Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas blessings thus far

( picture of the nativity at our church )

What a busy week we have had in our little corner of the world.  To start out, a week ago Sunday, my daughter who has severe food allergies, suffered a reaction to breathing in some powdered milk I was using in a recipe for the boys.  It was quick and severe enough that I had to give her the epi pen.  We then spent the next couple of hours in the local ER.  In that time, I had time to think.  First, I was of course very thankful for the miracle of  a drug that is in the epi pens.  I was of course thankful for her being able to breathe once again.  But I experienced something else. I was able to see Jesus in a dear friend.  I have considered this friend a friend since I met her but she became an angel to us that night.  My husband had posted a quick request of prayer on facebook  due to us going to the ER.  He stayed home with our boys.  My friend didn't ask, she just showed up in the ER to sit with us.  She knows her way around an ER from spending much time with her husband who has a failing heart and is waiting for a donor heart himself.  She knows what it is to just sit in a hospital.  She also knew better than to ask if I wanted her to come up.  I would have said no, I'm fine.  I could be trying to move a mountain and refuse help if it was offered.  I am just that stubborn.  I had stumbled coming into the ER with Lily Rose that night and sprained my ankle.  The meds in the Epi Pen raise your heart rate and can make a child of less than 40 pounds bounce off the walls.  Because my friend was there, she was able to walk my daughter up and down the hall which is something I couldn't do because of my ankle and play with her in a different way than old mom.  Because she was there, it allowed me to sit quietly and absorb the emotions going through  my head and heart. Because when you have to give your child life saving meds, you need time to gather your thoughts.  My friend showed me Jesus that night by simply being there.  It makes me wonder how many opportunities we miss of showing others Jesus.  So my first two blessings are of course that my little girl is OK and for my friend Kathy for being there.
Our blessings continued with a wonderful time of spending time with family on Christmas Eve.  I hear so many complain about family gatherings, but on this side of the family it is normal to be together  and we have fun even with each others quirks  We  left there to get ready for Christmas Eve Mass at our local parish.  The church looked beautiful as we entered to candle light and enjoyed beautiful music. Jesus had very humble beginnings but I love that we pull out all the stops to celebrate the birth of our savior.  I think it is just how it should be.
Christmas morning was a blessing to see my children enjoy being spoiled.  We don't do big gifts but they are always happy.   I think a smiling, laughing child might just be music to God's ears.  I loved seeing my 11 year old and my 13 year old help their little sister play her new game without being asked.  This is not the norm, I can assure you.  But for the day, it was as if it was.
We went to my parents that night and enjoyed Christmas with them.  It is always a blessing to watch my kids play with their cousins. I have so many fond memories playing with my cousins growing up and I am so thankful that my kids to have a relationship with their cousins too.
And lets not forget that for us Catholics, Christmas is not over yet.  So I am going to enjoy the rest of Christmas break with my kids and husband  and enjoy the blessings of our family.
Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas season and a blessed new year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

right over their heads

I was determined to make a  gingerbread house with my oldest 2 this Christmas.  This is something I have planned on in the years past and just never got around to doing it.  This year was it, I said.  After the house was ready, we decorated with our picked out buys of candy from the local dollar tree store.  I think it looks good, I tell the boys.  Then my middle one looks at me and says with the straightest of faces, "mom, it looks like a waste of perfectly good candy to me"  Whoosh, right over their heads.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

family outing

A picture from a family trip to a local pumpkin patch all decked out for Christmas.  We enjoyed a live nativity, Christmas music, beautiful homemade ornaments and decorations.  And some very cute sheep and donkeys.  I plan on taking my youngest back this Friday for a Christmas field trip.  Kids can paint ornaments in a make and take.  On a side note it took about 15 shots to get 2 good pictures to choose from for our cards. 
What are your plans for these last 2 weeks in advent before Christmas?  I feel some baking coming on when school is out for break.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

advent blessings.

Sometimes we talk to our kids and we don't always know if they are getting it.  This is even more true I am finding in the teenage years; my oldest is 13.  We try to make them aware of others and give them the tools for a kind, giving heart.  But sometimes they do not even seem to be listening.  I have been overjoyed as we have done our nightly Hail Mary prayers in honor of someone.  It  has been the kids choice as I mentioned in my previous post  on who to pray for.  They have taken that responsibility and made me very proud.  Maybe they are paying attention to me and those around them.  They have said  prayers  for very real needs in our community and for things and people around them.  I have always said that kids don't get the credit they deserve, and I will say it again.  Many times it is just assumed that  something or a situation is over their head.  Children and teenagers are much smarter than we give them credit for also.
Share those requests of your community with them.  No, we don't want to put too much on them, but I truly believe if we teach them to take it to God, it isn't putting a burden on them.  It is simply practicing what we preach.
Blessings this 2nd Sunday in Advent.

Monday, November 28, 2011

advent for kids

We had a very relaxing thanksgiving weekend.  A much needed time for us to be together as a family. I hope you all had a weekend filled with good things as well.
We are now in the second day of advent.  I am trying hard to help our kids know the reason for this season.  I want them to focus their time on others more than themselves.  This is very tricky this time of year when every add and commercial is about here is what "YOU" need.  They of course will have Christmas presents and more than they need I am sure.  But I want this time before, this advent season to be a time to focus on the gift of Jesus and the love we need to share with others.
Here are two things we have started in our home.  The first is the Paper Advent Wreath.  I simply used cut outs from my daughters hand prints to make the wreath and the correct colors for the candles.  We simply light with our paper flames on the correct Sundays and made labels of what each represents under it.  We can talk about the Sundays homily when we "light" the candles.
The second craft is an easy paper chain with the Sundays in Advent made in the correct candle color.  Each night before bed  I have the kids take 1 link from the chain and they say a Hail Mary in honor of someone or something.  They choose who to say the prayer for but I give  ideas if there is a specific request they might not  have thought of.
I will add more things we are doing in family time later.  What is your family doing to prepare for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving thoughts

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for. I am married to a wonderful husband who works very hard to make our ends meet.  We have been blessed with 3 I dare say best kids around.  We live in our own house that keeps us warm and dry. We drive cars in good working order.  We all have clothes that are somewhat fashionable and fit us.  Our fridge is filled with healthy foods.  We are blessed with a wonderful extended family who loves us and a wonderful church parish that we are a part of.  According to the "experts" we are not rich in fact their charts would put us pretty low.  But they are not around our dinner table and they aren't with us as we attend Mass.  The don't know the love and laughter within our families.  They haven't met our friends.  Sure, we are not spending as much this Christmas, and we are catching sales and cutting coupons because we have to not for a game.  But in my eyes, we are rich.  I will be heading to church in a few for a Thanksgiving Mass and when I go down on my knees I will tell my God just that and thank him for all of the blessings in our lives including the one he sent us thru his Son.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas project


Need to figure out how to make this for a Christmas gift for our youngest.  What are your Christmas projects?

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Thumbs up from the peanut gallery.

 As I put supper on the table and called the kids in to eat.  On the menu was GF breaded chicken tenders I had fried up, sauteed Kale greens  and some roasted potatoes.  The boys looked at the kale and curled their noses in unison.  I told them how good it was for them and they had to eat it.  We said our prayer and began eating.  One son who I will not name said "Once you get past how weird it feels in your mouth, it's not too bad."  Then the other boy agreed.  I think the Kale growers of the world should take that as a complement.  Our daughter loves it, but then again she has never had the bad for you junk food they have.  Maybe this healthy eating thing is taking off in the Buttry house after all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A very good thing

For those who know me, know that my daughter has multiple food allergies and celiac disease as well.  I also recently found out I can't eat gluten myself.  This makes having had to learn how to cook again.
One thing I have found that makes a wonderful breakfast is Bisquick gluten free baking mix.  I had to adapt even their recipe for pancakes because Lily Rose cannot have milk or eggs either.  So this is what I came up with and they are the best.  Thanks to my friend Kim for sharing the flax seed part.

Banana pancakes  (free from gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, )  may contain some soy.

1C of GF Bisquick mix
1tsp flax seed meal
1tsp water
1tsp canola oil
apple juice
1 banana
real maple syrup

First mix 1 tsp of whole ground flax seed meal (I used Bob's red mill)
with 1tsp of water.  This will make an ugly brown paste. That is your egg replacer.  Next mix in your Bisquick GF mix, then add 1tsp of canola oil (it calls for 2 tbsp but I thought that was too much), For your liquid mix with apple juice till you get your desired consistency. Then follow by mixing in 1/2 of a banana diced small.  Drop spoonfuls onto your hot griddle and cook as you would any pancake.  Top with the other 1/2 of the banana slices and real maple syrup(NOT pancake syrup).  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

State of affairs

As I sit here preparing to go to Mass for All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Wednesday, I am thinking of those in my family who have passed this year and those who have been gone for years now.  This year I have lost 2 Aunts, both older and what we  think of as someones time.  They both lived full lives, both leaving behind children, grandchildren, siblings and more.  Their lives have touched many, they left us with funny memories and smiles of who they were.  I also lost a cousin of only 19 years.  He was actually my cousins youngest child.  He too touched so many but as we laid him to rest there was no laughter of good times, just tears and questions of why things happen when they do.  I lost another cousin at the young age of  49.  He left behind both parents, siblings and a wife and 3 children.  His youngest child is my middle ones age.  I think about these members of my family and the stories we have of them.  I can't help to wonder of my own life and the memories being made, the lessons learned and still being learned.  I of course want to be with my God one day but pray I get a long life full of plenty of time with my children, husband , family and such.  I think about the Saints before us and the hardships they endured.  Could I have endured the things they did and keep my faith.  I suppose today is a day for prayer for our loved ones who are gone and a day for us to take inventory of our own souls.  And a time to be thankful for the time we have to make the memories we are making.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why cooking relaxes me.

Strange as it seems, cooking is relaxing to me.  I enjoy getting lost in my kitchen  and fixing supper.  I think in part it is a task that produces something attractive, and  something that is well received ( for the most part).  It is something that I start and finish in a matter of an hour or so.  Instant gratification I suppose.  I love the smell, the taste, the different textures. I truly love using my imagination in finding new ways to cook.  I enjoy sitting at the table and being with my family.  And yes I enjoy hearing the thank yous.  I do for my family in many ways, all very important.  They do need clean clothes, a  clean place to live, a push to do their  homework.  They do need guidance, love and instruction.  They still need driven here and everywhere it seems.  I do all of these things and enjoy caring for my family.  Maybe it is that these other things are NEVER done.  It seems I am always getting it done and yet never done.  I think that is why I love cooking supper so much.  I start it and finish it and see a job done.  I see the steps in the other things, but it is nice to complete something. At least till the next meal.
What is your favorite dish?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What a weekend!

 The older kids are back to school this week after a 4 day weekend.  We had a huge to do in our little town over the weekend.  The youth from our parish parked cars to raise money for their spring retreat.  They did a great job.  I have to say I am enjoying working with the middle school group, this is something I was not sure about when I said yes.
Home school was back in session for my little kindergartner as well.  We are now waiting on the roofer to come and give us a price.
Just to give you an idea on how many people we were dealing with I will include a picture from the weekend festivities.  Our little town has approx 7000 people in it, the county as a whole is about 25000.  So we are small.  But during this past weekend, we had approx 150,000 people grace us with their presence and confined to our down town area.
I hope your weekend was just as much fun.

This is just one street of the festivities.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

potato soup recipe as requested

 In the bottom of a heavy pot, drizzle with some olive oil. Take a chopped onion, 2-3 carrots diced small and a stak of celery diced and soften for a few min in pot on med heat.  Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, I used aprox 10 potato's.  Add to pot and then season with salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic powder then stir.  I then added a bit of country ham chopped up small.  I had about 4 biscuit slices worth.  Add a mix of chicken broth and water till about an inch over potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 40 min.  Give it a love stir here and there to keep it from sticking.  Enjoy

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Rainy Fall Day

Today felt like fall.  The leaves are colorful and falling with the steady drizzle that fell from the sky. It stayed gray and dreary all day.  Today I am thinking of a family from my childhood, they are dealing with a sad loss from cancer. 
For supper I made a big pot of potato soup, it kinda helped with the chill in the air.  This weekend is packed for us with a big fundraising effort going on with the confirmation class I teach at our parish and a big festival here in our little town.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just the season I'm in

This week has been so busy and it is only Wednesday.  Not to mention the kids here where we are at on have 4 days of school this week due to a fall break.  I just seem to be running everywhere and doing 10 things at once.  Yesterday after homeschooling my daughter  till after lunch, I went to the middle school to help with a project they have going.  I then picked up my child there and went to pick up my 5th grader from academic team practice at his school.  After coming home I prepped supper while helping one son with a 4 page paper due Thursday and getting my other son working on his vocabulary words an keeping the youngest  "helping" with some housework. I then had to run to town (well I drove) to go to a booster club meeting for my child's music program at school.  I then came home again, I finished making supper and we sat down to eat.  By the time everyone got into bed and my kindergartner finally went to sleep, I was exhausted.  I still had to finish a load of laundry and finish my daughters school lesson ready for today. 
This of course is a typical day, not just for me but for all mothers with children this age.  My mother in law says I am in my summer season.  I know that before I know it, the kids will be grown and out of the house and I will be missing these fast paced days.  I don't mind them now, they exhaust me but I love them.  I just have to remember that I need to take time for prayer and I mean more than a quick Our Father or short morning offering as I make the coffee .  When I take the time to be silent with God, my day goes so much smoother.  I also think when I don't get to spend a few minutes  catching up with the kids each day, like if they are gone somewhere, I miss that.  God is my heavenly father so why should it be so hard to give him just a few minutes of my day. I suppose finding the balance is the key to this season so many of us are in.
Praying all of you can find your balance today also.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Her first sentence

Today has been a simple day like most.   And I got to be apart of a wonderful thing.  I was here to see my daughter read a sentence on her own.  This is her first year of school and we are homeschooling her.  This alone is a learning experience.  But today was a very good day as I watched the light bulb go off as she realized she can do it.  "Zac has a hat" will go down in our books as a first for our sweet Lily Rose.