Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu



Okay, so this is not the most exciting post in the universe, but I need more distraction right now! ;-) (Please note the baby time-keeper to your immediate right...)

Luckily, (seeing as how I am ready to pop with child) I have a FABULOUS husband who is a much better cook than I am, and he takes charge of the cooking at our house on Thanksgiving. (WHEW!)

Oh, how blessed I am!!!

My daughters and I will do the pies, and I'm taking over the stuffing this year. Wish me luck!



Praline Pumpkin Pie
Dough for a single-crust 9-inch pie (homemade or purchased)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15-ounce) can plain pumpkin puree
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
PRALINE TOPPING:
1 cup pecans, chopped coarsely

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dark corn syrup
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Adjust rack to middle and heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough, if necessary, and it fit it into a pie pan. Line the pan with foil, cover with pie weights or dried beans to hold the dough in place and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust beneath the foil dries out and sets.
Meanwhile, beat the sugar into the eggs with an electric mixer until it dissolves. Beat in cornstarch, salt and spices. Stir in pumpkin puree, evaporated milk and vanilla by hand until thoroughly blended.
After taking the pie shell out of the oven, remove foil and weights, poke dough with a fork in several places to vent steam and bake about 10 minutes more, until the crust is lightly browned.
Meanwhile, heat the pumpkin mixture in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, just until it is steaming hot; do not boil.
Pour hot filling into hot pie shell and return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 minutes more.
Meanwhile, toss pecans, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Add corn syrup and blend well with a rubber spatula.
When baking time has elapsed, scatter topping evenly over pie and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until topping is bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes.
Cool pie completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.




How about some pictures from last year?
(We started a tradition of "dressing for dinner" on Thanksgiving Day. It was fun!)


Grayse Dawn is excited to eat!

Daddy carving the bird.

Can we eat NOW?!?

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So, I Finally Read It...

Yes, that book that all Mormon Mommies seem to be gaga over-- "Twilight."

My sweet husband brought it home for me last week, since we decided that going to see the movie without reading the book first would be completely out of character for us both. What can I say-- we need a good date movie once in a while, and there's been a drought in the new releases department for a loooong time now...

But I digress.

I've actually been following news about Stephenie Meyer for a while now, because I'm fascinated that she was published so quickly, even though "Twilight" was her first attempt. And while her writing isn't great, her storytelling really draws the reader in. And that's a talent I'm working to improve. Other intriguing things about Stephenie include the fact that she's a little LDS mommie (like me) who wrote a very successful book series in very little time, and with no training (ahem, me again), and that she lives in AZ, which is where I live, too.

Confession: I actually went to her website and read the transcript for "Midnight Sun" long before I ever picked up her first book. (And I do think her writing is getting better!)

So, to review "Twilight" itself, these are my thoughts:

  • I am glad I did not read this book as a teenager. I would have had an even more distorted view of what boys/men are like by the time I was married, and it was bad enough as it was! (Dang, all those Jack Weyland books!)
  • To be honest, my sweet DH was hoping for what I call the "Twilight Effect", where I romatically meet him at the door when he comes home from work, after reading all about Edward and his "Adonis-ness". Hmmm. What actually happened was that I came to him exclaiming that I am relieved to be married to Mr. Darcy, and don't have all the pressure of trying to live up to-- well, "Adonis-ness." *grin* (GO TEAM DARCY!!!)
  • I am encouraging my daughters to avoid reading the series until they, too, are married. One daughter in particular is waaaay too impressionable, and still hopes that Daniel Radcliff will be available in five or six years (or more). I'm still trying to find a way to tell her that he performed in the buff on Broadway and that I really wouldn't care for him as a son-in-law-- and that it's not likely that he'll be temple-worthy anytime in the near future...
So, all in all I'm glad I read the book before I see the movie; I'm looking forward to a lovely date night with hubby this weekend; and the jury is still out as to whether or not I'll finish the series.

(Oh, and I hope to still learn a lot about writing and publishing from Stephenie Meyer's example, so I, too, can one day finish my work-in-progress and be a rich and successful writer. She has given me hope!!! :-D )

Okay, Twilight fans, hit me with your best shot... *wink* (And see you at the movie this weekend! *hee*)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stepping into the Dark...


Have you ever been told by the Spirit to do something that makes no sense, but that you know is right? I have before, and I'm going through that again right now...

As background, I am ready to deliver Baby #10 any day now. I have had 13 pregnancies-- 3 miscarriages and 9 (soon-to-be-10) babies. My first SIX births were inductions in hospitals, two all-natural, four with epidurals. I had been told that I would never be able to go into labor on my own, and that I was lucky I didn't live in "olden times" or I would surely be dead. Hmmm.

So, with baby number 7, I decided to do an unassisted home birth. Ha! Everybody around me freaked out, (except my husband, luckily.) but I had confirmation from the Spirit that it was the right thing to do, so I studied, made plans, and got ready for the birth.

We ended up having an "angel"* help us out on the morning of my son's birth, and I delivered a 7lb. 6oz. healthy, beautiful baby boy on my own bed, in my own room, at my own home. It was BLISS! No poking or prodding, no demands from anyone. It was the most peaceful, sacred feeling in the world to have all my children around me gazing at the new little stranger in my arms, within the walls of our home-haven. I had been able to do the "impossible," thanks to following the promptings I received. God had been my deliverer, and I was truly grateful.

*(Our "angel" was a retired midwife who was the sister of our neighbor across the street. To make a long story short, my neighbor found out we were going unassisted, and got her sister to act as a back-up for us in case we needed or wanted her.)

When baby #8 decided to make her debut, I found a midwife I really clicked with, and had an AMAZING first water birth in my home. It was fast, intense, and nearly-perfect. I can't think of one thing I would have changed in the least. I was 100% sold on water births, and knew I never ever wanted to go back to "dry land."


Baby #9 was a very emotional pregnancy for me. I felt directed again by the Spirit to use a different midwife, a lovely lady in my ward who had also been prompted by the Spirit that she was to be my midwife. It was a roller-coaster of a ride, but in the end, the birth went beautifully, even though it was long, and more difficult than my last. I again delivered in water, and the baby was a whopping 9lbs. 2oz.-- a full pound bigger than my biggest to that date! The midwife and I felt that the baby and I had been in the hands of the Lord, especially there at the end. The placenta plopped out almost on top of the baby, and the cord was almost immediately limp and cold. One side of it looked strange, as if it had died or were dying. We don't know much of anything that really happened, but we all felt we had been part of some unexplainable miracle. Baby was perfect and healthy in every way, and we were so grateful!


This pregnancy has also had its share of ups and downs. I've found that the more over 30 I get, the harder it is to be pregnant. My children are getting older, and I'm feeling that they need my attention-- my birthing days may well be over. That makes me quite sad, and yet relieved, at the same time. I'm trying to do what the Lord wants me to do. He's leading me along, but only giving me as much as I can handle at a time.

Which brings me to today. Two days ago, in the wee small hours of the morning, I couldn't sleep. The Spirit was telling me to "fire" my midwife. She's the wonderful midwife I used with baby #8, and we really "click" and understand each other-- how on earth could I let her go! I'M 38 WEEKS PREGNANT!!! But when I got up, after catching a few more Zzzz's, I knew I had to do it. She would be coming over to my home for an appointment that morning, and I needed to take care of it then. I knew I needed to tell her face to face, to be honest and upfront with her. It was not fun. I mean, I've never even broken up with anyone, much less "fired" somebody!!! There were tears shed by us both, but I knew, deep inside that it was the right thing.

So, NOW WHAT?! The Lord, again, is only giving me little bits at a time here, and asking me to trust in Him again, just as I did when I decided to have an unassisted birth. But this time, the answer was even harder to take.

I'm going back to the hospital for baby #10. I don't know why, I don't know what's going to happen, but I have been reassured through the Spirit, and through blessings, that this baby will be healthy, that all will be well, but that I need to sacrifice my desires and follow Father's plan for this birth. To say I'm not devastated would be a fib. I don't want to give up the liberty and privacy that my home births have given me. I LIKE being the one who says what I will and will not do. I appreciate the hands-off, gentle manner of my midwives.

Giving up the dream of homebirth is a huge sacrifice for me, but I AM willing to do it, because the Lord has asked me to. I must put this experience into His capable, omnipotent hands, and trust that everything will turn out for the best. It's funny, where homebirth scares so many, because I feel the same about going back to the hospital. It is a cold, too-sterile, diseased, hazardous place in which to welcome a newborn, but if the Lord can protect me at home, He can certainly protect me in the hospital, as well.

I hope it's not too much to ask for prayers during these last few weeks. This experience is making me turn to all my deep stores of faith, and I would appreciate any spare prayers my dear family and friends can give me, too. I love you all, and can't wait to introduce this new little angel to you all when she arrives.


I KNOW that when we follow the Lord's plans for our lives, even if those plans lead us into the unknown dark, that we will be strengthened and given the power needed to face what is ahead. We CAN do hard things-- with the Lord's help. I testify of this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You, Veterans!



I just wanted to take a moment and thank all those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms and our country. May God bless you for your unselfish service!


Glorious Distraction!


It is a truth universally known that when an expectant mother gets this close to her due date, she does all in her power to distract herself from the neurotic pangs of waiting to go into labor.

Translation? I need to do something to keep my mind off the fact that this baby could come any day-- or NOT! (Which would be worse?! Oh, the AGONY!!!):-p

So, I was reading an adorable blog called "The Old Fashioned Girl" and saw her "Odd Duck" tag about sharing six 6 random quirky/weird/unspectacular things about herself. Therefore, in a effort to distract myself, I'm going to take the liberty of sharing my own list of 6 random quirky/weird/ unspectacular things about myself.

Here goes...

1) I am what you would kindly call an "Earthy" person. Sometimes I severely gross my poor husband out. I have curbed lots of bad habits out of respect to him, but I am not afraid of "earthy" topics of discussion. (If you have no clue what I'm talking about, just skip over this one. I'm trying to be delicate here, and going into more detail may offend more sensitive readers. I know my Aunt Judy will understand what I'm talking about-- right Judy?! *grin* )

2) I ADORE big, booming, scary, tense thunderstorms. If I believed in reincarnation, (which I don't) then I would imagine myself to be a "storm chaser" in the next life.

3) I am a big CHICKEN. (Bok!) I HATE ghost stories or movies.

4) I don't like to drive. I'd rather have a chauffeur than a cook OR a maid. (!) Just call me "Miss Daisy."

5) I am not a chocoholic-- I only like to eat chocolate sparingly. I tell my mother that it's because she sold bulk chocolate to our neighbors every Autumn, and we always had it in the house. I'd rather eat something sugary and chewy-- like marshmallows-- ANYDAY.

6) This next one will not be a big surprise to anyone who knows me, but it's a controversial issue I've just got to come clean about! *I HATE SPORTS!!!* (Whew! Glad I got that off of my chest!) I grew up taking gymnastics, playing softball, volleyball, and basketball. My brother and sisters and I would play soccer or softball in our backyard all the time. My dad spent most of every Sunday watching some sport or another. Yet, I LOATHE sports (professional or "UN") with every fiber of my being. To me, there is no greater waste of time, effort, and head-space than thinking about or participating in any sort of "game."

(My sports-crazed brother is waiting in the wings with the tar and feathers, but I can take him-- I'll just sit on him. ;-D )

I understand that I may have offended some-- for that I am truly sorry. Please don't remove your all-important link to my little blog here, though I understand if your principles have been compromised by the drivel I have presented today.

Amen and Thank you...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

These Got Me Laughing!

Now that the election is over, I want to do something light-hearted. I LOVE these videos! :-) I hope they lighten the mood today.





Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victories for Traditional Marriage!!!



HALLELUJAH!!!

I am so very VERY grateful that the people of Arizona, California, and Florida chose to protect and honor traditional marriage in their states. I am rejoicing for these results today!


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

IMPORTANT

I will be voting today, and keeping a prayerful vigil that the Marriage Propositions in California, Arizona, and Florida all pass.

Please, wherever you live, get out there today and VOTE your conscience!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween Costume Parade

(Say "Trick or Treat!")

Halloween is wonderful! I love having an excuse to dress up, and I love seeing the creative costumes my kids come up with.

(Ronan-the-cranky-bat and our dog, Lucie)


(Dee-dee makes a cute cowgirl.)

(Gavin is a "Ninja Turtle.")


(Witchy-Bonny demonstrates her evil cackle.)


(Miss MacKenna *IS* Boo from "Monster's Inc.")

Unfortunately, our little Grayse had a fever, runny nose, and upset tummy, and so she never dressed up or went Trick or Treating with the other kiddos. :-(

("I'm dressing up as a sick child.")

Our big three went to a homeschool friend's party for youth, while Russell took the other kids Trick or Treating in the neighborhood. They went out late, so they got LOTS of candy. I guess everybody wanted to turn off their porch lights and be done with handing out loot!

(Lliam as "Link" of video game fame.)

(Brennan, the dashing "Ranger". We read a lot of Tolkien around here...)


(Morganne as a sweet and sassy "Hick Chick." Daddy better get himself a shotgun!)

In our family, we let the kids pick their 5 favorite pieces of candy to eat Halloween night, and then the rest goes into our candy stash, to be given out as an incentive when jobs are done. Amazingly, none of them complain, we have very little sugar overload, and the kids do their jobs more willingly! M*A*G*I*C!!!

Y'all come back now, ya hear?