Just thought I'd add some pictures from our festivities tonight. We had a fun time eating pizza with Grandpa at the Nutcracker. They give your entire party, a Baskin Robbins ice cream cone, if you sign up for their birthday club. Genna thoroughly enjoyed her chocolate ice cream. Thank goodness for Spray & Wash!! She loved her presents. The only thing she wasn't too crazy about was the pink and purple dress, which I suspected might be the case. But, I couldn't leave it at Target, it was only $3. Besides, I know she will wear the white shirt that came with it. After Genna tried all her new toys out, we went upstairs and she blew out her candles. We were all too stuffed to actually eat any cake tonight- maybe we will have a Bill Cosby breakfast tomorrow. Ok, that really doesn't sound good to me. Does cake freeze? Anyway, after blowing out the candles, Grandpa headed home and we all got our jammies on and watched Curious George. It was a cute movie, although Jameson and I were the only ones who made it to the end of it. Well, it has been a long, but fun day. I better get my rest for another big day tomorrow!
My baby is 4 years old today, I can hardly believe it. Here is the birthday cake I made for her. I know it is not a professional job, but I think it will still taste yummy and she will be able to play with the action figures when she is done. Genna helped me put them on. Dora didn't want to stand up, so we decided she was going to be sliding down.
Next is last night's attempt at a cake. I put the cake in and sat down at the computer to finally relax for the day. I completely forgot all about it and it was in the oven about an hour longer than it was supposed to be. Amazingly, it wasn't burnt when I finally remembered it. It was a bit dry on the top and so it will be a trifle for next week's Ward Christmas party. I think I might try and crush some peppermint candies and use chocoalte pudding and whipped topping.
And finally it was 65 degrees here today without any wind. The kids had a half day of school and so we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves outside this afternoon. The boys played football, Genna rode her bike, I finally got the tent that has been hanging in the garage for a month put away. It was all good.
Tonight we are celebrating by going out to eat with Grandpa Bennett, coming home and having cake and watching Curious George. I hope it will be the end to a perfect day for my sweet little girl!
Last Friday evening we had a pack meeting where our Cubmaster, graciously agreed to take a pie in the face for each den that had scouts who sold over $650 in popcorn sales. In our pack of 32 boys, we had 12 who met that goal. We are extremely proud of how hard the scouts worked to raise money for our pack. Lynn was such a great sport and made the pie throwing event, even better, by his funny facial expressions. Jameson had a blast when it was his turn! We are also having a pizza and swimming party next week at our local Sleep Inn hotel. Who knew popcorn sales could be so fun?
I am sitting here this evening with a very full heart. It has been one of those Sunday's were I got totally recharged and I feel great. Church was wonderful. I got there are found out I didn't have to give the lesson, which made it even better. Some of these Old Testament books really were a challenge and today's lesson on Jeremiah had parts that I was happy not to have to teach. Anyway, we had the missionaries over for dinner. I just love having them in our home. They really have an amazing spirit about them. After they left, Troy and I took a nice nap with only a few small interruptions. We woke up and had an awesome Family Home Evening. We were talking about gratitude and the direct correlation between that and our happiness. Troy started out the lesson with having us each make a list of 10 things we were grateful for. It was so cute as we were writing, both Jameson and Connor asked if it was ok if they added a few more things. By the time we were done with the lesson, Connor had a total of 108 things on his list and I am sure he would have kept going except we closed and had dinner. It just made my heart happy to see both of them realize that there are so many things that bless our lives. It was easy to think of the standard answers, Heavenly Father & Jesus, family, friends, food, and clothing- but I was touched by some of the things on their lists that I forgot to add to mine- Christmas lights, smores, trees, cameras, birds, water, rainbows, popcorn, socks. Connor might have been trying to pad his list just a little- he did have all 12 months listed, but even so, I really think it was a wonderful example to say, yes, all these "things" do bless our lives. We truly have so much and I am so thankful for my wonderful life!
I have been doing a lot of online research on organizing lately. Ok, so I've actually been reading a lot of great blogs. http://www.laragallagher.com/blog/ and http://orgjunkie.blogspot.com/ are two I have gotten a ton of good ideas from. Anyway, I think on Lara's site, I read about getting all the paper clutter off your fridge and into a binder. So that is what I worked on today. I used some old scrapbook paper and a bunch of page protectors. My catergories are: Calendar, Phone Numbers, School Stuff, Scout Stuff, Church Stuff, Finances and Meal Planning. I am really excited to be able to corral all these loose papers into one place. Right now a lot of them get put on the fridge until something else gets put on top of it or it falls down between the crack of the fridge and the cupboard. I print out a lot of recipes to use and so that in and of itself is another organizing project. But for now, I can at least throw in that page protector, the recipes I print out for the menu the week.
Another thing I did today and I didn't take a picture of was to make a lunch center in my fridge. I bought a cheap white mesh baskety type thing at Dollar General today and put it in the fridge. I filled it with carrots and celery that I put into baggies, cheese from a big block that I cut up and also put in baggies, apples and some pudding that I made up the other day. We struggle constantly with getting our boys to make their lunch and so I am hoping this will make it a little easier. The pantry- another organizing project, will also get a lunch bin like this with baggies, peanut butter, crackers, etc. I can't remember what site I found this great idea at, but thank you to whoever it was!
Every year in November, Troy, his brothers and Dad go pheasant hunting out in Western Nebraska. I think this is about the 7th or 8th year they've gone. The boys were thrilled to learn that this was the year that they were going to be able to go along. The night before they left Troy was going over with them some of the things they should pack, he told them to make sure and get their golf clubs ready. Jameson was surprised to learn that they went golfing during their hunting trip. Now you have to understand, Troy is not a hunter. He doesn't own a gun- he borrows one every year he goes. And in the 7 or 8 years that they have been hunting, they have not managed to shoot one bird. Well, I guess his brother Todd shot one but they couldn't find it and Orin, his sister's husband, got a quail a few years ago. They have managed to get at least one round of golf in every year. So I asked Troy why they didn't call it a golfing trip instead of a hunting trip. He said it sounded much more manly to say you were going out to try and shoot things. Silly guy! Connor was so excited to call me on Saturday night and tell me that Dad actually got a bird this year and he got to carry it back to the truck. It was a pretty exciting weekend for all my boys but Genna and I are both very glad that they are home!
Before heading to Lincoln the other day, I decided to sit down and plan out a menu for the coming week. I will be subbing a couple of days and so I wanted to get down on paper some ideas. Every day around 3:30 I start to dread the question that keeps coming to my mind, what am I going to fix for dinner. It wouldn't be so bad if I would decide something right at that point and start thawing out or making preparations. However, that is right when I am getting home from picking up the boys and I need to be avaliable to them at that point. They need my attention to help them with homework, motivation for getting chores done or just being a listening ear to hear how their days went. Yeah, I know I should be able to handle those things as well as dinner preparations, but I admit it, I am not a good multitasker. So without further ado, here it is, in all it's glory:
Menu for the week of November 13
*Baked Potatoes & Banana Nut Muffins
*Bacon Cheeseburger Pie & Green Beans
*Chili & Cinnamon Rolls
*Chicken Stir Fry & Rice
*French Toast & Bacon
*Hot Chicken Salad & Fried Green Tomatoes
*Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread
I haven't gone so far as to figure out what I am making which day- I should probably do that as well b/c we have any evening committment every night this week. When planning my menu, I wanted to use up things from my freezer and cupboards as much as possible. This week's plan required the following purchases : potatoes- they were on sale for $1.58 for 10 lbs., celery, soft butter and croutons, which were actually on sale as well. The croutons are for the hot chicken salad which is baked. I wasn't sure how my homemade croutons would hold up during baking. I still managed to spend a good chunk of change at the store- but I did a lot of stocking up and replenishing of items.
Ok, I think I have rambled on enough for today. I probably will be doing more of it as I strive to be more frugal and organized.
I really enjoy the shows where they fix up a house, remix a room, or give someone a makeover. For me it's all about the before and after. Knowing how someone or something looked before a journey to something different and hopefully better. I know this may sound pretty dramatic when all I really did was clean up my closet- but hey, I had to have something to blog about, right?
Anyhoo, the second set of pictures are my BEFORE (still figuring out this new blog). I have a nasty habit of taking something off and if a hanger is not readily in sight, just laying it on the shelf. My shoe area is a mess b/c 1)currently both summer and winter shoes are out and 2)I get lazy and don't fit the ones that go on the shoe rack, back where they belong. I won't throw any stones Troy's way because my side definitely rivaled his side as far as messiness goes.
So this was today's project. I figured it might take me a couple of hours to get it all taken out, organized and put back together. Well, it ended up taking about 8. Of course, it didn't help that while working I was watching show after show on my favorite HGTV of the previously aforementioned makeover shows. Despite the long day of watching, I mean working, I finally finished. I know it isn't as pretty as the reveals on TV, but this project came in right on budget- FREE. I did try to move things around a bit. I color coded the hanging clothing as well, as changing our every day wear from the top racks to the bottom. Neither Troy or I have a dresser in our bedroom and so everything,except our undergarments(we store these in the bathroom) goes into the closet. Now I know it would have looked more like one of those shows if I had went out and purchased matching bins and moved some of the things we store in our closet out- but this is real life, folks! Besides clothing and shoes, on my side I store purses, school supplies, seasonal items- including our swim towels and beach bag, as well as gift items. Troy's side has shoe care, back braces, a little hunting paraphenelia and his briefcase for church.
I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my latest project. I have many more projects like this to tackle all over my house. The pantry and my food storage are one of the next tasks on the list, as I am going to attempt the OAMC thing at the end of November. I know being organized will be key to making that endeavor a success. So if you don't mind, I will probably track my progress, as I attempt to get my house made over, my way.