Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's a BOY!!

Yes, it's true. We will be having another cute little baby boy. I am thrilled. We have 2 girls & 1 boy. Another boy just seems to make everything even. The name we have picked out so far is Treyson Blake Shephard. That should stick until I change my mind! HA!

Cameron, who is now 11, was the cutest little boy ever. I posted a picture of him here when he was 4 yrs old. Isn't he cute?! (All his youger pictures I'd have to scan & I haven't gotten that down yet.) Anyway, Cameron had cute curly hair & was just adorable. When he started talking, he had a little raspy voice. I just loved & adored him so much - I still do! He's a good boy. If this little boy turns out to be anything like Cameron was, I'd be overjoyed. But, honestly, I will be very happy with how ever he comes.

So, I am now 22 week along. Over 1/2 way! And, I still get sick...... It's disappointing actually. I am not throwing up anymore, but I still get the queazy, yuck feeling every once in a while. Luckily it isn't every day, but it's enough to make me just get MAD! Those who have been pregnant & very sick know exactly what I'm talking about. Most times I am very good at disguising how I feel & just go along with the flow. But, as soon as I am alone, I get weird. :) Not sure if that's a good way to describe it, but yeah......weird is about right. 5 months of feeling sick really takes a toll on you! Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I hide myself in my bedroom & lay on the bed & look at the ceiling & pray. I can feel the baby moving inside me & know all of this will be worth it someday. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or how often, I still will get the weird, sick feelings. If you're reading this & worrying about me, PLEASE DON'T! I'm really fine. I knew when I got pregnant that it would be this way. And I'm accepting it, just not really enjoying the yuck parts. But.......THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL BE DOING THIS!!! I am done with kids. 4 is a good number. And I'm just too old to do this again. I'm turning 39 this month. I'll be 57 when this baby graduates from high school!!!

Well, enough for now. I'll be back! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sorry everyone!

Hopefully my last post explains my absence. I am in survival pregnancy mode right now. Unfortunately, blogging is last on my list. I'm extremely tired! But, I will be back very soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I find out if I'm having a boy or girl next week & will post then!!! YEAH!!! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's time to tell the world!

Well, I guess my blog is the best place of all to let the news out. :) We just told our kids & today it's time to tell the world!!

I am pregnant with baby #4!!
I'm about 2 months or so along & starting to feel the icky stuff, so I figured I better tell everyone before they begin to wonder. (ha!) I am thrilled & disgusted about it all in one. We always wanted 4 kids so this is good! However, if there's anything in the world that I don't's being pregnant!! I can honestly say I don't like anything about it except the outcome. I'm one of those kinds that just feels "blugh" the whole time. It's kinda like having food poisoning for 9 months. :) :) It took Jeff a while to talk me into this...but I'm happy about it. Really! (I'm trying to convince myself here!) To build myself up for this, I though I'd make a list of things I enjoy about being pregnant.

1. Gaining tons of weight is sooooo much fun!
2. I can't wait for people to do a double take of me trying to decide if I've gained a few pounds, wondering if my clothes shrunk in the wash or if I'm pregnant.
3. Buying bigger bras is a major JOY!
4. Going to the bathroom 20 times a day is always very convenient.
5. Smelling meat cooking makes my stomach dance!
6. Having to spill my guts in the most inconvenient times is the best feeling ever!
7. Falling asleep at 8:00 at night is great for my social network!
8. Having the sudden feeling you need a ________ to eat RIGHT NOW actually is quite cool!
9. Mood swings - need I say more?

I know what I'm in for & I still chose to do this!! That's because I know how very precious the outcome will be & that to me - is VERY worth the 9 months of pure bliss!

So, no laughing at my big behind or coveting my newly purchased tents! I am trying my best to be so EXCITED about this all & gosh darn it, I AM!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A fun day at the park with Bren!!

Riding the carousel!!
Brianna feeding the duckies! We spent a whole hour doing this! This was her favorite thing to do!

Brianna & I waiting for the train to arrive! 20 minutes seemed like a LONG time for a 4 yr old!!
The train arrived & we were on our way!! See ya later!!!

I realized a few weeks ago that I only have 2 months left to spend one-on-one with my little girl! In 2 months school is out which means chaos with everyone home! Then she starts kindergarten in August. My little girl isn't little anymore! I already miss her & she isn't gone yet!! So, I decided that she & I needed a "special" day where it's just she & I hangin' out doing fun stuff. Every Friday we are going on an OUTING! :) This week we went to Freestone Park where they have a fun train ride, ducks & carousel. We packed a fun lunch & lots of bread & we were on our way! I've highlited some of the fun stuff!

Brianna is my last child & will be turning 5 in a few month. My baby is 5!! She has been an absolute JOY! She is so much fun & has a personality that everyone seems to love! She is the best little dancer you ever did see! I'll have to post a video sometime. I am so grateful to have this little girl & couldn't imagine my life without her.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're gettin' the Elephant off our back!

Jeff & I are doing something with our finances/debt that has been AMAZING!! It has helped us feel a little bit of peace with our money. And, since there are soooo many people in the world today who are struggling financially, I thought I'd share it on my blog.

Have any of you heard of Dave Ramsey? We bought his book called "Total Money Makeover". I originally only bought it because it was on sale & I thought it would be interesting. Truly, I thought I knew would it would take to fix our financial situation. However, this book is eye-opening! I couldn't put it down. And, it is very easy. It's all about going back to the basics & not using credit cards to pay for everything!

Here's the basics of how it works:
1. You need to get a $1,000 emergency fund in cash. Keep the cash in a safe place in your home - NOT in the bank. This money is for you to have a back-up for emergencies & not to rely on any credit cards in this program.

2. Make a budget of exactly where your money goes each month. This has to be down to the penny. Then, you make envelopes at the beginning of each month & put cash in each envelope for that amount. When it's gone, it's gone - no dipping from extras anywhere! It's amazing how much we spend on stuff that's really not needed!!

3. Make a list of all your debt starting with the smallest first. You start to pay off the smallest debt first. Not the biggest interest rate, the SMALLEST debt. There is a good reason for this! People are more likely to stick with a program if they can see results! :) Chances are that your smallest interest rate is also you biggest debt & It may seem like you're never making any progress of if you start on that one first. Stick with smallest to largest. It works!!

4. Just by paying for everything in cash, you will be amazed at how much money you have at the end of the month to put towards debt!

The plan is very simple & easy! It's just a matter of doing it & being ready for it. You may have to give up going out to eat or buying fancy clothes. For me, it's all about having peace of mind.

We have a LONG way to go....but I feel much better knowing that I have a plan. I'll keep you posted on how it's going!!

Check out Dave Ramsey's website. I've attached a link. And no, I'm not getting any kick-backs from promoting him. LOL!! It's just been a great help for us & I'm all about sharing what works!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

100 pink roses for Valentines Day!

He did it!
My husband actually bought me 100 pink roses for Valentines Day!
Isn't that just sweet? Since several people know our financial situation & know that buying 100 roses is NOT in our budget, rest assured that he got them for a VERY good deal. :)
Since it is Valentines day, & my husband totally scored, I thought it might be appropriate for me to tell you all the wonderful things I love about him.
Here goes:
1. He is the "fun" dad. I'm the "stick with the schedule" person & he's all FUN!!
2. He is smart as a whip. His mind amazes me. His brain functions a step above most.
3. When I am sick, he is THE BEST nurse. He takes care of the house, the kids & gets me anything I need. It's almost fun to be sick because he treats me like a queen. :) I said ALMOST.
4. He is very service oriented. He LOVES to mow peoples lawn without them nowing. He's the first to help someone move into their house. He's always willing to help at the drop of a hat.
5. He's overcome a great deal in his life & honestly, I'm not sure most would come out as fair as he did with what he had to face. I'm amazed at his strength.
6. He genuinely loves his kids & has a strong desire to be a great Father.
7. Jeff loves me for me. He doesn't criticize, give tips - he just let's me be my true self.
8. Jeff trusts me 100%! I never need to explain anything.
9. Jeff loves to surprise me! He'll do anything to try to surprise me.
10. He's a great on the grill!! Salmon is his specialty.
11. He's pretty dang cute! :)
12. He's the best travel companion. He drives, makes the schedule & does it all!
I just sit & enjoy the ride. Love it!!
13. He's the best with directions. It's easier to call him then to go to mapquest.
14. He's a baby whisperer. He has a secret way of getting babies to sleep. It's magic!
15. He does a great elephant impersonation.
16. When he REALLY wants to do something, nothing stands in his way. He'll go without sleep for days until it's accomplished. This is a wonderful & terrible thing about him. HA!
17. Jeff is a thinker. His mind holds a lot & I can always tell when he's pondering something new.
18. The best gift I ever received was the day he cleaned the entire house & gave me the day off!! LOVED IT!! Don't know too many husbands who are willing to do that. :)
19. He is Mckenna's 100% supporter in Volleyball. He hasn't missed a practice, a game or a tournament. She's pretty lucky to have such a dedicated dad.
20. Beging married to Jeff has been like a rollercoaster - lots of ups & downs, but a great adventure!! :)
I love you honey!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blender pancakes & coconut syrup

I've had requests for my multi-grain blender pancakes & my cherry & coconut syrup. I decided it would be best to post them here. They're healthy, easy & very cheap. Great if you're on a budget. ENJOY!

Whole grain Blender Pancakes
1 cup whole grain soft white wheat kernels. (Or, I use a combination of pearled barley, kamut, spelt, brown rice, oat groats & whatever I have in my food storage.)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk (I use tofu milk)
1 egg
2 Tbl canola oil
1 Tbl honey
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl Rumfords baking powder (MUST be Rumfords!)

In blender, mix water, grains, & dry milk on high for 3 minutes. Add egg, oil, honey & salt. Blend for 20 seconds. Add baking powder & pulse 3 times. Mixture will foam up & get very light. Cook immediately on a hot griddle.

1) Buttermilk pancakes - use buttermilk in place of the water & omit the nonfat dry milk. Add in 2 heaping tsp of cornmeal & 1/4 tsp baking soda.
2) Fruit-filled pancakes - Prepare pancakes as directed. Pour onto hot griddle & top with blueberries, sliced bananas, strawberries or other fruit.
3) Apple buttermilk pancakes - Use Buttermilk recipe & fold in 1/2 cup finely grated apples.

Cherry Syrup
1/2 cup water
2 Tbls cornstarch or Ultra Gel
1 12-oz can frozen unsweetened cherry-apple Dole juice

Using a wire whisk, stir cornstarch into water in medium pan. Add juice concentrate. Bring to boil & stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes.

Use any unsweetened juice. We like strawberry-kiwi, peach, grape & raspberry.

Coconut Syrup
16 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar or fructose
1/2 cup water
3 Tlbs Ultra Gel (If using cornstarch, use 2 Tbl & combine with water first to dissolve & then add remaining ingredients.)

Mix all ingredients together adding the ultra gel little by little. (keeps it from clumping) Bring to boil & boil for 1-2 minutes until thickened.