Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smartie pants....

Big Boy is getting smarter every day. Not that he was ever dumb. We've always found him pretty insigtful. Every once in a while he comes up with something that makes us laugh out loud. And realize that he is growing into a very funny little guy.

Little Guy was hitting the wall. I asked him to stop. As always, it fell upon deaf ears and Little Guy continued hitting the wall, making a loud thud noise every time. Then Big Boy decides he needs to get into the picture and tells his brother to hit it.
"Hit it, Little Guy" he says.
"No" I reply, "Don't hit it".
"Hit it" states Big Boy.
"NO!" is my reply, again.
"Hit it" Big Boy says again.
"Big Boy, quit telling him to hit the wall. I told him to stop." I say.
"No Mama, I want him to start the music. You know, Hit It!" he replies.

I'm not sure if he's a budding Ray Charles or just a total smartie pants. Jeez.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Love This Recipe Site!!

Today's Works For Me Wednesday is simply my favorite recipe website. This site has replaced thousands....well, at least hundreds...of dollars of money spent on recipe books. Cookbooks are my addiction. Or they used to be. Now it is I LOVE THIS SITE!!! It is chock-ful of fantastic recipes. I'll give you a couple of hints on how to stay on the good side of this site. Only choose recipes that are rated 4 stars and above. And don't change them! That's all it takes to have a great new dish on your table. I go to this site probably a dozen or so times a week. Lotsa times it's just to browse. Many times I try new things out. And I've never been disappointed with anything I've tried. You can even sign up and create your own recipe box, saving certain recipes to your box. Try them out! I don't get any kickback from them or anything---the only endorsement comes from SH who is always really happy with whatever I make from there too! Have fun!

Head on over to We Are That Family for more WFMW tips! It's a great place to be on Wednesday!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday--Fajitas!

Here is one of our favorite recipes that we just had last night. We used leftover steak because we needed to use it up but SH did let me know that chicken is the preferred meat. They are quick, easy, frugal and another of our favorites! Enjoy!

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced

In a medium bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Place chicken in sauce, and turn once to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken strips to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper, and saute another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with lemon juice. I serve them with warm flour tortillas.

Head on over to Blessed with Grace for lots more yummy Tempt My Tummy goodies!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Music Monday

Enjoy some of my favorite music today on Music Monday!!!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Sorry I've been gone...

We've had a bout with the flu the past few, not that flu, but run-of-the-mill, fever and vomiting kind. The boys go from feeling fine, to throwing up to feeling fine again in a matter of hours. So we're still cleaning up from that. I will do my best to rejoin my lovely bloggy family in the next couple of days. In the meantime, please pray for SH & I that we don't get the one to clean up after us if we get it! See you soon!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It doesn't grow on trees, ya know?

There are two, strike that, many things that really worry me about our boys growing up. One of the main things now is the degree of influence upon them. Particularly when it comes to stuff. The wanting of stuff, the accumulation of stuff, the desire for STUFF. This is incredibly obvious if they are ever allowed to watch certain TV shows or networks that have that evil habit of marketing to children! You know the ones....the ones with every commercial with some new-fangled product like the latest super-hero shooter or the amazing-grow-your-own worm farm (I have news for you kiddos, that's called dirt and it is very likely in your own backyard...). I amazed at the garbage that is marketed to our children and how. My friend Dave Ramsey has an absolutely hysterical bit in his live event about "charge card Barbie". Suffice it to say, he does not endorse this particular Barbie and let's just say, Barbie doesn't quite look the same when he's done... I tend to agree. I think it is insane the way companies have marketed to our kids.

So to combat this issue and to keep me from losing my temper and cussing like a sailor (OK--not really but I want to...), we simply avoid those TV channels. Here is a novel idea....we don't allow our kids a 'treat' or toy or gift every time we go to a store. We talk often about how we don't get everything we want. We reserve gifts for special occasions....and Thursday afternoon is rarely a special occasion. We are trying very hard to combat the desire for stuff in our kids. Don't get me doesn't always fly well. We still get whiney children who REALLY WANT IT! But we talk out loud about how 'money doesn't grow on trees' (the oldest is constantly looking for those dollar bills on the trees though...) and how special occasions are just that...special. They have not started Dave's suggestions of save/spend/tithe with their money. We will be starting that before too long. Up until now, their money from holidays, birthdays or whenever has simply went into the piggy bank and there it sits for the most part. So far, we've only had a couple of occasions where we've went to a store specifically to help them to buy something they want. Most times, we ask them to ask God, grandparents and us to remember what their wish list is for special holidays and they may get the item. We try not to base gifts on behavior necessarily, but we have been known to 'pay' for some yard work help (Big Boy works a good rake!) and potty training (Little Man required many, many, many different tactics to get the job done).

So what Works For Us is helping our kids to learn to do without. And learning that accumulating stuff is not necessary. Next task is to help them to clear out some older toys and items in their room that are no longer played with. We have a new baby coming to the family in December so we'll be sending some things to our new cousin soon!

Enjoy other Works For Me Wednesday posts over at We Are That Family!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Hey! Head on over to my friend Lisa at Blessed With Grace for TONS of great recipes and yummy tempting treats. But first, here is my suggestion for a quick, frugal and oh-so-perfect mid-week dinner....quiche! I make quiche about once a week and usually, make an extra for the freezer. This week, we'll be adding in some great fresh broccoli, cheese and leftover Easter ham. I never know what I'll come up with...I just use whatever is on hand and quick. It's fantastic and you'll love it too!

Basic Quiche
1 prepared pie crust from your grocer's freezer section (you can certainly make your own as well but they are cheap either way)
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk (I sometimes use evaporated milk for a creamier version and a bit more frugal too!)
2 Tbs. flour (mix well w/ a bit of the milk to prevent lumps)

Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Then you can add any of the following you like:

1 cup chopped veggies (we like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, tri-color peppers)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use any and everything, whatever is on hand from Velveeta to swiss)
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped meat (bacon, ham, hamburger, sausage, we've even used hot dogs!)

We usually add 1-2 veggies and cheese and not very often, meat. I adjust quantities if I'm using two different veggies and use 1/2 cup of one and 1/2 cup of another. It can get big very easily and you can easily stretch this into 2 quiches by adding ingredients. It all depends on your preference of ingredients. We often make this recipe to use up items that we don't have enough of for another full meal or are getting tired of it in some way. It is a great way to use up wilting veggies....they can be a bit older and soft and you won't notice. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes until center is set. If the edges brown too much, cover with a thin strip of foil.

So here you have one of our very favorite frugal dinners! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!

Music Monday

I'm joining in on a really cool carnival this week; Music Monday! When you hit on Nessa's site , you'll get a bunch of really cool music, new and old. Join us and enjoy a little musica in your day!!

Alison Krauss is by far, my favorite artist of all time. I think she is talented beyond words and everything I've ever heard her sing, I truly love. This song is so simple, so beautiful and reminds me of home. It is very nostalgic for me. Reminds me of my beautiful grandparents, who were married for 68 years. I wear my grandmother's wedding band every day to remind myself that honestly, it is truly best to be simple. Obviously, with a love like that, she learned a lot about giving and never asking back.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Not that I've never been tempted...

But it is something I would never, ever, NEVER admit to Oprah!

"I looked in the back, and the kids were sleeping, which was literally a miracle from God, but the problem was I had to pee," she says. "So I'm thinking, 'If I stop at a rest area, they're totally going to wake up, and I do not want them to wake up.' So I reach into the diaper bag, I pulled out a diaper and I peed into it." (Quoted from a new mom to Oprah.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Salt Sand

We did this little project a while back and we'll be doing it again this next week. The boys LOVED it and I loved that clean-up was super easy! It is Salt Sand--colored salt that resembles sand. We made it one day while working on our color recognition and color combinations. I'm SO sorry--this was before I really started blogging and it never occurred to me to take pictures! I'll be sure to snap a few next time. Here is the 'recipe':

Salt Sand
1 Cup regular table salt, the cheap stuff!
3-4 drops food coloring
various plastic containers

Pour 1 cup of salt into the container. We used this opportunity to teach measuring, numbers and counting. Drop 3-4 drops of food coloring in each container. We used this opportunity to teach color recognition and liquid vs. solids. Stir each with a spoon to mix the colors. There you have it! Instant salt "sand". The boys then proceeded to play for two full days, measuring out the salt into different containers, combining colors to make a new color (one of which was, of course, a lovely shade of grey from all the colors combining!), playing in it with measuring spoons and cups. Best of all, although they played on the back porch, if some of it got into the house, I didn't worry much. A quick vacuum and it was gone. And all the containers cleaned up nicely because obviously, salt is water soluble and left nothing. Unlike sand---which I REFUSE to have a sand box, for this very reason. I'm NOT dealing with any more sand in Florida!

So there you have one of our favorite activities! Head on over to Sarah at I Blame Mom for more Kid Friendly Friday posts and ideas! Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh distractions & desires!

I've decided that my outside job is really impeding on my life right now. I don't work that much---part-time on the weekends and I pick up teaching jobs here and there. But I'm not wanting to do any of it right now. And it is because of this new blogging hobby I have going....and all the wonderful things I'm seeing and learning about!! I REALLY want to be at home trying to paint furniture, helping my kids to create fun art projects, getting the garden tilled and planted....the list goes on and on and on! I would SO rather be doing these things! I'm thinking maybe if I make myself a list, gather my goals all in one place, that *maybe* I might, just might, get something accomplished and feel so much better! Here is my list...

1) paint two side tables for the living area. Something like this.
2) create a wall collage for the spare bedroom--I'm thinking canvas squares with various colored scrap paper collages
3) learn to crochet wash cloths
4) paint the master bath's accessories....because I truly cannot stand pastel lavender/green/mauve any more!
5) re-do the bathroom. I was thinking of getting rid of the wallpaper border....Little Man A.K.A. 'The Psychic' figured that out and was so kind to RIP THE PAPER off in two very obvious places! Guess we'll move this one up the list now...
6) paint the family area
7) paint a few of the kitchen accessories--getting rid of the light green and going more dark green/gold-brown/deep brown colors. Very Tuscany-like.
8) going to do some window mistreatments...yes, you heard it....mistreatments much like my creative friend at Thrifty Decor Chick. In fact, she really is to blame for all this angst....I SO want to grow up and be just like her!
9) container garden at least 4 new veggies in the next month.
10) work on the boy's homeschool 'curriculum' that starts in August.

OK, OK...please stop me! It'll take me a month of Sundays to get even one of these done! But there---the first step to recovery is to create a plan, right?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Frugal Fabric Softener

I found a new way to extend the life of our fabric softener! SH doesn't mind saving money but he sure misses our clothes smelling really "perfume-y" (grad school failed me there.....! what is the correct term?!). So I'm gonna take this tip from Michelle Duggar of The Duggar Family on TLC--you know, the family with 18 kids! I am not the kind of woman to bear 18+ children---no way---but I do like her ideas on how to AFFORD 18+ children!

Fabric Softener-Extender
1 container of name-brand fabric softener
4 inexpensive sponges, cut in half

Pour a whole container of softener into a five-gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice (two parts water to one part softener). Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use, wring out extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

Excellent & Frugal! Love it!! Head on over to We Are That Family for more WFMW tips!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

One of SH's favorite dishes is a staple in our house. He eats on the road so much that I really try to make something he especially loves when he is home. Wifely duty and all.... Here it is:

Shrimp Scampi & Rice

1 lb. large, shelled, deveined shrimp
1/2 stick butter
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves finely chopped garlic (more if you really like garlic--we do!)

Saute the butter and garlic in 2 Tbs. of the butter, until slightly golden brown. Add shrimp. Saute shrimp until pink-watch it closely. It only takes a couple of minutes. Removed shrimp from pan. Add remaining butter and chicken broth. If liquid is too thin, I usually mix up a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch in a bit of broth and add to the liquid. It'll thicken up quickly. Toss the shrimp back in and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Not much longer or it will make the shrimp too rubbery. Serve hot over steamed rice. We'll use whatever rice we have on hand but SH especially loves this over yellow rice. Side dish ideas include steamed broccoli, steamed snow peas or sauteed green beans. The kids even love shrimp and honestly, though this should make enough for 3-4 servings, many times I'll double it and we still eat it all! Enjoy!!

Head on over to Blessed With Grace for lots more tummy tempting goodies! And over to Blissfully Domestic for more wonderful recipes!! Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Solid Ground

There are times that I falter in my direction. That I don't know where I'm going, cannot quite grasp where I am and question every little bit of where I've been. Now, is not one of those times. I'm standing on solid ground. And I need to say that out loud. Often.

I'm as happy as happy can be these days. Sure, I could complain that sometimes there is still more month left at the end of the money. There still are endless dots followed by listings on my to-do list. Two boys that have more energy in one day than I believe I could bottle up and save for the next five years. People, lots and lots of people, with one expectation after another. That cannot stop me. That doesn't deter me. I'm good. It's all good right now. I have enough. I am enough. It is all, enough. So I want to share a poem that was given to me so many, many years ago. I do not remember the name of the wonderful woman who gave it to me. But I do remember she gave this to me when life was not enough. She saw my pain and gave me hope. I held onto it for all these years, tucked away in a journal that I no longer read. I don't have that much pain to write about any more. I still remember it though. Reading it today makes me realize that I have enough. These words, they are easier to digest today. The words, are seen through eyes that are not clouded by pain, and despair, and doubt. I think it is so very important to remember this in good times, not just in bad. Remember them in health, and not just in sickness.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
-Max Ehrmann, poet

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter via a 4 year old...

When we go to church and the kids come to the service with us (instead of Sunday School), we always let them put the tithe in the plate. We call it "Jesus money". So, this morning, while in church, both boys got their "Jesus Money" to put into the plate when it was passed. Here is how that went down....

"Here, honey, put the money into the plate when it comes. This is our Jesus money for this week"...Mama says.

Big Boy replies...."OK. Jesus is dead, right?"

"Well yes, He died but today he is Risen and goes to heaven", I reply.

Big Boy...."Yeah, Jesus is dead and then the Easter Bunny saved him".

There you have it....

And here are some pics of the gifts that the Easter Bunny left for the equipment and skates! Lots of fun for all!

That last pic is Big Boy feeding the birds...or squirrels, whichever comes first. Protective equipment is optional...

Hope you all have a Blessed Easter day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Awesome Preschool Sites!

This week I thought I would share some of Big Boy and Little Man's favorite websites. Little Man actually does very little on the computer because he just doesn't have the tolerance to sit still very long. But Big Boy really enjoys "doing school" stuff and fun activities on the computer. He doesn't get a lot of time. Just a bit a few times a week. But I think it adds a bit to his "homeschool/preschool" education and honestly, it gives me a bit of a much-needed break sometimes! So here are some of our favorite sites. We hope you enjoy them too!

Starfall: This fantastic site helps Big Boy learn his letters, sight words, phonics and so much more! This is probably his favorite site and is probably my favorite as well.

Noggin: This is the site that refers to the Noggin channel on cable TV. Noggin claims to be "preschool on TV". Not that I think that preschool can be done on TV. But we tend to prefer this channel, when the boys do watch TV, over anything else. It does not have commercials for junk food, toys or inappropriate content. In fact, it doesn't have commercials at all!! The site is wonderful too as it has games and activities that supplement their favorite shows. They love to color on the printable pictures! Some of the games do a great job of reinforcing positive values and manners as well.

Sesame Street: We've not been on this site too much. It does seem to really offer about the same as the other major sites as Noggin and Disney. Our boys prefer Disney but like this at times as well.

Preschool Express: I love this site for tons of great ideas for activities, crafts, letters, colors, numbers, etc... etc...

No Time For Flash Cards: LOVE LOVE LOVE this site! I have a button on the sidebar that you can go directly to see Allie. As I have said before, she is the McGyver of all things preschool AND creative! It's a SuPeR fun site!

Playhouse Disney: Big Boy really enjoys the games on this site. It does have a lot more commercialization than the others but it is fun and keeps his attention well.

Those are our most-visited sites. How about you? What are your favorite Kid Friendly, preschool sites? Help us discover some new ones! And hop on over this Easter Weekend to Sarah at I Blame My Mother for more Kid Friendly Friday posts!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Raising Polite Kids

We received, what I believe, is one of the nicest compliments ever, just the other day. Friends of ours, rather 'new' friends, invited us over for dinner and a play date with Big Boy's BFF. These two boys get along famously and we, as parents, do as well. We've really grown fond of the whole family. And they paid us the nicest compliment the other day. We had not seen them for about 2 weeks, because of back-to-back vacations for them and us. When we saw them, both of our boys ran up to hug the mom and dad, before running to play with the boy. They were very excited to see everyone, parents as well as the boys. And that was the compliment. The mom, my friend, noticed how friendly our boys are to them, as parents. They were genuinely excited to see both the mom and dad. And she noticed that particular quality. "They are always so excited to see us as well as our son. That is wonderful!" she stated. And, though I had not really noticed, it didn't surprise me. Our children are expected to greet both adult and children, everyone who is in the room or in the family, when we visit other families. We see it as a sign of respect. And from the time they were capable of waving hi or blowing a kiss, we've encouraged them to greet our guests and say goodbye when they were leaving. It never occurred to us that it was a "novelty" but now we have noticed that not all kids are taught this. But we have always made it an expectation and it comes very naturally at this point. And it was so nice to have someone notice. Raising polite and respectful children is high on our list of priorities. We spend a great deal of time talking to them and demonstrating to them, how to be respectful to others. They watch us so closely and it is necessary to show them how to be respectful, as well as openly discussing respect. We identify how others are not kind or respectful, when we see it. Big Boy has gotten quite astute at picking these things up and talks about it often. That is What Works For Us---raising polite, respectful kids. And how wonderful that it is starting to show!

Hop on over this week to We Are That Family for more WFMW tips!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tempt Your Tummy!

YUMM! Those that know me know that I LOVE to cook....and I love food! I'm just a recovering 4-H kid from Iowa really.....we all learned how to cook at the youngest of ages. Mine was 5, believe it or not. I remember standing on chairs that I would slide up to the counter area and help my mom cook and do dishes. I loved it. Still love it. Cook every day--even after working a 13-hour shift at the hospital. It helps me to unwind and honestly, it is where I feel most at home and most competent in this crazy world. So I'm jumping in on this carnival from Lisa over at Blessed With Grace. Here is one of my favorite comfort food, potluck, take-to-a-new-mama recipes that I just did for someone yesterday. Warning! It is not very waist-friendly, so I don't make it at home much. But everyone LOVES it!

Hash Brown Potato & Ham Casserole

3 Cups hash brown (grated) potatoes (either frozen/thawed or grated by hand)
1 1/2 Cups diced ham (for extra deep flavor, I will often use a leftover baked ham from Easter or another holiday--in a pinch I buy diced ham out of the deli area)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 Cups grated cheddar cheese

Mix all together well in a large bowl. Spray a 9x9 square baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer hash brown mixture in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. You can sprinkle the top with more cheese toward the end if you like more cheese---and who doesn't want more cheese? Geesh!

That's it! Ultimate comfort food--and pretty cheap and frugal to make. Our boys gobble it up in no time and always ask for more. Enjoy all the other recipes over at Lisa's blog and Tempt Your Tummy!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Do I or don't I?

I've been thinking a lot lately about our homeschooling aspirations. And am more convinced now than ever that it is definitely something we're going to do. Starting in August. Which is when Big Boy would be starting a VPK (voluntary Pre-K program) if we sent him somewhere. Little Man is still 3 but chomping at the bit to be everything that his big brother is. Here is where I need help from my wonderful bloggy family.....I'm unsure if we should start a curriculum or if we should just go with what we've been doing. I've done tons of research on the 'net and some reading. I truly believe in the power of play, free time for children of preschool ages. I believe this is where they learn the most important lessons at this point; how to share, cooperation, patience, relationship-building with children of all ages. We do a lot of that. We have friends that are both the boys' ages, friends with older kids, younger kids and many friends with no children. We take our boys just about everywhere we go and they are learning to play alone, with each other and with kids of all ages. We review basics. We've been teaching, mostly Big Boy, colors, numbers, shapes, letters. We do need to incorporate Little Man a little more on these lessons, but it is difficult since his attention span is so much shorter than Big Boy's. So here is our dilemma....Do we start a true curriculum at this point or keep proceeding as we are? If we do start one, which one do we go with? We are very interested in a Christian component as we do incorporate Bible stories at this time but they are just that, stories and "entertainment". I found a few books over the weekend that I will be ordering. They mainly discuss the power of play and how integral play is in the formation of healthy children. They would, I guess, be more geared toward the "go with what is working" thought in this discussion. So, what about you? Have you homeschooled preschoolers? What did you do?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday!

In this house, we love us some smooooooothies! The boys and SH request them often and I happily comply. Because they are healthy, and easy, and best of all, so very very yummy! Here is our basic recipe:

--Crushed ice (about 1 inch in the bottom of a large 16oz. tall glass)
--1/4 to 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free plain or vanilla yogurt
--splash of skim milk or water (depending on creaminess desired)

That's our basic recipe. Then we add whatever is on our minds for the day. Today, we had strawberry-banana smoothies. One 1/2 large banana and a few strawberries. Then we mix them up with our hand blender. Sometimes we add greens such as spinach or kale. It makes it a terrible green-brown color when you add it into the strawberries but it is OH. SO. DELICIOUS! It's more green without the strawberries but not quite as yummy. Even the boys love green smoothies! SH, not so much... But we drink them often to get in some good doses of vitamins and beta carotene.

Make yourself up some smoooooothies next time for a snack, breakfast or even lunch! They are delish and so good for you!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Because I must: An evening of recovery

After a vacation (especially with family), we find ourselves in need of 'decompression'. We've had plenty of time with one another and usually need a break from all the visiting, reminiscing and general talk that happens when you are around family for several days. On the day we return, and if we are REALLY lucky, more than one afternoon or day, we get to do this. We have sort of a routine when we get back. First, we all change into our most comfy pajamas or sweats. Then I put on a pot of soup or something similar. Something we can 'graze' from for the remainder of the day, that involves very little effort on my part. Then we all retreat into our preferred spaces. SH usually plops in front of some of his favorite recorded shows or works on his computer photo stuff. Boys either vegetate in front of mindless cartoons or Big Boy enjoys doing preschool activities on the computer. I usually take a few minutes to get myself reorganized in my kitchen (which is where I feel most at home), or sometimes will put a few things away, start some laundry or take a bit of a nap. We basically just wander around aimlessly and without any expectations for the day. It's really nice. All too soon we have to jump back into the world's expectations of work, school, play dates, teaching, etc...etc...etc... The last day of vacation is truly for us to relish in the fleeting moments of nothingness. It is wonderful and gone, all too soon. This really Works for Me and my family!

So how do you recover from vacation? I would love to know how others deal with the need for decompression before heading back into the real world. And for more great WFMW tips and this week's Backward Edition, head on over to We are That Family!