Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Nikolai!

My baby is 8 years old today! I can hardly believe he is 8!! He decided what kind of cake he wanted and helped to decorate it with sprinkles. He also placed the candles on the cake and was irritated when I wouldn't let him light them! He is so, so independent!!

So, my dear son, I hope you have lots more just a happy as today!! I love you!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Turn it down!

It's Warm Sweater Wednesday so turn down that thermostat!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Deal with Hickory Farms

Can you believe that I got all of this for $20 (and that included shipping!) from Hickory Farms? They had an awesome deal recently that my friend Rhonda told me about. She bought some things as well. My boys love summer sausage since it was a staple in Russia. Cheese, of course, is always a winner. These were three gift boxes that I ordered. The items came in sturdy, lovely boxes and I am thinking about decoupaging the lids with Christmas paper/cloth and use them for gift giving. I'll work on those and share that project later.

Thank you Rhonda for telling me about this sale!!

On a personal note, I managed to cook all our evening meals at home this past week. That was in contrast to the week before where each night Dennis and the boys ate out. I enjoy cooking meals at home but I really have to manage my time wisely. This coming week, I will work late on Tuesday and Thursday. Those 2 nights will be a crock-pot night so Dennis and the boys can eat as soon as they get home. I will eat later when I get home.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Upward Basketball

The boys are playing basketball through and they are having a wonderful experience. We are so much better pleased with this organization than we are with our local rec department. They have had 3 games and won all 3. Today was intense since it was touch and go for a little while. Hard to believe that one could get so worked up over a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds running around. They are so cute and sometimes they remember the rules!
Dribbling is still a problem. Nikolai likes to pass the ball (like into the open hands of the opposing team.) Deniska plays defense when he should be playing offense. Other than that, they are both good little players. I hate that this picture of Deniska is blurry - it is so much like him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grocery shopping

I went to Ingles tonight to buy groceries. They are having triple coupons this week. I had a really good shopping trip. My bill was $206.43, coupons were $128.20, and paid $78.23!! What a great deal - that's a 62% savings. Then, I went to CVS.

They have Excedrin on sale this week for $1.99 and Excedrin has a printable coupon for $2.00 on their website. That makes it FREE!! That's always the best deal. You just pay the tax.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Conversations from the backseat

Today was a lovely day. It was up to 55 from the low 20s and the sun was shining. I had my Christmas music on in the car and everyone was happy, until...

Nikolai: Mom, you forgot to cut up some celery for my lunch today.

Mama: Nikolai, I'm sorry. I told you to remind me this morning.

Nikolai: That's not my job!

Mama: What did you say?!!? (at this point, I was not a happy camper!)

Nikolai: I said, that's not my job. That's yours.

Deniska: Whoa! Hold the phone. Mom, ask Nikolai if he was hungry after lunch.

Mama: Well, Nikolai, were you hungry?

Nikolai: Yes.

Deniska: Mom, he got a tray from the lunchroom and it was a big tray!

Mama: Nikolai! You know better than that.

Nikolai: Mom, it didn't cost anything. I just punched in my number and they gave it to me.

Mama: No, Nikolai, it does cost. They will send me a bill and I will have to pay for it. Now, back to it being my job. That is not my job.

Deniska: That's right. You know that Mama's job is teaching at the high school. Isn't that right, Mommy?

Mama: Yes, that's right. (At this point I delivered my sermon on what is "my job" and what isn't. I don't think Nikolai will make that mistake again!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tea Sample Giveaway & Warm Sweater Wednesday

Get a sample of Teasta teas (two flavors max) when you use the code TRYME at check out. You can choose up to 2 different sample blends. The sample ships for free and the offer is available while supplies last. Enjoy!

And, since it's Wednesday, enjoy a cup of hot tea as your turn your thermostat down a degree or 2.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Giveaway from JANE4girls

One lucky reader will get a chance to win their very own 5 bag set of Ultimate hotSACKS with a matching set of reusable bulk bags, Meshy hotSACKS.

Check out JANE4girls $800 annual budget for the details!!

Pantry shelves and little boys

This is NOT my pantry, although in my dreams it could be! Last night, the boys decided to organize my pantry. I don't know what the attraction about that is but they love to reorganize the pantry (then I have to re-organize it later!) Anyway, last night as they were organizing, Nikolai decided to climb one of the pantry shelves to reach something higher than he could reach. Yes, you guess right. He broke the metal support for one of the shelves and it all came tumbling down. Needless to say, Mama and Papa were not happy. Dennis went to Lowe's to buy a replacement but didn't have any luck. Right now, I have it propped up with 2 picnic baskets. We will look for a replacement support today. BOYS!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pickles woes

Last night at 1:30 AM, I was cleaning the carpet where Deniska vomited. We had eaten at Firehouse Subs and Deniska went overboard with the pickles. He ate 4 of them. Later, he told me that he did not feel well. He has been battling a cold all week so I gave him a hot bath and put him to bed. I thought it was the cold. He woke me up early this morning to tell me that he had thrown up - in his room and on my bedroom floor. He eventually threw up 2 more times and I put him back to bed with a trash can beside the bed. He slept until I woke him up to see the snow. He still doesn't feel well. I have spent the morning researching how to clean up vomit off the carpet. Apparently, what I did early this morning was not what I should have done to clean it to get the stain out. I'm going to try shaving cream and see if that will work.

On top of all of this, he has had several nose bleeds since Friday. He has had 2 today. I will be glad when he feels better.

Sleet, Ice, Snow - Oh My!!

Dennis and I woke up this morning to sleet and snow falling! It was so pretty. I woke the boys up to look at the snow falling. Nikolai (having lived in Russia) was not impressed and went back to sleep. Deniska (who loves any excuse to get up) was excited! We had no accumulation and we were all disappointed. It was fun to see it falling and dreaming of a white January! (Nikolai is still mad that we left his green sled in Russia!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

too cold to go outside

It's too cold to go outside for the kitty cats. Two of them did venture outside this morning after being in the house for 2 days. The older cats know better. They are snuggled here on the bed nice and warm. It's 16 degrees outside. The high is predicted for 36 today.

The boys have a basketball game this morning. I dread getting out in the cold and sitting in a cold gym. Then, I need to go to the grocery store and run a few errands. I think Dennis is planning on us going to Mass tonight. So, it will be a busy day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

24 hours a day

Time in A Bottle

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them

~Jim Croce


I'm not sure that adding time to a bottle would necessarily be a good thing. But, I sure would like to have a few more hours in a day. There is just too much to do during certain times of the year. I have had something to do every night this week: Monday was Attendance School; Tuesday was Homebound with my student; Wednesday was an appointment at home. I am looking forward to just staying at home tonight. Twelve hours work days are really getting to me.

The weather today is miserably cold! The cats won't even go outside! I am sure that the wind blowing doesn't help any! Tonight's low is 15 and tomorrow's high is 32! B-R-R-R!!!!! OH I know you folks with REALLY cold weather are laughing at me but we are just not used to such cold temps.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jan 10th

Yesterday would have been my father's 92th birthday if he were still alive. Daddy died December 15, 1991. I still miss him very much. He was a wonderful father. My mother thought he was perfect and we did too!
When the good Lord was creating Fathers, He started with a tall frame. An angel nearby said, "What kind of a Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put the Father up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, play pretend drinking tea, and kiss dolly goodnight, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without stooping?" God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"
And when God made a Father's hands, they were large. The angel said, "Large hands can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails, or even remove splinters caused from baseball bats." Again God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets and a little girls paper dolls and jump rope, and to teach her to turn cartwheels, yet small enough to cup a child's face in them."
Then God molded long slim legs and broad shoulders, "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap?" the angel chuckled. God said, "A Mother needs a lap. A Father needs strong shoulders to pull a wagon, to balance a bicycle, or to hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."When God was in the middle of creating the biggest body any one had ever seen, the angel said, "That's not fair. Do you honestly think that form is going to get out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries, or walk through a birthday party without crushing one or two of the guests?" God again smiled and said, "It will work. You will see. It will support a small child who wants to ride to Banbury Cross or scare mice away from a summer cabin , or walk in shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that see everything, but remain calm and tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, He added tears. Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now are you satisfied he can love as much as a Mother can?" The angel said nothing more.~~By Erma Bombeck.~~

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Warm Sweater Wednesday

Cold weather has returned to our area. It's chilly outside but today is Warm Sweater Wednesday and that means not turning the thermostat up high today. Find a blanket and cover up! Now, on to another subject.

Conversations from the back seat:
Deniska: Mom, sometimes I think you really annoy me.
Mama: Annoy you? Why?
Deniska: Well, when I ask you a question you don't answer me right away and I think you are 'noring me. This really annoys me. I think you are mad at me.
Mama: Deniska, you don't give me time to answer you before you ask me the same question 10 times. You have to give Mama time to think about what you are asking.
Deniska: M - o - m, that is an 'xageration! I know you can hear me the first time.
Mama: I am so sorry that I annoy you. Anything else I do that bothers you?
Deniska: No.


Deniska: Mom?
Mama: Yes?
Deniska: I love you.
Mama: I love you too Deniska.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A little paint and a brush...


I had 2 pieces of furniture that I wanted to use in my living room (for sentimental reasons) but they were in bad shape. I'm all for the cottage look but these were a little too much of the 'shabby chic' to suit me. The little table used to be on my mother's front porch and she used it for a plant table. At some point in time, she painted it bright yellow, which is perfect for a porch plant table! The little footstool was bought at a the flea market years and years ago. I just love it and think it has character. It just needed a little tender, loving care! For a long time, the footstool was under my desk and no one saw it at all. But, since I gave my desk away, it is now in the living room. Someone suggested that I paint both pieces black since that was "in" right now. My sweet husband bought me a quart of black paint and brush and told me to paint away! I love to paint so it was not a chore at all. So, Saturday I put the first coat on and Sunday afternoon I put the 2nd coat on. I really like how both pieces turned out.
I haven't quiet decided where the table will go or what its purpose will be. It will work itself out and I will let you know!

Sam really likes the footstool now. I still have to recover the pad. I just put some fabric on it to take the picture. Of course, Sam had to check it out!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Walking to Nancy's!

My dear friend, Nancy, has new pedometer just like mine! Since we both want to put our pedometer to good use, we have decided to encourage each other in our walking. So, I have decided to do a virtual walk to Nancy's house in West Virginia! According to my estimations with Mapquest, it is:

Total Estimated Time: 5 hours 22 minutes (driving)
Total Estimated Distance: 293.84 miles
Steps - 930,885.12
Days – 93.09 days
Estimated arrival – April 8, 2008

I have my pedometer packed and will start first thing in the morning! See you in April, Nancy!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tuesday Tip (I know it's Friday!)

I know it's Friday but honestly, Tuesday Tip just sounded better than Friday Tip. Don't you think so? On to the tip - I read this somewhere years ago but don't remember where. Right now, go get your checkbook and open it to the blank checks. Go ahead, I'll wait on you. Back already? Wow, you're fast! Now, with a pen (I should have told you to bring a pen! Go get one, I'll wait again.), write 09 in the date entry. That way, you will not accidentally write "08" for the next several months. It takes just a few minutes, but will save you lots of mistakes in the future!
For those of you who use your credit card or debit card for everything, this may not apply to you. We use our debit cards for 99% of the purchases we make. However, there are a few places that we like to send a check. We use a check when we are making a donation (like to church or any other charity.) Your check is your written copy of your donation. Happy Tuesday! (I mean Friday!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Home Improvement

The New York Times reported: With the housing market in the doldrums and inflation running at a pace unseen in nearly two decades, consumers are not buying new homes. Instead they are fixing up the ones they have, a trend that is beginning to show up in the financial reports of retailers.

It seems that many people are fixing up their homes during these troubled economic times. Nothing wrong with that. Matter of fact, I would like to do some home repairs myself. The carpet needs to be replaced, I'd like new kitchen cabinets, new counter tops, etc... All of these things are fine and no one would fault me for wanting to fix up my little house. But, all these things are also superficial. The structural part of the house will stay the same.

Aren't New Year's resolutions much the same? We want to lose weight, be more organized, quit a bad habit, any number of resolutions. Think of the resolutions you have made int he past years. Now, before you think I am putting down New Year Resolutions, let me say that I am all for resolutions if it will help you become a better person.

Now, what does home improvement have to do with New Year's resolutions?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NAS) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Doesn't that put things in a different light? We need to do some home improvements on ourselves! I like to think of these as goals instead of resolutions. Statistics on New Year's Resolutions are not encouraging. Most fail within the first week. Too many changes too quickly, I assume. But, if we are to work on our bodies then it needs to be slow and steady. Lest you think I am only talking about our physical bodies, we must also work on our heart, soul, mind, and body.

Mark 12:30-31 (NAS), "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength...You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

As for my personal goals? Let me take each of the 4 separately.
Body - I want to be more physically fit. I have a handy little pedometer that I keep in my pocket. I will be recording my steps on this blog every day for some type of accountability. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. Let me state that I have had this little pedometer for months and just set it up yesterday! Along with that, our family is committed to eating more healthy. (I know we will struggle with that one!)

Mind - Studies have shown that an active mind will ward off Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association recommends to keep your brain active every day:
1. Stay curious and involved — commit to lifelong learning (work, crafts, hobbies, etc...)
2. Read, write, work crossword or other puzzles (Sudoku, word finds, etc....)
3. Attend lectures and plays (I really do need to start doing this with the boys!)
4. Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group (I do this through my work. I just finished a technology class.)
5. Play games (does Uno count? The boys are just learning how to play this game.)
6. Garden (we'll start this in a few months.)
7. Try memory exercises (have lots of opportunities to do this!)

As for me, I will continue to craft. Not only is that good for my mind, but it is therapeutic as well. Before long, we will be able to start our tiny garden. The boys keep me on my toes as we are memorizing scripture verses and prayers.

Soul - this is perhaps the hardest for me. I really truly want to increase my prayer life and Bible study. I really need to restructure my day to incorporate more time for this endeavor. I need to start a prayer journal. I have had one in years past but not recently. On this first day of the new year, perhaps I will once again start that as well. Although I know I am a child of God's, there are times that I feel so very unworthy.

Heart - I need to take a spiritual cardiogram. Has my heart become hardened to certain peoples and their plight? The book of Hebrews warns against this several times. What is hard-heartedness? Merriam-Webster definition states: adjective : lacking in sympathetic understanding. How many times are we hard, cold, indifferent, insensitive, callous, unkind, heartless, merciless, intolerant, uncaring, pitiless, unfeeling, unforgiving, or affectless? And before we answer that we not those things, I would encourage you to examine your own heart. The opposite of hard-heartedness - KINDNESS! So, I will practice kindness, kindness, kindness. It will be hard to do every day in every situation. I will need lots of prayers.

Whew! I certainly did not mean to go on and on. And, if you are still reading, thank you. Let's do some home improvements, shall we?

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope you will have a blessed year with lots of love and happiness!

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.