Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day

Busy, busy, always busy here (for which we always welcome prayers) but at least today we're not going anywhere. Last night the snowfall, today the play. It started pretty early, since there is already a sign here and there of melting on the ground. Not that it's going anywhere with the temperature what it is, but the kids were anxious to be out there before breakfast. 

Right now everyone is back inside cozy and warm, although snowman-making is on the agenda for the afternoon. We might try our hand at some other fun stuff for indoors; I have always wanted a weather day to try these snow balls, and watching last night's snowfall inspired me to look up this pretty winter birch art project for the kids

This is actually last night's dinner, and I'll have to buy another slow cooker before I can make it again. Someone, ahem, left the insert on the stovetop last night, and someone, ahem, turned on the wrong burner this morning, and the result was a burning smell, then a crack and a pop, and a crock with the bottom broken right out. Fortunately we have leftovers. It's good for meatless Fridays, too.

Vegetarian Chili

One can black beans, rinsed and drained
One can of garbanzo beans or white navy beans, rinsed and drained
One can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 cans baked beans
One can of corn, rinsed and drained
One can of diced tomatoes
6 ounces of tomato sauce
2 ounces of tomato paste
Half cup diced green pepper
Half cup of diced onion
1 teaspoon (two cloves) minced garlic
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano 
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley

Throw it all in the slow cooker and cook on high for two hours or so, and serve with crackers or cornbread. Add in cooked rice, cheese, or both, if you want. You can even throw in a cup of rice while it's cooking, which will thicken up the chili somewhat. 

What cold-weather comfort foods do you serve on snowy days?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

First {phfr} of the year!

Happy New Year! Are you ready for a new start? We have our patron saints, and I have my resolutions made. I wish there was a generator for accountability partners. I could use one. 

But let me share with you a few moments from this baby year.  This is our church, in a picture taken with my iPhone's panoramic setting. I love using it, even if I haven't got used to it. Also, I think maybe some distortions are sort of built into it. The pews, for example, are not angled; that's just the result of me standing in one place and pivoting while I take the shot. 

Still, it's beautiful, isn't it?

And this is the pilgrimage replica of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which came to our parish last weekend as part of the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage. Fr. Peter West from Human Life International came and spoke about the icon and the pilgrimage during our Sunday masses, and after each mass people were invited to come up to venerate the icon, and take a holy card touched to it if so desired.

The original icon is said to have been "written" by St. Luke the Evangelist. I have been thinking a lot about such "original" images as the Shroud of Turin and the tilma with Our Lady of Guadalupe, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that this image would be at our parish for the weekend. I'm still thinking about this one, and lately my thinking has remained deep in the realm of "pondering." But I might share some thoughts soon about images in your spiritual life.


What do you do when you're in the middle of a polar vortex and everyone comes down with sore throats and messy noses? Eat mint ice cream! 

It may seem like a strange choice to voluntarily eat a cold dessert with freezing temperatures outside, but thanks to the miracles of modern temperature control, at least it's easily done. Both the cold and the mint of the ice cream are soothing to suffering heads. You could even do a Little House thing and make your own, if you have the snow (we don't) and the flavoring. 


Dominic is the size of a two-year-old, but he hadn't eaten anything other than breast milk until two nights ago. (He's also trying to walk. Please.) He's gotten so that he's not sleeping through the night, or even longer than about ten minutes, without me nursing him (or at least beside him, fooling his unconscious little mind into thinking that he's still nursing). He's a bed hog, too, wanting the middle, or trying to go perpendicular and push someone off the bed. 

Jason and I made the decision to start him on solids to supplement our breastfeeding, so that we two adults could get some sleep. So this is his first time having solids—rice cereal, to be exact. (That doesn't count the times somebody lets him lick an apple or suck on an ice cube!) It seems to be helping.

Don't let the tongue fool you. He likes it. Babies are always funny when they eat. 

So that's life. As always, pretty and happy and funny and real are conflated, and it's wonderful that way. 

Read more at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

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