Monday, December 29, 2008

Baby Jesus is coming to our house

As my child gets older and develops more of his own personality, he comes out with more and more funny sayings. I have decided to try and start posting at least once a week, a list of Daniel-isms and funny anecdotes for the enjoyment of others. He keeps us in stitches as I am sure he will you.

1. Watching the Grinch movie, for the third time this year, on Christmas Eve, the cat made a noise in Daniel's room. He proceeded to shout, "OH!!! I HEAR HIM! SANTA! HE'S ON THE ROOF! HE'S HERE! HE'S HERE!!!" We explained to him that he must be visiting someone else in our apartment building because Santa does not come until you are asleep. He proceeded to look at us with a very serious face and replied, "Yeah. He KNOWS when you are sleeping. He KNOWS when you're awake."

2. When we were outside throwing out the reindeer food, our neighbors windchime started chiming. Once again we heard, "IT'S SANTA!!! HE'S HERE! I HEARD HIS SLEIGH BELLS! HE'S HERE." Oh to be that young and exicted again.

3. Over the past few days we had been trying to think of something for Daniel to call Jeff's mom as he has always referred to her as "Jeff's Mom." After much debate and deciding NOT to use G2, short for Granny 2 or G2 with an attitude, we decided on Gigi. Jeff started talking ot Daniel about how Brian, Emily and Gigi were coming to see us on Saturday. I told him that he needed to explain to Daniel who Gigi was, but he never did. As I was putting Daniel in bed on Friday night he was talking about waht we were goign to do the next day and reminded me that, "Brian, Emily and Baby Jesus were coming to see him. " LMAO!!!! He had thought Jeff was saying Jesus when he was saying Gigi. He knows that the Nativity scene at Christmas has Baby Jesus in it, and I guess he thought that since it was Christmas, Baby Jesus was coming to see him.

4. We had just gotten done playing Cranium Saturday night and Daniel was playing with his play doh. He came running into the living room and said, "Hey you know what I just made? I just made a whole bunch of funny shiiii (insert long pause here) ps." We all thought he was about to say something else! We were all looking at each other, and when he finally came out with ships we about fell in the floor laughing.

Back from the abyss...kind of

Back to work today. YUCK. But only for 2 days and then I will have 2 more days off. YIPPEE! I really enjoyed having so much time off last week. Gave me a chance to recharge my batteries so to speak.
Daniel had a blast on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Every noise he heard was Santa on the roof. It was fun to get to experience the joy of Christmas through a child's eyes this year. I think so much of that is lost as we get older and get caught up in the materialisticness (is that a word? If not it is now!) of Christmas. We attended a Christmas Eve service with our friends. It was a very nice service with a candle light ending. Reminded me a lot of the service at my old church at home. One of the men in the church sang Mary Did You Know which is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. It always brings tears to my eyes.

Surprisingly Daniel was not up at the crack of dawn on Christmas, but he did come racing into our room once he got up. We opened all of our gifts and let him play while we made breakfast.

It was a very nice holiday overall. It was nice to stay here and not have to run around from house to house either, but we did miss our families. Jeff's mom, brother and my sister in law Em, all came up and visited on Saturday. We had a blast playing cranium together. Even if my teammate did quit on me. (Daniel) He even got a question right before he quit! The question was the definition of hirsute and he said hairy which was the correct answer and not what I would have guessed. Smart kid! LOL.

I may be a little scarce again this week but after the first of the year I will be back full speed ahead I promise. I have even got a few posts already planned.

In the meantime here are a few pics to keep you amused.

Showing off the pj's and robe that Santa's Elves left to be opened on Christmas Eve.

The elusive Mommysaurus. Always behind the camera, never in front of it.
Throwing out the reindeer food to help the reindeer find our house and to make sure they had a snack when they got here.
Luna helped put the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.
But she could not wait until Christmas morning to open the gifts.

Opening his stocking.
And the presents.
The aftermath.
The joy of going downstairs and finding out Santa had left one more present.
Fighting with his lightsabers.
Playing with the stickers he got in his stocking. That is where they are supposed to go right?
The stress of the holidays wore them out. They had to watch a movie together on the couch.
I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Little bit of a break

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I will be hit or miss on here for the next few days. Spending as much time as possible enjoying my 5 days off work. I will be checking in some just not as much as normal. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

WOOHOO! 100 posts!!

A guy in our corporate office sent this to me today. I LOVE it. Thought it was fitting for my 100th post.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daniel meets Santa

Daniel met Santa for the first time (that he remembers anyway) yesterday. His eyes were as big as dinner plates! He was pretty hesitant at first, but he finally told Santa that he wanted a nutcracker (?) and a Kota the Dinosaur. He does not want much. Just a $300 dinosaur that would take up his whole room! Maybe he won't be disappointed with a bike.
Only 9.5 hours of work left this week. THANK GOD!!!!! I am counting down the hours. (As if you could not tell.) I need a break and these next few days are going to be heavenly. It will make work that much harder once the New Year is over but it will be worth it for my peace of mind.
My Christmas present getting is done as of Saturday. The stockings are all taken care of as well. I even have all of Daniel's presents wrapped! This will be the first year that I do not spend Christmas Eve frantically wrapping presents. Even when I did not have Daniel I was in charge of wrapping my Dad's and sisters stuff. I
still have a few presents for the extended family to wrap/procure but I will take care of the wrapping in the next day or so, and the few other gifts we do need to get can wait until after Christmas. We won't be seeing those people until later in January.
Now if 5pm tomorrow would just hurry up and get here......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My first tag!!!!

Jessica at Don't Give Him Crackers tagged me for a picture meme.

These are the rules:

Go to the 6th picture folder in your documents.*Find the 6th picture in your 6th folder.*Pray that you remember what it is about.*Blog about it.*Tag 6 people to do the same.

I cheated a little bit as the 6th picture was REALLY blurry so this is the next one.

Jeff's mom got him and his brother a tandem jump skydiving lesson for Christmas last year. They finally got to do it in August when we went back to AL. Jeff said that after a few seconds of the free fall it REALLY hurt because his whole face was being pushed back.

I tag:

1. Lisa
2. Liz
5. MJ

The green monster is gone!

Whatever bug crawled inside me the past few days is thankfully gone. I do not know why I was so cranky. Must be hormones.

Daniel ended up having a blast last night since he was the only kid. Everyone spoiled him!

My boss sent me a text yesterday and supposedly we will be getting our bonus on Monday. I sure hope so. It would come in handy.

I spent all day today tying up loose Christmas ends, and I think I have everything I need now. I found Daniel a Lightning McQueen bike on sale for $49 which will be his big gift from Santa. I have started the wrapping process but that may take a few days to get done. Although Santa's Elves dropped off a present for each of us today that has special instructions to be opened on Christmas Eve. (PJ's for all of us to wear so we have decent looking clothes on for early morning pictures.) Daniel helped me make some Candy Canes out of pipe cleaners and we hung htose on a tree I made for him out of leftover evergreen pieces. I am going to replace the fake candy canes with real ones after he goes to bed on Christmas Eve. The "magic" of Christmas.

Thanks for all the kind words after my post yesterday. It made me feel a lot better. Hopefuly the grinch will stay gone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I have officially become the grinch

Starting Wednesday this week has really gone down hill fast.

The clients are mad because we could not work Monday and Tuesday. I am sorry but putting my employees lives at risk on icy roads is just not going to happen! So we have been behind for the past 2 days with clients jumping down my throat about why this has or has not been done.

We usually get our Christmas bonus checks with the last paycheck before Christmas. There was not one. None of the bosses in our corporate office will confirm if we are getting one or not. If I do not get it in enough time to use it for Christmas what freaking good is it!?

I have really been looking forward to our office Christmas party (tonight) all week. Kind of as a way to destress and get to spend some adult time. Now my babysitter has canceled on me. Wanted to know if I could not find someone else as she feels "slightly under the weather." HELLO IT IS 1:30 THE DAY OF THE PARTY AND I KNOW ALL OF 4 PEOPLE IN THIS STATE!!!!

I have been in a rotten mood for the past 3 days and I can't seem to shake it. All I want to do is curl up in bed and cry, but I have too many responsibilities/things to do to even be able to do that.

Free 8x10

Walgreen's is offering their free 8x10 again. Simply use the code FREEGIFT at checkout. There is no purchase necessary! These make great Christmas gifts!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Swords/daggers anyone interested?

All reasonable offers considered.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Update on Shampoo-less

I posted this a week or so ago.

Thought I would share how things are going for me now.

I have finally found the magic mixture that works for me. 3 heaping spoonfuls of baking soda mixed with a little bit of water so that it turns into a soupy paste. Then I rub it in really good and then take a comb and comb through my hair. I have done that for the past 2 mornings and have had wonderful results.

I have not needed to use the vinegar rinse either. I think the tea tree oil in the rinse was what was making my hair look greasy. I have not been able to skip any days yet without my hair looking greasy but maybe now that I have found my magic amount it will be soon in coming.

My face has cleared up quite a bit around my hairline. I was hoping that would happen! Not sure if that is from me not using shampoo or from me using baking soda on my face as well. I am still not entirely acne free but my breakouts this past week have not been as bad as they were.

I am very happy with my results so far! I can't say it has not been tempting to use some of my old left over shampoo when I could not get the greasies to go away, but I stuck it out and I am glad I did!

A whirlwind of creations

Wow this past weekend was BUSY! But I had a blast!
Daniel very much enjoyed having friends over to make and decorate Christmas cookies.

He looks so cute with his new "I look like Jeff" haircut! No more bowl for him!

He had to try the cookies of course!

As did Hoss.

They were both hard at work.

Then I made up a few batches of sugar scrub from a recipe I got over at Rightmyerrants. This stuff is AMAZING! Although Jeff's feelings are hurt because I said this was my new favorite thing to have in the shower with me. I found the cute containers at the Dollar Store. I am going to add some ribbon and a tag and these will be ready to go.

Liz went with me to Lowe's and I picked up some free tree trimmings to make wreaths with. Needless to say they did not look to hot. So I made garland instead. The wreaths did make amusing hats though.

Now our apt entrance way smells like Christmas not the usual funk it has!

Then I got one of the stockings made.

So as you can see I had a pretty busy weekend. We also went and used the gift card Jeff won to Best Buy and got his mom, his brother and my sister in law's gifts (DVD Player and 2 $25 gift cards) as well as the new Batman movie for Daniel. We spent $4 out of pocket for that stuff! Then on to Bath and Body Works to pick up a few things that I used my $25 gift card I got from my rewards debit card.

It was a very busy but very productive weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A cool Illusion

HEHEHE I have had fun stumbling today at work. This was cool.

Easy Christmas Stocking

Found a link to make an easy Christmas Stocking! I even know how to do the stitch already! (Thanks Lisa) I am going to give these a shot this weekend since we do not have our old stockings.

A reason NOT to eat McDonald's

I have never been a huge fan of McDonalds, but sometimes will grab a cheap dollar cheesburger.

Not anymore!

Go here and see why. That is just weird/gross/nasty!

Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

I have had several people ask me for the recipe for hot chocolate mix. So here it is:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 sups sugar
3 cups powdered milk
Dash of salt

Combine ingredients and it is ready to be used!

I put mine in a mason jar layered with marshmallows. Then I am going to add a mug to the gift as well.

Make sure to send directions with the gift. I foud 2-3tbsp depending on your tastes works great as long as it is a NORMAL size mug, not one of those mugs that you can fit like a whole pot of coffee in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Found a wonderful new site

Messing around online this morning and found this site. I am signed up to try out their Vintage Valentine Swap. Sounds fun! If you like getting things in the mail you might want to try it out.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have been reading since I was in high school, about using baking soda as shampoo. I have never gotten up the nerve to actually try it though, until last week.

I have recently begun trying to limit the impact that I personally have on the environment, as well as trying to reduce my expenses. Trying this does both. Granted it does not have that much of an impact, as my husband and son still use shampoo, and their bottles will go in the garbage, but I do not want to force them to try/live the way I do. Who knows maybe Jeff will eventually try it.

What do most people pay for shampoo and conditioner? Somewhere between $1 to $10 depending on what brand and where you buy it. (Unless you do the CVS'ing and Rite Aiding etc and can get it for next to nothing) What do you pay for a box of baking soda? Between .50 and $1.50. If you want to add a conditioner of apple cider vinegar, that only costs about $3. So I can wash and condition my hair for a grand total of $4 for several months, as opposed to roughly $10 every month or so.

Now for how it is working for me so far. I read this post last week and then this one, and the one that answered the most of my questions, this one. After reading these, I thought, why not? I can at least try it.

So I whipped up a mixture of 1tbsp baking soda and a cup of warm water and a tsp of honey. I put all that in an empty conditioner bottle and shook it up really well. I hopped in the shower and proceeded to squirt some on my wet head. I was fairly impressed with the results once I got out. My hair did not feel yucky or dry!

The next day I grabbed some tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar on my way home. I mixed a cup of the vinegar with a few drops of the tea tree oil to use as my conditioner. When I washed my hair that night I added the vinegar rinse. I was disappointed to see that my hair looked a little greasy once it was dry. I had read that you can go through a "detox" phase but was hoping that I was going to be one of the few who did not. That was not to happen though.

For the next few days I continued to stay with my routine and did not stray even though I was not 100% happy with the results. I wanted to give it a good try before giving up. I did some more research and decided to try making a past out of the baking soda instead of using a cup of water. and left out the honey (adds extra moisture). A lot of people said that seemed to work better for shorter hair. They seemed to be right! I tried it before meeting Jessica for lunch. My hair still seemed to be a little greasier than I would have liked, but was a lot better than it had been during the week.

Then I decided to cut back on the "conditioner." Several of the blogs and articles I had read said that a lot of the time you do not need to use it every day. Looks like they were right too. I tried not using the rinse this morning, and was pleased with the results. It was not greasy looking at all this morning and it still felt nice and soft.

I am hoping that eliminating all the chemicals in the shampoo and conditioner I was using, that it will help clear up the breakouts on my face as well. There has been evidence to show that sometimes the chemicals can cause hairline acne as well as acne on the back, shoulders, and arms from the shampoo and conditioner being rinsed out and coming into contact with these areas.

This may not be for everyone, but I for one am happy with the results. I will continue to play with the "doses" and see what works best for me.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend projects

It has been a BUSY weekend. But it has been fun.
The snow put a bit of a damper on my spirit, but it didn't keep me from doing what I wanted too. (And let me delay on going to the laundromat to wash clothes.)
Saturday was a wonderful day! Thanks so much for lunch Jessica! I will be moving into Joseph Beth next weekend. If anyone needs me, I will be there.
AWESOME STORE! Bronte was really good too. Good company was the best part though.
Girls lunch. Have not done that in ummmm 9 months!
Then home to pick up my neighbor and go to the grocery store. Then I went to Lisa's and enjoyed her and Liz's company. I had a blast sitting around talking with them! And Lisa made me an awesome Christmas present. Seems like everytime I leave there I come home with a TON more stuff. She gave me some cocoa butter that I came home and made some moisturizer and lip balm with. And some yummy oils.
Today was spent playing in the snow this morning. Then I started cleaning the apartment. Once that was done I pulled out the crafts.
I made wreaths out of old scratched CD's.

Then I made 2 batches of homemade hot chocolate and marshmallow mix for Christmas gifts.

I still have to put the ribbons and recipe cards on them but they are almost done.

Then I restrung 2 necklaces on the better wire Lisa gave me ages ago.

It is time to go relax for a while.

Here are a few more pics of things I did this weekend for your enjoyment.

My apartment door.

The lovely piece that Lisa gave me is now on top of our entertainment center.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Urkel Twins

I am speechless!

Some kind of wonderful

You know all that stuff that your DH does that gets on your nerves and makes you want to scream?

You don't?

OK then you have THE perfect marriage.

If you are like me, and know what I am talking about, isn't it just amazing how they can do one little unexpected thing, and make all the crankiness go away?

Like last night for instance. I have been pretty cranky here lately. Combination of the stress from work, holidays, little sleep, and all the other things just adding up I suppose. I came home and decided to do leftovers for dinner, so I could sit down and relax for a little while. Jeff normally does the dishes and fixes us a lunch for the next day before joining me in the living room. It took him a little longer than normal last night, but I figured that was because we had quite a bit of dishes. Imagine my surprise when I went to the kitchen after he had finally sat down, and he had scrubbed the kitchen completely clean, put everything up where it went, and it looked AMAZING!!!!

He got a big old kiss for that one!

Free $10 gift certificate

Feed it Forward will donate$30 million in free gift certificates over the next 30 days. All you have to do is visit the link above and enter three names and email addresses of people you would like them to go too. The cool thing is you can do it once every day! All of those people who you would not be able to do something for, can now receive a small (free to you) gift!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Barter/Trade/Items needed

I am looking for any kind of craft supplies: yarn, fabric, doodads etc. Also looking for item to make home made soaps and the like. Need essential oils, cocoa butter, herbs, etc. Anyone have any thing they would like to barter/gift/sell very cheaply? Also can use old clothes to be repurposed. If you wouldl ike to help email me at ntrantham at unitedautorecovery dot com

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I WON!!!!!!!!!!

Chevron is giving away $5 Chevron gas cards. Go here to enter to win.

I defied the odds today and actually won something! I NEVER win. My hard work has paid off! Ok maybe not hard, but I can type my name, address, birthdate etc REALLY fast.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO PLAY THIS GAME. Game ends at 11:59:59 pm CST on 12/31/08. Open ONLY to legal residents of AL, AK, AZ, CA, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, KY, LA, MD, MS, NV, NM, NC, OH, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA and WV, 18 years of age or older. Void outside the above states and where prohibited.

Jewelry giveaway

Head over here and check out her December giveaway. She makes gorgeous jewelry...then gives it away!

I am hoping that maybe by continuing to enter giveaways I can maybe change my luck and actually win something one day!

$100 Wal Mart gift card giveaway

Go check out The Centsible Sawyer's blog giveaway. She is giving away a $100 Wal Mart gift card. Who couldn't use one of those right now?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Easy Potato Soup

Cold? Hungry? Want something quick and easy for dinner? Then I have the recipe for you!

Put some water in a big pot. (How much depends on the size of your family and how much they eat)

Heat water to boiling.

Add instant mashed potato flakes. The amount will depend on how much water you used. You want the mixture to be soupy. The way I do it is add a little at a time because it will thicken. You want it to be a little thicker than you really want it to be. Then add some milk to the desired consistency.

Now comes the fun part:

Take whatever leftover veggies you have and add them to the soup. Whatever sounds good. If you do not have any leftovers just throw in a couple of cans of stuff. I used leftovers and a few cans of veggies.

Here is what I used in mine tonight: leftover mashed potatos (there were not very many), leftover lima beans, leftover green peas. Then I added a can of mushroom slices, a can of mixed veggies, a can of corn, and a handfull of shredded cheddar cheese. I also chopped some onions and added them. Then I added a generous amount of smoked garlic from these guys, some dried basil, and salt. You will want to add at least some salt as the soup will be souper bland without it (sorry could not resist the bad pun). I threw in some butter and let it simmer until the biscuits were done.

This recipe is really open for whatever you want to add. There are no set guidelines. It is an easy meal, that can be used to clean out the fridge, and is ready in a matter of minutes.

Here is the recipe for the biscuits I made. This was my first time making these and they turned out pretty tasty, and were pretty easy to make

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I mixed up a batch of homemade laundry detergent yesterday, after discovering that Meijer's carries all the ingredients needed. I tried it out today on the items that I hand wash, like underwear, socks, hand towels, etc.

One of the first things I liked about it was how easy it was to make. Took maybe 10 minutes and that included grating the soap.

It smells wonderful. Kind of lemony, and I do not normally like citrusy smells, but this smells fresh and clean.

I was kind of skeptical about not needing to use fabric softener with it, but I tried it. The clothes did feel a lot softer than they normally do. I will let you know how they feel after they air dry. I hate how hard clothes are when you air dry them!

I have not tried it in the washing machine yet, as we still have some Tide left. Once that is gone I will be using the homemade detergent.

So far, I like it.

Homemade Laundry Detergent (Powdered)

1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
2 cups finely grated soap (I used Fels Naphtha, but you can use any spare bits you have around the house.)

Grate 2 cups of chosen soap. Combine all ingredients. It is recommended that you give it a whir in the blender to chop all the pieces of soap up really fine, so they will dissolve better, but you do not have to if you do not want too.

Amount needed per load of laundry varies on where you live, and the water quality. Generally 2 Tbsp will work for a normal load. If the clothes are really dirty you can add a bit more. Some people say that the 2 Tbsp does not get their clothes clean enough, and other people say they do not have to use that much. It will require some experimentation to discover what you prefer. I used 2 Tbsp on the hand washables and they seemed to be just as clean as with store bought detergent.

I highly recommend checking out Little House in the Suburbs for more great home made ideas. They also have a recipe for liquid laundry detergent if you prefer that over powder. Go here for that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hell has frozen over

I called my mom this morning and shared that with her, as my son has slept until 8:30 for the past 2 mornings! Maybe he knew I needed that extra sleep? Whatever the reason I am definitely not complaining.

After picking up a repo for work and eating lunch with Jeff and Daniel at Cici's Pizza, I headed to Meijer's to do the weekly shopping. I got Daniel a Cars bathrobe for Christmas and used the $4 Santa bucks for today, for a total price of $15. Now for the great deal I got.....I have been planning on getting Jeff a deep fryer of some sort for Christmas. I made him get rid of his Fry Daddy when we moved, as it was NASTY. I promised I would get him another, but have failed to do so as of yet. I saw one on sale a few weeks ago, and that was when the idea of getting him one for Christmas was born. I have been pricing them, and the one I wanted to get him was between $40 and $50 depending on where I got it from. I found one on sale at Meijer's today for $29.99. $20 cheaper than normal price, plus I could use the $6 Santa bucks, so I paid $23.99!!!!!!! YES!!!!!

I also discovered that Meijer's carries all the supplies needed to make your own laundry detergent. So I made up a batch today. I will let you know how I like it after I do laundry tomorrow.

While I was making the detergent, I was half way listening to the Auburn vs Alabama game. Jeff is happy AL won. I am not happy. Auburn looked horrible, and we lost for the first time in 6 years.

We trekked downtown to the Christmas parade and spent 2 hours freezing our buns off. Well I was some what warm, Jeff was the one who was cold. No baby a long sleeve T shirt in 40 degree weather won't keep you warm for long. Daniel loved it. He got to give Spiderman a high five!

Now we are all back home relaxing. Daniel is content to watch a movie in his room, Jeff is watching football, and I am catching up on all my blog reading I have missed in the past few days. (I might not have commented but I have read them.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am Alive

Sorry for the absence of posts/comments. All hell has broken loose at work, and I have to fix it. I will be back soon I promise!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Projects

My weekend feels like it flew by. Maybe because I stayed so busy? We took Daniel to see Madagascar 2 with our freinds on Saturday. After we got back I spent the rest of the day cooking up a storm. My pecan pie looks burnt, but tastes ok. One of the pumpkin pies the crust looks burnt (hate my oven). The pumpkin pie with the homemade crust actually turned out really nice! And the pumpkin muffins are WONDERFUL!

Yes I use my Halloween plates all year long!

I sent Sunday cleaning up around the house (not that you can tell it now) and then made 2 potholders from quilt blocks that a friend gave me. I had planned on giving them as gifts for Christmas, but I might find it hard to part with them.

This is the first one I made.

This is the second one I made, and it is my favorite.

Now if I could just catch up on the rest of the stuff I need to do I would be doing good.

Christmas of Dreams Day 9

What is the most unusual gift you have received? Best gift? Do you re-gift?
When I was in college I dated a guy that was from Memphis. I had signed up to be a counselor at the church retreat he usually worked at after Christmas every year. We had plans for me to drive up the day after Christmas. The weekend I was supposed to go home, I got food posioning. I was miserable, and ended up not making it home until Christmas Eve. I frantically rushed around getting everyone's presents, and made sure that I had all his stuff ready to leave the next day. I got to Memphis, and he had not even gotten me anything! He said he had not had time, even though he had been home for a week and had gotten the presents for the people he was not going to even see until after New Years! I was PISSED. When he finally did get my present he got me an autographed Isaac Hayes cookbook. Needless to say, we did not date much longer. That would have to be my most unusual gift I suppose.
Best gift? That would have to be the camera my husband got me last year. I have bad luck with cameras. I had left my old camera on top of my car, and watched it explode in my rearview mirror as it hit the highway. Jeff got me a new digital camera for Christmas last year, and made me open it the night before, so that I would have it to use Christmas morning. (Yeah I lost that camera at a NASCAR race this summer. BAD CAMERA LUCK)
I do not remember ever re gifting something. If I get something I do not particularly like, I usually keep it for a while and then on my next cleaning binge I will donate it to Salvation Army. I do not have a lot of storage room, so it is hard for me to let things sit around that I do not use.
For more interesting blogs head over to Momdot.
Todays question was brought to you by: JaC Jewelry, Cutie Covers, and by Sassy Baby.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

I was on a baking frenzy today (2 pumpkin pies 1 with homemade crust, 1 pecan pie, the muffins, a french toast casserole for breakfast tomorrow and dinner), and I found this recipe. They are YUMMY and very easy to make.

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 7

I am thankful that we are able to spend the weekends together as a family. We might not do anything other than watch football games together, but it is nice to be able to spend that time with each other.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I am so proud! I have to brag!

Over the past few weeks we have been talking to Daniel about how we were going to have him pick out a toy to donate so that another little boy could have something for Christmas. We explained to him that while we may not have a lot to spend, we have a lot more than some people do, especially this year. There have been several conversations about how if something happened and we couldn't provide a Christmas how he would feel. We have also tried to explain to him how it is important to share what you have with others, no matter how insignificant you think it is. I know he is only 3 and does not understand exactly what we are talking about, but I hope that by beginning early, he will grow up to be a compassionate and caring adult.

I took him this afternoon to get his first dose of the flu vaccine. (He was strangely excited and just KNEW that he was going to get his shot in his belly like Grampie does his insulin) His new pediatrician is near the K Mart on Nicholasville Rd, where Z Rock 103.3 has been doing Homeless for the Holidays all week. For the past 3 years the morning show has camped out in the K Mart parking lot for a week and raised food and clothing/toy donations for the holidays. This was their 4th year there and they were worried that with the economy donations would be down. The last I heard today this year was actually a record year!

As we were leaving the doctors I told Daniel we were going to go get a toy and donate it to Homeless for the Holiday. He proudly walked into K Mart and into the toy section chattering the whole way there about what he might pick out. He went up and down the ailes and finally decided on a big truck that had a lot of cars inside it. I picked up a couple of kids books and let him pick out a small toy since he had been so good all day. (It was only $1 but he is thrilled with it)

When we pulled up at the donation site he insisted on giving the men the toy himself. He told them this is for someone else's Christmas. Then climbed back in his car seat to go home.

I sat in the parking lot with tears streaming down my face because I was so proud of him. This from the boy who when told no is known for pitching a fit, and when in a store wants everything he sees. "Maybe Christmas will bring me that," has been heard many times over the past few weeks. When he was picking out the toy he never once asked for anything for himself, it was only when I asked him if he would like a small toy that he even thought about getting something. The fact that he is three years old and was able to give so selflessly makes me proud.

12 Days of Thanksgiving Day 6

I am thankful that my husband found a job with a company that offers decent health insurance.

We just became eligible for health insurance, and I was surprised with how reasonable the plan was. Floored is more like it!

My company offers health insurance, but for a family, the cost is something like $200 every 2 weeks. Plus they have a high deductible and copay. We can't afford that. So for the past 3 months Daniel has had no insurance at all, and we have been hoping and praying that he does not get sick.

Jeff's company pays $115 a month. For all three of us, our cost is only $45 a week!!!!!! The deductible is reasonable, and so are the copays and RX costs!!!! HALLELEUGHIA!!!!!

We are off to get him a flu shot this afternoon and get the new patient package, and he will be getting a checkup in the next week hopefully!!!

Christmas of Dreams Day 8: The shopping day of DOOM

The lovely ladies at Momdot want to know:

Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you finish all your shopping on that day? What’s the best deal you have found? What’s your shopping strategy?

HELL NO!!!!!! I have never spent that day anywhere near a mall and I don't plan on it. Ok well I might venture out this year since I am taking that day off work, but there is only so much shopping I can do with my child in tow.

If I do head out, it will be at a reasonable hour, not 4am. I like sleep thank you very much! I might use that day to grab some things for DH, if I can somehow keep my child from spilling his guts to DH once he gets home.

But most likely I will be curled up at home snuggled into the couch with my son, enjoying my time off.

Todays sponsors are: Koshas, Leapfrog, and Soda Club

Thursday, November 20, 2008

12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 5

What are you thankful for? Blog it and then head over here to spread the word.
Today I am thankful for the fact that in this cruddy economy, I still have a job. That job allows me to provide for my family the warmth and comfort of a home, food on the table, and clothes on our backs, with a few extras thrown in there every once in a while.
I do not know many people who at some point in their career, don't have complaints about their job. Don't get me wrong, I have several, but I am thankful that I have a job. There are so many people who are losing jobs, and sometimes it makes me sad to know that with my line of work, the bad economy is actually good for my job. Less jobs=more repos for my company. I know most people think I am a "bad guy" but I do know that times are hard for everyone. Even our family.

Win a homemade detergent kit

I have been reading about making your own detergent for a while now, and I plan on trying it as soon as I use up my stockpile of Tide.

Sisterly Savings is offering a blogger a chance to win a laundry detergent kit from Soaps Gone Buy. Head over to her site and check it out.

Book Giveaway

Do you like to read? Do your children like to read? Do you like getting free books?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions go visit Owlhaven and enter for your chance to win.

Winner will be chosen on Monday

Christmas of Dreams Day 7: Naughty or Nice

Brought to you by: SillyMonkeez

Also brought to you by: My Baby Bump

(Sorry my links are doing weird things on Blogger this morning)

Tell us who is on your naughty list? Who is on your nice list? Why?

That is a tough one! I have to say all my friends and family are on the nice list. They have supported me this year in my decision to move far away from them, for my promotion with my company. There are moments when I think my son should be on the naughty list, but then he turns around and looks at me with those big blue eyes, and says something that totally cracks me up! Then there are the times when I have watched more NASCAR coverage than I care too that I think my husband should be on the naughty list, but he will turn around and bring me roses for no reason what so ever.

I do know one thing that should be on the naughty list: THE ECONOMY. Get your act together man!! You are putting a strain on all us normal people.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Letter to my uterus

Dear Uterus,

Will you please make up your mind what you are going to do. I know you are going through Depo withdrawls, and I am trying to be understanding. The past few months have been rough for you, and me as well. But could you please decide if you are going to start your monthly thing once and for all. This constant naggy pain, and wildly unstable hormone changes are starting to get to me. If you won't decide for me, please take into consideration my DH, who is bewildered by my mood changes and random crying jags. So if you will not take pity on me, please have pity on him.

Respectfully yours

Your host body, Natalie

12 Days of Thanksgiving Day 4

On this cold wintery day, I am thankful that I do not have to spend all my time working outside. I have a warm office that I can hole up in every day from 8:30-5. And on the rare occasions when I have to venture out into the arctic like termperatures, I am thankful for the many layers of clothes I am wearing.

Christmas Of Dreams Day 6: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Brought to you by: Flying Colors Baby, Uncommonly Cute, and Lollipop Books.

And don't forget to head over to Momdot and check out all the wonderful blogs!

Day 6 Question: We would like to know what is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood?

Growing up I knew that my father did not really like Christmas. He would go through the motions and put up lights, help with the tree, and all the other Christmassy sstuff, but you could tell there was something missing. He was not in the Christmas spirit I guess you could say.

When I got older I understood why.

My father was a Marine during Vietnam. He was Echo Company 2nd Battalion First Marines, and was a mortar platoon sergeant. One Christmas Eve, they had just come off patrol and were holding a bridge against the enemies. My father was supposed to go on guard duty, when his best friend offered to instead. He knew my Dad was exhausted and needed the rest. Dad agreed, and watched him walk off into the jungle. Then he watched the explosion that lit the night sky, and knew it was his buddy. He had stepped on a landmine on the way to the bridge. My dad still does not talk much about that night, but I am sure he felt like it was his fault.

When I got older, Dad began to go to PTSD classes, and began to deal with the emotions he had locked away for so long. And I suppose as they say, time heals all wounds. Seeing my Dad go to the mall with my Mom, and actively helping pick out our Christmas presents, instead of staying home and sending everyone else to do his shopping, was one of the happiest memories I have. He got some of his Christmas spirit back!