Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday

We used to have a perfectly nice small cooler bag that was perfect when I needed to take my lunch someplace. I think one of the kids took this to school when he couldn't find his regular lunchbox and I have not seen it since. So, the past several times I've subbed, I have tried to cram my lunch into a brown lunch sack. This doesn't work so well, if you are bringing anything in containers opposed to just sandwich bags.

So my Works for Me Wednesday tip is when you need to bring a lunch somewhere, grab a gift bag. Maybe you have one that is a little tattered or wrinkled and you wouldn't necessarily want to reuse it when you are giving a gift.

Ok, so I realize maybe some of you don't have to take your lunch or your child hasn't lost your cooler bag. Other possibilities for using these lunch bags-

*send a birthday bag on your child's special day

*use a larger one to go on a picnic- they usually have a reinforced bottom, making it easier to load with more items

*reuse them to take any set of small items when going someplace- i.e. load it up with a few ink pads, stamps sets and cardstock for a cardmaking session with a friend

For more ideas, don't forget to visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Good Things

The past couple of days have been really good. I subbed today and didn't come home exhausted, both mentally & physically. This is a plus, because I have to sub in 3rd grade, tomorrow & Thursday and then, 4th grade on Friday. I am excited because then I get to eat lunch with the boys. I feel lucky that they still like me to do that.

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my good things:

I was able to go to the library last night all by myself and now I have something besides the penny press to read. I also found few DVD's that looked good as well.

Troy folded a huge mountain of laundry while I was gone.

I found some yummy berry herbal tea on sale at Walmart.

We had taco soup for dinner tonight. It hit the spot since it only got up to 15 degrees today.

The Young Men are having a career night tomorrow and my cute husband made his own cookies to bring for refreshments.

And lastly, one of my favorite movies came today from Netflix. Persuasion.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jane Eyre on PBS

Just one last thing- check your local PBS listings. A 2 part Masterpiece Theater production of Jane Eyre is airing this weekend.

Hockey Game & Sleepover

At our house, it is tradition to do a party with friends, games, etc. every other year. On the off year, we let the boys invite a friend out to eat and maybe to a movie or something like that. This year, Connor really wanted to go to some sporting event. It worked out great that the Cornhusker Council was sponsoring a Scout Night at a Lincoln Stars hockey game. For about the same price as dinner & a movie, we were able to take Connor and a few friends to the game.

Before the game, we had a mini pizza bar for dinner. Growing up that was always one of my favorite things to help make homemade pizza. And now my kids like to "decorate" their own, too.

We got to the game and found our seats. Unfortunately due to a mix up, the 7 of us weren't able to sit together. We sat the Connor and his 2 friends in the section with the rest of the scouts from our pack and then went to find our seats. Thankfully, we were really quite close and had a good view of the boys and the game.

My first impression when things got started was not good. The other team (Ohio, I think) skated onto the ice and immediately got booed. Not very cool, in my opinion.
I was however, incredibly impressed with their ability to skate. We went ice skating in December and it is not as easy as I remember it being when I was a kid. The overall atmosphere was loud, but fun. Genna was cheering along with everyone else, she asked me several times who we were cheering for and I told her the Stars, but soon she asked if it was ok, if she just said, Go Rockets(which is our town's mascot). It was quite challenging at times to follow where the puck actually was, you really had to pay attention. And for a while, I thought it was going to be pretty boring as no one seemed to be able to score. But then our team scored twice in a row and from then on it was more exciting to watch. We ended up winning the game, 7-0.

Afterwards, they did an autograph session for all the scouts out on the ice. Both of our boys are really into sports cards right now and so they thought it was very cool to be able to get Stars' cards signed by the actual players.

Troy and I talked about it afterwards and decided despite the fun time we had, we most likely won't be going back to any games soon. The players really do slam each other around a lot and fists were thrown several times. In fact, the game stopped at 20 seconds to go because of a fight. Then after we scored each time, the crowd shouted about something to the effect of "hey, goalie, you s--ck!".

Am I making mountains out of molehills deciding we won't be hockey fans? I hope not, I just really think that right now our boys are learning about good sportsmanship and I am afraid what we saw at the game pretty much detracted from what we are trying to teach them.

After the game, we got home and a few more of Connor's friends who were also at the game, came over to spend the night. It was late(11ish) by this point, but I really wanted to do ice cream and presents, so we didn't have to mess with it in the morning b/c either Troy or I were going to be gone taking Genna to tumbling. I made a jumbo chocolate chip cookie. I found out my pizza stone, is not big enough for the recipe I made. It got a little messy. It was a good thing it wasn't quite as cold out that day, because I had to open up a few windows to help get the charcoal smell out of the house from the cookie that had dripped onto the bottom of the oven.

We sang to Connor, had our cookie & ice cream and then Connor opened presents. We finally sent everyone to bed at Midnight. It was pretty quiet by 12:30 so I went to bed. Connor said they couldn't sleep and so they turned on Napolean Dynomite at 1:00. Man, whose idea was it to feed them sugar at 11:30?? I think they did eventually fall asleep and were up bright and early to turn on the gamecube and the tv.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

SMART Saturday

I have just a few minutes here at the computer, as Troy and I are heading to the temple tonight. I am hoping the mucinex I just took, kicks in soon and my ear won't be plugged up anymore.

I actually just got back from visiting teaching and the message this month was just awesome! Here is my favorite quote by Bonnie Parkin:
"The Lord has touched my spirit time and again, and more often than not, His touch has reached me through the hand of a friend. . . . Perhaps [we] would feel more of His love if [we] looked for His hand in the actions of those who care for [us]. . . . God knows the needs of His children, and He often works through us, prompting us to help one another. When we act on such promptings, we tread on holy ground, for we are allowed the opportunity to serve as an agent of God in answering a prayer"
Wow, I don't even think I need to comment.

I will blog tomorrow about Connor's sleepover birthday party and the hockey game- so stay tuned!!

Without further ado, let's talk about my SMART goal. Last week (errr. I guess it was really only on Monday, since I was so late in posting), I decided I wanted to work on the organizing the kids school work. I did indeed work on that and I think I have it to a manageable place, but not yet how I would like it.

Here's what I had to work with. The white garbage bag was actually sort of organized into years. But papers were hanging out, not folded right.

I went ahead and purged a large grocery bag full of stuff from the pile and then organized it into some old scrapbook folders that I had laying around. I threw away anything with glitter or large amounts of glue. There is a folder for every school year. I would like to put these into binders with page protectors eventually. Next time I go to Sam's or Hobby Lobby, I will pick some up and finish up this project.

Here are Jameson's 1st-3rd grade years and Connor's K-2nd grade years.

Here are the folder's for their current year. This file drawer is in our kitchen rigth by where they deposit all their papers.

Eventually, I would also like to frame a few select pieces of their artwork.

Ok, so onto the challenge for this next week. I really want to get to bed earlier. So, my goal is to be in bed by 11:00- hopefully asleep by 11:30. I need to get to the library this week too- I haven't been since before Christmas and I have been so itchy to get there. I know this will help me do a better job of getting up earlier, which means, exercising earlier and just being an all around happier person.

If you aren't sure what the SMART thing is go here. I know it has really helped me. I seriously would have blown off the artwork this week, had I not felt a sense of accountability. So, thanks again, Lara!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

13 Things

13 Things I did today:

1. Put together a puzzle with my cute little girl who stayed home sick from school. Best .25 I spent at a garage sale. She loves her Pochahontas puzzle.

2. Laundry. See, I told you, it is never ending!

3. Dishes. While I was doing these Genna pulled a stool up so she could help. It was so cute, she was singing the whole time we were working. I asked if she learned that song at school. She said no, it was a Dragon Tales song about how singing makes the work go faster and more fun. I love PBS!

4. Talked with my good friend, Cheryl on the phone. Her son is not feeling good. Hope you feel better soon, Aaron!

5. Made this recipe. I know I read it on someone's blog and I can't remember who, I am sorry.

Lentil-Rice Casserole

3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Blend all together in a casserole dish. Bake, covered for 2 hours at 300 degrees. Sprinkle with cheese and baked for another 20 minutes.

I was actually a little scared when I pulled it out of the oven, but it was surprisingly tasty and everyone enjoyed it, except my little sweetie who didn't feel like eating dinner.

6.Cleaned out my tool basket in my office. It was a MESS! And I couldn't find my adhesive. It wasn't there, but now it looks so much better.

7. Made this scrapbook page:

8.Filed bills and other important papers.

9.Cleaned out my spice cupboard. It was LONG overdue.

10. I also labeled the lids after I was inspired to do so by Laura, the Organizing Junkie. Check out her post about this.

11. While I was doing the spice cupboard, I tackled the medicine cabinet as well. It always tends to gravitate towards chaos. I think one problem is that the little baskets have to be turned sideways to be taken out. Didn't fix that problem. But it is back to being organized again.

12.Got all nostalgic listening to this song: Come on Home by Everything But the Girl. Totally makes me think of my friend Rebecca and working grounds crew at BYU.

13. Made this little package for Mrs. Schrader. Jameson told us she was turning 50 tomorrow. They are all wearing black so she knows she is older than dirt. He also is going to write out 50 math problems for her(she is his math teacher).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


When Jameson was a baby, a good friend of mine introduced me to stamping and I was immediately hooked. Shortly after that I got into scrapbooking and my pocketbook has never been the same since. I love cardmaking and crafting I think so much b/c it is something you can sit down and channel all your creative energy into a project that you can finish. While I love being a SAHM, there is a part of me that needs that sense of accomplishment that comes with doing a card or a scrapbook page, as opposed to the never ending pile of laundry that appears day after day.

So this week I made cards for a swap group I am a part of. The theme was Baby Girl cards and the challenge to not use pink. Boy, I struggled with this one. I didn't turn out like I had anticipated, but I think I am ok with it today. Amber, if you are reading this, close your eyes if you want to be surprised when you get these in the mail!!

Then this week, my friend Micki, sent me the February Kit from Cardsadaisy, a site that sells kits for making cards & scrapbook pages. The papers are so fun & easy to work with. Plus for me Valentine's Day is one of those fun holidays where there isn't much pressure to make the perfect birthday card or Christmas layout. Here are the samples I came up with for her. Check out her fun site!

Works For Me Wednesday

It took me all day long to figure out something I could share for Works for Me Wednesday. And maybe some of you won't find this helpful. But I am pretty passionate right now about making sure my home and family is prepared for a disaster situation- whether that be a power outage or pandemic flu.

From the Red Cross website:

Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store a total of at least one gallon per person, per day. You should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family.

So, with that said, here is my tip. When you get done drinking a bottle of pop or gallon of juice- wash out the container and fill it back up with water.

After you have it filled up again, take a permanent marker and put the date on it. Water should be switched out every 6-9 months. Drinking water that is. I actually have a few jugs that I filled up several years ago. Am I going to refill them with clean water now? No, because I figure I could use them for washing or purify them if I would have a need for more drinking water.

One thing to note, they don't recommend you using milk cartons to store water, they don't seal well and leak after a while. We don't actually drink a lot of juice or pop around here, but usually on the holidays or if there are good sales we will have that kind of stuff around and I just wash and fill them up then.

Hope this is helpful for someone. For more tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Scrapbook Challenge

Here are a couple of the pages I did at the crop on Friday night. I really decided I have to kick it up a notch. My memory is not what it used to be and I am afraid of forgetting important details I want to remember. I actually have a bit of journaling on the backs of both of these layouts.

Smart Habit Saturday

Man, I am so late this weekend at posting my SMART goal. Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging, lol! We kept busy with basketball games, grocery shopping, puzzle building, movie watching, baking cookies and I even went to a crop on Friday night for sorority. Courtney went home today after being at our house all week. We are really going to miss her- especially Genna.

So here my update on last week's goal. I wanted to get together an emergency kit to have in the car and start on my storage room. I did get a great start on the storage room. I still have some major stuff to do to have that room the way I'd like- but I think I have it to where I can do bite size chunks of it- instead of feeling overwelmed by the whole huge project.

Here is the car kit I put together. We actually got a good portion of this when we ordered food storage about 9 1/2 years ago. It unfortunately hasn't always been in the car, so I had to go find it and add winter items and food to it.

Included: a tow rope, portable gas can, jumper cables, emergency triangle, flares, foldup shovel, emergency radio, wool blanket and winter items.

Also included:umbrella, dried apples & pineapple, granola bars, water & small bottle, latex gloves, waterproof matches, handwarmers, poncho, emergency vest, travel scrabble game, roll of tp, bandana, wipes, duct tape and a few small candles.

Up front in the glove box we have a small flashlight and various first aid supplies. I do need to go through those and make sure those are all in good order.

But I feel good about getting this kit done. I need to make one up for Troy's work van as well. I am keeping up pretty well on my previous goals as well- I exercised 5 times this week- even the day I subbed.

My goal this week is to get the children's school work under control. I have a huge bag full of papers and artwork in the basement. I keep a drawer in my kitchen where they are supposed to add special papers. These papers always seem to multiply. The ones in the kitchen were recently weeded out but my plan is to get the ones downstairs into binders. I want them to be able to look at them and enjoy them.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Beating the Winter Blahs

It was a gray & cold morning here. I really would have liked to curl up with a good book and snuggle under the covers. But on Tuesday, I started on my storage room. Troy helped and we put things in the family room- to make room while we were organizing. They are mostly still all there today. Since the family room also doubles as the boys' basketball arena, you can imagine how our nice, neat piles now look. The mess and the weight of that huge to do was hanging over my head was not contributing to a happy mood.

But after picking Genna up from preschool, I decided I need to do something to lift my spirits. We needed to eat lunch and I wanted to spend some time with my sweet little girl, so we decided to have a picnic in the family room. There was a small spot we could fit a blanket. We had a fun time- even preparing the food. It was nothing special- but eating a sandwich somewhere besides the table- is always more fun. We told stories while eating lunch. This is something we like to do while we are in the car or getting ready in the morning. Genna comes up with some good ones. Today's was about a boy whose parents died who went to live with his grandparents by the ocean. He met a baby shark(who didn't have any teeth) and his grandparents decided they'd always needed a baby shark in the family. They had all sorts of adventures together. It got a little scary when the baby sharks parents' came back to get him, but luckily they all had swimming suits that turned them into mermaids, so they could go visiting underwater.

After a few more stories, some chocolate quik and some tickles, I was finally in the right mood to tackle the storage room. I decided to start with the books that have never been unpacked from their boxes even though we've lived here for over 3 years. They now have a home on a bookshelf we got from my parents. It feels so great to get rid of those 6 boxes that were taking up quite a bit of space.

I still have a pretty big mess to deal with- but I feel good about doing the books, when I really felt like doing nothing. Still to do:

*find a place for the luggage
*organize all the church stuff- I am thinking a file cabinet would work best for this
*build shelves & organize our food & water storage
*reorganize my wrapping box that has spilled it's contents
*put back our 72 hour kits
*carry the garage sale & garbage stuff out to the garage(that's another task, for another day0 the carrying out, not the garage
*and last but certainly not least- tackle this mess of memorabilia, photos, etc.

Yikes, that is scary. I am only posting this for some accountability. There are several boxes of just photo albums- but besides that there are a lot of papers, etc. that I need to organize or get rid of.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sunday Scrapbook Challenge

Alrighty, so I am a couple days late with this, but things were pretty busy around here on Sunday with Connor's birthday.

This was our company's trip to Great Wolf Lodge in August of 2005. We had such a good time. I had to do this layout this week b/c I needed to think warm thoughts- it is so stinking cold out. It was -10 degrees when Troy left for work this morning. He threw in the towel a few hours later when his heater in the van would only blow cold air.

I hope you are all staying warm today!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

9 Years Old

This was my boy, 9 years ago- can you believe it? Time has sure flown. Connor was such a sweet and content little baby. I was very thankful for that, because I struggled with Jameson, who seemed a little more demanding. Of course, I am sure some of it was first time parent inexperience as well. We are so thankful Connor is a part of our family.

We have a had a fun weekend celebrating his birthday. Yesterday we had more ball games and he was the star of the second half. He scored 12 points with a shot that put us ahead at 30 seconds to go. Then the other team went down and made a shot at 7 seconds. Unfortunately, they weren't able to go into overtime because of another team scheduled on the gym after them, but it was still such an exciting game. We trailed behind the other time for a good portion of the game and so we were so proud of Connor and the rest of their team.

Last night we braved the snow and went to Lincoln. Connor chose Valentino's Buffet for his birthday dinner and boy, was it yummy! He wasn't actually feeling the greatest- we are all struggling with colds at some stage. But we still had a great time. I did pretty good eating wise there. I did have to have 2 different kinds of garlic bread- but I skipped dessert all together and just had a few pieces of fresh pineapple.

Today after church and a nap we had bbq chicken, cheesey potatoes, green bean casserole and homemade rolls per his request. We then had a special Connorized FHE. We all wrote little letters to him and then played a game where we asked him questions and we tried to guess his answers. We all had fun doing this. We sang his favorite Primary songs, read his favorite scripture and then after prayer had brownie sundaes. He opened his presents and was super excited to get among other things: roller coaster tycoon, a new Texas ballcap(he had one that he lost), a magnetized dartboard and some baseball cards.

Here are the questions & answers from our game:

Favorite Colors:Pink & Blue
Favorite Foods: Roast Beef & Cowboy Beans
Favorite TV Shows: Suite Life of Zach & Cody & anything on ESPN
Favorite Movie: Rugrats Go to Paris
Favorite Song: I like to Move It
Favorite Team: Texas Longhorns
Favorite Thing to Do: Play basketball
Favorite Game: Madden '06
Favoirte Book: Stink by Megan McDonald & the Magic Tree House books
Favorite Season: Summer
Favorite Drink: Water
Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Brandt
Favorite Kind of Ice Cream: Playdough(we had this in Michigan this summer)
Favorite Kind of Cake: Angel Food
Favorite Animal: Our dog Sands
Favorite Scripture Story: When Nephi builds a Ship
Favorite Scripture: Moses 1:39
Favorite Primary Song: Book of Mormon Stories
The best thing since sliced bread: the Gamecube
The perfect age: 8
Favorite thing to do with Mom: Scrapbook
Favorite thing to do with Dad: play football
Favorite thing to do with Jameson: play football
Favorite thing to do with Genna: play barbies
When I grow up I either want to play basketball, football or be a gutter man
In 5 years I hope I can play football like my cousin Jonathon
The funnest time I ever had was when we went to South Dakota and saw Mount Rushmore
The scariest thing that ever happened was when someone tried to break into our neighbor's truck
The most embarassing thing that ever happened to me was that my Mom made a scrapbook page of when I was 2 and she found me naked outside on the slide

Life around our house would certainly be much more on the dull side with out our Connor to liven things up. We love you Connor!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bon Voyage

Troy's brother Todd, who is also his business partner and Michelle, his wife are left tonight for a cruise to the Bahamas and several other places that I don't really want to hear about. It has been snowing/sleeting all day and the temperature didn't make it past 11 degrees. No, despite being a little green, I am excited for them to go. I know they will have an awesome time. Their 12 year old daughter Courtney is going to be staying with us for the week.

I was pretty impressed, my husband came up with the idea of getting Todd and Michelle a fun basket full of stuff to take on their cruise. We went on date shortly before Christmas and put this together. Included is sparkling cider & champagne glasses(it is their 20th anniversary), seashells, a few puzzle books, dramamine, an underwater camera, tropical flavored gum, candy & massage oil, some fun fishy ice cubes, sunscreen and a photo album. I hope they think of us as their are basking in the warmth!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear

Boy, I love that scripture. With the recent ice storms here in Nebraska that have left so many without power, and all the talk of the coming pandemic flu, I'll admit I had worked myself into a little frenzy. After attending a Preparedness Night at church tonight, I find myself calmed, but ready to take some action.

Our speaker(Alan Williams) tonight was so refreshing. I really felt like I learned so much and when he cut off his portion of the talk at 8:45, I was a little bummed, I could have listened much longer. He talked about 3 main areas

1)getting prepared at home-can you sustain life in your house for 2 weeks? This concerns food, water, medicine, warmth, etc.

2)having an emergency kit in the car- especially necessary for those who travel a lot. This includes food, water, warm blankets, hats,& gloves, etc. (This one really hit me tonight after reflecting on the couple who got stranded in their car in Oregon)

3)an emergency move kit that would help you for about 72 hours. Areas to cover in the kit would be warmth, food, water, toiletry, sleeping and entertainment. This was probably the area we spent the most time talking about.

The thing I really liked about our discussion tonight was a focus on that one list for these kits does not fit all. My families' needs are different than yours. there are lots of lists out there. Check out the Red Cross for some guidelines. But just remember to taylor the kits to YOUR needs. Places you might need to evacuate to: schools, armories, or other large gymnasiums.

It was really fun tonight too, because he did some hands on things. He opened up one of those silver emergency blankets and asked a gentleman(Coy) to come and cover up with it and then had him sit up against the window for a few moments. It was hard for Coy to really get covered up and it did nothing to protect against the cold surface. Now Brother Williams wasn't trying to get us to all throw away our emergency blankets, but he wanted to point out that for a small child, they could probably wrap up tightly, but most adults would have areas where drafts would be able to get in and let body heat out. He showed us how a heavy duty carpenter trash bag could be effective. Just cut a small opening for your head and pull it over. Troy was actually the model for this one and I was too busy watching, I forgot to snap a picture. The bag easily came down to his knees and was tight but not uncomfortable around his neck- drastically reducing drafts to the majority of the body. You could easily use another bag potato sack race style and elminate all drafts.

As far as the hard cold surface, we have some blankets and sheets in our 72 hour kits, but I never thought of the prospect of sleeping on a cold cement floor for 3 days. A pad would be useful in this case. Even one of those cheap inflatable air rafts for the pool would do the trick.

Several people brought displays to show items from their 72 hour kits or home storage. I prepared the one on water storage. They recommend you have 1 gallon per person, per day with a two week supply.

I hope I haven't bored you to tears. I just know that this is something very important that I need to do in my life. I am going to make my Smart Goal this week to get a kit together for my car and then work on cleaning my storage room where our 72 hr kits are stored. The storage room part might take more than this week, but it will be a start, right?

Progress on last week's goal of getting fit went pretty well. I think not expecting perfection from myself has helped me relax with this goal. I drank my 64oz. of water every day, I exercised every day this week and I have abstained from eating after dinner. I haven't made huge progress on the scale, but I think that I am definitely starting to establish good habits that will last even when the scale is where I want it to be.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shooting Stars

Ok, well this title is maybe a bit of a stretch, but it's the best connection I could come up with after subbing in the 6th grade today.

I have a special place in my heart for astronomy. If there wasn't so much math involved, I seriously would have considered becoming an astronomer. One of my most memorable classes at BYU was Astronomy by Dr. Taylor. Jameson has been wanted to see a comet for a while now. We told him about the Hale-Bopp comet that we saw when he was 10 months old and I mentioned how I got to go out very late at night on a school night to see Halley's Comet. So, when Troy told us that there was a comet visible this week, we were all excited at the prospect. We went out around sunrise without any luck. I am sure my neighbor driving by wondered what was up when I went outside in my pj's with a pair of binoculars, I don't know if the fact that Connor was nearby with his telescope helped or not. Anyway, Troy called and reminded me last night to look at sunset yesterday because it was going to be one of the most optimum times to see it. We all rushed into the car and drove out into the country. It was a bit confusing for the boys because the sun had lit up several jet exhaust streams and they sort of looked cometish. But we were thrilled to actually see it once we got up high enough. It was so fleeting however, if we had waited 10 minutes to go, we would have missed it. Jameson wanted to make sure he wrote down the date on the picture I printed, so he could remember this event for the rest of his life.

Here's where the stretch comes in. I neglected to share any photos of last weekend's sports extravaganza. Jameson and Connor had basketball games and a free throw contest and Genna had tumbling. I didn't get very many good pictures of them, it is tough lighting wise in the areas where they play. But without further ado here are my little stars...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Healthy Choices

Over at Rocks in my Dryer, Shannon is hosting a healthy eating edition of Works for Me Wednesday and I thought I'd play along.

Something I've been doing lately is to have more healthy choices readily available. I bought big bags of apples & oranges and set them on my counter. I also have been cutting celery(instead of letting it wilt in my crisper). I even put a few sticks in a baggy with a small container of peanut butter for easy access. For some reason, you stick things in individual containers/baggies and my kids will eat them so much better than if they have to open up the container with the celery sticks, etc.

Despite my best efforts, this is what I found when I came upstairs today.

The other thing I did today, that I've been needing to do for a while now is to grind some wheat. Using whole wheat flour in the place of white flour or at least some of the white flour, really adds a lot of fiber and nutrition to your diet. My Mom scored an awesome deal on this wheat grinder at a consignment shop several years back and she so kindly lets me use it. Now I don't love whole wheat for everything, but I can add it to most things I bake and no one complains about the outcome.

Last but not least here is my healthy recipe, that is very kid friendly and much more health conscious than the frozen kind you get at the store even. These can be prepared immediately or it works great to freeze them before you bake them as well. I did these when we did our OAMC. I found this recipe at recipezaar- you can find anything there.

Chicken Strips
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
3 cups crushed cornflakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. ranch dressing(can use light version)
2 T. water- to thin ranch out

I cut the chicken breasts into strips when they are just thawed out enough to run my knife through. It is easier to handle when it is not quite so gooey. Crush up the cornflakes into as small of pieces as you can. Run them through a food processor, or double bag them and let your kids stomp all over them. You might need to get out the rolling pin to really get them fine. Mix water and ranch dressing. You could add hot sauce to this mixture as well, if you like it hot.

Dip each strip into the ranch mixture and then pop into the baggy full of cornflakes. Coat evenly and lay to rest on cookie sheet(lined with wax paper if you are freezing). If you are going to freeze these- do so for about 2 hours or until they are very firm. Then you can place them in a larger bag and take out what you need.

Bake these at 425 for about 18 to 20 minutes. Serve with homemade honey mustard sauce or whatever you like to dip your chicken strips in. We really like these, they turn out nice and crispy without any frying.