Saturday, February 28, 2009


Yeah! We got our ride in! We did a 16+ mile loop from our house, up to the bike trail, down along the river for a while, and then back home. I have now ridden 50 miles on my bike this year!

Hubby made pizza for dinner. BBQ chicken with jalapenos, red onions and cilantro for us, and chicken, cheese, and olives for the kids. On whole wheat crusts.

In the "Deals and Steals" section: Thanks to Jennifer for reminding me the other day to use my Suave coupon before it expired today! I dropped by the store tonight and picked up a big bottle of lotion with it, and also remembered to use my coupon for a free can of Del Monte no-salt-added tomatoes that also expired today.
London Broil is on sale again this week at Stater Brothers, for $1.77/lb. I need to drop by there tomorrow to stock up on beef before heading out to WinCo for the rest of my groceries.
When I went to Vons tonight to get my freebies, I also got a reminder of why I am making the drive out to WinCo for groceries every week. Here's just two price comparisons: Storebrand Chicken Broth. Vons, $1.29 each. Winco, 40c each. Generic spaghetti. Vons, on sale $1.00/lb. Winco, 79c/lb. Those differences sure add up!

Friday, February 27, 2009


My English class started this morning. I don't have much to say about it yet, since the hour and a half we were there was pretty much just filled with attendance and wait lists and adds. I do have an assignment due next week... I have to write at least a one page autobiography introducing myself to the class. We are also supposed to read two short stories from the text book. It's been a very long time since I took a writing class, so I hope that I do well in it.

When I got home from school, I did not get to collapse on the couch as I had planned. One of the limbs on my Dad's lemon tree had broke under the weight of hundreds of lemons, so we had to spend about two hours cutting off branches and removing as many ripe lemons as we could so that more branches didn't break. The branch that broke was about six inches in diameter to give you an idea of how heavy the branch had to have been! We filled two wheelbarrows to overflowing with lemons, boxed them up, and set them on the curb. They were all gone within an hour.

I finished a second preemie hat for this month. It was a super simple one that I just worked on for a minute or two here and there while waiting for programs to load and such. It's just rows of BLO double crochet, with a pompom on top.
Preemie Hat #2

Here are the three hats that I have made so far this year:
3 little bitty hats

Why is it that little boys always have such gorgeous lashes??
Killer eyelashes

He makes mine look so puny:

Our plans for the weekend include buying textbooks, going on a 16-mile ride, making homemade pizza, and bribing the teenager to mow the lawn.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


My day got off to a slow start. I bagged up the chicken broth from all the chicken I boiled up last night... I ended up with 6 days worth of shredded chicken, and 26 cups of chicken broth. Tonight's dinner was Chicken Burritos (shredded chicken, sour cream, pinto beans, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, and salsa).
I did go get my free sandwich from Arby's, and then came home and played Wii with Niko until it was time to go pick up Cecilia.

Since today was Thursday, Sabrina and Abigail both stayed an hour later for their GATE programs. The littles and I walked to Walgreens to pick up the free prints I ordered last week, and I let them each choose a candy (Valentine's mark down, 75% off). The manager was buying a pack of cookies and gave each of them one (those little individually packed wafer cookies.)
We found a little grasshopper by the sidewalk and they had fun poking gently at his legs to make him hop around and eventually fly off. They also found some seed pods off a tree and were shaking them around like maracas. Cecilia collected a whole handful of them to take to her teacher tomorrow.
We walked back home, gave a bunch of the prints to my mom for her photo album, and then walked back to the school to pick up the other two girls. We came home and had our snack, and they started on their homework. That bit of walking added up to 2 miles! When Hubby got home, we managed to squeeze in a 7 mile ride before dinner. I'm pooped.

Now, for the big news of today. Back in January, Ree at The Pioneer Woman posted a blog about how she and Marlboro Man would be sponsoring a set number of children over the age of 16 through Compassion, and were looking for people who would be interested in picking up the correspondence end for these children. I jumped at the opportunity because I have wanted to sponsor a child for a long time, but it just never seemed to fit in well with our financial picture, and I didn't want to slack off on a child like that. Letter writing and birthday cards I can handle! I got the Welcome packet in the mail today and the new addition to our now very extended family is Intan, an 18 year old girl living in Indonesia. Please take a moment to say a prayer for Intan, and her family. If you have any words of wisdom or a favorite verse for me to pass on to her in our introduction letter, please feel free to share it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We took Sierra to the vet again this morning to have her incision checked. She had a lot of fluid built up so the vet had to drain it. Hopefully she will continue to heal well and this will all be over soon.

I made the cream cheese dip for the kids' after school snack today. I actually halved the recipe since it was just the 5 of us eating it, and it was more than enough. It was very yummy!

I also boiled up the 10lbs of chicken leg quarters. We had the Arroz con Pollo tonight. I already have the shredded chicken all packed away in the freezer, but I need to cool the broth overnight and then I will pack it up tomorrow morning.

Next up on my list of things to tackle today was giving both of the cats a bath. Henry is so nice and calm and docile... Nigel on the other hand likes to use every appendage and/or orifice available to him to try to claw his way out of the tub. Oh well, at least I saved a good $50 by not taking them to the groomer.

Nigel giving me an evil look:

My sweet Henry:

Giving them a bath reminded me of this joke:

How To Give A Cat A Bath

1. Thoroughly clean the toilet.

2. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.

3. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

4. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape). CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge of the toilet, as his paws - and claws - will be reaching out for any object they can find.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "powerwash and rinse" which I have found to be quite effective.

6. Have someone open the door to the outside, and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside, where he will proceed to dry himself.


The Family Dog

Poor Nigel... this thought did cross my mind. He's a lucky cat today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I started my day off with another lovely headache, but as the day wore on and my sinuses cleared up (and with the help of some ibuprofen) it seemed to ease off. I managed to get to Quizno's and get my free sandwich... a Turkey Swiss Ranch. Yum!

Since the rest of this week's dinners require boiling and prepping a 10 pound bag of frozen chicken leg quarters, and I knew I wouldn't have time to really deal with that this afternoon, I made the executive decision to change the menu! Tonight we had egg salad sandwiches and carrot sticks. I'll deal with the chicken tomorrow!

When the girls got home from school, we headed down to the mall. I wanted to get Niko a muscle shirt (tank top) and a pair of aviators (sunglasses) so he could match his Daddy (I shaved his head today!). I had a $5 off $5 coupon for JCPenney so I figured we would start there. I did not find a single tank top for him... the closest they had were toddlers 2 piece sets with a tank and matching shorts. He doesn't need more shorts. He probably has a dozen pair of shorts, if not more!

I decided to look through the boys underwear section since he has been obsessed with boxers lately. I have been putting off buying any for him since briefs are so much cheaper, and I just have a hard time paying $3-4 each for underwear. I don't even spend that much on my own! I had even been looking online this morning for free patterns/tutorials to sew him some boxers. Those are not easy to find, but just in case you're looking too, here is what I found:
Boy's Boxers Pattern and Instructions and Baby Boy's Brief Pattern and Instructions
Imagine my surprise when I found packs of boxers marked down to $1.97 from $10.99! And they were "bonus packs" with 4 pair for the price of 3. Using the $5 off coupon, I managed to buy him 16 pairs of boxers for $3 and change! They had more packets of them, but I figured that should be enough to cover his butt for quite a while.
nikoboxers Here he is holding up one of the four packs. They're a little big on him for now, but he's still very excited. He was running up to strangers in the mall and telling them, "I've got BOXERS now!"

After we left JCPenney, we walked down to The Children's Place to get him his new sunglasses. Cecilia decided that she wanted to spend some of her birthday money and purchased a pair of sunglasses, 2 pairs of flip-flops, a cute embroidered belt, and a baseball cap.

We walked through the Disney Store and didn't find anything that really grabbed my attention, and then the girls insisted on checking out Limited Too (now known as Justice). Sabrina fell in love with this tank top and borrowed a little bit from me to be able to buy it. She's so very, very excited because it has a "built-in cami bra". My itty bitty ten year old is feeling so very grown up because of that.

From there, we speed walked our way down to Sears, with my fingers crossed that we would be able to find Niko a tank top there. Again, I came up empty. I guess I am going to have to check Walmart, Target, or Old Navy when I get a chance. They did have some uniform clothes in the middle of the aisle on clearance. It is one of my pet peeves that uniform clothes are considered seasonal and only sold in the late summer/early fall for Back to School shopping. My kids are messy! Their uniform stuff gets ripped or stained, and I end up having a hard time finding replacements or just making them wear the stained stuff (hey, if they get marker or paint on it at school, well, they're going to have to wear it to school again, tough cookies!). Since the clearanced stuff was leftovers from the fall that they were trying to get rid of, the sizes and styles were very limited... but I did manage to find 3 uniform polos for Abigail, and a pair of khaki pants and a navy sweater for Cecilia... for $1.99 each!

All of that bargain shopping done, we made it home just in time for me to serve up the sandwiches and carrot sticks for dinner. Hubby and I hopped in the car and made it to campus on time for our mandatory meeting for our online accounting class that we are taking this semester. When the professor got to our names on the roll, she stopped and asked if we were related since our last name is not very common. She thought it was cool that we are taking the class together, as her and her husband took a graduate class together. I like that we can keep each other on task. My next class is on Friday, but it is not online unfortunately. It's an on campus class from 8am-noon every Friday.

I'll sign off with picture of Niko and the hubs in their "matching" hair cuts and sunglasses...

Monday, February 23, 2009


My goodies from Gloria
Originally uploaded by smrfchic00
I sure do love getting goodies in the mail! I got home from getting my nails done, and found this sitting on my front porch. I had won a giveaway on Gloria's blog for a Rachael Ray cookbook, a kitchenaid goodie, and some "other surprises". My kids were squealing as we went through the box, and Sabrina has already laid claim to that blue yarn... she thinks I'm going to make HER a blanket next!

I also managed to spread some grass seed in the front yard, go for a 5 mile bike ride, help three kids with homework, and supervise a bunch of neighborhood kids playing in and out of my house... Dinner is on the stove (and in the oven), so I must run for now.

Menu Plan Monday 2/23

Dinners for this week include:

Spaghetti with Texas Toast garlic bread (had that last night)
Baked chicken with fried potatoes and green beans
Arroz con Pollo
Tortellini soup with chicken (no spinach, add zucchini)
Homemade Whole Wheat BBQ Chicken Pizza / Cheese Pizza
Chicken Burritos
Crockpot Potato Chowder (no onion)

Ham or bologna sandwiches, juice pouches, apple sauce, apple or tangelo.

After school snacks:
Vanilla pudding, graham crackers and apple slices with cream cheese dip, animal crackers

Bulk granola with vanilla yogurt
Bulk "Lucky Charms" Happy Shapes Cereal
Banana bread muffins with flax meal and macadamia nuts
Buttermilk pancakes with maple sausage (for the weekend)

Pay it Forward Project #1

Now that it has been received, I can share what I made for my first Pay It Forward project. I made a bow holder for A Frugal Friend.

It all started with this little frame:

I took the glass out of the frame, and spraypainted it with many, many coats of a glossy white spray paint.

I taped off most of the glass, except for a strip across the bottom, and added scrapbooking letters.

I gooped on lots of etching cream, and then rinsed it all off and dried it.

For the inside of the frame, I layered two colors of blue cardstock, some pretty striped vellum, and a picture of her daughter. (Face edited out for privacy.) I topped the corner of the frame with a hand-tied blue bow hotglued in place.

I finished it off with two 24-inch long strips of grosgrain ribbon to provide a whopping four feet of bow-hanging storage!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I am so very close to running out of the variegated yarn before completing this round, so I actually ripped it all the way out to the color change and am trying to crochet a bit tighter in hopes of stretching that yarn out to it's very last inch. I'm not going to be a happy camper if I can't get this round completed before switching to pink for the rest of the blanket. I'm at about 24" square right now.

Hubby got his hair cut today, and unfortunately the barber (barberess?) didn't hear him right. He asked for a #2 on the sides and back, indicating that he wanted her to use the clippers there, and scissors for the top. Instead, she buzzed him with a #2 all over. It was a bit shocking when he walked in the house with his hair cut so short... I don't think I've ever seen it that short! I guess tomorrow I will buzz Niko's hair so he can match Daddy. Hubby already told me to go to The Children's Place and get him a little pair of aviator sunglasses so they can take a picture together.

I do have to say... we all love the feeling of a freshly shaved head!

The weekly grocery shopping was completed today, so I'll be posting our menu for the week tomorrow. I will only be trying one new recipe this week, and that's a cream cheese dip from Chris @ Notes From the Trenches. It sounded like a very yummy, special after school treat for the kiddos. They're always so ravenous when they get home, and the same old offerings of crackers and popcorn get boring pretty quick.

I did make banana muffins yesterday based on this recipe, but made a few changes. I used half AP flour and half whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup flax meal, and added some chopped macadamia nuts too. I cooked them in a regular sized muffin tin for about 30 minutes, and it made an even dozen. They were a big hit and I'll be making them again this week.

This post is brought to you by the letter "F".

I was reading over on Never Gives Up's blog a couple of weeks ago and saw where she was playing this game. It looked like alot of fun so I asked her to let me join in! A blogger friend gives you a letter and then you have to come up with 10 things that you like that begin with that letter. Mine is "F" and I've been working on my list. Here's the 10 things I came up with off the top of my head.

1. Family - I love my family.

2. Fudge - Rich, creamy, chocolate fudge. I love homemade fudge but have to limit myself to making it only once a year because I will definitely overindulge if it is in the house.

3. Friends - I love my friends, online and IRL. Someone to talk to, share ideas with, and play games with.

4. Fish - I like to eat them, I like to catch them, I like to watch them. Aquariums, going fishing, and sushi - all are fun activities.

5. Fun - I love to have fun! Roller coasters, movies, goofing around, comedy shows, anything that can make me laugh or squeal in delight.

6. Fire - A beautiful fire in the fireplace, a warm campfire to sit around and sing and roast marshmallows, a bonfire on the beach after a night time hike.

7. Ferns - I think ferns are beautiful and would love to have a bunch in my yard... feathery, wispy, curling tendrils... they remind me of the Redwood forest, and are so pretty in bouquets of cut flowers too.

8. Fathers - I was lucky to be raised by two of the greatest guys around, my paternal grandfather who adopted me and will always be my Daddy (he passed away in 2000), and also my biological father who is still a big part of my daily life. A lot of who I am today is because of who they were, and I know that I got a lot of my personality and likes from both of them. My hubby is also a great father, and has a lot of patience with our kids.

Okay, this is getting hard!

9. Fairies - I think the series of Flower Fairy drawings are really adorable. Cecilia loves all things Tinkerbell.

10. Fatty foods - Fried food, prime rib, butter, rich desserts... I love foods that tickle my tastebuds and can make me drool just thinking about them!

Well, there's my 10 things. Wasn't that fun? Now who wants to join in?? Just leave a comment asking for a letter and I'll pick one out for you. And thanks to NeverGivesUp for including me in the game! Oh, and if you don't have a blog then feel free to still join in and you can leave your 10 things in the comments if you want. :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Hubby and I went on a bike ride together today. It was supposed to be 10 miles, but turned in to over 15 miles when all was said and done! I did not want to complete that last quarter-mile or so... I was pooped out!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I have a head cold. I felt very worn out for most of the day, and pretty much did nothing. I actually fell asleep shortly before the girls were due home, with Niko watching TV next to me... when I woke up, the house was empty. The girls had dropped off their stuff and ran down the street (with Niko) to play without asking for permission. They're very, very grounded. I gave them a long, detailed list of chores that they need to complete before they are ungrounded.

I didn't actually take any pictures today, but here is one that I took yesterday. It's a picture of my candy thermometer. I actually bought it just to hang up in the kitchen as a cool antique, but I find it works better and more reliably than the "new" ones. I've used it multiple times for making everything from fudge to candied walnuts, to the pretzels that I made yesterday.

Do you have a favorite old standby like this? I also use nothing but vintage pyrex bowls for all of my mixing and serving. I started collecting them from thrift stores about 12 years ago, and still pick up ones in my favorite colors and patterns. I just love how durable they are! They were all that my mom used when I was growing up too. I have mostly green and orange bowls, but I also love the amish line.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I found this fun blog yesterday, The Story of a Princess and Her Hair. She does cool step-by-step photo AND video tutorials on how to make some really cute hairstyles for little girls. I've kind of been slacking lately with the cute hairstyles and bows, so this really inspired me to spend a little more time on their hair than a minute of brushing and slapping on a headband. Here's Ceci's hair this morning before school:

As soon as I started making the first row of little ponies, she started whining and stomping her feet that she hated it and that I was making her look like a water fountain. Once I got done she loved it of course, and said it was like a princess crown. She's a challenge.

I also finally got around to making these Homemade Soft Pretzels. They turned out awesome! Cecilia had fun helping me roll them out.

I sprinkled half with kosher salt, and half with cinnamon sugar. We made 15 of them, and have 8 in the freezer to eat later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Dishes. Laundry. Cable company. Walmart. Fresh & Easy. Food 4 Less. Lots of errands and tasks completed today. I was surprised when the girls came home from school (the short week threw me off and I forgot it was minimum day) and announced, "You've got company!" They had brought home one of Sabrina's classmates (and her mom)... and my sink was full of dishes, and my couch was covered in laundry... Great first impression, I am sure. The kids all played for awhile, and next thing I knew I had two of the neighbor girls running around the house too. Oh well, what's that one poem? About how when the kids grow up, we won't remember the mud tracking through the house, but we'll remember the giggles over mud pies? Mud pies, ladybug funerals, giggling over popcorn and ghost stories... we're making memories, not magazine photo shoots here!

More progress on the blanket... watching American Idol keeps me somewhat entertained. I decided to start emphasizing the pink since I am fast running out of the other colors, and I can buy more pink, but when the other two are done, they're just done. It's starting to get pretty warm and heavy working on it... which is probably why I never finished making the full-size and growing granny square that I had started for our bed a decade ago.

It did NOT rain today. The mountains look gorgeous all covered in snow though! Here is a picture that the paper ran today:

Snow... it's fun to look at, but I'm glad I don't have to live in it.

the Wool-Eater blanket

Here's a link to the Wool-Eater blanket. It is written in Australian/UK terms, but it's really simple to change it to US terms. Just cross out the "double" in front of every "doule treble" as that just means a treble stitch in US terms. I used Microsoft Word to make the substitution for me so that I wouldn't get confused while reading the pattern. The third and fourth rows are repeated throughout the whole blanket. If you have any questions, please email me and I will help you through it!

Here's a picture of the original blanket:
Photo courtesy of Sarah London's blog.

I really love how graphic and vibrant it looks, and can't wait to make it again in a better colorway... I just wanted to give it a try and had this old yarn to use up!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


After a three day weekend, I am so very ready for everyone to go back to school and work. I just can't seem to get things done when everyone is at home, since when I am cleaning I tend to hyper focus and get very irritated at distractions. I lose myself in my own little world, have a million thoughts going in a million directions, and if I get interrupted... it makes for a very long day. I spent most of today doing dishes and laundry that piled up over the weekend.

This morning at 10:15am we had to take on my dad's dogs, Sierra, in to the vet again. We took her in last week for a lump on her belly, and the vet prescribed a course of antibiotics to see if that would take it down. It didn't, so she had surgery today. They removed a mammary tumor bigger than a softball, about 5 inches long. My dad of course is an emotional mess over this. In the last four years he lost both of his older two dobermans (Sam was 12 and had heart problems, Sassy was 15 and had massive amounts of tumors). He is terrified of losing Sierra now too.

After we took Sierra in to the vet this morning, Dad took me out to lunch as a thank-you for all of my chauffering. He's been dying to go to this one asian buffet place that he first visited a couple of years ago. I discovered that I can no longer out-eat anyone at a buffet. When my hubby and I first got together, I was a threat to buffets anywhere... I'd easily down six plates and be on the look out for more. Today, I couldn't even finish a second plate! I did enjoy myself though... I had California rolls, tuna rolls, salmon rolls, tamago sushi, a crab handroll, cucumber salad, teriyaki chicken, stir-fried octopus, gyoza, seafood delight on rice, baked mussels, some sort of meatball, and crabcakes. I think that's it. There was a lot more great looking food, but I was uncomfortably full.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working off all of that food, until it was time to go pick Sierra up. Once we got her settled in, then I came home and made dinner. We watched House, and Niko fell asleep on me... Awwwww! He loves that darn cowboy blanket - he drags it all over the house with him.

Oh, I almost forgot... I did complete a project today, but I can't post pictures of it yet! I will say that I completed one of my PayItForward giveaway projects!

Now I'm debating whether or not I really want to go out and brave the rain and cold weather to go to Walmart. I'm thinking not. I think I'll give the girls juice money again and just go tomorrow!

Monday, February 16, 2009


I completed my first mystery shop in quite a few years today. I think my last one was a Kinko's shop about 6 or 7 years ago. It was pretty fun, and I like getting paid to go out and buy a sandwich (that they'll also reimburse me for). If you would like to sign up for this company, here's a link: GfK Mystery Shopping. I also got an invitation from them last week that was to do an audit of an electronics store, but it was a very involved, long process of scanning items in a store that would have required about 12 hours of hands-on work... that's not something I can really commit to until Nicholas is in school. It would have been a nice opportunity though, as it paid $125!

I also got invited to participate in a market research focus group through FocusFwd. It's an online bulletin board that I have to log in to and post each day this week, and if completed successfully it will pay $100! That rocks.

Here's a picture of my progress on the "acrylic eater". I didn't get to work on it much today, so this is only about an hour's worth of work. It's almost the size of a couch cushion now, and I'd like it to be big enough to be a good lap blanket at least. I'm hoping there is enough yarn for that!

Menu Planning Monday

I just got back from the grocery store. This week's dinners will be:

Tortellini soup with shredded chicken (no spinach, add one diced zucchini)
Tuna casserole with peas
Broiled parmesan tilapia with rice and green beans
BBQ Chicken with Mom's Country Fried Potatoes

Breakfast will include:
Bulk "Lucky Charms" aka Happy Shapes cereal
Bulk fruit and nut granola over vanilla yogurt
Bulk blueberry bagels for the hubby
Homemade banana muffins with flaxseed

Ham sandwiches on wheat bread
Fruit (applesauce + choice of apple or banana)
Juice box
Sweet & Salty peanut butter nut bars
Bulk Sesame snack mix for hubby

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I started a "wool-eater" blanket today, and am really enjoying the pattern. I wanted to use up some leftover acrylic (that's oh, about 15+ years old now), so that is the purple and the variegated yarns. I picked up some "soft raspberry" Red Heart to add a 3rd color to the blanket. Abigail has already claimed ownership of it because of the purples in it.

I can totally see this in a lot of pretty colorways and would like to make more. I'd also like to try it in some really soft baby yarn, or at least some Simply Soft as this scratchier Wintuk and Red Heart yarn really does a number on my hands!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

45/365 - Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

We decided to skip our planned ride because it was only 49* when we wanted to leave... a bit too cold for this California girl to want to hop on a bike for 10 miles.

Hubby did take me out for a nice sushi lunch together. We were planning on taking in a movie as well, but there was nothing playing that we really wanted to see. There were two movies we wouldn't have minded watching, but didn't feel like waiting two hours for the next showing of them. Instead of walking right back to the car, we went to Joann's. I wanted to look for a cute summer dress pattern (or two or three) for the girls since the Simplicity patterns are on sale this weekend (5 for $5!), but there wasn't a single pattern that I really loved. I just want a very simple tie-at-the-shoulder kind without buttons or zippers. It was so nice just getting to sit at the pattern table with him and look through the books together, and it made me realize how lucky I am to be with a guy who will happily indulge me in stuff like this, without grousing about where he'd rather be. After looking through the pattern books, we wandered around the aisles for a bit, just holding hands and enjoying each other's company. From there we headed to the mall, and enjoyed 10-minute chair massages. So relaxing! We picked up his dry cleaning and headed home, where he dropped me off and left to do some V-Day shopping of his own... See's Candy for all of us! (The teenager isn't in this picture, but he got a box too!)

I know it may sound corny to some, but I am so happy to be married to my best friend. We met way back in November '96, online. AOL. So many people told us that it wouldn't last... He was 21 with a 2 year son, I was a 17 year old high school senior. We have been through so much together, and yet we still goof around like newlyweds. He's the yin to my yang, even if my eyes tend to gloss over when he is talking technical about some sort of complicated networking or progamming issue. He gets my corny sense of humor, my love for cynicism and satire, vintage stuff, and "guy movies", puts up with me falling asleep on the couch while watching TV, praises my cooking, and brags about me to his friends and coworkers. He's my rock, my strength, my leaning post. I love you, Nathan!!

Even if you play with your chopsticks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Recycled Crayon Hearts

The kids wanted to give something to the two toddlers next door, and I didn't want to go anywhere because it was raining. I saw this tutorial on Craftster and realized I had the same foil molds in the cabinet, and there are always broken crayons lurking around!
I taped the little tags on to the backs of each plastic-wrapped heart (ziploc baggies with the zipper part cut off). Their mom LOVED them (the little ones were sleeping off a nasty cold).


I did do a lot of errand running today, but I'm not going to focus on that right now. I am not going to tell you that I went to DD's Discounts, Joann's, WalMart, Walgreens, and the dry cleaners. I am going to tell you that I found some adorable fabric in the clearance section at Joann's, and made this sweet little skirt for Cecilia. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

That is $1.75 worth of fabric, a bit of thread, and about 50c worth of no-fold elastic!

Oh, and here's one of the sandwiches that I made for the girls this morning. I "painted" one slice of bread with food coloring and milk, and toasted it. Then I used a small heart-shaped canape plunger to press out hearts, flipped the sandwich over, and inserted the heart into the plain toasted side. I also included a sweet little printed vintage valentine in each of their lunches (and one in hubby's lunch too!).

Sorry about the dark inside pictures... it's raining like crazy!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


My life is very repetitious. How many blog posts can I write that include such mundane details as doing dishes, doing laundry, running some sort of errand, and picking up the girls from school? Probably a few hundred.

Today I did laundry, did dishes, took one of my Dad's dogs to the vet for his shots, picked up the girls, went to the store because I had forgotten to buy lentils on Monday, made dinner, and collapsed on the couch.

Shannon insisted that I never include stuff like this on my blog, so just to prove her wrong, here's what Niko did today. He tried to make a deal - if he picked up 10 toys in the living room, could he please play on the computer. He said he wanted to play the "register game". When I finally deciphered what he was talking about, I realized that he was asking to play a slot machine game he'd seen me play on Facebook last week. That request, by the way, was denied.

The spring semester starts the week of the 23rd. Instead of taking 15 units (6 classes) like I did in the fall, I am taking it easy and only taking 9 units (2 classes). Hubby and I are taking the next level online accounting course together, and then I am also taking an on-campus English class. I have been trying for years to actually get into an English class (that would fit with my schedule), and this is the first semester that I made it in. It is the single most in demand course on the entire campus, as it one that everyone is required to take. Hubby's other class is an advanced C++ programming course. We're slowly making progress!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Hubby told me to take it easy today. He said that I was too wiped out when he got home yesterday and didn't like seeing me like that... so I only did dishes around the house today! I went to the thrift store this morning with Niko, then when we got home I had to take my mom to pay her cable bill. Then she twisted my arm and talked me into taking her and all the kids to another thrift store.

I found a lot of great stuff!
First stop this morning, I got (for $19 total): 3 shirts for Abigail (2 Cherokee, one Limited too), 3 shirts for Cecilia (a tinkerbell with attached hoodie shrug, OshKosh, and some other brand), brand-new brown boots for Cecilia (score!!), and a pillowcase that I am going to make into a dress for Cecilia (really cute dainty floral print!). Then at the 2nd store, for $9: 2 more shirts for Abigail, black boots for Abigail, and a milk glass vase. And Cecilia bought herself a pair of jeans for $2. There goes all the money I got from recycling yesterday!