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PostHeaderIcon Fruit

Today’s March Photo a Day is “fruit”. Now, I doubt these are edible, I honestly don’t know what they are, but they look like grapes or berries and berries are fruit…right? The red ones are decorative strawberries outside the door of the guesthouse. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

"Grape Berries"

Decorative Strawberries

PostHeaderIcon Holy Smokes! It is March!

I can’t believe it is March already! Where did February go? Being that today is March 1st, I am participating in a Photo a Day challenge. First one I have done ever as a blogger. Maybe this will keep me blogging like I should! So, today’s photo is “Up” so here is my photo! Enjoy and check out the challenge yourself! March
Photo a Day Challenge
Thanks Chantelle!

Happy Blogging and Picture Taking!

Looking Up at our Thatch Roof

PostHeaderIcon When Life Hands You Lemons…

I am going to let you finish that on your own.  As a lot of you know, our lives have been so full ups and downs and inside outs that I am amazed everyday that we still know which way is up.  Constantly moving, changing schools, making new friends, learning new towns (and now countries), it is a wonder to me that we even get out of bed in the morning.  I realized something this morning and I am hoping that I was clear when I was trying to explain it to Adrien.  Every morning when we get out of bed, whether we wanted to or not, it is a fresh start.  How we act and the attitude we have first thing in the morning has the potential to set the mood for the whole day.

Adrien woke up this morning complaining about how much he hates school, hates wearing a uniform, hates this, hates that…I snapped  calmly explained to him that he had about 10 seconds to change his attitude and get his bed made.  In all fairness, I am not much of a morning person, but I am learning.  Seth has to be up around 5:30 and out the door by 6:15.  So, in an attempt to help his day start a little better, I get up and make him lunch.  Then I wake Adrien up around 6:15 and help him remember all of the things he needs to get done so that we can be out the door by 7:10.  I make Adrien lunch and ensure he is eating breakfast when I go wake Lily up and get her dressed to take Adrien to school.

Yesterday, I started the day telling Adrien that I was going to work on not yelling at him so much.  I also told him that he needed to work on not doing things he wasn’t supposed to do and doing the things that he was supposed to do without having to be told 30 times. I told him we would work on it together.  I stuck with the “trying not to yell so much” this morning when I calmly explained to him that when he starts his day off in a bad mood, that puts me in a bad mood and sets my whole day off in a bad way and I wasn’t trying to have a bad day.  I reminded him that every day after school I ask him how his day was and he never has any complaints.  That he almost always has something neat to tell me or something fun that he did or found out he has the opportunity to do.  Basically, I reminded him that life isn’t so bad and that he just doesn’t like getting up in the morning…

Every day that you are given to wake up and start over is a blessing.  It is an opportunity for you to make the best of the time you are given or to try and maybe make some one else’s day just a little better. You never know how big of an impact something as little as a smile or a “please” and “thank you” can have.

That is my wisdom for the day…So when life hands you lemons, do what you have to do, but remember to be thankful you got handed anything at all…

On a side note, I apologize for my very sporadic posts. The internet connection here is awful at best. I am keeping notes and writing down ideas to blog about as I think of them. So, I am also trying to learn how to use all of the tools on my computer to allow me to write up posts ahead of time, to that way I can do my best to have something to post everyday. Happy Monday!

PostHeaderIcon Oops…Already

So, here it is Wednesday and I didn’t post anything yesterday. I started typing and typing and had all sorts of stuff to talk about and then…nothing… Oh Well…

Being as though today is Wednesday and I like to participate in Wordless Wednesday I am going to go ahead and add a photo to this post. I am also going to add a few words… What can I say…I march to the beat of my own drum. So today was Adrien’s first day of school and he LOVED it. I was so excited when he came out and one of his classmates came with him and asked for our phone number! We are so blessed.
Today I also received an e-mail with a draft of our lease agreement for our house! I timed it and from the new house it only takes 12 minutes to Adrien’s school. That is great since school starts at 0730, but it also gets out at 1330. Cambridge Academy follows a South African school schedule, which is year round. It is kind of cool though because in between terms they have anywhere from a week to 4 weeks off of school. They also have other holidays off as well. I have to admit that I wasn’t really keen on the idea of a year round school, but looking at the schedule, it really isn’t so bad. Just another thing we can add to the list of things that we have tried (and conquered).

I hope the middle of the week finds you all well and the rest is just as good if not better!

Adrien's 1st Day of School in South Africa Wearing His "Smart" Uniform

PostHeaderIcon And the Winners Are…

Well, I actually have a few winners to announce! The first in my opinion is AWFUL news, but congratulations to the New York Giants for their win over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl yesterday. I have been a die hard Pats fan since I can remember and was extremely pleased with how their season this year went and can’t wait to see how great they are next year.

Now, on to the more positive winners…

For those of you who don’t know, we have moved AGAIN!!! We are currently residing in Witbank, Mpumalanga, South Africa. It is gorgeous here and I am loving it. We have made a few house hunting trips and and it appears that looking at the same house three times has definitely paid off. I am really hoping that we will have a lease signed and be moved in by the first of March. Keep your fingers crossed. That is winner number one, because we are currently staying in a guesthouse which isn’t so bad, other than we can’t really get “settled in”. Winner number two is Cambridge Academy here in Witbank. This is the school that we have decided will provide the best education for Adrien. Adrien, Lily and I go tomorrow to meet the principal and turn in paperwork. After that we go to my first South African OB appointment! So for those of you that didn’t know that either, we are expecting new Baby Sholes in July! I am about 18 weeks along, so really if we wanted to we could find out if we are having Baby Girl Sholes or Baby Boy Sholes, but we aren’t going to find out this time either. I am also pretty excited that the doctor I am seeing tomorrow is the “on-call” doctor for the midwife I will be meeting with soon.

I see this trip to South Africa bringing many positive changes to our family and I look forward to sharing them all with you. I apologize for the almost year (if not more) break I took from my blog. I fully intend to do better this time.

:)

PostHeaderIcon Hello Again!

So, it is Friday afternoon and I have been trying to decide whether or not to try my hand at selling some of my wares on Etsy. I have started up sewing again and am making bibs, burp cloths, sleep sacks, bloomers and whatever else I can figure out. I have been mulling this over for about a week and I think that I am going to try it out! If it doesn’t work, oh well. I will try again later maybe. Who knows. I would love for this to be a success so that I can by myself a new embroidery machine and take my craft even further. I am super excited about this so thank you in advance to everyone who checks out my shop and especially if you buy something! Happy Labor Day Weekend and happy shopping! I will let you know as soon as my Etsy shop is up and running here and on my Facebook page.

PostHeaderIcon Wordless Wednesday – July 27, 2011 – Wandering Davis Family

My aunt,her husband and their four children are working there way across the country. They started in California and are headed to the nation’s capitol, where they will stay for a week or so and then head back to Cali! What an adventure! I was so pleased that they were able to stop and see us since it has been about 10 years since I last saw them. Good Luck Davis Family!!!

The Davis Family & Miss Lily

PostHeaderIcon Food Friday – July 22, 2011 – Soft Pretzels

This is another recipe that I got from Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker. I can honestly say that EVERYTHING I have tried from her website has turned out fantastically yummy. I love that she has such a variety of recipes as well. She offers recipes for bread, sweets, dips, salads, ice cream, you name it she probably has a recipe for it. Love the diversity.

Anywho, now that I am trying to be more aware of what and how I eat, I am not headed to the mall every time I get a craving for a pretzel and lemonade. Have you ever looked at the nutritional information for those??? Holy cow! No wonder I am overweight! I am reteaching myself to think about how bad I really want something. Especially if I can find a recipe for what it is I am wanting to munch on. If I want it bad enough to make it from scratch, then I have to at least try it to see how it turned out, right? When I plugged this recipe into my Weight Watchers recipe builder I get a Points Plus value of 4! That is amazing! A snack that satisfies my salty (or sweet, depending on the topping) craving is only 4 points. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do.

From: Brown Eyed Baker

Soft Pretzel Recipe

(Source: i shot the chef)

1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 package (or 2-1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Soda Bath
6 cups water
3 Tablespoons baking soda

Topping
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes to bloom. Add the water/yeast along with the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and 2 3/4 cups of the flour to your heavy-duty mixer and knead dough for about 8 minutes, adding the last 1/4 cup of flour if necessary (I never needed to add this). You can also do this by hand. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but very uniform and smooth. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled.

2. Punch down, and divide the dough into 12 equal shapes and form them into small balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes. Roll them into 20? lengths and form them into pretzel shapes. If you notice them getting hard to roll (springing back), cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5 minutes and then continue rolling out. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the pretzels to rise for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

3. In a large pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil. Add the pretzels one at a time to the boiling water for 1 minute. Press down into the boiling water with a spatula. Remove and place on a cooling rack. When cooled, transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt and bake for 12-15 minutes, until dark brown.

Note: To ensure the dough is thoroughly kneaded, take a small piece and roll it into a ball. With your thumbs, stretch the dough until either it tears or becomes transparent in the center, also known as a window. If you cannot stretch the dough to form a window, knead a little longer.

Note #2: If you have a kitchen scale, use that to weigh out the 12 balls of dough. They should be right around 2 oz each.

Makes 12 Pretzels

PostHeaderIcon Wordless Wednesday – July 20, 2011 – 25lbs!

I have lost 25.2lbs since January!

PostHeaderIcon Food Friday – July 15, 2011 – Grilled Lemon Chicken

As I have disclosed, I have been sticking with Weight Watchers, so I bought the Weight Watcher’s New Complete Cookbook. All of the recipes are in the new Points Plus values which is tremendously helpful. I thawed out some chicken breasts for supper Wednesday and didn’t feel like cooking, so I had to use them on Thursday. So I looked in my cookbook for something that looked appealing. For me that is a feat because I am pretty picky. I was pleasantly surprised how well this chicken turned out because honestly, I made it for Seth. I don’t like my meats tasting like fruit of any kind, lemon is no exception. Enough rambling, here is the recipe. Bon Apetit!

Grilled Lemon Chicken

courtesy of Weight Watcher’s New Complete Cookbook
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
3 TBSP lemon juice (I used fresh)
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 – 5oz boneless skinless chicken breast
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

With side of a large knife, mash garlic with salt until it forms a paste.

To make marinade, combine lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic paste, oregano and pepper in a large zip-close plastic bag; add chicken. Squeeze out the air and seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Spray grill with nonstick spray (if necessary, I did not). Preheat grill to medium or prepare medium fire using direct method.

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack and grill until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 breast): 98 grams, 161 calories, 4g total fat, 1g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 78mg chol, 142 mg sodium, 1g total carbs, 0g total sugar, 0g fiber, 29g protein, 18mg calcium
PointsPlus Value: 4

Current City
Witbank, Mpumalanga, South Africa