The Middle Cinnamon Roll

IMG_0356IMG_0357 I think all families have fights over weird things. I know we do for sure! If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll end up with two kids who love opposite things. One will like the edge brownies and the other will like the middle, but that’s just not how my family ended up. My kids like the middle of everything. They will fight over the middle brownie, the middle pieces of bread, the middle cinnamon roll. They truthfully fight over everything, so I had to come up with some peace measures. My husband actually figured out the way to make all the cinnamon rolls seem like the middle. I’ve been making them this way ever since.

Middle rolls:

Grease your pan. Line the edge of the pan with bread slices (any kind). Place the rolls in a circle with the sides touching the bread. Put a bun or slices of bread all around the inner circle of the rolls. Bake as usual. When you peel the slices of bread away from the rolls they will be soft like the middle roll would usually be.

Enjoy breakfast and maybe peace (for a minute or two).

Special Needs

IMG_0334.PNGOkay, this post is going to be a bit of a rant, so I apologize already. I have had this thought on my mind for a few weeks or longer. As I have explained before, one of my daughters has an extremely rare brain abnormality. She struggles to learn and do what many of us take for granted. She has very little depth perception and peripheral vision. She has trouble with her short-term memory. She has lots of trouble with crossing midline activities like swimming, biking, reading, and writing (think about the fact that we read and write from left to right). She has what I would consider “special needs”. She needs help and accommodations to do regular, everyday things.

I have heard that “special needs” is now considered a politically incorrect word for people who happen to have any type of lifelong difficulty. I had one parent tell me that her daughter, who is deaf, is not “special needs” but just unable to hear. While I agree, the world has gotten a lot easier for those who are hearing impaired; I was left with the feeling that she saw the phrase “special needs” as a dirty word to be avoided at all costs.

I found this online:

More Appropriate:  Sam has epilepsy, Tony has cerebral palsy (CP), Helen has a learning disability, – attention deficit disorder

*Less Appropriate:  “special”, person has “special needs”

Comment:  *Term is patronizing and distancing by those with disabilities. Often used by programs providing services and support for disabled people and meant as a ‘positive’ alternative. Describes that which is different about ANY person as all simply have “needs.”

from: http://rds.colostate.edu/language

I suppose what I am having a hard time with is that getting upset about words that are not intended to offend is that I feel like it alienates more than helps. My daughter is one of approximately 46 people in the United States to have colpocephaly. I have to explain what it is to most doctors. It’s much easier to say she has special needs, or she is developmentally delayed. At least then there is a moment of understanding and maybe empathy. Listen, being a parent of a child with any disability is hard and lonely. The more that the disability affects daily life and that child’s future, the harder it is. Every child is different. Every parent is different. I work hard on doing my best for MY child. I don’t have time to look up and stay updated on the most current politically correct language for disabilities, struggles, handicaps (or whatever you call them). I spend my days doing occupational and physical exercises with my child. I look up and research the newest research on what she struggles with. I sit for hours and work with her on basic life skills, as well as trying to teach her all the subjects that will enrich her life. I don’t have time to sit around and be offended.

I don’t intend to be offensive or mean, but I think sometimes we spend too much time on stuff that doesn’t matter. My child and her “special” needs keep me too busy for that!

Thank You {Memorial Day}

017I am proud to have several family members who served in the United States military. I am so thankful that they all returned home safely. I know that not everyone is as fortunate. On this day, we honor the memory of those who sacrificed it all for their country and the ideals for which it stands.

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Thank you to those who sacrificed it all, and thank you to their families. Thank you to every veteran and active Service member who was and is willing to lay down his or her life. May the Lord bless and keep you always.

 

Lemon Blueberry Bread {Low Carb}

I love lemons and blueberries together. For our annual Mother’s Day brunch I decided to bring a low carb lemon-blueberry treat since I knew there would be lots of foods there I shouldn’t eat. I was a little worried about bringing a new recipe without trying it out first, but I was very pleased with the result.

Next time I make it, I will make it a couple of days in advance because it actually gets moister the longer it sits.

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Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Bread

4 cups of almond flour

1 1/2 cups of Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

zest of one lemon

1 tsp. lemon extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries

6 eggs

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tsp. meringue powder

Put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl except for the blueberries. Mix it all until thoroughly mixed. Then gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a knife pierced through the middle comes out clean. Let cool and remove from the pan. Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Star Wars Dinner {May 4th}

Last night we had our May the fourth be with you Dinner. I decided that hamburgers and hot dogs would be the main course. I also served chocolate shakes, chips, green jello, and Star Wars chocolates. I ordered the Star Wars molds from Amazon from a company called Vibrant Kitchen. I was very impressed with the quality of these molds!

The foods were labeled:

hamburgers: Han burgers

hot dogs: Hutt dogs

Jello: Carbonite jello

chips: Chewbacca chips

Star Wars graham crackers: Wookie cookies

buns: Princess Leia’s buns

chocolate shakes: Stormtrooper sippers

I had the children gather all things Star Wars around the house. We decorated the table with a silver tablecloth and then put a roll of Stormtrooper wrapping paper down as a runner. Then I let them use all the Star Wars items to decorate the table. (I think they did a great job!) I got Star Wars and holographic plates from Target.  I made all the labels using Dafont’s Star Jedi font.

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During our school day, we used several worksheets from Year Round Homeschooling 

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After dinner, we played bingo from a pack I downloaded from Royal Baloo .

I’m so glad that so many talented people create these cool printables, and share them with those of us who don’t share the same gift!

I love how much the children and even my husband enjoy this little celebration. My husband even said we should host a party next year.

It was a fun May 4!

May the 4th Be With You Dinner

I’m busy planning and gathering supplies for May 4.  I’m still trying to pinpot exactly what I want to serve for dinner. I’m thinking of 7-Leia Dip, Trooper Scoopers (scoops chips), Wookie Cookies, and Death Star Doughnuts, Fruit Light Sabers OR Hans burgers, Leia’s buns, Wookie Cookies, and Obi-Wan fruit kebabs.

This is what we did last year. I have to say that the children really do enjoy this kind of a dinner. It takes planning and a little more effort than a normal dinner, but I do love to hear how they plan on doing the same kinds of things when they have families of their own.

Here’s last year’s post:

We ended up with breakfast for dinner. This is not unusual. We usually do this once a week on our more hectic nights.

The eggs were the Twin Suns.

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Cinnamon rolls were naturally Leia’s Buns.

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We had bacon and hashbrowns, which were a pretty terrible looking  “Chewbaccon”. At least we got a good laugh out of it!

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The sausage links were Light Sabers.

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I made Yoda Soda which was basically just a lime sherbet float.

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I made Chewy cookies from Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies and added candy eyes and a frosting mouth and nose. I got that idea from Pinterest.

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I purchased Star Wars plates and napkins. I also got some Star Wars fruit snacks for little treats. The children all thought everything turned out really cute and I think they love a themed dinner as much as I do.

I made all the signs and the framed “May the Fourth Be With You” sign using DaFont’s Star Jedi font.

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I’ll try my best to share what I actually end up doing on Thursday. I hope it turns out to be as much fun as last year!

Low Carb Fast Food {Chicken Salad Chick}

In the south there is a franchise called Chicken Salad Chick. It specializes in a variety of chicken salads (big surprise). They are mostly low in carbohydrates with just a few exceptions. They also serve things like macaroni and cheese, deli sandwiches, soup and cookies. The nice thing about this restaurant is that so many of their items are low carb and don’t need this or that omitted.

It has become a favorite lunch spot for my husband. We also like to grab some different ones to share at parties or get-togethers.  There are so many varieties that one is sure to be the favorite.

If you’re ever in the south and need something fast, low carb, and delicious, stop by Chicken Salad Chick (but not on Sunday–they’re not open).

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photo credit: Chicken Salad Chick

Working Together

IMG_0498IMG_0499IMG_0501When I was a little girl, it was not unusual for all of my family to be outside together working in the garden in the evenings or the weekends. We were often together working on all sorts of projects. My parents even flipped houses for awhile and I loved when I went to the houses with them and helped paint, mow, or whatever we were doing that particular day.

My children have not had those experiences. We rarely work all together on a project. I usually have them all doing their own projects. I recently came to the realization that that may be why they don’t work well together. It may also be the reason that there is some resentment between some of the children.

We needed to really weed and mulch our yard before Easter. I used this as an opportunity to all work together. We all worked outside picking up sticks, pulling weeds, mulching, planting new plants, and pressure washing. The yard looks so much better and there was very little (much less than usual) fighting that day. I think that we all really benefited from working together. I’m planning on tackling our basement next. I just might have found a way to build better relationships within our family and get projects done as well!

Watch It {Big Little Lies}

There isn’t much on television that I find worth watching most of the time. But I was super excited to see the new series, Big Little Lies, with Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley.  It became something I looked forward to watching the next week the minute it was over. I talked about the Sunday episode with everyone on Mondays. We enjoyed talking about the character we hoped was the dead one and wondered and guessed who the killer could be. When the finale was over, I could hardly wait to talk to everyone about it. It was a great and complex story. The characters were well developed and the story-line was captivating. If you haven’t watched it, I know that you can catch a peek on HBO online. If you’re more of a reader, it’s based on a book with the same name by Liane Moriarty (which I haven’t read).  I won’t tell much about it because I don’t want to spoil the amazing story.  If you’re looking for a good series to watch, this one is worth the time.

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April Fool’s Day Dinner

I’m planning an all new April Fool’s Day dinner for this year, but wanted to share last years for now:

My kiddos love a good prank. April Fool’s Day has been one of their favorite days as long as I can remember. We usually try to do at least one thing to make the day memorable. Last year I fooled them into thinking they were eating an undercooked lasagna, when it was actually a yummy dessert. This year, I pulled off a Crazy April Fool’s Day Dinner which was actually breakfast for dinner. It definitely takes some advance preparation and quite a bit of work (at least with as many people as we have in our family) to pull it off, but it is so fun! I’ve done a dinner menu like this before and I feel like breakfast items are a lot easier. I used the basic idea and the menu course printables from Dixie Delights. I made some changes, but the general idea came from her site.

To do this, I gave my family a menu of 16 items with funny names. They also had 4 different menu course sheets. On each sheet they had to put four items that they wanted for that course. Each item has to be picked once so that all items are ultimately chosen. They had to pick for all of their courses before I even started cooking; because I didn’t want to give them any hints with the smells in the kitchen.

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I had one more trick up my sleeve. Number 9 was the CAFD Special. It looked like an egg, but was really just whipped cream and an apricot.

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I pulled out a few Christmas plates to serve this. I also found some “Welcome to 2000” napkins that had never been opened in my party stash. We used those as the Mini Magic Carpet.

Overall, we had lots of laughs. April Fool’s Day is just another good excuse to have a little fun together.

I printed out my menu using Waltograph font from DaFont 

Crazy April Fool’s Day Disney Dinner

1. Mickey Mouse                                         2.Gaston’s Tavern Treat                        

 3. Dinoco Motor Oil                

4. Sugar Rush Icing component        

5. White Rabbit’s Tale                                

6. Three Little Pigs                                      

7. Capt. Hook’s Plank                                

8. Mike Wazowski                                      

9. CAFD Special

10. Pluto’s dinner

11. Merida’s hair

12. Elsa’s bad day

13. Rafiki’s staff

14. Cruella’s hair

15. Dinglehopper

16. Mini Magic Carpet

Here’s the real deal menu:

  1. Mickey Mouse waffle
  2. Cinnamon Roll
  3. Syrup
  4. Powdered Sugar
  5. Whipped Cream
  6. Sausage
  7. Bacon
  8. Egg
  9. Apricot in whipped cream
  10. cereal
  11. orange juice
  12. ice
  13. straw
  14. salt and pepper
  15. fork
  16. napkin