Thursday, May 14, 2009

Light Summer Recipe- BLT Salad!

So, this week we've been taking Zoe to a Vacation Bible School at a local church at 6:30 in the evening. So this isn't normally a problem as we aren't really busy in the evenings nor do we really stick with a schedule, but the one thing we do stick with in the evenings is eating at 6 together as a family at our dining room table. Now this is something that I've been a real stickler on. I love eating together and making the most of "family time" by eating together- no tv, no phones, no distractions!! As studies show, families that eat together raise kids that are less likely to get involved with drugs, alcohol, get bad grades, become stressed out.... They are also 40% more likely to talk to their parents about a problem... the list goes on and on. So really I'm setting a foundation for the rest of our childrens lives I hope! But all this to say that since I'm such a stickler on dinner together we have to eat dinner earlier- about 5 pm, which is pretty early for us, but we don't want to rush our time together so we'll make do as it's really only a week anyways and we are already pro's at this since we just did it for 2 weeks straight with swimming lessons. So I've been trying to think of easy and quick dinners. And since it's summer and getting warmer I thought I'd try a lighter-cooler dinner for this evening and today I'll share my recipe. I'm not an expert chef by any means and I'm not above using my resources online to find great recipes. I love http://www.allrecipes.com/ and http://www.kraftfoods.com/ Both are great! Today my dinner recipe comes from Kraftfoods. It's called BLT Pasta Salad. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make and most of that time is just refrigeration. So you boil about 7-8 oz of macaroni, drain and mix with 1 tbsp mustard, 3/4 mayo (light is great!), halved cherry tomatoes, and 8 oz bacon (crumbled). Mix it all together and refrigerate for at least an hour and then serve over a bed of lettuce! It's a great light meal for those warm summer days! So, enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Mr. Magorium

I recently stumbled upon the movie Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium while channel surfing. I got to admit that I throughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the most a scene toward the end of the movie when Mr. Magorium is telling Maloney bye. It was a very poignant scene. Mr. Magorium is talking about death and he talks about William Shakespeare's "King Lear". He describes the scene in Act 5 when King Lear dies as "and Shakespeare simply says "He dies". This is said without fanfare, but simply stated- he dies." Then Mr. Magorium goes on to explain "that it's sad but it's not because of the words "He died" but because of the life we saw prior to those words!" Then he asks Maloney that when people ask whatever happened to Mr. Magorium? that she "relates his life in all it's wonders and end it with a simple and modest- he dies." Then he goes on to challenge her with"Life is an occasion- rise to it!" Wow! if that isn't a challenge to us all I don't know what is. But a challenge specifically to live a life full of love and wonder to those around us.
I challenge each of you to live such a life! As Mr. Magorium says "37 seconds well lived is a lifetime"
The garage sale was a Smashing Success!! I can't believe we sold so many baby clothes! Even more unbelievable was the fact that our busiest day was Thursday not Saturday! I am thrilled that we now have almost a whole extra room downstairs since it's been cleaned out! Of course the best part of the sale was today when I got to donate all the rest of the clothes to our churches CAB Care Closet which is a great ministry that opens its doors the first Saturday of the month to give out free clothes to those in need in our city!

Swim lessons for Zoe have been a blast! I'm impressed with Zoe and her courage to learn how to swim. It's a heated pool and that's great but they have them get out of the water and then it gets cold, the kiddos sit on the edge of the pool just shivering! She's done a great job jumping off the diving board and even opening her eyes under water to pick out pool toys. She's such a brave little thing and she's doing a GREAT job swimming!
video

Our Memorial Day was spent about as lazy as could be! We went shopping to catch some of those really great Memorial Day sales. I'm looking for a summer quilt for our bed. We recently redid our bedroom in brown with red accents and I'm looking everywhere for a red summer quilt and I finally found the perfect one! So, what's the catch- it was $149. I love the quilt but we can't spend that kind of money on a blanket even if it is a DKNY! So, I found a different one that I can live with that is still a little pricy, but would look great, so I might take some of that garage sale money and make the investment! We'll have to see! Though we did already use some of that money for our airplane tickets to Chicago next month! I'm looking forward to that but that's a post for another time!

It's Monday

So, today I should be doing things for the garage sale like pricing things or getting more stuff together but alas here I am blogging... Now don't get me wrong I've dug some stuff up out of the attic this morning that I still need to price, All the while working on my 5 loads of laundry (don't ask about the dishes) and I even researched the Garage Sale Sign ordinance here in Topeka, which is beyond stupid by the way! The code is that all garage sale signs must be 10-12 feet from the street, can't be put up before 5 pm on Thursday and must be taken down by 5 pm on Sundays. now, it seems reasonable, really out of the right of way to avoid accidents and such, but honestly I think it's just silly that our city is soo worried about temporary signs that it actually has 3 employees that do nothing else but collect garage sale signs that aren't following code. Did I mention that there is also a $50 fine if they take down your sign due to a code violation? Well, anyways... I'll stick with the code and be the silly person out there on the corner with a measuring tape in hand to avoid a fine. All this just to sell my stuff and make a little extra money for my family. Craigslist is going great- sold a couple more things and a couple more to go is all.
Tough I did take a break and watch a movie. It was a Disney movie called The other side of Heaven. It's about missionary John Groberg and his 3 year mission to Tonga. It was a good story and I was shocked to see that it was a Walt Disney movie. It was a great family movie and a moving story about a young man sent out as a missionary leaving both his family and the love of his life behind.... will their love stay strong through the 3 years he's gone? Watch it and find out.
So, my day hasn't been a total waste and it's not over yet! Tonight is Zoe's first swim lesson. I'm both excited and terrified. I'm not a fan of water and I don't want to pass that on to her, so swim lessons here we come! It's a little chilly, so thank goodness for a heated pool for her. Zoe randomly has said today "I don't know if I can do it- swim lessons tonight" She'll be fine, but I'm not sure I'll be....More to come tomorrow....

Why?

Yes, this is my newest least favorite phrase in our house right now! "why mom" is a phrase that I'm just going insane with hearing. We did the Growing Kids God's Way class at our church and we did teach the "yes, mom" phrase, but somehow we must not have pushed it enough with our 4 year old as it seems to be her favorite phrase and really it doesn't even matter that I've already answered her "why" at least 3 times! Apparently she thinks that if she just keeps asking the answer will suddenly turn to "sure, darling daughter you can do and have whatever you want". This phrase doesn't come alone though, oh no, it's got a friend- the "please please please please, Mom" phrase! Yes this will surely make the answer into something much more acceptable to said darling daughter.

As for the other daughter she is not without her faults either (are any of us really?) as she's started throwing tantrums... Quite amusing unless you are in range of the flailing body! Though the more I think about what she must be thinking I kinda get it, ya know? I mean she's trying to do things on her own and then here comes a giant to just pick her up and tell her no! It must get frustrating. Add to that the fact that you can't actually talk and explain your needs and I'd be throwing a tantrum too! On a lighter note she has started toddling around everywhere now! It's been fun as I'd forgotten how fun this stage is. She's taken about 8 steps consecutively and I'm sure she could do more except for our little encourager Zoe who hugs her after just about every step which inevitably knocks her down and she has to start over!
As for just plain old life for me, I think I've got most of my garage sale stuff ready to go and now we are just praying for nice weather! I've even sold 3 of my things off Craigslist so I've just about got my garage sale starter money all set too! So, life as a garage sale host is good today, life as a mom-debatable.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So, I love garage sales, but I have a new appreciation for anyone who actually holds one. I've been working for the past 2 hours on just getting ours ready. The sad thing is that I just contributed to a garage sale 1 year ago and I once again need to sell more stuff. Where does this stuff come from? Perhaps all the garage sales that I frequent throughout the season? The even sadder thing is that I still have a LOT more to get ready. Luckily though my sale won't be till next weekend-the 21-23 of May. Yeah! Of course I've faced several issues with getting ready for my sale already.

1. Stuff.... I have an over abundance of stuff and the problem is that half or it or more is my sisters. Now I thought that this would be easy. Just mark her stuff with her initials and mine with my initials. Seemed easy enough.... then I got out all the stuff -I've got 5 big tubs full of clothes - today. This is still not all of it. I have about 5 more boxes downstairs to sort out yet. Now, as I was saying, her initials and my initials... of course I realized that this is just not going to happen. I've got a whole 13 gallon trash bag of onesies alone!Now we have been VERY blessed indeed for hand-me-downs for her from my sister and her twin girls and from other friends and of course the occasional garage sale outfit I just can't seem to pass up and Zoe's old clothes too. Did I mention these are just the 12 month and younger clothes? and of course this doesn't include the other things that babies accumulate the first year of life... i.e. bottle warmer and bottles, bibs/hats/shoes, bassinett, rattles/baby toys, exersaucer, bouncy seat, baby swing etc..... Not to mention the fact that the tags are almost always guaranteed to come off at some point, so unfortunately the only answer I've come up with is to man the cash register and try to just write down the right prices under each name and hope I don't miss too many. We'll see how that goes, if there are other suggestions out there please let me know.
2. Pricing... how does one price things that we've paid so much for ourselves? I struggle putting $5-10 price on something that I paid $50 + for. So my answer? I put stuff on Craigslist.com to sell them at a little higher price. I'll just keep hoping it sells and if it doesn't we'll just sell it at the garage sale and be content with just not having to store it anymore.
3. Parting with all these memorable items. I mean, Lexi slept in this bassinett her first night home, Zoe took her first steps in these shoes, etc...What memories! But luckily I am a photographer and I have a ton of pictures of each of these memories. It won't be the same, but it sure does take up a lot less space.

So the good things of all these issues is that it's getting done. It'll take a while and it'll be a lot of work, but then just think of all the wonderful money I'll have for my garage saleing this season!

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, I've been challenged lately to start keeping a journal. I have been keeping one for both the girls since they were born that says a lot about me and what I'm feeling, but I've realized lately that I don't really have much of a life outside the girls. So, here is my answer to a challenge from Patrick to get a hobby outside the girls! Somthing for just me that doesn't necessarily revolve around them and my being a stay at home mom! I have a lot of friends who blog and I love to read them and they often make me laugh or just feel not so alone out there and maybe, just maybe that's what mine will do too.

So, here will be some of my random thoughts as I try to discover the forest through the trees in my life. Please feel free to post back and let me know what you all think.