Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thoughts - and another recipe!

This might become my usual - who knows? But it works again for me today, so here I am Thursday Thinking and dishing out a recipe at the end.


My friend, Jennifer, is someone that I've recently come to know pretty well through the bloggy world. We've bonded over our Starbucks from a world away, and it all started because I don't like McD's french fries. (Apparently they are quite amazing in Japan!) She is such a sweet woman, and you don't have to guess how she feels about things. I love that about her, and I especially love how her heart for the Lord just shines. I am blessed each and every day that I read her blog. She passed this award onto me, which sort of blew me away, by the way -- and I'm excited to pass it on. (I love little "happies" like this!)

This award was designed to honor people who walk the walk with regards to what they "preach" (though I personally don't like to think that I preach -- just talk, really) in their blogs, and who are trying to start in their own homes with making the changes they'd like to see in the world. (Um, see why I'm surprised I came to mind? LOL)

So, now I am happily passing this along to Earen , Heather and Beth Anne because they all hit home runs in the change starting at home department. Every time I visit their blogs, I'm always blessed and challenged by what I read, and they all have an obvious heart for the Lord. They are just regular moms trying to figure out how to make each day better than the next, and how to grow closer to Him in the process. I think that maybe that's what this little award is all about.


Moving right along, back to things on the homefront...I really don't like it when my kids are sick. I know that no mom does. It just stinks to have to watch them be all yucky and not be able to to fix it. Thankfully, this go-around they both just have nasty colds -- actually I think G's is more of a sinus infection so we went to the ped yesterday and left with meds for her. I hope they kick in quickly - she is so congested that it's just nasty.

Yesterday was Mitchell's day to bring snack at preschool and it just about killed him that he wouldn't get to be the line leader and snack passer because I kept him home. (He probably could have gone, but in addition to making sure he wasn't contagious anymore - just a cold, but still - they are having a harvest party on Friday and he would really be sad if he missed that one.) I took the snack down to my neighbor so that she could take it to school for me and he said "Does Ela get to be the snack passer instead of me??" He was so worried about it.

It made me think about myself and how sometimes I'm still guilty of that same mentality as an adult -- I don't want to miss anything and it will just about kill me if someone else has to do one of my jobs. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson with leaving my job at school. The building didn't fall down. The school didn't get sued. No children fell ill. The world moved on, even without me. I know that in Mitchell's case, he just didn't want to miss being a part of things and to have his moment in the spotlight, but for me -- I think it's that whole needing to be needed thing. I have a few people in my life that this is their "thing," it's actually what they are known for, so it makes me cringe a bit to think that I have some of that myself. I am working on it and hope that I don't wear it as a badge as I have seen others in my life do.


Last night I was getting the kids out of their clothes and into their pajamas. I was busy cleaning up a pretty icky diaper for Miss G and sort of half-paying attention to Mitchell, who is completely able to change his own clothes at this point. Out of my half an ear I had turned in his direction, I heard something that sounded like "both of my underwears" so I decided to actually turn my head in that direction. Would you believe that my silly little boy wore two pair of underwear all day yesterday because he loves his new Spiderman undies that much?! Here's how our conversation on the subject went:

Me: How in the world did you end up with two pair of underwear on?
M: Well, I love my new Spiderman underwear and I just couldn't choose.
Me: Wasn't one pair dirty?
M: No, I put them on after my bath last night so I was really clean.
Me: Oh, I see.
M: Which pair do you like the best, Mommy?
Me: Ummmm, whichever one you leave on.
M: I like them both just the same. I wonder what kind of underwear Spiderman wears?
Me: Probably Spiderman undies.
M: No, I think he likes Thomas.


I really should have taken a picture of this, but my cranky girl yesterday cracked me up. At one point in the day, the only thing that made her happy was wearing her birthday crown, the thick, blue doctor's kit glasses, a string of fake pearls, my tennis shoes, and she had to tote around her plush, pink purse. She was so dang proud of herself.


Okay, so I actually read the paper yesterday morning. As in, I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Cover to cover. That simply doesn't happen in my life anymore.

Here's an article that I read that really made me upset. I can't STAND this sort of thing. (I also couldn't get the paper's website to load, so I copied this from another blog, but it's the actual article and that link works, just not for me apparently.)

This from the Rocky Mountain News:
Suggesting church for students gets district suedBy SARA BURNETT
CHERRY CREEK, Colo. — The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against Cherry Creek Schools, saying a project aimed at helping students reach their full potential illegally encourages going to church.
The complaint, filed on behalf of two parents who have children in Cherry Creek schools, accuses the district of violating laws regarding the separation of church and state.
Tustin Amole, spokeswoman for the district, said Tuesday the district is confident the project is not illegal because it does not mandate participation in any religious activity.
Known as the 40 Developmental Assets, the project is promoted as a way to help students grow into “responsible, confident and healthy young people,” according to a newsletter sent to parents.
Among the assets is having family support and telling the truth, “even when it’s not easy.”

Recommendation number 19 is “religious community.” It suggests young people spend time each week in activities at a religious institution.
The project, which is used nationally, has been in the Cherry Creek district for 18 years, -Amole said.
The complaint asks the court to order the district to stop endorsing Developmental Asset 19. It does not specifically seek damages, but asks for any other relief the court deems proper.

The bolded part actually made me laugh because I immediately thought about how these parents seem to be doing the complete opposite of what the whole project is supposed to be doing for their children. How about telling your kids that although you don't like these recommendations and that although they upset you, simply recommending these activities is not illegal. How about telling your kids that if they had required such participation, then you bet - scratch that itch and file your lawsuit. How in the world is filing this lawsuit teaching those children to be healthy, confident and responsible? If you ask me - it's teaching them to be ultra-defensive, catered to, complainers.

I can only say that if our kids went to that school and it was recommended that they not be involved in religious activities, you bet your bippy that it is we, as parents who would be addressing that with our children. We wouldn't go running to the courts to file a lawsuit because the school system recommended something that was in contrast with our beliefs as parents, and we DEFINITELY wouldn't claim we'd had our rights violated. We would make it clear that no matter what the school recommends about that area of their lives, this is where we stand as a family. And if the recommendation meant that much to us, I doubt that we'd be sending them to school there.

That, to me, is taking a stand. Not claiming that they are having their rights mowed down. I think that they are coming off as whiners, personally. I also want to say that I'm completely open to other opinions on this subject, but since it's my blog...


I just thought about what I wrote, and my husband will probably be so excited about it when I tell him. He loves it when I get fired up about stuff like that. I'm so much more lukewarm than he is on things so much of the time, I bet he'll be all jazzed to see me with my feathers ruffled. What a nerd. Also, he'll probably get a good chuckle out of the little award thing because (a) he doesn't really get this whole blog thing and (b) because he more than anyone else sees my warts. I think he'd chuckle, and then say he's proud of me. We'll see.


Okay - so now for the recipe. I found this one in the paper on Sunday, so we had it on Monday and it was yummy. Here are my own personal notes -- can you tell I rarely follow a recipe as it's written?

I used the bones from a whole chicken I'd cooked the day before, and I also used a cooked chicken breast I had leftover. I just chopped it up and threw it in. Seeing as how I try to use the crockpot instead of the stove whenever possible, I threw it in there and it was fine. I think next time I'll not cook it quite so long because it reduced quite a bit -- I'd do maybe 2-3 hours on low instead of my normal 5-6. It was a nice change of pace and we both really liked it. I think next time I'm going to add shredded cabbage and lots of stir fry-type veggies. I forgot to add the veggies even though I thought of it this time, and I also forgot that I was going to serve it over ramen noodles. Whoops. Welcome to a day in my brain.

Oriental Chicken Soup

1 lb - cubed, boneless chicken breast (mine was already cooked)

4 - minced scallions (my hubby hates onions of any kind so I left them out)

2/3 cup of orzo (I left it out)

4 cups - chicken broth (I used low sodium)

2 tbsp - soy sauce (I used low sodium)

2 tbsp - rice wine or cider vinegar (I used rice wine)

1 tbsp - fresh, minced ginger (I only had powdered and just sprinkled, I didn't measure)

2 tsp - sesame oil

4 oz - trimmed/julienned snow peas

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except snow peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Add snow peas. Cook 5 minutes more, or until orzo is tender and chicken cooked. Makes about 4 servings.



Renee said...

I just love the way your mind works. These random thoughts are among my favorites, because they totally reflect your personality.

I wish I could have seen Miss G yesterday, with her big glasses, necklace, and purse. I'm sure she WAS pretty proud of herself.

And, I have to say. You TOTALLY deserve the award that Jennifer gave you. Your faith, and your desire to live out that faith in your life are inspiring. And, I believe that your family is being blessed by it as well. It's fun for me, as a friend who's known you a long time, to watch your faith really take root and flourish. I know it's been there all along, but it's exciting to see the changes in your life that you're implementing now. You are a strong Christian woman, and your life reflects that. I love you!

Heather C said...

I think you deserve the award as too. I love your authenticity! And I am SO honored that you thought of ME! I'm not sure how this works... I choose three people to pass it on to? Hmmmm... do I get a list of past recipients? LOL

Thanks, Tara. You're sweet!

BethAnne said...

Okay let me take this in order:

1) You really dont like McDonalds Fries? That is kind of hard for me to believe. I will pray that the Lord helps me minister to you and I will intercede on your behalf for you to become free of your fry hatred. :-)
2) Okay, THANK YOU so much for thinking of me - I have never received an award and although I think it is completely undeserved (my husband, like yours would also) I have a few people I would like to thank:
* Excuse me while I move to the podium*** uhmmmm....First I would like to thank Jesus for loving me when I am unlovable. Then I would like to thank Tara for giving me this award and for her sweet smile and heart for the Lord - oh and for her recipes and pictures. Next I would like to thank Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Google and all the other Geek Squad people who made this award possible. Lastly, I would like to thank all the little people (my kids) for allowing me to blog without interruption every once in while.

Thank you Tara for your kind words - they mean alot coming from you and I say "Right back at ya, babe!"
(Also, I know I am supposed to do something with this award, but since I am kinda new at this I dont know what - I will see what Earen does so that I dont look like a total bloggy dork - k?)

3) I hate your kids are sick - good call on the staying home thing - fall festival more fun than passing out snacks- some mommy decisions stink

4)We all have a little part of us that thinks the world rests on our shoulders - you are not alone!!! Oh, trust me you are not alone - that is all I have to say about that.

5)2 pairs of underwear - string pearls - must be fun having a girl AND a boy

6) I am totally with ya on the school thing - did you hear where they are passing out birth control to middle school students in Maine - I blogged about this very thing this morning see
I kind of get jazzed up - your husband and I probably have a lot in common in that area.

7) You must be a great cook because that recipe sounds kinda hard to me. It might be because most of my dinners come from my crock pot and include cans of cream of mushroom soup. I need a lesson

Okay, I am so sorry this reply is like 400 pages long, but I had a lot to say and my kids are watching a movie. Thank you so much for your kind words!!!


Earen said...

Tara...have I mentioned how blessed I am to have you as a friend! How kind that you gave me that award! I'm truly honored & you definitely deserve it as well! You're a true friend & I honored to call you mine. Thank you!

Oh, & Bethanne's comment just cracks me up. I think if we knew her in person, we'd be great friends!

Mari said...

Congrats on the award - You are the perfect recipient along with Jennifer (I love her too!) Great thoughts on that news story - Those things make me so mad too! I hope Mitchell is feeling better. I bet wearing 2 pairs of underwear will help that!

I'm Tara. said...

Renee - you are the sweetest. Love you too!!

Heather - I have no idea who else has gotten it, but you can pass it along to whoever you want to. It's your award, baby!!

BethAnne!!!! You have me cracking up over here!!! Earen's right, we'd be big ol' buddies if we knew each other IRL. (And we'd probably drive our hubbies CRAZY!!)

I loved your speech - it was the best. :) Oh, and that recipe is EASY!! If you can cut up chicken, chop two veggies, and pour stuff in a pot, you are good to go. Seriously - that's all it is. It took me all of about 5 minutes to put together. Try it. Oh, and speaking of cream of mushroom - have you ever tried the Golden Mushroom soup instead? It's GOOD stuff!!

Earen - Awwwww. *hugs* Love you!

Mari - thanks, I think we're on the mend, actually!!

BethAnne said...

What does julienne mean anyway? (I think I went to school with a girl named Julienne) Here in the south we chop and dice - julienne is not in my vocabulary - can ya tell I am not the next star chef?

Sarah Markley said...

Tara, everytime I read you I always wish Miss G and Naomi could play - they'd be best friends I am sure=). I am picturing the dressup day (everyday is dressupday here!)