Monday, October 14, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients:
8 oz. package of whole pitted dates
1 heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp. ground flax seed
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 c. natural peanut butter
coconut and flax seed for rolling

Place dates, protein powder, and flax seed in blender or food processor. Blend until mixture reaches close to a powder consistency. Pour into mixing bowl and add peanut butter and cocoa powder. Add a few tablespoons of warm water. Mix until combined and it reaches a sticky consistency. Roll into golf ball size balls and then roll in coconut and flax seed mixture. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Makes around 12.
About 115 calories per ball.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Family Pictures

I had a friend who offered to take our family pictures. She wanted to practice on us because she is starting her own photography business. She was fantastic! They are the first professional pictures we have ever had taken. Let's just say we had a bad experience a long time ago at a cheap photography place and I've been scared ever since. It makes it a little tricker with Jordyn too! She can get irritated pretty easily. But she did great! The boys had fun too. Evan was such a poser and we really had to work to get Carter to smile! I picked out our outfits last minute, but I was REALLY happy with how the colors turned out. We were so happy with the results of ALL the photos. I think I've looked through the pictures about a million times. Enjoy!


Family
(bottom left photo is funny, we are looking in different directions. Trust me, it's so easy feat getting a bunch of little kids looking in the right direstion!)

Jordyn
Evan
Carter
And a few extras that I loved:





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Halloween Mario Kart Style

Playing catch-up... again!

My little nephew, Clay, gave us the brilliant idea that we should have the kids be Mario Kart characters. I loved it! I worked on them for about a week, whenever I had a little bit of time. I thought the boys' cars turned out so cute. I thought Jordyn's would be the easiest since you could just wrap it around the wheelchair and she already has wheels, BUT that was not the case. It was hard to make it look like a car. But, it was still cute!

Mario
Luigi
Princess Peach

I think we ended up going to three different Halloween events. First was the library. We got some GREAT reactions from everyone, they loved the costumes! It makes all the hard work worth it. And the fact that the boys loved the costumes too! There were a few other Mario and Luigi's (wearing store bought costumes) and they kept staring at Evan and Carter. I could just tell they were so jealous of the cars! Then the next night was our church party. Then Sunday night we did a little bit of trick-or-treating around our nephews neighborhood. I would say this year was another success!

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

I feel so lucky

I feel so lucky because in October we got a visit from my Grandpa, Aunt, and Uncle who all live in California! They came to visit my mom and dad in Billings. They all took a few days to visit Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower and we happen to be right on the way! They stopped on the way down and we ate lunch and visited. Then on their way home we ate lunch together again. My Grandpa, Aunt, and Uncle then started their long drive home that day. My parents stayed because they would be watching the kids for a few days while I went to Kansas to run the marathon and while Tom had to work.
I kinda felt "special" because I have 5 other siblings and of course much more extended family.... but I got to have a visit from my awesome extended family. Guess it pays to live by a few national monuments!
All of the photos below are courtesy of Evan. He snapped a few photos while they were getting ready to leave. Evan and Carter call my Grandpa "Grandpa Grapes" which is supposed to be "Grandpa Great"!
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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Kansas City Marathon & Sister's Trip

The weekend of Oct. 16, I ran my first marathon! Every year we try and plan a sister's trip. This year we planned it in Kansas City, KS, where Jenny lives, and decided to run a marathon the same weekend. This was Susan's second marathon. Our brother in law decided to run the half marathon too. Jenny has a beautiful 3 month old so we'll make her run with us next time :)


Training began on June 7! That is 4.5 months of training. It's funny that when you are training it's seems to drag on forever, then when you finish it all seems like a blur! I'm still in shock that we trained through the summer and somehow never had a really hot day to run on. I'm thankful for the cooler summer this year! My only complaint for training in Gillette is the WIND.... ok and no shade. The day I ran my 20 mile run (the longest training run), it was cold and 25mph winds! I won't forget that one for awhile.
But I was blessed with very few problems during training. No blisters, no chafing, and no injuries!
Despite most of my good luck during training, I did end up getting sick the last month. I got a NASTY chest cold. Definitely the worst cold I've ever had. I think I missed 3 of my Saturday long runs. Yeah I was pretty stressed about it. But, I kept reminding myself that it was good to get it over with BEFORE race day. You'd also be surprised at how well your body maintains your fitness level, even after being sick for a few weeks. I listened to my body and rested when I needed to, but also got RIGHT back out there as quickly as I could. Susan also got sick, pretty much the week of the marathon. But she powered through and was still able to run a great race! On to the race.....


We flew into Kansas on Thursday the 14th. (By the way, my parents came and watched the kids for two days because Tom did not have vacation time - so THANK YOU to them for making it possible for me to go!) Friday we went to the Race Expo to pick up our race packets, with our bib numbers and timing chips. The girls did a little shopping that day too. (We squeezed in the "Sister's Weekend" events where we could. Shopping and eating out! I'm so glad we got to spend time with Jenny, Chris, and the boys! Love my sisters!)
We spent the night getting our clothes and gear ready for the next morning. Gotta make sure you don't forget anything! We went to bed early and woke up bright and early the next morning. Then we headed for the starting line.
Surprisingly I wasn't very nervous, not really sure why. We decided to start with a pace group (a runner or group of runners who run a certain pace during the race, to help you finish by a certain time) and try and finish under 4 hrs. and 30 min.
This marathon is well known for it's hilly course. We had tried to train for this, but still weren't quite sure what to expect. But, yep, there are lots of hills! Oh, and I can't forget to mention it ended up being 80 degrees for the high that day! Susan and I ran with Chris up to mile 6. Jenny and the boys were there waiting for us. It's also where the half marathon and marathon course branch off from each other.
I felt really great and even picked up the pace around mile 9. Susan and I stayed together until around mile 10. I kept going strong until about mile 16. Then it got REALLY hard. My feet hurt and I thought I had blisters on them (I didn't). My hips ached like nothing you've ever felt before! I felt fine when it came to feeling tired... I just HURT! But, I knew to expect that.... it's all part of the experience! So, on I trudged. We saw Jenny, Chris, and the boys again at mile 20. It really occupied my mind, waiting to see them! It actually helped. After that I walked a lot. I tried so hard to run when I could. There were even down hill parts of the course. Your body couldn't even feel it... it still felt like a flat road. Somehow, I ran/walked the last 6 miles, it was all a blur! I just remember that I realized there was no way I was finishing in 4 hrs. and 30 min. But I didn't care, I just wanted to finish!!! And I did! I finished the race in 5 hrs. and 5 minutes. Whew I was so glad to be done! It was such a challenge, but such a great experience!
I've thought a lot about people you meet, who have run marathons. Now I realize what they've gone through. You truly cannot understand, until you do it. You don't appreciate the hard work and dedication they've put into it. Yeah, you think they are crazy and know they run a LOT. But, you don't know the mental toughness they have endured. I would say it's 60% mental and 40% physical. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it... finishing the training and finishing the race! It was no easy feat, that's for sure. I think some people wonder,"If it's so tough and grueling, why do people do it, let alone more than once?" You can't even describe the great feeling of accomplishment after you finish a long run and especially a race. You feel like you can conquer the world. You feel like you can do ANYTHING! You've pushed yourself past your limits and you feel GREAT when you are done. I feel like it's all about challenging yourself and accomplishing something that most people can't or don't do. Will I do another one? Probably. In a few years. The competitive part of me wants to get a better time! Next year = sprint triathlon! :)


Fall 2010 - A new school year!

At the end of August, Evan and Jordyn started school for the year. Evan is attending a pre-school provided by the local school district. It's a really great program to get the kids ready for Kindergarten and it's free! He absolutely LOVES going every day. I can already tell he is learning a lot too. I took pictures of him in his class, on the first day of school, BUT I can't seem to find them anywhere now! I hope they turn up some day, but for now, these will have to do! They were taken by my dad when they were here to visit for a few days.


We thought the picture below was funny because it looks like they are praying! Carter and I get to spend three hours together while Jordyn and Evan are at school. We run errands or I do things around the house and he gets to play computer games without being bothered by anyone! I think we both like our three hours together :)


Jordyn started 2nd grade this year. As most of you know, she spends the majority of her time in a special needs class room. She had switched teachers from last year and was back with her teacher, Mrs. Watt, whom she had the first year we moved here. Sadly, Mrs. Watt passed away suddenly from natural causes, about a month into the school year. I think everyone was very shocked and obviously very sad. I thought a lot about the kids... did they know and understand that she was gone? She was a great lady and taught MANY years for this school, all of which were with special needs kids.
Jordyn had a new aide this year, Mr. Johnson. Early in the year, Mrs. Watt told me that Jordyn seemed to really like him. Well, he just told me yesterday that he is going to be the new teacher! I think he will do just great!
PS: Just have to say again how FANTASTIC Jordyn's bus drivers are! They are so great with all the kids. The drivers that bring Jordyn home always let Carter ride the ramp up and then give him a piece of gum every day. We love them.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Glendo Reservoir

The last weekend in July, we planned a weekend trip to Glendo Reservoir. It's just a few hours south of Gillette. We teamed up with Travis & Linda, Krystal, and Dallas & Katie (our friends & neighbors of Travis and Linda) to rent a pontoon boat. We stayed in some cute little cabins right at the marina, for two nights. I think this was pretty much our only "big" trip this summer!

The view from our cabins. It happened to be a PERFECT weekend when it came to weather. Nice and HOT!

Jordyn relaxing on the porch.

We played lots of Corn Hole (bean bag toss game if you've never heard of it!). Those guys are all TOO good at it.


Dallas and Katie's dog Sunny. Our boys were obsessed with making her fetch stuff.

Out on the lake! There is lots of flooding this year so you could see lots of trees sticking out of the water.


Krystal (with her dog Charlie), Sumner (Dallas and Katie's daughter), and Carter.

Sunny, Evan, Dallas, and "little" Dallas.


Krystal, Carter, Evan, Linda, and Cole.

Me and Carter

Carter and Sunny.

There is a small canyon we took the boat through. Very pretty.
Tom & Evan, Dallas, Travis, Linda, and Katie.


Dallas and Jordyn. Looks like they are having a great time. I LOVED the pontoon boat because it's spacious enough to just bring Jordyn on in her wheelchair! How nice is that? And it wasn't too fast, which is great for Jordyn and all the kids we had with us!
We split the meals up for the weekend. One night Dallas made Cherry Cobbler for dessert, in a dutch oven. It was awesome! He even fed some to Jordyn and she gobbled it down... she loved it.

We found a perfect sandy beach and played there some of the day. Carter loved playing in the sand. He's still a little scared of the water unless someone holds him the whole time.

Evan loved the water. He kept saying,"I'm swimming!" It really was just the waves pushing him to the shore.

Cole and Clay on the tubes. Sadly the boat wasn't quite fast enough to pull tubes. Well, it probably was, but the tubes were too flimsy to use for tubing. Trust me.... we tried. Wish I had pictures of that, it was funny.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Visit from the New Mexico crew!

OK! Finally found the motivation to catch up on my blog...

Tom's mom (Ninny as we call her) is from New Mexico and much of her family still lives there. During the week of July 19-24 a bunch of the family came up from New Mexico to visit! I actually have not met all of Ninny's family so this was the first time I was meeting many of the family members. I think it has been at least 5 or so years since Tom has seen some of them too.
The number one reason for the visit was to watch Nalynn (Tom's 2nd cousin) compete in the National High School Rodeo Finals taking place here in Gillette! We were all really proud of her and excited to watch her compete. She competed in barrels and poles. She did extremely well and placed 2nd overall in Barrel Racing. She also was awarded Rookie of the Year. She is only a freshman in high school! Isn't that awesome!?

Here is a great picture of the crew, below. We weren't in this photo because I think it was the morning I was running my half marathon!

Back row starting at the left, we have Jerry, Blazin, and Nelda Rae. Then we have Clay, Cole, Ninny, Linda, and Travis. Front row, we have Ike, Whitley, Denim, Ace, and Darlin.
This wasn't everyone that came, there are a few people missing.


During the time that people weren't watching Nalynn compete, we would hang out and eat at Travis and Linda's house. Here is Chae, Tom, and Ace (Tom's cousin) talking.


Here I am holding Ace and Timber's daughter Darlin. Isn't she precious?!


Jordyn enjoying all the chaos!

All the family visiting made for a lot of little kids running around! But, they did great playing with each other. This is Blazen, Evan, Denim, Clay, and Ike on the trampoline.

Whitley (Tom's 2nd cousin) being a good sport and organizing a game for the younger kids.

Nelda Rae (Tom's Aunt) playing with Darlin.

Ninny and Nacona (Tom's cousin).


More of the guys: Wil (Nacona's husband), Jerry (Nelda Rae's husband), and Travis.

I threw this one in. I stole ALL of these pictures off Timber's blog! haha Crazy that I never snapped any pics while everyone was here. And I noticed she wasn't in any of the pics I used so... here is Ace and Timber! Ace, Nelda Rae and Jerry came to Billings when Tom and I got married. I was meeting everyone else for the first time. What a great family Ninny has. Everyone was so nice, fun, and great to visit with. Can't wait to travel to New Mexico some time and meet the rest of the fam!
Until next time....