Law & Order, Mommy Style

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I just listened to a solid thirty minutes of testimonies, debates, arguments, and accusations from my children in a frighteningly realistic courtroom setting (which was really my kitchen while I finished dinner.)

Benjamin’s side:

  • Benjamin found a penny on the toy room floor.
  • He then declared that penny to be his.
  • Levi saw the penny and said it was his penny.
  • Benjamin said, “There’s no way that penny could be Levi’s.  It’s too clean.”
  • Olivia took the penny out of Benjamin’s hand and gave it to Levi.
  • He is accusing the other two of being liars and thieves.

Olivia’s side:

  • Benjamin found a penny on the toy room floor.
  • She told Benjamin it was Levi’s penny.
  • She claims to remember Levi finding that penny with Daddy on a walk recently.
  • Benjamin let her see the penny.
  • Benjamin started demanding meanly that she needed to give the penny back.
  • She gave the penny to Levi, since it was his.
  • She is accusing Benjamin of lying.

Levi’s side:

  • Benjamin found a penny on the toy room floor.
  • Levi recognized the penny and the open case next to it, which used to have a penny and now does not.
  • Levi asked “Pwease may I haff da penny?”
  • Benjamin said no.
  • Benjamin dropped the penny.
  • Olivia picked it up.
  • Olivia gave the penny to Levi.
  • Benjamin asked for it back.
  • He is accusing Benjamin of lying.

Evelyn’s side:

  • She just sat on the kitchen island singing a mash-up of “For the First Time in Forever” and “Let It Go”.

We went round and round and ROUND.

I discussed with Benjamin that just because he finds something doesn’t make it is.

I discussed with Benjamin that, if Levi is lying, he will eventually have to answer to God for that, but if he is NOT lying, then BENJAMIN will have to answer to God for not giving to Levi what was his.

Benjamin would not relent.

Levi would not relent.

Olivia, as the conscientious observer, would not relent either.

Then, I found a hardened lump of brown sugar while measuring for the meatloaf topping.

And I sold them all a bite.

For a penny.

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Meatloaf Cupcake Surprise!

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Benjamin (5yo) told me to “Never stop making these.”

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup gf rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS dried parsley
1.5 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sage, basil, or oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
2lb ground beef (as close to fat free as you can get)
4.5 sticks of string cheese, cut in quarters

Topping:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp dry mustard

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine eggs and milk. Stir in oats, onion, parsley, sat, oregano, and pepper. Add meat; mix well.
  2. With a large cookie scoop, place a scoop of the meat mixture in each muffin tin (I use a full and a half – so 18 cups – because that’s all I have). Stick 1/4 of a cheese stick in each scoop of meat. Top with another scoop of meat.
  3. Bake 15 minutes at 350*.
  4. Mix the topping ingredients.
  5. Suck off any grease with a glass baster. Add topping. Bake another 5-10 minutes, until the meat part (not the cheese part) reaches 160*.
  6. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

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Levi’s Presentation

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Today, we had our homeschool co-op. My older two had prepared presentations, as usual; and I had given up on Levi. He *is* only three, after all. If he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to. The only reason he’s even down there during presentation is because he refuses to go to nursery.

Well, while I was bouncing Evelyn to sleep, as presentations were beginning, I saw Levi lean over to Olivia and whisper something. Then Olivia sneaked around to the teacher. More whispering.

I had no clue what this was about. And I didn’t want to be all rude and talking during a presentation, so I figured I’d wait until afterwards to discuss polite listening skills.

Then the presenting child sat down. And the teacher announced, “I hear that Levi has a presentation for us today!”

At which point, I think my exact words may have been, “Bwah?”

I look to my right: Olivia is cracking up, with her head in her arms, on the table.

I look to my left: Levi is smiling ginormously as he slides off his seat and scurries to the front. His hair is tousled and overgrown. His pants aren’t snapped (as per usual) and therefore he clutches them with one hand as he runs to keep them on. Just so you have the complete mental picture.

He arrives at the front, looks everyone in the eye, takes a deep breath and…

Turns to me. And asks, “What do I say, Momma?”

I look at him, then the audience, then back at him and honestly declare, “I didn’t know you were going to say anything!”

There. Now everyone knows this is not my fault.

“Oh, I know!” he says,

“Hi! My name is Levi and I’m going to tell you a verse! God is good. And that’s all you need to know.”

After which, he ran back to his seat with a satisfied smile.

Yep. Not my fault.

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I told the offending parties to smile. Levi said, “No.”

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Gluten-free Cheeseburger Turnover Recipe

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This is what happens when I crave pastry AND cheeseburger on a night when it’s just me and the kids. Also, I was trying my hardest to keep from breaking into our Mac ‘n Cheese stash.

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Warning: It takes a lot of parchment paper and saran wrap to make all the 6″ circles of pastry dough. On account of it’s GF and therefore very fragile.

But you will be rewarded for your efforts with tender, flaky, cheesy, beefy goodness.

Pastry:

1 1/4c GF flour (I used my blend and I know I posted that on duh blawg)
1 TBS sugar
1 packet plain gelatin (2tsp)
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS cold, cut-up butter
3 TBS cold lard/bacon fat/more butter
1 egg
2tsp lemon juice
1-3 TBS cold water

Whisk dry ingredients. Cut in fat with pastry blender til crumbly the size of peas. Whisk egg and lemon juice. Mix into flour/fat mixture. Add cold water until dough just holds together in a ball. Make into 5 or 6 small balls, 2″ in diameter. Cover and refrigerate.

Meat:

1/2 lb ground beef
pepper to taste
seasoned salt to taste
onion powder to taste

ketchup (Squirt what looks good. I didn’t measure.)
shredded cheddar cheese (Sprinkle what looks good. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to how much cheese you’re consuming.)

1 TBS butter, melted

Season beef with pepper, salt, and onion powder. Brown until *almost* done.

Preheat oven to 500*, place pizza stone on the bottom rack.

Roll out a ball of pastry dough one at a time between saran wrap until approximately 6″ diameter. Place in freezer, repeat with the rest of the dough balls.

Peel saran wrap from one 6″ dough disc, place on parchment paper. Spoon meat onto half of the circle, squirt ketcup on top of meat, sprinkle with cheese, fold other half of circle over and pinch dough closed. Repeat with the rest of the dough discs.

Brush with melted butter. Using a pizza peel or a flat cookie sheet, slide parchment paper onto heated pizza stone. Cook 8-9 minutes. Remove with peel. Your stone won’t even get dirty.

You can make and freeze as many dough discs as you feel like making and then whip this up in no time the next time you’re feeding a brood of hungry children.

Or better yet, make an apple turnover during Quiet Times. If I just used chunky applesauce, cinnamon, and maybe some sweet white rice flour for thickener… Ya think it would work? Hmmm….

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Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Streusel Nut Topping

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Ingredients
1 cup chopped/coarsely ground walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp butter

Directions
Mix the nuts and sugar well in a microwave safe bowl.

Place the butter in four pats on top of the nut mixture.

Microwave for a minute.

Mix well. Cool.

Sprinkle in oatmeal. Or yogurt.

Add cinnamon and nutmeg if you have the time for such frivolous niceties.

You could even melt the butter on the stovetop if you care more about cancer than you do having to wash another dish.

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Teach Us to Number Our Days

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I wanted Benjamin to keep better track of his time.
So I created a visual aid and went to print it off.

And then I saw all the papers I usually tape to our Wall of Achievement.
The pile was getting out-of-hand, so I looked for the tape.

The tape was empty,
So I hunted down the refill rolls.

I couldn’t find any refill rolls, but I found Command Strips and hooks!
So now my pot holders are hung neatly by my stove,

But I think I failed at the lesson about keeping track of time.

Maybe I’ll go print off a visual aid for myself as well…

 

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The numbers are the hours of the day. The lines cross out both the hours we’ve used up and the hours we have already scheduled for other commitments. Such as quiet time, dinner, and sleep.

The remaining hours are those that are left to do our work and play.

So if we stare out the window instead of doing our math – er, or dishes – then we don’t get as much time to play.

How do you teach your kids (and yourself!) time management?

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Nobody Told Me that There’d Be These Things!

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Just a little song to get stuck in your head this morning. :)

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Nobody Told Me that There’d Be These Things

(Sung to the tune of These Are A Few of My Favorite Things)

Boogers on noses and dog poop on mittens,
Scouring the kettles and healing the bitten,
Toddlers who tie up the puppy with strings,
Nobody told me that there’d be these things!

Tangled up ponies and vibrant wall doodles,
Pee smells and poo smells and hotdogs with noodles,
Used minivans decked with stickers and dings,
Nobody told me that there’d be these things!

Boys in white sweaters with big ketchup splashes,
Oatmeal encrusted in ears and eyelashes,
Colds every winter and flus in the springs,
Nobody told me that there’d be these things!

Then the babe smiles,
Then my girl sings,
Then I hug my boys,
Oh, nobody told me that these crazy days
Held such unspeakable joys!

———————————————-
Who else out there like to redo broadway hits? Anyone? Anyone?
Ok. I’m a nerd.
Thanks for listening!
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Natural Goo-Be-Gone

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Someone put stickers on our whiteboard. Three weeks ago. So guess what happened when we tried to take them off. Go ‘head. Guess.

Yep.  The world asploded.

No.  Just kidding.  That was a horrible guess.

There was icky-sticky residue!  Only the top half of the sticker came off.  You know how it goes.

But that doesn’t work well on a white board, where you want a smooth, wipe-able surface.  Not at all.

Once upon a time, we would have reached for the Goo Gone – have you ever heard of that stuff?  Smells like oranges on steroids.  Dipped in acid.

But we have long since run out of that glorious solution.  And I’m all No More Chemicals Under My Sink these days, so we didn’t replenish the supply.  But one quick Google search later, my worries were over.

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Natural Goo-Be-Gone

  • Vinegar
  • Cotton Ball
  • Wash Cloth
  1. Generously moisten a cotton ball with vinegar.  I used white because it’s what I have in largest quantities. (Go, Costco!)
  2. Soak the offending residue with the cotton ball.
  3. Let it sit 15 minutes.  Or as long as it takes to complete the next step.
  4. Dampen a washcloth with hot water and hold on top of the sticky residue. The steam will finish what the vinegar started.
  5. When you get bored, rub. It’ll come right off!

Less than five minutes.  Because I cheated on step 3.  Hope it works as well for you as it did for me!

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A Week In Pictures

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If you already follow me in Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, these may not be that exciting for you. But I decided I need these on record for my own sake! (And I’m not the type to do baby books and photo albums…)

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I got to perform special music at Church last Sunday with my in-laws!  We sang “Cornerstone” by Hillsong.  So. Much. Fun!  They are so talented!

 

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Our Christmas break ended and we went on a 10ish hour drive back to reality.  ‘Twas a time for solemn reflection.

(7 months old already.  ALREADY!)  Ok.  We can stop reflecting.  I’m solemn enough.

 

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I’ve never personally seen the inside of a sardine can, but from what I’ve heard, this is comparable.

 

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That’s a tear in our tire. Praising God we found it when we stopped for lunch. Right next to a Walmart with an auto center. That was open on New Years.  We wouldn’t have even checked it if a man hadn’t drawn our attention to it when we came to a stoplight. Blessings abound.

 

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Evelyn fell asleep during our lunch stop.  We all told her not to, but she wouldn’t listen.

 

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Still stopped for lunch.  Had to bite my lip to contain the squeal.  #Joy

 

nursing necklace

Enjoying our Christmas present. :)

 

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Lazy Little Lady Legs

 

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Search the nest in yonder tree;

Can you find my monkeys three?

 

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With great hair comes great responsibility.

 

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More milestones.  They’re one-on-top-of-another, lately.

 

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#Truth

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The New Lego Solution

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At first, they all fit in the plastic bin they came in.

Then they were divided into two bins: Specialty Pieces and Ordinary Pieces.

After more time passed, we introduced the Lego Blanket. A large, beige, fleece blanket. Lego creations could stay out, but couldn’t leave the blanket.

But sometimes these creations needed to be transferred from the floor to the table. And back again. The more intricate inventions couldn’t handle these transfers, and so we introduced the Lego Tray. A large cookie sheet with a 1″ lip.

And then two trays.

Then three. One per Lego-Aged-Child.

Only, where did these trays go when they weren’t on the table or the floor? Why, on my desk, of course! Along with all the paperback books that need taped, my sewing machine and supplies, the printer, paintings, math tests, and all bills and financial papers.

And so began the brainstorming and scheming. We needed a new plan.

Finally, this week, my plan was put into action.

I present to you:

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Each child gets one tray. If a Lego creation does not fit on the tray, it goes in the bin (the blue one on the bottom shelf).

The green bin on the middle shelf has all the directions, most of which have been laminated, hole-punched, and placed in binders.

And the Lego blanket is tucked on the top shelf, in case they feel like playing on the floor. With these trays, however, they just move their creations to the table and back.

It’s only been a day.

But I’m in love with The Lego Shelves.

How do you organize your Legos?

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