Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Address!'s been a long time (almost two years) since I've posted on my blog. And coming back to it... it just didn't feel like it felt quite right.

So I began a new (and hopefully improved) blog...because sometimes it's just too difficult to pick up from where you left off.

I hope you'll join me in this new of it may seem similar to this blog, and others will be brand new. If you are so inclined, you can find me here.

Hope to hear from you soon! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Foodie Non-Friday: Lemon Blueberry Bread

So I truly don’t know what’s up with all the cooking (ok, mostly baking) I’ve  been doing lately but aren’t you lovely folks fortunate to reap the benefits of it?

Well, actually my family is b/c they get to eat whatever is tasty (it’s not ALL been tasty…lest I lead you on about my cooking overall).

But you get kitchen-tested, Always Random Family-approved recipes.

And this lovely little number is no exception.

And you can totally trust us because we have eaten about 2 loaves of it in the past 24 hours.

Don’t judge.

So I am certain you all are asking: “What prompted this foray into blueberry bread…because I thought you had an aversion to whole blueberries in baked goods?”

And yes, you are correct I do have an aversion to whole blueberries in baked goods. (And don’t worry…I realize that most of you, perhaps all of you, have no idea what I am talking about, so I shall explain):

When I was a child, my mother made fresh blueberry muffins, utilizing fresh blueberries. Well, apparently I could not wait to eat one and bit into a piping hot blueberry, whose lovely juice burned, dare I say SCALDED, my tongue.

Totally my fault…I blame my mother not at all.

Now…I know, I know, you are all surely thinking, “Get over it, Dude!” but I could not completely get past it.

For years, I would only eat those crappy blueberries muffins which had used dried blueberry powder (or whatever they use)…chopped up bits of blueberry? I don’t even know, but it was how I got by.

Until yesterday…when I realized that all those pints of blueberries I bought last summer and diligently washed and froze on cookie sheets (you know…so they wouldn’t all stick together in one big pile of mush upon defrost) and then lovingly collected and placed in baggies…all those blueberries were sitting in the freezer…mocking me.

I had thought I would make some lovely cobbler or something like that…but then I remembered that I don’t care much for cobbler. Or pie…another viable option.

Disgusting, but viable.

So…I Googled “easy blueberry recipes” and much to my chagrin, the top response was for blueberry bread.


But I decided to forge ahead. Conquer my fears. Look at all this growth, right?

I looked at several recipes, but decided on this one…it had the addition of sour cream or yogurt (which I got to use my crockpot yogurt, so that was kind of fun).

Also, you may be wondering how we have eaten almost 2 loaves…because this recipe only makes one loaf. Clearly, I doubled it…I could just tell that I would love it and trust my instincts (and also, I seriously have a lot of blueberries to use too).

NOTE: I did not, however, double it when I listed it below, so you’ll have to do that higher math if you want two loaves.

Please feel free to contact me for assistance with this; I don’t mean to brag, but I am a trained professional.

So…without further delay, I give you Lemon Blueberry Bread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream, or homemade yogurt!)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons if you have the bottle…I don’t judge that)
  • NOTE: I also added a tablespoon of lemon extract, but did NOT use the glaze…I wanted more lemony flavor without the additional sugar…clearly I’m watching my caloric intake…
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Lemon Glaze (¾ cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, vanilla, eggs, sugar, yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until smooth. Do not overmix or your bread will come out tough.
  • Fold the blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. The bread will be finished when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. NOTE: If bread begins to brown too much on the top, tent with aluminum foil. I used some foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  • Once bread is finished, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the bread and then remove it from the pan; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once bread has cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Start with one tablespoon of lemon juice and whisk well. If your mixture is too thick, slowly add up to one more tablespoon of lemon juice. You want the glaze to be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to set up on the bread.
  • Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze on top of the bread. The glaze should harden up a little more after about 15-20 minutes.

Will store in an airtight container on the counter for up to five days (supposedly, but who would really my estimation it is more like 24 hours on the counter...), or freeze well for up to two months.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Foodie Non-Friday: Hill of Beans

You guys...we eat a lot of beans in our house. Beans and quinoa.

Often together. It’s yummy…you should try it.

The quinoa is expensive (but it wasn't when we first started eating I'm addicted and am willing to pay whatever the store is charging. I think that was their plan all along.).

But the beans are cheap.

I have always bought canned beans because according to the label on the shelf, the canned beans were cheaper per ounce than the dried ones.

Duh...I'll take the cheaper ones please.

But I kept hearing people talk about dried beans being cheaper. And one day the 2 pound bags of dried black beans (my favorite kind of beans…because I’m certain you were wondering) were on sale at Aldi for $1.99. So I decided to give it a whirl.

And to be fair, the unit price was still more, but I thought, "Other people can't all be wrong about dried beans, right?"

So...they have been sitting in my pantry for weeks. Mostly because...get ready for my confession here...I have never in my life prepared dried beans.


Let me pause right here and say this: I do not RECALL ever having made dried beans before. If you have known me to ever undertake such a task, please do not call me out in my comments below…I honestly do not remember. And frankly, no one should be surprised by this because really is this a memory-making activity? Probably not, unless it is eventful.

Spoiler alert: I will probably recall this experience.

And we’re back: I had heard tell that there was soaking involved. And it was just more overwhelming than I could handle.

And I had heard of "crockpot refried beans"...but again, that was intimidating for some reason.

Homemade bagels? No problem. Beans in a crockpot? Paralyzed with fear.

So, like any normal person, I avoided it.

Yes...I was avoiding beans.

Don't judge.

But then this week, I found a recipe which contained "refried beans". Now, I am not a HUGE fan of refried beans, mostly b/c of the fat content. And the "canned fat free" ones are kind of gross. As in they look and smell like canned dog food...which, I am pleased to report, I have never once found the desire to eat (neither the dog food nor the beans).

But I thought, "OK, here's my opportunity to face these dried beans once and for all. I shall Google and thusly attempt the "crockpot refried beans" (which, as it turns out, are not really fried or refried at all...who knew?).

So Google it I did and found a plethora of recipes. Argh…something else to deal with!
I waded through a few and they basically said the same thing…so I chose one and dove right in.

The conundrum (not really…that implies major issues and this was not…I just wanted to use that word) was this: my recipe called for 2 cups of beans. I was doubling my casserole recipe, so I needed 4 cups (you’re welcome, you math-impaired folks).

But the recipes I found only used two cups of beans. So clearly I had to double mine, right, which meant I needed to use the whole 2-pound bag of beans?

(If you’ve made dried beans before, you know where this is heading…please don’t spoil it for the newbies.)

So…the recipe I ended up using said to put 2 cups of beans in the crockpot (as well as other ingredients), and 6 cups of water. Which I thought seemed like quite a bit, but as I read through the recipe, blah blah blah, it mentioned something about “draining the excess water” (which I could only imagine would be a lot…) so I wasn’t worried.

NOTE: you DO NOT soak the beans ahead of time!

Though I did only put in 10 cups of water in with my 4 cups of beans instead of 12 cups (lest I truly be doubling it…), because, well, 10 would be MORE than ample, right?

But I am getting ahead of myself a bit, so instead of backing up, I shall fast forward (mostly because it has taken me 3 days to get this little, drivel bit of writing done and I need to pull the rip cord on it) and tell you this: they turned out just lovely with the right amount of liquid (no need to drain any off, but the beans were not too dry either).

However…they made a lot. The word “gargantuan” comes to mind. As you probably have discerned by this point, they soaked up all that water, leaving me with 10 cups of “refried” beans, instead of the 4 I actually needed.

So yeah…we’ve been eating some beans this week. A lot of beans…anyone want to come over for some beans?

Now, because I’ve really sold it here (they were good…just overly-bountiful), here is the recipe in the original ratios for you.


  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups beans (I used black, but the original called for pinto)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced,
  • ½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups water

  • Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot.
  • Cook on high for 8 hours (so either overnight for those who love some refried beans first thing in the morning, or during the day)
  • Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain any excess liquid (as mentioned, I had no excess liquid…you can save some of the liquid to add back in if needed after mashing)
  • Using a potato masher, mash the beans and tah-dah! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Foodie Non-Friday: Homemade Bagels...Because Clearly I Have That Kind of Time

So yeah...I haven't been around much lately. It's not for lack of wanting. It's mostly for lack of material.

That which I would like to write I cannot (by law and such...) so I haven't written.

Except my clever, some may call them pithy (I know you beloved readers would never...haters, they're gonna hate), posts on FB (You can "like" Mrs. Always Random on FB...did you know that? Tell your friends!)

Frankly it's the best my brain can do for the moment.

I'm ok with that because I know that other good stuff is going on in the lives of our family and the time I previously devoted to you, my lovely readers, is now devoted to The Little Man.

Someday, he will probably leave us and I'll be back to blogging more. (I'm sure you are all screaming, "WHEN? How soon can he leave? We MISS your beautiful and eloquent writing, Mrs. Always Random!" and to you I reply, "Patience, dear children...all in due time...")

I must confess that in addition to taking care of The Little Man, I have also been filling some of my time with extra attention to my kitchen.

And trying to cook a little bit healthier.

And fresher.

Christmas was kind of killer, I'll be honest...I'm trying to get back on the wagon.

I made yogurt for the first time in a few weeks...I have missed it.

My digestive system has also missed it...(Too much info too soon? Come come, we are among friends...)

And I've also introduced kale into our diets...much to my family's chagrin. I blame my friend MM, who apparently puts it in "everything".

("Kale is a super-food and it's special power is tasting bad..." ~ Jim Gaffigan...I know I have shared this before it bears repeating...)

So not to be outdone by MM, I, too, have, also begun using it.

Just to be clear, I have not put it in "everything"...mostly salad at this point.

And it's on the menu in the black bean and kale soup for later this week...I'll keep you posted. ("And I wanted to throw the bowl at her...")

But I didn't come here today to talk about kale.

I came to talk about homemade bagels...because who doesn't love that? Well, I suppose if you have committed to not eating carbs, or are gluten-free...but you don't have to be such a can still read and enjoy. Promise.

So yeah, I made bagels from scratch this afternoon. Because I have that kind of sit around and wait for dough to rise.

And boiling water.

And boiling bagels (for one more, no less, apparently).

And baking bagels.

All just so they can be eaten.

OK, so I don't actually have that kind of time...but I blame my friend JP for posting the link I am about to post below. He posted it on his wife's FB page.

I didn't stop to ask if it was a joke, although knowing his wife, it probably was not. And she probably has made them. More than once. And they were amazing.

Because she's amazing...and I'm not just saying that because we're friends.

But I am not her. And I don't typically "make bread" unless it is a) a quick bread (which is really just cake that we eat for one is fooled here), or b) in the bread machine (which only requires me to put a list of ingredients in a specific order into a machine and hit a couple buttons. And in 4 hours voila...delicious bread).

In fact, I had to text the aforementioned MM (who is quite a domestic goddess...she cooks, she sews...I would kind of hate her if I didn't love her) to ask about using my Kitchenaid mixer for the dough. The picture in the link below (you'll see...I know, I'm such a tease) shows the paddle when it mentions "kneeding"...but I thought the bread hook (which, let's be clear, I had NEVER used prior to today...look at me being so brave). So she told me she uses the bread hook and then kneeds by hand.

Well, I'll go ahead and tell you that I used the paddle to mix and the bread hook to kneed and my hands never touched the dough until it was time to roll it into the greased bowl for rising. (which, I must add, was NOT a step she included, but in looking at the pictures, it appears that she did case you didn't know, when the dough is mixed and kneeded, you scrape it into a ball and put it in a well-oiled bowl...and then you turn it over so the top of the dough is also oiled and won't dry out when it's rising.)

Also (and she didn't mention this so I thought I would) you should cover the bowl as the dough is rising. will take about an hour or more for the dough to rise...important tip to know for all you fellow non-bread bakers out there.

Just so my mom doesn't feel that all my childhood was in vain, I did have a niggling memory from childhood of making bread with her (or maybe I watched...I don't recall that part exactly, but she probably had me help)...but I remember a big bowl that was green on the outside and white on the inside and that's what she used to let the dough rise, and I remember it being covered with a towel. So looky-there mom! Aren't you so proud?

So now after all this build-up, I shall give you the link I used. Sure, I could have just written out the steps for you myself...but I do not have the kind of time that would here you go:

My homemade bagel reference!


Well, please let me continue with my story...because we you may have recalled, I was only at the "letting the dough rise" portion of the event.

And yes, it was an event.

A couple other things I would like to mention before you jump on the bagel-making bandwagon:

* Don't forget about the oiled bowl for rising...and cover it too.
The "rising" part of the dough will take at least an don't rush it!
* Have some flour accessible to coat your hands when shaping the dough.
* Give plenty of time to get your water up to boiling...and use a larger pot otherwise it will feel as though this part takes forever.
* You can add all sorts of goodies to the bagel dough but I made plain for my maiden voyage.
* Your bagels will NOT be pretty...but they will be delish.

Thanks for stopping by!

My finished product...yes, some of them look a little bit scary.
And yes, all that work for 11 bagels.
But the PBA and Mr. AR all said they were "very good" so I think it's totally worth it...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Little Man's Christmas Letter

Before I begin, I know that some of you don’t know about me yet. These people call me The Little Man. Or sometimes Prince Charming…I don’t mean to brag, but I charm most of the people I meet.

I came to stay with these people at the end of August (my parents had some trouble taking care of me so I am staying here until, well, I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be here). Just to clarify, I call them “The Lady,” “That Man,” and the 13yo and the 11yo. The lady and that man haven’t really told me what to call them yet so that’s what I’m going with until they do.

And since I haven’t been with them for most of the year, I’m not entirely sure why they asked me to write this letter…I figure it’s because they can’t remember most of their year either so this way they have an excuse for why stuff is missing.

Just blame the baby, apparently.

I will say, though, that they have mentioned little bits of things and being that I am super-smart  with a somewhat advanced vocabulary (in spite of the fact that I am just 6 months old), I have held on to these bits of info and shall now relay them to you.

First I will tell you about the two boring people in the house:

That Man and The Lady
That Man continues to work in the same field at the same company, CMT.  I don’t know what he does but he leaves most days when it is dark out and gets home when it is dark out. He also coached the 11yo’s basketball team last winter and is coaching his team again this season.

In addition, he helped with several projects at church this year, including (but not limited to) painting, cleaning (think “cleaning out/purging”…more than your cursory cleaning), and more painting. And then some more painting. Let me put it this way…he wasn’t in charge of the painting, but most people thought he was.

The Lady has been busy for the past few months taking care of me and homeschooling the PBA. She has also been doing some freelance writing this year for a couple local magazines. Her dad (who is a photographer) has taken all the pictures for her stories, and even though she hasn’t admitted it to him, she enjoys working with her dad. I can tell.

Over Easter week-end, the lady and that man had their first foster kiddo placement that didn’t go so well.  It was two little girls who had been in the system a few times and I think we can just leave it at that.

This fall, the lady and that man began a study called “7: A Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker with their Hope Group from church. In August (the first of 7 months), they could only eat 7 foods for the month. Granted, they chose the foods, but it still seems a little bit crazy. I mean, I only have one thing I ever get to eat but still…when you have such an array of options, I really don’t know why you would limit yourself. I think it had something to do with simplifying their lives and being thankful for what they do have and considering people around the world who have less than 7 foods to eat all the time…not just for a month. I think that’s what they said, anyway…

They are currently on Month Four: Media, having already done Month Two: Clothes (wearing only 7 articles of clothing for the month…not including skivvies, workout clothes and jammies, just in case you were wondering…oh, and apparently it’s fun  when you have an urpy baby in the house too) and Month Three: Possessions (giving away at least 7 possessions a day for the month, and being intentional about where they are going instead of boxing it all up and sending it to Goodwill). 

Give them a call or send an email if you want to hear more about this craziness, or any other craziness, in their lives.

The 13yo and The 11yo
The 13yo played basketball for the first time last winter. Although he did a great job, he decided that playing organized ball is not really for him; he will stick to shooting baskets at the gym just for fun. He continues to excel at soccer, traveling the state for games and tournaments. And this summer he experienced his first “overnight” camp at Camp Lakeview, near Seymour, Indiana. He loved it and can’t wait to go back next year. He turned 13 over the summer as well and suddenly he knew everything. I can’t wait until I turn 13!

The 11yo played his fourth season of basketball last winter and just began his fifth season a couple weeks ago . He plays lacrosse too, which is only in the spring… I haven’t seen this game played yet but it sounds a little dangerous. Boys running around a field with sticks they can use to catch the ball and also hit each other with. On second thought, I think I might be in! In February, he had 10 teeth (yes, you read that correctly) extracted (they were all baby teeth, but some were anklosed, which means the roots had not dissolved and had actually fused to the jaw bone) and then he got braces.  He was confined to a Pacers basketball daycamp this year, as the lady wasn’t ready to let him go away for a week just yet. It might also be that the lady didn’t think Camp Lakeview was ready for him. But I’m a little fuzzy on the details…I am only 6 months old, you know.

Over the summer, the boys took a “Safe Sitter” class offered through a local hospital. They learned basic first aid, CPR and how to change a baby’s diaper. Lucky for them, I provided a much more accurate version of a baby than those teddy bears they were using…I include wiggling, rolling and grabbing my feet for an extra added challenge. They do a fabulous job helping the lady and that man take care if me…I don’t think I could ask for better brothers if they were my own flesh and blood.

The PBA began school at the end of July…yes, it seemed early to me too, but these crazy homeschoolers decided to stay on the same calendar as the public school kids…whatever “school” is.

And both boys began art lessons. The 13yo LOVES them and the 11yo, well not so much. The lady says they are “a lesson in humility” for him. I think she’s a really good mom.
Over Fall Break, they all went on vacation to Hilton Head Island; I got to take my own little “trip” to stay with another foster family.  I think they had fun…their skin was darker than mine before they went and it was REALLY dark (compared to mine, which isn’t saying a whole lot b/c I am kinda, really pale…) when they got back.

The Little Man
Let’s see…now to me. I was born in May but the Always Random Family didn’t know about me until August.  On the last day of their first month of “7” (actually as they were “celebrating” with their Hope Group by indulging in some pizza), they got the placement call for me. They had to go downtown and pick me up from the hospital…after, of course, they had a lesson in how to feed me with an NG tube.

So I’ve been with them ever since. I see my mom a few times a week and go to the doctor about once a week too, since I was less than 10 pounds when they got me as a 3-month old…they have to make sure I am growing as I should. I still haven’t figured out how to swallow without gagging so I am having surgery next week to get my g-tube put in. They think I’ll be able to figure out this whole “eating by mouth” business when I don’t have a tube running down my throat all the time. I sure am interested in what other people are eating, so maybe that will help me out too. I hate to ask, but prayers for me would be greatly appreciated.

I think that covers all the basics. Now just to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


The Little Man (and the Always Random Family too!)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Foodie Friday: Pistachio Bread

So because I have so much extra time to bake lately, I thought I would include a Foodie Friday post for you lovely people.

When we were on vacation, back in October (was that REALLY almost 2 months ago?!?), at The Indigo Inn (you surely recall my trip down memory lane about Larry, right?), we had fabulous breakfasts.

Fabulous, I tell you.

My mouth is watering as I type. Don’t judge.

But…one thing none of us had previously encountered was a quick bread that was bright green.

I am talking GREEN.

But it was ah-mazing. I can’t even tell you what was so wonderful about it but it was divine.

Insert watering mouth again.

When I got home, I Googled it and found it…it was pistachio bread. And please don’t ask me HOW I Googled it b/c just now (for purely journalistic reasons…I like to be full-service, you know) I wanted to be able to report to my adoring fans exactly WHAT I Googled…but now I can’t find it.

Trust me…that was it.

So there were actually MANY recipes for it (which were actually, basically variations on a theme), but I went with the one on the Betty Crocker website.  Odd, right? Nope…they are all based on a cake mix.

So while this technically may be a cake, we are calling it a “bread”…which means we are free to eat it for breakfast or a snack with no major caloric ramifications.

Don’t quote me on that last part, as I may be mistaken…it’s what I am personally claiming, but you do what you feel is best.

Two things to note: I have not made this in loaf pans as the recipe instructs…I actually used a bunt pan (which the spelling on that looks incorrect…I want to put a “d” in there: “bundt” pan. But I get a red squiggly line under it, so clearly I am mistaken…

But I still maintain that it is NOT a cake.

Also note that it is NOT bright green. Far from it, in fact…I am making the presumption that a generous amount of food coloring was added to the bread at The Indigo Inn. I don’t judge their use of artificial color…but I chose not to employ it in my cake…I mean BREAD!
I have included directions for both loaf pans (it makes two loaves if using the loaf pans) and bunt pans.

So now…without further delay:

  • 1 yellow cake mix (I used the butter yellow but yellow would be lovely too!)
  • 1 box instant pistachio pudding (I used a small box b/c that's all I could find...and I had to go to 3 grocery stores to find it...)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 pint sour cream (which is also 1 cup...I don't know why Betty Crocker listed it that way...just to be confusing, I guess, or making it simple for the math-impared)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts or pecans (I omitted these b/c not everyone at my house would like it with nuts, but I think it would be lovely)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease the pans (or pan singular if you're making a bunt...seems obvious but I like to point it out nonetheless)
  • Blend cake mix, pudding mix, oil, sour cream, eggs and water with a mixer until blended (I recommend on low speed).
  • In another bowl mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon
  • Start with a layer of the bread mixture, then sprinkle on the nut mixture, another layer of bread mixture, and at the end sprinkle the top with the nut mixture and marble it all with a knife through the batter.
  • NOTE: This does not have to be exact as far as the layers as long as you distribute it in both loaves and then marble.
  • Bake for one hour for loaves or 50 minutes for the bunt pan; or when toothpick comes clean.

I do not add a glaze or anything to it, but a nice one made of just powdered sugar and water might be nice. And maybe sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top as well? Try it and get back to me on it, ok?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Mutiny Month 4 Day 1: Media

As you may or may not recall, we are working our way through “7: The Mutiny” with our Hope Group. Here’s a little “overview” if you missed it when we began.

Thus far, we have made it through, I mean experienced…Food, Clothes and Possessions.

And now, today, we begin Media.

Food was by far the toughest…but we are already back to eating all the things we were really sick of by the end of that month. Choosing what to make for dinner became a real breeze. I kind of miss that.

Wearing the same 7 articles of clothes for a month wasn’t too terrible and even the day after we were finished with that fast, I found myself still wanting to wear the same things. Plus it made getting dressed in the morning uber-simple. Granted, we didn’t include workout clothes and jammies in our 7 articles, and with an urpy (putting it mildly) baby in the house, those were gifts we were thankful to have.

Possessions: I don’t think I even wrote about this one. Mostly b/c I wasn’t doing much writing, but also because I don’t think I did this one as well. I know I gave up the designated amount of 196 items (for my math-impaired friends, this equals 7 items a day for 28 days) but I know there is much work yet to be done in that area so I will continue to wade through my possessions.

Which brings us now to Media.

We decided not to skip the two weeks between fasts this time…mostly b/c we are so shallow as to not want to miss all the Christmas specials and such; staying the course, we will finish this month on December 19, just in time to squeeze in all those movies before December 25.

So clearly we still have some heart issues which need to be addressed…and I put myself at the top of the list of “who needs the most work”.

So what is the point of this month? My interpretation of the chapter is that it is to spend time in prayer, Bible study, and with family NOT staring at a screen together. Not that it is bad to watch TV or a movie together, but if that is your ONLY family time, it might be a problem.

Sorry if you feel judged…it’s not my intent. Mostly it’s about my/our conviction. Your conviction is totally on you. And God...I advise you to take it up with him.

So what are our rules? I won’t even tell you her rules because they are kind of cray-cray. We, as a group, we bent some, and then I bent them even more. So here are my rules, in no particular order:

  • I am refraining from Facebook (OK, I am allowing myself one visit and possible post to it per day…but even then it might not be even that often. I shall try…)
  • No Instagram.
  • We get seven hours of tv/movie time/week. We are not holding our kids to this (as in my family is not…I don’t know about the other families, actually), but we will not be watching TV together as a family every evening. We might have to bust out the euchre cards again. Wahoo!
  • Email as need for family business, work, etc. No superfluous emailing.
  • Same goes for texting. (Ugh…I am not sure how I will survive. How did I live prior to the text?!?)
  • I knew that I would be so filled with blog ideas in these 28 days that I could not take my blogging away…but I don’t plan to READ any blogs during this time. Which actually won’t be too too different from what I have been doing since The Little Man arrived, but still. I am intentionally refraining rather than simply being too busy.
  • Radio…I am choosing to only listen to Christian stations or Christmas…which should overlap but doesn’t always. I don’t think Dominick the Christmas Donkey is one we’ve ever sung in church. I could be mistaken, though, so don’t quote me on it…
  • No gaming…which is not a problem for me. Which may be why I included it.
  • We are allowing 7 minutes/day of superfluous internet access, which will be when I load my blog post into Blogger. (And check my FB.)
  • Also, I am not considering online shopping for Christmas in my 7 minutes a day…the way I figure it is this: if I can shop online and not have to either a) drag 1-3 boys out shopping with me, or b) go in the evenings or week-ends when Mr. AR is home, this will exponentially increase the amount of time we get to spend together so it seems like the “broken rule” that makes the most sense.

So with that, I will wrap up by telling you how I have failed in this experiment already. On Day 1.

When I was doing Christmas shopping online, my 11yo was watching “Elf” in the adjoining room…I tried not to listen but I couldn’t help it. Technically I didn’t “watch” it but I’ve seen it so many times I could picture it all in my mind. And maybe say the lines along with the movie. Don’t judge.

When we took the boys shopping at the actual mall (yes, I online shopped and then made them actually go to real live stores), I tried to get on the wifi to check Facebook…because I forgot about “7”.  Fortunately, the connection was slow so it never did connect.

But as I sat there waiting for Mr. AR and the 11yo to meet up with us, I sat mindlessly watching a TV that was set up there…because I couldn’t get on the wifi. So 6 of one, half dozen of another, right?

So yeah…it might be a long long month. If I have time, I’m sure you’ll read all about it. Lucky you!