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...