Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My how things change...part 2

Well, 5 weeks after beginning our homeschool adventure...we ended it. This is probably old news to anyone who reads this...but I had to follow up to my post about homeschooling! So now it's just Parker and me at home. And it's been so wonderful to have this sweet time with just the two of us. He still takes 2 naps so he's asleep for 4 of the 7 hours Pierce and Will are away at school. But the awake time we have together, we go out and run errands, or eat lunch with friends, or just stay at home and play and get chores done. But it's so nice to have a little buddy at home with me to keep me company. He's so sweet. He jabbers to me (and himself) and gives me "sugar" and giggles at the dogs and finds every little piece of fuzz or leaf or paper on the floor so very interesting. And tasty. Not having to endure depression this time has allowed me to fully enjoy his babyhood. And, not being pregnant or having 2 little guys 16 months apart helps too!

John is over halfway done with police academy; in fact, he gets pepper sprayed on Friday! I'm glad he loves what he's doing. Ain't nobody spraying that stuff in my eyes with my consent!!! But I'm so thankful that he does love what he's doing, and that by doing it, it means I am able to stay home with the baby and pick up the boys from school, and get the rest I need because of my fibromyalgia. I know not every woman is this fortunate.

Speaking of the's time for his afternoon nap, so I will finish. But I've been working on projects the past couple of weeks, which I will try to post soon!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yes, thank you, I would like to win some Uggs!!

Whooga Boots, in the UK, is giving away a pair of UGG boots. They will ship internationally, so even us in the U.S. can try for a pair. If you have a blog, or Facebook, or Myspace, or some other website (that can be accessed by them to see their button posted, so it must be public), go here and grab the button for your website. Mmmm...toasty toes. And UGG has some really, really cute styles this year!! Do it!!

Sheepskin boots

Friday, August 21, 2009

My how things change...

Wow. I didn't realize I hadn't blogged since January. Like, 7 months ago. My baby was 2 months old. A lot has happened since then. The boys finished up their 1st and kindergarten years at public school. They're not going back this year. We're homeschooling. More on that later. Baby has gone from being a tiny, helpless babe to crawling, cruising furniture, eating finger food, and babbling, even saying some things: "hey you", "mama", "dada", "I love you", "bless you (well, "ah-bah", after he sneezes)", and today I'm pretty sure he said "I love you brother". It goes WAY too fast. I am enjoying him so unbelievably much. I suffered from depression for years, including after both of my first 2 boys. It wasn't post-partum, necessarily, just the depression that was already there, amplified by sleep-deprivation and the stress from having 2 kids 16 months apart. All that to say, I wasn't able to enjoy them infancies as much as I wish I had. But this time, I am eating up every last crumb and loving it.


Oh my, am I ever questioning my judgment this week! I brought the kids home for school this year. Why? I think they can have a much broader education at home. They don't have to wait for all the other kids to finish. They can move on if they've already mastered something. They have time to study extra things that interest them. They have time to play and discover nature since they won't be exhausted coming home from 8 hours of school (and very little play and rest time). Because they are young, and impressionable, and no matter what anyone says, I don't believe that 8 hours a day with a bunch of other young, impressionable kids, many of whom have parents who are NOT careful about their daily influences, is TRUE socialization. And, most of the time, I enjoy being with them.

It's that small amount of time that I don't that is getting me. It's when I ask them to sit down so we can read from one our stories for the week, and they act like I'm asking them to scrub the kitchen floor on their hands and knees. Or their copywork (write a 7-word phrase 5 times...not a lot!) takes half an hour because of enter lame excuse here . It's having to go to the store with all 3 munchkins--something I have mostly avoided up until now. And the 2 olders just want to run around like Lowe's is the playground!!

Breathe. Breathe. I can do this. I know this is the best thing for my kids. And really, and truly, the best thing for me too. It's just that John has been a restaurant manager for the past 7 years, and his fluctuating schedule actually worked for me. He was home a lot of mornings, or he would finish an opening shift and be home by 4 o'clock. Now he's in police academy and is 8-5 (well, 7-5 since he likes to get there early) Monday thru Friday. I honestly don't know how to handle it. This is a growing experience for all of us. And this growing is going to be painful. But I don't want them to go back to public school. And they don't want to go back. And John is happy, so happy to be pursuing a law enforcement career. So, this is the way it is now. And I have faith it will get better. Not always easy. But better.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2 Ingredient Dinner

We have discovered a yummy, filling dinner that only requires 2 ingredients. Yes, you can add other things, but our family is just as happy with this dish at its simplest. It's just chicken thighs and lentils. It is so tasty on a cold, rainy night like tonight. I don't have exact directions since we've done it slightly different every time, but it's so easy that general directions should do for most people. So here goes:

Chicken Thighs and Lentils
5-6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (can use bone-in but takes longer to cook)
2 cups lentils
salt and pepper, to taste

Put the chicken in a 3 qt. pot with about 3 cups of water and heat to boiling, then turn heat down to medium.

In another 3 qt. pot, bring 4 cups of water to boiling. Put the 2 cups of lentils in and let boil for 1 minute, stir, then remove from heat and cover for about 10 minutes, till saturated.

Check the chicken, and cook till the internal temperature is 165 F. It should start to fall apart at this point. Take two forks and pull apart the chicken into shreds. If there is a little extra water, just leave it. If there's standing water, you might drain some out. Then mix the two together, season with salt and pepper, and you have a great cold-night dish!

Now, we did this in 2 pots, but originally it was for one pot, we just found it made our lentils too squishy. If you want to do it in only one pot, don't add the lentils till after at least 5 or maybe 10 minutes, since they'll be in simmering water, not off of the stove's heat. Anyway, it's very yummy, and very easy!

We ate it with a nice, crusty bread, which I make using the technique from this fabulous book, which I suggest everyone buy. You will not regret it!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Comfort Food

My Granny has always made chicken and dumplings for me. It has always been my favorite meal that she makes. She even made it for me for Thanksgiving one year during college when I spent the holiday with her. But, for some reason, I've never tried making it myself. So, tonight was the night. I got started a little late because a certain little man decided he couldn't be put down. When I finally got him happy enough to free my hands for a few minutes, I got to work. I used this recipe. I did, however, substitute butter for shortening, and heavy cream for the buttermilk. Yummy.

Someone tried to get in on the goods too...but was unsuccessful:

He wouldn't even look up at me for the picture. Feeling a little guilty, perhaps? Well, it wasn't quite as good as my Granny's, but it was pretty darn close. I think part of it is that granny love mixed in. But the mama love mixed into tonight's bowls seemed good enough to fill some cute little tummies anyway.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let me take a moment...

To say hello! I've decided to enter the world of blogging. Way later than everyone else, I know. I love reading blogs, so I figure I might as well have my own. And I it's a good way for friends and family to keep up with what the fam and I are doing...if they want to (some of you, of course, are required to...). Admittedly, this will be mostly about vintage finds, food (well, mostly desserts), sewing and crafting, and my silly boys and dogs. So, come join me, and hopefully you'll enjoy yourself!!