Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PURE JEAN-IUS

Why yes, I am desperate for a post idea. How did you know?

So I had this jean-ius idea to introduce you to some of my favorite clothes. My jeans. They have been with me through thick and thin. Get it? Thick and thin? Get it? Thick and....oh never mind.

These capri pants are a bit big but they're so comfy (and old)! Also, and I know it's a very strange thing, but please note the diaper pin button at the waist band. It looks just like a diaper pin. Isn't that amazing? The button-making world has come up with something very clever here, because of course it's from them. I would never do that.

Please don't judge me.

Because honestly, I would never, ever use a diaper pin to close my jeans. Why would I? I mean, it's just so easy to sew a button on. Not to mention the fact that my children have been out of diapers for quite awhile and I've been out of them since at least yesterday, so I have no diaper pins around.

It just looks like a diaper pin but it's really a button. Really.

Please don't judge me.



These other jeans are my jean-jeans. They're the ones I wear when I don't care what I wear. I also don't care if I'm cooking and my hands are messy and I wipe them on my jeans. Not that I would ever do that, of course, because we all know how much proper etiquette means to me. But if I did, these are the jeans I would wipe them on.

But I would never do that. Never. I would never use a diaper pin to hold my jeans up either.

Please don't judge me.


These are the jeans that I thought were mine until I laid them on the chair to photograph them. Then I wondered outloud how my jeans got a hole in the knees without me being aware of it. Then I noticed that they were my son's jeans and not mine.

Then my husband heard me say "these aren't my jeans" and started laughing and told me I should take a picture anyway. So I did. Then my husband laughed again and called to see if he could get me into therapy.



These are my nicer jeans. Do you all have nicer jeans? They aren't my "work around the house, scrub the floors, wrestle with the dogs" jeans but my go-out-in-public jeans. Except that sometimes I don't wear them out in public but wear my old, faded, comfy jean-jeans instead.

Because I really enjoy the thrill of running into somebody from my church, the "What Not To Wear" crew, or my third grade teacher when I'm wearing my ugly jeans.

Who doesn't?



These are my jeans-in-waiting. That's because I haven't worn them yet. But I will, when my jean-jeans die a slow, painful death and my nicer jeans become my jean-jeans. Then these will become my nicer jeans and I'll have to get a whole 'nother jeans-in-waiting.

And that, my friends, is my three-year-jean-plan! Any questions?

Please don't judge me.

(It's Tuesday so it's my day to blog at the Five Mom's blog if you want to join me here!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: PUT BEAUTY IN IT

Making your home sing Mondays


Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

If your home could sing, what would it be singing lately? Would it be singing "I'm So lonesome I Could Cry?" or "Come Together?"

"Hello, Goodbye;" or "We Can Work It Out!" Perhaps it's "Rainy Days and Mondays;" "Solitaire" or "Can't Smile Without You?"

What is the most important part of the home? Its foundation. Without a good, solid foundation that home will crumble. You cannot build on shifting sand. Jesus is our foundation.

What is the heart of the home? What is the heart of your home?

I've heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Some say the woman is the heart of the home. Some say the family is the heart of the home. Some may even say that communication or love is the heart of the home.

What makes your home special to you? Is it the beautiful furniture, breathtaking gardens, lovely knicknacks? Or is it the people in it?

Today my dog was whining over his food. He didn't want to eat it but he felt the need to protect it from our other dog, as he was afraid she would eat it (even though she has her own food).

Sometimes we are like that dog. Our possessions become so important to us. Keeping them, cleaning them, caring for them, storing and preserving them all become very important. So important, in fact, that sometimes we don't even get to enjoy them.

How many of you have china in your hutch that belonged to your mother or your great grandmother? Do you ever use it? If no, why? Is it because it's to much trouble to use it, or because you are afraid it will get chipped or broken? This is a very real fear if you give a toddler a dish, but could your eight year old handle it?

Do you have beautiful pillow cases, table toppers or quilts that your grandmother made that are sitting in a drawer somewhere? Do you have beautiful pieces that you are preserving but you aren't getting any joy out of them?

What are we teaching our children about things if we don't enjoy what we have? If we teach them that things are to be preserved but not enjoyed? Can we at least frame something and put it out so that we can enjoy it? Can we protect it and enjoy it at the same time somehow?

Sometimes we don't get the beauty out of life because we are to "serious." We are so caught up in making the home run, in cleaning and providing the meals, doing the dishes and laundry, that we forget to take joy in what we are doing. We forget to have fun.

We forget to be in the very life that we're living. Where is the joy? Where is the laughter? Where is the beauty?

This week, my friends, lighten up! Look for a way to bring the beauty into your home. Look for a way to brighten your day and everyone else's by bringing beauty into it.

It could be flowers, candles, music. A warm fire or wide open windows (depending on where you live). It could be sleeping on grandmother's pillow cases or eating off of your mom's good china.

Put beauty in your home. Put you into your home! What's missing might be YOU!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Friday, September 25, 2009

GONNA WASH THAT FOOD RIGHT OUTTA MY HAIR

Friday Photo Flashback

Come join us at Alicia's blog for Friday Photo Flashback today! That's when you grab your old photos and your scanners and post those babies, for all the world to see.

My oldest son could eat with the best of 'em when he was little. When he was done eating he would not just throw his bowl onto the floor, which everyone everywhere knows is the standard accepted meaning for "I am done eating now."

If you don't believe me just visit a local restaurant sometime and you will see that everybody who is anybody throws their dishes on the floor when they are through eating. How else does all that food get on the floor? It's really the stylish thing to do and you know me, I am all about style.

For some strange reason, known only to small children everywhere, my son preferred to wear his food. So after each meal, if I didn't get to the bowl in time, he would proceed to paint a masterpiece upon his head.

Then I would wash his hair and he would cry.

"Hmmmmm, I put yogurt on top of my head, mom washes my hair, and I cry. Hmmmm......" Yet the dots didn't connect and this is how it played out, until I rescued the bowl or he outgrew his need for feed.


Please go here for more Friday Photo Flashback!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ME AND ARE SORRY YOU ASKED

Pilar did this quiz on her blog and I thought it might be fun to do it too, so I borrowed her questions but wrote my own answers. Feel free to join in on the fun.


The phone rings. Who will it be?
I have no idea. With my hubby, our two kids, and my mom living with me, I never know who it might be for. But chances are it's not for me. So far my dogs have yet to receive a phone call but I suppose it's only a matter of time.

When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Usually I do, providing I can find where to return them to. I think they purposely hide them!

In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Do you take compliments well?
Well, not all the time but I'm learning. Sometimes I just smile and say "thank you" but sometimes I still make jokes or say "nooooo...." But I'm willing to learn, so feel free to leave lots of them in the comments section........

Do you play Sudoku?
No. I tried it once and it gave me a headache. I tried housework once and it gave me a headache too.

If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
Puh-lease. Have you read my blog? I couldn't even survive being left alone in Costco overnight.....but I'd love to try (Costco, not the wilderness. Try and keep up).

Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

I went to church camp in sixth grade! Anybody remember me?

What was your favorite game as a kid?
I loved playing baseball and loved playing kick-the-can too.

Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
Nope, I'm married!

Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
Well, if someone stole my purse than I'd rather pursue them than be pursued by them. Ummm....when I was dating I preferred to be pursued.

Use three words to describe yourself?
Me, myself and I.


Do any songs make you cry?
Not very often, but occasionally I've been know to shed a tear. I'm not much of a crier.

Are you continuing your education?
Well, sometimes it seems like I learn new stuff every day. I am also homeschooling so that keeps me on my toes.


Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
I did when I was a kid.

How often do you read books?
Daily. I love reading!

Do you think more about the past, present or future?
I don't know. You can't NOT think about the present, you're living in it.

What is your favorite children’s book?
I don't know. I loved reading them all to my kids.

What color are your eyes?
That I DO know. Blue.

Where is your dream house located?
Wherever my family is.

If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
Aside from my family, I'd grab my dogs, my Bible and my photos too. Oh, and maybe a loaf of bread in case I got hungry later.

When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
Wow. Several years ago. I've only been there a few times.


Where was the furthest place you traveled today?

I drove over to someone's house. I am not good with that whole mileage thing. It could have been 10 miles or 10,000 miles. I forget.

Do you like mustard?
Not very much, but I'll put a tiny bit of it on a hot dog. I don't look good in yellow and you never know when you might be wearing your food.

Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Yes.

Do you look like your mom or dad?
Probably my dad.

How long does it take you in the shower?
Not long. I get in and out as fast as I can.

Can you do the splits?
Are you kidding me????? Only if I want to wind up in traction at the hospital.

What movie do you want to see right now?
None. I have been to one movie in about five or six years. I don't like going to movies. I like watching them at home. I prefer going to the bathroom without 100 people wondering what I'm doing and wondering why I didn't do it before I left home.

What did you do for New Year’s?
Spent it with my family and a bunch of church friends.

Do you think The Grudge was scary?
Is that a movie? Couldn't say, never saw it.

Do you own a camera phone?
Maybe, I don't know. My phone can take pictures (although I've never figured out how to do it). So does that mean I have one? I'm not techy, can you tell?.

What’s the last letter of your middle name?
Guess.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Maybe 6 or 7, sometimes 8 if I go to bed early enough. I prefer at least 23.

Do you like Care Bears?
I never really thought about it. Do they like me?

What do you buy at the movies?
My ticket. I probably also bought pop and popcorn the last time I went. It's been awhile.

Do you know how to play poker?
No

Do you wear your seat belt?
Yes, always.

How many meals do you eat a day?
Three, usually (unless I forget to eat lunch), but that doesn't include snacks!

Do you like funny or serious people better?
I like them both.

Ever been to L.A.?
Yes

Did you eat a cookie today?
Nope, don't have any.

Do you hate chocolate?
No, I love chocolate, it just doesn't love me.

Are you a gullible person?
Not usually. Why, are you going to try to sell me something?

Are you easy to get along with?
I hope so, but I'm sure I have my moments!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GET YOUR FRUGAL ON



Lynnae of "beingfrugal.net" is hosting Tightwad Tuesday today.

Recently I told someone that I need to get my frugal on. Though we are careful with our money there is always room for improvement. There is always something more that we could be doing. We could always be more careful.

There are so many things that people can do to save money but so often we don't want to do it. We get trapped in our own reasoning. Here are some reasons that I've given myself or heard others give when spending money on something they want but don't need.

1. It doesn't cost very much. Well, no, it doesn't. But all those little dollar amounts add up to big dollar amounts. Let's say every day, Monday-Friday, you buy a coffee and donuts or a drink or something and spend $2.50. $2.50 per day for five days every week is $12.50 per week, roughly $50 per month, which means your "little treat" is costing you $650.00 a year.

Even if you only spent $1.25 buying yourself something on the way to work, it would still cost you $325.00 annually. How little is that treat now? Could you find something else to do with that $325 or $650? I could!

2. It's the only fun I have. There can be several different things in this category. It depends on the person. Monthly manicures, pedicures, cable t.v., expensive cell phone plans, golf, magazines, shoes, expensive vacations, etc., might be here. We all have different ideas of what a splurge is.

I think we all have something that we splurge on from time to time. We do. We are currently saving for a trip to Disney World in a couple of years. But, by the time we go we'll have spent four years saving for it. The family trip will be our youngest son's graduation gift.

Also, we like to eat out at McDonalds or Taco Bell after church sometimes (we rarely go to more expensive places, although we'd like to). Some would eat out less but go to a more expensive place when they do go. We choose to eat out a little more but go to a less expensive place when we go.

I got a pedicure a few weeks ago and do you know what? I don't regret it. But if I want to get serious about my savings fund, then I need to get serious about the splurges. If I splurge to much and to often then what am I more serious about? My fun or my fund?

Besides, aren't there some ways that we can find to save money and yet still have fun? Can we have someone over to dinner instead of going out? Can we rent a dvd or borrow one from the library instead of going out to the movies every weekend? (We don't go to the movies every weekend but am trying to make a point with the collective "we." I knew one gal and they did go to the movies every weekend but it did interfere with their budget)

3. I'd rather pay for the convenience. This is a big one. Just how much is your time worth? It's so much easier for you to order a pizza or buy a lasagna than to make one from scratch, isn't it?

It's much simpler to buy the little packs of applesauce than to have to buy a jar and have to mess with putting it into a plastic container and take it to work with you. It's much faster to buy bacon that's already cooked or bread crumbs which are already made.

(Which reminds me, I've decided I am going to make my own bread crumbs. Like I said, I gotta get my frugal on!)

The time thing is such a big deal, because sometimes paying for the convenience means that we have more time to do other things, like spend it with our family. However, it's not going to save us any money and may end up costing us more in headaches and stress, and medical bills if all that stress undermines our health. So we need to figure out what our limits are and find a balance.

Sure I could make my own pie crust but I am not doing that right now. So we buy ready made crusts but then we make our own pie instead of buying a pre-made one. It does save some money and that is working for us right now. I do, however, want to tackle the homemade pie crust again.

People like to say "time is money" but if you're using that extra time to play on the computer or read a book or watch t.v., then how is that saving you money? Yes, you're relaxing and we all need to do that sometime. But not all the time if you want to save money. Sometimes there are better uses of your time, like planning menus (so you don't run out of time and order a pizza instead), looking at sale flyers, making a pricebook, making something from scratch, etc.

4. I need to look nice for my job, or I need to dress like this or live like that to impress ____. You know, I do think that dressing for your job is important, but just how many suits or nice clothes does one person really need? Just how many black shoes in different styles do you need? How many purses do you really need? When is it enough?

Again, it's perfectly fine whatever a person wants to do with their own money. It's their money. However, if you are trying to get out of debt, or stay out of debt, then there comes a time when you have to say "Do I really need another ______ or can I make do with the one I have?"

I may deserve it, it may be the only fun I have, it may be convenient and maybe I feel I need it to impress somebody.......but none of that is going to help me save for a replacement car, a brand new roof, plumbing repairs, pay the bills or save for an emergency.

When you have cut down as far as you can, or think you can, then that's when you may want to start looking at your buying and spending habits. That's when you have to look at why you spend your money the way you do. That's when you need to get your frugal on!

Please go here for more Tightwad Tuesday. Oh, and don't forget today is my day to blog at the Five Mom's blog so please visit me here as well!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: CARDFILE CLEANING SYSTEM

Making your home sing Mondays


Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Back in May I did a post about the card file cleaning system (go here to see it) that I like to use. I have various methods I use for cleaning, and every once in awhile I like to shake things up a bit and do something different.

It is a fact of life that at some point, we have to clean, organize, or buy something. That's just the way that it is. Well, if we want to live in a home that runs reasonably smooth we do.

Not to many people like waking up and playing bathroom-roulette. You know that game. It's the "I wonder if we have any clean towels, socks, etc." game. Also known as the "I think we're out of shampoo game." Some people know it by it's other name "I forgot that we're out of milk, cereal, bread, oatmeal, eggs and flour and I have no idea what to make for breakfast."

Then there is the cleaning game, better known as "Let's Make A Deal." It's a well known party game that many people love to play. Here's how you play it: You suddenly find out that someone is coming over unexpectedly, so you run around madly cleaning and straightening.

You grab a laundry basket and toss things in there left and right, all the while promising yourself that you will put everything in it's rightful place after the evening is over. You also promise yourself that you will clean your home properly after everyone leaves.

You promise the kitchen sink that you will give it a good cleaning if it will only miraculously hide it's contents, despite all the dishes in the sink. You promise the pantry that you will clean it out later if it promises not to dump it's contents on some unsuspecting party-goers head. You promise the fridge a good cleaning as well, if it will only not point out any of it's spills, sticky shelves, or rotting sour cream to anybody.

You hope that noone will go in your bathrooms and consider putting "Out Of Order" signs up, or perhaps the more strongly worded "CONDEMNED!" but figure that might be a bit much. You also briefly consider putting a "In Quarantine, No Admittance" or "Turn Back, All Is Lost!!!!" sign on your door.

Then you settle for just instructing your children to linger outside all bathroom doors, and rush in ahead of anyone that might even so much as look as if they might want to go in there.

What does this have to do with my cardfile you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. Last week (throughout the week) my brother and his wife popped in; my sister, her hubby and my niece came over; my friend and her daughter came by; my neighbor dropped over; and my aunt and uncle came for a visit. Not to mention the various teenagers in and out of the house all week.

This week things got super busy plus we were gone alot this weekend. Because of the mad dashing in and out, my home looks like someone has been madly dashing in and out....without staying long enough to pick up or put anything away.

So, this week I will make my home sing by following my cardfile cleaning system and getting things cleaned up and organized around here so that I am not madly having to clean (or embarrassed) if someone drops by! Plus I want it clean just for us, as we are important to! I don't know about you but a clean house always makes me feel like singing!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Friday, September 18, 2009

THE TOOTH, THE WHOLE TOOTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH

Friday Photo Flashback

Alicia is hosting Friday Photo Flashback. This is when you dig out your old photos, scan them and then post them.

Several years ago a friend's daughter was going to Prom. That night, in order to help the kids save money, our friend cooked a wonderful meal for her daughter, her date, and several other couples. Her husband asked my hubby and a couple of other guys to help wait on the table.

My husband and the other men dressed up in suits and waited on the teenagers. As waiters they were very quiet, respectful and unobtrusive. At the end of the dinner, however, they all came in wearing fake teeth. The kids howled.

Let me just say that my youngest son loved them and wanted some of his own. We found an inexpensive pair at a store and my son wore them everywhere (at home).

One day, he ran out of the bathroom crying "Mom! I accidentally flushed my teeth down the toilet."

Now, as a mom there are just some things you think you'll never hear. That was one of them.



Please go here for more Friday Photo Flashback!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

COOKING WITH MOM'S THE WORD

Hello and welcome to "Cooking with Mom's The Word." I'm glad you're here!

The first thing you want to do is to decide at the last minute that you want to make homemade tortillas. Now, you have never made tortillas in your life, and matter of fact, you already have some store bought ones on hand.

However, none of this matters now. Suddenly, making tortillas is more important to you than getting that last donut or beating your dog to the comfy chair.


Make sure that you have all your supplies. If you don't, go beg some from your mother, your neighbor, the five year old down the street, or the local grocery store. By all means, don't be organized because that will take all the fun and suspense out of it.


After you add in all the ingredients, cut in the shortening. Please note that you do not need scissors when you cut the shortening. You also don't need to go to Cosmetology school to learn how to do it, so hang up the phone and pay attention.


First, stop glaring at the dough and realize that it's what's inside that counts, just like your mother always assured you. Tell yourself that not every dough can be Miss Dough America. Somebody has to be the runner up. Not only that, the Dough has to start somewhere and behind every great Dough is a surprised woman, so just smile though your heart is aching.

Next, divide the dough into two pieces, and then divide it some more. Be glad that you are finally able to use your Math skills and realize that all your years of studying hard in school have finally culminated in this moment. Cry. Realize that you also can't figure out how to work the word curmudgeon into this post. Cry again, but don't get the dough wet.


Try to roll out a perfect circle and instead tell yourself that you decided to make it look like the Pac-Man game. After all, you can never have to much Pac-Man. Sadly remind yourself that rolling out dough is a privilege, not a right.

Decide to start preparing dinner and begin defrosting the ground turkey in a pan. After all, it's not like you have anything else to do at the moment.

While you're rolling out the dough, be sure and accidentally spill water all over the counter. Make sure that some of it gets in the dough and all over the floor as well. You can never have to much water and the floor probably needed to be mopped anyway, and what better time to do it than while you're making dinner?


While you're at it, drop a carton of cottage cheese all over the floor. Make everyone wonder why you had a carton of cottage cheese in your hand when you're supposed to be making tortillas. Take a picture for your blog and make sure that your foot appears in the picture, so that everyone can see your new pedicure.


Have another try at rolling out the tortilla, only this time try to make it a profile of a man with a very round head and small nose. Pretend you planned it that way. Burn one or two tortillas because you're to busy browning the meat for dinner and cleaning up the floor.


When you put the tortilla in the frying pan forget to take a picture for your blog. Also drop the spatula on the floor so that the dog can lick it. That will add lots of flavor and help your family to develop an immunity to dog germs.



Put the finished tortillas in a freezer bag and tell yourself rather snarkily that anybody can buy a tortilla but not everyone can make one. Wonder if snarkily is a word. Look it up on google.

Be to embarrassed to put a link to the recipe you used for fear of retribution from the author. Promise yourself you'll do better next time. Go look up a recipe for bagels.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

JUST HOW UGLY IS THIS?


Look a chicken! O.k., well actually it's a rooster, not to be confused with a roaster although they are both fowl related, which is not to be confused with foul. Ba da boom. I'll be here all evening folks. (I did that just for you, Heather.)

I saw this at the thrift store yesterday and for some bizarre reason I had to have it. Which is strange because I don't own any roosters. This is due to an ugly altercation between me and one determined rooster when I was younger.

Names were called. Feathers were flying. The words "leave me alone" and "aaaaahhhhhh!" may have been used. Lines were drawn. I don't like to talk about it.

So now he is truly ruling the roost since he's the only one in the house.

If you think about it, it's very realistic. I mean, when was the last time you saw a rooster sitting on a swing and swinging. Just a few minutes ago, right? Right. Very realistic. I am really into that sort of thing. After all, I have an example to set.

My oldest son is traumatized. I hung it from a ceiling hook and my son just shook his head and said "No, mom, noooooo....." and just laughed and laughed. I don't like to talk about it.

Poor rooster. It is going to have a complex and suffer from low self-esteem it's entire ceramic life. Not only that, but I keep changing my pronouns from "it" to "he" and back again and everyone knows that is good for a few years of therapy.

So now I have a rooster hanging from my ceiling. My younger son is cool with it. My husband is unmoved. However, he did try to take a picture of the dog who was staring at it suspiciously. The dog did not cooperate. Ever since I put his picture on my blog he seems to think that he should be paid to pose.

I don't even know why I bought it. So, tell me, just how ugly is this? (The rooster, not the dog)

What am I supposed to do with it, where do I put it and why did I buy it???? Is it cute or is it really as ridiculous as my son thinks it is. I don't like to talk about it.

It kind of reminds me of Trixie from The Country Bears Jamboree at Disney Land. You remember her? She comes down from the ceiling singing and swinging on a swing.

If this rooster messes with me like the other one did then it won't be the only one around here swinging. I'll be swinging something too. I don't like to talk about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM COFFEE CAKE

You ever hop on the computer and search for a recipe for snickerdoodles or something? I have! It's very handy. All those recipes at your fingertips. The world is your oyster. Or your snickerdoodle.

BTW, a snickerdoodle is a cookie and not to be confused with a labradoodle which is a dog and a mix. Not a baking mix but a dog mix, a cross between a lab and a poodle and this post is supposed to be about coffee cake, not dogs, sorry. My bad.

One of my old posts that gets alot of hits is the one about coffee cake. If you look on my lower left sidebar it's number two of the "Popular Pages Today." That says to me that lots of people like coffee cake.

Either that or they don't like it but just enjoy reading about it. Kind of like you don't enjoy a root canal but can't stop reading about it. Because you never know when you might want to have coffee cake or a root canal. Or both.

It also tells me that if you want your stats to go up, you need to blog about coffee cake every single day. I have written a few ideas to help you get started. You're welcome.

For example: Monday can be about how coffee cake helps you face the start of the weekly routine. Just knowing that you can sit down with a slice of coffee cake and put your feet up while the kiddies go off to school will warm the hearts of women everywhere.

Knowing that you scrubbed toilets, folded laundry and alphabetized your shampoo bottles will not endear you to anyone.

Tuesday can be about how coffee cake with a little cleanser on top helps you scrub your sinks and toilets like nobody's business. (Warning: do not eat it afterwards. Just throw it away.)

Wednesday can be about how you were in tears all day because you had to throw the coffee cake away yesterday.

Thursday's post can be about your sheer excitement at the thought that your favorite magazine came in the mail and it had a recipe for coffee cake in it.

Friday can be about how coffee cake helped you overcome your fear of heights.

Saturday can be about how coffee cake helped you get out of debt and find your long-lost 3rd grade best friend on facebook.

Sunday, you can just rest from all that coffee cake posting and recharge your batteries and prepare yourself for the next week of coffee cake madness.

See, who knew that coffee cake had so much power? Hmmm, kind of makes you wonder about fruitcake.......

I'm also posting at the Five Mom's blog if you want to visit me over there today and find out a little about mom's super powers!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: THE DINNER HOUR

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

When I was a little girl dinner was a big deal and we all ate at the table. As my older brothers and sisters grew up, got married and moved out, the table grew smaller and smaller. So did our homes. From a huge victorian to a ranch to an apartment.

Our dinner scaled down too, from eating at a table to eating on t.v. trays as my parents gave away their table in order to make more room in their now smaller home. So I got used to eating on a t.v. tray in front of the t.v. or I read a book and ate alone in my room.

After my husband and I married I prepared our first meal in our new (to us) home and I went and got the t.v. trays out and set them in front of the t.v. My hubby came into the room and asked "What are you doing?" and I told him I was setting them up for dinner.

His response was something like "You're kidding!" He was so surprised that I expected us to eat dinner in front of the t.v. and I was so surprised that he expected just the two of us to sit at the dinner table and actually eat.....with no t.v.

My husband has always felt that dinner time is a very important family time. His family never ate dinner in front of the t.v., and though I was out of the habit of doing that, I totally understood his reasoning. T.v. (or phone calls) interferes enough in our lives without letting it take over our dinner hour too.

When the kids were younger, I would decorate the table with a centerpiece and we would have candles. I wanted to have a little fun with it. I made sure we ate at the dining room table instead of the kitchen table.

I'm not really sure when we got away from the centerpieces and candles and the formal dining room. I guess it was just easier to eat in the kitchen. Most of our friends eat in their kitchens too. We had dinner at a friend's house one evening and he said that they had lived in that house for ten years and this was the first time they'd ever eaten in their dining room.

Meal times are a bit more of a challenge with an older son who also holds down a job as well as attends college. He doesn't have as much time as he used to. We try to eat together as a family when we can, but sometimes his schedule won't allow it.

Still, the times we are all together for dinner are precious and I am so thankful for them. Eating dinner at the table is difficult when the table is covered with papers and things, and there has been more than one occasion when we've had a picnic on the floor in the living room, outside on the deck, or even (say it isn't so!) on t.v. trays when the occasion warrants it.

We have had pizza nights in front of the t.v. too, I'll admit. Not often, but it's been done. We also have occasional "scrounge around" nights when it's every man for himself, and those nights are casual eating as well. Weekends are very casual around here.

Also, one rule we have always tried to keep during dinner hour was no arguing, fighting, complaining, etc. Dinner hour was to be reserved for sharing about our day and enjoying one another. We didn't always meet that goal (especially with a cranky preschooler or over-tired older child) but we've had many, many meals full of love and laughter!

This week, I am going to make my home sing by pulling out some candles and making the table look pretty. The boys may not appreciate the "beauty" of it, but there is a fineness of beauty that goes beyond mere outward appreciation. It's a fineness of the soul, and I do believe that those things are important too, and I've been neglecting that!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I REMEMBER

Living on the west coast, much of 9/11 happened before I was even aware of it. My son had stayed the night at my parent's house and called me that morning telling me to turn on the t.v. When I asked why he said that two planes had hit the towers.

I didn't know what to think, and thought maybe he just misunderstood because after all, something like that was just impossible, right? I mean, it's not like you go around expecting something like that to happen.

Of course after I turned on the t.v. I knew the horrible truth. I don't think any of us can forget where we were that day. I immediately grabbed our flag and ran outside and put it up. My hubby again put it up today.

I remember I had to run to the grocery store and it was virtually empty. I had never seen it so empty. All of the cashiers (and I mean all) were at the front of their registers talking to one another. They were all wearing sunglasses.

The minute they saw me they pumped me for information, asking me what I'd heard on the t.v. One of them said they were wearing sunglasses because they'd been crying. I told her I'd been crying too.

I spent much of the day in front of the t.v. waiting for news, crying and praying that people would be rescued.

The thing I remember most is the response of people. Suddenly we were no longer strangers but were one big caring community. We were all united under one goal, praying for the safety and rescue of strangers. Crying and grieving the loss of people we never met. To those who lost loved ones that day, we remember. We won't forget.

To those who day after agonizing day put their heart and souls into a rescue effort, into cleaning up the aftermath, into rebuilding and giving hope, thank you.

9/11 brought out the best in people and the worst in people.

Today, we have firemen, police and military who put themselves in harm's way for us. Standing in the gap so that we don't have to. To them, and their families, I say thank you. I remember you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MAYBE YOU'VE BEEN BLOGGING TO LONG.....

Ways to know if maybe blogging is starting to affect you negatively:

  1. You no longer answer to your birth name but instead will only answer if someone calls you by your blog name.
  2. There is a permanent indention in the chair where your computer is, and well....it only fits your backside, folks.
  3. You won't get up to an alarm clock but you will get up if someone tells you that you have a comment on your blog.
  4. Losing a follower makes you so depressed you pull your hair out and run around screaming "Why? Why? Why? What did I do? Why don't they like me anymore?"
  5. Getting a follower is enough to make you throw a party and invite the whole neighborhood.
  6. You wish you could manage your life the way you manage your blog, including moderating comments, or using a spam blocker.
  7. You haven't cooked a hot meal in months, and your family is beginning to call the local hamburger place "home."
  8. You begin to leave yourself comments on your own blog.
  9. Sometimes you are offended at the comments you leave yourself, and you get into an argument with yourself in the mirror.
  10. You get so upset about those comments that you don't talk to yourself for days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

THE HABIT OF HABIT

I want you to think about something momentous here. Life changing. Mind blowing. I want you to think about the way that you fold your towels. I know, it boggles the mind.

Why do you fold your towels the way that you do? Who taught you? Do you do it that way because it is easiest and makes sense, takes up less space, or because it's a habit?

Sometimes our household habits are not always the best ones. Sometimes the "old" way is not always the better way. Sometimes we need to shake things up a bit and step back and think about why we do things the way that we do.

Things change, people change, we give away things and acquire new things. We run out of space and then find new space. Our homes are constantly changing all around us as our familes grow, change, and our lives change.

Early in our marriage I had self-defeating habits. I wanted a clean, orderly home but my habits were working against me. I did not have the pick up and put away habit. I did not have the clean up the kitchen after a meal habit. I did not have the hang up your clothes after wearing them habit.

These are all good habits to have, and will help get you to your goal of a clean home. Not only that, they will help you keep it that way.

But some habits are things we learn and keep doing them the way that we're used to. Like making beds, or folding towels. Like how we clean a bathroom, or how we store things in our kitchens. We keep doing it in the same way, even if it's no longer effective.

I always stored my cookbooks in the kitchen, because that's where my mom kept hers. Probably her mom did too. It makes sense doesn't it? Storing cookbooks in the kitchen where you use them!

However, the thing is, my kitchen space is limited (like yours) and I do not want to take up valuable kitchen real estate storing cookbooks that I don't use all that often. So, I no longer store my cookbooks in the kitchen.

I used to fold my towels a certain way because that's the way I'd always done it. Then, I needed to make more room, so I needed to store them a whole new way. End result? More space!

I used to do most of my major cleaning on Fridays during a four hour block of cleaning. Then I began homeschooling and my marathon Friday cleaning wasn't working for me anymore. So I took most of my Friday work and divided it throughout the week.

I used to work one day a week on Wednesdays and that night I was involved in a ministry at our church. After work I would drive home and try to make and eat dinner, change my clothes and leave for church all within 15 minutes. Sometimes I would just drive straight to the church and go without dinner that night.

One stressful night it dawned on me that all I needed to do was change my work day from Wednesday to another day. I had chosen Wednesday as "my" day, and was working on that day out of habit. When it was no longer working for me, I was still doing it out of habit, even though it made things more difficult. It never occurred to me to come up with another solution,. I changed my day and the problem was solved!

Many times our habit of doing things, cleaning things, or storing things can be causing us stress. We blame the thing, when many times it's just the habit.

We don't have to store toys the way we've always stored them, if it's no longer working for us. We don't have to fold towels the way mama taught us if it's taking up to much room.

We don't have to keep two sets of mixing bowls like mama did if we don't have the space. I have had the same set of mixing bowls my entire married life (with the exception of one bowl that broke) and I have never needed another set.

Sometimes, the answer lies in just stepping back and looking at how we're doing something and asking ourselves if that is still working for us. If it's not, maybe it's time for a change!

Today is also my day to blog at the Five Mom's blog, so I hope you'll pay me a visit over there and find out about the vacuum of tomorrow!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

MAKING YOUR HOME SING MONDAY

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Well, it's finally happened. I can't think of anything to post to make my home sing. So, I guess the meme is over. It was fun while it lasted. Somebody please turn the light out when you leave.

Just kidding. However, I don't have much of a post for today. I felt fine all day today but then this evening I felt awful for several hours.

I am feeling a little better now but still really don't feel much like doing a post.

There is one thing I want to work on this week. Sometimes I have the habit of focusing on the "big" things that need to be done and I let the little things slide.

Of course, other times I hyper-focus on the little things and let the big things slide. Anybody else do that? That's when your home is a mess but your junk drawer is immaculate, lol! You know, that sort of thing.

Anyway, I have a few little things around here that could do with a little attention. So I'll be working on that, I guess.

The other thing is just to be thankful for my precious family and precious Lord. That in itself is enough to make my home sing!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

COTTAGE STYLE, MY WAY

I love reading my Better Homes & Garden magazine. I have a couple of decorating books that I enjoy too. I love the books and magazines because you can "decorate" in your mind, and money is no object, lol!

I went around and took a few pictures of things around our home. We don't spend alot of money on furniture or decorating. But it is possible to be careful with your spending and still furnish your home without breaking the bank. Check out store sales, yard sales, thrift stores, your parent's attic, be creative!


This piece of "furniture" is an aquarium holder. I wanted a sofa table but didn't want to spend the money for it, so picked this up at a yard sale for a few bucks. I was going to paint it white but I never did. It had some scratches on it but I just took out a brown crayon and colored in the scratches. and voila! They disappeared!

I love hearts (that's a wicker one in the back), birdhouses and pitchers. These were all yard sale finds. I love a good deal.

This lamp was a yard sale find too. I love the picture on the wall as it's a lovely porch overlooking a beautiful garden. I love pictures of flowers and gardens.

I love checks, floral prints, birdhouses, a "garden" type theme, baskets, pitchers, and I love little "animals" too. My darling hubby bought me this pig and also the sweet bunnies. He knew I'd love them, and I do!



The bunny and this candle holder are sort of hidden away in the sunroom. You can see them if you look carefully but I brought them out for a better picture. Looking back I probably should have left them there and taken a picture but to late now!

I love bunnies, I have a few that are placed here and there. My dining room "curtain" is a lace tablecloth that I draped over the rod and is tied in place by two pink ribbons tied in a bow. I have two bunny napkin rings that I just put the curtain rod through and they are showing their sweet faces on my faux-curtain. You have to look carefully to see them though.


I like to call my style a sort of Cottage Style. It's not a true cottage style, probably, but I have to call my style something! I love Cottage Style!


We have a few things from our parents and grandparents, mixed with yard sale or thrift store finds (and some new things of course).

I like having a little fun, and using something in a way that it wouldn't ordinarily be used. This stepping stool used to be in my husband's grandmother's kitchen. Now I use it as a "table" between two chairs. However, I moved the chairs so I could get a better picture.

I like having fun with my home, and adding birdhouses, bunnies, baskets, wicker, ceramic pitchers, and other things. My home isn't what some might call elegant or "tastefully decorated," perhaps, but it makes me smile.

I like having little corners or places where there is a "fun" surprise, a little whimsy. Fortunately my family humors me and doesn't seem to mind living amongst all this stuff.


Well, apparently somebody is bored and has gone to bed, so before I bore you I will end this post! I'll show a few other things another time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MESSES 'R US

Ah, yes, I remember it well. The days when my kids were little and my home was immaculate. I could control who was doing what when and we weren't as busy then as we are now.

We had kids who played with toys and put them away when they were done with them. The entire house was picked up at 7:00 p.m. every evening and everybody helped. Then it stayed clean as the kids went to bed shortly thereafter and dear hubby and I collapsed on the couch with a good book or a good t.v. show or some good conversation and called it a day.

Clutter was kept to a minimum and the living was easy. Now we have people who leave things out, and amazingly those things do not grow feet and put themselves away. Bummer......

........like cell phones and "wedding books" (which is what my pastor hubby calls the notes that he uses when he performs a marriage ceremony). He sticks it in his Bible and then has them on hand when he does the ceremony. And yes, I am glad that this is all that he left out. Two things. I can live with that!

Yeah, here's the culprit right now. My sweet hubby. Well, I can't really blame him because we all have to put our cell phones somewhere, I guess.

I did a post awhile ago (you can find it here) about my son's habit of leaving his shoes out. Yes, these all belong to one person. You have the work shoes, and the shoe-shoes, and the flip flops. And this is a good day. He only left out four pairs.

What are "shoe-shoes?" That's what my son calls his everyday shoes that he wears with jeans when he's not dressed for work and not wearing flip flops. Don't you have shoe-shoes? I do!

I still think my son has more feet than he's ever told me about. Maybe he hides them and only brings them out when he leaves home. I dunno. Why else would he leave so many shoes out?

Hmmm? Perhaps he wears them all at the same time in some crazy new fashion they've got going. Perhaps they are like his security blanket. Perhaps his arms are broken and he can't put them all away. But if that's the case, how come he can still drive?

Here is a picture of him now. I apologize for not showing his feet, but at the time I figured you'd rather see his face. But he's got two of them there, I counted.

See he's smiling because he's guilty. He is thinking about how many pairs of shoes he can possibly leave out to trip me up, or maybe even his grandmother who lives with us. After all, she doesn't take a trip very often.

Now this is impressive. There are five jackets here. Count them. Five (one is hiding beneath the other). Five hoodies or jackets with a total of ten sleeves.


All for this kid. Who, as you can see, only has two arms. See? One. Two. Two arms only need two sleeves, but for some reason this kid needs ten sleeves.

After all, you never know when you might turn into a teenage mutant with ten arms and one head who suddenly feels cold and needs a warm jacket. This way you always have one on hand and pretty much guarantees that noone else can hang their jacket there.

Jackets get lonely, you know. They can't stand being by themselves so they need lots of "friends" around.

Then there's this person. Hmmmmm. Somebody went to Walmart and bought some stuff and someone took their jacket along, because you never know when you might need a jacket in August.

Then that person just dropped her jacket, purse, and bag on the couch when she came home.



And there she is. Yup. The guilty party. See, I caught her in the act! Notice how she doesn't even have the nerve to look me in the eye? Guilt ridden she is. Oh, and she is so little she doesn't wear a purse. The purse wears her.

O.k., I confess. It was me! Apparently my purse has no home, followed by my coat and whatever I bought in that bag! It's much easier to drop everything than to put it away, lol!

(Lest, I need to say this is all done for entertainment and fun and my family all know I was poking fun at them on my blog,) I am also blogging over at the Five Moms' blog today if you want to pop over there!