Thursday, August 15, 2013

Theme Thursday: Faith

Linking up with Cari for this slam dunk of a subject for Theme Thursday: Faith!

You can read more about Faith's arrival here, but let me tell you a few things about her here, as well.

Faith was aptly named, as her birth (and the days leading up to it) required much faith in God. I must have said "Jesus, I trust in You!" a million times in the 3 days preceding her birth. 

Faith is a firecracker and a honey badger. She doesn't take "nothin' from nobody, no how!" and it is always clear where she stands on any issue pertinent to 3.5 year olds. We nicknamed her "Sassy" around 7 months old, when these tendencies first made their appearances. The name has stuck and she answers to both "Faith" and "Sassy" now.

Faith is also a sweetheart -- according to Kyle and to my dad. She yearns to help out her baby brother, even when it's not really "helping" and to "teach him things". She is very much a Daddy's girl, just like her big sister Maeve and uses this weakness of his to acquire many favors.

She is the perfect little sister for Maeve. Maeve, who waited 9.5 long years to have a "sister who would stay with me here on Earth", can talk Faith into any hairstyle or outfit. They also share the same shoe obsession and artistic talents.

Faith's godfather is her oldest brother, Killian, and he calls her by her middle name: Therese. Faith's godmother is Kyle's sister-in-law, Liz, who Faith calls "Aunt St. Liz"-- a fitting title for a godmother of a Honey Badger!

Faith's is a girly-girl and loves pink and princesses. She is big on etiquette and has been known to growl out "LADIES FIRST!" while kidney-punching Eamon when he dares to enter a room before she does.

We love our Faith and our faith!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Five Favorites and WWRW by Eamon

Eamon (6) is our 5th child (well, really, Fiona is 5th, but she's generous enough to let him have the distinction) and he DEFINITELY has at least 5 favorite things (and 1 is a book!) so today he is linking up with Hallie and Jessica for 5 Faves and WWRW!

Eamon is our resident sweetheart and has an innate sense of nurturing. If anyone complains of a headache, he quietly moves over to that person and begins rubbing his/her head. Scraped your knee? Eamon is at the ready with the first aid kit. Need an extra hand setting the table or stirring that batter? Eamon is happy to help!

 He's also the 4th of 5 brothers, so this kid knows how to be a "real boy"! He's always carrying some sort of weaponry and tying ropes around chair legs (why they gotta do that?!).

When he graduated kindergarten this Spring, he gave a speech and told everyone that when he grew up, he wanted to be "a regular guy with a job and a family; like my dad.".

We all love him! 

Here are some of his faves:

1) Magna-Tiles! These magnetic building tiles are "fun to work with" and "very easy to use", according to Eamon. He, Jack, and Faith spend hours creating buildings and elaborate play sets with our collection of Magna-Tiles. While they are expensive, they are quality toys which last and are fun for kids of all ages. (I've been known to build a few things with them, too!) Eamon and Jack received their first set for Christmas, and when Eamon turned 6 last month, he asked for more sets as his "big gift". Besides
Legos, they are our "most played with" toy in the playroom.

This is one of Eamon's choices from the library. He is an above-average reader for his age (reads at a 4th grade level), so he is burning through all the chapter books he can find. Here is a brief synopsis of his latest choice: "Arthur and all of his friends are on a baseball team and they are against another team. Arthur's team were losing every game and during one of these games, Buster brings them a bat and tells them that if they all spit on it, they will win the game. But, The Brain tells them that those kinds of things aren't true and he won't spit on the bat. After that, Brain can't hit any more balls and they lose the game. Then, the Brain stays home from their games but they really need him. I'm not telling you the end because that would ruin it, OK? You have to read it for yourself."

3) Tv Tag. Per Eamon: "this is just like regular Tag, except that when the person who is It tries to tag you, you have to yell out the name of a TV show so he can't tag you. And you can't use the same TV show more than once; I don't know why, Joe just says that's true. I like to play it because it's fun. Why do you keep asking me why I like these things?"

4) Gerald McBoing Boing. This is Eamon's and Faith's latest favorite rainy-day series to watch on Hulu. It's based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name and isn't too annoying to adults, either. According to Eamon, it's a "show about a boy who can't talk, only make awesome sounds with his mouth. His parents have to guess what he's saying by understanding the sound. It's hilarious!"

5) Andrew. Eamon's best friend is his cousin Andrew. Eamon is only two and a half weeks older than Andrew, and when they were seen together as babies, people used ask if they were twins.
Eamon (l) & Andrew (r) on their 1st Halloween.
Eamon's take on Andrew: "he's fun to play with, that's true. He's nice and very generous. He and I love to play Legos, Magna-Tiles, and superheroes together. His favorite superhero is Superman and mine is Robin. We look hilarious when he dresses up like Superman and I'm his sidekick, Robin. Get it? Cuz Robin is BATMAN'S sidekick, not Superman's. Ha! That was Andrew's idea. Hilarious!"
Eamon, Andrew, Faith

Andrew and Eamon ready to take the NesTea Plunge!

Monday, August 12, 2013

MIM: Blueberries

Linking up with the girlies for MIM, Blueberry-style!

Does anyone have kids old enough to remember the show, "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast"? And, an episode I cannot seem to locate on YouTube, where they sing a song, "Blueberries! Blueberries! I love them so! They'll never know how I love them so!"?

No? Just me? Ok, well, you're welcome for the earworm!

This week was a slam dunk for me as I have been making Blueberry Tea Cake with Blueberry Sauce since I was 18. I think I found the recipe on those cards that Time-Life Publishing used to send to people trying to convince them to start a subscription for one of their culinary magazines. The sauce part was my own personal addition. Let's do this thang!

Blueberry Tea Cake with Blueberry Sauce
1 egg
2/3 c. Sugar
1 1/2 c. Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. Milk
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp. sugar
  For sauce:
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 c.water
1/2 c. Sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. cold water.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x9" pan.

Beat egg, then add 2/3 c. sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy.

Next, combine dry ingredients in a small
bowl and add to egg mixture 1/3 c at a time, alternating with milk. Add melted butter and vanilla. Finally, fold in blueberries gently. 

Pour/spread into pan (I use my clean fingers to spread it evenly, as it is a very thick batter.) 

And, sprinkle with 2 Tbsps. of sugar:

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

While cake is baking, place all of the ingredients for the sauce, EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH-WATER MIXTURE, in a saucepan and bring it to a low boil.

After it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, having your unwilling 18 year old stir it gently while you laugh at him.

Add cornstarch mix and cook until slightly thickened.

Once cake is done, slice and serve warm
with a couple of tablespoons of sauce on top. It's also delicious with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Theme Thursday: Statues

I have to admit that when I saw Cari's theme this week, 2 thoughts popped immediately into my head:

1) The childhood game, Statue-maker, wherein 1 person (the Statue-maker) takes the hands of each of the other players and whips them around quickly. Whatever pose they land in is their "statue pose", which they must hold until they are the last person standing still.

2) This:
Weeping Angels

Then, after a lengthy eBay search for Weeping Angel statues, I calmed myself down and looked around.

Hey! I have a lot of statues around my house! Many are religious, like this statue of Mary and Jesus that my mom gave me after we lost Fiona:

And, my favorite statue of Mary and Jesus, which I received as a wedding shower gift 2 decades ago:

But, I also have a collection of Willow Tree figurines which I love:
Although, some small peoples in this house reduced the Willow Trees' population a few years ago in a massacre of epic proportions that caused me to cry out dramatically, "WHY?! They're the only nice things I have!".

I'm excited to see the other Theme Thursday posts this week, but until next time....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Favorites: Hair, Face, Body, Cake, THE GREAT BLOGGER MEET-UP!

OK, I thought I nothing to share so I wasn't going to link up withHallie today, but I realized that I had a few things I needed to share with all y'all.....

1) Are you a frizzy-headed mess like me? Does your hair waver between "kinda, sorta curly" and "a lil bit straight"? On the same day? At the same time? Is your hair crunchy? YES?!? Well, meet your new BFF:

Suave's Moroccan Styling Oil was sent to me as a free sample with some shoes I bought for my sons (I have no idea what this company was thinking), along with a $1 coupon. I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. Very, very skeptically. Let me preface this by saying that the previous day, I had washed my hair and let it air-dry curly-ish. Then, I slept on it (you curlyheads will know what this does). Consequently, it was a crunchy, frizzy, sloppy mess. No, brushing doesn't make it better -- if you don't believe me, just ask CarrotTop. So, I dampened my hair, applied the oil, and dried it straight with the blow dryer. Normally, this will produce a bushy mane what needs tamin' with my trusty flat-iron. But, not this time! We're talking smooth, shiny, STRAIGHT tresses that smell sexxxy. (Those triple Xs are as close as this Catholic girl gets to porn). I earn nothing from telling you this, other than the satisfaction of knowing. WARNING: If you have thin, fine, straight hair this could be the wrong product for you, but I am not blessed that way so I can't say for certain.

2) 7-Keto DHEA. While I'm still reserving judgement on this supplement, I will say that in the 36 hours I have been taking it, my energy levels have skyrocketed. I was hoping that it would speed up my old metabolism, as some studies have suggested that it's use by elderly wheelchair-bound nursing home residents had it reducing their body fat by 6% without ever changing diet or increasing exercise. That benefit remains to be seen (I'll let you know in a week or 2), but this tired mama appreciates the bump in energy. 

3) Holla if you want a dolla! The Dollar Shave Club! Major kudos to Jessica for highlighting this one! Since marrying me, Kyle has grown accustomed to the finer things in life -- razors included. But, I spend mucho dinero on his replacement cartridges, and when the budget gets tight, he has to make-do with his old, dull cartridges. Not no more! We chose the mid-range $6/month plan which ships (for free!) him a handle and 4 very nice cartridges every month. We haven't actually gotten the first shipment yet, but already I like that I'm saving time and money on this one! Also, PLEASE watch their video; you will die of the hilarity.

4) My Great Aunt Mary's Strawberry Angel Food Cake recipe! This one is perfect for hot summer days when you want a baked, light dessert but don't want to turn on the oven. Here's whatcha do:
      -Go buy yerself one of them angel
       food cakes that your grocery store 
       bakes for you and sells it in a plastic
       bundt pan.
      -Make space in your shopping cart 
       for 1 large box of strawberry jello 
       and 1 container of frozen, sliced
       strawberries in sugar.
      -When you get home, boil 2 cups 
       of water, and while that's heating 
       up, take the cake out of the plastic
       pan and poke a bunch of holes in 
       the cake.
      -Mix gelatin into boiling water until 
       dissolved, then add in defrosted 
      -You saved and washed out that 
       plastic pan, right? Good. Pour
       jello mix into pan and then gently
       sink cake back into pan. (It's OK
       if it sits higher than it did previously)
      -Place the whole shebang in the
       fridge for 4-6 hours.
      -when it's set, soak bottom of pan in 
       hot water for 30 seconds and 
       invert over a plate.
      -Slice and eat!

5) Awesome friends (Dwija, Cari,  Jessica) who inspire me to be a better mom, wife, and Catholic! The Great Midwest Catholic Women's Blogger Convention happened last week at House Unseen and I really don't have the right words to convey how much laughter and joy was (barely) contained under that roof. 

Thank you, my sweet friends for loving me despite my imperfections and encouraging me to recognize and honor the gifts God gave to me! Y'all are a very special bunch of Chiquitas Bonitas!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Theme Thursday: Knots

Linking up with one of my newest BFFs, Cari, for ThTh: Knots....