Monday, December 31, 2012


I know it is on the controversial side, but I found such a moment of peace and bliss just moments ago when all the boys were sitting watch TV. We have been cutting back on TV time but when they play it ends up with more fighting and less playing within minutes.

So on went the TV and in I went to the kitchen. I turned up the radio and set the baby up on the counter next to me as I set to work making meatballs for dinner tonight. It is early in the day so I felt no rush to get things done and could just enjoy the music drifting out of the radio and the soft sound of rain drops dripping outside. I suppose part of my good mood could come from the fact that I absolutely adore the rain, the sound, the smell, the way everything looks in the cloudy light, rainy days are my favorite. The boys were so quiet and engulfed in the Disney show, I got lost in the peace and felt incredibly relaxed. Cooking and baking, I'm doing so with out any kind of time constraint, is one of my favorite things in the world.

Unfortunately, before finishing the baby got cranky and his cries burst my peace bubble. It was nice while it lasted.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sectret Ingredient

As most anyone who knows me, or reads my blog, knows I love to bake. This year has been a busy one not leaving me much time for it and normally I bring tasty treats to my neighbors very frequently.  With the holidays in sight I had to get down to business and get some cookies baked for my awesome neighbors. My husband requested chocolate chip... BORING! I usually just use the chocolate chip package recipe but decided to hunt for something new online. I came across a recipe online, which I can't find now to reference, but decided, as usual, to change it up a bit. It dawned on me that cinnamon, just a hint, might be really tasty in a chocolate chip cookie. So I took to the pantry and retrieved my beloved cinnamon risking the chance my husband would HATE this rendition of his favorite cookie. I think I am a genius! They were so good with that hint of cinnamon! I anxiously awaited my husbands arrival home from work and when he walked in the door I was shoving cookies in his face. I warned him he may not like them because I added a secret ingredient. Apparently he is very observant because all he did was LOOK at the stupid things and knew I added cinnamon. Still, I had to wait for the taste test from my very tough critic. To my delight he like it! I think this recipe is a keeper and I am excited to have a chocolate chip cookie recipe to call my own!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sure fire foods

A while back a friend of mine told me she use one of my recipes whenever she needs to brig food somewhere. It really made my day! I love to cook and bake so I lost picture and recipes on here for the fun of it, so to hear someone actually tried and LIKES my recipe is just the icing on the cake (pun intended). If you have tried any of my recipes I'd LOVE to know what you though of it. Please feel free to post on here or my Facebook about it!

This post also comes from realizing tonight that I have two, and only two, sure fire meals that all my boys gobble up. One is tacos, easy peasy with store bought seasoning (it never tastes right when I make my own). The other is my Mac & Cheese (and only my Mac and cheese, it's hit or miss on other kinds). So how about all you other mamas out there? What is something your kids are sure to eat everytime you make it?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Recovering kitchen chairs {DIY}

Having 4 boys can be rough on my home and my furniture. Our kitchen takes one of the biggest beatings on a daily basis. As embarrassing at it is, I'm not going too lie, my kitchen chairs are DISGUSTING! I try to keep the clean but these boys spill everything they eat or drink at every meal and it is just impossible.

This Christmas my in-laws are coming to visit, and although they have seen the mess it's still really embarrassing and I don't want them to have to see or sit on them. I have been talking for a long time about re-covering them. My mom used to do it and I've watched enough HGTV and DIY shows to know it is pretty simple to do, but I've been nervous still. I finally decided that it was time to give it a try and I was really impressed with myself! The only thing I wanted to do, should have done, but didn't do, was to to a plastic covering for easy future clean up. I actually will probably still do it, I just have to find the right kind of plastic.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is how to re-cover kitchen chairs!
It is really quick and easy. I finished 4 chairs in an hour.

BEFORE (ewwww, I know)
Locate the screws on the bottom of the chair. Unscrew them and pop off the seat.
Pull the fabric around tightly and use a staple gun to secure the fabric. (I also hammered them in to make sure they were tight on the fabric)
Continue to pull the fabric around and fasten on the underside of the seat. Make sure you are keeping the front tight and flat)

Flip over the seat and make sure it is how you want it and then line it back up on the chair and reinsert the screws. Make sure you line it up evenly. 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Haunts {crafts}

I adore Halloween and all that surrounds it and one of my favorite things are little crafts! This year the boys painted some little ghosts. Simple and cute and a great way to remember how tiny their little hands/feet are... Yup, ghosts out of hands and/or feet! Below you will see the finish product of my spooky little boys. All you do is get some black construction paper, white paint, wiggly eyes, and a black marker and you are ready to go!

You start by painting whichever body part you want to use to make your ghost (my boys all wanted to make two and most of them wanted one foot and one hand) with the white paint. Gently press it onto the white paper and there ya go! Just let it dry and then add two wiggly eyes and draw on a mouth! So cute and so easy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Halloween Haunts {movies}

Well it's that time of year again, one of my favorites.... HALLOWEEN! My husband made a rule (that I break every year) that I have to wait until the first of October to start putting out my Halloween decorations. Here it is the 29th of September and much of my indoor decor is out and up and we have been listening to my spooky sounds for the past couple hours. we have, and by we I mean my boys and I, have been watching some "spooky" shows and movies we find on Netflix the past few weeks already O.o oops! I am, however, finding this a difficult task. The few I find on Netflix are too scary for my young boys and the others I want I have to get a DVD and I am way too impatient to deal with that. Tonight I am resigning myself and settling for Casper's Haunted Christmas. ::sigh:: I may have to start lining up the Goosebumps series on DVD since it is scary but at an appropriate level for the little kiddos. 

So now I am starting to think about DVDs I may just have to buy and have on hand for situations like this. So here is my list (that I am sure will grow AND I am welcome to more suggestions) of the best Halloween Haunts in the kiddo friendly movie realm:

1. Hocus Pocus PG
2. The Witches PG
3. Halloweentown (the whole series) PG
4. Casper PG
5. The Nighmare Before Christmas PG

And if anyone finds anything good on Netflix INSTANT I would love to know what is out there this year!
Stay tuned for more Halloween Haunts to come :-D

Friday, September 28, 2012

"working" mom

As if juggling school work and home isn't enough, and I didn't think a part time job was enough work, I am now about to start my 6th week of student teaching. OK. OK. I am not technically working, it's not really a job since I'm not getting paid... and I'm not doing it because I am really choosing to do so, but because I HAVE to in order to finish with my masters program. That said, I guess I could have put it off, but I already had pushed it back a few months and I was ready to get it done and over with.

All I can say is WOW! I don't know how people do it, to be a family with 2 working parents. I am so lucky that my husband is staying home with the boys during the day while I am working (saving us on daycare costs) and he is keeping up pretty well with the house work (for a man *wink*). But by the time I get home (almost 5pm most nights) and we have dinner, that my super awesome husband makes...well... he's been slacking a bit but that's another story... I hardly have time to see the boys or relax or do my homework let alone to clean. Truth be told I should probably be cleaning up right now. Hubby is upstairs putting the boys to bed and normally this would be my time to shower and pick out my outfit for the next day... Thank goodness it's Friday night so I don't have to deal with that. Instead here I sit, in a living room in shambles next to a kitchen that is a mess, in silence enjoying the little bit of peace.

I have to admit that I love student teaching. Since I was a little girl I have always known that was what I wanted to do with my life. Special education is a little different from how I invisioned my teaching career but I actually am really enjoying it. My cooperating teacher is awesome and I love everyone I have worked with. And I am so awesome they all want me to stay ;) OK maybe not but I am proud of my accomplishments and for the sacrifice I am making being away from my babies to go for my dreams. I am, however, looking forward to the end of student teaching when we get a looooong family vacation and then I get to stay home with my boys again for a while before I go to work for real (it will be so nice to get PAID to do what I love!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Living through the itch

Growing up I have always had some issues with self confidence. I like to think that I have found a way to be more comfortable with myself as I have gotten older but some days are harder than others. For as long as I can remember I have suffered from red, itchy, flakey skin on different areas of my body. Never before have I thought of it as anything more than an irritation but now that I am getting older, and it is getting worse, I am accepting the fact that I have a disease. Usually I have young children questioning what is on my knees or my feet but the past few weeks more and more adults have been concerned and I realize it is more noticeable now than ever before. I suffer from psoriasis, an immune disease that causes my skin to grow faster in some areas. I have never been one to cover it up, I wear shorts and capris along with flip flops, but more and more I am feeling like I need to hide myself. There is no cure and no understanding of why it occurs, it isn't contagious and no treatments I have used seems to help any. I sit here, itching out of control, trying not to scratch to the point of drawing blood and I have been reading up on people that suffer even worse than I do and I am in tears. While I suffer from a moderate case, which covers more than 3% of my body, there are those that have to deal with the pain over a majority of their body and down into their joints causes arthritis, I can only hope my flare up stay in the moderate zone and progress no farther. I never thought I would ever put anything like this out there for the world to see, but here I am, over coming the embarrassment and living through the itch.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Growing Avocados

When we were kids my little sister and my parents took the pit of an avocado and grew out the roots in a cup and planted it! We had a cute little avocado tree in our back yard. I have recently found my green thumb and am growing out the top of pineapple (two actually, instructions can be found HERE) and so I decided I wanted to try to grow an avocado tree too! I took two pits and only one seems to be growing successfully. You take three tooth picks and stick them in the top of the pit. Then you find a cup and you suspend the avocado pit using the tooth picks in the cup and keep it filled with fresh water. I saw conflicting advice on placement but both mine were in the front window of the house with lots of light. You will see after several weeks the pit break open followed by roots and inside you will see the start of the tree! My experiment will continue as I find a place to plant it and hope it continues to grow!

TUTORIAL **dryer balls**

 First you'll need to find and purchase 100% WOOL YARN. Depending on how big you make them and how many you want will determine how much you need. My first try with 8oz of yarn made like 5 1/2 so if I make them a little larger I can get 5 pretty good sized out of the same amount. I'm still learning this so I'll update as I figure it out more :) You will also need nylons to put them in when you are finished to felt them (must be done before using or it will fall apart)
Start by wrapping the yarn around your fingers with a little gap between them (I go about 10-15 times around)

Then tie tight around the center (again about 10-15 times)

Bring the ends in and start wrapping the yarn around to create a ball

Continue to wrap creating a ball about the size of your palm (or whatever you decide is the best size for you) and then tuck in the end

Slide the balls into a nylon and tie it off between each ball
Put them in the washer on a hot cycle and then a hot dryer cycle and repeat as necessary to create a smooth surface
ta-da! dryer balls!
The more felted the get the better. You can also use wool roving to cover them :)

Rewards Chart/Allowance

For a while now we have been trying to keep the boys on track helping using a simple rewards chart. We all slacked off on it so it has been a bit of a bust. Recently Logan (7 - almost 8 :-P) has been asking for a Nintendo DS, boys will be boys, right? We told him it was expensive ($100) and we weren't going to buy it for him but if he saved up his money he could buy it for himself. That got him really excited! We agreed that if he earned $100 to buy it then we would pay the tax so he didn't have to worry about that. This meant that we had to help him to make sure he had ways to earn the monee, not very many places are open to hiring a 7 year old to work! So this began getting back on track. For the past few weeks daddy has been home and really making sure things get done and the boys have been earning their allowances. We weren't really keeping up with the chart though, so today I revamped it a bit and hung it downstairs where it is easily seen by us all. Hopefully this will get everyone on track to pay attention to who is doing their chores and earning their allowance every week.

 They have basic chores for now, making their beds, cleaning up the toy room and all of their toys, folding and putting away their laundry and Logan and CJ (4) do an additional chore, usually unloading the dishwasher. They earn 25cents for every day and if they do all of their chores every day of the week they get a bonus (an extra 25cents) so they can get a total of $2 a week. Jameson (19months) doesn't really keep up with it but he does help out so he does get some change to toss into his piggy bank too :)

Monday, August 6, 2012


Well, I haven't been slacking really, just slacking on my blogging. I have a good reason though! Life has just kicked me on the butt and knocked me over. I am working part time and I have HOURS of observation logs to catch up on since I, stupidly, missed that part of the instructions for my school work. Between work and trying to catch up with school I already feel overwhelmed and add on the looming TWO certification exams I have to take & student teaching, which is starting  in just 2 1/2 I feel like running off to Hawaii and pretending the world doesn't exist for a few days (if only I could!).  I think it is about time to take an Internet fast (or Facebook at least) and kick it into high gear! I need to get this house in order and get some work and studying done like, yesterday. I am so thankful that not only is my husband supportive of me and helping me through, but he is also pushing me through and making sure I know that I can do it. He is really going to have to step up to the plate when is start student teaching. I will be gone most of the day and then he has to go to work when I get home, it's going to be 12 weeks of tag teaming. We aren't going to see much of eachother until November but in the end it will all be worth it! Now to keep my head up and get my butt in gear.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Planting a pineapple

I recently discovered that you can twist off the top of a pineapple, any old pineapple you pick up at the grocery store, and that is where the roots are. So the I thought, hey, maybe you could plant and grow pineapples! Now, I haven't quite gotten that far but for now at least I've got some pretty plants! Here is what you do: 1. Go to your local grocery store and buy a pineapple 2. Twist off the top (it is actually pretty easy) 3. Cut up and enjoy your pineapple :) 4. Take the top and pull off the bottom few rows of leaves 5. You should the see some stringy roots! 6. Place in a cup filled with water with the roots submerged for about a week (you will notice the roots starting to grow!) 7. Plant in a good sized pot with soil and water frequently 8. Watch it grow! The leaves will grow up from the middle and it is ok for the lower leaves to get brown as long as the middle is green and growing you have been successful! Now mind you, I do NOT have much of a green thumb, heck, I can and do kill just about anything that is green! However, this was easy peasy! But also remember I am NO expert and this is only from a one time trial run that I started about a month ago. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Homemade Banana "Ice Cream"!

So this isn't really baking or cooking so I wasn't sure where to post so here it goes right here!

A friend of mine had posted on facebook a video to make homemade banana ice cream with just ONE ingredient! Turns out that there is actually TWO ingredients, but it is pretty amazing none the less!

So for myself and my boys today I took 4 super ripe bananas (the riper the better for sweetness) and sliced them up and froze them overnight. Then I slowly added the slices to my food processor and chopped them up until they started to get creamy (you will likely have to stop and scoop around the edges a couple of times). Then I added 2 tablespoons of vanilla and processed it until it was all smooth. So after about 10 minutes I had some delicious "ice cream" that we topped with a little chocolate syrup and some whipped cream!

This is going to be a staple in this house this summer FOR SURE!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The NEW Quest

Well as much as I love being a stay at home mommy, it has been the best four and a half year years of my life, this era is coming to an end. I suppose it doesn't have to just yet but we really could use some extra money and I was offered a part time job at a daycare with perfect hours to suit our needs. So now I begin the quest of being a better mommy that works. Now, this won't be the first time I have been a working mom, when I was a single mom I had to work so this isn't totally new territory, but now I have FOUR kids instead of just one I will be loosing time with (not to mention I am rarely going to see my husband!) but it is inevitable that I will be working and away from them as I have to start student teaching in the fall anyways and then get a full time job next year in the fall too. At least next year in the fall I will have two kids in school so I wouldn't be seeing them much anyways I suppose. I am excited and nervous as I begin this adventure and new chapter in my life. I am not sure just yet how I am going to juggle working, house keeping, spending quality time with my boys over summer break, and staying sane... I guess I will have to figure it out day by day. But then again, isn't that how I get through everything anyway? Well, wish me luck! I start my new job on Wednesday and entrust my boys and my house to my husband, praying the house is in one piece and not a total disaster most days when I get home ;)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ever growing green onion

We love green onions around here. They are so good on so many things! A friend of mine had mentioned to me once that if you take the bottom of a green onion after you use it and put it in water that it will grow back. Of course I was skeptical, as was my husband when I told him as well. So of course we had to start our science experiment. To our excitement after a couple days we had more green onion! In the past few months I have only bout new green onions I think one time and it was because the water got kind of slimy and I had to throw out what I had. So a note to myself and others doing this... Keep the bottom of the onion and the water clean and you'll almost never have to buy green onions again! Plus they look super pretty sitting up in my kitchen :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Daily Goals

If you have *liked* me on Facebook ( you have probably seen a few days (and pictures) where I have set a daily goal for myself. Granted, I haven't done this EVERY day but I have found it to be a great tool on days when I need a little motivation and I know I'll have time to get things done. It's really easy and it holds me accountable for getting a task done because I have put it out there for everyone to see! First it was my closet... oy vey! That thing had just been amassing clothes and trash and whatever else I felt the desire to toss on there since we moved in 6 months ago! It was long over due for a good overhauling! Check out my FB page for the pictures and feel free to use my page as a place to hold yourself accountable to a daily goal too! You can even do more than just one goal and post each goal as you go through and show the world how truly awesome you are! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Knight Party

And so it begins... another birthday party! My 2nd son will be 4 next week! We are having a Knight Party tomorrow and I had a hard time figuring out how to make a cake for him. I finally decided to make a shield... As usual I'm not entirely pleased with it, but it will do. We will be drinking some Dragon Potion (pineapple soda with rainbow sorbet and marachino cherries) and eating some Dragon Wings (mild boneless chicken hot wings) as well as some Peasant food (crackers, cheese, pepperoni and fruits).

baby dragon wings, dragon wings, and dragon potion

Happy 4th Birthday to my little knight in shining armor!
Sir CeeJa Lot blowing his candle out

Sunday, February 5, 2012

sick day

Well as unproductive as I was yesterday I NEEDED it. I woke up and felt nauseous and so so SO exhausted. I couldn't get up. I spent the entire day in bed and on the couch sleeping or 1/2 asleep. It was awful and mommies really need sick days because my husband was working and my boys were kind of on their own. Then again they were happy to get to spend the day in front of the TV all day since that pretty much never happens. Even though I still feel like I COULD sleep at least 10 more hours I am up and functioning! HORRAY! Now to get some cleaning up. We are going to really kick into high gear and get everyone back on a schedule tomorrow, we've all been slacking big time. My goal is to get up and work out (at the very least WALK Logan to school - if it's not raining) come home get showered and dressed get to the grocery store since I didn't get to that today. Tomorrow will be the real test since it's hubby's day to take Logan to school and I love to sleep in and snuggle Jameson (he'll sleep till 9 if I stay in bed with him!).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Robot Land

Wow I can't believe a week ago my oldest son turned 7 and here I am racing to get things together for my youngest son turning 1! I don't know where the time goes! I have been obsessed with Robots for Jameson so of course his party is all things robot! The party favors were easy since I found these cute little robot bobble head candies and just added in some bubbles or play dough and for the little kids they got animal crackers instead of the candy, wrap it up in a cello bag and you're ready to go!

Party Favors
Robot Cake

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I just LOVE parties. I have so much fun working the themes and baking and decorating the cakes. Celebrating the birth of my boys and having family and friends share in the fun is so special to me and seeing their face makes it even better. This year Logan picked Space, more specifically rockets, for his 7th birthday party. It is also the first year we've invited mostly friends from school so we got to do a lot of games and prizes! We played Pin the Flames on the Rocket, Hot Rocket, Freeze Dance, and musical pillows! It was a great party and I'm ready to reload and have Jameson's 1st birthday party next Sunday!
Rocket Sandwiches

Tasty Rocket Fuel

Yummy snacks


Pin the Flames on the Rocket


Monday, January 9, 2012

Party Games!

This Saturday we are having Logan's 7th Birthday party and he picked space/rockets for his theme this year. So I already have a set to make a rocket cupcake-cake and I bought rocket cookie cutter to make rocket sandwiches :) I have to find a rocket pinata though... I found a party hat that I may add some wings too and call it gravy. Last night and this morning I started getting the "Pin the Flame on the Rocket" (pin the tail on the donkey) game made.

I am excited that he is finally at an age where we can really play games! We also have a toy bean bag Rocket from the show Little Einsteins that we are going to use for "Hot Rocket" (hot potato) and then since I don't think I have enough chairs we're going to play "Musical Pillows" (musical chairs). I'm stressing out but I think things are coming along nicely and I'm super excited to have his first birthday party having invited his class (although only 2 people have rsvped). Then it's on to stressing about Jameson's 1st birthday (Robots) which I have pretty much NOTHING planned and it's the weekend after this one! EEk! It's still hard to believe this month that my age range of kids will be 7-1... Mostly I can't believe I'll have a 7 year old... scary stuff!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best thing I've done...

Bed time used to be SUPER stressful for me. Hubby isn't always home (well is almost never home) at bedtime so it's all me. The nights he is home they pretty much go straight to sleep, for me... not so much. I got so upset fighting and fighting with them to stay in bed or be quiet or whatever and it was even more frustrating with a new baby. I don't think Jameson being older has really made that big of an impact, he still always wants to nurse right when I'm putting his brothers to bed but I made 1 big change other than sticking with a routine. The routine is NOT what has helped them, but I do like that it gives me more structure and helps me remain calm. I have learned to just let go. If the come down stairs they get sent back upstairs but as long as they are upstairs in their room I let them be. Logan get's tucks and reads himself a book and turns his light off and goes to sleep on his own so it's just the middles I have to worry about. So I tuck them, give them kisses and say good night... usually within an hour they are asleep. I wonder why I stressed so much before? This way is so much easier. I know it isn't something that would work for everyone but hey, they are still usually asleep before 9pm so I can't complain!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Productive Parents

I try my best to stay productive during the day and not get distracted by the computer or something but when my husband is home I find it difficult to do things when he is 1. sleeping or 2. playing a game or on his phone or something. When he's lazy I want to be lazy. Now, I know he works all week and everything and he has every right and reason to be lazy at home (sometimes) but it's hard for me to do stuff when he's sleeping for some reason! LoL So today I was excited that he was up and busy today! The other day I took down the majority of the Christmas decorations and outside lights and today he finished up with the roof lights (I'm afraid of heights so I don't deal with those lol) and then I got him to blow the leaves off the yard and mow the lawn! HORRAY! :) AND then he made dinner! (well, most of it). So then of course that means I was productive too! I got the rest of the decorations down and put in the garage and got things straightened up and the kitchen cleaned (oy, the never ending chore).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Facebook Page for a Blog???

Well, I'm thinking about it anyways... I feel like people who may be interested in my blog miss a lot because they don't think to check on here (I know I don't check in on the blogs I follow hardly ever). I know some people make pages for their blogs on facebook so I thought maybe I should too. I'd really love some input though! What do you think? Should I create a facebook page for this blog? Would you "like" it?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

My Resolution:
Keep up with my quest and do even better! Don't give up! Be strong!

I rang in the new year with all 5 of my favorite guys and got all my kisses in from each of them. My life is so blessed! This year is going to be the best one yet as I embrace everything that life has to throw at me. I know it's going to be a crazy one and I am prepared. I have my special education teacher certification test to take, more observations, one more class for my degree then student teaching before graduating with my master's degree! I have 4 birthday parties to plan, I can't believe come July I'll have a 7, 4, 3, and 1 year old! My house will remain in a state of cleanliness that will keep me sane and I will spend more time with the boys teaching them and playing with them. We will also work on the boys picking up after themselves more and helping more around the house. The schedule we have set up and keep falling off the wagon with is post on the fridge and we will ALL be sticking with it. Hubby has been working out and I need to jump back on that train as well. Lastly I will be going more green when I can. I already have changed a lot from just recycling cans, paper, cardboard, etc.

Be ready 2012... I'm coming for you!!!

What are your resolutions for this year?