Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Very Memorable Christmas Day

To start, it snowed. It started about five thirty on Christmas Eve and we actually got five or so inches. It doesn't normally snow down here until the end of January, and to say the girls were thrilled is an understatement (I'm just grateful it started to melt off a bit yesterday and the road in front of our house is no longer a two inch thick sheet of ice)

So, Bugs wakes us up at about seven on Christmas morning. She has this insane love of early mornings (how, we don't know, neither her father or I are morning people). So, we cuddle in bed until she happens to see the snow out our bedroom window, which at that point, there was no stopping her or her excitement. Funny thing is, she hadn't noticed what all was under the tree yet at that point.

So, at a little before eight, she and I come out and we start our cinnamon rolls (yes, I used a tube, figured the time exchange for tubed verses homemade on Christmas day was worth it, and yes, I did get generic). She loved helping. While she was helping, she looked into the living room and noticed that the tree wasn't the same as when she went to bed. She got all excited to see that Mimi and Poppie had sent presents (and there were a few from Mom and Dad). She was wanting to rip into them right away. She was sent to wake up her sister as the rolls were finishing and they got to open their stockings (little dolls from the dollar bin, stickers and candy canes along with a few more items from the dollar bin, and new hair clips for each of them because ours end up missing on a regular basis). We then sit down to eat and the girls were enthralled over the stockings (if I had let them, they wouldn't have moved for hours). We then opened up what my parents sent out and the few things we had gotten for the girls. By now it is ten in the morning, and I realize I needed to have gotten the ham in to cook for LUNCH at least two hours ago. Ooops on me. So, I lug it out of the fridge and started reading the directions. I got the ham at 99 cents a pound for a full ham the week before. It was a great deal. It weighed 18 1/2 pounds. No way it was going to be ready for lunch. I read the cooking instructions that came with it, and it said to bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes a pound. I look at the clock and start doing math. I gasp. Redo the math. Nearly 9 hours? Like, supper at bedtime? So, to hasten the cooking for dinner, I cut the ham into three parts (mistake number 2) and coat the two smaller parts with my glaze and cover it all with foil and threw it in the oven and nearly start crying.

My husband was like, it's ok. We have the money to go for Chinese for lunch, we'll just have ham for supper, it will be great. I agreed to the plan (thankful our Chinese restaurants are super cheap around here [cheaper than fast food for our family] and the girls still eat free due to their ages). So, until lunch time, we decide to go out and play in the snow. The girls have a blast and my husband shovels the sidewalk and the driveway. This was the Beans first time in the snow and she fell in love. Until her boot got caught in a small drift and she stepped out of it, and her sock and right into the snow with her bare foot. At this point, she starts screaming like someone was trying to kill her. I go and scoop her up to see what the problem was and her poor foot was red and cold. I go to shift her into a better position for holding her (at 22 1/2 months she's bigger than her sister was at that age) and I take a step and my left ankle decides it is a great time to roll and sprain. So, Hubbs stays outside a bit longer with the Bugs and I and the Beans go inside to tend to our wounds. Beans gets plopped into a bubble bath and has the time of her life in it (I added extra bubbles, she loved it). And I put my foot up. The rest of the fam came in and I had to give the Bugs a bath in bubbles too.

We get the girls dressed in clean and dry clothes and Hubbs goes out to scrape the car. He opens the driver side door to turn on the defroster, and the door refuses to latch. He gets a bit freaked out. I told him it was probably ice and to let it warm up. Of course, he didn't come in to tell me until after he had scraped the whole thing. He decides that if he can't rig it closed, he'll just hold it shut and we'll still go out for Chinese, I just have to shift when he tells me to. I'm like, no way. And if we have to go that route, how in the world was he getting to work the next day? He said he'd work on it. He then asks me to go out and check the door to see if I can find what was wrong. It worked perfectly for me. So either the seatbelt got stuck out and he didn't notice it, or there was ice and it melted, it was fixed. He still doesn't believe me over the ice as he can't see how ice can get on the latch (um, it was raining and turned to snow when he got off work the night before...)

So, we head out to our favorite Chinese restaurant. We knew they were supposed to be open (it was on their sign). We get stuck trying to get into their parking lot. We notice there are no cars, no car tracks and it looks strangely like it is closed. So, we go to leave and we get stuck in a drift over the road on the exit. Hubbs gets out of the car to push it while I try driving. We rocked it for twenty minutes on one of the main streets of our town. Someone finally did stop and five minutes later we were freed (traffic was kind of heavy at that point). We get going towards another Chinese restaurant and arrive, without any more delays at one in the afternoon. We were starved.

We get home after nearly getting side swiped by an SUV (snow and slick roads only happen like two days out of each year, so no one down here knows how to drive in it. I miss living where there is snow because the people knew how to deal with it) and the youngest goes down for her very late nap and Hubbs and Bugs watch a movie on the computer while I lay down. Then, at about five, I check the ham. The thing was overcooked. As my husband termed it, we had pig jerky for supper. It was so dried out. And for some reason, the mashed potatoes tasted like dirt. My butternut squash I had steamed was great though. However, I was the only one who liked it. Oh well, it meant more for me.

So, that was our Christmas day. Totally not what any of us had planned, but wouldn't have traded the experiences for anything. Kind of like my favorite Valentine's day. Hubbs and I were courting, and we went to the big town 45 minutes away and the brakes on his car decided that they were going to go kaputz. He then wasn't able to get me the bracelet he wanted to as he had to replace his brakes instead. It was a fun and enjoyable day trying to get that fixed and back to town. I did get a giant teddy bear out of the deal though. That year, I got him some nice glass Anchor Hocking bakeware. He was on his internship at a church three hours from where I was living and teaching and he had never owned his own bakeware. I still use it and every time I do, I remember that Valentine's Day.

I pray you had a blessed Christmas day too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hi Everyone

Just due to this time of the year, I haven't been on much anywhere. And I won't be be on much until after New Year's.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and New Year. After the first of the year, this blog should be more organized and regular!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A GREAT blog giveaway

I found a nice giveaway at Fashionable Modest Patterns today! She is giving away any (yes, any, your choice) one of her patterns in her store. I've seen these, and the skirts are adorable. And she has the cutest swimsuits for girls. If I had a sewing machine, time and some extra money right now, I would have gotten the swim suit pattern for next summer already.

Thought that you all might like a chance to win a FREE pattern of your choice. Simply go to:


Due to the fact that I am not the most technologically inclined person in the world, you will have to cut and paste that into your browser....I'm sorry. I can't for the life of me right now figure out how to get that to be able to just click on the link. Last time I put a link in a post, my wonderful, technically advanced husband did it for me.

Anyway, had a busy day. Hubbs was off work today so we ran some errands. Bugs has come down with a slight head cold and Beans is getting most definitely close to being a two-year-old.

I might be getting a new phone. Mine is due for an upgrade, and God has provided the money so I can get a pretty good upgrade. Just having to decide what to get exactly. I hate these kinds of choices. I always second guess myself.

Well, I must be getting to bed. Morning comes early. Especially with kids. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Loving this moment...: Advent Conspiracy

I hadn't seen this before. A friend of mine posted on the Advent Conspiracy and I looked at it. Thought I'd give a link to her blog. Just the video is thought provoking. We don't have a lot of money and the past couple of years, I have felt horrible at not really even being able to afford to buy our daughter's presents, let alone the rest of the family. However, I keep forgetting that giving gifts isn't want matters. The girls don't play with the toys they got last year, nor do the clothes they received still fit (except as a hand-me-down for the youngest). However, the time spent together as a family, doing things to create memories is what is truly remembered and treasured. Last year we drove to the local Monastery to see their light display. We intend to do that again this week sometime. The girls loved the lights. They love to spend time in the kitchen with me. Bugs asked me a few weeks ago about making turtle cupcakes to share again. We did that for her second birthday. She is three now. I am a fairly crafty individual, so I can make a lot of gifts. I had already planned on doing that for most of the family this year. In case they are reading it, I can't say what. But my sister-in-law's will be awesome if it turns out. My husband's will be incredible too. I really can't tell you what it is as he does read my blog on occasion... So, as this hectic time of year keeps getting more and more crazy, please, remember the reason we celebrate. Remember that Christ is the greatest gift of all time. We can't compete. Don't try. Make memories with your family. Give love and the gift of hope to someone who needs it.

Loving this moment...: Advent Conspiracy

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why Won't they Sleep?

My babysitting boys were here about five thirty this morning. They didn't go back to sleep like normal. I had to get on them to keep from waking up the girls. Well, Bugs we think is starting to sleep walk. She got up at eleven thirty last night. Then, crawled into bed with us at twelve thirty, and then tried it again at three. Then, had to get up to get my boys, who didn't let me return to slumber, and then Bugs woke up at six, and I let her get in our bed (should have called her octopus. Sharing a bed with her is like trying to sleep in a tank of 30).

The youngest of the boys got sick, so he ended up sleeping all day. The eldest was quieter than normal, stems from not going back to sleep. And the girls didn't get a nap/rest time for a second day in a row, so they were tired, and very cranky come around supper time, so they ate, got a bath, got to watch one movie and got tucked into bed by seven. Didn't take long for them to go to dreamland though.

I got NOTHING done again today. Starting to feel bad about it. Like, I get the living room and kitchen and bathroom looking great, it lasts for a few days, then things get off kilter with Hubbs' work schedule, things going on and such and it is trashed in the blink of an eye. Well, my bathroom still looks pretty good. The kitchen and living room, not so much. I want to cry over it. However, that won't solve anything. Tomorrow, after church and Hubbs leaves for work (hate retail in the holiday season, his schedule is so messed up) I intend to fix the living room and kitchen. Not necessarily in that order. They aren't as bad as they have been in the past, believe me, but after all our work into it, I feel horrible they got as far as they have. Then, Hubbs is off on Monday so hopefully we can tackle our bedroom in a joint effort. Then, he'll have judo that night.

Well, the washer is done, so I need to transfer some clothes to the dryer. And the hot water tank has finished heating, so I can go and take a much needed shower. Then maybe doze off. Though, I'm scared that if I go to sleep before Hubbs gets home, I won't know it if he comes in. I need snuggles. And supper with him. I snacked while the girls ate. I like eating dinner with my husband after he gets off late. It is nice us time. Though, he may be propping me up for it.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Well, for today, nothing got accomplished. Had a few potty training mishaps that resulted in an extra load of laundry that had to get done. And then I nearly stepped on a dead mouse that was lying on a pair of MY jeans at the foot of our bed. I managed to not scream (thankfully as the girls were following me at the time) and I managed to keep the kids from seeing it. I got the jeans out back on the patio and came into the house and shook for some reason. That kind of wigged me out. So, I was extremely leery of going back into our room to continue the reorganization I started yesterday.

Last night, on Mom's night out, I somehow got conned into letting the whole family come along. My fault really as my last like 3 chances to go out alone at night, I ended up inviting everyone with me. We did go to the library. I got a stack of books. Today, since it was such a waste anyway, I'm reading a fluff book. I did get a lot of good ones on homekeeping, organizing and home crafts so I'll be reading them and sharing about them in the near future. I'm glad our library has a three week check out period. I got way too many. But I can't just say no to a book. If I see a good one, it just jumps into my arms and says, "You must take me home and read me." Between what I chose for the girls and my stack (and poor Hubby's 3 small books), there wasn't room in the bag for them all. Good thing most of what I like from the library isn't in too high of a demand and renewals are easy. We then went to Wal-Mart. Used the 2.00 coupon for fabric softener from last Sunday's paper. Got a box of sheets for 1.87. Wal-Mart kept my 13 cents in overage. I decided to try the system. Next time, (and for your information), get something else to make the total just above what the coupon amount is for. No one gives you cash back if your coupon is over anymore. Sad. I gave them 13 cents. And the manufacturer gives them like an 8 cent handling fee on top of the value of the coupon anyway. Oh well, I have learned from my mistake. We then drove around and looked at the Christmas lights. Bugs loved it. She kept pointing out the window saying she loved all the sparkleys. In the next week, we hope to run over to the monastery about a half hour from here and see their huge light display. They do it as a thank you to the community for letting them be there. We went last year, and it was great. I think at last count it was well over 20,000 lights. It is lovely, and now that the eldest is more verbal (well, she's always been well above her age's average) and very observant, she will just love it. She liked it last year, but I think this year the wonder of the season is hitting her. I can't wait.

I'm babysitting tomorrow. The girls love it when the boys come over to play. I do too. It keeps them occupied and not hanging on me the whole day. (don't get me wrong, I do love my kids dearly, but it is nice when they are occupied a bit longer than normal and don't think they need me for something every ten minutes). That, and I'm saving all my "extra" money to replace my phone. It is two years old and you can tell the kids have gotten a hold of it. The track ball sticks whenever you try to scroll to the right with it. Sometimes it goes, other times it won't. I'm due for an upgrade, however, all the good phones cost money. And I want an android phone so bad. I'm still debating as I will have to add a data plan with it (Hubbs has one already,a data plan, not an android. Though he wants one too and isn't due for an upgrade yet himself) and in order to do that, I'll have to give up my newspaper subscription. I love my newspaper. Granted, there are a lot of editorial mistakes in it, and I have read better (read a lot worse too), there isn't anything like having a cup of coffee and a newspaper to help start your day. I don't know if I can be dependent on the internet for ALL of my news, local, national and world. And the comics don't seem to be as funny online as they do in print. I'm still weighing my options. I have already told Hubbs though that there is no way I will go without the Sunday paper. I need my coupons. He understood. I think.

Well, time to just be quiet for a while. And probably read a bit more. I should do something to redeem this day, however, I'm not feeling too bad. Except for maybe not getting the dishes done like I should.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting Closer!

Got about a fourth of the stuff done I need to in the bedroom! Thought I'd take a break. I'm stirring up too much dust and I couldn't stop sneezing.

After I get the clothes picked up (yes, bad of me to not fold and put away right after they get washed. I hate folding clothes), I'm going to have to have my husband help me get stuff on the top shelf of the closet (I can't reach. And I don't want to get out the step stool with the kids running around), and then, since Hubby has longer arms than I do, he'll get to sweep out from under the bed, we'll do a bit of rearranging. My dresser is going to go on a different wall (blocking the bi-fold door into the kids' room) and I'm hauling in my favorite night stand that got relegated into the garage when we moved into our house (didn't have room for it at first the way the room was laid out, and then it got buried)

I will also have to take a break in an hour to start supper. I got long cooking rice as it was cheaper, and tonight's dinner is Spanish rice. I hope it turns out.

Don't know if I'm going to make it out for my alone time tonight or not. I desperately want to go to the library, but I also need to get as much done in our room as I can so it can get done. We'll see. Though, I could get some organizing books for helping out while I'm there, so it wouldn't all be pleasure...

Time for my tea, then transfer some laundry around and back at it. I hate cleaning. However, if I don't keep the house up, I'm not being a good steward of the resources we've been given. Our belongings come from God, and if we can't take care of the small stuff, why would He give us the big stuff? You need to be trustworthy in the small things to go on to the larger things. Goes back in a way to the parable of the talents. Those who could be trusted with little, could be trusted with much. It is a whole way of life, not just in regards to money. I want to be trustworthy for more. And in order to prove I am, I have to be trustworthy in little.

So, how are you doing being trustworthy? Keeping your home neat and organized? Not blindly spending money? Raising your children for God? Just something to think about. I'm thinking in the start of next year to do a series on home keeping. Going through some things I've been learning recently and maybe posting some of my favorite books on the subject. A lot have been written, some ok, some good, and some terrific. I need to go over my favorites again. It is always good to remind myself of these things.


Going to get to our bedroom. Hopefully it doesn't take as long as I fear it will. Bugs has already told me she wants to help. This could take three times as long.

Beans has taken herself to the potty twice already today. After refusing to most of yesterday. Potty training is such an adventure.

And tonight, my wonderful Hubby is letting me have alone time. Something I don't get enough of it seems. I thrive on having solitary moments (and I don't mean the kids are in bed and he's at work until late alone time. I mean, absolutely solo). I am going to the library alone while he stays home with the girls. And I may make a trip to the craft store. I found a cute craft on covering clip boards which will make a great Christmas gift for a few people. Need to price the supplies.

Have a good day! I need a snack before I get started on the monstrosity that is mine and Hubby's room. Let's just say I have an aversion to folding laundry and the recliner in there is totally missing under it. So is a good portion of the floor surrounding the recliner. And there are way too many things that belong to the munchkins who reside in this house in there. My room is not a toy storage unit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday Tip

Ok, so Tuesdays can be a day for tips. Any kind, but they must be uplifting and useful. Tips on how to better display love to our husbands, raising kids, how to run the home more smoothly. And please feel free to share your own. The more tips the better!

Today's tip is for how to better love our husbands. Randomly bake him cookies. I made up a batch of chocolate chip cookies last night for basically no reason, and Hubbs was like, are you trying to spoil me? I told him nope, I just loved him. Unfortunately, I didn't wait until the oven had totally preheated and at first they were horribly under cooked. After I tried fixing that, most of them charred on the bottom. Even my cookie loving girls wouldn't eat them. Bugs said it was too crispy. So, toss in a second tip, totally preheat the oven, and don't over bake.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sleepy Day, Not Too Productive Unfortunately

So, we got most of the decorating done yesterday. Haven't gotten the nativity set up yet (I'm short, it is high up on a shelf in the garage and Hubbs hasn't had time to get it yet). Beginning to wonder if my kids have turned into raccoons. They keep pilfering the bright shiny things they can reach. I have lost track how many times I have had to put the caps back into ornaments today. But they stopped after the umpteenth time of getting into trouble after lunch.

This afternoon while the Bean was taking her nap, the Bug and I played a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders. I lost. By like 60 squares. I could never win that game as a child. Bugs didn't understand the concept of winning and the game is then over. She was sad when she realized it was. I had to try hard to not laugh. She was so devastated even though I explained that she had won and Mommy had lost. I am so grateful that I get to be the one to be with them all day and explain these things to them. I can't imagine it any other way.

Today I made a stew of sorts out of left over pork roast I had in the freezer. It needed something, but I'm not sure what. I have this nasty habit of forgetting to mark on my freezer bags what is inside. So I had no clue how I seasoned the roast when I had made it last month. Oh well. I can add stuff to the left overs. Trust me, the crock pot was full. I then did up some biscuits to go with it. A decent dinner. Not my best, but by far not the worst.

The weather is howling in at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if it iced tonight. For as much fun as snow is with the girls (Bugs loves playing in it, she's been begging for snow since July) I can't wait for spring to come. I hate bundling up to just walk to the mail box.

Beans had a hard night last night and I ended up holding her in the recliner most of it. So, I'm tired. Then Bugs woke up at six. They are due to be getting down shortly. I got the laundry done, and an easy supper today and that was it. I hope to sleep tonight so I can reorganize our bedroom. It is needing done. Badly. Then, it is the girls room and the front guest bedroom/office. All while potty training Beans. Which, today was the first hard core day of it, and she did great! I can't wait to say farewell to diapers. At least for a time. We had one miss after her nap (I wasn't quick enough, but I put her in a diaper because if she goes while sleeping she wakes up mad, learned that one the hard way) and she even went poo in the potty. Well, she made it over there, got the training pants down (cloth) and got half of it in. She then came over to me, pointed to it and kept saying "poop, poop, POOP!" The little potty chair is currently in the living room, and thankfully had a changing pad under it. She knew what she did. Granted, she was wearing her new snow boots, so I had to clean them again, but that's ok. At least she has gotten the concept down. And she would just go sit over on it and go without me telling her to go on it. Hopefully by her birthday.

Well, Hubbs is home, and he said he's putting the kids to bed tonight so I can take a nice long shower. He's the greatest.

Here's to the winter reorganization of the house. May I be able to start tomorrow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just found a giveaway!

I just found an awesome giveaway! Coupon Geek is giving away five 10 dollar gift cards to Wal-Mart. The catch is, you have to use it to bless someone else. Doesn't matter what you do (i.e. bake cookies to give away, bless a single mom, donate it for soldier's care packages, the limit is your imagination) just do it for someone else. She even said that if what you want to do doesn't require Wal-Mart use the gift card to free up the 10 dollars.

Here's the link if you are interested:


Here's to helping others this season.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Well, today has been a fairly profitable day.

The morning started well with a brunch of biscuits and gravy and fresh fruit salad. It was a joint effort of my Hubby, eldest and myself. And we discovered that we prefer bosc pears to bartlett (our local grocery store had bosc, bartlett and red pears on sale for 99 cents a pound. I decided to try the red and the bosc. Much better than our standard bartlett. Too bad they aren't typically the same price).

Then, I spent part of the morning entering a few contests while my husband got ready for work. Hopefully I win something! I'll let you know if I do.

Small group is to be at our house this Sunday, so I started to clean up the living room. After a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders with the eldest. However, we both got frustrated with the game as we both kept getting to slide down, repeatedly. I now remember why I hated that game as a child. I never won. That or Candy Land (still can't win that one). Then, my order from Alice.com arrived. We decided to try out the service online. So far, it was my first order,and I am very impressed. My husband needed some shaving gel, and he forgot it at the store the other day, so we went ahead and placed the order. It arrived within 4 days, and was less than what I would have paid at the store. All orders ship free, and after your first order you do have to buy at least six items, but they do the work of finding coupons for you. Well worth it, in my opinion. They will even keep track as to how long items typically run out for you (you supply the info) and they'll even remind you when you need to reorder. I will definitely be ordering from Alice again. My only compliant was that my one can of shaving gel arrived in too large of a box. From an environmental stand point, I cringe as that isn't good stewardship, however, with their minimum order of 6 items, I doubt they need small boxes very often.

Tomorrow my husband actually is off work. So it is a massive cleaning frenzy day. It will help to have someone run interference with the kids. Then, Sunday is touch up cleaning after church finishing off the ham and beans for that night. On Monday (yes, my husband was able to snag a three day weekend during the holiday season) we are going to decorate the house for Christmas. Glad Hubby will be home as the boxes are a bit out of my reach.

So, there is a quick update on some of the goings on around here. I'll let you know how the decorating goes sometime next week. And who knows, maybe I'll have pictures or something.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home is Where the Heart Is

Our furnace decided to kick the bucket the Sunday after my birthday (yeah, happy bday to me...and it was my 30th too). So, to keep from freezing, my husband decides to take me and the girls to his mom's until it can be fixed. Three hours away. He then was to return back to town to work and get the furnace fixed. (that's why I haven't been able to post much, I was busy keeping the kids from all sorts of trouble at grandma's, along with taking grandma everywhere and shopping. I so wish we had a super target here.)

I love my mother-in-law. I don't know what would become of us without her, but it was a long ten days without my husband. I have a new respect for single mothers. I don't know how you do it. I was missing him, all of our friends in the area were out of town for Thanksgiving, and I was lonely. Couple that with kids who are not yet of the age to totally understand what is going on (3 and going on 2) who missed their daddy something terrible, I about went nuts.

As cliche' as it sounds, there really is no place like home, and it is definitely where my heart is. On the Friday after Thanksgiving when we got to return home, it made my heart glad to just pull into the driveway. Even though our house has many issues, it is still ours. Even though I knew I was coming back into where my poor husband lived as a bachelor for a week and a half, it is still where my heart was. This is the place where we love and be loved. Where we eat around the table for dinner and share our lives with each other and anyone whom the Lord sends our way. This is where the children are being raised, where they know they are safe and life is predictable for them.

As much as I love being home, I know there is a better home waiting for me. One that doesn't have a randomly leaking roof, no weird bugs, the heater won't quit after 42 years of service (it was about time for it to retire, don't you think?). While I long for the day where I can go to the Home I long for, I will try from now on to make this home where I am at now a better place to be. A place where you are safe, you feel loved and secure. I intend to step up the housekeeping chores and try to maintain this home better. Granted, there are a ton of challenges with having young children, it will be worth it.

Excuse me for now, I have a kitchen that is needing some attention.