Monday, February 25, 2008

How to involve multiple little ones?

Perhaps some of you ladies could lend me a few of your ideas. My children are aged 4.5, 3, and 1.5. And they ALL want to be mommy's little helpers. Believe me, I LOVE the fact that they want to be with me and help, but I struggle in coming up with ideas on how to involve them in my activities. My hands are out-numbered! Do I make them take turns? Or are there ways to involve them all at the same time?

What do you ladies do?

Homemade Sausage and Biscuits

Even my picky eater (aka Benjamin) liked this today. Yummy!

Biscuits Supreme
(from the kitchen of Rebekah M.)

2 cups flour (or 1-1/2 C. white + 1/2 C. wheat)
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup shortening (butter Crisco is good)
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 tsp. vinegar with 3/4 cup milk)

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add milk all at once, and stir until dough follows fork around in bowl.
Pat or roll to 1/2" thick. Cut into biscuits. (I use a canning jar ring.)
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 450F for 10-12 min.s

Meat Gravy
Makes: 1 cup/2 servings
(recipe doubles well)
Good with any kind of breakfast meat!

2 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. flour (can use wheat)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk (can use reconstituted dry milk)
pepper to taste
cooked breakfast meat

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper.
Add milk all at once. Cook quickly, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles.
Add breakfast meat and cook until heated through. (For a doubled batch, we use about a pound of cooked meat.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nursing Covers

Upon our recent visit to Peoria, one of the ladies there had recently ordered a nursing cover for a new mom she knew. Too cute!!! Check them out here! (I kinda got a chuckle out of the name.) Very stylish! I'm thinking about getting one for baby #4.

I'm at 23 weeks!!!

Here's a pic I found on the web of a 23 week old baby. Even though this is my fourth time around the pregnancy block, I still stand in awe at God's handiwork in creation. Our baby is approximately 11 inches long and weighs about a pound. He/she is pretty much fully developed, just small and thin. His/her lungs also need to mature significantly. Our baby sure is an active little critter- especially when I want to sleep! My midwife was telling me that while I'm up and moving about my day, my movements rock the baby to sleep. But when I kick my heels up and rest, he/she then decides to wake up. Unfortunately, this pattern continues post-birth. That's why newborns almost always have their days and nights mixed up for a while. What an amazing miracle!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pomegranate love

In our home, we recently discovered a wonderfully tasty fruit, the pomegranate.

If you've never tasted one, you have GOT to try it. At first I wasn't sure how to even eat one. So if you're like me, go to this site and it will tell you how. You may want to do the "de-seeding" in a bowl of water because the juice is so dark it easily stains cutting boards, counter tops, table tops, etc. My kids just LOVE to eat this fruit as a snack. To boot, there are many health benefits to this lovely fruit: see here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I just had to

I posted this on our family blog... but it was just so cute I had to share it with everyone.

Cassandra's rendition of "Jesus Loves Me":

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My first turkey dinner!

I know, I know... by the age of 28 I should have done this already... but yesterday was truly my first Thanksgiving-ish turkey dinner, complete with homemade Oyster Dressing and Garlic Buttered Mashed Red Potatoes. It was YUMMY!!! I'm such a nerd that I took progressional pics:

Oyster Dressing (prior to being stuffed in the turkey)

My 12 lb. foul, stuffed, buttered, and seasoned with poultry seasoning

Garlic Buttered Mashed Red Potatoes
(thanks KitchenAid mixer!)

Done in 3.5 hours

The Oyster Dressing is a Perry family tradition. I called RD's grandmother to get the recipe and she was thrilled to hear that this recipe would be passed down to now the FOURTH generation. Please don't be yucked out by the concept of "oysters" being in the dressing. It is really quite yummy and those who have tried it before they knew the "secret ingredient" have all been impressed by it's flavor. IT DOES NOT TASTE FISHY! Here's the recipe for those of you who are brave enough to try a little something new and unique... but wonderfully tasty.

Oyster Dressing

1 lb. Saltine crackers (white or wheat), crushed
4 oz. oysters (partially frozen), chopped fine
9 medium eggs (or 12 small)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1-1/2 cups celery (leaves & stalks), chopped fine
2 Tbl. parsley
6 oz. melted butter
1 cup milk
pepper to taste
1/2 green & red peppers for color (optional)

Mix above ingredients together in order given and be sure it is moist and pasty. Do not stuff turkey until ready to bake. Let set in fridge overnight.
May need to add a bit of milk the next day before stuffing if too dry. Should be moldable (almost like a meatloaf).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Traditional Medicinals

I've had a growing interest in herbs and nutritional healing for some time now. I'm still very new at it, but I thought I would pass along some information on a brand of tea that has really helped in my family.

Back when I birthed Cassandra at home, Ralph and I had to order a birth kit. The kit included this tea that was supposed to aid in the production of breast milk. I drank it as prescribed and my milk came in in a record 1.5 days! That was the fastest ever for me! The tea was called Mother's Milk Tea and it was manufactured by a company called Traditional Medicinals.

I highly recommend these teas. And I was thrilled to know that I didn't have to order it on-line. I've found it at our local natural foods/herb store and, surprisingly, our Kroger had it in the health food section.

We recently purchased their Seasonal Tea for colds/sore throats and it's been working wonderfully this winter season.

Try it and see what you think.

*Our family prefers their tea iced. It doesn't seem to affect the healing properties.
*For 2-qt.s, I steep (8) tea bags in a bit of boiling water (approx. 2 cups) for 10-12 min.s; pour in container; add 1/3 cup sugar and stir until completely dissolved; add water to 2-qt. line; chill in fridge. Can substitute with Splenda or Stevia.

Pot Roast with Gravy

Thanks, Taste of Home!

Pot Roast with Gravy
1 beef bottom round roast (5 pounds)
6 Tbl. balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 bay leaves
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/2 cup boiling water
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

Cut roast in half; rub with 2 Tbl. vinegar. Combine salt, garlic powder, and pepper; rub over meat. In a large skillet, brown meat in oil on all sides. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker.

Place the garlic, bay leaves and onion on roast. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in boiling water; stir in soup and remaining vinegar. Slowly pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove roast. Discard bay leaves. Pour juices over meat as gravy.

*If you like the taste of beef cooked in red wine, then you will really enjoy this roast.

Current pics

I just realized it's been like FOREVER since I posted current pics of my family.

My dear, sweet hubby and I back in October '07

My growing family:
(from left to right) Arianna, Ralph, Benjamin, me, and Cassandra

Here's me at 18 weeks with baby #4

Here's our family again at our annual Peoria visit with friends
this past January '08

*For anyone interested, if you would like access to our family weblog (which is private), please e-mail me at: and I can e-mail you an invitation.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More stuff on the Pill

Here's a more in-depth/medical look at the Pill and it's abortificient properties: