Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I survived another great Black Friday. If you are new, here's the link to last years Black Friday post. This year we added a few more things to do and NOT do on Black Friday!

  • DO NOT go to Walmart! We went once and it was not worth our time. Today I heard that friends of mine were trampled at Walmart. Walmart shoppers are just a different kind of crazy!
  • Find the hidden registers! Today we got in line for the pharmacy in Target and saved getting in the line that wrapped around the whole store! At Sears we found only one person in line in the shoe department. 
  • Make friends with the people around you in line. They may just grab you the 2nd to last external hard drive!
  • Make sure you double check your coupons from the paper. I thought I had a great coupon for Old Navy, only to see that it was for Thursday. Oops! We did have a coupon code that worked, so all was good. 
  • Share coupons you don't use. Mom shared a 15% off coupon with a lady with a cart full of things at Kohls. Probably saved her $30!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is the day the Lord has made

I have had a rough week. One of those, is it over yet weeks. Nate's bike was stolen from our carport. I over committed myself to too many things. We are in the middle of a fierce freezing wind storm, making everything more difficult. I was worried about losing power last night and couldn't find the keys to the generator. The wind broke my front screen door, ripping it right out of the frame. It's now bungee corded to the front door. I hurt my ankle trying to get the screen door to just stay closed (don't ask why I thought kicking it would work). The smoke alarm keeps going off randomly (because of the cold wind). So I haven't been sleeping well, and am fighting a cold, making everything more challenging.

As I was grumbling about all of this, the song "This is the day the Lord has made" came into my head. It's an old hymn that I haven't sung in years. It was one of my favorites at camp. At camp, everything is great, fun and perfect. So of course you can sing with all conviction that "this is the day the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it".

Of course today I am struggling with the "I will be glad and rejoice in it". I do have so much to be thankful for, that I need to stop getting caught up in the daily battle. I need to rejoice in today, even if today sucks.  I may not feel like Super Mom this week, but I can be thankful and rejoice in things that I take for granted.

Everyone's been posting their thankfulness lists this month. I truly am thankful, but just didn't feel like making my list. I really think it is important to make the list, knowing that the list will never be complete. Things that are frustrating now, may just be something we are thankful for next year.

So here are just a few of my things I am thankful for. I will rejoice in these things. God made this day, and I may not like how things go, but he's made this day for me!!

  • I am thankful that my kids are good students. I am thankful for their caring teachers and staff at their school. 
  • I am thankful for power. Thankful that I have heat and food and all the modern convinences. 
  • I am thankful for a husband who makes so many sacrifices for our family. 
  • I am thankful for my extended family and how much they help me out.
  • I am thankful for the technology and surgeon that were able to fix my genetic hearing loss. 
  • I am thankful for the soldiers and their families who make great sacrifices for our country.
  • I am thankful for my church and the freedom  to worship as I please. 
  • I am thankful for my friends who are there to lend and ear when needed.
  • I am thankful that God is not finished with me yet. He's teaching me every day, and while I may not like the lessons, he knows what's best for me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poor Hobbs

Poor Hobbs. It doesn't look like HE likes to play dress up.

Snowy Morning

We have a very cold snowy morning here. We have just a dusting of snow, and my kids would be out playing in it, except for the 30 mph gusty northeastern winds. Puts our wind chill at about 15 degrees right now. Lily's dance class was canceled so we are having a lazy morning in our jammies.

I started working on Christmas cards this week. For the first time ever, I decided to look in my Christmas bins and see what I had, BEFORE I started. I couldn't believe what I found. 4 different boxes of cards, 3 packages of photo letters, and 7 packages of stationary. I already gave a heads up to all my family and friends, don't compare Christmas cards from me! My goal is to use up most of it so that I can start fresh for next year. (More like buy all of the same at the after Christmas sale).

Our family picture is done, and I have done a test run copy from Costco. I learned years ago to do a test run before printing 120 copies. I was glad I did, because my file was bad and the resolution was very poor. A big thank you to my sister Amy Parsons.  The day we did our family pictures, my family had on grumpy pants. Mainly the little missy, but the "boys" weren't helping. After 15 minutes I threw in the towel. Amy did her magic and got us a great family photo. She truly is the BEST!!

So I am breaking my rule of  "NO Christmas music before Thanksgiving" and listening to "Let it snow". It's  fitting for the day, and I am getting in the mood to get my Christmas letter done. I will post the new photo once I get all the cards out. Everyone stay warm today and be safe on the roads!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Ideas

I'm the family member that everyone calls for gift ideas. I can't always help, but I do my best. Years ago I had the idea of making a family cookbook. I told everyone to get me the recipes, and I would do the rest. I never received a single recipe. This idea has been on the back burner for years. So this year my Mom stepped up the plate, gave everyone a deadline and is putting a book together. It's a photo book, with recipes. She's doing it as a gift for Grandma (Grandma doesn't have a computer, so I can share this with you.....just don't tell her!). The rest of us can purchase a copy too.

Photo books are a great Christmas gift. My sister started making me an annual family album as a birthday gift, and now she's so busy, I make my own. We have put many different kinds of books together. One for Grandma and Grandpa's 60th wedding anniversary. One of Lily and Emma having a tea party (I will treasure that one forever). There's also one from a camping trip, and one of our award winning sand castle. Last year I made an ABC book for my nieces and nephews. I found pictures of Nate and Lily for every letter in the alphabet. It was a cute book and a fun gift. You could make your own I Spy book. Take pictures of your kids toy box, messy room, ect and add text for things to find.

I like to do my books through Shutterfly, but you can also use Walmart, Photoworks, Kodak, ect. I like how user friendly Shutterfly is, and they ship out quickly. Watch for sales, all of the site are promoting these books right now, so get a good deal!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Auntie Hottie

Drew is my favorite nephew right now. I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but how can you resist a tiny little angelic face that says, "I love Auntie Hottie". It just melts my heart every time!!

He's also making up for the fact that his brothers called me Auntie Woof Woof. They were about Drew's age, and I have dogs, so to them it made sense.

The twins have also started chanting an old favorite rhyme of theirs.

Enie meanie miney mo
Catch a tiger by the toe
Auntie Holly LET HIM GO
Enie meanie miney mo.

Gotta love those boys!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays!

Wooo hoo, I remembered Tasty Tuesdays!

Today's tip is about prep work. I learned years ago while working at a sandwich shop, that when you have all the ingredients prepped in front of you, making sandwiches was fun....and yummy! I hate making fresh sandwiches now, because I don't have all the options I want.

Tonight's dinner is a stir fry, and it really only takes 20 minutes (after 20 minutes of prep work). The best thing to do is think ahead and have all the prep work done. Maybe this is while the kids are napping, or maybe the night before, whatever works for you.

This helps with many other things too. Like packing the kid's lunches. I try to have things like veggies already cut up into little baggies, and easy for me to grab in the morning when I'm throwing their lunches together. So many things are made easier if the prep work is done ahead of time. So think ahead. On nights with sports practices, you know you will be rushed at dinner, so have the prep work done ahead of time. It's also great to think a couple days ahead. Say you need chicken tonight, then cook up double, so that the chicken is pre cooked for later in the week.

This is one of my favorites, so enjoy!!

Cashew Chicken

1 1/2 cups boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
2 Tbsp chicken bouillon
1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp corn starch
2 Tbsp brown sugar
 1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 8 oz can water chestnuts
 1 cup cashews

Hot cooked rice or Chinese rice noodles. 

In saucepan, combine bouillon, water, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and ginger, mix well. In large wok, brown chicken in EVOO. Add bouillon mix, stir until slightly thickened. Add mushrooms, green onions, celery and water chestnuts, simmer for 5- 10 minutes. Add cashews and serve over rice or noodles.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I Survived

Surgery on my ear went well. I am thankful that they listened to me when I said I get very dizzy and nauseous. They gave me a patch that helped for the first two days. I'm still dizzy and nauseous, but it's getting better. I can actually hear a little bit out of my right ear! Last time it took 10 days for the swelling to go down, and almost 6 weeks before I had pre-surgery hearing back.  My taste buds are still messed up and I don't feel like eating, but that was expected. A big thank you to my hubby for being a great nurse! Thank you to everyone for their prayers, I really appreciate them!