Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Healthy Food=Gross??????

I have found it seems the common belief for a lot of people is that healthy only equals salads and soggy steamed veggies. I can see why it's so hard to keep eating healthy if that is your only idea of what is healthy. After awhile those things do become gross or tiresome. I've decided I'll share a few recipes that I consider healthy and are far from gross. This is by request from one of my sisters. I hope others can  use the recipes. I know I know you just know you hate the veggies I am using. I think you should just give some of these recipes a try. You might just end up surprising yourself. Here is my first recipe.

Roasted Mayo Sweet Potato And Spinach

I peeled the sweet potato skin completely off. I then sliced part way down along the width. I then put about a tablespoon of this yummy chipotle mayo I get at our local farmers market. You can use any of your favorite mayos. Plain would also work with some good seasonings. I then placed in a cold oven. I started heating up the oven at 385 degrees. It took around 30-40 minutes. I placed about two cups of spinach on top for the last 5-10 minutes. Check for softness.

Since I did not end up having eggs in the morning I made a fried egg and served the potato with about another tablespoon of mayo. It was delicious and I was more than filled up. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer Fun

Summer of 2014 was filled with some fun little trips. We were able to take our kids on a trip to the Virginia Creeper trail. It is a couple hour bike ride down a mountain. We were not sure how our kids would handle this challenge. Brooklyn rode on her own and the other two were either in a wagon or tag a long bike. About an hour into the ride the heavens opened. The rain poured down on us as we attempted to keep moving. Camden and Dallin were covered in mud from head to toe. They were splattered with mud from the bigger bikes in front of them. After we cleaned ourselves up Brooklyn stated that was the hardest thing she has ever done. She did it with a strength I have never seen in her. We were able to talk about how when we trust in the Lord we can do all things even those that are really difficult.

Our next little trip was out to the North Carolina coast. We stayed at Atlantic Beach. It was beautiful and a lot of fun. We have had many stressful times at the beach due to a lot of over stimulation from the sounds and textures of the beach. However this year was different. Each kid was jumping in the water and taking in every aspect of the beach. It was exciting and scary at the same time. We kept floaties on Dallin and made sure there was always an adult nearby the other two when they were in the water. 

The rest of the summer was spent playing at our house and hanging out with friends.

I love North Carolina. I love that I get to raise my family in an incredible place. We have been blessed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gooey Caramel and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

These bars are so yummy and addicting. The good news you only need a little to satisfy that sweet tooth. The bad news is they are difficult to stop at just one.

Not my photo. I don't know the source.

Gooey Caramel and Chocolate Oat bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-oz) bag caramels (48) or a bag and a half of the little caramel balls
1/2 cup whipping cream (I have used milk when I don't want to buy the cream)
1 (12-oz) package chocolate chips, your choice
In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients to form a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle half of crumbly mixture into a greased 9x13-inch pan.  Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes.  Unwrap caramels.  Melt caramels and whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked mixture and top with melted caramel mixture.  Sprinkle remaining crumbly mixture on top.  Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.  Make a day ahead or several hours ahead to allow time for caramel to set.

Monday, March 31, 2014

I Don't Care!

The last few years have felt like a long journey of ups and downs. I think I focused more on the downs than the ups. We all have our struggles that are personal to us. I really do not like feeling that despair while in the downs. I know others struggle with much more than I will ever come close to. I think I narrowed down some of the reasons why those downs were so hard to get out of. I cared too much what others thought of me. I cared too much about the things I felt like my family or me were missing out on. I felt annoyed by others that seemed to be successful in all parts of life. 

Here is the great thing I have learned from these downs and climbing back to the ups just to fall back down. It gave me the opportunity to really focus on what is most important. My kids, Brandon, my faith, and me. It allowed me really to not have the time to care about my shallow thoughts.  I feel I am at a point where I don't care. I am not being insensitive when I say that. But really I don't care. I don't care that a friend is taking her third trip to Disneyland in the same year with her kids that seem perfectly behaved. I don't care that a friend has her kids perfectly dressed and sitting perfectly at church. I don't care that my kids are throwing a huge tantrum in the middle of a store. Well maybe I do still care a little about that. But I don't care what others are thinking. I care more about how it is making my child feel. I don't care that a friend takes her daughter for a mommy daughter mani/pedi. I don't care that a friend's hubby surprised her with an amazing gift. 

I really truly do not care. The best part about not caring is that I truly am happy for what my friends are experiencing. I no longer feel bothered annoyed and less than. I am happy that they are excited to share their kids and families happy experiences. I feel sad when they feel sad. I feel frustration when they feel frustrated. I have more time to care about the things that really matter in my life and my friends life and less time to care about the shallow things. This may not make any sense to anyone reading this but it does to me. I feel stronger than I have in a long time. I guess I am probably gearing up for something else to hit us and I hope this not caring can help push me through the downs. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

It's Not Me

I think I am becoming a very negative person when it comes to parts of my life and toward other people. In the last few years with the booming social network and blog world we are all exposed to parental bragging and people who feel they have the right to judge other parents that obviously have not taught their kids the appropriate social behaviors. I am proud of my kids. I think they can be pretty great and I think its cool that other parents are proud of their kids.

Family 3

Family 2
Family 1

 Lately though I have become more sensitive to the nature of some of these post and comments. Parents are posting about their frustration with schooling for their very loved and nurtured star students. Claiming it is hard to have their kids learning what they need to because they are in a classroom with students who were not taught, loved, and nurtured well by their parents. The teacher has to spend all her time teaching down to these poor unloved kids. I also read today of a mom frustrated with a bully at her son's school. She mentioned many times how much she has taught her son to be a good person and its a shame these parents have not done the same for their son.

I have become increasingly frustrated by these different post because most of the time the parent is patting themselves on the back and claiming they have done more for their kids than the other uninvolved parents. There is a story to every family that most people are not aware of. I am learning through my own experiences as a mother not to judge too quickly. I have no idea what these families are going through just as they don't know what we are dealing with. I am far from perfect.

I was so naive as a new parent. I thought I was going to be an all-star parent. During my last semester I was practically a full time PE teacher. I was able to control my PE classes with positive praise and proper discipline. I thought my kids and I are going to have the best time with these new skills I had gained. I looked at other families pre kids and thought I will never have kids that behave like that. HA! I hang my head in shame now for those thoughts even being allowed to creep in my mind. The truth is I had no clue what I was up against.

Here is a commercial I thought about from the 80's that got me thinking. This is when Brandon sings "A dangerous past time." I know".

I get it. The dad smokes pot so the kid smokes pot too. This is what I have been confused with lately. I use to congratulate myself on how well my babies would sleep. I thought somehow it was because of my example and teaching. I've sadly come to the conclusion that I was just blessed with good sleepers and it had nothing to do with my flawless bedtime regiment. 

I have kids, who will remain nameless, who have completely thrown off everything I thought parenting would be like. I am tired of getting looks and comments from people when my kids are not displaying appropriate behavior. Which is often.  Obviously me being their mother I have not taken the time to nurture, love, discipline, and teach them appropriate behavior. Who else is there to blame. I know some looks are just my over sensitivity but we have all seen the look I'm talking about. 

I have one child who performs well below age level in school. I've worked so hard to help this child  reach the level they should be at in school. Countless hours of therapies, extra learning activities to keep  attention, positive praise, and so called proper discipline. If the idea of the nurturing, teaching, and love is what will help my child succeed than this child should be off the top of the charts. 

That is no where near our story. I don't remember teaching my children to swing or spit at bystanders that look at them strangely or even just offer to help. A chair or a trash can on different occasions has also been used to push over or throw when letting out their frustration. They have also bitten, hit, and pinched kids they feel have wronged them somehow. I have done something completely wrong in the minds of these so called parents who have nurtured, loved, and taught their kids proper behaviors. I also had a psychologist who we were paying too much for her advice try to tell me the tools she is giving me will work like a charm because they worked for her and her kids. 

I am not writing this to fish for the "Your a great Mom!" comments. I know I am a good mom most of the time. I don't think I am a bad mom. I love my kids. I get excited for family and friends kids when they achieve something great. I am trying to be more sensitive towards those people who seem to be struggling. I try to avoid the judgmental thoughts. I'm realizing most people around me are just trying to do the best that they know how. I am hoping others can do the same for me and my family.

I saw this video while Camden was in the hospital. It showed people walking around a hospital with their current struggles or successes floating above their heads so others could see.  I think people would be nicer if we all had messages on us declaring our current struggles at the moment.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Closet Doors

I've been on a kick lately. I have been removing a few closet doors in our house. After the third closet door was removed Brooklyn came home asking what closet was next. Here are just a few photos.

The first two closets are in the kids room. The closet doors were the tri fold doors. I hate them. We have a few broken throughout the house. I think in their room I will add curtains in the doorway. 

The third closet is our coat closet next to the front door. I want to find baskets to cover blankets and diapering stuff. Hopefully the diapering stuff will be gone soon. I think a really fun color could be fun inside the closet. 

My next plan is to add a shoe cabinet right under Brooklyn's art work. I think I might start taking off all doors. That way our house can be considered an open floor plan. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Camden is 6!!!!!!!

I can't believe she is 6. She has definitely taught me a lot since she was a baby. This is from her one year birthday party. This year we are going to take her to build a bear with a friend and Brooklyn. She is a happy, energetic, and determined girl. She loves Kindergarten and her teachers.

Fall 2012 1
Fall 2012 2

Camden loves music and dancing most of all. Her favorite song right now is "Some Nights" by Fun. She is still trying to figure out the reading thing but wants nothing to do with learning sight words and small books. She wants to read what Brooklyn is reading. She creates her own stories as she is looking through the many pages of words. She is very close to independently riding her bike without training wheels. I am so proud everything she has accomplished so far. Happy Birthday Camden!