Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Self I good enough? (lots of random thoughts-can you keep up?)

So, today is pick on myself day. I am questioning everything I do or might do. I am my own worst enemy.

Torrin has a mild fever and is extra whiney, there is a fly that keeps trying to land on my face, and I just do not have the patience for any of it.

Torrin's party is this Saturday, and in all honesty I am not very excited. I would rather have just my family (my kids and hubby) go to the park and have fun. I know the family likes to celebrate with us, but it seriously stresses me out.

I understand having a "treat" from time to time, but I hate compromising our eating habits to suit others-and cannot afford to feed others as we feed ourselves. Birthdays bring more junk, my kids do not need more junk. I do know that everyone means well, but my family gets by just fine without new toys or clothes for holidays and birthdays.

I honestly hate the idea of trying to tidy my house for others to come over-when I cannot even keep it cleaned up for US. We live here, we should have it at its best-why do I care what others think about how I live? You should see how it looks right now-B A D.

As for questioning all of my decisions, it stems from my choice in schooling my children. (It started last night)

There are a few bloggers I enjoy following, they do however, make me feel a bit inadequate and sort of like a failure.

I have this "picture" in my head of how I want to raise my family, it involves lots of laughter, fun memories, learning and enjoying learning, living off the land, nurturing good honest people into adulthood, living a green life, knowing and appreciating the land and the animals that give their lives for us to get the picture.

My life is not that!
That is what I WANT, but not what I have.

We eat sugar-it is organic-but it is sugar, I have not learned how to use honey or syrup in place of it!

We have plastic bags-I cringe at the thought, but how the hell am I going to freeze my harvest (when we cannot get it all canned with an almost 1 year old at my side 24/7-and I am not about to let him cry it out-or get burned in the process) without plastic bags?

I DRANK A PEPSI (throwback-real sugar-but still) every day for the past week-I know it is BAD-but seriously, it tasted good, and I do not want to lose more weight-so the extra calories, I convince myself are a good thing!

I BOUGHT plastic bottles of water at (OH LORD-OF ALL PLACES) WALMART yesterday for the DAMN birthday party I have to throw. I HATE/DISPISE/CRINGE/CANNOT STAND the thought of going into Wal-Mart-but we live in Richland Center, and where else was I going to go to get shin guards without spending a fortune, on short notice?

We are not over scheduled-but Zariah started soccer yesterday, and she needed shin guards!

I Drive a BIG ASS DIESEL TRUCK...and I LOVE IT! I love my truck-I would never own a gas truck again-I love my oversized truck! We all fit comfortably, and I can climb over the seat and nurse, change diapers and such without having to move kids around. (The hubby drives a diesel VW Bug-does that make me look "greener"?It gets over 50mpg)

I do not have the best patience, I sometimes swear in front of my children when I am mad (daily...), I am way less than perfect. I chose the Robinson Curriculum because the kid teaches themselves.

I am not a teacher-I am a mom-I am their first teacher-but I am not in anyway a math, reading, writing, history kind of teacher. I can only teach them what I know-and frankly, that is not all that much. My lack of patience is what makes me scared to try anything else.

Yesterday, my oldest was crying because I had to have her re-write her writing lesson for the 3rd or 4th time-she did not follow directions, she messed up, she had to re-do it. It felt like a smack in the face!

My kids attended public school last year, the first 3 weeks of summer vacation, they drove me INSANE! Once they got into the groove of being alone, being outside, no electronics...they excelled! They learned to PLAY again. They play with the doll house, the legos, the sandbox, they swing, they jump on the trampoline...they create "worlds"...they turned into KIDS again. Who am I to take that away from them?

I want my kids to have fond memories of their childhood. I want them to grow up happy, and to love and be kind. I want more than anything to have done a good job as a mother. I am scared as hell of not offering the right things and them being stuck in my house at 30 because they cannot get a good job.  I want to do right by my kids-but I DO NOT KNOW what that is!

I love the idea of "unschooling" my children, but what about state laws? How does it work? Do I require "anything" of them? Do I have to take them on field trips? How does this work? What about reading, writing, math...??? What if they can't get into college? I want them to be kids, and enjoy being a kid-but eventually they will have to grow up! What if by letting them choose their own path, they never read a book because they do not have the drive to learn to read? What do I need to have? how do I need to act? I am so lost!

Right now, my 5 year old is sitting at the kitchen table, quietly finishing up her writing assignment...probably day dreaming. My 7 year old is playing with her doll house-entertaining her almost 1 year old brother...who do you think looks happier?

I do not want to rely on others for me to make my decision, I do not want to NEED friends...It is lonely on our almost 3 acres. I have learned it is not always a good idea to "talk shop" with other homeschool moms-some are judgy and I am simply looking for my path. I try to reach out to new people, and often feel shot down...I want my kids to have friends, hell, I WANT TO HAVE FRIENDS...I have a few...I hope they stick around as I get my shit together and try to figure out who the hell I am and how I can raise my family the way I want to.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


So, yesterday was our first day of school! You can follow our homeschooling journey HERE. Our weekend was crazy busy, and not very productive. We stopped by a friends house to drop off some squash and pick up some peppers and cabbage. We ended up staying later than planned, and were very tired for it. The weekend was hot, and we went to the tractor/truck pull not too far from home. When we got home we were exhausted with a mile long to do list-it did not get done! Nathan canned up some juiced tomatoes for me, but that is ALL we did. I woke up Monday to the messiest house I have ever had! We were exhausted from the weekend and did not really do one thing that is noteworthy.
Last night, it was extremely hot out, like stay in the AC kind of hot. What do I manage to do when it is blistering hot out? I do what normal people do when it is freezing cold out! I make soup! I do not do this on purpose, it just happens to happen on days when sitting in a tub of ice makes more sense than eating hot soup!
Last night, my soup was AH MAZE ING! I made cabbage tomato soup-sounds nasty-tasted amazing!
Here is what I did
-shred about 1/2 head of cabbage-amount unsure-it fit in my normal pot
-puree/juice two ninja's (this is a new sizing around here-it was 2 ninja containers FULL of tomatoes before it became juiced-it is probably close to 3 qts once juiced-depends on how big of a blender you use and how full you pack the tomatoes into it)
-toss in some diced tomatoes with onion and garlic-can also put the garlic in the blender if wanted
-I put this in the cooking pot, made sure I had enough liquid that the shredded cabbage was not going to burn before it cooked down and covered
-meanwhile, cook 1 # hamburger with salt, pepper, an onion, and a green bell pepper
-add to the pot, stir, cover and bring to a boil
-after boiling point is reached, I just let it cook on low until all veggies were nice and soft

NOTE: I am thinking about fixing up some big jars and canning this. I hope to have some nice yummy soup to just open up and plop into a pot on the wood stove this winter! I am thinking of adding some sliced up carrots, leaving out the hamburger until ready to use each jar-and am playing with the idea of using sausage in place of hamburger next time!

Today is Tuesday, and Zariah is supposed to have soccer practice tonight. I am thinking soccer will get canceled because of the heat advisory. We need to get her some shin guards and socks yet!
Torrin will be 1 on Saturday and we are having his birthday party that day. It is supposed to be hot still, so I am not really sure what I want to do! I am really wishing we had a covered back deck so that I could make everyone stay out of my house. My house is a mess and needs to be worked on. House work takes money, and I do not have much extra of that right now!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Raising My children giving and appreciation

One of the biggest issues I face as a mother of 3 is gift giving. Everyone wants to give generously, which is great, until it isn't.

I know I have changed things up a bit in the past 7+ years of being a mother, but I am learning as I go. Everyone thought I was so outspoken at 18,19 and 20...but in all honesty, I listened to other peoples opinions a bit too much!

 I had always known what kind of mom I wanted to be. I had always known how I wanted to raise my children...I just did not have the backbone to stand up when people went against my wishes. I knew I wanted to breastfeed my children, this is the one and only thing I stuck with as a new mom-and I was done before their 1st birthdays-not a success in my book.

Now, I am ALMOST 26 (oh boy!) and I know what I want! I know and am willing to fight for what I believe! It still is hard though. EVERYONE has the best of intentions, and does not always understand WHY I choose "my" way. You do not have to understand my decisions or choices, but you do have to respect them! I choose organic foods for my family because they are HEALTHIER, maybe that grape doesn't have more vitamins in it-but it has LESS junk! I choose REAL WHOLE foods over prepackaged crap, because I want to know what goes into my precious children! I love my kids enough to tell them NO. No soda, No processed JUNK. Respect it, remember it.

BACK ON TRACK! Ok, so gifts...ahh the dreaded gifts. I love love love seeing my children smile, I love making them happy... I also LOVE when they use their imaginations instead of trying to play with a one dimensional toy that does not foster imagination. I would love to have a FEW nice, solid, safe, USA made toys for my children. They do not need more toys than Wal-Mart! I am guilty, I admit, I love to buy things for my kids. I also feel extremely guilty buying a NICE gift for my children when I know they will be getting a boatload of toys from friends and family. I want them to appreciate everything they get, but how can they love the wooden blocks mommy and daddy so thoughtfully picked out when they are handed a loud flashy plastic p.o.c? (rude, I know..sorry) These kids do not go without, I swear it! These kids have way more than they need. Having too much is NOT a good thing! Whether it is too many clothes, too many menu options, too many toys, or too many options of where to go...too much is BAD. Too much causes fights! Too much causes stress. I hate throwing things away and being wasteful, but having too much causes me to be that way. I would like to implement a new RULE for buying for my kids-I saw this on Pinterest-so I in no way take credit for it-but as of September 1st (since I know gifts have been bought for Torrin's birthday), please keep this in mind-all other "stuff" will be donated at will.
4 Gift rule:
1-thing they want
1-thing they need
1-thing to wear
1-thing to read/write/draw/color/paint/craft

I can give ideas for all of these! Gift activities or outings for them! Gift them gymnastics allotments, money for art classes, piano lessons, passes to the pool...the possibilities are endless!
 PLEASE keep in mind with the 1 thing they want-it should be age appropriate and would be great if it fostered some imagination and was local (at the least USA or Europe-our country gives enough money to China and Taiwan) This is also a great opportunity to get them that game system game they have wanted, or a DVD they want to see.

1 thing they need is always EASY-savings bonds for their FUTURE, a small donation to their personal savings account for college! This can also be things like socks, undies, shoes, anything they need-please ASK and they (or I) will tell you!

At the end of the day, my kids ARE happy with what they have. They have a loving family, a roof over their heads, plenty of (healthy,organic) food in their bellies, and make memories on a daily basis. There is so much "extra" that is not needed in this home, thank you for understanding!

Friday, August 16, 2013

An aunt I hope to be...

Well, Ryatt and Jo are having a baby girl. I want to smile, to be happy and to go baby shopping...but I had to find out from my mom. Ryatt didn't answer his phone this morning when I (sigh) tried to call him again. I MISS MY BABY BROTHER so damn bad it hurts. I want to be an aunt...doesn't he miss being an uncle? Her name will be Nora Grace...a baby I may never know... I have tried so hard to move on, and hope beyond hope he decides to come back into our lives... it is not just about the baby. I miss my best friend...Ryatt was the one person I could turn to...I MISS YOU RYATT. Maybe I am a lame ass for wanting my baby brother in my life, oh well... I would do damn near anything for Jo to "like" me enough to let me be the aunt I want to be. I had never gone even a week without talking to Ryatt, now it has been about 3 months...ouch.
Congrats on finding out it is a girl...I sure hope I get to be apart of her life, and your lives...I miss having my family together.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

keepin' busy

We have been very busy!

Thursday, I had an appointment in reedsburg, so my mom met us to help with the kids. We went and did a little shopping after and I got some more school supplies. I picked up 2 carts to organize the schoolwork...hopefully they make my life easier!
2 new carts

Friday, we drove all the way to la cross for my allergy appointment (I am sneezing as i type!) I tested very allergic to quite a lot! Everything outside messes up my allergies. I started drops, and am still not taking anything for my symptoms. I was so proud, we left the house on time! We met mom at Myrick Park at 11, just as planned...we had a great time at the park and my appt went great!

My allergy drops

After the allergy appointment, we went to Kohls and I got Syvannah and Khia's birthday gifts. Khia is in Mississippi for her actual birthday, but we will celebrate later! I also got Zariah a pair of shoes for soccer, she is in a 3! I picked up Torrin's first pair of shoes too, I will give him them for his birthday!

After a long fun day, my kids and I left la crosse and headed for viroqua to get montanna's birthday gift and do some shopping. The coop was overwhelming to say the least! I did not do well getting the things on  my list, and as we were leaving, Zarina spilled beans everywhere!

Stopped by Hardware store, hoping for chicken feed and shavings,  feed was $8 more than I was willing to pay...we headed towards home.

Got to town, loaded up my cart at Burnstad's...went to checkout to ask for my bulk peaches and box of chips...and all hell broke loose! Checker made a mistake, lady in charge grew horns, I left in a huff...came back...tears were shed...I will be posting my letter to the company now.

I do not even know how to word this. I am a frequent shopper at the R.C Burnstad's,  and I spend a lot of money there.  My family buys gluten free and organic, so my trips are expensive. Tonight, I stopped I  to pick up my organic peaches I order ($80 worth) and organic chips ($20) worth that the grocery and produce managers were so kind to order for me, along with $65 in other items. At the checkout, the checkers were working together trying to find my orders, and Christian tried to help Zander by entering the price of the peaches he had just retrieved from the back, only he accidently hit $80 cash Instead of hitting $80 produce to add the fruit...this was a simple mistake, I laughed, said thanks for the free groceries, the  smiled and said just kidding I  am an honest person, and tried to make light of the situation because the kid looked scared. Then I offered to get my checkbook from my truck and write a check for the $65 odd dollars of the order (since the register said he owed me money when I had not paid anything yet.) The lady in charge got all flustered and attacked me for "not understanding". Excuse me, but I was trying to help make the books easier to balance and did not appreciate her telling me to be quiet and saying I do not know what I am doing. I have had several retail jobs, and cash and checks always balance out, me writing a check would have made their lives easier than having no cash in the drawer and having to redo the whole transaction. After jumping down my throat she told me to do it her way, because she has to clean up the mess. I was shaking at this point and wanted to get out. So, she had me slide my card for the first $65 then she had me slide again for the $100, (which she will have to fix or the register will say there is $65 more than there will be since she would not let me get my checkbook!) and was horrible to deal with. I left the store, and was so upset I came back I and asked for a full refund. She looked at me like I grew a 2nd head, so I said I want a full refund or I'd contact the owner. She took me to the guest courtesy counter and apologized,  which only happened because I threatened to report her.( I realize it was frustrating that the kid messed up, but accidents happen and it isn't like he rang up the groceries for free and said leave. ) She told me she has trouble seeing because she has cancer ( which I did not need to know, her attitude had nothing to do with her eyes, and throwing the cancer card just made me feel like crap), and that she would pay for $80 of my groceries with her own money to fix the problem. As much as I would love to get free groceries, I am not taking $80 from a stranger with cancer, seriously, I am not a bad person...I just do not appreciate being made to feel stupid and being disrespected. My 7, 5 and almost 1 year olds were with me for this trip, so they got to see their mama so pissed off she was crying. I order bulk from Burnstad's all the time, and love buying there because I know that it is a WI store...I am hurt, and honestly do not know if I can show my face in there again, not after being told to shut my mouth so she could do her job, because I wouldn't understand...oh, I never got the refund, she wouldn't take my groceries back, and I didn't want money from her. (Which may have been the plan with her telling me about her cancer. I wouldn't wish cancer on my worst enemy, and I am sorry she is sick, but if she can't keep her cool, then she shouldn't be there working.)

The next morning, I woke to an email from the owner and the store manager...they are sorry. I am not sure what me writing them accomplished....but I was humiliated and treated horribly in front of my children and strangers. The icing on the cake, the peaches, though they have good flavor are not the same ones I got before, they are horrible for canning!  Thepits would not separate from the flesh! Needless to say, my chickens and children were happy to clean the pits for us, atleast nothing wwent to waste!

Saturday, was Butcher day.  Bye bye meat birds! Thank you for giving your life for us to eat! Next time, I'd like to raise a heritage breed of chickens. They are smaller, but I think a more humane way to get food. Plus, it is made to survive, they actually walk and forage! We cooked one bird up, and wow oh wow! It tasted amazing! Had to have been the juciest bird I've ever eaten! There was a lot of meat on it too!  While the guys butchered, we went to a birthday party. My house is a bit of a disaster area since we were gone 3 days in a row! Saturday night we attempted to can peaches, 3 cans later WE QUIT! They drove us nuts trying to pit them! We did can some more dilly beans and attempted 1 jar of salsa (it didn't work...didn't seal up...we have eaten most of it already!)

Some of our canned stuff...peaches, dilly beans, and pickles

i got a call about my allergy testing. I am very allergic to eggs, and milk...I am sort of allergic to soy,  not enough to cut it out, but only have on occasion...and I reacted to non organic corn I.e. high fructose corn syrup (goodbye biweekly coke...)  doc explained that my allergies are at their worst because I am eating eggs daily (never ate eggs much before) to make up for the lack of gluten in my diet. Being exposed to so much egg is causing my allergies to react violently!  I always used to get a sick feeling after eating eggs, but with cutting out so much "food" from my diet, eggs became a quick easy snack to hold me over. I eat well over a dozen eggs a weel now...I am going to starve! I do not want to rely on unhealthy snacks again, and I am a bit worried about the corn...I eat corn chips daily. We love egg salad with chips and we love love salsa! I am hoping that when he said organic corn was probably ok, he meant seems extreme to cut so much from a diet, but I want to be healthy without medication,  not simply putting a bandaid on my symptoms.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

my Mama's birthday

Yesterday my mom and baby brother, who is almost 18, came over for the day. My mom turned 46 yesterday! (Which means I will be 26 very soon!) I think we had a great day! I fixed a strawberry pie with an oat crust so we could have a treat (I was out of gf cake mix). Gf baking is still a bit of a challenge for me, I was always a great baker but gf presented challenges for me. I found a decent recipe, but lost track of how much oat flour I had put in...which resulted in a wet mess, so I added almond meal and more flour until it was pasty but not soaking wet.
This is the recipe I was trying to follow...

2 1/2 cups Oat Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 1/4 cup shortening
1 egg (whisked )
water (add to egg to make 1/2 cup)
1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Remember, I used non hydrogenated palm oil, butter or lard would have probably made it easier and less messy...I also milled my own oat flour and lost track,  so ended up tossing almonds meal in.
No matter my mess ups, it turned out really good! It was crumbly, not flaky, but the flavor was great!

I made homemade baked beans,  which were not nearly as good as they were before, but were ok...we will be adding hamburger to them and making a casserole tonight. We also grilled corn on the cob and had pulled pork sandwhiches!

We gifted my mom a chocolate mint plant in a painted pot, with some dried leaves for tea, I hope she likes it!

The kids enjoyed having their Nana and uncle RayRay here all day, we played with the chickens, checked out the garden, and just talked and hung out all day, it was a great day! My step-dad showed up after we had already eaten,  and learned we do not use a he got to eat his food cold, LOL! I got to explain why we do not use one...was interesting!
It got late, it got dark...and John decided (at 10pm) to start a bon fire. At first I thought he was crazy, then I looked up, the sky was beautiful!  It was so clear, so many stars! We saw shooting stars!! It really was such a great day/ night!