Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Today, my little guys are dressing up for school. We have Optimus Prime, Spiderman and a cute little Monkey (maybe daddy will wear a yellow hat and we can have Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat). Since I am helping in Spiderman's room, I have put my hair in pigtails, a flannel shirt and jeans, with cowboy hat in hand (it just looks silly on my head with the pigtails) to be either a farmer or a cowgirl, whichever the kids think. Good thing I kept some of the shirts from the line dancing and rodeo going days. They do come in handy every once in a while, even if it is just for a costume for the kids's parties.

Speaking of kids parties, I baked 120 sugar cookies yesterday. 26 ghosts and 26 pumpkins have no icing, as they are for Spidermans room as their snack. They get to decorate them. And then 20 pumpkins were iced to give in Optimus Prime's class as their Halloween "gift". And the rest were iced for the friends that come by our house trick or treating that we know that enjoy a cookie every now and again.

The pumpkins above are a little creation that I made. They have a cinnamon stick in them and have been baked with coffee in the oven to give them the fresh picked from the pumpkin patch. I actually made these last year and sold a few and this is the set that I have left. The little tag is stitched and says Fall Gatherings.

Have a great Halloween. Try not to Trick to many people but do try and get or give lots of Treats.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time flies

I have had a what doesn't seem like a busy week, but a busy week. Last night the boys and I made sugar cookies with the neighbor girls. They all had fun icing them. I did not get any pictures taken because I had to keep the little one from licking all of the icing off of the cookies.

I have started my Holiday Planner for the Christmas season. This is big for me, because the last couple of years I have not used one, but really should have. I am looking forward to a calm and peaceful holiday season this year. (That is as long as the families agree on where we are supposed to be be). I'm not sure if I will be hosting Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I would prefer Christmas Day, to keep the kids home and not out running around and away from their gifts. We would be able to attend mass in the morning and then have a mid afternoon meal. However, the family is disputing who is going to be with who. I will be hosting my side of the families Christmas on the 15th of December. So our holiday starts 10 days early. Which means I have 10 days less time to get things done. But I'm looking forward to it (I think).

I have been sewing, crochetting and stitching up a storm, with a few pics to upload. Busy with those gifts for the holiday season. My shopping list is starting to grow. I'm watching sales ads and deciding how to wisely spend my money. I even have my grocery shopping list somewhat figured out, so I can get a few things each week to make the shopping easier later. I do not like to be out with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with all the shoppers, makes me nervous.

We will be at my mom's house for Thanksgiving. Mom and I need to review the menu from last year and make our changes so she can have a shopping list as well. The sooner the better!!!

I must say that even though I have started my planning for the holiday season, I do not understand how stores can put Christmas decorations out prior to Halloween being over. I drove past Ace Hardware the other night and on top of their building was a lit Christmas tree, their doors had trim around it and Santa and Frosty were outside. The over commercialization of the holiday is ridiculous. And Thanksgiving just gets forgotten about. I really enjoy Thanksgiving I think even more than Christmas. So much more is expected of us during the Christmas season.

Okay, enough ranting...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finally Friday

Thank goodness. I survived the week. The basement is drying out. I extracted the water with the shopvac and then set fans all over the place (6 in total) and have the dehumidfier running. When I started it was at 75% it's down to 55% humidity. The windows are open and well, the smell is going away.

You may be asking, how or why did you do this? Our deductible on our homeowners insurance is not high, but it's not low. I received 2 estimates, the first one brought me to tears, this quote came from a nationally known fire & water damage company and he said that is would be $2600. I waited for the next guy to come, he was a small locally owned company. He came in and walked around (of course there are toys stacked and stuff everywhere) and he said it's really not that bad and based on what your deductible is you're going to be right there. He told me what I would need to do if I was going to try and do it myself. I listened attentively and followed his directions. He called me later in the day and gave me a quote of $1300. Wow, what a difference. However, I only had to buy 2 fans for $20, borrowed 2, owned 2 and have a dehumidifier and of course a commercial shopvac. The basement is almost completely dry and I'm going to have someone come in and steam and sanitize the carpet for about $150. Cost me much less than the professional companies and I didn't have to deal with workers in my house for 3-5 days.

Now what about mold and mildew. The first guy tested the walls and they were very dry with a few spots that were damp, fans blowing on them and the dehumidifier will dry them out pretty quickly. And our carpet is a glued down carpet, not having padding makes it much easier/quicker to dry and less chance of mold growing. I'm also going to be taking one extra step and washing the walls down with a bleach/water mix to make sure that I kill anything that might be there.

The smell has almost disappeared and I think that once the carpet is cleaned and sanitized it will be much better.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My mantra today

As I continue to work in my basement, I will be saying the following prayer:

"Father, may I quit complaining and start believing, loving, and working."

This will help me to work through the mess and not be mad because I am doing it alone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday (posted a day late)

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I'm posting a day late for Tackle It Tuesday, I was so happy that I had decided to take the time to get the basement picked up. I came downstairs thinking it would take me a couple of hours. Timer in hand I went to work. Happily I was finished within 30 minutes. But I noticed some water. I called my husband and told him the floor was wet in the basement and I did not know where the water was coming from. His response...Great.

I was going to call a basement person today, to have them check the basement for leaks. I asked my husband before he went upstairs, did you check the basement? And his response, no. I thought I should just check and make sure it was not any worse. I am so glad that I did, there was water standing in spots. A call to the Village to have the water turned off, found the problem. It was the water softener, regenerating water constantly into the sump pump. The sump pump was overwhelmed and could not keep up causing the water to back up outside and seep into the underground drainage tiles and right back into my basement. I am having the water softener removed today (we do not use it and it is broken) and a company coming out tomorrow to check for cracks in my foundation.

Okay, another flood. Remember the first flood, while I was gone on vacation and my husband moved the refrigerator and pierced the waterline and flooded the basement. I finally had the basement smelling good, looking decent (toys still a major problem and peanut butter on the couch) but I felt a bit better about it and not worried about the damage (what lies underneath the carpet, walls, etc). Not anymore, I'm back at square one. Stinky basement, wet floor, high humidity, and I'm sure there is mold growing. AHHHHHHHHH. I need a break!!!k

Monday, October 15, 2007

Autumn Goody Swap

I have gotten a lot of stuff done today. I am part of the Core Team for our MOMS group at church. And we have a new group of Moms going through the program and I am putting together our Celebration Dinner. Well, I am printing the invitations and decided that while they printed I would look over a few of the blogs I neglected to read over the weekend.

I visit 5 Minutes for Mom for some good ideas for me. And they have been hosting 5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere and it is in it's 5th week. The post lists contests, giveaways, books, ideas, free samples, community awareness, etc. If you have a few minutes, go and check it out.

I'm glad that I did today, I signed up for another swap. The sign-up deadline is October 18 and you should spend $8-$10 not including shipping and it must be mailed to arrive to your swap partner by October 31. It is an Autumn Goody Swap and it is being hosted by Are We There Yet? .

Here are the questions that you are supposed to answer, with my answers:

1. What do you like best about fall? The changing of the temperature, sleeping with the windows open and the covers pulled tight, a cup of hot apple cider, soups and stews and of course the changing of the colors of the leaves and the falling of the leaves.

2. Do you have any family traditions for this time of year? We decorate for Halloween, we go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a few pumpkins, the kids go trick or treating but we are home early enough so they can answer the door and give out treats to the kids as well. Pumpkin muffins, pancakes and bread for breakfast (although we could have these year round, there is something about having them in the fall.)

3. What if your favorite halloween candy? Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (hands down and I really like the pumpkins that are like the eggs at Easter).

4. What is the best halloween costume you have ever dressed up in? The only costumes I really remember was Strawberry Shortcake. And I'm sure there are no photos of that at least none that I have, maybe my mom, but surely not me. I am helping in the 3 year old preschool room for the halloween party and the other moms are wearing witches hats and I'm going to put my hair in pigtails and wear my cowboy hat. I'm sure they will take pictures of that.

If you'd like to participate in the swap, go check out Are We There Yet? but hurry the sign up ends tomorrow!!

I also visited Anina at twiddletails, she and her mom are having a granny square challenge to see which can complete the most. Who will win?????

And I visited Monica at the homespun heart, she has great ideas and recipes. Today she talked about cashing in a change jar for extra Christmas money and Coinstar. It is worth the read!!!

Well, I've run out of time. My printer has quit printing and that means that it's time to go upstairs and do some more work.

Have a great Day!!!

Support comes in all forms

I have had a tough few weeks. Not much posting, not much sewing, not much housework but then this is not a sob story so I'll get on with it. I have volunteered at church to help with the Project Gabriel commission. I volunteered my sewing, crochetting and knitting services as well as my emailing abilities. My dear friend Kristi, must have known, that I was going to be making this post today as she sent me a few links and asked me to post them on my blog.

The first one is for Sew Much Comfort. The following is from their website:
"Thank you for your interest in sewing adaptive clothing for our wounded service members. Sew Much Comfort is a nationally recognized non-profit organazation providing adaptive clothing, free of charge, to wounded service men and women at every major military hospital in the United States, Landstuhl (Germany) and at Combat Surgical Hospitals.It is our volunteer seamstress that make our mission possible. This project is dependent on the generosity and skills of countless Americans who wish to show their support to the wounded service members who have given so much of themselves in serving our country."
This is something that for me would take a lot of consideration. I think it sounds like a great program and I am definitely going to flag it for future consideration.
The second site that she sent me a link for is America Supports You . This is a way for us to send messages and ways for us to donate items to our troops. This is taken from their website:

"Thank you for joining millions of your fellow Americans in wanting to find ways to show support for our military. Whether you want to send a care package to a soldier, donate airline miles to help reunite returning military men and women with their families, support scholarship funds or send support to wounded service members, on this page you will find over 150 non-profit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families.If you know of a non-profit organization in your community focused on helping our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and National Guardsmen that is not currently listed, please contact America Supports You today to have them join the team."

Many of my friends and family know that I have been sending cookies overseas. We have a friend of the family that looked at a flier that I was considering passing around for a Cookie of the Month Club (long story short, I have to have a commercial grade kitchen and it cannot be out of my home to do baking) but she called me and wanted to place an order for a year of cookies to be sent to her son. I baked cookies every month for the last year and boxed them up and shipped them. She told me that he and his buddies would wait for the cookies to arrive and then sit around and enjoy every last one of them. He has had his cookies taken (stolen) because someone was afraid to ask for one. I always tried to send a few extra for him to share with others. His mom told me that the one thing that he and his buddies really enjoyed were treats from home. Cookies are hard to come by. I did call a local agency to dry and donate the extra cookies for them to send in their care packages but they did not accept that type of donation.

I would urge anyone that knows of a family member, friend, friend of a friend or family member that is in the service and deployed overseas, to bake something and send. They will truly enjoy not only the cookies but a package from "home". It does not cost that much. I used the flat rate box from the postal service that costs $8.95 to send and filled it full. Many times my box would weigh much more than the $8.95 but since it was a flat rate box it really paid off.

The holidays are coming, lets add a little joy to their hearts and see how much joy your heart is filled with!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

what a day - night

No pictures this morning, maybe this afternoon. I have a few projects I'm working on, one being getting the basement picked up (again). How 3 little boys can destroy a room in 5 minutes I will never understand or why it takes us 5 hours to clean it up (not really but it sure feels like it).
I took the 100 acres Personality Quiz and found out that I am ...

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

I guess many would agree with that classification but I'm really not sure.

Long day yesterday, not much in the way of crafting...the baby was at the Dr, he has a double ear infection, eye infection and since his older brother has strep throat, he probably does also, but they do not test in children under 2 because they never get accurate results. He's on an antibiotic and did not sleep last night. For the first time in his short little life (21-1/2 months) he slept with mom. He never slept with us, he slept in the bassinet next to us and then moved to his crib. But last night, he was crying and I didn't know what else to do, so I brought him to bed with me and we were up several times through the night. but I could at least check his temperature and give him a drink. He's doing better this morning, but is still very clingy.

I am in hopes to finish up a couple of loose ends on projects and then get some pics posted.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On a sewing note...

I was busy with sewing yesterday. I finished up 2 crayon bags for a dear friend. I will be mailing those out tomorrow. I also finished up a headband that I have been working on figuring out the best way to do it. I am wearing it today and just love it. I 'm going to be making a few more. I also cut out some Christmas presents and found some embroidery ornaments I was working on last year that I'm going to finish up and post to sell.

I'll hopefully have pictures to share tomorrow.

Tackle it Tuesday...

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Wow, here I was going to start a new thing for me called "Tackle it Tuesday" and thought I woudl do a search of Google and make sure I wasn't stealing anyones idea. Well, sure enough someone has started a Tackle it Tuesday and I decided to join in on it.
I did not take a picture of the before nor the after as I was not aware that I had to do this until I read the instructions. But I did want to share what I "tackled" today....
LAUNDRY - 7 loads to be exact (I did 2 loads yesterday). I hate laundry, I cannot stand doing laundry. I live in a house with 4 boys (3 small and 1 big) and the middle child changes clothes several times a day. The big boy (dad that is) has workout clothes, work clothes and evening clothes (which he normally wears at least 2 evenings). But the amount of laundry created in this house is sometimes overwhelming. So I decided to TACKLE the laundry, it all came downstairs and I have washed a load, put it in the dryer and washed another load. I had 3 loads that I was able to drape outside over my deck (sheets and blankets) and the others are being dried in the dryer.
Now, you may ask, how do you let it pile up? If I dont' keep up and do a load of laundry a day, I get backed up by 2 days and once it starts backing up, I put it off and then complain because I have so much laundry to do. Here is hoping that I can keep up with the laundry again. I'm babystepping my way into a better routine. I can check off of my TO DO list that the Laundry is done. I have even been putting it away as I do it!
I should give myself a star as well, my husband is leaving to go out of town tomorrow and I kindly packed his suitcase for hime. Why? you ask. That was that many less clothes that I had to put away.
I also started working in the boys' rooms and getting their stuff reorganized. This is going to be a multi day/week project. But babysteps will get me there.
If you would like to see more Tackle it Tuesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Mom.
Have a great day!!