Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Family Favorite

When I was a young bride and trying to make my niche in the family feasts, I asked Shane what I should bring to Christmas dinner. We paged through some recipes I'd collected and he picked out Cape Cod Cranberry Velvet Pie. I would have never picked it myself, I mean look at it's name! It's huge! And Cape Cod? What does that have to do with pie?

Regardless, I made it and it's become a staple at our holiday family gatherings. It's so easy and it's light, cool & creamy. It goes in the freezer and is similar to a cheese cake. It's so easy to make. Here's the recipe. Let me know if you try it-it's a crowd pleaser!

1 shortbread pie crust (I've used graham when my store didn't carry shortbread)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
16 oz can cranberry sauce (you can use whole berry, leaving garnish on top or jellied which makes a more blended pie-either is great).

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. In a small mixing bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add to cream cheese, beating until smooth and creamy. Set aside a few cranberries from sauce if using whole berry sauce. Fold remaining sauce into whipped mixture (you can beat it in if using regular jellied sauce). Spoon into pie crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Garnish with reserved berries. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving so it's soft enough to cut. Don't leave it out too long, it'll melt. :)

Oh, and by the way I renamed it. It's now just called Cranberry Pie or that pie you always make.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best Christmas Song Ever...Maybe

Usually I can pace myself and not jump into Christmas with both feet before Thanksgiving but this year I'm just so excited about Christmas. I suspect it's because I have such great feelings from last year's Christmas. Not sure we can beat that one. (Just a note-Mary's cancer has returned even though she was declared cancer free earlier this summer.)

So, as you are shopping this year, I submit this song to play in your head as it has ours. It's so catchy and cute and so very, very true!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Momma Priorities

After I read the Children Vows (below post) I really stewed for several days. I have a hard time when someone is proud to put their career over their child (or their marriage!). I cringed when she said she wanted to frame the vows; I hoped the child couldn't read yet. How heartbreaking.

So does that mean mothers shouldn't work?

Absolutely not, it does not mean that at all. God has plans for all of us and he is mighty enough to let us in on what we should do if we simply ask. I know some awesome moms who are also successful professionals-our girls' pediatrician, my OB, our favorite labor & delivery nurse are three off the top of my head. I have no doubt these women were designed to work right where they are. But they've not ditched their jobs as mothers in the process. You can see in each of their lives that their child(ren) comes before their work.

So what should our priorities be?

Scripture does make it clear that we are to have no gods before the One True God, so it's a given that the first priority should always be God.

God made the family unit, he ordained marriage. The purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring, says the Word. The marriage is clearly the second priority, then the child(ren). Although it's a whole different post, just know that it gets ugly when this gets flip flopped and the kids come before the marriage!

What does God say about careers? Well, when the Bible talks about work, the command to do it well is near by. We are to do our work as unto the Lord, not to men. Scripture doesn't say what work, it just assumes we will. It doesn't say paid or unpaid either.

So if God didn't put an emphasis on climbing the ladder, then why should we? It seems a life of integrity coupled with a strong work ethic will usually result in favor on the job. The focus isn't on the end, it's the means. The Christian life is all about the means, by the way...

And just what if someone doesn't really care what God says about family, careers and such? Well, even the mainstream world recognizes family is more important than a career. How many times have you heard it said that you won't look back on your life and wish you'd spent more time at work?

I'll close it up with this-my priorities get messed up, too. Maybe not regarding family and career, but in other ways. Shifting priorities into their rightful spot is constant WORK. But it's the kind of work that blesses our families and that's what mommas are called to do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I am in a local doula yahoo group-well, as local as the Dallas area is for me (that's not really that local). Sometime last week a doula sent out an email explaining her "Children Vows".

I wish I could just print the whole thing here, but I won't. Here's the gist: This momma and her baby daddy wrote some vows about how they'd behave as parents. You might think this means they'd try to not yell, or that they'd provide a good education, religious upbringing or some such thing. Well, that's not exactly what you'd find here. It was mostly about self preservation and not letting a new little human in the family rock their boat. This bullet is what I think the bottom line
was for them:

Our priorities are as follows: Career, marriage, child.

She goes on to say, "Each of us promises not to sacrifice his/her career for the child. It may be necessary to cut back on work to raise the child, but our overall career goals should always be kept in mind. Raising the child "perfectly" is not more important than a satisfying career." Note that she didn't have a career while writing the vows.

Later in the email she admits they were utterly clueless (weren't we all!) but only about their focus on travel. Just where you think she's going to turn it around and say she had no idea parenthood could be more fulfilling than a career, she instead vows to frame the document within the week.

As I've mulled this over, I've come to the following possible conclusions:
1. She may still feel very strongly that a career comes first (even though she's now a "professional parent".

2. She may not have realized she's had a values shift in the way she thinks she's living verses the way she is really living. Staying at home and homeschooling is sure a sacrifice to career goals, even for a flexible doula.

3. Many of us probably have one idea of the way we think we live, which is at least in a bit of contrast to how we really live. I am fully guilty here. I believe I am fairly active and eat pretty well, but the truth is my day consists of lots of sitting down (rocking babies, teaching school) and some of the food we eat weekly is quite inferior. And that's just ONE example of many. I assure you.

I believe I'll do a follow up to this post later in the week...until then!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How's life going for you? Yeah, it's been busy for me too.

Actually, my life is always busy because I can't not be busy. It's how I'm wired. I've added a baby (a year ago already!) and am working on starting a new business. I've added students to my little homeschool. I've joined Facebook. Yeah. I know...

So where does that leave my little blog?

I'm not ready to let it go. Not yet. But I can't do it all.

Most of my friends & family are on Facebook. So my socializing & family updating is taken care of over there. I've just about run out of expertise on homeschooling and healthy lifestyles, and I'm not putting all my doula knowledge out here for free! Ha! :)

But like I said, I'm not quite ready to let allgirlville go.

If you all would send my mom & husband emails every day to remind them that my laptop won't connect to the internet, then maybe I could sit back in my recliner (not that I actually own one) and blog...

Yep, that would do it!

Meanwhile, I do hope to drop back in here more often. Give me some feedback-are you still reading?