Monday, December 31, 2007

Year in Review

Okay this year has zipped by. I tried to recall little things through the year and couldn't so I am thankful that I had the blog to look back on.

January of last year found us having a little snow. Of course Braden wants to see big snow and lots of it, so we are going to have to just plan to go do that maybe next winter. I didn't need much help remembering the girl scout cookie sales, boy was that busy. At least this year I am just helping a troop and not in charge of one myself. Looking back I had to chuckle at a Brittney story. We also visited the aquarium for home school day. Another chuckle rereading Braden's question.

February had me laughing at Matt's balloon picking out. Also found more info on tetnus shots. Those posts in February also made me quit griping about doing basketball every weekend until March, because last year I was coaching two teams so I will quit griping (at least as often) and enjoying being a spectator and not a coach.

March found us visiting Anne in Indiana.

April found us finishing up our trip to Anne's. Going to the amusement park for Girl Scouts and found my good friend from Pennsylvania in for a visit.

May found Braden turning 8!! I smiled when I reread this from my sweet boy.

June found us going to swimming lessons that we were less than thrilled about. Also my birthday, Matt's, tennis lessons, friends in lots went on in June.

Okay I am halfway through the year and getting tired of looking through the archives. But I am also loving remembering the things the kids said, etc. Makes me determined to put this over into Microsoft and print it all off eventually. But for now I will say Have a HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEARS and I will be back in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Eating healthy = high grocery bill

We have been doing more and more organics for months now. This month however we are trying some new stuff in reference to even more diet changes for Brae. This meant a trip to Tulsa to Wild Oats. Wow some of the things I just could not justify on a few things I went with natural as opposed to organic, rationalizing that the natural was still better than normal store brand that had perservatives, etc. Example organic chocolate chips $6.88 a bag, natural $1.99, store brand $ see I can justify the extra 75 cents after reading the ingredients on the back but not the extra 5 dollars.

All in all I think we did good comparing prices, labels, etc. I was ready for the higher bill but still yikes. I did get some of the things at WalMart and I noted it was the same brand that was at the "health food store" for cheaper. I am thankful they are carrying so many more organic products.

I am also going to be doing several recipes out of the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" so I will let you know how that goes. It looks like such a neat cookbook. I am going to be doing the pureing that it calls for tommorow and putting the pureas in the freezer to grab as needed.

Of course it goes without saying if the diet changes make the big differences that we hope they will it doesn't matter we will do what we have to and make the higher grocery bill work for us. I was also pleased with the amount of gluten free items that they carried. Harps is also starting to carry more gluten free and organic items at a reasonable price (or at least reasonable in terms of organic foods).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Wrap Up

Christmas was overall a huge success.
Even relatively drama free and that is saying a lot if you know my SIL.

Christmas Eve basically consisted of 3 rounds. First round was Matt's dad, he did not want to be here when SIL was over so he came for breakfast. It was a nice time with just him and the kids loved playing video games that he had bought them. I think this was the best year that I had done as far as picking gifts that FIL really liked.

Round 2 was the SIL and BIL or as I refer to them (crazy and lazy) as well as MIL. It went a lot better than I had thought it would. I think everyone was pleased with their gifts. I had a few things that bothered me in regards to MIL but I tried not to dwell on it and I just went on and things went okay. They stayed for awhile the nephews loved playing with their new stuff.

Round 3 was my family gifts took over the living room. My family goes all out on Christmas. Even my brother came this year and didn't cause any drama.

Christmas Day (just barely) started at 12:30 with "mom mom mom" because of course they heard jingle bells....yeah...well anyway there was no going back to bed so we got up to see if Santa had visited and sure enough he had. We looked at all the goodies and were up about an hour and I sent everyone back to bed. We got up again at 6:00 and then opened all the other presents.

I think we were all spoiled rotten. I got the one expensive thing I asked for and I love it which is my chi straightening iron. I have always just bought cheap ones at the store not thinking their could really be that big of difference but there certainly is. Matt got lots of books and movies, and things he requested. Big kids gifts were wii and computer. Like I said we were all spoiled rotten! All in all a great Christmas. I have now reclaimed the house and the decorations are all down, tree down, etc.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jenny McCarthy Book "Louder Than Words"

I have a lot to say about Christmas, and pictures to share but I just couldn't wait to share this book. As most of you know 3 months ago Braden was tentatively diagnosed with Aspergers Autism. I didn't share much about it because even though most of you know I put up a brave front we have been dealing with medical issues going on six years now and it has taken it's toll. Anyway, as always I threw myself into research as that is the way I have always coped. A friend of mine had mentioned a book by Jenny McCarthy. I was not immediately interested because frankly I was not a fan of hers, I thought her persona was not something I would want to read about and she was not someone whose work I followed. Anyway Matt bought me the book for Christmas. I sat down casually reading at 7:40 and did not go to sleep until I read the last page.

Even if your child is not autistic the book is heart wrenching as Jenny fights to find what is out there for her son. Two things that totally stand out to me the first is this qoute "When your child is diagnosed with cancer, neighbors stop by your home bringing precooked meals, hugs, and support. When your child is diagnosed with autism, families who see you in the supermarket will slip away down another aisle." This is so true. I remember back when we were dealing with sensory disorders and Braden would have melt downs and I would get the "control your child" look.
Autism is not something people understand. Of course Braden's medical conditions are not all confined to one diagnosis and the Autism does not cover all of it but it covers a lot of things, and explains a lot including the metals. Jenny talks about all that in her book. While there is some language in the book, I didn't care I cried when she was in despair. The other comment that I just took so much to heart and echoed my thoughts so much was when she was finding holistic and non main stream medication and they would work she was like "wait why didn't the doctor tell me about this, why isn't it on CNN, why isn't it on 20/20 why don't they tell us".

I just can't stress how this book touched me. I feel connected as I have went off the path and not taken the pat answer so many times sometimes in spite of the fact that my family, friends even church did not encourage it. It is like Jenny patted me on the back and told me I was and have done right, and I didn't even realized how much I needed that validation. She describes the seizures, which chill you especially if you have seen your own child do that. She describes the panic. You feel her pain, I identified with it, I identified with the remarks people make thinking they are helping and you just want to rip their heads off. I identified with thinking that the doctor was a quack. I identified with feeling like I have a doctorate in Google. I identified with the endless questions from doctors and the duplicate tests and the answers from them that made no sense. She is working to raise awarness of autism, and vacination coorelation, she talks a lot about vaccines and why she believes there is a connection. What I liked is she is not anti vacination (I am not either) but she does believe that certain children can't handle them and that the government should test children first. I have always said I was anti time frame and now even more so I understand more than I did before. It really is the most awesome book.

I promise a lighter post full of all the goodies we got for Christmas and lots of pictures soon but this is so on my heart. I think I needed this as part of the process of accepting this portion of Braden's medical issues.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This and that

The countdown is getting down to the hours here as far as Brae is concerned. He had to sit and figure out that there was 24 hours in a day and this many days and how many hours he had left till Christmas....he is just a little excited.

I caved and we ended up taking off for Christmas break two days early. I was going to do this whole week but we only made it to Wednesday, I didn't have their minds so it was better to just cut it at Wednesday.

Last night we made the drive to Muskogee and looked at the inflatable world that is at a castle there, and then drove through the beautiful park. My mom went with us and it all went well.

Tonight going to help FIL do a good thing. My FIL doesn't talk to my BIL or his wife anymore because of lots of circumstances, most because they don't take care of their kids. Anyway he has put away those bad feelings to get something really special for the boys, and it is something they desperately we are going to go help him get bunk beds, sheets, comforters tonight and deliver since he doesnt want to have to talk to them, but at least he is helping in a way that he is comfortable with. I am excited about finding fun sheets and comforters for them.

Kids are going over to my parents tonight, will help Matt and I finish wrapping, getting stuff prepared, etc. Matt and I wanted to go to a movie but nothing out that I want to spend for.

A few have asked about Braden's newest meds, unfortunately so far things are not going in the direction we want. However we did start new things on Monday so that is good.

Having lunch with my good friend Christy for lunch as our Christmas to each other... a kid free lunch...sounds like a good present to me...LOL.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Persistence paid off...yeah

A little background: Braden does speech a couple days a week, we have the best speech therapist ever. Our insurance company has refused to pay for his speech this entire year. We have a huge balance of several thousand dollars, and our therapist kept telling us it would work out and she kept fighting with the insurance. They kept denying.

We found out last month our therapist was retiring, she hadn't yet mentioned all the money we owed her, but on top of that we knew that the new young therapist would not be able to hold our bill. We were going to have to cut his therapy time and somehow pay as we went. We got a final refusal from the insurance in November. It said our options were appeal and then a civil lawsuit. Well I told Matt that we were going to appeal. I sat down and wrote what I thought was a good appeal and sent it off. They were suppose to get back within 30 days. I told Matt we might as well be prepared to file the civil suit. I thought about it yesterday and told Matt to call them and get the official denial of our appeal so that I could go ahead and prepare the lawsuit. Well SO THANKFUL to hear that they cut checks on the 12th going from January to July so far, YEAH! I am assuming this means that they will now pay for the upcoming year because if it is medically documented with them now they should have to continue. This is such a relief off of us you just don't know. Also I was talking to Matt and how many people get those rejection of coverage letters and never do anything about it, well in this case it paid to keep going it was a pain I guarantee you Matt spent probably a total of 20 hours on the phone before we even started the appeal but YEAH it is now covered. Just such a relief it is like a Christmas present to us.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

From now till March

What will I be doing every weekend from now till March? Watching this....

They played a very agressive team. Britt is getting more agressive. One player on her team is a little taller than her, but she definetly has the height needed. Some of her facial expressions are so funny. She loves it. Today her legs are sore she played 3 full quarters with no breaks, and lots and lots of running. This was her first game, I know she will feel more comfortable as she gets more comfortable with the rules, etc. The rules are different than in the community league she has played in the last 3 years, way different, which suprises me to some degree since they are both competitive. I am looking forward to seeing how the season unfolds.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brae's Christmas present logic

Braden riding in the car with my mom his nana.

Nana: so what else do you want for Christmas?
Braden: hmmm let me think, I know a wii game.
Nana: A wii game? (because we don't have a wii)
Braden: Yes, because I really want a wii but I know I won't get that but I would at least like to say I have a wii game.

I think I will have a very excited boy on Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Goodies

I have posted these goodies before but I thought I would participate with Shannon with her Works for Me Wednesdays these are some of my favorite goodies. I have lots more Christmas stuff that I make but haven't got the pictures handy, maybe I can get them done by next week.

Super easy. I take crescent rolls shape into a circle, bake then cool. I then coat with the vegetable cream cheese spread, top with brocolli, cherry tomatoes and make a bow from a red bell pepper.

Nutter Butter Santa's
Take Nutter Butters and melted white almond bark. Dip both ends in the white chocolate. One end will be the beard and you will do nothing more to it. The other end you will place red sprinkles on and place a small mini marshmellow(I cut one into 1/4's and use it), place a dob of almond bark and place mini choc chip eyes and a red hot nose.

This is the tray we made last year for our neighbors. Starting from the bottom:
Angels (these are not one of the easier things that I do, but I think they are worth the extra effort): coat a sugarcone with white almond bark add sprinkles, the head is made from marzipam which you can buy at any grocery store or craft store. I then took a toothpick to draw the face, dyed coconut for the hair, pretzels attached with chocolate for the wings, vanilla wafer (also attached using melted chocolate for the halo---Cherry Thumbprint cookies---Snowman Nutter Butters: Take a Nutter Butter dip in White Almond Bark push in the pretzel arms, place the mini m&m buttons, the choc chip eyes, I used a tooth pick and dyed some melted white chocolate orange and placed on the nose.---Chocolate Mice: Use a Hershey Kiss, then dip a cherry with stem in melted chocolate almond bark place on the kiss, use choc to attach mini choc chip ears, I also use white almond bark to make little eyes.---Peanut Butter Rudolphs: Make your normal peanut butter cookie dough or buy refrigerated on cookie sheet place a small ball and then touching it place a larger ball on top of the large ball place the mini pretzels. They will spread out and give you your reindeer as soon as they come out of the oven place chocolate chip eyes and red hot nose.

Santa Cupcakes These are new to us and I just thought they turned out adorable. Make your basic cupcakes and frost them white. Then on wax paper you are going to use white almond bark make it thick and form a hat shape and a beard shape, the hat shape sprinkle with red sugar and place marshmellows on the brim and top, on the beard do nothing, wait for them to dry and place them on the cupcake (the icing will hold them in place), I use choc chip eyes, red hot nose, red sugar for cheeks and red smile for his mouth.

Rudolph Cupcakes: Regular cupcakes, chocolate frosting, I break off the large pretzels for antlers, m&m's with a dot of black decorators frosting for eyes and a candied cherry for the nose.

Fruit Wreath (my picture got wet and didn't scan well) Basically just cut up lots of fresh fruit dip parts in chocolate and place in wreath shape.

Snowflake cupcakes, these didn't turn out exactly as I pictured but I thought still cute. Regular cupcakes, frosted blue. On a piece of wax paper use a toothpick, spoon, butter knife whatever works for you and make snowflakes out of white melted almond bark. Let them dry and gently (I broke a lot of them) remove and place ont he cupcake.

This is a tray I took to a Christmas party last year. It has most of the stuff I described above. I made large snowman shaped sugar cookies, used fruit by the foot for scarf, m&m buttons, an M&m turned sideways for a nose, mini choc chip eyes, and m&ms for ear muffs, connected with decorator icing.
I also did santa hat cookies just triangle sugar cookie, red icing, coconut for the brim and a marshmellow for the top.
The poinsetta cupcakes are made from gum drop candies that I rolled out placed on the frosting, the yellow centers are mini m&m's

This picture shows my vegetable tree. Just take a cone shaped styrofoam and place the veggies on with toothpicks.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Shopping, ballet, parades...oh my

Busy month.

We are almost finished with Christmas shopping! I am actually hoping to finish the last of it today. Matt was off work yesterday and we threw out a December yard sale. I had never done that before but we had lots of Christmas decorations that we no longer needed, etc so we did. It went well and gave us a little extra shopping money. After the yard sale we went shopping, and out to dinner, poor kids were both about to drop. We had planned to go look at Chirstmas lights but that will have to wait till another night.

We also got our outside decorations finished up. Matt had put the lights up awhile back but our inflatable snowman didn't work this year so we replaced it with a snowglobe which looks cute.

Had a fun Wednesday getting together with friends. Stephanie did so good on getting fun stuff for gingerbread houses. Brae had to give his to his speech therapist because he said she didn't have one in her office.

Today Britt and I attended the Nutcracker Ballet this is the 3rd year we have went together and we just love it. Britt has already said she wants to go again next year.

Unfortunately because of the time of the Ballet we had to miss Braden walking in the parade with his scout troop.

A few pics from this week...

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana Concert

My friend Christy and I and 4 girls braved the Hannah concert in OKC this weekend. FUN FUN FUN. Of course things were going too smooth and we ended up with a flat on the dark interstate and were home 3 hours later than planned, but other than that glich that I will talk about more later the concert was GREAT! We loved it. Christy and I enjoyed it more than 30ish year old women probably should. It was just a great concert. Here are a few pics. I am going to put tons more in my flickr account I took so many. I am going to get them all developed today or tommorow so I can take them to my friends house to share on Wednesday! I think I have 204 pics. There were so many pics, but I can definetly see why it is such a popular concert.

We had so much fun and laughed so much this weekend. We even laughed stranded on I40 we even took pics of the blown tire, the tow truck that had to come help us all for our scrapbook....what an ending that will be for our scrapbook!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brae's expressions!

Brae was goofing off when we were putting up Christmas decos, he kept saying take my picture take my picture while holding up my card holder wreath. So I did. It was the day before Thanksgiving and so he knew he was suppose to be off school the next day. Just as I was clicking the picture I said "Oh by the way I decided we would do extra school tommorow"...Isnt that look precious. Oh my boy he is very expressive!

Time to Sing

Tonight was the first of three choir concerts for Brittney. This is her first semester in this choir and she has really enjoyed it and has done well. She has another concert tommorow night, and then her final recital on the 11th. I still haven't figured out why I had to purchase a white dress shirt and black skirt when they just covered them with their choir robes but oh well. She loved it all.

Anything to get out of coloring

This morning we were doing school time, and one thing we are doing is making a page for each state as we learn the capitals. Well today was Washington and it had an apple on it. I told the kids they could color it red, yellow or green.
Braden says "Mine is going to be a white apple"....(so he wouldn't have to color). I told him there are no white apples. His reply "There are if they are left on the trees and snow falls and covers them"...well yes I guess then there are, oh that boy is going to so give me gray hair.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

The house is decorated, the lights are around the roof and most of all the blog now has a Christmas theme...thanks Matt!

I have one more rubbermaid container to go through of Christmas decorations. Britt and I did some wrapping this evening and now presents are under the tree.

Busy times, but I love Christmas time!

Catching Up

So behind on blogging as I am with everything else in life right now. Busy busy. These next two weeks are beyond crazy, it will be busier now than right before Christmas.

We had a good Thanksgiving. My aunt, uncle, counsin, his wife and baby came down from Texas. My cousin started talking to hubby about sales at Best Buy. Well both him and my husband are officially crazy now. They arrived at Best Buy at 4PM on Thanksgiving Day and spent the entire night in the parking lot. Hubby didn't even need anything for us, he did end up getting a few things, but he stood in line for my aunt, and my cousin stood in line for him a lap top. They both got what they needed and Matt did get a few great things for the kiddos. I am almost done Christmas shopping mostly just filling stuff here and there. But I think the fact that my husband spent 13 hours camping in a parking lot officially marks his insanity. I of course had my own insanity and was up at 3:00 am and at JCPennys by 4:00 am, but at least I didnt spend the night so that makes me not as crazy as hubby. I always have to go to JCPennys because Brittney has one of those free snowglobes from there for every year since she was born.

This week is choir rehersal and more choir rehersal, only a few more weeks and choir will be over. Britt has decided not to do it in the Spring, and I am actually glad. She wants to go back to art lessons and I am fine with that. I thought her teacher was a little spacey but Britt loved her and she did learn a lot in the short time she took lessons before choir.

Braden has a new shirt that he wants washed daily. He picked it out himself it is bright green with red letters that say "Dear Santa Please Take My Sister". I usually don't let him have shirts like that but he really wanted it and I can tell I am going to have to put it in the back of the closet every once in a while so it is not worn daily from now to Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I think he missed the point...

Kids were having a little tiff so I told them to sit by each other and say something really nice about the other:

Britt: You have a good attitude

Braden: hmmm (thinking, thinking) I know what you have a really good collection of shoes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I will give thanks for so many things. I am so grateful and I need to take the time more often to be thankful instead of woo is me kinda thing. Sometimes I get so down and concentrate on what is stressful instead of being grateful. How wonderful that I have those things to be stressed over because it could be so terribly worse so today I am thankful for all the craziness, all the busy times, all the doctor appointments, all the tiffs, everything.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It was Enchanting

Hubby only had to work half a day today so we took the kids to see Enchanted. We had won some tickets awhile back on Blingo so we had been waiting for this to come out.

I wasn't sure that Brae would like it. We all did. So glad that they are coming out with some movies we can all see and enjoy together. We enjoyed Game Plan a month or so go and today we all enjoyed Enchanted.

It is a cute movie, no cuss words, has some funny parts, cute ending. I would recommend it and it wasn't so girly that the guys didn't like it. Of course the songs are now stuck in my head and I will be singing them for days!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Couldn't wait

Yesterday I was down in the dumps so hubby got all the Christmas decorations down. We put up the tree. The earliest we have ever done it but it cheered me up. None of the other decorations are up just the tree. The others will probably wait till next week. Having friends over Tuesday to decorate Turkey cookies so they will have to ignore the tree in the living room. Going to be a busy week and that is okay it should have lots of fun mixed in with the busy times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More of Braden's view of drinking lots of water..

Braden is still having to drink the 60 plus ounces of water daily due to the treatment plan we are following. Brittney was trying to be nice and said "I wont drink any soda either Braden only water". His response "Go ahead Senna drink a Dr. Pepper no need for us to both suffer".

Bless his heart, we are cheating here and there with a little to drink that isn't water as long as he has already drank the required water for the day.

Good news is I think I can see a little difference in things, not a lot and sometimes I wonder am I imagining the subtle change or are things improving. Won't know officially for several more weeks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

He is prone to a little overdramatization

We have had to make several changes since coming back from Austin. Not the least of which is more healthy things. We already did mostly organics but now Brae much drink 65 ounces of water and some things like that.

My mom was watching him for a few hours on a very busy Monday night and asked him how he was after getting in the car.

He looks around after getting in the car: "Nana get me to a Sonic quick I need a cherry limeade a dr pepper something they are trying to kill me with all that healthy water."

Of course since it was Nana and that means no rules he got his cherry limeade. It wont hurt him and I will let him cheat every once and awhile but still funny that he thinks we are trying to kill him with healthiness.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okay so I am impatient

Shannon had let me know why we were in Texas that my pics were in. So of course she already knows me well and knew I couldn't wait so she had them already for me on Saturday. I met her and picked them up at 3:00 and was at hobby lobby picking out frames by 3:30. Good thing I am impatient because yesterday was the last day that the frames were 50% off, I had them cut the mat, frame them, and put the hanger on them. It was SO much cheaper than I had planned...which is a very good thing. Of course we had to come home and get them hung up right away. Good thing my hubby is indulgent on how impatient I am. Now the huge wall in my living room looks like this, the pics below the big pics weren't there before either it was all light house stuff but I thought it would look better with different pics.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This and that update

As most of you know we have been in Austin this week. Check up time for Brae. The news wasn't good, but wasn't terrible. Lots more questions than answers as seems to be the norm for us and doctors as they pertain to Brae. We have some new things we are going to try and will know in a few weeks. Basically if things don't improve we could be in for some really difficult times but right now we are being thankful that the news wasn't worse and being thankful that Brae has such a wonderful attitude and spirit.

Thinking about it and Christmas will be here before we know it. Time is going to be crazy from now till Christmas, more doc appts out of town, a trip to meet up with family, Thanksgiving (company coming to our house), taking Britt to the Hannah Montana concert, lots and lots of stuff. I am making a list of what I still need to do and getting it all planned out. That is the only way I will make it till Christmas with any sanity.

We had fun before we got to Austin with shopping, dinner at Rain Forest Cafe and the Nascar race. Most of the week has been consumed with doctors, research etc but today I got to take the kids to see the Bee movie. They loved it, it wasn't as bad as some animated movies I have had to sit through. Brae said it was "AWESOME". Britt really liked it as well and they each have favorite parts. All in all good movie but I think it is probably better to wait for dvd but that is because I am so cheap when it comes to movie. One thing I do love about the bigger cities is the movies during the day, at home you can't go to a movie until public school is over. Here they start at 11:00 am during the week. That would be so nice to do sometimes after school was finished or meeting up with other homeschool friends.

We plan on heading home tommorow. Yeah ready to be home. We were able to do laundry here so won't have quite as much when we get home but will still be a lot of catching up to do and looking ahead at next week...yikes..busy as usual.

Monday, November 05, 2007


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Friday, November 02, 2007

American Girl Boutique & Bistro

I have been trying to load pics but can't get them to post on the blog so I will just have to link to flickr

Today we got to go to the grand opening of the American Girl Boutique & Bistro in Dallas. It was fun. Well most of us thought it was fun. Braden said "there are 6 boys here and 3 million girls". This pic sums up his thoughts on the
Regardless of him trying to strangle himself he did live through it.

Here is Brittney at lunch with her doll. Yes they seat dolls with you and give them their own menus

Another random rambling insomnia post

Apparently my insomnia is not limited just to when I am home, hotels are apparently worse.

We started out yesterday, we didn't make it as far as we had planned but we stopped to eat and I think it was the slowest reteraunt ever.

Anyway it has been a busy week. We had an impromptu little Halloween lunch on Wednesday, and just getting ready for the week. I am looking forward to a little bit of fun before we have a zillion doctors appointments next week. Braden has the hours counted down until the Nascar race. He is so ready. Last night the hotel we first tried to stop at had someone staying there that drove the trailer and everything for Matt's driver that he roots for so Matt stood out in the middle of the road and I snapped his picture in front of it. I think him and Braden will have such a great time and it will be so good to have fun before the check up appointments of next week. The only damper so far is Brae's arthritis seems to be flaring up. I am sure we will manage to have fun. Today we are getting to check out the grand opening of the American Girl Bistro/Cafe in Dallas. Brittney is looking forward to it this was Braden's comment "I will need a guy race on Sunday after being surrounded by girl stuff tommorow". He is not too keen on eating lunch at anywhere called the American Girl.

I am off to take a very hot shower, long story but basically our hot water heater is a lukewarm heater at our house right now so I am looking forward to hot hot water.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween

Okay I am a day early posting this but this week is so extremely crazy I am afraid if I don't do this morning it won't get done! Here you go my Hannah Montana and Tony Stewart!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Poor dog....

Poor Nipper, Britt wanted to dress him up and take him to Petco. So off we went with our Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. He didn't win (there were some ELABORATE costumes) but he got a treat and a certificate and Britt was thrilled beyond! Of course they gave out a flyer for a Fall Fashion show that Britt thinks he HAS TO attend. Good thing Nip is such a good sport.

sleeping in

It was 3:45 this morning when I woke up, wow for my insomnia that is like sleeping in.

We were out and about all day yesterday. Didn't plan on it but just happened. The kids had a field trip with their homeschool group to the police station. Since hubby had taken Friday off he took them and I went to the mall for awhile. The kids loved the police station, hubby said it was interesting, and Brae loved the weapons room. I tried on clothes for ever at the mall and found nothin. But later did find some at another store. Then we had a girl scout function to attend so we ended up being gone from noon to eight without really meaning too.

We had to find Nipper (Britt's dog) a costume...oh yes we are officially dressing our dogs now. Britt was all about taking him to a contest at the pet store Saturday. So we will be doing that. I am hoping to talk hubby into taking Brae to get a haircut so I can mark it off the ever growing list I have to get done this week before we leave for Texas. Time again for Brae's nuero recheck and there have been some issues cropping up that we are having to try to see what is going on. So this week will be busy prep work.

Well I am up at 4am I might as well get things done.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A new "real life" friend

It has been awhile back I got an email from a lady with a blog. She lived in rural Arkansas and was wondering what part of Oklahoma I lived in. We started emailing back and forth and she does legal work as well from her home as a registered nurse. I just instantly liked her. She started doing photography business and I just knew I wanted her to take our pics. I kept telling hubby you just have to see her pics. So we emailed back and forth and last night was the appointment. Of course it was sunny and beautiful until 3:30 (We were headed there at 4:00) but I was so worried about us getting another time we went for it. I am so glad I did. I considered her a friend already, already liked her, but now that I have met her I just adore her. She was so wonderful. I could have just stood in her drive way and talked, she has a presence and faith about her that makes you just want to be her friend.
Anyway she put up a sneak peak of our photos. I can't wait to see the rest. She took so many and some really good close ups of the kids, and them doing different things when I say she took so many I mean hundreds! Finally insomnia had a benefit I got to see the pics earlier than hubby or the kids. Now the bad thing is I am going to have to pick certain ones. That is the hard part and I haven't even seen a portion of them yet she took so many, but she made it so fun. The kids talked about it on the way home I will never get them back to a Sears or somewhere like that again. Especially Brae who just ran like a wild boy...but it was so good to see him feeling good and then she just captured his personality. Okay I will go now. Just had to blog before trying to go to sleep again...ugh...insomnia.

Night and Day

Once again a showing of how my kids are so different.

Brittney got her first ever C today in Math. Math is a subject she struggles with anyway. But oh you would have thought the world had ended. She was crying so hard and couldn't believe she got a C. She was crying asking for me to make extra worksheets for her to practice.

Braden on the other hand shrugs says "better than an F" and off he goes.

Yep my two are night and day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun Halloween Food

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is doing another Works for Me Wednesday.

I did this plate of food 2 years ago but it is still fun for Halloween and easy too.

A hotdog, wrapped with a breadstick baked in the oven, then mustard eyes.
Ritz cracker add peanut butter place another cracker on top, ramen noodle legs and raisin eyes (use peanut butter to stick on the eyes)
I used the refrigerated sugar cookie dough made a long rolled dough form, cooked it as directed when it was out of the oven used a fork to make indentions for knuckles, and red gel icing on the fingertips and covered with an almond.
Pretzel stick, wrapped with a section of fruit by the foot, cut little sliced with scissors in the foot by the foot.
Used a pretzel stick to put the tater tots on, thin sliced carrots for the legs, black olives for the eyes, parsley for antennas (you can come up with all kinds of ideas and just have fun).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Double Digits

"I finally made it to double digits". Those are her words. Mine are "Oh wow this is going way too fast".

It's official she is in the double digits....10!

I have to say that while I do miss the cuddly toddler days and the days where whatever I said was never argued and she thought Mom knew everything. I also really like this young lady that I can take out to lunch and we can have chats and while she isn't disrespectful she does want to know why that decision is being made.

Brittney we love you and you are the best daughter and big sister!

So now we start a new chapter one in which we are in the double digits! She thinks it has come so slow and I think it is flying so fast and I want to capture each moment so I can look back fondly.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Celebrating has begun....

Britt's birthday is not actually until Monday, but around here we seem to celebrate for a week!

The kick off was her party with her friends last night. It was a highschool musical/karaoke party.

She chose to get her big present from us last night...which was a cell phone. I had swore I wasn't going to do that till she was 12, but there have been several instances lately where it would have been handy, dropping off for choir, basketball, and sleepovers so we went ahead and got one...with lots of parent control! She got lots of things and was spoiled rotten...of course.

Some of the kids didn't want to sing so of course I had to get up there! Fortunately there are no pics, unfortunately there is video...of well the kids all had fun I think.

Here are some pics and I am putting more in flickr.

Vision Forum-Contest

Kim at In A Show is hosting a drawing for $150.00 of Vision Forum Merchandise great way to jump start Christmas Shopping. There stuff has a deep biblical message. Also check out Kim's new site and congratulate her on pregnancy #9!

This is my wish list:
Teach them to your Children 17820 $17.00
Lion & Cross Set 26550 $35.00
Jonathon Park Set 33590 $85.00
How to Think Like a Christian 21533 $10.00

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A sweet brother

Yesterday morning right before we were to start school Britt was coming in from getting some out of the garage and somehow caught her toe in the door. There was blood, there was screaming, it hurt. We got her settled down, and I fully acknowledge it hurt, I also fully acknowledge that I have a drama queen daughter. So there was lots of hopping around all morning. After school was completed Britt asked Brae to play. He said no I need some time by myself. Which is fine so he went to his room and Britt went on to do something else. He comes out asking if he can get some water and snack. Sure and back into the room he went.

I didn't think anything about it and about 5 minutes later he comes out and says "Senna (which is what he has always called Britt) come in my room." I hear Britt saying thank you brother. So I go in to see what he has done. He has hung a sign up that says "Get well party" and colored it. He has set up her favorite toys that she likes to play with of his, had snacks. It was his get better party for his sister since she hurt her toe. It was so sweet.

Monday, October 15, 2007

at least i am a whiz at something

Kids commenting that they had beat a video game (they had just got it two days ago).

Me: "Wow you two are videogame whizes"

Brae: "I am a math whiz too"

Britt: "and I am a reading whiz, and dad is a computer whiz, and mom you are phone whiz"

Me: "Phone whiz"

Britt: "Yep Mom you can answer your cell phone the best and you can talk on it a long time so your a phone whiz"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

He didn't need me

Friday I was getting ready to do Math with Brae. That is his all time favorite subject and he is very good. I was introducing a new concept of large number addition with carrying. I prepared ahead of time the white board, was all ready to divide show how you divide it into ones, tens, hundreds, thoursands and ten thousands place and so on so that he could visualize it. I get the board out and start to explain it. He says oh Mom I can do this takes the marker and completes it without any instruction and asks for his paper. I have to say I was impressed. He did his paper turned it in and said "Mom I didn't even need you". I pouted and saud "You don't need me?" he hugged and said "I need you mom just not for Math, that I can do good". I am glad that it comes easy for him as with his speech and issues some of his other subjects are very difficult. He loves it too that he is so good.

Of course the one subject he is best at is the one that Britt is not the best at and so she gets mad...LOL...those two are night and day in about everyway.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mystery Solver

Busy busy busy...same as usual around here. Figured I should at least throw up a quick update. Things are fine just busy. Britt turns 10 soon, I think I have heard the term "double digits" 15 times a day for the last month!...she is a little excited.

Her new phase is Nancy Drew. Oh boy she is devouring the books. This morning she came in with her white headband, green tshirt, khaki capris, white socks and keds....if you haven't seen the movie that is a standard Nancy outfit. So now we are even dressing like her. The movie doesn't come to video until December I think. But it will definetly be one we have to get for her. Tonight her friend Brinn is coming to spend the night and hubby and I setting up a mystery for them to solve. We downloaded the ideas off the web. Should be fun. I am glad she has found something that so captures her interest and there are so many of the books, and then with the movie there are other things as well. So there will be sluething going on at our house tonight.

I tried to find the one of Nancy from the movie in which she wore the capris, green shirt etc but couldn't. We even had to buy a plaid short skirt like Nancy wore...but hey I am not going to complain at least it is conservative dress.

Here is britt ready for a mystery to solve. She doesn't have her "bag" with her but let me tell you it has everything that Nancy has (tweezers for picking up clues, etc.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Last night both kids were in my bedroom talking to me. Brae was trying to talk me into letting him sleep in the living room. I was acting like I was really thinking about it. He smiles, and Britt who is also sitting there sees Brae smiling she says:
"Mom look away from the dimples". She knows how cute Brae's dimples are and that smile is too hard to resist. It was cute.

Speaking of cute things. Don't know where Brae picked this up at. But if you are talking to him about something that he doesn't really want to talk about or if you are about to get onto him he looks at his wrist and says "Oh look at the time I must go" and off he runs.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I saw this on Kim's blog I liked the idea. Basically you go through your archives and pick out your favorite articles from this month in the years past.

It doesn't feel like I have been doing this blog for years, but I have. So we will start in October of 2004, I was just starting to get into blogging so there aren't too many posts.

October is Britt's birthday so 2004 found me running around like crazy for her 7th birthday party There was also a post about insomnia that's a shocker I know especially since it is 3:00 am when I am writing this post. I must not have known how to put pictures on my blog in 2004 because I notice there are none.

October 2005
I had by this point learned to put pics on my blog. We redid Britt's room out of the baby pink little girl room into a brighter room
October found me with an 8 year old
I find it humourous that hubby used to gripe about me not blogging enough I don't think he complains about my lack of computer time now...LOL
Also Halloween found me with a Rock Star and Knight

October 2006
I must have been in a writing mood this month I had tons of posts to choose from.
I looked back at one of my favorite older Halloween photos of my prince and her frog of My little skunk of Jessie from Toy Story and a very happy pooh and unhappy Bob the Builder
Brae crashed his car at the pizza place
I made a bathtub birthday cake for Britt
The costumes for 2006 were Lilo and Stitch
Braden told me he was moving out
We ended October 2006 with Brae's spider bite

It was fun looking through the previous October archives. Memories....ahh.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cooking ahead

I had meant to take lots of pictures of my cooking marathon...but the cooking proved to be quite a lot and I forgot to document it all. I recently bought a book "Cook For A Day Eat For A Month". All about cooking for the freezer. I did do a lot of things out of this book, but I didn't follow it completely. However this month I did do complete meal planning and wow what a difference it is making.

First off breakfast foods, I prepared 48 cooked breakfast burritos wrapped accordingly and all they need is a minute in the microwave and breakfast is served, same with egg muffin sandwiches there are 20 of them in the freezer ready to go. These are great especially on mornings when we are running a bit behind.

I did cook some stew, chilli, italian beef, meatloafs and taco meat froze them as well as two lasagnas. A lot of what I also did was prep work, my steaks are frozen in their marinade so as they defrost that is already done and then I just have to grill. My roast is frozen in beef broth and seasoning ready to be put in the crock pot. Onions have been diced and chopped, herbs frozen with butter ready to be thrown into vegetables. I also made an inventory list of my freezer which I think helps.

Instead of sitting down and figuring out what I want for the whole month I made a list of all things I had for what meals for example I know in the freezer I have stuff for roast dinner, lasagna, tacos, grilled steaks, etc. So I made a list ended up with about 40 meals on it that I know I have the ingredients on hand. Then on Sundays I sit down and decide which of those 40 I am going to make for the week. So much easier. I really plan to do this again next month. I also think it is already saving on the grocery bill even though you almost had to revive me when I went and did all of that at once, but even next month wont be as much to stock up because I know I will have carry over.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Game Plan

Movies are so hard, rarely is there a good one we all enjoy. Sure the kids love cartoon movies and why I too enjoy some of them many of the cartoons find me wishing I was somewhere else. Non cartoon movies are often too old for the kids, don't keep them interested or are laced with cursing that is not needed.

Today our family date was so great. We all 4 enjoyed the movie "Game Plan" immensly. It was well written with a plot line that you think you have all figured out only to be thrown for a little loop. It is a great story, funny parts that kept even Brae entertained. I really liked it we have all decided it is one we will buy when it comes out on dvd.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Such a truly important cause. Education in breast cancer is such a strong part of the fight. Mamograms, self exams, etc.

Stacy at Truest Thing is having a contest to help spread the word. You can get all the details at her site.

I registered and donated $3 at Gal To Gal Walk. I had a little trouble trying to create the custom walker and ended up with an angel walker. It is only $3 and a great cause.

Another thing Stacy has is Here is a site where you can click everyday and the sponser will donate free mammograms.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Home school Coop

Tonight was presentation night for our 6 week long home school coop. Basically every Thursday afternoon for the last six weeks we have went to classes held at a local church. Each class is thought up and taught by moms or dads. I did a Geography and a Story Writing class. My friend Stephanie helped me with both classes. She is such a blessing and I am so thankful that I have her to hash out some of the home school things with. Anyway, Coop was great fun. I am going to miss it even though it made things busy at times. Now I need to start thinking of ideas for the Spring coop. Both Brittney and Braden had speaking parts at tonights presentation and did well. Braden said his numbers (with a little prompting form me) in German, and Brittney read a children's story she had wrote. Just some pics of our table showing what we had did, some of them up front, and some snapshots with their friends.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Refreshed, strengethend

A few weeks ago I entered a contest at Shannon's Blog it was for tickets to a Christian concert by a group called "Monk & Neagle". I had never heard of them, but I saw that "Mercy Me" was also going to be there, and I love them. So hubby and I made childcare plans and were set to go.

Tonight was the concert. Man oh man, I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed it. First off we got there and I got worried, I had been told to go to the will call. I went and they said they didn't have any tickets for me...oh no...hubby started calling the cell number he had, but by the time he had started dialing the woman found an envelope. She said oh honey you didn't just get tickets you get to go back stage to. Oh wow. So we got to go to the meet and greet before the show and take pictures and talk to all the bands that were playing which were "Monk and Neagle", "Shane and Shane" and "Mercy Me". All three bands were wonderfully nice and when you met them they spoke straight to you, and you felt like you had their undivided attention.

Then the concert started...we had great seats...Monk and Neagle first, wow they were great. I really liked them. Next Shane and Shane I liked them but have to admit I liked Monk and Neagle best of those two. Then Mercy I so needed to hear their songs, the testimony, the words. I felt like the lead singer was speaking straight to me, when he started talking about his two year old son being ill, and about God's glory I had tears I felt so much of what I had been feeling being expressed on the stage. They have a new cd coming out in November and we will definetly be getting it. They sang three songs from it tonight. I just feel so refreshed like okay bring it on I am filled up again feeling strengthened.

Here are some pics:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I hated science in school. Now teaching it to the kids I am loving it. We have been studying about Venus. Today we used a form of radar. I took two shoe boxes and used newspapers etc inside of them to make hills, valleys and poured plaster of paris over it. Did this a few days ago so it could harden for today. Then we covered the top with a towel and made a grid. The kids then used a stick with different colors on it poking it through the towel. They were able to tell the formation of the planet, where the hills and valleys were without ever looking at the actual surface. It was fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Brae is my weapon loving boy, if it is toy weapon then he thinks he has to have it. Especially swords. When I was naive and young I thought no I am not going to let my little boy play with toy guns, etc. Whatever he will turn a straw into a dueling sword. He had a doctors appointment the other day and those are always worth prizes, we pulled into Walgreens to wait for our prescrip and he was in heaven with all the ninja swords out for Halloween. He lines them up in long rows to show off his weapon collection if he is not wearing them....This is a snap shot of him tonight. Yes those are swords stuck in his pajama bottoms, and yes this is how he runs around the house 95% of the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

flashing lights

The town we live in is small. I am cruising through this afternoon maybe a mile from the house, and lights behind me. Crud. I tell the kids that I was pulling over because a policeman was behind me. Cop comes to the door I helpfully point out that I was right behind someone else. He said well I clocked you locked on the radar at 49. I was polite told him I wasn't going to argue with him, that I was just not paying attention and I apologized. He took my liscense. Brae is turned all the way around in his seat looking at him. He brings the license back to me makes a Sooners statement and lets me go without even a written warning. But still stressful. I wasn't sure what the speed limit was in that area and I knew hubby would ask how much over I was going so I went back to check. 45 MPH...he friggin pulls me over for 4 miles...ugh. Yes we live in a speedtrap that is well known but even I didn't know it was that bad. But anyway, we pull back on the road and Brae says "That was so cool mom, I loved seeing the lights flash and see the policeman up close". So I am telling hubby I just did it to cheer up Brae who hasn't been feeling well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - Crock Pot Recipes

I am participating with Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

One thing I don't think I could live without is my crockpot. I think I may dinner 4 nights a week out of it.

Of course for easy cleanup I love these:

Some of my favorite recipes are:

1 lb. Ground turkey
5 cups raw potatoes, sliced
1 onion sliced
½ tsp salt
dash of black pepper
can cut green beans
can mushrooms
can cream of chicken soup
Crumble uncooked ground turkey, add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper, add drained green beans and drained mushrooms, pour soup over top. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6 to 8.

3/4 lb extra lean ground beef or gorund turkey
1 cup skim milk
½ cup uncooked long grain rice
1 med onion chopped
1 cup dry bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
dash of black pepper
10 3/4 oz can low fat low sodium cream of mushroom soup
½ cup skim milk
Combine meat, 1 cup skim milk, rice, onion, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a bowl
shape with ice cream scooper place in slow cooker
mix together soup and ½ cup milk pour over meatballs
cover cook on low 5 hours

1 small onion diced
½ cup margine melted
2 cups quick cooking rice
2 cups water
can low fat cream of mushroom soup
½ tsp salt
5 oz jar low fat sharp cheddar cheese spread
2 10 oz pkgs frozen chopped broccoli
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker stir thrououghly.
Cover cook on low 6-7 houts or on high 2-3

1 beef brisket cit in half
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup grape jelly
1 envelope soup mix
½ teaspoon pepper
Place half of the brisket in a slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the ketchup, jelly, soup mix and pepper spread half over meat top with the remaining meat and ketchup mixture Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until meat is tender
* I also substitute the brikset for boneless beef ribs.

2 lb. ground beef add onion if desired
2 cans corn
2 cans ranch style beans
3 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can water
1 taco seasoning packet
1 Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
Brown meat and onion (I do mine in microwave). Drain grease and pour in crockpot. Add corn, beans and tomatoes, water, seasoning packet and dip mix. Stir and heat 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Serve with tortilla chips.

6 to 8 slices of ham
8 to 10 med. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c. grated Cheddar or American cheese
1 can cream of celery or mushroom soup
Put half of ham, potatoes and onions in crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grated cheese. Repeat with remaining half. Spoon undiluted soup over top. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours in crock pot or high 4 hours. Variations: sausage instead of ham and omit the cheese.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in small chunks
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 cups water
2 10 oz packages refrigerated biscuits
1 chicken bouillon cube
Combine all ingredients, except biscuits, in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, tear biscuit dough into 1-inch pieces. Add to your slow cooker; stirring gently. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes or until biscuits are fluffed up and cooked through.

3/4 pound thin beef strips
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 package McCormick Brown Gravy Mix
1 cup water
Place beef and broccoli in the bottom of your slow cooker. Mix together gravy mix and water. Pour over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

4 chicken breasts
2 carrots
1 acorn squash
1 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth
1 TBSP garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and chop carrots and place them in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle with garlic. Place chicken on top. Pour in broth. Cut squash into chunks and slice off the skin. Place on top of chicken. Sprinkle desired amounts of salt, pepper and nutmeg on top of squash and drizzle enough honey on top to lightly cover the squash. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground chuck
1 onion , diced
1 bell pepper chopped
Large can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 pkg. Spaghetti seasoning mix
1 can mushrooms or cup of fresh
12 oz. pkg. spaghetti, cooked
Parmesan cheese, if desired
Heat crockpot. Brown beef, bell pepper & onion in non-stick skillet. Drain and place in crockpot. Add mushrooms, tomato sauce, spaghetti seasoning, & oregano. Cook 8 to 10 hours on low or 6 to 8 hours on high. Cook spaghetti according to package direction. Serve sauce over cooked spaghetti. Top with Parmesan cheese as desired.

3-1/3 cups canned crushed tomatoes, in tomato purée
1-2/3 cups chunky style prepared salsa
6 ounces tomato paste
2 lbs. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb. corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1/4 lb. canned diced mild green chilies, drained
1-1/2 Tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
5 corn tortillas
2 ounces olive slices, drained
Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Pour about 1 cup of mixture into the bottom of an electric slow cooker on low heat. Spread evenly and top with 1-1/2 tortillas, cutting to fit pot. Spread 1/3 of remaining tomato mixture over top. Repeat layering process, ending with tomato mixture. Spread top evenly. Sprinkle with olives. Cover and cook about 5 hours. Serve hot.

6 medium sized baking potatoes
butter or margarine as preferred
1/2 cup water in bottom of crock pot
Wash potatoes well then prick with a fork. Rub each with butter or margarine, then place in crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or on low for 6-10 hours. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Cut open and serve!