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Friday, May 29, 2009

Forgetful

Jerome said something hilarious yesterday on the way home from one of Alexander's baseball games. I was sure I would remember it to post on the blog. It is gone. If it returns I will let you know.

I am still woefully behind on several posts. Including my daring baker's post. I hope I will get time in the next week to get all of those up, thank you for continuing to bear with me.

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Finished Object Friday: May 29

I should have had a post up already about my finished object this week. It is late, however. Watch this space for more information. Well, that didn't happen. And Mr. Linky is still having trouble. I've tried something different to see if it will show up at all.

If you have one or more finished items this week, please sign Mr. Linky below and share all you have made. Your Finished Object(s) can be knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, tatted, beaded, papercraft, woodwork or any other kind of craft. Show off what you have made! Please make sure you link to the exact post that shows your finished item(s) rather than just to your blog.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pentecost Traditions

It is a little odd to be writing this now, as this is the first year in a long time that we aren't hosting the Pentecost feast. However, I was asked if I was interested in participating in a Pentecost Blog Carnival, and I thought there were some things we do that might be of interest to other people.

For those who do not know the history of this feast day, it is the second most important holiday in the Christian year. It is a commemoration of the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples of Jesus in the upper room and sending them out to do the work given them. It is, in many ways, the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is the 50th day after Resurrection Sunday, so it always falls on a Sunday, but it is a moveable feast like Easter, as it is dependent on the day of Easter. This year, it is May 31st. It is also called Whitsunday, for the white clothes worn by catechumens who were baptized during Easter.

There are many traditions associated with this day. The liturgical color for Pentecost is Red, for the Holy Spirit, all feasts of the Holy Spirit, as well as feasts of martyrs, are red. So, it is common to wear red on Pentecost. It is a memorial also of the distributing of the gifts of the Spirit, so there are many traditions involving dishes using the same number of parts as there are gifts. The church from which we were married had a talent show for Pentecost, so the parishioners could display the gifts God had given them. One church we attended decorated with red, yellow and orange balloons, which the children took home with them after church.

For the past six years, we have hosted a Tongues of Flame barbecue at our home on Pentecost. It seemed like a fun and appropriate celebration, since the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of flame over the believers in the upper room. We basically barbecued any kind of meat including that from fish and fowl. Other people brought side dishes, appetizers and desserts, we provided the meat and drinks. This has been a fun way to remember the day.

The church year is set up so people will remember each event, rather than just hoping that they will pay attention to each one on their own. The reminders are perfect for families and children, as they are sensual: We see the colors, we smell the incense or holy water or anointing oil, we taste the food, we hear the bells, we touch the crucifix or other holy objects. It is also physical in that we do something with our bodies as we pray. There are particular passages of scripture that are read for particular holidays, there are songs sung on those days. These all help teach and tie together what and who each celebration or memorial is about, so that we get a better understanding of it.

Our children especially have enjoyed the ways we have brought the Church Year home. This is not just something we do at church, it is something we live each day, in our homes and lives. Our family has been blessed to travel a bit more lately than we have over the last year, and in that time we have visited other churches. Although we have enjoyed the services (for the most part), they were not liturgical, didn't follow the Church's calendar and afterward we found ourselves having a greater appreciation for that Church year. Rich commented to me after one of our visits to another church that he was so glad that we had the cycles of the Church year to anchor our daily life. We didn't have to try to come up with something to prepare ourselves at the last minute, each day was a preparation for the next day, the next holiday, the next season.

The Church, in her wisdom provided Lent to prepare for Easter, so we didn't have it sneak up on us, we don't have to cram all of Holy Week and Good Friday into Easter Sunday, when we should be rejoicing in the resurrection, not recalling the crucifixion. Our Christmas season begins with Christmas day, not the day after Thanksgiving, focusing on the Incarnation and Nativity, not the Macy's window or how many presents are under a tree. In much the same way, Pentecost is a reminder of the Spirit which empowers each believer as well as the authority given to the apostles (and their successors, the bishops) and the Church. It is the close to Eastertide. Ascension day (and the eight days following it) is a mini-season within the Paschal season, but it is Pentecost that empowers us to go forth and do as Christ commands.

Celebrating it in a tangible way, like our feast, is a way to tell our children about what we believe, not just in a Bible lesson or a sermon at church, but when we are sitting in our house, walking by the way, lying down and rising. We have had opportunities to see our children's faith in action recently, and we cannot help but notice how our daily piety and practice has affected them. We are pleased to see how much has seeped in to their very beings, by being immersed in a life that is oriented toward God, around His Church.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: May 25

We were out of town again last week, but are back and ready to face another week. In a little bit of an impromptu decision, we are having some friends over to grill and roast marshmallows for Memorial Day.

In the next week, we should have our half a pig butchered, cut and wrapped as well as 40 pounds of ground beef from a pasture raised steer. In general, I have been trying to cut down on what is in our freezer, but these were opportunities to have heritage breed meat from pasture raised animals from people we know. We keep intending to buy a whole pig and a whole steer, but haven't gotten around to it. This is a little closer.
If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can.
What is on your menu this week?

Here is the list of foods from the freezer, fridge and pantry that I'm using this week. Anything from the freezer, pantry or fridge that was not bought specifically for this meal or this past week will be included in my lists.

Freezer:
Chicken Thighs
Pastrami
Chicken Breasts
Ground Veal
Pineapple
Peppers
Green Beans
Peas

Fridge:
Eggs
Butter
Lettuce
Carrots
Celery


Pantry:
All Herbs & Spices
Salt
Potatoes
Onions
Garlic
Olive Oil
Bread Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Yeast
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Sugars
Pinto Beans
Black Beans
Tortillas
Penne
Marinara Sauce
Avocado

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Finished Object Friday: May 22

I still don't have my project finished, but I'm hoping to have it ready by next week. Here is your opportunity to share your accomplishments, though.

If you have one or more finished items this week, please sign Mr. Linky below and share all you have made. Your Finished Object(s) can be knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, tatted, beaded, papercraft, woodwork or any other kind of craft. Show off what you have made! Please make sure you link to the exact post that shows your finished item(s) rather than just to your blog.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strangest Search Terms Thus Far

potatoes with the living daylights beaten out of them

These words are what someone used to end up here at Arabian Knits. I think that is the weirdest combination of words used as search terms that I've seen since starting this blog. Whoever it was didn't spend much time here and, somehow, ended up on an Ash Wednesday post.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: May 18

We have another odd schedule this week, some repeats and some days when I won't be making dinner. I still have photos from our trip to post, photos from even before that along with several posts sitting in my drafts file waiting to be edited or finished. Please bear with me, it has been a difficult time to stay on top of the blog.

If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can.
What is on your menu this week?

Here is the list of foods from the freezer, fridge and pantry that I'm using this week. Anything from the freezer, pantry or fridge that was not bought specifically for this meal or this past week will be included in my lists.

Freezer:
Chard & Sausage Soup
Brisket
Peppers
Roasted Corn
Mozzarella


Fridge:
Eggs
Butter
Cream
Parmesan
Lettuce
Carrots
Celery
Peppers
Cauliflower
Chard
Marinara Sauce


Pantry:
All Herbs & Spices
Salt
Potatoes
Onions
Garlic
Olive Oil
Bread Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Corn Meal
Yeast
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Sugars
Honey
Rigatoni
Egg Noodles
Vallarta Beans

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Belated Thanks

There have been so many people who have been praying for us, those who know the details of what is going on here and those that don't. Many of you have called, e-mailed or left comments here. Thank you! We are reading the notes, we are grateful for the calls and prayer and support. I have not responded to all of the calls and e-mails yet, but I am working my way through them. If any of you are reading this blog, I hope you see this.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Finished Object Friday: May 15

I was hoping to have a knit project to show off here this week. However, with all the turmoil we've had recently, I haven't had as much time (which was already limited) to work on it.

If you have one or more finished items this week, please sign Mr. Linky below and share all you have made. Your Finished Object(s) can be knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, tatted, beaded, papercraft, woodwork or any other kind of craft. Show off what you have made! Please make sure you link to the exact post that shows your finished item(s) rather than just to your blog.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Four Funny Facts



About two weeks ago, Jerome was exhausted and needed a nap, so I sent him to his room with his blankie and a book. He told me he wasn't tired. He didn't need a quiet time. When I went to change Yasmina's diaper (the diaper closet is across the hall from Jerome's room), this is what I found. He was not tired at all!

A few weeks ago, on the way to church, Jerome pointed to a plane in the sky and cried, "It's just an airplane!" We finally figured out that it was because every time he had called our attention to a plane in the sky before, he would call it a jet and Rich would say, "No, son, that's just an airplane."

Recently, he was looking through one of his older brothers' books about creepy crawly things. He was pointing to each of the pictures and telling us what each thing was:

"That is a ladybug. That is a ant. That is a spider. That is a that."

We died laughing.

About three weeks ago, we were at one of Alexander's baseball games. It ended just around lunch time, so we brought sodas and pizza for the children and we ate at the baseball fields. The children were mostly finished. Yasmina was definitely finished. So, we were trying to hurry them along. We told them that they were either to finish their sodas right away or toss them. Elijah looked at us earnestly and said that he wasn't going to finish his, because he knew what it would do to him. We asked him what it would do. He replied:

"It would make me drunk!"

After we stopped laughing, we told him that it was only a soda, so he need not fear, but that we were glad that temperance was of such importance to him.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update

The repair guy came today. The burner and its controller were both burnt out in our spectacular display on Monday. He says that the other burners and controllers are fine as are the element and broiler element in the oven. We are replacing all of the other burners anyway. They are paying for the trip he took today and the parts, but they do not want to pay for the labor. Since the original parts were factory installed and this wasn't just a little wearing out of the parts, we are asking them to reconsider that. We'll let you know.

In other news, I was able to get the grocery shopping done tonight. Fred Meyer is having its Founder's Day sale this week, there are many great deals to be had. Wild caught salmon is $2.99 a pound. As I had a coupon for $5 off of any meat or seafood purchase $5 or more, I used it on that salmon, making it around $1.56 a pound. They filleted it for me and everyone is happy. Also, the sale coincides with the rewards vouchers arriving. Between this Fred Meyer trip and one to our local grocer for some produce (mostly organic), I bought all our groceries, including buying one month's extra diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, kitty litter, beyond what we need for the week and stocked up on a few other things. I used some store coupons and some coupons I printed out along with the vouchers at Fred Meyer. The lady forgot to give me the discount for using my reusable bags, but that only would have been $0.15. The total before coupons and vouchers from both stores? $174.83 For $34.85!

I only used 11 coupons, six of which I picked up off the shelf in the store. If you have a Fred Meyer in your area, this is the week to shop. Make sure you check the mail before you go if you have their rewards card so you can use your rewards, too. My $5 off meat and seafood coupon came from that packet and there were four or five other really good coupons in it also.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Delay

Or rather fun, pretty photo delay. I was all set to get the pictures from our trip up here when we had a little more excitement at the Arabian Knits household last night.

While I was heating our ham and bean soup on the stove (between 6 and 7 on the front burner), shortly after I decided to and added about a pound of lentils to add some more oomph to it, since much of the beans and ham had been eaten the first time we had it, the stove made an electrical popping sound and blew the soup up and out of the pot. I was near the kitchen door, setting scraps on the counter for the chickens, Alexander was across from the stove at the dishwasher (far enough away to be unharmed). As my back was to it and Alexander was looking at it, he said "The stove just exploded!"

I turned and looked and saw the soup everywhere on the range, dripping down the front and on the floor out about two feet in all directions. I am thankful that the soup was still cool, it hadn't even started bubbling, so nobody was burned from it.


This was taken after I took the tea kettle and spoon rest off the stove.


However, when I went to the stove to turn it off, sending Alexander out of the room from the kitchen door nearest him and having him set up the gate so his younger siblings wouldn't come in the other way, and lifted up the pot to remove it to another burner while I took a look, the soup began to stream out of the bottom of the pot. It may have been the soup draining into the burner that put out the fire.



I found a bowl, put the pot over it to drain in there, called Rich and started taking pictures. The clock and oven light were still on, so it didn't blow a fuse or short out the range. It appears that the burner was super energized or powered in some way. The burner actually had a hole burned through it, another hole eaten away in the side of part of a coil and the pot burned all the way through.



I took this picture after we had unplugged the range so I could dig the lentils out to show the hole.



Fortunately, it was one of my older, cheap pots, instead of my nicer ones. Though, because of the aluminum in it, none of the soup was salvageable, even for the chickens. This was so very sad, because that was a great soup and we couldn't even get eggs from it. Not to mention the waste of the lentils. We ate tuna sandwiches on some really nice bread we had just made to go with the soup and carrot sticks for dinner instead.



Here is a closeup of the hole in the bottom of the pot itself.



I'm just glad that I forgot to put in my French green lentils, as I had intended, and used the less expensive brown lentils. They were actually embedded in the burner!



A quick Swagbucks search for our GE Hotpoint model #R B757B H1WH and the word recall brought up a recall from four and a half years ago. When we called, they said our serial number wasn't affected. It is the same kind of problem that the other ranges were having, just in a different area, however, the burner on the stove rather than the element in the oven. Which makes me wonder if there shouldn't be another recall.

We have called GE's recall hotline and they said they'd come out and look at it tomorrow, but that since it is not affected by the recall, we would have to pay for any repairs. Since we were using the stove in the manner which it should be used, none of our breakers blew and the electricity was still running properly in the range, I suspect the problem is in the appliance itself. We shall see how they handle it tomorrow. If they are rude or unhelpful or otherwise nasty, I will be sure to let you know about it so you know what to expect if you have a problem with one of their appliances.

Until we get this fixed or replaced, all our meals will come out of the crock pot, the stand alone roaster or our grill. In our camping stuff, we have a butane single burner, which we might be able to use to make rice or pasta or something like that. We might do some cooking over fire in either the fireplace or our fire pit outside. This is where having a wood burning cook stove would come in handy. In our dream house, we have not only our fireplace and wood burning furnace as we do here, but also at least one wood stove with a cook top, a wood burning oven for pizzas and bread (and power outages) and an outdoor kitchen with a gas grill, charcoal grill a smoker and access to the indoor wood burning oven. Tonight, I need to remember to set up the crock pot to have oatmeal for breakfast for the children in the morning.

Those of you who know the details of some of the things that have been going on in our family lately will recognize this as one more thing being added to us. Please pray for our protection. So far our family's finances, health and lives have been preserved and we are so grateful to God for that. This could have been so much worse. The stories I read of other people's experiences with this range involved fires that could not be put out for an excessively long time. I am thankful that the soup was still cool and wet, as that may have helped put out the fire.

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6 Followers

The whole followers thing on blogger is creepy. I feel like I should be addressing my followers periodically.

So, here are your instructions:

Drink lots of water, eat lots of garlic and sing at least one song in public today.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: May 11

Thanks to one of our chaplain friends, we were able to leave town for much of last week, so our menus were scrapped during that time. As was our customary fast and abstinence discipline. We do not try to continue our fasting when we are not in control of our meals or when we are visiting people who do not respect it. We know some people who, we suspect, would purposely make meat meals on those days, just to see what the reaction would be, so we keep the peace by eating whatever is put in front of us. Even the monks with the strictest fasting disciplines would kill the fatted calf when visitors came to the monasteries, so as not to be doing their fasting for the praise of men. So, we try to think of it that way.

Anyway, it was a huge blessing to be able to just rest, somewhere else, and not have to be concerned with the mess that is going on here. On top of that, Fr. Steve was able to get us in to Skamania Lodge for free, with all meals and two adjoining rooms covered for us. Although he was holding a marriage and family retreat there, he knew that we were under a lot of stress and said that we wouldn't have to go to any of the meetings, but to feel free to use the child care if we wished, and just show up for meals. Otherwise we were on our own to do as we pleased. We used that time mostly to nap. We did get to use the pool with the children, Rich and I used the spa one night while Fr. Steve's daughter stayed with our children in the hotel rooms, we took advantage of the great fireplace, free hot cocoa and the lovely grounds. On our last day there, after we had checked out, we took a hike on one of their trails, then had a picnic lunch with the very nice sack lunches that were provided for the retreat. Photos will be forthcoming.

We were still back in time to have our Mother's Day dinner out after an outing to the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, where we forgot to have a family photo taken. We do have some other pictures and even a video of the children playing there, though.

edited to add: All menus this week are subject to revision, as our stove blew up last night. We are all okay. Fortunately, nobody was near the stove when it happened, the soup was still cool and hadn't even started to bubble, so it didn't burn anyone. If you want the whole story, I'm working on a separate post about it. However, since we won't be using the stove anytime soon, all meals have to be either crock pot, roaster (we have a stand alone roasting oven) or grill based cooking.

If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can.
What is on your menu this week?

Here is the list of foods from the freezer, fridge and pantry that I'm using this week. Anything from the freezer, pantry or fridge that was not bought specifically for this meal or this past week will be included in my lists.

Freezer:
Ham & White Bean Soup
Italian Sausage
Brisket
Scallops
Chicken Thighs
Mozzarella
Peppers
Corn


Fridge:
Eggs
Butter
Cream
Lettuce
Carrots
Celery
Cauliflower
Swiss Chard
Broccoli
Lemons
Bread Dough
Heavy Cream


Pantry:
All Herbs & Spices
Salt
Onions
Garlic
Olive Oil
Bread Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Blue Corn Meal
Yeast
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Sugars
Honey
Cous Cous
Rigatoni
Fusilli
Egg Noodles
Vallarta Beans
Marinara
Escabeche Sauce
Canned Tomatoes

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Finished Object Friday: May 8

Just a quick post this week.

If you have one or more finished items this week, please sign Mr. Linky below and share all you have made. Your Finished Object(s) can be knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, tatted, beaded, papercraft, woodwork or any other kind of craft. Show off what you have made! Please make sure you link to the exact post that shows your finished item(s) rather than just to your blog.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: May 4

We are going through serious attack right now, both spiritual and physical. I am not able to talk about it on the blog, but this past weekend was harrowing and we need serious, emergency prayer. Please pray for us every time you think of us, if you can. We are seeking God's protection over our whole family, but also prudence in us. We wish to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. Prudence.

I'm posting our dinner plans because I am going to try to keep our lives in as much of a normal pattern as I can. I don't know how well we will stick to our meal schedule, to our school schedule and homemaking schedule, but I think it is very important to at least try to keep some semblance of a schedule for stability's sake. I don't think our children will be getting much out of our formal studies this week, it is more that we continue in it to keep their lives as normal as possible.
If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can.
What is on your menu this week?

Here is the list of foods from the freezer, fridge and pantry that I'm using this week. Anything from the freezer, pantry or fridge that was not bought specifically for this meal or this past week will be included in my lists.

Freezer:
Brisket
Bean, Kale & Sausage Soup
Scallops
Corn
Ground Beef


Fridge:
Eggs
Butter
Cream
Sour Cream
Lettuce
Carrots
Celery
Scallions
Lemons


Pantry:
All Herbs & Spices
Salt
Onions
Garlic
Canned Tomatoes
Olives
Olive Oil
Basmati Rice
Brown Rice
Escabeche Sauce
Bread Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Yeast
Sugars
Black Beans
Mustard
Corn Tortillas

Rosemary from the herb garden
Basil from the herb garden

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Finished Object Friday: May 1

Happy May Day! Today is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, one of two feast days for St. Joseph. So, enjoy your work, try to notice the flowers and share your creative work here. We are on our way to a homeschool conference this weekend to learn more and pick up some material for next year.

If you have one or more finished items this week, please sign Mr. Linky below and share all you have made. Your Finished Object(s) can be knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, tatted, beaded, papercraft, woodwork or any other kind of craft. Show off what you have made! Please make sure you link to the exact post that shows your finished item(s) rather than just to your blog.

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