Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italian Meatloaf

Good Tuesday morning!

The Gallery has some "new" left-over pics from the past two weekends. (I always keep a spare or two.)

RANDOMNESS #1 - I have a few new readers visiting A Simple Life, so the following is a list of posts (old and new) for them to check out when they stop by for a few minutes. (If you've been here awhile, you can skip on down!)

1. Things I've Learned While Raising Teens... A Humbling Experience - Go to my sidebar under Labels and click on the above label.

2. Go to (This will take you to the original A Simple Life at a different website address.) Go to my sidebar and click on Josh's Journey.

3. Go to Go to my sidebar and click on City Adventures.

If you're new, these things will give you an idea of what the blog has been "about" the last three years or so!

And thanks for visiting!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I'm beginning the 25-hour prep for my February Paula Deen Recipe Challenge today. If you need me, I'll be "sugaring" rose petals. (I am not kidding!)

RANDOMNESS #3 - Things I've Learned While Raising Teens... A Humbling Experience

Just Say "YES" - I read many years ago the best thing you can say to your teen is "YES." I cannot find the specific "how-to-raise-teenagers" book at this time, so I cannot tell you if it was Dobson or Barnes or someone else who made this suggestion. I can, however, tell you, I took it to heart.

By the time my kids reached the teenage years, the word "no" was one of the first to come out of my mouth. Until I read the aforementioned book, I couldn't even tell you how many times I had used the word "no" unnecessarily.

So I began with Austin and when he asked me one of the 1,000 questions he asked each day, I started listening more carefully, processing the information and saying "yes" whenever I possibly could.

"Can I go to Books-A-Million after school for an hour or two and just look around?"

First words that came to mind, "No. Not tonight. I'm having dinner at 5:30 and I have a lot to do, so I don't need to have to worry about dropping you off and picking you up in the middle of 'dinner prep' time."

Words spoken AFTER first words were PUSHED BACK INTO MY MOUTH. "Sure. We'll just have dinner around 6:30. No problem."

And guess what? It really wasn't a problem 90 percent of the time. And when I absolutely, positively HAD to say "no," all the "yes" answers helped diffuse the blow.

While Austin asked specific-type questions, Josh was a little more vague.

"Can I go driving up the road for about an hour? I need time to unwind a little and think."

First words that came to mind, "No, you cannot just drive around for no reason other than to drive around. That's nuts! However, you can go to the store and pick up a few things for me before dinner."

Words spoken AFTER first words were SHOVED BACK INTO MY MOUTH. "Okay. What direction are you heading, and when can I expect you back in the driveway?"

And guess what? Josh came home on time, visibly relaxed and much more content. And when I absolutely, positively HAVE to say "no," Josh still argues some and may be a little upset, but I have to believe he handles it much better than if I had never said "yes" before.

You see, Josh is different from Austin.

And while Austin and Josh ask about 1,000 questions per day, Roxie asks between 9,999 and 10,000 specific AND vague questions each and every day.

And they are rapid-fire.

And they are BIG questions mixed in with SMALL questions.

"Can I watch my friends play softball this afternoon at 5:00? Can I go with them to have a hamburger after the game? Can I go bathing suit shopping tomorrow after school? Can I buy two bathing suits and a cover-up before we come home? Can we go to The Galleria after we check the stores in our town? Can I sky-dive next Saturday? Can I sign up to work the Magnolia Festival in April? Can I order 14 dresses from the Alloy catalog? Can I get my hair cut tomorrow? Can we buy a horse? Can we have pizza for dinner."

First words that comes to mind, "NO! My goodness. Just go sit in your room and listen to music for a little while!"

Words spoken AFTER first words were CHOKED UPON. "Yes. Yes. Yes. We'll see. No. NO! Yes. You can order FOUR. Yes. Not today. Yes."

As you can see the YES to NO ratio is not as good as I would like, but it's getting there.

But guess what? When I absolutely, positively HAVE to say "no," Roxie still argues a good bit and is still upset for awhile, but I have to believe she handles it much better than if I had never said "yes" before.

You see, Roxie is a little different from Josh and Austin.

I just need to remind myself (DAILY) to stop and think before speaking. I learned this skill earlier in life, but somewhere along the way, it was a skill completely lost to me. I'm glad I'm finding it again.

DISCLAIMER - As always, I want to make sure YOU know I don't think I'm a perfect Mother of Teens. All I'm trying to do is strive and survive! My new motto!

RANDOMNESS #4 - Mikie and I were challenged to "serve" each other this week. We were reading about service to others, and it was pointed out that it is SO important not to just serve others around you, but to begin with your own spouse. I love that! Love it, I tell you.

So far, Mikie has done the dishes for me (twice), and I have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom from the kitchen after our family dinner is finished.

Of course, I want to do something creative and different for Mikie, so I found this new website (via Pinterest) and I liked what I read... a lot.

I know Mikie is super busy today at work and he will not have time to read the blog, so this will be a surprise waiting for him when he gets home tonight.

I'm going to make a "SOCK IT TO HIM" basket.

These are the items I'll be using:

A basket or gift bag

A pair of nice, soft slippers

New socks (With three men all wearing and sharing the same socks, it is so easy for wear and tear. He's getting new navy blue, black and white crew socks.)

Nail clippers

Foot lotion

Foot powder

Coupon for a foot massage (He's going to LOVE this one. The massage comes AFTER application of foot lotion, foot powder, etc.)

I want to give credit where credit is due. Go to for tons of great gift ideas and so much more. You'll enjoy this new website.

Italian Meatloaf

Also, to go along with the "serving your spouse" idea, I'm trying a new recipe tonight.

I am not a meatloaf person, but Mikie is such a person. I don't even know if the kids have ever had meatloaf because I've never made it.

The Italian part of this recipe makes it sound good to me.

You will need the following:

2 eggs, beaten
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup (I'm going to substitute Ragu sauce.)
1 cup dry bread crumbs (I'm going to use Italian bread crumbs.)
1 cup chopped onion, sauteed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix together well.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

NOTE - I'm also going to pour a little Ragu sauce over the top of the meatloaf or on the individual servings.

For the record, I'm making homemade mashed potatoes, too.

I'll let you know how the "spouse serving" goes as the week progresses. (So far, so good!)

Have a tremendous Tuesday. I'll be back tomorrow with Wednesday Wisdom, a Seasonal Tradition for the family, Randomness, pics and more, more, more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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