Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Egg Decoration with Craft Club

Last week I hosted March’s Craft Club and we did Easter egg decoration.  We had so much fun!  We had some younger sibling present, so the kids ranged from 4 yrs – 10 yrs.  After decorating eggs as characters, I don’t think I can go back to just plain ‘ole egg dying.  However, B says that his favorite egg was the Smiley Face, where he could just free draw on the egg.  So, I’ll have to wait and see what he’s in the mood to do next year.

There were four kinds of eggs that the kids created:

I hope you and your family have as much fun as we did decorating eggs this year.  And I’d love to hear about or see your pix, too!

A Romantic Date With A Purpose Courtesy of Our 10 Year Old

Monday afternoon, I was on the phone with my brother.  I told him that our church sponsors a Date with a Purpose several months each year and the hubs and I had not been to one in probably a year.  I want to go to next month’s and asked if he would watch B while the hubs and I went out.  When I got off the phone, I found the set table in the picture to the left.  That table is currently B’s coloring/LEGO building/cars racing/lapbook creating/meal taking/action figure stage table, and when I got on the phone, it was covered with books, crayons, action figures, LEGOs and crumbs.

“What is this?” I asked B.  “It’s a romantic, date-with-a-purpose dinner for you and Daddy tonight,” he replied, with a big smile.  I just wrapped that sweet boy up into my arms, hugged him and tried, unsuccessfully, not to cry.  When I knew I could speak, I asked, “And where will you be while Daddy and I are having this romantic, date-with-a-pupose?”  “Eating in the kitchen.  And I won’t say a word,” he promised.

We not only had a romantic, date-with-a-purpose dinner with just the two of us at the table, we had dinner and a show.  B kindly selected the oh-so-romantic movie, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.  LOL!  It was perfect!  The candle on the table was lit, the hubs and I held hands while we ate dinner and all but two Jedis were wiped off the face of the galaxy.  It’s OK, though; The One Who Will Bring Balance to The Force was born in the end.

"The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, A Christmas Story" by Lemony Snicket

Until yesterday, I had never read a Lemony Snicket book.  Do you read any of his books to your children or do your children read them?  After B’s gymnastics class yesterday afternoon, we stopped at the library to pick up a book I had placed on hold.  B wanted to peruse the children’s section, so we headed over there.  I found this book, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, A Christmas Story, on display and decided to check it out – it was short, I was intrigued and B kept laughing over his own attempts to pronounce the word “latke”.  I read it as soon as we got home and we were both laughing hysterically!  Fun way for children to learn about Hanukkah and why it’s celebrated.  I recommend you check it out!

Hi, I’m Jess, and I’m an e-Book Downloading Addict

That’s me!  I am addicted to downloading free e-books, mostly from Amazon.  Notice I didn’t say reading free e-books, but downloading them.  I have downloaded 134 books and haven’t read a single one!  I have read approx 20 pages of one book, but that’s it.  After downloaded another book today, I opened up the Kindle application on my computer (I don’t have a Kindle and truly appreciate that Kindle lets people like me have access to their application) to peruse my books and I was reminded, again, why I don’t read any of my books – I’m overwhelmed.

I get overwhelmed quite easily and, because of that, I am not a good multi-tasker.  The only time I multi-task is when I’m on the computer and listening to the TV at the same time or cooking dinner (an entree and a side or two at the same time).  This long list of of books, with varying topics, leave me overwhelmed and after a couple of scrolls down, I inevitably close out the application.  But today, I noticed the word “Collections” on the left-hand side and clicked on the +.  Ta-da!  Lists!  I can organize my e-books into like files, making it less overwhelming for me.  Now, instead of scrolling through 134 books which can only be sorted by title, author or recently viewed, I can look at my 16 Collections, which only take up half of the main page!  Woohoo!  Much easier to go right to the subject I’m interested in to select a book.  :o)
 
In case you’re interested, my Collections are History/Social Studies; Recipes; Health; Animals; Religious; Fun; Fiction; Non-Fiction for The Hubs & Me; Non-Fiction for B; Business; Money-Saving; Homeschool; For the Home; Math; Gardening; Language Arts.

DIY Ziploc Perfect Portions Bag

Have you seen or do you use Ziploc Perfect Portions?  Brilliant!  I must admit that when I saw the commercial for the first time, I did a “Doh!” face palm.  So simple, yet so needed, why didn’t I ever think of that?  Oh, well, no matter.  They came up with the idea, I do it cheaper.  :o)  Very simple to do yourself with plastic wrap.

I made a white chili the other day with chicken thighs and needed to freeze the rest of the package.  I ripped off about 1 square foot of plastic wrap, covered my hand with it, picked up a chicken thigh, used my other hand to wrap the plastic completely around the piece of meat and put it in a freezer bag.  Voila!

According to Ziploc’s website today, you can buy a 75 count box of their Perfect Portions at Target for $3.07 ($0.04/ea) or at Amazon for $4.74 ($0.06/ea).  I don’t know what my 3,000 sq ft container of Kirkland plastic wrap from Costco cost me because I got it a while ago.  However, Amazon is selling it today for $25.34.  That’s only $0.008/sq ft!  Even if I bought the 100 sq ft package at Wegmans grocery store for $1.99, that’s still only $0.02/sq ft!  And plastic wrap is something most of have on hand already.  Thank you, Ziploc, for your inspiration!

Kegels

Before I get to my topic, I want to say that I just discovered the Search function on my blog is not working!  Although it has inconvenienced me with looking for specific posts and topics on my blog, I’m more upset that y’all are unable to search for things.  What if you need to know how I make my butternut squash and chicken lasagnahow the hubs and I have stayed together for 17+ years or you want to reread about the morning I was awoken by my 5 year old with the words, “Mama, my balls are gone.”?!  I want you all to know that I am aware of the situation and will do my best to rectify it!  Now, onto tonight’s topic…

Kegels.  I don’t do them.  Do you?  The reason I don’t do them is because they make me feel ookie, plain and simple.  I don’t like the ookie feeling, that’s why I go to another floor when one of my cats is coughing up a hairball, I can’t look at pictures/videos of snakes and I don’t do kegels.  A friend of mine who is very fit and exercises regularly says, “It’s just an exercise like any other exercise.” But it’s not.  No other exercise involves me willfully, voluntarily contracting my vajayjay.  There is absolutely nothing ookie to me about my vajayjay contracting of its own accord due to certain…ah…outside stimuli, but the kegel is ookie.

A friend of mine and I took our children to a jumping place last week and we were discussing the fact that we would not fare as well as the children because neither one of us do our required kegels.  She suggested that we should do them with some regularity, like pick a time each day or do them during an everyday occurrence.  I suggested each time we were at a red light, we should kegel.  We laughed and I promptly forgot all about kegels.

This evening, while the hubs was putting B down, I was folding laundry and, for some reason, kegels popped into my head.  OK, I thought, you really need to start doing these things and now’s as good a time as any.  But you know what?  I could not kegel!  My brain was sending the message down there but down there was all, “Huh?  What? I have no idea what that even is, but it sounds ookie!”  WTH?!  Just 2 years ago, I was desperately kegelling my little heart out during jumping jacks in kickboxing class!  I had to sit down and not on the bed, on a more firm surface.  I went downstairs, sat in the desk chair and tried again.  Phew!  I. CAN. KEGEL!  Then the relief turned to anger.  Why can’t I do them standing up?  I think my body was just being stubborn and decided to teach me a lesson, send me a wakeup call.  You know how some people go the hospital, believing they are having a heart attack and making all kinds of deals with their god that if they just survive this they will start eating healthy and exercising, for real, and then they find out it was just heartburn or gas?  I think that is what my pelvic wall did to me tonight.  “Muscles, babe.  Use them or lose them.  You’ve been warned,” my pelvic wall said to me while shaking its finger.

Message received.  I think I’ve done at least a week’s worth of kegels while typing this up!  So the next time you see me at a red light, don’t be insulted if I don’t wave back.  I’m just concentrating on my workout.

Frugal Fun – Family Room Fort

How did the title roll of your mind’s tongue?  After I typed it, I asked B to read it and tell me what was unique about it.  “It’s not rhyming; that’s words that end with the same sound,” he said.  “These words begin with the same sound.  I know this!  What. Is. It. Called?!  It was even covered in Life of Fred, Mom.”  Well, that was good enough for me, that he recognized what I had done and I reminded him it’s alliteration.  Nows he mumbling, “Alliteration, alliteration, alliteration,” while he sketches in his book so he’ll get the term down.  OK, English lesson over, now onto my post…

B is growing up just like I did – raised by parents who do not buy him a lot of things nor take him out frequently to “fun” places with admission prices.  And as happens over and over again since I became a parent, I finally understand what I put my parents through and see things from their perspective, now my perspective.  We don’t try to keep up with the Jones because we can’t.  The hubs make a modest salary and I do not work outside of the home because we’re homeschooling.  We have to be very selective with our dollars and no child gives a rat’s ass about that.  LOL  But what we do give B, and what my parents gave my brother and me, is time, attention, memories.  We get creative with what we have and we have so much fun.

One weekend last month, the weather was not good for playing outside and B wanted to, “…go somewhere, do something…”  A movie, a bounce house, laser tag, an amusement park were all things on his list.  *sigh*  The hubs took B to the living room in the front of the house to talk, watch the birds and wrestle.  I decided to get busy in the family room in the back of the house.  By saying “front of the house” and “back of the house”, I make our house sound like it’s either large or a restaurant.  But our house is actually small, cozy, full of love and there is only 5′ 8″ of hallway from the living room to the family room.  However, the hubs was able to keep B distracted enough to not pay attention to what I was doing.  It must have been the weekend either before or after the latest Die Hard movie opened in theaters, because B was going on and on about wanting to go see it and cable stations was running marathons of the previous 4 Die Hard movies.  B can take some violent movies but not others, and we weren’t going to spend precious movie dollars on this movie and have to get up and leave.  At home we can just turn the channel or stop the Netflix DVD if something is too much for him.

So what I did was build a fort in our family room.  As you can see, it took up almost the entirety of our little family room (I was on the computer desk, taking this pic) and there’s Beyoncé, on the far right, reigning over the kitchen.  We popped popcorn (the old-fashioned way – on the stove, in one of our pots, with kernels bought in a bag at the store), watched the 1st 3 Die Hard movies (with breaks for more talks, laughs and wrestling), the hubs made cheeseburgers for dinner, I made Shamrock Shakes and we had to rebuild the fort at least a half dozen times because the cats kept jumping onto the top, which then pulled the chairs over onto us.  For that reason, we scrapped our sleepover plans in the fort and had a sleepover in our bedroom, instead.  When tucking B in that night, he declared, “This was the best. Saturday. EVER.”  Memories.  And they didn’t cost us a dime.  :oD

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