Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When good computers go bad

This post is dedicated to what happens in my house when I can't use the computer. It's very scary. Thankfully, this time, it only progressed to stage one: Arts and Crafts. Stage Two is actually terrifying: Organizing and Cleaning.

And I don't just do normal organizing and cleaning. I start really purging things. Given that I already did a major purge before we moved just last month, a purge right now wouldn't be a good thing. People might actually lose things they need, like bedsheets or shoes. I still say we have too many shoes in this house.

The Arts and Crafts stage is just as scary because I'm not exactly good at crafty things. I can sew because there's a pattern. If I am left to my own devices, things don't turn out cute.

Case in point: the Halloween Wreath I put together last night...

That picture is more to show off the front front door as opposed to the inside front door (you can sort of see it if you look closely). Here's a better picture of the monstrosity:

My kids all think it's awesome because I have them completely brainwashed convinced that I am the best mom ever and can do pretty much anything. Whatever I can't do, Dad can do it. Except for The Boy. He's now pretty sure D and I know absolutely nothing.

I managed to fix the computer, which will surely annoy The Boy since he thinks he has the answer to every computer related problem since starting at the computer magnet program for high school a MONTH ago. He likes to forget that 13 years ago I had a job where I answered the phone with "Thank you for calling Microsoft Technical Support, my name is Addhousewife how can I help you?" I know I know, even 13 years ago, it was a technical support requirement to have stupid names so the callers knew you were totally lying about your name.

With the computer running again, it may have actually saved the life of the curio cabinet. I was really starting to think about how to repaint it to make it look not so...boring. I still may tackle that project after I'm done with Danger Girl's birthday party this weekend.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

This week's menu plan is coming straight from the public library. Our internet isn't working, so I'm having to update from the library. I feel at a loss without being able to look up recipes at home and have them on hand to make. The past two nights, I ended up getting "creative" in the kitchen and came up wtih some pretty terrific recipes!

Temps are back up in the low 90s for the week, so any hopes I had of making soups is all gone for another few weeks. For more recipe and menu ideas, check out Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday: caramelized onions and pears with pork chops
Monday: Pork Stir Fry
Tuesday: Coconut Chicken (I'll post the link soon. I can't access Pinterest from the library!)
Wednesday: Meatball Marinara Subs
Thursday: Cheese Burger FlatBread meltsFriday: Pizza for Danger Girl's Birthday party
Saturday: Breakfast

Friday, September 23, 2011


When we first moved in to the house last month, we didn't really think about the clearance between the first landing and the ceiling. With the exception of D, no one was having to duck coming down the stairs. That changed about two weeks after we moved in.

The Boy came bounding down the stairs and, THWACK! we realized he grew, just enough that the clearance was now an issue.

That's when my good friend Debbie came to the rescue. She's a fabulous artist and agreed to paint a mural on our wall!

She worked very quickly and I am absolutely thrilled with the results. Here you can see The Boy and why we needed a bit of a warning:

Don't you just LOVE her work?

Debbie just launched her very own custom illustration business, too! That means you could get your very own Debbie Draws original :) Check out her blog and enter to win her first giveaway. Go give Debbie some bloggy love and follow her on Twitter!

Shopping Totals for the week

I had another great week at publix, or at least my cat did!

About six months ago, there were some awesome sales on cat food and I really stocked up. I stocked up so much, that I haven't actually had to purchase cat food since. Miss Josie's food has all been FREE even the moist food she prefers. In fact, she's becoming one spoiled little kitty. My cat food supplies had started to dwindle so I had hopes the sales would cycle soon. Stocking up for six months worth of food really paid off because once again, FREE cat food! In fact, I even made money on the cat food this time.

Check out what I brought home for only the sales tax (my store won't give you overage to cover the sales tax. In fact, the coupons state that the consumer is responsible for all taxes).

2 bags Whiskas
9 trays Whiskas
4 cans Dole tropical Fruit
1 box Fiber One cereal
1 box Fruit Snacks
1 package angus nitrate/nitrite free hot dogs

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A very pink paradigm shift

I didn't particularly want to be a mom to girls. In fact, when D and I got married, his mom only had three granddaughters. My mother-in-law had four boys before she had her two girls. From the looks of it, the chances of my husband giving me daughters were pretty slim. And I was very okay with that. I figured one girl would be nice, but I wanted that house full of boys.

The joke was on me, I guess. I ended up with two boys and four girls. I have a house full of crazy hormones!

I have tried my best to raise my children with options. No stereotypes. They can be who they are. Because that's what good parents do. There would be no giant hair bows for my girls. The froo-froo was definitely not happening here. Sure, Leelee loves pink and girly things, but she's not really "girly-girly." She knows she has a brain and likes to use it. Danger Girl, well, she's my tom boy. Rough and tumble. Sometimes I think she's the third boy I always wanted.

Then came Punky Brewster. She knows who she is. She likes who she is. And she has attitude and self confidence to spare. But, she is a girly girl. If there's pink or purple she wants it. Is it fluffy and frilly? Makes her look like a princess? Oh yes, she must have it. When it came time to paint her bedroom, it had to be pink. And not just any pink...princess froo-froo pink. Pink. Pink. Pink. Punky Brewster has been begging for bal-la-lay (ballet) lessons.

When I read The Happiest Mom's post on her daughter's pink closet, it started me thinking, "What am I doing wrong that my daughter is obsessed with pink girly things?" I know that totally wasn't the point of Meagan's blog post, but there really does seem to be two camps of raising girls: Totally embracing all things girly and fluffy vs No fluff allowed. And there's really not a middle ground. Honestly, I am quite happy declaring my home a "No Princess Zone."

And this leaves me feeling like I have somehow failed as a mom who is supposed to be raising a confident girl, a mom who wants to help redefine girly. Girls raised like this are not supposed to be all pink and fluffy and princess obsessed. They are supposed to be interested in math, science, art and everything other than big dorky hairbows, dresses, sparkles, etc.

Those who know us, are probably scratching their heads going "Wait, I've never seen Punky Brewster in anything frilly, other than on Sunday" and that's because I don't buy the stuff! She'd be in heaven if I did.

Thinking about all of this leaves my head spinning. Am I doing Punky Brewster a huge disservice by not allowing her to embrace her sparkly girly side? By doing this am I telling her she can't be the pink bal-la-ley princess and being just as damaging as telling her she can't be a scientist? Probably.

As much as it kills me, I'm going to have to go to the pink section of the store. I'm going to have to buy something glittery and sparkly. Because I've managed to raise yet another confident girl, who just happens to embrace all that is froo-froo about being a girl.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday--Sept 19

It's finally starting to feel like fall down south. That means temps are only in the 80s. That also means I'm not running heat or a/c! My favorite time of year: not too hot and not too cold.

I am really looking forward to soup weather which is still a couple months away. Right now, we're in cooking inside the house weather.

This week's menu includes goodies I've found on pinterest.

Sunday: Taragon roasted chicken

Monday: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Tuesday: Chicken Tetrazinni

Wednesday: Pork Stir Fry

Thursday: Lazy Chicken Parm or maybe an eggplant parm or both. depends on the mood.

Friday: pizza

Saturday: pancakes

For more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shopping Totals

I haven't shared my grocery spoils in awhile. This week I had nearly 100 percent savings at publix! I got all of this for a mere 13 cents before tax!

The store was practically giving cereal away. If they would have had the cereal I wanted in stock, I would have actually paid even less money. It's crazy to think I'd pay less by buying more. But it ended up to be an additional $2 in coupons taken off.

After tax, I only paid $1.46 for this trip.

My stockpile isn't back to what it was before the move. That's going to take some time. I don't have a pantry at all in this house and it's going to be some time before I get one. Until then, I just have to make my purchases carefully.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tasty Thursday--Bubbly Mexican Bake

Pinterest has been my go-to place for recipes over the last few weeks. I've managed to find a few great recipes. This one, I tweaked a bit from the original to better suit our family needs and what I had in the pantry. The recipe as shared here serves 6, so I made 1.5 the recipe to make sure we had enough for lunches the next day. Unfortunately, it was such a hit, both pans were picked clean!

With sales and rebates, I managed to make this for my family of 8 for under $5! That's not too shabby.

Bubbly Mexican Bake

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 can black beans, drained
1 bottle taco sauce or enchilada sauce
1 8 ct grands biscuits, cut into quarters
1 C sharp cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Add in drained black beans and taco sauce. If the sauce is too thick or you need to stretch the recipe a bit, add in 1 small can tomato sauce and 1 T chili powder.

Arrange quartered biscuits in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Pour meat mixture over biscuits. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Room Teaser

I can't help it, I have to show a little bit of what I've been up to with the house. I really didn't want to show any projects until completion, but this one project is done...but it's in the middle of the kitchen, and the kitchen is sooo not done yet.

The house has several random doors that don't go anywhere. The one in the kitchen used to lead outside to a small porch. The porch was enclosed eleventy billion years ago and converted into a laundry room. It's probably the most impractical laundry room ever, but it gets the job done. The door doesn't open in to the laundry room at all; it is more of a back wall.

On the kitchen side, I wanted a place to jot down notes. We used to have a small dry erase board, but it just never really worked. The kids always lost the pens and it wasn't ever big enough. After ignoring D's protests (he'll tell you I'm rather good at it) I decided a chalkboard painted directly on the wall (or a door in this case) would be best.

Of course, I was right...Apologies for the lousy lighting. My camera is ...somewhere in a box so all pictures are taken with the phone. This photo is actually a big spoiler because you can see hints of the old ORANGE paint along the edges of the chalkboard that hadn't hadn't been touched up yet and you can see the new kitchen color!

I think this picture is a bit better. Danger Girl is hamming it up as usual...

The little girls are having so much fun practicing their writing on the door that I am again ignoring D's protests and will be painting a chalkboard area in their room. I think it will go perfectly in the reading nook. I'm debating whether to do it directly on the wall or paint a piece of board for a movable chalkboard station. I'm open to opinions :)

So busy!

The kids have been back at school for about three weeks and we've been in the house about 5 weeks now, I think. Life is just not slowing down. We are making some progress in painting and a few projects I can't wait to show everyone. But I want them done before posting. ;)

The Boy started Early Morning Seminary and it is totally kicking my butt...and I'm not even getting up with him half the time! I was a bit nervous about the idea of The Boy getting a driver's license, but if it means me (or D) not having to get up in the morning to drive him to the church, I'm all for it! By the time he gets his license, Leelee will also be in seminary, so that's a win win. As soon as The Boy graduates, Leelee will have her license and Little B will start. We just have to get through two years.

Meanwhile, Little B and Danger Girl's birthdays are being celebrated late. Little B's party is this weekend and Danger Girl two weeks later. That's quickly followed by my grand plans for a pumpkin carving party for Halloween and Punky Brewster's birthday party. We don't do parties every year for the kids, just on certain milestone years. It just happens that this year, we hit three in a row! Next year, NO BIRTHDAY PARTIES! The year after that, I think we just have two parties.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Great Balls of Fire!

Great song. Not so great when the great balls of fire are shooting out from the oven.

When we first moved in to the house, we got a smashing deal from someone else moving...$1o0 for a dishwasher, range, stainless steal range hood, lamps, full sized bed and a few other goodies. Once we finally got the gas turned on last week, I was so excited to finally cook, only to be disappointed that the glow bar on the range didn't work. I had a stove top, but no oven.

I called around to several used appliance stores to find a great deal. We plan to upgrade the kitchen and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a range right now. I purchased a very basic range. To be honest, I was in a hurry and didn't give it a proper once over. When D installed it and opened the door, the door fell off! D loaded it back into the van and came back with another range in exchange.

This one was a bit nicer and I was pretty excited. It was self cleaning. And it really needed cleaning. D had the gas hooked up quickly and everything seemed to be functional. Until he opened up the bottom drawer...


That's where the great ball of fire singed D's eyebrows. It could have been worse if he had hair, I suppose.

And back to the store went that one where we were issued a full refund and promised never to buy from there again.

Third time was the charm, thanks to Mr. Jones. Last year, we purchased a wonderful washing machine from Mr. Jones. When I called about ranges earlier, he didn't have any in stock. Thankfully, he had one this time! And, he came by the house to install it for us.

If you're in my area and want a great used appliance and appliance repairman, Jones Appliance is definitely on the top of my list.

We broke in the oven last night with homemade pizza. Tonight, we had our first full Sunday Supper in the new house: Chicken with balsamic onions and pears, homemade yeast rolls, mashed potatoes and salad. It's nice to finally be able to get back to our family traditions.