Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Brigittes Spinach Salad



Homemade Salad Dressing

3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp season salt
1 Large tsp salad supreme
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 to 3 pinches of oregano
1 pinch of basil
2 tsp sugar (or splenda if you like that icky stuff - ha ha ha)

Mix all that stuff together.
Then add
Garlic Flavored Red Wine Vinegar to the vinegar line,
water to the water line and
Extra Light Olive Oil to the oil line.

The Main Salad

combine:
2 bags of cole slaw mix
1 bag of baby spinach
 
cook (but be careful not to burn):
1 Large Bag (or 2-3 small) of slivered/sliced almonds
half stick of butter
2 Tbsp of Sugar

Put the toasted almonds on top of the salad. Serve the dressing seperate so it stays fresh and not wilty. 











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Something about the Rain


Tonight - I decided to just sit out back while it rains. Just softly enough now that the birds are still singing, the air has cooled and the evening just seems so fitting to my mood. Inside my kids play, the commotion of paths of whirlwind destruction from their games is sure to be a big job to clean - but for now I am ignoring it all and just enjoying time alone to think and blog.

Beside me is the plant I received for Mother's Day... and I observed it as the rain fell on the buds and it just beckoned me to take a picture..


Tonight I feel like my plant. If I was a tree huggin hippy (love you guys!!!) I would say - I feel one with my plant. ;-) It just reminds me of ... me. Despite sounding completely corny I thought about it.

When I brought my plant home on Mother's Day it was too cold for it to be outside. I didn't water it because I assumed my dad had. He is good like that. Two days later the flowers had all fallen off, and the leaves were dropping over the side. My kids were mortified. It got warm enough and I took it outback and gave it a huge drink of water. Immediately it perked back up. (Phew!!! Cause I swear my kids were about ready to cry!)

Now as I sit here looking at it, there are a few open flowers and many many many buds. As I watch the rain pour on  the leaves it makes me think of the rain I often feel.. I can hear the thunder in the distance. Seems like I have been going through my share of showers...
But without the rain the buds will never open.

Today was a sweet day. I had a nice morning but I had way too much time to think. About me. About what I am doing. About where I am going. About what I want.

And what I want DESPERATELY is to see the rain that I feel way too much - bloom what I have in me. I have so many dreams. It is a hard road to have dreams, a future and then feel like it was stripped away from you in an instant. Crushed and stopped in it's tracks. The life I had so comfortably made - God transplanted me smack dab into another over night almost. Ok... it was years in the making... but the actual GO... seems like a blur.

So many years of dreaming and blooming... building my garden... and now what? Its a struggle to just go day to day and provide for my kids in this world of economic craziness. And yes, I am well aware that I am not alone. That EVERYONE has their mountains. (but its my blog - lol)

I am a list person. I am a goal setting person. I was told by a past friend that I never am happy unless I am working on something. When she met me I was working on planning my wedding. As soon as that was done I was working on planning to get pregnant. Then there was figuring out what was happening in the womb at every second and stage. How as my delivery gonna go. Now I got kids - lets start with breastfeeding, homemade baby-food, cloth diapering, then as they grew on to homeschooling. Buying a house, remodeling the house. Plans, lists, deadlines, stress and I LOVE IT ALL!

Now I sit - Pinteresting all my dreams. Who invented Pinterest!? You hate me don't you!?? You know I can't avoid a place where I can ORGANIZE pictures and websites and ah it is HEAVEN for a control freak like myself!

... Rain... I know I need it. I know it sustains the very life I live. But it doesn't make it any easier... I need to refocus. Stop looking at the thunder and lightening and focus on the rain. What is God doing? And what is so amazing is that even when I try so hard to avoid His rain and pruning, he doesn't let me whither and die. I might feel like a day or two without water and feel the drooping... but then he is there. Whispering to me to keep coming back. Know what I have to offer. What I can be.... and stop picking at my own leaves. (Yes - add that to my illustration because I found myself nervously picking the plant when I was feeling confused... poor plant. I am sorry. lol) But I need to stop being destructive to what I can be.

I know it seems silly but it is amazing what God talks to my heart about when I sit and listen. Tonight He was talking to my heart with the sweet rain on my flowers. Thank GOD it didn't take him talking to me through Lightening ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A super long post about caring what others think about me... so you know what? I don't care if you think it is too long! So there!

This is a ramble post... Just one of those feeling how I am feeling and way too long for a Facebook Status update.

I am having one of those nights where I am feeling like I will never measure up and then trying to decide if I even want to. Not sure if I am sad about things or content. So here I am to blog it.
And then that brings me to my blog. I am not a super awesome with words type of girl. I do not demand an audience with every letter typed. Is anything I say interesting to anyone? Probably not.
But I blog anyways because it makes me feel good. :0) And then I get tons of email spam in my inbox alerting me to the fun hackers/spammers hope to gain from commenting links on my page. Gives them something to keep busy I guess.

But anyways... here I am. 33 years old. Trying to find my place as women attracting someone and single mom of three. And I find myself continually beating myself up for who I am. Watching other people as their lives scream - awesome - adventurous - you want to be with this girl. And mine screams - pick up the Nintendo Controllers, Sweep the pine needles from the kitchen and clean the tub ring from the showers so if someone looks in they don't think I bathed a pig in there and left it for show.

I do not trot the globe going to all kinds of exciting adventures. Nope, I am here. In my own little world because one - my kids are here. Tied for years to this place as result of having another parent who might not be so excited if I swoop his kids off and away. Then there is the little thing called $ that makes it not even an option. So oh you have never been ... anywhere? yep. Not since I have been an adult. My life pre marriage was pretty exciting. I have been to Poland/Germany, Panama multiple times, always beach vacations... then I grew up. ... And Erie PA has become once again an exciting outing. 3 hour car ride - a vacation!

Then lets talk about my cultural experience. What? Wreck it Ralph is not a classic movie? The Steakhouse that still allows us to throw peanuts on the floor is my ideal restaurant because one, I love the food... but two - my kids can scream all they want and no one notices.

But... the truth is... I do not want to be... I am me. I will slop something on my shirt. Heck my kids think fine linen is when I have on a nice shirt that they wipe their mouths on. Even without my kids - I am out of my element when I can't tell what I am ordering on the menu. And it makes me nervous to be so far outta my comfort zone. Sure I like new things... but reality is I am so happy at being out that I do not want to waste it not not liking something. The experience is not something I get every day and to be disappointed is not the outcome I am willing to shoot for. Not to mention my taste palette stopped developing at 12.

I am so thankful for technology. I hate when people use big words and movie or book quotes to talk. Truth is - I have no clue what you are saying. If it wasn't for google on my phone I could not join in half the conversations I try to engage in. I have not heard that line, I do not know what you are talking about and you lost me. Not impressed at how stupid I feel and it better be worth the time to look it up.

My favorite moments come when I am surrounded by my friends. As kids yell and act all silly crazy, run up and slug you, laugh and run away. As we try to engage in adult conversations, broken by pauses to get Captain America down from the fourth limb up (good throw!).

Where once our hot tub was turned up to a scalding temp - we enjoy a warm bath water feel because our fun is invaded by little swimming crazies who want to join us. Sexy fun? HA. No way. But loving every second and seeing the excitement of getting to hot tub with the adults.
Camping Bonfires are more centered around smores and making sure no one steals all the chocolate and helping rotate the odd shaped marshmallows.
Card nights  are interrupted by can I help you play that hand? please teach me to play! ... and we do. Stop playing 500 bid and lets get out the Apples to Apples... and its ok.

I wonder if I should try harder... Sometimes I feel like the excitement I get from working at the kids Cafeteria is crazy and juvenile.  Why don't I want to finish my degree of Computers and strive in the corp. world making $$$$$? I know I should. But I adore going to the school, making the lunch room inviting and smiling at each kid asking them if they want apple sauce, peaches or pears. I love smiling at the kids and seeing how happy they are at PCA. And I know that I do not care about a computer, I care about those kids. And helping them open their juice pop. ... but I struggle because it doesn't feel like I am striving to be who the world says I should be.

And I facebook. About my silly days. What ketchup we like best. Our trip creek stomping and soaking ourselves in a waterfall. Burning two dollar snakes and snapping snaps and having a perfect evening with it. Nothing exciting but completely awesome to me.

But I feel the weight of it all... when I look out and think about wanting to be known for me. I am more than Disney Channel and Macaroni an Cheese. I do have a mind and it is full of thoughts and opinions.  I love to debate. I like to know what is going on in the world - just don't always have the chance to if I am not filled in. Because my life moves so fast, even when it is stalled with sick kids keeping us cooped up. The demands are heavy. More than I can bear at sometimes. But to the outside... seems so ... nothing.

I don't have a history of good music. I don't experiment with breaking rules so my experience with anything makes me seem naive and clueless. I am the one who chose to use her paycheck on my car and savings instead of smoking and had AMAZING friends who wouldn't let me anyways. I think it was because they wanted me to cover drive thru while they went for a smoke but they claim it is because they cared about me...

So I struggle... I LOVE ME. I love my life. I like my childish ways. I love swinging on swings. I love drawing and jumping on trampolines. I love watching fantasy movies. I like singing teenage songs with clean lyrics that make me happy not feel like death. I adore rodeos and walks in the woods. I like going to a place I can get a milkshake and set traditions around mint ones.

The thought of going to a play or place of class freaks me out. I do not shop just to shop because it is not something I can do and it does not make me happy to feel like I am outta place. I just would rather not go.

If you want me to come up with ideas of fun... my mind goes to roller skating and kayaking. If I have to dress up I want to cry. Not because I do not like it. Because I have nothing to wear. I am a mom remember. If I did have something nice - I wore it and it is not grease stained or shrunk. And my body can't handle class either. I am stuck in that odd spot where I want to be 20 forever and that is my style... but my body is old and I can't (never could) but to wear what works for me - I feel twice my age and just depresses me more. So I would rather stay in my camo pants and batman tshirt and stay home. I want my gorilla glued combat boots and you can take these heels and go out with someone else.

I am shy around new people. I love to entertain my friends and welcome them to my home. I love to crash their places too... but the ones I am crashing... ask me how long I have known them. 16 years... So if you want to come crash my place - please do. But if you mention the fingermarks on my wall or pee on the seat I have yet to see because I have 3 bathrooms and do not spend every second of my life following my boys in there. But I do get it after they zonk out for the night. So if you want to see my house good - come at bedtime. or first thing in the morning. After that - just don't come if you are faint of heart.

I struggle... do I even want to let people in my world? Letting people in means displaying yourself and holding your breath to see if you are good enough. And facing reality that for most of the people you do - the answer will be - sorry. Not what we are looking for. And that is raw. As raw as it can get. The outcome could be awesome.. but the odds are not good. And the more time and experience that comes... the more I wonder... is it even worth it. Because I like me. And each time I figure out that someone doesn't it makes me question my worth.

So that's how I am feeling tonight as I go to bed. I am not depressed and sad about me. I love me. I think I am super awesome. It's just what goes through my mind... all the time. All the time.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Super Simple Cereal Bars

I needed to whip up a snack for kidlets simple and easy. Of course I always loved when my mom would make fruity pebble bars (twist on rice krispe treats) 
So I decided to go with that. Here is the recipe - simple and easy. 

3 tablespoons butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows
6 cups cereal of choice

First melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a big pot over low/med heat. 


 Stir in the 4 cups mini marshmallows.


Stir over low heat until melted smooth.


Remove from heat and add in the 6 cups of cereal of your choice. Today I used fruity pebbles and then did a batch of chocolate lucky charms. Because I had big boxes of them and wanted to use some - that's why.


Stir to coat.
Then dump onto a spray buttered cookie sheet or in to a 9x13 pan. I just did a cookie sheet cause it was closer. :0)
I like to spray my hands and press down to flatten, push together. But you can use waxed paper if you don't wanna touch the food.


Let cool. Cut into squares and enjoy! Simple, easy, kids love.

Birdseed Feeders for little ones.

I will be making little birdseed feeders with my preschool kids tomorrow at our local Homeschool Co-op. 

I like to use ricecakes because then the birds will eat the entire thing - leaving only the string behind. 

To string up the ricecake you will need to poke a hole in it. This part is the trickiest because if you are not gentle you will crack it right in half. 
I chose to use a straw and wiggled it gently back and forth with a little pressure to make my holes. I broke 2 outta the 12 pack. Not too bad. 


 Next use yarn or ribbon to string the feeders. You want to do this now because once the seed is on - they are messy!


To adhere the seed to the ricecake the traditional way is to use peanut butter. But since we have a highly allergic little one in our class, I am choosing to use vegetable shortening. (Crisco) 
 


Spread on both sides. 
Then gently press the ricecake into a bowl of bird seed. 
 

Cover both sides - pressing on it with your fingers a little to make sure the seed is sticking. Then find a nice place outside to hang it up! 


Beautiful and fun. The kids love watching how much the birds (or squirrels -  yes they like them too) have devoured them. :0)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Its Spring!!!

Man it felt good to take down the plastic from the windows and open them wide today!

I was in full spring cleaning mode. Rearranged my entire living room. I love change! Well... in the house. I love change in the house. Other things  - I am more a creature of routine and habit so...

I got my walkway to my house all prettied up. My roses and moms are showing signs of life and my tulips are growing. I have one spot where I put a mum that is just not working. Last year it never came back up. I then dug it up and got a new one. I thought perhaps a kid was trampling it or it got frosted. But this year - same spot, no return. So I have a feeling it is just the ground there. Oh well for the small price they are, I will keep it in that spot and just regrow it each year. Sad but it is right where I WANT it to be. So I will do what I have to do.

It is also that time of year again where I am working on getting back into my walking and running. I use the C25K app on my iphone and it takes me slowly up to running a 5K. But since I went into winter hibernation and this year didn't keep it up at the Gym ... (had to cut costs) I am back at square one.

But I have to keep my butt going because my friends and I signed up for a Dirty Girls Mud Run for Breast Cancer in June. Super excited about the 5K Obstacle course... the mud??? well.... ok super fun too. Just kicking myself because I just threw away my old tennis shoes I used to keep for Tubing. I am not so sure if I will buy a new pair of running shoes and kill the ones I have. I really like my running shoes though but buying new shoes for this run to kill... wonder if I can find a friend with an old pair of decent (gotta run and climb in them) size 8 or 8.5 they want to let me trash.....

My dad is pondering taking back his garden! I think we might convince him. He sacrificed for a few years his garden space as the only level spot in his backyard to give my kids a trampoline. I am super grateful for that but this year... I WANT A GARDEN! ... :0) And so does my daughter. The boys are bucking the idea. I LIVED to garden with my dad when I was little. It was our special thing each winter. He would let me draw and plot the garden. Make a map and that spring he would use my design and plant. Always tons of peas around the edges. Love peas! Cucumbers, Kalahari... those were my garden favorites as a kid. Now that I am older I want to add in spinach, lettuce, and ok the tomatoes, onions and peppers can be there too. I don't really like those but :0)

Anyways.... Spring is here! I love it! love it love it! Time to kick this winter crap out! Anyone else been sick ALL Stinkin Winter!?!?!? Yeppers. That was us too. Ready for a fresh new season. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

My super awesome online friends and Oil Pulling

Ok, so I have these crazy amazing friends I love with my entire heart. My online friends of 10 YEARS! And crazy as it is - we have stayed together through many site changes and as all of you that know - online friends are the BEST!!!

So these crazy people I have found have introduced me to many many amazing things over the years. I feel like I have grown up with them. I found them the year I got married and they have really helped make me the woman I am today.

I have learned how to cook from them. Yep. Want to know a kid tested recipe, how to do it step by step, they are here at the click of a button. Now ten years later the swipe of a finger on my iphone but I regress... I found passion for Homeschooling and support when I want to crash and burn. Found the love for crazy products like my Diva and cloth pads. Babywearing. Breastfeeding support. They introduce me to awesome entertainment : Doctor Who!  They are computer support learning more that I did from my COLLEGE classes by just asking and gaining from their knowledge. I have learned money saving tips, got closer to God with their support, and survived divorce!

So all that big intro... to say - My newest crazy adventure.

Introducing my try at Oil Pulling! Woot woot!

So what crazy thing am I trying now? Easy Peasy. Swishing a gob of organic coconut oil around in my mouth for as long as I can stand it. 15-20 mins.

Why??? Well cause my girls told me to and I trust them. Ha ha. No really. The benefits sound good. I will let you know. It is to detox your system and makes healthier teeth. Ok I hear people saying how can a mouth swish detox your system. I believe it. With all the cautions we get with dental care on heart problems and when my son was going through Leukemia active treatment he wasn't even allowed to floss due to it could be bad if the germs enter his blood stream. The mouth is access to the blood people. Trust.

So day one : 

I about died putting the gob in my mouth. ICK ICK ICK. Mine is no taste no smell kind but  I have a STRONG gag reflux! First gob was spit out in three seconds. Try two. I got it to melt. After it melted It was ok. I took friends advice and did it while I showered so that got me through 5-10 mins. 
My problem came when I was getting out of the shower and dressed I just couldn't do it and I spit. And unlike I was told, it made it to the sink not toilet. Opps. Better luck tomorrow. 

So then I did the rinse and brush. My teeth feel AMAZING clean right now. So no matter what happens next - if no more benefits come - this is going to be something that will definitely go with my oral routine for now. 

I will keep you posted to how I do! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ricky the Remarkable Raccoon - a bookcrash review

 Ricky the Remarkable Raccoon - by Peggy Roger-Carey is a great book for families who have been touched by adoption. Ricky is a Raccoon who is looking for his forever home. He has such high hopes of it being with a family of humans. Ricky soon finds out that sometimes the plans we have are not to be.
 Ricky finds that there is someone perfect out there for him, and he is perfect for them. This book that journeys to Ricky finding his home at last is a great book for kids who have friends who are adopted, siblings or perhaps have had that experience of their own.
I think the pictures of this book are very impressive, colorful and holds a childs attention well. I think this would be a great book to use as a tool or just to have in your collection. I would recommend it to friends.

I was given this book free for review from Book Crash.com and was not required to give a positive review.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas - My blessings.

Totally Blessed... That is how I am feeling today.
As I sit here - updating pictures on my blog and thinking about what I want to write.

Life this past year has sure been a roller coaster for me. Ups and downs with my emotions and feeling secure or not. But one thing has been steady and that is Jesus Christ. He is always my rock that we lean on as a family. Without him I could have never made it through.

Then there are my friends. I have come a long way with finding out who my true friends are these past few years. And my heart still over flows with pride when I look around and see who has been tried and true. I hope I can be as good a friend to them when they need it.

And then there is my family. I have lived many years of my life feeling bad because I was so blessed. People had made me feel bad out of jealousy. But life is too short. We all have our problems. I thank Jesus that a good family is not something I take for granted but am completely blessed by. Thank you to my parents, my brothers, my aunts and uncles, cousins, grandma and more.

I am also thankful that when we are going through rough times - God doesn't leave us alone. He doesn't CAUSE others to be going through things with us but I have found in life he draws us to people who need us and when we need them.

When my son was going through Leukemia - I was blessed sadly - with a family to go through it with me. We leaned on each other over the internet. Knowing I was not alone was bitter sweet.

Now with my divorce and challenges of rebuilding my life - God has brought so many woman into my life. It seems like a lot of times they are drawing from my experiences. Asking me for advice. But I have been there. I know the drill. And when I need them to listen - they are there too. Leaning on each other daily - almost hourly. So many women. So sad. But there is strength that we have had together. I am thankful that God draws us to those who understand. 


I am excited about what the new year will bring. Changes have started in my life recently and I am looking forward to seeing what God is about to do. Some have been long awaited. While others I want to put my feet down and stop from coming. But no matter what I know the God has His best in store for me and my kidlets. So I am going to let go and let Him.

Thank you to everyone for being on this journey with me and having a part in my life.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Crunch!

Pumpkin Crunch


Bottom Layer
1 can Pumpkin 15 oz
1 can Evaporated Milk 12 Oz
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

Top
1 box vanilla cake mix
1-2 sticks of butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix bottom ingredients in a bowl.
Pour into ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
Sprinkle cake mix on top.
Place pads of butter all over the top of that.

Bake for 55 Mins.

Serve warm with Cool Whip or  Cold :-)