Saturday, September 29, 2007

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool....That is the Question!

I keep going back and forth on the issue. Should I or shouldn't I? I only have a year to decide. Here is my dilemma: Jude is very reluctant to learn from me. He thinks it is funny to goof around and pretend he can't count numbers or say his letters. I get to the point that I am pretty much angry about it. The other thing is....he really wants to go to school. I don't know. I am working on teaching Jude to read but like I said before I really don't know what he knows. Maybe I should take him to Score Learning Centers for some reading tutoring. Then I will know how he is going to respond to someone else. From what I hear Score does a nice job and their students increase their academic scores after tutoring there. I'll let you know if I try it out.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I am tired....can you tell???

Have you ever found a word that you think just sounds funny? When I was a kid my parents had a dog named Piere. I remember saying his name over and over because I thought it sounded weird. Funny it was a french word and at the time I didn't understand. I was thinking about the word HOODIA. Man that is a weird word. I've been avoiding it for about a week now. It is a weight loss pill. Maybe I should take it. Ha. Last week I went to my favorite Cultural Center and one of the desk girls told me that every time she sees me I get smaller and smaller. She is exaggerating a bit but either way she is my new favorite person!

In an unrelated topic...I went back and had my hair "fixed". Not that it was bad but it just wasn't what I wanted. So, now it is better...much better. Even Jake noticed and said he liked it. case you were wondering. Piere died and my parents told me he "ran away". I figured it out when I was an adult. Nice.

We're Here....

Did I tell you we were going to Tennessee? Well did. We got up this morning soooo early. 4:30ish to be exact. The kids were so excited. Jude said, "Mommy, why are we leaving in the middle of the night?" It was 5:40 A.M. I laughed. The plan was this: when Avery wakes up to eat we will just get up and leave. Pretty much everything was packed and for the most part, in the van. The logic was that the older kids would go back to sleep until 8 or so. Yeah right. Jude would not stop talking. Elise couldn't go to sleep because Jude went on and on. He was so excited. Elise was so extremely tired. Around 9 A.M. she started crying and kept crying until we stopped. She thought she had pooped in her diaper and she was VERY upset about it. Apparently she had just passed gas and thought she pooped. Since she was very little she would not poop in the car. I never knew it upset her so. Aren't kids funny? Well, to make a long story short, the kids finally fell asleep around 2 P.M. - we got here around 2:40! Typical. I was nice to get here early.

I will keep you posted. In the mean time fill out some surveys for this company that does market research. It is one of the ways that I make money online. The surveys are kinda interesting.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen....Search Words

I love to look at the search words people use to find my blog. I have shared some of them in the past with you. Here is an updated list! I love it!

1. dear delilah, dear delilah song, hey dear delilah, delilah song lyrics

2. National Sacher Torte Day (still popular)

3. Prego Bellies, Huge Prego Belly, Prego Pictures

4. Gag Reflex, gagging moms, wife gagger, I want to stop gag reflex, gag reflex hereditary

5. Moonshine runners, purchase moonshine, what do I do with moonshine, score me some moonshine, running moonshine vacation, how to judge good moonshine (perhaps these people need drug rehabilitation!)

6. McDonald's iced coffee recipe

7. Where to get a good funnel cake

8. What to do if someone says Happy Hanukkah

9. Turned on by smell of skunk, catching skunks, skunk smell people who like it, sexy skunk photo

10. Stephanie Miller's butt crack

11. Religions & why they don't celebrate christmas

12. POOP

13. delilah bad to the bone, delilah miller blog, delilah letters, delilah kent, delilah in ohio

Baseball Fever....

Isn't it exciting that the Indians are doing so well? I think it is cool. I will have to admit that I haven't even watched one minute of baseball on TV this year and we haven't been to an Indians game but nonetheless it is exciting for Northeast Ohio. We have the Cavs, The Indians and our great pro football team The Cleveland Browns! Ha. Well, the Browns aren't that good but lets not talk about them. Back to the Indians - here is the thing about baseball - it isn't that fun watching it on TV. It gets a little boring. I used to softball. I know it may be difficult for some of you to imagine. I played third base and batted clean up. I was a very good batter - I probably still am but I don't think I can run very fast. It is funny to think about. Anyhoo....I used to have this very cool bat. It was blue, purple and hot pink. I think I let it at the Goodyear Hts. house on accident. Bummer. I guess if I wanted to buy a new one I could check out Baseball Rampage. There is TONS of baseball stuff. They have anything baseball that you could possibly need. It is nice the way their stuff is organized. You can shop by type of item, brand or by "position". That is a nice feature. I doubt I will be buying baseball stuff anytime soon (I think I have few years still) but I am going to remember this site. You should go check it out and remember....Go INDIANS!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Will They Think of Next????

Back in the day when I was still playing the field, not too many people did the whole on-line personals thing. I do remember there was a girl in one of my psych classes at Kent, who met her future husband in a chat room (they were talking about hockey). I thought she was crazy! Now people "date" on line all the time. There are TONS of singles websites out there but this one takes the cake! Today I found a singles site for tattoo dating! It is for singles with tattoos. Isn't that the funniest thing ever? Because I am happily married I didn't spend too much time on the site but let me tell you - there is a real mix of characters from what I saw on the first page! There were some real clean cut looking people and some very colorful (in more ways than one). My question is....what if you have a tattoo in a "secret" place? Do you have to prove you have a tattoo before signing up? Do fake tattoos count ha ha ha ha - just kidding about that one! If you click over let me know what you think of tattoo personals!

MY Five (or ten) Year Plan...

My friend Jacki likes to talk about her five year plan. It is good to have plans. A couple of months ago I decided I should have a five year plan for myself. It happened while I was browsing the internet and came across a blog with the most amazing photos. The photographer had a little interview section of her blog with frequently asked questions. She explained how she got into photography and her business. I would love to do what she did. I am okay at taking pictures now - but I have never had any formal education in the area - although I always wanted to take a photography class. On her site she also recommended a few good starting cameras. I took her advice and started shopping right away. There are so many great digital cameras out there these days. This is the one I really want! It is a little pricey...maybe my blogging can pay for it LOL. No seriously - back to my plan. I am going to try to take a class or two. I'd love to take pics at weddings and events. Eventually I would like to have my own studio (I even know where I would like to have it). I am really serious about this. I think it would be a good fit for me. Anyhoo...if you want to buy me that camera or contribute to the Delilah Miller: photographer Fund just let me know! BTW...a little fun fact- digital cameras are the number one electronic Christmas gift! As you may have noticed, I take my camera with me everywhere. I love to capture EVERYTHING. How sweet it is when we can go back and actually see our memories. I will admit I like having a photo in hand but I LOVE the fact that I can alter a picture with the click of a mouse with digital. I think it is one of the greatest inventions EVER. Right now I have a Kodak Easyshare. It is okay. I used to have a different one - not as fancy and I think I liked it better. I think the pictures looked crisper - maybe I am crazy because this one has more mega pixels.

Also if you are looking to buy me a Christmas gift....I will take one of those digital picture frames!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Posts

I am in a real rush but I wanted to let you know I posted some new stuff at Junky Love in Freehand. I have been so busy I haven't really made much lately so I mostly added pictures of stuff. Today Avery has a doctor's appointment so I have to go get ready!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Am I Really????

Sometimes I truly forget that I am a licensed insurance sales person. It's kind of crazy if you think about it. I am really more of a free thinker. Honestly, I really did like selling insurance. Unfortunately, the circumstances didn't work out and well...we all know how that went - but now I am a domestic goddess and blogger extraodinare. Either way (back to the topic) lets talk about insurance for a moment. It isn't the business it used to be. There are so many options. You don't have to have an agent. There are companies that you can just call up and deal with their reps. And there are on-line do everything over the internet. Most all companies will give you an online quote. Cool. It is such a nice service when you have a bad driving record or have poor credit. You don't actually have to face someone or feel like you are answering to them. Plus if you are looking for better insurance rates you can get many quotes pretty quick on-line. I recently (I haven't even told Jake yet....) checked out some rates online. I recommend if you do one of those sites tell them you would only like to get emails (otherwise you may get a lot of calls) and don't give them your social security number. Although, an insurance sales person is required to ask your permission to run your credit report....some may do it without asking (trust me on this one).

I Signed up for Pay Per Post!!!!

You may have noticed that I have been posting a lot more. And you may also have noticed my posts have random links in them. That is because I have decided to try to make a little money while blogging. There are several companies who pay bloggers to write about and link to different websites. A while back I signed up for PayPerPost but I never did anything with it. Today I decided I should really get on board. You see...I am sitting at home. No, not just sitting but I am at home and I would like to make a little extra money. We were talking about me doing some babysitting. Although, I could make some serious cash - I just don't like kids that much (LOL). No, seriously, it would tie us down A LOT. So, I remembered my sister-in-law, Stephanie, telling me about PayPerPost and I've noticed Applehead has been doing some assignments. I guess at first I was a little skeptical but now that I see they have been doing it for a while I think it must be okay. I love blogging and now I can get paid to do it. Isn't that just grand???? While some of the topics may not be what I would choose on my own to write it about it is fun to try to be creative and write about you assigned topic. So, I guess you could say it is a creative writing lesson as well. I hope the links aren't that annoying to you and if you have a blog a suggest trying it out and making a few bucks!! If you do make sure you let me know. Also, if you are a regular reader, I am interested in what you think about my latest business adventure!
And what do you think I should do with all this money I am going to make???

Pictures of the Weekend...

Wordless Wednesday

A Good Weekend...

We had a nice week-end. Friday Jake came home a little early so I took the chance to run over to our local farmers market and do some shopping. Unfortunately, I was hungry I and ended up buying a ton of stuff. I rarely do that anymore but I went a little veggie crazy. I bought a nice hunk of salmon. We grilled it with veggies. It was soooo good. Better than any fish I have had in a restraunt. Seriously. I remember a long time ago my one of my friends told me she and her boyfriend rarely ate out because the food they made at home tasted so much better. At the time I didn't agree but now I am starting to understand. Although...I still like having someone else do the clean up! After dinner we decided we would have movie night with the kids. We rented two adult videos and two kid videos. After the kids went to bed Jake and I watched Georgia Rule. It was okay. Definately not my favorite. Lindsay Lohan is in it. She was the perfect person for the role. I think she went to drug rehab right after she finished filming. Anyhoo....

Saturday we went to the Cleveland Zoo. It was a beautiful day out - and you know that means- every other family thought it was a good idea to go to the zoo. It was packed. We had to hike it up to the Primates (if you have been to the Cleveland Zoo, you know what I mean). While we were going up the hill, Jake accidentally stepped on my shoe and broke it. So, I walked around with a broken shoe all day. We got home and barely sat down when the phone rang. It was Sherry inviting us over for dinner! How nice - so we packed up and walked over for a nice dinner with the Loomans.

Sunday we went to church. After lunch we did some cleaning. Jake shampooed the carpet (thank you thank you thank you). I worked on all the clutter sitting around. Instead of just dumping it all in the basement I found a place for everything. Things are starting to get back to normal around here. I found a few things to get rid of so I loaded it up and headed over to Goodwill. I LOVE that store. If you haven't noticed- I am becoming a regular. OH MY can't believe the deals I got. Here is what I got....

  • 2 Gap zip up hoodies for Elise
  • cute cute cute skirt for Elise
  • pair of PJ's for Elise
  • Land's End button up sweater for Elise
  • princess costume for Elise
  • (it was her lucky day)
  • 2 bags of batting new
  • large bag of polyfill new
  • yo yo maker (a sewing thing) new
  • dozen large foamie shapes (craft for kids) new
  • 6 large make your own buttons new
  • scrapbook cover kit ($22.50 retail) new
  • Cricut Font Cartridge....OMG....several on ebay right now with bids for $50!!!!
  • Brand NEW with the tag Gore-Tex leather hiking boots kids sized (on ebay for $56!!!)
  • shirt for myself
  • christmas cookie box thingy
  • lobster beanie baby

All for a total of $30.76. Man I am a super shopper. Jake said it is my new job to go look for things we can sell. Oh, he may regret saying that. Either way, I am not buying anymore until we sell that cartridge. We might sell the shoes or keep them for Jude.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Sherry!!!

Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday Dear Sher-ry.
Happy Birthday to You.

Today is my dear friend Sherry's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is because well, it isn't a milestone or anything and she isn't that old (although she is older than me LOL). She was complaining that I never say her name on my blog - well, I'm exaggerating a bit - she just mentioned it once that when I talked about her I didn't say her name. you know my older friend, who has a lot of kids, is Sherry.

Do you think I should buy her some Miami real estate?

save our homes

My Big Girl....

Yesterday, Elise and I went and had our hair cut. This was Elise's first "real" hair cut in a "real" salon. She had her bangs cut a few times and a little trim in the back but this time we had a few inches cut off. We've decided to grow her bangs out so she can have one of those darling little bobs. I didn't mind it being long but she rarely would sit long enough for me to put it in a pony tail and if I did manage to wrestle one in...well, she would take it out when she had the chance (usually while sitting in her car seat riding to our destination which was the reason for the hairdo in the first place!). She did a great job sitting in the chair and looked so cute - not that I am biased or anything. Here are the pics....(more on my hair after the pics so keep reading!)

As for my hair...I've been in transition for quite some time now. I let it grow out and then I cut if off into that flippy late 1990's Dixie Chicks look. I wanted something a little more ME. Earlier in the week I saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah and decided I wanted her hair cut. I've been growing my bangs out for a while so I was excited about my soon to be new style! Well...I told the girl what I wanted and I think I wasn't specific enough or something because I got a TOTALLY different hair style. It is cute (I think) and stylish (also a little out to the loop but I think stylish) hair style. Jake doesn't like the back of it and the back is very layered - not what I envisioned at all. It is longer in the front, shorter in the back but....I don't know. It is a lot shorter. I'm a little nervous because I know my hair is going to start falling out soon (it always does after I have babies - don't worry it grow back) and I am wondering how this style is going to hold up. Perhaps I should take some nutritional supplements! I'd show you some pics but it is really hard to take a picture of your hair yourself. I will have Jake take a few and post them later.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen....Happy Birthday To My Blog!!!

Today is The Miller Way's 2nd Birthday. I can't believe it. Two years...Wow. So much has happened in two years, yet it seems like only yesterday. Here is a list of 13 different things that have happened over the past two years.

1. We have moved twice.

2. Both Jake & I changed careers several times (Me- houseparent to abstinence teacher to insurance sales girl to stay at home mom! Jake - houseparent to custodian to scanner guru/sales assistant for a company that sells stuff to power plants!)

3. Elise was a baby when I started this blog, now I have another baby and Elise is a big girl!

4. So much Blog Controversy (it seems so funny now) - I had a lady leave me a message on my cell concerning my blog questioning my character, I was reprimanded at work for writing that I was going to be going to part time and was worried about the money, I had a pastor of a church (not my church but a man that does know me) actually talk extensively (not in a good way) about MY BLOG in a Sunday morning service (my blog hits doubled after I didn't mind LOL).

5. We vacationed in the Outer Banks.

6. We've attended 3 weddings, 2 funerals, countless home parties and one Amish family reunion.

7. Jake & I have both been in the hospital.

8. We changed churches.

9. We've been to Tennessee & West Virginia (combined) about a dozen times.

10. Jake had one car accident ladder rack (that is if you don't count him running into the garage as a car accident!)

11. I've been to the gym 5 times (once was for a tour)!

12. I've attended 3 conferences and one concert!

13. We've potty trained, weaned, taken binkies and night time sippy cups. We've disciplined and laughed and watched our kids grow. We've went from cribs to big beds and have had a few sleepless nights. And it is all documented here! It's the best diary I've ever kept!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One more post today....

Jake...Traveling Pants

Jake has been traveling quite a bit lately. He actually got somewhat of a promotion at work and more money. I guess I should be more me I am. BUT - he will be traveling more. I will get used to it. This week he is going to Florida - just overnight. Next week he will be driving to Virgina - I think it is going to be overnight as well. Then the week after that he will be in North Carolina & South Carolina. Maybe I should have him check out some Wilmington NC real estate. Anyhoo...I decided I am going to go to Tennessee to visit the family during that week. I am excited to see the mountains in the fall. Hopefully the leaves will be turning by then.

On another note...a friend of mine is having a mastectomy that same week. This Friday her friends are getting together for a Boob-Voyage Party. I think it is a great idea. She had breast cancer and was in remission but it came back so now they gotta go. I love that she has decided to celebrate and make the best of a bad situation. Someone is making a boob cake. Do you think I should take a gift? What would be appropriate? Well, this is a great week for me to attend a Boob Voyage party because I have mastitis and have been quite sick - NOT THAT I HAVE TIME TO BE ILL. Oh, well...sick or not, the kids need to eat and need their diapers changed.

Jude's "Pet"....

Man, I have been meaning to tell you this story for a while now....where does the time go? Remember when I told you we went to JenF's house for Labor Day? While we were there Jude found a toad. Now you know your kids are serious city kids when they get excited about finding a toad. Jude was thrilled. I don't think he ever found one before. So, he begged and pleaded to take it home and keep it as a pet. I refused. It is ridiculous to think of a toad as a pet. Well, my friend JenF decided to give Jude this plastic container (tonneau cover) that he could bring the toad home in. Jake & I told him that when we got home he had to let it go. He was so excited. He named the toad "da queen" (aka Lightning McQueen). When we got home it was dark so we told Jude he could let the toad go first thing in the morning but it had to stay outside. He was okay with that. The next morning - first thing, bright and early he wanted to let the toad go. So, Jake went out with him and set da queen free.

Later that day, Jude had went outside to play. I had been feeding Avery and noticed that Jude came back in and was being very quiet. I peeked in his room and saw him sitting on his bed just staring down at the carpet. I was very concerned....thinking he must have had a fight with one of his neighborhood friends or something. I asked him what was wrong and he said he couldn't find his "friend" and he missed him. He was talking about the toad! I explained to him that the toad is a wild animal and when we set him free he probably hopped away. He was very sad. Several times in the past few weeks he has even mentioned his toad.

This past weekend Jake was cleaning up the yard - getting it ready for winter- and guess what he found???? The toad. He has been living under our porch in our wood pile. Isn't that funny. Now he and Elise go out and visit him everyday. Yesterday I found them eating their snack under the porch just watching the toad sit there. My kids are odd. Oh, and I guess the toad's new name is Toady.

Her are some pics of Jude & Toady.

This is when Jude thought he wasn't allowed to bring the toad home!

Wordless Wednesday...Reading to Baby Sister

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Do you know anything about this????

It is a website called Free To Air ( I don't really understand it but you get satellite T.V. for free. Well, you have to buy the dish but all the channels are free. I looked around the website and it appears it is something that started in Australia but apparently you can do it in Ohio. Is it legal? It is not like we need more channels. We really do watch very little T.V. But....wouldn't it be nice to have something good to watch when you do watch T.V? I think that would be nice. We like to watch movies but rarely do because we miss the times they start or the ones that are on are ones we have already seen. I guess the only drawback for me would be all the sports - football, baseball, little league, softball, Titleist golf, basketball, hockey, bowling, surfing, volleyball, soccer................... UGH....maybe I don't want this T.V.

Seriously....if you know anything about this let me know!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Monday...And I can't get much done.

It is just one of those days. We made it to story time at the library (barely). It is sad...I only have to drive literally 5 minutes and I am still rushing around. What would I do if I lived some distance? Having three kids is crazy. The kids did really well though. They actually participated and had fun. This weeks theme is Pirates. Jude was really into it. I was thinking I would let him be a pirate for Trick or Treating. I've been day dreaming about taking the kids to Disney (vacation home Orlando)....isn't there a Pirates of the Caribbean thing there? He'd love it.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

You've Already Forgotten....

I do have another blog ya know! The link is on the side now. Check it out.

Saved Some Money Sunday....

I went to Goodwill today. Man, did I ever clean up. I got some really cool stuff. Everyone in the family got something. One of my best finds was a sweater with the tags still on it. The asking price was $29.99 - I got it for a mere $1.75!! I found Jude a Buzz Lightyear pajama top to go with a pair of bottoms I bought for him at Kohl's last year on their clearance rack. Elise got a cute Halloween top and Jake- an American Eagle long sleeved shirt. It was really nice. I also bought some old sheets for $1 that I will be using for my many sewing projects. I spent a total of $26 and left with 2 BIG bags of stuff that we needed. I love thrifting - it is like a treasure hunt. When we get rich I will still thrift. By the you know anything about financial consolidation software? It has something to do with money, right? As much as I want more money - I really hate it. I do. I've even been thinking about taking on a job at home - I'll tell you more about it later, if it all pans out. Until then.....



It is currently 42 degrees. Avery slept through the night last night. She fell asleep at 11:30 P.M. and woke up at 6:50 A.M. When she started to cry I noticed there was an extra person in our bed. It was Elise. She has never been big on sleeping in our bed, so it was quite a surprise. I am still always amazed that another person can crawl into our bed at night and we don't even know it. Kinda scary, eh?

So, it looks like Fall is here. As much as I hate for the summer to end, I do love the fall. Yesterday was a perfect fall weather day. It was around 60 all day. The sun was shining and there were just a few clouds hanging in the sky. Just enough to be pretty. We spent a lot of the day shopping. It wasn't real fun shopping but duty shopping (groceries, socks, t-shirts, stuff like that). I did, however, go to JoAnns because they were have a Coupon Commotion sale. I spent more money that I really wanted to but it was all stuff for Christmas gifts. I did buy some $1 a yard fabric at WalMart. The sales lady noticed the car seat cover was made from fabric that they carried. She commented on how nice it was. Then we were chatting about sewing. She said the most peculiar thing...she asked me if I sewed because I had to or if I did it because I liked it!!!! How do you take a comment like that? Besides sewing isn't always cheap. But more on that some other time.

As for today...we are going to go to Church (I should be getting ready right now) and after lunch we may go the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and do this fun family thing. You take your digital cameras and they give you a list of things to take photos of. Then you show them your pics and they award prizes and stuff. I think it will be fun. A while back we sold our old digital camera. I wish we still had it. I would let Jude take his own pictures today (it was smaller and a little easier to handle). If any of the pics turn out nice I will post them.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Make it Yourself...I did!

Have you tried those new McDonald's iced coffees??? YUM. Seriously, they are so good. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to them. 1. They are pricey - they cost around $2.49 (costs vary from store to store not just city to city....did you know that??? Another post for another time, I guess.) 2. They don't come in decaf. 3. Skim milk isn't an option.

Jake loves these things. He would drink them everyday - probably several times a day, if it was economical.

Well, being the resourceful woman I am, I looked on line and found several iced coffee recipes. Here is what I came up with after trying a few different recipes.

First I start with my morning coffee. I make coffee after Jake goes to work and I drink 2 large cups. I used to only make a half a pot and if there was any left I would water the plants with it (plants like coffee, too!!). Now I go ahead and make the full pot full of coffee. We have a 12 cup pot. Whatever is left after I am done with my A.M. coffee I save in the fridge for later. Here is the recipe I use.

4 cups leftover coffee
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup french vanilla creamer (I use the Aldi fat free kind)
1/4 cup vanilla syrup (see recipe below)
Mix and pour over ice. It is seriously delicious.

Vanilla Syrup
2 cup H2O
1 1/2 cup sugar
Boil until sugar is dissolved.
Then add 3/4 tsp. vanilla
I put mine in a jar and keep it in the fridge.

You can also all a little caramel syrup. I bought some in the ice cream topping section and didn't really like the "caramel flavor" thing so I did attempt to make my own. I burned the first batch and the second batch I got to thick. When it hit the iced coffee it got real thick. Well, we ended up chewing it after drinking all our coffee.

I did find a recipe for a Caramel Macchiato - only if I had an espresso maker....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cheap? Frugal? Resourceful? Tacky? Desperate?

I don't know what you call it but I LOVE it.

Last night, while talking with the neighbor she mentioned it was "extra" trash week. Since, we live in the suburbs we have these fancy trash cans that the trash truck comes by and picks up. Literally, the trash truck has a mechanical arm that reaches out and picks up the giant trash can. Everyone in our city has the same trash can. It is kinda weird. Anyhoo....since going to this particular type of can the city no longer picks up big trash items on a weekly basis. Instead they have designated two weeks in the spring & two in the fall as extra trash pick up weeks.

Now that I explained all that - back to my chat with the neighbor... She was happy because she was going to be able to put out her extra trash. I, on the other hand, was very excited because I like to drive around and look at other people's trash. I won't go off about how I feel Americans are so wasteful or anything right now but...I can't understand why people don't post things on Freecycle or take a short drive to one of the many thrift stores in our area and just donate the stuff....they'd rather fill the landfills! Ughhh!!! OK - enough of that. Jake is never too fond of the driving around thing. He says he is all for it but I think he is embarrassed or something. But last night we had to drop off library books so they wouldn't be late so I had the perfect excuse to go out and about. We all went, which, I must say did not leave a lot of room for loot. But we made out so well! We only drove down a few streets and found three great things. I can't wait to go back tonight!

Here are pics of other peoples trash!

Our first find of the evening is a dresser. It is solid wood and in good working condition. The hardware was removed and it needs to be painted. It will be a very cheap refurbish! We needed a new dresser so this is great!! Someday I will post an after picture.

The kids were the most excited about this find. We had to go home, drop off the dresser and come back for this. The kids were so upset because they didn't understand we were planning to come back for it. Jude said "through the dresser out and get the kitchen!" We were going to buy Elise a kitchen for Christmas. Now we don't have to! Great!

Oh...this is the before "dirty" picture.

The kids were begging to go out and clean this all day! First, we cleaned & rearranged Elise's room to accommodate the "new" toy!

It is so clean & lavender scented!

And last but not least....a Dora chair. It is brand new. Jude has a little folding chair like this and we've been saying we need to get Elise a lawn chair. Can you believe our luck? It looks brand new!

Elise loves her new chair.

Think how much money we saved...literally hundreds. Here are a few tips if you plan to trash pick.
  • Know your area and when the best times would be. Like I said - in our town we have designated weeks for big items. If you live near a college the end of semesters is a good time. Also, after Christmas is when people get new stuff and throw away their old things.
  • Go in the evening. Most people take their garbage out after dinner.
  • Don't go in the dark. You won't be able to see anything and people will think you are shady.
  • If you see the "owners" outside or looking be friendly. If they look at you like you are crazy you may want to ask them if they mind. Otherwise, give them a wave and a thank you.
  • If you want to be serious, take a truck. We don't have one.
  • Don't leave a mess. Don't open trash bags and don't spread things out.
Good luck. Let me know if you find anything good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Elise's First Broken Heart....

It is an event that is bound to happen in every girls life. I remember my first real broken heart. I cried until I swear my heart really did hurt. Today, I told Elise we had to throw her binkies away. She has always loved her binkies - although we have only ever given them to her while she is sleeping. She has always known the rules and even from a very young age she would hand you her binkie when you went to get her from her crib. Because she has only ever taken them while in bed and because she is such a great sleeper I kept letting her take them. But...Lately she had been asking for them more and more. She begged for two at a time and was willing to go back to bed just to suck on the stupid pacifier. It was starting to bother me. Oh, and the last few weeks she has awakened at night because she dropped her binkie and couldn't find it. So, I knew it was time and I had to make that step. This morning Elise kept getting her binkie and was walking around with it. I put it on top of my dresser so she went and got a stool so she could reach it. Then I moved it where she couldn't get it and she was throwing a fit. She isn't much of a fit thrower and I was very annoyed by the whole fighting over the binkie thing. I thought about it and I sat her down...I told her we had to give the binkies to the garbage man. She cried. And cried. And cried. She wailed. Snot flew. Her eyes were all red and puffy, her little tear stained face was so blotchy. It was like she lost her best friend. When it came time to take a nap - well, you can imagine how that went. She cried some more. She cried for two hours and didn't once even start to fall asleep. I tried to soothe her. I read her a book, sang her songs, rubbed her back, offered her various toys. Nothing helped. Then she asked me if she could sleep in the crib! She hasn't slept in that thing since April!!!! Poor baby. I am happy to report I did not give in. She was really tired at bedtime tonight. She came out of her room a few times and after a stern "talking to" she did stay in her bed. I heard her crying for a few minutes but that is it. She has been sleeping binkie free since! It really was much easier than I expected. She is really an amazingly good child.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My New Blog....

In case you didn't trust my link and you didn't click on it - I have a new blog. It is my crafty blog where I can show you all the stuff I make. I only have one post so far because I was so busy working on the blog last week I didn't have time to really make anything. So check it out and stay tuned if you are interested in my creations.

I made PUMPKIN stuff from scratch!!! *UPDATED*

Do you have things sitting in your cabinet that have been there for a long time? I have several miscellaneous things that I bought for a special recipe that never was made or that I bought because I was feeling and urge to try something new but then don't get around to it. Well, this week I was going through my canned goods and came across a can of pumpkin that I bought last Christmas because I was planning to make pumpkin rolls but because I hated food at the time I didn't make them. Well, I am on this kick cleaning out the cabinets again - trying to use up what I have then I can go hog wild on a shopping frenzy to fill them back up again. I love that. I remembered seeing a recipe on the Amy Clark's blog for pumpkin pancakes. I mentioned them to Jake and the kids and they LOVED the idea. So Monday night we had pumpkin pancakes for dinner. They were so fluffy and yummy. I gave the kids a choice of butter & syrup or whipped cream. Jude picked the whipped cream of course. He saw there were a bunch left over and asked me to save them so he could eat them the next day. So needless to say the pancakes were a hit. Unfortunately, the can of pumpkin I opened up was quite large (29 oz.) and the pancakes only took one cup of pumpkin. I put the rest in the fridge for later.

Later came on Friday when I searched Allrecipes ingredient search for canned pumpkin. I found a great cookie recipe that was for iced pumpkin cookies...those soft cake like yummy cookies you can get at the grocery store in the fall. They were so easy and I swear they were pumpkin cookie perfection. They didn't last long. The cookies only took a cup of pumpkin so I have a cup or so left. I haven't found a use for it yet. Any suggestions????

Here are the recipes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin, canned

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, adding yogurt, milk and pumpkin puree. Mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter onto a preheated, oiled griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes slowly over a low-medium heat for approximately 4-6 minutes, flipping after 3 minutes.

Makes eight servings.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.
I kinda used Steph's suggestion and made Pumpkin Corn Bread...I haven't eaten it yet because it is in the oven. Here is the recipe...


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes or until softened and golden brown.

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Combine honey, pumpkin puree, eggs, buttermilk and the onion in another bowl.

Place remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 9-by-9-by-2-inch square baking pan. Place in oven until butter is melted. Swirl pan to coat with butter.

Pour the melted butter into pumpkin mixture. Stir to combine. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until evenly moistened. Place batter into pan, smooth top.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Junky Love in Freehand

Guess what....

I don't want to tell you.

Just go HERE & you can see for yourself!

If you don't look...You'll be missing out.

6 Weeks...The Story of Avery

Avery is six weeks old today. Can you believe it? The time has flown by. It seems like I just had her but then again I almost have forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant (thank GOD for that). Six weeks is really a milestone. It is when you have to go to the doctor and have that "infamous" 6 week check up. I don't have to go and have one since I've seen the doctor 3 or 4 times post c-section because of my healing issues. BTW...I am finally healed - last week sometime my incision completely closed. I am also happy to report I am not only back to my pre-pregnancy weight (I was at day 15) but I am 5 pounds less! Honestly I am too busy to eat most of the time. Life is crazy with three. Don't worry - I am handling it but I am still working on a normal schedule.

Avery is a great baby. She is pleasant. She is a pretty good sleeper and only wakes up once a night. For the most part she eats and goes back to sleep but a couple of times this week she ate and wanted to stay up. That wasn't fun but at least she was crying (unless I laid her down). For some reason she WILL NOT go to sleep for me. I can try for like 45 minutes and she is still up cooing away. So, Jake has been helping out and rocking her to sleep. It seems to be working out. I appreciate the teamwork.

If you read yesterday's blog, you know we have been very busy with Avery. She just goes with the flow. So, that is nice. The other kids have adjusted well to her. It is so sweet how they want to hold her and "play" with her. Elise has finally realized Avery is a real person and hasn't tried to poke her in the eye or anything lately.

Here are some recent pictures of Avery. Isn't she a little doll?

BTW...If you were wondering which baby was which from my earlier post...Mamaw was correct!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen....Things We Have Done Since Avery Was Born

Avery will be six weeks old tomorrow. We have done a lot in her short life. Here is a list.

1. Visited the Zoo.
2. Went on a bike ride.
3. Had a picnic (more than one).
4. Went to the library.
5. Went to a concert.
6. Walked around the neighborhood.
7. Went swimming (she didn't but the other kids did).
8. Took pictures at the park.
9. Canned salsa.
10. Shampooed the carpet.
11. Sewed 10 denim bags.
12. Handmade Thank You cards - I haven't mailed some, though - sorry about that, I will eventually.
13. Went grocery shopping (all 5 of us!)

As you can see, we've been busy!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


A few pictures from the week-end.