Sunday, August 30, 2015

Some family parties and craziness

Some time to reflect on the last few weeks and share some things that have made me grateful.
No time to be depressed when you are happy for what you have.

Our family had 2 BBQs back to back since it is nearing the end of summer. It was nice to have hubby's family all together so our kids could spend some time with their grandparents.  Our kids are usually the only ones there but they are loved by everyone.

Dj and the girls

Randy, his father and grandmother

Koda, great grandma and adopted grandma

Randy and I also have been working heavily with the dogs. Shemp has been working on mastering tricks and getting his energy out and Magnar has been perfecting his obedience training.  

I have been art journaling like crazy and enjoying my guilty pleasure of Pokemon since my hands have been out of commission for crocheting due to my fibro and carpel tunnel.

Koda and Randy both also got new part time jobs this week. We are not sure how the future will hold for all of it but trying to be patient and taking it day by day. Randy will be doing janitorial work for a local park district and Koda is working at a groomer/pet boarding spa. 

Nanners and I finally exploring the gluten free diet and thriving on it. 

Also a very happy birthday to our kids godfather, DJ who joined us over the weekend. It is great having him around and the kids enjoyed hanging out with him.

I also spent the time watermarking all the photos for this post, in case you haven't noticed. :)

What are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Homemade Orange Chicken

With going gluten free for myself we often have to rethink dinner options as I hate having to make Randy be a short order cook and make different meals for everyone. When I cook for the entire family I am required to do 2 things: make sure its gluten free and according to Randy " it cannot taste like crap, birdseed or dirt."

...well thanks honey... no pressure right?

Here is the recipe to share and so I can remember how to make it again since I loved it so much. It reminded me a lot of Big Bowl's orange chicken and was much cheaper.

Ryguy also was my helper in cooking since he was having a rough night with several temper tantrums so I brought him close to me and his attitude changed greatly. Its amazing what responsibility and pride will do for an attitude.

San-J Gluten Free Asian Glaze & Stir-Fry Orange Sauce -- 10 fl oz approx. half a bottle
2 large boneless chicken breasts
1 green pepper
dried onion
garlic powder
white rice
veggie for side

-Start preparing rice normally, we make 2 cups dried/ 4 cups water normally.

-Dice chicken and chop pepper.

-Throw chicken and peppers in a separate pan and let your 2 year old pour in half of the bottle of sauce. It will thicken up and reduce so you can put a bit more for sure.

-Sprinkle garlic powder and dried onion all over the pan.  I could have used fresh onion and garlic but time is important to me.

-Mix occasionally until cooked through.

- Have Ryguy microwave corn.

 Place a large scoop of rice, chicken and corn on plate and serve. You can use more of the sauce as a dipping sauce however we found it to taste of alcohol too strongly without being cooked. Randy and I normally are not big drinkers so it caught us off guard for sure.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sending them off

This past week my brother, Uncle Ewok took my littles and Koda for the day to brag at his company picnic. It allowed Randy and I to go out to dinner for the first time in awhile. It was very enjoyable but even after awhile Randy and I didn't know what to do with ourselves without kids. Giddy did get dropped off afterwards for bed and Nanners,Ryguy and Koda spent the night at his new apartment. 


Mark, Beanie and Kirky also started school. Mark is starting middle school with Beanie and Kirky is still at the local high-school. It is very rough to know they are going to public school when we would prefer to have them home with us but praying for their safety and their knowledge daily.

It made me tear up a little knowing my littles are growing and getting bigger. Babies won't always need their mom and dad and will one day go on their own. Its always a reminder to enjoy the time with them while you have it.

 And when in doubt always add a fun photo of Daddy playing with Giddy. They are always making me smile.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Spending time with the kids

Some time to reflect on the last few weeks and share some things that have made me grateful.
No time to be depressed when you are happy for what you have.
 I was able to spend some time with the kids the last few weeks. We enjoyed some fishing and walking around at our local farm. The kids got use to having me home so they were very heartbroken when I went back to work.

Our Shrek production was successful and we got several compliments on our Dragon head and other costumes.

Getting 2 garbage clothes for the kids for this fall.

Going to the renaissance fair with the family. The kids loved dressing up as pirates and fairies.

I have been tracking my diet for 20 days now! Its been hard for me but it was a visual reminder of how much crap garbage I was eating. Its been hard to up my protein as much as the chiropractor  wanted but I have slowly been feeling a little better due to it.

We went to a company picnic with my work where the kids were able to do a petting zoo and ride a camel. Ryguy and Nanners were very excited by all of the animals.

A plentiful garden and we were blessed to be visited by Stella our traveling gnome from our swap.

Our family could really use some prayers right now as well as we have some good opportunities coming our way but are very unsure of which way to go with it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015-2016 Planning

This summer has been a whirlwind for planning. Originally I was told "Expect 2 of the kids to come join us again full time, but I'm not sure when." This sent me into a spiral as all I could think of was "Are they coming or not and do I have to have things prepared school wise for them?" It honestly stressed me out. Our families have never had anything through the court which has always been a double edged sword. We call the shots on mutual agreements and under the kids requests and best interest. Luckily we can compromise on most things normally in a reasonable time frame. After 3 months of deliberations it was decided that the kids will spend 1 more year with their mom and then we will reevaluate. This will allow Beanie to finish out middle school with her friends.

So what does that mean for our home? I will have Nanners, Ryguy and Giddy home full time with Koda, who is already done. So I only will have a kinder in my home and some tag-a-longs. It honestly does relieve me knowing that I will have much less on my plate to allow me to focus on my health.

For our book list we are still following the Five in a Row recommendations. I love that they are high quality books with classic illustrations, most are non TV based ( with the exception of Babar and Corduroy which came much later) and normally has some pretty mild but needed themes.

I am planning on 1 book for about 2 weeks as we only do formal lessons 2-3 days a week. I personally feel a great start as I feel literature unit studies will transition well to main lesson blocks. This also gives me something more concrete to leave with hubby as he does some schooling if I am too tired and its easy for him to grab a book and do a craft or activity. Very simple and little pressure.

I have an accordion folder with a planning sheet from here for each book as it has a section for everything. We are trying to include a bible verse or lesson for each book and make a point to do a food craft of some sort as well. There may or may not be a sensory bin as I love them for the littles but might be difficult for some books.

For extra curricular we are keeping it simple with the Awana program with church.

Our school schedule will start this month and our first book will be A Pocket for Corduroy . I am excited to see how this year will turn out.

What are your plans for this year?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sewing my first skirt

I finally made my first attempt at a skirt for Nanners. I had put it off for YEARS since I was so scared of it looking horrid. Our sewing machine is highly temperamental so I decided to save myself a headache and  just hand stitch all of it.  I purchased 3 bed sheets from Salvation Army and cut all the pieces from this pattern.  

I love how it ended up and am planning on making "matchy match" versions for the bigger girls.