Monday, March 30, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!


Good News!
It's working!
No, wait, that's GREAT news.
Remember 8 days ago when I told you all about the Feingold website and how dangerous artificial food colors and flavors and preservatives are?
I know you all thought I was crazy.
Come on, admit it.
You thought, "Ya, ya, that's all a bunch of hooey and there is nothing to that silly theory."
After all, how can food be the cause of such a long list of horrible things?
I know what you were thinking, you don't have to lie to me.
But guess what?
It's working!
We have been 100% natural for almost 2 weeks now.
And the results are astounding.
I am seeing changes that I did not expect to see.
I only wanted to help Doodle stop wetting the bed every single night.
I knew it might be a stab in the dark, but we were both willing to try.
It took a few days to start working, but to date Doodle has been dry 5 of the last 6 nights.
*Knock on wood*
That is huge for her.
That has never happened. Her record so far was 2 nights, when we would start some incentive program. Then after 2 nights she was back to her bed wetting ways and was sad and confused as to why she could not stop.
She hated dealing with the mess every morning.
I hated seeing her so defeated.
And now this!
She loves it. She loves our new eating habits. We love finding new ways to prepare our favorite foods. I have so many recipes I want to share, but so little time.
Other changes have also been very noticeable.
She has been 150% kinder to her brothers, she works harder and reads more and is more focused during school time, she has a totally new and improved attitude. When I ask her to do something, she does it, usually with a smile. There is no more stomp of the foot and storming out of the room.
She used to get lots of headaches, but those have also dramatically reduced.
It is almost like we have a whole new daughter.
She told me just today how much she loves waking up dry and that she does not want to eat the other way anymore if it means she will go back to wetting.
In fact at church on Sunday her primary teacher gave her a huge goodie bag for her birthday this week that was filled with 'fake' food.
As soon as we got home from church she gave it to me after taking out the non food items and she did not want to eat those things.
She has not even asked about them since.
When we went to Sam's Club this afternoon she did not want to eat any of the samples because she was afraid they might not be good for her.
I am so proud of the choices she is making.
I am also so glad she is seeing results.
We have seen a whole lot less of this...

And a whole lot more of this...

Now there's the Doodle we know and love.

Coincidence?

I think not!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Birthday Boy

Please excuse my nostalgia for a moment.
My little boy is 4.
Do you realize the power behind that statement?
He is 4.
Did you hear me, 4.
How can that be?
Not only that, he's my 3rd child to turn that ripe old age.
He is turning into such a big boy.
He loves to play with his brothers, oh and his sister... if he has to.
He goes potty all by himself.
He says the pledge of allegiance with us every day for school.
He loves story time on the couch.
He loves monster trucks almost as much as his big brother.
He loves to bring things from his room for show and tell.
He is the best snuggler I have.
He has really started to love primary, especially his teacher.
Speaking of his teacher, she is the best Sunbeam teacher ever!
She always does the best lessons and she genuinely loves her students, you can just tell by the way she talks to them and smiles at them and looks at them right in their eyes.
On Dubs' birthday she showed up at our door around 2 o'clock with a present and a card for Dubs. He was so thrilled to see her. She gave him a big old hug and stayed for a while so he could open her gift. She had talked to him the Sunday before and he told her that he was going to have a monster truck cake. She could tell how much that little boy loves monster trucks.
So guess what she gave him.
A monster truck, of course. He was so thrilled that she would come over and give him a gift, and one she knew he would love.
It was not a huge deal, but it really touched my heart.
I loved seeing her interact with him, she was just so happy to see the look on his face when he opened his truck.
I really wonder if Dubs would love primary as much as he does if it were not for her.
And now for the cake.
Look familiar?
Ya, it looks just like the one Beano had for his birthday in September.
The only difference?
This one is 100% natural.
No artificial colors or flavors or preservatives.
Every inch of it was homemade.
I even made the graham crackers.
Impressed yet?
Get a load of this.
I dyed the coconut green with 100% natural food coloring.
It's called blended up spinach juice.
Sounds gross, I know, but once we put it on all that sugar you could not tell in the slightest that there was even the hint of a veggie anywhere near that cake.
It turned out so tasty and good.


Our silly Dead Aunt Lisa came over and gave Dubs his favorite gift of all.
A 3 pound bag of apples.
She also gave him a big semi truck to play with, but as you can see he loved the apples most.
While everyone way busy eating cake he happily sat and ate an apple. When that was gone he did eat cake, but then ate 2 more apples. Between the 3 big kids they ate the all but 2 of those apples before bed time.
Does Lisa know my kids, or what?
And last but not least, here is a fun video of what I like to call
the candle conundrum.





video

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What to Feed Baby Cakes


With this whole new diet I've bee experimenting with I think I forgot to mention that we found out that Baby Cakes is allergic to dairy and wheat.
Ya, that makes it even more complicated around here.
At least we may have finally found the reason he has gained less than a pound in the last 7 months.
So what do you feed a baby that is dairy and wheat free with no artificial color or preservatives?
I have the answer and it is so much easier than I ever imagined.
I could go out and buy rice milk, but what is the fun in that?
Actually, Doodle is also allergic to dairy and we do have a case of rice milk we use.
But a few days ago we found something super yummy to use as a dairy replacement.
It is creamier and has more fat and protein, which are huge pluses for a skinny baby.
What is this wonder drink, you ask.
Almond Milk, of course.
And the best part is you can make your own and it's super easy. Here's how.

Almond Milk

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
1 small handful chopped dates (optional)


DIRECTIONS

1. Soak almonds in a shallow dish overnight.

2. Pour off excess water and put in the blender with 3 cups fresh water and the dates.

3. Blend on high about 2 minutes.

4. Strain liquid from almond pulp by pouring through a cheese cloth. Be sure to hold cheese cloth over a large bowl to catch the almond milk. Squeeze cloth to get all the liquid. The pulp will remain in the cheese cloth.

5. Enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers. Use with in a week.


Now, what to do with the left over almond pulp? What ever you do, don't throw it away!
Here is a tasty recipe for Baby's favorite bread as of late.

Almond Rice Bread with Poppy Seeds

INGREDIENTS
1½ cup Brown rice flour
4 teaspoons Baking powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons Poppy seeds
½ cup Water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil

Left over almond pulp from almond milk or 1/2 cup whole raw almonds.


DIRECTIONS

1. If you are using whole raw almonds, place almonds and 1/2 cup of the flour in bowl of a food processor and grind until a fine meal is formed, the flour will prevent the nuts from turning oily.

2. Add remaining rice flour, the baking powder, salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the poppy seeds; process briefly. Combine water, eggs and oil in a 2-cup measuring cup. Whisk to combine. With processor motor running, pour liquid ingredients through feed tube over flour mixture, processing just long enough to mix.

3. Transfer batter to lightly greased bread pan. Sprinkle with remaining poppy seeds, and bake for at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool.


1. If using almond pulp combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the water, eggs, vegetable oil and almond pulp. Whisk all ingredients to combine.

3.Transfer batter to lightly greased bread pan. Sprinkle with remaining poppy seeds, and bake for at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool.


This rice bread is so yummy we can hardly keep our hand off of it. We try really hard to save it for baby so he can eat it for lunch.

More great recipes coming soon. This is so much fun!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Here it is, the enchilada recipe to beat all other enchilada recipes.
I found this recipe a few weeks ago, before we decided to go cold turkey off artificial stuff in our food.
I was saddened to see that our favorite enchilada sauce is poisonous.
I though, "Oh no, I will never enjoy the best enchiladas on earth ever again."
*sad, cry*
Then I got to thinking, it really can't be that hard to make homemade enchilada sauce, after all people have been making this Mexican classic far longer than Old El Paso has been mass producing their yummy, but deadly sauce. After a few clicks on the ever amazing world wide web I found a recipe to make home made enchilada sauce mix.
You mix several spices in a baggie and there you have it, ready for use whenever you feel the enchilada hankering.
I almost fainted when I found out how easy it was.
So here is to recipe for the sauce mix, no MSG added, I promise!
Enchilada Sauce Mix
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 c. cornstarch
1(6 oz.) pkg. dry chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tbsp. paprika
DIRECTIONS:
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
To make sauce, combine one 8 oz can tomato sauce plus one can of water and 1Tablespoon seasoning mix. Heat in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer about 5 minutes.



And now for the best part, the tastiest enchiladas you have ever eaten, or your money back!
Honey Lime Enchiladas
INGREDIENTS:
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb ground pork
12 corn tortillas
1 cups of Mozzarella cheese , shredded
1 batch of enchilada sauce (see above)
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
In a sauce pan saute onion until it is soft. Add pork and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat.
While the pork is cooking combine the honey, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the cilantro in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Pour this mixture over the meat and let sit while you warm the tortillas on a griddle.
You must warm the corn tortilla first so they don't crack when you roll them up. When tortillas are warmed fill each with meat mixture and place them seam side down in a baking dish.
Once all tortillas are filled pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
Garnish with remaining 1/2 Tablespoon cilantro.
These are really good served with fresh tomatoes and diced avocado and a fresh salad.

You can make these with chicken instead of pork and they are still fabulous. This time I used 1/2 the pork and I threw in some left over rice and black beans we had in the fridge and they were still so, so good. I imagine you could use only rice and beans for a vegetarian dish, though I've never tired it.
As you can see this was a huge hit at our house, there was barely a crumb left.
If the pan was not so hot they might have licked it clean.
And the best part?
It was not toxic waste!
To see what others are chatting about this fabulous Tuesday, visit The Lazy Organizer!



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Into the Darkness


How do I start this post?Do I just lay it all out on the line with no apologies?
Do I tip toe around the issue and hope you get the point by the end?
Nope, I think I'll just jump right in.
You all know I'm a bit crazy anyway, and I'm sure after this post you'll think I've gone around the corner to the loony bin.
All that aside, I can't keep my mouth shut.
This is too important to just hope you understand what I'm saying.
So here it is.

I have been poising my children, and likely, so have you.

I have found out the truth about artificial food coloring and preservatives.
And once you know the truth, it's really hard to not live by it.
Do you want to know the truth too?
If not, stop reading this now, cuz here it is, the totally unabashed truth about food color and artificial preservatives, no apologies.
And it's not pretty.
I am still new to this, but already I see how bad this stuff is. Here are a few things I have read on the Internet, some things are even right on the FDA website.
"Those pretty colors that make the fruit punch red, the gelatin green and the oatmeal blue are made from petroleum (crude oil) which is also the source for gasoline."
And what about artificial preservatives?
Here is a quote from http://www.feingold.org/

"They are combinations of many chemicals, both natural and synthetic. An artificial flavoring may be composed of hundreds of separate chemicals, and there is no restriction on what a company can use to flavor food."
Here are some scary words being associated with all this artificialness,
Neuro toxins
ADD
ADHD
Autism
Dyslexia
Headaches
Irritability
Bed Wetting
Ear Infections
Hives
Learning Disorders
Asthma
Eczema
OCD
Bi Polar Disorder
Sadly, the list goes on and on.
What happens is that some people, especially children, are super sensitive to these toxins and they end up being stored in their brains. The result is undesirable behaviors such as bed wetting, ADD, Autism, etc.
In our society, too often when these symptom occur we don't realize what the cause is. Our doctors tell us we can manage the behavior with medication and we trust them.

After all, they are the experts.

Now, I am not a doctor and don't presume to say that every case of autism and ADD is caused by artificial food additives, but can it be sheer coincidence that the occurrences of these childhood disorders are growing exponentially as are the amounts of these items in the American diet?
I think not.
Here is a chart of how drastically our diet has changed in the last 60 years, again, from the feingold website.
What the child growing up in the U.S. in the 1940's got:
What the child growing up in the U.S. today gets:
White toothpaste
Multi-colored toothpaste, perhaps with sparkles
Oatmeal
Sea Treasures Instant Oatmeal (turns milk blue)
Corn flakes
Fruity Pebbles
Toast & butter, jam
Pop Tarts
Cocoa made with natural ingredients
Cocoa made with artificial flavoring, & some with dyes.
Whipped cream
Cool Whip
No vitamins (or perhaps cod liver oil)
Flintstone vitamins with coloring & flavoring
White powder or bad-tasting liquid medicine
Bright pink, bubble-gum flavored chewable or liquid medicine
Sample school lunch:Meat loaf, freshly made mashed potatoes, vegetable. Milk, cupcake made from scratch.
Sample school lunch: Highly processed foods loaded with synthetic additives, no vegetable. Chocolate milk with artificial flavor.
Sample school beverage: Water from the drinking fountain
Sample school beverage: Soft drink with artificial color, flavor, caffeine, aspartame, etc.
Candy in the classroom a few times a year at class parties.
Candy (with synthetic additives) given frequently.
So how is it that the FDA can allow all this poisonous stuff in our food, the food we feed our babies?
Here is the scariest part, and it's right on the FDA website for the whole world to see.
Manufacturers pay the FDA per pound of artificial crap they put in our food.
The bottom line, they are being paid to allow this crap in our food supply.
I do not apologize for my strong language, this really gets to me and makes me angry.
The manufacturers want to use this crap because it is cheaper than natural, healthy preservatives and coloring.
I could go on and on about this. The scary part is that these items are in practically EVERYTHING we consume.
Take one random item out of your pantry and read the label.
If that item was OK, take another.
I bet you can not look at 3 different items in your pantry and not find artificial something in at least one of them.
Scary, huh?
We are poisoning our children, and ourselves.
The good news?
The buck stops here.
I will no longer buy or consume foods with these ingredients in them.
I will not!
My kids will not eat them anymore.
If this means I need to make our food from scratch, so be it.
If this means we make a huge shift in the way our family eats, so be it.
If this means I spend 5 hours a day cooking instead of 2, so be it.
If this means saying goodbye to our favorite treats, so be it.
If this means we dye our Easter eggs this year with spinach and raspberries and blueberries, so be it.
If this means feeling better and having my 7 year old child stop wetting her bed every night, bring it on!
I am so ready for this.
I am excited to try new foods and to feel better.
I am excited to be healthy.
I am excited!
The best news?
Feingold has done tons of research on items sold in the US and they have a list that is pages and pages long of many foods maufactured in the US and Cananda and which ones are considered "safe" and which are not.
Surprisingly, there are some safe manufactured foods.
They key is to know the difference. Knowledge is power.
You have to visit http://www.feingold.org/ and read more about this. Read some of the studies done on lab rats and mice and find out which items they compare to alcohol and tobacco.
Sadly, these items are found in many of the foods we give our smallest children.
It really breaks my heart.
As parents we try everything we can to nurture and protect our babies.
How can we let these things be given to them without knowing?
We can't!
So who's with me?
In the next few weeks, and maybe forever, I will be posting yummy recipes I have found using no artificial anything. We have 2 birthdays coming up in the next 2 weeks. I'll show my ideas on how to still make cute cakes using blueberries and raspberries to make our homemade cakes look and taste just as fancy as ever!
Wish me luck, I'm entering uncharted territory!



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ahhh, The Good Old Days

When was the last time you saw one of these babies?
Would your kids even know what it was if they saw it?
Mine do.
Mr Bird has been sort of obsessed with them for the last 2 years.
He has been looking for a decent used one at local thrift stores for longer than I can remember.
He never did find one worth buying.
Then, when all hope was fading, one of his favorite geek sites had this cool one that hooks up to the computer/stereo system on sale for $50.
He snatched that thing up so fast I hardly had time to blink.
Needless to say we've been having fun with vinyl at our house. Mr Bird has been to every thrift store in a 35 mile radius of our house to clean them out of records.
He has found Jazz, Latin, Disney, other kid music and even some salsa and fox trot music.
You know, the good stuff.
The stuff from way back when.
Way back when they did not have swearing in otherwise good songs.
The best part?
He gets whole albums for 25 cents.
SCORE!
We have enough records to last well into next year without any repeats.
We love it when Daddy come home and puts on a record and we all dance like crazy people around the living room.
I know, I know, we're just a touch crazy, that's all.
More on that next week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Cookie Monster


I have a problem.

It's called I have no self control when cookies are around.

Even if it's a variety I don't particularly like I'll eat most of the package all by myself.

Girl Scout cookies?

Heaven help me. I have not bought any for years because I have no self controll. I can eat an entire pack of Thin Mints in t-minus 60 seconds.

No Joke

I can't stop. I eat until I'm sick or the package is gone, which ever comes first.

In an effort to tide this bad habit I decided a few weeks ago that I would no longer buy cookies.

That's it, I was done, no more, sianara.

The only problem with that plan was it left my sweet tooth unquenched.

And that is bad.

So instead of eating cookies I made chocolate cup cakes one day last week, then I made a chocolate cake for book group, not to mention the countless handfuls of chocolate chips I stole from the freezer every day.

And guess what I did today? I made the best cookies I have ever eaten.

Maybe I enjoyed them so much simply because I had not had a cookie in so long, but what ever the reason these babies were killer, I just knew you all would want to try them too.

And the best part is they were made with whole grain flour, rolled oats and no artificial flavors or preservatives. I know you want the recipe.

Well OK, since you asked so nicely.


White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


Cream first 4 ingredients with electric mixer until well incorporated. Sift dry ingredients together and mix with wet ingredients with mixer until fully incorporated.

Add oats, cranberries, white chocolate and coconut. Mix well.

Drop large spoonfuls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Do not over cook.

Try not to eat all 12 of them at once.

Freeze remaining dough so you will not eat all of it in one day.

If possible find someone to share them with, like little children, they are way too good not to share!

Happy eating!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My, How Time Flies

My 12 year old nephew got married last week.
He's positive he turned 12 ten years ago, but I could have sworn that was just last month.
Where has the time gone?
This has got to be the most tender wedding I've been to thus far aside from my own.
I remember when Bradly was just a big pudgy baby with the biggest blue eyes you've ever seen.

And now just look at him. He is absolutely glowing with his beautiful bride by his side.
*sigh*
He loves her like a man should love a woman, you can see it in his eyes when he looks at her.
Their wedding reminded me so much of my own.
I had the privilege of riding in the van with him and his family on the way to the temple.
It was his mom who also drove me to the very same temple to be sealed to my sweet heart nearly 9 years ago.

As I sat in the sealing room watching this brand new couple promise eternity to each other my thoughts drifted to the day Mr Bird and had done the same. I remembered looking around the room and seeing all of our family and friends. I remembered whispering "yes" as I heard Chrissy whisper it to Brad.


Chrissy is such a cute girl. As she knelt across from Brad her little "yes" was so quiet, yet I felt as if it had echoed through out eternity.
You can just tell these two are so happy together, they are so sure of themselves and of their relationship.




To make their special day more memorable I will share some of the random quotes I heard through out the day.
In the car on the way to the temple:
"You can't take pictures of me because my childhood can not be documented. I will be a
007 agent
when I grow up and there can not be any record of my childhood."
-Bradley's little brother, Jordan



"Bradley, you are drawing your last breaths as a single man!"
-Me

Bradley: Last time I was at the Bountiful temple I was on my knee.
Jordan: Did you really get down on your knee?
Bradley: Ya-Yah! I said, 'Dearest Chrissy, Marry Me!'


"I don't ever remember the light turning blue, actually."
-Bradley's other little brother, Josh

"Hey, try our Sundays, they're better than Baskin Robins"

-On a sign in front of a Baptist church

"Aunt Chrissy got married into a princess."
-Christina's 3 year old nephew, said with wide eyes and awe in his voice as she and Bradly came out of the temple.
Actually he called her Aunt Flo, but at our house Aunt Flo means something else, so we'll just pretend he said Aunt Chrissy.

We heard two of my favorite songs on our way to the temple. Viva La Vida by Coldplay and You're the Inspiration by Chicago. Both very fitting for the day.

One last quote.

On the way to the temple we had to stop at the Jr High to pick up Josh who had gone to school because he had a science test that he did not want to miss. When he got in the car he was visibly upset at having to miss his test.

Bradly said, "Josh, I really appreciate you coming, I need you there for me."

He said it very quietly just for Josh to hear, but I'm nosey and was listening and now I'm blogging it for the whole world to see.

That's the kind of guy Bradley is. He is very caring and not afraid to show you, or tell you, of his love. He is the most kind hearted, just plain good person I know.

He is so good.

He's good to his brothers and sisters.

He's good to his mom and dad.

He's good to his friends.

I can't convey in words the goodness he has, the respect, the love, for everyone in his life.

That Chrissy is one lucky girl.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My So Called Life


Boy, we had a crazy day. Yes, it involved one of these,

seven of these,


Two of these



One of these,





And one employee from here.

Let me start at the beginning. I knew from the moment my alarm sounded at 6:45 that it would be a busy day. We had a lot to do and no time to waste.
I got up, exercised, got breakfast ready, showered, dressed, cleaned up dishes, got the kids dressed, put dinner in the crock pot, made some sandwiches and snacks to bring with us as I knew we would not make it home for a noon time meal and left the house at 10am.


We had a fun morning at the library where we read stories, sang songs, played with bubbles and glued tiny bits of tissue paper onto ourselves.
After the library we headed over to Baby Cake's 15 month check up. It turns out he is still really little. He weighs 18 pounds and 12 ounces, that means he gained 2 ounces in the last three months. That makes his growth line flat, and puts him in the less than 5% of all babies his age. The pediatrician ordered some routine blood tests to see if there is really something wrong, like thyroid, or if he's just a small boy. We'll get those results some time next week.
After the doctors appointment the kids had a primary activity at church. I pulled up to the chapel and and sent the kids in. I had a small thought that maybe I should stay and be an extra set of hands in case they needed back up.
Then all the kazillion things I could get done with just one kid instead of 4 came to my mind and I made a bee line for the nearest farm supply store, where I bought 7 of the cutest, fluffiest baby chicks I have ever seen. I only went to get feed for our existing 13 hens, but as soon as I opened the door I heard them. I heard the cutest little chirps coming from the cages in the middle of the store and I knew they had gotten the first batch of spring chickens.
I could not help myself.
Since Mr Bird won't let me have another baby, I took out my mothering instinct on a box full of baby birds. And they are the cutest things you've ever seen. Don't worry, we will not have 20 birds for long, we have several hens that are no longer laying and so they will make their way into the crock pot soon enough!
So back to the church I drove with my SUV all a chirp with baby birds. As I enter the cultural hall to gather my own flock I was greeted by the primary president. She very gracefully came over to me and says, "I need to tell you what happened during the activity."
That is never a good thing to hear.
My first thought was who did Dubs hit?
She goes on to tell me that during the course of the activity Dubs came up missing. After a quick and thorough search of the church it was discovered that he was not there.
Panic bells were going off in my head as she is telling me this.
The search grew to out doors, where my nearly 4 year old son was found wondering toward our home, which by the way is not on the safest of roads.
Luckily some people in the neighborhood saw him and somehow a police officer was there with the crowd of strangers who had gathered to watch after my small lost boy.
When the primary presidency counselor tried to take Dubs back to the church he said,
"But how will I get home?"
She replied, "Your mom will come back and get you."
"Oh, OK!" was his reply.
I should have listened to that voice that told me to stay and be an extra set of hands.
We finally made it home around 3:45pm with a car loaded with 200 pounds of animal feed, some groceries, 4 tired kids, and 7 new baby chicks. I was ready to go into the nice warm house filled with the aroma of slow cooked soup just waiting to be tasted and salted and stirred.
Guess what I found instead?
I found 2 carbon monoxide alarms blaring, one upstairs and one down stairs.
It's funny how when things like this happen I panic and can't for the life of me think like a sane human being. I could not figure out what to do. I knew I should keep everyone out of the house. Good thing it was in the 40's today, or we could have frozen to death. It did not occur to me to go straight to the source and call the gas company. Instead I freaked out and called 911. They sent yet another police officer, who assured me he was not the officer that had found my lost child less than an hour before. Along with him came a real live fire truck. The fire men made sure none of us were sick and took some gadget into the house to test the air. They came back and assured us they did find gas and to stay out of the house until the gas company could come and find the source of the gas.
Long story short, nothing is wrong with our house, there is no leak. The gas company thinks it was from me running the car in the garage before we left and the fumes got stuck in the garage when I shut the garage door and leached into the house during the course of the day.
By the time it was all sorted out it was nearly 5:30 and I have never been so glad to have dinner in the crock pot. I threw some frozen rolls in the oven and we sat down to a very nice, warm dinner.
So while it was a crazy day like no other, I am more than thankful to be safe in a nice warm home with my kids.
The only thing that would make it better was if Mr Bird were not hundreds of miles away in southern California walking on the beach all in the name of 'work' without me.
*sigh*
Why do these things always happen when he's away?
I miss my lover.
*sad, cry*


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

St Patrick's Day is upon us. That means temporary green decorations.
I don't want to spend a lot of time on these little holidays, but then again I don't want them to pass unnoticed either. So here is what we are doing at our home.
After Valentine's Day I found a bag of all green M&M's on clearance. I also found a bag of red and silver kisses on clearance. I picked out all the red ones and used the silver for my candy dish.
Guess what we did with the rest?
We made these cute decadent clover treats.
Can I just say chocolate covered pretzels are awesome!
Here's what we did.First we covered a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Then we covered the cookie sheet with a single layer of pretzels and put a Hershey's kiss on each and every pretzel. Then we put them in the oven at 200 degrees until they were all warm and melty and oh so delish.

Then we took them out of the oven and put 3 green M&M's on each kiss. We put them in the fridge until the chocolate set back up. Then we added a line of green frosting to make the stem. The frosting was greener in real life, it looks really light in the picture.
They turned out so cute and ended up being a quick and fun treat for family night.


See how fun they are. Even the backs of them are so cute.
The only problem?
They did not last very long.
But alas, what is a girl without her one true love?
Um, er, that is, her *cough* chocolate.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kid Quotes # 3,524

The following was overheard as the kids were playing good guy, bad guy. They play these make believe games way more than they play with any toys we have ever bought them, go figure.
Beano: This guy was a way bad guy.
Doodle: Ya, he was the baddest bad guy cuz he drinks red Coka-Cola!
Not red Coka-Cola, OOO, I'm shaking!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who Cut the Cheese

I'm sorry, I could not help it.
It was either that or Cheeze Whiz or
Nacho Cheese or, heaven forbid,
Swiss is the holiest cheese.
I know, they're all lame, but what do you expect?
I'm stuck with the same 4 little people day in and day out with little to no adult interaction. My brain is turning to mush.
But enough about me, back to the cheese!
Last week we went on a tour of a local cheese factory.
I learned way too much about cheese.
Now I need to buy some whole milk and make some at home, I feel the itch.
That particular cheese that the owner of the factory is showing us has been aging for 3 years!
It's as old as Dubs!
He said the mold on it is fine, as long as it's not black mold you can just cut it off and the cheese under it is totally tasty.

And you know what? I believe him. Three of his different varieties of cheese won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the nation last year. He rubs all kinds of things on the cheese to make them have different flavors. He sells most of his cheese at the health food stores, a local grocery store and to lots of restaurants in Salt Lake City.

He does not add any artificial color or flavor to his cheese so even the cheddar is the same creamy color as all the other cheese, not bright yellow like the ones in the store.

The best part of the tour, you ask?

The sample of course!

My kids like the cheese curds best. They were really fresh so they were really squeaky. Did you know the older cheese curds are the less they squeak? That's because all the cultures in the cheese break down the amino acids with time and those unbroken down amino acids are what make the cheese squeak.

Or something like that.

I don't remember the name of my favorite, but I do remember it had Cajun spices all over it and it cost $16/pound.
Ouch!
The 3 year old Parmesan was amazing too.

We had to bring home some cheese curd for Mr Bird to try.
We bought regular and Cajun.
At $10 a pound it seemed like a bargain.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham, anyone?
As soon as the kids found out that today was Dr. Seuss's birthday they insisted we have our traditional Dr. Seuss birthday meal (yes, we celebrate his birth every year).
Green eggs and ham, or course!
What else?
How did I get the eggs so green, you ask.
That is no food coloring, baby.
First I sauteed a green pepper, while that was cooking I put the eggs in the blinder with some fresh spinach. Then I poured them in the pan and scrambled them with the pepper.
The best part? The whole meal cost around $3, for all six of us. Can't beat that!
Are those not the most hideously green eggs you've ever seen?
It was almost too frightening to eat.
But he just had to try them. We had to!
"I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I Am!"
"Try them and you may, try them and you may, I say."
"Say, I do like Green Eggs and Ham, I do like them, Sam I Am!"
After dinner, for FHE we read one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books,
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

In the story there is a boy with a very ordinary hat with a feather in it. One day he is on his way to town to sell some cranberries when the king passes.
There is a huge procession and everyone bows to the king.


As the king passes Bartholomew he suddenly stops the procession and backs up right
to Bartholomew.
He is stunned to see that Bartholomew has not removed his hat for his Highness.
Bartholomew is baffled as he tries to reason how he had taken off his hat, yet mysteriously another had appeared on his head.

Throughout the story Bartholomew ends up taking off 500 hats.
I will not tell you how it ends, you'll have to find that out for yourself, if you don't already know.
I will tell you that during the story one of the things they did to try to get the hat off Bartholomew's head was to have an archer shoot it right off his head with a bow and arrow.


Since we do not have a bow and arrow we decided to try using a toy gun with a suction cup shooter to try to shoot our newspaper hat off of each other's heads.
We had to see if our aim was as good as a professional archer.


As you can see, Doodle is pretty good. Ya, I know, she's only 6 inches away from the hat, but still!

I think Mr Bird was a little nervous about the kids aiming a gun at his head, but he was a good sport.


What a fun night we had! We love Dr. Seuss!
What a funny, funny man.