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Showing posts from 2012

2012 in Review

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Well, today is the last day of 2012.

This has been a year of ups and downs and, honestly, as I read back through my blog this year, I'm not very happy with where this year has taken me.  Instead of an extensive recap (I'm still recovering from pneumonia and my stamina is short today), here's a run down of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good
* Teaching Jazzercise
* My new class that I taught this fall
* Loving my career as a university professor
* John getting Endorsed for Candidacy for Ordination (BIG yay!)
* Getting a lot done toward my dissertation
* The children finishing first grade, starting second grade - we love their school and feel so very blessed to have the option to send them there!
* A free piano and inexpensive piano lessons for the children
* Loosing 3 clothes sizes (I'm not going to mention pounds :)  )
* The children's ability to read improving so much
* Ditto for handwriting
* Being able to take our Anniversary retreat at the last minute
* …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 30 and Pantry Challenge!

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Can you believe 2012 is almost done?  I'm not sure I'm ready but the last half of the year has been a bear and I'm definitely ready for a fresh start!

One of the things that we're doing for January is an eat from the Pantry Challenge.  We haven't done a ton of grocery shopping the last few weeks - picked up some milk here and there and only did one "real" shopping trip between Thanksgiving and now but for some reason, our freezers are packed to the gills (John put the stew meat I bought Saturday in our upstairs freezer - the one attached to the fridge - and said "Don't open that! Everything will fall out!") and so is our pantry and our kitchen cabinets.  They're also a mess and need to cleaned out. 
So for January, our grocery/toiletry/paper product budget for the month is $50.
Yep, you read that right - $50.  I already put together a menu for January using what we have and we have veggies, meat/protein and starches basically covered so …

Merry Christmas

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From our house to yours....

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Goals - Week of December 9, 2012

Things still continue to amaze me.

My Dad ended back in the hospital on Friday. His blood pressure was 86/60.  Yikes!  Turns out his medication is way off and so they took him off it and are letting him re-adjust.  Still need to solve that internal bleeding problem, but that part is stable and shouldn't change as long as he doesn't try to do too much.  He's tired, so reading, watching TV and a little bit of writing are his big activities right now. 

We're nearing the end of the semester for me. WHEW!  I'm sure ready for a break.  We have about a week and a half of chaos left and then we're done. Whoot.  Except for grading but everything but a final term paper will be done at that time.  Then I can relax and spend some time enjoying my family and finally get well again! At least that's the plan!

 Here's how I did last week:

Work:
Grading
Be Prepared for each class period
Update class web pages
Take notes from the book I borrowed from a colleague 

Schoo…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 9, 2012

We've got a busy week this week and we're eating a lot of chicken.  I went through the freezer and basically we have chicken and a little bit of pork plus a few other rather random things for meat right now.  That means eat chicken!   I'm planning on buying a ham this week since they're on sale for 89cents/lb and we'll see what else we can get into our freezer over the next couple of weeks.  I'm planning an eat from the pantry and freezer month for January so we'll be able to empty out and start over a bit again!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:
  Breakfast:  Apples with Peanut Butter, Blackberry Scones
  Lunch: Leftovers
  Snack: Christmas Cookies and Lefse
  Dinner:  Lasagna, Tossed Salad, Bread Sticks

Monday:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch:  Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Ham and Cheese Crepes, Tossed Salad, Apple-Pineapple-Banana Salad

Tuesday:
  Breakfast:  Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
  L…

In the Refiner's Fire - Sometimes I'm Just Amazed

Sometimes I'm just amazed at how God manages to get our attention.

Sunday evening I got a call from my Mom. 

They had gone out to brunch after church with some friends after church.  When Dad got up to pay the bill, he passed out - and ended up going to the hospital.

It turns out he is bleeding internally (quite a bit) and they don't really know why.  It's not the usual culprits, so he has to have tests, tests and more tests.

Thankfully he's home now - supposedly resting and taking it easy - but he has to go in daily to monitor his blood pressure and blood volume.  After 3 days in the hospital, he's very thankful to be home.  We're very grateful that his heart and brain "look fabulous for someone 80 years old" and in the case of his brain, better than 92% of most Americans as the doctor put it (where he pulled that statistic from, I have no idea).  We just have to find the cause of the bleeding.

On top of that both the kids and I had the flu over the…

Goals Week of December 2, 2012

Well, I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and that everyone was able to spend some time relaxing.

We did.  And it was fantastic.  We got to spend a lot of time with family and now I'm still slowly on the mend from pneumonia, the sinus infection and a bout of the flu that ran through our house after all of that!  Yikes. I think in terms of sickness I'm more than ready for 2012 to be done!

I actually got almost everything on my to-do list from the week of November 11th done - though it took two weeks rather than one.  I'm perfectly okay with that.

Here's what I'm hoping for this week:

Work:
Grading
Be prepared for class each class period
Update class web pages
Take notes from a book I borrowed from a colleague and return the book

School:
Meet with my adviser
Move 2 books from school to work
Write 2-5 pages.

Jazzercise:
Teach 4 classes
Submit my November paperwork
Learn 2 new routines

My Family:
Piano x2
Scouts
Dance x 4
Family Night:  Dinner out with extended f…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of December 2, 2012

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We're into warm-weather food here this week!  It doesn't seem like true winter here yet.  We're warmer than normal (low 40s F) with no snow.  Instead, we have a threat of freezing rain and even had a "freezing fog" (!!!) advisory today.  YUCK!   At least I can stay inside where it's nice and warm most of the time and warm my tummy with nice warm things like soup and spaghetti and stew.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, December 2:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch: Tomato Soup and Turkey Sandwiches, Cut Apples and Pears
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Apple-Banana-Grape Salad

Monday, December 3:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Cinnamon
  Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Cheese Stick and Apple
  Dinner: Cracker Baked Chicken, Rice, Tossed Salad, Grape-Apple-Pineapple Salad

Tuesday, December 4:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunch: Crackers and Cheese, Carrots, Applesauce, Cookie

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Getting Ready for Christmas

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We are into the season of Advent here at our house - the season of waiting and preparing for the arrival of our Lord and Savoir. 

I love this time of year - all the twinkling lights, the smell of evergreen and the excitement that's in the air.  Baking is a big deal in our family and we take part, making favorites like sugar and ginger cookies as well as traditional family fare of krumkaka and lefse (we skip the lutefisk, thank you very much!).

We're slowly decorating here.

Right now we have the Advent Wreath up with the four purple and one white candle.

The Nativity is waiting in it's box to be taken out later this week.

The pine cones and bulbs and soft felt Christmas ornaments from my childhood are waiting to be added to the china cabinet, also later this week (hopefully).

The presents are starting to be made and some are even finished!  A few even are wrapped!

 Truly, getting ready for Christmas is one of my favorite things!

Goals - Week of November 11, 2012

By now I should definitely know better than to think things are going to get "easier" around here any time soon.  I think that's a pipe dream until both John and I are done with school and then we will have new challenges but hopefully a little more "wiggle room" in the schedule and the budget!

Last week I hit the wall with my health yet again.

I knew I was sick but I had no idea how sick. 

One thing that living with a chronic illness has taught me is that it is very hard to know if you're actually sick otherwise. At least when the illness is similar to what your chronic illness is.  I have chronic sinusitis and a chronic digestive tract problem too. 

It turned out that this last week I found out I had not only a full-blown sinus infection but a very bad case of pneumonia too.  Bad enough that I would have needed to be hospitalized if it was any worse than it was. They think I've had both for 6-8 weeks.

Yikes.
And no wonder I've been so tired.  And…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 11, 2012

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Since I'm trying really hard to recover from pneumonia (yes, you did read that right!) this week and John has an extra-busy week, I'm trying to keep meals really, really simple this week.  John was a rock-star in doing the grocery shopping for me this last Saturday - even showing the children how to pick produce at the grocery store (Love that man!) - so we have some 'easy' things in the fridge and pantry this week including 4 cans of crescent rolls that we got for a complete bargain, a frozen pizza we got for free (whoot!) and a box of macaroni and cheese we got for about 40 cents.   So we're eating a few things we don't normally eat - and I'll be eating salad with leftover turkey on it instead - but at least I don't have to try to cook big meals this week.  For that I am so very, very grateful!

Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, November 11:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch: Baked Eggs, Bacon, Cinnamon Rolls and Fruit
  Snack: Popcorn
  Di…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Rest

For the last few years we've been in a season of being busy.  Sometimes way too busy.

Both John and I being in school.
The kids starting elementary school.
John working full time plus call.
I'm work a full time job and a part-time job.
Church commitments.
Owning a home.
Needing to handle day-to-day things.
Traveling with John's ministry (though this, thankfully, has been quite minimal and mostly local).
Family events in other states.
Me fighting two chronic illnesses continually.

I could go on.

It has left me weary.


This last week God hit me upside the head with the proverbial two by four and I have been having to take some time to rest. 

More than the usual time I take, that is.  Because, you see, lately I haven't been taking much time.

Rest is good.  Very good.

And so very necessary.

There's a reason that the Lord has keeping a Sabbath day holy in His laws for our lives.  Taking that time to rest, rejuvenate and maybe do some things that get pushed aside on the ot…

In the Refiner's Fire - Decisions Made for Us

A while back I wrote about having to decide what to do about our "home" congregation and our involvement there.  You can read that post here: Decisions.

For the last several months - almost a full year even now by this time - we've been praying for an answer for what to do.

A couple of weeks ago when John had his Endorsement Hearing we received our answer.

It is very common to pass Endorsement with conditions.

One that almost everyone receives is the completion of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) from one of several accredited institutions. Occasionally someone comes into the Ordination process already having the MDiv degree - it is a Master's Degree after all, so those who want to do certain types of pastoral counseling or work in certain non-ordained positions in the church have the degree too.

One of John's cohort members needed to work public speaking skills.

Another needed to take an additional class in a particular area.

Many needed to work on their theology w…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 4, 2012

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Last week was a bear! I had thought the the previous week was tiring - no match for last week!  I guess that will teach me to complain.....

Anyway, we have a relatively quiet week this week before having another crazy couple of weeks - probably for the rest of the holiday season.   We're looking forward to the lower-key week here. 

I found baby eggplants on sale this week and bought a couple to make Eggplant Parmesan again, since John has been asking for it.  The only eggplants I had seen were really huge and I wasn't going to try making it with huge eggplants.  I also needed to get the 2nd turkey I had bought last year out of my freezer and make room for fresh.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, November 4:
   Breakfast; Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Fundraiser for the local Food shelf at church
   Snack: Popcorn, Halloween Candy
   Dinner: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Salad, Apple-Grape-Banana salad

Monday, November 5:
  Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
  Lunc…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - More Little Things

Singing with the church choir.
Lighting candles in memory of our loved ones gone home.
Hearing that a friend is now out of the hospital and into a rehab facility after a really, really, really long surgery road.
Finally getting my grading all caught up (loooong story!).
At home date night with my husband watching "Clue" on Netflix and eating bacon-horseradish dip with pretzels.
Getting some really, really good deals at the grocery store this weekend.
Having the kids so excited about playing outside in the good weather.
Getting rid of the futon that's been sitting in our garage for 6 months now!
Being able to park "my" car in the garage for the first time in 6 months. 
Seeing my best friend this morning.
My best friend being well enough to sing with the church choir today (she has terrible asthma).
Big hugs from my Buddy.
The smell of fall leaves.
Fall bonfires.
Hot tea, hot cocoa and hot coffee.
Getting an extra hour of sleep.
Getting to bed early 2 nights in…

Work Home and Family - Summer Recipes - Kale Chips

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Kale Chips
Honestly, when I was told these things were super yummy I was skeptical.  I don't care much for veggie chips or potato chips or any chips for that matter.  Fortunately, these were a totally different matter!
Ingredients: Several Fresh Kale Leaves Olive Oil (or vegetable oil)  - I used olive oil in a mister Seasonings to Taste - we liked basic salt and pepper but others like chili powder, garlic powder, Cajun spices, cayenne pepper, etc. or a combination of these.
Place kale in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.  Coat leaves lightly with oil. Turn and coat the other side.  Dust both sides with seasonings to taste.
Bake at 400F for approximately 10 minutes, or until crispy.
Note:  The recipes I read all had you toss the kale leaves in a bowl with the oil and seasonings. I found this gave a more even coverage of the oil and I used far less oil and spices using this method.  This recipe works best with very fresh kale leaves that don't droop when…

Goals - Week of October 21, 2012

Wow.

Last week was quite the week.  The biggest thing was, of course, John's Candidacy Hearing on Tuesday. I had been gone for the weekend last weekend, getting home late in the day on Sunday, and there were several other things that happened last week, too, that were emotionally taxing and physically tiring.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, we were all totally exhausted.  I actually went to bed before my children did (and my children typically go to bed by 830pm) that night!  Can you believe that? Then I slept until my "regular" get up time on Thursday morning.  I think I need it because I went to bed at 930pm on Thursday too.   I'm feeling much better now and was ready to tackle a weekend where John was on a mini-mission trip/class thing the entire weekend (Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday). 

Since I didn't write up goals for last week, I'll just go straight to this week:

Work:
* Notes for next unit for both classes.
* Update class web pages.

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 21, 2012

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It's fall weather here - soup weather!  I love the chilly weather and the warmth that soups and stews provide.  Even better - I can pop them in the crock-pot before I leave in the morning and then we are ready to eat when we get home!  Love that.  Quick, easy, yummy dinner without the temptation of take out or pre-packaged food!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 21:
    Breakfast:  Cereal and Milk
    Lunch: Waffles with Peaches
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup, French Bread, Sliced Apples

Monday, October 22:
   Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Pan Fried Tilapia, Rice, Tossed Salad, Fruit

Tuesday, October 23:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, French Bread, Fruit

Wednesday, October 24:
   Breakfast: Yogurt with Granola Ban…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - The Little Things....

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And...
My student's mid-term projects going very well - I'm so proud of them!
The lovely large bunch of "Indian Corn" that one of my husband's Endorsement Committee members gave us after the hearing.
Rain - finally!  And a whole day of it too! 
My husband being able to take some time off from work this week to spend with the kids and recover from the hearing.
Hot soup on a chilly night.
A "date" with my daughter spent coloring.  I love her color sense!
Having dinner every single night with my family.  After two years of both John and I working odd-ish hours, having all four of us home each evening is such a blessing!
Having our email in-boxes filled with happy emails celebrating John's endorsement this week. And the fantastic sermon he gave this last weekend.
Fresh home-baked bread.
Mini-pumpkins on my kitchen table.
Morning hugs from my sleepy kiddos.
We are so very blessed!  Truly these are just a few of my favorite things.

Endorsed!!!

John was endorsed yesterday!
Praise the Lord!

It was a long, exhausting day but at 430pm Tuesday 10/16 he was endorsed to continue his journey to Ordination.

We are so very thankful.


Now, hopefully, we can take a deep breath and have things get back to something with a bit more routine.




Thanks for your prayers - we definitely appreciate them!

Lea

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

John's Candidacy Interview

We've been busy here!  Why, you ask?

John has his Candidacy Interview tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10am.

What is that?

It's an interview process where the Bishop's Office, the Seminary and the Ordination Council look at John's call story, his personal theology statement, his formal and informal education and his understanding of Lutheran Doctrine and decides whether he can continue on to Ordination with our national church body, the ELCA.

If you feel lead, will you please say an extra prayer or two for him (and the rest of us) as he heads into this milestone?  We would SO appreciate it!

Thank You


I'm hoping to be back to a more regular blogging schedule later this week.

God Bless,
Lea

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

Work Home and Family - Summer Recipes - Pizza in a Dutch Oven

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So, I'm not really sure you can call this a "recipe".  Maybe "cooking method" is a better description.

Cooking Pizza in a Dutch Oven
Normally we make homemade pizza once a week at our house - either Friday or Saturday most of the time.  On our camping trip this summer, I was looking for something other than grilled meat, sandwiches or hot dogs.  I stumbled across several people talking about cooking pizza on a campfire. I'd heard of cooking pizza on a gas grill (and actually done it) but this was different.
My first idea was after finding a scouts cookbook that talked about English Muffin pizzas cooked in open tuna cams.  We've done those in the oven at home but they're not so much our thing.  We like our "real" pizza - large and cut into slices and loaded with vegetables.
Then I stumbled across the idea of cooking pizza in a Dutch Oven.   We have a Dutch Oven and we could easily do this.  
So here's the recipe:
A Dutch Oven Aluminum f…

Goals - Week of October 7, 2012

Well, we're all still sick here.  John has bronchitis and he and I both have a sinus infection (joy!) and the kids are feeling okay but we're keeping an eye out for strep throat - someone in their class had that last week.   I'm officially ready to be done being sick this fall!  Thankfully John and I are almost better - we're hoping this is the week we lick all this. We're both on the tail end of antibiotics and actually feel much better than we have in a few weeks.  That's the good news!

I did get some things done last week, but not many because of the sickies.  Here was my list from last week:

Work:
* Catch all grading up to current.  Made some progress but not much.
* Write up project assignment for this unit in one class.
* Write test for other class.
* Start outlining next units for both classes.
* Update web pages.

School:
* Cross 4 things off my dissertation to-do list.  I crossed off 1 thing last week.
* Continue cleaning out my desk and bookcase at school.

Ja…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 7, 2012

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It's October already.  How did that happen?  It's definitely fall here - our high was a whole whopping 52F today and over the weekend we topped out at 43F.  Brrrr.  I keep telling myself that at least we didn't get snow like northern Minnesota did!  I'm just not ready for that yet.  The leaves are almost done and we're ready for nice warm fall foods like chili, chicken noodle soup and roasts in the crock pot!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 7:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch:  Baked Eggs, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Orange Wedges and Bananas
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup in the Crock Pot, Whole Wheat Bread, Apple Slices

Monday, October 8:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds
  Lunch: Cheerios, Yogurt, Applesauce and Cookies
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Baked Salmon, Couscous, Tossed Salad, Apple-Banana-Grape Salad

Tuesday, October 9:
   Breakfast: Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Sn…

Goals - Week of September 30, 2012

Last week was a whirl-wind of taking care of my sick husband, trying to dig myself out of my giant pile of grading, having a ton of other "little" things happen (like getting stuck in traffic and being late to work) that just didn't help matters, and coming down with a huge amount of sinus drainage from the huge air pressure changes.  Add a stress migraine that arrived about 7am on Monday morning and didn't leave until about 8pm on Wednesday and it was definitely not the best week I've ever had. 

Worship Sunday morning was a Service of Healing, which was exactly what I needed to get this week off to a good start!  It was lovely and so appreciated. Even though the rest of the day wasn't exactly restful, it was a nice way to release the tension and start the week on the right foot.

I'm skipping the review since last week was chaos and I never got last week's goals posted anyway.  So here's this week's:

Work:
* Catch all grading up to current.
*…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 30, 2012

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It's another busy week for us here!  This semester is just seeming to fly by - and being sick from the beginning hasn't helped at all!  We're all heading to the doctor this week so hopefully we can knock this thing off and get back to "normal".

We're cooking fairly easy meals this week just to keep things easy around here.

Sunday, September 30:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes, Sliced Apples and Grapes

Monday, October 1:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal
  Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Carrot Sticks or Tomatoes, Oatmeal Cookie
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Cabbage Rolls, Apple-Grape-Melon Salad

Tuesday, October 2:
  Breakfast: "Pumpkin Pancakes" from the Freezer
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Kids
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Veggie Fritata, Grapes

Wednesday, October 3:
  Breakfast; Oatmeal
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Lefto…

Work, Home, and Family - What I Figured Out

I've figured out something since I've got sick a few years ago.  And it has to do with life and work and family and "balancing" all those pieces.

It all came to a head the other day when I opened a magazine that I receive and read a short article describing a day in a particular woman's life.  This half-page article is run every month and is designed to illustrate "balance" in a working-outside-the-home woman's life by giving a sample "day" in one woman's life.

The woman in this month's article woke at 5am to go to spinning class, came home and put her children on the bus for school, went to work from 9am to 8pm, ate dinner with only her husband (rarely her children), tucked her children into bed, and pulled out her laptop and worked until midnight (or later).  This woman freely admitted that her current schedule is 'exhausting' but that 'it works for her'.  

Really?  I wondered.  Does it really work? 

Is that a goo…

Frugal Friday - "I don't want to!"

Being frugal can be hard.
Especially when you haven't had to be frugal.

Fortunately, I grew up frugal. 

I remember having a conversation in high school with my mother that went something like this:

Me: "I feel so bad for Dee's family because they are so poor. They just don't have money for anything!"
Mom: "Lea! Mr.G. makes a much as Daddy does and Mrs. G. makes almost as much."
Me:  "What?  No that can't be right...."
Mom:  "I make minimum wage working 20 hours a week.  Mr and Mrs G. Make almost 1/3 again what we make. They certainly aren't poor."
Me: "Ohhh......"  (Thinking hard here....)

That was the first time I really realized that it really doesn't matter how much money you have on the top end of the scale.  You can be rich as Bill Gates and still be broke all the time.  You can have a nice, modest income and be perfectly comfortable.

I have a friend who was asking how I always manage to "look so nic…

Work, Home and Family - Fresh Corn Salad

This was a keeper along with many of the 12 recipes I tried this summer. 

Quite frankly, I was expecting more of them to be flops. 

For our first anniversary, my parents bought us a subscription to a cooking magazine. It had some great recipes - many of which we tried and kept.  There were  few - yikes!  Most were edible.  One was an entire pot that we had to throw out  - the ingredients looked great but the recipe was definitely not.  So, now I'm always skeptical when I try a recipe.

Fortunately, this one is a keeper! 
And, unfortunately, I don't have a picture.

Since corn season is almost over, I thought I'd post this before the fresh corn is completely gone.

Fresh Corn Salad Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, July 2012 Issue
4 ears fresh corn (you could probably use 1 1/2 c canned, drained if you'd like) 1/2 c finely diced onion (the original recipe called for chilled red, I used white because that's what I had) 1/2 c cucumber, not peeled and diced  (original…

Healthy Habits in 2012 - Knowing Your Limits

One of the things about fighting 2 chronic illnesses is that the limits of the body are more evident than they might be for the average person.

Before I got sick, I could get by on 4-5 hours of sleep 2-3 nights a week, as long as they weren't consecutive.
Before I got sick, I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and, while I might gain a pound or two, my digestive tract worked just fine and I felt just fine.
Before I got sick, I could push myself to the point of exhaustion in a workout (or pretty much anything else) and know that I'd bounce back the next day.
Before I got sick, as long as I drank a cup or two of coffee in the morning I could pretty much gurarantee a clear head for thinking all day long.

Now... not so much.

Now, I need a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night when I'm not sick. When I'm sick it's 9 - 10 hours.  When I need to push for a night, it's 6 1/2.  No less.  Even if it's only one night that week.

If I eat junk food - any of it - my stom…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 16, 2012

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Our CSA has only one more share this season. It's hard to believe that fall is almost really and truly here.  My freezer is almost full, though, so I guess that's about right!  We have loads of green beans, peas, and other good things for this winter.  And I'm feeling mighty blessed!

What are we eating this week?

Sunday, September 16:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch:  French Toast
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Leftovers

Monday, September 17:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal
   Lunch: PB&J, Applesauce, Yogurt, and Tomatoes
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner:  Veggie Soup, Biscuits, Melon

Tuesday, September 18:
   Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Pork Chops, Rice, Baked Butternut Squash, Melon-Grape Salad

Wednesday, September 19:
  Breakfast: Spiced Pancakes
  Lunch: PB&J, Applesauce, Yogurt and Cut Veggies
  Snack: Oatmeal Cookies
  Dinner: BBQ Chicken Legs, Sweet Potato Fries, Melon

Thursday, Septembe…