Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday's musings

Well, posting accidentally without any body to my blog would be just how things are going today lol.  Actually, it hasn't been a bad day, I was up at 4 getting DH out the door for work and then I sat down to do some sweepstakes before the day began.

I am happy to report that Bieber Jr.  decided it was time to cut his locks, so mom ran and grabbed the hair cutting supplies before he could change his mind.  He is now proudly sporting a short "Taylor Lautner" hair-do per my 7 year old who is wildly in love with both Bieber and "Jacob".   Mama thinks he looks handsome both ways, so whatever works for him is fine with me. 

Tomorrow we are trying a new church out.  We received a letter in the mail this week from the church we went to last Sunday, and doctrinally speaking we are on two different pages. My husband did some soul searching after we received the letter and we decided to keep looking for two reasons.

 Having attended a Seminary college myself, I don't want my children brought up in a judgemental, God is out to get ya kind of environment.  I want them to experience the true love and happiness that God is about, not hatred and legalism.  Secondarily, we really do need a church that has children's programs in place.  I can stay home in the warm comfort of my home and let the kids play with their siblings which is all that happened last week at church. 

I have found Methodist church in town that brags online about 26 teenagers and children's services so we are back at square one tomorrow sans DH who will be working.  I have opted to go to the early contemporary service so the kids can stay with me and enjoy the music the first week.  We can try out the classes next week if we like the contemporary service.  Wish us luck!

Well, I am off to pay tribute to Patrick Swayze, may he rest in peace while watching one of my favorite movies ever, Dirty Dancing and then off to grill the Zwiegles for the kids.  All in all, it has been a peaceful Saturday as I had hoped. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Finally Friday!!!

This has been a crazy busy week!  It is a short week for the children because they have today off for a Teacher work day, but I think all the teachers tried to cram the work into four days, especially homework!  In addition to this, my husband and I are building a BIG chicken coop.  Not industrial sized big, but to me, it seems huge.

As many of you know, we are big into organic gardening, preserving our own food, and eating off the land.  With four children, it really started off as a way to save money, but has grown into a passion of mine.  So, we are expanding to raising organic, free-range chickens.  I am super excited to provide eggs that I know are chemical, hormone free to my children, and hopefully I will eventually get to sell some eggs as well.

To start off with though, we are getting 8 three month old hens that just started laying and one rooster.  They aren't "easter eggers", but they lay a light pink colored egg, per my husband and the man he works with who raises them.  I can't tell you the wonderful uses for eggs.  As a baker, I can easily go through a dozen in a few days, and of course, the kids love them devilled, scrambled, hard boiled, and pretty much any other way, even though I do try to monitor how many they eat in a week. 

We were supposed to get them last night, but we just aren't quite done with our structure, so we are getting the chickens next weekend!  My children have no idea how blessed they are to have all of this "country" knowledge as people call it.  They will know how to garden so they will always have an abundance and variety of fresh food, know how to raise organic animals, and basically be self-sustaining if the need ever arises!   I will keep you guys posted when we have the structure done and our new "pets" have come home!  In the meantime, I am hoping for a quiet relaxing weekend while DH works 36 hours.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Today, I am going to share one of my best kept vodka secrets.  Of course I love good vodka like Grey Goose or Kettle One, but I have a back pocket vodka that I think is just awesome!  Luksusowa Potato Vodka is a polish vodka that is truly different from many other vodkas because it is made distilled from potatoes.   Most domestic vodkas are made from corn while imports are typically made from rye, but the potato is what makes Luksusowa stand out in the crowd! 

Luksusowa has a smoother texture and richer flavor than your typical vodka and it actually takes 10 times more potatoes to make this vodka than it would corn or rye.  They use only the best of the best potatoes that are grown on the Baltic coast region of North Poland.  It is combined with only pure water from artisian wells which is bacteria and mineral free to ensure the vodka doesn't crystallize because of the high proof of alcohol.

One of my good friends introduced me to this vodka about 7 years ago and I was immediately hooked!  Anytime I am wanting to treat myself and my guests to an extra special drink, this is what I buy.   And now *drum roll* I will share my favorite vodka cocktail, and usually the only one I drink since I am not really a "shot" kinda gal.

Cranberry Orange Stinger

3oz Cranberry Juice (I prefer to use the 100% juice, not the cocktail because it is so good for you)

3 oz pulp free Orange Juice (Bring on the Donald Duck!)

2 Oz Luksusowa

Put three ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain.  Enjoy.  Some people like it over ice, but I have very sensitive teeth, so ice hurts!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!

Yesterday was an extremely chilly day here in NC, in the lower 50's which is really low for this time of the year.  I woke up in the mood for Chili and cornbread because it is just so chilly, all puns intended.  I had the things I needed to make cornbread, but I didn't have the materials to make truly homemade chili.

So I was thinking about Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade show and decided to host a little version here at my house.  I started a stockpile of canned goods and staples a few months back so I decided to pilfer through this and see what we could conjure up!  Ya'll can laugh when you read my made up recipe, but it was a really good pot of chili, the kids and DH gobbled it up and I sent two bowls to work with DH for him and a coworker today for lunch.

One pot Semi homemade Chili with beans (easily feeds 8)

4 cans of pinto beans or whatever beans you have in your stockpile

1 lb of ground beef or turkey

2.5 cups of ketchup (yes, I said ketchup)

6 TBS chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1tsp sea salt

Garlic, minced to taste (I used several teaspoon sizes full)

8 cups of water

Brown the meat in a dutch oven and drain well before adding back to pot.  Drain and wash beans and add them to the pot.  Add remaining ingredients, stir well and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes to marry the flavors.  Be sure to stir every few minutes and watch the liquids.  If pot looks like it is getting too thick or dry, add a little more liquids.

Homemade skillet cornbread

1 cup of corn meal

1 cup of All purpose Flour

2 tbsp of sugar (my dh likes it sweeter so I added more)

1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp baking powder

4 TBS olive oil + 2 TBS to oil skillet

1 cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450, put oil in skillet, and place in oven to get hot.  Mix together dry ingredients, make a well in the middle and pour in olive oil and milk.  Mix thoroughly and pour into the hot skillet.  NOTE:  The skillet is so hot that the oil will bubble and "fry" when you pour in the batter, this makes the cornbread crust.  Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately invert onto a wire rack to cool.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday's Musings

Why I love being a mom!

Being a mom is exhausting.  It has literally been over 13 years since I slept through the night without waking.  Literally.  My oldest made me sick as a dog for the whole nine months I was preggers and came out ripping and tearing.  At 12, I am not sure HE sleeps through the night, but that is not the issue.  I now have three other kids, last one being 2 and he comes to cuddle about 1 am every night so we change a diaper, do lovey cuddles and try to go back to sleep.  There are many times as a SAHM that I am tempted to get a job, because quite honestly it is less work than being at home.  However, I resist the urge, because I love being with my kids as well.

This morning was exceptionally trying on me, I got DH ready for work and out the door at 4:30, was in a lot of pain with my back and stomach and managed to trip in the laundry room and do a face plant on the floor which didn't help the back issue.  All of this before 5 am.  My oldest daughter Suzannah, who is 8 forgot to give me her homework on Friday, and I was tempted to lecture her, but refrained as I looked over her work.  What I found made me cry and reminded me anew why I love being a mom.  I was unable to get my scanner to work-we have a love hate relationship and it hates me- so I will retype it, misspells and all. 

"My mom is kind.  She gives me food.  She loves me.  She gave me life.  We like to watch TV together, cook together, clean together, write together, eat together, work in the garden together.  She has long curly hair.  She has brown hair.  She has angel kisses.  When we garden we pull weeds, plant thinks like corn, cucumbers, flowers, zucini, squash, sugar snap peas, beans, peppers, eggplants, water melen, and cantolope."  And then she drew a stick figure with hair that is supposed to be me.  THIS is why I love being a mom and quite honestly, I can't think of a better thing to be!

Bath and Body Works

The other day my husband comes home and surprises me with a small travel size bottle of perfume from Bath and Body works which really surprised and pleased me.  It isn't that he doesn't do things for me, but with four kids, he usually comes home with something like shoes, clothes, school supplies, etc for one of the kids because that is on the priority list.  I am scent sensitive and many scents prompt a migraine, so I am not able to wear many scents.  However, this one surprisingly doesn't cause me issues and I really like the aroma.

I am a huge fan of B&BW's Japanese Cherry Blossom, but I have a new favorite from their aromatherapy line called Eucalyptus Spearmint.  It has a nice scent to it that is both floral and woodsy.  It is really hard to describe, but it is so soothing.  I love spraying the mist on my pillow at night time and of course all over me.  Last night, I did both of these things, sat down on the bed to watch CSI on TIVO with my DH and literally don't remember falling asleep.  There was no drifting off, no trying hard to stay awake, there was me watching the final confession and my DH tapping me asking me what happened, I was out cold! 

All in all, this scent is a hit for me!   I fully plan to go the next time I am at the mall, which may be a while and buy the lotion and a large bottle of the spray mist.  I will gladly any day endorse Bath and Body Works although I am in no way affiliated with them, nor did I receive any compensation to review their perfume!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sundays and all those great things!

We finally did it today.  We tried out a church.  For reasons that would be way too long to blog about, I don't church.  I am not anti spiritual, anti God or any such thing, I just don't church.  So, we were in Walmart this week and one of the local pastors got to talking with us and invited us.  My husband really liked him because he used to be a Sheriff in the county my husband is an officer in so we went. 

Sunday school was a bit iffy at best.  First of all, apparently everyone but us knew that the travelling missionary who was speaking today makes Kentucky mountain churches look open minded.  There were 13 people in Sunday school total.  My Husband and I plus kids make six out of 13.  The visiting guy gets up to teach, and starts gasping for breath between words before opening his red "for the blood" KJV only edition of The Word (I think my favorite part was when he mentioned the KJV is the inspired edition and the one we should believe).  I start keeping a mental tally and so far we have friendly church on the positives side and yahoo visiting preacher on the negative side.  Ten minutes into the sermon he mentions that God called HIM to the ministry, not his wife, because as the Bible teaches the ministry is for men only and "BEHIND every good man is a woman."  I counted that one double on my negative side because, well, it's stupid.  (please don't tell the children I uttered the S word!)

Strike three came when he mentioned the women not wearing pants because well, God intended for women to look like women and men to look like men. I look at my legs. Pants.  I lost count of the strikes.  Annnnnnnnnnnd as if all that isn't bad enough, he mentioned something about how if this church wanted 500 members like the churches up the road, they could sell out their beliefs, and have all their members burn in hell also specifically mentioning praise and worship music and drums being sinful.   I fully admit I had already chalked this church up as NOT for me by the time intermission had begun.  However, I went to the ladies room, asked God what I did to deserve this form of Hades this early on a Sunday morning and decided to go back with an open mind to listen to the pastor who is there every Sunday. 

I am glad I did.  First of all, there were suddenly 50 people in the congregation, which is a lot for out in the country where we live so I know the Preacher is liked.  He not only didn't take up an offering for the visiting preacher, he took one up for another missionary and announced the name of the other missionary the money is going to.  He didn't yell, didn't spit, didn't say anything judgemental whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, he mentioned things he had done prior to being a Pastor that he isn't proud of, is glad he was delivered from, and far be it from him to judge another.  Plus one.  All in all, I really enjoyed his sermon.  I liked that I could listen to it without getting a migraine from all the spitting and screaming, I liked that it had true depth to the message, and I liked that my kids even giggled at some things he said 45 minutes into speaking.  Hey, if he can hold the children's attention that long, he is GOOD.

So, the verdict is I will go back next week with the kids, even though  my husband works.  I liked his truthfulness enough to want to go back.  In my pants of course, because I am not a dress wearer, but back indeed we shall go.