Friday, February 25, 2011

Awe Struck

I don't remember every taking note of my belly when I was pregnant with Tyler and Keira. I know that sounds horrible, but if you were around, I was extremely ill and never thought I should study my belly. The other night while getting ready for bed, I caught my reflection and just dropped everything! I can't believe how big my stomach is! It is magnificent! I ran to the top of the stairs to show off my pride and joy to my husband who was also stunned by the size my belly has gotten this time around. When I started the 'trek' back to the room, my son Tyler called me into his room for a hug and kiss. I walked in, he flipped over to look at me and was instantly stricken with awe! The look on his little face was priceless: jaw dropped open, eyes wide, and a gasp! He proceded to say, "MAMA! You're belly is huge!" All I could do was laugh. He then asked me if God was going to let his "baby" in his arm get as big as my baby in my belly. (He believes that he has a baby growing in his arm.) I let him down softly and informed him that his "baby" wouldn't get much bigger. The conversation continued for five more minutes with his little eyes as huge as saucers the entire time. I love my little man. :)
On another note, the girls that I watch crack me up on a regular basis. They are so good for my heart.
I was taking them to our weekly circle time at the local Chic-fil-a and asked them, "Can Ms C.j. take a nap and drive at the same time? I'm so tired!"
Paige was quick to say, "No, I think that's a bad idea. You're so silly Ms C.j."
To which I replied, "yeah you're probably right. It would be a bad choice. I could cause a wreck and hurt a bunch of people."
"Yeah! Let's do it!" replied Chloe.
Cue Ms. Cj's laughter. :D

Well those are the great memories of the week. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pizza Crust and Bread Sticks

If you know me personally you know I absolutely despise cooking with yeast. I am simply cursed when it comes to the dang stuff. Banana bread, applesauce bread, carrot bread, pumpkin bread,....all of which I can bake to my hearts content and receive endless compliments, but yeast breads--these are were I fail miserably.
I was searching for something to compliment my BBQ chicken and potatoes tonight for dinner and came across BBQ chicken pizza--oh how I LOVE BBQ chicken pizza! But OH how I hate making homemade pizza dough because it always includes that single dreaded recipe--yeast. Do you see my dilemma?
After browsing recipes for 20 minutes, I decided to alter and take a recipe head-on. Homemade bread sticks sounded too scrumptious to miss out on and I could toss a small pizza together for the children just in case they do not care for the BBQ chicken and potatoes.

Here's the recipe with the review to come later.
I combined the dry ingredients with my Kitchen aid Mixer

3 c. flour (any kind)
1 TB white sugar
1 pkg of dry active yeast
As the mixer was "stirring" I added
1 c. warm water (straight from faucet)
2 TB. safflower oil

Once the ingredients started to form a ball, I pulled them from the mixer and divided into two balls.
Setting the first ball aside I focused on my elementary school years of play-dough snakes. Yes, I rolled the second ball into an extra long "snake" and sliced into 6 pieces to make bread sticks. I put a nickle size drop of olive oil in my hand, rubbed each bread stick and lined on 1/2 of a cookie sheet.
Back to the first ball. With oil still on my hands I pressed it flat onto the other 1/2 of the cookie sheet. Followed with 365 Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce and a couple handfuls of Kirkland Mexican Cheese.
After washing my hands, I sprinkled some garlic salt and parsley on the bread sticks.

Now the oven is pre-heated to 375 (or 350 convection) and the bread sticks and pizza are cooking for 20-25 minutes. I'll write a review after we eat dinner tonight!

As promised--the review...

Overall, extremely easy and quick recipe. I love the fact that there is no "rising" required. Definitely will use it again.

Changes to make...Instead of putting olive oil under the dough to keep it from sticking I will either use a pizza stone or sprinkle down some corn meal. The dough wasn't soggy, but I like my pizza extra flakey and crispy and I think that may help some. It turned out tasting like Pizza Huts' crust, but with the same consistancy of a thin layer pizza.

Flavor was amazing--two thumbs up.

The bread sticks turned out really well too! I may let them rise for 30 mins or so before cooking next time to make them a little fluffier, but they were still delish.

Keira says, "Mom this is GREAT! YUM!"

Tyler didn't say much since his mouth was full when I asked him--always a good sign w/ the little man.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rope Basket--A future Project

Found off the blog in my previous post. I'd like to try this rope basket someday.

Two Really Good Blogs

Since I watch 4 toddlers during the weeks I'm constantly trying to find new projects for them to complete. We are almost done w/ the alphabet. This week will be "X, Y, Z" and I needed to find other topic to "teach". It wasn't too hard to find seeing how I've been using a website called "Totally Tots--Now I Know My ABCs" which links up to the orignal site "Totally Tots". Now mind you, I've been focusing on the children recognizing and writing their ABCs--which they do very well for 3 year olds! I never explored the rest of the Totally Tots webpage, until today! Wow, they have a lot of good projects, including Biblical principles. I feel like I've found a treasure of information and can not wait to start exploring these other sites and lesson plans A.S.A.P. After-all as a parent and a "teacher" it's my job to enusre they are educated and have a solid foundation to build their lives.

The second blog I spied today is "Under the Table and Dreaming". She blogged about natural homemade cleaning products.  Being pregnant and on a budget, I'm estatic to find natural non-toxic cheap cleaning products. Her blog overall is fresh and fun to read with a range of topics: crafts, recipes, home DIY projects, etc...If your lucky you'll win one of her give-a-way prizes!

Until tomorrow...happy living and grab a breath of fresh air ;).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Baby Update

Four weeks ago we found out that our little corn muffin had a spot on his/her heart. We were a little worried not knowing what to expect, but when we went back this past week the Dr said that the spot was getting lighter and going away. Praise Jesus!
This precious child of ours is our 3rd and has been extremely gentle on me. Keira and Tyler were hardly easy on my body. I was constantly sick and was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. A serious condition where the mom can not keep down food, looses more weight than gains and needs to be hydrated and monitored closely. Thanks to Jesus and an awesome mid-wife, Jana, I haven't suffered with HG with this baby. I still get sick here and there, but NOTHING like before. I will have to write a journal on that journey alone, but talking about healing--wow!
On another note, I may not be suffering from HG, but I do have the aches and pains of a normal pregnant woman. Ligaments are stretching and joints are loose causing hip pain and a great deal of balancing complications. Yes, this can be quite humorous at times. Lower back pain after sitting or sleeping which requires me to hobble around like an old lady for about 5 mins before it eases up--also humorous, I'm relieved no one is video taping. And the hardest side effect--lack of sleep. This little corn muffin has me up with his/her movement every morning at 3 am sharp. I swear (s)he believes (s)he is a tumbler in the Olympics or part of the Riverdance cast!  The good news? I have a strong and healthy baby that I can not wait to hold in my arms.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Counting and Ice Cream

We were sitting around the table the other night talking about our day(s). Randy said he was walking out to the car and heard Tyler just counting away, the little booger! "7....8....9...." Mind you, we've been working on Tyler's counting for years with no luck. It is always..."1.....2.....1!!!! I did it!"
Well, as Randy was telling his story, Tyler commentted, "I do it again!"
Of course we encouraged him and gave him the spot light. I was estatic! My son was finally going to count to 10 for me!
Tyler holds up his fingers and counts..."1...2...3...4...10! I did it!!"
Yeah, to say the least my excitement vanished, but then...
Tyler says, "Now I do it backwards!"
The family replies, "yeah! do it Tyler!"
Tyler..."1....2....3....4....10!!! See I did it!"
Cue laughter and applause. 

On another note a friend of mine posted a blog about single ingredient icecream! Impossible...right? I'm all over it the next time I have some overly riped bananas! Check it out here. Oh and while you're at it, check out all of her other recipes--yummilicious!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Veggie Crepes

I want to try these Veggie Crepes sometime this week or next. Need to go grocery shopping first though---I'm out of almost everything! AH...Hopefully this cold weather will warm up like the news is predicting. Bring on the 60's this weekend!

A Betty Crocker Recipe!

Vegetable Filling

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped (3 to 4 cups)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon instant minced garlic
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, bell pepper, onions and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Cover; let stand 2 to 3 minutes.

2.Lightly grease 6- or 7-inch skillet; heat over medium-high heat. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs with wire whisk or fork until blended.

3.Heat oven to 350°F. For each crepe, pour 2 tablespoons batter into hot skillet; rotate skillet until batter covers bottom. Cook until golden brown. Gently loosen edge with metal spatula; turn and cook other side until golden brown. Stack crepes, placing waxed paper between, as you remove them from skillet. Keep crepes covered to prevent them from drying out.

4.Spoon filling onto crepes. Sprinkle half of cheese over filling on crepes; roll up crepes. Place seam sides down in ungreased 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 10 to 12 minutes or until hot.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make Your Own Water Paint

I want to try this recipe out for my children and "adopted children". I'm a bit afraid that I will loose the link, so I'm posting it on my blog for future reference. Make sure you check out the link, it really is a creative and cheap way to make paints!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why is your child exceptional?

Keira is "Star Student of the Week" at school this week. Which means homework for mama and daddy as well as our 1st grade daughter. :) We had to write a letter to Keira and tell her why she is exceptional in our eyes. I figured I would post it for a good memory and others to see...Enjoy.

February 5, 2011

Randi Keira,

You came into this world with a vengeance and have been nothing but a blessing since you arrived. God made you just for us and we are thankful to have you in our lives.

Randi, you are our exceptional little girl. You have a kind heart and a tender spirit that we treasure. You are smart, creative, loving, cheerful and outgoing. You have several gifts (singing, dancing, drawing, making friends, making others feel good about themselves, etc...) that we are eager to see flourish and bloom into beautiful talents. You can do anything that you put your mind to and will overcome every obstacle that is thrown in your way, because YOU are our Randi Keira!

We love and cherish every second with you.

All of our love,

Mama and Daddy

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cold, Cold and Fighting Children

It's been quite the week here in the Culver house. Today was the first day I've ventured out for 7 days! The weekend was beautiful enough--50s and 60s--unfortunately I was sicker than a dog with a horrible cold. Being almost (6 months) pregnant I can't take any medication for colds. We researched the cold meds, active and inactive medications and decided that after having a child with Infantile Spasms and NF1 the risk was not worth it. Either way, I wasn't a happy camper only taking Tylenol for my aches.
My friend and my mom's friend Beverly (such a blessing to our family! I could go on and on about her...) came and pampered me with mineral oils. She left me with a mix called thieves oil, my new favorite all-natural treatment for anything! After one night of breathing in the vapors and rubbing the oil on my feet (I have really soft feet now) I started feeling better. The next day I stayed "locked" in my room with the humidifier, oil and my ever so handy Charmin TP. By Monday I was back on my feet and able to complete some much needed sanitizing and cleaning of the house. Tuesday, I was ready to conqueror the world! Now that I can smell the oil, I'm tempted to use a recipe online and boil it on my stove top every now and then. It smells SO yummy. Plus, people swear that it cleanses the air! I started rubbing it on my children's chests and feet and they have yet to catch my cold--I'm pretty much convinced that it works.

Back to Monday, I was feeling better, but to my dismay a cold front had moved into Colorado. Yes, our beautiful, unusual warm weather from the weekend was swallowed by a freak of nature cold front. Monday was a high of -3 degrees. Tuesday's high was even better...-12!  Yes that is the HIGH...NEGATIVE 12. I've lived here for 7 years and it has NEVER been that cold. It dropped to -20 on Tuesday evening and raised to a whooping 3 degrees on Wednesday. Take note that we are now in the positive numbers. Today has been quite a bit better. We at least have snow to go with our high of 28 degrees. Granted it's not much snow, but at least it has arrived--finally. Our first 4 years of living here and we had at least one amazing dumpage (is that a word?) of snow a year! Randy and I have always gone out and played in it, but this year it's just cold. Tomorrow is suppose to be a high of 50 degrees--insert laughter. I love Colorado and it's crazy weather.

Now mind you, my saint of a mother took the children on Sunday so I could lock myself in my room and rest; but otherwise, I have had a 6 year old and 4 year old every day and have been stuck in our very open living space. Wednesday, add 2, 3 year olds and a 2 year old to the equation. Today, Keira had school--thank goodness! I was happy going to pick her up at school today (25 degrees and snow), JUST so I could get out of our home and all of the noise associated with being stuffed into our house with 5 children. I do believe it is wearing on the children as well seeing how Keira has been snapping at Tyler, and Tyler is whining and yelling at Keira. I actually found myself resorting to a "punishment" my mom use to implement with my brother and I when we were little. I know I'm cruel.

Noses together, no talking, no laughing--yeah right. Afterwards they learned the verse "Love one another" and said a prayer for us to use gentle worlds and a loving tone. Thanks mom for the inspiration.