Monday, February 08, 2016

$1.29/dozen whole-wheat pancakes

Making your own whole wheat pancakes is tasty and doesn't cost much.  

This is my mom's recipe.  I grew up with these yummy pancakes.  :)

Whole wheat pancakes will keep you satisfied a lot longer than the refined flour alternative.  You can refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.  

It cost me $1.18 for one batch following the recipe.  Admittedly, I grind my own whole-wheat flour.  

Store bought whole-wheat flour brings the cost up to $1.29/batch.  (If you use the cheap baking powder, it will be even less expensive.)

Today I quadrupled the recipe and made them with vanilla protein powder from Costco.  I also added cinnamon and cloves.  I was low on milk, so I used unsweetened cashew milk.

Even with my more costly substitutions and additions, it still came out to $1.96/batch of 12.  That's 16 cents per pancake.  

They're very filling.  But sometimes, we add mix-ins.

vanilla protein powder
chopped walnuts or pecans 
blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Try them and let me know how you like them!

Monday, February 01, 2016

FHE activity -- Lego scripture stories

This week the twins have had an increased interest in talking about scripture stories (usually when falling asleep).  

So tonight for Family Home Evening activity, I told the kids they had 7 minutes to build a Lego representation of a scripture story they read or heard in the last week.

"I made the sea turning to blood." -- Squdge

"This is Moses when the sea turned to blood and the white is the dead fish." -- Tater

"This is when the Israelites passed through the Red Sea on dry land with the bad guys (Egyptians) after them.  The white is the Israelites and the red is the bad guys following them.  But they're going to get swallowed up."  -- Hammy

"This is Moses on the sea that turned to blood." -- Bun

"The Israelites in the wilderness gathering manna for Sunday." -- Gabbers

"Mine is blue water coming out of a gray rock symbolizing when Moses struck the rock and the water came out." -- Pookie

Friday, January 15, 2016

This day is seared into my mind for eternity.

7 years ago today I was determined to break out of the depressive funk I was in.  I took 3 of my 4 kids, who were 5, 3, and 1 to the downtown library storytime (instead of the base one).  The 7 year old was in school.

It was 40 below with windchill.

The baby, who was a 20-month old Hammy, peeled off his socks and shoes on the way to the library and SCREAMED at the top of his lungs the rest of the way there-- because he was probably getting frostbite in the van.

I was determined to be positive and happy and bust the down, depressed, guilty feeling I had.  I had kids who needed puppet shows and books from the library and I had errands to run afterwards.

My period was late.  I was pretty convinced it was messed up since the miscarriage in May.  Or maybe it was hibernating.  I had been hibernating after all.

After the library, I went to Target.  I picked up a pregnancy test.  It was a double pack.  I had to use the bathroom so I took it right then in the Target bathroom.  And it didn't work.  I slipped it back in the box and took it home intending to call the company and get a refund.

I called the company from home and they apologized and promised coupons would come in the mail.
So I threw the defective one in my trash.

5 hours later, when Danny was home and I was able to use the bathroom again, I noticed that pregnancy test that didn't seem to work at all, now had two lines.  Dumb defective test.  I mentioned it to Danny.  He said he saw it in the trash and figured it was past the 10 minutes as is written on the box-- so it couldn't be accurate.  We decided I'd give my period a few more days to show up before testing again.

But then I ended bawling over something insignificant and decided to just test again that night.

I tested.  It was positive before I even set it down on the bathtub.

It would be another 2 1/2 weeks before I found out I was carrying triplets.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Okay, you can wear it now. But you don't go to church as Chewbacca."

My twins had so much fun at their friend's Jedi training birthday party last night.  They've been talking about attacking Darth Vader (piƱata) and blasting storm troopers.
Surprisingly, no one has been hurt or anything damaged with light sabers yet.

Monday, January 04, 2016

In which we find out Bun was telling the truth all along

Today I took Bun to a follow-up appt for his glasses.  He got a prescription the end of November and his first glasses came in about a week into December.  

He complained that he could see better without the glasses.  I told him if he just wore them for a week he'd get used to them and could see better.  

Several times I found him lifting them up to look without them or looking over the top.  

Danny and I bribed him with $5 to just wear them for a week straight.

So he did.  But he said they still weren't right.  

Christmastime kept us busy during which I tried to get him to keep wearing them properly.

Today I thought (and the resident thought too) that he was lying about what he saw on the screen during the eye exam to prove he couldn't see.  

When she left the room, I had stern words with him.

"We know that you need glasses.  Answer honestly about what you see so we can get the right prescription.  No amount of faking is going to help you here."

"I can't see with these glasses," he insisted.

"Is it the frame?  Are they so dark you can't see past them?  Or is what you're seeing blurry?  Would you prefer wire frames?  Would that help?"  I asked.

"It might," he said.

"Look, we need to know the prescription first of all.  I cannot afford to buy you another pair if they're not right.  So be honest with the doctor," I pressed.

The resident and doctor came in together after measuring his glasses and comparing them to the prescription from today.  They put together these practice lenses to see if the prescription from today would work.

And guess what?  He could see.  He could see clearly and was very happy about it. 

(I told him I'm showing this picture to his first date.)

So why couldn't he see out of his glasses?  

The previous prescription was made wrong-- completely wrong-- not even close.

Poor kid.  

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Enjoying our Kindles

Today the oldest four kids enjoyed reading along on the Kindles and taking turns being the one to read out loud Story of the World-- our history curriculum-- instead of just listening to me read.

Hammy reading and Tater listening (he doesn't read many words yet and was waiting patiently to read Bob Books on the Kindle next)
Bun on the end next to Gabbers (with monster patched knees)

Pookie enjoying the poem/song at the end of the history chapter 

Even though they were amused with the chapter we were reading that included the "Boston Tea Party," they were probably more impressed with changing the background color from white to green to sepia to black and switching the print to white.  

I'm sure that novelty will wear off soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Where I ramble and ponder about my life's journey so far

I was 5 when I knew that what I wanted most was to be a mom.  

I was 15 when I decided I wanted a dozen kids.  I had just read "Cheaper by the Dozen" and was pretty convinced that creativity and efficiency was key to raising a large family.

I decided I would figure out what it takes to be a mom and get good at it so when I became one, I'd be pretty much an expert.  Ha!

At nearly 25, I had my first child.  I was instantly reminded that this was what I indeed wanted and found very fulfilling even while folding tiny onesies and pajamas and cloth diapers.  

At 35, I had my 8th and final baby.  It was a difficult pregnancy, and I was surrounded by family and friends and many, many, many people supporting my children and me while my husband was far away.  

I knew at the beginning of that pregnancy-- before the complications-- that she would be my last.  My body would not be able to grow another baby again and survive.  

(You could say that I do have 12 since there are 4 angels waiting for me in heaven.)

What would I tell my 15 year old self about being a mom and what she could look forward to? 

Being a mom of many takes more than just being able to change diapers and entertain kids.

Your house will never be clean.  

If the entire house is clean because no one is home and you've worked like a maniac to get it in pristine condition, it won't stay that way for even 10 minutes when they return.  And that's okay.  Because that is not what counts.  

Sticky kisses and hugs count.

Your kids aren't going to remember how shiny the stove was and spotless the microwave was.  They will need to learn to clean and learn to keep a house, but not that everything revolves around it.  

They're going to remember the moments. 

They'll remember feeling loved, having friends over to play and families visiting for dinner.  They'll remember your example and attitude.  They'll look to you to see if it's time to smile or time to worry.

Which brings me to...

Don't focus on or worry about what other people will think.  You can't control what they think.

Most people are focused on themselves anyway and don't care to notice if your grout is clean or your sink is spotless when you invite them over to spend time with your family.  

They are worrying about how loud their kids are in church not how loud yours are.  If they're past that age of loud children, they might be remembering what it was like when theirs were small.  

And the people that do interfere, ignore them, or hand them a baby to hold.  

Don't worry what other people think of your parenting methods.  

Everyone should do what they feel in their heart is best.  Even the experts disagree.  You can't please everyone all of the time.

Chill out and enjoy your children.  Enjoy your husband.  Enjoy your life.  It's gonna be a good one!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In which I confess my love and the results of my weight gain.

Today I snuck out on a lunch date with my husband.  Most people know him as Dan.  But I call him Danny since that's how he introduced himself to me over 21 years ago.  My family and close friends also call him that.  And you'll see that I refer to him here on my blog as Danny.  

But I digress.  I told the kids I was going to run errands.  I did actually run an errand, ate lunch, and I brought home groceries.  So not totally untrue.

I'm in love with this man.  He shaved his head this week and it totally makes me a little cautious when I see him and have forgotten he shaved it and he doesn't look like himself at first.  Then I feel like I should kiss him after looking at him sideways to reassure him he's still a hunk in my eyes....even if a bald one.

Today on the way to lunch I played a voicemail from my doctor for him to hear.  I had already listened to it twice before picking him up.

I found out that my blood tests came back with a A1C at 5.8% -- meaning I'm pre-diabetic.  

Right after hearing it myself, even though I anticipated it, I felt so ashamed-- like I had failed myself.  What is wrong with me that I can't stick to a diet?

But guess what?  He still loves me.  He isn't disappointed in me.  He doesn't blame me.  He doesn't think "Shame on you for letting this happen!"  

And I'm not going to either.  I'm going to start listening to my body and what it needs and taking it one day at a time.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Making homemade carpet freshener

I learned about a simple homemade carpet freshener today online.  It was 5 drops of essential oil plus baking soda.

I had about half of a quart jar full of baking soda, added 5 drops of On Guard essential oil and mixed it well.  
Hammy, my 8 year old, helped me make a shaker lid for our carpet freshener.
When we had enough nail holes punched, we tried it out.
We shook it on the living room rug and sang, "Let it snow!"
After letting it sit a few minutes, I vacuumed it up.
Ahhh!  Nice and fresh!

I can just hear it now, 

"You have 8 kids, a hamster, and a cat and a dead rat in your walls??  I couldn't tell at all!"


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