Tuesday, December 21, 2010


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.