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Candle in the Night

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Last night, I made chicken and dumplings.  Kind of.  Basically, I made a creamy chicken soup with biscuits to go with it.  It was delicious!!  I have made it twice before and had it be GREAT once and not so great the other time.  So I'm going to write down my recipe so I don't forget what I did for next time!  And I thought I'd share it with all of you while I was at it.  

Creamy Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Milk (I used whole milk because that's what we had.  Don't know that this really makes much of a difference though.  It might have made it creamier.)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
~1 tsp. Nutmeg
~1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Chicken Breast cooked and shredded (I used leftover baked chicken from the night before.  I was kind of dry, so it worked perfectly in this soup!  Tasted moist and great!)

Whisk together first 5 items then stir in chicken.  Bring to a low boil for about three minutes.  Then, turn down to low and keep on low heat while you make the biscuits.  I cooked mine for about 40 minutes and it was great!  Watch out though...if you go TOO long or keep the heat too high, you'll end up with stringy soup.  Yuck!  But the 40 minutes on low gave the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors time to really make the chicken delicious!

Makes about 3 servings.

Wheat Biscuits
I used this recipe for my base recipe and just made a couple changes.  Here is my revised recipe.  
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 1/4 teaspoons powdered sugar (I was TOTALLY out of regular sugar!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  

  • Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead 20 times. Roll to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a floured biscuit cutter. (I don't know what size mine is, but it's smaller.  I think this makes the biscuits easier to dip in the soup.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 12-18 biscuits.  (Depending on the size of your biscuit cutter.)

I must say, this was one of the better dinners we've had of late!  Warm and savory!  Great for a rainy, chilly day!  


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blessings of Being a Woman

I read an article today that made me very sad.  Basically, these parents are raising their child and not telling anyone its gender.  They are using non-specific pronouns and encouraging him/her to play with different toys and do different activities that encourage both masculinity and femininity.  They will allow him/her to dress however he/she wants and style his/her hair however he/she wants.  

Now I will admit that if H wants to play with cars, I don't have a problem with that.  If I have a boy someday that likes to play with dolls, I won't have a problem with that.  But I do have a problem with thinking there should be no gender roles.  Because there are and there should be.  

What a blessing that we live in a world where God made males and females.  Think how boring life would be if there was only one gender.  I do not feel held back by being a female instead of a male.  I feel blessed!  I am blessed with the duty to bear children, raise them, keep a home, cook for my family, and take care of and love my husband.  I am especially blessed that I do not have to go to work every day and be burdened with the task of making money to feed my family.  I know there are women out there today who don't feel so blessed, but I truly believe that if they will ask God to help them feel blessed and embrace that blessed life, they will receive bountiful blessings and truly enjoy life as a woman.  

God made us different so we could compliment each other.  Help each other.  Make each other better people.  He could have made us all the same, but why would He do that?  It would be boring for Him and boring for us.  Thank you Lord, for our differences!  

I could go on and on about the problems I see with raising your child the way these parents are raising theirs, but that is not the point of this blog.  I would rather think about how sad it is for this child that he/she will not grow up knowing the blessing of being either a boy or a girl.  They will not grow up having an understanding of his/her role and the blessings it brings.  How sad for this little child.  

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My "Make or Break"

You know how you have that one thing that can make or break your whole day?  Every time it happens, you have a good day?  Or every time it happens you have a lousy day?  Well, I've figured out my "make or break" for my day in regards to keeping with a schedule and getting things done.  Unfortunately, it's not something I really enjoy.  It's going to bed with the dishes clean.

If I wake up in the morning with a dish drainer full of clean dishes, I can get them put away and get on with making breakfast without any problems!

If I wake up in the morning with a sink full of dirty dishes, it's a totally different story.  I can't make breakfast until they're done.  Then, at lunch time, I can't wash the dishes until I empty the drainer, but often, they're not dry so I just pile them on top of the breakfast dishes.  (This might be different for you if you have a large kitchen, but I have VERY limited counter space, so having clean dishes lying all over the counter is not an option.  Oh, and I absolutely refuse to dry dishes by hand unless it is an absolute emergency.  Why waste my precious time on something the air will do just fine by itself?)  Anyway, then, when dinnertime rolls around, I really can't wash the dinner dishes until the breakfast and lunch dishes are put away.  Often, I've been so discouraged about the lack of clean dishes that I just don't do them.  Then, I have to wash dishes before I start dinner so I have the counter space to cook.  I hate doing this!

After dinner, It often happens that my dish drainer is full of wet, clean dishes, and my sink is full of dirty dishes.  I'm so exhausted and tired of thinking about dishes that I just go to bed.

And it doesn't just effect the kitchen either.  Really, having a messy kitchen messes with my mind and I get very little done the rest of the day.  That is why dishes are my "Make or Break".  Now that I have this figured out, I hope that I can use it to my advantage and NO MATTER WHAT, get those dishes done each night!!

What is your "Make or Break"?


Friday, May 13, 2011

My Chubby Baby Girl

At 20 weeks, I had my first ultrasound.  The baby looked great and the ultrasound tech said "It's a Girl!"  We were so excited to have another baby girl entering our family!  When our midwife and the doctor she works with looked over the ultrasound measurements, they were a little concerned about one thing.  Baby M's head was measuring about two weeks behind the rest of her body.  They told us this could just be because she was in breech position and sometimes this squishes up their heads and makes them hard to measure.  They wanted to be sure though, so they set up an appointment for a second ultrasound.

At the second ultrasound (25 weeks), M was still in that breech position.  She seems to be a stubborn thing!  Overall, she was measuring at 24 weeks which really isn't a concern.  Her head was measuring within the same week as the rest of the body, but was still below the 10th percentile.  My midwife thought this was probably fine, but the doctor really wanted to send me on to the high risk pregnancy ultrasound clinic.  They would do a more detailed ultrasound, see if the cord was okay and everything.

We prayed about this for a while.  We had multiple concerns with taking this course of action.  It seems that when a doctor gets worried about something, they start taking unnecessary steps to intervene just to cover themselves in case something were to go wrong.  We experienced this when H was born and are not willing to go through it again.  On top of that, we knew that the high risk ultrasound would be costly and we have very lousy insurance right now.  After praying about it, I called my midwife and told her we were going to opt out of the high risk ultrasound.  I was extremely nervous when making this call just because I don't like confrontation, but I shouldn't have been because she was extremely supportive.

She suggested that instead, we schedule another regular office ultrasound and just monitor the growth.  I was reluctant even to do this, but went ahead and consented.  We prayed up to today that everything would be normal and put the doctor's mind at rest.  My biggest concern was that I would get into labor and they would start pushing things I'm not interested in because "the baby has a small head."  I don't want them to have a reason to be concerned and consider this an abnormal pregnancy.

Praise the Lord!  M decided to turn head down for today!  As the ultrasound tech measured the belly, looked at the face, hands, feet, and legs, I was in awe.  She's so chubby!  I didn't have an ultrasound with H this late in pregnancy, so I just couldn't believe how chubby M looked!  The typical skeleton face was full of baby fat!  The ultrasound tech was able to get a much better measurement of the head and guess what??  It was perfectly in the normal range!  In fact, M was overall measuring from 29 weeks 3 days to 29 weeks 5 days and the head was at the top of that range!  Praise God!

I know I said I didn't want any more ultrasounds, but I really am glad we did this one.  It puts everyone's minds to rest and gives me the confidence to go into labor knowing that my baby is just fine!

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little H!!

Dear H,

My sweet little girl.  My firstborn.  The one who brings me a little bit more joy every day.  I just never knew you could feel this way about a person until you, H Grace entered my life a year ago today.  You came into this world reluctantly, but you seem to have enjoyed it ever since!

When I think about the things you've taught me, I think about patience, love, hope, joy, how to rest, play, smile, cry, feel.  Everything is new to you, so everything becomes new to me.  You're the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on and I know that God made you special, just for me and your daddy.  I am in awe of how he made you so uniquely you.  So perfect in every way.

Your dependency has sometimes brought me to tears, but for the most part, it's just made me feel loved, needed, and special.  Before you, I had been a child, daughter, woman, and wife.  When you came into the world, I became a whole new person.  I became a Mommy.  Something I never was before you.  Something I will never become again.  Now that I have you, I am and always will be a Mommy.

As I've watched you grow, my heart has been full.  I wonder if you'll take after me in any way.  So far, you look much more like your daddy than me, so I watch for personality traits.  You're definitely my little girl!!  Playing with babies and tea sets seems to be your new favorite activity.  You love to be outside and you love flowers.  There is no question that you are mine.

I love you so much!  Happy first birthday!

Love, Mommy