Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Three way toast!
We have a tradition here of celebrating the New Year by time zone. We start with Eastern Standard after which the youngest kids go to bed. Then we move to Central time and the next kids go to bed. This year we have children old enough to make it all the way to the Pacific New Year before being sent to bed.
Sparking Grape Juice

Sparkling Apple Juice
"Keto Juice" for Owen
Brenna got real cider, but didn't get a glass cup.

We had appetizers and desserts for dinner, see all the junk food on the table?
Brenna got a little confused about the toast and tried to dump her drink into everyone else's glass.

Tomorrow, we start taking down Christmas decorations and finish finding places to put all of the Christmas presents. then next week we will, hopefully, be back to our normal schedule.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ugly Christmas Sweater!

I just realized that I forgot to post pictures of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest winner. Well, one of the three winners, at least. The youth group the three older kids have been going to decided to have an ugly sweater contest at the Christmas party. I think I've mentioned before that I tend to have type A, perfectionist tendencies. Several of my children have inherited the condition as well. Add in my husband's need to win contests which has also been passed down to the next generation, and you get this sweater.
A week or so before the party, Devon started combing thrift stores for the ugliest sweater she could find. But, she kept coming up empty. All the ugly Christmas sweaters were sold out. All she could find was this red turtleneck with a small embroidered Christmas tree on the neck. So, being my child, she decided to embellish it herself. If we can't find exactly what we want, we just make it.
She was originally going to put fake tree branches on it, but they wouldn't stay on, so I cut a felt tree out for her and she started decorating! You can't really see all the beads and sequins in this picture, but those are real candy canes across the bottom. At the last minute, the kids decided it would be even better if Connor wore the sweater than if Devon did. Three winners were chosen, in no particular order, and this was one of them.
The Ha, Ha, Ha, hat was from last Christmas (I think, maybe the year before that), Devon has a coordinating Ho, Ho, Ho, hat.
I love how excited Connor looks in this picture!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

What's Owen Eating? {Ketogenic Diet Update}

 This week I got to have a little fun with Owen's meals. Rod got this adorable mini doughnut maker from Santa Claus. This is the type of thing I would have considered a complete waste of time and space before the ketogenic diet. It is tiny and only makes 4 mini doughnuts at a time. Which is ridiculous for a family our size, unless one person is on a very special diet and has to have all of his meals made separate, that is. It is the perfect size for an Owen portion. Owen's doughnut recipe is also a thin batter due to all the fat and no flour, so I can't roll out dough and cut out doughnuts like I would for the rest of the family. Owen has been getting "doughnuts" made in muffin liners,so he had a lot of fun with actual doughnut shaped ones. I use a variation of THIS recipe to make his doughnuts only I add Truvia and cinnamon in addition to making adjustments for Owen's unique ratio and calorie needs.

 In addition to Rod's Santa present, we also got some great Keto cooking supplies from Rod's parents including this waffle stick maker which we use for Owen's pecan waffles. Owen loved being able to dip his waffle in his syrup (Walden Farms or Davinci Sugar Free). I made up several batches of waffles and froze some for later. Grandma and Grandpa also got us some silicone baking sheets and several silicone molds. I, of course, forgot to take pictures of most of them, but I used the little rectangle mold to make pumpkin seed muffins and the large rectangles to make keto bread for cheese sandwiches.
 We also made the usual Macadamia Nut Pancakes . I didn't get around to making the spinach bites (Owen's current favorite), so I plan on doing those tomorrow since we are still on a break from homeschooling.

With Owen's diet being so restrictive it is really nice to be able to make it fun in some way. Cute plates, decorative molds, and fun appliances help keep the diet from being quite so tedious for Owen and for Rod and I.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Boy and His Braid {Owen's Doll Update}

Owen has this thing about braids. I have very long, fine hair and it gets tangled incredibly easily. I braid it every night before bed to keep it from becoming a rats nest while I sleep. Owen decided a long time ago that my braid is his security object. He quite often gets upset with me because I don't wear my hair in a braid during the day (it doesn't stay, too fine and slippery). He also gets upset when my hair is wet as he doesn't like it that way and he has claimed my hair for his own usage, but mostly he wants my braid.
So anyway, I made Brenna THIS doll for Christmas. With long hair in a braid. I knew Brenna being such a girly girl would want a doll with hair. Being as little as she is though, I knew the hair would be a huge mess unless I braided it. Brenna loves her doll and everything should be all well and good in the world EXCEPT that I made Owen THIS doll. Without a braid. I don't have a problem with my girls playing with boy dolls and my boys playing with girl dolls, but I tend to make girl dolls for my girls and boy dolls for my boys unless they've requested otherwise. So, I made Owen a boy doll, with short hair. And that was a problem. Owen insisted that Brenna's doll was his, because it had a braid. Brenna also insisted that her doll was hers, because it is. So, tonight, I had to rectify my mistake and now Owen's doll also has a braid. He still insists it is a boy doll. It just needed long hair. Now everyone is happy and all is well in the world again.

Play Silks

I've always loved Waldorf style toys for my kids. They can be pretty expensive though. Since I'm a crafty type of person and the Waldorf philosophy is very much in favor of do-it-yourself, I make most of my own. Except for the wooden stuff because I have to draw the line somewhere and wood crafting is a lot harder to do with little kids around than knitting, sewing, and felting.

 One of the things I've always wanted for the kids is a set of playsilks. This Christmas, I finally broke down and made some. I actually bought the scarves already hemmed because the price wasn't much different than hemming them myself. Then I invested in a set of acid dyes and dyed them myself. We've done a lot of dying before, but I hadn't used acid dyes before. Admittedly, I spent almost as much money on the dyes and scarf blanks as I would have spent on pre-dyed scarves, but I like my home dyed ones better and I still have plenty of dyes left over for other projects, like yarn.

The kids love playing with these. They use them for everything from capes, to blankets, to playscapes, and more. The silk has such an amazing texture that the kids just love to touch it. Devon thinks they're pretty enough to just wear as scarves too. 
I kettle dyed these scarves to get the variegated look, but I want to try some more with different dying techniques too.  Wouldn't tye-dyed ones be great?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013!

I took the entire day off of the computer to enjoy my family!
We actually started a little early, opening the gifts from out of town family on Christmas Eve. Thank you Cassi, Tim, Uncle Sonny, and Linda we love everything!

Owen really got into opening packages this year. He takes FOREVER though.
This is what the kids woke up to Christmas morning.
Unfortunately, Duncan also woke up with a really bad sore throat.

Once everything was opened, I started Brunch, while Rod and Connor spent the next few hours putting together Brenna and Morgan's kitchen set.
Santa had a little help from Grandma for this gift!
Then half of us took naps while the other half continued to play. Our goal was to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house at 5:00, but we didn't actually get out of the house until  about 10 til. Getting everyone out the door is always much more complicated with a houseful of new toys to play with.
First on the agenda at Grandma and Grandpa's was Morgan's Birthday since we still hadn't managed to get over there to open her birthday gifts.
Then the package opening free for all began, while I tried to keep everything in some sort of order and Rod tried to snap pictures in between helping with stubborn packaging.
Poor sick Duncan even managed to drag himself off the couch to open packages in the corner where hopefully, he didn't spread any germs to Grandma.
Then we had some dinner and headed home to begin the 3 hour settling-down-from-being-over-excited-and-hopped-up-on-sugar bedtime routine. Yes, it actually took over 3 hours to get everyone to bed.
Today, we spent part of the day finding homes for all the new stuff and part of the day just playing. That will be our routine until New year's when we will start up our "normal" schedule again.
I want to thank all of our friends and family for such a wonderful holiday! Except for my sister who probably got Duncan sick (just kidding)!