Monday, December 22, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas ~ Mom Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the abode,
Only one creature was stirring, she was cleaning the commode.
The children were sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of X-box 360 and IPODS flipped through their heads.

Dad was snoring in front of the family TV
With a half-constructed bike propped up on his knee.
So only Mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, 'Now what's the matter?'

With toilet brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs and saw an old man
All covered with soot, which fell with a shrug
Oh great, muttered Mom, now I have to clean up the rug.

'Ho! Ho! Ho!' cried Santa, 'I'm glad you're awake.
My gift to you was especially difficult to make.'
'Thanks Santa, but all I want is time alone.'
'Exactly!' he chuckled, 'so I've made you a clone.'

'A clone?' she muttered. 'What good is that?
Now run along Santa, I've no time to chat.'
Then out walked the clone, the dear mother's twin,
Same hair and same eyes, the same double chin.

'She'll cook and she'll dust, she'll mop every mess,
You'll relax, take it easy, watch the Young and Restless.'
'Fantastic!' mom cheered, 'My dream has come true!'
'I'll shop and I'll read and I'll sleep the night through!'

From the room up above, the youngest did fret.
'Mommy come quickly----I'm scared and I'm wet!'
The clone replied, 'I'm coming sweetheart.'
'WOW!' the mom smiled. 'She sure knows her part.'

The clone changed the small one and sung him a tune
as she bundled him up in a blanket cocoon.
'You're the best mommy ever---I really love you!'
The clone smiled and said, 'I love you too!'

The real mom frowned and said 'Santa , no deal!
That's my baby's love that she's trying to steal.'
Smiling wisely Santa said, 'To me it's so clear,
Only one loving mother is needed right here.'

The mom kissed her child and tucked him in bed,
'Thank you so much, dear Santa, for clearing my head',
Knowing time goes too fast, and it won't be too long,
That her children will no longer need her cradle nor song,

The clock on the mantle then began to chime;
Santa whispered to the clone, 'It works every time.'
And with the clone at his side, Santa said, 'Goodnight
Merry Christmas, dear mom, you will be all right!'

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Nester -~ Garland Show & Tell

Inspired by The Nester, here is a short garland tour of my home, Garland Chandeliers. I do have garland on my mantel, but right above our mantel is our TV so it doesn't look as pretty as some of the others on her site. I do enjoy decorating our chandeliers every year. They make me smile.
~ Dining Room ~

~ Kitchen ~

~ Beautiful flowers a surprise yesterday from my Mom ~

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If you're a WAHM, read this article ...

I came across this blog Kimber LOVES a Deal regarding the creation and sale of diapers, baby carriers, handmade wooden toys, homeschool supplies, cute Etsy clothes, or anything else made by cottage businesses. This doesn't affect me and what I make and sell, but I know it affects a lot of you out there and I love to buy your stuff. Read her article, sign the petitions, join the fight all the way to Congress. Her blog tells it well, but there are also many links within her blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bear's "almost" 9th Birthday

I'm stealing away a few QUIET minutes in my studio while our sleepover of 8 boys (and 1 little sister) tries to relax watching a movie with Big N overseeing them. WOW, 8 boys ... yes crazy. Two sets of twins, one set identical that we've known for 4 years and I still can't tell them apart! He's having fun. His official b-day isn't until the 20th, but that's too close to Christmas for a party with friends. I'm still trying to get over the 9 candles on that cake. My big bear.

Christmas around our house

I realized that it's been so long since I've written, before Thanksgiving, and here we are on the 6th of December. Busy organizing the house. Going to snap some photos of my Christmas decor and send a link off to the Nester for her garland show and tell. So this is my first Christmas item I got out this year, our advent shadow box. Isn't this beautiful? From the very talented ladies at Doullina. They make such fun stuff.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Look who was in our front yard yesterday

What happens when three bucks are after one lovely little girl? Lots and lots of stand-offs. This first guy, with the biggest rack, won. He was protecting his gal. They ran around our backyard for a couple hours, the big buck kept chasing away the younger ones with smaller racks.

Stand off time
This guy was in our front bed, right outside our den window. His one antler didn't fair too well. Can you see his look at me, like don't take a picture, I'm having a bad antler day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mr. Dyson ~ that Animal

Look who came to my front door today by that wonderful man in brown {ups}. Yes, yes, my new toy. I LOVE LOVE this vacuum cleaner. This thing is wonderful and Mr. Dyson was right, it doesn't loose suction. You wouldn't believe the stuff that was in our carpet ~~~ YUK!!! My biggest complaint with my Hoover Windtunnel was that it never had suction when I used the attachments to clean the steps or baseboards or furniture. This dude doesn't loose suction ... AT ALL. You will be impressed. We got the Animal model well, because we have a golden retriever that I love but an allergic to. This should help.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Santa ~ Our {condensed} Christmas Wish List

Both boys want Nintendo DS ... red and blue please, oh and lots of games.
Little girl is ready for a new bike {with hand brakes and pink, please}....

Santa, if you can find these Bakugans, the boys would really, really like some .....

Sweet girl would like a Swim to Me Puppy, just because .... it would be fun:
Our family would love to get Wii's Mario Kart with an extra steering wheel.

Bear thinks these would be cool ... Night Vision Googles. I'm sure BB will use them too.

I'm pretty sure they all would like this Martian/Alien Maker ... how cool:


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wii Fit ~ It ROCKS

We are having more fun than I can imagine with our Wii Fit. I bought this back in oh, May for my husband's birthday. We never opened it because .... well, quite frankly, we had our Wii in our great room and the TV is mounted above the fireplace and it just wasn't practical. Now that the basement is finished, our Wii has found a new home and a perfect place to play Wii Fit. Big N and I are competing against each other and we are daily challenging each other's scores.
The kids are having as much fun. Brock, in the photo, is snowboarding. As you make your way through the games you earn points, and the more points you get the more new games get "unlocked." So it really is family fun. Both my boys are on it right now. Hard to find now in the stores before Christmas, but if you do, snag one up. You'll be happy.

Old Red Barn Co. THREE Quilt Giveaway

Can you believe the Old Red Barn Co. is giving away not one, not two, but THREE quilts!!! Can someone say WOOHOO. The generosity of these gals is amazing. Of course, I can't hardly sew anything so the fact that these gals actually made quilts makes me green with envy!! I love the pink & brown quilt. Go now and enter the raffle.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Better late than never ....

It's a what? A Grapple

Have you seen any of these yet? I, along with my entire family, was thrilled to find these beauties at our market yesterday. Try them, but fair warning, they are pricey. A special treat. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

taken through the eyes of a 5 year old

She insisted I take one of her on the play structure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Riddle ... What happens when you ....

decide to do a fun, fall caramel apple party with your kids? Scroll down ....

well, if one has a loose tooth, it just may get pulled out by the caramel on the second bite.

Much better, in his opinion, than me pulling it out with a tissue. He lost his other one the next night. We kept that tooth fairy busy two nights in a row.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Watercolor Giveaway

I love finding giveaways on the mommy blogs. Here's a new one. Offered by Sitting Pretty Studios. Another amazingly generous offer, I cannot believe the generosity of some of these bloggers out there. Go now and sign up. Click the link on the side bar or above.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

wholesale shopping trip

It's been a while since I photo'd one of my shopping trips. Here's my trip to a wholesale place. Two birdhouses which will become Christmas birdhouses here soon {watch Etsy}, more ribbons, SB joined Daisies so I got a daisy flower candy mold and some melting chocolate, also see those two tall metal candle holders? They are a dark brown, I'm going to spray them a different color and see where they will fit in around here, also spraying the fleur de lis a cream color for our center in the basement. And, of course, more fun ribbon. I love fuschia tulle, I use it to wrap around my Etsy packages and also I use a ribbon on presents. I like it so much better than regular ribbon because it's big and fluffy.

Follow me ...

So blogspot has come out with a new, neat gadget called "Follow Me." Sign up to follow me and I will visit your blogspot and sign up to follow you. I have a few sites that I look at frequently, and this lets me know if those particular blogs has been updated without having to actually go to the blog. You follow me, I'll follow you. Isn't that a Dr. Seuss book? It's neat.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Greek Bread Salad

Want a nice, quick, light meal, but enough to fill up even Big N? Then try this salad. I started making this the other day and thought after I had it half way finished, that I should blog about it because we make this fairly often.
In the bowl already:
3-4 medium size tomatoes chopped
2 cucumbers chopped
2 8 oz. containers of feta {we use light}
then I took the photo, next:
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bottle of Greek Salad Dressing {ken's steakhouse is the best}
crusty bread, olive oil, garlic salt
Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, onion and dressing in bowl. You may want to only add half the bottle of dressing and refrigerate for an hour. Stir it up and drain any water and add a bit more dressing. The cucumbers and tomatoes produce a bit of excess water.
Meanwhile, cut bread into cubes and put on baking sheet, coat bread with olive oil and sprinkle some garlic salt and bake at 350 for about 7-10 minutes.
To serve, put bread cubes in a salad bowl and add salad on top. We like to cube the bread small enough so we don't have to cut it as we like to eat on big comfy chairs with out legs tucked underneath and the last thing we want to do is use a knife.

I'm in love .... and his name is GE Profile French Door

Oh, sounds so European, doesn't it. Well, here's my new man. LOVE IT. How did I live so long without this guy in my life? As many of you know, we recently finished our basement. Big B built a small alcove underneath the steps for a refrigerator and a cabinent with a little counter space for a microwave. We didn't want a bar in the basement, nor did we feel it necessary to put a sink in this area. We had a refrigerator in the garage, but honestly in the winter it gets too cold out there and our frig would stop working about about 2 months of the year. Not too practical or convenient. We just sold that refrigerator at our garage sale. We ended up buying a new refrigerator (my new crush) and putting our current kitchen refrigerator in the basement.

Mr. French Doors is very handsome. I feel the freezer part holds about the same amount as my side-by-side. But the refrigerated part definitely holds more, or at least it's a more efficient use of space and feels like it holds more. It also has the LCD lighting which is kind of space age and cool, not to mention energy efficient. If you're in the market for a new refrigerator in your life, check this out. Our research found the GE and the LG to be the ones out there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free QUILT Giveaway

OH MY GOSH ~ What a generous giveaway this is from pinktails and snails. She is offering her beautiful, one of a kind, original creation. Go now and look at it, you'll love it. Or you can click on the banner at the side here and go, go now, go, go.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Do you ever feel guilty being a SAHM?

I know I do. I feel extremely blessed to be able to stay home to raise our children, but at the same time, I feel guilty that I don't contribute monetarily to this household. I know, I know. I contribute in every other way. And surely nothing beats staying home to get my kids on the bus in the morning and to get them off the bus in the afternoon, to be able to stay home in the mornings to play with Sophie, to take all of them to their different after school activities. But when I want to buy something, a big ticket item, say a Dyson vacuum clean, I feel guilty. Having my wholesale business over the last couple years has helped although that's not something I'll make a boat load of money on either. Enough to take the guilt away a bit. Maybe it's the fact that I worked a long time and had my own salary, my own condo. I got married in my early 30's and had children quickly. I went from making a very good salary to motherhood in a matter of one year. I wouldn't change it for the world, but I feel guilty. Do you?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Homemade Foam Soap Refill

I love foam soap and so do my kids. But I hate paying the price for it because I feel like I'm really paying for the dispenser. So here's a recipe, save your bottles and make your own:

3 Tbs. liquid hand soap
2/3 cup warm water

Gently mix the ingredients together, do not shake. Let it settle for about 10 minutes and then you're ready to use it. Of course you can substitute a scented dish soap instead of hand soap. Depending on the size of your bottle, you may have to adjust. Be sure to leave a little room at the top of the dispenser so when you put your pump back in it doesn't overflow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

shamelss ebay plug

Listed some Halloween costumes .... just in case you're looking for something fun.*in*gap

I had to let you all know what I feel is a new scam on ebay. Some of you know that sellers now cannot leave negative or even neutral feedback for a buyer. So if a buyer leaves you negative, you have no recourse. If a buyer says something wasn't delivered and you know it was mailed and delivered, they can still leave you negative feedback. I feel that buyers are taking advantage of this, especially when a seller does not use delivery confirmation with their packages. If you sell on ebay, you have to use delivery confirmation period. No question, have to use it. You have to be able to prove your package was delivered, they don't have to sign for it, but the postal worker scans the package and you can track it on-line. I highly recommend this to anyone. Buyers will claim they didn't receive a package and even though you may have your postal receipt showing you mailed it, if you don't have delivery confirmation, ebay and paypal will rule in favor of the buyer. I have never had problems with buyers until selling my fall/winter items. I've had 3 newer buyers claim they never received my packages. All 3 packages I did not use DC because they were 1st class mail. Do yourself a favor and pay the DC charge, or better yet, purchase your labels through ebay, through paypal and you get free DC with priority mail packages and DC at $.18 for parcel packages (and probably 1st class too).

Etsy love ~ purchases

some of my recent Etsy purchases. This darling art smock is from JessicaLeman for Sophie to use at her easel while I work in my studio.
So it only makes sense that I get her a splash mat from RicRackQueen so she doesn't mess up my new pretty floor.
And does your seatbelt hurt your neck? Well, my does and it makes me not want to wear my seatbelt, that's how bad it hurts. Well, if you have that problem, run over to here pinkdixie and get yourself one.

One more thing I just love. Wanted a neat coaster for my studio in fun colors. If you all know me, I drink lots of iced tea and have lots of glasses with lots of condensation on them. I knew I wanted something fabric and look what I found, not only fabric, but a cute little quilted one. You can find these here rikrak. Guess which one I chose?
~ happy shopping ~

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

hurricane ike hits us??

well, this is the second day of closed schools from hurricane ike. it's very strange because we are some 5 states away from where the hurricane made land. we had 75 miles per hour winds that hammered us for about 6 hours on Sunday knocking out power/electricity which is still out in many areas. trees ripped down, shingles ripped off, shutters and screen laying all around. our trampoline tried to take flight many times. we worked in my parents' yard yesterday for a couple hours cleaning up debris and branches. my kids only get 5 snow days, so now we have used 2 of our 5 snow days. last year we used all of our snow days. this could be a bad winter. the kids are not excited about the possibility of making up snow days on the weekend. we cannot image what it was like living through this hurricane in Texas.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

happy birthday dad

My father turned 70 on September 11, 2001 ~ a day we'll never forget. Today he turns 77. Happy Birthday Dad.
Photo with Sophie (12/07)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Look at Sophie's new backpack .... OWLS

Sophie needed a new backpack before school began, but we never got out to get one. She had the treehouse/owl line backpack last year from Baby Gap, but the bag was too small for Kindergarten. I saw this at Target. Perfect. Just what I wanted .... I mean just what she wanted. This cute backpack was stuffed full of this pop-up tent, sleeping bag, water bottle and flashlight. My girl is in heaven. All for $25. I thought that was a great deal, really. She's a bit big for the tent, has to be on her knees, but she loves a tent.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

i love pretty dishes + i love home goods

I just love finding beautiful dishes. I bring them home and wash them and lay them on my counter for a couple weeks until I can finally stop smiling at them and put them away. But my dishes have to be functional too. That pretty burnt orange square dish is dishwasher/microwave/freezer and oven safe --- now that's my kind of dish. My blueberry teacake will look so pretty in there. The other two bowls are just sweet, my favorite shade of green. Can't decide whether to keep them in my kitchen for dips and such, or let my studio have at them. So both green dishes were $2.99 a piece and the square dish was $9.99. Gosh, I love Home Goods (or TJ Maxx or Marshalls).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Recipe Monday ~ Easy Peasy Pot Roast

This is a staple in our house
1 4-5 pound roast (any kind will do)
1 can french onion soup
1 package dry ranch dressing
approximately 4 cups of water (depending on size of your crock pot and roast)
So I add enough water to cover about half of the roast. I mix the dry dressing with 1 cup of hot water and pour over roast. No need to stir, it will mix up on its own. Then pour the can of french onion soup on top of the roast, slowly so the onions sit on top (see photo). I cook on high for 6 hours and then usually turn to low or keep warm depending on how done the meat is after 6 hours. It will literally pull apart and you'll have a nice onion gravy. We will eat this for two days, one just having usual pot roast style and the next shredded into burritos.
Alternatively, you can use a can of golden mushroom soup and a package of dry italian dressing mix. You get a nice mushroom gravy.
And don't worry about the cut of meat. I buy whatever is on sale that week. Sometimes it's 2 for 1 at our market. The longer you let it cook, the more tender it will get. Check it after 6 hours though.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

my baby lost her first tooth

So, we're in BW-3 last night having dinner, we're almost finished and she screams and starts crying. She bit down on that tooth, once again. But this time it was really hanging on there (see first photo & try to ignore her nasty, dirty fingernails). So we rush her home and for the next 2 1/2 hours, she cries, she tries to pull it herself, won't allow me to touch it. She goes and shows Mrs. Yokum. She goes out to play in the backyard with friends only to come back in crying again because it hurts. I keep saying, it will feel much better if you just let me take it out. She won't. She eats an ice cream sandwich. Close to her last bite, it happens again. It's bleeding. She doesn't like to see blood and freaks out. NB comes running out and grabs her to comfort her, I told him I'm taking it out hold onto her. It happens so quickly she doesn't even realize it's out. She's still fussing that she doesn't want me to do it not even realizing it's already in the tissue. She looks at it and laughs, and then cries again and yells for me to show it to "Mrs. Yokum" our neighbor. Mrs. Yokum is very proud of her and all is well in Sophie's world. Mrs. Yokum sounds old in this story, she is only 38 and a friend of mine.

and after photo .... after many, many tears. she doesn't look too happy? Her brothers even slept in her room with her last night hoping to catch a glimpse of that elusive tooth fairy.