Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting rid of the new

    Yea.., that's right. I'm getting rid of the new. Well, it's not so new because we've had the stuff for a while but it's all brand new in the packages. What are they? They are mostly gifts that the kids never opened to play with. Most were stored away with the idea to space them out through the year as a new toy, the rest are toys they just didn't want. Can you believe that? A kid not want to open up and play with a new toy?! I guess it's good that my kiddos know what they want and when they get it - it's game over.
   I have started to list the new items to sell on a "yard sale" site and it's been working pretty good. I'm not asking retail prices (most retail for over $10), nor am I asking for what I feel is outrageous. Just $4 - $5 an item or a reasonable bundle and whatever doesn't sell in a few weeks I'm going to just donate to the charity bins at the stores or see if there is a local club that you can donate to families in need. I'm hoping to take the older two kiddos with me so that they will make the donation themselves to learn that there are other families out there that are not as fortunate as ours.
    Wondering what I'm doing with the money that I get? That all goes into a huge water bottle that we collect change and extra dollars in. Ultimately we'll go to Disney with that dough. Although Big Sis has a vote in for Hawaii (might not be too bad of an idea., the Hubs has family there). Why not just go? Because I want to teach my kiddos that we have to save for big things that we want like family trips.
    So as I am getting rid of the new I'm hoping to teach my children charity and saving. Do you do anything like this? What are some ways you teach your children similar lessons?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Found it!

    It's never too early to start a Christmas wish list is it? Not at all. I have mine going year round! So it's only natural that the kiddos know what they want when I ask them for ideas. Unfortunately for them, I have been done with shopping for gifts (another thing that's year round) so the list gets passed to family members who ask for ideas.
    The quick version of the background on our Christmas tradition - I've sort of copied it from my parents. Growing up I received 3 gifts from Santa with a family gift tossed in there (usually a board game or something like that). Why the 3 gifts? Because Baby Jesus received 3 gifts - one from each of the Wise Men.

    So every Christmas my kids received 3 gifts and a fun filled stocking with a family gift. I've been struggling a bit on the family gift this year. Since our move earlier this year forced us to condense down outdoor toys I wanted to look into something that could easily be stored and assembled. We sold two playhouses, swings and some other big outdoor toys. We have a backyard now.., not a side yard so we lost some land space as well.
    The moment I saw the HugglePod in Magic Cabin's catalog I knew that would be the family gift! How awesome is this??!! It's a fun hanging pod like tent for the kiddos and I can even sneak in! I am totally in love with this! As much as I LOVE the Fall weather I am already antsy for Summer. The tree in our back yard is going to be perfect for this. They are seriously going to have a blast and I know Lulu is going to enjoy spending time in there mastering her advanced reading skills. It's perfect!

    How do you celebrate the Christmas holiday with your kiddos?  Do you have a set number of gifts? A big ol' family gift?

***The not so fine print - this is not a sponsored post -
I was not compensated in any way to post about the product or place. ***

I'm a little tea pot...

    When I get all steamed up here me..., vent? Yeah. I just have to vent right now. I think I am just fed up. It's silly really but I'm just irritated, annoyed, just fed up.
    I vaguely remember the days when the Hubs and I were just the two of us. No kids. But I do know that we got up in the morning, took care of ourselves, went to work, came home and ate dinner. We were able to come and go as we pleased. If I had to run out to the store.., I could just go. I didn't need to find a babysitter, worry about what mood the kids are in or time it perfectly into a schedule. If someone had something for me that I had to pick up it was easy to just swing on by on my way through.
    That brings me to my current annoyance..., I have a few bags of clothes that are of interest to my brother. He literally works 10 - maybe 15 minutes away. When he drops of his finance he could take a route that brings him so close to my house he could toss a rock and hit it. I've messaged him a few times to let him know I still have the bags for him to pick up and I either get zero response (oh those darn cell phones.....) or he says he's too sick to swing through and pick up. He then wants me to dig through the clothes to let him know if there are hoodies in there. That brings out the sarcasm in me.., I just want to say "Yeah sure.., I have plenty of time to open the bags which are knotted up and dig through them to let you know what is inside. Not a problem at all. I will just add that to the front of my list and get right back to you. I don't have anything else that is incomplete and doesn't have to get done." Sheesh.
    Another annoyance is the crazy member who needs to have attention most of the time and to be let it known that they are the best ever. Because I enjoy not hearing a smidgen from you and then out of the blue with a change of plans I like to drop everything and change schedules to accommodate for your spot light. Oh the holiday season.., and "birthdayrow" (that's another vent for another day though - lets just say it's not fun. For me at least.)
    The kids have started their Christmas list and I am looking forward to letting those who want ideas to have it. T.W really wants a food cutting set like this Melissa and Doug one. Lulu wants a few different things but mostly crafty kits. Bear will more than likely end up with new board books.., she loves them so much. I know one family member who will abide by the list and get just what the kids are asking but I know another one who will stray. I have accepted that that's what they prefer to do but I just feel bad when the kids don't react to what they unwrap like they did on the things they wanted. Each year I try something different but never successful so I think I've given up on that. No use to spin my wheels when someone doesn't want me to board their tracks. So I'll just give the list out to those or that person who wants it and that is that.
    Last but not least.., my body. My body is so sore. The top to my feet are super sore when I stretch my toes upwards. They are so sore I am unable to run let alone jog in place. Going up and down steps is tolerable. My entire back is one tight muscle and when I laugh it tightens up and almost feels like a huge spasm. Deep breaths are not fun and not as relaxing as they use to be.
    I could not tell you when I last felt amazing. I cannot for the life of me recall the last time I felt like I could skip, crawl and jump without any pain. And I don't know what to do. I ice, take warm showers and use a vibrating back thing but seriously nothing truly feels like it helps. And I am sure the Hubs and the kids are getting as much sick of it as I was months ago.., now I'm just past it and sinking further into a fog of light depression (for better lack of words). 
    Ok - I am done venting.., I'm going to go make myself another cup of coffee and see what chaos I can try to control with the three kiddos while the Hubs is working an open house hoping that sooner comes sooner than later.., heh. Enjoy your weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My sweet and sour type of day

    Ever have one of those days when it's just on the fence? It's not a horribly awful day but it's also not one of those fantastic energetic days. It's both sweet and sour. That's the type of day I'm having today.
    I woke up and felt better than I have in a while. Granted T.W woke up Bear well before she usually gets up but we embraced the early breakfast (while I secretly harvested an annoyance knowing that she was literally going to be a Bear come mid-morning).
    The coffee seemed like it took forever to brew - and I have a Keurig. It couldn't get into my cup fast enough but once it did it was amazing! So amazing I had about four cups throughout the day.
    Lulu has been asking for weeks for me to make homemade tacos so I thought I would surprise her with dinner this fine evening...., only to have her come home with a mega sore throat and feeling icky. She managed to eat one, which proved to me she is sick. On a normal day she could pack down at least four of them!
    I was cleaning up the shoe explosion in the entry way and T.W and Bear decided I needed some "help" and wandered over to try on ALL the shoes..., which was silly for a bit but then just annoyed me. Once we wrapped up that up we went into the living room to read but no one wanted to actually sit while I read. Oy!
    Needless to say, it was just one of those days. I am a bit bummed it wrapped itself up into a knotted ball with few glimmers to work out the kinks but bleh!
    What do you do when you have a day like this? I worked extra hard to prevent it from trickling down to the kiddos but I fear my energy didn't pay off as much as I had hoped.., I noticed T.W was getting edgy in the afternoon. That's one thing I want to work on more.., keeping my frustrations from trickling down.
    Maybe I should have switched to decaf at one point eh? Sigh.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You are the apple of my eye - and a chip!

    Last year the weather here was not very friendly to apple farmers BUT this year rocked and we were able to go off to pick our own instead of grab a bushel. The kids all had a blast and it was fun to go with my brother and his fiancĂ© - too bad the Hubs was off helping a move at last minute's notice.
    Let's fast forward - what are we going to do with three bags of apples?! I'll tell you where we start! Release the mandolin!!! I have a not so secret love affair with my mandolin. We make chips together. We've made beat chips and potato chips and let's not forget zucchini chips (they were to die for! if you like the taste of pumpkin seeds you'll like those).
    Here are some pics of TT and I making some apple chips for when Lulu came home from school. We like to create in the kitchen while Bear is taking her afternoon nap.
Scene of the crime
Getting a little silly
Apple Star!
All set and sugared up.
In they go -
- He got a bit distracted -
How delish do these look??!!
Well they were definitely delish. The kids devoured them.
What do you like to do with apples?

Goodies Co. Kids Box Unveiling Sept 2013

    I finally loaded the pictures and videos from my camera and while I was going through the folder I saw this little video chilling out. Then I thought "Oh goodness! I never loaded our unveiling of our September Goodies Co. Kids Box to the ol' blog"
    So here it is. Yes, its a month late. And yes, we'll be getting our October box soon BUT this is still one of our favorite boxes to get and the cost doesn't break the old wallet either. It's fun to have the kids try out the treats inside and discover new things.
    Enjoy! We sure did!!

***Not so fine print disclaimer - This box was purchased by me. I was not sent this from the company and was not compensated in any way for what was said. ***


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Bear's first apple picking experience
(last year the apple trees were unfortunately affected by the drought and weather
which forced many "U-pick" farms to only offer pre-picked bundles
but luckily this year they were back in full force!)