Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY: Laundry Detergent - Good Clean Fun

Sorry I finally got batteries! Horray! Though I did miss out on lots of things I would have loved to take pictures of. So what did I do with my new batteries today? Well take a picture of the flower that's come out from bulbs I forgot I planted.


So this past  weekend I was busy and I didn't get my 'To Do List' taken care of. Dusting and cobwebbing kinda hit the back burner. 

Saturday we took the kids out to the Science museum and they got to play with soap bubbles filled with CO2 which was neat. They loved all the dry ice experiments. Sadly no pictures. 

Sunday I did take my camera and we got a few snap shots made. First we made laundry detergent which I'll go over in a moment and then we tried to make liquid dishwasher detergent which I won't be going over it's a work in process as we try to figure out amounts and how cost effective it is. 

Laundry Detergent!
Sarah graciously hosted and showed us all how to make it. It was great fun and there was more chattering than actual work. 

Step 1: Grate the Cheese (with generous amounts of coffee in you if you decide to do this in the morning)

Step 2: Get a big pot ready and start setting up! And measure ingredients. *Cues Dramatic Music for Sarah*

1 Bar Fels-Napha Soap
1 Cup of Borax
1 Cup Washing Powder
1 pot of water heated to boiling

Add in order. 

Mix finely grated soap into boiling water while stirring  Continue to stir until dissolved.   

Add the 1 cup of Washing Soap. Whisk in until well blended.

 Then add 1 cup of Borax. Whisk in until well blended.

Thanks to Carrie our note card maker and additional helper!

This is where my camera died. So here we go. Take your 5 gallon bucket fill it half way with hot water then add the soap and whisk until well mixed. Fill the bucket the rest of the way, lid and let sit 24 hrs. It will jell pretty thick on the bottom and at the top you'll have to re mix it all I suggest gloves for this because hands in soap for too long I found out is bad and maybe safety glasses so it doesn't splash up into your eyes like it did poor Sarah. Separate out into smaller containers and there you go. Use about 3/4 cup per full load and best to shake the bottle before each use to make sure it's well mixed. 

There you go! Laundry Soap! 5 Gallons worth :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sliding into the Weekend

Well it's Friday though it doesn't quite seem like it because at 5:15 this morning we got the phone call that school was canceled and since my husband and I had talked it over the night before he went ahead and called into work using some of his vacation since he has more time off than I do.
When I got up and looked out the window this morning you don't want to know the string of curse words that went through my head they were really embarrassing because all I could think was, "They canceled school for rain?!" After a short rant on Facebook someone told me that though it looked wet out there that was really a sheet of ice. So it was understandable after that.

After waiting til nearly 9 o'clock to go into work thinking the extra time would let the ice melt some (which it couldn't have hurt) and knowing I got held over at work yesterday so today was going to be a short day I braved going out to the van. It was all fine until I hit the drive way and decided to do the splits. I've been sore all day! It probably would have been humorous had someone been watching, my legs going in two different directions and one hand going down to try and stop me from falling on my face while the other one was flung upward I suppose to help support my balance but my keys went flying and I probably looked like I should have been in some dance scene thrown into some sort of show like Glee (though I'm guessing as I've never watched that show). Other than hurt pride and being sore though I was okay at least.

I had Peter put the girls to studying math as both girls needed the practice and even though there was no school today it didn't mean they shouldn't study.

Got home this evening and had the simple meal of sloppy joes and chips. Sometimes it's best just to take it easy.

This weekend I'll be going to my friend's house as she's been making laundry detergent and she's going to show me how. I'm pretty sure I could do it myself but it's much more fun in a group and who needs 5 Gal. of laundry detergent laying around the house when you can split it up and everyone can save money and have fun. I've talked to her and I really wanted to try making the dishwasher detergent I've seen online too so we are going to also do that. In the thought of doing all this I washed out a vegetable oil container we just got done with. I really wish I could have some fancy labels though for my container but adhering things onto plastic seems to be a very difficult thing to do but I decided after web searching that I was going to try a couple different ways.
 This one I tried with a glue stick, a picture I found online and reversed it, a wet sponge and a spoon. It actually has a neat papery textured feeling and I think it'll last longer but didn't come out very even.

 This one I finagled a way to print onto wax paper, used a glue stick and a spoon with the same picture (just larger as you can tell). It came out better but I think it will wipe off easily so I'll have to figure out a good way to coat it. I also tried alcohol with paper but it did not come out at all!
(The liquid in it by the way is just soapy water like I said it held oil so I've been trying to get it cleaned.)

Well that's about it for my Friday and now I'm facing the weekend so yup I have a 'To Do List'.
 Thankfully it's not a crazy one, just mainly catching up from the week. The only things of note really are we are looking at taking the kids to the Science Museum for the 'Dry Ice Show' because my kids really love science, on Friday and then that evening going to the local gaming shop for the pre-release of the new set for Magic the Gathering (it's a card game). And then of course Sunday a play date for the kids while the women folk make soap.

Well that's about it folks. I already warned my friend, Sarah, that I'd be bringing my camera along and that, "I'm so going to blog this." So more to come Sunday or Monday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Last Weekend's To Do List

So I never got back to how I did on my 'To Do' list. Saturday I was pretty productive and knocked out a chunk though Sunday not so much as I ran a friend of mine a favor to kill two birds with one stone because the other is he wanted me to see his house and I had been putting off getting the time for awhile. Monday.... well that was crafts plain and simple.
The List:

  • Catch up dishes (had odds and ends that needed to be hand washed that was the main goal because dishes will always be there)
  • Laundry (Which I'm already behind on again!)
  • Clean Kitchen Floor
  • Clean Bathroom (I'll say it's done but truthfully I didn't scrub the bathtub out but I got the rest done.)
  • Vacuum
  • Litter Box
  • Fill Fish Tank Water
  • Take down ceramic Christmas lights (Yes, I still have more stuff I'm trying to get put up. I started trying to take these down Sunday but it was so cold I couldn't stand it.)
  • put up wreaths (Which are now in their nice nifty wreath container still on my living room floor but are off my walls outside. I just need to carry it up to the attic so job is 90% done.)
  • enter coke points (I needed something easy to accomplish)
  • make V-day bird feeders
  • make heart chain
  • make wax paper sun catchers
  • See how new cleaning formula works on floor grate (I already posted on this because I really had wanted to see)
  • Read a chapter in a book (still working towards my goal of finishing 1 book this year so easy to have too many things going on so I'm trying to keep my goals reasonable.)
  • Sewing pile
  • Put up blinds (I'll call this done but we have 1 more to do. I can't take credit for the work though my husband actually took it upon himself to do it.)
  • Movie night (We've been making it our goal to watch a family safe movie every Saturday night. The children love the time with all the family in one room doing something together and having popcorn.)

I wish the list would disappear forever once thing were done sadly a great deal of this will come creeping back into my next list.
As I said, Sunday I didn't get much done because I was over at my friends getting the tour and talking because well that's what I do when I get out. 
Monday was craft day with the kids but I did grab one of my "Shove it all in there, clear the surfaces for company" boxes and got pretty far in there throwing things away and putting other things away properly. I've got lots of those boxes floating around and slowly but surely I'm combining them down as I go through them. By golly I think if I didn't have to go to work I'd probably have the most organized house EVER. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crock Pot Tuesday - Cheesy Chicken

Well today is another dance class. I've been doing these for over a year now but I realized that some recipes I thought all crock pot lovers knew aren't always known. Next week won't be a crock pot week because there was a request for Grilled Cheese & Tomato soup which is quick enough to fix.


Cheesy Chicken
Ingredients :
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Can Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 Box Rotini Pasta

Mix together the cream of chicken soups and the cheese soup (I generally do this in a separate bowl).

I generally put a little bit of the mixture at the bottom of the crock pot to make sure the chicken doesn't burn when it is first starting to cook. Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste (take a guess don't actually taste it right now raw chicken is bad! mkay). 
Poor the remainder of the soup mixture onto the chicken. 

Cook on low for 8 hrs (it's fine to keep on warm after that so no worries).

Before serving cook up your rotini pasta according to the pasta directions. 

I like to chop my chicken up in the pot before pouring over the noodles as it makes it easier for everyone, especially the children, to eat.

A simple no fuss meal that my kids know instantly when they get home what they are having and all I hear is cheers. This easily feeds our family of 4 with left overs. We've fed 3 adults and 3 kids with this one dish too. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Crafts

So perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little with the kids but I was ready for some Valentine's Day decorations but I quickly realized that I don't own any! Sounded like a craft day in the making. 

Heart Bird Seed Feeders

 Gather your supplies:
  • 1 packet Unflavored Gelatin (I bought a big box to later find out I didn't need one just a little 4 packet box is enough. 
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 3 TBSP Corn Syrup
  • 4 cups of Bird Seed
  • Twine
  • Spray cooking oil

 Mix gelatin, flour, water and corn syrup until well mixed. Child labor is good for this.

 Add the bird seed and mix until evenly coated.
 Take your cookie cutters and tray and spray with cooking oil.
Put bird seed into cookie cutters and press down. You want it packed in hard so that it doesn't try and fall apart.

 Use a straw to help place you hole that you'll later be using for twine.
Carefully lift up cookie cutter and place down to start your next set.
This recipe made 4 large hearts for us.

Let dry about 12 hours. During some point you might want to flip them over to make sure the other side fully dries.

I enjoy the time with the kids and our feathered friends will enjoy the treat.

Wax Paper Sun Catchers 

 I really like window decorations and we did something like this for fall so I thought to myself why not Valentine's day too!

Gather your supples:

  • Crayons
  • Grater
  • Iron
  • Junk Towel
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • An adult!

This is mostly an adult craft! You'll want to grate up your crayon colors and warm an iron. You want it warm and not 'hot' and no steam! (I set mine on 3).

You'll want to cover your ironing board with a towel because it never fails that crayon is going to leak out it seems.

You can allow your children to pick what colors of crayon they'd like sprinkled  onto 1 half piece of wax paper. Fold the other half over when done.
Put a paper towel over the wax paper so that you don't mess up your iron but so heat transfers to melt the crayons. If your kids are old enough then with parent supervision they can iron out the pieces.
Then just cut out your shapes. We did hearts and used the same cookie cutters we had used for the bird feeders.

Heart Paper Link Chain
Not a lot of instruction I can give on this one other than for the first link you fold it in half staple  and then bring it. Take another strip that has been creased in half  and put it on the tale end of your first strip the first strip should look like a heart. Staple the creased area of the second heart to the tale ends of the first heart. Repeat the process. The big problem I found with this is that staples seem to be the only quick thing that does the job but it weighs down the chain so unless you plan to have it laying on a table or I have mine laying on it's side along the window then you might not want to do this type of chain. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Stove - Yes the floor is dirty it happened when we pulled the stove out!

 So those that know me know that while I may be a messy cook I have this thing about when things are clean I want them so clean you can eat off of them and little nicks, scratches or splashes really annoy me. So there my stove looked all pretty and clean other than a burner didn't work. I informed my husband and we went about the task of first figuring out how to open it! That was quite the task that took a lot of internet searches. We did eventually get it open but to tell this story you need a little bit of a back story.
When we bought this house I loved it. We had a big field in front of us with lots of trees to block the view of the apartment buildings and we had a big field in back of us all while living in the city! It made us feel like we were in the country. I'm very sad we no longer have that luxury and every year I think more and more about moving. What's the problem with this scene though? Fields! This means field mice! First we got the cat, Polly and she has done a fine job is a serious part of this family but then when we found out we had termites we bit the bullet and got that taken care of and got a pest control service. This was some years ago.
So here we are in 2013 and I spill water into my stove which shorts out the start control on one of the burners. We get the stove open and ewwww! There had been a mouse living in our stove back then! Thankfully no mouse in the stove now but the nest was there which is what got wet which affected the wiring which sparked a small fire which was all that smoke I saw coming out of my stove! We cleaned out and sanitized the stove and electrical taped the wiring and put it back together and POOF It works again! Just a little bit of time and as I came to realize is that this could have been a much worse situation had we never found that mouse bedding and could have potentially set the house on fire since power constantly runs through those particular lines. So in the end as gross and annoying as it is it is a good thing it was done.

Moving on. So I started a 'To Do' list for this weekend and there's not a whole lot on it though there is a lot I need to get done. I was trying not to over burden myself which is why I also put a couple of the 'little' things on there too so that while I cross things off I can feel like I've accomplished something. (I should have put writing a blog on there too!)

I got the dishes loaded up and now my sink is free so I should go roll those over and get them started. And I picked one of the optional ones which was to try my cleaning solution on a floor vent. I picked the bathroom vent the worst one of all especially since we had construction in there. 
Now believe it or not the first picture where it looks white is before I cleaned! I found drywall dust, flossers and even a pair of tweezers in there! 

The floor vent has been rusted and in bad shape since we moved here. I tried it in my cleaning solution but sadly it didn't do much but help remove dirt and trying to remove the rust I end up removing the paint so I stopped. It is much cleaner but it isn't much prettier. It looks like one of those items I'm going to have to make a petty cash fund for and replace later.

Well there's where I'm at after my second cup of coffee. I need to go grab another cup and figure out what I'm tackling next.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cleaning Stove Grates

Let me start off with the universe apparently hates me. During the course of me trying to clean the stove top and grates before work I got water down into my stove. See I was so happy with my mixture I wanted to use it on the stove top too but it was thin and it was cold by time I got to it so I added some more warm water and boy that was the wrong choice it got down into my gas stove, things started smoking and well... Now you have to light the front burner with a match because it turns on the gas but it turns on the ignition for the back burner! Oy! I hope this is one of those my projects my husband actually gets to without me having to nag for 6 months because I'm a little afraid to pry open the stove top myself.

Now that you know how this ended let's go about how it started at 6 this morning. After coffee I gave Katherine a spelling test because when she went to school she was going to have one and she aced it! I hope she did well. I got her off to school, woke up my husband, got my oldest breakfast and I went on a hunt. You see I tried Dawn Power Clean and loved it! But I don't really love the price with me hardly having enough in the grocery/household budget to get by the rest of the month and I really want to reach my goal of staying in budget so I tried to find a DIY for Power Clean. Guess what.... I can't find one! So after I got my daughter and hubby out the door for the day I set about experimenting. It turned out great for a soaking agent! I left my gas stove grates in there for 10 min and then with very light scrubbing with a scour pad they came clean! I'm used to having to use steal wool and my steam cleaner and work for hours so this was great!

I didn't take pictures of my grates unfortunately but I did get pictures of my stove top (my poor stove I still can't believe I broke it!). The pictures are after I already had wiped it down with 409.

I mean not the worst stove I'm sure anyone has seen but as I said I already wiped it down. 

Here is my stove (coincidentally the side that is broken too!) after. Front burner (poor broken burner) all put together.

I'm sure someone else has already found this combo but here it is!

I'll call it SUPER Scrubber 9000!

1/2 C Baking Soda
1 TBSP Dawn Ultra (I'd double it if using a non-concentrated dish soap)
Hot Water  - No exact measurement just need it to mix and dissolve the baking soda and soap

Add mixture to a sink of hot water (It might work in cold I didn't try I hate my hands getting cold). Add 1 Cup of White Vinegar. This will bubble if you stick it straight into the cleaning solution which is why I suggest after you put water in the sink... which is something you will forget when you're still in the morning haze and you create a volcano in the pitcher you mix in... so do yourself a favor and add it to the sink LOL.

Let sit at least 5 min. If it is stuck on hard check it at 10 min.

Use a scour pad and clean. This really took no elbow grease for me so I hope it doesn't for you.

Rinse and put away.

I'd love to hear if this works well for other people too!

I'll keep you all up to date on the stove status. *crosses fingers* Please let it be something simple and cheap to fix!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DIY Hair Band Holder

So as many may know I have two very beautiful girls (Brielle age 12 and Katherine age 8) and being that they are little girls it means that we have all sorts of hair ties, bows and head bands! It is a little over whelming but if you ask if they want to get rid of any they look at you like you've grown a second head. In my attempts to get better organized I went through all the hair ties and bows (mine included) and organized them into sandwich bags so that we weren't having to dig through drawers (now just through a bag if they are being picky). Hair bands though were the bane of my existence! They take up so much room and they always got in the way. I remembered seeing something in a random web search some months ago and it just stuck in my head so a couple weeks ago I did it. I know, I know and here I am JUST getting around to posting it.

Sorry the kids bathroom is REALLY pink so it throws the colors off for taking pictures.

It's pretty simple. I took some ribbon (that's actually red and sparkly) that I had actually picked up when I had made the collar for Katherine's cat costume. I took the widest head band the girls had and measured how big of a loop would be needed to easily slip it through but not have it too loose. I made some larger loops and then I made some smaller ones for the small bands and made extra loops for their collection to grow. (There is actually a loop where the push pin is I was going to hide where I connected it to the wall but never got that far. I know I'm horrible!)

It was pretty simple I just folded the ribbon and did a single line with my sewing machine where I had marked I needed for the loop (you could pin it but I was being lazy which probably added more time to this project). Repeated the process for each loop and then folded under the end for the final loop and to give it a finished look.

I know not the best directions in the world and I'm sure you'll find your own way. Your spouse may look at you a little funny when you have the finished product but it works wonderfully and now no more hair bands messing up my drawers!

Darn Snow Days!

Okay I remember being a kid and loving snow days and I'm sure my children love them too but as an adult I loathe them!
Yesterday school got called off due to the ice on the county roads. We may live in the city but the whole reason we bought this particular house was price and school district because our kids go to county schools which over all have better scores than city schools.
We were a little worried about it Tuesday night so after some discussion a friend of mine was going to find out from work if she just could work from home. Her work is very big on the family thing so they told her it was alright since she had a work computer where she could access what she needed so she stayed home with her daughter and took my two kids also. I think the concept here is that 3 kids is easier than 1 because they entertain each other.
I got into work about a half hour later than normal only to find the contracted engineer waiting for me. He looked like he wanted to give me a bit of grief over being late (not that I knew I had a meeting with him since no one told me) but he didn't. Work was long but I put in my time and got out and got the kiddos.
When I got home I popped dinner into the oven, started the dishes and got a load of laundry done and just sat down when my husband got home. It was an average night really and Peter and I stayed up watching old Tom Baker Doctor Who's again.
Let's rewind to Wednesday morning. The phone call from the school district came at 5:30 am at which point I changed the alarm from 6 to 7. Now fast forward to this morning. Peter wakes up, "Liz! You didn't turn the alarm on!" Well sure I did but it was still set for 7 am! To my surprise and joy the kids got up with their alarms so I had Katherine (who had her shoes on too thankfully) grab her coat and backpack and run out the door. She seemed a bit miffed that she had to eat breakfast at school but things happen. I'm yelling out the door, "You'll get a prize for being ready!" I mean what else could I say I was so happy not to have to rush her down to the school in the frozen car. Peter then brings up, "You know what we didn't do...." Well what we didn't do is have Katherine do her homework last night or practice her spelling words and tomorrow is the test! We are going to have to work extra special hard tonight and I expect there to be a lot of frustration and tears. I will have to make this a big prize for my forgetfulness. I also remembered I didn't sign off on her agenda book so she'll get a mark for that which completely falls onto me again.
Snow days really mess me up!
I need to remember that if there is a threat of a snow day to write myself a BIG note to work with the girls on their homework. That or I need to put a daily alarm in my phone. I'm not sure which. With any luck though this will be the last snow day of this school year.

In other hair pulling news Peter kept me up last night asking me what's been wrong lately and I answered as honestly as I could. I've been very tired recently! I don't feel depressed, I'm not especially mad at anyone. I've actually been pretty tolerant of people recently though I have noticed that my jealousy has spiked which I'm trying to put a lid on. We may never have nice cars (in fact the fabric is falling down on the ceiling of the van and my wheel wells are rusting out) and we have a small house and many of our friends have gotten big houses, nicer cars, big TV's, etc. It's hard not to feel a ting of jealousy. I've always grasped for more than what we had and pushed and pushed which is one reason Peter did go back to college and eventually I went back and why we are at this status of life instead of still living government subsidized housing and why now we can pay our bills on time instead of juggling between over due dates. The problem is I think I've pushed about as hard as I can and we are pretty much stuck at this level there is no more upward movement and it's not that this is a bad level to be at but my dream since being a little kid was to have a big house and a nice big backyard to garden and plant flowers in. Mind you when I was a little kid I also thought I needed to have 14 children so I could use all the names I really liked LOL. At some point we have to let go and until I do that I think this inner jealousy of those stationed higher in life will always fester but I recognize it's there and an undesirable part of me so at least that is something. -- I went onto a rant didn't I? In any case, yes something's wrong but really it is that I'm just tired.

I really didn't mean to let some of my deep darkness about myself show up on this post but I'm human and I try to be completely honest with people. I don't want someone sugar coating things to me with some fake smile and I don't want to do that to myself or anyone else. I've tried smiling while crying guess what I didn't stop crying I just made a very ugly face for the world to see.

Keep your fingers crossed for the spelling tonight. I better get off of here or I'll be late to work!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crockpot Tuesday

Well it's Tuesday meaning I have Bellydancing Class tonight. I try to make dinner simple and fast because I normally don't have time to eat before I go to class but I have to make sure the family is fed and I try to do this to take the pressure off my husband so things like me getting out once a week don't annoy him.

Tonight is BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a recipe I through together some time back and it's done well for me.

2lb Pork Loin (I've done a 1 lb too and I don't adjust things it just means you'll have more liquid in the end)
1/2 C Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 C BBQ Sauce (I normally use a Tradition Hunts)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 Dashes of ground clove
a few Dashes of dried red pepper
1 tsp minced garlic

Cook for 8 hrs on low. Remove lid then pull apart pork with a fork (I generally use a knife too just to make it go a bit quicker). Done. If you want (which I generally do but it is not needed) add additional premade BBQ sauce to taste.

Stay warm folks! We are having a Wintery Mix here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I broke Kroger!

Okay I didn't really 'break' Kroger but I had an eventful check out.
So I got down to Kroger to do my shopping and decided to go ahead and pick up groceries for the rest of the month as I'm trying to stay as close to my budget as I can but I had $115 for the rest of the month if I was to stick strictly to my grocery budget. What killed things was the fact that I restocked a few items last week over at Save-A-Lot that we would use for the next few months and on top of that Kroger had a deal for personal supplies so I restocked that on top of needing more dog food again. It all adds up even if several of these items I won't need to buy again for a couple months.
Well as to be expected I did go over budget.
Not the healthiest of selections I grant you but I never said this family ate the healthiest. A lot of our food is quick fix for when I get off of work. In total it cost me about $135 and all I should need for the rest of the month is milk and bread. So I went $20 over budget but seeing how I was buying 3 weeks worth of food I don't think I did horribly.
So here's where things get interesting. After I had everything scanned and I gave my coupons over to the attendant she started scanning them and half way through I see a Windows logo pop up and the main computer system went down! They had to shut down all 4 self-scans and had to manually input my coupons onto the register I was checking out on. I kept making jokes about how I was sorry I broke their system trying to make light of the situation even though I really did just want to get out of there. In the end I got to check out and realized after I got into the van I left all my catalina's there at the register. I told myself that they were probably already gone and just went home because Peter asked me out to lunch because they were working off site so he wasn't going to eat at work.
I got things pulled out, snapped this shot then got what I could put in the fridge but when I went to put things in the chest freezer outside I found out that I could not open it! With all the rain the seal had got wet and froze! I tried and I tried but it wouldn't budge and I was afraid of doing too much because I didn't want to hurt the seal on the freezer so back inside to tetris the frozen goods into the fridge freezer which was no easy task.
I was so stressed out that while I was eating at the restaurant with Peter and a family friend/his co-worker Matt, I ate ALL of my meal which was huge and I ended up coming straight home instead of doing any other running because my stomach hurt so bad. It took about 2 1/2 hrs napping (I kept waking up still with a stomachache) before I started feeling better and by that time I had to go get Katherine from After School Care to get home in time for Brielle.
Katherine got a scratch (a mark off) for losing her reading book (they later found it but because she had to search she still got marked off) so as a punishment I had her pull the things out of the dryer and put the stuff from the washer to the dryer, put dishes in the dishwasher and fold jeans. During this we had a little conversation and she found out Mommy did chores like this all the time when she was little and suddenly Katherine thought it was the neatest thing to be like Mommy (I'm not sure if that is good or bad since it was suppose to be a punishment). She was so happy about that when she went to go fold jeans, I told her she just had to do her own, she ended up folding my pants, Peter's and Brielle's.
Rest of the night was pretty uneventful. We had breakfast for dinner. Peter and I watched the Daily Show and Colbert. We watched a video a friend posted on Facebook of some pretty controversial stuff that I won't go into and then settled down to some old Doctor Who (Tom Baker!).
All in all not a horrible day though not as productive as I would have liked.
Tomorrow I go back to the work grind and I'm not looking forward to it to say the least. I've got my coffee prepped, dishes are washing and I'm going to pick up the laundry in the bathroom and then see about going and reading a chapter in the book I'm reading.

Hello Monday

Well it's once again Monday and I gave myself the fright of a life time thinking that the kids were out of school on Friday but I was thinking about when I had looked at February's calender.

Some things came to light this past Friday as I was going over the finances and that is that resupplying the house with personal supplies and pet supplies drained a lot of our grocery budget. Technically speaking I only have $115 to make it through the month and we've already gone through our dinning out budget. Could I go over budget and no be bouncing checks? Yes but if I let myself go over budget too much then what is the point to having a budget? So in attempts to streamline and not just impulse buy I went through our freezers and the cabinets to make up the menu for the rest of the month. I still have a huge grocery list to get through the month though because I tried very hard not to make meals too repetitive.

I'm currently trying to decide if I want to buy all my groceries (other than milk/bread/eggs) at once or if I want to continue on my weekly schedule. The good thing about buying everything at once is less chance of impulse buying the bad thing about it is still having to go into the store for those odds and ends so if they have a good sale going I might impulse buy or I will kick myself for not waiting to purchase something during this 'sale'.

In other news I've been able to save one more plant after my green house was destroyed. I'm glad to see some green from my herb but I walked out into the destroyed green house this past weekend and it was so depressing to see all my tomatoes and peppers just black as night.
I had to make the picture really large ;) Do you see the green! It's there I swear!

Peter and I picked up mini-blinds for several windows around the house though I told him not to worry about a few windows. I may change my mind later but for now I don't want to bother with blinds there. We got one set up but we have several windows left to go. I also picked up some really cheep seeds at Menards and the girls picked out a bunch of flower seeds so I guess I really have no choice but to make a new flower bed especially since I just ordered nearly 100 bulbs from Brielle's Orchestra Fund Raiser.

If I can get enough energy I hope to get over to Walmart or Lowes and see what I can do about finding some plastic and some outdoor adhesive tape so that I can patch my green house up for another season. We'll see. I also need to find some potting soil and it may be a little too early in the year for the dollar store to carry it which is where I normally get get it from but it'd be worth the look see because I have a lot of early spring plants that don't like the heat that I need to get started.

I caught up on a lot of my laundry last night though you couldn't tell it now as I've had to do 3 more loads since then. I went through and matched socks and Peter and I got rid of a bunch of the kids socks and our own socks because we'll wear them out or stretch them out and knowing we need new socks we go buy more socks or in the kids case they start to out grow them so we buy more but that's where it stops we then have the bad tendency not to get rid of the old socks! Which means we are buried in socks! So I took the initiative and I got rid of a lot of older socks that were in bad condition. I think a few of the smaller socks got into the girls clothes I need to have them try them on but I still got rid of a bunch which means less to clutter our lives!

I hope everyone has a good Monday. I know I'm going to try to.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Emotion Instability

I'm a bit off my rocker today. I'm emotional just so tired people posting, "Do this and you'll feel better." Since Thanksgiving I've been running and I've been trying to make everything work but I feel like I'm trying to change the direction of the ocean tide. I know that it will change on it's own and that if I wait things will change by themselves but I don't want to wait.
I'm tired of stressing over every little thing but just as things start to come together they always seem to fall apart. Maybe it's just this cold weather and being sick for the past 3 weeks.
The kids have been having fun and Peter even made them lunch so I didn't have to. I love seeing the joy in my children and I try to smile and I don't speak out loud about what is bothering me because I don't want to hurt that joy and wonder they have. My family is everything to me and I have and will put myself through all hell to try and make sure that they don't have to go through it.
I think I just need to find a corner to cry in and get past all this.
I think I just need to stop going to all these blogs where people are just so happy all the time. As selfish as it sounds sometimes I need to know that there are real people out there with real problems. It's not because I want other people to be hurt but because I want to know I'm not the only one (which I know I'm not but it's hard to realize that with the postings out there).
The world is not rainbows and unicorns. People are hurting, people are dying, people are at war and people are starving. My life is by no means the worst and Peter and I have had the good fortune to work our way up the rungs of the ladder coming from starving, working long hours and generally just having a bad time to it to now at least having our bills paid.
Life isn't easy and we do need to make the best of it but if we forget the hard times then we are doomed to repeat them.
I feel defeated and I'm sitting here on the PC where I don't need to be.
Tonight we are talking about a movie night with the kids and maybe having a friend over with his children. We will see.
For right now I'm just going to get ready for the day even though it's already noon and see if that will help with my mood some though I doubt it because I think these feelings are more deeply rooted then that but I have to try because if I stop trying then I've just given up and that does no one, including myself, any good.
I need a faith revival in myself, my life and my spirituality. I'm not sure how I will go about that but hopefully the path becomes clear soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year - End of Vacation

Okay how can going into a New Year be happy if well... I have to go back to work tomorrow. This doesn't quite equate. I think I could have finally gotten into the vacation swing now but it's all over so I will have to try to figure out this relax thing after work.... yeah.

Anyways the Holidays just flew right by didn't they. I hope enjoyed a little bit of time with their family and friends and I hope 2013 is better than 2012. (I also will keep my figures crossed for when you right checks to get the date right. LOL)

Well back onto my kick of taking vitamins going to try last years resolution again we'll see how long it lasts this time.

Berlinerkranser Cookies
Shortbread Cookies
We made lots of cookies. Berlinerkranser cookies and Shortbread cookies.  So I ended up sending 2 batches to Peter's work for everyone that's had to work over these holidays my husband included who had to go so far as go in on Christmas Day.
My cake up there is a from scratch Spiced Angel Food Cake which always goes over well and this is my second time making one which is how I end up with so many shortbread cookies because they use egg yolks and the angel food of course uses egg whites.

While I was out shopping on Christmas Eve attempting to get the last bits of things we needed. I saw a Gingerbread kit and decided that the girls love to make them so it was worth picking one up.

Christmas day we had a pretty simple dinner but I pulled out my good china like I do every year. I love those plates and wish I could use them more often but I know they'd get ruin so fast.

I did end up getting a little bit of relax time one evening goodness around midnight I said to heck with it I'm getting a bath and a book! Since it had been years since I've stolen that kind of time mind you remember I did say it was around/after midnight before I was able to do this. 

That's about it for right now. I didn't find ANY time for any craftiness with the kids which seriously has thrown me off and really makes it feel like less of a vacation. Maybe this spring when I try to fit in another vacation. I just pray that I can.