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Monday, March 26, 2012


The children requested that we pull out an old Blues Clues video the other day. They hadn't watched one in many years, so we indulged them. Amira watched for some time and finally remarked that she didn't think that Steve was that smart.

We had snow on March 22. March 22. I looked outside and remarked to Rich that Jack Frost was no artist, he was a vandal. Rich seemed to find that particularly funny.

I am beginning to understand why people didn't tell children about deaths or difficult times. Having them all know about our loss has in many ways made it harder to cope. We have to manage their grief along with our own as well as deal with innocent, but painful comments from them. There are many days that I wish this was only known to Rich and me. On the other hand, we'd have to work hard to keep it a secret from them, as others would know, and our own grief would be even more inexplicable to them. Again, it seems there is no real way to make this easier or better.

Rich knows me well enough to know that I really don't want our last child to be our dead child, so when asked by a colleague if we were going to try again, he answered that we would. This will be the first even year in 14 years that we don't have a baby at home. We have thought about trying again at the end of the summer or beginning of the fall, since we have to think about being snowed in and not being able to get to the hospital, so we now actively try to avoid having a baby in winter. If we do succeed, that will mean that we have an odd year baby. If we wait longer, and try for a baby in 2014, it will mean a four year gap between our youngest children. Either way will elicit comments or questions about the change in pattern or the longer interval between births. Yet again, there seems no easier way.

This past week, as we did our normal bedtime prayers, Mariam insisted on getting "up" (she meant down) from her father's lap as we began the Lord's Prayer. She got on her knees and knelt at the table with her hands clasped together as we prayed. It was stunning to see her make the connection between our words of prayer and the actions and physical prayers that we do. It made our night and sweetened our week. She is living up to her namesake.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu Plan: March 25 - March 31

It seems we don't have anything but busy weeks. In any case, this was another one. Elijah turned 10 today and Rich drove our big van around as the party van full of boys to take them to Taco Time with cake, ice cream and presents. They seemed to have a great time. His birthday is almost always during Lent, but it is also always (almost, if it falls during Holy Week or on the Paschal feast, those take precedence) a feast day.

This week will also be busy, but for different reasons. We have visitors coming every week for a month beginning this Thursday. It will be fun. And full. Then, next week is Holy Week, and we will be rather busy with church as well. I cannot believe we are almost all the way through Lent. It does not seem like so much time has passed and I'm not sure how successful I've been in keeping a holy Lent this year. If anything, it seems to have brought to the surface all that needs work.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Menu Plan: March 18 - March 24

Well, I have neglected to post the recipe for creamed carrots. We had a rather hectic and tiring week and I am sorry I just didn't get to it. I will try to get it posted this week.

However, I have some pictures of our meals this week. I made some of our pancakes on Saturday in the shape of shamrocks (everyone's seconds were just regular round pancakes) and made green, peppermint steamers.

For dinner tonight, I recreated one of my favorite sandwiches.

It is a double decker, grilled reuben sandwich with turkey in one layer, corned beef in the other. I used our homemade sauerkraut in it, which was especially nice. I actually made our corned beef a little differently this year. A few recipes I saw suggested cooking the meat in beer, so that is what I did. It was very good and we'll definitely repeat it.

Today was Laetare Sunday, which is joy Sunday, milk joy Sunday, the Mother's Day of the Church. It was not nearly as restful as I would have liked. I did get a few minutes' nap, but when I went to take a bath, I had running and screaming brothers, sisters who were arguing over a picture and a son who exclaimed, wondering who had licked the icing off of the cake. You see, we had left the remaining birthday cake (from Amira's birthday party) on the counter to thaw to eat with dinner. It turns out that Yasmina had made the most of the time and taken quite a thorough turn with the cake. We have not often seen such a good job of removing frosting. I should have gotten a picture. We have yet another feast day this week, St. Joseph, so we will be celebrating and making some crafts and doing some study on him. He is one of the saints after whom we named Elijah. He is the patron of children, born and unborn, and we know prays especially for them.

There is one repeat on our menu this week, because last Friday was just exhausting and we had a throw together dinner. For the second week in a row, we have been able to get a 25 pound bag of organic navel oranges for $10, so they are in a lot of our meals this week.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Few FOs

I haven't had a chance to post my finished objects yet or the books I've read. I'll be updating the sidebar soon, too.

First dishcloth of the year - Finished January 16
This is just made of kitchen cotton, knit on the diagonal in garter stitch.

Striped mittens for our great nephew - Finished January 29
Made of 1824 wool in grey and two shades of green.

Stranded baby hat for a friend's baby - Finished February 1
This was made of some white cotton I've had in the stash for a while and some multi-colored cotton/rayon yarn I had leftover from making Mariam's dress.

Ponytail hat for Amira - Finished March 8
This is made of Patons Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Geranium. I modified this pattern to fit a little girl and made a buttonhole for her ponytail.

Closeup of the button closure for her ponytail.

Green headband for Amira - Finished March 9
I used some leftover yarn from Mariam's elf pants and hat to make this headband.

So, there you have it. Only five items knit in the first two and a half months of the year. I have a few things on needles that I would like to get finished soon and a few patterns I'd like to get written up for publication. I hope to have pictures and news soon.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Something I Learned

If you turn off the timer and oven with your last pan of khoubz Araby in it and forget about it for two days. This is what you will find:

(after you have eaten a couple)

They are sort of like the biggest oyster crackers in the world. And delicious.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Menu Plan: March 11 - March 17

This has been a rather hectic week for us. We had a neighborhood chili and game night for which we had to prepare and cook, then the next day was Amira's birthday party, replete with pink and trinkets and girly girl fun.

We had ribbon sandwiches, potato salad, princess punch, layer cake and tea. There was lots of laughter, loads of earrings, lip gloss, nail polish, pendants, tea sets. One of her friends even made her a pink and green pillow case. Dominic has been carving soap figures lately and made a whole menagerie for Amira. It was really all the things an eight year old girl could dream of. It was a lovely day, and I'm so glad we were able to make it happen for Amira. Rich took the boys off to eat sandwiches and watch the Incredibles so we ladies could have the house to ourselves.

We are entering the third week of Lent with a couple repeats and a day off from our Lenten fast with St. Patrick's Day this weekend. Our schedule and life this week threw off our meals a couple of the days, so we are trying again this week.What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Monday, March 05, 2012

Menu Plan: March 4 - March 10

We are now in the second full week of Lent. It's already a time of growing. I have a family member who helps me greatly with my spiritual maturity and discipline. Perhaps that is why God has sent her into my life.

We are busy with preparations for our garden. Spring is on her way and we are eager to greet her. None of us are really fans of winter, so basically for half the year out here, we are sad and indoors. Now, we are planting seeds, repotting plants, getting ready to butcher turkeys, getting ready to buy some new fruit trees and trying to get the ground prepared for planting. We are hoping to buy a lamb that a friend will raise for us this next year, and possibly even go in with them on a milk cow to get fresh milk each day.

We've also been busy with house projects and organization. We have some trouble areas, and are trying to get on top of them, along with ongoing projects that need to be finished. The goal is to have our house as we want it within the next two years. That way, either we have a house we like and can continue living in it as we wish, or we can sell it and move on to another property that better suits us. So, we sort of have a hard deadline. What we're short of is time to work on the house. We're thinking Rich is going to have to take some vacation time and just stay home so we can get them finished.

In any case, here is the menu for the week. I don't think we have any repeats. There is a great deal of excitement this week, as we open birthday season in our family. Amira turns eight this weekend. Her birthday party will be Sunday, with her little lady friends arriving for a luncheon with fancy party sandwiches, potato salad, raspberry milk, a chocolate layer cake with raspberry filling and frosted with whipped cream and cream cheese frosting and tea to drink with it. Rich asked if he could come to the party, and I said he could if he wore a hat and white gloves. I believe there will be a viewing of Anne of Green Gables and much giggling as well.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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