Monday, November 30, 2009

End NaBloPoMo...with a bang

And I thought November was busy! December is about to get a whole lot more hectic.

I am happy that I took the time to devote to my blog this month. It always inspires me to devote more time to my blog. And after seeing my numbers of posts this year, I think I need to keep at it.

I started this blog to have a place just for me. A place where I can talk about my personal, womanly, wifely, and mommy things. Somewhere I could gain a sense of community.

And it has been just that. So in honor of you, my wonderful readers, one person who comments on this post will win a little care package from me. I wish I could send on to you all, but I think I better stick with one (or two...we'll see).


Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Challenge

We spent time at my parents' house for the Thanksgiving weekend. It was fun visiting families and just enjoying being away from home. We had plenty of time for relaxation and just enjoyed our family time.

You know what I didn't miss much? My computer.

And it wasn't that I didn't have access there. They have two computers, and Matt and I both had our laptops with us. But I was busy doing other things and just relaxing. It didn't matter much that I had the internet, blogging, or whatever. I didn't need it. It wasn't important while we were away.

I checked the things that were necessary. And beyond that I ignored the rest. Now I'm having to be creative to complete my NaBloPoMo. I knew what I wanted to post each day, but when I thought about doing it...I thought of more important things. (Like playing in the snow with my son.)

Does this mean that I want to stop blogging altogether now that I'm back home? No! Absolutely not!

But it does mean that I want to cut back on my computer usage. I need to spend more time with my family when I'm home too.

So, my personal challenge is to use the computer less this week. I'm challenging myself to not turn it on until lunchtime. That gives me the morning not to worry about reading blogs and other such stuff. And I will not use the computer between supper time and Zachariah's bedtime either.

We'll see how this goes. I just feel like the computer (and blogging, writing and reading blogs) has taken up way too much time in my life. So this is the challenge to myself. I'll let you know how it goes.

If it goes well, I may continue my self-inflicted computer "outages".

If it doesn't, my head might explode. At least it would give me some good blog fodder.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shop 'Til You...


Well, I didn't get out on Black Friday to shop 'til I dropped. I didn't want to deal with the crowds.

Matt, however, did go out early by himself to snag a few deals. He got all my Christmas presents and a few other things as well. He doesn't like keeping secrets, so I already know what he got me. And I'm already using most of them. I won't make him wrap them up. Plus the new sweaters he got (for $10 each) will be very nice to wear now that it's cold.

So, instead of shopping, I took Zachariah outside to enjoy the first snowfall of the year. There was barely enough to coat parts of the ground and it didn't stick around long, but he loved it. It will be a fun winter with him this year!




Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have so many wonderful things to be thankful for this year. On Thanksgiving I am most thankful for these things:
  • My husband and son
  • My family- parents, sisters, in-laws, grandparents, extended family
  • Having so many places to go for the holidays
  • A warm, safe house
  • This blog and all my readers
I hope that you and your family had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cookie Edition




I took time Tuesday and Wednesday to make these cookies per request of one of Matt's coworkers. Her daughter goes to college in a city not too far away. She's in the marching band, and their team is doing really well in football this year. They were impressed with the cookies, and I am glad that they worked out so well. Anyone have a guess (most of you probably just know) what school?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Celebration (Your questions answered)

I posted my 600th post this week! Hurray!

I honor of that, I told my readers they could ask anything of me. And ask you did. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for me to answer. If you think of more, don't be afraid to ask. I can do another post like this later too.

Without further ado....


1. What is your favorite family/holiday tradition? - Jana

As a kid there are a few traditions I loved. One was driving around to look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. We usually did it after the service at church. It was fun to look and see the fun lights and laugh and enjoy each other's company in the car.

A tradition that's carried over from when I was a kid it exchanging Christmas gifts with my sisters on Christmas Eve. We were always impatient and begged to open just one gift on Christmas Eve. I believe our parents gave us one thing to open for a while. Then when we started buying gifts for each other, we decided to exchange them then instead. No one could stop us anyway. ;) We still do this. We all gather at our parents' house on Christmas Eve, so us girls sneak away at some point and exchange our gifts in front of the Christmas tree. It's just become a fun tradition that we love. I'm sure we'll always do it.

For our family now (Matt & Zachariah) we haven't started too many traditions. Plus we usually travel to our family for the holidays. But we always take the time to open gifts here with Zachariah. It's easier than dragging everything along, and he gets spoiled with many gifts Christmas day from our families. So we chose a day when we have time in the mornings (usually a weekend) before Christmas. Then we open all our gifts together then. It's fun to get some early gifts, plus then we've been able to give Zachariah his first gifts.


2. What other names did you consider for your son? - Jana

Just so you know, Zachariah was not my first choice when he was born. I went into the hospital with 3 top contenders. I had one favorite that my heart was set on, but I still wanted to wait until he was born before naming him. I wanted to see him and make sure that it suited him.
Somewhere...somewhere on my blog I go into a little more detail, but I cannot find it. Oh well. We knew we were having a boy. The top 3 names were Jamin/Jaymin, Zachariah, and Ryan. And in for me they were in that order. We knew his middle name would be Matthew, and all the names went nicely with that for us.

When our hefty 9lb 11oz baby boy came out, Jamin/Jaymin did not fit him at all. One of the nurses said "This big boy needs a strong, sturdy name." I knew that Zachariah would be the perfect fit. And I still believe it is.

Our top girl name was Layla Nicole, but once we found out we were expecting a boy I obviously no longer looked at girls' names. So I'm not sure I would have settled on that. Matt, however, still loves Layla, so it could be a future contender. (I still really like it too...there are just other names I like also.) And Nicole was for an old friend of mine who tragically died in a car accident when we were seniors in high school.


3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? (not that you need to change a thing!) - Jana

I am obese. I need to lose a lot of weight. I would/could change that. I have tried but never stuck with anything. I'm working on the motivation currently. I need to figure it out and stick to it.


4. If you could have a week long vacation anywhere at all (money is no object) where would you go? - Shelly

I'm not sure I could choose only one. My first instinct was to say the North Carolina coast. We've been to Atlantic Beach & Emerald Isle (same island) and the Outer Banks before. I love it there. Spending a week on the beach is divine.

Then when I read the part of your post about "money being no object" my mind went straight to Paris. Paris, France that is. I visited there for about a week with my family while I was in college. It was the summer before Matt and I got married (a few months before we were engaged). It was so lovely and an experience of a lifetime. I would love to spend time there with Matt & Zachariah. But I think I'd also like to see some other places in Europe first.


5. What is your favorite guilty pleasure food? - Shelly

Oh geesh! Food is such a weakness for me (obviously, see #3 above). I love chocolate. I must have it at least a few times a week. And I'm not even sure I have a favorite kind.


6. What was your favorite book as a child? - Shelly

Whew! You're good with these questions. They are hard to answer. I really have to think about this.

I've always loved to read. I was reading books (by myself) when I was 4 years old. I've always devoured books. I would spend hours and hours in my room reading.

My favorite college class was Children's Literature too. I think what I liked most about it is that I got to go back and reread some books from my childhood.

That said the books I really looked forward to reading then was the Little House on the Prairie Series. Before I was old enough to read those books myself, my mom read them to me. Then I read them and reread them myself so many many times.

I also adore the Chronicles of Narnia books. I reread those last year at Christmastime. It was so much fun. I almost want to read them again.

I don't read as much as I used to. Too many other things going on, I guess. But I still always have a book or two that I'm involved in. Sometimes I read them faster (in a few days), and other times I take a month to read one book.


7. Are you a cuddly sleeper or need your own space kind of girl? How many pillows do you sleep with? - Shelly
I guess I'm more on the side of "need my own space". Matt and I tend to roll to opposite sides of the bed. When we get too close in the middle, (which happens quite often) we have been known to "beat" each other up in our sleep. But I'm not so much of a "my own space" sleeper that I need my own blankets...like my sister, Mary, and her husband do.

I have 2 pillows. I use them both for a while, laying to watch TV or read, then I usually end up tossing one to the ground when I roll over to sleep. Oh, I also sleep with a body pillow (that I try to keep on my "side" of the bed so it doesn't bug Matt), so I guess that's 3 pillows.


8. You may have posted about this already and I missed it, but do you remember the first time you met Matt? - Pam

I have written about it, but it's been a while. You can read the long story here.

The short story is we officially met in junior high through mutual friends, became friends in high school, started dating in high school, got engaged in college, got married in college shortly after. We've now been together for 15 years (on Dec. 14th actually) and married for over 9 years.


9. I would like to know what you are licensed to teach and what you taught and how long you taught before deciding to stay home. - Fran

Hmm, I'm not sure I'd talked about this much before. I have a degree in Elementary Education. I graduated the year they changed the program here in Ohio. So most of my classmates are licensed either PreK-3rd grade, 4th grade- 8th grade, or 7th-12th. I was "grandfathered" into the old program (along with my friend), so I was licensed to teach grades 1-8. (My license is now expired.)

My concentration area is Math. I could also have concentrated in Language Arts. In the newer program (see above) I started college working towards the Middle Childhood (4-8) with a concentration (they have two areas) in Math and Language Arts. When I switched to the old program my junior year, I was able to skip the rest of my LA classes though I had enough to concentrate in that too. So, I took a lot of Math in college. I've done a lot of Math tutoring over the years.

I never taught full time. I subbed for 2 years (split up) before getting pregnant. I did not work much when I was pregnant, because I couldn't drive (another story for another time). But by then I was working at my tutoring job. I did that for 4 1/2 years before we closed this summer.

In my tutoring job I worked with all school-aged kids. My focus was literacy, but I was always the go-to person for math help.

My favorite to teach is 5th grade and 4th grade. I did my student teaching and other service things for school in 5th grade. I always enjoyed that age of kids. But I haven't taught in years in the school systems. I don't know when/if I'll go back.


10. You've been talking about your house frustrations. Where/what is your dream house? - Sarah/No Whey, Mama

I have no idea! How's that for an answer?

I think I'd like to be located closer to where I grew up at some point. We've never thought we'd stay here. All our family is still near "home". We've at times felt left out. It's tough when we're both very close to our families. But there are so many things here (our church, shopping, etc) that we've become accustomed to and would give up to move back home.

As for a house, I don't really know. I would love a 2 story house with complete basement. Something new (or at least newish). I like houses that aren't just cookie-cutter houses and have some character or old charm (looking) to them.

I do have a "list" of must haves for a future home too. I think after you own at least once you know what you must have the next time. There are major things that we're missing in this house.


11. How many kids did you used to imagine yourself having? Has your actual, current dream number gone DOWN quite a bit, like mine? And it so, what are the reasons- fertility issues (that's a bit one for me, obv), the idea of being pregnant over and over again, money/space issues, or even just the realization of how exhausting kids really are? Or has your number stayed the same or gone up, even? - Sarah/Semi-desperate Housewife

Sarah, I've been wanting to post about this anyway. I'm going to save it. I promise I'll get up the courage to write about it very soon. I'm just afraid I'll go on and on about it (I know I will), so I'll use it another time. Great question, BTW! Thanks for asking!

Monday, November 23, 2009

True or False?

Things that may or may not have happened in my house today. Are they true or false?

#1 - When I got up out of bed this morning, I found my son sitting on the couch watching cartoons with the box of cereal in his lap all of his own doing.

#2 - After catching Zachariah playing with toys in his room instead of napping again, I removed all the toys from his room and now have no idea what to do with this over abundance of toys taking over our living space.

#3 - I caught some little boy in the house dripping pee pee on top of the toilet lid instead of in the toilet. I made said child clean the toilet lid and seat with a cleaning cloth. The child then dropped the cloth in the toilet, so I had to fish it out. The child got sent to bed early.

#4 - I accidentally left a candle lit on top of the piano all night long...for the second time in a week. I really should stop waiting until I am almost asleep late at night before I head to bed.

#5 - It was such a busy Monday that I drank 4 cans of Mt. Dew. I needed that caffeine just to keep going. This is where sometimes I think it might be better if I liked coffee.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Tradtions

Do you and your family have any special Thanksgiving traditions?

Do you always go to Aunt Susie's house on the Sunday before Thanksgiving? Does your family get into a big Monopoly tournament after dinner?

For us we have two big Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday. My Dad's family always has a big traditional dinner at 1:00PM. All my aunts and grandmother (and my mom too) all pitch in to make various Thanksgiving dishes in abundance for us all to enjoy.

The only problem with that is that at 4:00PM Matt's family has a dinner too. So we spend a little time at my grandmothers, then go straight to Matt's aunt's house.

We usually try to pace ourselves with the eating. Both sides have traditional foods- turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc. They are each prepared a little differently. For instance I always eat green bean casserole at my grandma's and the stuffing at Matt's aunt's. But I definitely have a bit of turkey at both places.

My family doesn't really have any interested traditions. It's all about the food and visiting with the large family (my dad's the oldest of 7, plus spouses, children, their spouses, and now our children).

Matt's family used to get to his aunt's early and play board games with their cousins. And after the meal is done and everything is cleared away they break out the UNO deck (or two depending on how many play). We've had a huge table full of people playing one giant game of UNO. It's a lot of fun.

My mom's family also has a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but they usually have it the Sunday before Thanksgiving (today). But we often have our own obligations here with our church and things. So we don't often make it to share Thanksgiving with them.

It's a little different, since we are one of the farthest away from everyone who comes to these dinners. Sometimes it's an inconvenience (my grandmother's today) for us to go. And it's hard for me to help bring food to the dinners (like there's any chance there won't be enough...ha!). I feel guilty about that, but I usually bring a plate of cookies or something like that. They travel easier, and I prefer baking anyway. So, that's my contribution.

How about you? Will you go away for Thanksgiving? Stay home and cook yourself? Help with a family meal?

Any fun Thanksgiving day traditions? I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mission Complete

It's done. Hurray!





I promise more blog worthy posts to come. I was desperate to get this second sock done after I did the first. I've been wearing them all day. :D

Friday, November 20, 2009

Can't...Keep...Eyes...Open

I have spent a lot of time today working on my knitting. I'm determined to get that second sock finished. I'm so very close.

I should be able to finish it in the morning. But tonight, I'm too tired to work on it any more. (Or blog, really.) So Happy Friday everyone. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for an evening out with friends tonight.

Today was a terribly stressful day with Zachariah. He got up too early, was grouchy all day, refused to nap (but finally did).

Then I spent the bulk of my afternoon making cookies for Matt to take to work tomorrow. I ran out of powdered sugar, so I wasn't able to decorate them like I wanted. But I did get enough done for him to take.

By the time Matt got home from work, I was exhausted. But I'd made plans to attend the Taste of Home Cooking School with some friends from church. It was a blast. I needed the time away, and I'm so glad I went.

And I'm thankful that Matt helped by taking care of Zachariah solo for two nights in a row now. (I had choir practice Wednesday.) Thanks Babe!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Don't worry, this sleeping dog will only roll over if you touch him!

And yes, he needs a haircut. I'll get him in very soon, promise. Poor shaggy dog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Duds

Oh how I love shopping for little kids clothes. There are so many cute options. And for now I can mostly use my influence to get Zachariah to wear the clothes I pick out. I'm fully aware that it won't last.

Matt won another coupon to Old Navy. We got $45 off a $100 purchase. So we got some needed clothes and some Christmas gifts. Unfortunately I'm never able to get anything, because they only sell their plus sizes online. And the coupon can only be used in store.

I know before I took pictures of everything, but I don't feel like getting everything out tonight. So here are a few of the cute things from their website that I got for Zachariah.


Zachariah really like this sweater. We got it in blue/green stripes. So cute!


I tried to talk him into the red version of this, but he chose blue. Still great.


He had a blue Oxford shirt like this last year, but something happened to it (I don't remember). He has some vests that will match. He took one look at it and said "I can wear that to church". Exactly!


We got a fleece pull-over, but he chose a camo print with green fleece pants.


And finally, this Cookie Monster Tee caught his eye. I snuck it in the cart later. We'll use it for a Christmas gift.



I think there were other things, but I don't remember them all. Plus we got Matt a few long-sleeve t-shirts that he likes. Next time we need to go shopping for me. Ha!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ahh, Comfort Food

Matt mentioned last week that meatloaf sounded really good. It's something I can and do make, but I don't make it very often. It's easy, and I love the recipe I have. (Matt's a little "eh" about it though.)

Since I was already making a trip to the grocery store today, I thought it would be nice to get things to make meatloaf for supper.

And I altered the recipe a bit this time. Matt had seen somewhere online where they made meatloaf using Manwich. The recipe I like uses barbecue sauce, so it was an easy substitute. I like it better with the barbecue sauce, but the Manwich was good and a nice change.

Then I also made green bean casserole (which I love but also rarely make), because Matt thought that sounded good too. So here is our supper. Mmm, comfort food tastes so good.



Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix (any kind)
1 c. water **just realized I left that out this time, but it stuck together better than usual**
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 c. Kraft BBQ sauce (divided) **or other favorite BBQ sauce**

Mix all ingredients except 1/4 c. of the barbecue sauce. Shape meat mixture into 2 oval loaves, side by side, in deep dish baker. Top with remaining 1/4 c. barbecue sauce. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until center is no longer pink. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Must Confess

I have a Sunday evening guilty pleasure. Matt generally heads to bed around 10:00 on Sunday nights. Most times I don't care too much about the football game he was watching. (Though if it's someone I'm interested in I'll flip the channels back and forth.)

So, after the rest of my family is snug in bed, I watch..."Girls Next Door" and "Leave it to Lamas". I know, I know, but I just can't help it.

If I miss it, no big deal. But for some reason, every Sunday evening my remote changes the channel to the E! network.

How about you? What are your guilty pleasure shows? You can post anonymously or send me an e-mail if it's too embarrassing. But hey, I just posted mine, don't worry too much, we'll be embarrassed together.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ooh, ooh, look what I did






And yes, I'm wearing mis-matching socks. I don't really care right now. The one I just finished is very comfy and warm. I don't have enough yarn to finish the next one, and I haven't started it yet. I will soon, though, very soon! But isn't it cool?!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

1. I have been busy all evening knitting away at a sock. I was hoping to finish one tonight. If I stay up a big longer, I think I'll have it finished. My eyes are starting to glaze over though.

2. It's not to late to submit questions for me.

3. I just got an item to review in the mail today from Your Picture Book. They did a personalized book for Zachariah. I'm going to review it, but wait until Christmas to show it to him. On first look, it is really cool! Be sure to check out my review blog soon for more details (and a possible giveaway for your own).

4. Speaking of the review blog...there are 4 current giveaways going on. Be sure to get in on them, the DVDs and books will make great Christmas gifts.

5. I gave Zachariah a stack of post-its to mark some things he might want for Christmas. He's gone crazy. He has sticky notes all over every ad from the paper that enters this house. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but I do think he has a case of the "gimmes".

6. Several people commented about my dog on this post. I'm so used to him laying on the back of the couch, that I didn't even notice he was in those pictures. Ha! Our doggie's name is Chip. If you know our last name, put it together with his name. It's sorta funny. Which is how we named him. Anyway...Chip is an almost 10 year old black & white cocker spaniel. He does have a little look of a springer spaniel, but as far as we know he's all cocker spaniel.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thanking Jana for giving me the idea to dedicate the rest of the Thursdays in November to things I'm thankful for in my life. Feel free to join in.

This week I'm thankful for...
  • A sweet, loving, caring, kind, awesome husband! He even had flowers sent to me this week. :D (They were free, but he entered the contest so he could send me flowers. Flowers are always great!)
  • An energetic, smart, creative, goofy son! He wore my fuzzy pink socks to bed over his pajamas. So cute!
  • A new job opportunity for my dad! YAY!
What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Scotcheroos







Mmm, Scotcheroos are awesome! Unfortunately this pan bit the dust. My mom had me put it in the freezer, but she forgot about them and they fell out at her and shattered all over her garage floor. I've made them since, and they never last long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reader Participation Required

I told my husband, Matt, earlier this week that I was surprised I wasn't having too hard of a time yet with NaBloPoMo. With as little blogging as I've been doing lately, it hasn't been too bad to post every day. I think it's a great kick that I needed. I'm truly enjoying it.

I had in my mind that if I ran out of material of my own, I would ask you dear readers for questions. But so far I haven't needed them. However, I see that my 600th post is quickly approaching, and I am thinking I'd like something just a bit different for that.

So, for post 600, I would love to answer questions from you.

Some of you have been reading here for quite a while. Some of you are new (welcome!). I want to hear from each and every one of you.

Do you have anything you'd like to know about me? My family? My past? My future? Anything else?

I'm pretty open to talking about most things. (If you know me in real life, you already know that.) I'm quite talkative and friendly.

Your assignment this week is to give me one question/comment/something you'd like to know about from me (or my family even). You can leave comments here or e-mail me if you'd like.

You ask, I'll answer. So start sending your questions. Please! I want some reader participation for this one!

Monday, November 9, 2009

It Starts So Young

Boys! I'm realizing more and more that the crazy things they do are just ingrained in their brains. No one needs to teach them to behave like boys.

For example (only an example, of course this would not happen in my house):

You are bathing your young son. He's splish-splashing in the bathtub, and you're trying to wash him. He's sitting on his legs, so you can't get to them. You ask him to move his legs, so you can just wash them already. He sticks his butt up and let's one rip.

Yes, "one", a fart, gas, cuts the cheese. It happens underwater and bursts into a big bubble at the surface. And oh it smells. Ugh! You say something to the effect of "Eww, that was gross." Then the sweet little boy of yours says "I was trying to fart on your hand."

Where do they get this stuff?

Why is it so funny to them?

Then when you may or may not have told the story to your husband, he just smiles and laughs.

Boys!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From the Outside Looking In

Our house is over 50 years old....well, that was when we bought it. It's almost 60 years old now.

It's a sweet little house that I fell in love with right away. We knew we couldn't afford to live outside of town in the country like we truly wanted when we were ready to buy our house. No, but we figured this 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house would be a great "starter" home. Of course we'd only be here 3 to 5 years, then we'd be ready and able to afford something bigger and better.

Ha ha. If you haven't already noticed, 3 to 5 years turned into 8 going on 10 and more. We've currently been here over 8 years, and we're prepared to stay here a while longer.

Do we still love this house? No, not always. (Matt might say never.) It has it's issues like any home, especially an older one, does. And after being here 8 years, it's ready for some major maintenance. But, honestly, it's our first home. I do have some strong attachments to it, and I know it will be sad to leave it.

Part of that is that I grew up in one house. Never moved. My parents bought their house in a teeny tiny town that I called home a few months before they got married. They had me two years later and then my sisters a few years after that. I lived there until I got married. My parents bought a bigger house in the country when I was pregnant for Zachariah. So, that first house was home for a long time.

After owning a house for a few years, you need to start doing some work to it. It never fails. This is especially so with an older home. Ours had new carpet and fresh paint throughout the house. The outside had been painted and things looked great.

That only lasts so long. I've slowly painted some of the rooms over the year. Only two of the bedrooms and hallway are still plain original beige. The bathroom has been completely gutted and remodeled...by us. We've done little maintenance things and fixed things that need done too.

We're at the point where some major things need to be done. The siding is old, the windows are old, and the roof is quickly wearing out. The list could go on and on....and on and on. We've been using extra money and tax returns to complete some projects little by little.

We've prioritized indoor and outdoor projects, things that need done and things that would be nice to have done. It was nice to get some things worked on over the summer and here and there when we could do it.

We are planning to replace our front door and one back door. We purchased the front door, but we don't have a screen door yet that we'll need. We will probably hold off until spring for all this.

There are two windows in the garage that were falling apart, so that was the last priority project this year (before the bad weather sets in). So today being a nice day, my dad came down to help Matt replace these two windows. My dad remodeled their whole house (the one I grew up in) slowly over the years. He's quite handy at almost anything household related. And we're so grateful for his help with these projects. (And I definitely won't complain at the money we save by doing it ourselves.)

So out came the old (rotting away) windows and in went the new ones. I can't tell you how good it feels. And I'm so proud of my husband for being willing to work hard to make our house nicer. Sure, we'd love to get everything done all at once and live in a better house. But this is what we have for now, and I'm so happy that he can help.

On with the old house we'll work. And some day we'll sell this old thing, and start all over at another place (hopefully when and where we want it).

**I do have before pictures, but it was too dark for after pictures. I'll insert them later.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

Well, fun or not, here are some random facts for today:

1. I'm so happy that they are almost done working on our road. At least they've moved on from in front of our house. I think it will be a while before they get the road reopened, but we can get out easier now.

2. I will be sad when our road is reopened. It's been closed since the beginning of June, and it's so peaceful and quiet around here all the time (when the construction crews aren't working). We're loving that. I think we'll be ready to move to the country right away after traffic comes back through here.

3. Zachariah spent an hour or more in the office today playing Barney games from a new DVD. I let him use the old computer in there. He really did great and had a blast. I went in after he'd been in there for a long time. I asked if he needed a break yet. He said "no". I asked if he wanted a drink. He looked at me and said "Can I have it in here?" Ha ha ha! I told him he had to come out to get his water. So he ran out here, got a drink of water, and took one bite of banana, then ran right back in. He stayed in there for a while longer.

The games were great. From Barney they were right on his level. And there were 8 of them, so when he got bored with one, he'd easily go back to the menu and start a new one himself. (This DVD will be part of a set of Holiday ones, and I'll be giving one away soon on my giveaway blog.)

4. Matt got some of his old toy tractors out of the attic this evening. It's already provided plenty of entertainment for Matt Zachariah. I'm sure those tractors will get much more use.

5. I totally had a great #5, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was now. Oh well, this will work for now. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

College Alumni

So tonight I drug my family to my college alumni event.

My alma mater just got a new president. He is making a tour of other towns to meet and greet alumni. I was surprised to get an invitation in my town. But it was a good chance to actually attend something.

I'm a bad alumni. I've never been to Homecoming or any other events. I don't donate money, and my class hasn't had any activities since graduation.

When I got the invitation for this mixer, I thought it might be fun to meet a few faces in my community that attended my college. There weren't a ton of people that, maybe 12-15, but it was nice meeting new people.

And the new president is very nice and friendly. He has done some great things for the college already. And he's hard at work on many more things. It was also nice to hear about all the new things happening at the college.

Of course who can complain about free food, a fun evening, and great door prizes? I'm glad that I went.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Bowling







About a week ago, we took Zachariah bowling for the first time. They didn't have bumpers, so we had to use the ramp (which meant it was up to us to aim it). It didn't matter, if the ball knocked any pins down he was thrilled! It was so much fun! We'll definitely take him again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do you know people like this?

Do you know people in your life who seem to have one problem after another? When they finally seem to be catching a break, something else happens. And again and again it goes.

Honestly there are two friends in my life who have terrible luck with this. They both seem to have issues stemming from health related problems. But the health problems aren't even related.

It just doesn't seem right.

I spent 4 hours today driving a friend back and forth to a specialist (and waiting during her appointments), because she couldn't take herself. She is single and has no family nearby. She fell and hurt her arm/wrist and found out today that it's much worse than originally thought.

She was scheduled to have surgery on Thursday already (completely unrelated female issue). Then Sunday she fell. Monday she went to the doctor to have her arm checked. He referred her to another. They decided she needs surgery on this.

I can't tell you how bad I feel for her. She will have to be off work for 8 weeks or so. She can't drive during that time either.

I will help her as much as I can. I know that she has plenty of other people/friends in her life that will support and help her too.

But still...why do these things happen over and over to the same people. Like she hasn't been through enough lately (so much more going on too that I won't get into).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Early

I just love **dripping sarcasm here** being woke up early in the morning by my son.

At about 5:00AM today Zachariah woke me up from a peaceful slumber. Poor guy had a bloody nose. It took about 5 minutes to get it to stop, then I had to clean up all the spots he'd dripped on across the carpet in his room through the hallway. That took me at least 15 minutes. By the time Zachariah used the potty and got back to bed, it was time for Matt to get up. He doesn't usually get up that early, but he was headed out of town for the day.

Fortunately he did go back to bed for a while. But he laid down for a late nap, which was a battle. And of course he slept until suppertime. I don't bother really preparing much of a meal when Matt isn't here, so we had leftovers. Then it was almost bath time and back to bed.

Because of this wacky schedule today, Zachariah had a hard time falling asleep this evening too. And the poor guy had another nosebleed. (That is so difficult to deal with such a young guy too.)

Tomorrow we're going to be a little more strict. He will be taking a nap earlier, and I am moving up bedtime until further notice. With daylight saving time it's dark much earlier, so putting him to bed earlier is not too much of a problem.

All this goes to show how important a good schedule is for children (and moms too)!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

When Did Summer End?

It seems like yesterday was the end of summer. How can it possibly be November 1st already? September and October flew by in a flurry of activities.

I know that the holidays are upon us know. Once we hit Thanksgiving our schedules will get a little crazy. But that's part of what I like about the holidays. I love the different events and things to get involved in. And I love seeing family at the gatherings.

In about two weeks time all our leaves changed and now have already fallen to the ground. And so far, other than a pile of leaves for Zachariah (and another bigger pile for him), we haven't raked or blown any leaves. We will have to get that done soon, or the snow will make that impossible. (No snow in the forecast, but it always seems to come when the leaves fall even if early.)

I've already started thinking about holiday baking. In face I've been stock piling chocolate chips (and butterscotch chips, PB chips, etc) when I see them on sale. May as well buy them cheaper, because I got through them quickly with holiday baking. Many of the things I make for Christmas can be easily frozen, so to start making cookies in November isn't completely crazy. It does help save a little of my sanity later.

But I do love this time of year. I can't help by enjoy the anticipation of so many things. So relax and take a minute to enjoy the peacefulness now before the holiday craziness and business descends upon us.