Friday, July 31, 2009

Operation Organization

Operation Organization

Melinda over at Coming Clean is hosting an 8 week long Organization Challenge.

I am really up for this challenge. My mantra is Be Positive and Keep it Simple. Well most of the time I can stay pretty positive but, keeping it simple is my downfall. And that isn't just with clutter in my house. Just ask my husband. He will tell you that when I am explaining anything to him, I for sure don't keep it simple. He is always telling me I give him way to many details.

Anyway, on to the house. After almost 17 years of marriage and 3 kiddos we sure have our share of junk. I swear junk breeds in my house. Let's just say I will get rid of bags of toys, junk, clothes from a closet and when I come back the closet is just as full. What the heck? Ugh.

Well, I'm like most people and not all that happy about how messy my house can get and it is one thing to say that but it is another to take a picture. Well, here it goes. This is our dresser in our bedroom. Notice the large amounts of my husbands clothes draped over it. Hmmm. I'm not saying he's the only one with junk on there but, hey buddy, hang up your clothes. And what's funny, see be positive, is that a few years back I bought an over the door rack so he can just hang up his dress pants and shirts there until I can actually hang them up. He so rarely ever uses it. Another Ugh.

Here's the after picture and I do have to say that it put me in the mood to clean the rest of my room. Ahhh. It is so awesome to go to sleep in a clean room. The older I get, the more satisfaction that brings me.

PedEgg Review

Ok, so, No, I don't really want to explain how nasty, hard and crusty the bottom of my feet were but I will. You can often catch me outside shoeless, in the summer anyway, not when it's -20 degrees. So, it doesn't take a genius that my heels ended up thick and cracked. No, in my 35 years I have never had a pedicure or a manicure. Isn't that nuts.

Anyway, a friend of mine bought the PedEgg and I anxiously awaited for her to try it and give me her review. She loved it. She did say she got a little over zealous and made parts of her feet red and sore. So, she warned me to really watch out how much I scrape away.

The next day, I made my way to Walmart and found my own PedEgg for $9.99. I couldn't wait to use it. And I do have to say it really does work. This doesn't just make me happy, it makes me ecstatic. For years, I would give my hubby foot rubs, for some odd reason he has baby soft feet, and I would never let him rub mine. Now, foot rubs, here I come.

Here is the link to Amazon

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Our first Monarch caterpillars have turned up on our milkweed. Now, most people consider milkweed to be a noxious weed, and it is, but we love it because we always get to watch the life cycle of butterflies. I do always try to pick off the flowers so they don't go to seed. Otherwise, I think our entire yard would be covered. I guess we would have lots of butterflies then. Remember to always look for the positive.
We always keep a few empty jars around to put our caterpillars in. This actually ends up being a good little lesson in responsibility too. The boys have to make sure the caterpillars always have fresh leaves and that their jar is cleaned out. I will warn you these little guys sure do poop a lot.

The milkweed plants are the tall ones in the back.

Picnic Table Talk

Picnic Table Talk
This week is all about physical activities and outdoor games. We are really lucky to have a really large yard, 100ft x 300ft, for the kids to play in. We live on the outskirts of town so, we are also lucky that we only have neighbors on the sides of us. There is a large field behind us and another in front where a farmer grows soy beans.

We have lived in our house for 9 years now and during our first summer here my hubby built a large sandbox. Our kids love to play in it. Our 11 yr. old gets down with his little brother and plays just as hard as when he was 3. It is so fun to watch. They love to add water to it so they can make sand castles.

We also have a tramp with an enclosure. All 5 of us use it. I have found out that if you have a grumpy kid tell them to go bounce because it is virtually impossible to jump with a frown. It always makes you smile. My kids love it when I put the sprinkler under the tramp. They just have so much fun playing in the spraying water.

My kids also really enjoy helping me garden. Granted right now they do more picking and eating on the spot, peas usually, then helping weed. But, that's what it is there for. When they get snacky outside they just run and grab a handful of peas, carrots or beans and go right back to playing.

This year we purchased a picnic table and the boys love to "go out" for lunch. Plus, clean up is a breeze. Crumbs are just brushed onto the ground.

Living in MN we really do try to take advantage of our nice summer days. However, our state bird, the mosquito, does make it difficult at times.

Other activities we do or things we use are: Hula hoops, water ballons, bird feeders, bug catching, rock painting, chalk, pressing flowers, balls, campfires, horseshoes, Bocce ball.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I really loved this book and was so excited to see that it was being made into a movie. Granted as everyone knows movies are never, ever as good as the book. But, I still really enjoy seeing movies that have been made from books I have already read.

Anyway, wow, the ending was so different. No, I am not going to spoil anything so you can keep reading. I just can't believe that director's can toy around with and change so much of a book. I understand leaving things out. Anyone who reads Harry Potter gets that because those movies would be 10 hours long if they didn't edit. But to completely change an ending. What the heck?

I do have to say that I still did cry like a baby through the entire movie. And I mean the entire movie. I went to see it with a bunch of moms from mine and D's playgroup and we went for coffee after and my eyes were still red when we left.

So, after all of that I would still say that it was a good movie. But, only go see it if you feel like crying.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yummy Cheesecake

My hubby is a big, big fan of cheesecake and I was lucky enough to come across this great recipe from Angie over at Just Shy of a "Y"

It was such an easy recipe and it tasted so good. Because this was so easy, the next time we make this I am going to just hand the recipe to one of the kiddos, not my 3 year old of course, and tell them to go for it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Best Thing a Mom Can Do

The Best thing a mom can do to keep her sanity is to go to the grocery store at night. I went tonight and it was wonderful. 1. No kids. 2. No hurry up and get home to make supper. You can just take your sweet, old time. 3. I also seem to spend less money when I go at night because I have time to comparison shop.

Tonight I found pastina. I was so excited. My Nanny (grandmother) used to make it for me all of the time with butter. In my little MN town they have never carried it. Besides me, there aren't a lot of Italians around here.
Another Best thing a mom can do is to take showers at night. 1. No kids around 2. No worry about running out of hot water 3. After a long day who wants to wants to climb into their nice clean sheets with a dirty body. Ishy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

6 Word Saturday

For some reason today I can't get my loading of buttons to work so I am just posting the site I got this from.

This my first six word Saturday. If you would like to do it to you can go here

My six words are

Be Positive and Keep it Simple.

I always try to have my cup half full. My kids would probably argue with that sometimes, but it do try. Life is so much easier if you look for the positive in everything. Plus the less you stress the longer you will live.

I am working on Keeping it Simple too. I really need to do some decluttering. It is just so easy to justify keeping things.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brotherly Love

Even though they are 8 years apart, they are still best friends.

My Monkeys

It looks like they even wrestle in their sleep!

It gets the job done!

Ok, so, I am not a big time sewer. That's so-er, not sue-er. At least I hope I am not a big time sue-er. Anyway, this is my idea of a clothes pin bag. I really have been trying to hang clothes on the line as much as possible this year and even though I don't have my own clothes line, my awesome neighbor allows me to use theirs. There is just something about the smell of clothes that are dried on the line. Ahhh. Plus it helps mother Earth.

So, I just took an old hand towel and sewed a hanger in it. I think it needs some work but it will do for now. I so wish I could sew. I know I would love to quilt. Just not sure how to start.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday

This is only my 2nd time doing Friend Makin' Monday since we were gone on our road trip for to weeks. So, it worked great for me that the topic is vacations.

Friend Makin' Monday is being hosted by Jolanthe at No Ordinary Moments this week because Kasey is still on vacation.

If you would like to take part in FMM, just click here for the details. Now for the the questions:

1. Tell us about the best {or worst} vacation that you've ever taken.
2. Tell us FIVE places/vacations that you would like to take at some point your life. It doesn't have to be next year...maybe it's the vacation of a lifetime or somewhere you just dream of going years from now.

#1 Well I really would have to say that the trip we just took was my favorite. We left our home in MN and went to Mount Rushmore, then to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, then on to Salt Lake City. The Lake was nasty. I don't advise swimming in it. Ishy. Then we were on our way to Reno and from there to my parents in Santa Rosa, CA. We spent 4 days there taking day trips to the beach, the Redwoods, Sonoma, and San Fran.

After we left, we headed to Yosemite and then on to Vegas. My daughter and I went to see Lion King and it was awesome. After Vegas, we went to the Hoover Dam where it was 116 degrees. So, needless to say we didn't stay long and then continued on our way to the Grand Canyon, which was a beautiful site. The next day we stayed in Moab, UT and went to Arches Nat. Park. Now that was a neat place. After that we headed towards Denver and stayed over night in Thornton, CO and our plan was to go to Rocky Mt. Nat. Park but we were all pooped so we decided to head home. We were going to spend the night in Omaha, just to take a break from driving, but we figured we might as well drive the last 5 hours home. We got in about 3:00 am. Whew. That was a trip.

#2. I would love to go to Italy. I am 1/2 Italian so I would love to go and explore the old country. The other 1/2 of me is German so I would also like to check out Germany. Besides that for some reason I always wanted to go to Ireland and Australia.


After our wonderful pancakes in SD we got back on the road and headed for Yellowstone. From this point on in the trip none of us has ever visited any of our destinations. The park was everything we imagined. It was so beautiful. We spent about 10 hrs checking out the sites. This was the view from our campsite. So beautiful. However, we thought it was cold in SD. That night it got down to 35 degrees. Seriously. Crazy, isn't it? I slept in my sleeping bag, with an additional blanket inside and I wore sweat pants, socks, a T-shirt, a sweatshirt and my coat and I was still cold. Part of the problem was that our tent is so big that the heat the five of us generate just doesn't get trapped. BURR. Before we called it a night Ryan got a touch of altitude sickness. He had the chills and was nauseous. But, the following morning he was back to normal. After Yellowstone we headed south to the Grand Tetons.

Ryan is pointing out the snake to D.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Way Behind

I thought I was going to be able to post every few days while we were gone on our trip but that obviously didn't happen. We either stayed at a spot with no internet access or if we did have access I was too pooped to log on. So, I have a lot of catching up to do.

I packed these for D to keep him busy in the car. There were times we drove 7 hours in a day. I got the idea from Chasing Cheerios

D definitely liked the stickers the best. I purchased a bound composition book from the dollar store, so I wouldn't have to worry about pages falling out and he just stuck away. When we were with my parents in CA I actually had to go get more. The other things he played with a lot was the travel Magna Doodle and the Preschool sticker activity book.

I brought an old cookie sheet with us that he used as a work tray and it was good because I put magnets on the tanagrams so they would stick to the tray.

Target had some great flash cards and a white board in the $ spot. I picked up a bunch of stickers there too.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

CA Trip

Well, finally I am writing about how our trip is going We actually haven't had all that many days where we have had Internet access and on the days we have had it I have been so pooped from the day I couldn't even think about blogging.

Anyway, we ran into an issue even before we left the house. Not a big one, but big enough to make us upset. We planned on watching the fireworks over Mt. Rushmore on the 4th. Well, Mt. Rushmore has it's fireworks display on the 3rd. What the heck? We couldn't leave until the 4th and who has their 4th of July display on the 3rd. At a national monument even. Whatever.

With our plans altered a little we ended up going into Custer State Park and went up the needles highway. We decided to watch the city of Custer's fireworks from up on the highway. It was really neat. I think we were slightly too far away but the kids still thought it was really cool to sit out on a cliff and watch the fireworks.

That night we camped at a place called Crooked Creek and froze our tooshies off. We weren't expecting it to be 45 degrees in July. Brrr. But, after we woke up we had pancakes right at the campground. All you could eat for $2.99. They tasted so yummy.

Onward to Yellowstone.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I was at the a thrift store a few days ago looking for some little things to take on our road trip and I found this.
A Leap Frog Phonics Radio for $1.99. It works great. I checked online and it retails for between $40 and $50 bucks. Score. I an hoping it will keep D busy for awhile anyway. I haven't showed it to him yet that way when we leave on Sat. it will be new to him.

Other thrift finds were these: The painting was $2.50 and it will look great in our bathroom. I am such a sucker for tulips. I love, love, love 'em.

And the flag things came to $4.00. I'd like to decorate our deck with a flag theme. It never goes out of style to have pride in your country.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tooth Fixed

Well we got N into our dentist today. They fixed his tooth again but they said that he will eventually have to get a cap. The stuff that they used to fix it is also a little darker than his other teeth and the dentist said he'd work on that at our next appt. I am just happy we were able to fix it before our road trip out west.

The One Armed, Toothless Wonder

My N. Gotta love him. Two years ago he was participating in a snowball fight, an illegal one because it was on school grounds, and somehow he managed to knee himself in the mouth and break his tooth in half. This was a permanent tooth. ARG. Anyway, I picked him up and he was able to see our dentist right away. They filled in his chip, you can't really call it a chip, and he was as good as new. The dentist said he wasn't sure how longed the replacement would last. Well, now we know. Today, while swimming, N was blowing up a tube and his friend bumped him and his tooth broke, again. I called every dentist in our phone book and seriously, the last one I called was the only one who could see him this week. He can't get in until Thursday but it will have to do. We couldn't wait for an appt with our dentist since we are leaving for CA on Sat.

So now N is one armed and toothless. I am scared to ask, "What's next?"