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12.27.2010

Road trip last week

We went to my dad's for Christmas again this year. Since Chris wasn't coming home until this week, it worked out great. We loaded up the car on Wednesday and set out for the 4.5 hour trip.

First stop... Chick-fil-a or as the little girls call it "flick-chi-lay"



I was teaching Caitlin how to use my good camera so the pictures taken in the car are from her.


We saw some really cool looking clouds on our way there. This one stretched out as far we could see. It was bright blue on one side and then white on the other. The clouds were so thin behind that puffy cloud that it looked bright white.

We were coming to the top of one of the many hills along the way and I saw a lot of smoke all of the sudden. Once we got to the other side we saw this.


And then this. The family did get out but I can't help but think about the panic that they must have felt. Notice the trunk is open. I hope they got all of their gifts out of the back so at least their kids had something to open on Christmas.

Scary. I had a car do that once. It's the scariest thing I have ever been through.


Sophie pretty much stayed like this the whole time.


While Lilly stayed like this. Constant motion. Always.


Salvaged picture. I forgot to change the settings from the night before and the picture was WAY off but I really like it in black and white.


Trucks picked up at the truck stop on the way.


They were on clearance so everyone got one.

I stepped on them approximately 1,357 times while we were there.


Sophie's boo boo from the mean concrete.


One of the many messed up pictures I took while we were there. I love this one though even if it looks terrible.

12.21.2010

So thankful

If you haven't noticed by now, I'll let you in on a little secret.

I COMPLAIN A LOT!

I complain on here because I have no one else to discuss things with. Being a trucker's wife is a very lonely thing. And when that trucker drives teams and is on the night shift, it tends to be even more lonely.

This my complaint box.

But it is also my praise box. The place I like to write down what I am truly thankful for, so that I never forget.

This is one of those times where I will praise rather than complain.

Right now, I love the company my husband works for.

A lot of people don't.

BUT that's OK because it works for us. (at the moment)

I know there is no such thing as the perfect trucking company. I knew that going in. We both did. What sets this company apart, I think, is the fact that they actually try to be as accurate as possible.

He has had one error on his pay sheet in the time he has been there. It was corrected the following week.

His paycheck from his previous carrier had an error on nearly every check. 2-3 weeks to get corrected as well.

Not cool.

The place he works at now pay detention pay.

Previous carrier. Nada.

Now? Prepass.

Previous? Had to request toll money, got charged. Withdraw money from ATM, got charged. Lucky if he ever saw his toll money reimbursed.

What I am getting at is that when he lost his job back in July, I freaked. I cried. I was so upset.

I should have been on my knees praying to God thanking Him for His blessing.

12.15.2010

My jeans fit!

So as y'all know I started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago. I am tired of being round. I would like there to be some definition in there somewhere! :)

I didn't weigh myself yesterday like I should have. I have been so busy with bows and the kids and trying to watch what I eat, that I slacked a little at the end of last week. I didn't go over my points, but I knew I wasn't eating good for me stuff. Like, it's not great to get all your points in 2 meals. I found myself not having time to eat or drink water and that is never a good thing.

Yesterday I had to go to the Walmarts and get stuff for Caitlin's science project. I figured I'd try on my new jeans and see if they fit. OK, by new I mean I bought them back in February and they didn't fit. Well they fit but I have to lay down on the bed just to get them zipped and then couldn't breath again until I took them off. So yeah.

Anyway, I tried them on again yesterday and THEY FIT! I'm talking I just pulled them up and they fit. I buttoned them without having to suck in and I didn't have to get on the bed and try to pull up the zipper with a pair of needle nose pliers!

So even though I slacked off a little last week, I didn't let it discourage me from continuing on! I may not have lost any weight this past week, but I gained 2 new pair of jeans!


and just because I don't want to post without a picture

They STILL aren't looking at the camera.

12.09.2010

Today was that day

Today was one of those days where I wished I had another set of hands and eyes around.

One of those days I wished my husband wasn't an OTR truck driver.

I had some errands to run and one of them was going to the bank. But not just to the bank. Oh no, I had to go IN to the bank. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal. But remember, my 2 little kids, ages 3 and 4 are with me at all times. I'm talking 24/7/365 y'all.

I avoid going IN anywhere like the plague. It's one of the reasons when I go grocery shopping, I GO grocery shopping. That way I don't have to go for 2 or 3 more weeks. It's what works for me.

Anyway...

I love my bank. I really do. But I didn't love it today. I needed to get a certified check. The lady had me swipe my debit card and enter my PIN. Done. Next, fill out a check for the amount you need plus $10. 10 bucks? Just so they can print out a check. Rediculous. Fine. Here ya go.

I'm sorry Mrs. Sanchez but your signature doesn't match. Can you please re-sign the check with your signature. Um. OK? Sure.

Nope still not a match. She's looking, looking, looking to see if she can find my signature on another check that I have written. I write ONE check a month. My rent check.

By this time my kids are entertaining everyone in line. A line growing by the second.

She calls over the manager. She wants to see my drivers license. I hand it over. So now they have my debit card and PIN, my check and my drivers license and they STILL aren't sure if I am who I say I am.

They assure me it is for my own protection.I assure them if any of my information had been compromised, they would be the first to hear about it.

Let me just tell you this. Every time I swipe my debit card and sign for a purchase, my signature is written. They sure don't have a problem knowing it's me then!

I'm not kidding you when I say it took over 30 minutes in there. I threatened to withdraw all my money and switch banks by this time. The manager then told me she just wanted me to have "a little patience".

I don't know about you, but when the next thing I can give them is a blood sample or my first born before they believe me when I say I am who I am, my patience is wearing pretty thin.

Thankfully my little one's were so well behaved in there. I didn't even crack a sweat!

But it would have been so much easier if I had an extra set of hands and eyes with me.

12.08.2010

Wordless Wednesday

I can always count on the oldest to look right at the camera.

The other 2 have yet to learn.

12.06.2010

Pretty much just random...

I am up to my ears in ribbon. My dining room looks like WW3 just took place and it left all it's crap for me to clean up after wards.

Speaking of which, am I the only person that feels weird saying crap. I see a lot of bloggers saying that and I think nothing of it. Until *I* type it. Then I feel like my Dad is standing over my shoulder saying "Casey, crap is not a very Christian word to say". It's true. My oldest doesn't say it. She calls it the "C" word.

Is "crap" not a nice word? I like it better than the alternative.

I have a very foul mouth. I do. Whew I feel better getting that out there.

I let WAY too many words slip. I'm not perfect and it's something that I am working on.

Anyway...

ribbon.

I have been making some new items to go in my Etsy shop. I am actually working on something now. A ribbon wrapped headband with a flower. I've made the braided headbands in the past and I do enjoy making them, they are just more time consuming. This way I can get items in my shop, promote them and then hopefully sell them.

This one will be for Valentine's Day. My favorite time of the year to make bows. I love pink and red. And I especially like them together like in this bow!


http://www.etsy.com/listing/63676464/valentines-day-layered-boutique-hair-bow

I also added a "You Pick Your Color" listing for the ribbon flower.


http://www.etsy.com/listing/63766604/ribbon-flower-hair-clip-you-pick-color

My oldest wore this red one to school the other day and received so many compliments. She had girls asking where she got it from and when she told them her mom, they thought it was "so cool". So, I have a few flowers to make for her classmates. :)

12.05.2010

What a difference a year makes

One year ago my husband quit his job. He quit because his job was being outsourced to India.

Again.

See 2 years prior to this, his job with a major shipping company got outsourced to India. Then *surprise surprise* their customer satisfaction went WAY down so they moved their software support BACK to the states. Just not back to where Chris worked.

He got placed with a job he hated. Customer support. He sat at a desk for 9 hours a day and listening to people complaining.

He started getting depressed. Not like clinically depressed. Just depressed about all the shoulda coulda woulda's he felt he missed out on.

Then he found out his job would be ending. The company told him that they would be slowing letting people go, anywhere October to December. He stuck with them until the end.

He took about a week off after he quit just so we could get things in order. Financially and emotionally.

He was starting CDL school.

He and I had talked about this for quite a while. It's something he and I've always wanted to do. I can remember my mother telling me to go get my CDL way back in like 1996. I never did. I should have, but I didn't.

I sure as heck didn't want Chris to miss this opportunity to get his. He had turned down the chance once before and wasn't letting it slip away again.

Monday, December 7th, 2009 was the day that changed everything for us.

I was now married to a trucker. For a year I had tried to get myself emotionally prepared for this roller coaster ride. The first 6 months after he left were the worst. I saw him 3 times. Well 4 actually. He just so happened to have a drop here in Jacksonville while he was out with his trainer so they stopped by and stayed the night.

I have always considered myself to be independent. I was a single parent for nearly 5 years. I know how to handle being alone. What I didn't know how to handle, was being a wife and being alone. I pretty much stunk at it. And still do at times.

There were times during this year that he wanted to quit. He was tired. Worn slap out. I wouldn't let him quit. I still won't let him quit.

He has dreams and is willing to go the extra mile to makes those dreams come true.

He knows what he is doing. He is respectful of others. He is a safe driver. He is an awesome husband and by far the better parent.

AND he is about to have that "Golden Year" under his belt. I thought I would never see the day and I am so proud of him for the sacrifices he is making for us.

12.03.2010

Guess who's back? ME!

Before I EVER started pinching pennies I was a bow maker. I hinted around to it a couple of times in this blog but never did anything about it.

I love making bows. I started selling them about 4 *I think* years ago on eBay and Etsy. After that I purchased my own domain and BOOM I was selling my bows in my very own store. Soon after that I contacted a local boutique to ask them if I could sell my bows there. She loved my bows so pretty soon my bows were being sold in a real brick and mortar store. I loved it!

The owner of the boutique decided she would redo her website, making it look more professional. Since I had a web store already, she wanted to hire me to keep her website updated and to add new products. My business was growing like wildfire and I got burnt out.

QUICK.

So, I quit. Like just canceled my website, pulled my name from everything associated with bows and basically went on vacation for nearly 2 years. I had more ribbon than one person should ever have and it was just sitting around. I tried selling it, but it was so time consuming and not very fulfilling.

Which brings me to now.

I finally am ready to start back making them. I had forgotten just how much I really do enjoy making bows. All I needed was a swift kick in the rear a little encouragement to get me going.

So thanks Wendy! (you big ol' bully)

11.30.2010

Long time coming

I did something today that I have needed to do for quite sometime.

I joined Weight Watchers Online.

Online, because I don't have the nerve yet to go to an actual class AND because with Chris being gone, online will be easier.

I am...
  • nervous
  • excited
  • happy
  • overwhelmed
... all wrapped up into a little package.

It's been a long time since I have been on a diet. The last time being in 2004 when I stared the Atkins low-carb diet. I dropped 75 lbs in 6 mths and then met my husband. I gained it all back plus some within a year.

I was so mad at myself. How could I let myself go again like that?

Then I got pregnant. Then I got pregnant AGAIN.

Which brings me to now.

My "baby" is now 3 and I can no longer blame my weight on "having just given birth".

I am anxiously awaiting a new scale that I ordered online from Wal-Mart. Chris went to the store to pick it up tonight and it was about $20 MORE than the price online. What a rip off! I ended up ordering the scale instead with free shipping and it will be here next week.

I officially started my diet tonight. I will officially weigh in next week.

I will take all the prayers I can get with this journey. I NEED to lose weight. I need to lose it for my husband, my children, and my family. But most importantly I need to lose it for myself.

11.25.2010

Tell Your Time - Special Black Friday Sale!



Are you looking for an easier way to get things done? I seem to run out of time most days and then end up feeling like I didn't accomplish anything I wanted to.

I am not a perfectionist by any stretch of the means, but there is always that thought in the back of my head that I *could* have done more if I just had the time.

This is where the e-book "Tell You Time" came in to play. I jumped at the chance to download this book right when I heard about it.



This book has helped me come up a schedule and STICK TO IT. (which is always the hard part)
What if you could change your life in less than 30 pages?
Like Amy says in the beginning of her book, this book will help you:
  • Identify the most important things in your life
  • Set long-term goals for each
  • Determine how you can reach those goals
  • Manage your time so you can accomplish those goals
It really does.

Starting tonight at 12:01 am she is offering her book to you for half off! Her book currently sells for $12 and let me tell you, it is worth EVERY penny of that, but starting tonight her book will be on sale for only $6.00!!

When: Sale starts Black Friday (Nov. 26) at 12:01am and ends Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) at 11:59pm.
Coupon Code: MONDAYBLACK (this code must be added to your shopping cart at checkout to get the deal)
Sale Price: $6 (that's 50% off!)


Run don't walk... wait... SIT don't stand and order this book starting tonight! You will not be disappointed.

11.22.2010

Happy Monday!

It's Monday and I am happier than a bird with a french fry.

It's true.

First off, I survived the grocery store yesterday. The good news: They actually had a cart that held 2 kids for once.  The bad news: The basket on it was so small I still needed 2 carts. At least I should be good for another 5 weeks without having to go back!

Second of all, my husband, my loving, hardworking, dedicated, fun, adorable husband is on his way home. I couldn't be more happy right now. Well I guess I could be happier. But only if he walked through the door holding 1 million dollars and said let's move to a deserted island and live happily ever after. THEN I might be a little happier.

Next, it's Thanksgiving this week! Duh. Since we won't be making it to my father's house on Thursday, we are going to the next best thing. His cousins house! They are very special to us and just some of the most wonderful people you could ever meet. I always feel like a better person after being around them. They just ooze positivity. I love it!

Last, but certainly not least, Lilly. She has been coming in my room in the middle of the night to sleep with me. Which means, she wakes up when I do, which means we get some alone time just the 2 of us. It doesn't happen very often, even though I wish it did. She is a fun kid!! She has the best giggle and loves to be tickled!

I need to get my camera out. It's been a while since I took any photos. I have been doing a lot of reading on how to take better pictures so hopefully they will turn out, well, better. :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Gobble gobble!!

11.19.2010

Housing wants/needs

I try to cut costs wherever and whenever I can and one of the biggest cost cutting undertakings has been with our utilities.

When we moved to this place last year, we had a very specific list of things we were looking for.

1. More space (duh)
2. Windows that were not in direct sunlight
3. Tile floors
4. Newer HVAC system
5. Newer appliances
Well we got more space but it was more expensive each month for the rent. No biggie since it only about $50 more a month then what we were paying, BUT water was included in the rent. Score! That completely offset the higher rent.

The way that our building is situated, none of our windows get direct light. This was a huge deciding factor in us getting this unit. Our old place had windows all along the front of the unit which faced west. The sun came through the windows for about 8 hours during the summer. The house never got cool. NEVER.

Tile floors was a must. I absolutely despise vacuuming. It's loud and I don't like the way it smells. I know... it's weird. Anyway, tile floors stay cool in the hot summer months and if our feet are cooler, then our bodies are cooler and we can leave the thermostat at a higher temperature.

The newer HVAC was also a must. Our old place had an ancient HVAC unit. It was so loud we had to turn it off just to be able to watch the TV. Talk about annoying. It was inefficient and expensive to run.

Newer appliances was a want, not a necessity, however I really REALLY wanted newer appliances. We lucked out with this place. This was the model condo for the community so the appliances had never been used. Newer appliances also equals lower utility costs so it was a win-win for us.

Nearly everything on our list was geared toward saving money in the long run. I can honestly say, it has paid off.

When we moved in we replaced all the bulbs with CFL bulbs and plugged all of our electronics into power strips/surge protectors. Every night I turn off the switches (if they have even been turn on). Lights stay off for the majority of the day. We are lucky enough to have 2 big sliding glass doors that let in a LOT of light. Our electricity bill has been slashed in half since moving here.

Also, when we renewed our leased for another year, the manager gave us the option to renew for 14 months. If we chose that option, we would get a discount of nearly $100 a month!! We absolutely jumped on that offer.

Now not everything here is rainbows and unicorns. There is the occasional ogre that pops it ugly head in here. There are definitely new items that we have added to the list that will be for our new place. Land being one of them. Being in a condo community has it's ups and downs. The biggest down for us has been dogs. People love their dogs here but don't like picking up their poo. And the dogs especially LOVE our back yard.

Signed,
Doesn't like dog poo

11.17.2010

Cooking and Cleaning Day

I have less than one week to get my house in order and get some bulk cooking done.

See, there's this guy that will be coming home and I want to spend all my free time gazing into his eyes. OK that will never happen since we have 3 kids and never have any free time, but one can dream.

I am SO stinkin' excited about seeing my husband. I think I am finally getting used to being a truckers wife too. This past time he went out has just flown by, which is GREAT!

I actually got some time off last week. My oldest was out of school Thursday and Friday, so on Wednesday we loaded up and headed to my dads house. We won't be able to make it to my dads for Thanksgiving so this worked out perfect for us to be able to spend some time with him. All the girls love it there. He has a great big yard where they can run around and get out all the built up energy. By Saturday, they just wanted to lay around and watch cartoons.

Mission accomplished.

But now my house is a mess and I am running low on groceries. I try to only shop once a month now since I absolutely HATE it. We do make mini-runs for milk and eggs but that's it. It's been over 4 weeks since I have set foot into a grocery store and it feels great!

I have about 2 weeks worth of meat left in my deep freezer. I plan on putting most of that in the slow cooker in the coming days for easy but delicious dinners. I recently purchased a slow cooker e-cookbook and it is FILLED will great sounding recipes.

I love to cook, but have come to the conclusion that I am just not that great at coming up with new recipes. I will gladly pay for someone to do the thinking for me.

This week I plan on making some granola, pigs in a blanket, homemade hot pockets, homemade pasta sauce, home made buttermilk bread and also some date muffins.

I have been on the lookout for a waffle maker and a large electric skillet. There are tons of them out there but I have yet to find one that I like AND that is reasonably priced. My kids are always asking for pancakes and waffles for breakfast but I really, REALLY don't like having to make the mess and take the time everyday. I make double and sometimes triple batches of pancakes so I can freeze the rest. Triple batches of pancakes in a frying pan takes a long time. LONG time.

So my list grows and grows for convenience items. I should go to the Salvation Army store. It's where I've bought both of my bread machines, numerous baking pans and my electric mixer.

OK... going to cook and clean. Care to help?

11.16.2010

It's that time again...

... Home time!!

I love home time.
Love it.

But...

it always takes some adjusting on our part at home. Like big adjustments.

Just about the time I get into a good routine and get the kids on a good schedule that works for everyone, it's home time again.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my husband and I love having him around, I just don't love having to adjust.

I'm lazy.

Whatever.

Really, I just don't like to be bothered with it.

I'm not a fan of change.

Why change something that works? Right? RIGHT???

On the other hand, I love my husband very much and want him to be as happy at home as possible. So, we change things up a little.

You know, being a truckers wife really is like leading two separate lives. For approximately 9 months, I have been a single parent. The other 2 I have been a parenting team with Chris. It's hard enough on me, I can't imagine what a pain in the rear it must be for the kids.

I really wish there was somewhere online that allowed me to meet up with other truckers' wives. Just to see if they go through the same thing as us. I'm sure they do, but it sure would be nice to actually hear someone say it that has been or is going through it.

(I know there are places online to meet truckers' wives. I used to be a part of them. I don't want to sound mean or conceited, but a lot of them were just as foul mouthed and raunchy acting as some truckers. Is that normal?)

Anyway, I am getting way off topic which was..... home time! I nearly forgot.

Home time is next week. My house is a wreck and I need to do some bulk cooking. I have laundry to do and dishes to wash. You'd think I'd get off my behind and do some work.... Sheesh... don't I get some time off?

11.09.2010

Budgeting

It's a pretty common occurrence for my friends to call me up and ask me if such and such is a great deal down at the wall-to-wall mart or the grocery store. I am a certifiable penny pincher.

I am. Really.

I even have a whole 'nother blog chronicling my life as a penny pincher. I cut coupons, I buy 4 or 5 Sunday papers just for the coupon sections. I am that lady in front of you at the grocery store checkout that has a coupon for everything. I am also the one that can buy $200 worth of grocery for less than $50.

BUT... I had my husband to help me. We have 3 kids. I am but one person. My coupon clipping time has been cut down considerably and my shopping time even more. See, when you have 3 kids, you want to get in the store and out of the store as fast as possible.
Shopping with 3 kids is kinda like herding cats.

It's difficult, lengthy, but is possible.

This year has been a struggle for me.
I like order.

I like budgets.

I like assurance.

I LOVE consistency.

OK quit laughing. I know this is the wrong profession for Chris to be in if I like all those things. I have budgeting software that hasn't seen the light of day since November 2009.

I feel like a lost puppy wandering around looking for something, anything to come in and swoop me up and show me the way.

I do need to pat Chris and I on the back for a moment. We paid off our car last week. 6 months early too! We could have paid it off last February when we got our tax return, but we needed that money to live on until he got a steady paycheck.

Steady paychecks have pretty much been nonexistent since he started in January. It has definitely been hard to get used to and actually still is. Last week he had an awesome check, this week... well... he will be lucky to get 1/4 of the amount he made last week.

Now that our car is paid for, we have no debt other than our household bills. And since getting on the budget plan with our electric company, those bills are pretty consistent from month to month.

I'm gonna pull out the ol' budgeting software and give it another go. I am also gonna try to prioritize my time more so that I am able to clip those coupons more!

If you don't hear from me for a while, send backup.

11.05.2010

Are you a canner?

I have only canned once in my life and it was this past spring. I made strawberry jam. It was/is delicious.

Like, the best jam ever. Never mind that it has about 6 cups of sugar and lots and lots of strawberries.

I am pretty sure the reason is was so good was because I made it.
Me.
In my tiny kitchen. 

OK, yes it was the delicious strawberries and sugar that made it good but who cares. Not me. I won't be buying the stuff at the store again.

Homemade jam is so much better. Aaaaand I know what is it in.

Have you ever noticed how hard store brand jams and jellies are to spread? I guess I never noticed until I made my own. They spread without ripping the fresh bread to shreds.

I bought a bunch of green beans at the store over the summer while they were cheap and I had ever intention of canning them.

I ended up throwing them away.

All 10,000 lbs of them.

Actually only about 8 lbs but still... that was like 6 bucks worth of beans that I could had made into food for my family.

The reason I didn't can them was because I don't have a canner. I wanted to purchase one but then realized I would need an expensive one since we have a glass top stove. I can't use those cheap ones on glass top stove.

Who knew? Apparently not me.

I could have improvised with a large stock pot like I did for making the jam, but my pots just weren't tall enough to fit jars and still have them covered with enough water to ensure proper sealing.

Fast-forward to today and low and behold I found a place in our city that will help you can food!

Here is a little exerpt from their website.

... the Canning Center provides an institutional kitchen environment.  All equipment necessary for canning is provided onsite.  Users provide their own ingredients. 
... The client list includes Duval County residents, boaters, various churches, people on restricted diets, non-profit organizations within the city, the 4-H School Enrichment Program and other governmental agencies.

It's not free, but if a large group of people got together to make food for their families to share, it would totally be worth it. Like a co-op type thing.

The canning center provides ALL the equipment to can. All you have to do is bring the ingredients and jars. How easy is that??!!

They also occasionally have workshops that teach people how to can soups.

Depending on whether or not I break down and buy an expensive canner, I may just give this place a try. Our kitchen is small tiny and it was a little cramped while I was canning the jam.

It would be a nice change to actually cook in an industrial sized kitchen!

I may never want to go back to my little tiny kitchen. (when I say tiny, I mean it. I have less than 3 ft of counter-top space.)

Signed,

Hopelessly needs a bigger kitchen and flat bottomed canner

10.23.2010

Back on the road

Home time came and went.

All in all it was nice, but by the 3rd day I was ready for him to be back on the road.

When the time came for him to go back on the road, I wanted him to quit.

It's a vicious cycle I tell ya.

I was a little annoyed that we didn't really do anything while he was here. Our alternator went out 2 weeks earlier and by the time we got it fixed, I had been without a car for nearly 3 weeks. He got home on a Saturday, the car didn't fixed until Friday. One whole week of nothing. Wasted.

On the bright side, I didn't have to play hostess to any strangers.

I don't know if it's just us or if other trucking families have the same problem, but we like to talk big. We talk about all the stuff we are gonna do when he gets home. The places we are gonna take the kids. The improvements we need to make to the inside of the house. (read: de-clutter)

And guess what??

NOTHING gets done.

WTH. It is seriously the MOST annoying thing ever.

He suggested that he take the kids for an afternoon so I could have a few hours of alone time. Did he do it? No. Annoying? Absolutely.

He asked me to wait to take the kids to the zoo until he got home. Did we go? No. Annoying? You know it.

He promised to take our oldest fishing. Did he take her? No. Annoying? You betcha.

He told me we would clear the clutter from the closets so we can actually use them for all things... clothes. Did we? No. Annoying? Of course.

He did of course play his facebook games. *insert eye roll here* Annoying? To the max.

See the pattern? Yeah. Not too difficult to see.

He wants to relax. I get it. I really do. But we are a family and the kids want to do stuff with their dad when he gets home. they are completely tired of being around me. Actually I am pretty sure they are disgusted by the very thought of having to spend one more minute with me.

This year has been THE most trying year of our marriage. I really don't see how people can do this their whole lives. He has been in this for 10 months now and I am ready for him to throw in the towel. Chalk it up as a loss and move on.

How selfish is that of me to even think that? Extremely.

Annoying? The most.

10.22.2010

On the lookout

So even though I don't post our weekly grocery budget anymore, I am still pinching pennies. I really am. Probably even more now that Chris has gone back on the road.
  • When he is home, we spend more money.
  • We make more trips to the grocery store.
  • We eat more expensive food.
  • I cook more, and by more I mean quantity.
  • That boy can eat y'all!
I am always on the lookout for good, frugal recipes. And by good, I mean AWESOME.

It's no secret I am addicted to pizza. It's really a love hate relationship. I love it, but I hate to pay for it.

I have been making my own pizza for as long as I can remember and I have YET to find a crust recipe that I am head over heals in love with. (think Papa John's or Mellow Mushroom crust)

That crispy outside, chewy inside and perfectly un-soggy-when-it's-loaded-with-sauce-and-toppings dough is what I am after.

Where is this elusive pizza dough recipe. Believe me when I tell you this. I have tried no less than 20 dough recipes. They are pretty much all the same and pretty much all disappoint. They are either too think and bready or too thin and crackery.

Bready and crackery. Now those are some words to make you sound REALLY smart. Geez.

Anyway...

I need a recipe. I really GOOD recipe for pizza dough. I just can't bring my penny pinching self to order pizza. I *almost* did it last night. It was gonna cost nearly $25.00!!

I'm sorry but $25.00 for pizza? Really? I can feed 30 people for less than $25.00. Heck I made an entire Thanksgiving spread last year for less than that.

I think I'll take my cry for help hunt to Twitter. I'm sure I'll get some good answers there!

10.21.2010

Yesterday

1. Dishes - Done!

2. Clothes - Not done

3. Floors - Done! (but already needs to be re-swept)

4. Dinner - Put a roast in the crock pot so I didn't have to "cook"

5. Bathe - Done! And I have a story to go with this

6. Bake - Done! I made an apple crisp and it was delish

7. Put on a happy face - Done!

I feel quite accomplished now that I look at my list. I did almost everything on it and didn't even realize until I just now typed it.

I can feel myself getting sick. Bleh. Sore throat that feels like it's on fire. I am usually the last one to get sick though. I tell ya those public school germs are BRUTAL!

10.20.2010

Goals for today

1. Dishes. They have taken over my kitchen.

2. Clothes. They have taken over my room.

3. Floors. I don't like stepping on crap all day while I walk from one room to another.

4. Dinner. Someone has to feed these hooligans.

5. Bathe. Yeah. That one speaks for itself. P.U.

6. Bake. I have been craving an apple pie like you wouldn't believe!

7. Put on a happy face and not complain. It's a bad habit that I have had for years and I am trying to quit. :)

Be happy.

10.15.2010

T-Minus 5 weeks and counting

Yesterday was the day. The day I always dread. The day my kids dread.

Yesterday was the day that my husband left to go back on the road for 5 weeks.

I told myself I wouldn't cry this time but it didn't work. I tried to be as distant from him for the last 8 hours that he was home. He can always tell I am do that too. It bothers him but it seems to be the only way I can keep myself from completely losing it at the thought of him leaving.

I feel like a big cry baby. Like I am  weak and can't handle things without her husband. That's NOT who I am though. I have always been pretty independent. I was a single mother for 4 years so I KNOW how to handle things.

I appreciate what he is doing. I know it's as hard on him as it is me. He doesn't want to leave the girls. He knows how much they miss him when he is gone.

Chris and I were talking the other day about what I can do to help with the finances while I am at home. I offered to go back to work, but that idea was quickly shot down. Neither one of us want our kids in daycare.

He wants me to get back into making bows and clothes. My craft room has been converted into a quest bedroom. I have some ideas about turning my desk area into an office/craft area. Just not sure about how cluttered it would look.

OK so now I am thinking before and after pictures! I have an idea. Must. do. it. now. 

10.01.2010

Another "test"

For nearly 2 weeks now I have been feeding our family straight out of our pantry and living off of my stockpiled items. I haven't been to the store once! While I would love to say that this was some sort of challenge I set up for myself, sadly it isn't.

This coming Monday our car will have been out of commission for 2 weeks. The alternator died while I was driving to the auto parts store to have it re-checked. Ironic I know. It couldn't have happened at a worse intersection. Or at a worse time. 6 lanes of traffic in one direction, 4 in the other. Thankfully I was on the side with only 4 lanes of traffic but it just happened to be 4:30 and I just happened to be sticking out into the intersection.

Panic was setting in. I couldn't get my car to start back up. It was totally dead. I have never been called so many horrible names, had so many horns honked at me or had so many dirty looks given to me at one time. Not one person stopped and asked if they could help. One person while stopped at the light asked what was wrong with my car. My response was "It's dead and won't start.", "Good luck." was his response back. Friendly town I live in isn't it?

I called the police so they could direct traffic around me and ended up having to call a tow truck to move the car. As of today, the car is still sitting in the parking lot. Hasn't moved since they tow guy dropped it off.

I am 100% certain this was another one of those "tests" that a certain someone like to give to us that have forgotten just who He is.  I have no clue why I am being tested other than I have forgotten who He is. We don't go to church as we should and it shows. We don't live our lives like my husband and I have been taught. We do know better and we need to change. Our marriage is stretched thinner than a NY pizza crust. My kids misbehave more than ever.

I am an emotional wreck. I miss my husband dearly and can't wait for him to be home. I don't like him being gone for this long. It has been 8 weeks since I have seen him and it hurts. He and I have made the decision to change. For the better of course. He is going to look for work here instead of being on the road. He knows he needs to be home.

This year has been a huge test of Faith. I have failed miserably. I WILL CHANGE THAT!

9.24.2010

Well it's done

I put my 11 year old back into public school. I didn't want to do it. But I had to. For my own sanity and for hers.

It's not that we don't get along. We do for the most part. But for someone who never gets a break from their kids for months at a time, I needed the break! She needed the break. The break that public school gives each of us. I get a break from her, she gets a break from me and her sisters. Win-win.

Do I feel guilt? You betcha!

I feel a HUGE amount of guilt. I always do when I feel like I am giving in or quitting.

9.13.2010

Precious hometime

I was just informed last night by my husband that his biological father wants to come visit him when he is home next.

I told Chris I didn't like that idea to which he replied by saying I was cold-hearted and then hung up on me.

Ugh.

First off I am not cold-hearted. I know he wants to spend time with his dad. I mean he hasn't spent any real time with him since he was like 5 years old. I get it. I really do. I just don't think the time to "find your father - son relationship" should be the first time you are home after being gone for 8 weeks.

This next hometime should be spent with us, his wife and his children. Is that so wrong of me to want?

I don't think it is. I think he owes it to us. To me. I know that makes me sound like a whiny little brat, but my job is difficult too. I deserve a break when he gets home. I shouldn't have to play hostess to someone I don't even know. That HE doesn't even really know.

The {short} time that he is home is precious to us and when we have to share that time with others... well... let's just say I don't do so well with sharing my time with him, with others.

While he has been gone this year he has missed my birthday, our anniversary, Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, all 3 kids birthdays and numerous milestones with the little kids. We have some ground to make up while he is here!

So it's not that I am being cold-hearted. I just don't think that NOW is the time to host a long lost family member.

Am I overreacting?

9.04.2010

Long time no see

My poor neglected truckers wife blog...

I try to write on here, I really, REALLY do. But I will let you in on a little secret. I don't have time to blog!!

It is so very annoying. No time to just sit around on my butt all day typing or surfing the web. No time to prop my feet up and eat Bon-Bons either.

Seriously, the reason I don't post more is:

  1. I hate my husbands job

  2. I have 3 kids at home 24/7

  3. I hate my husbands job

  4. I was homeschooling my oldest up until I had a nervous breakdown because...

  5. I hate my husbands job


So as you can see I am not very fond of him being away cause get this... I actually LIKE being around my husband. *GASP*

I know... hard to believe in this day and age but I do. I really do like being around him. Not only do I like him, I love him. More than anything. And that makes me miss him more that you will know. More than he will ever know.

This last time when he left has been the hardest on me. I'm not sure why but I think it's because he was home for about a month while he was job hunting. I got used to having him around. The kids got used to him being around. And we LIKED it!

I am so ready for him to be home again. He has been gone since the 7th of August and I don't expect him back before the 22nd of September. After that he will have to find a partner unless his company finds him one.

Have a mentioned I hate his job? Lord I hope this gets better.

9.01.2010

And then one day later...

I am ready to GIVE up on this virtual school. This stuff is really kicking my behind and I'm not even the one in school!

I have no idea what to do. Should I send her back to public school? Should I not do the virtual school and just do plan ol' homeschool? AAHHHHH!!!!

I am NOT a very good decision maker. Not at all.

Oh why must I be an adult with responsibilities? Why can't I just go back to being a kid and only having fun??

Whyyyyyyyyy..... WHYYYYYYYY?????

OK whining over. :)

8.31.2010

So far, so good

When my husband and I decided to homeschool our oldest again this year, I wanted to try out the Florida Virtual School. I had been doing quite a bit of research and thought this was just what she needed to keep her motivated throughout the year. I had been interested in enrolling her during previous year, but it was not available.

This year, it was.

Y'all... this schooling is HARD! I had no idea how much work was involved and how long it would take.

I think the education she was getting at home prior to this year was pretty darn good and we didn't do NEAR the amount of work she has to do this year. We are only on our 2nd full week of school and I am exhausted! I don't have time to do anything anymore. I mean it's not like I ever had time to prop my feet up and eat bon-bons all day before, but now... I couldn't even if I wanted to!

I will admit that today went MUCH smoother than last Monday. That was a doozie! We fell behind in her assignments all week, but she was a trooper and finished them all up on Sunday. She told me she didn't want to start out the week having overdue lessons. *good girl*

That is one of the positives of this virtual schooling... accountability. It's there all right! Emails, live lessons, phone calls... They make sure you stay on track for sure!

She likes it and she is doing very well. So far, so good. :)

8.26.2010

Update on the "garden"

It's dead. That is all.

No really. I killed it.

I have NO idea what happened this year but man, I done killed the garden.

Remember how green and promising everything looked? Yeah well, it's brown now. And DEAD!

The end.

8.17.2010

My addiction...

... is pizza. I am certifiably addicted to it. I crave it. I mean like pregnant crave it every. single. day.

I crave it for breakfast. Chorizo and scrambled egg pizza sounds wonderful to me! With hot sauce.. oh my.

For lunch... mini pizzas on English muffins. YUM!

Dinner... any kind of pizza that has sauce cheese and topping. Which is pretty much any kind.

I have it bad.

Good thing my kids love it.

Good thing my husband is gone for 6 weeks.

He is NOT addicted to pizza. The big weirdo.

Is it weird that I crave pizza like this? I am curious as to what, if anything, does everyone else crave.

8.16.2010

I did it!

WOOT! 

I am pleased with myself to say the least. I actually got my domain to re-direct to my blogger account.

AND I did it on my first try!!

I am so glad it worked. :)

8.14.2010

Laundry tip

I have been so excited to blog about my recent laundry discovery only to find out that the company does not recommend using this particular product on clothes. Go figure.

But I'm gonna tall y'all anyway!

I love for my whites to be REALLY white. When they start looking dingy, they get used as dust rags or sleep shirts. Whites should be BRIGHT!! My kids however think spaghetti and chocolate milk look best on white shirts... and we all know what fun getting those stains out can be.

I don't like my clothes to smell like bleach. It's just not appealing to me. I couldn't find a way to get those stubborn stains out without making the whole load smell like bleach. Bleh.

That's when I had the *brilliant* (please note the sarcasm) idea of using Clorox Clean-up with Bleach spray. Yeah. the kind you are supposed to use in the bathrooms. It works SO good! I just spray on the item of clothing that needs it, wait about 5 minutes and then throw it into the wash with everything else. TA - DAH!

Bright whites and the whole load doesn't smell of bleach.

7.23.2010

Update

Well Chris found out to day that he will be going to an orientation on the 2nd of August. That's good news! It's actually with the company that he wanted to go with originally but they were so overbooked with new drivers, the wait time was over 3 months. We just couldn't wait that long.

So a bit of good news today from me!

We are enjoying having him home. We haven't done a thing! My van is still at the collision center getting fixed. Going on 2 weeks now and it's supposed to be even longer! Good thing we got a rental. :)

Have a fabulous weekend and God bless!!

7.20.2010

J.O.B. update

Still no word on a new job for Chris. He has applied at several companies but since he has just under 6 mths, he will need a little more experience with most.

He has been getting call backs, which is GREAT! No one ever really called him back earlier in the year. That's a good sign!

We are hopeful that he will be back in a truck by next week... well, at least in an orientation next week. We have a few more places that we are interested in him applying for.

The kids and I have really enjoyed him being home this past week and are looking forward to having a few more days with him. I love having him home, but I am really ready for him to get back out there and drive. He misses it. And of course we miss the paychecks...

7.11.2010

Nervous and relieved

I shared on Twitter the other day that Chris lost his job. So here we are. Back at square one.

He was let go Thursday morning and he still isn't home. They are keeping him on the truck for as long as possible because his co-driver isn't experienced enough to drive alone. Oh and he isn't getting paid. Yeah. I am NOT a happy camper right now.

He is in VA at the moment on his way to Nashville. I will probably go either tonight or tomorrow and get him off the truck. I just want him to get a little close to home first.

I am still in shock. Confused about what to do.

But you know what else I am? Relieved. Excited.

I can't wait to see my husband. I can't wait for the kids to see their Dad. I can't wait to do all the things that we have no been able to do since he has been gone. 6 months is a long time to be away from your family. Even though he wasn't gone for a continuous 6 months, it sure seemed like it. 5 days here and 6 days there goes by too quickly.

So there ya have it. Prayers for our family will be most appreciated. I am 100% certain that this is Gods will. Another opportunity will arise, and it will be bigger and better than the previous one.

Proverbs 3


5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

7.08.2010

Well it was fun while it lasted... not.

He's done. He made a mistake and it was a bad one according to his company. Not sure if he will be driving anymore for a while so not really sure what to do about this blog.

7.03.2010

Sacrifices.

Maybe I'm bitter. Maybe I just know what I am talking about. Maybe I don't have a clue.

You make the decision.

I am 100% certain that most people don't have a clue about what sacrifices are and how to go about them.

I am 100% certain that giving up satellite radio for a month does NOT constitute as a sacrifice.

I am 100% that if you can't make ends meet with 2 adults working at home and no daycare expenses for your 2 children because your mom watches them for you while you work and whenever you want just so you can go out to dinner and drinks with friends every other weekend and any other time you just want "alone" time, you don't have a freaking CLUE about making sacrifices.

OK so maybe I sound a little bitter. Maybe I am a little bitter. But when someone tells me they are having a hard time making ends meet and I know there are things that can be cut out of their budget, it makes me cringe.

6.28.2010

Sick. Bleh.

Well last week and this week has been pretty boring. Everyone in the house is sick, including me. I sure hope I get better. I really don't feel like doing much of anything while I am sick, but I am still having to take care of 3 other people that are sick. Ugh.

This post probably makes no sense. My head is cloudy. Yuck.

Sick, sick, sick. Bleh.

Since I have been MIA all last week and now this week, here's a look at one of the cuties I am trying to take care of while sick.

6.20.2010

Menu Plan Monday



Week 2 of summer break! It's been really busy around here. I've been getting all of Caitlin's paperwork filled out and turned in for her schooling for next year. We have decided to go back to homeschooling her this coming year. I wanted to try the public schools here again and not to my surprise, they are still pretty much the same. They teach to pass tests, not to learn. They spend half of the school day trying to get their class in order and discipline the out of control children. My child wants to learn and she can't in that sort of environment, so it's back to homeschooling we go!
Monday - Barley Breakfast Hash, oranges and biscuits

Tuesday - Cubed steak with onions and tomatoes over rice, broccoli

Wednesday - Enchilada chicken, rice and salad

Thursday - Tuna noodle casserole, bread

Friday - Homemade pizza

Saturday - Pigs in a blanket, chips

Sunday - Sandwiches or leftovers

6.15.2010

Not gonna let this keep me down!

Did ‘ya have a good Monday??

Are ‘ya having a good Tuesday?

So far this week for me is going pretty horrible.

Yesterday, a guy backed up his big ‘ole truck into the side of our van as I was driving behind him in the bank parking lot. I didn’t see him and he didn’t see me. It was simply an accident. Thankfully it wasn’t out on the interstate or on the highway at a faster rate of speed, but it still did quite a bit of damage.




The point of impact. The door gaps at the bottom. You can literally see the road as it passes by.




Kinda hard to see the dent on the sliding door, but I can assure you, it goes all. the. way. down. The black streak starts on the front quarter panel where there is a small dent and then continues to the back bumper.

I did manage to go to the bank and to Walgreens to get diapers, but it did ruin my trip to the grocery store. I ended up going back to the store later that night and it was a success! No one munched me this time!!

Today… ugh. What a day! I seems like every time I get up to do something, my husband calls me and needs directions or wants to know where the nearest “whatever” store is. Let me just tell you this… trying to find a store when you have no idea where the other person is located is pretty darn difficult. I know it sounds easy, but it’s not. It’s even more difficult when you have 3 kids screaming in your ear and the radio going and the dishwasher going and blah blah blah… you get the picture.

BUT!!! I have managed to get 2 roasts marinated, beans with sausage cooked, every single dish washed and delegated some chores to my oldest. She is on bathroom, floor and trash duty.

So even after a horrible start to the week, I am not gonna let it get me down! We will just keep on trucking along.

6.13.2010

Menu Plan Monday



Summer is here and I couldn't be happier! I tend to let things slide in the summer and that includes dinner time. We usually eat later during the summer since the days are so much longer. This year however, I am determined NOT to eat dinner past 7:00 pm. I like to have my free time in the evenings and that means the kids still need to go to bed at a decent hour.

8:30 during school and no later than 9:30 during the summer, although it's usually a LOT sooner than that. I like to keep things as normal as possible. I'm not one of those parents that lets their kids stay up super late on the weekends and summer vacation. I would go crazy! With Chris being gone so much, the only break I get is when they are sleeping so I LOVE night time. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids!!! But I do enjoy a little alone time too. It's only natural.

For this reason I will be starting back up with my menu planning. It's such a big help to me.
Monday - Beans (slow cooker) and rice with rolls or cornbread

Tuesday - Pot roast, baked potatoes, green beans, leftover rolls

Wednesday - Creamed chicken (double batch) over rice, broccoli

Thursday - Homemade hamburger helper, green beans or salad

Friday - Chicken shepherds pie, sauteed spinach, bread

Saturday - Homemade pizza

Sunday - Pigs in a blanket, sandwiches or leftovers

So there ya have it. Nothing special but hopefully will keep us on schedule this week. Looking for more ideas? Check out orgjunkie.com for LOTS of other menu ideas.

6.11.2010

Have some compassion

When did being a Christian become so… hurtful. Insulting. Hateful.

I use Twitter for networking. I have met some amazing new friends on there and I really enjoy learning about the trucking industry from the pros out there.

What I don’t like are the “Christian” truckers out there spreading their hate of certain types of people through their updates.

I am a born again, God fearing Christian and have been for most of my life. I was raised in a loving Christian home with 2 of the best parents in the world. They taught me what it was like to be a Christian. And I have tried to live my life they way I was taught.

Am I perfect?

Um. Not even close.

Do I care?

Not in the least.

Perfection is something that can never EVER be achieved. All I can do is try to be a more perfect me. A better person. A better Christian.

I don’t understand it when people talk the talk but then don’t walk the walk. I can sit here all day and tell you I am a Christian, but if my actions or words tell you something different, what good does that do.

Have some compassion people!! Put yourself in someone else’s shoes that is less fortunate than yourself. Even if it’s only for a minute. You will quickly realize how blessed you are and how tiny and insignificant your problems truly are.

Psalm 145:8 (King James Version)


8The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

6.10.2010

Truckers and smoking

**Please note this does not apply to ALL truckers. Y'all know who you are... and so do we. **

Why is it when you hear the word trucker a dirty, smelly, cigarette smoking, pot bellied, flannel wearing redneck comes to mind??

Or is it just my mind?

I love truckers (obviously) but come on guys!! *and some girls* there is really no reason to be grungy and nasty. And don’t even get me started on the cigarette smoking!

Y’all… that’s nasty. As in disgusting. Y’all know that it is and you still do it. Why??? WHHHHHHHY??

Why is it that my husband, who happens to drive teams, can’t even find one driver available that doesn’t smoke.

I know how much the drivers at his company make and I can tell ya right now, they aren’t making enough to support a smoking habit. They are probably barely making enough to support their families.

Quit smoking already. It’s really NOT that hard. I use to smoke. I smoked for nearly 15 years before I quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant almost 5 years ago.

Yes I had headaches, yes I gained some weight, yes I had withdrawals, but so what. You knew when you started smoking that it wasn’t good for you and don’t try to tell me otherwise. I knew it at 15 and there wasn’t anything anyone could say to me to change my mind.

And please, for the love of Christ, take a freakin’ shower. If you are so tight on your time that you can’t take a shower at least every other day, you aren’t planning correctly.

Even if you don’t have time to go to the truck stops and wash your whole body, go to a dang rest stop and wash your arm pits and face. Or buy yourself some baby wipes and give yourself a good wipe down. You would be surprised how much better you would feel. And brush your teeth. Please.

You are on the road representing your company! Look good for them even if you aren’t happy with them. This is your job and in this economy, you are lucky to have one.

Take pride in it and wear the title of “trucker” with that same pride. You are after all, what keeps this nation moving. Keep on truckin’!

6.09.2010

We are so blessed

I don't consider myself an overly compassionate person.

At least I didn't think I was. Until now.

I'm not sure if the mother in me, or the fact that I had such a great childhood but was such a freakin BRAT to everyone and now I feel lame about it. But my compassion meter is going through the roof lately.

First off, we are NOT well of by any means. We can hardly keep up with our own bills much less contribute to a good cause to help someone else. We have 3 kids. My husband is a truck driver with only 4 months of driving experience. I stay at home with the kids so we seriously have ZERO extra income. Heck we hardly have an income at all.

But I realized something this weekend. We are freakin RICH!

We have our health. We have our loving marriage. We have 3 absolutely gorgeous children. We have a very supportive extended family that would give the clothes off their backs to help us. We have a roof over our head and food on our table. Every. Single. Day.

We actually have excess stuff. Too much stuff.

My husband got a new co-driver this weekend. He didn't want to team with this person. He's a smoker and Chris really isn't a fan of smoke. He hates it actually. It gives him headaches and makes him sneeze all the time. But this guy was the only available guy to team up with him at this time.

There is no doubt in my mind that God brought this person into our lives.

This man has it bad. Really bad. He lives in a tiny apartment with his wife and 2 kids. His wife can't work because she is legally blind. I'm not sure what is wrong with his son but I am pretty sure he is mentally handicapped. He is 12 and about the size of my soon to be 4 year old with the speech to match. He is broke. He just finished his month long training with the company and is already nearly $700 in debt to them because of advances. Chris told me he brought 1 bag of food and a case of ramen noodles to the truck.

Of course I immediately went into freak out, overly concerned mode and loaded him up with so many groceries I don't think they will have to shop for 5 weeks.

I mean really. REALLY. And I sit here and complain sometimes that my kids are too loud or we can't afford to go out and eat.

We are so blessed. So, so blessed.

6.08.2010

Starting a blog

I decided to start this blog for my own sanity! A way to get out my frustrations and love for my husbands job as a OTR truck driver.

I'm pretty sure it won't be anything super duper informative, but I will try and make it fun!

6.06.2010

When will just being me be good enough?

Warning : RANT ahead

Do you ever feel inadequate? I mean really inadequate. I’m not even sure that is the right word I am trying to get across.

I have had a job ever since I was 15. That is until I became a stay at home mom almost 4 years ago.

And since then, being a mom doesn’t seem to be a good enough job for some people in my family.

People will ask me when will I go back to school and get an education? When am I going to go get a “real” job? When will I get tired of just sitting around all day doing nothing? When are you going to do something with your life?

So I ask you this, when did being a mother become an inadequate job?

I work my butt off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and on top of that my husband is away for about 90% of the time. And for what? To be told what I am doing is not good enough?

Um. No.

Remember back in the day when being a mother and being home with your children was expected of you? How did we go from that to where we are today? Why isn’t being a mother considered a successful career?

I have always felt like I couldn’t measure up to certain people in my family. Like whatever I did was never good enough. When will just being me be good enough?

I never knew what I wanted “to be” when I grew up. All I ever wanted to do is be a mom and try to raise happy healthy kids. I am doing exactly what I wanted to do my whole life yet that isn’t good enough for some people.

This is something that my husband and I prayed over, thought a long time about and agreed to. We have made LOTS of sacrifices so I can stay home with the kids. We live VERY modestly just to be able to afford our monthly expenses. We are teased and made fun of because of the way we live. I buy in bulk so I don’t have to go shopping every week. I have a pantry full of food and personal hygiene items but for some reason, that is funny or weird to some people. Maybe they don’t mean it the way it comes across, but it hurts still the same.

So to end this completely random rant, I may or may not go back to school. It’s my decision. I will try not to let others bother me about our way of life. It’s their problem, not ours. At least we are drowning in a sea of debt. We actually have none.

5.28.2010

Bows, bows and more bows

I had forgotten just how much I love making bows. It's been over a year since I made one.

Until this week.

And I have made roughly 40.

I have had lots of past customers, 1 VERY persistent Twitter friend and numerous small children that live under this roof asking for bows.

I caved. And I am so glad I did.

I uploaded some of the bows I made to my Flickr page. But here is one that I made last night that I absolutely LOVE.

It's not really a bow. But I like it. And it's made of ribbon.



Sorry for the poor photo quality. It’s been overcast here and I had to use the flash. Bleh.

In other news, I have been painting the walls in our house. See, I have 2 little girls who like to draw messes all over the freaking walls mommy beautiful pictures on the walls. You know, because they don’t have enough coloring books. Since when is 498,289 coloring books not enough?

To their defense though, our walls only have primer on them. The brainiacs that painted this place when we moved in didn’t finish the job. Have you ever tried to get marker/crayon/highlighters off of PRIMER only walls. Yeah… it ain’t pretty. I went through at least, AT LEAST 5 magic erasers on 1 little teeny tiny spot behind my desk. Good Lord it would take me long and cost more to do the whole house.

Sooooo I’m just painting over it.

With semi-gloss. :)

AND since our crown moulding is white, our base boards are white and we have tile throughout the house, guess whose job just got easier?? WOOT! Can you say easy cleanup??

~~~~~

Update. I found a picture of one of the walls with the “art” on it. Check this out.

5.26.2010

Enchilada chicken

Now this is not to be confused with chicken enchiladas. Which, by the way, I happen to LOVE. My kids, not so much.

I know. They are weirdos.

So I made this instead. I saw a recipe in my latest Woman’s Day for a slow cooker chicken dish that used enchilada sauce, chili powder and orange marmalade along with a slew of other ingredients.

I do not like orange marmalade.

I know. I’m a weirdo.

So I thought… why not just make the chicken with out the marmalade and make into a Mexican type thing instead of sweet. WOW. It was delish.

Here’s what I did. Oh but how ‘bout a picture first??



There… that’s better.

Enchilada Chicken

2 –3 pounds of skinless chicken (I used legs and thighs. Boneless skinless breast would work too)

1 can of enchilada sauce (I used mild cause I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy food)

1 Tablespoon onion powder

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

Cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

I used a big baking dish for all this chicken. SPRAY your dish with non-stick. Trust me OK. :)

Place your chicken in the pan and pour the sauce all over the chicken, use about 1/2 a can of water to get all the sauce out. Then sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the chicken. Turn to coat well. Cover and bake. (I baked at 425 because my chicken was still a little frozen and I was in a hurry. Just use whatever temp you use to bake chicken. To each his own) Remove foil and continue cooking until the outside is nice and crispy and brown.

Next I make this I’m going to go skinless and maybe add a can of tomatoes and top it with cheese. Delish!

My pickiest eater proclaimed she did not want to eat this. But when I put it in front of her, she gobbled it right up! She finished the chicken before anything else.

5.18.2010

Our “Garden”

I shared what all we planted in our “garden” a couple of posts back but It’s not really a garden, garden, more like a container garden. I wanted to do a table top garden but we ran out of time when my husband was home last time. So containers it was!

Check this thing out! It’s growing like cah-ray-zee!




It’s a cherry tomato plant and it’s the fastest growing plant I have!

Behind the cherry tomato plant I have a container of straight neck squash growing. It’s FAST too.

Here’s one little guy who just made an appearance over the weekend.



So far there are about 30 blooms on here. Looking forward to some tomatoes!!

Then we have the upside down tomato plant. It’s housing an heirloom tomato plant. Yum.



No blooms on this one yet. See those 2 hanging baskets in the back? I’m gonna put tomato plants in those too. When my Dad was here weekend before last, he hung up 3 more hooks for me. I have 2 jubilee tomatoes to put in there.



Can you guess what this is?

I’ll give you a hint.

You have probably NEVER heard of it before. How’s that for a hint. ;)

It’s culantro and it’s muey delicioso! Kinda like cilantro on steroids in terms of flavor.



Here’s my pepper plants. They are in a container with 2 tomato plants until I can get the tomatoes out of there. I left them outside yesterday when we had a HUGE storm come through so they are a little beat down at the moment.


Have you ever done this to your plants?



I had to put sand over the soil because of the gnats that were swarming. I did some research and I think they are called fungus gnats. They like the damp soil and they really go to town on your roots. The gnats were also getting into the house and driving me insane. Gnats be gone!



This is what it looked like outside my house yesterday evening. The huge storm came through very early yesterday morning and then it stayed pretty much cloudy all day.  The clouds started rolling in again while the sun was setting. It was such a weird shade of orange.

So pretty though. Surreal looking.

5.13.2010

Science Fair and Open Houses

It’s science fair time at Caitlin’s school so she has been working on it for about 4 weeks now.
She decided to do an experiment on which soil will basil grow best in. We used red clay, dirt from the backyard and potting soil. Of course she knew which one would do best but what she didn’t know was just how much the different soil would affect the plants.

Take a look. Here’s all 3 together.
What a difference huh?

She started the seeds in those little soil pellets and then transplanted them to the different soils. We were so careful to make sure the experiment was accurate, that we even rinsed off the pellet soil before planting them in their respective soils.


Here’s the outcome of the red clay


Here’s the outcome of the dirt.


And here’s the outcome of the fertilized soil.

So like I said all in all it took about 4 weeks. 2.5 weeks to start the seeds and get them big enough to plant and then in the different soil for about a week and a half. We had no idea that the red clay would just kill the plant so I think that was the biggest surprise of the whole experiment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We also attended an open house on Tuesday night. It was at an awesome Christian school here in town. We actually a little out of town. Actually is ALLLLL the way across town from us. At least 30 mins to get there. All interstate. Traffic. Boring.
That is gonna be the deciding factor I think. There are lots of other schools that are closer to us, but they don’t offer all the extra resource classes that this school does.
Since I absolutely do NOT want her attended public school next year, we have to consider funding. That means work for me. But not work as in office work. I’m gonna set up my Etsy again and start selling dresses, bows, skirts and anything else I can possibly make. It’s gonna be a BUSY summer for me!

5.07.2010

11 Years Ago

I was so young. Clueless on how to raise a child. I just lost my mother in September to cancer and had NO clue what I was doing.



I was 16 hours away from my dad and I was about to have a baby. I was only 22 years old! TOO young if you ask me.



It was the worst of all 3 of my pregnancies. Morning sickness for 7 months straight. I was so ready for it to be over.



Homesick, depressed and in a bad relationship were not the best circumstances to bring a baby into this world.



But at 9:57 pm on May 7th, 1999, my oldest was born. I finally had someone who I could love and could love me back unconditionally.



I brought her home from the hospital on Mother’s Day, which for me was pretty darn special.




She has grown up to be smarter than I could ever pretend to be, sweeter than I have or will ever be and more loving than any child I have ever known.



Yes, she gets on my nerves so bad sometimes I want to string her up by her toenails, but I still love her.



Happy Birthday Caitlin. I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissss much!

5.05.2010

Wordless Wednesday

There is a radio station in my dads town that starts off their morning show program with this saying. Everyday.

I used P-Dubs picture, copied the text on top and then hung it right above my desk.

Click to make bigger. :)


It’s a great reminder for me to slow down and enjoy my kids while they are little and that each day is a new day and I am the one that chooses which path to take.

I love it so much that I put it as a *sticky* on my home page.

OK so this wasn’t such a “wordless” Wednesday after all. Maybe I should have called it “less words” Wednesday. HA!

4.30.2010

But I DID use a level… AND a RULER!

I take lot of pictures. I mean LOTS of them and I never seem to print them off and actually do something with them.

That’s all changing though.

Recently when pilfering through some junk impeccably organized drawers, I happened upon some photo paper. Letter size, high gloss, Kodak photo paper to be exact.

I printed off about 10 photos I really liked. Bought some el’cheapo frames from the Dollar Tree and hung them up.

I must say I was VERY proud of myself. I snapped a quick picture with my cell and sent it to Chris. I just knew he would think it looked awesome.

It looks good for not using a level and a ruler” was his EXACT response.

I think a little piece of me died right there because you know what….

I DID use a level… AND a RULER!

See for yourself. The tops of each are level. I promise!



I think the reason they look a little wonky is because the red and black frames are slightly different. I think the red ones may be just a little smaller, hence the crooked look on the bottom.

But can you believe what he said!! Grrrr… the nerve!

I messaged him back.

Um… I did use a level and ruler

His response??

HA HA…. funny

I know! (I am imagining you with your jaw on the floor like mine was… just humor me, will ‘ya!)

So what do you think? Is it really that laughable?

I have more to hang up too. Maybe this time I won’t use a level and ruler just to see how they come out. I’ll keep you posted!