Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Asking for a Crock Pot for Christmas

I already have one. But I need another. Who asks for a crock pot for Christmas?  Me.  Why not just go buy one myself?  Well, I hate shopping.  My crock pot isn't broken, I need a second one so that I can give once a month cooking a try. I am also asking for 9x13 pans.  I guess if I get them for Christmas it will be a sign that I should really try it. I've been wanting to do it for over 2 months now. I'm a little scared though I think. 

First, the site above suggests that you cook with a friend...but I have my own (unorganized) way of doing things and a friend may help, but may just get lost in the muddle. I feel like the first time at least I would need to do it myself, so that I could go to this "friend" and say, "look, it's not so bad. This is what worked and this is what didn't work."

Second, it's a long time to be in the kitchen.  Uh, I have four kids.  I need hours and hours of uninterrupted time in the kitchen to get things accomplished--at least that's what they say.  I'm trying to think back over the last few months and remember a day when I had hours of uninterrupted time...there was no day.  So I need to really contemplate that and put a plan into place.  Maybe, I could bring a babysitter in for the day.

Third, I have to wrap my head around the way I would need to shop for this cooking day. I mean do I shop for it all on one day and hope for the best or do I buy a little at a time?

Does it seem like more hassle than it is worth?  The thing is, there are some VERY appealing things about this whole deal.  The convenience of having a meal ready to go so that we don't have to give in to that voice that says "let's eat out" is oh so appealing.  I like cooking and it might actually be fun.  For an investment of a day spent in the kitchen I will gain back umpteen hours of meal planning time and daily prep time.  This is home made convenience food--so much better than the stuff that comes in cardboard boxes and plastic containers.  Supposedly, it saves money (I get that you would save money by not eating out). But would it also save on the grocery bill??? I'm not sold yet.  I have a pretty strict grocery budget and fairly solid routine when it comes to couponing, list making, and shopping. I don't know if I should mess with a good thing. 

Anyone want to weigh in?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Re-Cap

We did some Mommy/Daughter/Sister bonding today.  Jim had plans to help a friend this weekend and took a little road trip today which left me a whole day with the girls. I wanted to do something fun. We've been wanting to see Tangled so I decided to leave the baby with Pappy and take the older three to the movies. The girls have only been a couple of times before and it was actually Livi's first time. My mom and one of my sisters decided to come as well. 

The movie is really cute. I think it's at the top of my list of Disney pics. The girls were totally enthralled. We saw it in 3D which made it even more mesmorizing.  After the movie we picked up some dinner and went back to my parents, caught the end of the football game, smothered Chloe in kisses, and popped in another movie. 

As I type this Ava is sleeping beside me on the couch. Livi and Chloe are in dreamland upstairs and Jordan is STILL awake.  We are having a "sleepover" which I guess just means that we are staying up late and the girls will get to sleep in my room. They were super excited about that. Usually I'm begging them to stay in their own beds, so they recognize the golden opportunity for what it is! 

Thanksgiving break is almost over. One more day to sleep in and then it's back to the old routine. It's fine with me.  Actually it won't be back to the old routine completely, because Jim and I are "getting fit" together.  He does a "biggest loser" type thing with the guys at work with cash as a motivating factor. I'm just tired of feeling tired.  I feel old, flabby and I'm scared to go to the doctor for a physical. I really need to whip myself into shape.  Sigh. 

Well...back to the sleepover!  :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost Turkey Time

I really wish that I was cooking a feast at our new home this year...but that is not to be. So instead, I will fill my house with the aromas of some Thanksgiving after thoughts: "Oh you can make the home made cranberry sauce."  I'm teasing. I know my mom, one of the main cooks of our two traditional feasts (and a reader of my blog), loves my cranberry sauce.  Actually, home made cranberry sauce is VERY good. VERY easy to make. And has a VERY pleasant aroma while it's cooking. So I don't mind.  I'm also making a waldorf salad for that meal. For my sister-in-law's I'm making a broccoli dish.  Probably not what I would have chosen...but it will transport well, and we have a little bit of a drive and there's nothing worse than lukewarm/chilly sides.  This side turns out cold to begin with, so it doesn't matter.  In the end it's all about family and feasting. We will do plenty of that tomorrow.

I had a little helper in the kitchen today. While C is napping and J and A are at school. Here we were:

I'm not sure what she was looking at...why don't kids ever look at the camera? Anyway, the girl loves "Princess and The Frog" and she kept saying that she was making "gumbo."  That made me smile! 

Here's our cranberry sauce pre-boil:

I love the color of cranberries. Beautiful right?

And hear we are with the finished product:

Just need to let it cool and put it in a prettier dish.  It smells good in here.  Like cinnamon and all spice and oranges and cranberries.

Can't wait to slather it my turkey tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just What I Needed

So last Tuesday evening on my way to my faith sharing group meeting, I hit a deer. I wasn't going fast and I almost missed him but I bumped into his backside and sent him scampering off into the woods with a hind leg dangling. I felt horrible about it, but there wasn't any damage to the van and I was fine. I debated calling Jim or turning back home but I'm glad I decided to go on. I was reminded that night that I need to be more present. (I thought I learned this lesson already!) I guess I'd been not so present over the past few weeks. Instead of living in the moment, I was living inside my mind. I spent most of the last 3 weeks or so alternating between the following thought processes: How do I go about getting this house unpacked? Checking off my to-do list. Worrying about where I had to be and what I had to do next. Minor irritations resulting from little girl overload and a lack of adult conversation. Feeling sorry for myself. Wondering when my husband would be home. All these thoughts were wearing my down and slowly taking a toll on my overall happiness...and I didn't even realize until after I hit that deer and had a mini melt down during my faith sharing group.

I realized then that I needed two things to happen. I needed to come back to the present moment. Breathe. And focus. And I needed to spend some QT with the hubs.

This weekend I got to do both. It was the first full weekend that Jim didn't have to work! He has been working so hard lately (by the way, I am SUPER grateful that I have a husband who without fail gets up early in the morning and goes to work everyday to make a living for our family.) and he hadn't spent a Saturday at home since we've moved in! I know it's been hard for him too because he'd like to get things done around here. Anyway, this weekend there was none of that to worry about. On Friday my sisters and their boyfriends came out to sit with the girls and Jim and I went to the city to watch the Pens play (they won in the shoot out!). On Saturday, we went to a dinner, a fundraiser for the school where we send the girls, and we had a blast! We sat with my parents, and sister, her boyfriend, and a couple of friends and had the liveliest and most fun table in the room. None of us won anything, but you would not have known it because we didn't let it spoil our fun. I love Jim even more when we are in these settings because he really shines. It reminds me of some of the reasons I fell in love with him. He is fun and friendly and funny. I am so lucky to have him.

This weekend was a breath of fresh air for me. I feel rejuvenated. I feel like myself again!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Inhale. Exhale. I've been thinking of things. Things I want to write about and things I wish I could write about but are probably not things that you share with a blog audience.  I've been unhappy with my blog as of late.  I just feel like there is no direction here.  I mean originally I thought I would write about life raising the girls...but our days become such a rhythm around here that I don't always notice the blog fodder.  And then there's the little problem of finding time to blog. I think...oh I'll try to pump up my readership, jump onto a blog hop or maybe link up...but then I don't get to post anything for a week and I think, is there anyone still out there waiting to read whatever it is I have to say? 

I feel a little down this evening.  Or maybe I'm bored.  Or maybe a little of both. I had a productive day, I know that's not it.  The girls have been  behaving wonderfully this evening...although they are amping up a bit now (that always seems to happen right before bedtime). So it isn't that.  ... Jim is working. I'm sure that has something to do with it. I miss my hubby.   Hope he gets home soon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I love Saturdays. No schedule, nothing that I HAVE to do this weekend and it feels really good.  Of course, there are things that could be done...there always is! I don't feel a ton of pressure to do these things. I woke up late.  Took my time getting out of pjs this morning (one or more of my girls may still be in THEIR pjs)  Took a leisurely shower. Shaved my legs!! Puttured around paying bills, throwing laundry in and caring for all.  The only thing missing from a perfect Saturday besides some sunshine is my husband.  He's working today.

Four of the six in our family need to get new Winter coats. I know, why don't I wait until we have an inch or two of snow on the ground!?  Part of the reason, is that I just don't want to let those late summer and fall days go.  Another reason is that I just don't feel like leaving the house today...but tomorrow will come and we will need to get off to church and the temp will be freezing and I REALLY need to get out there and get them. 

Instead I'm sitting here writing my blog and listening to HGTV on in the background.  I'll get up soon and get to work.  I'll get up now!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Our New Home
I've been going crazy because I have wanted to jump back in here but this is the first time since my last post that I felt I had a free moment or two to do it!

Our laptop broke shortly after my last post and we only got it back last Wednesday and as most of you know, we have just moved, so to say things are crazy around here would be an understatement.

This post could go in a thousand different directions and end up being super long. I've given myself time restrictions though: 15 minutes is all I can devote right now (although fiddling with these stupid pictures has got me way over my allotted time).  I'm not happy with my blog lay out and I still have to figure out what is going on with my comments--please let me know somehow if you are unable to comment under the blog post...I don't have the time to figure it out right now, but at least I will know to put it on my "to do" list!

I want to give you a tour of the house but almost EVERY room is half unpacked and in disarray...maybe some before and after shots would be in what the heck, here's the tour. Please don't judge!!! :) We have lots of plans for the house...LOTS. Starting with UNPACKING! and painting everything...and some of our bigger plans (nothing that's going to happen in the very near future) in no particular order are: putting on a deck, cutting down some trees, filling in the trench in the back yard, paving the driveway, finishing the basement, getting new flooring, adding some organizers to the closets, changing out faucet fixtures, adding overhead lighting to all the rooms, doing the front steps, landscaping and putting in a, writing it down makes it seem overwhelming, but we have the rest of our lives to do these things and make improvements. Baby steps!

Despite all of these looming projects, I'm very happy with the house. I love my bedroom and will love it even more once we paint and decorate and I LOVE the fact that we have more than one bathroom!!!  For now, I still need to unpack and find a place for things. I just threw these pictures on here pretty randomly (and WOW, they are random!)  because I can't get them to go nicely and neatly where I want them to go...but you will get the idea!
Three of the girls, the "iguana", and our red door!

I'm seeing spots! No, it's just Jordan and Ava's room,
unmade beds and all!
Olivia and Chloe's Room--
yet another mess to clean up!
the view from our bedroom window.  

The backyard, from our bedroom window.
The Stark White Master Bedroom and ugly chandelier-
-the Master Bath is through that doorway
The entry

The office in disarray--Hi Kingston! 

The future play room
The Laundry room--I don't like that it can be seen from the kitchen.
 Maybe we will add some cafe doors.

The BIG pantry is off of the laundry room!
(I know we have ALOT of BBQ Sauce)
The Living room and Kitchen are open to eachother...Ava's watching TV amidst the mess!

I like that the foyer is two stories!

This is the entry hallway--two closets and the powder room
The powder room
The Kitchen--Hi Livi! Ugly overhead lighting, no dining room table (it was too bulky!),
 and that back splash is not tiled it's paint!?! (I know.)

The Upstairs Bathroom


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