My GrandpaT always said at nearly every meal to at least one of us grandkids "Why don't you eat and leave the food alone?" Which, to a 5 yr old, is pretty confusing. I think I have it figured out, but don't tell my family. We all believe what we want about Grandpa's words of wisdom on just about everything in the world.
For me, I will simply say - it makes me wonder what in the world I really have eaten myself into...

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Nutcracker

Stacey Armstrong Huyett - shush!

This week has been amazing crazy busy. Girl Scout cookies are in, the ladies Christmas Dinner was Tuesday, Girl Scout Christmas Caroling at Dow gardens, Choir Practice, Work.

Anyway, I just want to post my Table.

This year a handful of ladies took one table each and decorated it in their own way. I chose the Nutcracker Ballet as my theme. I have very little funds though, so everything would need to made or be able to come by cheaply! Luckily most things I already had, or could borrow. A few things had to be bought, or made.. but it all came together adorably!


Everything but the plates were basically disposable. The plastic ware holders are felt and ribbon, the glasses were plastic, with those sweet paper straws. The snowflake 'coasters' are felt and then painted with glitter glue.
The two centerpiece pieces are not disposable however, the tree in the middle is a ceramic tree my mom made when I was very young. The candle plates are ceramic coasters that my 9 yr old painted and begged to be allowed to contribute them to 'our table'. And of course our wooden Nutcracker, The star of the table.
The cones on each plate are paper doilies holding sugared almonds that I made ala Pinterest style. The tulle skirt is also a Pinsperation. But the best is yet to come. You've seen those pins on pinterest about dollar store dishes and Sharpies?? I had SO MUCH FUN!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A 2nd Class Christian

This post is much more personal, as some of mine can be. Yet, I want to share because I hope it gives someone a bit of encouragement in their daily walk. Maybe someone who reads it will give me encouragement that I didn't know I needed.

Sunday morning the 11th, I woke up like any other day, but I REALLY didn't want to get up. I was feeling the need to stay in bed. At almost the minute before it was too late to make it to church in time I finally thought: "Kristal, you idiot.. get your butt up and go to church." So I did.

I walked in and found my usual seat. Praise & worship (P&W) started and I spent most of it just trying to reign in my brain. I was so scattered and unfocused. I struggled to get my head and heart in to it. By the last song I had settled more and was ready to get into the word.

I hugged a few necks and shook a few hands like we always do after P&W, then pulled up my YouVersion bible on the ol' iPod. Pastor spoke on Luke 5:36-39, the parable of new wine and old wine skins. A take on it I've heard before and again I was still pulling my brain in to focus constantly so I missed Pastor's segue, but the next thing I knew he was asking us to stand up. During P&W practice, he said, they practiced this song, and he had an idea. My Pastor is pretty careful about saying God told him to do something, so he kinda joked "I don't know if it was God or me, but we're gonna do it". 'Do it' being sing this song:

I feel like I try to be sensitive to the spirit most of the time, but in P&W, I feel exceptionally so. This song in particular is one of my favorites as it encompasses an intercessory prayer so to speak. If I have been called to anything in this life by God, Intercession is definitely a part of my calling.

As pastor spoke, and the song began - I started talking to God. Telling him how I still really feel like a 2nd class christian, how I know I have sinned, I have sought forgiveness, turned and now here I am still feeling like a second class christian. I'm not perfect by any means. I don't even strive for it! At this point in my life,. I'm struggling to survive day to day let alone live it perfectly. But where I was 6 months ago? I am LIGHT YEARS ahead of where I was then. Then, I just wanted to get back to where I was before I met my daughter's father 11 yrs ago. Now? I realize that I have NEVER felt like anything but a 2nd class christian, like I have never been where I really want to be in my walk with God.

OK, I am re-reading and realize unless you have read my earliest blog posts, or know me personally you would not know what you need to know to understand all that. Here's the short story: I have spent the better part of my life chasing God for a time, and running away from Him the rest. Not a lot of in-between. Most recently, I was divorced, dated around a bit, met a guy (Fubs) and moved in with him. 3 yrs into the relationship I found myself miserable and missing my relationship with God. So He got me out, and now I am here trying to put my life back together and make sure I don't make these same mistakes.

Anyway, By the end of the song I was in the alter area and crying out to God for our church, for me, for Him to just let the river flow in us, in me, around us all. Pastor then called the rest of the congregation to step up if they wanted God to let the river flow in them too. At the end, Pastor motioned for me to step in front of him. Please know, I don't believe my pastor often does what he was about to do. He is very cautious with what he says God or the spirit has moved him to do. As he should be, that's pretty powerful stuff!

Forgive me if I don't word it quite the way he said it but he came to me and said something like "When you came to the front I felt like God wanted to do something in you. He says there is a turn around coming for you, a turn around in your life if you will sell out to Him." There may have been more, but that is it in its simplicity.

That moved me. It spoke to me and what I had just been saying to God about feeling mediocre and some of the things I still need to work on. So for the last 4 days, I have been scrutinizing all my little habits and foibles. Weeding out the minor things that I have always ignored because the major things were so major. Working on the major things and making sure they have no roots. Because although I may not 'do' any of those things now... they may have roots here in my soul, and how can I feel like a "1st Class" Christian with rotted roots in there? It's a process. But I'm already talking to God daily again. And not just a morning prayer or a night time prayer - an ongoing, all day, stream of consciousness conversation. I have dug back into my bible, and am working through a personal study of a book called "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson (excellent read, and lessons in prayer!).

I have been posting on Facebook daily about what I am thankful for since the first of November ( as many of us have) and that has been tremendous in encouraging me as I contemplate my blessings. This whole last few months have been changing. I mean - I quit smoking 2 yrs ago, but it's only been these last few months I actually identified myself as a non-smoker... I have been through a major upheaval and I survived it without going and buying a pack! If you know me, you know that is HUGE. This is just one of the things that I have worked on, and indicative of the types of things in my life I have needed to weed out.

 I am in awe of what God wants to do for me, and in me, and I hope, in those around me because of what He is doing in me. I am blessed to still have a heart for God after all the times I have run from Him. I am thankful for the message God gave my pastor for me last Sunday, because I needed to hear that there is a turn around in store for me, and the gentle reminder that I can do more (sell out!) to stop feeling like a 2nd Class Christian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm a Gypsy

In my heart, I feel like a Gypsy. I have moved more than the average person in my life. I went to 5 Elementary schools! Once moving across the country from California to Michigan. It took my parents till I was 16 to find the home they would live in until their retirement. I have moved out and back in to my parents home many times. I have left the state of Michigan 3 times, and left the city of Midland 3 other times, just trying to find a place I really call home. Michigan will always be home of course because even if I wasn't born here, I grew up here, and most of my family are still here. My closest friends have all got out though! However, I feel like it's normal to move around a lot. I am not sure if that is because it's how I grew up or not, my mom even grew up that way. Heck, her parents worked the circus for a time! See how I might identify with the 'gypsy' in my heart?

Let's look at this from a christian point of view (ie: my point of view) I am a gypsy even in this world. I am just moving through till God takes me home.

Found online:
"Why do Christians say that they are "not of this world"? Why do so many Christians say that they are "not of this world" or "not worldly" when they are the world? Christians make up a third of the world's population and more than 80% of the United States. If they don't like the way the world is then why don't they get together and change it?"
I'm not going to answer that myself, because honestly - I'm not that good at not being 'of this world'... I'm learning, just like most christians who are striving... we're all still learning.

""Question: "What does it mean that Christians are not of this world?" Answer: The phrase “not of this world” is perhaps most well-known for being a Christian apparel company ( But what exactly does it mean that Christians are “not of this world”? The phrase comes from John 18:36 where Jesus says that His kingdom is “not of this world.” As His followers, Christians are members of His kingdom which is “not of this world,” that is, heaven (Philippians 3:20). Yes, we are on earth for now, but our earthly lives are nothing but a vapor (James 4:14). But eternity, now that is a long time, and that is where a Christian’s focus should really be (1 Peter 5:10). The things of this world, wars, famine, suffering, poverty, etc., impact Christians and non-Christians alike. By remembering that we are “not of this world,” remembering that these things are just for a little while, we can see them in a different light. We are still in this world but we are no longer of it (John 17:14). We are still surrounded by all the horrors and tragedy of this life, but this is not our life (Philippians 3:8-14). The knowledge that we are not of this world gives Christians hope even in the darkest times (1 Peter 1:6-9); hope that this will pass and at the end of it we will be in heaven with our God, face to face forever (Revelation 21:3-4). This cracked and broken place is not where we belong, and it is not where we will stay (1 Corinthians 3:12). Christians are not of this world. We have been adopted as heirs of heaven by God Himself and that is our world, our citizenship (Titus 3:7). And in the meanwhile we wait (2 Corinthians 5:12), and we hope (Romans 5:5), and we do what we can to bring others into the “not of this world” relationship with Jesus Christ. But this world is not our home, and never will be."
 So, can you see how I feel like a gypsy? In this world, I have moved and moved and moved. And in my walk with God, I know I am a gypsy, not intended to live long in this world. I'm glad I know where I am headed though!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankfulness Giveaway!

Thankfulness: Being conscious of benefit received; Well pleased.

What are you thankful for this year? Are you posting or seeing many friends post the things they find themselves thankful for on their Facebook or Twitter?
I have been, and as we creep closer to Thanksgiving, I find more and more to be thankful for.

One of the things I am thankful for is an opportunity to announce my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!!!

And I get to give one away!

The 2012 “Terrific Twenty” List Has Arrived—Top Holiday Gifts from Melissa & Doug!

If you have ever had the fun and joy of playing with a Melissa & Doug toy - you know how amazing this giveaway is. Completely sponsored by Melissa & Doug by the way - must give props where props are due!

In order to enter for the Melissa and Doug giveaway I need you to do a few things:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entries accepted until Monday November 19th at 11:59 PM EST. 
The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be announced on Facebook, and Twitter. I will contact you to get the details and the name of the item you wish to receive from Melissa & Doug's Terrific Twenty *ONLY* and what address to have the items shipped to. Melissa & Doug will ship the item to you. Fulfillment will take 10-15 days.

Thank you so much for joining me in this, my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

Being so close to the Holidays, I don't know about you but my life is pretty hectic, but even more hectic this year! Between Girl Scouts & Cookie Sales (heard in a sing song voice: "I'm a troop mom!"), Church ("Ladies Ministries!") and my own job, I am ├╝ber busy. In fact keep an eye out as I get some more posts up about the holidays... wait till you see The Nutcracker Table I am doing for our Ladies Ministries Dinner! 

Anyway - I am just thankful to Melissa & Doug for this opportunity and hope this makes it easier for you to make Christmas all you hope it will be for your little one!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

 "Need some help with your holiday shopping this year? Check out our NEW Terrific Twenty, unveiled today at! This list gathers the top toys of 2012, with items for every child in every age range. Including arts  and crafts, wooden favorites, educational toys, classic toys for toddlers, and gifts for big kids, too, this is a great place to start as you kick off your holiday shopping!" - Melissa & Doug's Blog.

The 2012 “Terrific Twenty” List Has Arrived—Top Holiday Gifts from Melissa & Doug!

If you have ever had the fun and joy of playing with a  
Melissa & Doug toy - you know how amazing they are!

Even more amazing??? 


In their page you will find a link to enter to win one of their Terrific Twenty!
If you enter once, you're entered for all twenty (or the remaining) days!

Actual URL's:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This afternoon I posted a mobile pic of our lunch on my FaceBook. 

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

My friend Tiff asked that I post the recipe for her.. funnily enough I made the dish a few weks ago and took pics planning to blog it eventually. So, for you my Tiff... The recipe.

The following recipe was given to me by a wonderful friend who made this casserole for me when Mini-Me was born. Thanks Kerry!
It is truly the yummiest, most indulgent casserole you will ever love, right up there with 
Homemade Mac & Cheese!
You will be needing Chicken Broth anyway, so... just use it to boil your chicken in instead of water. I have also cooked my chicken up in a pan with seasoning and such... but it really isn't necessary.
And of course preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I gave this job to Mini-Me, but she had a hard time using this particular tool.. either way, cut the chicken up smaller or not - your choice!

Recipe (for a medium to large casserole):

Chicken Breasts (1 per person is what I use usually cook up)
Tortillas (1 or 2 per person)
Cheese (2 cups or more, as you wish)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Ro-Tel, or other preferred diced tomatos w/chilli's
1 Cup Chicken Broth 
(I also do add ins from time to time, like Green Beans, Black Beans & Corn, Olives - whatever strikes you)

Spray your casserole dish.
Layer the Tortillas, Chicken, and Cheese.
Combine the soup, Ro-Tel, and Broth.
Pour over the layers and watch it sink in.

Mini-Me cutting up the Tortilla herself, super easy, fast and safe for young ones too!


Cook in the oven for 35 minutes, or until top is bubbly and the dry tips of the tortillas are browned and crispy

This is the mobile pic of the completed casserole from today. This is also twice baked. Last week I made my usual recipe and put it into two smaller dishes. We cooked both, then froze this one.
How I managed to not get a pic of the one we were working on a few weeks ago, I will never know., but such is life!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 Stages of a Senseless Breakup

First let's address the title. When I say 'senseless' I refer to it in the way that, how can any break up make sense?. Yet, most break ups have very specific reasons they occurred.

I want to address the type of break up that occurs even when for all intents and purposes the couple should have worked, and the ending of their relationship was almost as surprising to them as it was to their friends and family. Only they know all the reasons it didn't work but this is what they have to face:

*These 7 Stages of a breakup came from She Knows Love, with my own spin on them.

Shock: "What in God's name just happened?"

Shock is the body's natural protection against pain. And when your relationship first ends, you just might not want to deal with what's coming next. It may be too scary, too lonely, too confusing. A state of disbelief could last minutes, weeks or even months even if you're the one making the decision to break up. Don't be surprised if you feel a sense of blurriness about the actual breakup scene, a literal loss of breath, or trouble sleeping.

Do/Do not:

  • Do Pray, only God truly gives you the sense of peace you seek in other methods, although other methods are valuable too. Rest, meditation on the goods things in your life.
  • Do not freak out. You will make sense of all of this!

2Denial: "This is NOT happening."

Denial is rejection of reality and a storage of feelings. The thinking is that, if you don't accept the heartbreak, then it didn't really happen, thus leaving hope for reunion. During this stage of a breakup it is common to call, email or even Facebook-stalk -- anything that feels remotely "normal" about the relationship -- in an effort to put dealing with the heartbreak on hold.

Do/Do not:

  • Do open up to a journal or trusted friend to begin unleashing fears, identifying unreasonable thoughts and more.
  • Do not minimize the situation. Pretending your breakup doesn't have to be dealt with will lead to emotional numbness and leave you stuck.

3Isolation: "I just want to sit in this all by myself."

Once you've recognized the breakup, you get into the dirty work: Dealing with the dissolution of the relationship. You may replay the relationship over and over in your mind, trying to pinpoint where it fell apart and how it could have been saved. Your thoughts may feel very scattered and disorganized. This stage of grief has you in withdrawal; you don't even feel like updating your Facebook status or checking your voice mails. You may draw your blinds and not even want to leave the house. Sitting in silence, darkness or a pint of ice cream feels better than going outside and admitting to the world that, yes, it's over.

Do/Do not:

  • Do take regular showers and create reasons to face the day (work, social activities).
  • Do not indulge in self-pity by letting irrational thoughts like "No one will ever love me again" take over. 

4Anger: "I hate you/myself for ... "

In this stage, your heart goes from sad to raging mad. It becomes fueled with anger towards your ex for whatever his part in the breakup was, and/or toward yourself for your part. During this stage of breakup, you may find yourself burning pictures of him, holding his stuff hostage, slandering him to his friends or worse. If you are angry with yourself, you may do a lot of self-talk -- regretful thoughts and angry conversation with yourself. The deeper desire here is often to place blame.

Do/Do not:

  • Do feel, write or talk about your anger, it is real, and normal.
  • Do not act on it.

5Bargaining: "What will it take to get him/her back?"

Sometimes involving prayers, this stage is often about getting your ex back, but other times, it is about absolving your own guilt if you did something wrong that caused the breakup. Desperate to negotiate with yourself or your ex, you may go to extreme measures to make deals or become something else (thinner, less jealous, etc.) to make amends -- when in truth, it is just about making the current pain go away.

Do/Do not:

  • Do create a self-love list complete with what makes you happy and things you want for your future.
  • Do not include wanting your ex back in the above list! There was a reason you split!

6Depression: "I will never get over him/her."

You realize the magnitude of your loss in this stage of grief, and it can feel all too overwhelming. You may wind up in a state of deep sadness that can even resemble mild depression. At this point, recalling what your life was like prior to your relationship or what it could be like now can be hard. Just getting out of bed feels difficult, and you may even feel physical aches and pains perpetuated by deep feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and sadness.

Do/Do not:

  • Do surround yourself with positive people and lots of sunshine.
  • Do not fall victim to unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating or drinking.

7Acceptance: "I understand why I was with him/her, why I'm not now, and that I will be better than just OK."

The acceptance stage of a breakup makes all the other really tough ones worth it. This is the one that finally gives you that welcome sense of exhalation. You come to realize what the past meant and what the future can hold. The sun begins to shine, and you begin to feel like yourself again, ready to move onward and upward.

Do/Do not:

  • Do celebrate getting through your breakup.
  • Do not be surprised if you still feel moments of sadness from time to time; it's normal. Just keep on your positive path!
Prepare to cycle these stages in big and small ways throughout them You may feel the anger one day then depression, then denial all over again. But essentially you will move forward from one stage to the next. They may not come in order for you, and each stage will last as long as it needs to. Not one minute less.

Now, I have been through this, we all have. When The Exhole and I split, I had passed through most of these stages before I actually left him. I knew I was leaving and was figuring out the when and how right up to the night he lost his mind and I ended up the screaming woman on a 911 call. It was really easy for me to leave (and stay gone) by that point!

Some times though, the end is a surprise for all. It seems that just one more 'discussion' or the right turn of phrase will resolve the issues the couple faces. Then someone says "I'm done, I'm leaving, I can't do this anymore" and the other surprises them both by saying "Yeah, it's not working". That is the precise moment Shock sets in, and you go on from there...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ladies Love Country Boys

I saw this picture and thought "Yes, yes they do." Then it hit me the line said "Ladies". That word makes me smile. My Daddy raised me to be a lady. I learned how from my mom. There are certain things that a lady does and does not do. Ladies never sweat; we perspire, or glow. Ladies never pass gas. Ladies never belch. Ladies never wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day (Thank goodness that is not necessarily true anymore). And the list goes on....

What is funny is the most lady like lady I ever met was my mom's best friend. She also happened to be the mom of my best friend. She also did every one of those "never's" and then some when we were at the house, just the family. I still found her to be a tremendous lady. Through her, her daughter, my mom and our collective friendships, I learned how to be a true lady and still be true to myself (I also learned how to be a good friend to my mom while still being a daughter, but that is another blog). I learned the biggest key to being a lady is loving one's self, and having respect for your self. Because no matter how respectable you behave, if you don't respect yourself, no one will respect you.

And as for those Country boys? They come in all shapes and sizes, and all backgrounds. It's finding one that respects you that's the most important.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sleep blogging

In my sleep, I am pretty sure I write really awesome blogs. I am always so surprised when I look at my blog and realize they don't exist. But now I have more ideas! Book Reviews! Naps! Talk Shows! Cats! Freecycle! Swapportunities!

All sorts of stuff. So be on the lookout! I'm excited!

I see evolution in this blogs future, lots of it. But slowly...


Monday, May 14, 2012

What you don't know...

What you don't know is that I tried another blog for a bit and posted quite a few other things since December of 2011.

I started this blog for the purpose of journaling a weight loss journey... but it's not what I was hoping it would be, and well... it's not me. I mean, I need to lose, but I'm not all that successful, and I still really like myself. So, It's hard to push myself!

My bad girl Favicon.. I kept this.
I switched because I wanted to try something new/different. I went a little darker, a little bad girl, but that isn't me either.  So. Here I am. Back to this blog and it's general theme, but with a little more soul searching, a lot more of who I really am, with a bit of DIY thrown in when I feel like it.

Will this become a money maker for me? It could. Will I be offering prizes and giveaways? I might. Will I review stuff? I would! It's evolving as we speak and will continue to do so for a long time to come. So please... journey with me and we'll see what we see.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DVD Art Kit Lap Desk

If you’ve been Pinterest’ing long enough, you’ve seen this particular DIY, which is a super cute idea for those long car rides, like ours. 10 hours. One way. At least 2 times per year. With an 8 yr old. And a 9 yr old. This summer Peaches will be road tripping for 5 hours with us, then another 5 with my niece and her hubs and 3 boys… so I made one of these for her and one for the oldest boy (4 yrs old). 

I’d like to introduce you to the DVD Art Kit Lap Desk! I found the DVD Art Kit on Pinterest. Pinned it. But I felt I could make it better. How annoying for small hands with small laps to have that small case slipping all over when it could be the best place to do your doodling!?

I made my DVD Art Kit. You can find instructions on it here: Instructables or with Stacey Vaughn. I chose to use Contact Cement as my adhesive for the entire project. It was what I had in the house, and it worked fine. In fact the whole project is from things I already had in the house. 

  •  DVD Case
  • Manila Folders (as card stock for the art kit portion, and base for the lap desk portion).
  • Contact Cement (well ventilated room, and a disposable sponge brush)
  • Scissors
  • Scrap Material
  • Rice
  • Poly-Fiber Fill

I then recalled to my poor scattered brain a few tutorials I found on making lap desks. I didn’t bother to look them up. I like to just wing it on this sort of stuff. You can too! Or you can do what I did:

It got all bubbly!
First, instead of reiterating the whole DVD Case tutorials for you, I will just tell you what I did different. Where the original DIY leaves the clear plastic free for the child to decorate front and back, I only needed the front to be decoratable (is that a word?). I put contact cement on one side of a piece of manila folder and the back of the case, inside the clear plastic (following adhesive directions). Then I opened the case to invert the clear plastic and put contact cement on the inside of  the clear plastic, and the outward facing part of the manila folder and adhered them. This leaves the back of the case well secured, but the front and spine free to have a decorated paper or whatever placed inside. I flipped the DVD Case’s movie slips and used them for both the cases I made.

Now for the lap desk portion:

I laid the DVD case on my material and cut the material about 3 inches bigger. I pinched the corners of the material and ‘sewed’ them into a box like shape with Liquid Stitch from Wal-Mart. I’m a Girl Scout Mom… I glue patches on all the time. The stuff is WONDERFUL! I cut a piece of manila folder the same size as the DVD case (I cut it on the fold so I had a double layer).

Pour a handful or so of rice into the center of the material, then a puff of poly-fiber fill over that. On top will go the manila folder, apply your adhesive to the edges.

Fold the material up over the edge of the folder onto the adhesive. You will probably have to keep pushing the fiber fill under the folder so it stays out of the way.

When the material edges are secure, apply adhesive as directed to the entire manila folder piece, and materials edge.

Apply adhesive to the back/secured portion of the DVD case as well.

Put the two together!

You now have your very own DVD Art Kit Lap Desk. What a mouth full!

Decorate, as you will. Sophia calls hers a doodle box, and I decorated Marek’s with Cars items from the insert inside the scavenged DVD case. I will be looking for chubby coloring pencils for Marek, and Sophia already has quite a collection of colored pencils to use in hers. Hopefully these will keep them busy, and they will keep each other busy. That would be a miracle!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Homework Hassle

As I write I am having Huge Homework Hassles with Midget. She HATES homework. Understood, so did I all through school. I didn't have a parent who made me do every stitch of it either, so I never learned good homework habits, thus I graduated with a 2.7 GPA. I am determined to give her a better sense of responsibility when it comes to her homework, but somewhere she picked up the idea that she can make me crazy with whining and acting like I am shooting her when I have her correct her errors, etc. She is so danged intelligent, and so she rushes her answers then has to redo them when her rushed answer is wrong or sloppy, but it's my fault (according to her).
From St. Patty's Day. She dressed herself... love it!

Usually we have a pretty easy time with this nightly ritual, but on some nights it's a struggle. Tonight, I chalk it up to her late night last night (She got a flashlight hidden under her pillow and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire to read) and she woke up 30 minutes before her usual time. My life sucks when she doesn't get enough sleep, it makes her overly emotional.

So anyway, we have strategies we use here for her when we have a hassled night. Time out, of course, but not just time out. Time out with breathing exercises (In through the nose, out through the mouth), counting down from 10, 20, or 30 depending on how upset she is. I really subscribe to the Love & Logic principal's of parenting too. She has to have consequences, For now I choose them and they are for her to have to redo the incorrect problems before she turns them in. Eventually I will have to let her have the consequences of turning papers in with all of her errors and see how she fares then. Of course her teacher is well aware of her penchant to rush, and right now her homework is more about doing the work then for an actual grade.
We're learning and working through all of these things together, and loving the ride for the most part. Our next adventure in learning is actually her assessment for the Gifted's program. Oh. Lord. Help.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fruit + My Brain = Best. Fruit. Dip. Ever!

I am not much of a cook, but when I have a stroke of genius, well..... it really turns out great. For a cookout with friends On St. Patty's Day, I was to bring Tortilla Chips w/Bean Dip, and Fruit. Hmmm... Bean dip was easy peasy. And how easy is fruit? But the dip?... my last choice (store bought) ended up being thrown away about 3 months after the party because no one liked it, and no one ate it. So I began to brain storm, reviewing some of the fruit dips I have had over the years: yogurt, marshmallow fluff, all kinds of stuff. then I thought about something I could revamp to suit my purposes.
I used to frequent this bagel shop that made something called "Yummy Bagels" They were these cinnamon raisin bagel knots covered in the yummiest frosting/glaze. Once, about 2 years after they stopped making them, I chatted up the manager, reconnected actually since we went to school together, and got the very short recipe. Cream Cheese and Powdered Sugar. That's all. They mix together and make this thick, but runny glaze like substance. As I said... hmmm... I can work with that!
I went to the store to buy my fruit (Pineapple, Gala Apples, Green Grapes, and Strawberries) and pick up nothing else, because I had all that I needed at home already!

Just 5 ingredients! (Yeah, I forgot the yogurt in the pic..sue me)

2 pkgs Cream Cheese
1 cup or so Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 or 2 cups Vanilla Yogurt
1 or 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp (to taste) Lemon Juice
*I made a large batch, but it's easily halved for a smaller batch.

Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. It should be smooth and frosting like.
Then add to that the vanilla yogurt and vanilla extract and blend again.
I really liked it at this point, but something was missing... It needed to be... BRIGHTER! (No, no green food coloring, even though it was for St. Patrick's Day). I added the lemon juice. I think it would've been good with some lemon zest too, but I didn't think of that when I was shopping. Anyway, the whole thing turned out super yummy, and that something missing was definitely the lemon juice, it was just enough to amp it up, but not make it lemony.

When the crew dug in I got all glow-ie since they were all raving like it was the best thing they had ever tasted. I have to admit, I think it turned out pretty dang good.

In fact when I left I decided to have mercy on the hostess and let her keep all the fruit and dip that was left over.

She sent me the picture to the right, It's the last of it, and I'm pretty sure it is sitting on her bed spread. Bud she did send it with the subject line of "Yummy!". So not only is it good, it's after dinner, dessert good. Possibly even bedtime snack good.

I couldn't be more proud... now what else can I get into?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stolen Post!

The following post is STOLEN from CafeMom's feature "The Stir" I love this article and want to share...

Love & Sex

Hot List

35 Brutally Honest Reasons Women Say No to Sex

Posted by Michele Zipp
on February 2, 2012 at 10:26 AM
broken heartYou know how sometimes people say women say one thing but mean another? Well, that's totally true. For women and men, but I can only really speak for women because I am one. One subject that is often difficult to be totally and completely upfront about is sex. And I mean whether you are a woman having sex with a new lover or sex with your husband of 3,987 years (or maybe it just feels that long). We kind of have a one size fits all phrase for when we don't want to have sex. Perhaps you've heard it before? "I'm just not in the mood."
Fair enough. Sometimes we just aren't in the mood and it's for no other reason than the thought of getting naked gives us a headache. (Headache, of course, is another common excuse and often very real.) But there are many times we aren't in the mood for a reason. Maybe it's something the man did, or something we did. So I took this topic to a whole bunch of women and asked for their responses on the real reason they say no to sex. Some may surprise you.
  1. Because you didn't do the dishes.
  2. There is a weird smell coming from your butt.
  3. You flirted with the waitress and it made me upset.
  4. I feel fat and I am so not in the mood.
  5. I have B.O. so I don't want you near me.
  6. You have B.O. and I don't want you near me.
  7. I didn't brush my teeth.
  8. It smells like you didn't brush your teeth.
  9. You aren't paying enough attention to foreplay.
  10. I really don't want to give you a blowjob and I know that's what you like first and I just. can't. do. it.
  11. Because I don't want to do it the minute you walk in the door like you expect.
  12. Because you've been a pervert all day and it's annoying.
  13. I'm hungry -- and not for sex. 
  14. Because I'm tired.
  15. Because groping doesn't turn me on.
  16. You're drunk and I'm not.
  17. I don't feel sexy.
  18. Because I have no interest in sex at all. 
  19. I slept with someone else earlier in the day.
  20. I just want to be alone.
  21. Everyone's been up my ass all day, the kid, the dog, the cat, I don't want you there, too.
  22. Because you're being an asshole.
  23. Because you're being rough in a mean way.
  24. I masturbated today. I've had enough.
  25. Because I can't orgasm and I don't feel like faking it right now.
  26. Because you aren't hard and I'm tired of trying. 
  27. Because loafing around the house in your boxers while you scratch your balls doesn't make me hot.
  28. I'm on my period.
  29. Because I wish the time you just spent playing your Xbox you were playing with me instead.
  30. Because you don't want to do it how I want and I don't feel like explaining. 
  31. I fantasized about an ex today. I can't do it with you right now.
  32. Because I'm cranky.
  33. Five minutes ago you were basically ignoring me. Now you want to have sex? No.
  34. Because I just showered and don't want to get dirty.
  35. Because I don't think you love me.
How many of these reasons have been true for you?
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