The Joy of Laundry

Some of you may know our washing machine broke about a week before Christmas. We waited awhile to have it looked at because it is a very old machine and we wanted to just get a new one. And it isn’t like a dishwasher, where you could just wash them hand.. I wouldn’t even know where to pick up a scrub board for handwashing laundry.

After two weeks of waiting for my dear husband to decide. I finally called a service repair man. They came and looked it over. It appeared that somehow a nail had gotten into the washer and wedged itself into the pump which is why it wouldn’t drain out. How a nail got into my washing machine I will not even begin to guess.

They didn’t have the part on hand but ordered a new. It arrived, damaged, and they had to order a new one. Finally arrived last Monday, But the soonest they had to service was today, Friday. So it has been 4 weeks since we had a working washing machine. With three little kids, one of whom wants to potty train, and we had the stomach flu hit, it was too long to be without.

I have never been so happy to see a repair man in my life, despite the fact that the smell of cigarettes lingered even after he left, I almost wanted to hug him.

After he left I immediately began to wash clothes. After this long without a machine of our own, you can only imagine how low on clean underwear we all are.

For the past 6 years of being a parent there has always been the tedious task of lots and lots of laundry. But even as I stare at the 15 piles of laundry that need the be washed, I don’t feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the work. I feel joy.

Joy in the fact that my machine is now fixed and I don’t have to haul wash to my mom’s house or the neighbors. Though I want to say they are awesome for letting us wash clothes at their homes and saving u the astromnomical costs of a laundromat.

I feel joy in the fact that we can afford to buy clothes for our kids.

I feel overwhelming joy in the fact that I have three messy kids to do laundry for. I know for some that don’t have kids that may be a wish, and for some who’s kids are grown and moved away they may miss these days.

So while I sort, and wash and fold and put away piles of clothes I am going to pray for my family, praise God for the blessings he has given us, and thank Him for allowing me to find the Joy in Laundry.

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Preparing for Disney!

We are so excited to surprise the kids with a Disney Cruise. We are going to tell them about it at Christmas. Our trip is not until next year, but I have been busy preparing for our trip! If you read my blog, you know that I am a planner. I also love to craft. In this post I will share all I am doing to prepare. Most of these things I will pack in the surprise boxes for the kids to open at Christmas to tell them about the trip.

I’ve been reading lots of Disney blogs with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Disney cruise. Or also ways to have fun souvenirs without breaking the bank.

I really like this one. She has a list of the items she purchased at the Dollar Tree before the trip! What a great list. Dollar Tree Must Buys before your cruise.

1. Dot Shirts

I made these for the kids’ surprise boxes. I saw the idea on Pinterest, I cut out a stencil of Mickey and traced it on the shirt. Then using quality fabric paint and the eraser on a pencil, dot around the exterior. I loved these because you make them an color you like. For Joy I used black, pink, purple, and yellow. Deano black, red, and yellow, and for Teddy blue, red, and yellow. Find the original post HERE.

2. Cabin Door Decor

Apparently decorating your cabin door is very popular on Cruise ships, especially Disney cruises. So I made these cute little signs to hang on ours. I am one letter ‘a’ short to finish her name. I still need to laminate them and add little magnets to the back. Cabin doors are metal so using a peel and stick magnet on the back will work great! They frown upon people using tape or adhesive.

3. Lanyards

All Cruise lines issue credit card style key cards that are used for everything! Your meal ticket, room key, kids camp, etc. They will hole punch them for you to be able to put them on a lanyard. To buy a lanyard in the port waiting area (pre-boarding) is at least $5. I found these great lanyards at Party City online for $1 each! Buy Yours Here . The Cyclone one was a bit more but worth it for my avid ISU fan.

4. Personalized Water Bottles

I am loving these water bottles I made! I ordered the custom name labels from a shop on Etsy and then bought some of the bottles on Amazon and some from Walmart. It is a good idea to take a water bottle with you on a cruise so you can fill up at the drink fountains. Saves money on buying bottled water! And who doesn’t love having something personalized? I know I do.

If you are lucky and own a Cricut you could make the labels yourself. I really wish I had one! Maybe someday!

5. Fun Cozy Blankets

I found these little blankets at Walmart and thought they would be great for the airplane and even just chilling on the pool deck watching the late night movie. They had a lot of great choices so you can choose something that your kids will love!

Joy is so smart. She knows we are planning something, and she hates waiting to find out what it is. Daddy almost ruined the surprise the other day when we got a welcome brochure in the mail from Disney cruise line.

Moana birthday

Joy turned 6 this week. I cannot even believe my little tiny bundle that came three weeks early is already 6. While she loves all Disney princesses. Moana is by far her favorite at the moment. She has been wanting a Moana party for months so I begin planning a few months ago.

The best surprise for her birthday party was when Moana arrrived at our home. I had asked a highschool girl I knew from church if she would be willing to come to the party and pretend to be Moana. She agreed, and she did a fantastic job! She had made a beautiful costume and had rehearsed the song so much she sang it accapela. Beautiful.

Joy didn’t leave her side the whole time she was there. You can see the video of our Moana singing.

We had about 20 kids come to the party. It was loud and crazy and they went through all the planned activities very fast. So we ended up watching the movie Moana towards the end of the day.

I had fun decorating for the party. We had leis for the kids, little straws with pineapples and flamingos. Blue Sea Water punch, a Moana pinata stuffed full of candy.

I decorated cupcakes to resemble the heart of Tafiti and made blue jello with boats.

I love throwing parties for my kids. But I think this will be the last year one of the Princesses comes to visit. It’s exhausting getting all this ready. But as my little Joy said, “It was the best birthday ever!” And I hope it is one she will always remember.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Pizza is beloved in our house. And most of the time we order from one of our favorite local pizza joints. But sometimes we get a craving for some yummy homemade pizza.

What I love most about homemade pizza is then the kids can pick exactly what they want on it. You can make the pizzas to feed 1-2 or 6!

So yesterday I made the crust for our pizzas. It can be made the same day, but is easier to handle when chilled.

Here is my crust recipe: (makes 4 loaves)

  • 2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant rise yeast (2 pkg)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • Corn meal for the pizza stone
  1. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and water in a 5 qt mixing bowl, until yeast is dissolved
  2. Slowly add in the flour with bread hook.
  3. Cover, not airtight and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours
  4. Dough can be used right away but is easier to handle when chilled. Refridgerate in a lidded (not airtight container). Can be kept for up to 2 weeks.

The pizza stone should be dusted with cornmeal for a better crust texture. I also use a little cornmeal/flour combo when rolling it out.

Roll out the dough, and top with whatever you like. Tonight I made one with cheese and pepperoni and one with chicken and pesto.

For toppings, it is best to use a fresh mozzarella and cube it to spread on the pizza. The more you use, the better coverage you of cheese you will have. Don’t use pre shredded.. it makes your pizza greasy.

This is what we used tonight. I also buy pre made pesto sauce. I liked this one alot. Just saute your chicken pieces ahead of time in a little EVOO with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to bake. Turn your oven to 500 degrees. Yes 500. But not broil, just bake. The cook time will depend on the size and thickness of your crust and toppings. I typically cook mine about 10-12 minutes.

WELCOME FINN!

We would like you to meet Finn, or Emperor Finn Roosevelt as my husband calls him. He is the newest member of our little family.

We decided we weren’t busy enough with our 3 young kiddos we needed to add a new baby to the mix.

Finn is a Cockalier. Which means his dad was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and his mom was a Cocker Spaniel.

We are having all sorts of fun with him, kennel training, house breaking, teaching him to not bite. Baby Teddy likes the kennel as much as the pup!

He was a bit of a sponataneous decision. And has been a handful at times. But he is a very sweet cuddler when he isn’t feisty and wanting to play.

He gets lots and lots of attention. Is a bit spoiled I am sure.

So if you are looking for a nice family dog, I recommend his breed. I had done alot of research and his breed is loyal, eager to please, and great with kids. Our kids are on him constantly.

Toy Bins

Is your toy room as messy as ours usually is?? Today the older two and I cleaned the toy room. It is so much nicer to play when it is cleaned up. And they can find their toys better also. But today I decided to make durable labels, with pictures so they have no excuse for not keeping it clean.

These are a few of the ones I made. The kids are enjoying their tidy playroom. Apparently the animals are having a race.

What are tips and tricks you have for keeping a today playroom?

Thai Yellow Curry

I LOVE YELLOW CURRY. Whenever we go out to get Thai food I always order the yellow curry with chicken. It is a mix of delicious coconut flavors with a hint of spice, potatoes, chicken and onions. Well after my anniversary trip to Minneapolis where I had the most amazing yellow Thai curry I was inspired to make it at home. I am not great at concocting recipes on my own, but I am the queen of Google and searching for the best and replicating. So here it is.

I borrowed the recipe and the photo from Pinch of Yum. Click the photo to get to the original blog post. I am copying the recipe down here so I can have it forever. It is seriously that good!

When I made it I actually doubled the recipe. Which made enough for an army. We invited some friends over and still had leftovers. You MUST MAKE THE YELLOW CURRY PASTE!! It is a bit time intensive but so worth it. Check out her blog for the link to the curry paste. Even with doubling my recipe the first time I still have 4 more servings of curry paste in my freezer.

I couldn’t find Thai dried curry peppers at my local grocery store so I went to an Asian Grocery store for that. The guy checking out ahead of me offered to buy my peppers. I think he felt sorry for me trying to buy one item, and hauling all 3 kids around with me. I told him it was not necessary but he did it anyway. I felt a little weird about it, but thanked him and left. I didn’t feel so bad when I saw him walk out and get in his Audi. He could afford to pay $1.38 for a bag of chili peppers.

For my curry paste I only added 6 Chili’s. Next time I will add more so that it has more heat.

Recipe for the best yellow curry ever.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • half a yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup yellow curry paste
  • 10 baby golden yukon potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream (it’s like coconut milk, but even more luscious)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
  • cilantro and rice for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until the onions are fragrant and softened. Add the chicken and curry paste; saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the curry paste.
  2. Add the coconut cream and 1/2 cup water to the pot – simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked, adding more water depending on the consistency you want for the sauce.
  3. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar to really take it up a notch. Seriously – so good. Serve over rice.
  1. .

A few notes.. I did not add the fish sauce. I also used one 1 can of coconut cream and 1 can coconut milk (because I doubled the recipe).

Who wants to come over next time I make it? The hubby wants it in the regular rotation!

Surviving Tonsil Surgery

Oh boy. This has been a rough week for our family. Little Deano got his tonsils out a few days ago, and it has been a rough recovery. He is terrible about swallowing pain meds on a good day, so there was no way he was going to this time. Lots of suppositories for this boy.

Thankful to have a friend helping in the surgery today

I did all the things I thought would help. Stocked up on soft foods: pudding, jello, applesauce, scrambled eggs, popsicles, ice cream, mashed potatoes, etc. But dear little man doesn’t want to eat anything.

A few tips for you if you have a child or friend having this done.

  • Don’t freak out about the smelly breath. It is awful! But completely normal, and does get better. If they will let you brush their teeth/tongue do it a few minutes at a time, and frequently.
  • Keep them hydrated. It is hard. But they need to drink to heal, as well as not get dehydrated. Whether it is juice, milk, water, Gatorade. Just get them to drink.
  • Stock up on straws! And not the sippy cups with straws. (The force to suck those is harder and hurts when your throat was just sliced)
  • Get lots of soft food options.
  • Set them up with a soft spot to watch TV, read books, play with little toys. Deano loves to watch Little Einsteins on Netflix. So we have been doing that alot. They are not supposed to exert themselves for over a week because of the risk of bleeding.
  • Plan to just hunker down for awhile, you little one is not going to feel up to going anywhere. (We are going on 5 days of not leaving the house). So make sure you have lots of food in the fridge.
  • Buy lots of pain meds ahead of time. I would suggest getting Tylenol and ibuprofen both. They can be alternated. Deano won’t swallow, so I use Tylenol suppositories for him. Stay on top of regular meds. They really hurt! (Walgreens was running a BOGO this week on children’s pain meds)

Has anyone else dealt with this and have other tips to share?

We are ready to get some life back into our sweet little man.

Right before surgery

An Adventure at Sea (with kids)

Where do you and your family like to go on vacation? We recently took our little family on a Caribbean cruise. It was a week of firsts for our little Wribbotts. First time on an airplane, first time seeing or swimming in the ocean, first time on a cruise ship, first time finding shells in the sand, and the list goes on.

It was such a joy to see the wonder in their eyes at the size of the ship. Though I think I need a vacation to recover from our vacation.

Continue reading “An Adventure at Sea (with kids)”

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