Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm's A Brewing..

This past week has been crazy busy as my husband's cross country team got ready for the WPIAL meet.  This meet is for the varsity runners (boys and girls) to try and earn a place for the state competition in Hershey PA.  We have one boy and one girl who are amazing runners and were certain to earn a spot.  Unfortunately, the girl earned a spot but our boy lost all that he learned from training to his nerves and didn't place.  He's only a sophomore so we have high hopes for the next few years. 

We leave on Friday for Saturday's competition and I'm hoping this upcoming storm doesn't cause too much damage to the course.  I was shocked to here the storm was actually touching mainland in the Delaware/PA area.  I thought it already hit the Carolinas and all the rain we've been having yesterday and today was the storm reaching us. 

I was shocked when the news advised us of bad weather starting Monday night.  We normally only see rain for a couple days after Hurricanes hit mainland and die down as they move up our way.  So I spent all day trying to prepare for what could be some crazy rain/wind/snow in the next few days.  I hope my basement holds up.  It's been raining so much recently that I'm guessing it's gonna get water once the storm hits. 

The good thing is that I was able to get all my son's winter clothes out of storage and I have a good idea of what he needs.  Paige's clothes have been out for a while and she just needs some jeans and a winter coat (hopefully she'll wear one this year). 

With the storm and getting ready for states, I probably will not post till next week.  Hope everyone is safe and warm!  It's already dropping below 40! Brrr!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photo Button Display

My kids are very active in sports.  We love it!  Though it does make for a very busy life especially since my husband is also a high school cross country and track coach. 

With each new season comes team pictures.  I buy the smallest package which includes a 5x7 individual photo, a 5x7 team photo, and an individual button.  While it's easy to display the photos, the buttons most often get set aside.  I use to wear them when the kids were little, but lately I haven't. 

I had thrown them in a pile in my office (aka the most unorganized room in my home!).  Each time I looked at them I thought what a shame because they are so cute. 

I had tried to display them on my filing basket.

But they never stayed on good and I could only get a few on at a time. 

I really wanted to display them in a cute way, but for the life of me I couldn't come up with any good solutions.

Then one day I happened to remember the cork board tiles that I bought with the plans to make a copy of a Pottery Barn Teen bulletin board.  But finding matching tiles of cork, magnetic, etc was proving difficult.  So I just opted for the large cork board frame I found at Home Goods. (Hoping to finish by posts on Paige's room soon. Can't believe I started her room last August!)

The tiles have been sitting in my office for over 2 years and I figured that they would be perfect to display the buttons.  It's not completely finished (see above paragraph as to how long projects have been taking lately!), but I am really liking it so far.

This wall is directly outside of Paige's room.  To the right is her bedroom door and to the left is the bathroom. Yes, I have also added repaint the trim to the list of things to do.

The top board holds all of her softball pictures from T-ball to Junior High. The bottom tile has her cheer leading buttons (and one lone soccer and volleyball one).  Not all of her cheer buttons are on as I can't find 3 years worth.

I haven't decided what to do with the window decals yet.  I'm not crazy about putting them on our cars and they were too cute to throw away.  I was going to put them on the wall above and below the tiles.  Or put them on the tiles and rearrange the buttons around them.  Jeff and I are also debating on framing the tiles in. 

I also put a cork tile outside of my son's room.  I am guessing that the rest of  his baseball buttons are with Paige's cheer buttons because we are missing a few years worth. 

Hanging the buttons on the cork was so easy.  I just used the old fashioned flat thumb tacks and the fastener on the back of the button as the hook.  I can move them around as needed and it really looks cute (despite my horrible photos).  Plus I can add more tiles as needed which I probably will with my son as he is now getting into more sports!

It's cute to see how much they've changed and it reminds us of some wonderful times shared together!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Heart Aussies

Life is really hectic here as my husband is in the middle of his cross country season.  I try to help out as much as I can and luckily by the end of this month it will be over.  Just in time for the holiday craziness to begin!

But back to what I've been up to.  Reading blogs and pinning on Pinterest.  Yah, major time wasters I know.  But I have found some really great blogs through Pinterest!  Totally fell in love with Slow Your Home.  Brooke is an amazing writer and utterly honest.  Love her.

The Organised Housewife is another new blog I'm crushing on.  Kat has a lot of great organizing challenges and ideas.

 Nadia at The Everyday Blessings keeps things simple and joyful.  I like her outlook on homelife.

They all share some similiarities too.  They all live in Australia and blog about cleaning, simplifying, and creating a better home.  Their writing styles are different and even though they all write about the same type of issues (cleaning, organizing, etc) I don't find them to be repetitive as they approach it in their own unique way.

Though I do have trouble understanding some things such as recipes as they tend to use metric measurements and temps.  I also don't understand some of the references to animals or birds.  Sultanas are raisins (I think).  And Napisan is a popular cleaning agent.   Also it's weird to see a post dated for the next day!! 

I really have been spending way too much time on this laptop! 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Worst decision I've made so far....

Was to take my daughter's old laptop.  I have been spending so much time stalking reading blogs and I've rediscovered my Pinterest account.

I thought this would be a great idea.  Paige received a laptop for Christmas 2009 and recently complained that it wasn't working.  We decided to get her a new one for her birthday (yesterday) and I figured I could get her old one fixed.  Luckily there was nothing wrong with it.  She just messed up the internet connection and I fixed it within minutes.  No big deal.  I really wanted my own laptop anyway and this works out perfect.

Except I have spent way too much time on it.  An obscene amount of time.  I just can't help it.  I thought this would be great especially for blogging, only I have my pictures downloaded on the main computer since we back it with Carbonite.  I hate to blog without photos especially when most of my posts wouldn't make sense without photos.  Hard to imagine how I cleaned out my office without visuals!!

I have a slew of posts started in Blogger, but need to finish the posts on my main computer.  I've really gotten back  to my cleaning and organizing obsessiveness, especially since the holidays are right around the corner.   Just have a few more photos to take and download and I should have them posted by midweek.

Only picture download on laptop- not sure who #4 is!
Oh, and Jeff and I cannot believe Paige turned 14 yesterday.  I am so shocked at how fast she's grown.  I seriously don't feel like I should be old enough to have a fourteen year old.  So sad...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Blogger Program

I'm not sure how to navigate this new Blogger site.  Please be patient as I try to figure out where everything went!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tablescapes and Vignettes

No. Not in my house. 

Lately I've noticed a big trend on blogs to feature tablescapes and vignettes.  Mantles and dining room tables decked out for each changing season and holiday run rampant among so many blogs that I follow.  Yes- most of the blogs that I follow are ones where decorating and organizing are the main theme.  But I just don't get it.  I could never leave a dining room table fully dressed with plates and cups.  For one, they would get dirty from dust and Chester would get curious and jump up to lie (lay?) on them.  And besides, where would my family dump all their papers/clothes/binders?? Not in the designated folders/clothes hampers/desks that they have.

I do decorate at Christmas time.  But even then, I only put a couple items on the dining room table because of the above. And the mantle isn't all that fancy. It's a money issue for me.  I just couldn't afford to deck it all out though I do try to pick up some new things each year. 

Maybe I'm just jealous and envious.  To have the time and money to decorate according changing seasons/holidays is just something I can't do.  Heck, I would just like to get my house in order and decorated in general at this point!  I could be in a funk also because I did start buying things for my home after I resolved to stop obsessing over debt repayment and now my husband's changed his mind and wants to pay off debt only. 

So I guess I have to say hats off to all of you ladies out their making your homes beautiful and stylish.  I'll still roll my eyes in envy/sarcasm.

Who am I kidding....I'm dreaming of my own tablescape!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Playing Catch up

Seems like that is my new mantra....playing catch up!  I thought things would get much easier around my home once I started working in town.  For the most part it is, but for some reason I also seem to be spinning my wheels.  We are a busy family but no busier than before when I worked out of town.  Perhaps I got lazy about keeping on track with my home and blogging.  Those are the two areas where I have really let go.  Especially blogging and cooking. 

Blogging has taken a hit because I was able to do some blogging from my other job.  There was so much down time and I could write up a rough draft and then add photos/edit at home.  My new job does not allow that freedom, which is ok.  My other boss didn't care what we did on the internet- except once when the one girl accidentally typed in wrong word and got porno!  We all laughed but were much more careful.  I wouldn't dare work on my blog at my new job.  It's a weird office situation where everyone is looking for everyone else to do something wrong so they can tell.  Lot of these people have been in their positions for 30+ years...and there is a lot of animosity among them.  I think they should just retire and let new people run the office like it should and could be.  I'm just saying.  I love my job and it could really be a great working office and hopefully one day it will. 

My home has really taken back seat to life as well.  I have not been cooking very much this summer.  Mainly because I have been trying to run daily with my husband and the cross country kids at practices.  Because they practice in the evening, it is hard to cook, eat, and then go run.  But if we waited till after practice it is late, we're tired, and grabbing food to go is just so easy.  I know all excuses, but their mine and I'm sticking with them!!

So lately I've been reading my favorite blogs again and missing everyone.  I thought I would love to make money blogging full time and staying home..blah blah blah...but realized that it's probably not for me.  I don't like writing.  I don't use flowery words and I jump from thought to thought (quotes from college English professors).  But that's the scientist in me.  Lab write ups are to be direct, factual, and don't require full sentences.  None of my professors liked those excuses. (Again their mine and I won't let go!!)  I sometimes fight myself on how to say things. I know what I want to say but it never comes out right.  Then I read someone else's blog and they eloquently say exactly what I was trying!  And I don't seem to have a large vocabulary either.  Despite how much I read, which I heard increases ones vocabulary and ability to write.  My daughter writes stories beautifully.  She has the gift.  I'm amazed at how she can easily express herself. At least I helped create that.  Yah. See one who cannot gives it to one who can.  Take that Hallmark!

(On a side note, why doesn't Hallmark have a dysfunctional family greeting card section? I find it so hard to pick out cards for my family cause they don't tend to fall in the "you've always been there for me and guided me" category.  I need a "for the bipolar, manic depressive locked yourself in your room for years" card.  I'm just saying again.  Think it could be a gold mine.)

Here's where we are a few months since I last posted- a real post that is!

1.  Our house-  Roof done! Siding done! Gutters done!  But we still need to finish some little things like fixing the dining room window that got broke during the removal of the old siding, fixing the blacktop in our drive way that was parted like the Red Sea when said roof was being hauled away, wires need to be re-attached to house and most importantly the front porch needs painted.  Here's quick before and now shot of house:

I couldn't find pictures of the house before the roof was taken off.  I will try later when I have time (insert hysterical laughing!)

And here we are today...

As you can see from the front photo, the columns, large picture window, and porch floor (and under floor) need painted.  Because of the shape/features of the columns and window, I choose to leave them unsided and will paint.  The color of the siding is called Hearthstone and actually has a green undertone to it.  I hate the way it looks in the bright sunlight from 1-3pm.  Then it really shows the green.  I've been told that I am the only one that sees it and the photos were shot in morning light when it does keep the brown color.  I do love it when I wear my sunglasses so that's what I do- look at it wearing my shades!!

Along with the siding, we also have to rip out bushes, shrubs, and redo the landscaping. That will probably happen in Spring 2013.

2.  Paige's room is still the same.  Although right before school started, I gave (bribed) her with money to clean out her closet and drawers before we went school shopping. BEST.IDEA.EVER.  Girl will do anything for money.  (Ummm..maybe that's not a good thing.  Will need to work on that SOON).  She not only cleaned out her clothe closets and drawers, but every single drawer and cupboard and chests in her room.  Best $38 I have spent in a long time.  Except she piled all her cast offs in my room for me to deal with, but I've been there before. (Will add link to when we had Ebay sale and she dumped all her stuff on my bed- again more hysterical laughing).

3. We went to Nags Head for vacation and it was great.  So many funny things happened of course.  Come on it's me we're talking about.  Nothing normal happens in my life!  Here are some pictures...

It was the best vacation I've had in years.  We did nothing but hang out at the house, swim in the pool, and head to beach.  Total relaxation!

4. School started couple weeks ago and it's been great.  Love that they are on schedule and out of my house all day.  It does stay cleaner during the school year, though they can make huge mess from 3-4pm before I get home from work. 

They are getting so big and grown up.  Paige wouldn't let me take a picture of her first day.  If you look closely in the second picture, you may see her friend laughing in the front seat at me chasing her down the sidewalk.  She later apologized and said she was just so nervous and didn't sleep at all the night before.  I'm still waiting for the photo she promised we could retake!

5. Lastly, my husband has decided to jump on the Damn Ramsey bandwagon.  WTF!  I finally gave up and figured that I will pay off debt as I can and still spend money on things I wanted.  And now he wants to pay off debt and only buy with cash.  No credit cards or buy now pay later deals.  That's why Paige's room and the whole house is at a stand still.  Plus I started liking buying things that I never would before cause I was trying to pay off debt.  Men!  Drives me nuts that for years I wanted to do Damn Ramsey and now that I gave up, he wants to jump in! Ugghhh!

I have more to say, but this is quite the long post.  Plus I need to break down some of the above into posts of their own.   I will try to get back to posting.  This time I pinkie swear!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Praying today

Just wanted to send out hugs and prayers to everyone on this day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Be-lated Birthday!

This little heart-breaker turned 11 last week during our vacation in Nags Head, NC.  I apologize now to all the mom's whose little girls fall this guy!  Luckily he still thinks girls are gross, but I have a feeling that will change soon. 

Happy Birthday to my little man!  We love you so much (and yes your sister does really love you!)!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Can I get an OMG?

Ummm.....what happened to Blogger? 

Maybe I should ask, what happened to me?

Not sure if I like this new format, but here's giving it a go.  Today is the last day of school and needless to say, it's been hectic at our house.  Actually, it's been hectic for months (last time I posted was in March) at a time when I thought life was getting manageable, but turns out it didn't.  Most of the house projects got put on hold, the kids got super busy with sports, and my husband coached track again after a few years hiatus.

I was truly feeling like a single parent.  Trust me, I give a lot of credit to all of you out there that are raising kids alone.  It sucks at times!  Jeff even admitted that he's bit off a lot more than he could chew and left me to carry most of the burden of the house and kids.  We're still super busy, but now he's home for the summer so he will definitely be able to help out more. 

This was my April calendar.  I had to color code Paige's softball and volley ball games in order to keep them straight.  Very few nights went by without some activity.  Plus Tues and Thurs my husband was away at his track meets.  Oh and throw Easter in there too...I forgot to write it in!!

I texted that picture to my sister in law with a caption...Thank goodness April's over!  Only to start filling in May's calendar which was almost as busy as April. 

But it's the beginning of summer vacation and my family is going to do a lot more around the house this summer than they've ever been asked to before.  I need them to help out.  For my sanity and their safety!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome Back

I am amazed at how long it's been since I've blogged.  I have been so busy trying to adjust to my new job, working full time and everyone's busy schedules.  Also we are still working on the house.  It's almost done and really looking nice.  I'm not happy about the color of the siding.  It has a green color to it and wasn't my favorite choice.  Jeff said he didn't see it and thinks I'm crazy, but in certain light it looks green to me. 

The weather has been amazing in Western Pa.  I thought my husband was crazy to have them side our house in January.  Because work is slow for contractors where we live this time of year, we were able to save some money.  Except this year we had little snow and above average temperatures.  Last week alone it was sunny and 70-80 degrees! 

So here is were we are with our house......

These are shots of the house before the roof and new siding.

Here is the new roof and the windows/siding going up.

And here we are today....

We still have the other side of the house to finish siding and also the gutters need to go up.  It looks really nice, but I think the dark color makes the house look smaller.

SO many things happened during this remodel, most of which are just totally ridiculous.  I will definitely have to take a moment to tell you about.  Right now it's time for dinner and then the Sunday night rituals!

I really missed everyone and hope that I am finally getting some kind of schedule together that will let me blog again!!!!