Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swanson Broth...A Thanksgiving Mainstay!

(originally posted on my other blog 11-28-07)

Thanksgiving means different things to different people. This Thanksgiving meant something new to me. It meant v.o.m.i.t.

My husband has some food intolerances. I think I have it figured out. It seems to be to sulfites and glutamate. Sulfites are a poisonous preservative, glutamate, a naturally occurring substance that man has copied and corrupted into MSG and it's cronies.

My mil (unbeknownst to us) had used Swanson canned chicken broth in the stuffing and the gravy. The ingredients? Water, MSG, MSG, MSG.

Only a couple of minutes after dinner, my husband knew something was wrong. He is familiar with his symptoms and knew how the night would go. My little guy, BabyJ, hasn't struggled with MSG consumption. We don't eat much of it. I cook from scratch with real ingredients, not from boxes!

But he was affected...and how. After telling us he wasn't feeling well, he snuggled down into my arms wrapped in a blanket. We went outside a while later, to sit by the firepit. I'm glad we were outside! I was just going in when his tummy finally rejected the poison. All over the sliding glass door. And me. And him. And again and again.

After our showers, again.

And again.

It was very sad. I hate to see him sick! I didn't find out until the next day that Swanson MSG Broth was used in the dinner. I have to think that he must be sensitive, like my husband. He was totally better the next day, which is also a clue that it was the broth. I will be more vigilant in the future, especially when I'm not cooking!

For much more information on MSG, visit Make sure to visit the "Hidden Names For MSG" page. It surprised me to read some familiar terms.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Who's On First?

Here's a peek into how things sometimes go in our home.
(originally posted on my other blog 11-09-07)

I went to The Common Room and found this entry by JennyAnyDots. I watched the very funny videos with the Lambies. After viewing the parody of "Ticket To Ride", the Lambies wanted to watch the real Beatles perform it, so we did. As we listened, this is what was said:

EmBlem: "Who's alive, Mom?"
Momma: "Two are alive and two have passed away."
GirlofGod: "Who had a wife?" (mis-hearing who's alive)
Momma: "They were all married, as far as I know."
Polly: "They were all married?! GROSS! That's a sin"'s a wonder anyone learns anything sometimes!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ant Killer

(originally posted on my other blog 10-10-07)

We have had ants on and off for a few months. I have finally for something easy to mix up that seems to do the job.

Ant Killer
Combine on something the ants can climb easily onto/into; I used a canning jar lid:
1/2 tsp EACH aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet, etc it's a potent poison, to humans and insects!), Borax, and honey.
Add a drop or two of water if needed to thin out the mixture. Mix well.
Set into the path of the ants. They will gather, many thousands together, and take it back to their colony for food. It should wipe them all out in a day or two!

I had ants in my cup cupboard three or four weeks ago. I used this and I haven't seen one in the kitchen anywhere since!

They were in my bathroom this morning. They came from under the counter top by the wall and tracked down into the sink. I guess they were thirsty?! Out came my mix! I put it out at about 6:30 AM, and by 9 AM, it was surrounded by thousands of ants drinking their way to death. I took this shot at about 10:30 (photo deleted), when most had already gone back home and poisoned the queen. Many of the ants you see here are stuck in the honey and drowning. I have only about 20 ants roaming the counter, and they will be gone by this afternoon.

Happy killing!

(6-2008 Update) They did disappear. I haven't had them back yet this year either. Insert Happy Dance Smilie!

(1-2010 Update) Still use this when we get the occasional ant trail. Still works just as well!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dryer Disaster and Redemption

(originally posted on my other blog 9-21-07)

After a great day visiting with friends yesterday, I threw a load or two of laundry and made dinner. At about 7:30, I made a terrible discovery in my dryer...

Inside a pocket had been lurking two crayons, a red and a blue. Now they were smeared all over the inside of my dryer and all the clothes. This was a load of mixed colorfuls, kacki and light colored pants, white shirts, washrags, dresses, bathtowels...

I brought the children out to the dryer and showed them the mess, reminding them that crayons are not to be carried in pockets. I knew exactly who had done it, for the only pants in the load belonged to just one child. She was very upset at herself!

I got on the computer and found a method for removing the stains:

A wet rag, baking soda and light elbow grease removed the crayon from the dryer, including the plastic seal. Other methods mentioned using toothpaste, the white paste kind and a Mr. Clean Eraser. Baking soda worked fine for us. The guilty party did this part.

I removed the ruined clothes from the garbage can where I had flung them in frustration and re-washed them in this mixture:

Hot Water
regular amount of detergent (the website said to double, but I didn't)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup spray and wash or shout or something similar
generous squirt of Dawn

I have a front loader and though it was very sudsy, it rinsed fine, and the stains were GONE!

I do not have to replace all the washrags, towels, pants and shirts that I had given up for stained!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Weekend in Ventura

(originally posted on my other blog 9-14-07)

We were blessed to be able to go to Ventura this weekend for three days and two nights! Our friends mother graciously offered us her home for the weekend, while she stayed with friends. So, our family, plus our friends, the K Family, vacationed!

We were able to play in the ocean for several hours, and my Honey made this Batman sand sculpture for BabyJ. Later on, the ocean claimed it, which made my little Hulkling very angry, so Daddy made him another safe from the waves. He's so spoiled--but CUTE!

A man sitting near us asked to borrow one of our buckets to dig with and my Honey let him use Jack's. He accidently broke it and so Jack was gifted with a crisp $10 bill (with us, of course, insisting that he needn't pay for a cheap Dollar Tree bucket). Jack's going to buy Batman figures, he says.

We went to an area that was shored up with fill rock and home to thousands of little crabs, sea snails and barnacles. The Lambies enjoyed all the rock climbing and turning over the rocks to find crabs. We watched as four crabs fought over a tidbit of fish flesh. My Honey took this photo of me and BabyJ.
and this one of EmBlem, Vic and BabyJ.

After the crab watch, we went to the pier. BabyJ thought he would run down the over-the-freeway sidewalk like the older children and did this to himself.
He cried for just a minute, and rubbed blood all over Daddy's shirt. Then it was business as usual. We ate at a restaurant on the pier (the fish and chips were so-so), then walked to the end and took this family photo, minus my Honey, the photographer.

Can you tell it was windy? The police were doing an evidence search in the water, so there were sheriff's boats and divers all over. It was very interesting to watch!

We took a tour through Mission SantaBuenaVentura. It was interesting to see the artifacts and grounds. The sanctuary of the mission was a bit creepy with all the statues peering down at us.

We drove home via 101 and then cut over and visited the little town of Solvang. It is a tourist town a with Scandinavian theme. We window shopped for a couple of hours and really enjoyed ourselves! No pictures, though, due to leaving the camera in the car. Nearby was an ostrich farm where you could buy eggs, feed and touch the birds and see chicks. We hadn't the time to stop, though, so that's for another trip! I really wanted to stop, but it was already quite late and we had a long way to drive still.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Puzzle Organization

(originally posted on my other blog 9-12-07)

When my Lambies were small, we began collecting puzzles. They still love working puzzles to this day. But often, little EmBlem would craftily get all the puzzles out and frolic amidst all the pieces. She was quite a climber and was very good at figuring out how to get to high places! It was so frustrating.

So, on all her cardboard puzzles (you know, the ones with the cardboard trays) and the ones with 24 pieces, I did this:

Gather them all together and get a Sharpie. Flip the first over so the backs are all showing and write a "1" on every piece. Then write a "1" on the tray. Repeat with each puzzle, marking with "2", :3" etc. Then, when the baby gets them all out, you can sort them easily!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

To The Sequoias Again

(originally posted on my other blog 7-7-07)

Our pictures are now uploaded, so I will share about last Saturday's trip.

We live only about forty-five minutes from some of God's most beautiful mountains. We often go for day trips, and a couple of times a year we stay for three days and two nights. We love our camping trips!

Last Saturday, we had planned to go to one area, but found it closed due to fire danger, so we went all the way up to the Park and visited General Sherman. Before we went there, though, we stopped in an off-the-beaten-path picnic area and enjoyed linner (lunch/dinner). While there, I captured this great shot:

I think it could be an advertisement for Coke! Of course BabyJ doesn't get nearly the Coca-Cola he thinks he needs! It's a fairly rare treat for him.

My Honey played with the original photo in a great *free* photo program called Picasa. It's through Google. We've had a great time playing around with it.

After lunch, we went to the General and then took The Congress Trail, a short jaunt through the forest. We met a "tame" chipmunk who stood at attention, trying to avoid being seen, for several minutes about a foot away from us. Even BabyJ was quiet and studied him closely. Then I found a spider with all her spiderlings on her abdomen. I think she was a wolf spider, but I'm not certain. I'll be submitting the photo to ,our favorite insect id-ing site.

Here's the entire family, courtesy of an Eastern European tourist:

It's amazing that almost every tourist you meet speaks English. He noticed My Honey taking a photo of everyone, and simply offered to take a family shot. How nice that he didn't run with the camera . We're standing by a century old slice of sequoia tree.

We left just before dusk, when the animals were getting active! On the way home we saw a lone bear, then a momma bear with two cubs crossing the road, a mule deer, a flock of wild turkeys with babies, a rattlesnake slithering across the road, and several moo-deer (cows). A wonderful day!

Monday, June 11, 2007

No, thank you....

(originally posted on my other blog 6-11-07)

This evening for dinner we had hamburgers. My daughter, GirlofGod, age nearly 10, was fixing everyone's plates with me, so we were the last to dish up. There were only two tomato slices left, so I offered her one, and I said I would only have one. She said, "No, thank you. I don't care for tomatoes until they are ground up and made into ketchup."

Just as sweet as can be!

She *did* eat a tomato slice in case you were wondering...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sweet Little thing!

(originally posted on my other blog 5-10-07)

Polly is just 5 and a half. She is a sweet little lady, who can be counted on to bring a smile. Yesterday, she and Jack, aged 5, were told that they could play outside with bubbles, after they finished wiping the kitchen table and chairs. Polly took the chairs and Jack took the table. Polly finished first and prepared to go outside. She encouraged Jack to go with her.

He said, "But I'm not finished wiping the table!"

"I'll help you!" she cried! "I *am* a kind sister you know! I help you with your chores, I hug you and read to you.." she continued...

All the while she and Jack are wiping the table and he is saying nothing...

"I am kind," she reiterated, "Unless we're wrestling!! Then I hit you and kick you and bonk you on the head!"

Sweet, isn't she?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Happenings

(originally posted on my other blog 3-15-07)

We went to a museum and park in the next town over and were allowed a special visit inside the tiny log cabin from the 1860's. Most of the time, people are allowed only to the wire door...they can see in through the wire. The museum director met the Lambies and found out that we were learning about Westward Expansion, and allowed us into the cabin! The fireplace was the most interesting. It was made of adobe brick, and we could see the grass and twigs sticking out!

Then we played at the playground. I got many good pictures, but I love this one of Polly and jack. They are 5.5 and 5 years old and often play together.

We went to the zoo last weekend. My Honey and his friend were demolishing yards and yards of concrete at the friend's home, and we didn't want the children shut up in the house all day, so off to the zoo! (I really don't know how you Ladies in the snowy states handle the winter...we have to get outside!) I had my eight Lambies and our friend's three, ages 4, 2, and 6 months all by myself! Our friend's wife is a nurse and works three or four days a week. Here's a picture of all of the Lambies except my friends baby. He was asleep in the stroller:

I have taken a picture of the Lambies by the flamingos every time we go to the zoo, so it's like a little timeline of them growing!

Next week is our special, secret trip. The Lambies know something is up, but they do not know yet what it is. I love spring and all the activities that go along with it!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's a Birthday!

(originally posted on my other blog 2-20-07)

Today is my twins birthday! They turn 5. It's incredible that they are that old already! Jack gets to discontinue nap today, so he's very excited. He so wants to begin school! Polly who is in kindergarten is coaching him on how to write his numbers and is doing a great job! I give them both the first Calculadder page and they copy. Jack is left-handed, so it's interesting to teach him, since everyone else is righty. He often copies in perfect mirrored style when I give him his name to practice. Then he writes it correctly. He is a superhero nut, prefering Batman to Superman and Spiderman. We found him a neat Batman "computer" with preschool aged games. He'll like it, I'm sure!

Missy is able to say "Five" and hold up five fingers when asked "How old are you?". I don't think she really understands the question, but it sure looks better than the blank stare she gave before I taught her to respond! She can also consistently answer "What's your name?" with her name clearly enough to be understood. Any more questions than that, though, and she just stares. At home, she talks in great, long sentences, of which we do understand some words. The other day, I asked "Where is GirlofGod?" and Missy answered "In her room" so clearly that I thought it was my other five year old daughter talking! We celebrated! Missy will be receiving a big Magna-Doodle, among other smaller toys, and I know she'll love it. She played with one at a friend's home and was engrossed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Difference Between Boys and Girls

(originally posted on my other blog 1-15-07)

We have five girls and three boys. On occasion, some of them show how really very different they are.

We were all watching "Deal Or No Deal" on TV last night. During a particularly quiet pause in the game, Baby J....ahem...tooted...very loudly. After the boys (including the baby!) finished laughing, GirlofGod (aged 9) remarked "Well, that was beastly!"