I haven't shopped at Target in years. Living in the south made us dependent on super Wal-Mart's, but Connecticut's Wal-Mart's just don't compare. My husband went to Target recently and told me to check it out; he said they had a good selection of healthy foods without the Wholefoods price tag.
We went this afternoon and I was pleased, until it was time to leave. See, I retired from self-checkout lanes when my first child unloaded all of the gum sticks to the floor as I diligently worked to scan and bag our items. Now with three, self-checkout is senseless unless I'm purposely trying to raise my blood pressure.
This means I have to interact with humans. Normally, I really enjoy this. After all, my time on the checkout line is likely my only outside interactions with people who can use the bathroom by themselves. Today, the woman started by counting my children and giving them each a sticker. She noticed my belly and my three-year-old divulged that there could be two babies inside. I was measuring much further along and was awaiting another ultrasound to confirm my due date and the number of babies growing inside me! This slightly baffled the cashier. Yes, five children under the age of six would be a lot!
She gave me my change and I took a few steps forward before putting the money in my wallet so she could check out the next customer in-line.
Clearly, the cashier thought I was out of earshot as she began to divulge all of her thought about me to the next customer.
"What is she thinking!!" She said. "Clearly, she doesn't even know!"
I stood there baffled for a moment. Really? I'm like two feet away and you're bashing me to another complete stranger?
I was angry. My first thought was this is why I shouldn't shop at Target. Clearly, a company that allows men in the women's changing area would have employees that don't respect life or customers who choose that. You'd think they would welcome large families because they have to spend more. But that's not the case anymore these days. I contemplated emailing management and starting a social media war #boycotttarget and getting all my pro-lifers involved. But I didn't.
As I was loading up my car, the scripture, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” came to mind (Matt. 5:44), so I stopped my complaining and prayed for her. I'm sure she never planned to be working as a cashier in her 40’s. Her life probably didn't go as she planned, and neither had mine. I didn't plan for a 4th baby and certainly didn't do some crazy fertility dance in hopes of having twins.
Truth be told, we were in the same boat.
But I chose to take two lessons from the angry cashier:
1) Live joyfully. The cashier seemed miserable standing there, and I seem pretty miserable at 8:30 pm when I'm exhausted and trying to finish the dishes and get my kids to bed. But, I can choose to be joyful and not spread misery. A sink filled with dirty dishes isn’t nearly as toxic as an angry mama.
2) Don't speak badly about anyone, ever. When we speak badly about someone, we minimize an entire human being to our meanest assumptions about them. Is it any wonder God would instruct us not to gossip, after all, we’re speaking about His creation (for more scripture on this topic, check out Belief.net ). We all make mistakes and we're all works in progress, but the important part is to keep growing!
If you feel like you’ve got your tongue under control, I challenge you to take it to the next level and not think badly about anyone. When you meet a difficult person, ask God what He thinks about them? His thoughts are good, and they just might surprise you!
And if you’re still wondering about the possibilities of twins? An ultrasound confirmed it’s only one!
Has anyone ever negatively commented about your family’s size, names, or dress? How did you respond? I’d love to hear your response in the comment section!
Eggplant Parmesan is a glorious creation. Saucy, cheesy, yummy...and healthy? Well, fried eggplant certainly isn't on the top of the list for the health conscious and I've yet to find a restaurant that services this dish gluten-free. For a while, I'd venture down the painstaking path of making a gluten free breading, and frying individual eggplant strips to quench my eggplant parm craving, but I barley have time to keep up with the dishes, let alone spend an extra hour slaving away at the stove.
When I found a recipe for an eggplant parm casserole, I decided it was simpler and worth a try. The flavor was incredible and I didn't even miss the friend eggplant! After years of making it, (and a couple more kids) I adapted it to be something I could make on my stove top, in less time, but would still be loaded with cheesy Italian goodness. Oh, and quinoa.
Quinoa is the core of this meal, and you won't even miss the breading of traditional eggplant parm, making this a gluten free dream. Plus, is freezes beautifully... if you don't eat it all first. Even my three year old shadows me in the kitchen while I cook this.
To start, dice up an onion and a partially skinned eggplant (I like a little skin, but find not skinning some of the eggplant makes the dish a bit too chewy). I use a handy veggie chopper to speed up the process. Then soak the eggplant cubes in a bowl of water with 1 tsp of dissolved salt. Allow this to sit for 20 minutes. This softens the eggplant and takes away the bitterness, so don't skip this step!
While the eggplant soaks, start the quinoa. In a small sauce pan, cook 1 cup rinsed quinoa with two cups of water until the water is dissolved and set aside.
When the eggplant is finished soaking, prepare a large frying pan with your oil of choice, the cut onion, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Squeeze the eggplant of any excess water and add it to the pan.
Sauté for about 10 minutes, storing frequently as it'll stick to your pan.
Finally, add in one jar of marinara sauce (Newman's Own Organic Maranara is AMAZING), 1/2 c of parmesan cheese (or more), and the cooked quinoa to the pan.
Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Then top with more cheese of choice and enjoy!!
Gluten-free Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa
Growing up, I struggled with asthma and allergies. Coughing made sports difficult, and the asthma and allergy combo made any common cold a nightmare. My mom would have a tray of medicine and written schedule of what to take at what time in an effort to avoid having to use another round of steroids.
Flash forward 20 years, and I find myself following my mom's steps to help my son with his Asthma, only I’m not half as organized. Every week, my mom would do "dust mites" as she called it. A mega cleaning of my room, washing all my bedding, and freezing my stuffed animals for 24 hours to kill the dust mites and keep my coughing at bay. It was no easy task.
Now with three, soon to be four kids, I find myself struggling to keep up with the dishes and laundry let alone minimizing the dust mites and allergens in our house. When I heard about Bona Floor Cleaner through MomsMeet and how it was recommended by the asthma and allergy association I was so excited to check it out. This mama will take any help I can get!
I was super impressed with the price point. For $19.99 you receive a mop, two reusable cloths and sample disposable cloths. My mop has a velcro attachment which means the cloths actually stay on without moving or falling off. The Bona mop is also SO much bigger than my old swifter so my floors are cleaner faster! I also love that it comes with reusable cloths! That cuts back on spending and waste which is a win/win!
I shared the Bona Floor Cleaner with my MomsMeet friends and they loved it too! It's maneuverable, reasonably priced, and it's sturdy. To demonstrate the cleaning power, I let the kids walk in crunched up chalk outside and make footprints in my kitchen. Then, they got to mop up and watch their chalk paths disappear. Fun!
Finally, I brought the mop over to my mom’s house to help her clean and do “dust mites.” After years of helping me manage my asthma, my mom is managing her own- so I was so excited to help reduce the dust and allergens in her home with Bona. Now, her floors are over 200 years old. General Rochambeau and his army walked right by their front door during the Revolution, so I was extra cautious with their antique wood floors. But, the Bona floor cleaner got rid of grim that had been building up in the corners and by the thresholds of the floor for years!
Swiffer got swifted and I'm a Bona believer!
Have you tried Bona? How do you keep your floors clean with lots of little feet constantly on the move?
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of four, giving her excellent credentials to run her own circus one day!