Monday, November 17

Ten days to Thansgiving!

But hey, who's counting, right?! :D   So, Winter has rolled around again... well not technically of course, as it's only November, but our pretty layer of snow, frigid air and blistering blue skies makes it seem very wintery even so.  It seems that once winter arrives I am drawn back to blogging.  Perhaps it's Jess working away on her NaNoWriMo book that makes me want to write, maybe it's just that it's cold outside, maybe it's that I have time all of a sudden.. I don't know but what ever the reason here I am once again.

Things have changed around here from my last post... my last post was saying how much had changed since the post before.... well.... things Do change....!! Today we no longer have an in home daycare and I am very happy with that.  We have two little girls who come by a couple of days a week but nothing like the 10 children a day we had during the summer!  That was a LOT of children! It was good fun, very hard work but also kept me away from my true responsibility which must be raising Millie.  Jack is still in school and is thriving there.  He is reading, doing math, science and art and just having a great time.  He is almost a celebrity in school and everyone knows him.  He can't walk down the corridors without high fives from everyone and people calling out "Hi Jack!"  ... I love that for him!  He has two WONDERFUL para's who he adores.  They are so great with him and they have made school a great environment for him.   Jessie went to High School for a year and did an amazing job.  Her teachers loved her and she loved them.  She went again for her sophomore year but ended up returning back to Homeschooling which I am thrilled about.   It feels like old times with Jess and Millie and myself around the house all day!  I secretly wish Jack were homeschooling again too but I know he is doing so well and is happy for now so that's where he will stay.  If we ever decide it's not working for him anymore we'll bring him home in a heartbeat.  We live in a remarkable school district so I'm happy for him to remain for now... of course I really look forward to the school breaks!! :D

So this week we have been focusing on our Thanksgiving Tree.  We stuck some branches on the wall and have made orange and yellow leaves to stick on it.  Any time we come up with something we are grateful for we write it on a leaf and stick it on the wall.  I have found it a great way to realize just how very lucky we are.  Apparently a great help for anyone who is feeling low is to think of things they are grateful for and to write them down.  Initially I couldn't think of anything I was grateful for ( I was in a pretty low place at the time!) but then as I started I found I couldn't stop!  I have SO many things to be grateful for!  I think if I had nothing but time and pieces of paper I could sit infinitely and just write things I am grateful for. ... The tongue burning cup of coffee Jessie just made for me, for example!!!  (woof!!!)

Here's a pic of our tree I took the other day... it's rather more leaf laden now!


We have decided to continue into Christmas but make a Christmas tree and add colored baubles with things we are thankful for rather than leaves!!!  We're excited!! :D  

We are also planning on doing 21 random acts of kindness again!!  We just LOVE LOVE LOVE doing that!!  


Hmmm.... what else is happening around here...?? Not much I suppose!  I have a ton of things to do today....  mostly little things but there are a LOT of them!  I guess I should make a start on my list!! :D  I'd like to make our Christmas cake today... and I need to turn the heel on the sock I am knitting ( my first ever!!!) and I have to do chores, laundry, cleaning, bill paying..... bleurgh!  But also reading, playing and maybe another walk in the fresh air with Millie on the sled!! I'll try and spread out some fun stuff amongst the not so fun!! :D 

I'll leave you with a pic or two from our recent excursions into the cold!  Take care, love those children, drink the hot cocoa with LOTS of room for whipped cream...!  Back soon!!





Monday, December 2

Well hello! Yes, time has flown and yes, a LOT has changed around here! :D

So, here I am…  my children are no longer homeschoolers…(sob sob sob….  :(  ) I run a full time daycare out of my house so I get to spend my days with Millie at least and three adorable kiddoes!!  I made the mistake of allowing the children to "try" school thinking they would hate it.  They don't.  They love it.  I hate it.  They love it.  I wish I wish I wish I hadn't ever let them go.  Never the less, I did.  I thought daycare would be a nice way to bring in a little extra cash and allow me to spend time at home with my baby and be here when the bus gets in etc.  and it is, and I am, but OH how things have changed and OH how I wish they hadn't. We had no idea how great we had it.  We were fools.   …

Ah well…. deep breath, chin up and all that.

So anyway, it's December again!  Time for Random Acts of Kindness!  It's going to be trickier this year as I'm not as able to get out and about as I was this time last year.  Having a bunch of little ones is a tad restrictive, but we'll do what we can! :D




We emptied out a money box took it to the bank and gathered what cash we had.  It's less than last year, but still is better than nothing, yes? :D  We can afford to give away $5 a day so that's our goal.  Yesterday hubby and I were out getting groceries ( oh yes, now we can only get groceries on evenings or weekends…. like "regular" folk!!!  LOL!!  SIIIIIIGGHH!!!)  and we saw that Super Saver had a stack of bags of food for people to buy and donate to the food bank.  I found a bag that was roughly $5 and hid a $5 bill underneath it!  I'd written A Random Act Of Kindness, Merry Christmas 2013 on the bill.  Hopefully someone who is doing a good deed will be rewarded!! :)  It's a small thing, but it still felt good!! :D


Sunday, July 7

Happy Pills, Ice Cream and Oreos! :D

Well today started our really strangely!  I've been so down since returning to Nebraska from the beach and I miss it SO much it's just not funny.  I was so depressed I barely wanted to get out of bed.  Hubby offered to take me to the lake for a while which was water, but of course, was not the ocean!  Jess watched the kiddoes and we picked up a coffee and headed to see what was happening at the waterside.  Before I left the house though, I decided I perhaps should take one of my "happy pills".   I took them for years before I was pregnant with Millie and they worked so well for me.... while I was pregnant though I stopped taking them ( of course! ) but now I really should take them again.  I've put it off and put it off and kept thinking I could manage without them but look at me this morning... I'm a mess.  My kids deserve a happy mama and my husband deserves at least a half way pleasant wife... so I took the pill.  The coffee and the rising sun over the lake helped my mood slightly and hubby's Ω˛ (!!WOW!?!?!  What's THAT symbol?!?!  The cat just walked over the keyboard and made THAT!!! HOW did he DO that?!!?! LOL!! ) ... ahem... anyway... my hubby's willingness to allow me to be silent and not talk about my feelings and what have you helped too.  We got home and I found myself feeling anxious just at the thought of going in the house so when he suggested we run to Home Depot to get paint I was happy to go along.  We had a fun time in Home Depot looking at tiles and stuff, I shared with hubby how I started a Pinterest page about Beach Houses and how important it is to me to ultimately move to the ocean.  I hadn't realised how much I love and miss the sea.  Anyhoo!!  Before long I was starting to feel a lot more relaxed.  

So the day went on and the kids had fun playing together... we put up a new swing for Millie which she LOVED





and then, since it got so dang hot outside we sat around watching Laura Croft movies (hubby) and reading books (me!).

The kids and I could NOT decide what we wanted for dinner.... it was getting late, we had a friend of Jessie's over and I HAD to feed them something.  Jessie was begging for Ice Cream and Oreo's for dinner.  Charlotte didn't mind what we had and Jack wanted Macaroni and Cheese.  I decided that we would have a contest and who ever could do a head OR a handstand for the longest time would be able to choose what was for dinner.  Jessie went first and did a head stand for 16 seconds.  Charlotte went next, then Jack but Jessie still maintained the lead...  then it was MY turn!!  20 seconds Baby!!!  "WHOOT!!!"  I declared  "Broccoli Fritters for ALL!!!!"   Jessie was indignant!!  She claims she was unaware that she was able to lean against the wall for support.  That was it.  A "Head off" was declared.  She went again....






FORTY SECONDS!!  My turn.... um..... pitiful.  She won!!  Oreos and Ice Cream it was!!

I headed out to our local gas station where you can choose your flavor by the pint or quart etc so I chose vanilla fudge and rocky road ( hey, I wasn't going to eat it!!).  The guy at the ice cream counter must have been new or something, he was scolded for taking off his hat whilst serving me and he could NOT find the right sized lid to put on the top of the ice cream. I really wanted to get going so I said, hey, it's ok, I've only go to go down the street so I picked up my already starting to melt ice cream. several snack packs of Oreos and headed to the check out.  I  paid the fella and then.... um...  where are my car keys??   I never NEVER lose my car keys.  I went back to the ice cream guy, I checked the cookie aisle.... no keys.  I checked my pockets again, I checked my purse again....  sheesh!  I MUST have left them in the car, I mean, hey, I had to have had them to GET here!!!  So I headed out side into the near 100 degree heat and thought, huh, what's that sound?  Sounds like someone's engine is running...  ahem.....  that's MY van....  uhhhhh.... yeah.  Not only had I left the keys IN the car, I'd left them IN the ignition and left the engine ON and all the windows open, doors unlocked.....  HELLO!!!  Yeesh.  So I sheepishly go home and share the story with the family ending the saga with "and that's what happens when I take my Happy Pills.....!"     I'll have to make sure I leave myself a note to count all the kids when I go to the store!! ;D

Saturday, July 6

Free book on Amazon today.... Wheat Belly Cookbook

Free Kindle edition today only!

Millie LOVES cake!  And so does Jack unfortunately!!  


We have struggled with Jack and his addiction to wheat and go on and off with wheat and grain free diets.  Whilst we were in Florida we noticed his behaviour was getting really crazy so decided to go wheat free again!  The poor kid! He hates it because he just LOVES bread and tortillas and cereal.   I've heard bread is as addictive as crack!!  I believe it!!  Anyway, my friend Lisa has told me before about this Wheat Belly book before and I just saw it's available on Kindle today only for free.   I didn't know if anyone else would like to try it out too!?  (It's an Amazon affiliated link so if you click on it I get a reimbursement BUT I'm only going to include links that I myself am interested in, so don't worry folks, you won't get spammed! :D )

I stopped eating grains in Florida also and that, combined with all the fresh air and exercise... I'm back down to my pre pregnancy weight!!! Whooot!!!  ( I was already getting down there but those last two pounds shot off last week!! )

Anyway, I downloaded the book

Wheat Belly Cookbook - Gluten-Free Diet For Delectable Cuisine (The Easy Diet) [Kindle Edition]

and hope it's going to give me some great ideas for food, especially for Jack!! :D  I'll keep you posted how it works out!! :D

Let me know if you liked it too or if you have any great grain free delicious ideas!! :D

Friday, July 5

We're back, Beaches!!! :D

OMG friends!!  If EVER you get the chance to go to Captiva Island in Florida... PLEASE... don't go!! If you are anything like me you will then find yourself devastated at the idea of returning home and then you'll be packing up and selling all of your material possessions in order to get back there!! ;D  It's BEAUTIFUL!!!  I've absolutely found my heavenly place! :D

We left our house on the 28th and headed up to Omaha to spend the night at a hotel near the airport since our flight was so early in the morning. The flight was just dandy and we arrived in Texas in fine spirits!  We had a few hours to kill in Texas which was fine, folks are friendly there!!  :D


While we waited... Rex thought it might be fun to have us try a little crunchy snack..


Salt and vinegar flavored fried crickets.   Sheesh!  And then, as a parent, you have to set the example and try them...  Bleurgh!  The worst part is getting legs stuck between your teeth!! :D

Millie enjoyed her flight and especially enjoyed the view!! 


We were ALL pretty happy to arrive in Florida!


Beautiful plants 


and palm trees.... and we hadn't even left the airport !! :D 


We picked up the car and headed out of Fort Meyers via the Publix grocery store for supplies, over the causeway and off to the island!!


Our apartment was on the first floor...


Entry..



Kid's room




Master room with en suite


Kitchen and dining


Goof ball...!


Living room and screened in deck


The apartment from the back, screened in deck...


We dumped our stuff, checked out the lovely rooms and then.... well what would YOU have done?!!?  Headed for the beach of course!  We just had to go down stairs, along a little path and there it was, in all it's glory!  The Gulf of Mexico!!  WARM beautiful ocean water! :D  I was in heaven! 


Rex goes in to test the waters!





Millie's first taste of the ocean!




On the path to the beach taken from the screened in porch


There was a swimming pool just across the parking lot...


And the water was deliciously warm!


When it rained, the floaty made a perfect shelter!




We wandered around a lovely shopping area and I stumbled upon this sign in the parking lot.  Once I realised what it said I wouldn't get any closer to take the picture!! ....  


Do Not Feed Alligators, $500.oo fine !!  Huh!?!  Jessie wondered what on earth you might have with you that you would feed to the alligators???  Apart from your limbs of course....

So it was back to the ocean where the current was strong and the waves were high!


I loved to take morning walks in the sunrise..


So peaceful





There were shells shells shells......



 


I liked to find heart shaped ones.....




Strange holes.....



With creatures in them!


Jessie is inspecting a turtle nest, they are protected sites.


Millie liked to EAT shells.....  ahem...


A walk to the marina  


Where we saw 


Manatees.... !!  Just hanging around!  


A mother and her calf 


Every morning there were lizards basking on the walls....



More crabs....!


This shell is OCCUPIED!!!


***Stalks off clumsily***


Out for lunch at the local store....



... and it POURED with rain!


When it rained we were forced to find other entertainment.... like making faces....


Or hiding in cupboards...!


More beach walking... see how the shells wash in on the tide!!  Pokey pokey!



Millie became an old hand at waves...!




The kids on the way to the beach...!



Floaty surfing!!!  Too much fun!


A picnic in the sand!


Floaty surfing even fun for the bigger kids...!


A Cruise....!!


Leaving the marina!


Pelicans..!


Oh! And jumping Dolphins!!




Geppetto's for fabulous ice cream!






Out to the lighthouse to swim with the dolphins... or in this case, the pelicans!  The dolphins were there, just a bit too far out to swim with. 



Of course we stopped for this guy!! 



We took a trip to a nature reserve and walked the mile around....  


Spotting an alligator in the water....   eeep!!


The last morning walk on the beach....


A heron didn't care how close we got, he wasn't moving!



Silly baby!


Ibis!



Ibisisis....  Ibi???


This time we walked all the way to the end of the island....


And saw a bench to rest on.... but.....


Look who was already here laying some eggs no less!!!



I've never been so in awe of anything in my life!!  We didn't want to disturb her but she was HUGE and just incredible to watch.  She finished up laying, turned her enormous self around and headed slowly back to the water...  one wave washed over her, she sculled with her fins .... and she was gone.  Wow.  


Later the kids headed out to build sandcastles.



Jack and I worked on a sand village!


Jessie sat and searched for molluscs



One more ride on the causeway 


And it was back to the airport and headed back home.  


I'm coming back, someday........