Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 Resolutions for 2012

1.  I will blog more.
2.  I will start a journal...and keep it.
3.  I will read before I go to bed at night.
4.  I will not drink carbonated beverages.*
5.  I will pray regularly.
6.  I will not let my DVR control my evenings.
7.  I will go on monthly dates with my husband.
8.  I will become a runner.
9.  I will communicate better with students' parents.
10.  I will find time for my friends.
11.  I will finish my wedding/honeymoon scrapbooks.
12.  I will not give up hope.

*Exceptions: Sprite/Ginger Ale when sick and champagne toasts.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Dear blog,
I miss you and all my fellow bloggers.  I have so much to say, but no time to sit down and type it.  I've got to figure out how to find time for me in my busy schedule.
Until then,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cheesecake-Stuffed Peaches

I am SOOOO glad I looked through my Better Homes and Gardens magazine last night.  This dessert was AMAZING!
(sorry there are no pictures of their heavenly goodness...)

6 peaches, halved and pitted
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbs sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Trim a thin slice from the round side of each peach half so the halves will stand flat.  Dip peach halves in melted butter to coat.  Arrange peaches, cut sides up, baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Spoon mixture into peach centers.

Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until lightly browned and softened.  Serve warm.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Borrowed From a Facebook Post

I promise I will update my blog with what's been going on in my life soon, but until then, I want to share my friend Johnna's most recent Facebook post:

Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Mary was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.  Now, what's YOUR excuse?  Can God use you?

Wow.  How powerful is that?!  Of course God can use you, but will you let Him?  I'm ready God...use me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Writing from a Prompt

I'm at a Pre-AP conference this week.  I've learned a lot of great strategies, but today was my favorite day.  Partially because it's the last day and I get to sleep in tomorrow, but mainly because today focused on writing, which is often a neglected art in an ELA.  We were given a journal exercise, and after several revisions, I'm proud with the essay I developed, so I thought I'd share:


Think about a friend who is unique or special in some way.  Who is he or she, and what makes him or her special?  Describe his/her actions and appearance to illustrate.

Poised. Elegant. Beautiful. She was everything I wanted to be, but wasn’t. I was awkward and nerdy, yet she was my friend. Not my “best” friend, but my oldest friend, my most cherished friend.

We belonged to two different worlds. Hers was high society with private schools, fine dining, and Rolls Royces. Mine was middle class with public schools, home cooking, and minivans. But in preschool, those worlds collided and we became fast friends. Each year, she came to my birthday party. When birthday parties were outgrown, we had unplanned annual reunions randomly around town – buying suits for our fathers or running shoes for our mothers.

Graduation, college, and real life came and we drifted apart. Years came and went without seeing or speaking, but our hearts remained as close as ever.

I saw her again recently, still stunning, gorgeous, and eloquent. It was the first time in two (maybe three?) years…yet there were no awkward silences, no forced moments. We talked and laughed and loved well into the night.

But our separate lives called us back. Hers still high society and glamorous in NYC. Mine still working class and routine in Leander. Still, I know our worlds will collide again. It may be years, decades before we see each other, but in the matters of our hearts, time will not have passed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When I was in school...

Field trips were educational and for a purpose, not just to get out of the school building for a day of fun.
Moms (and dads) drove students to field trips...schools did not pay hundreds of dollars for a bus and driver.
Field day was at school...not some other random location.
Reading was taught through book and novel studies, not by isolating skills.
When we finished the novel, we watched the movie...just to watch it.
We took TAAS, not TAKS, and it's influence on teaching and learning was minimal.
The teacher was always right.
The office was a place that no one wanted to end up.
Phone calls home resulted in a change of behavior.
Disrespect towards teachers resulted in major consequences.
Too many tardies counted as an unexcused absence.
Too many unexcused absences resulted in retention.
If you didn't do an assignment the first time, you got a zero.
If you failed a grade, you repeated the grade.
Students bought school supplies, and kept up with them.
If you forgot your pencil, you were expected to PAY for one at the school store before class began.

...and you know what?

We turned out ok and didn't end up in a budget crisis.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday To ME!

So this year my birthday celebration lasted for five days!  Here's a little re-cap of each one:

Day 1:  With the TAKS test finally finished (I didn't have to administer it on my birthday this year...woohoo!), it was time to celebrate with the Adam clan.  We went to Zed's, which was fabulous!  In attendance was the hubby, the kids, Scott's parents, Scott's grandma, my mom, and my grandpa.  It was such a gorgeous evening on the patio and I got some amazingly thoughtful gifts from the kids (thanks, honey!).

Me and my Mommy
Love my Husband

Kennedy and Grandpa "Long" Horn

Day 2: I went down the street for a lia sophia jewelry party.  We had treats and wine, and even got to model the jewlery!  I ended up buying myself a couple of birthday presents, too!  I can't wait until they come in!!!

Day 3:  I took the afternoon off on Friday so that we could avoid traffic on the drive to Dallas.  Unfortunately, there was a HORRIBLE accident involvoing two eighteen-wheelers, which made us sit in traffic for awhile, but we still made it in time for dinner.  We ate at Little Greek.  I LOVE Greek food, so I was super husband isn't the biggest fan, but he was SUCH a trooper!

Day 4:  My actual day of birth.  The morning was spent in the kitchen prepping for Kathryn's shower.  The Clark family is really important to my family, and it was really fun to do bridal showers for both Laura and Kathryn.  (Laura and I have been good friends since 3rd grade, Kathryn was the reason I went to Rhodes, my sorority sister, and my roommate)  The shower was a success, everything looked beautiful, and my hubby made a great bartender.  Unfortunately, I burned Kathryn a CD of pictures, but forgot to burn myself one!  (I will try to add pictures when I go back to Dallas in a few weeks.)  After a quick nap (literally about 10 minutes) it was time for cocktails and dinner at Fearing's Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton with Scott, my parents, and our good friends Mark, Paul, and Tiffany.  What an AMAZING dinner!  We were at the chef's table, so we got to watch the guys at work in the kitchen while we enjoyed fabulous food and spectacular wine... and the company wasn't half bad either! ;-)  

Puttin' on the Ritz
The best parents EVER!

A toast to birthdays and good friends!
Day 5: Not really a day of "birthday" celebration, but to me, every Sunday in Dallas is a reason to celebrate.  I LOVE Northway, my parent's church, and their after church tradition of lunch at El Fenix is pretty awesome too!  After lunch we drove home, and apparantly brought the cold weather with us!  BRRR!

I am thankful to the number of people who took the time to post me a note on Facebook.  I was shocked and amazed at the birthday wishes from people who I hardly ever talk to anymore.  I realize Facebook reminds you of birthdays, but I couldn't believe some of the people who thought I was worth the time to write a message to!  It took me a long time to thank everyone! grateful as I am for my Facebook messages (and the couple of text messages I got) I really miss the days when people called you and wished you happy birthday (sometimes in song) and you could actually hold a conversation with them.  I almost cried when Emily took the time out of her day (which was super busy with a baby shower) to call and tell me happy birthday.  That meant more to me than she will ever know.  And of course, my family called me, which also made me smile! :-)

So, thank you to everyone for making my birthday fantastic!  (Especially since it will be the last one I will ever celebrate! haha)  I love you all! <3

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Brushy Creek Park: Then and Now

It was a Sunday afternoon in April 2008.  My friend Scott and his family were going to Brushy Creek Park, and they had wanted to "canoe" (kayak).  But with three children, they had to have two kayaks and two adults.  So, the kids suggested I come along...they knew I was friends with their dad, enjoyed their company, and lived close by.  Having recently broken off an engagement to Mr. Wrong, I was looking for any excuse to get out of the house...and since I truly did enjoy the company of the kids and their dad, I was happy to tag along.  I never expected what happened that day.  On that lake, watching Scott with his kids, I fell in love.  I pictured us kayaking as a family years down the road.  And after Scott dropped off the kids with their mom, we went out to dinner, and shared our first kiss.  And that was the day everything truly began...

It was a Friday afternoon in April 2011.  For some reason, we had never quite made it back to Brushy Creek Park.  I couldn't figure out why...the kayaks weren't expensive to rent, and the kids had asked about it forever!  We loaded up in our girl boat/boy boat and set out for another adventure.  Although there was no "first kiss" to mark the occasion, it was still a beautiful memory.

Girl Boat Then...
...Girl Boat Now
Boy Boat Then...
...Boy Boat Now
Kaitlin Then...
...Kaitlin Now
Harrison Then...
...Harrison Now
Kennedy Then...
...Kennedy Now
Then, I could never have guessed my life would have ended up this way.  Now, I can't imagine it any other way.  I thought I loved them then, but I KNOW I love them now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ready For My Birthday

The time between Spring Break and my birthday is always my least favorite time of year.  Although it's the "downhill slope," it's also "crunch time."  Emphasis on the TAKs test is heightened, and my role as teacher seems to minimize as my role as data analyst seems to maximize.  Students are restless and ready for summer, and have no desire to prepare themselves for a test that you can't really "study" for.  The stress level is enough to make teachers burst into tears, but (at least on most days) those tears are shielded from students' view.  This year is incredibly difficult. With budget cuts and layoffs, the stress has surpassed manageable.  And the worst part the height of all of the stress...the "hope for next year" has been removed from the equation.  You see, this is also the point where teachers usually begin to get excited about what next year has to offer....a little bit of sanity...the light at the end of the tunnel...that sort of thing.  But, not this year.  This year, next year looms over our heads like a thundercloud on an extremely humid day.  You're desperate for the relief of rain, but you fear it will never come.  If you are one of the lucky teachers who gets to keep their jobs, "next year" means your classes will be huge, you lose your conference time, and you will most likely add another subject or another grade level to your schedule.  Yuck.  I never thought the economy would get so bad that one of the most underpaid professions would suffer so much.  Not only is it a strain on teachers and their families, but it's harmful to our children's futures.  So, needless to say, I'm ready for my birthday.  Not because it's a day to celebrate another year of my life, but because testing will be over, and summer quickly follows.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Proper" Inspiration

I've been a blog slacker recently, and I apologize.  I just haven't been inspired to write lately.  Well, that's not 100% true... but the things that I am inspired to write about are not things I want to blog about.  You know how you're "not supposed" to talk about politics and religion, because those topics could be offensive?  Well, that's the issue I'm having with my blog right now...I'm not going to write about the things that have made my skin boil recently, because I don't want people to be offended.  I don't know who reads my blog posts once they become notes on Facebook, but I know several people I am friends with who would be offended by what I really want to write.  So, to keep the peace, I don't blog.

Hopefully, Spring Break will bring all the "ations" I am seeking: relaxation, motivation, and inspiration.
Until then, I'm sorry that I have left you with nothing more than this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wine and Valentines

I've never really been a Valentine's person, which is strange, because I'm a hopeless romantic.  But, ever since I met Scott, Valentine's has started to grow on me.  This year, I actually planned ahead and booked our favorite B&B in Fredericksburg for Valentine's weekend as his Christmas gift.  We spent the weekend wandering down main street looking in all the little boutiques, drinking wine and listening to Jeff Wood (you should check out his music...he is AMAZING!) at Grape Creek (my favorite winery!), and just reaxing and spending time with each other. It was PERFECT!
<3 Me and My Valentine <3
Nothing says "romance" like a corn dog in Luckenbach! ;-)
Introducing..."Big Earl"
For those of you who don't watch Cougar Town, you won't understand how amazingly wonderful my husband is for getting me this gift.  It's my own personal version of Courtney Cox's "Big Carl" but yet, as you can see, mine is decorated and super cute.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love My Laurens

I read Facebook and blog posts about my friends’ supper clubs and game nights, and sometimes I wish we had a routine like that.  I mean, we do that every once in awhile, but we hardly have time to spend on ourselves…much less other couples! Lately, I've even started to wonder how many true friends I actually have.

I've got plenty of friends on Facebook.  And yes, I like to see pictures of their cute kids and read their updates when I'm bored, but the friendship doesn't go any further than that.  And yes, I greatly appreciate the fact that this social network has been able to "reconnect" with "lost friends," but the majority are merely acquaintances.

I grew up in one town, went to college in another, and now live in a, my friends are scattered across the map.  Which is great when you can afford a vacation, but what about when you need a shoulder to cry on, or you just want to hold your best friend’s adorable baby?  It gets a little depressing.

Now, I'm not saying I don't have great friends here, because I do.  And I've cut and pasted and re-drafted this post over and over again so that I (hopefully) don't offend a friend of mine that reads it.  But, sometimes, we need to ask ourselves, what does it mean to be a friend? And who are our true friends who would be there when no one else would?

I have two friends that I would do anything for, and I know that they would also do the same for me.  And oddly enough, both of their names are Lauren.  One I met in college, while the other one I've known since preschool.  (My second oldest friend.  The oldest was also named Lauren...what is it with me and that name?!?... but she moved to California in elementary school, and we hadn't been in touch in years other than Christmas cards since reunited on Facebook...but I digress...)  So, since it's almost Valentine's day, and I probably don't tell them often enough, I thought I'd share how important my Laurens are to me.

No matter how hard I try to remember, I can't tell you how Lauren (aka LJ) and I met, or why we started hanging out.  We had many mutual friends, Sam in particular, so she probably had something to do with it.  But what I do know is that we were insepearable our senior year.  I remember having cocktails in the Trezevant courtyard and sending her off to the counseling center with a rice cake and a buzz.  (That was the problem with 3pm counseling sessions on beautiful sunny days.  Luckily, my appointments were always in the morning, before we decided it was 5 o'clock somewhere!)  I spent more nights sleeping on her futon than in my own bed.  Graduation came, and I moved 10 hours away.  Since neither of us are "phone people," it was almost inevitable that the friendship would suffer... 

On the other hand, I knew exactly where I was when I met Lauren Sinclair: The Children's Center preschool.  There were five of us that played together (I think most of us all carpooled too).  When it was time for kindergarten, Lauren H moved away, Lauren S and Sara went to private school, and Banner and I went to public school.  Every year, Lauren would come to my birthday party  (my mom threw the BEST birthday parties!) and we would run into each other somewhere random.  One year it was buying our dad's suits at Culwell and Son, one year it was at Foot Locker, it was strange.  Once we finally were able to drive, we pre-arranged the annual "run-ins."  Now, our scheduled visits don't always happen yearly...sometimes we happen to be in the same place at the same time more often than once a year (especially when all of us were getting married), but this December it had been two years since I had last seen her...

But here's the thing about my Laurens: TIME DOESN'T MATTER.  Hours, days, years can pass, and we pick up right where we left off.  That's the beauty of our relationships.  That's what makes them true friends.

So, thank you, my dear Laurens, for being the truest of friends.  I love you both.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Glued to the Tube

Since TV shows seem to be the latest blog topic (ex: Staci  and Randi), I figured that I would hop on the bandwagon and post about my favorites as well.

Currently, our DVR is recording the following series:
American Idol, Castle, Cougar Town, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Hawaii Five-O, House, How I Met Your Mother, Mike and Molly, Modern Family, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Bachelor, Toddlers and Tiaras, and V.

Our DVR also is scheduled to record these series when they air:
24, Dancing with the Stars, Flash Forward, HGTV Design Star, My Boys, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, and The Sing Off.

Holy cow...22 shows!  That's rediculous.  Thank goodness we stopped recording all the different versions of CSI and Law and Order!  There are some series we record that I refuse to watch, like Toddlers and Tiaras (recorded for the girls), 24, and V (my husband's "guilty pleasures").  There are also some series that I enjoy, but don't really watch, like House and Castle.  The kids love Extreme Makeover, Design Star, and Project Runway, so, they're reserved for "family viewings."  So that leaves ME responsible for the recording of...14 shows.  Yikes!  Well, maybe 13, because I'm not too optimistic about this season of American Idol...  Or 12, because I don't think Flash Forward is coming back on... And The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, and So You think you can Dance never air at the same time, so that makes 10, right?!

Here are my current top 5:
(I, ranking them is really hard)
5.  How I Met Your Mother
Barney is just too funny!
4.  NCIS: LA
Beats out the original NCIS because of its phenomenal character development.
...and because Chris O'Donnell is hot.
3.  Modern Family
Puts the fun in dysfunctional!
2.  Cougar Town
A show revolving around drinking wine...need I say more?
1.  Mike and Molly
A cute romantic comedy.
Best part: my husband loves it too!

But then, my heart reminds me that those are just my top 5 recorded shows.  What about all the shows on the Travel Channel, or Food Network, or the Cooking Channel?!  The ones that don't get recorded, because there's no way I can convince Scott to watch them with me on a regular basis?!  Don't they deserve a list, too?!  Yes, probably.  But not today.  Because I have just come to the realization that I am addicted to television.  Now I'm depressed. Sigh.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Found Poetry

So, my students are studying poetry in class right now.  Not my favorite unit to teach, because they have a difficult time understanding all the elements and figurative language.  But, some of my favorite writing lessons are a part of this unit.  Today, we are doing my all-time favorite lesson: found poetry.  Last week, they cut out words/phrases in magazines that appealed to them.  That was the only instruction they were given...except that they would be using the words later.  Today is that day.  Using the words they cut out, plus up to five additional words, they are to create a poem.  It's amazing to see how the words unintentionally fit together to make creative masterpieces.  Here are the three I created this year:

Happiness is good food
Like crazy delicious cheese, cupcakes, bacon, Starbucks Coffe, and tasty tea.
Eat your heart out.
 This Mom's Life:
Genius organizing, crayons and fresh laundry, shopping by mail, family dinners, good reads, tub therapy.
...A dream come true!
 Best Friends:
The perfect pairing, an incredible journey, good advice.
She was sassy, fabulous, flawless; loved her faith and family.
But she's in Heaven now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Don't Get It

I am a middle school teacher.  I also have a 14 year-old-stepdaughter.  So, I am around teens/preteens A LOT!  I see how they act in the hallway.  I see how they act in the classroom.  I see what they post on Facebook.  And almost daily, one of them does something that completely baffles me.  So, I decided to compile a list of the five things that perplexes me most about today's teenagers.  

1.  Photographs

Kaitlin hates us taking her picture.  Now, part of this I understand, because she's desperate to have her braces off, and I remember not wanting my picture taken with braces, either.  But when my parents wanted pictures of holidays or vacations, I would oblige without too much of a fuss (example: there's a really horrible picture of me in Virginia with my head in a cardboard that's a good daughter!).  I have to practically beg Kaitlin to let me or Scott take a picture of her!  And if I post any pictures of her on Facebook (even if they're professionally taken) and "tag" her in it, 90% of the time she removes the tag.  And she's GORGEOUS, so you know they're not "bad pictures" (like she claims)!  I would NEVER post anything that I thought made her look bad!  BUT...(and here's where the bafflement comes in)...she and her friends (and many other teens I know) will post hundreds of pictures they took of themselves...posing in the mirror with their phone as the camera, making rediculous faces, etc., many of which aren't the most flattering pictures... So, why the fuss over a decent picture with an amazing camera?!?

2.  Facebook Friends

So, I randomly selected 5 of my Facebook friends my age and averaged their number of friends: 524
I then found 5 of my Facebook friends who are under 18 and averaged their number of friends: 692
Why is our average lower?!  We've been around longer, had more experiences, made friends in college...we should know more people!  Here's the difference: I personally know ALL of my friends.  I can say this with complete honesty, because I went through and double-checked each and every friend....all 637 of them!  Now, some I haven't talked to since middle school, but that's a different post (coming next week, I hope).  But, teens will be friends with people they don't know (which is actually pretty scary to me!).  (Example: Suzy adds Billy, because they're both friends with Katie, but the only reason Katie was friends with Billy was because he's Jason's cousin's older brother...or something along those lines.)  And I know they don't know all of their Facebook friends because they'll play those "like this status and I'll..." games, and will "like" the status of someone they don't know!  So, then that person writes something on their wall along the lines of "I don't know you,'re really pretty."  Why?  I don't get it...I really don't.

3.  "Text Me"

I see "Text me" posts ALL OVER Facebook.  I don't get it.  What is that person supposed to text you?  "Ok, I texted you, now what?"  If you want to have a conversation with that person, here's an idea: TEXT THEM!  And, while I'm on the subject of texting, here's a few more:  constant and anti-social texting.  I realize that when I was in middle school and high school I was on the phone for hours a day.  But not ALL of them.  Besides, you had to be.  You couldn't just send out a mass text to all your friends and tell them you and Bobby broke had to call each one individually (or, if you were lucky, you could talk to two friends on three-way) and explain the story and discuss the story with each phone call.  So if you condense all of those phone calls, it was probably close to one hour of total conversation.  But people text from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed.  I don't understand how they have so much to say!  (Then again, I don't have much to say and am attempting to write a blog, go figure!)  And, what's even more odd to me is that groups of teens will get together and text...not talking to each other at all!  Are they texting each other?  Who knows!  What's the point of wasting the gas to drive over to someone else's house when face-to-face communication is not occuring?  Save the money...stay home.  Text them.

4.  Apathy

My students don't care about ANYTHING!  They don't turn in homework; they don't do work in class....they can't even bring a pencil to class on a daily basis!  Calling home doesn't seem to phase them, and they're happy to be sent to SAC (in-school suspension).   They don't put forth any effort, and are therefore willing to fail a class and make their parents pay for summer school.  Are you kidding me?!?  My parents would have killed me for any of the above!!!

5.  Sagging Skinny Jeans

Rediculously self-explanatory.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

G Free: is it for me?

So, my friend Randi decided to go gluten-free. (You can read about her adventures here)  As any language-arts-teaching, book-loving, nerd would do when making a life decision like that, she bought several books on the topic.  As many of you know, my stepdaughter Kennedy, is also gluten-free, diagnosed with Celiac's disease right before our wedding.  I have often made two separate meals when the kids are with "normal" and one for her, and have just recently started toying with the idea of going completely gluten-free when they are with us, or maybe even going completely gluten-free.  As any two friends who share a passion do,we've shared: ideas, recipes, and finally...books!  She recently finished reading The G Free Diet: A Gluten Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Survivor and The View) and has passed it on to me.  Since not all of you reading this are nerds like us, I decided to post the Cliff's Notes version of what I've learned, just in case you were curious. :-)

Celiac's Disease:
  • It is genetic.
  • It is NOT an allergy - it is a condition that causes a toxic reaction to gluten.
  • It can cause things such as type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, infertility, and miscarriage, even if you don't know you have the disease!
  • Symptoms can go unnoticed for many years, and are not developed until some sort of physical or emotional trauma activates the condition.
  • A protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that is the sticky, binding substance that holds things such as bread together.
  • An all-purpose stabilizer and thickener that can be found in a wide variety of products.
  • Hidden sources: beer, flavored coffee, gravy, beauty products, envelope adhesive, play-doh
  • "Wheat-free" does not mean "gluten-free"
Going Gluten-Free:
  • Replace, don't remove: Substitute gluten with alternatives, don't just eliminate breads and/or carbs.
  • Check out websites such as
  • Naturally gluten-free foods: fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, dairy products, vanilla, spices, popcorn, chocolate, butter, oils, vinegar, sweeteners
  • Replace gluten with things such as corn (cornmeal, corn flower, cornstarch), rice, and tapioca (Elisabeth's list is MUCH longer, but these are the most common household items, and what we use at our house)
  • Gluten-free foods take longer to cook.
  • Take your own snacks to parties: either a "party pack" large enough for everyone to share, or a snack slipped into your pocket to be eaten discreetly.
  • If eating at a restaurant, be polite, be specific when you order, and always leave a generous tip.  Look online for a gluten-free menu before leaving the house, or don't hesitate to ask about the gluten-free options.
  • Because a gluten-free diet often introduces more grains into your eating habits, you receive more nutrients.
Gluten-Free Recommendations (taste tested in our kitchen):
  • Chex and Pebbles cereals
  • Ian's Fish Sticks and Chicken Nuggets
  • Van's Waffles and French Toast Sticks
  • Glutino Pretzel Sticks
  • Ener G Foods Light Tapioca Bread
  • Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Bisquick Pancake Mix
  • Annie's Cheddar Mac and Cheese
  • De Boles Rice Pasta
  • S'Better Farms Corn Dogs
  • K-Toos Cookies (Gluten-free Oreos)
Gluten-Free Recoomendations (from Elisabeth):
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Pamela's Cookies
  • Pirate's Booty (especially the cheese puffs)
  • Kettle Chips
  • Bob's Red Mill
  • Mary's Gone Crackers
  • Babycakes NYC (I saw them on the Food Network...wonder if they deliver to Texas...)
HEB actually has a pretty decent gluten-free stock...otherwise I head to Sprouts or Whole Foods.  You can also go to  When I find something that Kennedy really likes, I check Amazon...often I can buy in bulk for MUCH cheaper.

Favorite Quotes:
  • "Tomorrow is the best remedy for a terrible today."
  • "Living without gluten does NOT mean giving up your passion for food."
  • "Often, people are more open-minded about new foods AFTER they've tasted them.  So surprise your family members - and don't hesitate to be sneaky!"
  • "Don't eat a bite just to be polite!"
I really enjoyed reading that book, and if you have decided to look into the gluten-free lifestyle, I would highly recommend it.  Am I going to force my whole family to go gluten-free? No.  I will still keep the gluten/gluten-free "option" available when it is easy and convenient.  If having that option would make me feel like a "made-to-order" cook, then yes, that meal will probably end up completely gluten-free.  As for myself, I think I might just give it a try.  I don't know if Kennedy feels singled out because of her Celiac's...she doesn't seem to be bothered by it, but we also don't really talk about it much.  But, whether or not she does, it's always nice to have someone who's in the same boat as you are.  Besides, if it really will give me more energy, better my attention span, and potentally get rid of my headaches and prevent illnesses, why not?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Jam Resolution

Ok, so with New Years and resolutions and everything, there are all kinds of 14-, 30-, etc. day challenges being promoted...blah, blah, blah...whatever.  But this morning, I was listening to 92.1 K-LOVE and heard a challenge that I thought was worth honoring: listen to nothing but Christian music for 30 days and see how your perspective changes.  I'm excited about this for several reasons:
1.  I have been a church camp counselor for many years, and an "exec" committee member prior to that, so my contemporary Christian CD library from the late 1990's to the early 2000's is pretty extensive.  So, when I'm listening to the radio and decide I don't want to listen to the talk any more, the CD that is in my disc changer will most likely bring back fond memories.
2.  I might finally know some of the newest contemporary songs that are being sung at Celebration, so that I can sing along and not look like a fool just staring at the lyrics on the jumbo-tron.
3.  I have an excuse.  I have been listening to 96.7 recently to help my "cool" status - both in the middle school teacher AND stepmom realm.  Although the tunes are catchy and the lyrics are sometimes decent, I still cringe every time my youngest children (both under age 10) sing "let's go all the way tonight" with Katy Perry...silently praying they don't really understand what she means.
I have always enjoyed Christian music, so I don't think it will be difficult limiting myself based on of my resolutions is to spend more time in conversation with God, so maybe the songs I hear will be a sign from Him...and I've been needing/wanting a perspective on life, bring it on!  I look forward to what the next 30 days have to offer!  (Especially if it includes lots of Michael W. Smith...his voice is amazing, and his blue eyes are, well, also amazing!) :-)