Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Amazing Recipe

Tonight I made a super easy and super delicious recipe called "Cracker Jill" from one of my fave books "MaryJane's Outpost". Besides being an amazing recipe that turned out for me, I find MaryJane's books really inspiring. Yesterday I looked through my old magazines and I flipped through my "Outpost" book and my "Stitching Room" book from her and I just can't wait to get crafting and doing stuff! I like going through them in the winter especially because I can just smell the summer air drifting from the pages, well at any rate the recipe is amazing and now I'm going to go finish the rest of my bowl before anyone else finishes it for me!

Song for the day

So little, yet so much has happened this month. On this last day of the first month of the new year I had this song pop into my head and thought it interesting how it reflected some of the things I've learned, discovered and realized this past month. It's from the song Indescribable by Chris Tomlin:

"Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God"

I guess that reflects this past month in a song of what all has happened and flames the hope for the coming year knowing that God knows all things.

It's interesting to note that this year I have made several goals, the first one to simplify my life and that is for multiple reasons. Many positive reasons. Life is so... I can't even think of the right word to use for it. I know this train of thought will lead people to think of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", yet is that not how life is? One thing affects another, which affects another. Much like the domino affect.

I'm not saying this to mean I needed positive affirmation that I, as a person, matter but instead I'm saying this because everything we do, think, say, eat, drink, wear and so on and so forth, affects something else! It's incredible! It affects every aspect of life from health, to our emotions, to our relationships, to our friendship choices, and our families,  and so on. 

Not only that but as a parent I have direct influence on my kids lives for a short time (until mom and dad are like, totally uncool, haha) so its crucial that I model the kind of person I hope they will become. Not just that though, our actions are life encompassing. Even what we eat affects our bodies affecting our metabolism, cell structure, and so on. Our food choices impact what is available for us at the store, affecting what is grown in our country or imported, affecting the soil in our country which can circle around back to us and affecting us. 

Everything is intertwined so its so important to not just be a good citizen or person but think about what you do, why you do it. I don't want to be a non-thinker and just do stuff because "everyone else" does it or someone told me it was good for me. I want to know why I do what I do in order to know what I should be doing, not just following the herd. Seriously, what if the herd is going over a cliff...

It's good to know why you believe what you believe AND (big 'and' here)  be able to explain it efficiently so you can explain why you believe what you believe.

Whatever "it" happens to be in this life (food choices, schooling methods, etc)

Know it, Mean it, Stand for it.


Monday, January 30, 2012

January Heat Wave, GF and other happenings

Not too much has been going on around here. Which has been kind of nice. At first when I came down with that nasty cold I was upset because, as a mom, getting sick makes life a lot more difficult. Then I remembered that its not what happens in life- its what you do with it that matters. So I did what one of my favorite inspirational sayings is "Today, I choose joy". Then a lot of things came into perspective. 

Since my entire body ached and I didn't feel like moving, I did the absolute bare minimum of housework and cooking which gave me more time to rest and take it easy which gave me more time to snuggle with my kids and watch some of their favorite movies. Nothing like a sick day watching Disney, Baby Einstein, and Blues Clues. Even though I was absolutely miserable, I really treasure those moments spent with my kids.

The weather has been absolutely mild. Granted since I've been ill I haven't been outside much to enjoy to 30 degree weather this weekend it is supposed to be in the 40's! What?! I know they were forecasting a drought this summer but I do believe we have actually had a drought this winter as well. We are missing over a foot of snow at this point in the winter! I know the crazy weather patterns might have some in the whole "2012" end of days theory but I don't think 12-21-12 will be the end of days but it could mean something will happen. Or maybe the guy writing the calendar just ran out of room like a cartoon suggested. Haha yeah, it will worry someone someday :) Not me. Seriously the world has to end some time, do people really think it will go on forever? I'm taking the advice given to us by Jesus. Take life day by day, don't worry about tomorrow because tomorrow is a different day. Yep, it makes the stress in life drop tremendously. Instead of micromanaging life to every second of the entire month you plan ahead for the knowns in life (kind of like when bills are due) and just go with it. Sure, pay your bills on time but really, how fun is life when you micromanage it. 

Lighten up, it's healthy.

Well the gluten free thing has been very interesting. I've learned so much about it in the past few weeks. There are things I like about other diets too that I will incorporate into our eating habits as well. I really liked what I read about the paleo diet and I still need to do more research but I do feel it is almost like a religion whereas just going gluten free isn't really aligning it to a lifestyle/religion so to speak. 

But at any rate I sleep better at night and the past two mornings I actually woke up feeling refreshed. The first time in about 4 years!!! It has been incredible! Nothing else changed except gluten in my diet. Even thought I get up once a night to feed the baby I still wake up feeling refreshed! The only problem with reducing and eliminating gluten from my diet without getting tested for intolerance or celiac is that you are supposed to continue eating gluten containing food when you get tested for those things. Oops. I have no desire to eat regular bread. It will be harder during holidays and when people offer me their home baked goodies BUT on the flip side I can expand even more on my cooking abilities by cooking GF.

I have found that since we have started eliminating gluten from our diets that our food has been a lot more varied, I cook more often and I'm starting to enjoy cooking for my family again. Cooking is not only an art but an act of love. I got so tired of cooking that my cooking actually started to taste bland (in my opinion). I've been including the kids in meal preparation which slows me down but they absolutely love it! They also love eating what they "helped" mama make! We've also tried out many new foods, new styles of foods. As I'm still nursing the baby I have to be careful with some of the spices (some of my favorites actually reduce milk supply) so I take advantage of the spices that I can safely use while nursing. 

I can't wait to go out shopping (another thing I used to dread) and get a few more new ingredients to cook with. I've learned so incredibly much researching going gluten free. The health benefits are huge, even for people who can tolerate gluten,  and our food repertoire has grown, my pantry expanded, my love for  cooking revived. Yes, going GF has brought life to our diets and spice to our life and we all feel better for it. My kids, oh my goodness my kids have really started growing FAST since changing diets. It is absolutely incredible. I find it interesting that baby is a LOT less gassy since I stopped gluten too. I wonder if that means she is sensitive? Hmmm, I will have to find out and ask her doctor next checkup. 

Well I will stop rambling for now, just wanted to post something before the end of the month! As I get time I will update on my GF cooking experiences!!

~country livin'~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Food, Lifestyles and Philosophy

As I looked more into the paleo diet I started seeing a heavy trend of evolutionist type stuff. Then it got me thinking into more philosophical reasons of why people start following the diet (besides the plain up front reasons I had listed in previous posts). I got some feedback from one of my cousins and I liked what she had to say about it. She was able to explain what I was trying to! Yeah! I love getting feedback. 

Feedback is good, it helps you to further develop your opinions and explanations on why you do what you do and why you believe what you believe. 

Well anyhow I still have some books on hold at the library I need to pick up so I can read more into but I don't think we will be following the paleo diet per se. I guess it's like the difference between vegan and 'just' a vegetarian. Well maybe that doesn't really explain it.

I read quite a few different "diet" books, certain cookbooks and health books and so on. Some were fad diets that I never intended on following but I wanted to understand better what other people were talking about (mainly so I didn't fall into the fad trap!) and while those books were full of catchy lines, they just weren't a life changing diet. 

There goes the lifestyle part. When you want to make a positive but permanent diet change or any change in life for that matter it becomes a lifestyle. On first look I loved the paleo diet. But the more I have looked into the past few days the more I realize I only agree with the basis of the whole plan. I don't believe we evolved from slump into monkeys into man. 

So in my position I really can't say I'm going to follow the paleo diet because I don't believe in it in it's entirety. Just like I could not follow a vegan lifestyle because I don't believe in it. 

Yes, I do think it's very important to make some permanent changes in my family's eating habits but I am going to come up with my own diet as I will take bits and pieces of different diets and combine them so I am not philosophically becoming something I'm not or don't want to slip into being. Nutritionally we will be very healthy, our lifestyle will change and grow and expand but not in "new worldly" ways therefore philosophically we will stay true to what we believe while changing our diet in order to get attain the best health God allows us and also staying true to what we believe.

A very important thing I must mention is gmo's. When bread is mentioned in the Bible and other very old writings the wheat wasn't like it is now. A lot of our food is genetically modified therefore is changed. So it wasn't just our diets that changed over the time from Adam and Eve to now but also the actual whole food itself. I consider sometimes if that is what it means in Revelations that our food will harm us. Not sure, I'm too tired to make intelligent speculations. Just some food for thought. It's good to think. In fact there was an excellent quote I heard from someone famous but I can't recall it at this time. If I remember I will edit the post and add it later. 

It's good to think for yourself and stay true to what you believe! Don't settle for less than who you are just because everyone else is doing something. Research everything, learning always.

Busy doing researching and learning like always,

Planning ahead for Spring

I really haven't gotten cabin fever. . . yet. . .

But now as I am getting better from that awful cold I got, I was coming up with a game plan to get the house back in order as well as continue my organization and simplifying.

A little fabulous chocolate and a coffee later I finally came up with some ideas.

So here is my little game plan.

1: Don't over do it, I'm just getting over a sickness now is not the time to marathon purge.
2: Do as many dishes as my hot water allows, then the rest can be finished tomorrow.
3: Laundry: I'm already caught up on it save one load. Tomorrow I can do a full load. :) whew.
4: Organize ONE and I repeat ONE thing. (Since I am already doing extra cleaning I decided to take it easy on myself and sort through the maternity clothes I have in the 'I don't need' pile.)
5: In the coming days I will sort through everything on the front porch and then start putting my rummage items on the porch.
6: Have a huge rummage sale this spring.
7: Donate all remaining items
8: Enjoy the results and remaining simplification of the house!
9: Results of the rummage: Hopefully money, meet some new people, un needed/ un used items gone from my house!!!
10: Don't accumulate stuff again which means organize ONE and I repeat ONE thing daily, no matter how small. It will prevent accumulation again, hopefully.

Well, time to finish my coffee and get back to work planning ahead for spring!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Musings on going Gluten Free

I have been doing more thinking on this whole going gluten free thing. My main question is this: Is going gluten free enough for good health?

I ask this because I remember some reading I did last year on wheat how most of the products that are labeled as "gluten free" (or shortened to GF) are just as bad if not worse than the products that are gluten containing! Just take a look at the ingredient list. There are something on those ingredient lists that I don't buy in the regular gluten containing food I've been buying!!!

I told myself that there must be something more than just going gluten free, especially since a lot of the bigger companies are starting to cash in on that trend (hence the crazy ingredient lists). 

Enter what I have found called the Paleolithic diet. The more I read about it the more I am interested in it. I have placed some holds on some library books about it and have been doing some internet research on the subject as well as time allows (which isn't much!). 

I may do more than just go "gluten free" and maybe I will switch over to a more whole foods concept more so than what I've already been doing. 

This paleo diet makes sense because it looks more like what we SHOULD be eating instead of the highly processed frozen pizzas and cheesy puffs of today. If you are what you eat then I def don't want to be a cheesy puff! I'd rather be healthy as a vegetable! 

The one thing that does concern me on a personal level is their limited if not total elimination of dairy from the diet. I know some people are sensitive to dairy products but I thrive on them. Now, maybe I just think I'm thriving and maybe the reason why I'm feeling sick all the time is because I love dairy so much. 

I guess anything is worth a try, the appealing thing of trying this diet is not because its a new fangled thing. Yes, eating naturally has gone out of style to some effect because of the "ease" of processed foods but its not extreme in the fact where it's almost impossible to do and not healthy. I'm sure there will be a period of detox, and from what I've read there will be but the end result is a healthy LIFE. I'm not just after a healthy body I want a healthy life. So many diets out there are for temporary use that you eventually go off of (intentionally) once you lose the weight and most of the time people will go back to their old way of eating because it was a weight change not life change. 

So I have more looking into this but besides going gluten free and "missing out" on donuts well, if it keeps me from being a diabetic when I'm 70 then I'll pass on the donuts and have another steak or salad. Hold the croutons please.

~Searching for healthier eating for life~

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The newest adventure

After some thought since reading the book "Wheat Belly", learning some new family information and some other recent events I've finally decided to seriously reduce and eliminate gluten from our diet. 

Wheat is not necessary to survival unlike vegetables, fruit and protein sources.

While I absolutely adore milk it too is not necessary for survival. Since no one in our immediate household is allergic or sensitive to dairy I will keep it in our diets for now. 

I have a bunch of books on hold from the library to help me through the process.I know with any life change there will be hard times so I'm not going to focus on substitutions right now. I'm going to focus on incorporating more protein and vegetables in our meals so we don't miss the gluten containing foods.

I can't just go cold turkey but I will start by not buying crackers or bread and make more "one dish" meals with rice and potaotes to make up for the lack of bread and things. 

I do believe the hardest thing about this is my love of baked goods. I absolutely LOVE cooking. I do feel that once we eliminate gluten that not only will I start to have the energy that I should for my age but also my whole family will start to feel better. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with my family but I do think it will help us achieve optimum health. If, by years end, there is no difference in health I may call it quits but again by then I would be so used to figuring out baked goods by then I may just stay gluten free just because I will have gotten used to it by then and there are benefits to being gluten free as stated in various studies I've read online. 

Well the journey begins! 

Time to start making major choices to eliminate gluten from our diets without making a big deal out of it, without going broke and without losing my sanity as I cook for my family.

This will be interesting and I can't wait to see what the health benefits will be once we are off the gluten totally.

Here's to health!


Next Project

I am thinking about my next project. I need to stick with knitting, yes. I'm just not sure it's for me yet. I don't want to give up too soon but after crocheting for so many years it feels odd to me having two needles instead of just one hook and the headaches I get after knitting is ridiculous. I've gotten some feedback that tension is common in beginning knitters and once I get the hang of it the headaches should stop. That sounds reasonable enough but I don't know what I should try to knit first. I don't really wear scarves so I was thinking of a simple knitted bag to use for groceries or some fingerless gloves. Next I need to think about what kind of fiber to go with. I hate acrylic. It makes my hands sweat and dries them out like no other... I'm thinking alpaca for the gloves if I do them and maybe a cotton for the bag if I do that... I would do natural colors either way so color isn't an issue with me.

I picked up a really cute book on natural baby stuff from the library yesterday. Once I get more confident in knitting I will try some of the projects in that book for my kids!

I need to finish my John Deere quilt which I will probably end up giving to Ruger since I haven't been able to make him a quilt. Then I just have to make Ivana a quilt. Evelyn already got her's for her  very first Christmas gift!

I'd also like to get some embroidery done so I can have some nice tea towels for my kitchen.

Did I mention I also want to make some rugs for my house? That will come next, after a knitting project or two. I'd like them for spring. I want to make a latchhook rug for the kids room, one for my bedroom and a few braided ones for the porch and mudroom and back door. I think that will help keep some of the dirt out this coming spring!

Well I guess I will stick with knitting for now and I'm thinking I will do the fingerless gloves since I can use them right away so I better get some alpaca yarn this coming week. Then I start collecting the things I need for my rugs since I will do those after my knitting, and after the rugs I will finish my John Deere farm quilt for Rugerman and then it will be perfect timing for embroidery!

By the time all these upcoming projects will be finished it should be about time to get outside and start gardening! I have been working on picking out seeds and what I'm planting. I'm keeping it super simple this year to maximize my time spent out in the garden and also planting "bigger" stuff in the garden and the smaller stuff in containers so my kids can come out in the garden with me and I won't have to worry about them "wrecking" it!

I'm so blessed to be living out in the country and raising the kids out here!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cranberry Nut Dessert

Today I needed something homemade to eat as a treat so I decided to quick make this recipe. I haven't tried it out yet since it just came out of the oven and I cut it but I'm sure it will taste good. It only took a few minutes to whip up and get into the oven!

Healthy vs. Unhealthy

After my recent surgery I had been doing lots of research as to the 'why' and 'what' caused me to have to go through this. 

My most important point of this whole thing, which I have heard before but it finally dawned on me as true is: Just because you are thin does NOT mean you are healthy!

One thing affects another and so on down the line so all these skinny people that live on soda, chips and cupcakes, it will catch up to them! I did when I was younger and never gained a pound. Then I went to college and realized that I can and will gain weight so I started eating healthy and working out. Got that problem fixed. Then I got married and got pregnant shortly after. Then I realized that since my body had changed after pregnancy I need to do something different. Got that problem figured out and fixed, but I still ended up having surgery. And here I thought this whole time I was healthy!


I was mislead by my BMI. 

Being healthy is not the same thing as being thin.

Getting thin is not getting healthy.

People who want to lost weight should have two goals in mind: Lost weight and get healthy because you can have one and not the other. 

Another goal just got added to the list for this year: get healthy and stay healthy!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baked Apple Oatmeal

Today after getting out of bed and seeing the weather outside I thought it was a perfect morning for Baked Apple Oatmeal. It turned out fabulous like always and here is the recipe- it is super quick and easy to throw together in the morning and cook for an hour. Lovely!

~Baked Apple Oatmeal~
2 2/3 Cups Old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
4 cups milk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbl butter, melted(or at least softened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium apples, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350. In 2 quart casserole dish mix all ingredients together. Bake uncovered 40-45 minutes until most liquid is absorbed. Top with the walnuts if desired. Serve hot with extra milk, yogurt or brown sugar on top!

(Now here is what I did, I used soft butter and threw it in the mix in small flings, I cooked the walnuts with everything else instead of using them as a topping. I also left the skin on the apples but only because they are organic.)

Now, time to enjoy my oatmeal with some coffee and get on with the rest of my day!
Happy Cooking!

Friday, January 13, 2012


 This is a picture of the 1,000 piece puzzle (Or as my daughter Evelyn calls them"puggles") I did this week. It only took me 4 days of taking breaks from housework and the busyness of life to finish. Puzzles are like a good mystery, you have a bunch of different pieces that don't make sense unless put in the right order! 

I have a lot to say but not a lot of time so I will have to post as I can. Time to get dinner stuff ready so when it's time to cook dinner everything is ready to go. I found that to be easier for me to do. When kids are napping I get everything prepped and ready to go so when its the "witching time" it makes it somewhat easier on me so instead of prepping while I'm cooking with kids yelling "nummers!" all I have to do is actually cook whatever I'm making while listening to the kids yell "nummers!" at me. I don't hear whiny voices though ;)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunshine Snickers

I started making snickerdoodle cookies yesterday then realized I was out of eggs. Of course the recipe had to call for two large eggs. Great, just great. Now what am I going to do?

I got resourceful as I didn't want to waste the ingredients I had already creamed together so I remembered I had two egg yolks leftover from making chocolate almond biscotti the day before. Knowing that wouldn't make up but one of the two eggs I put in some carrot puree I had left over from making sneaky french toast. 

Needless to say they turned out great! The cookies turned out slightly more orange-ish instead of the normal whiteish color but the cinnamon sugar mix hid that very well. The texture was normal like I had used two whole eggs as well so I was happy with my substitutions. Carrot puree is a lot healthier than mayo!

So while there wasn't a ton of carrots in the cookies I could technically say 'ok kids! Eat your veggies up'! They would think I lost my mind!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby Wearing

I finally got the courage up to try out my Moby carrier since I've had surgery. The incisions are still sore as well as the bottom of my rib cage on one side but the Moby doesn't touch or put pressure on any of the incisions! 

It seems to be the cure for my colicky baby! She nursed while in the carrier and fell right asleep and here I am typing while my previously fussy baby sleeps in front of me. Now I just have to finish dinner! Ah, silence is pleasing to my ears! 

I also found that with this soft style carrier that it doesn't put pressure on my shoulders like the other baby carriers do so I know I will be able to wear this a bit longer than other carriers. I will probably switch to batik cloth this summer as it's lighter although I am concerned it might put too much pressure on my shoulders. We shall see! 

My little baby LOVES this carrier too. I'm so thankful I bought it and decided to give it another try! Whew! 

I'm in love with babywearing. It just feels so natural. Later this summer as my baby gets bigger I'd also like to try some of the back carries too. 

Being a mom is fabulous, plus learning new tricks is fun! Kids are great teachers!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Designing Design

After getting married I tried to figure out my taste and preferences and what style I enjoy in order to decorate my home. I have been lost. Totally lost.

Part of the problem is I have many interests so therefore I just didn't know how to decorate to make both myself and my husband happy.

Sure, I took out magazine clippings of pictures I liked, themes I liked for ages now, nothing and I mean nothing, seemed to make sense. I couldn't find my "theme", my "style". Not to mention my clippings were cluttering things up and frustrating me. 

In a purging frustration of wanting to eliminate clutter and frustration of not being able to pin point my style I threw them out in the recycle bin. 

I did collect a few more pages but now I have a saving grace for my design study.

Enter Pinterest.

Thanks to this fabulous online pin board I could like pictures, design ideas and things FINALLY started clicking with me. Now I can look at a photo I like and see the color palette. Score!

Now I know how to start re-decorating my home so things will have the proper "feng shui" for my preferences so I can organize and blend my home so its a peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable place to be instead of disorganized and no themes as of present. 

FINALLY! I'm very excited to get out and start thrifting and rummaging this spring so I can bring my style and my dream for my home to life. Including the type of furniture I'd like to have. 

I'm so glad things are starting to come together into these "aha" moments where its like a light turned on and "now I get it". Hey, you gotta be smarter than the stuff! 

Happily planning home decorating strategy,

Casting On

So I finally decided to take the time today to start to learn to knit. I accomplished a few things today! I can do a pretzel twist slip not and give myself a headache. I was trying way too hard to figure out something simple.

Then I remembered YouTube. Yep I sat around and gave myself a headache and wasted half of the kids naptime (my quiet time) when all I had to do is read my book then go online and watch a video. I'm casting on like nobody's business. haha step one: accomplished.

I figure I should know a few basic stitches by the end of the week if I work during the kids naptime practicing gauge and various stitches. It will not be in vain. I will be putting all my experimenting together into an afghan at the end so all is not lost or a waste!

I also got hooked on Pinterest. There are so many neat ideas on there! I forgot about rug making totally but I used to LOVE latch hook rug making as a kid. Since I have already committed to learning to knit first this year I will put rug making on hold right now because I only want one project at a time. There is plenty of time in the year to learn new things.

I'd like to get better at sewing but that might have to wait until next year. Depending on how fast I pick up at knitting and if I decide its something I enjoy doing. I'd like to find something that I enjoy doing. Don't get me wrong I like to crochet but I really don't like the finished look. I do prefer the finished look of knitting though- which is why I am learning how to knit.

As I was trying to figure out how to cast on after the kids nap time my daughter was watching very intently and I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted to start to knit or do something like that in the next few months.

It is so neat to see how fast kids pick up on stuff and how much they want to imitate their parents.(Well we all know that stage doesn't last long!)

~Happy crafting~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things My Kids Taught Me

~Give up your preconceptions on what life will be like with kids and instead accept what life IS like and savor it. . . Or you will be on your way to the 'cuckoo house'.

~The only thing sanitary are hospitals. Life is messy and so are kids. See above point.

~Even if kids both have the same exact toy they will only want to play with one of them and proceed to fight desperately in order to have "mine, gimme it!".

~Naptime (or even Quiet time) is pure, afternoon bliss.

~Dinner time is usually a wonderful time to watch a budding artist learn concepts in depth, color and technique.

~Slip up once and give your child juice as a treat and that is all they ask for from that moment on. Sorry, water it is!

~Potty training can be fun, but for whom I'm not sure. (Look, mama! Ucky-uck. There! Ew! Mamaaaaa!) (Yep, sure enough there is a big log jam on the carpet. Wasn't naptime supposed to be bliss?! See point one again)

~There are no absolutes. Haha (had to throw that one in there!)

~I'm hungry. NOW

~If one kid doesn't like what is for dinner but wants dessert (the few times we actually have it) that one kid will sneak her food over to her brother and he eats a double portion, is too full for dessert and the one kid thinks she got away with it and doesn't get dessert either. (Mama wasn't born yesterday! It doesn't help Mama was an oldest child and did the same exact thing to her brother! haha)
~Everyone started out as a kid and most remain that way. Age is only a number inside someone's mind on how old they think they are.

~Kids either keep you young or make you age fast. See point one and decide which one you want to be.

~Life is short, childhood shorter so give hugs and kisses often.

~Thanks for sweeping the floor Mom, now I can decorate it with cracker sprinkles! Glitter!!! 

My kids are great teachers. I have lightened up. I take more time to smell the roses... pick them, kiss an owie from a thorn on the stem then bring whats left of it home to put in a vase. I am now a linguist, nurse, maid, chef, seamstress, librarian, designer, hair stylist, photographer, journalist of baby books, chauffeur, teacher, day planner and most importantly a Mom! I love my kids and how they have changed my life for the better. I hope as both my husband and I raise them that we can help them to be better people than ourselves someday.
Yes, my kids are great teachers!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crock pot Ranch Chili

 I took this idea from a recipe on tv but made it my own. Here is my version of the recipe:

1 Qt whole canned tomatoes 
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbl worcestershire sauce
1 packet ranch dressing
1-3 Tbl chili powder
1 onion
handful of noodles (optional)
1-2 pounds hamburger, cooked

~Fry hamburger with butter, then add onions and continue to cook until onions are tender then put in a crock-pot and put crock-pot setting on "low". Then put the canned tomatoes water and all into the blender to liquefy add to crock-pot then add all the other ingredients, stir and enjoy the smells as dinner slowly cooks and harmonizes the seasonings. You can add some canned green chilies if desired and also use stew meat or even cooked cubed chicken.

The wonderful thing about cooking is your ability to make recipes your own. The wonderful thing about life is doing the same!

Savor life one bite at a time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

C'est la Vie

And so my thoughts continue. Quite interesting enough I have been taking a more relaxed view on life. Seriously what CAN we control in life? We can't control if we get a flat tire on the way to work, if the kids get the stomach flu AFTER you are ready to run to town. . . Seriously any parent knows that during any wintery/rainy season you will get the inevitable stinky diaper AFTER you put the child into their carseat. . . 

So what can we do? Flip out, get stressed and look twice our age OR take what comes our way as it comes our way and only deal with it then? It sounds so easy its quite dumbfounding at first take. I mean sure we have to  be responsible in life- that is common sense but not everything has to be planned out to the jot!

I have found in the past few weeks that if I quit giving myself a huge "to-do" list to get done each day and just do what needs to be done as I can get to it that I have become a better parent, less stressed and yes, I do get more sleep at night- thank you very much!

A big part of my sleepless nights has been stress. I haven't even realized I had been slowly getting stressed out again until my husband told me I need to stop it. He is so right. I didn't even notice I was running myself into the ground with ridiculous expectations instead of just being myself. Thanks to him setting me back on the path of being myself things have been so much better! I have been sleeping better at night, the house has been picked up, the kids are happier and I have more time to read and teach them things than before when I had this  nagging list.

Common sense sees what needs to be done. Who needs a list to tell them that. I quit losing weight after my surgery and I believe stress was wreaking havoc on my body and possibly preventing my body from healing after surgery as quickly as it should for my age.

Yep, whatever happens will happen. If worrying won't fix the problem then why worry? It's no wonder americans have so many problems and are the society with the most prescription medicines. A lot of health problems can be traced back to stress. I'm not a doctor but I read enough to figure that out! 

So my humble advice to the world is to be yourself, enjoy life and deal with problems when they come. Don't anticipate WHAT problems you could have, problems happen in life and come to us all, so why worry about what kind of problems you will have. Cross that bridge when it comes to you. Until then enjoy the life God has blessed you with to the best of your ability and if God brought you to it He will bring you through it. 

Life goes on. Some days you step in it, some days you don't. 



So is being "online" being "on the line"? 

I can't help but wonder how good it is to write out poetry, books and even personal thoughts online anymore. Is it safe? What about creepers? 

While you can't live your life on "what if's" and paranoia, I can't help but wonder if it truly is profitable. I love reading other people's blogs and seeing what wisdom I can glean from them. Especially in the winter months when it's harder to get out and about with the kids in tow. In the summer I get out enough where I do more posting than reading. 

I do know we live in a very unfriendly world and ideas are often stolen in order to profit the thief. I still remember being bored in Pizza Hut many, many years ago and wrote a song on the back of a receipt. It needed another verse or two but I had the chorus exactly how I wanted it. I will not forget the shock of hearing my chorus on the radio a year or two later. I accidentally left the receipt at Pizza Hut. Now, whether or not it was stolen by someone who knew how to use it or if it was a similar idea but to music I find it hard to believe the chorus was the same. Plus I never liked the band who ended up singing it. 

Major bummer. I love writing poetry/songs and short stories. It's like painting but with words. I just don't know how much I should really share online to prevent that from happening. I prefer to write at home in my notebook. I haven't had time to write a short story since getting married as when I do get time I have been working on some books I've had ideas for. 

What really concerns me is posting photos online. From my iphone I can't put a tag mark on it before posting so I try to keep it as least personal as possible like of a non-artistic and very plan picture of food just to show what I made. But what disturbs me is I had posted a picture online later to find the very picture as someone's profile picture. Now, don't get me wrong I don't mind that because of who did that but what disturbs me is that ANYONE could do that to a picture I post. Yikes.

Double Yikes thinking someone could steal that online and possibly make money off me. Nope, sorry buckaroo but I'm going to have to be more careful in what I post so I can profit from my own work.

So is being online being on the line? 

Just some food for thought.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Goals

This whole holiday season has been wonderful. (I say "holiday" not to be politically correct rather because there are multiple holidays my family celebrates).

I got to see my brother AND sister who are both in college at different parts of the US. My brother was here for a week and my sister for two. It was so wonderful to be together again as siblings! Trying to get a years worth of fun into one or two weeks sure isn't possible although we had lots of fun and made some good memories! I will have to cherish them until the next time we can be together!

Yesterday I decided to write down some goals I would like to attain this year. Not really a resolution but goals in the sense of things that I have always wanted to do. Maybe more like a yearly bucket list of sorts- if that can be considered a bucket list. 

I was hoping my sister could help me update my blog and help me to personalize it because I don't have the time to sit down and figure out how to design it so it suits me better BUT instead we went out and enjoyed life which is a better choice in my opinion. I will see if one of my friends can help me out with the blog design. So stay tuned to a better, more personalized blog in the weeks to come! 

I'm thinking about adding my yearly goal list to my blog and checking them off as I reach them.

I guess over all my hopes for this year is to be more relaxed and savor life more. I got a good head start this past year doing that and really enjoying life as it comes but I'd like to take that to a new level and really savor the regular chores in order to make them not "chores". (You know, like the daily 'chore' of dishes!) I think I can get to the point of enjoying the most mundane if I get the right perspective on it. 

Another thing I am slowly starting to change and would like to really improve on this year is project accumulation. I over load myself with change. I try to learn too many new things at once. I'm getting more systematic and figuring out what one thing I want to concentrate on. I've become a jill of all trades and master of none and quite stressed out at that. 

So instead of trying to teach myself to home can a bazillion different things this year I'm going to limit it to the two most important things that my house could use: canned meat and canned beans. I taught myself to do pickles, rhubarb sauce, fancy jellies, dilly beans and tomatoes this past year and at times I started getting stressed  because it all took too much away from my kids so I'm going to take it easier on myself and this year my kids will be able to "help" more and I want to be able to enjoy what I'm doing with the kids underfoot and include them so no one is stressed. Me, my husband OR my kids. It's not worth it if we are stressed. I'd rather pay more money and buy organic canned items at the store than hurt my husband or kids feelings in the process. SO enjoyment is key and necessary to the necessary task of canning. I think I figured that out when I was canning tomatoes. I finally started to enjoy it with the kids. 

Also about gardening this year. I totally won't be pregnant this year (I can't be as I'm still healing internally from surgery!) I may have mentioned this in my last posting on how I want to simplify the garden. I am going to try to grow Arugula this year but I am going to do so in a special bed rather than just in the garden so it will be easier for me to care for AND the kids won't trample it that way. I'm going to also keep my garden simple in it's design this year so the kids won't really hurt anything. I'm just planting the stuff we eat the most while trying out one or two new things and not overloading myself in the mean time. Arugula and some type of melon will be my "new things" this year in the fact that Arugula is totally new to me in the growing aspect and melons never grew well for me so I'd like to pick a muskmelon OR watermelon (NOT both) and learn to grow them well. 

I put away my sewing stuff because the kids were obsessed with my machine and almost hurt themselves on it so I put it away for when they get older. I can still use it upstairs but I wasn't able to find a sewing table for myself so I am just putting sewing things on hold unless I have to do some mending. As for crafting I have always wanted to learn to knit. I can crochet at the intermediate level comfortably and I would like to try out some advanced things but I prefer the finished look of knitting so I'm going to put crocheting on hold so I can learn to knit. So that is what my plans are the rest of this winter. 

Ok so I have two goals for the rest of this winter. The most important one is to purge and organize everything again so I have the necessities and some of my favorite niceties but get rid of the excess baggage in case we end up moving this year. Anything is possible and even if we don't move it will be nice to be rid of clutter! The other goal I have for the rest of the winter IS to teach myself to knit. So purging and knitting are the things to finish in the next 4 months until April when spring and getting the garden ready comes!

Well I think that sums up most of my thoughts. I will have to finish later as baby wants to eat so ta ta for now!