Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Real Life Math

Xavier's first math problem of the day, born of a conversation about salary, is this: How long would it take you to make more than $1000 a month, if you started out making 1 penny the first day, doubling it every day?

Monday, January 30, 2012


Xavier has proposed a research paper topic: Why do that take hellthy milk, cook it, then fill it with hellthy, but not so hellthy things?

Well, perhaps the milk was healthy before they cooked it. Apparently, cooking milk makes it hellthy. We all had a good laugh over this. I'm not letting him use this new word for Scrabble, though.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Covered Bulletin Board

Remember the calendar I made? I needed some way to display it. My sister recommended a belletin board. Fortunately for me, Gary had just brought me 2 bulletin boards, so I had one to play around with. I had almost everything I needed. I was just missing some ribbon. 

I used a glue gun to keep the fabric in place while the glue dried.

I bought these buttons for something else, but I can't remember what, maybe a button.

I love this fabric! It's all I have, so if you know of somewhere I can buy more (it's Moda Cocka-Doodle-Doo),
I'd love to have some for curtains.

I didn't buy enough ribbon. I'll have to get some more before I can finish the board.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rug Making

From Soule Mama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

For more moments, visit Soule Mama.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rethinking Breakfast

When my doctor put me on a gluten free diet in October, I thought I was going to starve to death. After all, my breakfast mostly consisted of gluten. I ate pancakes, waffles, and bagels. And, since I was also sugar free, I couldn't eat pancakes or waffles. One day, I bought that Brie I'd been craving and made myself a new breakfast. It's fast, easy, gluten and sugar free, and healthy.

I eat half a circle of Brie each morning. I believe they are 4 oz each, which would mean I eat 2 oz each morning. I put a couple tablespoons apricot jam in a bowl and mix a couple teaspoons of dijon mustard in with it. The dijon cuts the sweetness of the apricot jam. If you don't care about the sweetness, you can leave it out. For added protein, and vitaminy goodness, I crush almonds to add to the mix.
Spread it on top and pop it in the oven or microwave. The oven works better, but the microwave is faster.

Slice up some apples and enjoy.

By the way, this makes a great appetizer if you cook the whole circle of brie. If you don't, you get the ooey-gooey mess that you see above. It still tastes delicious, but it's not as pretty.

Like Grandfather

Last night, I walked into the dining room to find this. It immediately put me in mind of my grandmother and grandfather. Every night, Nonnie would put a bowl on the table, along with a glass, spoon, and a box of Raisin Bran. I do love my Dominic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Be Thankful

No matter what, we all have things to be thankful for.

Xavier said to me yesterday, "I'm thankful for my stomach acid. It helps keep me from getting sick."

Personally, I'm thankful for Horrible Science books.

Yarn Along

I've actually been reading this week, which means I have thing to share for the Yarn Along.

I've been working on creating a pair of gloves. This is the first time I've ever written a pattern, and it's time for me to start the right hand glove. I have to do things in opposite, so I'm a little scared. Instead of finishing the pair, I took a break and worked on a blanket that I've had in the works for almost a year.

It's a Log Cabin blanket. Each block is one skein of Noro Kureyon.
Get the pattern here.

This is my favorite color so far. I'm considering making a woven blanket with just this color, hence the reason it has the tag pinned to it.

This week, I'm reading a book called Uncut Cloth: Saris, Shawls, and Sashes. It talks about the history of woven cloths that are made into clothes. The pictures in the book are quite stunning. I found it at my local library.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting Healthy

As most of you know (after all, I haven't borne it silently- I am by no means stoic. I am a sharer.), I was sick for what seemed like a very long time. Compared to people who have been sick for years, and will be sick their entire lives, it was a mere moment in time. However, thanks to that illness, and finding the cause of it, our family has changed a lot of our habits. The most important habit, in my opinion, is our diet.

In December, we took Dominic for allergy testing. Some things I didn't mention are important. Dominic had a lung function of 20%. The reason we took him for allergy testing was because of a persistent, horrible cough that he'd had since March. The allergist immediately put him on medication, "only three different medications a day." He also wanted to start allergy shots. Since I'd had such wonderful results from seeing a naturopath, Gary and I decided that we wanted to try that route with Dominic before trying allergy shots.

When we took Dominic's allergy test results to our naturopath, he skipped right over most of the environmental allergies and headed to the food allergy section. There were a few things the allergist did not even mention. An important one was that Dominic was allergic to yeast. This, according to our naturopath, was because he has thrush. He was also concerned about what food allergies the allergist had basically ignored. Finally, he watched Dominic breathe and said he was not breathing properly. Instead, he was only using the very top part of his chest.

He put Dominic on a mega vitamin, a strict diet, and an exercise regimen to re-teach him how to breathe.. Within three days, Dominic had almost completely stopped coughing and was off all the medicine the allergist put him on. Wow. Three days. All because he started taking excellent vitamins, taught his lungs to work properly, and cut four foods out of his diet.

We cut all corn, soy, rice, and peanuts out of his diet. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take those things out of your diet? If not, you haven't been reading the labels of your food closely. Wow. I knew, intellectually, that corn was in everything. But, I didn't know that corn was in everything. And the few things corn's not in, soy is in. Wow. It's no wonder our society is so sick and overweight. We have very little to no variety in our diets. Our bodies need variety. We need vegetables. We need fruit. We need grains and meat. We need variety. We're not getting it.

I will tell you that it is amazing to me the difference diet has made in our family's health. I will share more with you as we go. I will share some of my favorite new recipes. I hope you make the decision to help your family get healthy, too. It might seem expensive, but what price can you put on your family's health?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Math with Dysgraphia

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Please visit Soule Mama to see more. Also, her blog is just awesome.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

He's a Shark

Today, Xavier informed me that he always carries with him the exact amount of Monopoly money he needs to start a game. If you ever need an extra player, he's prepared.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Youtube Therapy

Sometimes, when my day is a little slow, I head over to Youtube for a little pick me up. Here's your Youtube therapy for the day.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things Kids Do

Gary and I were watching a movie upstairs, while the boys watched a Star Wars movie downstairs. We heard yelling and ruckus and went to see what was the matter.

Apparently, they had decided to see how many storm troopers they could shoot, and how many times they could shoot C3PO with their Nerf guns. Poor C3PO.

*Disclaimer- No TVs were injured in this battle, though some droids may have been offended.
**Disclaimer- I love the things my kids do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

See more each week at Soule Mama.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Best Apple Pie Ever

This post was originally posted in 2009. I frequently get requests for this recipe. I get calls from my sister while I'm at Home Depot. I get emails from cousins. Basically, it really is the best apple pie I've ever had. And it all starts with the heels. (Although, I have been told it tastes just as good if you're not wearing heels when you make it.) I've updated the recipe with links to printable recipes. You might want to go ahead and print it so that you don't have to call me and hope I remember the recipe off the top of my head.

As we all know, the first step in any baking day should be to put on your best '50s dress, heels, and apron.
Then, after the pictures are taken, take the heels off and throw them to the side for when the food is ready.
Recipe to follow pictures.
For the crust:

Combine all dry ingredients.

Cut in butter until crumbly.

Beat egg in cup. Add enough water to fill cup.
Add vinegar and mix.

Add wet ingredients to 'dry' ingredients and mix.
Roll pie crust out.

Put in pan and set aside.

Thinly slice apples.

Combine dry ingredients.

Toss apple slices with dry ingredients until well coated.

Add to pie crust.

Sprinkle crumb topping over pie.

Cover edges with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove.
Bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Throw off your apron, slip on your heels, and serve your pie!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Watercolor Calendar

I asked Gary to pick up a new calendar when he went to the grocery store, but he forgot. Then, I started uploading things to Pinterest (a wonderful, wonderful place), and remembered a calendar I was wanting to make. Last February, Design Mom posted pictures of the calendar she made. I thought it was quite beautiful. I trundled down to Dominic's new art desk and got the supplies I needed. Here are the results, and some tips.
You can see on the left hand side the designs I drew for the resist. I used a white crayon and drew simple designs for each month. This is March's. I also drew very light pencil lines to give myself guidelines for the date squares. Be sure these are light so that they erase easily.


Be sure the watercolor is thin enough, otherwise it will paint right over the resist.


After making the design on the left, I used a sponge to stamp the squares. I just cut a sponge to the size I wanted it, dipped it in the paint and placed it on the paper. Be careful not to overload your sponge. I had to squeeze the excess paint out of my sponge at times.

After the paint dried, I wrote the name of the month and the dates on the calendar.
Erase the pencil lines.


Here are all the months but January. January is already on the wall.


I like February's because of the resist. I love the hearts on this.


I like November's because of the way the watercolors mix.


January on the wall. 

Now, I just need to figure out a better way to display them. Any ideas?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Confession Time

M, from The M Half of the M-n-J Show, named me in a meme. Now, I'll be honest, I pick and choose memes. I happen to like this kind, so here we go. She gave me an award:

that came with strings attached. I must tell you 7 things about myself, and pass the award on to 10 other bloggers. The idea is to extend our world of bloggers. I've found a lot of bloggy buddies through other blogs, so I'm enthusiastic about this exercise. Oh, and M? Yeah, she found my blog through the Pioneer Woman. Of course, she's married to my sister's cousin-in-law, a man I grew up with. I love how small the internet makes the world.

So, seven things you may or may not know about me.

1. I am artistic. I spend much of my time thinking of things to knit, sew, paint, color, write, weave, etc. Mostly, I knit, but I love all those other things as well.

2. On a related note, I would like to get a degree in Fiber Arts. Sure, I don't actually want to work outside my home, but it would be so fun to go back to school.

3. I'm an obsessive learner. If only someone would pay me to go to school for the rest of my life, I would do so.

4. I love music. I love to listen to it, play it, sing it, make it, and write it (Although my songs are not the best, they make me happy.). I love music.

5. I have recently developed a passion for brie. I could eat it here or there, I could eat it anywhere.

6. I want to have about a dozen children, but have settled for three. There are times when the pain of not having more children is so intense that I avoid all mention of babies. Most of the time I am okay with it. This is my personal burden.

7. I want to travel. I have lived in 9 states, Washington D.C. and Greece, and would continue to move every couple years until the day I die if it weren't for having children who seem to think they need a bit of stability. Psh. What do they know of the world? Not as much as I will when I'm done.

Now, a few of my favorite blogs (some of these bloggers don't even know I exist, but they're worth the visit):

1. Chancellor Manor
2. Combat Boots and Ballet Shoes
3. Elephant Soap
4. Rosetta Stone
5. Soule Mama
6. The Mom With Brownies
7. Small Things
8. Apocalypse Meow!
9. Shivaya Naturals
10. Far Beyond Pearls

An interesting little bit of knowledge about the blog world- One of the first blogs I ever read was Rosetta Stone  Through Michelle, I found Combat Boots and Ballet Shoes and Far Beyond Pearls. Since then, I have actually met both Stina and Jennie, and love them both. Stina stopped by on her way to a new home, and Jennie was nice enough to move closer to me.

Chancellor Manor is my first baby baby sister. Elephant Soap is a friend from high school. The Mom With Brownies is one of the first blogs I read. We had a small disagreement over video game usage, and have been online friends ever since. Come to find out, her parents only live a couple hours away. One of these days, we'll become friends in real life.

The blog world is a vast network that brings our world, this giant planet, down to our size. We're able to connect to people we never would have gotten to meet. We find people who have the same interests. We fall in love and find close friends. I'm ever thankful that Gary strongly suggested I start blogging.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

Today is the start of a new year. It's more than that; it's the first day of the rest of your life.

Every day is that, of course, but we seem to constantly look back on what has come before. Every day we have the opportunity to change the course of our lives. Each decision we make, each step we take can change everything.

Here's to a great life.


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