Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We left the swimming pool around 5:45. Went through a drive through (yes, I know.... very bad me) and ate dinner in the van. We drove up a little further north to check out a gymnastics center that wasn't so far away..... which was, again, not far away from an old friend of ours... so we drove a little further north to see if we could stop and say hello. No one was home, so we left a note that we had been there, and headed for home. However, about 5 miles down the road, Meagan had to go to the bathroom.... the "I really can't hold it" kind. So we had to make a pit stop. I was going to stop at a gas station that was easy to get in & out of, but their restrooms were 'unavailable.' There was a Target right behind the gas station, and I KNOW where Target bathrooms are located, so I figured that was a good bet.
So, we stopped at Target for a potty break... which lead to 'looking' at costumes. But they all found costumes that they liked, and the temptation of being done with the costume frenzy before October even gets here was just too tempting.... so we got the costumes. And some candy corn lights for our holiday tree.
So.... swimming, gymnastics, friends house, potty break, costumes. Yes, that was our night. What an odd chain of events, but I guess sometimes that's what you get when I'm involved in a situation (I tend to fly with no plan most of the time - NOT my husband's favorite feature about me, I'm sure.)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Every Friday, TLP has its Froggy Friday, which means 20% off of all their new releases. This week's new releases are unbelievable! I want one of everything... if only there were more hours in a week! Here is a preview of the products I worked with this week, and the layouts to go with them.
New from Sahlin Studio and Holly at The Lilypad & 9th & Bloom:
I also used new templates by Lauren Reid. These are great for a quick layout!
(Click here to view full credits.)
New from Lauren Reid & Amy Wolff at The Lilypad & 9th & Bloom:
* toes covered in bubbles
* bucket full of suds
* i love u
* a car wash with flair! You had a ball! and I cracked up!
(Click here to view full credits)
So we got to sit down together and watch a few of our shows before heading to bed. He's home today... so nice! So yeah, that was a nice surprise!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sebastian went for the Cookie Dip, Isaac chose Vanilla Frosted, Meagan got Loops, and I went with Pumpkin. Plus, the lady gave us a free Apple Crumb donut to share.... I guess she thought we just needed to taste-test it. I dunno. But it was good!! So I thanked her and ate it! Four donuts (well five, if you count the apple one) and four glasses of water = less than $4.00 for a snack. It was fun. Funny, though, when it was homework time, and Isaac got to his coloring page, he just didn't feel like doing it & decided to save it for another day. Oh well, at least I've done my part!
Lucas is traveling again. He was in San Francisco for the previous two weeks, home for the weekend, then off to Indiana. Unfortunately, we are all very familiar with the traveling Daddy drill. I know he hates it... especially having to leave again after such a short weekend.
So, I was talking to him earlier this week about the situation he is in at present... a situation which you might say he is not altogether fond of. See, he has done a good job in the past, and the tough truth is, in this business, the ones who get results get put in the tough positions so that they can do what they do best... get results.
I was driving down the road, Meagan in the back seat, and I was on the phone with Lucas. We were talking about his work a bit... My end of the conversation was, "Well, unfortunately that's just the way it goes. When you do a good job, you get the crap jobs."..... Meagan chimes in from the back seat, "So if you do a GOOD job, you get a CRAP job?"..... to which I quickly tried to explain to her, "That only counts in Daddy's job. YOU have to do a GOOD job at what you do. All the time. Especially in school."..... She paused for just a second then said, "But I don't WANT a crap job." Lucas decided that it only took Meagan one month of school to figure out life. I just had to laugh... then, of course, tell her that we don't say 'crap.' *sigh*
Monday, September 20, 2010
At one point, he had a kid on each arm and one on his ankle, and he was trying to move across the yard. It was super funny!!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I tried to think of how I could help her in some tangible way. I had nothing in my van I could give to her. No cash. No food. Nothing. I was empty-handed. And still, as I was stopped at the light, my window down, I came face to face with her. She looked at me. Looked away quickly. I knew it would be inhuman to pretend I had not noticed her. And she looked again. I spoke to her. Apologized that I had nothing to give her - as I'm sitting in my van that is paid for (maybe not fancy and great, but paid for and currently-functioning) leaving a shopping plaza. I'm sure she doubted me. Surely I had something. I even felt like, there must be something I could give her. I just couldn't think of anything. We chatted for a moment. Someone had given her a box of granola bars that she was excited to take home to her boys. Still I could think of nothing to give her. The light turned green. I wished her luck, feeling like a total idiot, and then drove away. What good does a wish for luck do? I felt like an idiot.
So tonight, before going to bed, I was browsing through my regular blogs that I read, and I came across this post about providing vitamins to a third-world country for a children's feeding program. I read it. Considered it. Then, honestly, had ruled it out in my mind. Until I was reminded of the lady in the parking lot. How many will I pass by before I choose to find a way to stop and help? Will it be convenient for me? No. But is it a way that I can do some small thing to be a part of some bigger thing? Yes. Absolutely. So I think this weekend, the kids and I will make a trip to the grocery store, and we will pick out some vitamins. And we will send them. Please take a minute to read this post and consider taking a small action in changing a very big world.
A bit redundant, but I wanted to post this here for you to read... in case you decide not to follow that link I gave you and go read the post.
I’m quoting in full here Jaime, a missionary in Costa Rica. She describes this incident where she delivers food to some desperate kids:
“I’m gonna go fight poverty for two and a half hours. 2.5 hours on a Tuesday
morning to solve the biggest problem in the world. What a joke.
We will show up with a bag full of bread and an armload of bananas, and the children will clamber around us like ducks at a pond. A bunch of little ducklings, falling all over each other for a bit of bread and a soft pat on the head.
And for 2 and a half hours we will laugh and play and eat, and we will talk about Jesus. And when we leave, they will be just as poor as when we arrived. Poverty taunts us as we drive away.
It’s overwhelming. The problem is so big, and we are so small. It feels
ridiculous… showing up to war wielding a loaf of bread.
Of course that’s how David showed up. Just a shepherd boy with some bread for his brothers, a kid who was quick with a sling shot. He chose for battle against a giant, not a sword, or the kings armor, but five smooth stones. And he won.
He said to the giant:”You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel,
whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” ~1 Samuel 17
I kind of love that.
I’m going to feed the ducks, now. And then, with all my might, I will hurl a tiny pebble at their giant enemy. And I hope it hurts like hell.“
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Or so I tried. We parked, got out, and headed for the door, only to realize the door was locked and the lights were out. Closed. Bum! Now I have a van full of disappointed kids. The only next possible thing to do... find an alternate bakery. I really don't know of any other bakeries, though, so we headed to Meijer. They always have LOTS of different donuts on their donut rack, so I figured that would be a safe bet. Until we got there. And the racks were EMPTY. No joke. We settled for a box of 'donuts to go' - a pack of six apple crisp cake donuts. That can't be so bad, right?
Nope. Not so bad at all.
We still need to check out the donut flavors at the Donut Box. Maybe we will swing through there after school on Friday and have a donut snack on the way up to pick up Lucas from the airport!!!!!! (We'll just have to vacuum out the van afterward.... crumbs. *lol*)
My last eye appointment was in February of '09, at which time I purchased a one-year supply of contacts. Do the math. My supply should have run out in February '10. Especially since two of my right contacts tore right out of the package, leaving me with only an 11-month supply of right contacts. Nice. I opened my last right contact in November. Yes, ten months ago. A two-week-wear lens. Not recommended. Really. About a month ago, I was finally to the point that I would have preferred gouging my eye out to continuing to wear those contacts one more day. At that time, I was out of righties, and I had two lefties left. So what else is a girl to do but to wear TWO LEFT contacts. Yes, I used my last two contacts as a pair, even though they were supposed to be for the same eye. Two days later, I decided enough was enough (yes, it took me an additional two days to come to this conclusion). I looked online for an eye doctor in the area that participated with our insurance, and made the appointment.
So finally today, after 19 months, I finally went to the eye doctor. I have a fresh new pair of contacts (proper prescription and everything!) and life is good again! The doctor was a super nice guy - we talked about college football and flat screen tv's. He was super nice about my being a Notre Dame fan, so I decided to forgive him for being a Buckeye fan. :) ... I better stop there before I upset my blog readers and you all decide to never come back again! *lol* I decided to make appointments for all three of the kids to have their eyes checked as well, since none of them has ever had an eye exam that I am aware of. So they will go at the very end of the month. Maybe I'll dress them in their Notre Dame jerseys that day. ;)
(Image is linked)
Here's my first layout with it... Isaac, like I said. I'm thinking that I am gonna pull out some Halloween pictures from last year and do something with them using this kit too. The colors are perfect without being too overly-Halloween-ish (nice word, I know).
Journaling: "Face painting at the First Friday Festival in August. Isaac wanted to be a mouse. When it was all done, he looked so cute, but he was bummed because they did not give him any whiskers. ... 2010"
(Click here to view full credits.)
Monday, September 13, 2010
So, I was walking around my house, straightening random things, making some fresh tea, and generally trying to find anything I could find to offer a valid excuse for not doing bills quite yet. As I was walking from room to room to put things away, I came across some little bits of cheerfulness, and I decided a round of photography and blogging was in order.
I love little bits of color and personality to brighten up life. This week, my mom was up to help me finish up the dresser & toy box. While she was here, we made a stop at Hobby Lobby, and discovered that pretty much half of their store was 50% off! Love that! She got a few things for the kids rooms, and she even got me a few things as well! She got these road signs for Sebastian's room to go with his big map of the US that is hanging over his bed. The chalkboard and the photography artwork are for me! I think I will put the FAITH, PRAY, LOVE pictures in my front room, which is my work space (where I'm supposed to be paying bills at the moment). The chalkboard has found its home in our dining area, sitting on the backpack shelf. When I saw this board, I fell in love with it! What a perfect visual aid for my kids to be able to look up and see what they have going on for the day... and a good way for me to keep myself on track as well (see what it says for Monday? Yup, right there, just above swimming...) The rest of the goodness - the red & green candles & the watering can - I found on clearance at Meijer. I think I paid a total of $10 for all of it!
Okay, now that I've shared the fun stuff... on to this... I think I'll go plop on the couch & put Netflix to good use. At least I can watch some fun movies while I work.
- peel & dice 3 - 4 medium potatoes. boil them in a large soup pot until they are fork-tender. set them aside
- in a skillet, melt about 3 tbsp butter. then mix in 3 tbs flour and stir until fully combined.
- add salt & pepper to the flour/butter mixture. heat it over low/medium heat for 2-3 minutes
- add 1 cup of milk to the flour mixture. stir or whisk until the flour is fully mixed into the milk.
- add additional salt, pepper, garlic powder for seasoning. heat on med/high heat to a boil.
- drain the potatoes and return to the pot
- add the milk mixture to the potatoes
- add 1 cup of chicken broth (I actually just used 1 cup of water and added chicken granules... in a glass jar, of course!)
- add 2 cups of milk
- stir & bring to a boil
- stir in 1 can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, 4 oz. shredded Colby, 4 oz. shredded Monterrey
- add some bacon bits if you like
- add one pack of chopped broccoli, steamed
I calculated that this pot of soup cost me approximately $6.50 to make, and it will feed all four of us - (Lucas isn't here to eat with us at present) for two meals easily.... so $3.25 per meal. Nice! So yes, we had loaded baked potatoes in soup form (Isaac & Meagan even added sour cream to top off their soup... I'll pass on that, thank you), my kids liked - or at least tolerated - it, and now I don't have to worry about cooking dinner tonight.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
So starting today, I am on a quest to get through the next 3 weeks - that's 21 days - of no fast food. I am determined that we will break bad habits and replace them with good ones. And now that the kids are in school, I really have no excuse... other than laziness or poor time management and failure to think ahead... none of those are very good reasons.
The kids and I sat down after church today and came up with a menu of dinners for the upcoming week. I'm feeling positive about this! I know we can do this... I CAN DO THIS with a little forethought and preparation. Here's the menu we have agreed on:
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Vegetable Pizza, Corn on the Cob
- Loaded Nachos
- Roasted squash with cinnamon & butter, steamed carrots & broccoli with sweet butter sauce, bread
- Chicken pot pie soup, crescent rolls
- Stuffed shells, salad
- Chicken fingers, wilted lettuce, chips (football food!!)
- Grilled chicken strips over salad, whatever else we feel like putting with it
So there you have it... that's the plan for the week. I'll try to keep you posted with our progress, my thoughts and the kids' thoughts on the meals, and maybe even a little cost-per-meal analysis... and a recipe or two??? We'll see how ambitious I get.
For now, I'm off to tackle laundry and some book work. Neither do I WANT to do, but as I tell my kids almost every day, sometimes we just have to do things, whether we want to or not. Happy Sunday!!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I love the contrast of the bright orange pumpkins against the green grass. (See that short little warty one... that pumpkin is now ours.)
The kids had a great time. Our neighbor got them each a ring pop (or candy necklace in Isaac's case), so they had a rush of sugar in them to run around and find the most interestingly shaped pumpkins they could find. Ring pops... one of the fun little perks of childhood.
Friday, September 10, 2010
This dresser was previously in the boys' bedroom - painted red with multicolored knobs on the front. However, the colors 100% did not match in Meagan's new room... besides, the knobs had dinosaur footprints painted on them.
With Mom & Mike's help, we stripped and sanded the dresser down to bare wood. Then repainted it to match Meagan's new room... primarily pink & green.
I had to repaint the knobs... took several coats of paint. Then I ended up having to paint little pictures on the knobs to cover up the remnants of the dino footprints.
I took this picture of Isaac last year, early spring. I think it was March, and he was super stir-crazy and ready to get outside! He is such a boy!
(click here to view full credits.)
For this month's Lilypad One-Word Challenge... the word is 'Change.' We have had LOTS of change lately, so I could have gone in about a million directions for that. But I think the change I like the most is the one I see in Isaac.
Journaling: "The boy you once were is no longer the boy you are today. Where once was a timid, unsure child, I now see a boy who is gaining assurance in his own voice. I see a child who has his own ideas, likes and dislikes, & is confident in expressing himself. I see you taking ownership of YOU, becoming a better friend, a more giving brother, and a more loving son. Where once was a scowl, I see a smile, and the sparkle has returned to your eyes. You are happy."
(Click here to view full credits.)
And one more of Isaac... these pictures were taken the day we took off the training wheels. Last spring sometime. (Don't you love the winter boots? *lol*) I did this layout for the Lilypad Scraplift Challenge.
Journaling: "You learned to ride your bike without training wheels in no time flat! You took a few falls, sure, but before we knew it, you looked like a pro. Daddy stayed right by your side until you felt confident enough to pedal off on your own. Once you got the hang of getting started, you rode around and around the circle. The only part that gave you any trouble was stopping... but a few falls and you caught on. Way to stick with it Buddy!"
(Click here to view full credits.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tell me, as a momma, HOW am I supposed to stay composed through that? I cried. I couldn't help it. My heart breaks when I think about it... that he is feeling that way... that I had no idea he was feeling that way... that we may very well end up putting him through it again in the next few years. Ouch, it hurts me to think of it.
I don't know what else to do but to keep talking to him about it. And to pray for him. Pray my butt of for him. And for me. And our family. So if you think of us, please also be praying for us - but especially for Sebastian and Isaac, as they are in this whole thing, but have relatively little say in the matter... and they have been so amazing about it all that I have, until yesterday, not even noticed that there was anything bothering either of them. *sigh*
Why is there hard stuff in life?
Today I put the finishing touches on Meagan's dresser and toy box. They have finally been refinished to match her new room. My plan is to get everything put in her room and get her room put back together tomorrow. I'll post pictures once I get it done so you can get the full effect of cuteness.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Journaling:'The bus stopped right at our house this year. The first day of school, you were so excited as you saw the bus drive down the road. I loved the look on your face as you turned to wave bye.'
(Click here to view full credits)
Here's the kit I used to make this layout...
Each month, Krista Sahlin (Sahlin Studio) highlights a kit of hers that is already in her shop. This is the kit for September. Definitely worth checking out... there's a contest to go along with it. You can check it out on her blog here.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Dare #194 was posted today... if anyone wants to play along, you have one whole week to get your done and posted. Check it out here if you're curious / interested.
Journaling: "It seems like no matter whose birthday we are celebrating, bows and ribbons always find their way to Sebastian's head. It's just something he does. He finds the goofiest looking bows and curly ribbons and uses them to make us all smile and laugh. That's just his personality. Love it!"
(Click here to view full credits)
You can check out the full BYOC here... TLP September BYOC
Well, of course, as soon as I saw that dragon and knight, I thought immediately of Isaac. How could I not? Funny thing, once I started in on the layout, I didn't end up using either one. So, I will DEFINITELY be coming back to this kit at least one more time (if not more) to put those cute little felt characters to use!
Here's what I did with the BYOC products this time around...
(Click here to view full credits)
I just love the subtle color scheme!
I've been holding onto this picture for a few months trying to figure out what to do with it. I just love it. It was taken when we still lived in Michigan - before we tore the house up for moving. I walked in to check on Meagan, and found her sitting on the edge of her bed just staring out the window. *Sigh* So many things ran through my mind - what is she thinking? what is she dreaming about? what has God dreamed over her? what will her life hold? who will she become? is there any limit to her potential (no, I don't think so).
I cracked up.
She quickly corrected herself... "I mean, a clover." But it was too late. It was too funny!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I've been playing around with it since after dinner... just trying to get a feel for navigating with it and so forth. I played a little in the paint program that came with it. Aaaah, I'm in heaven!
He had even taken time to research them, read the reviews and find out which one has gotten the most positive user feedback. Then, on top of it all, he even used a COUPON to save $$ on it. A man after my own heart!!
You had me at hello. (*giggle*)