Friday, July 31, 2009

Please, let me explain...

The story below is not intended to offend or hurt anyone and I apologize in advance if it has that effect. It is intended to really demonstrate that our kids are always listening to us.


I know that most of us have nicknames (some nice, some not) for places we shop. Here, we refer to Walmart as 'the Curry-Mao-Mart'. Let me explain so I don't offend anyone (I never intend to offend, I promise). Many years ago, even before LM was born, a friend called Walmart "China Mart", referring to the many products made in China. I had never heard this and thought it was funny. A while later I read an article in the Arizona Republic (I have a nickname for this paper, too) in the business section about Walmart. It was a hypothetical story about how life for all of us would change if we kept sending jobs overseas & importing everything from China. It also told the story of what life would be like if we brought jobs back & started manufacturing here in the US again. The story referred to the 'biggest retailer' as 'Mao-Mart.' Interesting. So, I began referring to Walmart as 'Mao-Mart'. Fast forward a few years when I hear that Walmart is sending more jobs overseas - this time to India (whether or not this ever happened, I have no idea). Hmm, I guess it is now 'Curry-Mao-mart' (referring to the yummy Indian spice). I try to only refer to the store that way to my husband and the friend who originally told me about China Mart, at the risk of offending anyone.

SO, THE WHOLE REASON FOR THE LONG DRAWN OUT STORY is : Today we were running errands and I mentioned to LM that we would probably end up having to go out to Walmart later. And she says, "Oh, you mean the CURLY Mao-Mart?" So, from here on out I will refer to Walmart as.... Walmart. Kids really hear everything.

Now our kids are always listening and observing but not so much with our husbands. I have been looking for a new white, fabric shower curtain. You would think it was easy but with our limited shopping choices I couldn't find one I like. Of course I found this one at Pottery Barn.com. Love it. Don't love the price ($99). I was 'this close' to ordering it though since I didn't find one when we were in Utah (looked a few places w/ no luck). But we went shopping on Wednesday to a nearby town that has a Marshalls so I thought I would give it a shot. Well, it was my lucky day. I found one that looked alot like this one for .......

$19.99!! And I got the little roller hooks there for $4.99. Yes, it was my lucky day. No, my husband hasn't noticed it. Our bathroom is small so he shouldn't miss it. The old curtain was yellow striped, this one is white. But remember, this is the man who, for six months, didn't notice the new lamp sitting on the table next to his recliner. We'll see how long this takes.
And just in case I lose all of my readers after publishing the above story I would like to thank those that commented on LM reading 'Twilight'. I have started it and I think it will be good. But definitely NOT for a 2nd grader. Thanks for your input.
By the way, we didn't go to Walmart yesterday. But we will be going tomorrow. EARLY. Like at 8am. I know the last minute school shoppers will be out in droves tomorrow afternoon & I would prefer to be in the comfort of my home when that happens as we are ready for school on Monday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home Alone...

Little Miss is at her friend's house today so I am HOME ALONE! No little people, no big people, no car. Oh, I took the car to the shop today, too so I couldn't go anywhere if I wanted to (which I don't). Well, I could venture out in the Ranger but seeing as it has no top and therefore no A/C & it will be 113, I don't think I will. I like being here alone and it happens so sledom in the summer time.

I will be attemping to clean & declutter in hopes that none of my rooms look like this when my husband gets home:

And if I have time (quite optimistic) I will start reading the first book in the 'Twilight' series. LM wants to read it but I need to read it first to see if it's appropriate for her (which I don't think it is).
Have a great day...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

The weather in my neck of the woods: Hot and sunny

One of my simple pleasures: watching my daughter sleep

On my bedside table: the latest issues of "O" & Coastal Living

On my TV: nothing

On the menu for tonight: Quesadillas

On my To Do list: the usual: laundry, change sheets, mop, tidy up from the weekend.

New recipe I tried last week : nothing

In the craft basket: nothing

Looking forward to: back to school shopping and lunch on Wednesday

Homemaking tip of the week: Keep your bathroom cleaning supplies in a little (or big) plastic basket (like a rubbermaid kind of thing). And keep it in one of your bathrooms. I have one that I keep in our hall bath and I can just pick it up and take all the contents (sponges, cleaners, squeegees, paper towels, vinegar & water-for mirrors) to the master bath without leaving anything I will need behind.

Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other): This one on Confessions of a Semi-slacker Mom. Love the idea of the 'car bag'.

Favorite Photo of the week:



My sister sent me this picture she took a few weeks ago of some neighborhood visitors - no joke. These guys were walking right through the neighborhood. Unfortunately they didn't pay us a visit when we were in town.

Lesson learned the last few days: Keep the window shade in the car window when you are parked for any length of time.

On My prayer list: The teachers @ LM's school as they prepare for the new school year.

Devotional, Scripture reading, key verse:
~Taste and see the goodness of the Lord; blessed is he who hopes in God.
Psalm 34:9


Join Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

You're gonna miss this...

You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this
~Trace Adkins
The dolls on the bean bag in the living room (all 5 dolls come out each week after we watch 'Raising Sextuplets'.
The dolls (twins only) AND the stroller travel with us.

I suspect I will even miss seeing this guy everyday! (we'll see about that!)

Polly Pockets. Everywhere.

The sign for the apple juice stand.
Taped on the wall.
The living room wall.
I'll miss all this when Little Miss gets older. You can already tell she is growing up. She wants to take the Dora things down off her wall and has even mentioned getting rid of the Dora kitchen (yikes). She carries a purse with her many places we go. The Little People are being played with less and less (we could probably sell all the Little People we have and pay for a year of college tuition. really.) She likes to listen to Taylor Swift now, not the Wiggles or Bananas in Pyjamas.
It's just all going too fast. Second grade starts in less than 2 weeks. Second grade. Where does the time go? I am already missing some things but at the same time I am enjoying seeing her grow and form her own opinions and tastes. But I am still going to miss the exact things that sometimes drive me crazy - the things taped to the wall, the toys migrating from the playroom to the living room, stuff everywhere.
I'm gonna miss this...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cooling off?

Okay, not so much.

But yesterday I went to get in the car so I could pick Little Miss up from her friend's house and I thought 'my it's feeling cooler this afternoon'. It was only 110 today. Downright chilly compared to 119! But it gets better - tomorrow we're expecting a high of 107. Break out the coats!
It's amazing but you really CAN feel a difference.
Really.




Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Their first trip....


to Starbucks?
I dropped Little Miss at her friend's house this morning (thank you Mr & Mrs. O!), headed to the bank and post office. And Starbucks. Since it was on the way home.
I noticed that it wasn't too crowded - yea! But it was 9:30 so I wasn't terribly surprised. So I go in, walking behind a totally clueless woman on her phone walking at a snail's pace. Pick up the pace lady, I need my decaf, non-fat, no whip mocha!, I am thinking. She finally turned around - I guess I was invading her personal space and she could feel it. She tells me to 'go ahead'. Thank you! I didn't want to be rude and 'cut'. :)
THEN, I get behind a couple who clearly have ventured into Starbucks for the first time ever. Either that or they are always a pain. The woman ordering was so confused as to what she was ordering - '2 pumps on the cold one, no, I mean the hot one. Wait, it is 2 pumps on the cold, 3 pumps on the hot. Wait, what do you usually put in the Venti? Ok, 3 pumps it is. Are you sure? No, I think I want 2, what do you think I should get?' HOLY COW. Just pump and move on. Seriously, I was behind them for at least 5 minutes and they started ordering before I arrived.
AND THEN, the husband pulls out a $100 bill for his $28 order. The cashier says, 'I will have to give you 5's and 1's for change, is that okay?' 'NO' says hubby and just looks at the cashier. What, do you want her to pull the change out of the air? She asks if he has a smaller bill. He rifles through is wallet like it's a bank vault only to say that, no, he has nothing smaller. PEOPLE, I am thirsty here!!!
FINALLY, I get my turn. Just in time for lunch.
Glad I could get that off my chest...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

The weather in my neck of the woods: What else? Hot (about 115) and sunny.

On of my simple pleasures: the quiet of the early morning.

On my bedside table: Finishing up 'Queen Takes King' by Gigi Levanger Grazer.

On the menu for tonight: Not sure, I haven't done my menu plan for the week yet.

On my to do list: menu plan, grocery shop, laundry, bank, car wash

New Recipe I tried last week: none

In the craft basket: nothing

Looking forward to: listening to my new Daughtry CD that my husband got for me & hopefully a quiet week with Little Miss before the rush of getting ready to go back to school.

Homemaking tip of the week: We all try to keep our house clutter free - paper seems to be a big problem for many of us (whatever happened to the 'paperless society' we talked about years ago). Keep things under control by making sure the 'no-brainer' toss items get tossed ASAP. Things I pitch as soon as possible: junk mail (some people don't even bring it into the house but I do so I can shred daily),expired coupons (I check these weekly when I make my grocery list), outdated schedules & calendars, old grocery receipts (cash only, anything I put on my debit card gets saved until I get my bank statement, then I toss them), Invitations to events that have taken place,magazines that are over 3 months old - you won't read them- be honest!, old catalogs- keep only the current ones if you must - everything is available on line. Just think how much less clutter you will have if you stay on top of these things.

Favorite Blog post of the week: This one by The Shabby Nest.

Favorite photo of the week: No photos this week - took so many the week before.

Lesson learned the last few days: I am at the age that I need to take my glasses everywhere!

On my prayer list: family, friends

Devotional, Scripture reading, key verse:

~Lord, you bless those who do what is right, you protect them like a soldier's shield.
Psalm 5:12
Please visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for more Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Frugal Friday....

As summer vacation winds down here (only 2 weeks left until school starts!) and vacation budgets have been spent, I am always looking for some fun, frugal ideas to keep Little Miss busy and entertained. After racking my brain (well, it wasn't that bad) I have come up with some ideas to keep the peace for the next 2 weeks.

  • I have printed out a few of our summer pictures, brought out the colored paper (scraps) and will help LM work on her very own Summer of 2009 scrapbook. Most of us have tons of construction paper, scrapbook paper scraps, markers, stickers, crayons, etc that are just dying to be used so this is the perfect way to 'use what you have' while keeping your kids busy as well as doing something productive. Even the littlest of kids can get in on this one with help from mom or an older sibling.
  • Another 'crafty' idea is to take your summer magazines and let the kids tear them up & make a collage about their summer vacation. Take pictures of them with the finished collages and send them, along w/ a note from the kids, to grandparents who may not have been able to spend the vacation with you.
  • If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know that it is blazing hot here in the summer (it was 119 yesterday-really- & we are expecting 115 today) so I am always looking for cool activities to do - using someone else's A/C. The first stop should be your local library. Most have wonderful kids' areas & they are kept very cool (I guess technically we pay for this w/ our taxes). Our library has puppets and a little puppet 'stage', computers, lots and lots of books, tables with puzzles, a comfy couch (too comfy on some days). Even when an organized story time is not in session LM can stay in there for hours. I can sit and read while she reads or plays in the cool.
  • Another cool place is a McDonald's or Burger King 'play place'. Again, it's cool. And if you go after you eat lunch at home you won't have to buy food - more frugal that way.
  • The 3rd cool trip for us is our local grocery store which has a play area with an attendant. You will truly be multitasking if you do your grocery shopping after you drop the kids off. While I like to have LM help with grocery shopping it is nice to have that time to myself on occasion & I probably spend less without my helper. Our 'cub house' as it is called has lots of toys and a craft everyday. They even provide a calendar of the crafts each month.
  • Don't forget the tried and true play date. Invite a couple of friends over to play either before or after lunch to keep with the frugal idea - this way you don't have to serve lunch. Or have a pot luck lunch with moms and kids.
  • Make a fun time out of figuring out what you need to buy for back to school. It's not so frugal to buy a bunch of things you don't need so have a summer fashion show with your kids. Pull out the things they need to try on making each part of the show a theme: Jeans, jackets, shorts and tops, etc. Figure out together what to do with the stuff that no one can wear. If you choose to donate some items, take your kids with you to the Goodwill to drop things off.

I am hoping these things will help me make it through the next couple of weeks without blowing the budget.

Go visit Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday ideas.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Utah Mountain Tour 2009...

Part two
Dixie National Forest, Utah. Little Miss on a hike to Alpine Pond.


Wild Lupine @ Dixie National Forest

Alpine Pond
Dixie National Forest


Me with Little Miss @ Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah


(a miniature Grand Canyon)
This view made the trip.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Utah Mountain Tour 2009....

Part One
Definitely worth a visit.
Little Miss enjoying a concert in the Park. She is becoming quite the hool-a-hoop-er.

Brian Head, Utah
View from our condo. Not too shabby.


Me with Little Miss @ 11,000 feet in Brian Head.


View from 11,000 feet. Brian Head.
More photos tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weather update....


8:45 am
99 degrees
Would you like to meet me at the pool???

Monday, July 13, 2009

Can we go back?


It was 67 degrees when we left Brian Head this morning. It was 114 when we pulled into our driveway.
Unfortunately, this refreshing drink is not helping. Our A/C just went off for the first time in 6 hrs (we keep it at 79 so it's still pretty balmy in here).
It was so nice to sleep with the windows open. We won't do that in this neck of the woods until about November.
Until then, can we go back?
Pictures of the Utah Mountain Tour 2009 will be posted soon. I promise...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the road again...

The Utah Mountain Tour 2009 continues as we head south to Brian Head. It is our first time there and I am really excited. We have friends who ski there every year and love it. I always want to turn off the highway to check it out when we are headed to Park City but my husband never wants to. So, it is now our destination for the weekend. There should be some good hiking and horseback riding. If the weather holds out that is. It is supposed to rain a bit today but let's just hope the meteorologist is wrong. And it will be a heavenly 62 degree high. What more could I ask for being that it will be 114 at home today...

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's All Fun and Games....

All Little Miss asked to do while we are on vacation was go to Chuck E Cheese. Since we don't (thankfully)have one in our town I thought we could go while we're here. We headed out Wednesday morning and went to this fun aquarium first. It was really neat. They have a little pool with stingrays which we could 'pet'. That was a hit for Little Miss. Lots of neat fish & a shark tank - I swear one of the sharks was looking at us like 'my, you all look tasty.' :)

After we left the aquarium we headed off to Chuck E Cheese. I have only been one time about 12 years ago with a friend and her kids. I remember it being noisy and not too fun - probably because I was not yet a mom. So I was prepared for the worst! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was clean (a biggie for me), well laid out, had nice, helpful employees and tons of games for the kids. We had brought our coupons that we cut out of the paper a few weeks ago - LM ended up getting about 45 tokens. 2 hours of fun for her. She did stop by the table to eat a piece of pizza. They had us all 'locked' in so I wasn't worried about LM too much - We picked a table that gave us a good view of most of the place so she was able to come and go as she pleased and not have mom watching her every second. She collected alot of tickets and had fun picking out her prizes. It was a good time for everyone (my mom was nice enough to go with us).

I was also able to fit in a trip to Pier 1, which we also don't have in our town. I always love going there and could come out with tons of stuff if I am not careful! I was looking for some small, white ramekins which I found for $1 each. Yes, that's what I remember about Pier 1, back in the day. I got a cute little wooden painting with our initial on it for our living room - it has a red background so I figured it was meant to be. I hope I can make it to World Market before we leave to look around.

Today will be a bit less exciting for LM I am sure. She is now planting flowers with my mom and then they are off to the park and library. Fun for sure, but no Chuck E Cheese. My sister and I have mani/pedi's scheduled for noon. Then we'll go to an early dinner and watch a concert in the park. My kind of day...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Already?



I had to run to Kmart the other day to pick up a new hair dryer (my old one was becoming a fire hazard). Aside from being packed, they were putting out school supplies. Yes, already. Seems like summer vacation just started and now we are thinking about school supplies. Little Miss only has 4 weeks until the first day of school. Second grade. Yikes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"It's red..."

Says my husband when he sees our newly slipcovered chair and ottoman. Here's the before. Not my cup of tea fabric wise but my mom was getting a new chair and asked if we wanted this one. A free chair - of course I want it. So I lived with this pattern for a few months and my mom asked if I would like to have the chair & ottoman recovered as my birthday gift. Of course!
And here's the result:


I LOVE it. My husband likes the feel of the fabric but thinks it's too red. But I wanted it to be RED! The rest of our family room is beige, cream and black. It needed color! It really looks like a whole new chair. I have to say that the picture doesn't really do it justice but you can tell it's better than before. Way better...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday...

The weather in my neck of the woods: Hot (111), sunny

One of my simple pleasures: Sitting outside during a full moon, quietly.

On my bedside table: "Queen takes King" by Gigi Levangie Grazer. Thanks to Tickled Pink & Green for the tip on that. It's good so far!

On my TV: Spongebob - keeping Little Miss busy while I do this. :)

On the menu for tonight: Almond crusted chicken, sauteed mushrooms, corn on the cob, macaroni salad.

On my to do list: Laundry & lots of it, errands (post office, library, bank, gas station, car wash), finish packing

New recipe I tried last week: none

In the craft basket: nothing

Looking forward to: what I am calling "Utah Mountain Tour 2009". Leaving tomorrow for Park City to visit my sister then to Brian Head on the way home.

Homemaking tip of the week: Before leaving on a trip get your house in order - trash emptied, beds made (get up extra early if you have to in order to get this done), dishwasher empty or with clean dishes in it, counters wiped down, rooms straightened. I am always sooo happy I have done this when I arrive home to a neat house.

Favorite Blog post of the week (mine or other): I found this post by Stephanie fascinating.

Favorite photo of the week:



CSI: Arizona
We went to the mountains for the 4th and Little Miss and her friend found these lovely bones on a trail ride with their dads. We think the skull is from a raccoon - you can see the teeth on the bottom so clearly - it was very interesting for the girls (adults, too). And, yes, we brought them home with us. :)
Lesson learned the last few days: Sometimes a detour in the road (not necessarily literally) is a good thing.
On my prayer list: My friend, K, who just had heart surgery (she is only 32). Family & friends
Devotional, Scripture reading, key verse:
~ I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Go visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for more Happy Homemaker Monday

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Team Jenny...

Jenny Sanford. She should be up for sainthood.
I mean, really, what else does her Governor 'husband' have up his sleeve? What else does he think the public needs to know about his 'soulmate'? What else does he need to have smeared all over the media for his young boys to see? Mark Sanford is nothing short of a dirty rotten scoundrel.
Being a Republican, I had high hopes for him to help lead the party in the next few years. Guess we can cross him off the list. And this guy, too. I am sure there are others or will be all too soon. I have been reading about both of these politicians lately and so much runs through my mind. Most of it I can't write down though!
Both of these men still have children living at home. Boys. What a great example they are setting for them, don't you think? Thank goodness these kids have strong moms taking care of them, helping to protect them from their fathers' indiscretions. Is this what you sign up for when you marry a politician?
On a lighter note, isn't Jenny Sanford's top too cute??? And it matches my new blog background!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

$17.98...

Not too bad for all this, I think. The condiments were all on sale & I had a coupon for each of them - so I am stocked up for a while. Little Miss has been asking for Kool-aid since I don't buy soda for home. I gave in when I saw Kool-aid packs 10 for $1 AND I had a coupon for $2 off sugar when you by the Kool-aid. So for $1.49 I got 10 packs of Kool-Aid and 5lbs of sugar. I still think Kool-aid is better than soda- at least I can control the amount of sugar that goes into the pitcher. It's not water but it's a nice summer treat.

I feel the need to explain a couple of the purchases since I go on and on about eating healthy & organic when possible. :) First, the Doritos were on sale for $1.88. We are going to the mountains for the 4th and LM & my husband like to have chips w/ their sandwiches. They are definitely a treat around here & I figured $1.88 was a great buy. Second, the milk. I have said in the past that organic milk is non-negotiable around here. Then I saw that my store had a 1/2 gallon for 88 cents. Yes, they did. Being me,I struggled with making a choice between the budget & our health. When I saw that our store's milk does not contain growth hormones I felt better. When it's back to regular price I go organic since the savings is not as much- but 88 cents versus $2.49- that's my kind of savings.

My husband is trying to cut back on what and how he eats. He was motivated by his friend, N, who, at 42 has six pack abs for the first time (his words, not mine). N did the P90X system that you purchase from TV. Bill is considering it too. Until he makes his decision he is trying to eat better. I can really see it. He is ordering iced tea and salads at lunch and requested fruit or fudgesicles after dinner. I am really excited as I have tried since we have been married to get him to eat better. He even spoke the words, "I really should eat breakfast everyday." He's on his way...