Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, September 25, 2014


In the garden...
...it's dry as a bone. We're in the middle of a drought and it hasn't rained in almost a month (you know how sad that makes me). I don't think there is any in the long term forecast either. All the plants are brown, except for the new mums I put on the porch. I can only hope the dry weather is at least helpful for the farmers.

I'm thinking about...

...not stressing over school, but it haven't risen above it yet. Thinking about Sarah's ongoing message and Margaret's message yesterday. As Faith gets closer to high school years and we still haven't decided if she'll go to school, I stress about gaps, and areas in which she just doesn't naturally succeed. Sometimes that means she has days that are more tough than others. I waffle between wanting these last days of her childhood (soon she'll be a teen) to be carefree, and pushing her harder to make sure she's ready for what is ahead. She is naturally inclined toward play. In fact, she is naturally inclined toward anything but work. I am often green with envy when I read about children who are naturally inclined to work hard and who are perfectionists. I think it all depends on what motivates a child. Faith is definitely not motivated by my praise, but she is also not motivated by pride in her work either. I think she's a lot like my oldest who was always motivated by praise from others -- teachers -- as I see Faith perform at dance for her teachers. She pushes herself harder for them. Of course dance isn't math either, is it?

I am wearing...

...a khaki knit skirt, a blue v-neck, a sweater, and blue suede loafers. It will get pretty warm later, but for now it's still cool.

I am reading....

..The Birth House by Ami McKay. I finished Now I see You and though some of the language was a but rough, it was a very good book.

I am creating...

..I am binding off that secret knit I was working on, and am waiting for yarn for a Garter Stitch shawl. I have an order for ten scapulars that need to be done ASAP, so I guess the kitting will wait.

At the school table...

...all the usual. Faith finished her first book already, which she enjoyed (Ella Enchanted) and now we're onto another tomorrow (today is dance day with a minimum of school).

Plans for the rest of the week...

...I am hoping my sofa will be delivered as it never was on Monday. I bought it from Kittles and it will be my last purchase there. Three times they have given me a date of when it left the manufacturer and twice it's been a lie. The manager couldn't even be certain it would really arrive this Friday as he was promised by the trucking company, as his contact wasn't very convincing, in his words. If they didn't have my deposit I'd cancel the order. I've been waiting for ten weeks.

The boys have Friday night football so Faith and I have girls night, and then Saturday night the Buckeyes play and I'll hide out in my bedroom.

A few of my favorite things....

..mums and gourds
...cinnamon tea
...fresh apples and recipes made with fresh apples (see below)

Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for a friend from the dance studio -- a sister in anxiety if you will
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

Quote of the day...

...From St. Therese and the Roses, spoken by Zelie Martin after Therese's sister left the door open and little Therese escaped in the rain.
"'You did very well, dear,' she said, 'for while it was careless not to close the door, still you were trying to help someone who was in need -- someone who had called to you for help. Sometimes in life, it happens that way. Sometimes there are two who need us at the same moment, and it is not always easy to know which one must come first. But if we do our best, God understands, even if we make mistakes.'"

Apple Pan Dowdy

This dish was a hit with the entire family. It's much like an apple pie with a double crust, made in a square pan, but the pie is very juicy and after it come out of the oven and rests for a few minutes, you break up the crust so that it soaks up the juice. Delish! Recipe modified slightly from King Arthur Flour website.

1 recipe pie crust for double-crust 9-inch pie (I use the classic Crisco recipe)
7 or 8 large apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, cut into bits

Divide pie dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger piece to fit into bottom and up sides of a casserole dish (a 9 x 9-inch pan, or equivalent, is the right size). Peel, core and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices, and toss them with sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon apples into pie crust.

Mix water and molasses (or maple syrup), and pour over apples. Dot with butter.

Roll out second piece of dough, and fit it over apple mixture. Seal it to bottom crust. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired (this will make a brown, sugary crust).

Bake on the lowest rack of a preheated 425°F oven for 45 minutes, then decrease heat to 325° and continue to bake until crust is well browned and apples are done (poke with a knife through the crust).

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take a knife and slash, in a random pattern, all the way through the pan dowdy. With a fork and spoon, gently lift pieces of crust from the bottom, and submerge pieces of the top crust; in effect, you're just really messing this whole thing up. Don't get carried away; crust pieces should remain in fairly large (2-inch-square) chunks. Let the dish cool to warm before serving; it you serve it too hot, it will be very runny.


  1. Yesterday was especially hard, Barbara. I wish it were cut & dried, (like your flowers, ha!) but it's not. I struggle with homeschooling and I struggle with having sent them to school. And yet...He knows His plans for us, plans for us and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope.

    I am so making that Apple Pan Dowdy! If not just to make something that's called a Dowdy!!!

  2. "Plans for GOOD and not for evil."


    1. I knew just what you meant. His plans for us are always good.

      I read your post this morning and we went through that situation this summer. It was hard -- such a letdown. A GPS device did wonders, though I wish we had not needed it (the two before didn't need it, but the third did!).

  3. Wow, that apple pan dowdy looks good! How mean of you!!! ;-)

    I have found over the years that some of my children have definitely been much more motivated at school than at home. Whether it's the teachers or the friendly competition among peers, I don't know. I wish they always wanted to please me that way, but they don't.


    1. It would be nice if mine even just cared how I react to their performance. Naw!

  4. School? Right there with you.

    Oh, I would be fuming about the sofa!!!!

    Despite all your struggled, you still create the most wonderful dishes!!!! I'm barely surviving here with tacos and hamburgers. ;-) stop making me drool on my iPad.

    1. The sofa arrived! Yay!

      And if I didn't have good food I would be struggling even more. At least we have good food. ;-)

  5. Forgot to comment on the drought. I would be so distraught. I always want one rainy day a week. It makes me happy.

    1. Chance of rain today...I'm so excited!

  6. I will for sure try that apple recipe. I still have 7 buckets of apples to deal with.
    I am so much like your daughter. I was not one to push myself...until I found my love of art. She will find her passion. Math stinks. Who likes math anyways???!!! I have a daughter who is crazy driven. I had to deal with some anxiety issues..in like 5th grade. I'm like what the heck. mellow out. But that is not her. Her dance can open lots of doors. She might be a dance teacher some day??

    1. Do try the dowdy and the apple fritter cake from last week (I think). Yum.

  7. The school frustrations...where I feel confident my kids have picked up everything and more than what the kids locally are learning, I still have small twinges of anxiety if they know enough to make it in the brick and mortar school buildings. I have focused more and more on trying not to worry about it and let God do His work. (Actually, I'm trying to do that in all areas of life.) Being a parent is really a tough job, isn't it?

    The couch. That happened recently to a window that needed replacing. I felt like the guy was tugging my chain to begin with. After three weeks of excuses...we don't him to forget about it. So I understand the frustration. Hopefully, the couch will show sooner than later! I bet it is SO pretty!

    Wishing you a happy weekend and a blessed Sunday!

    1. You'd think, since I sent my oldest to school and the boys all go to high school I'd know if she is ready. Maybe that's why I'm nervous! Also if she continues to dance, she will have to be homeschooled and I guess I wish we could just decide. What curricula do you use?

  8. I am having huge success this year with my boys having teachers for online classes or just sending assignments via email. I told every one of them to not offer sympathy to lateness unless I personally ask for leniency. Yes, I still have to lay down the no-fun-until-it's-done law on a daily and our weekends so far have been extensions of the school week to be sure we stay on track. But the efforts they put forward for these teachers far surpasses anything they attempt to turn in to me. Most of my classes are through MODG, but one son is taking Latin through Memoria Press and I've heard great things about Homeschool Connections (another Catholic online school). So, there are possibilities within the homeschool world to apply a good amount of pressure to reluctant students. I, too, am envious of those who have motivated students. I don't know what that is like. At all. And I don't understand it, because I am highly motivated!

    1. As an oldest child, I was highly motivated to please everyone. So, I don't get it either, Michelle. My oldest was highly motivated to please his teachers, but then he went to Ohio State where his teachers didn't even have a clue he was there. That was a bad choice of school for him but it wasn't until he started doing poorly that we realized what his motivator was.

  9. Your posts are always just what's needed....from homeschool to apples. What you said about your oldest being motivated by praise totally made me stop and reconsider my oldest. I really hadn't thought about him that way, but he is very much motivated by praise. I've totally seen this in the last two years in how he's interacted with two different sports coaches, but just hadn't thought about it in a homeschool light. Sometimes it takes years to figure things out, especially when 'the mom' the exact opposite! Just this year -his senior year- our homeschool relationship finally feels more like what I'd expected. I've been craving Apple pie bars, it your dish looks much easier and quicker to make. KAF is a favorite baking website.

    1. I think with our oldest children we're always still trying to figure it out!

  10. Each of the kids are so very different as far as school. It's really hard to homeschool and figure it all out, yet, it's better I'm sure because we CAN. I'm worried about my 10 year old, she struggles, school is hard for her, we already had her do 1st grade twice...(2 different curriculums) She has tried everything possible from gymnastics, piano, soccer, to unicycling...now she's trying uncycling again and loving it...we'll see.

    Tom would totally love that apple pan dowdy...if not for the taste, for the name!!! :)

    Hope your couch comes soon!!

    1. I think every child struggles with something. Faith struggles to focus...oh my does she ever! And sit still.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!