Monday, December 21, 2009
Wolfman had to be reminded several times that we were not shopping for ourselves, we were thinking of other people. When he found a cool child size baseball hat with Transformers on it, he thought that he should buy it for Calvin. But when I told him that it was too small for Calvin and that it was Wolfman-sized he waved the hat in the air and shouted, "Who wants to buy me a hat?!?"
Smart kid. (I told him, "That's not the way it works." Strangers were chuckling.)
Merry, Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Our Group was the first there! My sister, Maria, got there at 9:00 p.m. and claimed our territory with a table, chairs, and she even brought her RV so we'd have a potty in the parking lot!
We got 11 of the 26 games! SCORE!
Julie brought snacks and drinks. Her friends brought cupcakes and homemade rolls! This is Me (black and pink) with two of my sisters (Maria, far left, and Julie, far right) and two cousins (Kimm and Debra).
Most of the group went to breakfast after our 12 hour Black Friday shopping spree! We hit Old Navy for their opening at 3 a.m., then Target at 5 a.m, and after we got everything there, we headed to a couple of Walmart's for their great deals!
We truly have it down to a science! Woohoo! We don't need no stinkin' football!
(Thanks for the pictures Debra!)
Monday, November 23, 2009
I am lovin' my job. Today my aides baked me a cake and then we caught a criminal.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I'm sorry, I have no thoughts. Since I've been going to school, teaching, and everything else my thoughts are spread so thin...I was going to say it's as thin as margarine on toast, but it's more like splatters of Pam on a pan - not even covering an entire surface. I spend half my time making lists, the other half I spend, standing around trying to remember what I was going to do and why I'm: looking in the fridge, standing in the kitchen, on the computer, looking in my purse, etc.
Today at church, someone asked me how I'm handling everything. I have just given up everything optional. I've missed the last couple of Bunco nights and GNO's. My house is just passable. I don't watch t.v., use the computer, read for pleasure, or do any crafts. I barely see the family. Monday through Thursday, I wake at 5:30, get people ready, drop off the babies, go to school/work, pick up the babies, drop them off, go to class, tuck in the babies, go to bed, and wake up to do it all again. Wednesdays, I have young women's instead of class. Fridays, I'm so exhausted we just have family time instead of going on dates. On the weekends, I do marathon loads of laundry, make sure people have 5 days worth of outfits set aside, make menus, go shopping, cook meals for a week or two, do homework, and try to spend some time holding the little ones.
The classes I'm taking are actually really worthwhile and I enjoy them, but it would have been nice to spread them out. I'm doing the National Board Teacher Certification Pre-Candidacy class which is very (hhhmmmmm, can't think of the word...I've strained for 5 minutes and still can't think of the word I want...yeah, see what I mean?) The other class I'm loving is "7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Sadly, my favorite part is that there's no homework. However, it's great information and goes so well with our Book Group choice, "Bonds that Make us Free". (Which I haven't had time to read except 5 minutes at a time).
Validating. That's the word I couldn't come up with. The whole object of the National Board certification process is to verbalize why what I know about kids determines my actions in the classroom and how that benefits students, and then to show evidence of how that helps my students. Very worthwhile. However, not something I'm going to attempt when I can't string 10 words together in a coherent thought. Maybe next year.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Just finished 3 credit hours (yes, college credit hours) in one weekend - gotta LOVE University of Phoenix continuing education courses! Of course, there IS an outside assignment to finish in the next 3 weeks, but really...
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Our Stake (A group of congregations or wards, generally about three thousand to five thousand members in five to ten congregations.) at church is getting ready to take the youth on a handcart trek. My son Calvin is the only one old enough to go. I was telling him about the ancestors that we have who were among the original handcart pioneers. He claimed that I'd never told him the story. So I decided that I'd better put it here, in writing, for the rest of posterity.
"Peder Mortensen and mission: Peder Mortensen never expected to be a Utah Pioneer or a survivor of one of the most infamous and ill-fated handcart companies in the history of the western Mormon migration.
Peder’s livelihood and destiny had been carefully scripted by his patriarchal ancestors. As a devout Lutheran, he made a living as a cooper, shoemaker, and landowner in the village of Harbolle, Denmark, located on the southwest end of the Island of Mon.
Although Peder was a cripple, he and his wife, Helene Sandersen, and their eight children, created a comfortable middle-class lifestyle on the inherited farm from his father’s line.
Their thrifty and industrious lives drastically changed in 1855 when missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Soren P. Guhl and Elder Scoby, visited their village of Harbolle.
Morten, Peder’s oldest son and a biblical scholar studying for the Lutheran ministry, listened to the missionaries with great interest. Morten first thought he could entrap the missionaries into declaring their “Golden Bible” to be a fraud. Instead the missionaries baptized all the Mortensen family members over age eight; Peter (50), Helena (47), Morten (28), Anna (24), Anders (22), Hans (18), Lars (13), and Mette (10). Seven-year-old Maria and four-year-old Caroline were baptized later.
Soon after its organization, leaders in the LDS Church asked the church members to gather together first in Independence, Missouri, then in Nauvoo, Illinois, and finally in Salt Lake City, Utah. Peder and his family responded to the doctrine of “the gathering” by selling their farm and traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark to await passage to America.
During a month-long stay in the Danish capitol, the Mortensen family became acquainted with Scandinavian Mission President Hector C. Haight, who asked Morten to remain in Denmark and serve as a missionary.
Haight, recognizing a hesitance to split the family, made a solemn promise to Peder that Morten later recorded in his journal. “If you will consent to his staying and filling a mission, I promise you in the name of the Lord that you will, everyone of you, reach the land of Zion in safety, and God will protect you on sea and on land,” Haight said.
Morten stayed in Denmark as a missionary and the Mortensen family sailed to America aboard the steamship Thornton on May 4, 1856. Once in America the family traveled by both train and steamship to Iowa City, Iowa where they joined a company of 500 people, 120 handcarts and six wagons under the direction of James G. Willie.
The Willie handcart company is listed as the fourth handcart company to arrive in Salt Lake City as part of a new, cheaper method of people-powered travel proposed by then LDS Church President Brigham Young and financed by a revolving endowment known as the Perpetual Emigration Fund. Wooden handcarts, modeled after carts used by street sweepers, measured six to seven feet long, carried 500 pounds of trail provisions, and could be alternately pushed or pulled.
Still possessing sufficient funds from the sale of his farm to purchase ox teams and wagons for his family to ride to the 1400-mile trek to Salt Lake, Peder Mortensen gave his money to the Perpetual Emigration Fund allowing his family and three other families to make the handcart journey.
Peder, disabled by rheumatism, rode the entire trip on a handcart pulled by his children. Peder’s daughter Mette wrote about the journey in her diary. She described walking to the point of Fort Laramie as “monotonous.” But after Ft. Laramie Mette said, “They cut the flour rations and it began to snow.”
All but two of the ten handcart companies deployed between 1856 and 1860 completed the trail with few problems. The fourth and fifth companies, known today as the Martin and Willie companies, left winter quarters in August 1856, too late to begin a trip across the plains. The blizzard of October 1856 caught both handcart companies west of present day Casper, Wyoming. Despite heroic efforts by company members and Utah rescuers, about 200, or one-sixth of the companies died and dozens were maimed by frostbite and deprivation.
Every member of the Mortensen family survived the journey west without lasting injuries from the cold. Mette wrote she believed their safe arrival in Salt Lake fulfilled the promise they received from Hector C. Haight, Morten’s mission president, and Morten’s willingness to serve the Lord.
On December 1, 1856, Peder Mortensen and his family settled in Parowan, Utah." Morten is my great-great grandfather. We come through his daughter Diantha Elizabeth Mortensen.
(Thanks to amygreg.com for posting this story. I've had a hard time finding it online, so I wanted to post it where we'd be able to locate it.)
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
So, what can you whip up in 20 minutes or under if you've got the meat already frozen?
Gravy with Hamburger or Sausage
Linguine Alfredo with chicken
Fried potatoes with Hamburger
and a bunch more I can't think of right now
Here are my menus for the next month, for your viewing pleasure, and for me to refer to (just in case the list on the front of the fridge mysteriously disappears):
9/13 - 9/19
M- bread pudding (frozen in aluminum lasagne pan) with buttermilk syrup (which would make dirt taste delicious)
T- "ham" salad sandwiches
W- corn dog muffins
F- Mexican Rice Casserole (I also love Rice-A-Roni Spanish Rice, add precooked/frozen ground beef - gotta double it for my family)
Sat- stir fry chicken (bag o' frozen stir fry veggies, chicken is precooked, chopped and frozen, minute rice)
M- biscuits and sausage gravy (sausage is cooked, and frozen in gladware. McCormick mix is delish if you don't do homemade.)
T- beanie weenie (I'm lovin' Bush's baked beans, toss in after frying some hotdog coins, add a little extra brown sugar)
W- chicken packets (chicken filling is cooked, chopped, doctored, and frozen in gladware)
Th- ravioli (frozen bag of premade stuff, add can of sauce and precooked frozen ground beef)
F- Rhodes dough pizzas (defrost loafs of Rhodes in the morning, quick homemade pizza that evening)
M- hamburgers & fries (yes, I bought the premade, frozen patties and a bag o' fries to bake while I'm frying them)
T- ham sandwiches (mixed, filled, and frozen in tinfoil, just toss in the oven for 20 minutes)
W- Kielbasa and Potatoes (kielbasa chopped and frozen in gladware)
Th- enchiladas (frozen in aluminum lasagne pan, just add sauce and bake)
Sat- soft tacos (hamburger cooked and frozen in gladware, tortillas soft fried, and frozen in a gallon bag)
M- fried potatoes with bacon & onions (bacon is chopped, cooked, and frozen with onions - just chop potatoes, saute them til tender, and toss in meat)
T- Easy Crustless Quiche (precooked sausage, add green chile and onion)
W- penne pasta lasagne (I had a bunch of lasagne filling left, so I cooked up some penne, tossed it in the cheesy filling, put it in a baking dish, and poured on the rest of the can of sauce. Can't be too bad, right?)
Th - baked potatoes with hamburger gravy
F - homemade Mac & Cheese
Sat - Time to Go Shopping and Cook Again. I'm going out to eat.
Everything for these meals is either in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. I like to package and freeze parts together, so they don't accidentally get eaten before their time. (For example, if you were having french bread pizzas, you could wrap your container of homemade meat sauce, bag of mozarella, package of pepperoni, and loaf of french bread together in saran wrap, before you stick it in the freezer. Get the package out the night before, defrost in the fridge, and you're all set to whip it up in about 15 minutes!)
By the way, I spent about an hour at Walmart, after I made up a list of meals in the parking lot. I spent about $200 (and that included milk, bread, cereal and some other necessities, but not a bunch of snacks or anything). My goal is to spend about $1 per meal, per person. The prep work (cooking the meat - hamburger and chicken, assembling lasagne, ham sandwiches, enchiladas, and making filling for chicken packets, etc.) took about three hours. (And just in case you're wondering, I figure I spend about $400 per month on food for 7 people (5 adult/teen, 2 picky littles. Also, I do have a separate full-sized freezer, but I think I could probably keep all the prepared stuff in the kitchen freezer, as long as I didn't have a bunch of other junk in there.) Another tip: I keep a list of the stuff I have prepped in the freezer, on the front of the freezer, so we don't forget to use it.
I also did laundry while I was doing my cooking. I didn't fold, just moved loads through the washer/dryer to the couch. By Saturday night we were ready for our "Laundry Party!" (which makes little kids beg to be allowed to come, and big kids groan). At our "Laundry Party!" we turn on fun music, and everyone sits in special spot of their choosing (just like Christmas morning!), while I throw laundry off the pile at the owner, and they fold their stuff. Each of the big kids usually has to do their own and a small sibling, while little kids fold dishtowels, and little things. I do mine and DH does his own. Whoever isn't busy (because all their laundry is still on their floor) gets to do towels, sheets, or whatever I throw at them.
(Here's BittE and her new babydoll, Spamela)
Have a productive week! (And if you're all inspired to go for it, try starting with just a week or two.)
Got any good tips for me? I'd love to hear what works for you! Thanks!
Oh, By the way, I don't do the cooking most nights. The kids (16, 13, 11) are still doing it. They just go by the chore chart as to when their cooking day is, then they make the meal on the menu calendar. Yup, life is good.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Chocolate Face Mask - 1/3 c. cocoa powder, 1/4 c. honey, 2 T. heavy cream or sour cream, 3 tsp. ground oatmeal; mix well, apply to face, leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with warm water.
Oatmeal Scrub: 1 T. baking soda, 2 tsp ground oatmeal; mix with small amount water, scrub face gently, rinse with warm water.
We made our sugar scrub at Girl's Camp. Essentially it contains white sugar and mineral or vegetable oil (about 1/2 cup sugar, 2 T. oil, and some essential oil scents - a couple of drops). Here's a recipe.
And Thank goodness the girls had planned the refreshments well! We had Brownies, Ice Cream, and homemade Hot Fudge Sauce! (Otherwise I'm afraid that we'd have resorted to eating the rest of the face mask by the spoonful.
Tips for hosting your own spa night: bring lots of washcloths and towels. Bring headbands to keep their hair back. If you're doing it in the kitchen, bring mirrors so the girls don't have to walk through the building with their chocolate faces to use the mirrors in the bathroom. Lots of chocolate and good tunes are a must! Enjoy! Thanks for the great night girls!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'm still trying to figure out how to teach functional academics in high school. Everything we work on is supposed to have a real-world application to prepare the students for adulthood. Math is all about money, paychecks, time cards, banking, etc. Reading is about ads, newspapers, menus, etc. Writing is about shopping lists, letters, job applications, personal information sheets, etc.
Here's a cute story. One of my guys has the total stereotypic version of autism - high academics, low social skills, perseveration, stimming, etc. He can quote complete scenes from his favorite movie, and loves to sing the theme at the top of his lungs (sometimes at inopportune times and places). His favorite computer program has an application that he loves - he can sing into the microphone and hear himself through the headphones, which of course are designed to keep the rest of the class from being distracted when it's his turn on the computer. The other day two groups were working on Math, one student was writing a letter, and he was having his turn on the computer. The aide noticed that he was going to his favorite program...the one where he likes to yell. So I placed a piece of tape over the mike at the top of the screen, then added a sticky note over it that said "Quiet! It's time for Math." It must have worked, because he didn't even try to yell into the mike once during his turn. Bwahahahahaa!
Have a great week.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
- woke up early and got dressed right away
- ate breakfast together
- everyone cleared and washed their own dishes (from 2 years and up)
- wiped the table right away
- kept the toys to a minimum and put them away constantly
- swept and vacuumed daily
- did dishes after every meal (every meal made a full dishwasher load)
- no t.v. or movies after dinner
- played for an hour after dinner then had scriptures and prayer
- read little ones to sleep