Saturday, December 26, 2015

Kids and What They Say

(I wrote this when Angel Boy was a baby and never published. Found it recently and had to share)

One morning at breakfast, I inform the kids that it is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. "Does anyone know what that means?" "When Mary visits Elizabeth?" The Queen says. "When Jesus is born?" Princess pipes in. At this point my delusional image of their perfectly Catholic education is waning a bit. Then, the Eldest saves the day with a perfectly perfect book answer "The Immaculate Conception refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary being conceived without original sin, God granted her this grace at her birth, it is not to be confused with the Incarnation." Phew!! 1 out of 3, not so bad. The conversation went from this to why some people don't understand or believe in this doctrine to so many other directions I can't even cover here. But my favorite quote is from the Eldest, "You know mom (while doing his shot for breakfast) this insulin is like people coming into the church, and I am like the syringe helping them to get there and my body is like heaven, our ultimate goal."

There's a little rhyme I learned in school to learn the direction of a compass, "Never Eat Shredded Wheat". When trying to teach the Queen this she says, "but I eat shredded wheat every morning. We have to come up with something else." After careful thought over this she says "How bout, Never Ever Sink a Warship." I find this hilarious considering her personality, it is SO appropriate. She says, "Well! It's true! You don't want to sink a warship or then you might get in the middle of a war!"

Sunday morning, I send The Queen up to wake up her older brother as usual. She comes back down and with a big sigh says, "How come he is always grumpy in the morning? even on Sunday!" I asked, "What did he say?" She said, "He said, 'great, now I have to break my back to get dressed'".

At the table The Queen kept asking me when the Little Guy would start kindergarten. I finally said, "Why are you so concerned about (The Little Guy) and his starting school?" She said, "because I am trying to figure out how he is going to change from 'El Destructo' into a Kindergartener, I mean, he doesn't have that much time!"

We have conversations about heaven often. As a family we are having to make a lot of dietary sacrifices for our health, so often the children take turns describing what their house might have in it (ok, mommy plays too, my house is usually made out of chocolate and coffee). The conversation then moves to what will we be doing in heaven and what will it be like to be with God? I make the comparison to candy, when you taste God, he is so amazing you can't help but want more and more and more, except, candy would make you sick, God does not. And the Eldest says, "yea, and like candy when you taste it you feel like you want others to taste it to."

The Eldest asks "Mom, what's a winter solstice?" After looking it up online, I read out loud, "The winter solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. More evident to those in high lattitudes, this occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun's daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as midwinter, the longest night or the first day of winter." After a brief moment of silence, The Eldest says "Were you talking to someone, mom?"

 At the table someone asked how old I was. "34" I reply. The Queen says, "40?! oh wow, at first I thought you said 40, I'm glad you are just 34, 40 is a really BIG number." The Eldest says, "But there's even hope for 40 yr. olds. I heard that one even won an Olympic medal once!"

Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom

Every year I discern and am certain that once again, God is calling me to homeschool. I am afraid of my own weakness and failure. But every year, God holds my hand, either through the advice and help of a friend, or frequently, my own children. He also in the midst of the grueling day that it can be in working with special needs, makes me laugh and gives me mini-doses of sheer joy throughout. For instance, Angel Boy ASKING me if he can take his math test, skipping back into the dining room (aka school room). Where does this child come from? His mother is repulsed at the idea of tests and math. (shhh). The Little Guy in an attempt to get a certain food item out he knows is not the usual asking me if he can do "a little food experiment?" I have to admire his astuteness. Princess who would rather bake cupcakes all day than do anything else, asking me if I would look up some recipes for her, and tell her what ingredients I can have, so I can eat them too. But the cake topper is this. I can get really overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing and planning. Just not my gift. Homeschooling 4 kids with special needs, and raising 5, can be daunting on a daily basis. At the beginning of the school year, I showed the Queen what was expected of them this year, what they were supposed to accomplish in each subject, and how much time needed to be spent daily (based on our St. Thomas Aquinas Academy yearly assessments and planning they send us). She sat down on her own and typed up our daily school schedule, and people, she wakes me up every morning, the same time, keeps me on task, keeps me sane, and reminds me if I've forgotten something. If you are looking for a personal organizer, look her up in about 5 yrs. God is so merciful to me. Somehow he sees me much more capable than I see myself. It makes me consider the Christmas story we are celebrating. He called the Holy Family to a tremendously difficult task. The road ahead was not easy, full of grace and blessing, but also suffering and hardship. Their whole life as a family started in a cold, dirty cave. Joseph tried hard to find a special spot for Mary and Jesus but that was all he could find. Mary, though accepting it willingly, also felt so small to be taking on such a role as becoming the mother of God. But they both said, yes, and trusted God for the rest.   


 Mary, Joseph and Jesus

Some Allergy Friendly Sauce Recipes


The best way to survive a very restrictive diet is with sauces, so you don't feel so deprived. Here are some tried and true ones we have used.

Bernaise Sauce

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 egg yolks
1/2 lb. butter, heated
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients in a blender except butter. Add hot butter very gradually. Refridgerate.

Ginger Cinnamon Dressing

Ok, you know those premarked dressing cruets? Get one of those. Put the lemon juice in place of vinegar, add water, and oil as marked. Now add:
5 packets stevia
1/2 Tb. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. onion powder

This is kind of like a sweet ginger sesame salad dressing. I use it for other things besides salad dressing though. I even put it on my cooked quinoa. It is yum!

Mayonnaise

1 egg plus 2 yolks
2 Tb. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 to 1 cup

Put all ingredients in the blender except oil. Add oil gradually. You can add chives, dill weed, and parsley to this to make kind of a ranch sauce. For a dressing consistency, add some coconut milk. 

Untomato Sauce 

We have some sensitivity to tomatoes here as well so, I came up with this a while back. I have recently discovered that using fresh beets rather than canned makes a WORLD of difference. 

5 fresh beets oven roasted, cooled and peeled
4 lbs. carrots, cooked
4 Tb. lemon juice
2 cups water

Blend the above in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large pot on the stove and add the following:

3 tsp. sea salt
4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tb. onion powder
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup stevia 

Blend with hand mixer or blender until well combined. Cook, covered on low heat for about an hour. The longer the better, until it turns into a deep, red, ketchupy color. 

You can turn this into an "untomato mexican sauce" just by adding some cilantro and cumin. You can italian-ize it by adding oregano and extra garlic. 
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