Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Real Food

I found a website through pintrest a while back and finally looked through it a couple weeks ago. 100 Days of Real Food is what it's called. Basically this mom decided she wanted to try and cut out all processed foods from her family's diet. It became so popular that she ended up posting complete meal plans and shopping lists on her site. For free! She even has the cost of each item (priced at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's). For a family of 4, she spends around $160/week for all her food. She points out that a family of 4 on food stamps gets about the same amount! And that's buying everything organic. Everything. The menus include breakfast, lunch, one snack, and supper. Now, my kids eat more than hers do! But I also don't buy everything organic so I wind up staying pretty close to my $100/week grocery budget. My kids usually eat 2-3 snacks a day, too! Part of the cost savings also comes from my garden.
I've been really surprised that my kids have eaten every recipe I've made. And they've found some new favorites! Jacob FINALLY tried peanut butter. It's not his favorite but he'll eat it.
Anyway, it's a really great website and I would encourage you to check it out. Be adventurous and try new things! You just might find a new favorite!! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Longest Night In the History of Ever

 Since we had another trip planned to Colorado in August, we knew we had to get the AC fixed. we priced around how much it would cost and discovered it would be cheaper to drive up to Iowa and have Dad fix it. Much, much cheaper! Aaron already had his guys' weekend planned and that was the only time we would be able to go before our trip to Colorado. Sooooo, the kids and I showered up, loaded up the van, and left at 9pm Friday night. Jacob fell asleep right away. Isaac didn't last too much longer. I think Anna was worried about me falling asleep because she kept checking on me. She eventually fell asleep. Jacob didn't wake up once. Anna and Isaac slept fitfully, but they did really good. We got there at 3:15am. It really wasn't that bad. The last hour was the hardest, but we made it! God protected us. Of course, Isaac was up and ready before 7am!! That was okay because there were some major garage sales to hit up! So off we went...

 I love his "cheese" face!

 The lack of sleep caught up with her!

 And him :)

 Of course we had to stop and see the John Deere dealership!

 Found a bike seat for Isaac. He loved it, despite his face here!

 Yummy watermelon

 Brothers ridin' combine

 My brown-eyed boy :)

 Thankfully, the problem wasn't more than the air compressor. He thought he was going to have to take everything apart to fix something else. Don't tell Dad yet (they're on an Alaskan cruise), but the AC went out again yesterday! At least there's a warranty on it...and no more trips on the horizon!!!

 Jacob wound up with 2 black eyes and despite what this picture shows, they weren't from Anna! :)

 She thought it would be fun to ride this down "the big hill"! 

 Papa's helper!

 Isaac fell asleep while Anna drove all by herself.

 "Helping" me mop the kitchen.

 Fun at the park. It was hot and humid!

 Anna finished TWO chapter books on the way home!!! And notice the blanket? The AC was nice and COLD!!!

We made it home. I have to say, the trip was much quicker and easier at night!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hottest Trip Ever

We took our 3rd trip to Colorado last month to see Erick's family.

 Thanks to Pintrest, I found a great idea for road trip snacks. I just picked up some cheap tackle boxes, added some stickers I already had, and voila! The kids love them and it cuts down on the mess :) So the kids are allowed food in the van again, but only from their snack boxes!

 Poor Isaac. We got a couple hours into the trip and all the sudden we all smelled something quite yucky. I asked Isaac if he was stinky and this is what he did! I looked a little closer and realized we had a massive blow-out on our hands! We were in the middle of nowhere with miles to go before we would get to any sort of a place with water. So we pulled off at the next exit and made do with what we had in the van. It was a MESS!! Poor Isaac. His car seat cover had to come off and with no water to rinse it out, we had to leave it off...it wasn't a very comfortable trip for him!

 Our plans changed a little for when we were going to be out there. Anyway, long story short, the rest of the family already had plans to go to a Rockies game so Grandpa got us tickets to the rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days! The kids loved it! It was so much fun. Aaron said we should make that our anniversary trip from now on! :) Isaac was enthralled for over an hour and then he wanted to just run around.

 I think it goes without saying that Anna thoroughly enjoyed it!

 Isaac made it onto the big screen with this shot. Such a big boy!

 These two old cowboys needed a nap I guess! 

 So many people!!

 After the rodeo, we stopped by Aaron's aunt & uncle's and relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful view (and a delicious supper!) while the cousins kept our kids entertained! It was so nice.

 Saturday, it was off to the farm for a family reunion of sorts. Ivan reminds me of Jacob in so many ways, but I think he might even have Jacob beat in the size category! Ivan is close to Isaac's age but nowhere near Isaac's size! :) It took me back a few years when I picked him up! He makes Isaac seem like a newborn.

 And of course we had take a tour and visit all the animals!

 Feeding the goats. 

 Tow-headed cousins! :)

And the trip home is where it started getting hot...

 The AC started going out a bit. It would just get not-so-cold for a bit, then it would come back just fine. It had done it a couple times in the past month or so, but not very often. 

 We stopped for lunch and found a school playground to picnic.

 And after that, the AC never came back. Just blew out hot air. We tried a few "tricks" Dad suggested but none of them worked. And of course, again, we were in the middle of nowhere! We found the next gas station and loaded up on ice and bottled water. I rinsed out Isaac's "wipes spray bottle" (filled with water and baby oil to get his wipes wet) and used that to spray the kids and keep them cool. And handed out his wipes (baby wash cloths) dipped in ice water for them to use. It was absolutely miserable!!!!!

 We finally made it to Goodland and stopped at Walmart to get some freon. I wasn't in any hurry to leave and get back in the heat. Of course the farther east we went, the hotter it was getting. By this time it was almost 100* outside. So the kids played in the automotive isle while Dad helped Aaron figure out what to get and how to put it in. That didn't work. We spent I don't know how long in the HOT parking lot, talking to Dad on the phone, trying to figure out what else it could be and if it could be fixed. Of course, it was Sunday so no auto shop was open. After much discussion (okay, there might have been some heat-induced arguing!), we decided to head up to the Swiharts' and hang out in the AC for a while!!!

 It sprinkled just a little bit...the kids had forgotten what rain was like! ;) We ended up staying there for a few hours until it "cooled" off. We left around 9:30pm, loaded up with pillows and a blanket for the kids (we had forgotten our pillows at home on this trip!) and plenty of ice and water. The kids, thankfully, fell asleep pretty quickly and slept the rest of the way home. We got home at 2am and, praise the Lord, all the kids stayed asleep!!! It was a miserable trip, but at least it was below 90* outside!

And this is my garden haul after being gone for 4 days!!! Whew. I was busy in the kitchen for a few days!

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Cold Remedy?

I found a new cold remedy that we're trying (since 3 of us have colds. boo!). It's honey and cinnamon. I found it on pintrest. For the record, the smell of honey makes me want to gag. I will bake with it, but to eat it plain or "uncooked"--no way! But I put on my big girl pants and tried it on a strawberry. It is SO TASTY!!! The website says one teaspoon a few times a day at the beginning of a cold will knock it out in a couple of days. We'll see how it works. I think regardless, it will be a new fruit dip! Here's the website I found it on.