Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's Good to Be Writing Again

Hello friends,
  I would like to start this as though it hasn't been four years since my last post. No long list of excuses for such a long silence. No explaining how busy I've been. Just this...I'm here now. Here to visit with you although I'm not exactly sure that my blog title Jen's Table is an accurate description of what I will be writing about. Due to a very different life than what I had four years ago, I don't spend as much time pouring over recipe books or Pinterest anymore. It sometimes seems more like, what have I not made so often that you guys are sick of eating it? I miss the days of cooking huge feasts for my family and friends but it's a new season. There will be lots of time in the years to come for me to spend days baking and frying... so they say!

I will tell you about my latest adventure/fiasco. Whole30. I have had so many opportunities to explain this idea in the past month but the easiest, less wordy way to put it is basically eating only whole foods for a month. Meats, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and nuts. I did a lot of research on it and it sounded perfect. I got Jonny and Ally both on board with me and we started the last day of February. I had done a lot of reading and pretty much knew to expect some grumpiness and fatigue. I started on a Monday morning and by Wednesday night I was starting to doubt. You see...I actually do not like vegetables. At least, not vegetables the way most people like vegetables. I like them dipped in batter and fried. When I was a kid I remember my Grandma telling me that I needed my vegetables and then taking me to Luby's and letting me get mac n' cheese, fried okra, broccoli with cheese, fried chicken, and a roll. You know...vegetables!

After a few hours on Wednesday night of doubting, I did fine until the following Sunday. That day I almost lost it. I wanted to slap and scream at every  human, animal, car, or anything else that got in my way. I cried and tried to talk my family into trying something different. The way it worked with having three of us was that whenever one of us felt weak (mostly me) the others would keep us going. So keeping on going is exactly what I did. The second week was a little better. I tried eating more roasted veggies. That is my favorite healthy way to cook them and the only way I can really eat them at all without batter!

By the end of the third week, instead of feeling stronger and more energetic I began to get down. Really low down. I was craving like crazy even though everyone had said that the cravings would subside after the first or second week. I developed bags under my eyes and lost all of the tiny amount of patience I possess. I was considering stopping just so I could get back to doing school with my kids but I was too embarrassed to stop when so many people knew that I was doing it and were cheering me on. But after a talk with Jonny who by the way did excellent for almost the entire month, he encouraged me to do what was best for me and not what I felt like others expected of me. So I stopped. I stopped and am still telling myself that it's okay. I have figured out that Whole30 is great for some. It's great for people who have food allergies that they aren't aware of. It's great for people who love vegetables. But it wasn't great for me.

A few good things came from it. I lost ten pounds and found the motivation to continue making healthier choices. I also became more aware of just how much I depend on food to comfort me. I do not regret that I tried Whole30. Now I know.

Good night friends. More on a different subject on a different night. Not sure when, but sometime.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Story

I realized when I looked back at my posts, that I haven't written here in almost a year! Time goes by incredibly fast when you're having a baby and your house burns down.
I have enough people stop by the old house or call and ask what happened that night. So I thought I would tell you the story right here.
The night of December 22nd we had been invited to some friends house for their Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It was so special and they let each of my many family members choose a Christmas song that was sung by everyone in the room. We came home that night to our beautifully decorated home complete with crackling fireplace, lights twinkling, and home made cookies and candies sitting on the card table that had the game the girls and I were in the middle of.

After we got all the babies put to bed and threw a few logs on the new wood-burning fireplace (we had always used it as a gas fireplace but it was originally built to be wood-burning), Jonny and I went to bed excited for the next few days of Christmas celebration. That night around 1:45 I woke up and thought I could smell smoke. I got up and went downstairs to check the fireplace but all looked fine. I figured I was just not use to the smell of woodsmoke since we had just installed the new fireplace a few days before. I woke Jonny up and he wandered around the house to check on things as well. We both laid back down and drifted off to sleep. Exactly forty-five minutes later, without the sound of a smoke alarm, we were both awakened at the same second.

 Neither of us could figure out what woke us up we just knew that for some reason, we were both terrified. We would later discover that it was God himself that woke us up and just in the nick of time too. I grabbed Jonny's arm and whispered "What is it?". He jumped out of the bed and ran downstairs. I knew that there was smoke in the house and ran into the boys room to open the window. Seconds later I heard a pop and a loud hissing sound. All I could think was "Where on earth did he find a fire extinguisher?" I figured that a log had rolled out of the fireplace and he was putting out the fire. I called down to him "Should I get the kids out?" Now understand that Jonny absolutely never reacts. Often I have wished that he would panic more like I do, but he is always calm and never freaks out. So when he ran to the bottom of the stairs and yelled out me "Get 'em out!" I didn't dawdle. I hollered to the girls who were out of the bed in less than a split second. We each grabbed a boy and Molly had woken up during the commotion. I later discovered that Meghan didn't even wake up until she realized she was carrying Charlie and was halfway down the stairs.
 I grabbed two blankets and we had all six kids out the door in less than ten seconds. Jonny had the presence of mind to tell me to get the car keys and the girls and I put all the babies in the car. I ran to the next door neighbor, banging on the door begging them to help us. Then I saw Jonny coming out the front door running to the car. We jumped in and he pulled us out into the cul-de-sac. He kept screaming "Do you have them all?"  Then I heard him say really low "Oh my goodness" I looked in and the fireplace and Molly's room were engulfed in flames. Jonny saw the mantle blow off the fireplace and fly across the room. It was like a horror scene as we watched our stockings catch on fire and the table of Christmas goodies burn to the ground. Seeing the flames pour out of Molly's room realizing that if we had been five minutes later, she would've been burned to a crisp, was a little more than I could take. I began to lose it. I was not behaving like a calm, put together mother. I was crying and mostly freaking out. I jumped out the of the car and ran to the back neighbors who came running out in a panic. Shirley (my neighbor) grabbed me in a fierce hug and kept asking if I had all the babies. Jonny wouldn't let me bring the kids into their house until I settled down, so I'm telling you that in the space of exactly 1/4 of a second, I pulled myself together.

 We hustled little crying people into their house, the girls in a state of silent shock, the boys wailing in complete terror. It seems forever before the firemen arrived. The only funny spot in that nightmare was that when the firemen pulled up, it stopped being scary for the boys and became the most fun thing they had ever witnessed. They loved seeing all the lights and Jonny and I were in a constant state of panic every time we lost one boy behind the curtain, that they had run out to the house. The rest of that hour was like a dream as Mom and Dad pulled up both crying and trying to comfort all of us. As we tried to figure out what to do, how to get to Mom and Dad's without Jimmy's carseat, without the little kids blankets and stuffed animals that they've slept with since I can remember.

Mom and Dad went to Walmart to get us formula, bottles, shoes, underwear, and something for breakfast. We had grabbed absolutely nothing. Jonny took us to Mom and Dad's and helped me tuck scared, confused little people into bed. As I laid Molly down and kissed her goodnight, I almost choked over the smell of smoke that overwhelmed her little body. She had been laying right beside the fireplace that we later discovered was where the fire started.
Jonny and Dad left to go make sure that no one tried to vandalize our home and I laid down in the recliner and tried to sleep. I remember thinking that I needed rest but knowing that it was a hopeless cause. I began to pray. All I could think of was "Lord we need help. Send someone to help us. We can't do this on our own."

As soon as I saw the first rays of light, I pulled on the clothes Mom and found for me and headed for the house, preparing myself as best as I could for the worst, which Jonny had called and told me was what I should expect. I let go of some tears on the way as well, thinking in my ignorance that I just needed a couple of minutes to cry. Later I would discover that I would need a lot more than that. When I pulled up to the house, I was surprised. It barely looked damaged at all. I began to hope that things weren't as bleak as they seemed. One of my neighbors was standing in the yard talking to Jonny. When I pulled up she ran to me crying and gave me a check. It was for $1000. We were shocked. This lady is not a wealthy lady. This was simply the first of many hundreds of people that would be the Lord's tool in answering my prayer for help.

I walked in the front door and burst into tears. The house was ruined. The downstairs living room was burned to a crisp along with everything in it. The Christmas tree that was covered in all of our pre-school ornaments, our Silver Dollar City ornaments, our carefully gathered favorite ornaments that I had been collecting for nearly sixteen years were laying on the ground in a melted, charred mass. I walked through the house as if in a nightmare. Nothing seemed salvageable. What hadn't been burned by the fire, was totally black from smoke. Not the kind of smoke that you could wipe off with a rag, but had been permanently plastered to every surface. I felt totally hopeless. We had nothing except the pajamas that we escaped in.

As I was walking down the stairs, I got a call on my cell phone that Jonny had found under my pillow. It was from a friend from High Street. She told me through her tears, that a group of people had gotten together and wanted to help my family however they could. She listened as I tried my hardest to figure out what we needed most at that moment then told me to call if I thought of anything else. As I was hanging up from her, the phone rang again. More people asking what we needed. I walked outside and discovered that people had been pulling up to the house and calling Jonny's phone. People that we hadn't seen in years, people that we had never even met. Friends, family, neighbors, strangers. More people than we could ever possibly count were stepping in to take care of our family. People that I knew for a fact had nothing and were sacrificing for our family. We were offered places to live, money, clothing, toiletries, food, and more. That evening, my friends from High Street showed up with bags and bags of wrapped gifts, diapers, and most importantly, new blankets for the twins and Molly.
That night my sister-in-law drove up all the way from Arkansas to bring things that she knew our family needed. My in-laws showed up the next morning with a car load of gifts from friends and strangers from Arkansas. Jonny's dad dressed up as Santa and surprised the kids.
The people from our church came with meals,baby items, money, support, encouragement, time, and love. My family did nothing but cry from gratitude for days. Jonny would walk up to me with tears in his eyes and his hands full of money. I would get calls for some weeks from perfect strangers giving us furniture, money, handmade quilts, toys, clothing, food, etc.
I had people take my children shopping for special clothes for Christmas Eve. Friends invited us to come have Christmas lunch with them.

Let me back up enough to describe Christmas Eve day and evening to you. Jonny and I spent that day trying to take care of things the best we could. He spent a lot of the day at the house and I began organizing the treasures we were being brought almost by the minute. That night the stress of trying to find coats, tights, clothes, shoes, and a diaper bag for the Christmas Eve service began to wear on me. It dawned on me that we didn't know what we were doing for Christmas dinner. I called Cracker Barrel to see if they were open Christmas Eve. They were not. I began to despair. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and it has always been a nightmare of mine that it would come and I would not be ready for it. My nightmare was being lived out in the most horrible way I had ever imagined. There was no Christmas tree, no Christmas feast, no Christmas candy, no Christmas music. Jonny helped me load the kids up in the car and we headed to our Christmas Eve service. I was fighting tears the entire way. Depression was beginning to loom over me. We got to church where I was surrounded by arms of love and words of encouragement. A family showed up during the service and motioned for me to come into the foyer. The man proceeded to tell me that their house had burned down exactly one year ago. He told me that even though it didn't seem so at that moment, we WOULD get through this. Then they handed me a huge stack of restaraunt gift cards. I cried some more.

As we were leaving the service, I had a genius idea. We would stop at Walmart and let the kids get whatever feast foods they wanted. We would have an appetizer dinner! I was so proud of myself. We went across the street to Walmart and Jonny and Ally jumped out. We were all beginning to smile a little. Two minutes later, they walked back to the car and Ally was crying. They were closing their doors and wouldn't let anyone else in. I would find out later that Ally had actually resorted to begging them to let her in. She cried to him that her house had just burned down and her family needed Christmas dinner. If any of you know Ally, then you know that this is TOTALLY unlike her. She was heartbroken.
I was heartbroken for her. It looked like it would cold sandwiches for Christmas Eve. We were driving down Battlefield when Jonny had an idea. Dinner at Oceans Zen. He called to ask their hours and they informed us that they were about to close but that they would go ahead and get a table ready for us, my parents, and Nate and Steph (my brother and sister-in-law) and their kids. We had the best time! Dinner was amazing. They waited on us hand and foot and treated us like royalty.

We went to Mom and Dad's and read the Christmas story, then set out the gifts that people had showered us with. Sadly enough, I can't remember one thing about Christmas Day except that night once the kids were in bed. I have always had a hard time saying goodbye to Christmas. I always get a little down Christmas night after the gifts are all opened and the day is over. This year was excruciatingly difficult. I walked back to the back of the house and started reading all my Facebook messages. One story stood out to me the most. It was a story on the news of a lady who had lost her house that morning to a fire. She like me, had lost everything she owned, but there was something more. Her three little girls and her parents had been in that house when it burned. They were all killed and she was alone.

I walked back to the bedroom where my three boys were sleeping peacefully. All tucked in with their new blankets, snug and secure and happy. I sat on the floor and watched their faces and began to cry. Thanking God for saving my babies.  Thanking God that things can be replaced but people can never be.

This has been a very difficult several months, but God has taught me more lessons than I can describe. Jonny and I have both admitted to each other that we would be willing to walk through it all again if God asked us to. We have never felt so loved and taken care of as we have in the past five months.  There is nothing that we need that we do not have. No one that we love that is not here. I am so grateful for the lessons that have been learned through this fire. I can truly say "Thank you Lord for sending this fire."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cooking for the Week

Summer is finally here! Pool days, watering flowers, brown babies, grilled burgers, long evenings, fireflies, shaved ice, cooking huge meals...huh? How did that one get in there??!!
One thing I have discovered about all this wonderful summeryness is that I rarely feel like standing in the kitchen. Especially now that my stomach makes reaching the cabinet a bit of a painful chore and I can't seem to find a cool place unless I lock myself in my deep freeze that is stuffed to the brim with sale finds;-)
So this incredible idea came to me last Sunday. I was planning my Monday. Filling it with clipping coupons, sorting coupons, grocery shopping, organizing all my steals, and then I realized that I would have to fit preparing dinner in there somewhere. So I begin to hatch a thought. Why not make the entire weeks meals in one evening? Jonny had stocked me up on ground beef and chicken so I had pretty much everything I needed to make anything I might have a hankerin' for.
So after doing all my couponing stuff ( I hate that word "stuff". I sounds so unimaginative.), I took a short nap and then put the boys and Molly at the table with crayons, paper, and stickers and started cooking up a storm.
I put a big pot of ground chuck on to brown, a big pot of chicken on to boil, filled the fryer with grease, pulled out all the casserole dishes and all the spices and started filling the kitchen with good things to eat.
I made Beef Enchiladas (my own recipe that my family later informed me needs a little tweaking), Fried Chicken, Chicken Spaghetti, and Sour Cream Enchiladas.
It may sound like a ton of work, but amazingly enough it didn't take me any longer than cooking one meal would've taken since everything was cooking at one time. I had Meghan helping me clean up and Ally helping me shred chicken and we had the best time.
It has been so wonderful each evening as dinner time approaches, knowing that dinner is sitting in the fridge waiting to be popped into the oven!
I have heard of ladies that prepare meals for an entire month and then freeze them, but Jonny absolutely despises leftovers and pulling a dish that's been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks is dangerously close to leftovers for my sweet husband. As it is, I wondered how he might feel about being served enchiladas that have been marinating for three days, but he has made no complaints and has appreciated not being asked to stop and get us burgers on those evenings that little "nameless baby" makes cooking seem very unappealing.
I am excited to put together next week's menu which I will try to remember to share with you.
As for right now, I will post the recipe for Sour Cream Enchiladas that many of you have requested. Similar to many of my recipes, I have no measurements for this one, I just dump ingredients in until it looks right. But given that it's little else than cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and cheese, the possibility that you will go wrong is remote.
I simply boil about three pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and let me them cool. Then shred them. In a large bowl, I combine a large container of sour cream and four cans of cream of chicken soup. Then I add about a cup and a half a grated extra sharp cheddar cheese and a small can of green chilies. Then I dump in the chicken and stir it all together.
Next, grease a large casserole dish and make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees.
Then put about a half a cup (more or less) in each flour tortilla shell, roll it up and lay it in the casserole dish. Repeat until dish is full. Then pour remaining sauce over shells and cover with grated cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. Very easy and most delicious I might add.
Talk to you soon friends!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reicpes, recipes, and more recipes!!

Hello out there to all of my faithful readers! I have had so many of you sweet people kindly ask me if I might ever possibly post again and I always feel so guilty because I promised you in the beginning that I would post everyday. That turned into once a week, and we are now somewhere around once every month or two:-(
I do have a good excuse though. Besides struggling to find the time to sit here for more than a few minutes at a time, I cannot seem to get my imagination to work like it use to. It takes me forever to come up with a fresh idea that I haven't used yet (is that redundant?) and then when I finally come up with one, I get interrupted fifty-eleven times and completely lose my train of thought. So when I read back over my post, I'm thinking "What on earth did I mean by that??"
I have decided to bring a recipe back that I get asked about the most often, fried chicken. I have had so many people tell me that they can't find a recipe that they like, or that they simply can't figure out how to fry meat properly. So I am going to explain my recipe step by step. I'm also going to add lemonade cookies and Asian slaw, two favorites that are not my own, but those I have borrowed from other wonderful cooks.
Fried Chicken first:
Step 1: Thaw boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Step 2: Heat an electric skillet filled about 1/3 full with vegetable oil to 350 degrees being sure to not put any chicken in it until sizzles when you sprinkle a drop or two of water into it. Putting plenty of oil in your pan makes the chicken cook more evenly.
Step 3: Find a good size bowl and put 2-3 cups of flour into it (depending on how much chicken you're frying) and then sprinkle in as much pepper as you like. Stir.
Step 4: Salt each side of each piece of chicken. I do quite a bit of salt being that I really like my chicken salty and it makes it more moist.
Step 5: Carefully place chicken in hot grease and cover. I always cover the chicken for the first side to cook, and then leave the cover off for the other side. This makes the crust crispy but keeps the chicken moist. Turn the chicken over as soon as the crust is nice and golden brown.
Step 6: Dry on paper towels to keep from getting greasy.
This is my best attempt at explaining my chicken frying method. If you still find that yours doesn't turn out the way you like it, then call me and we'll have a chicken frying date!!

Lemonade Cookies
This recipe came from one of my magazines, but I must confess to you that I, myself, personally, have never made these. Ally makes these for me on a regular basis and they are truly ADDICTIVE!!!
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup sweetened lemonade powder mix
2 eggs
2 tsp lemon zest
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
In a large mixing bowl, combine first three ingredients. Beat at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and lemon zest beating well.
In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Add this mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed blending well after each addition. Divide dough into fourths wrapping each portion in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with wax paper. On a floured surface, roll each portion of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using the top of a small glass, cut dough into flat cookies. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes and cool completely. Icing recipe follows.
Lemonade Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate thawed
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, butter, and lemonade. Beat at low speed until combined. Ice cooled cookies.
I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. It may sound long and tedious, but Ally has never messed it up even a little bit and she has been making this recipe since she was twelve. I guarantee that you will LOVE IT!!!!

Asian Slaw
I'm not exactly sure where this recipe originated, but I got it from my friend Kellye and it is one of my favorite summer salads.
It is very easy to make and gets better the longer it sits.
1 package of coleslaw mix
1 package of ramen noodles uncooked and broken into small bits
1 cup almonds 1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup craisens
1 apple cut up
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Mix and toss with salad.
Super easy huh?!

One last little recipe and then I have to skidoodle off here before my midwife comes.
It's one of my favorites to serve with fried chicken;-)

Honey-buttered rolls
Super simple and takes less then ten minutes.
Simply cook a bag of Sister Schuberts rolls for about seven minutes making sure they're still soft.
While they're cooking mix together a stick of melted butter and around 1/3 cup honey. More or less depending on how sweet you like your bread. Then brush the mixture over your hot rolls. I've gotten a million compliments on these and they're so ridiculously easy!

Well folks,hope this makes up for the long absence and that these recipes keep you busy for the next few nights. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tea Time

These are my three girls having tea in Molly's room. I was looking for pictures on the Internet to put on this post, when I found these and decided that they are cuter:-)
What is it about tea parties that make girls and ladies feel so special? Why is it that no matter how old we get, we still get as excited about dressing up and eating delicate food and drinking sparkling drinks out of dainty cups, as we did when we were four?
I still find myself collecting pink cups and saucers for that special tea party, even though there is nothing in my dining room or kitchen that lends itself to matching pink.
Still I hold onto these things in the hopes that one of my girls will grow up and have a pink kitchen.
This week we had some dear friends come over for a sort of tea party. The sort of, being because between the two of us Mom's there were six little ones asking for more goldfish and juice boxes and bringing the toy tractors to the table to "show Mom!".
Still we had a wonderful time pretending during the brief moments of quiet, that we were dignified ladies sitting in the parlor, having a quiet luncheon together.
I served strawberry soup, chicken salad, strawberry spinach salad, and sparkling lemonade and if you will allow me to brag, it was most delicious!
I would like to share these recipes with you.

Strawberry Soup
2 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
3 cups of frozen strawberries
1/2 cup of sour cream
3/4 cup of sugar
Pour all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth and a lovely shade of pink.
I got this recipe some time ago, but have changed the amounts of strawberries and sugar to my taste. I encourage you to do the same! Once you put your spoon in the blender to try a taste, you will have a hard time staying out of it:-)

Chicken Salad
I have absolutely no measurements for anything in this recipe. I learned how to make it from it my Mom. I boil a three pound bag of chicken a little more than you think you should so that it will shred easily when you stir it into the salad. Then I put in tons of purple seedless grapes and about four stalks of celery chopped very small. (I personally do not care for celery, but find it essential in this salad to give it that wonderful crunch. This explains the "very small".)
Then I sprinkle in pepper and salt and some Lawry's seasoning salt. Then I add enough mayo to make it very creamy but in no way runny. Add a little at a time until you get it the way you like. Then I throw in a small bag of sliced almonds and stir some more. Be sure that you don't stir so hard that you smush your grapes. This salad is excellent on any kind of bread, in a pita, or all by itself.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
This is a very common recipe and more than likely, you've got your own version of it. But just in case this is the way I learned to make it.
Use a bag of fresh spinach, being sure to snap the little stems off. Add as many sliced strawberries as you like. Sprinkle in some sliced almonds and a little feta cheese.
For the dressing, in a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp dry minced onion,
1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp worceshire sauce, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Briskly stir together with a fork. Wait to pour on the salad until you are ready to serve it. Toss.

Sparkling Lemonade
Super simple! All you do is use two frozen cans of strawberry lemonade concentrate (or any other frozen drink that you like), pour in a two liter of club soda and add about 3/4 cup of sugar. You won't believe how deliciously refreshing this is!

Hope you enjoy these recipes and that you find your own excuse to have a tea party at your table very soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blogging in the Rain

Today has, in spite of the rain, been a perfectly wonderful day. I got to sleep in this morning until...well let's just say I got to sleep in.
The house is all tidy which is a major accomplishment with my two little hurricanes who run around disguised as boys messing up everything that looks a little too neat.
The laundry for once was not piled higher than my head.
The boys are starting to seem like after three weeks of trying, they might actually get this potty training thing.
The rain is pouring out of the sky as though God has been filling the clouds with a ten million gallon bucket for the last four years, making everything a brilliant shade of green and sending with it, the hope that the flowers will be even more bright than they have ever been before.
I have only ten more days until I load my family up in the old suburban and head down to see my Nonny and Papa who I have not seen in seven years, and then after that, we're heading down to Destin!
Things seem unusually good today, especially after the meltdown I had just about a week ago at this time. I won't describe the day to you so as not to get you down. Just imagine a nightmare of a day, add gloomy weather and twin three year old boys, a disgusting mishap or two, and you'll just about be there.
Just a quick update on things around here. I am officially 21 and 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy and we found out last week that the newest Jeppsen will be a boy that we will be naming William Dale Jeppsen and calling him "Billy". The Dale is after my Papa and the William is because it's the only name that Jonny and I could agree on and that goes well with Charlie and Danny.
We had a marvelous Easter in spite of the nasty weather. Our church had huge plans of a potluck and Easter egg hunt that got canceled due to the rain. So we just combined our food with a couple of other families food and had a great lunch here at our house. No egg hunt, but fortunately the three youngest seemed to forget about that and no tears were shed.
We let the kids have their Easter baskets the day before Easter for different reasons. The first was to keep the focus of Easter Sunday more on Jesus and less on the Easter bunny. The second being that we simply don't have time to let the kids dig through their Easter baskets along with cooking a big Easter meal, dressing everyone, making sure little nails are painted, and trying to keep the house in order for company coming. And the third reason is that there are simply no child care workers at Great Light that I hate enough to send three sugared up kids into their care. The kids were simply awful that morning after they spent the wee hours of the morning chowing down on chocolate bunnies, lollipops, nerds, and jellybeans.
The computer has been on the fritz for the past couple of months keeping me from being able to update more often, but I will do my very best to get back on here and give you the recipes for my favorite spring tea that some of us ladies will be serving at our mother/daughter luncheon we're having at church the end of June.
Strawberry Soup, Chicken Salad, Quiche, Fresh Fruit, Crusty French Bread, and Iced Tea.
I also need to give you the recipe for Ally's famous Lemonade Cookies. Yes, I will hopefully get back on here in the next day or two. Talk to you soon!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Want to know where I've been??

I'm aware that it has been positively forever since I've been on here and for that I apologize. Life in this house as been anything but fun or creative this past month and a half. As I have mentioned before, this baby has been a little unkind in it's treatment of it's Mommy this trimester.
I have been sicker than I was with any of the other babies. In the bed a lot and depending on my selfless daughters and husband to take over ALL the chores including: cooking, cleaning, laundry, school, shopping, and ironing.
Then the kicker came about two weeks ago. Charlie got sick. At this particular moment, my memory escapes me as to what exactly he got sick with. I just remember that he was the start of it all. He stayed sick with fevers, coughs, throw-ups, diarrhea, runny nose for a few days, then he gave it to Danny. Both boys were in my bed with fevers and Charlie still throwing up (on my nice, white, down comforter). A few days later Molly came home from a friends house burning up with fever and saying her head hurt. By that night her temperature had sky rocketed and she was throwing up. She threw up and had seriously high fevers for two days. Then I got the stomach flu and Jonny came down with a sinus infection. Both of us were in the bed bringing whichever little one was crying the hardest with us.
The next morning Meghan started throwing up. Then that same day Molly started having coughing fits and both boys started in with the diarrhea and throwing up again.
By Sunday (a week and a half into it) we thought we were on the mend, when Danny had a diaper blow-out and Charlie called me into his room that night saying "yook!". He was laying in throw-up.
We have watched Charlie lose more weight over the past two weeks than I've ever seen a two year boy lose, we've seen all the blood vessels on Molly's face break from the high fevers and having the dry heaves. We've dealt with crying, whining, fussing, fighting, and everything else that a two year old or four year old does to vent when he or she is feeling bad.
It's now Monday morning and I've taken Charlie to the doctor. He has an ear infection and possibly a little bit of pneumonia.
So far this morning all we've seen is a little coughing from Molly and Charlie, and a couple of diaper blow-outs. But all five kids have eaten very well today and as of yesterday, I am officially in my second trimester with high hopes of being on my way out of all-day sickness.
This is the sad but true most recent account of my life.
Hopefully next time I find time to sit here, I'll have something more interesting and educational to share with you!