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Sugar on Snow

 

It is an exciting time of the year around Vermont and New Hampshire as the Maple Farms get ready for another long season for selling their delicious maple syrup. This (the picture above) is a treat they have had for years when harvest the first batch of maple sugar. Maple syrup on the snow with a donut and dill pickle. The pickle is a little odd if you ask me but it was all very yummy!

These are from Braggs farm just outside of Barre, VT. The women who served us said to pour the syrup on the snow slowly so that it would make like a taffy texture. IT did and was so yummy. I love the cider we got with ours. Almost just as good as Cold Hollows.

The kids enjoyed the syrup and snow but that the donut or pickle so much. The donut was plain..no glaze. I thought it was fun and there were a few people from out of town enjoying it. All the Ice cream shops are starting to open around here too. IT’s still very cold, I think the high today was 34 degrees….which is to cold for an ice cream cone 🙂

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Avacadu?

Ok I haven’t said anything about this on facebook or even instagram yet because I didn’t want to start it and have it not work or be able to stick to it.

I am so tired of all these weight loss companys charging you an arm and a leg to use their products to lose weight…..like $400 a month……WHAT!?!?!?! I am so done with that. So, I went on my own I cut out meat for 2 months and lost 5lbs, but it slowly came back up. I thought “as long as I’m eating veggies I should lose weight right?” Well yes you should but there are veggies that have lots of carbs, carbs turn into sugar, sugar turns into fat and sticks to my hips! Also I was eating other cards like breads and baked goods. I also was working out 5-6 days for 30-40 minutes…killing myself and still no change. After I lost 5, I gained 6 back, making a total of 201.3lbs I was carrying around. Depression, sadness, anxiety were all at an all time high.

I was sitting on my bed after a workout, exhausted, and sitting in front of the mirror on my closet door. I was yelling “WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT”, determined I grabbed the computer and put in “Best weight loss program for women over 30” and this site called Avacadu came up. It was like an answer to a prayer. No big coast, no gross food to eat or shakes, no exhausting workouts. Just a cook book and a guide to follow for a one time $47 fee. I purchased and read, followed with more reading.

Long story short, I started following the guide and go for a daily walk. I am down 7lbs in 7 days. I buy and cook my own meals and follow the guidelines. Here at day 7 I feel great! I am not starving, I have energy and love how my gut feels. Never knew probiotics could play such an important part.

This is more of me writing a journal entry then a post, but I want to be able to look back and see how I felt at this moment which is AWESOME! This is round one and I can do as many as I need to get to my goal weight. It is still hard when everyone around me is enjoying a sugar treat but I know I will be happier if I stick to this.  Adding website if anyone is interested. It’s the button that says “HOME”.

Home

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Easter

When I was little Easter meant spring. Flowers coming up, tree’s blossoming, the air was warm enough you could go out without a jacket…it was great! Not to mention you knew summer was coming soon and that meant NO MORE SCHOOL! Our family traditions growing up was on the Saturday before Easter my Mom would cook up what seemed like a thousand eggs for us to dye. She would get the dye all ready in cups and set everything out on the table. Then we would all sit and dye eggs together. Well actually I can’t say we all did. I come from a family of 8 children, I was #7. So, the older kids were off doing whatever and I can remember  it was mostly the last 4 of us kids dying the eggs. My sister Abigail is so artistic and would make really cool ones, while my brothers Andrew and Nicholas would make crazy ones like batman, ninja turtles, scribbles or do some with like 5 different colors on them. I was simple, maybe draw a flower or a “Happy Easter” on them and then just dye it one color. I loved it, it was a fun time with those siblings…except when we would fight about how many someone did….it wasn’t fair 😉

Then that night my Mom would line the dinning room table with our Easter baskets, even for the older kids. They always had a chocolate bunny, jelly beans, Reese’s egg, and then whatever other fun treat she would find. My brothers always got a toy..I think and my sisters and I would get a new Easter dress. My Favorite was this blue butterfly skirt that came with a sweater that had a metal butter clip. I begged for that outfit for about a month and thought I wasn’t going to get it, but that morning I found it hanging on the chair next to my basket. I was SO excited! After looking at our baskets we would go on a Easter egg hunt around the house. I don’t remember ever having plastic eggs to find, I think they were all real hard boiled eggs…Anyways, for breakfast we would have our eggs (cracking them was the best as we rolled them into each other), sausage, pancakes and milk or juice. Then we would go to church. I loved getting to go up on the stand and sing a song with the primary during sacrament meeting.

Now as I have my own family we do pretty much the same thing. My husband Dave didn’t grow up with the same traditions. Instead they would go to his grandparents the Saturday before and have a big Easter egg hunt in their yard. I think there was a golden egg that had money in it or something so, everyone tried to find that one first. Then on Sunday after church they would go have dinner with his grandparents.

I decided a few years ago….I think someone said something in Relief Society at church about this, but it made me rethink the whole Easter thing. I decided instead of making it all about Easter bunny and egg hunts, we would make it more about Christ and the resurrection. So, we still dye eggs and have a hunt…even baskets full of candy but, I did tell the kids that the Easter wasn’t real and that we celebrate this holiday because of Christ. Surprisingly they were ok with it. I think Quentin and Henrik were like 7 & 5 at the time, but they understood and were happy to learn more about it. It has brought up some interesting conversations in our home around Easter time and when we are dying eggs and I love it! I love the way my Mom put it once. She said ” It interesting how even the world around us represents Christ and the resurrection. In the fall the plant (in a way) die, the leaves fall off the trees and bushes, flowers stop blooming, grass dies and turns yellow and everything is gone for the winter. Then the spring comes and everything starts coming back to life and lives threw the summer until fall again.” So, just like Christ he died on the cross and then was resurrected.

As I write this I am looking at the yellow tulips I bought at the store the other day bloom and open up. It’s exciting to have the weather change and to see and discover new things around here. I love doing little things for the kids too. Like when they come home I will have a little Easter bunny in a car treat for them to make, and tomorrow I will put a Peep in their lunch. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and gets some nice weather!

HAPPY EASTER!

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One More?

This is my Sybie girl. Sybil Elizabeth Nuffer was born on April 15th 2014, on daddy’s birthday. Yep she was born on her Daddy’s birthday and we kind of planned it that way. I have the same birthday as my Mom, but since I got pregnant in July that wasn’t going to happen with me and her. So, we went for Daddy’s. It was a c-section….. so that helped to plan it.

After she was born I was done! My body and mind could not do another child. I had a minor stroke the last month I was pregnant with Sybil and gained SO much weight…..I was in pain. Even after she was born, trying to heal from the c-section and waking up to feed her was so hard. Plus the fact that she would scream every night for the first 3 months from 7-11pm. Nothing calmed her down, we tried many different things and had to just old her and let her cry. I swore we were done and didn’t want anymore.

About a month ago I started having dreams of having another girl……one dream was we were moving out of the house we are in now and my Mom was here trying to entertain her while I packed. Another was I was watching her and Sybil playing. I never saw the girls face and I would wake up feeling heart broken, like I had left someone behind. I know the risks of having another child and that it would really be a miracle to even get pregnant with one. I thought maybe Heavenly Father was trying to tell me something….

As I have thought and prayed about it, I have felt calm and haven’t worried about it at all for a few weeks now. I was out shopping for Easter and as I was looking at a cute stuffed bunny for Sybie I thought…..I am pretty happy with my little family. I can’t complain…3 boys and an adorable girl……it’s pretty sweet. I actually have never really wanted another child since Sybil. I love holding everyones babies but then think….I’m so glad I am done with that stage in my life.

Sybil is a doll and everything I hoped for. She is the best of both worlds! She loves princess, dress up, dolls, and all the girly things. But she loves playing cars, legos, video games, sports and trying to keep up with her brothers. She is a joy in our home!

Birthday buddies for life! And she is such a daddy’s girl, he is wrapped around her little finger 🙂

Happy Birthday to Dave and Sybil!

 

 

 

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Snow Day!

We finally got a snow day! I was so excited that I didn’t have to wake up early and get the kids ready for school. It’s such a work out to get my kids all dressed in their snow gear every morning. The kids woke up asking why we didn’t wake them up this morning, with the good news they cheered and jumped for joy 🙂

The Nor’eastern storm hit yesterday about 1pm here in Lisbon, NH but it didn’t start sticking until about 3pm. I have been trying to keep up with it, shoveling the drive way and walkway up to the front door. This morning I went out to shovel with Dave and there was only 6 inches….maybe. So, we shoveled and then Dave got up on the roof to shovel the snow off up there. We have had the roof leak in 3 different spots and thankfully we just got the estimate back from our home insurance who is going to cover the cost and fix it…..YAY! Until that happens we have to get up and shovel the snow off.

We thought about going skiing, but it’s going to be packed. The kids did play out in the snow all morning  and found a dead fox in the backyard……it was all bloody and gross. Don’t think my kids are going to be allowed outside after dark, first the neighbors tell us to watch for black bears in the spring and coyotes, and now we find a dead fox….yikes! We also thought about doing some other fun things but I think staying home and hanging out is what we all feel like doing. They have swimming lessons later today to so, maybe that will be the fun thing we do today 🙂

I spoke to my Mom yesterday and in Utah they were suppose to get up to 70 degrees!!!! I am so jealous, although I know it will go up and down like that for a few months in Utah til June. After talking to her I turned on a British gardening show on Netflix and watched it while I folded laundry…….I miss you warmth!

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My body is rejecting weight loss………but not for long.

I feel like my body is laughing at me right now…..”You want me to lose and get rid of all this comfy fat and give up sugar…….hahahahaahhahahaha, nice try”! That was me thinking of what my body said to me this morning as I got on the scale after working out and eating super healthy the past 6 days. Now, I know it’s not all about the number on the scale but it sure would help! I know I have lost some inches cause my pants fit a little better, but come on!!! Does it really have to be so hard? It’s like my genes are in on it too.

I am not giving up. I keep looking at myself in the mirror saying “I am way more stubborn then you are or will ever be, fat”. I love working out and eating super healthy! I sleep better at night, I don’t wake up 3-4 times. I feel better mentally and don’t lose my cool with my kids as much. My skin looks A-maz-ing, and I don’t feel bloated or sick after eating…….unless it cabbage:) I have more energy and think more clearly, I love it! But I want instant results…..and I can’t have them. There is no magical pill or diet thats going to help me lose 60lbs in a month or 2.

So, what should I do? Give up and give in or push on and hope for some results? I promised myself that I was going to start loving my body no matter what and I feel like dieting and exercising is loving it. I am giving it all the best foods it needs and limiting sugars and fat. I am helping my muscles and joints by staying active …………..so I guess I keep going and keep loving it for what it is.

I know I am not 20yrs old anymore, believe me I’m feel’n it! As I do the workouts I know I have slowed down. I have to skip on lunges some days because my knees dont have it. I feel every sore muscle at the end of the day and can’t move. The other day I worked on legs and butt……..I could barely walk across the room or sit down without cringing, and yes I am stretching before and afterwards.

OH, If I could say one thing to my body it would be……..

To my body,

You may have won this week and made me feel like crying and giving up, but a new week is coming and I’m stronger. Thanks to the many push ups, AB workouts, planks, and squats, I’m ready to push harder and longer. I’ve got all the veggies and protein snacks ready to go, my water bottle is filled and my shoes are ready for more then just walk’n……I’m runn’n! I’m going make you cry like a little girl, and sweat til you ain’t got it anymore. I’m going to take everyone of those pounds one by one til you ain’t got nothing left. Your’re not going to recognize your self once I’m done with you. So, kiss this fat butt goodbye.

Love, me

p.s You feelin the love? I am 🙂

 

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Siblings Babysitting each other

I remember starting to babysit at the age of 11. I was in 5th grade and I would sometimes watch my neighbors kids down the street from us. I got paid and I enjoyed it. I would try to remember to do the dishes and clean up a bit and of course play with the kids. My son Quentin is now 11 and our doctor has said it would be a good idea to give him more responsibilities…like babysitting. At first I would go sit in the car for 20-30 minutes, then it became I would leave the house for an hour and after a period of time Dave and I got comfortable with leaving him in charge of the kids while we went to the temple and dinner or movie and dinner etc. He does a pretty good job, but there is always a mess to clean.

This is the mess from last night after he babysat while I went to a basketball game with Dave for the high school. Clearly the phrase “Don’t make a mess and clean up after yourself” did not sink in. We also found that the box of rice crispy treats had been half eaten.

This is Sybil’s handy work……..goes great with the gray:(

I don’t understand the clothes on the floor……no one was naked when I got home and the couch cushion makes for a great touch!

Now this is still fresh and I didn’t notice it until this morning, after the boys left for school. So…..what punishment fits this crime? Grounding them doesn’t work……..I could take away video game and t.v for this weekend, but those are the 2 things I can count on for a little quite time during the weekend. I could give them extra chores, but that comes with extra whining.  How can I get him to realize and take the responsibility to not make a mess?

What would you do or have you done that really sank into your kids that made a difference or change? Help please!!! Comment on the bottom 🙂

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Where to get Free Printables

For my new business I have really set up a nice office. I have my Silhouette, all the material, my laptop, and a new printer. For some reason while I was on pinterest the other day it hit me that there are sites that will let you print their prints for free….it’s GREAT! I am going to go through some of my favorites that I found and want to put in our home.

I love this set of 6 kitchen prints, they are so cute! I found these at yellowblissroad.com, they have lots of other one too that are very cute.

These ones are bathroom ones that I like and will hang in the kids bathroom. I love the colors and the uplifting font and qoutes. These are from www.carrieelle.com/bathroom-printables/

I can’t wait to get my walls painted so I can hang these in the dinning room. I love the pretty earth colors and how sweet and simple they are. I think they will be a great accent to the room. These are from http://thecottagemarket.com/2017/03/free-printable-herb-collection.html

If you know me you know that I have a thing for flamingos. My kids think it’s weird that they are my favorite and I tease Dave all the time that I am going to put the plastic pink ones in the yard. I love this print because again, it’s simple and sweet. It will be going into Sybils room. This one is from https://www.ohsolovelyblog.com/pretty-in-pink-flamingos-free-printables/

Hope find something you like, create and enjoy!

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Our ADHD Journey

I have decided to share our story and experience with ADHD. I feel like it might help others and know they are not alone. I posted an article that my mother in law shared with me on ADHD and there are many things about this article that I like and hate. As I read it I felt the spirit encouraging me to share Quentins story and things we have done. So, here we go.

This is my son Quentin. He is the oldest of 4 kids and the best big brother. He is kind, helpful, funny, energetic, smart, happy and full of life. When I was pregnant with him I would think “there is a ball of energy inside of him”. He was always moving, kicking and keeping up at night. He was a wee little one 🙂 Only 6lbs and 11 ounces. When he was born the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck not allowing him to get oxygen. No one can say for sure but I think this is what caused him to have a learning disability. He has had trouble with speech his whole life and has been in speech therapy since he was 2yrs old. Started off with sign language and getting him to say simple words like drink, eat, cookie, milk etc. Other then not being able to say his “R” sound and working on speaking clearly, you couldn’t tell that he has been through so much therapy today. He has trouble retaining information for long periods of time and struggles with writing and spelling.

When Quentin was 5 and in kindergarten his teacher asked if I had him tested for ADHD. I laughed and said “NO” and refused to think I needed to. He was a boy with energy……isn’t that just a boy?? Shortly after he started getting angry, unfocused, worried and sad. Something had changed. If we were to get in the car to do errands he would ask where we were going…I would tell him but if I didn’t go to the places I had told him in the same order he would have a melt down. I remember pulling over once to let him out of his car seat cause he was having trouble breathing…… I thought he was having an asthma attack………he was having an anxiety attack. We sat there on the side of the road as he caught his breath and that is when I felt he needed to see the doctor.

We did a couple of questionnaire test and then talked for quite awhile about him and his behavior. According to the tests he had ADHD and the doctor explained that he might have some anxiety. I remember the doctor handing me the prescription paper and I felt sick to my stomach. I filled the prescription, took it home and talked to Dave……we decided to give it a try as long as he was willing to take it. It was a pill with tiny balls inside that we would open up and pour on a spoon full of applesauce for him. He took medication for 6 months….I think we played with the dosing a couple of times, trying to find a good fit for him, but he was all over the place. At one point he would come up to me and start punching me, biting, yelling….he even stabbed me with a pencil in the hand once drawing blood. It was HELL and we were all going through it with him. I would cry myself to sleep, Dave and I couldn’t speak to each other without yelling, we would sometimes have one of us stay home with him while the other one took the other kids out to family events and what not cause he would be so destructive and have anxiety attacks. We saw a therapist a couple of times but he turned out to make it worse.

Finally after 6 months I had enough. A friend of ours that Dave worked with knew we were taking him off medications and gave us some of the best advise and helps! Brain Gym, breathing exercises, healthy diet tips etc. I was desperate and I took every thing in she told me and applied them. Within a week Quentin was Quentin again.  He was happy, healthy, like he came back alive. I learned when we would do errands I could not tell him where we were going…it was a surprise. He had energy to play outside with friends, be goofy and helpful. He did however start having potty issues. He was constantly having accidents. Which some people said it was still pretty normal for a 5/6yr old boy so, we dealt with it.

Summer past and as he entered first grade it was like we were leaving sunny, calm days and walking into a hurricane. I fought with his teacher and special need teacher. I was not going to put him back on medication just because they couldn’t handle him…….it was hell doing the medication and I was not going through that again! I fought, and argued, ignored, complained and did everything I could to keep him off medication…….until I realized he was failing in every subject he was being tested on in the classroom, below average. We did have them test him one on one, and in every subject, he tested above average…….how do you explain that??? Here is a boy who is loving, sweet, kind and helpful and smart but can’t apply it. He tries so hard to please and do the right thing and yet can’t focus and learn in the classroom. One day I got a call from the school saying Quentin slapped a girl across the face and won’t tell anyone why. When I got to him I asked him why he slapped the girl……he said” cause my brain told me to”. We had to start working with him that he was in charge of his brain, not the other way around.  Things like this kept happening and he was struggling with school work. He couldn’t even sit with me at home and do homework. We would do a math problem and then have him run a lap around the house. Homework was a heavy task for both of us and some nights we would spend 3-4 hrs on it. School is very important to both Dave and I and we want all our kids to do well and know the important of it. I didn’t know what to do. I was reading books, articles anything! After searching for a month or so I was sitting in bed reading a book “Smart but Scattered” and  I finally realized I had left someone out of all the decision making. I got down on my knees and prayed.

First grade ended and summer was fun. We have lots of great memories from that summer and even welcoming our daughter Sybil to the family. As Dave and I prayed we realized medication was something we needed to revisit. We had a new doctor at this point and I think he was just what we all needed. We expressed what we had been through and what we wanted for Quentin. “We don’t want him on medication for life” is what I remember us saying and the doctor agreed and that he shouldn’t have to. He sat and talked with Quentin and asked him if he wanted to take medication and I remember being so impressed with his answer (he was only 7). He said “I don’t like people getting mad at me, I want to do the right thing. I don’t like feeling crazy in my head”. So we went on 10mg of Adderall. I cringed that first week waiting to see how he was going to react to it. Nothing, it was great. He was still just as happy and fun to be around. He would get a little angry coming off of it but nothing like before. We would have him go read for 20 mins and then he would be fine. His grades have improved, he got on directors list 3 times each year he was at his school in Utah. It was going great, and last year we decided to lower his meds to 5mg. We saw a therapist all summer and he learned some skills on how to focus better. The past 9 months have been so great and I am so grateful that he is doing so much better. When we started this medication he stopped having accidents too. We moved to New Hampshire in October and his new doctor suggested having him take a afternoon pill to help with homework. We tried it twice and hated it so, we won’t be doing that.

Since Quentin turned 6 we have always made him apart of the decision making, we tell him how we feel, he tells us how he feels and then we talk about what to do, change or keep the same. I have never wanted him to feel like I was making him do something he didn’t want to do. It’s his life and we want him to be happy with whats going on in it. We have dealt with people making fun of him, telling us they don’t want him around cause he is to hyper, that he smells (the accidents), we have had a basketball coach say some rude comments, kids laugh at him and make him feel bad cause he said something funny or wrong etc. but I think because we have always been very opened about his ADHD and very positive about it (even through the rough patch) it has helped him to brush those things off and bounce back…….not really care, cause he knows he is loved and wanted. He is smart and all around a great kid.

He asked me once at the beginning of all of this  if I wouldn’t love him anymore because he had ADHD. I wrapped him up in my arms and said” never, I will love you no matter what.” I have heard him say that to his siblings “Mom, will love you no matter what, even if drew on the wall or broke something of hers, she will still love you” and its true I will! Every since this started back in kindergarten there have been so many sweet moments and teaching moments for me. To many to count and I can’t say cause then I would cry and have make up everywhere, but I know Quentin was given to me for a reason…so many reasons. I will never forget being in the temple about a year ago worrying about him so much that I couldn’t pay attention to the session. I got into the Celestial room and my mind was instantly cleared and calm and and heard “Quentin is going to be fine because he has you and Dave for his parents”. I don’t think it would of gotten better without making Heavenly Father apart of the team and having his guidance.

I love his smile here. We were being silly running around the Bunker hill monument and racing each other. You can always count on Quentin for a good time and someone who will be there for you!

 

 

 

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Yum, yum Fish!

I have only cooked fish twice in my life and the first time is a family story that I am afraid I will never live down. I decided one year for our anniversary I would cook some catfish, it is Dave’s favorite. So I went to the butcher inside our Smith’s and asked him some good way of how to cook it. He told me that he liked to have it blackened which is catfish covered in cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper and the grilled in a pan of butter. I knew Dave liked it this way as well. He said to smother it in the spices. So, I did exactly what he told me. I lathered it in the spices and grilled in a pan of butter. It looked great, blackened and flaky!

We took our fist bites and I think Dave shot a spark of fire out of his mouth!! It was SO HOT and salty, we could barely eat it without taking a drink in between bites. The boys had a taste as well and about died. Every once in awhile they will bring it up…..”Remember that one time you made catfish Mom?” and they all laugh.

Well this time I decided to cook some Haddock fish which is a favorite around the east coast. Much like codfish, it’s a white flaky fish with little “fishy taste”. I asked the butcher how to cook it and he had no idea so, we pinterest it! Most people said it’s best with some seafood seasonings, dill, pepper and lemon. I added some butter cause…….well butter just makes it better, right! 🙂 I cooked some pilaf rice to go with it and asparagus, yum! I love asparagus…funny how it used to just be a weed that grew on this side of the road and now everyone loves to eat it.

 

This was my plate, kind of messy but it was all very good, even the flat rolls. I had them rising and Sybil thought it would be fun to poke her finger into each one. Oh well! 🙂

 

Here we are just about to say prayer. They kids have been missing having Sunday dinner with their Noyce Grandparents so, we decided to start having a big meal in the dinning room just like Grandma Noyce would. It’s been fun, I love cooking and getting out my wedding dishes and fancy goblets (these ones are from my sister Natalie, thank you!).

Try some fish….salmon, haddock, catfish whatever you like. Take it home and enjoy a meal together 🙂 Enjoy!