Saturday, February 28, 2009

Panic Attack

Last night I had a full blown panic attack, I think. 

It could have an allergic reaction, but I don't think so. I was given something new to try last night, a vitamin type drink, and I think it made me feel a little funny, which turned into a panic attack because of how stressed out I have been. Isn't it great?! (yes, being totally sarcastic here).

I feel like such an idiot. We were at a friend's house visiting an out of town friend when this all happened. Everyone was so nice and concerned. I let the damn feelings consume me. Well, honestly, I wasn't quite sure how to stop them. So, what did I do? Got all the kids together and we bolted. Quickly. Out the door. I think I said goodbye. 

This kind of behavior of mine runs in the family. My mother used to have all the hospital routes memorized in case she had one. My sister doesn't go to get-togethers like this because of feelings like mine. I have aunts on anti-anxiety meds and I am finding out, cousins too. 

For me, personally, I started having anxiety about 12 years ago. Just after my twins were born. Until the last couple of months I had never had an actual panic attack. 

Not fun.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I wish I could quit my job.

Or maybe drop my hours to 1/4 time. Don't get me wrong, I really like my job. The people I work with are great and I love working with the residents. I am just extremely overwhelmed and I think that it would be the best option. 

Except I can't. We can't afford for me to cut down my hours. I keep reminding myself that it is only 2 and a half more years and then I will be an R.N. That isn't really all that long of a time, but right now it feels like forever. 

I miss spending tons of time with my kids. Right now, I either have to study, do housework (including cooking), or work. Oh, and don't forget the kid's homework time. Between all those things, I would really like a break. 

I am really tired and drained. I have zero energy and I can't stop.

At least spring break is right around the corner. It's in two more weeks, I think. Maybe I can try to take one of the weekends off also. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hot Cocoa Mix

I forgot I had this recipe and I have no idea where it came from but it is wonderful. It tastes better than the store bought mixes.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix

8 Cups Non-fat Instant Dry Milk
2 Pounds Powdered Sugar
3 Cups Cocoa Powder
11 oz. Non Dairy Creamer
2 Large Packages Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 tsp. Salt

Milk all ingredients together well in a big bowl. Have a storage container ready. After mixture is well mixed, grind in small amounts in a blender or coffee grinder until powdery fine. Keep in an airtight container. Can last a year or more (ours has been in the pantry for about 1 1/2 and it still tastes great).

To make Cocoa:

Hot Cocoa

Take about 1 cup hot water and add 3 to 4 heaping Tbsp's of the mix.

Or, take some hot water in a mug and add enough of the mix until it tastes good to you!


Sunday, February 22, 2009


As you know, I had a bunch of tests a week and a half ago. I got my scores back Friday. 

I got a B on my biology test, Thank God. 

and then I totally screwed up my chemistry test. 

I got a D. 

Monday I will be going into my teacher's office and going over the test with him. Apparently, I missed something very important. I may not have to keep this grade though. At the end of the semester, the teacher throws out the lowest test score and let me tell you, right now, that seems like a pretty great policy. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Oldest Child and a lot of Rambling...

C is almost 14 years old. I can't believe it.

I did everything wrong when I was his age. I ended up getting pregnant at 16 and having him at 17. While I have had to finish my growing up with him, I have gotten most of my act together and he is turning out really great.

Next school year he will be a freshman in High School. He currently carries a 3.something-almost a 4.0 GPA (he missed the 4.0 by a B+. Sad, I know. His sisters were sure to tease him endlessly over that one. I helped a little. 

My husband and I strive to give our kids the best education we can manage. When we moved to the Southern Utah area, we were shocked at the education my children got the one year they spent at the local Elementary school. I proceeded to homeschool them for the next two years because of it. When I heard an academically geared Charter School was opening up in the area, I jumped on it. Four of my five children go to the Charter School and we really like it. 

Unfortunately, this is C's last year at the school. He is going to be a ninth grader next year and it only goes through 8th grade. 

Utah has a weird grade system. Having grown up in California, I am used to K-6, then 7-8, finally 9-12. Well, here it is K-5, then 6-7, then 8-9, and finally 10-12. I don't know why they do this, but they do.  So, C will spend one year at the middle school and then move on to the actual high school. 

I was planning to homeschool him next year. I think homeschooling is a great option. Especially for a kid like C who have a hard time adjusting to new things and who will cause total chaos when school starts, but C really wants to go to a school. Fine. 

We have three options for a school. One is another Charter school, which I hear is really good academically but is a 40 minute drive from home. (I have heard some not-so-positive things also. Between the drive and the little stuff I have been hearing, it was easy to say no.) The other two schools are both regular public schools. One is by our house and is apart of our boundaries. The other is having open enrollment and, I hear, a really great school.  

Yesterday, we spent the day going to the two public schools to check them out and get a feel for them. The one by us was dark, gloomy, and 2 out of 3 of the staff that we talked to were slightly rude. Like they didn't have time to talk to us. This was the school that C could take a bus to. The other school was bright, airy, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The school counselor stopped everything she was doing to give us a tour (usually you would have to call ahead) and the Vice Principal walked by with some left over pizza and offered it to the kids. 

Luckily, the school we like the most is about 5 minutes from the Charter School the little ones go to, so it won't be a big strain. It would have been nice to have C take the bus, but the staff of a school makes a really BIG impression. 

I am glad the decision is done and made, but boy, it sure is hard to make these decisions. I mean, this is my kid's future. I gave up in school because of the teachers at the high school I went to. Luckily, I am not afraid to homeschool if there is ever a need and we are fully involved in our kid's education. I refuse to sit by the side and have my kids go to a certain school because my district says so. If that's the case, then they need to make sure the schools are all up to par. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Did It!

I passed!

I am now a Certified Nursing Assistant!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Little Sister

She is 4 1/2 years younger than I am and I like her, a lot. I imagine living closer to her so we can hang out. I see her dropping by for a little bit after work once in a while. I see babysitting her kid/kids one day.

We currently live 6 hours, by car, away from each other. It isn't an easy drive.

This last Saturday, she came to visit me. I was whining last week that she had gotten all the talent because my cake balls looked like "Snot Balls" (direct qoute from her) and hers were beautiful.

Here are my snot balls:

cake balls

Sad, I know. Apparently, you don't ever add wet food coloring to chocolate. It makes it clumpy.

Here are Steph's cake balls:

Stephs cake balls
I swiped this photo from her blog Chocolate and Whine. Shhhh.

She is better at photography too. (Not for long though.)

That's why she came. To help me learn my wonderful, scary, massive camera. A Nikon D80. Now, I know that I have 5 kids and I work and I go to school. But, I my goal is to spend 2 to 3 hours a week learning and practicing my camera. One day I may be good. I mean, really good.

Anyway, Stephanie had some really good tips and some great sites to show me.

1. Quit using my flash. (I forgot to ask what I do when it is dark and I want to take pictures of people. Hmm)
2. Something about Aperture and Shutter speed. (Aperture is how much light you let in. Shutter speed is how long you let that light in for.)-I think.
3. A very neat website with really great lessons on it is Short Courses. Very informative.
4. Quit using my flash.

I am excited to start practicing what she showed me. But first, I must study. I have a test tomorrow that I haven't had time to study for. What can I say, playing with my sister was much more important and fun.

Except she beat my at 12 rounds of Mario Kart, but only cause I let her win.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Homemade Stove Top Mac and Cheese

I just love finding good recipes to replace the stuff I won't buy (mac and cheese in a box). I was watching Good Eats one night, because I have pretty much watched it at least once a week for about 5 years now, probably longer. I really like Alton Brown. I love that he gives the science behind the cooking. I will say that I probably won't buy one of his cookbooks because they sort of read like a textbook.

So, like I said I was watching him one night and the show was on how cheese melts. When he came to the Stove Top Mac and Cheese, I was captivated. I had to try it. I mean, not only was it a great replacement to the box crap, it has NO flour. Needless to say (because I am me), I have made a minor change to the original because, well, I just had to.

Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mac and Cheese

1 pound Elbow Macaroni Noodles
4 Tbsp. Butter
4 Eggs
12 oz. Evaporated Milk
1 tsp. Hot Sauce (like Tabasco Sauce)
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Ground Mustard
Pepper to taste
20 oz. Grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack Blend (this is where I get lazy and buy it already grated.)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the noodles. Let cook until al dente. You really don't want the noodles to overcook because then they will collapse when you add the ingredients to it.
2. In the meantime, mix all the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese, together in a medium bowl. Mix well.
3. Drain the noodles and melt the butter in the pot.
4. Put the noodles back into the pot and coat them really well with the butter.
5. While stirring the egg mixture, slowly start dumping in some hot noodles into it. Add about 2 cups of the noodles into the egg mixture while stirring.
6. Add the egg mixture into the pot while stirring the noodles in the pot. You don't want the eggs to scramble.
7. While stirring the stuff in the pot, start adding the shredded cheese by the handful.
8. After all the cheese has been added, stir until it has a smooth Mac and Cheese consistency.

I usually double this recipe every other week. I use 2 pounds of noodles. It makes a great side dish to some dinners, etc. It keeps pretty well in the fridge.

This recipe is linked to The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homemade Crock Pot Yogurt

I got this recipe from A Year of CrockPotting. You should really check out that site, lots of good stuff on there. If you would like to see the original recipe, go here.

I really think this recipe is the coolest one I have. I can't believe I can make yogurt, at home, in my crock pot. You know what else is unbelievable? It's edible. 

As most of you know, plain yogurt can be very sour. So, to fix that, use a sweetener of your choice to sweeten it up and take a lot of the sourness away. 

Some ways we use plain yogurt:

1. Sweeten to taste with honey and add some kind of fruit, ex. mandarin oranges (which is one of my favorites), banana, peaches, strawberries, etc.

2. Sweeten to taste, cinnamon, and vanilla (I wish I had exact measurements for you, but I don't. Just add a little at a time until it tastes just right.)

3. Use in place of sour cream when cooking or baking. Now, I really like the taste of sour cream. I would not use the yogurt as a garnish in place of sour cream. But, the other night I was making creamy chicken enchiladas and the recipe called for sour cream inside the  enchiladas. It was then going to be baked. I ran out of sour cream so I tried the yogurt. I couldn't even tell their was a difference and the yogurt had 1/3 of the calories that the sour cream had. I would do it again. (I will post the enchilada recipe soon.)

4. If any of you have any great uses for yogurt or any favorite ways to eat it, let me know. I love trying new things. 

One more thing. I make a gallon at a time because my family is so big (7 of us). If this seems like to much, cut the recipe in half. 

Homemade Crock Pot Yogurt

1 Gallon Milk (I use 2%)
1 Cup Starter Yogurt (Go buy some plain yogurt at the store and use this. Just make sure that it says LIVE ACTIVE CULTURES or something to that effect on the container. You can also go to a health food store and buy some dried starter. If you do this, you will need 20 grams of the dried stuff.)

Yogurt Milk
(This is the milk before I turned it into yogurt)

1. In your crock pot, pour in your milk, cover, and turn on to low. 
2. Let cook for 2 1/2 hours.
3. Turn off crock pot and let sit for 3 hours. Don't touch it. Don't open the lid. 
4. Open the lid and take out 2 cups of the warm milk.
5. Stir in the Starter, either the yogurt starter or the powder stuff, into the 2 cups of milk.
6. Dump this back into the milk in the crock pot. 
7. Cover.
8. Take 2 or 3 big bath towels and rap them around the crock pot for insulation. 
9. Let sit for about 8 hours. (If you plan it right, you can go to bed while it sits for the 8 hours.)
10. Take out one cup of the yogurt and freeze. (This is the starter for the next batch)
11. Refrigerate and enjoy! 

(I had already started putting it in tupperware before I remembered to take a picture.)

If you want thicker yogurt, because it will be kind of runny: 
1. Line a colander with some cheese cloth. 
2. Let the colander dangle inside a pot and cover. 
3. Refrigerate for a few hours to a day, depending on how thick you like it. When I let it sit for a full day, it ends up thick like sour cream. 

Making yogurt saves me a ton of money. Last week, Costco had milk for $1.84/Gallon. Yogurt this week cost me $1.84/Gallon + the cost of electricity. So, maybe $2.00. It normally costs me almost $3.00 per Quart or $12.00/Gallon of yogurt if I buy it from the store. I save $10.00 every time I make it myself. 

P.S. The next time I make it, I will be adding some unflavored gelatin to it to see if the texture is a bit more store like. I will let you know how it turns out. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Worst Lab Partner. Ever.

Ok, maybe not ever, but he was pretty bad. 

Today we got to use a really cool microscope and look at some really neat cells.(these are onion cells.) We get to work in teams so when we need help, we can brainstorm with the partner. Usually, it is a great thing. I have never had a problem with any of my partners in the past. Today was different. My instructor designated this guy, who we will call Slacker, to me. 

I got all the materials together. I looked through all 20 slides by myself. (oh, wait. I GOT Slacker to look at the first three with me and then I said forget it.) Let me tell you, today's lab was HARD. I really could have used the help. We were learning about Mitosis and Meiosis

As Slacker was leaving, I said "Why don't you put the microscope away!" I promise, I wasn't nice. I talked to him like I would talk to one of the kids when they are giving me problems. 

After Slacker left, I went to my professor and asked him not to ever give Slacker to me as a partner again. I told him that the guy didn't do squat! Slacker will probably lose points, but you know what? I don't think I really care. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

C.N.A. Certification Suspense


I think I did well. 

The testing lady said that they aren't aloud to tell us the results anymore. We get to wait approximately 5 to 7 days for the results to come in the mail. 

I will tell you: I was SO nervous. I almost had to stop somewhere to go poop (more info here, if you really want to know). 

I had to do the test with one other student who was also testing. This way we could use each other as needed. For example, we had to take all the vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and temperature) on each other while the tester listened with an extension stethoscope. If we screwed any of those up, it was an automatic FAIL. Luckily, I slightly knew the other person who was testing. She took the C.N.A. class the same time I did, just on a different day. So, we talked a few times when we crossed paths.  

I was given a list of 5 things to do. Each of these things had one or two points to them that I was not aloud to screw up, no matter what, or I automatically failed. 

I think I did them right. The testing lady didn't give us any clue as to how we did. The big meanie

So, I guess we get to wait until the anticipated envelope comes in the mail...

I will let you know!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

C.N.A. Certification

Tomorrow I have to take my hands on test for my license. I am quite nervous. I have found out that 50% of the students who had the same teacher I had failed.

I can NOT afford to fail because she is a crappy teacher! I could lose my job and that, my friends, would be very, very bad.

So, wish me luck! I will let you know how it goes the minute I find out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Freaking Out

Just like I do the weekend before any test, I freak out. Usually because I am  not prepared enough. 

I have 2 tests next week and I am NOT prepared! I can be caught up with Chemistry in no time. I am pretty comfortable with it. 

Biology is a whole different story. The information just does not want to stick in my brain. I read the book, take notes, go to every class and still don't remember ANY of it. I am also 2 chapters behind on my studying! Remember the scary book? That's the one I am behind in.

So, this weekend I have to spend about 120 hours studying, 20 hours working, 5 hours cleaning, and let's not forget to hang out with the kids, cook, and sleep. 

Unfortunately, there are only 48 hours in a weekend. 

Where can I get some more hours? 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My New Look

Thanks to my wonderful sister, Stephanie, I now have a really cool looking blog. It may change a little more before she is done, because that's what she does. :) 

I think she made it beautiful. 

Thank you Steph!

My own personal BIG FOOT.

He's tall, but not too tall. Only about 5'9" so far. 

He wears a size 13 shoe

Did I mention he is only 13 Years Old?!

We went to Walmart today to get him a pair of hiking boots for his camping trip this weekend. The last pair of shoes I bought him were a size 11 1/2. So, naturally, we had to buy him 2 pairs of shoes. Because I didn't believe him when he said his tennis shoes didn't fit anymore. I mean, we only got them 5 months ago. 

I hope for his sake that he starts growing so he can catch up with his feet. 

Look how big they are:

Corey's Shoe

and that is a legal sized envelope. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup

One of my favorite soups is this one from Weight Watchers. I have never "done" Weight Watchers. I would like to try it someday soon if I can't lose the remaining twenty pounds on my ass by my self. Now, my sister lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers. 

Anyway, this is such an easy go to soup recipe that I like to serve as a side. I have been thinking about adding some small noodles to it and making it more a meal. It is super low in calories as is and so very healthy.

Weight Watchers Garden Vegetable Soup
Makes 9 Cups

6 Cups Broth (use whatever kind you like)
2 Carrots, peeled and dice
4 tsp. Garlic or 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 a Head of Cabbage (the green stuff, don't skip this because it makes the soup. Also, it tastes much better cooked then raw.)
1/2 lb. Green Beans, cut small (frozen work well)
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 tsp. Dried Basil
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Salt
1 Large Zucchini, diced
Cooking Spray

1. Spray a big pot with cooking spray over Meduim-High heat. 
2. Saute the carrots, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. 
3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the zucchini, and bring to a boil. 
4. Cover, reduce heat to Medium-Low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are cooked through. 
5. Add the zucchini and let cook about 5 more minutes.
6. Enjoy 

For more recipe ideas and for ways to save on your grocery bill, check out Grocery Cart Challenge. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Granola Bars

I have a friend that can make anything wonderful, or at least the stuff she brings us. Recently, she posted a granola bar recipe on her blog, A Spot to Reminisce and Discourse. The recipe she has gives you the basic guidelines for granola bars and is super easy to follow. 

I made some granola bars today and they are so good, I had to post them on here. I will give the recipe I used, but remember, the other recipe let's you make them what you want. 

Granola Bar Recipe
Makes as many bars as you cut them into.

Granola Bars
2 Cups Oats
3/4 Cups Chopped Pecans
3/4 Cups Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla (I actually forgot the vanilla, but they were still good. Next time I will add it.)
1/2 Cup Craisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
2. Mix oats, nuts, and flax seed together in 8X8 baking dish and put in oven for 15 minutes, stirring once at about 7 1/2 minutes. 
3. In a large bowl put honey, sugar and butter together and put in microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Put back in microwave for another minute. Stir. Repeat until really hot. 
4. Add vanilla. Stir. 
5. When oat mixture is done, dump all the oats, nuts, and seeds into big bowl and stir until every is well coated with sugar mixture. Turn oven down to 300 degrees F. 
6. Add in Craisins and mix well. 
7. Grease same 8x8 baking dish and put oat mixture back into it. 
8. Using wax paper or parchment paper (I bet foil would work), push firmly on the oat mixture until it is flat and uniform in pan.
9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
10. Let cool in pan. 
11. When cool, dump out (you may need to take a knife around the edge of pan like I did) and cut. 
*Side note: Make sure they are COMPLETELY cool or they will crumble. 

granola bars 2
The photo above is how thick I cut them (as you can see, mine are bigger than yours will be. I doubled the recipe).

Granola bars 1
and then I put them in little snack baggies. This way the kids can just grab one and go.

I hope you enjoy them. 

Monday, February 2, 2009


I was thinking I should make some goals and see if it will help me follow through with the things I really want done. Even though the month has already started, I am going to use the month of February to complete these. 

These goals are going to be short term, under one month.

1. Clean one room a day, thoroughly. The weekends are off. (The kids can help)
2. Do 2 loads of laundry a day.
3. Finish the backyard so I can start our garden.
4. Stay caught up on school work, mine and the kids.
5. Don't fall apart.

Ok, let's see how we do, shall we?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

I went looking for this recipe because I was getting really tired of the same old oatmeal. The kids and I really like this one. I made a few changes from the original, like cutting down the amount of sugar, no one needs to eat a 1/4 cup of sugar in the morning by themselves, and I cut the amount of butter. I like the taste of butter, but I think the taste can be there with a little bit of it.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

6 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 tsp. Cinnamon
4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Salt
2 Cup Milk
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1/2 Cup Applesauce
4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9X13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Mix in all the wet ingredients. Stir in the cranberries.
3. Spread into pan.
4. Bake for 40 minutes.

Linked to Grocery Cart Challenge's recipe swap.


I am happily (it's true) married to my high school sweetheart (known as Hubby).

We have five children:
C, 17 year old boy
A & B, 15 year old twin girls
L, 11 year old boy
M, 6 year old girl

I am currently working on the classes I need to apply to our competitive nursing program.

I understand I am crazy.

More about me.