Spring Break Hump Day

Have we really made it? Are we really HALF way through this… uh “glorious” week? Happy Hump Day to parents all over the Spring Break world! We’ve made it!

I think our week has been a lot like this post – a little discombobulated and random. But it was still full of sweet nerdlings (albeit loud and sometimes obnoxious) and some good days thrown in the mix too. Here’s a sweet wee one demonstrating her two basic stances: still and not-still.

Now to survive the next two days + a weekend.

My kids have been suffering from “we’re not doing aaaannyyything for Spring Break?!” fever since they got out of school three days early due to Parent Teacher Conferences. Gotta love the extra time right? Not so much. The conferences were nice though, I feel like we actually discovered, worked on, and found solutions for either problems or “good” problems like having a daughter who desperately needs that extra work to keep her over-the-top brain going! Usually we just go in and nod and “uh-huh, oh good,” etc. We actually spoke and expressed concerns or praised things that were tried and successful. It felt like we actually accomplished something.

To celebrate my Hump Day for this delightful BREAK (ha) I’m making Red Velvet cupcakes in some damask-wedding-esque liners to try and appeal to the more wedding side of this business. Or, attempt. It was suggested that I shoot for weddings and party gatherings to start and it’s a great idea. I have lots of ideas how we could display the cupcakes and as a side project I may even draw up a few ideas and post them to hold myself accountable. One would need Styrofoam and lots and lots of frosting. But it could be fun! Perhaps a good summer project.

In other news, I’m trying to keep up on my water intake. Not something all that exciting. But when you go from downing water bottle after water bottle to a 10-oz glass a day? Not the best switch! I used to be fine with my water intake but due to stress and just the usual busy excuses I’ve been horrible about it. I’ve felt it too! Even on my run days, I still feel sluggish and exhausted. I miss that rush of energy I get from exercising. Water water water.

Well, with a child to deliver (to the great-grandparents!), fabric waiting and calling my name (trip to Joann’s! woo!), and cupcakes once I arrive back home… this day is far from over. Enjoy your hump day and let’s hope I survive Spring Break.

 

 

Start with just five minutes.

Sometimes the overall weight of life seems to press against my hands. Kind of like the difference between words and “alhgiujaggajmjfk lj kakfjlgal;fjgaljka la;gj” Makes sense, right? I go to post and I just can’t get from the asdfghjk to the real formed words. So I figured, start with just five minutes.

Go go, five minutes!

I figure the easiest way to start with the five minutes is to just babble. And, of course, the easiest thing to babble on about is stuff that we’ve done! This last few weeks has been a little on the chaotic side. The kids have been back in school (don’t get me started on that topic, that’s another post entirely) and doing their normal thing, the two little girls have been in their fairly usual routines except for Daddy being home, and I’ve been battling weight gain from my meds – wahoo! Good and bads, your usual. There have definitely been more positives as of late with this week. First things first:

Cameron’s parents came to visit! This was a great positive thing as we don’t get to see his family very often now that we’ve moved. It’s basically become the opposite of what it used to be, we used to live in Utah and the once-a-year trips were to Oregon! Regardless, it’s been fun to trade-off and go visit or have them come visit us. The main reason for timing on this trip is also the next positive thing we’ve got going on!

Duncan’s baptism! He turned 8 on the 7th of this month and chose to be baptized. We couldn’t be more proud of our boy, and can’t believe how much he’s grown! We had a small gathering of mostly family and then a luncheon for Mom’s side of the family afterward. Thank goodness Danine had her camera because while Cameron grabbed our Nikon, neither of us thought to check for a card… whoops! Duncan took a photo with both me and Cameron and I’m so glad Danine was there to take them for us!

Five minutes is up! More tomorrow… hopefully.

This just in!

Hello fellow Wookieecakes lovers. Well, hush. You will be – just wait and see!

Among all this delicious Instagram posting and drool-worthy Facebook updates [cue head inflation now!] is a lot of baking and a lot of great results. The problem? I can’t POSSIBLY test all I want all the time and still attempt to keep a girlish figure! And after a while one begins to wonder if the yummy-ness is all in one’s head.

I want to test new flavors, new ideas, new treats, new everything!

So here’s the point in all this.

How would you like to fast forward yourself to the front of my giveaway list? As it stands, I’ll be making random drop-ins to friends and family with treats to share, but if there’s a specific want somewhere I want to head there first! If you love cupcak– wait, who doesn’t love cupcakes? Everyone loves cupcakes so sign up below! (Leave me your email address in the comments and I’ll contact you further, thanks!)

For now, I’m trying to keep this local to keep down costs. Feel free to send me your information if you’re in Oregon but outside of my immediate area – who knows, maybe I’ll be in the neighborhood. Can’t hurt to try! ;-)

No snow, but we’re still coming back.

Some winter break, OREGON. Where’s our snow?! Oh well. It wasn’t truly expected. (Just secretly hoped for.)

And a fresh start, right? New year! New material! New schedule! This week is gonna rock! HA. So far we’ve had three bowls of cereal dropped, I’ve managed to upset my husband, tick off two kids, and I’m hearing all kinds of “there goes any homeschool fun, ugh”, “WHY?!”, “this is SO boring”, “where ARE the scriptures?!” All I’m asking for is a little bit of scriptures to start our day. A quick “opening” prayer. You’d think I was ripping off toenails and feeding them to them!

I love homeschool. But I think my idea of it is much different from K12′s idea of it. I’m still determined to continue this, to keep trying to make this online charter work. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I want to give it all I’ve got.

In the meantime, if you feel like gifting me anti-stress balls, Advil, and endless meal-replacement shake powder (Chocolate is what I’m currently slurping for breakfast) I’ll send you my address.

le sigh

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Just a quick DELISH recipe!

The original recipe came from here, click me! But I needed to veganize it, not to mention I didn’t have any bok choy, I’m not a cilantro fan, and I like to add kale to just about everything! Here is my variation!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large spaghetti squash

1 large handful of kale

1 carrot, thinly sliced (I used my food processor, slicing disk)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 TBS peanut butter

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1-1/2 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS sriracha sauce

GARNISHES:

large handful of peanuts

1 green onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Microwave your whole spaghetti squash for 1 minute. Cut in half lengthwise (but, ha, don’t raise it up with a knife stuck in it, slam it down against your granite counter top, and screech upon explosion almost startling your husband half to death, oops!) and scoops out seeds. Place open side down in a large microwavable dish and pour 1 cup water over the top to sit down underneath the squash. Nuke for 12 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let sit for a few minutes to cool off. Then, use a fork and “shred” out the “spaghetti”.

In a large cast iron skillet, sauté up your garlic, then add sliced carrots and tear up your kale. Toss the kale, carrots, and garlic with a couple of rounds of extra virgin olive oil. After three minutes of sautéing, transfer the vegetables into a bowl. Add the veggie broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha sauce. Whisk together in your pan until it thickens and becomes creamy. Add your vegetables back in and mix in all that beautiful spaghetti squash! Heat for a few minutes as the sauce coats all your “spaghetti”. Garnish away!

Did I mention it’s vegan? And that I can eat it? AND it’s good?!

So. Vegging. Good.

Enjoy!

another day home

Today was a usual day in the way that it was not usual in any way. Normal has sort of packed and left, not that normal was a huge contributor around here. But it had a routine, albeit a small one. We got up, pushed two kids out the door, daddy’s been working from home for a while now so even that had become normal. But now we keep our bigger nerdlings home. We all work together to make the day work, we’re just still trying to find out when it becomes normal, at least for us, again.

Today went all right. We didn’t finish everything on the list, but I’m trying to take that in stride. We DID finish things on the list. That’s moving forward. I can handle that. I even got the valances and remaining curtains hung in the family room and kitchen. Cameron, as usual, came to my rescue helping me construct DIY valances without having to actually buy separate valances and their software. I saw the valances on Pinterest – of course, right? Unfortunately, it looks like one of our curtain panels was stamped crooked. That’s an entirely different story though – so long story short, I’ve got some fiddling to do with the valances.

Tomorrow it’ll be on to more school, definitely more cleaning, and invoicing too! Go go Paparazzi! Now for some Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond “ice cream”.

Just thinking…

Today is full of #hashtags and Mancrush Mondays and Throwback Thursdays. But being a busy mom, as much fun as it would be to post a photo of me and schoolmates from 1998, I never remember. Let alone remember WHERE the photo is to scan, post, or instagram. Kinda like my dying What I Wore Wednesday. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? EXACTLY.) So I’ve brainstormed a NEW #hastag//clever-day-of-the-week-named-thing for my family.

Most of you know, or maybe not, that we’ve pulled our older two kids from public and public charter schools that they were attending and that we’ve decided to homeschool. Last week was our first full on week of REAL schooling. Getting settled in, making sure we were busting out assignments and logging our attendance. We’re trying out ORVA through K12, and so far so semi-good. I’m sure it’ll get better but that’s another post entirely! Between homeschooling, Paparazzi, keeping up with my housework, working towards my DREAM of Wookieecakes (yes, vegan bakery!), and still finding time to stay sane and use my baby (Nikon D5100) to photograph my other babies (the human cute ones!) – I thought about sliding in a clever ruse to get my family to try a few new things.

So no, there probably won’t be a regular #hashtag or clever name, but I think we’re going to start our little adventure with mashed up Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a bit of vegan butter, pink Himalayan sea salt, and the ittiest bit of pepper as a side dish in our dinner tonight. My kiddos are pretty good about trying new things and they LOVE vegetables and fruit – we are so blessed as parents, you have no idea – picky free around here. But orange mush? I’ll admit it. It seriously looks like orange mush, lol. But it IS so good. I had half of one today for my lunch… now to push them to try something new and crawl out of their little mini-distinguished food homes all comfy and cozy.

I hereby declare today – TRY-IT SATURDAY. EH, eh? *nods*

Depending on how ambitious I’m feeling perhaps we’ll even go for Try-Me Mondays! That is if I ever get to the grocery store.

A 13-minute breather

Amid the chaos and trauma of day-to-day living with 4 children and a very busy husband, I decided that homeschooling my nerdlings was something I wanted to take on. Something I believed in, and something that was an active choice – not something you just say but something you have to physically do. It’s been a lot of work, and I realize I’m still all new and shiny, not worn down and to my ragged point but in the past 6 hours and 40 minutes, I’ve really felt like it’s working. Like this is where we’re supposed to be.

Cameron woke up and ran, did his usual work stuff after breakfast. I got up with Duncan (bright and early at 5:55) and we jumped right in. I haphazardly asked if he was interested in getting some schooling done before breakfast since we were both awake (ha) and downstairs together. Without the girls it went so smooth! Even Olivia can be a distraction at times. I definitely will continue this practice as long as he continues to drag me out of bed.

Olivia, poor girl, has been waiting and waiting for her supplies to arrive. For some reason we’ve been having problems getting k12 to reinstate her, though it’s apparently finally been solved. Today, on my checklist, I am emailing the ONE person we’ve been able to get results from and asking how things are looking on their end since our Enrollment Dashboard is STILL not functioning. Go k12! But all of her paperwork is in, including her stellar report card. Fingers crossed and prayers going for supplies coming fast!

Rachael and Charlotte are feeling neglected. ENTER MOM GUILT. Suddenly their two older siblings are home. All. The. Time. And it’s WEIRD, right? I’m suddenly giving the big’uns all this attention, asking the wee little’uns nicely (through clenched teeth) to please be quiet, Duncan’s trying to work. “Well, FINE, we’ll just eat markers and steal your 3DS, MOM,” retorts the toddler. Le sigh. It’ll get better. This too shall pass.

But I guess that’s what this 13-minute breather– oops. Make that a 17-minute breather and probably 18 by the end of this post. That’s what this is about. Learning. Being in charge of my own learning. Being in charge of what my littles are learning. Sharing with them the love of music, numbers, reading, literature as a whole that I have personally. Allowing them to develop their own favorites and real-life-related learning methods.They’re even asking more church related questions. And not just on Monday nights, score! It’s definitely a new and unfamiliar journey we’ve locked onto, but it’s one that I think we’ll all enjoy.