Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Burritos and Babies and Blocks

I long to be the housewife/stay-at-home-mom who has the house spotless and the oven dinging as soon as the dear husband walks in from a long day of work...


I'm not there yet...

and it's okay!  I kept three children alive all day today, did some laundry, held a screaming baby for almost an hour (which can easily feel like 3), everyone got naps, had some constructive learning time with the boys, and then I got around to dinner!

Here's what we had:

Beefy Bean Burritos
(adapted from Deep South Dish)

2 Tbsp oil
1/2 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped- I love to use my handy dandy garlic press)
1 lb ground beef

Saute your garlic and onion in oil for a few minute, then add ground beef.  Brown and drain.  Then add the following spices (or use a packet of taco seasoning) and a can of rotel tomatoes.

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano

This combination of spices made it just right for the boys and Jared- I like things a little spicier, so if I had made this just for me I would have added a little more of everything!

Let this all simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

Heat 10 soft taco shells in microwave (so they don't tear when you roll them up).  Spread a spoonful of beans (I used black- recipe called for refried), sprinkle with cheese, add meat mixture, and roll up!  (I learned tonight that I'm a terrible roller-upper-of-the-burritos!)  Arrange in a baking dish (spray with cooking spray first), cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes on 325. (I did 20 on 350 because it was getting late!)

We had apples with this- chopped and cooked in the skillet with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon- yum!!

I have found lots of things recently on pinterest (duh) that I've wanted to do with the boys on Tuesdays and Thursdays while we're at home.  I have found lots of free units, but today I needed something I didn't have to print out and prepare, plus with Molly Claire not being on such a great schedule right now, I knew I wouldn't have the time to sit with Owen to really help him. Something we did today was patterns with blocks.  This entertained them longer than .2 seconds- so I consider it a success!  Owen didn't so much follow the patterns as build- but it kept them entertained while I cleaned up dishes.  I found it quicker to use Publisher to make the patterns rather than draw and color- although that would have been good to have Miles help me with coloring and picking the patterns to draw.

(Open document, draw table 1x6, fill in each square a different color, print, cut into individual little sheets, model how to build blocks with pattern, let them go)

Miles even found that he could make a really tall tower by building the patterns on top of each other!  Also, instead of just giving them the whole big bucket of blocks, I gave them each a smaller container with their own blocks- Miles had longer ones, Owen had shorter ones just to differentiate.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Finding Freedom ------>

You see that button on the right there??  The "Finding Freedom Team" button?  

Let me tell you a little about it...

Two years ago, a sweet teacher friend called me up.  One who I had gotten to be close friends with while we lived in Tuscaloosa (which is saying something- because we didn't have many friends at all while we lived in Tuscaloosa =)  She knew I was working part-time at that time and about to have another baby (Owen) and wanted to share with me what she had started doing.  She had found a work from home opportunity that she really believed in- not a gimmick or a party-based business or keeping up with inventory- but an opportunity with a debt-free, green-living company.  Little did I know at the time just how important the green living part would become to me with small children!  

After Owen was born, I looked back into it and joined her.  The team that we're a part of is the Finding Freedom team- a group of people looking to find not only financial freedom, but time freedom, freedom from store brands, etc...  Our Team supports families in healthier choices for their families and homes, while supporting them in finding success in business, primarily with a legitimate career that allows us to work from home and build a solid, lifetime residual income provided security for our now and retirement security.  The company we partner with is an International Wellness Company BBB awarded and next to none!


If you're interested in knowing how simply switching stores can make a positive difference in your family's life- I'd love to share info about Melaleuca with you.  Seriously- you're already spending the money somewhere- you're just switching the place you buy your everyday products from to a safer company with much healthier products.  I mean-  even the plastic bottles are made with 25% post-consumer recyclable materials!  The value of a membership with Melaleuca is also well-beyond just the products! 

If you are interested in joining me in spreading the *green* love and earning some extra income, you can check out a webcast with me to see if this is an opportunity to take advantage of!  Our compensation plan is awesome and so very rewarding!  You can even check out our team on facebook to put real faces with real results!  

So there's my spill---- I'm sure I'll post again and again about how much I love this company- seriously- it's such a relief knowing that I'm not exposing my children to awful chemicals and being responsible for what they come in contact with at home.  Plus- I'm not cutting coupons or having to drag all my kids to the store to buy those everyday household items!  I'm shopping wisely and from the convenience of my own home and computer!  

What a Week!!!

Whew...mid-week--- I didn't know that we would make it to the weekend!!!  Even a sweet friend looked my way Wednesday night at church and asked if I was tired and going to make it!  HA!

The week started out pretty normal--- except Jared was home from work most of the day, which was nice!  Then Tuesday we took an uneventful trip to the park to meet some friends.  Audrey has two little girls, so it's fun to be around and watch little girls play and see what I have to look forward to with Miles!  We go to church together and her youngest and Miles are in the same preschool class.  We love going to one of the parks here because it's mostly enclosed (one way in one way out) so I was able to let Owen just kinda wander about on his own which was fun to watch and observe!

Then Wednesday came...
(lots of this is details about our day--- 
you don't have to read it- I'm writing most of it for 
myself because I do plan to do the blog book one day =)

Started out fine...but different from our normal routine.  I am doing the James study by Beth Moore right now and usually attend on Thursday nights, but knew I couldn't go this week, so I went to the Wednesday morning session.  So that meant Owen going to childcare- no big deal- right?  We enter the church- he automatically thinks we're there for supper because we came in at the gym like we do on Wednesday nights for supper.  We walk back to nursery- he thinks we need to play hide and seek.  So he hides in the (dark) bathroom behind the door.  Finally get him to his room- he cries like I've left him to play with alligators.  We finish up, race back to pick Miles up from preschool- of course Owen falls asleep.  We get home and I try my hardest to transition him from car to bed- pretty successfully.  However, Miles is like the loudest bathroom-goer in the history of the world---- singing, opening drawers, slamming toilet seat down, having conversations with whoever will listen- and Owen's room is right next to bathroom.  So both kiddos are up from quiet times by about 2-ish.  Which makes for an extremely long afternoon around these parts!

Luckily it was a beautiful day and unseasonably warm out, so we load up in the wagon.  Now...I say that like it's a simple task.  Getting shoes on two rowdy boys- one who didn't get his nap out and the other who acts like he has had 10 red bulls when he doesn't get a nap (figure that one out)- is quite a feat.  Then getting them into the wagon at the same time with balls and buckets to collect rocks, then throwing the balls out because there's not enough room, then needing water (because you know they're thirsty when they ask for water- not juice), then realizing the baby (who is already in the baby front-carrier) needs socks on...needless to say- just a simple wagon ride is an adventure...

Then off we go.  But Miles is very particular about just which rocks we can collect.  So he navigates us around.  Then we run into a new neighbor and her puppy.  Owen has an ever-living fit because the sweet puppy looked at him.  (again...didn't get nap out!)  So I try to have a pleasant conversation with new neighbor above the crying!  We finish up talking and head up into our cove (uphill--- in high-heel boots- because by the time I realized I had on regular-people-shoes, boys were already loaded up and baby was in position- can't change shoes).  I decided it would be a good time to go meet another new neighbor!  To our luck, she has a little boy the same age as Owen!!  So much fun!  She kindly welcomes us in and the boys are able to play!  It will be fun to have a sweet little friend right down the street for Owen!  It's then time for us to head home, so I let the boys run down to the house and our new friend follows suit!  New neighbor and I stood in my driveway and talked for a little bit while boys are picking up the balls that had previously been thrown out of the wagon.  I looked up to get a location on each one--- Owen isn't on my radar!!!

He had gone down the hill to get one of the balls.  When I looked down over the hill, I realized he had fallen into the ditch that was full of standing water and was under water!!  (remember I still have baby in front carrier and have my boots on...)  {panic attack}  New sweet neighbor (who is also a nurse, praise the Lord) rushes down and gets to him for me!  Bless him- wet to the bone, nasty green stuff all over him!  And now her tennis shoes and pants are wet from going in after him!  It definitely scared him, but not enough to keep him from getting in the bath to clean up!  (not before tee-tee-ing all over my kitchen floor, though after I sent him in from getting all his wet yucky clothes off in the garage!)  And I need to see to fussy, hungry baby who somewhere in the mix got taken inside.  And get Miles off his bike riding around the driveway singing "Owen went swimming...the "Juice" went swimming" (new nickname I'm not particularly fond of...Owen James...OJ...Juice).

But dad-gum-it- I'm gonna make it to church because that was our dinner waiting on us!  A good, wholesome meal that we weren't going to get otherwise that day!

Whew...we finally made it and at the end of the day, we were all alive.  I had successfully kept all of our children alive that day-- but that was the first day one had truly challenged that task!

So seriously- if you start seeing gray hairs on me- you will know why.  Just give me a few bucks and offer to keep my kids while I go get it done  =)