Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Keys To Raising A Bunch Of Kids

Do you notice anything in common?

Food!  I love spending one-on-one time with each of my kids and it often entails taking them out to eat.  "Dates" can be as simple as getting some fries while running errands, stopping by Subway after practice, or sitting down at a restaurant.  The key is just having time together.

Monday, May 2, 2016

I Am NOT A Coffee Snob

You know my love for Starbucks, yes?

It's true.  Starbucks and I go way back.  I'm a Pacific Northwest Girl after all.

BUT, you will be happy to know I AM NOT A COFFEE SNOB!

No sirree!  I will drink coffee from anywhere!

Even . . . McDonald's.  Yes, you heard that right. (McDonald's and I go way back too--I worked there in high school.  Every person should have to work at McDonald's to learn many life lessons!).

I can be a cheap date--McDonald's coffee is only a buck.

BUT there is a key to making McDonald's coffee awesome.


And learn.


And then you know what you do with the remains of the cone?  This:

It's a win-win for everyone.  And only 2 bucks!

But since my granddaughter is rarely available in the back seat, I usually just have to eat the cone myself. The sacrifices I make!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Perfect Tri-fecta For Busy Weeks

I have quite the backlog of posts.  And they are all written!

Unfortunately they are only written in my mind!  Yes, that IS a scary thought because my mind doesn't always keep things where they belong.  Just ask my kids.  BUT I'm going to do a major catch-up in May--let's see how many days in a row I can post!

It's gonna be yet another busy week here with several appointments and a fancy smancy out-of-town dinner.  It's the perfect week for my TRI-FECTA!

Dinner #1--Go to Costco and buy 2 ready-made roasted chickens (these are the best deal on the planet!), along with a big bag of rolls and the veggie platter.  Serve: Open 1 chicken, open the veggie platter, open the bag of rolls.  Eat.  Rest after all that hard work.  Save leftovers (you need leftovers so buy more if you need more to serve your family).  It doesn't get easier than this!

Dinner #2--Stirfry the leftover veggies, add some of the leftover chicken (keeping enough for dinner #3).  Make rice.  Open a can of pineapple.  Serve.  Easy Peesy!!!

Dinner #3--Make chicken pot pie with the remainder of the chicken.  I use frozen veggies and Pillsbury pie crust.  Serve with the leftover rolls from day one.  DONE!

Kim has been learning the art of Auntie Amber's Chicken Pot Pie!  

Dinner #4--I know.  I called it a TRI-fecta, but if you really want to go for the gold, cook the chicken carcasses in a big pot of water, make chicken broth (watch You-tube video if you've never done this--it's super easy).  After removing bones pick off the bits of meat.  Take the saved broth (I add bouillon), add cut-up carrots, celery, and the chicken bits, cook til tender.  About 20 minutes before serving add Reames frozen egg noodles, add to soup and enjoy!  A little more work just to make the broth--but still a rather quick meal.

There you go!  Yes, you can thank me for solving your "What's for dinner?" question this week!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Taking Time To Smell The Tulips

Spring is always a busy time of year and this year is the same.  It's been especially so with my job-share partner being out due to a medical issue.  You can always tell when I'm writing a bunch of homestudies because that means I don't create any blog posts--the writing portion of my brain is fried by the end of the day!

I'm happy to report that even though life has been busy, it's good.  We are excitedly awaiting Kim's new baby boy, and Will and Cupcake are also due with a baby boy in September!  Lots of excitement over the color of blue and baseball onesies!  And of course Hubby took the chance to buy some tiny black and orange Beaver gear!

We are finally coming to the end of our birthday season.  For my mom's birthday we went to the tulip festival.  It was SO incredibly beautiful and even worth the overwhelming traffic!

 Happy Spring!  I'm hoping to end ours taking more time to smell the tulips!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Finding His Niche

Sometimes it takes awhile for a child to find their niche.  I expect all my kids to participate in some type of extracurricular activity.  It doesn't have to be throughout the year, but I want them to have something outside of school and home for at least one season of the year.  It can be a sport, activity, leadership, drama, music, club etc..  It's good for them in so many ways.  All of my kids have found at least one extracurricular they are passionate about--some have many. 
All except Vu. 
Vu tried many activities.  Coming into a sports-minded family he tried soccer, baseball, karate, hip-hop, and basketball.  He had a great attitude, but he wasn't crazy about any of them. 
He tried drama and drumming.  He liked them both, but felt nervous about performances and worried endlessly about forgetting his lines or missing the beat. 
I worried about Vu.  School is challenging for him and finding an activity he enjoyed proved equally difficult.  He has a same-age brother who seems to excel in several areas, and I worried Vu would compare himself in a negative way. 
My mom kept saying we needed to sign Vu up for choir.  Vu's dyslexia tutor kept saying we needed to sign Vu up for choir.  I kept thinking the same.  Indeed, Vu LOVES to sing and he has an incredible memory for lyrics.  He has a sweet voice and was known in his orphanage for his beautiful tone. 
So, in January, Vu auditioned for a community choir.  He was nervous, but he got in!  Last week he had two wonderful performances, one at a fancy-schmancy professional concert hall. 
And yesterday, he was moved up into the high school choir.  He's a tiny guy, so he looks out of place physically, but even he knows that his voice fits in perfectly.  He LOVES choir! 
As I watched him perform with pride and joy I almost cried.  Vu has finally found his niche!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why I'm At Freshman Orientation. Again.

Patrick's had some rough days.  He hurt his knee in PE.  Bad.  But Dr. Myself was pretty sure it was just bruised and sprained.  Patrick had to pay the wait-and-see-penance before going to the doctor.  It was a doctor we hadn't seen before and she was a little surprised we hadn't come in right away.  I explained Patrick's #9 of 10 and that I consider myself Board Certified.  She didn't find my humor funny.  She probably thinks I'm Certified all right!  After repeat visits and x-rays she declared his knee bruised and sprained. 

I'm pretty smart.  Although I was surprised at his need for a brace and crutches.  Oops.

But I'm not always a bad mom. 

I went to Freshman Orientation with Patrick this week, which puts me up to attending eight times with eight different kids.  All at the same high school.

Interesting CrazyForKids Fact:  We will have at least one child at our local high school for a total of twenty-six years. Twenty-six years SOLID.  Our high school teachers never get a break from the CrazyForKids family!  I tell them it's called job security.  Some probably equate it to shock therapy.   

Anyhoo, when I chatted with the principal she laughed that I could have just stayed home and given Patrick the orientation.  She's right.  I could have.  But even though it's my eighth round, it's Patrick's first.  He's excited to attend.  And I don't want to cheat my younger kids out of the first-time, positive experiences their older sibling enjoyed. 

So I will sit through orientation again.  And again.  Because sometimes I'm a really good mom. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Don't Want To Wish Away Today

Yesterday I was sitting on yet another set of gym bleachers, for yet another basketball tournament.   This year we only have three players, but in some strange mathematical formula it feels just as busy as last year. 
I love basketball and I love what team sports teaches our children, but as I started chatting with the mom sitting next to me we both agreed we're ready for the season to be done!  In the very next breath my friend lamented the fact that her older son would soon be playing his last high school basketball game, as well as graduating.  She's sad to see his high school years ending.  We both laughed as we realized that our conversation had just polarized!   We smiled at each other and agreed that even though we get tired, it's important to cherish each day, each season, each age.  Because this season really does end.  I should know that better than most.
I don't want to wish away my children's years.  I don't want to wish away whatever season we are in.
Today I'm thinking a lot about relishing each and every day.