Monday, December 26, 2011

a birthday cake

Today is a special day for me--it's my nephew's birthday. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I had a big hand is raising him for the first half of his life. I tell everyone he was my first baby.My sister had undiagnosed PPD after he was born,so I kind of stepped in and took alot of the pressure off her during his first months-and that turned into years LOL. I worked nights,so his mom didn't have to put him in daycare-I took care of him. One time,he had to be hospitalized with an eye infection and of course,I took care of him so his mom wouldn't have to miss any work. His dad came up to visit him one afternoon and was taking him down to the snack machine in the waiting area and all the nurses followed him thinking that he was snatching my baby! I still think that was funny. My "little" baby is now 6'4" and is 22 years old today. Last year the cake that they got for his birthday wasn't so good--they found a worm in it! Can we say EWWWWWW!? I can't imagine. YUCK! So this year,his brother asked if I would make him a cake. I baked it last night and decorated it this morning. I thought about playing a prank on him and planting a gummy worm in the middle but I didn't have gummy candy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY,Aaron!!! Like I always tell Zach-no matter how old/big you are,you'll still be my baby. Love ya,Kiddo....

Birthday Cake
3 eggs
1 box of cheesecake pudding mix
1 cup of water
1/4 cup oil
dash of vanilla

**oven at 350*F for about 30-40mins
Mix well and pour into a baking pan--bake until done. Let cake cool completely and decorate.

**I doubled the recipe to make the cake in the above pics.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Dinner...............

I need to make a final grocery shopping list--I hope to be able to say I won't need to step foot in the stores again until after Christmas. I plan on running errands Friday-the husband will be off and I can put him to work helping me with the groceries. Instead of the usual holiday turkey,this year the husband wants to do a ham. I picked that up today. I'm not sure if I'm going to use the glaze that came with it,or see if I can find a recipe online. Last week,I picked up a jar of citrus marmalade and had thought about using that on the ham. I've also been thinking about doing the "dr pepper" ham glaze. As far as the rest of the menu,I'm making more of the same pumpkin cheesecakes I made at Thanksgiving. I found some rolls at the store I want to get. The husband wants sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and marshmallows. We need something GREEN,so it'll either be fancy french green beans or brussel sprouts--OR BOTH! I'm thinking we need something else to round things out,but am not sure what else to make. I thought about making a homemade apple pie,but am not sure if I have the energy.

Cookies-Cookies Everywhere!!!

I had hoped the kiddo would help me make cookies tonight,but his idea of HELPING is tasting after they are done to see if they are good. He watched DOLPHIN TALE while I "slaved" away in the kitchen.I made peanut butter cookies and peppermint sugar cookies--yes,I did use ready made dough,but they still came out nice and got a THUMBS UP from the kiddo.

a little less sugar

Chocolate Bundt Cake

mini loaf snack cake

There are 3 diabetics in our household,so we are always looking for ways to watch our sugar intake. Recently,I was happily surprised to find that certain cake mix brands were coming out with mixes using splenda. I have seen ones before that use Sweet-N-Low,but I'm a little wary of that sweetener.I like baking from scratch,but these come in handy when I'm stretched for time,or just too tired. Tonight,I made a bundt,2 regular size loaves,and several mini loaves using these lower sugar mixes.I plan on stashing most of them in the freezer for when we get the munchies and need just a little bite of something sweet.Basicly,you can add in whatever you wish,even nuts--but here's what I did.


1 chocolate cake mix (low sugar)
1 package sugar free chocolate pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
dash of cinnamon
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

***oven at 350*F
mix all ingredients without over-mixing---pour into prepared pan and bake until done.

Golden Raisin Pound Cake
1 yellow cake mix (low sugar)
1 package sugar free vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 cup water
dash of apple pie spice
1/2 package of golden raisins

****same instructions as above.
****I also make this recipe using regular raisins,dates,or dried cherries or cranberries-whatever I have the taste for.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake

I made several of these in mini loaf pans and handed out to friends and neighbors-it was a big hit.

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup applesauce
2 cups pumpkin
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweet cocoa powder
dash cinnamon
dash allspice
dash pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

***Oven to 350*F
Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray-
In large bowl,beat together the butter,sugar,applesauce and eggs---add in the pumpkin and sour cream---on low speed,mix in the flour,cocoa powder,spices, baking soda and baking powder---Spread evenly in bundt pan and bake for about 60minutes or until toothpick/knife comes out clean.

***Instead of plain sugar--I used a splenda baking blend.....

Applesauce Bundt Cake

I made this one in a bundt pan,but you can certainly use loaf pans.

1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon bakig soda
dash of cinnamon
dash of apple pie spice

***oven at 350*F

in large bowl,mix together the butter,applesauce,eggs and spices----add in the flour and baking soda--pour into pans and bake until done....

Chocolate Chip Cake

I made several of these using mini loaf pans and handed out to family and neighbors.

1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (or less) of oil
3 eggs
dash of allspice
dash of cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
1 cup mini chocolate chips

***Oven at 350* until done
This is basicly a "dump" cake where you kind of put everything into a bowl and mix it together-you can't mess it up.

**I've used mini chocolate chips,dried cranberries,dried cherries,or raisins and each time,this little cake turns out great. Experiment and see what kind you like best.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Going down memory lane......9 years ago......

About 5 days old--I think--this was the first time I got to hold him in the NICU

still in the NICU--probably a few weeks old---every few days the nurses in the NICU would take pics of the babies and add holiday themes and borders to kind of cheer up the moms.....he's wearing a preemie sized onesie and it's still big on him.... 4 1/2 pounds.....

2002--what a year! I had a difficult pregnacy. I had to quit work in the 6th month and put on bedrest. My blood pressure was steadily going up at each dr visit. I went in for a weekly visit on December 3 and my dr sent me over to the hospital. I was in early stages of pre-eclampsia.The plan at that time was that they would take the baby in a few hours. Once I got settled in at the hospital they gave me meds to bring the blood pressure down and another to help the baby's lungs develop-we weren't due till February.But the magnesium worked in bringing down my blood pressure and they decided to wait it out and keep me pregnant as long as they could. We settled into my room-the hubby slept on the hard,lumpy,hospital couch every night. The nurses got a kick out of his snoring. On December 12,after coming in for early afternoon rounds,my dr decided that today would be the day. Hubby had just left to go home to get ready for work,so we had to track him down and I called my sister. They wheeled me into the o/r for an "emergency" c-section. They gave me an epidural,but something went wrong and it didn't work fully,so they had to put me to sleep for the process. Zachary was born at 1:27. He weighed 4 1/2 pounds. Sometime during the procedure,I stopped breathing and they had to intubate me. So,when I woke up,I was in ICU with a tube down my throat.That is a creepy feeling when you wake up and are trying to breathe on your own. I had a great nurse that calmed me down and helped me learn to let the machine do the work. I was in ICU for 2-3 days,I think. Zachary had to be on oxygen for a few days. After I got settled back into the normal hospital room after my stint in ICU,I finally got to see my son. He was so tiny. I wrote some predictions down in my diary and I tried to guess what his weight would be. I weighed a little over 2 pounds when I was born,and the hubby weighed 6 pounds--I kind of figured that our son would be somewhere in the middle of that and believe it or not,I wrote down 4 1/2 pounds. I was in the hospital until December 20th. We had to finish the nursery. It wasn't close to being ready. I think I should have rested more,but that's life. One of my sisters and her husband came over to help us paint the nursery.Her husband was the one who had the great idea of setting us up on a blind date. Sadly,he passed about 3 years ago-I miss BIG JOHN. He used to be an EMT.--and he took one look at me and nagged us all day saying that I should be back in the hospital. My little feet were swollen up to the size of loaves of bread. I was having trouble breathing when I would lay down,but we didn't know what it was. He scared my husband,so he ushered me into the e/r later that afternoon. After alot of tests and lasix drips,they admitted me into the CICU (the cardiac icu)-at first they were saying I was going into heart failure.But it turned out to be lingering affects from the pre-eclampsia and blood pressure related fluid retention. I was so scared to go to sleep that night in the unit. One of the nurses creeped me out and all I could think about was those true crime stories about nurses that kill their patients LOL. I tried to keep my eyes open all night LOL. I was in there for about 3 days and got to go home late on the Christmas Eve. I lost over 30pounds in just fluids.Because I had been on bed rest and in the hospital for so long,I didn't get to do much Christmas shopping. My sister (2nd mom to me--Zachary calls her GRANNY) brought tons of things for us and the baby. Zachary was still in NICU-he was having problems learning to suckle a bottle. We had tried pumping when I was in the hospital after he was born,but I never did get more than a few ounces at a time-and after the 2nd hospital stay they put me on heavy duty meds that wouldn't be good for a baby,so I couldn't breast feed. I found some preemie nipples and he took right to them. I went up to the hospital every day to feed him and hold him. He got to come home on January 5,2003--Exactly one year to the date that we lost our first pregnancy to m/c. Zachary is our miracle baby. He got to come home when he was about 6pounds. He came home on a baby apnea machine because several times in the NICU,he held his breath. Talk about nerve wracking--that machine drove us crazy.We would sit there and watch it blink and watch him thinking "BREATHE-BREATHE" before the alarm goes off LOL. We had a stressful few weeks while he was on that thing. I was so glad when we got to give it back to them. I can't believe it's been 9 years. It feels like it has gone by entirely too fast. Zachary is an inquisitive,challenging,smart,busy little boy. And we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting Ready for a Birthday Party......

I swear-I love my kid but will be soooo glad when he outgrows having to have a big birthday party each year LOL. It is so hard to do during the holidays. And his birthday is right in the middle of them all--Dec 12th. It's hard because down South in the Winter time,you never know what kind of weather you'll get-our forecast (as of today) says it will be chilly,but sunny and it will warm slightly in the afternoon. In years past,we have had ice,snow,tornadoes,rain,warm weather-warm enough to still wear shorts/capris in December warm. It's hard because sometimes,people are busy with other engagements this time of year. It's hard because I have to convince the "anti-social" husband that it'll be OK to have a bunch of people over for a few hours of birthday fun LOL. He tends to stress about everything being PERFECT (meaning the house being clean). Last year,my son had a BOWLING party-it was a big hit. I even asked if he wanted to do that this year-NOPE! LOL And in our town,the activities offered for kids his age is limited. So it's going to be family/friends at our house. I'm making "happy husband chili" and having a few "finger-food" type snacks and ice cream cakes. I should be putting the goodie bags together for the kids,but here I sit,sharing my life with the world. LOL

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Merry Christmas.............

Monday, December 5, 2011

one mean roast

I cooked a roast in the crockpot last night so I wouldn't have to rush with getting a meal together before my husband went off to work Monday. I wanted something to jazz it up a bit,so I added in some jerk marinade sauce. Oh,boy,did it smell good when it was cooking--and it tasted even better! It was tender and juicy and delicious-just like roasts should be. I made up some mashed potatoes and some broccoli pasta and that's what he took for dinner today. He's one happy husband~!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Spinach Casserole

I'm not sure whether to call this a casserole or a meat pie. A few weeks ago,I made something called a "cheeseburger quiche" from a recipe I saw in a magazine, and it was delicious. The past few days,I've been craving something like that again. I forgot to get a pie shell when I was out shopping the other day,so I had to improvise. A friend told me how she someitmes uses shredded hashbrown potatoes as a crust for things like this or fritattas. I did have about 1/2 a bag of those in the freezer. I was too exhausted yesterday (when am I not exhausted lately?) so I made it today.

Turkey/Spinach Casserole

2pounds ground turkey
1 bag of spinach
3 eggs
1/2 bag of SHREDDED hashbrown potatoes
1 small pack of ready chopped onion/celery
shredded italian cheeses
handful of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 jar of alfredo sauce
salt/pepper to taste

**heat oven to 400*F or higher if needed
**thaw shredded potatoes until they no longer feel "frozen"--pour into large bowl and add in a beaten egg--mix well and press into the bottom of a baking pan (I used a large one)--bake until they start to look "done".
saute onion/celery until they are soft-add ground turkey (or chicken) and cook until done--add in the spinach a handful at a time until it's wilted down enough to add it all---cook for a few mins---add in salt/pepper to your liking---drain well-- pour into large bowl--pour in the alfredo sauce and the cheeses (I used what I had left in the fridge-you can add more/less to your taste)---mix well--add in 2 beaten eggs and mix well--pour onto the hashbrown crust and return to oven to bake until it's brown and bubbly--top with more cheese and add back to oven till it's browned and melty---let sit a few mins before cutting so it won't fall apart.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

No more turkey leftovers!

Well,there is officially no more turkey in the house. I'm going to go through the fridge and see what else is ready to be thrown out. Most of the leftover turkey was eaten,not thrown out. I know we have dressing,cranberry sauce,and veggies. I think I might morph the veggies into sides for today's meal. There are 2 more cheesecakes and a sweet potato pie in the fridge-but grandpa's working on those. I put some of the cakes in the freezer,but left a few slices out for snacking. By far,the fave desserts this year was the chocolate chip pumpkin cake,the sweet potato pie, and the apple butter cheesecake. Next time I make a sweet potato pie,I am going to add a little more spice to it--that's all it needs,it was delicious! And the cheesecakes didn't firm up as much as I would have liked,so next time,I'm going to try adding more neufchatel cheese and see how that works. Zachary announced that he wanted me to buy a can of pumpkin each week when we go shopping,so he can have pumpkin pie each week! That sounds like a pretty good idea to me too! I better stock up on pumpkin now while it's easy to find. For little happies for a few special people, I'm going to make mini loaves of the chocolate chip pumpkin cake.

Next weekend,we will have my son's 9th birthday party. I can NOT believe he will be 9yrs old.I wanted to have the party out of the house this year so I wouldn't have to worry with all the cleaning and prep for having people over to the house,but it didn't work out that way. I don't really mind it,but it stresses the hubby out and you know how that works. **sigh** He wanted to have just family over,but there weren't any kids Zach's age,so I told him we had to invite some kid friends,too. I plan on making my special chili and getting a couple of ice cream cakes and calling that a party. I chose chili because it's something that everyone can eat(gluten free-can be made vegan easily). I usually bake a couple of cakes and decorate them myself,but this year,I'm taking the easy way out and getting ice cream cakes. Fun,tasty,and easy on mom. Now just have to get a few balloons/streamers/kid favors and we'll be set. I am going to have hubby set up a couple of kid-friendly games downstairs along with the air-hockey table. I think it'll be a blast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Day Of Thanksgiving

I was browsing new blogs I had found and looking for new and interesting recipes when I came upon this: Sopapilla Cheesecake. Doesn't it look delicious!? This will be breakfast for us Thanksgiving morning-along with scrambled eggs and the kiddo's usual HASHBROWNS. Shortly after breakfast,I will put the turkey on and assemble the sides that need to be cooked--green beans,mashed potatoes,homemade cranberry sauce,rolls, and of course the gravy. This year I'm going to try an apple-cider gravy. I am going to try to baste the turkey a little differently this year too-I'll let you know if it turns out.

Cranberry Sauce

2 bags of cranberries
apple cider

I don't really have a recipe that I follow for cranberry sauce. I loosely follow one I found on FOOD NETWORK. Because I try to make diabetic friendly recipes whenever I can,I used a spenda blend for the sugar--and I don't really measure,I just add everything until I find that I like how it tastes. Make sense? It's kind of one of those "dump" recipes where you put it all together and let it cook. Couldn't be easier,right?

Thanksgiving preparation--DAY 2

Today,I made what my son has been waiting for all year----PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES (or just pumpkin pies as he calls them). They are simple and delicious. This year I used apple butter in a cake that I made yesterday and it smelled absolutely divine. It has about the same texture as the pumpkin I use,so I thought I would try making a cheesecake with it. I can't wait to try it.The pumpkin cheesecakes are a family recipe that I make each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope the apple cheesecake becomes a family fave too! I also made 2 sweet potato pies this evening-the recipe is on the same page as the cheesecakes-I'm sure you can find it.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving preparation--DAY 1

I wasn't sure if I would be able to cook everything I wanted to this year due to an unfortunate injury I incurred last week. When I was putting a dish into the sink,I missed and hit the edge of the counter and the dish broke into 1001 pieces. I had to call hubby home from work to take me to the emergency room. 5 stitches later, I was back at home propped up being pampered by the kiddo and hubby--at least for one evening. It only hurts if I bump it hard or stretch my hand or fingers too much. Tonight,I got on a baking kick and had 4 cakes in the oven at the same time. Tomorrow,I plan on baking muffins,stuffed cupcakes and the dressing. I will also make the pumpkin cheesecakes and sweet potato pie. It will be my first attempt at a scratch sweet potato pie. I will update as it all enfolds.

I intended to post the recipes on this section of my blog,but I got distracted and put all the info on my homeschooling blog LOL. Guess it's about time for me to chill out and hit the bed.Here are the links to what I made tonight. ENJOY!!

Apple Butter Cake

Cranberry Pound Cake

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cake

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My house smells like.............SOUP!

The other day,the hubby mentioned that he wanted some soup. The weather's turned chilly again-especially in the early mornings and evenings,so that's perfect soup weather. I made him a veggie soup using stew meat that I browned and added to some home-made stock I had in the freezer. I added a couple of bullion cubes and let it simmer to perfection. For myself,I made a chicken noodle with a few green split peas. It's sooo good. I'll eat on it a few days and then freeze the rest. I think the guys will probably not have much left to go in the freezer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time to give thanks......

It's almost time for THANKSGIVING. I'm already starting to mentally think of everything I need to do to be ready for that week and beyond. I need to make lists of things I need to buy,I need to make a list of everything I plan on cooking,I need to get Christmas cards addressed and ready to go,I need to get holiday pics of us as a family taken this year. Last year,I cheated by taking pics of kiddo in front of the holiday decorations at the local mall and made them up into xmas cards. I want to do a little better than that this year. I'm not going to let it all stress me out this year-there are plenty of other things that are doing that at the moment. The holidays should be enjoyed,not stressed over. What are some of your favorite things about the holidays? What are some of the things you have to have on the table each year? I have to have a turkey,dressing from a family recipe, pumpkin cheesecakes-yes more than 1,and homemade cranberry sauce. I love to cook and cook BIG-so I really get into the cooking mood this time of year.

Monday, October 31, 2011


my scary little trick or treater..........HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

I'm still trying to adjust my cooking schedule around hubby's new schedule. I'm trying to get into the habit of always having an extra meal in the fridge. Today I made baked chicken breasts,sweet potatoes, and peas for his "work supper". After we visited a few neighbors for treats, I made a pot of HAPPY HUSBAND CHILI for tomorrow's meal and some PUMPKIN CHILI for me. It was the first time I had made pumpkin chili and it turned out great.I can't wait to eat it!

chicken stock
1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1pound ground turkey
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans

Cook turkey until done--drain---rinse beans and add to the turkey----add in the can of pumpkin and stir well---if desired,add chicken stock a little at a time to thin out the chili--add salt/pepper/allspice to your taste......

****The original recipe called for the "usual" chili ingredients including tomatoes/onions/etc but i forgot the onions LOL and am allergic to tomatoes,so I made some changes....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

a few pics from our backyard.......

Dang it! If only I could get over this fence so I could play with those squirrels!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

a rough couple of weeks.....

The past few weeks have been rough. We found out that my oldest sister has acute myeloid leukemia. That really threw me for a loop. After she had the first dr appointment with the oncologist,things sounded more hopeful. The dr said that if it would have happened 10+ years ago,she would have less than a year to live. But that now treatments have gotten better and they think they caught it early. She works in the radiology department at a local hospital too,so that could have played a part in it,too. She is going to have to take a chemo pill monthly for the rest of her life. Thankfully,she has good insurance through her work plus that of her late husband. The pill costs $9500--but with everything,her cost will be $70. She has really had a hard time the past few years. She lost her husband,found out she had colon cancer and had surgery for that, and has had to deal with both of her sons being in prison for drugs. She is strong,though. She looks at this as just another test of life. She has a good outlook on things.

So with all of these things coming up in the family,our doctors are having each of the siblings tested for different things. I have several appointments scheduled between now and the end of the year. I really dread it all. I'm trying not to get stressed about it,but how can you not,you know? And then there is the normal stresses of the upcoming holidays. Each year,I tell myself that I'm not going to get stressed out by the calendar. I'm going to take things slow and not over-commit to things I know I can't handle-even though I might want to. I'm going to slow down and take care of myself and my family. And this year,I'm going to do it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Double Mocha Cappuccino

I'm not a big coffee drinker,but I do love a good cappuccino-especially when the temps drop. The current brand that I am particularly fond of is HILLS BROTHERS DOUBLE MOCHA CAPPUCCINO (sugar free). I've been out about 3 weeks now and am about to go through withdrawals. I do have other brands in my pantry,but it's just not the same. The store that I shop at has been out for weeks now. I filled out a complaint today. LOL I hope they get the hint and re-stock soon.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cheeseburger Quiche......

This turned out to be a big hit! The leftovers were eaten at breakfast and there will probably be a friendly fight at lunch over the last few slices. It's delicious. I can't wait to play around with it and try new spices.I found the original recipe in a FAMILY CIRCLE magazine.

Cheeseburger Quiche

1freezer pie crust
1pound ground beef/chicken/turkey
1/4 cup ketchup
1TBS worcestershire sauce
diced onion
2 cups baby spinach
1cup grape tomatoes cut in half
salt/pepper to taste
5 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2TBS dijon mustard
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

heat oven to 400*F--blind bake the pie shell for about 12mins---while shell is baking,cook meat and onion until done-drain,place into a large bowl and stir in the ketchup,worcestershire sauce,and mustard---in same skillet as beef was cooked,add spinach and tomatoes-cook for about 3mins-season with satl/pepper--add into the beef mixture--mix well--pour into the pie crust and sprinkle with cheese--wisk eggs together until smooth and carefully pour over the beef---bake for about 30-40mins or until eggs are set and pie crust is deep brown.

****of course I adapted the recipe to leave out what I was allergic to and what I didn't have in the pantry---I also used a DEEP DISH PIE CRUST and my recipe made 2 (I did have to add more eggs)--it might also be helpful to place the pies onto a flat baking sheet when baking so in case you have any spillage it won't dirty up the bottom of your oven.And instead of mixing it all together,I kind of layered the spinach and cheese through out the pie.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I love getting a deal......

I have been wanting to get Tinkie a new dog-bed for a while now. Her old one was one that she had when she was still a puppy,and needless to say,her 19 pound butt had outgrown it. I had been looking at walmart,but just couldn't make up my mind on what style I wanted. This past weekend,I decided I needed more of a selection,so I went to petco. They had alot of things on clearance. I got a bag of greenies for 50% off and a HUGE "orthapedic" doggie bed for 50% off,too! I picked up an "I LOVE MY DOGGIE" footprint magnet for the car (maybe it will help me find it when I get lost in the parking lot) and a bag of oatmeal/cranberry bones. She's a happy,spoiled doggie!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1st !!

HAPPY OCTOBER!!!! I'm making a shopping list today. I am in the mood for some cooking and baking---applesauce cake,pumpkin muffins,YUM! Kiddo and pup have been out in the backyard raking leaves so they could jump and play in them. Kiddo raked for about 10mins before declaring he was TOO TIRED and conned his dad into doing all the hard work. He jumped and buried himself in the leaves but quickly lost interest because he said the leaves were TOO ITCHY!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cowboy Beans.....

That's what's for supper tonight--for the guys at least. I'm allergic to tomatoes,so I will probably have a chicken salad...

Cowboy Beans

3strips diced bacon
3/4 pound ground beef
1 onion-chopped
2 15oz cans of your fave baked beans
1 cup or so of corn kernels
salt/pepper to taste
chili powder
"cowboy" blend of spices (McCormick)

In a large pot,cook the bacon until crispy--remove from pot and brown the beef in the bacon drippings--add the onion and seasonings--drain any excess fat and add the beans and the crumbed bacon--reduce heat to low and simmer for 15mins-add the corn kernels-

**the original recipe called for using Penzey's FORWARD spice blend but I didn't have any--and of course I used more beef and beans because I wanted leftovers......

I've been saying this for years.......

How to get your kids to be a fanatic reader-Sorry, moms and dads, but it's your job -- not the schools' -- to find books to get your kids reading and to make sure they read them. Read the whole article at CNN.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Party Planning for Birthday in December

Planning a birthday party for December is soooo hard. Zach's birthday is Dec 12th. He will be 9 years old this year-I can't believe it! You never know what kind of weather you will get in December in Mississippi. You might get storms and tornados,snow and ice, rain and gloom-you just never know. I remember some years where I've been able to wear shorts and flip flops in December. Every year I say we're going to have a big celebration in the middle of summer for his birthday-but for a kid that's just not the same as a party on your birthday. Not to mention that there aren't many fun places for kid birthday parties in our town. We've done McDonald's twice---had a few parties at our house. Last year we had a bowling themed birthday party. There's an arcade type game place but the party rooms are small and it's not that private. There's a roller skating place a few blocks from our house but again,the party rooms are small and it's not private and the noise-let's just say overwheming! The closest kid party places like Chuck-E-Cheese and a "bouncy house" party place are like over an hour's drive-that's not fair to ask everyone to drive that far for pizza,cake,and ice cream,you know. I try to find a way to have his parties away from the house,so I don't have to stress about having a spotless house on top of the normal "hostess" stresses. And it's 2 weeks before Christmas! Every year I say I'm not going to stress about anything. This year I think I'm in the right frame of mind to actually keep that promise to myself. I've learned to just not care about certain things. I'm thinking about doing a small party for kid friends somewhere around town and then maybe having a small party with grandparents at our house. Can't go wrong with two parties,right?

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I hope this isn't another trick of the weather teasing us with fall like temps. I'm not a big coffee drinker,but this week I've been enjoying cups of cappuccino out on the porch when I take Tinkie out for her daily romps. I love feeling the slight nip in the air-granted at the moment the temps are in the 60s in the mornings,but compared to how it has been for us this year,it's a welcome respite. I love sitting around in warm pj pants and fuzzy socks working on cross stitch projects or flipping through recipe magazines. I haven't tried out any of the new recipes yet,but hopefully I will get to them soon. I pulled out a few of the fall decorations the other day and the front porch is all decked out. I want to get some fall flowers and maybe one of those "scarecrow" stand up things to go by the front door,but haven't found any that I like.Tomorrow is hubby's birthday--the big 43! Zach and I are going to bake a chocolate cake later this afternoon. He already got his gifts-the massage chair (anniversary/birthday combo) and a trip to the salon yesterday for a pedicure--I bet the girls had fun with him!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall is in the air!

I love this time of year-yes,I know it's 2 days until it's officially FALL. I love the cooler weather, the chilly,rainy days where you snuggle up in your favorite chair with a blanket,hot cocoa,and a good book or crafting project. I just feel more active and alive this time of year. I get into a cooking mood when the fall leaves start to appear on the ground. Yesterday,I made a big pot of chicken and dumplings. Today,I am making lentils with turkey sausage. I've already searched out my favorite recipes from my stash and found some new ones I can't wait to try out. I can't wait to get started decorating the front porch for the change in seasons.What's your favorite thing about Fall?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kiddo and mom are sick......

We were supposed to go out to lunch/dinner saturday to celebrate our anniversary,but both Zach and I are sick. The husband was sick earlier in the week with sinus crud and it looks like he shared (NOT NICE!). Zach has the typical sick kid symptoms-fever,cough,sneezies and I am pretty sure I have a sinus infection. I've had enough to know when I have one. Due to the Labor Day Holiday,we will have to wait to see the dr. Luckily kiddo hasn't acted like it's really bothering him so that's good. The last time he was sick we ended up at the e/r with a 3+hour wait. Hopefully we'll get to do the anniversary dinner next weekend.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1,2001

We all have special dates that impacted our lives.....Today is our 10th wedding anniversary....I'll have to tell you guys about our wedding-that was an adventure!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY,HONEY--I'd do it all over again!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

saying goodbye to an old friend................

We lost one of the girls from our graduating class a day or so ago. It's hard to believe she's gone. We grew up together-went to school with her from like the 3rd or 4th grade through high school. She just turned 40. She has a 15yr old son. It was very sudden. Just goes to show that you never know how things will go in life. BE HAPPY----FOLLOW YOUR HEART----LIVE YOUR LIFE----We only have one chance. Rest in peace,my friend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

My bananas were "aging" faster than I could eat them,so I decided to make banana bread. I had found a recipe for banana cupcakes but wasn't really in the mood for that. Maybe I'll make them when I hit the 10pounds lost mark-hopefully soon!

Easy Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter
1c sugar (I used splenda)
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cup flour
1tsp baking soda
3 mashed bananas (I used 5)
1/2 cup nuts (optional-I left out)

cream the butter and sugar-add eggs-mix well-add in the flour and baking soda alternately with the bananas--fold in the nuts--pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350* for 1 hour or until done

Slowly but surely................

I've lost 7pounds. A few weeks ago I decided that I was tired of the way we were eating and that I need to start paying better attention to my health. I've tried to cut as much FAT from my diet-not that I ate alot of fatty things in the first place,but we could all benefit from healthier eating. I added KRILL OIL to my daily supplements. I used to take fish oil,but I got to where I just couldn't stomach it anymore and found KRILL OIL--haven't had any digestion problems. I can't wait for my next set of blood tests to see if it's knocking down my cholesterol numbers. To jumpstart my metabolism and hopefully get things moving along,I started drinking a protein shake--Jillian Michael's Whey Pure Protein shake. I add in a little chocolate soy meal replacement powder and a squirt of an omega/flaxseed blend and will have it as a snack or instead of a whole meal. It's delicious--except the vanilla whey,I'm not too keen on it! If I'm using it as a meal replacement,I'll add in a banana. It's really filling and I'm not starving 20 minutes later. I've also been eating ALOT of salads. My fave is romaine lettuce,poached chicken,sunflower seeds,chopped apple, and raspberry/pomegranate dressing. I usually DON'T like the vinegar/oil based dressings,but I am addicted to this one--especially the MARZETTI brand. DELISH!!! And I don't have to use nearly as much as other dressings to cover the entire salad. I feel different. And my blood sugar numbers are coming down.I really need to up my water intake again-I was doing great with it for a while but have slacked off-not really drinking alot of anything else,but not getting all the water I'm supposed to get each day.I need to dust off the old exercise bike and get busy! It's way too hot for me to be outside at the moment. I am so ready for cooler temps--I'm going to make the hubby and kiddo join me and TinkerBelle in morning and afternoon walks when the weather changes.

The 17 Day Diet also has me excited. I love this book. Although it's written by a doctor,it's easy to understand. It's filled with great meal plans and great recipes. THANKS,KRISTA and SUSAN for mentioning this book! It's a good one!!


Jillian Michaels Pure Protein

Naturade Total Soy Meal Replacement

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tomorrow is another day...............

I need to get out and run a few errands today,but doubt they will get done. It's a MONDAY and I just don't want to do anything today--anything that productive that is! LOL Have a good Monday,Everyone. I will venture out tomorrow. After all,tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This heat is horrible!

I am so ready for winter and cooler temps. I hate this time of year-it's just too hot to enjoy being outside. I just can't understand why all of the sports people insist on having such intense practices this time of year. I understand about being committed to the sport and "toughing it out" to be the best,but it's just too dangerous out there to have kids or anyone out in this heat for those intense workouts. We were watching the news last night and several players and coaches have died in the past few days due to the heat. That is totally insane! At least wait till the temps are not in the triple digits or move the practices/exercises indoors.

Monday, August 1, 2011

signed up at the surgery center

NEW UPDATE---I have decided to cancel the upcoming surgery. I just don't feel my ailment is bad enough to warrant surgery at this time. I kinda feel like my dr is looking at it as the only option. I'm going to use the hand splint when I have hurting spells and if I need to search out a new one.

Well I dropped the dr's orders off and filled out all the pre-surgery paperwork this morning. I also found out some good news about an insurance billing question I had.Back last year when I found out that surgery might be in my future,I checked to see how our insurance covered it. They told me as long as I used NETWORK drs,that it would be FULLY covered-as in NO OUT OF POCKET for me. I called them again last week to double check on that and they told me that they place the surgery will be done at isn't in network so I was freaking out about that. Well today after talking with the billing clerk at the center,she told me that things had changed and it was fully covered with my insurance. BIG RELIEF!!! So now...the countdown starts. I hate the thought of surgery. If my hand and fingers weren't numb all the time,believe me,I wouldn't be going through this. I just hope it works for me.

Another countdown is the countdown to AUTUMN. Today is the first day of AUGUST. September 21 can't get here soon enough. I hope we have a crisp fall and cold winter. I am so tired of 100 degree weather.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Well,I did it.....I scheduled my carpal tunnel release surgery for September 2---the day after my 10th wedding anniversary...I hope I made the right decision.....

Monday, July 25, 2011


It seems like the past week every day in the mornings and then again in the afternoon or evenings it's rained---ranging from an easy,gentle rain to a heavier thunder shower. I love it. It's kept the temps down somewhat and it's just refreshing to sit outside after a rain. Everything's greener and perkier. Now if it were just about 30 degrees cooler,that would be the ideal weather for me. I am so ready for the fall and winter this year. It can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


DAR--Daughters of the American Revolution,that is. I've been researching our family history and putting a family tree together for about 3+ years now. I love history and I love researching family history,so it's been great fun for me. It can be a confusing headache sometimes-it's funny how many people have the same name-and named their kids the same names~! It can be frustrating trying to untangle each branch of the family tree--and I've run into plenty of brick walls where I can't find anything about that person except for family stories. And family stories don't always turn out to be the whole truth.Back to the DAR. I've found several ancestors that were involved in the American Revolution,but I've finally found a really close ancestor that I have a direct line to--my 4th great grandfather on my mother's side. I filled out an application for more information about the DAR a week or so ago. I wasn't expecting to hear anything so soon,but I got a phone call yesterday evening from a lady in the local chapter. She's invited me to their next meeting where I can really see what the DAR is all about and she can hopefully give me some tips to make my research a little easier. I have to gather birth certificates and marriage certificates of a few people in the family.If anyone in the family is already a member of the DAR it will make my paperwork that much easier.I'll just have to document how I am related to that other person. I am so excited!!!!!!! I want to get enough research and documentation to join other "groups" too,but am going to take it one step at a time. I know we have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower,but I don't know what type of documentation you have to have to join that group. Did I say I enjoy research!? Have you ever looked into your family tree and family history? You just might be surprised who and what you find!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


A fellow blogger is giving away a bra and panty set from Le Mystère-and since most of us gals are wearing the wrong bra size you might want to check it out-these bras are supposed to be the bomb...Enter and let me know if you win....good luck....

check out the PARK WIFE

Le Mystere bra/panty giveaway

Friday, July 15, 2011

surgery on my hands......

Well,I went to see the orthapedic surgeon today. He basicly said that if the hand splints aren't working for me,then surgery is the only other option. I have bilateral carpal tunnel-in both hands. Some days it hurts to drive,hold open a book,stir something I'm cooking in the kitchen. Earlier this year it was so bad that I would wake up and both hands/wrists would be throbbing and numb-I couldn't find any sleeping position where this didn't happen. It has eased up some,but it's still hard to find a comfy night time position for my hands. So I have to do some major thinking--figure out if I want to go through with it--figure out when is a good time to have it done--figure out if I want to do each hand separately or do them both at the same time. It's a 5minute "surgery",but my hands would be out of commission for a few days and I would have to ease back into my routine as far as "using my hands" goes. I'm just not sure what to do at the moment. Lucky for us,insurance will cover the procedure fully,so that's not really part of my problem.The husband says that if it'll help my hands stop hurting then I should do it. But it's not his hands they would be cutting on either.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Delicious Brownie Muffins

A while back,I saw this recipe made on the HUNGRY GIRL show on FOOD NETWOrk. It took me a while to find canned pumpkin because it's not anywhere CLOSE to being November yet! You girls have to try these muffins--they are delicious. I used a splenda cake mix and they turned out great-and I bet that any kind of chocolate cake mix would do. This is definately going to be a fave recipe in our house.

YUM YUM Brownie Muffins

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chicken Parm

Quick and easy chicken parm.......

For supper last night,I wanted to do something different. I have seen recipes in magazines where chicken parmesam is made using "spaghetti" as a base. I had plenty of chicken in freezer so lastnight was the night for my experiment. I cooked the spaghetti as normal and added in my sauce--I used a garlic/cheese sauce. I breaded pre-made organic chicken burgers and fried them in olive oil. I topped with carmelized onions and a handful of mozzerella cheese.

Quick-Easy Chicken Parm

spaghetti noodles
spaghetti sauce (or ragu sauce)
mozzarella cheese
carmelized sweet onions
organic chicken burgers (already seasoned)
sat/pepper to taste
italian bread crumbs
olive oil

Prepare spaghetti noodles as normal--add in the sauce--place in large casserole dish--dredge chicken burgers in bread crumbs and fry in olive oil until done-drain and place the burgers on top of the spaghetti--spoon a few carmelized onions onto each patty--top with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and brown.

**I used pre-made organic pre-seasoned chicken patties but you can use your favorite chicken/turkey "burger patty"-or make from scratch.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Time for some GRILLIN' and CHILLIN'!!!! HAPPY 4TH of JULY!!!!

Hubby cooking on our new grill

Delicious grilled corn---wish I would have thought to use a prettier plate! lol

Time to eat--grilled steak,corn, and a huge potato.......DELISH!!!!

Banana-strawberry cream----soooo good!!!

Today,I was a little more liberal with the hubby and gave him free-range of the grill. I just warned him that he better turn it down lower than when he cooked the burgers (they were a little charred around the edges) and he better NOT burn my steak! I think I scared him LOL. My steak was perfectly rare-just how I like it! The pototatoes and corn were absolutely fabulous,too! I made another batch of banana ice cream and added in a handful of strawberries and about 1 cup of some frozen orange juice from some fresh oranges I had earlier this year. It was sooo good! I also made Zach some frozen sorbet using mango-pineapple juice and the last cup of the frozen juice that I had. It was good-Zach complained it wasn't sweet enough,but believe me,it was absolutely perfect! I told a sister that I was going to have to diet all of July and August to work off all the calories that I have comsumed this long weekend! And I have enjoyed every bite--even the charry burgers!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's on the menu?

Chris likes picking around with guitars and playing video games.

HE's SINGLE and can cook--quite a catch,ladies!!!

Don,Chris,Aaron---and THE GENERAL! (a few years ago)

A nephew has been telling us about the chicken he cooks on the grill using soda. It's originally called BEER CAN CHICKEN but neither he nor I drink,so he uses a soda and a special blend of spices he came up with. I have been telling him he has to come over and make this chicken specialty for us. He FINALLY came out today to help us christen the new grill. We made one beer can chicken and one soda can chicken. OMGOODNESS, can I say DELISH!!!! Both chickens were unbelieveably moist,tender and absolutely delicious. Along with the chickens,we grilled brats,chicken sausages,bell pepper,sweet onions,and hotdogs. Everything was sooo good. I'm so glad Chris came out today. We had fun. Zachary and TinkerBelle are both crazy over him. Tinkie goes nuts barking and jumping and trying to get his attention the minute he walks in the door. Zachary is usually all over him,too. Chris is really a nephew,but I grew up with him and he's more like a brother to me--Zach calls him his "uncle". Chris has 2 brothers,Aaron and Don. They are all wonderful young men. They don't drink or smoke--they love their parents and family like crazy and would do anything for them. And listen up,ladies,all 3 of them are SINGLE!!!

a little holiday cooking......

Chocolate/Vanilla holiday cake

KILLER Banana Ice Cream

I said I wasn't going to go all out for the holiday this year.We were going to grill out,but were not going to be cooking alot of food. But,grandpa bought hubby and me a new grill yesterday--a huge new grill!! And the hubby is all excited and ready to do the MANLY GRILLING OUT thing! This morning,I decided that I would try a new ice cream recipe and thought well,I'll make a cake and let Zachary decorate it for the 4th of July. So I ended up baking a cake-I found some sugar-free cake mixes at the store and since there are 3 diabetics in the house,this is a good option for us. Sometimes I'll make a cake from scratch but today wasn't that day! When it came time to decorate the cake,Zach was too enthralled in a video game,so I ended up decorating it myself. I ended up doing a half chocolate frosted-half vanilla frosted cake with chocolate sprinkles and red/white/blue star marshmalls. I thought I had another can of sugar-free chocolate frosting in the pantry,but I didn't-so I improvised! I tend to do alot of that in my cooking-much to the husband's chagrin!

Now,back to the good part--THE ICE CREAM. I've read about Banana ice cream on quite alot of blogs and thought why not try it--since I have a ton of bananas in the freezer. While the husband and I were doing a de-clutter of the living room this morning,I took the bananas out and let them get a little soft. Later,I dumped all of the bananas into the food processor and added in a little bit of ice cream mix I had in the fridge (chocolate silk,a little heavy cream,and splenda). I've been playing with the ice cream maker latey and had a little mix left over from yesterday's experiment. I processed it until it was nice and thick and creamy. I had intended to blend it smooth and then put it in the ice cream maker and see how it turned out,but it was so smooth and creamy from just using the processor that I just spooned it into a huge bowl and put it in the freezer. I had to pry the bowl out of the hubby's hands it was so good! He went to the store to get some things I forgot to get yesterday and I have a strong feeling he might be picking up more bananas! Believe me,you HAVE to try this one!


frozen bananas (I used a gallon and 1 quart size zippie bags of frozen bananas)
**1cup of ice cream mix OPTIONAL (chocolate silk soy milk--heavy cream--splenda)

**I just added the extra things because I needed to use before they ruined- you can just use bananas and have a delicious dessert!

I Hope Everyone Has A Safe and Fun 4th of July!

HAPPY 4th OF JULY,EVERYON!!!!! Whatever you do this long holiday weekend,I hope you have a safe,happy,fun 4th of July. Please,remember why we are FREE!

Friday, July 1, 2011


I had a close call today. Of all the crazy things I'm allergic to the following foods: CARROTS,TOMATOES,BLUE-BERRIES, and PECANS (a southern girl allergic to pecans-unreal!). Today for a snack/lunch,I was having 4cheese cheese crisps and hummus. YUM-love some hummus! I was munching on them checking out my FaceBook pals and getting ready to dive into some more family tree reseach,and I noticed that I was starting to feel funky. My nose started to get a little sniffly and my tongue went numb. When I figured out my tongue was numb I realized it was allergies. I flipped the box around and scanned the ingredients and found the culprit----DEHYDRATED TOMATOES....On CHEESE crisps???? You have to be kidding me!! Now I could understand that if they were an italian cheesy flavor or a queso cheese or nacho cheese flavor--but plain cheese? GREAT!!! I had to scrounge around and find what little benadryl was left in the house-not even a full adult dose. I had only had a handful of crackers,so I'm hoping that it wasn't enough to result in a full-blown allergic reaction. But it did get me to thinking. Many years ago when I first started taking allergy shots,I did them at home myself--3 shots twice a week. The allergy dr had me get one of those epi-pens just in case something triggered a re-action. Now I see a different allergy clinic for my shots and they do them in the office--2shots every week or as needed. They haven't given me an epi-pen but I do have to wait in the office for about 15mins after getting the shots. I'm thinking I might ask at my next shot appointment next week and see if I might need to get an epi-pen. I guess I'll wait a little bit and go make a caesar chicken salad for lunch!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream and Sorbet

Way back when the hubby and I were just dating,I made some killer ice cream--pineapple and vanilla. Everyone raved about it for weeks. Back last year I broke down and bought a plug-in ice cream maker-one of the new fancy looking ones. I used it maybe 2 times and the results were less than what I had hoped for,so I boxed it up and banished it to the cabinet in the laundry room. Lately,we've been craving banana splits and ice cream--anything cool to beat this killer heat wave that's invaded the SOUTH.

I found some great sorbet (pineapple-passion fruit-chocolate)--ice cream (pumpkin pie,cappuccio)--and yogurt recipes. If they turn out,I will definately share them with you guys. I think I didn't freeze everything correctly the last time I used my machine. Wish me luck....I'm going to stash the parts in the freezer and pick out a recipe to try. I'm so excited!! I love ice cream-and yogurt-and sorbet!!!! Oh,and banana splits!! Can you tell I have a sweet tooth today?

What's for breakfast?

I'm pretty much stuck in a food rut lately-especially with breakfast. I love scrambled eggs,poached eggs-you name it I LOVE EGGS! I will usually toast a whole wheat sandwich round and add a slice or two of turkey bacon or canadian bacon and top that with scrambled eggs and sometimes a slice of cheese (think McD's egg mcmuffin ala homemade). But lately no matter how I eat my sugar levels have been too high. Yesterday I remembered I had some cottage cheese that I had gotten to use in a recipe that never happened. I added one of those Dole fruit cups (in juice not syrup)---and it was pretty good. I added a sliced banana and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds to that same mix this morning and that was breakfast. And it's been about 1 1/2 hours late and I'm not STARVING like I usually am right after breakfast. I mean I am hungry ALL DAY LONG lately--I think it's the monthlies knocking on the door too-and all the girls know that doesn't help one bit! So I think I have found a new breakfast for me-at least for a little while. My son came in earlier and asked "Mom,what's the white stuff you're eating?" "Cottage cheese and fruit". "Oh,ok,well it stinks!" Thanks alot,son! LOL Sometimes you just gotta laugh!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

some helpful books............

Here are some books that I have found helpful and informative about adhd,autism,asperger's syndrome and discapline advice-they are readily available on just about any online bookstore but I got them all from AMAZON.

The ADHD Autism Connection by Diane M. Kennedy

Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert J. MacKenzie

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman

Misdiagnosis ADHD,Bipolar,OCD,Asperger's,Depression and other Disorders multiple author contributors

Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety by Nick Dubin

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching & Raising Children with Autism and Asperger's
(not just an activity book-I found alot of info about asperger's that I had not read anywhere else--great book) multiple author contributors

Empower ADHD Kids! Practical Strategies to Assist ADHD Children in Developing Learning and Social Competencies by Becky White

When My Worries Get Too Big! by Kari Dunn Buron

The Incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis

Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy

123 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan

Friday, June 17, 2011

a little about my son

My son is my pride and joy. He's an 8 1/2 year old bundle of endless energy. He loves to read-and was a young reader,learning to read at about 4 years of age. He loves learning about anything new--fireflies,outer space,puppies,the human body. He loves technology--cell phones,video games,digital cameras,digital video cameras. He is a little techno-whiz! And he has ASPERGER'S SYNDROME and ADHD. I wasn't really surprised at the ADHD diagnosis,but the AS diagnosis knocked me over. All I could hear was "autistic". I was in denial for a while-I went through a range of emotions. Once I let myself grieve a little for the diagnosis,I decided to get myself educated on this-find ways to help my son overcome it-or find ways to live life to the fullest with it. I had never heard of ASPERGER'S SYNDROME until early 2010 when we had Zachary tested for ADHD and all these other things came up. Some he didn't score high enough to be diagnosed with,but with ASPERGER'S SYNDROME he did. I started reading everything I could get my hands on. Sometimes I still feel like I don't know enough to deal with this issue,but I take a deep breath and try to take it one day at a time. We have good days and bad days and some so-so in between days. But he's still my son-still my pride and joy--my little boy that loves to learn. And I love him too.

In the days to come,I will add links to some websites that have helped me. I will add a reading list of things that I have read and find interesting. And if any of my readers have any fave resources,please share them with me and I will add them to the blog also.

Asperger's Syndrome.....What is it?

An Autism Spectrum Disorder

Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological disorder that is part of a group of conditions called autism spectrum disorders. The term "autism spectrum" refers to a range of developmental disabilities that includes autism as well as other disorders with similar characteristics.

They are known as spectrum disorders because the symptoms of each can appear in different combinations and in varying degrees of severity: two children with the same diagnosis, though they may share certain patterns of behavior, can exhibit a wide range of skills and abilities.

As a result, general terms such as "low-functioning," "high-functioning," "autistic tendencies," "pervasive developmental disorder," and others are often used to describe children whose behaviors fall within the spectrum. Kids with AS share many of the same symptoms as those with "high-functioning autism."

It's estimated that more than 400,000 families are affected by AS. Because milder cases are being identified more frequently, the incidence appears to be increasing. However, like other autism spectrum disorders, AS is often difficult to diagnose and treat.

About Asperger Syndrome

The disorder is named after Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician who, in 1940, first described a set of behavior patterns apparent in some of his patients, mostly males. Asperger noticed that although these boys had normal intelligence and language development, they had severely impaired social skills, were unable to communicate effectively with others, and had poor coordination.

According to the Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the United States, the onset of AS is later than what is typical in autism — or at least it is recognized later. Many kids are diagnosed after age 3, with most diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 9.

AS is characterized by poor social interactions, obsessions, odd speech patterns, and other peculiar mannerisms. Kids with AS often have few facial expressions and have difficulty reading the body language of others; they might engage in obsessive routines and display an unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli (for example, they may be bothered by a light that no one else notices; they may cover their ears to block out sounds in the environment; or they might prefer to wear clothing made only of a certain material).

This is just a brief summary of an article I read at can read the full article at the following link:

Thinking of changing direction of my blog.....

I have mixed feelings-not sure if I want to add a second blog or just want to expand this one. I've been meaning to add more about the daily life of living with a child with special needs--aspergers and adhd. My 8 yr old son has these issues and the more I talk with people I find out that there are alot of people out there dealing with this too-and other autism issues. It's overwhelming when you learn that your child has these issues and finding good info can be hard. There is so much info out there that finding exactly what you're questioning can be hard. A good support group is a must. I have a small one. I'd like to find a larger forum online maybe but just haven't taken the time to look for one. In our homeschool group,there are a few moms in this situation,and I just found out an old friend from an online group that I've been friends with for about 9yrs now just learned her daughter has asperger's and she is overwhelmed first with dealing with the diagnosis and then finding good information. So I've thought about adding what info I've found helpful here so that others can maybe use the information also. Hopefully,now that we are in the heat of the summer down south (heat indexes have been in the triple digits the past week and there's no relief in sight according to the weather man) maybe I can use some of our summer-time hibernating to add some things to my blog......

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Getting Ready For Another HomeSchool Year......

Both Zachary and I were sick alot during the winer months,so we're still trying to finish up some things in his 2nd grade studies,but I think I've finally made up my mind as to what we're going to use as curriculum for next school year. I've been thinking of adding some abeka curriculum to our "pick and choose" way of doing things. I had always thought of adding it when he was older,but the more I thought about it I decided to go ahead and do it now. We will still use some things from THE WELL TRAINED MIND/PEACE HILL PRESS resouces. I have a rough list of everything and all I need to do is get all of the item numbers and work on a price list-and see where would be the most cost effective place to order everything from. It's not as bad as I thought it would be to order from the publisher but I still want to compare prices. Zach's already flipping through a health/safety book I got for him already. LOL I'll let him stay up a little later to do that any day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Have you ever hidden a gift? And then couldn't find it when you need it?

That's happened to me a few times. I'll see something at a great price that is perfect for someone on my list and I'll buy it and stash it somewhere and then when the time comes around for me to give the gift I can't find it! HA! Happened to me last Christmas-I had a SpongeBob electric toothbrush and a Spongebob watch for kiddo's stocking. I knew I had put it downstairs in the hubby's "cave" but when it came time for stuffing the stockings it wasn't anywhere to be found--and mom was NOT happy! Fast-forward 6 months later--hubby found it yesterday LOL--right where i had put it. He had covered it up with something. Kiddo was tickled to have the new happies last night. LOL

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Had nerve conduction test done today...........

Can we say OUCH!!? The tech that did the first part of the test was training a new girl and I understand that but OUCH!! That hurt! And it took twice as long because she was training her. And why did noone tell me that they stick you with needles too!? I mean come on,warn,a woman,please! That part didn't really hurt too bad-they were thin needles kinda like accupuncture needles and a few of them only hurt when I had to move certain parts of my hand/arm with the needles still there. One part was he would push down on my arm and I had to push his arm away--I couldn't do it with my left arm. That worries me some. I have to wait to get the results from my other doctor,so it will probably be next week sometime. The test was at 9am and my left palm up by my thumb hurts like HECK from where he stuck the needle. I toughed it out all day but ended up taking mega ibuprofen a few hours ago-can't tell it's kicked in yet. I HURT!!!!

And I didn't have a sitter so I had to take my 8 yr old with me. He was sooo ansy and irritable. Next time I'm scheduling when hubby can stay with him. REALLY! I found out late yesterday after my pedicure appt that I had another dr appt scheduled for late this afternoon (my sleep study dr) and I thought I'd be able to make it but both kiddo and I were tired and too grumpy to even attempt it-my hands hurting didn't help any so I had to reschedule that.

On a brighter note I can not wait until tomorrow. Our homeschool group is celebrating the end of another school year tomorrow with a pool party (although some of us will continue to do schoolwork with our kids throughout the summer). Food,good friends,more food and fun time in the pool. What could be better!? I had ordered a new swimsuit especially for this party as a kind of splurge for myself and it shipped out earlier this week but instead of the delivery guys bringing it to my house they took it to the post office-so it won't come in till tomorrow around 4pm....BLAH!!!! I guess next time I'll pay extra for shipping.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My hands hurt...........

Over the past few years,I've noticed that my hands just aren't as strong as they used to be. I love to cross stitch and crochet but my hands literally ache when I do those things. It's gotten so bad now that the simple tasks of holding a toothbrush, holding onto the steering wheel, stirring a cake mix make my hands cramp and throb. The tips of the fingers on my left hand are literally numb all the time. It feels so weird. Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and both hands will be throbbing and hurting so much I want to cry. Just holding a book hurts my hands so much that I could barely hold the prayer book and song book in church today. I've tried arthritis pain meds and stronger pain meds-nothing helps. I even have two of those carpal tunnel hand braces that I wear when I am desparate for relif,but it's only temporary-nothing I've found so far does really any good.

I went to see a dr a few years ago and he felt around on my hands but was more interested in scheduling me for a BOOB job than anything else. And I didn't even go to him for that reason LOL. Needless to say, I haven't been back to that quack! My husband made me see our family dr about the issue again friday. His experience tells him it's carpal tunnel problems. I kinda knew that but I've also found out I had thyroid issues and sometimes that can make CT problems worse. I was hoping it would just be the thyroid and a stronger medicine might make it all go away. I'm waiting for a call back from the office to tell me when the appointment will be. I don't want surgery. I did a little research online and have had other friends who have had the surgery tell me about it. I really hope this is something that is an easier fix,but I have a feeling it won't be. I don't like the idea of having both hands operated on. My husband tells me that we'll do whatever it takes to get my hands to feeling better. (It's not his hands that they will operate on if it comes to that is it? LOL) He means well and I love him for saying that. I'm just tired of hurting---and not being able to do the things I enjoy doing. Something's gotta give.....

Sharon Sala----BLOOD TIES 2nd in a trilogy

I have to say that Sharon Sala is my favorite writer-hands down. My all time favorite book of hers is Annie and The Outlaw . My copy is well worn. I love that story.

Blood Ties is another winner. It's about a young woman who after her father dies learns that she is NOT who she thought she was. She is given a notebook that tells the tale of how she ended up with the man who raised her as one of his own. And it's not a pretty fairytale.

Blood Ties by Sharon Sala

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My First Book Review.......DEAD WRONG by Wendy L. Callahan

This will be the first book review I've done on my blog. I hope to do many more.

I usually don't read dark tales-I am more of the "trashy modern or historical romance" type reader--when I'm not reading parenting books or homeschool "how to" books. This short tale was a delightfully dark detour from that. Once I started reading,I didn't want to stop. It pulled me in and I could feel the tangle of emotions of the main character,Shiva. Even though it was dark and definately a departure from what I normally read,I really enjoyed it. The story was engaging and had you guessing up until the very end. And at the end,it made you want to know what happened to the characters after the last page. It's short,but it's a good read. She has a fresh voice and fresh writing style and I like that. I hope to read more from Ms Callahan in the future.

If you're interested in reading it yourself follow the link below.....

Dead Wrong by Wendy L. Callahan

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Official Holiday of the summer

I hope everyone has a safe,happy,fun-filled holiday weekend. We don't have anything big planned here-just maybe cooking lunch/dinner on the grill,letting the kid play in the backyard pool or sprinklers--and trying to stay as COOL as possible. It is HOT! The temps the past few days have been in the 90s. That's too hot for me. I hibernate in the summer when the temps get this high-or higher. I'm just not a summer person. I'm fair skinned and don't TAN--I burn,very easily. My son is even more fair than I am. Thank goodness for 50+ sunscreen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

more and more and more severe weather

Sending lots of good thoughts and prayers out to all those touched by the recent tornado outbreaks around the country......

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More bad news for the South......

FLOODING is now plaguing people all along the Mississippi River. It's heartbreaking to see all the devistation and destruction these waters do.

It's the WEEKEND!!!!

It's the weekend...I hope everyone out there has a great one-relaxing at home after a hard week of work or getting out and about with the kids and enjoying the lovely weather we're having. No plans for what we'll do as of yet,but that's no big deal. I don't mind spending quiet time at home--the husband on the other hand gets a little stir-crazy if he is in the house all weekend. He wants to go target shooting out at granny's house in the country. The shooting range that his shooting club belongs to will be closed for the next week,so he has to improvise. I have a few errands that need to be done but it's nothing pressing,so I'll get to them when I get to them....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Proud for America's Military

So proud of our men and women and canines in the military-----you make America Proud!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pray for the South

I'm sure everyone has heard how devistating the storms were that tore through the south a few days ago. Our neighborhood was lucky. They were tracking the tornados literally by streets this time and one came a few blocks close to our house,but either dissipated or jumped over us. We were lucky. We have gone into our "safe room" (bathroom) several times for storms,but this is the first time we've actually gotten in the bathtub. We were outwardly calm for my son,but inside we were terrified. This was a little too close for comfort. And seeing the devistation these massive storms produced made me wonder just how SAFE our "safe room" would have been had we been hit. So many lives lost,so many homes destroyed,it's hard to imagine where to begin with the clean up or rebuilding efforts. I mean what will they do with all of the debris? I wonder about things like that-I mean it's going to be so much-entire neighborhoods/subdivisions were flattened. It makes you realize what's really important in your life---your family. Hopefully,everyone will get the help they need to start their lives over.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WICKED WEATHER............

I love spring time-all the flowers and trees blooming again, all the little squirrels out again--but hate the storms. And this April has been a wicked weather month for sure. To say I hate stormy weather is an understatement. I lived in causeyville/long creek when the tornado came through that hit the middle school and then a few months later another came through with Hurricane Andrew.The first storm came in the middle of the night and just hop-scotched through our neighborhood. Luckily for us,our trucks were the only things that were damaged (scratched up by flying debris). After we got dressed in the pitch black darkness, we decided that we didn't want to stay in the house-we were going to an inlaw's house (safety in numbers). Once we got out into our driveway it was like a war-zone. Houses and debris were all over the road.We were very lucky. Neighbors all around us lost their homes or had damaged roofs. It's the storm that whisked a new baby out of it's home. They thought for sure the baby was a gonner as they searched for him. Luckily they found him hanging by his PJs in a tree. They called him the "Timex Baby"-takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'--I think they even did a timex ad with him. That was a few houses over from us.My sister's husband and the older boys helped to get a neighbor out of her house and helped to remove some trees off the road. What would have normally taken about a 15 minute drive took over an hour. Every road we went down had something blocking the way. We slept at the neighbor's house for the rest of the night. The 2nd tornado actually tore part of the roof off our house right above my bedroom. My nerves were shot! For a while,any storm that came through sent me into a panic. I'm not as ansy now,but really bad weather (tornadic storms) still rattle my nerves. This morning I was awakened by very high winds (70-80mph+) that blew for about 30 mins. You could hear the trees swaying and the branches creeking. Luckily it was just a thunderstorm with high winds and not a tornado. Some trees were blown down and some areas of town were w/o power for a while this morning. Some schools in neighboring counties closed. We are supposed to get another round of bad weather later this afternoon-just what I need LOL. Hopefully it won't be bad and I will be able to make it to a manicure appointment. I need a little relaxation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The disaster in Japan......

I didn't really think the disaster in Japan would affect me personally--aside from the heartbreak for the Japanese people. I remembered seeing that one of my medications (dexilant-for reflux) had JAPAN on the bottle. So,last night I thought I'd better look into it a little more. I found the name of the pharmaceutical company that makes it--and there are companies both here and Japan,but my bottle said it was from JAPAN. I didn't have any problems getting it filled today and asked the pharmacist if she had heard if there would be a shortage on this drug. She said she hadn't heard anything yet-but she wouldn't be surprised if there were problems getting it as the stockpiles that are already here in the US run out. I asked if I should get my dr to find me another medication and she said she would wait it out a little longer. This is the best medication I've found for reflux in a long,long time. The over-the-counter meds don't work for me,believe me I've tried everything. Guess it's just a waiting game now...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


It's been a few weeks since I posted anything. In that time I had laryngitis/pneumonia-completely lost my voice. It took about 2+ weeks to get over that fully. And now I just feel so run down--mentally and physically. If you are a regular reader/follower, then you know we have some issues with my son. He has adhd/asperger's syndrome (autism spectrum). On a good day,he can be challenging to deal with. I am so tired of people who don't understand these kids and the challenges they face. I'm tired of being made to feel like a bad parent because my kid isn't sitting still during certain situations. If you're not a parent facing these issues with your child,then you just don't know how it is! I'm tired of calling drs and leaving messages for a call back and not getting a response! I'm tired---just tired......

Monday, February 21, 2011

catching up on what I've been up to...........

my babies.......

I love taking photos of the moon--especially when it's full.....

I found a new snack--these are delicious! They were around the "salad" toppers and salad "add ins" at the grocery store but I've just munched on them straight from the bag--they are soooo good!

ENCHILADA PIE--this recipe came about on a night that I had planned to make individual rolled up enchiladas but after bowling a few hours I was just too exhausted and just layered it all and called it a "pie"--the guys didn't complain-and gobbled it all up....they have asked to have it again so it must be good!

In a casserole dish,layer your ingredients--meat mix-cheese-enchilada sauce-top with tortilla and repeat until done---bake at 400*F until melty and bubbly.....

All done--

Broccoli Salad--broccoli florets,nut seed mix (cashews,peanuts,dried cranberries,almonds,sunflower and pumpkin seeds),and a touch of mayo...I think it would be good with cauliflower florets too.

Gluten-Free chocolate cake--I made using a BOB'S RED MILL gf chocolate cake mix--turned out very good (better than my first attempt at gf baking brownies a few years ago LOL-blah). Grandpa loved it and I don't think he realized it was "different" from any other cake I'd ever made....he ate just about the whole thing!

Making what turned out to be creamed spinach..........

BOILED DINNER--This is a favorite of hubby's dad. Basicly you boil the greens (cabbage) and pork chops together.