Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why I Hate to Cook

I miss having internet during the day. But I must admit, I get a lot more done in a lot shorter time.

So really the only negative to not having internet during the day is my online jewelry business suffers. And since iPhoto wasn't working on Derek's laptop until just a couple days ago, my poor little business came to a screeching halt - online. In the real world, DandLs DangLs made a killing over Thanksgiving :)

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I'll eventually get to working on those pics. What a wonderfully crazy week it was!!

Yes. Week.

So that doesn't really have anything to do with this post except maybe to preface what I'm about to say - there will not be any pictures on this post.

Now for my point:

I hate to cook. Always have. I've attempted to make it more enjoyable by making a meal plan and leaving the kids with Derek when grocery shopping. I even have a great recipe box and several wonderful cookbooks.

But still, every evening I groan.

Why all this hate?

Let's see what the list says...

  • I hate grocery shopping
  • I hate raw meat
  • I especially hate raw chicken
  • I even more especially hate raw chicken fat
  • I hate cutting raw chicken
  • I hate cleaning up after cutting raw chicken
  • I hate raw chicken fat.    oh wait, I said that.
  • I hate how making dinner interrupts my evening
  • I hate timing things to all finish at the same time
  • I hate trying to get dinner finished at just the right time
  • I hate coming home hungry and having to cook 
  • I hate how long it takes to make dinner
  • I hate how quickly it's eaten
  • I hate how long it takes to clean up after dinner
  • I hate raw chicken fat.    I know I already said that. It's just so true.
  • I hate when dinner just isn't as good as I thought it would be
  • I hate how dinner somehow tastes so much better when I don't cook it
There's probably more, but you get the idea.

As I wrote out that list, I realized that a lot of this hate comes from past events.

  1. I almost never cooked growing up. This probably wouldn't have mattered if it weren't for event #2.
  2. I basically learned to cook when I was a nanny to a very picky family.
  3. Just a few months after taking this nanny job, Derek and I got married. I was cooking TWO dinners 4 nights a week for 3 years. None of which involved cheese. I love cheese.
  4. The last couple of years in Scranton, Derek was working almost every night. I had to figure out how to have dinner ready for him to scarf down during his 10 minutes between jobs, or make something that could wait til he got home sometime after 10pm. 
  5. And when Derek was working every night, I had to try to cook with a high-maintenance baby who still chooses to be the most difficult right around dinner time.
Is there anyone else out there who hates raw chicken fat as much as I do???

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Egg Carton Counting

This is an idea I found on this website. I love it because, while Marie can count, she's still learning to grasp the concept of counting.

So I got an egg carton, cut it in half (we'll work on 7-12 after she masters 1-6) and had Marie help me put stickers in each slot.

Using Apple Jacks cereal, we placed the correct amount of cheerios into the corresponding slots.

(It's going to take a lot of prayer every morning before homeschooling!)

Then we moved to a new activity to work on her sorting skills. By this time the cereal was running low. She had started her own game of eating the cheerios as fast as she could before Mommy could make her do something with them.

But I managed to save a few to sort for a minute or two.

Of course Marie wanted Jack to have a part so she gave him the top of the egg carton. He wasn't sure what to do with it.

I must squish those cheeks.

Alright. Done. :)

A little side note...

Thanksgiving is coming much faster than I'm ready for. I've been trying to teach Marie a little about being thankful. I want my babies to be grateful babies. Today I'm thankful for my parents. I want to teach my babies to be thankful for their parents. In order to do that I need to be a good example.

I want to be a grateful baby to my parents. "Honor your father and mother..." (Ex. 20:12). I will forever be their daughter so I want to forever be a grateful daughter. I pray that my children will honor their father and mother as the Lord commands (with zero conditions).

So on my LONG list of things to be thankful for, I'm adding "my parents." Not only because they've given me countless reasons to be thankful, but also because God commands it.

Thank you, Momma and Dadda. Love you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Routine

As I sit here watching my ideal bedtime (for my current not-fully-recovered-from-stomach-bug condition) disappear into the distant past, I'm feeling that sense of disappointment... failure... kicking myself for wasting my life...

But I haven't today. I went grocery shopping with both babies. I went to one of Derek's classes at RETA. I spent time with my family. Put together a new post on my DandLs DangLs blog.

Considering the fact that my belly still makes strange noises and makes threats when I move around too much, and that my 4 month old has zero pain tolerance and is teething... It's been a fairly productive day.

But still I know I could have done much better with today. I starred this post on Google Reader earlier and read through it again tonight. I just finished writing out a simple daily routine that looks much like the one Crystal wrote, but of course tweaked just a little.

I'm very excited about this. I'm excited about the fact that it's normal and okay to not get much more done than just taking care of the babes at this point in my life. I'm excited that Crystal basically wrote out my routine for me. I'm excited to implement my new daily routine. And I'm most excited to not feel like I do now ever again.

After I've lived a basic daily routine for a while, I'll share what it is and how it's going. In the meantime, pray for me!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

There are many different ways to make chicken pot pie. Most of which are very elaborate and time consuming. As I am not a fan of cooking and am all about quick and delicious, this recipe is perfect! My dear friend, Stacey, told me how to make this once as she threw it together herself. I don't know how I lived without it before!

You'll need:

Pie plate
(It doesn't have to be as awesome as mine)
 Mixed veggies, thawed
I usually just throw them in the bowl before doing anything else. They thaw enough.

 Refrigerator pie crusts, thawed
Set these out at the beginning, too.

 Cream of potato soup
No more Weis brand :(
-whatever you like to flavor your chicken with
-a little chicken bouillon if you wish
-salt and pepper

Chop up your chicken and cook it with your favorite seasoning.

Mix the cooked chicken with the veggies and cream of potato soup.
Add a little milk (quarter cup maybe?), salt and pepper, and chicken bouillon.
Stir together in a bowl bigger than this one.
I always forget to use a bigger bowl!
Line your pie plate with one of the crusts and pile in your chicken mix.

Cover with the second pie crust and cinch the edges.
Derek does not care about appearance, only taste. PTL!

Sometimes if I'm feeling really motivated, I'll melt some butter and brush it on the top. That is very rare.

It might not be a terrible idea to cut some slits in the top before baking. I don't know. I've never done it.

Bake until golden brown (20-30 min.)
(I wish I could give you a more precise bake time but our oven in PA was over 50 years old and the one here... well notice how the sun is long gone in the final pic...)
It took 2 hours to bake this in the stupid oven here!! 

I can't even talk about it anymore.

Don't worry. It won't take yours nearly that long!

The end result was so scrumptious that we forgot all about how stinkin' long we had to wait for it. Now I remember. Now I'm annoyed again.

Anyway, this is the perfect recipe for non-cooks like me! Enjoy!

(By the way, check out my DandLs DangLs blog for a discount!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Before getting into what God seems to be trying to teach me about priorities, I've gotta brag on 2 of my top priorities...

Jack Edward is 4 months old already!

 He's grabbing at things, constantly smiling, is determined to sit up, loves his big sister, and is the most precious bundle of happiness on the planet. Oh, and he's 18lbs and 27in. Yep. There's a reason why I call him my Lil Squish.

The cutest pumpkin patch you'll ever see!

So God has been using blogs (since they seem to be my most recent obsession) to point out my time management and priority issues. It seems every major blog (translation: blogs that make money and have hundreds of followers) I follow is talking about managing time.

I'm notorious for wanting to do everything while actually doing nothing.

I wanted to join the crafting world. But when I couldn't seem to keep up with anything else, I finally decided that was not for this phase of my life.

I've been wanting to coupon badly. At MOPS last night, a lady came and told us all about how to do it. I was excited to minister to my handsome, hardworking husband by saving money everywhere possible. I spent the kids' nap time scouring the internet for coupons, printing, and cutting. I had to break to make dinner. When I opened the microwave to thaw the meat and saw a very large cockroach smashed in the door, I realized while we're living in this rental, it would be foolish to stockpile only to trash half of it from cockroach infestations. I think God put that disgusting... *shiver*... thing there to tell me to scratch couponing from my priority list for now. Sometimes God says no even to "good" things.

So I need to simplify, streamline... whatever other "s" words work here.

I'm still figuring out my priorities and how God wants me to spend my days. But I can't wait to be done wasting my days and finally lay down at night knowing I accomplished what God wanted me to. Maybe I'll sleep better!

This is the latest blog post I read that so far has been the most helpful! - Create a Time Budget

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Obstacle Course

One of the many blogs I follow using Google Reader is focused on teaching your children. Jenae, the author, has taught me a lot about how easy it is to teach Marie! Also reading all that she does regularly with her babies has motivated me to spend more time giving Marie my total attention.

With that in mind, the other day I decided on making an obstacle course for Marie. I got the idea from the Micro Soccer Academy that Marie has learned a TON from. (Classes start Friday!)

First she had to jump over the boppy...

It was more of a step over.

Then she weaved around cones...

(At first I went searching the house for things for her to weave around when I remembered we have a whole stack of cones for Micro Soccer Academy! duh).

Then she had to crawl under Jack's playmat...

Followed by a somersault...

(Or at least an attempt at one...)

Finally, she kicked a ball at some toilet paper rolls...

(I always have tp rolls on hand! Multi-functional!)

After a once-through, she ran right back to do it again (skipping the boppy part) and I had to race to set the tp rolls back up. It was short-lived fun, but fun none-the-less. She later got all the cones, put them in a sort of circle and ran around and around. That may have lasted longer than the obsticle course, probably bc she got me laughing pretty hard!

(Sorry about the horrendous pics. I don't really have a good excuse).

I've found that spending quality fun time with my baby girl helps me be more patient with her, especially on days like today when we're both sick and crabby. Today's much needed fun time is going to be outside with the bubble mower and bike.
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