Thursday, August 13, 2009

I learned something new today!

My husband gave me Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Christmas, but I've been too intimidated by it to really try anything.

Today, that all changed! Thanks to Cathy and her tutorial, I dipped my toe into digital scrapbooking.

Kindergarten begins!

I've been a bit negligent, and haven't yet posted about 5yods starting kindergarten. Last Monday was his first day, and he was SO excited. So far he's loving school, and is very enthusiastic about his teacher and his classmates. Very fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a difference a year makes

When we made the shift from homeschooling to enrolling our three bigs in the local public school last year, I felt like a failure. In the weeks between registering our children and them starting class, I worried and fretted over what this meant for their futures, and how they would be treated by the school system and their peers, as well as more mundane concerns like getting up and out the door every day and school clothes and supplies.

I haven't blogged much over this last school year, and what I did write didn't address the kids' schooling. This year has been a roller coaster in many ways, but the kids' school has been a blessedly stable, positive experience. The twins' teacher was wonderful, and my dd's teacher was reasonably good. They are all now reading, which is a huge, huge improvement. My dd is now getting the additional help and support she needs to overcome her newly-diagnosed learning disability.

It is wonderful to now have other caring adults invested in my children's education. Homeschooling is an excellent option for many families, and the season we spent schooling together was good in many ways. But with my dh traveling extensively, dd having an undiagnosed learning disability, and three littles home, too, I just couldn't continue.

School began yesterday. My 9yodd is in 4th grade, and the twins are in the same 3rd grade classroom. 5yods begins kindergarten next Monday, and went in for an evaluation this afternoon. So far we like all the kids' teachers, and have high hopes of having another very successful school year.

And when I hear my dd read a book to me, or listen to the twins quiz each other on their spelling words, or see my 5yods write his name, I see them succeeding--and I am grateful.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm feeling inspired

My friend Chautona has a lovely new crafting nook I'm drooling over...

I need to confront the storage nightmare hidden in the under-stairs closet, where I keep all my crafting supplies. A significant part of the issue is that other items are stored there, too, like all the vhs tapes we no longer watch, the homeschooling items we no longer use, and waaaayyyyyy too many scrapbooking supplies.

Of course, in order to keep peace and harmony in our home, I can't really work on this until dh goes out of town for at least an overnight. When I sort through this disaster, I'll need to spread out...and his blood pressure doesn't do well with that kind of mess. ;)

I'd love to have a permanent place to craft, but at this point our home doesn't have a good place for me to claim. Having the under-stairs closet space as storage is great, though, and I want to work on setting it up to be easily accessible. I'll likely need to do some ruthless sorting and tossing--not easy, given my pack rat tendencies.

One of my biggest current issues is my need for some more albums in which to put completed pages. I've got probably 2 to 3 albums worth of pages that need to be journaled and put into albums. Definitely something to plan on doing in the near future.

I have too much paper--and the shelving that I could use to store it so I can actually see what I have isn't in place. To put that in, though, I'll have to remove the bookcase that's currently in the closet, storing all my scrapbooking idea books, magazines, and leftover homeschooling materials.

Hmmm....lots to plan, lots to think about. I'll post before and after pictures when I get to the point of actually getting going on the project.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Because a wedding can turn into a circus...

My sister got engaged this past weekend, and our family is full of much rejoicing and laughter.

My 9yo daughter is in Oregon, spending two weeks with our family there, so her auntie got to ask her in person to be her flower girl. She was breathless with excitement on the phone when she told me later, "And O and C get to be the ringmasters!!!"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Enough already

I thought briefly about posting regarding Michael Jackson's death. Then I read my thoughts exactly, and decided to just post the link.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Go Read This

Go read this. Then join me in Julie's prayer:

May His Word so deeply probe, penetrate, excavate our hearts that stubborn roots of unbelief may be ripped out and replaced by a humble, ‘more excellent’ treasure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Susan Boyle phenomenon

Loved this take on the video clip seen 'round the world.

"The problem is not that we consider youth beautiful. The problem is that we equate beauty with worth."

Monday, April 20, 2009


Last Friday marked dh and my 10th anniversary.

We spent it in the hospital with our 17 month old son, who needed surgery to repair a hernia, among a few other things. Thanks be to God for safely bringing him through the procedure.

And thanks be to God for safely bringing my dh and me through ten years of marriage. His faithfulness, goodness, and mercy endures forever.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why Easter isn't Christmas

A fascinating article from Slate, on why Easter, despite the marshmallow Peeps and chocolate bunnies, stubbornly resists commercialization.

How pleasant it is in mid-December to open a Christmas card with a pretty picture of Mary and Joseph gazing beatifically at their son, with the shepherds and the angels beaming in delight. The Christmas story, with its friendly resonances of marriage, family, babies, animals, angels, and—thanks to the wise men—gifts, is eminently marketable to popular culture. It's a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life.

On the other hand, a card bearing the image of a near-naked man being stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix is a markedly less pleasant piece of mail.

Thanks to Tim Challies for the link.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
’Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
’Tis the long expected prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
’Tis a true and faithful Word.

Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress:
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed!
See Who bears the awful load!
’Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man, and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation,
Here the refuge of the lost.
Christ the Rock of our salvation,
Christ the Name of which we boast.
Lamb of God for sinners wounded!
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built.

To listen

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's my motivation?

When I was in high school I hung out with the drama geeks and acted in a couple plays. I had fun, and found a group I felt comfortable enough with to make it through the only-slightly-less-cannibalistic-than-junior-high years of high school. I never took it too seriously, though. I played at acting.

Some of the the kids I interacted with were very different from me. They went to workshops and studied technique, and when I hung out with them and pretended I was there for reasons beyond having a safe place to eat lunch, I was always impressed by their dedication to their craft.

"What's my motivation?" was a recurring question for them.

Why is my character behaving as the playwrite directs? When he says this, is he speaking sarcastically or sincerely? Is the character being disingenuous when he takes this action, or does he mean what he says?

Stated another way, meaning is not found in action; meaning is found in intention.

My pastor has been preaching through Matthew 5-7, The Sermon on the Mount, for the past several months. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's been a life-changing series for me.

He posed a question to us a couple weeks ago that I can't stop thinking about: Imagine heaven with all of its beauty and blessings, with all its joys and relationships restored, with sin removed and purity and utter bliss. If I could have all of that, and Jesus wasn't there, would I still want to go?

Is Jesus a window to a host of blessings for me, or is He it? Is Jesus what I'm after? Why am I in this thing--Christianity--to begin with?

Is Jesus the means or the end of my faith?

If I really believe something, I will act as if it is true. So if I really want Jesus, if I am His follower and disciple, I will live a life of obedience to His words.

What would that look like in my life? How would Jesus live my life if He were I?

I think I will spend the rest of my life learning what that means.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Never Alone

Dh's work has required a lot of separation over the last several weeks. He's gone Monday-Friday every week, and will likely be keeping this schedule for at least another month.

I'm fortunate to have a close friend whose work schedule allows her to stay with the kids mid-week, so I can get a sanity break. And I've been very purposeful in staying connected to my women's Bible study and Wednesday small group, so I am staying in community with friends.

The nights are still somewhat lonely, but I have to admit that I like having some time on my own. I think better when it's quiet, and have been happy to be able to spend some good chunks of time in study and prayer.

God is good. I am never alone, without Him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Readings for Lent

I've been following this blog to help me as I try to focus upon the Cross in this season of Lent. It's simply a short daily scripture reading, from the ESV. Highly recommended as a means to approach Easter with a more contemplative approach.

This is in addition to the (theoretically) daily reading I'm doing through the Bible.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This has been the weekend of the dead vehicle

So, last Wednesday my Chrysler van died after small group. We had a caravan of three vehicles shuttling home me, my friend who was staying over at my place, and my six kids. Dh thought he could probably fix it pretty easily, so we just left it parked at my pastor's house until dh got back into town on Friday.

We have a back-up Toyota van but the battery was dead, and it needs to have brake work done before it can be safely driven. Plus the tags expired at the end of February and it's only insured for storage, not for driving, so completely undriveable until those issues were dealt with.

While dh was driving back from Nevada Friday afternoon, his Ford work truck started blowing blue smoke. He turned around and went back to a town to have it looked at, but they couldn't figure it out. He finally decided to just go ahead and drive back to Salt Lake and made it okay.

Saturday morning and early afternoon were eaten up by getting the Chrysler van towed back to our house and dh doing a bunch of troubleshooting. He decided we should have the dealer work on it at 3:30 in the afternoon, so I called and had it towed to the Chrysler dealer.

Sunday we didn't go to church, since we couldn't all fit in dh's truck and he wasn't feeling well. I can't drive the truck, because I'm not an employee. Dh took the truck by Jiffy Lube in the afternoon, on his way back from picking up groceries for me and the kids. Jiffy Lube discovers there's a front differential leak (whatever that means), which they can't deal with.

Dh parks his truck at home and takes a cab to the airport, where he's rented a (very nice) SUV so he can drive back to Nevada. He takes off at about 5:00 in the evening.

This morning I called the Ford dealer and had dh's truck towed there, as well as passing on dh's list of the issues and his contact info. Thankfully, dh's company will be paying for all repairs.

Then I got a call from the Chrysler dealer with a complete diagnostic and repair estimate. *faint* I note down everything and call dh at the mine site to get direction. Call back the Chrysler dealer--a couple times--to confirm exactly what and how dh wants things done. (Sometimes it's a blessing having a mechanic dh, sometimes....not so much...)

By this time, the tow truck is here for dh's truck. I go outside, chat with the driver while the little guys watch out the front window.

Then I call the Toyota dealer, arrange for the Toyota van to get towed, and confirmed the issues needing to be dealt with on email with dh.

Waiting on the tow truck for the Toyota right now....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It Is Well with My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well, with my soul
It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

Friday, March 6, 2009

Where has this been all my life?

My pastor is preaching a series through the Sermon on the Mount, and to me it feels like the first time I've heard these things. How is it possible to live as a believer for over thirty years, and to have arguably the most familiar chapters of the Bible hitting me with such force and vigor?

Why do such basic concepts as trust and prayer seem wholly new? Why don't I yet understand that grace is God's power at work in my life?

God, help me to be the kind of person who:
*chooses prayer over manipulation
*believes others possess the same dignity as I
*fully realizes that God will get the job done better than I
*understands that I can't act in a way that doesn't fit the Kingdom to gain a result that does
*replaces my goals for God's goals

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Bit of Fun

I found this on Chautona's blog and thought I’d do it too. It seemed fun!

Just boldface the items that you HAVE done, and leave the rest normal….

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you weren’t ill.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (Kevin and Jenna have!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the paper.
85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, February 2, 2009

And there was much rejoicing

Dawn Treader is picked up by Fox Studios, with an expected release date for the holiday season 2010. Hopefully the screenwriter will cut out the nonsense and refrain from adding kisses and other unnecessary baggage to the story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Five years of sweetness!

I remember watching Bush's 2004 State of the Union before hitting transition while laboring for my sweet boy's birth. On his fifth birthday he hasn't shown any interest in the events going on in our nation's capital. Here's hoping his ninth birthday will mark another peaceful transfer of power!



I'll be inserting the actual cup sleeve into my album. The quote is from Lincoln's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right s God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

May God bless President Barack Obama as he begins his work, and may God bless our nation.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dentist office victory


Six kids.
Five appointments.
Four exams.
Three year old's first visit, meltdown-free.
Two hundred dollar credit.
One happy mama.
Zero cavities.

The longer version: It went amazingly smoothly. We go to a large office, so they did three of the kids at a time. We were in and out in exactly an hour--including sitting down with the office manager to chat about insurance/payment/future plans.

L didn't cooperate with getting in the chair, so he didn't get his teeth cleaned. He did let the dentist look at his teeth, though, and they all looked good.

The four oldest all got their teeth cleaned and checked. Not a single cavity!

My dd needs to have work done on her teeth. She's got one tooth toward the front coming in really badly, and the rest of the front of her mouth doesn't have enough room. I'll be talking it over with dh. Thankfully we have dental insurance that will cover some of the cost, so this will be doable. Oh, and the office inadvertently overcharged us last year, so we have over a $200 credit with their office.

All in all, a very good dentist's visit!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today H wore shoes for the very first time. He is our fifth boy to wear these little hiking boots.

No, I'm not at all sentimental.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sanity break


I need to take the picture for today. I'll post it when I get it taken. I'm planning on a night-time picture of my favorite Chinese restaurant's neon sign.

Tonight I got out on a sanity break. When dh is out of town for a week at a time, it's vital for me to get out over the weekend and have a time where no one talks to me, other than offering to bring me more diet Coke. My favorite Chinese restaurant is my usual choice, where I can have a plate made to order at the Mongolian grill and sit for hours, reading a book and reveling in a few hours without responsibilities.

Being the mom of six young children is the joy of my life. I've chosen the life I lead, and I wouldn't trade it for all the money, fame, or success the world could offer. I treasure the time I spend bringing my little guys to the library, watching my twin guys design fantastic creations with nothing but plain paper and tape, and doing scrapbooking projects with my daughter. Planning cheap and healthy meals, doing the school run twice a day, and even the never-ending laundry is worth it.

But I do still need time alone. My dh has learned that everything goes better when I get a chance to recharge, and now makes certain that if all possible it happens. A couple hours once a week is usually enough, and I'm refreshed and ready to dive back into this crazy, wonderful life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Refi goes through!


I won't be posting today's picture publicly, because it's the actual documents from our mortgage refinance that closed today. Today's picture shows my dh's signature, by my signature, AAIF. AAIF stands for As Attorney In Fact. Because we knew dh would be spending all of this week in Nevada, and expected the refi to close by the end of the week, dh went by the title company last week and signed a limited Power of Attorney so I could sign on his behalf.

Today I signed his name roughly 5,283 times.

My hand hurts.

But we're happy. Because of this refi, we are now locked into a 30 year fixed mortgage at 1.25% lower than our previous (30 year fixed) mortgage. Thank you, God!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm so sad


I just learned that my favorite magazine, Simple Scrapbooks, will no longer be published after the May/June issue. The parent company, CK Media, is folding it back into Creating Keepsakes, another scrapbooking magazine. I'm just so sad. Simple Scrapbooks helped restore my joy in scrapbooking, and took away my guilt in not being "caught up."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009



Sometimes I can't believe the beauty of this creation. Look at these peppers! They're so bright and colorful and appealing. It almost makes me not want to cook them and mute their crisp colors and flavors with onions and garlic and sausage. Almost.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Evening Ritual


After finishing Bunnicula and getting everyone safely tucked away in their beds, it is simply lovely to sip tea and enjoy the peace and quiet. Or, you know, watch American Idol.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happiness on a Shelf


Very little in this world makes me happier than a bookshelf full of possibilities after going to the library.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pizza Party


Dh left this afternoon for a week of working in Nevada. The kids and I had a little pizza party for dinner and watched a fun kids' video from the library.

We've had dh home for over a month now, between the vacation days he took over Christmas and New Years and the three weeks he worked in his basement office. It feels a little odd to have him back on the road, since we've gotten used to having him around all the time. But this is the job, and we'll get back into the swing of things.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fashion Bug Rocks!


I don't have a picture for today. In my album, I'll be including the tags from the two pairs of jeans I bought at Fashion Bug tonight.

I left the house late this afternoon, in search of some new jeans. With only the one pair from Old Navy, my wardrobe has been a bit on the thin side and I've had to resort to out-of-season capris and bedraggled sweats far too often.

My first stop, Lane Bryant, was a complete waste of time. It's been quite a while since I've tried to shop there, and now I remember why. Their jeans were priced at $44.50! I just can't afford that--we're not made of money! I actually got really frustrated while looking around the store, at the exorbitant prices and the snotty sales staff.

Then I went to Fashion Bug. What a great contrast! They had a sale going on their jeans, $21.50 each. I got two pairs for less than one pair would have cost me at that other place, and I love how they fit and how they look. I will definitely be shopping at Fashion Bug again! The sales staff were pleasant and helpful, and I left the store feeling appreciated as a customer and very pleased with my purchases.

Friday, January 9, 2009

First images from 52Q

I really enjoyed starting this project. It took me about an hour and a half to get the first two (four) pages done. I'm not used to working on such a small space, but I'm quickly learning that I like it.


L and S, "working" on homeschool preschool. Dinosaurs, colors, and sorting on the agenda for the day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Because I didn't have enough projects going this year....

I'm excited about the 52Q project. A small canvas is much more approachable, less overwhelming to actually begin and continue. And journaling prompts? Seriously, it's like this project was designed for me.

I'm going to swing by an office supply store today to pick up shipping labels. Other than the labels and some binder rings to hold them together, I intent to create this project entirely from my stash--which shouldn't be difficult. I'll post the first as soon as it's completed.

This is the year I work on expressing myself, through journaling and creating.

Edited to add picture.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Today was the first day I tracked my points. I like Weight Watchers' program, but it is hard for me to get going. I've started writing down my food in my journal, though, and that's the first step towards making a real change.

This is the year!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This is the view over my kitchen sink, which includes two new bamboo plants from Ikea. During the long months of winter, having some green living things in my home gives me hope for the future.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Today I finished the beginning-of-the-month marathon shopping, with stops at Ikea, Sam's Club, Alberson's, Macey's, and Reams'. Twice.

Some great bargains:
*Macey's had boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.29/lb. I got a 40 lb box, and packaged and froze (shared) meal-sized portions.
*Reams' had lean ground beef for $1.39/lb., as well as its usual assortment of beautiful produce.
*In my continual attempt to bring order to the chaos, I purchased 4 DVD storage boxes and some hanging organizers for the coat closet at Ikea. I could happily spend WAY too much money there, and only rarely go.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Yesterday while setting up the church, my 8yodd helped watch the bass player's twin toddler sons, and today she was unexpectedly given a check for babysitting--the very first money she's ever earned! She's SO proud of herself!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Dh finished installing our new dishwasher, and we are all very happy to have a dishwasher that's not falling to pieces.

The little guy has a fever, so I won’t be able to go to church tomorrow morning.

Dh insisted on me going to a Saturday night service so I wouldn’t be missing two weeks in a row (he’s on sound again), and found a service for me to attend at The Rock Church.

What an experience! I’m too old and married to fit in there, and even when I was young and single I would never have been cool enough, but it was still good to worship with the Body. We took communion and sang praises to our God, and if my ears are still ringing a bit, it was worth it to see God working in a new way.

From the church bulletin: Too loud? Although we try to find the perfect balance in volume each week, there isn't one, and personal preferences in this area vary widely. If the music is too loud for you, please stop by the Storefront where we have ear plugs available free of charge.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya and Yellow Rice

I've adapted this recipe from one Emeril Lagasse has posted on The original is titled Smoked Turkey Legs and Sausage Jambalaya. My version is lighter, milder, and has the rice served separately, to allow my low-carb dh to enjoy it, too.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 lb smoked sausage, cut into half-inch slices (I use low-fat turkey sausage)
3 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, green and white parts separate
(2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped-I omit)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
(1/2 tsp cayenne pepper--I omit)
(1/2 tsp hot sauce--I omit)
5 cups chicken stock/broth
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen the best)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large stockpot or dutch oven with a thick bottom, cook chicken in oil, about 5 minutes. When cooked through, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add sausages and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, scallion white parts, (jalepeno pepper, if using), and garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the cooked chicken, tomato paste, chicken stock, tomatoes, and all seasonings except the parsley and the green scallions and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, the entire mixture can be placed in a crock pot on low at this point. Before serving, remove bay leaf and stir in chopped parsley leaves, and let stand for 10-15 minutes, covered. Serve over yellow rice. Sprinkle with green scallions, if desired.

Yellow Rice

3/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
dash cinnamon
4 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 long grain brown rice
sliced green scallions

I cook this in a rice cooker, simply adding everything to the cooker except the scallions. To cook on the stove, heat the spices over low heat in a medium saucepan until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the water, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir well. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook, covered, without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered, without stirring, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add scallions, and serve.


Continued reading from Bunnicula, O's Christmas book.

Made this week’s shared meal today (Friday), because I had flu earlier this week. Jambalaya, so the house smells scrumptious. The yellow rice I made to accompany the jambalaya smells fragrant and delicious.

This morning I had to run out to Walmart because we were completely out of diapers. Completely. Absolutely crazy to let it get that low, when we have TWO (H and L) both in the #4 size.

Bought a new (to us) dishwasher off of, and dh is going to install it tonight.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Stayed up late listening to Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on audiobook. Dh played slapjack with the three bigs, and I continued adding and tagging pictures into my new Photoshop catalog.