Saturday, August 18, 2012

Almost FREE Pencil Holder

My son has trouble keeping track of his pencils, I and super cheap, so I made him a pencil holder instead of buying him one.  Check it out:

This is what you need: 
1 tin can
spray paint in your color of choice
ribbon or binding
buttons or beads
hot glue gun

Start by painting the can and let it dry completely--I forgot to get a pic of this.
Glue binding or ribbon over the rim and be sure to cover all sharp edges.

 Glue on beads, buttons, puff balls, ect to your preference.
 The front.
The back.

My son LOVES his!
It's his favorite color and has his name on it--what would be better?

The End of Week 1 of 1st Grade

It's been one thing after another this week... And it's been hard.  I/we love home-school, don't get me wrong, but after summer break it's been really hard to get back into the swing of things.  The week has been full of push-ups, sit-ups, and laps around the neighborhood. 
Daddy has offered to get me a Drill SGT hat! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Grade Pirates

The new school year starts... Monday!  For us anyway--I spent all this week getting ready for the first day of 1st grade.  The living-room/schoolroom has been cleaned at least twice, the school desk has been emptied and stocked with all new supplies, and his 1st grade curriculum now takes up the shelves that once housed his Kindergarten stuff.  My baby is getting so big!  The little brother was accepted to Headstart at the center and wants to go so it will just me Mommy and Izzy doing homeschool this year. 

All that said, I be you are wondering about the pirate ship--am I right?  Well, Izz is really into to pirates (today) and so I made him a progress chart till his first test.  In the Calvert curriculum there is a test every 20 lessons, so there are 20 little gold confetti pieces on the line.  
Gold confetti to symbolize lessons.

Pirate ship with his name on it!

The Treasure!

Everyday he finishes a lesson, he'll get to move his ship forward a gold piece, then when he reaches the Treasure we'll go do something fun, like go to a movie or have a mini-party with his brother.  
So there you have it--we're all ready for a new and exciting year in homeschool!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My First WHEAT Containing Meal in Over a Year

So seven years ago I got pregnant with my first wonderful son--and I got SICK!  Back pain, vomiting, nausea--you name it, I had it.  When I delivered my sweet baby, I thought everything would go back to normal.  I was cured from my pregnancy!  However I was sorely disappointed when three weeks later I was flat on my back sick again!  In the years since, I've been chronically ill: constant dull pain in my back, GI issues, nausea, headaches, fatigue and occasionally dizziness for no reason.  I've been in and out of doctors offices, had a ton of blood work done and even had my gallbladder removed!  March of 2011, my doctor called and said the blood work indicated Celiac Disease and to go gluten-free for a month to see if it helps.  Here we are over a year later and I'm STILL SICK!  So I finally got a referral to a specialist and will be having my first ever colonoscopy and endoscopy at the same time!  And I'm excited!  The gastroenterologist is going to confirm whether or not I actually have Celiac Disease while he's in there--so he told me to go back on the wheat!  This is my first wheat containing meal in over a year...

And it was GOOD!

Monday, May 21, 2012

30 Seconds to Prioritize

Sundays are my day to rethink life.  Life gets complicated during the week: we focus on homeschool, we work on the house, my husbands schedule is constantly changing (Thank you, Army.  I really didn't want to go out for that anniversary anyway!) I have to walk the dog.  By the end of the week I am hammered trash most of the time (not hung over, but I look and feel like someone hit me with a train...  and then backed up over me again.)

I spend a lot of time listening to audio books, particularly while doing dishes as there are a lot of those at my house. So a few weeks ago I started something new--I only listen to church material on Sundays.  

I know, simple, no brainer... But, I never would have guessed how much it effected my life.   I get bored with conference talks (Sorry Pres. Monson!) and I can't stand the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  most of the time, so I had to branch out and look for other media to fill in the day.  In my wanderings I found The Mormon Channel--it's fantastic!  And I find myself wanting to listen to talks and interviews with the General Presidency even on weekdays.   That's the Mormon General Presidency just incase you don't recall or can't tell by the rest of the post, I'm LDS and love it!  It is a little difficult and complicated at times as my husband is not Mormon, but he loves me and supports me so it all works out.

Two weeks ago I started something new, instead of just saying to myself "I should read my scriptures" I actually picked them up and started reading them in the morning.  A week later my sons when came in for their morning snuggles they found me reading--instead of closing the book and laying down with them, I put one on either side of me and read out loud.  Now every morning I take my shower and start to read and when they wake up they come and lay on the bed while I read to them.

It is a beautiful thing.  

 I can't describe the feeling of peace and contentment I feel when they happily come listen to the scriptures.  I want to do the best I can, but like most mothers, I often feel inadequate and like my meager imperfect influence is overshadowed by the world.  I know I can't do everything, but the Lord has blessed me with enough time to do the things at are most important.  I know these little changes have blessed my life--and the lives of my children.

Both changes were brought about by acting on a passing thought, 30 seconds to decide to act on it or let it pass by.  I can't wait to see what blessings might come from the next prompting I follow rather then let slip by. 

The next little change that is really a big change in disguise. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow Part 2

My green beans--the first plants to flower and bare "fruit"  :-)

Watermelon--it's not really hot enough for it yet, but it's still cute to look at.

Melting Sugar Peas growing tall.

Strawberries!!  They are in a Topsy-Turvy planter and they are thriving!

Herbs: Parsley, Oregano, Basil.

Notice the difference in height?
More tomatoes then we can possibly eat!  There are cherry tomatoes, pear tomatoes, Rutger tomatoes and Julienne yellows!  I'm so excited!


This is a close up of her, I'm not sure what she'll do next... Flower maybe?

 And last but not least:

The newer addition to my garden--Chocolate Mint!  WOW!  I can't wait till this is big enough to use! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How does your garden grow?

 With snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, that how my garden grows! 
My boys LOVE to play in the dirt!

Filling the starter cups with soil.

All planted!

Watering our new plants!

The first big tomato plant three days later, about a half inch tall.

Tomato #1 a week later--he's about 2.5inches!
The cherry tomatoes a week later--I'm so excited!

Green beans--the second to sprout!
(The first is the picture at the top.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Gluten Free German Pancakes

 I love light, fluffy German pancakes!  It's been a while since I've had them seeing as I've been Gluten Free for the past... Ugh--year as of next month.  I've had a few "accidental" gluten-izations, like that time at the unit Bar-B-Q when I ate that chocolate cake... not a good memory.  So I've been looking for recipes for all the things I love. Today I found this recipe at and went to work--this is the resulting recipe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jesus: The Original Super Hero!

So my 6 year old son has recently developed this concept that sense the movies and superheros aren't real, that neither is Jesus... I have been at a loss for what to tell him.  We've talked about faith, and how we know the Gospel is true.  We go to church.  I feel like I'm doing all I really can to help him.  Today during a break from school (he's home-schooled, so he was at home playing with duplos) he told me he doesn't want to do Family Home Evening because Jesus isn't fun.  My approach went something like this:

Me: What makes a superhero a superhero?
Izz:  They are cool.
Me: What else?
Izz:  They have special powers and can make stuff.
Me:  What is the difference between a superhero and a super-villain?
Izz:  One is the good guy and one is the bad guy.
Me:  But how do you know which on is the good guy?
Izz:  Because they help people.
Me:  So a hero rescues people and makes them safe--he saves them.
Izz:  Yeah, and he doesn't super cool stuff.
Me:  Did you know that Jesus is like that?  He rescues us from our sins--when we do something wrong, that's called a sin, and when we repent, He takes that sin from us and rescues us.
Izz:  But Satan is the bad guy?
Me:  That's right, because Satan always tries to make you do what's wrong. 
Izz:  So  Satan doesn't want us to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus?
Me:  No he doesn't--he's like a real super-villain.

So there you have it--Jesus is a Super Hero!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finding Hope in Sad Days

Friday morning after dropping my husband off for a three week school, I returned to find a message on my facebook that my Grandmother had suffered a heart attack the night before and was not expected to live past the weekend.  I briefly considered flying out and seeing her, however was advised to stay home and monitor the situation by telephone. 
It has been something of a struggle for me, Grandma Mary is easily one of my favorite family members.  It is not easy to stay 2000 miles away when I could go to see her.  Eight years ago, before I had kids and a husband, she had her first stroke and I spent a week with her after she was well enough to leave the hospital.  It was the most time I ever spent with her alone--she took me all over Oakland where she lived, and exercised every day to stay fit.  She volunteered at the local thrift shop and visited boutiques and got pedicures. 
This is a picture from that visit.  She was beautiful and vibrant and full of life.  
The past few years her health has deteriorated and she has spent much time in the hospital.  She would be 90 this March.  I have tried to find ways to explain things to my sons, they didn't really know her and so they aren't really upset or interested in the details of what's happening.  Last night I called and talked to her, she doesn't talk much anymore, but I got to tell her I love her and that I'll miss her.  My youngest son, Moses talked to her for a long time, he told her all about Scooby Doo and the monsters.  We watched Royal Wedding last night, this is how I think of her, singing like an angel and dancing. 
This video from Mormon Messages has brought some comfort to me--I know Grandma will be happier and freer when this is all over.  We will miss her, but she will be where she belongs.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Suphero Birthday Party

This is Isaac, my 6 year old superhero!
The table with all the goodies!  Everything on this table was gluten-free, peanut-free and homemade: chocolate and white cake/cupcakes, lemon buddies chex mix and muddy buddies chex mix with Nutella and a little cream instead of peanut butter, chocolate dipped GF cookies from Glutino.

My super CTR-Boy cake!
That's layers of chocolate and white cake with cherry Ganache filling! 
(I'm still recovering from the sugar high!)

And it was good!

Every year we have a Pinata--this year I got a pirate because it was the only "bad guy" character I could find--the boys loved it!
That's it--thanks for looking!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My First Fondant Cake

Tomorrow is my son Isaac's 6th birthday party--I've been planning for months what we would do and what kind of party it would be, ect.  We decided on a superhero party and so I set out to make the perfect cake: one with his superhero name on it--CTR-Boy!  A little bit of back story: I wrote him a few stories involving CTR-Boy who has the power to Choose The Right and be reverent and tell the truth, that kind of thing--he LOVES the stories and as CTR-Boys name is Isaac as well, he naturally assumed the stories are about him.  Not far off as they are for him--lol!
Anyway, back to the cake!  Everything at the the party is either dark or light--like white chocolate dipped vanilla cookies next to chocolate dipped cookies--so the cake is layers of gluten free chocolate and white cakes.
 The filling is cherry Ganache--a big thanks to Inspired-by-Michelle for posting  for posting this awesome tutorial!  Now before you go thinking I am awesome for trying a new sweet for frost my cake--I planned to use the Ganache to frost the entire thing, only the find out at the last minute that you have to let it sit over night before you can frost with it--oops!
 So I made Butter-Cream Frosting instead.  A big thanks to
for posting this recipe!  As it turns out, *that* frosting I have always loved but didn't know what it was so I couldn't make it is actually fresh butter-cream frosting.

Do you like my awesome cake turner?  I nearly toppled my cake a number of times--next time I'm going to make a Lazy Susan with a paint can or something.  
This was a very precarious way to frost!  lol!
The frosted product.
Fondant!  once again, I stole this from some awesome person on youtube--How to make Marshmellow fondant.  I loved this vid--it was super easy and quick to make.   

I printed out a big sized CTR sheild as a pattern and used an exacto knife to cut it out.

Last I added a few loving words in red Ganache.

Not bad huh?

Upon request, this is the end product--now you can really see the layers!