Posted in Uncategorized

down and out….

So today I have spent the day on the couch.  My feet are simply killing me!  I wear an “AFO” (Ankle Foot Orthosis) similar to what is commonly seen on people with CP, children with clubbed feet, or even those having survived polio.  Mine is completely rigid.  I’ve worn one off and on most of my life.  Brief explaination is that I was born with bones fused that shouldn’t have been and when I learned to walk other bones broke to allow movement.  I went years in pain as a child without anyone really knowing what was wrong with me.  I was casually treated for “juvenile flat foot” because that is what it appeared to be (despite the fact that I only have 4 toes on that foot…which SHOULD indicate that there were deformities present).  Anyhow, it became increasingly crippling as I got older and so I opted to have the joint fused.  The only option other than “deal with it” offered to me.  It’s been fused for a decade now.  Wearing my brace isn’t optional anymore as a result.  I used to go barefoot as a child because my mom said if I put my shoes on, then I had to wear my brace.  So I just rarely put shoes on.  Shoes hurt worse as a child anyway.  Bones grinding against seams, buckles, heal plates and causing open sores…  While in school, no one even knew anything was wrong with me.  I had a severe limp that I hid by walking slowly and wearing long pants all the time. 

Soooo back to today.  My brace is obvious these days.  I can only wear athletic shoes.  Sucks when it comes to military balls, but I have years of experience making it work.  BUT the last few days I have been on my feet non-stop.  Something no one realizes is that I do not get to enjoy a nice cushy running shoe.  My foot is on solid, hard plastic all day.  It never gets to experience cushion other than my sock.  Not only that, but my good foot takes a lot of beating because I constantly shift to it when I have to stand.

I BBQ’d for the hubby’s “shop” yesterday.  Between the cooking and house cleaning my feet were in agony.  I didn’t get much sleep last night for the pain.  Today I tried to stay off my tootsies as much as possible.  It makes me feel so incredibly lazy to do that.  I don’t like having to stop.  I want to be active and running and going and doing. 

So forgive me my “pity party” tonight.  I’m so feeling like the fat lazy cow.  I am blessed that my husband and children completely understand that sometimes mommy just hurts and needs to chill.  On a different note, I had a chance to finish cutting out my paint chip sample circles in two sizes for a craft I’m doing. 😀  Now all I need to do is hotglue them to the twine and hang them up.

Posted in Uncategorized

Redbox, Netflix, on demand…

Given the size of our family, going to the movies can be very expensive.  Even if we were lucky enough to find cheap $7 tickets, it would cost $50 for the tickets ALONE.  I remember going into Blockbuster and renting a movie for $3.25 a night and Lord spare me if for some reason I couldn’t get back to the store the very next day.  A single movie rental could end up costing us $12…and often did.  So we abandoned movie rental all together and began to just purchase them.  Then we were welcomed into the world of “on demand”.  It was awesome because no gas was wasted to drive to the rental place only to find they didn’t have the movie you wanted to see.  Then no gas to return it.  No late fees.  We sat in the comfort of our own home, with our home made dinner (not $30 worth of delivery pizza even), and our own popcorn.  There is no missing any of the movie for potty breaks. 

During one movie years ago the hubby and I each had to get up 3 times during ONE movie to take a child to the potty. 

Anyhow, so we’ve been strictly “on demand” and Netflix for years now…reserving a trip to the movies for date night.  Then came Redbox.  I discovered them on a road trip.  The kids were bored with their movie selection and I didn’t want to buy a new movie.  I saw it there in the parking lot of the McDonalds.  After a quick read of the agreement, I saw the movie could be returned at our destination!  For a while I only used them for road trips.  Now I rarely do “on demand”.  Even if I keep the redbox movie for 3 nights, it’s still cheaper than “on demand”.  Sure it’s available on demand first but cheaper is better.  LOL

That being said, redbox also offers a lot of free 1 night rentals.  I use the iphone app or get online and browse all the redbox locations in my area.  I don’t even have to stand at the machine.  I can reserve it and decide which machine to go to based on which one has the movie I want.  After it’s reserved, I only have to swipe my card and BINGO, I get my movie.   You can even buy used movies cheap from them. 

So if you’re going to visit a redbox ANYWAY, you can click on this link and I’ll get a free movie rental for refering you.

Posted in homemaking, recipes

Sweet “Corn cake”

Originally uploaded by nehifamily

My daughters love corn bread so much they call it “corn cake”. If they eat nothing else, they will always eat the corn bread.

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare your pans. I use stone ware muffin pans and pour 1 tsp oil into each cup. Then allow the pans to preheat with the oven. This recipe makes a 9X13 pan or 18 muffins. It would also do a 12 inch cast iron skillet. The pan or skillet would require 1/4 cup oil.

Mix 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. I mix in my mixer and it’s to incorporate the rising agents with the flour. They do not incorporate well with the texture of corn meal. Then add in 1 1/2 cups corn meal, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup sugar (2/3 cup if you want only a hint of sweetness), 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup honey, and 2 eggs.

Mix on high for 3-5 minutes because it helps to “fluff” the muffins.

When you pour the batter in, the muffins will begin to sear right away giving you a nice custy edge.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes for the muffins (until firm) and around 25-30 minutes for a pan/skillet (also until firm in the middle).

I have a strong personal preference to not bake corn bread in anything except stoneware or cast iron. You simply do not get the same results. If you’ve never tried it, then go with a cast iron skillet. You will be surprised.

Posted in all about the family

My invisible darling…

So today the hubby had two ceiling fans to hang, one of which belongs in the toy room.  So I told him I’d take all 3 girls to Target in search of bean bag chairs and then swing by HomeDepot for some stain.  This way they would get out of the house, have to do a lot of walking, and they would also be out of his way.  This is a big thing because, honestly, I rarely take all my girls out by myself.  The twins are 4 and M is 6.  It can be a bit of an undertaking.  Anyhow, Target was sold out of bean bag chairs so they managed to talk me into rain boots, rain coats, and crocs.  The hubby and I just decided this morning that their old boots were completely trashed and weren’t salvageable.  So we checked out and then I pushed the cart up to the Starbucks after my fix like a drunk with the shakes.  The twins were strapped into the cart but I’m just talking away “you girls want a vanilla bean creme?”  “M?  how about you?”  “M????”  She is no where to be seen.  Of course I start yelling for her thinking she’s behind someone nearby.  Nope.  Then I see her through the glass outside the store!  She had followed someone in a similar sweater to mine out of the store and was wondering around after realising what went wrong.  I ran out of the store (twins still in my line of sight but in the Starbucks).  I was so mad, but then I noticed how she was just a little too white in the face.  When I hugged her she completely broke down crying. 

So to all those moms out there who know what it’s like to have a “worst mommy in the world” feeling, you are not alone.

Posted in all about the family, frugal tips, recipes

Pizza crust


Originally uploaded by nehifamily

So tonight the hubby and I have a thing to do. The kids still need dinner, right? I prefer to do something that they won’t complain about when my 16 yr old son has to be in charge. Tonight it will be pizza.

The dough was 2 packets of yeast combined with 2tbsp sugar and 2 cups warm water. Stir until dissolved and let sit 5 minutes. Then I dumped in 4 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp salt and 6 cups flour into the mixer with the yeast water. I used the dough hook on my kitchenaid and mixed well. I hit the preheat on the oven for 350. Then I turned it out onto a lightly floured counter…kneaded it 4-5 turns until smooth. I sprayed a mixing bowl with olive oil and plopped the dough into to it. Then I turned the oven off. I was basically just creating a warm environment for the dough to rise. I covered the dish with clear wrap and popped it into the oven for 2 hours-ish. Until it doubles.

Then I punched the dough and cut it into 3. Preheat oven to 400. I mashed out each section onto a stone pan.

In a prep bowl I combined spaghetti seasoning and olive oil. I brushed each crust with this and baked it 3-5 minutes.

Now my crusts get to sit on top of the stove until dinner time, when I will top them and bake them until melty and golden. But if you don’t want them tonight, after this pre baking and cooling, they can be wrapped in clear wrap and then in foil and frozen for future use.

Posted in all about the family, homemaking, Products I'm trying, Uncategorized

My Valentine with my Valentine’s gift…


Originally uploaded by nehifamily

So the hubby got me exactly what I wanted. Jewlery? Nope, not me. He’s given jewelery before and I loved it, but I’m a practical person. A gift that makes my life easier is what rocks. So he spent today assembling my new BBQ!!! It’s a Triton Outdoor Gourmet grill with 3 gas burners and a side burner, a charcoal grill, and a side fire box…all with cast iron cooking grates.

I will be breaking this sucker in tomorrow! I’m so looking forward to a beautiful Spring and Summer of cooking out on this. BBQ chicken, country style pork ribs, brisket, grilled corn, grilled watermelon, fire roasting fresh garden veggies for canning in pasta sauce, roasted spiced apples….suddenly I feel like “Bubba” in Forest Gump….”shrimp stew…deep fried shrimp…shrimp pasta…” LMAO

Posted in all about the family, homemaking

If you could have seen it…

Since we moved it this house (November) our garage has been just a pile of junk.  Today we tackled it.  Granted, only about 1/2 of it is gone, but I still feel good about it.  Rob loaded his truck to take to the dump and recycle center.  Mine is loaded with stuff going to Goodwill tonight after dinner.  There will be probably close to 20 things on Craigslist by the time I head to bed.  The garage can now be walked through and like items are clustered together so that I may take on the task of further organization in the days to come.  In my infinite free time.  LOL

The children were so happy to see the sun and took over the culdesac with scooters, skateboards, and bikes.  Of course there was still plenty of mud to be found.  My girls were coated with dirt and snot.  Ewwwwww….so yeah, I rushed them straight to the bath.  Twins in one bathroom and M in another.  Before dinner they were all squeaky clean, hair braided, and in their jammies.  Tonight’s dinner is an understated “take and bake” pizza from wally world.  It gets the job done.  Especially since I feel like I still have so much to do. 

Tomorrow is Sunday so I’m going to try a new cinnamon roll recipe.  I’m having a difficult time finding one that works well, texturally, with whole wheat flour.  I seriously want to duplicate (as closely as possible) Cinnabon.  Like my backside needs it.  If it turns out, I’ll post it.  Unfortunately, a lot of stuff doesn’t “turn out” the first time.