Sunday, November 30, 2008

thanksgiving and the days that followed

I'm so sorry I haven't been posting. If you had told me, "Rachael you're going to be a stay-at-home-mom and your life is going to be hectic" 6 months ago, I wouldn't have believed you, but alas the days grow full and free time sparse.

The four days that encapsulates Thanksgiving might have been the longest two weeks of my life. Yeah I said that on purpose. I love my family very much, but I often struggle with tolerating them for long periods of time. I expressed to Dennis that I think my tolerance levels are depleting, even. Something about having children makes the little things about in-laws seem like big things. I constantly reminded myself that this was just a visit and it would be over soon.

Thursday morning, we did our traditional eggrolling contest which was prefaced by many weeks of smack talking and various betting. I lived up to my claims and won the contest by 3. I received an awesome massage from my darling sister, Donna, and all was well in my world.

Friday I went black Friday shopping, sorry there are no pictures. Danielle (pictured here) had to be at work at Kohl's at 3:45am and since Kohl's is the first place I like to go every year anyway, I took her to work and then took my post about 100 people back in line to get in to the store. Donna joined me shortly after and we waited about 20ish minutes to get in. Once in, with no apprehension on getting gifts or certain items or whatever, we casually perused the store while wild white-trash maniacs devoured under-priced toys and cheaply made comforters. My items of note:
  1. Chutes and Ladders, Hi-ho Cheerio, and Candy Land all for under $4 each
  2. a griddle for Donna and Kyle (the newlyweds) for $10
  3. and a brother sewing machine for $60.
The sewing machine was an especially awesome find because I only knew it was there when the guy in check-out line behind me had 3. I asked if he had gotten the last of them to which he replied "yes, but they may have restocked" and sent me in their general direction. Sure enough, there were 2 left. After strongly considering both, I took only one and got back in line. For future reference, this was the worst part. We stood in line for checkout for an hour and a half and I know they had every single checkout line open. But we had some hilarious line mates whom we joked with about random items we passed as the line progressed, so all was well. At the end, I also received $20 Kohl's cash, which is as good as cash considering Kohl's is like heaven in a grey building.

Dennis joined in the fun and braved BestBuy at 5am. He got us a bluray player for like $180 and he got me a new bluetooth since mine bit the dust. I love my new bluetooth and we watched our bluray this morning and it is awesome. You could see fuzzies on the jacket of Deloris Umbridge in the Order of the Phoenix. Oh yeah, we also bought all 5 of the current Harry Potter movies at this awesome used DVD store we found in e-town.

By Saturday, we were ready to go home. Anakin kept saying "I want go bye-bye" and we knew it was time to head that way. We talked about leaving first thing Sunday morning at like 3am but quickly realized we couldn't possibly spend one more night in this god-forsaken town and we headed out at about 10:30pm. My awesome friend, Michelle, talked me all the way past Nashville (3 hours! what an awesome friend!) and when Dennis took over just before the mountains, we got some gas and popped in the last disc of Harry Potter. I laid back to sleep but found myself entranced in the book and mostly just laid with my eyes closed. We got home at 4:30am (6 hours exactly!) and rested in our own bed, thankful we missed the traffic and happy to have a day to rest before starting a new week. I can't believe we are planning on heading back to KY for Christmas and am instantly sorry these are the plans we've made. It's okay, family is family and someday I will be missing them and wishing the long holidays were here again. I was really reminded of this when, for some reason, I started missing my Aunt Paula so bad it ached. Not that we've ever spent Thanksgiving or Chistmas at her house in Florida, but just hat long trips used to take us different places. So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for family that drives me crazy. But I am very happy to be home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday mornings come too soon.

So Anakin has been sick. I went to a movie with my friend, Tammy on Friday and when I got home, I went upstairs to check on him and he was burning up... and not sleeping. I took his temp and it was 103!! I stripped him down, gave him some tylenol and rubbed a clod washcloth all over his back. That got it down a little and certainly got him back to sleep. When it was 102 the next morning, an obvious trip to the doctor was in order. Sure enough, he has an infection in his right ear. We put him on some insanely expensive antibiotics (because he is allergic to amoxicillan) and a tylenol/ibuprofin regimen. He is doing better today, no fever, but obviously still sick.

We are going preschool shopping so I will let you know how that goes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Best Meatloaf EVER!

Ok, I am so proud to say that this is my own personal recipe formed from years of attempted perfection. We ate this on Wednesday and both my husband and I agreed, this is as good as it gets!

1 pound ground turkey
1 can sliced carrots
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup oatmeal
1 T minced onion (or you can cut a fresh one if you care)
1 T Oregano (really one shake from the bottle should do it)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place in loaf pan or shallow baking dish covered in tinfoil (this is what I do!) and bake at 350º for about an hour or until internal temperature is 180º. I serve it with greenbeans and corn or blackeyed peas.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Smothered Chicken

Smothered Chicken


Chopped Onion

Chopped Celery

Minced Garlic

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 can golden mushroom soup

3 T Worcestershire sauce

4 T Butter

1. Brown chicken in butter.

2. Add veggies and garlic, and cook 3-5 min

3. Stir in tomatoes, soup, and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Heat to a boiling, and let simmer 5 minutes.

I like this with rice

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Adopt a child for Christmas

Hey everyone, I know the economy is rough this year and with me losing my job in June, trust me I understand how tight it is. But I just wanted to share with you an awesome ministry I participate in and offer up the opportunity for anyone who would like to also contribute.

The name of the organization is the MAX. It's run out of Lawrenceville and it is a program that reaches out to children in poverty stricken neighborhoods where there is gang activity, drug activity, and prostitution to name a few. Pastor Felica Scales started the program in 1999 out of the trunk of her car as an after-school program. The first day, she had 3 students attend. The second day, 15. By the end of the month, she had over 100 students attending on a daily basis. Now, she runs the program with a team that ministers to several hundred children throughout our community. These children would otherwise be in gangs, dropping out of school to work or sell drugs, or getting involved in teen pregnancy. All of these things would keep them from coming to the MAX's programs, so by being at the meetings, they make a promise they will be above the issues that have troubled their family and peers. This year is an especially important year because 4 students that were in the program the first year as second graders will be graduating this year and they will all 4 be the first students to EVER graduate highschool in their families. This is a really big deal for our community.

Now that I've kind of explained the program, let me share what we are doing for Christmas. What we do is, any person the age of 0-17 is eligible for the ChristMAX program, but they have to meet certain requirements. If they are school-age, they must be passing all classes and have at least a C average, they must be attending the MAX sessions regularly and they must meet the regular requirements to be at the MAX (aka in school, no drugs or gangs, etc). The first year we did ChristMAX (about 6 years ago) we had 15 people in the program. Now we have well over 300. Plus, we will have an additional 100+ people show up the day of our ChristMAX party and we don't want anyone to go away empty-handed.

Every child that meets the prerequisites, fills out a form and has their picture taken and they go up for "adoption." DH and I always choose a little boy close to Anakin's age so we can double purchase everything since all 2 year olds like the same stuff, right? When you adopt the child, you receive a description of their interests, favorite colors, favorite superheros, etc so you get a good idea of what they like. The program asks that you spend about $50 on each child, according to what they've asked for, but whatever you can give is of course appreciated.

I just want to share one story of the very first ChristMAX I went to. There was a student there named Francisco and he was one of 6 children at the time (now he has 11 siblings). His father was incredibly abusive and would not let any of the children leave the yard or let his mother even leave the house to do shopping. If he caught Francisco coming to the MAX after school, he would receive a horrible beating. Francisco showed up consistently, sneaking out of the house, risking his own welfare to be in the program. When ChristMAX season came around, a family at our church requested a specific age boy so they could supplement their gifts with some clothes from their son who had a growth spurt and missed a whole season of clothes they bought him. At that time, we let students request specific toys (which we don't do anymore) and on Francisco's sheet, he requested a PS2, and the family graciously provided this with a few games and a few outfits. When the gift came in, all of us on the team weren't sure what to do. We ask that you spend $50, this was obviously too much and could cause some issues with the whole program. Felica prayed about it over and over and finally decided that the gift was a gift, and not hers to decide. On the day that the packages are handed out (about a week before Christmas), we allow each child to open one gift. Francisco opened the smallest package in his bag, and it ended up being a PS2 game. He instantly broke into tears and I went to Felica to tell her. Felica looked out into the crowd of 200 people and spotted Francisco right away. He sat at his Christmas bag, heart broken, with tears streaming down his face. When she went to speak with him, he looked up at her and said "Pastor Felica, I can't use this gift." Of course, she instantly dug to the bottom of the bag and let him open the PS2 and he was thrilled with joy. But that is not the wonderful part of the story. When Francisco took the present home, and his father saw what someone who didn't even know him gave him, he stopped beating his children. He stopped controlling his wife. He let all the kids attend the MAX. This single gift, changed the life of a hurt, and hardened man and his family, and his community.

This year, Francisco is a junior in high school and is well on his way to graduating next year. His mom now has her driver's license and is able to do her own shopping. And 7 of Francisco's siblings attend the MAX, the other 4 will be attending as soon as they are school-aged.

I just wanted to share this awesome program I'm involved in with everyone. If you are interested in adopting a child, please let me know, or you can contact Pastor Felica at or visit the website

If you are interested, you can let me know what age and gender you would like and I can email you a picture and form with the child's sizes, interests, etc. We have had a lot of students adopted already but we still have a lot to go. All gifts are due by 11/30, so if you would like to adopt, please let me know right away.

Thanks for taking the time to read this incredibly long post. I just wanted to share this deep passion of mine with you guys. I've had a few people already ask me about it, so I thought maybe more of you might be interested in making an impact in a local child's family this year.

Thanks again,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

OMG I haven't been blogging!!

In honor of NaBloMo, I should be blogging every day. However, I'm a loser.

This is another one of those weeks where things have hit me hard emotionally and so I can't share. But I will talk a little about potty training. I have two words. I quit. Ok, not really but that's how I feel! I won't quit but this process is far too long.

Also, I promised Lisa pictures of Anakin putting yogurt in his hair. My camera froze up and then the battery died, but I will post it tomorrow, promise.

Have a good night!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken Parmisan (sp?)

In honor of national bloggers month, this is what we had for dinner. With Asparagus and Corn.

Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History was made today, and what do you have to say about it?

Let me start by saying this: If any of you know me, truley know me, you know I tend to keep my beliefs to myself. I'm honestly not scared of offending anyone, I just don't feel like spending energy talking to someone who's not listening. Most people who have already made up their mind about a character impacting issue such as religion, politics, education, etc. don't want to listen to what you have to say, they only want to listen to why you are wrong. I had the privelage of having good political conversations with a few of my friends in September and spent a lot of time looking over all four candidates (presidents and vice presidents) before making my decision to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. There were several key issues that weighed heavy on my heart and I voted in favor of those. My mom, for instance is a very strict abortion voter so she votes Republican every time. So be it. What is important to you, has to be the reason you vote. If you haven't done your homework and researched your own issues and searched your own heart, I hope you in turn do what you feel is responsible.

Unfortunately, several of my friends are Republicans that have tainted beliefs about one's politics vs. their character. Both are important when choosing a president. But the number one thing to remember, is that our government is placed according to God's plan. It doesn't matter how you voted, who you supported or what you thought. It is our responsibility to support our president despite our personal beliefs. We must pray for him not because we think he is incapable, but because we know none of us is capable. We should not pray for the fate of our country because we think it is in peril. We must pray for the fate of our country because we are sincerely concerned for the welfare of all americans, any day, and every day. Because whether or not we are at war with another country, we will always be at war with humanity--good vs. evil, wrong vs. right. Decisions can not be made by one leader or one president, it takes everyone. Good decisions are made every presidential term. So are bad ones. I pray with each president, that he is led by God's wisdom and be His spirit. And that the good decisions benefit us better than the bad decisions hurt us.

I'm not concerned about a name. I'm concerned about politics. I'm infuriated that because I'm a Christian, I'm supposed to automatically be republican. I'm infuriated that because I'm registered republican, I'm supposed to vote republican. It's my choice. And so it is your choice as well. I don't care who you voted for. I care that you support your country--OUR COUNTRY. I care that when it all comes down, you stand up and say, I made the decisions that I felt were best for me and my family and I chose to stand by the president my country chose, even if he is not who I personally wanted. Because the election is over, people. You can't change the decision that's been made. You can only change the decision you are making right now. Do you choose to support your country, or stand apart from its leaders? You can not do one without the other.

PS: we're having Chili for dinner. So no recipe today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Let me start by saying I voted! I don't love voting, especially when I am not 100% decisive and I have to make a decision just for the sake of making one. Ah well, so be it. I only had to wait in line for 45 minutes and it was no big deal.

Today's Menu:

Polynesian Chicken


Garlic Powder


Chopped Onion

Golden Mushroom Soup

1 can Pineapple with juice

3 T soy sauce

1 T honey

  1. Season Chicken with garlic
  2. Heat oil in skillet and cook chicken until brown
  3. Add onion
  4. Add soup, pineapple with juice, soy and honey
  5. Heat to a boil, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

We had this with black eyed peas and green beans.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Around a thousand times and back again

Okay maybe not a thousand times, but I'm back at least for a second time of menuing and recipe working. I think we will probably continue to do this if Dennis would really like to continue doing this low carb thing. Meals with pasta and soup are always easy to throw together at the last minute, but making a menu two weeks in advance helps me from several angles. It helps me purchase with intention, eliminating the issue of buying items that are going to sit in my pantry for weeks or months. This really started because when we lost our fridge, we lost all our extra food in the kitchen. I have a little in the pantry, but we are big frozen food people so we lost all of that. The biggest challenge is to find recipes that have low carb, but that don't create redundancy in our meals. I also obviously have the challenge of keeping our budget. If we were eating like slobs, it wouldn't be an issue. But I do want to keep it half healthy.

So, get ready for another round of recipes with Rachael. For the days I'm repeating recipes, I will redirect you and post about something else. Don't forget November is national bloggers month! Try to post everyday!! :D

Today's Menu:
Pork Fried Rice
**Please note this is neither low carb or non-beef/pork as my usual rules are but I am not going grocery shopping until tomorrow and this is what I have in the house!!

Pork (cubed)
Minced garlic
3 eggs scrambled
3 cups cooked rice
Mixed veggies
fish sauce (optional)
soy sauce

  1. Heat EVOO in large skillet or pot and brown cubed pork with minced garlice
  2. While Pork is cooking, push meat to one side and begin cooking scrambled eggs.
  3. Once both eggs and pork are cooked, add rice and soy sauce. Here you may also add sesame seeds if you prefer. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well.
  4. Add veggies. I use the generic peas, carrots and green beans from frozen. I thaw them for awhile, but don't cook them first because I like them crisp. It's all about personal preference. You can add water chestnuts, mushrooms, or brocolli to name a few of my favs!
  5. Stir well and allow items to warm for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until all items are soft and warm.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I just wanted to let all my friends that I've become addicted to this blog. I will be making this very soon!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last night we went to a halloween party. Let me be specific here, we went to THE halloween party in Atlanta at literally the last club still open and even at that it's only open for special occasions like a huge halloween party. Some things of note:
  1. I thought I was getting too old for these things. I'm not. There were lots and lots of older people there and I was sad for them.
  2. I knew I was a light weight but my second (and last) drink knocked me off my feet. So either it was drugged (which seems unlikely since I saw it transfer from the bartenders hand to my hand to my mouth in one fail swoop) or she didn't measure the alcohol when making it and probably gave me 2-3 shots worth when really I was satisfied with only one.
  3. There is no way to properly communicate when inebriated. Even when I muster up the remaining brain power to form a complete sentence, no one takes me seriously. I was trying to give someone directions and they just looked at me like I was stupid. But I still remember what I said, and I gave him the right directions.
  4. When it comes down to it, you find out who your real friends are.
Let me get out of the bullets to elaborate on number 4 because this is really important to me. We went to this club last night with two friends, Jeremy and his brother, Chad. Jeremy and Dennis have been friends since he moved to Snellville back in 1989 so we're talking almost 20 years here. Jeremy was one of those friends that you went up through school with. He lived down the street so they rode the bus together and stayed friends even while Dennis moved to KY and then when he came back to Atlanta to go to school, Jeremy was his room mate for a year. Well when Dennis and I got married, Jeremy and Dennis had a huge falling out. This happens often when people get married, but this particular one was severe. Jeremy made a few comments to Dennis about me being his ball-and-chain and stuff like that and Dennis cut him off. So about a year or two ago, after what really only seemed like an issue with schedules and life and nothing personal, Dennis ran into him in the city and they started talking again. He had become one of those friends that you like the idea of. As in, I know there is cool somewhere down there so I will continue talking to you but every time I do, I'm reminded why we're not really friends anymore. In adulthood we all often become something different than what we thought we'd be. Sometimes we grow so much, we are better than we'd intended. And sometimes, not so much.

Anyway, Dennis invited Jeremy and Chad to go with us because these were two guys that could use a night out. By about 2am, Jeremy and Chad had found two sisters. As I recall, they were pretty good looking but it was dark and I was drunk so who knows. By 3am, the girls were ready to go home and Jeremy and Chad, who had not had much to drink, were more than obliged to take them as they were in no condition to drive. The guys walked them out to the car, and this is the part that is awesome. With the prospect that they were going to go back to Jeremy's place (which was very close to the club), Jeremy left the girls and came back to get us. Dennis and I had separated from them earlier in the night to let them be with these girls and Jeremy came back into the club to make sure we could drive before he left. Since we could not, he let the girls go and drove Dennis and I around until Dennis was ready to get behind the wheel. The awesome thing here is that Jeremy honestly let that go fo rus. We didn't ask him to. We certainly could have sobered up either there at the club or in our car, but he didn't want Dennis to think he was ready and not have a third party make sure he was. Now, let me go off here a little and say that Dennis would never ever put either of us, or anyone else in danger. And I believe he would wait long after he felt ready before he would ever drive. He is a very concious drinker and had been careful to stop in time to sober up. That being said, it was still incredibly respectful of Jeremy to keep an eye on him until he felt like Dennis was ready, too. It was honestly a really awesome thing for him to have done and I am eternally grateful that he took that time to be sure of our safety. Had we needed to spend the night at his loft, I know he would not have hesitated to let us have a key or drive us over there himself.