Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glorious Day

This gorgeous sunrise followed our snow.  It's been several weeks of snowing and melting followed by more snow.  We will definitely have a white Christmas this year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow Day

It's hard to believe that yesterday we had very little snow left on the ground.  It started falling this morning, and hasn't stopped.  The kids of course, love it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It's a week later, and instead of posting my funny Christmas list, it's more bad news.  Prayers are needed for a friend of mine.  We met on BabyFit while I was pregnant with the twins, and she was pregnant with her second daughter.  Yesterday, her daughter Sofia was suddenly taken to Jesus.  Just one year old, and already gone. 

My heart and soul hurt for her parents, Felicia and Ralphy.  I cannot imagine the questions their 3 year old daughter is now asking.  I spent yesterday crying and praying for the family, and continue to do so today.  While driving home, I was reminded of the words of Jesus: For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ (Luke 23:29, New Living Translation)  

I've never fully understood that verse until recently.  There is something different about the death of a child, once you have your own.  I do not mean that my dear friends without children, don't ache for the lost child, but something changes.  You feel the loss of another woman's child, as deeply as if the child were your own.  As a mother, we see how fragile our child's life really is, and we think of ourselves in that position.  Suddenly we empathize in a way we didn't know how to before we gave birth.

Dana and I have even discussed how different death is to him now that he is a dad.  The thought of losing a child, or even watching a drama about the death of a child is disturbing.  Something neither of us gave a second thought about before Kaia.

I ask you today, to hug your children a little tighter, or your niece or nephew or any child in your life.  Give them that extra kiss.  And join me in praying for Sofia's family in this time of great sorrow.  If you are willing join me in a partial fast, while praying for their comfort, strength and peace.   

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Time

Or it's already Christmas if you ask Morgan.  It's been snowing, and we've been to a Christmas play already, so of course presents are coming any day... right?!

These photos were taken after the first snow, more has fallen, and more is on it's way.  This has actually been a bit of a rough spell for us.  The snow is beautiful, and the tree is up and decorated by Kaia and Morgan, but so much has been going on.

First was the death of a friend of mine.  He suffered from diabetes and kidney failure and was only 40 years old.  It was unexpected, completely a shock.  Everyone believed that he would get a transplant and live a long life.  He was so full of life he just had to.  For Dana and I, it's scary to consider the parallels.  Dana is just 2 years younger, and also suffers from diabetes.  While his kidneys have held out, he has dealt with his fair share of health issues, and it really put things in perspective.

2 days after the funeral the snow began to fall.  Snow means extra work for Dana.  It means very early mornings and going into work on days off.  It's tiring for him, and it isn't easy on the rest of us.  The kids miss seeing daddy in the evenings, and Dana misses spending time with them.  Right now our evenings are a rush to eat dinner and go to bed.

Then this weekend my great aunt Ruby died.  It is a blessing that she is no longer in pain, but she will be missed.  She was such a sweet lady, and Kaia had grown to love spending time with Aunt Ruby. 

Through all of this though, Christmas approaches and it's not all sad news.  My VISTA worker started this week, and is staying with us temporarily.  A new face in the house means very excited and talkative kids.  I'm also preparing for a conference in New Orleans.  A city I've wanted to visit for a very long time, but wondered if I'd ever make it there.  The twins continue to grow and are becoming quite the characters.  And we all continue to enjoy good times spent with family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grandma Sarah's Rolls

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is just days away!  I am really looking forward to watching the boys eat all the yummy food for the first time. 

I'm bringing rolls and deviled eggs to our get together.  The roll recipe is one I remember helping my grandma make many years ago.  I found her recipe in the cookbook I received for my birthday a few years ago.  Always a frugal woman, it was written on an old calendar that had been cut up into a notepad.  This particular calendar was from 1959.  I can't wait to taste these rolls again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back into Shape

Not my body, no I'm still carrying 10+ pounds of twin weight on me, but my house is back into shape.  It started last week when my mom and aunt came over to help out.  They cooked, entertained the kids and picked up the kitchen.  Somehow that gave me a little kick-start.  By Saturday, I was feeling well drugged enough to clean the whole house up before we had guests over. 

It is now Tuesday, and miraculously my kitchen is still clean, the dining area is clean, and the front room is as clean as can be expected with 4 kids living in it.  It really hasn't been difficult, and yes I know that really that is only 2 full days of keeping it clean, but we did have a huge pile of dishes after our get together Saturday night.  At the end of the day, I'm tired, I'm sore and the last thing I want to do after fixing dinner is dishes.  But I did it last night, and I'm making it a habit of rinsing most things and putting them in the left side of the sink, so it's easy to catch up.

I also have been following a menu plan.  This is helped by the fact that we were given meals for both Sunday and Monday nights.  Tonight we will hopefully have leftover Olive Garden from the Board Meeting, and I have food planned for the next few nights. 

I'm really not sure what has come over me, but maybe this broke rib is a good thing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Klutz

Yes, here it is, another post filed under "owies."  How do I continue to do this to myself?  No idea, but I don't expect these posts to change any time soon.

Yesterday, while helping Dana in the garage I fell.  Now I didn't just trip and fall, or slip in a wet spot and fall.  No, I do both of those on a very regular basis in the garage.  This time I stepped on a socket, it rolled and I went flying into the motorcycle jack.  The pain was insane.  The wind was knocked out of me.  As Dana was looking at my back to see what happened, the garage door came down onto his shoulder.  There wasn't much to see on my back.  There still isn't.

I did spend over 3 hours in a very busy ER to learn that I did in fact break a rib. I did not puncture my lung though, but I now need to be careful so that I do not puncture my lung.  And how is a mom of 4, with 2 toddlers supposed to take it easy? 

Luckily I have the help of my family, and several friends have volunteered to help if needed.  My mom and dad watched Kaia and the twins while I was at ER, and she watched Morgan after Dana stopped by with him.  Then my mom picked up my prescription and a few groceries, while Dana went and picked up dinner at New York Teriyaki. 

I'm feeling ok but sore today.  Breathing seems easier, and of course there are these lovely little things called pain pills.  The one bright note from yesterday, I spent my time in ER reading Hungry Planet.  Wow, it is fantastic!  For now, I'm off.  The pain pills are kicking in, and it's time to apply ice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Use What You Have Menu Plan

In our home there is someone in charge of the budget.  It's that person's responsibility to make sure there is enough for all the bills and all the extras we may have planned each week.  Unfortunately, that person is an airhead, and sometimes I forget they forget things like fuel or prescriptions in that planning.

This is one of those weeks, so I created a menu plan that will use what we have in the house with only a few $'s spent at the store.  We have plenty of apples to snack on and for cooking.  We also received some more potatoes yesterday, so I may do something more with them.

Sunday: Breakfast Casserole
Monday: Spaghetti, marinara sauce, bread
Tuesday: Tacos, beans and rice (beans and rice are in the freezer, and shredded steak cooked in the crock for the taco meat)
Wednesday: Barbeque chicken, mashed potatoes, and fresh veggies
Thursday: Beans in the crockpot with homemade rolls
Friday: BBQ Pork and fried rice

What we'll need: dried beans, spaghetti sauce, and milk for a total of $5 at the grocery store. 

Lunches are bologna sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, salads, and cheese and crackers for Kaia and Dana.  I eat leftovers.  Breakfast is cereal for the kids and Dana eats cereal alternating with sausage and egg. 

On pay day, I plan to do some stocking up!  Our freezers are empty of meat!  I like to have at least a few pounds of ground beef, some inexpensive steak cuts and a whole chicken in the freezer.  But, as you can see from the menu, we have chicken thighs, 1 steak, and the sausage is in the fridge.  I'm hoping Wednesday's ads have some good prices!

What are you eating this week?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh Rats!

Enough serious posts about first birthday milestones, religion in politics and world food consumption.  Today let's talk about rat sandwiches.

You may remember how I love rat sandwiches.  In case you don't, I'll remind you.  This summer Morgan dreamed that I ate a rat sandwich, and he was very upset over my poor choice in food.  He lectured me for days about eating good foods, and rats and mice were not good food.

Apparently, my love of rat sandwiches has caused me to feed them to others.  This week Morgan had an upset stomach and when his grandma asked him why he explained just what I had done. 

We were driving and I spotted a dead rat in the road.  Naturally being the good mother I am, I stopped and picked up the dead rat, took it home and made Morgan a rat sandwich.  I even made him eat it.  And that is why he had a tummy ache. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hungry Planet

My grandma forwarded an email that had photos and information from the book Hungry Planet.  I'm amazed at what we eat, and am also inspired by what can feed a large family.  There is definitely a middle ground where families are eating well, and inexpensively.  There is also the extravagant, and the sparse.  I've placed a hold on the book from my library, and I've been enjoying the photos at Time.com.
What the World Eats

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Identity Crisis

Please bear with me, but I can take it no longer, and must let all this spill out here.  I am a christian, because I believe that Jesus died for our sins, and I have repented, been baptized and follow Him.  Lately though, the word "christian" has taken on such an ugly meaning, even in my mind.  The behavior of several proclaimed christians has been so unlike the behavior of Christ that I hear a lot of people trash-talking christians as a whole, and I can't blame them.  I know exactly why they feel that way, because I feel that way toward those people as well.

I'll start from the beginning, so that you may understand why my heart is so heavy.  What once was anger has turned to despair.  How can followers of Christ behave this way?  Well over a year ago, Norm Johnson ran for a legislative office at the State level.  In his campaign he was clear, he believed marriage was between a man and a woman, but felt that same-sex couples should be afforded the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.  Legal rights that I believe most heterosexual couples take for granted.  He was elected, and voted for a bill that would allow same-sex couples, and heterosexual couples over the age of 65 that were unmarried legal rights. Last year, the issue ended up in the hands of voters.  The majority of the State chose to uphold those rights, but the majority (around 60%) in our area voted to withdraw them.   Enter Michele Strobel.  The wife of a Selah pastor.  She vowed to run against Johnson and bring morals back to our State.

As a christian, she had every opportunity, and I expected her to, run a clean campaign.  A campaign that would show everyone how believers in Christ behave.  She and her team have failed.  Her supporters include the owner of the local christian broadcasting, and many leaders of churches throughout our town.  At first her platform was all about that one issue of granting rights to same-sex couples.  Soon she added being a small business advocate.  Soon her campaign became all about how Johnson is wrong, that he's owned by gay lobbyists.  Emails went out from her supporters calling prominent people on Johnson's campaign team homosexuals.  Except they weren't using nice words.  No, they chose to use the derogatory terms "fag" and "dyke."  Many of you may see a lawsuit in the making, but they were careful only to name another elected official (who cannot sue) and generalize that it was everyone else. 

Then came the advertisement in the paper.  A sketch of Johnson, as a king, with little gnomes at his feet wearing the label gay lobbyist.  In the sea near him were 2 gay men being married by a Catholic priest.  The sun and the birds were all visibly upset at this "unnatural" union.  The story below told of King Canute and his attempt to go against nature, and compared Johnson to him.  Attacks have continued, against Johnson's family (he has 2 sons that are gay) and claims that he is in office with his homosexual agenda.  A term which I fail to understand. 

I've attempted to fight back through a Facebook page, dedicated to letting people know that Strobel will not represent all of her constituents, only those that are heterosexual.  I firmly believe that Jesus taught us to treat everyone well, to love everyone.  He didn't come to this earth and walk among the saints.  He came to this earth and dined with prostitutes and tax collectors.  He came to help all of us, and we are all sinners.  I'm not attempting to argue whether or not homosexuality is a sin or not, because I honestly am undecided on that fact.  There are many things in the Bible that are prohibited that we do not apply today, and many that we do.  So I leave that between you and God to decide for yourself. So my argument is based on what Strobel and her supporters believe.

If Strobel's group believes that homosexuals don't deserve the same rights as the rest of us because homosexuality is a sin, then should we also withdraw rights from adulterers because adultery is a sin?  Should alcoholics be treated differently because they struggle with sin?  Maybe anyone that has ever cursed, lied or gossiped should have some right withheld from them as punishment for that sin?  Where does it end?  The Bible doesn't have a rating scale of sin.  Sin is sin.  And every last one of us walking on this earth today has sinned.

I am ready for this campaign to be over.  But that will not end the way I feel.  I've been asked, "Why don't more christians behave like you?"  For that my only answer is, "They are forgetting to act like Christ."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy First Birthday

Dear Bryce and Brendon (or in photo order; Brendon and Bryce),
It is hard to believe that one year has gone by since we first met you boys in person!  You boys are one of the greatest gifts our family could have ever been given.  Your smiles, your laughs, and your distinct personalities make Daddy, Sissy, Big Brother and I so happy.

While you are "identical twins" it doesn't go much further than your DNA.  Bryce, you have become quite the little ham.  You love to laugh out loud, and try to make us laugh as well.  You have the greatest laugh.  You also have the loudest cry, and can really throw yourself down when you want to have a dramatic fit over something.  You remind Daddy and Me of your sister when she was little.  You love to eat paper, chew on cats, and crawl around on the coffee table making loud noises.  You have also managed to escape over and under the baby gate, and Grammy caught you sitting on top of the dining room table.

Brendon, you are always the first to look at a stranger and give them a grin and flirt.  You have a great giggle, but aren't a big talker yet.  You love to crawl up into Daddy's lap and just hang out.  You are so easy going and love to play with the toys.  You are quite the walker, and are working hard to perfect that skill.  You have learned to clap, and will applaud your walking efforts while waiting for everyone else to join you.  You've done almost everything first.  You watched Bryce attempt a crawl, and then got up and started doing it weeks before he figured it out.

Both of you love Kaia and Morgan, and both sets of grandparents, but you each have your favorite people.  Brendon, you have taken a particular liking to your Auntie Kristin, cousin Nina, and Bob one of the elders at church.  Bryce, you are drawn to Nana, Uncle Ian and Auntie Francis.

You both seem to eat the same foods, and love every food we've given you.  You both seem to relish peaches and watermelon.  Grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches are both popular.  You both surprised me the evening I gave you lamb and green beans with rice.  I wondered if you'd even try the lamb, but you ate it as quickly as you could.  Cheese omelet is your favorite breakfast, but you like scrambled eggs with cheese as well.

As for favorite toys, you both love to play with the kitty cats, cars, and Big Brother's monster trucks.  Often you will both stand at the Fisher Price piano and make music for the rest of us.  And your favorite thing on tv: The Lifewise Washington commercial.  I don't know why, but you both love it.

In closing, Happy Birthday boys!  You have completed our family and been a joy to us all.  We love you!

Mom, Dad, Kaia and Morgan

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jumbalaya My Way

This recipe originated in an Emeril Lagasse book. I of course want to use all of the ingredients, so I tweaked it and made it my own. The result is an inexpensive, quick and easy recipe, perfect for a busy evening. At one time the whole family loved this. Now everyone, but Morgan will eat it.

2-3 links of andouille or spicy smoked sausage
1 stalk of celery
1 green pepper
1/2 of a medium onion
1 cup of rice
bay leaf (optional)
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper to taste (or use a Cajun seasoning mix)

Chop the first 4 ingredients. First in just a small amount of oil, cook the sausage in a pot at Medium-High heat. As it starts to lightly brown add the veggies. Cook all of it for another 5 minutes. Then add the rice, and stir it in so that it browns a bit, and be sure to scrape up any bits of sausage.

Add 2 cups of water, salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Add a very tiny amount of cayenne or a bit more of the Cajun seasoning. You can always add more later to make it spicier, or leave out the cayenne altogether and let the spiciness of the sausage flavor the rice. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, put a lid on the pot and in 20 minutes you have a fantastic meal!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Day at the Fair

I think they all had a great time, don't you?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Looking Good for Less

Friday night was our annual Pillars Party for United Way. I didn't attend last year, due to the fact that I was nearly due with the boys.  This year, I was happy to go and work as a greeter, but was getting frustrated that my nice dresses (that are appropriate for an October event) were not fitting well with the twin pouch I still carry.

I was pretty discouraged Friday morning, and grabbed two dresses that are ill fitting.  I left for work in a horrible mood, and only smiled when Mo said to me, "Kaia is going to turn 8, the babies are going to turn 1, I'm going to turn 5 and you'll be 18."  I of course agreed with him.

My friend and co-worker Kate brought me a surprise back from lunch.  A black tube dress that has lots of drapey fabric.  She has the same dress in pink, and loves it because when her Crohn's is acting up it helps cover up her tummy.  She gave me the black dress as she had never worn it.  Then on my lunch break, I made a quick run to Target.  I added a blue scarf ($3.24), a bracelet set ($4.39), and a nice set of earrings ($3.48).  I already had a pair of hand me down black heels and some Spanx to help with the twin pouch (both from Kate as well).

I think it was a fabulous look for under $12.  I felt amazing, and that's what really counts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Please Read

This post really hits home. I think it should for all of us. We should stop pretending, and start being ourselves.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Day in My Life

Last week I was supposed to see a new doctor to follow up on my appointment in August.  Somehow though, I was rescheduled to see the Physician's Assistant that our whole family sees.  There is something to be said for having someone that knows all about you.  As I explained to him that the last doctor told me to exercise 30 minutes a day, he smirked and asked "When?"  That was my thought.  I would love to exercise 30 minutes a day, but am having trouble figuring out the when.  And this is why:

5 am Wake up.  Most often one of the boys or both will also wake up right at 5.  Then I make breakfast for Dana, make coffee, and pack Dana's and Kaia's lunches.  Also during this time I'm usually changing diapers and giving the boys milk and crackers.  Kaia gets up right around the time Dana is leaving, and I try to get Morgan up then as well.  I get showered, dressed, and ready for work.  Hopefully by 7:30 am we are all piling into the Suburban.

I take Kaia to the child care at her school.  All 5 of us walk in, drop off Kaia, and the 3 boys and I head back out.  Then we do the 20 minute drive to Grammy and Papa's where I drop the boys off and I hopefully am at work by 8:30.

Once at work, I sink into my chair in my calming green office, and dig into work.  My work varies day to day.  Right now, it is campaign heavy, in the spring it will be community investment heavy.  Today, I'll be in Ellensburg for a Statewide Combined Federal Campaign meeting.  Before I leave I need to send off my charity listing info to the printer, and run reports for the audit.

Work is over at 5, and I usually head by the grocery store, or stop to buy fuel on my way out to get the boys.  We arrive home somewhere between 6 and 6:45.  I give the boys bottles while I make dinner, look through the mail, and listen to Kaia's day at school (or break up the fights between her and Morgan).  After we eat dinner, the twins go to bed, and it's time for the older 2 to get ready for bed.

Dana and the older 2 usually go to bed about the same time, and I follow around 9:30 or 10.  Occasionally I feel adventurous and I try to watch a show that comes on at 10 like the Mentalist.  It works for a few minutes, but I'm usually asleep on the couch by the first or second commercial.  If I'm lucky, I'll get to sleep all night long, if not I'll be up at least once or twice before 5 am.

Maybe you see an opening for exercise?  I think my best bet is to use my lunch break.  For now, I can go on walks outside, but come winter, that isn't an option.  That's when some sort of gym membership or class is going to be helpful, but anything close by is expensive! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Kihn Sandwich

I discovered the true proof that Kaia and Morgan are Kihns last week.  Never mind that they have the Kihn temper and look just like a Kihn, it's all in the sandwich. Kaia and Morgan have made the sandwich their new favorite snack.  The Kihns all love this sandwich, I have not tried it, and because I'd rather lick a frog than eat bologna, I have no plans to try it.  Perhaps you are braver than I?

Kihn Sandwich
2 slices white bread (the fluffy stuff with no nutritional value)
Sandwich Spread (the kind with relish in it)
Peanut Butter
Cheese (American is preferred, but you can use cheddar)

On one slice of bread, spread Sandwich Spread, on the other spread Peanut Butter.  In between the slices of  bread add lettuce, cheese and bologna.  Enjoy... or if you are me, pass it on to a family member that will eat it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Day in the Life

I love looking at the lives of others.  Especially when their world is so different from my own.  My grandma's life in Mexico is definitely different from my day to day.  I asked her if I could share this with you.  I think this could be an interesting little series.  If you would, please send me your typical day and I will post it, linking back to you, in the coming weeks.  I promise to share my own typical day as well.

Today is a guest post from my Grandma Florence also known as Flossie of "Flossies Fast Food Fly Through" A feeding station for hummingbirds.

I'll try to tell you a few things I do daily.
Before dressing I shake my clothes & shake out my shoes. I have never found a scorpion but others have, Scorpions are not every day things but they are around. I have never been stung.

We do not flush toilet paper. The pipes may be cement tile that is rough & snags the paper to clog the pipes. I have a sign that says No paper to be flushed. The bank & Library have signs too. I keep small
plastic bags to put the paper in & the garbage man comes by every day except Sun. I have to have the garbage out before 7 am! 

We have a
dry season & a rainy season. Of course it can rain a bit in the dry season too. The ad for our area calls it "The Land of Eternal Spring". It never freezes but I saw 43* once & 45-50*some nights in Dec & Jan. Rainy season can begin in May but usually about June 13th & lasts until Oct. Dry season the mountains are brown & rainy season beautiful green. 

Most Mexicans shop daily. They eat lots of corn flakes for breakfast & sweet rolls & milk or hot chocolate. The little stores make sandwiches of this ham like loaf & cheese & hot pepper & wrap them & sell them. The Mexican people eat anytime. If you go any place by bus or car you will see small stands & people eating. There is no water to wash hands or dishes so they put a plastic bag over the plastic plate & a new bag for each person. Saves water anyway. 

I walk to the store most mornings. Not for the warm buns that all stores sell, but looking for damaged or over ripe bananas. I love bananas & so does my dog. I buy a Papaya there each week. I buy eggs there too. They are sold by the Kilo = 2.2 lbs & are put in a plastic bag to carefully carry home. I have 2 cartons to put them in. There can be 14-16 eggs depending how big they are. Eggs are on the counter NOT in the fridge. On Fri morning I walk 4 blocks round trip to the plaza where they sell fruit only on Fri. I usually buy a few things & carry them home. Then Sun at 10:30 am my pastor picks me up for church. Near the church is a grocery store & then a tortilla place & then a
fruit market so he stops & I buy more fruit & veges & corn toastadas at the store.  That is where I get heavy stuff as I get a ride to my door. I get my Jiciama there. It is a root vegetable that you peel & slice or cube to eat raw. Some people put lemon juice & salt on them but I don't. I seldom eat meat but eat beans,brown rice & barley & cheese & eggs. My eggs have been less than $1.00 a Kilo & here eggs are $1.50 on sale & MORE a dozen. I give away parsley,basil & lemon grass.   All fruit & veggies that can't be peeled we soak in drops of a disinfectent to kill parasites.  I have a friend who soaks melons,Papayas,bananas & eggs. I don't! Parasites can make you sick. I take a pill about once a year to kill off any I may have. Some people take a pill every 6 months. I do peel & cut up my Papaya & Cants  & put in quart Yogurt tubs that people give to me. Then they are ready to use.

I used to walk to the post office, but now as it is up a slight hill my gardener brings me my mail. I found out he went after mail for another lady so asked him to bring mine. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

The View

One way I kept the drive home from being boring over the summer was taking directions from the kids.  There are a large number of ways to get from the freeway exit to our house.  The most breath taking are the routes that take us up over the hills and we drive down into the valley.  I had to snap a few photos, with my phone camera.  They don't do the view justice, so some day I will pullover with the real camera and try to capture this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Things are moving along at the Kihn house!

The boys turned 11 months old yesterday, and have started taking several steps at a time.  In no time, we will have 2 walkers to keep up with.  Their 1st Birthday is just around the corner, and I already have their Halloween costumes planned.

Morgan, who no longer likes to be called Mo, has slept 2 of the past 3 nights in a bed other than Dana's and mine.  Both he and Kaia have been going to bed at 8:30 pm without much fuss as well.  Another huge milestone, he has started going into the bathroom when he needs to poop.  He's not using the toilet yet, but it is the first step to being potty trained according to the method I'm following.  I owe a huge thank you to Mrs. Mordecai for sending me the article on this way of training.

Kaia is cruising through 2nd grade.  She is reading 3rd grade level books, doing really well on her math homework when she applies herself, and has already been to one birthday party this school year. 

Dana and I are enjoying having our bed to ourselves, and having a quiet house after all the kids are in bed.

The cats still do not like Nemesis, and Nemesis loves to terrorize the cats.  This is just one of the photos I snapped during the 5 minutes Cinnamon and Nemesis got along.

My second 24 hours wasn't nearly as easy as the first.  I didn't want to eat my foods, and everything I thought to make for dinner had something that wasn't allowed. I made fried rice, bbq pork and egg rolls for Dana and the kids to eat.  I did cheat and had a few scrap pieces of bbq pork, but only because I wanted the super hot mustard.  I love that stuff.    I had roasted chicken thighs and broccoli.  This morning I had leftover cold chicken and Ry Krisps with cream cheese for breakfast.  For lunch, I met my brother at Pizza Hut for their buffet.  I couldn't eat the pizza or pasta, but I enjoyed 2 plates of salad.  Tonight I think we'll have meatloaf for dinner.  Some of the grumpiness I can tell is hormones, and some is sugar withdrawl.  I also remembered that I only did the 2 week diet last time, because I figured out quite quickly my trigger foods.    So I will likely do the same as last time.  I will add back in the foods I know I can eat, and stay away from the sugary stuff and the sweet baked goods which are usually what get me the worst.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The first 24 hours

Last time I was on the Yeast Free diet the first 24 hours was hell.  I don't say that lightly.  I really felt as if my body was shutting down and my head would explode.  This time the first 24 hours was accompanied only by a minor headache.  I feel pretty darn good, and sticking to this diet has been easy.  Only a few times have I had to stop myself.  The candy dish full of tootsie rolls and dots in my office is tempting, but I always passed by.  This morning packing Dana and Kaia's lunches, I caught myself just before popping a chip and then a piece of cheese in my mouth.  I wasn't aware how much I mindlessly snacked until today. 

So, just what am I eating?  Here is my menu starting Monday evening:
Dinner- Roasted chicken thigh and leg
Mashed potatoes
Gravy made with corn starch, water and chicken broth
Green salad with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes and a tiny amount of ranch dressing for flavor

Breakfast- Oat Groats (oats that haven't been rolled) with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Small amounts of sugar are allowed, when they are consumed with a whole grain.  Your body will digest it like a complex carb because you consume it with the complex carbs.

Lunch- Leftover chicken breast (2 oz)
Baked potato with cottage cheese on top
Handful of cherry tomatoes

Snack- Corn nuts Not the healthiest, but the ingredients are corn, corn oil and salt.  Really satisfied my craving for something crunchy and salty.

Dinner- Eggplant Super Soup (recipe below)
Rye Krisps with cream cheese

Breakfast- 1.5 cups of oat groats with butter and 1 packet of sugar

I've been drinking 2 cups of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day.  Lunch today is leftovers from dinner last night.  The soup is an excellent hearty recipe, easy to make, and was easy to convert to fit my diet.  The recipe is from a Sunset Cookbook, but I as always, have considerably altered the recipe.

Eggplant Supper Soup
3/4 pound of ground beef
1/2 an onion chopped
1 small eggplant cubed
1 large clove of garlic
1 large can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice
2 cubes of beef bullion
2 large cans full of water
6-8 oz of brown rice penne pasta (Hodgson Mills makes excellent rice pasta)

Brown the ground beef and add the chopped onion near the end of the cooking.  Add eggplant, garlic and tomatoes to the pot.  Then add the cubes of bullion and water.  Add or reduce water depending on desired thickness.  I wanted this fairly thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Then add your pasta and cook until tender.   

The eggplant soaks up all the flavors of the soup and makes this a delicious and hearty meal all by itself.  Dana, Kaia and Morgan ate Saltine crackers with their soup.  Brendon, Bryce and I had the Rye Krisps.  It was a great way to use the free eggplant I received, and no one turned up their nose!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back To Health 4 weeks of Yeast Control

I've finally had it.  I'm tired of being tired, achy, and fatigued.  I'm tired of not being able to type because my hands are tingly and weak.  I'm tired of falling asleep on the couch because I'm so worn out at the end of the day.  I'm tired of wearing one size of clothing one week, and being at least a size bigger the next due to intestinal bloating.  I'm tired of my allergies going non-stop, in spite of the loratadine I take daily.

There are many foods that can trigger pain and fatigue.  Most programs and books recommend I talk to my doctor about an elimination diet.  Then I would cut almost all foods out, then slowly add back in to figure out my triggers.  The thing is, yeast or candida sensitivity is always on the list of triggers. It's been shown women with endometriosis struggle with candida sensitivity.  People with fibromyalgia often struggle with it.  And my allergist diagnosed me with a candida sensitivity.  So it makes sense for me to use my already prescribed yeast control program first.  If it brings relief, as it has in the past, then I know that there aren't any other trigger foods.  If it doesn't bring relief, then I can begin eliminating other trigger foods.

You may wonder why I ever stopped following the program, if it worked well the first time.  Honestly the program is designed so you can add back in foods, and just make some changes to your normal diet once the yeast is under control.  The problem is, it felt so restrictive the first time, although looking at it again, it's not.  Also the long term program allows you to add back in most foods.  Just not in a large quantity, and not all of them.  It's too easy to just start adding in everything, and the icky feeling from it comes on so slowly you don't realize how sick you are getting.

So join me over the next 4 weeks as I follow the program, outlined in Back To Health by Dennis W Remington, MD and Barbara Higa Swasey, RD.
The four main concepts are:
1. Most food from plant sources has natural fungal inhibitors.
2. Carbohydrates should be eaten as long as they are complex carbohydrates.
3. Avoid foods that contain yeast and fungi.
4. Eat enough food.
So for the first phase, I can eat the following:
All meats, fish, poultry and eggs.
All vegetables, including scrubbed potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and avocados.
All legumes.
All whole grains, including barley, corn, millet, oats, brown rice and wheat.
Whole grain muffins, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, rice cakes, whole wheat tortillas, and corn tortillas.
Hot or cold whole grain cereals.
Butter and cold pressed oils.
Milk, plain yogurt (I don't like flavored anyway), buttermilk, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese.
Catsup, mustard, mayo, miso and soy sauce may be used sparingly.

Foods to eliminate:
All sugars and sugar containg foods.
White flour, refined grains.
Yeast- yeast breads, pastries, crackers...
All cheese, except for those listed above
All fruit and fruit juices
All coffee, tea, herbal teas (I will not be following this part, as I found relief the first time while drinking coffee.  I will limit my coffee intake, but not eliminate.)
Leftovers that have been in the fridge more than 2-3 days.
Obvious fungi- mushrooms
Peanuts and peanut products
Processed meats- lunch meat, bacon, ham, corned beef
Vinegar soaked products- pickles, relish, sauerkraut
All artificially sweetened drinks and foods

After 2 weeks on this diet, I can begin to add unsweetened cooked fruits.

So now you have my plan.  Does it suck? Yeah, kind of.  I like fresh fruit, and enjoy cheese.  But we live in a valley full of produce, and I can eat all the veggies I want. 

Stay tuned for my menus.  Already I have oat groats cooking on the stove for breakfasts and lunches.  Tonight I think I'll cook up some brown rice.


One late lily 

One early mum

Four busy kids, plus one kitten

All make for a beautiful September here at the Kihn House.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Accidental Garden

Golden Cherry Tomatoes
I planned my garden, I used my mother's day gift card to buy tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, squash and cucumber, but they looked like they always do.  Wilting.  Then when we got home from our short vacation in Seattle I turned the water on, then fell asleep and forgot all about it.  I expected a high water bill from that night of indiscretion, but what I received was amazing.  My tomatoes really responded to all the water.  I have the nicest tomato plants I've ever grown!  Even now in September, I'm still picking lots of cherry tomatoes.  We're eating them in salsa, salads, and just as a snack.

I have learned one little Tomato Law.  The plants you stake well will not produce.  The plants that end up in between staked plants, will grow abundantly.  Go figure!

Very late jalapenos, hoping the weather holds

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The only thing that wasn't cute about this nap, was the fact that he was then wide awake well past 9 pm.

In case you felt that his falling asleep in such an odd place was a fluke, there is this proof as well

Part of the family!

Nemesis has made himself at home in our home.

He loves attacking the other cats, and has learned to run when the twins attempt to eat him. 

He isn't too sure about things like rain, but being an indoor cat, he doesn't have to worry much about that.

And a sure sign that HCC Arch Nemesis was present is the scratches. You go to sleep looking normal, and wake up with claw marks across your face.  Mo should beware, as he spends most of his time annoying Nemesis.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Miss Me?

I'm finally back to post!  I'm using my lunch break, one of the first that was truly a break, to check in.  It has been non-stop at work and at home. 

Work has been non-stop interviews, presentations, meetings, and mailings.  It looks like a filing cabinet puked on my desk.  I worked late most nights last week, and when I didn't work late, I was at a school meeting.

Kaia started 2nd grade, and no surprise she loves it.  Mo is having a hard time adjusting to his sissy being gone, and has been in quite the mood.  I'm pretty sure both of them are going through a growth spurt, as more than 50% of the meals I make are going to the two of them, and Dana and I get what's left.  The twins are starting to sleep through the night, and they keep us busy when they are awake.  Dana and I are realizing that mornings are one of the few times we actually see each other during the week.  We'll hopefully get a date night this weekend to go see Resident Evil Afterlife. 

On the health front we've all been fighting a cold.  I'm still fighting this fibromyalgia or whatever it is.  I'm worn down, I hurt all over, and I'm tired of it.  So Labor Day weekend was us being a bunch of bums and lounging around.  I did tackle one big thing though.  Kaia's room.  I should have taken a before photo, but it was disgusting.  What's important is to know that there was a 2 foot layer of clothes, toys and garbage.  Not anymore.  And her closet is even clean.

I hope to be back to blogging, and visiting your blogs again very soon!  I miss keeping up with everyone.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

He wasn't tired!

Clearly, Dad and Mom know nothing.  Bryce wasn't tired at all, he just felt like being a contortionist.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I used to sew a lot.  I made myself skirts and dresses, then I had kids, and pretty much stopped sewing.  Now I have a few items that need re-worked, and I found this blog: newdressaday.wordpress.com.  It's been all over the news, and it is such a fun blog.  I spent well over an hour looking at her creations. 

First I have a cute dress my mom got for free in the locker room at work.  It had been abandoned, and it was my size.  So after a year my mom brought it home. I quickly found out why it was abandoned.  It is poorly constructed.  I'm thinking I will just cut it below the armholes, add a band of elastic, and have a sleeveless tube dress.

The more difficult piece of clothing is a work shirt.  All staff and upper volunteers were given these very nice shirts.  Only problem is, I don't like the way shirts like this fit me.  They are too manly.  Any ideas on some tailoring that could make it softer more feminine?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The kids were quiet, no one came in the house telling me what the other kid had done, I should have known something was up.
There was a shower for Kaia and a bath for Morgan shortly after these photos were taken. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


Our 3 babies are growing up fast!  Bryce and Brendon turned 10 months on Sunday.  This photo is from dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants Saturday night.  (taken by my mom or dad)   They enjoyed eating chips, and corn tortillas with refried beans and cheese on them.

Nemesis has also been growing.  While his size doesn't seem to have changed much, he has become the kitten of the house.  He loves attacking Cinnamon, Hemi and Callie, earning his name.  He tears through the house with his toy, runs through the little kitty condo we have, and spends his quiet time in a little cat bed we bought for Cinnamon.  She seems to be very slowly warming up to him.  (photo proof coming soon) 

Nemesis even interacts well with the boys.  That's a surprise because the boys are under the belief that Nemesis is actually a chew toy.  They attempt to eat him every chance they get.  Nemesis for the most part does not mind.  Usually Dana or I must intervene before someone gets hurt.

It's a busy, but happy house.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


And this is why my family loves me.  Rather than calling around to tell people I went to the doctor and will start seeing an internist because I have fibromyalgia, that I'm being screened for arthritis and some other stuff, I now have a prescribed exercise regimen, and that I got a depo medrol shot that is already allowing me to move better, I blog.  Normal people call their family and tell them, me,  I write it out for everyone.

The news was really no surprise.  For 16 years I've had spells where my skin felt like it was on fire, my muscles hurt, my bones ached and I had no energy.  I've always learned to live with it, and sometimes it would go away for a really long time.  But, now we have 4 kids at home, and my family needs me.  I have spent the last 2 weeks being completely worthless at home.  The simplest tasks were left undone because I was too fatigued to do them.

It started this time with a nasty allergy attack due to nearby fires.  I had been feeling great with all the working out I was doing, but the allergy attack took me out.  I couldn't do it.  Even once I started taking Claritin, there was just a slight improvement.  This past Saturday the pain started in my left arm.  Every day since, I've lost all energy and the pain returned by afternoon.  I'd make it home, fix dinner, put kids to bed, and promptly pass out on the couch.  Every morning I was still exhausted.  Today though, I could barely move.  I struggled to make coffee.  It hurt to squeeze toothpaste on my toothbrush.  And as much as I didn't want to see a doctor, I knew I needed to.

I'm thankful the shot is already helping move better, and I even hope to start on the new exercise regimen tonight.  I have to do a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 3 times a week, and add yoga or pilates as well.  This doctor doesn't want me to try any of the medicines on the market for fibromyalgia, and I agree.  The long term immune effect isn't known, and I'm still young.  I will receive the shot as needed, exercise, and continue using antihistamines to control my symptoms.  If the blood work shows anything, we'll deal with those as needed.  For now, I'm looking forward to being a mom and wife again, instead of a cranky lump.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's a Kitten's Life

We have a kitten, and boy is his life rough!  He sleeps, he cuddles, he plays, and gets batted around and hissed at by the 3 old fogies that have ruled the roost the past 7-9 years. Because of that he came to work with me today, and as you can see, he's made himself right at home in my chair. 

We're still working on a name. All of the suggestions have been good, but they just aren't the right name for this rambunctious boy.  So for now, he comes when we call "Little Boy."