Disengage

You know that moment when you know- as you are making the decision- this one will affect the REST. OF. OUR. LIVES. We’re in one of those. I’ve been chasing the dream for a year now. Trying to provide for the family I so love. Trying to get us ahead of the game. However- all I’ve succeeded at is more turmoil and unrest. So now it’s time to take stock and disengage. I’m here to pledge to the world- but more importantly- my family- mommy is done trying to define herself outside the home.
To my four littles- God has given me one job in this life- to raise you up in his image. I’ve not been great at that- in fact the last year I have STUNK at it. I am going to be better at my God given position in life.
To my sweet hubs- I have stepped on your toes on so many occasions this past year. I have not listened to your concerns, I have put my agenda above yours. I have not trusted you and have not respected your place as the spiritual leader of our home. I am sorry. I will honor and obey you- submit to your authority. Most of all I will be more approachable and seek your council more appropriately.
To my God- I will listen closer to what you are saying to me. I will seek you out in your Word, and in Prayer. I will cleave to the position in life you have given me- and seek joy and fulfillment in purely that place in the home and in the world.
Lastly to the others in my life. I have been stingy this year. I haven’t been available to you all. I haven’t been able to serve as I’m used to doing. I have been busy, flaky, moody, just a general bore. That changes today.
My prayer today is that my heart will be ready to accept where God wants to put me. I’m torn down to the quick and this is where I will stay- silent and peaceful til God shows me where he needs me.
Love to you all!
Ash

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What a Cool Kid!

It’s spring again, which means, again, we are exploring schooling options for the upcoming year. I was really impressed when McDaddy shared this link with me, because it meant he’s feeling as much anguish as I am about the subject, AND he is really interested in being an active part of the decision making process. Anyway, I officially love this kid! In the 24 hours since I first watched his TEDx talk, I have viewed it three times more, once with Rain.
So without further ado… The TEDx talk with Logan LaPlante:

hack schooling makes me happy

This is the Way We Clean the House….

By raise of hands how many of us would like to know why our children seem to have been replaced with psychotic alien beings?
We are in some MAJOR discipline boot camp around our house. Today’s video brought to you as a direct result of said boot camp….

Thank God for moments like these. Those little rays of humorous sunshine that ensure these little shits get to live one more day!

Preschool Teacher Showdown

At school,Hurricane is doing a theme on the planets.  He seems very interested in this subject, so I’m enjoying him exploring a new passion.  As a result we have Solar System pictures plastered all over the brag wall, the fridge, his bedroom…you get the idea.

This afternoon, I had the rare opportunity to take JUST HIM to school (usually the other monstrosities are in the car).  So we turned off the radio and visited.  I resisted the temptation to drill him on numbers or letters, instead just letting him direct the conversation.

Below is the result of Hurricane controlling the convo…..

I love being upstaged by a five year old!

Until next brag….

What’s For Dinner?

Sorry another adventures in the kitchen post.

Hubs is back.  SO to welcome him back, I made one of his favorites…Seafood Gumbo.

Before you start telling me that isn’t vegetarian, let alone vegan…spare me.  We are considered Pescetarian.  While we abstain from red meat, poultry, and the other white meat, fish gets the green light.  We eat it sparingly, but it does open up the dine out options considerably!  Can we get back to the post now?

Gumbo.  I discovered this recipe in time for Christmas, and it was AMAZING!  (Not to worry, I will share the recipe…in a minute).  I did make a few changes to it….surprise surprise, but I think the changes just made it better.  In all honesty I’ve been craving it since, oh January 2nd, so when I casually mentioned it to McD, my heart soared when his reaction was “OHHHHH YEAHHHHH”.  Not only is it scrum-diddly-umptious, it makes A TON!!! Which translates to leftovers, which means fewer days in the kitchen, oh and did I mention it’s a crock pot meal?  This is the all around winner in my book!

So we made the Gumbo.  Assembled it in the morning and let it cook all day.  About 4 o’ clock, Hurricane comes into the kitchen.

“Mom”

“Hmm?”

“Whens the Gumballs gonna be ready?”

“The what?”

“The gum balls.”

“I don’t have any gum balls babe.”

“Yes you do”

“Ummmm, no…I don’t”

“But you said you had gum balls”

“Uhhhh nope….when did I say that?”

“Mom…..” insert whiny voice here

“Hurricane” insert fed up mock whiny voice here

“Yes you do…you SAID we were eating them for dinner”

Me with the dawn of recognition on my face…thinking <lightbulb> “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh….the Gumb-OH?”

“Yeah the Gum-BALL”

Here’s me and McD, exchanging the parent glances and stifling laughs…

“It’s just about done bud….go play Sonic, we’ll call you when its ready”  (translation: go out of hearing range so we can laugh at you!)

There you have it…tonight, whats for dinner is Gumball Soup!  Yum!

Want some gum ball soup of your own?

Here’s the recipe.  I adapted this from one of my favorites…Paula Deen.  If you’ve ever cooked with Ms. Deen, it aint PD unless it’s got a pound a buttah and a quart a cream, but I did par it down a bit, and just because we are cheating with the fish doesn’t mean I throw our entire “veganish” lifestyle out the window.  Lets just say tonights dinner is a treat!

Savannah Seafood Gumbo

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base (I use a chicken-less base—it’s called Better Than
  • 3 cups water
  • bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, basil, and oregano or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups sliced Cajun-style fresh link sausage- I used veggie links
  • 2 cups cut  frozen okra – WELL RINSED!!!
  • 1/2 lb peeled 41-60 ct shrimp
  • 1/2 pound crabmeat
  • 1/2 lb white fish–whatever is on sale
  • 1/2 lb bay scallops

This is what you do…..

Make your roux with the oil and flour.  Stir until light (milk chocolate) brown, and somewhat fragrant.  Add onions, garlic and celery and sauté.

Throw that in the crock pot.  Add your broth, and base and stir, add water, stir again.

Add Bay leaves, parsley, thyme, lemon pepper, cayenne, House Seasoning, Worchestershire,and tomatoes.  (House seasoning is below)

From here, you just turn the crock pot on low and let those flavors simmer together through out the day.

Here is where I prep the seafood and sausage, but it goes back in the fridge…at this point anyway.

Also, here is where I start my rice, in the rice cooker.  Do you know the knuckle method?  Lemme share….

Pour some rice in the cooker…don’t worry about measuring it, just pour until it looks good.  Trust me on this one.

Peel 2-3 cloves of garlic and add.

Throw in 2T butter or margarine

Prepare a cup or so of chicken-less broth.

Pour that in first.  Now shake your dish back and forth so that you even out the rice.  Add water a little at a time.  When your pointer finger inserted into the water, just BARELY grazing the rice, is wet to your first knuckle, you have enough water.  Now, throw it in the cooker and your done here.

On the gumbo, PD calls for “House Seasoning”  It’s an all in one, always nice to have around the house, so let me hand that off to you….

House Seasoning

1 cup salt-table salt, not the Sea Salt…it doesn’t work very well

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix together in a big bowl, store in an airtight container.

Now, about half hour to an hour before eating….go ahead and add the shrimp, crab, fish, okra, scallops, sausage….throw it all in there. Then continue to cook until shrimp shows pink.  If you are using meaty sausages, you may need to cook longer, or perhaps pan cook them prior to adding them.  Just please check for doneness.  Raw meat does not a good meal make!

Ok, ready to eat?  remove the bay leaves and…

Pour Gumbo over a bed of rice and enjoy!!!

Now lets see if the critics approve…

Wheres the Gumballs??

Good stuff mom!

Are you serious?

Open Wide!

Here goes nothin...

 

And there you are…your very own GUMBALL SOUP!!

Until next brag…..

Out of the mouths of babes

You know those moments you know you need to record…lest you forget?

I have millions of them…and Hurricane is five.  So I’ve missed many opportunities along the way.  Anyway, I had to share…

Hurricane has this new thing lately…he will say to Tornado, but Tornado I care about you.  I don’t know where it came from; and at first I was sure he was being naughty with his twist on words.  So I asked him tonight about it.  No, it is genuine.  My heart soars to hear him say it!  They can be worst of enemies and best of friends.  Hopefully they will remember that always!

The newest is this…tonight, on the way home from Bboys, Hurricane says; Ive been thinking mom.  I don’t really like Hurricane.  He doesn’t usually refer to himself in third person, so I had to dig a little.  Come to find out he means he doesn’t like his name.  I giggle.

“Ok, so if you don’t like that name, what name would you like?” says a giggly me.

“Ummmmmm, I was thinking Sharkboy would be a good name” deadpan serious Hurricane replies.

Me in a fit of giggles…”ok, Sharkboy.  I guess we can call you Sharkboy from now on.”

I haven’t in a while, but I think I will pull out an Adam Sandler classic “Big Daddy” and watch it tonight.  And while I watch I think I will do this little project….that way I won’t miss anymore of these little moments!!

It’s a little table top calendar…you don’t have to jot down every day but how accessible when you have a good memory to keep!

Idea found on Pinterest…click here for the full post and instructions!