Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I have missed blogging

There have been oh so many changes.

Girls in school. I graduated. I got a job that has absolutely nothing to do with either of the degrees I hold. Ce la vie. I don't mind. I love my job. We also bought a house. This summer was amazing for getting goals accomplished. Graduate, job, house. Done! I am really so blessed. I guess that means I am not a housewife anymore, but frankly, I don't care enough to deal with other blogs when I have so much stuff I love coming back to on this one.

I actually came back to this because I was looking for my pumpkin bread recipe. It is that time of year after all. I gutted and roasted a few pumpkins last night so that today I can put my oven to work and use up my overripe bananas and I want to do pumpkin bread at the same time. I will have a ridiculous amount of bread, but I imagine it won't be difficult to give it away. Seriously, try it. It is so dang yummy.

It's also the time of year to start thinking about the holidays. Don't get me wrong. I am a total procrastinator so I haven't actually done any shopping at all. I am just starting to look around at things. I now have a high schooler and a middle schooler so things they want tend to be on the more expensive side. I am working on ways to get creative so as not to spend a lot of money. If I find something awesome, I absolutely plan on sharing every little bit.

My other project this year, is a fundraising site for a precious little girl and her family. My dear friend Serease has a two year old daughter that was diagnosed with a rare, autoimmune condition that is going to require chemotherapy over the course of the next year. Her second treatment was actually yesterday and so far her blood levels look good. Both Serease and little Lenah have been amazingly positive through this, so if you don't mind, check out the site, and please pass it along. <3 p="p">

And on the same note, another friend of mine, several states away has been fighting her own medical battle. Her two year old daughter Reese was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after Lenah got her diagnosis. Reese has been through a lot in a short amount of time, including brain surgery. So if you choose to pass along links, another group of people has started a page for Reesey.


I admit, all this medical stuff has definitely brought some perspective to my life regarding small, stupid issues. It's a month for thankfulness and I am thankful for the health of my family, as well as modern medicine that will get these little girls better.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Using kids in political agenda is crap you stupid news commenters

If you google marine+son+walk you will come up with 5 pages of hits to a viral video that has made its way to every news show across the nation. It's that heartwarming moment when young Michael Cooney walks to his dad for the very first time as a post deployment surprise. It has been shared on Facebook, shown on tv, and talked about on message boards.

Michael Cooney is my nephew. I have been watching this craziness unfold over the past several days and I am still a little wowed that the video went viral that quickly. The youtube video was put up when he got home in December, so it took a little while for news stations to catch it, but when they did, HOLY CRAP.

Have you ever watched something happen and just sat there all WTF??

I love my sister and Michael kicks ass. He is the 2nd youngest kid in the family, and we have all been watching (most of us from a distance as they live across the country) his development and rooting for him. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments. My sister has had her hands full between Michael's needs and Alyssa's needs. Alyssa was severely burned in an accident as a baby, so that poor girl is in and out of the hospital for surgeries as often as Michael is. She is a smart, kickass little honey badger :) I love that kid.

I am getting off topic though.

I am glad that my nephew is getting recognition for his spirit and determination. The cynic in me however is bothered by the whoring a moment like this for ratings by these corporate bigwigs. I guess if it doesn't bother my sister, it shouldn't bother me. I just hate to see their family turned into a side show. While the reaction is 90% positive, there is that 10% out there who are just nasty and hateful and I feel this need to shelter their family from the bitterness that people seem to have no problem flinging out there. That is not my job. The older sister in me however, doesn't exactly shut off.

It's been interesting either way. Melissa, if you read this, hug Michael for me and know that I love you guys <3 I bet you never imagined how fast this crap would take off. You guys looked good on TV, even if I did have to watch *gag* fox news in order to see you.

For the rest of the world, this post is mostly inane rambling. For you 10%, shut your freaking mouth. This story is not political, so I don't want to hear one damn word for or against Obama using this kid. This story is not religious. God is not punishing my sister or her son because her husband is in the military. If you want to argue as a pro-God miracle, that is your prerogative. Don't use it to make a point. This story has nothing to do with war, for or against. This is a story about one little boy who worked his ass off to become mobile, and my sappy sister ;) saving it as a surprise. That is cool. That is awesome. It doesn't need any bigger meaning than that.

Even last summer before he could walk, he was not one to be slowed down. That kid is not interested in being left out of the fun <3

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Your free activity for today.

It is very simple. Tell someone you love them. That is it.

Today is the international day of pink. If you are not familiar with that, read here. http://www.dayofpink.org/en/information-zone

You see, too often we get caught up in our own lives, our own judgements, and our own excuses. I think that we try and show the people in our lives that we care about them, but how often do we simply say "I love you."? Nothing more.

I love you can mean the difference between life and death sometimes. It can turn around a person's day, their week, their month, their life. It needs no justifications. Get rid of the excuses, the buts, the catches, the provisions. I love you.


This post has been in my head for a while. How often do we say

"I love you but I wish you would stop..." to our children?
"I love you but we need to...." to our spouses?

When is the last time you said those words to a friend? Your mother? Your sister?

We all need to hear it. We need to hear it without judgement. We need to hear the words as well as see it in action.

So there is your task today.

To my children, I love you. I am proud of the people you have become.
To my husband, I love you. I choose you. I need you.
To my friends, I love you. Thank you for standing behind me.
To my family, I love you. I miss you.

Long time, no see!

So my last post was December of 2010. I have been a busy girl since then. In January of last year, I found out with a little extra effort I could accelerate my school and student teach by fall. I kicked it up a notch, completed something like 30 credits that term, and did get into student teaching in September. That kept me busy. After that, I started subbing, we moved, the girls switched schools, found out we hated the school within 3 weeks of switching, so now I am back to homeschooling and down to subbing only 1-2 days a week. Full circle. I have got to be one of the most over-educated housewives I know.

I am looking into writing science curriculum, and my kids are being enrolled in an online charter. It isn't really homeschooling because all flexibility with materials used is gone, but at least they will end up with a high school diploma and a transcript. With the older one starting high school this fall, that is really what I was looking for.

I have a post planned for today but wanted to dip my toes back in and kind of explain my hiatus. I missed blogging :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Photo ball ornaments

There are dozens of ways to get your favorite  family pictures on your tree. I particularly like this one.

Materials and cost:

One dozen clear glass ball ornaments - $5.99 at Hobby Lobby and 50% off that puts the cost at $3.00
12 photos - I use 4x6 prints I can get for $.19 each for a total of $2.28
One pair of scissors
One pair of tweezers
Elmers glue - bought at the back to school sales for $.20, 1/10 of a bottle used for a cost of $.02
Gold Glitter - $1.49, 50% off for a cost of $.75 and half used for a final cost of $.37
Red ribbon - $1.99 per roll, 50% off for a cost of $1.00, .25 roll used for a cost of $.25
Hot glue gun
Glue Stick - $.17, I used half of one for a total of $.08

Total cost - $6.00 or $.50 an ornament


Cut the photos to fit inside the glass balls. This takes some trial and error. My later ornaments had a nicer fit than the first few.

Once the photo is cut, take the top off the ornament and roll the photo to fit through the opening. Be careful not to crease the picture.

Once the photo is all the way inside the ornament, use tweezers to gently unroll the picture and get it into place.

Once the photo is where you want it, place the top back on the ornament. You can use glue if you want it permanent. I did not.

Now, I suppose you could get really tricky and put a photo facing the other way as well. You could also use cotton, feathers, etc in the back of it to add a decorative flair and cover the back of the photo. I chose glitter. I wish I had gone with silver to match the ornament top, but I went with gold.

I put the glitter into a shallow plastic container to contain the mess a bit. Using the glue, I put designs along the back of the ornament. You can use stripes, stars, dots, scribbles. I played around with a few different things. Then dip into glitter and tap to remove excess.

Once the glue is dry, cut lengths of red ribbon about 4-6" long. I didn't measure. They are about as long as my hand. Use the glue gun and put a dot of glue at the top of the ornament as a place to secure the ribbon.

Bring the ribbon around the front, and tie it once.

Bring one end around in a loop, and use hot glue to secure in center, as one half of a bow

Bring the other side around, secure with glue, and your ornament is finished!

"Gilded" walnut ornaments

These adorable little ornaments are a throwback to years ago when people would decorate their trees with gilded fruits and nuts. Inside these cute, simple little ornaments is a fortune to be found when the nut is cracked open.

Materials and costs:

1 lb walnuts in their shells - $1.99
Gold paint - $1.49 per bottle, .25 bottle used for a total of $.37
1 sheet of paper - $.01
Gold ribbon, $1.99 per roll, 50% off making it $1.00 for the roll, 1/3 roll used for a total of $.33
Hot glue gun
1 glue stick - $.17
Green ribbon, $1.99 per roll, 50% off making it $1.00 for the roll, 1/3 roll used for a total of $.33

Cost for 16 ornaments - $3.20 or $.20 per ornament


Very carefully split walnuts in half using a sharp knife. Use a butter knife to pull out nut meats and clear the shells.

Paint the outside of both halves of the walnut with gold paint and allow to dry.

Cut paper into thin strips about half an inch wide and 1.5 inches long. Use a marker or pen to write fortunes on the slips. These can be as simple or as complicated as you want. I went with simple.

You could also use carefully folded money or small trinkets depending on how elaborate you want to get with it.

Roll the fortunes up into tiny scrolls, and tie with a short piece of gold ribbon. Tuck into the walnut shell.

Using the hot glue gun, place a dot of glue at the top of one half of the shells. Loop the green ribbon around and secure both ends to the shell with the glue.

Use the glue gun to run a bead of glue around the edge of the shell, and carefully seal both halves of the shell back together.  They are now ready to hang on the tree! On Christmas morning, let the walnut hunt commence and seekers can crack the nuts open to find their fortune.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Personalized Christmas ornaments on a budget

Post one of several

My holiday ornaments are in terrible shape. I have been using the same ones my entire adult life. They are scuffed and sad looking thanks to curious toddler hands and climbing kittens and gigantic dog tails. New ornaments are not the cheapest things in the world. To get a deal you really have to buy the same old colored glass balls.

Instead of having a tree that looks just like everyone else's, I have decided to make all ornaments that go on my tree. I figured I would share the finished product here along with a cost breakdown. I didn't think about it today, or I would have done a step by step photo series, but I can do that with tomorrow's project.

Today's project is snowman ornaments.

Materials for one dozen:

One dozen plain white or silver ornaments. I bought the shatter proof type specifically meant for making ornaments at Hobby Lobby. They come one dozen to a package for $4.99, but I got them for 50% off so a dozen ornaments for $2.50
Black acrylic paint - $1.49 per bottle, a few drops used so maybe $.05 worth of paint
Orange acrylic - $1.49 per bottle and the same amount and breakdown as the black at $.05
Black felt - $.50 per sheet, 1/2 a sheet used so $.25
Pompoms - $2.99 per bag, half off, so $1.50 per bag. I used 1/4 of the bag so about $.37 total
Glue gun - I don't have one anymore so a new one ran $2.77 I am not going to count it toward the price though because I will use it for many things
Glue stick - $3.49 for 20. I used one for a total of about $.17

Total cost for 12 ornaments - $3.39 or $.28 per ornament.

Not only is the cost per ornament low, but it is easy enough for kids to help with making an ideal gift for family, friends and teachers.


Using black paint, paint 2 black eyes and a dotted (coal) mouth on each ornament. Follow with the orange paint to make a carrot shaped nose.

Cut the black felt into thin strips, and hot glue on top to make the band for the earmuffs

Cut a tiny patch off each pompom to flatten it out, then use hot glue to secure to each side to make the muffs.

The results are fast, easy and super cute :)