What if you fly?

fly

A lot of people that I know have been trying to find a “word of the year.” I have been thinking this is a great idea! But what do I want that to look like for me and my family. How can I turn that into something that I can make concrete enough for my literal brain yet creative enough to inspire my other side too? I finally came up with the word FLY. Inspired by the Erin Hansen quote “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?”

Something that has always held me back is my fear of failing. I rarely, willing, will try something I am afraid I won’t be able to do. I don’t have to do it perfectly the first time I am not that timid, but to utterly fail at something…well I simply do not deal with that very well. As a matter of fact failing will usually put me in such a tail spin of depression it will take awhile to crawl out. I know in my head this is silly. I mean come on, sometimes failing can be fun, failing teaches you lessons, everyone fails.  I know all of this, but there is this deep down fear.

So this is the year I am going to work on it. This is the year I will push barriers, try scary new things. Maybe just maybe, I will fly.

Daddy’s Bread

When I was growing up my Dad occasionally made homemade bread. It always smelled so good and that first warm slice was incredible. 

After Rebel couldn’t have sugar anymore bread was an area we had to deal with. All store bought bread, that I could find, has sugar. I did figure out the really cheap bread usually only contains enough sugar to activate the yeast, but do we really want to eat that “cotton candy” bread?  No, not really! 

I have tried lots of bread recipes, and have really liked most of them. My only issue has been most of the recipes only make 2 loaves and sometimes doubling (or tripling) works, sometimes not. I prefer to only bake bread once a week, so with school lunches and toast that is about a loaf a day. Homemade loaves are smaller than store bought too. 

That is why I have been using Daddy’s recipe. It makes 6 loaves and is really easy! I do substitute the sugar for dectrose. He clipped the recipe from a newspaper decades ago. I have no idea from what newspaper or who created the recipe. I would love to learn the history of it though. 

  
  

  
It makes a great sandwich bread and rolls as well. Although it is easier to slice the next day and the rolls are best right after baking. 

Happy baking!!

Amy

A month of breakfast 

Around here mornings can be crazy! We have 3 different schedules and Monkey comes at different times depending on Brit’s school schedule. Anything I can do to make it easier and save time is great! Did I mention I am not a great morning person, so that doesn’t help either. Making ahead breakfast burritos and pancake poppers, freezing them and having them ready makes it so much easier! 

  
The breakfast burritos I make are very basic so everyone will eat them (some of us add hot sauce after hearing.) I just brown some ground sausage, add scrambled eggs and some shredded cheese then wrap in a tortilla. I wrap the tortilla in plastic wrap and store in the bag from the tortilla in the freezer. In the morning I grab one out unwrap and microwave for about 90 seconds. Nice yummy protein filled breakfast before school or work!

  
I have no idea what other people call them but we dubbed the pancake poppers. Basically they are a pancake muffin with sausage in the middle. I have a great pancake mix recipe that I found at Cook Eat Share, we substitute dectrose for the sugar. I made a huge double batch of the mix, then sprayed my muffin tins, scooped 2 oz of batter in each cup using my cookie scoop, then added half a sausage link ( pre-cooked) to each cup pressing down slightly. Bake at 350 till tops are golden and dough it cooked through, about 10-15 mins usually. I ended up with almost 75 poppers. I store them in gallon size freezer bags and pull out the number needed. Again just heat in microwave for about a minute. Not as much protein as the burritos, but it stops them from wanting syrup before school which we don’t allow and is quick and portable. 

Hope this gives you some ideas to make your mornings easier!

Amy

Toddler Farm Unit

Now that it is just Monkey and I again I have been putting more focus on his tot school. We are currently working through a farm unit, focusing on farm znals mostly. I printed out the Old McDonald’s Farm flannel board set and clank can from Makinglearngfun.com I printed them out in color this time just to check it out, but I personally like the black and white print out better and color it myself.  I laminated them then used a hot glue gun to add felt to the back.  

 
We have done some really cute art projects too. The first one is a handprint sheep. I traced Monkey’s hand on construction paper. Then added glue to the area where he needed to added cotton balls. I think it turned out pretty cute.  He like putting the cotton balls on so much I put glue on the scrap paper and let him go to town.

  
Another art project we did was muddy pigs. I printed out a coloring page of a pig and let him finger paint with brown paint. And in true Monkey style he got himself all “muddy” too. Which worked great since we had just read Mrs. Wishy Washy, hence the muddy pig, so off to the bath tub went a “muddy” Monkey.  

 
The last project we did was to make a Mrs. Wishy Washy file folder game. It is actually a print out from makinglearningfun.com but I laminated the pieces and turned it into a file folder game. Monkey hasn’t played with it yet, he was tired so he is napping. I will put it on the plan for tomorrow.

A couple other ideas I had that we haven’t done yet are farm animals in the sensory tub with something that looks like animal feed, I was thinking wheat berries. I have some shredded yellow paper, like for gift packaging or Easter baskets, I might use that as “hay” instead.

I was inspired by Mrs. Wishy Washy and put some stuffed animals in a laundry basket with a wash cloth so he could wash them. He wasn’t interested today, and that is ok, I will try again a different day. Maybe he will like it then maybe not.

Hope this gives you some fun ideas!

Amy
 

The Very Hungry Cateepillar

Today Monkey and I made a Clank Can for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I found these on Making Learning Fun, and we love them! They have a ton of great ideas for learning games, clank cans, arts and crafts, flannel boards I use them all the time.  I simply print them out, color and laminate, on Making Learning Fun they glue them onto juice cans but I don’t use enough frozen juice to do that and laminating seems to make enough of a clank he is happy with them.  Monkey isn’t ready to re-tell the story with them yet, we mostly talk about pictures, and use it for fine motor skills. I have one for Brown Bear as well to talk about colors. I added small sticker magnets on the back to Brown Bear so we can use them with a dollar store cookie sheet as well. This time I used a small peanuts can so we can decorate the outside, cut a slit in the top and done! On the website she makes one can for each story but I don’t have room for that so we use the same can and I just store the stories ( or we call them games) in baggies, then you can put duct tape on the seam, hole punch it and put it in a binder.

 You can also use a small mouth mason jar with a Parmesan cheese lid. We use the big side for the clank can games and the holes side  for small straws or pipe cleaners.



Again you can store the pipe cleaners in a Baggie and use the jar for lots of things.

Today is a great day to thrive!

Amy

Back to School…. again

Well our big news around here is Princess and I decided it would be better for her to go back to regular school. She started back today. I feel sad to see this chapter end, but at the same time relieved to not have to fight with her everyday to get school done. I love having all my family around me, I would love to home school them all but I know that I am not the best at keeping school consistent either. Some days we do arts and crafts all day, some days we read books and other days we are really focused on getting stuff done. If I could focus solely on schooling them, I could do a really good job, but all the other things in life keep getting in the way. I think this will be good for us, I just pray this time away will make her school experience better, and that we won’t have to deal with the bulling again this time.

With this change I get to focus more time on other projects and tot school for Monkey! Well I need to be off and running! Already this morning I have Bible Study with some girl friends and need to clean up! I don’t know how they can destroy my house so much on a 3 day weekend!

Amy

Taking Baby Steps

Thank you all for your support, it really does mean the world. I post about my depression because if there is someone out there who might stumble across my blog who doesn’t feel like they have the love and support that I do, maybe they will see they aren’t alone. Maybe through my journey they will find some help too. If nothing else maybe they would reach out to me. My depression may affect me harshly for a day or two, but I know I have people to help me and I have learned steps to help myself. I have a system in place where I have people close to me that I tell when I realize I am sinking into the depression. Together we talk about triggers and what will help. Usually in a day or two I feel much better. I wish everyone had as much security as I do, people who don’t judge but understand it is more than just being sad. Thank you again for all those who showed me support. My prayer is if you ever need it, please reach out, I for one promise to listen judgement free!

Amy

Depression Sucks!

I hate when depression hits me. I am going along feeling pretty good than bam I start feeling slower, sleepier, want to be alone more, I start feeling like nothing I do is right. I have no energy to do the things I want to accomplish. My biggest obstacle is that I don’t really want to do anything to make it better, that takes effort, effort is hard, hiding is easier. I have learned over the years, hiding doesn’t make it better, actually makes it worse for me and for my family. My depression affects them too, although part of me wonders if for the first few days they aren’t thinking yay as long as we leave her alone we can pretty much do what we want! Lol. When I get depressed it can be really hard to keep up with all the demands that kids make. I find it hard to make sure homework is completed and practices are done. It is difficult to make dinner, so they usually get the easiest thing I can think of to make, which isn’t always bad. So, I know I have to get up and set things to right, do the things that make me feel better. For me that usually means making sure the house is in rights, doing something fun but that involves other people.

Today so far that means playing a game of Bull’s Eye with Rebel (home from school for a migraine) and Princess. Most people probably have never heard of this game, but it is so much fun! We found it a couple years ago at the Sausage Festival in Vancouver WA. It is made by this family: Doug and Nilda Loriz

Bull's Eye
Rebel helping Princess with a 4 letter word

It is one of our favorite games because you aren’t stuck waiting for everyone else to take a turn, everyone plays at the same time, and it has was to modify the game for different ages to play together and everyone to still play at their own level. For instance, today Rebel and I play by the regular rules but Princess being only 7 plays by the rule she has to follow the dice rule for 3 and 4 letter words but anything above she treats like a bull’s eye. Of course if you have never played the game that makes no sense to you. We also don’t use the timer and help each other make words if we are stuck since I really am using this as an educational game. I also love the fact that not only does it work on spelling, logical thinking and strategy it also has math in there too. The board is set up in the pattern of a hundred’s chart and if your goal is to make it to the next red dot there is a lot of adding and subtracting involved plus algebra not that the kids know that.

Well off to figure out a decent dinner.

Here is to surviving the day!

Amy

Symmetry and Sleep

Princess did the funnest art activity that was actually for math. I have done this activity before with younger kids and yes it was fun and creative, but I guess I thought it was to simple for an older child? Was I ever wrong!  An older child is able to see depth in the project a younger one cannot. Princess was able to understand the concept of symmetry (we were learning about lines of symmetry in math) and manipulate the paint in the ways she desired. The finished products are simply beautiful and we had so much fun talking about we each saw in the pictures.

In this first one we used red and blue, we started with a dot of red, a dot of blue and then a dot of blue with a dot of red on top. We thought that it would combine to make purple, but for some reason it didn’t but did make an interesting effect. I thought this one looked like to Angels dancing, Princess thought it looked like 2 teddy bears cuddling with their feet together.

This was our first one, we both thought it looked like a butterfly, which Princess says was her plan.

Sleep is one of my escapes. I try to keep an eye on my sleep habits because when I start sleeping a lot it can mean I am depressed. Problem being, I also get depressed if I don’t sleep enough, plus I get migraines from it too. So, I feel like sleep can be a tightrope, however I also feel like sometimes I purposely lean a little to far one way thinking I can correct it before I fall. I will start reading a good book and play the just 10 more mins game, sometimes I really can’t fall asleep and reading does help, but sometimes I do get sleepy but am so into the book I don’t want to put it down. Insomnia doesn’t help with the balancing act. There are nights when I try and try to sleep, only to fall asleep 2 hours before I have to get up, Then run on empty all day only to fall in to bed exhausted and still not be able to fall asleep. That has been me lately, I am so tired, I know if I went in and laid down right now I could sleep. But I can’t, I have Monkey to watch and Princess to do school with, I promised Rebel I would make chili and cornbread for dinner, and of course the never ending chores. Plus for some reason I have an urge to make up some new beeswax covered bandannas, they are an alternative to plastic wrap.  If I can get up enough energy to make them I will take pictures and post how to make them. They are super easy and very useful!

Today might be a day where I just survive, but I am hoping to make it one in which I thrive!!

Amy