Monthly Archives: December 2007

Top book 2007 picks

I cannot remember all the books I read in 2007, but here are some of my favorites. <p>
<p> Shadow of Treason by Tricia Goyer<p>
<p> This side of Glory by Gwen Bristow– Gwen Bristow’s books are older, but  they are so well written and keep your attention so well, if you have not read one you should!  They are very historical so you learn a lot beside them. Did you know that in the 1920’s you could not sell cotton at all because of the war, then they decided to use cotton  as gun cotton for the war and it skyrocketed in price? I did not know that! Of course,  the prices were  low for things like cotton gingham was .12 a yard and I think that was expensive at the time! <p>
Summer by Karen Kingsbury– This was one that made me cry, but they were good tears. The character in the book struggles through a difficult pregnancy, where at the end she will not have a baby to hold.  It really delves deep into the feelings on abortion when  the baby cannot survive outside the womb. It was an incredible story! <p>  Color of the Soul and Freedom of the Soul by Tracy Bateman
This one was about racial discrimination and secrets among a family. You get to read the old journals with them as they discover family ties they did not know about.
<p> Claire series by Tracy Bateman– these were just fun books about the struggles of a single mom, writer etc.
<p>How to save money everyday by Ellie Kaye<p>
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life by Marilyn Rockett<p>
Dancing under the Red Star by Carl Tobien– Excellent book, biography of woman who survived Stalin’s Gulag<p>
Renovating Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck-
If you are a mom, you will enjoy this book. I loved both of them!  It really makes you think about what is important in life, is it how much you accomplish, all the rushing here and there, or is it the people in your life?  She has a great imagination as well which of course, I relate to well! <p>
<p> Yada yada group gets decked out- by Neta Jackson I almost did not read this series because of the title. I figured it was a silly stories about women. Was I ever wrong!! This year as the last one in the series and even though it was shorter than the others, it was as hard hitting and straight forward as the others. If you would like a fictional series that makes you stop, look around and think about your life while looking into women’s lives who could be real for all the normal struggles they go through, pick these ones up!
So, there is a brief look at some of the books I read, I am sure there are more I am forgetting, but these are the ones that I learned from and stood out to me!

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Home again!

We are back home! We ended up being gone a little longer than expected, but I was praying for that! <p> When we were on our way up to mom and dad’s,  the roads were not great so I prayed that the  doula client I had would go into labor while i was there. God worked it out perfectly and  it turned out well!  It was a good birth, one of the best hospital births I have ever seen.  Since this is the second really nice hospital birth I have seen at that hospital, I have decided I think it is the doctor and hospital, so if  I know someone had to have a hospital birth, I would recommend that one! <p> My sister came home from school really sick and infected most of my family. I have 2 sick boys and  hopefully the rest of us are fighting it, I am praying! I do not feel totally up to par, but that could be lack of sleep as well and the fact that I worked really hard that one day all day with 17 hours on my feet most of the whole time…I  realized how much I like it though. <p>
Anyhow, we got the house semi-clean after getting home, I made a pot of chicken soup and we are resting. I am so happy actually to have a good excuse to not go anywhere!


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Homemade Raviolis

Our family  when we grew up was not really into traditional Christmas. I like it that way, but we did usually always have a nice meal of raviolis, homemade, if we could make them.

Some people when I would tell them we had raviolis for Christmas dinner would wrinkle their nose and say “Eeeww!” as the only ones they have had are canned ones! I have actually never had them, but the smell is enough….. Then there are a few people who really dislike them because they would prefer meat filling, or something else and we usually just make cheese as it is easiest.

I should have taken pictures, as it is a fun process. I have bought my own ravioli form now to go with my  pasta machine roller from Atlas so now I can try out new fillings and will take pictures of myself sometime!

I make the  pasta dough. I realized the other day the homemade pasta dough must have quite a bit of protein in it, because it has alot of eggs. It is mostly just eggs and flour with  a very small amount of oil, like 1/2-1 T. After it is made, I wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.

I made about 6 balls of dough, I think.  You slice the dough into slices and roll very thin with the pasta roller. We do not do it as thin as you can get it for ravioli as it tends to make holes, but instead of going to a 9 thickness, we do a 5 or 6.

It is a two person job as one person feeds and guides the long sheet of dough out while one turns the crank. We then hand it off to the next person who places it on the ravioli form, fills, rolls it and cuts them. We filled them all with cheese filling which was ricotta, romano cheese, with eggs and spices. I like the meat filling really well myself with spinach!

After this we place them on cookie sheets lined with wax paper and coated with flour and layer them on there. We then put the trays in the freezer to freeze until solid and then remove them to ziplock bags.

It is labor intensive, but  so many traditions are. I think that it is a great thing to do if you have time to do it, but sometimes like other traditions it gets set aside because people are more important. I think at Christmas time it is important to remember, that like every other time of the year the most important thing.  We need to remember to the two greatest commandments, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself.  I think when  so many things in Christmas  get to be so important, the traditions of having to get someone a gift  or a tradition of not celebrating Christmas, making raviolis or cookies,  or others, you fill in the blank. We can forget that these are the two greatest commandments. Our neighbor may be the one who wronged us,  they may go out of their way to make us feel bad or so we think.

Are there people in your family or friends whom you can think of like that? How can we give the gift of following the 2 greatest commandments this year?  Can we not put all the traditions of men above the commandments of God this year and go to this New Year with a better  tradition of following His commands and not our ideas of how something should be!

Give a gift  this year, enjoy the traditions your family has, but think in it all what is the most important and keep your eyes on what is right.

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Friday Afternoons

My sister and I have a bible study we go to on Friday  mornings, so this morning we went. We usually have  a lady who babysits at the church, but this morning she was not able to come so  we had my 4 boys, my sister’s son who is almost 3, and the other lady’s son who is also almost 3. <p> Our bible study topic  is on encouragement.  the study this morning was saying how we need other believers in our lives to encourage us and help us in our walks. Through bible verses we were reading it was explaining this, and was really interesting! The interesting part was all the toddler interruptions, mostly from the 3 three year olds and my 5 year old. "He hit me!", "Can I have a snack?", "____had an accident on the floor" and other various trying of our patience and helped us all to see why we need encouragement from others! <p> As the day went on, my sister and I had lunch together, we were trying to clean out her fridge as she was leaving on a trip trip, so we made breakfast for lunch. The toddlers only wanted oranges for lunch, which while it sounds healthy, they have sensitive skin and too much acid causes an issue.  After lunch, I just said I needed to take my potty training toddler the bathroom when he waddled up the stairs leaving a distinct odor trailing behind him…….. Plastic bags, paper towels, a scrub down in the tub, and a carpet cleaner later, the house was back to smelling better! It could have been much worse, at least it was only one big spot on the carpet, there have been times it has not been as contained! "Sigh" I hate this phase of in between potty training, where they usually make it, but the times they do not…..!!!!!<p>
Our lunch was tasty, waffles, homemade hashbrowns, oranges, apples, wheat toast with homemade jam, a bit of bacon, Scrambled eggs with lots of mushrooms and  a bit of cheese and we finished it off with a large cup of tea. The eggs with the mushrooms I made with mostly mushrooms and a bit of egg to hold it together and cooked it well and risked eating it. It was really good and my tummy was only slightly upset! <p> Dinner tonight is leftovers and some applesauce from my sisters fridge. I will probably make a salad with some leftover cooked chicken on it.  There is a pot of Borcht in the fridge i made yesterday too, so F. is happy! <p>
So, usual Friday afternoon….. I went to the post office this afternoon for my sister and I was so glad to see it was not busy! It  gets so hard this time of year and to mail a simple letter can be difficult if you have no stamps! It makes me thankful to just keep some on hand! <p>
I hope you all have a good weekend! I am so happy my husband has some time off this next week and half as he drives school bus and there is no school! Maybe we can get alot of school done ourselves…..maybe? We did finish P.’s reading book, so onto the next one!

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Older pictures

My Grandma at my wedding with my brother- in- law, Peter.
Not all of these are the best quality as I had to scan them in and my scanner is not high quality! It is so much better than they used to be, so I am thankful! I remember when we got all excited about scanners, a long time ago! Anyhow, this is  some of our favorite relatives with my mom, my grandma and a couple of my siblings who are so small! The girl behind my mom is my sister-in-law’s sister, Marina.

This was several years later, Sept. ’03. I had three children already. My cousin J. came up for a visit and we had alot of fun.  We drove over to  a town where my dad was going to school, to visit my parents as they were living over about 5 hours. We have been really close  the last few years especially, but we have written to each other for  a long time!My cousin again with my mom and my youngest son, asleep. He slept with his eyes partially open.

My cousins daughter and my sister!

Just to remind you, here is a more recent picture of most of us!

My sister to the left of me (looking at the picture) and the girl below her are the same little girls as in the picture above this one.  The other cousins look alot like their pictures above so I think you can pick them out. Of course we are with our grandma!
Oh, the baby in  one of the top pictures, my mom is holding is the same sister that is to the left of me in the picture here above. Of course,  in April that will be 11 years ago…..Yikes!


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Back to normal posting?

Do you think, maybe? We are trying to get back to normal, I am not exactly sure what normal is anymore, but I am going to try! <p>
We had a lovely little service for my grandmother on Saturday. It was nice, but hard! <p> The friday before our church went christmas caroling and our bible study group did as well in the morning. We went to a nursing home in the morning to sing which was nice, the residents seemed to really enjoy it. We are trying to do a service project to work on encouraging someone else around us instead of doing the actually bible study. (So it is not all talk and no works) It was a little warm in there though and my brother J. almost fainted. I was trying to find a door and was having trouble finding one and finally got him some fresh air! Whew! I feel bad for the people who work there in the heat! Next month is mine and I am considering doing letter writing to prisoners. <p> The evening Christmas caroling, we went to some houses of people whom  the pastor knew and two fire stations. After the last fire station, my aunt and I went to check on the children outside and got locked out. We stood in the doorway for awhile, then sat in the car. After awhile we started to wonder what happened! I guess they went on a little tour of the station during that time.  Of my children, only H.  was in there and he told us all about it! Afterwards we had cookies and cider at the pastors house, but I was so tired! I must be getting old as I have been so tired at night lately! Maybe I m just regaining normal! <p>
I found these neat kits at Joann’s fabrics yesterday for the boys school. I was looking for some things to do that could be hands on and these were perfect. I applied for and got a 15% discount on stuff on sale or not on sale for school, which helps a little. Anyhow, they are for the old west period and fit as I just got some books about that. H. wants to do a presentation on John Glen though, so I need to get some stuff on that now! <p> It is time to start letting ourselves think about making raviolis! I bought a form this year and my sister did too, so we will have 4 of them to use. I think it will make things easier.  I am thinking of making some for me.  I want to try a spinach cheese one like the one at Costco and I had a chicken, spinach and romano one once that was really good too. I have some recipes to try! Then of course plain old cheese and then we make one with meat, spinach and Romano cheese. <p> My house is a mess, I need to plan dinner and make some cookies or brownies for the boys  club party tonight.

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Planning a memorial service

We have never done this before and I am really hoping it will not have to be done again anytime soon. <p> It is alot of work, but it gives a different  look at some things we should have done before we die.  It is nice to have a few things written down of what we would like! <p> It is nice because Grandma had gone to church up here for the past year and formed some relationships and really came back out of a cloistered life she had led for the past 4 years before that!  I had fun hearing some memories of my grandma from before that I had never heard before. <p> My mom was the youngest of 5 children, she married young and moved away from her family for awhile. We saw grandma when she came to visit or we visited, but it was not too often as we traveled alot. That is why it was so special to be able to get a good relationship with her these past few years. When she got really sick about 2.5 years ago, I went down to CA with T. and  helped take care her. We flew back to CO with her and got her settled at home again. It was funny because one of the Hospice nurses down in CO, kept telling me she knew me. She was certain we had met! Finally she realized that it was because  we had met 2.5 years before as she came to Grandma’s house, not as a nurse, but as a Medicaid worker.  She remembered me as the  young girl with all  the children! <p>
Grandma was a very strong person, she would get down alot, but she was very concerned about other people. Sometimes some people look at that as a bad thing, but I think it is a blessing in this world where so many people are only concerned about themselves. <p> My grandma  became a Christian as an adult, being raised Catholic.  I have just heard the story from relatives, but I heard that some neighbor ladies decided to come and help her with housecleaning and became friends. They would witness to her while cleaning and invited her to a Billy  Graham Crusade, if I remember right. It makes me think of how something as simple as housecleaning spoke to that busy mom of 5 children and  made her stop and listen. <p> She actually had 6 children, but one little boy was stillborn. His name was Jack, and I heard he was missing an arm.  I like to know that  now she was able to see her little boy and my grandpa in heaven with Jesus. <p>
It is hard for me to not have the honor of taking care of her anymore, it was something special that we were able to help make her life a little happier this last year, so she could be more independent like she wanted to me.   <p> I will never be able to go to eat somewhere probably without hearing her say "Eat something more than salad, for me." or "Promise me you will eat, sweetheart."  <p> Another good memory is  grandma, having trouble walking or standing and standing up to give someone else her chair or trying to clean the table!!!  I have a feeling that will be me when I am older though!


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My grandmother passed away yesterday as little before 3 pm. as far as I understand it. <p> We are all struggling a little with grief here, just dealing with normal life has been difficult. <p> I am very thankful for everything she was able to teach us, all the funny little things she did and  that she was able to live near us for the year that she did. <p>


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Crockpot Chicken Chili

This is a recipe I came up with trying to make a cross between a tortilla soup and chili! It is really good!

Crockpot Chicken Chili

1 lrg chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones)

3 c. cooked pinto beans

1 8oz. can El Pato jalapeno sauce

1 small can green chiles

1 12 oz can diced tomato and green chili (like Rotel)

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

2-3 cloves minced garlic

2 c. water apx, I add more if it looks like it needs it

chili powder 2-3 t. apx.


Sprinkle of oregano

Cook on low 8 hours  in your crockpot.

Debone chicken, put back in chili, add 1/2 t. cumin and 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro. Serve topped with grated cheese and tortilla chips crushed.

Very filling and tasty!

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A blessing this morning!

I had to go do some shopping today and I tend to avoid stores this time of year, but saw that the mall opened really early this morning. I decided to go there for fun sort of and do the rest of my shopping too, so I would not be gone all day. <p> I got to Herberger’s and they gave me a free chocolate bar  and a coupon. They said to open it and when I did,  I had won a free $10 gift card! It was such a nice surprise, it really made my day. What was really nice, is usually  they are so expensive that would not go far, but they had some good doorbuster sales and I found a sweater/jacket for under $10 that is so nice and warm! It was perfect!<p> It was a really nice birthday present! <p> I also was able to go to  some second  hand stores and found 3 pairs of nice ice skates, 2 were in great shape, almost new looking, and one will work for my husband. He does not want to skate alot, but sometimes, I thought it would be fun. I have not gone in a long time so I have a feeling I should wear alot of padding when I go! I got a couple other pairs from a friend and if I find one more, we will have enough for the whole family.
<p>  The house smells good as I have beans simmering on the stove with garlic in them, it sort of makes everything warm and inviting. It was a little chilly outside this morning. I think they said it was down to 5 degrees.  It is so beautiful out, the air feels crisp and clean! The cold really kills germs, bugs, and stuff  so I like it for that reason too! Now though we are really praying for snow. It sort of skipped us as north of us and south got snow and not us.  The ski hill had enough though to open today,  I guess, which is important to some people in this area. <p>
We are off to my niece’s birthday party! She is 8 years old already, my youngest niece and she is the last girl born to our family so far. We have alot of little boys and are lacking in the little girls a bit. I realized today that I  have a harder time thinking about what little girls like.


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