Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Even though it's a little early-- ovulation was the 12th-- I decided to test last night. I've had several negatives already (I can't help testing early-- that's why I buy my HPTs at the dollar store or in bulk online.) But tonight, POSITIVE! It's faint (because it's early) but it's there!

*does an excited happy dance*

I'm a little nervous, of course, since the last one was a loss. So your prayers would be appreciated, as always. But this one feels good. It feels right. It feels... sticky. ;) Yay!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Flybaby Giveaway!

If you like giveaways head on over to Growing a Life where the ever-adorable Flybaby is going to be giving away some great gifts (some for kids his size or who will be his size, some that big people will enjoy, too!)

(Now, I think his mommy, Damselfly, is helping a bit, but that's just me. Don't tell Flybaby 'cause I don't want to hurt his feelings! ;) )

Happy birthday to Flybaby from the Ketchup Family!

Monday, August 20, 2007


EMMA DID IT ALL BY HERSELF!!! And wiped herself, put on her dry panties, flushed, and washed her hands. She got FOUR quarters to put in the M&M machine (gumball machine with Giant M&Ms in it; dispenses 3 at a time, the perfect number, lives on the back of the potty) AND we are going tonight to get her the Curious George coloring book we promised her when she did it the first time.

She is very proud and is calling everyone she knows to tell them.

That is all. :D

Friday, August 17, 2007

Heavenly Father Loves Us-- And Our Kitties, Too

Some time last night Emma let the cats out. Roli came in an hour or so later, of his own accord, but Patrick was out all night and all day. We've been calling and searching for him, and I was really starting to worry. Every time we set foot out the door Emma would call worriedly, "Patrick! Patrick!" I think she felt bad that she let him out and now he was lost.

Tonight we went out to get some dessert (mainly just for me to get out.) While we were on our way, Emma was calling for Patrick as we stopped at every corner. It was rather heartrending. Jeff said, "You know what we haven't done and should try? We can pray for Patrick to come back." Well, it worked with my cell phone!

So when we came in, before we had our dessert, we had a family prayer and included a plea for the safe return of Patrick. Emma was not behaving very well during the prayer, and while I went in the bedroom with my cake, she and Abba had a bit of a talk. He reminded her of how we should behave during a prayer and she said, "I will say a nice prayer now." So she did. She prayed, "Heavenly Father, thank you for George [her Curious George movie she watched today, or her Curious George shoes? I'm not really sure], please take care the cat, he will come home. Name Jesus Christ, Amen."

As she said her prayer, Jeff felt he should open the front door. He's not really sure if he heard a "meow" or if it was just an impression to go to the door-- but Patrick was at the front door! After hours of worry, calling, searching, fearing the worst, he was returned to us unharmed, immediately after we prayed. "Ask and ye shall receive!" We were overjoyed and explained to Emma what had happened, that Patrick came home because Heavenly Father watched over him and answered our prayers. We then knelt again for a prayer of thanksgiving. My heart is so full that my eyes are welling up as I write. I am truly, truly grateful that he is safe-- and that Emma is learning of the value of prayer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Good Imagination and Dinner Tomorrow

Emma has a great imagination. Always has. Jeff told me he overheard this conversation between her and a roll of packaging tape this evening:

Emma as Emma: No, that is not very nice! You're on time-out!
Emma as roll of tape: No, I don't like time-out!
Emma as Emma: Yes, you do, now go sit on the couch!

I couldn't stop laughing for about three minutes when I heard that one.

Later this evening, my mom and sister stopped by. Megan is going to Ohio, leaving this weekend. She's been accepted for a graduate school program in ceramics, which she really is very enthused about. It's kind of her dream field and she's been stuck in a dead-end job for years; hopefully this will open up new avenues for her. She wanted to see us and the new place before she left. They brought over ice cream and cookies for dessert and she also brought a bunch of canned and dry and other shelf-stable goods that she had no desire to move and hadn't used up, of course we always accept free food! She and Emma chased each other all over and had a blast. Of course, later Ems got into the ground chocolate Megan left (she and I both use it instead of cocoa in many things) and mixed it with water and gave it to her sister with a spoon... *head in hands*

The Watermelon Festival is this weekend but I think we are going to have to skip it because we all have sore throats and it would just be too much. We'll run a few errands but be back in time for a nice long nap before I have to fix dinner for the sister missionaries (we got all our shopping for the next 4-6 weeks done Thurs. night so I don't have to do that tomorrow; I spent $131-ish and saved $80-ish, including the "chicken deal" dinner for dinner that night, a pretty standard trip for me, including getting loads of stuff free or nearly free, and I will not need to get anything more in the next few weeks except maybe some bread or milk.) I'm feeding them chicken sour cream enchiladas (recipe follows), canned refried beans, and Spanish rice (recipe follows.) Oh, and a salad, probably. Or maybe just cooked veggies, I even have some fresh corn... But I don't know if I will be up to that, so if I do veggies they will probably be frozen. Dessert will be pineapple upside-down cake (I assume you all know how to make that, using yellow cake mix, canned pineapple, etc., but if you don't I'll happily post the recipe.) Not really Mexican food, more Mexican-influenced American food, but I enjoy it (although since I have to use mild stuff for the kids, there will have to be hot sauce on the table for sure!)

Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas

About 4 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I usually poach it; frozen thighs will do, and you can add a little more if you want to make more enchiladas from this)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 Tbsp. cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 jar green salsa, any heat you desire (I use La Victoria, mild if the kids are eating it, medium if they're not-- would be hot but Jeff prefers medium!), divided
Flour tortillas
cooking spray
3/4-1 cup cheese, grated or shredded
additional sour cream, cheese, black olives, cilantro, and/or green onions, for garnish

Lightly grease a casserole dish or tempered glass pan with cooking spray (I often use a lasagna pan or a 9X13 baking dish.) Mix chicken, seasonings, sour cream, and 1/2 the jar of salsa in a bowl. (If desired you can add onion and/or garlic as well but since the salsa has them I generally don't bother.) Place a few Tbsp. of this filling in each tortilla, spread evenly, and roll them into cylinders. Place the rolled and filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish. When it is full, pour the remaining salsa over the top (if you've made a large amount of enchiladas or used exceptionally chunky salsa you can thin it down with a bit of water to make sure you have enough to at least partially cover the enchiladas and that you have the right consistency.) Top with cheese. Bake uncovered in a 425 degree oven until the enchiladas are quite hot all the way through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with toppings just before serving or on the plate, or let your family/guests add their own.

My Mom's Spanish Rice

Long-grain white rice (I guesstimate the measurements, sorry; I usually do about 1 handful per serving and count on about 8-10 servings.)
1-3 cloves garlic (or more according to taste)
1/2 large or one small onion, diced
olive oil (doesn't need to be EVOO) to cover bottom of pan
1 jar red salsa, preferably chunky (again, I use La Victoria)
1/4 cup stuffed green olives, sliced (use more or less according to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic and onion in oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan with a lid over medium to medium-high heat, until they are just beginning to cook. Add rice and stir just until it is coated with the oil. Add salsa, then stir in olives. Add just enough water to make sure the rice is well covered. Cover and reduce heat to low to medium-low. Simmer, stirring periodically and adding more water as needed to prevent burning, until rice is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Fluff before serving. (For a richer flavor you can use vegetable or chicken broth or stock instead of water, but I almost never do.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Generous of Spirit

Emma very occasionally has a problem sharing now that she is 3. But usually, she is very generous about sharing and giving.

A while back we mentioned that her cousin Jaden was going to be turning 3. (It was this Sunday.) Emma said, "I will get her a birfday pwesent." I said, "Will you buy it yourself?" "Yes, I will work and buy it." So she has been doing extra helping and extra chores to earn quarters. She earned five so I took her to the dollar store and she picked out a present herself, and paid for it herself, with money she earned. She was very happy.

Tomorrow I am going to pack it up, with our gift and card, and send it (it would be today but I accidentally left it in the car.)

I'm kinda proud of the kid. She didn't want to choose it and have us pay for it, she wanted to work and earn the money herself, not to get something for her, but for her cousin.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Musical Mondays: Be Thou My Vision

I still haven't got those pics off the camera! So I'll post them and a quick summary of my trip later. In other news, the baby gate we bought on eBay (an Evenflo Wide Spaces Swing Gate with two extensions; the opening is 91 inches, very hard to find a baby gate for that!) came today and we will be able to close off the kitchen so we don't have to keep re-shelving the things in the pantry cupboard, yay!

For now, I'd like to tell you a bit about another of my favorite hymns, "Be Thou My Vision." If you don't know it or would just like to hear it and read the lyrics, the Cyber Hymnal has it here.

Those of you who know me know that I am very into my Irish heritage, and Irish music as well. So it is only natural that I love this very Irish tune and hymn. The music seems somehow ancient and harmonious with my soul, there are several folk tunes that I can think of that do that to me, but this is one of the only hymns that do it. The words are an ode to God, a song of praise and joy and somehow longing at the same time, of a man (or woman) striving always to be better, to do what we should and what we can, to embrace the Light of Christ that shines in the hearts of all men if we but listen for it.

I heard this hymn several times throughout my childhood, the tune probably even more than the words, but the first time I know it was really called to my adult attention was (and this is rather embarrassing/amusing) when it was featured in an episode of Without a Trace! A transgendered individual sang it in one of the flashback scenes, although we didn't know until later that this person was transgendered... Yeah, I know.

In any case, I recalled the tune from my childhood but not the lyrics, so I went to look it up, and fell in love with the hymn all over again. This hymn ranks high whenever I see a thread or hear a conversation about people's favorite hymns, which is kind of interesting to me. Do I hang out with a lot of Irish-American nuts (well, I know at least some of my family are) or is it just a really beautiful tune and/or words? For me, I think it's a little of both. The tune strongly evokes emotions about my heritage and connection with the past, and is also a beautiful tune and gorgeous, meaningful words. Also, I just like music, hymns, and Irish tunes and poetry. So, yeah, this one's got me on all counts. :)