Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Favorite Things:

A quick update: We're currently in limbo. Nearly all of our belongings are at the new house. We usually stay there during the day and come back to the old house to sleep as we haven't closed on the new house yet! Hopefully, all will go well and we can close on Friday then we can move the 13 foot family bed over and it'll be official.

Since I mustn't unpack quite yet, I'm amusing myself with ideas for decorating the new house. I'm thinking along the lines of "The Sound of Music" curtains or something else vintagy. Actually, I saw the above picture on Anna Maria Horner's blog (she's the designer of Garden Party fabrics and other lines) and found inspiration. The walls at our new home are a similar color and those splashes of color are perfect! I'm thinking of looking through the old fabrics from my great grandma to see if I have enough of any one to use for curtains, but I'm so excited, I think I'm coping quite well with not being able to unpack just yet.

We had a rough weekend with Juju, I knew she was cutting her other top front tooth, but didn't realize she was cutting another tooth at the same time, bad timing as she wanted held constantly for our moving weekend, but she's doing much better now that both teeth are through (yes, that makes 5!).

I keep dreaming of how this move is the perfect chance for a fresh start and to try to live my ideals out. So, yesterday I wrestled with whether to keep a TV out at all. We got rid of cable a year ago and our lives have been changed in many ways for the better. We use DVDs we own and from the library for Z when he wakes up or just before reading time at night. So, I wrestle, do we really need a TV? Could I live without it's help babysitting my 3 year old? He's playing next to his sister like a good boy right now (OK, now he's trying to get her wet with air raspberries). He could learn to entertain himself, right? I could make a tea cozy for the TV and cover it up when we're not using it. Or, I could be the adult and turn it off when he's watched one video. Then I wouldn't ever have guilt. Mommy guilt is such a horrible thing. Next week, though, I have the excuse of moving. For now, I'm gonna go play ball with my boy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jelly Telly!

I heard an interview on the radio with Phil Vischer, the originator of Veggie Tales. Check out his newest creation, Jelly Telly! A twenty minute kid's variety show on the web, currently for free. There's also a bunch of games, which Z loves. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I can't sing Juju to sleep because she sings with me and keeps herself up. So, I have to rock her to sleep in silence.

Z calls pepperoni "pizza brownies". We think he got this from his own strange accent in trying to say "Pepper-rownies".

I was holding Juju and when she laid her head on my chest, I said, "Awww!" My little parrot then said, "Awwww!" Several times after that when she'd lay her head on my chest she's say, "Awww!"

Quick Update:
We're between houses right now. We've closed on the old but not on the new. The owners of the new house have allowed us to move our belongings in early. I took them a plate of cookies to thank them. We're very excited to move in and to meet the neighbors. Met the first set last night (there's at least five) and they were super nice. They even have a two year old boy that Z got along with well. We caught them rocking in the toddler sized rocking chairs together on the front porch after playing in the rocks together.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the winner of the losers is....

Have you ever wondered which is better for you? Skittles, Reese's Pieces or M&Ms? Well, I guess I have candy on the brain cause I just sat and figured it out and want to share my findings with the world.

I found this helpful video that backs up my label reading methods, minus some details like how high fructose corn syrup is the most evil of all. Though sugar is bad, very bad for you, I prefer it to artificial sweeteners, with the exception of Xylitol and Stevia, which rock. I'm pretty sure the others give you cancer. Hydrogenated anything is bad. Based on this criteria here's my findings, since I can't make a table on blogger, I made the findings for Skittles in RED, Reese's in ORANGE, and M&Ms in BLUE:

Ingredients in order of naughtiness:
Sugar: 47g, 27g, 23g
Fat: 7g, 6g, 2.5g
Calories: 250, 220, 210
Sodium: 80, 25, 10

In addition to the above findings, I had to look at the list of ingredients to made an educated decision as to which was the healthiest. The sugar content in Skittles is so astronomical that I had to drop them out of the race completely. The fact that they are also stick to your teeth so badly points to their need of complete eradication from the face of the Earth, except that we all love them so much.

The final two. The first ingredient for Reese's was sugar, and the first for M&M's was chocolate which contained sugar then sugar was the next ingredient, so I figured they're about the same (the grams listed backs this up). The protein from the nuts in Reese's is a bonus, but so is the milk in the chocolatey M&Ms. It came down to the fact that M&M's contained less than 1% of corn syrup and Reese's listed less than 2% of it in their ingredients. They basically tied since Reese's has 5g of protein and M&Ms had 2g, but M&Ms, I think, are slightly better for you*.

I confess my bias is for the Reese's. I was rooting for them all along. We have a candy dish we keep in the laundry room, I'm not sure how it got there. It's always filled with M&Ms. We used to bribe Z to use the potty with them. We gave up on that, resigned to have the first college student in diapers someday. He gets them for helping with the laundry now. I don't really like M&Ms. Never have. I eat a few when I walk by though as I'm nearly always hungry when I'm nursing. I always wish they were Reese's Pieces. Now that I've done my study, I know for a fact that it's not much worse at all to have Reese's in the bowl....except that it is, because I'd eat them all during my laundry helper's nap time.

*findings are relative and not approved by the FDA

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trading character for land

"Bittersweet," a friend recently described the sale of her house this way and there is no better compound word to describe it. The lady who postponed the sale of our house for two weeks signed a paper today and suddenly it's done. Here's some pictures of some of the original character of the house that I'll miss the most, followed closely by my kitchen with heated tiles. {sniff, sniff!}
What a gift to have gotten to spend nine years in this lovely home! If we could have bought the parking lot next door and made it into a yard, we'd have stayed here forever. We had four teenage girls come through this home, bought two hairless terrier puppies and birthed two children who've known no other home. I'm excited to see what plans God has in store for us at the next house and pray that the buyers are blessed by this home as we have been.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Screams for Ice Cream?

WE DO!!! Here's a couple of ways to have fun with ice cream this summer!
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!
Wrap colorful ice cream cones with foil and place in muffin tin. Prepare a cake mix and fill halfway with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely....
...then top with icing and add sprinkles! You can also fill cones less full,
bake, cool and add ice cream on top instead of icing.
I just used icing and they were a hit at Z's Summer program he goes to on Wednesdays.

Homemade Ice Cream!

Speaking of which, I learned a really cool trick at his Whoop it up, Wednesdays program! Get this, you can make homemade ice cream...ready? IN A BAG! I love it! Here's what we gave the kids to make it:

1 c. half and half
3 T. sugar
1 T. vanilla
6 T. table salt
Gallon bag, half full of ice

Yup, you just add the salt to the ice bag, then put the first three ingredients in a quart sized bag, zip it, throw it in the bag of ice and get shakin'! I've heard the baggie of cream mixture can be put in a coffee can full of ice and salt and kicked around, rolled down a hill, etc. Ours needed shook for 7 minutes. This was so much fun to make and tasted so very good! I paid for it later. I get hypnotized by homemade ice cream and forget that I'm lactose intolerant.

Housing Update...
It comes down to this. We signed the papers on Friday to sell our house. The buyer signed on Saturday. The woman the buyer is not yet divorced from, however, has yet to sign her paper. Turns out we MUST have her signature before our closing is final. She held out to get more alimony, he's given her everything she's asked for. So, we're praying she doesn't ask for more and hold up the closing any longer. We were supposed to close on June 30th! She was supposed to sign today, but hasn't yet....it's 1:45pm. I'll keep you posted.

In other, more happy news, I wrote an article on homeschooling for Tuscmom.com and it was posted today on their site! Click here to read it!

Finally, a little clip of our Juju. Notice how she opens her mouth to get me to do the same! She is a little parrot and was recently mimicking the goats we heard at a farm! She sings and dances to music anytime she hears it and just cut her first top tooth. Thank heavens for teething tablets!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Wrap!

I made a wrap for Juju. I used 2.5 yards of 60" stretch cotton fabric, cut in half length wise and sewn together for 5 yards of material at 30". I also tapered the ends at a 45 degree angle so there wasn't so much bulk when tied. I serged the edges and reinforced the middle seam. Then partly to cover the seam and partly just to be fun, I sewed on a butterfly on the back. I think next time I'll make the butterfly a bit smaller so you can tell what it is from all angles. Most people look and say, "What is it?"

The wrap nearly always puts Juju to sleep.
Here it is from the back:

Yes, you can turn the baby out AND wear them on your back with this kind of wrap. I like it better than my two Kangaroo pouches, which hurt my back and neck after a while since it only uses one shoulder.

Here's the YouTube I used to figure out how to wrap it around me!

Thanks to my sisters-in-law, Bekah and Debbi for being my models...oh and Juju too, of course!