Thursday, March 25, 2010

Small Successes


1.  Helped clean up the boys room (again).

2.  Donated 5+ bags of mostly kids clothes (I gave up on the 40 bags in 40 days after realizing I have other things I need to do first.  Besides, I have an on-going collection of donation items all year round and donate nearly every time someone calls and says, ".....we'll have a truck in your neighborhood.....".

3.  Allowed my kids lots of outside time even though it meant letting the laundry pile up (since our 1/2 empty pool is now a huge open hole in the middle of our backyard, it meant constant vigilance on my part).  BONUS successess?  I did FIND my laundry room and get it back in functioning order on Monday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My kids' project fair entries

Nathan (12) and Terese (10) teamed up for Electricity
Henry (8) and Wyatt (6) worked on Magnets.

St. Francis still feeds squirrels

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Small Successes

Every Thursday the folks at Faith and Family encourage us to celebrate our Small Successes.  For more Small Success stories click on the link above.

1.  Made a few new recipes this week. 

  • Green Breakfast cake muffiins for lunch yesterday (it's basically a pancake recipe made in a cake pan - NO FLIPPING).  We actually make breakfast cake for lunch about twice a month - but the green - that was new part.  Happy late St. Patrick's day.

  • Greek style pizza.  It was a hit!  Finally a pizza my dairy and tomato allergic family members can eat without feeling like their pizza is missing something.  Take Greek style pita bread.  Brush it with oil and toss on a little feta cheese (we used sheep feta).  Put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Top with fresh shredded spinach, corn beef, and more feta.  Back under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes.  I made 9 of these rather quickly.  I didn't think the younger crowd here would appreciate it so they got real personal pizzas with pepperoni and mozarella cheese.

  • Healthier mashed potatoes using a few potatoes (I used Yukon Gold because I love the taste), cauliflower, chicken broth, and margarine.  I thought they were delicious. Mine turned out a little lumpy though.  3 of my kids thought they were OK.  The rest don't count...they don't like mashed potatoes anyway.

2.  Went jogging to The Chipmunks music.  I've been trying to sneak out for a power walk a couple times a week, last night I jogged - OK - I jogged 1/2 my route.  I brought my IPOD along but it's pretty much filled with soothing uplifting music.  That and The Chipmunks movie soundtrack for the kids.  Yes, I ran to the Chipmunks.  Gotta have my kids put some other music on it for me :)

3.  Cleaned my 4 year olds spot in her room.  She shares it with her 2 older sisters and her own stuff was so hard to find because it was such a mess.  Everytime she tried to find something her room looked like a tornado hit it.  She was so happy when I was done she gave me a huge THANK YOU, smile, and hug.  Somehow she did not see the paper grocery bag of stuff that went in the garbage and the other that went downstairs.  PLEASE don't tell her....right now she thinks I'm great.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Small Successes

On Thursdays we take a few minutes to recall our successes of the past week....and sometimes they are very small......that's when I need it the most.  For more small success stories (and I'm sure more interesting ones this week) - click on the link above.

1.  Ran a 20 minute errand I've been meaning to run since last Aug.
2.  Cleaned off most of my desk and took care of receipts/bills/etc.
3.  Took my 5 youngest to the zoo (oldest two were snowmobiling with my dh) on Sunday and splurged on a snack, lunch, a cool zoo stroller, and the monorail....Well...we left immediately after 7:30 am Mass with no food - only water, my dh had the stroller in the back of the van he took out of town..  So, my extra splurge was more lack of planning than a planned treat :)   I think even if those zoo strollers were free I'd bring my own simply for the convenience of being able to use it to cross the giant parking lot :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A once a year way to waste 30+ minutes

1.  Decide this is the best time/day to step away  for 30 minutes. 
2.  Drive to service center and get a number O76.
3.  Veg out and read a mag. while you are waiting.
4.  Realize after 20 minutes that they aren't calling any O's.
5.  Check your number again, it's A076 (A zero 76)
6.  Look at the screen and discover they are on A080.
7.  Go back to desk to get a new number.
8.  Listen diligently for your number.
9.  Proceed to desk and accidentally hand over both number.
10.  Listen as she smiles politely and tells you she tried calling the number 3X and gave up.  People often decide to quit waiting and just go to the drive thru since it's so quick.
11.  The drive thru?  There's a drive thru?  It's quick?  Mental note:  Next time go to the drive-thru.  When did they make a drive -thru?

Friday, March 5, 2010

2 year olds don't get knives

Well, what would you do if you were two years old and your mom wouldn't let you cut your own food with a knife?

Logan snuck his brother's rubber knife to the table.  He found it so frustrating trying to cut his chicken that he gave up and didn't even eat.

Recycling Day

Yippee! This is the day we walk up and down the street giving away money! We do this every two weeks! Where we live, we earn Recycle Bank points for recycling based upon the weight inside our bin. Unfortunately for us the truck only comes once every two weeks. We squish, squash, and flatten - but this family of 9 simply cannot fit it all in one container (and when I set it out it a box next to the can? I get the infamous red sticky note suggesting we order a second can - we already have the large version). Well, our garage already houses a 12 passenger van and either an 8 passenger van or (depending on whether or not we are working on project) a set of sawhorses, sheets of plywood, and a addition to all the other garage paraphernalia. Having a large capacity garbage can and one large capacity recycling can is all we can handle. Our city requires garbage and recycling cans to "not be visible from the curb" unless it's pick-up day. So, every two weeks, on a Friday morning, my kids can be seen walking up and down our close knit street opening people's recycling cans, peering inside, and letting everyone know if they hit the jackpot...,"Hey, the Smith's have a little room!", and while someone else is yelling, "The Johnson's is almost empty!" I've considered sending the neighbor's a bill, they are benefitting from this you know. But that would only add to their recycling bin...and then what would we do with ours?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Small Successes


Every Thursday the folks over at Faith and Family encourage us to remember our small successes. If you haven't done this yourself I encourage you to consider doing it. Sometimes we can feel like we aren't accomplishing anything....but when we take just a few minutes, once a week, to reflect on it...we can see that we are.

1. Searched on the Internet for a replacement music box for Elizabeth. My parents buy each of the grandkids a special music box for their first Christmas - and Elizabeth's fell off a shelf a couple weeks ago and broke (hers happened to be the glass one). It's a retired piece and was incredibly hard to find, but I found one on ebay and WON it! Hurray! I did seriously overbid the thing- but given the circumstances I'd do it again. And, the great thing about ebay....I only ended up paying about 1/2 of what I bid!

2. Said yes to a birthday party invitation for Henry even though it meant cutting school short on a Monday afternoon when I would have normally said thank you, but heartbeat (and I complain about all the interruptions that we can't control?). But, for many reasons I took this one to prayer. The party was at a rock climbing wall that was rented for two hours and my other kids got to climb too (I paid for my three youngest to play in the nearby kiddie play area with me - so they enjoyed themselves too).

3. I attended our homeschool co-op's parent night even though it had been a busy week here. God wanted me there and I am incredibly glad I listened to Him. The most important thing may of us walked away with? The speaker talked about one of her sons who is studying to be a priest. He came to her one day and said, "I didn't feel loved growing up, you were always mad." That was a very sad awakening for her, but I also believe that message was meant for many of us there. My kids know I love them, don't they? I tell them every night! I homeschool them! (disclaimer here....I don't think someone who doesn't homeschool doesn't love their kids by any means....I'm just saying, who would want to take on such an all consuming task and spend every second of their day with their kids if they didn't love them). But, in the words of my all time favorite Saint, Saint Josemaria Escriva, "Love is deeds, not sweet words." Do I show them that I love them in a way that they know it? I am going to work harder at this, I want them to grow up KNOWING and FEELING that they are loved. I want them to grow up seeing how happy their mom is to spend time with them. I want them to grow up in a joyful home.