February 27, 2009

Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde

In case you ever wondered at what age a female begins to change her mind at a drop of a pin, it is YOUNG I tell ya, young!

Here we have Hailey hamming it up for the video (on my blackberry, quality stinks)

video

And here she is just 30 seconds later when she decided she didn't want to be filmed -

video

Isn't she a charmer? It is womans perogative afterall.

Now if I could just figure out how to turn a crappy blackberry video into a decent .WMV then I could send it off to AFV and take a shot at that 10k. They have given it to some pretty lame videos so I figure we would have a shot!

February 26, 2009

Will someone please make me some of these?

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® SWIRLED™ Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Morsels, divided
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 12 muffin cups. COMBINE sugar, butter and water in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute or until butter is melted. Add semi-sweet morsels; stir until melted. Add egg and vanilla extract and stir well. Add flour and baking soda and stir until blended. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 cup Swirled morsels. Spoon a heaping tablespoon batter into each prepared muffin cup. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top is set and wooden pick inserted center comes out still slightly wet. Place muffin pan on wire rack. Centers of brownies will fall upon cooling. If some do not, with back of teaspoon, tap center to make a hole. PLACE peanut butter in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; stir. While brownies are still hot, spoon a scant tablespoon peanut butter into center of each brownie. Top with remaining Swirled morsels. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Run a knife around edge and carefully remove from pan.

I can wait...You can bring them over tomorrow!

(oh, and please use the SAFE Peanut Butter!)

They so want to be BIG

When we set out to start a family I had visions of the 1 boy, 1 girl, 2 parents and that was the way it was gonna be. But life had other plans for me and I got sisters! Sisters. I am not equipped to deal with sisters.

All this because Hailey aspires to be big, not big in a large super-sized kind of way, but big in the "all growed up" kind of way. When your 3 year old wants to do everything your 8 old does it cannot possibly get any better when they are 8 and 12 or 11 and 16. Can you even imagine?

Her latest has been a year long dream to get out of her "baby" car seat and into a booster, the first step to sitting on the real car and not in a seat like Lauren does. I recently looked up the car seat laws again, and again, because I find them a bit daunting...and found that Hailey was going to be 12 5 before she could use a plain old booster with no back (which we have 2 of). Why so old? Because you have to be 40 pounds and 4 years to sit on the plain old booster, and Hailey weighs 29 pounds soaking wet - gaining 11 pounds before her 4th birthday is just about impossible.

SO, even though we have 2 plain old boosters I set out to get her the kind with the back that comes off (if she ever reaches 40lbs) and boy oh boy...did I make her day!

She was SO happy, and thrilled - to her this is OK, she is a "Bigger" girl now and she can even buckle herself! (which also means she can unbuckle...hmmm.)

She even took the time to notice all the differences, like "Mom where do I hang onto?" I asked what she meant and she went on to explain that when mommy slams on the breaks she needs a place to hang on to. Guess she realized that this car seat was not as "sturdy" as her old one but maybe mom shouldn't slam on the breaks eh?

She had to call everyone she knew, and tell them all about her new "big girl" seat. It was fun to see how excited she was!!

Oh and hey, that may be a real phone but it doesn't work - Just don't tell her that or I might have to hunt you down!

February 25, 2009

Dear Sudafed

Dear Makers of Sudafed,

Maybe you should take some lessons from the makers of Triaminic. Instead of confusing the heck out of their customers, sending them into an online tizzy and causing them to post blog posts like this... Sudafed PE.

You could have simply done what Triaminic did and post this BIG GREEN box on your home page that says:

That's why we wanted to provide you with the latest information on over-the-counter children's cough and cold products. The makers of these medicines are voluntarily changing the product labeling to read "Do not use for children under age 4". For products containing antihistamines, labeling will include the instructions "do not use for the purpose of making your child sleepy." These labeling changes are being made in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and out of an abundance of caution to help avoid unintentional consumer misuse of these products.
Triaminic® products are safe and effective when used as directed and have been used to relieve children's cough and cold symptoms for more than 50 years. We care about your children's safety and want to assure you that you can continue to use Triaminic® products as directed for your children age 4 and older.


That would have been nice Mr. and Mrs. Sudafed makers. Though, I will never buy your product again because my oldest is severely allergic, I still think you should do a better job of keeping the public aware.

Thank you,

Concerned citizen (not customer)

Blogger Fever

Have your kids ever looked at you, with your camera, and said "are you gonna put this on the blog?"

Have you ever pulled over just to write yourself a note so you don't forget to blog about what just happened or your latest brilliant random, boring thought?

Do you keep a running list of things your kids or husband or other unknown persons have done wrong by you so you can write about those instances as well?

Or maybe your draft folder is overflowing with unfinished posts?

Do you sort your photos according to weather or not they will make the blog?

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking "Shoot I forgot to blog about that" or Today is Wednesday and I don't have my post up yet?

Do you have a special system devised for reading your favorite blogs?

Do you love to see a new follower, a new commenter or just more comments than you usually get?
Well, on this my blogger-versary (yes my friends, today is my one year anniversary in bloggy land) - I confess: I have blogger fever and I DO, I HAVE and I will probably continue to DO all of the above! But I can say with huge confidence that the following has NEVER happened to me (at least not yet)

http://www.milehighmamas.com/2009/02/24/its-confirmed-i-am-a-disaster/

You have to read it - the whole thing -it is SO worth it - I promise

I thought about surfing my own blog to pick my top ten favorite posts to share, I thought about making a list of the top 10 gifts I would LOVE to receive for my blogger-versary, I thought about posting the top ten things I have learned as a blogger and I even considered listing my top ten favorite blogs in honor of my big day.

Guess which one won? You got it, I am a humble selfish, needy little blogger gal and here is my 10 ten in honor of One Year

1. I learned that it is impossible for me not to care for and send my heart out to total and complete strangers whose strength during a very difficult time is beyond belief.

2. I have learned how to create and execute HTML code, Design blogs, modify templates to meet my needs (and those of my friends), and in general have become even more of a self proclaimed GEEK than I used to be.

3. I have learned that I can shamelessly beg for items like this

Because on the off chance the blogger fairy or elf happen to be reading, I just might get it - remember my double vision?

4. I have learned that I write more about all the fun, positive things that happen around here than I do the icky, stinky ones (though I write about those too - remember Busted?)

5. I have learned that even in bloggy land I gravitate to people who think, act and write similar to the way I do...I don't have to meet you -I already know you.

6. I have learned that people like Laura and Jenni have a way of just flat out "making my day" simply by reading their daily posts.

7. I learned that launching a second blog for book reviews and having HUGE aspirations for it is fun, exciting, humbling, scary and downright COOL!!

8. I learned that I can only resist temptation for so long and eventually I will cave. Just as I did with my I-POD I got for my birthday 4 years ago and just started using last year. I have vehemently blasted Twitter for months and yes...I caved - on the advice of my brother I have signed up (little brother I might add)
Twitter Button from twitbuttons.com

please don't leave me hanging out on a limb (ha ha)

9. I have learned that their really is no better way to chronicle all your memories in one place and hopefully pass them on to your children someday than a blog printed to a book and maybe they will even read them (after they have kids of their own and are pulling their own hair out one gray strand at a time) - I haven't done it yet, but I have started the process and can't wait!!!

10. AND finally I have learned that I can do all the things in Pondered in just one top ten list! So there you have it, a couple of my favorite posts, a couple of my favorite blogs, a gift I would not turn down, a shameless plug for my "other" blog and top ten list for my blogger-versary!

Oh, and by the way - I got to change the TP roll again last night, possibly on purpose - I am guessing that "he who would rather not be named" read the blog yesterday!

February 23, 2009

What I learned this week

What I learned this week (Hosted by Musings of a Housewife)


I learned a lot this week some good, some funny and some just plain annoying!

A bit funny and yet totally annoying:

1. Because I am a mom, I will always get the last 5 squares of TP and have to change the roll

2. Because I am a mom, I will always take the last tissue (neatly shoved back in the box) have to get a new box.

3. Because I am a mom, I will always get to rub cream on areas of my daughters body I would rather not because their #2's were a bit stubborn and left them a little sore

Things I learned that I am happy about:
1. I can design blogs for blogger and I do love doing it!

2. I can launch a new Book Review Blog and people might actually enjoy it as much as I am enjoying doing it

3. When my 3 year skips her nap she can go to bed before 6:30 and sleep til 6:30 am (sans blanky that has been gone about a month now)

Just Plain Annoying:

1. Even if I do read every word sent home from school, more than once, I will never be informed because information from our little school is limited and cryptic at best

2. When your kids run out antibiotics before the 10 days is up this can never be a good thing - you will definitely be back at the Dr. for more within 3 days.

3. That giant blogher ad. How do I really feel about it?

Leftovers and more...

Who likes leftovers? I certainly don't. We NEVER eat leftovers at our house - I TRY to prepare that leave no leftovers even!

But in this case, I like leftovers because these pictures fell on the cutting room floor after our last trip to the mountains and I am calling them the leftovers:

Hailey, ALWAYS has hair in her face...always.
Lauren browsing the Lockheed Martin Annual Report

Hailey eating ice (from the snowcone machine)

DON'T FORGET
FIRST REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY TODAY!
(and another great big thanks to everyone who has helped get the word out)

February 22, 2009

Meal Planning Part 3

We are in the final stretch. This last part is a super time and money saver - even if you are not looking to save money - you will.

You have your calendars filled in right? Complete with sides? GOOD!

Now grab that little rotation spreadsheet (4 or 8 weeks) and your notebook again. This time it would helpful to have any recipes near by that you may need. For my 8 week meals I keep recipes that I use in a binder, in a drawer in my kitchen so I don't have to hunt down a cook book or recipe card.

In your notebook label one Page STAPLES and the next pages Week 1, Week 2 and so on.

Take a deep breath, and another - OK you better take one more.

Now. Start with your staples page. Start writing all your needs for the rotation that you can purchase ahead of time that wont spoil, bread crumbs - spaghetti sauce, dressing, butter, pasta, taco shells, spices, oils, jellies etc. Write them down and a quantity for the rotation (Spaghetti Sauce - 8). You can also write the meat you need for the rotation on this list as that can be frozen!

Once you have all the staples done - move on to your weeks. Go to week one and write what you have to buy fresh that week; lettuce, fruit, eggs, dairy etc.(do this for each week) you should find that your week lists are rather short.

DO NOT INCLUDE YOU FAMILY STANDARDS ON THESE LISTS (milk, bread etc) you will add those later.

Now you have 1 long list and 4 to 8 short ones right?

SO here is what you do...On the first shopping day of each 8 week rotation you will shop from your staples list (IN MY CASE THIS INCLUDES MEAT)AND your Week one list. SO this is a "big" shopping trip.

At our house we buy our meat from the meat market near by - 8 weeks at a time - except our chicken comes from Costco. So meats are not on my grocery lists but a separate list.

With week one and the BIG SHOP out of the way - all you do now is look at the fridge (where you hung your calendars)to see what you're eating – Sticky note in hand – I open the pantry and the fridge make sure I have what I need and write down the fresh stuff needed for the week – Add the essentials (milk, OJ, Bread, lunch meat) and I am done. I can fit the list on a sticky note and I am in and out of the store in 20 minutes for 7 weeks.

The bonus in all this? Other than the time saver for rest of your life (ha ha) with your meals posted -there is never any question what is for dinner - everyone can look at the fridge and see it for themselves.

REMEMBER - you can change it anytime if parts don't work well for you, if meals get boring you can add or delete - you can move around scrap night or use it as Out night. YOU HAVE TOTAL CONTROL - the weeks leave room for flexibility. If you take out chicken and don't want to make it tonight sub in scrap night or look at another chicken meal for the week and trade them. If you go out an extra night or don't cook - hold it over to the next week (sub it on the calendar so you don't forget you don't have to buy that) etc etc etc

I hope all of this made some sense? I am not sure how well it reads but I know it works for me. SO GOOD LUCK and email me anytime if you have a question or comment!

Thanks for reading.

February 21, 2009

Hailey Bowling

If you are here for Meal Planning Click here - I did post Part Two tonight

Part One
Part Two

I am feeling fine, got on medicine quick enough and besides a bit of cough and other junk I am doing fine. Lauren however was back at the Dr. today - She finished her antibiotics on Wed and by today she was all full in the head again and running a fever...I swear -I am a germophobe - I have wiped, scrubbed and washed - I have opened windows to air the house out yet...this years crud is really taking its toll...all of our Dr's have said that is it just plain crazy and they don't have time to breath they are soooo busy...ARGH.

ANYWAY...

Hailey spent an afternoon, last week, bowling in the backyard.

She ran back and forth setting the pins up and rolling the bowl for more 30 minutes. She rarely set the pins up "right"

and she rarely knocked them over

and she often threw the ball right over the top of them but she had fun, and I got to sit and watch and that was fun for me!


DON'T FORGET - First review and GIVEAWAY Monday over at Tales from the Nightstand! Come one, come all and bring your friends!!!


(thanks again to all those helping to advertise the site, if you missed I gave you props just below the meal planning posts)

Meal Planning part TWO

Now I know that everyone that reads my little blog got straight to work and didn’t start finished their dinner’s list!

So we will move right on to step two. This part is the most aggravating part. It is perhaps the most time consuming and it is also the hardest part for me to explain in type without talking in circles so bare with me and here we go.

Part Two:

If you have Excel you can re-create THIS page on your computer if not you can probably use google docs spreadsheet program and get the same results.
Start filling in your “dinners” only into the above spreadsheet. DO NOT worry about sides or desserts at this point. I used to do a 4 week rotation but I recently switched to 8 weeks and I love it. You can choose which way you want to go.

As you fill in the dinners pay VERY close attention to what comes on Monday following Sunday and place Chicken, Beef etc. meals apart – You don’t want to have Chicken Pot Pie on Sunday and Chicken in Dumplings on Monday for example. You also probably don’t want to have a week of chicken and nothing else.
Mine looks like this - but read below before you start

IMPORTANT: You need to give yourself one SCRAP meal each week. For us this is Veggie night. This meal can be moved to any other night if you forget to defrost your meat or just can’t pull off dinner that night.

IMPORTANT: Remember how you sorted them Easy, Hard and Splurge- You only want one hard and one splurge meal per week! (see mine for example of how it can look)

IMPORTANT: If your family eats out once per week still fill in all the days you can use your scrap meal as an out night. For example – if we go out to eat it is usually on Friday so I put my Veggie night on Fridays each week. Veggie night is baked potatoes, salad and a fruit – so I can sub these into any other meal easily and don’t have to throw anything away if we don’t eat them. It is also very easy to sub veggie night onto another night when I have to. (thus why Veggie night is my scrap night)

IMPORTANT: If your family likes to try new things – you will also use your scrap night for that each week. On your shopping day you can decide to add a meal and take out scrap night or leave scrap night (veggie night in our house).

Are your 4 or 8 week rotations filled in? Ok, then - Now

Print these CALENDAR pages

And start adding your rotation to the actual weeks. USE A PENCIL. Write the dinners at the top of each day. I filled my in for the whole year because I know this works for our family. You can start with 8 weeks or rotate through a few months or the whole year. If you do the whole year…consult your real calendar for vacations etc.

Once you have your dinners filled in on your calendar pages you can break out your SIDES list. Remember when I told you to do dinners that MOST of the family will eat. Well, this is where you can make sure everyone has something they will eat on their plate. As you fill in the sides look at who will eat and who won’t and plan your sides accordingly.

NOTE: my sides rotate with my meals so if we are having steak it is always steak, salad and potatoes (non specific on how I will prepare those potatoes)

NOTE: We don’t do a lot of dessert around here, if you do fill that in after you do your sides. I make a dessert twice per month at the most – so mine don’t make the calendar.

TOMORROW NIGHT:
I will post the grocery planning for the calendars you just made. You can place your calendars in a binder or tack them to the fridge. I like the fridge IN YOUR FACE approach.

February 20, 2009

Dinner and shopping Part One

First it is SNOWING - I love the snow but this caught me off guard - I swear I checked the weekend weather a few times today and I saw NO snow in the forecast...and yet I can't see my yard, I can't see my driveway and it is frigid cold out! Guess that is why we had 40mph winds today!!

OK OK....I am FINALLY posting my meal/shopping planning plan. On popular demand I must say. I hesitate - what if you don't like it, what if it won't work for you? Well then I am SORRY! But maybe you will be able to use parts of it to simplify your life a little bit!

I am going to do this in a 3 part post over the weekend. Why?? You might ask...because it can be very overwhelming - especially at first. If you are up for the challenge over the weekend you will be done by Sunday Night and ready to shop (though I kind of recommend that you start on the first week of month...(and probably save a fair amount money too)! If you are not ready you can print the posts or bookmark them and come back when you are!

1. Planning family meals

Get yourself a notebook, a spiral will do you well. I prefer the little lined ones (college ruled) cuz you can fit more on a page!

Get yourself a pencil and a sharpener (you will need it) and make sure it has an eraser that works too...non of that black smeary junk it will be frustrating for you.

Now put your notebook and your pencil someplace you can get to quick and jot on fast!

Title one page DINNERS
Title the next page SIDES
Title the next page DESERTS
and finally make a SNACK page (if you want)

Now it is time to put the wheels in motion. You have to write down EVERY dinner that MOST of the family will eat (excluding babies of course) and I mean EVERY dinner soup and sandwiches all the way up to Fillet Mignon.

You have to write down all the sides you ever put with dinners from rolls to veggies and even more complicated sides..

and obviously start jotting down favorite desserts, easy desserts and snacks.

If your family does not eat dessert often that is OK write them down anyway! (we don't eat dessert often in our house but having it down really helps in this process)

Once you feel comfortable with your LISTS ignore the second three and focus on the DINNERS for a while. Turn to a blank page and break them out into sections (beef, pork, chicken, fish, veggie, other)

Now that you have those separated by food type, devise a code (makers or crayons work well) I use colors -
RED = HARD (as in takes more than 30 min to get ready, requires a boat load of ingredients or simply the fam loves it but you hate to make it)

Blue = EASY

Black = SPLURGE (the meals you wont make often because of cost or time commitment)

Now - take a deep breath and wait till tomorrow night for the next step.

NOTE: you will need to think about the list of dinners for a while before you move on to seperating them by type (or you could roll as you go but you are more apt to forget meals that way) - you don't want to think of another one later that will really bum you out.

NOTE 2: if you want the list of "our" dinners here it is - my family is PICKY so our meal list is fairly boring but you mind find some inspiration!

REMEMBER - 2 more parts of this process are pending! Check back tomorrow night for Part 2.

Loving my bloggy peeps!

A HUGE SHOUT OUT to every bloggy friend that has come to visit Tales from the Nightstand and an especially HUGE thank you to everyone who blogged about it and/or added the button to their blog. The outpouring of support has been quite amazing and I am wowed by how awesome the bloggy network can be! I want Tales to show up #1 on a google search and every link, every click, every subscriber will help!!! You are all amazing! THANK YOU!

If you want the code for the button and don't have it EMAIL me and I will send you the code, add an HTML gadget to your sidebar and paste this in it! Then you will see this cute little book owl!

What memories are made of

Back in December of 2006 I took this picture of Hailey walking down the road with Grandpa. I loved it then and I love even more now.

Because in January of 2009 I took these pictures of Hailey and Grandpa on the same road. As soon as I pulled them off the camera I had a flashback to the "old picture". Grandpa and I brainstormed when I might have taken the picture in the blue coat on the road...and today I found it.

Hailey had to work pretty hard to catch up with Gramps on this day...

But as soon as he knew she was coming, he turned to wait for her...

and then they walked...

Till Hailey lost interest and came running back to me!

February 19, 2009

Words to the Wise

1. When preparing a crockpot meal for the evenings dinner, and feeling kind of sick and being super greatful that dinner will be ready at 5 without anymore effort on your part....

MAKE SURE YOU PLUG THE CROCKPOT IN BEFORE YOU TURN IT ON...or nothing will cook and you will pour all your sliced veggies and rotten chicken down the garbage disposal and be stuck preparing Kraft something or another for dinner.

2. When you go to the DR. on that same day because you are finally getting the crud that went around your house and your eye is oozing and your chest is tight and your head feels like it is in the clouds make sure the PA you saw doesn't prescribe medications that in combination could send you to the Hospital...

3. Thank the good lord above that the pharmicist caught the MAJOR warning on the drug combo even though the D@mn Dr's office won't take their calls - go home with half your drugs and prepare yourself to consult said Dr.'s office in person in the morning.

In case you were wondering.

Wrinkled?

Today I am writing over at Mile High Mamas, I am thrilled to be contributing to this wonderful Colorado Mom Blog, which is the parenting blog for the Denver Post - so Click on over there and read away, if you like what you read leave a comment - I would love to hear from you!



Wrinkled?

Sorry Ladies I am not here to talk about an amazing product I found to stop the formation of the hideous ones around my face...

Do you remember this I love Laundry? Well then here goes:

I am here to talk about the ridiculous ones in my daughters sheets. The sheets on our bed are fine and wrinkle free but they only make them in fancy, deep, boring old adult colors.

READ ON at Mile High Mamas

February 18, 2009

Big News! (at least to me)

****UPDATED*** ***SEE BOTTOM***

I have some news! Some big big news! (no I am not having any more children)

But seriously...I have started a new blog



and with a little help from some friends we are launching what we hope to be one of the best Book Review sites on the web! I read a lot and will be doing most of the reviewing but I have a few young friends (and maybe some older ones too) that will contribute from time to time to help diversify the site and the reviews! I am hoping to post a minimum of 1 review per week and maybe as many as two! So subscribe in your reader, or via email - tell your friends and stop by when you can! I really hope everyone likes the site as much as I have enjoyed launching it!

Also...Jen over at Tatertots and Jello gave me a lovely award today. Many of you know I am HORIBLE at posting awards and memes. For some reason though, this one kind of touched me. I have not been lurking around Jen's blog for too long, but I can tell that she is a wonderful kind hearted person and a fantastic mom. I appreciate her thinking of me as she passed along this award... The rules were simple - I half to put the logo on myblog or post and nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! I am supposed to also do the following
Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award (already did that).

So here goes - I can't possibly list all the blogs that I love it would take me too long, I could choose to give it to one of my absolute FAVS (Laura you know who you are) but I don't dare do that to her, not now, not ever...so I choose some of my long time favorites and some new ones too:

Bonnie - The Campbell Family
Alicia - The Adams Family
Kasey - The Krape Family
Becky - Life according to Bec
Shelly - Simply Persnickety
Lindsay - The Whitcomb Family
Cheryl - Twinfatuation
Amy - One Moms Memos
Courtney - Mommie Blogs
Kim - It's a dog and pony show

I sure hope I got all those links right...I got a little dizzy trying to do that.

Thanks Jen! And I hope everyone likes the award...

BUT more importantly...don't forget to visit me over at



***UPDATE*** I am so excited to announce that we will launch the reviews complete with a Book Giveaway direct from the author on Monday! STAY TUNED and make sure you subscribe so you won't miss out!

Wordless Wednesday

Lauren, almost 4 years old, with a bundle of balloons - we couldn't get her to take flight though.

February 17, 2009

I want me one of these...

So, I have often thought about all the reviews and give aways many bloggers get to do and wondered weather or not I wished I could do that too. For a while I thought it would ROCK to review really useful things like Kleenex, Socks, Toilet Paper, Wet Wipes etc. You know hey PR guy send me some stuff I buy a ton of so I can save some money, I will review it and even give it away to another mom who drops a bundle on your product every week....wouldn't that be the best?

Since that is NOT going to happen, I decided to go for what I know second best - BOOKS. I love to read and read a lot - so I signed up to do book reviews with a publisher and I got my first book this week. I am about half way through it and can't wait to write my review.
I really thought that this would the best of the both worlds for me - reviewing books - that I would probably read anyway and sharing them with my bloggy friends. The only downside is I don't get to read them on my Kindle - I have to go old school - but I found a silver lining in that cloud too - I can donate the books once I am done with them (of course they will probably hang out under my bed for a while first).
So, Why don't I sound more excited?
Because I found something I want, and I mean really want. HP Mini 1140NR 10.2-Inch Netbook - Vivienne Tam Edition (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 60 GB Hard Drive, XP Home, 3 Cell Battery)
- Roughly $600 depending on where you go - I think Sams had them for $548 this week. But I just can't justify buying it right now. SO I am stuck sitting, wishing, hoping.
The only way I figure I can make it work is if someone knows someone at HP and could somehow convince them that I am worth a $1000 marketing investment and they would send me one of these for free to review and maybe even one to give away to a bloggy winner.
And for all of you that know me well, I am sure you wondering what on earth do you need another computer for. Well this slick little baby is no bigger than a normal book and is PERFECT for taking places -surfing blogs, posting to my blog, reading and surfing the net while I idol away the time at dance, waiting for school to let out etc. I could use my laptop for that right - NOT I - because I won't connect to a public network on MY laptop, I also could use my blackberry for that right, nope- too small to really read on and too much of a pain to type on it.
But that HP mini would rock my world!
So - here's to dreaming.

HP- Ya listening? I think I just reviewed your product without even having one.
You're Welcome.

What I learned this week

It's that time again.

What I learned this week Carnival with Musings of a Housewife - I am not sure if I can keep this up - I might have to switch to the first of Tuesday of each month and do a what I learned last month kind of thing - I don't like the pressure, though I know there is really no pressure because no one will notice if I miss except me, but it is pressure non the less.

This week I learned that I will never be a coupon Queen but it does totally rock to try! I just don't know how the pros do it, but I took a swing at this week and got a 4 pack of toilet paper for FREE, and $32 dollars worth of cleaning supplies from Walgreen's for $8.20. Now seriously - why should I pay full price for stuff when I can get it for next to nothing? Why, because I don't have the skills to seek out all the deals, nor the time to organize my life quite that well, nor the space to stockpile all the stuff I would buy! BUT, I will continue to pay attention to what I can because it is fun to see a reciept that you saved 60% on!

This week I also learned that people really are interested in the meal planning/grocery shopping that I do do (do do, seriously, now couldn't I have come up with a better way to say that?) so I am VOWING - to get it on this blog this week, if it kills me - I promise.

Well, their you have it - nothing profoud, nothing funny, nothing really that interesting at all but that is what I learned this week.

February 16, 2009

Lauren Art Fair

Lauren's school does an art fair every other year (sandwiching a science fair). This is especially interesting since the school does not have a formal art class. They also live by the ever popular (with everyone except me) rule that no-one wins or loses and everyone goes home with a blue ribbon weather they spend 5 minutes or 5 hours on their project (but that is a whole nother Oprah)




Lauren's first art fair was 2 years ago when she was 6 years old. She painted this



The rules were a little easier for second graders but she had to create her art, write about it and display it and go home with your blue ribbon.



This year, age 8 - 4th grade - stronger rules. I love the requirements based on the fact that they don't teach art in school (well, every now and then the class teacher introduces some art, Lauren brought home some shredded paper glued to paper, and a swirly dot art type thing once) anyway...this year she has to write a 12 paragraph synopsis of her creation - including "an explanation on how the elements of art were used to create it", the "two main principals of art used", and an explanation on "how the principals were used to organize the elements". She also has to account for any and all help given to create the piece, including spending an afternoon with her Aunt Anna (bless you Anna) so she could learn a little about what the heck she was doing before she set out to do it!!!

When she was six she chose a "big" project for a little girl with no art training. Now at 8 she chose an even BIGGER project for a little girl with no art training (except that of her amazing Aunt of course!!!)

Seeing that she would one day like to travel to space she picked a solar system picture off the net and is using it to model her painting. Her afternoon with Aunt Anna has done her wonders, I can't help her because I paint and draw like a 4 year old (seriously) but here is what she has so far!

Touching up Earth

Mixing colors


Completed Earth


Completed Saturn


The whole thing so far (she has to add all the stars etc. in the background still) but she is doing a great job.

Strangely, she has already written her 12 paragraphs - a smart girl can BS her way through anything, even when she hasn't even done the project yet...not necessarily a good skill to have or to learn but in this case - I blame the school.

February 15, 2009

Oh for goodness sakes

I have officially gutted the house...we have gotten rid of so much clutter since January 1 it is scary to think it was all in this house! We are not junky people, if you came by a couple months ago you and again today YOU would not see the difference it was a behind the difference like the 5 year old bottle of NyQuil hiding in the back of a kitchen cupboard, or the spare mattress pad for our bed because everyone needs 2 right (Ha), or the electric skillet that has only been heating in the middle for 4 years...so anyway what didn't go to the landfill is in the spare room in the basement haunting me to go sort it out (good will, garbage, sell) Soon, I promise soon.

So for goodness sake - I am posting a few more "older" pictures from back in December and January just to get those photos out of my mind! I can't handle the haunt of the spare room and the haunt of the un-posted pictures any longer...something had to give...

Hailey rocking out to the Jonas Brothers CD
Lauren in the back on the drums

The princess outfit Hailey bought with Christmas money (love those earrings)

A snooze for you? When is it my turn?

Come on now, we do own a vacuum, I swear!

The Gymboree outfit Hailey HAD TO HAVE, made the mistake of handing her the junk mail in the car one day and she carried around the card with this outfit pictured on it for weeks, she finally convinced Grams and I to take her shopping, she was right - it is SUPER CUTE

Breakfast on the prairie? Oh, man look this picture is from October - I have been hanging on to this one WAY too long.
That's it. All Done, for goodness sakes.