Monday, August 31, 2009

Ant Farm

Yikes! We have an ant problem!! The weather was so beautifully cool yesterday that I opened the windows. Imagine my surprise when I pulled back the master bedroom drapes to find THIS:


Brent was able to get rid of most of them with bug spray, but the exterminator will be here this morning. ICK, ICK, ICK!!

Here's a little dose of sweetness to get rid of the creepy-crawley feeling. Bathtime is a big hit with these three!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Evening with Becky

I got to spend some time with my friend Becky this week--she brought over pictures of her son's wedding in Sayulita, Mexico. It was so beautiful...and beachy...and tropical...it makes me want to run off and get married all over again! (Yes, Brent, you can be the groom if I can be the bride...)

The boys were completely content to lounge on Becky. I had to pry them off of her to put them to bed.

Sophie loved Becky's sassy reading glasses so much that she insisted on wearing her "own" glasses while we were looking at pictures.

As a side note, I ran to the grocery store the other morning after Brent got home (he'd been working nights this week). He called me to say: "YOU'RE GONNA NEED TO STOP AND PICK UP MORE MARGARITA MIX." Apparently the Terrible Twos are taking their toll on Daddy. You might pray for his nerves if you think about it. (In his defense, he was a little sheepish about drinking at 11am until he realized it was really 11pm in his squirrely sleeping schedule...) I might drink, too, if I had to work that crazy schedule!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

This homemade laundry soap seems to be a hot topic of discussion among friends lately, and I've gotten a lot of questions about it. I made up a new batch last week and took some pictures along the way:

The ingredients you'll need are 4 bars of soap, 3 cups of Borax and 3 cups of Washing Soda:

Cut your bars of soap into smaller pieces to fit into your food processor. I used 1 bar Fels Naptha, 1 bar Irish Spring and 2 bars Ivory:

Using the grating attachment disc, grate 1/4 of the soap:

Switch to the chopping ('S') blade in your food processor, and add 1/4 of the dry powders to your shredded soap. (I added this step because I think it more evenly combines the bar soap and the powdered soap. I didn't do this step last time and am glad I added it this time). Repeat this process with the remaining bars and powder.

This is the finished product! 1-2 tablespoons per load is all you need!

Seriously, we're loving this stuff! One batch lasts us for at least three months, so the cost savings alone is outstanding.
Give it a try!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dave Ramsey: Financial Peace University

Now enrolling for the Financial Peace University class at Westlink Christian Church! We'll meet from 10:45am-12:00pm on Sunday mornings, starting September 13th. JOIN US!! Let me know if you need materials, or you can sign up on the church's website: www.westlink.org.

video

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

A few things we're thankful for this week:

1. Even though Brent was terribly hoarse for a few days, he didn't get the full-blown cold.
2. Two of our babysitters came and spent the evening with the kids so we could have a night out to celebrate Brent's birthday! They even gave the kids baths!
3. Our friend Karie for offering to fill in a babysitting "gap" tomorrow while one of our sitters is in orientation. Not having to go to my boss and explain babysitting dilemmas takes a lot of stress off!
4. Kelly bringing wine coolers over and hanging out around the chiminea...relaxed evenings like that are food for the soul. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

My dad recently told me of an ice cream man getting arrested for selling drugs out of his ice cream truck. Last night I was standing out back and the ice cream truck drove by. The song he was playing? "Puff the Magic Dragon." I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants!!!! HAAAAAAA!!!!!

Don't come running to my neighborhood looking for the ice cream man....I'm on to you...I WILL stage an intervention.... :-)

Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waffle recipes!

Since Brent has an aversion to anything healthy (he openly admits it...I'm not being mean), the second recipe is his favorite. It's ok, but pretty plain. He smothers his with peanut butter and drowns them in syrup, though, so there's nothing plain about them when he gets through! :-) I'll have to take a picture of his plate sometime--he takes waffle eating seriously. Ha!

Here is my FAVORITE waffle recipe so far:

OATMEAL WAFFLES

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 Tbls. molasses (I just use karo syrup)
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of other spices, per your taste (I add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)

Mix eggs & buttermilk. Add oats and mix well. Stir in molasses and oil. Add remaining ingredients. Grease your waffle iron WELL, and cook until golden!

Brent's favorite recipe:

BASIC WAFFLE RECIPE

1/2 cup margarine
1.5 cups white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. sugar
2 eggs
1.5 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt margarine in microwave. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla to melted margarine. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Low-carb dieters, please avert your eyes...

As I surveyed everything on my "to do" list yesterday morning, I decided to tackle waffles first. I make big batches of homemade waffles and put them in the freezer. We just pull them out, pop them in the toaster and voila! Better than Eggos! This is 6 batches of waffles I whipped up yesterday: approx. 60 waffles. Surprisingly, these will only last about a week. Brent is a BIG FAN of waffles. :-) They're on cooling racks in this picture, ready to get bagged up for the freezer.

Getting sick really got me behind on my chores! I cleaned floors yesterday, too, but there's so much left to do! Tomorrow--tackle the mountain of laundry...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

Things we're thankful for this week:

1. Great staff at one of our favorite mexican restaurants--they made sure the kids had bottomless salsa bowls last night for Brent's birthday dinner (see below).

2. Antibiotics and cold medicine! I used the tried-and-true trick of putting Vicks ointment on my feet (covered with socks), and I slept all night without the tickly cough that's been keeping me awake. Why hadn't I remembered that trick earlier??

3. A babysitter with an immune system of steel! I'm not sure how she's been here helping without getting sick.

Here are pictures from Brent's birthday dinner last night!




We were flattered by comments from fellow diners who said our kids were so quiet and well-behaved. We've finally figured out the secret--if we eat somewhere that serves chips & salsa, they're completely fine! Mexican dinner date with the Stiles family, anyone??

Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebration!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRENT!!!!

This is your day! Here's to carrot cake for breakfast--we love you!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bye Bye Stroller, Hello Bronchitis!

We sold our triple stroller on eBay last week to a buyer from Arkansas. As part of the purchase, she negotiated that we meet her in Tulsa with it. No problem--she paid full price for it (eBay now has a "Best Offer" option, so we priced it a little high thinking we'd have to come down on the price) and we thought we'd take advantage of the day to have some out-of-town fun with the kiddos.

I woke up knowing I shouldn't go because my cold felt like it was settling in my chest. I took some medicine and figured I'd be in the car all day not lifting a finger, so why not go? We ordered a carryout pizza from a place Brent's company has been printing ads for ("Hungrie Howie's Pizza")--Brent, being a pizza afficianado, had been staring at these ads for weeks and was dying to try one. We took it to a park and let the kids run around for a while while we ate...the pizza was pretty good! I think he was pleased with the lunch choice!

We met the lady to deliver the stroller at a local mall, then took the kids inside to play in their indoor play area. GREAT play area! They had a BLAST. We needed to get on the road early, though, because we had sitters lined up for the evening so I could take Brent out for his upcoming birthday.

After we loaded the kids up in the car, I had what I can only describe (secondhand) as an asthma attack. It felt like I couldn't get enough air into my lungs and my chest was on fire. I didn't want to go to a doctor in Tulsa, so we headed home--canceling Brent's birthday plans en route. I went to the Urgent Care when we got to Wichita, and they confirmed that I have a bad case of bronchitis. Ick! I'm on antibiotics and doing breathing treatments every four hours. I'm feeling a lot better tonight, but don't have much of a voice yet. What was supposed to be a fun day/evening turned into a total bust! Boo! Poor Brent! We'll have to re-schedule his birthday dinner & movie for next week.

I wonder if God planted all of the cold/flu stuff to keep my mind off of the stroller delivery. I've been having an awful time with selling the stroller--it's like the end of the baby era around here! I wanted to cry when the lady bought it, and silently wished that it wouldn't sell. I was afraid I'd cry when we handed it off to her, but I was too preoccupied by my burning lungs to think about it. I'm trying to look at the excitement of the next phase of parenting, though...the kids are getting more fun every day. No more bulky triple stroller to worry about lugging around. Looking on the bright side...looking on the bright side...looking on the bright side... Why am I still so sad?!?!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Runaway bus

Did anyone happen to catch a description of the bus that apparently ran me over in my sleep?? I woke up feeling AWFUL. Every inch of my body hurts. I thought I had licked this stupid cold! I went to the doctor first thing this morning, and they immediately did an H1N1 test...and apparently I'm swine-flu-free. That's good news, at least! Lots of fluids and more chicken noodle soup today. I'm hoping by tomorrow I've conquered it! The kids are doing great with it, but Sophie's nose is still really stuffy. Other than that, they seem to be on the mend.

Still keeping our fingers crossed that Brent is immune to our germs!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday!

The kids and I have caught a summer cold, so Brent is grateful he's at work today! The kids and I are thankful for:

  1. Vicks Vapor Bath. I use it as bubble bath for them, and it really helps them breathe better. They'll probably get two baths with it today--one this afternoon before nap and then again before bedtime.
  2. Tylenol Cold and DayQuil liquigels for mommy! I only have one dose of each left, so I'm trying to ration them today until I can get to the store when Brent comes home.
  3. We had everything we needed in the refrigerator to make chicken noodle soup. It's simmering on the stove right now, and we'll have it for lunch with grilled cheese. If I could smell, I bet the house smells delicious. :-)

Hoping this cold gets out of our systems soon, and that Brent doesn't get it!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pigs and Vampires

I borrowed the Twilight book series from a friend, and I am HOOKED. I flew through the first book, and have to put the second book in line behind one I borrowed from the library. If the library book ("Story Sisters" by Alice Hoffman) hadn't come so highly recommended and had so many people in line for it, I would consider returning it and jumping right into the second Twilight book. Needless to say, I'm staying up way too late reading!

The kids are equally hooked on the movie "Charlotte's Web." It's not animated, so a REAL (and sometimes computer generated) spider stars in most of the movie. You know how fond I am of spiders, so it's a labor of love to sit and watch it with them. Brent says "I can't BELIEVE Mommy is watching this!" He's a tough guy and watches it with them to give me a break. Here's a picture of them tonight watching it.


Speaking of vampires, Blake has developed a biting problem. Only with his brother and sister, though--he hasn't bitten any of the kids at church (thank God!!). Here's his latest chomp on Sophie. Eek!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy GratiTuesday...a day late!

I seem to be running a day behind this week! So much to be thankful for on this "GratiWednesday."

  1. We had a great garage sale last week!
  2. My walking partner. Without having someone to meet up with a few times each week, I probably wouldn't find the time to get a good walk scheduled in. It's nice to have someone who walks AND talks as fast as I do. I love the great conversation!
  3. I was able to get some table space for the Women's Open House at our church so I can get the word out about the upcoming Dave Ramsey class. (Class starts September 13th--join us!!) A gentleman from Dave Ramsey's office called last week and offered to send two of Dave's latest books for me to give away at my upcoming talk for MAPS, and I almost did a backflip.
  4. Sophie is going all night without a diaper! She is a potty trained superstar!
  5. My MAPS mom's neighbor owns a painting company, and she asked his advice on paint for my kitchen. She told him about our Dave Ramsey challenge of doing it as inexpensively as we could, and wanted to get his input on paint brands, etc. He was so excited about us taking the Dave Ramsey class that he insisted on buying two gallons of paint for us to get started on our project. Isn't that amazing?! I am over the moon about his generosity! He told me to stop at the Sherwin Williams store by our house, and sure enough--there were two gallons of a beautiful taupe paint waiting for me. Praise God! Brent and I are so excited to get to a point where we can do things like that for other people--generosity is so contagious! It really motivates us to stay focused on our path.

More soon, and I promise that the next post will include pictures of the kids!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Goosebumps

The strangest thing happened this morning. The boys woke up early, as usual, and as I was getting them out of bed Sophie stumbled into the room in a half-awake state. I took her to the potty, and as she was rubbing her eyes trying to wake up, she looked up toward the ceiling with a surprised look on her face like something startled her. She said "Oh, Mommy! It's a birthday!" then reached toward the celing for something. I looked up expecting to see a moth or a spider on the ceiling, but just saw the ceiling. Sophie whispered "I can't reach it, Mommy. It's a birthday!" then went back to rubbing her eyes and waking up.

I thought she must be dreaming or sleep-walking until I relayed that story to my dad tonight. Moments later, he e-mailed me a picture of a gravestone. Today would have been my mom's 65th birthday. I had it in my head that her birthday was later this week. When Sophie mentioned a birthday, I chuckled and said "Lord, if today was the 4th, you'd have me a little freaked out!" Needless to say, He has me a little awe-struck.

As a Christian, I fully believe that Sophie saw something this morning. I'm not sure what, but I believe it.

Happy birthday, Mom.