Friday, May 30, 2008

A Matter of Good Housekeeping...

I absolutely love visiting with Lady Lydia through her blog Home Living. With every article she writes, I come away feeling more feminine and lady-like, refreshed and ready to serve my family. The article entitled "A Matter of Good Housekeeping" is a post I read recently and was greatly encouraged by.

"There is more to a home than housekeeping. A wife needs to be able to manage her jobs. She has to adjust to the weather, the time of day, the time of the month, the time of the year. She has to be flexible with family needs and unexpected problems. While few people can ever really do it to perfection, at least the housewife knows what is necessary and can aim for that perfection." - Lady Lydia

To read the entire article, please go here.

Thank you, Lady Lydia, for such an uplifiting blog!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's here! It's here!!!

Ever since I decided to stop drinking Diet Coke, Mr. U has been gracious to buy some REALLY nice tea for me to enjoy. Now, I've always enjoyed a good cup of tea, but Adagio has some INCREDIBLE teas, let me tell ya!!

This lovely order just arrived today. Aaaahhhh... TEA!!!! Looks like I'm set for a while!

In case anyone is curious, this order included:
-5 3 8 Wedding Blend
-black tea sampler
-Bolero Blend
-Citron Green (sample)
-Irish Breakfast
-Oolong #18 (sample)
-Birthday Tea Blend (sample)- this actually has little sprinkles in it! Just like on a cupcake!! Too cute!!!

(No, I do not work for Adagio nor do I earn referral money from them- sad, yes, I know.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

One of the joys of homemaking...

There are so many things that I love doing as I go about my day trying to bless my home and family. By far, one of the most simplest of all those pleasures is baking fresh bread for my family. Joy for me is not attained in the shopping mall, but instead inside my cozy little kitchen. As I happily knead the dough I love to think of my family and how I want to provide them with wholesome, nourishing food. Expensive perfume could never replace the heavenly aroma that comes from my oven as the bread is baking. And the taste? Warm homemade bread and butter is tastier than any meal I could ever get from a five star restaurant. I am so blessed. I don't have to seek joy in other places, it is found right inside the four walls of my home! -Susan P.

I LOVE this!! This is from Susan at A Place Called Home. Susan, I don't think I could agree with you more!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can you help?

Oh dear. I was making syrup today to go with our pancakes and, sigh, the syrup boiled over a bit. I was able to clean most of it up, but there are still a few places that I CAN NOT get clean. I have one of those glass top stoves, too. PLEASE tell me there is something I can do to clean this off!!! Do you have any ideas?

Please pray for the Chapman family...

Please pray for Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman and their family. Their daughter Maria, born in China, died yesterday. You can read more here...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our first trip to the Emergency Room...

Mr. U and I always change Elizabeth's diaper right before we head to bed. So Saturday night we went in to change her just like we've done a bazillion times before.

Mr. U reached down to pick her up out of the bed and she started screaming!!! She was grabbing her right arm, so we could tell she was hurt. We changed her diaper and I tried to comfort her for a while, but every time she fell back to sleep, she would inevitably move her arm and then it would hurt all over again. Poor girl!!!!

By 1:00 am, Mr. U said it was time to head to the Emergency Room. Yes, this mommy was in tears. MY BABY'S GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM!!!

When we got there, they were SO nice to us and immediately took us to the pediatric side of the ER. After weighing her, listening to her heart and taking her temp, she was MAD. She does NOT like doctors or nurses and definitely didn't want them prodding her when she was in pain. Apparently, though, something happened while they were doing this and she was getting mad, because by the time we actually sat down in our ER room #6, she was signing "thank you" and asking (in sign language) for her cup. SHE WAS MOVING HER ARM!!!

The ER doctor came in, kind of laughed when we told him that she was now fine and told us it was a nursemaids elbow. I had never heard of it, but apparently it is very common in toddlers. He said there was nothing to worry about, double checked her arm to make sure everything was in place and sent us on our way home!!! We got there are 1:27 am and got in the car at 1:58 am!! PRAISE THE LORD for fixing my baby's elbow!!!!

Here's a pic of Elizabeth in the ER. She looks so tired, bless her heart!!!

Have any of y'all had this happen with your children? Boy, it sure can give the parents a minor heart attack!!! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chicken with Grapes and Couscous

The first time I saw Rachael Ray make this dish on her show 30 Minute Meals, I just HAD to try it. I mean, who puts grapes in their savory dishes? And how in the world does the grainy mustard figure into the taste? I finally gave it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised- it was quite tasty!! Mr. U liked it a lot and he was so sure that grapes in the dish would be horrible!!!

Here's the recipe as it is from Rachael Ray. Below are any changes that I made.

Vicki's Favorite Chicken with Grapes and Couscous

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, eyeball it
2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup white wine, eyeball it
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (available on soup aisle in paper boxes), divided
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grainy, stone-ground mustard
1 1/2 cups, about 1/2 pound, seedless red grapes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 cups couscous

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat; add 2 tablespoons
extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 2 tablespoons butter to the pan.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper then dredge the
tenders in flour and add it to the pan. Cook chicken 7 to 8 minutes until browned.
Add wine and scrape up browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles, 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 cup stock to skillet. Combine cream and mustard and add to stock. Add
grapes to the pan and turn chicken and grapes to coat and combine with the sauce.
Simmer 5 minutes over low heat.

Bring remaining 2 cups chicken stock and fresh thyme to a boil in a small pot. Add couscous. Put a tight fitting lid on pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Serve tenders and grapes on couscous.

My changes...
- I do not cook with or drink any alcohol. I substituted chicken broth for the white wine. (You can find more alcohol substitutions here.)
- My grocery store did not have fresh thyme this week, so I used about 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme instead.
- I did not use heavy cream. I substituted with half and half.

UPDATE: We had some of this leftover and Mr. U ate it the next day. He said he did not care for it as a leftover meal because the grapes got kind of mushy. Just in case anyone wondered... :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mosquito bites...

I am so blessed. I do not get bug bites. I have no idea why (anyone have any ideas??), but insects just don't like me (which is fine because I don't like them, either!!). For the rest of my family, though, that isn't the case.

Elizabeth seems to get mosquito bites more than anyone else here in the house. I guess because her skin is so soft and, well, because she's the sweetest one here. Last summer, I would try my best to get her to stop scratching, but I lost almost every battle.

On Monday, she got her first mosquito bite of the summer and it was a doozy. It was on her ankle. Bless her heart, I am sure it was itching her to death. So, what did I do? I Googled "stop mosquito bite from itching". HAHA!! Doesn't every good mother Google for help these days? :)

Anyway, the first thing I read was to put a piece of tape over the bite. Strange. But guess what? IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elizabeth did not touch the area of the bite all night long!! And Tuesday there was only a tiny red area there, but still, she did NOT scratch it!!!

So Scotch tape DEFINITELY works for me and mosquito bites!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Around our home...

I've been absent from blogging for a week now!! Poor Elizabeth had a horrible fever last week for 3 days. No matter what we did, the fever would not go away. We finally took her to the doctor on Friday (after she had thrown up- sorry to be so blunt) and he was unsure what she had. He first thought it was roseola, but a rash never appeared. Then he thought maybe she had a urinary tract infection and wanted us to go back to see him yesterday (Monday).

Well, on Saturday, she woke up and the fever was gone!! She wasn't 100% herself, though, and didn't eat much but had a fairly normal attitude. She slept rough Saturday night, but woke up Sunday morning with no fever again AND acted just like her normal self all day!! She even ate like normal (she may be tiny, but she can EAT!!!!) so we knew that all was well.

We called the doctor yesterday and he said not to come in unless we thought she wasn't completely over the strange illness. So, we've been watching her carefully and she is still feeling wonderful!!! Praise the Lord!!!

Every time Elizabeth has been sick, I am shocked at how quickly my mind will assume the "worse case scenario". I often will forget that the Lord has clearly told me to "Trust the Lord with all my heart and lean NOT on my own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

So... I prayed last week. A lot. And here I sit, typing my blog post and watching Elizabeth run around the house smiling and giggling. I love my girl and I am so thankful that He has made her well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ewwwww!!! Dryer lint!!!

Yes, that is a REAL picture! That pile of icky dryer lint was recently pulled out of our dryer BY ME!!! OH MY STARS!!! And I clean the lint filter off EVERY TIME I use the dryer!!!

Take a few minutes, please, and clean out the lint from your dryer. You certainly don't want this to catch on fire!! Keep your family safe and your dryer vent clean!


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