Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday's Fun

Lucy slept through the night!! I woke up this morning in a very good mood.

This morning we found a new park and it's only 45 minutes from our house! We felt like adventuring today I guess... Totally worth the drive.

Callahan Creek Park

"How do you turn this thing on?!"
I spun this for Guy and almost had twenty heart attacks.
He is a little too reckless to have this thing spinning.

"I'm not reckless!!"
Yes, this the the direction he came down the slide.

I feel bad for not taking more pictures of Lucy but this is probably why.

After the park we went to get the kids new scrapbooks. I'm going to get back into scrapbooking.

Then we went to a new outdoor mall here, Legends. It was totally awesome because I saw a sign in a store window that said "Coming soon... Sanrio" YAAAAAAY!!! I love Hello Kitty. But we got an Osh Kosh store and a Gymboree Outlet! Those are my favorites. Guy's favorite is Harry & David and he just hangs out near the gummi bear samples. We went to Banana Republic's Outlet and I got a shirt, a sweater, and a skirt for under $50. That's like pennies. Outlet pricing, plus clearance merchandise, plus additional 30% off sale, plus 30% off coupon = best deal ever. Did I mention we got a free bag of Moose Munch at Harry & David? Good day.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pictures of My Kids

Guy watched me prune the blackberry bush one morning. Then that afternoon I heard him go into the backyard so I went to go check on him. He was "pruning" the blackberries with his little nail clippers! Good thing I followed him or those would have been long gone.

Lucy thinks that the best joy is life is kicking a defenseless duck in the face.

Laundry Soap #2/2

My laundry soap was done yesterday - it had thickened and turned into a gooey mass!
I mixed it up to make it scoopable and filled milk jugs with 1/2 water and 1/2 laundry soap. This should make 10 jugs but I only had 6. I'll make the remaining four after we drink enough milk - shouldn't take us long.

Here's my set-up. I just finished up today because I would fill the funnel and walk away then fill it again when I remembered.
I haven't tried it yet! But if it works well for us I'll keep making this. It was easy and even though it took me three days hardly any effort was involved and I bet I'd only need to make it twice a year.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Freezing Food

Now that blueberries are on sale I have 8 cups of blueberries frozen - that will make a lot of muffins. I freeze them on a cookie sheet then put them in containers. That way they aren't frozen together.

I also recently bought a bunch of cookies that were melting in our wonderful summer temperatures. I called Keebler and asked about freezing their cookies and you know what they told me?? "We've never tried that." You've been in business for how long and you never frozen your cookies? Lies!! Well they are great frozen - it makes the cookies ten times better! If I buy these cookies in winter I'm going to freeze them. In fact I'm going to report my findings to Keebler.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Laundry Soap #1/2

I started making laundry soap today. It's my first time!

I am using the recipe here:

I needed this stuff:
I would also like to note Fels-Naptha soap is a great stain remover. As soon as I noticed stained clothes (GUY!) I get them wet and rub this stuff all over them and throw the wet clothes in the hamper. Has worked so far. It's cheaper and more effective than my old method - buying Shout!

Back to the laundry detergent! I didn't shred the soap like the directions say - I cut it with a knife since it crumbles like chocolate. It does not melt as easily as chocolate though. I followed the directions up until let the 5 gallon bucket sit over night to thicken. I'll have to post how it turns out tomorrow. I found this bucket in with my husbands things - I hope he didn't need it soon. I stuck it in our pantry because it didn't have a lid but it has one of those pictures with a child stuck in the bucket. I don't want that to be Guy.

Guy's Playdate

Guy had a play date yesterday with a little boy born 3 days after him. We even live in the same neighborhood so that was super nice! Except it was scorching yesterday - us moms were dying!

I didn't get any good pics because the boys were busy off frolicking in the fields - but even if these are blurry I still think they are cute!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu & Groceries

M: Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Cantaloupe
T: Swedish Meatballs, Pasta, Green Salad
W: Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Cantaloupe
R: Pepperoni Pizza, Oatmeal Butterscotchie Cookies (Only oven day - better be cooler!)
F: Leftovers
Sat: BBQ Pork Chops and Potato Wedges
Sun: Crockpot Chicken and Veggies

Schwan's - $18.99 (Wine and Garlic Steaks)
7-11 - $1.50 (Sunday Paper)
Feed Store - $23.87 (Chicken Feed)
Sonic - $9 (Lunch on Sunday)

Winco - $3.92 (Saved$8 with coupons)

Grocery Outlet $12.22 (Missing from picture is a little honey bee Guy wanted.)
Walgreens $0 (Tape and Razors. It actually cost $1.13 but I used a gift card to pay.)

Walmart $35.22 (Used $23.42 in coupons, Will mail in for a $5 rebate on the Tyson Skillet Meal. Guy added his little honey bee to the picture that was from Grocery Outlet.)
Budget: $337.41/$350
I've got $12.59 left! I might go spend it this week if I find a good deal but I'd try for being underbudget!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Morning at Dear Park

Every Friday I try to do something extra fun with the kids. This morning we dropped of a feral cat to get fixed. That was fun enough for Guy but we went to Jack-in-the-Box for Smoothies and then to park to play. For Lucy's sake...

Buzz came too. The people we bought the house from left this space ranger in a shed because he didn't have a moving buddy. Guy's happy about it.

The thought of playing just made Lucy exhausted.


Little Picasso

Yesterday at playgroup the kids made masks out of paper plates. I thought it wasn't age appropriate but I went along with it anyway. And Guy proofed me wrong! He was totally into painting. He did all the painting by himself - didn't even get a smidgen of help. Then he wore his mask all day. He was pretty scary!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Homemade Fudgesicles!

We made homemade fudgesicles! I tried this recipe:

Good Eats Fudgepops

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Special Equipment: Icepop molds

Place chopped chocolate into a medium glass mixing bowl. Set aside.

Combine heavy cream, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until cocoa is dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk gently until all chocolate is melted. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Divide the mixture evenly among the molds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid. Fudgepops can be held in the freezer for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

My thoughts: This recipe costs about $5 to make. Regular fudgesicles cost less than that but these taste nothing like regular fudgesicles. These are like if you ice cream-ized dark chocolate truffles. They are absolutely delicious but it's hard to eat much and if you are suppose to eat them all in a week you are really going to get sick of chocolate.

"Are you eyeballing my fudgepop?"

"Hey! She ate some of my fudgepop!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Playing Indoors

Indoor play is fun when there is air conditioning! Yay! We went to the Playroom - our favorite indoor hangout.

Lucy was happy about it too!

Guy was happy too.
He climbed!

Practiced being a construction worker!

And threw a doll at his sister. What a sissy toy!

Guy did have a hard time when the play sink didn't dispense any water in the play cup. He asked for help and when I wasn't able to get any water out of the plastic sink - he pushed me aside and searched through all the adults until he found the most competent looking one. He grabbed her hand and dragged her to the sink. Still no water! Good thing he was doing construction today - he started working on the plumbing but then his mom made him go home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Indoor Baths are for Chumps

That what Guy said. Lucy disagreed.
They skipped their baths this morning to go wading.
The water was freezing. At least me and Lucy thought so. Guy is tough.
The Lucy Boat (Parked)

The Lucy Boat (Out at Sea)I left the pool out in hopes the sun would heat the water up. Lucy will try again tonight!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pictures from Our Yard

Here's just some pictures I took last night.

A chicken!

Lucy and her Drying Undies

Lucy - 6 weeks old

My Garden

Guy the Soccer Champ


We started our compost pile last week. When I'm doing meal prep I keep a bowl on the kitchen counter to collect stuff in. And then when I clean the kitchen I dump my bowl in a bucket by the backdoor.
Then when I'm loitering around outside I dump the bucket in our compost pile. And before you say "Gosh, that's ugly!" I would like to point out you can't see it from our backyard because there is a blackberry bush hiding it. I really like the location not just because it's hidden but because I can pick stuff out of it and chuck it into the chicken pen. I almost hit a chicken in the head the other day with a corn cob.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little Discoveries

I'm assuming Guy did this?

Monday, July 13, 2009

River School

Yesterday we attended a little family event at a place called River School. I think they mainly teach classes and do gardening consultations but I'm really not too sure. They had hay rides, chickens, a sandpit - like a sandbox not like something you'd find on the planet of Tatooine. We wanted to see someone else's chicken coop just to make sure ours was satisfactory and spy on their gardens and compost pile just for some ideas.

Guy & Some Chickens

Along the River...

Little Drummer Boy
The Sandlot. Not the movie.
A Bored Baby Lucy

Food Stuff

M: Tamales, Rice, Green Beans
T: Homemade Corn Dogs and Fries, Blueberry Crisp and Ice Cream
W: Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob
R: Chicken & Potatoes (in crockpot), Homemade Bread
F: Leftovers
Sat: Fettucine Alfredo, Veggies, Toast
Sun: Finger Foods (Cleaning out the freezer)

I guess my food budget isn't too high because I like to waste money on occasion.

Schwan's - $19.48 (And this stuff was worth every penny - just ask Guy. But I should really pay more attention to how much this stuff costs.)

Target - $4.66 (Used $6.66 in coupons - had more but the cashier didn't like me. Used giftcard so food budget total is $0)

In-N-Out - $7.78 (My husband worked on Saturday so we took him lunch to cheer him up.)
CVS - $8.48 (Used $21.73 in coupons - I bought the moonpies for $0.49 so I can call this grocery shopping. But, from buying this I got $16.91 in coupons off my next purchase so this was really an investment of sorts.)

Winco - $69.19 (Used $1.35 in coupons. Bought $13 worth of chips, $8 of cat food, $11 of cheese. We just needed some expensive stuff today - especially the chips - can't live without them.)
Budget = $141.69/$350