Did have a nice encouraging post on motherhood brewing but I had to skip it in lieu of a comment on this Miss California controversy. In the pageant, she was asked about her beliefs on gay marriage by Perez Hilton. She answered the question honestly and he exploded. I just heard him on the Today show and he actually said that people should leave their politics at the door of the pageant and be relevant to all Americans, blah blah blah blah. I was in shock. If you don't want to hear a political answer or someone's personal opinion on a politically-charged topic, don't ask a political question. What he was saying was so incredibly moronic...if you are too much of a baby to handle the truth, D-O-N-'T A-S-K. What a little brat...get over it! It's YOUR fault this whole thing happened!



1 Sing, choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ,
your sweetest notes employ
the paschal victory to hymn
in songs of holy joy,
in songs of holy joy,
in songs of holy joy!

2 For Judah's Lion burst his chains
and crushed the serpent's head,
and crushed the serpent's head;
Christ cries aloud through death's domains
to wake the imprisoned dead,
to wake the imprisoned dead,
to wake the imprisoned dead.

3 Triumphant in his glory now
to him all power is given,
to him all power is given;
to him in one communion bow
all saints in earth and heaven,
all saints in earth and heaven,
all saints in earth and heaven.

4 All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory to the Son,
all glory to the Spirit be
while endless ages run,
while endless ages run,
while endless ages run.

Happy Easter!


Right of Conscience in Medicine - Sign Petition

Please go to www.freedom2care.org and click on the top where it says “Patients-comment here” to help us in this fight. This will lead you through a process where you can register your disagreement with the proposed changes.


Menu Planning for April

So as I mentioned in my last menu planning post, I have been focusing on meals that can be prepared in advance of dinnertime. And I have to say: it's working so well! We are all so much happier and very well-fed. It helps with my sanity, makes for a much more fun and free afternoon and enables us all to eat together. The Buffalo Chicken Lasagna that I made last month was fabulous and so was the Baked Spaghetti (the latter is going to be a repeat for April). The Farmhouse Chicken was a huge hit - you should make it, your family will thank you!

The only "problem" is that I have had to be more creative and organized with my recipes and I don't really mind that one bit! Right now I'm working on a way to compile all the "winners" into a notebook or some other other printable format so that I can access the hard copies easily and I'm going to try to plan one month's worth of recipes at a time, taking a cue from Simple Mom's recent post on this topic (love this blog!). I didn't really use any of her recipes but I used her idea to plan a theme for each day.

M0ndays - pasta
Tuesdays - soup, salad, and/or sandwiches
Wednesdays - stir fry
Thursdays - crock pot or casserole
Sunday - easy

So today, I printed off a blank calendar for the month of April and started filling it in. I used the cookbook Southern Living Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites as my main source for this month and found more than enough recipes to fill in every spot! Unfortunately, most of these recipes are not online but if they pass the test, I'm going to add them to my file. And if you're nice, I might just figure out a way to upload the finished product to this blog! My own cookbook of sorts...fun!

So here is a sampling of what's on the menu -

Cheddar-Bacon twice baked potatoes (can be frozen!), salad
Mexican Chicken Soup (didn't get around to making it last month but it sounds fabulous!)
Chicken Spaghetti Bake
Sloppy Joe Squares, roasted carrots
Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Ham & Swiss Muffins (double the recipe, freeze half), fruit
Cheeseburger meatloaf, asparagus
Asian Chicken Stirfry
Cauliflower Soup (I made this last month and forgot to mention it...it was a huge hit. Elliot loved it and so did the friends we shared it with!)

To make things easier, I sometimes make the dish vegetarian and omit the meat. Like tonight I made a delicious taco casserole (from the same cookbook) and used black beans instead of ground beef and honestly, you couldn't even tell! Ryan loved it and didn't even notice that the meat was missing. Charlie thought it was too spicy but Elliot ate more it than I did. Anyway, you really can do this on dishes like this where meat is just one ingredient. I always add a bit of olive oil, though, just to add some yummy fat.

I also never measure spices. I just add some and taste, add some and taste. That saves a lot of time and means less mess to clean up. I've never had a problem doing this.

For all of the recipes above, the prep work will be done in advance and just baked or warmed at dinnertime.



Politcs, The Environment & Such

As I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago, I'm really curious about why non-black Christians would vote for Obama. Seriously, I've been wanting to know. And I've been trying to find out. I've come across some black Obama supporters and honestly, I think that they have a different perspective. Their excitement over his rise to power, at least in the cases of the folks I've talked to, really did overpower any other reasons. And I'm fine with that (or at least mostly fine with it...as fine as I can be, I guess...). At least it's a reason. Anyway, here is an excerpt from the online exchange I had recently with an avid Obama supporter:

THEM: In terms of liking Obama....Well first I have to say that race never entered into it for me. I only mention that because you asked why a "white Christian" would vote for him. The color of his skin wasn't an issue for me either way, BUT once he was elected, I allowed my kids to stay home from school to watch his inauguration because I felt like it was so significant historically to watch a non-white become President.I have been impressed with Obama (his blunder last night aside) from the first time I saw him speak, I think it was in 2004. I agree with his position and ideas on the environment. I LOVE his stance on disabilities (http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/DisabilityPlanFactSheet.pdf). I am comfortable with his plan to get us out of the Iraq tar-baby that Bush-Cheney got us into, not to mention the end of Guantanamo. The big question most people have is about abortion. Honestly, I do NOT think most so-called pro-life politicians are going to do a thing to lower abortion rates. It hasn't happened yet, and frankly, if they did overturn Roe v Wade, they would have nothing to campaign on. I think they know that, and I think they will never really act to turn back that clock. I feel like a better anti-abortion strategy is to work toward incentives to NOT need an abortion. Sex education. Adoption credits. Things like that. So basically, abortion is a non-issue for me politically. Anyway, that's a brief synopsis of my thoughts on it! :)

ME: Thanks for enlightening me as to your position. I don't care either way about the race issue either, I only mentioned it because it was def. a factor in this election. And the only Christians that I heard give a reason for their choice happened to be black and honestly, I thought their perspective was skewed.I am def. impressed with him...speakers and leaders like him do not come around very often. So I agree with you on that for sure.I most disagree with his socialist philosophy and economic plans. This is what really scares me more than anything else, honestly. What he says and does is so contrary to the ideals on which our country was founded and looking at history, socialism does not work. People are not motivated by their own innate goodness and any philosophies or way of life that depends on humans consistently doing the right thing just for the right things' sake will undoubtedly fail. And my experience with socialized medicine (military health care) has just proved that all the more in my mind.I do agree with you about the abortion thing and it is really a card that people like to throw down as a mandate to vote Republican BUT that being said, he does seem to me to be on a campaign against the sanctity of life in general: ending stem cell ban, lifting the ban on overseas funding of abortion, and trying to void the Health Workers' 'Conscience' Rule, just to name a few (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701104.html, http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/03/07/obama-to-end-stem-cell-ban-monday.html, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/23/obama-lift-ban-overseas-abortion-funding/). I could never support anyone who did those things, ever...and that's also why I can't really be a Libertarian. :) And just for fun, I say the same thing about Democrats and the environment that you say about Republicans and abortion. I think the environment is the Democrat's abortion and I don't see either party really making a difference. As an aside, I do care about the environment and really try to do my part...

What do I say to that argument? Weak. Basically, she was overpowered by his charisma. That's how I take it anyway.

So I'm still on my quest for answers but this proves to me even more that people just fell in love with Obama and voted for him. Amazing.

Anyway, the environment. I do care about it and we in the Moody house are trying to do our part...

My kids are really messy eaters. Both of them. So in lieu of giving baths after every meal or using an entire package of wipes or 15 paper towels, I use one washcloth per day, per kid. I have a special set of washcloths that are used for this purpose and they aren't used for anything else. This is quite a major waste savings and I'm proud of it! I just tossed the old washcloths into the rag bin in the garage and bought new ones today. This is only my second set of kitchen washcloths since becoming a mother so I think I'm doing pretty good. And this is really an easy way to reduce and reuse...

More on this later.

ps: I don't think everyone who voted for Obama is off their rocker, I promise. If someone told me that they voted for Obama because they wanted "change" I would accept that answer. I don't agree, but I would accept it as legit. Just FYI.


Charlie is 3?

Dear Charlie,

Are you really THREE YEARS OLD? I just can't believe how quickly the time has passed. But I also can't really remember my life before you joined it. I have loved watching you grow and change and I am so thankful for every single day that I get to spend with you!

In honor of this your third birthday, I want you to know my three favorite things about you:

1. I just love how big your heart is. You love me, Elliot and your Daddy so much. "Mommy, I love you all your heart" is something I am privileged to hear quite often and don't worry, I know what you mean. :) It melts my heart each and every time I hear it. You get so excited to see Daddy and you constantly ask me where he is and what he is doing, even though I know that you already know the answers. And Elliot: wow, you have sure opened your heart to him and have done such an amazing job of sharing your parents. We are so proud of you!

Just a quick story: one day a few weeks ago, when I was writing thank-you notes for Elliot's birthday presents, you picked up a card and pretended to dictate a letter. It went like this: "Dear Mommy and Daddy, I love you 22. Love, Charlie" That was precious!

2. I love how much you talk. You make us laugh so hard by saying the most hilarious things! Too bad I didn't take everyone's advice and write them down to include here...that would have been a real treat. Anyway, you also say some words in a really funny way, "thank you" ("tang tu") is a great example. We hope that you never stop saying it.

3. I love having you as my constant companion. I am rarely lonely now that you are a little person. You love reading and learning with me, and we always have lots to talk about it. You also notice the things I do around the house and are always very curious about and appreciative of anything I sew or make. Thank you for that.
You really enjoy life and that is what makes you so special and such a pleasure so share experiences with (remember the night we went to the circus--picture is below--and before I could stop you, right there in Mellow Mushroom, you drew a "clown nose" on your face with my red pen). The smallest of things puts a huge grin on your face and your appreciation for life is contagious. You have a real gift.

So precious boy, on this your third birthday, we hope you know how deeply you are loved. We are so privileged to be your parents!



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Obama to End Stem Cell Ban Monday