Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I believe I've mentioned Lil' Lamb is not the most peaceful sleeper. He squirms, kicks, bats his arms, grunts and groans a good portion of the time he is asleep. Last evening, after having finally given up the ghost, I laid him gently on the couch to snooze while Wingnut and I watched a little Chopped on the Food Network. Every few minutes he would begin kicking and squirming. His little legs would finish poised in the air and he'd settle down until his body relaxed, his legs would drop to the couch, and he'd start kicking again. Wingnut observed that Lil' Wingnut slept better with his legs propped up. In fact, he still prefers to sleep with his legs draped over someone. Thinking it was worth a try, I placed a pillow under Lil' Lambs legs. Sure enough, he relaxed and slept peacefully for the next hour, without becoming restless. I've got to give Wingnut props for recalling our boys need props for their little legs in order to sleep comfortably. I guess that's why he makes the big bucks. Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Running to an Empty Tomb

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.
John 20:1-9

This is my favorite Easter Gospel Reading. There is much that impresses upon me in this particular passage: the description of the carefully rolled and set aside burial cloths, the obvious deference paid to Saint Peter by the younger Saint John as he patiently waits for Peter so that he might be first to enter the tomb. The point that has stayed with me most over the years is that they ran to the tomb. Imagine the dejected, desolated, despairing Peter having denied Christ three times, abandoning Him to the crucifixion, after having promised to follow Him anywhere, even to his own death. Unexpectedly, Mary Magdalene comes to him and tells him the Lord's body has disappeared. In excitement, and possibly a little confusion, he runs to the tomb and indeed it is empty. Peter needed that tomb to be empty, because without an empty tomb the sacrifice of the cross could only continue to leave him in despair. Suddenly it makes sense, HE HAD TO RISE FROM THE DEAD!

A blessed and very happy Easter!
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Love Jesus Meme

aka the Mom and Sarah at Harbor of Aloha both tagged me in this meme. With Holy Week upon us, I think this is especially appropriate and beautiful.

Here are the rules:
  • Share five things you love about Jesus/or why you love Jesus.
  • Tag five other bloggers.
  • Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here so others can read them.

1) He completely poured Himself out for me, an utterly unworthy sinner. It breaks my heart to think of it, but I am so grateful.

2) He has truly been my consolation in trials and sorrow.

3) I see Him in my babies' smiles, as He was as a babe in His Blessed Mother's arms. Knowing He had a loving mother, and that she was a loving mother brings home for me His humanity and frailty. I'm floored by the idea that He humbled Himself to become one of us.

4) Even when I deserted Him, He never deserted me. I always knew He was there, even though I had my back turned to Him.

5) He has given me hope eternal and I am looking forward to the day I can dance before His throne.

If you're reading this today and would like to participate, please consider yourself tagged, as well!

Have a most Blessed Holy Week!
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The Pioneer Woman has been hosting a weekly photo contest on her photography blog. This week's theme was Brothers. She didn't pick up my photo to feature (Boo! Hiss!) What do you think? You'd pick these two to win, wouldn't you? I sure would. They are absolutely adorable. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lil' Lamb 10 Weeks

Lil' Lamb has really begun interacting with people. He was smiling and cooing away at his dad, but of course by the time I got the camera out he was done until Wingnut began making funky noises that caught the lil' guy's attention.

Thoughtfully considering where that noise came from.

What the?

Was that you, Dad?

You're kind of a humorous guy.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Small Successes: It's Been a Long Time

I haven't done this in who-knows-how-long, but I'm back on the band wagon, so to speak.

1) I have stuck to my guns regarding laundry, even throughout my pregnancy, even with a new baby in the house. The laundry has not bested me. It is washed, dried, folded, and put away.

2) I was finally able to mop the wood floors. Believe it or not, they have not been wet mopped since October! Now that is an accomplishment!

3) I've been helping my girls, and on occasion the teenage boy, learn to cook more frequently. After Lil' Lamb was born, I had each of the older children choose two dinners each and had them prepare them. I didn't cook for almost 10 days after the baby arrived. It worked out so well, I'm continuing with this, having two kid prepared meals per week and giving each of them a turn in planning and preparing those meals. They are turning into wonderful cooks.

Have any small successes to share? Leave your link at Faith and Family.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lay Your Burden Down

Last evening was our parish's annual Lenten penance service. There were 10 priests at our disposal, and as the girls needed to be at the parish for CCD later, we took advantage of the opportunity.

Oleander was worried the lines would be long and she wouldn't have the chance to confess if we didn't get to the church early enough, so we ended up leaving Wingnut to come on his own, as he was running a bit behind. On the way up to the church he called and wondered why we'd left without him. Turns out, Oleander was correct in her thinking. If we had waited for Wingnut the lines would have been too long and she would have had to go another day.

JayP was concerned about the line we were in. Would he have to go face-to-face? Anonymity was an important point for him. Oleander reassured him that there would be a screen. She was the first of our family to head into the box. As she emerged, JayP asked once again for reassurance that there would indeed be a screen between him and his confessor. She put him at ease. As she headed to the pews to pray, she passed by me and said, "Father _______ is a really good confessor. You're going to love him." Yep, she may not be a saint (yet), but she is our resident authority on confession.

He was indeed a wonderful confessor and it was a relief to unburden myself. After we had all finished I took the youngest three home. I had a little conversation with Special K about how nice it was to have those sins washed away and how wonderful and light I felt and didn't she feel the same way. Lil' Wingnut wistfully exclaimed, "It's no fair. I'm the only one that didn't get to go." Thank you, God. We are doing something right.

Holy Week is fast approaching. It's the perfect time to lay your burdens down.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Obama Incredulous Someone Might Actually Need a Large Vehicle

I just can't get enough of this guy's condescending manner. Can you? Check out his reaction to his questioner's family size at 2:16. Now if that isn't graciousness, I don't know what is (insert sarcastic tone here).

BTW, his understanding of the economics of gas pricing is completely off. If we said today we would finally drill, baby, drill, it would be reflected almost immediately at the pump. Gas prices today are only a reflection of "futures". In other words, the price of gas is dependent on the future prospects of production. If it appears there may be more oil production, the price of gas will go down even if that increased production is not immediate. (This is an extremely simplified explanation, but I think one might see what I'm getting at). Here is a better explanation of how oil futures and speculation work.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Shrimp in Thai Red Curry

Our favorite Thai restaurant has a to-die-for red curry with duck and I had a hankering for red curry on Friday. I decided to try my hand at re-creating this dish, but with shrimp substituted for the duck. This recipe turned out to be a very decent home-made copy of the restaurant's duck version. Amazingly simple, delicious, and nutritious!

Shrimp in Thai Red Curry

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest (a substitute for lemon grass)
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (found in the Asian foods section of your local grocery store)
4 bottles clam juice (chicken broth would be better, but it was a Lenten Friday for us)
2 14 ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
1 can bamboo shoots drained and julienned
1 carrot julienned
1 red bell pepper julienned
10-15 cherry tomatoes
1/2 pineapple cut in to chunks
1 pound large frozen shrimp; defrost, peel, and clean
Salt to taste
Sticky white rice cooked according to package directions

Toss thawed shrimp with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside. In a large soup pot saute garlic and ginger in oil over medium heat until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Add lemon zest and red curry paste and saute another 30 seconds. Pour in clam juice and coconut milk and bring to a soft boil. Add cornstarch mixture. Reduce heat to med low and simmer about 15 minutes. Add bamboo, carrot, bell pepper, tomatoes, and pineapple and cook 5-7 minutes to soften just a touch. Add seasoned shrimp and stir, cooking gently until it is just cooked through 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Taste curry and season as needed with more salt.

Using large soup bowls place a nice mound of sticky rice in the center of each bowl. Gently ladle curry around the rice and serve. Wingnut likes his curry on the spicy side so we serve an Asian spicy chili sauce on the side so he can spice it up to his liking.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

MCP Project 52: Week 14

This week's theme was Fusion.

I was having a hard time coming up with an idea for the Fusion theme until I saw the V-Fusion juice in the fridge. Clever, right?
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Food Dyes and Behavior

FDA advisors recommend more study of food dyes

It's been almost 2 years since we adopted a diet strategy to address Special K's emotional meltdowns. Current research claims the evidence that food dyes and additives contribute to behavioral problems in children is anecdotal, and I suppose for us that would certainly be true, but we really do believe eliminating certain things from her diet has really helped. She occasionally mentions that she doesn't even miss some of her verboten foods. Apparently after eating some off limits foods she would feel "weird".

You may read stories of children, now adults, claiming to have been "victimized" by the Feingold diet. Special K doesn't feel that way. It really has not been that difficult. We've had a fairly easy time finding suitable substitutes for the foods she loved, but should not eat now. We've even found natural food dye and colored sugars and sprinkles that she can use to decorate cookies, cupcakes, and cakes.

You may also read thoughts from mental health professionals pointing out that if we link behavior to diet it undermines children's self esteem by giving them the idea they are unhealthy and fragile or by creating embarrassing situations in which their restricted diet may appear strange by other children. For us, neither situation has been true. Special K's self esteem has actually improved. She knows certain foods make it very difficult for her to control her emotions. If she stays away from them, she has better control and in return she feels better about herself. It's actually important enough to her that she self monitors her diet and chooses to avoid "bad" foods even when I'm not there to help her make that determination. As for feeling embarrassment around other children, she hasn't had that experience because the vast majority of our friends cook all natural and are even more strict when it comes to diet with their own children.

I truly hope the FDA does fair and thorough research on the effects of food dyes on behavior. It will be interesting to see what they really find.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Lil' Lamb 2 Months

Lil' Lamb is two months old today. At his 2 month well-baby check-up he weighed 10 pounds 15 ounces keeping him in the 25 percentile, which is new territory for my babies. They are usually in the 90th percentile. Length and head circumference were also in the 25th percentile, so at least he's proportional. Tiny or not, he sure is a cutie.

He's been able to lift his head from a prone position from the moment he was born.

He's smiling more and more each day.

Look at those jowls and that double chin!

He's a cutie, for sure!
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

MCP Project 52: Week 13

This week's theme: Just for Fun

I love this little salt and pepper set. They were a gag gift for my parents at a baby shower that was thrown when my mom was pregnant with my little sister. I think my parents were in their early 30s. My mom gave them to me several years ago and I have them sitting on the window sill in my kitchen. These figurines crack me up, especially since we'll be turning 43 this year and have just had our 7th kiddo. I love the side-long glare the wife has directed at her hubby as he just scratches his head in disbelief. Of course, this doesn't represent Wingnut and I at all . . . Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 1, 2011

84,000 Novenas

I saw this on aka the Mom's blog and thought it was a lovely idea. What a wonderful birthday gift for the Holy Father! Best of all, they'll send you a daily email reminder once the novena begins. I don't know about you, but I can use all the help I can get remembering things lately. Might be the lack of sleep. LOL!

84,000 Novenas for the Pope’s 84th Birthday!

Will you join me in giving the Pope a huge gift for his birthday? Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating his birthday on April 16th and I’m joining up with to get 84,000 people to pray a novena for the Pope’s 84th birthday.

On April 8th, we will begin praying for nine days leading up to and ending on the Papa Benedict’s birthday. The Pope prays for us everyday so it’s time to return the gift to him on the anniversary of his birth.

84,000 Novenas is a lot! So, I’m going to need your help. I want everyone who reads this blog to do the following to help with this birthday gift!

+ Sign up here:
+ Join the facebook event and invite your friends here:
+ If you have a website, post about it there!
+ Email your friends and family and get them praying too!

I’m sure the Pope will love that we are all praying for him! Please help us reach our goal of 84,000 novenas for the Pope!

Remember to sign up to pray here:

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