Friday, January 26, 2007

Cooking question

Do any of you ladies have recipes that call for just egg yolks? Just curious, because I have a lot of recipes that call for just the egg white. It seems wasteful to throw away all those yolks. Got any ideas?

Miles per day

Just out of sheer curiosity, I borrowed my father-in-law's pedometer to track how much I walk in any given day. I chose this past Wednesday. Let's see... I babysat my niece for about 2 hours in the AM, went grocery shopping (Aldi & LoBill's) in the afternoon, and did a topical dusting on the furniture... all wearing the pedometer from the moment my feet his the floor in the AM until I went to bed in the PM. On that typical Wednesday... I walked 3.6 miles!!! So... you stay-at-home wives/moms... don't be fooled. You DO get your exercise!!! ha ha ha

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Merry (Belated) Christmas

WOO-HOO! I'm getting my own sling!!! This is the one I'm getting, thanks to the coolest sister in the world. Thanks so much, Cyndi. What a surprise! Maybe we'll start a trend here in Peru!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cassandra's 8 mo. pics

Now available on the Family Weblog.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Peoria pics!!!

Check out the family weblog for Peoria pics.

Monday, January 15, 2007

10 Soup Basics

Food For Thought: Ten Soup Basics

Posted by: "FLYLADY" sheflylady

Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:36 am (PST)

Dear Friends,

One of the most wonderful comfort foods under the sun is soup. Great
big soup, not anemic wimpy soup that you can sip with a straw.

I am not one of those that believe soup should be served as a first
course. First courses are for people who have butlers. For the rest of
us work-a-day stiffs, we need rib-sticking, hale and hearty Soup,
capital S.

The problem with these kinds of soups is the unfortunate propensity
for a nice, thick soup to feed a nice, thick waistline. What we want
is warm, robust, soul satisfying soups without all the fat and
calories. The question then is—how do we do that?

Here are my Top Ten Ways to Make Great Soup (and without all the

1. Skim the Surface. If you're using a ham bone or a chicken carcass
to make soup from, you'll get a lovely broth, but you'll also get a
heck of a lot of fat. That's easy to dispense of. Once you've made
your homemade broth and removed the solids, chill the broth for a few
hours or overnight. The fat will rise to the top, solidify, and make
it easy to skim right off.

2. Can It. There are a multitude of wonderful, nearly fat free broths
already made and available for purchase at your local grocery store. I
find the low-sodium chicken broth to be a close second place to my
homemade and definitely a first place in timesaving!

3. Chill Out. If you already made your soup and you didn't first
de-grease your broth, you can do it even as it sits on the stovetop.
Throw a few ice cubes in your soup and watch how the grease migrates
to them. Pull the ice out (with its cling-on greasy friends) and
dispose of them before they melt.

4. Decrease the grease. Another way to get rid of the extra fat in
soup is to use a lettuce leaf. Weird, I know (talk about your soup and
salad!), but if you float a big old lettuce leaf in your pot of soup,
it's like screaming, "Buffet!" to the little grease blobs—they come
running to the big leaf and cling to it like a life raft.

5. Flavor Saver. If you sauté the onions and other veggies before
adding them to the soup pot, you will add extra flavor to your soup.
The veggies themselves will retain their flavors rather than giving it
all up to the soup and having everything taste the same.

6. The Frozen Chosen. Use frozen veggies, such as corn, petite peas
and beans to cut your prep time way down. Just remember they will
continue to cook as your soup simmers so you need to be careful when
you add them.

7. Scrap Heap. Rather than chuck your leftovers, why not save them and
make soup out of them? Leftover veggies, meats and pasta will all add
a new dimension to your soup. Simply freeze your little leftovers and
on soup day, add it all in to the same pot. True, your soup will never
taste the same, but it will be good and definitely unique.

8. Thicker Stock. It's easy to thicken up your frail little soup with
a modest amount of instant potato flakes. Just be sure you look for
the kind without the trans fats and you're good to go.

9. Lean and Green. Soup is a great place to get your kids (and other
picky eaters) to eat their veggies. Some kids and grown ups hate
broccoli but adore cream of broccoli soup—and it can be made without
the cream and still be just as wonderful.

10. A Change of Seasonings. Sometimes your soup loses the oomph it
once had and that's because your seasoning needs to be corrected.
Don't be afraid to taste and re-taste your soup as necessary (just go
easy—you don't want to have a full soup meal before you sit down to
the table!) and add a little more seasoning if it needs it.

There you go—ten quick basics on making great soup. Enjoy!


Sermon From Sunday

While visiting Peoria, we attended Northwoods Community Church. We heard a sermon that I just had to share with you. There might be a way to download the sermon from their web page, but here are the notes I took:

The "More Monster"
Greed: excessive desire for more

Greed is desire gone haywire.
Surrender is desire gone higher (entrusted to God).

Signs of the "More Monster":
1- Discontentment with your income or possessions
"Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have..." Hebrews 13:5
-contentment always flows out of surrender
2- Inability to live within your income
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Prov. 22:7
-you know you're in the grip of greed when your yearnings exceed your earnings
-Intelligent Borrowing vs. Stupid Debt
3- Engaging in impulse shopping/spending in order to feel better
4- Fractured relationships over money issues
"And He said the them, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.' " Luke 12:15
5- Inner resistance to giving anything to God
"Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:7
-"cheerful"= hilarious

Stay on Guard Against Greed in Your Life:
1- Get your delight right and your desires will follow
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4
"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it for you." John 14:14
-hunger for God
2- Practice gratitude in your life
"...In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess. 5:18
3- Involve God in your money management and spending decisions
"It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it." Prov. 10:22
4- Generously share with others
"... it is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35
5- Put God's kingdom work first
"Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce..." Prov. 3:9
-"first fruits" NOT "leftovers"

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Where is your heart and desire today?
Are you more focused on "things" than on God?
Is the "More Monster" attacking your life?

Today, let us focus on God. Let us ask Him to put our desires aright. Ask Him to change our hearts so that we want Him more than we want earthly possessions and money.

Another cool wife and mom website

Was roaming about Yahoo groups and came across an online fellowship linked to a web page entitled The Patriarch's Path. I signed up for their daily digest. Their website has a ton of resources and articles to read about being a godly wife and mom. Check it out!

PS- there's also a ton of stuff for the guys as they seek to become Godly leaders of the home.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


So fun! We're packing up as we speak to head out to Peoria, IL to hang out with a clan of friends RD's known since he was young. All of them are from Peru, IN but have since dispersed across the U.S. We try to get together as a group at least one time a year, if not twice. Woo hoo! We're pumped. It's always a ton of fun hanging out with RD's buddies, their wives and now, their kids. There will be 6 kids under the age of 5 there this weekend. It'll be crazy, but fun... and maybe a few other adjectives. :-) We'll be back sometime Sunday. I'll be sure to post pics when we return. Until then... have a FANTASTIC weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tomato Staking

Ever here the term "tomato staking" in reference to child care? I hadn't until I came across the Raising Godly Tomatoes website. The only reason I looked at the site initially was because it had a weird/cool name. I am SO grateful and thankful that I came across it. It's amazing!

As I was reading along the web page, I eventually got to the article called "Tomato Staking". You can read it for yourself here. The basic gist of the article is this: to discipline/train up your child, you must first know your child; to know your child, you must spend lots of time with your child. There's different variations of tomato staking, but basically, you are to involve you kid(s) in pretty much any and every activity you are doing so that you can monitor their behavior and attend to sin issues of the heart before discipline, spanking, or negative consequences are required. Not to say you won't ever have to discipline, but if you catch and correct the heart issue before it becomes sin, the need for discipline will be greatly reduced. It has completely changed how I view and interact with my children!

This past month or so, I have been trying (as much as I can) to tomato stake Arianna and Benjamin (esp. Benjamin because he's the one I have the most difficulty with). One would think that since I spend all my days at home that I would just "know" my kids, but I quickly discovered that I didn't. I used to think that Arianna was just an over-emotional female who whined all day because that's just something hormonal 3 years old did. But I've been realizing that she's very sensitive to schedule changes, stress in her environment, inconsistent parenting or rules, and the emotional states of others. When things are in order, when RD and I are consistent (in parenting, rules, and life in general), and she has limited options, she is way more at peace, is less whiney, and less emotional. I used to think Benjamin was out to hurt, destroy and annoy anything living. But since I've been tomato staking him, I realized that he retaliates because he's provoked (by Arianna), needs EXPLICIT instructions, and that he needs specific time limits for activities. I realized that my children rarely have nasty attitudes in their hearts. They truly want to please RD and I and are grieved when they know they sinned or have disobeyed/hurt us. I'm starting to understand their HEART rather than merely focusing on their actions. There's starting to be real training in our home rather than consequence after consequence after consequence. I'm not constantly chasing after them all day discipling them for bad behavior. I'm no longer resigning myself to the fact that "that's just what 2 and 3 years old are like... I just have to endure it." I'm actually starting to enjoy my children!!! I'm not saying my children were absolute hellions or anything, but we were having WAY TOO MANY discipline issues occurring during the day. It was getting to the point where I was starting to not like my kids because I couldn't get anything done all day besides discipline them.

If you're having lots of discipline issues with your kids, perhaps you should try reading that Raising Godly Tomatoes website. That lady has a LOT of Biblical insight and wisdom. We're no way from perfect in my home, but things are definitely a lot better as I am starting to learn my children and involve them in my life/activities.

New Pics!!!

Check out the Family Weblog for Holiday photos of my kids. They're CUTE!!! (Of course, I'm partial.) :-)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Home remedy for ear ache

I had mentioned earlier today that our family has endured a lot of sickness this Christmas season. One of the most recent illnesses has been a nasty sinus infection. Unfortunately, all five of us got it, just not all at the same time (praise be to God!). RD and Cassandra seem to have gotten hit the worst. They are currently on the path of recovery.

Anywho's... to boot, Cassandra's cutting her first two bottom front teeth. They are right there at the entry gate but not quite through the surface. Yesterday, she had a fever of 100.6F, green runny nose, and was starting to pull at her ears (as though they were achey).

I've been hearing a lot about natural healing/home remedies and have sort of been interested in checking it out, but have been overwhelmed with the information available. I knew my midwife with Cassandra's birth was into it so I gave her a call. She had me try garlic. Sounds crazy, but it worked!

Garlic for Ear Aches
-Bring to body temperature this mixture: 4 drops olive oil to 1 drop garlic juice and rub on ear

I combined 12 drops of olive oil to 4 drops of freshly pressed garlic juice, mixed it well, dipped a Q-tip in it, and swabbed the whole outside of the ear (anything exposed; avoiding the ear canal). It worked like a charm. In a matter of like 20 mins., she was back to the happy, cooing baby she normally is. It worked, but Cassandra sure was fragrant. WOW! We kept calling her our little "stir-fry" last night. ha ha ha. Two applications over the span of an evening and we haven't had any signs or symptoms of an ear ache with her since.

My midwife also suggested drops called CBG that you can purchase at a health food store. The drops are for any age and can be dropped in the ear or taken internally. She says she is never without it- that it works fantastic. I think we'll look into it.

Anyone else into herbal remedies? I'd love to talk with you. Please respond.

More yummies from the Duckwall kitchen

Sergio Chicken
2 lbs. chicken
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup crushed Corn Flakes
1 pkg. Ranch dry mix

Dip chicken in melted butter or olive oil. Roll in dry mixture. Bake at 350F for approx. 45 min.

English Muffin Bread
6 cups flour
2 packages yeast
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
corn meal

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda.
Heat liquids until very warm. Add to dry mixture; beat well. Stir in enough more flour to make a stiff batter. Spoon into two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2" pans that have been greased and sprinkled with corn meal.
Cover; let rise in warm place for 45 min.s.
Bake at 400F for 25 mins.
Remove from pans immediately and cool.

I'm back on the blogging track!

Wow... with the Holidays, travel, and family sickness, it's been a severe hit-or-miss thing concerning my updating this blog. Now that the dust is settling, I'll be sure and keep y'all current.

Thanks for your patience.