Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm not good at saying "No"

I'm a Yes person.  Sure I can help. Absolutely, you can count on me.  Why not?  I've found that lately my desire to help out or pitch in has been to the detriment of my family and more importantly, to my laundry. 

I have been inspired by my painter to start a list of readily available and scripted excuses for why I can't do things.  Maybe if I just had a list nearby, it would be easier to get out of stuff.  My painter has a list as long as his arm of excuses.  Here are some that I've heard lately:

My daughter was sick and I had to get her from school

A tree trimmer got his truck stuck in my driveway.  He got unstuck by 11am, but by then, I had started to clean the garage

I have another job that is bigger than yours

I'm feeling foggy today

So, I need some more excuses for my arsenal.  What are some of your go-to's?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Help!....I can't stand it!

I know I shouldn't care.  I don't know why it's such a big deal...I'm just a quiet person.  I enjoy quiet.
 I ride in the car for hours with just my own thoughts.  Noise in the background makes me nuts.  For example, a TV that someone has walked away from hours ago, and was left on: makes me crazy. Any kind of Nintendo game constantly playing the same tune, or worse yet, the gun noise constantly: makes me nuts.

Click Here for credit for this perfect image. 

Here's the thing:  My daughter constantly hums.  It's a happy noise, full of tune and is her own personal song.  She hums in the car, while she's reading, during homework. It makes me crazy.  I hate to squelch her happiness, but sometime I snap.  (Then I feel badly)  What should I do??

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Steak Stew

I've been time challenged when it comes to dinners around here.  I was inspired by the giant Costco "stew meat" package.  I remember my Mom making stew when I was little, it was a really good one pot meal.  So, I brought home the ingredients, and drug out the crock pot.  BOY, am I glad I did.  Imagine my surprise when it turned out really good, and my kids were asking for seconds.  The recipie I used allowed for a lot of interpretaion (for example, it didn't call for carrots, but there were carrots in the picture of the meal). There were also other discrepancies with measurments.  I've cleaned it up, and revised it here:

Steak Stew  (Named By My Daughter...Who Loves Steak..)
1/2 cup plus 2 tblsp. flour, divided
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 lbs. beef stew meat
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
6 ribs celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tblsp. water
2 cups diced carrots

1.) combine the 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag, add the beef and shake until the beef is coated.  Place in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except the 2 tblsp. flour and water.
Cover and cook on low 8-12 hours, or on high 4-6 hours.

2.) One hour before serving, combine 2 tblsp flour and 3 tblsp water in a small bowl. whisk together and add to the stew mixture. Cover and cook until thickened.

This stew is excellent served with my Amish Cornbread.

Monday, February 7, 2011

BOY Valentines

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us.  Every year, my girls go nuts painting and primping and cutting and pasting and glittering their Valentine's Boxes.  Every year, my boys moan.

I found this very boy-ish valentine from Family Fun for my 6 year old to make for his class.  He was very excited to make them, and is now excited to give them.  They are far from the norm of sticky sweet kissy and huggy valentines!

Here's what you'll need to make your own fleet of vrooming dive-bombing valentine treats and toys all in one:

rubber bands, life savers mints, Smartie's and some stick gum.

I wrapped my gum in brown paper that I had stamped with hearts (note that I did the stamping with son could have cared less).

Take the rubber bands, string 2 lifesavers through the holes and then slide either end of the rubber band over the sticks of gum. Then slide a Smartie through the middle of the two lifesavers.

It's SO easy, and so sweet!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Custom Beads!

Well, we are at it again.  My husband is cranking out these custom made beads as a fundraiser for our kid's school. 

Each student designs his or her own bead with pencil and paper.  My very talented husband then creates each of their beads in glass.  We offer them to the parents for sale on an 18" sterling silver necklace accented with 2 silver beads. 

The fun is not just for the students at our school though, YOU can design your own bead too!  Or have your husband draw something, or have your 2 year old scribble a pattern, or design it yourself!  Visit my Etsy site to place an order.

They are terrific personalized gifts for Mother's Day.