Thursday, February 9, 2012

No More Wheat

I thought I would give the whole Gluten Free Living thing a try.  I already have problems with dairy and I've been feeling yucky so for the past week and a half I've given up wheat . . . not super diligently but still I've eliminated all flour and bread.  And I started to feel a bit better.  Yesterday I was kind of tired of the restrictions and had some chicken nuggets.  Today I just don't feel right and I feel like my head is in a fog. (sigh)  I really REALLY don't want to have to give up anything else.  I love with a capital "L" bread and pasta.  Plus, I really don't want to have to give up anything else.

Today we checked out a store in our area that specializes in gluten free bakery stuff.  Noah had a sample of one of their brownies and asked if I would buy him one, which surprised me a bit because I figured that I would have to suffer eating breads that taste like cardboard from now on.

So I'm very open to any recipes or tips if you have any on how to make this new journey a bit more tolerable.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What's been going on with me

Haven't posted in a while.  I'm not sure why . . .

I've been feeling a bit yucky.  I think I might have had a bug.  But just in case I didn't, I thought I would try going gluten free for a while.  This has been a looooong week.  I don't think I've been completely 100% gluten free but I've tried to be bread, wheat, oat, rye and barley free.  I've eaten tons of rice.  And lettuce.  And I'm not really a salad kinda girl.  I'm the girl that eats the whole loaf of bread that the waiter brings out to the table before the dinner. (sigh).  I've done lots of fruit smoothies, which is slightly challenging since I'm also dairy free as well.  It's been a week and I really don't notice anything major in my stomach that tells me I should continue this torture.  However, I've had the chance to try out some great new recipes.  This one for  potato soup for example was amazing.  I doctored it up just a bit with some chicken broth, sauteed onions, spices and ham.  Even Noah loved it (with a little cheese added to it).  I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, even those who don't have restrictions within their diets.

I finished a few skirts to bring into Lil Surprises in Frankfort too.  Here's a little peek:

I love the fabric prints for these.  They're Valentine's day, but not completely, and can be worn during the spring as well.  I have to admit though that it was really hard to try to keep them simple and not embellish more. Time to start thinking of Easter and Spring . . .

Finally, we are busy planning our annual trip to Florida, and we are all counting down the days.  This year the kids and I will be spending three whole sun soaked weeks at my parents' house.  I am loving the fact that Noah is homeschooled and I can bring his classroom anywhere.  I'm not sure Savannah's teachers are all that thrilled though since she'll be missing three weeks of school, but I plan on working with her as well.  Just outside under a palm tree (big grin).  Vitamin D has to help brain cells, right??

We are really looking forward to spending some time with Savannah's birthdad and his family as well.  We are very blessed that we get a chance to visit each year with them.  Oh yeah, we plan to try to see Winter, from A Dolphin's Tale too!  The kids and I have watched this movie a few times now . . . I haven't told them that we're going to try to go there just in case.

Since Savannah will be in Florida for Valentine's Day, we decided to make up some treat boxes for her classmates.  This is the second year that we've made these.  I am ever so grateful to Patty Young of Modkid Boutique for posting the tutorial and pattern for them.  It's just a little bit of work, but oh so worth it!  Savannah and I had a great time working on this project together and an even better time filling them with candy (and eating some too).  

Hope everyone has been enjoying the great weather we've had the past few days!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kicking and Yelling

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love of anything related to martial arts.  The beauty of the movements, the power behind the kicks and punches, the discipline . . . it's always left me in awe.  I never got very far myself with lessons.  However, my nephews are now blackbelts (forgive me but I don't remember if it's 3rd or 4th degree) and they both teach classes.  I enrolled Noah and Savannah as early as 4 years old and quickly realized it was a big mistake after watching them run circles around the dojo instead of paying attention.  They enrolled about a year later, and we proudly watched them break boards and earn their yellow belts.  It's been a while, again, since they've had lessons.  Mostly because we couldn't keep up with the cost of everything and a tiny bit because they seemed like they were losing interest.

So today Noah started private lessons with my nephew, James.  I LOVE the fact that the lessons are one on one because Noah learns so much better that way.  He doesn't do very well with distractions.  I also LOVE that my nephew is the one teaching Noah.  As far as I'm concerned right now, James is a rock star.

I'm hoping that Noah will want to stick with it this time . . .he seemed to be loving every minute of it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coming Soon . . .

I guess I need a place to put up all of the pictures of things I've sewn.  I'm working on an album now, so hopefully it will be ready to view in a few days (if Thom helps me) or a few months (if I'm doing this on my own).  Thanks for the interest!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It finally happened.  We have the first real snow of the year, which is pretty amazing since we're already into January.  Noah and I are all cozy inside with the fireplace going.  He just got in from shoveling snow and, being a good mom, I of course greeted him with a big cup of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows.  Looks like we'll be going skiing after all.

So I'm thinking . . .

Am I the only one on the planet who really despises snow?  I'm reading all of the facebook posts about how everyone is so happy to see the snow.  I've been dreading it.  I mean REALLY dreading it.  Now it's here.  It's cold, snow is blowing sideways, and the world looks to me like a coloring page that hasn't been colored in--all dead and dreary.  PLEASE someone show me the beauty in all of this.  I'm trying to not be a complete poop about the whole thing, but this really isn't my time of year.  I would prefer to hibernate until the first thaw, like a grouchy old bear.  Maybe I equate winter with being sick, and cold, and tired.  All I know is that the lack of sunshine really messes with me and makes me sad and grumpy.

Remember this?  How on earth is this beautiful??

My kids have been counting down the days until we go skiing.  I guess I was secretly hoping that the snow wouldn't come and we would go directly to the water park.  I, on the other hand, am counting down the days until we leave for Florida (30 days) and I can sit under a palm tree and watch the geckos run.  I'm looking forward to hearing the ocean waves, feel the salty spray on my face, and feel the hot sand under my toes.  I'll settle with just seeing the sunshine and any color other than grey.

So seriously, am I the only one who hates winter?  Are there any others like me out there??

Monday, January 9, 2012

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Noah and I had the chance to go on a field trip today giving us an opportunity to learn about the Underground Railroad.  As a newbie in the homeschooling world, I'm always thrilled when something new and exciting presents itself.  Especially when it's been planned out for me since most of the time I'm winging the whole teaching "thing".  Though we've been studying ancient civilizations right now, I dutifully downloaded as much internet information as I thought an eight year old brain could handle.  Last night we had a mini lesson on what the Underground Railroad was, why it was needed, lyrics to the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and a short biography of Harriet Tubman. We got through most of it before Noah's eyes glazed over and he started to drool.

This morning Savannah was so jealous of Noah's upcoming adventure that she actually asked to stay home from school so she could go too.  This is my child that gets angry with me if I make a dentist appointment during school hours.  At the beginning of this school year she told me in no uncertain terms that she NEVER wants to be homeschooled.  This morning she said that she thinks that she should be homeschooled next year and Noah can go back to public school.  Hmmm.

We left our house towards the nearby nature center where the field trip was being held.  While we waited to be transported back in time to the 1800's, we checked out the snakes, turtles and stuffed owls (which were quite scary if I do say so myself).  Unfortunately, we were told that no cameras or cell phone pictures were allowed which is why I don't have any cool pictures to post.

First, our group was led by the "conductor" through the woods as we were escaping toward the first safe house.  We were told that we had to travel quietly since the bounty hunters were after us.  We learned some fun facts along the way while we were looking for the "sign" of red longjohns with the flap open hanging in the front of the house.  When we arrived, we had to give the signal . . . knock three times then tell them we were a "friend with friends".  There we heard stories told of what the slaves did during the day, how they were sold away from their families, how the "spirituals" or songs they sung had hidden meanings, the hardships they endured trying to escape to freedom, that the children were expected to do an adults' work at the age of 6, and we learned about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  Each safe house had a different message and activity . . . painting quilt squares representing hidden messages, dressing up to try to stay hidden among the people, and hiding in secret areas of a cellar.  At one  home we were greeted by an older woman pointing a rifle at us!  She was definitely my favorite.  At the very end we all escaped to Canada, which was our destination, and were welcomed with songs of "Free at Last".

I was quite impressed!  I'm hoping Noah was too.  I'm thinking he must have gotten something from the experience since he was singing "Free at Last" most of the way home.

They will have this experience open to the public on January 28th.  I'm thinking of going back with Savannah.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Skiing: the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.

Our annual family ski/waterpark trip is quickly approaching.  I do not like the cold.  I do not like snow.  I do not like falling down.  However, I know my kids and husband are excited and counting down the days until we leave with the same anticipation as they counted down the days until Christmas.  So I will bundle up and take one for the team.

Honestly, if I'm being truthful, I really did have a good time last year.  

Mostly though I'll be looking forward to sitting in the hot tub in the Dells after we make it through the skiing adventure.