October 29, 2012

A Snowy Blowy Weekend

It snowed on and off for most of the weekend.

I may have gotten drunk on my peppermint cocoa in an effort to drown out my sorrows. (not that I would ever publicly admit to such a thing... eh hem)

It worked a little, but now I have a serious problem. I'm almost out of cocoa.

Guess I better buy a bigger can next time.

But despite my ever wrinkled nose over the unwelcome sight that felt the need to invade my pre-halloween holiday cheer, the kids had... a... blast.

Seriously, you have no idea.

While I didn't enjoy the snow itself, I enjoyed the fact that the kids loved it. Especially Claira who is now old enough to enjoy her snowy surroundings.

 Oh heavens, I think I might actually be on extreme cuteness overload.

I mean seriously? How does one survive so much cuteness? 

Oh... right. Now I remember.

And then there was a whole lot of this happening. See the snowballs in her blanket?

Ya... it was everywhere in the house. There were probably three or four bowls of it with spoons sticking out as my kids munched on it like a gourmet souffle'.

Now, if I were to say my kids played in it day and night, I would mean it literally. We couldn't get them to quit!

Saturday morning, I swear it was around 7am when I woke the loud hustle and bustle of the kids trying to shimmy into their snow gear.

My cocoa hang-over didn't appreciate that very much.

But watching them all play in the snow ever so happily was a good way to start the day.

It only got a little dicely when Claira decided to eat the head off Savannah's first snowman of the year.

Seriously, you'd think Claira had literally eaten Savannah's head off with all the weeping that followed.

She would later build a giant snowman, complete with a carrot nose, just to make sure Claira couldn't eat the head off again.

I can't tell you how sad the kids are that the snow has now melted all away.

Me? I think I can lay off the cocoa for a little while.

October 25, 2012

Icky Sticky White Stuff

It's starting. The beginning of the end. 

The epic horror of all warm and sun-loving human beings.

I am trying hard not to cry. 

Oh, it's just... so, so sad.

But I tried not to spoil it too much for the kids, who were so excited to see the snow they were (literally) bouncing all over the couch and skipping through the house. At the bus stop they were throwing snow balls bare-handed then licking their fingers.

I could almost forgive the snow for coming just because it made the kids so happy.


Since it is also spirit week at school, it just so happens that today is "crazy hair day." Pish, as if my kids needed any more crazy in them.

And yes, Joseph is totally air guitar-ing it.

But the kids were so slow getting a move on this morning (must be the snow) that I didn't have time to do anything very cool. 

But they must be use to my total un-coolness because they were still quite happy with their hair. Jacob just wanted spikes, Joseph got his hairbands, and Savannah... well, Savannah would pretty much go for anything.

And now Alayna and Claira are happily scooping piles of snow off the back porch and eating it like it's going out of style.

As for me, well, I found this magic can of happiness while I was at the store last night.

And it's mine, all mine I tell you!

Hubby doesn't like anything mint, nor does he care for hot chocolate. 

Mwah ha ha ha! 

So if you need you can find me, my hot chocolate, and my fuzzy pink slippers, snuggled up with a good book as I do my best to ignore the cold, white torture outside my window.

Oh wait, I still have to do some laundry, finish the dishes, clean my bedroom, and finish up some craft orders.

Blast, guess the book will have to wait. Again.

But the fuzzy pink slippers are coming with me.

Or else.

October 22, 2012

Growing Pains

I want you to know that I am writing this Sunday night, literally in my bed, while I stuff my face full of kit kats.

Hubby's been out of town all weekend again and let's just say, bedtime routine tonight would not be considered one of my more shining parenting moments.

Hence the kit kats.

Okay... who am I kidding. I would be stuffing my face with them regardless.

Still, you know when your kids start accusing you of being rude because your language and tone become more forceful after the 2,835,476,238,754,634th time asking them to do something, it would be considered less than one of your more stellar moments.

Anyway, it has been a bit of a rough day so bear with me as I try to assemble my thoughts and say what is on my mind.

*warning* This has turned into a rather long post.

I don't know if it's the change of the seasons or if women are just eating too much pre-Halloween candy, (Why are you looking at me like that? Oh dang, I think a piece of chocolate fell down in my keyboard...) but I seem to keep running into post after post written by young moms who are drowning in their frustrations over not being able to "keep it all together", to "do it all", or feel unable to "handle it".

You know, as parents we have the unique privilege of experiencing many of our children's hardest "firsts". Their first steps, their first bike crash, their first heartbreak, etc.

All of these firsts are what I've come to think of as "growing pains".

The thing about growing pains is, the first time you are about to experience something, you don't know what it's going to be like until you've done it. Like after that first awful and somewhat traumatic experience of falling off your bike, you know that next time you fall, it's going to hurt, so you brace yourself for impact and pain. But after a while, the more you do it you get the hang of it and so you fall less and less.

When I first got married it was a hard adjustment. I had expectations I didn't know I had, ideas I didn't realize I clung to. It's taken years of both of us falling painfully off and getting back on to be able to figure out how to maneuver this marriage thing. Now I fall less frequently, and I can enjoy the experience more.

When I had kids, I thought I should and ought to be able to do it all, perfectly, happily, all the time. Because hey, I'm the one who chose to have kids so I ought to be able to handle it, right?

Even when people told me it was okay to have bad days, or lazy days, or emotional days, deep down I felt like it wasn't okay, that I should be able to be in control, to be responsible for my emotions and choices.

And I certainly didn't want to ask for help because that felt like a sign of weakness, as though people were going to judge me and think low of me for having all these kids then not being able to handle it.

Ironically, I never thought that of anyone who ever came to me for help.

It's like when your toddler goes through that... *deep intake of calming breath* independent phase where they always want to do everything "all by myself". *cringe* We want, can, and are willing to help them, they just won't let us.

But seriously, we do the exact same thing. We just don't realize it.

I remember when I was a kid, up the street from our house was this cult-a-sac that had a HUGE down-hill road. It was our favorite place to ride bikes because we could go so fast!

One day when we were out riding, I watched as one of my older siblings threw their hands in the air and then take their feet off the pedals and balanced just on the seat. I thought that surely if they could do it, so could I. I steadied myself and about halfway down this hill, I threw my hands into the air and lifted up my feet.

My victory was ever so brief before I became unbalanced and crash landed in a heap of flailing arms and legs. When I finished rolling to the bottom of the paved hill, I didn't have much time to really take in what happened before the sound of barking reached my ears. Terrified, I leaped up and started running back up the hill with my bike.

I was more terrified of this dog which was known to bite then I was with how serious I was hurt. The adrenaline rush was epic. In that moment I was sure I was going to get eaten alive by this scary dog who was nipping at me heels as I was running with all my might.

I didn't really feel too much pain until I got home and was able to calm down. That's when the pain from the skinned knees, legs, arms, elbows, and face hit me.

Sometimes I think that's what happens with us moms. We jump on this exciting motherhood ride and we go hard and fast and we see other moms throwing their arms in the air and doing all these things so well that we think we should be able to do it too.

And that's when we fall. But at first we don't have time to think about it because there is always something chasing us. Dirty laundry, dirty dishes, dinner, homework, diapers, sleepless nights, etc.

Then we stop and catch out breath, and that's when we realize that our house isn't clean, that the dishes aren't done, the laundry is overflowing, and we've been yelling at and frustrated with our sweet children.

Then the guilt sets in.

I didn't notice this for a long time, but most (definitely not all) but most of the time when someone is beating themselves to a pulp over not being a good mom, a lousy wife, or a terrible cook or homemaker, they are younger moms just starting out in the early years.

It occurred to me that it is because motherhood is filled with intense growing pains and the beginning is so new and different than anything we'd ever done before, that we are stunned when reality doesn't meet our expectations.

Just as I could give you buckets and buckets full of amazing and fun filled memories, I have buckets and buckets full of examples I could give you of me sobbing in the shower or late at night from such intense guilt over being a terrible mother that I felt my heart would burst.

You know when women talk about how we forget what it's like to be pregnant or how painful child birth can be? Well, sometimes I would ask my mom, (who had eight kids super close together) how in tarnation she did it and how she managed to maintain (most) of her sanity. (Just kidding mom. You know I love you)

She would often comment on how she doesn't really remember those "drowning in frustration" times though she knows she had them, she really only remembers the good stuff.

At some point you have to make a decision to be okay with not being perfect.

Now I'm going to confess something.

I have been asked on occasion why I don't offer more parenting tips and advise. Well, I'm going to tell you.

First of all, my oldest is only eight years old so, pish, what do I know! Ask the moms with teenagers or who have married children, they're the experts.

But also and mostly because, I have tried to follow or use or incorporate someones ideas or methods and every time, I fail. I can't quite seem to make it work for me so I feel like a failure because hey, if they can take their hands and feet off the pedals, then I ought to be able to too, right?

Now I'm not saying people who do or have offered advise or plans or lists shouldn't do it, they should! Keep at it people! Others need your wisdom! And yes, I do read the lists and collect ideas and try them out. I guess it's just that for me personally I worry about someone feeling frustrated with themselves because they think they should be able to incorporate my ideas or follow my tips and do what I do, but can't.

So keep reading those lists and trying to apply them. But at the end of the day the change has to go deeper than a chart or a list.

You need to change your thought process.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

You have to stop thinking of yourself as a failure every time the house falls apart and understand that you are human with limitations.

Instead of focusing solely on the fact that you lost your temper at your children, focus on the fact that you apologized and told them you loved them.

You have to change your belief in yourself.

I'm going to get a bit spiritual here for a minute so, hang in there with me.

I use to pray for patience... a lot.


All the time.

And while the days that I started with sincere prayer often turned out better than others, I still felt like nothing was really improving, that I was merely, "enduring" my days.

Then one day it hit me. I realized I was praying for the wrong thing. Instead of praying to simply, "be patient" with my children, I prayed that my heart would be changed towards them.

I already loved them immensely, but what I needed was charity. So I prayed for charity towards my husband and for my children. Instead of asking God for a bandaid, I asked him to go in and help me fix the problem.

The changes have been coming on so slowly and subtly that I may have missed it altogether.

But the other day, I got really upset and I yelled at one of my sweet kids and it felt so foreign to me that I actually pulled up short in surprise.

It wasn't until that moment that I realized I'd been yelling less and less and that I had been feeling more patient. Not because anything about my situation has changed, but because I'm changing.

I still have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. But I am learning to accept that I am not perfect, and so that drowning in guilt feeling isn't nearly as intense as it once was.

Plus I've been doing this for eight years now, so the growing pains aren't quite as intense as they were at the beginning.

Like any good thing worth accomplishing, parenting will have a steep learning curve and it will take a lot of hard work.

So ladies, cut yourself some slack. If you're trying, then give yourself some credit for that.

You know what though? I could tell you that until I am blue in the face. But unless you find some belief in yourself and change the way you think about your imperfections, nothing I say will make much difference.

So hang in there warrior princess, you can do this.

Not my most flattering picture to be sure, but the kids were so dang cute I swallowed my pride and posted it anyway.

October 21, 2012

Recipe Roundup

I was doing so good for a while there, so good!

But alas, I have fallen back into a cooking slump. The desire to do it escapes me like wisdom does for politicians.

But I try. In fact, I made regular ole' spaghetti the other day. I haven't made it in so long, the kids down-right loved it! I thought it was rather good myself actually.

Anyway, truth be told I haven't been on pinterest in ages either! Sad but true. Like everything else I do, my time there comes and goes in waves.

However, writing this post has inspired me and I feel the desire to cook again.

Of course, by dinner time that feeling may very well have fled. So let's all bask in the moment, shall we?


I swear it's true.

Anyway, here are a few recipes I've tried. Again, these are my personal opinions and you may not like the same things I like, or vice versa.

*To see the actual recipe, be sure to click on the recipe title above the picture.

Hasselback Potatoes

Truth be told I may not ever be able to go back to regular baked potatoes again. I truly enjoy this way of cooking potatoes! YUM! I would definitely recommend you give it a try!

My Alterations: I like to cook mine a bit longer and make it a bit crunchier. And instead of using thin slices of garlic to put between some on the slits, I just added garlic powder (or minced garlic) and mixed it altogether with the olive oil and butter, then instead of drizzling it over the potatoes, I actually use a basting brush and evenly coat the potatoes that way. 

It's one of those weird things about me. My peanut butter and jelly has to go all the way to the edge of the bread, I have to have cheese all the way to the corners of my sandwich, and I have to evenly coat and mix everything.

My brother once said that that was how he knew I really loved my kids, because I made sure they had cheese all the way to the edge of the sandwich.

Taste: 5 out of 5 stars
Ease: 4 out of 5 stars
Time: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Hot Corn Dip

This recipe is going to be a real coin toss for you guys. My husband doesn't dislike it, he just doesn't like it, and my kids won't eat it. But me? Oh my chubby thighs people, I LOVE this recipe! It's so addicting for me.

I actually made it over Labor day weekend when all my family was in for Savannah's baptism and I think they liked it okay but one on my brothers-in-law kept saying how yummy and down-right addicting it was!

For a minute there I thought we'd have to arm wrestle each other for the last bite.

But I didn't want to embarrass him by winning.

So this recipe is a real hit and miss with people, but for me, it is heaven.

My Alterations: It can be rather spicy so I play down the chipotle peppers and skip the green onions.

Taste: 5 out of 5 stars
Ease: 4 out of 5 stars
Time: 3 out of 5 stars

Butter Cream Chicken

I'm fairly confident that anything this lady makes is delicious. I've never disliked any of the recipes I've tried from her site.

Although to be perfectly honest, I usually end up burning something because the chicken recipes I've tried seem to require precision timing and complete focus.

Heh, 'nuff said.

Still, this was a big hit so when you have a bit of time and a willingness to make a mess while cooking, try this out! Of course, I always have to double my recipes so with food like this it always takes me longer than the time indicated on their recipe.

Taste: 5 out of 5 stars
Ease: 3 out of 5 stars
Time: 3 out of 5 stars

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

I'm not a huge fan of pot pit. Not the frozen kind and not the homemade kind (because yes, I have made it homemade several times). I don't know why, it's just not my thing. Hubby doesn't particularly care for it either.

But I went ahead of gave this recipe a go. It wasn't too bad! My kids liked it a whole lot better than regular pot pie. The only thing is, I don't care for Pillsbury biscuits, I think they're kind of gross. So next time I make it, I think I'll use my own roll recipe.

So if you love pot pie, for sure try out this recipe!

Taste: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ease: 4 out of 5 stars
Time: 4 out of 5 stars

WHAT!? No dessert recipe?

I know, it's down-right shameful. But... well... I just... I can't... I mean, Gah! I always eat the dang ingredients before I can make the recipe!

It's true. I have issues people.

Serious issues.

Have you tried or posted a good recipe lately? Be sure to link it up here so we can all come see!

October 18, 2012

Kiddy Kounsel - Thoughts On Dating

Today's question comes from my super cute (and single) e-friend Shaylee Ann from Mother {at} Heart.

She wants to know, "How do you get a boy to take you on a date?"

Jacob wearing about eight shirts so he can look "tough".

Alayna (age 3) *silence* ....................Get ice cream.................. and say please.

Jacob (age 5) *huge shoulder shrug* If he won't take you then ask someone else! Or just say please. And you have to act nice.

Joseph (age 6) - *blank stare, crickets chirping*  Uuuuuuuuuuuuh, I don't know. Smile at him a lot. Talk to him a lot.... Make him a birthday present. Well, you have to be in love... I don't know! Look pretty I guess 'cause if he's a boy who likes pretty girls then you want to look pretty. And make jokes! Like:
Knock knock!
Who's there?
Mr. Banana.
Mr. Banana who?
Mr. Banana peel-head!!

If none of that works, you have to let the boy decide.

Savannah (age 8) Here's a boy, (holding up her left hand) and here's a girl. (holding up her right hand) And she's just walking along all droopy (her right hand moves forward in a rather wilted fashion) and he's like, "Hey! You want to take me on a date?" And she's like, "Suuuuuurrrre!" (right hand perks up)

Droopy? "Take me on a date?!" *groan*

If nothing else, one thing has become abundantly clear.

I have some serious, serious talking to do with my children.

Makes me wonder how often guys wear lots of shirts to make themselves look bigger.

So.... ummmmmm, ya. Take what you will from that Shaylee Ann!

Alayna might be onto something with that ice cream idea though.

But there is one thing you HAVE to do.

Let me know how that joke works for ya.

P.S. I'm running low on questions so be sure to submit yours! Just leave a comment or hop onto Facebook!

October 16, 2012

Sunflower Seed Epic Fail

It's that time of the year again. Boots, sweaters, hot chocolate, pumpkins, and colorful leaves.
I have a love/hate relationship with Fall though.
I love boots, they are fun and make you feel kinda sexy.
I love sweaters 'cause I don't have to suck in and they're super comfy.
I love hot chocolate. I mean really, need I say more?
I love pumpkins and seeing them on every one's porches in all their bright orange happiness.
And I love colorful leaves on the trees, so beautiful.
But when you live in Winterlastseightmonthsoutoftheyear Town, then Fall only sticks around for a couple weeks before the heaters need to run on full blast and you're toting around your own personal space heater all over the house just to keep your toes warm through your socks.
Oh... is that just me?
Dang and blast.
Shoes? Pish, don't be ridiculous. Why would I want to wear shoes around my own house all day?
That's just silly.
Then winter is ever so long and dreary. After all these years of living in the west, I'm still not a fan.
I hate being cold.
It's my one weakness.
Although sledding with the kids is fun. So I think winter could be allowed for about a month. 
Anyway, a couple weeks ago the temperature plummeted at night, freezing everything and killing all my pretty flowers.
So the day before the first major frost, we emptied the garden of anything that was left.
Do you remember the gigantically huge sunflower plants we had in our garden this year?
Well, not really knowing much about what to do with the sunflowers and their seeds, people kept asking me if we were saving the heads cooking the seeds.
My response? Blank stare, crickets chirping.
But when we went to clean out the garden...

Oooooooooooooooooohhhh...... I have seen the light and now I understand!

I mean I obviously knew that the heads produced the seeds and all, I had just never tried to collect them before.

The boys worked hard collecting as many seeds as they could from the few remaining sunflower heads in the garden.

Aren't they so cute!

These pictures make me happy right down to my frozen toes.

Cute boys and sunshine. It doesn't get much better than that!

They ended up collecting this HUGE ice cream bucket full! We were so excited to try our hand at cooking them up!

Three days later I still hadn't gotten around to it, but when I finally did and went to go try it out, I was horrified to discover they were all moldy!

Dang and blast.

I was so bummed.

But for next year, I'll know better.

Seeing as how I've never done it before and there appear to be several different ways you can do it, have any of you ever cooked sunflower seeds?

If so, what's your recipe? We're going to do it next year for sure so I won't have to write an epic fail post on sunflower seeds ever again.

Because that's just... sad.

And a wee bit embarrassing to announce that you let an entire bucket full of sunflower seeds get all moldy.

Besides, you all know I'm only perfect every other Tuesday.

That was clearly my off week.

Dang and blast.

October 11, 2012

Were You Raised in a Barn?

I almost don't know what to say.

Can I just... blame this one on her dad?

October 9, 2012

Keeping it Real

Last night for family night, I decided we would finally decorate for fall and Halloween! Yea!
Pretty soon it was bedtime however, so after putting the kids to bed instead of finishing or cleaning up, I had to go work on putting together the October "Made by Moms Auction".
As luck would have it, I accidentally slept in this morning and flew out of bed with all the grace of a drunk flamingo and in a mere twenty minutes had all the kids up, dressed, fed, and running out to catch the bus.
So now, my house looks like this.


The photos don't do it justice. You can't see all the evil Kix cereal that is everywhere!

I hate Kix.

I also didn't take pictures of the bedrooms for a reason. Eh hem.....


Now don't you just feel so much better about yourself!

You're welcome.

All I can say is, at this moment I'm glad Hubby is out of town.

He'd have a heart attack for sure.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...