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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thrifty Thursdays - Buying In Bulk

Some of you may use bulk buying to purchase items, some may not. I see several benefits to buying in bulk. I will also discuss some of the drawbacks.

  1. Generally there are price discounts (volume discounts) when buying larger quantities of items.
  2. You won't be paying for as much individual packaging, as with smaller quantities.
  3. You won't run out as often and need to run to the store to purchase more, often at an inconvenient time. I do the bulk of my shopping (what we don't produce ourselves) once a month through our food coop (buying club).
  4. Buying in bulk in conjunction with sale pricing, brings down overall cost of the item.
  5. It allows you to help out a neighbor, who went to bake and realizes she is out of flour and lives 15 miles from the nearest store, or lives in town, but has an hour to get her baking done before she goes to work and has no time to run to the store.
  6. It allows you to practice charity - those canned veggies you bought by the case can be used to dontate to the food drive at your church or school function. Also you have something on hand to whip up goodies for the afternoon bake sale that your little darling forgot to tell you about until this morning's breakfast.
  7. Buying in conjunction with others generally allows you to share shipping with others if not purchased directly at the store.

Drawbacks:

  1. Buying bulk might require a larger initial outlay of cash than you would otherwise, which may be a strain on your budget.
  2. You may not have a lot of storage space available. This may mean a pantry area, extra closet, storage totes or a freezer, depending on the type of item.
  3. You may not have proper storage containers to accomodate large quantities, which will need to protected from bug infestations, humidity, etc. in the case of food purchases.
  4. Some items may not store well.
  5. You may not have a need for large quantities of items (you are single for example).

There are many items that can be purchased in bulk, primarily food products, but also toiletries and other household goods, also school supplies. To be even thriftier when you are stocking up on food and toiletries, try to combine manufacturer's coupons with store coupons or sale prices. If you have the time to watch these things, you can do really well. My friend Laura's blog regularly has stories of the money-saving ventures. She does really well. Unfortunately for me, I tend to not buy the items that usually have coupons for them.

I grew up about 15 miles from the nearest town, so we didn't run to town every day when we needed something. I lived in the city during college and for 3 years afterwards, but again moved to the country when I married, again living 15 miles from the nearest town where I could buy food and other supplies. So for me, buying in bulk is a habit instilled by my mother, who I know still has plenty of food on hand to feed us all when we come home for a visit/holiday (except it is not my parents and us 4 kids - it is now my parents, us 4 kids and our 4 spouses and 8 (soon to be 9) grandkids).

Buying in bulk can be a great strategy to stretch your buying dollars.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays - Bacon Potato Soup

Bacon Potato Soup

4 cups diced potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup bacon pieces
2 cups milk
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chicken broth

Combine all ingredients but milk, in a 3 quart saucepan and cook until potatoes are tender, stirring frequent. Stir in milk, salt and pepper to taste. Serves 10.

Note: I copied this from a magazine with microwave instructions, so it is adjusted (without times) to be cooked on a stove top. If you need microwave instructions, I will post them in the comments if requested.

Possible New iPhone Carrier

New iPhone Carrier perhaps

I hope this is true and the cost is not outrageous. Verizon has great coverage in our area. Need to see how it compares to our current carrier and price differences. Guess we will wait and see since it will be at least 6 months before it happens.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Foodie Fridays - The Lost Arts

I know this is a little late, but we were busy with quilting class, education fair and then we helped my sister pack up for their move this week. We also made up a couple meals for my sister while she is on bedrest, which started a couple days ago for her.

Lost Arts Kitchen

I just found this blog on Traditional Foods recipes through another link. The recipes look wonderful and I can't wait to try them. There is quite a variety from meats to soups, to dressings,etc. Hope you find something you like.

Enjoy! I know I will!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Scrappy Saturdays - Video Tutorials

Archivers Online Tutorials

If you have a scrapbooking tool that you bought and haven't figured out, or would like to try out but are unsure how to use it, the link above has lots of video tutorials to show you how. I have the Crop-a-dile Big Bite for reaching the center of 12 x 12 paper, but haven't really used it. Now I can see all that it can do and try to use it on my pages.

There are 14 tutorials on binding machines, Copic markers, using acrylic stamps and much more! Enjoy and start using those tools that you bought and haven't taken the time to learn how to use. I am especially excited to use the tutorial on the Bind It All so I can make my own mini albums of events, my neices and nephews, themes, etc.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Foodie Fridays - Ezekiel Sprouted Tortillas

We eat tortillas in fits and spurts around here (mainly for tacos/burritos) and some times for sandwich wraps (cream cheese and deli meat or peanut butter and honey). Another gal in our buying club (food coop) wanted to split a case of the Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas. So I bought 3-4 packages and and we tried them out the other day. We really like them and since we were out of bread, we tried them with burgers. The kids all said to go ahead and order them and the mixture of several sprouted grains has a nice nutty flavor to it. I know that the sprouted grains are healthier for you but I haven't gotten around to sprouting anything of my own, so was happy to try these and like them a lot.

We quit buying bread from the food coop and started making our own in the bread machine, but need to do a better job of either soaking our flours or sprouting our grains to get more optimal nutrition. For right now, in my life, this is what I have time for and if some day I can do that, then that will be another item I can check off the list of THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO DO.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Reminder: the show debuts on ABC tomorrow (Friday) night. Larry King interviewed Jamie Oliver, Ryan Seacrest and a Baptist pastor from Huntington Beach tonight on Larry King Live.

We will be driving home from the education fair so we set the DVR to record all the episodes, beginning tomorrow night, so we can watch them when it works for us. Tomorrow night's debut is 2 hours long (7:00 p.m. Central time)

Thrifty Thursdays - Reuse

One of the things that I always try to do is to reuse packaging that comes into my home. This can take various forms:
Paper grocery bags
Plastic sacks
cardboard boxes
Bubble Wrap
Packing Peanut
Glass Jars

These are just of the few items that I can think of off the top of my head. I will try to list a few of the ways I reuse these items to give some food for thought. I hope you will add in your comments of ways you reuse these items and others that you reuse.

Paper Grocery Sacks -
  • use it to hold recyclable papers, cardboards
  • to hold items you are donating to charity
  • cut them apart and turn inside out to wrap boxes for mailing
  • use them to create a pattern for sewing or other item where you need a pattern for cutting
Plastic Sacks -
  • use these for your small garbage can liners (bathroom, bedrooms, etc) - I have never bought garbage bags for these small garbage cans
  • use them for additional packaging when mailing books
  • use these to fill space in a box when mailing something fragile or that you don't want moving around in a package
  • put a wet or soiled diaper in these till you can dispose of it (if you are away from home)
  • line mud boots that might have a small crack in them
  • use this to transport dirty clothes or muddy shoes or boots
  • wet swimwear and towels/coverupss
  • sandy blankets, shoes, etc.
Cardboard Boxes -
  • use to mail items/particularly books and gifts
  • use to sort outgrown children's clothing by size and gender to pass along to others so you know exactly what you have and can pass it on to the person who can use it
  • group like items for your own storage (ie. camping dishes, etc)
  • holding items you plan to donate to charity (they can be labeled for easy sorting - to various charities or by item) and stacked till you are ready to transport them
Bubble Wrap -
  • wrap photo frames when moving
  • wrap fragile gifts before shipping
  • entertain your kids :)
Packing Peanuts -

  • Fill extra space in packages that you are shipping
  • Use extra packing peanuts to beef up the stuffing in your bean bags that have gone flat over time
  • Use in the same way for the neck pillows that are full of beads
Glass jars -

  • Store grease from frying foods to dispose of later
  • Store bulk staples - sugar, spices, grains, honey, etc
  • Store leftovers - and you won't need tupperware
  • Use to store your homemade sauces, marinades
  • use for cotton balls or cotton cosmetics pads
  • Q-tips
  • paint brushes
  • pencils/pens
  • hardware - screws, nails, etc
I am sure that I will think of tons more things. Please share your uses for these common household items that continually come into our houses, as I am sure we can all learn something from one another. Please add other items that you reuse in your comments as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays - aren't working for me right now

It seems that my camera likes to give me fits, so while I always have lots of pictures, my battery on the camera isn't holding a charge well and the cheaper one that the Walmart employee told me would work in my Kodak camera (instead of the name brand) won't fit. So it takes hours to recharge the camera. By the time it is charged, I don't have time to upload pics to the computer.

Hopefully I will get a new battery soon and resume putting more pictures on my blog. I have blog posts on hold for Homeschool Day at the Capital, the christian concert we attended Saturday night and others. This week we have the education fair and a baby shower for my sister, so I am sure to take lots more pictures. I just hate having to fork over $40 for a battery. Especially since I wear it out in less than 18 months (a rechargable).

So instead of being wordless, I am having Wordy Wednesdays.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays - Oatmeal Cake

This recipe was my Grandma Judy's recipe. It is especially delicious warm with some powder sugar frosting. I think of her every time I make it. Enjoy! I am sure you will.

Oatmeal Cake
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugars, butter, salt and eggs. Mix oatmeal with boiling water and add to sugar mixture. Stir dry ingredients and add last with the vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I haven't disappeared....

Just been a little busy. I promise to post some photos from our Homeschool Day at the Capital and the rest of our activities through the week and weekend. Not sure if I will get to it this weekend or not, but stay tuned. I have lots of blog post ideas swirling around in my head.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays - Orange Julius

Orange Julius

1 - 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
ice cubes
Put all ingredients in blender. Add ice cubes until blender is full. Blend until smooth and frothy.

I have had this recipe for a long time. We recently started making them again and my girls have taken that over. We all love them and it is so easy. Enjoy. We have been branching out and trying Peach Julius as well.

Tasty Tuesdays - Will be Late today

We are attending our state's Homeschool Day at the Capitol as a family tomorrow. So we will be leaving at O'Dark Thirty in the morning to make the 3 hour drive to the Capitol, and make a much-needed stop at the chiropractor's office on the return trip. I plan to post a recipe later tomorrow night and perhaps some pictures from our trip.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Maddening Mondays - Are You Politically Active????

Since I have been busy rearranging furniture in my house and attending to other family matters, I haven't given a lot of time or thought to what I would blog about here today. I decided to pose the question - Are you politically active?

If someone had asked me this 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, I would have answered NO. Sometime in the last 5-10 years, my husband started getting more politically involved, so the natural result was that I did too. It started with watching certain TV talk shows and listening to radio shows. Once I became more aware of how the system worked and what the parties and organizations stood for, I realized that I could do my part to effect change at a grassroots level.

The logical first step was to identify the party affiliation that most closely resembled my views. For me, that was the Republican Party (at the time). I had previously been registered with the Democratic Party (because my parents were). Same for my husband. As time goes on, I realize that I still identify with some of the Republican Party platform, but am an Independent in other areas.

The next step was to do my civic duty and vote in the elections. The general elections, the primary elections, the school board elections, the special elections. While I may not have seen the desired outcomes, I had hoped for, I did participate.

During the last Presidential elections, my husband and I attended the Iowa Straw Poll. Neither of us had attended this before, but we enjoyed it and learned a lot. Later on we attended our county's caucus.

Most recently my husband was a delegate to our county convention and our three kids were junior delegates. My husband was selected as a District Delegate and a State Delegate. The kids are also Junior Delegates to the District and State Conventions. The kids are starting this process much earlier than I ever did.

Another thing that has been an education for me is to get involved with legislation at the grassroots level. Rallying support for an issue, developing a bill, seeing it introduced at the state level and the process it goes through to become a law, has been a great educational tool, both for myself and our children. Great civics lessons.

The advent of the internet and blogging has increased the amount of information on issues significantly and allows you to easily gather information about a topic. Blogging allows you to share your thoughts and get others feedback.

A quote I have read: "All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing." This is not an exact quote and I have been unable to locate the exact author of the quote, but some attribute it to Edmund Burke. I realized that if I am not going to be active and do something, then I have no right to complain if I don't like what is happening in my world. Given the events of the last 2.5 years with our nation's economy, political climate, financial uncertainty and a slide away from the Constitutional principles set forth by our founding fathers, I feel the need to become politically active, not only for the sake of myself, but for my children and future generations that follow.

So my final thought, are you politically active? If the answer is no, I must ask, why not?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Scrappy Saturdays - Online Scrapbooking Classes

I thought I would try to round up the online websites that have scrapbook classes. This is by no means all of the sites, just the ones that I am familiar with. Most of them have a variety of classes, ranging from free, to self-paced, to month long and some even have longer, more involved classes.

Big Picture Scrapbooking - www.bigpicturescrapbooking.com
Jessica Sprague - www.jessicasprague.com
Get It Scrapped - www.debbiehodge.com
Two Peas in a Bucket - www.twopeasinabucket.com

That is all I can think off off the top of my head and I know there are others out there. I will add them as I find them.

Scrappy Saturdays - Mini Album Idea Book Download

Oh My Crafts has a free download for a Mini Album Idea Book.

I am not sure how long it is available, but should be for a while. Just came into my inbox.

Since it is put out by Oh My Crafts, they do include advertising in it, but the ideas are really cute and I hope to try them out soon. I have had a Bind It All tool for over a year and a half and have never used it. I have lots of great ideas but haven't gotten around to them yet. Maybe this will get me to use it.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Foodie Fridays - Food Inc. on Oprah

I am not normally an Oprah viewer, but my MIL called to tell me what was on her show today. She recently saw the documentary Food Inc. and decided that she had to do a show on it. Our family watched Food Inc. recently with our traditional foods group (a chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation) following a potluck.

The documentary uncovers what the industrial food system has done and is doing to our nation's farmers and to our nation's (collective) health. Various clips were run and she then interviewed Michael Pollan (author of the Omnivore's Dilemma and more recently Food Rules) who gave an overview of the changes over the past 50-60 years (nearly a complete monopoly over the meat in this country, production practices, huge amounts of antiobiotic use in animals, etc.). One of Michael Pollan's food rules is "If your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize this as food, don't eat it. (slight paraphrase)"

Oprah also interviewed Alicia Silverstone, who went vegan and improved her health (that would not work for me cause I LOVE MEAT!), but she did advocate eating more whole foods and produce. So that part I can agree with.

The final segment she interviewed Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle Grill. While I was not able to watch the entire third segment, I did gather that he sources as much sustainably raised food as possible and more of the dollars spent, go back to the farmer/producer.

As Oprah said, you need to see this and make your own decision. I urge everyone to see this movie. Buy it, rent it, go to the theatre! We need to make conscious decisions about the food we put in our bodies. If you have seen this documentary, please share your thoughts and ask those in your sphere of influence to watch this movie and make their own decisions.

Thrifty Thursdays - Saving Money by Cooking from Scratch

When we started changing our diet to more natural and organic foods almost 11 years ago, one of the first things we did, was to decrease and eventually eliminate some foods. When I say eliminate, I need to clarify. We eliminated the processed, boxed version and replaced some of them with a homemade, made-from scratch version when possible. The others that we couldn't replace, we simply quit eating.

With the power of the internet at your fingertips (either in your home or at a local library) you likely will be able to find a recipe for almost anything. Not only will you save money by making it yourself, instead of paying someone else for making it, packaging it, marketing it, transporting it, storing it and selling it, but you will you save yourself from all the additives and preservatives that extend shelf life. In other words, you will know what is in your food, because you made it and you know the source of your ingredients (not some "natural flavorings" or other catch-all terms).

While we don't make everything from scratch (I am still trying to find a suitable replacement for canned tomato soup, etc), we keep looking. Next on my list is to find a good ranch dressing. I also have some great cracker recipes to try that a friend gave me. Much of the delay in me trying these things, is having a schedule that is too packed to allow time for trying them out. We have begun to cut back on outside commitments to really focus on what is most important to us and our family. My hope is that simplifying my life will free up more time to do these type of things that we desire to do.

One of the first websites I found with recipes for cooking almost anything from scratch was Hillbilly Housewife The site has extensive amounts of recipes in all categories. Other sites I have used are:

Be aware that some of these sites will have recipes specifying canned, boxed or other processed items as ingredients. I look at recipes and base my decision on whether to try or not, by taste. If I think it looks tasty, then I will go about changing the source of ingredients. For example, it it calls for chicken broth, I will try to replace it with homemade chicken stock if I have it, or use an organic chicken base and water, or thirdly canned chicken stock (with a SHORT ingredient list).

Of course, there are tons of cookbooks out there to make nearly anything from scratch as well. In fact you may have a few of them in your kitchen. Some that I have are: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, More With Less, Whole Foods for the Whole Family, The Maker's Diet and Nourishing Traditions. Most likely the older versions of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook will be what you are looking for. Sometimes older church and/or community cookbooks can be a good source of from scratch recipes. Most current ones rely heavily on a can of this, a package of that, or a box of this.

I hope this will give some food for thought and I look forward to your comments and suggestions on cooking items from scratch.
I avoid recipes that require non dairy whipped topping, high fructose corn syrup, etc. If I end up using one of those recipes, then I will use whipped cream or honey in place of the two ingredients I just listed. Automatic replacements are butter for margarine (won't eat that). While margarine may be cheaper to buy, my health is not. I will pay for and eat butter.

Not only does cooking from scratch save you money, it will likely save your health. We spend almost nothing on health care and choose to spend a little more on certain food items which cost a bit more (like the butter I mentioned above). We tend to rely on whole foods for our diet, that is not to say that we don't eat any junk food because we do. Our health has improved dramatically and the only time we see a medical doctor is for regular checkups or stitches.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays - Wild Rice Soup

This is a recipe from my late Aunt Eileen (who was also my godmother). She was a wonderful cook. We have many, many recipes that she shared with us over the years that have become family favorites. I am sure you will love this one as much as we do. I plan to share more of her wonderful recipes over time.

Wild Rice Soup

6 Tbsp. butter or marg.
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup half and half
2 Tbsp dry sherry (optional)
snipped parsley or chives.

Melt butter in saucepan, saute onion until tender. Blend in flour, gradually stir in broth. Cook, stirring constantly until misture comes to a boil and stir one minute. Stir in rice and salt: simmer about 5 minutes. Blend in half and half and sherry. Heat to serving temp. Garnish w/parsley.

Variations: Add 1/3 cup minced ham or chopped cooked chicken, 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot and 2 TBSP chopped/crushed sliced almonds with rice and salt.

NOTES: Below are some additional things that my sisters and I have done, especially if we are short on time (with kids and jobs, sometimes time is just short).

I do not buy and cook the real wild rice that takes forever. I use the Uncle Ben's stuff and it works just fine too. For the 1/2 and 1/2, I use about 1/2 of that and then the rest with regular milk so it isn't soooooo thick. I usually cook and add in a couple chicken breasts. The sherry is optional but I usually add it and it does add a nice flavor.

Monday, March 8, 2010

In An Effort to Blog More Regularly....

I am attempting to blog (as I can) on specific categories on Specific Days. That way, I don't have to come up with something out of the blue.

These categories may change some, but I am working on making them representative of who I am, so they may change over time. Without further ado, here they are:

Maddening Mondays - Political Discussions
Tasty Tuesdays - Recipes
Wordless Wednesdays - Current Photos/Events (hat tip to Angie and Pam for this idea)
Thrifty Thursdays - Saving Money
Foodie Fridays - Organic/Healthy Living
Scrappy Saturdays - Scrapbooking Goodies
Sabbath Sundays - probably nothing cause I'm lazy

I am certain that life will get in the way and I won't get a post done every day, but at least if I get a bunch of posts written I can spread them over several days.

Would love any input on other ideas you might have.

Weekend Update

My husband was a delegate to our County Convention this weekend on Saturday morning and the kids were Junior delegates. So they left the house and I thoroughly enjoyed having the house all to myself for a few hours. I started reorganizing my scrapbook supplies since I had pulled most of them out for a retreat the weekend before. Knowing that I had just a few events to finish up to complete my 2007 books, I set about to get those completed.

Over the course of yesterday and today, I completed 15 pages to get those events completed! I spent the rest of the evening putting everything I did plus those I did in December at a crop, into page protectors and getting everything into the appropriate album.

I am happy to have that project done. Now to sort more photos and plan pages. My picture taking has increased exponentially in the last 2 years, so I also need to find a way to scrap faster. I have read a number of blog posts and articles with tips for scrapbooking more efficiently, so I hope to put those into practice.

We have been getting rain since Friday and it is really helping to get rid of the massive amounts of snow we have here. Our highs are supposed to increase to near 50 degrees by next weekend and several days include rain in the forecast. I am hopeful it will be gone in the next 7 days. We shall see!

Considering that I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open, I am going to put some things away and get some zzzzz's. I promise that not all my posts will be on scrapbooking.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Roller Skating

Our homeschool group went rollerskating today. There were 100 people attending, which blew me away. We got there a little late (1/2 hour), but the kids had plenty of time to skate (1.5 hours).

I got to visit a little bit with some of the other moms and attempted to take pictures but due to the poor lighting in the roller rink, my camera didn't want to cooperate very well. Most of the pictures were blurry unless the kids were standing still and posed. After attending a scrapbook retreat last weekend and watching a 20 minute video on improving your pictures, I thought I had the problem figured out. I switched to the sports mode (and the pictures turned out worst). So I just kept shooting, hoping for a few that turned out.

However, I don't think any are worthy of posting, The kids managed to do the chicken dance, the hokey-pokey and the crazy trio dance and didn't fall a ton. Unfortunately, they usually only got 1-2 times a year, so it is hard to get proficient at it.

A big thanks goes out to Melanie who organizes weekly phys ed activities for our group (of 100 families). She puts a lot of time into this and it is so appreciated by all of us. There is a great variety as well: ice skating, roller skating, climbing wall, flag football, hiking, biking, frisbee and gym time, etc.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Scheduling

I just found out that this post never posted to my blog. So while it is now a month old, I am going to post it anyway, to give you a taste of my days. Ironic that the title is scheduling, as this post never got scheduled in the blogger system. LOL!

I can't believe how crazy busy life can get some times. We just came off probably one of the busiest months of our lives. Just nuts! We travelled to Lexington, KY for a meeting that my hubby attended and we took in some sight seeing. The next weekend we celebrated a belated Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Orthodontist appointment for my son. Husband spoke at a conference. He was home for one night and then spent 2 days teaching a seminar a couple hours away. Home for a day and a half then to a 2.5 day meeting where he had a booth and put on some informational meetings. I attended 1.5 days of the meeting with them, then headed to a weekend scrapbook retreat with friends (my twice a year getaway with friends to do what I love - SCRAPBOOK!)

Interspersed with all of this our kids have activities that they need to be shuttled to: voice lessons, catechism classes, music practice and homeschool coop, plus a few extra phys ed activities like ice skating and this week roller skating. Living on a farm with animals there are always daily chores to do: feeding hay to the horses, taking care of dogs and cats and helping feed cattle hay. My husband and I also both serve on boards at church.

As you can see it has been a whirlwind around here lately. Thankfully today I was successful at getting some upcoming things scheduled: oral surgery to extract a tooth for my son, appointment to get his braces the following week, registering for an upcoming conference we are attending next month and the kids' voice recital. Nothing overlapped!!! PHEW!!

I am tired just typing that all out....no wonder my blogging was non-existent for so long. We have dropped some non-essentials to concentrate more on things that involve our entire family and what is best for them and now that we survived February things are looking a little simpler.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weekend Report

I spent the last weekend with good friends from my hometown. About 2.5 years ago my best friend that I have known since Kindergarten (and attended through high school and all the way through college) invited me to join her family at a scrapbook retreat. It is held in March and September at a Catholic Retreat Center. The event begins at 4:00 on Friday afternoon and concludes at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon.

We get two days of uninterrupted time to scrapbook, visit, eat, reminisce, eat, visit, eat...well, you get the picture. There are cabins to stay in onsite. My friend has 4 sisters (3 of which came), and her mom and a cousin. My husband was at a meeting close by so I stayed with him the first night and at my sister's the second night.

I was able to get 35 pages done this time and was very happy with that, as they ready to be loaded into the album (THEY ARE DONE!). I always have grand plans of getting stuff organized better and picked out ahead of time, so I am more productive. The last week before the retreat, my husband was out of town 4 of 7 days, so there were lots of extra chores to be done around the farm, so the organizing wish didn't come true.

One of my goals was to complete all the little groups of photos from various years that I hadn't completed for the albums for my kids. A trip to Ft. Wayne in 2005, Christmas pictures from 2007 and a visit to the Ranchwife from 2006. The only group of photos that didn't get completed from those years were our trip to Austin, TX in 2007 (because either I didn't print them all or I can't find them). I ran across them on my computer the week before and didn't manage to upload them to Walmart to get them printed. Now I can't find them again. Now I can get a fresh start on 2008 photos. I have them all printed and sorted, so next time I get a chance to work I am ready to go.

Unfortunately in my rush to get them into their respective albums today, I forgot to take a picture of any of them to post. Oh well, guess you will have to come visit and look through them. :)

Reminder to Self

Don't create 2 blogs and then fail to post on either one. When you finally post on your main blog, it will show up in the inactive blog with no template and you will think you have lost all of previous posts, pictures, blogrolls etc.

Thank goodness for cut and paste and the back arrow on the computer.

Don't have a heart attack, anybody that follows my blog. This is 2 posts in one day!!!

I will try to pace myself okay?!?

It's Been How Long?????

Oh my goodness! I didn't realize it had been nearly 10 months since I last posted to my blog!!! YIKES!!

Life gets a little crazy! I have been very busy and have made a point to get myself a little more organized so that I can do the things that NEED to be done (like laundry, cleaning, dishes, schoolwork) and the things that I WANT to get done (like blogging, scrapbooking, painting and decluttering.

I enjoy reading other's blogs, catching a little glimpse into their lives and perhaps gleaning a nugget of wisdom from their experience to implement in my own life.

This winter has been one for the recordbooks and my husband and I have been taking pictures to document this record-breaking year. Lots of plans for upcoming posts including outdoor pictures, a couple business trips we made and some creative posts (primarily some of the scrapping I got done last weekend at a scrapbooking retreat).

I can't promise that I will blog every day (not realistic). I will try to blog on a more regular basis going forward. In fact I am going to start working on a list of blog posts to write and get started on them later this week.