Thursday, January 29, 2009

Skeletons in my closet

I've been working really hard on my spring cleaning. What's that you say? It's not spring? Well, spring is crazy busy around here, and honestly any time I actually get the urge to clean, I really have to go for it. Plus, I really wish it were spring! I would love for a whole week above 5F.

Anyway, back to my spring cleaning. My project of the week is our pantry closet. Our house really has no storage at all, including cupboards and closets. But we do have a pantry "room." Well, since we moved in while it was raining with no help from anyone (it was a busy weekend for everyone.) We ended up throwing a lot of miscellaneous stuff and boxes in that room, and never really got it cleaned out.
It has our extra freezer for all of my bulk cooking. It houses the less used/big cooking items (Nesco roaster, Griddle pan, Canning Jars, Baking Pans, etc..) and also our bulk buy items (toilet paper, Kleenex that we stock up on at before school sales, etc..) The shelving has much to be desired, but if it isn't cleaned out where will I add more shelves? So anyway, I have worked on that for the last 2 days. But I don't know where to put a few things.
Yep, you thought that title wasn't literal. Well it is. We have 2 adult (model) skeletons that we take out for Halloween and when people come over just to mess with them. Their names are Livy & Lars. They are about 5 1/2 feet tall. My husband set them in our pantry last year after Halloween. Which isn't working for me. But where do you put them? They can't take extreme heat or cold so it has to be somewhere inside. There is a hook on their heads, but that doesn't really help me. We don't have a heated/insulated garage so that's out. We don't have a basement really, so that's out. No attic. I'm afraid their ribs could break if I try shoving them under the bed. Not to mention what if God forbid something happens and people are cleaning out our house and stumble upon two skeletons. Boy, I'd love to see that. So if anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them.
We made pizzas last night. Are my kids the only ones who have to make everything a face?
Alright. DI again after school. Busy busy!

Children's Safety and Happiness

**Quoted from the Blog-In Page**

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too. How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:
To the Parents of Young Students:Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.
To the Avid Reader:Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association
To the Lover of All Things Handmade:Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.
To the Environmentalist:Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper:Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.
To the Entrepreneur:Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.
To the Antique Toy Collector:Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”
To the American Economy:Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.
To the Worldwide Economy:Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses. If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes
And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law
Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tostadas and Stuffed Jalapenos

Last night's supper was so delicious! You know it's good when you can't wait until everything is done to start munching. We made tostadas and stuffed jalapenos.
The stuffed jalapenos recipe (did I mention they are wrapped in bacon!!) came from The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. They were quite delicious, but I still think they were missing something. So I may have to make up another batch and fool with it a bit.
The tostadas were leftover beef roast, sauteed onion & red pepper, portabello mushrooms, refried beans, black olives, Monterrey jack cheese, Colby cheese (for the boys,) greens, & my homemade salsa. Unfortunately it was canned tomatoes, as I couldn't get my hands on enough fresh ones, but it is quite delicious. I don't really use a recipe, I totally wing it, and it's always a touch different every time, but I'll leave a guideline style recipe in case you're interested.

Fresh & Yummy Salsa

  • 1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes; drained (I save the drainings for chili)

  • 1-2 diced up jalapenos (if you like spicy leave in some seeds and veins, otherwise get rid of the seeds and veins)

  • 1 small-medium onion diced (I prefer red usually, but I had a sweet onion and a red last night that I used)

  • Juice of one lime

  • salt (I use sea salt) & fresh crushed black pepper to taste

  • fresh cilantro (I use a good handful)

  • Dried cumin (I use about a big palm full)

  • Chili powder (not much, only about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon full)

Mix all together and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Eat

This salsa is perfect for chips or with tacos and such, but it doesn't always work very well in the casseroles that call for adding salsa. It's maybe more of a tomato filled pico than a salsa that you'd buy in the grocery stores in USA.

I hope you enjoy! I know we did!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy National Pie Day!!!

Now I was going to go a little crazy, I know completely unlike me =)

I was going to make a quiche for breakfast, pot pies for lunch (the kids are home and we got Jo a day early!) and a Shepherd's Pie or Pizza Pies for Supper with pie for dessert.

First off, I think that is way too much crust for anyone in one day! So instead I think I will simply make one pie today. It's been so cold and it's supposed to get really cold again, I am wishing for spring. I have some leftover rhubarb in the freezer, so I think a delicious rhubarb pie sounds about right for today. The kids can help me bake it. And Tim hates rhubarb, so we may eat it after lunch! I'll probably make him an apple pie or something, he will be hard at work today, he should get some pie too!

How will you celebrate this joyous Pie Day?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Celebration!

I didn't mean to not mention this before. We of course celebrated the Inauguration of the President yesterday! After all Lore has been sure of this for 4+ years now. He has been his biggest supporter.

Here he is standing like the Statue of Liberty

We all had special "Patriotic Punch."

The globs are soaked tapioca. I soaked the red ones in cherry syrup I made (with added food coloring,) and the blue ones are with blueberry syrup I made (again with food coloring.) Then we added some 7up.

The kids took turns "Cheersing" each other and making toasts.

Levi's toast to the new Prez was something to the effect of "Keep loving comic books and get our Troops home soon and safe!"

Liam's was something about "making school go later in the day (he likes to sleep in) get the homeless homes"

Lore's was pretty much "I knew it!!! He rocks! I rock! We all rock!!!"

It was tons of fun.

Thrift Store Find!

My mother-in-law loves to go thrift store shopping. I love going with her, but I really never find anything I like, to say anything about love. Yesterday was different! I adore milk glass with designs on it. I have a lovely Christmas punch set, that I have no idea who made. I should post it sometime maybe I'd get some information.... sorry, back to yesterday's find.
It's a Federal Glass Patio Snack Set. I have four cups and 4 plates. There is a lovely little groove for the cups to set in. The bottom is sort of "skid resistant". I love, love, LOVE it! I got it for $5 at Goodwill of all places. Now I want another set, so that I can have snack with my nieces. The boys adore it and wanted to use them right away. Unfortunately one of the plates has really old masking tape adhesive on it, and I had to soak it overnight with some oil. It came off no problem. So tonight I'll have to make a supper that will fit on these plates.

Monday, January 19, 2009

DI weekend

We had our first Saturday meeting/practice this past weekend for DI. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very good, so many members were unable to attend. We had 3 out of 7. It was sad that not too many could come, but there is always the ability to do many things that are difficult to do with 1 adult and 7 2nd-3rd graders. I gave them a quick lesson in sewing on a sewing machine. We really weren't out to make anything special, so they cut out quick and dirty rectangles. But then they ended up making pencil pouches out of them.

We also always try to do at least one Instant Challenge type item. This week we did one from Think! . I love Think!, if you haven't checked it out and you have kids who like to do creative little challenges, you really need to check it out! This week's challenge was to give them a deck of playing cards and tell them to build a village. I gave them 10 minutes, (Instant Challenges always have time limitations,) and off they went. This is what they built.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fave Children's Book

I signed up for a mini quilt swap on flickr. The theme for this swap is favorite children's book. I'm supposed to create a little quilt based off of my favorite children's book. I love so many, I'm not sure which is my favorite. Usually I think, then I pick one, then I realize I should have picked a different one. I'm trying to think now, so when it comes time, I won't have to worry about picking one that is less than my fav.
Some that I remember growing up with;

Some of the books that my children have loved/I loved reading to them;

I know there are tons more, but I'm drawing a blank. There are so many great ones out there. What were/are your favorite children's books?

Cold outside but warm inside

We have a day off of school today. Not because of snow or slippery roads, but because it is crazy cold out there. About -40 with the windchill. Brrrrr! Luckily we knew last night that school was cancelled, so we were able to sleep in today. My eldest son decided to make us all omelets for breakfast
(What you don't see is the Mario Bros. fleece sleep pants he's wearing!)
Here is a picture of him with the omelet that he made for his youngest brother (the one who doesn't really want anything in his omelet, and he likes them slightly over cooked.) For the rest of us he makes them "garbage" style. Whatever is in the fridge. So this morning mine had polish sausage, red pepper, green onion, spinach & muenster cheese. Polish sausage in the morning was a bit of a surprise, but it was really quite good.
Right now he is upstairs practicing his French horn by playing the Mario Bros. theme song (which he is winging without sheet music.)
Some days having a preteen can be pretty darn awesome!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been admiring little yoyo quilts for some time now. I have really enjoyed working on them in my free time. So here's a few red ones I made while my youngest was reading me his homework, (he has told me he doesn't want me watching him read, so I have to do something while he reads to me.)
I'm thinking possibly an upcoming giveaway soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Deep Freeze

This is what it looks like outside my house. A lovely winter day right? The temperature is -8F and a windchill of -22F. This is supposed to be the beginning. The rest of the week is supposed to be much worse. I really dislike it when it's this cold. I don't like anyone driving for fear their cars will break down or they'll get into an accident and be stuck in this awful weather. I fear for the children walking to and from school and the children in buses.

I just want to hunker down with my family and ride out the rest of the week. Hot soup, hot chocolate, tea, a movie, some board games, and wait for this cold blast to pass us by. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. So I will worry.... I will try to make everything warm and cozy here at home so as soon as they come back they will be snuggled.
Someone I grew up with had a little baby girl Friday. She was a month premature, and had complications. She died in her parents' arms on Sunday afternoon. My thoughts and prayers are obviously with them, but it definitely made me pause, grab my babies, and let them know how much I love them.
(And then they wiped it off and gave me a look like I was crazy, but....)
Make sure you let the loved ones in your life know how much you love them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Catch Up

Ok, I know I went MIA for quite awhile, so I may post a few things I did while I was gone. Here is my son's 8th Birthday Cake from November. Ignore the goofy expression, he had friends there and really didn't want to take this picture. I told him we were taking pictures until he "gave me happy" and I guess this is what I get for it.
It's a funfetti style cake with marshmallow fondant. It wasn't hard to make, just took a long time.
Most importantly, he loved it!

Monday, January 5, 2009


A small peak into my crafty endeavors of 08.... let's see what 09 brings!

I thought I should go back a year and see what my goals were for the coming year.... now let's see how I did!?!

-Make all of my boys a mommy made quilt. well, I've started all of them
-Make a Christmas Tree Skirt and Stockings again, I've started all of them
-Make Tim things (especially a throw/quilt) I made him a checkbook cover does that count?
-Help Boys make a quilt for Grandma Wanda They kept changing their minds, so it didn't get done
-Make a window quilt (or more than one) Nope
-Help the boys make and publish a comic book We made them, we didn't get them published though
-Make dessert for the family at least 2 times a month I DID THIS ONE!!!
-Make our home more OURS (Paint Kitchen and Dinning Room, etc) Living room is painted, laundry room in process, and kitchen shelves are mine!
-Spend one WHOLE day with each of my kids individually, doing what THEY want. Stop and breathe more. YEP!
-Open an etsy shop I never seem to get enough "stock" to feel I am able to.
-Work cleaning and exercises into my daily routine. More of it yes, perfecting... not even close
-Embrace quiet Oh, I'm embracing and giving it a full on tongue kiss!
-Call my best friend at least once a month non-prompted! Every other month.... not quite up to what I had hoped, but closer.

So out of 13 goals I have 6 that I've done, 4 about half way, and the rest no. It could be worse.

2009 Goals

  • Finish a quilt for each of my boys
  • Form better cleaning habits
  • Open an etsy shop
  • Finish Stockings
  • Make this home even more ours

Yep that's it. Not much. Keep it simple and hopefully do-able.

I wish you all the best in the coming New Year!

Delayed... Rant

First let me say, I really, really love my family! I know you can tell, there is a huge BUT coming, and you're right.
Our December is always crazy it's expected. We were really happy this year, because we were going to have the whole last week/first week of the year off, as a family, to do family fun stuff.
-Beginning of December I broke a tooth.... no dental insurance... expensive crown needed. Bummer.
-Right before Christmas break, my hubby's first 2 days off and we were hoping to get our stuff done while the kids still had school, the boys ended up having off because of the weather. No biggie, but unable to get stuff accomplished.
-Day before Christmas eve, plumber informs us we need a new toilet because my niece somehow managed to get a tweezers stuck in our toilet, and there was no way to get it out with out destroying the toilet. We tried. Expensive, and a pain.
-My brother and his family need help moving on the other side of the state. We help, but it cut deep into our family (immediate) time.
-We get back and our wall in our laundry room has decided to collapse....we had to fix it, and be without laundry for the rest of our vacation.
-The weather has been horrible both weeks. Too cold for the kids to go out and play. We've been getting on each others nerves instead of enjoying each other.
-Today I was hoping for a little peace and quiet, so I could come back to missing them..... well, they have a delay this morning because of weather.... THEY ARE STILL HERE!


I know I love them, I know I will miss them when they do go off to school, but right now...... boy I hope the rest of this year is much smoother.

They have off all day!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Doctor

News just recently broke that the new, 11th Doctor, would be Matt Smith. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed. I was really hoping this doctor would go in a new direction. I figured we would get our first black doctor, or maybe our first woman doctor. Our "youngest" wasn't enough "shake up" as I would have hoped for.
I know relatively nothing about him, so I don't mean to dismiss him quickly. I hope well for him, and will wait to watch with bated breath, but I can't help be a smidge disappointed.
Good luck Matt Smith, you fill big shoes!