Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anticipation

We are sooo excited for this weekend!!!

Not only will we be having a birthday party at our house on Friday, but my sister and her family are flying down for a weekend visit.  (The kids haven't seen each other in over two years!)

As of Thursday noon, we are on a 4 1/2 day break from school.

Cowabunga!!!!

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In the meantime, I have a dessert for you...and quite a yummy one!




Fruit Crisp





Ingredients:

Filling~
5 cups chopped fresh fruit (I used a thawed out bag of frozen fruit from the grocery store)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp of orange juice (I didn't have any on hand and substituted with another fruit juice)

Topping~
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 c quick oats
1/4 flour
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F

2. In an 8" square baking dish, gently toss the filling ingredients.

3.  Combine all of the topping ingredients in a medium-size bowl.  Rub the mixture together with a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers until it forms a clump.

4.  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

5.  Bake the dish until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is crisp, about 40 minutes.  Let the dish cool 15 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 8

**Last summer, I went through a huge stack of Family Fun magazines that I had been saving.  I ripped out recipes that I wanted to keep and this was one of them.  Sorry, I cannot remember which issue it came from.

This is quite versatile.  You can do apples, pears, and peaches as a combo.  I chose blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and red raspberries.

Hope your week is going great!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chicken Stroganoff

I was cruising allrecipes.com last weekend looking for a new crock pot recipe when I came across this one.

I tried it last week and the family gobbled it up.  It was amazingly easy and absolutely delicious.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff


(Sorry about the blurry picture.  I was just about to dig in when I realized I needed the recipe photo.)


Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast; halved and cubed
1/8 cup butter
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

** I doubled this.  But only used a total of 12 ounces of cream cheese AND ONLY 1 package of seasoning mix when I did.**

Directions:

1.  Put halved and cubed chicken in crock pot.  Melt butter on stove and stir in dressing mix.  Pour over cubed chicken and coat real good.  Cook on low for 5 or 6 hours.

**Don't be afraid of burning the chicken in the slow cooker with just the three ingredients listed in step 1.  The butter coats and protects the chicken until all the beautiful, natural juices from the chicken start appearing.**

2.  Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

I served this with egg noodles.  We had so much left over that we made a second meal out of it, serving it with rice.  It is rare when I can get enough left overs for a second meal and for the entire family!

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

His tiniest creatures...




...are so beautiful and fascinating to watch, aren't they?

Build Hang it and they'll shall come!


These amazing creatures intrigue the littles into absolute silence.  A rare accomplishment indeed!



And they can be so hard to capture with the camera!




Other creatures called Barbies, well, they may not be His creatures, but they still love to participate in Mass!



Have a blessed and peace-filled Sunday!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, August 26, 2011

TGIF - Big Time!

You know it's been crazy when by Friday morning you hit the snooze button 4 times before deciding to get out of bed!

Even the kids were late to breakfast.

Some highlights from our week....

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School - Science - Apologia

Ester spent last Sunday making her own bird feeder with the help of her dad.




Next she had to follow a recipe for homemade bird suet.  It called for lard, bird seed, rolled oatmeal, raisins, peanut butter, and sugar.






Being that it is way too hot to put this out, they'll leave it bagged and in the freezer until it gets cold enough (...if that ever happens!)



PE - Swim Team



On Wednesday night, I took Sally over to a local natatorium to try out for the city swim team.


She made it!


Sally is an excellent swimmer and has the height to go with it. 






She has never competed in swimming let alone been on a swim team.  We thought she just had to do 50 yd freestyle.   She did and did great. 

When asked if she knew any other strokes she replied that she knew all of them.  Which she does.  The coach then asked her to swim a 100 IM.

She sat down on the bleachers to take a short break, looked at me and said, "I have no clue what he is talking about but I'll try my best."  I told her just to try her best and be happy with that.

She did...and beyond. 

Without having any former training, she was timed at the 100 IM  (swimming four different strokes the coach asked for).

I cannot believe the stamina and strength she has for swimming.  I, on the other hand, konked out from exhaustion for her...half way through!

I was too nervous to take photos with my phone and just sat there and prayed a string of Hail Marys. 


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Around the house



We have house guests coming next weekend. My younger sister, Jane, and her family are flying in and we can hardly wait to see them!



The kids and David helped me get some major house cleaning done.  Team effort makes quite the difference in how quickly things get done.  Doesn't it?

Over the course of two days, they  scrubbed down 24 windows, wiped down 24 sets of blinds, ( You should have seen the dust!!!)  and wiped down all the base trim throughout the house.


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Health - Eye Appointments


The kids had eye doctor appointments.  Sally is now in contacts and is a great job getting them.  We just need to work on getting them out a little easier.



OB/GYN appointment





Mary with Infant Jesus with angels,



The doctor's office called me while I was at the eye doctor.

They needed to reschedule me so I was able to get in yesterday afternoon.

David, God bless him, worked double time where he was at in order to meet me for the sono. 









We were over the moon to see a healthy and active baby Joy.  Around 6" long now, we found the baby in a posterior, fetal position, with one hand up on his head...strumming his fingers on his head...like he was thinking really hard about something. 

Amazing!

We met with the nurse practitioner this time, and she happens to be  contemplating adoption.  What a blessing it is to talk about adoption to someone in the reproductive field!

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Party planning


In a few weeks, Mabel will be turning 8 years old!   Every four years the littles get to have a big birthday party with their friends. 

This time, she would like a swimming party at the subdivision pool.  Easy enough! 

Since mid-September can also mean rain (which would really be wonderful), I decided to have it two weeks early.  She can hardly wait till next Friday gets here!

Her special plans are coming along "swimmingly".

I'll post more next week!

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Heat and Black Outs


We had one last night - after the sun set and kids were in bed.

Had another one earlier this evening.  This time the sun was still up and keeping things hot.

Praise God they both only last 45 minutes, but you never know how long it will be.  It is too hot and there is too much energy being used.


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Thinking of and praying for all the millions of people who will be affected by this hurricane!


~  Patty  ~

Thoughtfulness

We had two very lovely surprises last week.  Don't you just love surprises?

The first was from our Korean neighbor, Kye (Kay).  Almost one year ago I asked her to help me try and locate a statue of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest who was martyred.

It is so difficult to locate any form of sacramental on this saint beside medals.  I thought with her being Korean Catholic surely she would have a better chance of locating a statue than myself.

I heard back once.  She was having a difficult time herself and then I  never heard about it again.  I thought we were out of luck.  Until last week when she rang the doorbell and presented us with this large box.

We carefully unwrapped it to find this::

  

It's him!  It is the statue of St. Andrew Kim Taegon...all 18" of him.  Isn't it beautiful?




I think Kye was more thrilled with finding him than we were.  Once I put her on this quest, she soon realized how difficult it was to come across a statue of him in the United States as well as South Korea.  

Apparently, a friend of a relative of a friend (I think) found it and shipped him to Kye.

St. Andrew Kim now stands among Stan's other Korean items on a shelf in his bedroom.  Quest accomplished!

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On Saturday, the hubs brought in the mail and handed me a brown envelope.  I saw that it was from Eleanor, our old neighbor and friend up in Illinois.



(From our visit with her last summer -  '10.)


Eleanor reads my blog each day.  She really enjoys being able to keep up with the family with the stories and pictures.

She read that I was on the hunt for some new recipes and sent me this::





Her late husband Charles was a WWII vet in the U.S. Navy and served and protected our country from aboard the USS Essex CV-9.

Writing this I had a flashback....when Sally was little she always called Charlie "Char-Chee".

I called her on Sunday and had such a lovely chat.  I thanked her for the gift and told her that even though I was not feeling good the night before, I was able to look through and mark a some recipes that I look forward to trying.

Yes.  I'll definitely post about them.

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Thank you again, Kye and Eleanor, for the thoughtfulness that showed.

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A little hello...





... from a little Joy to remind me that he - (using proper English here only) -  is safely snug underneath the beating of my heart.  Isn't it amazing how many unspoken words are released with the feel of a few pokes!

What joy!



(My vinca flowers...the only surviving annuals from the heat and drought.  Tough little ladies.)


And even with those pokes, I still fear loss.  I still fight the battle of anxiety.  Oh, I am waging a battle against those dark worries and I think I'm winning.   But!  (There is always a but..)  Dog-gone-it!  Giving it all to Him can be so hard at times, can't it?  So, I humbly ask you to continue to pray for me.

Onto a very personal note...

You may wonder why I'm so anxious.  Well, it is rather complicated, and where  I never thought I'd announce my crazy health issues in public, it may shed some light on the issue.  

So here they are...and please know that as crazy as they sound, I am not in any imminent danger; all can be worked with.  I am in good hands!

~ I was born with a bicornuate uterus.  It was found after our second loss through a hysteroscopy.

~ Incompetent Cervix.  Closely tied to the bicornuate uterus.  My "viable" pregnancies require a cervical cerclage. due to the incompetent cervix.  *See next problem*

~ A "stuck" cerclage.  Normally, with an incompetent uterus, you have one cerclage placed around 14 weeks for the duration of the pregnancy, and then it is removed just before delivery or after.  My last one (8 1/2 years old now)  happened to embed itself into the lining of my cervix.  What was suppose to be temporary became permanent.

Where this must have happened to another woman along the way, it is not in the medical books and no one has actually heard of it.

Five doctors - same opinion:  Prior to recent pregnancies it was recommended that it shouldn't be touched.    It could end up in a hysterectomy.  

At this time, we are praying that it holds up for a second pregnancy.  I must add, the doctors are keeping an eagle eye on me.  Starting next week, I will go in every two weeks to have a measurement taken of my cervix.  

**Note: I have miscarried naturally with this in and have also had  a D & C with it in.  Praise God I have grown greatly in tuned with my body and can actually feel when things are starting to tug and pull. The vomiting  really pulls and tugs at it.**

~ History of miscarriage (one in the second term).

~ Congenital Heart Defects.  I have a daughter and a brother born with congenital heart defects.  Both required open heart surgery.  There is a family gene floating around somewhere...

~ Hypothyroid.  I battle this greatly, especially during pregnancy.  Currently getting my blood checked every 2-3 weeks now.

~  I have a history of c-section.  This will be my fourth, but it will have been 8 1/2 years by the time I go in.  The doctor would be more concerned if the sections were all back-to-back.

~ Last, my age :)  I am 42... and let me tell you girlfriend, age is the least of our concerns.  I have to laugh though, they sure make you feel like the geriatrics of the OB world.  My goodness!

That's it.  The whole kit and kaboodle!  

So, for now, the medical plan  is cervical measurements every two weeks, thyroid checks every 2-3 weeks, and they do intend to take baby Joy two weeks early (sometime the end of January).  Which is fine with me.  I happen to have very hearty babies :)

Please continue the prayers!  I will take all the prayer power out there because, as many of you know yourselves, the power of prayer is mighty indeed.



~  Patty  ~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Experimenting

Sally and Ester have new science books this year.  Apologia.

Sally is studying General Biology and has been working on atoms so far.  We are really enjoying the science experiments that go with it.



There is a rock in the bottom of the syrup.

There is a grape floating in the water...on top of the syrup.

There is an ice cube floating in the oil...on top of the water.

There is a piece of cork floating on top of the oil.

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Mixing chemicals to see how they react.



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Ester is working out of Apologia's  Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.

One of her first experiments was to make gliders out of modeling clay, cardboard, straws, and tape.



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Ester has also experimented with making summer smoothies from the American Girl Magazine.

Aloha Sipper

1 c diced pineapple, drained
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 c orange sherbet

Put into a blender and blend well.






It was very refreshing and yummy, but only made enough for (2) 5 oz glasses.

Berry Breezer

1 c strawberry sorbet
1 c pineapple sherbet
1/4 c lemon lime soda

Blend the sorbet and sherbert.  Stir in 1/4 c lemon lime soda.



Very, VERY sweet!  Again, only made enough for (2) 5 oz. glasses.

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Experimenting with new ice cream flavors.  Yum!

With all the ice cream I dished out for the Littles this summer, I haven't been able to take part in much.  To be honest, it made me nauseated looking at it.

One day, feeling good, I ate two Blue Bell, grasshopper- flavored ice cream sandwiches - two!  Oh!  They were divine!!!

Yup.  I even had the opportunity to revisit them later on that evening.

I haven't eaten one since.

This afternoon, I picked up this for the kids...




I did indulge.  I just love chocolate and adore peanut butter cups.  I couldn't resist.

Hopefully it will stay down.

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Experimenting with a  recipe link up.  I plan to have it open for one month.  Feel free to add a favorite dish of your own.

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Have a great weekend.  We are still hunkering down.  It is 105 degrees F as I type and the 10 day?  Let's just say 90 degrees is going to feel damn chilly down here!  


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