Dec 20, 2018

Ham and Cheese Rolls - A Sister Weaver Collection Recipe

These sandwiches were amazing! When I think of hot ham and cheese I think of the foil-wrapped sandwiches we used to get during school lunches, basically lunch meat style ham, and a cheese slice slapped in a hamburger bun and heated. Not that it was bad per se, just nothing special. These intrigued me because they had the poppy seed mustard butter mixture poured over it before baking and I wanted to know how that would work. We had them for dinner tonight because life happened and I had nothing ready. Everyone loved them. Side eyes may or may not have been given over the melted cheese in the skillet............okay, okay I was given the side eye by David because I was hogging it. (sssssshhhhhhh don't tell anyone) Darian wasn't feeling good so he opted out and stuck to drinking and wanted his saved for later. I did that for him. So out of the three of us that had them, we all loved them. These were a 10 out of 10 in terms of flavor, ease, and at a cost of less than $2 per person (we each got 3) you really can't beat it.

Ham and Cheese Rolls 
Betty Clark

24 pk, small dinner rolls >I used 2 pkg *
slice into
Cover with ham
(I use Deli shaved Ham)*
grate layer moz. cheese
laver ched. cheese
put top back on
melt 1 stick butter
mix in 1 teas. poppy seed
1 teas. whorshire sauce
1 Tab. mustard. spoon
over rolls. Bake 350°
about 20 min.
                                 Betty Clark

I couldn't find any small dinner rolls so I just used a regular bag of 12 dinner rolls from the bakery section of the grocery store. Where she says 'slice into' I took that to mean cut the rolls in half as a whole. I don't have any decent knives so I had to cut each roll individually and I packed them into my skillet as best I could. I did use deli shaved ham. The cheapest one they still had available was Virginia Baked Ham so that is what I got. (I used about half a pound total.) I used half of the big blocks of both mozzarella and mild cheddar. For the mustard, I used regular yellow mustard as I figured if she meant dry mustard she would have stated mustard powder. I baked as directed. Sides that would go with this would be Bob Gip's Coleslaw,  and Peach Salad (two Sister Weaver recipes), chips, a simple side salad or potato salad and to drink sweet tea (of course), lemonade, or flavored water. We had it just by itself with a piece of fruit and water to drink. Simple but good. :)

* side notes Ms. Betty added to her written recipe.

Dec 19, 2018

Rahab - New Testament Women

Rahab the mother of Boaz in the Matthew genealogy of Christ was a prostitute, .... a prostitute! How many of us, even now, when it isn't a death sentence, are willing to put out that there's a hooker in the family? I mean I don't know too many of us willing to socialize with our, let's just say, more colorful family members, let alone announce them to the world. Let's face it, we Christians can hardly be called Christ-like when we judge others for far less. So why? Why would Jesus want that known? What made Rahab so special? What exactly can we learn from a pagan prostitute? Well, according to what I've read, turns out, more than you might think.

Let's look at her story. For starters, Rahab knew her own mind in a time when women often had none. She didn't hum and haw when she was given her king's order to turn in the Israelite spies. She brazenly defied it! She made the decision to lie to the king's men and commit treason. Her words were that she didn't know who they were, that they left at dark and had no clue where they had gone, and that they would have to hurry to catch them. She deliberately sent them on a wild goose chase. This is a woman who according to Mosiac law was worthy of death. The laws of the men she harbored didn't care if she was a prostitute in a temple or a common streetwalker, either way, she was not worthy of life by the very men she was risking her life for! She could have been a temple prostitute of high standing in her own community and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. She had to have some kinda faith in something to do something like that. When the king's men left she took the Israelites to the roof, further hiding them in her flax. She KNEW God had given the land to the Israelites. (Joshua 2:9). She admitted there was a dread over all the land because of what God was doing for them. That word had been told of how their God had dried up the Red Sea, what happened at Sihon and Og, and to the Amorite kings. Her people were in fear and yet she had the resolve and frame of mind to do what she felt she had to in order to save her family. That the God they followed was the God of heaven and of the earth and she, a prostitute, wanted His protection. She was asking the same God, whose laws condemned her to die, to save her, and not only her. She had the guts to ask for her entire family too! She made those men swear by the same God whose laws condemn her that she and her family would be spared. It's worth noting, her family wasn't a husband and her children. Her family was her parents, her siblings, and beyond. She was not married. The Bible states that the house was hers, she was a property owner. SHE was making the decisions. No shrinking violet here waiting for things to come. She was a businesswoman, a woman used to having to make decisions and one that saw the storm ahead and took action. She took risks, life-changing risks in trusting that the God that was handing over lands to His people had the power to save her and the ones she loved. How many of us have the strength to defy a king's order, committing treason, to trust in a God you don't know or have only known through rumor? I don't. She got their oath, and as the story goes, she let them down the wall using a rope from a window. (Her home was part of the wall.) Pay attention to the fact their faith wasn't as strong as hers as it was only AFTER they reached the ground did they give their conditions. The condition, was for her to have the scarlet cord in her window and to have her entire family in her home, to stay within it once they return to take the land and to not betray them. She agreed to this. When the time came Joshua ordered that she and her family be brought to safety while the city burned per their agreement. (Joshua 6:22-25) God honored her faith in Him.

Rahab was one tough cookie! She really didn't care who she had to defy in order to make sure her family would live. She turned her back on her country, her gods, her king, everyone and turned toward God. She knew they were doomed, all of them if something wasn't done. She took a chance. She DID something. She put her faith in God, a god she had heard was wiping out cities like hers and giving them over to His followers. She could easily have been taken captive afterward and/or killed. There was no way to know for sure what would happen. The fact she was a prostitute though, pretty much gave her a one-way ticket to death. She did it anyway! I don't know if she believed in the sense that we think of today with all the lovely sentiments of feeling safe and welcome. I do know she recognized God's power. She knew who He was and she was going to keep her family and herself from dying in whatever way she could. She might have indeed had all the warm fuzzies we think of now when we think of turning toward God, but if she did it isn't mentioned that I know of. What I do know is she saw, clearly saw, their fate if she didn't put this knowledge into action. She put her trust in God and He didn't fail her. How often are we told it only takes the faith the size of a mustard seed? Here He proves it. She stepped out and He caught not only her but her entire family. What an amazing God we serve!

Dec 13, 2018

Candy Alternative Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner and that means lots of sweets! Santa usually brings one or two nice things for the stockings then fills in all the gaps with cheap candy here at our house. This is a tradition I really don't want to follow anymore. Santa knows that the more I've learned about sugar and processed food the more I'm concerned about what the kids eat too. So to be fair Santa will still bring one favorite candy snack, and maybe a small candy cane, but not really much more. We will have the traditional orange (tangerine) in the toe of the stocking, but the rest will be small dodads they can use like earbuds, decorative pencils, bookmarks, and things like that with one fairly small, nice gift. Below are just a few of the things I've found on the web that I think family members will enjoy. Will I get everyone of them, probably not, at least not this year, budget concerns 'n all, but as I look for ideas I thought I'd share some of the more interesting finds I stumble across. Who knows maybe you'll find something you think would be good for somone in your family too.

Sundial Compass

Dino earrings

Fire Starter Set

penguin mousepad

glass fountain pen and ink well

Gardener's Scrubbing Soap

Hello Kitty Bento Mold Set

poetry word magnets
guinea pig earrings
Historically Inspired Violet Perfume
Fairy Ocarina
Lightsaber chopsticks

Dec 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor Day

When I was growing up my dad always quizzed me on military history, and every Dec. 7th I knew the first thing he would ask me the moment he saw me would be, "What happened today?". My dad and I have had more than our fair share of ups and downs but I will always be thankful he taught me to appreciate the sacrifices military men and women made and continue to make every day for all Americans. God Bless them all.

Dec 4, 2018

Florida - Homeschool Lessons

Florida is a huge part of our family history and has played an important part of my own life growing up. I spent many summers visiting my grandparents there and living life to the fullest back when you could walk into a Jr. Food barefoot, in a bikini top, and shorts to get a Dr. Pepper and a pack of Hubba Bubba Bubblegum. (My favorite flavors were chocolate mint and watermelon but that's neither here nor there.) As you can imagine my kids have grown up with stories of Wakulla Springs, Disney (before Epcot), St. Marks, blue crab festivals, white sand beaches, and all sorts of mischief one can get up to with an endless supply of palmetto darts. Fun times! It was no surprise when the kids wanted to learn more about the state that sired someone as colorful as my father. In response to their interest, I've collected a few books, and found a few websites that they have enjoyed quite a bit this year and in years past.

At the bottom, I've included pictures taken by myself or family members while visiting.

Coloring Pages:
Florida Crayola Coloring page
Florida map coloring page (has links to more FL related coloring pages)

Books we have used (either from the library or purchased):
The Barefoot Mailman - a fictional story
National Audubon Field Guide to Florida
World Almanac Florida
Indian Nations: The Story of the Seminole

Kindle books:
Wakulla: A Story of Adventure in Florida - a fictional story

Alligator sounds
Panther sounds
Deer sounds
Great Blue Heron sounds
Egret sounds

Youtube Videos:
Meet the Residents of the Everglades
What is a Florida Cracker
Florida Native Edibles
Seminole Indians, life, and culture of the Florida tribe, 1952

Seminole Tribe of Florida
Seminole Tribe Facts
Florida Department of state
Enchanted Learning: Florida

Food and Recipes:
(this is a topic I could go on and on and on about as I have grown up with a grandma that cooked amazing food, among my favorites that I've not included below are fried oysters, fried shrimp, banana pudding, fried okra, cornbread and blackeyed peas, cornbread with sweet milk (my grandfather liked buttermilk), and greens with cornmeal dumplings. I really could go on for days. lol)

Seminole Recipes
Seminole, Baconed Hominy
Seminoles Indians for kids - What did they eat?
Florida Hoe Cake -not the corn cake, this is more of what my grandma called a hoecake and that we ate as kids
canned mullet
Southern Beans and Snaps
Iconic Florida Foods
smoked mullet
12 Florida recipes everyone should know

Personal photos:

Dec 1, 2018

Diabetes - Home From the Hospital

I debated on posting this for a long time. I decided to bite the bullet because people need to know the diagnosis is just the beginning and it isn't as easy as taking a shot, or in my case taking a pill. Families are complex and this disease affects everyone.

I came home on the 24th of August and I am writing this exactly 3 months later. A lot has happened. During that time my memory was still very, very bad. I even had problems remembering how to get around a town that I pretty much grew up in neither it nor my eyesight returned quickly. I don't remember when I got all of my peripheral vision back (all of it was gone when I went in) but I do remember being scared it wasn't going to. On top of my own fears, I was facing adult children who had held it together and minor children who had felt helpless. All of them were scared and were very worried. Emotions were high now that the crisis had passed. Dealing with the effects wasn't going to be easy.

David, Dustin, and my heart baby Colton were pivotal while I was in the hospital. When I came home it was evident how much I had relied on them and was continuing to rely on them. Dustin, did his best to keep David's and Colton's moral high and helped stock us up on the new diet restrictions I was/am facing. He and my mother were a huge help in keeping Colton and David sane. David and Colton raised the kids for me and now that I was home no one was sure what to expect. Those first few days were really tense. I'm used to being the mom, but my mind was still so foggy and, I was still easily dizzy and very emotional. I had to have help walking for any kind of distance because of it. I felt a complete failure as a parent because I had to rely on Colton and David for almost everything. I couldn't even remember how to get to the grocery store up the road when I first got out. This, understandably, made the boys anxious because they didn't know how long it would last. As I got better they were able, little by little, to relax. They were emotional. I was emotional. It came to a head at times and we would argue. Add meltdowns from Darian and outbursts from CJ due to their own emotions and uncertainty and it added to the stress. All of us were trying so hard to keep the negative emotions from the kids. Maybe that was a mistake. looking back we probably should have addressed them more openly and encouraged the little ones to talk more about their fears. There were tears, slammed doors, and feelings hurt on all sides. It wasn't pretty for a while, and fear kept all of us quiet to a degree. The misguided if we don't speak it then it isn't happening mindset. Finally, once the air was cleared and the older boys especially shared their emotions, David in particular, things began running more smoothly. I, however, had to face the fact,square on, that these boys,with only a little help (thanks mom for keeping an eye on them), kept it together and ran the house while I was gone and if my memory and sight didn't improve I would be depending on them for a lot longer in ways I wasn't willing to admit to myself much less to them. They, in turn, weren't ready to take on that much at so young an age and it scared them. To their credit they faced it, yeah there were some loud and heated moments, but they embraced the fact that it may very well be our new life It took a LOT of courage and patience to talk about the "what ifs" in case I didn't get better. It was a full month before I felt comfortable enough to drive about 2 miles down the road to the library. I'll never forget the tension in David's face when I adamant that I could. Even then I didn't drive alone for about a month and a half.  They wanted to make sure I wouldn't get lost or have a diabetic episode. We are all good now, but it took a long time and a lot of work. Colton has since moved back to PA and is doing well, but I'll never be able to thank him enough for the help he gave us while he was staying with us.

The younger kids had so much to work through, all while the adults around them were obviously did too. All those feelings of relief, anger, vulnerability, and fear were unleashed in waves. Nights were hardest for CJ, she tended to want more attention and needed quite a bit of comforting. Lots of 'just because hugs' were happening. While I was in the hospital she started using a nightlight for the first time, even now she still prefers it. Darian, once I got home, just withdrew into himself and was stemming more violently (the harder/harsher his movements are the more intense the emotion, good or bad). He didn't want me hugging or touching him really at all, but when he did he didn't let go. I think he had the hardest time expressing himself because he already struggles so much with emotions anyway. It wasn't until he had a huge meltdown that ended up with us all exhausted that he said he was mad at me for getting sick but he didn't tell me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. He buried his head in the blanket and he cried as we all gathered around him on the couch. Before that breakthrough, he had relapsed a little with some of his behaviors and had a tendency to run out of the house when he got upset. Poor CJ didn't know what to do. She was angry and scared too and in her, it came out clingy and tears at night but silence and talking back during the day. She was starting to lash out by picking fights with Darian, her best friend, who, admittedly was doing the same to her. I could hear the frustration, fear, and anger when she stomped and cried. She was expressing what we all felt. When things looked like they might get physical we redirected their energy to running races (laps) or wrestling with the older boys, something, anything to get out that nervous energy. In turn that helped clear their minds. Eventually, they would be able to talk about what was bothering them, once the fear of my dying or having to go back passed. We had a lot of outdoor time in the park, especially so they could just get out and go. That took a good month, maybe more. It wasn't easy, but through it all we kept hugging, being there, listening, talking, letting them know they aren't alone, that the bad feelings wouldn't be there forever.

So here we are. I wish I could say things are perfect. That would be a lie though. I still have diabetes and it still sucks. We have worked through the crisis aspect though and are stronger for it. We are all more educated about diabetes and even the little ones know about sugar highs and sugar lows and what to do if something happens. The kids have seen family and friends reach out both online and in person to help us get through the initial learning curve. They know they aren't as alone as they thought. We are stronger and closer than we ever have been. Darian is capable of expressing his feelings better than ever and that has boosted his confidence. He has started wanting to do more in his CCD classes and is starting to participate more in outside activities with the youth. CJ has learned that it's okay to stand up for herself. (She never had an issue standing up for others, just herself.)  She is tougher than she used to be. David, well he has settled down some and has a new perspective on what's important in life. He works hard and I am quite proud of him. He's grown up a lot. Colton, for the last month or so that he was here, grew up quite a bit too. I won't get into his business too much, but I will say that I am proud of what he's been able to do. Dustin is making it a point to spend more time with his siblings and I. I am so very grateful for that and my heart swells when he spends time with the littles especially. As for myself, there are still days I feel like a failure as a mom, allowing myself to get so heavy and developing diabetes. Mom guilt sucks, but I've learned how to better get past those spells and to move forward. I've taken much more control of what I put into my body even if I haven't quite gotten to the point of exercising regularly again. Right now I'm in the resentment phase of diabetes. I hate this disease and no matter what anyone says about genetics or points out how many skinny people have type 2 I still feel I did it to myself. I also know that's part of it and that feelings are fickle. Diabetes won't ever go away, even if I pull off not needing medication and being diet controlled I will always have diabetes. I'm struggling to make peace with that fact and progress has been made in that aspect, but it still sucks. It will always suck. lol Sometimes I wanna scream, 'THIS F'N SUCKS!', but when it gets to that point I usually laugh instead, because there isn't a damn thing I can do about it now except take care of myself..............and the irony in that gets me every.single.time.