The Week In Pictures: July 24-30

Big Brother/Little Brother shirts -sadly, this is the best picture I got!
eating lasagna at Carino’s with Grammy & Grampy
drinking a Sprite (gasp!) like Grampy and wearing a cool new tie-dye shirt from his friends!

eating some Baby Mum-Mums

the boys reading a book to Grampy

This is how Fussybuckets “feeds” his baby a ba-ba!

random shot, courtesy of Captain Fussybuckets himself

making Play Doh cakes!

this thing is the coolest!

sitting up in the big tub!
(yes, there is a slip mat!)

The Brother Bath
this was seconds before Baby D was squirted in the eye.  šŸ™  šŸ™  It was mostly water, but still…
“drumming” on the couch
Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

We Love: Newtons Fruit Thins

This is a cookie fruit thin.  I love these things.  They are de-licious.  I picked them up because I had a coupon.  And at $3.50 or more a bag, a coupon is well needed…but seriously, these things are soooo good!  They have 8 grams of whole grains (see the flax seed?), have fruit (duh!), and are just oh so yummy.  Even Captain Fussybuckets agrees!  I’ve only tried the blueberry brown sugar, but there are also some other flavors….like Fig and Honey, Cranberry Citrus Oat, and Chocolate Raspberry.  I think I’ll stick with my blueberry cookie.  Okay, yes, it IS a cookie.  It’s probably not healthy at all….but it’s much better than other things I could be eating…like fried twinkies or chocolate lava cakes……
the ever-so-delicious Newton blueberry brown sugar fruit thin
(excuse the scratched table)
photo courtesy of

Review: Parent’s Choice Formula

The choice of how to feed your infant is a very personal choice, but sometimes it isn't a choice at all.  We all have heard that breastfeeding is best, but when it simply cannot work, then baby formula is the next best thing.
I feel comfortable in telling you that Baby D is a Parent's Choice formula user.  It wasn't a decision, but a necessity.  I was upset because I thought "oh, we're wasting so much money on formula" and it is a personal battle that I had to face.  But, Parent's Choice formula truly has saved the day.  You see, Baby D has to be on the sensitivity formula because of his sensitive tummy.  We buy the formula at Walmart for about $14.88 a can and it does NOT break the bank to feed our baby!  (The regular Parent's Choice formula is priced lower, I believe.)
Did you know that Parent's Choice infant formula has been around for 13 years and has helped parents like us save approximately $600 a year (on average*) per infant, by offering a store brand formula with the NUTRITIONAL EQUIVALENCE of other national brands for HALF the cost?  Yup.  I've done the comparing myself!  
See for yourself how much you could be saving by switching to Parent's Choice infant formula.  Check out the Parent's Choice $avings Calculator to compare their formulas to national brands.  



Do you still have hangups about using a store brand to feed your child?  I'll admit it, I did!  But then I found out that:

  • In the US, all infant formulas are subject to the same regulations for manufacture and ingredients required for the growth of healthy babies under the Infant Formula Act.
  • Store brand formulas sold at major retailers are a premium national substitute at a value price and meet the same FDA nutritional requirements as all of the major brands.
  • The quality and safety of the manufacturing of infant formulas are also inspected by the FDA in the same way.
Like I said, it's a very personal choice, but I am here to tell you that I am 100% confident that I'm doing what's best by feeding my son Parent's Choice formula because it's nutritionally equivalent!  And he'll appreciate that extra $600 a year!  (Although for him….he eats a ton so it's probably closer to $800 a year…ha!)



*Total savings with Parent's Choice Infant Formula calculations based on a price per fl oz comparison of Parent's Choice Infant Formulas and their comparable national brands.

Request a free sample of Parent's Choice infant formula here!


Now, to enter our giveaway!  Parent's Choice is offering ONE lucky winner an awesome prize pack!  Are you pregnant or know someone who is?  Do you have an infant or baby or know someone who does?  This would be a great introduction to Parent's Choice infant formula!  Or, if you're like me, an extra bonus for someone who already uses this formula!
The prize pack includes:
  • a 12.9 oz can of Parent's Choice Premium infant formula
  • a 12.4 oz can of Parent's Choice Advantage infant formula
  • Two $3.00 coupons for any Parent's Choice formula (redeemable at any Walmart store)
  • Parent´s Choice Starter Set – a complete nurser system that includes a variety of bottles, nipples, liners, leak proof caps and retainer rings
Disclosure: The Parent´s Choice Infant Formula product sample, information, and giveaway have been provided by Parent´s Choice through MyBlogSpark.

Cooking With Captain Fussybuckets: Monkey Bread!

Remember this post? Who Made The Breakfast Rules, Anyway?  Well, keep that in mind while you're reading!!  
I know many people know and love Monkey Bread.  I, however, did not know about this (or had forgotten) until I was looking for a special Christmas recipe a couple of years ago.  This recipe is right up my alley…simple, sugary, and YUMMY!  When we worked at the children's home, this recipe was a HUGE hit.  Even the time that it didn't get cooked all the way through in time for breakfast….the boys actually picked it apart and ate the cooked part and left the doughy part.  YUCK, but oh well!  They preferred something that didn't look fabulous to cereal, I guess!
Anyway, so I started making monkey bread and Captain Fussybuckets LOOOOOVED it.  And it was a good go-to "I don't feel like eating anything" food during my pregnancy with Baby D, as well.
This week, Daddy was away on a mission trip to Joplin, MO, and my parents were here baby-sitting…err…visiting us.  I know my dad loves Monkey Bread, but he has to watch the saturated fat because of his heart issues.  I picked up some biscuits with 0 grams of saturated fat per serving, some Promise fat free "butter," and whipped up this recipe.  Sure it doesn't taste AS GOOD as the full fat stuff, but Fussybuckets & Grampy (mostly Fussybuckets) gobbled it right up!  
I only used 2 cans of biscuits since my mom doesn't care for Monkey Bread and I'm still trying to watch the carbs…sort of…..I used one loaf pan, but it would NOT have held more than 2 cans of biscuits.  I don't have the recommended pan, so I like to use loaf pans with 2 cans per pan.
Now, without further delay…the recipe!
Monkey Bread
2-4 cans of refrigerated biscuits (the 10 oz can)
3/4 cup white sugar
2-3 TBSP ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine (or Promise, whatever you have on hand!)
1/2 cups brown sugar
1.  Mix together cinnamon and white sugar in a plastic bag.
2. Cut (or tear) the biscuits into four pieces each.
3.  Toss biscuit pieces in cinnamon/sugar mixture (one can's worth at a time)
4.  Place cinnamon/sugar biscuits into a greased loaf or tube pan.
5.  Melt butter/margarine and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and pour over biscuits.
6.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins or when all biscuits are cooked through.
(this is very important…I haven't found a recipe that has the accurate time for cooking listed!)
7.  Flip pan over on a plate (be careful!  It's hot!), cool, and enjoy!
shaking the biscuits in cinnamon and sugar
stirring the Promise and sugar mixture
the cinnamon/sugar coated biscuits, before the Promise/sugar mix is poured on top!
Sorry I have no pictures of the finished product…it was gone too fast!  :o)


Ocean In A Bottle: Arts and Crafts FAIL!

The other day, I was blog surfing and I came upon this link:  “Deal”icious Mom: Ocean In A Bottle Craft.  How awesome!  Captain Fussybuckets has been asking to go to the beach, so I thought that this would be the perfect Mommy-Son while Baby D is sleeping craft!  I saved a sports drink bottle, found some Baby Oil in the cabinet, and we went in search of shells and cool rocks outside.  I knew that there were two snail shells in the front garden, because CF always picks them out and wants to “go check on them.”  Then, we got some sandy-dirt, and I thought “eh, it’ll work.”  WRONG.  

First fail:  USE SAND!  

I totally scrapped the first bottle because it was just dirty water.  Clearly NOT sand.

So, I decided to make it without sand.  (we seriously have no sand!)  

I measured out the water, put food coloring in it, put the baby oil in, CF put the snail shells in…and I sealed it up with hot glue.

Second fail:  do NOT use snail shells.  They float and do not sink to the bottom.  Lovely.  And they kinda gross me out, to tell you the truth.

Oh well.  The Captain is 2 1/2 and he’s still amused by how the oil and water separate.  I tell him it looks like the ocean and he believes me.  Whatever works.  ha!  At least it was a fun little activity.

Signing off,

Not So Crafty Mommy

Talk About Procrastination

The browser window to remind me to order new checks has been open on my laptop for three days.  I opened it to start the process of ordering checks and somehow got sidetracked (with this blog maybe??)  We moved well over a month ago now and we need new checks.  But wait…..the checks that we are using are from … wait for it….the address of the house we lived in BEFORE moving to Cherokee!  We haven’t lived there since January of 2010!!  Seriously, just order the checks, woman!

I’m not usually this horrible at procrastinating.  Most things really, really bug me until they have to be done.  But apparently ordering checks isn’t one of those things….

Wednesday’s To-Do List:

2.  Make dental appointments!
3.  clean dust bunnies from underneath the bed……

Have a great Wednesday!  Make sure to do something you’ve been procrastinating about!!!

Remembering Mr. Danny

It has been six months since we lost a dear friend and boss, Danny Duggan.  We were working at Cherokee Home For Children in Cherokee, Texas as relief houseparents.  Danny suffered a brain injury while playing basketball alongside his friends, coworkers, kids living at the home, and the visiting Aggies for Christ volunteers.  It was a horrible shock that rocked all of us at the home, and thousands of others who knew and loved Danny.  

After Danny died, some of our dear friends sent us a plant in remembrance of him.  Well, that plant has been growing and thriving and finally outgrew the pot it was living in.  Tonight, Captain Fussybuckets and I went outside and transferred the beautiful plant to a new pot.  This was a good opportunity to talk to him about Mr. Danny, so I told him that our friends gave us this plant when he died.  He began asking questions.  I asked him if he remembered Mr. Danny and he said “yes.”  Digging deeper to see if he really remembered, I said “where was Mr. Danny from?” and he immediately said “from Cherokee.”  He most likely doesn’t remember much about Mr. Danny, but Mr. Danny meant so much to him and us, and taught us about unconditional love.  He loved our son and all the kids at children’s home and in the community.  He loved ALL children.  He ALWAYS talked to Fussybuckets when he saw him.  He talked to him like he was an old friend, and our son, who was 14 months old when we moved to Cherokee, responded so well to him.  He loved him.  He always went to him at staff meetings, church, devotionals, everywhere.  He didn’t go to many people, but he always went to Mr. Danny.  That tells me a lot.  Children can see through the phoniness.  They see through to the heart of people, and Captain Fussybuckets saw Mr. Danny’s heart of gold.  He loved him and trusted him, and it makes me very sad to know that Mr. Danny isn’t around for our son to get to know.

As we finished up adding the soil to the pot, we were talking about how Mr. Danny was in Heaven.  Mr. Danny was always a teacher and a servant of Christ and I think he would be happy to know that our son learned more about Heaven and it opened the door to more communication about Heaven because Mr. Danny is living there now.  

Mr. Danny and one of the sweet kids from the children’s home last year
picture property of  the Cherokee Home For Children Facebook page
to learn more about Cherokee Home For Children, the awesome people who live there, and the awesome stuff they’re doing, simply visit their website:

The Week in Pictures

We love to take pictures with our iPhones and post them on Facebook.  It’s easy and fast, and it helps the relatives see what’s going on in our house.  So, this is just a rerun of the week…in pictures! 

Fussybuckets gives Baby D’s car a wash!
Not everyone can have this awesome bedhead!
The captain requested and ate a salad at 10 AM.
“Daddy, are you going to the beach?”
Baby D received a well loved Sophie from his friends!
“I’m a worker!”
Woody is an awesome teething toy.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great Sunday and don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win $410 !!!!  Click here!

Homemade Waffles!

Our family LOVES homemade waffles.  We eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  I grew up eating homemade waffles, so I wanted to share this recipe with you!  We always substitute white flour with whole wheat flour.  They're still yummy and a bit healthier than way! I can't promise that you and your family will like it with whole wheat, but everyone in our family does!  So, leave the Eggos in the freezer, whip out your waffle maker (or go buy one for around as low as $25) and whip up some delicious homemade waffles!
This recipe is enough for a couple of meals worth of waffles.  I like to make a huge batch and freeze some for hurried mornings!  Just pop a few in the toaster and they're good to go!
Homemade Waffles
6 eggs
3 cups buttermilk  
1 cup oil (or substitute applesauce, but they're flimsy and not as crispy that way)
2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Beat with beater until smooth.  Pour 1 cup batter on waffle iron, close, and cook!
You can add yummy stuff to your waffles…anything you can imagine!  I have added pecans, walnuts, blueberries, and strawberries….but you could add chocolate chips, mushed bananas, anything your heart desires!
Also…did you know that you can make buttermilk at home?  We never have any in the fridge, so here's a little trick my mom taught me:
For 1 cup buttermilk…
use 1 cup milk plus:
-1 Tbsp white vinegar OR 1 Tbsp lemon juice OR 1 3/4 tsp cream of tartar (pick ONE, don't use all! :o)
Let set for 10-15 minutes for it to curdle and thicken.  
Or you can substitute equal amounts of sour cream for buttermilk.

You Just Never Know

There has been a common theme in our lives for the past few weeks.  You just NEVER know.  I’m not talking about with our kids, but that is obvious….  I’m talking with everyone we come in contact with.  I’m trying my hardest to remember this always.  You can’t read people like books.  You just don’t KNOW what’s going on until they tell you.  

You know the lady that wouldn’t move her basket or acknowledge my presence when I said “excuse me” AND “sorry” at Target yesterday?  Maybe she was hard of hearing or spoke a different language…OR maybe she was having a horrible day and she was upset.  Yes, I got a little annoyed, but then I had to remind myself that I can’t be mad at a random stranger for something silly.  That becomes my problem and more stress for me than it’s worth.

On the flip side of that, people don’t know what you’re feeling unless you tell them.  I’m the worst about this because I’ve always been on the shy side.  I’ve been known to get annoyed when I thought people *should* have done something, but how on earth were they to know if I didn’t tell them???

So today and hopefully always, I’m trying to keep this in mind.  You just never, ever know what a person has been through, you just can’t know everything.  So when random things bring about random responses, just go with it.  Don’t hide your feelings and shove everything down either!!  Someone wants to listen to what you have to say!