Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WFMW- Curb the Munchies

Whenever I'm cooking dinner I found myself snacking on things as I go. I mean that's reasonable I'm hungry and wanting to eat, but not so good because it's almost dinnertime. Same thing with cleaning up after dinner I find myself picking at the leftovers, why, because they are there! Many times I'm not even hungry I just find myself needing to exercise my chompers so this is what I do...I pop a piece of sugar free gum in my mouth and go to town. I prefer Orbit or Trident and hey it's supposed to clean your teeth at the same time!! By the time the flavor runs out of the gum I find my need to chew usually has passed and I'm safely out of the kitchen without devouring a bunch of food I wasn't really hungry for. If you don't like gum keep some celery sticks and carrots handy, I like to crunch on these too!

So there it is my very enlightening tip for this Wednesday:)
Head over to Shannon's for more!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Did it Again!

Well, I missed my Memorable Moment Monday post again!!! We've had a busy last several of days with family in and Em's First Communion. It was a beautiful weekend and I will share lots of pictures and fun soon. But yesterday Soph was not feeling well, I believed she was just sad her Grandparents were all leaving that day. I got her off to school late only to have the nurse call a couple of hours later to tell me she was running a temp. of 101!! Poor thing. She slept most of the day and started running a temp of 103.8, yikes... After a call to the nurse last night we were finally able to get some Tylenol down her and her temp came down. She is still running a low grade temp this morning but feeling much better. So after I get done changing and cleaning bed linens, towels, pajamas and chasing after Little One, I will try to download some pictures from this weekend!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday...Itty Bitty Book Lights

My tip for today is about Itty Bitty Book Lights, those little lights that clip onto the book you are reading. My sister gave one to Soph and Em last Christmas. They love them because they share a room and they can both crawl into bed and if one feels like reading and the other doesn't there are no arguments about turning off the lights, etc. Many nights they both use their lights as they read and when they get tired they turn off their own little light and are fast asleep in minutes. (The girls go to bed early enough on school nights that they have time to read for a little while)

Also, if one of your children wants a night light on and the other likes it dark these little lights can be clipped to the side of the kids bed and is just enough light for the one who is scared of the dark and not bother the one who likes the dark ( I always sneak in and turn it off once my child is asleep).

Anyway, if you have kiddos of varying ages who share rooms this little light might alleviate some nighttime arguments.

They're also great for the car when driving at night!

For more tips head over to Shannon's!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Memorable Moment Monday (on Wednesday)

Being grateful and not taking things for granted.

Yep, that's my memorable moment for today. I realize I take so many things for granted from the little things to the big things. For the last month I've been having some health issues and to spare you the details let's just say I pretty much believed I had cancer or some other terrible disease. On Friday I saw a specialist and after some camera's were inserted into my body and I laid on a table that talked to me while moving around taking pictures of my insides as I was injected with dye that made me feel as if I wet my pants, I was given the clear. Praise the Lord!

One of my daughter's has been talking to me for months, telling me what is bothering her the best way she knows how and I have only been semi-listening! Then pow your world explodes into lots of little pieces and you suddenly realize you haven't been listening, really listening. And I'm grateful that I now know we have some work to do and that it will all be okay.

I take for granted that WB can fix or build just about anything around the homestead. While building some stairs up to our front door (he was moving heavy RR ties around by himself), he comes into the house and I know something is wrong. He tells me it's his knee...he had surgery on it in feels funny. So today we have a doctor's appt. and I pray all is well. But, if not, we are grateful for the months he had with no problems, he got a lot done!!

Each day is a gift, I'm trying not to take it for granted and being grateful for each moment!

***I'm grateful I finally finished this post after three days:)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hip, Hip, Hooray...We Got Our New Counter Tops The Other Day!

In December we started looking at new counter tops for our kitchen. In February WB got his bonus and we ran down to Home Depot to pay for some silestone quartz counter tops. We had already picked the color, talked with the design person, decided on silestone instead of granite for its antimicrobial protection and kid friendly properties.
Since then we have had them measure and make a template, look surprised when what we paid was apparently a few hundred dollars short of what they wanted, argued over numbers and how to measure surface area (don't you know they love it when they see an engineer coming their way), waited on manager approval to waive the difference (they did and with an apology!), and finally they are in!!!
It took from 9:00 to 2:30 to get the job done, but yee haw it's finished. We went without counter tops for one day, without a sink for two, which meant no cooking for mom, yee haw squared.
Since you are dying to see it I'm sure, here are the pictures:

They were just laminate tops.


Then sarcastic WB asked if I was getting a good shot of his backside. I was trying to ignore his cute tush, but since he mentioned it.... Pioneer Woman did a post on Wrangler's and even though I thought it to be a nice piece, I prefer Wranglers on WB the most! Okay, sorry, back to the kitchen.

I love them and I especially love my new sink. It is nice and deep and wide and will hold my large casserole dishes. In fact, I could probably load up a majority of my dishes in this sink all at once...that could be dangerous! The sink was actually free, a promo they were running. Oh, and I love the high curved faucet and soap dispenser. I feel like a new woman!! We got a new range and microwave back in January and someday my noisy dishwasher will be replaced, but it still works so it might be awhile.
I plan on spray painting the hardware on the cabinets with a textured silver paint. I saw that on a home show once and it is a lot cheaper then new hardware. So we'll see how that goes. Oh, and I want some of those lights that hang down over the island. But for now I'm so happy with this and I'm happy it's paid for!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

I've been trying to post my new kitchen counter tops for two days and I keep having problems with blogger. First it wouldn't save, now it won't download the rest of my pictures! Urghhh...
I will keep trying.
Today it turned very cold, wind chill in the 20's. Yes, it was 85 yesterday and supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow! Gotta love this panhandle of Texas weather:) Of course we've been planting away so hopefully all our flowers will survive or I will cry. I mean really cry after all the money and time we've been putting into our flower gardens.
We had a landscape architect come out last year and draw up plans for the front yard. We experimented at our last house and after 10 years had things about where we wanted them. I didn't want to wait that long this time...hey, I'm getting older by the minute!! So, anyway he drew up some nice plans for us and we have been working on getting all the flower beds made and established. Of course they could come in and do that for you but I would have had to take out a second mortgage on our house to do it. Some day I will post our before and present pictures of the property. It was a huge mess when we first moved in...weeds, I mean native plants up to our waist and no sidewalk to the front door, etc. etc. We won't even go into the critters that had made themselves at home in our front yard! It has been an adventure, but we are getting there.
Okay, babbled long enough, I'll keep working on those pics.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WFMW- Unloading Groceries

So what I'm about to share is not rocket science, in fact many of you probably already use this technique, but I'm going to share with you my ahhhhaaaa moment. Today when returning home from the grocery with a trunk full of sacks and a fussy 1 year old I dreaded the unloading of the groceries. I spotted my kids red wagon in the garage and that's when I had my ahhhaaa moment. So I wheeled it to the back of the car, unloaded my groceries into it and in one trip took my groceries into the house with Little One one hip. It sure beat the numerous trips to the car I usually make bouncing Little One on one hip and carrying bag with my free arm. Or putting her in high chair screaming the whole time I unload. I'm all about efficiency here at Cotton-Top Hills (read I'm lazy at heart). I also group my groceries on the counter according to where they go in my kitchen...cabinet, refrigerator, or outside freezer. And when I have some helpers this really goes quickly.

That's my earth shattering tip this Wednesday for more head over to Shannon's!

Monday, April 14, 2008

MMM- Tutu's and Athletic Socks

This weekend my daughters entertained me with what was titled "The Dance of the Three Sisters." Em set up her keyboard and played Bach, Pachelbel, Beethoven, etc. as they danced around the room. I need to stress they have no formal dance training as of yet, which is probably quite clear from the pictures. But, darn it, they sure are cute! Soph has this natural grace, which I know she did not inherit from her mother and Em has rhythm, again not from me. Little One has just started to bounce and nod her head whenever music is played and she definitely enjoys herself.
So as I sat watching my three daughters I wondered how life could get much better. I realized it probably doesn't and what blessings I have with these three precious little girls. That was my memorable moment for this week!

Soph and Little One, who is watching the birds.

"Twirl me more sissy!"

"This is how you hold your dress gracefully."

No ballet slippers for my girls, athletic socks work just fine. If you look close enough you can see the mud on their legs from their rousing game of football right before the performance.
The last act...

Sleeping Beauty!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hooray for Kindergarten Teachers

I forgot how crazy it can get in a classroom of twenty five and six - year olds. I had fifteen four year olds one year, without an aide, so you would think I would not forget the busy, busy, and often chaotic atmosphere that surrounds you while working with the little cherubs. And if you throw painting and a fussy 1 year old into the bunch it's really a rockin' time. I am tired and so glad I threw something into the crock pot this morning.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my kiddos school and being Soph's homeroom Mom that puts me in charge of her class. The PTO decided we'd all make totes with the students painted fingerprints as artwork. We made a lovely garden and it turned out really cute. It would have been a breeze if 1. I had worn knee pads as I was kneeling on the floor assisting with the painting for an hour and 2. I did not have fussy Little One in tow. At one point I was kneeling, holding Little One in one arm and dipping little fingers in paint with the other hand.

Em had gone outside at recess, not sure why since the wind is blowing 50 MPH, really, that is not an exaggeration. She managed to get a big chunk of dirt in her eye and as soon as I walked into the school I was greeted by her music teacher who thought I was there to pick her up. So I checked in on her and her poor eye looked a mess so she got to go painting with me. I'm happy to report her eye seems to be fine now and it was actually nice to have her help in the classroom.

Whew, I'm glad I got that all done and behind me. Teachers deserve a special week, heck they deserve a blessed life. And I don't just say that as a former teacher, but as a parent who really appreciates the wisdom and kindness these women bestow on my children each day. I know there are some bad apples out there, but so far we have been blessed with really special women who definitely are fulfilling a ministry. Amen!

Okay, I am off to lay on the couch and count the freckles on my arms. On second thought I think I better do some laundry and put away clothes, oh and then there are dishes to unload and I need to dig something out to go with our pot roast....then I'll laze around:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

At the grocery store I let my kids pick the cereal they want for the next week or so. We've talked about sugar and how some cereals just have too much. For the most part my five and eight year old have figured out which cereals I will say yes to and which will get a big "no". But sometimes I feel a twinge of guilt because my favorite cereals growing up were Peanut Butter Crunch and that cereal with the little chocolate chip cookies. And I don't really remember my mom giving me a hard time about it. She did make me walk around the block for a hash brown, but that's another story.

Anyway, here's one tip: If your children like sugary cereals give them a bowl of vanilla (or their fav flavor) yogurt and sprinkle the top with the cereal. This way they are getting protein, calcium, and just a little of the sugary stuff. Great way to teach moderation!

Second tip: My five year old likes to pour her own cereal and sometimes we have half the box on the kitchen table and floor and just a little in the I put a scoop in the box and she scoops out her cereal instead of pouring it. This also helps her with how much cereal she knows she can eat. I use a scoop from my husbands protein powder or you could use a measuring cup.

Third tip: The pouring of milk...again a full gallon of milk is just asking to be spilled when little hands are pouring into the cereal bowl. I pour a little bit of milk into a glass measuring cup and this way they can pour the milk easily and it keeps them from having way too much milk in their bowl and wasting it!

Hope these tips help and head over to Shannon's for more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lost - High Plains Flight 1231

I never shared the story of downed flight 1231. It happened at the end of last year, Dec. 31st to be exact. We've needed some time to heal around here and put that doomed flight behind us. It was just to fresh to talk about it any sooner, but I think I can tell you about it now.
It all started with the anticipation of WB's birthday. The girls were excited, my parents were visiting and we were ready for a party. My hubby has his pilots licence, have I told you all that, well he does. He pretty much gave up the whole flying thing about the time the kids were born. It's an expensive hobby to keep up, he just switched to another, which is so much cheaper, not!! Anyway, he hasn't flown for awhile, which will become evident later in the story. Okay, so back to the birthday. The girls and I were in Toys R Us, what better place to look for a gift for Dad right?! We came across the radio controlled plane aisle. The pickings were pretty slim as it was right after Christmas and they had not restocked. But the girls picked out a sleek green and black Fast Lane R/C. It was a small chunk of change, but I knew it would be worth it. I imagined the hours of fun they would have flying it with their Dad. He could even teach them how to fly, from the ground that is. Yes, it would be such a beautiful bonding experience.
The girls couldn't wait to give it to him. They were so excited for him to open it and when the time finally came they almost jumped out of their skin as he unwrapped it. He was surprised by their gift, but loved it. They couldn't fly it that day because it was too windy so the next day, his actual birthday is when the flight was scheduled to take off. Em and her Dad went outside for their first flight. What happened after that is sketchy. Em has a version, WB has a version, and those of us watching from inside have some of our own ideas.
Here's the gist of it: It was still a little too windy. WB being a little rough around the edges in having not flown in awhile didn't take into account wind speed, air pressure, maximum lift-off, x=y, or whatever is done before a flight. From inside it looked like a good take off and then things went terribly wrong. The next thing we saw was WB and Em running for the canyon. When they came back empty handed we knew there was trouble.
First search party
After several search parties scoured the canyon it was determined High Plains Flight 1231 was lost.
Getting more organized, the search party pairs off.
Apparently, it was still too windy and when WB realized he was not able to get the plane back he cut the engine thinking it would just drop into the canyon. Unfortunately, it must of caught a current of wind that carried it far, far away, further than any of our search parties fared to venture. So that is the story of the fated flight and every now and then we look wistfully off to the canyon expecting to suddenly see the plane either on the hillside or stuck in some bovine creatures horn.
But so far no luck!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Memorable Moments Monday

My most memorable moment of the last week was the thoughts that go through your head as you lay running a 103 degree fever.

-why are your children standing over your body with marshmallows on the end of sticks smiling and giggling...blink,blink...oh, there they are again without the sticks and marshmallows, I guess I was just mistaking my body for a burning campfire.

-I wonder if my friends husband is on duty tonight...he pilots the lifeflight helicopter... I know he can find our house in the dark.

-when did I grow those extra body parts because things are aching I've never felt before?

-why does it feel like I've run a marathon after I walk ten yards to the bathroom?

-did I hear sizzling as you put that ice pack on my forehead?

Oh, and there were so many other crazy thoughts that ran through my head, if only I had had enough strength to write them all down at the time!! I'm sorry for my long posting break, hopefully I am now on the mend!!

Happy MMM to you:)