Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We have already established that I am crazy.


I hear you all saying, "seriously??!!" BUT, I do need to get my butt in gear.

I am already getting questions about what the kids might want for Christmas this year and I know some has already been purchased. That being said, I don't want to end up with a houseful of the same toys or items they don't need. I also have some strong opinions about how much they should actually get but that is besides the point.

Creativity has been a strength of mine in the past. You know, I am always saying, "what if you did this?" and everyone says "wow..I didn't think of that" (at least that is the way it went down in my head). This year, I am lacking some major creativity. I am at a loss as to what my kids actually need or even want for that matter. Yes, I can throw magazines in front of them and tell me what they want but only a mom knows what will be used and what will be discarded within a month.

So here is where you, my fellow blog friends, come in...

I need some creative Christmas ideas to share with the family. My kids already know that Santa only brings 2 to 3 presents and they need to think long and hard about what they might REALLY want or need. But what do I tell all the others who ask what they want?? Come on me out here!

As an incentive, I may just have to send out a loaf of bread to the winner of the best idea...your choice as to what kind ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vote for Cooper

We all know Cooper is a cutie, so go VOTE for him...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tell me she ain't cute

The end of an era

I turned 30 today!

I swear I did. At approximately 5:56 am I hit the big three zero.

Do I feel older you ask. No, I don't! Well, not exactly. I have been stressing about the big 30 for a while now. Not the real kind of stress where you have butterfly's all the time and feel like you might tear you hair out. You know, the kind where when someone mentions it you think, "for real". So I thought about it...and thought...and thought some more and decided it's not so bad after all.

For one, I have accomplished quite a bit for being my masters, married with 3 kids, own my own home...etc. really, I'm not bragging. And overall, I love my life and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Now I will say I am not looking forward to those things that come with know, gray hair (not like I have any yet or maybe just a few) , wrinkles, aches and pains, and forgetfulness. But I will embrace them as they come...seriously, I will.

I have also learned that IT ISN'T THE END! An old dog CAN learn new tricks. For one, I started running this year and have stuck with it. For those of you who know me, I hate running. I was athletic in high school that's debatable but never really did much after college. I would do the occasional Elliptical workout or take a Zumba class here and there but never really stuck with anything. When I finally looked in the mirror after having 3 kids in 4 years, I realized I needed to do something and QUICK, so I did. Anyways, I ran my first 5K this summer and am hoping to run a 10K in November! Not to mention I have lost a total of 35 pounds this year. WOW! I am in better shape than I have EVER been in at 30! Who would have thought...

So to sum it up, I would say yes, this is the end of an era but the start of a new:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

There's a fly in my room

It was a gloomy day. The kind of day where a nap is necessary. I had already been awake for almost 8 hours and it was only noon. So I waited patiently for nap time to arrive with the idea of putting my children down and taking a quick nap myself. The numbers on the clock flashed 12:00 and it was time. Addy went down fairly easy and Cooper marched right up to his room and into bed. It couldn't have gone any smother. I then closed the curtains, turned on the fan, shut the ringer off, and found the most comfortable, warm blanket to snuggle up with. I laid down, shut my eyes and slowly drifted off.

Approximately 10 seconds later I heard the pitter patter of little feet and then a toy firetruck loudly honking it's horn.

Deep breaths, deep breaths...

After calmly threatening no TV for eternity putting Cooper back in bed, I laid back down. Again, my eye's shut and the world was quiet.

For about 10 more seconds...

I was suddenly awakened by a quick buzzing noise in my right ear. I waved my hand without opening my eyes in hopes of scaring the pest off. But no...there is was again! This time I sat up and looked around, waiting patiently for it to land. I swung hard at it once, then twice with no success. My hope was to put some fear in that little fly. You know, the kind of fear that only an overtired mama can bring about. Again, I shut my eyes. ZAP, right up my nose! I muttered not so nice words to the gross little fly. I even told it to go down in the kitchen as I was most certain there was a pile of cheerios under the highchair or a piece of stale bread on the floor. I am sure if he looked hard enough, he may even find a rotten apple hidden under the couch. Why did I put such faith in a little fly. I believe it's goal in life was to annoy me, keep me from sleeping. I decided to ignore the pest. Fly's are attracted to motion right? I laid motionless for a few more seconds. He may have even taken a tour of the bathroom in this time because I drifted off. Then, I felt a tickle on my forehead. AHHHHHH! I swatted at it again with no success and thought to myself, "we really need a fly swatter". I had visions of slowly taking the fly's wings off and watching it suffer (not really...) as that is what it was doing to me!

I then had an idea! I would hide under a pillow! Genius! So I propped a decorative pillow over the right side of my head and slowly drifted off again.

Well that fly was smart I tell ya. It CRAWLED under the pillow and buzzed right in my ear. I violently threw that nice warm, comfortable blanket off and again said some not so nice things to the fly and surrendered.

No nap for me and go figure my kids are taking a long nap. STUPID FLY!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The secret is out...

After the MOPS meeting, a few women asked for some of my recipes. I realized I haven't posted my everyday whole wheat bread recipe on my blog! WOW! Anyways, this is from my dad (the master bread maker) and has to be the best bread eva!

Yields 3 loafs

2T yeast
1T salt
3T sugar (raw if you have it)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4c butter-melted
3 3/4 cups of warm water
6 cups wheat flour
3 cups of white flour (I use a high gluten flour and occident flour blend)
More flour for kneading

In a LARGE bowl combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for a few minutes (it will get a bit bubbly). Then add remaining ingredients except the flour. Combine well. Add flours slowly and form into a ball. Knead for 8-10 minutes on a floured surface adding flour to eliminate stickiness. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel. Let rise 1 hour until doubled.

Punch down and divide into thirds. Place in 3 pans and let rise until doubled (about 30 mins)

Heat oven to 375 and back 30-35 minutes.

So go bake yourself some bread!!!

Eating well on a budget

Today I had the privilege of speaking at MOPS with my homemakin' sistah Sarah. We both tackled different topics revolving around eating well.

Anyways, I thought I would share some of our "secrets" about how to eat well and stay within your budget. Here are my notes from today's meeting.

How often do you go to your pantry only to find stale cookies/crackers/chips?

How many leftovers do you put in the fridge only to throw out the next week?

How often do you throw out moldy bread or spoiled milk?

~ 27 percent of the food available for consumption is throw away. That is about 25.9 million tons and about 30 billion worth of food.

~costs the U.S. around $1 billion every year just to dispose of all its food waste. Rotting food releases toxins that need to be regulated.

Think about how much money your family spends on groceries each week/month that is wasted? And now think about what your husband would say if you told him 25% of the food that you buy is wasted!

Now that you have the picture, what can I do about it???

1) set a dollar amount of what you want to pay for groceries each month. Start with a practical number and then work your way down.

a. My husband has set up a separate account which he puts $ in each month for groceries. That way, I don’t really have to keep tract of how much I spend.

2) Make a menu

a. Make a master list of your families favorite meals/healthy meals/ meals you want to try. (you can always add to this)

b. Get a menu planner (mine is from the dollar section of target)

c. From your list, make out a meal for each day. You can do this for all three meals a day or just dinner. (I do just dinner…will explain more on that later)

i. TIP: look for meals that include similar meats. Chicken fajitas one night, roasted chicken breast another (so you only need one item)

3) Start your grocery list

a. Do this in your kitchen so you can look for the ingredients you need for each meal and add ones you don’t have.

b. After this add breakfast and lunch items that you DON”T have in the house

c. I also add 1 to 2 snacks for the week (pretzels, tricuits) You can even ask your kids what they want.

4) Stick to your list!

a. If it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it!

Money saving tips

1) Make a lot of your own food.

a. Bread (super easy and MUCH cheaper and healthier) I have some recipes if you would like (50 cents per loaf)

b. Yogurt

c. Granola for breakfast

d. Fruit leather

e. Trail mix

f. Smoothies

g. Kefir

h. Peanut butter

2) Avoid buying packaged/processed food

a. Do you need to buy frozen waffles?

b. Premade meals are extremely expensive and can just as easily be made before hand.

c. My rule: If you great great grandmother couldn’t buy it, Don’t buy it!

3) When cooking a meal, make double and freeze the rest

a. Baked ziti, casseroles, bread (that way if you cannot make a scheduled meal, you have a back up plan)

4) Make meals with other moms

5) Buy certain things in bulk and freeze

a. Chicken $1.99 per pound, ground beef (half a cow)

6) Find a bulk food store

a. I get my flours, nuts, dried fruits

7) Find stores that have good deals

a. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy closer to home than to waste gas on driving to the “cheap” store

8) Buy in season fruits/veggies and can/freeze them

a. It’s a lot easier than you think…I can jams (blueberry/strawberry) apple sauce, pie filling, butter, pickles, sauce, salsa. Freeze beans, carrots, corn.

9) Grow your veggies

10) Compost!

Do I do this all the time? I do menu plan each week but there are days I don’t stick to it..sick kid, sick mama, just don’t want to! And yes, I do buy take out every now and then!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Never ending


It is one of those things that is NEVER ending. As soon as you feel a slight bit of accomplishment, WHAM, it's all gone.

Even so, I still do it. Regularly as a matter of fact. Some days you would seriously think I sat on my butt all day eating bon bon's (well I actually don't care for them..maybe some dark chocolate) but I really don't.

I tend to get overwhelmed easily with the amount of things required of me on a daily basis. I am SUPER sensitive when someone my hubby mentions something that needs organizing or cleaning. Sometimes, cleaning (folding laundry, organizing, dejunking, cooking) becomes my priority over spending time with God or my children. So I have decided I need to take a step back and re-prioritize.

God is #1! I NEED to spend time with Him each day. For me this is during nap time because all is quiet in the house and I can just focus on Him.

My family is #2. If someone needs a little "mommy time", I will STOP what I am doing (or finish) and spend some time with them. Cooper is doing preschool at home this year and needs much more one on one attention than Kylie ever did. It is perfectly fine, just something I need to get use to.

Housework #3. I do believe we should have a welcoming home. An environment that is warm and somewhat picked up. Therefore, I need to assign ONE task per day that needs to be accomplished. Along with this one task, I need to do the daily things...laundry, cooking, sweeping. Whatever else doesn't get done...well that's for tomorrow. I have also come to realize that NO ONE really cares if you have freshly moped floors and sparkling windows. It is a no win situation for me. I wash things, my kids spill things. I vacuum, someone dumps a bowl of popcorn on the rug. I do laundry, there is another load waiting to go in. I also don't like walking into houses (especially with my kids) that are perfectly organized. I'm afraid I will mess something up (or my kids will spill, break, or barf on something). I like a house that has toys out and laundry waiting to be folded!

So there it is friends...and I case you were wondering, here is what is on the list today.

For starters I will be spending time with God around 12:00 today!

1) Major task: Organize Addy's room. Put 12 month close into ONE bin and get rid of the rest (anyone need any?) Hang up those pictures that have been on her dresser for a while year. AND put away the laundry basket that has been sitting in her room for 3 days now.

2) Work on the letter "B" with Cooper today and read some stories to both Addy and Cooper.

3) Fold all of the laundry I washed yesterday and put away.

4) Wrap gifts that need to be distributed this weekend to my brother and sister (Happy birthday Shawna and BJ)

5) Prep dinner

6) RUN...seriously, this clears my head.

7) If I have time...wipe down the bathrooms! I need to get off of the computer and get to work! Have a great Friday everyone!