Saturday, February 24, 2007

What's In Your Fridge?

I was tagged by Jane.

I'm sure that all of us have lots of stuff in our fridges, so just list five things in each category. Pick what makes your fridge original, embarrassing or average. It's up to you.

On the Shelves: egg yolks, bacon grease, leftovers (see post on France), eggs (given to us by member's happy chickens), summer sausage

Drinks: milk, OJ, one homebrew, Apple Cider, water (most of our drinks are kept in the basement fridge)

In the Cheese Drawer: Mexican Shredded, Pepper-jack slices, Havarti with garlic and herbs, American slices, mild cheddar

In the Produce Bin: apples, grapefruit, kiwi, Romaine, carrots

In the Door: homemade strawberry jam, yeast, homemade chow-chow relish, butter, kid's water bottles

In the Freezer: various veggies, sun-fish (caught by members and graciously given to us to eat), beef broth, beer mugs, and crushed crackers (to roll the fish in)


Like most all of our ideas, we stole, I mean borrowed this one from our good friends the Tausz's. Thanks Ramona for the idea. We pick one country per week and on one day we will eat all our meals from that country, courtesy of the books, "Cooking the ____ Way", easy menu ethnic cookbooks. Either Hannah or Ellie will give a small presentation about facts they gleaned from the books they found and borrowed from the library. We started with the British Isles and did lovely days on Britain and Ireland, and a brief look at Wales and Scotland.

Now we started on Europe. Yesterday was France. Above is the map and flag Hannah colored for our education. On to the menu:

La Carte (Menu)

Le Petit Dejeuner (Breakfast)

Croissant (croissant)
Chocolat (hot chocolate for the kids)

Cafe (coffee for the parents)

Le Dejeuner (Lunch)
Potage parmentier (Potato-and-leek soup)
Pain (french bread)

Le Diner (Dinner)
Cotelettes de porc Normande (Pork chops Normandy style)

Galette de pommes de terre (Potato cake)
Petits pois a la Francaise (Green peas French style)
Pain (French bread)
Pinot Noir (for the parents)
Lait (Milk for the children)

Mousse au chocolat (Chocolate mousse)

These were absolutely delicious meals. I have copied them all to make again and again. Not all of the kids liked all of the foods, but all of the kids liked most of all the food. I couldn't believe how delicious (and relatively easy) the meals were. Now I better understand why chefs want to go to France to be trained. The peas were fabulous - and they had shredded lettuce in them! I forgot to take pictures of the other meals, these are of dinner.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Jesus Grant That Balm and Healing

If you haven't already, read about Johann Heermann, the author of this hymn here.

Mary and Martha

The story of the sisters is found in Luke 10:38 and following.

At the beginning of the week, I was Martha, "distracted with much" for the Lenten soup supper. I attended Matins on Tuesday morning, and found myself continually not listening, but thinking about what needed to be done next.

Wednedsay evening the soup supper went well and we cleaned up as much as possible prior to service. The kids and I sat down with about 5 minutes before the service began. Using the prayers in front of LSB and reading the Scripture readings, I tried to focus my mind on the "one thing necessary." The devil didn't want to give up so easily, he fought back. But I had Christ on my side who was fighting for me.

He began drawing me ever in-focus, first with the confession and absolution and then as the choir chanted Psalm 51. But again, the devil was still fighting and I was torn. I *wanted* to listen, to take to heart, to inwardly digest all that Christ was telling me, "but I (saw) in my members another law waging war aginst the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. " (Romans 7:23)

But thanks be to God, He pulled me ever closer through Pastor's sermon and in His supper He fed me while the congregation sang, "Jesus Think on Me." (LSB 610) The second communion hymn was "Jesus Grant That Balm and Healing" (LSB 421), which by the way is the same tune to one of my favorite Lenten hymns, "On My Heart Imprint Your Image." (LSB 422). I was able to pray the hymn words without being distracted. I had barely even noticed that the two boys were sound asleep.

It was in pondering all this yesterday, that I realized what had happened. Christ had drawn me in, not letting the "one thing necessary... be taken away from (me) ." He had made me into Mary who"sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching."

Praise be to God.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

Saturday, Feb. 17 - I and 4 others cleaned part of the Sunday School rooms all morning. I mainly worked in the two bathrooms - ugh I couldn't believe how dirty they were. It all smelled nice for Sunday School the next day. :-)

Sunday, Feb. 18 - After Divine Service, I sat on the couch and watched the NASCAR preview and then the Daytona 500. What a great race. I was sickened when Tony wrecked. And then we had to leave for a family fun swimming event. We listened to the race in the car and I watched the end at the community center, I was sickened that Mark Martin missed winning by a nose. We spent two hours swimming in a nice heated room, with about 30 other members of church. What fun.

Monday, Feb. 19 - Dh doesn't get the day off - two hospital visits to make. I don't get the day off either. I made a batch of buns and then ladies came over that afternoon to make Chrismons. We're meeting about once/month to make new Chrismons for the church tree. Most will be beads, we have fun, and are definitely challenged! That night, I attend my deep-water workout while the two oldest are at swim club practice.

Today - Feb. 20 - I really need to get a lot done as I am one of the hosts for the Ash Wednesday soup supper. So, I set to work and actually got a lot done. I boiled two chickens which left me with 36 cups of broth and 10 cups of meat - I need 39 cups of broth and 6 cups of meat for my soup. I baked 6 dozen Molasses Spice Cookies and 9 dozen Snickerdoodle cookies. I did all the dishes that entailed and the girls helped by washing, drying, and folding about 4 or 5 loads of laundry.

I didn't get the homemade noodles done. I would have liked to had those for my soup (chicken noodle) tomorrow, but it ain't gonna happen anymore. Tomorrow, I'll get up and bake another batch of buns, fix the soup, fix the meals, do more laundry, bathe the kids, and set-up for the soup supper and prepare for the Divine Service tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

We will have a normal day except for supper. The kids will eat by themselves while my love and I will dine in the basement that the children have lovingly cleaned (as in picked up *all* the toys, dusted and vacuumed) and decorated for us. They haven't let me down there since lunch, they even want to set the table and serve us.

The dinner menu is chicken Kiev, baked potato, salad, and green beans. A chilled bottle of wine will be opened (thanks Melanie, we've saved it for something "special.") and consumed. For dessert, fresh, home-made (as in baking right now) angel food cake with strawberries and either whipped cream or ice-cream.

Once we've eaten, the children have told me we are to watch a movie and they will watch one upstairs. It should be a lovely way to spend the evening.

I love my kids and it tickles my heart that they enjoy doing this for their father and mother. They have worked so well together to make this a special meal for us, it is the best Valentine's present I could receive.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Finished Quilts

I decided to share the quilts that my mil and I have completed. I should add that my fil helps too. He cuts out all the squares - and does a fantastic job - very precise, which makes the job of sewing them that much easier. I sew the squares into strips (sometimes my mil helps with this, if I go to her house and we have a sewing day). My mil has pieced together backing if needed, I tie them and she binds them and voila finished quilts.

What we didn't expect is that the jean quilts of the boys would be so heavy. I didn't add any batting and they are still heavy. So heavy, that as I've washed them, the seams are coming out and my dear mil has lovingly gone back and zigzagged over those seams. So they look even more like old worn jeans. :-) And I learned my lesson to have the stitching set tighter for quilts than for normal sewing.

The colors of Ellie's are my sorts of colors. I love green and she is favoring that color more and more.

I think Abby's quilt will be similar to Ellie's in pattern, not in color. But I have a bit yet to think and ponder that as I'm still no further along on Hannah's than when I posted before. Oh well, I still have a couple of weeks left before I head to Grandma's. I could still get it finished.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Way to Go Tony - Way to Go!!!

Last night was the Budweiser shootout at Daytona. Tony won! Yipee!! The new paintjobs on the cars, figuring out which drivers switced to which numbers and which sponsors, hearing, "Boogity boogity boogity, let's go racin boys," had me all excited for the upcoming season which starts in 7 days.

Although the Budweiser shootout is fun to watch, it's like other pre-season games. It leaves me wanting the real thing where the points matter and the drivers, cars and crew have to go the whole distance - not just 70 laps. But even then, it was a great way to relax after spending all day at a swim meet.

Btw I wonder who the blonde was by Tony in victory lane? Jenny do you know - does he have a new girlfriend? Oh and his subway commercial with Jarred was really funny too.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Yesterday afternoon while supper was cooking and the kids were playing, I decided to try and actually accomplish something. Two years ago (at least) my mil and I began working on quilts for each of my 5 kids. The two boys and Ellie's are done, Hannah's has been in the works for a long time, and poor Abby's hasn't even been cut out yet.

All the material comes from Grandma's stash and each has jean squares - the boys are completely jean squares. Hannah picked this lovely material with the girls in it. Unfortunately there wasn't enough material to use throughout the quilt, so Grandma and I planned this pattern of 9 squares. It will be repeated 5 times throughout the quilt.

Here is a picture of half the top. Sorry it is a little dark - a professional photographer I'm not. :-) The colors fit Hannah perfectly.

I was able to sew the pieces for columns 5-6-7 and attach them, which means I'm now halfway done with the top! Woo Hoo! We'll be heading to Grandma's at the end of February. My goal is to have it done so she can bind it. No actual quilting - I've chosen to tie these quilts.

Of course even though the kids were playing, when they hear a machine going someone has to come find out what mom is doing. So I ended up with a helper, who with his orange magic wand would command the machine to "stop" so he could pull out the helpless pins prior to them being run over by the evil giant "Necchi."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stand for Somethin

"You've got to stand for somethin or you'll fall for anything. You've got to be your own man, not a puppet on a string."

If you're a long-time country music fan, you'll recognize those words (and probably sing them the rest of the day -vbg). I've been thinking about this particular point off and on the past couple of days especially as it applies to my decision tohomeschool.

This comes up every so often - why do I homeschool? If not asked by someone else, my conscious asks it. Am I doing my children a disservice? Would they be better sent to the local building? Is this just a "straw man" I build?

I know that all kids will have weaknesses no matter where they're educated, but it is sometimes very hard for me to accept the weaknesses in my kids without thinking, "they wouldn't be like this if they attended school in the building. Then of course, I also realize that my kids "wouldn't be like this if they attended school in the building." Know what I mean?

It comes down to being able to see the "big picture." What do I want my kids to "look like" as adults? Does it matter if they aren't strong in sports? Of course not, but yet I still feel like I'm doing them wrong by not having them in school where they can participate in the various sports through gym, etc. yet that would mean, something else would have to give.

Stepping outside of the box of school building education, has opened my eyes to many things. I think differently than many of my parent counterparts. When that hits me, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. So why do Ihomeschool ? Sometimes I don't know the answer to that question. I don't know how long I'll continue. I don't know if I'll send them to the local Lutheran High School, or keep them home. Maybe they would get a better education and be more well-rounded if I did.

Maybe this evaluation is a good thing, and maybe it is the cold weather affecting my already cloudy brain. The problem is that it is also hypothetical. You can't go back and redo a life. A decision is made and then that path of consequences follows. There is no way to know what my kids would be like today if I had sent them to school. Sure there is speculation, but no facts. The same goes for later education - if we choose to send them to the building for high school, we can't really know how different they would be if we had kept them home. Maybe the fear of not knowing, and always being able to second guess and worry is the problem.

So once again I find myself needing to "stand for something before I fall for anything." Pick a course and let the pieces fall where they may, doing the best I can in the situation I find, trusting God to see me through.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

12 days and counting

12 days until we hear those famous words, the words that still the heart and deafen the ear. "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

Woo Hoo! I can't wait for the new season of NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing. How will Tony do this year? How are the new cars going to work? Whose going to win the title? (Please not Jimmy again!)

12 days till Daytona - I can't wait.

"Let's go racing boys!"

Random Thoughts

Cold - It has been very cold here - subzero temps. I had to dig out the scarves for everyone. This morning we awoke to 0 degrees, but it was snowing and the wind blowing. About 4 inches has fallen and it is still come down, although much lighter than this morning.

Swimming - Hannah and Ellie had a meet at the UofM on Saturday afternoon. We left at 10am and it was -13 degrees. It was very cold walking from the parking ramp to the aquatic center. We were nice and toasty warm during the meet. The collegiate men's team was finishing practice upon our arrival. I couldn't believe how little the suits were. It didn't leave much to the imagination. Neither of my girls swam a personal best, but for having been sick for a week, they did pretty well. Both are looking much better on their fly. They have another meet next Saturday - last chance to qualify for "c" finals. I'd love to see them both make that.

Super Bowl - Woo Hoo! Way to go Colts, Way to go! This Hoosier born and bred gal was sure happy the Colts won. It was a good game to watch, although the beginning was quite sloppily played. We enjoyed watching the game at Erdman's. We enjoyed good food, and some Mensa style puzzles. The only bad thing was we didn't get there in time to play a game of Settlers before the big game. Oh well, next time.

Laundry - Wow, how the piles multiply when you can't get to it every day. Mount Washmore will once again be tackled in hopes of overcoming it and keeping it at bay for awhile longer. The only trouble is that it'll take me a good two days of constant washing to catch up. Oh well, at least there is always tomorrow. ;-)

School - This week our goal will be to get back into full days of work. With being sick last week, none of us felt like doing much. But we're all feeling better and need to jump back into the seatwork and bookwork. I'm really enjoying the new Math-U-See program I bought for Nathan and Abby. Granted I've only just begun, but so far so good. :-)