Sunday, September 11, 2011

What's for Dinner this Week?

E-Mealz, oh E-Mealz, how I love thee!!!  I love your planned out, budget friendly, organized shopping list each week!  Here's what is on our menu this week...
  • Crock Pot Chicken & Wild Rice
  • Grilled Pork & Pineapple
  • Orange Baked Tilapia
  • Chicken Spaghetti
  • Penne Primavera
  • Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
  • Ham & Asparagus Casserole

Did you notice that there are not one, but TWO crock pot meals for this week?  Yahoo! (Just picture me jumping up and down with joy..."No sweetie, mommys crying  happy tears!")
We chose the portion control option for a family of 4-6, 7 days a week.  Now, do I totally stick to the schedule...NO.  There are nights we are not home, or dangit, I'm just too tired to cook..."Ok kids, cereal for dinner!"  But, it doesn't leave me standing in front of the pantry for 30 min. like a zombie wondering what in the heck I'm gonna make for dinner. 
Anyway, maybe I'll post pictures of the completed meals here before my clan of carnivores tears into the meal.
What are you fixing this week?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Nephew

Our nephew, Colin, who is my husband's older sister's youngest boy...phew, has been visiting with us most of the summer.  He and along with his older brother, Ethan, have been staying with us during the summer for the past 8 years.  However, the last 3  years or so, it's just been Colin. He's 15 now, 6'2", and learning how to drive...YIKES! 
I love my nephew, he's like one of my own kids, and I'm going to miss him terribly.
Colin has a great sense of humor and keeps me laughing, which I need desperately in my  CRAZY house of 4 little boys!  He shares my love of sushi and will watch "Celebrity Ghost Stories" with me, because I will not watch it alone, even in the daytime, with the lights on......
He loves to help Matt with farm chores, although alot did not get done this season due to the excessive heat.  But, any chance he has to drive the ATV he'll take.
  • Excuses to drive the ATV; To get driving practice in
  • too far to the pond to walk
  • check the mail....really? It's only about 50 ft from the house
  • Make sure the brakes are working
  •  In case any hot chicks come driving by
He's a great kid and I'm glad we have had this time with him every summer.  And, I'm especially glad my kids have had this time with their cousin. Oh ya, and I really need to thank him for showing my 2 oldest sons how to do armpit farts...really Colin, thank you so very much!

I hope he keeps coming back every summer until college....and maybe after? 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Reflux Journey

Oh reflux, reflux, aren't you sick of me yet?  I have been dealing with you for 10 yrs and am really sick of you!  You may have read one of my previoius posts about my reflux, so I just wanted to update and share in case it would help anyone else dealing with this horrible problem. 
As of February of this year I had been on a proton pump inhibiting pill (actually 2) everyday for over a year.  I had gone from 1 pill to 2 after I had recieved an EGD (Scoped down the esophogus to the stomach, don't worry, they put you out) and it was determined that I had mild esophogitis.  I guarantee you, there was nothing mild feeling about it!   I could barely eat or drink anything and constantly felt like I had a lump in my throat.  Anyway, a year after switching to 2 pills, it was not helping.  I had even given up chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, basically most of the things I love.  I was then refered to a doctor in our little town who by chance was one of the few in the country that  was trained in a new procedure/surgery that would fix my reflux woes. 
Dr. Rodney McCalla assured me he could help, after performing another EGD to determine if I was a good canidate.  Apparently where your esophogus and stomach meet, there is suppose to be a valve that allows food to pass through to the stomach, but then closes so the stomach acid and food do not come back up.  Well, apparently I didn't have a valve anymore.  It was completely gone, flat, non-existent.  Well no wonder I was having so many problems.  Everything was just washing back up including stomach acid.  Not only that but he also found stomach polyps from taking the reflux meds for so long.  Fun times right?
He explained this new procedure called the TIF.  It has only been in the states for about 3-4 yrs, brought over from Europe.  If you suffer from reflux horribly and have looked into surgery, you know how archaeic and brutal reflux surgery can be. 
Well, this procedure might be the answer to your problems......With this procedure, there are no incisions.  They go down the esophogus much like an EGD.  They use a tool specifically made for this procedure.  Read the following link if you want  more detail on the procedure, there is even a cool video that shows you how the procedure is done.
  TIF procedure
Anyways, it been not quite 3 months, and I'm doing better but truely won't know for 2 yrs.  Some patients are able to be off their meds after being on them for 3 weeks after the surgery.  I am not one of those lucky people.  We tried taking me off the PPI's as scheduled but having issues.  So, back on them I go for a possiblility of up to 2 yrs.  Beat's a lifetime of suffering and meds with a possibility of esophogial cancer though right?  Hope this helps someone suffering from this debilatating disease.  If you have any questions, just comment below and I'll try to help. 
Have a blessed Wednesday!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Ok, so I was reading a friends post and thought, hmmm....I should write a blog....then realized, wait a minute, I do have a blog....what's it called, oh ya!  I tell you, I have many of these "moments" and I'm not even 40...yet!  So, after many attempts of putting my password in , got a new one, that I SHOULD remember.  Anyway, got into my blog and realized, my own mother is not even a follower, should that tell me something?  So, thank you to the approx. 5 peeps following my scarcely written blog!  I do have alot to say, it's just finding the time to write it down.  Especially being with 4 little people ALL day long...everyday....week....month....ok, you get the picture.  Just a few thoughts I'll jot down here, cause remember, I do have "moments", is that even  technically a medical term? 
Jake the Cow Dog
Matt's surprise party
small town, country living
Co. vacation in May
My jobs
chickens, cows etc...
Like to see something in my blog?  Just leave me a comment!  There, now aren't you better for reading my run on, nonsensical blog?  Have a great Friday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

4 Sons On The Prairie: 4 Sons On The Prairie: I'mYour Vawentine's Cup

4 Sons On The Prairie: 4 Sons On The Prairie: I'mYour Vawentine's Cup: "4 Sons On The Prairie: I'mYour Vawentine's Cup: 'This is him, the sweet little magpie of my heart! I realize he is a beautiful creature wit..."

4 Sons On The Prairie: I'mYour Vawentine's Cup

4 Sons On The Prairie: I'mYour Vawentine's Cup: "This is him, the sweet little magpie of my heart! I realize he is a beautiful creature with cornflower blue eyes and lashes the stretc..."

I'mYour Vawentine's Cup

This is him, the sweet little magpie of my heart!  I realize he is a beautiful creature with cornflower blue eyes and lashes the stretch a mile, and that smile with a hearty giggle that turns my heart to mush....but there is another side to this sweet, innocent creature....but that's for another day! 
Today being Valentine's day and all, a day in which my kids are amazed and bewildered why it's not an actual holiday, I've decided to share just the good side of my youngest.
He came to my bed early this morning as he does every other morning and said, "Hi, mommy!"  He snuggled in as he would normally and took my face in his hands and kissed my lips, then pressed his warm, soft face to mine.  Ahh, love this child. 
I said,"Happy Valentine's Day, are you going to be my Valentine?"
My youngest then says," I wuv you mommy, I'm your Vawentine's cup!"
Hmmm, not what I quite expected, but I'll take it!  Apparently the plastic Valentine's cups I got for the boys last week has really made an impression on my littlest Valentine. Then the rest of the crew comes barreling in and tries to push my "Valentine's Cup" aside. He then screams, "NO!  She's my Valentine's cup!" and then proceeds to....Oh wait, like I said, I'm only sharing the good side of my sweet, innocent littlest Valentine today!
I wonder if he will be my Easter egg in April.....

Friday, January 21, 2011

4 Sons On The Prairie: Managing the Pain

4 Sons On The Prairie: Managing the Pain: " Need chiropractor, traction, massage, accupunture! I was diagnosed with degenerative disc diseas..."

Managing the Pain

      Need chiropractor, traction, massage, accupunture!  
I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and my back is slowly deteriorating.  I've been dealing with this since college, but wasn't diagnosed until after Cody was born in 2003.  After Cody was born, I could barely walk and would drag one of my legs.
     It was then the doctor sent me for epidural shots and then physical therapy.  While the shots brought relief from the pain temporarily, I still looked like the hunchback dragging my limb behind me.  Then my doctor started talking....SURGERY!  It was at this point I decided to exhaust all my options before I had to go under the knife.
     In came Dr. Hiatt, my favorite doctor in the world!  I was a little sketchy about going to see a chiropractor, especially in believing that he could help me.  What did I have to lose?  Well, after many visits, I could walk normally and felt great!  I became a believer!  
     Here I am now, 7 years later, and while I've mostly been ok, I'm starting to go a little down hill.  Dr. Hiatt said at this point it's about managing the pain.  There's no cure, nothing to stop it's progress, it is a degenerative disease.  So, going to go back to doing yoga and maybe start pilates as a way of strengthing my stomach and back muscle in hopes that it slows the progression.  
     I try not to complain too much about it, but with 4 energetic and needy boys, some days are difficult.  They are however helpful and bring the all the heavy laundry baskets to the laundry room and bring me the basket of clean clothes to be folded.  
     Going to go ice up for a while! 
Later, Aims


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

4 Sons On The Prairie: Homeschooling Resources

4 Sons On The Prairie: Homeschooling Resources: "So, homeschooling....when I use to visualize people who homeschooled, they were very religious. The women all wore long dresses, never..."

Homeschooling Resources

So, homeschooling....when I use to visualize people who homeschooled, they were very religious.  The women all wore long dresses, never cut their hair, and the family consisted of at least 12 kids.
Yes, I'm guilty of stereotyping....but boy was I wrong.  I was one of those people who thought that people who homeschooled their kids were off their rocker...until one day when I was forced to consider homeschooling as an option.  I won't go into the details of why, for everyone it's different,  but I also felt my oldest son disconnecting from me and I did not like it at all.

On my homeschool curriculum researching journey, and I call it a journey cause it felt physically and emotionally draining , I realized there was a plethora of  options.  Secular, non-secular, Charlotte Mason, Classical, online, parent-led, pieced together, boxed, unschooling, accredited, non-accredited....ahhh, what was the best fit for my family? 
The first year was not too bad, although I was ruling with an iron fist the first half of the year, I was terrified we would miss something.  I found as I began to relax, the kids relaxed, and the learning came a lot easier.  We did use a religious, boxed curriculum the first year because like I said, I was terrified I'd leave something out.  It was so-so.  The science and history were dry (text book led), the math was a spiral method and did not work well for my kids (homeschooling is a great way to discover how each child learns and taylor the curriculum accordingly). We finished the curriculum that year but I began my journey of researching for new learning resources for the next year.

This year, our 2nd, wowsers what a difference! I'm really happy with what I've chosen.  The history  and science are hands-on, and the history starts from the beginning of time instead of just concentrating on American history.  You mean there's more to the world than just the U.S.?  Reading, I don't have readers from a company that writes stories just for that purpose.  We use the classics.  Albeit they are kid versions, but nonetheless they have gotten my 9yr. old excited and wanting to read, yes wanting.  I talk with them about the books and we discuss the chapters.  They read at least a chapter a day and they record what they have read in their language arts binder.
Math....we use Math Mammoth, love love love it!  It's mastery based and there is a lot of mental math!

Anyway, I know homeschooling is NOT for everyone, but I'm happy our family has chosen homeschooling.  It has brought us closer and I'm learning, and re-learning right along with them.  And math, I'm thinking I might actually enjoy it this go-round....well, let's not get too crazy yet....
Here are some links of the different curriculum I've chosen in the past and the present! 
 Later Gators!  Aims

Curriculum we're using this year:

Classic stories for kids
More Classic stories for kids
Math Mammoth
First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease
R.E.A.L. Science and History Odyssey
Handwriting Without Tears

Last year:
BJU or Bob Jones University

p.s. we'll talk about the  latin curriculum  next time.....yes, I said latin :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

4 Sons On The Prairie: Confessions

4 Sons On The Prairie: Confessions: " Can you feel the warm breeze on your face...the salty air tickling your nose? Digging your toes in the hot sand and listening ..."

4 Sons On The Prairie: Cooking/Baking

4 Sons On The Prairie: Cooking/Baking: "Thank You E-mealz! You have been a life-saver for me time wise and financially! If you have been like me, staring at the p..."

4 Sons On The Prairie: Jake the Cow Dog?

4 Sons On The Prairie: Jake the Cow Dog?: "Hello, my name is Jake. I'm suppose to be a cow dog....what's a cow? I've just opened my eyes and everything is big and blurry.&..."

Jake the Cow Dog?

Hello, my name is Jake.  I'm suppose to be a cow dog....what's a cow?  I've just opened my eyes and everything is big and blurry.  I've been living in a kiddie pool with my brothers, sisters, and mom. 
 I'm not really sure what I'm suppose to be doing but I love to lay around all day and sleep, eat, sleep, eat some more, and snuggle with my family.  Sometimes people pick me up, UGH,  I'm pretty sure this guy had no idea what the heck he was doing. PLEASE, SOMEBODY HELP ME!
Wowsers, I'm exhausted now, I think I'm gonna roll over and take a nap.....I hope those people leave me alone for a while....I wonder what adventures lie ahead for me....zzzzzzzzz.....

Friday, January 14, 2011

4 Sons On The Prairie: Kids

4 Sons On The Prairie: Kids: " My eldest son, punk #1, on the snowmobile today. I don't have many photos of them outside because it is dang COLD! ..."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog....

  So, I decided I missed blogging and writing (it's been almost 1 1/2 yrs).  I found my old blog easy enough, but being able to log in to post was a whole 'nother ball o' wax!  Since life is short and mine very busy, I just made a new blog site after over an hour of trying to recover the password, email address.....
  Today is a snowy day and the little people in my house, of course, want to go out in the snow and frolic, romp and freeze their extremities.   I think I've finally convinced them to wait until their dad gets home in a few hours.  I'm hoping to fend them off and keep them busy in the meantime.  Taking 30 min. to bundle up 4 heathens to play in the snow for 20 min.  is definitely a joint effort. Won't Matt be thrilled when he gets home :0 
  Lessons.....well, maybe later today.  We're ahead of schedule if that counts!
Pictures of my little snow monsters to follow soon, Ahh, good to be back!

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