Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We shouldn't be allowed to carve.

I know that's what people are thinking as they drive by and see this.

Italian sweet cream coffeemate is a little bit of heaven.

I am eating a Gardenburger right now. yum!

Emily went to bed at 7:30 two nights in a row. She's a tired girl.

We have been watching our pennies lately so I have been cutting coupons, watching ads and going to several different stores to shop. I thought it wouldn't pay off but check out how much I saved just this week:

9 items
spent $5.64
saved $12.92
got free almay mascara

44 items
spent $27.10
saved $58.36
got 10 free 2 liters of pop

Fred Meyer
spent $35
saved $12.11
got a free furnace filter. i feel like this one should say I saved more because everything I bought was on sale then I had a coupon for it. If I added it up that way my savings would be closer to $20.

That's $83.39 I saved this week alone! I think that's pretty great. I watched the Coupon Mom on Oprah a few weeks ago and she got my interest piqued. I have since found sites like and $5 dinners that I am excited to explore. I don't pay full price for anything else, why should I pay full price for groceries? The secret, I'm learning, is don't buy things when you need them, buy when they are on sale. It's only taken me 13 years to figure that out.

At this moment I have 22 boxes of cereal in my pantry

I am thinking about doing a Christmas album like this one from Ali.

We bought a new dining room table. Well actually we put a down payment on it and put it on layaway. I took Rob to look at it and although he didn't think it was as great as I did he liked it. It is 9 inches wider than our current table, has two leaves so we can finally have company over and all sit at the table, has fabulous legs, and, this is my favorite part, it's old. It was owned by someone before us and maybe even someone before them. If it could talk it would have numerous stories to tell. Oh how I wish it could talk. We have 90 days to get it but with all these pennies I'm saving I'm hoping we can have it home sooner than later. It doesn't come with chairs but I saw this idea and love it. Guess I will be on the hunt for cheap chairs soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

saturday sunday monday


traditions and birthdays

every year the girls on rob's side of the family get together for craft day. this year the girls wanted to bag crafting and go shopping instead. we started out with lunch at grandma reed's then headed out. we went to several stores and i managed to find a few things i couldn't live without including a dining room table that i must show rob. after shopping we went to my second cousins 1st birthday party. make sense? it's hard to believe that only a year ago we were at the hospital awaiting his arrival and all too soon we are celebrating his first year. time, please slow down. i took my camera to get pictures of these occasions but i had a water bottle in my purse and all 24 ounces ended up at the bottom of it. i was terrified that my four month old camera was kapoot but thank the lord above it is dried out and fine.


pumpkin carving extravaganza

rich and steph started a tradition last year to have pumpkin carving at their house the sunday before halloween. the whole hines/smith clan arrive invade their house and spend the evening carving pumpkins, eating, laughing, and having a good time. all of our pumpkins turned out crappy this year. i made an owl and the whole face fell out. em made a flower and hers got demolished on the way home and fell out. rob made a spider and his, too, got roughed up on the way home and the spider is almost all the way out. taylor demolished his by carving both sides and basically it looks like two big holes. the only one that looks good is austin's and that only because he didn't carve his. it still looks brand new. our jack o' lanterns look pretty sad on our front porch. these are all the pumpkins together. they don't look half bad from far away.


learning to fly

austin has had a thing for flying for a long time. matt has too. he is in the process of finishing up air traffic controller school and as part of that is getting his private license. for austin's birthday he got him a flight with a friend of ours, tim, who owns jet stream aviation. i really wanted to go with austin but he wanted rob to go with him, and he graciously allowed taylor to tag along too. today was the big day and tim did an outstanding job. when we got to the plane he told austin that he was going to let him sit in the pilot seat and help fly the plane. austin was in heaven and scared to death at the same time. i watched as they all got strapped in and ready to go and was jealous that i wasn't in there but so happy that they got to go together. they had a great flight and austin has been bit by the flying bug. tim said that if we wanted to get him a flight log book he would log this in as his first flight since he helped with the taxiing, take off, flying and landing the plane. so, so cool.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This week...

Emily and I were listening to her Mamma Mia CD before bed and I was dancing to 'Honey Honey'. When I was done she said, "When you did the dizzy part, that was fantastic. The rest was kinda bad." I about died laughing and then I kissed her all over her face.

I started the Beth Moore bible study Stepping Up. I am a huge Beth Moore fan and have a hard time doing other studies because of it. I love her style, her humor, and mostly her abundant love for the Lord. She has never incorporated music into her studies but she is having Travis Cottrell do a song before each session. He sang My Passion today. Fabulous. Can't wait to hear more. If you are not doing this study make no excuses and get your booty in gear. You will not be disappointed.

I am trying to decide on Emily's costume. We were going to go cheap and have her wear a Barbie Island Princess dress that she has and has worn maybe once. Our neighbors have a Cindy Lou Hoo wig that is adorable and I want her to be that but she is embarrassed to wear the wig. I guess we have a week to talk her into it.

I am ready for the weekend. Tacos, enchiladas, my uncle's salsa, a new guacamole recipe and the BSU game. Can't wait for Friday night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We headed to the patch when Rob got home from work yesterday. I was being lame and wanted to get pumpkins at the grocery store. Taylor wasn't having any of that so we ended up at Linder Farms and I am so happy that we did. They have so much to do there. Petting zoo, hay rides, corn maze, food, and of course...pumpkins! It was an absolutely gorgeous day too. We couldn't have asked for anything better. The only downfalls to the day were I got partially stung by a bee, meaning that it stung me but the stinger didn't go all the way in...stupid bee, and Taylor got bit by the camel when he was feeding it. Other than that it was perfect.

Nothing says teenager like a cell phone stuck in your ear while picking pumpkins.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This and That

I watched an episode of the show that goes along with Spain...A Culinary Road Trip. It's on PBS and it was surprisingly funny, entertaining and informative all in one. Now if I could just remember what day and time it was on...

On the note of cooking I am a little annoyed that Rachel Ray's show isn't on anymore. I don't know if they took it off the air or just off channel nine. Either way I don't get to see it anymore. She is annoying to listen to but her recipes are great. I guess I will have to frequent her website more for recipes but it will never be the same.

Rob got all of us together yesterday for a hike in the foothills. It was a beautiful fall day and we actually had a good time once Taylor quit complaining about why we were just walking. I don't think he got the concept of walking without a destination. He eventually caught on and had a good afternoon. They have two huge trees at the start of the trail so on our way back the boys wanted to stop and climb them. Austin came prepared with his backpack full of ropes and caribiners. He was hanging from that tree like he knew what he was doing.

I won $25 to Shutterfly from Bloggy Giveaways. I think I may use it towards Christmas cards. Or a photo book.

BSU won on Friday. I never in my 30 something years would've thought that I would actually care about a football team. Strange, but I do. My dad must be so proud.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jumpin' and where'd you get that 'tude?

Emily was jumping rope last night and she was crackin me up because she would not close her mouth.

And this kid...

is about to drive me to drink. He turned 13 and developed an attitude overnight. I have never in my 13 years of raising him had to talk to him about his attitude as much as I have this week. Every night he is trying me on something else. And that mouth. Sheesh. I've decided the terrible twos are nothing. We should lose sleep over the terrible teens. And I'm tired already.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sweet tooth

Just to show you I haven't completely gone healthy I made pretzel hugs today. Yummm. I figured they would be good because I love white chocolate and pretzel together. Not only are they good they are completely dangerous because they are bite size. Don't let that stop you though.

1 bag pretzels
1 pkg. M&Ms
1 pkg. Hershey Hugs

Place pretzels on baking sheet. Place a Hug on each pretzel and bake at 200 degrees for about 8 minutes (just watch for the Hugs to melt). Remove from oven and promptly place a couple of M&Ms on each pretzel, pressing into the melted chocolate. Allow to cool before serving. At room temperature, this takes SEVERAL hours. I would recommend making these the day before you plan on eating/delivering. Or you can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

In other happenings...some (insert dirty word here) hacked into my paypal account and tried to do six transactions that amounted to over $1500. And they were all to come out of our checking account. Thankfully I noticed it first thing this morning and was able to take care of it.
**The sad part was I had to close our 13 year old account and open a new one. We got that account when we got married.
**The mad part is I have to go through all of our bills and figure out which ones I paid this month that haven't cleared yet and call them so when our payment doesn't go through they will know why and I have to go to all of our e-bills and change our account information. Such a pain. It also means no debit card for at least a week and new checks. Pretty much an inconvenience all around.

Here's a question for you. The last couple weeks when I blow my nose it feels like air comes out of my right tear duct. Is that weird?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Food for thought

Since we joined jus almost a year ago my whole thought process about food and how it affects our health has changed. I have never been a statistics girl. I always thought they were pointless. I mean who actually comes up with these number and how do they do it. Well I have started paying more attention to them lately and health statistics are staggering, scary and almost completely preventable. Look at these on diabetes alone:

• In 2025, up to 80 percent of Americans will be overweight (body mass
index (BMI) of 26 or greater—meaning at least 26 percent of body weight
is fat) and 50 percent will have progressed to obesity (BMI of 30 or
greater). The lifetime risk of being overweight or obese is higher for
• Given the increase in obesity by 2025, the lifetime risk of getting diabetes
for those Americans born in the year 2000 will be over 40 percent,
ranging from 30 percent for white males to 60 percent for Hispanic
• In 2025, the average person with diabetes will die 15 years prematurely
and suffer a disease burden of over 20 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)
lost. Black females with early onset of diabetes in their 20s will lose 19
years of life and about 30 QALYs.

Those statistics tell me that Taylor and Emily, because they were born in and after the year 2000 will have a 30-40% chance of being diagnosed with diabetes and because of that could die 15 years early.

Did you also know that we are raising the first generation of children who will be outlived by their parents? You can google it. There is article after article on the subject. Does that scare you? Because it scares the crap out of me.

Do you know why these statistics are true? As stated in The China Study-
“The answer to the American health crisis is the food that each of us chooses to put in our mouths each day. It is as simple as that.”

Seems like such an easy fix doesn't it. Change what we eat. I was walking through the grocery store a couple weeks ago and kept passing a woman that had four kids with her. Every time I passed her cart I would glance in and I was taken back at the stuff she was putting in there. Chicken nuggets. Taquitos. Boxed meals. Microwave meals. I wanted to stop her and say "Do you know what you are doing to your children's bodies?"

As a mother I would never do anything to intentionally harm my kids. But what am I doing every time I make them something that is full of chemicals, preservatives, sodium and sugar. I am sending them straight down the path to a lifetime of health problems. And why? So I can make the meal that takes 10 minutes instead of taking an hour to make them something that will do their bodies good.

Thankfully I have never been a chicken nuggets or taquitos for dinner kind of gal. I've always tried to be proactive in making my family meals that are healthy. That's not to say we don't eat fast food or I have never made something from a box because I have plenty of times, but I have always tried to be conscious of what I was putting into my kids mouths. It doesn't take a genius to read the side of a box and see the junk that goes into that stuff.

Why am I sounding off on this today? Because it doesn't have to be this way. Our children don't have to live a life full of illness and obesity. We can do things now to change their future. It doesn't take much. Make your meals instead of buying prepackaged. Buy fruit and dehydrate it as a snack for your kids. My kids eat the devil out of dried fruit. Be conscious of what you are buying. Go for the Kashi cereal and put honey on it instead of buying sugared cereal that has nothing of value in it. There are a million little things that will go a long way to insuring the health of your family.

Knowledge is power. Let's use it for good.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to my not so little boy. 13! I can hardly stand it.

Rob did a Bible study last year called Quest for Authentic Manhood. One thing it talked about was ceremonializing certain milestones in a young boys life on the way to becoming a man. Rob took that step and Friday Austin stayed home from school so they could go hunting and spend some time together. When they were done they packed up the truck and headed out for a night of camping. For the ceremony part Rob invited men up that have been or will have a direct involvement in Austin's life. They had dinner then they went around the circle and each man either told a life lesson they have learned or gave Austin some encouragement as it relates to growing up and what kind of man they want him to become. Rob said it was the most awesome night. He was so happy to have men show up that truly care about Austin and want to help see him into adulthood. Rob also said God was in the whole thing. Friday was C-O-L-D. Friday evening it was snowing. But not where they were. They were really cold and decided to come home Friday night instead of staying up there. Rob said when they drove home there was snow all around them but not one flake had fallen where they were.

I know this will be a night that Austin will always remember. As he put it "It's night something you could easily forget", and I am so thankful that Rob is taking an active part in raising our boys to be godly men.

Last night we had family over to celebrate. I am so glad we have family close that can celebrate things like this with us. Austin ended up with lots of cash, gift cards, new dirt biking pants and jersey and even a flight with Tim that was given to him by the pilot in the family. He is stoked about that one. He also got a quilt top. Unfortunately, even after the last minute, late night, last ditch effort by my mom, aunt and I that had us cutting, and sewing till much later than I wanted, it took too long quilting Taylor's quilt to get Austin's done too. We plan on going in this week or next to finish the job.

Other than that we don't have much going on. I took a two hour nap on Saturday which is totally out of the ordinary for me. I hate naps. I take maybe two a year and they only happen if I lay down and just happen to fall asleep. I usually wake up feeling worse than I did before I laid down and I just think there is way too much good stuff to do in life besides sleeping it away. Rob was watching a game on the bed and I came in and got so sleepy all of a sudden. Before I knew it it was two hours later. I must have really needed it. It couldn't be because last week Rob was out of town and every time I went to turn the TV off I would hear a noise and decide I would leave it on a little while longer. I ended up not going to sleep until 1:00. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." My mind was definitely unsound that night. He is going to be gone again so I may need to tape that to the ceiling above my bed. I usually don't have a problem staying alone but at our meal exchange the conversation went to being home alone and things that have happened to some of the girls and I just got freaked out. Great timing. It's going to be a long three nights if I don't get it under control.

Tonight is Bunko night. Steph and I are hosting. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tag...I'm it

Erin tagged me and even though I really should be working on The Quilt I am going to do this anyway. 6 things about moi.

1-I cannot and/or will not drink leftover milk from my cereal. By the time I'm done eating it is a little too warm for me and the thought of drinking it makes me want to gag.

2-The toilet paper has to come over the top of the roll. It's so hard to find it when it comes from the bottom. There are those(mom) who would strongly disagree, but in my house that's the way it is.

3-If I ever won the lottery, and I mean the big time lottery, I would buy myself an island in the Caribbean to sun bathe, swim and sail my life away.

4-I. Love. Disneyland. I know it's commercial and there are too many whiny kids and it's expensive but get past all that and it is a magical place. I hadn't been in about 10 years when Rob and I took the kids two years ago. I had forgotten how great it was and why I loved it so much but get a few steps inside those gates and it hits you. Magic.

5-My grandma and grandpa gave me my great great grandmothers wedding band when I got married. The inscription inside says "Albert to Minnie Oct. 8/'98". 1898. It is 110 years old. I love the history of it. I love that she wrote out the story of the two of them and even how they both died. I love that ring.

and finally
6-I hate hotel beds. Why o why do they have to tuck the stinkin sheets in so tight?! I lay there and it makes me so mad that I have to physically get up and untuck the sheets just so my feet can move. So annoying.

Just for kicks and grins I tag Kelly, Jen and Alisha.

Monday, October 6, 2008

So this week...

I have to make Austin's birthday quilt. Yep, I procrastinated and left myself seven days to finish an entire quilt. I think I can get the top done with three full days of work. That leaves one day to do the letters and borders and then try to get it machine quilted sometime Friday or Saturday. Hopefully. That's how it goes in my head. We'll see if it pans out in real life.

We finally did our meal exchange last night. My freezer is stocked and I am stoked. Five of us hung out afterwards for coffee and conversation. It always makes me happy to hang out with women who are in the same place as me. Stephanie said it best. "I love being a girl".

Austin has become a killing machine. Rob took the boys out on Saturday for some pheasant hunting and as he put it "There was one bird, he had one shot and he got it". Of course then Taylor chimes in that Dad had to twist its neck because it was twitching. What made it funnier was when they showed me the bird its head was just hanging there. By a feather you might say. I'm not sure what Rob is planning on doing with all that meat. We have baggies full of dove, quail and now pheasant. I guess he'll have to have a hunting guys night and invite people that will eat it to come and partake. I won't be there.

Oh, and remember the story I told you about the guy that wrote me a poem in high school about how beautiful I was(and I'm paraphrasing here), well there was an article about him in the Statesman yesterday and he is now appearing on Heroes. If he could just win an Emmy then maybe I could get some money for that masterpiece.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tis the season **ETA PICTURES**

To break out these babies.

I had me some Pumpkin Spice this morning. Mmm Mmm. I would have to say that flavored creamers are the only reason I drink coffee. I can't quite fathom why people drink it black. Just don't get it.

Austin gets his braces today. Poor fella. He will only have to wear them for 18 months though. That beats the four years that I had to wear them. And my teeth weren't that bad. Plus he's getting it over with at a young age. He'll have beautiful teeth by the time he enters high school. No that he needs any help. I don't mean to brag but look at the kid. He's pretty easy on the eyes.

I'll be back later today with a before and after.

Before and after of our little brace face :o)

He was being a bit of a twit when we got home so this is the best picture I got. He looks so grown up with them on. 18 months and counting...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting back in the groove

It's always hard after being gone. I always have a great time when we are out of town but getting back in the groove is hard. There is always a huge pile of laundry, unpacking and catching up with the kids. Lots of things to do but I am wading through them slowly. The laundry is almost caught up, the bags are unpacked(even though the suitcases are still out) and the kids haven't stopped talking since we got home.

Since the kids don't have school today or tomorrow they were farmed out all over town. Austin is at Taylor's, Emily is at my parents and Tay is with me. He was such a good sport to tag along with me to the grocery store. I am doing another meal exchange so I had to get the rest of my ingredients. To make it up to him we went to Sonic for lunch and got a couple movies at Redbox. That seemed to do the trick. We came home and ate and then I spent the next couple hours working on my first meal. Corn chowder. It is the perfect cold weather dish but after making eight meals worth I don't want to eat it for a while.

I wrenched my back yesterday. Chrisanna and I took down a white board at church and carried it to storage. I must be really out of shape because when I got home the left side of it hurt. I went to Fred Meyer and at one point didn't think I would be able to make it back to the car. because it hurt so much to pick up my left leg. Seriously. How lame is that. I did make it to my car but it hurt all night and a little today. I can feel the pain just trying to come back. Goody.

While I was at Fred Meyer I picked up some hair color so Steph and I could play salon. I have only had Abby color my hair (minus the one time I got it cut and colored in Florida and had to have several inches cut off my hair to fix it) so I was a little nervous. But lo and behold it turned out great. It's definitely not a salon job but for $3.49 plus tax it couldn't have turned out better. So that's what's happening here. What's going on with you?