Kid shows, every single day 

You know what I find interesting? When I turn Netflix on, go to my tab,  hoping to find some amazing new show to get addicted to,  I find Zootopia. The movie all about animals that wear clothes,  have real people jobs,  and solve crimes.  To be honest,  I’m not ashamed to say I kind of like it.  “What do you call a three humped camel? …… pregnant!”

I keep on flipping,  and come to the row.  Top picks for Becky.  I am excited now.  This will be good.  Nope.  What do I see? Bunked.  Fuller house.  Sing.  Again,  not ashamed to say these aren’t that bad.  Bunked is about a group of super rich kids being thrown into a summer camp,  and learning to fit in,  all while crazy things happen. Fuller house is a great “bring me back to the old days” show! I laugh at references of Stephanie saying “How rude!” Even though she’s grown and is a DJ now 🙂  And of course,  Sing.  “Piggy power!” Gets me every time! Or when the mom turns into a hot momma! You’ve  gotta love that! A show where songs from across the genre board are sung,  danced to and completely crushed,  all by animals in costume…. amazing!

Ok,  let’s try regular tv. Pbs. Enough said.

Turn off the tv.  Let’s play a game.  Frozen…. something.  The board pieces flip over,  you move pieces…. we start singing “let it go, let it go,  can’t hold it back any more” in our best Elsa impersonation.  Still kid movie related.

Let’s play Chinese checkers.  No characters.  Perfect.  Turn on the radio to listen to some tunes.  The song comes on,  my girls yell “It’s Jonny! Turn it up!” I was excited they knew who was singing on the radio,  until I realized….. it was the song from Sing…… but sung by the original artist, Elton John!!! Not the character Jonny, the gorilla!

Do any of you out there find that as a mom,  most of the things you read or watch or listen to, are kid things? It must be a rule.  Or maybe common sense.  Play things appropriate for children around children.  Maybe that’s why,  when I asked  my own mom what her favorite 80’s song is,  she says “Raffy”.  When you have little kids during the entire 80’s decade, Raffy it is.  Come on,  “Baby Ballooga in the deep blue sea”,  gets me every time.  Is your momma home?

When asked what my hobbies are…. I sit dumbfounded.  I mean,  I’m a mom and a teacher.  I like to go to the bathroom and not have fingers under the door.  I like to eat breakfast and drink hot coffee for longer than 5 minutes.  Ooh,  and I love coloring a picture with my kids, and not have to share my page with unwanted scribbles and lines.  Ooh, I’ll miss these moments you  say.  I bet I will.  But I still can have my hobbies can’t I?

Well,  to all the mom’s rocking it,  or are really good at faking it,  keep it up! Cuddle up with the kiddos. Watch “Sing” for the 1344th time,  and be sure to use your vibrato when belting out every word!

And remember,  even though you may have your own little square with your name on it when you turn on Netflix….. it will belong to your little people in your life for a while (yes they may have their own square…I don’t know what happens!).  One day you’ll be able you watch reruns of Friends without worrying about the context of the episode.

Share your favorite kid’s show in the comments….. we’ve got to stick together,  so let’s get some new ideas!

Mom on!  — Becky

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One Pot Meals Rock

 **Affiliate links will be found on this post—I get a small percentage with nothing added on your end! **

I am one who will ALWAYS love one pot meals!  I will ALWAYS be an advocate of them!  You may even read  several posts from me all about how awesome they are.  This post is no different.  As I have started to look for meals that I can make from things already in my pantry/fridge/freezer, it is important to find new recipes.

This recipe I’m going to share today, is from http://www.smells-like-home.com/2015/02/one-pot-creamy-sausage-pasta/ .   If you know me, I don’t follow recipes very well.  It has to be forced upon me to follow exactly. LOL!  This recipe is no different.  I like this recipe, but I didn’t have ALL the stuff I needed.  So I substitute!  I feel, cooking is supposed to be fun right?  If it is too stressful, all because you don’t have an ingredient, that’s not good.  Lesson learned, have fun, try new recipes, sub out if you have to, and enjoy.  If it tastes good, that’s what matters.

My version of the One Pot Creamy Sausage Pasta:

To start, dice up a medium onion.  I used my Pampered chef 8″ Chef’s Knife to chop it up.  In retrospect, I should have used my food chopper! Hello!  But with this amazing knife, it was nothing to chop it up 🙂  Did you notice the lovely circle with PC on the blade?  This is so you can put your fingers on there for the perfect grip!  Pampered Chef has thought of everything huh?

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Now, you’re going to saute these onions in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Please don’t measure this oil.  WE are NOT that crazy!!  Cook it until they are looking translucent (almost see through!).

Now ADD 4 cloves of garlic.  Go real garlic on this one!  There is nothing better than real garlic in a dish.  Using my Pampered Chef Garlic Press makes it sooooo easy!  Can you tell I also love my PC!!??  It is my second gig, but I’ve always had it in my house!  LOVE!

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Isn’t this just a beautiful sight!!??

I wish I could have smell-a-vision for you on this one….so good.   You will want to cook this garlic with the onion for about a minute to get it cooked a bit……let that aroma come through!  NUM!    Now ADD your sausage!  I didn’t have ground sausage this time, I had sliced chicken sausage.  Like I said before, if I don’t have something, I make it work!   Use what you’ve got!!!

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Isn’t the Rockcrok Dutch Oven Awesome!!?

Once the sausages were warmed (these were fully cooked sausages), I deglazed the bottom with about a 1/4c. of chicken broth.  Recipe suggested wine, I didn’t have any on hand.   Then, ADD in 16 oz. of your favorite spaghetti sauce, and 3 cups of water.  I may have added another 1/4c of chicken broth just because too! LOL!  Like I said, I like to sub out stuff and make it work for what I have in the house!

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Bring this to a BOIL.  This means the water is bubbling, a lot!! We have to pretend that we will be boiling noodles the normal way….so don’t forget this step!  Once it has started to boil, add in your noodles.

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Now, set your timer for 15 minutes, and put your feet up!  Well, first give it a stir, and put the cover on!  Then put your feet up!

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Give it a stir every 5 minutes or so, and if it needs more water, add it then.

When the noodles are done, stir in your cheese.  As true Becky fashion, I didn’t have what was called for, so I added in about 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and stirred it in until the whole pot was creamy and thickened!

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Stir and smell, and then, get a bowl and dig in!  Serve with buns or bread of choice.

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Was it easy to make?  Yep!  Was it delish?  Yep!  Did I get the approval from the family?  Yep?    I don’t know the Smells like home author personally, but I do like this recipe!  Maybe next time, I’ll try to use all the suggested ingredients 🙂

Thanks for reading!            Becky 🙂

 


Budget Family Friendly Meals

***This post contains affiliate links.  When you click and buy, I get a portion of the funds, with nothing extra added on your side.***

With a new year, I thought I would set a goal for myself to utilize what I have already in the pantry and freezer.  I also wanted to create a better and cheaper way to cook for my family to help with the budget.  I brainstormed.  I “Pinterested”.  I created.  Some are healthy, some come straight from the freezer to the oven, and some have a combo of both.

Rules for this challenge for me, include: 1.) It must be easy to make (because I definitely am NOT a professional chef!) 2.) It must be budget friendly (AKA…most of stuff is found in pantry already or found on sale) and 3.) It must get the approval from my hubby and kids (ages 5 and 8)

I have started a Bullet Journal recently, and I have included a page just for meal ideas.  I use the Moleskine Classic Notebook, Large, Squared, Sapphire Blue, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (mine is soft covered tho!) with the squares already on each page!  There are also ones with blank pages and some with dots!   See my planning page here!

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Journaling ideas of things to make for dinner is key to staying budget friendly for me!

Two days ago, I attempted the Crockpot Roast and Pinto Beans recipe (credit goes to fortheloveofcooking-vanessa.blogspot.com).  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the roast very thawed, so it was not done.  I adapted it a bit to fit what I had on hand.  My version was this:

  • 2cups of dried Pinto beans                                                                                          (I soaked them over night—caution, they will expand to twice their size)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes,     
  • about 2 tsp garlic salt,
  • about 1/2T of dried onion flakes,
  • 1t. chili powder,
  • and a 3lb roast.

I put all of this into my Pampered Chef Rockcrok Dutch oven, and poured water in until it was half way up the roast and covering the beans completely.  I did sprinkle a bit more salt on top of the roast along with a heavy sprinkle of Pampered Chef Chipotle rub.  I put it on high for 10 hours (the time  I would be at work).  The Roast, being so frozen still, was not done.  But an hour later it was, and it was fab!

Jump to yesterday….I took that cooked roast, shredded it, and warmed it up on the stove.  I also took the cooked pinto beans and warmed them up as well.  While that was all going on, I cooked 3 cups of Minute Rice White, 28 oz (something I had in the pantry, just like the pinto beans and roast).  I turned these ingredients into a burrito station!  My family could make their burritos with all of these ingredients or just one or two!  It was a hit!  We also had a bag of tortilla chips and salsa open and ready to eat, so that was on the side!

Now, you probably want to see a picture of my final plate that I created.  Yeah…I ate it too fast before I remembered to take a pic! HahaHa!

If you take a look at the “calendar of ideas” you’ll notice I wrote “NUMMY” on a few items we’ve tried!  One is the 3 ingredient orange chicken from www.craftymorning.com/3ingredient-orange-chicken-sauce-recipe/ …… it was definately approved by me and my family!  What I thought was sooooo much food, ended up being all eaten!

Items needed for this recipe:

  •  1c. Sweet baby rays BBQ sauce (I used the ALDI brand!)
  • 1c. Smuckers brand Sweet Orange Marmelade
  • 2T. Soysauce (I forgot to add this, and it was still fabulous!)

Bring these to a boil while the chicken is cooking.

For the chicken:

  •  3-4 chicken breasts (I used a pack of tenders that were on sale at ALDI 🙂 )
  • 1c. of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying

Dredge the chicken in egg, then flour (which I salted), and then fry in the oil.  Place done chicken on a paper towel plate to drain.

Once the chicken is cooked and all done, toss with the sauce.  Eat with rice 🙂  ENJOY!

Does this recipe fit my requirements?  Sure!  Chicken on sale, off brand of BBQ sauce, and flour/egg/oil already in pantry/fridge!  My family and I love it! It was a bit putsy with the chicken frying, but really, it was easy!!  Result….WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!!

Ok. Yes, I’m sure you also saw that Frozen Pizza was on the list.  Sometimes schedules just are too busy to make a good meal. Oh I know there are crockpots (obviously!)  but come on, when pizzas are on sale for cheap, buy a few for the freezer!  They come in handy!  Or as I told you before, when the roast doesn’t cook all the way in time for the family to eat, then pizza it is!  I find that our local supermarket has good deals often, and I also like to go to ALDI for pizza too.  Good deals, good pizzas!  Got coupons?  Even better.  Watch your ads in the paper, sign up for coupons.com, or go to your store’s website to find store coupons.  Some places you can double dip.  This means you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon.  Sometimes, this gets you FREE products!  Are you a Target Cartwheeler?  Then you can do 3 types of deals in one!

Stay tuned for my next meal!  Questions?  Let me know in the comments below!

Crazy start to new year!

I left you reading in August,  about how it’s a swear word!  But as teachers do,  we forget about the craziness that happens in the first months of school.  I want to compare it to childbirth.  You know wheat you went though to have your baby,  but somehow you forget the actual pain and difficulty! You may want to do it again! Teachers do the same thing.  We know we start over each year with new kids,  but really…. it’s not that bad.  Hah!

As a preschool teacher,  my job is to initiate all things new and get them to learn how to be at school and do school stuff,  write their name,  know abcs, count,  and play well with each other.  Ooh and to keep them safe! Really,  I do that,  kind of.  I first work at teaching how to sit at carpet time and not hurt each other while listening to a story.  Then, I teach them how to line up,  and stay in line,  and stay in line,  and stay in line,  ooh and don’t rub your hands all along the wall on the way to the bathroom (after picking your nose of course!). I teach them to pick a chair to sit in for snack and activities.  Ooh they can’t sit by that one person,  now I teach them  it’s ok to cry, but it’s just not their day or time to sit by that person.

In preschool it’s a requirement to be potty trained.  We take 3 class trips to the big bathroom,  have a bathroom in our classroom,  yet somehow have to help change clothes a time or two a week.  Thank goodness,  that changing is now turning into playing in the water changing.

September was a month of so many new experiences.  Cutting was one of them.  Some I find out have never cut.  Not a problem, that’s what preschool is for!  Thumb up,  open and shut them,  thumb up,  hold the paper,  I can help you,  please don’t cut me,  stop cutting your glue stick,  stop cutting the table,  ooh buddy don’t cut your shirt!

October,  we have mastered walking in line! We know to sit and wait to see what jobs are available! We’ve learned some friends names!  Now we learn to say “when you’re done,  can I play with that?”. Ooh you forgot to ask? Was it in  their hands?  Did you take it from them? How do you think it makes them feel? Not good.  Yeah,  probably not.  What can we say next time? “When you’re done,  can I play with that?”  Yes we are practicing that one.

November is the month we focus hard on being thankful for the things we have and the things God has made.  What are you thankful for kiddo?? Ooh that truck? Are you thankful you get you play with it at school? No? You’re thankful God made it last year?  Ok,  remind me to talk more about what God has made!!

December is here.  What? We have a Christmas concert practice today and again tomorrow and the next,  ooh and next Monday? Ooh and they cut into nap time? Ooh snack time is pushed back?? Kiddos are getting hangry!  Ooh good,  preschool practice is only 15 minutes,  not too bad!! Back on schedule! Big kid buddies are coming to read with us! So fun!  20 minutes? Ok! Time to get some math fun in still?? Ooh yeah!! Let’s count to five with blocks, who can do it? Remember,  the last number you say when counting is how many you have! Lets count! 1,2,3 how many do we have? 5? Ok lets count again.

I created a packet of worksheets (don’t stress out over that word!) and it is here at my TPT store 🙂 It was great for the kiddos who needed scissor/coloring/gluing/patterning practice!

christmas activities

But then,  you hear “I love you ” or “I love school” or “do you want to play with me?” Or “look I zipped my coat all by myself!”.

All the difficult moments get covered up by all that really matters.  Kids are being loved,  taught how to be kind,  are kept safe,  and are taught some things along the way.

I love my “babies”. They are full of energy and have so many questions!

Tomorrow,  go answer those kiddos questions,  give them a smile,  and enjoy it all!
Feel free to buy your favorite teachers a gift or two this month! We do so much,  because we love what we do!

***above is a link to Amazon.com…..I get a small part of each sale after it is clicked, with nothing added on your end!  Click and shop. Easy peasy!

School is starting

How many of you are teachers? How many are parents? These last few weeks or days are a bag of mixed emotions.  

We are also trying to figure out if we should veg out,  or do all the things that we didn’t get a chance to do yet this summer! 

Most of the school supplies have been purchased and are in the back packs,  ready for welcome back night.  Outfits are bought,  but need to be ironed and put away.  Shoes have been bought for normal wear,  but we still need to get gym shoes.  

Does this sound like any of you with kiddos?

I decided to bake with my girls a few more times.  I just got a new bundt pan from Pampered chef (available September 1, 2017) and we’re having so much fun trying out new recipes for it!  Do you have any bundt pan recipes you’d like to share with me?? I’m going to be experimenting with lemon later today, stay tuned for results!

Another thing that we have been talking about all summer,  is going to a few cemeteries to see where our relatives have been buried.  We took a drive with my grandparents to get a history lesson at the same time.  It was great! One thing my 7 year old asked though, after looking around for a bit,  was “where is Jesus’s grave?” I think we need to chat a bit more about what happens on Easter and get a geography lesson as well!

Enjoy your last few days of summer! Have a wonderful fall! 

Becky

I’m in love with Pampered Chef 

Last June,  I signed up to be a Pampered Chef lady.  I signed for the money.  I am learning I am getting so much more! 

This week,  I joined 4000 women and men at the National Pampered Chef Conference 2017. It was so inspiring.  I felt like I found 4000 more friends.  

My hope for more money,  has been changed to loving the grown-up discussions,  fun,  and friendships I have along the way.  

I’m thinking I’m not alone here,  when I say  “it’s so nice to talk to others who can speak sentences longer than 3 words,  understand what I’m saying,  and are taller than preschool size”. My daily life usually revolves around 16 three to five year olds,  and then coming home to my 4 and 7 year old.  Adult conversation is nice.  

Pampered Chef has giving me more goals.  They have inspired me to challenge myself to want to be better.  It’s an individual sport.  You only need to compare your numbers to yourself.  “Am I making improvements in myself and my business?”  “Am I rocking this?”  “Am I getting what I need from this?” This picture below shows my name tag from this year.  My goals for next year include having a ribbon that reads advanced director.  Let’s do it!

My goals for achieving this must be remembering what it is all about.  Creating one meal at a time and one memory at a time.  Helping the people I meet and already know learn tips for easy recipes and keeping it simple in the kitchen! Helping others know they are not alone.  

click here for this Pampered Chef recipe

Who should have a party? Everyone! Why? Well it depends on the individual’s why.  Food? Friends? Fun? Free? 

Who should have Pampered Chef in their lives? Everyone! Why? It depends? Food? Friends? Fun? Free?

I want us all to find our why.  Is it our kids? Family? Money? I had such a blast at the conference and learned more than I can implement in a week,  but I’m making a plan and am so excited! 

Let’s get Together.  

Does Pampered Chef need You? Or do You need PC?

Becky

August… The swear word!

If you are a teacher, you’ll understand my title! You’ll understand how I do not want to turn the page on my calendar! Yesterday, someone said “school is starting soon!” I yelled at them to stop saying swear words! Bahaha!!  Even though I’m getting refreshed, taking time to drink my coffee, going to the bathroom whenever I please, it is hard to think it’s time to go back to work. But in the same thought, I can’t wait to get back! I do love seeing all the kids. I love creating a room inviting and ready for kids to learn.

AUGUST!!

August, a swear word. The word some parents are excited to hear, knowing their children will be going back to class. The word some parents cry hearing, knowing their first or their last baby will be going off to school. The word when stores go crazy filling every aisle with stuff they think all kids need (hint… They don’t need fidget spinners!).

AUGUST!!

August, a swear word. The word that gets all teachers’ fingers cramping from Pinterest searching or TPT searching. The word that spouses cringe at, knowing their bank accounts will be dwindling with every pack of crayons brought into the house (or sometimes hidden in the backs of cars!) The word that gets all kids jumping and excited to play more games and sports, then thinking about all the NEW Stuff they get, and their friends they will soon see!

AUGUST!!

August, a swear word. When trying to school supply shop, and the realization sets in that it is too late. All the folders in the required colors are gone. The suggested pencils are gone.  Your child’s tears start, because their beloved character is no longer available on a lunch box. It’s also not available on the backpack either. Worst parent award is coming in the mail soon, nominated by your child!

AUGUST!!!

August, a swear word. Are there enough lunches and dinners planned? Have the dinners been prepped and frozen? Are the bus schedules correct? Are the supplies correctly labeled? Are the uniforms or school clothes ready? Or if not, have you at least done the style show to see if last year’s clothes still fit?

AUGUST!!

 

Try not to swear too much this year, especially in front of teachers!

PS… Never tell a teacher they didn’t work all summer. The teacher brain never turns off. They never stop thinking of ideas for next year.  Many get second, or third jobs, since many teaching jobs don’t pay the big bucks.  If you’re able, find a classroom and make a donation. Speaking for all teachers, they will be so appreciative!!

Happy August!! Ahhh, I just swore!!!!

-Becky

Gift cards for the teacher are also a great idea to start the year right! LOL!  Here is an affiliate link that will give me a little extra, but not be any extra on your end!

Life with Anxiety and Depression

This is a hard post to write, but I have learned that there is a world out there that shares my same struggles.

One thing that I have figured out, is that I have anxiety and depression.  It was exaggerated and noticed more after I had my first child.  Going to work as a teacher was a struggle.  I was happy with the kids, but my director noticed that the moment I thought no one was looking, I went numb.  I didn’t notice this.  They did.  My director called me into her office and told me all the things she was noticing and told me she was concerned.  I’ll never forget that day.  I’ll never forget the tears that streamed down my face.  I’ll never forget that door that was shut behind me.  I looked at that door, wishing it was open so I could run out.  I knew that if I did, I would not get the help I needed.

Several years later, I thought I was better.  I felt better.  Then I had a miscarriage.  This put me over the edge.  I couldn’t get out of bed.  I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I cried.  A lot.  My mom came over, because my hubby didn’t know what to do.  He had to go to work, but we had a 2 year old.  He didn’t want to leave her “alone”.   My mom got me out of the house a few days later.  I didn’t want to be seen out and about in my town.  I didn’t want people I knew to ask why I wasn’t in school.  I didn’t want to talk about it.  I did agree to drive an hour away to go shopping.  It got my mind off of things and I enjoyed my time with my kiddo and mom.  I went through some therapy, and was put on meds.  I was feeling better.

I continue to take my meds.  I have up’ed them and have a backup med that is for “emergencies only”.  When I feel my chest can’t be “sat on” any more.  When the “burning” on my face, neck, back, and arms gets to much, I take this extra med.  I want to be off of them.  I want to be able to “control it” on my own.   But as my sister has said, if I had diabetes, I wouldn’t turn down my insulin.  Why would I turn down my meds now?  I need these to feel better, and to do better.

There are days, even recently, that I don’t leave the couch.  I feel I’m the worst mom out there.  Days that I hate being a mom.  Where I want to run away.  But I have learned how the meds I’m on can be used to bring me back.  I have learned that some deep breathing, sleep, a goal of what to make for dessert (dinner is too much for me at this point!), can sometimes help with these things.  The sad part of these days, is that I don’t want to be the worst mom ever.  I want to play.  I want to make fun foods for my kiddos.  I want to hang out with my sisters and parents.  I want to clean my house.  But all of those things make me more anxious.  A clean house makes me anxious, because I worry it will be a mess soon again.  A messy house makes me anxious, because I worry about what everyone else will think about me and the mess I live in.  Anxiety gives me the chest pain and pressure, burning sensation down my arms, on my face and back.  Depression keeps me doing nothing, laying on the couch, not wanting to do anything or go anywhere.

“I want to go shopping!”  “no, I don’t, that means I have to get dressed and drive there.”

“I want to do an art project with my kids.”  “No, I don’t, that means I have to get up.”

“I want to clean my house.”  “No, I don’t, that means I have to get up.  And it will be messy again.”

“I want to lose weight, I should start walking.”  “No, I don’t, that means I have to get up and go.”

We need to share our stories.  We need to stick together and support others.

My family is great at wanting to help.  I love them so much.  When I’m not doing good tho, I worry a lot about even what they will think of me.  Why do they want to help me?  The struggle is real.

Walking and talking helps.  But, to get out and walk and talk is hard to do.  Anxious that I’m gaining weight.  Too depressed to get out and work it off.  Ugh.  Who feels my pain?

Is this your life?   Do you know someone like me?

Thanks for reading.  Share this post. Like it.

— Becky

 

PS…if you are in need of a little retail therapy, this is my affiliate link where I get a little payment, but there is nothing added to your total!! 🙂

 

Our Strabismus Surgery Story

Last week, my daughter had Strabismus Surgery.  Her eyes were not tracking together.

Since she was 2 months old, I noticed her tracking was not where it should be.  We began going to eye doctors to get suggestions of what to do to help her.  We tried exercises, looking at black and white images, like all parents do in the early months.  We tried patches, which we found would not work with her type.  We tried glasses, which were not for her site, but only for her muscles around the eyes.  Over the last year or so, we were told surgery was inevitable, we just had to make sure everyone was ready, everyone meaning the doctors who needed to make sure the measurements were staying consistent.

In February, our doctor suggested we come back in June, which is only 4 months apart instead of the normal 6 month apart appointments.  She wanted us to see the surgeon as a second opinion early in the summer, to allow for time to have the surgery and not be in the school year.

End of June came and the appointment happened.  The surgeon did suggest surgery.  Sharing the comment that this was inevitable.   Surgery was set for July.  We began talking about what was going to be happening.  As it got closer, we began watching videos about kids going into surgery.  We were even given a video of the hospital we were going to, so that she would be familiar with the look of the rooms, procedures, and materials.

The day before, we were called to be given our presurgery info.  This info included that we would be starting our surgery about 4 hours earlier than originally scheduled.  A little bit of a shock to me.  We were not able to go down (3 hours south) until that morning, so we got up at 3:30 AM to dress, do hair, and pack up the truck.

 

Getting into our prep room, we had the family specialist come in to help Miss A know what was going to be happening. Unfortunately, the nurse had just come into the room to give her meds that would help with anxiety and remembering all that was happening. So, that meant that Miss A was a bit goofy already.

She was giggling, saying funny nonsense words, telling us her finger was stuck to her lip, and her leg kept falling off the bed! We ended up putting up the second railing on her bed to help with safety!! Here is a picture of us together being silly! She said she was pinching her cheek! At this point, all of us in the room were crying from laughter!!

The doctor came in to check in with us, and to see how we were doing. He also had heard she had a loose tooth, and he had to check it out. He told us that since it was so loose, it probably would have to come out prior to the surgery, to make sure it didn’t get knocked out and swallowed. Fast forwarding a bit, as soon as the surgery started, we were given the treasure box with her tooth.

I’m going back to the point after the doc came in. When it was time for us to go to surgery, I was nervous. I wanted to go back to make sure she was ok going under anesthesia, but the doctor said we should see how she was doing first. Her dad and I walked her down the hall, as she was riding on the “bed with wheels”. When we got to a corner, the nurses said “we’re at the kissing corner, time to give kisses and to say see you later!” We did as we were told, and they went through the door, leaving us behind. My tears started then.

I luckily had a village behind me, so when I went to the waiting room, my parents, grandparents and my mother in law were waiting for us. They kept me talking, laughing and eating. I am so grateful for all of them! I also had my village back at home and on Facebook praying for us and giving me words of encouragement. LOVE my family and friends sooooo much!

When the tv said she had been in surgery for over 1 hour and 20 minutes, the doctor came out to say everything went great. They only had to fix one muscle on one eye. Originally, they wanted to do both eyes. They also talked about doing the surgery to fix the DVD, which is the up and down deviation. Through more examination, they did not feel that one was not necessary at this time. They think that this one muscle surgery will fix the other issues. I learned that eyes are not like arms and legs. Arms and legs can be told by your brain to do different things at the same time. Eyes, on the other hand, work and do the same thing at the same time. So by fixing the one muscle, the other muscles will correct themselves.

I did not take any pictures of her in the recovery room. One reason is that this mommy was crying silently too hard to control the phone. Another reason was that I was holding Miss A. She was not a happy camper when I first got there. I even asked my hubby if we had done the right thing. He said of course, she needed this to be successful. Some morphine was added to her IV, and her pain subsided. She relaxed in my arms. We covered her eyes with a cold wash cloth to help with the pain and itch. They told us her eye would feel like there was a bunch of sand in it, resulting in her wanting to itch it. We had to keep her hands out of her eyes. At this point, I’m wondering how in the world can I do that!? The nurse sitting with us, looked at Miss A and said “do you want some apple juice?” I was thinking, are you crazy? She is sleeping! But sure enough, she answered “YES”. The nurse laughed and said, see she is awake! Her vitals were looking great. The anesthesiologist thought everything looked great, and signed off on his part. Before we knew it, they were saying we could get her dressed and get ready to go home.

When we got in the truck, she started to cry, she said she hurt, and she felt sick. I was almost going to jump out and ask my mom to go in and get a nurse!! I was a little over reacting. I see this in hindsight! But look at this face. This face is one I don’t like to see in my baby. I do love the people in the background! I love this family of mine! They were so happy to be done with the surgery!

Within a few minutes, she was sleeping! She continued to sleep till we got to grandma’s house, and we put her in bed, covered her up, and she slept for another hour until we needed to give her more Tylenol. Then she slept for another 3 hours! I was so happy she slept so well! She woke up, we called her sister on Facetime, so she could see her and talk to her. That was so great for both of them! After her phone call, she said she was hungry. Doctor’s orders were to eat bland stuff, so her belly could handle it better. We offered her toast, apple sauce, and apple juice! She ate it all!

After dinner, we alternated watching movies, covering her eyes with a cold cloth, and playing with babies. It was great to see her doing so well right away!

That night, I woke her up every 3 hours to piggy back the Tylenol and IB profin, just so she wasn’t in much pain. The only time she was up longer than it took me to rinse out the cup, was at 2:30AM when she just wanted to chat, fix blankets, give me kisses and be silly! That luckily only lasted 45 minutes.

At 2:50PM the next day, we had our Post Op appointment to check everything over. They said she looked great! Just as she should look! Her eye will be red. It is the bruising that occurs. In the eye it looks red, when under your skin it would look blue/purple. But that is all perfectly normal.

Now, almost a week later, we are days into saying “how do I keep her calm? How do I keep her laying low?” Because she is doing so well, she thinks she can play like normal. Unfortunately for her, the doctor said “normal activities” may resume in a week. As of right now, she has 2 days left of laying low! And 2 more days of eye drops!! She is very excited about that! One drop 4 times a day is not a fun thing to do.

Miss A is doing well. Her eyes are tracking so well together! Glasses are not needed anymore! She feels great!

I’m so happy everything is going as planned!! I have to call the doctor on Tuesday to tell him the drops have been completed, everything is good, and then I’ll see him again in October!! I pray that no more surgeries will need to be done, but it is always a 1:3 chance one will be needed.

Thankful for family. Thankful for amazing doctors.

— Becky

Strawberry Pickin’ Time

Beautiful day to pick strawberries!

It’s strawberry pickin’ time here in Minnesota!  How about where you are?  Has your season come and gone?  I know my sister, who lives in Nebraska, said her season was done weeks ago!  It’s amazing how different the weather and planting seasons are from state to state.

Our goal today was to fill 6 ice cream buckets full of delicious strawberries, and we succeeded!  It took us 2 hours to do this with 4 people picking.  Ok, really I’ll say 2.5 people, since 2 of us were children, and they were more interested in eating them!  The sun was so hot at 8am, the girls were wanting to be done after one bucket, but we convinced them we’d have more jam if we filled the rest of the buckets.

We made a friend!

Not only did we get  buckets of  berries, we got to see some other “wildlife” hopping around!  That was sure exciting!

Once we took the berries home, we took some time to enjoy a bowl full.  Then, we hulled and cleaned all of them.  That’s the boring part if I do say so myself! Make sure to stand on a comfy rug or have good shoes on, because you’ll be standing there for a while!

Now it’s time to separate your berries.  One bowl for your keepers, the ones you’ll freeze for eating later, putting on top of shortcake or ice cream, or making a strawberry crisp.  One bowl for the jam berries.

The berries you picked for making jam now get to be squished.  Put a layer of strawberries in a shallow dish, and start mashing with a potato masher.  Mash it up good, so that most, but not all, chunks are all gone.  Pour this mash into a measuring cup, until it equals 5 cups.

Now, pour the 5 cups into your pot, add in one box of “Sure-jell”, and 1 teaspoon of butter, then stir.  Bring this mixture to a rolling boil and add in 7 cups of sugar.  My mom said not to change this amount, because it won’t work.  There’s a science behind it, and we don’t want to screw this up!  Feel free to search for a less sugar or sugar substitute recipe and share with me in the comments!  But be sure to make this recipe first!  It is amazing!

Once this sweetness comes to a boil, stir continuously for 1 minute.  Get your jars ready.  I forgot to get a picture of the jars boiling, but here is a picture of the rings getting sterilized!  Once you are at the 1 minute stage, turn off this pot, and add in your lids to the rings.  Let sit in the hot water until you are ready!

Are you ready for the messy part?  With your jars sitting on your newspaper covered counter, add in a funnel to a jar and ladle your strawberry jam mixture to each jar.  Leave about 1/2 centimeter of space to the top of each jar.  Now, this is important, wipe each top of the jar with a hot water rag.  Make sure there is no residue on the top or side where the ring and lid will go.  This will ensure a good seal!  Immediately cover with lid and ring, tighten, and flip upside down for 5 minutes.  Once your five minutes is up, turn right side up, and listen for the “pops”!  that will mean they are ready for your pantry!

With hot soapy water, wash the outside of each of these jars, and place in your pantry, ready to eat!

Enjoy your jam!  Comment below with any of your on favorite flavors!!

— Becky

Here are some affiliate links to Amazon that will help you get the important things you need to make your own jam at home!

 

 

Lake Time

Being by a lake is an experience that is one of a kind. A feeling of calm. The smell of fresh water. The sound of kids splashing and giggling. The realization that we will never, ever, ever get to leave the water, as long as it’s not storming! How can I as a mom take away this fun when nothing else is going on? This is the time to enjoy!

Lakes are a place my kids love to go! My oldest is a fish. I hear stories of years ago, when I was just like her. Always wanting to have a part of me in the water. Feeling the water rush over me as a wave from a fishing boat comes crashing by. The sights of bonfires still smoking to remind us of the fun that was had the night before.

This lake, this weekend, has a slide and a dock. Both allowing creativity, daring behaviors, and fun! The kids, and the kids at heart, challenge themselves to jumping and diving contests, who can slide with most finesse, and who can rock the raft the best. The laughter, the screams of joy and the fun is something we crave every year and are blessed with the ability to come year after year.

When we were packing to come, we reminisce of all the years before. Thinking of what we needed, what we didn’t. How many towels are necessary this year? What kind of clothes should we have on hand? Food… Food always goes with camping! My family is kind of a “foodie” family, in a casual, creative and delicious way! Example A: my family is in charge of day one’s meals. What should we have? Breakfast: 2 different egg bakes, fruit, caramel rolls, muffins, juice and coffee. Dinner: lasagna in a Crock-Pot, sides of bread, Cole slaw, fruit and cake.  Oh did I forget snacks in between? Chips, crackers, cheese, meat, nuts, candy, beer, pop, juice boxes, and more! What else could we need?!

Company. Great company. That is what it comes down to. Who is around? Who do we chat with, eat with, play with? Who do we remember a week later when talking about the weekend?  Yes, location is wonderful, but company is most important. Who will love you for you? Find it. Embrace it. Enjoy it!

— Becky

Supper Club with the Family

Something I cherish is time with my family.  I love seeing my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my cousins and their children, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents and parents!  With a section of my family, we started years ago a supper club.

How does it work?

With 5 families in our supper club, we all take turns hosting.  The host of the month chooses the theme for the meal.  This is the fun part!  We can pick anything we love to eat…. and everyone rolls with it!  Here are some suggestions:

  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Grilling– Burgers and hotdogs
  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Picnic
  • BBQ ribs and sides
  • Turkey

After the theme has been picked, the rest of the crew starts throwing out what they will bring.  The host provides most of the plates and silverware needed, and also provides the main part.  Sometimes the meal requires the main part to be spread out among everyone, that works too.

Things to bring– have your families sign up!

  • Side dish 1
  • Side dish 2
  • Side dish 3
  • Dessert
  • Main dish
  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Add to fill your groups!

Once all this has been designated, all there is left is to show up and have fun!  But how do you get all the food planned?  Oh there are many ways….  My fam uses a group we created on Facebook to chat all about what we’re bringing.  But you can make a sign up genius sign up!  If you haven’t tried that, go to signupgenius.com and check it out!  I’m not hired by them to say that…don’t worry!  I just use them a lot in my classroom for fun events coming up and it works great!  Other ways could include using a google doc or spreadsheet, and have your peeps fill in all the goodies they are bringing!  You can also just assign a thing to bring to each family.  We did do that at one point, switching it up each month….made it fun to see what everyone did for different parts of the meals!

Don’t forget the pictures!

This is important! Get a group shot!  Get a group shot of all the kiddos alone and then one with the adults.  It is amazing how much they grow and the pictures help show that off!  Do it, figure it out, prop those cameras, laugh.  Trust me, there will be laughter!  And there will be lots of great food!

Your job now?

Get your family groups together and create your own Family Supper Club!!

Comment below with your own pictures of your family supper clubs!  What themes do you use?  I love being creative and making new dishes to show off!  I hope you do too!

—Becky

Affiliate link to Amazon 🙂