Thursday, December 31, 2009

My thrifty love . . .

Oh Craigslist how I love thee.

I have been looking for a desk for McCartney's room for months. I found a fabulous one on CL for $40 and they said they'd accept $30. The wife then interrupts and says she'd give me the matching dresser for $15. Jackpot! They are super heavy nice peices with metal drawer slides and everything. Love it.

We already had some mistint paint that we had put aside for the desk when we got it. We are not completely done with the trim paint, but she insisted on posting pics . . . so here ya go.

Happy New Year . . .

Cake Pops . . .

I made cake pops for the family gathering tomorrow. . . are they not adorable?! Check for the recipe here on Supper Slacker Therapy with instructions and pictures. Everyone can do this!

Camera Dump Reprise . . .

Christmas Morning

Christmas at Grandma's

A beautiful girl!

A handsome daddy!

Playing with Uncle Doug.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes . . .

On Wednesday, December 16 I was driving to work and getting ready to make my daily stop at the gas station to pick up my 44oz fountain soda and I decided it would be the day I stopped drinking soda. The first few days were rough. Truthfully, as corny as it may sound it was facebook that got me through. so many of my friends were encouraging and kind when I would whine and moan that I wanted a soda more than life. And, to be honest, I really didn't want to go on facebook and admit I gave in and drank a soda. As of today, it has been 12 days and I am done with the wicked headaches from withdrawl and I don't think about drinking Coke every waking moment. It is not easy, but it is much easier than it was.

I didn't really give up soda because of the caffeine, and I am currently drinking a peppermint coffee. Soda is just so terribly bad for you. I had a really, really bad habit and it cost a LOT of money. I decided enough was enough. This ad is what did it for me . . .

I have also decided to eat healthier. After reading Cindy and Christine's blogs I really want to make an effort to change the way we all eat. It seems so terribly overwhelming, but after reading Christine's post it confirmed that what I was thinking about doing would work. I am slowly substituting bad things for better things. I have nearly given up my wonderful smooshy white bread that I adore for wheat or oat. I have substituted regular flour for wheat. We have not been to a fast food restaurant in well over a month. I am going to try doing a meatless meal at least once a week. I am going to try simple things like making dumplings without the chicken (not necessarily vegetarian, as I am using chicken broth, but they don't really miss the chicken and Robert actually prefers it) I figured we can do tomato soup and grilled cheese at least once a week also.

Today for lunch I did something that I have read about on Cindy's blog. I grilled up some whole wheat tortillas and made burritos with beans, brown rice, and hot pepper cheese. Harrison LOVED them and I could definitely eat them all day. I think this summer with tomatoes from our garden they would be fabulous!

Truly, I feel tons better just not drinking soda. My body doesn't have nearly as many aches and I am certain it is due to less sugar in my body. I am digesting food better and I have only had heart-burn once this week as opposed to daily before!

We shall see what other changes this year has for us and our diet!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Night all . . .

Hope you all have a fabulous Christmas with your families. . . .much love to you all! The deed is done around these parts and I am heading to bed. Can't wait to see their faces tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Finishing up . . .

As it gets closer to Christmas I have been finishing some crafty things I have been working on. Want a peek?

Washer Necklaces

I started these a few months ago. You take a washer and modge podge some scrapbooking paper on them. Filing off the edges with a fingernail filing block. Then you apply several coats of modge podge to make them shiny. I abandoned them because I COULD NOT get them smooth and they were irritating me. I found something called Triple Thick diamond finish for jewelry and decided to give it a try. They are drying right now and it does seem to be self leveling and they look good as of right now. We shall see.

Photo Blocks

I saw these on Little Birdie Secrets recently and thought they are fabulous! I tried them tonight and I really like how it turned out.

You start with a plain wood block. It was $1.47 at Hob Lob. I think if I do them again, I will go get a board at Lowes and cut it myself. I think I would like it a little more rustic and chunky. I painted mine green and them dry brushed cream over it and wiped it off.

Then you add some scrapbooking paper and a picture printed on regular paer with modge podge. When that was dry I antiqued the paper a bit and filled the edges with a nail file block to crust it up a little.

Close your eyes mom! Then I added some ribbon and a cute sparkly thing from Hob Lob. Cute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holy Mmmmmm Batman . . .

Teacher and co-worker's gifts . . .

I am so tired of giving the same crap. I am pretty anti-gift card because I am cheap and I think a $5 gift card is kinda tacky. Maybe you will think that my gifts are kinda tacky, but here they are.

The kids and I made "Santa's Belly Buttons" (Harrison calls them Santa's Nipples . . . I am Mother of the Year) last night for their teachers. You just simply lay out circle pretzels on some parchment paper and fill the centers with Kisses (we did peppermint) and place them on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven for 2 minutes (they are not melted, just shiny and soft) When you take them out of the oven you press an M&M in the center of the Kiss. Fun and simple. The kids were really focused on unwrapping all the Kisses, laying out the pretzels, then pressing the M&M on the top. Kept them busy for well over and hour. Bonus.

I kept some candle jars and washed them a couple times. They have been airing out in a bag in the laundry room for a week or so in order to obliterate the candle smell. I made a little label, put it on with packing tape and tied a cute ribbon. I avoided doing a Christmas label so that they might be able to use the jar for their desk or something. Or they could just gorge themselves on the candy and then toss it in the can. That's okay too! I think they are cute!

I am super nervous about my co-worker's gifts. I have 5 people who work in the office with me. I have been there for almost 20 years so originality is difficult. I saw a cute idea on a blog a month or so ago and for the life of me I cannot find it to link to it. If you know where it was, let me know. I made an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Kit. If you have been reading here for awhile you will know that I have been making my own cleaning products for awhile now. So, when I saw this idea, I knew it was for me!

The baskets include an All Purpose Spray, a shaker container (from Kosher salt I bought at the dollar store) of my favorite Arm and Hammer's Super Washing Soda, a scrub brush, a few T-shirt rags rolled up, a scrubber, a baggie of denture tablets for toilets, and a laminated "recipe" card to re-make the solutions and ideas for usage. I think I wanna put some shredded brown bags in the basket for filler and I am going to add a couple lemons since you cannot Eco-Clean without lemons!

So what do you think? Should I have stayed with a cheap-o gift cards and the "Greatest Teacher apple ornament?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boring . . .

Boring and busy here. Dustin is acting same ol' same ol'. Thank God we have not had any episodes of running out as of late. I suppose that is a combination of several things. It's freezing here for one. I don't let him wear shoes in the house, and he usually has pajama pants on. Those 3 things individually may not hinder him, but all three together is working for now. We also had a police officer come to the house a couple different times to talk to Dustin. He was firm and helpful. He has also put Dustin in a local program that is typically used for people with Alzheimer's that will help identify him if we have to make a call to the police, or if he "escapes" and we are unaware (like in the night).

His other behaviors have been pretty crappy. He is emotional and volatile. But I suppose it is par for the course during the holidays so we are keeping our heads above water. We did get some respite recently. (a whole 4 hours!) A friend of mine (a co-worker) is a youth pastor's wife. They do a babysitting thing for the holidays so parents can shop. She begged me to trust her and let the kids come. It wasn't that I didn't trust her, but I didn't trust Dustin's behavior. She paired him up with a teen to shadow him all night. Do you know what else she did? So he wouldn't feel badly, she paired everyone else with a teen. How cool is that? The kids had a great time, the church is still standing and we are still friends. Win Win Win.

The other two kids? Oy! They are definitely developing their own personalities and refining them. McCartney is still throwing tantrums, but we are working on it. Typically ignoring them will squelch them in 30 minutes now, where it used to take hours! Harrison is thriving in school and craves knowledge. He is singing a solo part in church this Sunday and he is thrilled. He has always sworn he is going to be a rock star! He has some anger issues, but he is working on them and finding some other ways to handle himself.

I did make one BIG mistake this weekend. I convinced Harrison to get a haircut. He is growing his hair out and I am okay with that. The problem is it has begun looking shaggy and I don't mean good, hip shaggy. If I didn't wash, blowdry and hot iron his hair daily it looked like poop. I don't spend that much time on my own hair so I am certainly not jeopardizing my sleep for his head! I decided if he had some nice texturizing that it would take the weight off and help. LORD HAVE MERCY was I wrong. He pretty much left with a mullet and I left stressing out. We are now starting over. I cut his hair tonight and we are starting the growing out again. Ugh! I cannot believe I made him get it cut and the kicker is he didn't want to do it and I bribed him. So not only did I pay for a bad cut, we ended up with a mullet, 2 days of stressing and it cost me a Bakugan!

I am starting on my Christmas baking. I hate teacher gifts because truly how many apples things does one teacher need? We are making Santa's nipples and putting them in cute jars. I will take pics. McCartney has also helped me make some really cool gifts for the office staff at work. I am super excited about them so I will do a post about that soon too. I have broken out the bread maker and am making all kinds of goodies. I am also making dipped pretzels, cookies, peppermint bark, fudge and who knows what else.

The best thing going on around here is that I think we may have found a church that we like. I had been attending a local church that I really liked and I became privy to some information that made it impossible to return there. I really stressed out about it. I had supported the church, given to the ministries and even helped to equip the nurseries. It made me sad to leave, but I could not bring myself to stay knowing what I know. I decided to try another local church and I really like it. We have been attending for about 6 weeks and the best part is that the kids LOVE it. That is so nice!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Holidays . . .

These were taken at the daycare, so Dustin was not included. I plan on doing some this weekend.

Cute Wreath . . .

I have seen these everywhere in the blog-o-sphere. They are made from plastic bulbs. I did heed all the warnings and took all the tops off and hot glued them back on. I read too many horror stories of them seeming okay just to have the pop off when the wreath was assembled. All you do is glue the tops back on and string the bulbs on a wire coat hanger. Easy Peasy lemon squeazy. Mine is made with 60 bulbs . . . $5 at the dollar store.

And Cute!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Too True Tuesday (10) . . .

Brought to you by Essie . . . Today she says "tell us what you are getting yourself for Christmas (or holidays in general). If you are not a holiday celebrator, go buy yourself something and tell us about that!"

I am cheap when it comes to heating my house. When you live in a 100+ year old house with original windows, you tend to lose heat. I will not let anyone turn the heat past about 68. I catch myself sounding like my father . . . "Your cold? Put on more clothes" or "If you hands are that cold, you've got gloves in the drawer". I am a cheapskate.

Because of this we are a family of blanket hoarders. I LURVE "The Big One" fleecy-velour blankets from Kohls. They are TO DIE FOR. I was given one as a gift a couple years ago. We fought over it. Over the past couple winters I have bought more. Last week I bought another and I selfishly hoard it because it is SOFTER and FLUFFIER than the "old" ones. No one can use mommy's new blanket under penalty of a blanket-less time out. Seriously, you MUST go buy yourself one of these lovely, soft and fleecy blankets. . . they are $40, but you can get them on sale for under $10 if you watch closely, because if you are Kohl's shopper you know that you NEVER buy anything at full price because it will be on sale soon enough.

While we are being honest, do you know what else will raise the temperature in your home without turning up the heat? Candles. When someone complains about being cold I tell them to tell daddy to light a couple candles. I buy jar candles from Menards after Thanksgiving for under $2 and use them all year to keep the house warmer. This year I bought 30. Oh man I am cheap!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Camera Dump . . .

Night before Thanksgiving, our city lights a giant Santa that adorns a downtown building. It is a fun night where tons of locals some down and drink hot chocolate and break out the Christmas cheer. Usually we are headed to Kentucky for the holiday, but this year we did not head south so mom and I and the littles went downtown. Good times.

We spent Thanksgiving with my step-dad's family. We had a good time. Dustin was a little over-stimulated but he and Robert went home early. Another blessing to staying close to home.

Saturday after Thanksgiving I brought out the tree and we decorated the house. Thankfully the kids are getting old enough that they can hang ornaments and I don't care what it looks like so I let them. I only moved a couple.