Friday, March 24, 2017

Thank Goodness for Small Miracles

I winged it last night when I made dinner and the kids loved it! We had an abundance of plum jam in the fridge and I had just watched a cooking show about Pioneer Woman making peach chicken or something similar.

Plum Soy Chicken

2 C plum sauce or jam
3/4 C soy sauce
red pepper flakes
I would have added ginger, but I'm out
1 diced onion
lemon juice

I browned the chicken hindquarters or thighs, I can't remember, and set them aside. Then I sauted the onions in the leftover fat and returned the chicken to the pan. I added the sauce, put a lid on it, and stuck it in the oven for an hour and a half. I think two hours would have been perfect, but I didn't have that kind of time. I would have served it over rice, but I didn't have any so I use quinoa. I typically hate quinoa, however, it was palatable covered in the plum soy sauce.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


So. Life.

There was a lot of screaming in my house today. Mostly from the kids. We're stuck in this awful weather pattern where it's nice for two or three days and then cold, sucky, and on the verge of raining. The shift in barometric pressure is wrecking havoc on my household. Sigh.

Clementine has been exercising her voice. Her newest, and most annoying phrase, is "I DO!" She wants and insists on doing everything except that she can't. I may or may not have shut myself in the bathroom for a bit today.

I'm trying to figure out a good rhythm for homeschooling. I think the answer is that there is not good rhythm with a toddler in the house. I have three night owls and two morning kids which makes for interesting days. For awhile I told the kids that all school work and chores needed to be completed before noon, but we don't even finish eating breakfast until 10:30 so everyone was ending up stressed and grumpy. My new plan is to do group work after breakfast, then work with my morning kids, and the night owls have until bedtime to finish their work. We'll see how it goes.

I started another homeschooling group and am excited about it. The group is up to maybe 80 people now and I've got fun things planned through May. I could plan out the rest of the summer, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I love planning and when people are happy about it, I am happy and motivated to keep going. I'm hopeful this will be a positive group for my kids and that they make new friends.

I am on top of gardening this year. I have almost finished adding four raised beds. I have planted kale, spinach, lettuce, radishes, and peas. I'm not sure about the radishes because they were subjected to Clementine's "I DO!" and for some reason I don't think they'll grow in a clump. I accidentally bought a Bartlett pear tree when the kids and I went to Walmart for a furnace filter. If I push it, I can probably squeeze in two more trees, but I'm not so sure I need anything. Maybe sweet cherries.

I'm scaling back on tomatoes this year and planting potatoes in hills in my big garden instead of in the potato planters. Ok, when I say "scaling back" what I mean it that I don't know how to scale back, but I have 30 tomatoes that I just transplanted into bigger containers, except I double planted so I have 60 tomatoes. It's still fewer than 70 from last year. I am pumped about growing a lot of potatoes. We eat a lot of potatoes. I need a root cellar.

Maeve is a sewing genius. I'm not kidding. She has an amazing ability to see patterns and translate them into whatever she wants. Her current project is a velociraptor. She sketched it in pieces on regular paper, made a pattern, and fit all of the pattern pieces perfectly onto her fabric. She's making toe claws and everything. This dinosaur is going to be as big as Finnegan. I'll post pictures when she's done.

Exercising is going great. There are days I miss a workout, but I feel good. I'm not sure if I've lost any weight because I don't own a scale. I have biceps again and am gaining muscle in my legs and abs. I have no idea of I'll lost 30 lbs by June and I honestly don't care too much. Exercising is a way for me to feel good about myself. A nice butt is certainly a bonus, but I've always have one of those. Ha, yes I just said that.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I haven't written anything since 2015. I must be busy.

Life is finally starting to settle down since adding a fifth kid to the mix. She is a spit-fire like the rest of them and is in to everything these days.

I decided late last year that I am ready to work on me. I want to be strong and fit again and feel good when I get dressed in the morning. Or afternoon. I loved doing tae bo workouts in college so I ordered two dvds. They are terrific! One disc has eight different ten minute workouts. The other disc has four longer cardio workouts. My goal is to do one ten minute workout everyday and the longer workouts three times a week. So far, so good! I feel fantastic and have noticed that I have more energy and am happier.

In addition to working out, I have started to eat more vegetables and protein. I also begin everyday by squeezing half of a lemon and adding a spoonful of raw honey to a quart of water. I honestly have no idea what benefits, if any, come from lemon water, but I know raw honey is good for you and the lemon is tasty.

I was thinking today that I still haven't written down my goals for this year so here they are in no particular order:

1. Get in shape. In a perfect world, this includes losing 30 lbs by June. That's only 5 lbs/month so I think I can get close.

2. Increase sales for my soap business. I have tons of inventory sitting on the shelves and need to figure out how to move/sell the soap faster. I also need to work on marketing.

3. Save money! We switched to an all cash system last year and it's been awesome! It's very similar to what Dave Ramsey preaches and has made a huge difference. We are saving for a recreational acreage since we are more than likely never moving from our current home.

4. Take more road trips with the kids as soon as the weather is nicer.

5. Add to the garden. I have a long list of herbal wonders that I plan to plant and want fill the four raised boxes my husband built last year. I also want to add grapes. I need grape juice during the winter. I mean nothing says summer like a glass of canned grape juice.

6. Expand my herb knowledge.

That's about it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clementine Jane

I started having regular contractions around 1:30 pm on Wednesday, May 20th. I called my husband while crying and told him that he shouldn't come home yet because I wasn't sure whether or not I was in labor. He didn't listen and came home anyway and I was grateful because the contractions kept coming. I called my midwife, told her we were headed to the hospital, and we finished packing our bags. 

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30 pm and it took forever to get settled. The hospital makes you answer about a hour's worth of stupid questions. As soon as the nurse left me alone, we started walking. We walked and walked and walked. I was dilated to 3 cm when we got there and expected my labor to go quickly. Lori, my midwife, checked me again at 9 pm and I was only at 5 cm. I was contracting often and regularly while moving, but as soon as I stopped, so did the contractions. I agreed to have her break my water at 10:30 pm and my labor completely stopped. No contractions whatsoever. I was tired, frustrated, and upset. My labor with Finnegan had been similar, but when my water was broken, he was born in two hours.

I asked for an epidural. I am pro natural child birth and am aware of the risks of a medicated birth, however, I was fighting what few contractions I was having and was so, so tired. They started pitocin shortly after the epi was placed. The pitocin was increased four times before my uterus starting contracting. I could feel my contractions start and everyone came back into my room to get things set up for delivery. Clementine Jane was born at 3:30 am, or close to 3:30....I can't remember the exact time, after a few pushes. We had decided to name her Imogen since the name means "last child", but she didn't look like an Imogen. The other names on our list were Filomena after my great Italian grandmother and Mable. The kids didn't like Filomena and my husband didn't like Mabel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to go to Bed Like a Three Year Old

How to go to bed like a three year old:

1. Lick your mom's back as soon as she gets into bed.
2. Get a drink of water.
3. Sing loud songs about rainbows.
4. Collect as many stuffed animals as possible. Make sure they don't belong to you.
5. Get a drink of water.
5. Collect stuffed animals one at a time.
6. Pretend to be a spy.
7. Bend over and make fart noises.
8. Fight with at least one brother.
9. Get a drink of water.
10. Pretend to sleep for so long that your mom leaves the room.
11. Cry. A lot. Try hard to produce real tears.
12. Get a drink of water.
13. Complain about something.
14. Fall asleep, but wake up to pee.
15. Remove all stuffed animals from bed.
16. Collapse and sleep.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Phone Calls

The kids can be somewhere playing happily, but the minute the phone rings, all hell breaks loose around these parts.

My mother-in-law called today. Four children were quietly eating at the kitchen table. Clementine was asleep. All was well. Then the phone rang.


Moooommmm! Mom! I need to tell you something. MOM! Why are you ignoring me!? MOOOM!

Or how about the time I called my mother. All of the kids, with the exception of the baby, were upstairs sleeping.


Groggy eyed kid enters and immediately starts arguing about why he should get to use his kindle upon waking. Clementine wakes up in her bassinet and Tillie starts crying at the top of the steps.

Or the time when my dad called and asked if it was a good time to talk. Hahahahaha! Nope, it's never a good time to talk on the phone or with any other human if you have five kids.

Life with Five Kids

Do you ever wonder what life is like with five kids? Let me tell you.

The goal this morning was to run a few errands and stop at Target before noon. The three younger kids were up by 9:30. The plan was to make donuts, but no one collected eggs over the weekend and the coop is a disaster from the rain this morning. Homemade yogurt to the rescue! Except, as much as the two middles claim to love homemade yogurt, they don't so they raided the fridge and ate bits and pieces of everything and left a mess of wasted food on the table. 

The two oldest finally got out of bed after I threatened to take away their electronic devices and started complaining about yogurt for breakfast. The youngest woke up from all of the loud complaining and she needed to nurse. Shoes! Brush your hair! Stop eating!

And we were off. Everything was smooth sailing while we made a few stops. Then Clementine pooped her pants. I could hear that it was a big one. Her pooping means that my afternoon will be great, except that we were in the Target parking lot, there was no water in the car to wet the cloth wipes, poop was oozing out of her diaper, and it was raining. Poop went everywhere. On the car seat, all over my hands, and her legs and feet. The older kids were gagging and offering to stand outside the van to collect rain water so that I could wet the wipes. Whatever. I made the best of it and washed my hands and her legs when we got inside Target.

Target was a successful trip. The kids were good. Clementine slept in the wrap. It was raining harder when we were walking to the car. I got the kids buckled, Clementine started crying, and the car wouldn't start.

The end.