Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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"Mommy Juice"

We are a smoothie family! The kids refer to them as "Mommy Juice" not because only mom can drink them...but because mom loves to make them. I refuse to pay money at smoothie cafes because they charge an arm and a leg...and homemade smoothies are more fun anyway! Not only are they a great way to cool off in the summer but they can be nutritious too! Bring out the fun straws and glasses and the kids will love it!

***I should add that we have a Vita-mix which is a high-powered blender. It crushes up the ice and frozen fruit with no problem while another blender might suffer. It's pricey...but worth every penny.***

A lot of times I add half a big carton of vanilla flavored yogurt, a squeeze of honey, and a variety of frozen fruit (I've used berries, peaches, melon, grapes...etc.) You don't have to add ice because the frozen fruit makes it cold. You could also throw in some ripe banana.

Here are two recipes that we have tried in the last month that we won't be disappointed!

Cool Papaya Smoothie (Harry and David)
1 ripe papaya, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
The juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup cold milk
2/3 cup crushed ice
Scoop flesh out of Papaya skins and puree in a blender with lime and sugar. Add milk, vanilla and ice. Process until smooth and frosty, then pour into tall glasses. Serves 4.

Strawberry Tsunami wantabe (adapted or stolen from Jamba Juice)
16-20 oz. lemonade (depending on how much you want to make and the consistency you like, start with less and you can add more later)
4 scoops of Lime Sherbet
A handful of frozen peach slices
2 handfuls of frozen strawberries
Blend together, pour into a fun glass, add a straw and ENJOY!


White Chocolate Cheesecake (No-Bake!)

My husband loves white chocolate cheesecake. So for his birthday I found this recipe at and it was SO easy and really yummy. The recipe says to put toffee pieces on it which would be REALLY good, but my husband loves gummy bears so we did it with gummy bears and even though it sounds a little funny it was actually pretty good!

1 cup white chocolate chips
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
1/3 cup toffee pieces (or gummy bears or other favorite topping!)

Melt chocolate chips slowly in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Stir in softened cream cheese (if your cream cheese is too cold when you add it, it will harden the melted chips so make sure the cream cheese is softened or melted a little before you add it in). Stir until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust and cover. Chill until set (about 4-5 hours). Sprinke with topping.


Overnight Potty Training Frustration

Okay, I need so me advice on overnight potty training. Jack is five years and two months old and is totally potty trained during the day and has been for years. He still wears a night time pull up to bed at night and every morning it is SOAKED. Finally when he turned five we decided that we were sick of buying diapers for a big kid and so we put a plastic sheet on his bed, stopped letting him drink anything after 6 and made him go potty right before bed etc. He would wet the bed every single night. My husband started getting him up in the middle of the night and making him go to the bathroom half asleep, but he would still wake up wet.

The thing that kills me is that I can tell that he just really doesn't care. He wants to wear the pull up and if he doesn't get one he is totally fine with laying in his own pee. I started an incentive program where he would get a super cool prize if he woke up dry. He went one night and got the toy and then never even tried again, no matter how awesome the prize was. We tried requiring him to do extra chores to earn money to buy his own diapers. (he was happy to do so).

I realized that I am the one putting all of the effort into this. I am the one who has to wash the sheets and Lysol the mattress cover every morning and he just doesn't care. His room started to smell bad no matter how much I cleaned. I decided to give up and let him have the diapers back. My husband and I disagree on this. My husband worries that the lack of consistency sets a bad precedent and that we just lost the battle of wills. I agree and I worry about this too, but I just felt like I was so sick of picking this fight with Jack every single day.

So what do you guys think? Is five years old way too old to be wearing a night time diaper? Is it worth it to keep struggling with this every day in the name of consistency? Should I just let it go until he wants to stop wetting the bed? I'm interested to see what you guys would do in this situation or to see if anyone has been through this with a child.


Personalized T-Shirts

So, this isn't the greatest picture of one of my latest projects, but there is a great tutorial at Tangled and True on how to make your own personalized t-shirts. It took a little while for my craft-challenged self to cut out the stencil, but it was a relatively easy project that is pretty exciting for kids to wear. Let me know if any of you try it - I'd love to have other ideas other than just names.

Cute Book

Just a quick little note before running off to hunt down my kids. We found the sweetest book at the library recently and I thought how much I'd love to share it with you.

It's called Horace the Horrible by Jackie Koller.

It's about a little girl whose dad (the king) gets the flu so she has to go spend time with her uncle Horace, who also happens to be a grumpy knight.

The pictures are bright and fun. Plus you get the full range of dragons and princesses and knights, but it's also about love.

Very cute. You should see if you can find it at your libraries too!


Hi, I'm Staci Kramer

I was introduced to Mommy Diaries by my good friend Kiera and I was instantly hooked. Its taken me much too long to post my introduction because I just don't know what to say. There are so many things about myself that I could share but I guess the most important thing about me is that I am a mother. I love being a mother. I have two sons. Jack is 5 and Abraham is 1. I dream of having a hundred kids. I want to see how each one would look and what their little personalities would turn out like and I would want to snuggle them and kiss them all day long. For now the two keep my busy enough and with a little luck we will add a third sometime soon.

My husband is a police officer for the Town of Gilbert and he is a great hero for my boys. We have been married for 6 and a half years and been living here in Queen Creek, Arizona for the last three years. We live right next door to my sister and her family. She has four children who are basically being raised with my children as siblings. There are so many awesome advantages to having my sister so close. I never have to go to the grocery store with my kids and there is always someone around to hang out with when my husband is at work. We take turns making meals and do combined Family Home Evening etc. I don't know how anyone survives without their sister next door.

I am an aspiring writer and an avid blogger. I have written half of a novel and it is my goal to finally finish it and get it published sometime before I die. I am a pretty opinionated person when it comes to politics. I have been called a right-wing nut job and I consider that a great compliment. I love our country and the constitution I am so thankful for the freedoms we enjoy.

A few more things about me:

Thinks I like:
Shopping (my only vice)
Trivia (I'm a Jeopardy nerd)
Traveling (I don't do much anymore, but I do love it)
Church (I teach Gospel Doctrine and I love the gospel)
Makeup (I could spend two weeks in Sephora and not get bored)
Animals (We have three Chihuahuas, one parrot and 3 tortoises)

Things I hate:
Exercise (unless I can talk someone into doing it with me)
Cleaning my house (I throw parties to force a deadline upon myself)
Nuts (they have been responsible for ruining far too many chocolate chip cookies)
People who think being a mom is easy or doesn't require intelligence and skill

Above all I love to get to know new friends and I can't wait to be apart of the MD community!


Gestational Diabetes

So obviously I have a lot on my mind. This time, my gestational diabetes. I'm wondering if any of you have some great low/no carb snack or meal ideas. I can eat only 45 grams of carbs per meal and have to have 2 snacks with 15 grams of carbs, if I get hungry in between I can eat "free" or no carb items. I need some new ideas. I am going through so much bread (15 carbs per slice) and feel like I eat the same things. I'm wondering if any or you have had this before or at least have some recipes or food combo's of things that fit into either a meal or snack category. Any help would be great thanks!!!


Pack your Bags

Okay so I'm starting to think about what things I'd like to take to the hospital when I'm induced. I am wondering what are some things you are glad you had with you or wish you had taken. I still have a few weeks but thought I'd start a list so that when its time to pack I won't forget. With my first it was a visit to the doctor and was told to rush over to L&D only I didn't have a bag packed so I ended up grabbing things I didn't need and forgot things I wished I'd had.


Road Trip!

All right ladies, let's gather up all of your best distractions. My husband has an internship this summer. We have to drive 20 hours to get there. That is two ten hour days in the car with an active three-year-old boy and rambunctious 18-month-old girl. How in the world do you entertain kids while on long car trips? Do you just buckle down (heehee...buckle down...road trip...never mind) and get the portable dvd player? Or do you have some super great creative ways to keep your kids from going insane and dragging you there with them before you can stop for the night?


Out to Eat

Sorry for the delay in getting our "about us" question up this month.  We love getting to know all our mommy authors and readers!
So this month we want to know where is your favorite place to go out to eat?  Whether it's somewhere fancy while your kids are home with a sitter, somewhere inbetween that the whole family can enjoy, or even a fast food drive thru.  We want to hear it!

We hope you all have a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY tomorrow!!


More new mom questions for the more experienced moms!

I need some more advice from you more experienced mothers out there!
My baby turned 5 months old on the 1st, when he turned 4 months the Dr. instructed me to start giving him rice, than oatmeal, and by his 6th month check up I need to have given him a vegetable. He said at first you just try it a couple times a day until they figure out how to eat it and get their mouths to learn what to do. Well I just left thinking it would take a while to get him to learn it and didn't think about anything else I should have asked!
So anyways I gave him the rice right away and he LOVED it.. he ate it perfectly and that kind of threw me off.. he sorta skipped the learning out period and now I just don't know where to go!
For the past month I have been nursing him the same but I give him one bowl of rice or oatmeal once a day around 6pm. I basically have no idea how much I should be feeding him, how often, when I should add a second serving, it's like there was absolutely no guidelines!
So i'm just curious.. I don't know how many of you remember from when your kids were babies and starting on foods or have babies now that might have advice but I'm curious when I should start feeding him more times a day, and how much. I'm thinking I should start giving him oatmeal in the morning and something at night... he doesn't act extra hungry I wait for that? I feel like I have complete control of how much to feed he isn't really giving me any signs, like if I don't feed him he's like "whatever" and if I do he's like "yum!" but I don't want to over or under-do it!
So I hope this all made sense.. I didn't mean to ramble so long, it's late and I basically have a million questions that pretty much equal to 1 big one.. so I tend to keep asking asking. Basically How do you know how much to feed them, how often etc! It's just weird to have free range.. with no clue how to go about it! Oh and how long do I continue to nurse the same? When do I cut down on that? So many questions:)
Thank you for any opinion, advice, anything! I appreciate it!


Free KFC

Hi Girls! Even though I haven't eaten at KFC in years, I thought this was pretty fun. They're offering free KFC dinners if you print a coupon today (you can only print it on May 5th). I guess this is courtesy of the Oprah show and you can use it until 5/19/09. You can also print two, so I guess maybe a free date night? Have fun!


Fun Girl's Night Ideas!

K, so I am throwing a Scentsy party this week and since the demonstrator won't be there I thought it would be fun to make it more of a girls night. I am planning on having American Idol Karaoke on for those that want to do that but I need more ideas on what would be fun to do with everyone. Does anyone know any fun girl's games or things to do. I don't really want to have a craft there because that would involve people bringing something or me having to go out and buy tons of stuff. Does anyone have any ideas? PS I need them soon cause it's on Wednesday!


Creamy Broccoli Soup

I distinctly remember the first time I ate broccoli without gagging. I was in college. Now, I love it and am quietly proud of my children when they eat it willingly. We love simple steamed broccoli and slightly cooked broccoli in a stir-fry but those don't really require "recipes". This is a soup that we love. Make it before the weather actually turns to a reliable Spring!


2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring broth to a boil. Add broccoli and onion. Cook for five minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
2. In a separate bowl, slowly add milk to flour, and mix until well blended.
3. Stir flour mixture into broth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup is thick and bubbly. Add cheese if desired; stir until melted. Add seasonings and serve.

One Hour Craft - Fabric Pennant Banner

Yay, another craft!! In past few years, I've realized what a stress reliever it is for me to create.  I was completely inspired and in love with Pres. Uchtdorf's talk on creating.... (if you haven't read it, PLEASE do, it will lift your spirits in an amazing way!) along with thousands of other women, I'm sure.  Working with my hands and creating something is the most satisfying feeling ever!

So, on to this months craft.  It is SUPER easy and SO fun, I have plans to make one for many occasions, birthday's, Easter, Fourth of July, etc.  I just imagine one of these draped across the mantle on my fireplace for every holiday! :)

What you need:
  • fabric, as many pieces/scraps as you want, or enough for as long as you want your banner
  • either bias tape or ribbon
  • thread
  • fusible interfacing (don't get scared, you can buy this by the yard or in little packages.  It is irons on and is used to make your pennants a little stiffer.  If your fabric is really thin, use a stronger, thicker interfacing.  If your fabric is home decor fabric or a little thicker, you can use a thinner interfacing.) sidenote: if you don't want to use interfacing, you can do fabric on both sides of your pennant, just sew right sides together, leave top open, turn right side out, iron, and sew the top closed when you sew on the ribbon. I didn't do this because I didn't want to use that much material or take that long, and I knew the back of mine wouldn't be showing. I may do this in the future if the back is going to show.
What you do:

1. Pick fabric, I'm using fabric that goes with a car mat rug of my son's.  I wanted to bring out the blues and oranges in the rug.  

2. Grab a paper bag, cute it open and make yourself a pattern for your pennants.  Paper bags are great because you can pin them over and over and they won't rip, yet they are thin enough that it makes them easy to work with.  
3. Using your paper bag patterns, cut out your material, fold it in half so you can do two at a time. Two at a time makes it quick, plus I wasn't doing too many! Then after they are cut out, cut out the interfacing using your pattern as well.

4. Iron on the fusible interfacing, the directions normally come on the package, but if you don't know, ask the craft people at the craft store.  Make sure you put the fabric and interfacing on right sides or you'll stick your interfacing to your ironing board.  yes, I'm speaking from experience.  I use a little water bottle because I think the steam helps really stick it.
5. Lay out your pennants and decide what order you'll sew them.  Since you used the interfacing, you don't have to sew around the edges unless you want to. 
6. If you want to spell something out, now is the time to cut our your letters (use your paper bag as a template again!) and place them on your pennants.  When your done, sew them in place.
7. Cut your ribbon.  You can do a couple different things here.  I cut a little ribbon for each pennant, then knotted them together to join the pennants.  You can do one long ribbon or use bias tape, you do the same for both.... fold them over the top and sew.  I have two longer pieces of ribbon for the ends incase I need to tie it around something to hang it up.
8. Sew the ribbon to the top of your pennants.
After they are all sewn, tie them together in the middle and ta da! You are done!  I loved this craft, I thought it was so fun, and my little boy is super excited about it.  I think I'll find some fun hooks/knobs to hang on his wall and use them to hang up his banner.  I think something like this would make really cute curtains as well.  If you need more inspiration, check out this ADORABLE party banner at The Purl Bee.  I found LOTS of ideas and inspiration on Etsy as well! Have crafting, post pictures when you are done!!