Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ahh quiet time

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So a couple of weeks ago we started having 1 hour of quiet time after church. We have lunch then the boys have to go to their rooms for 1 hr. Matthew naps and the other 3 get to nap, read etc. The only rule is QUIET! Robin said today, "I'm glad you started this quiet time thing." It is really nice to have a bit to nap or catch our breath ourselves. More often than not if the boys are in need of a nap they fall asleep. Then the rest of our Sunday is much better. Plus, mom and dad feel refreshed too. I try to do computer projects or sometimes nap myself. The only caveat to napping for me is then my body thinks that I will be up all night as this is my routine when I have to work. I got to take a nap yesterday and I must say it was LOVELY! Robin is so awesome to let me rest and to manage all the boys (and often neighbor boys too). It's no small feat to keep a house of boys quiet. Boy, do I love that man!!!

This week I am planning on getting a crashing start to my Christmas projects. They have been on hold that last little while as I finished up other projects like the Christmas tree for the hospital which I think turned out great. What do you think?
I still have several projects to do for family and the boys. I am making suits of armour for the boys but and still needing juice lids. Send them my way if you have some. I am also going to make blankets for them. They could use some bedspreads so I am hoping to have enough time but I need to get a move on or it won't happen. I have to let go of my moms project. I have a less time consuming project and hopefully will get the pedigree chart done for her next year.

Next, Saturday we are going to take the boys to see the lights on Temple Square. I need to look for other fun, inexpensive, things to do. We talked about staying over night but that will depend on what kind of hotel deal I can find. They have never seen the lights and it has been a while since we were down there so I thought it would be a good time. Maybe we can attend a meeting on Temple Square Sunday morning. Anyone have suggestions of "don't miss" kind of activities?

Last night we went to the Forgotten Carols. Josh got to go for the first time. He loved it! He said he almost fell asleep a couple of times because of it being dark. He was right on the aisle so he had a great view. I have been to 18 of 19 years and never tire of this great story. It is truely the kick of to Christmas for me. Last night was the first time I have seen empty seats. I thought it spoke volumes of the tough times.

Robin still hasn't found a job. He remains hopefull but has moments of discouragement. Last week I had to arrange a "playdate" for him. He went to lunch with a friend. They had a great time and both commented on how nice it was to get out. Jason works from home so he needed an out too. We had been talking about how good women are at social networking. Men tend to have that social network at work but that is sometimes thrown ary. Robin felt better and was able to deal with the boys again. He has commented several times "I don't know how you do this everyday! I'm so tired of dishes, and wiping. I just get things cleaned up and have to do it again...." More than anything I think that we will both learn empathy for each others situations. He wants to work and I want to be home. I don't think he will ever complain about needing to help clean up when he gets home and I will be slow to complain about staying home......It has been a lesson in perspective.

Thanksgiving was great. We went to my sisters house after I had slept a bit. I went to work later. Friday morning I stopped at a couple of stores before going home. Then I crashed for 2 hours before we took the boys out. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was beat (and a bit cranky). The boys were good and got to find gifts for the name they drew. It was great. Leftovers meant no cooking too. YEAH!
I made 4 loaves of bread prior to Thanksgiving. I must say I am getting pretty good at bread making. The boys devour it and already we are out. I will be making more. We probably go through 5 or 6 loaves a week because of sandwiches. We had egg salad sandwiches for lunch today thus using the last loaf. But when I can make it then the cost is pennies! Now, if I could just get my wheat grinder, then the cost would be unbeatable!

Our Christmas decorations are almost completed. I am working on our mantel but it is still a work in progress. What do you think? Any suggestions. I love to get great ideas for home decor.
This is the best time of the year!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving preparation

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Being a nurse has it's downside as much as it's perks. Thanksgiving is my holiday to work this year. Since I work nights I will be working the night before and the night of Thanksgiving. This presents some challenges to getting the dinner with family in but the benefit of working nights is that it is still doable. Tuesday I got the baking done before coming to work. I made 4 loaves of bread (a Bosch is on my Christmas list); rolls, pies, and baked beans. Tonight I wished I had made pumpkin cookies too but alas T-I-M-E is a 4-letter word. I had wanted to make more pies but my pie dishes have dwindled. I need to mark them so that I get them back after family dinners.....

Mom seemed disappointed that we would not be on time to dinner. I tried to explain to my mom that dinner at noon would not work for me. She seemed surprised when after getting off I couldn't go home to sleep for a couple of hours then be over to meet with the family for dinner on time. After explaining the limits of 4 or less hours sleep, eating Thanksgiving dinner, then returning to work all night she seemed to understand my statement "we'll get there as soon as we can". It is hard to understand daytime sleeping unless you have worked nights. We are definantly NOT nocturnal creatures.

Last week I was informed that I needed 16 hrs of continueing education credits to qualify for a professional bonus at work. The good news was I had done all the volunteer stuff. Bad news was I had 3 days to complete 16 hrs of education. UGH!! I am so glad I finished school before having children. I wanted so badly to do something- anything but study. I am proud to say however that I got it done! Horray! I spent Monday getting signatures, finishing tests, and turning in all the neccessary paperwork. Now we get to look forward to an unplanned bonus just before Christmas. How cool is that?!!!

I also finished the tree and wreath for the hospital charity auction. It will be held Dec 11 I believe. I am excited about how they turned out. I will try to post pictures soon. Now, I can focus on regaining control of my house. I love to decorate at Christmas but my decorations are suffering this year. I plan to do a bit of shopping on Friday then hit the housecleaning- which is mostly organizing- hard. Then Saturday I can finish putting all my decor up. I have some great ideas to try this year. Hopefully, I can stop at the craft store on Friday too. Anyone know of great deals??? I will be scouring tomarrows paper for home decor ideas right along with the toys!.

Robin has only requested movies for Christmas. Without cable or and tv for that matter, he is watching lots of DVD's. He has rewatched most everything and is feeling it. We don't watch a lot but you know......If you see some great deals on movies let me know.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Charity Auction tree

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I need some suggestions. I am trying to finish this tree for the hospital charity auction but I'm stuck. I think it is missing something but I'm not sure what. I was going for the homemade theme (any title suggestions?). We made the ornaments and the garland is going to be cinnamon sticks with red beads and (maybe) pine cones. The lights are white. It is simple which is maybe my problem..... I'm stuck and I know there are great ideas out there. Please help......
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Organize those sacks

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My sis-in-law and I have been talking about frugality lately. We are both trying to pinch our pennies in more was than one. Some out of necessity, some out of practicality. She is an inspiration to me in how she can decorate and cook, etc on pennies. I love her decor and she pays so little for it. I usually have great ideas but the cost too much for me to accomplish. Anyway, I have been looking for useful and stylish ways to reuse stuff. I love to organize and just don't do well with chaos. My drawer of bags- you know the Ziplocs, trash, bread, etc is out of control! I love my reusable grocery bags so I don't have many of them but they tend to get crazy too. Well, with this in mind I came across a great idea. You know those clorox wipes containers?- this is what I did!Take the label off the container and glue your own on. I used 6x12 on both my containers. The red one is a little short but the labels don't go all the way around themselves. I love how the blue and green one looks.
Now, I plan to fill them with sacks. Grocery sacks will fill the one under the bathroom sink for a quick refill of the garbage. Bread sacks will no longer roam free in the sack drawer. VOILA! Instant organization. What do you think? I can't take credit... like most ideas I'm not the original source but I definantly know how to reproduce a great idea.

My other project of this weekend is scrapbooking. I scanned some of the LDS papers into my computer to work with. I haven't found a lot of LDS themed digi scrap supplies so I took matters into my own hands. Our friends little boy was baptised last month and they forgot their camera. We took lots of pictures for them and I planned to scrapbook them into a mini book. Plus, this spring I will be ready when Keegan turns 8. I can't believe it's coming up already!
I got my outside Halloween decor down but not the inside. I will hit that later this week. I plan on getting the outside lights up this week-maybe tomorrow- too. I love this time of year! We hit the Toys R Us sale this weekend. I think our shopping is just about done. I just have several more projects to make. I need to get sewing and MORE crafting, oh, the horror ;-).......
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our Halloween

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I am finally getting to posting but Halloween was great, BUSY! but great. I was so excited for Josh and Tyler's costumes. They were Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy I made the robes and the scarves. What do you think? I was rather proud, I thought they turned out FABULOUS!
Keegan wanted to be Commander Cody again and Matthew got to be a bat although he would have prefered to just eat the candy and watch the other boys.

I plan on making Jedi robes and the other house robes for a dress up box for Christmas. I think they will enjoy it. I never thought of that type of dress up for boys but they have had fun this summer with the neighbors dress up stuff. I just didn't want to pull our Halloween costumes out since we still have Tyler and especially Matthew to go through. Friday before Halloween I spent all morning sewing Tyler's robe. I finished 15 minutes before leaving to go do Josh's class party, which I was called about just a couple of days before. That turned out to be a huge success. Then it was home to crash for an hour, then off to the school carnival which I left early to go to work! WHEW! I work harder at home than at work. Saturday was Josh's birthday party. Dad was in charge of this since I just couldn't fit another thing in. It was AWESOME! Dad is just a kid himself. The boys said it was the best party they have ever been to. HMMMM, yep sounds to me like dad should be in charge of ALL the birthdays from now on. We had a short breather before getting ready for the chili dinner and trunk-or-treat. Love this! Then we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house. By the time we got home the boys were just starting to settle down but at least the neighborhood trick or treating was done. With all the party's and trick or treating I had boughten lots of candy but we ended up with LOTS left over. Now my chocolate cravings will be taken care of for a while.

I love fall because of all the great baking and harvest smells. Josh always asks for pumpkin pie for his birthday. I guess we are not big cake eaters but pumpkin pie is always GONE! I also made a pumpkin roll which was a hit. Needless to say, we spent Sunday relaxing but we did enjoy ourselves.

Now, it's on to Christmas. Yes, I love Thanksgiving too! But Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love laying by the tree with the house lights of and just the Christmas lights on, sipping cocoa, and listening to Christmas music. I have a good start on my homemade Christmas gifts and I think we are just about done with the boys stuff. This way, I will be able to just enjoy the season without all the rush. Ohh, I get warm fuzzies just thinking about it. Oh- and if you enjoy the holidays as much as I do, you can listen to the music of the season online at ">KLCE
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Online deals

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With Christmas just around the corner would you like to know how to have all your shopping done from home, delivered to your house AND get great deals? Just check our the Screaming deals online thread at PYP. I did most of my school shopping this way. I still love to shop in the store for myself but for my family- especially the boys- online is becoming my favorite way to shop. Besides, I get to do it in my jamies! I have gotten some amazing deals, toys, clothes, shoes, and lots more from online deals. Most of the time there is a code to get free shipping.

Check out this thread for awesome thrifty ideas. Tina, you are my inspiration and go to gal. Whenever I need to cut spending or just a thrift idea I know right where to turn. I have never seen someone mix thrift and style the way you do. You are truely amazing. Let the kids think all they want about the "cheap police", they will one day thank you. My thrifty idea for tonight is to take your empty clorox wipes containers, remove the cover and recover with at 6x12 sheet of paper. Add a ribbon or other embelishment and VOILA! you have a stylish bag holder; you know for your recycled bread bags, sandwich bags, or grocery bags. I am going to make several for the bathrooms, to keep garbage sacks in and one for the bread bags that make my drawer a disaster. I have also cabbaged onto baskets or containers left at the hospital with old flowers in them. Dump the flowers, add confetti (gonna try shredded comics), some candy and hand sanitizer, wrap and VOILA! a great teachers gift and I only bought the hand sanitizer. Oh, wait, I can make the sanitizer now too!! Even less $! I am loving this. I only wish I had more time. But alas, T-I-M-E is a 4-letter word!

One more, okay 2 more threads ya gotta check out.... Albertsons Sale and the Smiths Sale. They are both great. Smiths is left over from last week. I stocked up on Welches, canned tomatoes (gonna plant more of these next year), personal products, and Flintstones vitamins for the boys. Who knows what I bring home from the hospital so I have been pumping them full of immune boosters. Albertsons is a great deal this week too. From there I got soup, broth, yogurt, paper towels, chex mix and more. Great sales, now if only Lowe's would have a great sale on shelving so I have more room to put all my great finds. We are really starting to need more shelves.

I am trying to decide whether or not to can my left over pumpkins... I have heard the pumpkin crop was not good so the canned pumpkin is gonna be in short supply. We love pumpkin stuff.....Hmmmmm, perhaps on Saturday. I will be sorting clothes tomorrow and finishing laundry (is it ever REALLY done) tomorrow and then I work tomorrow night.
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