Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Educating the WholeHearted Child Giveaway!!!

I've been waiting for months for the new edition of this book to come out.  We can't afford to pick it up yet, but I'm putting a few eggs into this basket over at Sally Clarkson's blog just to see if I can be blessed with a freebie. Check out this contest!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fathead: the Movie

This documentary is informative and humorous... Tom Noughton really challenges the conventional wisdom of the health and fitness Establishment.  Now, I'm not an advocate of fast food. At. All.  But I still like the underlying premise of this movie: we've been fed a load of bologna about what makes us fat.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I read a beautiful post today about one woman's journey with covering that began even before she was a Christian.  I really love it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Book Review: Everyday Paleo

I'm not sure when I was first introduced to the concept of Paleo eating... probably back when I was veggie and though there's no way I could ever eat a diet based on animal proteins and vegetables.  When I started eating meat again, I started researching a little bit here and there.  I stumbled on Sarah Fragoso's blog "Everyday Paleo".  Sarah seemed approachable to me.  She wasn't (and isn't) a paleo-proselytizer.  She takes a very "this is what works for my family, but you do what works for yours" approach and I really appreciated that.

Being a former member of the vegetarian police, I totally understand how easy it is to get on the soapbox and start shouting from the rooftops that YOUR position has all the science behind it... not to mention, the enzymes!

I started trying Sarah's recipes, one at a time.  Eventually, I found myself building my menus around her blog.  I decided it was time to pick up her new book, Everyday Paleo.  I've cooked out of it every day since.

What I LIKE:

1. The recipes are delicious!  They are made with whole ingredients and not too many.  The food is very flavorful and I never EVER feel guilty about putting her food in front of my husband and children.  Some favorites include:

  • Egg Cupcakes- I. HATE. EGGS.  I hate them.  A lot.  Have I mentioned that I hate eggs?  But I eat these and I LOVE THEM!!!  Okay??  I cannot stress enough what a huge deal getting me to eat eggs actually is.  This recipe gives eggs the foot in my door.
  • Albondigas Soup
  • Steak skewers
  • Paleo Tacos with Kids Love Cabbage Slaw
  • Bean-less Chili
  • Slow-cooker spice rubbed chicken
  • Paleo Pizza
2. So the recipes are amazing, but how much time do they take to prepare?  Almost NO TIME AT ALL!!  Seriously!  Sarah is a busy mom of three boys- she's not going to spend hours in the kitchen every night.  Her recipes can be made in a flash.  I can't think of one that takes more than 30 minutes from knife to table.

3. Sarah is a trainer with one of the top gyms in America- NorCal Strength and Conditioning so she knows her stuff.  The fitness section in the book is fantastic.  She includes beginner to advanced workouts, describes how to do each movement and includes a picture for each step.  You don't need any fancy equipment and all of the beginner exercises can be done at home.  The fitness section actually motivated me to exercise.  That's a huge feat!  The routines don't take very long to complete either, but they are very effective.

4. Her discussion on raising paleo kids is very helpful. She gives boxed lunch ideas as well as ways to get your kids to embrace this food.  What kid doesn't love meat?  For my family, its the veggies that are the most difficult.  But slowly but surely, my kids are eating them, and that is a miracle.

5. The 30 Day Meal Plan is helpful as well.  She gives breakfast, lunch and dinner plans along with SNACKS.  She also includes a shopping list.  Now, whether or not you'll actually need 4 dozen eggs for the first 5 days is debatable, but the meal plan isn't just for you as an individual- its for the whole family.  I've tweaked the meal plan and am not following it meal for meal... but its a great place to start.

6. There are some "transitional" paleo recipes in there for pancakes and cookies- those foods aren't really "paleo" but I think they are a good middle ground for people looking to have their cake and eat it too.  Sarah never encourages eating these foods on a regular basis, but I still like that she includes them for those of us still making the change.

What I DIDN'T Like:

1. I think the index could be better.  I don't like that I can't search for a recipe by name.  The index is basically divided up by ingredient and then page number.  So if you know what you're looking for, it takes less time to browse the section where you think the recipe might be then go through the index.

2. There are some typos and some repeated numbers in the index.  Its a first edition.  No biggie.

Finding Paleo has changed the way I look at preparing meals.  What's the meat, what will the veg be and what kind of dressing will I make for the salad.  It really is such a simple way to think about food.  I eat TONS more veg now than I did when I was a vegetarian.  I am so grateful to Sarah for her approachable attitude and the great information she's put together in Everyday Paleo.  

Do you need to be a Paleo eater in order to appreciate this book?  HECK NO!!  I think everyone would benefit from the information in this book, but even if eating paleo doesn't interest you, the recipes are great and take no time at all to prepare.  That fact alone is incentive enough to pick this book up yesterday!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Goddess Chicken

Okay okay okay... its Chicken Diane.  I got this recipe from a friend, but we all LOVED it, so I thought I'd put it down here.  I've changed the name cuz I love it that much AND I added a few special touches of my own.

Goddess Chicken: AKA Chicken Diane

MMmom (from Ms. enPlace)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), pounded flat or cut into strips
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 t Dijon mustard
4 T onion, minced
2 T butter
2 T lemon juice
1 T Worcestershire sauce
¼ c chicken stock or broth
2 T chopped fresh chives or green onion
2 T Brandy
1 T cream
2 T minced fresh parsley (optional garnish)

Pound the chicken breasts or cut into strips to allow for faster cooking. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add mustard and onion. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes. Add chicken and cook until done, turning as needed. When chicken is cooked completely, remove to a plate and keep warm.

Add 2 T butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and chives or green onion to pan drippings. Cook for a few minutes. Add brandy and cream.  Bring the sauce just to a boil for a couple of minutes. Drizzle sauce over chicken, sprinkle parsley on top (optional), and serve.

Original Recipe found here: 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Its Summer and I Want to Kill My TV

Its summer.  Well, not technically... but our last day of homeschool was this past Friday.  I'm still putting stuff away from the move, although, I am obsessed with the idea of getting it all done by this Friday.  I'm obsessed for one reason: my children have been parked in front of the TV or the computer for weeks now.  Not all day.  Not every day.  But way too much for my taste.

Before we moved, we had this great system- chores first, then a little time on the computer.  School lessons.  Playtime.  Lunch.  Afternoon chores.  Computer or TV while I made dinner or put the house back together before my husband came home.

But as we started packing the old house and unpacking the new one, those routines, of course, went out the window.  I've tried to keep the kids distracted and out of the way so I could be massively productive.

Have I been massively productive?

That would be no.

I haven't felt well- my daily afternoon headache seems to appear around noon.  I have energy in the morning but then late morning, early afternoon, I feel yucky and don't do anything but waste time.  When I get my second wind, its time to make dinner.


So I'm forcing myself to be massively productive today.  I don't care how I feel.  I don't care whether or not I have anything good to listen to.  I'm going to push through the physical annoyances and move quickly through my home putting away everything possible.

Cuz if I don't get this done by Friday, I'm going to kill my TV and throw away every computer game we own.

Maybe I should just do this anyway...

Thankfully, my kids do play outside a lot or in their new rooms, so their days aren't completely governed by the endless distraction.  I hate it and I'm ashamed to have allowed it.  I could justify it if I actually got anything done... but I haven't done well in that department.

So, I'm off.  I would appreciate any prayers offered on my behalf.  I sure need them because this headache is kind of a doozy and I can't find my Excederin Migraine... best medicine in the world!

I'm off!

No really, here I go!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Persecution Complex

I see the word "persecution" thrown around quite a lot on Christian blogs these days.  People write something controversial- they are vilified all over the place on the internet- and then they cry persecution.  

I confess: This drives me more than a little bonkers.  Every day, I read stories of people who faced physical and psychological torture and death, who had body parts ripped off, who faced being torn to shreds by wild animals, who saw their children murdered in front of them- all so they would deny the Truth Faith and renounce Jesus Christ.  I thought I'd put up a few short stories of some great women who suffered and died because they were Christians and because they refused to back down.  Hopefully, learning about a bit about their stories will offer a little perspective to this new "persecuted" crop of Christians. 

St. Sophia and her daughters Faith, Hope, and Love : St. Sophia witnessed the brutal torture and murder of her daughters because she would not renounce her faith in Christ.  Her daughters endured this torture, but also refused to renounce their faith.

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity : Both these mothers were brought into the Roman arena to be dismembered by wild animals.  When that attempt failed, they were both impaled by the sword.

St. Paraskevi : She was imprisoned, tortured (including being boiled in oil) and STILL managed to forgive and even heal her captors.

St. Christina, the Great Martyr of Tyre : St. Christina had her breasts and tongue cut off before being impaled.

St. Maria Skobstova : She hid Jews during WWII in Paris.  St. Maria was finally arrested and sent to a concentration camp where she volunteered to take the place of a Jew in the gas chamber.

St. Julitta : Hid with her son from those who were arresting Christians.  After finally being arrested, she was tortured in front of her son.  Her son cried out for her but would not be persuaded to renounce Christ.  He was murdered in front of her and she was beheaded.

St. Katherine : Faced torture over an iron wheel before being executed.  Hers is one of the most extraordinary stories I've ever encountered and goes so beyond the one line I've recorded here.  

St. Markella : Secretly became a Christian and spent years nursing her sick father.  He recovered and somehow developed a sexual interest in his daughter.  Eventually, he tried to rape her.  She fled and became greatly injured while trying to escape him.  He caught up with her and dismembered her limb by limb.

For these people, facing persecution was a way of life.  They lived with the constant threat of imprisonment, torture and death hanging over their heads.  I've listed people here who were martyred for their faith, but there have been millions of others who have lived with no right to safely practice their faith, who lived in constant fear of being discovered.  I think about the Romanian Christians sent to Pitesti to undergo "re-education", which mean enduring months and years of psychological and physical torture all because they would not forsake their faith.  Let's not even mention the tens of millions of Christians who were killed under Communism!  Forget about what it was like for Christians to live under Muslim rule in Turkey for hundreds of years...  

Believe it or not, keeping a blog on the internet, participating on Facebook, interacting with people on message boards and comment threads- all of that is voluntary.  If we put ourselves out there by writing controversial stuff, Christian or not, we should expect disagreement- we should expect to be vilified.  That comes with the territory.  But if we write about that stuff, we also need to have a mighty thick skin and a little more perspective on what it actually means to be persecuted.  

We become stronger when we remember their lives and the stand they took for the Faith because we can see how small our lives and our problems are compared to what they faced.  We draw strength from them- if they could faith torture and death without renouncing Christ, certainly we can endure an internet smack-down.  

Gossip, snark boards, nasty emails, even baseless threats- can those really be called persecution?  Really?  I'm inclined to say "no."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Movin' On Up

So, over this past weekend, we moved from our cute little one bedroom + den house to a three bedroom + bonus room house.  I've pretty much been MIA for a week now.

I have some thoughts but they are all in a jumble right now.  I have ADD, so the kind of change that moving house brings makes the adjustment more difficult.

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE the new house.  This is by far the nice place I've ever lived since getting married 11 years ago.  And I've moved 10 times within that time.  There is something so fundamentally awesome about having enough room to put your crap so that an uncluttered house might just be possible.  Some people might find putting their stuff away to be an invigorating exercise.  Sometimes I do... but more often then not, I feel overwhelmed and want to drive up to my Borders and have a latte.

I need to put down roots here, but the only way I can think of to do that is to go shopping... and I don't want to do that.  The house is lovely but the area isn't so great.  Whatever.  I don't really care too much about that as long as we're safe... and we are.

I know I've missed some important stuff over this past week... Tabitha, I'm thinking of you and praying for Karl and your whole family.  Mrs. B, congratulations!  MuseMama, so glad Children's is gonna be awesome... well, as awesome as it can be.

I promise to re-enter life soon.  Just need to finish spinning my cocoon first...

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Where can I get me one of these?

MuseMama, you tried to tell me... Can you please appear behind me whenever I go to do something stupid and sing in my ear?