December 28, 2009
I'm back into the blog world again. I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We did, but we had some difficulties. I won't go into details, but we were all sick with a cold or virus or flu, however much of it lifted by Christmas Day. We had to call off the Swedish smorgasbord because my 85 yer old grandmother ended up having pneumonia, and need to be hospitalized!
But, all in all, we had a lovely Christmas. My sweet husband made savory crepes Christmas Eve, it SNOWED!!!!!!!!!!! That never has happened in my entire 27 years of life! I made the house as pretty as I could, we ate, drank sparkling grape juice in wine goblets (big treat for the kiddies), opened their 1 present (pajamas) and took pictures in them, hung stockings, set out cookies and milk, and after they went to bed Santa Clause came :)
What did I get? Well, I got a BEAUTIFUL amplified Bible. I really wanted one. I really like studying the Hebrew/Greek of the scriptures, but don't always have the time to do it on my own. The amplified does some of the work for you. Last night I was laying on my bed with that Bible and the King James, just looking up favorite passages.
I also got my own little toolbox! Great idea Matt, and we have used it a lot already. It's a small lightweight one, filled with wire cutters, a flashlight, a small hammer, screwdrivers (both kinds and in two sizes each) and some nails so I'll hopefully ditch the thumbtacks! I also got Samantha's birthstone girl to add to my necklace- I'll I have to take a picture of that one.
Oh, there was also a 25lb bag of wheat under the tree...hmmm....this was explained later at my mom's house. She got me a grain mill! I've been wanting one forEVER! This is the kind that fits onto the kitchenaid mixer. I used it this morning and even on the finest setting, the flour is more coarse, but I can mix it with unbleached flour.
My girls also got their own radio flyer scooter and they're doing great with them. The fold up easily, are lightweight, and they can use them in the house without driving me nuts :)
Saturday was Alexa's 6th birthday. We spent it eating McDonald's for lunch, going to see the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakel, getting ice cream and bringing flowers to my sick grandmother.
It's always kind of sad to me when Christmas is over. The build up is for over a month, and then just like that, it's done. My favorite part is Christmas Eve- the anticipation and making everything special. Yes I do enjoy the opening presents part too, but still, now it's done! I am going to take down some of the decor, but leave most of it because I am still having the smorgasbord for New Years.
Okie doke, I just wanted to say that my blog is going to take a different turn for awhile. I happened on some information about diet and health (yes still Nourishing Traditions) and I'm going to a deeper level here.
In the future I will post the links of where I got all the info, but for a quick overview here, this is what I found.
The whole basis of Nourishing Traditions is off the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist in the early 1900s. He traveled the globe searching for people who had never had much contact or any contact with civilized man. He found healthy, robust people with straight teeth!
One of the groups of people were the Inuits, or Eskimos. Well, what did they eat? Seal oil. Fish. Wild game. FAT! And, he noted, that during the winter, especially the women, ate a lot of food and yet they hardly moved at all. You'd think that someone eating all those calories and not burning them off would be fat. But he said they were almost to the point of being too thin.
Wow. So there was some more research done by another man I'll tell you about later, and basically this is the thing. More people exercise now, in their free time, than back in the 70s, yet we as a people are like 40% fatter than we were. Why aren't we thinner? It's all about diet. We now consume more sugar, processed oils, and corn products than in that time. Read labels! Corn syrup is everywhere!!
So, it's not that I lay around and eat all day that I'm on the fat side. Cuz I'm usually running! The last week I've barely been eating for lack of appetite. I'm not gorging. It's the quality of food!
So, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to eat a lot of good fat and see what happens. I'm ordering some fermented fish oil (supposedly much more nutrient dense), buying raw milk, making butter from it, buying the best meat I can find and am going to have at it.
In the beginning, I won't be able to be perfect in this. I don't have grassfed beef and free range chicken yet. I'll get there eventually. Yes it costs a little more, but I have an article and a chart that costed out the regular food and this food and it wasn't much more at all if not less than typical supermarket food!
I created a meal plan that will work for us and that will be my focus for awhile. Food, clothes, dishes, kids and family, God. Not in that order :) I can't explain how relieved and excited I was to see that it wasn't totally my fault that I was overweight. My only fault was pregnancy and being on bedrest and all the food went to me not baby, then we kept having babies...honestly, that's the truth. My body has just stayed where it is for some reason.
There will more info and science to back this up, but that's what I'm doing. I did this before, but it's getting kicked up to a new level. I didn't worry so much about the quality of meat and fat and stuff before, now I realize that's very important.
December 23, 2009
Fixin' to make gingersnaps, cherry thumbprint cookies, rolled sugar cookies, peanut butter ritz chocolate candies, white chocolate fruit bark, homemade crackers and Swedish limpa rye bread! Oh, and wrap the rest of the presents, finish whatever shopping that needs done, and somehow clean the house!!
December 21, 2009
I am so happy it's finally down to the last few days before Christmas. That's when it gets exciting and we get to do all the fun stuff. All the school parties and extended family things are DONE and I can concentrate on my family now.
Last week I mentioned something about our Christmas Eve tradition. Well, I am working on making it a tradition. My husband, Matt, is half Swedish. His father is full blood and his great-great grandfather came from Sweden in the 19th century. I think this is absolutely wonderful because 1. being Swedish is uncommon and cool and 2. I have no idea what my family's heritage is. The records got burned up in the Civil War and we just have no idea. I do know there is some Native American and German mixed in, but that's all.
So I have thoroughly latched on to his family heritage and have made it my own :) I want the girls to know where they came from as well. Swedes have some really neat Christmas traditions and I have tried to replicate that here in Texas. Our real Christmas tree, as pictured below, is decortated with handmade traditional straw ornaments from Sweden, plus the ones I made in the colors of red and white. In Sweden you don't put the tree up till Christmas Eve, but they celebrate Christmas far into January.
Also, they have the Christmas Eve Smorgasbord, which is the massive FEAST they like to have at all celebrations. The Christmas one is the biggest though. A typical menu is mammoth in size, but I will make ours VERY simple. They also like lots of pickled fish and tongue, and well, uh, that's definitely not on the menu here :)
So, our much simplified plan is this:
homemade rye bread
homemade crackers (hardtack or knackkebrod)
sardines (for my dad)
chicken liver pate (I am experimenting with this one)
smoked salmon (if I can find it) and dill sauce
small red potatoes, boiled and served with melted butter and chopped onions
pickled beets (storebought)
rice pudding with an almond hidden inside
coffee and glogg- spiced wine
Now, I tend to get freaked out and try to make everything perfect. I was going to do a ham, but unless I find an amazing deal I'm cutting that one out. I was also going to cook my own beets, but now I'm not. Anyways, hopefully today I can make the bread and crackers and freeze them, then the day before I can do cookies, mix up the meatballs and do the pate.
Also, I am doing an experiment that I'm really excited about and plan to blog about this week if possible. It has to do with diet and weightloss.
Maybe I'll post some recipes as I'm cooking them too :) But you know how that goes with me...
December 16, 2009
Also, Aunt Flo, or our monthly friend did come and it's like a big sigh of relief in my body. Being a woman is HARD! I am in no way wishing the season to be over at all. The contrary- I want to prolong it because it's flying by. I did manage to get some presents wrapped today. I planned out the Christmas Eve smorgasbord menu, which we'll get to in another post. I'm a little nervous that I have no presents for my husband, niece and nephews or my parents. But I know that dh doesn't have any for me yet either :)
I snapped these the other day, but didn't get to it yet. Yes, here are our decked out halls. I wanted a more natural look this year. Decorating is very important to me. I can't explain it exactly, except that it has to do with the memory of being a child and being enthralled with all the Christmas decor and being SO excited. I try to generate the same thing into my daughters. I guess I think everyone is like me :) My grandparents were so crafty, so that's where I get that from, because I spent SO much time with them.
Here is the front door. A fake wreath, a cheap red bow, some pinecones and red berries from the woods.
Here is our real tree with mostly homemade ornaments. It smells wonderful.
The back wall. This was a grapevine wreath that I just stuck cedar twigs and red berries from the dogwood trees on it.
The snowman collection that someone started for me :) Somehow I keep getting snowmen. They aren't my favorite, but they make it out every year.
This is the Christmas village my grandmother gave me. It certainly could look better, but I can't keep little hands from rearranging :)
My kitchen. I couldn't get a good picture, but there are lights up above the cabinets and I nested cedar branches in among them.
The kitchen tree :)
The window above the kitchen sink.
The stockings I made, but haven't hung up yet.
December 15, 2009
Yes, because I can't seem to NOT write about my honest feelings or NOT be real and write fluffy stuff when I don't feel fluffy.
So, what do you do when the thing you want to happen isn't, and the things you DON'T want to happen, is happening? You feel disappointed and maybe guilty.
My situation is December is flying by. I did NOT want our holidays to be so crammed with activities and events and just stuff to do that it was a burden. The one main thing I wanted to do was put out lots of lights outside in our front yard.
Didn't happen. It rained for three weekends. The whole month of December got filled up by the the 4th! I feel obligated to do these things, because a lot of it is family, yet it feels unfair. I didn't hardly get to enjoy decorating our home because it was so rushed. I had zero time before Thanksgiving to do any Christmas prep as far as decor and gifts go, because I was hosting Thanksgiving and family. Then before you know it, there it is and now we're on December 15th. So much for making that Advent calendar!
Now, I have a child that has to stay home from school and miss all her fun stuff until Thursday because she came down with strep throat and bronchitis. I have two parties to attend and bring food and gifts to, make presents for teachers, make the rest of the homemade presents, make at least two more shopping trips and somehow get my children to see Santa Clause because they REALLY want to. This isn't what I wanted.
What did I want? More TIME! Time to make those neat cinnamon/applesauce ornaments I've been wanting to do for years. Time to make an advent calendar so that instead of asking every day when Santa Clause is coming, they can look at how many days are left on the calendar. I wanted time to enjoy carefully and slowly decorating the house and tree, time to enjoy making crafts and presents, and time to plan ahead with the baking and cooking. Time to read the Christmas stories, watch the Christmas shows and spend time with the kiddies.
I wanted all the other daily chores to do themselves so I could focus on other things :) Who wants to do laundry and plan meals when there are so many other things to do? Yet, here I am in the middle of a PILE of kid laundry, needing to make a pot of soup for the sick one, figuring out how to find time to bake cupcakes for school and just overall feeling bad because I don't want Christmas to be suddenly over before I'm ready.
Then I wonder, why do I feel like I have to make things perfect. Why do I feel that no one will be happy with a good try? I can't remember if the house was clean or the laundry done on Christmas morning. I don't remember if there was clutter or paper piles or if the floor was vacuumed or if the bedrooms were in order. I don't remember casting a judgmental eye at my mom for not looking or doing things perfect or spending time making crafts and gingerbread houses. In my eyes, they way it was, WAS perfect. It couldn't get any better- we had the BEST Christmases in my opinion.
So how do you make yourself chill? I don't know...I get into this mode and haven't figured out a way to let it go yet. I guess I need to prioritize better and make sure the most important things are covered and not sweat the rest. Maybe I'm just tired and dealing with hormones. Maybe I need a drink, ha,ha :)
Maybe it's because I don't think there are many Christmases left before Jesus returns, and I want to make the most of the ones we have. I don't want to be remembered in my children's eyes that mom was mean and stressed at Christmas.
I wish I could start December over.
December 10, 2009
I just made a CUTE tutu. Yeah, no sewing involved. It took me less than 45 minutes too.
I got my directions at www.makeitandloveit.com This lady has some awesome ideas, many of which I plan to try later.
I'm also in the process of making 5 crayon rolls. What's a crayon roll? Here's a picture from the blog, www.skiptomylou.org
EASY hair barrettes! Here
Baby shoe pattern...
Homemade baby toys
And more to come !
December 8, 2009
The hayride to get the tree.
Trying the get the perfect picture in front of the perfect tree. Sarah isn't wanting to cooperate.
She just needed a good tickling.
Great! oh, we're missing some kids...Alexa took this picture! (she's almost 6- wow)
The most popular guest at the Christmas party.
Dessert! That's their friend Shelbi.
Samantha loving Granna's glittery snowman.
Twirling Sunday morning in their fancy dresses.
December 7, 2009
I had an outrageously busy weekend, and have been snapping pictures of my home and such, but, I'm not done and I have my niece today AND I'm doing birthday stuff for my best friend. SO, it will be later rather than sooner. I made all the stockings and they turned out very cute. I still have some decorating to do, then I MIGHT, might, MIGHT do a video :) Don't hold yer breath though.
Saturday morning was the coldest morning of the year so far. We got everyone bundled up and headed to the town Christmas parade. It was ok, nothing wonderful. The kids got some candy and saw Santa. Then we drove to the Christmas tree farm and picked out the perfect, expensive tree :) They are all approximately $40, so we went ahead and got a big one :) We drank hot chocolate while they got the tree ready, then stopped at a store to get gift bags for the Christmas party and some extension cords, came home, made lunch, got the girls down for naps, got the tree up and partially decorated (this is MY tree, they have one with all of their things on it, therefore I did most of the decorating with this tree because I wanted it to look a certain way)the tree, then got everyone GUSSIED UP for the church Christmas party, drove to our old town to a restaurant, got there late, had dinner and a fun gift game, went to walmart to get some necessities, came home, got everyone un-decked out and in bed by 9:30, Samantha was wired up, so I laid on the bed and played with her while dh picked out some Christmas music and played it on the guitar. She finally went out!
Sunday, we got everyone dressed up in their new Christmas outfits, including myself, got to church, took pictures at my mom's house, ate lunch there and visited, came home and cleaned up the house, Matt made dinner, we ate and got the girls bathed and in jammies, made homemade popcorn and hot chocolate and watched The Polar Express! After that, and after the girls went to bed, we stayed up and looked at Christmas present ideas on the computer.
WOW- that was the long version, hope it didn't tire you out.
This month is filling up FAST with lots of stuff to do. It was frustrating me at first, but then, I have 4 children and family and friends who love to get together- Christmas is bound to be busy. I'm going to do my best and not stress about perfection and just go with the flow.
This weekend is a birthday party and we still have outdoor lights to put up, next week is a special week dedicated just to my second daughter, called Marvelous Me, in which I have to make a poster of pictures of her, provide snacks, and provide cupcakes for the class for her birthday which will be over the break. They both have Christmas parties with gift exchanges next week, and I'm supposed to make a gift for the teachers :) Then, there is family gathering a few hours away, plus the Christmas shopping and gift wrapping and card making and mailing and going to the mall to see Santa Clause, and making the Swedish smorgasbord...after Christmas, my two oldest daughters have birthdays!
It's the most wonderful rushed time of year huh?
Well, I'll be around.
December 3, 2009
I admit, I did hit a low last night. It's difficult because I've wanted to get back to what I was for about 8 years now, and it just seems so far beyond my reach! I do realize that 1) I just had a baby, 2) it's holiday time, 3) life is much busier because we have 4 children and all the stuff that goes with family.
I'm just SO ready to get there! Slow and steady isn't what I want, instantaneous is what I want :) Don't we all?
Well, I am taking pictures of my revamped Christmas decor. Yes I already had it up during Thanksgiving because we were doing Christmas presents with the grandparents because they live so far away and won't be here. I knew we would be getting it all out in a week anyways, so we just went ahead :)
The month of December is filling up FAST!!! There aren't a lot of free weekends...this one is full of going to the tree farm, putting up house lights and then the first Christmas party of the year :) Now that I have school children, there's all kinds of projects, activities and parties coming. I've tried to simplify it as best I can, but the best thing is just to accept that this time of year is busy and go with it.
Gotta go- bed time for girls.
December 2, 2009
Thanksgiving Day at our house with my family and Matt's parents. See the fatness??
Me working with baby- my sister and brother-in-law were visiting. Major fat pic!
Ouch! Wake up call now...
New baby Samantha pictures...she is about 4 months old now, trying to sit by herself, prefers to stand but also loves her playpen, is eating much better from the bottle and is loving food from the spoon as well. She really resembles my husband in these pictures, but then she looks different too. Hard to tell who she looks like the most.
Oh, I stole a bite of pumpkin pie, just to see if it was still good. It was, so I fed the rest of it to my daughters for a bedtime snack and threw the rest out :)
Today I ate fruit this morning, and since I was out shopping and it's freezing, I drove through McDonald's and got two grilled chicken wraps. My plan now is to make wise choices (grilled vs. fried), portion control, and confuse my metabolism. See, I ate a very low amount of calories for 2.5 days, so it's like what the hey? This evening I'll eat some chicken and potatoes and salad, and really confuse it! Tomorrow I plan to fast till dinner, which will make it confused again. It doesn't have time to get used to a certain amount of calories so it'll end up burning more.
Long term plan? 6 small meals a day of well combined protein, carb and fat, focusing the carbs on vegetables and fruits and one big ole cheat day.
I believe in good fats and animal foods, but for someone like me, I need to moderate it until I lose enough. I'll post some recent pictures soon.
The good news is I lost between 3-5lbs (scale isn't too good) and my shirt is looser.
Crazy to do during the holidays but this is the exact time period I did it before, a whole 8 years ago!!!! I made it then and lost around 35lbs, so I'm sure I can do it again.
December 1, 2009
I really didn't feel hungry in the morning, but I ate an apple and some grapes, lots of water and pure cranberry juice.
At lunch I had a salad with homemade dressing (oil and vinegar) and a banana later in the afternoon.
Supper was a salad with a homemade ranch type dressing and straight vegetable soup.
I did cave a little at night and ate the inside of a tart apple pie and some tea, but I really just wanted the apples! Oh well...
The verdict: this was easy. I had no cravings at all, not even for coffee! This morning the UTI was in full force! But I CANNOT take antibiotics- no way.
The only bad thing that happened was last evening around 6pm, it had been awhile since I ate anything, and I was in a mental FOG trying to make dinner. It was like my body was in slow motion and couldn't concentrate. I also had a sudden feeling of fear- fear that I had done so well, but what if I couldn't keep it up? What if I just stayed fat forever? Silly, but it passed after about 15 minutes. I actually preferred the taste of my salad than the cooked soup. The soup was tasty, but the salad tasted better.
Today I didn't crave anything at all. I didn't even get hungry feeling till 11 am. First thing I was drinking loads of water and cranberry juice because of the pain of the UTI. Later I ate half a grapefruit, a few grapes, and later an apple.
Lunch was a large salad with avocado, tomatoes, green onions, carrots and 1 boiled egg and homemade dressing. The egg didn't taste as good as I thought it would. Bummer.
I will probably have some fruit this afternoon, and supper will be stir fried veggies (carrots, bell peppers, onion, broccoli and Bragg's Liquid aminos instead of soy sauce) brown rice and a salad. I may slice up some leftover steak and add it to the stir fry so it isn't wasted.
I'm not sure how I will proceed. I'm just kind of going with how I feel. The hard part is that it's cold today and I am cold and want something hot. I may heat up some leftover soup later.
My husband is doing this with me and the kids are doing fine too. They didn't seem to mind just eating simple vegetable soup and salad and some crackers. We'll see how they do with tonight's supper. I am considering starting my weightloss blog again with pictures (yikes!).
I am getting lots of inspiration from youtube- there are many people that post their weightloss journeys on there with pictures. Also I watch the Biggest Loser program. I could be on there- that's how bad it has gotten. I would be on the small side, but still.
On to Christmas stuff- I am planning to try making some pomanders and the ornaments you make with applesauce and cinnamon and bake. Hopefully I can sew some stockings too- time we all had one that looked similar instead of random mis matched ones, especially since our family is 'done' :)
November 30, 2009
Everything went very well, excluding the fact that Wednesday morning I woke up with allergy or sinus problems and a UTI! Guess I should have resisted the Dr. Pepper in the checkout aisle Tuesday night, eh? (yeah I've been around Yoopers and the 'eh' creeps in)
I pushed on and we got everything ready and I got everything cooked and the food was good. Still, I was quite miserable and Friday was even worse because of 3 days of little sleep, lots of work, a house full of people and the lingering symptoms of the allergies and bladder problems.
I ate LOTS! And guess what, I have gained like 10 lbs since birth!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, do you know what is happening today?
Actually, I am cleaning out, and it is going extremely well. I am eating raw fruits and veggies, water and cranberry juice, and some cooked veggies today. I have been literally addicted to coffee for weeks, and today I didn't even miss it. All the while, like for 2 months, I have felt in my gut that I should clean out my body just from pregnancy itself and I didn't want to listen.
I'm listening and doing now :) I plan to add some brown rice tomorrow evening, a potato the next day, then on Thursday I am planning to fast from sundown to sundown. (just liquids- water) I'm not sure how I will proceed after that. It's more of 'resetting' time for my body. I have GOT to get rid of the extra body fat. I will need to lose almost 60lbs to get below 200. I don't look terribly heavy, but apparently I am!
Anyone hit the stores last Friday? We went to walmart for a few things and it was pretty busy. Many people had their carts mound over with stuff! I didn't have the money for that :)
Getting ready for Christmas now...I am thinking of getting rid of almost all my Christmas decor and starting over with more natural things. If I don't love it, why keep it?
So anyways, I am waist deep in piled up laundry needing to be folded, everything needs to be put back in order and the floor is atrocious. I'm taking a break though, because with the cleaning out of my body, I don't want to overtax the system.
Well, time to do the next thing :)
November 24, 2009
Ok, we found a great deal on ham and turkey. So, we bought two turkeys and 1 spiral sliced ham. I"m just going to use the glaze the ham came with and heat it up.
The turkey- saw this on TV and looks good. (blogger did something weird with my words being in all CAPS, but I don't have time to fix it.)
Herb Roasted Turkey
1 head garlic
1 bunch fresh thyme
butter and more herbs (whatever I can find- sage, thyme, rosemary)
White cooking wine
SPRINKLE SALT AND PEPPER INSIDE THE CAVITY OF THE BIRD. CUT ONION INTO QUARTERS AND THE HEAD OF GARLIC IN HALF, then PUT INSIDE THE TURKEY> ALSO STUFF THE THYME IN THERE> TIE UP LEGS>
MIX YOUR CHOPPED HERBS AND BUTTER AND RUB IT ALL UNDERNEATH THE SKIN OF THE TURKEY AND THEN ALL OVER THE OUTSIDE> SPRINKLE WITH SALT AND PEPPER> place in roasting pan and poor the wine in the bottom> Cook at 325 degrees 15 minutes per pound of turkey. Baste every half hour until the last 30 minutes so the skin can get crispy.
Sausage Apple Stuffing
1lb cooked sausage
2 granny smith apples
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
Cube the bread and toast in oven till very dry. Cook apples, onion and celery in half a stick of butter till softened. Cook the sausage in another pan, crumbling well. Throw everything together in a bowl and add the broth/stock until desired wetness is achieved. Poor into a baking pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Jamaican Cranberry Sauce
1 package fresh cranberries
1 orange, juice and zest
1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 inches of grated fresh ginger root
Wash cranberries and discard any bad ones. Put in saucepan with all ingredients, adding extra water to cover the berries if needed. Cook on medium-low heat until simmering, then turn down to slow simmer. Cook till berries pop and create a thick sauce. Taste for tartness/sweetness and add more sugar if needed. Chill overnight for flavors to develop.
Homemade Green Bean casserole
Humming Bird Cake
We will also have mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, pickles and olives, possibly deviled eggs, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and maybe a cranberry raisin one....umm, I think that's it!
I will add that I grew up eating cornbread dressing, not bread stuffing. I am from the south and almost no one uses bread for the 'dressing'- it's cornbread. However, my dear husband is from the north and so are his folks and they prefer the bread kind, so that's what we'll do :) Should be fun to experiment.
I may sound frazzled in my post from yesterday, but I am delighted to host Thanksgiving. I love having 'control' over what food we eat and love preparing it. Yes there is a lot of components and I have small children and YES I get stressed when I've got many things to do with lots of people underfoot. But, I'm not dreading it. I just pray my body will hold up!!!
November 23, 2009
I'm trying to rearrange this house to fit in the Christmas tree! We are so packed in here! I am working so hard to make it look like we're NOT using every inch of available space to store things. As soon as we get our money for buying a house (you know, the govt. is giving up to $8000 for those who are buying a house this year) we are buying our OWN storage building!!!!!
The way our living room is, it is so hard to arrange it where there's room to walk through. Yet, there really isn't anything we can get rid of, like for good. We need to store it!
Why am I doing Christmas stuff so early? Because we'll be getting it out in about a week anyways, and we're doing 'Christmas' with my husband's family Friday.
I still have to get the froze solid turkey into the fridge, clean out the fridge, do laundry, puree the pumpkins I cooked, make bread, go to the store for formula, and continue shuffling stuff around to make it look like we are perfectly organized, LOL :)
November 20, 2009
I gotta stop the blog...
Well, not stop it or shut it down, but I have to be released from it. It's weighing me down because I know you all are interested in things but I'm pressed on every side right now, and I don't have the ability to make my blog what I want it to be.
I want to do videos, and pictures, and how tos and all kinds of stuff. But, it's not happening.
This doesn't mean that I will never post, it just means that I'm not obligated to post. It means that I can post when I have the time and have something good to say and not because I feel I'm failing 'my people' LOL!
I am thinking that after Christmas I should be able to post regularly again. Since I am hosting Thanksgiving, there's a lot going on. I have MUCHO yard work, housework, cooking etc. to do, plus help my mom clean her house. (remember she's crippled right now) I've also somehow sprained my lower back, so it's very sore from the chiropractic adjustments and I have to ice it a few times a day.
I am sure you all understand. As wives and moms our work is NEVER complete. As Samantha grows and becomes more independent, I will be freed up a bit more. I already feel overwhelmed because I am constantly looking back at my old self and how capable I was. I have to accept my new self and adjust!! Still though, in my mind, I get worked up about it.
SO, today, I have to do SEVERAL loads of laundry, re-sort the toys yet again, pick up around the house the things that are out of place, bake 3 pumpkins, make 4-6 loaves of bread, other kitchen stuff, AND finish the sewing. Hmmm, maybe I should have started last night and just not slept...oh wait, I was exhausted because baby hasn't slept well a few nights in a row. No, sleep was essential.
Oh but last night we ALL went to the grocery store to buy food for next week. My husband kept telling me how it would be fine for us to ALL go. Well, let's just say it felt like we were in that store for 4 hrs, but it was only 1! Anyhow, there were a few spankings (in the bathroom), several bouts of crying, a few bathroom trips (for actual using the bathroom) lots of deliberating over prices (dh and me) lots of multitasking (me feeding the baby, pushing the cart, holding my list and crossing things off and directing the kids with the miniature shopping carts all at the same time), I got my ankles slammed into 3-4 times, then I rolled the cart over Alexa's toes (not on purpose!) AND, we bought everything, including a spiral sliced ham and TWO turkeys for $111.
How? If you bought an outrageously priced spiral cut ham you got a turkey for free, and you can get a second turkey for .79 cents a pound, AND, lots of stuff was on sale, AND I had a 20% off coupon. Cool huh? I still have to make a lot from scratch, like bread and stuffing and pie crusts and my own pumpkin, but oh well, that's the fun part!
Alright, it's GO time. I'll be around.
November 17, 2009
Been having some computer issues and camera issues and emotional issues.
Computer had to be reformatted completely, which meant we had to copy everything we wanted to keep to the other computer, then wipe this one out and reload it all back. That took some time.
The camera is...I can't remember, but something on it won't close right so my husband has to figure that one out.
Emotionally...well, since I can't help but be brutally honest on here, it was 'time' for my 'monthly friend' and it didn't come when I thought it should and it freaked me out because I thought I was the 1-3/1000 women whose tubals failed and oh my gosh! I'm going to have a baby in July!!!!
No. It didn't fail as of last evening :) But the ENTIRE weekend, I was crampy and achy and on the emotional roller coaster, and cravings were INSANE! Poor, poor hubby.
But I found out something this weekend. I married one of the best men in the world. After the initial outburst and argument, he 'got it'. He was loving and patient and sweet and encouraging and has decided that from now on, every Saturday morning, we as a family would clean the house- every part of it including projects and the outside. He also decided that every Sunday evening we would buy groceries together.
Wow. This man also, yesterday, did NOT wake me up early enough, and when I did get up, he had finished programming the computer, gotten himself and the school girls dressed, lunches made, breakfast made (homemade oatmeal that I had soaked the night before) girls' hair fixed, bags packed... and they were ready to walk out the door.
Wow. This man could SO NOT multi-task things when we first married. This is the same man, who I can be having a conversation with, and then 10 minutes into it, look over at me and say ' what?' Um, yeah, he didn't hear a thing.
I can see what marriage and children have done for him. It basically made him a man. He went from a 29 year old young adult type to being a man. This transformation occurred over the span of 5 years. It technically didn't start until after our second one was born. There were many hard times. But each time we hit a low point, there was growth.
Now I understand one of the reasons why we get married and have children. It's not just for our joy and fulfillment, but it is to mold us into what God has planned for us to be. He can see us many years ahead, what we will become, and guides our way so that we become that. Neat huh?
We would not be who we are now if we were without children. My goodness- what journey!
Anyways, sorry to get off topic or whatever. Just letting you know, that things have not been normal. In fact last night somehow I pulled something in my back and could hardly move! Even this morning I was prepared to go to the chiropractor first thing, but 3 advil took care of it :) Oh, and of course, our prayers.
I have been SEWING!! Finally!!! It's been, oh, 4 months? I am making all the girls a soft and cozy flannel nightgown. I'm doing two at a time, and have just the sleeves and hem on two of them left. Hopefully, you'll get a picture of that :)
November 15, 2009
This year I am hosting the Thanksgiving meal for my family and my husband's parents. Typically for holidays, my inner Martha Stewart comes out and I go overboard on everything, including spending money on food and other things.
This year we are trying to save some extra money for Christmas, so I'm challenging myself to trim down Thanksgiving.
1. Do you really need 10 side dishes? No! Pick your favorites and make plenty of it for the day and some leftovers.
2. Do you really need 6 desserts? Baking can get pricey, especially if you choose something with nuts like pecans- oh my-or chocolate etc.
3. If cooking a turkey, they are usually a good price, so you could get one bigger than you need to have leftovers to freeze.
4. Instead of buying premade pie crusts and rolls/bread, make some ahead and freeze them. Flour is cheap, butter isn't necessarily cheap, but in our case we prefer not to use margarine or shortening, which is usually in the premade crusts. Yeast rolls would come out pretty cheap cost wise too.
5. Frugal doesn't necessarily mean cheap to me. Frugal means, getting the best I can for the least amount of money. This year I plan to make a homemade green bean casserole. This will likely cost a little more than the usual canned green beans with cream of mushroom soup, but it would be healthier.
So what is my menu plan?
Roasted turkey, I may brine it the night before to flavor it and make it juicy
stuffing made from homemade bread (I use apple, onion and celery in mine)
mashed potatoes and gravy
sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (the kid fave- and from fresh potatoes)
homemade green bean casserole
my homemade spicy/citrusy cranberry sauce
pumpkin pie, cranberry raisin pie, pecan pie if on sale if not, mini cheesecakes
Seems like plenty to me. I might also throw in a fresh salad or a jello fruit salad if I fancy it at the time. But I'm not planning it. The deviled eggs may or may not make it either, we'll see.
November 11, 2009
I have so been wanting to do a video but haven't settled down to do it.
I have been thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and getting all excited about it. I have decided that we will deck out the front of our house and have been previewing what the stores have in yard ornaments and lights. (I don't want to spend $300 on it you know)
Every year I promise myself I will not go overboard on presents, and just about every year I do it anyways. As a parent, I want to give my children things that will make them happy. And I don't usually just buy them toys, maybe occasionally, AND my two oldest daughters' birthdays are right around Christmas. But again, when I think on it, a lot of the stuff we get them breaks or is lost pretty soon after Christmas.
While I want them to have fun receiving presents, and yes we do the dreaded Santa Clause for fun, I want to focus on the other parts of Christmas. Making things festive and beautiful, going to cut down the tree, the music, the traditions of making everyone's favorite candy (mine would be peanut butter filled ritz crackers dipped in chocolate), Christmas crafts, being with family, and ultimately, that the whole purpose behind it is celebrating the Savior's birth.
My husband and I are at a place now where we could really care less about getting gifts- we just want to give it all to the kids and others. I plan to share some of our Christmas traditions in the coming weeks along with recipes. I am planning to make some gifts this year, but I better get on the ball if that's going to happen. These days I really think most people would be satisfied with something simple and homemade.
One of the things I want to do for the children was this, in fact I went and bought the exact fabric she used for it.
Also, Crystal from the Homemaking Homestead on the left sidebar has some good ideas. Bags filled with rice that you can heat or freeze and use as cold/hot packs, clothespin bags,potholders...personally, my pot holders are in some SAD shape right now.
Anyways, my goal is to not get stressed and to not go overboard, but to just enjoy every minute because it only comes once a year. Sometimes I get all Martha Stewart-ish and try to make everything perfect, but I'm human with 4 little ones who ain't gonna remember the many details that I can get stuck on.
Which reminds me, baby Samantha is three months old today. She is trying to SIT UP! If I lay her back at an angle, she pulls herself up. She is starting baby talk, loves to be talked to, and knows and loves her family. She is eating MUCH better, and has started taking 6oz in her bottles- remember, for awhile I could only get her to take 1-2oz. God just healed her, because I never even used the medicine. She continues to eat cereal and some baby foods and is doing really well, but it's more of a supplement now rather than a mainstay of her diet.
I hope to get her back on the NT formula after Christmas. She'll be 5 months old then and should tolerate it much better.
I tried a new recipe today and am about to go take a picture of the final project. See you tomorrow.
November 9, 2009
I found that out about 5 years ago when they were the only thing helping me get healthier. I was using products from Dr. Schulze. They are amazing- the best you can buy I believe.
But, they are pricey, and for my ' large' family, we can't afford to get much. However, over the years I've been researching homemade herbal products and just never got around to it. This year though, I felt the push and decided I really could handle it.
And, it was very simple. First though, you have to know all about the herbs. There are so many! There are many that have the same result, but may function a little different. Sometimes one herb may not work, so you try another. Over the years I have learned about various herbs, but the best resource I found was an ebook written by a self taught mommy. If you go the left sidebar, and click on Fields and Gardens, the lady has an ebook called "The Kitchen Apothecary". There is a lot of good info, and it's not overwhelming. It's very easy to understand and it only cost me around $8.
Another good free resource is going to www.bulkherbstore.com. Not only do they sell the herbs, but they have LOADS of articles and information on what to use and how. I am very thankful that they provide it for free.
So, I took what I knew, and decided what herbs I wanted to buy. At the time I bought it, I had a very large lemon balm bush, peppermint bush and a big thyme plant. My intent was to uproot them and dry the leaves when we moved. Then, something started eating them! They dried up before I could do anything. Oh, well, we'll improvise.
For my immune booster tincture, I chose to use the recipe in the ebook.
2 parts echinacea tops
2 parts echinacea roots
1 part yarrow
1 part elderberries
I used enough to fill a quart mason jar half way. Then you just cover it with alcohol, I used vodka, and allow to sit. You are supposed to shake up the jar each day, but mine is more like each week. I am planning to check on it this week, as it will mark 3-4 weeks since I started them.
I also made a sleepy time or calming tincture.
1 part catnip
1 part passionflower
1 part stress buster tea blend (from the website)
I think I threw in some peppermint tea bags too, will double check
This is good for times of major stress or insomnia. Or using that instead of benadryl when the kids won't calm down. Just kidding! (I've only done that once, ok, and we'd been in the car for 24hrs...the child would NOT sleep!!!)
The herbs I chose and why: (info excerpted from www.bulkherbstore.com)
Echinacea is often put in combinations with other herbs. It is an excellent infection fighter and is used as a powerful natural antibiotic.
- Especially good in glandular infections and problems. A good cleanser for glands and the lymphatic system.
- One of the best herbs for helping enlargements and weakness of the prostrate gland.
- Used in ear aches, strep throat, and lymph glands.
- Effective blood purifier. Used for blood poisoning and poisonous spider and snake bites.
- Used in combination with goldenseal, Yarrow and Cayenne to form a powerhouse infection fighting formula.
Recent studies show Echinacea to have immuno stimulant, antiviral, antiexudative, anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, and fungistatic properties. In practical use today, Echinacea is used primarily to build resistance to infections of the respiratory and digestive tracts.
The proven actions of Echinacea are due to water-soluble polysaccharides. They act by sequestering the attacks of various microbes and allow the body to heal itself. Upon reaching an infected area, the polysaccharides have an immunostimulant effect, which results in the production of leucocytes (white blood cells). The resulting phagocytic action of the leucocytes effectively eradicates a number of infectious organisms.Echinacea is a contact healer. It can be used for a variety of inflammatory conditions externally. As such, it is a good idea to have some on hand in emergencies and know how to use it.
- Unlike most herbs, Echinacea should only be used when you know you have a need, rather than on a regular basis as a supplement.
Elderberries are tasty flu fighters. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzyme flu viruses from penetrating our cell membranes and also prevent the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. Taken early enough, as a tea or tincture, you may be able to head off an upcoming illness before it becomes a full-blown flu. They are especially good for bronchitis, colds, coughing, and influenza. Also contains substances that ease inflammation and pain and soothe the intestines, thus making them useful in all inflammatory bowel diseases. It is known to have a gentle laxative action, and their mild tonic action helps to arrest diarrhea.
Yarrow is an important herb to have in storage in your home. The comment was made that it would be one of the only things that work against the coming plagues, which would be flu type diseases. Yarrow is unsurpassed for flu and fevers.
- Used abundantly at the beginning of a cold it will usually break it up within 24 hours.
- Especially good for fevers-produces perspiration. Opens pores and has relaxing action on skin.
- For fever must be drunk warm or take capsules with warm water or peppermint tea. Yarrow tea is bitter to the taste, but effective.
- Good for all childhood diseases. A yarrow ointment or tea is used for sores, including chicken pox and smallpox, also old wounds.
- Helping to glandular system. Regulates and tones liver.
- Relieves kidney and bladder problems, infections and mucus discharge from bladder.
- Equalizes circulation.
- Used in fomentations for external hemorrhoids or inject one ounce of tea in a retention enema for internal hemorrhoids.
- Corrects diarrhea in infants.
- Healing and soothing to all mucous membranes.
- Benefits respiratory problems, including bleeding from lungs.
- Combined with sage, it is good for profuse or irregular menstruation.
Has been used in the following:
Herbalists have had great success using it to treat imbalances of the nervous system including insomnia, nervous tension and stress headaches. Besides being an excellent herbal sedative, Passion Flower relieves smooth muscle spasms. This makes it useful for treating spasmodic dysmenorrhea, colic, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, blood pressure, and epilepsy.
Passion Flower also has an antifungal principle called passicol that shows intermediate killing power on candida species.
Passion Flower is high or very high on the following nutrients:
Indicated Usages - Internal:
Catnip ~ (have you ever seen a cat on catnip? HILARIOUS!)
is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies. It is an excellent diaphoretic, and its ability to induce sleep while producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system makes it a valuable drink in any case of fever. Owing to its gentle nature, catnip is highly prized in the treatment of children's ailments.
Catnip is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies. It is an excellent diaphoretic, and its ability to induce sleep while producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system makes it a valuable drink in every case of fever.
As a carminative with antispasmodic properties, the herb also eases any stomach upsets, dyspepsia, flatulence, and colic. Its sedative action on the nerves adds to its generally relaxing properties.
Owing to its gentle nature, catnip is highly prized in the treatment of children's ailments. It is good in colic, anxiety, and nervousness, and is used as a mild nervine. Catnip is an ideal remedy for the treatment of diarrhea in children.
Indicated Usages - Internal:
Stress Buster Tea blend ~
Contains: St. John's Wort, Ginkgo leaf, Siberian ginseng root, Green Tea, Jasmine flowers, peppermint leaf, raspberry leaf, and stevia leaves.
Stress-Buster Tea is a mix of herbs that aid the circulatory, immune, glandular, digestive, and respiratory system. Simplified, this combination of herbs relaxes the muscles, feeds the brain, and strengthens the body.
I also ordered mullein for this reason :
As an aid for chronic lung and respiratory problems, mullein was universally recognized by European, Asian, and Native American herbalists. Oil extracts of the flowers were considered excellent in soothing and healing any inflamed surface, and for easing ear problems. A decoction of its roots was used to alleviate a toothache, and thought to be good for cramps and convulsions. An early morning draught of the distilled water of the flowers was often recommended for gout.
In more recent times, one of mullein's greatest advocates was Dr. John Christopher. He states, "It is the only herb known to man that has remarkable narcotic properties without being poisonous or harmful. It is a great herbal pain killer and nervous soporific, calming and quieting all inflamed and irritated nerves. In wasting diseases (such as tuberculosis or consumption), the weight steadily increases, expectoration becomes easy, cough calms, and the general condition is improved. Mullein soothes and strengthens the bowels and renal system, and is one of the most important for the glands and serous and mucous membranes. It stops the escape of fluids from ruptured vessels, and eliminates toxins."
Mullein's gentle nature makes it one of the very best herbs for use with children's health problems. It combines wonderfully with chamomile, catnip and lemon balm where appropriate, and can be used to address a wide variety of childhood diseases.
**In times past, my oldest daughter Leiah would seem like, overnight develop major chest congestion. She gets gagged very easily, and coughing up the mucus would cause vomiting. So, I decided to order some of this rather than used the children's mucinex for a month. I am not expecting her to get sick, because we believe in God's protection, but it is there nonetheless, and we can give it to others if they need it. It is very bitter though!
I think that's all I ordered this time. I had ordered some mother's milk tea, which worked awesome-ly!!! I sent to another lady who needed it more than me, since nursing didn't continue with Samantha. I wanted to order everything! I would need to create my own herb shop though :) I hope to get a few more soon, especially since my peppermint died...
November 5, 2009
Monday: "Goulash"- ground meat, veggies, tomato sauce, pasta
Tuesday: Italian ham and bean soup (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, white beans, ham, chicken broth, tomato paste, basil, finely chopped spinach and tiny pasta called ditalini)
More salad with homemade ranch dressing
cornbread and butter
Wednesday: "Sloppy Cornbread" (sloppy joe mix with cornbread on top)
sour cream apple pie
Thursday: Crockpot roasted chicken
brown rice pilaf and chicken gravy
bacon green beans
Friday: homemade baked macaroni and cheese
homemade baked beans
possibly homemade chocolate ice cream
Saturday: bean and beef burritos with fixings
Sunday: leftovers or sandwiches/eggs and toast
Monday: chicken curry
brown rice and ginger carrot salad
Tuesday: Awesome salmon patties (the recipe is here somewhere)
Wednesday: spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
I finished my project Tuesday, but didn't have time to take pictures.
Wednesday I ran errands ALL morning, then cooked for my mom, came home and got my other girls from school and unloaded groceries, then went back to my mom's to finish dinner, then back here and WORE OUT!
Today I am going to the Discovery Science Place with a new mom I met whose husband is in the military and gone right now. I'm tired, but I must go and force myself to have fun :)
Tomorrow is an at home day. See you then if not before!
November 2, 2009
First off, we had a fun weekend. Like I said, we don't really 'do' Halloween, but our pastor hosts a "weiner roast" every year and we allow the girls to dress up. Or in this case, get covered in makeup. This is our ATTEMPT to paint them like cats. I say attempt because, well, we didn't decide to do this until 30 minutes before we had to leave!!!
Oh well. They thought it was fun :)
The next morning, Sunday, I dressed them in casual but new clothes. Sometimes I just don't feel like getting them all frilly with tights and all that- especially when it's cold out. I haven't put pictures of the older girls up in awhile, so here they are.
They sure are growing! One could certainly go broke trying to keep them in clothes that fit and look nice :)
Next topic- recipes!
This is me and my husband's new favorite meal. I watch the cooking show "Nigella Feasts" on Saturday mornings, and her recipes are fabulous. This is one I tried and have been craving it every week- great for fall and winter.
Cornbread topped Chili
2lbs ground beef
1 large onion
1 red or green bell pepper
1 T red pepper flakes, or less if you wish
1 T ground cumin
(I add) 2-3 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T cocoa powder
salt and pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1-2 cans kidney beans or other beans (the second time I used pinto beans I had cooked and frozen)
Some water if needed to cover.
Just saute the onion and pepper in olive oil, then add meat and spices. When meat is cooked add everything else and let simmer at least 30-45 minutes. Transfer to oven safe dish. Make cornbread topping:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 T sugar
1 t salt
1/4 cup oil or butter
1/2-1 cup milk
Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients making a smooth batter. Spoon on top of chili and an even layer. Put into preheated oven (400 degrees) and cook approximately 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.
I serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole if possible, and salad. (we mix the salad with the chili- must be a southern thing) You can also serve corn chips with it. YUM! I plan to make it this week for my mom and dad- mom is having surgery to fix her broken foot that she's been walking on for over two weeks!
Since we're in the kitchen, I am going to reveal my worst um, procrastination. I hate cleaning the fridge. I mean, I hate emptying out leftovers that no one ate that are now expired. The problem is I put it off for WAY too long, and by then things start growing fuzz. Today was THE day to fix it- lovely. Here is the aftermath- be glad you didn't see what was in these dishes.
The sink and counter are piled with dishes that had been living in the fridge for weeks. Yack!
So what is your dirty homemaking procrastination secret? Anyone got any?
One more thing- last week I was cleaning out toys. The girls' bedroom is quite blank. We just didn't have the time to paint it or anything before we moved in. I was really wishing I had one of those nets you can hang in the corner of the room to hold stuffed animals and dolls. And then an idea came to me. This is what it looked like.
Notice the animals are 'suspended' on the wall? I used pink ribbon, tied it around their necks and then hung them with a push pin.
I also found a calendar I'd had since 2004! So I cut the pictures out and used my trusty clear push pins to hang them. I AM the thumb tack/ push pin queen. You should see what I can do with them :)
I have another project going that hopefully I can get done today. We'll see...but it's just using what you have to decorate.
Anyways, that's that. Enjoy the drive by posting :)
October 29, 2009
We moved to this town two weeks before Samantha was born because the previous school district would not allow her to go regular ed kindergarten. They basically tried to make me think that their school was so advanced that Leiah could not possibly keep up, that no one was capable of assisting a child in the bathroom (teachers I mean), that all the children would be mean and pick on her because she was different and that she absolutely would NOT get an aid to help her.
So, it was a challenge to find a house, get a loan, and close on it in two months. But, by the power of God and our faith in action, we got it.
So many things have pointed to us that we did indeed hear from the Lord and we were meant to be here. We have wonderful neighbors, some which we already knew before we moved. The school is absolutely wonderful and they love Leiah and have made it a point to tell me so.
Back in September, on Grandparents' Day my mom went to school to eat lunch with my girls. When she saw Leiah's class coming, Leiah was walking down the hall with a group of girls surrounding her and holding her hand. Leiah's aid pointed out a little girl named Chloe that loved Leiah and was always holding her hand and helping her with everything.
After lunch, the little girl came to my mom and said that Leiah was her very best friend!
We all cried over that one. So the next day was Open House and I met her and her family. The NEXT day, I went to Target way far away and lady asked me if I was Leiah's mom. I said yes, and then I recognized that she was Chloe's mom. We talked and exchanged phone numbers and have been getting to know each other. I told her how much I loved her little girl for proving that Leiah can be in regular society without being ridiculed. Not only that, Chloe broke her arm shortly after that, but she still continuously holds Leiah's hand with that arm, and always has her arm around Leiah.
Last week they went to the Pumpkin Patch farm and I got to see Leiah's class and little Chloe in action. She is an angel. Here are some pictures and I'll point her out when I get there.
The main little 'auditorium' where they did a little skit and talk about the pumpkins.
Part of the farm.
The skit about growing pumpkins. The little blonde girl with flower petals on her head is Chloe.
Now are the pictures of Leiah and Chloe. Getting arranged for the picture... (they're on the left)
Give me your hand Leiah...
Isn't so sweet?! Thank you for loving Leiah Chloe! There were other little girls that were quite possessive of Leiah. Yeah, she's a freak no one likes huh?