Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random Fall Thoughts

-Anneliese now has 8 teeth. She went from 2 to 8 in 3 days. She looks really different and I can't believe how well she did. Other than a little crankiness and she got up a few nights she did great.

-Jared is crazy sick. He came home yesterday around 4 and hasn't really been out of bed since. We appreciate your prayers for a quick recovery and that he keep his nastiness to himself :) Sunday is his 33rd birthday and we'd love to see him back to normal by then.

-The kids are finishing up their first 30 lessons of school. It really is crazy how fast the year goes once you get started.

-I love the cool weather but I'm not so keen on changing out clothes for the new season. It's time to take inventory. I've got to see who needs shoes, coats, sweatshirts and jeans for the fall. Brennan and Tanner have gotten so much taller all their shirts are too short. Luckily Eli is set and so is Graham (thanks to Tashy!).

-Ms. Jess and I are making the meal for tonight's Wednesday Night Family night. Last night I rubbed down 40lbs of pork butt/shoulder with my BBQ rub. It started cooking at 9 pm and by 6 tonight it will have slow cooked for 20 + hours. The menu is pulled pork sandwiches, baked mashed potatoes (mashed with bacon, sour cream and cheese), and fancy green beans with bacon and onion! YUMMM can't wait.

-Jared and I are eager to sign up for a Y membership. I'm trying to hold off until it's just too nasty out for the kids to play and for me to work out outside to save a little $. It will be nice for us to be able to workout and play during the winter months. Little boys who've spent their energies are much easier to teach. Mommies who have had some solitude on the treadmill with worship music are much better teachers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling Some Gratitude

I have been thinking on a lot of things lately and want to take a minute to show some appreciation.

My life is blessed with 5 beautiful children that I have the pleasure of loving, teaching, shaping, disciplining, and simply enjoying.

It is not lost on my that I am able to stay home with them and what a privilege that is. I am thankful for a husband that provides a stable and loving home for us. I am thankful for a church that understands my ministry is to my husband and children and sacrificially provide for us so I can fulfill my calling.

As my husband often says, "God has blessed our socks off."

Thank you Jared, for faithfully being the man God has called you to be.

Thank you Wyandotte County Christian Church for allowing us to serve here and for taking such amazing care of my family.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To Die For

Apparently I use the title rather frequently when speaking of things I enjoy. Therefore I thought it would be an appropriate title for new food finds.

First of all if you do nothing else tomorrow go to the store and purchase yourself the Weight Watchers Ice Cream Candy Bar. It's 3 points of the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. They taste exactly like a Snickers Ice Cream bar. I'm in LOVE with these things.

The second find is just as exciting. I decided to make up a quick salad for dinner. I had left over BBQ chicken in the fridge from the other night so I topped some fresh greens with a generous pile of BBQ chicken and some fat free cheddar cheese. My favorite dish at Famous Dave's is their pulled chicken BBQ salad and I recreated it! It was super simple and delicious! Since the chicken had my home made sauce on it no dressing was needed. It was super simple, crazy good, and very low in points. It was such a low point dinner I celebrated with a Weight Watchers Ice Cream bar!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Brennan Conner

This was taken with our first digital camera. It had 1 megapixel!!! Brennan was 5 mos old.


Brennan is 9 years old today. We waited desperately for you little boy. It's unreal to me that you are already 9 years old. We love you more than you could fathom and our hearts burst with pride at who God has created you to be.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Delish Dish!

Last night we had BBQ chicken in the crock pot. The only thing I did differently is I used Splenda Brown sugar (1 cup) vs plain Splenda (2 cups).

I slow cooked the chicken all day and I made my homemade rolls for sandwiches:

You need a bread machine. Add to the machine in order

1 cup warm water
1 egg
2 TBS butter
3 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp active dry yeast

Use dough cycle. Once the dough is done separate out into 16-18 pieces (2pts a piece) or if you want to use them as buns for the chicken only separate into 12 pieces (3pts a piece). Let rise for 45 minutes and then bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

I didn't want to use the points on the bread so I used my favorite new food find. Oroweat Sandwich Thins Multi-grain. They are only 1 pt!! I found them at Target and they are awesome toasted with an egg for breakfast, or filled with turkey for lunch, or like last night they were delicious filled with BBQ pulled chicken!!!!

Plateau? What Plateau?

I'm losing weight and feeling great!

I weigh in on Fridays in order to weigh weekly and not drive myself crazy with daily weigh ins. This morning I am down 2.6lbs!!!! Whoopah!

Last week I wrote a blog about staying the same for a month. I desperately wanted to binge and eat all the things I've been turning down but I didn't. I've been at this long enough to know that being good can't stay hidden for long just like being bad can't stay hidden for long. It eventually shows up on the scale.

Last Friday I went down 1.2 and this week 2.6. 3.8 lbs lost in just 2 weeks!?! I'll take it. YAY progress! I'm only 13 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and about 25 from my WW goal (I was up a bit at the beginning of my pregnancy). I'm almost there and giddy that the scale is moving again!! Yay Fall, Yay cute jeans! YAY!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Febreze How I Love Thee

I have pets. I have lots of pets. I also have 2 dogs and a cat. Haa haa get it, the kids are pets. Hee hee. Anyway...

As long as there are animals living in my house there will be a war waging. That war is against odors. I am determined to live a life unaffected by the creatures I've invited in and though I'm rarely successful I am determined to try.

We also have issues with laundry odors. I get stale dish cloths, every once in a while stale laundry in general (from hanging out too long in the washer). The good news is my old friend Febreze has my back! There is a product I found called Febreze Odor Eliminator and I'm in LOVE. It's a laundry add in.

It removed pet odors from the dog beds.
It removed the stale odor from my dish cloths.
It removed the mildewy smell from 2 pairs of shorts that bleach couldn't even help.
It removed Jared's cologne and perspiration smell from his undershirts.

I'm seriously considering adding it to the carpet shampooer to rinse the living room rug. I love this stuff. Last night I washed all our bedding and added it just for the extra freshness and slept hard all snuggled in.

Some other Febreze items I enjoy:
Clean Breeze room spray
Febreze Noticeables (plug ins)
Tide with Febreze Clean Breeze scent
Ultra Downey with Febreze Clean Breeze scent

If they come out with a Febreze endorsed cat litter I'm all over it. Right now we use Arm and Hammer fresh scent scoopable. If it's cleaned regularly it's actually really good.

Do you have any great ideas to keeping things smelling fresh (minus getting rid of my children's beloved pets)? Lay them on me! I need all the help I can get.

**Update** Carpet shampooer is a hit! My house smells wonderful!!! Click HERE for coupons!!

Good Times Good Times

Any News Radio fans out there? The title is for you.

Yesterday pretty much stunk. When you combine strep with pms and disappointment it's a nasty combo. A perfect storm if you will.

I had to get up and take Brennan to the orthodontist and I really didn't feel up to it. We were there for about a hour. When we finished we headed back home and I went back to bed for about a hour and a half. I would have slept longer but it was time for my appointment.

As soon as they took me back they checked my throat and did a strep culture. The nurse said, "It will be fun to see how fast this turns positive." To which I thought to myself, "yeah, a total riot."

Shockingly enough it was positive and the gave me a Z pack and recommended Jared and I discuss removing my tonsils. I end up with strep 2-3 times a year. This is actually my second bout in 3 months. I'm not sure what I think about tonsil surgery at 32 with 5 kids at home but we'll discuss it.

My mom called and she's safe and sound in Oklahoma. She said Grandpa was disappointed but relieved I didn't try to come sick. We're just going to have to make sure we go soon and when everyone's healthy.

The family went to church last night and left Sis and I home alone. That was odd and kinda lonely really. I was glad to see them arrive giggly and happy at 8:30. We prayed with them and I went back to bed.

Good times, Good times.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Foiled Again Batman

Our trip is off. At least the boys and I aren't going. My mom is still planning on heading out this morning so please pray for her as she drives 6 hours all by herself.

Yesterday I started out with a super dry throat. I told Jared it reminded me of "cotton mouth," a side effect of some meds. Last night after volleyball however it just plain hurt. I was still holding out hope that it was allergies and planned to go ahead.

My van is clean, fueled up, my bags are packed, and the kids are super excited.

At 5 am this morning I woke up with severe pain in my throat and couldn't sleep. Using a flashlight I found that the back of my throat went from reddish to covered in pustules. My tonsils are ridiculously swollen and my body hurts.

I have strep throat. My sweet grandpa isn't in the best health and can't have a sickie at his house. We're going to have to postpone our trip and I'm just sick (no pun intended) about it. I have an appointment this afternoon to go get antibiotics.

Grrr, a lot went into getting ready to leave today. Now I just want to sleep.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If Looks Could Giggle?

In this video every time I would make eye contact with Anneliese she would giggle. No goofy faces, no tickling, just eye contact. The pauses are when I would look away. Sweet girl.

video

O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a

The boys and I are going on a road trip Wednesday with my mom. My grandfather lives in Duncan, Ok and we're going to visit.

I've been having constant things come up that I have to reschedule. We are such a busy family for a "stay at home" family. There's Wednesday night church, dental appointments, babysitting, and I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting. Hopefully there won't be someone somewhere wondering where I am while we're gone. I'm desperately trying to cover my bases.

Mom, the boys, Sis and I will head out noonish on Wednesday. It's a 6 hour drive so we would greatly appreciate prayers for travel and patience. I haven't been to Papa's house since Brennan was Anneliese's age. He's been to visit us several times but it's getting harder for him to come.

Pray for Jared as he is home alone :) He's planning on getting a lot of work done while we're away since we have such a busy weekend. Saturday is Brennan's birthday and the woman's retreat. Kelby's staying the day and night Saturday and then we're having the family over on Sunday for spaghetti and cake. Wow, I'm tired just thinking of it all :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

1 pt Pumpkin Cookies (ish)

I found this recipe over at Erin's Eats. She has some great lo-fat recipes that I plan on trying out. I whipped this one up last night and they're kinda weird looking but otherwise tasty.
The "ish" in the title is due to the term cookie vs the points value. I'm not sure what to label them but a cookie seems generous. My kids actually LOVE them so I'll be making them a lot. They're super healthy and great with coffee.

LOW-FAT PUMPKIN OATMEAL COOKIES (Michelle Jones)

INGREDIENTS:
1 c. pumpkin
2 egg whites, whipped
1 c. brown sugar, packed (I used Splenda brown sugar (1/2 cup))
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. raisins (I omitted,but I may try a small amount of pecans next time)

DIRECTIONS:
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine pumpkin and egg whites. In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, oats, and raisins (batter will be very dry at first). Mix ingredients together just until moistened.

Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet, 2" apart. You can leave the cookies in the shape of a ball (the baked cookie will still be a ball) or flatten them out with the bottom of a glass before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Makes 30 cookies

Nutritional Information Per Cookie: Calories 81.8 / Fat 0.6 / Fiber 1.5

I have to admit I ate several of these (6,8 maybe more). They served as my dinner. I had such a sweet tooth and after being on Core for 6 months a warm baked good was heavenly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

6 Months! Bathtime With Ms. Anneliese




Peace And Quiet

I would like to take a moment and give a shout out to Munchkin children's products.

Some wonderful soul gave my daughter a Munchkin fresh food teether/feeder. It is the red, blue and yellow object on the bottom right of the image.

Anneliese is teething in a serious way. She went from 2 teeth to having 6 more trying desperately to push through all at the same time. Today has been a rough day as 2 have popped through and the other 4 will by tomorrow give or take. I can put fresh fruit in the mesh feeder and today's fruit of choice has been frozen strawberries. I push two cold berries into the mesh and let Anneliese work it over. The cold soothes her mouth and has allowed me to sit her down for 20 minutes!! She's not napped and has been a fussy mess all day. For those of you who know her sweet demeanor know how out of the ordinary that is.

Thank you Munchkin! Thank you for 20 minutes of Peace and Quiet.

Pleasurable Points

Here are some things I have been enjoying this week while on points. These are non core foods so they've been a real treat.

1)Jello Live Active pudding cups. They are sugar free and only 60 calories (1pt). These are supposed to promote digestive health. For those of you who aren't too fond of yogurt but would still like the benefit of probiotics this is for you. They are rich and chocolaty and I love them!

2)Weight Watchers Vanilla and Chocolate Giant Cookies and Creme bars. They are 2 points and delicious. Right now Target has them on sale for $3.99 a box. I was a huge fan of the vanilla and decided to try the chocolate and wowzers they're yummy too!

3)Weight Watchers 1pt cookies!! I have tried the chocolate chip and the peanut butter and they are both fantastic. I've actually had them with my morning latte as breakfast. A huge caramel latte and a peanut butter cookie is 5 pts very filling and absolutely satisfies any sweet tooth!

4)Skinny Cow Mint ice cream sandwiches. They sell these at Aldi in their Fit and Active brand but the mint are seasonal and hard to come by. Skinny Cow sells mint year round and for 2 points is a wonderful treat that is super easy to eat on the go.

5)Wonder Wheat Hot dog buns (2pts) and Hebrew National all beef hot dogs 97% fat free (1pt).

6)Last but not least!! White chicken chili! McCormicks makes a white chicken chili seasoning packet that has a simple recipe on the back. You cut up a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, add a cup of water, 1 can of great white northern beans, and the packet. It's delish with fat free sour cream, a little FF cheddar cheese, and pico!!! It's 4pts/cup and very filling. I'm in LOVE with this stuff.

Grrr, Ugh, Stink & All Other Acceptible Expletives

I am in the midst of a month long plateau. My weight has been the same for 4 weeks now.

As a former Weight Watchers leader I know the tricks and all the tips simply because I spent week after week explaining them to my members. I followed Core to the letter for 3 weeks and after no change decided to switch it up and do points. I write everything down. My phone has a Weight Watcher app called iWatcher and I have been diligent.

Ms. Jess and I walk 5 mornings a week for a hour. I walk with Anneliese strapped to my chest have Sophie in toe. We are easily walking 4 miles or more.

I thought points were going to do the trick when I weighed in on Monday (after 4 days on points) and saw the scale go down 1 pound. It may not seem like much but I'll take it after 3 weeks of nada. This morning I was feeling good and had been on points for 6 days now and decided to weigh again. I was up 1 pound.

Since I know I am not alone in this battle I wanted to share my frustrations. I seriously wanted to cry. In fact I still want to cry.

I went to the doctor yesterday for my thyroid and am impatiently waiting for a call from the Doc. I've been hypothyroid for 10 years or more and have been off meds since Aug. There has been so many things for the kids it has been easy to put off my needs. I have to go in once a year for labs in order to continue to get refills and my time was up and the Doctor wouldn't budge. So now my labs are done can I have my meds already?

If this plateau doesn't end soon I may lose it.

For those of you keeping track I've lost 50 and have 30 to go.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flea Season

Just in case you weren't aware we are in full fledged flea fleason (I wanted to keep up the F's :))

A week ago Sophie and Maury had a few on their bellies so I immediately administered baths and flea goo on their necks. It was the cheap stuff and like most cheap stuff it didn't work. I would like to say that as a pet owner for 10 years we have a fantastic track record of 0 fleas until now.

Apparently they are just terrible this year and we are at the height of their season.

The house has been sprayed, the dogs have Advantage, the cat has been Frontlined and our pocket book drained. Lets just hope our house and animals are de-flead in the process.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sassy and Hip NeNe

I took my mom to the salon today. We have a new favorite hangout. It's called A Shear Thing. The owner Becky is a child hood friend of my sweet Amy. She worked my bohemian locks over a week ago and I was so pleased I told my mom she had to go (if you give her a try tell her I sent you!). Mom was needing a trim and Becky did an amazing job. She told my mom that she was "hip and sassy." That made my mom's day, week, year. I wanted to show you the beautiful woman I call Mom.

Whoo Weee Sassafras :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicken Cor don Bleu Revisted

We love chicken and are always looking for new and exciting ways to create with it. This is one our family enjoys and is low in points.

This is what you need plus boneless skinless chicken. I've found the bagged chicken is difficult to use in this recipe and the chicken that comes in the foam trays works much better.

This works best if you pat dry the ham in order to spread the Laughing Cow wedge. I lay them out on a paper towel.

When they are somewhat dry cut the cheese wedges in half and spread 1/2 of a wedge on each a piece of ham.

After the cheese is spread out on the ham place a chicken breast on it and wrap it around. Place the seam on the cookie sheet/pan.

Now that all the chicken is wrapped just take the Shake and Bake and sprinkle it liberally on each breast.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until juices run clear.
They are 5 pts a piece and sooo good. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

RaNdOm

-I'm garage sale'd out! I've been out the last two days and that's enough for me. We found a couple good deals but none of it's worth the driving and dragging 5 kiddos about. Thankfully yesterday my momma went and today I had Ms. Jess. The outings were fun mainly due to the company :)

-We already lost Tanner's spacer. We were garage sailing today and after a quick stop at McD's Tanner removed his spacer to eat and placed it on his lap. Fast forward to the next sale and he jumped out of the van, sent the spacer flying and we were none the wiser. It was at least 30 minutes when I arbitrarily asked him if he took it out while he ate. He replied, "Yes. Where is it?" I will be honest and admit I flipped out, emptied the van of it's contents on the side of the road and came close to bawling. I somehow regained enough composure to pray and ask for guidance. Jess and I reloaded the van and retraced our steps. We headed back to the first garage sale post McD's and began searching. The homeowner was no help and seemed irked I interrupted her sale to ask if she'd seen it. My thoughts were fixed on "it's green, it's in the grass and I'll never see it." Right then I looked down and it was in the grass in front of my left foot. I started thanking Jesus like a Southern Belle that just came across a million dollars. I thanked Him and praised Him until I had no breath. Thank you Lord for taking care of us in the small things. We've made one payment on the spacer and would have continued to pay on an object we no longer owned while having to purchase yet another one. Thank you Lord. Thank you for helping me find it and for showing my children You answer prayers. Oh and THANK YOU.

-Anneliese is 6 months old today and I don't want to talk about it :(

-My tiny infant of a little girl is sleeping 11 hours a night. She has slept from 8 pm- 7am the last three nights. YAY!

-I started points yesterday. My weight has plateaued and over the last three weeks and I've lost 1lb. Whoo hoo (insert sarcasm here). I decided to switch it up a bit and switch from core to points for at least a week. I'm really hoping to see the scale move. If I get good results I'll keep going otherwise I'm heading right back to core where I feel full. Right now I'm just really hungry. Stay tuned for good points recipes. I've got two I'm eager to type up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thankful

We are 2 1/2 weeks into our 4th school year. I have home schooled our kids out of a desire/calling to submit and love my husband. It has been difficult, tiresome, and guilt ridden.

Jared and I both have a strong belief and theology that sticking through things brings great reward. It's is hard to follow through and tough it out but rarely does one regret doing so. I follow that in most areas of my life but the one that was the hardest (home schooling) I was ready to throw in the towel every other month.

I'm not sure what brought forth the change. It could be Jared's fervent prayers that I would come around. It could be my own cries to God to make me like this and want to do it since we felt called to it. I don't know when or how it happened but things have changed.

Brennan, Tanner, Eli and I sit down for several hours each afternoon. We giggle, read, learn, chuckle and enjoy each others company. Maybe the boys just needed to grow up a little. Maybe Mommy just needed to grow up a little. Either way we are enjoying school and I look forward to our time together and for the first time in 4 years I am happy and content and even feel blessed by home schooling.

Today while Tanner was speeding through his reading assignment (Thank you Lord) his tummy growled a ferocious grumble to which Tanner smiled and said, "I may be a tiny bit hungry." We all laughed and laughed. It dawned on me how different I felt and that the Lord had changed my heart and I am so very thankful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ortho Woes

Tanner received his multimillion dollar oral appliance today. It was quite underwhelming when they handed me the object that I will be paying for over the course of a year. Tanner has a severe inability to talk without slurring and slurping. They said that both with get better over the course of a couple days. Right now it's a tidbit obnoxious :) His mouth continually salivates since his glands thinks he's going to eat the foreign object in his mouth (hence the slurping). We will be cranking his mouth wider and wider each week over the next 8 weeks. His little face with be changing dramatically.

They had 2 warnings. 1) DO NOT wrap the spacer with a napkin while eating because you WILL throw it away at some point. 2)Dogs LOVE these and will use them as a chew toy if they are ever allowed access. They kindly added, "It will be the most expensive chew toy you ever bought them." Ya think?! I have slightly less stress since he's home schooled and I won't have to wonder if he's properly taking care of it throughout the day.

Brennan also had an appointment to evaluate his orthodontic needs. The dental school thought it wise just to have him looked at since he's at the right age. I was lulled into a false sense of security since UMKC Dental school didn't think he would need anything just yet. Apparently his issues are slightly worse and of a different nature. He needs not one but two spacers. Thankfully his will be fixed in place so I won't have to worry about him losing them since he's getting them instead of a car when he turns 16. He'll have his spacers for two years and thankfully they allow payments over the term of treatment (interest free).

The idea is that these spacers are preventative treatment that will allow their teeth to "drop" in naturally hopefully avoiding braces in the future. Right now I am just having to take a deep breath and trust that the Lord will provide for our needs.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

1 Pt Pumpkin Muffins!!!!

Fall is here and I'm giddy. My windows have been open for a week now and each morning I wake up to fresh morning air with a hint of dew. All I can think of is how much I love this time of year (and the money we save not running the furnace or the air conditioner). In my mind fall=pumpkin. I love anything with pumpkin flavor especially baked goods. Here is a point friendly pumpkin muffin! Enjoy!

1/2 cup low fat milk (1% or skim)
1/2 cup egg beaters 99% egg substitute
1 can pumpkin (15oz)
1/2 tsp ginger
dash nutmeg
1 cup Hi fiber All bran-Extra fiber
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBS cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pan with pam. Combine milk, bran, egg, apple sauce, and pumpkin in small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes then add all other ingredients and mix. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 30 Min.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Scentless Candles are Senseless

Last week I went to a Scentsy party at Jenny H.'s house. I'll be honest and say I went simply because I love my Lainy (Alanna) who's become a sales rep and I love my Jenny who was hosting the party. I had no intentions on purchasing a thing. I wanted to support my family and friend and eat the food :)

The problem was when I got there I was pleasantly surprised at the value and super impressed with the scents.

I LOVE clean cotton from Yankee and their Clean Breeze is a perfect match. The best part is a block of the Clean Breeze scent burns for 200 hours for $5 where a $24 Yankee candle only burns for 110-150 hours. Even the Febreze plug ins cost more and are much less attractive.

The warmers are $30 but they are a one time purchase and they're a beautiful addition to your home decor vs a candle jar that goes in the trash once the candle's burned up.

Anita and I combined orders and I purchased their Cyprus warmer and 3 scents and I love it. One cube in the beautiful warmer and my whole house smells of fresh laundry.

Normally I wouldn't use my blog as a commercial especially for something that I'm not selling :) But if you are interested email Alanna (dustinsrib@gmail.com) and I'm sure she'll hook you up. Mention my blog and maybe she'll reward me with some good smelling stuff :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quick Lunches

I'm always looking for new and exciting lunch ideas for the boys. As they continue to grow chicken nuggets just don't seem to cut it.

Today we had:
Meatball sandwiches (all ingredients from Aldi, yummy and cheap!)

-1 package hot dog buns
-1 package meatballs (frozen)
-1 jar pre-made spaghetti sauce

I placed 4 meatballs for each child in my Pampered Chef micro cooker (I picked up at Goodwill for $.79) and poured a cup of sauce over the top. I microwaved it on high for about 3 minutes. Once the meatballs were warmed through I simply filled the buns and topped with mozzarella cheese. They were thrilled and ate 2 each and it took about 10 minutes to prepare.

That's my kind of lunch.

Tan Man

Today was Tanner's eye appointment.

I took him in because while we school he has said or done several things that sent up a red flag. With Jared and I both having eye trouble his genetics weren't in his favor.

The fantastic news is he does not need glasses!!! At least not yet. The doc said his eyes are perfect but if they follow the natural progression he'll be nearsighted by puberty. So we're good for now. In a way it's too bad because we picked out the cutest pair of camo frames :) that were perfect but healthy eyes are much better than trendy frames.

The bad news (and not surprising in anyway) is that Tanner is dyslexic. I have dealt with his transposing letters, numbers, word blends, and complete words since kindergarten. He should be developmentally past this and he still struggles about 60% of the time.

Here's the blessing...The doctor said that home schooling is in Tanner's best interest since I have been aware of the issue and have been trying to train/correct him since kindergarten. With some training exercises and more one on one care he should be completely trained out of it in a year more or less.

The doctor explained it as "eye brain coordination." Recognizing the issue so early and trying to train him to recognize the mistake is helping his eye and brain coordinate.

I would like to take a minute and dote on my 7 year old if I may. The curriculum I use is typically a year ahead of the public school system. It's considered intense, exhaustive, and more difficult than most. I chose it knowing I wouldn't ever be able to do all the odds and ends within the curriculum but even the basics would be a superior education. Tanner has been able to keep up with his grade and even excelled in math and science. Reading and spelling have been a challenge for him but even so he's kept up with Abeka.

It is my goal as his mommy and his teacher to be sure he isn't plagued by dyslexia for his lifetime. We will continue to be diligent so he will be a confident reader and speller. I am so proud of my Tan Man.

Need Some Change?

Apparently blogger has all kinds of templates available now. It seems like every time I click on your blogs to see if there's any new info there's a new template. As someone who resists change mine may stay tried and true unless there is just something that absolutely says, "Shannon."

I love Alisa's at the Sweet Life because it's so personal. I really like Jenny's because of the images down the side. Amy's and Christi's are very cutesy and crafty and they seem to fit them both.

I would love to create one of my own that is deeply personal and possibly pithy but I'm not real sure where to start. Hmmm this smells of a new project. I like projects :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

OHHH 500!!!

My previous post was number 500!! I didn't even notice until now. That's kinda cool. Thanks for reading my goofiness! We also rolled right through 27,000 hits a few days back. I feel loved :)

Random School Stuff

-I have a working solution to my curriculum disorganization I previously wrote about. I am making tabs for each subject within each curriculum book. I have a pile of books for each grade and I just flip from subject to subject making sure I've exhausted every aspect of the curriculum as well as myself :) It's not pretty but it's functional and I feel better knowing the boys are getting everything Abeka has to offer.

-We are becoming quite the home bodies. It's just too hectic to head out and run errands or have play dates and get home in time to eat lunch and complete school in a reasonable manner. We're not a family of morning people so I get up and walk in the morning and we start school after an early lunch. It works out well for now because the babies are typically napping and that cuts down significantly on the overall noise.

-I'm curious when to start the boys in music. I would like the older two to start piano lessons. If you know of anyone in the area let me know. I have a Tenor Saxophone that I would like to teach them to play. I play and love it.

-My friend Alisa over at The Sweet Life has a great how to blog on chalk board paint. I am super excited to try this out. I've been wanting to put a chalk board in the office since there's quite a bit of chalk board work for Eli. I have some window trim left over from the work on the house to frame it out. YAY project time! I love a good project. Thanks Alisa!

-Jared and I have plans to make some homemade bouncy balls. You don't have to be a home schooler to enjoy this fun activity!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Favorites Refigured!

My mother in law makes a delicious "Fancy Desert" that plagues my weight loss efforts :) It's probably one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time. I love creamy, chocolate-y, cool whip-y desserts with pecans and this has it all. A normal recipe has 8 points for 1/15th of a 9 x 13 pan.

1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix these together and press into a 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then let it cool.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large cup cool whip
Mix these together and spread over cooled crust

1 package chocolate instant pudding
1 package vanilla instant pudding
2 cups milk
Mix these together and spread over cheese layer

Top with the rest of the Cool Whip (approx. 1 cup) and sprinkle with chopped nuts or chocolate curls. Chill before serving.

Okay, now if you want to make it a little less insane (8 points is a meal worth in one little slice) you can use fat free sugar free puddings, skim milk, fat free cool whip, splenda (vs powdered sugar) and fat free cream cheese and it becomes 3.5 points with only using 1/2 cup of nuts or 2.5 points if you omit the nuts all together. I have tried using lo-fat butter substitutes for the butter but the crust is a chewy mess that resembles gum more than pie crust.

If you're familiar with Weight Watchers you know that 3 points is pretty reasonable for a yummy desert where 8 is a deal breaker. We don't have to give up all that we love to be healthy, just tweak it a bit :)