Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Projects

Many are doing a no-spend month for July. Well... that's really not a matter of choice over here. As we wait with baited breath for the house to close, we're clenching our pennies with all our might.

So, I'd like to share my take on No-Spend Month. Here, it's going to to be a stash-busting month. I want to see just how many projects I can crank out this month on VERY little cash. Any money spent will need to come from the change-bowl in the dining room. Which currently totals less than $10. You can bet that everytime I clean a room, I'm adding the 17 cents I find.

I have a list of projects that I have the supplies for, and I'm really looking forward to sharing the results. I should have something to share on Friday!

Monday, June 29, 2009

She Made It Monday: Nicaraguan Orphan Dolls

My mother made these sweet babies for Craft Hope's project #2, dolls for Casa Bernabe Orphanage. My sister and I helped a little with cutting and tracing, but mostly this is all my mother. All 41 of these little babies. After she did that, she made one for each of her nursery kiddos at church. Stinky, as he helped us pack them up to send off, wanted to know each of their names. So we made them up as best we could. "Dora... Diego... Maria... Pedro..." You can see all of the rag dolls made for this project at this blog entry . It's awesome to see the living room full of dolls, ready to go.

Craft Hope is an amazing site. I'm knitting up some baby booties for project #3, which will be sent over to India. As crafters, sometimes we end up with more of whatever it is we make than we need or want to have around. If you've got some crafting energy, and are looking for a little karma, I'd suggest checking them out. Currently, they're looking for blankets, pillowcases, hankercheifs, beanies, and booties for the children in India. The deadline is July 25th.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of pain, but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies on life's battelfield, but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but hope for the paitence to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone, but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

-Rabindrath Tagore

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, WBH!

Today, WBH enters his last year beginning with a 2. So, I'd like to share with you 29 reasons I'm in love with him. If you'd like to avoid a sweetness-induced coma, or nauseating lovey-dovey-ness please read no further.

1. He has these lips. They're great for kissing, but it was the smile that got me, from day one. Babe, you got a purdy mouth.
2. I refer to him as WBH on here, but he could just as easily be called WBD- World's Best Dad. I try harder to be a better mom because of him.
3. His work ethic blows me away. He does so much for our family, and so that I can stay home with Stinky. He inspires me.
4. He takes the couch when I snore too loud, and doesn't kick me out of bed.
5. There's always fun to be had with my husband. He doesn't mind making a fool of himself.
6. Jewelry skillz.
7. He tries really hard not to laugh at me when I'm upset and ridiculous. Which I am a lot.
8. His word is true. Honesty rocks.
9. He is my biggest supporter. Sometimes even when I want to quit, he's the one who reminds me why I won't.
10. His judgement is sound -he's usually right (HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I put it in writing, but I may never admit it again, honey.)
11. His hugs are the best. His hugs were very popular once, but now I can claim to be the sole recipient of his signature style.
12. Watching his as a teacher really impresses me. Those 280+ kids a year are so darn lucky.
13. The Butt. Seriously, the butt.
14. The silliness. He can always make me laugh.
15. If he's going to do something, he's going to do it wholeheartedly, and he's going to do it right. Teaching, animals, creating, all of it. He goes big and doesn't go home.
16. His willingness to serve others- just today he busted his butt mowing a lawn for someone he knows only marginally. This same willingness is so much greater for those he loves. He gives and gives.
17. He's got a huge capacity for empathy.
18. The guys got a way with words. When I was practicing pageant interviews, he was an awesome coach- he crafts words so well, especially when he's mad or passionate about something.
19. Even in hard times, he hangs in and sticks it out. He is my rock, my tear soaked-shoulder.
20. The creativity he exhibits as we look into future projects- home renovating, halloween costumes, you name it- gets me as excited about them as he is.
21. The things we share- faith, 16 years of knowing eachother, Stinky- make our lives richer.
22. He makes one heckova sexy pirate.
23. He is willing things he doesn't like, like going to pageants and wear dresses, because he knows I do.
24. Pumpkin carving skillz. Who else gets Dwight Shrute on a pumpkin?
25. He uses his skills to create for others. Love that about him.
26. He can read me quite easily. It's very convenient, but it also shows that he' s a pretty sensitive guy. But not in a girly-man sort of way.
27. Thank heaven he's a fix-it man. I love that he's handy. Heck, I even love the plumber crack when he's working on something (though it's rare).
28. Brown Chicken Brown Cow.
29. He lives up to his pseudonym every single day. WBH really is just that. The Worlds Best Husband, and I am the luckiest lady in the world to be married to him.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thin Thursday: The Return

I gained and gained for two weeks, and that's not something you want to post for the whole wide world to see. So I didn't, but here it is. I gained 3 pounds. Then I almost cried, but didn't. Instead, I sat, and pouted through the meeting. Then I started tracking again. Why do I let myself off the hook for tracking? I gain everytime I start slacking.

So this week, I lost 2.4 pounds. There were two days I didn't track at all, so I could have done better, honestly. I said to myself that I wanted those three pounds gone by today. I didn't quite make it, but I will gladly take 2.4 lost pounds.

I have a little over 3 weeks until my brother's wedding. I would really love to reach a certain number by then (stop bring nosey, I won't tell you), but it's 6.8 pounds away. I think I can do that. That's only 5 ounces a day or so, or two and a quarter pounds each week- a healthy and reasonable goal. It would also mean I'd lost almost 14 pounds, and that is something I'd be proud to say.

This week:
  • I will track, track, trackety-track every little thing.
  • I will earn 20 activity points (this may sound like a lot, but I just calculated that one practice conservatively estimated at 90 minutes could earn me 11 points)
  • I will drink the reccommended amounts of water each day and limit the Diet Dr. Peppers to 1-2. Yes, it's been more than that, lately.

It's going to be a good week, and next Thursday, I'm going to hit 5% lost.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Made it Monday: A Little Messed Up

For our pre-bout team night, we decided that we'd make babies for the other team- since their players keep getting that nine-month injury.

Needless to say, it got ridiculous. Glitter Gone Bad, anyone?
Oh, and just in case you are desperate to have one of these for your very own... they're on ebay.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Derby This Weekend!

Come see some derby this weekend! Wear Purple!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Made it Monday: Make-ahead Asparagus Strata

This recipe is a little "just use up what we have regardless of what the recipe says." However, it's delicious!

1lb fresh asparagus, broken into 2 inch pieces
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
6 day-old dinner rolls, coarsely cubed
3 egg whites
3 eggs
4 cups milk
ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
salt, pepper, herbs of your choice

The original recipe calls for boiling the asparagus for 3 minutes. It's a good idea, BUT if you layer the asparagus on the bottom, it will cook enough as you bake it if you want to skip that step. I reccomend this if your home is hot and you don't want to deal with boiling water.

Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Layer asparagus, then rolls, then bacon in the dish. Mix eggs, egg whites, and milk in a bowl with salt, pepper and herbs- I used oregano and it was delish. Dill would probably by very yummy too. Pour egg mixture evenly over the layered dish. Drop tablespoons full of ricotta cheese on to the mix until it looks right to you, then layer with shredded cheese. Refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until bubbly.

It's great for breakfast or dinner, and is a great way to use the asparagus that's abundant at farmer's markets right now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summertime, and the living is easy.

There are just two more weeks of school left for WBH before we're on summer vacation. Although he'll be teaching summer school, those will be half-days. I'm dreaming of things we can do with the time, though much of it will be spent working on the house and moving. In the past, I've written a summer to-do list. I've got a few ideas I'm kicking around in my head.

What's on your summer to-do list?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Coming Home

I've struggled with how to write this post. I've been reflecting on the events that led me here and everything that has happened since. Everything that has since happened has confirmed, very clearly, that I made the right choice.

A week and a half ago, I quit my job after nearly four years there, on the spot and gave no notice. I worked at a company with a four-lettered name (which is funny, now that I think about it), that inspired a disco song that remains popular to this day. It is a wonderful place to be as a member, but it's hard to be an employee there.

I'd been unhappy with it for probably the last year. I was being paid less than employess I had more knowledge and experience than. The workload was increasing while benefits and compensation remained the same. I found myself singing the line from Schoolhouse Rock's "The Shot Heard 'round the World "That's called taxation without representation! And it isn't fair! It's WRONG!"

I didn't want to be rash, or have a bad attitude, so I carefully asked one of the few employees in my department who'd been there longer than I had if it had become harder to work there than it used it be. She confirmed that she felt the same way. Since having Aidan, I'd cut down to extremely part-time, and they were the unhappiest hours of my week. The night before a work day, I'd be angry for a reason I couldn't name. I resented missing Saturdays with WBH and Stinky.

Two Saturdays ago, there was an ugly situation. There's really no point in going into the details, but when I called WBH to rant about the idiocy of the situation and how it was being handled, he said "This has gotten ridiculous, and it's not worth the money you make, no offense, for you to be treated this way." So I sat down and wrote my letter of resignation. Just before I sent it, I took a step back. Breathing in, I prayed for a moment that if this was me being irrational, I'd know. I waited for a while and went back to work. I still felt at peace with my decision, and I clicked send.

What's happened since has confirmed coming home was the best decision. My mother provided free Grandma Daycare on the weekdays that I worked (heaven bless her!). She's now in a situation where the time that freed up is really important. I was extended a calling at church that I was told will be 'time consuming.' More than anything, though, I've been more cheerful with Stinky and WBH. I've been happier in general, no more 'mystery anger' or resentment.
Yesterday, I learned that since I left, they've laid off some of the most competent administrators and other staff are in jeopardy as well- good employees who have worked there for ten years or more.

I worried so much about this choice, but am so glad I did it, and so grateful for WBH's support in the decision. Coming home feels so good.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Didn't make anything Monday.

As we prepare to buy the home and make the long, arduous move (those three blocks are going to be a killer!), crafting is going to have to take a back seat. I may have an I Made It Monday recipe or two (because we all have to eat, right?) here, but all craftiness is sort of resting right now. So, just for fun, how about a Q&A? Leave your question at the beep!