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Archive for August, 2010

Reagan’s First Day

The boys had their first days of school last week, but today was my ladybug’s special day. She’s a big 2nd Grader this year!!

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These cookies are sooooo yummy!

Polka Dot Cookies

  • 1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c butter flavored shortening
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In your mixing bowl, cream together chocolate pudding mix, butter, shortening, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add baking soda, salt, and flour.  Mix well again.  Stir in white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Scoop out into tablespoon size and place on baking sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

RSD Update:  It’s been a really, really rough weekend.  My physical therapists have been “encouraging” me to try a closed-toe shoe.  I haven’t worn a regular shoe since April….4 1/2 months.  I also suffer from flat feet, but that’s never really been a big issue to me.  However, the therapists think a closed-toe shoe could offer a lot more support than just sandals.  Soooo, Mike and I headed over to Brown’s Shoe Store, here in Hutch, on Friday afternoon.  They were very helpful and knew exactly what kind of shoe I needed for flat feet…RSD, not so much.  So I also requested a wide width to help accommodate for the RSD.  They picked out New Balance 1012, and it felt pretty good.  Oh, and they also had me try an orthotic insert.  Nice.  At that point, and at the ripe age of 33, I was suddenly feeling very old.  Anyhoooooo, I wore the shoe around for maybe a max of 10 minutes.  The shoe really did feel good on my left foot and I felt like there was support on my right foot…my bad foot, but something was a stinging a little.  When I took the shoe off and the sock off, I realized that the seam on the top of the sock was the stinging culprit.  Nice.  We left the store thinking we’d go back for them later.  However, by the end of Friday evening… my pain had gone from a normal 7 or 8 to a 10+.  And I had to get my crutch back out.  It’s been pretty bad ever since, but esp. bad today.  To the normal symptoms of aching, stabbing, burning, I’m also having stinging, swelling, and spasms.  And despite my oxycodone, I’m just not getting any relief.  It’s insane.  I’ve just never dealt with anything like this before.  All triggered by wearing a tennis shoe.

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I know, I know…it’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve posted any recipes.  Quite frankly, I’ve just been making my staple dishes that I’ve already posted.  I just haven’t felt like being inventive or like trying anything new.  My foot can only take standing for so long, and if I’m going to be in the kitchen I want preparation to be as fast and as easy as possible.  One of my first posts was about a great go-to menu plan.  It’s something like this:

And I still use this plan.  My family’s tastes are pretty basic, so instead of stressing about what to make, I came up with this plan and it’s worked really well…especially during the school season.

Since tonight was Pizza night, I made my staple half cheese-half pepperoni pizza but I also made my new favorite:

Fresh Mozzarella & Roma Pizza

  • 1 recipe of Pizza Dough
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (I buy mine at Aldi here in Hutch and it comes packaged in a round ball shape, but I’m sure you can find at just about any grocery store…just look where the specialty cheeses are sold).
  • 1/4 c shredded pizza blend cheese
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste (I use Pizza Seasoning from Glenn’s Bulk Foods)

Prepare dough and while rising, combine mayonnaise, butter, and garlic salt.  Slice tomatoes.  Slice the fresh mozzarella.  Divide dough in half after rising and with each half, spread out on greased pizza pan.  Prepare one of the pans with your favorite toppings (my family is half cheese and half pepperoni).  The other pizza top as follows:  spread mayo/butter/garlic mixture on top of dough; top with sliced romas, then pizza blend cheese, fresh mozzarella, and lastly sprinkle with italian seasoning or pizza seasoning.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of pizza is golden brown.

Before baking:

After:

And before I close and call it a night, there has been a lot of “firsts” for our family this week.  Today was another one:

You know what this is?  A bike chain.  You know why we need a bike chain?  Because my big 3rd grader has deemed himself old enough to ride his bike to school.  He’s been begging since last year, but I just couldn’t let him go…let go of him.  But last night, a friend down the street asked if Cade could ride with him this morning, promising that they could chain their bikes together, and I couldn’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t.  We’ve discussed it further after school, and came to a compromise of letting him ride 2-3 days a week, depending on our schedules.  He took the deal. 😀  So Mike took Cade to Target after dinner and they picked out this chain.

My mommy heart was hurting this morning.  Standing at the front screen door, as I watched him ride away , I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  Letting him go was tough on this ol’ softy’s heart.  I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just one step closer to him taking on more responsibility.  A step towards his independence. One step closer to him becoming a man.  I’m not sure how much more my mommy heart can take this week. 😀

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Clark’s First Day

Well, another first this week:   Clarky’s first day of preschool 😀  It sure is gonna be quiet around here on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons!

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Cade’s 1st Day

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since the last post! Where did the last week of summer go?! Well, “we” survived Cade’s first day of 3rd Grade!! Yeah!!

Now just 2 more kiddos to go!

Here’s my big guy, Cade! And instead of buying him new shoes, he got to have a pair of Daddy’s hand-me-downs. Yep…He was pretty excited and I’m overwhelmed that my 9 year old is wearing a size 8 men’s shoe!! Holy Moly!

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Summer Updates

RSD Update: I feel like I’ve slept through most of the Summer because of these crazy pain pills.  BUT I’m already seeing some real improvements, so I shouldn’t be on them for too much longer.  I’m taking less every day.  YEAH!!!  The vitamin D is making feel better all over….emotionally and physically, and my physical therapy is working.  My range of motion is remarkably better and walking with just barely a limp.  I may have RSD, but it’s not going to rule my life!

I spent all last week working on switching the kiddos rooms around.  Actually, we moved Cade into his own room and Reagan in with Clarky.  It was a big, BIG project because I hadn’t gone through any of their clothes in a long time.  I ended up with three trash bags full of clothes for my sister’s girls, one bag for my brother’s lil’ guy, and two bags saved back for Clark.  I can’t believe all that stuff actually fit in their rooms!

Here’s Cade’s new room:

And Reagan & Clarky’s bunk beds:

I can’t believe the school year is about to start…Didn’t the kiddos just get out for the summer?  We’ve made some big decisions concerning school this year.  Reagan will be attending the Community School of Hutchinson…a small Christian school/homeschool co-op.  She will attend school Monday through Friday and then I will homeschool her on Thursday and Fridays.  It’s a decision that we (Mike and I) thought about and prayed about for quite a bit during the last school year.  I love Morgan Elementary.  I love the teachers, the staff, the principle. Every teacher my kiddos have had are good Christian women and they have loved on and taken care of my babies during the school year.  However, I felt like we were losing my little girl.  We’ve never had a bad experience there, and as a matter of fact, Cade will continue there again this year.  We had issues with the influence of the kids, the girls she was around.  It was just things that were completely out the teachers’ controls.  There’s only so much they can do.  So, this is how we came to this decision.  I feel at peace at about it.  I’m really looking forward to spending more one on one time with Reagan.  Since she’s my middle baby, she gets a little lost in the shuffle at times.

Clark will start preschool this year, too.  Community School has a one day a week preschool and Clark is sooooo excited that he’s going to school with his best friend.  He has an evaluation this week concerning his speech, so we’ll find out if he’ll be returning to speech therapy again this fall.  AND he got a haircut this morning (“wike Daddy, pweeeze” he told me):

So with Cade going to Morgan Elementary and Reagan going to Community School and Clark starting preschool and possibly speech therapy…we are in for a full Fall 😀

As far as recipes…I just haven’t been making anything new lately.  Once school starts, we’ll be back on a more regular schedule and I’ll be back to cooking again.  I did make Pizza and No Bakes tonight…yummo!

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Tryin’ to be crafty

I use a heating pad a lot for relief from my RSD.  The other night as I was trying to conform the heating pad to my foot, it just wasn’t working.  I remembered that I’d received some heatable rice bags over the years for various reasons and as I was looking for at least one of them that night, I could not find a single one.  What happened to them all?  I even had a sweet baby blue one that my friend had made for me, and it could not be found.

So I got to thinkin’…how hard would it be to make one for myself?  My biggest obstacle is that I don’t own a sewing machine, but I do know how to do simple stitching.  So the more I looked online, the more I realized that I could do this!!  The first ones I made were these:

Oddly, these look rather dirty, but I PROMISE they are clean 😀  I filled both of them with whole oats and cinnamon and then hand stitched the tops.  After popping one in the microwave for a minute…it actually stayed toasty warm for quite awhile and smelled  wonderful!  I’ve been keeping them in the freezer in between heatings.  I’m hoping it will keep the oats from getting moldy, but I’m not even sure this is necessary.

Then I made this one:

You have to use a microwaveable ziploc bag for the inside or if you have a sewing machine, you can make a smaller bag made out of some material for the rice and then make this washcloth bag for the outside.  (i used a ziploc).  I took two washcloths and hand stitched all around the outside except for one side.  Then I placed the rice bag inside, fold over the top and finished sewing it up.  A sewing machine would have made this a really quick fun project, but such as it is…I’ve enjoyed the hand stitching, too.  There was a time in my life that I did cross stitching….and someday I’ll do it again 😀

My new lil’ rice pillow has been working wonderfully!  I pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and I have heat for at least an hour.  And I love the way that it conforms to my foot.  The material is nice and soft….important for RSD!

The kids were sooooo impressed by my “skills” that I’m now working on one for each of them.  Here’s the one I’ve started for Reagan:

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