Daily Archives: October 11, 2011

Not Your "Stereotypical" Christian

II’m a Christian, but I don’t fit any stereotype.  Although, when I think about it, who really does fit a stereotype?  There are those who see a stereotype in others b/c they choose to make judgements on the surface instead of getting to know someone and seeing the depth and complications of a person that do not fall into just one category.  Than there are those who think they ought to act or be a certain way and decide to be a stereotype in order to what – fit in?  be accepted?  be cool?  be liked?

I don’t think people can be placed in absolute categories or boxes; humans are way too complex for that.  Although, not everyone can see the grays…plenty of people only see black or white.  I know I was a black-or-white type of person at one time but I was blessed to have people around me who cared enough to point out my errors.  And so I tried to pay it forward once I saw the light, but not everyone wants to see outside their absolute, black-and-white view of people, human nature and the world.

I don’t believe God created me, with the talents, opinions and perspective that I have, to curb them or restrict them to some preconceived notion.  So, this is me:

I believe that we all worship the same God, no matter what we call him/her/it – God, Jesus, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Brahman, Kali Ma, Mother Earth, The Force, etc.
I don’t believe that creationism and evolutionism are mutually exclusive.  I think common sense has to allow for evolutionism.  I also believe, however, that the human body is so freaking complex, that it could not possibly have occurred by accident; regardless of how it happened, it was by design.
I don’t believe in religion; I believe in faith.  Religion was created by man and those men have gotten in the way.  It should be us, as individuals, and our God, no one in between to make up rules.  Due to my Catholic upbringing, I spent the first 36 years of my life in fear of God and feeling unworthy.  That’s an example of religion getting in the way of, or replacing, faith.
I believe we should live according to what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.  That is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is equally as important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Not just love the neighbors who believe/act/think/do the same as you, but all your neighbors.  And it certainly does not mean work hard to prevent some of your neighbors from having the same rights as you do.
I cuss and I yell.  A lot.

I’m not a Republican.  Since I was 18, I have been a registered Independent.

I’ve never had an abortion nor could I image a circumstance when I would want one.  And just so you know, I have been raped.  In fact, that’s how I lost my virginity.  I did not get pregnant from it, but if I had, I still don’t think I would have aborted the baby.  I wish that all women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy could carry their child to full-term and allow someone who cannot have any children adopt the baby; someone like me.  But that’s not going to happen.   So I do not think Roe V. Wade should be overturned.  Even if abortions were illegal, they would still be done.  And I don’t feel our tax dollars would be well spent to hunt down and prosecute abortionists and mothers seeking abortions.

On that note, I don’t think our tax dollars should be spent on searching for and prosecuting patients who purchase marijuana to help them cope with their diseases.

I believe we all have the right to marry the person we love and have that marriage acknowledged and protected by our government to ensure we all have the same rights.  If you are against gay marriage, don’t get one!

I drink alcohol and I enjoy it.

I don’t believe that only Christians, or only baptized Christians, or only Catholics, or only whatever religion you happen to be, get into Heaven.  My Nana and Papa were and will always be the two people in this world that I look up to the most.  They faced and lived through hardships and heartache I could  never imagine.  They were/are loving Christians who were not baptized nor regularly attended a church.  But they lived out the two greatest commandments that Jesus gave us.  In the 5th grade, Sister Patrice told me that I should spend as much time as possible with my Nana and Papa while they were still alive b/c I would never see them again after they died.  You see, I was baptized in the Catholic Church and they were not and only baptized Catholics were going to get into Heaven.  I know, with every fiber of my being, that God did not send his only Son to be born on this Earth, to be persecuted, crucified and die on a cross, only to save the Roman Catholics.

God is present in every single human being on this planet.  It has to be so b/c He made us, all of us, in His image.  So regardless of our religion, or lack there of, God loves us, He deems us worthy, and desires the best for us.  And b/c of how He feels about us, we all will get into Heaven unless we royally fuck it up!

OK, it’s 11:29pm and I promised  the hubs I would be in bed by 11:30pm.  Good night!

Proudest Teacher Moment

We did another 2 days worth of lessons today.  I really like this!  Most weeks, we have so much going on that we don’t get to lessons every single day.  (And the real reason I’m able to do this is b/c we are down to one car this week and I can’t go to the gym in the morning.)  Our curriculum, Sonlight, has a 5-day lesson plan and a 4-day lesson plan, but the 4-day plan does not cover as much.  So, I have now found my own solution of doubling up on days when I want to or need to.  That’s what HSing is all about – learning however and wherever you want!

I bought some carpet freshener during my last grocery store visit.  I did the living room yesterday before dinner and decided to do the family room this morning.  I sprinkled it on the carpet, set the timer for 15 minutes and then B and I began our lessons.  When the timer went off I said, “OK, I need to vacuum the carpet freshener up.  You play for a few minutes while I do that.”  To my delight and surprise, B wailed, “NOOOOO!  Don’t vacuum!  I want to do more lessons!”  I had to just stop and savor the moment as tears came to my eyes.  Even as adults, we need positive feedback once in a while.  Something to let us know that we really are doing the right thing, especially when it comes to our children.  I don’t think B will ever know how much that meant to me – my proudest teacher moment to date.

Recipes: Baked Potato and Sausage Soup with Beer Biscuits

The soup is a dump recipe I made up a couple of years ago as the result of a craving.

Baked Potato & Sausage Soup
2 baking potatoes, baked and cooled 
8oz smoked sausage, sliced 1/2″ thick and then quartered 
1/2 tbsp butter 
1/2 a small onion, diced 
2 tbsp flour 
3 cups milk or chicken stock
3/4 cup frozen corn, rinse to thaw
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Fresh ground pepper, salt and onion powder, to taste 
Cook sausage in dutch oven until brown; remove. Add onion to same pot and cook in sausage fat until soft. Add butter if needed in order to cook onions. While they are cooking, cut cooled baked potatoes up and mash with a fork. Once onions are cooked, sprinkle with flour, stir to coat and cook for a few minutes to cook off the flour taste. Gradually add milk or stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.


Continue to stir until mixture thickens, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add potato, sausage, corn and cheese to mixture and stir until cheese melts and everything is heated through. Add pepper, salt and onion powder and/or whatever other spice to suit your taste.

 
Do you know Paula Deen?  She ranks right up there with The Pioneer Woman, in my book.  Ben used to think she was really Mrs. Claus and Paula Deen was her alias.  I made her wonderful Beer Biscuits to go with the soup.  I usually half the recipe and bake 6 biscuits when it’s just us.  The hubs then eats the leftover biscuits for snacks.
 
Beer Biscuits

 

 4 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar 
1 12-ounce can of beer 
2 tablespoon butter, melted 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients well. Pour into well-greased muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with honey butter. Makes 12 – 16 biscuits. 
Honey butter: mix room temperature butter with honey in a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio, depending on your taste.

Recipes: Pan-Fried Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Iceberg Wedges with Ranch Dressing

Do you know The Pioneer Woman?  If not, you must get to know her!  She cooks up some darn good grub!  I have not liked every recipe of hers that I’ve made, but most of them, I do.  This past weekend, I made her Pan-Fried Pork Chops, some mashed potatoes and Iceberg wedges with her homemade ranch dressing.  Everything was a hit, except for the potatoes with B.  He does not like skins on his potatoes and I insist on cooking with them b/c of their nutritional value.  Also, I didnot make gravy and B only wants to eat mashed potatoes with gravy on top.  Too bad, he had to eat what I served.  The best part was that B ate the entire wedge of salad that I put on his plate without a single grumble!  He loved the dressingthat much.  I’m onto something here…  Oh, and my leftover-hating son ate the leftovers for dinner the next night, too!

Some modifications to the recipes:

I did not buy bone-in chops.  I have thick cut, boneless chops that I sliced sideways to make them nice and thin.

I have no idea what her secret is to cutting Iceberg wedges into wedges that stay wedges on the plate.  However, no one noticed or just chose not to comment due to the deliciousness of the homemade ranch dressing.  Oh, and I cooked up a couple of slices of bacon and crumbled them on top of the dressing.  Probably a bigger distraction to the lack of wedges than the dressing.

I didn’t buy dill nor cayenne at the store b/c I was convinced I had some at home.  Turns out the hubs finally decided to do some cleaning in the fridge and the spice pantry w/o my knowledge.  *sigh*  So, I really missed the dill in the dressing, but the boys didn’t notice.  Next time, they’re going in the dressing though.

I used milk instead of buttermilk b/c I never use up all the buttermilk in a carton before it goes bad so I try to avoid buying it.  I could have made some, but I was lazy and hungry, so I just used regular milk.

I did add the optional vinegar, worcestershire and paprika to the dressing.

This dinner was a big hit and will be added to my dinner rotation.

Dinner

Although life goes so much smoother in our house when I make my two-week dinner menu plans, I don’t always do it.  There are constant peaks and valleys in my household organization.  I’m sure none of you have that problem.  ;o)  My valleys are due to laziness and procrastination.  Why do today what I can put off until…..oh, forget it, I don’t need to do it at all!  Even when I know the stress and pressure I will be under when my “Good morning! What’s for dinner?” daily call comes from the hubs all the way up to, “Oh, no.  Now I’m hungry for dinner and I have no idea what to cook!”

I have not made a menu plan since August and it’s been awful!  Last Thursday was grocery shopping day and I’m proud to say that I made a menu before going shopping and life has been much more pleasant since then.  (Well, except for the fever, sore throat, achiness and lack of sleep.  On that note, I got 5 hours of sleep last night!)  It’s also time that I started posting recipes again.  And by again, I mean start posting them here for the 1st time.  I used to post recipes frequently on my personal Facebook page, but haven’t done that in a while.  So, to keep me motivated to plan meals and cook at home, I’ll be posting some meals on my blog now.

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