Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gluten Free

My love language is food.  I don't care that that isn't one of the love language choices... it's food.  Feed me good food and I will love you!  :)

So it was a very drastic decision on our part to decide to go gluten free.  We just started this new journey last Wednesday, and already we are seeing huge improvements in Gracie's health.  Tuesday night was the last night that she had a stomach ache before bed.  She normally has a stomach ache every single night, for what seems like the last year or so and we've never been able to figure out why.  The only time she wasn't feeling well this week was after eating food at the concession stand at the dance on Friday.  Other than that, we're not hearing any complaints.  I'm excited to see how this effects all of us.  

Gluten, I still love you. Even though you apparently make people irritable, fatigued, short, hyperactive, forgetful, depressed, anxious, sleepless, and almost dead.
Normally, it seems that everything I shouldn't eat, ends up being exactly what I want to eat.  The only thing that I'm having a hard time with right now, is that we are right in the middle of the holiday season.  I love me some cookies and baked goods.  We could have waited until the holidays were over.  But if this was going to help with upset belly's... we figured there was no time like the present.  I have picked up gluten free flour, so I'm going to try and find some fun recipes and experiment a little. 
"Don't despair over the food you can't have,remind yourself of all the good food that you can have."  See more at:http://www.thatdiary.com/ for more health and fitness tips+ lifestyle guide and more  #health #fitness

Dinners haven't been too bad.  We have had steak & salad, salmon and rice, a rotisserie chicken with rice, and tacos with the corn shells. 

Lunches for the kids, I've been packing deli meat, cheese, fruit, veggies and rice crackers or gluten free chips.  

Breakfast hasn't been too bad either, just more work than I normally had to do.  But they eat fruit, and we have found a couple gluten free cereals.  Otherwise I always offer to make eggs of any kind, gluten free bread and every couple of days we have bacon.

We are excited that popcorn is ok to eat.  We usually have that in the evening for a snack.  Also, we have gluten free chips that we love to eat with homemade salsa every once in a while.  Those are 2 of our favorite snacks right now.  Thankfully my kids also like most veggies, so that's easy as well.

All this to say, that we're not starving yet.  This is a huge adjustment for our family, but we are determined to try and make this work. 

If I get my hands on any good gluten free recipes, I'll be sure and post them on here.

P.S  Only 8 more days until Christmas Eve!   :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend fun

We had an incredibly busy, but fun weekend!  Gracie had her first dance on Friday!  She had so much fun and looked beautiful.  She was on cloud 9 when she got home.  Dan picked her up, per her request, since I had dropped her off.  I think he loved it when she started listing off all the boys names, that she got to dance with.  Hahaha!  Truly, we are so happy for her though. 

Saturday we were wrapping presents, playing the longest game of Crazy 8 EVER, and then we busted out the game of sorry.  The kids had never played it before, so I had picked it up from Walmart last week when I was out of town.  They love it.  Well, they love it now, that they've learned to relax a little and not take it so personally when one of their siblings sends them back to start.  The first couple of games they played, I thought I was going to have to throw this game away, before a WWF wrestling match broke out on my living room floor.  Ha!
 Thankfully, they can all play the game and enjoy it now.
 They have even learned to handle a little smack talk from each other as well.
It's fun to play games and cards with the kids, because they are old enough now that we can play our best and try to beat them, which rarely happens.  Our youngest who is 7 is pretty lucky, and more times than not, ends up beating us all. 

Sunday, the kids had practice for their Christmas concert at Church.  Then we went to church, ate a quick lunch and headed to the bowling alley.  The kids all decided to sign up for bowling league this year.  I love it, because we don't have to travel!  Wahoo!!! 

When we got home, it was already around 3:00 and I was tired.  But Emma wasn't.  ;)  So we went over to Mom's and grabbed the horses and went for a ride out in front of the house.  We rode around and through the field.  Emma did great.  Usually someone leads her horse, or we've let her ride by herself in the corral, but yesterday she rode all by herself the whole time.  A friend of ours rode in front of her and I rode behind her.  But she did great.  At one point her horse started to work up into a slow trot, but she pulled him back and brought him back to a walk.  Inside I started to panic a bit, but she did so well. 

It is such a bittersweet thing to see these babies of mine growing up!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Decked out for Christmas

Eeek!  Christmas is just around the corner.  I still have presents to wrap and cookies to bake, but at least the house is all decorated.  I love this time of year.  I love all things cozy!  Sitting in my living room with the tree lit up, a book and a cup of coffee, or glass of wine, is about as cozy as it gets.  This year, we've even been pulling out the card table and have been sitting with the kids in front of the fireplace playing card games.

I bought the red and white plaid throw from Target this past weekend.  I love having little pops of red through out the house this time of year.

I changed up the entry way table a bit and am really liking it.  I found this lamp at Walmart and I think it's perfect.  The only thing I don't like is the cord.  What can I do to hide that cord?  

And again, the cord...  :(  Dan's Mom had gifted this advent village a couple of years ago, but I wasn't sure where to put them, so we hadn't used them until this year, and we are loving them.  I am awful at putting things in them for the kids, because the little spaces are so small, and I can't think of enough things to put in them.  So we're mostly just letting them sit for decoration.  #badmom ;)

Taylor our elf, has finally retired.  Last year was the first year that we did the "elf on the shelf."  Emma loved it, and we had sooo much fun.  This year, she has matured enough in her old age of 7, that she no longer believes.  :(

A couple of mornings ago, I forgot and didn't move Taylor, but when I got up, Emma was telling me that Taylor had made a snow angel in the sugar again.  I smiled, and then later asked Dan if he had moved Taylor.  He said no.  So I assumed it was Gracie and thought it was cute that she was old enough to help her Momma out.  I gave her a thank you look, patted her on the back and moved on.  Well, later that day, Emma finally cracked and said that she had moved Taylor, because I had forgotten to and that she got out the sugar and made it look like Taylor did it.  So she told me, I needed to make sure that I moved Taylor the next time so she wouldn't have to.  Which is when I informed her, that maybe she was too old for this game.  She seemed fine with that and ever since, Taylor just takes it easy, lounging around the house wherever someone moves her to.  

When my paternal Grandparents passed away a few years ago, we were given these neat Christmas ornaments with their names on them.  They are my favorite ornaments on the tree.  Now that my other Grandparents have passed away as well, I'm wanting to find a neat set of ornaments with their names on them as well. 

Every year when us girls go on our Christmas shopping trip.  My Christmas tradition is to bring home a new ornament for the kids to put on the Christmas tree.  This year, I found these neat ornaments with a letter on them for each of their names. 

Even though, they would prefer me to bring back a fun new toy or game... I'm hoping that eventually they will look over the new and old ornaments with fond memories, and stories told of "do you remember?" and talk of Christmas's past.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A whirlwind

These last two weeks have been some what of a whirlwind!

We had a great time up in Kalispell with Dan's side of the family for Thanksgiving.  We decided to stay at a hotel again this year, because some years there isn't enough room for all of our family's to stay over.  Plus, it's nice to be able to let the kids swim and burn off some energy.
We ate turkey dinner, visited and cheered on the Seahawks!!!

In between kiddos being sick, and me filling in at the store a couple of days, we've gotten the inside and outside of our house all decorated.  Well, I worked on the inside while Dan worked on the outside.  I am so thankful that he takes over the outside decorating.  I don't find it fun at all, plus I don't particularly care for heights.
Yes... he rented a man lift again this year.  It's been a couple years since the last time he put up so many lights and the kids were so excited.  I snapped a picture on my phone of all the lights up, as I was coming home one night. 

Friday evening we headed over to Spokane for our annual girls shopping trip.  No kids, no men... just us girls.  My mom, sisters, and I head over and meet up with Aunts, cousins and a couple of friends.  This year there was 12 of us, as almost everyone was able to make it.  So much fun!!!

I happened to find a couple of early Christmas gifts at one of my favorite stores!  It is so fun to actually go in the store every once in a while, verses just shopping online.

Shopping with a coffee and looking at the beautiful lit up Christmas tree, definitely put me in the Christmas shopping mood!

Gracie has her first dance coming up and we just found out about it.  We weren't going to be out of town again for a while, so I had to hurry and find something for her to wear.  I found this blue dress at the Rack and think it will be perfect.  How do I have a middle schooler, who is getting ready for her first dance!  Ack!!!   

This is a picture that I took at Victoria's Secret after I had already been standing in line for 5 minutes.  My sister texted me to see where I was, so I sent her this picture.  It took me at least 15 minutes to get through the line.  It was crazy!!!  They said it was worse than Black Friday.  Great!  ;)

Everyone needs a good margarita after a long day of shopping right?!  This is our excited/goofy look when our drink arrived!  I think we'll have to work on this.  Ha!

This was definitely one table of crazy!  I love all the funny stories and things said when we all get together.  I am so blessed to be apart of a big crazy family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I'm still here!  I haven't had time to blog this last week, and it's looking like it could be a few more days.  Hopefully it will be soon!  I have so many blogs to catch up on! 

We were out of town for Thanksgiving visiting family.  Our family was then hit with a stomach bug.  We've decorated the inside and outside of our house for Christmas.  I've been filling in at the store for my Dad, and tomorrow I'll be out of town all day taking Jesse to his Orthodontist appointment and getting new tires put on the car.  The house is a complete mess.  Then there's the laundry... don't get me started.  ;)

See you all soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Changing Seasons

Yesterday, I went for a drive down an old county road.  The change in seasons is definitely evident.  Before long, this will all be covered in snow.  Even though winter is my least favorite month, I am going to try my best to be thankful for it.  So, here is a list of the reasons that I will enjoy this cold winter in Montana.

-The fun Holidays
-No yard work
-A warm fireplace
-Soups and Stews
-Sledding with my family
-Coffee's, teas, and hot chocolate
-Playing cards and watching movies with Dan and the kids
-Catching up on my reading
-Cozy throw blankets
-Hot baths
-The slower pace of life
-Kids don't have sports

*What are some things that you all love most about winter?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dan's Birthday!

Yesterday we celebrated Dan's 39th birthday!  I have a whole year to plan his 40th!!!  I've got to think of something really good. 

He didn't have anything that he wanted for gifts, he just requested his favorite dinner.  Which happens to be chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and apple pie.  He's such a simple guy, he never needs or wants anything.  He's just so content.  Is it bad, that I've already been working on my own Christmas list of things I want/need!?!? 

I had something to drop off at his work, so on my way, I stopped by our favorite coffee stand and grabbed him something fun to drink. I may or may not have grabbed myself something fun to drink as well.  ;)

Later, I got home and got to work on the apple pie. 

 I am not much of a baker, but I got it done.  :)

They sure love their Dad. They fight for his attention every single night.  Whether it's playing a game of cards or tossing the football.  He is the best Daddy ever, and they know it!

Gracie was all dressed up for 80's day at school.

And this... well, it just makes my heart happy! 
I love books.  I love ordering books, especially when I get to sit in front of the hot fire to do so.  I want my kids to be just as excited about reading as I am.  Plus, I'm excited to get a few new Christmas books coming before the holidays!