Wednesday, October 24, 2007

8 Random Things About My Kitchen

I've been tagged. I haven't done one of these in a while, but this one is a little different and might be fun to see how long it takes me to think these up...

1. Our kitchen in our new house is eerily similar to our kitchen in California. I must have really liked the layout because is just like our other house, right down to the peninsula over the sink! The only differences between the two kitchens are the placement of the fridge and range/oven are switched and we now have a pass through door into the entry which makes the floor space here a little bigger. Other than that, they are almost exactly the same. Same angles, same cabinet placement, same pantry... weird.

2. I have three sets of dishes. I have formal Noritake China that was received as a wedding gift (it has only been used once), Mikasa dinner ware that I use for company, and our everyday dishes are a set of vintage mustard colored earthenware that belonged to Dan's grandparents in Zimbabwe. The mark on the dishes is Willsgrove Ware Pottery Made in Rhodesia. Based on the color, I would guess it's at least 40 years old. I cried when I broke one of the bowls.

3. I have an under-mount kitchen sink which I absolutely LOVE! I do most of my food prep on the counter next to the sink so I can just wipe the crumbs and mess right off and wash it away. It was way more expensive to install than it should have been, but I think it's a great invention and I would recommend it.

4. We have an eat-in kitchen. (That's just the fancy new way to say we have a breakfast nook.)

5. I almost always have fresh flowers on my kitchen counter. They make me happy.

6. I have a can of salmon in my pantry that we moved here from California in 2005. I don't eat fish, so I haven't felt the need to open it. Ever. I suppose I should toss it out, but it's really difficult for me to throw canned goods away. However, since I wouldn't eat it after storing it for this long and I won't feed it to anyone else, I think it's time to just let go.

7. We eat our big meal of the day at lunch. Dan has always preferred to have a big lunch and a very small dinner, so when he started working from home I changed the meals to fit his schedule. I make traditional dinners for lunch on weekdays (stroganoff with rice, meat-loaf with baked potatoes, chicken enchiladas, etc.), small dinners (chicken and biscuits, quesadillas, grilled cheese, etc.) and then we eat leftovers on Saturday.

8. I post the menu for the week on the inside of the pantry door so when it's time to start meal prep, I always know what I'm making for each meal that day. (I make my shopping list on the other side, so I have it with me at the store to see what ingredients I need to buy... it works really well for me!)

I tag Jesica, Davina and Amber... have fun! I finished this in just under an hour, how'd I do Sara?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Funeral for a Fish

Sunset, our beautiful amber Beta Fish, has passed on. Fortunately he wasn't acting right for a couple of days before he died, so I was able to prepare K for the impending loss of her pet. She cried when we noticed he was looking pale, a sure sign he wasn't getting enough oxygen. She stood at his bowl with big silent tears, watching him struggle to "breathe". She is such a tender child, she so easily empathizes with the emotions of others so it was very hard for mommy to see her precious little girl hurting (I can't imagine what it will be like when the first boyfriend breaks her heart!)

When he finally died, we decided to burry him in the yard rather than the more traditional "burial at sea" for goldfish. K was very composed during the excavation of the grave, but she began to sob when she placed his foil coffin in the ground. It was oh so precious and very touching.

Although it was a difficult time for her, I was able to use it to discuss the plan God has for life on this earth. How all living things must die and how we never know when anyone or anything might die. We spent time talking about how much God loves us and wants His children to be with Him forever, but we have to choose to go to heaven. It was another lesson on eternity for her, but I was glad I was able to use a tragedy in her life to share about the love of God and part of His plan for her.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pediatric Cold Medicine

Today I found this article on children's' cold medicine very disturbing. Not so much that I went upstairs and threw out my Triaminic, but I will seriously consider every dose I give my children in the future. The most upsetting new information I found was that pediatric cold medicines have never been tested on children. That seems beyond irresponsible. It's like the FDA said, "Whoops... we forgot to make sure these products are safe for kids. They're ok for adults, so we just assumed smaller doses for children was the way to go. Sorry mom and dad." Now that the FDA has determined these medicines have no real effect on cold symptoms in children, it seems possible the pharmaceutical companies have been conducting tests all along, only it was on the public without our knowledge.

The timing of this article is not well received at our house as we are about to embark on the cold and flu season and with three kids under 8 years old, we have a lot of colds each year. It has also raised my uncertainty on flu shots again. I really disagree with giving my children live flu viruses, especially when the vaccine is based on the flu strains from last year. However, knowing that there won't be anything to alleviate their symptoms if they get the flu, I may just give in and have the family vaccinated.

Having children is an incredible responsibility and requires undivided attention. As I look at my precious babies right now, they are completely vulnerable and trust me for everything that is put in or on their bodies. I feel I may have failed them in not completely researching the over the counter medicines I've given them since birth. It's a scary thought, and one I might have to ask their forgiveness for if they suffer any adverse effects in their future.

Since reading this article (and calming down a bit) I've done some more thinking about the effectiveness of pediatric cold medicines. As a child, my brother had severe chronic sinusitis and my mom gave him Triaminic to alleviate his headaches. It worked. Fast forward about 30 years to my kids and a cold. The pediatrician recommends Triaminic as a decongestant and I remember, "Hey, my mom used that on us... I can't believe it's still around!" I went to Walmart and voila, there it was! So now I'm thinking, if some of these products have been around for decades and moms are still buying them, they must be doing something right!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Roadtrip, Beaches and Disneyland!

We're finally home after a wonderful week in Southern California. The weather was absolutely beautiful, the kids were amazing and no one had a melt down or was ill, which I had prayed fervently about. We spent an entire day at Disneyland from opening until they kicked us out an hour after closing! This picture is at the Small World ride with my mom, my cousin Cindy, her mom and Cindy's adorable kids.

Here's J, K and N in line to ride Dumbo.

We had a great day at Coronado Island playing in the sand and surf. J was taken down by the very first wave after we'd been on the beach for 5 minuets, but she didn't cry and she held hands with Grandma for the rest of the day!

Thank you to all who prayed for us to have a safe and fun trip. We were so blessed to get some time away with friends and family but next time we want Daddy to come too!