Friday, July 31, 2009

A better kitchen view

I used to look out my kitchen window and see the neighbors garage. VERY uninteresting. Now when I look out the kitchen window this is what I see.
Much better...much much better.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Best laid plans

Weeks before we moved I called all the utilities to make sure they would be turned on at the new house. I called DISH and the Internet company because I wanted them turned on THE DAY we moved in. I like to live simply but lets be reasonable people! This is my view to the west...it's nice and all but I need the Internet....sweet sweet Internet.

Last Friday DISH was to be here anytime between 8am and noon. Excited about the new house the kids were up at 7am so were sitting on the porch, and as Anne would say, drinking in the view. The Hunter told me I better get clothes on (I was in PJs not naked people!) because the DISH guy would be here any minute. I said, "no way! He'll be here about 10:30...you watch." DISH guy drives up at 8am SHARP! After my last episode with DISH repairmen this guy was WONDERFUL! Showed up on time, crawled up on the roof, installed dish, ran the wire where I wanted and was out of here in about 20 minutes. That's how it's done!

With that completed I should have Internet by supper, right? Yeah, he never showed up. I called and they didn't even have me in their system. They had NEVER heard of me. I wonder who I gave all my important information to?? So, I had to wait a WHOLE FIVE DAYS before I could have Internet. Felt VERY cut off. This is my view to the east. I do have a neighbor pretty close but I still need my Internet.

Today while trying to buy peaches I ran over a nail...but not just any ol' nail it was a HUGE nail. I don't know what people even use nails like this for but it ruined my tire. A very nice man took time away from his fishing to help me change the tire. Thank God there are still people willing to stop and help someone.

So, now I have TV, Internet and a new tire. If I could only find my kitchen curtains life would be good.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Signs of Corn

It's no secret...I HATE cornfields but I really like corn on the cob. I hate cornfields but I moved to a home with corn on three sides. TALL corn. I hate cornfields.Even though I hate cornfields when one of our new neighbors offered to let us pick as much of his sweet corn as we wanted I jumped at the chance. So we loaded up the cooler and headed to his house. We ended up picking about 10 dozen. I only wanted 5 dozen but he just kept putting them in the cooler. At one point I was standing about 10 rows deep in the field picking ad I realized I was all by myself and I had to talk myself down...I hate cornfields! I was worried it was going to take a long time and I would be up all night freezing the ears. I don't cut it off the ears I freeze them whole in freezer bags. Much easier that way if you have the freezer space. I also figured out a way to cool the corn quickly after I boiled it. I put the hot corn in a plastic tub in the yard and let the COLD COLD water from the well run over it. They were cooled off in no time and I was in bed by 9:30pm.

Ok...now on to the the reason I hate cornfields. I have always thought when you were standing next to a cornfield the rustling leaves sounded like someone talking. The long endless rows are creepy...the whole thing is creepy. Even though I felt like this, a couple of years ago, we ended up going to see the alien movie Signs with Mel Gibson....Mel wasn't WITH us he was in the movie. Scared the bejeezus out of me!! We were in the third row and I was getting lower and lower in my seat cause the scary music was playing, it was dark,and Mel was in a cornfield. I had on flips and the alien appears...I SCREAM and kick my leg and my shoe goes flying 3 rows in front of me! I had to admit to The Hunter I lost my shoe and then some guy whispers rather loudly in front of us, "I found someones shoe!"







Posting this clip scares me. I couldn't even watch the whole thing! I think it's the one where Mel is in the field and he first spots the alien. Again...not sure cause I'm not watching that movie EVER again. At one point in the movie theater I was so freaked out that I told The Hunter we can leave. I could care less at that point what happens to the family. I wanted out!!

So, now you know. I'm not afraid of mass murderers or rapists...it's aliens in the cornfield. Completely unrealistic I know. And just so ya'll know....I'm very well armed if anyone tries to come out here and think it's all funny to scare me. I'm just saying...











My New View

Last week we finished packing, moving and unpacking our house in preparation for a move four hours south. I use the term WE loosely...VERY VERY loosely. I highly recommend movers. This will make my 20th move in my lifetime and the first time I had professional movers who packed, moved and unpacked my whole house for me. Marselle packed my whole kitchen for me in a matter of hours. He then put it on a truck and UNPACKED it for me at the new house. Highly recommend movers. One guy in the kitchen. One guy in the living room. One guy in the bedrooms and about 4 guys in the basement. They even took the beds apart and put them back together at the new house. Then after it was all boxed up they hauled it to the truck in the pouring rain. Highly recommend movers! Have I mentioned that?? The movers packed the entire house in one day. On day two they loaded (in the rain). Day three they drove to the new house. We arrived at the new house the night before and slept on air mattresses. Have you ever seen the movie Funny Farm? Everyone was making jokes about the movers not showing up and we would have to sleep on the floor and I would of course have to hoard the food.





Yeah, that's not funny! But no worries.....our truck arrived. I'm not sure when those guys slept because they came rolling up the road at 9am. It's at least a 5 hour trip from were they were. They backed the truck in and got organized.

The first item off the truck was the most important.


Even if I never have professional movers again I learned some great packing tips. I've never seen someone pick up items so heavy and move them with such ease. They packed everything so well! I did not have one single nick or scratch on anything! They even packed some things I didn't want..haha! I tried to get organized before the movers came. I went around the house and put things where they belonged. I put books with books, DVDs with other DVDs...if it went together I tried to put it where it belonged. I found 8 or 10 little packets of diaper cremes that I have received as freebies in the last 6 years. My kids never had diaper rash so I never used this stuff. I piled it all together cause I was going to give it to someone who might need it or drop it off at church. Totally forgot about it. Not even sure where it was but I unpacked it yesterday. They were all carefully wrapped in paper along with a VBS flyer!


The view from my new front porch. Yeah, it's pretty flat but there are no neighbors, no dogs barking, no stereos going by. And of course it's pointed toward home...south.







































Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Enabling my habit

Definition of a good friend: someone who drives out of their way and then comes over in the pouring rain to bring me something that will make me VERY happy.
Mexican Coca-Cola....sigh..... It's made with real cane sugar and not with high fructose corn syrup and I'm loving it! It makes my habit a little healthier...haha! (it's my blog and what I say is true!) Nikki bought me 6 bottles and I have one left....I'm hording it till I find another source. Thanks Nikki!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Great Friends Never Go Out of Style

This week I am moving away from probably the best group of girl friends I have ever had in my life. When I moved here 4 years, 1 month and 2 days ago (not that I'm counting) I thought it would only be temporary and I didn't care if I met anyone. Boy, I couldn't have been any more wrong. I used to joke that I would go to Wal-Mart and wouldn't see a single living soul that I knew and how odd it felt. Now I run in for one thing and can't get out for all the people I have to stop and talk to and all the time I have to spend taking phone calls and texts. Thank God for such problems, huh?

These women and I are all SO different but we each click with each other in such a unique way. I have learned so much about myself.....how to be a better friend, mother and wife with this group. I could not have survived without these women the past couple of years! Between all my girlfriends we have 27 children but we still found the time for so many moments of laughter, tears, praying, heartache, shopping, bitchy moments, puking children, knitting, pool visits, play lands, scrapbooking, fevers, movies, road trips, shopping trips, texts, emails, midnight Facebook chats, dinners, lunches, snacks, picnics, parks, stroller trips, and even one bat.

To sum it all up in one sentence is hard but I'm going to try....
  • Rachel taught me to knit. I can't even begin to tell you what a rewarding experience that has been.
  • Nikki taught me the power of the almighty coupon and where all the best bargain places are.
  • Liz taught me there are better ways to vacuum the carpet and that Western riding isn't the ONLY way.
  • Penny showed me some great gardening tips and how to eat healthier.
  • Esther showed me it's ok to laugh at yourself and you can read the bible and still be cool.
  • Sarah taught me the proper use of a Lysol wipe and not all doctor's wives are the same.
  • Cheryl made me laugh and shared my great love for all things paper.
  • Sami for being such a wonderful smiling face on day 1 and day 1408.
  • Stephanie H. shared my love of a good book.
  • Stephanie B. shared my love of the Oprah show and all things Eddie Bauer.
  • Chris has been such a great cheerleader for me....always a smile and a positive word.
  • Renea taught me not all questions need answered.
  • Jennifer taught me that people aren't always what they seem on the outside...sometimes they are even better.

That is probably what I have learned most about living here....appearances aren't what they seem. People are just people...they are the same pretty much everywhere. With that being said I pray I find another group of girls JUST as good as these...they can't be better that's for sure....nobody could be better!

Not everyone who has touched my life has been mentioned but know that you are loved just as much. I will miss everyone!

Love you guys and can't wait to see you again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For the Checker Champion

My dad has been the Illinois Checker Champion off and on for years now. What??? You didn't know there was a Illinois Checker Championship? Well, there is! It's a big deal...for the checker players. So, what do you get the Illinois Checker Champion for his birthday? Well, a picture of checkers of course! My dad is so hard to buy for cause he has everything and can go and buy anything he wants so I try to be creative. I found this cool print on Etsy at Bricolagelife


Happy Birthday Daddy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Waterpark Fun

The girls on our way to the waterpark. They could not have been more excited. The trip started out being an all-mom thing. We were all going to leave the kids at home and enjoy ourselves at the waterpark. But everybody bailed on us and the Farmerfoley and myself decided to take the girls. We had just as much fun as the girls did I think!

The slides were too much fun and a bit scary I thought. I do not like the dark tunnels...how is that fun?! But the wave pool was a super hit! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I tried body surfing and of course my timing was a bit off.

The day was a success...the mom's were EXHAUSTED and the girls ready to hit another park!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bent and Dent

We don't buy much prepackaged foods at our house. Mainly because it's expensive, it's full of processed crap and it's expensive. I try to buy in bulk and then make most things from scratch. Not everything...but most things. This is great except when I am in a hurry or I don't really feel like cooking. Times like that it would be really nice to just rip open a box of something and feed it to the kids.

So, the All-Natural Mama tells me about this Amish bent and dent store up in what I consider the North Country. So, while the hubby's are watching the kids, Nikki, All-Natural Mama and myself go grocery shopping and boy are we excited.
After we finished convincing Nikki that eating food from dented cans wouldn't kill her we cleaned up! Four boxes of cereal for $1.25, baked beans for .20 cents, two bottles of salad dressing for .25 cents, and boxes of cake mix for .25 cents just about made me giddy! I only spent $26 and went home with a whole cart full of food. We had lunch at a local bar and grill that I have never been to. All-Natural Mama said we HAD to eat there at least once before I left town. Nothing like hitting all the hot spots in town right before I leave. I didn't have the cheese sandwiches but I did have the chili and it was GREAT! It was smothered in cheese of course....cause that's how they do it in Wess-con-sin. The ceiling was covered in money and signs. I was told once a year they take the money down and donate it to charity. I'm still not sure how they get it up there. They had games you could play while eating. Nikki found one that...yup...pretty much sums her up in 2 words. But that's why we get along so well.
















Monday, July 13, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been inspired by the All-Natural Mama to make homemade laundry soap. I've been trying to cut down on the number of chemicals in the house and save some money. If I save more money then that's money I can spend at Eddie Bauer.

These are your cast of characters.
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) I found this at our local grocery store.
  • 1/2 cup Borax powder (I found this at Wal-Mart)
  • 1/3 bar Dr. Bronner's bar soap (I bought this from the local co-op but you can find it anywhere that sells all natural soaps.) You can use any kind of soap or scent you like but remember if you want it to be all natural pick a soap with no chemicals or dyes.

First, you grate the soap into a cooking pot. I started out using the hand grater and decided this was going to take WAY too long so I got out the big guns. Can't go wrong with the Cuisinart food processor. It chopped up the bar of soap in no time!!It was so much fun to put the bar of soap through the food processor that I messed up my recipe. I sliced up the whole bar before I even realized it!! Well, you know me....I do everything a little half-ass so I decided it was fine. So far it hasn't messed up the recipe so I guess it was ok. I poured the shavings into the cooking pot and then added 6 cups of water and heated it until the soap melted. You then add the washing soda and borax and stirred until dissolved. Remove pot from heat and pour 2 gallons of hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture to a 5 gallon bucket and stir thoroughly. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it should be a gel. Mine did not turn into a gel after 24 hours. I don't know if it was the added soap or what. Two days later it did turn more gel-like. I poured the mixture into a old detergent bottle and I'm using the lid to measure it into the wash....about 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load. As you can see this isn't an exact science so if it's too hard after 24 hours add a little more hot water and let sit for 24 more hours.

This only took about 15 minutes of my time and I should be able to wash about 110 loads of laundry at about a dollar a bucket. How does that compare with your store bought?



















Friday, July 10, 2009

Fishing and Friends

Our friend Deb invited us all to her pond to fish the afternoon away. When we got there it was very rainy and cold but the kids didn't seem to notice. I didn't bother with a fishing pool....I had my knitting!The kids actually sat and fished for awhile. Sissy sat down, crossed her legs, and got very serious about the catching of the fish. Bubby would just yell anytime he caught one. Deb finally caught one!! Shhh...don't tell her I told you but she refused to bait her own hook! The kids on the other hand were playing with the worms and giving them all names. After they tired of the fishing they just played in the yucky water. They refused to tuck their pants into their books so they were wet up to their knees. Bubby's boots were filled with water! and he didn't seem to notice. He would walk by and we would ask him if his feet were wet and he would always say nope...even though we could hear the water sloshing around.

The kids had so much fun and can't wait to go back again. The Hunter and I had a very relaxing afternoon....him fishing and me knitting. Just the way it should be.





























































Thursday, July 9, 2009

Painting with Friends

All-Natural Mama invited us all over to her house to finger-paint. The kids had such a good time and I'm so glad she volunteered HER house and not mine. Sissy wore her 3-D glasses cause you 'never know when you'll get paint in your eyes'. After painting Nate took the kids out to play ball. He was so patient with them! All those boys and bats....oh my!Bubby taking a swing at the ball and LOVING it!