Tuesday, January 31, 2012

project life–january 2012

last year, I started out the year (and really for about the first 6 months) with weekly posts of actual pictures of the book, put together. then I started doing just the pictures, and highlighting each day. that’s what I continued doing this year, but I kind of have wanted to go back to the old way as well, because I think it’s good to show the ‘finished’ product. it’s hard to get a good idea of how project life works when you’re not seeing it, all together. and I am EVER evangelizing about this! no, I don’t sell it! no, I don’t get any commission. I just love it. it has saved me SO MUCH mom guilt, and has allowed me to get creative with my pictures in a time-saving, sanity-saving way. so anyway. here you go…

I opted for the cobalt edition this year… it was a tough choice, and I’m still looking for an excuse to get the clementine, too!

btw, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new binders! I’m super-excited to learn that she’s going to be re-releasing the red edition (from 2010), which I used for last year. that means I can get the spiffy new binder to put last year’s stuff in… actually, 2 binders, since the main reason I need a new one in the first place is that the current one is SO STUFFED that the rings will hardly stay closed! I put way too much extra stuff in… I’ll probably need to get a second binder this year as well.002

front page… if I had been on top of things, I probably would have taken a family picture and put it in that top right slot… but oh well. there’s always next year!003

week 1: 004006007 I am still doing the big 8x10 collages of the ‘extra’ pictures from each week, and mounting them on the matching cardstock. I then crop it down to fit in a regular 8.5x11 page protector. I had thought of doing 12x12 this year, but I like the added dimension of the different sized pages. new for me this year is the arrow stickers. on all of the journaling cards, I put an arrow, pointing in the direction of the picture it corresponds with. I’m compulsive like that. when I have a vertically oriented picture, sometimes I put it in one of the smaller middle slots, but usually, I mount it on half of one of the full-size foldable journaling cards, and then do the writing on the other half. then I just stick a filler card in the slot that the corresponding journaling card would usually go. I kind of like how it breaks up the line of journaling cards in the middle.

week 2:008009 notice the little blue dot in the middle of the far left filler card? this is something I started doing halfway through last year. this is a number sticker, and I put the week number on there. the top filler card has the dates on it, but I like keeping track of what number week it is out of the 52 in the year.

week 3:011012

week 4:013 this week I included a drawing of layla’s on the front side of a collage I had for a day in the latter half of the week. most of the kids’ drawings and school papers will go in their own albums (eventually), but I like to include a few here and there… mostly when I need to fill a back side of something!014 the picture for saturday in this week (lower right) is another way I have handled vertical pictures, especially if I have more to write about it than will fit on a card. in picassa, I make the picture into a collage using the ‘picture pile’ option, and then make the picture fit in half of the space. I turn the other half whatever color I think looks good with it and type my journaling in there. then I just print it as a 4x6 with my other pics.

week 5 (part 1):015 this takes us through the month of january.

Monday, January 30, 2012

week 4 in pictures

sunday:062 micah has been learning the story of noah and the flood in sunday school. this is the ark he brought home.

monday:058 the snow is melting, but we still have a bunch in the yard. the big pile is what dave shoveled out of the trampoline last week. micah had fun exploring crunchy, slushy snow all over the backyard, and being able to climb up the pile to get into the trampoline.

tuesday:016 cherries can sometimes be difficult for little kids to manage, with the pit you have to spit out, and all. this is how micah solves that problem.

wednesday:063 after last week’s snowy, no power chaos, we are back to the normal and mundane. yup. so normal and mundane, the only picture I have for wednesday is layla doing homework.

thursday:002micah’s first day of preschool!

friday:021 the kids had the day off of school for a teacher work day (yeah, I know!) and layla spent a good share of the day playing polly pockets. she was excited to show me that she had them doing pushups. it’s important to get a good workout in, you know!

saturday:Picasa5 watching prairie house, munching popcorn, looking cute. pretty typical.

I don’t have a collage of ‘extras’ this week, but I am including an 8x10 of layla’s creative endeavor of the week.Picasa6

that’s it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

paleo chicken parmesan… hold the parmesan!

so, I LOVE chicken parm. love love love it! BUT, it would seem that I’m kinda sorta allergic to wheat and dairy… well that messes that up…

so last night, (fridays are usually pizza night, but dave was working late, the kids had snacked all afternoon while my dad was watching them, shane had eaten about 7 slices of pizza for lunch that someone’s mom ordered for him and his classmates while they were working on a project at the library, and I can’t eat pizza.) so I was trying to figure out something. I kind of foraged for the kids, and there was a bowl of leftover chicken soup in the fridge that dave heated up. I decided to give something a try, that I’ve heard could work, while I could make it just for myself and not have a big batch of it flop and be rejected by the whole family.

I decided to try and make a paleo chicken parm.

so here’s what I did (this is the recipe, for those of you who don’t catch my subtleties..):

I thawed a few chicken tenderloins I had in the freezer – breasts would work fine too. Then I dipped them in a beaten egg, and then dredged them in almond flour which had some garlic powder and italian seasoning mixed into it. (if you don’t have italian seasoning, just use a few shakes of thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, garlic, onion, basil, and sage… or whatever of that you have on hand and like, because that’s what’s in it.) After coating the chicken, I browned them on the stovetop in olive oil, a few minutes on each side, until they look like this:025 then, I transferred them to a baking dish and baked them at 375* for about 10 minutes or so, just to finish them off.

meanwhile, I diced and sautéed a quarter of a butternut squash I had in the fridge. I just threw it in some olive oil w/ salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings (mainly from the above list) sounded good. you could also bake a spaghetti squash and use that, or make zucchini noodles, or whatever you like. this is just what I happened to have on hand.027

when both were done, I threw it on a plate, and spooned on some marinara sauce I had in the fridge that needed to be used up. you could use whatever kind you like, or make your own, or whatever you want. I don’t even know what kind this is, but it was yummy.029

voilà! chicken parm, w/ no wheat, no dairy, and totally delicious! I will totally be making this again. of course, if you don’t have a problem with dairy, you could totally add some grated parm to the dredging flour, or add a slice of mozzerella to the top of the chicken, but, I will say, I didn’t miss the cheese at all! it was completely satisfying!

an artist and her… canvas.

I really don’t think there’s much I can say about these. so I will let them speak for themselves…022023024028

layla was grumpy in this picture because she realized that micah’s looked better than hers. I assured her that it’s much harder to do your own face than someone else’s that you’re looking at… (come to think of it, that will change. It’s so much easier to do my own makeup than someone else’s.)017 and then there was this fun little surprise I found when micah was getting into the bath…030 I’m sure there’s a promising future in this somewhere…

Friday, January 27, 2012

micah’s first day of preschool!

so, micah FINALLY started preschool yesterday! he was supposed to start a couple of weeks ago, but first, the teacher asked us to wait until the following week because her assistant was sick (and there would be too many kids). then it snowed for a week and school was closed. so he should have started tuesday, but I found out that the class (which he had never met or been to) was starting the day with a field trip to the fire station. not that micah wouldn’t enjoy the fire station, I just thought it would be a very weird way to start preschool for the very first time, AND I had to be someplace at the time I would have had to be at the fire station with him…

so, we waited until yesterday. he was very excited (in a typical micah sort of way) and was all over it when we got there. he washed his hands like he was supposed to and found something to play with. I had to force him to say goodbye to me and give me a hug… no anxiety issues there. he was not so enthusiastic about taking a picture, so this is what we got:002

at any rate, he was all smiles when I came to pick him up. the teacher said she hardly knew he was there. he just went with the flow. found stuff to do, cleaned up when he was supposed to… nothing major to report! they made ‘snowman soup’ (hot chocolate mix with marshmallows), which they put in bags to take home. his siblings were very appreciative of this!

I celebrated a little by going grocery shopping alone, sitting in starbucks and reading a book alone, going to target alone… you get the idea. on tuesday, I’m already planning a trip to the post office… ALONE!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

week 3 in pictures

this week is pretty uniform. snow. snow. snow. and more snow. yes, where we live, this is totally photo-worthy. and even if it wasn’t, this is project life, so it’s photo-worthy anyway! there was no school all week and the kids loved it!

sunday:Picasa after I decided to see if I could do any handstand pushups, the kids decided they wanted to try. (except shane, who doesn’t like to try anything unless he already knows he can do it.) layla and micah helped each other get into hand stands. it was pretty cute. if you want to know why they both have masking tape on their foreheads, you’ll have to ask layla.

monday:037 layla and micah spent the day sledding with neighborhood kids on the hill. they had so much fun. I love this picture. I think it perfectly captures so many aspects of sledding. 3, unrelated, previously barely acquainted neighborhood kids, crammed on a sled which should not be able to hold that many people, the backwards lean, the looks of delight/fear… it’s just awesome.

tuesday:007 love this. we had a bit of a thaw, followed by a bunch more snow. I posted this on facebook, and a friend appropriately captioned it, “oops. I dropped my head.”

wednesday:Picasa1 this was disgusting and hilarious all at the same time. shane and micah were out in the evening, having a blast in the backyard. shane had thrown a bunch of snowballs at the sliding glass door and lots of the big chunks of snow had stuck there and were slowly sliding down. micah, resident snow-eater, started eating them off the glass. the funny part was… well, everything was funny, but the snow kept sliding around, and he was chasing it with his mouth, and then he would smoosh his face up against the glass… the whole thing had me cracking up while I was taking pictures.

thursday:Picasa2 we lost power several times during the week, but thursday was the day it was out all day. it was on at about 1 when I went to bed, and out at about 6 when I woke up. so I have no idea how long it was out before then. it didn’t come back on until 4 in the afternoon. layla played outside most of the day, but when she came in, we were having to dry snow clothes in front of the fire. we also cooked hot dogs in the fire, heated water for coffee and tea on the fire, stayed warm by the fire. around 2 in the afternoon, I decided I probably should take some of the stuff out of the fridge before it got too warm. so I threw it all out on the deck into the snow. good time to have a power outage. layla, was also excited to discover that, although she couldn’t watch tv, play wii, use the computer, or watch a movie, she could use her leapster! yay for batteries!

friday:049 after another day of playing in the (now very wet) snow, shane, micah and I played a game of sorry in front of the fire.

saturday:053 no more snow today! just a lot of sloppy slush and a ton of rain. I ventured out for the first time and made a crazy trip to costco (along with everyone else in the whole world!) dave stayed home and scraped wallpaper off the kids’ bedroom wall. no more winnie the pooh! next will be paint… eventually.

and the extras… mostly involving snow.Picasa3Picasa4 

that’s it! week 3.

coping with snow-induced power outages

so, first off, in case you’re wondering why a snow storm (or any storm, for that matter) always seems to result in a power outage, allow me to explain. this is where we live:004 that is the view from my front door. we live in the woods. HUGE fir trees, weighed down with very heavy snow, and see those power lines? yup. they’re up on poles, not buried underground, which would be a logical place for them, out in the woods like this. at any rate, big limb, falling or leaning, or otherwise causing problems with the power lines = broken lines, blown transformers, thousands of people without power… you get the gist.

so most of the people in my neighborhood have generators. most of them got their generators after the big wind storm in 2006. that was before we moved out here to the woods. we lived in civilization then, and were out for 4 days. out here, I think they lost power for something like 2 weeks. crazy.

at any rate, we don’t have a generator… it’s on the list.

but, we do have a wood burning stove, and a camp stove, some flashlights, a camping lantern, and lots of candles.

so we cooked hot dogs, campfire style (my absolute FAVORITE) for dinner.028032

and used the camp stove to boil water for coffee. look at my good son, out there in the cold, babysitting the camp stove.001layla spent a lot of time, out playing in the snow, but when she came in all cold and wet, we had to dry out all the snow clothes by the fire. glad I have this drying rack! also, once the water was hot, it the stove did a good job of keeping it that way. so I had a constant flow of hot tea all day. which was great. the wood stove does a good job of heating 1 room, when there’s no electricity to run the fan, so I sat near the fire (so did the cat) most of the day.023 of course, the snow bird needed some hot chocolate to help her warm up, so we heated some milk on the camp stove too.002 and, she was super excited to realize that her leapster runs on batteries, not electricity, so she could have a little electronic stimulation! LOL!035 after awhile, I started to get concerned about stuff in the fridge. no worries though, we have a cooler on the back deck… it’s called snow.036 and last, but not least, the all important task of charging the cell phone! I just chiseled my way into the car, turned it on, and left it running about 30 minutes to juice up my phone. 006 thankfully, the longest our power was out was about 14 hours. we had a few other 1-2 hour outages. nothing major, just enough to be annoying.

Monday, January 23, 2012

quick recap:

::edit:: this is posting on the 23rd, but not really. it’s the 26th, and I’m just now getting it posted because blogger wouldn’t run on the old computer. now we’re all set up w/ a new one and all is right with the world! hopefully I’ll be caught up soon! ::end edit::

no, this isn’t last week in pictures. that would require uploading pictures, and I’m not risking that right now. the fact that I’ve even managed to get this program to open and respond is impressive to me. last week, in all of our snow, we lost power repeatedly. usually we would lose it for about an hour or two, but one day, it went out in the middle of the night, and didn’t come back on until about 4 that afternoon. really, though, I’m not complaining. some people were out for like 3 or 4 days! BUT, the result of all that on and off stuff is an apparently UNhappy computer. dave doesn’t know what’s wrong with it yet, and I’m just hoping it’s repairable.

at any rate, I’ve been doing most of my computing via my phone, which I’m glad to have, but it’s a little bit frustrating.

so… saturday, it started snowing.

sunday, it snowed some more.

monday, well, it was a holiday and no school, anyway, but I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been any school that day.

tuesday, tons more snow. no school.

wednesday, more snow. no school.

thursday, supposed to warm up and rain, but instead there was freezing rain and even MORE snow. no school.

friday, widespread power outages, warming, thawing, pouring rain, flooding. no school.

by saturday, the roads were sort of clear and we were able to get out. I went to costco (along with everyone else in the entire state) to restock, and then made a target run. dave stayed home with the kids (hallelujah! this was his first day off after working 12 straight days, and some of them quite long because of commuting conditions) and removed wallpaper in layla and micah’s room, and took the bunk beds apart. then we got ready, my parents came over to babysit (thank goodness they were able to get off their hill), and we headed out to dave’s company party.

so now we’re mostly thawed out. the neighborhood streets are a little covered still, which made walking to the bus stop and back this morning a little interesting, since it was still frozen from overnight. very slick. watched the school bus kind of skid to a stop and hoped the rest of the route was free of any major hills.

my yard is still completely covered in snow, but there are a few spots that the grass is starting to show through.

the kids did a ton of sledding and drank a ton of hot chocolate. there were constantly mittens and hats and snowsuits hanging over furnace vents, or on the drying rack in front of the fireplace. – btw, SO thankful we have a fireplace!

it’s nice to be back to normal, though. got back to my regular workout this morning, saw friends, moved my body. yes, normal is good. but so is snow.

I wonder if we’ll get any more major storms this year. as much as it’s fun, going to school until july really isn’t.

Monday, January 16, 2012

totally random workouts

so, I like to exercise. like, a lot. unfortunately, it’s not always easy or affordable to do what I really want to do. I have a long list of all of the different activities I really want to do, but it’s not really feasible for me to do all, or even most of them at this point in my life.

  • yoga
  • ballet
  • figure skating
  • crossfit
  • barre 3
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • cycling
  • weight training
  • pilates
  • gymnastics
  • soccer
  • long walks
  • etc, etc, etc… I’m sure I could add to it.

but, even the most active person, with unlimited funds, no children, job, or other responsibilities could not make all of that happen. boo hiss, that’s life.

my main restrictions are money and kid-free time.

as much as I’d love to return to skating, money is going to be the biggest factor there. just for starters, I don’t really have 500 spare benjamins to drop on a new pair of boots that I can actually get my feet into without wincing, squishing, or swearing… that’s assuming I can remount my old blades. and then there’s awesome stuff like ice time and coaching, and I’m just not really seeing that happen. skating is not a cheap sport.

so, I do what I can do.

there’s a church close by to me that has a great workout program going on called ‘revive and thrive’. I started going in the fall because 1) it was close, 2) it was free, and 3) they offered childcare. awesome. it’s basically a jazzercize kind of class. I go now because of all of the above 3 reasons, but also because I have several friends who go as well now, and it’s fun. I enjoy the dance element of it. even though it’s one of those relaxed, as long as you’re moving, it’s good kind of situations, I like the challenge of getting all the steps right. it’s a workout for the brain as well. plus there’s some weight training and straight muscle work as well as stretching after all the dance/cardio. probably not my first choice, but super convenient, and also fun.

I also like to find different workouts on the ‘on demand’ feature on my cable. lots of times they have different barre 3 (or the like) type workouts that I can do in my living room. I had to find one today because my class was cancelled due to the snow. after I finished that, I decided to go through a series of other random body weight-resistance type exercises. planks, sit-ups, and jumping squats. threw in a few burpees as well, but one set of those wore me out quick.

but I do this all the time. I’ll just get a totally random bee in my bonnet to work a certain area, or do a certain kind of exercise. and why not? is there any law that says you have to do the same thing at the same time every day? actually, there is a lot of evidence to show that giving your muscles a little bit of a surprise every now and then is actually more effective than the same old routine. mixing it up is good!

so anyway, over the weekend, I got one of those totally random bees buzzing around in my bonnet to see if I could do handstand pushups. well, I tried it, and I guess I sort of can. I’m going to practice and see if I can get stronger to do more reps and deeper dips. it was fun though.

I’ve also been challenged to do the splits. it’s been awhile, and I’m nowhere even close right now, but I’ll work on it. flexibility is big on my list of fitness goals right now, so that works in perfectly.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

week 2 in pictures

sunday:004 yes, this is a little odd. after church, we took our FILTHY van through the car wash. I am always impressed by all the pretty colors they squirt on your car, so, darnit!, I took a picture!

after church, carwash, and lunch, we headed out to hike the pipeline:Unnamed

monday:001 (2) micah and I ran some errands that included grocery shopping. when we got to the car to put the groceries in, I discovered that he had dabbled in a little bit of shoplifting. apparently no one noticed the pack of gum in his hand… so I made him go back in and hand it back to an employee. **sigh**

tuesday:006 toby has been a little insecure lately. I think because of all christmas, company, and parade of dogs though our house. roscoe and dakota are back, and shane keeps having troubles with toby sitting on his face… perhaps the two are related?

wednesday:004 dave’s birthday present arrived! new oakleys. his last pair broke back in 2005 when he sat down funny on them on an airplane. he’s been without ever since. notice all the nifty customizations: black w/ orange logo (wonder what that’s for? no, not oregon), and if you look closely, there’s a SF logo etched into the lens…

thursday:008well, either spring is arriving early, or the birds know something is coming… robins have been EVERYWHERE lately. one time, I looked out at this bush to see, seriously, about 15 robins on it. they love those red berries, and have completely stripped it!

friday:2012-01-13 the final of our christmas celebrations. we got together with my auntie marge for pizza and exchanging gifts. the kids love all the fun stuff she puts in goodie bags for them – especially the staples of candy, socks, and toothpaste!079 all 3 kids got puzzles, and the younger two’s got done that evening. not shane’s, since his has 500 pieces!

saturday:087 it’s snowing! it’s snowing!!!! not a ton, but enough to go out and get good and cold and have a snowball fight!

and the extras:2012-01-09

  1. micah and I went to check out a preschool that he will be starting at on tuesday.
  2. they did a penguin craft, that micah didn’t do during class time, but wanted to do after. the teacher was nice and sent all the pieces home for him to do on his own.
  3. roscoe and dakota being (bad) happy dogs on the couch where they don’t belong!
  4. micah, making a playdough birthday cake.
  5. snowball fight!
  6. micah, making a snow angel, and layla preparing to shove that snowball in his face.

that’s it! more snow pics to come, I’m sure!

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