Power Breakfast
Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two buttermilk pancakes, smothered in blueberries, butter, syrup, and whipped cream.

Scrambled Eggs.



This was the breakfast consumed (inhaled) by each of the boys this morning at IHOP. They were practically finished before I could salt and pepper my eggs.

And when their plates were cleaned of every last bit of syrup, they begged for more sausage. (The answer was no. They did, however, help little sister finish off her silver dollar pancakes.)

After such a hearty breakfast, they were prepared for the hard work of helping their Dad pull down boxes full of Christmas decorations from the attic.

A Unique History
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My hometown, Sand Springs, OK, has an inspring history.

In 1915 the New York Times ran an article on Charles Page, our town's founder. I encourage you to read the endearing full story by clicking here. Here's the headline:

In addition to building a community for widows, Charles Page built an orphanage that he called the Sand Springs Home. According to stories told by the "Home kids", it was a great place to grow up, with "Daddy Page" ensuring the childrens' needs and wants were taken care of.

Charles Page passed away in 1926, long before my Grandfather and Great-Aunt went to live at The Home.

I'm thankful that my beloved hometown is a place with a story. I'm thankful that my family history ties me to this piece of the earth in a special way. I'm proud that Sand Springs has it's very roots in caring for "the least of these." That scripture, from Matthew 25:40, is inscribed on the base of the statue of Charles Page that sits in the triangle in the center of town. I'm thankful that I saw it with fresh eyes this Thanksgiving.

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:40

Images of The Sand Springs Home.

Wherein I work in a random 1985 pop culture reference
Sunday, November 15, 2009

If you've ever asked me how I like living in Lubbock, somewhere in my response I've probably mentioned the great people I've met here. Specifically, this 115 square miles of flat West Texas plains seems to have more than it's fair share of incredible women.

Some of these women are sharing their voices on PRIZE, the new blog for Trinity Church Women's Ministry. I'm excited to be among the contributing authors.

I have a new post up at PRIZE today (click here!), and last Friday 'fessed up to my third grade fashion faux pas. (And don't miss my friend Tina's encouraging PRIZE post from last week!)

Go check it out, and see how I manage to make an infamous Sally Field quote (this video must haunt her) into the title of my blog post.

Takin' a Jab
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The boys help me pack their school lunches in the mornings.

When it's Dylan's turn to pack the plastic forks, he inevitably tries to put this one in Ryan's lunch sack:

What a cute little stinker he is. Usually his giggles give him away, and I rescue Ryan from the horror of using a pink fork at a table full of second grade boys.

Also, pun intended with the blog post title. Get it? Get it? It's a fork? "Takin' a Jab"? Yeah...maybe it's not that funny.


The above story is nice lead-in for this verse we've had hanging on our fridge a week or so:

This is a scripture we've been discussing a lot with the boys. (Although not when Dylan tries to give Ryan pink fork....cause that's just hysterical. I generally encourage that kind of behavior.)

But we have been talking a lot about "giving preference." Such a counter-cultural concept. Hard to teach it I need to learn it! For me, this means doing things like putting away Jonathan's socks when I would rather be blogging, or vacuuming the house and dusting for the sake of my family's health, when I would rather be reading Jane Austen. Instead of thinking of it as doing boring domestic chores....I'm practicing giving preference. It helps me swallow it!

I could have just provided a link to the scripture, but I thought you would appreciate the hot dog celebrating God's word with jazz hands as much as I do.


In other kid news...can I just say that Lauryn is a total joy right now? She is growing into quite a little ham and I LOVE it. We sing and dance (with the blinds closed, lest anyone think I'm having seizures) and put on plays and make up stories and it's all fabulous. I enjoy her so much when she's not driving me crazy and making me confused about how to parent.

She regularly says stuff like "Mommy, let's take crazy pictures together because I am SO FUNNY. Just do what I do and you'll be funny too." And so then we take pictures. Girls are way fun.

I made that collage on www.photovisi.com; super easy and fast web-based collage maker. Should you be in need of one.


Random Alert. More total randomness ahead.

If you ever buy a whole fryer and cook it in the crock pot (which you should because it's cheap and you can get at least 2, maybe 3, meals out of one chicken), try this tip I read this week:

Make 4 balls out of foil, and set them in the crock put under the bird. It will lift the chicken up out of the juice so it's not so soggy, and taste more like a rotisserie chicken. Tried it this week. Pretty good.

The above chicken tasted great. But the poor girl didn't photograph well. Poor thing. Wow. That's kind of a disturbing image actually.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I use shortcuts. Whenever possible. I am not ashamed.
Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm pretty busy.

Not quite as busy as several other Mom's I know. But in addition to the times my life really is crazy, I occasionally waste entire days due to poor time management skills. So in the reality of my own mind I'm technically just as busy as they are!

In addition to being (somewhat) busy, I don't particularly enjoy being in the kitchen, so there are a few kitchen shortcuts I heartily embrace:

Frozen chopped onions. Throw these in taco meat...soups...chili...sauces, etc. For less than a dollar a bag it saves me the time (and tears) of chopping up onions. And they're diced up nice and uniformly and small. Love it.

A lot of the time, I do mince my own garlic (in a mini-food processor, not by hand; let's not get carried away), but I'm certainly not above using the jarred stuff when in a time crunch:

I'm also a fan of pre-made pizza crusts, crescent rolls, pancake mix, and biscuits. If Pillsbury makes it, I've probably bought it. (I know! I know! It seems most mommy bloggers grow their own fruits and vegetables, milk the goat in the back yard, and create gourmet meals out of home grown tofu.....I feel so counter-cultural! I love you DoughBoy!)

Maybe someday flour will be a staple in my kitchen. But not currently. I heard someone talking the other day about grinding their own flour. I decided then and there that a nice goal for me might be to make some recipes that actually required flour.

There are a few shortcuts I don't use: I don't make box dinners, only because I made my husband eat that kind of stuff way too often early in our marriage. If he never, ever has to eat another serving of Hamburger Helper, he will still have eaten more than is reasonable for anyone's lifetime.

He really shouldn't have to eat another soft taco or serving of spaghetti either. But I'm not emotionally ready to purge those trusty stand-bys from our menu just yet.

And finally, on those nights when it's just me and the kids:

So there you go. The confession of a mom who embraces pre-made biscuits and frozen chopped onions. I know there are more of you. Be loud. Be proud. Let your voice be heard.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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