Monday, October 4, 2010

I have a new BLOG!

My new blog is all about cooking and my fun adventures in the kitchen. Cooking from scratch and all that goes with it. :) Join and follow. Enjoy!

Here is the website:) Add to your bookmarks and favorites for new up to date recipes, new recipes daily. :)

Recent Accomplishments

Well, As I sit here in the house as it rains outside... I am thinking about what we as a family have accomplished so far this school year. It might not be much, but it is something. Especially on days when I feel like we haven't done anything. So, here goes:

Braeden has completed his Bear achievement in Cub Scouts and has advanced into Webelos. That is a big accomplishment.

Mikey has lost 3 teeth, I at one point thought he'd have all of his baby teeth forever... as none were falling out. But now, it's like a flood of teeth falling out.

Bryen has almost completed his Webelos badge and his Arrow of Light. Both HUGE accomplishments. And he will be an 11 year old scout. Boy time sure does fly. He only needs a few more items on his citizenship pin and his understanding of what it means to be a BOY SCOUT :)

Bill has earned his RHCE (Redhat Certified Engineer) certification. This is something he has struggled with in the past, and has accomplished it at last! Way to go Babe!

I have completed two more classes I got a B- in my Cultural and Diversity class, and an A in my Healthcare Administration class. :) Yeah me, and I've started two more classes Algebra 116 and Research writing English 102. I'm a little nervous but I'm hopeful I'll do ok.

I have realized that I currently do not qualify to apply for a nursing program, so I'm adjusting and thinking that Respiratory Therapy is a good second choice. That will mean quitting online and going to an actual campus for the remainder of my college. I'm nervous about that. But still debating. I may take a few more general ed classes online, before i transfer. To limit the number of semesters I need to be away from home.

I have been getting more into cooking dinners and things at home. I feel that is an accomplishment all by it's self. As I struggle at times to even feel motivated to cook anything. It has helped writing a menu at the first of the week, to help me be motivated to cook. Now these aren't all those quick dinners that are practically premade. These are things like homemade hoagie rolls for meatball subs (and yes the meatballs were homemade too). Home made bread. Crockpot meals, and yes of course some of the premade dinners, such as pizza and hamburger helper. I am still proud of my self for even attempting to make hoagie rolls. They turned out pretty good. :)

I am thinking of starting a cooking blog, about my cooking adventures. Not sure I'll have any followers but still, a way to post my menu's, my recipes and my experiences of what we are doing here at home to help cut costs and be more frugal. My food storage has been coming quite in handy. As my freezer is slowly depleting and my pantry is getting more bare, I am grateful for the food storage I have and trying to incorporate it into our diet. It is a good feeling.

I have been grateful for the blessings that have come from these accomplishments. The knowledge gained and the feeling of the Lords hand in my life. Prayers have been answered, and spirits have been lifted.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another whirlwind of a summer

I can hardly believe that summer is over and school has officially started in my house. It has been full of excitement and turmoil, summer that is. I am working towards a couple of my goals, finishing school, and not going crazy... Not sure how either is going at this point. but taking one day at a time.

Summer started off pretty good. The kids were making friends in our new neighborhood, and we had a couple of fun vacations scheduled. Our first vacation was scheduled for the second week in June with Bill's parents and his brother Matt. We were going to the Grand Canyon. It was a 10 visit by his parents and his brother. We stayed 4 days in AZ and saw The Grand Canyon and went down to Sedona, AZ. What a beautiful country we live in! It was a pleasant trip. Then the boys had a Father and Son campout with our ward. They had a lot of fun, and I went a little crazy cause I didn't know what to do with myself while they were out having fun. Then three days later we headed off to Texas. For a three week trip. The boys and I drove from Utah to Texas. We went to help my youngest sister with her wedding. It was a crazy trip to texas, I had wanted to visit and see so many of my cousins, but didn't see hardly any of them. Which was a bummer, I did however, get to see my grandma and several of my aunts and uncles. My sister was beautiful. While at her reception, my son Braeden passed out from heat exhaustion. Luckily, Shane was there and was able to bring him around, before the paramedics came. We are so blessed to have so many talented and qualified family members. We went home exhausted and grateful for family. A week after we got home from our trip to Texas, I started school again. I'm still passing my classes, but it's a very challenging semester.

About 2 weeks ago, My oldest was struggling, and started to self mutilating during church. We took him home and tried to help him through his issues, which he wouldn't talk about. He seemed to get better, so we hoped it was a one time thing. Then on monday, the routine was back in and chores needed done so they could go play and enjoy their summer, back at home. Bryen lost his privilege to play his PSP. He quietly put it down and then went into the kitchen and then upstairs. On his way upstairs I felt impressed to ask him what he did in the kitchen, He was only in the kitchen a very short time. I asked him what he got in the kitchen. First thinking it was food, and he needed to eat it in the kitchen not upstairs. Then quickly realized it was far worse than food. He had taken one of my sharp kitchen knives and was going upstairs with it. I asked him what it was for. and very calmly he said, "to kill myself." OMG!!! WHAT!? YEah, that's what he said. I asked him to bring me the knife, and had him sit next to me on the couch, I called my insurance to find out what coverage we had for his mental issues, and then they said to take him to the ER. He didn't hurt himself, but was so ready to. We were at the hospital for 9 hours, and then he was transferred to a psychiatric in-patient facility for children. He was there for 7 days, they changed up some of his medicine, he's Bi-Polar, and was on ADHD meds, He is now on an antipsychotic medication and no longer on his ADHD medicine. My mother-in-law came out to "help" us with the situation with Bryen. I don't know if that was the right course for her to come out. But, she was here for 2 weeks. She went home today. Today was also the boys first day of school. So, needless to say, i'm still trying to recover from a hectic and crazy summer. Bryen is doing better, we are keeping a close eye on him. Not sure if normalcy is possible anymore, so we are taking one day at a time. Trying to create a new norm, hopefully one that is good for all of us. My schooling is going ok. Not as good as before, but trying to keep up on it. Some assignments are late, but My brain has been kind of fried. Well, that's been a brief summary of our summer. hopefully, this school year will bring better days, and better things. i hope you guys are having a GREAT summer and beginning of school year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fill'r Up

It has been a very long time since I wrote last. A lot of things have happened in my life since then. It's been very crazy around here. Let's see where to start... After we all got well, we started making a few changes in our schedules and life. I started college again, this time to finish it! I am in my second term finals week currently, I am attending University of Phoenix (Axia College - Online). I'm going to school to get my degree in Medical Administration. I'm excited to have direction. After I started school, during the first part of my second term, I found out that where we were renting they wanted to sell the house. So we had to move, Mid-term, Mid-school year for the kids. They were so sad... actually, we all were. We searched high and low in Kaysville, UT so the kids could stay near their friends, and they could stay in the same school, but no such luck :(. We were able to find something in Saratoga Springs, UT. So we moved in April to Saratoga Springs. It's been crazy since we moved in, too. The weekend after we moved in my In-laws came to visit for Easter, which was really nice. Then we had Spring Break, and we went to Lego Land with the boys (so much fun!). They started a new school, and I've been working on picking up my grades from the move. My school work didn't get done for a week, so I've been struggling to make up the work and my grades. I've since been back to California one other time for a trip with Bill and the kids, he couldn't come with us to Lego Land cause he had to work. So we took another trip with him a couple of weeks later. My sister Katy came to visit me the weekend we moved and she was such a GREAT help! It was so good to see her and her two girls. I miss my family, being so far away from anyone. I have a few cousins that live in Provo, but I never get to see them. They are really busy with school and stuff too. i am grateful for the challenges in my life, they help me see the hand of the Lord. I didn't think I could move and go to school and everything that has happened in the last several months... but he has blessed me and I'm grateful for his hand in my life. Bill loves his new job. He works for now. He loves it! I am grateful he has a job that he loves. Since moving to Saratoga Springs I've had a hard time getting to know people. I'm hoping that I can meet more people soon. It's kind of lonely here, I've made one friend and it's good to have a good friend :). We are excited to have my in-laws come visit again in June :) If feels like we see them more now that we're so far away than when we lived 20 min away. :) We have plenty of room for guests if any of my friends who read this want to come visit :). My little sister Jenniy will be getting married in July. I'm her maid-of-honor :) I'm excited for her. I'll be taking a trip to Texas leaving the end of June. Lots to plan and pull together before her BIG DAY! She is getting married July 9. So we are having a family bridal shower July 1 in San Antonio. Another Bridal shower July 3 in Temple for those up in that direction. Her Bachelorette party July 7th - can you say belly dancing!! :) We are gonna have so much fun this summer. I'm driving down to Texas with the boys, Bill will fly down on July 8th, then we will drive home together. I get to spend some Quality time with my best friend since 3rd grade Hulda and her family. I plan on seeing my friends in San Antonio too. And of course FAMILY!!! I'm so excited to have a positive reason to go to texas. It's been a while since we've had that. The last positive thing was Jenniy's graduation from High School! which was 3 or 4 years ago I think... If I remember correctly. I didn't get to see much family when we were there. So I'm excited to see more this trip. Well, I'd better go and clean up. School for my kids gets out May 28th. Then we have the summer to PLAY! So excited. I also need to start my final papers today. Ugh.. but so excited to be getting my schooling done. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Year

Well, we survived the trip home, finally got everyone well. I started college through University of Phoenix (Axia College) for Medical Administration. I'm doing ok. I have all A's right now. Yeah me... but mind you I've only been going for three weeks. :) I'm excited for the grades. :)

Bill got hired at He started Jan. 18. We're really excited. He loves what he's doing there and he thinks it's a great group of guys to work with. I'm so happy for him. He has about a 35-45 min commute, which is a far cry from the 2 hr commute average he had from WV. So we're not complaining at all about his drive.

I've decided to give up looking for work and become a dedicated stay-at-home mom. Anyone who knows about stay at home moms is that they really don't stay home very often from all the errands, volunteering and stuff they do all day. But I'm grateful that I don't HAVE to work right now. I can enjoy and help my children. However, the house is the same as when I was working. We're just getting more hot meals since I'm definitely using my slow cooker more. I'm trying my first slow cooker lasagna tonight. I hope it turns out. I added a bag of mixed veggies to the meat mixture so we get in some green veggies. I am loving! I love that site. She has great ideas and recipes. Also, I'm tempted very tempted to start buying from Alison's pantry, I don't know just yet if I will. I noticed a lot of the stuff she sells I can get at Sams Club or Costco. But she does have some stuff that is different. Only thing is that it's once a month thru her, and I would place an order by Feb. 2 and wouldn't get it until March. So that's another thing to consider.

I have been volunteering a lot at the boy's school. It keeps me pretty busy. I'm also still working with the CubScouts as a Wolf Den Leader. I am still trying to get my head around everything that involves, but it's coming very slowly. I enjoy it just not all the paperwork and meetings associated with it. It's a highly involved calling.

I've lost 20 lbs. since moving to UT. I'm still trying to keep that off and not pack on more. It's hard in the winter as I'm not nearly as active as I am in the spring, summer and fall as I'd like to be. I am hoping I can get more motivated and get working out. Well, I'd better get off this computer and start the mountain of laundry hanging over my head. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Catch-up

Well, we're finally home from our Christmas vacation. It feels like we were away for an eternity. It was a very long time to be away from our home. We were very grateful for my in-laws hospitality. But it is very unlikely for us to be making another one of those trips for a very, very long time. It was a good christmas. The kids had a lot of fun spending time with their Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles. We ended up having 4 christmases, and it was just Bill's family. All at his parents house, We had Christmas eve dinner celebration, Christmas morning present opening, Christmas evening opening presants and dinner, and then Day-after christmas opening presants again. sheesh... was it enough? I'm ready for more arn't you... Actually, I was done after christmas morning. We spent several days making food, TONS of cookies. I'm still eating Christmas cookies... do they freeze well enough so I don't need to make any for next christmas? yes we had that many cookies. I was able to take the boys down to Washington DC to some of the smithsonians. We went to the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. The kids loved it. They got to sit in an airplane, and a space shuttle.. check out cool dinosaur fossels and bones. It was a good day in DC. By the time we went to the American history museum they were closed :( I wanted to see that one first, but with a group of boys... the other stuff won over. Santa was good to the kids this year. They got some books from mom and dad and some ear muffs, Santa brought them one HUGE gift... Bryen got the newest Lego Mindstorm (He has been asking for that for at least 3 years) and Braeden and Mikey got the best most economical gaming system out there... (the iPod Touch) with a $10 iTunes gift card. Let's just say they were exstatic and we even got tons of peace and quiet after that. They have so many games they play together or alone. I know, I know. pretty extravagent you might say. But we looked into all of the hand held gaming systems the psp, the DSi and the iPod Touch. The touch is by far the best most economical device. They share all of their games they have.. They cost anywhere from FREE to 9.99 a game. But divide that game price by 4 because Bill and I can also put those games on our phones. No cartridges to loose, scratch or destroy. Parental controls to keep them from surfing the web on sites that are inappropriate. and No UTube for little boys to get into trouble with. Yea, I know it's kindof pricey but the DSi and the PSP are around 300 a piece, especially if you buy one new game to go with it. We spent less than $250 for the iPod touch, $10 gift card and a case for each iPod. The joy on their faces was priceless. We saved them for the last of christmas morning. It was awesome. They didn't even care about the two other christmases. They were content. The food was amazing, as always. I got some good gifts too. I got a couple of smaller crockpots for my new obsession. as well as a couple cast iron skillets, and a cast iron enamel dutch oven baker. Along with the Julia Childs Cookbook. :)) Oh yea baby, just what I wanted. Billy spent way too much on me he got me a Coach purse. i love it! I also got a pink iPod shuffle (for my workouts). I had been complaining about how bulky my iPhone is when I work out. So he was thinking on this gift. I was touched. (A side note is that I've gone from 325 lbs. to 287 lbs.) That is a good think and I'm still working on loosing more. I'm down to a size 22. I know still too big, but a little at a time makes it life changing. Any who... i digress... okay. So back to christmas. We had gotten 20+ inches of snow the sunday before christmas, so no christmas programs at church before christmas.. actually no church period. So, We were able to go the last sunday we were in town and they had their christmas program, it was very nice. It was good to see a few people while we were in town. Not as many as we would have liked. I missed catching up with my friend Erin.. I was sad for that. :( Bill also had gotten pretty sick after christmas too. He ended up with a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) yucky. So, he was out of commission for a little while. Then Braeden got a cold/chest infection on the day we left for home. So it post-poned us leaving out of town a few hours. with the Urgent care visit and picking up meds on the way out of town. I started getting a little cough too so I was seen at the same time as Braeden. They said it was just a cold. So I got a little cough med and one the way I went. We made it to Indianapolis right before New Years! well an hr to spare. We were able to ring in the new year with our dear friends the Velasquez family. I was feeling was miserable. But it was nice being there. We stayed there one more night to rest up a little. Then off we were to our next destination Lincoln, NE. Which by the time we got there I was a royal mess. I couldn't swallow with out wanting to die, it hurt to breathe. It didn't feel like any cold I had ever had before, it actually felt more like strep throat. But I had a cough that was awful too. Which usually doesn't happen with strep. I tried to be a trooper and be tough, but my senses were slowly diminishing. We all went to bed and were trying to make the best of the hotel. Billy had taken the boys to the pool to get out some energy. I tried to rest in bed. It didn't help. By 3am I hadn't slept at all... I'd kept Bill up all night from whining, tossing and turning, and hacking all the time. So, I told him I was going to the ER. I couldn't take it any more. I decided to drive myself. So he could try to rest for our trip that day. I just wanted to go home. But he was in no shape to drive, and I was in no shape to sit in the car for 13 hrs. Then Braeden got up and vomitted. He said his tummy hurt. OH BOY... does it get good. So, He goes back to bed. I head to the front desk to get directions to the hospital, Bill tries to go back to sleep. It doesn't happen. He calls me on my cell as I'm about to get in the car. and he tells me he's going to take me. The boys are all alseep in the hotel. Bryen is old enough to watch them. So, Bill drives me to the Hospital. While there, I get an X-Ray of my throat to make sure it's not swelling where they can't see. I'm in excruciating pain. Still having a hard time breathing and my throat is on fire. They give me morphine to help with pain management. (I'd never had morphine before) my arm started itching... and I starting scratching.. It felt like an allergic reaction... and it didn't even touch my pain. It felt useless. But what they hey, they said it should've worked. I had a strep test.. Negative. Still just a cold. ugh... So, off we are sent with more pain meds and a steroid to try to help with things. That was Sunday early morning. We stay in Lincoln one more day. To try to rest up. So, we left Lincoln on Monday. Bright and squirley early. We went home... Still miserable, but heading home. Mikey had gotten sick on Sunday with vommitting too. so we were a sight in our car... Sick as anything. We make it home on monday night to an angry cat. Who was not happy about us leaving him home alone for 3 weeks. Three weeks of garbage, and junk of a messy house awaiting us behind the front door. No food for the kids lunches the next day, not sure who would actually make it to school, with them all being sick, And Mikey ended up screaming and crying in the car on the way home with a sore throat. We got home in time for urgent care to still be open, so Bill rushes him to the urgent care to get him taken care of. Well, he tells the doctor he's fine. GRRRrrrr. ok. So he ends up with some cough syrup and off to school. so hundreds of dollars later. we're finally home and all supposed to be getting on the mend and back to life as we know it. Come tuesday morning. Getting the boys ready for school as best I can being horribly sick. Braeden decides he has a tummy ache and vommits. sigh... ok so, he's home... anyone else...? so, I get the other two ready for school. Rush to the store to get them something for their lunches. get them to school on time. run a few errands... like pay rent. and get Bill set for his interviews... Then home to try to rest. With a HUGE pile of mail Demanding to be addressed. So I sit in bed going through the mail. Making piles of bills, junk mail, christmas cards, misc... then Bill takes a nap as I'm going through the mail. I then start setting up the bills to be paid in my acct. He is still sleeping. I'm covered in paperwork. exhausted. As soon as i'm about done he wakes up and askes what all this crap is all over our bed. joy... so I explain what I was doing, through a very raspy, horse voice as best I could. Then he opens a few pieces of mail that were for him. Then gets angry cause the house is a mess, telling me how big of PIGs we are... and on and on... then does nothing....I can't even get him to make dinner... so we end up ordering out pizza... and leave the mess another day. Today, I was able to get the boys ready for school... all made it today.. YEAH! I'm a little better. YEAH! I did a workshop for school today, got the kitchen picked up a little. Got a grocery list together. Got the VW registered and tagged. But got a rejected inspection.. Need a new tire. Then went grocery shopping on a limited budget. Made up the kids portions for their lunches. Premade sandwiches, veggie baggies, snack baggies and such. Cleaned up that mess. Then put the groceries away. Kids came home and I got Braeden to unload the dishwasher. Bill to load the dishwasher. It has been productive. But still aways to go. Tons of homework for the boys to wade through. but we're slowly but surely getting back to normal. Me included. I hope you have had a wonderful christmas season with less adventure than mine. I hope all have been very well. I feel blessed to have made it through the tough times. I'm stronger for it. I am grateful for my husband and all that he does do. He was also hit this christmas with having to take a Voluntary Severance Package, as they were moving his job to India. He took it so he is no longer working for AOL. He is unemployed too. Sigh.. things get better and better don't they. He ended up with 3 months severance and his bonus. which will be helpful. He has a job interview with tomorrow. I pray he gets the job and it's what he wants to do. We are blessed through these trials and I know that the Lord is mindful of us. We will have all that we need to sustain us, I have faith. We have been blessed and guided to move here to Utah. And we are still following his lead through prayer, fasting and faith. School for me starts monday, but working on workshops for school this week. Excited as anything. :) see blessings :) there is always a silver lining and sparkles as it rains :) Be blessed and see the blessings!