PopTarts

In effort to remove as much processed foods, and as many chemicals from our lives as possible, I have been spending hours on the computer looking at things like deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste, pasta, cereal and peanut butter.  I have spent time at a local health food store.  Can I just say those “health food” types smell?  Is it okay to say I held my breath when talking to some of the employees?  Sheesh! Their body odor was just weird, not BO but more like vitamins and I just cannot put a word on it, maybe compost?  I don’t know… but my gag reflex was on high alert and I think I might have plugged my nose at one point.  After the torture of cruising the aisles I wrote down a few prices of things I normally buy but they offer in organic, to compare.  {Earlier in the week I went to Target and wrote down all the prices on organics of things I normally buy as a regular product to compare. I have 1 store I go to left to compare, I need to find an organic farm in the area for the fruits and veggies}
So anyway, we are trying our hardest to go chemical free, this scare was warning enough for me, I don’t want to go through anything like it again.  I know, I know I have to go get a mammogram and another MRI in June and July but right now I am making a change as we run out of foods I purchase new ones in organic.  I even have a list of the dirty dozen fruits and veggies that if at all possible you should buy organic.  And thanks to a friend today I may have a deodorant to try, hopefully it will work unlike Tom’s all natural, yeah I smelled au’natureal {or how ever you spell it I stunk!}  Now if I could just find a toothpaste and shampoo for the oily haired, curly~haired, and fine haired family members we’d be good.  {any suggestions?  I don’t want to pay $16 for shampoo we end up hating!} I am not saying that going organic is the answer, there are plenty of people who do everything right and get bad reports from the doctor.  But studies have proven time and again that what we eat reflects on our quality of life.  I have a lot of things left to do, I want to be as healthy as I can until God calls me home..  I just want to be clear and not sound like I am judging anyone.  My fence, my yard and all…

Okay so tonight I wanted dessert with dinner, we had organic mac and cheese and (YUCK) corn dog nuggets I purchased before we started the switch.  The mac~n~cheese needed something {chemicals maybe.}  It may take a while to find some good boxed mac~n~cheese for nights when I am in a rush.

I thought about making PopTarts since all my readers know how much the kids like them, especially baby A.  I had 2 pre made pie crusts {again left from before the switch} and someone gave me strawberry pie filling.  Next time I will use home~made strawberry jam and pie crusts which are very easy to make.  Actually next time I will do cinnamon and sugar since that is what the kids asked for, and chocolate since Keith just made that request {taking away any healthy part of this dessert…} This dessert or breakfast was so easy and so yummy!

PopTarts
2 defrosted pie crusts unrolled
1 can strawberry pie filling
Pampered Chef circle sandwich cutter thing
Hot oven

Frosting
3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp or more or less of milk
mix well so there are no lumps and it is the consistency of Elmer’s school glue
{don’t make the frosting until after you pull the tarts out of the oven}

This could not have been easier

1 roll out crusts
2 pour can of strawberry pie filling in food processor {to remove all evidence of being healthy for “those” kids}
mix pie filling to a red sticky mess {take a taste, it is yummy!}
place 1 tbsp of strawberry mess on the pie crust and use the circle cutter to crimp the crust together
place on baking sheet

DSCN2546{pie filling all red sticky mess, and so yummy I might have taken a big spoonful of it!}
I pre~cut the crust circles with my pampered chef tool then put a scoop of the pie filling in the center topped with another curst circle, press down and crimp

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes {my oven cooks low, check often} it is done when the crust is a lovely shade of suntan.

Cool on rack

DSCN2549Top with the sugar/milk frosting and sprinkles for authentic strawberry pop tarts {I know the sprinkles are supposed to be pink, I could only find blue…}

When I do the cinnamon sugar I will take a stick of BUTTER {no processed crud}to get it to room temp, soft consistency, and a hefty shake or 3 of cinnamon and about 1/3 cup brown sugar and mix it all together then spread a thick layer on the precut circle, top and crimp.  I will make a brown sugar frosting milk and powdered sugar but I will add a tbsp of brown sugar to the frosting.

So healthy dessert?  No not really but an excellent alternative to the crud and chemicals in reguar pop tats.

Oh by the way it made 10 circles out of 2 store bought crusts, and I still have half or more of that strawberry goodness, which I will refrigerate and use to top some homemade ice-cream this week one day.

Give it a try it was so yummy only E refused but she had already been crying and was feeling ornery so I expected that out of her, the kid who gags on fruits ate his up in no time at all, and the food snob liked it too!

Go hug your kids and make a yummy dessert for the family tonight
jen

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And the Results are In.

Today I met with the Neurologist to go over my results.

Let me just say he is so nice, soft-spoken and old school.  When we left we cracked up at the things he said.  For example I have never heard a doctor call them “boobs”  always breast, never boobs.

I was so blessed by all the friends who sent me messages letting me know they loved me and were praying for me.  I wanted to be sure I listened to the doctor all the way, to understand what he was going to do and why.  I felt peace although my blood pressure was up.  But I think I have cuff anxiety, every time someone pulls it out I swear I can feel my heart start to race and I can fill the blood rushing through my body.

We were pleased with my doctor, and his concern.
After a few questions and a few minutes looking at my paperwork, he began talking to me.  He explained that my tumor is only 5mm.  It is tiny.  The MRI with the contrast indicates it is a diminishing tumor.  The counts for my prolactin are not elevated enough to cause worry, and again they are showing signs of diminishing.  And the headaches and slight dizziness are not likely to have come from the tumor it is just too small, so the headaches and dizziness are apparently my normal?  Who knew?

I like the word diminishing!

He thinks it best if we do not poison {his word not mine} my body with unnecessary drugs.  Because the counts are not elevated enough to worry him, and the MRI contrast shows diminished growth, he says we will watch and retest.  I go back in June for follow up testing.  He thinks this tumor will resolve itself.  That watch and retest will be the easiest thing.

So NO medicine!  I am thankful for that.   I will go back in 4 months for another MRI with contrast to see the size of the tumor.  I am thankful for that

He did give me the name of the contrast solution they used so I can ask for a different kind of solution. Very thankful for that.

Keith went along with me, I am so thankful for that!  We had a list of questions for the doctor if he had prescribed medicines.  Since every question I had was about the medicine we really had no questions for him.

After the appointment I tried to get Keith to skip school for a little bit and go to a late breakfast but he had work to do.  I could not convince him otherwise.  So all you school parents should be happy that he chose school over fun.

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers, please continue to pray the tumor keeps diminishing.

Thank you for praying
Go hug your kids they need your love.
jen

A Call You Don’t Want to Get

I am of age.  I was reminded of that when I called to make my yearly gyno appointment.  Because I am 36 plus a few years I now get to have yearly mammograms.  {Can you hear the crowd cheering in excitement?}  Good news, my dr’s office now has a mammogram machine in the office.  So I can go for a very awkward appointment and as a bonus have a virtual stranger taking pictures of the “girls.”

With great anticipation, or dread, I went in for my appointment.  The pancake maker was not painful but I think this is for a few reasons.  1 I nursed for 95 months.  Go ahead, I will pause while you do the math and realize that a large portion of my life I was nursing.  Did you figure it out?  Yes 8 years. Or very close to it.  one fifth of my life, 8 years of my life I have been “messed with”, so honestly the machine was not terrible.  2 The girls have plenty of padding, so there is a cushion of protection around them.  Later this would prove to be a problem.  After the pancake machine, I went in for my yearly.  After that was blood work.  My veins are beautiful, except they roll, and collapse, and don’t want to cooperate, but my Dr has a wonderful nurse who gets it right on the first time.  She is amazing.

Two days later I got a phone call, one that I never expected.
Jennifer, we got the results back from your appointment.  You need to call _____ and make an appointment for another mammogram and possibly an ultra sound.   We saw some things on your mammogram, we’d like to take another look.  Also your blood work came back with some unusual marks on it.  Please come back in at your earliest convenience.  Call to make the appointment for the follow-up mammogram immediately and then call us back with your appointment time.  {She did not rush everything together but the phone call is a bit of a blur to me.}

I told Keith my mammogram was off, I needed to get another one, that my blood work was off and I needed to get it done again.

The phone call stopped me in my tracks.  I was shocked and stunned.  The call changed my thinking, and honestly haunted my thoughts when I least expected.  Strangely it did not consume my thoughts, it did not rule my life.  But in the still quiet snuggles, I was haunted with the “what if’s.”  In the middle of picking out school clothes, bathing a little one, or brushing hair, those “what if’s” would pop up.  I was trying to plan our summer vacation, but I did not know if that was going to be possible.  I was trying to plan a road trip, but I did not know if that would happen.  {Not to be all dramatic but I like to plan ahead and this was making planning difficult}

A week later I went in for the 2nd mammogram, stopping at my doctor’s office for blood work on the way.  This place looked like a spa, which was nice but did not change the fact that I knew my photos were not right or I would not have had to rush and make the appointment, I would not have had to call my Dr back with confirmation of my next appointment.  I knew why I was there.  I stood and hummed scripture and worship songs while the tech took picture after picture.  After 15 or more pictures, with different paddles and angles, they sent me to wait.  I had a nice chat with a woman waiting to go in for her photo session.  I was told to wait while the tech reviewed my pictures and from there we would know if I needed a sonogram or farther pictures.  I was anxious at this point.  I almost started to cry when Keith texted me asking if he should come out there to be with me.  {I kept mentally reciting scripture, “I will never leave you or forsake you, I know the plans I have for you, I will fight for you, you only need to be still, be still and know that I AM GOD.”  The scripture memorization of my child hood came back to me, it was reassuring to mentally recite.}  The nurse who took the mammogram pictures called me into a small room, she said “good news, you have fatty breast tissue, so the large lump we saw the first mammogram was in fact folded over skin,”  {thus the urgency to get in for another opinion so quickly, see the padding caused problems}  “bad news, you do have 2 small spots, we do not know what they are, we do see them, but they need to get a little larger to see if they are going to grow into cancer or just calcium spots.”  Lovely.  So I now have another appointment for more pictures in 6 months.  Giving the spots time to grow a bit so that we can get them taken care of.  I cried when I called Keith.  I was so relieved, concerned as to what they would grow into, but relieved.

I received another phone call 2 days later.  My blood work was still wrong, my liver enzymes are off and my prolactin levels were still elevated.  I needed to call for an MRI.  And I needed one ASAP  {At this point I SWEAR I told Keith everything.  I told him my blood work was wrong, my prolactin levels were off and my liver was off too.}  I told him when my MRI appointment was, so he could clear his schedule and watch little A for me.  {because Ellen knew about the 2nd mammogram, I filled her in on the blood work and the levels they were concerned with, and the upcoming MRI}

The day before my appointment Keith offered to go with me.  He was being his typical supportive self.  He gets quiet when he is concerned, he was quiet, he went places with me, and spent more time with me.  I thought he knew I was going to have an MRI on my brain.
He did not.

A friend came over to keep A, at this point no one but the 3 of us knew, I did not want to worry the family or my children.

The MRI was not fun, the contrast made me sick. So sick that later I positioned my self on my bed at home with the fewest steps to the toilet.  It was bad.  The sound of a table saw running back and forth over my head was torture, the halfway point when they started pumping in the contrast was painful and then the sick feeling flooded in was terrible.  I was instructed not to move, so I ran through my times tables trying to distract myself from the sick feeling rushing over me in waves, I sang in my mind, and was ready to run through scriptures I have memorized over the years.   After 30 minutes it was over, the girl yanked the IV out of my arm, and sent me on my way.  Nice.  I had an ocular migraine the day before, went in for the MRI with a slight headache, and left with another migraine.

In the car I told Keith I could have left my ring on because they only viewed my head.  Keith looked at me as though I’d lost my mind, and asked why they would view your head if they were checking out your breast.  I looked at him and said “it was my brain, Keith, I have a brain tumor.”  {let me say I have NO experience telling bad news, and I am terrible at it!}  Poor Keith!  Good thing we were at a stop sign.  He whipped his head towards me and asked “What?!” I said “I told you, I was getting an MRI because my prolactin levels were too high”  He assumed it was my breast.  I was sorry, I was too busy fighting the waves of nausea to be of much help or comfort for him.  Between sips of water I told him what I knew.  We got home he helped me into bed with a water bottle and some sweet tea.  I took 3 ibuprofen and went to bed.  We had planned to go out for Valentines dinner but I was too sick to even begin to think about eating.

Ellen came to take Keith to school to get his moped, he climbed into her car and asked “did you know it was her brain, they think she has a brain tumor.”  She said “no it is her liver” he told her that he thought it was my breast.  Both had listened to me but neither listened all the way.  I guess it is a good thing, I cannot imagine the worry they would have had, if they’d known.

After a long nap the contrast solution had worked its way thought my system and I was feeling better.  Keith took the kids to youth group and we went out to dinner.  While I was napping he did a lot of research on the prolactin levels, and the symptoms and the typical treatment and results of the testing and medicines.

I did not think the “symptoms” I had were anything unusual and if not for the blood work I would never have any idea something was wrong.  I have been getting headaches, often and experiencing dizziness but I did not think anything about it.  Except that I needed to schedule a chiropractor appointment.

I had to wait 2 full long days for the results of the MRI. My sweet nurse called me, I was out running errands and had to pull over in a parking lot.  She said she had the results.  There is a tumor.  It is benign.  It is called a pituitary microadenoma I need to follow through with a neurologist, call and set up the appointment and call her back with the date.  I was so relieved I felt my blood run hot/cold in relief.  I did not cry on the phone with the nurse.  I did when I hung up.

I drove to school, Keith and Ellen had been texting me all day to see if I had heard anything.  On my way to school little A fell asleep in the van.  I got on campus and he was in meetings, I just sat in the school parking lot, knowing the good and bad news to share with him.  I cleaned out the van, I cut the coupons in the van, I played on my phone, and then he came out to see me in the parking lot.  We only had about 3 minutes but I told him what I knew I cried again, I told him it was going to be alright.  He was relieved, I was relieved.

Telling family was hard.  I have 2 spots on my right breast, I have a brain tumor, but I will be alright.  I told my mom and I cried, Keith called his dad, he got teary.  I called my sis in law and cried,  I told the kids, J and R cried, E wanted to know if they were going to do surgery, I said no.  She was content.  O and C were worried when I started telling them but as soon as they knew I was going to be alright they relaxed and mocked me.  {ahhh things are normal}  R was upset, he sees and thinks.  He worries.  After giving him all the information I had he relaxed.  We sent out an email to family and friends because the thought of calling all of them was just too much.

Saturday night C told me I am terrible at delivering bad news.  That I scared them.  That I need to take another approach to the bad news.  I told him next time I have bad news I’d let him tell me how to deliver it.

I have my neurologist appointment on Monday.  I will know what course of treatment the Dr. wants to go with.  I have heard good reports from 2 different people about him.  Please if you think about it can you pray for the appointment.  I want to listen and hear what the doctor has to say,  I want a clear mind and understanding and peace.

That was my terrible, no good, very bad month.

Go hug your kids they need your love
jen

Here is the email we sent out to out

This is not the type of news we would choose to send to you through a message, but the thought of calling everyone individually is a little more than we can do right now.

Today we received word that Jen has a pituitary microadenoma. In non-medical terms, this is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor on the pituitary gland of the brain. While we still have a lot of questions and know some general information. We will be meeting with a neurologist soon to determine treatment. Depending on the size, location and severity treatment can include medication, surgery or radiation. The initial indication is that we may be able to start with medication and go from there. Again, we will know more after the visit with the neurologist.

During this process a mammogram has revealed that Jen some spots in her breast. At this point they are not able to determine what these spots are. She will go back in 6 months for another mammogram to see the growth pattern of the spots. This will help the Dr. determine whether this is calcium deposits or cancer or something else.

Jen is doing well. This is a lot to take in and process in a short period of time. We are confident that God is carrying us through this journey and we pray for his continued grace in our lives. We know that God is in control and good no matter what the circumstances.

Snowflakes and No Hearts.

DSCN2475So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was taking down all my Winter decorations, and going to put up all my February decorations.
Well I never did.
That is right, here it is more than half way through February and I still have my snowmen up.
I still have snowflakes hanging from the french doors into the sitting room.
I have snowflakes but no hearts.

It would not be so bad if I did not mention that I was changing up the decorations on my blog, it would not matter except that we’ve had a few people over this last week/weekend and they all read the blog and they all noticed.

First comment came Wednesday, a friend came over to keep little A for me, I had a dr appointment, as she stood in the  diningroom, she said  “where are all your February decorations?”  I told her the month got away from me, and now it was too late to change them up.

The next comments came from family on Sunday, Keith’s Aunt PG and his mom and sister came over for dinner and games.  During dinner my M~I~L said, “I thought you said you were going to put up your valentine decorations?”  Aunt PG said “yeah I read it on your blog.”  I laughed and said the month got away from me, then I said “Oh I love the winter decorations so much I wanted PG to see them.”  We all know it was a lie, the month getting away from me was actually true.  Can you believe that it is almost the end of the month?  I am not going to take the time now to pull down all the snow to put up all the hearts only to take them down in a little more than a week.  I just don’t have time or care enough to do that.

Because I am enjoying my winter decorations I took some pictures to so you too can enjoy my winter decorations.DSCN2473Art work by EDSCN2474We might not have real snow but the sled lets up pretendDSCN2471The clay snowmen are all “melting fast”  the tall one is actually headless, the head and tiny snowman are just resting on top,
The fat one has a hole in his back and the short one has a lovely spider web of a crack.
I know they are not going to last much longer.DSCN2476I love this red shelf.  Not too big, not too small.DSCN2479I love the quirky snowmen.DSCN2478More quirky snow men and an ugly wax mess thanks to C and his curosity.DSCN2481I can’t decide it the lantern full of snowmen is morbid or fun, but I love it!

So, that is it, I still have snow up and have given up on putting up hearts.  I had some new heart things, guess I’ll be saving them for next February, unless of course it gets away from me again.

Go hug your kids and enjoy the last bit of winter.  My friend in Indiana said she saw a robin, so for all of you snowed in, spring is coming.  We had what I hope is our last cold snap down here this weekend.  We ran the fireplace and snuggled under blankets while we enjoyed family time.

jen

Marshmallow is Extremely Flammable

{Please read the title with the word Extremely in the same way that Sid on Toy Story said “Extremely Dangerous”}

I said Wednesday that I was going to try to make the S’mores brownies Valentine night for dinner.

I did not know exactly how it was made, but I read the description and I was pretty confident I could duplicate.  I was thinking brownie, graham crust and marshmallows, how simple?

So I made a graham crust, with some sugar and graham crackers and butter.
I pressed the graham mixture on the bottom of the pan.
DSCN2453{This is before I put the butter into the bowl with the crumbs}.
I made brownie from a mix, {I use the 9×13 pan there are so many of us}DSCN2455I poured the brownie mix on top of the graham crust.  Baked it for 25 minutes.  DSCN2456Then topped with marshmallows cut in half, I pressed them into the gooey brownie batter, and put them back in the oven for 1o more minutes.  When the timer was down to 2 minutes I turned the oven to broil.  After a minute I looked in, they were beautiful. Puffed up and toasty brown,  I looked away ***DANGER DANGER***  Do NOT look away from your S’mores brownies.DSCN2458Or your oven will billow out smoke.  You will shout FIRE.DSCN2459Your brownies will look like THIS.

When you shout fire your 8-year-old will yell out from his bed.  Grab the Fire Blanket, Call 911.  I called back “no fire, just burnt marshmallows”  My sister went into his room to let him know it is was all fine his reply “Please tell mom not to shout out fire if there is not an actual fire”  I went in and he asked me “mom did you have the oven to high?  And did you put the marshmallows on the top rack?  Maybe you should put it on a lower shelf?”  I answered you are probably right and next time you can be my helper so I don’t burn it again.”

It was ruined the marshmallow on top were BURNT and not in a burnt marshmallow at a campfire way, more like I dropped my marshmallow in the fire and cannot get it kind of way.  To salvage I used forks and pulled marshmallow burn off the top of the brownies, when I saw the gooey mess I remembered that I set the timer for 10 minutes shorter than it needed to be so I would cook them the full timer THEN add the marshmallows in, but forgot my plan.  I put the brownies back in the oven to finish cooking.DSCN2454I cut the rest of the marshmallows, and when the timer dinged again I topped them with the left over marshmallows, it was not nearly as pretty the 2nd time around.  I learned my lesson and stood at the oven checking it every few seconds.DSCN2460They came out beautifully and are DELICIOUS!!!

DSCN2462Keith and I snuck a bite we’re waiting for the kids to go to bed so we could have the yummy S’mores brownie, which Keith said would be even better topped with mint chocolate chip ice cream.  He was right.  When we finally got to them, they were a bit crispy and would have been easier to eat if they were toasty and warm still.  So this needs a little tweaking but it will be worth the effort to get it right.

Did you enjoy your valentine day?  I left surprises in Keith’s office all day, we had a lovely visit at his parents house, his Aunt PG is down for a week!  Had Yummy Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi soup and after the kids went to bed, brownies!

Go hug your kids, and enjoy a nice family filled weekend.
jen

It’s VALENTINES not Valentimes Day

I only have 1 child left who called today Valentimes Day, but again she is only 3.
And by the end of the school day the other 2 little ones might revert back to the wrong name.
I don’t care I think it sounds cute, not so cute when I listen to jr high kids saying it wrong… but they are  not mine.

I asked a few friends for a few bad valentines experiences.  Here is what they had to say
My friend JB said that after she fixed him a meal, he went out and bought a cook book.
She says it did not last, she should have known.

Another friend CC said: Jr. High…a kid named AB was crushing on me…gave me these big red heart earrings…and then proceeded to tell me they were some his mom was getting rid of…not cool! Good thing I wasn’t crushing back!

My sister had a single dad {a few schools back} give her some stinky perfume from the child who spilled the beans telling her his daddy thought she was pretty. Yuck!

Another teacher friend told me about her best teaching Valentines Day – A student & her choir friends serenading her during a 6th period class.

There was a boy in my high school who was a few years older who had a crush on me, he was a nice kid but I was without a doubt not interested, he gave me a dirty stuffed animal, some yucky candy and some love letters.  I am afraid I was quite cruel to him.  I was embarrassed and when I get embarrassed I get quite ugly.  I am happy to report I just FB stalked him, he is married with 2 children.  So obviously he recovered, I am sure he has completely forgotten me.

The funniest married valentine story I have to share is the year I wanted a new oven.  I did some research, I knew some of the things I wanted.  My sister came to babysit we went out for dinner then to Sears to check out the ovens there, with the plan to go over to circuit city to check out the deals they had to offer there.  {I should tell you that Keith is amazing, he can deal quite fairly and kindly with parents, he makes business calls all day, works with contractors for the school, and is generally likable.  But he detests making deals and dealing with store sales people.  That is my job.  He walks away once the negotiations begin and as the deal is sealed he shows up again.  Perfect timing.}  We were in Sears, our conversation with the store sales man was not what I expected it to be.  We were warmly greeted, after expressing interest in a new oven he was practically rubbing his hands together in an easy sale.  We looked for a bit I asked about the sales, for the best deal, off went Keith to parts unknown, {probably to the hardware department.} I began asking questions, they were offering a free range hood to go with our oven purchase.  I looked and compared, in the course of our conversation I must have mentioned that this was a Valentine gift.  He stopped in his tracks and said I did not want an oven for valentine’s day, I really wanted something Gold.  I replied back, not much of a jewelry person but I do love to cook, and bake, so I really was not interested in anything but the oven.  He looked skeptical.  Every time I asked a question about the price, getting it lower he would question me about the choice for an oven compared to something that sparkles.  After looking and getting a price written down on his business card we left, telling him we were going over to circuit city to see what they had to offer.  I was ticked that he was belittling my desire for a new oven, we were remodeling out kitchen and really needed a new oven.  Over at circuit city they had a better oven, a better deal and with the matching that they offered we got our free range hood to match our oven.  They guy there never gave a second question to the fact that this was a Valentine gift.  He did not share his opinion and he gave us a great deal.  I do not know if the sales man at Sears lasted very long, but number 2 rule in sales is give the customer what they want.

I made Valentines last night with O’s help and E’s company.  We took paper hearts and wrote on them,  U R “write” 4 ME and punched 2 holes in the heart, O threaded a pencil through the holes.  Cute, a “thing” valentine and yet no unnecessary candy.  We just got rid of our Halloween candy, still have the boxes J won at the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket contest, and still have Christmas Candy and Birthday Candy.  We are just not candy people.  I need to send a bag in with Keith for his office again.

What about you did you make or purchase your valentines?  Any big plans for tonight?  We’re having yummy soup and I think I am going to try a S’more brownie for dessert.  We went out for dinner on Wednesday, we prefer to go out day before or day after so we don’t have people watching us eat waiting to sit at our table.  It was a lovely quiet dinner and a compromised restaurant.  I wanted Abuleo’s and he wanted ANYPLACE but Abuelo’s.

Happy Valentines day.
Go hug your kids, and put little hearts on every note you write today.
jen

A Paint Pot and Unplanned Fun.

Last weekend E was invited to a birthday party.  I don’t know about your town, but “activity parties” are becoming the popular thing around here.  ????????????????I’ d like to say I was ahead of the game for O’s 10th birthday we had her friends over for a few hours, they played the wii, and jumped on the trampoline.????????????????They decorated cookies.
All the while my s~i~l and I took pictures like crazy.  As soon as the girls sat down to eat she ran to the local Walgreens to printed out the pictures so the girls could “scrap-book.”  I bought little scrap accordion books that Creative Memories was selling that year.  They were designed to be mailed.  Perfect for the wiggly, giggly, girls who were prone to bouts of hysteria and all hyped up on too much frosting and sprinkles to work.  I spread out some CM paper and stickers, they had fun with the books, they took home a memory and more sugared cookies.  Just recently I found O’s book it was sweet to go back and look through, they were all so little.
O’s theme party was small-scale, it was at home on a Saturday morning, only 2 adults manned the party, maybe 3 I can’t remember if my sister was there or not.????????????????{Yup she was there, pay no attention to the massive color explosion behind them, we had a house full of preschoolers.}

Now the theme party that is popular down here is a paint your own canvas painting class at an art studio.  E has been to 2 different ones.  She has painted a monarch butterfly and a heart growing out of a garden.  All the artists paint the same picture they are taught the layers and shown how to go about painting.  It is cute to see the little kids proud of their painting and how similar but unique they look.  {Kind of like all of us, we have similarities, we are all human, but our make up, or our personalities make us different from other people.  Same heart garden totally different take on the picture.}
I keep a Thirty~One Utility tote filled with random gift things, for birthday parties I forget about, I just pick up things on a great deal and put in the bag.  I pulled down the bag it was a pitiful collection of random things, there have been quite a few parties lately.  There was a pot of paint set in there but no art paper or doodle book to include with the paints, I set that on Keith’s dresser and kept digging through the bag.  Nothing.  I am ashamed to admit I re~gifted one of E’s birthday present.  One that she was excited about, one that she had asked the day before to do, and then I had to tell her.  I promised that this week when I go out I will get her another set.

The party was 2 weeks ago, this week A spotted that paint pot set I left on Keith’s dresser, {yup still sitting there from 2 weeks ago}  she has asked every day to paint.  Yesterday afternoon I sat down between errands and let her paint.  Baby Girl had a great time, she wanted to be sure I took lots of pictures, she kept telling me, “take my picture momma” so I did.DSCN2443The water is “lucky” and brown.DSCN2438She has the concentration tongue that I got from my mom.DSCN2446My 4th lefty in the family painting and talking with me.DSCN2445Isn’t she just the cutest thing?
She painted for about 30 minutes before she was tired of painting and wanted to go find O, who was home not feeling well.  But seems to be feeling better today.

Now I have learned about a terrible stomach bug going around, and if you have been reading for long you know how we attract the stomach bug!  I’m a little fearful and have spent the day doing laundry and trying to give the house a good bleach job so we can avoid that.  It has lasted up to 10 days with serious weight loss, while I would LOVE the weight loss I just do not want to spend the next 10 days throwing up.  I especially do not want to spend the next month with a family with the stomach bug.

Go hug your kids, they need your love
jen