Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wild & Wacky Week... half over!

Monday was a nice quiet day, but those definitely do not happen nearly often enough... and the calm doesn't last. Tuesday always arrives.

I made pancakes to start the day on Tuesday... the kids were happy (except for Trae - he'd have preferred biscuits). Vicki had a Dr appointment to have the lump on the bottom of her foot looked at... 3 hours later we walked out with a referral for an MRI, a podiatrist, a neurologist, and a retinal specialist for her, and a prescription for me that's supposed to help with my sinus issues. (I need to see if my insurance will cover Allegra - someone said their insurance doesn't, so I have to check). We were a smidge late to dinner with my Sit & Stitch friends, and then we were off the library to actually attend Sit & Stitch. I finished off the night with a trip to Walmart to pick up some groceries before the kids decided to mutiny for lack of "easy" food.

Today is Wednesday, and I did make homemade biscuits this morning (thus making Trae a very happy camper). Andrew & I made a run to the recycle center, and the community garden. Miss Rose at the garden had pulled the "end of season" cabbage plants and let us pick them up to feed to the goats, sheep, and longhorn. We definitely have some happy critters out there this afternoon.

I'm sitting here watching the movie Julie & Julia, knowing that I need to leave shortly to take Andrew to work... I'll drop him off, head back to the dr's office to pick up the authorization numbers for Vicki's referrrals, head to Mann's Tires in Tomball to get the new tires for the Toyota, I might have some time to kill before picking Andrew up at work - so I could swing into the HEB at Louetta and 249 to pick up more of their yummy gourmet coffees before I pick him up. Then I drop him off at his dinner with the guys from work, and the girls and I will go fabric shopping! They picked out patterns for new dresses, so it's time to get started actually MAKING them. I'm kind of excited about the fact that they're willing to not just wear dresses, but help design them and wear them to church. I haven't made dresses for them in years - I've been sticking to quilting, making sleep pants, and other simple tasks, so I'm definitely happy about the opportunity to REALLY sew.

Well, time for me to get my act together and get ready to leave. I hope everyone else has a fabulous week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

busy weekend...

It's been a busy couple of days... we managed to bring home all of the 2X4's and  plywood from Teen Challenge last week... we managed to get the trailers emptied on Saturday. We unloaded a lot of the wood here at our house, and the rest we gifted to Fortuna's Garden & Bird Sanctuary. They'll use it to build more habitats for their rescues... we'll use it to build coops so that we can adopt/rescue more chickens. (I'm enjoying the fresh eggs from the few that we have, so it's reached "the more the merrier" level.

Andrew took the pickup, a trailer, and 3 of the kids to another gentleman's barn to finish cleaning it out... they brought home lots of scrap, and some fun stuff, too. One of the items that came home was a really neat double cobbler's anvil, and a wooden box filled with tacks. It's a really nifty antique, and we'll be posting it on etsy or somewhere later.

We also have some windows to sell - they're aluminum framed, never used... the store stickers are still attached. We'll upload pictures of those and post them on craigslist later. We'll probably post them for $50 for the trio.

Cassidy was with us nearly all week... she's such a dear! I love having her over, and I'm hoping she enjoyed her spring break at our house as much as we enjoyed having her here. It was positively delightful!

We picked up Vicki yesterday after her week at Mission Home, and I'm thrilled to have her back. She had a (mostly) good week... minor issues with one of the other girls, but it was resolved by the leaders. I'm just glad to have her home....

Tomorrow's Monday - the start of another busy week. I'm going to get new tires for the Toyota Camry, Vicki has a dr appointment scheduled for her foot on Tuesday before Sit & Stitch, Andrew has a dinner with the HP guys on Wednesday night... while he's there, Vicki & I will go fabric shopping so that I can make her a dress from the pattern that she picked out.... I think Thursday & Friday might actually be empty? I'm not positive... and I'm also not getting up to officially check the calendar right this minute LOL

I made some lightly breaded fried chicken and some nice buttered & seasoned corn for lunch... we're just having a lazy, snacky supper while watching a movie. I'll start back with biscuits again tomorrow morning after waking up a little late this morning. I know the kids will be thrilled... they're never impressed with me when I miss a morning LOL

Anyhow, back to the movie! Hope everyone's had a splendid weekend and stayed in out of the weather - it's been fiercely windy & cold all day - yuck! Apparently no one has informed Mother Nature that yesterday was the start of spring. Rats!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Beautiful Weather Today!

It's been an absolutely gorgeous day outside... the sun was shining all day, with not a cloud in the sky! I baked homemade biscuits, made farm fresh scrambled eggs (from our own hens), and some nice, crispy bacon for breakfast today. It was totally yummy! We cooked out on the grill for lunch - Andrew fired it up, and we made chicken and venison sausage, and I even wrapped some fresh asparagus in foil with some black pepper and rosemary, and put the pouch on the grill so that the asparagus would steam in it's own juices. It was excellent that way!

We picked up lumber yesterday and again today from Teen Challenge in Magnolia - we couldn't let it just rot or get tossed in a burn pile, so we picked it up to help build chicken coops. We'll use some of it here, some of the plywood will go to a gentleman who needs to fix the flooring in his bathroom, and then we'll also be taking a large portion of it to Fortuna's Garden & Bird Sanctuary, so that they can build coops and cages for their critters. It's so exciting to be able to pass around things that we've obtained from different places...

We're heading outside to enjoy what's left of the sunshine before it goes completely down for the day.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dreary day outside...

It's a Tuesday... a very dreary Tuesday. I haven't seen the sun all day, and I've really enjoyed it's presence the last few days. Totally bummer!

Tonight is Sit & Stitch - I look forward to it every week. It's an absolute blast - a wonderful group of ladies who gather and knit, crochet, cross stitch, or whatever else they're working on at any given time. A few of us pop out and have dinner together before the gathering. We definitely enjoy it.

My Wii Fit gave me an age of 26 today  - not bad. I always hate the "stillness test" - I'm so totally not good at standing without any movement at all.

I received the new AOP catalog today. They have a new curriculum called Monarch. I'd love to check it out, but their website links aren't working for it. It's an online curriculum, and if it's any good, I'd be able to switch my 2 younger kids over to it instead of the TXVA that we're using. I'm really not enjoying the TXVA - we started it just a few weeks ago, and it's more annoying than anything. I'm consistently having to babysit what the kids are doing, and the whole purpose was to take myself OUT of the equation, not make MORE work for myself. I'm going to attempt to make it through the semester with it, but I'd love to see Alpha Omega's Monarch curriculum in action. I'll have 7th, 8th, 11th, and 12th grades to deal with next year, and I've really been trying to lessen my personal workload so that I'm really just "overseeing" their work. I was hoping that the TXVA for the two younger kids would be set up so that the teachers handled the teaching... but the teachers don't do much of anything other than send out emails that give us parents instructions. I didn't need someone telling me what they need to do - I wanted someone who would walk the students through doing their work. I'm definitely thinking it's time to go back to Alpha Omega in some capacity. I just have to choose which one.

I have an extra child here this week - since one of mine is off at camp, we're enjoying another one being here. Cass's birthday is tomorrow, though, and I'm surprised that it's okay with her to be here at our house instead of at hers for her birthday. It actually says a lot about what her home life must be like, and that makes me feel bad for her. I'm picking up ice cream tonight before I come home, and probably some other "birthday type" junk food to make tomorrow fun. I might make some fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, and maybe a "build-your-own-salad" to go with it. I know she likes salads and mashed potatoes, I'm assuming chicken is a good thing. Then ice cream for dessert. Hopefully that'll be a hit.

It's time for me to round up my stuff and get ready to leave for the evening. I hope everyone's week is shaping up well...
Take care!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The weekend is over...

It's Sunday evening, and we've made it through another busy weekend. Victoria was dropped off at church this evening to attend Mission Home. The group was headed out to Messiah's Ranch to get some work done. They're able to get a lot of things done during this week to prepare for the summer camp. They also have plenty of time to worship and just spend time with friends, but it's more work than anything. She looks forward to this week every year. We won't get her back until next Saturday... I'll miss my Vicki!

I picked up Cassidy this evening to come over and spend the night with Brittani - they're watching movies right now, and just enjoying each others company. They always have such a blast together!

I actually didn't make breakfast this morning. With the time change, I slept until 7:30, which was really 8:30, so we only had a half hour to get out the door... poor kiddos! I did filet some chicken breasts really thin, cook them in a little bit of EVOO, then cut them up and made Chef Salad's for lunch, so that was totally  yummy! It made for a good but light lunch.

Tomorrow will be a stay at home day (I think). We'll see what crops up. I know I have a couple of ebay packages to get out in the mail, and I have some things to list on craigslist for sale. Mostly kids clothes... so I'll try to have a productive day, and make biscuits and a good lunch to make up for today. (I know I have some asparagus in the fridge that I can steam, more chicken to cook, and maybe I'll do a nice rice pilaf to go with it... )

I'm watching the news this evening, and they're discussing a "Green Death" - apparently there are biodegradeable caskets (wood with no nails, bamboo, paper machet). Apparently we bury 200 million pounds of steel and 3.2 billion pounds of reinforced concrete every year - just in funerals. It's one of those things I've thought about in passing, but never really put lots of thought into it. The golden gate bridge could be rebuilt with that quantity of steel. Holy smokes!

Target has some good sales this week - I'll probably stop in & pick up a couple of the mens tshirts that are on sale for $4 - their tees are nice. I also need to pop into OfficeMax - they have a case of paper for $34.99 and you get back $35 in MaxPerks to use next month. That's definitely another bargain I can handle. Hobby Lobby has a 40% coupon again this week, too - so I'll try to sneak in and get a jump on Christmas. I also need to make it to walmart - apparently they have a bunch of the Bakugan stuff on clearance, and Zachary would love if I pick some up for his birthday. It'd be a great surprise for him.

We made it to 81 degrees today - very warm for this time of year... I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised, since we had snow before Christmas (completely unheard of!). Perhaps it's not that we have global warming - we have Season Shifting. LOL Who knows. Some scientist speculated that we have entered a 30 year mini-ice-age. Seriously? I don't think so.

I had intended to weed my toyboxes today - I have some little tikes toy boxes that we've gotten from the trash over the years, and I use them to "container garden" my green beans. I also have some pots that I use for my cherry tomatoes. The chore is getting put off until tomorrow, though. It's definitely time to start planting. I'm not going to try cucumbers this year. I haven't had much luck with them over the last few years, so I'm going to give up on them. I'm considering planting squash this year, though. We're not huge fans, but it does add a nice flavor when mixed with other veggies in a stir fry.

I did manage to finish crocheting another iPhone holder, today. It's a lovely color blend from Red Heart Yarn - called Cherry Chip. It worked into a cute argyle type pattern - I'm trying to decide what else to make with it, because the colors remind me of Chocolate Covered Cherries, and it's just such a happy color blend. Maybe I'll make legwarmers... I don't know.

I'll be utilizing a friends succotash recipe for easter. My Vegan sister-in-law is coming down from Alaska, and I think she'll like it. I need to play with it ahead of time so that I have it perfected. It'll make a good side dish for us with pretty much anything - steak, chicken, beef... so I'll definitely work it in. It's nice & healthy, too - which is a definite perk.

It's 9:30pm - and time to stop rambling. We'll be heading to bed shortly. I hope everyone's had a fabulous weekend and has a great week to look forward to!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Posted by someone I know....

Someone I know wrote: "How many times does the safety mechanism on a food processor have to malfunction before the company will take it back? How many fingers have to be chopped off? Well according to Kitchen Aid, the answer would be 3!?! ...and fingers....well I guess any would prove that the safety mechanism malfunctioned LOL. Upon asking to speak to a supervisor, I was able to get it resolved and they will be taking it back and paying for shipping for the 30lb beast. I feel very lucky that no fingers were lost because my 2 year old was pushing buttons while I was getting stuff out of food processor, but it could have been her fingers as she was helping put kale into it."

I just can't help but wonder where the wisdom was in letting the 2 year old stand at the counter with a functioning food processor. Is it just me? Seriously?

A Busy Saturday... Like that's new?

We started the day off with scrambled eggs fresh from the yard, thick sliced peppered bacon, and homemade biscuits... an absolutely fabulous breakfast this morning before we got started on the day... Andrew helped level a corner at the SpecialTea Shop about a mile up the road, then he worked on building a new chicken coop. He was able to get the framework complete, and the side walls on... we'll be ready for more chickens soon! Hooray! (Have I mentioned how much I love fresh eggs? LOL)

 I ran Jess to frame shop in Tomball, stopped at walmart & kroger for groceries, picked up pizza to go for a late lunch for everybody. Had an hour to eat & relax when I got home, then we turned around & picked up both of our 16 foot trailers that a friend loaded and took them to the heavy trash day in Montgomery County. The trash was emptied off of them, and then we scavenged for "good" stuff (one man's trash...) and I came home with a pair of GREAT lawn chairs, a walker that is perfectly good & we'll take it to the senior citizen's home, some one inch ply wood (brand new & still strapped together), another Little Tikes toy box to use as a planter... I know there was more, but that's what stands out in my mind off hand.

When we got home, we had cereal for supper, played a couple of games of Wii Bowling while the kids ran through showers, and now it's time to chill for a bit before bedtime. (time change tonight - don't forget!)

It's definitely been a busy day, but I'm absolutely thrilled that we had BEAUTIFUL weather for it!! I'm seriously enjoying the sunshine and daytime temps in the upper 60's / low 70's. The nights are still pretty cool (in the 40's)... but I'm okay with that. I sleep better that way, actually. Windows open and blankets piled on! NICE!

I talked to the "head honcho" at the trash day, and explained that we have a couple of fellas who "renew" bicycles and donate them to kids who can use them but can't afford them, and he said that they probably had over a hundred bicycles come through today. He said he'd have the guys set them aside for us tomorrow, and that we can pick them up in the afternoon. How cool is that? The guys who fix the bikes are awesome - they'll combine pieces from different "trashed" bicycles, and remanufacture some nice bicycles out of all of the pieces. I just adore people that do things like that... it's awesome!

It's Spring Break this week for the public school kids, and my Vicki will be heading off to Mission Home with kids from the church. There's work to be done  up at Messiah's Ranch (the camp that our church uses), so the teens are heading up there to be productive and get things done. It's a good calling....

I'll be going through our Alpha Omega LifePac curriculum, and pulling out the grades that we've finished with... I'll sell some of them on Craigslist to help buy the Switched on Schoolhouse disks that we need. I'll also check with friends to see if anyone needs our SOS Health Quest and can trade for other SOS disks. That's always a nice way to save some money on curriculum... every little bit helps.

It's almost 10pm now, which means that if you take the time change into consideration, it's technically almost 11pm, so the morning is going to come earlier than I'd like... so I'm off to bed! Hope everyone is doing well! Good night!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Pleasant Day :-)

I started out this morning checking in with the Wii Fit critter... did my daily "test" on it, and then proceeded to make PANCAKES for breakfast! Some of the kids were thrilled, while others wished I had made biscuits... I started the kids on their school work, and mailed out the ebay packages (some homeschool workbooks that I sold).

Andrew cooked some venison sausage on the grill for lunch - it was totally yummy! We sat on one of the swings and just talked while it cooked. It was really nice... no worries, no time frame, no plans, no schedule. Just time to sit. How often do we take the time to do that? Definitely not often enough... we really should.

Jessica (16) gets to work at the frame shop again tomorrow - she'll be excited about that. It might actually be a little busier on a Saturday than it was on Wednesday, and she'd REALLY like that.

Victoria (15) leaves on Sunday for Mission Home at church. She'll be gone a whole week... I'll miss her, but she enjoys the week of working at the camp. The week will run as normally without her, except that perhaps not all of the laundry will stay caught up...

This weekend is Heavy Trash Clean Up for Montgomery County. We like to hit the site after hours and scavenge for things that we can use and keep at least some of the stuff from ending up in a landfill. It's always sad to see the amount of really good furniture, appliances, and other stuff that people dump off out there. Last year there was a BEAUTIFUL wooden futon with a striped cushion that someone dropped off. Watching the machine practically shred it was just heart breaking.

We're heading into town later to salvage some wood that we can use, and drop off one of our empty trailers so that someone can clean out the trash from their barn. I'll stop and pick up bacon and some salad fixings while we're in town. I told Brittani I'd make scrambled eggs, bacon, and homemade biscuits for breakfast tomorrow, and a salad sounded like a good supper.

Hope everyone else is having a fabulous day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Long day = tired night!

Andrew & I were up early this morning... we picked up the trailer that we'd dropped off yesterday. It was empty when we left it, and it was FULL when we picked it up. (A friend of ours was cleaning out their barn.) There was a lot of wood on it that we'll use for chicken coops, so that was great :-) Free building materials are always a happy thing!

We came home and the kids helped unload what we wanted to keep off of the trailer while I made biscuits for a late breakfast, and then I sat down and was able to get them started on their school work.

I made taco meat, and everyone had the option of a build-your-own-taco or taco salad for lunch, so the kids were thrilled. Brittani decided that our next cow would be named taco - we'll see if she sticks with that plan, silly girl!

We dropped the trailer with about half a load on it for another friend to finish filling, and then we'll cart it off to the heavy trash pick up day in Magnolia on Saturday. There's always something going on around here. The Farmer's Market is supposed to be open in Magnolia this Sunday, too... so I think I'm going to try to make it this time & see if it's worth attending every month.

Andrew & I decided to start walking again, in addition to our wii exercise. I need to check the path we took, but I think it was 1 1/2 miles total for the evening... not bad :-)

It's late, now... Andrew's already snoring and I'm definitely ready to head that direction. I hope everyone's having a fabulous week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Always on the run!

I know, I know... it's been ages since I've added anything new. I'm setting a goal to post at least a couple of times a month (although a couple of times a week would be better, I'm sure! LOL)

Things are always moving at 90 miles an hour around here... or so it seems.

Trae's working on joining the marines... but apparently if you only have one testicle, joining the military is frowned on. Really? Does it get in the way, or what? You know... "I'm sorry, Sarge! I can't hold my gun properly today because I'm feeling a little lopsided!" Seriously? It doesn't help that the recruiter doesn't have a brain in his skull. "I don't know what a medical release form is" and "I've never had a parent come back and say that the doctor/hospital charged for information" - I want to know what dr's everyone else has that doesn't charge? It was $30 for a letter from our current doctor (that isn't admissible for our needs), and Texas Children's Hospital charges $65 for their records... but it's FREE from Texas Children's if the military submits a records request... and I had to get that information from the hospital, NOT from the recruiter. GRRRR!!

Jessica (16) was able to fill in at Sallie Fisher's Frame Shop in Tomball today. Her first "official" but "unofficial" job LOL It was basically a matter babysitting a very quiet store front. (It's a wonderful Custom Frame Shop in Tomball, Tx - they have some fabulous works of art in the shop, in addition to the frames). Thank goodness for the fact that we print their school work and don't always use it on the computer. (It's the Switched on Schoolhouse curriculum - totally excellent for us, and so versatile!) She didn't do her French lessons today, because those really DO need the computer, but I printed everything else that she needed and she was able to take it with her. You definitely have to love that!

Victoria (15) worked on getting the laundry caught up, peeked through some dress patterns to choose a couple, and did her school work on the laptop... I need to see if SOS has Italian - that's what she wants to learn... You'd think at least ONE of the kids would choose German I could at least be helpful with that one! Vicki did get her new cell phone in from AT&T this week. Her LG Neon kept turning off on her in the middle of texting. She went through 3 LG Neon handsets, and they all had the same issue. AT&T let her choose a different model when we took the 3rd one in, so she has a shiny red Samsung Flight now. She's having fun with it.

Brittani (13) is "just" Brittani. She was outside quite a bit today - we finally came out of this rainy season we've been having, and are enjoying the sun... she played on the trampoline for quite awhile, and was out petting on the new baby goat. She keeps insisting that we should name it Dumbo because he has big ears, but that just seems mean, poor thing. (Of course, I'm the one who wanted to call it Chewbacca the day he was born LOL - that didn't stick, either).

Zachary (11) is your typical boy... into icky things and grossness and rocks. He really likes rocks.

This evening at church, we were picking up the girls (my 3 plus one), and some mom accosted me and told me she didn't think that the other little girl should be attending Wednesday nights because she's disruptive, and feels that I should talk to the child's parents. Seriously? (1.) I don't bring the child to church, I just take her home. (2.) apparently, disruptive means that she takes too many trips to the bathroom REALLY?? (3.) she lives with her grandparents, not her parents, and I'm not going to tell her grandparents that someone thinks her grandchild pees too often, (4.) I've NEVER had a problem with this child being disruptive, and she's spent the night at our house on multiple occasions, (5.) I didn't witness disruptive behavior from her, so I'm not about to "tattle" on someone else's behalf.

I was just floored... it's one thing for someone to pull me aside and talk to me about MY children, but I don't think it's appropriate for someone to pull me aside to talk about someone else's child. Is this normal? Really?

And now it's time for me to settle down and Grade Brittani & Zachary's school work. The drawback of printing their work is that I have to grade it by hand... but the perk is that I get to see how crummy their handwriting is and attempt to work on that... and I also get to see precisely where they have trouble and can help them where they need it. Since they're younger, they need the extra guidance, so it works for us :-)

Good night!