Full Contact Eating

  Paxton has taken eating to a whole new level, it’s like a sporting event: “Full Contact Eating”.  I tell you, he dips when I dodge, he leans when I dip, he has the WORST timing! He will wait until the spoon is mere inches from his mouth before plunging forward right into it, only to fling himself backward and hit his head on the back of the high chair, ON PURPOSE.  Thunk, thunk, thunk.  Just hitting his head and smiling at me like he is the most clever boy on Earth.

  The end result looks like this:

065

  You know how the layers of a tree tell a story about the tree’s life.  Well, the layers of food pasted on Paxton’s face tell a story too. 

  “Once upon a time, I had peas.  I was so excited to see big boy food, I leaned forward to get a better look and stuck my forehead in it.  I also turned very abruptly to my left and then later, to my right, JUST as mommy was about to put the spoonful of peas in my mouth.  As for the blueberries she fed me, it was a repeat performance of the peas.  Yum. What you can’t see in this photo was the after math of a sneeze I had, right in the middle of a blueberry bite. I thought it was funny.  Wonder why my momma sighed so big?”

  I recently read something on Facebook, covering this very subject.  Read the 11 Lessons below, paying close attention to Lesson 8.  If your child eats like Paxton does, you’re gonna want to practice!

parenting_thumb

11 Lessons to Determine If You Are Ready for Parenthood

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the newspaper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
3.  A few minutes later, after finally getting the octopus in the small bag, the octopus inks on itself AND you.  
4. Remove octopus from soiled bag and start over using a clean mesh bag.
5.  Go change your own soiled clothes.

Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 6

  Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle Cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a six month old baby.

Lesson 9

  Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, and Disney. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

  Make a recording of Fran “The Nanny” Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

  Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt-sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

————————————————————————————————-

Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you’ll need when you become a parent!

God bless!

~T

P.S. It’s worth it!

063

Zzzzzzzz….

  Waiting for supper is SO exhausting!

001

003

Check out those luscious lashes!

004

  Speaking of sleep…..

  Tylan, now 4, is starting to exhibit signs of being done with afternoon naps.  (No, please not yet!!!!) So, I let him read by flashlight and “rest” for an hour or two instead…..

002

  The good news?  Half the time this occurs.  🙂

001

  I am such a better mom after quiet time.  I think after the kiddies outgrow sleeping during the afternoon, we’ll still divide up to separate rooms for reading time. We are all more refreshed and excited to play together again after a few hours of quiet!!!!!

  Speaking of quiet, I better go get some stuff done while they are all down!

~T

Smoked Pork Sandwiches with Sesame Slaw

This recipe was created Saturday, when I decided to feed my father-in-law, as a thank you to him for chopping wood with Dale all morning. (we have a fireplace and use it as our primary source of heat in the winter)  Anyhow, I knew the Peanut butter and Jelly wheat tortillas the children were eating just weren’t going to cut it for my two hungry lumberjacks, so once the kiddos were down to naps, I used two different recipes and some leftover smoked pork, and came up with these……

SMOKED PORK SANDWICHES WITH SESAME SLAW

(Click on title to print on TK’s website)

Pork slaw sandwiches

1- 5 lb. bone-in pork roast, smoked or slow cooked to your liking (Dale smoked ours)

Your favorite dry rub.

1 cup water or beef broth

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 package Whole wheat hotdog buns

For the Sesame Slaw

Combine:

3 cups coleslaw cabbage mix

1/2 c. green pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup snipped cilantro

3 T. Sesame Oil

2 T. White vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, pressed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Tangy BBQ Pepper Sauce

Combine:

1 cup ketchup

4 T. Soy sauce

2 T. Honey BBQ sauce

2 T. Brown Sugar

1 T. Apple Cider vinegar

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. Oregano

2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

Thaw pork shoulder and rub with your favorite dry rub.  Send your hubby out to the smoker to babysit it all day.  (Bye-bye honey.  See you in 8 hours!) 

  OR, place dry rubbed pork shoulder in a crock pot with 1 cup beef broth or water, salt and pepper.  Cover with lid and cook on high for 4 hours, or until pork is very tender. 

  Make Sesame Coleslaw by combining in a medium bowl, coleslaw cabbage mix, finely chopped green pepper, snipped cilantro, sesame oil, white vinegar, pressed garlic and salt and pepper. Set aside,or refrigerate until meat is ready.

  To make your Tangy BBQ Pepper sauce.  Combine: ketchup, Soy sauce, Honey BBQ sauce, Brown Sugar, Apple Cider vinegar, pepper, Oregano, dry mustard and kosher salt.  (Thanks to Sweet Pea Chef for this great sauce recipe! She uses it with her rib recipe, which is FANTASTIC!)

  When your meat is done, shred pork, removing any visible fat and gristle.  Place in large bowl, leaving excess liquid behind, and toss with Tangy BBQ Pepper sauce. 

  Butter toast buns, add BBQ coated, shredded pork and top with 1/2 cup Sesame Slaw. 

  Makes 6-8 sandwiches, depending on if you, or your hubby, get to pick how much meat each sandwich gets.  🙂

  The mixture of the smoky meat, with the kick of peppery BBQ sauce, added to the unique flavor brought in by the sesame slaw, makes this SO amazing!  And just when you think it might be too rich, the cilantro comes in a freshens things up.  Such DELICIOUS and unique flavors in this amazing sandwich!

Happy Cooking!

~T

Linked to Angie’s Big Love of Food

Dear People Who Make Baby Clothes…..

Dear People Who Make Baby Clothes,

  I just wanted to write and tell you that I ADORE the darling Mock Turtleneck Sweater you came out with this winter, I really do!  Also, love your Zip-neck Fleece Sweatshirts!  But, can you please take into consideration, that some babies have NO NECK?  This makes things particularly difficult when trying to dress my child in items that were terribly cute on the hanger, but once on? Well, it just looks a bi027t funny. 

Also, while I have your attention, could you make cuter boy clothes?

I am weary of seeing monkey’s and dinosaurs all over my sons clothing.  That being said, I LOVE the Argyle Sweater Vest & Blazer thing you have going on this season, nice touch! 

Well, thanks for your time and your thoughtful consideration of this very important manner. 

Sincerely, A Mom of a Baby With No Neck029

032034

057059060061063

Dear People Who Make Cute Hats,

Thank you!

Sincerely, This Hat Makes Me Giggle EVERY Time My Baby Wears It

New Crayons

  There is NOTHING better than new from the box, perfectly sharp, crayons!

I still get excited about it, just like when I was a kid.  037

 Oh, and new fresh color books that don’t have a scribble on each page, by a certain someone named, Avery!!!! (Or, when I was a kid, a pesky little brother named, CHAD!)

   So, you can imagine my glee whenever my kiddos ask me to color with them.  You can also understand my rush to get the crayon colors I want out of the box, (sneakily as to not create drama and teach crayon snatching) before my sweet babies grab them and ruin those gorgeous tips!

  I love coloring! It’s so soothing.  🙂  036

  045038

(Please excuse Avery’s hair, she just woke up from nap here, it’s CRAZY!)

039

Pax had fun too, he found the markers quite delicious.

041042

Afterwards, we all displayed our art work on the fridge, so daddy could come to the “Art Show” when he got home from work.  Of COURSE, I do not have a photo of that.  No, no, that would’ve been FAR too insightful of me.

Oh well, use your imaginations! 

Happy Weekend to you! See ya Monday!

~T

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I know you thought you were getting on here to read a recipe, and you will, but first things first…….

Guess who is CRAWLING?! 027

Yuppers, my lil’ Paxton!!!!

I thought I’d have to cry that my last baby was mobile, but I totally didn’t, just clapped and enjoyed the moment.

He was pretty dumbfounded that he was moving FORWARDS after weeks of backwards crawling/scooching, and was so proud of himself!  Of course, by the time I got the camcorder out he was done with the show and crying, super offended I left him in his moment of glory.

The best part is, he does this funny little crawling method, unlike any of the other kiddos:

He moves arm, arm and then moves both his knees simultaneously and hops. This makes his little boofus bump up in the air and is the CUTEST inchworm impersonation you ever did see! We were cracking up!

004011010014015016

020019

This is the part where he got distracted by the string of drool coming from his mouth…..

036

Then he lay down and decided that was enough crawling for the morning.

Awwww, sweet baby Pax! 038

So on to dinner.  I grew up eating this casserole, and I love that my children ADORE it too!  It is creamy, it comes together easily and is oh-so delicious!

I apologize for this photo. I was lucky to get a shot before dinner was devoured by my family who was just “STARRRRRRVING”.  Trust me, this dish is all kinds of good. Creamy, flavorful and just YUMMY all the way around!

CREAMY CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

(click title to print)



½ cup onion
2 T. Butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
3 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 can green chilies
2 cans mushrooms, 1 drained
10 large tortillas (I do half wheat and half white)
3 cups cooked, diced, chicken

 Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large family-sized skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add all of the remaining ingredients except tortillas, reserving 1 cup of the cheese for topping.

Heat on medium low until cheese is melted. While it’s heating, cut all of the tortillas into 4 pieces, this can be done quickly by cutting 5 at a time, using a pizza cutter. Remove soup mixture from heat once the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Spread a small layer of chicken cream mixture in the bottom of your 9×13 baking dish, followed by a layer of slightly overlapping tortilla triangles, about 10 of them. Repeat layers for a total of 4 tortilla layers, ending with the chicken cream mixture.

Add the reserved 1 cup of cheese to the top and bake at 350 F for 15–20 minutes.

Serve with chips and fresh salsa. Yum!

Happy Cooking!

~T

A Fight for Family

  There is something about the act of sitting down together over a meal that seems almost sacred.  Something beautiful about joining hands and bowing for prayer.  A guaranteed time of visiting and togetherness after a busy day, a time to reconnect.  It was an important part of Christ’s life as well, and the final thing that he did with his friends before enduring the pain of crucifixion!

010-2

  As a family, we have chosen to make dinner time count! We have committed to be very aware of the activities we involve our children in and limit, or eliminate the ones taking away from evening meal time too often.   

   Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are be ALL there!”  This is why we chose to keep off the TV during supper, and not take phone calls.  We strive to use that time to sit, eat and visit, investing in that time with our children around the dinner table. The investment is small, but the rewards are great ,and will create habits to be passed down from generation to generation!

  One of our favorite things to do during family dinner, is to go around the table and ask for the day’s: “Good, Bad & Blessing.”  We share our favorite part of the day, our lowest part of the day, then something we are thankful for today.  The kids LOVE it, reminding us if we forget with a:  “Mommy? What was YOUR favorite thing today?”  It’s a precious time of sharing, and an open door to discuss what the Lord asks us to do in difficult situations at school, or to just praise Him in the blessings of the day. 

  In the future, I’d love to have a night each week, where a different child helps plan and prepare a meal from start to finish.  It’d be a great time of teaching, learning and helping them to gain a sense of pride and accomplishment, when they sit to eat a meal they helped prepare.

  Dale and I are super committed to keeping Family a priority.  In fact, we are in a war to protect it. It’s a sacred gift to be treasured and enjoyed.  We value the precious moments spent around the family table too much to share with any other activity!   (This excerpt taken from here, in my “Just For This Morning” post, which deals more with this subject.)

007-2

I am adding a separate post today called: Benefits of Family Dinners, that breaks things down a bit more specifically.

Try “Good, Bad & Blessing” at the dinner table tonight, I think you will be AMAZED at the wonderful conversation it promotes, and the sense of pride your child feels, as all eyes are on them!

~T

Benefits of Family Dinner

Here are some reasons why it is so beneficial to commit to sit down to family dinner:

  • Everyone eats healthier meals.
  • Kids are less likely to become overweight or obese.
  • Kids more likely to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.
  • School grades will be better.
  • You and your kids will talk more.
  • You’ll be more likely to hear about a serious problem.
  • Kids will feel like you’re proud of them.
  • There will be less stress and tension at home.

perfect%20mom Don’t let this mission of “Family Dinner” feel daunting! Even the simplest meals — like order-in pizza — qualify as family dinners. The goal is to get everyone to the dinner table and to spend quality time together – not to force Mom into June Cleaver or Carol Brady mode.

 Here are tips on pulling it off:

  • Set a goal. Sitting down together twice a week, perhaps? Build from there.
  • Keep it simple. Family meals don’t have to be elaborate. Work salads and vegetables into meals. Focus on familiar favorites, like chili or spaghetti.
  • Be prepared. Keep ingredients for healthful meals on hand, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Get the family involved. Let kids help prepare meals and set the table.
  • Use the crock pot. Put everything together before leaving for work in the morning. You’ll come home to the delicious smell of a cooked meal.
  • Pick up take-out, order pizza, or eat out. It still counts as quality time spent together.
  • Make it enjoyable. Leave the serious discussions for another time. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort, and support.
  • Set the mood. Play soothing music. Put flowers on the table. Light a candle. Create a relaxing environment.
  • No TV or phones allowed! This is time for listening to each other, sharing the day’s stories and nurturing the family connection.

  No matter how simple the meal, take the time to sit down and enjoy it with your family. Make mealtime a pleasant experience, not a time for discipline or arguing about problems at school or work.

baked-macaroni-and-cheese  “No one is asking for rocket science here only shared mac-and-cheese and a bunch of chairs pulled up around the table…..” says Miriam Weinstein, of the book, The Surprising Power of Family Meals.

  

  Time spent breaking bread will help your children form positive attitudes about food and eating, and create fond family memories that will last a lifetime…..

~T

Just One of Those Days…

  Today is just one of “THOSE” days.  First of all, I almost washed my face with hair gel.…..

See the bottles look alike. 

078

Don’t they? 

Kinda?

If you squint your eyes and pretend your half asleep? 

078 (2)

See, I told you! 

Wait, what do you mean didn’t I see the GIANT green leaf on the hair gel? 

Of COURSE you can see it right now, you are wide awake and staring at a carefully taken photo!  Imagine fumbling for it in a dim cupboard, half asleep.

Told ya.

  So, that’s the kind of day its been.  You know the kind….totally behind on all the house work, bills to pay, phone calls to return.  Still in your bathrobe at noon.  Kids seeming extra needy all morning.  Walking from room to room doing little projects here and there, but not appearing to accomplish that much, due to the chaos surrounding you. 

  The kind of day where you walk ALL the way from your bedroom to the laundry room, (at my house, this is a long walk) gathering things on the way, only to get out to the laundry room with a can of baked beans in one hand, the phone in the other, a naked baby doll tucked under your arm, 3 trucks in your pocket, and NO EARTHLY IDEA WHY YOU WERE HEADED TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

081
  
  Yup, it is that kind of day. 

  Paxton says it’s one of “those” days too….

  Dog-gone that backwards crawling, it gets him in all sorts of predicaments! 

024

  “MOMMA! Something is VERY wrong here! I can’t move!!!!!”

022

Help me?!”

021

Well, I should go now, I think I hear the phone ringing……and it appears to be coming from inside the refrigerator.

  Hmmm, wonder where I tucked that pasta salad?

~T

  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad…”

Push Crust Recipe

  Here is the push crust recipe for those of you who requested it yesterday.  Like I told you, I am NOT a pie baker.  This was my second attempt ever.  However, the result was a flaky crust just like Grandma used to make.  Trust me, you can’t mess it up! It was way easier than I thought! 

  Speaking of Grandma, both my Grandmother AND my mother gave me such nice compliments about my crust.  Now THAT is something! 🙂 

  Here is a pic I found in the archives, of my first attempt at Peanut Butter Pie. (Dale’s FAVORITE) Well, that’s not true.  It was my first attempt at a Peanut Butter Pie not using a graham cracker crust. (NOT Dale’s favorite) I used this push crust recipe for the first time ever last year, so I could make him a “real” PB Pie for his birthday, cause I love him!  He was happy!   🙂

PUSH CRUST RECIPE

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chilled Crisco (butter flavored is best)

1 tsp. salt

1/3 cup cold water

1 T. milk for basting

 Combine flour and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, cut shortening into flour.  Sprinkle with water.  Form into ball, divide in 2.  Flatten each to fit your pie pans.  Prick with a fork before baking.

  So here are my questions to you pie bakers out there:  When and why do I use the milk for basting?  I skipped cause I had NO idea why I would need this step.  Also, I par-baked this until barely brown with the custard pie, but there are no actual baking instructions.  I did 425* for like 6 minutes for par-baked.  So maybe 15 for a fully baked one?  What do you think?

  I am ready to learn, so teach me, oh-wise-ones! 🙂

~T