Jude Landry Store

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Well, this is embarrassing.

I learned two important lessons today:

Active Dry Yeast is useless when it's been expired for 3 years and has been stored in the pantry for said amount of time and not in the refrigerator as recommended.

Oh. This explains a lot.

Thank you, Mandi and Laura, for bringing this to my attention. My loaf looks delicious.

Happy Birthday Mom!

In honor of my mom's birthday, today, I send you to the archives.

Originally posted September 27, 2010

Not sure why, but I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately and was reminiscing about my Momma. I know it's no where near Mother's Day, but I thought I'd still dedicate a small blog post to one great Linda Ann Chachere Guilbeaux.

First, I know she'll be laughing all the way through this post - probably with her head tilted back, hand covering her mouth, and eyes shut so tightly she can't see... (was I right, Momma?) She has one of the most boisterous laughs you'll ever hear. It's beautiful.

More favorite things: She uses the rear view mirror to put her lipstick on - which she applies right after backing out of the driveway. If she knows the song you're singing, watch out, because she'll join in without an invite. She gets to the kitchen by running and sliding down our hall way. She's incapable of sitting through an entire movie at home - too many things to finish up around the house.  We can't make it through the grocery store without her saying to someone, "I used to take care of you when you were younger..." She picks up a Eunice, LA accent when she's with her sisters and the only words she gets out during a phone conversation with her mom are, "Well... yeah... I know, Momma... Well... yeah... I know, Momma." She quotes Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, "Don't make me get the hose." She likes to practice self-defense with us.  She grits her teeth when she's mad (and now so do I). She lets me eat the first spoonful of steaming rice from the rice cooker because I like it that way. She eats Lean Cuisines because she "likes the taste." She gives the best massages. When you try to pay her back for something she purchased, she says, "Well, we'll figure that all out later" which means you won't be able to give her a dime. She's the last one to leave the building after Mass (yes, even after the priest...).

And speaking of a few of my favorite things, I can't hear or see The Sound of Music without thinking of her.

Some of my non-favorites, but still classic Linda:
She calls me "Alish - ee - anna." I will always hear, "Yes - what?" when I've forgotten to say "yes ma'am." She cooks a brisket which everyone on the planet adores but me (It's ok Momma, I love your pork!). She can make anyone behave during Mass with using only two fingers pressed firmly on the shoulder. She didn't allow us to watch The Simpsons, Friends, or Rugrats (and I'm sure there were more...).

I could go on more - and who couldn't - about my mom. I haven't even mentioned any of the spiritual lessons and memories she's given me (that'll take an entire post on its own). Or the fact that she knows me so well and forgives me in spite of myself (I'm predictably critical, finicky, and a micro-manager). Thank God she can overlook that stuff and see the beautiful child of God she helped raise.

Mom, you are amazing and I am so blessed to have you. Please enjoy this day and try (I know how hard it will be...) to make it all about you! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Long over due.

This post is about spring break and St. Patrick's Day. We went down to LA for the weekend and I'm just now posting our photos. And because I didn't have time to prepare anything liturgically for St. Patrick or St. Joseph, Tootsie (Grandma), saved some of the projects they did in her Kindergarten class for Joan to do at home. It pays to have a Grandmother who teaches at a Catholic school.

And speaking of Catholic schools, we took Joan and Charlotte to her school's Mass on Friday morning. They have a great service prepared with kid readers and singers and all of their songs had hand motions - Joan was so cute trying to follow along with the children. And then at Communion, Joan followed Tootsie's class up the communion line all by herself, arms crossed over her chest and received a blessing. I got a little choked up and was really sad that I didn't have my camera.

We toss around ideas of what type of schooling we'll do (public, private, Catholic, or home-schooling) and I've got to say that seeing her there really confirmed how much we'd love to be able to afford a Catholic school. That just seems so improbable right not, but luckily - so far away. Maybe by that time, our situation will be different. Until then, we just pray, right?

I've got a tear now, thinking of her in that line...

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

If the slide show of photos doesn't appear, hit refresh and if it still doesn't appear, leave a comment. Everything's being a little finicky today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And Theirs...

Remember this - crazy photos of my messy drawers and Jude's perfectly arranged shoe-rack? Well, we're not the only two people in the house with clothes and shoes. Can you guess who's primarily responsible for putting away the girls' things?

Their Closet
I'm so lazy, I don't even separate the girls' dresses into two sides...


Monday, March 28, 2011

Hymn #101

Well, Bonnie's always doing this, (and she has really great taste in music), so I thought I'd give it a try. Here's what's been playing in my head today.

Hymn #101 by Joe Pug. Yum.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Annunciation

For today's celebration of Mary's yes! to God's will, we're eating homemade blueberry oatmeal bars. I also brought these bars for our healthy-lunch recipe exchange play date yesterday. (Well, that's a mouthful.)

We had so much good food, but I thought it was a little silly for me to bring my recipe. You see, every kid there (except Joan) will eat blueberries and spinach (the recipe calls for a spinach puree) anyway - why would you want to make that more complicated? If my family did that, I'd just put blueberries and spinach leaves on a plate and say, "You're welcome."

But I guess it's good to mix it up a bit... Here's the recipe:

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups whole-wheat old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
(the original recipe didn't have whole wheat flour and just used 1 1/4 all purpose)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled
1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves
1/2 cup spinach puree

Preheat oven to 375, coat 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Stir to mix well.

Add margarine and cut it in quickly until no longer powdery.

Set aside about half of oat mixture; press the rest of it firmly into pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked) about 15 minutes.

Mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.

Spread the blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with rest of oat mixture on top. Bake until topping is slightly browned about 25 minutes. Set on rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.


And here's my attempt at talking to Joan about the Annunciation. I don't always think about how or what I'm going to ask her, so the videos don't always turn out that great, but nonetheless, here it is.

dang. I just watched this and realized more of our conversation was cut off because of Flickr's time limit... too bad because I'm not trying to load it again anywhere else...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

His and Hers

I got a lot of comments about Jude's shoes from this post and I just wanted to point out how incredibly different we are when it comes to shoe racks, closets, and drawers. These photos are not staged.
He recently donated some because there, 
"wasn't enough room for them to fit neatly."

There is obviously not enough room for them all. 
I also have some shoes at the bottom of Joan's closet...

Pants on one side, button-ups on the other. And because there's not enough room for them to "fit neatly," he has short-sleeve button-ups in a spare closet. 
When seeing this photo, he said, "I used to have them color-coordinated, too."

If you look closely, you will find sweaters mixed with pants, mixed with dresses, mixed with skirts, mixed with jackets.


I mean, look at those beautifully folded undershirts. Undershirts!


 I think I see a white undershirt shoved down there on the left somewhere.

Photo taken a week or two after we began courting. Aw.
Oh yeah - those shirts are folded pretty fancy, too.

 Yep. Here's how I store my jeans.



I sure am lucky. And messy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Solemnity of St. Joseph

Thank you to everyone who joined us in the nine day novena prayer to St. Jude. I know that he will continue to pray for us, as I'm sure you will, too.

And to celebrate St. Joseph's feast day today - I hope some of you will get this tonight - we are starting a new novena to him that can be found here. And as always, you are invited to join us in prayer, even if you don't begin today.

Today we wrote our petitions down and placed them before the altar of St. Joseph that a local church set up. The tradition of setting up an altar full of flowers, sweets and breads began when people in Sicily asked for his intercession during a famine and after they were sustained, they offered up crops in thanksgiving to him in the form of breads, desserts, and meatless dishes - because it was during Lent.

I know that your prayers and those of the saints are sustaining us now, and I look forward to the future when we can celebrate and feast in the blessings and provisions of God our Father.

But let it be known, that we do not think of these novenas as magic. Our desire is to join these virtuous men and women in heaven in prayer, both for our needs and the needs of others. Novenas are really a call to devotion and discipline, and to model our lives after the holy ones. Even though our house did not sell this week when our St. Jude novena ended, our lives are hopefully that much closer to looking like St. Jude's and our hearts are full of the confidence that this holy man is thinking and praying for us. When I was searching for a novena to recite for St. Joseph, I came across this hot mess and it's missing the point all together and casts a bad light on those who's desire is to honor, not disgrace. So please keep this in mind as you pray for us, and may your prayers, as well as mine, come from a pure and holy place.

St. Jude, Pray for us.
St. Joseph, Pray for us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Real Quick

I don't have a lot of time to write a great post here, but that's ok - Jen over at Conversion Diary already did that for me.

We're starting a St. John of the Cross study at church for Lent and last night's meeting briefly talked about our need to detach from the things of this world and to quiet our appetites for anything other than God, in order to be in true union with Him and ultimately satisfied.

And I know that I've been really attached to the selling of our house. Lot's of people are. I'm not quite sure how to balance it - praying for it to be sold, but still having an attitude of detachment about it. Sometimes I think that once the house is sold, my life will be so much better. But Jen touches on this in her post this morning,

"As I’ve said many times before, one of the most shocking truths I discovered when I converted to Christianity was that autonomy is not the path to happiness. The golden calf that I spent most of my life worshiping turned out to be a dead idol. I always thought that the secret to a fantastic life was to optimize on getting as much autonomy as possible so that I could do whatever pleased me, whenever I felt like doing it. Boy was I surprised when I found out that that kind of life left me amused but not deeply happy, and that the only source of real happiness — of joy — is God. And you only need to glance at a crucifix to be reminded that God is the God of self-sacrifice."

Maybe once the house is sold, I might be a bit happier. I'm sure the financial relief will feel good. But the financial burden it puts on us now is not what's stealing my joy - the amount of attachment I have about our circumstance is the real culprit. I give that house so much weight and so much control over my emotions. I go 'round and 'round in prayer - my friend Rebecca helped me identify this in my own life - from "God, I know you'll provide," to "Thank you for this struggle and the graces we've received from it," to "Ok, that's enough now, I've learned my lesson. Please get rid of it." But 5 years from now we could be crazy wealthy, or with no debt. But if I haven't figured out (by God's grace) how to detach myself from the things of this world, then my joy will still be incomplete.

Today my prayer is that every time the phone rings, I won't think, Is that our agent with an offer? or What's the problem, now? Today my prayer will be, God, lead me to true joy, however You'd have me get there.

Even as I write that, I'm anxious about what that however will be.

I have a long way to go, huh?

And now I must finish laundry so we can actually wear clean clothes for our trip to LA. And hopefully I can find some fun stuff to do for St. Patrick's Day and the Solemnity of St. Joseph - traveling always puts a small kink in celebrating the liturgical calendar, even though our families enjoy being Catholic, too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How will it sell?

Doubt is rearing its little head again.

The house went back on the market yesterday and for a while now, up until today, I've been pretty confident that things might actually work out for us. Finally.

But then I checked the current listing and the pictures of the house as it is now... and I'm anxious. I'm doubtful. I'm worried.

True, the tenant's things are not our exact taste, but they don't make the house look horrible. But the kitchen... the way she has it arranged with the movable island right in the middle of the walkway, is really stressing me out.

But can't people just look past that, Alisha? You might ask.

I don't know. Can they? Because when our house was at its best - furnished with cool stuff, freshly painted, spotless, with a sugar cookie candle burning when they walked in to view the house - it did not sell.

And now, with a single mom and four boys living in that little house, probably not up to the standards that I would hold before showing it to potential buyers, how will it sell? Now after the mice, the furnace, dishwasher, toilet, and refrigerator breaking, how will it sell? Now with having to work around the tenant's schedule to go and view the house, how will it sell? Now with pictures that don't do the house justice or the absence of a fancy virtual tour, how will it sell? Now that it's labeled a manufactured home, on the outside of town, how will it sell? Now that the housing crisis is still going on, how will it sell?

It'll take an Act of God to sell. That's what we need, now. An Act of God.

And while I confidently know the ease with which God can make this all disappear - in my weakness today, I doubt. I doubt it'll sell.

Please pray for me. And for my family. And for the house. And for the tenant. And for the buyers. And for the bankers. And for the inspectors. And for the agents. And for the attorneys.

We need this Act of God - bad.

**Update** I emailed our agent pictures from before we left, with the kitchen arranged better, and he said he would add them. (psst, God, that means Your job should be a tiny bit easier...)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wait - my husband likes sports?

When I met Jude, I immediately began crushing. I mean, Tall. Dark. And Handsome. Not very original, but it really is the best physical description for him.

And then I got to know him and discovered that he was smart (I like to call him "Mr. Thirty-Something" because of his ACT score) and funny (you'll never meet another couple with more inside jokes), sweet and friendly, and not only sang, but also played the guitar, bass, drums, and piano (Am I forgetting anything?). He was that hip artsy kind of guy who was also Catholic and giving his best at holiness, but not the guy you'd ever label, "the sports guy." Long story short: my type exactly.

And then we got married. And then we had kids. And then I realized something about my mate.

He likes sports.

I'm not sure when it happened or how it happened. Maybe it was the move to an SEC school the same year the Saints won the Super Bowl. Maybe it's living in a town with nothing to do but follow sporting events. Maybe it's the years of Fantasy Football. Maybe it's the free tickets everyone keeps sending our way. Either way, my husband - the handsome, smart, funny, sweet, friendly, musical, artsy, religious man I know so well - has officially earned the title "sports fanatic" in a mere 2 years.

Think "fanatic" is a bit strong? Not when I'm getting the latest "three point field goal percentage" stats over spaghetti in the evenings. Not when his usual design blogs are replaced with ESPN highlight reels (from the game he just watched...). Not when he owns a pair of maroon shoes with State's logo and wears them on game days only. Nope, not too strong.

But I'm not really complaining. I like it and enjoy watching the games with him. Mostly I like seeing him excited and passionate about something other than the newest sans serif type face (although I like hearing about that stuff, too).

I love this man.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Friends. Good Weather.

A collection of moments spent outside with our very dear friends in Mississippi, including horse feedings, birthday parties for Mississippi State, popcorn-snacking at play dates, yard work with Landon, and MSU baseball games.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Friday, March 11, 2011

Top 10 Things I Love About our Rent House

10. Really high tree swing.

9. Storage up to the ceilings.

8. Beautiful wooden doors.

7. Wall space for our many works of art.

6. Abnormally big hallway (aka man cave) - actually every room for that matter is crazy big.

5. Custom built-ins.

4. Empty lots on all 3 sides of our house (no immediate neighbors)

right side

left side

3. Ridiculously large pantry.

2. Screened-in front porch with fans and a swing.

1. The address is 410 W. Main Street and not 3003 Geranium Dr... (Did I mention that the toilet in that house got a crack in the back and leaked water everywhere and had to be completely replaced? No? Oh. It did.)

Also note-worthy about this house is the location and the landlords - both, tremendous blessings.

Things I'm not so crazy about though...
super steep cement stairs with inadequate railings

super steep buuuuumpy driveway

Everyday I'm thankful for this house, even with the few minor issues. I know God saved it for us when we moved. It makes the ordeal with our house in Bloomington much, much easier to bear. Please keep us in your prayers as we plan to put that house back on the market officially sometime next week. We're starting a novena to St. Jude, patron of hopeless cases, today to ask specifically for an acceptable offer before the tenant's lease ends and for a closing date sometime in June (and obviously that it actually goes through this time). We invite you to do the same for us. (novenas are prayed for nine consecutive days)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Signs of a good night:

Dr. Peppers.
Pizza crust.
Sleeping babies.
But most of all...

Bohnanza. The. Best. Game. Ever.

Seriously, go buy it right now.

You'll dream about planting and selling beans. You'll think over strategies in your head all afternoon and night. You'll want to start another game as soon as one ends. You'll never look at a green bean the same.

Seriously, go buy it right now, or come over, because I'm sure you'll find us already playing it.

Have you bought it yet?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And so it begins.

Today is Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent, and apparently the first day of my new prescription, humility.

Picture it: Mother of two precious little girls heading to the first pew. One baby in the Ergo, one little girl genuflecting. What a cute family. What a good momma. What well-behaved little girls. For the first half...

Fast forward to a sick 2.5 year old ready for a nap (Did I mention Mass was at noon?). She can't stop crying, for what - I'm not even sure. It doesn't really matter because we make our way to the cry room. We were in the first pew. It's a long way. Then she drops my keys and won't pick them up. (Thank you, nice man, for helping me out.)

Finally. We're here in the appropriate place to cry, and so she continues. Then comes the long, slow, crowded communion line. Yep. Crying the whole way up. I eventually receive communion with one kid still chilling in the ergo (You have no idea how much that helped, Laura!) and one preschooler on my hip, wiping her nose against my sleeve.

I know all too well the familiar face of pride. It's hard being in that first pew with well-behaved kids and not think, "I'm doing a great job here. I've got this all figured out. We're so holy, so pious." I don't always have that feeling at Mass, thank God. But today I did. I walked up to that first spot with my girls, bringing my pride right up to that first pew, too.

My original plans for today's post wasn't going to be this. I already have videos and pictures taken of lenten stuff that we're doing with Joan. And then I wanted to share with you what my adult plans were for this Lent. And while I think it's a great idea to share activities and spiritual reflections with the blogging community, I believe there's a fine line between doing that genuinely to help others with ideas, and just being prideful - at least for me there is.

So after today's gospel, after today's episode, I think I'll just leave you with less than you came for. Please just pray for me and my family this lent, that our observance of it may truly remind us of our sinfulness and our need for great repentance this season.

Here's today's gospel, in case you were wondering. Yeah, it was pretty much written for me...

Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them;
for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men.
Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites;
for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners,
that they may be seen by men.
Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites,
for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men.
Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

They're at it again!

I'm not surprised - The Herr's are one of fifteen finalists in a video contest for Children's Advil. Their video is, of course, adorable so I hope you'll be visiting the link to vote for them.

You can vote once per day, from March 8th through March 20th. You helped them win the Bob Evans contest, and you can help them win this one too! The grand prize is $15,000! And If they win, they'll use the money to reduce their debt, which will help enable them to send their 3 daughters to Catholic school.

To view their video and vote, go tohttp://relievemyfever.com/VideoDetails.aspx?vid=88OJPDCGGC297 (Under the video, you’ll see a blue box labeled “Vote Now for this Video.”)

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras! *now with video*

*I published this first without adding the video at the end, so now here's it all*

Whoa. Today was intense. My house was loud, crowded, and full of good food - the perfect cajun Mardi Gras party, if you ask me.

I made boudin, and king cake (calm down - it was just braided cinnamon rolls with purple, gold, and green sprinkles), muffalettas and the olive salad to go on top. And my friends brought beverages (including a pitcher full of Bloody Marys!), cookies, a real homemade king cake, banana bread, doughnut wholes and enough cups and plates to hold our crazy amount of food. And our morning wouldn't have been complete without the zydeco music and beads they also brought.

And though we had intentions of doing a second line handkerchief dance, or making homemade masks, or catching beads, we (i.e. me) only had enough enthusiasm to put on Princess in the Frog - hey, it's set in New Orleans... give me a break.

It doesn't matter though, because everyone had a great time and left with their bellies full and their shirts dirty - as a good cajun should.

Happy Mardi Gras!

And I forgot to mention that Charlotte slept through most of it - her 2 hour long nap was right through the commotion. Yeah, I can't really complain about her anymore, she's finally realized that we're pretty awesome so she doesn't give us any trouble these days. But sadly, in the time between everyone leaving and me writing this post, Joan's come down with a pretty pathetic case of something. She's got a low-grade fever and is super needy and pitiful. I hope no one else comes down with anything... sorry...