Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ham and Asparagus Chowder

This was the perfect dinner after a cold, wet and rainy day. It was especially a hit with my hubby.

1 1/2 cups cubed unpeeled red potatoes
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 pieces of frozen or fresh asparagus spears
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 can (103/4oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
Freshly ground pepper if desired

1) In 2-quart saucepan, heat potatoes and water to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cover, cook about 5 minutes or until potatoes are crisp-tender.

2) Add asparagus and ham. Cover, cook 3 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in soup and milk. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with pepper before serving.

This was super easy to make. I measured everything out ahead of could even make this the day or night before.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My Joshua these days!

This afternoon I gave Joshua some spicy jerky which he kept thanking me for so I know he liked it. He then asks me for a glass of water which he drank all of.....he then closes his eyes and says, I pray my owie away, amen. Mommy, I pray and it's gone.

The other day we were in the car and Joshua said, can we pray for daddy?? So, we did and later when I was telling John about it he asked, What time did you do that at?? John had been having some obstacles with a project at one point during the day and all of a sudden he felt gods grace over the situation. Now, that is powerful!

This just melts my heart. Thank you Jesus for my Joshua!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I think we are making strides??

Joshua has been doing so good about using the potty when we have been at home. We haven't been accident free but he seems to be getting it and enjoying it. Tonight was the first time he told us he had to go poop and he really did!! Wohoo!!! Then, when I put him to bed he told me that tomorrow at class he was going to poop in the potty for his teacher. Wohoo, Joshua! I told him that would be very cool and that his teacher would be very proud of him. However, his track record for using a public potty or any other potty for that matter than the potty at home has been nothing short of a major fit. It has only been a week since we have embarked on the "potty journey" so I'm sure with time he with begin to feel comfortable using public bathrooms, I just hope it's sooner than later. What have you all tired to make this transition more comfortable??

Friday, October 5, 2007

Austen is walking!

We knew it was coming soon and sure enough today at a friends house Austen took steps. We caught him doing so a handful of times. Then tonight he stepped for Daddy and not just one step but two and almost a third!! Go Austen go. I am sure by the end of the month he will be running. What will I do??

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm invisible

Last week at MOMS group this was shared with us and it stuck a cord in me......

I'm invisible.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satelite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."
I was certain these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude- but now they had disappeared into peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She's going she's going, she's gone!!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry fro myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a bananna clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I bought this."
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me unitl I read the inscription; "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days to come I would read- no, devour- the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four-life changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who biult the great cathedrals- we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."
And the workman replied, "Because God sees."
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make everyday, even when no one around does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is an antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friends he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Need I say anything else?

Music Adventure

Just wanted to share this email from Joshua's music teacher. This is our first year of classes and it has been exciting for us all. Joshua loves telling us what he learned each class. We are thinking that him being around his peers without Mommy or Daddy as given him the confidence to use the potty. Wohoo!!

Hello Tana,

I just wanted to let you know that Joshua did very well in class today. He participated in all the activities and seemed to enjoy himself - particularly the instruments. I was happy to see that he felt comfortable to be on his own and had enough confidence to join in our singing. He was a very good listener!

Yeah, Joshua. Mommy and Daddy are so proud. John and I were looking at pictures of Joshua from 4 months ago and he has grown up so much since then. How is that possible?? Really makes you want to savor the moments even more!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Potty time!

I wrote this yesterday and then my computer crashed:

So, at one point we were attempting to potty train Joshua and nothing seemed to be sticking. He never got excited about any of the rewards we were trying so we kind of gave it a break. (Well, maybe we were giving up :)) But, that has all changed today. This afternoon on a whim I asked Joshua if he wanted to pee and poop on the cherrios in the toliet and his eyes were wide eyed! Honeslty, I was shocked at his respone but went with it. Not only did he try but he really went pee and a little poop!! I was shouting inside and out!! :) We were literally on our way out the door so we had our celebration and into the car we went....before I could even get Joshua buckled he was saying, oh, no. He had to go more...awesome. So, in we went and he went a lot of pee and a bit more poop. Wohoo! When we were in the car Joshua starts asking about spending the night at Grandma & Papa's house..I thought what a great potty reward! So, If Joshua uses the potty for the next few days then he gets to spend the night at Grandma & Papa's house!

Today's potty tales have been just as fabulous! Way to go Joshua. We even braved it out today without a diaper or pullup and he did great! He was more then happy to use the potty at Cafe sip-n-play....we had quite a few shouts and high fives over that!

Some of our favorites this time of year!

Cream of tomato soup

1 tablesppon butter
2 tablesppons flour
1 3/4 c evaporated milk
3 cups tomato or vegtable juice
4 tablesppons tomato paste
Dash of oregano
Dash of basil
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter on low heat. Add the flour and blend, stirring constantly for 2 min. Then gradually add the milk until thickens. Stir in tomato juice, the paste and the seasonings. Continue to cook on low heat. Serve warm and top with parmesan cheese, cottage cheese or wheat germ.

Mac & Cheese

1 cup uncooked pasta
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablesppons of butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cheese
1 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything except cheese. Cover and bake for 45-50 minutes. Stiring often. When done add cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes or just serve and eat!! We love mac and cheese with johnny's seasoning!

Pumpkin cookies

2/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat, sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla. Then beat in pumpkin, eggs. Then flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

These can also be made with browned butter frosting (which is YUMMY!!!) 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk and 1/3 cup of butter. Mix all ingedients over medium heat.

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have!!!!

Fall is officially here and I LOVE it!

For those that don't know fall is my favorite time of year! I love all the colors, the foods, the baking, the weather, the traditions. I just love it all! This weekend we are headed our families anual fruitloop trip. This year Aunt Chritine and Unlce Danny (John's siblings) will be joining us. Ever since John and I have been married we have always gone to the fruitloop with John's parents. It's a tradition we love and look forward to every October.

Well, Joshua started his music class last week and this week his busy bees class. He seems to have enjoyed both. I am super excited about his busy bees class. The Teachers are SUPER friendly and nice. Plus, they have things set up some what like a monterorri does with all different activity stations and for the month of October they are focusing on leaves, pumpkins, letters and numbers. Joshua has already learned things from after one day. The program is academic which I didn't expect...not sure why maybe because of the price??? Anyhoo, I am super excited. Did I mention this class is 2 hours long and very close to wonderful downtown Camas:). Giving me a much needed time for errands and one on one time with Austen.

Next weekend, Daddy is going to be out of town so we are going to have a baking day at Auntie's house. I am very excited about this. There is some very yummy recipes I want to make and a few new ones I want to try. Fun times :)

Eating nutritionally and living naturally on a budget is my vision for my family