Sunday, January 18, 2015

An eggcelent start to any morning!

Sorry for the pun.

Awhile ago, I mentioned my new obsession with clean eating.  Here's my answer to breakfast clean eating:

I take a (microwave safe) bowl and crack one egg and add a splash of milk.  Whisk it together for a few seconds, then dump in a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, a tablespoon of either diced ham or crumbled bacon (maybe not the cleanest...) and then chop up 3-4 spinach leaves.

Give it another quick mix and pop it in the microwave (covered loosely with plastic wrap or a plastic lid) and zap for 3 minutes.

Be careful, though!  The bowl will be HOT!  It's delicious and filling.  I eat around 6:50 am on school mornings (once the kids are on the bus), and I stay full until my lunchtime, after 5th period at 11:45 am.

When I used to eat a pop-tart or a bowl of cereal, I'd be ready to gnaw my arm off by the end of 3rd period, 10:15 am.  In fact, in the olden days (pre-November 2014) this would  be my daily trip to the soda machine in the teachers' workroom.  Now, I make it a point to drink more water each day and I don't feel nearly as exhausted by the end of 7th period (1:50 pm) (AKA sugar crash time).

I've even been known to throw one of these concoctions in a tightly-lidded dish and zap it up for lunch!  What do you eat in the morning that keeps you full til lunchtime?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy 2015!

Is your new year off to a great start?  Ours is, and I credit it to how well we welcomed in the new year!  On New Year's Eve, we had a fantastic time bowling and then hanging out at our friends' house.  This is the 4th year we've all gotten together (I think), and every year we ring in the new year with lots of good food and tons of laughs.  My arm was sore for a week from the bowling, though.

The first day of 2015 was spent relaxing, doing some crafts, watching movies, and playing Monopoly!  I even got up that morning and took down the Christmas tree.

Here's where it gets interesting:

I was taking the last ornament off the tree when it struck me: I hadn't taken 1 single picture of the first Christmas tree in our new home or that classic picture with our children in front of it!  What a mother-fail.  There will be no "Christmas 2014" page in the scrapbook. Ever.

Oh well.

Speaking of the new house, I did decorate the mantle of our beautiful fireplace.  I had enough foresight to take a picture of it:

And, then after everything was put away, I sat down at my sewing machine and whipped up this cute pennant banner thing to go in place of the garland.  (Incidentally, I had purposely glittered "Love" instead of "Peace" or "Joy" or "Noel" so that it could stay up well through Valentine's Day.)

I'm happy with the way it turned out and that I didn't have to buy anything to complete the project.  Everything was scrap from my sewing tub!

My next project is a sewing machine cover.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love Pinterest!?!?!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

As 2014 rolls to a stop...

here are some things that I will definitely carry over into 2015.

1.  My garden and it's dehydrated, canned, and frozen produce.  I cannot WAIT to get back into that garden.  I was at Farm and Fleet the day after Christmas and they already have the seed display up! But, a big sign read, "not for sale".... yet....

2.  Clean eating.  An old schoolmate, Fitastic Mom Amy Williams, challenged me to a 5 day clean eating challenge via Facebook last November, and I found that after 5 days of no processed foods and junk, I really felt a lot better (and
my clothes fit better, too).  I've tried to stick to it a lot, but the holidays and all that goes along with them has me back to feeling bloated and sluggish.  As we speak, I'm making a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup to start getting us back on track.  Please notice a slice of dehydrated red pepper and a chunk of dehydrated tomato floating in the most delicious, clean, and filling chicken noodle soup I've ever tasted!  Also, check out Amy by clicking on her name above!

3.  I need my sleep.  Actually, we all do.  This first semester was a whirlwind.  We managed to be on time everywhere we needed to go, we only forgot our binder (full of 8th grade homework, not to name names or anything) once, and we stayed healthy.  So, for me, starting January 4th, it's back to setting the alarm clock for 5:30am and going to bed by 9:30pm.  I do a pretty good job of making sure that the kids are in bed at a decent time each night, but we've been lazy the last week and a half!  You know what they say, "If you're going to soar with the eagles, you can't hoot with the owls!"

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Go Pec Pacers!

A few years ago, a couple of 4th grade teachers at Pecatonica Elementary School started a running club for the 3rd and 4th graders.  Their intention was to get kids up and moving, to teach kids to set a goal and work toward achieving it, and share their own love for running.  The club is called the "Pec Pacers" and has a spring and a fall session.  The spring session always culminates with the Crooked River 5K on Memorial Day weekend, the fall season ends with a 5K fun run around town at the end of October.

The Pacers met Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from when school let out until 4:15pm.  The Key Club members from the high school came up and scanned each runner's lanyard bar code as they completed a lap around the middle school track.  Each runner got a charm after every 5 miles run and they got special charms if they attended fun runs, held on Friday nights or Saturday mornings. 

A few weekends ago was the culminating race, a 5K around town.  Another mom took this picture.  It pretty much sums up how it went:  Mom trying to gently cajole Holly into running "a few more feet".  I even at one point was singing "100 bottles of beer on the wall" just to keep her mind off of -insert whine here- how sore her legs were, how tired she was, how she was SURELY going to die any minute.

Drew loved being a pacer when he was in grade school.  He loved pushing himself and racking up the miles.  Holly, on the other hand, really enjoys the social aspect; whether or not she'll be a cross country runner, like her cousins and grandfather, we won't know for a few more years!  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Another Sunday Afternoon... gone too soon...

Here's how we spent our lazy Sunday afternoon:

Danny ran the grain cart and caught corn all afternoon.

He's obviously settled right in, there are even happy messages written to him in the dirt and grime on the back of the combine.  (Still not sure how that got there...)

Drew watered the 4-H calves and spread some hay in the bunks for the load of cattle we were expecting in the night.

Holly and Emma practiced the piano, Holly's pieces are getting a lot harder as she becomes more "advanced", so she has to practice longer, clearly she's not so pleased.

And I put off grading my Business Math papers.  I usually am not such a procrastinator, but I just couldn't find the get-up-and-go to get them done.  Oh well, I technically have until Thursday morning to get them done... How much ya wanna bet I'm up til the wee-hours Wednesday night?!?!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The troll house...

The other night I was talking with Holly as we were getting ready for bed and she said to me, "You know that little blue house that Dad built out by the dryer?"

I said, "Yes, why?"

And then Holly proceeded to tell me this:

"Well, I asked Danny what it was and he told me it was a troll house.  He said that the law says that if we have grain bins, then we have to have the house for the trolls.   I asked Danny why the trolls need the house and he said it was because they eat corn and make things with corn, like corn stew, corn pie, corn casserole, and other corn things.  The state laws said that Dad had to build them the house if he wanted to keep the grain bins.   Mom, have you ever seen these trolls?"

I sat there in disbelief--utter shock!-- I think my jaw was literally hanging open.

Then, thank goodness, she said, "But I didn't believe him.... right?  There aren't REAL trolls around here, are there?"

And at that, I LOST IT.  I am STILL laughing about it.

Ahhh... Older brothers.  Everyone should have at least one!

Truth be told, the guys built that little house as a moisture testing station for the new drying system they installed this summer.  The dryer is pretty impressive, but as I lay awake at night listening to it hum, I try not to think about the power and propane burning through it...

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Greetings from Northern Illinois!

The trees are gorgeous, the days are crisp and the nights are frosty, and the harvest is in full swing!

The calves are weaned and we've picked out the special ones to take to the fair!

This is all that is left of our garden, a big pile of rubbish to be burned next weekend.

And on top of it all, school is as busy as ever with papers to be graded, lessons to be planned, and help to be lent for my own little scholars!

I love this time of the year!