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Showing posts from January, 2012

Beauty and The Beast

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We all would love to take our kids to a real live broadway show right?  I mean how awesome would that be?  But of course fancy shows such as these costs some big moolah, so in the meantime....while we patiently wait to make those millions, there are cheaper, more creative suggestions.  Yes there are other avenues, such as the crazy "Wiggles" and "Yo Gabba Gabba" shows, but at 65 bucks a pop, I'm thinking not, besides they are soo  weird.  I'd much rather enjoy a classic like a middles school performance of "Beauty and the Beast."
           As you can guess by now, we got to see such a show last Friday.  I have a little sister who just happens to be 17 years my younger-oh I feel so old-and she just happened to play the french maid aka the feather duster in her middle school musical. Side note:  C'mon you know the character, the one Lumiere is always trying to woo. To prepare for such an occasion we got a babysitter for little Brinley …

Going on a Treasure Hunt, X marks the spot

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Danny has school Thursday evenings, which has turned out to be beneficial to my micro date planning. I tend to do things last minute any how...I like to think my creative juices churn more effectively under pressure. So a couple of hours before a micro date, I whip something up. Last Thursday was a mini treasure hunt. I left heart clues with small tasks for Danny to perform.
His last clue and task led Danny upstairs to me, where I laid out two corny challenges for both of us to perform: a laundry toss-aka seeing who can toss a dirty towel into the furthest laundry basket three times in a row-seriously it was actually quite the challenge. The second task was who could make the bed in the shortest time. Danny won both challenges....and received his award, spearmint gum, his favorite. Yes it is completely corny, but I figure why take yourself seriously, that's over rated anyway.

A Writers Group

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Well I can say that it has been quite the challenge to blog this past week...or whenever all this computer shennanigans began.  But alas I am on here......or at least till something breaks down, which can be at any moment. There is so much to write about, but I have decided put off sharing our micro date for a later time.
      This morning was the first meeting of a writers group I put together.  I invited all my  "wanna be author friends"  for a meet and greet, some critiquing and a pot luck lunch.  It seemed to be a success.  After all, it has performed it's purpose: to get us all writing, and to try to better our work.  Oh I just love writers groups.  You go in there, ready to share your work.  You think, this is great stuff, I just know they are going to gush over my talent and wonder why I am not a best selling author already?!?!  Oh yes, you THINK, your proud of your work.....until they point out all the grammatical errors and obvious explanations you seemed to h…

Fizzling out an Argument

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So yesterday at MOPS we had a guest speaker. Gayle Hosonity is Christian marriage coach. She has been married over two decades and shared some great tips with us. I thought I should share my favorites about fizzling out an argument. Here goes....
-Count to ten before you say anything mean
-While counting to ten, think about why you are truly upset, and what you REALLY want to say.
-Make the most important point in the first five words. No need for a BIG explanation and beating around the bush.
-Use the words I or we rather than YOU. Be positive in making your point. Negativity and accusations jut shuts the other person off.
-No one can cause you to react a certain way. You have a choice to respond or react. Always ponder, what kind of response would I want? And then operate in this manner.
-Sometimes tensions get to high. Setting a time and date for later in the day, or tomorrow can avoid a fight fest.
I am eager to try these new tactics out. Not that I'm eager to search for a rea…

Kids Change Everything

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Things I Did/Have Before Kids
1) Go Dancing
2) Stay up late-on purpose
3) Go out on a date every weekend
4) A trendy closet of clothes
5) Wear Heels
6) Go to college to pursue a fancy career
Things I didn't do/have before kids, but now do/have frequently
1) Give out goofy names and talk funny (hello there my liddle widdle Brinsters/ EllyBonelli you are my my shnugga boogs
2) Refer to myself in the third person (Mommy said no! Oh Mommy is sorry, Your okay, Mommy's got you)
3) Get winded just walking up the stairs, let alone dance, sheesh
4) Have back pain, upper lower, you name it. Kids are heavier than you think.
5) Paricipate in all sorts of co ops and mother related groups
-preschool
- MOPS
-story hour
6) Wear shirts with stains of food for he second day in a row.
In all seriousness I wouldn't trade it for the world. Oh how I love my little girls, achy back and all.

An improvised salad

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I wanted to make a bread salad the other day, but I left our croutons, olive oil and vinegar at a friends house. So I improvised and this I what I came up with. The hubby is not a fan, but I had three helpings, so obviously I liked it.
-diced red and yellow peppers (one each)
-diced tomatoes (three Roma tomatoes)
- broccoli
-slivered almonds
-olive oil (I used vegetable oil-cuz it I all I had)
-salt and pepper to taste
Side note: balsamic vinegar would also go excellent with it!
Let me know if you like it: there is a 50/50 chance you will.

Oh My Ellyanna

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Ellyanna got up early this morning. I was sleeping in because Brinley woke up crying in the middle of night and had me rock her for a half hour...so I was a little tired.
Then at four in the morning I hear some bumping in shuffling. I check out the curious noise to find Ellyanna scrambling into bed. Her turtle night light was turned back on and the door to the bathroom was closed.
"What are ya doing Elly?". I whispered
"I was going potty and then moved the stool and I washed my hands and I then I shut the door.". She piped up breathlessly. I had to shush her nicely because Brinley began to stir.
Apparently I was hearing the stool scrape against the floor. I gave her a big hug and kiss and congratulated her on the job well done.
So naturally this morning I woke up to more scraping, bumping, and the heavy pitter patter of footsteps. It was much louder than a few short hours ago. I groaned and slowly got up, making my bed and getting dressed all while hearing the…

Laziness and Frustration

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What a frustrating day!!! I have attempted to post this twice and somehow my words have gotten lost both times?! Grrr! On top of this my computer crashes each time I get into Word. What a miserable time I am having....and my message was superb. It was about how the pioneers lived comparing their luxuries to ours and the lack of gratitude we have in this generation. And I am a perfect example of this ingratitude right now because all I want to do is stew. My message was about reminiscing of our three days with no power in the snowy October storm we had and how it opened my eyes to the blissful invention of electric and the light and heat that comes from it. I was going to share with you that I need to make changes and do more things that help me to recognize these blessings more often,actions that require:
-reading literature about people who lived before and people who live in other parts of the world. Books to help us see how good we have it.
-cAmping with family, making meal…

Our Valentine Tradtion

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I love Valentine’s Day.That’s not to say we do a lot of things in honor of it, but I just love the idea of it.Valentine’s Day is all about expressing love to those whom we care for.It’s a brilliant idea, one that really we should all be doing 365 days of the year.There is not a lot of exchanging of candy or flowers or jewelry in our household.I try to get Danny and the girls little Valentine candy boxes, but that’s about it.But we do have a tradition that of course I came up with.Side note:Danny is such a good sport to go along with all my crazy ideas. Come mid-January I break out the Compliment Jar.It’s just a jar that I bought from the dollar store. We fill that jar with compliments; compliments for one another.The minimum rules are to write three compliments for each person, but more is always welcome!!On Valentine’s Day we open the jar in the morning and read all the lovely things we have said about one another, thus feeling warm and fuzzy inside.I love this tradition, but am alway…

Simplifying in the Snow

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We woke up this morning to flittering flakes and a blanket of white.Danny typically works Saturday mornings for our neighbors next door, but with the snowfall he was able to chill with the family a bit longer.Actually “chill” is an oxymoron to what he really did.With a couple extra hours on hand Danny was able to organize and get rid of stuff in the basement.All the camping gear that once adorned and took over the air hockey table is neatly packed away in bins.The laundry that sat in a monstrous pile on the ground has been placed in baskets and stands atop a table near the washer and dryer.Food storage is placed in its correct shelf in neat little rows. I told you I wanted to become a Minimalist by the end of the year, but I didn’t tell you I felt pretty much alone in this venture until today. This felt like a BIG relief, seeing that the basement was going to be the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE!! I had already gone through all the bins, ridding us of bags of clothes, books, and decorations, but …

Honey Moon Suite

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So last night we had a lot going on.Danny had his first night of school for the second semester and I had another favorite things party to attend-love favorite things parties!!But the thing is I promised Danny 52 dates for the year.We’ve only had one thus far, a New Year’s Game Night.This gift to Danny is tricky, because we can’t afford sitters every week, let alone the money for a weekly dreamy date.Sooo….most of the winter ones are micro dates.What is a micro date you ask? I know your dying to know.

A micro date is a quick half hour to one hour date that is in the comfort of our own home AFTER the kids have gone off to bed.And last night around 9:40, this is what we had.The theme was Honey Moon Suite. I cleaned our bedroom-it really makes such a difference when it is clean ;-) –changed the sheets, swept, wiped everything down, took out all clutter, changed the quilt, decorated with heartslit a bunch of yummy smelling candles and brought out all the massaging supplies.I gave my best s…

My Life with Two Girls

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BRINLEY Brinley is my little tornado.In fact I think I should nick name her that: because of the disasters she leaves behind in such little time.If I leave a room for a single minute, I find it will be in shambles the very next.For example, if I go to the playroom to straighten the place up and return to the kitchen a few short minutes later, I will find cereal littering the floor, boxes strewn about and baby dolls surrounding her.Side Note:Must get some sort of lock for our cabinet that I like to call our pantry. If I keep the bathroom door open, toilet paper will have mysteriously slithered its way off the roll and onto the tub, floor, and toilet and out the door.Towels that were previously hung up will be splattered on the ground.If the cabinet doors weren’t locked, then my bag of makeup will decorate the floor, counter and her face.Toys will have somehow made an exodus into the bath tub.I always seem to catch her after the act when she is standing on her tip toes atop the stool, try…

Meal Time Sentences

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I am not a very good teacher.I should be going over letters and numbers every single day with Ellyanna, but I’m not.I should be teaching her how to trace and write them out, but of course I’m not.I save it all for preschool, which is only two days a week.I’m far from perfect.But I am taking little steps.I do something small every day, something I like to call meal time sentences. What are meal time sentences?Let me back track here.A couple of years ago we bought “Your Baby Can Read” because I just had to have it and insisted that our daughters would be becomes real life geniuses in result.Of course being the mom that I am, I was gung ho for the first couple of weeks and then easily stopped.“Your Baby Can Read” comes with videos, which we placed in the car DVD.Ellyanna grew sick of it quickly.A lot of whining sounded once the theme song to these DVD started.But Brinley loved it, so we would take turns for a bit there.And then Brinley broke her TV screen.She was fascinated with yanking o…

A Couple of Tips for wannabe Real Estate Investors

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Although the past couple of months have been a headache with the rentals, it typically isn’t like this.Usually we receive rent, pay the mortgages and that’s about it.Every so often we get a call about something minor such as a leaky pipe, and usually I will call a plumber and it will be fixed.Rarely do we get a major call for something like needing a whole new furnace.Side note:Yes we did get that call last year and yes a new furnace happens to be very expensive.But all in all, so long as you have paying tenants, land lording isn’t bad.So maybe you think you could get a rental property.If so I encourage it, with just a couple of hints. 1)First and Foremost if you plan on acquiring a rental property make sure there is a Cash flow.What is cash flow?It is money left over after receiving rent and paying for the taxes, mortgage, water bill, and any other expense relating to the property.If you do not have a cash flow with a rental property then really, it’s not an investment, since it’s ju…

Making Goals in Our Marriage

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I have a wise neighbor who has been married almost 54 years.She has 8 grandchildren, some of which have recently tied the knot.In honor of these marriages, she decided to write a book about creating a loving and special marriage.She has since then, published it and given it out as wedding gifts.What a wonderful gift: to gain knowledge, wisdom, and experience from someone who has been there before.One can only benefit from such a book.Side note: I’m lucky enough to have a copy. I’ve decided to share with you a tidbit that I learned from this book as well as in my own marriage experience.Making GOALS!Goal Setting has been fantastic for Danny and me.If you think about this, it really makes sense.Most of us make individual goals, for our health, career and new talents that we want to build on; but we leave companionship goals by the wayside.Why do we do that?We want to improve the rest of our lives, so why leave the marriage factor out?Do you find yourself doing this?I admit there are time…

Who Is My Neighbor?

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When you think neighbor, isn’t it easy to single out the five closest families that surround your house?I know that’s what I think of when I hear the word neighbor.As you know I trust and adore my neighbors.They are friendly, kind, courteous and we all look out for one another.But the residents in our neighborhood are not the ONLY neighbors we have.Take a glance around you when you are shopping on the grocery store, pumping your gas, depositing money into the bank, driving to work.Aren’t all these people our neighbors?What about close friends?You know the ones you call, text and hang out with?Yep these are all our neighbors.And all neighbors deserve help, praise, prayers, kindness and friendship.Speaking of friends I have a great neighborly story to tell. Last week was rough.We lost some tenants due to lack of rent for several months.To make matters worse they left a heaping mess behind and the oil tank completely empty. That same week Danny cut his finger and received about eight stit…

Burning off the Excess Weight

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       So we feel lighter on our feet tonight.Not because we ate any less, no no….but because we got rid of some “junk” in the garage.You know how I mentioned that our kindly tenants left a boat load of things behind?Yeah, well that “junk” made its way into our garage.Hooray!Yeah, not so much.Lots of dressers, shelves, desks and toys have been crammed into our lovely two car garage.There was just enough room for my van to barely squeeze in.But that changed tonight.How so?Because of the BURNING!!What burning do you ask?Why the giant flaming one in our backyard-where the garden normally dwells. Tip # 1A fun way to get rid of useless wooden junk that nobody and I mean nobody would want, is to burn it.And that is what we did.The girls had a great time admiring the flickering flames and sparks in the blackening night.Daddy pulled up a couple chairs for them to sit and gaze upon the fiery madness. Tip #2 Hot Cocoa makes all cold nights in front of a blazing fire, a bit merrier. Tip #3 Refried…

Less is More

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I was always under the impression that More is MORE!!  Ever since I was a kid I counted my Christmas gifts.  Quantity was most certainly better than quality, right?   As I got older I zoomed in on the more will make me happier philosphy.  As a teenager it was about the clothes, makeup, cds, dates, etc.   I always figured that more of these things would definitley calm the craving.  But it didn't.  MORE WAS NEVER ENOUGH!!! 
And then I got married, and it seems to me, that the big green monster grew inside me tenfold.  I would compare and compare.  So and so has a BIGGER house!!  I need a 3,000 square foot home!!  I WANT IT!!! How much acreage do they own???  That's how much I WANT!!  So and so is going WHERE on vacation?!?  NO WAY!!!  I WAANNNTTT TO GO THERE!!!  So and so has five kids and I only have two, I want MORE KIDS!! Yes, I did feel that way beleive it or not.
 She just had a baby a month agao?!?  Are you kidding me!?!  I WANT that body!!  My friend so and so is a FULL T…

My version of Taco Salad

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If you are like me then you understand just how hard it is to get motivated to eat healthy.  Nothing seems to taste as delightful, as fattening comfort food, and on a cold winter day none the less.  But this taco salad hit the spot.  And so I am willing to share anything that has me going for thirds.  Enjoy!
Your List:
Black Beans
Corn
Tomatoes
Olives
Taco Seasoning
Chips-tortilla chips, or just some hard shell tacos
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Ranch Dressing
1st Step:  Get Yourself a big ole bowl. 
2nd:  Get all Your Canned Foods out of the way.  Open up all your canned items and throw them in the bowl.




3rd Step: It's Chopping time!  Chop up those tomaotes, cucumbers, peppers and really anything else you'd like to chop and add.  I had to chop my olives, seeing that I bought them unchopped.  But if you like onions, go on and add them!  If you like avaocados, now is the time to chop em up.  Side note: I bought avocados specicifually for this salad and forgot to use them. Doh! Chop, chop, chop and th…