• My Ramblings

Baking Kids and Raising Bread

Have you ever noticed that raising kids is a lot like baking bread?

Yeah, you probably haven’t, therefore, you should thank me because I’ve no doubt opened up your eyes to a whole new way of thinking!

Seriously, though, it really is.  Just go with me one this one.

First, you decide what kind of bread you want- just like how so many people decide what kind of kiddos they want.  You laugh- or maybe that’s just a confused look you have- but its true.  How many people do YOU know who refer to their pets as their “fur babies”?

*shudder* I’m sorry, but it just sounds like some sort of bad, juvenile disorder: “I’m sorry, Mrs Smith, but little Johnny has come down with a severe case of … fur babies.”  Just call them what they are, will ya?  They’re your replacement for kids.

Anyways, so you choose your “bread”- human or… hairy.  (Or, in some sad cases, a little of both, poor kids.)

The next thing you do is add the ingredients.  In bread, this includes your flour (substance), yeast (leavening), sugar (everything should have a touch of sweetness), etc.

With kids, the same things are necessary.  Everything you teach your kids -that’s the substance; love- the yeast; and the sugar- this can include everything from words of encouragement to “dates” with your kids to, well, if you can consider it sweet, it applies here.

And, as a side note, did you know that yeast and sugar must go hand in hand to properly work?  With kids, think of it as your words and your actions working together.  You can tell your kids you love them, but its the “sugar” that really shows them.

After you’ve added all the ingredients, in bread, you mix it all together, let it rise, knead it some more, let it rise once more, then you bake it.

With kids, its a continual process- adding more “ingredients”, teaching it to them (mixing), letting them rise (letting them rest so what you’ve said has a chance to sink in), and then starting the process over again.

And you have to let them “rise”.  If you just keep beating them, *ahem* I meant KNEADING them, you’ll end up with tough dough, er, a tough kid.

As parents, we’re constantly “adding to the batter”, “mixing it all in”, and giving them a chance to “rise” on their own.  It never stops, and all the while, they’re baking- becoming the person they’re meant to be.  Even the heat of the oven (the pressures of life) help to perfect the process.

Now, if any of those steps are left out or if any of the ingredients are missing (or too much of any one ingredient is added), then the loaf will be off- it can be too sweet, too salty, too puffed up, too dense or hard, tasteless, a squishy, doughy mess, or possibly no real growth.

But if everything is added in all the right proportions, in the end the result is a perfect loaf of bread, and all that’s left is to eat it.

Ok, maybe I was a little hasty in my comparison…

Saturday Shout-Out: Wisdom of a Fool!

I wanted to use my Saturday posts to highlight some great bloggers out there. This week’s feature blogger is wonderful and I hope you love her as much as I do. If you’d like me to highlight you, just send me an email:


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Saturday Shout-Out

~Your name:  TC Avey

~Your blog’s name w/ link: “Wisdom of a Fool” tcavey.blogspot.com

~Type of blog it is:

Life in General:  Wisdom of a Fool focuses on issues many of us face on a daily basis from a Christian perspective.  It covers topics in the news including politics and current events as well as inspirational stories of forgotten heroes in our history.  Many posts focus on what God is doing in my own life, what I am learning in my walk with Christ and what I am struggling with.  I attempt to educate/enlighten others in my endeavor to educate myself.  I encourage respectful communication as we all strive to learn more about our world and our role in it.

~Tell us a little something about yourself:  I am a Christian wife and mother of one precious little boy (but don’t we all think our children are precious, I hope so).  I love politics and history though I will admit I am not an expert on either, just a passionate observer.  I love to read pretty much anything and everything.  I enjoy traveling but don’t get to do it nearly as often as I would like.  I am obsessive about having a clean house which is something my son is teaching me to let go of and I will admit, I am struggling.

I am also undertaking breaking into the writing field.  I have completed a young adult fiction and am seeking representation.  I know it is a long road to getting published, but I am in no hurry.  I trust God that everything will happen according to HIS plan.

~If you had only 1 wish, what would it be and why?  This is a difficult one…One wish uh?  I guess if I had to pick just one it would be for those I love to find the true meaning of happiness and joy in life.  Neither can be obtained through material goods, status or any other thing society deems as necessary to being successful.  True happiness and joy comes from being content with what God has given and trusting that God is in control.

On a more selfish level, I wish my house would stay miraculously clean ALL the time!!!  That would free up so much of my time, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, but I sure would love to find out!

~What’s your favorite thing about where you live and why?  On a broad scale, I live in America, a nation of freedom.  I am free to do, go, be and say whatever I please so long as it doesn’t infringe upon another’s ability to do the same.  That is amazing!  On a smaller scale, I live in a community that overall is Christian in nature, where neighbor helps neighbor and our streets are relatively safe for children to play.  With the downturn of the economy my small community is struggling but thriving and I am thankful.

~What’s #1 on your ‘Bucket List’? To see the world!  There are so many wonderful places I want to visit; there is no way to pick just one!

~3 words to describe yourself would be…? Organized, Loyal, Compassionate (Obviously Christian)

~1 little known fact about you is…? I hate folding and putting away laundry.  It’s one of the easiest tasks of housekeeping, yet I struggle doing it each and every time.

~1 vice of yours is…? I tend to be a perfectionist and that can lead me to being critical of myself and sometimes of others though I am more forgiving of others shortcomings than I am of my own.  I put a great deal of pressure on myself when really there is no reason to.  This is something God is working on in my life and my son is helping me along.

~Why did you start blogging?  I started this blog after realizing how many people in my own life do not know or care about what is occurring in our world and/or do not have daily Bible devotional times.  I feel that as responsible Christians we should not only know what the Word of God says, but also know what is transpiring around the globe.  We might not have time to have a long Bible study or to watch all the news, but there are certain things we do need to be aware of.  I am not a Bible expert nor am I a journalist and I don’t endeavor to try to be either.  I simply share things God places on my heart whether it is news related, inspirational or religious in nature.

~What’s your favorite thing about blogging?  I’m enjoying getting to meet new people.  When I look at my blog stats, I can’t believe people from all over the world have logged on and viewed!  I’m pretty sure some of them did it completely on accident, but I’m still encourage with each new visit, each new comment and especially with each new follower.

~What do you think makes for a successful blog? Being open and honest.  This can be scary.  I have opened up my heart about my father passing away and the grief I have walked through.  In the future I know there will be many more things God leads me to share that will make me uncomfortable.  For me, good blogging is about pushing my comfort as God directs in order for Him to use me to touch someone else’s life.  After all, what’s the purpose of learning if not to share?

~3 words to describe your blog would be…? Inspiring, Enlightening, Assertive (Obviously from a Christian standpoint)

~What’s 1 blog (besides yours) that you think everyone should check out? Oh my, I’ve found so many wonderful blogs lately, this one included.  Currently I am really enjoying a series Titled: “31 Days of Letting Go” by Flower Patch Farm Girl at http://flowerpatchfarmgirl.blogspot.com/

Friday’s Writing Prompt: Well, I never!

Never

I’ve never roped a Brahma bull,
I’ve never fought a duel,
I’ve never crossed the desert
On a lop-eared, swayback mule,
I’ve never climbed an idol’s nose
To steal a cursed jewel.

I’ve never gone down with my ship
Into the bubblin’ brine,
I’ve never saved a lion’s life
And then had him save mine,
Or screamed Ahoooo while swingin’ through
The jungle on a vine.

I’ve never dealt draw poker,
In a rowdy lumber camp,
Or got up at the count of nine
To beat the world’s champ,
I’ve never had my picture on
A six-cent postage stamp

I’ve never scored a touchdown
On a ninety-nine-yard run,
I’ve never winged six Daltons
With my dying brother’s gun
Or kissed Miz Jane, and rode my hoss
Into the setting sun.
Sometimes I get so depressed
‘bout what I haven’t done.
–Shel Silverstein
Mama’s Losin’ It
List 22 things you’ve never done.

That’s one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite authors.  This week’s ‘Mama Kat Mission’ was to write about 22 things I haven’t done, and while it may be a tad depressing, I think I’ll use this more as a bucket list rather than a list of regrets… well, with the exception of a few of the ones on my list.  What can I say?  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get a bit silly.

So here it is- I’m 31 years old and I’ve never:

1. Gone to a cooking school.
2. Visited another country.
3. Written a book.
4. Ridden in a hot air balloon.
5. Taught a chicken to ride a skateboard.

6. Gone a day without hearing the word “poop” from my boys.
7. Made ice cream from scratch.
8. Gone scuba diving.
9. Been to jail.

10. Kept a plant alive for very long.

11. Been rich.

12. Eaten sushi (other than California rolls).
13. Jumped in a big pile of leaves.
14. Gotten a tattoo.

15. Gotten a ticket.(I’m probably jinxing myself right here.)
16. Gone sky diving.
17. ACTUALLY used duct tape on my kids.

18. Eaten liver.
19. Built a snowman.
20. Driven a real race car.
21. Run a marathon.
22. Thus far, tried to sell my kids on eBay.

Thankful Thursday

I know.

I keep switching it up with how I’m doing Thankful Thursdays.  Oh well.  Just consider it me keeping you on your toes.

Today I decided to post a picture to illustrate something I’m thankful for.

As much as I might sometimes detest California, I’m thankful for the ability to drive about an hour and be able to see beauty like this.

This little place is one that I used to go with my grammie, cousins, mom, brother, sister and everyone when I was younger.  We’d play in the waves, search the tidepools for hermit crabs, play with kelp that washed up on shore, build sand castles…

When I had kids, I knew this was one place I couldn’t wait to take my boys to.  Since it had been years since I’d been here, I was almost a little afraid before we got here- wondering if it would be a disappointment- but it was great.

My boys did the same things I did when I was younger, and it was a little nostalgic watching them do it all.

Sure, it wasn’t exactly a cheap trip -the funny thing about “short trips” is that you still have to pay for gas and everything you’ll need once you get to point B- but it was completely worth it.

So, I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for the ability to make these memories with my kids.

And, hopefully, one day, when they’re older and have kids of their own, they’ll feel the pull of this place and they’ll tell their kids about all their wonderful memories, and they’ll want to bring their  kids here.

And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll be able to sneak a sea shell home in THEIR bag so they can tell THEIR kids,”I brought some of the ocean home- wanna hear?”

Wordless Wednesday: Silly

Tasty Tuesday #4

Have I mentioned that I LOVE this time of year?  Cuz I do.

In the Summer, it sucks.  I live here in California where we have 1 season- Summer.  Sure, we might refer to it as different things throughout the year- Fall, Spring, whatever- but the fact of the matter is, we have ONE season.

Well, except at certain times during “Winter”.  Sometimes, when the Summer has been particularly horrific, Winter will come on with a vengence- I think, because it helps keep a balance.  But I’m ok with that.  In the Summertime, you can only take off so much clothing to get cool before you’re naked (and that doesn’t work very well when you’re at a park… which is what you DO in the Summer.  You go places.).

But in the Winter- ahhh.  Its lovely.  Once Summer’s flame dies down, and you start to feel that nip in the air, you can pile on as many hats, sweaters, mittens, scarves, etc. to keep warm.

And you can eat tasty warm food.  Like soups, stews, and roasts.

This week’s Tasty Tuesday is one of my FAVORITE Winter time meals.  Well, actually, it works well for any time of the year, but it just fits so well during those two days when Summer has decided to fool us into believing its gone until next year; all the while, its lying in wait until our guard is down and we’ve bundled up the kids in toasty outfits… and then pops out, springing 90 degree temps on us again.

But, I digress.  Here’s a meal for those few cool days (for us poor SoCal natives).  And for the rest of you who know what Winter REALLY is, hope this warms you to your toes.

Pot Roast

1 3-4lb. boneless chuck roast

1 tsp steak seasoning

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp. veg. oil

2 med. onions, cut into wedges

4-5 med. potatoes, quartered (I put 4 or 5, but honestly, when it comes to the veg, you can do as little or as much as you want- within reason.)

4-5 med. carrots, thick chunks

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 can mushroom soup

1/4 cup red wine (what kind?  Whatever you’d like to drink.  I found some 2 buck chuck that tasted good and it worked well, so do what pleases you.  You can replace the wine with beef broth if you just really don’t like wine, but it honestly tastes better with it, and you won’t taste a WINE flavor, just a rich flavor.)

2 tbsp. Worchestershire

1 tbsp. beef bouillon

3/4 cup water + extra to keep roast saucy

Add steak seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to a small bowl; rub onto the roast.

Put all the veg and the bay leaves in a roasting pan big enough for everything.

Heat oil in large skillet and brown the roast on all sides.  MAKE SURE the skillet is big enough and hot enough.  If the skillet is too small, it could just steam the roast, and if the skillet isn’t hot enough, the roast won’t develop a crust- and a crust is good.  Brown is tasty.  We like brown.

Once BROWNED, put the roast on top of the veg.

Add onions and garlic to the pan the roast had browned in to absorb the juices (1-2 minutes).  Pour over the roast.

Combine soup, wine (or broth), worchestershire, and beef bouillon  into a bowl.  Mix well and pour over the roast.  Add water to roasting pan.

Cover pan with foil and roast for 3-3 1/2 hours, or until tender.

*Check every hour or so to see if the roast needs more liquid.  If so, add 1/2 cup of water.

Once finished, discard bay leaves and let roast sit for 15 minutes or so to allow the juices to redistribute.

Enjoy!

Saturday Shout Out: Fun on a Dime!

I wanted to use my Saturday posts to highlight some great bloggers out there. This week’s feature blogger is wonderful and I hope you love her as much as I do. If you’d like me to highlight you, just send me an email:


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Saturday Shout-Out

Fun On A Dime

~Your name: Michelle

~Your blog’s name w/ link: Fun On A Dime, http://www.funonadime.net

~Type of blog it is: I’m not really a mommy blog because I do not share a lot of personal info, but I do giveaways, share recipes, crafts, inspirational tips, games, etc.

~Tell us a little something about yourself: My name is Michelle. I grew up the oldest of 5 children, my youngest sister is still in High School. I have been married to my hubby for almost 7 years and most of those years were spent in Utah while he was going to school. We have two children, a son – 5 and a daughter – 3. We just moved from Southern Utah (specifically, Cedar City, which we L.O.V.E.D!). I have almost 30 nieces and nephews (1 baking in the oven) and around 40 cousins my age all the way down to newborns, most who live in Arizona now (yup, I have Aunts and Uncles my age!). Between all these young bodies around, including my kiddos, I have lots of opportunities to try out new activities for lots of ages.

~If you had only 1 wish, what would it be and why? To have more wishes! AND if that is not allowed then my wish would be to own a machine like on the Jetsons cartoon where you walk in it and it fixes your hair, automatically clothes you and anything else you need to do to get ready for the morning in a blink of an eye! I bet laundry is automatically done with that machine!

~What’s your favorite thing about where you live and why? We are near family and I LOVE the sun! As much as we love to live near the mountains, I don’t think I could take another cold (as in snowy) winter this year. =)

~What’s #1 on your ‘Bucket List’? I actually had to give this some thought! lol Right now, my #1 ultimate thing to do on my bucket list is to coordinate a huge group game event for 100+ families at a Children’s Hospital.

~3 words to describe yourself would be…? Energetic, Entertaining, Enduring

~1 little known fact about you is…? I’m 5’2″ and my husband is 6’4″. I always get a smile when people realize he is my husband!

~Why did you start blogging? I started blogging to prove to myself that I could still have fun with my family with spending very little money.

~What’s your favorite thing about blogging? My favorite thing about blogging are the connections I make and meeting so many amazing parents!

~What do you think makes for a successful blog? I think having a topic of interest and one that people can relate with makes a successful blog

~3 words to describe your blog would be…? Inexpensive Family Fun

~What’s 1 blog (besides yours) that you think everyone should check out? Only one? That is tough! I really love Serene Is My Name, Not My Life! (serenedesigns.blogspot.com/) – I love her outlook on life and I have to share one other and that is, Play With Your Family (http://www.playwithyourfamily.com/), I’m fond of family fun promoting sites!