Archive for August, 2011

These days, I am all about cooking things that are easy, go in the crock pot, or that I can make ahead in stages during the day as I find time. I made these pork chops last week and they were a huge success with everyone. I served them with baked butternut squash.

Baked Pork Chops with Stuffing

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/2 of a large onion (or one whole medium) white or yellow, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • seasoning of choice: like Seasoned Salt, Fajita Seasoning for Chicken or similar (for a more savory flavor, try rosemary or oregano)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box of pork stuffing mix

Make the stuffing mix according to the directions and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a greased 9×11 glass pan, place the pork chops so that they do not overlap. Season one side of the chops and then flip and season the other side. Layer the onions over the pork chops and then spread the chopped celery over the onions. Salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the stuffing mix already has a fair amount of salt in it.

Pour 1/4 c. of water into the pan.

Distribute the stuffing mix so that it covers the pork chops as evenly as possible. The stuffing is very sticky so it will not be in a layer like a casserole, but more like small clumps over the chops and vegetables.

Place a sheet of foil over the dish and seal as tightly as possible.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour then reduce the temperature to 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy with a vegetable side and a smile.


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Attention children! Getting up before the sun rises, a.k.a. before a decent hour, is annoying in the least and uncivilized at the worst. Please refrain from doing this. This had been an announcement of the Parental Mental Health Association of the Smith Household.

This morning at 6am, Gideon joined the already full bed, so that all the humans were squashed together, snuggling. I had Wash next to me with Gideon next to him. Neither of the boys was going to go back to sleep, but I was letting them talk to each other while I pretended I might get to sleep for 10 more minutes.

I had my arm across Wash and resting on Gideon, whose side I was patting. Gideon said, “Mom, can you keep your hands to yourself?”


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Every Reader Its Book

This is one of my favorite pictures of Gideon. It makes me happy that he chooses books so often over toys.

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Now that we have two children, the times when I can choose to do something uninterrupted is virtually non-existent. It does happen every other week or so, for about 20 minutes. Mostly, I have to catch small moments during nap times, when one of the boys is asleep. At this stage, having them both asleep is like the Holy Grail of parenting and we have not achieved that yet.

That being said, this past weekend, Ries went out of town (on a boys weekend to Colorado, jerk) and I sent Gideon to his Oma and Papa’s for the weekend. I felt like I was alone, with only the Wee Wash to look after. Well, and the huge slobbery dogs. Saturday, Wash took a long nap and I was able to sit down and write over 3600 in my new writing project, the most I have done in one sitting, I think, so far. It felt great and I was very happy.

It was quiet here, without Gideon, and I was happy to go pick him up yesterday night. When I arrived, he was playing with some wrenches from Papa’s tool box. I walked up to him, holding a Sonic LemonBerry slush. He took one look at me and said, not “Hi, Mom!” or “Mommy!” or “I missed you.” with a huge. No, he said, “Hey, did you bring me one of those drinks?”

So, on the grand scheme of things, I rank somewhere lower than a Sonic LemonBerry Slush.

Ries on the other hand, ranks higher than both the slush and me because today at lunch, Gideon and I had the following conversation:

Gideon: Our family is missing something.

Me: Oh? What?

Gideon: Daddy.

*eyeroll* Moms are never appreciated. Perhaps it is because we do not come with that fabulous Sonic ice. 🙂

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I find myself in a quiet house with everyone sleeping but me so I am using my time, perhaps unwisely, to write this. As opposed to doing something actually useful, for instance, like housework.

At least twice recently, I have had the same conversation, which I open up with some version of this: “You choose your spouse, you do not choose your kids.”

Think about this. You pick the person you marry, Lord help you because you will need it, so when they start bothering you, you have no one to blame but yourself. You got yourself into this mess and now only you, God, and your spouse can deal with it. Your kids choose you, in a way, but you still have to live with them. God gives you those little bundles of joy. Eventually, those bundles become annoying 3 year olds.

Now, you all know I adore my sons, but Gideon is at times a loud, demanding, bossy, argumentative boy who Never. Shuts. Up. In a word, annoying. What is worse is that he is my personality trapped in a little three-year-old-boy body so I am really just getting irritated with a tiny version of ME.

Fortunately, I know how to deal with me, trapped in a little body, and I handle it well about 70%of the time. About 30% of the time, I am crazy mom lady, but he has to have something to tell his future psychologist.

The thing I like and hate most about this age is that he is so rational and has this huge imagination at the same time. He is amazing, like a sponge. Sometimes, he just stops what he is doing and says, “I love you, Mom.” After that I am a puddle on the floor and I know without qualification that I have the best life filled with three boys, one big and two small, that I adore.

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