My apologies-365

Oh my, why didn’t any of you suggest some proof reading on that last post? YIKES! I embarrassed myself as a teacher and English major. Proof reading is one of the number 1 skills taught in my class room and boy did I not even bother. In my defense, most of that post was written trying to occupy a 2 year and convince her Momma needed just a few more minutes on the computer. The one she wanted. Did I mention she has a slight addiction? And if you don’t buy that excuse it was the cold medicine. 🙂

365.111-#2 Quite proud of helping out with folding the laundry! This girl has mad cleaning and organizing skills.

PIN10-365.112) The pin is not the asparagus (although happy to share that recipe here too) but the pin is Paula Deen’s House Seasoning. I pinned it because I have made it before and loved it. It goes so well on everything to protein to veggies. For this recipe though I cut my asparagus on the bias in thirds. I melt 2 tbsp of butter (we use Smart Balance) and add in about 4 tbsp of water (chicken or veg stock would work to add more flavor). I throw in the asparagus and add in about 1-1.5 tsps (or to preference) of Paula’s seasoning and then put the lid on and let it steam down till it is your desired doneness. It won’t take long at all. My girls love it. But I will warn you this recipe is salt heavy so if you are on a low sodium diet or just don’t like salt as much I think you could easily adjust Paula’s amount of salt and not effect flavor. And I would go light till you taste it to be sure you like it. We love it.

365.112-This is #3 declaring there will be no more pictures of her and hiding as best she can from the camera.

_____________

Wanna see what else I have pinned? Go here.

Advertisements

A week of craziness-Just write!

Well who isn’t sick at my house? # 2 that is who. Everyone else is fighting various issues: some snot, some coughs, some ears, some general soreness. But I am grateful to have the energy and will to take care of them.

My house those it is the sufferer of this illness. No one can clean like Mommy and well Mommy has been sick and once I got better my students turned in final drafts of a seven page paper that I have been trying to dig out of. My homework has grown legs and I feel like I can’t catch up. And now I have a cold which makes me want to just sick on the couch and watch my totally full DVR. My guy tries to clean and does well but no one does it like Mommy. So the goal today is literally clean, work, clean, work, clean and work. I can handle this craziness. It won’t always be this way.

My house though, it needs some love. You know walls cleaned. I have a two year who always has something sticky on her hands. Which then in turn gets on the walls. And she is potty training. Anyone remember back to those potty training days? Where bathroom trips are so numerous your legs grow weary? Well I do. I am there. We have had a few successes but not enough. She will get it though. Soon enough. Because of said two year old I also need to steam clean my couches she is master spiller. And a little steam clean on the couch wouldn’t hurt either. Maybe during my spring break. But I really want to paint the girls bathroom. The paint in their bathroom is peeling and crackly. Thanks to me. I painted with the wrong kind of paint that can handle the steam of a shower.

My guy met with his boss last week and he was approved to teach for next year. And it seems as if he may not be on the riffed list this year. What a blessing that is. This was the news we were hoping and praying for.  I think we spent the last year preparing so much for such a thing that we didn’t see this as a possibility. I am afraid to let go of my breath and there is probably more there that I am afraid to type out for fear of who is reading.

I requested to teach a basic writing class next semester. I really feel I need to experience a classroom of basic writers to help me decide where I am best at and where I should go.

And just in case you have wondered it has been far too long since I have worked out. MommyJargon had her surgery and complications. Then I had my own. This week we will finally find ourselves back at the gym. I am ready. I need to sweat. I need to do something for me. Working out has always been my “me time”. I get to hang out with MJ and I get to work out. As well, I have gained weight and it pisses me off. I gotta keep moving.

And now this concludes the super boring just write post for Tuesday. I am hopefully working on a more “exciting” post soon. After I clean my house and do my work of course.

Saturday Sharing….Project 365 Mash Up

Since mash ups are the cool thing I think I will do a mash up today because they play quite well into the themes of my Saturday Sharing. Don’t know what a mash up is? Well here is the technical term or the term you maybe more familiar with courtesy of Glee. The easy answer it is multitasking at its finest and creating edgier versions of already cool things.

As I said my #3 has ventured into potty training area. After many months of talking about it and asking if she wanted to give it a go we would get, “No, I not ready yet.” Then one day last week the idea of rewards for trying to potty and a few successes helped her to see that maybe peeing is a good idea. She wants to be like the big girls and sit on the big girl pot. So we have transitioned to a potty seat that allowed her to do that. Usually this was the last stage for the girls but tell her she is not a big girl. Just go ahead I dare you. With both the other girls that kind of did this too and dabbled. Then once it stuck it stuck. With # 1 it was one accident and she never looked back. With # 2 it was a few weeks of accidents and then it clicked. I wonder how #3 will do. We have had an accident and successes and so far I can’t read her. We will see if she actually is ready. She thinks she is. There is no lying Pull Up’s version of “Do the Potty Dance” has made life kind of good (Warning: It is an earworm). Admittedly though my guy and I have made up our own versions of potty songs going with cha cha cha. She loves that too!  And our potty training chart doesn’t hurt either. Picture 365.10-Baby girl # 3 reading.

365.106-Baby girl # 2 has been really good at school. Since the bullying instance I have seen improvement. What seems to be getting worse are the rituals she that has to have. When we have to veer from them, as sometimes happens in life, she struggles. As in all out crying, screaming, the world will work in my way fits. In the moments when I wasn’t feeling good or I just feel overwhelmed in general this is a struggle for her and I. We butt heads. It is hard and I try and remind myself the techniques the therapist has us doing but sometimes it is so much easier to give into them for the sake of the house and peace in it. An example I can give is her odd snack times. She has these rules in her brain about when to eat and what to eat. Usually they don’t cause any harm and she keeps them straight. But if it veers or we don’t have what she wants it is a problem. The thing is she does not verbalize any of these “rules” to me or to anyone else. So when they are different it causes her great distress. So I try logically appeal to that upset and frustrated side. And how many times can I tell you her therapist has said, “Don’t respond with logic.” Because why you may ask? Because she doesn’t do well with our logic and reason. Her own…makes complete sense. Anything outside of that. Not so much. So she ends up irritated with me and I her. So I just try and memorize the “rules” which is exactly what should not happen because than her anxiety is dictating her life and ours. But if I do it makes like easier for all of us. I do love my sweet girl. More and more I run into these stories all over our house and she writes so amazing. I wonder if it isn’t a struggle sometimes between us because we are so similar.

365.107-I made it to my conference and I did fairly well. I spoke in a panel with others and we had a timer watch there with us. That was the death of me. #2 gets her anxieties honestly. It messed with my head. I paid too much attention to it and I was overly impressed with how well all the presentations I watched went. They seemed as if they had their presentations totally memorized. So I dove in similarly. Forgetting that I am just a weenie old graduate student. I did well and kicked ass and took names with my intro and then the dreaded umm…ummm and I recovered a few times until I looked at that darn stop watch. But my co-presenters said that I did well and they didn’t see near what I thought I put out there. Regardless, I was glad it was a smaller more local conference because I was able to get my feet wet. Get a feel for what it feels like doing this. The conferences I have spoke at were either church related or undergraduate related. I actually have something more to provide now I think. And when I was presenting I saw others writing stuff down and nodding so they apparently picked up on some of what I was saying.

365.08-My guy is sick. Not miserably sick but sickly. #1 is sick with her usual gunky, nasty sinus issues. Everyone but me has a mean cough. And earlier this week my guy and I made the trek to our meat store. So I am making some comfort food today. Pot Roast-Grandma Betty style. I adore my Grandma. I never really realized the connection that we had until the last few years. But my grandma was awesome. She was the good catholic wife/mother/daughter but she was real. Ironically, that is exactly how I roll. I believe one of my TA friends called it perfectly, “I am a panther”. I am nice and good to you if you don’t bother me but once you bother me I will attack and usually it is justifiable. That would be my grandma (at least as I remember her). I remember the time we spent in the kitchen watching her cook but I also remember going to church with her. She was always the same and wasn’t pretending for anyone. So back to the story here…

Pot Roast-Grandma Betty Style. She got a large rump roast, threw carrots and potatoes in with it and tossed it in the oven for a few hours. My version is easier because I put in a Reynolds Wrap Slow Cooking Liner, toss everything in the crock pot and cook. But the one thing she did different is cut slices into the beef and place hunks of garlic. She loved a lot of garlic in them. I have adapted for laziness. I throw in a tablespoon of minced garlic and get the exact same flavor without the surprises of a roasted garlic clove on your plate. I have also added pepper because I love it. Normally I leave out carrots but I was hungry for them.

And while I am at it while watching Pioneer Woman today on Food Network with # 2 today we saw an awesome rendition of “fresh” green bean casserole without anything canned. It look so yummy so I knew I had to pin it and share it.  I don’t like peppers so I will leave that out but the rest sounds so good!

_______________

Get a glimpse of where I surf regularly? Go to Saturday Sharing.

More than Words.

So I have this conference tomorrow. I have talked at conferences. I don’t get too shook up about it. But this one is my first teaching conference with real teaching experience under my belt. Most of my conferences before were from theory and what I thought I *might* do in the classroom. I just said it in the “right” way. The way that earned me my spot.

Then this one came up and I felt moved. I could never describe it. Not moved in the sense that I wanted to achieve some sort of status as a teacher speaking at a conference. Or speak from this magical place of knowledge that I have to share. I wrote what I was gonna say months ago. I knew it was missing something. But I sat it aside.

I let it sit on the side and I forgot about it. Then as it grew closer and closer I realized this was the first time I could talk from more than just theory or days spent here and there in pseudo classrooms. I have been teaching for almost two years now and I realized I had some methods that may just work and what my research portion of my conference was missing was me.

I have always been good at espousing what the “greats” in my field have to say about subjects. What I hadn’t done was crafting my own response to teaching. The ironic part and the part I believe gives me an advantage is I am a student and a teacher. I have this unique opportunity to play both sides of the fence legitimately. How often in life do we get to do that without being called on it?

So as I sat down yesterday and begin trying to legitimize my own thoughts I realized what I had to offer was enough. Sure the greats in my field may agree with me and it may make me look good to say so and prove it but what I have to offer has value. You know why? Because I was that student I am conferencing on.

You are thoroughly confused at this point I am sure. Well let me fill you in. The conference theme is Teaching under prepared students. I was an under prepared student and labeled as such at my university. Once I realized that connection and its value I realized I teach my under prepared students the way I was taught. The way I was taught by the very professors who mentor and teach me today using the very same methods. Once I grabbed onto that knowledge and feeling and I treated it like a blog entry I was able to break through and I wrote something that means something to me. It may mean absolutely nothing to my audience but it means the world to me.

The biggest parts of teaching are my full circle moments. Moments like teaching for the very first time in the classroom that I took my very first on campus college class, sitting at lunch with a professor who now I consider a friend, the sheer panic and feeling of standing in front of a classroom and running it like I know the back of my own hand and now realizing that the methods that work for me as an “under prepared” student transfer themselves to my students and they do so successfully. Maybe this is why I am teaching. Maybe this was the moment I needed.

Because after I wrote it I made a giant humongous call that came right after I made a giant humongous decision. A decision that I am going to leave hanging out there because I am not ready to share it just yet. Mommy Rhetoric is more than just words today.

No squeaky wheel here…

This is a funny one. Initially, I saw it on pinterest (of course) and I didn’t repin. It rubbed me funny. I think that is because as a writer and academic I have to try and work for the audience. Is that not trying to impress? I teach this every day in the classroom to my students. Write for your readers and then write for yourself (of course I mean that in academic realm) That might not always be as noble as this beautiful pin up. We teach them to hook or to anticipate their audience’s reactions and as academics we try and say what hasn’t been said, isn’t that to get noticed?

I think that is the pull I feel and the struggle I am having in graduate school. I am not a horn tooter. I don’t try and get every single person to hear me to the extent I drown everyone else out. But I think that is my Achilles heel in this arena. Maybe I am not that wonderful at all. But because I don’t do those things I feel like I get lost in the mix sometimes. I rely on what I put out to speak for itself and I am not sure that gets you places in graduate school. The old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” rings true here. I am not a squeaky wheel. I am not sure I even want to be. Most of the time I am just happy to be working with people who get it, happy to work with students who want to be there and happy to work in an environment that respects learning. (Side note: I feel like I have written on this before so excuse some of the repeated thoughts)

But today as I sat talking with my students about their writing and I really heard what they had to say I felt like I got it. I do love teaching because most of the time it is me doing the learning. I do love to listen to them talk about their writing and what brought them here. I liked to share that I, too, struggle with the same problems they do. And I like when I share that they nod and feel connected to me. The conversation was deep and meaningful in ways that I cannot place into research papers or tell my uppers to prove my worthiness. I can try the best I can but most of the time it is just the parts of being a teacher that no one really understands unless you are doing it. It is why we accept little pay and few rewards. But these moments just confirm for me that I would be wasting myself not teaching. Maybe it isn’t at my university or even in that type of setting at all. I don’t know where it will be but I have been thinking hard how I can transform what I am doing into something I can see myself doing that will be the change I want to see in the world. I just continue to struggle being a part of the machine.

Please tell me I am not the only one who feels this way? Maybe it is because my passion is broad right now. I need that passion honed in. I need to apply it somewhere to something and I am just not there yet. I need to seek out that cause and express it. I know where it is; I guess I just need to be honest with myself and identify it. It is one of those tip of my tongue moments. In my head it makes complete sense. But verbally it won’t come out yet. Soon. Soon.

Just Write: Where Do I Belong?

Today I read the words of Spenser over and over and I love that magical feeling of trying to figure out what the heck someone is trying to say when you can’t jot an email or dial the phone and ask. Folks Edmund Spenser died many, many years ago. My love not so much entranced with the Renaissance period that I currently study. It has always remained tightly held in 19th century British Literature. One I abandoned that quite practically because Comp/Rhet is always where I felt pulled and I still do. But it was a practical choice. I love literature in all forms. I mean love as in it fills my soul in ways that only another lit lover can understand. I don’t mean Stephine Meyer or Harry Potter love. I mean the love of the written word when it was different than it is today. I try the modern and I like it. But the old I LUV it.

In my life, I want to change things and say new things and work with things that are alive. It isn’t that I am saying the art of studying literature is dead but I believe that to be more sacred to me and something that I can hold closely outside of the academic realm. That is the book nerd me. The part that has to make a living, provide for my family and make the changes I want to see in the world is in through written word. I am not sure I even make sense. But I do to me.

But this trip down literature lane reminds me of what I missed. Getting lost in books, reading just because and a certain professor whom I love and believe the feeling to be mutual but had to abandon academically because my life took a different turn. My decision to turn comp/rhet was a tough one but one that has always felt right. I am not sure I always want to teach. I am sure I always want to write. It just makes sense.

It is funny though because in this class I witnessed a close friend wonder if maybe lit wasn’t her path and I myself was forced to look in the mirror and be sure I was where I belonged. Though I believe we chose different things it makes me wonder if that is not what graduate school is about. It certainly feels like each moment in class and studying is a milestone that determines exactly who Mommy Rhetoric is. I feel pushed and pulled and forced to make huge life decisions that no one even gets but me. Not even my guy.

I am just not sure I want to go a Phd. path. I feel more and more done by the minute. I have no doubt that I could succeed in it. But I am not sure it is where I am meant to be. I have spent 11 years pursuing this. I am ready to have free time not dedicated to studying. But I have concluded that writing will be a part of whatever I do. I just need to determine what that is and soon. I am over halfway done with my graduate program and I need to apply if PhD is my route. I really think Purdue or Ball State are my closest most viable options. I am not interested in a move.

But while I decide I get to read nerdy books, teach (which I do love), working with amazing people who love what I love and have access to many who practice and perfect the tools of the rhetoric that I so love. It is all just amazing and perfect. So back to Spenser I go.

365.103

Seriously folks, cold and flu season is kicking our butts. It seems like someone in my family is always fighting a cold since October. When one gets better the other falls ill. This is my current med cabinet with vitamins and prescriptions included. Time to get healthy E family!

Pinning and Pizza Work Quite Well!

I will admit it my guy and I are pizza addicts. We love pizza but we have tried and tried to make the best at home pizza and it just falls short. They are usually good to get the tummy filling job done but fall short on the make again list. Lately, we have really been trying to include the girls in our daily meal plans so they requested pizza and I didn’t want take out (or I didn’t want to pay the price for take out) so turned to old reliable these days…PINTEREST. I searched and searched for just the right one. And guess what folks…I found it.

PIN6) The best pizza dough ever found here at 101Cookbooks. I did opt out of the olive oil in this recipe and it may have made my dough a bit tighter but quality was still there and so yummy. Want my secret? My #1 made it. She has been studying quite a bit of fractions and word problems so I felt following this recipe was a pretty good idea for her. We tossed it all in our breadmaker and let it do the work (my secret to easy dough). It was ready and waiting on us.We each made our own pizza because around here every one likes something different and different thicknesses on the crust. And guess what, I had enough to freeze for another night.

PIN7) A very yummy made from scratch pizza sauce to go with my pizza dough from Cookin’ Up North. It was the perfect recipe if you have kiddos because it has the pizza sauce flavor you want without crazy spices. For me, I would probably opt to forgo olive oil or maybe shoot for a flavored version and a little less than 1/3 cup. It kind of had oil sitting on it. I simmered for a bit to marry the flavors. Note: I would also add more garlic and crushed red pepper for the adult version. But for the kids they loved it and I doubled the recipe so as to have left overs to either freeze or use. I plan to use in a way I will show here soon.

Once we placed it all together it was Mommy Rhetoric’s recipe. We made our personal pizzas to our likenesses out of the dough (hint: use cornmeal as it helps add a bit of texture to bottom of pizza). Then we placed it on a cookie sheet to cook for bit. Just enough till the bottom starts to get golden and the pizza crust will stand on it’s own and not be limp. Once that happens pull out and place all preferred toppings on it and place back in to oven directly on the rack while the stove is on broil. Keep a very close eye on it and pull out once cheese starts to brown. This was by far the best pizza I have ever had at home and I will make it again.

PIN8) Remember those cupcakes my guy made me for Valentine’s Day? Yup they are on pinterest. But of course they are? So they may as well make it to a pinning blogpost, right? They were so decadent and yummy. They literally taste like a Reese cup. So good that I am positive I will make again!

PIN9) With the leftover sauce, cresent rolls and meat toppings we are going to try these from Plain Chicken. I will let you know how they pan out. UPDATE: So gooooood! All the girls loved them and they work quite nicely with pizza leftovers so my suggestion is to pair it with a pizza or Stromboli so you are saving money and time. Dinner was so easy MR got a nap in. 😉

I guess I cannot argue that pinterest has not changed things around here a little. But I have always liked to cook and have enjoyed getting my recipes from blogs. Pinterest just made it so much easier.

_____________

Wanna see what else I have pinned? Go here.

365 Update

I am still snapping away. I adore to snap but I am horrible at having the time to sit down and actually come here and post them. So here they are….

365.97 This is what dinner looks like at my house with my guy and I down here. I love my family and it’s chaos. Eventually, it will be quiet and I will be sad.

More on this later…365.98

And this too…365.99 (Shh! It is a secret)

365.100-Baby girl # 1 sporting her new glasses (ignore the ragamuffin hair…she is my child so if she doesn’t run a brush through her hair every second it is ragamuffinish and that is why we love ponytails)

365.101-Deciding she wants to be shy. She even said, “Momma, I shy.” And why do I feel like I have taken this shot about 11000 times. Oh wait, it is because I have. I hate winter and the lack of photo opportunities.

And yes that is #3’s potty chart. She is finally seeming to get passed the “I not ready phase of pottying.” We are trying to get it. Slowly but surely-365.102

~~~~~~

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. 

~Joyce Brothers

You give religion a bad name…

Our Sunday morning treat almost every Sunday is donuts. We consume them one of three ways. Sometimes I make them from scratch with this recipe (minus the melted butter), sometimes we buy bakery donuts or sometimes we buy the Entemann’s or hostess versions. This is something we have done since they have been eating “people” food. It has always been a nice E family ritual and one that my girls love to share when we have company. Where is it wrong, right? Any other day of the week it is cereal and fruit or toast and eggs or sometimes we will add a protein in there but usually time dictates that. But Sunday’s are our day to “sugar” out.

The routine usually goes a little something like this: #2 and I get up and slowly #3 stirs and both demand breakfast fairly soon after arising. I jiggle my guy up earlier than he wishes and he stumbles outta bed, into some clothes and usually goes to buy the scratch version stuff, or the tiny donut rings or the bakery version. Well today was a bakery version. And he was especially tired so he opted for some caffeine via Diet Mountain Dew. And now you wonder why this story, why now right? Well let me tell ya.

He was in line to pay and a lady who he at first classified as a nice elderly lady whom he assumed was dressed for church says, “Who is that for?” While pointing to his cart. He says proudly, “my girls.” Never imagining what would come next. She says, “You let your children drink pop?” And he says, “Oh no, that pop is for me. They don’t drink pop usually.” She says, “Some role model you are.” At this point my guy is starting to get irritated and the cashier realizes it and says, “Oh it is nice to come to the store on a Sunday morning and be judged by some lady isn’t it?” Her innocent gesture he believed was coming out as more of an apology for a woman she had no real control over. He smiles and tries to be forgiving and says jokingly, “It is okay, I have four girls at home. I know how it goes.” He and cashier giggle and talk about our girls because they know us.

Then Mrs. Elderly Lady decides at that time to say, “Shame on you, you have four small children at home and you feed them that junk.” He says, “Actually, I have three girls and a wife. Not that it is your business.” And she says, “Have you ever heard of [insert some verse in the bible that my guy cannot remember but having to do with being a role model and recites it to him verbatim].” At this point my guy is done with his transaction and clearly done with this conversation and the cashier tries to sway the elderly lady to her own transaction just getting ready to take place. As my guy leaves the old woman had the audacity to tell him what an ungodly man he is and shamed him for his leadership role in our family because he purchased our children donuts on a Sunday morning and my guy bought a Diet Mountain Dew.

Now these are the facets of religion that always rub me the wrong way. It got me thinking about why I don’t post more about my own spirituality  here and this is exactly why. At what point do we place ourselves out there for people to judge how Christian we are or are not? If I proclaim it and than fail miserably because I say the word “shit” a little too much I know exactly where I stand with God but I don’t know where that makes me stand with you. And that scares me. Women like that scare me because I guarantee she goes to church every Sunday but how in the world is what she did to my guy Christian behavior? And worse yet, it really isn’t my right to decide if her behavior is right or wrong. This is why I believe so many struggle with religion because of this type of behavior. There is a real beauty in what God can provide to us but there can be some real ugliness when some of us try interpret it.

I always back up my voicing of my spirituality here and in the real world by stating that I am the same person Saturday night that I am on Sunday morning but here is the fallacy in that argument: So is she. If she is willing to condemn a father and husband at grocery store on Sunday morning for buying DMD and donuts I am fairly certain she is willing to do the same Sunday morning to guy in the pew who may have done the same. That is hard to reconcile for me. Who is right?

All I can say is every Sunday in my church lobby they happily serve pop, punch, donuts and often cakey type treats and cookies. What does that mean and what does that say for my church leadership? Nothing really, in my opinion, other than it is a nice welcome for those who choose to partake. I guess I don’t dig deep enough to decide the spiritual meaning of donuts and pop. However, I found myself highly offended and judged by this lady I never even saw and I am fairly certain if I were to be the one in that line (as sometimes I am) I would have had to say a few extra prayers today for my response because I am not sure I would have just walked away.

The best response would have been to respond the way my #2 did upon hearing the story. She thinks it through as she is listening and says, “So why do we care what she thinks? God loves donuts.”

*And yes doughnuts is spelled wrong. I know this but donuts is easier. 🙂