Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone out there is having a really great weekend. We got a head start on celebrating yesterday by attending one fantastic party! Costumes, pizza, friends, a scavenger hunt and launching apples out of a three person water balloon slingshot - who could ask for a better night?!

The Jawa (aka Z-man), Princess Jasmine (aka Little Mama), Supergirl (aka Baby Doll) and Spiderman (aka Duder) finally had the moment that they have been waiting a year for. ..dressing in their costumes! And I had the moment that I have been waiting a year for...
dressing in my costume! I love dressing up for Halloween. I think I have tons more fun with it now than I ever did as a kid. What do you think? Do I make a good Pink? I learned a few important things last night. First, I love my hair spiked in a mohawk. Second, I love the very bright pink lipstick I am wearing. Third, I love the nose ring! Seriously, don't be surprised if you see me sporting one or all of these in the future. I have found myself! I might do without the pink hair dye in the mohawk and the shoes that are responsible for me not being able to walk today.
I know, I really should have warned you with some sort of intro. Are you ok? Do you need a moment to calm down? I swear, this is the Hubby's best Halloween costume since he borrowed Ciena's bra in high school and went as a hooker! The only thing that would have made it better would have been the vinyl bodysuit. We just couldn't find it on such short notice. And for anyone interested in knowing, yes the Hubby was really going to dress as the Little Mermaid. The $120 price tag that went along with it wasn't worth the laughs for us. Maybe next year. Keep your fingers crossed. : )
To recap, my kids are adorable. We all had lots of fun and are looking forward to more. My only regret from the evening was not having a video camera on me to catch Duder booking it across the field in his little Spiderman costume, trying to catch one of the launched apples. The Hubby is just about finished carving the four faced jack-o-lantern, so I had better go help him out with the last few parts so I can claim I did it. : )

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Life's Truth entry thanks to Avery.

Nothing, and I mean nothing will start your day out well better than blasting the theme from Superman through the house. That was Baby Doll's request. I challenge you to do it and try to keep a straight face! I kept my smile all morning, even after sitting down on a peed on toilet seat. Now, that means Superman is inspiring. I think Baby Doll was getting her Halloween persona (Supergirl) ready for this weekend.

Trying Carol's Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

Little Mama and I got down to some business yesterday afternoon and tried out Carol's yummy sounding Pumpkin Pie smoothies. Any excuse to be in the kitchen is good for her. She isn't wearing it here, but she usually begs me to wear my apron while cooking. Little does she know that she has her own custom made apron wrapped up at the top of my closet, waiting for Christmas!

And here we have our tasty ingre- dients, all ready to be blended. Plain yogurt (we will try vanilla next time), cinnamon, canned pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg and something else which I can't remember without looking back at the blog. It even looks good there, doesn't it? Look at all that brown just can't go wrong with brown sugar! Now to mush it all up.

Ready for the sampling. Baby Doll, what do you think? She loved it and sucked down half her cup so fast I'm surprised she didn't suffer from a severe case of brain freeze. Then she sat for a moment, let out a great belch and announced that she was full. She decided she didn't like it (I think because she drank it too fast and got a very full tummy) but yet still requested it again for breakfast this morning.

Z-man, what do you think of it? Woah! That good?! Great big thumbs up from my pickiest eater. This stuff has gotta be good! Thanks again, Carol, for sharing with us! If any of you try this, please do leave a comment to tell us what you think!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introducing our first Guest Mom!

Mandy asked me to be a guest here to celebrate her blog launch. Let me start by saying I am honored that she thinks I have anything important to say. It is also funny that she thought I would know how to post to the blog. You see, when she told me that she was starting a blog and asked me to take a look I did. Then I had to ask how to follow her. So when I got logged in to follow her, I discovered that some time back I had started an account for a blog, but I never published anything because I just could not figure it out. Maybe if Mandy helps me out one day I will have my own blog and she can be my guest.

I am a home schooling mom of 3 great boys. My oldest boy, JJ, is 11 and involved in 4-H and several sporting activities as well. McP is a wild 4 year old that wants to do everything his older brother does. Most of the time that is a good thing. Then there is my surprise little 6 month old Hamster who can't wait to mix it up with his older brothers. We have a small acreage property with a few animals and we enjoy gardening. In addition to my love of gardening, the boys also enjoy cooking with me and we like to experiment in the kitchen a bit.

I lived for 36 years in Florida and we moved to rural Wyoming 3 years ago. It is a slightly shorter growing season in Wyoming and gardening here has been a challenge, but I think we are making headway. For the last 3 years JJ has tried growing pumpkins. He wants to grow all kinds of pumpkins and winter squash but especially the elusive Dill's Atlantic Giant pumpkin. So this year we planted seeds and as a back up we also planted a few started plants from the local garden center. Plus over the winter of 2008-2009 the dogs scattered some seeds of a pumpkin that my husband had just chucked out the back door when it started going bad. So this year we had lots of pumpkin plants and a bumper crop of pumpkins - including a 55+ pound Giant Pumpkin. Certainly not a record breaker, but the biggest we have ever grown and good enough for JJ to win the biggest pumpkin at the farmers market! Just to brag McP entered a winged gourd that he grew and he won for best squash (non-pumpkin).

I will be honest here that my experience cooking with pumpkin has been limited to opening a can of Libby's real pumpkin and baking a pie. I was not even sure how one prepared fresh pumpkin. Thanks to the internet I found that cooking a pumpkin was really quite simple. My preferred method is baking, but it can also be boiled or even microwaved. SO are you ready to cook a pumpkin or several?

The trickiest part of preparing pumpkin (or any winter squash) is cutting it! You can use a sharp knife or run out to the garage and get your husbands electric saw (I will wait for you!). Just wash off the blade when you are done, we won't tell him you used it. Now that the pumpkin is cut in half, scoop out the seeds and set them aside. You can eat the seeds raw or roast them. Or if you do not want to eat them at least put the out for the birds.

Find one or more shallow dishes in which to bake your pumpkins. Place the pumpkins cut side down and add about 1 inch of water to the dish. I like to cook several at one time. Set your even at about 350 and go put your feet up for a bit - I like to check in on my pumpkins about every 20 minutes and add additional water as necessary. How long it takes to cook in part depends on how large and how many pumpkins you are cooking. When the shell feels soft it is done. Take it out and let it cool. Once cool you can scoop out the yummy pulp, puree in the food processor and use it for soup, baked goods and even a healthy smoothie. I am finding that freezing in 1 or 2 cup increments works great for later use.

So how about that healthy, but yummy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Your kids will think it is dessert, but you will fool them!

2 cups cooked fresh pureed pumpkin
2 cups yogurt (Plain or vanilla)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
1/3 cup brown sugar (or to taste - probably would use less if you use vanilla`yogurt) or honey
A few ice cubes

Blend in blender and enjoy.

Now you tell me that you did not grow pumpkins this year and you did not pick one up at the farmers market. Well that is okay too, just grab a can of pumpkin off the pantry shelf. You smoothie will still be nutritious, but it may be a little thicker than above. Just add some extra ice or a splash of milk. I hope you enjoy and if you have any interesting ways you use pumpkin I would love to hear them as I have many more pumpkins to cook yet. I need to get some cut now though before my husband gets home and discovers that I am using his saw.

Til next time -----

WYOMOM (aka Carol)

Monday, October 26, 2009

School Carnival

Fun, Fun, Fun...
The kids have been crying and begging for weeks to go to the school carnival. There might be some great parents out there that positively jump up and down with eager anticipation of such an event. We aren't among you. I went a little more willingly then the Hubby, whom we practically had to drag out the door kicking and screaming. Naah, he was a great sport too. There is just something about a crowded and loud area that is not that exciting for us...oh yeah, because it is just like home! : ) Duder hung out on daddy's shoulders all night long and had a good time. We tried to volunteer the Hubby for the dunk tank, but it wasn't open when we got there. Raise your hand if you would have liked to have seen that? One, two...hold on, is there anyone out there that didn't raise their hand? Haha

Baby Doll quite enjoyed herself. The highlight of everyone's evening was the cotton candy. And I ask you, why not overload on florescent blue sugar right before bed? Looks a bit like she just ate the Blob from Monsters vs. Aliens to me.

Finally, Z-man and Little Mama got out a little aggression with each other. Here is my tip for the day. If you have two ornery siblings that won't give each other any peace, put them in a big bouncy arena with giant boxing gloves. I guarantee they will come out smiling and wondering if they can beat the crud out of each other again!

Another great giveaway!

Keeper of the Home is having a great giveaway to celebrate their 2 year bloggiversary! Check it out here, to enter to receive one of her two great books. I for one really want to get her Healthy Homemaking book.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First giveaway contest!

It is not really my giveaway, but I'm about to show you where you can enter to win not only your own copy of Family Feasts for $75 a week, but two extras too. I love Mary's blog, Owlhaven. I also am a huge fan of her book, A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising A Large Family. If you are interested in winning the Family Feasts book (and who wouldn't be?!), check out the contest here.

Spiderwebs work

I am not an organized person. I constantly make myself to do lists and put them throughout the house. You know, the usual kind of lists:

1. Clean bathroom
2. Do dishes
3. Do laundry

and so on. I don't stick with it. They are useless lists in my world. Thanks to a suggestion from Simple Mom , I started a new form of organizing my to do list. I have had a couple of people ask me about this, as it has meant great success for me. It is what I refer to as a spiderweb list. I break up my chores into different reasons for what I am doing it for. I have four main elements in my day. Business, Self, Housework and Kids. Then I add my chores to each section, keeping in mind the different aspects to my jobs. For instance, instead of writing down Laundry, I separate that into three chores; Wash laundry, fold laundry and put away laundry. This works wonders. I am famous for either leaving washed laundry in the dryer and wrinkled or folding all of the laundry only to leave it for too long and a two year old tears down my neat piles like Godzilla destroying New York. I also cross off jobs as I do them, to show myself that despite what it feels like, I am making it through my day. Lastly, if I do something throughout the day that I didn't have written down, I go to my list and write it down and cross it off. At the end of the day, when I see what I have done, it really does help.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Little girls see nothing unusual about asking their daddy to dress up as the Little Mermaid for Halloween?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No sense crying over spilled juice.

I am hoping to take more every day pictures. I was thinking about things I wanted to share, pictures I wanted to take and such for today. But I didn't take any pictures (well one, but we'll get back to that). I don't think any of you would want me to. I was in the kitchen, busily mopping up the full glass of cranberry juice that Duder spilled on my tile floor. When out comes the man himself. He had taken his diaper off in the other room, stepped in...something...and walked through that room, the hallway and my kitchen to come get me. So no, it wasn't really a picture sharing moment. Here is one. Take a look at that boy's face. Do you see the evil genius glint to his eyes? Look closer. Oh yeah, it's there...

A feminine heart.

I came across this in reading last night.

"Sometime between the dreams of your youth and yesterday, something precious has been lost. And that treasure is your heart, your priceless feminine heart. God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring. No doubt it has been misunderstood. Surely it has been assaulted. But it is there, your true heart, and it is worth recovering. You are captivating."

Captivating, Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul written by John & Stasi Eldredge

Some things I know for certain...

*A four year old's voice (whether being used in a tantrum, a serenade or a question fest) has the power to drown out absolutely everything else.

*I am a hippie at heart.

*"I wuv you," whispered by a two year old can heal almost all hurts, at least temporarily.

*When the cat tries to nudge the toilet seat up with her head right after something very unpleasant was flushed down, it is time to check her water dish.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

About why we are here.

Welcome to our family's blog! I appreciate you stopping by. Now, a little bit about why I have started this.

Reason #1

I am happy to share my family's updates and adventures. This is a great way to spread the word of the newest crazy fiasco the kids have gotten into.

Reason #2

There are certain causes that are near and dear to me that I would like to share information on. In other words, every once in awhile I will pull out my soapbox, hop on and start sharing what I have learned about this or that.

Reason #3

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer. Well, a writer and I wanted to own a horse farm with my friend, April. Of those two, writing was more my talent. I still have my very first book, written in 3rd grade and 25 chapters long. I have come to realize that reading blogs is very entertaining. Reading a new post for 5 minutes can be like watching a comedy show and very uplifting. So, I hope to help your day out with a giggle or two.

Reason #4

I want to stay positive. I am very blessed with a wonderful husband and four incredible children. That being said, I am half crazy most of the time from temper tantrums and spilled milk and all of the stress that comes with family life. I could easily dwell in how crappy my life is. But let's face it. My life is far from crappy. So you are going to help me remember that. My goal is to not be negative in this blog. I will not be complaining, just sharing and laughing about stuff that happens. The only exception to this will be my cause comments. If something is a cause, it is because something negative is happening and needs to be changed.

Reason #5

Can you believe how many very cool projects there are in this world? Crafts, gardening and lifestyles to name a few. I want to share this treasure chest of cool stuff that I have found and dream about doing.

And there you have it. Our family's blog is now out in the blogosphere. My name is Mandy. My hubby is Cory and our kids are Zackery, Ainsley, Avery and Zander. We also have a cat whom we call Missy.