Sunday, July 08, 2012

Another year older...

Wow, it has been a really long time since I have blogged--I am horrible at keeping up lately. We have had a ton of things going on here--too many to mention right now, but hopefully I can find some time this week to blog about what we have been up to. I had a birthday about a week ago, hence the title of the post. This year was the big 3-7, and for some reason, that number has been really hard for me. I think it is the fact that it is an odd number, and those always sound a little bit older to me :-) I have, however, decided that this is the year in my life that I am going to make a true and real effort to get healthy with my eating and exercising habits. I am putting this in my blog so that I can hopefully look back in about a year and report that I have kept up with both and that I feel much better than I do now :-) I have started walking our trails we have here in Columbia and also going to classes at the gym. I agreed to run a 5k with Shon in October in Memphis, and am also doing the points program with Weight Watchers again. Shon bought me a cool little gadget called a Fitbit, and it tracks how many steps I take each day, how many calories I have burned, how many miles I have walked, and how many flights of stairs I have climbed. (On side note, I walked with my mom in my old neighborhood this week, and afterwards I had 15 flights of stairs on my Fitbit--it's very hilly :-) I will hopefully be back with more news later in the week, but wanted to put these thoughts down before anymore time passed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

18 month check up

Will had his 18 month check up today. He weighed 24 lbs 6 oz, and was 32 inches tall. His head was tracking along at the 95th percentile, while his weight had dropped to a little below the 50th and his height was also at the 50th. He is walking all over the place--he is super fast and can get away from me quickly if I don't watch it--he likes to take off at church after he gets out of the nursery and run around people to get "free". He is talking a ton now--today he spilled some juice on the floor in the kitchen and as I was cleaning it up I apparently missed a spot so he pointed and said more der (more there). He understands a lot of words and is really enjoying "helping" me around the house--he loves to unload the silverware from the dishwasher :-) He still loves to climb the stairs but will usually wait for someone to help him get down. He enjoys playing with any type of ball, and for Christmas he received a set of nesting boxes, and he LOVES them--he will build a tall tower over and over again. He also received an alphabet train that he can ride on which he is enjoying riding front and backwards. He is still eating some 2nd and 3rd foods for supper mostly but loves deli turkey and cheese for lunch just about everyday. He loves all types of breakfast food, and really enjoys drinking his milk and orange juice, but his favorite drink seems to be ice water. He is still wearing a size 4 diaper and is wearing 18-24 month clothing and some 2T pajamas. He is still enjoying going to school--they said he has really been happy the last few weeks he has been going and loves playing and eating :-) He is still receiving physical therapy once a week and speech therapy every 2 weeks, but we have added in occupation therapy every 2 weeks as well, on an opposite schedule of speech. So he has 2 therapies a week right now. Well, this is really long since I haven't done a monthly update in about 4 months, so if you have read all the way down I am impressed :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A week of sickness and kids out of school

Well, Will has continued to run fever all week. We went to the doctor on Wednesday, and she told me his ear had some fluid in it, but it wasn't infected yet. He also had a pretty bad cough and fever. She gave me an antibiotic and told me to watch him for a day or so and if he wasn't better to give it to him. Now I am usually really good to follow that advice and wait, but this time I just had a feeling he was not going to be getting better, so I went ahead and filled the antibiotic and started it Wednesday night. I'm really glad I did--his temp jumped up again that evening, and his nose started pouring. He has also been battling watery, runny eyes. He was up in the night on Wednesday night and ended up sleeping in bed with us--which means I didn't get much sleep at all. He was up from 1 until 3 am and I finally got him down in his bed. He spent most of Thursday and Friday in my lap on the couch. I really couldn't put him down too much or he would really get upset:-( Caleb stayed home on Wednesday due to a headache and stomachache. All 3 older kids were home on Friday for teacher work day, so I did not have much of a break this week. I started feeling bad on Thursday evening/Friday morning and today I am really not feeling well-I have a headache and sore throat and am also coughing. So, I am pretty sure that whatever Will has is viral, but he also has been really tugging his ear, so I am glad that I started the medicine. He is really acting a lot like he has RSV, so I am watching his cough and breathing very closely. It is not as dangerous at his age as it would be if he was a tiny baby, but it could definitely make him wheeze, so that is what I am watching for. He seems to be feeling better this am, so I am hopeful that he is on the mend. I really don't have anything else to report as I have been stuck on the couch for the past few days:-) Hoepfully everyone will be recovered and stay well for their Valentine's parties--they older kids are getting really excited and I have a few treats to make for their classes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sickness and recap

Will started running fever yesterday and continued today, which means no school for him tomorrow, which means no break for me tomorrow. And Friday the big kids are out of school, so this week I won't really get any "me" time. Will apparently is going to be the child that gets hyper whenever he runs fever, because he was all over the house today and only slept for about 45 minutes at nap time. He did enjoy sitting on my lap for 10-15 minutes at a time, but when he would get too still, he would get down so he wouldn't fall asleep:-) He also has a yucky cough and sounds hoarse. I think it is just a virus but I will be watching him to make sure nothing else pops up. We watched the Super Bowl on Sunday (well, I mostly watched the commericals) and ate really unhealthy but good food:-) I fixed chili, mozzarella sticks, 7 layer dip, little smokies, and homemade beer-battered onion rings. Jake had asked me to make brownies, but we ran out of time (and room in the kitchen). The kids enjoyed watching the Super Bowl and staying up a little later than normal. This week they are out of school on Friday for a teacher workday. We are having a bit of weather right now--not sure it is going to stick or make us miss anything tomorrow, but we will see. Totally random post again, but that is how the week has been.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Oven fried chicken

This recipe is for me, since I combined a few different ones to come up with this one--it was really good and moist and the crust on the chicken was wonderful. Here are the ingredients:

chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breast, but you can use whatever type you like. I might try chicken legs next time.)
corn flakes
2 eggs
panko bread crumbs
crisco (enough to brown chicken in)

1. Rinse chicken and sprinkle each side generously with salt, pepper, and paprika.
2. Place chicken in ziploc bag and pour buttermilk over chicken until covered.
3. Put bag in fridge for at least 24 hours to make moist. I actually left mine in for 2 days because I didn't get to cook it the day I had originally wanted to.
4. After marinating chicken, set up your assembly line--eggs mixed with milk, flour mixed with salt/pepper/paprika, and a ziploc bag with equal parts crushed corn flakes and panko. I don't give any measurements because it just depends on your tastes and how much chicken you have to cook.
5. Heat crisco in large skillet.
6. Take your chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Dip it in the flour, then the egg, and then your cornflake mixture. Place chicken in skillet and brown on each side.
7. After chicken is browned, place in pyrex dish and bake in oven at 400 until chicken is done. I baked mine for 50 minutes because the chicken breasts I used were huge.
8. I served this with mashed potatoes and milk gravy and green beans.
If anything isn't clear please comment and I will try to clear things up. I don't have a picture yet but will try to take one of the leftovers:-)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Will dancing :-)

Will was really hyper today after we got home from Bible study--he had apparently spilled water down the front of his onesie and after I got everything off and changed his diaper, he took of. Here is some of what he was doing:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No pain, no gain

It has been unseasonably warm here the last few days-my kids wore shorts to school today and Will had his physical therapy appointment outside yesterday. I bought a deal on our local add sheet for 10 Jazzercise classes for $18. I decided today would be the first day I would try to go. It was fun but I am so sore this evening--I can't imagine how I am going to feel tomorrow:-) We haven't had a lot going on the past few days--Jake had his 100th day of school celebration yesterday and we had to send a 100 ct snack to school--we picked M&M's. He had a good day Monday and an even better day today--we have been having a few issues with him not wanting to do his work and this week he has done a great job of doing everything he is supposed to--I am very proud of him. This is another random post but that seems to be how our life is lately:-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another relaxing weekend

We have had a relaxing weekend with nothing on the schedule for the kids, which I really appreciate. On Friday night I went to a thirty-one bags party that one of the girls from my bible study invited me too. It was a lot of fun and I was able to meet more ladies that go to Woodcrest. When it was time to leave, we discovered it was snowing outside--a very wet snow, but not too cold and not bad to drive in. We probably received a 1/2 inch. We didn't do anything on Saturday--I really like those days. I am re-reading all of the Left Behind series and am now on the final book, so I got a good portion of that read yesterday in between meals and naps and baths. Will is really enjoying the big bathtub ( another confession--I bathed him in the kitchen sink as long as possible to avoid having another kid bathing in the upstairs bathroom). He likes being able to move around and splash and lie down, although he covers both ears with his hands anytime he goes underwater. Today we got up and headed to church, and I sat with my friend Melissa, who took me to the thirty-one party Friday night. After church we came home and had lunch, and Shon graciously agreed to go to WalMart for me--and took Caleb with him. The middle two are outside playing with friends, and Will is about to go down for a nap. I am headed out in a little bit to go see a movie with some friends--Shon has been really good about letting me have some "friend" time:-) How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Testing, testing

Caleb had an assessment today at the University to see where we are with his ADHD and ODD. He was tested in 2nd grade and determined to have ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder, and I just wanted him re-tested to figure out if we were on the right track with our treatment. When I made the appointment, they told me to expect it to take from 9:30 until 2:30 pm. I figured that was only for the really troubled kids, and that we would be done by lunch at the latest. I also had to bring Will with me since it was not one of his school days. I ended up having to talk with the person conducting the assessment for about 1 1/2 hours at the beginning. Caleb was a real trooper and took care of Will remarkably well. After my part of the interview Caleb went to the first part of the testing which was an IQ test. We broke for lunch around 12:15pm. I had texted Shon to see if he could come home and stay so that Will could take a nap and not have to be in a small room waiting for Caleb to finish. ( he had had enough by lunch and had fallen off the couch and got a nice bruise while we were there). So, Shon came home and I left Will with him and Caleb and I went back to the campus. We got back about 1pm and didn't finish up until 3:30. I got to sit and read a book without interruption, so that was nice, but the chairs were pretty uncomfortable. Caleb was pretty tired when we were finished. The results/recommendations should be back to me in about a month. So it was a long day but I think it was good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Random Monday Confessions

My new washer was delivered this morning. I am washing my second load as I type. It is sooooo quiet! Love it.
Small confession: Will doesn't get a bath everyday. He has super-sensitive skin and some eczema so he is an every other day bather--and I really like that I don't have to do a bath everyday.
I don't ever make our bed--ever. If someone comes over, our door gets closed. And stays closed.
On that note, it is rare for the kids beds to be made. Emma is the only one who does it on a somewhat consistent basis.
My Christmas trees are still up, even though it is January 23rd. Every time I look at them, I say to myself that I will put them up tomorrow:-)
I have 2 baskets of folded clothes in my bedroom that we have been getting clean clothes out of because I am too lazy to put them away.
I secretly enjoy watching Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2--if only to realize how much worse my life could be:-)
I love food and hate to exercise, which is where this weight gain tends to come into play--really wishing the reverse were true.
Any secret confessions out there? Or am I the only loser mom? :-)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

White cake with strawberries and whipped cream/cream cheese icing

Yes, another food post, but this one is so yummy I had to post it. You know how you can picture something in your head the way you want it to look and taste but it usually (for me) doesn't turn out the way you think/hope it will? This one does! Here is the recipe I used:

1 white cake mix ( I used Duncan Hines)
1 container strawberries, rinsed and chopped into small pieces (I bet you could use frozen as well).
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 16 oz Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp milk or heavy cream or half and half

1. Follow the directions on the cake mix and bake the cakes. I used my 9 in pans.
2. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
3. Chop up your strawberries and mix into 4-6 oz of Cool Whip (any more and it will run down the sides of the cake--guess how I know that:-)
4. Spread the strawberry/Cool Whip mixture on top of the first cake. Put the second cake on top of the first.
5. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar until all mixed together. ( I used the Kitchen Aid mixer for the frosting).
6. Add in 8 oz of Cool Whip and mix together until fluffy.
7. Add in the vanilla and milk or heavy cream or half and half ( I used half and half).
8. Mix everything together until creamy.
9. Spread icing all over the cake, starting in the center and spreading down the sides. This actually made enough to generously cover the whole cake.
10. Enjoy!
My kids LOVED this--Emma has already requested it for her birthday in April:-) Shon even enjoyed it (which is saying a lot). I will definitely be making this again.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another day, another trip to Sam's:-)

So today Will was at school so I had to go to Sam's as soon as I dropped him off. I wanted to beat the crowd and was thankfully able to do that because of my in-laws getting our Sam's card for us. They are business members so I can shop early:-) I was in and out in 30 minutes--even though I ended up with way more than was on my list ( it had 3 items--I walked out with about 15:-) I then headed to the mall and spent my Gymbucks I earned (which basically means I spent more money to save 1/2 off:-) I picked Will up from school and came home and relaxed until the older kids got home--it has been extremely cold here the last few days so I really wanted to just cozy up by the fire and stay warm:-) We ordered pizza tonight and the kids are all in their pjs watching the Disney channel while Shon watches the WWE for laughs on tv. Just another normal evening at our home:-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A cleaning tip:-)

For those of you who know me well, you know I really don't enjoy cleaning--I enjoy staying home but am not really all that bothered by dust (mom, don't get too "twitchy"). So shockingly, with four kids, we had a few stubborn carpet stains. I found a recipe for a carpet cleaner that I wanted to try. Mix equal parts ammonia and really hot water into a spray bottle, and liberally spray the spot you want to treat. Get out your iron and a clean white towel. Place the towel onto the spot you just sprayed and put your iron on towel (have it on the steam setting). You just iron back and forth and the spot is supposed to come up. I have to say this worked really well on most of the spots I tried it on--the carpet looks a lot better:-) I wish I had taken before and after pics but I was trying to get it done before I had to go get Will from school, so I was being quick.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lasagna roll ups

Another recipe post--I like having these on my blog because they are easy to look up for future reference. I made lasagna roll ups tonight--a recipe I found on Pinterest (it is my go-to spot anymore for recipes:-) I also made parmesan pull apart bread (thanks Reba) from a friend's blog. Here is the recipe for the lasagna:
1 lb ground turkey ( or ground beef)
1/4 onion, minced
1 tsp garlic
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce ( there is only 1 in the picture, but I added another one)
1 Tbsp parsley
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
mozzarella cheese (however much you like to cover the meal)
ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
lasagna noodles ( I used 8)
1. Boil your water for the lasagna noodles. Cook until al dente.
2. In saucepan, saute onion and garlic together ( I forgot to do this and added them to my ground turkey that was already browning. You can use a little olive oil to do this step).
3. Add turkey and cook until no pink remaining.
4. Add seasonings and tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
5. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. In small bowl, beat egg and then add ricotta cheese, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Stir together.
7. Lay lasagna noodle on paper towel. Pat dry. Spoon ricotta cheese mixture across noodle. Add a little bit of meat sauce along the noodle (if you put too much on it will squish out the sides--not that I know that from personal experience or not:-)
8. Roll up the lasagna noodle and place in sprayed dish. Repeat until all the noodles are in the pan.
9. Put more meat sauce onto each noodle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over the dish ( as much or as little as you like--we like a lot of cheese).
10. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly:-) Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New washer and the laundromat:-)

Here is a picture of the new washing machine we had to go and order today. The man at Lowe's promised me it would be in my house in less than seven days:-)
I was attempting to start my enormous pile of laundry yesterday, and the first load I did would not finish--it kept throwing an error code with 1 minute left. When Shon got home, he was able to get the door unlocked, but that was it. I should preface this by saying we had a repairman come look at the washer in August, and he told us it needed a new motor control board, which runs $700 for the part alone. So we knew it was only a matter of time. I attempted this morning to do another load of laundry, and it flat out would not start a cycle at all--I tried all of them. After talking with a sweet woman from Sears and finding out what they had in stock, we almost went with a Kenmore Elite, but the price tag was just too much for us right now. SO we picked out a Samsung, which is what we were leaning towards anyway.
However, we literally had 4 full laundry baskets and a huge hamper full of towels that needed to be washed. Shon suggested we head to the laundromat, so that is what we did. Apparently it has been way too long since I have been to one. I figured it wouldn't be more than $1-$2 at most to wash the clothes. The huge washer was $5.50 (!) and the smaller ones were $2.75. Thankfully it was only $.25 to dry, but the dryers needed to run about 3 times for 1 load. I left Shon at the laundromat and went and picked up Emma from ballet and supper for everyone at McDonald's. The kids ate in the van while we finished the laundry. We ended up bringing home about 3 loads that were still damp, so my dryer is working overtime right now. However, it was pretty great to be all done with all that laundry in less than 2 hours (washing anyway). I'll post a picture once my pretty new washer gets here--it has steam and everything:-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade chicken n dumplins

I was in the mood for chicken and dumplings and found several recipes online. I picked the ones I liked and combined them to come up with one of my own--and it was delicious! Here are the ingredients used:
1 package boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of garlic powder
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
10 mini carrots, chopped small
Half and half, to taste
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
In crockpot, place chicken, 1 can broth, soup, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir together and add celery, carrots, and onion. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred chicken in pot and replace lid. Add in half and half to make creamy. In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter in with pastry cutter or 2 forks. Stir milk in with fork until dough forms. Roll dough out after sprinkling surface with flour. Cut into squares after rolled flat ( I used a pizza cutter). Drop dumplings into crock pot and cook for 30 extra minutes on high in the crock pot. Serve warm!
As an extra note, the kids all loved this--even Will--he ate seconds:-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


As I was sitting in church this morning I realized that I still would rather be back in Northwest Arkansas. I hate that I still feel like this but why hide the truth? Moving is just as hard when you are 35 as it is when you are 11. There are still cliques no matter how old you are, and it is just as hard for me to make friends at this age as it is at age 10. I mean, I am friendly and can really talk with just about anyone, but a true friend who really knows you is very hard to come by:-) Don't get me wrong, I am making friends, but right now I really miss "home".
All of this to say, I am praying for peace and contentedness for where I am right now, even though it is not where I would have chosen for me. There is a reason that we moved here, even if I don't see it and might never see it. Thanks for listening to me ramble:-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More on the birthday....

Jake requested eating out for supper, so Shon picked up Mad Cow (which is identical to Five Guys) and brought it home on his way home. After eating, he was ready to open his presents. He received a Finn McMissile ridemakerz car from my mom and dad ( mom sent me money to pick something out for him) and he received several (on sale) Lego sets and a big floor puzzle from us. After presents it was time for cake. We then spent the next few hours putting together 4 different sets of Legos. Then it was time for bed. Today we decided to continue his birthday celebration and eat out for lunch:-) We ate at Texas roadhouse and it was very good. We had a lazy rest of the day and evening, which are my favorite kind of days on the weekend.
I tried to upload photos but so far no luck---I will edit this and add pics if I have the chance!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Jake

Jake, you are 6 years old today! I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. I remember the day you were born very clearly--it was another Friday the 13th and was also a full moon that night:-) We lived in Springfield, MO at the time. Mommy's doctor had been on vacation for the past 2 weeks and I had an appointment with him that morning. I was very ready for you to be born so we agreed to induce on Sunday. After the appointment I ran a few errands and then picked Caleb up from preschool. Emma started running fever so I took her to the pediatrician where she was diagnosed with strep throat and given an antibiotic shot. We went home and had naps and I can remember feeling contractions throughout the day. About 4pm I decided to take a bath and see if that helped soothe my back. My contractions were still pretty regular and starting to get closer together, so we called my parents to let them know we were heading to the hospital and would call them when we knew if it was "real" labor. When we got to the hospital about 5pm I was dilated to a 4-5 and they agreed to keep me. My parents arrived from Mountain Home (about a 2 hour drive) and took Caleb and Emma with them so that daddy could stay with me. I had decided about 6:30pm that I was ready for an epidural, and then when no one was in the room by 7:15 we called again and they finally came in (we had hit them right at shift change the first time). It was the worst epidural ever because it was a student and my blood pressure bottomed out and I passed out and threw up when I came to. After that experience, your birth was pretty easy. I pushed for about 10 minutes and then was told to stop pushing because my OB wasn't even in the room yet. Three pushes after he arrived in the room you were here. You weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and were born at 10:54 pm ( I believe that is right on the time). You were our biggest baby and had quite the squished appearance:-) You are a wonderful addition to our family.
You can be silly and goofy or shy and quiet. You are in kindergarten this year and love your teacher and your class. You enjoy going to school for the most part and look forward to it most days. You still don't really have any interest in playing sports, preferring to spend time playing with Emma or Caleb. You are a big momma's boy still, and are very helpful when you want to be. You love Will but are sometimes a bit too rough with him. Jake, we love you and hope you have had a very happy birthday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Day

We woke up to about an inch or so of snow today and the news that school was cancelled. I was pretty surprised it was cancelled until I tried to drive Emma to ballet this afternoon and slid around the neighborhood a bit:-) The kids enjoyed their day off and I can say I really didn't get much done at all. I had a girls night out last night which was a lot of fun. We meet at Applebee's on Wednesdays because it is ladies night and half-price appetizers after 9pm.
Jake's birthday is tomorrow so I am hoping he gets to go to school since I have ordered 24 cupcakes and really don't want all of them staying at the house:-)
Short post today--not a whole lot going on with the snow day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wishing fairies were real

I really wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and all the Christmas decorations would be neatly organized and put away. I am procrastinating so much on getting everything put away this year. Will went to school today and I ran to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and a teacher supply store for a few items that I needed. I also was happy to learn that there is chalkboard spray paint--I really want to make some teacher gifts with the paint, some clay pots, and some herbs or flowers. Will is sleeping right now but instead of hitting hard on the cleaning, I am enjoying the solitude and sound of silence while I peruse the internet:-) Thankfully no one has anything after school today. I am making a recipe I found on pinterest, spaghetti braid. I have made it once before and it was very good. If anyone is interested in the recipe, I would be happy to post it. I hope everyone is having a great day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Will's 6 month review

This is mainly for me for remembering later on in life. Will had his 6 month review from starting physical and speech therapy today. It is so amazing to see how much he has learned in the past 6 months. The main objectives for his physical therapy were to be rolling over and to learn to catch himself when he was falling. He is now walking (almost running) and doing much better at catching himself if he falls forward. Our goals for the next year are for him to learn to walk up and down the stairs and learn to balance on surfaces that are not flat ( ie. our driveway, which has a steep incline). We also want him to be able to use him tummy muscles more:-) As far as speech goes, he has learned so many words, especially in the last month. We would like him to have 2 word phrases and be able to say the names of his siblings. So, all in all, Will is doing extremely well in both speech and physical therapy. He is going to be starting occupational therapy in a few weeks to help with using both hands equally and a few other things. Also he learned a new word today--bubbles:-)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Trouble with Jake

Well, I am seeking advice today. Jake has been having issues the past few weeks in school with not wanting to do any of his writing work. He missed a recess last week because of his refusal to listen and do the work. Today I missed a call from his teacher and she left a message saying he wasn't doing his writing work again today and that after she worked with him for 10 minutes or so and sent him back to his desk, he got mad and scribbled all over his work so she decided he needed to miss lunch with his class and recess today to see if that would stress the importance of listening and following instructions. He had to eat in the office and stay there for recess. My question is, what should I be looking for as far as true delay in fine motor skills versus just not wanting to do work if it is a little difficult? His teacher is great and she and I so far have not come up with something that is working. Thanks for any advice you guys can give--it is much appreciated!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

White Chicken Chili

Here is a recipe I found for white chicken chili--very good and low cal too.

1 package chicken tenderloins, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp oil ( I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed ( I will probably add 1 more can of beans)
1 can chopped green chilies (the recipe called for 2 but 1 was perfect for us)
1 can chicken broth (14-15 oz)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pkg sour cream (8 oz) I used light
1/2 cup heavy cream ( I used half and half)

1. Saute chicken in pan with oil, onion, and garlic powder in large sauce pan. Next time I think I will boil the chicken and shred it first, and then cook it a little with the onion and garlic powder.
2. Add chicken broth, green chilies, other seasonings, and beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add sour cream and half and half. Stir and serve.

My kids ate this pretty well. I served it with corn bread.

Sleepy Sunday

We did not make it to church today. Will seemed to have a bit of what I had yesterday and I didn't feel 100% so we stayed home this morning. We have not done much today. I found a new knitting pattern I wanted to try, but have not had much success trying to knit with all the kids needing something--I think I have started it over 3 times now:-)
We don't have much going on this week, thankfully. Will has his 6 month review for First Steps, which is his therapy program. He is still receiving speech and physical therapy, and I think we might be adding occupational therapy:-) He has learned a few new words this week--"no no no" and "dat". He has also finally learned the sign for thank you:-)
I also have my hair appointment. It was cancelled last week because my hair stylist was sick. Emma has ballet as usual and is also now selling Girl Scout cookies, which should be an adventure. Jake's birthday is this Friday, so I am going to take cupcakes to his school and also eat lunch with him. He has requested a Cars 2 cake in chocolate and would like Legos and a Ridemakerz car--so pretty easy to make happen:-)
I hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Cotton Bowl and sickness

We watched the Cotton Bowl last night and our beloved Razorbacks won--no thanks to the horrible commentators from Fox Sports. I will admit I started getting super sleepy at half time and went to bed, but I heard the comments became much more blatantly pro-Kansas State after I went to bed--which I had already thought was the case. As I said, I went to bed before half time and was awakened by a tummy bug about 1 am--no fun at all. I think I managed to get back to sleep about 2:30am. Thankfully no one else in the house seems to have caught it, and I have been eating very little today to stave off any relapse. I was able to take a really long nap today thanks to Shon--I slept from 1:30 until 5pm:-) Apparently Will slept about as long as I did--so I hope he is not catching this as well. Short and sweet today--did any of you get to go to the Cotton Bowl?

Friday, January 06, 2012

Learning a new skill

Just a cute picture of Will:-)
The knit stitch
The elusive (for me until today) purl stitch:-)
For the past month I have been teaching myself to crochet, and it has worked pretty well. My grandmother taught me the basics when I was 8, but I could never get past the slip stitch and making chains. I watched a few YouTube videos and that really helped, as well as buying a learn to crochet book. I made scarves and hats and gave them as Christmas gifts. Emma came home from church a few weeks ago and was learning how to knit. I admit, this is something I have always wanted to do but never succeeded when I tried to learn the first time, even with the YouTube videos. I bought a book which was more confusing than not and watched a few more videos and finally learned casting on and the knit stitch, but could not for the life of me learn the purl stitch. ( For those of you who do not understand a word of what I am saying, just stay with me a little bit longer:-) Today I was finally able to conquer the purl stitch:-) Up above is the proof:-) And yay for me--I have blogged everyday this week and everyday of the new year:-)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Here is the recipe for the fish I made last night if anyone is interested. Once again, a post without pictures, but I will try and get better at taking them:-)

tilapia fish fillets ( I used 8, because for our family I had to open 2 packages, but you can use the amount you need for your family).

panko bread crumbs ( I used about 1/2 cup since I had so much fish to cover)

grated parmesan cheese ( I used about 1/3 cup of this--probably a little less)

italian seasoning (1 Tbsp)

1 Tbsp butter

lemon juice

1. Thaw and pat dry tilapia.
2. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and italian seasoning together in bowl.
3. For the next part, I got out a paper plate and put some of the bread crumb mixture on it. Then I squirted lemon juice on 1 side of the fish and place that side down in the bread crumbs. I then squirted more juice on the uncoated side and flipped it over. I used my hand to get more crumbs on the fish.
4. Place fish in greased baking dish. ( I ended up using 2 dishes--a 9x13 and an 8x8 for the amount of fish I had).
5. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. I covered the fish with foil for the first 20 minutes, and then cooked it uncovered for 5-10 minutes more.

The verdict--very yummy! All the kids each ate a whole piece of fish and Emma ate another 1/2 piece. You could also add paprika to your mix and I have dipped the fish in egg instead of lemon juice and it has turned out good as well.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

1st day back to school!

The kids survived their first day and I enjoyed doing absolutely nothing:-) They are off playing with friends and on the computer, while Will is drinking a cup of milk and hanging out in the living room with me while I fold laundry:-) Will had an explosion of vocabulary while we were at the in-laws, and has added "choo-choo", "cheese", "turkey" and "mynee" to his list of words. I believe the last word is a combo of mine and I need--because it is only said when he is trying to get something to eat from the table:-)
I am glad to get back into the routine of school--I am really trying to come up with a master schedule for myself that will let me pick what to do on each day so that everything in the house will get cleaned once a week and I will not feel so overwhelmed. I bought a 3 ring binder and some page protectors and I am googling different calendar/organizing sites. Wish me luck!
I feel like my word for this year is simplify! I want to simplify our lives and get rid of all of the clutter--whether it is physical like toys (or weight gain:-) or emotional or spiritual.
I feel like this is a really random post, but I received an iPhone for Christmas from Shon and have had such a good time finding different apps to use. A friend of mine told me about an app called Grocery IQ that is very cool--you can keep your grocery list on the phone and the neatest part is that you can scan bar codes of the foods you run out of at home, and it will put it on your list for you:-) I also found an app called My Fitness Pal where you can track your calories and exercise for each day--it is really similar to Weight Watchers online. My sister told me about urbanspoon. We don't eat out much, but it is fun to shake it and see what restaurant it lands on:-) Of course instagram and Pinterest are 2 others I have downloaded--the best thing is that all the ones I have mentioned are free apps:-)
Well, supper duty calls. We are having parmesan crusted tilapia tonight--trying to eat healthier!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Last day of the break

We have been on break since December 21st, and can I say that, while I love my kids, I am very ready for all 4 of the them to go back to school tomorrow. I have broken up more fights than a WWE referee:-)
I think the kids are ready to go back as well--Emma had ballet tonight and was excited to start learning her recital dance. They are going to dance to music from Titanic:-) She asked if she could watch the movie and I had to tell her no--not quite ready for her to see all that movie involves.
Jake is still asking to take karate, so we will probably sign him up as a birthday present (which is in 10 days--how does that go by so quickly?). I will let him try it for a few weeks and see how he likes it.
Caleb is enjoying his new Kindle Fire and also playing on our computer. He received a Lego Harry Potter game from Shon's mom and he and Jake have played that as well.
Shon went back to work today after over 2 weeks off--poor guy had to go and sit through hospital orientation even though he has been working here well over 2 years. It somehow slipped through the cracks and they made him go today:-)
I am very ready to get back to my routine and hopefully incorporate exercise and better eating as part of that routine. Tomorrow I have a hair appointment scheduled, so at least that will be something enjoyable:-)
I need to import some pictures from Christmas onto this computer and will post them whenever I can.
Hoping everyone enjoys their first day back to school tomorrow!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Recipe post

I know, blogging 2 days in a row--don't fall over!:-) I am going to post a link to the roll recipe I use, because I pretty much follow it exactly and I don't ever remember to take pictures when I am cooking. I will say that you need to bake these the same day you make them, because they don't really work as well rising if you try and put them in the fridge and then bake them the next morning (I have tried it). They are also a bit labor-intensive, but very worth it. If you don't have time to follow this recipe, I just discovered Pillsbury's hot roll mix, and you can make cinnamon rolls with it as well, and they are just about as good. Here is the link for the rolls ( I divide the dough in half and make half rolls/half cinnamon rolls). I use dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls--works very well. I make up my own glaze for the cinnamon rolls--melted butter, powdered sugar, and milk. I don't really measure--I just mix until it looks right. Hopefully next time I make these, I will take some pictures of the process. Let me know if anything is not clear!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow, it has been a really long time since I have blogged. We have had a really good past few months, just very busy with the holiday. A brief recap:

Halloween was fun--Will went with me and the other 3 but did not dress up--he rode in his stroller and had a good time just being outside. The other 3 did extremely well candy-wise--we didn't even make it around the whole neighborhood before calling it a night.
Thanksgiving this year was just the 6 of us--and I am proud to say that I did the whole meal, including the turkey and it all turned out great:-) I bought a turkey breast that was 8 lbs and brined it--I think that is the way to do it from now on. It only had to cook for about 2 1/2 hours too. I also made rolls from scratch and they rose and turned out so yummy--we had enough dough that I also made cinammon rolls for the next morning.
For Christmas, my parents came here the 24th and we had a good time baking and hanging out. They stayed and ate veggie beef soup and rolls (from Harps--I really miss those!) and then we watched A Christmas Story and got the kids to bed:-) The next morning they weren't up too early and Santa brought them each a Kindle Fire (except for Will--he received a lot of toys with balls). We had a really good Christmas day--lots of eating and watching the kids play. The next morning we headed to Shon's parents and had Christmas with his sister, husband, and nephew and his parents. We stayed until the 31st and headed home yesterday. As always the kids got too much stuff but have really enjoyed playing their electronics and other items.
I have a few resolutions for this year that I really want to stick with so maybe if I list them here I will be more likely to do them:-) Here goes:

1. Exercise at least 3 times a week, preferably more (we have a beach vacation in August--definitely wouldn't want to be in a swimsuit right now).
2. Organize the house.
3. Clean the house more often and better:-) (this is my least favorite but most needed).
4. Be more intentional with praising my kids when they do well.
5. Be more intentional praising Shon for all the help he provides.
6. Try to read the Bible through in a year.
7. Try to add a new recipe to this blog a few times a month.

That is probably enough for now--I will keep you posted on my progress:-) I wish everyone a Happy New Year!