Friday, December 19, 2014

Potty Training is Favorite

No, potty training is not my favorite.  I had very little motivation to potty train Boaz.  I'm not sure why because changing an almost three and a half year olds diaper is not very pleasant.  I would forget to take him and he never really initiated it.  I would go strong for a couple days and then quit.  If Clay was home all day he would have had Bo trained.  Because my husband is just awesome like that.  So needless to say things weren't going that great.  Until, we got him his own little potty!  We had a seat that went on the big toilet but I could tell he did not feel at peace on it.  If you have a little someone having a hard time this is the best $13 you will ever spend!  He loves it.  He goes on it all day long with out me reminding him.  Athanasius is his moral support.  For some reason he likes it when Athanasius sits with him.  I guess it's a brother thing.

Sorry but the next sentence will contain the word "poopy".  So stop now if bathroom humor grosses you out.  This is a conversation that took place today.

[Boaz sitting on the little potty.]

Me: "Are you trying to go poopy?'

Boaz: "Yea, it's loading."

Me: "Loading?"

Boaz: "Yea."

[Me leaving the bathroom to laugh hysterically.]

Here is a link to the potty we purchased.  When you find a really great product do you ever want to buy one for everyone you know? That's how I feel with this frog potty. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spring Rolls

This past weekend I made some Spring Rolls for our church potluck.  I made them Saturday afternoon so they would be already to go Sunday morning.  Spring Rolls are a nice treat because they are fast friendly, gluten free, and something different!  I have only made them a few times now but every time I think I should really make these more often.  This time around I put spring mix lettuce, red cabbage, green onions, carrots, cashews, and basmati rice.  I also took a few different sauces for people to choose from.  If we were not in a fast I would have included some form of pork.  Pork would have been awesomeness.  But these were actually still really good and filling.  Last minute Clay suggested I make a video of how to assemble them.  I was a little nervous, but it was a lot of fun and I really like how it turned out.  But when I uploaded it last night to blogger it had no sound.  Clay was trying to finish an online portion of a CPR class and I was putting kids to bed so it was not on the to do list to problem solve the no sound issue.  So here are a few pictures of the finished product!  If you want to see how to make one I'm sure you could find a good video on youtube. 

You can probably get rice paper at an Asian market but I was able to pick it up at Mama Jean's, our local health store.  I was already there and did not to make another trip.  They look a little strange but they are so refreshing, I feel so good inside when I eat them.  :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Simple Weekend

God blessed us with a really good weekend.  We were able to get out and run a couple errands as a family, everyone was healthy and we all made it to church, and we were able to attend a beautiful choral concert at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Sunday night (for free).  What a treat!  Last Thursday night was Clay's work Christmas party.  As we were getting everyone ready to go I said to Clay, "do you realize I haven't left this house in two weeks?"  Two weeks!! We all had the flu and then the next week Felicity had an ear infection and broke through a couple teeth, I was worn and felt spent.  That's why this past weekend felt so special.  All we did was run to the grocery store, a park, church, and the concert.  But we did it together and it was so refreshing. 

Sunday afternoon, after nap time, we went in the front yard to play.  The big kids like to ride their bikes and I like to pull Felicity and Boaz in the wagon.  I love to pull them in the wagon.  It is so mindless and relaxing.  

 Wow, this whole selfie thing is harder than I thought!

 Clay took over, much better!

 Do you ever feel in a rut with your meals?  I have been feeling like that lately.  And I don't like that feeling.  But Sunday evening I felt a little inspired.  I had leftover taco meat from the night before that I thought of using again but then I  wondered what I would prepare for Clay.  Remember, we are in the Nativity Fast.  On weekends you can have fish so I wanted to take advantage of that for him.  I put four tilapia fillets in a skillet with a liberal amount of olive oil and bottled lemon juice.  I used my wonderful Trader Joe's lemon pepper seasoning given to me by my sister, put the lid on, set the gas on low and went out the front door to play with the kids.  I put the lid on because of course I did not have the forethought to defrost the fillets so they were frozen.  I'm not sure how long I was outside for but when I came in the fillets were definitely done.  I thought about making some rice but I wanted something different so I cooked some of our gluten free rice noodles.  I got the idea to mix the fish in with the cooked noodles and as I was doing it I totally regretted it, it resembled that of cat foot from a can!  Oh no!  Then I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top to cover the grossness.  Clay couldn't have the cheese but he still really enjoyed the meal.  And everyone else did too!  I was so happy.  The cheese flavor went well with the lemon and olive oil.  On the effort scale this meal was like a 2.  I served it will spring mix from a container, so saving on brain cells there too.  I think next time I am going to place a fillet on top of the noodles, it will look more appetizing, at least to me anyway.

 These are the noodles we use, and we really like them.  They are also more filling that regular wheat flour.  I'm not sure you can tell in the picture but I still have about the contents left in the package.  Just a side note if you try these, after I put in the boil water I set my timer for 8 mins.  and then strain them immediately.  If they cook too long they are mushy and gross.  

So if you have any meal ideas or food blogs you enjoy I would love the recommendations!

Monday, December 15, 2014

House Tour Part ll

Here are the pictures of the upstairs, where are kids sleep.  Our upstairs is fun and different, but also difficult to make work at times.  We bought our home six years ago and I feel like I finally have it in decent order up there!  When we bought our home there was ugly grey carpet upstairs and the walls were this camel, desert theme color.  So I really wanted to brighten it up.  When Athanasius was a baby we ripped up the carpet and my Dad helped Clay sand the floors and paint them with hearty porch paint.  It made a huge difference!  It has been a little over four years and I think the floors have held up well considering how much wear and tear they get but they definitely need a pick me up.  And when Clay is done with nursing school I plan on doing that, or I plan on my Dad and Clay doing that. :)  They make my dreams come true!  There are other things that need accomplishing as well like redoing to ceilings, trim along the floor and repainting the walls.  BUT, that is okay.  I am slowly learning life is a process and not everything has to be accomplished right now.

Do you have things you would change about your present home?  I do.  One thing.  It is not even that we have just one bathroom.  That is not a big deal to me right now.  Sure, it can be challenging at times but there are worse things.  Worse things like our stairs!!! These crazy little, steep stairs are really the only thing I would change about our home.  Everyday I pray our kids will not fall down them and everyday I yell out at some point, "GO SLOW!!!" That will be one of our kids memories.  "Remember how crazy Mom was about those stairs!"  Poor Boaz, I do not let him walk up and down them by himself yet.  I escort him.  The child trips over his own feet walking on level ground, these stairs will be the end of him, or me and my nerves. :)

I think when they built the house in 1910 they had so much square footage and were like "hey! lets build a staircase!"  Also, the wall color by the stairs is what the whole upstairs was.

 This is the crib Boaz sleeps in.  That grey box is the air conditioner we use up here.  It is in a bunker window.

 The green love seat is to the left of the staircase.

 As you can see there is another bunker window to the right of Bo's crib.

 This was taken by the window unit looking to the other side where Athanasius sleeps.

 This is Athanasius' sleeping area!

 This is a closet/cubby hole area that is a "club house".

 This is what you see when you first walk up the stairs.   That door goes into Eleanor's room.

 This to the right of Eleanor's door.  My Dad gave her this fold up chair.  It is black so I threw some blankets on it.  It is super comfy and I often find her curled up reading a book there.

 Behind this curtain is another closet/cubby hole area I use for storage as you can see in the picture below.

 The big tubs hold my fabric, and the rod was already there to hang cloths on.

 Eleanor's beloved animals.   And the beautiful quilt made by Marie Madeline Studio!

 Sometimes things just come together when you are trying to put a room together.  The curtains are made from a Holly Hobby bed sheet my Mom gave me years ago but never used.  My sister gave Eleanor the top framed picture and I found the bottom, larger one at a thrift store for a $1.50.  I really love the simplicity and sweetness of Holly Hobby.

 As you can see Ellie did not get the "clutter free" gene.  She is a little messy, but she's our little messy!  Sometimes when I walk in her room my eye starts to twitch. :)

 This book stack is usually like two feet tall.  So I did a little consolidating for pictures sake. 

 I like what Athanasius chooses to put on his night stand, war horse, icon, and batman cup.

This is Bo's sail boat from Nova Natural.  I thought I would include that in case some of you have not heard of that online store.   Athanasius has the blue one and they are really fun.  The boys take them in the bath and outside too.  I hope you enjoyed seeing our crazy upstairs!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunshine and House Tour

 Today during the kids nap/rest time I was laying on the couch reading and noticed how sunny it was in and outside!  I feel like it has not been sunny here in awhile.  So it made me really happy to see sunshine in our home.  Very last minute I started snapping pictures and thought it might be fun to do a house tour.  I love, LOVE house tours!  I love to see how people use their space and to get ideas for our own home.  So here are some pictures of our humble home.  This may sound weird but for awhile I tried to be "cool"  with my style.  Decorating how I thought I "should".  But I was never happy with it.  And realized I am NOT cool!  No, my style is more like cozy grandma style.  I love anything old or with little flowers on it.  I can not help it! So I have decided to embrace it and not fight against it. :)  The above picture is what you see when you first walk through the front door.  Our house is 104 years old, so there are no hallways, everything just branches off of something else.  Whatever, it works.
 Our wood stove!!! Warmth! I am walking around our house this winter in t shirts and no socks.  This Florida girl is in heaven.  I hate being bundled up.  My husband thinks I am crazy, he is probably right.   We call this room the Stove Room.  We try to save on brain cells in this house. 

 See, I didn't really plan this house tour, there is our broom.

 This is the front door.
 The master bedroom is off of the Stove Room.  That basket is Felicity's toys and it keeps the door shut.  Remember the door knobs might be over a hundred years old, so sometimes they work and sometimes they don't!

 Here is our kitchen.  Behind the white curtain is our washer/dryer and some shelving.  

 The wonderful, amazing pot rack my Dad built! I love it!

 Felicity's high chair is tucked away. 

 This is my sewing desk, an old school desk.  I love the little desk but not where I have it.  I can not find a good spot for it.  Oh well, I have bigger fish to fry so it is staying here for now.


 This room we call the living room.   It is connected to the Stove Room with a set of french doors that I keep open. 

 This is the kids art table.  One of the BEST, most used items in our home.  They use this everyday, all through out the day.  It was given to us by some friends and I am so thankful for it!

 This is a massive bookshelf (also given to us by friends) that holds books but also the kids toys.  The kids do not have a ton of toys because I have this disordered called, "You don't play with it...oh gets given away".  I am truly heartless.  I keep special things and art work but I can't handle clutter and I want to be able to tidy up our home within minutes.  The ONLY way to do that is to have less stuff.   Also, you see those three pink balloons?  Those are what the kids have been playing with all week, not their toys.  And they have been having a blast with them.  Yay for simplicity!

 This is our high tech entertainment area.  The dvd player is under that stack of blankets in the basket. 

 This is the crazy rug I crocheted out of old sheets.  If you have old ugly sheets I will take them!

 This is to the right of our front door.  It says, "Lord! Bless those who enter into this home, Protect and care for those who depart from it, And give peace to those who remain in it."  Prayer by St. Nikolai Velimirovic

 That is our Christmas tree this year, the potted plants they have in the front of Walmart with the ugly red bows on the branches.  I vacuumed up so many needles last year and with Felicity crawling I didn't want to deal with it.  And since Eleanor is 100% against fake trees this was my compromise.  I joked with the kids that if I keep alive for a year it can be our tree next year!  They weren't too thrilled with that idea. :)

I leave you with crazy snowmen the kids made.