Monday, May 27, 2013

Letting Go and letting God

One of my biggest areas of growth (I hate the word "weakness") is how I tend to worry and fret, to the point of making myself sick sometimes. I focus on one thing and have a hard time letting it go from my mind. 

I know, in my heart, how blessed I am. A wonderful husband, two simply amazing boys. But when life is faltering, it's hard to remember those things. 

A lot has happened to myself and my family the last couple of years. Physically, everyone is healthy but the last few years has taken a toll on our psyche, mine and my husband's especially. We've worked hard to get through it, and for the most part, we have. But I'm tired and frankly, I'm ready for a break. 

I'm trying to "let go and let God". Let go of my worries, let go of my stress and let God have them. Let God stand beside me and walk with me through them. I pray every night, and oftentimes during the day. I pray for myself, my family, for others. I pray for the break my family so desperately needs. I pray for those suffering to heal and/or find peace. I pray for my family and friends to know how very much I love them. 

It's tough letting go. It's tough not trying to be in control, especially when it feels as though there's not much to actually control. 

So, this blog post is me letting go and letting God. I'm still going to work as hard as I have been, harder if I'm capable. But I'm letting go of it and handing it to God. I tell my husband and children they're worth it to our Father. Now it's my turn to believe it. 

- Dawny Wendy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's 1 am on Sunday Morning.....

And I should totally be sleeping! It's not like I have been out dancing or anything! I mean I've had my Jammie's on since 6pm last night!

I really really really want to watch the 2 hours season finale of Criminal Minds but I'm afraid it will be to scary!

Well maybe I will just dream of Derrick Morgan and watch it when the sun comes up!!!

 Good Night!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

25 Ton Mac-n-Cheese Corn Casserole

1 - bag/box of Pasta (cooked al dente) used Wacky Mac here
1 - can cream corn
1 - can sweet corn drained
1 - stick of butter
1/2 - large block of melting cheese (Velveeta: super-rich or Bongards': less rich) 

Throw everything into a lightly greased 9x13 and pop into a 350 preheated oven. At 15 mins stir- everything up. Cook another 15-20 until its heated through! 
I think there are endless possibilities. 
- cooked chicken
- browned sausage
- veggies
- breadcrumbs
- crunches up potato chips

Hope you enjoy! 

Wendy Mary

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worth and Grace

For the most part, I've always considered myself to be a strong person. I do what I can to help others and do my best to work through issues to better the lives of my family. But lately, I've come to the realization that I'm not doing what I need to do to better myself. By that, I don't mean lose weight, quit smoking or whatnot. Those are obvious. I need to start with how I feel about myself, what I feel I deserve, and that inner voice we all have. 

We all defend those we love voraciously, no one moreso than myself. I will throw down over my boys, husband, family, and friends. But oftentimes I'm not willing to do that for myself. I allow myself to be taken for granted, talked to a certain way, treated callously, etc... Do I not feel I'm worthy of being treated better? Do I feel subconsciously that I've done something to deserve that treatment? I don't know. It's something I've really been thinking about. 

I guess, in true mom fashion, it keeps going back to my boys. I don't know that I can truly teach and help my boys to know when to stand up for themselves and others if I'm not able to distinguish that line for myself. I don't know that I can help my boys find their inner strength and grace if I'm not sure where mine is. 

I think I have a lot of work to do. 

 -Dawny Wendy

I Don't Do Brat....

So some of you think I am a pushover, just in general in life, but also with those little muffins I call Punkies! Some of you think I am hard, unbending and extremely strict with the Punkies. I like to think I am a bit of both with a little fairy and mother earth mixed in!(hee hee! yay right!)

Well this week after months of fits and fighting every time I ask them to pick up the toys that they took out I did something that every parent threatens to do......I took all their toys.

We went from this........
All of the bins are full of toys

Oh look another 2 shelves full of toys

Yes that is a doll house and a book case full of Punkie books!

Yes this is another room full of toys and craft supplies

To Nothing..............

They have access to about 6 books and each other.

So the totally shocking thing(especially to me) is that there was a tiny fit by my 4 year old autistic child, and I do mean tiny, and that has been it! 4 minutes of whining and crying and nothing else has been said.  They have been creative and played with each other,  The Bigs have read to the Lils. We have had extra outings out in nature and we have slept better and there have been fewer fits.

I will be the first to admit my Punkies are spoiled.  If they say they want something in passing it usually appears in the next few weeks brought by the UPS man who knows all the names of the people in my family and will sit on my porch and drink lemonade with my 4 year olds on a weekly basis. But I have to say that I am really impressed with them for not being crazed about losing their toys and just moving on.  

I have not returned their toys yet and we have made a deal as a family that we will not be buying any toys for at least 1 year.  They will be getting books for their birthdays and for Holidays we will be having adventures and experiences that we will always remember, and giving toys that we would have bought to the local shelters.  

I want my kids to grow up wanting to help, to make a difference, to not expect things handed to them and to definitely appreciate what they have....hopefully this is a start!

PS....I will let you know when I start to gradually give them back!

Nicci Wendy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Powerball winners in Wyoming!

Today is not the first day of preschool, or the last day of High School. Today is the 1st time my crazies have gotten to take cold lunch. Their excitement rivals that of a Powerball winner... 

Yes, I am the mean mom that does not pack a cold lunch for my kids every day. In fact, this is the first day out of 180 that I have made my kids cold lunch. A field-trip was on the books for today, but with the rainy weather, chances are it will be cancelled. However, the cold lunch was not cancelled. 

My son, specifically, has not quit talking about, obsessing over and planning his cold lunch since he learned a week ago that he could bring his own sak-lunch for the field-trip. 

Some of you may be asking WHY doesn't this SAHM (with no kids at home all day) make her kids a damn cold lunch? She's got the time... It's most likely cheaper than hot lunch, what is her deal? 

The deal is, I am not the mom that gives my kids every thing they want, when they want it and how they want it. 
I am not the mom that cuts the crusts of their sandwiches.
I am not the mom that buys my kids a Happy Meal every time we drive through McDonalds.  

(disclaimer - if you are that mom, carry on warrior - we all have to do what we have to do to survive)

  • I am the mom that wants them to figure out what they can eat off of that sub-par-hot-lunch-tray to be sure they can last through the afternoon without their large organs eating their small organs. 

  • I am the mom that points out to them that by eating hot-lunch they are helping employ lunch-ladies in turn helping the economy. 

  • I am the mom that wants them to see through the "free" crappy toy at McD's and realize its not important. 

  • I am the mom that with help from her best friend has realized that she can use cold-lunch as a reward for good behavior or as a special treat. 

  • I am the mom that is proud of the fact that my kids are over-the-moon about the simple things in life: a jelly sandwich, small apple, snack bag of pistachios, a bottle of water and a bag of Cheetos packed in an reused Subway kids-pac bag that I found stuffed in the bottom of a drawer. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2 Sues Bag

So I saw this bag in my new Better Homes and Gardens magazine and I'm kinda obsessed with it!
I have 4 Punkies and a small dog that goes pretty much everywhere with me so I carry around a ton of stuff on a daily basis!
Check out these specs:
outside dimensions: 
14" (length) x 5.5"(width) x 13"(height)

outside specs: 
• 2- 5" x 6" zipper pockets
• 2- 5.5" x 5.5" magnetic snap pockets
• 1 - 9.5" x 5.5" zipper pocket
• 1 - 7" x 8" cc/cf card wallet

inside specs: 
• 2- padded, removable, adjustable dividers
• 1- padded, removable, adjustable I-Pad divider
• exterior walls & bottom of the bag are padded

• 1 - removable shoulder straps(10" height)
• 1 - removable long messenger strap ( up to 56")
• Made of water resistant, man-made materials
• Weight: 2.75 lbs 
• Antique Brass Hardware
• Shoulder Pad
• Will hold up to a 10" lens
• Will hold a pro camera body or standard body + grip
• Will hold a camera body with lens attached


 I even love the orange color!!! This bag can hold a ton of stuff and doesn't look like a diaper bag!
So if you need this bag as much as I do go to

Right now!!!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grandma Lydia's Shortcake

This is my favorite Shortcake recipe- since Strawberry season is upon us, I thought I should share it! 

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Egg, butter, milk

In a measuring cup break one egg, add butter to egg until its at the 1/2 cup mark. Then add milk until its to the one cup mark. Mix wet and dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick. Pour (scrape) into an 8x8 glass pan (no need to grease pan) and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. 
Serve with cut/sugared strawberries & Cool Whip! (Yes I said Cool Whip ;)
Mary Wendy

No apologies.

I'm currently at a stage in my life that I need to get my blinders out and strap em on. I personally need to focus on my goals that are straight in front of me and block out the rest of the world going on around me. 

Big thick black heavy leather blinders...just like you see on the Clydesdales in a parade.

If you are like me, you may also need to add some noise reduction headphones to your big thick black heavy leather blinders. 

The "tapes" that run through our minds, relentless berating, talking down to, not 'living up to' remarks we make to ourselves are so toxic. Push stop and eject the tape. After taking it out, place it on a table and smash it into smithereens with a hammer. After you destroy said cassette, create a new tape to start running in it's place. Pick at least one small positive, one tiny victory you can be proud of and put that tape into your brain. (Yes, I'm aging myself with the cassette tape...but you get my drift.)

So many things around us are sabotaging our movement forward- people's judgmental looks, media pressures, derogatory comments and rolling of the eyes.. You only have one life... and one short life at that. 

Live YOUR life... if that includes running 8 miles a day, do that. If that includes eating a hot-fudge sundae every day, do that. If that includes running 8 miles AND eating a hot-fudge sundae every day, then for Pete's sake, do that. But dammit, do it without apologies.  

If you too are feeling the pressures of perfection, go find your blinders and noise redux headphones and put them on. 
It's time to focus on YOU and say screw it to the rest.

mary Wendy 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

He felt he mattered

My son doesn't play sports. He'll never be the star football player, or the fast break basketball wonder. He has zero athletic prowess.

He doesn't have that "popular gene". He'll never be invited to parties, sit at the cool kid's table. He'll never be prom king or sit on the homecoming court. 

But today? Today he won an art show. An art show that comprised the entirety of his middle school. He had kids coming up to him congratulating him, kids telling him they weren't surprised he won. His name was announced in front of the entire school and faculty. The kids that have bullied him, made fun of him, made him feel less than worthy applauded for him. For one bright and shining moment, my son, my socially awkward/geek/nerd/unpopular kid, felt popular. He felt wanted. He felt he mattered. 

So, please, while you're teaching your child to dribble or throw a curve ball or pass with a spiral, please teach them empathy and kindness as well. All children deserve those cheers. All children deserve to go to bed with that feeling, even just once. 

 - Dawny Wendy

Addendum - after some reflection upon reading a comment, I wanted to clarify a few things. Firstly? I think my son is the bees knees, cooler than Coca-Cola, etc... He will eventually have his own brand of cool and more than likely has it already. But I have no illusions as to who he is though. He won't get his accolades from being the star quarterback or any other sport. He won't get props for being in drama or band or the like. His strengths come from his artistic talents and his intelligence. Secondly, he won't sit the TYPICAL cool kid table. He'll be part of his own cool kids section. But it will be one of his own making, just not the typical one.

Skinny With Whip

Until today I've been getting a daily free coffee from work. We have a coffee service and this nifty rented machine that makes all manner of latte, espresso, cappuccino, and tea. Since I'm in charge of the machine and the ordering of the supplies for it, I know that the machine is $25 a month to rent and the packets of coffee and milk average 50 cents each, but somehow our boss issued an edict yesterday that we are not to partake in the coffee, as it's costing him $500 a month. I'm not sure where that number comes from, but I do know that they tout this machine as something that increases morale and keeps workers from disappearing and taking walks to go get coffee throughout the day. So now that we're forbidden to partake, I thought it was funny that we each took a turn this morning going to Starbucks, whereas we'd usually slurp a free coffee and crank through the morning without a break.

I learned something new today, mostly because the woman in front of me and  I both ordered our drinks incorrectly, which greatly annoyed the person taking our order at Starbucks. First of all, I learned that if you order a drink "skinny" that automatically means no whipped cream. Duh, right? (Skinny also means nonfat milk and sugar free sweetener.) So if you want your drink skinny but with whipped cream, you say "skinny with whip". Skinny with whip is like having a Diet Coke with your In N Out Double Double and fries. 

My favorite summertime drink is a Grande (16oz) nonfat (because nonfat milk tastes better to me than soy and has fewer calories),  iced green tea latte with 2 pumps classic. "Classic" is their sugar syrup. It does not contain high fructose corn syrup. The drink, in this size, typically comes with 4 pumps of classic, which is very sweet. Classic is 20 calories per pump, so I am adding 40 calories of sugar to my drink. Altogether this drink is around 210 calories, which is a lot of empty calories, but 159 of the calories are nonfat milk, so I guess it's only 51 empty calories, which isn't awful. 

Dani Wendy

Friday, May 10, 2013

It's a Super Hero kinda day!

A couple weeks ago my baby turned 4!! I have to tell you I do not like not having babies in the house! When I asked Tater what he wanted to do for his birthday he said I want everyone to be Super Heroes! So I'm the kinda Mommy that if you ask you shall receive!





 So after a trip to the donut shop, the park, the barn restaraunt and adventure in Seattle we officially ended our day as Super Heros! But we all know this is how I dress on a daily basis!

 Xoxo Nicci Wendy

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm fat therefore not cool

Mike Jeffries, CEO for Abercrombie and Fitch, had quite a bit to say recently about his clothing line and its subsequent branding. From "I don't want our core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing our clothing" to "Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. The companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla." to "That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores, Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people."

Mike Jeffries is a tool. But to be honest, I can't bring myself to be mad at him. I believe society as a whole is to blame. In the end, it's still socially uncool to be overweight. Doesn't matter if you're a good person with a good heart, in our society, if you're fat, then you're looked at as lazy, as a glutton. 

I feel for our youth today. I truly do. No one knows more about how cruel kids can be if you're overweight than I do. I still hold grudges towards the jackasses and bitches that tormented me in junior high and high school. Those that bullied me and made fun of me simply because I was fat. But even back then, there weren't public figures excusing it and approving it. 

Here is my question though: imagine he said Mentally handicapped or African American women or single mothers or gay men/women instead of fat people. We as a society would rip him and his company apart and crucify him publicly. So where is the outrage? All posts and articles I've seen have been from women. Where is the general societal outrage for what is 35% of our country? (The CDC claims the number of Americans 20 and over and overweight is 35%) That's a HUGE number, pun intended. 

One thing I would like to see though is this man tell an overweight woman to her face why she's not cool or beautiful or allowed to shop in his store. I'd pay to watch him broach that conversation with Queen Latifah or Adele. I'd pay even more for him to tell my husband and children why I'm not beautiful or cool or allowed to shop at his store. My boys would mop the proverbial floor with him. Come to think of it, I guess that's all the outrage I really need. 

Carry on then, Mike Jeffries. You'll never know what you're missing not being a "chubby chaser". Your loss. 

 - Dawny Wendy

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Lunch Hour Exercise Update - Week 1

You like how one minute I'm posting about needing to lose weight and the next minute I'm baking muffins with coconut, chocolate and butter in them?

I managed to change my clothes during lunch and run every work day last week! I was particularly determined the day it was 88 degrees. Not so good-- I came back to work sweaty and red in the face and then shivered clammily in the 65 degree air conditioning my boss loves. Ugh. I don't feel the freshest after these lunchtime workout, but in lieu of a shower I've come to rely on the following refreshing items, which I am now keeping at work:

toothbrush and toothpaste
ponytail holder and barrettes
Yes to Cucumbers facial towelettes (amazingly refreshing and smell wonderful! Thanks, Cole, for my first pack!)
extra deodorant
Pure Grace Perfumed Body Spritz (just a touch of a clean fragrance that doesn't smell too perfumy)
clean underwear

After about a five minute touch up and change, I didn't look or smell too bad and I was able to finish my day, forgetting that I felt sticky and gross just a few minutes earlier. I also felt better the second half of the day after my little run, and I felt less frustration about certain work situations. I felt somewhat detached from the various dramas that occurred at my job. So far so good!

 - Dani Wendy

Coconut Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins

The shredded coconut, tart dried cherries and vanilla 

The finished muffins!
I ride the commuter train to work each day and have made two friends on the train; Carl, a married man with adult kids who works in the medical supply industry, and Sarah, a super bright young woman who graduated with a Master's degree from UC Berkeley, speaks four languages fluently and is a super wife to boot. The three of us always sit together and chit chat. 

I was always impressed and somewhat envious that my friend Sarah always has a homemade muffin for breakfast. I'm a decent cook but not much of a baker, but she insisted it's easy to bake muffins, so I've gotten into making muffins. So far I've made blueberry, banana chocolate and a few weeks ago I made chocolate coconut muffins, and they were really good. I love coconut, and shredded coconut makes muffins dense and moist, like carrot cake. This week I was going to make coconut-cherry-vanilla muffins, but Jake wanted me to add chocolate chips as well, so I did.

I started with a base of this recipe. Chocolate Coconut Muffins

I cut the chocolate chips down to 1/3 cup. We used miniature chocolate chips. I wanted to use white chocolate, but we only had regular chocolate, so I used that. Next time I will use white chocolate. 

I used 1/3 cup tart dried cherries*, which come whole and are pretty large, so I rough chopped them. The rest of the recipe is the same! My oven cooks a little strangely, so I checked my muffins after 20 minutes and let them go another 5 minutes for a total of 25 minutes. Some of the coconut topping was getting burned while other parts of it didn't toast, but other than that, the muffins are perfect!

 - Dani Wendy

*Other things you can do with the remaining cherries: add to a spinach, feta, cherry and pecan salad. Add to your granola and yogurt.