Likewise, if New Year's Day is a Monday, do NOT try to get a prescription filled or even picked up.

I hope that helps. Now here is a tip to make our lives as pharmacists and technicians a little better: when you call to see if we are open and we answer the phone, please hang up. What? You think that is rude? No, it is rude if you call my house and hang up. We actually do a happy dance in the pharmacy when no one is on the other end of the phone. Okay, not really, but one of my technicians yesterday did say, "Whoohoo! No one is there!" The next time you pick up a prescription, listen for how many times the phone rings while you wait. The phone rings almost incessantly, and every time it rings there is a problem on the other side that we need to fix. We don't mind fixing problems; that is why we are there. But we hate answering the phone to hear, "Are you open?" Believe me, we are not there when we're not open. If we do happen to be there, we do NOT answer the phone. So, it is safe to assume that, if we answer the phone, we are open.

How was your weekend? Angela found a dog, and I bet she and Dustin keep him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday


This week I had a couple of friends over for lunch. We used to go out to eat for birthdays, but now there are eight children to the three of us, so we stay home. I prepared a Cheddar-Ham Oven Omelet with Apple Bread, and both Laura and Ivy requested that I put these recipes here today, so I assume they enjoyed them. I know that I did (and the leftovers, too!).

Apple Bread
4 cups peeled, diced apples
1 cup chopped nuts (I left these out.)
2 cups sugar
3 cups plain flour (Yes, the recipe says "plain flour;" I used all-purpose.)
2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more (I used 1 teaspoon.)
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 beaten eggs

Mix apples, nuts, and sugar. Let stand one hour or more; stir often. Sift flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add to apple mixture; mix slowly. Add oil, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Stir by hand until well-mixed. Grease and flour two bread pans, and pour batter in. Bake at 350 for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cheddar-Ham Oven Omelet
16 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cubed, fully cooked ham
6 green onions, chopped (I left these out; I don't care for onions.)

In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in the cheese, ham, and onions. Pour the egg mixture into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

What new recipe did you try this week? Leave a link, and join the fun!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Books!

I'm sure that you know how important it is for us to read to our children. But did you know that just having books in your house is more important that income or parental education at producing better test scores? Children who have books in their houses test better than those without books, and they don't do better just in English but also in science and math. Isn't that interesting? Here is the full article at World Magazine. With as many books as I have, our children ought to blow apart any test they take!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Look What I Found!

For those of you who love Jane Austen like I do, you ought to try this!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!



Let me know which one you are!

Potty Training Day #2 Recap

Thank you for your words of encouragement, support, and advice. I really, really appreciate it.

Yesterday went better than Monday but only because I did not push the issue of potty training. We tried those new Pull-ups, and when Sarah Beth wet them, she would come running, "Change diaper! Change diaper!" By late morning, however, she did not seem to mind the coldness anymore. I was able to get her to sit on the potty....for about two seconds before she started yelling, "Down!" and struggling to get off.

John and I talked last night, and we decided to put the diapers back on and do what we were doing this weekend (which worked!). I will periodically ask her if she wants to use the potty, and if she does, she will get some "chockit."

The problem is that Sarah Beth is just like me. We are stubborn enough that we won't do something unless it was our idea first. And potty training was definitely my idea not hers. As John said, maybe she will be tired of wearing diapers when she's eight or nine. In the meantime, I plan to make a big deal of the other little girls we know who are potty trained, not to shame Sarah Beth into trying again, but to show her that it is possible.

I have learned something from this experiment, something that I should know by now. Things do not always (usually) go according to my plans. Despite my grandiose plans, God has His own plan, and that is the one that will come to fruition. Don't we all need some humbling sometimes? I just received some.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Potty Training Day #1 Recap

Yesterday did not go well at all. In fact, I was very discouraged by the time John got home last night. I had six litte pairs of training underwear, and they were all in the washing machine by 1:00. Sarah Beth did not use the potty one time yesterday, and she even refused to sit on it. I had to go out to the grocery store last night, and John strongly encouraged me to buy some of those Pull-ups that get cold. Do you know what I'm talking about? We're trying those today, and we'll see how it goes.

Honestly, I feel like throwing in the towel and waiting until next year. What do you do when your child refuses to sit on the potty? Do you hold her on the potty while she's fussing and screaming, "down!"? It seems like that is not conducive to using the potty.

I should have known this weekend was too good to be true. I should have learned that when I was training horses; things never go as planned.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lampshade Giveaway!

Victoria at Shade that Lamp is giving away a lampshade. So far, only two people have entered, so it might be a good chance for you to win something. Now I wish I hadn't posted this; I had a 50% chance to win. Oh, well.

Potty Training and Freezer

Since Sarah Beth is almost two and a half years old, we have decided that it's time for her to become potty trained. Honestly, I have to admit we arrived at that decision more because Daniel's diapers are just getting nastier and nastier, and I really don't want to change two dirty, stinky, nasty diapers in a row. Besides, Sarah Beth is two and a half years old, and it's time. We will start in earnest today, but she has used the potty a few times this weekend. She saw the M&M's we are using as rewards, and when she found out all she needed to do was use the potty to get one, well, there you go. The first time, she sat there ten to fifteen minutes until she finally went and earned some "chockit." She was determined! Today the diapers come off, and we shall see how it goes. If you have any tips, please share! I don't feel quite prepared for this. At least, it's still warm enough today for shorts, and thankfully we have hardwood floors.

I have wanted a freezer since we moved into this house. At our old house, we had two refrigerators which was wonderful because the grocery store was so far away, and I did not want to make more than one trip. This house does not have room for two refrigerators, at least, not in the house. It would be nice to have a freezer so I have room to stockpile meat when it is on sale, etc.. You know. Well, this weekend was tax-free on all energy efficient appliances, so we went to look. Energy efficient freezers are expensive, so we did not get one. We just got a regular, energy inefficient one. I thought we would buy a chest freezer because of cost, but John thought a stand-up would be easier to use. Of course, it would, but they are more expensive. Thanks to my sweet husband, that's what we got. It should be delivered today, and I cannot wait! They say that you should keep your freezer three-quarters full to optimize efficiency. I need to get started shopping and baking! What kinds of things freeze well? I would like to keep some things on hand so I don't have to bake every time I need something.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday -- Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apple-Cherry Stuffing


I found this recipe in my inbox one morning, and I knew I needed to try it. Some of the reviews were not too favorable, but doesn't the title sound yummy? I figured it was worth a shot. However, the reviews were correct that the stuffing was soggy and therefore not very good. I used dried cranberries instead of cherries, and they were a nice touch. This recipe might be good if cooked in the oven, but I don't think I will try it that way. As a matter of fact, I have already thrown the recipe away. I'm sorry to have such a failure for you today, but isn't that the way it goes with new recipes?

What new recipe have you tried lately? Leave a link and join the fun!

By the way, did you see any of the debate last night? What did you think? I think Sarah Palin did an excellent job!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Learning for Little Ones -- Chores

Sarah Beth loves to help, and I have decided to take advantage of this desire. Yes, it is much easier and quicker to do things myself, but I am teaching her to be a help to her mommy. I let her help unload the dishwasher except for the glasses and silverware. She loves to sort her cups and stack them. She carefully hands me one plate or bowl at a time. She, also, helps put the clothes in the dryer. The dryer door opens downward and makes a sort of shelf; I place the wet clothes on the "shelf," and she shoves them in. She helps carry packages in the house when we come home from shopping. She is the biggest help, however, when I'm holding Daniel and drop something. She doesn't mind at all bending down to get it for me. She gets things for Daniel, too, which is a sweet thing.

I do not force her to do any of these tasks. I ask for her help, and if she doesn't want to, I do not make a big deal of it. I want her to think helping is fun, and it is right now. I want to encourage that concept. The only chore she has to perform is throwing her diaper away. She does get disciplined if she refuses to do that one.

Do you have an idea for teaching your little ones, or do you need some ideas? If so, you ought to stop by Babychaser's blog.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Presidential Politics

Have you decided who you will vote for in this election? I still am undecided; I don't particularly want John McCain to be president, but I certainly do NOT want Obama to win. Anyway, from what I hear about Sarah Palin, I like her. I think she does her family a disservice because she is not a stay-at-home-mom, but that is a family decision, and I will not judge her for it. Other than that, I am impressed. If you would like to find out more about her, World Magazine has a great article about her here.

WIP Wednesday -- Hot Pad


It's Wednesday again, and that means that I get to show what I have accomplished this week with my crocheting, thanks to Mrs. H's Work-in-Progress Wednesday. I am still working on the hot pad, but my attitude toward it has changed. I am now used to all the slip stitches, and I actually find it fun to work on. It has really helped that it actually looks like something. From what I can determine, I think I'm about half way done.
You ought to head over to the Place of H, and check out what is going on over there.