28 July 2016

Spinach Pancakes (or to get the kids to eat them....Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes)

I have kids who will not eat veggies or fruits religiously, but they will eat chocolate (yep, they are my kids, my mother-in-laws kids, etc). So one day I saw a cooking show and the cook made Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes or Chocolate Veggie Pancakes, I forget what she called them. I made changes and made my own version...I tell my kids straight up, they are spinach pancakes, they still eat them.

Place in blender:
1 small zucchini, cut off ends and then chop up
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp honey (or more depending on what you like)
1 small apple, chopped up
1 medium sized banana, broken in half
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 handful (about 1 cup) spinach (rinsed)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sour cream
When I have it, I also chop up a pear.

Blend until it is soupy.

In a large bowl, combine about 2 cups Bisquick (it is faster and easier), 1/3 cup cocoa (good Dutch kind), 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. Add the blender mixture and stir until it is well combined, then cook on a hot skillet. Serve with fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc) and powdered sugar or lite syrup, whatever makes you happy.

First time you serve this, do not tell the kids what is in it, just serve it, if they are near when you start the blender, throw the cocoa in the blender, it will hide the green from the fruits and veggies. Once you have them hooked, it doesn't matter, they will eat it every time.

16 July 2016

Pokemon and Pokemon Go

It seems that the latest fad is Pokemon Go. It is an app that downloads to your devices (phones, tablets, etc) and you look at them to find a Pokemon and have a battle. This has caused many problems, so far. People driving into telephone poles, walking across busy highways and entering museums that really don't want the gamers there. But before this app, there were cards that you could buy at a store to play, trade, etc with others who like Pokemon. My girls have loved Pokemon and I started taking note of the links for these creatures, so that I could make them a few as gifts. I plan on sharing since there are so many interested at the moment. I am only sharing links for the free patterns.

Please do not sell these patterns, follow the requests of the creators and if someone wants a copy, please give them the link instead of the pattern. Please respect our wonderful crafters.

Another note: Ravelry is a free site for knitters and crocheters. You will have to fill out a form and request membership. When you click on a pattern that is listed as free Ravelry download, you must add to your library, what is free today may not be free in a day, a week, or a month from now.

One other note, these are not exact replicas, but look alikes. You want them to be exact, you need to talk to the creator of Pokemon.

Pokemon Seadra
Jiggly Puff
Diglett (free Ravelry download)
Pokemon Baby Hat
Pokemon Substitute Doll - free ravelry download (at time of posting)
Pokemon Azurill
Ash Ketchum
Pokemon Pokeball Beanie
Goomy (free ravelry download)
Ninetails (free Ravelry download)
Pokeball Dishcloth - going to make a few for a friend.
Azumaril (free Ravelry download)
Mini Evee
Pokeball Tea Pot Cozy
Pokemon Kids Cowl
Pokeball Kids Card Carrier
Pikachu (free Ravelry download)
Munchlax (free Ravelry download)
Slowpoke (ravelry)
Gym Badges
Pokemon Team Hat
Abra (ravelry)
Flat Pikachu (ravelry)
Jiggly Puff
Froakie - fun!
Ho Oh fun!
Kirlia aka ????
Crustle - there is Chip costume for this...super cute.
Teddiursa - has an Elvis costume!

Nanette had these links on her page and said that these patterns are wonderful and free (at time of her posting). I will check them out later and made adjustments, but want to share these here, too.
http://bizzycrochet.blogspot.com/ - her work is wonderful. 
http://nanettecrochet.blogspot.com/ - this is nanette. 

Kat's Creations  - beautiful! She has stopped creating, but left up previous work so we could continue to enjoy her work. She has requested that we make for personal use only and not sell finished projects or sell her patterns (even if we were to make a small change to it, don't claim it).

The bonus to going to ravelry, is that you can do a search for patterns according to what you are able to do, find free patterns, etc. This link is the search that I did, I can knit and crochet and I chose only free patterns.

Enjoy and Pokemon responsibly!

15 July 2016

July and All the Fun of Summer

July has come along and we celebrated our Independence Day on the weekend and day of the 4th. We went to parties with friends, spent time with family (my husband's family) and girls walked in parades. They have so much fun with all their activities. They are learning computer programming at the Lebanon Public Library (Washington-Centerville Public Library has the same thing, just one day instead of 5 Saturdays). I printed out the girls scores from the National Testing that shows they learned and are at average or greater than average and can move onto the next year of schooling. I now have a 6th, 7th and 8th grader. My cousin helped me with a book that I could use for one class for the girls, as well as suggestions of things we could add to the list for Government/History/Geography. I really appreciate the help. I kind of knew some of what I wanted, but I wanted to be sure we got something that would make the information clear for the girls. Geography will continue with the use of post cards. That is where a post card is received and we use it to find on the maps (yep, those are all over the house) and then research the area. Some people have been so wonderful at putting questions on the card, so that they get to find out something that maybe others wouldn't know. This is stressful for me as I borrow tons of books from the libraries and go through them and decide if they will be used this year or not. I have found some really great books this way and the libraries are so great! Talking with another homeschooler (who started with her 1st child and then moved up until she graduated from college soon after high school), she said that Ohio is a very homeschool friendly state and that many of our libraries are just as friendly. I have to agree. I am still so amazed at the: "How do you socialize?" "How do you have the patience for this?" "How much education do you have?" "How do you figure you are smart enough to teach your children?" I pointed out that children in school do not socialize, they sit quietly in their seats. Socialization happens on the bus or at home, not at school. How did this idea that kids socialize at school start? They are even shocked that I have an education! What? Just because I stay at home and take care of my family does not mean I didn't achieve an education. Stress! So when I opened today's email, it had a lot of stress knitting. Yeah! Something I am good at!

We have a really cool spider just outside our back door. Last year we had 2, one at the back window and one at the back door. They are pretty big (so they must be getting enough to eat and we give them names. As a joke last year, we named them for the older two girls. This year the one at the back door has the youngest's name. The youngest loved this last year, but is not fond of it this year.

I have been trying to find time to sit and work on my knitting and crochet so that I can finish all the WIPs I have. I have quite a few, but I really was thrown for a loop by things that were said or done or found out during and after the time of my mother's death. But I am slowly doing better and I have resolved that I will not allow those people to hurt me any longer. I will no longer allow those people to have room for free in my head. It is easy to say, but I am trying and every day is a new day and I will continue to try. I will make things for me, or for people who mean something to me and only those people. I will make hats for babies, children who are in need and don't have access to hats otherwise. I will make shawls for people who are ill and really just need something to wrap themselves up in and actually love these items. I will make for my children who love hand made items and know how much goes into making things and wear them proudly! I will make dishcloths for me! Because I use them and I know that they are better than anything I will ever be able to buy for 5 for $1 at Walmart! I will make an afghan for my husband, who loves me and loves everything I make and asks for things that he wants. I will make socks for my nephew! Because he has always reveled in having hand made items. I will make for nieces who love hats and mittens and scarves. I am blessed with many.

101 Books to Read Before College

Nostalgic Recipes - Links are on the page

Cluster Burst Afghan
Long Live the Queen Afghan
World's Fastest Crochet Afghan
Rainbow Tunisian Crochet Afghan
Big Cables Throw
Countryside Charm Afghan
Kaleidescope Afghan
Magnolia Afghan
Heirloom Crochet Wedding Ring Style Afghan
Mod Mitered Blanket

Bunny Beanie
Baby Socks
Frog Pond Baby Blanket
Baby Mittens
Crochet Sandal
Flower Bonnet - Totally adorable baby bonnet! Wish my girls were still little and I could put them in it.
Football Earflap Hat - Totally adorable for the baby of a football enthusiast.
Baby Frog Hat - super cute

Thrifty Market Bag
Candy Bar Clutch

Littlest Angels Christmas Ornaments
Mrs. Claus Amigurumi
Mr. Claus Potholder
Polar Bear Ornaments
Polar Express Bell Ornament
Crochet Reindeer Purse
Buddy the Elf Hat for Toddlers

Doll Clothes:
American Girl Dresses

Peaks Cables Hat

Summer Lighthouse Dishcloth
Seashell Coasters

Red Heart Patterns - Red Heart has some really lovely yarns and they have some gorgeous free patterns. Always a good link to keep on your bookmarks.

Kimberly Mitts - Cabled and Fingerless! They are really cute and given that my hands get so cold in the winter, I love fingerless mitts or gloves.
Herbaceous Mitts The arms on these are little longer, but they are gorgeous.
Diagonal Eyelet Fingerless Mitts Simple and Beautiful. Great gifts.
Margarete Fingerless Gloves Beautiful Pattern
Figure 8 Wristwarmers - Cables that look like 8's.

Summer Morning Shawl
Grand Canyon Sunset Shawl

Lazy Day Knit Socks
Chunky Crochet Slippers this is from Moogly blog.
Lotus Blossom Knit Socks

Knit Lemon Stress Ball

09 July 2016

50 States 50 Afghans

This is from my email and some of the links may not work. If it doesn't don't forget to try the Wayback Machine and see if you can get to them that way. Also, don't be afraid to copy the line and put it in google and see if something doesn't come up that way. On days that I get to spend time at the library waiting for kids, I will work on fixing the links or just removing them in general with a note. If you find a change, please feel free to leave a comment. I will gladly make an updated note. Thanks. 

Alabama –  Camellia Flower Square (state flower)
Alaska –  Alaskan Blue Tunisian Afghan
Arizona – Turquoise Blanket (state gem)
Arkansas – Diamondghan (state gem)
California –  California Ranch Afghan
Colorado – Colorado Mountain Ridges Square
Connecticut – Colonial Charm Afghan
Delaware –  Fox Afghan (state animal)
Florida – Sabal Palm Tree Square (state tree)
Georgia –  Georgia Peach Baby Blanket
Hawaii –  Malibu Ripple Afghan
Idaho –  Mini Gemstone Octagons (The Gem State)
Illinois – Chicago Blackhawks Afghan
Indiana –  Notre Dame Afghan Chart (paid)
Iowa –  American Heartland Crochet Afghan
Kansas –  Sunflower Afghan (state flower)
Kentucky – Kentucky Rocking Horse Blanket
Louisiana – Louisiana Mardi Gras Afghan
Maine –  Eliot Maine Square
Maryland –  Black Eyed Susan Squares (state flower)
Massachusetts –  Mayflower Baby Blanket (state flower)
Michigan –  Lakeshore Plaid Blanket (The Great Lakes State)
Minnesota –  Starry Nights Afghan (The North Star State)
Mississippi – Magnolia Afghan (state flower)
Missouri –  Ice Cream Cones Square (state dessert)
Montana –  Native American Blanket
Nebraska –  Maize Fireside Afghan (cornhusker state)
Nevada –  Sagebrush Raised Rib Crochet Blanket (state flower)
New Hampshire –  Purple Lilac Baby Blanket (state flower)
New Jersey – Blooming Violet Square (state flower)
New Mexico –  New Mexico Afghan
New York – Rose Afghan (state flower)
North Carolina – Emerald Crocodile Stitch Afghan (state gem)
North Dakota – Sunflower Square
Ohio –  Ohio State Crochet Chart (paid)
Oklahoma –  Oklahoma Afghan Chart (paid)
Oregon –  Oregon Afghan Chart (paid)
Pennsylvania –  Pennsylvania Dutch Throw
Rhode Island –  Violet Garden Afghan (state flower)
South Carolina –  Amethyst Square (state gem)
South Dakota –  Rose Quartz Flower Hexagon (state mineral)
Tennessee –  Songbird Square
Texas –  Texas Lone Star Square
Utah –  Mountain Mist Afghan
Vermont –  Apple Afghan (state fruit)
Virginia – Virginia Colony Afghan
Washington –  Dragon Fly Square (state insect)
West Virginia – Charleston Garden Afghan
Wisconsin –  Wisconsin Afghan Chart (paid)
Wyoming –  Cowboy Boots Afghan Chart

01 July 2016

End of June Beginning of July

Wow! This month has flown by! It probably doesn't help that we have had something to do every day (some days 2 or more things). We made a Red Velvet Cake for my middle daughter for her 13th birthday! She had seen the recipe in a book by Joanne Fluke called, "Red Velvet Cupcake Murder." She asked if I would make it for her. I agreed. There were some changes. Back in December I insisted that we needed to buy a package of dried buttermilk from an Amish Store. My husband said what would we need that for...I said you never know. So far I have used it twice! I made Irish Soda Bread (yum) from a recipe my mom had. It was so very good. My girls want me to make it again. Then we used it in this cake. The cake actually calls for real buttermilk, but I don't use it enough to warrant buying a half gallon, so we tried with the dried buttermilk (4 tbsp to 1 cup water) and it worked perfectly! I will be stocking up on the dried buttermilk. I may even share with my friend who shares recipes and sometimes ingredients with me.

I was watching the news one night and the anchors were talking about this wonderful program that teaches art to kids (mostly teens) and makes different areas look better and puts up different pictures that are important to the area. The group is called ArtWorks and their work is gorgeous. I really want to take my kids down and look at some of these, especially since one of my girls is wanting to do this to her room (on a much smaller scale).

At night, when I am trying to work on something, I will watch "Big Bang Theory" with my girls. We have laughed at some of the things that Sheldon does or responses from his friends. One night we laughed so hard over Leonard saying, "Sheldon has escaped and he is terrorizing the village." That just caught us off guard and we laughed.

We spend a lot of time at the library. We borrow books, the kids participate in activities or volunteer (I am taxi driver and keeper of the schedule). We love our libraries. Recently, I saw this meme on libraries:  The libraries by us are always busy. They are wonderful places and the people who work there are so great. I highly recommend heading into your local library and checking the place out. Don't forget to pick up a monthly calendar.

Madala Sampler Throw
Floral Motif Afghan
I Love Color Afghan
No Place Like Home Throw
Watermelon Twist Throw
Andante Crochet Throw
Crochet Heart Afghan

Classic Baby Shower Gift Hat and Booties. You could buy a cute sweater to go with it or make one and have it in reserve, remember babies heads are big.
Baby Hug Boots
Teether Knit Lovey
Red Fox Hat
Infant Mittens
Many Mitred Baby Blanket
Owlet Lovey

Lucky Coin Pouches
Color Block Crochet Basket
Helping Hands Garden Bag
Grab N Go Bag
Watermelon Crochet Coin Purse
Striped Bag
Market Bag with Flower
Crochet Linen Grocery Tote
Stitch 11 Crochet Purse
Cozy Cloche Hat

Solar Brillance I saved this as it is very pretty, but I am thinking about how it could be made into a lapghan. I think I can do that.

Crochet Orchid
Calla Lily

Pokeman Hat
Arctic Sunset Cable Hat
Hoo's So Cute Hat for toddlers
Baby Jester Hat
Beard Hat - fun hat for women, men or children. But a side note, cannot be worn into a bank, a credit union or lending institution. Federal laws state that faces cannot be covered.
Circus Scrap Hat
Scrap Buster Hat

Spring Cleaning Scrubbies

Dolls and Accessories Links - If you have girls, you will like this link.
Simple Toys Links
Links for toys says for summer, but could be anytime.
Links for Amigurumi
150 Free Christmas Crochet Patterns

Seed Stitch Mittens
4 Needle Mittens
Classic Norwegian Mittens

Dragonfly Bandana Cowl
Paint Box Scarf
District 12 Cowl/Wrap - This is supposed to be like something Katniss wore when she was in District 12.
Cables and Holes Infinity Scarf
Stained Glass Scarf
Zodiac Scarf with Bobbles
Kittens in a Row Scarf

Day to Date Shawl - Multi Purpose Shawl.

Lemony Lime Square
Pair of Hearts

Crochet Cat Diagram
Knit Elephant
Sock Monkey
Crabby Cat
Blue Bunny - you can use any color.
Magic Loop Teddy
Valentine Amigurumi Heart

Raspberry Stitch

Daisy Cottage Designs - There is a productivity sheet, free patterns, crochet project planner.

Have a good July! Parades, fire works (we can watch two different shows this weekend), parties with friends. What are you plans?

25 June 2016

Talking to Ourselves

When I was growing up, I often listened as my mom walked around talking to herself. I was always interested to hear how pissed off she was at life in general. I never thought anything about it. But then I started talking to myself, but then I wasn't listened to either. I was deemed too stupid to matter. So I talked to myself.

Now I see all these jokes about women talking to themselves and today I realized that the reason we talk to ourselves is that we aren't being listened to when we talk. We tell our children something and we have to say it about a dozen times and then yell it for it to get done. (Today, "put all dishes in the sink" was accomplished after I yelled.) We talk to our husbands and they don't listen to us either. If a woman says she feels alone, it is because she is talking to herself. She is listening to what she says and that makes her feel alone. When we are with each other, we listen, we empathize, we feel the pain. We know what the other person is going through.

I can spend the day out shopping for groceries (three different stores, the pain is real) and on one stop, tell the children to make sure all the dishes are in the sink and washed and come home, on another stop, and they are still lying around untouched. Did we leave that mess there? No, the kids and/or husband left it there. We remind them that the dishes need to be washed. Leave again and come home to find what? Dishes still lying around untouched. Now the yelling starts. You have spoken in nice tones all day, but now you are hurting and you are hot and you are tired and the chore you left is still undone. It is no wonder we yell (1) and talk to ourselves (2).

I know that when my kids talk to me, I stop what I am doing and pay attention. When my husband talks, I stop. It takes me forever to read a book when they are awake. Best reading time? Early, early morning or late, late night. During the rest of the time, I walk around talking and being ignored.

Just curious, does anyone else notice this at their house, too? I know I cannot be alone.

22 June 2016

June and Flying Past

June came quickly. My 1st full week of June was booked! Taking kids to meetings, to events, to fun things and to volunteer opportunities. We also built a bed frame, my youngest and I, but the older girls are too big (they are tall and over the weight limit) for the bed frame. I promised that we would continue to search for something like their sister's bed, but that it would have to be able to be for them. It is interesting that my middle is only going to be 13 and she is already taller than I am! I am not short by any shape of the imagination, but she is closing in on her father. But there are tall genes in the family, so she won that lottery.

The girls love to volunteer and do things. They don't like to stay home. That means I spend a good deal of time driving them where they want or need to go. Mom's Taxi has new meaning to me. We live in an area that doesn't have public transportation. That means for kids to get places, they have to walk (if that were possible) or they have to catch a ride with someone (but they usually are going different directions of their friends) or hail Mom's Taxi.

They are still working on their reading programs. They are carrying around books all the time. They read even if the ride is only 1/2 an hour long. They ask to go to libraries to get more books. My house is full of library books and I don't have a problem with that!

Most of the hot days, the pool across the street was full to brimming with kids and parents and parents are ignoring the kids (running, jumping, too much for a small pool) and then we got some really nice cool days. Love those kind of days. The windows open and the wind blowing through the house.

It is also time for churches to have their festivals, kids to go to camp and just so many things that are happening over the summer months.

 Just a few of the books we borrowed one week.

Summer is a time to read. I love to read and so do my girls. We tend to walk out of libraries with lots of books. But I recently saw this list of 100 Must Read Books and I saved it. It is interesting to see what others think are books that should be read.

 My oldest asked if she could have an art wall. I didn't see a problem with that and my wonderful husband agreed. So we told her to start by outlining what she wanted to paint on the wall. Then we would start searching out the paints for her to paint the drawing with. This is her finished project. Time for the paint. (She is very talented.)

Isobel's Afghan
Summer in Swanage
Rainbow Sherbet Afghan
Tiles Granny Afghan
Deco Columns Throw
Long Live the Queen Throw
Drop in the Pond Laprobe - what is cool about baby afghans or laprobes, they can be made bigger or left small.

Cat Bed
Crochet Cat Toy

Two Tone Baby Mitts
Watermelon Sun Hat
Teddy Bear Lovey (or a security blanket)
Baby Hug Boots

Cute Crochet Purse for Girls
Frozen Inspired Bag
Summer Beach Bag
SunDance Beach Bag
Wobbly Stripes Handbag
Wavy Messenger Bag
On the Go Knit Bag

Polar Bear Beanie (older babies)

Valentine's Day Hat
Wickerwork Hat I am uncertain about the tassel/pompom at the top, but this is when the pattern is so gorgeous, you know you can change what you didn't like.

Just for Fun:
Crochet Mason Jar Cozy - makes jars look colorful and fun, while providing a place to store pens or pencils.
9 Petal Summer Flower Motif - can be used for decorating or for hair accessories.

Best Crocheted Pot Holder - a friend of mine said this is the best potholder she has ever made and shared it with me.
Stars and Stripes Dishcloth Nice gift for American Holidays (4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day).

Market Bags: This has become a thing...everyone carries their own bags to the store (I only do that for Aldi, because I use the plastic bags for my husband to carry his lunch and for the collection of dog poo). I do like the bags and think they are good for carrying some things, but somethings are just too heavy (and I do pack bags heavy).
Mesh Knit Market Bag

Irish Crochet Shawl
Old Hollywood Shawl
Amazing Mitred Shawl
Easy Dreamy Shawl
Small Fans Shawl

Squares: Squares can be used to create many different things, but most people think of using them in afghans. I have seen them used for purses, pillows, clothing (skirts, sweaters, shawls).
Gothic Square
Framed Church Squares
Meadow Afghan Square
Rainbow Granny Square
Heart Granny Square
Water Lily Square
Block Stitch Square (with Tutorial)
Owl Square - suggested use, baby afghan
Double Wave Square

Crochet Bunny - This is a really cute bunny toy.
Mini Octopus
Bee Geez fun toy for kids