About Me

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I am mom to an 18 year old boy and identical twin 9 year old boys. I am the wife of a wonderful man. I have had celiac disease for 18 years, and love to share recipes I find or create!

Mar 31, 2011

Today's Car Tip

If you feel your car pulling to one direction and it didn't last time you drove it, pull over and look at your tires. Chances are one of them has less air than the rest! If the tire is visibly low, you need to get your spare on and get to your tire shop. And remember, if your tires aren't new you should replace them in pairs - two new on the front, or two new on the back. Whatever you replace, the two newest ones should be your "driving wheels"! If you have a front wheel drive car, put them up front!! It is best to buy new tires four at a time, but if you are like me and drive an SUV to hold the family you sometimes just can't afford four tires at once. And believe it or not it does help the live of your tires if you rotate them on a regular basis. Most good tire shops will rotate at no charge if you bought the tires from them. They should offer free patches as well if you bought good tires there, I have always had that! Maybe that's the $4 insurance I buy for the tires...

Mar 30, 2011

Ultimate Sandwich Makeover

So I was chosen to host a Kraft Ultimate Sandwich Makeover party. I can't believe the pile of goodies I got in the mail today!!! Free reusable lunch bags, coupons for free lunch meats and cheese, a free freezable sandwich container, and three sandwich shop mayo's! AWESOME!

Mar 28, 2011

Potty Training, FINALLY!!

Today is day two of being in "real underwear" for the twins! They turned 3 the end of January, and have been in pull ups forever (ok, it feels like forever). They are smart, and know if they have a pull up on they can use it - so they do! Potty training was barely moving until I just told them it was time to wear underwear like the rest of us! It's too easy!

Yesterday they each had an accident, couldn't make it to the bathroom in time and wet themselves. That's pretty good for day one! I am putting the pull ups back on for car rides and bedtime, not ready for wet carseats or wet beds. They don't wake up dry yet, so I don't feel they are ready for night training yet. This morning they each had another accident, both because I couldn't open the gate in time. So I moved the gate to the other side of the bathroom, and it works!! They have stayed dry all afternoon, I'm so proud of them! They want a high five every time they go potty, it's awesome.

They aren't going #2 on the pot, which I don't want to become an issue - so I put them in pull ups for a half hour today and told them this was their chance to poo if they didn't want to on the pot. They hadn't gone in two days, and usually go three to four times every day!! I know, fun topic but I felt better reading other mom's issues with potty training online and want to share. It worked, they went, so that's our next hurdle - teaching them to sit down on the pot ;)

I am so happy with the success we are seeing!!!! YAY!!!!!!! I can't WAIT to knock pampers easy ups off my grocery list for good!!!

Mar 23, 2011

Spring, finally!

Yep, spring is definitely setting in down south. Allergies are awful, pollen is turning the cars green, and plants are flowering everywhere! Daffodils are almost already past, all the forsythia are yellow, the bradford pear trees are green again, cherry trees are in full bloom, and there are little grape hyacinth all over my yard blooming! I like the grape hyacinth so much - such a little plant but so much color! Only one of my daffodils bloomed this year, the only reason I can think of is we moved them last fall and must have messed up their "storage" for blooms. We'll see what next spring brings for them I guess!

Next out should be some daylilies, I can't WAIT for them to start opening!! I love daylilies, I have a ton of varieties out front and about 200 orange wild ones out back. Even when they aren't blooming the greenery is so nice! The butterfly garden is budding again, we are looking forward to seeing how that does this year as well. It has sweet william, bee balm, two butterfly bushes and some lilies and iris in it. Cool!!! I love gardening, can you tell?

Mar 22, 2011

Did I do a good job?

I am finally done painting!! Well, except the master bedroom but who looks there. The idiot who painted these cabinets white didn't sand or prime over yellow paint, so when they chipped (or I scrubbed them) they turned dingy yellow. Couldn't stand that any longer! Do you like the chocolate color? We have an accent wall the same color as well as curtains, so it brings the house together. I just hope they aren't too dark, this is a lot of work! Much cheaper than remodeling, this has so far cost us $24! Seriously! Oh and don't mind the mess ;)

Turning 12 years old!!

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that my oldest child is 12 now. He will always be "my baby" in so many ways! He and I were alone for the first few years, and I think that has made us very close. I love the relationship we have, and he is such a good kid - it's just hard to look at him almost at eye level some days!!!

Mar 21, 2011

New Zenni Glasses

Zenni has done it again! Thing Two's glasses came, same glasses as Thing One but a slightly stronger script. He LOVES them! He did scream the first time we tried putting them on, he is after all three, but this morning I slipped them on, he fussed at me then realized he could see! I took them off after a half hour in case he was getting a headache (happened to Thing One) but he asked for them back! He even told me he likes his new glasses. I am just floored!!!

Hopefully this will make the "esotropia" go away with the twins. I know it'll take time, but I have high hopes! They were doomed for glasses, I am honestly amazed Big Kid doesn't need them! Everyone in my family wears them except him! Dad's family wears them as well, the twins had no chance ;)

Mar 20, 2011

Necrotic Ring Spots in our yard AND mealy bugs?!

We have alien crop circles, or that was what we called them. Every day we look out our upstairs window and wonder aloud what the heck made perfectly round semicircles on our lawn!! There are at least ten circles in our front yard alone!!! I googled dead circles in the lawn today and found photos of exactly what we have - necrotic ring spots is the name of the fungus. Yep, it's a fungus and once you have it there's nothing you can do to fix the affected areas. From what I have read we should be fertilizing the rest of the lawn and watering generously to prevent more spots from growing.

Is this what owning a house is like, always having something that needs replacing or repairing? Ok, so painting the kitchen cabinets because the white wore off to yellow was my decision and wasn't necessarily "needed" but lawn circles?! Then I realized every single one of my daylilies out front had mealy bugs on them... ugh. At least I know how to easily get rid of those, had them last spring too! I already got rid of them with a spray bottle of dishsoap and water, and a good hose. Bleh!!!

Mar 16, 2011

Gluten Free: Best Apple Pie recipe EVER!

Ok, this is one of my favorite recipes. I ate some for Big Kid's birthday today and realized I should post the recipe for others to fall in love with! My mother used to make this all the time, she called it Bickford's something or other, then someone started calling it breakfast apple pie and it stuck! This is great to make for breakfast for guests, goes with any other breakfast food... it goes with anything I swear!!!

This isn't a pie that requires tons of flour and a crust - I can't handle pastry crusts. I can bake just about anything but completely skirt the issue of making pie crusts! They break every SINGLE time I try to lift them into the pie plate. Anyway! This is seriously easy and takes at most five minutes prep time and fifteen minutes cook time, and will wow anyone you serve it to. Excellent with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or as dessert with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream!

Breakfast Apple Pie

*as always, if you are making this as a gluten free recipe check your ingredients to ensure gluten free status! I have brands I am very loyal to, but I still check every time I buy a new container to ensure nothing has changed on the ingredient list.

In pie plate:
2 Tbs butter

In first bowl mix:
2 medium apples, skinned and sliced
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs melted butter or margarine

Second bowl:
1/2 C flour
1/2 milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in pie pan in hot oven. Be ready, the butter melts quickly and you don't want to burn it. Pour second bowl into hot buttered pie pan, then pour first bowl in, leaving the edges just batter. Bake fifteen minutes or until edges look browned. MMMMMMmmmmm good!

For Homeschooling Moms

National Geographic has some great shows - we just won't pay the ton of money Directv wants for us to get the channel! We already pay a ton and to get the package that includes NGC it would cost us another $40 a month. No way!! So we miss the opportunity to see all the educational shows on there. Well, national geographic is running a sale through the end of this month (I think!) that is 30% off all dvd's and books! After our fun at the ER with two kids we don't have money laying around, but I still ordered When Rome Ruled to use next year in 7th grade - and got $10 off the price and I had a code for free shipping! They never seem to run sales, and this one's a good one. I saw so many other dvd's and books we could really use for school, but as I'm finding out buying books is an insatiable habit for many homeschoolers! So far we still only have three bookshelves, and only one is dedicated to homeschooling materials. The other two are books we outgrew but are still too "big" for Big Kid, or books that Big Kid outgrew but are still too "big" for the twins!

So, if anyone needs something from national geographic, check it out! I plan to watch these to support when we start studying Rome, and start learning latin (at Big Kid's request).

Mar 15, 2011

"Food Should Taste Good" Chips... or crackers?

Is it a chip or a cracker? I don't care what it is, the taste is AWESOME!!! I'm sure I have posted about these before, man are they satisfying. They are healthy to boot!!! Food Should Taste Good should get an award for making such a yummy gluten free goodie. They have my vote!

Why can't other companies catch on and make gluten free foods that actually taste good! There are a few so far that have gluten free down pat - envirokids rice bars are pretty good, oh and cheetos are great, trix and fruity pebbles cereal is tasty, chex of course, but where are the ritz crackers, the cream of mushroom soups, A FREAKING REAL COOKIE??? People have suggested Pamela's cookies, which are ok on their own but not if you are actually expecting a "cookie" flavor. I have finally found good noodles tho! We are using Mrs. Leeper's corn noodles and they are honestly really good! Easy to overcook, and the water turns to sludge because of the corn starch released, but that can be good if you are adding them to soups. They have the same familiar consistency as "real" noodles and have a good familiar taste to them. Eat your heart out nasty tinkyada noodles!!!

Journey To The Stars DVD

Talk about a let down. First let me say I did get this dvd for free a few months ago to use homeschooling Big Kid. I would have returned it had I paid for it! Let me also say I am glad we ordered it because due to the massive delay in shipping we were sent America: the Story of US as a thank you for waiting. Now THAT is an amazing set of shows!!

I am seriously hoping there is something astounding that happens during the actual planetarium show, because the dvd seems to be aimed at someone who knows nothing about our universe. The imagery is just amazing, and Whoopi Goldberg mentions some very interesting points but never goes into any details at all on them. It's barely a half hour long, and when the show was over Big Kid just stared at me and asked me if I had paid for it because he had learned more from watching the discovery channel. Wow. The planetarium show got rave reviews, but something was seriously lost in the making of the dvd.

We watched the first few episodes of America: the Story of US, and even Big Kid was almost in tears he felt so patriotic after watching the first two episodes! He is dying to watch the next in the series, I think we're up to the westward expansion. You know it's a good show on history when an 11 yr old is chomping at the bit to watch more!!

Pediatrician Issues

I am very unsure how to feel about this issue. We are on our third pediatrician's office since the twins were born three years ago. I am not necessarily picky, but the first office was toast when we sat in the teeny exam room for 45 minutes waiting with a child who had an ear infection, listening to the doctor just outside the door flirt with a drug rep. We actually heard him saying to her "Nonono, it's not a problem, I have some free time right now". After 45 minutes (and I'm not exaggerating) we walked out of the room, right past he and the drug rep, and requested our copay back. The office called me three times apologizing and saying that would never happen again. Like I ever want to see him again, he proved to us what's important to him and it wasn't my children. After that we went to a pediatrician a friend recommended to us, and she was even worse. Her office was so unorganized, then they made an appt for the twins to get flu shots and after we arrived and paid for them they said they made a mistake and they didn't have flu shots for little kids, only older ones. Um, hello?? Shouldn't you check in the drugs before you offer them to patients?

So here we are at our third practice, and all the doctors and nurses are very nice and seem to really know what they are doing. However two weeks ago at 4:45pm one of our children suddenly spiked a fever and got sick to his stomach, and had hit his head pretty hard the day before. I called and was told there were no nurses left in the building, and to call a nurses hotline. I did and they said they needed to speak to our pediatrician. Yeah. So I call the office back, get a recording because it's after five, and listened to the entire thing twice - it cut me off before the end of the message both times and said nothing about a number to call to get the doc on call. So I was left not speaking to a doctor. Then yesterday I realized the twins hadn't eaten all day and one hadn't drank or had a wet pull up all day. Thing Two had a fever that wouldn't break, so with all that I called the office and was told to leave a message for a nurse at 1pm. At 2:30 I called back because I couldn't wait any longer only to be told there were no more appointments and they were sorry. What?! Info that would have been useful an hour and a half ago?!

We ended up going to urgent care, who sent us to the children's hospital ER. Thing Two's pulse ox was very low (meaning his lungs weren't passing enough oxygen into his blood) and Thing One still hadn't drank or peed by 6pm. We got chest xrays, popsicles, lots of monitoring and were finally sent home once Thing One drank some milk and peed. Today I called the pediatrician's office to figure out why the heck they don't have a pediatrician on call at night and was told "If you had stayed on the line our message states a phone number you can call for after hours assistance". I did stay on the line, it cut me off twice!!!

So if you were in my position, would you start searching for another pediatrician's office? It's pretty crappy to have three kids and not really have an office you can trust :(

Mar 11, 2011

Confusion with Saxon Math

We are using Saxon 76 with Big Kid, and he is just breezing right through it. Who would have thought math would be our easiest subject at home!!! I'm starting to poke around for next year's curriculum, to see if I can find any deals before buying new. The saxon website is SO confusing about whether we go to Saxon 87 or Algebra 1/2! I asked on my local homeschooling network and a few moms said go with 87, and then just move to Algebra 1 for 8th grade. I guess I'll go that way, but man Saxon could you make it any more confusing??? Now I just have to get to the used curriculum store... what a drive and it's always trying with the twins there!

Mar 10, 2011

I have THAT child...

For the last few weeks we have heard this from Thing Two when we tell him not to do something - "I don't want to not do that". Yep, lands his butt in time out every time. He even tried telling us "Don't tell me no" once! After two weeks of trying the "I don't want to" out he now will instead say "What are you talking about, Mom" when I tell him not to do something. Great. Feign ignorance!

This morning I get out the vacuum to clean the trail of crushed goldfish off the carpet and hear "Mooom, not again" as the vacuum comes out. I have THAT child!!! Thing One just watches to see what my reaction will be, then starts saying the same thing if Thing Two doesn't get in trouble. Great.

Mar 8, 2011

Praising Zenni Optical Again!

I ordered my glasses a year ago from zennioptical.com, and have been amazed at how nice they are! The script was perfect, I had it checked, and the frames are so lovely I get comments often asking where I found them. Since mine were so good hubby ordered his last year as well, and loves them. In the fall we ordered Thing One a pair of glasses, and they too are great! I called and spoke to a representative, waited on hold less than five minutes, and she helped me find a pair of frames that were the right width for him - at 2 1/2 that's hard to do. His glasses have been awesome, not only making him adorable but also helping his eyes uncross. He has fallen and hit the pavement, bounced off floors all wearing the glasses and no issues! We do have a strap on them so they won't slide down his nose, he has issues with the nose pieces touching his nose. All in all I can't say enough good things about Zenni!

Yesterday we ordered Thing Two a matching pair of prescription glasses, so one twin will have blue and one twin will have black. Thing Two loves glasses and has had a no script pair since Thing One needed them. Now Thing Two's eyes are crossing just like Thing One's did, so it's time for corrective lenses!

I hope this helps someone, glasses are SO expensive (my last pair was in the $700's) and to only have to pay $58 for mine and $25 for kiddos is just a godsend. Seriously!

Mar 7, 2011

First sign of spring?

My first flower of the year opened over the weekend, and is now covered in frost. I moved all of our daffodils last summer, I had little hope of seeing any blooms from them, so I am happy with one. Hopefully next year they will all bloom like crazy! I am done moving things in the gardens, for two years I have planted and transplanted as we have made our gardens our own. Now it's time to sit back and watch them bloom :) Happy Spring!!!

Now of course I am dying to see if the forsythia we planted grow into bushes this year, and how my daylilies will look. I have over fifteen different colors of daylilies, and I forget which colors are where. I love daylilies, and I think I have enough variety to have at least one blooming from spring to fall! Can you tell I like to garden? The fringeflower bushes are blooming magenta right now, woohoo!!!

Mar 5, 2011

More new shoes?!

This deal I just had to post about! I have been looking at Sanita clogs for my mom, she really really wants a funky pair and they are oh so comfortable. I am not familiar with the Sanita brand, but they used to make Dansko's and I am very familiar with them. Very supportive, well made shoes!

So my mom and I stopped at DSW today to grab a replacement pair of her fave minnetonka flip flops, and while perusing the clearance rack what did I find? MY favorite pair of Sanita clogs on sale, 40% off $60!!! They were the only pair in the store, and it happened to be my exact size. The moment I put them on I was in love!! After my $10 off coupon I didn't know I had (thank you DSW rewards) I spent $34 on them, and at Abba Dabba's the exact same pair was marked $130!!! AWESOME DEAL!!!!!

Just had to brag, I don't usually find great deals on "real shoes"! My feet are soooo happy!