Wednesday, December 29, 2010

EC The Beginning

I first heard about EC when I read The Diaper Free Baby. I had a vague idea that this practice was used since my husband is from Ukraine and a friend of his explained that they "cue" their babies to use the potty. She did not explain anything further. I tried to "cue" my two boys when they were babies and by 18 months they each were wanting to use the potty on their own. However, I did not know how to proceed- do they wear underwear when going out or put them in a pull-up? What if they don't want to wear a diaper but I'm not willing to clean up another miss? Should I insist they use the potty even when they don't want to go?

I had a lot of questions and didn't know where to turn. Many of my friends warned me that teaching boys to use the potty too early would actually cause delays later. I unfortunately gave in and kept them in diapers. My oldest had bowel problems through kindergarten and finally turned a new leaf in 1st grade. My second child was potty trained and out of diapers even at night when he turned 4. He was a challenge because he would only poop in his diaper when he went in for his afternoon quiet time. My parents finally promised him a week at their house only if he was potty trained. That did it!
Finally, when my third child was 6 months old, I discovered the above book at the library. I started applying the principles off and on. By the time she was 13 months she was using the potty regularly and at 2 she goes on her own. With such exciting results I new I wanted to try it with a newborn but was unsure it would be as easy since we had a boy. I started EC with my 4th child on December 13th and he was just about 5 weeks old.

The first time I held him over the toilet, I cued him by say "psss" and he peed all over his feet! It seemed to come so naturally aside from the discomfort of wet feet. But this wasn't ideal and it was very uncomfortable for both of us!

The next day I cradled him over the little potty after his naps, and he went again. I noticed after I fed and burped him he would try to wiggle up my shoulder and seemed uncomfortable. I would put him on the potty and he would pee.

What has surprised me so far is how much my little guy can go! Even if we wakes up with a wet diaper, he will pee on the potty then a short time later have another wet diaper! What is a challenge is determining when he has to poop versus having to burp. Many times he will be struggling while sitting on the potty and finally has a big burp.

For me there has been a lot of second guessing at the beginning. Is he crying because of x, y, or z? There are also times when I'm just too tired to get down with him next to the potty and sit while he tries to go. Sometimes he is fussing in the middle of the night because he wants to go potty yet at 2 am I'm opting for some extra sleep. However, I have seen a great improvement in his sleeping habits since going on the potty. He is less fussy at night and when he goes on the potty in the middle of the night he goes back to sleep quickly.

So far, this has been a real bonding experience. Just like understanding when he is hungry, overstimulated or needs to burp, noticing when he has to pee is just as natural. Watching his big sister cue him and then he immediately goes is also a lot of fun. And not having to wipe up a big blow out is a big plus!! I have saved on diapers and wipes but I'm not really counting.

I'll be posting more as the time progresses to keep a record of how it's going. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment if you have done this before. I'd love to hear from others!

New Year prep!

The New Year is fast approaching. I love welcoming in another year. For me it is a chance to evaluate my routines, challenge myself and start fresh again. I know people have mixed feelings about making resolutions, but I find them helpful. I think of it as setting goals. If I don't put any thought to how I live, things will probably stay the same and I won't be living to my fullest potential. Some people don't like to stick to a list. They feel it doesn't allow for spontaneity. Well, I know from experience, even with things like menu planning, if I don't plan, we eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day. How boring is that? (Don't get me wrong, I do love a good Pb&J sandwich!) My point is, without a plan, you are less likely to see your progress in a certain area and less likely to change.

This week I stumbled across a blog that is providing challenging questions for various areas in our lives. There are a lot of good suggestions which I am going to apply to my own life. You can check it out here: I would love to hear what resolutions/goals you make for the New Year. One of my first will be posting more regularly on my blog!

Happy New Year!

Menu Plan Dec 29-Jan 7

Cheesy ham and pasta bake
I added roasted red peppers and marinated artichokes. Next time I'll leave them out.
Kids liked the ham and pasta the most.

Asian Shrimp and Edamame over rice
Stir fry green onions & garlic with edamame. Add shrimp and cook until done. For sauce mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 4 tbsp soy sauce and add to shrimp. Sprinkle 2 tsp brown sugar, mix and serve.
This was a great impromptu meal! It had good flavor, a nice thick sauce and best of all my 2 year old gobbled up 7 shrimp!

South Beach diet Turkey meatloaf with mushrooms and beans
Baked potato and corn
Good, hearty dish. My kids liked the ground turkey and beans and didn't mind the mustard sauce.

Ground beef Fajitas with rice and homemade salsa
Verdict: frying the tortillas before adding the filler gives them a great taste and enables me to fold them closed with the filling inside for the kids. Family favorite!

Pizza Hut Pizza
Using my son's book-it coupons and preparing for the New Year!
Verdict: note to self- don't order pepperoni even if all the kids say they love it (they don't!)

Pork spareribs - new recipe
Spanish rice, corn

Orange Chicken over rice, broccoli

Breakfast for dinner- scrambled eggs & cheese bagels with bacon

Ham Bean Soup with biscuits

Spaghetti and vegetables
pizza dough twists stuffed with cheese

Ground turkey stuffed red peppers

Homemade Pizza and Salad
Pumpkin pie chocolate chip muffins

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

With school beginning next week I'm trying to get back on track with meal planning.
This week's plan:
Caesar Chicken Salad

Grilled Lemon Chicken

South Beach Dijon Ginger Pork
Mashed Potatoes
Carrots and Broccoli
Strawberries with whipped cream



End of Summer getaway!
Since we will be in a condo with a full kitchen, I am planning on bringing foods easy to prepare:
Salmon & tuna cakes, Spaghetti with sauce and pre-made pancake mix for breakfasts.

Does anyone else have easy to travel meals they can recommend? For other great meal planning ideas head over to Organizing Junkie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What a week!

Hi Company Girls!

It's been a tough week around here. Our septic system backed up and our finished basement was flooded. After painstakingly trying to mop up the overflow from the bathroom that reached the living room we called the insurance and they sent a cleaning crew. Praise God for companies that clean these messes professionally! Today they ripped out all the contaminated areas which included gutting out the small kitchen, part of the wood floor in the hallway and living room and taking out the vanity and sink in the bathroom. WOW! Now we have to get the insurance adjuster to realize how much of a disaster this was. At least now I can walk down there without gagging!

Ironically, when we went into our side of the basement which was untouched it smelled worse than the clean side! We soon realized that the couch had a very bad odor and discovered a small hole underneath that we assume a mouse crawled in and never made it out. Now that couch is joining all the other items waiting to be thrown out. What a day!

But it is not without some major blessings-
My 5 yr old son, seeing how distraught I was through dealing with the above mess said "Mom, I love you!" And gave me a big hug!

I had my 20 week ultrasound and saw a beautiful little baby moving all around oblivious to all the chaos. We are waiting to find out the sex and want to be surprised for the first time!

Yesterday, a gal from church invited us over and fed the kids and I lunch providing a much needed haven of rest away.

And, today, another gal from church called and asked if she could bring dinner over tonight! We loved the food, especially the kids, and were so thankful for her love for us.

My husband keeps asking "What is God trying to teach us through all this?" I'm not totally sure, but I do know that He proved Himself faithful in sustaining me, helping me clean up an unbearable mess, provided timely cleaners, and wonderful sisters in Christ to build us up and display God's love. We do serve a loving God who does take care of us!

To hear what other gals did this week check out Company Girl Coffee. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's your response?

I have been convicted lately of how little patience I have toward my children. This was made more clear when a friend sharing prayer requests asked that she would not have a reactionary response in dealing with her children. That phrase "reactionary response" made me think of how quickly I blow things out of proportion when handling situations between my kids. I respond based on my emotions and not on biblical truth. What is worse, I am undermining my own instruction for them to be kind when I lose my temper or raise my voice.

In Romans 2:1-5 Paul addresses this very same attitude.
"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man- you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself- that you will escape the judgement of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed."

I love that God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. If we ask God to forgive us, He will! What is more astonishing is that we can pray "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Ps. 51:10 So you and I don't have to be burdened down under our sin but can start anew each moment. What a wonderful truth!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hair we go!

Good morning Company Girls. I thought I'd join in on Rachel Anne's discussion on hair.

If you would like to hear what she and other gals have to say on the matter head over to Company Girl Coffee.

It's funny, my mom and I were discussing hair issues this afternoon before I had a chance to read Rachel's post. Our topic was the "ex-hairstylist guilt" because she just switched from using her neighbor who cut her hair for five years to another salon stylist. She was thrilled with her new "stacked" hairstyle, even learning some new terminology, but had a sense of guilt for dropping her neighbor. I shared similar thoughts even though I haven't been using my stylist that long. My husband and I use the same gal. He gets a great cut but I get hit or miss. Last time it was a BIG miss and now I'm thinking of switching to another hairstylist in the same salon. I would feel bad if I see my old stylist since I don't want to hurt her feelings. I guess I could always schedule my cut on her day off.

So, that leads me to wonder- what is the proper etiquette when leaving your hairstylist? Anyone have thoughts or suggestions? I would love to hear it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do Everything unto the Lord

We chose to play outside first thing this morning since it looked like a scorcher was headed our way by afternoon. My two youngest were in the sandbox, playing or arguing over the sand and throwing it at each other. I talked to them again and they agreed on how to play "nicely".

So I finally pulled on my weeding gloves, pulled out the hedge trimmer and went to work. After getting the extension cord pulled out and plugged in I start on one side of the grass when I look at both kids crying with fistfuls of sand, faces and hair covered! I think to myself "Am I not going to get any work done around here?"

That's when it hit me. Training and teaching these little ones how to respond and act IS my work! Sure, I may like the visual satisfaction of a trimmed lawn and weeded garden so I can say "see what I accomplished today!" But the daily heart issues that need to be "pruned" in my kids' heart is so much more important.

Nicole, over at Girltalk, quotes John Piper's book on Ruth which I think is so to the point.

"Everything we do in obedience to God, no matter how small, is significant. It is part of a cosmic mosaic that God is painting to display the greatness of his powers and kingdom to the world and to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10). A deep satisfaction of the Christian life is that we are not given over to trifles. Serving a widowed mother in law, gleaning in a field, falling in love, having a baby—for the Christian these things are connected to eternity. They are part of something so much bigger than they seem" (p. 121).
We read in Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

So whatever you are facing today, remember that God has ordained your path. Look for the opportunities He is giving you to show grace, truth, obedience and joy through the way you interact with others.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Thanks

I thought it would be good to recall some of the things I'm thankful for from the past week.

Women's bible study: the group of women I meet with each Wed. are so encouraging and the study of God's word is so edifying, I'm grateful to be a part of it!

Parent's Visit: my Dad hauled away a lot of fallen branches and my mom raked the driveway! Always a big help!

Healthy and safe children: especially since my 2 yo ran out into a busy parking lot before I could grab her.

Healthy 16 week check-up: pregnancy is going along smoothly!

Cool weather: our AC has been broken and won't be replaced until June 4th

Restful times: it has been nice to get naps in the afternoon and have more energy

Happy moments: I've been trying to recognize the fun things my kids do more often rather than focus so much on the things they do wrong

Encouraging testimony: my husband shared his testimony at church this morning and I am so thankful for God's work in his heart

What things are you thankful for?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Who is in Charge?

After a long absence (I'm pregnant and the first trimester is over giving me a bit more energy and no morning sickness!) I'm jumping back in to some of my favorite blogging connections. So hello Company Girls!

Friday was one of those days when I thought "Who is in charge around here?" Without realizing it, I let my kids run the show for most of the day. It wasn't the blatant attitude "I don't care what you do" but rather "Sure we can do this instead" rather than facing their reaction if I said "No".

Scene 1 The Grocery Store
I had a few things to pick up and took my two younger children in the morning to the store. My 4 yr old spies the cute green little cart "Child in Training" and wants to push it around. I agree but didn't anticipate my 2 yr old's insistence on wanting to push it too and immediately I have two major tantrums over who can push. We decide to share the pushing and I was glad to hear my youngest saying "Your turn". I thought "Great! This will be a good sharing opportunity" But in the midst of focusing on how far each can push and making sure they don't run into people I forgot sandwich bags and tissues AGAIN! So I will have to make another trip because NO WAY am I folding things in saran wrap and using toilet paper for another whole week!

Lesson learned: I should have determined what mode of "transportation" we were using inside the store before going in and set down the guidelines with the kids before getting out of the van.

Scene 2 The Library
We had to return DVDs to the library before it closed in 1/2 hr. I had all 3 kiddos and explained our game plan before we left. Of course I forgot to tell them no walking on the 3 ft high brick wall near the entrance ramp which is what they want to do first thing. I get them off and try to corral them aside when my 4 yr old runs in ahead. So off to the bathroom we go for more instruction and setting down the first consequence. All is good and we head to the return section. My oldest is doing a great job of putting the books and videos in the right slot when my 2 yr old spots her book she wants to put it in after it's already gone. She screams at the top of her lungs, tries to bite my shoulder, spits and is downright out of control. Every eye is on ME! I apologize and couldn't find the exit fast enough. I'm trying to control Little Missy, when you guessed it, my boys climb up that 3 ft wall and want to walk AGAIN! I get my 4 yr old down who has a total melt down because he wanted to JUMP down and while tending to him my 2 yr old runs down the ramp right toward the parking lot. AGHH! I couldn't get them into the van fast enough. Could things be any more out of control? Since we still had to pick up my husband from work I informed them of their consequences that they would have when they got home.

Lesson Learned: Although I did have a game plan ahead of time I can see a lack of consistent obedience especially with the boys when told to stop. They push the envelope and I need to be better at addressing that when they are home and are not in the midst of the "battle". My little girl obviously gets her way far more regularly than I realized. I think I'll need to establish firmer boundaries at home and help her deal with "no" in a more controlled way.

A glimmer of hope: After returning home with my husband right at dinner time, I forgot to address my little girl's outburst. (The other area I need to be more consistent in!) She comes into the kitchen and motions for me to discipline her! When I went through our little routine she says "Thanks Mommy!" and runs along as happy as can be!

I'm still digesting everything from the course of the day and am sure there will be other things I'll realize need improvement. But the biggies: having a plan, being clear with the boundaries, not being afraid to say "no" and following through, give me enough to work on right now.

I'd love to hear any lessons you've learned this week!

If you would like to catch up on what other gals did this week head over to Company Girl Coffee.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Recipes May 14th-21st

Alfredo with Shrimp and Peas- my oldest son saw this and requested it immediately!

Dinner: out

Kung Pao Chicken w/ broccoli and rice

Soy beans, Fries


Turkey Meatball Subs


Monday, May 10, 2010

First Swim Lesson

Evan started swim lessons today! He has 6 30 min. classes with other 3-5 year olds to teach them how to get in and out of the water, blow bubbles and float on their fronts and backs. The basics. He loves water but both boys hate getting their face wet. So I'm hoping this will be a good introduction.

The class only has 3 kids! The instructor, (Mike) starts off having them play ring-around-the-rosie and then tells them when they fall down into the water to start blowing bubbles! Evan likes the falling down but doesn't blow bubbles. Then, without any explanation of how to hold your breath, Mike tells Evan to find the rings at the bottom of the pool and get his face wet! I'm thinking "Doesn't this guy know they are only beginners!". So far, Evan is having a blast and manages to get the rings without going under. Then he gives them noodles and tells them to start swimming around. Evan is splashing and kicking and gulping tons of water. This is not so much fun. I explained to the instructor he doesn't know how to get his face wet. He ignores me. He notices Evan's noodles slips so he twists it behind his back to secure it and then gives him a BIG shove into the water. Evan's head goes completely UNDER the water and comes up nearly gagging. He's crying, coughing and immediately wants nothing to do with swimming. I yelled at the guy "Are you trying to drown him?!!" He simply replies "Buddy that was your best attempt yet!"

To my surprise and after my coaxing, Evan goes back in and finishes the class but does not like it anymore. I immediately complained to the Rec's supervisor. She informed me that this guy was a sub filling in for the normal teacher. What a relief! Another older teacher overheard me and said she would take Evan in and teach him herself for a while. Evan reluctantly agreed. She was GREAT! She showed him how to blow bubbles, how far to go into the pool by himself, how to bounce up and down like a bunny if he's a little too deep and swim like a crocodile. Evan was smiling, having a blast and was so excited! What a blessing this woman, Mary, was!

I assured Evan that Mike will never teach his class again since he was such a bad teacher and that he will have a great new teacher next week. Thankfully he is looking forward to another class and watching his brother's first swim lesson on Saturday. Let's hope he doesn't have Mike as a teacher too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hello fellow menu planners! This is my first time participating. Usually I end up blogging about the meals I made after the fact since things always change once I get to the store. Sometimes my main ingredient looks terrible in the store, is sold out or I forgot to buy something! Then I have to rethink a meal or two. Do others ever have this problem? Should I plan extra back-up meals each week to rely on in the pantry? I would love any suggestions!

Menus this week April 5th-11th
Leftover Ham dinner

Hamburg&Turkey Meatballs over pasta, Salad, bread

Seasoned Cod , broccoli, brown rice

Calico Bean Soup w/ leftover ham , biscuits

Friday (my parents arrive!)
Homemade Pizza (hubby & I date night)

Saturday (my early birthday celebration dinner!)

Simple Sunday (Birthday lunch out!)
Cheese ravioli w/ roasted eggplant, onion & peppers mixed with tomatoes, feta & basil
French Bread

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Dinner

We enjoyed a wonderful Easter with some friends from church. After an egg hunt which included candy filled eggs and Resurrection Eggs we had dinner. Next time I think I'll turn the Resurrection Eggs it into a treasure hunt and talk about the significance of each item during dinner.

The menu included:

Slow-Cooked Ham- had good flavor but tended to dry out since I had to cut it down to fit
Twice Baked Potatoes- very yummy
Glazed Carrots- simmered in orange juice w/ honey drizzled on top
Spinach, cranberry & pecan salad w/ lemon vinaigrette (I added a clove of garlic)
Amish Biscuits
Coconut Angel Squares- absolutely delicious (I didn't mix coconut into the pudding only 3/4 c on top)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Menus for this week
I'm trying to
Sundays, Tuesdays- Yogurt & Muffins
Mondays, Thursdays, Saturday- Cereal w/ toast
Wednesdays- Irish Oatmeal w/ dried apricots
Fridays- Pancakes w/ choc. chips & sausage
Things I'm hoping to try: Apple Fritters, Yummy Apricot Breakfast Bars

Lunch Choices (Kids & Mine)
Egg salad Sandwich , Chicken Salad Sandwich w/apples, PB & honey roll-ups, Ham & cheese roll-ups, roasted chicken strips w/ cubed cheese, chef-salad, pine-nut orzo salad, Couscous w/ artichokes, feta & sun-dried tomatoes

cheese sticks, carrot, apple slices, dates, wheat crackers

Friday- Spaghetti w/ meatballs, bread & salad (hubby & I date night!)
Saturday- cheese pizza for kids, spinach, mushroom, goat cheese pizza for adults
Simple Sunday- Meatball sandwiches w/ salad
Monday- Roasted Veggies Salad (eggplant, red onion & tri-color peppers) mixed w/ fresh diced tomato, moz. cheese & fresh basil w/ olive oil over frozen cheese raviolis, bread & salad Tuesday- Roasted chicken, Baked potatoes, glazed carrots
Thur.- Baked Ham, Mac&Cheese, broccoli
Fri.- Baked fish, rice & zuchini & tomato

Friday, March 5, 2010

Company Girl

Good afternoon ladies! I have some leftover chocolate chip pancakes and tea if anyone is still hungry.

This week has slowly progressed. Each day it seemed like I was taking two steps backwards with little forward movement. I think feeling slightly under the weather on top of frequent nights of interrupted sleep has its effects.

But now I'm shouting for joy because I was finally able to cross off my to-do list- searching for a new insurance carrier! I've been putting it off but this morning hubby took the kids so I could actually think while I'm comparing quotes with an agent. And boy did it pay off. We were trying to switch since our primary ins. company was raising rates because of two little offenses. While I was losing hope of finding a competitive rate GEICO came through actually SAVING us $400!

Thanks to Rachel Anne's daily small things to do, I have been able to get a few things done. Cleaning under my kitchen sink has been on my list for a long time. Now I just have to get some containers to put like items together so people other than myself know where things belong. :)
Before After

I also found a fun game for my son to do using dominoes. You can download the template here. He really enjoyed counting the dots and placing them in the correct spot.

My little girl is still adjusting to sleeping in her toddler bed. Wed. I found her asleep during her nap in her hamper! I wish I could fall asleep so easily!
Now I'm preparing for a full weekend with my son attending an indoor soccer practice, a birthday party and then we're having dinner guests coming.
Have a great weekend!

If you would like to catch up on what other gals did this week head over to Company Girl Coffee.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Party Fun

Good afternoon Company Girls! Sorry there is nothing yummy to eat today because I'm all chocolate out!

It has been so nice getting back into a routine now that we have dug out of the snow and school is open again. There is something about structure and set times that helps me get so much more done.

Last Sunday night we hosted a Valentine's Parents' Night Out and although most families had to cancel last minute because of various illnesses, one little boy came and my boys were thrilled.
On the agenda for the evening was a Guessing Game which entailed guessing how many little dinosaurs were hidden in bags filled with red tinsel. If they guessed right they could keep them.
My daughter didn't want the red stuff contained so she dumped it out on her blanket.

Then we had a treasure hunt looking for red chocolate hearts. The kids are listening to instructions before the hunt begins.
The kids gave one another Valentine's and then they each made a Valentine card for Mom and Dad. We found the idea for Treat Transmitters in the Family Fun magazine. Although, after making 26 for my son's class, I realized this was way more time consuming than I anticipated! My son agreed so he created his own- Walking Stick Valentine!

After dinner they had a go at a heart pinata I made. This was our girl's first time hitting a pinata and she did not hold back at all! Thankfully my oldest was able to break it!

Overall the evening was a blast and a great way to spend Valentine's. I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day and know that each and every day we are "loved with an everlasting love!". Jer. 31:3

If you would like to catch up on what other gals did this week head over to Company Girl Coffee.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowed In!

We have been hit hard for the last two weeks getting back to back snowstorms producing a record total of @55 inches of snow!!! No school for over a week for the kids and my hubby has had almost the whole week off. The above are some pictures around the house. We not only have the snow keeping us in but menacing icicles hanging down on windows. Just make sure you don't stand under them when they suddenly fall!
This is a view from the back of our house as the sun is rising in the morning. It certainly takes my breath away. I love God's handiwork! The white, clean snow does remind me of how gracious our heavenly Father is and that He renews our hearts and makes us clean again through His Son, Jesus.

A glimpse of the deserted busy street in front of our house. I have really enjoyed the quiet that the snow creates.

I also enjoy baking since we have been stuck inside. I made these Valentine doughnuts the other day. Delicious!

Hopefully next week kids will be back to in school creating bringing us back to normal. Now I have to get ready for Parent's Night Out that we are hosting on Valentine's night so kids can have fun while parents enjoy a romantic night out. Can't wait!
Enjoy your weekend!
If you would like to catch up on what other gals did this week head over to Company Girl Coffee.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Valentine's Doughnuts

So we are snowed in and I decided what better way to spend a day inside than to have homemade doughnuts! I bought some cookie cutter hearts at the dollar store the other day and tried them out. It was quite fun and I love how the big hearts kept their uniform shape!

I used this simple Cake Doughnuts recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.
3 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 beaten eggs
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c milk
1/4 c margarine, butter or melted Shortening

In mixing bowl stir together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer till thick. Combine milk and melted butter in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternatively to egg mixture, beating just till blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour. Cover dough, chill about 2 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2 " thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter.

Fry 2-3 doughnuts at a time. (I melted 3-4 big spoonfuls of Shortening since I needed to use it up anyway and had plenty.) Heat oil 375 degrees and cook 1 min. on each side.

Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels.

I sprinkled a little confectioners sugar and served them hot!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Edible Counting

I picked up this idea from one of my favorite blogs Chasing Cheerios. Although I didn't have marbles, I did have Skittles, so I improvised. I managed to do 5 different number exercises with my little guy all in one sitting.

1. I numbered small pieces of paper 1-8 (I only had 8 Skittles) and placed them in the tray.

2. I had Eager to Help put the Skittles in ascending order and then return them to the bowl.
3. I then added a 1 in front of the numbers explaining that the numbers now change. I wrote 11-18 on a piece a paper distinguishing 11 and 12 from the remaining teen numbers. I put the numbers in the tray all mixed up. He had to put the Skittles in ascending order naming each number.

4. Now was the fun part. He could pick one Skittle at a time to eat if he said the right number underneath it.

5. After he finished eating, we dumped the numbers out and then he placed them on the number line.

We had fun with this activity and it was very simple to do. It combined numbers that were both easy (1-8) and challenging (11-18) for my little guy and kept him thinking. Of course, it didn't hurt that there was a yummy treat he could enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. So I thought it would be fun to link up for my first Not Me Monday. But of course, it was a normal, orderly week around here and the following could not have happened.

I did not mismatch my husband's suit giving him dark blue pants and a black jacket on a day he had to appear in court. And he did not call as soon as I walked in from dropping him off asking me to bring in the matching jacket. And of course, I did not have to dress the kids again for another 40 min. drive.

I did not have my daughter sit on a plastic shopping bag because in between the above mentioned trips to my husband's work she had an accident in her car seat.

I did not let my insistent 2 yr old daughter wear her pajama top under her nice outfit to church yesterday.
I didn't take extra trips to the bathroom just so I could finish a great book I was reading without being bothered.

I didn't manage to clean the pile of boxes in our basement only to have the rest of the house get torn apart by the kids.

I didn't discover my husband's lunch cooler which had been sitting around for 4 days with a container that almost made me sick and had to be thrown away.

I'm not the kind of mom who puts the cookies up so high the kids forget about them and I am stuck eating them so they won't go bad.

And I would never put one of our favorite cereals behind all the other cereals so I can enjoy some of it before it's devoured by the kids.

I'd love to hear what you haven't done the past week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I won!

I just found out I won my first ever online giveaway- a free workshop on Organizing! Thanks to Laura at Organizing Junkie and Aby Garvey at Simplify 101 for offering this. I can't wait to participate!

Box attack!

Well after a long absence (my internet was down) I'm trying to get back in the loop. It was great having to go without my daily internet fix while a good friend debugged our computer. I was struck by how much entitled "down time" I give myself each day while I surf the web. I need to exercise constraint - but don't I also need to catch up on what happened on all my favorite blogs during my time off? lol.

So what did I do to occupy my day? I determined to tackle some boxes.
Some people have stacks of paper, (me included) that take over areas of the house. But I also have boxes crawling up my walls!

LAST YEAR we offered part of our basement to a friend who needed a place to stay and was looking for work, so I quickly stored everything in boxes and piled them along the wall of our basement. They have never been touched since and I dreaded going downstairs and seeing this reminder of yet another project. Well, right before our computer failure, I was motivated by girltalk's "pick your spot" contest and knew I had to participate. I had a clear goal in mind and a deadline to meet.

So without further delay here is my before picture:

The funny thing is in my mind I thought "most of this stuff is my husband's things" but when I divided the boxes I was stunned to find out my side had more. I should have taken a picture of all my boxes on one side and the few that belonged to my husband on the other :)

Well if you need some good advice on how to tackle a project like this you should turn to Laura's great website- Organizing Junkie for info on the Process. I got my plan into action and sorted, purged, filled many trash bags and now have a bunch of things in a giveaway pile. The most difficult part of this was discovering my Ph. D and graduate papers of a time I dimly remember. Now I love staying home with my kids- do I envision one day needing a file on Early music notation and Byzantine chant? Well enough of that- here is the final after picture:

I love that the boys can play basketball since before they didn't want to come downstairs much either! When they are not doing that and in all my spare time, I created a nook for my sewing projects. We can even use the fireplace without fear of burning the house down from all the papers! I must confess that I didn't go through my husband's boxes but he said he would soon now that his major deadline at work has passed. It has felt so good to be rid of all the extra stuff- I think I even lost a few pounds in the process!

Do you have any areas in your house that have turned into Mt. Vesuvius? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Year after year I stay up to welcome in the New Year and find the next morning I feel like I've been run over by a truck! Not the best way to tackle resolutions like: wake-up regularly before the kids to have my quiet time. The yearly New Year's Eve bowling is paying its toll! But after the kids went to bed my hubby and I did have a wonderful time thinking about the last year and discussing our hopes for the year to come. It was the first time we welcomed the New Year with no TV blitz!

For 2010 we want to focus on three big goals:
1. Establish family devotions.
2. Get by with less and enjoy the things we have more.
3. Establish a workable budget and stick to it.

For family devotions we plan to:
1. pray through the Global Prayer Digest each day (it's a great way to introduce missions, and learn about various countries and cultures).
2. sing a hymn or praise song
3. read a portion of scripture and work on our Fighter Verse
4. close in prayer

I love that the Global Prayer Digest focuses on one topic for the whole month rather than one or two days. I hope to carry over the topic into other areas: bedtime reading of missionary biographies of those who served in that country, typical foods you eat and maybe a craft.

I'll be posting in the coming days on how we will tackle the other two goals. If you want some excellent questions to help you think about your own New Year's goals, click on SimpleMom and you can even find a free Pdf worksheet!