Monday, April 20, 2015

How I Pray

Several weeks ago, Kristen from Saint Monica's Bridge, tagged me in a post and asked "How do you pray?"  Life was a bit too busy for me to answer that question, but I've been mulling my response ever since.  Today I have a bit of free time and I thought I'd finally put down my thoughts.

Who Are You?  I'm the wife to Chris, soon to be married 24 years.  We've been "together" for nearly 28 years.  Wow, that seems crazy long now I've typed it.  Funny, when I picture Chris and myself, I still see us as those two naive 18 year olds.  It's a shock to look at photos of us now!  I am also the mother of 7 kids, ranging in age from 4 years old to 22 years old.  I've homeschooled the majority of them for the last 18 years.  While I have a degree in Sociology and had been working on a masters in Education, all I've ever wanted was to be a wife and mother.  God blessed me with a husband who has supported me wholeheartedly in this.  Currently we live in Utah, and have no plans to move again, but we have lived in Texas, Oklahoma, Japan, and Washington DC, having been a military family for the first 21 years of our married life.

What is Your Vocation?  Obviously, my vocation has been as wife and mother.  I definitely see it as my responsibility in fulfilling God's Will in my life to work towards getting myself, my husband, and my children to Heaven.  This is no easy task and one I am constantly seeking His Grace to accomplish!

What is Your Prayer Routine for an Average Day?  We begin each school morning by praying the Angelus and an Act of Hope.  We make sure to say Grace before every meal, even in restaurants. We end each day as often as possible with a family rosary.  These are the set prayers we do as a family each day.

Do You Have a Devotion that is Particularly Important to You or Effective? I'd have to say the Mass is the prayer most important to me.  Within the Mass, we touch on every aspect of prayer--Adoration, Expiation, Love, Thanksgiving, and Petition--I find this the best way of giving everything I should to God in prayer.

Do You have a Place, Habit, or Way of Praying?  As far as my personal prayer goes, I'm one who attempts to pray throughout my day.  Much of the time it may just be a particular meditation upon an aspect of my daily life.  I try to make everything I do as a wife and mother an offering, much like Saint Therese's Little Way.  I fail at this quite often.  Being a wife and mother 24/7 and doing every small thing out of great love is incredibly taxing and there are days where I surely say, "I will not serve."  Fortunately, the sacrament of confession helps bring me back around.  I also find some of my best prayer time comes during the wee hours as I suffer from insomnia.  Sometimes I wonder if it's my guardian angel prodding me to pray during those quiet hours.

Do You Use Any Tools or Sacramentals? I wear a Brown Scapular every day to help me remember who I am and Whom I serve at all times.  We have prayers posted throughout the house to help all of us remember to pray throughout the day.  During Advent and Lent I use the special editions of the Magnificat.  I also love the prayers in the Pieta prayer booklet.

What is Your Relationship to the Rosary?  Years ago, when Nadja was about 2, we made a commitment to pray a family rosary every night.  Over the years we have encountered varying degrees of success in praying the rosary every night.  In general, I believe we succeed 4 or 5 out of 7 nights.  Praying the rosary with proper attention and respect is a different story ;)

Are There Any Books or Spiritual Works That are Important to Your Devotional Life?  Saint Therese's Little Way, The Pieta, and The Magnificat have all played roles in my devotions.  Off and on I've attempted the daily examen from The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom for Our Lives Today by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV.  One thing I really need to work on is not letting my spiritual devotions slip into oblivion.

What is Your Most Recent Spiritual or Devotional Reading? Holy Week I finished Father Neuhaus' book Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth.  It was excellent!  I especially enjoyed the section from his time as a correspondent in the Vatican, covering the death and funeral of Saint John Paul II and the conclave which would elect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope.  Currently I'm reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  While not strictly a spiritual work, it contains a considerable amount of theology and philosophy from Bonhoeffer's very Lutheran perspective. My neighbor, who is LDS, lent me the book and we plan on having a nice long discussion once I've finished reading.  She took many notes in the sidebars of the pages and I've been keeping notes on my phone for our discussion.

Are There Saints or Other Figures Who Inspire Your Prayer Life or Act as Patrons?  Without going into detail, I'd say Saint Monica is the saint I most directly feel connected.  Her example and intercession are a big part of my spiritual life.

Have You Had Any Unusual or Miraculous Experiences as a Result of Your Prayer Life? On two occasions, our son, John Paul, was healed of particular ailments due to an intercessory prayer and sacramental.  He was healed of club foot as an infant upon a visit to the healing springs at the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Colorado.  No joke.  He was 9 months old and did not bear weight on the bottoms of his feet, but would flop them over and try to stand on the tops of his feet.  The night after we visited the springs he pulled himself up to standing for the first time.  At a year old, his severely blocked tear ducts were blessed by a fragment of the True Cross at a healing mass in Oklahoma.  The doctors were considering lancing his tear ducts at this point.  The night he was prayed over by the priest, his tear ducts began oozing the nastiest pus.  24 hours later his ducts were completely clear and we never had a problem with them becoming blocked again.  They both seem like such small miracles, but they left a profound mark on me.  If God listens to even to the smallest petitions, he must truly have the deepest love and care for us.

I tag Natalie from Between the Bobseins.  I'd love to read how this firecracker approaches her spiritual life!  I also tag Chere Mama from News From Hobbiton and Kim from Quilts and Canvases. Both of these lovely lady bloggers are new to my blog role and I'd love to get to know them just a bit better.

Of course, this is just for fun, so please don't feel any pressure to participate.  For me, this was a great way to evaluate my current prayer life and I have taken away some things I'd really like to change or better incorporate.  Thank you, Kristen!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} April 16




{Pretty}


I love Easter Lilies.  They are so photogenic.









My sister came for a visit over Easter Week and we took her to Arches and Canyonlands for some hiking and taking in of some beautiful scenery.




{Happy}


The boys have been enjoying playing in the mud in our newly tilled field.





{Funny}


The boys had a blast hunting for eggs, but what I loved about this photo is Katerina's pose in the door.  Sometimes I have no idea what I might find on my camera when photos involve her.  If it isn't some crazy pose, it's a silly face.






{Real}


And this is why much of our garden cannot be planted before May and June in Utah.  Here we are in the middle of April and we had around 2 inches of snow Wednesday and another inch this morning.



For more {P, H, F, R} check out Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Alternative

For many years I've been into more alternative medical treatments for our family.  It stems from the many negative encounters we've had with mainstream medicine over the years.  When our oldest was 18 months I was threatened with dietary counseling because she had lost 2 pound between her 1 year well baby and her 18 month check up.  I was sent home with a list of ways to boost her calorie intake and told to return in a month to have her re-weighed.  It was a daily battle to get her to eat the extra calories and I spent many meals in tears because she just would not drink the prescribed milkshake or eat the side of french fries--true story!  When we returned after a month, she had gained 4 pounds and the doctor exclaimed, "Well, the scale must have been uncalibrated for her 18 month well baby!"  In the months following, the bad experiences came one after another, including a horrific encounter in the ER when our daughter was running an unexplained fever of 104.  The ER docs felt it appropriate to use a catheter to extract a urine sample from our potty trained daughter as they felt she might have a bladder infection.  It took 5 of us to hold her down.  No bladder infection.  In fact, the fever was due to strep throat, which was discovered by her regular pediatrician the next morning at her follow up appointment.

I've gone round and round with doctors during delivery, over vaccinations, over growth charts, and food sensitivities, etc.  It just got to the point where I was just done arguing with people who did not know my children and did not know me. As a result, we rarely see a doctor anymore. We might go several years without a medical appointment.  We only go if there is something truly serious going on--possible broken bone, cuts needing stitches, and breathing issues.  For the most part I treat everyone at home with a combination of homeopathic remedies and rest, with which we have really  been quite successful. Thus, our family is very healthy and we rarely come down with anything more serious than an occasional cold or stomach virus.

Recently I began using essential oils in cleaning and treating minor ailments.  I've read about all the benefits essential oils have to offer and I ended up purchasing a moderately sized kit of various essential oils and blends from doTerra.  Wouldn't you know it, the flu struck many of our friends with a fury over Easter.  Two of my closest friends ended up in the ER, diagnosed with walking pneumonia and pleurisy.  I began giving everyone in our family OnGuard and diffusing OnGuard throughout the house to combat the potential bug.  Leo did start coughing and sniffling this last Saturday.  I started rubbing his chest and back with Breathe and peppermint diluted in fractionated coconut oil.  Sunday, I began feeling a bit run down and had an annoying tickle in the back of my throat which became an annoying unproductive cough.  I started drinking my lemon, honey, ginger tea, upped my UnGuard intake,  and added Breathe to the diffuser.  Here we are Tuesday and we are already greatly improved.  I'm confident there will not be emergency room trips or doctor's appointments and we'll make a full recovery in just a couple more days.  Time will tell if this new course of treating illnesses will continue to be successful, but so far it beats dosing ourselves with heavy cough syrups and cold remedies laced with additives and artificial colors.





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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Farm" Update

Well,  Mr. Billy did not come through for us. Anna and Elsa, our two doe goats did not end up pregnant over the winter.  This has been a very tiresome, and expensive venture, and we all decided to call it quits.  The family housing the goats want to move on to raising turkeys and did not want to keep the goats any longer.  The second family has realized they are allergic to goat dairy, and already have three pygmy goats in their small barnyard.  We just do not have the set-up for goats, ourselves; although, we soon will.

By the end of the week we will have a professionally installed fenced in area of about 100 square feet just below our garden.  In two weeks our custom barn kit will arrive and just a few days later our 10 baby chicks will be delivered.  Our barn and yard plan did have enough room to accommodate the two goats, but I was truly worried that what had begun as a three family venture would too quickly become a single family venture, and I did not sign on for that!  Chickens are easy.  Chickens understand.

I am so excited to get started with our chickens.  I have been dreaming of this for years and it is finally happening.  I ordered two female chicks from five different breeds and they should be ready to lay by October, as long as winter doesn't arrive too early here.  We'll be housing our chicks in the laundry room for about 4 to 6 weeks.  I still need to decide on a brooder set up, but I'm sure I'll have it figured out well before the chicks arrive.



Here are photos of the 5 breeds I selected


Black Australorp are excellent egg layers. Their eggs are large brown. They are cold hardy and winter layers and are fairly docile, if not friendly.


Buff Orpington are very good layers.  Their eggs are large brown.  They are cold hardy, winter layers, and are known to be very friendly.


Delaware are very good layers. Their eggs are light brown.  They are also cold hardy, winter layers and are very docile.


Silver Laced Wyandotte are very good layers. They lay large brown eggs. They are cold hardy, winter layers, fairly docile (although I will have to watch them with the other birds as they can be aggressive), and so pretty.


Welsummer are very good layers.  They lay large chocolate colored eggs.  They are cold hardy, winter layers and very docile.
(all photos come from the Meyer Hatchery web catalog)


I can't wait for my chicks to arrive so I can get some photos!


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Monday, April 6, 2015

A Little Dose of Humility

Singing in the choir of our parish has been a mixed bag.  For the most part I really enjoy singing, learning new pieces, and the camaraderie. I love the music we are given. Our choir director has spent many years reading and learning about liturgical music and has a definite traditional bent to his choice of music for Mass.  We sing quite a bit of traditional chant in Latin and English and recently our parish purchased the Saint Michael's Hymnals, which have some of the most lovely, old school Catholic hymns.   I am still struggling with nerves on the occasions I am asked to sing solo as cantor, but it is improving.  Or at least I thought it was improving until it came to the vast amount of material we were given to sing for the Triduum.

For Holy Thursday, several of us were given verses from the chant for the Washing of the Feet.  I had a difficult time learning my tone pattern and it being completely a cappella made it that much more daunting .  Even in the final rehearsal, I needed extra help.  When it came time to sing my verse during the Mass, my mouth was parched from nerves I was so nervous I would mess it up.  It ended up being fine. Phew, first solo down.  One more to go.  My second solo I actually volunteered for, silly me, but I'm trying to conquer my nerves and what better way than to force myself to sing solos, no?  This was for a beautiful piece called Stay Here for the reposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  It was also a cappella and timing was a key issue.  With the rest of the choir 'oohing" in the background, I needed to wait through several rests and make sure I held my half notes correctly.  It sounded fine, although I think key wise it was a bit of a stretch for this alto.

Having come out of Holy Thursday, mostly unscathed, Good Friday was a cakewalk.  As most Catholics are aware, there is very little music if any on Good Friday and I felt no pressure or nerves and was able to relax and sing and pray throughout the entire service.

The Easter Vigil had the most music of the three nights.  The 7 Old Testament readings are paired with a responsorial psalm each.  I was given the third psalm and I knew that baby forward and back, or so I thought. In my eagerness (and pride) I wanted to show I could nail this solo on my own, and even though he offered to go over any of the psalms we wished during the final rehearsal, I chose not to.  I definitely regret that choice now.  After the third reading, I took a deep calming breath and a quick sip of water.  My nerves weren't all that bad and I walked up to the mike to sing.  The chorus sounded fine and I dove into the verses, and then something horrible happened.  I began to notice I was singing a different note at the end of each phrase than the organ was playing.  I then sang an entire line of different notes than the organ.  I could hear our choir director try to correct by changing the notes he was playing.  I'm sure my eyes were huge at this point.  I could not figure out what was going wrong.  Finally it hit me.  Every G is saw on the page I was making into an A!  Ack!  4 verses, and I wasn't able to finally correct to a G until the final line.  It was a bit mortifying, to say the least. I felt absolutely terrible.  I've been shaky on psalms before, but not singing the absolute wrong notes shaky.  Sigh.

Oh well, water under the bridge, as my choir mate has admonished me several times the last couple days.  If nothing else, I have now learned I should not pass up the opportunity to go over a piece, even if I think I know it forward and back.  It was a wonderful little lesson in humility for me, and that is what I'm taking from the experience.  Fortunately, only folks in the choir, and those with a music background even noticed there was a problem.  Most of my own family didn't even realize how bad it was.  I need to remind myself I am not singing for the esteem of others, but for God and I can only do my best and believe He appreciates my offering, no matter how imperfect.

I'm beginning to believe my word for the year should have been humility and not surrender, but then again, for one to surrender to God's Will, one must have the humility to do it.  Surrender and humility go hand in hand.



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} My Instagram Girls

I had several photos ready for my post today taken with my nice Canon Rebel, but then I came across several photos on my iPhone that I could not pass up.  My girls are always snapping shots using my phone and I enjoy seeing the world through their eyes.




{Pretty}


Katerina has the biggest blue eyes and they are set off by her peaches and cream complexion and rosy cheeks.  I am so glad she is such a tomboy right now.  I think she may make a few heads turn as she gets older and the longer I can keep her a little girl, the better!



{Happy}


Katerina and Angela found these flip-flops in a local beauty shop.  The quote is one of their favorites from The Lord of the Rings.  





{Funny}


Looks like our local convenience store is hiring gallons of milk.  LOL!






{Real}


Angela is now a permitted driver in the state of Utah.  Yikes!




For more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} check out Like Mother, Like Daughter.






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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Freaked Out

Living out in the country, in a friendly, predominantly LDS neighborhood, I never thought I'd be worried about crime.  Unfortunately, we've had more contact with the police in the last 3 years here in Utah than we did the entire 11 years we lived in the suburbs of Washington, DC.  In fact, we had police at our home Sunday night.

It was nearly 9:30 pm and Angela was reading in her room with her door open, which is directly across from our basement entry door.  She heard someone trying to open the door.  Several seconds later, she heard someone trying to open one of the windows in one of the spare bedrooms.  I have a lot of knick-knacks on the window sill of that window, and when the potential intruder knocked some of them about, he was frightened off.  Angela found Chris and I and told us she thought someone was trying to get in.  Chris stormed into the spare room and we found the window with the latch in the locked position, but not secured; meaning someone had wiggled the window off the latch and was able to push the window open.  He had knocked a few of the knick-knacks over in the process.

I called our neighbors to warn them of a prowler in the neighborhood and they set about using the Ward call chain to warn the rest of the neighborhood.  I then called the police and they were at our door within just a few minutes.  We explained the incident and showed them the "scene".  They were very open with us about what they believe is going on.  Our neighborhood has had problems with an apparent "peeping Tom" for the last several years.  The police believe he was the culprit of our break-in and he was possibly targeting Angela.  He has a preference for tall, blond, teenaged girls.  Yipes!  The police were here gathering evidence for over an hour.  They were pretty stoked to actually find evidence (which I will not describe just now so as not to jeopardize our case).

Obviously, we are all a little freaked out!  Chris has gone about the house installing extra security measures and we are researching a security system.  Outside lights will be left on.  Our kids will not be allowed to roam the neighborhood or even play outside without supervision.  Angela has moved to a more secure room in the house.  Our peace of mind has been violated and will not be restored until this guy has finally been arrested.

What terrifies me most is if our perpetrator was indeed the neighborhood "peeping Tom", his behavior has escalated from creepy peeping to breaking and entering and who knows what his intention in doing so was!  For goodness sake, we were all home.  We were all still up and about.  What was he planning to do?

Prayers for a quick and effective resolution would be greatly appreciated!  If anything new occurs, I will be sure to update y'all here. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teaching Moments

While on our quickie winter vacation, we had breakfast in one of the resort's many restaurants.  The waitress had left kid menus with both the boys and four color crayons at Leo's place setting.  Ben wanted to color his menu and work the puzzles while we waited for our food, but Leo was very reluctant to share any of the crayons with his older brother.

"Leo, you need to share," I told him.

He begrudgingly handed over the yellow crayon and covered his face with his hands to pout.

"Leo, don't you remember what we've been learning? God wants you to share.  Don't you want to make God happy?" I admonished him.

He sighed, "Yes."

"I think you should give Ben one of your favorite colors.  That would make God really happy."

"Yellow is one of my favorite colors!" He huffed.

Yeah, sure it is (insert eye-roll).  We have a lot more work to do with this one.  Honestly, it's moments like these that cause me to ask myself, "Do I really give my best to God and to my family? Am I willing to sacrifice my favorite things in service to God and others?"  As parents, this is something we should not only be teaching our children, but modeling for them as well.   Let's endeavor to give our best to God as Lent comes to a close and Holy Week draws us into the Passion of our Lord.


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} March 19



{Pretty}


While I do have a few things starting to pop up in my flower beds, it will still be a few more weeks until spring officially arrives here.  In the meantime, I've been purchasing flowers to enjoy.  Tulips are my favorite springtime bloom and I thought the color of these was quite pretty.








{Happy}



While in Sun Valley this last weekend, Leo and I took the gondola to the Roundhouse Lodge for lunch with the skiers.  Leo loves riding the gondola.








One happy boy






{Funny}


I caught the kids taking selfies of themselves climbing the rocks in Snake River Canyon.  They crack me up.





{Real}


I've been cleaning out and reorganizing cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.  Are the canning jar rings multiplying or what?  I don't have even close to this many actual canning jars.


For more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} check out Like Mother, Like Daughter.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sun Valley Getaway

Chris really loves his job here in Utah.  The company he works for is really wonderful and treats its employees extremely well.  He has a fantastic benefit package and one of our favorite benefits to take advantage of is the R&R benefit.  The company owns several hotels and resorts in Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, and California at which we might use Chris' R&R days.

This last weekend we took advantage and drove 4 hours to Sun Valley, Idaho to enjoy everything the resort has to offer its winter guests.  Chris' R&R covers lodging in the resort hotel, meals in the resort restaurants, and nearly all the recreation activities the resort offers for him, his spouse, and qualified dependents.  We were put up in a family condo for the weekend.  It had three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a lovely living room, and a full kitchen.  We took the kids swimming in the super heated outdoor pool.  The package included ski lift ticket, and equipment rentals.  We went ice skating on the outdoor rink. We ate every meal in their fantastic restaurants.  It was a glorious weekend and all we had to pay for out of pocket were gratuities, the wine I had at dinner one evening, and the chocolate we bought in their candy shop.  Chris and I did some quick figures and were amazed to realize what this little trip would have cost us.  Honestly, without this particular benefit, this is not a trip we could have ever splurged on ourselves.  It was truly awesome and a much needed getaway for all of us.






A View of one of the ski mountains in Sun Valley; the snow was not very good so the skiers skied only one day, but they enjoyed trying out a new mountain.






A view of the resort village--Sun Valley is so much more than just a resort.  There are 13 restaurants, 12 shops, a movie theater, two pools, tennis courts, a shooting range, an outdoor amphitheater, biking and running trails, fishing, horseback riding, two ice skating rinks, and a bowling alley.




Our condo was absolutely gorgeous.  This is the living area and kitchen.





The master bedroom




The girls room





and the boys room.




We enjoyed ice skating in the 60 degree temps.




 

and swimming in the super heated pool.




This is the river view from one of the restaurants.






My view of the skiing



A view from the gondola heading to the Roundhouse Lodge



Trout Benedict from the Konditorei Restaurant for breakfast




"Game" tatar from The Ram Restaurant


Meyer beef filet




Trio of house made ice creams.  The one on the left was a to die for chocolate ice cream with salted caramel sauce.




Frisee salad with dates, hazelnuts, and goat cheese from Trail Creek Cabin




Risotto croquets in a wild mushroom cream sauce




Apple and huckleberry clafoutis
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lenten Penance in Practice

I was reading my lenten meditation for the day in the Magnificat.  I love these daily reflections and try to incorporate the suggested penance when able.  On this particular day the penance was to clean up someone else's mess without letting on.  At first I found it humorous.  As a mom and a wife, I am always cleaning up disasters made by others.  I showed it to Chris and we both snickered at the irony.

Suddenly my conscience was pricked.  There was a mess I could clean which was not my own.  It is one I do very begrudgingly on most occasions, and I make sure I let Chris know by complaining.  He is in the habit of tapping his shavings from his electric razor into his sink and just leaving them without rinsing them down.  It drives me bonkers.  Lately, I'd just been leaving them myself.

"He can wash them down the drain himself." I'd say to myself.

I had not thought I might serve him instead; cleaning up after him in this particular regard.  I hopped up, stole into the bathroom and rinsed his sink.  It only took a few seconds.  Boy, I can be hard headed, passive aggressive, and ungenerous at times.  Such a simple little thing ended up taking on so much more meaning.  Where are you hard headed and ungenerous? Are there times you might say, "I will not serve?"






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Monday, March 16, 2015

Quiche with Italian Sausage, Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I love quiche.  The best quiche I ever had was from a little French cafe in Miami Beach.  Since the girls got braces last week, I thought I should really try and make a menu filled with soft, nutritious foods for their tender mouths.

They both seemed pretty thrilled with the quiche idea.  Which reminded me I'd never made quiche before.  Which further reminded me we often feel like we've raised two families at this point in our lives.  Our older three where very close in age and are all adults and out on their own, living their own lives.  They would have never been down for quiche.  None of them like eggs of any kind, growing up.  Our "second" family consists of these last four kiddos, who are much more spread out age wise.  They are all much more adventurous, food wise, and our menu has really expanded over the years to accommodate their diverse tastes.

Anyhoo, the quiche was a huge hit and will go into our menu rotation, for certain.  This recipe makes two quiche, because what is better than one quiche?  Two quiche, of course!


Quiche with Italian Sausage, Cheese, and Sun Dried Tomatoes


2  pie crust *


1 TBSP oil
1/2 onion; diced
1 lb italian sausage
pinch salt

16 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sun dried tomato bruschetta*
2 cups cheese*
2 TBSP basil leaves; minced
2 cups loose packed baby greens; like spinach, kale, and swiss chard; roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Roll out each pie crust and ease into a pie plates.  Crimp edges and place in freezer for 30 minutes.

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and salt and sauté until soft and translucent.  Add sausage and cook until browned and beginning to caramelize.  Set skillet aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk until frothy.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Add cooled sausage and onion mixture and stir to combine.  Poor into prepared pie crusts and bake for 35-40 minutes until custard is set and the crust has browned.


*notes: 
You can use any savory pie crust recipe you like--meaning any pastry crust without sugar.  My favorite is this one from King Arthur Flour.  It has been a really consistently good pie crust recipe for me and it make two crusts.  

If you cannot find the tomato bruschetta pictured here.  Chopping up an equal volume of sun dried tomatoes should work fine.




I used smoked mozzarella for one quiche and goat cheese and Manchego for the second pie for my dairy allergic boys.  I tried their quiche and it was really quite as good as the one with smoked mozzarella.















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Thursday, March 12, 2015

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} March 12





{Pretty}



Oxalis Shamrock I purchased from the grocery store.  I loved the dim light shining on the tiny white blooms.




Here they are lit from my kitchen window. You can make our the shamrock leaves better in this photo.








{Happy}


It's been in the upper 50s and low 60s this week.  The snow is melted and the boys have been stir crazy.  A trip to the park made them very happy.




Katerina expressed a desire to make cupcakes with maple frosting, inspired by her newest favorite book series--The Ranger's Apprentice.  With the tiniest bit of instruction from me, she made chai spice cupcakes and maple buttercream frosting.  They were delicious and made our tummies and tastebuds quite happy.







{Funny}



Leo did not want his portrait taken.  Mean mom.





{Real}


I love finding selfies on my phone.  By now, my kids should know, if you leave a selfie on my phone it is fair game for me to upload however I see fit.  Fortunately, this clown could not care less.  The real here is round two of braces for her.  Katerina also got braces this week.  The two of them will be wired up for the next 18 months--as will our bank account.  So far, 5 of our 7 have had braces and one had to go two rounds because she wasn't losing baby teeth fast enough.  I've been warned the two boys will likely need ortho care as well.  At least that will be several more years down the road.




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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mid-Lent Reality Check

We are just about at the half way point of Lent. Time for a Lenten reality check.

As a family we've committed to 30 minutes of personal, silent prayer or spiritual reading a day.  My kids have amazed me.  I thought I'd hear at least the tiniest bit of grumbling and complaining, but no. They have not only embraced the challenge, a few of them even complete it on their own without being reminded.  Leo truly looks forward to it, running into my room gleefully awaiting the next book in the Catholic Treasure Box Series.  He's even saying the included prayers in a very sweet and sincere way.  I'm strongly considering continuing this habit after Lent. I could not be more pleased with my kiddos.

I, on the other hand, continue to struggle.  Most everyday I can think of another way I could be spending that 30 minutes that somehow seems more important than praying.  Wow, I really need to rethink my priorities, no?  While I have diligently stuck to the commitment, I wish I did not think of it as such a chore.  I wish I had the same exuberance my children are showing. God, please give me the grace!

I've been reading late Father Neuhaus' book Catholic Matters.  What a great book.  He had such a great style in his writing which is so engaging and interesting.  I wonder what he would have written about Francis' papacy.

Since giving up my one huge time sucker, I have really gotten so much done around here.  I am really seeing how I've been keeping my head buried and allowing chaos to reign around here.  We've reorganized pantries, cupboards, and drawers.  We've deep cleaned several bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and living areas and we've stayed on top of keeping them clean and have not allowed chaos to take over once again.  I really do need to rethink my time sucker.  As much as I enjoy it, I need to exhibit a whole lot more temperance, for certain.

How's your Lent going?




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