Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dad's are Cool

I say my DAD is The COOLEST DAD ever he can do cool tricks and the COOLEST thing ever is he   can echo his voice while singing take me out to the ball game I wish you could hear him we have fun with are dad especially when playing the gorilla game.  He chases us around like an angry gorilla. "Stuck with Me" is another game we play.  It's when he hides we run and when we come back he gets us and then we are stuck with him.  He also does a quarter trick and makes a quarter disappear and come out our ears!   DADS are THE COOLEST and BEST at having fun! Plus Dad calls me Buggins!

What cool things does your dad do?
-From Buggins

Friday, September 26, 2014

Moving Mahem

I've moved so many times I've lost count.  I know prior to the age of 18 I had moved over 22 times.  I also know since I got married I have moved 10 times.  Moving can be a time of stress.  Boxes pile up and patience runs thin. 

I try to pack things and label them in a very easy way.  Special kid toys get packed last and unpacked first.  I buy paper products to eat off of a few days prior to the move and pack up all the dishes.  I have lots of little strategies to help me stay sane, and on track.  Yet, something always happens.

 One year the apartment we were moving to was being built brand new, just so happened moving day came and the apartment wasn't ready.  The place we were living we'd already given notice and they'd already rented it out from under us.  So we were stuck.  Talk about an insane move with three kids, one of which was a baby.  We ended up in a temporary place and God opened a door so that we got into a better apartment than the one we'd been waiting for.  Most of our moves people have been sick, or things haven't lined up right or something has gone wrong. 

Our last move gave us some good laughs after the fact.  While cleaning our apartment, once it was empty, a random stranger came walking through, wanted to see what the places looked like.  She had her dog with and it pooped on my freshly cleaned carpet floor.  Talk about a shocker.  Than after moving all day and cleaning we had to drive 4 hours to our new home.  But our new home wasn't ready (again) so in the middle of the night we stopped for food.  The only place open was Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was way too loud for my three tired cranky babes, so we got food to go and found a hotel.  We had to move everything into a garage and wait a couple days to move into our apartment.  It was exhausting.  Then in our new place we found human finger nails in the carpet, and regular nails.  There was cigarettes in the window sills.  It was awful!  The place wasn't ready because they were cleaning....make me laugh.  It took me weeks to get it clean.  I was very unhappy and just wanted to turn around and go back where I came from.

Now we're about to move again.  This time to our very own home. Our first house!  This time we're very excited but still there are unknowns.  Closing keeps jumping around.  We may have to put stuff in a trailer or garage again.  Kids are acting out with the lack of structure while packing.  I know I need to look forward, press on, and stay in tune with God so the stresses of the move don't bring me down.

Last night at Bible study we were talking about Paul and Silas, how after being beaten and put in a dungeon like prison, striped and stocked they sat singing praises to God.  The stocks broke open.  The chains fell off.  How awesome is that!  It reminds me that no matter what we're going through, if we are praising God the shackles will fall off.  I know that my stresses of a move are nothing compared to being beaten and imprisoned for Christ, however, the stress can still be a shackle in my life.  So if I praise the LORD, the shackles will fall off!

This song has been in my mind since then... Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!
Let God take off your shackles, lift up those praises!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Introducing Buggins

My oldest daughter really wants a chance to blog with me.  So you'll see her debut entry Bunny Rescue below.  There's also a tab for her posts above called Buggins Babel.

Buggins is her special nickname.  Hope you enjoy her Bunny Rescue post!

Bunny Rescue

We were at the park for a back to school party and we found a baby bunny laying near what looked like a burried bunny hole. We were all worried that it wood get stepped on. Especially me! It didn't look like a usual wild cotton tail.  It had black and white splotches, and it's eyes were not even open yet. I started praying that no one would step on it and it would be okay.
When one of the mom's came over and found the hole, I picked it up and carefully put it back in it's burrow. It was so cool, I got to hold and rescue a baby bunny. Thank God we found the hole and thank God he answers our prayers.

From-Buggins

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Banana Bread Fun

Seeing as how I have bananas coming out my ears, we made more gluten free banana bread today. My youngest got to help all by herself.  She was adamant that no one else could help me, just her.  She wanted to crack each egg.  She's 4 and doesn't quite have down how to crack those eggs without getting egg shells in the batter.  So I thought why not teach her step by step.  The part of me that would normally think "let's not waste more eggs, I'll just do this myself," was put on the back burner today.  I watched her break the first egg into pieces, we cleaned it up off the counter, chair, floor, her face and dress.  All the while she was laughing about how funny it was that the egg exploded. The second egg I held her hand to show her the force to use when cracking an egg.  It still didn't make it in the bowl, but at least it wasn't all over the kitchen.  The third egg we cracked and then I showed her how to put her thumbs in to pull it apart.  That egg actually made it into the bowl.  We only had to fish out a couple egg shells.  We continued this way until we had all 4 eggs in the bowl.  We only completely wasted 3 so that's pretty good, I think. It was definitely worth the look on her face of accomplishment.

As we were putting everything into the bowl she insisted on doing as much as she could by herself. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, "I have to learn everything that grown ups do, cause I have to do everything you do when I'm a grown up."  It's not a new statement from her.  She usually watches things pretty intently and then tells me she has to learn how to do whatever it is so she can do it when she's a mom.  It's pretty neat to have such a goal oriented, driven 4 year old.  At this point she knows exactly what she wants...it's to be a mom...just like me.  Any time she says this it reminds me that I have a little shadow watching every move I make.  It also makes me feel pretty special.  I know I always wanted to be a mommy.  I'd pretend with my dolls and now I see her doing the same. It's pretty amazing.

So for homeschooling today, she learned to make banana bread and how to crack an egg without making a giant mess.  I'd say that's a pretty productive day for my preschooler, don't you think. 




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gluten Free Banana Bread

A friend of mine called me up the other day and asked if I wanted some over ripe bananas.  The store near her usually just throws out bananas that are too ripe.  So she gave them her number and ended up with 100 lbs of over ripe bananas that the store was just going to throw out.  She started giving boxes of them away to neighbors and friends.  So of course I said sure. We love banana bread.

I took them and immediately peeled the banana and put them into containers to freeze.  We've now made two batches of banana bread and have plenty more bananas to go through! I'm so happy that I can make gluten free banana bread!


So here's the best gluten free banana bread recipe I could come up with.  I did not add nuts to mine, but I think that would be wonderful.  I just didn't have any nuts on hand.

Ingredients: 
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 3 cups blended ripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. rice flour
  • 1/2 c. tapioca starch
  • 1/2 c. potato flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional nuts
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Grease your pans, I use butter
  3. Blend up approx 3 ripe bananas in a food processor or blender
  4. Place bananas, sweetener, vanilla, and butter in bowl.  Mix completely.
  5. Add flours, salt, baking powder and mix well.  
  6. Add in the eggs and stir well.
  7. Pour batter into 2 loaf pans
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Mine took 60 minutes for my deeper pan and 45 for my shallower one. Use a knife or toothpick to check the middle is done.
  9. Remove from pan let cool.  I like my banana bread cold in the fridge with butter on top.  Do not put in fridge until completely cooled or it will have yucky mushy condensation goo on it.
  10. EAT, ENJOY be guilt free because it's gluten free.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my children and I are.  We love it.  I need to make more.  I also think this would make a wonderful layer in a multiple layer/ flavored birthday cake.  Can you imagine a Gluten Free Banana Split Birthday Cake.  Oh yummy.  Make one layer using this recipe, one layer using the chocolate cake recipe and then one layer with vanilla ice cream in it! Yummers!

If you try it out send me a picture or a link and tell me how you liked it! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dreaming of Dogs

So instead of researching antique beds and how to convert them I've moved on to searching for dogs....hypoallergenic dogs.  My kids and I have ALWAYS wanted a dog.  However, I've stood by my husband and always said, "We can't have a dog, no house, no dog."  Well it just so happens we are now getting a house! Can you believe it? I sure can't.

I never had a house.  Growing up with a single mom we moved a lot and rented a lot.  Some of the places were houses, but it was always like a room was ours or the basement was our apartment.  I never had a house or a yard or a dog.  I ALWAYS wanted that.  As an adult with kids I've wanted it for them. 

Yet it was never the right time.  We never were really sure we were settled and where we wanted to be.  We were paying down debts, not making enough, trying to live off one income.  Having me stay home with kids meant we didn't have a lot of the extras or "standards" a lot of people had. 

I always found it hilarious when I'd meet someone and they'd ask what I did.  I'd reply I'm a stay-home mom and I'd get this look, and then hear, "Well that's nice if you guys can afford that, you know I have to work to pay the bills."  Most of the time these comments came from total strangers, who had nice wardrobes, nice new cars and a house.  I guess my priorities were different.  And no, we couldn't "afford" for me to stay home, but we made a way and sacrificed a lot because it was just that important to us.  Like my wardrobe, ha, make me laugh, I have a handful of shirts and one pair of jeans and two pair of dress pants, one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of dress shoes.  That's all I NEED.  Have I wanted more? Sure!  Have I envied others? Oh Yeah! But when I looked the real question in the face I saw that the question was did I want to work to have stuff or did I want to be with my kids.  The perfect clothes, great hair cuts, having two vehicles and a house weren't worth more to me than being able to be home with my kids, to raise them, to watch them learn and grow.  So we went without for a long time.  We did the one vehicle thing for 11 years.  It was hard, I hated being stuck at home or if I needed the car to lug everyone out and do car seats multiple times a day to take daddy to work and pick him up and take him to school and pick him up.  I learned to cut my kids hair and mine.  We didn't eat out like ever....ALTHOUGH we could have probably eaten way cheaper at McDonalds daily...but that's another story...and we don't do fast food, like they're allergy or health friendly..ha.  So after years of waiting and scrimping we are finally ready!

Which brings me back to looking for dogs.  So now that we can actually have a house the very first question out of my daughter's mouth was, "So when can we get a dog?"  I said, "Well we have to wait and find the right kind of dog and have to save for the dog so it might take a while." My youngest nods and says, "Like 6 days, 6 days after we move we can get a dog?"  It will be more than six days that's the only thing I know for sure.  In the meantime I've been looking up hypo-allergenic dogs and have been sharing pictures of information with my kids. It's fun! So far their favorite is the Samoyed. They made up a cheer about wanting a Samoyed and walk around chanting it and doing high fives to each other.  All super cute.  Now we have to get daddy on board. So who knows maybe one day I'll be a homeschooling mom with a house and a dog.  Wouldn't that be cool, dreams coming true.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Removing the block

So I haven't had time to post lately.  I realize my last post was about my friend's tumors in her brain.  Perhaps that's part of what's thrown me into writer's block.  The good news is she's almost done with her full brain radiation treatments and she's been doing pretty well.

The other part of my writer's block...my head keeps spinning!  I have a million things on my to-do list.  We are in the process of buying a house, homeschooling, planning parties and classes for a home school co-op we do, tending to sick kids, dealing with travels and family drama and well you name it.  My head just spins round  and round with all these t.h.i.n.g.s, conversations, things I need to do or just finished doing or wished I would have handled differently.

I have to remind myself it's just things.  Does it really matter in the scheme of life.  If we don't do math today will it wreck my children for life? If I don't have time to respond to all my emails because my whole family is sick, will it really matter? Do I need to lay awake thinking about every inch of our soon to be new home, FIRST HOME, I might add.  It's funny how my brain works.  Lately though sick, though tons of other things are going on I've been obsessed with trying to figure out how to use an antique bed with a different size mattress.  I kid you not I've spent hours looking up solutions on line, trying to find hardware, watching do it yourself videos for making new side rails, so you can store the antique ones and actually use a mattress that would fit a normal couple.  I wonder if that's my brain's mechanism for not dealing with all the stress of what's really going on.

Stress...yes that would be another one of those things that slams the door in the face of my writing.  Stressed to the point of headaches.  Oh and then if I get a headache I start to think, "Oh no, what if I have a tumor and I don't know about it...could that happen"....and my brain races with all the how to's and what if's.  

So I've been out of the blogging loop.  I'm trying to get back.  It might help to put down what's going on.  I do know that in the midst of all of this, the sicknesses, the packing, the mounds of financial paperwork and inspections and appointments, watching my friend swell up from the treatments she's receiving, and counting down the days till we can find out if she's okay, in the midst of it all I still feel a peace. I feel like it's all okay.  I know that feeling is not from me.  Remember I'm the one that thinks tumor when I get a head ache.  I'm the one that freaks out inside and thinks of all possible scenarios for each event that has happened or might happen.  I don't normally feel peace, it's not natural, it's not from me.  It's one of the ways I know my God is real, because in the midst of messy, and sorrow, and joy and stress and sickness I can have peace that passes all understanding.

May his PEACE guard your heart and mind today.