Monday, February 22, 2010

Silence is golden

My kids love to talk. ~sigh~ They just don't ever stop.  Don't get me wrong --- there's a whole lot of time spent in conversation, listening, playing, learning -- times where I love to hear to their sweet little voices... especially when they're saying something cute or telling me something new they've learned! 

But there are times when it's just too much.  Everyone is yelling, talking, shouting, giggling, interupting, screeching, laughing,yelling, and generally being NOISY.  My eyes feel like they're bulging out of my head and I just need silence for more than 4.2 seconds!   They start as soon as the get up and there simply isn't a moment of silence until they're tucked in their little beds.  And even then sometimes I have to use threats to silence them.  There are days when I can't even think straight.  I'm trying to plan our week, think about something, remember an important detail, talk on the phone, make an appointment, have a conversation with another family member etc. etc. and it's near impossible some days

I read these points in an article the other day.. in regards to kids who have a lot (too much!) to say:

The most important points are:

* try to remain calm and speak to him with compassion
* when you do listen - make sure he feels he has your full attention
* don't let him prattle on without listening or without asking him to wait
* if you are consistant and compassionate, it will get better
* make sure your face lights up when he enters the room
* Making your child feel listened to and understood can change who he is.

Ya know, some days I will read these magazines and I feel like I've ruined my kids.  I mean, whewww -- I wish I had the time and patience to pay attention to what they have to say all day long!  Sadly I have to admit - I probably only hear half of what they tell me.  There's a whole lot of "uh-huh" and "mmm..hmmmm" that goes on around here.  And I wonder -- how do people who have even more kids than I do it?
I wonder if I'm missed something truly important?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Salsa Couscous Chicken

Mmmmm... I love to cook.  And I really like trying new recipes... Don likes to cook just as much as I do -- so we generally take turns making meals.

I'm always on the lookout for that million dollar recipe... I thought I would try making a meal that actually won $1,000,000.  Pillbury hosts a bakeoff each year - and the winner takes home a million.  Recipes for these fantastic dishes can be found online.  One of my very favorites is a dish that won in 1998 -- Salsa Couscous Chicken.... here is my version (it's still cooking on the stove in this pic).  YUM!  It will make your house smell sooooo goood!!!


3 cups hot cooked couscous or rice
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 cup Old El Paso® Salsa
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Cook couscous as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add almonds; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from skillet; set aside.

3. Add garlic and chicken to skillet; cook 4 to 5 minutes until chicken is browned, turning once.

4. In small bowl, combine salsa and all remaining ingredients; mix well. Add to chicken. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in almonds. Serve over couscous.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why, yes - I AM a Scrapbooker!

People who haven't tried it don't quite understand it.

You get together with your girlfriends and spend an ENTIRE evening (or weekend for that matter!) putting pictures in an album? -- they ask.

Well, see... it's a little more than just photos and albums.  I feel a moral obligation to elaborate - to help vaporize the stereotype of ladies wearing applique sweaters, running amok with decorative scissors and fuzzy bear stickers.

Scrapbooking of today is an exploration of life through words and images.  We are celebrating THAT which matters... our lives, friends and family... it allows us to keep memories of those special days shared with loved ones.  It helps heal your heart when you've lost someone close.  It allows a period in time -- those little bits and pieces of your life -- to be captured in a beautiful, creative and artistic way.  It brings friends together and give us a social date to look forward to!   And when your children grow, hopefully they will cherish those pieces of their life - those important days - lovingly captured in an album.

But seriously, don't knock it until you try it, and then, don't come crying to me when you've maxed out your credit cards on scrapbook stuff.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy LOVE Day!!

love [luhv] loved, lov⋅ing.

–noun 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Putting on a brave face

My poor girl....

...what a rough ride it's been for my oldest sweetheart...

Jenna broke her arm 8 weeks ago.  She fell awkwardly off the couch.. jumping (yes, yes I know - my bad) and then falling... reaching and grasping at the first thing she could, which happened to be an upper plastic portion of her Barbie castle.  Unfortunately this piece broke off in her hand.  She fell to the ground head-first, holding onto the chunk of plastic roofing.  The plastic piece hit the ground first and her arm snapped as it came down next.  Both the ulna and radius bones snapped like twigs.  The Dr. tells us that if she was older the bone would have come right through the skin  EEEK!

Swimming and soccer were cancelled.  Getting dressed was difficult and Jenna was very limited in what she could do.  Luckily her sister Amber was willing to take the top bunk!  Jenna rarely complained though...  there were a few itchy periods and some disappointment when she found out she couldn't do everything she could before, but overall she was a very good patient.

Yesterday was the 2 month mark and the cast was finally taken off!  We were concerned that she was going to experience a lot of anxiety.... when she had her cast changed at the 4 week point she was very upset that they took it off and demanded they put the cast back on right away.  It was explained to us that she had become attached to her cast, and the strange feeling of having it removed was actually pretty scary!  Stangely enough it had almost become part of her body.  Luckily she did great yesterday and was able to remain calm throughout the whole process.

To top it all off, today we had to go to the dentist.  Jenna injured her 2 front teeth on the playstructure last summer.  It didn't seem too serious at first... a bit of blood, but the tears only lasted a moment or two.  It was about a month later that we first noticed her teeth were turning a light shade of grey.  The dentist monitored her teeth for quite a while to see if they would recover, but unfortunately it ended up that they needed to be removed.  Luckily they were just the baby teeth!  And her adult teeth should come in just fine.  Whew!

My poor girl.  She lost 2 teeth and a cast in a matter of 24 hrs.  She seems to be handling it OK.... a little grumpy... but at least it's now the weekend and she can recover before another busy week begins!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here we go...

I wasn't sure I'd ever find the time to create my own blog. 

Yet here we are.

I've put it off for quite some time.  The last thing I need in my life is another hobby.

But I'll give it a try.

Let's see what tomorrow shall bring...