Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tonight, We Have a Re-e-ally Big Shew

So today is the big Home School Talent Show. I've been working on the program all week. We have 42 performances that run a gamut of talent from pianists, to skits, to Irish step dancing, to magic tricks, to singing, to karate demonstrations. My kids have been planning their acts for over 6 months and they cannot wait to get on the stage. Hopefully I'll have photos and maybe a little video to share later today or early next week. I've got to skedaddle. Our older two have karate belt testing this morning and I need to print programs and make cookies for the show. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, May 29, 2009

Progress

Today's post is just a progress report, of sorts, updating things I've blogged about this past several weeks and months.

Tuesday, we officially finished our "school year". Special K has finished all of her work, but will continue to read to me on a daily basis throughout the summer. Skoshi A will be completing the rest of her math book this summer so that she may begin the next school year at the correct level. Oleander and Stat Boy have biographies to finish up and will have those turned in on Friday. Karate Kid has a paper for history and a couple more units in Chemistry to finish up. All in all we had a pretty good year. We had a couple hiccups here and there, but who doesn't?

Special K continues to do well with the few things we have eliminated from her diet. She has had minute exposure to some of the verboten chemicals but we haven't had any major emotional collapses. Wingnut has struggled more with the diet, as he is the family foody and he loves to bring home treats for the kids. Who knew Cinnabon put food dye into their rolls?He's learning to read labels.

Baby Wingnut will be turning three this June and it had been my hope that we might be able to potty train him fairly soon. He's met most of the milestones one would look for when deciding if a child is ready to potty train, with the exception of one. I don't mean to get too graphic here, but if a child is not having solid BMs it is pretty difficult to potty train them. I have just realized that Baby Wingnut has NOT met this milestone, and he really should have at this point. I've had to take a look at his diet and after some research, we've come to realize the little guy is lactose intolerant. Hooray. Another dietary shift that must be made. Sigh. Do you know how difficult it is to eliminate dairy products in the diet of a child that loves cheese, milk, and ice cream??? I've had friends who've had to make the same adjustment and believe me I finally sympathize with you! It should take about 2 to 3 weeks to see a definitive result in this dietary change, although we have already seen a great reduction in the number of nasty diapers we've had to change daily.

Baby Wingnut is still not completely weaned, either. This is likely due to his charm and my desire to sleep at night. He is only nursing at night, although he talks about it constantly. I've never had one nurse for so long and I'm pretty much at my wits end on how I'll finally wean him, but to be honest I'm really not in that great of a hurry. Heaven knows if we'll ever be blessed with another little one and all I can think of is that he could be our last one. That makes me hold on to him a bit tighter and cherish him that much more. He really is a little sweetheart and I'm in no rush to have him grow up.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Weekly High Five


1. For about 6 years now I've organized or helped to organize a home school talent show for our local home school group. I have this year's program organized and written, all ready for the printer on Friday. We have a nice variety of acts and it should be a pretty good show.

2. With a few loose ends to tie up, we have officially finished our school year. I'm already perusing catalogs and my favorite internet suppliers for next year's curriculum.

3. The children helped me plan and plant the garden this past week. We have tomatoes, a variety of herbs, cucumbers, several different hot peppers, pumpkins, and we decided we'd try our hand at growing strawberries. We still need to fill in the flower beds and possibly plant some peas, but at least we have a good start.

What are your small successes this week? Come share them at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Review: Ruth


A literary critic, I am not, but I love a good novel, especially if it is also good literature. I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, the Brontes, Edith Wharton, and Elizabeth Gaskell and I'll revisit their works time and again. It has been quite awhile since I've had the pleasure of reading a literary work for the first time. There is nothing quite like reading a book for the very first time, is there?

Yesterday I finished one of the best works of fiction I have ever read. Ruth, by Elizabeth Gaskell is a wonderful work and a departure from the more romantic classics I've come to love. This work explores love in a much deeper sense. The unfathomable love of a mother, the charitable love of strangers for their fellow man, the boundless love and forgiveness of God. These are the loves experienced by Ruth Hilton, a discarded and tainted young girl who finds herself taken in and cared for by a pitying minister, his sister and their headstrong housekeeper. In their home she learns the power of love, forgiveness, redemption and faith. They, in turn, are touched by her humility, gratitude, self-sacrificing love, and grace.

I hesitate giving away too much of the story in a review and will leave the rest for you to read on your own. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will enjoy this novel. Illegitimacy and its Victorian treatment is a main theme in this novel and therefore I would not recommend this work to younger readers, but it is a moving and powerfully pro-life story, with beautiful religious overtones that I would recommend to older high schoolers and adults.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Standards of Conduct

Taking toddlers to Mass can present many challenges. Our family opts to never bring toys, books, food or drinks for toddlers and we have never utilized the nursery. Wingnut is a firm believer (it took me several years to buy into his philosophy so I'm giving him all the credit) in taking the children to Mass and expecting good behavior from them at a very young age.

That is not to say we have not had our struggles. From about 12 months to 30 months our family sits in the back of the church, allowing for a quick departure for rambunctious toddlers and Wingnut. During this period of growth and maturity, out children spend most of their Mass in the vestibule with their father working on better Mass behavior.

Our standards are fairly clear, they are expected to sit quietly next to Daddy or in his lap. They are not allowed to fiddle around with the hymnals or missals. They are expected to sit, stand, or kneel(or be held by Dad) when the rest of the parish sits, stands or kneels. Good behavior is rewarded, usually with donuts or Rita's Ice, or some other treat. Bad behavior is punished. The culprit is relegated to watching the rest of his siblings eating donuts or Rita's Ice, or some other treat.

Obviously this program is not for everyone, but for our family it works and works very well. Baby Wingnut, along with the rest of the family, is now sitting at the front of the church during Mass and very rarely needs to exit to the vestibule. We spend our Sunday mornings talking about how he's going to behave at Mass and what kind of treat he will get if he is a "good boy" at Mass. Since Christmas, I can recall only a single time Baby Wingnut has not earned a reward. As time goes on, rewards will no longer be needed. Good behavior will just be a matter of course.

This past Sunday I had the following exchange with Baby Wingnut just before leaving for Mass:

BW: "I'm going to be awesome at Mass today."

Me: "Yes, you are. That's what good boys do."

BW: "Yep, I won't run and I won't tackle."

Evidently his standards of conduct do not quite match ours, but we are working on that.

As a little side story, Elizabeth Foss has recently written a sweet article about the same subject here.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial


Before you fire up your grill in celebration of Memorial Day, you may want to read this interesting history of the holiday and then say a prayer for our fallen soldiers and for the young men and women still in harms way.  God Bless America, and God Bless our troops!


Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed
Rest in peace.
Amen
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Go into the Whole World and Proclaim the Gospel



The Archdiocese of Washington, in all it's wisdom, moved the celebration of Ascension Thursday to this Sunday. I'm sure there is a good reason for this, although it escapes me. My liturgical clock is all messed up.  Any how, have a Blessed day!
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fantastic, Fresh, Fish Tacos

I know, why would anyone take a perfect food like tacos and make them with fish??? I'll tell you; they are absolutely delicious, refreshing, good for you, and one of our family's favorite dinners.

Fish Tacos

Tilapia fillets (approximately one small fillet per person)(or any other flaky white fish that does not have a very strong fishy flavor; Mahi-Mahi works very well too)

Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oil (olive oil is nice, but any vegetable oil will do) per fillet

Lightly salt and pepper each fillet. Heat oil in nonstick skillet until shimmering. Pan fry fillets about 2 1/2 minutes per side or until outside is golden brown and a bit crispy and the inside is tender and flaky. Be sure not to crowd the pan. You want nicely seared fillets, not steamed fish! Break into rough chunks.

Citrus Slaw

Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 TBSP honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bag coleslaw mix (4 cups shredded cabbage will work too)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 minced red onion
1 finely minced jalapeno (seeded if desired)

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, honey and olive oil and mix until combined. In a bowl toss together coleslaw, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to combine.

Corn tortillas (about 3 per fillet) warmed in microwave or oven until soft and pliable. I usually brush both sides very lightly with oil and place them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and warm them at 250 degrees for about 4 minutes, turning once. I then stack them on a paper towel covered plate and wrap them in foil to keep them warm for serving.

For each tortilla place several chunks of fish, add desired amount of coleslaw and top with sliced jalapenos, julienned red onion, and/or chopped cilantro. Fold or roll up as desired.

During the summer, we love this dish served with watermelon as a side.





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Friday, May 22, 2009

Then Again, Maybe He Is



Baby Wingnut loves to join in our homeschool lessons. He'll draw on the dry erase board. He'll practice his numbers. He'll link up linking cubes. By far, his favorite "subject" is states and capitals flash cards. Special K and Skoshi A have been working on them for the better part of the year and we have just recently added the final four states and capitals to their list.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about my mistaken notion that Baby Wingnut had actually picked up some of the knowledge just by sitting in the lessons with us. Recently, that perceived mistake has become a reality. He really has learned several states and capitals and can point several states out on a map. At this point, he correctly identifies about 10 states and capitals, with Texas, Mississippi, and North Carolina being his favorites. He becomes distraught if one the girls beats him to the answers of his favorite three states and alternately taunts his sisters if he beats them to the punch. Lording it over them with, "I got Texas, and you didn't! Sorry!"
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Small Stuff


Celebrating the small stuff today with my blogging buddies at Faith and Family Live. Come join us and list your Small Successes, too.

1) We are 10 days into our diet experiment with Special K. Life has become so much easier for her, and for us all. The success related to this project this week has been realizing that expecting perfection from her and from the program is asking too much. She was not perfect this week, but I did not despair and give up, nor did I give in and allow the few small episodes escalate into large scale emotional outbursts. I am so proud of her. Situations that would have ended in absolute chaos and emotional collapse were very calmly dealt with and resolved very quickly. We are sticking to the plan, because it really is working.

2) We are in the bedroom this week with the FlyLady. Once again, this is my favorite room to work in and on. The bedding was stripped, washed and replaced. Don't you just love crisp clean sheets?

3) We have finally had a stretch of tolerable weather, hooray! The garden was been weeded and mulched. Hopefully we'll get in some herbs and veggies this weekend.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Persuasion


Dear Mom,

The purpose of this letter is to convince you of the benefits of getting me a set of throwing knives.

As you well know, the art of self-defense is a life skill that I feel has been sadly neglected in American culture, and it is of my opinion that only good parents who care for their children’s safety take the responsibility of ensuring their offspring’s ability to defend himself. You are a good mother; this is obvious because you work hard every week to make sure there is time to take me and my brother to martial arts class. In tae kwon do, we are taught how to fight without weapons, but I think that combat with knives is also worthy of attention.

Suppose one day I got lost in the woods, with nothing except my pocket knife to sustain me? How could I get food? The only plant that I know of that is edible is onion grass, and no one can survive by eating just this rancid herb. A pocket knife, though useful in many ways, cannot be used by being thrown at a target, since the handle is much too heavy. It is highly unlikely that I would get close enough to a rabbit or a deer to use the knife effectively, by stabbing the animal.

I understand that the chances of my getting lost in the woods is slim, but it is not impossible. You are no doubt wondering why I am insistent on getting dangerous hunting apparatus. If I must have a weapon, why not get a bow? A bow is undoubtedly easier to come by, and less dangerous to handle.

The reasons I have for getting knives and not a bow are these: throwing knives are functional at a distance and in hand-to-hand combat. Also, the art of throwing knives is a more challenging endeavor than archery. The last and most important reason for choosing knives over a bow is is that the former is more inconspicuous. What if I was kidnapped? My captors would be sure to notice a bow. Throwing knives are small and slender enough to put in my pocket, or even in my boots, so that they would remain hidden from sight if I was captured. Of course, you probably do not like the idea of my using knives on human beings, even if they are criminals. If you get me knives, however, I promise to only use them outside, on targets situated far from children and property. I would not use the knives on living creatures unless I was in a starving condition, and, in the case of a kidnapping, using the weapons would be my last resort. Unless all the self-defense techniques I have acquired in tae kwon do failed to free me, I would never draw a knife upon a human being.

You of all people know how responsible I am with sharp objects; I have a switchblade and a pocket knife, and I frequently use kitchen knives to chop up food. Therefore, I am aware of the dangers of using knives, and it would be improbable that I would accidentally harm myself or anyone else with a sharp weapon. All I ask is for your permission to procure a set of throwing knives; I am perfectly willing to buy them with my own money. If I fail to use them properly, or leave them lying about, you will be authorized to confiscate them, and pass them on into the care of a more responsible person. This I promise you, and I do not break my word.

Love,

KarateKid.

P.S. – If throwing knives are absolutely out of the question, an archery set will do.



Karate Kid,

Nicely written persuasive paper with few errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Nice job providing examples and arguments supporting your cause. An "A" for effort and execution. Unfortunately, I am not persuaded.


Love,

Mom

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and Flying Dare Devils

Being a military family, we love air shows, but we had not been to one in years. We finally made it to the annual air show held at Andrew's Air Force Base this last weekend. We had wonderful weather and a marvelous time. Baby Wingnut loved exploring the different air craft, especially the helicopters. We were privileged to see the Thunderbirds perform. They were amazing, but very, very loud. Baby Wingnut did not enjoy the Thunderbirds. I would highly recommend purchasing ear plugs for little ones when you attend an air show. I had forgotten how deafening jet engines can be. We, of course, did not bring ear plugs. Family friends asked what we did for Baby Wingnut when the jets flew by. Sadly, we just laughed as Baby Wingnut whimpered and buried his face in Wingnut's shoulder. You'd laugh too if your two year old was normally full of male bravado and constantly vanquishing enemies. Oh, you wouldn't? I guess we're just bad parents :-(


This is not time lapsed photography ( I wish I was that talented). This is four separate airplanes. The Thunderbirds are AWESOME!


Air shows are very kid friendly. Look at all the buttons and levers. They are absolutely irresistible to little kids, and big ones too.



The premier civilian air show performer, Sean D. Tucker performed. He was unbelievable. Karate Kid was fascinated by the stunt pilots.

The Army's Golden Knights put on a great show.

Check out the landing. Right smack dab in the middle of the "X"! Go Army!
Wait a second, we're Air Force. Sorry honey.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Silver Tongued

I was hoping for a miracle. I was praying for a miracle. That is why I could not keep from watching the President speak at Notre Dame, yesterday. He has a very good speech writing team, or should I say, slick? The Evil One is so clever and so able to twist words and make them sound reasonable. I was so very disappointed, as I watched and listened. Obama sounded so very reasonable and I was surprised that he did indeed address his position on abortion that is in such direct opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

But just imagine for a moment if these were the same words applied to slavery, or the extermination of the Jews by Hitler. Would we be able find "common ground" on slavery? Would we be able to view Hitler's views with "open hearts, open minds and fair-minded words?"


These are the exact words used by the President when speaking to a Catholic audience at Notre Dame regarding the "abortion controversy". They were delivered by a silver tongued fiend to an audience that gave him a standing ovation. Disgraceful! Disappointing! Abominable!

". . . when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do - that's when we discover at least the possibility of common ground."

"That's when we begin to say, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions."

"Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words." Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Recipe

I've had a few requests for the recipe, after posting the lovely photo of Karate Kid's Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream. I'm here to oblige. First of all, to answer Dawn's question, the ice cream maker we use is the Cuisinart Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. We purchased an extra freezer bowl, so that we always have one ready. One recipe will make enough ice cream for our family of 8 to each have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup servings.

Karate Kid created this variation using two different recipes from the booklet and substituting cherries for the strawberries that are called for by the recipe. It is by far the family's favorite!

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
8 ounces frozen dark cherries
1/4 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cup heavy cream

In a blender or food processor blend cherries, sugars, cocoa powder, whole milk and vanilla on high speed until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in heavy cream. Add to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Chocolate-Cherry Love


The entire family is invested in the success of the elimination diet we've ventured on behalf of Special K. Karate Kid even dug out the ice cream maker and created this absolutely delicious version of chocolate cherry ice cream, from scratch and with all natural ingredients. This scrumptious flavor served in a heart shaped bowl absolutely spells L.O.V.E!

As a quick update: It has been a great week. This is very unusual territory for us. When I asked her to stop a behavior, she would assent with a "Yes, ma'am." Normally something like that would result in whining or even a complete melt down. It truly is amazing. I had not expected results so swiftly. Her siblings have even noticed the change and have complimented her on it. Whooo-hoo Special K. We are so proud of you!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catholic New Media Awards


Blog award season is underway. It was after perusing winning blogs on this particular award site that I became inspired to start blogging. The internet has truly become a wonderful tool for Catholics to witness to the Faith, wouldn't you agree? If you have a favorite Catholic blog, Catholic podcast, or Catholic web news site why not head over to Catholic New Media and nominate it for an award in the appropriate category. I've already nominated a few of my favs. Nominations close on May 25th with voting beginning on June 1st. Print Friendly and PDF

Little is Much


I'm feeling much better this week. The weather has been much dryer. I am ready for Thursday's Small Successes!

1) We went to the park twice this week. Baby Wingnut's first words each morning are, "It's a beautiful day today?" If I say it is indeed a beautiful day, he knows we are going to the park. He loves his outdoor time!

2) My loving husband is out of town again this week. Nevertheless, I still made the bed every day this week. I do have a tendency to let things slide a bit when he is traveling. At least I kept our bedroom a haven, even though he is not here to enjoy it.

3) I cut out all artificial colors, flavors, and petroleum based preservatives from Special K's diet. I've needed to do it for a while, but I finally buckled down and did it. Miraculously, we have had a very, very good week. This really might be the key to her outbursts. I've also changed the way in which I address her undesirable behavior, partly because I realized it only perpetuated her tantrums, and partly because I think I finally understand why this is happening to her. She is such a special, sweet, and loving girl and I could not bear that she has been having such a hard time behavior wise. I am praying and hoping this is finally the answer. I am feeling very hopeful, as another side effect of eliminating "artificials" from her diet has been she has had 3 dry nights in a row. At seven, she is the oldest we've had still in pull-ups at night. I've promised to keep my three faithful readers up to date on the progress of our "Feingold" experiment.



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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Creative Discipline




Time outs are a really great disciplinary device, but for rambunctious, cooped-up type of behavior, we prefer having the children run laps. Of course, it doesn't work for every child. Baby Wingnut begs for laps.


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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Diet Solution?


Special K is exactly that; a special little girl. The vast majority of the time she is sweet and loving. She smiles and laughs and generally enjoys life. If we could change one thing about her, it would be her frequent emotional outbursts that show no signs of diminishing with age. At 7 years old she spends many hours sitting on her bed, doing extra chores, and running laps due to her lack of emotional self-control. She's a screecher and whiner and her behavior sends this household into an uproar at least once a week. We've tried charts, reward systems, and every other disciplinary device to no avail. Yesterday I was completely at my wits end, when I began to think maybe it could be a dietary thing. I've read about the Feingold diet, and while I don't feel our problem is that extreme, there is a lot of truth to the idea that additives and highly processed foods can lead to some behavior problems. I've resolved to get to the bottom of this. I began asking Special K what she had eaten during the morning and then pulled packages and boxes from the pantry shelves and checked for ingredients that may be the culprit. Everything she had eaten thus far had had artificial colors, flavors and or preservatives such as BHT, BHA or TBHQ. I always thought I did pretty well making healthy, whole foods for our family, as I perused the shelves, it was surprising how many processed foods with those ingredients I have on hand to feed the kids. Special K is especially susceptible as she is a grazer by nature and the pantry has all the great on-the-go food she loves. As of today, I am eliminating artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from her diet. We can expect to see results within a few days (hands folded in prayer). If this elimination diet does not help, I will need to add more things to our list of "no-no" foods. Oh, if it could be so simple for our sweet little girl.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

He's a Charmer

The first time Baby Wingnut used this line, I thought it was just random, a complete fluke. He's used it twice since. I'm beginning to think he was buttering me up just to let me down.

Baby Wingnut: "Mama, you have pretty eyes."

Me: "Oh, thank you. That is so sweet."

Baby Wingnut: "I'm poopy."

Uh, yeah. Sweet.


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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Have a Blessed Mother's Day


For all the wonderful mothers I know and love, I hope you have a happy and blessed day. For an interesting history of Mother's Day read this linked article.

I'm looking forward to having breakfast with my family and heading to Mass to give thanks for the 6 beautiful blessings He has given me. It's a tradition in our parish to have a procession following Mass to the Marian Grotto on the parish property. The First Communicants will be dressed once again in their finery, bearing flowers to present to the Blessed Mother. She is the model for us all, is she not? It should be a lovely day.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Healthy and Delicious Chicken Caesar Salad


Often when I ask Wingnut what he'd like for dinner, he asks for a nice big salad. I have a few main dish salads we rotate through the menu with salad being for dinner about once a week. One of our favorites is Chicken Caesar Salad. It is also extremely easy and fairly low calorie.


Chicken Caesar Salad for a crowd (family of 8)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips along the bias
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP flour
1 TBSP cornstarch
6 tsp vegetable oil
1 head of romaine lettuce torn or chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup freshly shredded parmesan
2 cups croutons ( you can buy these or make your own)
Caesar dressing or you can use this creamy parmesan dressing from a previous post


After slicing chicken salt and pepper to taste and toss to distribute evenly. In large bowl stir together oil, flour, and cornstarch. Add sliced chicken and toss to coat. This is a technique for keeping chicken breast moist and tender called "velveting". I've found velveting the chicken is absolutely crucial to the flavor of this salad. In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add 1/3 of the chicken and spread out in pan so that one side is in complete contact with the pan and the pieces of chicken are not touching each other (this ensures a good sear and crust on the chicken and keeps the chicken from just steaming in the pan). Cook without stirring for one and a half to two minutes. Check one piece of chicken for a golden brown crust on cooked side. If this is accomplished, flip all the chicken pieces to the other side and cook on second side for another one and a half to two minutes, checking this side for doneness before transferring to a clean large bowl. Repeat process with a second third of the chicken and again with the remaining chicken adding more oil to the pan as needed between batches.

Layer lettuce, chicken, croutons, parmesan and dressing on each plate to serve.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Toddler Temptations

We have had rain, more rain, and still more rain the last several days. For our rambunctious toddler, this has been torture. He is an outdoor boy and most mornings his first words to me are, "It's a beautiful day outside?"

The sun peeked from the clouds for a couple of hours yesterday so I had everyone drop what they were doing to head outside for some much needed fresh air and vitamin D. Baby Wingnut was ecstatic and tore out the door to explore our wet world.

The puddle around the lamp post proved too impossible to ignore. I admonished Baby Wingnut to stay out of the mud (witness exhibit A) and he obeyed, for the most part.


The puddle seemed to be calling his name and taunting him.

"Maybe I could just drop a few things in this puddle."

"Let me just crouch down here and get a closer look."

He never did end up "in" the puddle, but he entertained himself for quite awhile floating flowers in the water.

I know. I should just invest in some galoshes for the boy and let him at it. It really is too irresistible.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Step at a Time


Join fellow moms and list your Small Successes for the week at Faith and Family Live.

1) After hosting the Confirmation party for our son on Saturday, I must have been a bit run down. A stomach virus put me out of commission most of Monday and Tuesday, so one of my Small Successes includes the quick naps I took on those afternoons.

2) My monkey managed to tear the towel bar out of the wall in the kids' bathroom. I spent a couple hours patching and painting and then replacing the towel bar. The monkey better stay away!

3) The kitchen freezer got a good de-cluttering and cleaning. Now maybe I will call the repair man and finally get the ice maker fixed!

Many thanks for all the prayers and best wishes offered for our son on his Confirmation. It was a wonderful celebration and we are immensely proud of him.


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Child Prodigy, Not!


The younger girls have been learning their states and capitals this year. Every morning we go through the flash cards and Baby Wingnut is always right therein the fray wanting to participate. When the girls get stumped, I whisper the answer to Baby Wingnut so that he can "win" a flash card, just like his sisters.

Early last week we were going through the cards as I read out "Lansing", Baby Wingnut came tearing around the corner and called out "Michigan!" I was floored. I stood up and began cheering for my brilliant toddler. The rest of my crew began laughing out loud.

"What?" I questioned.

"Mom, he's been running circles around the house for several minutes chanting Michigan! Michigan! Michigan!"

So much for my child prodigy. Sigh.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Save Our Christian Culture; Have More Babies

Found this disturbingly interesting video on Giovanni's World. Funny how the makers of the video end up missing the point and the solution. Take the time to watch. Our country's survival may depend upon it.


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Monday, May 4, 2009

The Godmother


Do you have friends you can go years without seeing and then when you do get together it is like you haven't spent a day apart? Those are the best kind of friends. The Godmother is one of those kinds of friends. We were blessed to have her here for the weekend, celebrating Stat Boy's Confirmation with us. She is totally awesome and we enjoyed being able to spend some time with her after so much time apart. She is so special to us and was instrumental during our journey entering the Church. She was my sponsor when I was Confirmed and was the natural choice to be the Godmother of our first son. Her family--especially her parents--is one of those warm, friendly, lovely, southern type families that make you feel 100% welcome in their home and actually make you want to be officially adopted into it. On top of it all we know she is an absolute prayer warrior for our son and for that we are eternally grateful.

This was Baby Wingnut's first time meeting The Godmother and through him we have a new nickname for her. He affectionately calls her "Miss Muffin". So, if you're reading this "Miss Muffin", we love you!


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Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Out of My Hands Now

Thursday night our second born was Confirmed. It was a beautiful Mass and Stat Boy did us proud, even answering a catechism question from the Bishop correctly. He chose Saint Christopher as his Confirmation Saint. He chose that particular Saint because he wanted to have a martyr and Saint Christopher is the patron of sports. Stat Boy even appeared to enjoy doing the research on his Saint and writing his report; amazing! We are so proud of our boy. As he was anointed it occurred to me that it is all out of my hands now. My boy is on his own and will be responsible for making his Faith his own. All I can do is pray for him, love him and put inspirational writings into his hands. Ah free will, that two edged sword!



Stat Boy's sponsor is a well loved family friend who is also Baby Wingnut's godfather. I watched as this admirable man stood up with our son and whispered in his ear these words of encouragement, "Your shoes are untied." Yep, he's got the same wicked sense of humor Stat Boy has. He was the perfect choice.



Stat Boy's incredible godmother also made the trek to watch her godson be confirmed. We really could not have chosen a better example or prayer warrior for our boy. We know we can always depend on her to pray and make sacrifices for the good of our son's soul. We are truly blessed.

I didn't get a photo of Stat Boy in his red robe. In lieu of that photo I asked if I could just smell his head. There are few scents sweeter than Holy Chrism. He thought I was kidding. I wasn't. He and Karate Kid protested my embarrassing behavior. Stat Boy did finally relent and wiped his brow with his hand and let me sniff the Holy Chrism on his hand. He has a very grateful mother, even if she is a little nuts.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

7 Special Things about Special K

1. You have so much personality you could not have just one nickname, our little Kit-Kat, Flabberdoo, Doodle-lee-do, Special K.

2. It is never a mystery how you feel about things and we never have to guess what you are thinking. You tend to express your thoughts right away.

3. Your heart can barely contain the love you have and very often it is overflowing.

4. Your boundless energy electrifies this home.

5. You still love to sit in our laps, cuddle and give spontaneous hugs and kisses.

6. Your young, budding Faith is firm and exuberant and we know you try very hard to love and serve Jesus.

7. Your smile and your infectious giggle light up our lives.

Happy 7th Birthday our beautiful, special, loving little girl! We love you!




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