Saturday, March 31, 2012

Best Ever Gluten-Free Banana Bread

My family loves banana bread. We've tried several different recipes for banana bread to find a gluten-free substitute for our favorite snack food. Recently, I read somewhere the idea that a specific flour had pectin in it, and the author thought that was the reason it was so good. Well, I headed right over to buy this flour, but it also has things in that Dominic can't eat, namely rice flour. I decided I needed to come up with my own version. I took a look at my Living Without magazine's recommendations for flour and xanthan gum combinations. I broke out my flours, xanthan gum, and pectin, and got cooking. I am so impressed with the results. I hope you enjoy it. I can't wait to get home and try the flour with some other recipes.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Friday, March 30, 2012

Finished Object Friday

I finished my pattern! Yay! I'm so excited that I actually wrote my own pattern. That is a lot of work. It gives me a new appreciation for all the designers I love. It was also very invigorating, and I'd love to do it again. We shall see. By the way, I named it Sailor's Delight because I made it while sitting by the ocean.

Sailor's Delight Scarf

As usual, I am linking up with Tami, Susan, Wonderwhygal, and Linda .

One Room School House

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.

The Class Clown

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Workout Wednesday

I've decided to just feature my favorite workout each week. This week was our frisbee session. So, why did this qualify as a workout? Well, we are awful at throwing, so we have to run, dive, and jump to catch it. And, since we're so awful, we frequently have to run halfway down the beach to get the frisbee after it sails over our heads.

Dominic took particular enjoyment from bad throws.

Xavier spent time between throws and catches playing in the sand.

Really, any workout done in the sand is better, but we should all have been wearing sunglasses!

Work in Progress Wednesday

This week, I got back into some knitting. I've been wanting to make myself a scarf for a while. I love wearing scarves. I prefer them to hats, but enjoy wearing hats as well. Sunday, I spent my time at the beach knitting and writing a pattern. This is the result. It came out exactly how I wanted it.

Now, I'm working on rewriting the pattern and test knitting. I should be done by Friday. I hope.

I haven't spent much time inside this past week, so didn't get as much done on my blanket as I would like. I have all the owls sewn on, and now need to sew on the final strip to have the front done. I want to add a wool back to it. My hand sewing skills could definitely use some work, but I'm very pleased with it.

 I'm joining TamiLee and Nicole this week for Work in Progress Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review Tuesday (Giveaway)

The winner of the Apples to Apples game is Buki. Be sure you let me know how you like it!

Today's review is of Barenakedladies' album, Snacktime.

Our family loves this album. These are some of our favorite songs from this album.

The Ninjas

Pollywog in a Bog

7 8 9

The Crazy ABC's. Oh, how we love The Crazy ABC's. 

And, of course, "Raisins". "Raisins" gets sung at our house on a daily basis.

Today, I want to share this wonderful bit of children's music with your family. If you're feeling particularly groovy, just listen to "Popcorn" and get your groove on.

If you would like to win this album, just leave me a comment. Extra entries for sharing this post with your friends, via blog posts, pinning, twitter, etc. Just let me know. This giveaway is for your choice of the CD or the mp3 download. I will close the giveaway late April 2nd.

Please, leave contact information in your comment! (I am sorry, but this giveaway is only open to residents of the United States, or anyone who has a US shipping address.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm Smiling Back

"{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." Soule Mama

Finished Object Friday

Back in October, I started a sweater for myself, with the intension that it would be long-sleeved. Then, I got to the sleeves and got bogged down. I hate knitting sleeves. Plus, I had a Christmas gift I needed to make, so I set it aside and picked up another project. In December, I thought about making it short-sleeved, but decided to press on with the idea of making it long-sleeved. Well, a couple weeks ago, I decided it was warm enough to make it short-sleeved. I'm so glad I didn't finish it during the winter. It is going to be the perfect summer shirt.

This pattern started as Labyrinth from Stitch Diva Studios. Obviously, I changed the sleeves, but I also changed the edge of the sleeves and the neckline.

I just did a simple K2 K2Tog repeat around the edging of both sleeves and neckline. I'm very pleased with this pattern, and will be trying their Sahara soon.

Now, a finished object of Dominic's. He has a knit object, but it's at home and I haven't taken a picture of it yet. When we visited JoAnn's earlier this week, I suggested he pick a kit to make some sort of project. He loves crafting, and I knew he needed something to do during our quiet times.

He chose a beading kit. This is his first project. He puts so much thought and time into his projects. He did such a good job, don't you think?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Searching for a New Dream

When I was growing up, I had lots of dreams. The most amazing one was to be president of the United States. Yup. I had big ideas. I still do, actually. If I didn't have a family, I would pursue politics with a vengeance. That's what I'm talking about. My family has changed my dreams.

For so long, I wanted a large family. I'm talking 12 or 13 kids. I always wanted a large family. In recent years, I just wanted a couple more kids. I felt like I was being selfish, wanting more kids so desperately when other people didn't have any kids. Over the last month, I've come to grips with the fact that I won't be having any more children. Yes, it took me eight years to come to terms with that fact.

Now, I'm having to redefine myself. I've always been the baby mama, even though my youngest child is almost nine years old. I'm having to search for a new dream. The problem is not a lack of dreams. No, I've never had that problem. The problem is too many dreams. There are so many things I'm interested in. I have to decide which one I want to do first.

Gary and I have discussed this at length. Really, I want to do at least three of them. To be able to do two of them, I really need a degree. So, school looks to be in my near future. I'm good with that. I've always loved school. In fact, if a school wanted to pay me to take classes and rate them, kind of a secret shopper for college classes, I would jump at the change. I would do that for the rest of my life. So far, I have not taken a college course I did not enjoy.

I'm at that point where I know where I want to go, but I'm not sure if it will work. Why? Well, Gary is at the same place I am, only he doesn't know for sure what he wants to do. You see, Gary is only two years from retirement. He has so many options available to him after he retires that it's hard for him to decide what direction he wants to go. It doesn't help that we're still two years out. It's not as though he can start randomly applying for jobs.

So, school is in the offing for me. I just have to figure out how to fit it into our life. It'll take some shuffling and then I'll be getting on with the rest of my life. You see, when Dominic starts college, I'll only be 44. I'll have an entire life ahead of me. I'm going to need something to do with it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Just like Review Tuesday, I am reinstituting Workout Wednesday. Each week, I will tell you what I did for my workout the previous week. This week only includes Monday and today, but wow, is there a great story here.

First, today's workout, because after reading about Monday's workout, you just won't care about what I did today. You'll be laughing too hard.

Since we're staying in a condo with limited exercise equipment and space, we decided to take advantage of the condo's stairs. We started at the bottom and did a quick warm up. Then, we ran up to the 6th floor, where we did as many pushups as we could stand (not many for me- they bother my back). We ran back down to the bottom floor, where we ran outside and threw off our shoes. There, we did roundhouse kicks, before running back up to the 5th floor and repeating. We did this until we had done all our round house kicks, which put us at the 2nd floor, conveniently the floor we're staying on. The round house kick drill that we were doing was this- 1 roundhouse kick forward, one backward; 2 forward, 2 backward; 3 forward, 3 backward. We did this all the way up to 10, with stairs in between.

Now, to the good story. The reason I decided to start doing Workout Wednesday again is because I have not been able to get to the dojang often enough to have a steady workout schedule. I need more. Monday, I chose a simple workout routine to get myself started. I would do 30 jumping jacks, then 30 situps; 25 jumping jacks, 25 situps, etc. working my way down to 10 of each as the final number.

I started off enthusiastically enough. This is one of my favorite exercise routines. But, the bureau that I was using to keep my feet down was really rough on my feet, so I moved into the living room. At home, I do this routine in the living room, so I thought, "No problem."

In the living room, I started feeling some pain around my tailbone. I thought, "Wow. This floor is hard, but I will persevere." I thought it was just my tailbone hurting because the floor was hard. Was I wrong!

After my workout, I hopped in the shower, and almost screamed in pain. What the heck? I hopped right back out of the shower and ran to look in the mirror. My butt was covered in carpet burn. I had worked the skin right off my butt. And boy did it hurt. It hurt to shower. It hurt to sit. It hurt to stand. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to wear clothes, and it hurt to be naked. It just hurt.

Well, Gary comes home and I tell him the story. He had a good laugh, and so did I. Tuesday, my abs were sore, in a good way. Unfortunately, my butt was still sore, in a bad way. I laughed about it all day long, which of course made my abs hurt worse.

The moral of this story is situps are bad for your health. From now on, I'm going to stick to sports where the most dangerous thing is getting kicked in the head. I've got an extremely hard head.

*For the record, I was fully clothed while doing my workout. There are some things that just shouldn't be done naked, like fixing a bike or doing situps.

Work in Progress Wednesday

I've been in a bit of a knitting funk. I love knitting shawls, since they are quick and give me the change to try out new and interesting patterns. But, I don't wear shawls, and neither do most of the people I knit for. Also, I've given a shawl to almost all the people I knit for, in some cases two shawls. It's time to move on. I just can't seem to figure out what I want to knit, though. I do have some finished objects to show you on Friday, though. Especially a shirt I knit. I love it. I may knit another shirt. We'll see. In the meantime, I've been in the mood for a little needlework. This is unusual for me. I don't really like sewing by hand, although I do like embroidery. I went to JoAnn to pick up some supplies for a project I wanted to send to my niece and came across this really great owl fabric while waiting to get my ribbon cut.

I immediately decided it would make a great applique. Since I was wanting to make a blanket for a friend's mother-in-law, I bought some. It's satisfying my hand sewing craving, and I think it's going to be adorable.

I've only just begun, so the owls aren't all in their final places. Some of them haven't even been cut, yet. I am sewing the owls on the individual panels before I sew the panels together. I had originally planned to make it more of a pieced quilted, but I love the look of the panels. In fact, I like this so much I may go back and buy more fabric to make myself one. I have plenty of owls.

Joining in with Tami and Lee this week for Work In Progress Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review Tuesday

A long time ago, on a now defunct blog, I use to review a product ever Tuesday. I miss that, so I'm going to start doing it again. I've got several reviews lined up, and if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Today's review is of Apples to Apples Junior.

We prefer the Junior edition for our family. The regular edition has some topics that are not child friendly, and many words that the kids just don't get because they don't have the experience for them.

The basic premise of the game is this: Each gamer draws 5 red cards. One of the players is the judge and draws a green card. The judge tells everyone else what the word on the green card is. The other players pick the best word from their hand to give to the judge. The judge then chooses his favorite card and the winner gets the green card. Judging rotates between all the players. The first player with four green cards wins.

We like this game for several reasons. 

It is easy for multiple ages to play. Multiple ages can play together without adults having an advantage over the kids. 

It is enjoyable for all ages. This is a game that engenders laughter.

If you're looking for a game that lets you get to know people better, this is a great one. This game is definitely a case of needing to know your judge. The better you know a person, the more likely you are to choose a card they will choose. For instance, Dominic always goes for the card he thinks is the funniest. If the word is awful and Gabriel is the judge, "hug" would be a good card. 

Today, to celebrate getting to know you, I'm giving away a game! You can choose between Apples to Apples Jr, or Apples to Apples. Just leave me a comment. Be sure your comment includes a way to get in touch with you. If there is no way for me to reach you, you will be disqualified. If you want an extra entry, pin this or re-blog it and leave me the link. Be sure you leave separate comments for each entry. This giveaway will close at midnight on March 26th. This giveaway is closed.

Buki won. Congratulations!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hotel Etiquette

At what point did parents stop teaching their children how to behave in hotels? Or was it just my parents who taught us hotel etiquette? As someone who travels a moderate amount with children, I feel qualified to tell parents and young adults what not to do in hotels.

1. Please, be quiet in the hallway. If your hotel opens onto the parking lot, be quiet walking past other rooms.
     - Remember that other people have different schedules than you do. Perhaps they are asleep early so as to get an early start the next day; hopefully they will have the same respect for you the next morning.

2. Please, be quiet in your room. Remember that the person in the room next door to yours can hear what you are saying if you say it in a normal tone of voice. Hotel walls are not thick. If you want to disturb your neighbors, or just share all your personal information with them, speak loudly.

3. A hotel room is not the place to try the cry-it-out method of putting a baby to sleep. While I understand that babies cry at all times of the night, please do take this time to attempt to comfort them. As the mother of three babies, who has traveled with them from the time the oldest was 1 week old, I understand the fear of disturbing neighboring guests. Get over it. If you are attempting to comfort your child, that is all you can do.

4. Do not run or jump in your hotel room if you are not on the bottom floor. If you have never experienced this, I suggest you ask someone to kindly demonstrate the amazing amount of noise this makes. It is a good demonstration for children as well.

5. Have fun. Just have respect for your neighbors.

Yes, we had young adults outside our condo early this morning yelling and running. Yes, Gary had to get up and go to work this morning. Yes, I wanted to go yell at them, but restrained myself.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Doctor is In

10 things our obsession with Doctor Who has made us afraid of:

10. R2D2 (You know he's a Dalek in disguise)
9.   Cybermen
8.   Mannequins (Who knew they could shoot out of their fingers?)
7.   Artificial Christmas Trees
6.   Gas Masks
5.   Little boys looking for their "Mummy"
4.   The Dark
3.   Cracks in the wall
2.   Fairies
1.   Garden Statuary (Who wouldn't be scared of those creepy crying angels?)

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Giggles

Joining Soule Mama again this week:
{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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why I Love My Doctor

In December, Dominic was diagnosed with multiple allergies. His pulmonary function tested at 53%, after having rescue medicine. Before that, it was at 25%. The allergist prescribed him multiple allergy medicines and recommended allergy shots. We were scheduled for a return visit to discuss allergy shots today.

As we left the doctor's office, I texted my naturopath's wife and asked her if Dr. DeYoung could help us with allergies. A week later, we were once again in a doctor's office, with very different results.

Dr. DeYoung told us that Dominic was not breathing properly. He was only using the upper part of his chest to breathe. He taught Dominic how to breathe properly and set him exercises to make the breathing automatic. He gave us vitamins and Candida Ease. Dominic had Candida (also known as a yeast infection- the kind that presents in the mouth). He put Dominic on a strict diet to get rid of the yeast infection and to address his food allergies.

That's right, food allergies, something the allergist did not address at all. So, we took Dominic off all soy, corn, rice, and peanuts for a month. We've been reintroducing soy, corn, and rice. We noticed an immediate reaction to soy. Within 30 minutes of eating soy, he starts coughing and his eyes get itchy and watery. Corn and rice produce a more delayed reaction, and if he only eats them sporadically, he has little to no reaction. The reaction he has to soy was concerning to me, especially after reading the early symptoms of anaphylactic shock.

Well, today we went to the allergist again. He was amazed by Dominic's improvement, especially since he has not been on any medication since two weeks after his original appointment. His pulmonary function is up to 85% with no medication. His eczema is improved. Basically, the allergist was shocked, and no longer recommends allergy shots. Instead, he is recommending further testing for food allergies to make sure there are no more nuts he is allergic to, and prescribed an epi pen for emergencies. This is a complete turn around.

I feel confident that allergy medication would not have had the same effect. We would have been starting allergy shots, without any doubt. That's why I love my doctor. He found what was wrong and helped us fix it. Thank you, Dr. DeYoung!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tornado Country

When we moved to Kentucky, I had no idea I would be experiencing more tornados than I did when I was growing up. I grew up in Oklahoma, and tornadoes were something we took seriously. So seriously that we always stood outside watching for them. After all, why hide in your basement when you can go outside and see the tornados?

It is widely accepted that Oklahoma and Kansas are tornado country. Kentucky is living up to that reputation, too. More houses have basements here than in Oklahoma, though. I'm thankful for that, since we've had so many tornados the past couple years. I'm also thankful that our family has escaped harm or property destruction. I only wish the same could be said of our friends. We have so many friends in southern Indiana, and at least one family has had a lot of destruction. We have escaped harm completely, though. For that I am thankful.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Boy, A Book, and His Cat

Joining Soule Mama this week:
{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 for more moments.


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