Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Staying home

As Christmas has passed and we've had a chance to visit with others, everyone asks if we did anything for Christmas.  I have started thinking about it and usually I just say not really... we just stayed home and spend it with our small family.

And since then I've been thinking more about it.  Just because we stayed home doesn't mean we didn't do anything.  At what point in life does staying home equal doing nothing? 

We stayed home.  We celebrated Christmas with our children and we had a fun and enjoyable day playing with our new toys and games and relaxing. 

Yesterday my oldest daughter was able to go and select some items for her christmas present, and get one of hers as well.  She had asked for a room makeover so she still needed to select some of the items for that.  She also got her ears pierced as one of her christmas presents.

Today all four kids have a friend over playing.  Hubbie is back at work for his short 3 day work week before New Years Eve that he get's to stay home on.  

Again... I'm enjoying staying home.  Swapping a few loads of laundry in the washer, making lunch for the handfuls of kids, catching up on some blogs, and reading a book.

I'm staying home... but I'm not doing "nothing" :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful and fun christmas!  Hubby and I were up till 11:30 getting presents wrapped and placed under the tree and stockings filled.  Then we watched some tv for an hour and a half just to wind down before we headed to bed around 1am.  Of course we would start to hear noises from the kids by 5:30am... we stayed in bed till 7am right after our youngest came knocking on our door.  "It's 7:00 mommy and daddy, well it's just about 7:00, it's 6:56- come out so we can open presents!"  (we had told them they couldn't wake us up till 7:00am) lol!

Santa was very kind this year and brought lots of wanted items.  I even had an amazing gift of a DSLR camera... a dream of mine to have for the past few years. :) 

We were done with unwrapping and were playing with our new "toys" all before 9am!  I'm forseeing an early bedtime tonight for the over-excited kids that could not wait to get up this morning!

I've managed to snap a mear 90 pictures so far in trying out the new camera.  I'm excited to get it outside and use the zoom lense and see what I can do with that. :)

Yesterday I didn't leave the house once (that NEVER happens!), and barely left the kitchen.  We have a Christmas tradition that we have our big dinner on Christmas Eve, so I spent the entire day in the kitchen making frog eyed salad, cheesy augratin potato's, sweet potato's with a crunchy topping and marshmallows on top, egg nog cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies for Santa, and our favorite homemade rolls.  Since I did all the work yesterday, today I can sit back and relax and play with our christmas presents and just pop the leftovers in the oven to warm up... no time for me in the kitchen today.

Merry Christmas Everyone! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are you ready for Christmas?

I was at the store today.  As I'm checking out the cashier in an attempt to be friendly asks me the question "Are you ready for Christmas?"  I told her I was almost ready... and we left it at that.  As I was driving home, unloading my purchases, and putting them away I continued to think about that question.  Am I ready for christmas?  I feel like I never am fully ready for christmas.  Even when I plan ahead and shop ahead, I'm always thinking of this or that little item or stocking stuffer that I should still pick up and add to the pile of stuff that we've purchased.  I wonder how much more money I spend each year with the "just one more item" purchases I make after the planned purchases are made. 

Coincidentally, I got to the car outside of the store and remembered at least 5 items I didn't buy that I'll need for Christmas dinner... oh well... I've still got two more days to pick them up... if I can only remember them! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm not sure I want to share this article with my son...

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills
by Michelle Trudeau


The article is interesting... click on it and read it.  I tried to copy it and paste it, but it get's all wierd in the formatting, and it's easier for you to just read it on their site- they like that much better too because then they can see how many people are reading it. :)

I remember when my kids were much younger and I would post on parenting message boards, one day there was a discussion about video games and tv and stuff.  I posted my view that I felt it was my duty as a parent to teach my children the ability to use technology so that they would be able to benefit from having it in their lives. 
I didn't expound or go further to explain things at that point in time and I got reamed out by another mom... she was of the school of thought that her children would not be watching tv and frying their brains and there was nothing good that could ever come from video games and her kids would not waste their time playing them.
Her stance was so over the top for me that really I didn't mind getting reamed out by her, because my parenting philosophy and hers were so polar opposite from each other that I think if she had agreed with me on something I might have questioned my thoughts on it...
But it did give me a chance to post additional thoughts on video games and tv and such.
I do still believe that it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to effectively use technology in their lives.  Computers are not a fad that will go away.  The technology that powers gaming and tv will make their way into our lives and knowing how to use that technology correctly is a life skill for our children now. 
As part of the process of teaching them how to use the technology, we have to teach them how to keep from allowing technology to overcome their lives.  We have to teach them by example that there is more to life than just tv and video games.  We have to teach them to balance the video games, with playing outside and doing homework and playing board games with family and friends.  As with anything- addictions can and do occur and we need to teach our kids the definition and meaning of the word MODERATION.  I think that's a word that in this day and age has become lost a lot of times.  Most things are fine in moderation.
I saw this article a friend posted today about the video gaming... and smilied when at the end of the article it reminded people that moderation should still be used and they were not saying kids should sit and play video games for hours and hours on end.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Disney World Trip

I just wanted to share some pictures from our trip.  I LOVED seeing the gingerbread displays at the resorts!  I'd love to be able to develop the skills to make something even 1/10th as good looking and as big as they are.

 This is the gingerbread Carousel at the Beach Club
 I love how at Disney everything is themed so well.  I love the architectural details at the Animal Kingdom in the Jungle Walk part.

 The Contemporary lit up at night.
 Beautiful Fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom.  Really ruins the 4th of July for our kids... it just can't compare. :)
The Grand Floridian is beautifully decorated at Christmas time.  The decorations are elegant, but the real reason we stopped by was the gingerbread house... just absolutely un-believable!
 See how big this thing is?  See the people standing there next to it?

 The level of detail... just amazing!
 So, so, so neat!  I could have taken 100 pictures here getting close shots of details, but by kids were not as enamoured by it as I was.

 On our last night at Disney we saw the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studio's.  So, so  NEAT!  I loved it... the kids again were not as wow'ed by it as I was, and it was cold and so we had to leave before I would have liked to, but when the music starts playing and the lights are synchronized to it... it is just amazing.

 I LOVED that they lit up common things like this... bike's.  There were also some kids little play tables and toys that were lit up in front of another townhouse facade.

We love all our trips to Disney, and this was probably our best trip yet... we just keep having more and more fun each time we go.

Remembering the reason

Today is Sunday.  I love Sunday's.  I love going to church and feeling the spirit, fellowshipping with friends, and recharging spiritually for the upcoming week.  I love coming home and relaxing- Watching my kids as they dog pile on Daddy, and make all sorts of messes while they play together for hours.  Some sunday afternoons I literally do nothing for hours on end and just watch what the rest of the family is doing.  Other sunday's I enjoy baking in the kitchen or reading a book. 

Today at church our choir sang a cantata during Sacrament Meeting.  We were not where we wanted to be in preparing for it.  We had not practiced enough and did not know all our entrances and cut off's.  Despite this, I love the spirit that I feel when I'm singing in the choir.  The words become more than just words, and the feeling and spirit brings a richness to the songs.

I think we all at times get caught up in the shopping and preparing for Christmas Eve/Morning.  I'm excited that we now have the next five days to slow things down, and prepare emotionally and spiritually for Christmas.  I'm hoping to do some fun stuff with the kids to emphasize the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and how we celebrate his birth at Christmas.  Hopefully we can keep the spirit we feel today in our house through the next week.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm sorry... I haven't been making the time...

I read a blog today. I read most of my blogs that I follow in Google Reader. I like that it allows me to scroll through and see what people have posted without having to physically go to their blogs.

I like it, and dislike it all at the same time. It's incredibly convenient, but I miss out on the special touches- the backgrounds and stuff that people spend a lot of time making their blogs and websights look neat with.

In the blog post that I read today she mentioned how people use the phrase "I don't have time for that" for things, and how she feels as if it's a judgement of her when she mentions something online and the person reply's with an "I don't have time for that" sentence.

I haven't had much time to keep my blogs updated, and it saddens me. I really miss sharing with family and friends what is going on in our day to day lives. The homework, the accomplishments, the upsets, and then disagreements.

My life is not anywhere near perfect. I find myself not posting at times because I don't know what to post, but I think that is what I need to post. I need to post that I felt a sense of accomplishment when I got all the clothes in the laundry room folded, AND put away. I need to post that I spent the entire day in the kitchen yesterday baking and making stuff and I LOVED it! I even enjoyed doing the dishes of the 3 loads I did in the dishwasher.

I don't post on the days that I just can't talk myself into driving to the gym and getting a workout done... but I have plenty of those days.

I want to make the time to post more. I want to post about what we are doing day in and day out... and it might be boring to some people, but I think to others they will enjoy just hearing what is going on in our lives, and those people really are why I keep my blogs... because even though we live thousands of miles apart- we can still be involved in each others lives and cheer for each other in our victories and give prayers and sympathy to each other in our hard times.

Christmas is next week. My prayer to all is that they will have a joyful happy and peaceful holiday. That the stresses of the season will not overtake them and that they will take the time to do the things they treasure most about Christmas.

And I will make a better effort to make the time to post more often.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas is almost here!

I can't believe this month is flying by so fast!  It has been busy, but in a fun way and we have been trying to enjoy every minute. 

My last post was made on my iphone while driving home in the middle of the night.  I apologize for all the major typo's in it.  I'm definitly human and was getting pretty darn tired during that drive. lol!

We've made our gingerbread houses, baked bread, baked cookies, dipped chocolate pretzels, made caramel popcorn, shopped for friends and christmas parties, made some make and takes for a ward party and had a generally great two weeks since we've gotten back from our trip.  I'm looking forward to the rush in the next week and the fun and then the great fun of watching the kids on Christmas morning.  I'm realizing my kids are getting bigger and older and I only have a few more years of Santa to enjoy with them before they all figure it out like the older kids have.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home again home again...

We are huge Disney fans. We went for the first time to Disneyworld four years ago as a second honeymoon to celebrate our anniversary and the end of our baby years and me being pregnant or nursing. It was really the first trip we've ever gone on that was without Ida and just for fun. We had a boast, and felt guilty that we had gone without the kids. So the next year we took the kids. And returned a year later and had some friends there t the same time. The next year Dh and I did another solo trip and then we were hooked. We bought into the dvc membership and just finished our first trip there staying in a dvc room. I'm so pleased and halt with it. Also we strategically planned our points so we will only go every other year. Without that built in planning the kids would want tO go every year And Dh would probably get talked into it. Lol!

I've been neglecting this blog. I hope to get better about posting Right now it's midnight and we are driving home from our trip. We got a great deal on airline tickets, but Had to drive three hours to the airport to get the deal. So please forgive typos and stuff. I'm typing this on the phone. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Busy month!

I can't believe I haven't opened up Blogger in almost a whole month!  It's been busy and fun and I just haven't had the time to sit down and post stuff.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Amateur hour...

I've been looking at the blogs that are participating in a blog hop today and feeling like I am sooo on the amateur end of things... There is so much I have to learn with digiscrapping!

But it's really neat to see what people have created.  My style is so much simpler than what most of them do, but I love seeing the different things they've done.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Halloween Challenge!

Robyn has a bunch of challenges going on over at her blog My Pink Stamper.  While she is the cricut queen and uses it and makes amazing cool stuff... I don't own a cricut, I don't have a stack of paper, and I'm just not really paper crafty.

But I've been watching her challenges, and I decided I'm going to follow along and do her challenges in my own medium... Digiscrapping.

She challenged us to make a project that is Halloween or Fall themed.  So I Scrapbooked two pages from past halloween's.

Both pages were made using free downloads from Free Digital Scrapbooking for the paper backgrounds, and the word overlay's.  I used font in Photoshop Elements for the journaling.

Giving Credit where credit is due...

I'm new to the world of digiscrapping and blogging and posting what you make and stuff.

I apologize in the past I haven't put where I've gotten the papers and embellishments and fonts from for the digital scrapbook pages I've made.  I honestly didn't really think about it, but there are so many awesome sites that I've gotten stuff from.  Most of the stuff I use has been from Shabby Princess and Free Digital Scrapbooking.  From now on I'll try and remember to give credit to where I am getting the pages and embellishments and stuff.

Digi Scrapping

I started up my photoshop elements program again on Sunday.  I hadn't worked with it since March and really forget how much I enjoy working with it.  Here are some pages... the first two were from March that I don't think I posted, but the other ones are what I did this week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Snack Time

A friend reminded me today about a Yummy snack!  I'd even bought all the ingredients for it recently, but then never made it for the kids.

Honey Graham Chex Mix

6 cups rice chex
6 cups golden grahams
1 cup chopped almonds (or slivered)
1 cup coconut.

2 sticks butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine cereals, almonds and coconut in a large bowl, set aside.

Combine butter, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium sauce pan.  Cook on med until it boils, stirring constantly.

Boil for 5 minutes or until it reaches a light golden taffy color. Add vanilla.

Pour over cereal mixture and stir well.

Spread out on wax paper and cool.


Ramblings of the sleep deprived..

So my hubbie is out of town for a few nights.  It's just a short trip- 3 days 2 nights.  I deal with these trips so much easier than the week long or week+ trips that occasionally come up.

I don't sleep well when he's gone, I just don't.  I've tried just about everything and even when I do get myself to sleep at a decent time, I wake up multiple times at night.  I can take a sleeping pill, but I don't like to do that when I'm the only adult in the house with four kids... it just doesn't seem like a good combination.

In the past when hubbie has had trips I relax on a lot of house rules.  I let the kids make messes, and don't make them clean it up.  We eat comfort food that's quick and not the healthiest.  We bake desserts, or go and buy ice cream.

This trip feels different though.  I'm realizing that although I tell myself we clean up each day because it makes hubbie happy- in truth is makes me happy.  My mind feels so much free'er and uncluttered, when the house is basically clean and picked up.  (we aren't talking magazing cover clean... there are 4 kids and a dog that live here!)  I feel so much better when I'm not eating a lot of comfort junk foods with the kids (I'll still let them have some- that's tradition!).  I'm trying to stay busy with stuff to do in the house to keep my mind working- and I'm feeling less tired and cranky than I usually do at this stage of the trip.

I guess I'm growing up a little bit myself... took a while... maybe by the time I get to 40 I'll feel like I really should be the grown-up in charge that wants to make the grown up choices instead of just grudgingly admitting when I make them that they are the right ones... :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm grateful today for A/C.

I'm grateful today that I have the ability to stay home and take care of our kids and home and I have the freedom to choose if I want to work outside of the home or not.

I'm grateful today that when an urgent email went out on the PTA email list- that the middle school's A/C was out and they needed ice, water, and fans to distribute around to classrooms, I was able to help out.

I'm grateful that I'm now sitting in my house with the A/C on... and I'll be meeting my 6th grader with a nice big ice cold drink when I pick him up from school in an hour.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pst.... Wanna hear a secret??

I LOVE having a house full of kids.  It's loud, it's crazy, and I feel like I don't have to keep up with the messes or worry about having the most nutritious dinner, or having bedtime be on time and quiet and calm.

We have four extra kids staying with us overnight, and up till bedtime tomorrow night, and that means I can let them play, we can have a movie night, and I can sit back and read my book while they all play together with each other.

And then, when it's all over and they are gone my hubbie helps get the house back in order and appreciates the lesser noise of just our four kids even more.

And I enjoy the quiet the next week when they are all in school even more.

And the reciprocal trades when Hubby and I get to take off for a night or two and they keep our kids are great as well.

It's a good thing... :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hobbies, truths revealed.

I am surrounded by women in my life that have incredibly rewarding hobbies.  They paint, they scrapbook (My Pink Stamper and Karlee Krafts, they exercise, they go boating, they are scriptorians, they are political minds, and they juggle the incredibly busy lives of their families.

I often go through times when I feel unable to measure up to them.  I can't keep the schedules they keep.  I can't handle the pressure they deal with deadlines and pushing their bodies to the limit with exercise and schedules.

I don't find the deep satisfying sense of fullfillment with hobbies that they do.  I guess I have yet to find the right hobbies to really dive into and give me a sense of accomplishment and fullfillment.

So what hobbies do others have?

I do like to bake, but try to not bake too much... that doesn't work well with my waistline.
I like to play on the computer
I like to read books
I like to watch sports

I find myself wasting too much time on the computer or playing on my iphone... it's a love hate relationship I have with it... I love it, but I waste too much time playing silly app games on it. lol!

Right now I LOVE audio books and use them to listen to books during the day.  I play them while I run on the treadmill.  I play them while I tackle the pile of laundry that I keep putting off until laundry is falling off the shelves and onto the floor of my laundry room.  I play them while I'm trying to clean up my daughter's room that is also where all the toys in the house live.

What things do you love, and what are your time wasters?

Avoidance, dread, fear... enjoyment, relief, and calm...

I find myself in my mind using those words to describe my feelings towards exercise.  I avoid it... I dread it, I fear the pain that it will bring to me.

And then I finally make myself change into the exercise clothes, pull the treadmill out and open it up and use it.

And I wind up feeling enjoyment, relief that I have gotten it done for the day, and calmness that I overcame the urge to avoid it.

Now if I could only apply that same reasoning to the mountain of laundry waiting to be folded, or the little girls bedroom that needs to be cleaned. lol!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank you

Thank you to the unknown, confident- probably 8th grader that saw an ackward 6th grader loaded down with his huge backpack and instrument case trying to walk quickly into the building this morning... and stopped and held the door open for him.

Thank you to the mom's that have it together every morning and get their kids and themselves to the elementary school to direct morning traffic... 20 minutes before school starts.

Thank you...

Monday, September 13, 2010


Last night I realized I had two cards worth $25 each off of a $50 or more purchase to a store my girls LOVE the clothes in, that expired today.  So I had to go down to the mall this morning and spend some money in order to save some money.  I got some great stuff on sale and markdowns and got a good deal.  But I still had to spend $57 for the clothing that was valued at over $145.  And I gulped and handed over my credit card and paid it.  Happy with the good deal, and not happy about spending money at the same time.

Contrast that to 20 minutes later in line at Sam's club with a cart full of food... and I sighed a great big sigh of relief that my total was under $200.  lol! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

School days and IEP's

I have had three of my four children all need some form of IEP in the last three years at school.  I have felt confident as I worked with their school and got the needs of my children addressed and worked out with them. 

Today as I was sitting at the computer frustrated at my 6th grader's lack of organization, i realized that now in middle school- his teachers may not all be aware of his IEP and the concessions that he is allowed within that IEP to help him suceed and be successfull in Middle School.

I'm SO glad that I was able to get his IEP worked out at our Elementary School last year so that now I can go to the teachers and tell them what we need to do make things work better for him.  I just wrote an email that I pray is received in the intent that I sent it... I just want to make sure they are aware of his needs and are open to working with him with those needs.

And can I say I am LOVING the modern technology that allows me to look up his grades on the computer, and communicate with his teachers in such a convenient manner that we can all keep track of his progress without multiple phone calls and meetings to sort things out. :)

Backgrounds, formatting, etc

I used to feel like I was decent at formatting my blog backgrounds... and then I stopped fooling with it and just left all my backgrounds the same for a while.  This year blogger decided to make things easier and put the new template editor in... and all my former backgrounds and formatting were messed up, and since I haven't done any work on them in a long time- I've felt like I'm trying to learn a new language just to get the backgrounds and formatting back to something I like.

This is better than what was here, but I still have to figure out how to get my title showing up.. :(

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lunch Date

Now that most of the kids are in school all day- last year and this year my hubby and I have been getting together for a once a month lunch date.  Our youngest is still in half day school, but great friends on the same schedule as we are, swap with us and she goes home from school with them while I'm out at lunch.

Today we went to a new place to me.  Cool Greens  it's a salad restaurant... it has some other stuff, but in our town we don't have a lot of choices when we just want a good salad for lunch. 

The salad was delicious!  And it has a cool hip and trendy decor.  My only complaint is that it's noisy... cool trendy and hip= everything was a hard surface and noise just bounced around the whole place...

So I think I now have a new favorite lunch spot.  I loved that I ate the salad... it filled me up, but didn't stuff me and it was light and refreshing and I don't feel weighed down from a large meal.

Oh... and I love that I got the chance to have a lunch date with hubby.  I think it's even more special than dinner dates with him.  It's during the middle of the day when I still feel like my brain functions.  I can carry on a conversation without feeling like my brain is shutting down from a day full of kid stuff.  It's just neat to see him for an hour in the middle of an otherwise busy day for both of us, and I feel special that he makes sure he has that time free from meetings and stuff to see me then as well. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baking time

I have a child with chronic issues in the constipation department.  It is difficult to find foods that this child will eat without a battle- that will keep that area regular.

I decided this weekend to try some bran muffins again... and searched around to find a good recipe.  One that balanced the health benefits of bran muffins, with flavor and enough sweetness that will actually make it nice to eat.

I think I found the right recipe.  I took one I found and tweaked it a little bit to work for us.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

3 tbsp butter melted
1 1/2 cups bran cereal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups buttermilk
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
6 tbsp molassas
2 eggs

Mix it all up together and let it sit for a few minutes to soften up the bran cereal.

Scoop into well greased muffin tins (I used an ice cream scoop... and it divided out perfectly).

Bake at 350 degree's for about 18 minutes.

It makes 24 regular size muffins...

I think next time I might try subsituting applesauce for the butter, use all whole wheat flour, and use the liquid egg substitute for the whole eggs- that would keep the fat down a little bit.

If you do weight watcher's points- the recipe as I made it makes each muffin 3 points: 135 calories, 2.15 fat grams and 1.36 fiber. 

Next time when I try the changes it would be 2 points: 125 calories, .95 fat grams, and 1.36 fiber.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hello again!

It's been a month since I've looked at this blog.  I wish there were some great huge reasons for why I didn't get back here last month, but it's just the general business that us mom's have going on.  We had my daughter's 7th birthday, a little mini trip to Branson, a birthday party for my daughter, Information day and meeting of teachers for 4 kids, two sets of grandparents visiting for 5 and 4 nights, my son's 12th birthday, the first day of school, Dh's brother and his wife and baby visiting for a couple of days, and a new calling for me at church that's taken some computer time getting lists straightened out.

Life should start to slow down a bit now.  The kids are all settled into their new classes and are getting into the homework routine. Their withdrawls from unlimited tv during our 100+ degree summer weather to no tv during the school week have pretty much been worked out.

I'm starting to get myself into the routine that I wanted to get into.  It took me a while to get used to waking up at 6:30am to get my middle schooler out the door for his bus at 7, but I think i'm getting used to it now.  Then it's actually much calmer to get the three girls off to school two hours later since I'm already up and awake from getting up for him.

With all the kids in school in the morning I have started to toss on the workout clothes and get a workout in the morning.  That's something I was definitly lacking during the summer- time for me to workout without interruptions.

Now that I'm getting used to the schedule, I hope to find some time in the afternoons when I have just my kindergartener home in the afternoon to explore some hobbies and learn a little more in photoshop elements, and how to use my camera better, and I'd love to get back to baking homemade bread instead of going through 3 loafs of store bought bread a week! : P  Oh and of course I want to start updating my blogs more.

The start of the school year is a little similar to January for me, I try and make some new goals of things to accomplish...

Monday, August 2, 2010

templates, shemplates...

I'm not a big fan of the new templates...

and I'm having problems getting my favorite cut and paste backgrounds to work here, so hopefully I'll be able to get it looking okay again soon... sorry for the messy look right now.

A month has gone by...

Summer has been so busy with playing at the pool, having family come and visit, going and visiting family, and more playing.  Once school starts I'll probably blog here more, but for now I'm having fun with the kids and enjoying the summer. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I wish I hadn't...

I wish I hadn't...

...waited so long to learn how to make crepes!
...eaten that cupcake last night.
...ditched college in the middle of a semester (13 years ago).
...put off doing laundry for half the week.
...forgotten to put sunscreen on yesterday.

I'm glad that I...

...was able to share some fun time with friends at the pool
...learned to make crepes and now I know how easy it is
...have leftover crepe batter- yum!
...was able to pull off two birthday parties, two birthday family celebrations, and family (2 parents, 4 kids) visiting- all in a week without the house being completely destroyed.
...can sleep in without the kids making disastrous messes.
...totally cleaned my car... it's so nice when it's clean on the inside!

Monday, June 28, 2010

One more cake...

I just wanted to put up the cake I did for my 10 year old.

One of these days I'll take the Wilton classes or something else and learn how to really decorate cake and use the tips and make flowers and all that fun stuff.  For now, I'll just settle for figuring things out on my own and making things that have a definite "homemade" feel to them. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

What I've been up to...

I've been playing with food...

Baking cakes, and making cookies.

Snickerdoodles III
Submitted By: Sue W
Servings: 24
"Soft sugar cookie with a cinnamon-sugar topping."


1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Blend well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll dough in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.

And I discovered that while my kids won't touch bbq chicken breasts whole-  when I cut the chicken up into smaller pieces and put them on a skewer... they fight over who has more pieces...

Monday, June 21, 2010

A kid funny

Yesterday the kids were all giving hubby his Fathers Day cards.  I slipped my card to him in as well.  He opened them all up, gave the child it was from a hug and thanked them for their cards.  He opened mine up, read it and told me thank you.  Then leaned over and gave me a quick kiss.  Our five year old looked at us funny and in a giggly voice said "Daddy!  that was on the lips!"

Guess the kids don't see us kiss often enough. lol!

Menu Planning

When the kids were little, and not in school.  I was a menu planner.  I would sit down and plan out two weeks of meals and make one shopping list and go and spend 3 hours at the grocery store and stock up for the next two weeks and only have to stop by to pick up milk, bread, and bananna's in between those big trips.

The kids are older, they are busier with school and playdates and other stuff and I haven't consistently menu planned in a long time.

I'm trying to get back into the habit though.  I don't know if I can get organized enough to shop only once every two weeks again, but I can at least get organized so I know what is for dinner each day and what cooking/baking I'm planning on doing each day of the week.

Here's this week's menu:

Monday: Lasagna (leftover from Sunday night), salad, corn, and garlic bread.
Tuesday: Bake cakes for birthday parties later in the week and freeze them.  Dinner- grilled chicken, rolls, corn on the cob, baked beans.
Wednesday: Decorate cake for Angela's party.  Dinner- mac and cheese and chicken nuggets for kids.  Sandwich for me. (have an early YW activity I'll be leaving the house at 5pm for)
Thursday: Fajita's, and cheese Quesadilla's
Friday: Decorate cake for Ashley's party. Make Bread with Cami.  Dinner:  Hamburgers and Hot Dogs.  Potato Salad.
Saturday: Ashley's party- Party Food and Pizza.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Frog Eyed Salad

My friend called me today needing my recipe for Frog Eyed Salad.

In the past I had the recipe on an old blog sidebar, but I lost that when I changed some settings around.

I'll share it here, and probably start sharing some other favorite recipe's from time to time.

Frog Eyed Salad

1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs flour
1- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 eggs
1 Tbs lemon juice
16 oz acini de pepe pasta
3-  11 oz cans mandarine oranges
2-  20 oz cans pineapple tidbits
1- 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1- 9 oz carton cool whip

1 Mix sugar, salt & flour.
2 Add pineapple juice and beaten eggs.
3 Cook until thick and add lemon juice
4 Cook acini de pepe. Drain.
5 Combine with above sauce, mix and put in an airtight container overnight.
6 Add mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, crushed pineapple and cool whip.
7 Put back in refrigerator for a couple of hours.

A summer day in the life of...

wake up
remind the kids that they should eat some breakfast
watch the USA soccer team's game
remind my 9 year old that she needs to clean her room
remind my 11 year old that he needs to clean his room
referee between the kids about who's turn it is to be on the computer
toss a load of laundry in the washer
feed the kids lunch
clean up from lunch
rotate clothes in the washer to dryer and new load in washer
agree to take kids to the pool
go to the pool
send hubby and oldest child off camping for the night
pull out something from the freezer for dinner for the rest of us
feed the kids dinner
get talked into having a movie night
decide the girls can watch their Disney show special
decide I'm not watching their Disney show special
try and decide what to do that I should be doing
decide to get on the computer instead of folding laundry or doing dishes

and that was my life today...

No wonder no one reads this blog. lol! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Growing up I sang a song in primary that started out like this:

Saturday is a special day it's the day we get ready for Sunday... and it talked about how it was the day that we did all of our chores in preperation for the Sabbath the next day.

I find that my saturday is always full of chores... the kids have chores to do, my hubby spends a few hours working on yardwork, and I always seem to wait until saturday to do my major laundry with the loads going one after another all day long.

This has been a busy week.  I went to our church's girls camp for two days and left the kids home with my hubby... they had fun playing at friends houses while he went to work each day.  I of course came home with a bunch of dirty clothes even though I was only there for two days, one night! 

So I'm looking at the laundry room and getting ready to tackle it now... of course with it being summer the kids go through more clothes as well.  There's the pj's, then the clothes they change into in the morning, then the swimsuits and outfit they wear over the suit to the pool that get's thrown on the ground and towels used in the afternoons and then the third outfit that they wear after we get home and change out of wet suits. 

So... laundry here I come!  Hubby is trying to race around and get his yardwork done before the USA world cup soccer game is on today. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer is here!

So the last month and a half flew by!  I got talked into being the homeroom mom for the last few months of the school year for my pre-k daughter's class.  The morning homeroom mom and I decided to put together a scrapbook for the teacher and assistant to give to them as end of the year gifts for teacher appreciation week.  I'm not a scrapbooker.  I often wonder how Robyn (My Pink Stamper) and I get along so well when I have no desire to scrapbook and do paper craft type stuff. lol!  But we perseveared and with the help of some critters Robyn made for us with her Cricut and some neat scrapbook pages we put together two really cute scrapbooks.  Then we had a busy time with teacher appreciation week.

Then my dear hubby and I were able to go off on a cruise by ourselves in May.  It was our first cruise and we are officially hooked on cruising!  Can't wait to go on another one! :)  The kids loved the babysitter that stayed with them and everyone was happy in the end.

Then we had the end of the school year rush with class parties and all that fun stuff... and now it's the blissful slower summer schedule.  Going and swimming at the pool for hours on end.  Playing in the backyard and having water fights with bottles of water.  Watching movies and playing video games.  We are right in the honeymoon phase of summer vacation and are enjoying it immensely.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Snack Attack

Well the snack monster got the better of me...  oh well...

Tomorrow is another day. :)

I'll finish the day off with a light dinner to try and make up for the snacks.

one day down

I pretty much stayed with my food plan yesterday.

Today it has been a busy morning, so I've been eating on the run.  So far today I've had:

Fiber One bar- 2 points
Cliff Bar- 5 points

I still need to work out, I'll do that this afternoon. 

I'll have my recovery drink- 4 points

that will leave me with 9 points for dinner. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weight Loss

The horrid yo-yo of weightloss that I always said I would never do, has happened to me this past year. 

I started 2009 out at 178 pounds.  Throughout the year I slowly pulled myself down to 170 pounds on my own through running and kind of watching what I ate.  Last September I started Weight watchers and with that and exercise I came down to 150 pounds.  Then I stopped watching what I ate, and enjoyed myself during thanksgiving and christmas and I started 2010 at 160 pounds.  I tried the HCG drops diet and went down to 143 pounds on it, but instead of coming off of it following the diet guidelines, I just went straight back to eating what I wanted when I wanted it, and I've gone back up to 150 pounds.

So... no more... I'm going to find the right balance.  I'm going back to the weight watchers points tracking and exercising.  I can still have occasional treats with it, but I have to not stop it...

Today's eating should look like this:
Breakfast: egg beaters scrambled eggs with low fat cheddar cheese and salsa on top-  3 points
Exercise: 75 minutes of P90X core synergistics and ab ripper X.
Recovery drink: 1 cup skim milk and 1 packet carnation instant breakfast- 4 points
Lunch:  Turkey sandwich on a "thin" bun with the laughing cow cheese wedge, slice of tomato, piece of lettuce, and dijon mustard.
Afternoon snack: fiber one bar- 2 points
Dinner:  Chicken fajita's- 9 points

Total of 21 points for the day.  The exercise allows me to add some additional points if I feel like I need it, but I'll start with this for today.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The best way to get your kids to play in their room...

Sometimes I forget what the best way to get kids to play in their room is...

It's to go in the room and clean it... really clean it thoroughly, and then rearrange a few items in the room so that things look fresh and new and different.  Then the pile of toys that you have decided to purge and get rid of become as popular as they were on christmas morning when they got them, and you can count on at least a day or two of active play with those seemingly forgotten about toys...

We rearranged the little girls room yesterday.  My four year old has spent the last hour upstairs dancing around to music and playing with her toys... in her room... and doesn't want to come down for lunch. 

And that's fine with me... :)

I think I might have to pencil in some time to rearrange my older daughter's room this week... it's so much more peaceful when the kids use their rooms to play during the day and not just sleep in them at night...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whoops! Forgot to come here

I haven't been in much of a talkative mood lately.  No real reasons, but I'm in a funk right now.  I'll come out of it, I have in the past and I will again... just don't feel like chatting much.

I do think a lot of us mom's get into these.  And it's usually because we are overwhelmed with something in our lives.  It's our way of "rebelling" when we have too much going on and we aren't getting "our" time to do things.

I just piddled away the last 2 1/2 hours... I had tons to do, and now still have tons to do, but I just didn't want to do any of it.

And so I'll pay for that for the rest of the day trying to catch up on what I should have been doing those 2 1/2 hours...

And that... is what I'll bet a lot of other Average- Ordinary Mom's do... :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time flies!

I remember the days when the kids were younger.  The week was a LONG week... each day was a LONG day, and when my husband would get home I was extremely ready for him to take over with the kids.

It is so different now that the kids are older.  The day flies by.  I find the kids back home from school so quickly and before I realize it, it's dinner time, Daddy's home and then it's bedtime.

I'm not faced with huge messes on a daily basis.  I'm not faced with the physical exhaustion of young toddlers and their unending energy.

And while I'm grateful for that, I relish in the time I can spend with my friends who have little toddlers and are in the throes of parenting from early morning till they collapse at night.

I was searching through my computer and old files, and I came across some old stories of my kids and their escapades... so I thought I'd share some of them here.

Yesterday was just the day from toddlerland! My daughter is 2 and Son is 3 and they did a chocolate powder stunt- dumping Quick powder all over the living room couch and carpet, and then while I was cleaning up the powder I had put them in the shower (I know... not the greatest choice, but I had to get them out of the immediate area while I got some of the mess cleaned up and they were covered head to toe in chocolate powder). I got the vacuum out and did a little bit of vacuuming up the powder. I then thought I'd check on the kids and went into the bathroom to find an inch of water covering the floor. So I get that cleaned up with towels and get them out of the shower and diapers/pull-ups put on. I drag out the gate which I haven't used in months and gate the hallway so they can go to their rooms but can't get to the rest of the house. The minute I turn around my little sweet 2yr old terror kicks the gate down. So I decide that I'll just put her in her crib with some toys and I can get my 3yr old to "help" clean up the mess that he made. Unfortunatly he was more interested in "helping" his sister because she was crying and went and pushed a large toy over to her crib and helped her climb out. At least while he did that I was able to get the bulk of the powder vacuumed up. Then amazingly he asked me if he could take a nap and I of course agreed immediatly and got them both in bed and had some time to work on the stains and calm down myself.

So two hours later I've got rags laying across the stain and weighed down by books trying to soak some of the stain up and my kids wake up. Immediately two year old helps me by moving the pile of books that "don't go there" then I try and get her to sit and color at the table here in the office and the minute I turn my back she is drawing a masterpiece on the file cabinet that is next to the table.

I take away the crayons and as I am putting them away she climbs on top of the table and empties Dh's and I's scripture cases (We keep our Bible and Book of Mormons in fabric cases to make it easier to carry them to church and protects them a little bit) all the papers that were just in them loosely all fell out all over the floor. So while I'm cleaning that up she walks over to the bookcase and starts emptying the shelves with a swipe of her hand. So as I'm attempting to get her to put the books back on the shelves she throws herself down in a screaming tantrum and starts yelling and kicking.

At that point I went and put her in her crib for a few minutes. That calmed her down and I got her back out and she helped me put the books back on the shelf. She never got lunch due to the chocolate powder incident and them asking to go to sleep after it, so I put her in her booster seat, strap her in and give her some crackers and some milk to eat. I turn around to go put some laundry in the washer and come back to find the cracker ground up into fine powder and being thrown all over the dining room and the milk dumped on the table. I clean that up and take her to her room and we were playing with her kitchen and her food and she starts picking up her plastic food and throwing them at my head! She thinks she is hilariously funny at this point. I'm thinking she is possesed!

So the rest of the afternoon went okay but the two year old continued to just be into everything. Hubby got home and I made dinner. Tuesday nights he gets to go play tennis with a friend so he left to do that. I needed to go to the bathroom and alex and ashley amazingly were playing quietly so I just went alone thinking this will only take a minute. I come out to the three year olds diaper having fallen apart and diaper "stuff" all over the room. He saw that his diaper was falling apart and went and "changed" it in the bathroom and left the door open so I went into the bathroom and found the two year old standing on the counter with a whole bottle of baby oil dumped all over the medicine cabinet and counter and a bottle of baby lotion squirted all over the mirror. So... I clean up yet another mess and get the kids changed and ready for bed. Hubby gets home and we have family prayer and he puts the kids in bed. I needed to go get some milk so I went to Wal-Mart and got some milk and a bathtub pillow and came home and went to go take a nice bath. I go to turn on the water and look in the tub and there is another masterpiece that sometime during the day my two year old terror for the day got into a marker and drew a "pretty picture" for me on my tub! lol!!!!!!! At least marker comes right off of the fake marble whatever that my tub is made of.

I do kind of miss those days a bit... :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break!

Well we made it through our week of spring break!  There's nothing like a SNOW STORM to end the week of fun! lol!

We had weather in the 70's yesterday and went to the zoo along with half of the city, and today we woke up to snow on the ground and it is supposed to continue snowing all day long.

We are just hoping that it's all melted away by monday... no one wants a snow day the first day back after a week off of school! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break

I used to cringe at the short breaks from school...

Now that all the kids are in school and we are buisier... I rejoice and love them!  There is no pressure for the kids to get rooms cleaned within a certain amount of time.  They can spend time playing on the computer and watching tv... and the weather outside is still cold and windy and dreary so I don't have any guilt letting them do that and not encouraging them to play outside... :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just a question

If it's called a car drop off line... why do people park and get out of their cars to go and talk to the teacher for a couple of minutes- holding up everyone else in the line that just wants to let their kids hop out of the car?

Just asking... :)


Last night I had a mommy moment.  I knew my 6 year old had a new tumbling/cheer class we had signed her up for.  It was on the calender and I knew we were going to it that night.

Then my hubby walked in the door at 6:10 and asked what time her class started... I started saying that we needed to leave in about 10-15 minutes, and then I realized that the class had already started!  Whoops!  We jumped in the car and got there in about 15 minutes so she only missed the first 30 minutes of her class... she still had 45 minutes of jumping and tumbling and cheering...

She reminded me that next time we need to leave for class before daddy comes home from work.  :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just a day in the life...

So... two days ago my 11 year old told me he had folded his clothes and put them away...

This morning I discovered that he hadn't... he just had them strewn all over the floor by his closet and still half in the basket.

So I took his mp3 player and DS and told him he doesn't get them back until the clothes are folded and put in his drawers.

This afternoon he went into his room to fold them... 10 minutes later he calls and says that he is ready for me to check his drawers.

I open the closet and look in the drawers... the clothes are neatly folded, but the drawer isn't as full as I would expect, but he does go through shirts quite a bit, so I didn't think too much about it. I noticed a sock and pair of underwear on the floor in front of the drawer and bent down to toss it in the drawers... and noticed that his science project display board from last year that we had stored in the little area next to the drawers was not up against the wall, but almost right next to the drawers... I pull it aside and found clothes stuffed in there between the drawers and the wall...

He feigned innocence... he doesn't know how those got in there. I told him maybe he had a ghost in his room since he didn't do it himself... and that he still had to fold the clothes and put them in his drawers before he get's the mp3 player back and his DS...

He's not very happy right now.

On the other hand I'm thrilled that my first grader brought home a note saying someone in her class has lice... and I checked her head and she is lice free... :) I still made her wash her hair with the green tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner.  Next week is spring break so hopefully people can get rid of it during that week off of school.  I feel their pain... we had to treat all three girls three times last fall.


All through life growing up when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer "a mother".  At times I would also be interested in interior design, architecture, dental assisting, early childhood teacher, and a few other things that I can't even remember.  Through it all though there was such a strong desire that first and foremost I just wanted to be a mom.

Fast forward many years and I am a mom... my kids are finally getting to an age that they are in school.  My youngest is in Pre-K and I have time every single day at home alone.  Many people have asked me what I intend to do with my time now that I have that time each day.  It's only 2 1/2 hours so I reply that just trying to get errands done or workout while she is at school fills my 2 1/2 hours very well.  It has gotten me thinking though about what I will spend my time on when she is going to school full time and not just for a few hours each day.

I've always thought that when that happened I would want to go back to school and finish my degree.  That opens all the doors and windows of thinking what that degree might be in.

I've come to the conclusion for now that I don't really have anything I feel compelled to go and get my degree in.  I don't have anything that I just know I need to go back to school and study.  And for now I'm fine with that.  I'm fine with the fact that I will just enjoy being a mom.  I'll take more time to volunteer at the school.  I'll probably get into a routine and keep my house a little cleaner than I have in the past.  My sheets might get changed more regularly instead of just when it is extremely necessary to change them.

I'll try out new hobbies, and whether they become hobbies I continue and enjoy, or ones that I decide is best left to someone else- I'll have the time to try them.

And there is a great peace that comes to making that decision.  No matter who questions my choices or what I do, I am at peace with that decision and that makes it easier.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why this blog?

I have a personal blog, in which I share pictures and stuff about the family, with our family and friends.

This blog is going to be more for my musings... I've spent many years trying to find out what I'm good at, or what I can excell at. I've come to the conclusion that I'm no expert at anything, but I am an ordinary average mom, and I am fine and maybe a little bit proud about that.

I'm not an expert baker- but I love to bake.
I'm not an expert cook- but I enjoy cooking.
I'm no expert at computers- but I dable in digital scrapbooking and enjoy spending time with that.
I'm not a book group reader- but I enjoy reading fluff books that I can just sit and escape into a story and read for pure enjoyment.
I'm not a scholar- but I do enjoy learning about things.
I'm not a crafter- but occasionally will tackle a craft and enjoy the process- even when the craft turns out oh so not professional looking.
I'm not a perfect mom- and I never plan on being perfect- but I do feel I have learned a lot through the years with four very unique kids.
I'm not a great housecleaner- but I do still find an enjoyment after going through a cleaning spree and having a clean house- if only for a few hours.

So... I thought I would start this blog.  One on which I feel I can freely share things, yet still have some distance for my family from this.

No time

I got this started, and I now have to go take kids to the Dentist... so later when I have more time I'll be back.