Tuesday, September 18, 2012

prayer request

(I thought this posted on Monday...but Blogger had other intentions.  Sorry for the late notice.)

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
~Matthew 18: 19-20

It's been a long time ago (can you say, 21 years), but I'm pretty certain that there were a lot of things racing through my mind as I was handed my high-school diploma.  I'm certain I wanted to look good on stage...and not trip.  It was blistering hot that day...and I KNOW I thought about whether my gown would be stuck to my hiney as I stood up to get my diploma.  (Please Lord, spare me that humiliation!) That was probably at the forefront of my simple thoughts.  I bet I was hoping my aunts and uncles wouldn't hang around just too long after the cake was cut so I could "book it" to the long list of great parties that my classmates had planned.  Oh...the scholarship I was awarded probably gave me a few nervous thoughts about college that was just a few months away.  But nowhere in my wildest dreams would I or any other senior-on-his/her-way-out-into-the-world be thinking about Cancer.

Unfortunately, a recent grad in our community is facing just that.  His college start is on hold as he focuses instead on surgery and treatment for the tumor on his brain.  

Please join his family and friends, and parish community (and surrounding) for a day of prayer, whether you might know Austin K., or not.  Lift him, and his family and his doctors up in prayers as he undergoes his first surgery tomorrow.

There is a prayer vigil scheduled at St. Augustine Catholic Church here in Minster on Tuesday, September 18th from 8am (mass) till 8pm.  If you can't make it to church, pray anyways...it is the most powerful thing we can offer.



Saturday, September 15, 2012


Alice and Emma are really enjoying their sports seasons this fall.  As seventh graders, it's their first real full-time commitment to a team...practicing 5 days a week and really pouring their heart into it.
WIth all that commitment comes a new set of challenges as well.  It's been intersting to watch them as they settle in to their places on the team.  Or maybe...not settling...is more accurate.

Alice loves Volleyball.  She started playing last spring on a club team, and really took to the game.  She is a strong server, likes to dig, and has a great attititude.  That last part has really been put to the test as their team is struggling to make marks in the "win column" this year.  It's been tough. 

Emma on the other hand, chose running.  She's passionate about Cross Country, and really seems to be finding her groove.  Her struggles come from a different place...the exact opposite place really.  Her team has won every meet.  There are 14 junior high runners and they are all incredible.  It's a challenge to be a part of such a well-oiled machine, and still stand out as an individual.  She's feeling "stuck."

Yesterday as I prayed about their unique challenges, I came across this bible verse, and had some time to talk with each of them this morning, before they headed out on their respective buses.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us; let us use them.   ~Romans 12:6

To Alice:  Do not let fear of what others think,  keep you from being a positive leader, a role model for grace and humility and kindness even when the score is not in your favor.  Winning will come, let your actions show that you're a true winner, regardless of the game's outcome.  Lead your team to a personal victory each and every time you're on the court.  Your God-given gifts include your ability, you are a calm leader, you have a positive attitude, and you have a kind heart. Use them.  I am proud of you, and I love you.

To Emma:  Do not allow yourself to "fit" into any one mold.  You are full of surprises and you are capable of amazing things.  Do your best, take chances, push past comfortable.  Allow your mind to believe what God has created your body to be capable of.  Your gifts include your ability, your determination, your desire to be the best you can be.  Use them.
I am proud of you, and I love you.

Right now, Anne's gift seems to be playing in water.  She just soaked herself as she discovered the buttons on the fridge water dispenser.  I must go.  PEACE.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The weather is cooler, coffee is warm and the floury bread dough under my nails reminds me how blessed I truly am.  Something about fall weather, maybe the idea of harvests or maybe just the fact that gray skies force me into a feeling of slowing down a bit...but something about it brings about a deeper sense of gratitude for how God takes care, and provides.

It also inspires me and helps me to recognize the things I do throughout the day are also a loving way to provide for my family here.  I am not a bread-winner, by any means.  But I can feather the nest, I can turn a few humble ingredients into something good and nourishing, I can keep things running smoothly here.  I've even come to a place in my life where laundry doesn't horrify me like it used to.  These are the my contributions, my means of providing for my loves.

Proverbs 31 comes to mind today.  In particular, verses 10-31.  And I'm feelin' all that.

God has blessed me, and blessed my family through the work of my hands.  Not to toot our own horns, but it's quite a fulfilling job we women have...don't ya think.

Toot. Toot.

granola bar update.

I've heard that many of you are trying the granola bar recipe...and loving it.  So glad.

I've also heard that several of you have tried it and had trouble with them falling apart like crazy.  I know where you're coming from.  My suggestion for this (cause it happened to me with one batch) is to press them well, and definitely wait at LEAST 30 minutes before trying to cut them...an hour is better if you can stand it.  They are worth the wait.   Seriously, the longer they're in the fridge, the easier they are to cut without crumbling everywhere.

Don't give up on this one!

I did try a batch the other day with craisins, almonds and (crushed) yogurt covered pretzels in place of the rice cereal and crushed plain pretzels.  It was the BOMB, and did not require any melted coating on top.  YUM!

Friday, September 7, 2012

friday funny.

Lucy's comment on Justin Bieber:

"Mom, I think he's HOT...(pause, and my eyebrows raise in wonder.)...underneath all that hair."


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Better than the "the real ones."

I try to make homemade versions of lots of different snacks/treats.  And usually I hear the same response...it's not as good as the "real ones."

That is until I tried this new recipe for homemade, no-bake granola bars. 

You see, a single box of granola bars (the Quaker Oats Chewy variety) doesn't make it's way around the snack table once.  Only 8 or is it 10 in box?  That just won't do.  After-school snacks can kill a budget.  And so granola bars and things of the like have become rare grocery splurges. 

I have made this recipe at least 4 times now.  (A double batch makes approx 3 dozen bars...cut to the same size as the Quaker kind.)  My kids say they are the "Bomb."  Even "better than the real ones."

I've played with the recipe (based on what I had in the pantry) each time, and each time was better than the next. (Once I substitued Molasses for the honey (good, but slightly bitter), once I used crushed peanuts to replace the pretzels I ran short on, another time I used a few packets of instant oatmeal to make up for my shortage of quick oats.  Early on, we realized that pressing the mini chocolate chips into the bars just didn't work, so I now melt a little chocolate and drizzle it on top so it stays put.  I've used crunchy peanut butter, and even tried the Jif Chocolate peanut butter once...just to see.  I can't wait to experiment with craisins and almonds covered in white chocolate drizzle.  Yumm.)


No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
(a double batch fills both a 9x13 and an 8x8 pan perfectly, and yields about 36 bars.)

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup chopped pretzels
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Cut out an 8 x 8 inch square of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper in the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  My note:make your paper larger than the bottom of the pan!  The bars are so much easier to cut if you can lift the whole block right out of the pan with the edges of the paper, and cut them on your countertop/cutting board.

2. In a large sauce pan, add butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Stir in the oats, crispy cereal, and pretzels. Stir until well coated. Pour into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars with your hands.  Seriously:  skip the pressing, and just drizzle (less than it calls for) melted chocolate lightly over the top.

4. Place the bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut into bars and serve.

Note-I store the bars in the refrigerator. I've kept them in the fridge for up to a week and they are still tasty!

Adapted from Rachael Ray

finger-dippin' goodness.

I busted little Annie making her way over to the holy water font in our kitchen the other day. Too Darn Cute! She was dripping in blessings by the time she was done...
God Bless Anne in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

high hopes

Can you believe that most of the kids in my seventh grade parish religion class had never heard of Jiminy Cricket?!  Or maybe they just didn't want me to make them sing along...that might be more true. 

(completely off-subject; sorry about that.)

Anyways, like Jiminy Cricket, I had "high hopes" with the start of this school year that by now my house would be immaculately clean, laundry piles tamed, closets and drawers organized and so on.

Hasn't happened. 


I also thought that I'd be kickin' blog hiney, and typing out my feelings like it's nobody's business.  You can see for yourself how I'm doing on that one.

In all actuality, I'm still enjoying another week of "summer" with little Lucy until she begins preschool next week.  The two of us have become quite the dynamic duo while little Annie naps her afternoons away.  We've crafted and colored and stickered.  We've done makeovers and fingernails and curlers...even played "Toddlers and Tiaras" one afternoon.  She won the big crown.  It helps when your mama is running the pageant.  (Yes, I should be ashamed that I've seen that show.  My girls LOVE it.  Even more ashamed that we "played" it.  But it was FUN.)  We've cooked dinners, baked treats, folded laundry, and sometimes just collapsed on the couch and dozed off to some snuggly good books. 

I have been snappin  a ton of silly pics, and collected a pile of random thoughts that I have "high hopes" of sharing with you all real soon.  I'm hangin in there...hope you will too.