Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life changes on Hold

I'm down with the flu...our routine, breakfast shake, life is on hold while I try to get through this fog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mid-Century Modern

This weekend we moved our friends into their new home. It's big and beautiful, well earned and much loved! I'm so excited for them! But of course that means I have a hankering to look at my own home and the things I don't love about it. TOO. MUCH. CRAP! My dining room is full of stuff. Our dining room (which is not huge) is currently holding a hope chest my Dad bought and I fell in love with (now I can't bring myself to part with it), my dining room table (which happens to be HUGE), 6 chairs for said dining room table (and my 7 person family), my Dad's role top desk (also huge) and the computer chair (which we use as a stand in chair for Todd), and something we call my Dad's shrine (yes you read that right, a shrine specifically dedicated to my Dad - this currently holds pictures, and memorabilia (picture albums and news articles about him). Well while we were in my mom's shop this weekend looking for new furniture for the new H family home, I noticed a dining room set that had just come in. It's small, until it's NOT! the table folds down to almost 3 feet but when fully extended it's almost 9 feet! It's a dard wood and it's called mid-century modern. the hutch is thin but tall and long. I've been pondering, I asked Todd what he thought...I'm in love. He is not. and the price? is GOOD! Perfect even! absolutely beautiful! I didn't put it on hold. I didn't put a down payment on it and I didn't put it on layaway...all options at this store. Last night I missed a call from my mom, called her back and she said someone else was looking at the dining room set to resell (since it's so inexpensive). I missed the call asking if I wanted to put it on hold. Todd isn't in love with it. I told Mom that if it didn't sell, then I'd take it, but if it sold, another would come along. Todd immediately called her back and put it on hold! I'm getting a new dining room set that I love love love! YAY!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life Change 2 - Meal Planning

2nd of the Series of Life Changes – Meal Planning Every other week we’d go through an hour or more of meal planning – what did everyone want? What did we just have? What’s on sale? It took forever! So much mental energy, and then to figure up what we needed for each meal….exhausting! So Todd suggested we do a revolving menu. I sat down and for hours poured over our favorite meals, the inexpensive meals, and the healthy meals, to make up the best 3 – 2 week menus for our family. Then I worked up the ingredients I’d need for each meal and listed them beside the nightly menu so that whoever is in charge of setting out dinner will know exactly what we need for that night. Lane Michael (who wants to cook in the worse way) can now pick dinner, set it out, and eventually get started (once he knows more about that meal). This makes my life and grocery shopping SO much easier! some of the menus include things like chili and then 2 nights later we have cincinnati spaghetti. tacos, meat loaf, spaghetti and homemade meatballs, 2 nights later we'll have meatball subs. Just one change that made my life easier!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Series of Life Changes - Change 1

Todd and I love having a big family. When we grew our family by 2 the first time it took time to adjust from having no babies, to having 2 babies. We had to take time and rearrange our lives, our schedules, our home. When Ryan joined our family we went through and changed again, rearranging our house, our routine and every other aspect of our lives. But when the girls arrived, I just allowed them to take a spot (not being infants we wanted to follow as much of their lead as possible). It took us about 6 months to realize that our family had AGAIN grew by 2 people instead of 1 and taking their lead just wasn't goin to work. We had changes we needed to make for ourselves, for our sanity and for our marriage. We aren't as healthy as we could be. We weren't getting enough sleep. We were tired and as much as I HATE to say it, I was dropping the ball...I was juggling too much and just couldn't keep up. So we decided to make some changes...the first change is how we're fueling our bodies for the day. Here's the thing, I wasn't fueling my body. I was drinking a cup of coffee with some sugar and calling it good. By lunch I was starving and in turn would over eat. Long term, it just couldn't work. So Todd and I decided we'd try a breakfast shake...but not the shakes my mom made for me as a kid...even her attempt at a healthy breakfast shake was mostly ice cream (still makes me giggle). So a little research, and Todd found a "starter" shake...something easy, tasty and good for us!

When doing morning prep (I'll post about that at some point in this "series") we set out the ingredients we'll use the next day....or the ingredients that require measuring. The recipe called for 2 handfulls of spinach, 2 bananas, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup water. Since we buy our bananas for 2 weeks at a time, we buy them green so to help them ripen up before morning, we peal them and put them in this container with the yogurt, a section for pineapple (I don't mix them because of the pineapples acid). You'll also notice the blueberries...but the recipe I posted doesn't call for blueberries you say? You're right but they're SUCH a super fruit, and don't alter the flavor, I just can't resist throwing them in for good measure. Just a handful...
We set out the blender the night before also...making our mornings run so much more smoothly.
Next morning, I throw the spinach in the bottom of the blender so the other ingredients will provide weight and push the spinach into the blades. Then throw in the pineapple, bananas, water, yogurt and blueberries.
Blend it up.
and ENJOY! It's so yummy! I have a "friend" on who used to drink shakes and I thought she was a nut case! How could she possible drink a GREEN smoothy with spinach. Try it. It's worth drinking and I am not too hungry by lunch time! I feel good and productive all morning long! Even Todd (who we all know is a meat and potatoes kind of guy) drinks his shake and enjoys it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Biological Father

A couple of months ago, the girls mom showed up to visit excited about something. Asked the caseworker and GAL to step into a private room for a chat. A few minutes later, she ran out to her car (of course this set the girls into a frenzy of confusion) a few minutes later she brought in a man and the girls were taken back to visit. Later the CW called me and explained that he was alleged biological father. After months of being told that she doesn't know who he is, turns out that until he went to prison, he was involved with the girls. Now that he's out of prison he wanted to see the girls. We just got the DNA test results and he is their biological father. We don't know yet what this means, but he will now be invited to the visits and the case review.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Updates on Everyone

Life is a whirlwind and posting here is sadly one of the things that had to fall away. We have lots of great things going on here and Todd and I are starting the year off with some changes. An update about Christmas: Best Christmas ever! Everyone loved their gifts and had just the best time getting to hang out and spend the week together! The kids were spoiled and are still playing with their new Christmas loot! This week Lane Michael announced that his teacher played a game with them, a Christmas Trivia game and it was laced with Christian questions. What did Mary ride on to get to Bethlehem? Why were they in Bethlehem? Where did they live? Another word for 3 wisemen? Lane Michael said it rocked this game! So proud of that boy! I got Todd and Ipad, protective case and stylus for Christmas. Todd got me….an Ipad, protective case and stylus pen for Christmas. Yep. The kicker? I liked the case I bought. Todd liked the case he bought. I didn’t need the space his has…Todd needed the bigger memory. So in the end I kept the gift I bought. And Todd kept what he bought. We had NO idea! Update on Todd: Todd is graduating in the spring! Amazing! Looking back at this journey, we recognize that we just needed a little push and God gave it to us. Todd was laid off a month before Ryan was born and 2 months before the fall semester started. Giving us just enough time to get him enrolled and his VA benefits started. It’s been a wonderful experience and I am so glad Todd took this leap of faith! Trust and believe it hasn’t been easy or a cake walk. It’s been an amazing few years! If someone had said to me at the beginning of this journey, I’d have called them a bold faced liar! I am so proud of my husband! He’s an amazing person and any school would be lucky to have him on staff! Update on Lane Michael and Ethan: They’re such good boys! They’re amazing big brothers, so helpful, and well mannered. We are constantly being told how well behaved they are and how good they are with their little brother and sisters. They’re such a blessing to our family! Update on Ryan: He hates school. I’ve never heard of a preschooler hating school the way Ryan proclaims to. It’s ridiculous! He’s finally becoming a little more affectionate with me which just melts my heart, I could smooch on that boy all dang day! Update on Girlfriend and Little Miss: We’re starting to dabble in potty training just a little…I think when babies start trying to change their own and each others diapers, it’s time to start potty training! So we’ve started setting them on the potty first thing in the morning, before nap, before showers and before bed. So far all we’re getting is first morning (because they’re waking up dry), but Girlfriend has peed 3 times! And Little Miss has tinkled a little bit twice so I think it might take them some time but we’re well on our way! YAY! Update on their case (what details I can give): Some progress is being made and we’re looking at them going home (if their mom continues on this path) in about 5 months. We’re hoping she can continue to stay on track! The girls love her so much and you can tell they’re all bonded to each other. We’re rooting for her. We have another case review at the end of the month and will know more then. Financial progress: Todd and I have a plan to be debt free (save the mortgage) by the middle of summer (my goal was for his graduation to be debt free but I just don’t think I can make that work). If things go according to plan we will pay off both vehicles, and the small credit card by the end of March and then throw everything we have at that last straggling credit card and medical bills. That’s the plan anyway! Life is good, crazy busy and quite the roller coaster but we’re in a great routine and that helps to keep our sanity most days!