Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On the Yahoo homepage this morning the top article in the "Features" section was entitled: "For Sale : Prized Belongings". It tells the sad tale of how many americans are resorting to selling their treasured possessions and family heirlooms in order to pay their bills. They blame massive debts and high gas prices plus the plunging economy for their financial struggles. Craigslist, e-bay and other online auctions have been inundated with sales as people try to scrape together a few dollars to pay their water and electric bills at the end of the month.

On the surface this seems like a sad state of affairs, and in some ways it is. We have felt the crunch here too. We've had to limit our visits to Grandma to just once a month because we can't afford the gas to get there more often than that. We've also cancelled our vacation for this summer due to the $4 gas that is being predicted for the season (the first time we have ever skipped a family vacation). But on further reflection is this really that bad of a thing? For example, the article states:

"Christine Hadley, a 53-year-old registered nurse from Reading, Pa., says she used to be "a clotheshorse," splurging on pricey Dooney & Bourke handbags. But her live-in boyfriend left last year, and she has had trouble finding a job. Piles of unpaid bills forced her to sell more than 80 items, including the handbags, which went for more than $1,000 on a site called Now, except for some artwork and threadbare furniture, her house is looking sparse."

This poor woman had to sell $1000 worth of purses! How sacrificial. The article also gives examples of people who had to sell DVD players and TVs and even *gasp* their artwork. When handbags, art, and electronics become our prized belongings we are in a sorry state. People are realizing for the first time that food and shelter might be more important than Hermes jackets and Versace jeans (another example of items on the auction block).

I think this may be a valuable wake up call for our country. If this kind of economic depression is what it takes to make people re-evaluate their priorities than it really isn't a bad thing. If we can acknowledge our dependence on "things" and give them up in order to focus on what really matters (God, family, and service to others) then we are moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Does anyone know why stupid blogger will only occasionally let me start a new paragraph?! I tried looking at the Html but I couldn't tell any difference between the paragraphs that had spaces between them and the ones that didn't.

I hate the way my last post looks but I've edited it 6 times and even though it looks fine in the compose view it will not leave the paragraph breaks in all of it when it is published.


See, it put them in this post exactly where they should be. I don't get it!

Kid Swap

Kid swapping works for me. No, this isn't the kind where you sneak out of the nursery with the one that sleeps for 12 hours straight every night and leave your collicky little one behind. This is the temporary kind where you get free babysitting one day a week or so.

I have a friend who has one child in school and two at home. Bingo! Me too! Both of us want to volunteer at the school, chaperone field trips, and be room mothers, but there is always the question of what to do with the little ones.
So we started a kid swap. One day a week I keep her two kids for the morning while she works at the school. The next week she takes my kids and I enter the world of second grade....just temporarily, thank goodness.
It gives us some time away from the house and in the school with our older kids and it gives the little kids a great chance to have a playdate. If field trips come up we work out an equitable schedule for swapping.

I highly recommend kid swapping to anyone who stays at home with their children. All you need is someone else with roughly the same number of kids at approximately the same age as your own. Then you just have to set up a schedule that works for both of you.
When I only had one child at home I used to swap with someone else and we each took the other child for an entire day every week. It was awesome! The boys loved each other and got along great. They took naps at each other's houses with no problems, so it made it easy. It was wonderful to have one whole day every week to myself. I would volunteer at the school for half a day and then do my grocery shopping, take a nap, or read a good book for the other half of the day.
Now, I don't think I could handle having 4 kids around one day every week, so we have set it up on an every other week basis. Be flexible and do what works for both families. Also remember that your swapping partner for this year/semester may not work out for next year/semester. My old partner has both kids in school now, so she obviously doesn't need to swap anymore. My new partner is moving out of town over the summer, so now I'm recruiting for next year.
Anybody going to have one little 2 year old girl around home next school year?
For more great WFMW tips go to Rocks in My Dryer.

Spice Up Your Blog

Thanks to Pink Paper Peppermints I found a few recommendations on how to spice up your blog and add some cool stuff. You can spell with Flickr, create your own buttons and much, much more. Go here to see what I mean. And beautify your blog!

Giveaway Winners

And the winners are.....

Lesha and Monk5

I ended up feeling generous so I gave away a pair of the awesome socks to two lucky winners instead of just one. The random number generator at chose numbers 71 and 30.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and checked out the blog...all 149 of you. Wow! If the winners do not respond to my e-mail by Wed. April 30 I will pick a new winner.

Be on the lookout for another great Bloggy Giveaway next quarter.

Monday, April 28, 2008

De-Motivating Monday

Since I have three meetings this evening I thought this one would be appropriate for today. Enjoy...or not.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How to Use a Scale

I read a blog called Weighty Matters every day. It is written by a canadian Obesity Physician.

He comments about stupid laws (like the fact that it was recently ruled to be against her human rights to force a McDonald's employee to wash her hands after using the bathroom...luckily this was in British Columbia), portion control (read the label people!), fast food (evil, evil, evil), and his medical practice.

Recently he had a great post about how to use a scale. He gives really good advice about the use of a scale during weight loss and what it means and doesn't mean and how to take it all in. It is well worth the short read.

He also says this about dieting: "the best you can enjoy, not the best you can tolerate, is truly the best you can do sustainably."

That is something I definitely need to remember.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oooooh, that Benjamin Linus is a Bad Guy

I'm so glad that LOST is finally back. Wow, interesting stuff last night.

Funny how they are trying to make us anticpate Claire's death at every turn now. We obviously know she is going to die and give her son to Kate, but I don't think it'll be right away. I'm not even sure it will really happen.

I still think that all of the flash forwards are showing us what will happen if the Oceanic Six leave the island. They aren't going to leave/be rescued so these things are not going to happen. On the other hand "the universe has a way of course correcting" so who knows. That's what makes the show so good.

I kind of had a feeling they might develop a storyline with Sawyer and Claire since it was getting a little crowded in the Kate-Jack-Juliette relationship. We'll see if that develops. (Did you know some people call them Jate? Cute.)

Thank goodness we didn't have to hear from Juliette last night. Now she is pretty much as in the dark as everyone else. Sweet justice! Oooooh, I don't like her. (Maybe that's because my husband has a crush on her.)

I do like Daniel. He is so geeky and somewhat naive. It is refreshing to have someone around that can be intimidated into telling the truth. What did happen with that doctor? Maybe Sayid got a hold of him?

Ben killed his daughter. Well, does it really surprise anyone? He seemed a little shocked that they actually did it but did you notice that Locke, Sawyer, and Hurley didn't even bat an eye? They are used to that kind of behavior from Ben.

Poor Alex. I liked her and she had to die hearing that she meant nothing to her "father". I wanted to get more of her storyline...and Rousseau's for that matter. Oh well, we all know that you often get more airtime after your demise on this show, so I'm sure we haven't seen they end of them.

Ben can control/summon the smoke monster. Now that was unexpected...and weird. I guess I'm glad that it got Whidmore's guys but I'm not in to the whole supernatural thing so I'm not a big fan of the killer smoke.

Why does Whidmore want to kill the Oceanic survivors anyway? I can see if Ben stole the island from him and stole his people (Dharma) from him why he would want to wipe out all of them, but why does he need to kill the Losties too? Maybe it is just because they now have knowledge of the previously secret island that he wants back?

So Sayid signed up to work for Ben again...and Ben "made" him do it. I am a little surprised at that. I thought that somehow Ben was blackmailing Sayid in to working for him. Seeking revenge for the death of Nadia fits perfectly into Sayid's m.o. though.


Why was Ben shot and who is the blessed soul that did it? Did he time travel to the Sahara Desert? He seemed a little confused about what date it was and he showed up in the desert in a parka.

What is the real relationship between Charles Whidmore and Ben? And why can't Ben kill him? Could it be because Charles lived on the island and now has it's special powers in/on/with him? (Kind of like the Russian guy with the eye patch.)

Will they kill off Jack with this appendicitis* thing or will they use it to strengthen the relationship between he and Juliette? I want him to live but I can't stand anymore romance with Juliette.

*I totally predicted the appendicitis by the way. Ask Brian. No doctor takes antibiotics for a stomach bug but they would take them if they thought their appendix was going bad. All those years of watching ER paid off I guess.

For more LOST discussion head here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hello, Skin. Meet my friend Sunshine.

You remember him, don't you? I think you two last met back in September sometime.

He is quite nice but a little severe at times. I suggest if you plan on spending any more time with him in the future you bring my other friend, Sunscreen along.Have a nice day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Too Much Stuff

OK, the bloggy giveaways are getting a little out of hand. There are like 750 on there now. My fingers are practically bleeding from signing up for around 300 of them. I better win something after all of this work.

Here is a delicious grilled cheese sandwich I made for Cainan while "signing up for just one more Target gift card". Can you see the smoke coming off of that thing? He wouldn't eat it. Would you?

Well, gotta go. I still need a blog makeover and a few hundred Starbucks gift cards, or maybe a Sigg water bottle, or....

Watercolor Painting Made Easy

My four year old is an artist. Just ask him. He'll tell you all about it. His favorite medium right now is watercolor painting. My sister gave me this great tip for providing the little Picasso with lots of clean, un-spillable water to wet his brush with.

Just fill a six hole muffin tin with water. Fill each hole half way and let them paint to their heart's content. It can't be tipped over (accidentally anyway) and there are 6 pools of clean water for them to use.

Give it a try and for more great WFMW tips head over to Rocks in My Dryer and read them all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Aprons, Aprons Everywhere

I just found a cool site that is all about the love of aprons. They have all kinds of aprons in all kinds of styles. They have patterns so that you can make your own aprons and a store where you can buy aprons....but they are also giving away free aprons!!! So head over here and enter the contest. Good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008


It is time to host my first ever giveaway here at BRiCCK. I'm joining up with a blog carnival called Bloggy Giveaways to flood the blogosphere with fun freebies and prizes.
So basically all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post and you'll be in the drawing to win the spectacular prize given here by me, but wait there's more....

If you click on the graphic above you will find links to literally hundreds of other bloggy giveaways around the world too. Free stuff everywhere, yay!

'So what's the prize already?', you ask. Well...

I have trouble with in-grown toe nails.

Wait, don't gets better.

See, if I wear socks for too long it really makes my toes hurt. I have to have my toes free and clear most of the time or I'm in a lot of pain. So, 'Why don't you just go barefoot as often as possible?', you ask. I would if it wasn't 50 degrees in our house for 5 months of the year because we are too cheap to turn our heat up. See. So I have to wear socks or my feet freeze...although that does mean I can't feel my toes anymore so it isn't all bad....anyway, I have found a great alternative.

Brian got me these warm fuzzy chenile-kind-of socks. They keep my feet really warm but they are very lightweight and don't have much elastic in them so they are not too confining on my toes. I love 'em. So I am offering your own pair. You can keep your toes warm and cozy...but not confined...on these chilly spring evenings.

The drawing begins immediately and ends on Saturday April 26th. I will post the winner's name here at the blog on Monday April 28th. Just leave me a comment and you will be automatically entered in the drawing.

I'm so excited.

It's Monday Again

Check out for more demotivation.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Ok. By now you all know that we had an earthquake here this morning. It woke me up, and once I realized that is wasn't my husband jumping on the bed, I knew what it was. When I got up for the day a few hours later, I of course wanted to know where it originated and how big it was. In my internet search for those answers I came across a NBC News New York report.

Their correspondents had undoubtedly been up in the wee hours doing interviews and getting the big scoop on the quake. They travelled to Illinois and scraped together all the info they could before they had to go on air at 7 am EST.

Guess who they interviewed?


Yep. People sleeping 350 miles away from the epicenter.

Guess what they found out?

Their beds rattled.

Yep. A 5.2 magnitude earthquake will rattle the beds of suburbanites 350 miles away. Enlightening.

Now I have never been one of those "Chicago should be it's own state" kind of people. I've never really noticed the preferential treatment. I have noticed that it is the only city in Illinois that most out of staters have ever heard of, but other than that I can't say that I've been bothered by Chicago's fame before.

But this is ridiculous. What difference does it make if someone's bed rattled in Cook County when bricks were falling in on people in Richland County? Who cares if the lights flickered on and off one time in Skokie when foundations were cracking in Mt. Carmel?

Come on NBC. You can do better than that.

Ahhhhhh, Spring!

Lady bug infestations, dandelions, tornadoes, two acres of grass to mow....every week, wasps, and approximately 27 school field trips to chaperone.

Why have we been eagerly awaiting this season for the last 3 months?

The first flower ever on my new magnolia tree.

Oh yeah, that's why.

I'm Baaaaack

I've been too sick to get off of the couch, let alone wander in to the office to use the computer so I obviously haven't been blogging. But I'm on the mend (I even made it to the shower today) so I'm back. Did ya miss me?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Manic Monday

All the good blogs have a day of the week when they feature some kind of really cool and/or helpful tidbits. I don't have many of those but I know where to find a lot of hilarious posters so....

Welcome to the first ever Manic Monday!

Every Monday I'll help you start the week off right with just the perfect amount of despair to keep your expectations realistic.

For more great Demotivators click on the image above....or just wait until next Monday and I'll give you another one. Wouldn't that be easier?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rainbow Jell-o

Isn't this the coolest?

You just use blue, yellow, and red Jell-o but it makes a whole rainbow.
I tried this and it actually came out exactly like the picture! It took each layer approximately 2 hours to set, so if you start in the morning you can eat it for your afternoon snack. My 4 year old helped me make it and he absolutely loved it. I used a 9 x 13 pan, but I think next time I might use a slightly smaller one so that each layer is thicker.
Overall a great success!!
I found the directions on this blog. But I've re-typed them below for you.
6 oz. blue Jell-O
6 oz. yellow Jell-O
6 oz. red Jell-O
3 pkgs. Knox unflavored gelatin (they come 4 to a box)
Mix blue Jell-O with one package Knox gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir until dissolved. Then add 1/2 cup ice and stir until ice is melted. Pour into pan and refrigerate until firm, approx. 2 hours. Repeat the process with each of the other two layers of Jell-O. Enjoy!
For more great kitchen tips and recipes go to Tammy's Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.


I found this awesome recipe...on a blog of course. I tried it last night and it was delicious!! So of course I had to pass it on. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Cooking Light Bulletin Boards*

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed, golden brown sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed-enough for 1-1/4 cups banana

1 cup milk

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

3 Tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, put together, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon; combine. In another mixing vessel combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and fill tins until almost full. This will make 12 nicely sized muffins. You can double the recipe if you need more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You are going to love these.

*I'm not sure what makes this "cooking light" but I think it could be lightened up even more by using some whole wheat flour and replacing the oil with unsweetened applesauce. Replacing the sugar with honey would probably be better too. If you make any modifications in this direction, let me know how it turns out.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dusting Cloths

Dusting is one chore that I hate. It is just a pain to move everything and dust under it. But here is one tip I got from one of my favorite books, "Talking Dirty with The Queen of Clean", that makes it a little easier...and cheaper.

You can make your own pre-treated dusting cloths. They are great to just grab and run over the furniture quickly...or hand to your kids and let them do the honors. There are no messy sprays to worry about.

All you have to do is mix together 2 cups of hot water and 1 cup of lemon oil. Dip some lint-less cloths into the solution. Squeeze thoroughly and air-dry.

That's it. Now they are ready to go. Just store them in a covered container, like tupperware.

Click on the picture above for more great Frugal Friday tips.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Long Distance, Please

Kinley's attitude of late has been well documented here. However, if there were still any doubt I offer the following anecdote.

Kinley loves to play with the phone...not the three old phones that don't work anymore that are in her toy box...the real phone, of course.

She has discovered the "speaker" button and loves to press it and listen to the dial tone blasting from the cordless phone. Luckily, I can also hear that dial tone from anywhere in the house, so I can come running and turn it off before she dials China or something.

A few days ago I heard the tell-tale signs of Kinley on the phone and ran to get it from her. She was already starting to dial by the time I got there. What number was she calling you may ask?


How appropriate.

I rest my case.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

If You Give a One Year Old a Chore*

If you give a one year old a chore then you’ll have to make sure that she does it.

She’ll cry and scream “no” several times so you’ll have to give her some swats and show her what to do over and over again.

She’ll cry and scream “no” some more, but when she finally gives up and puts the magnets back onto the fridge you will have to give her some hugs.

Then you’ll have to get a paper towel to dry up the puddle of tears and snot on the kitchen floor so that you can sweep it.

As you are mopping up the floor her you will notice how horribly nasty the baseboards are in your kitchen.

So you’ll stand up to go get a rag to clean them and you’ll notice you’ve had the wrong burner on on top of the stove and your chicken isn’t really cooking at all.

After you turn on the correct burner you’ll have to go get that rag. As you are crawling around on the floor scrubbing baseboards you’ll notice just how nasty your cabinet doors are too. You’ll have to go get the Magic Eraser for that job.

When you get the Magic Eraser out of the cabinet you’ll find out that it is the last one you have. So then you’ll go to your grocery list and add "Magic Eraser".

While you are making your grocery list you will notice that your calendar says “Picture Day” in big bold letters on today’s square.

You will run to the cell phone and text your husband to find out what your son was wearing today when he left for school and if his hair was combed, because you know that he went to bed with it wet last night.

While you are waiting for the return text you’ll start working on those cabinets and then all of the sudden it is lunch time and you will serve micro-waved hotdogs because your chicken is still basically raw.

After the very nutritious lunch, and before nap time, you will blog about the morning’s events because they are just so typical.

But while you are blogging, your one year old will come out of the bathroom carrying a dripping plunger and you’ll have to tell her to take it back thus starting the crying and screaming “no” all over again.

*Also titled “If You Don’t Want to See the Dust Bunnies, Don’t Look Under the Bed”

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Happy Anniversary to Us!

Wow! 13 years. It hardly seems possible. I don’t feel any older, at least mentally, than I was 13 years ago, but I hope that I am a better wife than I was back then.

We’ve had a lot of fun together over these 13 years. We’ve camped and explored all over the U.S. together. We’ve biked through Cape Cod and gone swimming off the shores of Nantucket. We’ve hiked through Yellowstone and snorkeled in the Bahamas.

We’ve learned a lot in the last 13 years too. We’ve learned how to communicate, how to deal with in-laws, how to live together and how to change diapers without getting wet.

We’ve gotten a mortgage. We’ve gotten some dogs. We’ve gotten a few cars and big yard. We’ve gotten degrees and given up careers. We’ve gotten fat and gone on diets.

We’ve worked together over the years too. We’ve built 3 houses and grown a big garden. We’ve led church programs and started new classes at school. We’ve studied and passed and studied and failed. And we’re working as hard as we can together to raise three great kids.

Which brings me to the three best moments of the last 13 years. We always stay in the hospital for 2 whole days after our kids are born. Those are always the best days! The baby just sleeps and looks cute and we have nothing better to do than lay around in bed and talk. Someone brings us our meals, and our baby for that matter. We are far away from home so we get a few visitors but most of the time it is just the three of us loving each other.

I remember after Kinley was born especially. It was so sudden and shocking and PAINFUL. We were both in shock for several hours, I think. We couldn’t believe how it had all happened so quickly. We barely had time to take it in. We talked and talked until we finally collapsed from exhaustion that night. Then we both woke up in the middle of the night and just talked some more about the whole experience and how crazy it was. Parents of babies that are less than a day old should not be waking up in the middle of the night unless the baby herself is responsible for it…but when you’ve been through a harrowing and thrilling experience together there is a lot to say. We both realized how peaceful (well after the first couple of hours) and wonderful and fleeting those two days were and we cherished every second.

I wouldn’t want to spend 13 minutes, let alone 13 years, with anyone else.

I love you, sweetie.

Enough is Enough

OK. I'm all for recylcing and creative repurposing and all of that. But sometimes you can just go a little too far. Click to see what I mean.

101 Fun Uses for Dryer Lint

(I do admit to reusing my dryer lint for one of these purposes. You guess which one.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

100 Things About Me

You are reading my 100th post!! I find it hard to believe, but there it is in pink and...pinker. 100.

Apparently it is a tradition in the blogging world to celebrate the 100th post by posting "100 Things About Me". So here they are.

1. I read every license plate that passes by, and if you live here in Greenville I know what yours is.

2. I am afraid of dogs.

3. I gag at the very thought of Velveeta.

4. I have at least 10 rules for naming children.

5. I have the spine of a 60 year old, according to my chiropractor.

6. I love reality TV.

7. I love to make (and eat, of course) cheesecake.

8. I dry off inside the shower, not outside where I will drip all over the floor.

9. I love learning about Mt. Everest and its climbers.

10. I got DSL two months ago. What did you expect? I didn’t even have an e-mail address until 1998.

11. I had my third (and final) child without anesthesia of any kind. I don’t recommend it.

12. My shoe size is 9.

13. I love to travel.

14. I took piano lessons for 10 years.

15. I don’t eat organ meat. Period.

16. I have been to the Panama Canal.

17. I used a word-processing typewriter for my first two years of college.

18. I grew up on a farm that has been in my family for over 100 years.

19. My husband and I built our own home from the ground up.

20. I have visited 36 of the 50 United States.

21. I started driving a tractor at age 6.

22. I have very complex and thorough theories about what is really happening on LOST.

23. I worked as a bean walker one summer.

24. I participate in a NASCAR fantasy league on-line.

25. My middle name is Elaine.

26. I love to go camping.

27. I commonly refer to my home state as “The Nothing State.”

28. I can French braid my own hair.

29. I named my 2nd son after a man that got his nose, and several other body parts frozen off, while he was unconscious on Mt. Everest.

30. I can list all 50 states in alphabetical order by memory.

31. I did all of the wiring, including the breaker box, in our 4000 sq. ft. house.

32. I once beat my husband in a target shooting contest. (He requests that I emphasize the word once.)

33. I have a younger brother and a younger sister.

34. I got my ears pierced when I was 10 years old.

35. I wanted to be a hairdresser when I was younger.

36. I went TP’ing for the first time in my life when I was 25 years old. (With a couple of senior citizens from our church. True story.)

37. I have walked down a country road in the middle of the night with a shotgun in my hands.

38. I played in the percussion section of the concert band at EIU.

39. I once competed nationally in a Bible Sword Drill Competition.

40. I don’t like Florida. (Too many bugs, alligators, thunderstorms and humidity. Nice beaches though.)

41. I have never been to Disney World.

42. I have never had a drink of alcohol.

43. I don’t like coffee but I drink at least 2 cups of hot tea every day.

44. I grow and preserve all of my own green beans, sweet corn and tomatoes. (My husband suggests that I explain that by “I”, I really me “my husband”. Mostly true.)

45. I have plucked a dead chicken.

46. I have seen every episode of Survivor ever aired.

47. I’ve been chased down a mountain by a grizzly bear.

48. I was a cheerleader for 4 years…back when we actually wore sweaters and skirts instead of skin tight sleeveless t-shirts and hot pants.

49. I love the Dixie Chicks and I could care less about their political views.

50. I can not, and do not, dance…at all. Ever.

51. I love to make homemade bread.

52. I watch every second of Olympic coverage every two years (except basketball, yuck!). Thank goodness for DVR. It really saves on the video tapes I used to go through. 08-08-08!!!!

53. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eastern Illinois University with degrees in Spanish and English.

54. I have been married for 13 years.

55. I always follow the rules.

56. The only two concerts I have ever been to are The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean.

57. I have never gotten a speeding ticket.

58. I have hitch-hiked with strange men in pickup trucks….twice.

59. I once made my 1 year old son walk around all day with a dead mouse in his shoe.

60. I have never had a broken bone.

61. I love canoeing.

62. I rarely get up before 8:30 am.

63. I have bathed in a river in Nebraska.

64. I want to live in Spain at some point in my life.

65. I have never pulled an all-nighter to cram for a test or finish an assignment.

66. I taught high school Spanish and English for 3 years.

67. I worked in a bakery called “The Donut Shop” at 6 am on Saturday mornings my junior and senior years of high school. What was I thinking?

68. I really want one of my kids to be in the Olympics some day. I don’t care what sport. Actually I’d rather it be me…but I think
curling is the only sport I could still make it in and there isn’t much opportunity for that here in the Nothing State. Fun sport to watch though.

69. I coached high school volleyball for 3 years.

70. I have directed 35 plays and musicals and countless skits in the last 10 years.

71. I have seen a moose in the wild…more than one, actually.

72. I love to scrapbook.

73. I read a lot. I’ll read just about anything except self-help books.

74. My favorite super villain is Poison Ivy.

75. I am a card carrying member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution.

76. I have been swimming in the Ohio River.

77. I am taller than my husband when I wear heels.

78. I have worn heels one time in the last 7 years.

79. I own a pair of thigh high boots. (Don’t ask.)

80. I have been on multiple deer drives.

81. I have always wanted a trampoline.

82. I’m a really bad bowler.

83. I am a Cardinals baseball fan.

84. I am interested in recycling and becoming more “green”

85. I have read War and Peace from cover to cover. (It only took 3 months!)

86. I like to have my feet rubbed and my husband likes to do it. Lucky me!

87. I think that Seinfeld is the best sit-com to ever be on TV and I can quote most episodes to you verbatim.

88. I steal the covers.

89. I would like to see a tornado in person...from the window of a basement…several miles away…going the other direction.

90. I think Crocs (cheap knock-offs, anyway) are one of the best inventions of this century so

91. I love the smell of freshly tilled soil.

92. I have been a maid of honor twice and a bridesmaid twice.

93. I know why the sky is blue. (Thanks, Brian)

94. My nickname is Big C.

95. I have made wedding cakes professionally.

96. I have eaten
watermelon snow.

97. I love school!

98. My favorite NASCAR driver is
Carl Edwards.

99. I am horrible at video games.


The End of Detox Week

Detox week ended in, well, tox. It was awful. Let's just say there was a Whopper and Little Caesar's Cheesy Bread involved. I haven't exercised since Thursday and I've had two glasses of soda and no water for 3 days. Ah...the best laid plans.

Anyway, things got really hectic and crazy around here Friday afternoon and Saturday and Sunday weren't any better. My house is a complete disaster, I've got one family member with stitches and one with a golf ball sized lump on his head. I've been making comfort food for all of us and I had to bring home leftovers from a bake sale at church yesterday. Yikes!

So, let's try this again. The bake sale goodies are going in the trash. Immediately. I'm going to the grocery store today so I will be able to stock up on some healthy food. I've got TurboKick scheduled for 3 days this week and I'm finally going to get some batteries for that digital scale I bought last week and never used.

Take Two!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Detox Day Four

I'm weakening. Help!!

68 ounces of water---check

TurboKick Class (Body Sculpt--turbo kicked up a notch)---check

Weight Lifting (too weak to lift my legs let alone any weights after Body Sculpt)----nope

  • Breakfast: oatmeal and hot tea
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich and Ritz baked chips
  • Supper: Eggplant Parmesan and side salad
  • Evening snack: Cappuccino

My husband loves to try new recipes so he has been dying to try Eggplant Parmesan. While I was gone to the chiropractor and TurboKick class (Dr. C doesn't really know about my workouts...shhhhhh!) he put on his TIVO'd "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".

Bobby challenged the champion of Eggplant Parmesan makers and lost....but in the meantime inspired my husband to try the dish himself. So Brian had our 8 year old stand in the living room and watch the program while yelling the instructions into the kitchen.

This may sound like a total disaster but it was absolutely delicious...very unhealthy (11 WW points, yikes!) but really delicious. I also got the added bonus of my kids telling me all kinds of tips from Bobby Flay (like how to slice an eggplant, etc.) while we ate the masterpiece.

So not the best detox day...but definitely not the worst. Four days down...3 to go.

Easy Frugal Dessert

For my first ever Frugal Friday entry I’m going to share with you one of my favorite recipes, Bread Pudding. It is the epitome of frugality. My Grandma taught me how to make this as a little girl and she told me that it originated during the depression and was called “poor man’s dessert” because it was a dessert you could make even if you didn’t have flour or other fancy ingredients. All you need is stale bread, eggs, milk and sugar and you’ve got one of the most moist and delicious desserts (more like a cake, don't let the name fool you) you’ll ever taste. Add the butter sauce and it is really decadent.

This is a great way to use up stale bread, hot dog or hamburger buns. I personally save the heels from all of my loaves of bread (my kids won’t eat them) and freeze them until have I an entire loaf of bread made from heels. When the bread sack is full I make Bread Pudding.

Grandma’s Bread Pudding with Butter Sauce

2/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 t. vanilla
3 eggs, beaten

Fill a 9 X 9 square pan to heaping with stale bread torn into bite sized pieces. Mix all ingredients and dump over bread. Mix well. (It works best to use your hands to really squish the liquid into all of the bread.) Bake at 325 for one hour.

Butter Sauce

¼ cup butter
2 T. sugar
2 T. flour
½ t. vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Mix in flour and sugar. Add liquids, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over low heat and stir until thickened. Let cool and refrigerate.

The Bread Pudding and the Sauce are delicious warm, but even two days later the Bread Pudding will be soft and moist. The sauce will congeal in the refrigerator so you will need to heat it each time you use it.

For more great Frugal Friday tips click on the graphic above.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Discussion

I have joined a book discussion blog. We are discussing the book Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It is a really great book and the discussion is interesting. We are only on Chapter Two so feel free to join us. You're not too late.

If you aren't up for this one I'll let you know when we start the next book.

Shameless Plug

We've found a product that we really like that I thought I'd share with you all.

Sam's Choice Southwest Black Bean and White Corn Salsa

We used to buy the Black Bean and Corn Salsa from Tastefully Simple. It is really delicious but just too expensive to keep on hand. This stuff from Wal-Mart is just as good.

And it's good for you!

A 2 tablespoon serving only has 20 calories, 1 gram of fiber and 0 fat. That is ZERO points for a serving. Can't get better than that.

Detox Day Three

68 ounces of water---check, plus a little extra

TurboKick class---check

Weight Lifting----nope (too exhausted)

  • Breakfast: hot tea
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich and free sample of the new Cheerios snack mix (very good actually)
  • Supper: bowl of Turkey, Corn and Lima Bean stew
  • Evening Snack: handful of peanuts and more hot tea

I've never looked forward to TurboKick so much in my life. Running two miles is for the birds.

Three days down...4 to go.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Make Playing Easier

This is my first ever WFMW post. It is supposed to be a "best of" theme but since this is my first one I guess this is my best. This idea did not originate with me. It came straight from the Family Fun Magazine. Here is it.

It is a chip clip being used as a card holder for little hands. It worked perfectly for my 4 year old. He always has trouble holding on to his cards and usually ends up laying them all out and making us promise over and over and over and over not to look at them. We played a rousing game of Sesame Street Uno and never even saw a peep of his cards, however, it is harder to lose on purpose that way so use this tip at your own discretion.

For more great tips click on the graphic above and read them all.

Detox Day Two

68 ounces of water---check

2 miles on treadmill---check

Weight Lifting---check

  • Breakfast: hot tea and chocolate bread pudding (I know, I know but I can't stand to see it go to waste.)
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich, corn chips and carrot sticks
  • Afternoon Snack: chai tea
  • Supper: 1/2 of a Turkey Quesadilla

Bonus Points: I should get bonus points for sitting between my sons and reading them stories while they passed the Trefoil (Girl Scout Cookies) back and forth across my lap. I only ate one!

Two days down....5 to go.

We Sold Our House!!

I can't believe it either. I never thought we would do it, but we couldn't pass up the offer. $500,000 is a lot of money, after all. Plenty for a new house.


That is my best attempt at an April Fool's joke. Wasn't it great? I thought about having the title be "I'm Pregnant!" but that is just too scary to be funny.

This is one of Ryker's favorite days of the year. Personally, I totally forgot about it until I was scrolling through on AMC today and noticed that "fool" was in the title of every movie. (BTW, that is a great way to find out when an old celebrity dies. If they are showing all Sean Connery movies you can be pretty sure he just kicked off, either that or it's his birthday. Either way a quick check on Yahoo will confirm your suspicions.)

I digress. Anyway, Ryker loves to fool as many people as he can, but he isn't necessarily that good at it. As soon as he got home from school he had to report to me about his 3 tricks of the day.

#1 He wrote "2007" instead of "2008" on one of the papers he turned in to his teacher today.

#2 He told his music teacher it was his birthday today. (He said "April Fool's!" before she could say "Happy Birthday".)

#3 He hid inside a locker and jumped out and scared one of his friends as he came down the hall.

At least he got better at it as he went along.

He gets the foolin' bug from his father. Brian loves to fool me, and not just on April 1st either. One of his favorite gags is to take his life-sized cardboard cut-out of Han Solo in storm trooper armor and stand it in the bathroom. He then patiently waits for me to open the door and scream. But on April Fool's Day he always pulls the same trick...lucky for him I never realize it is April Fool's Day. He puts a rubber band around the handle of the sprayer on the sink so that when I turn the water on I get sprayed. LOL, yeah right!

Today about 12:30 pm when AMC kindly reminded me that it was indeed April 1, I was surprised that I was still dry. Apparently someone else forgot the date also. Well, not for long. As soon as Brian got home he rigged the sprayer. Here is what happened.

I hope you can see the big wet spot on his shirt. That's right, he got himself. He was eating turkey, had some greasy fingers and went to wash them off when....BOOM he gets sprayed. Serves him right!

Of course I'm sure that later tonight I'll get sprayed because he'll just put the rubber band back on and I won't look for it, as usual. Some April Fool's Day's I get it two or three times. Sad, I know. But at least I'll always have April 1, 2007 (April Fool's!!) to look back on and smile.

Miss Grinch

Kinley is rapidly becoming queen of the brats. She is basically just one big meltdown after another. Her favorite words are "NO" and "MINE" and she never does anything the easy way. She takes her shoes and socks off everytime she it strapped into her carseat (which is actually somewhat OK with me because she then forgets to tear the bows out of her hair...always a silver lining, right?), she won't sit in the shopping cart (without a fight) because she prefers to stand, she screams if the dog eats the food she throws on the floor, and tries to hit me when I wipe her nose.

This weekend in Cracker Barrell she wouldn't eat her pancake if she had to sit in a high chair, but she would gladly eat it if she got to sit in a big chair and use a big fork. Oh, and just one more thing. No bibs either. Brian had to take her out to the bathroom and spank her twice in the course of an hour long brunch.

Last night she threw a screaming fit and had to be removed from the table because we wouldn't give her.........more lima beans. Yeah, lima beans!! Of course, Ryker and Cainan gladly offered theirs, but we declined on her behalf. She wouldn't touch the baked turkey or the potato because she had already made up her stubborn little mind to eat 3 cups of lima beans in one sitting.

She spends 85% of her day shrieking at Cainan, slamming doors, and sitting in her bed (the punishment for these behaviors). The other 15% of the time she is rocking her baby dolls and giving them their bottles or driving her shopping cart around while she sings a happy tune. But let her spy Cainan looking in the general direction of the stuffed bunny she discarded half an hour ago and she becomes a shrieking shrew.

Brian tries to remind me that the boys were horrible at this stage (20 months) too, but I really don't remember. Maybe I've blocked it from my memory to protect my fragile psyche? He also frequently reminds me that I was the one that wanted to have a girl in the first place. Yeah, he's a lot of help as you can see.

We are just waiting for this stage to pass and another to take it's place. Hopefully one that involves immediate obedience and lots brotherly love. Sometimes we just have to laugh at her terribleness because there is nothing else we can do in the meantime.

This weekend we were driving home late at night and all 3 kids were asleep in the back of the car. Brian and I were having a nice conversation when suddenly we heard Kinley's little voice saying, "No, no, no, no." She hadn't been asleep at all. She wasn't screaming "no", like usual, she was just saying it, with various voice inflections and tones. "No, no, no, no, no." Now in a sing-song manner, "No, no, no, no, no, no." Now in a whiny voice, "No, no, no, no, no."

Brian just looked at me and said, "She must be practicing for tomorrow."

Detox Day One

68 ounces of water---check

2 miles on treadmill---check

Weight lifting---check


  • Breakfast: banana and hot tea sweetened with Splenda
  • Lunch: salad and corn chips
  • Afternoon Snack: 1/2 apple with peanut butter
  • Supper: Baked turkey breast, baked potato, lima beans

One day down....6 to go.