Megan Ryan’s Voice – We went to Target again today to return those items we mentioned in yesterday’s post. We chose a different store to see what else they had on clearance. We found ONE tube of wrapping paper that said “Merry Christmas”. Other than that, still no Christian items – disgusting. Toddler 3.4 declined to nap this afternoon so it was early to bed for him! Since today is Friday, I had to come up with some meatless recipe (Click Here to find out why) so I made organic turnip soup with peas and carrots. Eating turnips is totally new to us so we were pleased that it turned out nicely. I’ll add the recipe to my permanent cookbook
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Uh, what ‘da heck is that picture up there?? Wow, seventh day of Christmas? Well, not much doing, just thinking about what we are gonna do at this farm we found. I offered to take some chickens off their hands, right, but guess what? I have nooooooo idea how to kill a chicken. We’ll see what happens. Teenager 15.6 is gonna accompany me just in case he needs to carry me back to the car, or worse, I pass out and may be in need of mouth to mouth resuscitation. Yeah right, right? Merry Christmas, ya’ll!
Megan Ryan’s Voice - I made a big pot of rabbit chili today. I just love making soups and chili during the cold weather. Here is my own recipe for Cincinnati Style Chili with rabbit meat. Technically, it’s only Cincinnati Style because of the pasta and seasoning. Don’t forget that organic ingredients make this SO much tastier. Enjoy!
CINCINNATI STYLE CHILI WITH RABBIT
2 – 28 oz. cans of tomatoes
2 – 14 oz. cans kidney beans
1 packet of Cincinnati Recipe Chili mix
1 large onion
2 lbs. ground rabbit sausage (or ground beef)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. salt
2 handfuls (or more if you prefer) of your favorite leafy greens, chopped
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
½ cup green onions, finely sliced
1 or 2 handfuls of dried spaghetti
28 oz. water or veggie broth
Throw everything but the rabbit and spaghetti in a large pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Lightly brown the rabbit in a skillet, then add to the chili. Let simmer for one hour, then add the dry spaghetti to the pot and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Salt to taste.
I keep all the ingredients on hand and the veggies and cilantro frozen so it takes only 10 minutes to throw everything together. Easy!
Liam Marcus’ Voice- Wow, my voice is in the damp confines of the sublevels of this post. Okey, not a problem, I feel comfortable down here, too. Today was a day to remember. Yep! Teenagers 14.5 and15.6 are officially in time-out for an undetermined amount of years. They have taught Toddler 3.4 the meaning of everything BUT love and charity when it comes to playing together and that is no good in this household. So what will the consequences be? Well, the consequences will be simple: they will have to allow Toddler 3.4 to play with their most delicate Lego inventions for a while. At least until they can show charity and humility, all at once.
On a different note, oh gosh, tomorrow is Friday and we are scheduled to go pick up some chickens from a farm south of us. The farmer will teach us how to kill and clean these gloriously tasting birds for ourselves. Mind you, they will cost us… wait for it… a few pennies compared to the retail price of a pastured bird – what a deal! Can’t wait! I’ve never slaughtered anything in my life. Well actually, I stepped on a frog once. I felt pretty bad for the little feller. God bless!
Megan Ryan’s Voice - Our rabbit farm organic goody bag contained swiss chard, beets with greens, strawberry jelly, hot pepper jelly, greek olives, red lettuce, a bouquet of pretty wildflowers (bonus!), eggs, and pork chops. The hot pepper jelly is fantastic because this farm grows nuclear, blow-your-head-off hot peppers, and they are great for clearing up sinus infections!
From the organic produce co-op we got our usual buttercrunch lettuce for salads, parsnips, more beets with greens, kohlrabi, Yukon gold potatoes, bananas, and Seville (sour) oranges. We’ve never even heard of kohlrabi before but the co-op owner said it’s good for salads so we’ll give it a shot. We’ll use the sour oranges to make mojo marinade, a traditional Cuban marinade for meats. We’ve never tried it before so it will be fun! Another bonus to changing our old eating habits and going organic: new foods means new adventures! Thank you Jesus, and thank you Marcus for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to head out into these foreign waters. We’re lovin’ it!
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Hmm, hmm, hmm kohlrabi is awesome! I said to Megan, “move over carrots!” We got some tasty jellies. My favorite thus far is the hot pepper jelly – mixed it with Dr. Shultz’s super tonic to help clear the inner-ear infection a bit and…it was atomic! The organic olives from California were very good, too. Toddler 3.4 ate most of the black ones, Megan and I ate the green ones while on our way home from the farm.
The highlight of the day was taking the entire family bowling. It was awesome, precious, heartwarming, and unlike anything else in the world – it was as close to being with God as we can be here on earth.We are working on yet another highlight for next week. We won’t spoil it by writing about it now, not until it comes together. We’ll write about it, and savor it next week. God bless and Merry Christmas!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Another delightful day in the RojerThat household! Well okay, the second half was good but the first half left something to be desired. We went to Target to see if we could find any clearance deals on Christmas decorations. We were astonished at the total absence of Christian items. Not even a measly tube of wrapping paper that had the word “Christmas” on it! No dinky snow globe of a nativity scene, nothing! At first I tried to tell myself they were merely sold out of all the good stuff. I mean it IS four whole days after Christmas Alas, I had to stop kidding myself because there was still plenty of stuff on the shelves, and I couldn’t find even a broken Christian ornament that nobody wanted – and believe me, I looked high and low for something/anything. Nada. Pathetic!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Te la comiste, Megan! That means, “you got that right!” – about the picture above. Yep, we went to Target late this morning for what I thought was going to be a little trip. You know, 20 minutes, tops! Two hours later we were arguing with the customer service rep about how idiotic their computer system is. You cannot make a return on the same day at Target, even if it is their fault! Remember that folks. In any case, we got there and Megan is like, “Hmm, oh look, the discount aisle…yippee!” I was like, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Long story short, I felt the real Christmas spirit lacking - literally – and that lack of Christmas (Jesus) spirit was crushing me. I felt sick, and ready to explode! The funny thing is that as soon as we stepped out I felt joyful and free. As if released from a dungeon, unshackled.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Busy with the boys, busy with an exam – 4000-word essay. But suffering from joy. It’s that beautiful time of the year, just can’t get enough of this freezing temperatures…down-but-not-under in the US. Brrrrrr! Have some friends in PA. Wonder how they are doing. Merry Christmas!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Have any of you ever woken up in the middle of the night as a St. Nick believing child, walked over to the Christmas tree, smiled with joy at the sight of the colorful wrapping paper all over that box, and that box, and that other box over there? Well, if you have had this experience on Christmas morning, and I mean MORNING, you know, like 1 AM! You know how exciting it is to sneak out a present or two from under the Christmas tree, but nothing can prepare you for the accidental breakage of your Christmas toy. Toddler 3.4 was playing with his dream toy, the Larrymobile. Larry Boy is a cucumber from the Christian TV series Veggie Tales. About 10 hours after he unwrapped the Larrymobile he was “flying” it around the house and…it slipped through his fingers and crashed onto the tile floor. The sturdy plastic sustained quite a bang, but the dome of the cockpit broke – emergency surgery! I used a strong bonding epoxy and applied it a few times over the next few nights. It is as strong as it will ever be, so much so that I fear it will break in some place other than the repaired area. Go figure, right!? Well, at least it is mended…for now.
Megan Ryan’s Voice- Yeah, we barely averted a real disaster on that one! He was inches away from having a total meltdown from the disappointment. Not a tantrum-type anger fit, but judging by his little face his little heart would have been crushed if “Super Papi” (Marcus) hadn’t swooped in and saved the day with his superhero glue bottle. I hugged him and consoled him repeating, “Papi will fix it – it’s okay!” He didn’t cry too much and waited patiently for the glue to set overnight. To me it was a perfect example of why God intended children to be raised by a mommy AND a daddy. Mommy shines bright as the boo-boo kisser, and Daddy saves the day with his calm confidence and handy toolkit! Thank you, Jesus for fathers…especially Super Papi!
Have any of you had this type of sad experience where you completely go out of your way to cheer your child up again?
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yep! It is still Christmas. Christmas everyday of the year, right? Yes, but officially Christmas doesn’t end for another few days. One should always start each day like it is a gift from God – like a Christmas day! Sanctifying the presence of God in everything that we do. Remembering Jesus’ birth, like we remember ours and those of our children. Easier said than done, right?! True, true – but trying never hurts, and it only fortifies the soul and helps the behavior; form a good habit. Would you give anything to be free and joyful everyday of your life? Got Christ?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – So far it’s been the best Christmas ever! Christmas Day we had a stress free dinner, and then we watched the movie Nativity Story while sipping hot chocolate. The day after we had more hot chocolate and snuggle-on-the-couch time after taking Grandma home. Yes, Christmas is a celebration called an octave in the Catholic Church. An octave is eight, so eight days of Christmas celebration. The celebration BEGINS on Christmas day and lasts until the feast of the Epiphany. It makes me sad to see people turn off their Christmas lights and throw out the tree right after Christmas day. The party is just getting started! What little things does your family do to celebrate the season of Christmas? I like to remind Toddler 3.4 by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus around the tree. Tell us about yours the comments section of this post! God bless you all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Precious! Toddler 3.4 has been very patient, and finally that patience has paid off. “Mommy, Papi wook! Saint Nick put presents under da tree!”
Megan Ryan’s Voice - We’re taking the day off and hope you are too. God bless you all and may the peace of the Christ child be with you - YOUR Savior and ours too.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – We got things squared away today – phew! Didn’t think we were going to get all this stuff done, and have an opportunity to go out and play some bowling. Yep! Bowling. Toddler 3.4 was a real treat to watch. He looked very handsome with his wee little bowling shoes – I have some photos to prove it, too.
The farm gave us some organic, hot pepper jelly – mmm- mmm-mmm! Just what I needed to take care of the inner-ear infection I’ve had for the past five weeks! Don’t worry friends, I have been offering up the pain everyday for the souls in purgatory. God bless and Merry Christmas!
Megan Ryan’s Voice - I finally got around to canning more green apple compote yesterday. A while back I got a hankering for my grandmother’s recipe. We used to put hers on pancakes, biscuits, ice cream, etc. She was a master at canning/preserving foods, and I want to learn the art. I’ll probably never be as good as she was, but it’s worth a shot. We also made our first ever batch of mojo to season our Christmas dinner bird. I’ve never had it before so I hope it’s yummy! Today we make homemade oatmeal cookies!
Megan Ryan’s Voice - Still super busy around here since we picked up our organic farm and co-op foods early this week. We had the freedom to totally skip the supermarket which is sweet! The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem took a few days on foot during those days. I wonder if today would have been the day Mary and Joseph set out for Bethlehem? Maybe we’ll watch the movie Nativity Story too!
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Let’s see, we have to visit farm no. 1, farm no. 2 – I sure wish real food was a lot easier to get than to have to drive across two counties every week. What does that tell you about our (great) American system? For more on this check our “Heading into Foreign Waters” posts under the “Organic” category.
Neither here nor there, big deal, right? Well, three days left for the grandest of Feasts, the Birth of our Savior, and that is a BIG DEAL. Once again, a very good Catholic friend of ours reminded us of a very important detail directly linked to the birth of our Savior. The importance of honoring our parents and, often forgotten members of the extended family, the grandparents – St. Anne and St. Joachim (Mary’s parents), pray for us.