Sunday, November 30, 2008

Overwhelmed and Broken

It is not just "one of those days". It doesn't feel like a season. It feels like everything is exploding all around me and I can't do enough to dodge the shrapnel.
Of course I am praying though everything but do I not believe enough? Am I not relying solely on God to provide for us? We are trying to teach our kids about Faith and I suppose these are the times when they will see how we handle our Faith.
I know I am partially emotional and tired from a long drive yesterday but I know that is not the only issue. I am also sad about sending Little Man to daycare this week and frustrated about paying over a 1/4th of what I am going to make each month on his care.
Both of our cars have at least fifteen hundred dollars worth of repairs to be done, hopefully they will hold out breaking completely until I make at least a little bit of money. I am tired. I am lost. I am frustrated and overwhelmed.

Is this what it takes to become broken and forced to our knees? Our house didn't sell, we are in debt due to contract work never paying consistently, we owe the government, both of our cars are about to break down. We never stopped praying when times were good. Do we just need to pray harder? I suppose it is all our fault....my fault...for not being faithful with the things God gave us in the first place.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

{TWD} Twofer Pie


Thank you to Vibi from La casserole carree for choosing this lovely Thanksgiving pie. I do not like pumpkin pie or pecan pie so I am not sure how it will taste. I hope that everyone will taste it and like it.
This came together easily and quickly. I left my hand dandy food processor at home so I mixed the pumpkin ingredients by hand. My sister in law sprinkled on the pecans and then we poured on the pecan topping. I will admit I cheated a tiny bit and used a frozen pie crust. There is just too much activity in the house we are at to be in the kitchen long enough to make a pie crust.

The pie took a little extra time to bake but passed the knife test and came out clean. I cut it to take pictures and found it was a little mushy. Hopefully after sitting in the fridge all night chilling it will be good for dessert.

If everyone likes this pie I will definitely make it again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Funny Little man

Little Man has become quite the conversationalist and entertainer over the last few weeks. Last night topped the cake though. He has always loved to play the guitar so we didn't think too much of it when he brought out the ukulele to play. Of course when he started singing "I am the music in me!!!" at the top of his voice and making various rock star faces Bobby and I started to laugh. We were even more tickled when he held the ukulele out to the side, put his hand on his stomach and took a bow. he then proceeded to walk out of the room while waving to us. Hilarious!!

I can't wait for more of those moments to come.

Work, Work, Work

That is all I have to talk about this week. So far so good. I am sure there is a lot more to learn than I already have but it was a weird week to start. People are out and transferred so i am just learning as I go. I have also read 3/4 of a Dean Koontz novel.

I am thinking about joining another weekly cooking club called Craving Ellie in my Belly...we'll see. I need to get the cookbook if I am going to join..hint hint.

For you full time working mamas out there, how do you make time for all of the other stuff at home? Cooking, Laundry, Cleaning, etc.... Yeah, that has kind of gone by the wayside this week. We have gotten up at 6 every morning, bathed, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten and lunches made. We have made it almost everyday to where we are supposed to be on time. I don't get home until 6:30 at night. Bobby is getting home in time to pick the kiddos up from school but has had to run them places so they don't get to eat. Bedtime is at 8.......30ish so I get to see my kids for and hour and a half for the entire day. By then I am beat and just want to go to bed.
How do you balance every thing?

Christmas is coming!! Can you feel the excitement in the air? No? Not yet? I think we will be breaking out the Christmas CDs over the next couple of weeks. I know, I know, there are some of you out there that pulled them out the day after Halloween. I just can't do it that early.
In that vein, what is your favorite Christmas song?
Alrighty then, back to work. Hope you are all having a great day in cyberland!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

Here I am on day 3.5 of my new job. Not a bad gig so far. The hardest things for me has been leaving my little guy all day long. The transition to Kindergarten was hard for me with my Munchkin but 1st grade has been a breeze. It helps that she loves it.

Little man is hanging out with a good friend of mine this week and he is doing fantastic. She even took him to school with her yesterday to help out so he got to have lunch with Munchkin. I was happy about that.

Next week is Thanksgiving break. That will all be good family time for us and then Little Man will start preschool the following week. That I am not looking forward to. I think he will love it after a few days but those first few days are going to be hard on me. When we checked it out one of his favorite things was the little kitchen. He misses ours so he immediately started trying to cook when he saw it.

I didn't cry after dropping Little man off this morning so I guess that is a step in the right direction. 2 more days to the weekend and an entire week of hanging out with both of my sweet kiddos and my sweet hubby!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

{TWD} Rice Pudding? Nope Snickery Squares

There are few things that do not pass my lips. Cottage Cheese, flan and mushrooms are on that list as well as rice pudding. I don't care how much chocolate goes in it, I just couldn't do it.

The recipe that drew me to Tuesdays with Dorie was the Snickery Squares. While using Stumbleupon I came across the recipe for it and had to try it. Well, I burned out the motor on my blender trying to make them and had to wait until I could get a food processor. Then I had to try and find Dulce de Leche. I finally found some at Walmart in the Mexican food section.

I have tons of pictures but of course don't actually have them here so they will have to be posted later. One of my favorite parts of making these was making the sugared peanuts that go in them. I think I should have used more of them in the recipe except Bobby and I ate half of them before they could get into the pan. He was under the impression I made those extra so when he came and got a bowl to grab a bunch more I had to slap his hand! :)

I will definitely make these again. I used semisweet chocolate though and will probably use dark the next time.

If you haven't tried these, they are a must!!
Sorry about not doing rice pudding this week, I just couldn't do it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What kind of Cupcake are you?

Gretchen at Canela and Comino posted this on her site and couldn't resist. You know I love a good cupcake. I don't know about my quiz results. You can read them and see if you agree.... :)
The Dozen Cupcakes Quiz
Dark Chocolate Cupcake "dark chocolate cake made with east end brewing co.'s black strap stout, covered with dark chocolate ganache and topped with irish cream buttercream"

You are dark and sensuous, mysterious and decadent. You appreciate the finer things in life and you have expensive taste. With a sharp, sometimes deceptive wit, you manipulate the world around you to suit your taste, but never let anyone see the power you wield.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Party

Day one of the job went without a hitch. I felt a little invisible for a while but I think people thought I was a temp. It was a weird day to start as it was University of Phoenix's very first ever Homecoming. My new boss had been painting and running around all day and the girl I am replacing was chomping at the bit to leave.

After completing paperwork so I can have access to all of the fun computer systems I was left to fend for myself. Fridays, I am told, are typically really slow as there are no classes on campus that day. I answered the phone about 4 times and had 2 people walk in. Within twenty minutes of sitting at the desk I had familiarized myself with the phone list and who does what in which department. I had also gone through every cabinet, and had changed the ink cartridge in the laser jet printer.

A few people came by to say hello and to tell me what they do. Everyone seems nice. Interesting though how you can read people sometimes....first impressions are important. I did meet one guy who worked with a guy in Chicago that I had worked with in California. Weird!

When a couple of girls brought balloons to my desk I thanked them for having such a nice party for my first day. They laughed and said they were good like that.

The Alumni event was taking place on the fifth floor. I took the glass elevator up and enjoyed rosemary and lemon chicken skewers, meatballs, fruit and brucestta. There was an open bar but I stuck to trusty Sparkling Apple Cider. Martinellis is my favorite!

After hearing a State Senator and the Vice President of the school speak I left and went to LifeGroup.
I think my transition into the job will not be difficult. The difficult transition will be putting Little Man in preschool.

Not a bad first day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slight Freak Out in Action

We have been struggling for some time with our finances. Part of it has to do with refinancing our house and being young and stupid about it. We trusted a guy who got fired from his job for lying to his clients. We pay all of out health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance out of pocket. We have cut our cable and our home phone. Part of our problem stems from being self employed over the last few years. When you get paid $400 one month it is a little difficult to pull out the money for taxes the next month when you are playing catch up.

I have been home with our kiddos since Munchkin was born. In that time I have taught flute lessons and have sold Pampered Chef to make a little extra money. When I sold Pampered Chef I made just enough to bump us into the next tax bracket so it made it worse for us instead of better. I have felt blessed to stay home with my kids even though finances were tight. Well, when our house didn't sell it seemed like the time to start looking for a job. I know the economy is in the tank right now and people are losing their jobs left and right.

I got offered a job yesterday. I was given until the end of today to decide. I start on Friday. I have serious trust issues with people taking care of my children. I volunteer at Munchkins school and Little Man gets to go to My Gym once a week. I have to suck it up and start trusting that God is going to provide people to take care of my kids that will love them like I do. I am going to miss volunteering and being able to go to lunch every week. I am going to miss taking Little Man to My Gym. But, we need the money.

Little Man says he wants to go to school. I guess we'll see after his first week in daycare what he thinks. Please pray that this is the right decision for our family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

{TWD} Kugelhopf

Kugel-what??? Last week Rugelach this week Kugelhopf. I think I need a dictionary! :)
I have a lot of friends that are all about purging and getting rid of "Stuff". In April we were working on getting our house ready to put on the market and were trying to purge our outdated, unused items. I had these things in my utensil drawer I had never used before and had no clue what to use them for. So, like any good purger I got rid of them with a bunch of other utensils I have never used before. Turns out those corkscrew looking things I had never used before were the dough hooks for my Sunbeam mixer. In April I wasn't baking...at all. I take that back, I was baking as long as it came out of a box and took very little preparation.

Yesterday I read the recipe for Kugelhopf (spellcheck wants to put in Bellhop instead of Kugelhopf right here) and saw the part where you are supposed to use a dough hook. I got on my trusty Google to find out exactly what a dough hook is. Yeah...I was pretty ticked that I got rid of my dough hooks. That hurts for a packrat that holds onto everything "just in case".

The recipe did say you could do this with a wooden spoon as well so I was only worried about how much my arm was going to to hurt from mixing with a wooden spoon.

The process was long but worthwhile. I used chocolate chips instead of raisins since my family is anti-raisin. Once I got everything mixed I set it out on top of my stove to double in size. It didn't seem to double and it was really sticky. Once it was in the fridge though it started to rise and finally after sitting on the top of the stove again for 3 hours it was ready to bake.

I am not sure it rose as much as it was supposed to and my "unmolding process" took a turn for the worse. It completely broke apart when I was trying to get it out of the pan. Before it was even cool my kids were at my side asking for a piece. Munchkin's first question was "It doesn't have any fruit in it right?". I told her it didn't and before I could even get a piece for me she was back for a second piece. Little Man downed his piece quickly. Bobby had some when he got home and texted me a "yummy" message. So this was a hit in our house but it was really time consuming. A great recipe for a day when you don't have much going on.

Thanks to Landa of The All Purpose Girl for the recipe selection this week. You should be able to find the entire recipe on her site. Make sure to check out Tuesdays with Dorie to see how over 300 other bakers fared.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tennessee Fall

I love fall in Tennessee. I love the colors and the crisp air. And, I have been loving that it is not terribly cold yet. Our neighbors tree looks like it is on fire right now and I love it. In a few weeks that tree will be totally naked. Every year this beautiful tree turns bright yellow and overnight every leaf is on the ground. It makes great piles of leaves for jumping in and playing leaf monster.
Up the street from up there is a sugar maple that is on its way to a beautiful red. Our silver maple is starting to turn yellow. All through our neighborhood fall is making itself known with amazing technicolor.


Every year about this time I think about a book I had when I was a little girl. It was called "The Fall of Freddy the Leaf". I think it may have been a book about death but I remember it being all about the life cycle of Freddy. Now that I think about it I think I will see if I can find it for my kids.

I love fall. I am ready for hot chocolate and gloves.
Do you like fall as much as I do?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Surprise!

A few weeks ago Munchkin brought home a paper describing her sunflower that she had planted. The pictures she had drawn were details of beginning, middle and end. She fully expected to have a sunflower when her little plant bloomed. Well, she brought home her little seedling and Bobby and I both had passing thoughts that the leaves didn't look quite right for a sunflower. The seed taped to the outside of the cup was right so we didn't really question it until the leaves started to wind their way up the window. Hm....kind of like a bean plant....weird.

The plant started to flower and our thoughts were confirmed when peas started sprouting from Munchkins "sunflower".


Munchkin had lovingly watered her plant and made sure it was in the sun. So, when we told her we didn't think it was a sunflower she was furious! She said "PEAS CANNOT GROW FROM A SUNFLOWER SEED!!!!!"


We explained that the seed probably got mixed up after they were planted and she insisted that they couldn't have. Well apparently they did as we now have peas growing on our kitchen windowsill. Maybe we should try to grow more things accidentally, then I won't kill them.


It took Munchkin a few days to get used to the idea that she had peas instead of a beautiful sunflower but now she is quite proud of her surprise peas.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Writing

Writing 50,000 words is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I am up to 758 words so far. Yeah, I am supposed to be at 8,888 words so far. Bummer. Maybe I will make it, maybe not. But at least I am trying. If you want to sign up go here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I voted, did you? I am not a fan of politics. It makes people crazy! I am not a huge fan of either candidate but chose the one I did with a lot of thought and a lot of prayer. I am one of those swing voters out there that could have gone either way. I come from a line of Republicans but I resonate deeply with some of the Democrats arguments. I believe people should have the right to health care...we are paying around $600 a month out of pocket for health insurance and it is practically bankrupting us. But, we choose to get it. It would be nice if it was provided but I also don't want to die waiting for a surgery. I agreed more with the Republicans than the Democrats so that is the way my vote fell.
I hate discussing politics as there are so many more smart well spoken people you can talk to about it. Half the time I feel like I have no right to an opinion because I will be blasted by certain people that think they have it all figured out. But, it is my right to vote and I did that today. I thank God for the country I live in that I actually get to vote for the next President of the United States. Will it make a difference? I guess we will see tonight!

{TWD} Rugelach


Yum, Yum, Yum! I loved this recipe this week! The procrastinator in me waited until yesterday to actually make it so I was baking at 10:30 last night. Thanks goes out to Piggy from Piggys Cooking Journal for choosing this weeks recipe. You can find the recipe at her site.

My daughter wanted me to have lunch with her yesterday so I took the time after meeting her to head out and pick up ingredients for the Rugelach. Of course, when I got home I realized I didn't have the cream cheese for the pastry. So, after picking her up from school, we went to ANOTHER store to get cream cheese.

I made the dough in my brand spanking new Food Processor! I was amazed at its efficiency! You know, when the motor doesn't burn out like my blender did when trying to make snickery squares, it is going to be a good day!

My next item to purchase is going to have to be a rolling pin. Nope, I don't have one. I have a roller thingy from Pampered Chef, but it is just not the same.

My dough balls rolled out OK but they seemed really thin and then I PILED on the jam, nuts, cranberries, and chocolate. I love me some chocolate and raspberry so for me I knew this would be a winning combination.

Yep, that would be red decorating sugar as ANOTHER trip to the store was not in the cards last night. Jay Leno and the sloth on his show got our full attention as my hubby and I waited impatiently for the Rugelach cooled.

The verdict:
I thought these were delicious. I thought about cutting them into 8 triangles instead of 16 to make them bigger but the little portion is just right. Like I said I love raspberry and chocolate together so it was a delicious dessert for me.

Bobby: Thought they were OK but is not a fan of cooked fruit. He said he would like it better with just chocolate and nuts...so next time I think I will be trying it with nutella and toffee.

Little Man: Ate it up this morning with out any complaint. That one though loves anything sweet.

Munchkin: Made a face and said she did not like it. She doesn't like nuts or cooked fruit.

So, I will make it again with Nutella and see if Munchkin and her daddy like it better then!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Post # 700!!!


Well folkie polkies! This is my 700th post! Crazy I know. What am I doing to celebrate 700 posts you ask? Thanks for asking! I am going to write a novel! I guess that won't be in my post but that is what I am doing this month. My sister wrote a novel last year with Nanowrimo and I decided I should do it this year. It may end up being lame but at least I am doing it. I have written 444 words so far with a goal of 50,000 by the end of the month. Think I can do it? Wish me luck!!