Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Baking

It's my favorite season - Advent, or as renamed at our house Christmas Baking Time! That's my house there, with the snow man out front.

Money's tight this year (isn't it for everyone?), so instead of giving gifts that add to the clutter, I'm giving out some baked goods. Once they are gone, there is not more clutter (except maybe on the body if you eat too much ;-). So, it has started.

Now, being Catholic and really, for the first time just a few years ago, understanding what Advent was all about, my baking doesn't start until sometime after Gaudete' Sunday. I usually wait until the 4th Sunday, unless Christmas falls directly after that.

So, what are we giving this year? Well, I'm only doing a few gifts for folks outside the family. I really haven't had the energy (6 kids, remember?) or the time (6 kids, remember?) to make something for everyone I would love to gift. Here's our list:

Our "grandparent" neighbors across the street and next door and the one homeschooling family down the street and the girlie's Choir teachers:
My nieces and nephews:
For Christmas here and a 2nd day of Christmas party:

*These will create an edible Christmas village. The kids do ALL of it themselves. I pitch in if asked.

I will try to get back here and post some pictures, but I'm sure you can click on the links and see MOST of the pictures.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Allergy Factor

This morning I got the news...

Tinkerdoodle is allergic to Eggs, Milk and Peanuts. Now, this is not a big deal here, really. I have many allergies, including Eggs. My oldest two are allergic to Peanuts. But all of them? Together? Yuck.

In the last month I have totally slacked. I have been letting milk slip through on everything. I even, gasp, made blueberry muffins with milk in them, even though I haven't done that in YEARS. You see, I had decided that since he didn't seem to be anaphylactic to dairy, a little would be fine, right? Not so. His eczema has been flaring badly on his legs. The prescription eczema medicine was not ridding him of it, so we had him tested for food allergies. For me, the biggest marker is his weight (or lack thereof).

We have a history already of failure to thrive due to food allergies. Little Man was all of 35 lbs at 5 years of age, the same weight he was at 3 years of age, because of a soy protein allergy we found through an IgE/IgG blood test. Once we dropped soy protein, he gained 10 lbs in about 3-5 months. It was an amazing transformation. I can only hope that the same thing will happen with Tinkerdoodle. He is 25 lbs at 2. My Dr. encouraged me, saying that he had just had a patient diagnosed with Celiacs (at 3). After one month on a wheat-free diet, she came back 10lbs heavier. My Dr. is hoping for 35lbs at 3 and I would be thrilled with that.

Ten pounds seems like a lot to gain in three months. But with the Allergy Factor identified, it should be much more attainable now.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Schmarren or Scrambled Pancakes

This is for Julie...Enjoy!

Kaisers Schmarren tanslates loosely to "Emperors Pain". Its name comes from the stories of how Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, would emit groans of pleasure when he ate this pancake like dish. Oooooooo, Ummmmmmmm, Ahhhhhhh! At any rate, it is a very good dish for a meatless Fridays. It is usually served with a side dish of fresh fruit or cooked fruit like plums, cherries or peaches. Apple sauce is great, too!


  1. Whisk together ingredients.
  2. Pour into a greased non-stick pan.
  3. Cook on stove top on medium heat.
  4. Stir periodically like you are scrambling eggs.
  5. Cook until cooked through and/or lightly browned.
  6. Serve with favorite syrup or honey.

For Today...

Outside my window... Christmas lights on the pine in the back yard...that pine has doubled in size since we moved here in 2001.

I am thinking... I need to find a better way to manage sock matching and folding in my house.

I am thankful for... 3 sleeping babies.

I am wearing... a jean skirt, a white tee and a hand-me-down sweater from my dear sister when she lost 70 lbs.

I am remembering... singing the song "Sisters" from White Christmas at the 1984 Chi-Hi Super Show.

I am going... to drive around with the family in the BIG SILVER van tonight to look at Christmas lights.

I am currently reading... _Hornblower During the Crisis_. I have read all the other 10 books in the series. I read the rest in order, but somehow missed this one. It was C. S. Forester's last (he died while writing it), so it's probably a good one to read last.

I am hoping... I can figure out something easy for dinner that EVERYONE will eat.

On my mind... wrapping presents...need to find time to do it!

Noticing that... I should be cleaning instead of blogging.

Pondering these words... "as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior." from Mass today.

From the kitchen... tomorrow we will be making panettone for our friends for Christmas based on this recipe.

Around the house... not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

One of my favorite things~ Diet Coke.

From my picture journal... a picture from 1984, the year I sang with my sister (see above).