When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Going Gluten-Free

Well, after a short hospital stay and some tests, I found out today that I have Celiac's Disease.  This came as a huge surprise, because it wasn't what the doctor had been looking for in the first place:  my symptoms were pointing to Chrone's.  I am glad that it isn't Chrone's, but I am not looking forward to following a gluten-free diet.  I'm going to do it, of course, because I really want to feel better.  Before I start my new diet I have to say "I LOVE PASTA!"  The common joke around this house is "What are we having for dinner?  Pasta or chicken?  Or chicken with pasta?"  I just know that any kind of pasta is super easy to make, and pretty hard to screw up.  But after looking on the internet today, I have found that there are gluten-free pastas for sale out there, and have found plenty of recipes to make my own.  So no worries for my family, pasta can still be served around here!  LOL!

The biggest concern I have is how I will adjust to the different taste and texture of gluten-free foods.  As anyone who knows me can attest to:  I am a really picky eater!  Not only does the food have to taste good, it also has to smell good and have the right texture.  Gluten-free bread and pasta will be a challenge to get used to for me. 

I am encouraged, though.  I have spent the day looking at gluten-free recipes, and have found some good ones to try.  I have also ordered some books on Amazon.com.  These include:  "The G-Free Diet:  A Gluten-Free Survival Guide" by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and "Gluten-Free on a Shoestring" by Nicole Hunn.  I look forward to seeing what they have to offer. 

I was advised to just eat as I normally would until I meet with the doctor in a couple weeks, so I will be able to have the BBQ ribs I asked for on my birthday!!!  And I still get to eat some delicious Christmas cookies, but I also plan to try out some gluten-free cookies too!

So good luck to me as I set out on a new journey!  Once I get going, I know I will start feeling better and it will all be worth it!

BTW:  Anyone who is already gluten-free, feel free to send me a message with a recipe to try!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beautiful Poem!

Someone on a parents online group that I belong to posted this beautiful poem.  (They had found it on a different group and didn't know the author.)  It made me get a lump in my throat, but made me feel good at the same time.  I am not normally a 'poem' kind of person (unless it's Shel Silverstein), but I just had to share!  I think the poem speaks for itself.

A Better Person

If you close your eyes you'll never see,
just how much she means to me.

All I ask from this day on,

Is to stand beside her and cheer her on.

She'll bring you places that you've never been,
And show you love from deep within.

She'll melt you heart a little more each day,
until it seems her disability has faded away.

But it's still there, I'll tell no lies.
It sometimes appears to be in disguise.

You no longer see through rose colored glasses.
As this vision you once had slowly passes.

The child you once thought of as frail and weak,
instead has made you implore defeat.

Her health sometimes may seem uncertain.
Yet through it all, she has made you a better person.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's On Our Trays This Week?

After two weeks of not posting what we've been up to, I finally have found my camera so that we can share!

Spooning white beans

Sorting Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes

Stacking Cups

Making Sets
 Making bundles of 10 coffee stirrers using the number line if neccessary.

Putting clips on a braid of yarn.  This is a great fine motor skill!!!

Aubrey enjoying spooning beans.  And yes she dressed herself this morning!

In addition to the trays this week, we will be working on:

*learning about harvest season.  We will take a walk down the road to look at the soybeans that are ready to be harvested.  We will look at books from the library about fruits, vegetables, and farms.  We will also go out to our garden and observe the changes (and maybe pull out the dead plants)!
*Aubrey's address!  I printed it out in big letters so that she can practice tracing and writing it.
*sight words "we" and "and".  So far she loves learning sight words and is so excited to be able to "read".
*counting 1-30 and recognizing 5-10.
*Letter G!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fairy House and Imagination!

A few months ago, Aubrey asked to build a fairy house like the girl in the new Tinkerbelle movie.  After taking some wood from my dad's workshop (a little too nice for a fairy house, but free), we set to work to try and figure out the simplest way to build a beautiful fairy house.  Of course I had my wonderful husband help out, especially with the power tools!  When it was done, we started painting it as a family.  Aubrey had a lot of fun and was creative with the paint! 

After the fairy house was finished, well, it sat for a couple of months.  Finally, I was inspired enough to help Aubrey find the perfect spot!  She planted a couple of mini-pumpkin seeds outside the garden this year, and she felt that the perfect spot would be by the plants.  When she had placed it where she wanted it, she exlaimed "We need to find stuff that the fairies will like!"  So off we went, gathering pinecones, flowers, and mulberries for the fairies! 

Aubrey helping cut the sides.

Before the paint.

The finished project with fairy offerings!

Beautiful wildflowers by our house!  I couldn't resist including this picture, it will be very refreshing to look at once winter and the snow are here!

Aubrey and her first mini-pumpkin!  She keeps saying "It is gonna be soooo huge, Mom!"  I have had to explain numerous times that it is a mini-pumpkin!

We haven't gone back to check for fairies yet, but I know Aubrey is excited!  I love that this fosters her imagination and creativity.  I'm sure that we will be checking it frequently to see if the fairies have left anything for us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's On Our Trays This Week?

After site searching, I am really liking the montessori type of approach for homeschooling Aubrey this year.  I love the independent learning aspect and a simpler approach to learning.  So I took some time and cleared out her toy shelves in our family room.  I picked up six trays from Target and got to work on setting things up for the week.  Since I taught for so many years, I already had ideas of what I wanted to do, but I wanted new and fresh ideas as well.  Between searching the web and looking through some old teaching books, I got the creative spark!  I am really happy with our trays this week.  Aubrey has also been enjoying them! 

The set-up!  The bins and other toys on the cube shelf will stay over the weeks and be swapped out as they get boring.  The trays will be changed weekly.

File Folder Letter Games:  A and B

A and B Letter Puzzles

B Letter Search

Color Farm Animal Matching

Shape Sort and Stack

Folding Washclothes
Peeling Crayons (for crayon melting next week)

Cutting  Between the Stickers (which turned out to be cut out the stickers in circles)

Now that the family room toys have been simplified, I will try tackling her room!  My goal is to store many toys out of site.  That way when she gets bored with toys, I can swap them out!  Good Luck to me!
Linked to: 
 Living Montessori

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Homemade Dry Erase Board

I will start off by saying I LOVE dry erase boards!!!  I feel that they are great for staying organized and communicating as a family.  And when they made dry erase calendars, I fell in love even more!  I used them when I was teaching and they were wonderful for the kids to learn to write on without wasting a ton of paper.  The only thing that I don't like about them is that they are not too attractive to have hanging around the house.  The ones with nice wooden frames around them are really expensive, and I just don't want to pay that much.  So when I found out that I could use a regular picture frame to create a really nice dry erase board, I couldn't wait to try it out. 

I went to Walmart and purchased an 11 x 13 frame for only $5.  I then used scrapbook paper I had around the house to make a background for my new dry erase TO DO board.  I wanted something that would coordinate with my kitchen so I could hang it in there. 

This project literally took me 10 minutes to make and looks pretty good.  And the best part is that I can switch things out whenever I get bored with it!

Here's the result, hanging in the kitchen:

And here is my list of TO DO's for today:

Now it's your turn to make a cute scrapbook-ish dry erase board for your home!  Good Luck!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Today's Big Project

Well, I was pretty busy today.  Feeding the baby, entertaining the three year old, making sure the house was still standing, and........making my first homemade diaper!  It took some planning, and a bit of fabric, but I got it done without too much yelling at the sewing machine. 

I started by looking at my current diapers and taking the things I like about each diaper and trying to create it with my diaper.  Then I made a pattern from the "bests" of the diapers.  I used one flannel receiving blanket, one fleece baby blanket, a scrap of flannel, and a new microfleece towel to make it.  Everything was upcycled or on-hand at home.  I also used an elastic hairband for a better fit.  I didn't have any thin elastic, so I improvised.

It took some experimenting and creativity to do this for the first time.  When I "finished"  with the diaper, I realized that I made the "wings" too short and it didn't fit around the baby.  She's pretty petite, so I knew this would be a problem.  I ended up making extentions on the wings.  It made it a little bit cuter (in my opinion) and much easier to put on.  Since it isn't waterproof, it is just a fitted.  I think that after I practice a bit, I will try to make an AIO out of PUL. 

So here's the finished product:




I am testing this diaper out as I type and I'm hoping for absorbant results!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011


As the first blog on this site, I will just introduce myself.  My name is Kari.  I am married to a wonderful husband.  We have two beautiful girls that I stay at home with.  My oldest is Aubrey.  She is so smart and wonderful.  She is a great help around here and keeps us entertained with all her antics.  Lena is my little angel.  She works hard at everything she does and surprises me all the time.  You will hear all about both of them here. 

We live on a small farm with three horses, five goats, two cats, one dog, and a fat guinea pig.  Our family and friends call us the funny farm, and I completely agree!  I love all our animals and can't imagine our life without all of them.

Before I stayed home, I was a preschool teacher for eight years!  I loved working with kids and watching them grow and learn everyday.  I now enjoy teaching my own daughter at home.  We love to do crafts and play games together. 

On here, I will write about our everyday life.  From clothdiapering to crafts and sewing, to the challenges we face with our little girl, everything will be right here!

Well, welcome to my blog, I hope you enjoy it!