Monday, October 31, 2011

Booga Booga Land review

Based on the Parables of Jesus, join Marty the monkey and Gerard the giraffe as they bungle their way thru the paradise of Booga Booga Land inadvertently learning lessons that Jesus taught many years ago.
So This is Booga:  Marty and Gerard meet for the first time in the city of Booga Booga, becoming instant best friends. Early one morning they decide to become window washers for a day to earn 20 bamolies. But when they see the boss also give 20 bamolies the other works who arrived late in the day, Martya and Gerard want to know why. (Based on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20:1-16)
Marty’s Sandcastle Marty and Gerard decide to go to carpentry school, taught by the German instructor Mr. Guudsaw. After graduating, they each decide to build their own home. But one night a great storm destroys Marty’s flimsy house.  (Based on the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders from Luke 06:47-49)
No Light In This Lighthouse:  Marty gets a bright idea to build a lighthouse, but ends up rushing the job when he sees that there are ships being lost while he works!  (Based on the Parable of the Lamp Under the Bowl from Matthew 5:14-16)
My children liked watching the cartoons, but I don't think the story was very well told.  It was certainly not emphasized enough so that the children really understood what the point truly was.  Even so, I had no problems with letting the kids watch this.  They were entertained and it led to more conversation as I explained a little better about the parables that each episode was based on.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

It's Monday again.

As I searched for a picture to go with my "It's Monday" post. I realized that I can be of two minds about Monday.  Here's a post from a great Monday...Meaning-Full Monday.  Today was not going to be a good Monday post.  Here's the picture that I was going to use...

This is exactly what I feel like today and the house issues haven't changed a bit.  My hurricanes, otherwise known as Nicholas and Wesley, were quite active this weekend.  Looking at the house today, you would never know that I had the house looking pretty darn good this last week.  

That's my big question for do you deal with the housework never being finished?  I am always reminded of how the Nazi's used this sort of torture on the Jewish people.  Move a huge pile of dirt to this, move it back.  There is NO PURPOSE!  That's enough to break anyone's spirit.  

I just have to remember that it's all in how I look at it.  Years down the road, I am going to be doing the same things...washing dishes and doing laundry.  It's never going to stop...I am never going to get finished with these tasks.  But I am serving my husband and my children and in doing so, I am serving my God.  THAT is a great feeling.  

So, how do you deal with the never ending cycle of housework?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Food Friday!

It's fall!  And there is nothing that seems to go with fall as much as homemade Apple Butter.

So, I went to the local farmer's market last week and picked up some delicious Rome apples!  I also snagged some apple cider too.  Tastes just like drinking an apple!  Wow!

I started thinking about what to do with these apples.  I thought about apple dumplings and homemade applesauce.  But then I thought of apple butter.  Perfect!  Here's the recipe.

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Approximately 5 lb. apples

1 1/4 cups honey
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cup apple cider

1.  Fill Crock-pot 3/4 full with sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. 
2.  Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.  Use an immersion blender or food processor to smooth it out if needed.

If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high until thickened. Stir often as butter thickens to prevent scorching.

Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze for longer storage.

Variation:  Substitute 3 cups sugar for the honey for a sweeter butter.

For serious?  You need to try this recipe!  It will have your whole house smelling like fall.  And it's delicious too!  :-)

What's your favorite fall recipe?  Favorite crock pot recipe?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Food Friday

This week started getting a little colder, so I started thinking about cold weather foods and got a hankerin' (LOL) for vegetable soup.  I love the simplicity of a vegetable soup, but I am living in a house of boys and they simply have to have their meat.  So, they are not happy when I bust out my veggie soups.  I decided to make a bit of a compromise this time, as I am rather fond of them and do things just for them from time to time. (Was that a little over the top?)  This is another great thing about vegetable's so customizable!!  Add/take away the vegetables that you like/don't like and everyone is happy! Anyway, on to the recipe!

Vegetable Beef Soup/Stew

2 lbs cubed beef stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine
48 oz beef broth
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
1 (2 lb) bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can diced tomatoes
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
Dash favorite hot sauce

Optional: 3 cups prepared rice

1. Place meat in a large plastic bag. Combine 1/4 cup flour with salt and pepper; pour into the bag with the meat, and shake to coat.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until evenly browned on the outside. Transfer to a slow cooker along with frozen vegetables, tomatoes, beef broth, onion soup mix, tomato paste, and potatoes.
3. Pour red wine into the skillet, and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Remove from heat, and pour into the slow cooker.  Add rosemary, soy, Worcestershire, and hot sauces.  
4. Cover, and cook on High for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to Low, and cook for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender.  I like thick stews as opposed to thinner soups, so I added rice as well and that sucked up most of the remaining juices. My husband would disagree with me on this matter though.  :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Food Friday!

Who doesn't love a good chicken wing?  Ah, but the sauce has to be right on.  There are restaurants devoted to them and they offer a plethora of  sauces.  See, the sauce is where it is for me.  The chicken wing is merely a vehicle for a good sauce!  So, I am happy to present my favorite buffalo wing sauce!  Yummy!  Whip up some of these for the next football game and watch them disappear!  They are FABULOUS! (and so easy!)

Buffalo Wing Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (We use Frank's)
2 tbsp honey

1. Combine the butter, hot sauce, ketchup, and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Apply to wings and devour!  (We like to fry our chicken's the only way I have found to keep them crispy.) 

What football favorites do you have?  I would love you to share!  I am always on the lookout for great recipes!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not Alone Blog Tour

  1.  a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
  2. sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
  3. depressive disorder: a state of depression and anhedonia (an inability to experience pleasure) so severe as to require clinical intervention
  4. pushing down; "depression of the space bar on the typewriter"
Okay, so #4 isn’t a “classic” definition of this kind of depression, but I think it works here.  There are times when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and that’s enough to depress anyone! Some days, everything feels like it weighs 20 pounds more.  My arms, my eyes, the milk, my feet, the air…it is much harder to push through with the extra weight.  It would be easier to just stay in bed.  Overwhelming exhaustion occurs, but sometimes with the inability to sleep.  Outrageous thoughts swirl in my head. Everything feels like it’s my fault.  We are out of toothpaste, my fault.  It rained, that’s my fault too.  My outlook is undeniably pessimistic.  Nothing will go right again.  Ever.  Typing this stuff out…I can see the absurdity of it, but it’s what is in my head.  How do I help someone who has never had thoughts like these to understand? 

My name is Misty and I am clinically and chronically depressed. 

The above is an excerpt of my contribution to the Not Alone book.  It's available at Amazon right now. Grab it so you can read the rest of my story and 36 other ones.

A great friend, Alise Wright, started this project after posting on her blog about her own struggles with depression and getting some great support from her Virtual Village.  She found that most people feel isolated when dealing with depression and that finding support helps tremendously.  Civitas Press gave her the opportunity reach a wider audience with the message that they are not alone with this book.  

Most people are touched by depression in one way or another, be it struggling with it personally or seeing a friend or family member go through it.  This book can help with the understanding that there is no one cure for depression.  It's not a "one size fits all" kind of thing.  It looks different on everyone and acts differently to boot.  Pick up this book, read it for yourself and pass it on.  There is no telling how many people we can touch with this project.

(Alise currently has a blog festival going about the book and has a linky up on her blog with posts from others.  Hop on over there and take a look.  She is also looking for reviewers too!)