At times it may not be the life we planned, but here it is, the life we love



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

April 2nd??!?!

I have been saying for ages that I needed a new washer. First it started leaking water and I thought it was a goner. However, thanks to You Tube, Greg was able to fix it and postpone the inevitable. 

Second, the tub somehow got off balance and shifted to the side, causing the washer to shake vigorously, making me wonder if it was going to shake out the door. Greg did not fix this. 

Third, I went to change the load yesterday and the clothes were very wet and simply lying there on the bottom rather than the side. They looked suspiciously like they missed their spin cycle.  I started it again on rinse only. On our way out the door for school, I passed by the laundry room and it smelled of burning wires and a dying motor. The clothes were resting in a tub of water and the washer was silent. 

I was able to get the clothes to drain and there is even a chance it may work again, but the smell of burning wires makes me hesitate.  I really don't want to burn my house down and always look back and say, I knew the washer was dying. 

So, I bought a new one. The only problem..... the delivery date of April 2nd of course! That is right, I have no washer for 2 weeks. I barely have time to think, much less gather my three kids and all their clothes and head to the laundromat.  

I have a solution, we already have eat everything in the house week, and now I will be adding to that the "wear everything in your drawer week and once you have done that, pick them up off the floor and wear them again." 

It is the only way. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The most expensive farmer's market yet

Up until last summer, I hadn't had a steak in about 4 years.  I was at the farmer's market looking for a local pasture-raised chicken and ended up buying an organic, 100% grass-fed Kobe beef steak. It was expensive but oh so delicious. 

We don't eat a lot of steak, but decided it was time for some more. While I was teaching yoga one Saturday morning, I sent Greg and the kids to the market. 

That was my first mistake. 

My second mistake was not being more specific about what Greg should buy. 

The last time Greg bought the steak, they were out of the Kobe beef so he bought the Angus beef. He had no idea how much the other kind was. 

He and the kids unloaded and located the booth of the local ranch. He studied the beef, minus the price, and picked out 4 fabulous Kobe beef steaks. He took them to check out and handed the girl his card. She rang him up and gave him the receipt and his card, while calmly letting him know that his 4 steaks just cost him $165.00. He panicked for all the obvious reasons. I am sure he considered his options, he could grab his card and just run away, he could pretend the kids picked out more steaks than he wanted, he could act cool and tell her to throw in one more, or just smile and say thank you. The last option won, although he really wanted to put one or two or three back. Too bad that wasn't an option without looking like a total loser for a) not knowing Kobe beef was $45.00 per pound or for b) failing to look at the price.  

We have eaten one of our steaks because clearly the rest are for special occasions only. Of the one we did eat, I actually think the little girls ate more than both of us. It about killed us to share. The delicious costly steak was practically wasted on little mouths with no ability to appreciate what they were eating. 

When I googled Kobe beef just now, I found something that said Kobe beef is one of the most highly coveted beefs in the culinary world. 

Greg now knows this. 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

I am afraid of her teeth

Greg usually brushes the kids' teeth, but the other night they asked me to.  As I was brushing Autumn's teeth, I asked her to put her teeth together and smile so I could brush the front teeth. She did that, yet, her teeth weren't even close to touching in the front! Um, small child, can you do that again? She did and much to my dismay, the teeth matched up the same as three seconds before. 

This was one of those moments when you panic on the inside and yet try to look calm on the outside while you smile and say things like, "your teeth are amazing" and "I love when you put your teeth together like that". I couldn't let her see me panic, all the while I am secretly freaking out on the inside, wondering what this means and trying to decide which professional should be helping me. 

After studying these strange teeth while she sleeps, I am still not sure if the front top teeth need to be pushed back or if her bottom jaw should be shifted forward. Now, I haven't completely panicked yet because she still has a binky. The space in the teeth is definitely where the binky sits and there is a good chance things will move around when it is gone.  I am not in 100% panic mode yet. Soon, but not yet. 

Here she is with her teeth closed. 

Poor problem teeth child. She already had two bottom teeth grow in as one and now this. Now she is miniature with a mullet and weird teeth. Poor little thing. 

Blog for Ivy’s School–Elderberries

I blog for Ivy’s school and realized I those posts should be here as well. so here is one of them…...

In my quest to heal my family and stay healthy using natural remedies, I discovered the ELDERBERRY.  Cooked elderberries (raw, unripe elderberries can be poisonous) have been used for medicine for hundreds of years.  It is believed that elderberries can help with the flu, alleviate allergies, and boost overall respiratory health. (source)  Elderberries are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C and a good source of calcium, iron, and Vitamin B6.  (source) I came across one study showed that “symptoms of the flu were relieved on average, four days earlier and the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo." (source)

So, how do you incorporate elderberries in your medicine cabinet? One of the most common ways to take elderberries is by making an elderberry syrup.  You can purchase the syrup already made, however….. making your own is so easy!  I used this recipe.  There are a few out there, but they only seem to differ with the measurement of ingredients.  

Making your own syrup:

Ingredients:

2/3 cup elderberries (I buy my elderberries here) which you can order here:
3 ½ cups water,
2 T fresh or dried ginger root,
1 tsp cinnamon powder,
½ tsp cloves or clove powder,
1 cup raw honey.  (I use raw local honey from the house down the street from the school.  Local honey has all kinds of extra benefits, plus I love supporting local businesses - and it is delicious!)


Directions

Pour water, eldberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into a medium saucepan
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.  The amount of liquid in the plan will be reduced by about half.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
Pour through a strainer into a glass bowl.
Discard the berries.  Let the liquid cool to lukewarm and then add the honey and stir.
The standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ TBS- 1 TBS for adults per day.  When you feel any flu symptoms coming on, you can increase the amount by taking the same dosage but taking it 2-3 times per day. 

I have come across some information says you shouldn’t take elderberries for more than 5 days at a time, while I know that others take elderberries every day to prevent the flu during the entire flu season.  You just need to do what feels right for you.  We take it about once a week and my kids LOVE it, which is always a bonus.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Facebook

I have a confession - I check Facebook way too much. I have a busy brain and it is the perfect busy mindless task to take up time and space in my head. Let me explain how this works....When I have entirely too much to do and I don't know where to start... Check Facebook. When I am in the middle of something hard for work... Suddenly stop and check Facebook.  Look at the messy kitchen...check Facebook. Quite honestly, I don't know what I go there for. I mostly follow pages rather than people. The people post a link to something, I follow the link, that link goes somewhere else, and before I know it, I have a head spinning with information and got nothing done. 

I am addicted to information and Facebook is nothing good for an information junkie. 

In an effort to break the cycle, Emilee and I went cold turkey. We signed off until April with a rule: each time we sign on during the next month we have to put $1.00 in a jar and at the end of the month Angie gets all the money. Horrible, right? Now if that isn't a deterrent, I don't know what is.

It has been a little over a week and I cannot lie, it has been hard. I have even considered paying my $1.00 a time or two. I can't respond to a friend request, I can't reply to a message, I can't see what Food Babe has does recently, I can't look at my boot camp group page which tells me who is coming to my yoga class, and I don't know the latest home remedy that I could be using. It is amazing that I am still alive actually.  

So as we move into April, I am curious what happens. I am over checking it all day long, just because. But, can an information junkie with a jumpy brain check it once a day or once every few days?

I have a feeling the Facebook money jar will be around for awhile.  Not wanting to give Angie the money may be my only hope and works like a charm. (Especially after seeing her joy in the prospect of so much money... I must prevail!!)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

These funny little people of mine

I had to get something done for work tonight, so I asked the kids to go lie down. Autumn had fallen asleep earlier and was already in bed. I was almost done and came up to check on them. 

I laughed as I saw Autumn lying there in what she calls her ballet dress. She insisted on taking off her jammies and putting on her dress. In fact, earlier I had walked away only to return to find her with her jammies off and her dress over her head with one arm in. 

I laughed as I looked at Ivy fully engrossed in an art project on the bed. (At 9:30 nonetheless) She was sitting there surrounded by crayons, markers, and scissors, with a lovely paper placed gently on my pillow as she dabbed a bit of glue on her project.  I saw her little feet sitting there covered with tights which are on under her pajama pants. This because she was convinced putting on her tights now would help her get ready for tomorrow. 

I also laughed as I looked over at Owen with his iPad on his legs blasting his new song- Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. We had made a deal earlier in the night that I would buy him the song if he worked really hard on his homework and stopped complaining. With homework done, he was lying next to nighttime art project girl singing his heart out with his song on repeat.  As I walked in he smiled and kept singing.  He was not happy when I asked him to turn it down. 

The best part about all of this is the fact that none of this is out of the ordinary. Try as I might, I seriously have to wonder what a normal bedtime routine looks like.  


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The rascally one

Autumn.

She is a character.  In fact, Angie and I even call her character.  She is teeny tiny, hardly has any hair, talks up a storm, and is full of sass, even at 2 and almost a 1/2. 

Last night we were lying in bed with the other two kids.  They had fallen asleep a few minutes earlier and I was sooo tired.  I kept begging her to lie down and go to sleep.  She on the other hand, kept turning my lamp on and off, on and off.  At one point I said, “Autumn, turn the light off, I don’t want it on”.  To which she replied, “Well, I do” and turned it on again.  I tried to stay stern but her little sassy words made me laugh.  I kept falling asleep and would wake up to click, click, click.  When I didn’t respond I heard a little voice and could hear the smile on her face as she said slowly, “Look what I am doing”.  Click Click Click. 

And it isn’t just me she loves to torture.

The other day Owen was holding something that was clearly his and she wanted it.  She was following him around the house crying, with Ivy by her side.  He started crying, cause she is so big and mean of course, saying that it was his and she was trying to take it.  He stopped in the kitchen to tell me what was going on and while we were talking, her small sleuth like self snatched the toy out of Owen’s hand and then she raced over to Ivy with a look of sheer joy on her face and proudly said, “Ivy, I got it!”.  Ivy looked so pleased with her.  I turned back and looked at Owen, crying, empty-handed.  It all happened so suddenly.  Owen causes them grief, but I am beginning to realize that one day (maybe a day not so far away), he will need as much protection from them as they do from him (and maybe more, those girls as a team may be serious trouble).

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