Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

i like…. April 25, 2012

Filed under: mama of boys — Elizabeth @ 9:04 AM

This year for Easter. we got the boys a special gift.  They each got a “like book“.

It’s not a book for them to write about what they like.

It’s a book for us to write in.

Every day, Jason and I write something we like about them.

They absolutely LOVE hearing what we wrote.

And I have to admit, it feels good to sit down and remember the good things they do each day.

It’s a great way to build their confidence and reinforce their good behavior.

In short, I like…this book.

If you would like to order a “like book”, you can visit their website and use the code “likebook” at checkout for 25% off.

This post was not sponsored by Like Book–I just like it and there was a coupon code on a flyer that came with my order.  So there.

 

Whatnot Wednesday April 18, 2012

Filed under: adoption thoughts,whatnot — Elizabeth @ 12:46 PM
  • Is it bad that I’m too lazy to even put my Whatnot Wednesday picture on top of this post?  Yes?  Whatever.  Picture a neti pot.  Now picture me pouring water into my nose.  Now picture all of this text falling out the other nostril…….So let’s do this.
  • “The New Adventures of Old Christine” is absolutely hysterical.  I catch the reruns on Lifetime sometimes, but then I ordered some of the seasons on Netflix.  Seriously.  Very, very funny.
  • Let me talk to you about spaghetti squash au gratin.  You know what?  Just make it.  You can thank me later.
  • My veggie garden is coming along nicely, but there is some kind of varmint that keeps bothering my spinach plants.  I thought it was squirrels, but this morning, it was definitely a cat.  I know for sure because it dropped a deuce right there in the middle of my spinach.  I don’t know if cat poo has the same kind of fertilizing properties as manure, but I removed it hastily.  Cause that’s just gross.
  • The other day at the grocery store, we ran into a set of twins that take karate with Isaac.  Matthew is always there at class, so the twins know him, but they don’t interact much with him because he doesn’t take the class.  So we stopped to talk to them and their mom at the store, and the twins immediately started to ask me questions about Matthew.  You can tell they have probably been asking their mom about him and that she explained to them that he was adopted.  Their curiosity and interest was very sweet and it is the first time that kids have asked so many questions.  They wanted to know if Matthew was always his name and how old he was when he joined our family and if Isaac went with us to Korea.  Their questions were all innocent and didn’t cross any privacy lines, but I think their mom was nervous that I would be offended (I wasn’t at all!).  I answered all of the questions, but Matthew totally zoned out of the conversation, and I am really ready to sit down with both boys this summer and do the W.I.S.E Up Powerbook.  It is Matthew’s story and he should be the one to decide how he wants these questions (the innocent ones and the harder ones that are bound to come up as well) answered.  Isaac needs to go through it as well because, for better or worse, he tends to do a lot of Matthew’s talking for him.
  • Speaking of Isaac and adoption talk, he brought up adoption the other day.  I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but I asked him if adoption was always a happy thing.  He said, “no, it is happy because you are a part of a family, but it is also sad because that means you lost another family”.  I was so proud that he already recognizes this!
  • I’m making date sugar right now.  Well, I was trying to make it yesterday, but after I baked and dried out the dates, my food processor spazzed out when I tried to pulverize them.  Everything I read made it sound like this was gonna be easy.  But instead, I have one ziploc bag with perfectly powdered dates, one with rocky powder and whole rock-hard dates.  My counters and floors are sticky from date dust and last night, I blew my nose and everything that came out was brown.  Being healthy is, like, hard.
  • I’m back on coffee.  I realized I still don’t want hot coffee, but I’ve been drinking a lot of iced coffee.  I make a pot of coffee twice as strong as usual, then refrigerate it.  Then I prepare it with half and half, a little bit of organic sugar and a drop or so of almond extract.  Yum.  The perfect iced almond latte.
  • So coffee is back, but meat and gluten are gone from my diet.  Gluten is gone for good–it is definitely the source of my headaches!!  I even got a headache after eating the communion wafer at Easter!
  • Matthew calls artificial colors “fishy fishy colors”.  Which is kind of right.
  • One of the ladies in my water aerobics class did the sweetest thing for me last week.  She bought me a thank you card and wrote me such a nice note, thanking me for being so encouraging to her.  She included a gift card to my favorite grocery store!  That really made my week.  I always say that God puts the most awesome people in my classes.  I love my job!
  • I just read a book called “Divergent“.  It was for a book club that I recently joined.  It is kind of Hunger Games-esque.  You know–strong teen girl, dytopian society, romance.  I thought it was just okay though.
  • Tomorrow, we have kindergarten registration for both boys!  I’m not really ready to talk about it.  Not because I’m sad–I’m really not.  Mostly because all anybody ever says to me is “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???” like I suddenly have to have a grand new plan for my life.  And mostly, I’m just ready to take a deep breath and make myself a hot breakfast.
  • That’s all for now.  I think I have more to say, but I’d rather just watch “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and drink an almond latte.
 

{Insert Bee Pun Here} April 8, 2012

Filed under: huh?,we so crazy — Elizabeth @ 5:11 PM

Dear PawPaw, We are so sorry that your birthday card is late, but……

a.  We forgot!

b.  The dog ate your card.

c.  We are heartless jerks who simply don’t care.

d.  5000 bees invaded our mailbox right after we put your card in there.

True Story.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you will know that my facebook page was “abuzz” last Wednesday with hysteria over a bee invasion.  It all began about an hour and a half after I had put some letters into my mailbox.  There was nothing strange going on out there at that time.  Just a little while later, I was walking through the living room and noticed something odd….a triangular thing hanging on the bottom of the mailbox.  This was my first view:

I realized it was bees, and frantically texted Jason, who seemed annoyingly amused.  Can I stress here that I was FREAKING OUT?  My friend, MK, was on the way over and I called her in a panic, warning her to have her windows closed when she pulled in the driveway and to drive as close to the house as she could.

The panic may or may not have escalated when she got there.  I may or may not have used the term “killer bees” and scared the stew out of Isaac.

The next hour involved me calling our pest control company, trying to locate a beekeeper, trying to make dinner, making frantic Facebook updates (because I wanted everyone else to know my plight), almost having a heart attack when an elderly man walked by my mailbox completely oblivious to the swarm there.  I was at the window, frozen, wanting to yell and warn him, but all that came out was a frantically concerned moan.  You know that sound.  Thankfully the bees left him alone.  Passing cars were stopping to take pictures.  My mailman nearly had a coronary and pulled into my driveway honking like a maniac.  I finally located a beekeeper who came straightaway to collect them.  By the time she got there, the cone o’ bees had grown to this size:

At that point, Jason was at home and while I was trying to make dinner, he was directing traffic and I was intermittently yelling for him to take pictures for the blog!!  The beekeeper’s strategy was that if she could get the queen into the cardboard box–yes, she was going to drive home in a regular car with 5000 bees in a cardboard box!!!!–the rest of the bees would follow.  But darned if it took forever to find the queen.  (And yes, this woman was scooping them into the box with her bare hands–talk about the heebie jeebies!!).  Finally, we had to remove the mailbox from the stand and the queen was underneath it.

So the question everyone want to know is why so many bees?  Why my mailbox?  And how did they get there so fast?  Basically (as I understand it) when a new queen is born, she takes a bunch of bees from the swarm and starts her own swarm.  A few bees head out to scout out a new location, and for whatever reason, they chose our mailbox.  So in a group of 5000, they traveled together to get to our mailbox.  The queen is heavier and flies more slowly and tires very easily, so when she stops to rest, the whole swarm waits there with her.  So basically, they had been traveling in this large group together.  So when I put the letters in the mailbox, there’s a pretty good chance that 5000 bees were hovering under the dogwood tree by the mailbox, resting.  Or maybe across the street somewhere.  We know they were close because of how fast they invaded it.

Also, how do I know there were 5000?  It was an estimate by the beekeeper.  She said that 1300 bees weigh about 1 pound, and that once the box was full of the bees, the box felt like it weighed about 5 pounds.

I was amused at the way my cheapness manifested itself during the bee emergency.  Here was my thought sequence:

This is gonna cost a fortune!

I don’t care how much it costs, I want them gone.

(then I find out that beekeepers will remove them for free, because they are honey bees.)

What a relief.  I am so lucky that this is going to be free.

You know, now that I think of it, I should charge them for the bees!  This is money in their pockets!

Okay, calm down, just be grateful that the bees will be gone very soon.

Well, they should at least give me some free honey.

And that’s exactly what they did. 

I guess you could say it was a win-win.  They got new bees.  The bees got a home where they are actually wanted.  I got some free honey and a good blog story.  What more could you ask for?

 

Whatnot Wednesday April 4, 2012

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 12:33 PM

  • Since we eat such a strict diet around here, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that I don’t give the kids artificial colors either.  One day we were in CVS and Isaac saw a Spider Man pez dispenser.  He really, really wanted that candy, and I told him we couldn’t get it because it had bad ingredients and artificial colors.  He walked up and down the aisles of the store bemoaning very loudly, “I just wish I could have artificial colors!!  Why can’t I have artificial colors??”.
  • And believe it or not, you can do a fun easter basket without putting crap in it.  I went to a local store yesterday and stocked up on crap-free candy.  Even better, the chocolate was even fair-trade.  Talk about guilt free candy!
  • On the way home from vacation, we stopped to eat at a Cracker Barrel and Isaac was working in the little kids book they gave out.  With our help, he figured out this word scramble, which then read, “When you have a book, you can never be lonely”.  I read it to him and then he said, “of course not because someone would be there with you, reading to you!”.
  • Lastly, while we were on vacation, and eating out at a restaurant, Isaac announced loudly, “I have to go uber cray cray poo poo!!”.  Can’t remember if that was before or after he pulled a super absorbent tampon out of my purse, held it over his head, and cried, “Mommy, what is THIS???”.  Good times.

Need to clear your head?  Write your own Whatnot Wednesday post and link up below so that we can all see the randomness that fell out when you rinsed your brain.  Just don’t forget to link back here or grab my button–get your HTML on.

 

Protected: Spring Break in Pictures

Filed under: vacation — Elizabeth @ 9:40 AM

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Protected: In One Week’s Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 9:22 AM

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The Snacks they Love April 3, 2012

Filed under: food! — Elizabeth @ 9:10 PM

I promise this is not turning into a food blog.  Although I did make the cutest huevos rancheros tonight….

But that’s another story.  I love to hear about healthy snack ideas that kids actually love to eat, so I am going to share with you 2 snack recipes.  The first one is Isaac’s favorite, pumpkin muffins.

I made this batch gluten free for the first time so that Matthew and I could eat them too.  Nobody could even tell the difference!

Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

3/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

2 single serving cups of applesauce

1/2 cup pureed or canned pumpkin (I also sub in pureed butternut squash sometimes)

2 flax “eggs” (which equals out to 2 Tbsp. ground flax + 6 Tbsp. water)  or you could use eggs

You could also add 1/4 cup of raisins or walnuts, but we don’t.  My kids are purists.

Preheat oven to 400 and grease 12 muffin cups (although there is somehow enough batter to make about 14 muffins, LOL).  In one bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Combine all other ingredients in another bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Slowly blend the dry ingredients in.  Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

So now for Matthew’s favorite, and let me tell you, he is obsessed with these.  This is another recipe from the book, “gluten-free deliciously”.

Gingersnap Granola Bars

3 cups oat bran

1 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup almond butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins (we don’t add the raisins)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp salt

****Next time I make the recipe, I plan to increase the almond butter to 1 cup and decrease the brown sugar to 3/4 cup****

Combine all ingredients.  It will feel a bit dry–I use my hands to mix it.  Press it into a lightly greased 11×14 pan.  Bake at 350 until the edges begin to brown.  I honestly can’t remember how long.  20 minutes?  Let the pan sit for about 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven and then go ahead and slice them.  They end up being pretty crunchy!  Delicious.

So, please share your favorite homemade and healthy snacks with me!  Even if you think my kids may be allergic–I’ve gotten pretty good at substitutions!