Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Santa Baby...

Santa Baby,

I've been really, really, extra-special good this year.

I've cooked, cleaned, done mounds of laundry, played trains and Polly Pockets, wiped noses and butts, kissed ouchies, helped with homework, planned vacations & summer schedules, volunteered in classrooms, taken good care of my clients, and I most especially have done everything my sweet hubby has asked of me. Well, almost. :)

And I'm happy to do it, because this is what my life is all about! But I must admit that I do still feel like a kid around this time of year, and feel that I should be rewarded for all my good behavior!!! HAHAHAHAAAA!!! So, here is the "Wish List" of my dreams...(and no, I don't expect to get most of these, for Pete's sake! And I've been wanting to know, just who the heck is Pete, anyway?!)

Peace on Earth, of course...first and foremost.

An OSU "Block O" hat...every good fan needs one! Except I think I might like the tradional black one better...hmmmm.
And speaking of OSU fan gear, why am I the only person in my house who doesn't have a jersey? What's up with that? So Santa, I am officially asking for a ladies jersey, please. It would look really awesome with my string of buckeyes and my Block O earrings...

What else? Hmmmm....oh yeah! A new 50 mm lens for my I can take some really nice food pictures for Party in the Pantry...

And to go along with it, a set of books by Scott Kelby on digital photography. I really, really want to become a better photographer!
And just one other thing to go along with my photography theme...a book on using Photoshop Elements! Photo editing is a must anymore! And Photoshop is complicated. I need instruction!!
I would also love a brightly colored Dutch oven...doesn't have to be Le Creuset...I'm not that picky! The Lodge line is perfectly fine with me! Now to decide.
Red?Or blue?
And how about this? Just what every woman needs...A HOUSECLEANER!!!Yeah, that would be so nice!! And while she's doing all of my housework, I could relax for a bit and watch my new ...
Oh, the joy!! And maybe I could be sitting there, watching Season 5 of The Office, watching the housecleaner doing her thing, and enjoying some ice cream from Jeni's or Graeters (which I, of course, purchased with my new GIFT CARDS!!!)Thank you Santa...I love you. And I still believe!! Because if you don't believe in the spirit of Christmas, there isn't a child left inside of you, is there? Have a safe trip, Santa! I'll have the cookies waiting...


Wow, what a Christmas list! I guess I'm looking forward to Christmas much more than I thought!! What's on your Christmas list this year? Go on, get a kid for once! What's the biggest, most awesome thing you can comprehend waking up to on Christmas morning?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey, Everyone!

Well, it looks like a good 2 weeks have somehow managed to slip by since my last post. I don't know how that happens...the time goes so fast, and I have so many things to say! (Just ask my family...I never shut up!)

I know it seems like my blog has taken a backseat to other things, but I assure you that is not my intention. Somehow life got crazy this summer and it hasn't slowed down yet...will it ever? Maybe I should start scheduling time in my day to know, like making time to work out. Oh wait, I don't make time for that either, hahaha...!!! First thing in the morning might work well. Hmmmm, maybe I'll give that a try! Might not wanna hold your breath, though... :)

So, what have we been up to? Well, getting things wrapped up and put to bed for the end of fall. Winter is on it's way, there's no denying we've been cleaning up the yard, the flower beds, the garden, getting the chicken coop all set up with its timed lights and extra roosts and even (hopefully) some additional nesting boxes. We have 19 chickens now!!! Holy crackamoly! Sheri and I have been cooking up a storm for lots of yummy posts on Party in the if you still haven't checked it out, get over there! What are you waiting for??? I am making the butternut squash polenta tonight with a wild hog roast...I can hardly wait. The polenta is my new favorite dish. So easy, and such a great comfort food!!
Barry has been trying to get in as much hunting time as possible, so that means I've been having lots of evenings at home with the kids. Let's hope he and Luke each get a deer or two this year. That would really fill up our freezer and significantly reduce our grocery bill! Check him out in his gear...he really disappears in that camo, doesn't he? I'm also proud to say that since we've been burning wood in our new stove, I have become quite competent at building and maintaining a good, hot fire. Pretty proud of myself there, so I'm gonna toot my horn a little, ok? And besides the benefit of the really warm, dry, heat...there is also the smell of a woodburning fire all day...and that is what I really love! Winter is going to especially toasty this year!I'm working on Christmas ideas for the kids, since everyone's been asking...and one for myself too. Why is mine always the hardest? I don't really need anything, and most of the things I want are too expensive to ask anyone for. What I could really use is some cleaning, help with flowerbeds, help know, just some assistance with all the things I have to get done. That would be the best thing I could ask for. And especially in this year of purging, I certainly don't need more stuff to clutter up my house. But, I'm sure I'll come up with a couple of things that I really have thought I might like throughout the year...look for that post coming soon!

I'm gearing up for some kind of holiday promotion for my office. I really need to get moving on that one...Thanksgiving is this week, and I don't even have my idea rock solid yet! But it will probably be something like last year's "Buy a 90 minute massage for yourself, and get a half hour Gift Certificate to give away!" kind of thing. Or maybe a 90 minute hot stone massage for the price of an hour... not sure yet, but like I said, I'd better get if figured out, and QUICK!

I've also been doing some online Christmas shopping, and I'm happy to say that I am very close to being finished!! My goal is to be completely done by December 1. I think I can do it! And then I would like to have the Christmas cards addressed and ready to go by Dec. 7. That is my plan! Cross your fingers for me, peeps!

There are, of course, other things I have to share...but for now, this is enough. I hope you are all doing well and getting geared up for the holiday season! It's a week to reflect on the things we are thankful for, so today I am thankful for Reggie, who gave me a kick in the pants this morning to get on here and GET BLOGGING!!! Thanks, Reg! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We've been invaded!

Do you get these nasty little beetles every fall where you live??? We sure do, and this year has been especially bad. These little suckers are all over our house, inside AND out! I have to get out my shop vac every other day to go around sucking them up, and let me just tell you that they STINK! ICK!On the flip side of that is the fact that the kids have been plenty entertained with them. They spend hours hunting them, having "races" with them, and (of course) killing them, or transporting them to "ladybug heaven", i.e. the garden. That was until I told them that I didn't want those nasty beetles laying eggs in my they just get smushed. Or smashed. Or stomped on. Noah's favorite way to kill them is with a plastic hammer...he really gets a kick out of that. Must be a boy thing...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


As you all know, this year has been my year to purge this house and get rid of all the clutter. I know it sounds weird to say I'm dedicating a whole year to this process, but it takes a long time peeps...especially with the monkeys around. I have been selling things, trashing things (I really thing you could pull up a dumpster right outside my front door) and donating things. In addition to my Craig's List frenzy (which I've already told you about), I've been making piles all over this house of things to be donated this week...and let me tell you, I will NOT be sad to see all of this stuff go!!!

Of course, the sad part is that it's only the beginning. There is so MUCH STUFF that I just want gone. However, being the conscientious person I am, I can't just throw it away. I have to make sure the batteries get taken out of toys (and recycled if they are dead), I have to make sure that the clothes I donate are in somewhat good trash. I have to make sure the electronics work, and if not, that they go to the proper location for recycling. I try to include the instruction manuals of things I donate, if I can find them. I wash the shoes that I donate, because...well, just because. This takes so much time, it's unreal. But that's ok! Because it will be gone...and hopefully someone else will be able to use it.

Just wait until I share the pics of the bags and boxes of stuff that's going. It will be inspiring, I promise! :) Are any of you "fall cleaners" instead of "spring cleaners", like me?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Aunt Jessie...domestic at last???

If you know my sister Jessie at all, you know one thing...she is NOT a domestic. She is fabulous in every way, I assure you...but she has no passion for cooking or homemaking at all. She is a great aunt, a social fashionista, has 1,782,589 friends, 400 obligations, and great hair! And you know what? That's ok, because she's young, hot, and single! The world is laid out before her!

But lo and behold, after hearing about my applesauce canning adventures, Jessie decided she wanted to come out and learn to make applesauce! Could this be???? I couldn't believe it, but I was game. When you have my little monkeys in the house, you can never have enough applesauce. I made a trip to the farmers market to pick up a half bushel of apples, Jess picked up the jars, and we were on our way! After peeling, peeling, and peeling some more, we cut the apples up and put them on the stove in a little water to cook them down...After quite a while, the apples were finally soft and cooked down enough to mash. Now, we like our applesauce chunky, so we used a potato masher, which leaves some nice chunkiness! Then Jessie filled the jars all by herself...carefully wiping the rim and placing the lids on so they would seal properly...
And into the hot water canner they went...After 20 minutes under a rolling boil, it was time to take them out. Look at her go!

Nice job, Jess! Aren't you all impressed?!? I think she's got potential!Seriously folks, if you like applesauce AT ALL, get out there and get yourself some yummy apples and make some applesauce. It is totally easy, and fun to do too!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Trick or Treat Fun

Halloween has come and gone, and I can hardly believe it is November 4th and I'm just now getting this pics posted! But let me just say that the week of Halloween was crazy with activities around here. Trick or Treat was on Thursday night, and every year our friends have a pre-Trick-or-Treat pizza party. It's great fun, as even the adults come in costume and it's always entertaining to see what everyone comes up with. This year, we went as characters from The Incredibles, as you can see from the picture above. The kids loved their costumes, and Barry rocked the house as Syndrome. I, of course, was Edna...the superhero supersuit designer. The kids loved getting into their roles as superheros...and truth be told, I think someone (who shall remain nameless) was really enjoying being a villian!Here is the hostess with the mostess...Miss Amy, dressed as Cruella DeVille herself! Doesn't she look simply D.I.V.I.N.E.???After the pizza party, the kids were itching to get started trick-or-treating, of course! So we got the group together and headed down Main Street to see what kind of goodies we could find...
After we did significant damage on Main Street, we loaded up the family and headed out to the lake to make our way around to some friends' houses. The good thing about this strategy is that it is A LOT of walking, and the kids are more than ready for bed when we get home! They were seriously in bed asleep within 15 minutes of getting home.

Then, on Friday morning, I had to take Noah down to his preschool for the Trick-or-Treat parade, which is really great because the people who work in the building come down and sit in an auditorium with big bowls of treats and the kids parade through, filling their buckets. It's quick, fun, and a lot of the people do a great job with the treats. We had lots of goldfish crackers, gift certificates for Frostys, fruit snacks, teddy grahams, and the like. Noah doubled what he had gotten the night before, so you can only imagine his disappointment when Mama told him he couldn't have any of his candy until after lunch...
After the parade, we met Barry for lunch and headed home. I had to be at Kendall's school by 2:30 for her Harvest Party. Her room mother had done a spectacular job! She had multiple games, crafts, and we had all brought good snacks for the kids. Too much sugar of course...but whatchagonnado? We had a really great time! Here are the kids after a game where they had to race to make a mummy out of toilet paper...
It was a fun day, but I'm tellin' you what...I had to take a nap late in the afternoon! I was so stinkin' tired! I laid down around 4:30 and didn't wake up until 6:00! I couldn't believe anyone let me sleep that long. I asked Barry why he didn't get me up, and he said he didn't have the heart, I was SOOOO out. Felt awesome at the time, but notsomuch at 2:30 that night when I couldn't sleep! LOL!!!

Hope you all had a great Halloween! What was the most creative costume you saw? I've got to start thinking about next year! :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Warm & Toasty

After months of hard work put in by my sweet hubby, the woodburning stove is in! And tonight, I am sitting here all warm and toasty, enjoying our very first fire. It. Is. Awesome.
In case you're wondering why I'm so excited about this, I'll fill you in. See, we have a geothermal heating system with a furnace backup. And while geothermal is great, efficient, and inexpensive to never feel that hot blast of heat, because there is none...well, at least unless the temperature dips below where it can keep up...then the furnace kicks on. But that is also when the bill goes up! LOL! The geothermal system keeps our house at a nice even temperature, but I sometimes feel a little bit chilly even when the house is 69 degrees. Once we finished the basement, we knew we'd need some supplemental heat, and the hunt was on for a woodburning stove.

We originally found an older style Buck stove, which is what we had in our house growing up, so I was totally happy with that. Plus, we got a great deal on it. The people who owned it had only burned in it like twice in the past 12 years! But as we got closer to the point where Barry was going to have to install it, he started to be on the search for stovepipe for the chimney. Stovepipe is expensive, let me just tell you that! Well, what he found was that with the tax credits he would get with buying a newer, more efficient stove and pipe, it would actually cost the same amount as buying and installing the older one. So guess what we did? We listed our old Buck stove on Ebay (and sold it!) and bought a newer, more efficient Lopi stove. It's beautiful and compact, and you can even cook on it if you lose power! You had to know that little fact would appeal to me!

So here it is, our new Lopi stove, which has been keeping me warm & toasty on these chillier evenings, and will be running nonstop this winter... I can hardly wait! Oh, how I've missed good old wood heat!!! And doesn't Barry's hearth and mantle look nice? I'm dying to get the ceiling and all of the painting finished. But hey, this will do for now.

I think the littlest boy and I will be taking advantage of snuggling in the basement today, in fact. He is a sick little boy, and we are trying to get him well. No worries, though. Just a fever, cough, and headache. Lots of love, vitamin C, rest, and oscillococcinum are on tap for the day...same as yesterday. Hopefully by tomorrow he'll be back to his normal self!

Have a great day, and stay well, peeps!
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