Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rainbow Bridge...

Here is the poem our vet sent us after we put our dog, Montana, to sleep a few weeks ago.
Rainbow Bridge


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here,
that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.
Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.
The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet,
so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

On my bedside table: "Organic Housekeeping" by Ellen Sandbeck

On my TV: Nothing

On the menu for tonight: Beef Ravioli

On my To Do list: Nothing for today :)

New Recipe I tried last week: Nothing

In the Craft Basket: Nothing

Looking foward to: Scrapbooking on Tuesday

Homemaking Tip for the Week: Add a little vinegar to your water when washing 'stinky' clothes (socks, sports uniforms, etc)

Favorite Blog Post of the week: Simplifying our stuff, by Me! Usually I don't toot my own horn - or try not to. But I love the book "Organic Housekeeping" and this post talks about some of the stuff I have read.

Favorite Photo of the week:


My daughter's hockey game - she is doing the face off in the orange. She plays on an 8 and under team. And the reason she is doing the face off is, I love this, the little boy who usually does it had to go to the bathroom right in the middle of the game. My husband, the coach, said it must have been the chugging of the water in between games so they wouldn't get dehydrated. The little kids need a potty break. Lesson learned.

Lesson learned the past few days: Besides the above one... I can't really think of one. Is that good or bad??

On my prayer list: Two friends who recently lost their fathers.

Devotional, Scripture reading, Key verse: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. ~Psalms 32:8

Stop by to see Sandra for more Happy Homemaker Monday posts!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simplifiying our stuff...



I am currently reading "Organic Housekeeping" by Ellen Sandbeck. It is really good so far. At the beginning of the book she talks about 'organizing' - I have to admit I am sick of that work (along with the word 'clutter') - but it's a great section that talks about keeping your home organized so you can enjoy the things you have.

Sandbeck says a lot of clutter 'is the product of absentmindedness'. Hmm. I never really thought of it that way. We walk into a room with something in our hand, put it down, do something else (maybe more than one thing) and then leave the room without that item, leaving it to clutter up the room in which it doesn't really belong. I have to say I am relieved that I am not the only one who does this. She says that living in a house is like an giant game of Memory. Well, yes it is. We don't often have enough room in our memory banks to remember where we put the keys, our purse, our shoes, etc. Hence, 'a place for everything and everything in its place.' She suggests some techniques for the 'memory challenged' (isn't that most of us on some days?):

  • A full set of bathroom cleaning products & equipment in each bathroom. Especially great if you have a 2 (or more) story home.
  • Magnetic clips to hold outgoing mail, bills, school permission slips, etc. These could go on your front or back door if it's metal, a metal board in your mud room or even your fridge.
  • A dry erase board or chalkboard in a prominent place.
  • Keeping purse or backpack items in their container - which is the purse or backpack.
  • Plug-in rechargeable flashlights that turn on automatically when the power goes out. Put one on each level of your home. I had no idea these things existed but it is BRILLIANT! I am always scrambling to get candles and flashlights when the power is out.

Later in the book she talks about cleaning, making your own cleaning products, etc. It is really good. I think this organizing chapter is at the beginning because it really is easier to clean it you can actually get to what you need to clean. Pretty simple idea...

Join Stephanie at Keeper of the Home for Living Simply Saturdays.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Proud...

Last night after hockey, Little Miss wanted to go to the school science fair so I could see her class project ('do oil and water mix?'). Now this was the last thing I wanted to do for various reasons:
  • It started at 7:00. Dangerously close to bedtime. Really, school officials.
  • We got home from hockey at 6:15 and Little Miss was in need of a bath.
  • We needed to eat dinner. Little Miss thought we could eat after the science fair. Umm, no.
  • I was so stinkin' tired I could barely keep my head up. Good to drive around town feeling like that.

So, as you can imagine, we ended up at the science fair. Little Miss took a quick shower, had the only lunchables in the house for dinner (healthy, I know) and we were out of there at 7. Got to school about 7:05 and walked around until they announced the winners at 7:30'ish.

Two of Little Misses friends from hockey (who also came after practice) did a project together and won 1st prize for group project, lower grades. So it was worth the trip to see that. Now for the proud part. When we were leaving Little Miss ran ahead of me (in the pitch dark), I ask her to stop and she said 'just a minute' as I see her running to 'M' - one of her friends who did the group project -

She says, " 'M', hold on."

'M': "What?"

LM: "Congratulations, M."

Didn't even have to be prodded to congratulate her friend. And chased him down to do it...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A good scrubbin'...

Tomorrow I will be spending most of the day cleaning and scrubbing. Our house is really a mess and probably a little dirty, too. I am having a hard time without the old hoover (AKA, the dog) to sit by the table and pick up our crumbs. Things are not as bad as the picture I am painting but I will be knee deep in cleaning and picking up. My husband has not said anything about it - YET. So I hope to get things in tip top shape tomorrow by the time he comes home. The only place I have to go is to pick up my daughter and her friend at school in the afternoon so I will have all day to get things in order.

We are knee deep in girl scout cookies right now. Our leader delivered ours today & I have packed up about 1/2 of them and hope to finish up in the morning. We opened our box of thin mints tonight. Yummmm. We put them in the freezer which makes them even yummier. I know that people have recipes which include some of these cookies so I will be on the look out for them. If I come across any I will be sure to post them.

I have a confession: I watched American Idol tonight while my husband was at his hockey meeting. They are down to 36 and tonight 12 performed. The top boy and top girl and the next highest vote getter will move on. Wow. Lots of pressure. I thought the girls were basically awful except for Alexis. Most of the guys were okay. I love Danny but will not, repeat, will not get too excited about him. Tomorrow I believe 12 more perform w/ the same deal-top boy, top girl,etc. Also tomorrow will be a duet with Michael Johns (my fave season 8 contestent whose album comes out in April) & Carly Smithson so I will watch it to see them.

Well, I am off to bed - we all got up a little late today & I want to avoid that rush tomorrow morning...

Monday, February 16, 2009

"I'm on a budget now, you know..."


Says a friend during a conversation this weekend. We were talking about the hotels we were staying at while out of town for our hockey tournament.
Me: "Bill says you are at the Holiday Inn (HI)."
S: "Yes, the Spring Hill was booked so we are at the HI. And it was $20 cheaper. I'm on a budget now, you know."
Me: "I hear you." (My new, irritating way to say "I can relate".)
S: "You're always on a budget, even when times were good you were. Bill always talks about how you have him on a budget."
Me: "I know. But since we have always been on a budget we haven't had to change our lifestyle yet."
S: "I know. Mine has sure changed. Not for the better but that's the way it has to be."
Well, I guess I have a reputation out there! But my husband is walking around very proud that since we have always watched what we spend we haven't had to drastically alter our life style now like so many of our friends. I think he is starting to realize that it pays off to keep an eye on spending and not spend every dime that comes your way. It's not always easy but I am sure glad we have lived the way we have.
I am still trying to find ways to cut back and we're not buying too many things we don't need so we can save more and reduce our debt. I have to say that not going to Walmart helps keep things in check. Sounds crazy but going to Walmart to save on something is great if you can keep yourself from looking at other things that are also 'bargains'. Before you know it you (as in 'me') can spend double what you saved on bargain #1 when you add other goodies to the cart. So, I keep those trips to a minimum and can see a difference.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day...

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. ~Author Unknown
Well said, although I never really thought of it that way. :) I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day. I got a nice surprise today: the door bell rang and a man was standing there with not one but two baskets of flowers. All I am thinking is 'I hope he's got the right house'. Sure enough, the lovely baskets were for my daughter and me, from my dad. How sweet is that? So it is smelling & looking nice in our house now.
We leave tomorrow for a hockey tournament; my daughter's first. My husband is the coach so I am sure things will go well but I am a bit nervous since this is the first time she has played a game with kids she hasn't known all of her life (the kids on the other team). My husband says not to worry, lots of girls play hockey. Yes, lots of girls who aren't my daughters. So our Valentine's Day will be spent at the rink - romantic, yes? I am sure my husband thinks so. I am looking forward to this though. The tournament is in the greatest place with the rink in this huge park and they serve the BEST food. Yes, I am going for the food. I admit it.
I'll be back after the weekend. Have a good one...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thanks...

Thanks to Europafox for this nice award! It was such a wonderful surprise. It is nice to know that there are people out there who enjoy reading my blog. :)

And now to pass it on:



“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”!

I would like to pass this on to:

Laurie @ Tinker's Piggies

Sarah @ Fortner Family

Kellie @ Acorn Cottage

Carie @ Planet Maxwell

Lisa @ Coastal Nest

Carrie @ With all that I've been given

Wendie @ My Heart is always home

Ashley @ The Draper House

I have links to all of these wonderful blogs on the right hand side of my blog so please go visit these wonderful ladies when you get a chance.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine's Day...

Yes, it's coming up. It'll be here before you can blink an eye. My daughter is having a little party at school on Friday. We were told that the kids need a shoe box to decorate which will end up holding all the Valentine's they will receive in class. Cute idea, but.... I don't keep shoe boxes anymore - I toss them as soon as I know the shoe fits. So luckily my mom had one she could let us use. Right now Little Miss is going back and forth between making heart shaped Valentine's for her classmates on the Cricut or buying some mass produced, licensed character cards. Right now we are leaning towards buying them. I still have a couple days to turn her around though. I got a great idea for an inexpensive, cute, useful teacher's gift here. I totally swiped her idea and it turned out really cute. Thanks Chris!

It didn't have stickers like Chris used so I took some red paper and wrapped it around the hand sanitizer bottle (after taking off the labels) then glued on some die cut hearts. I added a tag and some ribbon and ... voila! Best of all, Little Miss thinks it's cute and can't wait to give it to her teacher.

Does anyone else have cute teacher's gift ideas? I have a few more years of this...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Trash...

This week on Good Morning America they have been doing a series on Garbage in America. It has been interesting to say the least. One day they talked about the trash in our waterways. It was really disturbing to find out that the fish that is caught for our consumption often has plastic inside. The trash that is thrown into the water (accidentally or otherwise) is eaten by the fish. Lots of plastic ends up in the water for some reason (the kind of plastic that is super easy to recycle in most areas of our country).

Apparently, the US generates more garbage than any other country in the world. Lovely. I believe it is estimated that each person will throw out 64 tons of garbage in a life time. Yikes. One day they showcased a man who saved all his trash for a year in his basement (yuck). At the end of the year he put it out on the lawn to show exactly how much it was. Astonishing. And he was just one guy who composted and reused things. I bet if we could see the amount of trash we, as families, generated in a year it would prompt us to make changes. How, you ask? The young man who saved his trash gave us some ideas:
  • Composting (this is a big thing & something I don't do for several reasons but I have been tempted)
  • Drinking tap water. I don't have numbers but the # of plastic bottles we go through is unbelievable. Get a water filter or R/O (reverse osmosis) system, a few stainless steel bottles and you can zap that bottled water habit. (We have an R/O and only buy bottled water when we are traveling or camping)
  • Invest in some reusable, cloth shopping bags. Watch your plastic stash dwindle to next to nothing. (I use the reusable bags and have really gotten into a good habit of remembering to take them to the store with me. The best one I have came from Whole Foods, it is big and strong-great for heavy items. I don't think it was one of the 99 cent deals you get at other stores but it is well worth the extra $ - made from recycled plastic bottles)
  • Reuse. Anything you can. Sandwich bags. Tin foil. Margarine containers. Kids Cuisine containers (great for snacks later on w/ the little compartments). Bread bags. A quick wash and these things are ready for their next life.

I am sure everyone has at least one other idea to add to that. It is really something to think about when you go to toss something in the trash. I know that the more 'whole foods' I buy the less waste I have. So maybe it's something to think about at the store before you buy. I know that each Sunday when I take out the trash I will be thinking about where it ends up and how I could have used less that week...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being replaced?

This Dave is quickly being replaced by...


this one during my days on the computer.

I have always listened to the Dave Ramsey show during the day while I work on the computer. (Don't you just love technology?) But since getting David Cook's album I have been spending most of the time listening to that. I guess I'll get sick of it eventually - well, maybe not... I am guessing that Dave Ramsey will serve me better in the long run with his advice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rest in Peace, Montana...

We had to put our precious pup to sleep last week. We knew the day was coming but it was still hard. She was just to the point where she couldn't walk very well, fell down alot, used the bathroom in the house almost exclusively, wasn't eating much, etc. It was definintely time. She was 16 and I had her for 14 of those years. She lived a good live with us and was a happy pup, even at the end she still loved and kissed us alot. Although she was not a fan of other dogs (to put it mildly) she was perfect with humans - kids & adults alike. She was here when my daughter came home from the hospital 7 years ago and accepted her right away & was always gentle with her. She would sometimes sleep right by her crib while Little Miss was napping. The above picture was taken recently while she was napping (which she did alot at the end) - Little Miss put one of her Littlest Pet shop toys close to her so she could 'play' with it. I still haven't put her bed away yet. I know I will be ready to do it someday.

Our vet sent us a really nice note and poem called the "Rainbow Bridge". I will post the poem at another time but it was really nice - about how our pets will be waiting for us to join them in heaven. I have to say that our vet is the best. I am so glad he was there to help us out. I always felt that he loved Montana as much as we did.

We love you, Montana...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...



On my bedside table: Elsewhere, USA by Dalton Conley


On my TV: Nothing now. CBS sitcoms tonight


On the menu tonight: Soup and quesadillas (hockey night)


On my To Do list: Laundry, unpacking, putting away things, bills


New recipe I tried last week: None


In the craft basket: not really crafts but I need to put up my Valentine's decorations before it's too late!


Looking forward to: A quieter week than last. (Is it possible?)


Homemaking tip for this week: 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar. Cleans almost everything - windows, counters, tile floors.


Favorite Blog post of the week (mine or other): Stephanie's from Keeper of the Home - Love money saving ideas!


Favorite Photo of Last week: We are big football fans around here and big Kurt Warner fans. He is a class act, win or lose, and if a kid wants an athlete for a role model there is none better. His gracious statements after the super bowl are a testament to that.
He, and the Cardinals are winners no matter what the score was. Go Cards!
Lesson learned from the past few days: Be with the moment.
On my prayer list: Parents, cousin
Devotionals, scripture reading, key verse:
"I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty, but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it." ~Rose Kennedy.
Please visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at home mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.