Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm Sick....

A conversation heard around these parts today...

me: "I feel like death warmed over. No, not warmed over. Just barely heated in the microwave."

my husband: "That sounds unpleasant."

me: "What? Death heated in the microwave?"

my husband: "I think they call that corn dogs."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lessons from no tv

Well, it has been a week since we turned off our TV. Or more accurately, since we put it in the closet. It hasn't been a week completely without TV however, don't let me mislead you. The littlest one still get a few minutes while I put the eldest down for a nap, there was Grey's Anatomy on Thursday while I folded laundry in my room, there will be a mama daughter cuddle time of Gilmore Girls tomorrow. But over all, it has been a week blessedly free of TV. What have I found? Contrary to my expectations, I have found that I love it. The only reason I wanted to do this was because we've needed the extra TV time in the past few months as I was getting back on my feet. A very good use of TV in my estimation and was extremely thankful not only for it, but for all of the people who were willing to watch The Incredibles more times than I can count. But I knew that it would be hard to simply scale back the video viewing. That once it got turned on in the day it would be hard to turn it off since we were all so used to its constant presence. I expected that this was going to be really really hard. I expected temper tantrums. I expected a messy house and take out dinners as I figured out how to do life with out my helper the TV. Instead there are less tantrums. A lot less. The house, though not perfect, isn't bad. And let's be honest, it has never been perfect. As for dinner, I've cooked more this past week than I have in ages. The girls love being in the kitchen with me and although everything takes longer, what am I rushing to go do anyways?

And you know what else? My daughter loves to read. I had no idea. I mean really, really, really loves to read. She wants me to read to her, she wants to "read" to me, she sits and reads by herself, she reads to her sister. It blows me away.

Yes, she still asks for Veggies and Incredibles. Multiple times a day. And she was fascinated by the TV playing at the lunch place we went to yesterday. It isn't like her love of television has disappeared. And that's OK by me. I rather like it myself. The key for us right now though is finding the right amount. The amount where we can enjoy the entertainment, but not where it dominates us. As Larry Boy says, "You can't be the person God wants you to be if all you ever think about is watching TV" (or fill in your distraction of choice).

At this point I'm thinking we may bring the TV back for Easter. Maybe not. The capability to watch it is still here, just not in the main room of our house. Maybe it never needs to be in the main room of our house again. Or at least not as long as Mama is healthy and well. Like I said, I have nothing against TV, but I'm loving the peace without it far too much to rush back to its all consuming presence.

Friday, January 12, 2007

You know you need more sleep when...

You are nursing the baby and look at your husband and in all seriousness ask, "Where's the baby?".

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And now for something new

There is a new feature here at Love, Honor, and Obey. I am going to be posting a recipe once a week or so. These are mostly Tiffany adaptions, and I'll be sure to let you know where the original came from.

Hope you enjoy!

To kick things off, my absolute favorite recipe to make when having people over. Most of it can be done ahead of time, which is great for getting things picked up before company arrives.

Easy Chicken Wellington, as adapted from my mother in law.

ingredients:
  • 1 pkg frozen pastry shells
  • 3 whole chicken breasts- split, skinned, and boned
  • 3 T butter

Pastry shells have to thaw in order to use them, remember to do this inadvance. Chicken breasts, after being prepared, can be marinated for tenderness. Just stick them in a ziploc in the fridge with a little white wine, a sqeeze of lemon juice, and let them sit for a few hours. When taking them out beat them nice and tender with something hard. :)

When ready to cook, saute them in the 3T butter until brown, then add either 2T of the marinade or 2T of white wine or cooking sherry and cook until it evaporated. Make sure they are fully cooked, they won't be in the oven long enough to cook through.

Filling ingredients:
  • 1/2lb chopped mushrooms (approx)
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 6 strips of bacon

Saute mushrooms and scallions in butter, cook bacon, then stir together and set aside.

All of this until here can be done ahead of time, I usually do it in the morning between breakfast and lunch.

Assembly:
Roll out pastry shells (one for each chicken), place 2T filling on each shell, and set 1 chicken breast on top, enclose in pastry. Place folded side down on cookie sheet. A nice touch is to take extra pastry and small cookie cutters and make a decoration to go on top. Sometimes I do all the same, somehing for the season. Or I have done shapes I think the individuals will like. I have also done initials. This is very handy if you have a picky eater who doesn't like something in the filling.

Bake the chicken at 425, for 5-10 minutes, untill pastry is all puffed up and golden.

Easy Wellington Sauce
  • 1 envelope hollandaise sauce mix
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1T white wine or sherry
  • 2T swiss cheese (or a little more, I like to go crazy with cheese)

Mix sauce mix with wine and milk, cook and stir until smooth. Add cheese and stir until completely melted and smooth.

And there you have it!! It is really easy, and so so good. You can play around with the filling ingredients, celery is rather good. I've also done wellington bites that you can then dip in the sauce. It is actually really yummy to make up extra bites while making up the regular ones for dinner, double the sauce recipe and then have the bites for lunch during the rest of the week.

Happy Eating!

Parenting....some thoughts

I've recently realized something about myself. I'm someone who is influenced easily. When I read something someone writes it makes sense to me. Even if I didn't hold that position prior to reading it. If I see someone acting a certain way and it is working for them, it seems like a good idea. Now, thankfully although I'm intellectually influenced this way, I'm not particularly gunhoe about running off and emulating whatever I just saw. And I have a husband who is wonderfully rational, logical, and adept at dealing with a wife who is not.

One area though I have found that I really have let myself be very influenced in action by others is in my parenting. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Afterall, there are pleanty of people who are doing a great job raising their children, and it is wisdom to learn from the wise who have gone before you. But only if you are actually evaluating what is being done, not if you are just going "that looks good, I'll do that." For there are many good parenting strategies out there, and there are many bad ones, and there are even more which are good but simply not for every family.

You see, the place where we lived when I first got pregnant with my first child most people did the child rearing thing very similar. And there were really great results. It was immensely encouraging to sit and talk with people who had raised a large family who now served Christ and where raising God fearing children of their own. It wasn't like reading a book of someone we had never meant and wondering what their children were like, we had the results right before us. And a rather larger sample pool at that.

Then we moved. 2500 miles in fact. And we had another baby. And we changed some of what we had intended going in. Not bad changes I don't think, just changes. But what we didn't do was really evaluate how/why we were changing. It was a much more fly by the seat of our pants sort of change. More of a "when in Rome" sort of change.

So now, we're back looking at what we do and why. We know what our end goals are, we know what our underlying premise is. It is the nitty gritty of how that we are looking at. One thing that I am sure of, is that the nitty gritty how can be extreamly different from family to family. And further more, differences can be a good thing. God doesn't deal with all of His children in exactly the same way, so why should all families deal with theirs exactly the same? Or even with all the children in one family exactly the same? We are all unique, wonderfully and fearfully made children of our King and I think our parenting techniques can and should reflect this.

I'm not sure where this is going to leave us. We may go back to doing things like we originally intended. We may end up right where we are now. Or we might be lead into a different place entirely. My desire and prayer though is that we will be influenced by God and His Wisdom and desire for our family alone. There is a good chance that where ever we end up it isn't going to look like our friends from up north, or our ones from down south. Which I know can be hard. It is so much easier to be in a group where you all do things in the same way. But, just because we do it differently (if that does indeed end up being the case) it certainly won't be an indictment of those we know, or of us either. Living out our convictions for our individual family without trying to convince others of our righteness though can be hard. Or feeling the need to defend ourselves for that matter.

So, these are the thoughts that are occupying my mind as of late. It is an amazing thing we are entrusted with when raising children. These little eternal souls given into our hands for a season. May we all treat it with the gravity and joy which it is due, and may God lead us all into wisdom and understanding.