Friday, February 19, 2010

My Sweet Girls!

A Little Spring Cleaning...

Every few months I move the furniture out of each room and get into all the corners. Wood floors are awesome with pets and kids, but they also collect so many dust bunnies and dust! A room just feel better after a good cleaning!
Look at what was under the couch and on the base boards. I dont know if you can see the dust,
 but it was thick!
The dining room where I moved all the furniture when I was cleaning.
MUCH better!

Seasonal Hand Towels

I LOVE seasonal kitchen hand towels. I remember growing up looking for a gift for my teacher. I always wanted to give holiday hand towels and my mom said "No, nobody really wants those." LOL! Anyway, I love them and want at least 4 for every month of the year! I already have Novemeber and December towels. And I just purchased some clearance towels today at Khols. Check them out...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weight Watchers

I am on the road to losing 20 lbs. I believe that with weight loss “slow and steady wins the race”. I have used Weight Watchers Online as a tool in the past and successfully lost 20 lbs after I had Mada. I have maintained that weight and am and now working toward my next goal.

I dislike diets. In fact I have really never been on one. That is why I like the Weight Watchers Point System. It is more a way of living…mostly it is about making decisions regarding portion control, choosing filling foods instead of empty foods. It makes you accountable to yourself and more aware of everything you put in your mouth. It helps you make better choices because the goal is to stay within your daily points.

For Example-
My Daly Points Total = 24
My Weekly Point Allowance = 35

The Weekly Point Allowance can be used anytime and starts over every week. It provides an extra 5 points per day or a splurge sometime during the week. I usually use the Weekly Allowance by the day. So here is how I try to break it down.

Breakfast: 5 Points (Example- 1 Cup Cereal, 1 Slice Toast, ½ Cup Milk)
Snack: 2 Points (Banana-1 Point)
Lunch: 10 Points (Turkey Sandwich, Baked Chips- I think 8 Points)
Snack: 2 Points (Weight Watchers Ice Cream Bar- and yes they are good)
Dinner: 10 Points (I find that a single portion of most things I make end up being about 10 points)

So there is an overview of how the program works. I will try to post updates as I go along.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Crazy Cheap!

We went 'out-n-about' today since we all had the day off and wandered into Old Navy. I tried on a few things and ended up liking this light and airy spring shirt that was on clearance for $5.47. It was originally about $26.00 so I thought it was a good deal. After checking out, the cashier told me the total was $1.03. When I questioned the amount she said that any clearance item that ended in a 7 was only .97 cents! Can you believe that?!? Praise God for little blessings!


Play-dough People
Writing Sample
Amelia has really been practicing her letters and is writing "words" or strings of letters on her own just for fun. She also writes her name on all of her worksheets and is doing very well.

Banana Bread

This afternoon, on this cold President's Day, Amelia and I baked our favorite Banana Bread! It was sooo yummy. But I always like it better the next day when all the flavors have merged and cooled. I thought I would share the Recipe.

Banana Bread
1 Cup Sugar
2 Medium mashed bananas
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) of Butter (Softened)
1/4 Cup Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. (My oven runs hot so I set mine for 325)
Grease bottom of loaf pan.
In a large bowl, blend first 6 ingredients. Beat for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in remaining ingredients until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour (up to 15 extra minutes or until knife comes out clean).

NRA Match

This weekend Stan and I took a little day trip to Salina, KS for an NRA rifle match. We had a great time together. I spent a beautiful 3 hours lounging with my feet up, reading a book, and occasionally looking through the scope to check out Stan's shots on the tiny targets. Each target was about a half dollar size with 12 targets on each paper.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Backyard Homestead

Stan and I have been interested in the concept of Homesteading for many years...long before we had kids we bought the book entitled "Storey's Basic Country Skills" and enjoyed reading through ideas relating to living a simple more self-reliant lifestyle. Now anyone who knows me knows that all things organic and whole wheat and healthy do not necessarily sit well with me. LOL! And anyone who knows Stan knows he loves electronics. We have a big TV and several game boxes with our furniture arranged around it in the living room. My pantry is full of items with "high-fructose corn syrup" printed on the label. We eat at fast food resturaunts and we don't recycle. Now don't we sound like people who would want to raise chickens in the backyard?!? Well, that is my point. We all have a starting place and each day when we are led by the Lord, He takes us in the direction He want us to go.
Recently, however, the Lord has been making some things clear to me. Funny how in ourselves all we do is make things complicated and as soon as He steps in things just come together? I love it. I love the Lord. He is so awesome. Anyway, a few things that are the desires of my heart for the future are the following:
  1. Stan and I want to plant a vegetable garden in the spring. I have always been intimidated by gardening until I came across a book entitled "Square Foot Gardening".  Its basic premise is planting your garden in a 4x4 raised bed instead of traditional rows in the ground. This book really lays it out for the beginner and gives you confidence that you can do it. Stan is on board and is also reading the book. So we will see how it goes. We plan to start with 2-3 raised beds.
  2. Chickens! I am not a fan of birds-yet. I do like to eat chicken. And I do use eggs often. So where does that lead me? I want a few Hens in a backyard coop for a fresh egg supply. From what I have read, Chickens are easier to care for than a cat. Do a search on it and a lot of great information comes up. It is more popular than you might think. Fresh eggs everyday! That is amazing. You mean I really don't have to get them at the store? And they are more nutritious than anything you could buy? Not to mention all the wonderful learning experiences for the kids. If you handle them from birth they will be used to you and easy to handle. Look at these guys...
    and this is a fine looking chicken...

There is more I want to write about like starting a compost bin, baking bread, Sewing (HAHAHA)and so many other little projects, but for now I am content in dreaming of veggies in the garden and sending the girls out to collect fresh eggs from the hens.
Sweet Dreams!

Help In the Kitchen

Mada wandered into the kitchen when I was putting away groceries and asked if she could help with the grapes. After washing up she began picking the grapes and placing them into the colander. She was very happy with the job she had done. What a great job for little ones to do when learning their way around the Kitchen! It also strengthens those fine motor skills.

What's For Dinner?

Delicious BLT's!!
I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Frozen Cookie Dough

Okay. I am going to put this out there. I am really not sure if I will be following through with this. But this is my plan. I want to begin to move away from some pre-packaged foods. In fact I have a lot to write about regarding my plans both Stan and I have for our property. I will write more on this later though. For now...back to cookie dough. So in my goal to move a little further away from pre-packaged foods I decided to start with something I am comfortable with-Cookies! I love to bake and I am especially good at drop cookies such as oatmeal and Chocolate chip. So what I plan on doing is freezing my cookie dough into balls and  baking a few at a time whenever we want a fresh cookie for a snack. I have a few packages of cookies from the store still in the pantry, but as soon as they are gone I will not be buying more. DUN DUN DUN... I will keep you posted on how that goes. So Here are the pictures of my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. I baked 2 dozen and froze 2 1/2 dozen in balls for later.
I baked the frozen dough and they were absolutely delicious! Just like I had just mixed the dough!

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Winter Snow

Winter is still very present this February! Now, this snow was wet and heavy. Although surprisingly it was not hard to shovel clean. Stan had already left for work by 5:00 AM so that left me to shovel the drive before the parents arrived for childcare. By 7:45 AM I had the front of the drive and the sidewalk finished. What is it about shoveling pavement clean from snow and mowing the lawn that I find so satisfying? Thankfully, I only had one child show up today. Yippee! Another Snow Day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday!

I had a wonderful 30th Birthday yesterday. The day began as Stan surprised me at 5:15 AM with a kiss and the announcement that he took the day off work. He went and got me breakfast and had the perfect card and balloon for me.
I recieved so many cards, emails, calls, and facebook Birthday wishes from friends and family all over the country. Thank you everyone for making my birthday special.
Later we went to the Olive Garden for dinner and finished off with cake made by my mother-in-law.
"My Next 30 Years will be the Best Years of my Life"
Tim McGraw

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mama's Helper

Amelia is like me in so many ways. But especially when it comes to cleaning and organizing. Both my girls are pretty independent (even at 4 and 2). So when I walked by the bathroom and saw Amelia re-organizing the medicine cabinet I can't say I was surprised. LOL! She never mentioned a word to me. She just thought it needed a little touching up so she got right to work.
She loves to help me fold wash cloths and she has now moved onto things like folding her pants and putting her and Mada's shirts on hangers. She then puts all of their clothes away in her room. I am so proud of her!

Let It Snow...

The girls couldn't wait to get out into the snow. When Aunt Celia came over and saw our lawn "untouched" she made it a point to take the kids out to play!
But first we headed out to eat some breakfast...
And then the fun began!