Saturday, January 31, 2009


You are probably thinking I am going to post a tasty recipe. I wish that was what this post was about! Yesterday, Jeff took 1/2 day off work, and we thought it would be fun to take Evie sledding. We went to a local park, and the hill was really steep with lots of huge bumps. It was also solid ice. Jeff went down with Evie first on our little snow pan, and Evie loved it. Then it was my turn. I sat cross legged on the sled and had Evie sit on my lap. We went sailing over the first bump, and I was completely airborne. One thing about me is that I am kinda boney. I don't have a lot of padding, which is good...except when you are sledding. I came crashing down (with Evie's weight added) onto my tailbone. Then we hit the next bump, and I was holding onto Evie so she wouldn't fall off, and I fell hard sideways and whacked my left rib cage against the ice. Then we both fell off the sled. Evie was fine, and was laughing her head off. I on the other hand wasn't so fine. I just laid there thinking I had broken my rib. I slowly got up, and with much pain walked up the hill. Jeff asked if I was okay, and then he saw that I was clearly in pain. I didn't want Evie to miss out on the fun of sledding, so I stayed and watched for awhile while Jeff took Evie down the hill. Then a bunch of other kids came, and Evie was having a blast. We ended up staying for another 2 hours. I went to the car and sat for about an hour of it. I didn't move much, so I didn't think I was hurt too bad. When we got home, and I tried to get out of the car, I then realized how much pain I was in. We went inside, and I was yelping in pain as I tried to take my boots off. We ended up calling the chiropractor, and I got in right away. He felt around and said he was pretty sure I cracked one of my ribs. I didn't want xrays because even if it showed a break or crack, they don't do anything for it anyways except wrap it. He said he wasn't about to manually adjust me, but he did use the Pro Adjuster (it is a new device chiropractors use). He didn't use it anywhere near the cracked rib, but he did use it down my spine. It actually helped me to feel less stiff, and really helped my lower back. Last night was bad though. I was in a lot of pain in the rib area. This morning my lower back and tailbone felt much better. My ribs still hurt like mad, but I am a little better today than I was yesterday. The doctor gave me a rib wrap that is elastic, and that helps it feel a bit more secure. I'm still feeling the pain whenever I take a deep breath, or whenever I move. So it was an eventful last few days! I was bummed that I didn't get to have any fun sledding. Nothing like wiping out on the very first run down the hill!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So much for THAT idea!

For several years, every time Sierra goes out in the snow, she comes in with snow caked between her toes. It sticks and she has to chew it off, and she acts like it is quite uncomfortable (which I am sure it is!). So I got this brilliant idea to buy her some doggie boots. I bought these last year, and just brought them out today. I put them on, and had to contain my laughter as I watched her prance through the living room like she had tape stuck to the bottom of her paws. If I laugh out loud, she seriously will look at me like I hurt her feelings, so I tried to contain myself. She is a smart dog after all, and does know when someone is cackling with laughter at her expense. She was so excited to go outside and play with Evie that she got over the strange attire and bounded out the back door. The boots were a real hit! Can you sense the sarcasm? As she excitedly jumped off the deck, all 4 came boots came off in the snow. They lasted a whole 10 feet. I wasn't about to attempt to put them back on. Oh well....back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homeschool science experiment

Here is a video of Evie's science experiment. It was fun!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snow, snow and more snow

We got lots and lots of snow here the past week. Today is supposed to be a high of 7 degrees. Brrr. The snow is so pretty. The birds have been flocking to the feeders, and we have been getting about 6 males cardinals at one time, along with the females and other birds. The snow is about 14 inches deep right now. I am supposed to go out in about 3 hours for a playdate, and thankfully it is in the neighborhood. I am going to have to drive though because we have a ways to walk, and it is too cold to be out in this weather. I hope I don't get stuck in the driveway!

With all this snow, I am trying to find new things for us to do. Evie and I have had several tea parties. She loves to do that, and it is fun. The conversations we have can be pretty hilarious though. She pretends she is married, and her dolls are her kids. I asked her the other day what her husband's favorite food was, and she said ravioli and ketchup. I had a hard time not laughing my head off when she said that. We have been playing lots of board games, and card games.

I started doing a gluten free and casein (dairy) free diet for Evie and I this week. For kids diagnosed in the autism spectrum, this diet can be extremely beneficial. I have been amazed at how much stuff has gluten or casein in it. Things labeled "non dairy" still have casein in them, which is a milk protein. Even the vegan cheeses at the health food store have casein in them! And gluten is in almost everything prepackaged. It is insane how much it is in everything. It is in most soups, chips, salad dressings, etc. It has been a challenge, but it is amazing how much information and recipes can be found on the internet. I made a pizza yesterday, and it was unlike any I have ever made! The sauce wasn't tomato sauce, it was "un-tomato" sauce. It was made with beets and carrots and spices. Evie tested positive for an allergy to tomatoes, so I try and steer clear of them if I can. Jeff tasted the sauce and had no clue it wasn't tomato! The crust was a pourable crust made with gluten free flour. On half the pizza I put real cheese for Jeff, and on the other half I used a recipe I found online for a cheese that was gluten free/casein free. It actually tasted really good! So I made a pizza without tomatoes or cheese. Crazy! I have been making all kinds of stuff to help us on this diet. I made a peach crisp the other day, and today I'm going to try making a cobbler. I'm still steering clear of refined sugar, so I'm really having to be creative. I'm trying to make things that are in Evie's diet, but also are fun foods for her. This weekend, Evie is going to a birthday party. I already know that they are going to have chips for a snack, and then cake. I am planning on making her some gfcf (gluten free/casein free) chocolate chip muffins with frosting to take so she can eat that when they eat the cake. I'm also going to take some gfcf chips and goodies for her to have as a snack. Hopefully all will go well. So far she hasn't complained much at all, so I am thankful for that.

I should probably get off the computer so I can make some lunch. All this talk of food is making me hungry!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mini vacation

Jeff had to travel on business today, so he took Evie and I with him this time. We are staying at a nice motel, just for a night, and the companying is paying :). There is an indoor courtyard with a pool, so I am sitting right now out in the courtyard while Jeff is in the pool with Evie. Evie has been swimming like a fish since we got here. I'm actually really glad to get her out of the house and moving! She has had so much energy lately that she is bouncing off the walls (sometimes literally), so all this swimming should help wear her out a little. I actually got so desperate the other day to get her some exercise that I put her on our treadmill. She loved it, but got bored within about 5 minutes. Then I had her jump on the mini trampoline. It has been really cold and snowy, and the roads in our subdivision have been icy, so I haven't wanted to go for a walk. I need to figure out some creative ways to get her moving!

Yesterday, I had to be both a vet and a teacher. During homeschooling, I took Sierra out to go potty. Sierra somehow ripped her dew claw completely off when she was outside. Evie came up with a very smart theory that she might have gotten it caught on the fence. She loves to jump up on the chain link fence and bark if someone goes by. I didn't notice it until she had been inside for awhile. Evie yelled to me that her paw was all bloody, and then I noticed there drops of blood all over the floor. Her poor claw looks pretty nasty. I bandaged it up yesterday, and today before we left for our trip. She is at Jeff's parents, so I know they will take good care of her.

We are going home tomorrow afternoon, so this is a short trip, but it is good to get away and be together as a family!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The family table

When I was growing up, our family always ate together at dinner. My mom and dad both worked, but my mom made it a point to always have dinner together. It was a time when we would catch up with each other. My sister and I were both very busy with sports and friends after school, so the table was sometimes the only time we could connect as a family. We ate fast food once in awhile, and went out to a restaurant about once a month. It was a special treat, not something that was done very often. We had an ultra small kitchen growing up, with a table that was pushed against the wall to make room when we weren't eating. When it was dinnertime, we would pull the table out and cram in. It was tight, but I have many memories of sitting down with my family and having meals and connecting with each other. I remember many wonderful meals, and lots of laughter. We live in such a different time now, and family dinner tables are becoming a lost art. Everything is so fast paced, and families seem to be connecting less and less with each other. It is interesting that we have all this technology to help speed things up for us, and yet it seems like we are busier than ever and have even less time. A lot of times families end up coming home and crashing on the couch and eating dinner in front of the TV. Everyone is too tired to talk.

Up until recently, I was doing exactly what I just wrote about. Our family was spending less and less time at the dinner table together. I would be tired from homeschooling and taking care of Evie, and Jeff would be tired from work, so I would make dinner and we would plop on the couch and eat in front of the TV. We would barely say a word to each other, and we would mindlessly watch TV. I started feeling really convicted that I was setting up such bad habits in my home. I hated eating in front of the TV. It is not something I wanted in my home at all, and yet I kept doing it. I realized I was being just plain lazy. I really realized what a mistake I was making in this bad habit when Evie announced to me that she hated eating at the dinner table, and that she loved eating in front of the TV. Yikes. I was responsible for that! Talk about conviction! I didn't want her growing up missing out on fellowship time at the dinner table. I wanted to make wonderful memories like I had eating with my family. I believe God intended us to sit around the dinner table together and connect. The Bible has many stories that center around the table and sharing a meal together, especially in the Gospels. Jesus had many times of fellowship that centered around sharing a meal. Since seeing the huge error of my ways, I have been dressing up my table more and making it look inviting. I have been lighting candles and putting on music each time we eat. We have been regularly eating at the table for dinner, and have started having some lively conversations. Evie is still asking for "movie night", but isn't complaining so much. Hopefully she will come to the point, like I did growing up, where she thoroughly enjoys sitting together for dinner at the table. I guess I am old fashioned in my thinking, but I think that people are missing out on something very special when they eliminate the family dinner table!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A new year!

Happy New Year! Okay, I'm about 5 days late, but still, it is a new year! I had a friend recently ask me on Facebook if I was taking a "blog-cation", so I figured I should start up with blogging again :). Jeff was home for 2 weeks, and I thoroughly enjoyed having him home. We had fun going out and doing things as a family. It was a great time, and I was so thankful that God blessed us with all that time together! Jeff got super motivated right before New Years to exercise and get into shape. He started doing a super intense exercise program called P90X about a week ago. One cool thing is that Evie loves to do it with him! Of course she isn't doing it nearly as intense, but she will stay there for almost the whole hour and do a bunch of it with him. It is daddy/daughter bonding time. I am amazed at how fast guys see results. Jeff's arms are already really bulking up, and it has only been a week! I had to laugh at how weak his muscles were after his first few days of doing the program. He told me that he was so weak and sore that a toddler could knock him out :). He was so sore that he had to have me help him put his shirts on. He is doing much better now. He is so motivated about it, and it is rubbing off on me. I have started exercising again, which I had gotten out of the habit of doing. I always feel so much better when I exercise. I'm doing the elliptical machine, and some pushups and situps. I wish I saw results as fast as Jeff! I'm also trying to eat better. During the Christmas and New Years time I was eating pretty bad. Tons of processed junk food and sugar. My body wasn't liking it at all.

We had a wonderful service at church yesterday. We are fairly new to our church, and have had a hard time connecting. Our church didn't have Sunday School, so we had a hard time getting to know people. The church has been in existence for about 20 years, and never had Sunday School. That changed yesterday! They started Sunday School classes, and everyone was SO excited! We are in a 45 and under married class, and there were about 15 couples there. It was wonderful to be able to meet people. The class is a lot like a Bible study, and we are going to be studying a book by John Eldridge. I have grown so much at this church, and can't wait to learn even more from this class! I'm also looking forward to making some new friends :).