Friday, July 30, 2010

My Little Buddy is Growing Up!!!

Somehow the last 17 years have flown by in a blur. My little curly head baby boy is now a young man entering his final year of high school. It's amazing to hear how he wants to be an engineer, creating and inventing new ways to do things. He is a wonderful person, both kind, gentle, thoughtful, and sensitive. In many ways he is just like his dad. Heck he can wear his dad's clothes now (those are Frank's pants and shirt he's wearing in the picture)!
As a child, "Doshie" was always playing with balls, trains, cars, and throwing everything in sight. He even threw his grandma's cordless phone into her pool once, hence the reason he owes her his first paycheck to cover all of the damage he's caused. LOL Josh was never a big talker, his sister took over that role early on. No, Josh was a hugger, a kisser, a snuggler. I'll never forget the image of him sitting patiently on the rocking chair, waiting for me to nurse him when I was ready. He nursed until he was 3 years old and was getting the boot from his dad to give it up. In his cutest, littlest, most innocent voice he replied..."just one more time?"
Awwwww, my little boy has finally grown up. He takes out the trash, mows the lawn, washes the pots and pans, keeps his room clean, does his laundry (mostly), does his homework without being told, and even flushes the toilet when he's through. See there is hope for all of you younger moms out there. Haha!
I'm so proud of how you're turning out and growing into a wonderful young man.
Josh, you make a mama proud! Many blessings on your final year of high school! May it be filled with lasting memories. Love, Mom

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Favorite Family Recipes

What puts a smile on my little ones' faces? Food...delicious food! Heck, it even makes my husband happy.

One of my current hobbies is to cook. I try out new recipes every week. We even have one day where I try to feed the family dinner on just $5...and it can be done, people! But mostly, I research on the Internet for something special or try out the zillions of recipes I've cut out of magazines and managed to file away over the years. Is anyone else like me? Or is it just me? Well, anyway, 9 times out of 10 the family LOVES what I cook. I've been inspired by the movie Julie & Julia and now I've decided to share some of my family's favorite recipes here. Won't you share some of yours with me too?

White Chili with Chicken (from Family Fun Magazine)
3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 oz.) cans white kidney or navy beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 c. diced cooked chicken
1 c. frozen corn kernals
1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies
2 c. chicken broth, I just use 2 cans of the low salt variety
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter, softened
1 1/2 T. flour
3-4 T. half and half, light cream, or milk (optional)
grated cheddar or jack

Warm oil in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, for 7 mins. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Stir in beans, chicken, corn, green chilie, broth, and salt. Bring to gentle simmer and allow to simmer partially covered for 10 mins.
In small bowl, blend butter and flour. Add mixture to chili and stir about a minute. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add milk to thicken. May add more broth to thin. Serve hot, topped with grated cheese, if desired.
I can't wait for my bananas to turn all brown and mushy because then I can make everyone's favorite banana bread!!!

Lowfat Banana Bread
4 very ripe bananas
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 T butter, softened
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 egg
2 T. applesauce
chopped walnuts (optional)

Mash bananas in bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Pour into 1 greased loaf pans (may pour into 2 pans for smalled loaves). Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for about 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle come out clean.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I've come to the realization that each child has their own time schedule to be potty trained, learn new speech sounds, go to sleep at night, finish college, and to develop into their full potential. My kids did everything at different times, different ages, no matter how hard I pushed. Being an experienced mom means that I don't push anymore. I just let each child develop at their own rate and I don't worry about things. Before I was consumed with making sure my kids hit all of the benchmarks at the earliest that they could, or even ahead of their peers. Now I've learned to just let it happen, because I know it will...eventually.

Josh is just about finished earning his Boy Scout Eagle Award...I've pushed and made things happen for the last 5 years. Now he is going to get it done and I'm not pushing. I'm so proud of him because he has come a long way and has learned so much. He's going to be a senior this year. Yikes! My baby boy is growing up!

Courtney is finally getting the hang of college and will finish her AA this year at Fullerton College. Phew! I think she's getting straight A's this summer session. Wow! She is one smart girl, when she puts all her energy into it. I'm so very proud of her as well.

And Sophie's speech expression is coming along, slower than I expected, but it's progressing nevertheless. I've decided that I'll homeschool her and give her speech therapy at home. Hey, I could do what the therapists do, but I can do it everyday, a little bit here and there. I know that at 2.5 year old needs to play, explore, jump around, laugh and pretend. I'll give her "speech" therapy in those contexts instead of sitting at a table, with her precious little hands folded and feet perfectly still. With that said, I feel so free! I feel that my amazing little rosebud will unfold into a beautiful, understandable her own pace! I love that about homeschooling. Afterall, I can teach, I have 25 years experience! I'm going to join a group of moms who are like me and see how this whole thing works. I'm so happy to finally have some structure to my days at home with Sophie. This is an adventure that I've always wanted to do but never had the guts to try.

So I'm starting a new career...Here we go...