Monday, December 28, 2009

Craft of the Day

In my attempt at procrastination this morning, I was surfing a few of my favorite blogs. And found this adorable dish scrubber here. I thought it was cute and as an added bonus uses acrylic yarn (which I have lots of leftovers from years ago).

The theory behind it, is that acrylic yarn has fibers similar to microfibers and therefore is an excellent cleaning product, with or without soap!

It didn't take very long - maybe two hours, which seems to be the perfect amount of time for cleaning procrastination! Enough time to make me feel that I have wasted time, but not the whole day and I had something completed! I haven't used it yet, because I didn't want to use it tomato sauce... That is one downside to having a cute sponge. I love being on vacation!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

Maybe I am the only mother who does not look forward to the kids opening gifts. I love to give my kids presents - but they cause fights. Lots of fights. And we are not a fighting household. Generally, the kids are better than most kids - but they are still kids. And they are entering that age when competition and fairness are all consuming. It's not good enough they got a Wii for Christmas, it's who gets the #1 controller... Who gets to ride the new scooter, what color they get to pick for a name it, they have found something to fight over. This morning they fought over who disliked church the most...Right now I am ready to tear my hair out, if I hear one more "MOOOOOOMMMMMM!?!?" today!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa Cluas

I thought the idea of Santa Claus was a good one. I was raised with Santa and thought it would be good for my boys to have Santa too. But, since they spend quite a bit of time at Christmas with their father and his family, Santa comes about four different times each year in about 4 different locations. Explaining his existence and his ability to continually give gifts was easy with a quick - he's magic.
Not so easy anymore.
And, I'm starting to feel really guilty, because now they want these in depth explanations that really require lying. I don't want to do that. Because then what else will they start to question about what I have told them? I don't think I thought this through very well!
Some of the questions from this week:
"Is Santa alive?"
"When was he born?"
""But if St. Nicholas died, then did Santa come back to life like Jesus did?"
"Why does Santa come, when we are celebrating Jesus' birthday?"
Really, I just have lots of very lame answers...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Story of the Week

Max wanted to wrap his gift to his teacher. Not really having a box, not to mention we were giving her several handmade things such as a necklace, soap and strawberry jam - I decided that a gift bag would be better. I got Max to agree to the bag and after loading it with everything, I handed it over to him.
"Mommy, where's the stuff?" His hand waving over the top of the bag.
"All the stuff is in it, honey"
"No, mommy. The stuff!"
"You mean, tissue paper?"
"Yes, the stuff!"
"Well, we don't really need it."
"Are you a maniac?! The whole point of wrapping a present mommy, is so you can't see inside it!"
I was schooled by a 5 year old...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.
- Author Unknown

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice.

Shortest day of the year.

The first day of winter.

This is the day when the sun just seems to go away, and in certain parts of the northern world - the sun never comes up.

Today, of all days always seemed to me more appropriate to be the end of the year. Tomorrow should be New Year's Day. After all, the sun returns tomorrow. The days start getting longer, almost imperceptibly at first (depending on your latitude), but within a week, it's noticeable that the sun is setting a little bit later every day. Our traditional New Year's Day seems so arbitrary somehow.

This is the day that I always take stock. Examine my life (even more than I normally do) and decide how I want to live my life in the coming year. I don't really make New Year's resolutions, instead I look at how the way I am living my life stacks up to the way I want to live my life. Some years, I'm more on track than others.

Many things have changed for me this year. Some of them I had planned and worked hard at for years. Others have been very unexpected and painful. This next year will have many more changes. Some will be painful - for example, I will be losing my house. But almost everything this next year is an opportunity for change, growth and new beginnings.

I don't know what is in store for me and my family this year, but I'm excited!

Today is also my birthday, the start of my new year...

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- Joseph Campbell

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recycling for Labels

I had a lot of fun last year making my Kahlua labels - I cut out pretty pictures/ads or other images that appealed to me and turned them into labels with a silver pen and a little glue.

I thought they turned out nice, and it was a little recycling to boot!

This year, I decided to cut up the J. Peterman catalog. I don't usually get catalogs, but I have always enjoyed reading this one. It's sort of fantasy and romance, mixed up consumerism...probably not good for me, since I am trying to significantly cut down on the whole consumerism thing! But, I thought the pictures and descriptions would make really fun labels - and they did! It's more fun for me since I get to see them all together and my recipients might not understand the whole fun factor for me. And I tried to match the items with the recipient. A friend who loves jewelry will be getting the label with the over-the-top necklace...

I also wrote a little description for the back label - very tongue in cheek. And again, I don't know if anyone would actually read it or get the jokes...but it was fun for me!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Self Control

There are a few things in life that I have almost no self control over. Dr. Pepper is one of them. I have tried many times in my life to give it up, mostly because I know it is bad for me and not to mention a budget buster. However, the main problem with giving it up seems to be that I like it. I don't really want to give it up, I just want it not to control me.

But what I have really noticed this year is Girl Scout cookies. Shouldn't be much of a problem since they are only available once a year. This year I bought many boxes. Somewhere around the 8 mark...and I ate them all fairly in a week. But, I reasoned with myself I was writing my thesis, my sister was just diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and she and her family were moving in with me, while I wasn't even home and I was in the middle of the semester from hell...

Well, yesterday we went to Target. Max saw a cookie display next to the register and started the all out adorable campaign to convince me to buy some for me. Yes, the child tries to use my own desires against me to get what he wants, and yes this very much scares me for his future. (Doesn't usually work and we don't have cookies or candy just sitting around our house.) However, this time it worked. Mainly since I was in the mood for something sweet and he was being adorable, not obnoxious.

This was a big mistake. BIG.

Apparently, Keebler has ripped off the Girl Scouts and produces Grasshoppers, which are almost identical to Thin Mints, my cookie nemesis. I think the boys got 4 cookies each before the package was entirely eaten by me. All of them. I couldn't stop. And I want more. What do they put in these things?!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Growing Up

As I dropped off my eldest at school this morning, I leaned over to give him a kiss just like normal...and he said no...

This is a HUGE deal for me. We are a very touchy, feely, kissy family. I expected this to happen, but not so soon. He is only 7 - I thought I had a least another year. And I have repeatedly told myself that my nephew, who is almost 21, never stopped kissing his mother...I really do want to raise a self-sufficient, loving, caring, independent adult...I just want him to still love me...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Gifts

It's that time of year again, so we spent the weekend making Christmas gifts. I made soap - two kinds of Castille soap (one plain, and one rosemary-mint), and a lavender soap unsing a different recipe. Ryan keeps walking by the rosemary-mint and asking if I can cook something that smells like that!

Ryan helped harvest the mint and we also made tea. Well, more like dried mint leaves, but it makes a wonderfully refreshing tea that helps calm upset tummys. (Which really comes in handy around my house!) The tea came out so good, I think we will harvest as much as we can and that will make a great gift too. While I was researching mint tea, I ran across a couple of recipes with rose hips...that got me thinking. Would my laziness from this summer of not pruning actually turn out a decent Christmas present? Apparantly, rose hips are amazingly nutritious and supposedly taste good to boot! So, sometime this week, I will go harvest my rose hips to add to the mint, for some absolutely delicious, homemade tea.

And of course, no Christmas gift making session would be complete without Kahlua. Lots and lots of kahlua. But, since I haven't been drinking much wine, I don't have the empty wine bottles to fill up! I'm sure I can think of something...


My nephew came over for Thanksgiving and brought his camera! He has started a photography business and I absolutely love it when he comes I just need to actually get some prints to replace the ones that have been on my wall for over five years...