Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Celebrate with me!

Today is a momentous day.

I have cleaned the basement refrigerator.

"Uh-huh," you say. People, this is a big thing. I don't think I've ever cleaned this fridge in the six years we've lived here, except for maybe right after we moved in. Today, I cleaned it, and it took me about 2 hours. It was filthy. There was sticky stuff in the bottom of the freezer and fridge and mildew around the door seals. And all kinds of loose debris that took forever to get out.

I used my usual mopbucket filled with hot water and baking soda, along with some help from spray bleach cleaner and a toothbrush with toothpaste.

Did you know you can use some toothpaste with a toothbrush to safely remove mildew from your rubber door seals? If you're a slob like me and let your fridge get that dirty, try it. I learned that little trick from BBC America's "How Clean is Your House?". I love BBC America. I swear I'm a British girl trapped in a Kentucky girl's body.

By the way, did you all like my new blog header?

Monday, July 28, 2008

More O'bama e-mail

The latest one claims that O'bama shunned soldiers and only posed for publicity photos on his recent trip to Afghanistan. Like the other "We should hate O'bama because he did ___" e-mails, this one is inaccurate as well. Here's the Snopes article for your reading pleasure:


I'm not sure how the political smear e-mails have gotten their fuel. Is it a racial thing? Is it because of Senator O'bama's last name or background? Is it fear of Democratic liberal government?

As it stands, I'm neither a Democrat or Republican. I'm an Independent, because I vote for who I feel is the best candidate, not by which party they're affiliated with. Therefore, I am not a defender of Barack O'bama over any other candidate. However, I hate to keep seeing these e-mails circulating out of whatever ignorance, fear, or hate that spawns them. I'd like to see some e-mails about the issues that the candidates are discussing, and what changes they want to make in our country. Then we can have some straight-forward opinions. Strangely, I never see those...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My new favorite cleaning gadget

I have bought many cleaning gadgets over the years, hoping for some relief from the drudgery of housework. Many of them are living lonely lives in my cleaning closet, just cluttering it up. I've often found they actually don't make things any easier, but add work instead.
This time, h0wever, I think I've found THE gadget! The Swiffer Sweep n' Vac. I bought one at Wal-Mart the other day, using a $5 off coupon you can get here.
I charged it up for 24 hours, put a swiffer cloth on it and went to work in my dining room. Oh, the joy! I hate cleaning the dining room floor. Those little piggies I call daughters are so messy--crumbs everywhere. I usually either use the broom/dustpan, followed by a Swiffer, or use the Swiffer itself, followed by the broom/dustpan or the Dustbuster. Now, just a few minutes of running the Swiffer vac over it, and all done--all the crumbs, dust, hair, and all. Doesn't get the stuck on stuff, so I'll still need to mop that. I was able to do the dining room floor and a really thorough kitchen sweep (Meg wanted to use it too) before the battery even started to get low.
Hopefully it'll be my new best cleaning friend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

32 years ago today....

Here came trouble! Yep, it's my birthday. I've had a busy but good one so far. I saw a magic show with the girls at the summer reading program finale this morning. Then we had lunch with hubby, had ice cream at DQ, then headed back home for some naps. Now, getting ready for swim lessons with the girls at 5. Not too bad, I guess, since birthdays get less exciting as I get older :)

Just for kicks and giggles, here are some nostalgic pics of me in the seventies. Enjoy!

My mom Linda and me, May 1977

My granny Kessie and me, April 1977

My granny Kessie, bro Marty, and me, May 1977

Me at 2, circa 1978

Monday, July 21, 2008

A re-post from last year

I've gotten a few comments now on this old post about "Feature Films for Families" and how I was solicited over the phone by a pushy salesman. I thought I'd re-link it here since they're apparently still being pushy with people over the phone.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yes, Mr. Pit?

Mr. Pit is calling me again. You might know him. He's the Pit of self-doubt, depression, and self-pity. If you've been around him, you know how ugly he makes you feel. I've spent many hours in his presence over the years, feeling mighty bad and low about myself, shutting out people and activities to bask in his lowness.

But you know what? I think I'll let the answering machine pick up the call this time, because I just don't feel like talking to him today. I'm enjoying being wife, mom, friend, and child of God too much right now. I might speak to him briefly from time to time, but I'll tell him I'm just too busy to visit right now. He'll have to call back later :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help Wanted

Some dear mom friends have started up a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at our church. I have signed on to direct Creative Activities. Hopefully I haven't bitten off more than I can chew :) I got rather nervous a little while after I took on that role, because I remembered that I've got experience with crafts and activities...but for toddlers :) Not sure the moms would enjoy pasting together popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. I have actually found a few good ideas and we're having a planning "retreat" day soon, where we can plan out activities for the first semester starting in August.

Now, ladies, we would still like some volunteers. You can be any age and have kids of any age (or no kids even). We're planning on every other Wed. morning from 9:30 to 11:00 right now. More info will be announced in church and in the community as well. If you'd like to help or just join up, let me know and I'll pass it on to Stacey (our director), who can fill you in further.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hello smelly poos

We started Zachary on baby cereal yesterday. He took it quite well. Didn't spit out much of it. He got tired of it toward the end, though, and just wanted his mommy milk....NOW!! (as usual) So now we must be prepared for the beginning of smelly baby poop again.

Last night was the beginning of this year's VBS. We are doing a Hawaiian theme this year. I'm helping with preschool crafts, but not directing this year. It's so fun to help the little ones make their little things and see how proud they are to complete them. Zachary did very well in the nursery all night. He slept for a while, then had fun watching the other kids.

Tonight, Bible school again. Right now, I've finished my exercise and am enjoying my coffee, while making the girls pick up all the toys they scattered when some friends were here on Saturday. Making them pick up sometimes is more of a chore than just doing it myself, but Bryan keeps reminding me that I have to get them in a habit of doing it or they never will. So, every five minutes I'm yelling, "Pick up!" and reminding them what things go where, etc.

Hawaii's looking better all the time...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Things you may not have known about Me Tag

Theresa, that crazy woman friend of mine :), just tagged me today with one of those get to know me things. Well, I'm too tired to do anything else right now, so what the hey?

10 years ago I was:
Taking a summer course on molecular techniques at UofL, had been married a year, was working at Signature Inn in Louisville as a front desk clerk, and lived in a one bedroom apartment in not-so-good a neighborhood with my hubby, who was also working and going to college.

Five things to do today:
1. Pick blueberries before all the Japanese beetles get them. (check)
2. Vacuum carpets (check)
3. Get girls to pick up their room (took several hours, but check)
4. Look up unknown terms for veggies, herbs, and supplements from my "You Are What You Eat Cookbook" by Gillian McKeith from the BBC America show. Did you know another name for zucchini is courgette? (check)
5. Finish up laundry and hard floors....but don't know if that'll happen or not today...energy low.

Snack I enjoy:
Gracious, if I had my way, it would be chocolate of some form, especially brownies or cookies, but right now, I usually opt for a Fiber One bar and a few almonds.

Things I would do if a Millionaire:
Leave for Hawaii, never to return? No, really, I'd pay off all our debts, and all our family's debts, give a generous amount to our church and maybe a few other charities, and maybe open up a restaurant or bakery. I'd also make sure all my kids had enough for college and that we had enough to retire to a nice condo in Ft. Myers, FL :)

Places I have lived:
Grew up in Russell Springs, KY; Lexington, KY for college; Louisville, KY for more college and married life; Mt. Washington, KY for our first house; Central City, KY for a couple months when we first moved here; and Greenville, KY since we bought our house in April, 2002.

The four people I'm going to tag are Stacey, Joni, Rosi, and Susan. Have at it!

Good food Friday

If any of you local church members are wondering what to do with that 4 pound bag of chicken thighs from the June Angel Food Ministry, give this recipe a try:

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

It's definitely not health food, but boy, is it some good southern comfort food. The house smelled so good when I made it yesterday. I've made this recipe several times before, using a whole cut-up chicken, but the bag of thighs worked great. It would work with any chicken pieces (3-4 lbs) of your choice. I cooked up some of my neighbor's garden green beans along with it, adding some baby bella mushrooms and spinach to my own serving of beans. I ate only a modest portion of the dumplings, though I could have eaten half the batch :) It's my all-time favorite comfort food!

You can save the leftover stock for other cooking, like rice, soups, stews, etc.

This morning, I got creative and made me a 2 egg omelet with onion, green pepper, baby bella mushrooms, a little bit of cheddar/jack cheese and some spinach. Delish! I'm enjoying seeing what I can do with the fresh veggies I have.

How have you been creative with fresh summer veggies? Or with your Angel Food orders?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Completely unmotivated today

On a good note....I've been eating my veggies really well this week. Apart from some blueberry pancakes this morning, I've been really good in my eating.

Other than that, I feel very unmotivated and lethargic today. Zachary didn't sleep very well last night. He had a little fever after his shots and I think his legs hurt. I don't know if it's that or what, but I just don't feel like moving around much at all. I've got lots to do, so hoping after I finish this cup of coffee, I'll at least get a few things done.

Maybe just get one thing done, move on to another, one at a time and maybe I'll get somewhere.

Gotta kick up the exercise too. Not doing good this week with that.

How are you all doing? Are you eating your veggies? Exercising? Maybe you can inspire me :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ready for a nap

Today was Zachary's 4 month checkup. He's 15 pounds now and 25 inches. He's grown 2 inches in 2 months :) He had 2 shots and one oral vaccine. I hate to see him get his shots. He just cries so hard, but he's fell asleep right afterward each time now.

"Maggie" was gracious enough to watch the girls so I could take Zachary and look after him in peace. She also made us the most delicious lunch, with lots of her fresh garden veggies. I totally have a craving for growing a garden...it's just gonna have to wait a while until the youngins are a bit older.

So, Zachary's sound asleep now in his CRIB (yes, I finally cleaned out his room yesterday so he can actually sleep in there). The girls are supposed to be going to sleep, though I still hear some chatting and sure I'll have to go remind them to be quiet. And I am going to get re-acquainted with my couch. Ahhh...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Four months old

Little precious boy, you are four months old today! There is nothing that warms my heart more than that little toothless smile of yours. Every day I thank God that we were granted the privelege of being your mommy and daddy. Your sisters are crazy about you. You charm everyone you meet.

Some days, when mommy gets grumpy and tired from taking care of our family of five, all I have to do is see your smile, hear you coo, or cuddle you up close, and it makes it all worthwhile.
I can't believe how fast you've already grown and how soon you won't be a baby anymore. I'm going to cherish every chubby baby slobbery kiss from you before you grow up to be a young man. Then, someday, I hope to enjoy slobbery baby kisses from your babies too! Until then, Happy Four Months, baby boy--we love you!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Why I'm in a bad mood

1. The holiday weekend is over too soon.
2. Which means I had to come home and face all the piles of chores that I never can get done.
3. And no aunts, nanas, or grandpas to change diapers and watch the youngins for a while--they spoil me when we're there.
4. I ate way too much over the weekend and I really need to be good this week to make up for it.
5. I've got head/neck/shoulder pain after my chiropractor visit this morning, and he doesn't want me to strain anything while I'm exercising, so I decided to let it go today and that just means one more day behind on exercise.
6. Money's tight, but we've still got mouths to feed and the bills keep on coming--never a holiday on those, huh?
7. I hate whining, which makes me even madder at myself for doing it now *grrr*

Tomorrow--hope to get back to some sense of a routine.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Travelin again

But this time to see family for the 4th of July weekend. My youngest niece is also turning 6 today, so we'll be celebrating tomorrow with her. Bryan's off today, so we're heading out around noon to see the folks.

In other news, we found out yesterday that the Days Inn that we stayed at last weekend has lost it's franchise from the chain as of June 12th. However, they have a grace period of 60 days to keep up the sign and remain on the website. So, complaining to the Days Inn customer service was useless. I highly doubt the manager would even care, seeing as how the whole staff acted there, so I guess we'll just close that chapter and learn from experience. I'm just glad I never put the baby in the pool!

Theresa says I need to start scrapbooking, after seeing my zoo pics ;) I actually have scrapbooked off and on for a year or so, but haven't done any for quite a while. Life just gets in the way and I can't focus on it. I love digital scrapbooking, and still have Scrapbook Flair and Creating Keepsakes on my computer. Maybe I'll spend some time the rest of the hot summer days before school starts getting some pages done.

A big project I need to tackle is getting our pictures under control. I've got package after package of pictures that need a home. The ones in the frames are really outdated, and I need me some albums to put the rest in. Anyone know of good places to buy cheap albums?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Our mini-vacation pics

We made it back Sunday afternoon from our mini-vacation in Louisville. For future reference, DO NOT stay at the Days Inn off of Hurstborne Lane in Louisville. Terrible hotel. We swam in the pool Thursday and Saturday morning woke up to discover it had been closed by the health department. I will not list all the other bad things wrong with this place, but we're planning on contacting customer service to see about a refund. Other than the hotel, we enjoyed the zoo, shopping, and visiting some old friends.

I met a friend whom I just HAD to kiss.

I didn't remember seeing these monkeys on the zoo map...

This orangutan is very curious about the human animals.

"Ready, Zoe? Let's go!" Meg and Zoe loved the splash park at the zoo.

Zach's first zoo train ride--doesn't he look excited? ;)

We ate dinner with our friends at Mark's Feed Store (good BBQ place) Saturday night. Their girls are the same ages as ours. It was good to see them all again.