Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

How To Cook A Thanksgiving Ham

Yes, you read correctly.  I said ham.  Not turkey.  I was asked to bring a ham to the family Thanksgiving dinner as there were a lot of people there and it was feared that turkey wouldn't be enough.

Before I talk about how to cook the ham, I must report on The Girls.  Right up until a few days ago it was looking like Ruth wasn't going to pull her own weight in the egg laying business and if you recall, I'd told The Girls I was not having any lazy business.  If they weren't laying by Thanksgiving we were going to have roast chicken instead of turkey!  Well, Ruth cowed to peer pressure and joined the crowd and started to lay a few days prior to Thanksgiving.

I was talking to my baby sis on the phone and told her the latest in the The Girls saga and she told me that she was glad The Girls were all laying but knowing my luck, they would all lay clear up until Thanksgiving Day and then stop laying for Black Friday...............  I told her she was probably right and not only would they stop laying but they would find a type writer, write me a letter, and force me to stand in line at Wal-Mart for a big screen TV so they could watch football games through out the holidays!  As if sitting in a heated posh gypsy wagon isn't good enough!

Well, I can tell you I was NOT going to have any of that so I went out and had a talk with The Girls.  Showed them who was boss.  Showed them I was still top hen in this roost, yes I did!  I'm so glad they saw things my way because they are at this moment out busily producing me some eggs instead of heading to the chopping block to be saved for Christmas dinner.  A big screen TV indeed!  Good thing I'm a tough old bird!

Cooking Thanksgiving Ham, Rachel style:

The night before Thanksgiving you come to the conclusion that if the amount of tired/exhaustion you are feeling is any indication of how you are going to feel the next day, then you are not going to want to get up early to make the glaze for the ham so best do it the night before so you can sleep in a bit.  This is after several hours of baking so of course your brain is a little fuzzy.  You must get that fuzzy part in there somewhere okay?  Otherwise your ham glaze won't work!

The glaze is made and put into a plastic container tucked away in your fridge for the next day.

Thanksgiving morning arrives.  You stay in bed for as long as possible coming up with all sorts of strategies on how if you eat your breakfast while showering, brush your teeth while getting dressed, stand all of The Native's in a line outside and douse them with a hose instead of them showering individually you can stay in bed for an extra 20 minutes!

Inevitably the time comes when you have to get out of bed and get to work.  Because you've stretched things time wise, you are running around the kitchen a bit spasmodically.  You grab the glaze you'd made the night before, throw it over your ham ignoring the fact that something doesn't seem to be right and tell yourself it is a good thing you made the glaze the night before because obviously your brain is hazy and not working that morning.

You go about your morning preparations and wonder why the ham isn't filling the house with the normal glaze smell but don't stop to analyze as you've a herd to get out the door in less time than you'd given yourself  to spend the day with relatives.

At some point you realize you've not basted the ham and you better get to it.  You open the oven and start basting wondering why your glaze is all thick now and doesn't look right but again because you're in a hurry and all hazy in the brain you shrug your shoulders and fly off to the next task.

As you are pulling out the things you'd made the night before from the fridge to be put into coolers you find a plastic container that has what appears to be the ham glaze in it only how can that be possible........ you already put the glaze on the ham.  You open the container and sure enough!  It's the ham glaze.  WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I GLAZE MY HAM WITH????

The ham is yanked out of the oven as The SM laughs and tells you that the left over pumpkin pie filling that we were going to save and make more pies with......... he'd put it in a container just like my ham glaze container the night before, they were the same color, and filled to about the same amount.  I'd just glazed my ham for about an hour in pumpkin pie filling.............

The ham was thrown into the sink and rinsed as best we could, the pan cleaned, the ham returned to the pan, and the ham GLAZE put on top of the ham.  Back in the oven the ham went, phone calls made, we're going to be a tidge late, is everything okay?, Yes, everything is fine, thank you for asking, and then I go and crawl under my bed and suck my thumb.

And THAT!  My friends....... is how you properly cook a Thanksgiving ham because the whole time you are eating it, you are giving thanks that the pumpkin pie washed off and your ham doesn't taste awful like you'd feared.

The End!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Once upon a time there was a mommy and a daddy who wanted to have a baby.  They tried and tried for many years.  It was a hard time for them.  They prayed a lot and they exercised a whole lot of faith.

In not the too far future a little baby girl named, Faith (click on Faith to see the cutest wittle video ever!) will be born.  I just got so excited for my niece and her husband I went a tad crazy with my knitting needles.  I'm not sure which I like more, the sweater or the adorable ruffled leg warmers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cupcakes for sale!

For Sale to one little cupcake princess.  $40.00 + shipping.  Size 6-12 months.  All money I make on my knitting goes to humanitarian aid. Putting food on the table, clothes on the back, etc. of those in need.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nature Deficit

I have six boy Natives'.  Not including The SM.  When I am out working in the yard by myself or trying to do things that would be much easier for my boys, I am often asked why I am not making them do it.  I look around and think, "Yeah!  Why aren't they doing it"?  Then reality sets in and I remember.  They don't have time!

By the time these boys get home from school and do their homework, there isn't time!  I tell myself that I have Saturday.  Saturday I'll put them to work and then......... Saturday comes and they are off helping those in need with their projects which is good.  Really good.

The Natives' start heading out the door in the morning for school at 6:45.  The last comes home at 4:40 PM.  Actually, the last comes home at 5:30 PM but that is because he is working after school for a few hours.  Several of them leave when it is dark, and don't return until it is almost dark.  I have concerns with this.

My complaining about not getting help around here on projects is not the root of my concern actually.  My concern is all of the time our kids are having to be indoors!  Education is really important in our house.  Two of The Natives' had parent teacher conferences yesterday.  They are both doing good, they are improving.  I am pleased with this, but...........  this is where my heart yearns to be able to home school The Natives' again.

Mr. M came running to me this morning before school.  "Mom!  Let me have your camera!  The sunrise is amazing"!  He sat in his bedroom window and took this photo.

I really think a large part of our childrens' education is being lost because our children aren't outside enough.  It is a battle I am having right now internally and I am not sure of the outcome.  There has got to be a balance!

Our nation is full of children who are struggling more and more with their weight.  More and more children are being diagnosed with attention deficit.  Children are spending less time out of doors exploring and being in nature.  Less people are hiking, camping, etc.  I really think there is a correlation.

In a perfect world, if I had my way, I would live on acres and acres of land up in the mountains raising and educating The Natives' at home.  I don't live in a perfect world or have my way so I'm going to have to come up with plan B.  I don't know what it is yet, but as a mother, I am not pleased with this part of The Natives' education.  The outdoors/nature side of their education.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mr. C's organ recital

Isn't this organ just beautiful?  
Mr. C has been taking organ lessons for about three months now. Let me remind you before you listen to his piece that he has been only taking lessons for about three months.... A lesson every other week........ Not that I'm bragging or anything.........  I wish I could have videoed his feet moving like sixty on the foot keys/pedals (not sure what to call them).

(Also in video is his amazing organ teacher turning the pages for him.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

By Small and Simple Things are Great Things Brought To Past

Yes, I spelled the title of this post correctly.  Past.  Not pass.

Most wouldn't consider what I am about to blog about blog worthy but I can tell you that several years ago when I was introduced to this product and searched high and low for it, not being able to find it, if I'd read a post on it, I would have tracked the owner of the blog down and kissed their toes.

I'm talking about these:

I know.  They don't look very exciting do they but let me tell you!  I am excited!

A few years ago when I was in the hospital and having seizures non stop, showering/bathing wasn't an option so the loverly nurses would help me wash with these babies.  They are a no-rinse self-foaming DISPOSABLE (yee haw) wash cloth.

When I got home from the hospital I wanted some.  I needed some.  I hiked the Himalayan looking for them.  I crossed the dessert with Lawrence of Arabia.  I even did the impossible.  I looked under Henny Penny's bed in the hopes that maybe I'd find some magically.  Nothing.  Couldn't find them anywhere.  Only hospitals could get them.  VERY FRUSTRATING!!!    I wanted some for Levi!

Having a child with special needs you need things like these.  You would think with all of the people in this fabulous world of ours that things like this would be accessible to the general public so we could take care of our special ones in our lives needs.  You would think.......... don't even get me started on the whole diaper issue after your child has grown out of baby diapers........

My morning routine with Levi is quite involved and can be down right so messy that even disposable gloves run and hide in fear and tremble.

My neighbor down the street, her son had a kidney transplant a little over a week ago.  His sister donated a kidney to her brother.  A very touching story which you can read about here on this blog as their mother has been keeping us all up to date.  Well, when I saw that she had some of these suckers at her house from the hospital I made a fool of myself all gushy over them.  My neighbor gave them to me.  I felt like she'd given me her kidney!!  She has no idea!!  I did not.....fall down and kiss her toes.  She already thinks I'm quack.

30 wash cloths in this package........ do I dare look on the Internet and see if they are finally now available to the public?  Why not.  I look and guess what??  Fireworks!  Joy!  Happiness!!  Chocolate cake for dinner every night for a week/month!  I found several sites that sell them.  Oh happy day!

It doesn't take much to make this momma happy.........

Friday, November 11, 2011

Generosity Abounds

Last Saturday Mr. C along with several other boys and leaders in his scout troop gathered around while Mr. C gave them instructions for his eagle project. It was early, it was cold, and it was a Saturday. Not how most young men spend their Saturdays.

The boys were all given a map and a pile of fliers. For six hours!!! they went door to door explaining Mr. C's project and asked if people would be willing to donate items for hygiene kits, fabric for baby blankets (or baby blankets already made), and or money for a surgery table that is going to cost about $2000.00. If they were, their address was taken down and they were told the boys would be back again this Saturday to pick up the donations.

Frozen fingers and hands were warmed with hot cocoa and warm donuts and later pizza as these boys worked through out the day.

Last night the doorbell rang at about 7:30 PM. Mr. C was called to the door where a neighbor of ours said he had a truck load of stuff for him and would he help carry it in. I sent Mr. C along with his brothers out to help and then sat dumbfounded as box after box came into the house. Boxes of soap. Hundreds of bars of soap. Boxes of shampoo...... deodorant, tooth brushes, tooth paste, etc. were brought into the house.

I have found over the past few years as my boys have done these eagle projects that people are so generous and willing. Tomorrow Mr. C and a bunch of the youth in the area will go to the houses where people said they would donate. I am so excited to see what they are able to gather. On Tuesday night of next week the youth that have volunteered to help Mr. C are going to put all of the supplies into plastic bags that Mr. C will then take to Ghana in the spring.

So many times we look at the hardships in this world and wonder what we, one person can do.......

One 14 year old boy, with the help of so many generous people, can indeed, make a huge difference.

Keeping Busy

I just got an e-mail from my mum wondering where in the world I am and what I am doing??  See?  If I don't keep this thing updated then she starts to worrying.

I am happy to announce that I have been feeling great and so therefore, I have been busy!

  • Cleaning kitchen cupboards.  GROSS!
  • Cleaning out my fridge.  EVEN MORE GROSS!
  • Raking leaves.
  • Tilling gardens.
  • Exercising. GROSS!
  • Knitting leg warmers to match the baby sweater I made awhile ago. (Photos soon to follow).
  • Knitting a hat and mittens for a friends little girl.
  • Reading
  • Riding horses.  (Kristen, we're due to go again......)
  • Going to the temple.  (The temple?  What in the world is that?  Click here to find out.
  • Scrubbing bathrooms.  EVEN MORE GROSS THAN MY FRIDGE!
  • More yard work.
  • Helping Mr. C with his eagle project and wondering how in the world I let him talk me into going with him to Ghana to deliver all of this stuff!  Do you know how big the spiders and snakes are there???  GROSS!
  • Cooking 
  • Helping The Native's with homework and school projects.
Told you I've been busy.  And that was all in just one day!  Riiiiiiight.............

Yesterday while I was washing dishes I sat looking out the window watching the little ones playing and jumping into piles of leaves.  I didn't run and grab my camera like usual....... I just sat and watched........

Sometimes, there is something cathartic about just sitting and watching...........  Levi loves to sit and watch The Girls.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another Eagle Project

Mr. C is working on his eagle project. Mr. T finished his so naturally we are starting on the next child in line. This is one of those things I didn't think through when I had The Natives so close together. Oops.

Mr. C is putting together hygiene kits for school age children in Ghana. In one of the photos below you will see the children in their 'school'. They do not have clean water, are malnourished such that their little tummies are distended, and their hair is an orange color because they do not have enough protein in their diets.

He is also asking for donations of either light weight baby blankets or light weight fabric that we can serge around to make baby blankets. At least 3/4 - 1 yard of fabric for one blanket. When babies are born the mothers do not have anything to wrap their babies in to bring them home. Also pictured below is the 'maternity' hospital. The desk where patients check in.

Any money that is donated will go to a surgical table in this maternity 'hospital'.

Our neighbor goes each spring to Ghana. She teaches nursing at the local University and takes several of her students each year with her. This last spring she helped put up curtains in the maternity wing. Before then, there were no curtains and the windows were on the busy side of the street making it so that anyone passing by would come to the window and watch these poor women give birth.

The conditions are so sad. Mr. C wants to make a difference and is asking for help. He spent six hours along with several in his scout troop going door to door today handing out this flyer explaining what it is he wants to accomplish.

Some of you have already donated. Thank you! If any others would like to, contact me in the comments and I will get contact info. to you. It's amazing what one young man of 14 years of age can do for others.....

The world being such that we live in all personal information needed to be blacked out for safety purposes for my son/family.  If you'd like to donate, let us know in the comments.

Friday, November 4, 2011

From an F to a solid D

Here are my first three batches of yarn. This is from the wool I carded and have now spun. Remember the icky wool. Amazing that it can turn into this.

First batch. Umm. Needs some work but could make a really funky scarf no?

Second batch. Getting better control......

Third batch. My teacher asked me what in the world I was doing trying to spin such fine yarn. I told her I had no idea! That was just how I was expressing myself artistically that day! I'd had a hard week and I was feeling a little strung out!  A little thread bare.....  The SM was out of town for work but he is back in town so I'm sure my next batch will be all nice and lumpy plump again.

Speaking of lumpy plump.  Mildred decided this morning that she doesn't want to be Thanksgiving dinner so layed her first egg this morning.  Quite smart of her I thought.  She's laying an off white egg so now we've a brown egg and an off white egg in the nest.

I had a feeling that she was rethinking things when I went out and fed The Girls this morning.  She was in the nest and when I asked her if she was going to get out of there and get some grub like the others she gave me a look of exasperation, turned her tail feathers to me, shoved her nose in the corner, and ignored me.

I thought I'd wait for her to do her thing and then I wouldn't have to make two trips out to the coop this morning (heaven forbid........).  Man was I given a slicing look.  She looked over her shoulder at me and I told her I was sorry and quietly closed the door and left her to her business in private.

Why she should get privacy is beyond me........... I've never had privacy when I'm bringing little ones into the world.............  just sayin................  Next thing I know the chickens will be asking for typewriters and heated blankets........

I have a neighbor who has knit her chicken some clothes.  I kid you not!  Her chicken is naked.  Funniest looking thing ever and funnier still to me that she knits it clothes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For My Mom

I have been having so much fun using my Mom's old spinning wheel!

I've been taking a class where I have been getting roughly a F minus minus minus. That would be a F triple minus. Well, I will have you know that I have improved my grade to about an F+ or D-.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Mr. M as.......... The scary assassin.......

Every Indian girl must have a pony.

Thankfully The SM knows how to draw because if I tried this Miss K would look like she had a big ol' bruise on her cheek.

Look close at the apron........... can you see it??  Kristen?  Wabi?  Jenni?

The cool thing about this costume is the piece of fabric in front, the apron. The SM got  it down in Panama years ago when he was 19 from the Panamanian Natives while he lived there for two years serving a service mission for our church. The fan she has in her belt is also from the Panamanian Natives. Both are hand made. The beaded necklaces Miss K has around her neck are from Malaysia where my parents served an eighteen month service mission for our church a few years ago. The Malaysian Native's handmade these as well. Kinda cool!

The SM's parents just got back from serving an eighteen month service mission in Latvia. We're kinda proud of our parents for taking the time to go and serve others.  Not to mention all of the nieces and nephews who have served and those who are planning on serving.  All of The SM's  brothers went on 2 year missions plus a sister of his.  My brother and one of my sisters went on a mission.  All of my and The SM's sisters spouses went on missions.   All go to various parts of the country/world and serve.  The even cooler thing is that they go when they are 19 (boys) and 21(girls), they pay for all of this themselves, and they do it because they want to!   Can you imagine taking two years or 18 months out of your life when you are 19 or 21, often learning a new language, and from dawn till way after dusk serving others.  We come from pretty good stock I'd say!

Sorry....... got a little side tracked..... back to the costumes.........

The tongue....... it came with the costume. The original Mr. Frankenstein always had his tongue sticking out.

Those would be pectoral muscles Mr. B is sporting.  

Levi wanted to be Indian Jones! Mr. B is a walking foliage. Mr. T is a studious snow boarder. They do exist ya know........

"Hi!  My name is Mr. Ed"!

Last Saturday Henny Penny and Mr. C went trick or treating on horseback. Cowboys and Indians of course!! The horse Mr. C is on is named, Kopper. He kept cracking me up with his tongue sticking out. Personally, I think the horses name should be Mr. J and should have a Frankenstein costume on.

The boy and  his scarf that he hardly ever removes and so has earned the nickname, Scarf  Kid.

I don't have a photo of Mr. C's costume that he wore for Halloween. He left for school before I had a chance to take a photo. I didn't realize he'd worn one. I was later told that he did indeed have a costume on. He went to school without his scarf! He wanted to see if anyone would notice....... That kid has the funniest sense of humor.

Also not pictured is The SM and myself in our costumes......... bummer.  Kinda forgot to do that.