Monday, March 31, 2014

Indian Dish would go great with Na'an and a spinach dish on the side.  We ended up serving it with pork chops, but it is great and filling all by itself.)

Had this for dinner and it was so good!  Mine turned out creamier than her picture, but probably because I don't measure much and I used more half and half.  You could also use cream.  We like things saucy.  It is made with beans and I added in a head of cauliflower because it's in the picture, but for some reason not in the recipe.  Black Eye'd Peas are found in the canned vegetables by the peas and not in the beans sections which is weird.  Also the Garam Masala I put together on my own- just found a recipe online so I didn't have to buy that spice. Try Jasmine or Basmati rice with this- makes it so yummy.

Since the kids had friends over, and I wanted to make sure they weren't hungry, we ended up serving this with thin, boneless pork chops that I seasoned with the Garam Masala and then seared in the pan and then set aside to cook everything else in the same pan.  At the end I set the meat on top of everything in the pan and let it all simmer for 20 minutes or so until it was all softened and creamy.

Just sharing so I don't forget this recipe!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Been enjoying the Spring-ish feel in the air, but this time of year is so difficult where I live.  It looks deceivingly warm, but the wind blows frigid and you still feel trapped inside.  In Albuquerque it is 10 degrees warmer, lucky them.

I was happy to find that a family I knew from my old homeschool group moved in just around the corner- a quarter mile from my house!  They have 11 kids and we really like them.  They were the only family in our homeschool group that had boys like us, so we are feeling very lucky to have them so close for us to play with.  That is the first time ever, in over 7 years, that the kids have had someone close enough in the neighborhood to go play with.

These last few months I've been visiting with Jehovah's Witnesses.  I am friendly to anyone who comes to my house since I was a missionary and know what it's like.  Yolanda and her various partners and I talked much and came to truly love one another.  She always complimented me on my family and mothering and made me feel so good.  She loved my kids and we laughed at Charlie who threw his food everywhere while we talked.  We both laughed at the mainstream Christians who call our religions cults, and some of the other things we have in common that we wish mainstream Christians would understand.  I wish all good people would unite and share what they have that is good.  For example, I listen to a ton of different Christian stations as I drive around, and I learn a lot that helps me in my marriage and mothering and relationships.  I have found some great apologists like Ravi Zacharias, and speakers like Sherri Rose Shepherd.  I really appreciate those stations, because they help me to have the spirit with me and lift my thoughts to what is really important.

Just an example, one night as I was driving to pick up some youth from our church from a swimming activity, Ravi Zacharias came on and gave gave a masterful discourse.  I remember one example he told of a vile pornographer who made playboy look like a children's book.  He was in court because of wrongs done to his workers, and his defense attorney tried to argue that his work was no different than the paintings of Michaelangelo and other great artists who painted nude.  You've been to an art museum right?  What's the difference?  I liked his response, because it's so true.  Milk and pee both come from a cow.  Can you not tell which one is for nourishment and which is refuse? 

Sometimes I wish I could just be a Christian and do what I want- rather than having assignments given to me- I could have my own ministry, or, in other words, do what I feel led to do.  I get Christian magazines and read Christian blogs about Adoption or Femininity and Womanhood, or Motherhood that are amazing ministries to me.  Doing what I like would certainly cut out some stress and guilt and unpleasant tasks I am supposed to do.  I always feel like I'm so busy with my assignments in the church that I don't have time to do much else. But I've also been blessed by fulfilling assignments faithfully, with a long list of blessings, so maybe some of both, eh?

Anyway, I have a lot to learn, but what comes to me stronger and stronger is, that what is most important, is the Spirit.  When I do dishes I put on a BYU devotional and love where it takes my thoughts. I have so much to learn about the Spirit.  Here's part of a talk I listened to today, and I thought it was brilliant:

Anyway, I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I appreciate the good philosophies in the world and hope to learn more about them.  I believe all good things come of God and good people should unite against the growing evil.  If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, I seek after these things.

My Jehovah's witness friends won't be visiting me anymore.  I even honestly prayed that God would tell me if I was missing something my whole life, and if I should be part of their religion.   Everything was dull compared to the light and energy around me when I read the Book of Mormon.  It just radiates truth.  Whatever I know or don't know, like or don't like about my church, or it's history, I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I could not ever deny it.  At least we both love the Bible- we have that in common, and they were impressed that I knew so much of the Old Testament, and all the books in the Bible.  I might have at least made them believe that we do believe in the Bible.  They were astonished at my quad, that the Bible was first.  They were sure we only read the Book of Mormon.  But in the end, she told me earnestly how she is in a business that she believes in life and death, and I knew she would not be coming back.  We just hugged because we both knew.  God bless her for her earnest faith, and desire to do good.  I will miss her.  It made me sad though, that I took their Bible and incorporated it into my daily studies and let them teach me, yet they refused to even touch the Book of Mormon.  Though I took their magazines and read them all, they refused mine.   That seems to be the way good people are kept from the truth.  They are told that the Bible is the only truth there is and scared away from touching anything else, or reading it, praying about it, and receiving an answer. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My sons are cleaning the house and doing the dishes for the second time today without me having to ask them.  Dallas even put on a BYU choir singing hymns while he does dishes.   Pat and I are having some health challenges today, and I just don't know how I got these amazing boys.  I'm laying in bed trying to get Charles to sleep, while Pat's at work because he had something urgent.  He can barely walk from back pain, and I am not much better from my issues.  It seems Heavenly Father continues to humble me, but the point is, I just wanted to write and remember my boys today.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Out with Leia

I drove down to a campsite that I'm taking the boys in our troop to next weekend to check everything out.  It's a 45 minute drive from our house and Leia wanted to come along.  She fell asleep on the way there and woke up just as we were pulling into the camping area.  She looked around and exclaimed in her perfect princess voice "Oh, what a beautiful place to walk in.  I hope this forest has apples on the apple trees and berries on the berry trees."

She is SO cute these days, we hope they never end.

Friday, March 7, 2014

What are we up to?
Pat's working all the time, and I just finally put away my Christmas decorations.  I'm nearly ready to start 2014.

In other news I discovered a new recipe for vegan "cheese" sauce.  My kids didn't like it at all, but I did.  I made pizza with it, nachos, mac n' cheese, and potato cheese fries.  It works best if you have a fancy blender, but I did it in mine and it was great- just looked a little grainy.  Here's the recipe in case you'd like this much healthier cheese sauce.  Best thing is it's so easy!

Simple Vegan Cheese Sauce
1 c. raw cashews
2 c. water
1/2 red bell pepper (or canned pimentos or red peppers to equal)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp food yeast flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Blend until smooth (about 2 min) and then bring to boil and stir until thick.  Use for pizza, lasagna, burritos, etc.

I'm not sure why certain Grandparents sent Leia a race track and Charles a fairy costume for their birthdays. (The kids thought this was hilarious.)

Evan is going to be a pill to homeschool next year.  He thinks he knows so much.  He's so cute.  Last night at dinner he said, "Mom, I think I ate too much potato at one time so when the bolus was heading down my esophagus it really hurt."  He is seven!  I don't ever laugh at him, because he's perfectly correct. I just smile and say, "That's right!"

The next day we were talking about how Charlie has 6 teeth now, and Evan broke in, "Yes, he just got his incisors.  I don't think he'll get his canines for a while".
Yes.  Thank you doctor.

The best way to wrestle with the boys is to throw them on top of each other.  It sure helps a dad win.  This is what you have to look forward to Charlie.

I liked this paper Dallas wrote, because of the drawings.  I thought they were pretty well done. 

Dallas just wrote a pretty cool story called, "Super Chocolate", and recently at school had to recite the Gettysburg Address.  His class is acting out A Midsummer's Nights Dream by Shakespeare with songs and everything.  I love this school!

Sam is helping me with genealogy at home still and has memorized the preamble to the constitution and the 23rd Psalm.  He keeps up with math and math, science, history, reading, writing, and piano a bit.  Here's some of his worked I liked: a picture of an island he drew when we learned about islands, and a paper he wrote about how he could be a good king.  (We were reading about a boy king of Israel.)

Leia continues to say the funniest things.  She has discovered our family's love of the Wiggles and happily joined in.  We all love the new girl Emma Wiggle.  She loves to wear bows in her hair and we are making bows for our hair to wear everyday too.

Charles learned how to drink out of a sippy cup which is wonderful!  Leia had so many mouth problems with her apraxia that she never could sip out of a sippy cup so we had constant spills.

But lately Charles has been teething, and not ever wanting to sleep.  And I keep waking up with puddles of things in my bed that should have stayed in his diaper.  When babies turn 1 they can switch to regular milk, but Charlie has been unable to adjust and it gives him the wateriest diarrhea in even the tiniest amounts. Every few days we try again, only to have to clean up the messes again.  This is not a fun way to wake up in case you were curious.  Pat can second me.  The kids are still doing their best to help us overcome our love of worldly possessions.  The things our mattress has been through in it's 8-9 year life are terrifying.  I need a new mattress.

But it looks like first, I need new carpet.

See there was this movie I watched when I was way too young called The Blob.  This blob (see picture below) started eating people, and growing bigger and bigger.  I didn't sleep for 2 months after watching it.  

Then the blob itself entered my home.  Carried in by Sam, it was masked as a reward from scouts.  But I knew it was 'The Blob' and no good could come of it.  I should have destroyed it before it destroyed us, but the kids joy over it made me weak.  It attacked Charles when none of us were looking, and being a baby, and not having any fighting skills, he sat on it to escape, and the blob is now permanently ground into the carpet and Charlie's pants were, thankfully, the only thing the blob ate before it died.

Hence the need for new carpet.  The house needed new carpet when we moved in 7 years ago, and now the argument is stronger.  I thought about trying to pass it off as art, or as the Black Spot given by pirates to those they intend to kill, but I don't think I can fool everyone.

Brother R. came by on his atv and took the boys for rides.  We swiped this pix from his facebook.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What to do....

...with a sick/teething boy while you're trying to cook breakfast?  Make an improvised drum set...