Crazy Snow of 2011!!


Here we go again with crazy snow.   A couple of years ago I recall saying, “It never snows like it used to anymore.”  When I was a kid I remember big snow.  The kind of snow where you could play for hours.  Build a fort.  I thought those days were over, until last year when we started having bigger snow storms.  They’re a little bit of a pain, but how awesome is it that Gabriel has gotten to enjoy the kind of “big snow” that I was used to!?  The past couple of days being “stuck” home have been fantastic.  I’ve covered a lot of ground in a few areas.  Parenting…I got to enjoy precious time with Gabriel sledding and playing in the snow.  Margin…my current small group study…I was able to spend time just spending time at home!  I had no plans, no deadlines.  It was great.  Fitness…I signed up for a free fitness site www.myfitnesspal.com and it looks fantastic.  It is very user friendly with a simple food diary section.  If I hadn’t signed up for that site, I wouldn’t have found out that one hour of shoveling snow burns 520 calories!  Wow!  Finally…a benefit of living in Pennsylvania!  I was flying high on momentum from excitement from finding a site that I think will work for me that I was inspired to really consider portion sizes for meals today and I even spent some time on the treadmill despite having already burned quite a few calories shoveling and sledding!  I also started reading what looks like it is going to be an amazing book to help me focus on my health and fitness in a way that honors God.  It’s amazing what two days off can do!


LEG MEAT!!!!????

Well, some of you have heard this story about Gabriel before, but recently it turned a corner. I have to tell the whole story for it to really make sense! One day when he was about 3 years old, we were driving down the road and my husband, Daniel, saw a few deer in a field. He said, “Look Gabriel, deer!” Gabriel looked at them happily. Next Daniel said, “Mmmm….they taste good!” Gabriel looked surprised and said, “WHAT!? You can’t eat ANIMALS!” Daniel and I looked at each other and just sort of laughed and nonverbally decided that it was best not to explain to Gabriel where the meat we eat comes from. We didn’t want him to become a 3 year old vegetarian!! We absolutely love telling this story. Then one day last week, I decided to try out my new electric roaster that I got for Christmas. Thank you honey! Who doesn’t love stuffing a whole chicken into a small kitchen appliance and have it come out tender, moist and DELICIOUS! So anyhow, I had put some breast meat on Gabriel’s plate, but I had taken one of the legs. Without even thinking I said to Gabriel, “Would you like to try some leg meat?” Again with the same surprised look on his face he said, “LEG MEAT!?” Then he pointed to his meat on the plate and said, “What kind of meat is this then?” I decided to call it chest meat because we don’t need an almost 5 year old walking around talking out eating breasts now do we? He said, “Chest meat?! Ew, that’s yuck!” We explained to him that God gave us animals so that we could eat them. THANKFULLY Gabriel accepted this answer and tried both the leg and “chest” meat and thought they were both delicious. After a short pause he said, “But we can’t eat horses, right?” We said, no that we didn’t but that some people might (do humans eat horse????). I told him that no matter what we didn’t eat any animals that are our friends either. Next question, “and we can’t eat people right?” Yikes. We laughed and told him definitely not!

I love that this conversation went well.  I am also thankful that as first time parents we decided to wait to explain this to him until he was older!  If you want to make chicken that will be devoured by children…and parents too, try this recipe, which came directly from the owner’s manual of my GE Roaster Oven:

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

7 to 8 lb. chicken, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup butter-softened, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground black pepper

  1. Remove the yucky insides (maybe the recipe didn’t say exactly this…)
  2. Rinse chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and rub over skin and between skin and meat of chicken.
  4. Place Roasting Rack in cooking pan (or in your oven if you don’t have a lovely electric roaster)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is done.

Yum, yum, yum.  Meal success.  We served it with corn and mashed potatoes.

So…yes, it’s been a while.  Seriously had the best intentions of posting at least once a week.  Especially after I read this post http://bryanallain.com/archives/2010/11/05/10-tips-for-beginning-bloggers/

Anyhow, in the past month we had all of our usual activities going on…then we piled on cooking our first big Thanksgiving meal.  It was really fun having everyone to our house and hope to start some new traditions!  Then I had also signed up to decorate a table for A Willowdale Christmas, which is a women’s event at our church, for three nights in a row!  What was I thinking?  Thankfully someone offered to take one of the nights, so I was able to just do my “normal” Monday night which is the night we do Celebrate Recovery.  Follow this with a few days of me feeling sick, a MOPS meeting, an afternoon of Christmas shopping, a morning of kid puke, and a weekend of trying to get healthy.  Finally, Monday night we visited Longwood Gardens which was a nice end to some of the crazy we have had going on.  It was 19 degrees that night…couldn’t feel my legs with TWO pairs of pants on!  Yikes!

See my pretty table?  Thanks to my friend Tamara for letting me borrow her lovely china, etc…

So, what’s next?  Well, on the upcoming weekend I would REALLY like to try to finish Christmas shopping so I can have everything wrapped BEFORE Christmas Eve at midnight!  I would not like a repeat of last year!  Other than that…attempt number 362 to get the house cleaned before Christmas…wait, I am just going to go with get the house presentable.  Then I won’t feel so disappointed when it doesn’t happen!  Then…wait for it…I have off the week between Christmas and New Years!  Totally unpaid…but I am very much looking forward to the time to catch up with friends and family and MAYBE get the house clean enough to feel like I am starting 2011 off right!  It’s like if I get ahead just enough maybe I can scramble to keep up in the new year!  In the upcoming year I am thinking I will not sign up for anything new.  Even though one of my friends is leading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and I really want to do it, I think I am just going to say no to myself.  Maybe next time…

Being Present

This lovely little gem pictured to the left is the Tmobile My Touch Slide 3G…yeah, I know it’s only 3G…whatevs.  It still keeps me connected!  Right?  This past Sunday our pastor gave a sermon in our Pause series entitled “Enrich.”  He talked about implementing Sabbath values into our lives which will enrich our lives and in turn, enrich the lives of the world around us.   In Isaiah 64:4 we read “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  Here we learn that our God works for us if we put our trust in Him to provide and direct us in our lives!   If we never rest, we never have time to wait and listen for direction from God.  Pastor Greg talked about an interview that he’d heard on NPR with New York Times writer Matt Richtel regarding some of the studies he’s done on the influence of technology on productivity.  He talked about how technology is being proven to be a tool of procrastination.  I’m realizing how often I tell my son, “We’ll do it later, I’m checking my email right now.”  That’s the one that really hurts the most.  What am I teaching him?  That an electronic device is more important than what he is talking to me about at that moment?  In 10 years he’s going to be ignoring me to attend to his screened devices and I’ll be hurt.  Believe it or not, I have been able to cut down on my time spent on the computer since I got my fancy new phone.  I can quickly glance at it to see if I have any email.  If I don’t, I just toss it back into my purse.  If I had gotten onto the computer I surely would have blown at least a half hour!  So I am committed to putting away and/or turning off devices for at least a small part of each day.  When is a good time to check my email? 

This is.  Nighty night Gabriel!  I love you!

Pausing 101

What’s the easiest way to pass your first lesson on pausing?  Get terribly sick over the weekend.  I had been nursing a cold for a few days but I thought it was on its way out.  That was when the sinuses decided that they wanted to unleash a flood worthy of an ark building.  Yuck!  My husband, Daniel, had to work on Saturday so I was to be on my own with 4 1/2 year old Gabriel for the day.  It was a bit of a rough start because he really wanted me to get up and do stuff with him, but I was really hoping for some rest.  Then he was sad because we had to call my sister Karen to let her know that we couldn’t make it up for my niece Emily’s birthday party.  I thought that he would get pretty antsy if we didn’t go anywhere so I thought maybe we’d do a Walmart run for some more cough medicine at some point.

Well, the day went on and we surely watched a lot of TV.  More TV than one should probably watch when trying to weed unnecessary things out of their life, but I needed the rest.  A little later in the day we came up with some fun games to play that I could do from the couch.  Like Nerf target practice on a chalkboard, where Gabriel drew a horse.  I didn’t ask what this horse had done to deserve to be in such a precarious position.  We had a blast.  We laughed and laughed and competed to see who could hit the target more than the other person.  So, lesson one…you CAN and WILL find fun things to do even if you just stay HOME!  This was as shocking to me as it was to Gabriel.  I can’t remember the last time I just didn’t go anywhere on a Saturday.  It was strange, but lovely at the same time!

Sorry to Disappoint…

Ok, so I was trying so hard to get to the grocery store before going home, because I have a million things tonight. Trust me, I still need A LOT of help with this pausing thing. That said, I successfully navigated the grocery store to get all that I needed for a salad I am making for my small group for tomorrow night in less than 10 minutes! Amazing! Anyhow, just as I was about to pat myself on the back, I walked up front and saw that every register had a long line! Ugh! Plan of attack for dinner had to change, fast. The hubby has his men’s small group tonight, so I no longer had time to make the lovely Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta I posted earlier today. I will be making it on Friday now. So I ran for the border and brought home some Taco Bell.

In this vegetable-studded vegan dish we braise cauliflower, butternut squash and pasta in white wine and broth in an unconventional technique that yie

via Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta.

I found this recipe while thumbing through an Eating Well Magazine over the weekend.  It wasn’t my magazine, but I had to have this recipe!  I found it online, thank you so much to Eating Well Magazine for sharing!  I am pretty sure I can find joy in eating this tonight!!