Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Am Now a Believer in This!

Tyler hasn't felt well since last night. He started running a fever and had an earache. I've learned over the years that when Tyler complains he almost always has an ear infection. And he has a very high tolerance to pain so when he complains, it's pretty bad.

We didn't really have the money to take him to urgent care nor the gas money to go. So I went online and looked up home remedies.

I found a website that had lots of different ones. Some seemed far fetched. Others sounded like they might work.

Here's the one I tried.

Take half of a medium sized onion and grate it. Squeeze the juice into a cup. Take a dropper and put the juice in it. Place 2-3 drops in the ear. Work the juice down into the middle of the ear. Keep head tilted so the juice doesn't run out of the ear. Wait 5-10 minutes. Let drain. Repeat every couple of hours until pain is gone.


Tyler hasn't had an earache since! We only did it one time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Complete Directions, Please!

In my last post I said that I didn't know if we would be able to go to the Youth Conference at Pacific Baptist Church. Turns out we got to go!!!! And it was FABULOUS!!! I am exhausted but it was worth every minute! We even stayed an extra night at the Roses home because I couldn't drive home - just too tired (I was at the point of crying). That was a huge blessing, too!

So onto the reason for the title of this here post.

Wednesday night after the conference ended we went with 2 families (the DaCostas and the Roses) to a place called Yogurtland. Boy, that was a great place! About 15 different kinds of frozen yogurt and all the toppings you can imagine.

We all loaded up in the cars to go home. I ended up with 4 boys in the truck - Phyllip, Tyler, Daniel (14 or 15 years old) and Adam (11 years old). I was following the Roses home since I didn't know where I was. Now you have to realize that it was 10:00 p.m. It was very dark outside. Hence the following conversation.

I was turning the truck around and I didn't see where the Roses car was.

Me: "Daniel, do you see your parents car? Which way did they go?"

Daniel: sitting behind me - "They went that way."

Me: " are sitting behind me and I can't see you. Which way is 'that way'?"

Daniel: "I have to think..........left."

Me: "Ok."

I turned left at the Ralph's store and looked ahead to see the Roses car pulling out of the parking lot turning right. I turned right and was trying to catch up to them. I got stopped at the light. The Roses took off. They were at least 3 stop lights ahead of me.

Daniel: "It's easy to get home. You just need to get off at Bellflower and then I can get you home."

Me: Frustrated by this time because I can't see my lead car. "I don't know where Bellflower is! How do I get to Bellflower?"

Daniel: "You have to take the freeway."

Me: "Which freeway? I don't know how to get there. There are 2 freeways around here."

Daniel: "I don't know." He turns to his brother, Adam, and says, "Adam, which freeway should we get on?"

Adam: "I don't know."

By this time I am ready to cry - exhaustion and being in an unfamiliar place.

Me: "Daniel.....don't give me any more directions. I am only getting confused."

Now I had my cell phone with me but I didn't have the Roses' phone number. Great! No way to get ahold of them! Finally, my cell phone rings. I picked it up and the conversation is as follows.

Lyndsey: "Mom, where are you?"

Me: "I'm about 3 stop lights behind you."

Lyndsey: "No, you're not. We never left the parking lot. We're still here waiting for you."

Me: "What????? No. I saw you pull out of the parking lot. Daniel told me......"

Lyndsey: "I will let you talk to Mrs. Rose." She hands the phone to Pauline.

Pauline: "Rhonda, where are you?"

Me: "I'm at Studebaker Road."

Pauline: "Pull over and we'll be right there."

Me: "Already stopped. Ok I see you."

So I finally got behind my lead car and we made it safely back to the Roses home. I was frustrated at the time and I didn't find any of this funny. But by the time we got home, I was laughing A LOT! Teenagers!

Monday, July 21, 2008

It Was One Of Those Weekends

The weekend started out great. We had a teen activity at our house on Friday night. There were 13 people all total - a fabulous turnout for a small church! We even were able to lead one of the teen girls to the Lord - even better!

Saturday rolls around and we were getting the house ready for company on Sunday. Walter and I paid bills and we actually had some money left over. We had been wanting to go to the Youth Conference at Pacific Baptist Church which starts tonight but weren't sure we could go until we paid bills. I'm telling ya it was a miracle! Walter asked me how we had extra money and I told him I didn't know other than the Lord was providing the way. So we made arrangements to go.

We knew our neighbor kid was having a party Saturday night. He told us and even asked us if he could face his stereo speakers away from our house (huh? I don't quite understand that one but...). I'm not sure if he thought he was pulling the wool over our eyes or not with that question. So the party got started and it was loud but we could handle it. 11:00 p.m. rolls around and we decided to call the police and have them get the kid to turn down the music (in this day and age we the citizens can't say anything - it'll only egg them on :( ). We called again at about 11:45 p.m. I didn't even try to go to bed until after midnight. We see 1:00 a.m. on the clock and the music went from loud to window rattling and we could hear every.single.word that was being sung or screamed or whatever. We called the police again - this time the police were on their way. The music was shut off - but only for 30 minutes. It started all.over.again! I moved out to the couch and couldn't quite hear it as loud. Walter ended up calling the police 2 more times. They showed up at 3:00 a.m. and made them take their sound system inside. It wasn't any little sound system, either. The speakers alone were each 5 feet tall! Not only was the music loud but there was underage drinking going on - the kids put at least 1 beer can on our fence. When I got up at 6:00 a.m. the kids were still on the patio continuing their party - only quietly.

Usually, I just get mad at the lack of consideration this neighbor kid has for everyone else (he's had parties many times before). But the Lord reminded me that the unsaved only think about themselves. These days, kids aren't being raised to have character. That's what Jose is missing - character. It's so sad! We've invited him many times to church and even tried to tell him about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. To which he laughs and scorns at. So sad!!!!

So we got all of 2 solid hours of sleep before we needed to get up and get ready for church. I so badly needed toothpicks to hold my eyes open! Thankfully, we were teaching in Jr. Church so the kids kept me awake! After church, we had a couple over for dinner - again I tried another new recipe - Calico Squash Casserole (which is a total no no - one of these times it's going to fail - yikes!). The food turned out really good (I was surprised because we had a terrible storm go thru yesterday and power was flickering and I was totally depending on my oven to have everything ready when we got home).

We went to church for the evening service. For those of you that don't know, I make the financial deposits for our church each week. We went to the bank last night. I made the night drop, got back in the car, and it DIED. Nope. Nadda. Nothing. It's an electrical problem. No lights. No fan. No air conditioning. Great - at least we were somewhere where there were lots of lights. Thankfully, I had my phone with me AND it was fully charged! We were across the street from a major hotel - another plus. We were only a couple miles away from the airport for a rental car - another plus. My husband was with me - again another plus! It happened at night so no scorching heat beating on us - another plus! As we looked back on all of this we realized the Lord was really looking out for us and we are sooooooo thankful!

We got a tow truck and had the van (aka "the beast") towed and dropped off at a repair shop. Walter got me and the boys a taxi to a rental place and I got a car (really a quad cab full-size truck). I've never driven a truck before - it's pretty nice. Another amazing thing is the rental company didn't take debit cards - only credit cards. Typically, we don't carry credit cards anymore. For some reason, I had one in my wallet. Hmmmmmm, I think the Lord worked that one out for us, too. I picked up Walter and Lyndsey and we headed home. We had a really nice ride home - we didn't feel all the bumps in the road like we do in our van - another plus.

We're not sure if we're going to the youth conference or not now. All depends on the repair bill. But if the Lord perfectly orchestrated everything that happened last night, He can perfectly orchestrate a miracle for us to go to the youth conference, too! My confidence is in Him only! We'll wait and see.

Long, I know. But it WAS one of those weekends! Ta ta for now!

Monday, July 14, 2008

They Had Fun

Saturday we hosted the Men's Trio singing group from Pacific Baptist Bible College in Long Beach, CA. The men stayed in our home and Lyndsey and Jessica stayed at our pastor's home overnight. The group was scheduled to be in our church yesterday morning.

L to R - Michael, Zach, Alonzo and Jessica (the pianist)

The guys were so funny. We had a great time with them. Especially Phyllip and Tyler. Phyllip showed the guys his air soft guns (or bb guns - sp?). They decided to play with them. All 5 of them disappeared out into the field next to our house and proceeded to have a bb gun fight. Instead of shooting at a target they shot at each other! They all came in with welts on their bodies!

The guys included Phyllip and Tyler in everything. They were so kind.

I'm not sure how much sleep the 3 of them got. I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and the lights were still on! Someone could have been up to use the bathroom I suppose.

They came back to the house after the morning services and we fed them and their representative - Brother Johnny Esposito and his wife, Denise. We had a great time fellowshipping and the kids played games.

These 3 young men have made a great impression on our 2 sons. They gave Phyllip and Tyler a glimpse of how to be godly young men. I am forever grateful to them and to Pacific Baptist Bible College for their desire to train up godly young people.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pasta Rustica

I can't believe I'm doing this but...I decided to share another of my favorite recipes. Usually, I prefer to just make it for people and keep the recipe secret. But then friends and family from far away don't get to taste it. So...

I took the basic idea of this recipe from Macaroni Grill's "Pasta Rustica" and tweeked it to the way I like it.

Pasta Rustica

2 lbs. penne or rigatoni pasta
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese - HUGE difference between fresh and not!
*grate a little extra add when it's all put together
2 jars spaghetti/marinara sauce - I prefer Classico's Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion
fresh basil - to taste
crushed red pepper - to taste
pepper - to taste
1 lb. bacon
1 lb. sausage - I prefer breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean in the tube

Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces before frying. Fry till crisp. Cook sausage till well done. Boil water for pasta. While the water is heating mix together the marinara sauce, whipping cream, parmesan cheese, basil, crushed red pepper and pepper. Cook on low heat just until heated through - be sure to stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan.

When water is at a rolling boil add some salt - a couple of teaspoons - to flavor the pasta while it's cooking. Then add the pasta. DON'T walk away from your kitchen once the pasta is cooking. You DON'T want to have mushy pasta - yuck! Cook until pasta is al dente - not crunchy but a little chewy. Cook somewhere between 5 and 6 minutes, usually. If you leave it in the pan past the al dente stage it doesn't taste good. Drain water off of pasta immediately.

All of this makes 2 9x13 pans of food. Combine meat, pasta and sauce. Mix well. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and even a little more fresh basil if you want. Serve. ENJOY!

You can use any meat you want. Chicken works well. I've had someone tell me she used shrimp and it tasted good. I've made meatballs, too. It's whatever you want.

I've tried the canned parmesan cheese. It's ok. I've tried fresh grated parmesan cheese from Wisconsin. It's ok. Then I decided to try Italian imported parmesan cheese and grated it fresh. Oh my goodness! Huge difference in flavor! Way better than anything else! If you can afford it - try the Italian cheese! You won't be sorry!

Another note - Classico spaghetti sauce is quite expensive. So...I decided to try to imitate it. I bought a cheaper brand. Our family loves the roasted garlic and caramelized onion flavor. I roasted a head of garlic in the oven and I fried an onion in a little olive oil and butter until it was golden brown. Then I put the garlic and onion in the marinara sauce. Warm it up and voila! It was just as good as the Classico but without the price!

Friday, July 11, 2008


My daughter has been complaining she can't see things far away. It's blurry. She's been reading A LOT for the past year. We're talking books that are over 500 pages she reads in 2 days! I know, I know. That's a good problem to have!

So...I finally got her an eye appointment. Guess what? She needs reading glasses. *sigh* But the good news is all that reading isn't why she needs them. Why does she need them you ask? I don't really know because my Mr. Wonderful (aka Daddy) took her to the appointment. He did say that she's far sighted but didn't say what's causing that.

She picked out her glasses with the help of her daddy. He told me that the choice of frames was between "attitude" and "sophisticated." He liked "sophisticated." So she chose that. She gets them next week.

I missed it! The whole thing! *sigh* All because I wasn't ready (ya know - no makeup on, hair not done). I could've had my camera there to capture the moment. Oh well!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oatmeal Bread

I started making homemade bread consistently about 6 weeks ago. I've tried several different recipes. My family keeps telling me to make one particular recipe. So...I thought I would share it.

I've "shot myself in the foot" so to speak with this here homemade bread stuff. See, the ignitor in my oven went kaput last week. I couldn't make any bread so I bought some - the good stuff I used to buy - the bread my family likes. Well, they don't like it anymore! They only like my homemade bread. It appears that I am destined to make homemade bread from now on (ok - not like I mind - cooking is one of my passions!)! This recipe is the only one that stays fresh up to 3 days (at least in what I've made).

Oatmeal Bread

1 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use bread flour as well)

4 cups all-purpose flour - approximately

Measure rolled oats into large bowl. Add butter and molasses. Pour boiling water over top. Cool to lukewarm. I boil the water on the stove in a pan and pour the oats, butter and molasses into it.

Stir warm water and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast. I do this step in the bowl (a very large bowl) that I will mix the actual bread dough in - too many bowls used otherwise. Add oatmeal mixture to yeast mixture.

Add brown sugar, salt and first amount of flour. Beat well.

Work in enough remaining flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl (for me I use 3 1/2 cups of flour - but for you it might be 4 - all depends on the moisture in the air where you live). Turn out onto floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Here's where a kitchen-aid mixer or something like it comes in handy. I let my mixer do most of the kneading as my hands don't have the strength anymore to do all the work. I do probably 1 minute of kneading by hand. Place in buttered bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a tea towel. Let stand in oven with light on and door closed for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down. Divide into 2 equal portions. Shape into loaves. Place in 2 buttered loaf pans. It is VERY important that you butter your pans. If you don't this will happen. Cover with a tea towel. Let stand in oven with light on and door closed 20 to 40 minutes until doubled in size. I don't put the dough in the oven at all to rise. I find it rises just fine as long as it's in a warm place - don't put the dough in the refrigerator.

Topping: Beat 1 large egg white and 1 tbsp. water with a fork in a small bowl. Brush over the top of loaves.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup rolled oats using some or all, as desired. If you prefer not to use this topping, brush tops with softened butter after loaves are baked - the latter is my preference. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Turn out onto racks to cool. Makes 2 loaves.

This Will Tug at Your Heart Strings

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Kids These Days

I was running errands today. I stopped by the UPS Store to fax a page. The guy (a teenage boy) took my page and went to the fax machine. He tried the number 3 times - each time getting a busy signal. He turns around, looks at his dad and says, "Is that a busy signal?" To which his dad replies, "Um hum."

I was floored that he didn't know what a busy signal was! I guess with all the technology we have today, most kids won't know what a busy signal is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

I AM SO PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! WE ARE SO BLESSED IN THIS COUNTRY! We have freedoms that most other countries don't have! We need to get on our hands and knees and thank God Almighty for this great land that we have the privilege to live in!

Also, if you see any of our military (past or present) thank them for their service to our country. We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for them.