Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Am Totally Bragging.

playing with my new camera

i am making a mental note that i should go away more often. last week i took my kiddos 4 to my mama's house for 4 days and when i got home, i had a brand new camera waiting for me (the one that i actually wanted) and a date night already set up and ready to go (hello, nagasaki). it was awesome.

but the trip was awesome, too. it was quick and sweet and realllly fun. my mom and i cracked up about everything under the sun, but mostly about the story of ms. robin. ms. robin is a sweet little robin that makes her nest each year in this tree right outside my mom's kitchen window. she relayed how she would sit in her sun room and watch the robin work tirelessly to build a perfect nest for her little eggs. one day, my mom heard a commotion and knew what was happening, for it happens every year. after the nest was completed and ms. robin was happily settling, a mob of another type of bird comes in and throws ms. robin right out of her home and takes over. in my mom's excitement in telling the story, she called them "democrat birds" and it was just about the funniest thing i've ever heard. (you know, because of the whole redistribution of wealth thing). now i know i have a few democrat readers out there, and rest assured, my re-telling of this story is not an attack. it was just really funny. especially to republicans. :)

i also got to hang with a few of my girlfriends and their adorable kiddos and then with my girlfriends solo. it's always a good time when you can spend time with people who have known you your whole life. and hello! you can't beat bobe's pizza (even though i got a salad. but it was the best chicken ceaser ever).

and then there is the fair. my home county puts on a pretty awesome fair every year (minus the carnies with no teeth and i'm pretty sure with child molesting records). we took the boys and about died when we saw how much money we spent there. i'm not even going to say because mr. t might read this, but it was ridiculous and it might just be the last fair i ever go to because of it. (it wasn't that fun).

and i made cake-balls. enough said.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Bubbly Time.

I've tried to keep a schedule for the kids this summer. A schedule for the kids = pretty much no time left over, but they are happier, which makes me happier so it works out. Except for the 4 huge books sitting on my desk that I am pining to read. Luckily the library keeps letting me renew them. 


Anyway, during the "craft time" hour of our schedule I've tried to come up with things boys like to do. Because hello! Not one of my boys like to make paper-towel butterflies or tissue-paper fourth of July wreaths like I thought they would.

So one day we made homemade bubble solution, which is both messy and glorious for a house full of the male kind. We fashioned wands out of pipe cleaners and started dipping.

I can't for the life of me find the link to the blog post we originally saw the recipe on. But a quick google search will get you where you need to go. Apparently there are hundreds of cool moms out there that have all sorts of original ideas (I am not one of them). FYI: We used a recipe that called for karo syrup.

Anyone else excited to celebrate our nation's birthday coming up?!

Oh. Man.

It's my favorite holiday. I love teaching our boys about the valiant efforts of our forefathers and all the soldiers that fought for our Independence. Hopefully, they'll grow to love our nation as much as I do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping It Fresh

towards the end of may, i was secretly d r e a d i n g summer break. and not because triston was going to be home for the summer, but that i was going to have four home for the summer and sometimes they can become this entity of chaos if i don't have all my time organized. which, i seldom do. and i don't care what anyone says about the fourth baby just fitting right is hard.

but we've been keeping busy with some fun ideas and summer has turned out to be really fun so far. my kids like to help in the kitchen, so some of our fun ideas have to do with food. (which is the best kind of fun idea, right?)
we made these sandwiches for lunch last week. i call it the 'greastest pb & j you'll ever eat', and that is exactly what it would be listed as if i ever owned my own place. i toasted the bread with *real* butter in the skillet and then slathered peanut butter on one side, strawberry preserves on the other and topped it with thinly sliced strawberries. once the sandwich was put together, i sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

holey moley, it was good. the boys loved it and gave me praises like 'i'm the best mom' and so on.

today, we're doing it again. except i'm calling it a pb & b. peanut butter and banana (with honey). it will be a nice treat from helping me in the garden.

(they don't know that part yet, though)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a spectacle, of sorts.

sometimes, with these four, I feel we are a spectacle. take this morning, for example. triston, the oldest, has basketball camp for an hour and a half each morning this week. after piling everyone in the car and taking off, i realized i had forgotten a bottle for the baby. i dropped t off and came back home to get the bottle and drove back to the school to watch the rest of practice in the high school gym. when we walked in my eyes scanned the gym to find triston sitting on the sidelines NOT PLAYING. so i sat the baby carrier down and started to walk over to him. while i am doing this, jackson takes off one way and bryce the other. the baby starts to cry so i hurry back over to him and triston is grabbing his stuff and saying, "let's go" which signals to me he is not happy about something. he is the particular one, after all. the coach comes over to talk with us and out of the corner of my eye i can see bryce doing a balancing act on the thin ledge that separates the bleachers from the floor. i can hear j in the distance saying, "mom! look at me!" he's at the very top of the gym. and the baby is still fussing. needless to say, all i heard the coach say was "wah wah wah wah wah wah wah", charlie brown style.

there are a couple of moms in the gym giving me the "i feel sorry for you" look and there are, of course, the women out there that probably have the "...she got herself in to this..." mentality (to which i believe are jealous of our little life...even if they don't know it yet) and a couple of other moms in the gym looking at me with the "i know, girl..." look, probably reminiscing about when they were in my position. what? did i just say reminiscing? yeah, i did. because even though these times can be tough, i've gotten the very clear impression to savor these moments.

after resolving the situation with t, i climb the stairs, baby carrier in hand to where jackson and bryce are sitting. when i arrive, they bolt, which i knew was coming by the smirks on their sweet little faces. i, of course, act like i didn't even see them which results in them coming right over within reach so i can lecture/tease them about the importance of staying close to mom.

"i need help with the baby," is all i need to say and that usually keeps them close so they can leap at his beckoning whimper. (it's good to be fourth in line at our house) (until you are old enough to go for someone's toy...then it's not so good anymore). and then we're done. practice is over, so me and the brood head into the pouring rain to our car to head home. (I did leave the part out about having to restrain b on my lap for a time while he kicked and screamed. that is always awesome.)

there's no great way to end this post except for the clear message of - this is hard. it is. but, more than it is hard, it is completely wonderful, absolutely hilarious, and such a blessing to have these four little boys completely saturate my days with complete joy. one day, instead of just the little daily nibbles that freckle my life as a mother, I am going to see the fruits of my labor in full perspective.

whether we are a spectacle, right now, or not. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Smoothie Yum Yum

Excuse my title, I am finding it difficult to transition from mommy-mode to adult conversation these days, and for the moment, it just sounded good. I am also hoping "mommy-brain" is responsible for all the weird stuff that has been falling out of my mouth lately. You know what I are talking and realize you should just shut up but for some reason you just can't turn it off? Yeah.

Anyway, to beat the heat we are stocking up on popsicles and smoothie supplies. I came up with a new one just last week and it is really good. (and healthy!)

So here is my Smoothie Yum Yum, which already sounds ridiculous.

The first ingredient is low fat vanilla yogurt. And we need to talk about yogurt for a second. A lot of people love yogurt and eat it for it's health benefits. But a lot of people may not realize all the yucky stuff some brands put in their yogurt, aspartame being at the top of that list. It is an artificial sweetener that has been linked to a whole myriad of neurological disorders and other problems like MS and Parkinson's disease. It is in nearly EVERYTHING that is labeled "sugar-free" (low-fat or low-cal, too) including gum, diet sodas, and just about everything else. Point being, prolonged use of this stuff is going to make your body all wacky.

Ahem. Sorry for the public service announcement, there.

Anyway, Great Value brand from Walmart has low fat yogurt that does not have aspartame in it!! (or high fructose corn syrup!) so, that is what I use. (and how much i hate walmart and shopping there is another post for another time)

vanilla yogurt
frozen fruit mix of strawberries, mango, papaya, and pineapple
apple juice
spinach....optional of course

the amount of ingredients is based on how many you are serving. use common judgement, i suppose. anyway, yogurt goes in first, followed by frozen fruit, and then just a splash of juice.

it's really one of the best smoothies i've made.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Seeing Red.

photo from here

for those who read my last post: wow. i've discovered the cure for depression: become so insanely busy you don't have time to be down. it works! and i think it had to do with the rain anyway. i always forget about that. When the sun doesn't come out, i get all weird. thanks for the nice comments, anyway.

i've kept up running 4 days a week for the last 3 weeks. only, i am pretty slow and wimpy. i even have to move to the beats of the devil (gaga and eminem and pop music in general. have you listened to that stuff lately? it's full of sex and...that's about it.) to keep me going.

my sub-division has stop signs every quarter mile or so, so that is my motivation. "if i can just make it to the stop sign..." and then i do and move on to the next one and the next one until i'm home. this morning, i even thought about breaking out in song and dance (catchy tune) so i wouldn't stop, but then this dog came out of nowhere and i started going through all my mental files on survival tactics. i was positioned to kick that effer right in the snout, but it's owner came out and i just ran on by like i wasn't really scared.

but then around the corner, the cutest little bulldog came wiggling over and since i lllloooovvvveeee bulldogs, i had to stop and pet her. she was  a little squatty thing named macy. (not to be confused with my beautiful completely-not-squatty sister in law, macy) and i fell in love instantly, only i want a boy bulldog named kingston (not to be confused with rockstar diaries' kingsley. hello! i wanted a bully named kingston long before i started reading that blog. i even contemplated naming one of my kids kingston before realizing how stupid that might be. sorry if your kid is named kingston).

okay, so i digressed there. anyway, the stop signs help. and you know what else helps?

chocolate oat bars.

actually, that is what is keeping me fat. but, here is the recipe anyway...

2 sticks of butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. of rolled oats
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter

melt the butter over medium heat and add the brown sugar and vanilla. mix well and add the oats. mix until well combined. Pour half of the mixture into a 9 x 9 and press into dish with a spoon or fork. in another pan melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter over LOW HEAT (i cannot believe the amount of people who burn up their chocolate by melting it with high heat...including me.) once melted completely pour over pressed down oats and spread evenly. top with remaining oat mixture. pop into the fridge (or freezer if you are in a hurry) until set and eat those babies up!

they kind of taste like the regular no-bake cookies, but better. sorry for the low-quality picture. it's from my cell BEcause my camera is having issues. time to get a new one? travis, are you reading this? for a pocket-style camera, i'm digging this one. **I've since replace the picture.

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