A few weeks ago, the nice people over at Enjoy Life Foods sent us two complimentary bags of their Trail Mixes to try out and review. We've tried these before (in fact, I had the Mountain Mambo in my cabinet already), but in case you haven't noticed, the packaging is different. I really like the new packaging! The colors are more muted and to me it gives it more of a look of "a healthy safe snack" instead of "kiddie food". I also like how the new packaging shows pictures of the main ingredients on the front. For example, the Beach Bash package shows pictures of sunflower kernels, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and apricots.
The packaging may have changed, but the delicious product inside has not. It's still free of the most common allergens (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shell fish) and it's still made in a dedicated nut and gluten free facility. And that's why I love Enjoy Life products: You know you are eating products SAFE for your allergies.
So thank you Enjoy Life, for sending us these products to try. As always, they are a big hit here in our house, with the food allergic and the NON food allergic.
To find out more about Enjoy Life Foods, you can go here.
Yes, I'm lazy. And a bad blogger. Actually I'm lazy and busy...
So I'm just doing a quick check in with links and pictures. I checked on you all today and you look like you are having a good time, doing fine, and enjoying the up coming holiday.
Here's what we're doing:
Soccer is still going on. And it's still raining... buckets. Older Boy had to ride home from his game in a garbage bag because he was so muddy. There was no where for him to change and he was covered in mud from head to toe. We did what we had to....
Happy Halloween from the "Flesh Stalker" (Little Man) and the "Phantom" (Older Boy). They have both gotten to the age where cute costume are out and scary stuff is in. I'm not happy with it, but I don't want to squash there creativity. Well not totally anyway. They are allowed to be "fake" scary stuff. But they can't be nasty characters from movies they haven't seen (i.e. Chucky or Freddy Kruger).
I love this post from Tim @ 1 Timothy 3:15. It talks about Halloween from a Catholic/Christian perspective and I love how he says that instead of playing into what the devil does, we are mocking him.
There's a Lego Fest coming to Cleveland next weekend. Want to guess where I'll be?? If your kids love Lego's check out where the fest will be coming next.
I'm sharing this picture because, well, it made me laugh and I feel it's true for me:
I'm not a runner. But I keep trying... :)
The bathroom remodel is still on going... I'm hoping it will be completed by this weekend. But I'm doubtful. At least we have a working toilet in there. (Must look on the bright side!). I've got pictures and will post those when it's completed.
We are attending a Halloween party next weekend and will be dressing up. I'll post some seriously unflattering pictures next week. I love Halloween. I despise dressing up. And trying to find a costume that was "modest" but not Ketchup or Mustard wasn't easy. 7 stores later....
Enjoy Life Foods are no longer making allergen friendly bagels. My son LOVED these and we are bummed. I tried to make my own over the weekend, but they didn't turn out so well. They taste great but they are more like "pieces" of bagel than anything else. This recipe is great, but I'm sure I did something wrong. Stay tuned for more allergy friendly bagel posts in the future. I MUST master the bagel.
The last couple of posts were about "critters". At the end of the last one I said I "was afraid of what was next". Yea well that would have been a dead goose. In the back yard. Laying there feet up. For 2 days until the Husband could dispose of it. How it got there, I have NO idea. I'm done with critters. Please. no more. I won't even ask what's next because I can't imagine...
That's my check in for now! I'll keep checking in on you.
Oh the joy of boys! While vacuuming today I realized that I needed to empty the dirt cup. I hate emptying the dirt cup. Whether the vacuum has a bag or a cup or a container, it's still a nasty job.
This vacuum is a fairly new one for us and I hadn't emptied it before. It's not difficult but you have to take the hose off. When I took off the hose, this literally slithered out:
No, it's not real. But for a split second it LOOKED real. Especially since it "slithered" out. I'm 41 years old. I could have easily had a heart attack (or at a minimum wet my pants). Seriously, that was not funny. Until I realized that it was a fake. Then it was a bit funny. And confusing. How did that get in there?? I don't remember sucking it up. And I'm assuming it would have made a loud noise after getting sucked up so I'm not sure how one could miss it. The boys didn't do it because even if I offered them $5000.00 they wouldn't touch the vacuum. Cleaning is not their thing... making messes is their thing. So that mystery will live on.
I'm just so thankful that it wasn't a real one. This guy was found on our driveway this summer. They kind of look a like (at least for a split second at first glance).
Mr. Fake Snake sort of looks like he's laughing at me....
I hope we are done with all the "creatures" for a while. I don't even want to think about what the next one could be....
I hate spiders. I have no idea WHY God created them (Ok, I get the reason, but I don't like them). They F.R.E.A.K. me out.
My senior year of college I lived on the ground floor of a 100 year old carriage house. It was in a field behind a professors house. The carriage house had it's charm, but it also had lots of spiders, hairy ones. I cried. For weeks. I threatened to move to a hotel. But I had already paid the rent for the semester ($650.00 per semester in '91/'92 was a A LOT of money). I was fixated on trying to make sure that those nasty spiders never came too close to me. My entire senior year I slept with a night light and my glasses on so that I could see them if they were coming for me. I know it's not rational. My fear of spiders is not rational. If I think about them too long, my heart rate goes up and it's hard for me to breathe.
So when I found this one in my front flower bed, I was L.E.S.S. than thrilled.
I knew something big was in there because the webs in my bed are many and although I hate to say this, amazing looking. BUT that doesn't mean that I want this thing in there. And oh, by the way, it's not just one. It's a few.
I'm not going to finish the fall clean up in that bed. I don't care what needs to be done, I'm NOT going back in there. In fact, I have a hard time sitting on my front porch knowing these things are a few inches away from me.
I LOVE fall, but I'm not loving our new house guests.
Some more fun fall pictures that do not include 8 legged nastiness:
And I did see this movie in college. It's my worst nightmare...
The boys have been testing me lately and I'm afraid I keep failing. They are having issues with listening and following directions. They push. And I explode. Like a nuclear bomb. Taking out everything in my wake. It's not good. I keep praying to the Holy Spirit to give me patience, but I think I need to pray more.
I started off my day dropping off at school and going for a 3 mile hike in the Metroparks. I don't usually hike by myself in the woods (I watch WAY too much Criminal Minds to feel comfortable being alone... in the woods... in a park...). But I hiked it because I was helping my husband come up with a 3 mile hiking path that he could use for Cub Scouts. I thoroughly enjoyed my hike and being in nature on such a beautiful fall morning calmed me. It was absolutely glorious.
But this afternoon I picked the boys up from school and all the calmness went out the window. As soon as they get in the car the chaos begins. There's yelling, fighting, hitting, and talking over each other. I always try to give each boy ample time to tell me about his day and all the the anecdotes that are so important to him. But they seem to be in constant competition and this ends in a melee.
After my hike I stopped to run errands (no shower, no makeup... I apologize to the people of that store. They deserved better). I picked up a number of items that were needed and I also picked up an extra set of chip clips. Chip clips, you say? ... Yes. I usually use large paper clips to keep chips, crackers, etc. fresh, but I found a cheap set of 3 chip clips for $2.99 and picked them up because the kids broke all our other ones. They play with them by opening them repeatedly and then the spring snaps. And what did the Little Man do as soon as he walked in the door? He spied those chip clips and immediately started playing with one. I said to him "Put it down. It's not a toy. If you keep doing that it's going to break". And did he listen? NO. Did he break it? Yes.
Now this is NOT really about a cheap chip clip. It's one more example of one of them not listening and an adverse reaction happened. I worry that one day I will tell them not to do something that could hurt them and they'll do it any way and something really dreadful will happen. Luckily today was not that day, but I E.X.P.L.O.D.E.D over that broken chip clip. In fact that child is up in his room, punished, right now. It's not about the chip clip. It's about the not listening. But does he know that? I'm not sure.
When someone goes completely bonkers and starts ranting and raving do you always understand what they are saying? I know I don't. So maybe the problem isn't really that they aren't listening. Maybe it's that I'm not coherent enough for them to understand me. Maybe when I start screaming like a maniac, they tune out. I know that if someone did that to me, I'd tune out.
I think that's what the chip clip taught me today. It's not them. It's me. I need to keep praying to the Holy Spirit for patience. And I think I also need to pray for less of a temper and a quieter voice. Maybe then they'll hear me and start listening.
Lately the boys are having a hard time getting into "homework" mode when they get home from school. There's lots of snacking and chatting. Both boys have desks in their rooms where they can study quietly but then they seem to procrastinate by being distracted by other things in their rooms. I've been looking for a solution and I thought I found one... but no.
Yesterday before the Little Man's physical therapy, we stopped at one of our local libraries so they could get a start on their homework. We are lucky to live close to two libraries but they are located in two different counties. Yesterday we went to the children's section of the library. No one was there and it was VERY quiet. This children's section is separated from the adult section by a hallway and the "Check In/Out" desk. If there had been other's in the children's section we would have moved to the adult section where it is typically more quiet. This children's section has a wooden train track and trains for little ones to play with and sometimes it can get a bit noisy. It's a very nice library and having the children's section separate from the adult section helps reduce noise when someone is working or trying to read. The boys got all their homework done yesterday quickly because there weren't any distractions.
Today however, we went to the library that is closer to our house. This library does not have a segregated children's section, but from what I saw today, they don't need it. It's the teen/adults that are the problem. I expect Jr. High and High School students to be noisy and loud. But the librarian talking loudly on her cell phone was icing on the cake. No one "SHHHH"'d anybody and why would they? The librarian was louder than all of them. (Here's where I date myself and sound old) When I was in school if you talked above a whisper you were asked to quiet down by the librarian. If she had to address your behavior several times, you were asked to leave. But it usually never came to that because most of the children in my town respected the rules of the library. I don't ever remember adults talking loudly. They were the ones that gave us kids sideways glances as we came in. This served as a warning to be on our best behavior. The library was a place where you could study or read. What I witnessed today was a play date area for teens and adults. No one was reading. No one was studying (except for my boys and 2 teens that looked to be in a tutoring session). The librarians were busy chatting it up with people they knew or on cell phones. Times have changed.
I love our library system. But the one by our house is more of a meeting place vs. an actual, functioning library. In fact, last week in the local paper they wrote just that. The library funding is up for renewal this election day and they need more money because as it said in the paper the library today is more of a "community center" than the learning center that it used to be. The article was favorable to today's libraries and I thought that the "community center" scenario was a good one. That is until I witnessed it today.
Maybe I'm just a dinosaur. Maybe I'm just one of those old fuddy duddies that rails against change. But having a place to read quietly, study without distraction, or to be able to look up information without loud noises seemed like a good idea.
I guess I'll be rearranging the boys rooms to make things less of a distraction. Doesn't look like the library is a place where they can study. Maybe they can have a play group there next week instead.