Sunday, September 30, 2007

Relaxation Tip:

This comes from my Mothers Perpetual Calendar.

Relaxation Tip: Indulge yourself with anything decadent: eat chocolate bonbons, tape your favorite soap opera and watch it in bed after the kids are asleep, order that sexy lingerie from the catalog, splurge on a night out.

What do you do for yourself to relax? Or what helps you relax? For me, I'll be honest, I'm really not sure how to relax. Does that sound crazy? It was hard for me to relax with my friends on our vacation, why, because I was worried about the kids. I did let my guard down and did some things I normally wouldn't do for myself, but I wouldn't say I was completely relaxed.

This week, I'm going to add Relaxation to my list of things to do. Something for myself. I do like to read and since I do have some books to finish reading before the start of winter, that is what I'm going to do. Go to bed 30 minutes early and READ!!!

Here's to a great week!

Friday, September 28, 2007

What I did on Thursday evening...

I needed to keep myself busy during ER last night, so I crochetted the second of the two slippers. I had made the other one earlier in the day, while I was sitting with Trevor. I think they turned out quite cute and they fit just right, so I'm going to make me a few more pairs to wear around the house. And perhaps, a Christmas present or two.

And one more thing, I have a perpetual calendar for Mothers and this is what September 28 says:

"The first duty toward children is to make them happy. If you have not made them happy, you have wronged them; no other good they may get can make up for that." Charles Buxton

It opened my eyes to a new light.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pumpkins and Ghosts

I have a dear friend that wants to give gifts to the neighborhood kids as she was not planning on being home for Halloween. She saw a picture in the Current Catalog of some lollipop covers. She calls and leaves me a message about these cute little lollipop covers and do you think you cold make me some. So I looked at the picture and told her as long as she did not care that they were not exact and I did not have to do the witch I would try. This is what I came up with.
A pumpking, that not's too scary or hard to make. I made a pattern out of a piece of newspaper and then cut it out (my mom cut all of the others out that I will be making). And then for his face, I just cut various shapes from black. All pieces are made of felt. The main part of the pumpkin is stitched together and then everything else is glued on.
Same thing for the ghost, I made a pattern and then traced it onto the felt, cut them out and stitched them together and then created eyes and a mouth.

Each lollipop cover will hold a big Tootsie Pop. She thinks they are cute, she asked for a cat, but that will involve too much and I already have a lot on my plate right now, these are simple enough that I can work on them a little each day. She only needs/wants 40, so 20 of each kind.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

When I lived at home, I used to go to Hardee's every once in a while to get a Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit. If any of you have had them you know they are sinful. They melt in your mouth and oh so good. I have been searching for a recipe for them for quite some time for a recipe for them. I decided this morning to try this recipe. They did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I will try them again and perhaps tweak the recipe a bit. For me they were too tough, they were not the melt in your mouth and light tasting (although we all know they are not). The boys liked them and I will definitely try again.

On a sidenote, I will be shopping for a new oven this weekend. When we moved into the house we had to have the memory board replaced because the oven kept turning off. Now the oven does not even light. I turn it on and check it after a few minutes and then turn it off and try again, this morning I did that for over an hour. Very frustrating, especially for a baker!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall Into Reading List

I wasn't sure that I wanted to officially participate in a Fall Reading Program, however, after much consideration I decided that there are a few books that I would like to complete. I love to read books, I just don't seem to find the time for myself. I probably will not do any book reviews, but I will update you on how my list is coming along. My list will be short, too many and I may burn out and not complete the challenge.
  • A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett, I have had this book sitting on my nightstand partially read for almost 2 years. I probably need to start over.
  • 5 Languages of Love : How to express Heartfelt Commitment to your mate by Gary Chapman, I purchased this book on a recommendation of a friend and it has sat in my book bag waiting for me to open it up and read it. It even went on vacation with me and I did not crack it open.
  • A Mother's Rule of Life: How to bring order to your home and peace to your soul by Holly Pierlot, again this is one that I have started, actually started on the plane on vacation, but have not finished.
  • The Innocent Man : Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham, another book started and not finished. And I love all of his books.
  • Sisters by Danielle Steele, a birthday gift (in May) and I have not read.

That is more than enough for me to try and get off of my plate. But I would like to finish these, so perhaps some books will be in my stocking for Christmas.

If you would like to join me and others participating in the Fall Into Reading 2007, please visit Callapidder Days and join the hundreds of others that are participating. I'm off to go and read for a bit before bed!!

Preparing for the Holiday Rush

The reason that I love Autumn so much is because it means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Sure, I like Halloween and my boys just love to go Trick or Treating but I get to go "home" for Thanksgiving. My family and I leave on Wednesday evening and to go to my mom's house and then my mom and I get up on Thanksgiving morning and prepare the meal. I usually bring from home a Pecan Pie and whatever other dessert my family desires. I get to see almost all of my family on both my mom's side and my dad's side at 2 separate events.

In order to prepare for the Holiday Rush that is going to be taking place, I have started to prepare. I'm getting my house in order, making gift lists, lists of gifts to be made, menus for the meals that will be held at my house, a menu for Thanksgiving at my mom's house, shopping lists. cleaning lists, baking lists, etc. I would like for the Holiday season to be more enjoyable and not such a stressful time. I have enough stress in my life, let's let one thing be a bit easier.

If you would like to join me on my Holiday Preparation, here are a few some great lists:

I did use the Flylady Holiday Control Journal a few years ago and liked it but was not crazy about it. I have not used the planners from the other 2 sites, though I am going to decide on which one, or which pieces from each of the 3 I will use to create the best planner for me. Here is a snapshot of my little guy tangled in the Christmas lights, while I was decorating the little tree.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Apple Butter

I really love Autumn / Fall, whichever you prefer to call it. Although, the weather here has not been very Autumn like, it was 90 yesterday. A cold front is moving through today and should drop the temperatures into the 70's. I planted my new mums this morning and spent some time weeding and getting the landscaping beds in order for the fall. I'm going to take some photos of one of my beds that is in the side yard, I have no idea what to do with it. The bed looks really nice in the summer months, but by the time autumn gets here, it looks like an eyesore and when spring arrives, I just cringe. I have plans to plant some bulbs for the spring, tulips, daffodils, crocus, and whatever else I see that would look nice, but I may need guidance for fall plantings.

Enough about my landscaping beds, I had such big plans for them this year and did not get anything accomplished. The real reason for my post, is about the apple butter I made yesterday. It is quite the process from start to finish, but the reward was so great! I cut up 4 gallons of apples on Sunday and set them up with sugar to rest overnight. Then on Monday morning I emptied their containers into a large stockpot and let them cook for 3 hours without removing the lid. I then put them into the food grinder of my Kitchenaid and returned them back to the pot to boil. While they returned to a boil, I prepared my jars and seals. And the following pictures are the end result.

12 pints and 8 half pint jars
The half pint jars will be used in baskets as gifts at Christmas.
The pint jars will be used in the house or as gifts if needed.
I used my nonnies recipe, which required a few phone calls to my mom for some guidance, as the recipe was just a guideline and I had to pick her brain to recall any other tidbits of information that I may have needed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Completed on Sunday

I knew that if I told myself I had to finish some unfinished projects they would get completed. Yesterday afternoon, while football was on, I finished 3 totes that are sold. The first one is of some birds and has flowers and is very spring/summery. The second one is of birds and pine trees and is more wintery. I was asked to use this fabric to make these totes. I've had several requests for these.

Then after we had dinner and the boys had had their bath and the Bears / Cowboys game was on, I finished up these cute little crayon bags. They will hold a coloring book (or two or whatever else wants to be carried) and on the outside there are 20 crayon slots. The bag measures 10x10-1/2 inches. I have had several requests for these as well. The pictures shown are the extras that I had and am going to post for sale.

Today, I'm not sure which projects I'm going to finish, but I will have more pictures of completed projects, hopefully tomorrow!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The end of a busy 2 weeks

Today marks the end of a very busy 2 weeks. The boys finished their 2nd full week of school and come home and just amaze me. We celebrated Michael's 5th birthday on Wednesday at Chuck E. Cheese's and then had a party for him on Saturday. He had so much fun, was very excited about his pizza and cakes that I made (I hope someone remembered to take pictures for me) and then of course, ripped through his presents like they were going to disappear. Today the house is covered in army men, but that is what he wanted.

This week, is a back to basics week, my house went through a big clean on Saturday morning. My husband left with Michael and Trevor and my mom took Ethan shopping and I was home alone to listen to Kenny Chesney's new CD and get some much needed housework done. I feel that I can now get some more simple routines in place and get much more accomplished. I have printed a list out to put on my refrigerator (thanks Anina for the chore list to get me started). My week of menus is planned and my shopping is done.

I have several little projects that need to be completed before I start any new ones. I will get those done this week and hopefully pictures to go along with the work being done.

One other thing that I am doing this week is making Apple Butter. My mom gave me my nonnies recipe and even picked some apples up at the orchard for me. I have cut up 4 gallons of apples and have them sitting so that I can boil them down tomorrow. I'm looking forward to this. My freezer has become quite stocked with tomatoes. Thus far this year I have "put up" 708 ounces of crushed tomatoes. I also have corn and zucchini in the freezer from the summer harvest. I am going to cut up some more apples and put in the freezer for pies and crumbles this winter. I have made a big batch of refrigerator pickles. I think I need to invest in a larger deep freezer though. I have a small chest freezer and well, it is almost full. I have also made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and am looking at a few more kinds of jam that I may be making with the fall harvest.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Napkins and Toilet Paper

What a day I had yesterday...busy day. I have been busy this week trying to get my chaotic house back into a simple routine that worked for me before. I have been an off again, on again flybaby. I found Flylady in 2003 from a magazine article (I'm not sure which magazine). She talked about her going on a "Cruise through the holidays". I thought, this lady is crazy. But I went to her website, followed her plan and had the most organized planning I had ever had. I was hooked. I got my house in order and continued flying until my 3rd son was born and we moved back to our home state in 2006. That's when everything fell apart. I had all three boys home with me, one nursing, a house to unpack, husband went straight to work and well I fell apart. My house became a place that I did not cherish and did not want to be in. I decided it was time to go back to basics and establish a simple routine that I could build on. I went back to Flylady and have started over with the Beginner Steps and will work my way through until I build my routines up again.

A few weeks ago, while I was gone on my trip, our basement flooded due to a pierced waterline on the refrigerator. I came home to a mess. I did not want to deal with it, so I waited (I made sure that the dehumidifier was emptied and running do help absorb the moisture in the air). I finally decided that I needed to work down there. I started yesterday and spent several hours moving toys and vacuuming and just overall cleaning and organizing toys.

The following is why I never get much accomplished and why I feel like my house is chaotic...
Upon walking out of my basement I came to find that my house had been toilet papered by my 3 year old. 5 rolls in total. Now you ask, where were you and why didn't you hear him running aorund. I was in the basement, in the corner, in the middle of Little People, with the TV on cartoons and the computer on with Caillou. He had been lying on the couch watching cartoons. almost asleep, when it got quiet I thought he had gone to sleep. So this is what it looked like...

View into the family room from the kitchen
Standing outside the family room

In the family room, looking into the kitchen
In the bathroom and finally the pile after it was all cleaned up.

I put him in a timeout because I gave him the option of cleaning up the mess or sitting in a time out and he said he wasn't cleaning it up so he sat in a time out. I just didn't realize that Halloween had come early and that monsters could toilet paper the inside of your house.

Now. for the napkins part of the title. I am participating in a Napkin Swap at Rhonda Jean's blog . What a wonderful blog she has, she has several homekeeping ideas, ideas on being a green household and how to make a lot of your own goods. She is hosting this swap so that we can quit using disposable items. And this swap is for napkins, we were to swap a minimum of 4 cotton napkins, preferably homemade but they could be purchased. The napkins were to be made of 100% cotton and measure 10 inches. My napkins are complete and I will wait to post the pictures until Alexia has received them. I am going to mail them tomorrow, when I'm out running errands.

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The big reveal...

I recently participated in the Sister's Shoebox Swap hosted by Monica and Carrie . The theme for the swap was "Refresh". defines refresh as:

1. to provide new vigor and energy by rest, food, etc. (often used reflexively). stimulate (the memory). make fresh again; reinvigorate or cheer (a person, the mind, spirits, etc.). freshen in appearance, color, etc., as by a restorative.
5.Computers. display (an image) repeatedly, as on a CRT, in order to prevent fading. read and write (the contents of dynamic storage) at intervals in order to avoid loss of data. –verb (used without object) take refreshment, esp. food or drink. become fresh or vigorous again; revive.

What a wonderful time I had picking out items to put into Barbara's box. Here are the photos of what I put in her box.

Candles from Partylite. This was a sample box of their relaxation candles. I was formerly a consultant and had candles leftover and thought they would make a nice addition. For our refresh theme.
Barbara likes the colors chocolate and pink. I crocheted her a dishcloth in pink and gave her a bar of Chocolate Fantasy Soap. I visit our farmer's market regularly and Moon and Stars Soaps has a wonderful display of handmade soaps. I have spoke with her on several occasions regarding different types of soaps to use for different things. She helped me to choose the soap for Barbara's.
A stress relief kit. Need I say more. I think that all of us endure some type of stress everyday in our busy lives and we can all use a bit of stress relief. There is soap, lotion, a spray and a gel mask in the bag.
And finally, I must say this was my favorite part of the box. I vacationed with friends in Palm Beach Shores, FL in August. We gathered shells on a daily basis, I came home with all sorts of shells. My luggage was too heavy, and I even had some in a carry on bag. But they are beautiful and my boys just love them. Back to the picture frame...I picked up the frame at Michael's and then rubbed some craft glue all over the frame and then sprinkled sand on the glue. The sand came from the beach we walked on every day. Then I glued an assortment of shells onto the frame. And to make sure that the shells and sand stayed in place, I sprayed the picture from with clear glaze. I added a picture I took of a sailboat sailing into the sunset. I also enclosed in the box a pair of pink daisy slippers and a bottle of Cherry Blossom Anti-Bacterial spray.

Now for what I received...

I just love all that was enclosed in my box. There is a star shaped pincushion, slippers in purple shades, a heating/cooling pad, a cross stitch picture and all the necessary supplies to make it, some tea bags with I believe a tube of honey and the book "The Purpose Driven Life" which is on my to read list. The cross stitch picture is of a chair and it reads "Oh! For a book and a cozy nook! And oh! For a quiet hour." - Anonymous.

Thank you to Monica and Carrie for hosting the swap and thank you to Barbara for all of my goodies. If you would like to see what others received, check out Carries blog for Mr. Linky.

That's all I have for now, but I am working on a halloween treat cover that I will be posting about later or perhaps tomorrow. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Name Game

A bit of fun for today! I saw this over at the sew create it and went to see Happy Zombie's list. There lists were so much fun that I just had to play along. If you'd like to play along as well, leave me a comment so I can see your list.

The Name Game
1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),Rocky Ford
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie), Chocolate Peanut Butter Snowballs
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),W-Sno
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),Green Dog
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),Lee Springfield
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),Sno-We
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),The Chocolate Strawberry Lemonade
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),James Edward
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),Pink Peanut Butter Cup
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),Ann Lee
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),Merriman Metropolis
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).Autumn Lily
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)Strawberry Tankie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),Peach Cinnamon Toast Maple
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),The Sewing Snow Tour

Have fun! I just love some of the names.

Monday, September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007

Today was spent preserving tomatoes. My grandpa planted 12 tomato plants and I have 2 tomato plants. His tomato plants have exploded and they were throwing tomatoes away. My mom and I went to his house and I came home with 6 box bottoms full (I have been calling them flats). I had red ones and yellow ones. I have not done any canning so I was afraid to attempt it, but I did freeze them. The tomatoes that I brought home made me 8 bags of crushed yellow tomatoes and 13 bags of crushed red tomatoes. Each bag has 28oz in it, which is normally the size can that I purchase. My mom is planning a visit in 2 weeks and is going to bring me some more, whatever he has left, and then he's going to cut the plants down. The official end of summer. I am in hopes that I will be able to make some Tomato Jam that sounded interesting in a post that I read here. I found an actual recipe for Tomato Jam here. I'll post in a few weeks on how my jam turns out.

On a side note, I did make for the first time Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. My recipe came from an Amish cookbook that a dear friend gave to me. The jam tastes wonderful and made 4-1/2 pints. The boys had some on their toast this morning and said it was good.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A new bag

I decided that I needed to come up with a new bag. My big bags have been so popular that I thought it was time to create a small bag. This is what I came up with...

It measures 12"x10" (including handles) and has a cute button to hold it closed. This particular one does not have amy pockets, but I am going to make one with pockets and see how it turns out. Please let me know what you think.

This 'n that

Let's start with a quick recipe. I needed something quick to make for dinner. so I took 2 cans of vegetable soup (that had been in the pantry) and added 4 cans of water along with 2 beef bouillion cubes and brought to a boil. I then added a bag of frozen turkey meatballs and brought to a boil again, before finally adding a pound of capellini noodles. And cooked until the noodles were al dente (7-8 minutes). The kids liked it and I needed to use the cans of soup up.

My family has lived in our home for the last 17 months, we moved into our home after my husband was relocated with his job. At the time, we loved the house, the colors on the walls seemed to match our color scheme in all of our rooms. The perfect house, well, now that we have lived here, we've decided that some of the colors must go. It's also time to make the house our home. My husband did not like the handpainted picket fence that was on the foyer walls. I, however, did but did not feel like tackling trying to repair the knicks and dings in the paint on the fence. So, we decided to paint. We knew that we would have to use a primer to cover the dark colors, we did not expect to spend as much time as we have spent in the foyer. In order to make the wall look like an old weathered fence, they used a crackling paint, when my husband painted over it and the paint dried, you guessed it, it re-crackled the paint. I ended up using a wallpaper remover to remove the paint and scraped the walls, only to find at least 4 other paint colors (the house is only 8 years old). The following picture is of daddy and Trevor painting in the foyer.
We had a visit from my cousin and her 3 kids. What a great time the kids had playing and we had visiting. We were going to go to IKEA, however, due to uncooperating kids (mine), she decided that it may be better for her to get lunch and head back to her families home. This is a photo of Ethan and Zettie. He was being ever so gentle with her.
That's all I have for now. I do have another picture I'm going to post in a bit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Project list..

Have you ever felt as though you never get anything accomplished. Today, for example, I have what feels like a million things to get done and have not done anything. My foyer looks like a war zone, my living room has a ladder and a door in it, my family room is trashed with the kids blankets, my kitchen needs to be cleaned up as the baby decided to empty the drawers, my bathrooms need to be cleaned and that because I live in a house full of boys and I only use one bathroom, my basement needs to be swept and freshened and well my list could go on and on.

So for today, I am going to try and tackle a few things, that I will take in babysteps, 15 minutes at a time:

  • Clean up kitchen
  • Patch holes in foyer walls (lots of small holes and dents that we found when we decided to paint)
  • Vacuum the basement
  • Clean the bathrooms (all 3)
  • Fix dinner, what I'm not sure, so figure out what is for dinner
  • Sew...just for some relaxation
  • Read...need to read my chapter
  • Crochet...working on christmas projects

Have a wonderful day!

The next 40 days...

I have decided to read "The Purpose Driven Life" . I have had this book on my to read list for about 6 months. My 2 older boys are beginning preschool tomorrow and although I have some plans for myself during that time, I would also like to take time to read this book. You are to read a chapter a day and my understanding is that it takes 40 days. I have read the reviews and am a bit concerned that I may not like the book or it's overtones. That being said, I am going to read it because I am in hopes that it will help me in my spirtual journey.