Tuesday, November 24, 2015

September 2015

Sleeping baby. Such a doll.
We took a day off from school on Sept 24. The kids (and me!) were tired and grumpy from the daily grind. As a mom I felt like we needed a day off to relax and reconnect. We stayed home and the kids played games in the morning, then we packed a lunch for a picnic. We went to the living memorial gardens in town and ate our lunch. We walked through little garden area and the kids climbed on the trees and played. It was just what we needed and we had a great day!!

More baby pics!!

We watched the lunar eclipse from our deck! It was a blood moon... Very cool!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

September 2015

Family walk in the country. My favorite people! Kate is in my baby pouch.  

The kids had fun climbing on some freshly cut hay bales.

The girls "cheered" at halftime of the high school football game as part of their cheer camp. They had a lot of fun!

Raider Red!! Small town spirit.

I love giving Kate her baths. She is so sweet and I love getting her clean and lotioned up. She loves the warm water. Lucy loves to play with her in the bath!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

I absolutely LOVE this whole wheat pancake recipe. I've been making it for years, but it has quite a few ingredients, so it makes it a little too intense for school mornings when my head is groggy and time is limited! So, I decided to make myself a dry mix for busy mornings. I do have to add 4 wet ingredients in the morning, and whip the egg whites, but it cuts my time at least in half, making it totally doable!

On school nights, I pull out my griddle, cooking spray and dry mix and have it all set out on the counter ready to go. That way there's no excuse to not make them, when I get up in the morning.

Here's the recipe:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes: (recipe source: Simply Healthful Blog)

2 cups whole wheat flour  (Purchase at the store- or grind your own.)
1 T baking powder
3 T ground flax seed (my bag said "flax meal" on it)
3 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt

(This is the dry mix: add all these ingredients to your quart size bag, I wrote the rest of the recipe on the bag to help out my morning brain!)

Pour dry ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer, and add:
3 egg yolks (save your whites in a separate bowl for the next step!)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 T applesauce
1 T vanilla

Stir until blended.

Whip your 3 egg whites on high speed until eggs have a peak on them.
Gently fold whites into mixture.. (This is the key to fluffy delicious pancakes!!)

My kids LOVE these. They have grown up on Dad's fluffy Bisquick pancakes every Saturday, but they don't complain when I make these, they just scarf them down!  Side note: They are AWESOME with nutella on them. Also, I've added frozen rasberries or blueberries to them while they cook- also delicious!!

You have to try these! It's a delicious, healthy, inexpensive breakfast! If you make the dry mix, it will save you tons of time!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Smoothie Kits

I love having these smoothie kits on hand... they make it easy to get some nutrition in the kiddos without having to take out 10 ingredients in the morning! Just pull a bag out of the freezer, add water, (or you could try milk or almond milk) blend and done!! Makes for happy kids and a happy mom!


Mango Strawberry Smoothie

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 and 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mango
1 banana (sliced)
1/3 cup orange-pineapple-apple juice concentrate (or any other fun orange juice combo)

Place ingredients in a freezer bag, flatten and freeze.

When ready to serve, microwave the freezer bag to soften fruit for blender (about 30-60 seconds)

Pour mixture in blender, add about 1 cup water and blend!

Triple Berry Grape Smoothie

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 and 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen triple berry mixture
1 banana (sliced)
1/3 cup grape juice concentrate

Place ingredients in a freezer bag, flatten and freeze.

When ready to serve, microwave the freezer bag to soften fruit for blender (about 30-60 seconds)

Pour mixture in blender, add about 1 cup water and blend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kate's Birth June 9, 2015

Kate's birth story:
Like I said in the last post, I had been having a lot of contractions for several weeks. Some would be painful and some would be regular, so I was always on edge, but of course, every time they would stop and lead to nothing. I went to the doctor on the 8th, and she said the baby was face up and that I should crawl around on all fours that day to see if the baby would turn and that maybe that would get things moving. She told me she would give it a week and if I didn't have the baby before the next Monday, she would induce me. On Tuesday night of June 9th, I went to bed feeling calm and kind of resigned to the fact that I would probably be induced in a few more days. I woke up around 1:30am with a painful contraction. It hurt, but I had had some that had hurt like this before. I had another and another. I woke up and got my phone to start timing.... they were about 3-5 minutes apart for 30 minutes. I decided, maybe I should wake up Kirtis. I did and he said it was "go time." I told him I still wasn't sure if it was and that I didn't want to go to the hospital unless we were for sure. He got up and started getting ready and I waited a little longer. After another 15 minutes or so, they didn't let up and were getting more painful, so I started grabbing my stuff. I texted a few friends to see if they could come over in the morning. I was nervous and on edge. I finally realized it was really happening and I started to freak out a little bit. I had decided I was going to go natural because the doctor had told me it was probably going to be a quick labor since I was so far progressed. That made me nervous too. Anyway, Kirtis gave me a big hug, then I asked him if he would give me a blessing of comfort. I was immediately calm. We drove the hospital and checked in. The contractions were getting painful, but I could silently endure them, and they were lasting about 45 seconds. We got to our room and met the nurse, Chelsea and got settled in. Kirtis was making jokes and keeping the mood light.  I think it was about 2:30 by the time I was all checked in. The nurse left us alone for awhile. The contractions were hurting, but I was holding Kirtis' hand, and inbetween I felt great and could smile. (See the 2nd picture). Kirtis took that picture of me smiling around 3am. That was the last time I smiled! After that, the pain just didn't stop. They told me I was in transition and that they would call the doctor. The next 30 minutes I don't remember really well. (luckily, right?) I remember learning I was kind of screamer- or a loud moaner! 
I had talked to my mom in the weeks leading up to Kate's birth about how to handle giving birth naturally. She had done all 5 of us naturally and said she would think of something to really focus on.  Something really mundane, but enough to keep her brain busy. She said she would think about buttons. All the different kinds of buttons, shapes, colors and different uses. It sounded strange, but in the weeks leading up to her birth I tried to think of what that thing could be for me. I decided to think about piano scales. That was simple enough. I would start with the C scale and say the notes in my head and picture my fingers playing the scales. Then I would move on to D, and E, or just start over if I needed to. So, I did this while the pain was pretty manageable. After I got to transition, I don't think it was helping. Kirtis was squeezing my hand and trying to say the scales with me. I remember being finally frustrated enough to tell him to quit! I sat on the side of the bed, bore my feet into the ground and grabbed Kirtis' hand with my right hand, and the bed with my left. Suddenly the room was filled with lots of nurses and people. The OB Nurse was preparing herself for the baby in case the doctor didn't make it. The doctor lived in town, but the baby was COMING, and she wasn't there yet. I remember yelling, "there's so much pressure!!!!" Ha ha. Anyway, the doctor came in, put her gloves on, they pulled the stirrups out, pried me off the side of the bed, and told me to push. Finally relief!!  The baby's head came out. The doctor got a surprised look on her face, asked for clamps, cut the cord that was around Kate's neck, then had me push her body out. I was so ecstatic--almost euphoric about being done. I was so proud of myself. It took me some time to process it, and just enjoy the fact that I wasn't in pain. I knew they took the baby to the table and the doctor was finishing up with me and she asked the nurse how the baby was doing. Kate was having a hard time breathing. They were working with her trying to get her to cry and to pink up. It took about 10 minutes. Kirtis was terrified. I was still feeling so much relief from being done, that I didn't even totally process what was going on.  Finally, they put her on me. She was perfect. Kirtis cried. I could tell it had taken so much out of him. We were just so happy it was over and that she was okay and that she was finally here. 
She's a perfect baby. She's sucked her fingers since the moment she came out. All the kids love her so much. They just adore her and want to hold her all the time. She is such a blessing to our family!

6 lbs 15 oz

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kate Suzanne Hill: Photo Shoot

Jenni Call did an amazing newborn photo shoot of Kate. We got pictures of all the kids too. I'm in love with them!!!