I made the most disgusting dessert to ever be seen on this planet.

Strawberry almond tapioca pudding.

Of course, the kids loved it. It was their idea in the first place. I had made normal tapioca and was making a second batch with almond milk for Ava and next thing I know, the kids are begging and pleading with me to add strawberry powder to it. So, I did, and it was absolutely disgusting.

And of course, I forgot a few ingredients in the cupboards. I am the most inefficient cook there is. I end up going to the same cupboard six times to get things out, rather than making one trip.

Because I used strawberry powder in the unsweetened almond milk, I went ahead and skipped the three tablespoons of sugar that you’re supposed to add to the pot.

And of course, I rand out of regular tapioca. At first I was just frustrated, but then I realized I had the giant boba tapioca pearls that my neighbor left at my house forever ago. I figured I could grind them with my Magic Bullet to about the right size and it might work.

I ground it up a little bit smaller than it looks like in this picture. Lucky enough for me, it worked! It turned out like normal tapioca, even using the big boba pearls. Just be sure to grind it all down pretty small, otherwise you might end up with undercooked tapioca and that’s just gross.

So, just like regular tapioca, I added the whipped egg and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Of course, Maddi and Danny had to ask me every five minutes “Is it cool yet? Can I have some yet? Is it done yet? I want some, mom!” I wanted to gag just imagining how it would taste.

Thankfully little kids think that all sorts of disgusting things taste great. I don’t remember what it was, but there was something I was all excited to eat because I used to love it when I was a kid… Then I took a bite and it was disgusting. Thankfully my kids aren’t picky and are apparently immune to bad cooking. They loved the tapioca. Maddi and Danny even asked for seconds.

My poor kids, having to put up with my cooking.

Today was fun… Not really. It was long, boring and a waste of time.

Right now, we’re down to one car because Dan’s truck keeps having one problem after another. We could get it fixed. We have the money…  But at this point… We aren’t so sure the truck is even worth fixing. We also don’t know how much longer we’ll even be here if Dan’s interviews go well… So, for the time being, we’re working with just the one car. Which for me, means I have to work with Dan’s schedule. Today, it meant going to the college a couple hours early because he was helping his sister with programming homework. I really didn’t want to leave early, but at least I got some work done while we were there.

After I got home from class, we did Maddi’s hair. I have had her new hair extensions for a few days now, but she hadn’t earned them yet. She was having a hard time listening to mom and dad and keeping her room clean. But, today she really tried and I gave her some credit and we did her hair. I do have to admit, I like the quality of her new extensions better than the old ones. Maybe they’re just softer. I don’t know, but I really like them. I really like Jenns Haircare Blog, she has some really cool tips.

And of course, I tried to get a cute picture of her and all she would do is make faces and be a goof for the camera.

Miss Goofy loves her new hair

No idea what's going on here.

Oh god. The four-year-old is doing the duck face.

And, just for fun, all three of the kids.

And yes. Danny has a couple of extensions in too. The poor kid saw me doing Maddi’s extensions and wanted some too. Poor little guy doesn’t understand that it’s a girl thing… So I just let him have a couple of the ones I took out of Maddi’s hair. They just look like highlights on him. Of course, I cut them short to match his hair. He isn’t even three yet. He doesn’t understand that it’s a girly thing. Who am I to tell him no while he sits there and watches his sister get her hair done? He just felt left out.

I have been writing a lot lately.

I have been following a debt payoff plan similar to the Dave Ramsey method. The first step is done. I have $1,000 in savings. I paid off my first debt. I paid off my car. And now I’m working on debt number three out of four. I’ve made so much progress. It’s almost hard to believe that I have paid off so much in such a short period of time, but I really want to eliminate all of my credit cards and other debts. It’s a big deal to have that money freed up each month. That’s money that can be put toward other things, like savings, retirement or just fun. Hell, I’d love to go on a vacation to one of those houses from Twiddy outer banks vacation rentals near the shore. I’ve never been on a vacation.

That is why I have been writing so much. I made a goal to write three articles per day, every day for the month of march. I don’t have to write them every  day, but I have to have the equivalent of three every day. If I want to write six today, I can skip tomorrow. So far, I’ve done well and I’m even a day ahead on all of my articles.

I have been trying to think of it as a real job. No way do I spend eight hours a day on it, but I have been trying to treat it like a “real” job. I haveto finish my three articles every day. No excuses. It has to be done. If I want that debt to keep disappearing… I have to put in the work to make it keep disappearing. It felt so good when I finished the $1,000 savings. It felt even better when I paid off my first debt. It felt even more amazing when I paid off my car.

I have two debts left and my goal is to pay them both off by the end of summer. That is my goal. Sometimes I feel like it’s impossible and I’ll never be able to do it. Other times, I feel like it’s completely manageable and nothing can stop me from doing it. I go back and forth from motivated and determined to overwhelmed and defeated. Regardless of what state of mind I’m in… I do those three articles a day and slowly but surely it adds up. I am 12% of the way through debt #3.

I have been thinking about giving myself “treats” every $250 and $500. Smaller treats for $250 and bigger treats for $500. It might seem lame but I think the four-year-old is on to something with her reward charts! Maybe some new clothes or getting my hair dyed. I don’t know. I’m thinking a $50 treat for the $250 marks and a $100 treat when I hit the $500 mark, paid in cash of course, not credit! I am not using the credit cards as freely as I used to! Not going down that road again!

Anyway, that’s my life as of lately. Making money. Paying off debt. Playing with the kids. Having a grand old time. Never a dull moment.

Just like most other people, I don’t appreciate inadvertently being exposed to obscene material. I have seen some photos, some video clips, and heard some language that I certainly could have done without. But at the same time, I don’t believe in targeting people or discriminating against people due to perceived obscenity, rather than actual obscenity.

The word “obscene” is defined as…

–adjective  

1.  

offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.
2.  

causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
3.  

abominable; disgusting; repulsive.
So, let me ask you. Does this picture fit any of those qualities?


Averly JoAnne Van Vleet

Is it immoral to breastfeed a baby? Is it depraved? Does it onvolve obscene language? Is it inappropriate to breastfeed, even though babies are meant to be breastfed? Do I look like I’m try to seduce someone or cause them to lust after me? Is it abominable, disgusting or repulsive?

I don’t think this picture meets any of that criteria, and you think it does, you need your head checked and your morals and ethics reevaluated.

Facebook deleted this picture for being “obscene,” but really, I’m just not seeing it.

This picture is representative of so much more than just nursing. Yes, I’m feeding my baby, but you can see more if you look deeper. You can see how exhausted I was after my VBA2C. You can see how much I love her and how content the two of us are to have each other. This picture is more than just a breast. But because my child is being fed in this beautiful and heart-touching photo, it’s “obscene.”

I don’t see the pictures of babies being fed a bottle being deleted. And I don’t see picutres of scantily clad women and drug use being deleted. Why aren’t these ones being sought after? Is it really necessary to pick on breastfeeding women, facebook? Women are already discriminated against and made to feel badly about their choice to do what’s best for their child. I can’t even count how many women I know who didn’t or don’t breastfeed simply because of the judgment they would or did receive because of it.

Do you really have to join in on the witch hunt and persecute the ones who aren’t ashamed, and don’t mind letting their friends see that amazing bond with their child?

Thanks you, facebook. For being part of the problem.

I’ve always been told to live life without regrets, but there’s one thing I will always regret. I regret not having gotten nice pictures done with Maddi and Danny. I always wanted to, but it just never happened. We couldn’t afford to have them done professionally, and even though we had a nice camera, Dan wasn’t too enthused about taking the pictures for me… And I didn’t know anyone willing, able or who had the time to do them for me.

So unfortunately, I never got those special pictures with them. Sure, I had candid snapshots, and poses I attempted to make look good… But nothing nice.

I didn’t want it to be the same this time. Not with Ava.

So, my friend Chelsea and I spent the afternoon, and this is what we got.



 

And my favorite for last….

So, I haven’t really been on here in a long time. I guess I’ve been busy… But with two kids, who isn’t?

So, where to start…?

First, I ended up going to see Dr. Elrod up in Wasilla and I love him! He’s the best doctor I’ve ever seen and I’m really confident that if my VBAC is possible (and it is) that it will happen without unnecessary force and pressure from a pushy intervention-happy doctor. I’m really happy with my choice and even though the drive sucks, it’s totally worth it.

Second, I took a semester off from school. I wanted to focus on some other things, so that’s what I did. In the meantime, I finished my certification as a childbirth educator. I’ve taught some private classes but have yet to set up a large group class. I want to, just waiting to hear back from people on space availability.

Third, I started writing freelance to earn up some money for a carseat for Maddi. I’ve earned enough for her carseat, and now I’m saving up for Danny’s carseat. Definitely a worthwhile purchase in my book. Just takes a little time. The carseats they have now work, but I want to keep them rearfacing longer and it won’t be long until they reach the limit on the seats we have currently. It’s a really neat program and I’ve enjoyed writing for them…especially considering that most of what I’ve wrote, I had to write eventually anyways; it just gave me a little motivation and incentive to do it sooner!

Fourth, I’ve been sewing… a lot. I’ve gotten pretty darn good at my diapers and have been experimenting with other styles, but I still love my pockets best. Lately, I’ve been making clothes a lot, I am getting inspiration from the best vintage t-shirts in my closet.

So as you can see, I’ve been getting pretty crafty. In the meantime, Dan’s been working on the bedroom trying to get that done before the new baby gets here.

So now it’s just a matter of getting drywall and then getting it in. I know how to mud, so that’s not a big deal but Dan has to do the drywall… I can’t lift the stuff. Hurts too much.

Fifth, Danny stopped nursing about two months ago, so he went to 16 months nursing! It’s most likely because of my milk supply tanking because of being pregnant. I’m glad he weaned himself though.

Sixth, Maddi started preschool in a special program for communication-delayed kids. She loves it and has so much fun!

And lastly, we found out that this baby is…

A GIRL!

So, here name will be Averly and we’ll probably call her Ava or Avalee for a nickname.

Okay, so they’re meant for poo… but they’re totally too cool!

This is my second to final design for my diapers. 🙂

Back

The back of the diaper

front

The front without the flaps over it.

Open

The diaper open... Aka...where the yuckies go.

front

This is the diaper with the front closed.

So, as some of you might know, my sewing machine broke. It went kaput. And I pretty much almost cried. Gah. I love my sewing machine. Heck, I just love sewing.

The worst part was that I had been trying to find time to finish sewing up my diapers for my kids for almost two weeks, and when I sit down, it won’t work. Blah. I kind of knew it was coming though because it had been having a few issues before that. We’re going to take it in for an estimate on how much it will cost to repair it, but if it’s too much, I doubt we’ll end up fixing it. We can’t afford to!

Thankfully, my grandma is letting me borrow her sewing machine. And a really nice lady I met, might have one that I can have. Which would be awesome! I’m not picky at all as long as it works, right?

Anyways, I’m off to go make up more diapers for my kiddos! Get them done!

Okay…. Long story, but bear with me.

We got blueberry (our orange tabby cat) after he was abandoned on someone’s porch in Indiana as a kitten. He’s the sweetest guy ever. We even brought him back to Alaska when we moved up here.

Anyways, when my mom and step-dad split, things got really ugly. I mean, REALLY ugly. Curt didn’t want to keep the cats (blueberry and lily) and he told me that if I couldn’t find a home for them by 3:30 they’d be gone. I couldn’t take them, because I was living with Curt at the time. I found a friend of Dan’s to take them, and I called Curt. It was too late for lily. He already offed her. But blueberry was still alive. I drove home so fast and got him! I almost cried when I gave him to Hannah, but she’s a really nice girl and she loves animals.

Anyways, Hannah and her boyfriend broke up in August, and her boyfriend (also named Dan) was keeping the cats. Anyways, Hannah moved to Hawaii two months ago, and when her ex, Dan found out she had a new boyfriend, I guess he started getting really mad and telling Hannah that he didn’t want to keep the cats, even though Hannah was giving him money for them. She told him to call me and Dan and have us take Blueberry because she knew we would take good care of him.

Dan B. (her ex) called my Dan a week ago, and Dan forgot to tell me. Anyways, i got ahold of Dan B, asking when i could come get blueberry and whatnot and he told me he already got rid of him. I practically begged him to ask whoever he gave him to let me have him back. I offered to give him/them twenty bucks and reimburse them for any food or litter they bought. Dan B seemed like he didn’t want to ask for him back and said it was weird to ask for them back, but he said he would. Hannah even tried pleading with him to get him to tell use who he gave blueberry to.

The next night I texted and asked if there was any word on blueberry. He said “Nope.” Blueberry was a special dog that he got from the standard poodles for sale phoenix store and since then he’s always been by her side.

Anyways, i decided to post something on craigslist looking for blueberry, and then on Dog Gone news (a program our radio station has to help people find their pets). I saw a link to the animal shelter and on a whim I thought I should call. I almost didn’t call because Dan B had said he gave them to someone, so why bother with the pound?!?

Anyways, i call, and the people at the pound tell me that they DO have a cat matching blueberry’s description at the pound and that he had been left there with another cat in a rubbermaid container. And the other cat matched the description of the other cat Hannah had. The f***ed up part was that he put the food on top of the hole in the tub and they couldn’t breathe and the other cat (not blueberry) died!!!! But blueberry managed to move the food away through the hole so he could breathe!

So, my mom and I went in the next morning. We would have gone in the same day, but I hadn’t called them until 15 minutes before they closed, so there was no way I would have made it to town before they closed. Anyways, I was so nervous. My heart was racing and my head was pounding. I almost feel silly being so worked up over a cat, but I was just so worried about him! And he’s part of our family! When we went into the shelter, the worker at the desk was actually looking at the craigslist ad I had posted for blueberry when I still believed that Dan B. had given them away to someone. She told me she’s almost positive that the cat they had was ours. I held my breath and when we walked into the cat room….

It was blueberry!!!!

I was so elated I almost cried! He didn’t see us at first, and he just looked so dejected and scared…. but as soon as he looked up, he saw my mom and he just lit up! He practically attacked the cage door and meowed at us until he was let out and then he just wanted us to hold him! It was just awesome! I can’t even describe how good I felt about it all.

Anyways, the lady at the shelter was awesome, and didn’t even charge us to take him home, which really helped, because we needed the money to get Blueberry a box, and some food and litter.

Blueberry had to fight to live for almost ten hours before the workers got there and freed him from the rubbermaid tote that became a deathbox for his friend, who died next to him. Can you imagine how he must have felt? Struggling frantically for almost ten hours, all the while, his best friend dying right next to him, and when she did die, the tote being so small, that he was forced to stand on top of her until the workers arrived at the pound and were able to rescue him?! I can’t imagine the fear, the panic, the adrenaline rush he must have been feeling.

And you have no idea how enraged I am that someone did this to Blueberry. I don’t care who you are or what your problem is, you NEVER take out your anger at another person out on an innocent animal who has done nothing to you! It’s completely messed up, and I’m sorry… But no decent person… Animal lover or not…. Does that to an animal. And why would he lie to me and tell me he had already given them away…when really, he still had them and took them to the pound an hour or two after I got ahold of him.

I’m just so glad Blueberry is okay. His claws are messed up and a couple of them are falling out, mostly likely from when he was struggling and forcing his paw through the hole in the box.

He’s bounced back to normal though. He was skittish at first… But he’s doing much better.

I haven’t treated you guys to any photos in a while. So, here’s some to get your fix.

Chelsea, Maddi & Danny the day she left. 🙁 We miss her!

I'm mentally challenged like that.

Where yo polar bears at?!?!

I love this photo.

Danny and chelsea, cuddled up!

Danny fell asleep on his Auntie Allie.

Danny Opening a Gift... or rather, just playing with the bow and drooling.

Aunt Tori helping Maddi open a present!

Danny's idea of milk and cookies on christmas eve.

It was tough actually getting her to open any presents after the first!

I made a hoodie for her. It's supposed to have a deer applique...but it looks like a cat.

I made a funky retro skirt for allie. Had anti-drug slogans all over it!

Danny loves the boobs.

Maddi and Great-Grandma Marilyn opening a present!

Danny with Marlene's Dad at the Christmas Party

My ABSOLUTE favorite photo of Danny.

Danny playing with one of Rex's toys.

Daddy helping Danny with a present!

My neice, Kayleigh

Danny & Marlene. Danny was ENTRANCED by the guitar.

Taking a bath in the sink when the tub got clogged!

He can take her!!!

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! width=

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! She loved it!

She loved it, plus this is amazing thanks to the pool service fairbanks ranch help!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

Nate’s party went great. We’re all exhausted though! Swimming really wears you out, especially so if you are bouncing a little toddler through the water with you the whole time! Ha ha ha.

We went swimming, and afterwards we went to my grandparents house, and had pizza, cake and ice cream. One of the pizzas was freaking amazing. Bacon, artichoke, spinach and chicken pizza with alfredo instead of tomato sauce! Freaking good! And then we had chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream.

I got Nate a cute card. On the front it had a picture of a piece of chocolate cake and it said “For your birthday, I made you a double fudge chocolate cake, but there was a slight problem…” and on the inside it showed a plate with cake crumbs on it, and it said “It was in the same room as me. Happy birthday!” I wrote him a little note telling him he can’t trust his big mean preggo sister around chocolate. I also included a little coupon for him that allows him to pick dinner one night, meal of his choice, for us to make. We’ll even break out our favorite Paper Plates and enjoy some dessert together.

I was kind of suprised. My mom was fairly pleasant the whole time, and even apologized for “being snotty.” So… Who knows? The whole time was pretty fun. Maddi enjoyed the water, but it was pretty easy to tell she was exhausted afterward! She couldn’t keep her poor little eyelids open! My poor baby.

Dan put Maddi in her nightgown when he got home, and she was all freaking out, trying to shove her legs up inside the nightgown… It was so funny! She was so frustrated though! We eventually figured out that she wanted her one piece pajamaas that have enclosed feet on them… We got her out a pair of those, and she got so excited and happy to put them on. Silly baby.

So, tomorrow is my two-year anniversary with Dan! I can’t believe we’ve been married two years! It’s crazy to think about it, but I guess it’s been that long! Time flies, I suppose! I’m excited. I love him so much. He really is my best friend in the whole wide world and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone but him for the rest of my life! Even if he does make fun of me all the time! He’s still my dan-man!

We’re going to make ribs, and pasta, and sparkling cider for dinner tomorrow. Might play a board game. I’m even going to make cream puffs! 😀 Yay for cream puffs!

Anyways, again, I am exhausted even though it’s pretty early. Oh well.

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