Friday, June 26, 2009

Sneak Peek at our "New" Home

We are still up to our ears in boxes. Hmmm, maybe just up to our waists now. I took a few pictures of our upstairs recently. Since then I have almost finished painting the master bedroom, have half the craft room painted with shelves up on one wall, and have added details to the girls' room. I LOVE their room. It is the perfect all-girl room for their ages (10 1/2 & nearly 13). I'll add pics when I get finished painting & have things a tad more organized. The downstairs, well, it may take more time before it's blog-able!

This is where the royalty sleep: The Princess and the Queen (DRAMA Queen that is)

This is where the staff live, uh, I mean our bedroom/office. The room is 15 1/2 ft. x 15 1/2 ft. I love it!

This is the first part of our Energizer Bunny closet (to which everyone replies either "WOW" or "I'm so jealous!"). I didn't show the bathroom because it's so small if you blinked for a second you might miss it.

The closet that keeps going...

and going...

and going. It's 70 sq. ft. of closet. Our bedrooms weren't that big at our other house, I'm sure!

!The craft room in transition.

This concludes our tour for today. Be sure to join us again for another look at the Garrisons ever changing home. (hee-hee!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

What is up with kids' movies?

Paul Blart Mall Cop. Well, maybe not a KIDS' movie, but a PG movie with previews shown on kids' TV. We first saw the preview at the movies when we went to see HSM3 (High School Musical). It looked like a cute movie about a Mall Security guard who wants to be a police officer. Finally, there is some big theft at the mall & he comes face to face with real criminals. The ads made it look hilarious with lots of slapstick humor. Not so.

Within the first 15 minutes:
  • Mockery of being overweight
  • Grandmother setting up her son on an online dating sort & "beefing up" his resume (lying)
  • Dad (the Mall Cop, Paul) fixating on a young blonde girl (he looks to be mid 40's, she about 20)
  • words with a sexual insinuation
  • Women in Victoria's secret fighting over a push-up bra
  • large woman attacking Paul, showing her back with shirt lifted & just bra showing
  • Paul flirting with the blonde girl when he is supposed to be working.
  • Another mall employee mocking Paul's weight in front of blonde girl
  • Paul taking girl on a ride on his Segway, a VERY small scooter where they were in VERY close contact.
  • curse words
I left to go upstairs to see who the cute girl was playing the part. I assumed this part would end and it would move on to the funny stuff we saw in the ads. Moments later Natalie came up to tell me they'd stopped the movie b/c they guy went to a bar and got drunk.

Okay, so that may all be typical stuff for a Hollywood movie (though I personally don't enjoy watching it), but why promote it to kids?

This summer I'm in a Bible Study using a book called "The Five Conversations you must have with your Daughter." Maybe it's due to that, but maybe not, that I am picking up on more of Hollywood's balogna that they are tossing out to our kids. Let kids be kids! Don't force all this garbage on them.

Stepping off my soapbox, but not too far away. I'm sure I will find more to talk about soon. LOL!

Gluten Free and PC

When we first suspected Bethany had some form of autism, I put her on a gluten-free, casein free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (all forms, including spelt), barley, and rye (try telling this Swedish girl she can't have Limpa bread----WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!). Casein is a protein found in milk (unlike lactose, which is the milk sugar). That was not long after I started my Pampered Chef business. Later, we had her tested for food sensitivities & found out she is moderately sensitive to gluten, but does fine with casein (and lactose for that matter). Then along came my surprising diagnosis of Celiac Disease which meant NO gluten. Not just "don't eat gluten for a while, then you can add it in." It means NO GLUTEN EVER. Why not? Well, besides the unpleasant aromas it produces when my stomach can't digest it (ahem), untreated Celiac Disease (ie eating gluten when you have Celiac disease) WILL, not might, but WILL lead to lymphoma. That was enough to scare me out of cheating on the diet. No, a crumb will not send me into the chemotherapy clinic, but it's just easier to avoid it totally. Some people DO react to as small as a crumb of gluten.

As a Pampered Chef consultant who owned every baking stone PC made, my question was, "Can I still use my baking stones and be gluten free?" A friend just asked me this question, so I am going to tell you what PC told me, then I will tell you what I think. PC's response to this question was that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that any gluten would remain on a stone once it has been cleaned. However, if you own a baking stone, you know that they build up a coating on them the way that an iron skillet does. It's called "seasoning." You also know that PC says not to use soap on stones for 2 reasons: 1) It breaks down the seasoning on the stone and 2) your stone will absorb the soap and food will taste like soap. For the record, I have put soap on my stones and have not felt like I was having my mouth washed out with soap when I ate, but I do not use a lot of soap. I normally only do this if the stone is super greasy and even baking soda scrubs don't get rid of the grease. So, back to gluten. Because Pampered Chef cannot be 100% sure that all gluten is removed, they do not recommend cooking/baking with the same stone for gluten-free cooking that you used for gluten cooking.

For the person who owns a "pizza stone" and maybe one other stone, this isn't a big deal. Order a new large round stone, or host a party & get some stones cheaper. For the person who owns every stone, and sells Pampered Chef to get free products because I can't buy them full price (though they are worth every penny, just don't have that in our budget), this just isn't a reality. So, I do use the same stones for both, but I am sure to thoroughly scrub my stones if I've baked gluten products on them.

The advice I give customers is to either purchase stones to keep "safe" (gluten-free, no cross-contamination), or use parchment paper on your stones if you want to be SURE there is no gluten. If you are highly sensitive to gluten, this really is the way to be 100% sure you are not getting any bits of gluten. However, if you feel comfortable with the way you clean the stones and you are not highly sensitive, then you can try using the stones you already own. It is the oil that stays behind to cause the stones to season, not grains. I would tell someone with a peanut allergy NOT to use the same stone if peanuts or peanut oil had been on the stone because that could transfer the allergen (though I think Alton Brown's theory is that peanut oil does not cause an allergy in peanut allergic people).

There is your very long non-conclusive answer, but I hope it gives you some guidance in using your stones! I still say stones are the best way to bake!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family ties

If you are in a family where there has been a divorce, you have likely experienced a wedding or other event where the WHOLE family is there. I thought I'd add a bit of family tree-ism here before sharing about the baby shower we just had for my nephew & niece-in-law.

When my brother was a college student, he worked at J.C. Penney. There he met some twin ladies. They introduced him to their cousin, Jan. Greg and Jan got married, had a baby (Nils, my nephew) one year later, and another (Becky, my niece) 2 years after that. When Becky was about 6 mos. old they separated. Since Greg knew the twins before Jan, they were his friends and supported him through this divorce and later they would end up in church with Greg & his 2nd wife, Robin. Jan's parents also were very supportive of Greg, so they always maintained a good relationship with him. Jan's dad died several years ago and her mom remarried.

So, this is how the modern Brady Bunch family baby shower worked:
The shower was given by Becky, her mom Jan, and her step-mom Robin, at Greg & Robin's house. Guests included Jan's mom & step dad, Jan's cousin (one of the twins) and both the twins' daughters, who are close to Becky. Then we had Greg's mom (my mom), me (his sister), my kids, and our Aunt Bobbie (whose late husband, Uncle John, had married Greg & Jan). Nils' wife, Katie, had her parents & sister there, and her Poppaw. Usually, Robin's parents & brother's family would also have been there, but her mom is convalescing after a broken bone recently. As far as I could tell, everyone got along well. I enjoy talking to Jan and catching up on her life, and she is so good with my kids. Even so, when it's all said & done, there is always a sigh of relief when it is over.

Now to see how all these new grandparents learn to share little Emery in July!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby Shower Quick post

Just a few pics from my nephew & niece (in law)'s baby shower. More later!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Honey, We're Hooooooome!

Just a quick post to say we are HOME! We are in our "new" house and out of our old one. We finished doing all we needed to do there about 9 p.m. last night. Phew. I have a sinking fear that they will find fault with our clean up job, or we will have missed some big thing and not get our deposit back. However, we did the best we could and have the paint splats and lack of fingernails to prove it! LOL!

I'll try to get pictures soon to show you. The girls room is just so "tweenager" looking. It's perfect for them. The bedspreads Mammaw (my mom) bought them look like they were designed with the walls in mind. It is odd having 2 single beds rather than bunks, but it's such a cute room. And let me tell you, standing in their old empty room we realized how TINY it really is. I feel like a plant that was in a too small pot and has been replanted in a great big planter.

On the down side, I woke up sick today. I can't find my bottle of ibuprofen. I need to have Phil look in the car to see if it fell out. I had big plans to work today but spent most the day in bed.

My computer is still on the blitz. I NEED to get a Pampered Chef letter out so I need to see how to download addresses & import them to my webmail. I'm able to use either Phil's or the girls' computer, so I can get my daily "fix".

Pictures coming this week.....I hope!