Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our Thanksgiving: a couple of snapshots

 
Our Turkey.
Hubby had the real turkey smoked to a juicy perfection.
 
 
 
 
 
Our table. 
Our table.
Set by our 8 & 9 year old daughters.



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

our menu: Thanksgiving 2013

Some randomness since I haven't had time to write this week.

  • Smoked turkey
  • Baked ham
  • Roast & Potatoes
  • Dressing
  • Lasagna
  • Mac & cheese
  • Collard greens
  • String bean casserole
  • Candy Yams
  • Hawaiian salad
  • Cream cheese pound cake
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Dutch apple pie
  • Gravies
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Various beverages
whew, ....I'm beat.
 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thankful

Today I began to think about all the beautiful people who have impacted my life. My parents,
grandparents, brothers, aunts, husband and children who have helped to mold and shape me and given me so much love and life through the years. My uncles, cousins, teachers and friends who all make me incredibly glad to have them, to know or have known them because they've all touched my spirit in ways they'll never know. I'm thankful for you all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

this week at our house

Thank GOD it's Friday.😇
This week we had two parent teacher conferences,
Kinder and fourth grade. They went alright.
Watching my son gush and blush about his work was, interesting.👅
And then there was AC, nonchalant, somewhat shy...
puh-leaze! Neither me nor her teacher were buying it.
We both know the talkative know it all who is the real AC.👏
I'm proud of her, brain farts and all.
I had an 'ah-ha' moment about the standards
grading and my expectations.
It was a challenge to get the years of numbers and
percentage based A-F, Ace to Flunking grade system off my brain. 😌
Somehow having a Kindergartner
again helped it all make sense.
New school system, new rules, 'right'?
Or should I say 'ready'...to progress?
Ok, I'll admit it, that was lame. 😖
Of course not an uneventful week goes by in a family of 7.
It took some time to process to the point I felt like sharing
but my husband was the victim of an ignorant racial slur outside of
Tar-ge' the other night. 😠
He was so angry! So was I! Most of all I felt so bad.
It's hard to believe that people can be so stupid.
And just days apart our son tells us how he sometimes feels alone
and excluded at recess and...😪
I can't even talk or type about it now.
Our decision to move here has been both a blessing and a curse.
I remember how each of them struggled
their first years...
I wonder. I worry.
But why worry, when I can pray.🙏
On another note,
We're almost ready for Thanksgiving.
I've started grocery shopping.
Chopping veggies and making cornbread to freeze...
My Dad is coming out. 😊
Then we get a call.  My baby is sick...AGAIN. Fourth time this school year.
Uggh. The nurse said he spiked a fever and had chills.
SMH. Its been a rough start to school for him. 😓
Diva Daughter turns 8 Friday, or today depending on when I click the
publish link. She wants doughnuts at school, a tablet, a new doll, 80 "bucks",
dinner at Chili's and a cake at home. Ummmm, not happening! At least not this year.
We got a little more rest this week after Baby Girl let me put her to sleep
with her "magic carpet" and a book. Now, if we could just keep this up. 😫



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Thoughtful Thursday

 
perspective
over
perception
 
 
geek gear arrives 2014
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's okay...

I've joined a blog link up.
The topic this week...
 
Nugget On A Budget
 
..."it's okay". *GULP*
 
Here I go...
 
It's okay...
...That this post scares the piss outta me.
It's okay...
....that I just said typed the word piss
and 'outta'...and in one line at that.
It's okay...
...that I'm not exactly organic Annie;
we really are trying to change but the
bad stuff tastes so good.
Remember, "progress is a process".
Its okay...
...to take time out for Me.
It's okay...
...for hubby to have weekend diaper duty.
It's okay...
....that I 'm out of things I care to share, today.

 
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

something new in the kitchen

I love to cook....and bake.
I made my first pound cake at 9 years young.
My hubby loves to grill and smoke
and eat.
Our kids love to eat.

SMH. Seems like they rarely stop eating.
So, I try to introduce a healthy variety of food.
Eating veggies is rarely an issue at our table.
Now meat? Thats another post.
I guess we have a budding vegetarian in the family.

We like to try new things...
PacMan learned to use chopsticks at 4.
We are kinda becoming a family of foodies.
We love trying new dishes and gadgets
With all this being said...
why am I just now getting a griddle.
I love this thing.
I feel like, I have found the kitchen tool that will
forever change the way I cook.
Our next stove has to have a built in griddle.
I grill chicken breasts,
cheeseburgers (hubbys favorite lunch/late night snack)....
that I 'sometimes' enjoy making for him.
This one item has made my life so much easier.
Pancakes, pssst. No problem, eight at a time.
Sausage, sure honey...coming right up.
I mean have you ever tried to make grilled cheese
sandwiches for seven people in a round skillet?
Talk about a short order circus.
Anyhow, I'm thankful :)
for the latest addition
to our kitchen gadget collection.
So...readers, talk to me...
what kitchen tool or gadget are you
reaching for most often?



Friday, November 15, 2013

Spring Fashion Forecast

I love fashion.
As a beginning blogger I was uber excited to learn about the 1015 Spring Fashion forecast contest.
The first Spring 2014 trend I’d like to explore is COLOR.
I think the IT colors for spring 2014 will be bold and bright fuchsias,
pungent yellow, royal blues and all kinds of oranges.
Along with eye catching colors I think fierce prints will be ever popular.
Prints like the Aztec inspired designs as well as some fresh patterns featuring
geometric shapes and playful color blocking....


To read the rest of my fashion forecast visit...
http://1015store.com/showroom/index/overview/id/1043

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mommes Pot Pie

Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie 
 
Fresh, frozen or canned veggies (I use a combination)
 


     I put in 2 bowls of fresh diced potatoes
 
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html
 
1 bag of frozen peas, a can of corn, can of chicken broth
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html
getting started
 
combine all those and cook on low
 
 
 
grill desired number of chicken breast (2-4) until done and cube

(I seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder)
add cubed chicken, can of cream of chicken and 1/2 can of milk
should look something like this...
 
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html
 
 line 2 baking dishes (one for top and 1 for bottom) with your favorite biscuits
  and bake accordingly 
 
( I only had one can so I made the top biscuits myself)




Fill one baker with fully cooked and seasoned (to taste)
chicken pot pie filling
and top the baker with the second biscuit batch
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html
 
bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes
 
and serve.
 

http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html

The recipe above is my own that I developed through trial and error, if you'd like to learn more or get other recipes sign up to follow our blog or check out cooking courses at Craftsy...

 
 
 
 
join me in this months
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A busy, busy time

So...in addition to our regular scheduled busy-ness we've also had a fourth grade concert, a dental emergency, four a.m. nosebleeds from you know where (hint: it rhymes with bell) and a very cranky Kindergartner (see next post). Regardless, I thought it was about time I did this post...
 
Things We Do in OT (part 1)
   
If you know me then you know my motto:
"Progress is a Process".
 
It has been over a year now since our journey
to wellness began.
Its been about 8 weeks since our occupational therapy began.
I say "our" because I feel like "we" meaning my husband and I
are learning just as much as our daughter about how to best help
her and accommodate her so that she has less stress, anxiety and can
focus her attention on being the happiest, healthiest child she can be.
 
Anyhow, the first thing we learned in OT, is how much weight and
deep pressure can relax her.
Swinging, deep pressure activities and weighted blankets and toys are
our friends. Weighted stuffed animals are our favorites.
Having one on her lap during table time allows her to calm and sit a
few minutes so we can work on pre-school things.
 I'm adamant about trying every avenue other than medicating our child.
I just cannot drug my child in order to conform to the mainstream.
And I'm not judging! I can only speak for me and mine.
I've had many moms ask how OT has helped versus medicating.
 Many moms assume its all finger paints and finger plays but its not.
 In just a few short weeks we began to really see a difference and
we've picked up some ideas for at home along the way. So here it is...
 
 
  •         core exercises such as yoga
  •         hand eye coordination exercises
  •         body sox (increase body awareness, balance, coordination and its quite therapeutic)
 
 
 
                                      
 

 
  •  there are finger painting, finger play days (this helps with fine motor and handwriting)    
 

  • our favorite sensory integration that we do at home (other than painting and water play) is foam
 
 
 
  • another favorite are the awesome swings that provide deep pressure and relax
 
  • the ball pit
 
  • round scooter to strengthen her arms
(it took a few visits but I was so proud when she finally tried)
 
 
Here she is on it with Wontee.
 
 
  •  deep pressure roller this is good for body awareness, her joints  and she's building strength
as she crawls out to me
 
 
 
 
Not every visit has been easy but I'm grateful to God, my hubby and to be there with her learning, grateful she has a therapist who can take a lick and not give up or loose her cool. We've got LOTS more to do...(just watch who she becomes). I'll be back with part two after the holidays. Much love!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Momme's Whole Cranberry Sauce

1 12ounce package of cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of grape seed oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves

coat sauce pot with oil and warm
add cranberries, juice & water
cook on low until tender


...........here mine are before they soften.


add sugar & seasonings and simmer
until desired consistency
remove from heat and
let sauce stand.

I pack mine in a container
and refrigerate, until I'm ready to serve them...no more than seven days
unless you freeze them or pressure can them.


 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you.

I would like to take this moment and this day to thank our men and women of service. Personally, professionally these individuals and their families make tremendous sacrifices on our behalf and for that I salute you all. Happy Veterans Day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

K5 Update

We are a couple weeks into our review of K5 Learning and my second and fourth graders really love it.


www.k5learning.com


The first week we took our time exploring what was on the site and they took assessments.
After their assessments were scored I was able to log in and view their score reports. I was happy to see that their scores were on par with their abilities with them scoring well above grade level in their favorite subjects and on level in those that they usually need more practice in. 

The second week they worked on  a number of exercises choosing from Reading, Math and Spelling.

During the second week my Kindergartener and I began exploring the site but he shows little interest at this point. He still prefers more animated programs like abcmouse and starfall.

Our thoughts so far: The kids love that they have their own log in names and passwords. I love that I can log in anytime to view assessment results, program progress and even choose assignments and grade levels for each student.

I'm excited to see what the upcoming week will have in store as well as see if the K5 has any impact on their first trimester grades.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Craftsy

Craftsy has a ton of exciting cake design courses.
 
 I'm currently taking the Modern Cake design but plan on
 taking the Designer Handbag cake course next. 
Who's with me? Anybody?
These type of things just happen to be better with a friend
 to motivate and inspire.
 Leave a comment below if you're interested.


Designer Handbag Cakes

Retail Price: 39.99

Clean & Simple Cake Design

Retail Price: 39.99

Design Your Own Castle Cake

Retail Price: 39.99

Cake Design Made Simple: The Wedding Dress

Retail Price: 39.99

Cake Design Made Simple: Art Deco with Lindy Smith

Retail Price: 39.99

Gravity-Defying Cake Designs

Retail Price: 39.99

Vintage Cake Design: Sculpting & Stenciling

Retail Price: 39.99

Simply Modern Cake Design

Retail Price: 39.99

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Confessions from a fourth grade party crasher:

I did it.

I crashed my fourth graders Halloween party.

Why?

I'm that kind of mom;

plus this year she went from cutesy cute costume to...
tween girly costume and I felt some type of way.

Well...

What did I find? Sugar, sugar and more sugar?
What did I expect? It's Halloween.

I guess I didn't expect our little lady to be
spinning in a huge ice cream Sundae
topped with every candy on the bar;
gum balls, gummy worms...
you name it, it was on her Sundae .

As I stood there listening to her and her friend
go on and on about how cool the party was
and how there were games and some sort of eating contest
I looked around and PANIC (in my head)
all of a sudden my mother of a mind went
from a sugared up fourth grade class party
to a liquored up frat party




and I did not like that.


It was all too much.

What next?
(fifth grade that's what)


So, I reminded her to use her napkin
 and told her I'd be waiting in the parent pick up lane
(and don't forget your jacket)

As I sat seriously contemplating a return to private school
I wondered.


When did I become this mom?
This, buttoned up?
This...strict,stick in the *** mom?

Are you laughing?
Because I'm serious.

No really.
It took me all of thirty minutes to cool my head.

I'm kidding,(I think). 
I'm not so bad(outside my mind).


Just cautious, ever careful...
a little overprotective but that's okay.
Later we talked about the party, in pieces.


I realized I was overreacting (in my mind) :) Hi Wendy)
and that it REALLY was...just a fourth grade party


and then I prayed...that with HIS guidance, she turns out better than alright because this Mom thing,...is so serious.


 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

adidas

adidas has an incredible amount of new product right now, including some super cute tracksuits for kids; check them out...just in time for the Holidays! adidas Tracksuits and Jackets up to 20% Off through 11/14 Free Shipping at adidas.com through 11/14 Free Returns at adidas.com through 1/1/14

adidas Infants & Toddlers Firebird Track Suit

Retail Price: 50.00

adidas Hooded Flock Panda Track Suit

Retail Price: 55.00

adidas Firebird Track Suit

Retail Price: 50.00

adidas Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Fun Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Fun Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Firebird Track Suit

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adidas Icon Tricot Set

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adidas Luxe Velour Set

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adidas Impact Set

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adidas Luxe Velour Set

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adidas Icon Tricot Set

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adidas Firebird Tiger Track Suit

Retail Price: 55.00

Sunday, November 3, 2013

DisneyMusic - Classics Box

 http://bit.ly/DCBoxSet


Walt Disney Records has asked us to give our readers a headz up. Disney Music is set to release a 4 disc box set just in time for Christmas. Available November 12th...
 http://bit.ly/DCBoxSet
                                     ...Disney Classics; 94 songs in one beautiful bright package.

 As Disney lovers it was our honor to preview this music. As a mom I think the songs on the Theme Park Classics CD mean the most to me because they allow me to reminisce about fun times in the theme parks; its also fun to sing along to songs like "Under the Sea" from the Modern Classics with my 7 year old and watch my 2 year old dance to "Hot Dog" from the Television Classics...there's truly something for everyone.
  1. Disney Modern Classics
  2. Disney Theme Park Classics
  3. Disney Timeless Classics
  4. Disney Television Classics 

 http://bit.ly/DCBoxSet


The Disney Classics Box set is available for pre-order RIGHT NOW at http://bit.ly/DCBoxSet .




Walt Disney Records and One2One Network has asked us to inform our readers of this new release and provide our opinions. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.
#DisneyClassicsBox