Saturday, June 30, 2007
S.M.A.R.T. Habits Saturday - Scanning photos
We are in the midst of forest fire season where we live and I don't like the thought of possibly having to leave town in a hurry without being able to take all of my photos with me. Most of the pictures we have from the last 4 years are digital ones and just need to be burned to CD. However, we have a lot of other photos loose or in albums. I've decided to spend 15 minutes a day this summer scanning our non-digital photos. That way they're backed up and I can burn everything to CD so if we ever do have to leave in a hurry, and I truly hope we don't, at least it will be as simple as grabbing a small stack of CDs instead of boxes of albums and photos.

The rest of my habits have kind of taken a hit lately with me not feeling great lately as I'm pregnant again and having a toddler who was quite ill this week. Hopefully there will be improvement this week! I don't think it can get worse! ;)

HABITS IN PROGRESS:

Planning meals for the whole month once each month. - Not so much.

Not drinking soft drinks - A little better.

Putting all papers/receipts/etc in one place in the house and only one place. - Wild laughter.

Writing one "real" letter per week - Still not mailed.

Emptying the car completely after each trip - Was doing great, have backslid a bit this week.

Putting clean laundry away - Getting much better.

Hobbies - Nothing this week.

Drinking more water - Doing a little better.

Exercise - More maniacal laughter.

Tickler File - Needs to be updated.

Doing the dishes immediately after each meal - Nope.

Having lunch ready each day when DH gets home

Keeping the dining table clear and presented nicely - Finally clear!

Getting up with my husband each morning - Needs major work.

Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to add your S.M.A.R.T. Habits or to check out others'.

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posted at 1:34 PM  
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Friday, June 29, 2007
Frugal Fridays - Homemade cleaners



Lately I've been enjoying making my own household cleaners. The ingredients are inexpensive in the long run as they will make a lot of batches. You can also customize the scent by choosing your favourite essential oils. It's also nice to know exactly what is in your cleaning products.



There are some great ones in Treasury of Vintage Homekeeping Skills ~ Collections of the Homekeeper and also in Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. Both of these books can be found on Amazon.com and "Treasure of Vintage Homekeeping" or in the interest of frugality you might be able to check them out at your local library.

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posted at 3:46 PM  
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Friday's Feast - Feast One Hundred & Fifty
Seeing as my brain is barely working on autopilot and I have a toddler who may or may not be back to his usual self today I am doing to have fun with a meme instead!

Appetizer
How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?
Usually 3 - my wedding & engagement rings and a favourite silver ring.

Soup
What is your favorite instrumental song?
Peer Gynt's "In the Hall of the Mountain King"

Salad
Who has a last name that you like?
I liked my maiden name - Bernhardt.

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.
Die Hard

Dessert
Fill in the blank:
Nothing makes me mellow like snuggling with my babies.

Join the feast!

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posted at 1:38 AM  
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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Finishing School for Ladies




Emma, along with Elizabeth from A Merry Rose is hosting a "Finishing School for Ladies" over at her blog Charming the Birds From the Trees. Please join us!

This week's topic is Personal Presentation.

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Fifth disease or "slapped cheek disease"
I took Hendrik to the doctor this afternoon. Apparently he has Fifth Disease or erythema infectiosum caused by human parvovirus B19. It causes a high fever for a day or two with an accompanying rash on the face that looks like slapped cheeks. Hence, the disease's nickname.
The "Fifth" part of the name comes from it being 5th on a list of 6 common childhood illness characterized by rashes. All of the others have dropped their numerical assignment except for this one. First Disease - Measles, Second Disease - scarlet fever, Third Disease - rubella, Fourth Disease - chicken pox, Fifth Disease - erythema infectiosum, and Sixth Disease - roseola infantum for those of you who are curious. ;)
It is very common and thankfully, not serious, and only requires the usual home treatments of rest, fluids, and pain relivers.

For me however, it is a different story. There is some concern for pregnant women as it can cause anemia in the fetus or miscarriage or other complications. The instances of this are rare but still possible. The doctor sent me for bloodwork right away to test and see if I am currently infected (the rash does not always appear in adults) or have previously had Fifth Disease as a child. We should find out next week. I have decided not to worry about it. I could worry but it wouldn't be helpful and wouldn't change anything except make me unpleasant to be around. ;)

posted at 4:34 PM  
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Sick day
Today is shaping up to being a pretty shapeless day aside from an appointment with my midwife this morning. Our little guy is sick - throwing up, fever, etc. Poor thing. It is only the second time he has ever been this kind of sick. He's pretty mellow and very still and for those of you with active toddlers, you know that that means something is not right. So there will be a lot of cartoon watching and general lounging about today. Lots of juice and toast and probably a cool bath or two thrown in as well. I'm just hoping the baby doesn't get sick as well. So far so good though!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sometimes you just have to bawl your eyes out...
I was perusing the People.com website last week. I like a bit of entertainment news every now and then and I like to keep an eye on the causes celebrities are promoting. I saw a photo of Courtney Cox wearing this shirt. 100% of the price of the shirt is going to an organization called Millenium Promise which is trying to end extreme poverty by the year 2025. The shirt was by Omni-Peace. I went to their website to read more. As I finished reading the home page I saw an image at the bottom that will be forever ingrained in my mind. I couldn't look away.

A toddler in Africa squatting down in a field with his/her tiny forarms resting on the ground, supporting his/her head.
In the background, a vulture waits.

It is truly horrible to see but I can understand why it is on the website. It certainly made me think. It made me grateful. It made angry to think that there are children who suffer because of corrupt governments. It made me want to help. It made me think of my own children and how it must feel to be a parent in such desperate circumstances. It compelled me to pray. I wonder what it must have felt like to be the photographer and the feeling of helplessness that must have filled him at seeing such a sight. (The photographer, Kevin Carter, won a Pulitzer prize in 1994 for the photo.)

I hope it will make more people consider helping those less fortunate than themselves, particularly those of ample means. Perhaps this is something Paris Hilton could get on board with now that "prison has changed her". We can all do something even if it is a small something. A lot of small gestures can become something great.

My own toddler happened to see me viewing the photo of this small child. He said to me, "Baby sad. Baby sad." He wanted to help the baby and he wanted to me to help the baby. I told him that the baby needed food and medicine and love. To which he replied, "Buy food. Buy food. Baby sad. Love." All afternoon he asked to see the picture of this sweet baby over and over. Finally I had to tell him that we couldn't buy that baby food but that we were helping other babies that needed help. I told him that God would have to look after this baby as we couldn't. I told my little son that the baby might have gotten food and medicine and love from another mommy or that God might have the baby with him in heaven. I asked him if he wanted to me to pray for the baby. "Pray Mommy. Baby sad." He has asked about the baby once or twice in the past couple of days but has not been so anxious about the baby anymore. Isn't it amazing that even the tiniest of children can feel such deep concern?

We are so blessed.

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posted at 12:59 AM  
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WFMW - Diaper bag supply basket
I don't know about you but I have not found a diaper that I like. Nothing that I would enjoy carrying around. I also nurse my babies so I don't need the gazillion bottle pockets. I prefer to carry a large purse or fun handbag that allows me to keep with the styles I like to wear and that doesn't shout - "Diapers in here!" This means I switch bags a fair amount. (The thought of having to carry around a traditional diaper bag was the thing that I was looking forward to the least once we started having kids. The dirty diapers were a more appealing thought. :p)

What I like to do to make this less complicated is to keep a basket on the dryer in our entrance way. When I get home I empty out the miscellaneous small items into the basket - travel wipes, alcohol-based water free hand wash, small toys, teething tablets, lip balm, extra socks, little containers of Cheerios or crackers, etc into the basket. Then, the next time I go out I can pretty much dump the contents of the basket into the next handbag/purse and simply toss in the extra diaper or two that I might need and the appropriate extra change of clothes for the baby. Works for me baby!!

Check out other tips at Rock in My Dryer.

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posted at 12:41 AM  
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Monday, June 25, 2007
Our lives just got a little more interesting!

We just found out late last week that I am pregnant again! We are expecting another little one in late February. It was a bit of a suprise for us. We were definitely planning on having more children but were following our midwife's advice not to get pregnant until Riley was at least a year old. I have been pregnant 4 times in the past 3 years (I had 2 miscarriages) and she thought that my body could use a break. This is pregnancy #5! God obviously had plans that we did't know about. :)

We just told our immediate families over the past couple of days. We toyed with keeping it quiet for as long as possible but realized that we would tell them even if I did miscarry later. I'm not worrying, I know that there is nothing I can do or not do that will guarantee carrying a baby to term. I am trying to relax and enjoy the ride and let God look after our baby. Another fun thing - baby is due 1 day before my birthday!

We are really thrilled and can't wait to meet the newest member of our family!!

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posted at 11:44 PM  
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Saturday, June 23, 2007
Hooray!
Tonight my middle sister and her husband arrived to visit for about 2 weeks. Also, a friend of ours who hasn't lived on this side of the world for a few years has come back to live down the road from us for a year! Hooray!

We'll have to see how much trouble we can get into quality time we can spend together during the next couple of weeks. I know there will be 4x4-ing, there might be geocaching, there will be assorted accents spoken depending on our moods, Jane Austen movies will be watched, comparisons will be made of who can fit into who's clothing and the appropriate swapping will ensue, Wii will be played, babies will be cuddled, there will be lots of music and dancing and a lot of food will be consumed. (We sisters love to eat.) This is just a partial list...
The Three Sillies together again - I can't wait!


Okay, so in the picture above we don't look so silly, we do behave at one another's weddings, but how about this one? ...Warning this photo may frighten some of you...


A similar version of this picture actually caused my brother in law to shudder when he saw it. (He still married my sister anyway.) Seriously, we have no problem entertaining ourselves, especially late at night when we probably should be sleeping. Sadly, I've misplaced my photo with all 3 of us in it. I'll have to dig around...

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posted at 11:59 PM  
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After pictures
I finally got our entrance/storage area cleaned and sorted. Here are a couple of pictures. I will post another picture of the storage area once I catch up on the laundry as it is now doubling as my laundry room.



For a before picture check out this post.

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posted at 8:16 PM  
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Riley's Official First Day of Independent Sitting!
Riley has been sitting by herself all day today. Whenever she has been sitting on the bed or the floor or the chair she has been doing it all herself, without falling over! I sat her to lounge in the "man chair" and within seconds she had pulled herself up to sitting upright. She also did the same thing in her bouncy chair. Riley just wants to sit.

Here are a few a pictures of her, proud as punch, in Daddy's chair. Notice the drool in the second one. Blowing drooly bubbles is another favourite pastime lately.





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posted at 7:57 PM  
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Thursday, June 21, 2007
Some big boots to fill...
While we were cleaning up the porch area today Hendrik decided to try on his daddy's work boots. Like most toddlers, he loves trying on big people's shoes, especially his daddy's!







P.S. In case you were wondering, my husband likes to wear his work boots until they disintegrate. If you look closely, you can see a pinkish sort of glue and some screws holding them together near the toes. He has a boot allowance from work but wants to get every little bit of wear out of his boots before he gets new ones...that's the Dutchman coming out in him! LOL!

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posted at 6:32 PM  
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A new approach...
The way I'm going about chores and getting organized is just not working for me. I decided today that I would try something new. I am working from the entrance of our apartment through to the far end which is where the living room is. At first I was focusing on the living room first but it is relatively easy to clean up quickly.

The entrance area holds our washer and dryer and has a storage hall for all our winter wear, camping/hunting gear, shoes, skates, Rollerblades, luggage etc. I think the backlog is beginning there. I don't really have a laundry room so laundry either piles up in our rooms or in the hall across from the washing machine. I'm tired of seeing laundry so I've decided to pull everything out of the storage area and reorganize it so that it can become a laundry room as well. I have a curtain that can be drawn across this little alcove so I can hide the mess if I need to. Then once that area is organized I should be better able to get the bedrooms under control again.

This is the before shot, after I hauled everything out of the storage area - tons of winter clothes, stuff to go out to the shed, sleeping bags, laundry hampers and baskets, a big box of garage sale stuff - and this was after I took the recycling outside and moved a bunch of tool related stuff out to the shop as well. The storage area is actually out of sight, just to the right of the white laundry basket. I warn you, it's scary...



I'm off to start some tuna casserole and while it's cooking I'll be tackling the entrance way jungle.

Wish me luck!

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posted at 6:19 PM  
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Attaining Fitness - Try something new this week!

How did everyone do last week? I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped but at least I made some progress. I still need to work on my water consumption and getting to bed earlier. I was in bed before midnight several times this week and for me that is a definite improvement. I tried a yoga DVD. My coordination isn't so hot so I'm sure if anyone could see me they would have been quite entertained. :)

This week I thought it would be fun to try something we haven't done before - a new sport, an exercise class, a vegetarian meal, a walk to explore a park you've never been to, etc.

I am going to attend an exercise class at the little fitness center we have in town. This will be my first exercise class in about 7 years! :0

What will you try this week?

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posted at 11:26 PM  
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WFMW - Quick & Delicious Tea Biscuits
This is a recipe for tea biscuits that has been a favourite of our family's for years. It is from the book "Company's Coming - Muffins & More" by Jean Pare. For those of you unfamiliar with Mrs. Pare, she is a Canadian caterer who has written an extensive collection of cookbooks. The link to her website is here.

This recipe goes together well each and every time and it is so versatile. You can use these biscuits with jams, egg salad, tuna or salmon filling, cheese, etc. You can also use this recipe as the base for a pizza as I did tonight. It is always a hit and is ready in 20 minutes from start to finish.
Perfect for unexpected company!

RICH TEA BISCUITS

Always a last minute favourite. So speedy to make. Fat content may be cut in half if desired for any of the following. Be sure to try them all.

All-purpose flour 2 cups 450 mL
Granulated sugar 2 tbsp 30 mL
Salt 1 tsp 5 mL
Baking powder 4 tsp 20 mL
Cream of tartar 1/2 tsp 2 mL

Butter or margarine, cold 1/2 cup 125 mL
Milk, cold 3/4 cup 175 mL


Combine the first 5 ingredients in bowl. Stir thoroughly.

Cut in butter until crumbly.

Pour in milk. Stir quickly to combine. Dough should be soft. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Roll or pat 1/2 to 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick or half the thickness you want the baked product to be. Cut with small round cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet close together for soft sides or apart for crisp sides. Bake in 450F (230C) oven for 12 to 14 minutes. Brushing biscuits with milk before baking will produce a pretty brown top. Makes 10.

BISCUIT TOPPING: Place biscuits close together over hot casserole. Bake in 425F (220C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes. If casserole won't hold all of them, bake on separate pan.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS: Reduce baking powder to 2 tsp. (10 mL), add 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) baking soda. Replace milk with buttermilk.

COCONUT ROLLS: Spread rolled rectangle of dough with a mixture of 1/3 cup (75 mL) brown sugar and 1/3 cup (75 mL) coconut. Roll and cut into 12 slices. Bake as for Rich Tea Biscuits.

GRAHAM BISCUITS: Use 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter. Reduce flour to 1 1/2 cups (375 mL). Add 1 cup (250 mL) graham cracker crumbs. A distinctive flavor.

ORANGE BISCUITS: Add 1 tbsp. (15 mL) grated orange rind. Substitute half orange juice for half milk. Dip sugar cubes in some orange juice and press in top of each biscuit before baking.

PEANUT BUTTER BISCUITS: Reduce butter to 1/4 cup (50 mL). Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) peanut butter.

PIZZA CRUST: Make dough as above. Press or roll to size of pizza pan. Proceed to make your favourite pizza.

TOMATO BISCUITS: Omit milk. Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) tomato juice. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated cheese (optional).

(NOTE: I have never used the cream of tartar in this recipe and it tastes just fine. Also, instead of using a cookie cutter to cut dough I often use a drinking glass. I don't brush the biscuits with milk either as I like the golden colour they turn without the milk. This recipe will make more than 10 depending on how large you make the biscuits. I think I usually get about 15 biscuits out of the recipe.)

For other Works-For-Me Wednesday tips go to Rocks in My Dryer.

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posted at 12:27 AM  
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Migraine home remedies? ~ Update
The past day or so I have had the worst migraine. Hence the lack of blogging. I can't take any of the regular migraine medication because of still breastfeeding our 6 month old. I'm left with ibuprofen which ever so slightly dulls the headache.

Any safe or natural suggestions out there?

I'm thankful I haven't had many migraines over the past couple of years as being pregnant seems to be a temporary cure for me, but it is so difficult to have a migraine and look after little ones. Normally once I go to bed for the night I sleep soundly for the duration but for some reason my body woke me up at 4 a.m. and I'm having trouble falling back to sleep. At this point I'm willing to try just about anything.

Shortly after I woke up this morning with the same migraine it started to rain. Within about half and hour of the rain, my headache was gone. I didn't realise that there was rain in the forecast. I can predict the weather by my migraines, but seeing as it has been so long since I've had one I'd forgotten about the only useful part of having a migraine.

Please see the comments section of this post for some reader suggestions. Thanks! :)

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posted at 4:33 AM  
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Saturday, June 16, 2007
S.M.A.R.T. Habits Saturday - Habit List

Once again, I'm not adding anything this week. I have decided to make a list of the habits I am trying to adopt. I'm finding that I have too many to remember off the top of my head right now. Until they become habit I need a list!

HABITS IN PROGRESS:

Planning meals for the whole month once each month.

Not drinking soft drinks

Putting all papers/receipts/etc in one place in the house and only one place.

Writing one "real" letter per week

Emptying the car completely after each trip

Putting clean laundry away

Hobbies

Drinking more water

Exercise

Tickler File

Doing the dishes immediately after each meal

Having lunch ready each day when DH gets home

Keeping the dining table clear and presented nicely

Getting up with my husband each morning

Visit Lara atThe Lazy Organizer to add your S.M.A.R.T. Habits or to check out others'.

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posted at 11:51 AM  
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Friday, June 15, 2007
Swap goodies to go
Here are a few goodies ready to go in the mail today - a tissue holder, a tiny lavender sachet, a wire book mark, and some paper butterflies. The butterflies can be used to decorate paper lanterns or modified with little slits so they can perch on your straw while you sip your favourite summer beverage.

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posted at 6:51 AM  
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Frugal Friday - Lentil Soup

I posted on this soup a few weeks ago but didn't share it as part of Frugal Fridays. This soup is so quick to make, tasty, nutricious and very economical. The ingredients in the recipe are common to most households. All I had to purchase extra was the lentils. For less than $2.00 per bag I have made the soup 3 times. I have been mixing 2 kinds of lentils together for variety and colour. Each batch has lasted us for at least 2 meals (3 people).

Here is the text of my original post:

This past week we have been eating a lot of lentil soup. I found a recipe on the Martha Stewart website that looked interesting and gave it a try. It was so simple to put together and is it ever good! Dwayne liked it so much that we've made it 3 times in the past week. Here's the link if you want to try it for yourself: Lentil Soup. I've made it both with and without the wine vinegar and it's lovely both ways. Hubs and I both think we've lost weight as a result of the soup too. It's a good thing... ;)



Check out Crystal's blog for other Frugal Friday tips!

posted at 12:57 AM  
  3 comments



Thursday, June 14, 2007
Attaining Fitness
It’s time to get fit! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing a lot more sitting around lately than I would care to admit to. I need to get myself in better shape and set a good example for my kids. So many of today’s health issues can be avoided and/or minimized by eating healthily, sleeping well, and exercising on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how many fitness magazines I have or workout articles that I have kept to “do later”. The problem is that later never comes and I am left with a pile of glossy pages and an ever expanding posterior! I’m all for reducing the amount of paper around my house and the amount of padding around my tushie. I hope you’ll join me for Attaining Fitness. It’s not a contest but rather a way to be accountable and to share our exercising goals and victories and to encourage one another in good health. Please join me!

My goals for the coming week:
FITNESS: Do 2 of my fitness DVDs that have been sitting on the shelf collecting dust.
NUTRITION: Drink 2L of water per day.
SLEEP: Go to bed before 11:30pm (obviously not happening tonight!).

Feel free to add a link to your Attaining Fitness post for the week so we can make the rounds and encourage one another.

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posted at 1:16 AM  
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
You can't outsmart a 2 year old for long...

Our bathroom door, hobby room door, and the door at the top of our stairs all have been installed those snap on child safe knobs. On the package it says to stop using them once your child has mastered opening the door with them on. That happened today but not in the way I had anticipated. I figured it would be a while before the little guy's hand would be big enough and strong enough to wrap his hands around the big white knob and squeeze and turn at the same time.

Never underestimate the ingenuity of a toddler.

I thought I saw him open the bathroom door but wasn't sure if I had closed it completely or not and so maybe he was just playing with the already open door. I closed the door and asked him to open it for me. He stuck his little index finger in the keyhole opening and gripped the knob inside while gripping the big white knob on the outside. He bypassed the whole squeezing bit on the outside. This only works if you have fingers the size of a 2 year old however. I tried it. No can do. I thought I had a year or so...

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posted at 11:57 PM  
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Buns of Steel
This is not what you might think. It has nothing to do with the condition of my posterior but rather with my baking skills (ahem).

When I was 17 I did some baking in preparation for a road trip. Our youth group was driving 15 hours to go to Youth Convention and we thought it would be a good idea to bring along some snacks that didn't come in convenience packaging. I volunteered to make some buns.
It should be said that I am NOT a morning person. Not that I am grumpy in the mornings, waking up is just really hard for me before 8a.m. I thought I had given myself enough time. I thought wrong. I whipped up the recipe and set the buns to rise while I went about showering and gathering last minute items. When the time came to put the buns in the oven they weren't risen quite as well as I would have liked them to be but I didn't have the time to wait. I popped them in the oven and baked them as I waited to be picked up.

The buns looked great. They smelled great. They didn't even taste too bad for the first half hour or so as long as you didn't mind the feeling of a rock settling in your stomach afterward. Two hours after baking them they were pretty much inedible. We forgot all about them and moved on to the junk food. We spent the night in a motel and in the morning the boys were bored waiting for us girls to finish doing our hair or make-up or whatever and decided to rummage in the vans for something to do.

They found my buns. We found the boys a few moments later. They were chucking the buns against the side wall of the motel. Interestingly enough, the buns weren't disintegrating. However, the cement stucco on the side of the wall was. With every throw a little bit of cement would chip off, the buns remained whole and unscathed. My buns were dubbed "The Buns of Steel".

Ever since that trip 10 years ago whenever baking for a road trip comes up so do my Buns of Steel. It's too bad I don't have the steely posterior to match my baked goods.

P.S. I really can bake. This is one of my few flops and by far the most public, so don't fear the baking at my house!

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posted at 12:08 AM  
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Works-For-Me Wednesday - June 13th edition
What to do with houseplants when you go on vacation...

Here is a great tip from my Gran’ma B. Before you go on vacation water your plants really well. Make sure the soil is moist but that the plant is not sitting in a puddle of water either. Take a clear garbage bag or clear blue recycling bag and place your plant in its pot at the bottom of the bag. Gather the bag at the top and tie a knot. If your plant is particularly delicate you may want to put in a little stick or stake to hold the weight of the knot.

This creates a little atmosphere for the plant. The water will eventually evaporate from the soil and end up on the “ceiling” of the bag. Once enough has collected it will “rain” in the bag, watering the plant. This works amazingly well.

This also works if you have a plant that is infested with bugs and you can’t seem to get rid of them. I had a plant tied up in bag for about 3 months once. The plant thrived and the bugs eventually died off.

Check out other WFMW tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

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posted at 12:06 AM  
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Lots and lots of babies!!!
A couple in Arizona had 6 babies added to their family yesterday. Bryan and Jenny Masche are the proud parents of 3 boys and 3 girls. Thankfully all the babies are doing well and all are breathing on their own. Their mom, Jenny, could use our prayers though. After delivering the babies via c-section yesterday Jenny went into acute cardiac arrest. She pulled through but her husband is asking that she be lifted up in prayer along with the babies. You can read more at Bryan & Jenny's website: Masche Miracles

posted at 1:00 PM  
  1 comments



Monday, June 11, 2007
My new look!
A big thank you to Susie at Bluebird Blogs for my new blog design! She is so great at making your page you. :)

posted at 11:07 PM  
  2 comments



Saturday, June 09, 2007
S.M.A.R.T. Habits Saturday - June 09/07

This week I've decided not to add another habit. I'm feeling rather bogged down right now around the house and am not making much progress on a lot of my other habits in progress. Saturday is going to consist of a day of boot camp followed by six days of maintenance.

HABITS IN PROGRESS:

Planning meals for the whole month once each month. - I put together a list of possible meals and went shopping for them on Wednesday with my husband. Now I need to sit down and schedule them in so I can become more organized about meals and meal times.

Not drinking soft drinks - Not so good, I had a relapse!! :) (I'm probably a little bit more happy about it than I should be...)

Putting all papers/receipts/etc in one place in the house and only one place. - Great! Still have to file it all though. By now most of it should be able to be thrown out...

Writing one "real" letter per week - Still not done.

Emptying the car completely after each trip - Habit.

Putting clean laundry away - Getting better.

Hobbies - Almost habit.

Drinking more water - Need to work on this one again.

Exercise - Big fat zero.

Tickler File - Need to file for this month.

Doing the dishes immediately after each meal - Not so much.

Having lunch ready each day when DH gets home - Habit.

Keeping the dining table clear and presented nicely - Getting there.

Getting up with my husband each morning - Not once this week. I'm still staying up waaaaay too late. I need to make a stronger effort here. It makes a huge difference to my mood and thought processes.

Visit Lara atThe Lazy Organizer to add your S.M.A.R.T. Habits or to check out others'.

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posted at 2:20 AM  
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Thursday, June 07, 2007
A little sewing project
I haven't been doing much sewing lately and thought it might be wise to gradually ease myself into it. I can be a perfectionist and I'm also a procrastinator so you can imagine how often I actually get a project done. I think about it for a good long time and I plan and organize but usually I chicken out. I want everything to be perfect and if it's not than I would rather not have done it at all. It's silly I know. I'm working on it. 80% of the job is just getting started for me. Once I get going I'm fine, it'll get it done.

Here is last night's project. It kind of reminds me of modern reticule. My sewing machine was acting up a lot so the seams aren't quite as pretty as I would like them to be. The pattern I used was from Carrie over at You're only bored when.... Here is the link to the tutorial. There is also one for a wristlet.



For some reason Blogger is being silly and this post looks wonky...

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posted at 6:22 AM  
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3:30 a.m.

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Monday, June 04, 2007
Pitiful!
My poor, sweet boy! He got a humdinger of a bug bite yesterday afternoon. I noticed he had a little red bump about mid afternoon. That's nothing abnormal around here. It's abnormal if you don't have at least one bug bite by the end of the day. The rest of the day went on and his ear still had a tiny bump on it. I figured it would be gone by morning.

This morning DH brought the little guy to our bed as he left for work and Hendrik, Riley and I all went back to sleep for a while longer. When we woke up I saw Hendrik's ear. It looked like you took the ear off an elephant and glued it to the head of a small boy. The top 2/3 of his ear were about 3 times thicker than usual and his ear was sticking out at an odd angle. His ear was somewhere between hot pink and red in colour. Poor kid. Actually, it doesn't seem to bother him at all. It bothers me. Not because of how it looks but because I know how it must feel. But he doesn't complain or even seem to notice.

I called the nurse to ask about giving him some Benadryl and who told me that that would be fine but it would make him drowsy. We've spent the last couple of hours cuddled up on the living room floor watching Veggie Tales. I think I'm the one feeling drowsy though and I didn't take the Benadryl!

I love how the warning on the side of the bottle says "May cause drowsiness OR excitability." Do you get to choose?

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My new feather duster!
I got this baby in the mail last week from Fly Lady. I don't follow the whole Flying routine but I do like the tips and ideas on the website. On a recent visit I came across these great looking feather dusters. I've always wanted one but there is no where within a 1000 kilometre radius to buy one (and that is not exaggerating one teeny bit!).

It flung me into a dusting frenzy which left me giddy and thinking of Babette from Beauty & the Beast. My sister happened to drop by while I was in my dusting glory and she took the duster for a spin too. She confessed to having duster envy.

Now I need to find a nice place to store it. I don't know if I want to put it in the back of a closet. I don't think I want it as living room decor either. Hmmn. Oh well, I'm actually enjoying dusting - who cares where I store the thing?

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The Five Senses
This week's Let's Get Real Monday theme is The Five Senses - See, Hear, Smell, Taste, and Feel.

See - My almost 6 month old baby girl rolling over by herself for the very first time on Friday.

Hear - My 2 year old talking more and more and imitating words, expressions and tones of voices. My favourite of the weekend was him quoting his Uncle Andrew Sunday afternoon, "No man!"

Smell - Freshly cut grass. I mowed the dandelion jungle lawn Sunday evening. I love mowing the lawn. Really. I do. :) Our riding mower is across the river at a friend's cabin so I borrowed my dad's push mower. It was a little nostalgic for me as I used the same lawn mower to mow our family's lawn when I was a teenager!

Taste - The delicious dessert spread my husband and I got to sample Sunday night. We had a little date and went to a fundraising event called "Just Desserts". I skipped supper and just went straight for a pile of desserts. Mmmnn!

Feel - Dirt on my face, my feet, in my hair, and under my fingernails. Hendrik and I started weeding our community garden plot on Saturday afternoon.

Head over to Randi's blog for more Let's Get Real Monday links.

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posted at 12:36 AM  
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Saturday, June 02, 2007
S.M.A.R.T. Habits Saturday - June 2, 2007
Planning meals for the whole month once each month. Our grocery store has discount days the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. In addition to any in store sales going on you also get 10% off. Also, for each $100.00 you spend you get a coupon for $2.50 to be used in the dry goods side of the store. Not too shabby. I want to plan meals for a month in advance to cut down on grocery costs and trips to the store. Obviously milk and produce will have to be picked up on an as needed basis but staples and meats can be bought well in advance. Planning ahead will also help keep us on track in regards to eating healthy food. We're much more likely to snack on junk food or order take out when we have nothing planned and neither of us feels like cooking.

HABITS IN PROGRESS:

Not drinking soft drinks - This went much better than I had imagined it would. I really didn't miss Coke as much as I thought I would. I did have it twice this week though because I was trying to get rid of a persistant headache.

Putting all papers/receipts/etc in one place in the house and only one place. - Great! Still have to file it all though.

Writing one "real" letter per week - In progress. :)

Emptying the car completely after each trip - Habit.

Putting clean laundry away - Getting better.

Hobbies - Lots of thinking about crafting this week but I was sick so I didn't actually get much done.

Drinking more water - Much better. So far less soda pop = more water

Exercise - Big fat zero.

Tickler File - There is still a large pile of paper beside the file waiting to be sorted. :)

Doing the dishes immediately after each meal - Most days this week.

Having lunch ready each day when DH gets home - Habit.

Keeping the dining table clear and presented nicely - Coming out of hiding once again. Maybe we'll get to eat on it this week. ;)

Getting up with my husband each morning - Not once this week. Need to make strong effort here. It makes a huge difference to my mood and thought processes.

Visit The Lazy Organizer to add your S.M.A.R.T. Habits or to check out others'.

posted at 1:01 AM  
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Friday, June 01, 2007
What 4 a.m. looks like...
Here is what 4 a.m. looks like in our part of the world at this time of year. It is light later and later into the evening and brighter earlier and earlier each morning. Within a couple of weeks it will likely be dusky between midnight and 1:30 a.m and that will be as dark as it gets. Ah, the land of the midnight sun! It definitely does not help my night owl tendencies...

(This picture was taken one week ago.)

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Frugal Friday
My Frugal Friday tip this week is purchasing items on eBay. We live in a remote part of northern Canada and the closest real mall is a 14 hour drive from us.

I kid you not.

This also means that the nearest full size anything or fast food anything is at least an 8 hour drive. We do A LOT of shopping online. Mostly on eBay because the other alternative is to drive 8-14 hours. Each way. We have bought a little of almost everything on eBay.

Here's a sampling - solar panels, hot water heaters, jeans, books, movies, baby clothes, maternity clothes, shoes, patterns, engine overhaul kits, a web cam, digital camera batteries, Royal Doulton china, work out gear, fabric, axes(yup!), assorted tools, and that's just off the top of my head!

We are very careful before we bid to ensure that even with shipping costs to our part of the world that we are still getting a good deal. Sometimes you have to wait a while for the item you are looking for to be listed, sometimes not. We set a maximum amount that we are willing to spend and we stick to it. We wait until the very end of the auction before bidding to avoid driving up the price for ourselves or others. We have saved so much money this way and 90% of the items we buy are brand new in their original packaging.

Check out Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday tips!

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posted at 12:53 AM  
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Garden plots
Last week my sister and I and some of our friends signed up for garden plots in the community garden. The Mission Garden, as it is called, is located beside the huge Catholic church in our town. Our town is known as the Garden Capital of the North and at one point the nuns and priests in our town grew all the produce that supplied the northern Catholic mission posts.

In the past few years an effort has been made to restore some of the historical buildings on site and to add a community garden to help give a sense of what it would have looked like back in the earlier part of the 20th century. You don't have to be Catholic to get a plot, you just need to enjoy gardening.

I took Hendrik for the first time about week ago. He had a wonderful time and was very excited about digging or even just sitting down in the dirt. Christen and I went to dig up some plants that had been abandoned last year by assorted gardeners and were going to be rototilled into the ground the following day. It was a salvage/rescue mission. Sadly, the rototillers got there before we did but hadn't finished the job. We were able to find a few of the plants we saw the day before.

It should be safe to start planting seeds right away but we'll have to wait until after the first full moon in June before it is safe to put live plants outside overnight without the risk of frost.

We returned to the garden last night to get a rough measurement of the plot so I can plan what I want to plant and the number of rows of each kind of plant. Hendrik had a great time playing in the dirt again and I think I will take him with me tomorrow to weed. Hopefully I can plant on Saturday.

In the picture you can see a stake on the left and a shovel on the right, that is the width of my plot. It's about 15ft wide and about 37ft long.

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About Me



Name: Jenny
I blog lately at www.chickadeemanor.com
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