Oct 25, 2014

Saturday Photohunt: Funny and Work Tools

The Saturday PhotoHunts for this week are:  Funny and Work Tools. These pictures made me laugh, kids playing in the mud getting completely filthy while using whatever work tools and glasses they can find to make a mess.  There is a toy tractor, a mud covered spade, and the shovel behind Princess Magpie, lots of tools in lots of mud, creating a hilarious mess.

Newfie bread and onion pudding

This is a classic Newfoundland dish that usually accompanies a Jigg's Dinner. I list some of our other favorite accompaniments here on this post.

  • 6 slices of bread torn into small pieces
  • 1 large onion cut into very small pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • Teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Mix together well with your hand. 
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of flour, then pour 2-3 tablespoons of water over top and squeeze through.
  3. Dip pudding bag into the pot liquor, when bag is cool to the touch, put your bread pudding inside. 
  4. Leave a little room for it to swell, and tie it off. 
  5. Dip the pudding (in the bag) down in the pot, pull back up and sit it on top of the vegetables, cover and allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Turn out onto a plate, slice, and enjoy!

Oct 24, 2014

This Moment: Daddy's Arms

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Trying to balance

I tend to rosy things up.  I don't share the bad things until they are REALLY bad and then they hit out of nowhere.  Like this neighborhood.  There are things about it I really like and will always like.  There are things about it I don't like, and never will.  There are people here I absolutely adore and people here I am actually scared of.  I don't like that I spend time and money to make my steps the cutest steps on my block and then neighbor kids actually destroy everything, even the wooden decorations that were NAILED DOWN! 

This house is the same.  There are parts of it I like, like the shelves upstairs in the hallway, that I have turned into our little library.  There are parts of I don't like, like the yard (or the lack thereof), the completely lack of storage (although that has forced us to really decided what we need and what we don't) and the fact that the way this house is has forced me to turn a really big kitchen into a cluttered combo unit that serves too many purposes (kitchen, storage, laundry, classroom, play area).

I have figured out why the kitchen is bugging me so much.  In all our other houses, our family was just as prone to messiness as they are here.  I have a big family and it is impossible for me to keep on top of cleaning up behind all of them.  But my kitchen was always my refuge.  It was the one place that was mine and I could keep it as tidy and cute as I wanted.  But here, the kids play there, they do artwork there, everyone is in there ALL THE TIME and instead of it being the tidiest room in a somewhat cluttered house, it is the one that I battle the most. I joke that we have gremlins and every time I leave the kitchen, they messy it up.  I go in and I clean and then I step outside the room.  But when I immediately turn around to go back into the kitchen, the gremlins have already attacked and it is a mess again!  HOW DO THEY DO THAT???

In an effort to share some good even on a bad day, here is the community center downstairs below our unit. The people there are awesome and I adore them and the services they provide.

Here is my wonderful neighbor whom I adore

I love my little pantry.

Here are Princess Belle and Princess Magpie standing in front of the little library I created.

But, this is my block with NO backyard.  This is where the awesome people live. Princess Magpie keeps asking me if we can move to a new house that has a yard with a tree.

This is the corner of my unit.  Down over the back, surrounding that parking lot you can see is where the scary people live, the ones with drugs, bad attitudes, loud music, yelling and guns. 

This is my nicely decorated front step, that I was so proud of:

But the neighborhood kids came along and destroyed, it, broke most of it into pieces, even the wooden ones I nailed down. The rent here is cheap and I LIKE that, Princess Belle has friends and I LIKE that too, but I am just so sad about how my things keep getting destroyed.

And I can't get a picture of my cluttered, messy, too many purposes for one little room, kitchen.  But trust me, it is bad!!

Oct 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Tots and Me

I went back to late October 2007 for my Throwback Thursday Post today.  First of all, I would like to share the post I made in on this day in October 2007, When Electronics Attack.  Reading it today, I have to say, it definitely made me laugh. 

Here is a family picture from that time.  Who knew that our little family of three would grow into this big, beautiful, blessed family of six! (My goal is to get back to that weight!)

This is Princess Belle at this time.  She was five years old and so sweet!  I knew even then how beautiful she would grow up to be!

This is another pic of Princess Belle after having her haircut, wearing her tutu and playing with her "baby sister" dolly.  She wanted so badly to be a "real big sister" back then.  Well, she is now!  Now she has 2 younger sisters and a baby brother.

Princess Belle having fun at a petting zoo!  It was a good day!


Oct 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants or go check out the following links:

Review: Standard Deviants Accelerate (TOS Review)

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

There are times that we really enjoy media type learning for a break from books for a while, so we were excited to give Standard Deviants Accelerate a try for review.  We used the Nutrition course from their Homeschool Courses.

Standard Deviants Accelerate has Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses that are online based learning.   Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses are meant for ages 8 through adult. These courses are all online. We were given access to all of the courses above from SDA (1 year subscription) for us to review for our readers! You can purchase each course to use for one student for 99.00 a year. Or you can purchase 1 course per student for 24.95 a month. The AP courses are available for 1 student at a cost of 14.95 a month. These are prices for homeschoolers per student. 

Lessons are taught with videos with questions to answer as well. There is also an option to view the written transcript of the lesson. The program includes the following subjects:

Fundamental Math
Earth Science 
English Comp.
U.S. History
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP U.S. Government & Politics
AP U.S. History
AP Eng. Composition 

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

The course starts out with you watching a video. There is also a bit of humor added in to keep things exciting. Honestly, Princess Belle just loved the humor!  It kept her interested and involved and she would tell her father and I about it after she watched the video.

The next tab is vocabulary where it helps go over the words from the video.  It even helps you pronounce the words and hear them spoken.
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

The third tab was a diagram, where you drag and drop answers and it tells you if you get it wrong.

The fourth tab us where the Quiz is for the section. You take the quiz over the information you learned from the video as well.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

And finally, the last tab is a written answer that is graded by the parent.

I found the the student portal to be easy to navigate and Princess Belle could easily find her course, topics, videos and quizzes on her own after being shown just once. I like that the courses are self paced and you can jump around the chapters as you wish.   I also found that the course engaged Princess Belle and she was excited to get started on it!  I eves-dropped on her and found that as much as I know about nutrition, even I learned some things.  For us, it is truly fun and as Princess Belle likes "learning shows" as she calls them she would actually watch the videos just for fun.

Standard Deviants Accelerate on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDAccelerate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDAccelerate
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SDAccelerate/
Google+: google.com/+Sdaccelerate

Click to read Crew Reviews

Oct 21, 2014


Here are some of my favorite low carb recipes that I have shared.

Easy Stir Fry (low carb, clean eating, Paleo, low fat)

Pancake Crepes (Low Carb, Vegetarian, low fat) 

Salsa Cheddar Chicken (clean eating. low fat, low carb)

Pudding in a mug (paleo, low carb, lower fat)

Egg Roll in a Bowl (Paleo, low fat, lower carb, Trim Healthy Mama S)

What Autism Looks Like at My House (videos)

This is my baby boy, Little Prince.  He is sweet and funny and when he is in a good mood, he makes lots of sounds.  Some even sound a little like he is trying to say something, but he never says them to anybody and never in a meaningful way to us.  Mostly it is sweet funny little sounds.  The one thing I can sometimes get him to do is blow kisses at me.  It makes him happy and it makes me happy.

In this first one, he starts by blowing me kisses and then goes on to baby talk and hand flapping.  He is 2 1/2 but most of the time, I forget that.  He is still very much a baby to me.  (please ignore the sideways video, I couldn't figure out how to get photobucket to flip them)


Here he is rocking in his high chair.  That is his favorite thing to do.  When he is on the ground he is either running full speed (which is why I don't have many pictures like that, I can't catch him long enough to get one! LOL) or he is in his crib sitting and rocking with a blanket in his lap.

Here is more rocking.  He does it all the time.  He rocks so hard that he moves his crib, his high chair, his stroller, the playpen we used to use. 

The new thing he has taken to doing in his crib is taking his mattress out of his crib!!!!  I am serious.  He has destroyed several mattresses by now but this is a first!  Then after he has all his stuff out of his crib, he cries because he wants it back!  So I go in, give him a bottle, give him his blanket, give him his monkey pillow and put the mattress back in the crib.  Silly boy.

Review: New Orleans Requiem by DJ Donaldson

New Orleans Requiem by DJ Donaldson
ISBN (Paperback):  978-1-938231-38-4
ISBN (Ebook):  978-1-938231-36-0
CATEGORY:  Fiction / Mystery & Suspense
As a fan of mystery novels and books, I was excited to get a chance to read New Orleans Requiem by DJ Donaldson.  Honestly, this was my first opportunity to read a one of the Andy Broussard/Kit Franklin mysteries and having done so now, I can't wait to read more of them. 

I tend read late at night, in the quiet of a house filled with sleeping children, curled up in my bed. And this cleverly written novel led to many late nights as I kept turning pages for "just one more page" staying up way later than I had intended.  The main characters, Andy Broussard and Kit Franklin began to feel like neighbors or friends instead of simply like fictional people.

In the novel, Andy Broussard is the New Orleans medical examiner who works with psychologist Kit Franklyn.  This particular case is truly bizarre!  A man is found in stabbed, one eyelid removed and four Scrabble tiles with the letters KOJE on his chest. And when a second victim is found also stabbed and missing one eyelid, but this time with only three letters on his chest, KOJ there is no doubting the pattern.  But will there be only two more victims or is he leading up to something bigger?

I LOVE the intricate plotline and the twists and turns involved.  It kept me guessing right up to the end and I love when a novel can do that.  I found that I had to carefully pay close attention as I read this book. There are clues given that were very easy to miss and other clues which have no value, but they are all played out for you to put together. I really like how this novel made me think.

D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.
He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.