Monday, March 29, 2010

Confessions from the Third Time Around

Today, I was craving this:

Turkey Tom

Well, actually I craved it through my other two pregnancies, but today was different because without hesitation I drove directly to Jimmy John's and ordered it.  (Along with a Slim 1 and a Chocolate Chunk Cookie for the kids to split.)  As we were pulling into the drive-thru, Diego immediately noticed the car in front of us (a dark blue Santa Fe) and asked if it was my sister.  "Nope, Diego, that's not her..." The sentence ended there, but continued in my head: "She's pregnant with her first and can't eat here."

So, here's the deal.  Every time I'm pregnant, my mom eventually will ask: "Now, why can't you eat lunch meat?" And I will explain... not very well, why I can't.  But this time around, I've just had a hard time following the rules.  (I'm writing this shortly after making a batch of cookie bars and helping myself to a bite of the dough.) I was strict about following everything I read when I was pregnant with Diego.  Then, with Eliana, I kept on getting migraines and finally my doctor told me, "When you see yourself headed that direction, go get a coffee. It's really not as big of a deal as pregnancy books make it out to be."

This time, I'm at the point where I'm asking myself things like: If my mom was able to eat lunch meat and we all turned out (relatively) normal, is it really as bad as the self-proclaimed experts make it out to be? (That's right, Heidi Murkoff, I'm talking about you.  You've made a killing off all the fears of millions of first time moms-to-be, and you're not even a doctor. And you only have two kids... so, maybe I'm on my way to becoming even more of an expert than you!) And are you really going to tell me that somehow this other fast food option is healthier for me and my baby?.

So, while I don't plan on picking up such nasty habits as smoking (which my grandmother did through all 5 of her pregnancies...) or drinking, I'm much less of a naysayer and worrier this time around.  And although, all of you first or second time moms are welcome to nay-say as much as you want for yourselves, please don't try to get after me.  I've been there and done what you've done and I understand your feelings well already.  If you've had your third, fourth, or more and you want get after me... I suppose I might be more inclined to listen to your experienced wisdom.  Or you all could just share your own confessions with me... that might be more fun.

As for you, Jimmy, I'll see you around soon.

 P.S.- I love you!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well, That Explains It

After all the sickness that came to visit our house, my kids have finally mended and are doing well.  (They're begging to go to the park instead of laying all over my house in little lumps.) But me, it seemed like I just wasn't recovering.  That I was going to be sick to my stomach and exhausted for the rest of my life.  And my illness just didn't seem to be following the same pattern that the kids illness had, which had me worried that they were going to get something else.

Then it hit me, that perhaps what I had wasn't so contagious after all. (Unless you take a look at all the facebook statuses... good grief!  Maybe we have an epidemic on our hands.) So, before Jesse took off for Mexico, I decided to determine if my hunch was right. Sure enough, positive.

I'm about 7 weeks along... my due date is November 7.  Although, I think my mom would like it if I scheduled my c-section for the 11th-- my granny's birthday.  (My sister is due close to my granddad's birthday and mom thinks Elisabeth should have her baby then, too.) So, in the mean time, I've been sleeping a lot and ignoring the blog.  I'll try not to do that all the time, but gee, three hour naps in the middle of the day are nice.  Not productive, but nice.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

To make you smile (Bible Giveaway Winner)

Yesterday, Eliana and I got to go on a Girls' Trip with some of my family.  We had a great time shopping and laughing!  We stayed out late (got home around 2) and most of the day, I've been recovering.  (I don't function well on less than 5 hours of sleep.)  Here's a picture from the day.  My aunt, Nine, lent Eliana her glasses... she would have worn them all day long if Nine hadn't needed them back so she could read her menu. 

Thank you, ladies, for the wonderful day!  It's so nice to spend the day with people who love you (especially when you've been missing your husband and boy).

And now for The Jesus Storybook Bible Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations to The Rouse House!

(E-mail me with your information and I will get the Bible to you soon!) 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Perfect Pie Crust

Long, long ago, I was single and lived in an apartment building on the edge of Riverside that backed up to the Arkansas River.  It was a beautiful place when we moved in there (Emily and I)... it had been the previous landlord's personal apartment and so it had lots of posh extras.  (We had it pretty good in that little place.) Then, Emily decided to get married. I was happy for her, but I was concerned.  Where would I live? I couldn't afford the place on my own.  In the end, it turned out okay. Emily's friend, Amy moved in and I got to stay until I was getting ready to get married, and someone else moved in to take my spot.  (It was that kind of apartment- the kind you didn't give up unless you were getting married.)

Amy had two (or was it three?) cats, that I wasn't terribly thrilled about, but she was fun person full of spunk and although she was several years my elder... her attitude and outlook on life made me look like on old-schoolmarm at the ripe age of 22. She was in a band (when she wasn't doing her day job as a dental hygienist) with Emily's husband.  The name of the band was Sister Sarah... named after her sister.  She adored her little sister (was more of a second mom to Sarah than a sister, I think) and had what I referred to as a "Shrine to Sarah" in a corner of our apartment filled with photographs and mementos.

(Another of Emily's photos.)

Anyway, one of the best things I learned from Amy was how to make the best pie crust ever.  (At one point she'd won a pie contest, so I know it really is the best.) It was exactly like the one I'd grown up using, with one exception: more shortening.  (That's what makes it flaky.)

So, here it is (this will make 2 pie crusts): Start by putting 2 cups of flour in a bowl, add about 1.5 teaspoons of salt and toss it with a fork.

Add a cup of shortening (Crisco) and that's right a cup... I didn't say it was the healthiest pie crust, just the best.

Take your pastry blender to it...

And mix it until most of the pieces are more or less the size of large peas.

Then, it's time to start adding 5 Tablespoons of cold water a Tablespoon at a time.  (Go ahead and add some ice cubes, the colder the better.  You don't want it to be warm... you'll end up with tortillas instead.)   Stir the dough after each spoonful of water.

Now, it's time to divide your dough into two portions. Get out a large square kitchen towel. (Don't use a good one, it won't stay nice.) Lay it down on your counter and flour it. Work the flour into the fabric, you don't want the crust to stick to it.

Before you start rolling the dough. Toss it around in the flour, then flatten it with a tic-tac-toe board pattern.  

Dust more flour on the top, and on your rolling pin. Then get to work. (Roll it to about a 1/8 inch thickness).

When you've gotten it all rolled out, roll it onto your pin.

And then unroll it into your pie plate.

Leave about an inch around the edge, fold it under and then crimp the edges.  In this picture, you'll see me crimping with an index finger and my thumb... because it's hard to take a photo of both my hands at the same time.  Usually I crimp the edges using both of my index fingers.

This time, I filled the pie crust with a quiche. 

It's really yummy... but most of the time, it's fruit... the problem with baking is not the fact that I'm spending time baking.  It's the mess that follows. So, I haven't been doing it as much as I like.  But tonight was special... we had a small group breakfast for dinner, and because tomorrow morning we're going on a girls trip... and we're going to need something besides McDonald's to eat in the morning.  So, I guess I should go to bed. Good night!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wednesday's Dinner

My great-grandmother's name was Carrie Rigby.  (The one I whom I think I look like.) Her line is the one I get (most of ) my Irish roots from.  To be honest, although her blood was very Irish, she was very American... it was actually her great-grandfather Michael McCullough who moved to the states from Ireland.  Even Michael's name doesn't scream Irish... but his mother's name does.  Her name was Sadhbh Hagan. Sadhbh is pronounced Sive. Now, don't stress the v and make it sounds soft, almost like an f and you'll understand the name Sophie... which it is related to.  (Can't you hear almost hear it in your head with the Irish Brouge?)  If I had an Irish surname I'd think seriously about using it.  But, alas, I'm not quite sure it would go well with Rodriguez.

Carrie Rigby

So, because we have at least some Irish in us, or maybe just because we love a good chance to get together and eat, we had our St. Patrick's Day dinner tonight. (Yes, we know, it's not St. Patty's quite yet, but hey, we're going to do an all-day girl's trip that day, and I'm busy tomorrow night with my small-group, so tonight was the night.)  Lucky for you, because that means I'm going to tell you how to fix the easiest St. Patty's day meal ever.

Go to Dillons (or Kroger) today, they're sale is $1.29/lb. for corned beef points.  Cabbage is on sale for 39 cents/lb. I don't know, maybe there are other places that are selling it too, but this is the lowest price I've seen it at and they only sell it this cheap right before St. Patrick's Day... so, if you like corned beef (more than for just the 17th) then, buy several and stick them in your freezer.

Okay, here's the deal.  Pull your crock-pot pan out of its heating unit, put the corned beef in the pan and stick it in your oven to brown. (Broil setting.) Flip it over once it's browned on the first side and let it brown on the second side.  Done?  Great!  Now, stick the pan back inside the heating portion of the crock pot.

You should have a spice packet that came inside the meat packaging.  Open that up, and dump over the corned beef.  Now, pile on baby carrots, quartered small-medium sized potatoes and cabbage cut into wedges.  Add about a cup of water.  Cover, and turn onto high and let cook for 4-6 hours.  (If you're going to let it cook longer than that, cook on low.) You're done.

Here's the corned-beef we had tonight at my mom and dad's house.  (It will look pink. But it should almost fall apart... that's how you know it's done.) We like to serve it we horseradish mixed with sour cream.  If you don't like the horseradish, just use sour cream.

Put all your veggies in another serving dish.  And don't forget to buy (or bake) some bread to go along with your meal. (The men in my life usually don't think a meal is complete without bread of some sort.) You can try Irish Soda bread if you'd like, but I personally don't like it that much.  (This bread had seeds in it. My momma picked that up at Dillons too. It was really yummy!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Bible You Have to Buy if You Have Kids (Giveaway)

(and maybe even if you don't have kids.)

About a month ago, my aunt, Lesa, sent me an e-mail letting me know about a Bible that her granddaughter, Evie, has.  She thought I might be interested for myself, or for the church.  I looked at the Amazon link she sent along, but didn't take a lot of time doing so because I was preoccupied with other things at the moment, but thought to myself, no children's story book Bible can beat the classic I already have.  (I'll show that to you on another day.) So, I put it on a list of things to take a closer look at later, thinking that I could take a look at Evie's copy in person and then I'd actually be able to sit and read a segment of it and see how well I liked it.

Well, I didn't get the chance to do that before Eliana's birthday party rolled around.  But what a wonderful surprise, Lesa (and my uncle, Jim) bought the Bible for her and it's better than I had dreamed!

The title, The Jesus Storybook Bible, doesn't make it stand out from the slew of other Bible picture books on the market.  But the subtitle, Every Story Whispers His Name, hints at the wonderful goodness that lies within.  You see, it takes Bible stories that don't mention the name of Jesus and shows in a simple way how the promise of Jesus and God's loving plan of redemption is hinted at in those wonderful Old Testament stories.  (Which I think is awesome because for as long as I've been a believer, I'm only now beginning to realize all the times, God used people's lives to weave an intricate tapestry of his plan for salvation -and even now is using us in the same way.)

The author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, apparently goes to Evie's other grandmother's church in NYC.  And her Grandmother Bergquist was so impressed with it, she purchased it for Evie.  Evie and her mom, Emily, had been reading it everyday for her Bible time.  The illustrator, Jago, does a beautiful job.  Typically I am not one for cartoon-esque illustrations.  Especially in a Bible.  But these are so bright and colorful, and I love the noses.  And can I just say: Thank you, Jago, for not making white bible characters! (It's disturbing that most illustrators still haven't understood the fact that Jesus had African ancestors and therefore, was most likely not a blond, blue-eyed baby, as cute as that might be.)

Look at these illustrations:

This story talks about the Lord's Prayer and how we should think of God as our Daddy.

This one shows how Jonah's 3 days in utter darkness, foreshadow another Messenger's 3 days in darkness.  And how the coming Messenger would actually be the Message (or Word) Himself.

This is the beginning of the Passover story.  I just love Lloyd-Jones words here, so I'll share them with you:

"But an even Greater Rescue was coming.
Many years later, God was going to do it again. He was going to come down once more to rescue his people. But this time God was going to set them free forever and ever."

And this picture of John the Revelator is a cool ending to the book, because it tells kids that the end of the Bible really isn't the end.  That they are a part of God's story too.  Isn't that cool?

Now, before I go, I should let you know a couple of things.

First, this Bible is intended for ages 4-7.  Diego (who is 3 and loves reading) will listen intently.  I think if I was willing, he would sit through the entire 351 pages in one sitting.  They are broken up into smaller stories which take between 5-10 minutes to read.  Eliana, depending on the day, may sit through one story before she's done.  (But she's still not into reading as much as I'd like her to be... she has much more important things to do, like carry her dolls back and forth.) So, although, I think it works (for the most part) for younger ones, you may want to keep your child's personality in account when considering if this is the first Bible for you.  (I'll share my other favorite children's Bible with you on another day... the stories there are much shorter.)

Second, I'm going to do my first giveway.  (I'm excited about this, but since I'm new to this whole blogging thing and giveaways, I'm restricting it to people living inside the United States. Sorry.) If you would like a chance to win The Jesus Storybook Bible there are 3 ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment, telling me what your favorite Bible story was when you were a child.
2. Blog about the give away (and leave a comment here with your link).
3. Share the link to this giveaway with your facebook friends and leave a comment telling me that you did so. (We're going to use the honor code with this one.)

So, that gives you up to 3 entries!  Entries will be received until midnight March 17, 2010 Central Time. A winner will be chosen randomly sometime on Thursday, March 18 and I will announce the winner then! Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We've got the sickness already.

A little known fact around our house, is that "Fiddler on the Roof" has a quote for everything.  Jesse and I find ourselves quoting lines from it quite often.  Probably because we watch it more than anyother movie we own.  (It's really the only musical I've been able to get Jesse to watch with any consistency and to be honest, it's the only musical my dad has ever loved, too.  So there must just be something there that guys in general can connect to.)

Anyway, to the point. Since, I last wrote about illness visiting our house, I thought we were better... no symptoms from anyone in over 48 hours.  We all went to church together on Sunday like a normal family and then, of course, that night, I come home and get sick. Just Sunday night... yesterday, but I was able to keep things down.  Then of course, about 11 last night, I hear Eliana crying (and this child never wakes up in the middle of the night).  So, I run upstairs and she's revisiting everything she had to eat that day. Just now, in the middle of posting this, I had to stop writing, give Eliana a bath and clean up the pools of brown liquid that collected in her high chair and on the floor below.

So, I don't know anymore.  I feel like I'm being on the cautious side of things and trying to wait 48 instead of the normal 24 hours recommended before bringing my family back out into the world and still, we end up getting sick again as soon as we've seen other people.  Maybe the solution is to never go out in public ever again- to hole up in our little home for the rest of our lives and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.  If only Diego and I could live like this.  But we can't.  We need people.  We need to leave the house on occasion. So, I'm stuck on what to do except to pray like Tevye: "'Heal us, oh Lord, and we shall be healed.' In other words, send us the cure.  We've got the sickness already."

In the meantime, enjoy this short clip from "If  I were a Rich Man." Take special note at what happens end of the clip.  I did that today, too. (Except, I wasn't wearing shoes.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

Meet Loma.

Some of you may know Loma already, without even knowing it.  Let me tell you a little bit more about Loma and then, you may see.  Loma was the child of Elmer Deardorff and Mary Selecta Deardorff.  I'd like to tell you that Mary Selecta's last name became Deardorff after she married Elmer in 1864, but their marriage record doesn't indicate that.  My best guess is that Elmer and Mary Selecta were first cousins. (Kissing cousins as your parents=not a great start for Loma.) I've been searching quite a bit for more information about Mary (who usually went just by Selecta).  And I've found her one other time as a 10 year old, but I can't find her or her family anymore than that, so I've been kind of stuck exactly how she and Elmer were related.

Anyway, Loma (perhaps because of her genes?) didn't live terribly long. She was 27 when she died, but it's what she did during the few years she had that made a big impact on an entire family.

She married Victor Lewis.

And they had two daughters, Ethel and Myrtle. (Not exactly my favorite names.)

But her oldest was a boy, Leroy Elsworth. (The story goes that Leroy was born early as Loma and Elmer L.V. were traveling by covered wagon and that he was so small he fit into a cereal crate and that ended up becoming his first crib.)

I always knew Leroy as Roy.  We didn't use any titles with his name because he was from a Quaker background. In fact, in our family, we still don't use many titles. Aunt Bethany sounds uncomfortable and distant and I'd rather just be called Bethany. (My southern sister-in-laws don't seem understand this, and insist on having their children use a title with me.)

Leroy's only son was James Leroy.

(James had a slew of sisters who were mainly named after Leroy's old girlfriends. I really don't know why Leroy's wife, Alice, was okay with this, but I've been told that even a generation ago, women didn't always have a say in the naming of their children like we do today. I can't even imagine.) James married Marilyn and they had five children.  The fourth was a girl, Laurel.

And here's Laurel with her husband, Ronald and their first (I just can't get over how skinny she is here! I certainly did not have a figure like this after Diego was born. So much for genetics. *sigh*)

And that's how I know Loma. She is my mom's great-grandmother. Do you see the resemblance? (Neither do I really. I personally think I look more like Marilyn's mom, but I'll save that for another time.)

But now to the point of this whole thing.  Starting tonight at 7 Central, there's a new series on NBC called: Who Do You Think You Are? I'm really looking forward to it because I love learning more about the history of my family and why we do the things we do. (Like not using titles with family members.) Typically, I'm not a big fan of reality TV.  I'll take The Office anyday over the likes of Survivor or American Idol. But for this, I'm in! They will be looking at the ancestry of the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Emmitt Smith.

But to top it all off, is doing the Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes! And you can register online everyday from now until April 30, 2010. The Grand Prize will be $20,000 to spend on travel expenses (so you'll be able to go back and visit the places your family is from and gather and see original records that are not yet online (Oh, the places I would go!), 8 hours of consultation with 5 geneology experts familar with areas regarding your family history, and an Annual Deluxe World Subscription to their archives for you and 5 family members. But they are also giving 20 First Place Prizes away of the Deluxe World Subscription.  (Right now I just have access to the US records and they are really great, but I feel like I'm getting to the point where it would be nice to have records from places like England, Ireland and Mexico, so the idea of this prize is also pretty cool!)

So, go and register, and while you're there, do a little research of your own!  Maybe you'll find some kissing cousins of your own (but hopefully not).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Youth For Christ

Many of you know that Jesse started working for Youth For Christ when we moved back to Wichita in 2005.  But some of you may not know how much of an impact YFC has had on the rest of our lives. My dad was actually working for YFC when I was born in Hastings, NE.  (That's why I'm a Husker... blame it on YFC.) Dad worked for them for years and even after he moved began youth ministry at a church, he still volunteered with them.  I can remember going to fund-raiser walks way back in the day when dad was young and wore polyester shorts that were way too short.

But besides YFC being a big chunk of my childhood, my mom took a job with YFC my last year of college. After I graduated from college, I found myself teaching and not doing anything closely related to missions (which made me an unhappy camper) until my mom mentioned me to the director of YFC's mission program, Project Serve.  Two weeks later, I was down in Mexico for a week over spring break at Jesse's parents' church. By the end of that week, I had decided to return for the entire summer. And one of the first people I met the first week of the summer... Jesse.  You see, we owe a lot to YFC!

During the three years that he worked for Youth For Christ Wichita, we were blessed abundantly by the way God used us to lovingly draw kids coming out of terrible situations to Himself.  It was a very challenging and rewarding time for Jesse and I.  And Jesse was blessed to not only work with some incredible kids but also some incredible adults who really have a heart for the youth they are working with. 

(Pam, Jeremy, Dale, Juanita)

One of the coolest things about YFC is their vision.  Listen to this: To see every young person in every people group in every nation have the opportunity to make an informed decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ and to become a part of a local church. How cool is that? The Wichita staff work in the local public schools, the juvenile justice system, with teen parents and even teach GED classes to youth! 

They are a dedicated bunch and we are excited that Diego will be bowling in their fundraiser bowl-a-thon this weekend!  So, far Diego has about $45 in pledges, but we'd love to see him raise more.  If you think you might be able to give even a small amount, would you please pray about helping out?  And if you can't right now, but are interested in learning more about their ministry, please feel free to visit them on the web.

Thanks and God Bless!

Life Interrupted

Sometimes life gets interrupted.  Here I was with plans to blog about all sorts of wonderful things, and I haven't posted a thing since last week.  How lame is that?  And how will I ever get to be the next Pioneer Woman that way?  But I have a good excuse... really I do.

Because besides Eliana's birthday party that we were throwing on Saturday, sickness has decided to visit our house.  Diego woke the day of the party and decided to share how he felt about his sister getting all the attention by puking.  This would perhaps be funnier, if he hadn't done exactly the same thing the year before, but such is our life around here. This year, we didn't postpone the party (since it was due to start in 2 hours and I already had a good deal of food prepared). Instead, we banished him to his room.  He was good natured about it, and my dad talked me into letting him sit in our hallway while she opened her gifts so he could at least peek in on the fun.

Things were back to normal by Tuesday and by Wednesday morning, Diego had gone 48 hours without showing signs of illness so we headed out to BSF.  Since Eliana had just turned two, she was put into a new class, where she immediately freaked out.  I thought it was a bit odd, since she did relatively well when we moved her up to the preschool class at church on Sunday, but didn't think it would last long and I took off for class since I was already running late. When I came back to pick the kids up, I had discovered that they had moved Eliana back to the infant class because she had never calmed down in the 2's class.  The nursery teacher told me Eliana had acted bored, but I didn't worry about that too much either.  We grabbed lunch on our way home, but Eliana didn't really eat.  Come to think of it, she hadn't eaten well the past couple of days.  And then, about 30 minutes before it was time for me to leave for work, she puked all over the carpet.

"I spilled my milk, Mama.  Sorry, Mama."

"It's okay, Baby." Funny that she decided to call it spilling.  Diego always calls it demping (dumping).

Last night, she woke up over and over again.  Poor little thing didn't have much in her tummy to get rid of, but that did keep her body from trying.  I got about 2 hours of sleep last night. In the middle of Eliana's drama last night, Diego woke up with explosive diarrhea all over his bed. Yeah!

So, far Eliana's had two naps on the couch this morning. Yes, that's my laptop cord lying underneath her. (Don't worry I didn't leave her alone that way... she was too close to the edge of the couch for me to do that anyway.)

Diego's on his third movie...and not just the short 30 minute kind either. At least he's happy.

Now, I'm drowning in piles of disgusting laundry. We've exposed 3 different BSF children's classes to this bug. (So sorry!) We're all still in our pj's and it's nearing noon. My living room carpet is rolled up and lying in the vestibule awaiting a good carpet cleaning. And we won't be attending the Wichita Garden Show this afternoon like we'd been planning and I've been dying for a piece of spring.  Oh well, at least the sun is shining and it's supposed to be warmer this next week.

In the mean time, here's a list of things I've been meaning to post blog about, but haven't:
  • Eliana's birthday party and all the food involved - yum!
  • Youth For Christ's up-coming Bowl-a-thon and Diego's need for sponsors
  • The awesome new Children's Bible that Eliana received from my aunt, Lesa, for her birthday
I'll see if I can't get around to at least one of these topics this afternoon during nap-time... that is if I don't end up taking a nap myself.