Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One year ago today...

I have written a little bit about my job as a nanny in this blog.  With today being the one year "anniversary" of interviewing for the job I thought I would share the story. 
Before I got married I worked as a nanny full time for a family.  A few months before the wedding I made the tough decision to leave that job.  I spent the next few months being a nanny part time for two different families.  One of the families I had met through family and they had one sweet little girl who I adore!  The second family I met through a christian softball team that both Brian and I played on.  Both of these families are Jesus loving, have amazing beautiful children, and are some of the genuinely nicest people that I know.  I absolutely loved working for them.  After getting married I decided to start really looking for a full time position. 
My main nanny search engines were care.com and sittercity. I was also wanting to use myfreenanny.com which is owned by a good friend but it is down right now.  I looked into nanny agencies but most of them are located in Seattle which is an hour drive from where I live.  I was willing to do the commute but most agencies would not let me join unless I moved to Seattle.  Total bummer. 
My mother in law was praying for us and was searching everywhere for a job for me. At least once a week I would receive an email from her about someone she found. I knew she was just trying her best to help. Sometimes she would send me Craigslist listings. Now if you have ever looked for a nanny or babysitting job on craigslist you know what I will say about it. Not always, but most times I found people who had multiple children and wanted to pay under $5 an hour for 8+ hour long days.
After searching I found a family that I liked and the hours worked for me. I found them through care.com so it felt safe to me. They were a Christian family with three children. When learning more about their family I thought they were just so amazing. I went home and just did not feel peace. I prayed and prayed asking why I did not feel peace with accepting the job. The hours were a little under full time which wasn't exactly my ideal situation. So after talking to Brian I emailed them back and said I could not accept the job because it was just not enough hours for me. I felt good about my decision until I got another email from her telling me that they could bump up the hours for me if I would work for them. I was so confused.  I had this strong feeling that I should not take this job and I did not know why!  I prayed and prayed and still nothing... It was so hard for me to try to explain to Brian that I still didn't want to accept the job. His choice would have been for me to take it since I now had no reason not to, but I couldn't.  I felt so bad because I knew that we needed the money because we wanted to buy a house in this great market.  When I look back on my decision not to take that job I am still amazed at how hard God tugged on my heart to not take it.
About a week or so later on a Sunday night my mother in law emailed me about another job that had just been posted on craigslist.  This posting was under the gigs - household section of craigslist.  It was a very short post that just said their location and that it would be less than 30 hours a week with one baby.  I replied with my resume and then just waited to see if I would get a reply.  She replied asking if I could talk on the phone and so we did.  After talking for a little bit she invited me to meet for an interview the next morning.  The next morning I met at the Tully's.  I got there early so that I could get a table.  It is always awkward getting to an interview and looking at people drinking their coffee wondering "are you my interview???".  I parked outside and noticed it was a 30 min parking zone.... i still went in and sat down.  after about five minutes of freaking out that I was going to walk out of my interview with a big yellow ticket on my window I moved my car.  I felt so much more relaxed.  They came in and did the interview and it just clicked.  We had a great conversation and I left feeling so good.  I couldn't stop telling Brian how I thought this was the perfect job and family for me. That afternoon I received an email that they had cancelled all of their other interviews because they wanted me!  The next night I went over to meet the whole family, see their house, and talk about details!  they felt the same way that I did!  I officially accepted the job that night!  I have never felt so much peace in a decision that I have made (besides marrying the man of my dreams of course). 
God works in amazing ways!  If I would have accepted that  job then I would have never found this great job.  I could have chosen to ignore all the job emails from my mother in law.  I could have turned down the job because they are not a "christian family".  I am so thankful now for the feeling of peace.  Knowing that God placed this family in my life and that I am fully taken care of is truly amazing.  I believe that God spoke to their hearts and that is why they cancelled all the other interviews. 
Everyday I go to work so excited to see what the day will hold. Hearing Amelia tell her friends that her "big sister" is here to pick her up, having little baby Johnny smile at me and sign the word please, and being able to know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be is perfect!  Life is crazy, things happen that you cannot control, but when you trust in God everything works out.  I am so thankful to work for a family who has become part of my family!

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understand.
Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Green Drink

Like most nannies, finding a new job is a scary task.  My families that I nanny for become part of my family.  It is not like a normal job where you do not have to engage with your co-workers if you do not want to, you are intertwined in their lives, parenting skills, and practically live in their house!
After searching for a while, I found the perfect family.
(that story will come at a later time)
I sat down with them to learn more about them like what they enjoyed doing, what their children were like, just things that don't normally come out in the first interview.  At one point the Dad (John)said something along the lines of, "The one weird thing about us would be our fridge and food.  Our fridge is full of vegetables.'
Now I always had fruits and vegetables in my fridge growing up.  I just chose to eat the fruits and not the vegetables.  The only vegetables I eat are carrots and the occasional Caesar salad smothered in Dressing!
One morning I came to work and John was in the kitchen putting tons of vegetables in their blender.  He blended them up into a smoothie and served it up to their 6 year old!
Then he offered me some.....he said I did not have to drink it but he wanted to offer.
Now i was trying to be a good new employee but I could not say yes.
The next few mornings I watched the 6 year old drink it up and both parents drink and I thought, how bad could this be?
I finally gave in.  First I gave it a little sniff.  It smelt just like Jamba Juice.
It was awesome! 
Filled with so many good vegetables and I couldn't even taste them!
Perfect for this vegetable hater!
Since learning more about raw eating and how good it is for you a few things have changed at our house.
We went out and bought a Bendtec from Costco!
I am now making these green drinks for breakfast every morning.
While we were moving it was packed away, but now it is back out and has a place on our counter top!

Isn't this produce from Harbor Greens beautiful!
(who would've thought I would ever say that)
Here is the Green Drink Recipe for the Vegetable Haters!
  • Cucumber - Half
  • Celery - Three Sticks
  • Apple - Half
  • Avocado - Half of a Large/a Whole Small
  • Banana - One
  • Stevia - One Packet
  • Spinach - Three large hand fulls
  • Water - Until blade is covered
  • Ice - Three hand fulls
This is what it looks like pre blended with no ice or water. 
I make mine the night before and put it in the fridge so that in the morning I just plop it on the base and press the smoothie button and I have an easy quick breakfast!
I put as much spinach in there as I can because I know I will not eat it any other way. 
These pictures were from our apartment taken on my iPhone 4.
The apples and banana cover up the taste of the vegetables.
The avocado creates the smoothie texture.  Without the avocado it is more of a slush texture.
You can add as much spinach, cucumber, and celery as you want.  I have never tasted the spinach!
Brian even agrees that it is good!
I would never and still will never just chomp on a piece of celery or cucumber.
But this is my salad every day in a cup!  It can be used as a meal replacement too because technically it is just a salad blended up! 
I am thankful for my crazy vegetable loving boss!  She has taught me how to eat my vegetables....and enjoy it!
I dare you to try this recipe!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deviled Gelatin Eggs

A few years ago I was given the task to make Jell-O for easter.
Not knowing what to do I thought of the Jello-O eggs my aunt used to make every year.
I recieved this deviled egg platter from crate and barrel for Christmas and wanted to use it.
Then I came up with this idea...Deviled Gelatin Eggs
Follow the link to get my recipe.  It got published on All Recipes!
Try it out!  It is really yummy!

Happy Easter!

Fun kid food!

The mom of the kids I nanny is all about raw food.

This means for Amelia's after school snack the options are fruit and veggies.
I realized after the first few weeks that setting a plate of cut up fruits and veggies in front of a 6 year old doesnt necessarily make them excited.

I started browsing google images and Pinterest for ways to spruce up her snack.

Here are a few of the things I came up with...

Cucumbers, Apples, Spinach, and Carrots.

Cucumber, Spinach, Carrots, Avocado, Blueberries, and Raspberries

Here is a lunch I made for her. 
Cucumber, Oranges, Spinach, Blueberries, Raspberries, Carrots, and a Turkey Sandwhich.
I also put a small baggy of air popped popcorn in her lunch to have a healthy crunchy snack.

Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Raspberries, and Spinach

She couldn't wait to eat this one!
Banana, Pears, Broccoli, and Carrots.

Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Blackberries, Craisins, and a Dried Apricot

Apple, Carrots, and Cucumber.

Broccoli, Apple, Carrots, and Spinach.

Kiwi, Grapes, Oranges, and Banana

Banana, Carrots, Pears, Broccoli, Cucumber, Raspberries, Blueberry, Apple, and Snap Peas.

Carrots, Apple, Blueberry, and Broccoli

Lunch in a Sistema lunch container.
Turkey Sandwich, Blueberries, Carrots, Snap Peas, Broccoli, Apple, Raspberries, and Blackberries.

Oranges, grapes, strawberry, celery, and spinach

With just a little work on my part, Amelia is now loving her creative snacks!
Instead of trying to hide veggies and fruit in foods to just get them down, play around with the food and make it fun to eat! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake!

The other day I received an email from my 4th grade teacher.
She asked if I would be willing to make a cake for her sons first birthday.
I was so excited!  Her theme was the very hungry caterpillar from the children's book.
She wanted a cake shaped like the caterpillar and two dozen cupcakes to go along with it.
I have to admit that shaped cakes still scare me a little bit...
but I knew that I could do it!
I think they scare me the most because I have to draw the shape and cut it out.
I am not a very good free hand artist.
Thank goodness this was an easy shape to draw!
It was lemon cake with vanilla frosting.
The cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla frosting.
I used my fat daddios cake pans.
To shape this cake I had to make a giant square cake to carve into.
Needless to say, we have a lot of leftover lemon cake scraps.
I mixed and mixed my buttercream with my Wilton colors to attempt to get the perfect shade.
I did not think they looked good last night but they were perfect when I saw them in the daylight.
I made my own marshmallow fondant for the cupcake pieces.
Fondant is really easy to make and tastes so much better then the premade stuff!
Here are a few pictures of how cute it turned out!

It was so much fun to see my former teacher.
I am so thankful for facebook and the networking that it provides.
I have to clean my powdered sugar kingdom kitchen now. :(