Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Double Berry Pops

I found this fantastic treat recipe in the Gluten-Free Bible.

Double Berry Pops

2  cups plain yogurt (I used vanilla flavored)
1  cup blueberries
3  TB sugar
6  5-oz Dixie cups (plastic or paper) or pop molds
1  cup strawberries
6  pop sticks

1. Combine 1 cup yogurt, blueberries and 1 1/2 TB sugar.  Blend until smooth.

2. Pour mixture into cups and freeze one hour.  After one hour, add the sticks.

3.  Combine 1 cup yogurt, strawberries and 1 1/2 TB sugar.  Blend until smooth.

4. Pour over blueberry layer.  Freeze for at least 4 hours.  Cover with foil if needed.

5.  To serve, peel away paper cup or gently twist frozen pops out of the plastic cups or molds.

Tips:  Try other flavors such as orange and lemon, using grated lemon and orange peels; key lime and orange, or make the berry pops all one flavor.

These were a huge hit with my kids.  No artificial flavors or aspartame (if using original yogurt brands and not lite), low in sugar and healthy fruit.


Chore Charts

It feels good to not have so much going on at once.  It feels good to get caught up on sleep, to not have to be running around all over the place and actually finish up the million little projects around the house.  Now with the kids out of school, I've made it clear that I will not be doing all the work around here by myself while everyone else gets to play all day.  I wasn't very motivated to make yet another chart on the computer and have the kids put stickers on each chore and have them lose interest after a day or two. So I adopted an idea for chores off of Pinterest by

Each child picks a color.  Paint one-half of the Popsicle or craft stick and write the chore on the other.  If your sticks are big enough, a small mason jar works perfectly but I had these little containers that worked better with Popsicle sticks.

Each child gets a container.

 Then I put them in a larger container to keep them all together.  A pretty basket would work great, too.

Once the child completes the chore, the Popsicle stick gets turned upside down.  When all the colors are showing, he/she is free to go play.

I added a container for weekly chores such as clean bedroom, clean bathroom, sort and put away laundry, etc. Those sticks stay in the weekly container and once those sticks are color-side up, they stay that way until the week is done unless that chore needs done again before the week is up.

I added a "Good Deeds" container with golden sticks.  If a child chooses to do a good deed, she gets to move that stick color-side up to her container.  Good deeds are chores such as: help fold laundry, help make dinner, play a game with your sister, clean downstairs bathroom, pick up dog poop, etc.

Each child also has the option to do a chore for someone else.  It's considered a good deed and they can move that stick to their own container, color-side up. 

We have not really decided any incentives for these chore sticks.  Right now, their incentives are being able to go play and not be pestered by Mom, but ideas were being kicked around that if all the chores are done each day for the week, we'll go out for ice cream or do something fun.

We are on day 2 and so far, it's been very successful.  I would love ideas on how to keep the kids motivated to want to do their chores.  We can't always afford to give allowances but when the kids need something or want to do something special, they usually get it because they've done chores.  Any suggestions?

Just Gettin' Off This Crazy Ride!

As I was walking up 79 stairs in my bare feet holding a foam mat to ride down the Dolphin Dash water slide at Zoombezi Bay for the third time, it dawned on me that now that I'm out of this humongous whirlwind of a life, I haven't even blogged since Spring Break. My schedule became so full, I broke out into hives from the stress of having to be in 3 different places at once.  One Monday, my husband and I were sitting on the couch with no kids around and nothing to do, someone (meaning me, yes I'll admit) had the bright idea to go visit a gymnastics place.  The girls had been begging us for a long time to go back to gymnastics but we just haven't been able to afford it.  But this place offers fundraising so some or all of the cost could be relieved from out of pocket.  We liked the place so much, we signed on that night. What little did we know, the month of May was going to be the most stressful month we've ever had! We had school, gymnastics, cheer, Girl Scouts, camping, horseback riding, violin lessons, appointments and year-end parties all scheduled during the month of May.  Memorial Day weekend came and my schedule came to a screeching halt. The only thing we have going on now is gymnastics and cheerleading.

Introducing the newest members of Rock Solid Academy:

Marcella is on the gymnastics team...

And Ellen is on the "mini" cheerleading team...

Mondays through Thursdays in the evenings have been spoken for the next year of our lives.

My Happiness Project

My Happiness Project has taken the way-back burner.  I foresee changes and new opportunities coming my way very soon, though.  I signed my family up to help decorate the parade float for Rock Solid, I hope to join the parent team and compete in dance and I'm hoping to start a vegetable garden very soon.  That always makes me happy.  I finally nailed my front tuck on the trampoline, in which I had been a very big chicken over doing for years now.  When someone told me I was too old to be doing "that kind of crap", I made it a point to JUST DO IT and one day, I did.  I refuse to allow someone to call me too old to do anything and I won't let my children ever see me give up on something I'm too scared to do. I've been out there doing cartwheels and hand stands with my girls just to show them that Mom can still be "cool" and young.... at least young-at-heart.  I probably look like a fool and I really have no business tumbling around on a mat but I don't care.  I miss being a kid again.