Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice

What is it about today that makes me melancholy?  Is it the knowledge that today is the shortest daylight day of the year?  Or the fact that I will be ready for bed by 5:30pm today when I have a million things to accomplish?  No matter how hard I try, as soon as it gets dark, I want to put on my pj's and get to bed.

Shoulda been a farmer!

This morning I made another run to the recycling drop off.  Two car loadfuls in two days!  And that doesn't even include the recycling that my husband forgot to put out last week!  At least it's out of my kitchen.  I also scrubbed the one counter top area where we do a lot of our food prep.  It was cluttered with junk and sticky from spilled kool aid that the kids don't wipe up good.  A lot of laundry was done and we even took the kids out to do their Christmas shopping. 

I'm hoping to get to the store soon to grab a few more last minute ingredients for cookies.  Since we were out most of the evening yesterday, Paige has been repeatedly asking to bake tonight.  If we do a couple batches tonight then there will only be a few left for the rest of the week.  Hopefully that will make her happy!

I'm off to work on the attic.  We use it as a spare bedroom/playroom since it's completely finished.  All the toys that end up there are ones the kids have out grown.  Time to gather them up and get them out.  If Paige will let me!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Countdown

I totally panicked yesterday when I realized that there were only 6 days left until Christmas.  I have so much left to do.  How do I do it when I work full-time?  Maybe I plan better when I know I only have so much time to do things.  Who knows!

Jeff and I did some shopping this weekend but didn't really find what we were looking for.  I also scrubbed the bathroom walls when he went to the gym.  I had to.  The people who lived here before us smoked in the bathroom and every so often nicotine tar comes through the paint and leaves orangey/yellow spots on the walls.  When we first moved in here, I noticed it about 3-4 months later.  It was really bad around the toilet area and I actually thought it was my husband missing the toilet (my son wasn't potty trained yet).  But then I noticed it way high on the walls all around the bathroom.  Unless my husband was marking the bathroom, it couldn't be urine.  Jeff figured it out that it was from smoking. So I wash down the bathroom walls every 6 mos and it's pretty much going away. 

I also went shopping by myself on Friday and got my husband a few gifts from the kids.  I mailed out the last of the ebay items and Christmas cards.  Paige and I made some wedding cookies- though the recipe didn't make very many and we're going to have to make more of those for sure.  Saturday we didn't do much around the house and had a party to go to in the evening. 

So it's Monday morning and time to make my last minute list of things to do.  I am hoping that we can take the kids shopping tonight to get their Christmas items for friends and teachers.  Seriously thought I would be way more organized than this!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oops! I did it....

Went to see the dr this morning due to all the pain around my belly button.  Though I don't have a hernia, I did strain/tear the muscle around that area internally.  So my best laid plans to do a good thorough house cleaning have been derailed.  At least I can get some organizing done. 

I went to Walmart to start buying those little things- stocking stuffers, protein shake for hubby, etc.  I could barely lift the bags to put in my buggy let alone my car.  Ugh.  I was disappointed at not being able to find some things that I get every year- like a WWE wrestling calendar for the kids!!  Guess I'll search the internet.
I also couldn't find a nice tree skirt.  They had ones but they were so thin and inexpensive.  They would never hold up if Chester decides to lay underneath the tree as he likes. 

Since I can't/shouldn't wash the walls in my bathroom today as planned, I did start to organize my office space AGAIN! There really is no excuse for how messy it got again other than the fact that we like to use it as a dumping ground.  I bought a large tote at the dollar store to put ebay items in until I get around to posting them.  That is the biggest problem of the office and uh paper! I need to clean out my file cabinet-actually I need to buy a new hanging file cabinet. Then maybe I will put the papers away.  The sad part about these pictures is that it's cleaner than it was several days ago when I still had a lot of my ebay items in here!  I am down to just 2 more listings that are selling and closing this evening.  The other sad part is that I couldn't even get good pictures of the mess because there is no where to stand!!


So I am going to get my butt off this computer and start working diligently on cleaning this room up again!!  I have a couple good books that came in the mail that I want to start reading and I'm saving those as a reward.

Oh p.s. - our pictures came late yesterday evening by UPS.  The dog was so intent on running out the front door to bark at him that he flew out the front door and when he went to stop he slid on all the snow and fell off the front porch down a couple stairs.  It was too funny!!  Kinda disappointed in the pictures- the wording didn't come out as bright as it looked on the computer and it's hard to read our message.  Oh well.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Freezer Space

With school cancelled yesterday, the kids and I were able to get some more cookies baked.  We made Buckeyes and chocolate chip cookies.  The only problem I am having is that I have no freezer space!  If I don't put them in the freezer, then my family will eat them all by Christmas!



The kids also spent some time outside playing in the snow.  I will have to try and load up pictures later.  I couldn't use my zoom lens as I was shooting through the window and it wouldn't focus correctly. 

School issued another 2 hour delay today and once I get them out the door, I am going to start wrapping presents.  I need to get them wrapped and over to my neighbors since the kids have been trying to see if they are hidden in the house.  Almost had a close call yesterday.  Paige was looking for her snow boots and couldn't find them.  I had taken them out when we went to get the tree but Jeff had put them back in the closet when he mopped the basement floor.  Problem is, that's the closet we use to hide the Christmas presents!!  Luckily I went over to the closet and got the boots before Paige did!!  That made me realize it's time to get these wrapped and out of the house!

Tonight the kids have CCD and we're not baking any cookies.  I have to check to see if it's their Christmas party tonight.  If it is I need to head out to the store for presents!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day cancellation

Everyone is home today because of the snow.  My son is absolutely thrilled and Paige is still sleeping.  My husband is happy too although come June when they have to make up the day he will not be happy!!

Isn't that always the case?  What gratification we feel when we put off something that we know we will eventually have to do?  I think that's what has been happening with me the past few days.  It's nice to have these slow peaceful relaxing days to recuperate, but I know at some point in time I am going to have to get working on this house before I head back to work.  And that is driving me nuts!  I keep counting down how many days I have left to do things around the house before Christmas/New Year's/Back to work.

Why do I think I am going to organize and clean this house so that it is spotless?  How is that even possible with 4 people who live here and I mean LIVE here.  My house is lived in.  It seems to always be in some state of mess depending on what time of day it is and what we are doing.

If I can get most of the clutter out then I think that will be a victory.  Especially before more enters the house with Christmas!

Today since the kids are home I think we will make cookies in the afternoon.  I think we can get a lot done!  Unless they decide to play in the snow.  In that case I will hang out inside and videotape!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crying and Cookies

I didn't post anything on Friday because I was just too bummed out.  It snowed and I really couldn't go out anywhere.  It really put me in a bad mood since I was looking forward to getting out! 

Saturday was no better as I was still in a really bad mood and fought with Jeffrey.  Part of it is being stuck in this house for the past few weeks and part of me feels like Jeff doesn't care.  So I cried almost all Saturday night.  I still am in a lot of pain.  When I do go out I can only walk around for a little bit before hurting.  And nothing is getting done in this house.  I feel like I'm wasting so much time. 

Sunday I woke up in a little better mood.  I boxed up all the remaining items that sold on Friday and the kids and I started making Christmas cookies.  We made Hershey Kiss cookies and Butterballs.  Tonight I think we will make chocolate chip.  Paige has about 9 types of cookies that she wants us to make for Christmas.  At this rate we will be done by the end of the week and have a ton of cookies.  I didn't  have big enough containers to freeze them all last night and so she put a sign on the few extras ---
Yup- that's keeping everyone out of the cookies!

I also got my Christmas card ordered last night. 

Not sure if you can see it very clearly.  This year I added a family photo at my husband's request. I really like 
it.  Too late now!  Off to try and get some shopping done before we get more snow.  They are calling for several inches tonight and tomorrow.  Yuck!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coffee Help

Can anyone out there recommend a good coffee that I can buy my husband for Christmas?  Last year I found a coffee pot (Bialetti) like my grandma used to have.  Jeff always wanted one and loves it.  But he's mentioned lately that he would like a stronger coffee blend to use.  Folgers and Dunkin Donuts just don't make a good strong cup.  I don't drink coffee and have no clue.   I would appreciate any help!

Back to our "normal"

Paige stayed home from school yesterday as she was still not quite feeling better.  I spent most of the day packing up items for the mailman. Poor guy.  I only left out a couple little things.  Today I am leaving a few packages but only the light ones.  Tomorrow I should be able to drive and I can bring the heavier ones to the post office.  Jeff has strict orders to clear off the 6 inches of snow from the car and fill up her tank.  That is if she starts up.  It's been 2 1/2 weeks since she's been started.  Pray my battery held up!

Today I am going to attempt to wipe down the walls in my staircase and upstairs hallways.  There are so many fingerprints from the kids.  I also need to wipe down the walls in the bathroom as well but I don't want to push myself too much with stretching.  Since Paige went to school today, I am also going to wash all her bedding.  I'll be happy if I can those two things accomplished.  Tonight we are suppose to meet some friends for dinner and I am thrilled to get out of the house.  Therefore, I don't want to overdo it!

Jeffrey Michael is waiting for his pickup and I'm off to fill the bucket!


**Update- shortly after starting my cleaning I started to get pains.  Oh well, better stick to easy organizing tasks.  So I am headed off to my daughter's room to clean out under her bed. **

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snow Day 2

The school called last night to announce another 2 hour delay for today.  We were decorating the tree when they called and the kids were thrilled.

Except Paige woke up last night feeling sick.  I've been telling her that she needs to go to bed earlier- she won't listen.  I tell her to wear her winter coat to school- she won't listen.  The child thinks she has it all figured out in life. 

On a happier note, I am sitting here in the office watching A LOT of my stuff sell on ebay with my nice hot cup of tea.  I'll need it if Paige stays home sick.  That and some whiskey! Haha!

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Snow Day of the School Year

This is what we woke up to this morning.  My poor girl probably thinks I've abandoned her!  The sad thing is that we are suppose to get a few more inches overnight.  Looks like another 2 hour delay for Jeff and the kids tomorrow too!

Because the kids had a 2 hour delay- I got off to a discombobulated start.  I started laundry and put on a nice pot of water for a hot cup of tea.  I got my mug all ready with my tea bag and let the water steep.  I planned on getting on the computer early to get more items on ebay.  But then I remembered that I needed to use up the green peppers we bought before they went bad.  I had planned on making stuffed peppers on Friday but Jeff forgot some ingredients so I had to wait till we went to the store.  So I got out the crock pot and cooked some rice (the ground meat was already prepared and in the fridge from Friday) and got to stuffing.  In between peppers, I ran downstairs to switch laundry.  Then once the peppers were all done and in the pot, I had to get kids ready for school. 

And guess what?  I forgot about my nice cup of hot tea.  When I finally remembered it, after the kids had left for school, it wasn't so hot.  It was still warm and so I took it upstairs to the office and got working on my ebay items.  I do that so many times.  I think I'm going to do something nice and relaxing for me but then remember other things and I let them take importance over what I originally wanted to do.  I'm hoping tomorrow I can get up before the kids again and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea and relax. 

But I did get on a bunch more items on ebay.  I'm up to 43 and have a couple more pairs of shoes to go.  I didn't have the netbook or Paige's laptop but luckily the office computer cooperated and it only took 3 hours to add about 15 items.  Haha!

Here's to tomorrow and the possibility of hot tea and snow delays!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Christmas Tree!

We went to the tree farm and got our tree.  Poor Peanut.  He comes with us each year and normally has a blast running around, but not this year.  First it was freezing cold -only about 25 degrees.  Add about an inch of snow on the ground and this little chihuahua ran as fast as he could back to the truck!! Jeff had to carry him the whole time we looked at trees.  He was shivering and even had a runny nose!  That sweater doesn't seem like such a bad idea now does it?

But we found a tree and we all made it home to warm up before heading back out again.  We took the kids to my friends house to hang out while we shopped for an hour.  Luck was on our side as we found the two electronic items they wanted with no hassle.  Well, except that my husband wanted to get them cheaper, but honestly I do not think they go on sale that often as it is.  Don't want to post anything in case inquiring minds come barging in.

I was also looking for a new tree skirt as Chester and Dexter got mine dirty last year and when I tried to wash it -it fell apart.  I thought I bought a new one after Christmas last year but I couldn't find it in the attic.  I figured I'd find a great one at Target, but they had nothing!! And since I still can't drive till next week I am hoping one of my girlfriend's will let me hitch a ride with them during the day to Walmart or Tuesday Morning.  If not then, maybe an old sheet will just have to do to next week.

I am so excited as a lot of my ebay items are selling.  Tomorrow I am going to put on shoes and a few toys and household things and whatever else isn't nailed down in this house!!
It almost looks like Paige and Jeffrey Michael are carrying the tree by themselves!! Jeff Allen's
jacket is camouflaged by the tree - can you see just his left leg?  Haha!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ebay Yard sale

Today we were going to get our Christmas tree but then decided that we would wait until tomorrow.  Instead I got more items listed on Ebay -33 items so far.  Mostly it's clothes and Arbonne that I received from work.  I still have to add a huge bag of shoes and some household items.  As of a few minutes ago, 6 items are selling.  Jeff's netbook is so much faster to list items.  I want to put everything  I see on sale!!

Jeff Michael is snuggling next to me reading as I type. It's time for bed!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting a little faster

Jeff took the net book to school today to work on a PowerPoint.  Oh well.  I did try to make my old clunker of a computer faster by uninstalling some ancient programs and removed some old Ebay photos to help with memory.  It does seem to help.  I was able to load a couple more items on eBay before it couldn't handle it any longer and stopped responding! 

Last night, Jeff and I decided to put a dollar amount on each child for their Christmas presents.  Only problem is- I pretty much blew that figure on clothes alone for each of them. I may return a lot of them or just think of it as their school/winter clothes.  Really, we only buy the kids clothes about twice a year.  In spring and Christmas time.  It's just so hard to pass all the savings right now.  I was able to order shirts almost as cheap as if I went to the thrift store.  The one year that I did give the kids all the clothes with their Christmas presents (Christmas 08) was the worst thing ever.  Paige cried hysterically.  Jeff Michael didn't say much as he opened his.  Once he got to his one nice toy -Nintendo DS, he was ok.  But not Paige.  And she hasn't let us forget since!

I did start making a realistic cleaning/organizing list.  Pretty much a spring cleaning kinda list.  I want to wash all the walls and baseboards of each room and organize some key areas as well.  I really want to tackle the attic with all the toys and holiday items.  Instead of listing everything here at once, I am going to post each room's list the day I do them.  Hopefully, that will make me more accountable!! 

Tonight I am really hoping to get out to the store.  My poor car is covered in snow and hasn't been driven for 2 weeks.  I think I will be ok to drive by Monday and she better start up.  If I didn't dislike snow so much I'd go out there and clean her off.  Rather wait to see it Jeff will do it for me!!
Snow is actually starting melt - Woohoo!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good Cooking

It' 5:33pm and dinner has been eaten.  Dishes are washed.  Jeff has left to substitute at the Academy.  And I feel like I accomplished some things today.  I woke up this morning feeling terrible.  I figured I wouldn't get much done, but after Jeffrey Michael went to school I began feeling better. 

I took a ton of pictures of items to put on eBay.  Sad thing is, my computer is so old that it was taking me hours -literally- to get my items posted.  Luckily, Jeff left the netbook at home so I put the pictures on a jump drive and then got to work much faster.  Not everything is posted yet, but should be by tomorrow if I can use the netbook.

I did get last nights left over chicken in the pot to make stock for wedding soup.  I also put on a fresh pot of sauce for today's dinner, made meatballs, and cooked a pound of ground meat for stuffed peppers that we will have Saturday.  I'm making meatloaf tomorrow and mashed potatoes tomorrow. Not sure if the kids will eat it but I'm hungry for it.

Jeff started filling in at the Academy tonight.  The Academy is an after-school school for kids who have behavioral issues that prevent them from attending school during regular session.  This program has been going on for a couple years but this is the first time Jeff is teaching.  He is only subbing and only for the second half of the school period 5:30 to 8 pm.  It pays really well and a lot of the regular teachers also teach full time at the Academy.  Since Jeff is done with cross-country and I'm not working, he thought it would be good to pick up extra money.  Plus his assistant coach's wife is the scheduler for the substitutes and he is given first pick- that way he can turn down or accept depending on what's going on with us.  And he really only wants the 5:30 half so he can come home and relax and when I do go back to work, I would be getting home shortly after he leaves.  It kinda sucks, but we need the extra cash to start getting back on track.

My son wants the netbook, so I am being asked quite frequently if I'm done.  So I guess I'll be done for now!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snowman Ornaments

The weekend before I had my surgery, I put the kids Christmas trees up in their rooms.  I replaced their old 6 ft trees with new 6 ft pencil trees.  There's were really old (they each got one when they were born) and the branches were beginning break off when we put them together.  I'm so glad we did that as I am not feeling better as quickly as I thought I would.


The sad news though is that Jeffrey Michael's snowman ornament was broken.  The above picture is Paige's.  Years ago when I was the Girl Scout Leader for my daughter's school, we made these simple ornaments and they were the biggest hit.  In fact, when we came home from the meeting, Jeffrey saw Paige's ornament and begged to make one. 

So when we opened his box of ornaments and saw that his was broken, he asked if we could make another one.  I don't have any extra ornaments left, but I do have all the other supplies.  I thought I would share this easy project with you as well.  I will update the post with step by step pictures once I bribe ask my husband to take me to the store to get ornaments.  Jeffrey Michael's was a clear ornament that we filled with snow flakes and it was really cute.  Paige's ornament is actually silver though the picture came out weird.  Any solid color or clear ornament works well.  I grabbed a bunch of them at the local dollar store along with Christmas ribbon about 1/2 inch wide.  Dollar General had ribbon that said " I believe in Santa" and each strip cut out fit perfect for the ear muffs on the ornaments. 

Here are the supplies needed:

solid color/ clear ornament
paint - we used brown, orange and pink
mini pom pom puffs
glue gun and glue sticks
ribbon - again I found "I believe in Santa" at Dollar General and used it for the ear muff and then a plain red 
             and green ribbon for the holder
Optional- if you use a clear ornament, you can fill it with loose snowflake dust- carefully remove the metal holder and fill. Then replace the metal holder and your done!

1. Attach a 2 in strip of ribbon- (depending on the size of your ornament you may want to test measure) to the top of the ornament with glue gun.
2. Apply one pom pom to the ends of each ribbon.
3.  Once those are securely dried, then you can paint on the snowman's face.  Paige used brown for the eyes and mouth, pink for the cheeks and orange for the carrot nose. Allow to dry completely.
4. Once completely dried, add ribbon holder to the top of the ornament with ribbon.
5. Hang on your tree.

Really it is that simple and inexpensive.  It was a great and cheap project for my Girl Scout Troop and was loved by everyone that we ended up making more the following week!!

I'll add photos of us making Jeff's new ornament as soon as I can break free go to the store to get more bulbs.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stir Crazy

I am really starting to feel better- only small pains here and there.  But boy am I getting cabin fever.  Plus the fact that I am not allowed to drive for another week is playing mind games on me!!  I keep thinking of all kinds of things to do and they all require me getting into a car and driving.

I have been making a wonderfully huge list of things to do while home on leave.  Everything from simple cleaning chores to ending world hunger (too much time in bed to think!) is ending up on this list.  Of course the fact that I think I am super woman and will actually be able to accomplish them in two days isn't helping to keep the list within reason!  Again, way too much time in bed with nothing to do but shop online (which I have done and totally blown my Christmas budget) or think about all the projects that I could complete.  I am going to post it online once I can get it to a realistic list. 

Yesterday I did go to Sam's Club with my husband.  Though it was great to get out of the house, the 30 min drive one way and walking around the store was a little too much and I felt it last night.  Jeff and the kids went back to school today and so it's nice to have a quiet house.  I did some dishes and paid some bills that got forgotten about with all that was going on with my surgery.  I may dust the living room and dining room (though I am so wanting to run the sweeper- not for 6 weeks they said--torture!!) and then take a nap.

It's a rainy dreary day and they are calling for thunderstorms/snow over night.  It really is nice to be tucked in the house after all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eating my words

I really need to start healing soon so I can out of bed more and stay off the computer!  No sooner did I  post on Friday about keeping our Christmas spending light that I went on Aeropostale's website and ordered $304 worth of clothes for Paige.  And they weren't for Christmas.  Please- I learned my lesson from Xmas '08!  I happened to remember that Aeropostale lets you purchase through Paypal and the Buy It now Pay later program.  So I justified that I will be long back to work to pay it off by March.  Great- my boss will probably call me tomorrow to fire me!

Too much time on my hands + laptop = bad choices.

Yes she needs new clothes for winter.  For one, I think I accidentally gave away some of her things from last year although she has out grown the clothes that I did find so chances are she couldn't wear them anyway.  But did I really need to spend that much?  NO.  In fact my son needs new shirts (he was given a lot of jeans THANK GOODNESS!!) as he outgrew his from last winter as well. I'll probably be ordering him some as well.  So although I'm not ordering all the latest "as seen on tv" products- I do need to ease up. I'm just not as concerned about how much I'm spending when I know I don't have to pay for months!!  I'm playing right into the debt devils hands!

That's why I need to start feeling better.  The sheer boredom is causing me to spend too much online.  i am making my list of things that I would like to accomplish while on leave once I am able.  And boredom spending is not going to be on it!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Every year my husband checks out the Black Friday sales and sets up his plan of attack.  He's done very wel, l and luckily each year there is something on sale that either the kids want or we need for the house.  This year however, wasn't the case.

While we go back and forth about getting my son a netbook and us a new computer processor, it wasn't enough for Jeff to head out.  There were some deals at Best Buy for both of the above, but he couldn't rationalize getting up early and driving 30 mins to save maybe $50.  Plus he was tired from being out late Wed night and then running a 5K Thurs morning.  Exhaustion can make you prioritize!!

My kids are at the age where they are outgrowing toys and want electronics and gadgets.  We no longer buy a bunch of toys that go to waste but a couple big ticket items that they actually use.  This year they are both getting cell phone- Jeff a free Virgin Mobile that I scored since I've been with them for over 6 years and have so much airtime built up that he would probably go 6 months before he could use them up. Paige is getting a replacement phone for her's since it is not holding a charge anymore.  I am eligible for an upgrade on my phone which is still like new.  So we are going to give it to her and get a phone that's free.  I can wait till her eligible upgrade date in May for my phone.  Other than phones and the wrestling tickets for January's show there are only a couple other gadgets- the netbook and an itouch ipod thingy and my kids are done. 

Well, then there's the stocking stuffers that end up costing me a fortune somehow-haha!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This morning Jeff and the kids got up early to run in the annual Turkey Trot 5k.  God Bless them!  It's cold (37 degrees), raining, and windy.  I am actually glad to be laid up in bed today!!  But it is little Jeff's first 5k and I am sad to miss him cross the line.

I hope all of you reached or will reach your travel destinations safely. Wishing you all a great day with friends and family.  And good luck to all you Black Friday Shoppers!

Brr- they just forecasted snow flurries.  Wish I was back on the cruise! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recovering and regrouping

This past Friday I had my hysterectomy.  I struggled long and hard with my decision- though I'm still second guessing myself.  I came home Sunday and am trying to rest.  That's hard.  Staying in bed is so boring.  I have been sneaking in some things here and there when my husband runs errands.  I am not returning to work until after the New Year and I'm hoping to use this time to just get my head and heart together. 

Right now though, I'm gonna go get some drugs!  I'm not driving while taking meds and I'm not going to blog either.  They may need to add that to the warning label-haha!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Raising Kids

It is so important to my husband and I that we raise our kids to be productive and honorable people.  We both see in our jobs children and adults who do not want to work, pay their bills, and have no respect for people.  And I think to myself that at one time they were little kids -innocent to the world and impressionable.  Is it a lack of parenting or a genetic flaw that predisposed them to bad behavior?  Or am I the one who is wrong? 

I tend not to think that I am wrong when so many religious leaders- Jesus, Buddha, God, Gandhi, etc convey similar messages of being accountable as a person in society.  So what happens!  If little Johnny or Susie is a good little kid in 2nd grade like all their classmates, when do they lose the ability to see right from wrong?  When do they think it's acceptable to refrain from working, paying bills, and being truthful? More importantly, how do I prevent my children from turning to a world that doesn't think that they have to be responsible?  That it's no big deal- a who cares attitude that I see so often at work. 

Looking at my children at their current ages, I'd like to think that they get the idea of what's right in life.  They are told about paying bills and not borrowing money.  They see how upset we get if we think that they are lying. We tell them how important their word is - that it's their name and no one can take that away from them but themselves.  I would hope that when they are adults they still maintain the values that we are so desperately trying to teach. 

Some days after talking to some of my customers I just want to go home, tie my children up and beat them with values.  That could work right?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well at least I didn't lock myself out today!

But I did try to get some extra things done this morning despite saying I wouldn't do that anymore.  The morning was going along so nice and I thought I had extra time to quickly sort through the pile on my nightstand.  Which then led me to gather the magazines and some clothes for my girlfriend.  Then I remembered the office needed extra quarters and pennies so I went to gather those from our stash.  And guess what?  I was rushing at the last moment to get out the door.  Totally forgot the bag of items for my friend and almost forgot my lunch.  WHY!!!!!  I just can't stop trying to squeeze in one more thing.  Again, I  think I'm making things easier for myself.  Probably just too hard-headed!!

In less stressful news, tomorrow Jeff and I are heading to the outlet mall to get an birthday present for his niece.  Normally he does not come with me when I head up there but......they just opened a Primanti's Bros restaurant nearby and we are going there afterwards!  The closest Primanti's is in Cranberry which is 45 mins south.  This new restaurant is only 15 mins - yes!!  I may be shopping at the outlets a lot more now. So last night we revised our menu plan to fit in Primanti's. 

Tomorrow Paige leaves for Gettysburg for a class field trip.  I was expecting my husband to chaperone but he isn't and I'm trying not to obsess about it.  They are leaving early tomorrow and will be staying over night and coming back late Friday night.  Would it be crazy to text her every 30 mins?  There are 9 chaperone's for 19 kids so a great adult to child ratio.   I won't be able to send her to college.  Nope.  She doing it online!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Efficiency Sucks

What a whirlwind it was this morning.  I thought I was doing a great job at getting everyone out the door until I locked us out of the house and out of the nice warm running car.  Oh the foul language that could be heard all over the neighborhood. Of course the spare key was not in it's location and none of my neighbors were home for me to use their phone.  So Jeffrey Michael and I walked to my one friends house down the street and she took him to school and let me use her cell.

This happened because I was trying to do too many things in addition to my normal routine.  I thought I was being efficient and getting a few extra chores done to make my day easier.  Turns out it made more work and I lost time!! 

The best part of the morning was when my girlfriend said to my son - " boy sounds like you had quite an eventful morning." And he replied " yes- it was a train wreck!"  Luckily he left out the part about the train wreck having a trucker's mouth!! 

So despite renewing my husband's vehicle registration, sorting a load of clothes to be ready for washing, and loading my car up with items for Goodwill, I will refrain from any future attempts at making my morning a little more efficient.  Not unless there are 5 spare keys hiding around my house!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rambling about nothing

Trick or treat was last night from 5 to 7.  I took Paige to my old neighborhood and walked around with my girlfriend.  It was nice to see all the old neighbors.  It was also nice how many remembered me by name.  Unfortunately I couldn't remember a couple names but did remember faces!  We practically ran the whole time trying to keep up with the kids.  Then I brought Paige to meet up with my husband and his family to finish in his old neighborhood.  I was so cold and tired that I dropped her off and went home.  Good thing since I am not feeling good today - feverish and have an annoying cough.

Saturday I spent pretty much alone.  My husband took Jeff to his college homecoming game and Paige went to the Midget Football championship game with her friends.  It was great to get laundry done and my bedroom cleaned.  I have been wiping the floor everyday with a microfiber cloth to keep up with the chihuaha's hair.  It still amazes me how much he sheds.  He should be bald!!! There is only a pile of papers on my nightstand to rifle through and a tote of summer clothes to be transported to the attic.  Then it should just be a matter of maintenance.  Famous last words!

I also updated Jeff's billing system.  He was printing a monthly calendar to help him stay on track.  Except when I looked at it on Saturday it was from June.  Hmmm.. just a few months off.  May explain some of his frustration regarding bills.  That and his lack of budgeting.  We keep our bills separately and have since we started dating.  It just seems easier.  I like an organized budget and could work on it all day.  Jeff keeps his all in his head and checks his account once a week.  We talk about combining it but I'm the one who is nervous.  He doesn't keep receipts for the debit card so I would have to constantly hunt down his transactions and I would fear overdrafting on my payments.  Maybe someday.

I still haven't put my things on eBay.  That's just due to laziness.  I have been collecting boxes for shipping and just need to take pictures.  Hopefully this week I can get them done!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cable Update

Last week our cable and bundle package got cancelled because I "accidentally" forgot to remind Jeff.  I was all excited to be rid of Comcast, but when Jeff brought the box back he found out that it was only saving him $5 dollars to turn in the box.  So he kept the box and the HDTV.  He negotiated a lower monthly rate to save about $30/month, but I would have preferred that we just cancel it altogether.  It is nice to have our phone again - haha!

I cleaned out a lot paper piles (in my search for a receipt for a Target return) last night. I need to return Jeffrey Michael's pants again.  He's growing slowly but often and is down to just 2 pairs of uniform pants.  Today I sent him in a pair that are slightly short on him.  Luckily the kids aren't wise to "high waters" and he hasn't been teased yet.  But I'm sure that will end in the next year or so.  I am going to try to sneak out tonight to return some things and look for pants. I hope Jeff doesn't have practice tonight.  That way I can go myself without the kids.  Wishful thinking!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baby blues

After work I had a few minutes alone and popped over to my next door neighbor's house to see their baby.  He is adorable and I forgot how nice it is to hold a baby.  That is until we were in the kitchen and my husband saw me holding little Evan ( our kitchen windows face each other).  He must have told my son that I was next door holding the baby because not a few minutes later, Jeffrey Michael was at my neighbors back door.  Just a little jealous, I'd say.

So my little fun with a newborn came to an end and I was rushed back home to the pre-teen angst of Paige and green eyed monster of Jeffrey.  Though I miss having a baby, I don't think I could start all over again.  Plus it's nice being able to have real conversations with my children.  It's giving me some glimpse to the man and woman they are becoming.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Catch Up

This weekend I was able to get a few minor chores done. I did most of the laundry - only 2 loads did not get finished. I ironed all the items that were laying in piles on my bedroom floor. Jeff went through some of the magazines from the bathroom and I sent them to the recycling this morning. Plus there were a lot of little tasks completed too insignificant to mention. Amazingly this was all done between football games and birthday parties. I think I spent most of my day yesterday in the car running to parties and different stores. I really am surprised that I got anything done yesterday.

And just when I thought things were going to slow down, Paige's football team made the playoffs. So at least one more Saturday to sit and think about all the things I could be doing. Add to that my husband adding another cross country meet to the the schedule and I really want to go nuts!

My weekends are just ridiculous. There is no time to relax and recoup. It is more exhausting than my work days! Oh- soon to have a weekend of my own.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No more cable

***Update- if you came here from abowlfulloflemons- I meant to link to this post.  So sorry for the inconvenience!***





Yesterday was my half day and when I went home I tried to look up job openings. Little problem though, I couldn't connect to the internet. It wasn't until later when Jeff came home that I realized the cable was out too. I didn't remind Jeff to pay the bill (even after we got a shut off notice) because I don't want cable anymore. I forgot however to pay for just the basic service for the phone and internet. Ooops. My plan sort of backfired a little. We've made the decision that we do not want to pay for the upgraded cable. The channels we get on the basic service is fine for us. If we decide that we want to get the kids pay-per-view wrestling we can just go down to the cable office to rent the box for the night. We really just need internet, even the phone is not a big deal with us having cell phones. I am hoping tomorrow we get internet again so Paige doesn't go through withdrawal any longer! Now that I think of it, the phone needs turned back on in case I apply for a job too. I don't want to give out my cell phone in case of a call while I am at work.

I wanted to go over bills last night but Jeff didn't. I know he doesn't want to see how much money is being wasted. I've looked over his bank account for the past 2 months and he spends a lot of money going out to lunch with his coworkers and fast food for the kids. For a while he did come home to eat or brought food to school. And we were eating at home more during the week before cross country season got in full swing. I try to limit fast food to once a month for the kids. In fact last night he decided to get them Wendy's even though I gave several meal options that I could make. Then he was irritated that I didn't want any. I made myself a ham sandwich and rice and was happy. I've only had 1 whopper jr and 1 taco bell taco since August 20th. For me it's more than just saving the money. It's about eating better. It's hard with our busy schedule but I think it's worth it.

Today Jeff has a big cross country meet. Every year after this meet we get pizza for the team so I don't have to cook tonight!! It's a nice treat for the kids and they have a blast! The season is coming to a close in the next few weeks which will be nice. I just hope Jeff doesn't start running club too soon. I really need a break!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lazy days and job hunting

This morning my son woke up with a bad cough. Nothing unusual since he gets bronchitis every year around this time. Probably due to his allergies to every known species of trees and plants. We hadn't started him on his allergy med and I am definitely going to start tonight. Poor thing hasn't had a Halloween in years where he isn't hacking and sneezing. I wanted to keep him home so we could both lay in bed and cuddle but he really isn't that sick (no fever, etc) and hopefully the cough medicine took care of him. I told him to have the nurse call me at work if he did start feeling bad and so far no calls.

So I am here at work being lazy and actually looking at job postings. I've been here three years and really find no motivation here. My boss hasn't given the other staff members raises since he took over the office 10 years ago and all I get are excuses about why he's short on my bonuses and why no raises. His lack of interest in the office has trickled down to the other staff members as they do as little work as possible during the day. Which then makes me not want to put in any effort if no one else is. I only make $20k plus what little bonuses I get for selling policies. I work a 1/2 hour away which is better than when I worked an hour away. But for what little I make I could find a job in my city making the same amount with no commute. I would really like to just work part time and/or work for myself. Who knows......

I am trying to sell more things on eBay again. I have a bunch of household items that I was going to take to Goodwill, but I think I am going to try selling some of the smaller items and just donate the bigger things. Plus I have a ton of toys and clothes that I think will sell for Christmas. I told the kids to gather up unused items so we can have a yard sale on eBay. They aren't exactly on board with this but if I give them some of the proceeds then they will be more receptive! Time to start cleaning up that poor office. I dump everything in there which is not good. Once I post my items- you will have to stop by and check them out!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That time of the year

It's cold! Not cold enough to have frost on the windows but just nippy enough to make me put on my winter coat. I couldn't believe that I actually had to go get the winter clothes from the attic this weekend. We needed sweatshirts and warmer pjs because I only put the furnace on enough to take the chill out of the air in the mornings. Our gas bill will be large enough come this January and February. We can layer until then!

Friday night Paige had her annual birthday sleepover. We had 15 girls including Paige ranging in age from 11 -13. This year they were actually not too bad. No bickering or hurt feelings and most were asleep by 1 am. They are just loud. But I did hear one of the girls say it was the best birthday party ever. Yay me!

Jeff and I had tried to recuperate Saturday and Sunday. The house stayed relatively clean and other than the dishes from last night (too tired to care about!) I don't have much to do tonight. Just a couple loads of laundry, dishes, and maybe start working on some piles in the office. Oh, and all the summer shoes need to get put away. That alone will clear up the stairs on the basement. I don't think we have as many winter shoes. Well, until I have to go out and buy new ones for growing feet! Hehe!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy 12th Birthday Paigie!


Today is my Paigie's 12th birthday. I can't believe my little jaundiced fat baby of 12 years ago is already close to being a teenager. She is becoming so much more of a young woman as you can see in this picture from our vacation. And by woman I mean she is not only physically changing but also her attitude. Lord Please send her a patient husband!! Last night she laid out all that she expected from us from her breakfast (2 dippy eggs and toast that must be delivered by 7:10 am) to her lunch which must be delivered to the school (Subway - order too complicated to fit in this blog!) by 12:30pm. I am getting her out of school early today so I am sure by then she will have her dinner and evening plans ready for us. She sure is tough cookie- but she is an unbelievable child. I am trying to learn to overlook her "determined nature" and look at the most beautiful and intelligent little girl I know!! Happy Birthday my little princess! Daddy and I hope all your wishes come true -- I know we're trying haha!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Did I forget how busy the fall is?

I'm taking a break from cleaning my office. Yes, I just did a major cleaning not that long ago and boy did the cleaning fairies forget to keep up with this room. It could also be that my son decided to clean out his room of everything spiderman and dump it all in here!! You couldn't even walk into this room. It truly looked like a scene from Hoarders. That's what my family has been calling it all week long- the Hoarder room.

Besides wasting time on the internet, I'm thinking about how busy my weekends are in the fall. I thought summer was busy, and really my fall weekends are worse. Jeff usually has a cross country meet every Saturday and he leaves at 6 am and comes back around 3pm or so. Paige has a football game to cheer for and had Jeffrey Michael not quit football, I would be sitting at his game watching him and then staying for the olders kids game for Paige to cheer. Then we have church and usually a birthday party squeezed in there as well. It's no wonder I don't feel like I get a break.

Well, right now I am. I have about 40 mins before picking Paige up from a sleepover and I'm gonna waste time on the computer (in between loads of laundry!!). Hope your weekend is more relaxing than mine!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I forgot how to post

Yes, I haven't been around and so when I decided to post just now I looked at blogger in confusion!

A lot has happened, I turned 40, we took a family cruise to the Caribbean, my son was tormented by another child on his football team and I think I'm going through midlife crisis. You know, the usual life stuff.

One thing though that I have realized this past month is that after 23 years with my husband (dating and marriage inclusive because hey he's the only man I've been with!) I still love him fiercely. It's not the same kind of love I had for him in my teens and 20's. It's more/less/stronger/fonder/intimate. I'm guessing that it will change as we change in the next 23 years (and more I hope!). It's been amazing to watch him grow as a man/father/husband. My love has grown with him as I watched his transformation and I love who he has become. He tells me how much he loves me and is attracted to me even after all these years (and babies).

To think that at one time in my life I never wanted to get married let alone have children. I'm glad he showed me that I could be a good wife and mother despite my own upbringing. My fear almost cost me the joy of him and the kids and I can't imagine my life without them.

So Jeff, I hope that someday you will realize how truly happy I am with you. I love you more than imaginable or describable. Even when things get crazy- like now with you coaching cross country- ignore my complaining. You know it's in my nature to be pessimistic and miserable but under it all I love you and all your bad habits and I hope you feel the same about me!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh blog how I miss thee

Things have just been a crazy whirlwind lately. Jeffrey Michael's team made it to the playoffs. It was a best of three elimination and of course they went to the third game and it went into extra innings ---but we won! He was thrilled! I have to admit, it was really exciting. Both teams played their hearts off and it was such a close game. It could have gone either way. Secretly I'm glad we won. Their fans (parents) were really unsportsman-like. Luckily they did have umpires for the games or it would have been really ugly.

We rescheduled Jeff's birthday party for the Sunday after and he had a blast. We had a ton of food and the kids had a good time playing. The kids then went over to our friends to watch the wrestling pay per view while I cleaned and relaxed.

Last week my husband went on a road trip with his dad, brother, and cousin to the New England States. He enjoyed it but I was glad that he missed up and said he would have rather gone with us. We really missed him too. I took the kids to a small amusement park for the day on Sunday and we had fun. I got the cutest pictures of the kids on my cell phone. Now I just need to learn how to get off so I can make prints.

Work has been ok. But I'm a little worried that the agent isn't doing so well financially. He's not doing as much business but still spending a lot. I've been down this road before with a previous employer and it was ugly. I'm kind of looking around on the side just to be safe. He's either going to get rid of one of us or our paychecks will be bouncing around!

Only two weeks until we leave for vacation. I have most things done for the kids and now Jeff and I need to get some things for ourselves. I'm hoping we can find some clothes on clearance now that it's back to school time. Or knowing my luck, we waited too late and everything is gone! Haha! Guess we will just have to run around in our bathing suits all week!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Let's Go Yanks!

Jeffrey Michaels baseball team has advanced to the championship game. While we are proud of his team, it caused us to cancel his birthday party since the game is scheduled tonight at the same time we were having the party. My husband was so furious - long story short-playoffs weren't suppose to start until next tues and they cancelled all regular games this week and started playoffs this past tuesday. I am secretly glad because it gives me all weekend to clean.
And my house definitely needs it!

LET'S GO YANKS!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TLC

Last night I was flipping through channels, instead of getting some much needed house work done, and I settled on TLC. It was kate plus eight and then Little People soon after. Between shows the commercials all seemed to focus on baking shows. What's the deal with this station? It seems as though the main shows revolve around three reality topics - large families, little people, and bakeries. Can people be that interested in these topics to sustain ratings? It just seemed strange to me that so much of their programming centers around these areas.

I guess I'm getting bored with tv. Before I had a tv in my room, I rarely watched it. Since spending more time laying in bed with the remote, I realize that there isn't a heck of a lot worth watching. I do love Drop Dead Diva and the Bethanny spin off. But I'm guessing I could watch it on my computer and save so much money by cancelling Comcast. The kids don't watch much in the summer except wrestling but it's on the Internet too. I think a serious talk with Jeffrey about cancelling cable is in order!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Happy 9th Birthday Jeffrey Michael! Sorry your sister is sick and our plans have changed, just means your getting extra days to celebrate!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aw- you shouldn't have....really, seriously!

My husband just sent me a picture text. I always cringe when I see these coming in. Usually they are beyond perverted and I worry that if I don't delete them, my kids will accidentally see them.

Today was not one of those texts although I wish it was. Actually he sent me a picture of a poor unsuspecting bird that lost its life to one of my cats. Yuck. It's been years since I've been left a present. And really Chester and Dexter - which ever one left it- I appreciate the sentiment but really you shouldn't have!! Just don't poop in the playground area and we can call it even!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Temper Tantrums

Yesterday there was a huge temper tantrum in my home. Sadly, it was me having one!

My daughter had asked last week if I could take her and her friend to Chuckie E Cheese on my half day. I half heartedly agreed if the weather wasn't nice, I would. Well, the past few days called for rain all day and I re-assured her we were going. Except the forecast changed Wednesday morning as it was calling for the rain to hold off until early evening.

I got home and told my husband that I really didn't want to go (he had no intentions of joining us) and that since it was so nice maybe she would agree to going to the pool and then heading to Chuckie Hell when it rains. She was suppose to have a makeup game but I was quite certain it was going to be cancelled since it was storming west of us in Ohio. I figured we could hit the pool for a couple hours and then head over. Paige was not at all happy with this change of plans. I tried to explain to her that it was going to rain later and I rarely get to go swimming. Plus we could spend more time at Chuckie's if we wait till later when it rains. She started crying and then I had my own tantrum. Jeff told me to take her and her friend to the pool but I hated to make her so upset although I was really upset.

I took her anyway and she felt bad because she knew I really didn't want to be there. As soon as we left the storm came and her game was cancelled. I think that also made her a little guilty. We could have both gotten what we wanted if we would switched to my plan!

Monday, June 21, 2010

There's No Disturbance here officer

Last night we had Paige and Jeffrey's friends over to watch the wrestling pay-per-view. We projected it onto the garage door and made some hotdogs. The kids had fun and it was nice keeping them outside. But it was loud. Those girls can scream loud. So loud that one of our neighbors called the police on us. They showed up after most everyone left so it was kind of ironic. My husband was a little mad about it. We've lived here almost 8 years and don't have wild parties every week. I think I know who it was. In fact I saw her at the store yesterday morning. Cranky old woman. Used to be my calculus teacher in high school. Lives behind my house and I think I've blogged about her before but I'm sure I'll never find it in my list.

Last week we had three night games and Thursday was a double header for Paige. I called off Friday and stayed in bed with a head cold/sinus cold. Saturday I tried to get some things done around the house but I still wasn't feeling all that great. Sunday we took Jeff miniature golfing and then out to dinner before our wrestling party. And now it's Monday and my head is still cloudy. I've been taking allergy meds, cold meds, and nothing is helping. I think it's a sinus infection. Yay me!

Time to head back to work. Though not getting much done as I can barely keep my eyes open!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rain

It looks like we are getting rain and thunderstorms this weekend. No pool for me! It's rather cloudy and overcast right now but the sun is suppose to show up later. I'm hoping to sneak out of work a little early today. It's the last day of school and I usually take the day off but my office mate took the day off for an out of town wedding. The other girl took this morning off for a doctor's appt and so I'm hoping she'll return the favor of working alone by letting me skip out this afternoon.

Last night I did nothing. That time of the month came and it's getting real bad. I really think I need to reschedule my consultation with my ob/gyn and seriously think about a hysterectomy. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have constant pain even when it's not my cycle. I keep thinking next month might be better yet it seems to just get worse.

This morning a neighbor down the street was putting up yard sale signs. I wish I had time to gather things together to put out tomorrow. I always do better when others are having sales! But if they are calling for rain then it may be more hassle than it's worth. Plus there's the other issue of the mil!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One day of school left

Today was suppose to be the last day of school but unfortunately with a snow day to make up it was extended to tomorrow. My family is just counting down the hours. Luckily tomorrow's a half day!

It has been so crazy at my house. Baseball and softball games are in full swing -when it's not raining. Jeff and I had some unexpected travel last week which really threw us out of schedule. I'm trying to get caught up on my regular house work and squeeze in some extra de-cluttering

Jeff and I are suppose to rent a dumpster to get rid a lot of wood and leftover items from recent remodelling and we have to replace the roof on our porch so we'll have all that mess to pitch. I have been setting aside items for a yard sale also. But I have to wait until my mother in law leaves for Florida. One, she'll want to have it with me and it's just too stressful to do it with her and also a lot of the items I want to put in the yard sale are from her! She means well when she gets things for us and the kids, but so much of it I cannot use or do not like. I am always trying to convince her to give us gift cards but it never works!

Jeff has a golf outing all day Saturday with my boss so I'm hoping the weather will cooperate so me and the kids can go swimming all day. If I can finish getting some things done tonight and tomorrow night then I can relax for a few hours. Let's pray for sun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Remember me?

Hi- remember me? My name is Rochelle and I sometimes get time to write on my blog. Unfortunately, the last week or so -FORGET IT! I don't know where the time goes or what I am doing. I wonder if I should keep a time log. But then I don't want to depress myself! The kids have started baseball and softball and I've been busy with games and opening day. No. This year I didn't punch my kids! This year was just as chaotic, but we muddled through the day.

Last Sunday, my husband put in the new bamboo floor in our bedroom. While it looks beautiful, I'm not crazy about the durability. I was aware that bamboo floors damaged easily, but a couple of the planks cracked down the middle after installation. You can't tell unless you are on the floor with your eyeball resting on them- only I crawl around looking for flaws. The bed also covers them so no worries that any one will ever know. Please don't tell! It does look rather nice though I am hesitant to use it again. The thought of them already being damaged after just a few hours is sickening. If they weren't located in the middle of the floor, Jeff would have taken them out. At this point it's not worth the hassle especially since they are hidden.

Well, I just wanted to reintroduce myself. One day I am going to get my life in order. It is possible right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We really are not poor

Why is it the one day your entire family decides to dress in their worst clothes is the one day you run into the one person you thought you would never see? This happened last night. Sunday night Paige's coach called to say she had a game Monday night (we still don't have uniforms nor schedules). Before I left for work I gathered all the gear needed and had them ready. I told my husband that Paige's softball pants were hanging in Jeff's closet if it's too cold for her softball shorts. I even called him 2 hours before the game to review the list I had left them. You see I was going to meet them at the field since I work till 5pm.

When they show up at the game- late of course because Jeff had to squeeze running on the treadmill, they looked like a band of ragamuffins. My son had on these dollar store slip-ons, Paige had her old uniform on but wore a pair of sweatpants that were 2 inches too short and my husband wasn't that bad looking as he had on jeans and an old zip up jacket.

It wasn't until around the 2nd inning that I realized the coach of the other team was an old boyfriend's best friend. I haven't seen him in 20 yrs. I hoped he wouldn't see me as I was on the other side and this was the only game against them. Except the fact that my husband was keeping stats and around the 4th he asked me to keep them while he played catch with my son.

As soon as I walked over to the dugout he spotted me and waved. No biggie. But then when the game was over and I was trying to get out of the dugout, he came over and asked which girl was mine. Yep that would be the one in the high water pants that are way too small! Then my son came over to be nosy in his lovely shoes. Maybe since he's a guy he wouldn't see the same things as a woman would. Oh well, I love my family and shouldn't care what anyone thinks of us. I know we normally don't look like this-besides, I will just blame it on my husband!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

My family really worked hard to give me an extra special Mother's Day this year. Paige made a coupon booklet filled with lots of great coupons for chores, back rubs,etc. Jeffrey Michael made a flower at school and each petal had a task on it. I just pick a petal and he is suppose to do it. Jeff Allen made me breakfast in bed (my usual Mother's Day morning) and bought me tulips. Last night we went to Lowe's and purchased a lot of things for around the house. The best purchase of all- a new kitchen faucet which he installed this afternoon- with no problem!! No more fountain of water soaking me as I fill up the sink with dish water! It was way above what he wanted to spend - but not the $750 I saw! Our kitchen sink looks a million times better. Now he said the counter tops look terrible. Oh well, I'm still glowing from my faucet!

I downloaded Jeff's Communion pictures-








Here's Paige's Communion just three years ago-



They grow up too fast!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May??

Ok, what just happened? It's already May 6th. Yikes!

Jeff had a great time in Chicago and we missed him terribly. Well, we missed the physical him, but it was so nice not having to clean up after him! Let's just say he got extra lucky when he came home Sunday night. Hehe.

Monday night when I got home from work, Paige informed me she had her first fast pitch game. We don't have uniforms, a team name, and there have only been 2 practices. That should tell you how well we did. It wasn't as bad as we thought- they lost 13-4. Paige played 2nd base and did a great job. I could tell she was a little unsure as she was a pitcher all last year. She did get a triple on her second at bat. Her face was priceless- in fact she even gave me a thumbs up!! If you remember from last year we were never allowed to acknowledge her during games.

Tuesday night Jeffrey M had a science fair. It was the first time the school sponsored this and in true New Castle form it was really poorly done. Hopefully next year they will plan better. Jeffrey did the tornado experiment with 2 soda bottles. We tried to add an army guy for effects but he kept clogging the hole. Red and green glitter replaced him and everyone loved it.

Last night was practice for both kids. I did manage to get a load of laundry done late around 11pm. If you couldn't tell, I have been so busy after work that nothing has been done. We have been cooking dinner despite not planning out our week. Sunday I took the kids to the grocery store and we stocked up on a lot of staples. I spent $93.40 at Aldis which is a lot. No meat was purchased for the week as I ran out of money and Jeff hasn't had time to get to the store.
Monday they had grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, Tuesday was pizza and macaroni and cheese, and last night was french toast. Tonight will be pasta. No clue what we're eating the rest of the week although I am hoping to go out on Sunday for Mother's Day. I'm not sure I will be in the mood for any company being my first Mother's Day since my mom's death. Will have to definitely work on being in a good mood for the kids!

Tonight (I hope) their is no activity planned. I really need to get more laundry done! Poor Paige only has a couple pairs of shorts and unless I want to wash the same clothes I need to get shopping.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dinner Update

I don't have much time- but I was really excited about this week's menu and shopping. We only spent $15.47 at Aldis this week! Our menu for this week -now that it's almost over haha!

Monday - Hamburgers, alfredo noodles and corn (plus any leftovers from Sunday)
Tuesday- Chicken Stirfry
Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner -eggs, bacon, toast
Thursday- sauce, salad, bread
Friday- Friend's house for dinner
Saturday -Pizza- but not homemade
Sunday- communion parties

This week most of my dinners have been planned by using what we already have. Jeff is leaving tonight for Chicago so I may just order pizza on Saturday. The kids have ball practice and it's been 3 weeks since we've had fast food! We deserve this treat. Other than picking up staples for lunches and milk and bread - we have only spent slightly over $15. I know this week is really cheating though. If I hadn't made a big shopping trip last month, we wouldn't have had all the ingredients for Monday and Tuesday's meals. Anyway, I was so excited about this week's meals and how little we spent that I had to share. Even I get pizza on Saturday, we will still only spend about $30 on food this week! Yay!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What was I thinking?

I wasn't planning to write this post until I could put up pictures but I couldn't wait. Yesterday, Jeffrey Michael received his First Holy Communion and I've been running myself crazy getting all the little details done. And honestly, what was I thinking?

I asked myself this question Saturday night after spending the entire day from 6 am until 11 pm on my to-do list. One of the items on my list was to hang and steam the curtains I purchased for my living room in January. Yes. I know. The free sheers that have been hanging for the past 7 years didn't need to come down this weekend. Especially since I've had the new curtains for the past few months. Why the rush? Why this weekend with all the other things that I had going on did I feel the need to spend time on these curtains. No one would care - they're used to the old curtains. Didn't I have other more important things to do for my son- like gathering his Baptismal pins, getting his hair cut, charging the video recorder?

While the curtains do look nice (still need to get a sheer for underneath cause they're too dark pulled closed) I could have allowed myself the extra hour and half for my other tasks. I'm not alone though. My friend and I were talking Saturday night and I mentioned this to her and she said she does it all the time. In fact, she uses throwing parties as a way to help her get all those little things done around the house that otherwise she'd put off. I told her she was nuts!

Though hanging the curtains did not prevent me from completing all the other things, it certainly made me think about why I do let some tasks go by for ever. I started a to do list of all the things around my house that I've been putting off. These aren't just areas around my house that need decluttered and cleaned though some of those have made the cut. It's more of a fix it, clean it, get rid of it, kinda list.

Do you find yourself trying to finish undone unrelated tasks when getting ready for important events? While I know it's impossible to have my house completely task free (it is over 100 yrs old and always has something breaking!), I would like to get all those little things fixed (like my curtains). Those little things that always make me cringe when company comes over. Some things, like my laundry table from last month, don't bother me if guests see. No one goes into my basement that's why!

I do think God was having a good laugh at me too while hanging those curtains. You see, they have grommets. And we all know how fun they can be. One window in particular was trying to send me to the nut house as they kept sliding off the rod every time a moved. Did I get the hint?? Nope. I just kept hanging them curtains.

But all in all my son's day was really special. He looked so handsome and sat still during the whole mass. He turned and snuck a peek at us after receiving the host and wine. It was so cute.
I'll post pictures later.

In other good news, I was just at SmallNotebook and could not believe she quoted me! ME! I answered her question about lunch ideas never thinking mine was anything special. Wow. I can't believe that something so little that I do might help out someone else. That makes blogging all worth it. Now to just figure out the answers to the rest of my life!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After work chaos

Last night after work was completely chaotic. First my husband had to fill in at a track meet and so he was gone till around 7:30/8. Paige went with a friend after school which was nice and Jeff M had Communion practice which my mother in law was able to shuttle him to. So while I was able to sit in the church parking lot relaxing for about 30 mins till his class was over, it was a complete disaster afterward.


First Jeff M wanted to go to the library to look for books. No problem, I actually like it when he wants to read since he is really lazy about it. Of course he couldn't find anything - but I did. Then we headed home and I started getting dinner going. It was about 6:30 by then and Paige had gone out to dinner with her friends family so I couldn't pick her up like planned. As soon as I got the french fries in the oven she texts me to come get her and like NOW! Ugg! I thought my girlfriend was going to drop Paige off since they were out anyway, but Paige left her school bag at the house so they just took her there. Off we dash to get her, hoping that the house doesn't burn down. Then we get home and I finish our steak salads. Jeff just ate the steak, Paige ate nothing, and I wolfed down a quick plate.


As I am trying to get the next day's dinner ready and clean up the dishes, Jeff M wants to play a board game. At this point my mind is mush, I still had to run over the neighbors to get her steamer and throw a load of clothes in the wash. Dishes done, steamer got (but needs cleaned), nixed the laundry, I cuddled on the couch with the outside kitten and went to sleep. Now that I write this it really doesn't sound all that busy. I guess it was more my attitude than anything. It's amazing how at the time I was all frazzled and miserable. But now this morning it occurs to me that if I had approached it with a better attitude I would have a better night. Maybe I would have joined in the board game. I really missed a nice night with my family.


I've been reading books by Joyce Meyer and watching her on tv before work. I started a post about her last month (it's still in my drafts!) because I really like her. She is very different from the people that I normally watch on EWTN. But for me she works. I need that kick in the rear kind of talking. Have any of you read her books, watched her programs. or gone to one of her conferences? I'm thinking of going to the Love Life conference in September. That's if I can afford it after our cruise!

Oh, and we're having the whipped cream tonight with our sundaes!! Jeff appreciates the condolences.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rounding up all the little things

Jeffrey M is getting his First Holy Communion this Sunday. A lot of things are done, but there are a few little things to finalize. Some I'm not too sure about. Like the tie that came with his suit. He opted for a black suit- and with his complexion and dark hair makes him look like a young Michael Corleone from The Godfather movie- instead of the old traditional white suit. The tie was nothing special and he has a tie from another suit that would work. Honestly, I don't think anyone will really notice. My husband may not even want to buy a new tie- remember he hasn't spent any additional money since last week! He may find buying the tie unnecessary since we have a couple to choose from.

I am happy to say that we did stick to our dinner menu all week! By Thursday, Paige and Jeffrey M were eager to pick their dinners again. One of the best surprises was Friday night. Paige wanted roni rolls and we made them homemade. She told my husband that she loved them and wants them again this Friday. But the ultimate was her telling him they were better than the ones she used to make us buy at the local pizzeria. Yes!!

This weeks menu is the following:

Monday - Steak salads
Tuesday- Roast Chicken, potatoes, carrots, salad (I'm gonna try this in the crockpot)
Wednesday- Turkey breast, sweet potato / bake potatoe, noodles, salad - (Jeff M loved this last week
Thursday - Sauce & macaroni, salad, italian bread
Friday - Roni rolls
Saturday - Hot dogs, hamburgers, linguine salad, baked beans - we're planning to grill out!
Sunday - First Holy Communion Party- leftovers


Jeff only spent around $77 dollars this week. I can't find the receipt from Aldis, but he said it was only about $54. Giant Eagle - 8.93 for steak and 11.98 from Save-A-Lot. If we actually make it through the week again without having to stop at the store it will be awesome!

Jeff shopped really good and followed the list. He only forgot one thing. Imagine his surprise when he was at the bar with his buddies watching the Penguins playoff game last night and he got a text from me asking him to stop at the store and bring home whipped cream!! He said he nearly fell off the stool and ran out to the store right then! Unfortunately, when he texted me back some rather suggestive things we could do with the whipped cream,I had to burst his
bubble by telling him it was that time of the month and it really was for desserts!! Not the first time I've done that to him and won't be the last!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mini Monster

It's rainy and cold this morning! The sun is suppose to shine later on today- but it's not fast enough for me. It looks more like fall than spring. Eww!

Last night dinner went so easy. Jeff cooked the ground meat and it only took minutes to put everything out on the table. Loved that! We ate dinner and I had the kitchen clean by 6:15pm.

The kids kept going to the refrigerator to look at the menu and kept asking if we were really having turkey for today. So far so good. I did get the potatoes and carrots ready last night and left a note for Jeff to put Jeff M's sweet potato in earlier. Baseball practice is to start at 5:30pm and if dinner can go in the oven by 4-4:15pm, it will be done in time for them to eat before leaving. Those are the days that will really make a difference.

My husband kept informing me that he spent ZERO yesterday. He's like a little kid! He even stated that he wants Dave Ramsey to personally set up our budget. I think he's turning into a budget monster! Luckily he left for an hour last night to go to the high school to work out with some other teachers. I needed the peace! When he came home last night he was telling me how hard it was to lift the weights. He complained to his friend about how much his arms hurt to which his friend replied- dude, we're working on our chests! You're gonna be in deep trouble tomorrow when we actually work on our arms! Haha!

Dmoms emailed me her template for her cleaning schedule. Head over to her blog and see how nice her lists are. My kids looked at it and were not as impressed as me. Though that might be to the fact that they do not like to be told to clean daily. They would rather clean when they feel like it - which is never. But I just wanted to send another Thanks! to her for helping me. I can easily see in my mind how I want things to look whether it's clothes, decorating my home, etc, but never seem to be able to reproduce it in reality. Then I bog myself down with the minutae. For example, I will spend a ridiculous amount of time searching for just the right font when I working on the computer. I miss the old days of typewriters. Two choices -10 or 12 pitch. That's it. Now I get to choose all the fonts that I would see but could never use on a typewriter. Too many choices for me. Even the template for this blog. I've changed it so many times. Especially when I find a new blog with a really cool template. Anyway, the inner designer in me is trying to work it's way out. Lord help us all!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Update

Thought this was too funny- Jeff just texted me to let me know he had a no spend day! I challenged him to see how many days we can go! I'm gonna make a PF blogger out him one day!!

Finally- Damn Ramsey and meal planning

My husband is on board again with watching our spending! Last summer we fell off the budget band wagon. The two rental properties were vacant and paying those mortgages along with our household bills really hit hard. But we sold the one property and the other is rented and so for the past few months we haven't had any hiccups paying bills.

I have been asking Jeffrey to go on the Dave (Damn) Ramsey envelope system. He thought it was a good idea but not something he wanted to do. Well, he still doesn't want to go on the envelope system, but he did say that we have to stop wasteful spending, ie buying lunches at work, grabbing fast food, etc. He said that he noticed a lot of wasteful spending on his account. Most of it was buying lunches at his school and fast food for the kids. We used to do a half baked job of menu planning each week and it did cut down on spending.

We talked about eating at home more often and Jeff wanted to join a monthly menu planning service. I agree that we do need to eat at home more often, but am not a fan of menu planning services. While they probably do help a lot of people, I don't think my family would benefit because we are rather picky eaters. I'm probably the pickiest of them all! So I suggested to Jeff that if we put together a week worth of menus, we can work the night before doing any prep work needed so that getting dinner made wouldn't be too time consuming. This would help tremendously especially since baseball/softball season is starting.

To get the kids involved, I suggested allowing them to pick one dinner each only stipulation is that it must be home cooked - no fast food! Surprisingly, they were excited about this and were even trading ideas for other days of the week. I put together a menu chart (thanks dmoms!) and included night before instructions. My Aldi's list (work in progress but I will share once done) made it easy to check off what was needed for each item. I supplement items at our local Giant Eagle and now that a Save-A -Lot opened on our side of town, I will save even more. Giant Eagle is a very expensive grocery store compared to Aldi's and Save a lot. The only things that I purchase there are their meats (when on sale), fruits & vegis(on sale) and lunch meats. Everything else can be found at the other two stores. The best thing is that they are all within a mile of each other on the same road!

Our menu for this week is as follows-

Monday - Tacos and Nachos
Tuesday- Turkey breast, salad, potatoes, Parmesan noodles
Wednesday- BBQ Ribs, corn on the cob, salad (I'll prob eat leftover turkey -not a fan of ribs)
Thursday- Spaghetti, salad, and Italian bread
Friday - Home made pepperoni rolls and pizza ( Jeff M wants to try making homemade pizza)
Saturday- Pork chops, Parmesan noodles, salad, corn and asparagus
Sunday- Spaghetti, salad and Italian bread

While most people would not like having sauce twice a week, but as Italians, we (mainly me) were raised having sauce on Thursdays and Sundays. Trust me, I hear about it if we don't have sauce - especially on Sundays! We may not have sauce every Thursday, but Sundays is a given.

I am going to keep track of what we spend each week to see how well we do. I may not post my menu's or spending on this blog but will keep you updated on how it's going.

The above menu and our regular grocery needs broke down to the following-

Giant Eagle - 29.08
Save-a-Lot - 33.29
Aldis - 54.34

Total - 116.71

These totals are all food items. He didn't buy any toiletries, cleaning products, or pet food. That was just coincidence. In fact, I have to run out to the store to get dish soap and toilet paper! I am also going to try to watch Giant Eagle's sales flyer and a grocery store near my work place for meat items on sale. That way I can stock up on things and keep the weekly tally low. Is $400 a month on meals expensive? I've never really thought about what we spend buying groceries or buying fast food, but last week we spent around $40 in food for just 2 nights dinners! A few dollars here and there really do add up.

I try not to eat out at work. I've kept it to just once a week and spend maybe 2-3 dollars. I am going to try to stop altogether this month. Jeff's taking a more conservative approach and is just trying to go this week. Hey - baby steps I know! We've also explained to the kids what we are trying to do and I'm hoping they don't go through withdrawal too bad. The next hurdle would be to get Paige to take more lunches to school. She has stopped taking her lunches and it's adding up considerably especially since they can buy ice cream and various treats in addition to lunch. Again- baby steps. Don't get too far ahead of yourself now Rochelle!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The new addition to the house


No- it's not another child- or animal! It's this monster. The kids received it as the family gift for Christmas last year. Of course with the weather being in the 80's. Wait. Did I just say 80's? Considering a couple months ago we had almost 2 feet of snow in our yard, it's shocking that we've had summer like weather and it's only the 3rd day of April. June rarely sees those type of days in our area!
But the kids badgered my husband into setting it up and I don't like it. My fear is that a wind storm will blow it away and cause expensive damage to some one's property. The netting makes me a little less worried about the kids getting hurt as it's really sturdy. We will inspect it every month to be sure it's still safe and secure. Since this picture was taken, we did move it up closer to our house. It blocked my view to the swing set and I didn't like that. Last night we all piled in for a few minutes to bounce. I think my husband likes it a lot as he was bouncing for a long while. Even our cat Chester was having fun playing underneath it!
Today we have to finish getting things for Easter dinner and Paige's Easter basket. I hope everyone has a great Easter. And remember this quote I heard from a little boy in Target yesterday- " Easter is awesome. The bunny comes and celebrates Jesus dying for our sins." He's got it- hope everyone else does too!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Office- almost done!

I have finally got my butt in the office to clean! Although it's not all the way done- the bookshelves need decluttered as well as the closet and desk- the junk on the floor is pretty much gone. The printer and pile in the corner just need to be loaded in the car to go to Goodwill. The pile of papers on the small bookshelf are bills to be dealt with tomorrow and some books to go to the church for the kids room. My son just walked in and said - "Wow! The office looks so nice and clean." It was amazing how dusty it was. Where does it come from?

Here are the rest of the before photos-



And here are the after-



One day I really want to replace the floor. It's a crazy linoleum like floor that was in my son's room and my room. I'm guessing it's under the carpet in Paige's room too! I'm also not crazy about the pine panelling. But it's real pine- not the cheap 70's panelling and we're afraid of what's under it. The curtains came with the house and I haven't seen anything that I think would look nice with the panelling so they've stayed. I want to put the small bookshelf back in my son's room but it won't be possible until I clean off the shelves in the closet. Heck- for now it's clean. The room is located in between my first and second floors and so when I go up or down the steps it's so nice to look into a semi organized and clean office!