Our boys are so enthralled by Elon Musk and his Space X company and all that he is attempting to do so we just had to take the kids to the Johnson Space Center.
This past year we studied the Renaissance, Dark ages, & Medieval times as a big part of our history & so of course we had to take the kids to the Renaissance fair when it came to town! We had a fun time & it was neat for the kids to see history come to life. It rained a good portion of the day, hence the ponchos, but even so, we had fun!
As the cold & flu season is creeping upon us I figured I would share with you the soup that we use as a healing soup for colds & when we just aren't feeling great but aren't fully sick. I will tell you that I have started to alter this recipe a little, simply because 3 of the kids do not like the garbanzo beans. What I do now is instead of adding the beans to the soup I put a few cups of the broth in a sauce pan, when the chicken is done boiling & then cook the beans in there instead of putting them in the big pot. The 3 of us that like the beans can just add a spoon full to our soup & everyone is happy!
Hi everyone! This post is a review of a dog harness & leash that we recently found. I usually don't buy anything at craft fairs unless I know exactly what I am going for prior to going and I didn't purchase it the first time I saw it either. We saw this gentleman demonstrating how this harness worked on several dogs & I was so intrigued that I stood there in the freezing cold (which I hate) and watched in awe as dog after dog seemed to be completely transformed while using this harness. I was awaken from my awed trance by my children saying "mommy we are freeeeezing" so I grabbed the guys business card & ran our kiddos to the car to warm up. I honestly couldn't get that harness out of my mind & for weeks it haunted me. I finally convinced my husband that we needed it & he agreed! Yay!! We ordered the purple harness & the security leash & actually picked it up from the company owner, Bruce, at his place of work & he even had us bring Coco to have her sized! Bruce is awesome.
We ran into him at another county fair when it was much warmer outside & I was able to get some pictures!
Our dog Coco is a wonderful dog but she can get out of ANY harness we had put on her, I'm not sure how but she just like folds up & they fall right off of her, & she slowly walks away with her head down hoping we won't see her. "Not so fast slippery dog!" We manage to get her back into them & I swear she looks at us like "you've got to be kidding me, you know I can get out of this, right?" lol!
Well with the Walk Me Pull-Ease we have finally outsmarted her! So lets get to it.
The harness is rope-like and doesn't look much like a harness when it's not on the dog. You grab the two loops (head loop & body loop) and you place it over the dogs head then step the feet through & tighten the toggle on the dogs back, attach the security leash & you're off! The magic, if you can imagine, comes when your dog wants to go in the opposite direction of you, you just give a little lift on the leash & the dog instantly follows you. The upward lift on the harness is like you jabbed your dog in the ribs, like when someone pokes your ribs & you jump. The key is keeping the harness loose enough to not be a constant poke & tight enough that they feel it when you give a little lift. It really is a genius invention, especially if your dog is a regular Houdini!
This is the Security leash that we purchased to go with the harness, it is almost like a bungee cord, it has a give so your arm isn't pulled if your dog jumps or lunges. All of our kids can easily walk the dog now, even our 5 year old! As long as we have a dog this is the leash & harness system we will buy! Get yours today at www.walkmepullease.com, you will be glad you did! - Candise
The battle of San Jacinto is a pivotal part of Texas history so of course we had to take the kids to see it as well, and I'm so glad we did! Its a beautiful monument in a beautiful park and you can see the Battleship Texas from her. When we got to the elevators there was a sign that said they were closed so I told Joe "we can take the stairs".... he just looked at me like I was crazy & then said "its 40 stories!" Yeah, so we didn't get to go up to the observation deck, but we did explore the rest of the monument.
We went several weeks before she "sank" & no we didn't sink her! Although, my nephew went on field trip to see her the week before she sank......therein lies my suspicion. (I'm just kidding,)
Of course no San Antonio trip is complete without dinner & stroll down the iconic River Walk. Before dinner we took a walk down the river taking in the sights & of course photo opportunities!
A very nice gentleman insisted on taking a picture of all of us & I'm so very grateful he did, it turned out great.
Mission San Jose
It amazes my that something so primitive, made with hand tools in 1720 still stands (some of it). They built the church in such a way that there is a constant breeze flowing through keeping the parishioners cool. (pay attention to the carving above the church door entrance). They knew at just what angle everything needed to be to provide a breeze & to use the shadows to their advantage, a skill that seems to have died out. I could easily live in such beautiful compound, well with some added modern conveniences.
We wandered around on our own so I do not know what every room was for, some are self explanatory, others not so much but I can give you my best guess.
I just couldn't pass up this perfect photo shoot spot. Despite the fact that we were all hot, sweaty & starting to get tired, they all did a great job letting me take a million pictures of each of them.
Mission San Jose was breath-taking. It was beautiful, inspiring, educational & fun, the kids are already asking when we can return! I realized that we missed some things while we were there so when we do go back we will definitely have a guide. Is Mission San Jose worth it? Absolutely!
Our first stop on our trip was San Antonio to see the Alamo & Mission San Jose. We stayed at Home 2 by Marriott which was a short walk to The Alamo, so of course we walked! There were so many fun & interesting shops along our walk, we wanted to go into all of them but we wouldn't have had time to see the missions, so we pressed on.
Since we started our trip on Mothers Day, Joe & the kids planned to take me out to a new restaurant, It was place called Zinc & it is a "must go" place! Delicious food, quaint old building, a very comfortable feeling, cozy. If we lived in San Antonio this is definitely a place we would frequent, with & without kids, my picky eaters even like the food!
We started off with appetizers of course. We had the Parmesan fries & the Foie Gras, both were delicious. We have a motto that we live by, especially when we are on the go, "Try something new every day", which we implored with the foie gras..... Caroline & Jamieson did not care for it, Jonathan kept saying it tasted like grass but Victoria, she loved it (she is our adventurous eater!). It went well until Jonathan found out what it was & his reaction was funny. He will probably never trust us again!
Of course we had to take fun selfies!
Just as we finished our silly photo shoot our food came. Our meals each reflect our very different personalities, that's how good this restaurant is!
As you can see I did not get a picture of Joe's food (oops!) This restaurant gets it, they understand the need for pizza & burgers along with crab cakes & foie gras. Everyone was happy & fulfilled. ZInc is a fantastic restaurant with great tasting food, wonderful service,& a quaint & peaceful atmosphere, if you are ever in the area you need to go there!
After dinner we decided to walk around & see what the city had to offer and of course take photos!
It's not always easy to get a great photo of all of them, so I take what I can get!
We had so much fun in San Antonio, if you ever get the chance to go you will be glad you did!
Being a mom requires a ton of energy all of the time with, seemingly, no end in sight! On top of being a mom we live a pretty active lifestyle & are always going. I get asked all of the time "How do you keep your energy up?" Well, let me tell you a story.
My friends & I were talking one day, & it came out that I had only had about 4 hours of sleep the night before & about 5 the previous night, they all said they had no idea & that I didn't look tired at all. Through this conversation I realized that I can go with the least amount of sleep, over a couple of days, 5-6 hours or less, & most of my friends needed an average of 9 consecutively or they were in terrible moods & in what I call "barely functioning mode". (I am not talking about all the time, I am talking about a couple of days in a row of little sleep) All of them asked how it was possible, for me to not only seem like I had had a great nights sleep but to look & act like I had, so I told them my secret - XS Energy & the fact that I take vitamins & most of them don't.
Since I don't drink coffee & but still needed a boost in the mornings I started looking to energy drinks. I have tried several of the other brands & they all left me feeling awful, jittery & jumpy & unnerved. I didn't like that, then a friend told me about XS & convinced my to try one so I did.
I have to admit I was concerned as to how i would react but let me tell you, I didn't. I reacted the same as if I had drunk a glass of tea or a soda & I didn't have a crash later in the day. My energy was sustained all day & I never could tell when it wore off. I was officially hooked! That's exactly what this momma needed. No sugar, Low carbs, & only 8 calories, full of vitamin B-12 plus they have so many delicious flavors! My personal favorite is Cran-Grape.
They have their caffeinated line which is Cran-Grape, Tropical, Lemon, Cherry Cola, Citrus Blast (another fav), Mango Pineapple Guava, Cherry, Root beer Blast, Wild Berry, Classic Blast, Sparkling Pink Grapefruit, Naranja Blast 12oz, & Summit Blast 12 oz - Summit tastes similar to Mountain Dew.
The caffeine free line is Cran-Grape & Mango Pineapple Guava, & this is indicated by yellow stripes on the Cran-Grape can & Green Stripe on the Mango Pineapple Guava can.
They also have an Energy + Burn line, Strawberry (Love this one) & Blood Orange. The Energy+Burn line is designed to give you energy & help your body adapt to stress and deliver mental clarity & it is kosher certified. If you have never tried XS Energy I urge you to jump on board & live a life powered by XS!
This company is so amazing, they have created a variety box that you can customize! That's right, if you don't know what flavor you will like you can order a variety case to figure out which one you like the most before you purchase an entire case of something you hate. How awesome is that?
Meal planning is very time consuming the first time you do it, so plan for it to take several hours, you can even break it down into steps over several days to make it less daunting. I know this will seem very detailed & time consuming however it is a "do it once" kind of thing, once you do it then it will be done & your grocery list will be ready for the next time you go shopping. Remember, the main goal of this is to SAVE time in the long run!
My goal is to put together the meals that share the same ingredients so that every grocery shopping trip I use everything I buy and there is little to no waste. If you want more variety in your meals then create several shopping lists and alternate between them. When we shop we buy a few more meals than what is needed for that shopping period and prepare & freeze the extra meals (this will work whether you shop twice a month or once a month). We usually shop twice a month but remember we buy MORE than we need, this way we have extra meals just in case. Shopping this way will help keep you on budget or if your budget is tight it will help you to still be able to purchase good healthy foods!
You will need pens or pencils to your liking, a two week calendar with columns for breakfast, lunch & dinner, any cook book you like, several pieces of paper & your computer or laptop. In order to help keep you on budget you will mark down every meal even if you don't buy groceries for them all, if you eat dinner out every Tuesday put it on the calendar. Remember, the goal is to begin keeping a budget & lessen your time spent in the kitchen actually cooking. Now you will actually start planning & this is where you may need to work in steps & days. I will be honest, this part was very overwhelming for me since I was planning for every single meal to be cooked & I did do it in shifts. Here's what you do...
After you purchase our groceries you want to cook/prepare them right away so as to preserve freshness. I typically grocery shop on one day & do the cook/prep the next. I cook the meals that have the most similar ingredients at the same time, for example; lasagna & spaghetti, haystacks & tacos etc. The King & I generally do this together & we both cook two meals at a time & when needed set up an assembly line while working together on the same meal especially lasagna, (we always make two, since it is a more time consuming meal)
This is the story of my health, my story of my illness and how I cured it, if I can help just one of you or someone you know then it's worth it!
My story begins just after our honeymoon. I came home and noticed a white, flaky spot on my skin in the fold of my arm & it sometimes itched. I went to the dermatologist & was told it was a fungus that I probably picked up on our honeymoon, was given an anti fungal cream & an antibiotic. I took the medicine & used it as directed, the rash went away, all seemed to be good until a few months later when the rash returned and had grown. I was finally diagnosed with Tenea Versicolor which is a yeast overgrowth or basically a whole body yeast infection. I went to several dermatologists and doctors, who responded the same, with an anti fungal & an antibiotic and the rash/illness would go away for a few months then return with a vengeance. The rash had spread over time, it was all over my neck & up into my hairline, all over my bra area in the front, and along my bikini line. This went on for twelve years,
After i had my third child I started having recurring sinus infections, every three months & I would have to have an antibiotic to get better. At this point I was also feeling sick in other ways, my stomach was hurting me all the time, I was having pain up under my rib cage that would radiate to under my shoulder blade in my back. I just didn't feel well. At this point I had a friend who suggested I go gluten free, I didn't listen. I went to a gastroenterologist who told me that I had a few gallstones, nothing serious, & after a series of questions, diagnosed me with IBS, for which there is no cure. I was not happy with that. He had scheduled me for other tests which we had to cancel because we found out we were expecting our fourth baby.
My pregnancies have all been high risk and number four was no different. I have a hard time putting on weight while pregnant, my doctor believes this to be why I go into preterm labor. *Disclaimer* I am not a medical professional however think about this..... whenever a pregnant woman has a yeast infection one of the biggest fears is that it will cause ...preterm labor. A candida overgrowth & Tinea Versicolor are a YEAST overgrowth, so basically your whole body is infected with too much yeast. So I believe that all of my preterm labor was due to this yeast overgrowth. This is just my theory, and I have no intention of testing this out, we have four kiddos and that is enough! This is something worth thinking about.
After I had my fourth baby I was still feeling bad, the same aforementioned friend suggested the same thing, go gluten free. I was skeptical. Her mom, who is a second mom to me gave me a book, The Candida Cure to help me understand and to see if this was my problem. In the book there is a test to determine your level of yeast, mine was off the charts. It was at this point that I decided I had nothing to lose by trying the suggested diet in the book. I started the gluten free / sugar free diet almost immediately and it was around the 3 month mark that I started to notice changes, my rash was going away and my stomach was feeling better. After 5 months of being on the gluten free / sugar free diet I noticed one day that my rash was COMPLETELY gone, no sign of it anywhere!! I could not believe it, I really did not think this diet would work, I was beyond wrong. Not only did the new diet cure my Tinea Versicolor, it also relieved my IBS symptoms! All these years, 12 years of being sick and not feeling well, so many antibiotics and they did nothing. All I needed was the correct food to heal my body. I am gluten free because of the IBS and I am sugar free (as much as humanly possible) because of the Tinea Versicolor. I love feeling good, I love that I dont have to cover up my body so no one looks at my rash, I love that i no longer itch like crazy, I love that my stomach is finally acting normal and that I don't have the IBS symptoms, unless i eat gluten. I feel healthy and I won't apologize for that. I hope that my experience can touch someone whether it is for them to understand what someone they love is going through or to help them find hope. There is always hope, if you search long enough.
*disclaimer : always check with your health care professional to make sure you are healthy enough to start any new diet.
We quit cable, for many reasons one of them being the cost. As I am sure you are aware cable costs are always going up & we were tired of it. I was also tired of the inappropriate commercials that were on what was considered a "kid channel" not to mention some of the content that was put into a children's show, some things need to be left for when they become adults! I was sick & tired of having to explain adult things to my children, so we pulled the plug on cable. I was unsure how I was going to like going without it but with the program we have, I love it not having cable. No more inappropriate commercials, no more adult content on a kids show, I no longer have to worry about what they will see when they watch a movie & its wonderful!
I have been homeschooling for 7 years now, I have learned a lot & am in a completely different place than in the first year. Our school room, curriculum, & my style of teaching has changed to fit our family & learning styles better. Let me take you on a tour of our schoolroom.
My hubby always knows what he is getting for his birthday, always, even if i try to surprise him. So this year, with some help from an amazing friend, I was able to really surprise him, and it was good!
He always wanted to be a pilot and he even took a few flying lessons when he was a teenager, so a friend of mine has her own plane and her husband is a pilot, so for his birthday he got a mini flying lesson. It was awesome!
We always take our spring break when my sister & her kids have their spring break, so the kids can be together. We didn't get to do much this year, but we did get to go to Six Flags!
First Stop : The Carousel
Looney Tunes Land for the littles to play
Pawpaw & his girls & our 6 superheros.
About half way through our day my sister's youngest started feeling bad & they ended up leaving early. The older boys took off together & rode all of the rides that the rest of us didn't want to ride. My parents & I spent the rest of the day taking turns riding rides with my three younger kids & we had a blast together! My youngest who is 4, wanted to ride the Swinging Pirateship.....it ended with lots of tears! We stayed until they closed & we were exhausted, but it was worth it! We had a great Spring Break & enjoyed our time together, we found it absolutely Charming.
We went on our first Urban Adventure the other day & it was a blast! We actually came in 7th place for our city choice, I was rather impressed especially since we had all four kids with us. An Urban Adventure is like a scavenger hunt for permanent objects like statues or buildings, throughout the city to help you see your city from a new perspective. We plan on doing this in other cities that we visit on holiday's.
Starting on the square next to the sculpture walk 6 squares to the left then go 14 squares to the right, 7 squares to the right, 8 squares to the left to find your first clue! And on to the next!
This is The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, built in 1868. The kids thought it was so very beautiful & we actually spent a good amount of time here looking at every part of the church.
Never a dull moment attempting to get great pictures of this bunch!
Each area that we came to had several questions that you had to answer in order to move to the next clue. For every question you answer correctly you are awarded points & every incorrect answer points are taken away, it gives you a bonus question to redeem a few points if you do miss. The points are what determines your place in the game along with the time it takes you to finish.
Our Urban Adventure was so much fun & I highly recommend it to everyone! We walked over 10,000 steps, laughed, enjoyed talking to each other, had quality time together & tested our skills in deducing. Now it's time for you to go on your own Urban Adventure!
On Martin Luther King day this year we took the kids to see a movie, we walked up to the window, purchased our tickets, walked through the door, purchased our food & beverages at the concession stand then walked to our theatre, & I sat down & imagined what that experience would have been like during the civil rights movement.
Let me replay that for you. At the ticket window there wasn't a sign indicating which race could use which window/machine, we all stood in line awaiting our turn for the machine (no one is ever at those windows anyway), everyone of us purchased our tickets in the same way, using the same machine, in peace & harmony. The concession stand also didn't have any sings indication which race could use which line, we all just got in line, we ordered food & drinks & we were all served from the same machines. I like to people watch & on this day I noticed who was in the room, there were Asians, Black Americans, Caucasians & Hispanics & not one sign indicating who could use which door, ticket window, concession line, bathroom or theatre, we were all treated equally. We were the second family into the theatre (we got there really early because someone miss read the time) so we took our seats right in the center. Just before the movie started a large group came in (I think it was a birthday party) and took up the entire row in front of us and they were all black Americans. It was in this moment that I sat in awe of Martin Luther King & everyone who fought for civil rights. I am thankful for this time that we live in, a time without signs telling us which door to use or which water fountian to drink from, I am thankful for the work Martin Luther King & somany others did. With so much negativity in this world it's easy to lose sight of the good that has happened, but if you look for the bad you will see the bad, when you look for the good you see the good. Be the light that brightens the darkness! #itswrongtohate
OK Ladies, this is such a taboo subject & one most of us keep to ourselves or just between close friends...I'm going to bear it all. I have gone back & forth about what to do for such a long time, over a year to be exact, & I finally decided to try the cup. You see, I have two daughters & lately I have heard many stories surfacing (which could just be because we have social media to spread this type of information quickly) about young girls having TSS & losing a leg or having major reproductive issues shortly after beginning use of tampons & I want to give my daughters the best choice possible, I didn't just want to tell them to do what I have always done, I really wanted to research the options now matter how different they were to me.
I looked into the idea of reusable/washable tampons & pads made from organic/natural fibers. I like the idea & I have a friend who uses them & loves them...however she only has a two year old little girl, I have also two boys, one who is 7 & one who is 14 & HAS to know what everything is. (although the look on his face will be priceless when he does learn what a tampon is for, lol!) So yeah, I can't see myself tossing those in the wash with my man child standing over my shoulder saying "tell me mom, just tell me, what are those??" yeah I really don't feel like putting myself in that position!
So then what, just keep doing the same old thing because that's just whats done or keep looking?? Keep looking! I happened to stumble upon the Diva cup, no not literally, I think I saw it on the internet somewhere. Interesting.... time for more research. Just for the record no one I know uses this thing, so I'm flying solo, paving the way for my friends, taking one for the team, the first to take the plunge, or plunger, oh well maybe that's a bit of TMI. I am a thinker & I had so many questions & thoughts about each product & I really took my time to think each one through. Here are all of he thoughts/questions I had regarding The Diva Cup & why to switch to it from tampons. So without further ado, my thoughts.....
One of my favorite sayings is "If you fail to plan then you plan to fail", which rings true for so many areas of life, from how many kids you have, to where you work, to what to have for dinner.
How many times have you & your spouse come home from work to realize that you don't have anything to create an entire meal with so instead you opt for eating out? How often do you do that? How much money do you spend eating out? Have you ever tracked where your money is going? People on average eat out 4 to 5 times per week! What I have found is that a majority of people who eat out 4 to 5 times per week use a credit card to pay for their meal, so not only is that meal more expensive it is also charging interest & most people do not pay their credit card off every month therefore get themselves into more debt just because they didn't plan. I believe that if you do not have the cash to pay for something then you shouldn't buy it, period! We are very deliberate about where our money goes and plan strategically.
We have friends & relative that easily spend $12,000 - $15,000 per year at restaurants (that doesn't include what groceries they do buy) & personally we would rather spend our money on experiences instead of eating out all the time. For a family of 6 (2 of those being growing boys) we spend about $500 - $600 per month on food alone (this does not include any other products, just food). I do that by planning every meal.
So let's get down to it!! Life can get busy so
We use the same list every time we shop, no surprises & I know what we are eating for every meal because I already planned it out! One time & its set!
I saw a FB post today in which a woman calls her child a brat, her post read "My brat of a child passed this up for cereal this morning" (it was sausage & pancakes) and then named said child in her comments. Why do people call their children brats, the same people who go around saying "for this child I prayed"? We are hot & then cold, "I love them so much" followed by "they are such a brat".
Being a parent is an extremely challenging job, there is no doubt about that! Calling your child a brat for all the world to see & hear is downright uncalled for, no matter the circumstance.
I'm sure it's safe to say that this woman hasn't always liked or wanted what was presented to her to eat, so then, I guess it's safe to say that the brat apple hasn't fallen far from the brat tree? Would you call your adult friend a brat because she didn't want pancakes but instead wanted eggs?? I think not. Why is it ok to call children brats, who said, what gives you the right? Remember who is raising that "bratty" kid & know that his or her behavior is a direct reflection of your parenting.....or your child is coming down with something, in which case you should be KIND.
When you call your child a name for all the world to see and hear you are giving permission to the world to call your child that. You have just put a label on your child and given people a description of your child & when they see them that is the first though others have about your kid, "here comes the brat". Word association is a powerful thing! What words are you associating with your children and are they words they will have to overcome when they grow up?
I am a Christian and the bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up... And in Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt talking come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.... and in Proverbs 10:11 the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. What type of words are you placing on your children? Are you encouraging your child, building them up, edifying them to others, or are you a foolish woman tearing down your house with your own hands, or in this case your tongue? (Proverbs 14:1)
Your children will remember what you say about them whether you want them to or not, will they have to fight overcome your negative words or will your words be what they hang on to when the world beats them down and tells them they will never be enough, or did you already tell them that? What foundation have you laid down for your kids, one of worthlessness and destruction or of life and encouragement to help them go farther than you could ever go? What are your words and actions saying to your children? Are you telling them that they are enough, that they are worthy, smart, amazing, strong, that you see hope when you look at them? What did it say to them when you called them a brat, that they are worthless, stupid, unloved? Your words have great power, for life and death are in the tongue.
As a homeschooling family we do our best to keep in mind what our goal for schooling is & also keep track of our timeline to get things done in, for when they graduate. With that in mind we also have time to play & sometimes you just need to play! The other day we shook things up (for us) & decided to play at the park in the morning because there were bad storms headed our way in the afternoon. This is the beauty of homeschool!
Christmas is such a busy time for us & this year was no different! We spend a lot of time with my family going to different lighting events, & our traditional holiday festivities. This year my sister found these awesome 3D glasses that made every outing so much fun! The glasses turn lights into snowmen, santas, gingerbreadmen, stars, candy canes, reindeer, and angels with moving wings. I suggest you get a "designated" driver & have the passengers only wear the glasses while the driver (not wearing these glasses) goes down the highway, you will see giant snowmen, & such! You cannot be sad while wearing these. I have to say they are my new favorite holiday gift!
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