Thoughts for Thursday

Yes, dear readers, we remember “Thoughts for Thursday” – thank you for your patience with us!

What am I cooking? Steak fajitas, yum! Here is a delicious marinade for flank steak from Fr. Leo Patalinghug’s new cookbook, Grace Before Meals (makes a great gift, by the way!):

For 1 1/4 pounds of flank steak:

  1. 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  2. 1/4 c. white wine
  3. 1/4 c. soy sauce
  4. 2 T. ketchup
  5. 1 t. red pepper flakes (I left this out)
  6. 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  7. 1/4 c. olive oil
  8. 1 c. dark brown sugar (I used 1/3 c. light brown sugar)
  9. 2 t. kosher salt (I used 1 1/4 t. regular salt)
  10. 1 t. cracked black pepper (I used 1/2 t. pepper)
  11. 1 t. garlic powder
  12. 1 t. ginger powder (I used 1/2 t.)

Use a fork and poke holes in the steak to tenderize. Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a re-sealable plastic bag, reserve 1/4 c. of the marinade, and place the rest of the meat into the bag to marinade in the fridge for 2-4 hours (I did mine at room temp. for about 20 minutes because I was short on time). Grill and enjoy! I used the reserved marinade for a side tomato/corn/mozzarella/cilantro salad – delicious!

What are my weekend plans? We have a big birthday weekend coming up in our family, and for the first time ever, we are doing an organized party at a venue outside of our home. The local roller-skating rink is a favorite of the 2nd-graders, so we opted to go this route for Christopher and are already reaping the benefits of how easy this party will be on us! All we need to do is bring the cake, candles, and guest list, and they take care of the rest – can’t wait! Other than eating lots of birthday cake, we will be doing baseball, baseball, and more baseball – a great sport, but oh-so-time-consuming!

What are my prayer intentions for the day? A young girl in our neighborhood had surgery today to remove a basketball-sized tumor from her ovary – she is only 12 years old, and just one week ago, she was living life as a regular 7th-grader. Life sure can be crazy at times, and I am praying especially for her parents as they endure this trial.

What can my children do instead of  watching TV? The weather is still pleasant enough to play outside in the mornings and evenings, and we are loving our new backyard play set! The kids can go out to play for a few minutes at a time, which is great for getting out the wiggles, and we are now trying to decide whether or not to get a gate so that we can send the kids into the yard to play on their own.

What have I done for my marriage this week? We’re going on a date on Saturday night, and I arranged the sitter! I realize that this isn’t a huge effort on my part, but we’re both excited for some time together!

What am I reading? Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a real gem. I am always amazed at Jane Austen’s cleverness, and how attuned she was to human nature, which hasn’t changed a bit since she wrote in the late 19th century! Up next is a re-read of Pride and Prejudice, which I am sure I didn’t fully appreciate as a busy high school student.

What is one product that made my life easier? A small, easy-to-swallow prenatal vitamin. I usually am fine to swallow large pills, but during pregnancy…Well, anyone who has ever been pregnant knows what I’m talking about!

What is challenging me lately? It shouldn’t be a hard question, but when people ask me what number baby this is for me, I just don’t know what to say! This is my 5th baby, of course, including Lucy Rose, and it feels right to me to include her when I say how many children I have. But then I feel that I need to explain, because people go on to ask how old my children are, how many boys and girls, etc. And then I am stuck in the awkward situation of not knowing whether to explain about Lucy and about Annie’s condition, or whether to just smile and change the subject. Usually, I choose the latter because I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable, and then if at all possible I follow up with a personal email to explain the situation.

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  • Kathy

    Thank you for your thoughts for Thursday! After I read what the “builder” answered for their thoughts, I go back and answer for myself.

    Happy Birthday to Christopher! Hope that skating goes well. Enjoy the no fuss party. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your neighbor. Having had ovarian cyst surgery during my first pregnancy, I know that it can be scary. I will keep her in my prayers. Depending upon what the doctors find – she will probably still be able to have children. The doctors kept telling me that they have seen many ovarian cyst patients go on to have more children – I had 2 more after my surgery.

    Thanks for the recipe. I have Fr. Leo’s book – I love it but have yet to make any of the dishes. The book “Grace Before Meals” is great for its meal conversation starters too – especially how would Jesus celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?

    In regards to the challenge regarding your pregnancy, I have no good answers for you. What I do want to offer you is this anecdote that my 9 yr old told me about yesterday. A few days ago in her 3rd grade class, (Catholic School), her class had been talking about the right to life which lead to a home family discussion on the topic. In our discussion, the tangent topic of babies who go to heaven for illness, etc came up. My daughters know that I read your blog, so I mentioned to them about Lucy Rose, Therese Joy and Annie. They were sorry to hear of all the sorrow you, Red and many others have faced. I guess she was so moved by it that in school yesterday, at closing prayer her teacher asked for intentions. My daughter asked her class to pray for all of the “Tiger Mommies” who have a baby in Heaven or will have one go to Heaven in the future. She briefly explained to the class the situations and they were all so moved that they said many prayers for you and your families, your children and for help from God to get through this. The teacher did modify the prayer to include all Mommies and Daddies who have lost children.

    I guess it would have been easier to relay this info in person, but please know that people who have never met you are praying for you. Hopefully that will make things less challenging. In explaining the situations, her classmates were quiet but wanted to reach out to all of you – and were able to do that through prayer.

    Sorry for the long comment – but I thought you would like to know. It might help on the tougher days.

    Have a great day all!

  • Adele

    Usually, moms I know who have lost babies will say something like, “three on earth, two in heaven” when asked how many children they have. Of course, this won’t prevent further questioning, but I think most people will be respectful and not press for more information.

  • Juris Mater

    I hope you two have a wonderful date on Saturday night! You deserve it, birthday girl. Thanks for this beautiful post. We had fajitas tonight, too, but I wish I had used your recipe!!

  • Kellie “Red”

    Kathy, thank you for sharing that.

  • Kellie “Red”

    I love Fr. Leo!!!! We watch his show on EWTN and my kids get so excited to try out the recipes. We are actually cooking one of his this week. Maybe I should contact him about writing a gluten-free version of his cookbook 😉 haha!