Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rainy Day Fun, 4 Yr Old Style

Jonathan: (From the family room) "Mommy, how do you spell "miles per hour"? "
Me: (From the computer) "You can just write "MPH", it means "miles per hour". Why are you asking?"
Jonathan: "I'm in the police car and I'm giving tickets to everyone driving too fast."

This is what I found in the family room floor. I think he wrote about 20 tickets today. Little boys make their own fun on rainy Sunday afternoons.

(For the record, I've only had one ticket in my life, WAY before Jonathan was born.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crazy like a fox, or just crazy?

This is the guest room closet, hung with a row of boy's coats and jackets. Yesterday I went to Gymboree to return a shirt, only to discover that the highest price on any clearance item was $10.99, including coats! I ended up buying four or five coats and a puffy vest in a variety of sizes. I'm thinking boy's coats aren't going to go out of style, so he is good to go for two--or maybe even three--winters. I also had a 20% off coupon, which lowered the price even more! Also hanging in this closet are yard sale and thrift store finds I think are worth saving until he grows into them, like this $2.00 Gap down-filled vest:

and this $3.00 L.L. Bean raincoat:

Also hanging are a couple of outgrown coats, waiting for eBay next season.

So, am I crazy, or crazy smart, to buy this far ahead?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If Practice Makes Perfect.....

....then I will master this buttercream icing. I love white cake with buttercream icing, and I have never been good at making it. My niece makes exceptionally good frosting, and she has shared her secret with me. I have been practicing!

Jon & I made a 2-layer heart shaped cake before Valentine's Day, which tasted good. Last night after Jonathan was tucked into bed, I decided to try another. So here I am in the kitchen at 10:30 at night, mixer whirring, making buttercream icing and questioning my sanity. This batch tastes considerably better than the first, so I am making progress! I'd really like to make Jonathan's birthday cake myself this summer.

The problem with all of this practice? Wanting to eat the finished product!

Like the cake pan? Find it here. Lots of great designs, comes recommended by The Pioneer Woman!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do You Buy Kid's Clothing a Season Ahead?

Last week's springlike weather has me thinking about Jonathan's spring/summer wardrobe. Twice a year, I usually go to the outlet mall and hour or so away to buy some of the season's clothing. I also buy his shoes at the Stride Rite store there, he has very wide feet and is hard to fit!
We will probably go there in March, so this afternoon I looked through what I already have, so I can make a list of what he needs. He doesn't need many shirts or pajamas, he does need shorts. He won't need swim trunks, he will need sandals and Crocs. He will need new underwear and socks before school starts at the end of summer.

Do you buy things a season ahead for your children? I try to look for shirts and pj's, but seldom buy pants because I never know how much taller he will get in a season. I bought fewer items than usual at the end of last summer, and didn't buy one single item at this winter's end of season sales. I will probably regret that in the fall!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Obsession

Anyone who knows me can tell you I am not the tidiest of housekeepers. Not that we are dirty, just cluttered. Jonathan has toys everywhere, and my antique and eBay businesses tend to be messy.

However, there is one thing I cannot stand, and that is a messy refrigerator! I may border on obsessive in keeping it clean, I clean it every week before trash day. Nothing grows mold in my refrigerator! Milk drips and such drive me crazy. I am the same way with the microwave.

Now if only some of that obsession carried over to the rest of the house.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feelin' Like Spring!

Yesterday felt like spring had arrived! The day was warm enough to open the windows while I was cleaning house, and I got to hang some laundry outside. I love that!

Better not get too used to it just yet, the weather man says we could have snow next week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not For (Our) Profit Recycling

I admit that sometimes I get tired of saving newspapers and catalogs. I'd rather put them in the trash. Saving aluminum cans is a pain in the patootie, too, but at least Jon gets a little money from this recycling.

Why do I bother with the paper recycling? I want Jonathan to be aware of his responsibility as a citizen of the earth. Reduce our carbon footprint, even if it's only by a tiny little bit. There is so much more we can, and should, be doing, but this is a little something.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Twice Blessed

My doorbell rang late this afternoon, and the florist delivery person handed me this lovely bouquet from my sweet niece! It is simply gorgeous! Jonathan received a balloon bouquet and he was so excited!
I also received some flowers from my neighbor, Michelle. Four bouquets in one day! I'm thinking maybe I died and someone forgot to tell me!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am so blessed to have two wonderful sons! I received beautiful flowers today from each of my sons: beautiful red roses from my oldest and his family, and pretty delphiniums from my youngest, who shyly asked our florist friend for some flowers for Mommy. I'm a very lucky lady!

Happy Valentine's Day to each of you, cherish those you love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Better Have Some Deep Pockets...

Jonathan & I went to the Shriner's Circus yesterday in Louisville, courtesy of my nephew. We had so much fun, but let me tell you, I don't know how large families ever do anything! Prices for a sno-cone were outrageous! Not to mention all of the other fun things, like light up toys, that they were hawking.

Fun? YES! Frugal? No way!

However, we will probably do it again next year.
(Jonathan insisted we pick up an aluminum soda can we saw in the parking lot and bring it home to can closer to a basketball goal!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day School Gifts

Jonathan will have one Valentine's Day party on Monday and one on Tues. I thought I would share the gifts we will be taking to school.

In Monday's class each child will receive a little bag of Valentine candy and trinkets. Tuesday's class will be getting little metal buckets filled with similar items. The girls get red buckets with pearl handles and the boys will receive blue buckets with robots.

We have several teacher's aides between the two classes, and each will be getting a small box of Mrs. Field's chocolates in a clear bag which has faux pink and red rose petals inside.

The two teachers will be receiving the same thing, which is a cute Valentine's bottle with a twig heart, which I took to my friend the florist. She put a pink rose and some lavender accent flowers in each, along with a pink bow. They are safely inside my refrigerator awaiting delivery. Irene assures me they will be fine until Mon. & Tues., that they have already received all their flowers shipments for Valentine's Day .

I hope everyone enjoys their small tokens of appreciation, they were fun to put together!
Metal buckets: Target
Glass Valentine bottles: Michaels
Fabric rose petals: Dollar Tree
Mrs. Field's Chocolates: Target
Various items for treat bags: Dollar Tree & Oriental Trading Co
Flower arrangements by Irene at Jackson's Florist

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things I Loathe

First of all, this post is not intended to discuss all the social injustices and such we all abhor. It is intended to give you a little more insight into who I am and a few things I thoroughly dislike. The total opposite of yesterday's post, here are a few things I hate.
I hate mayonnaise. Can't abide the stuff. Same with salad dressings of any kind. I love salads, just hold the dressing. Ditto sour cream and cottage cheese. I'm in the minority here.

I don't like coconut, the taste or the texture. I don't like mushrooms, the taste or the texture. A lot of what I don't like is certain kinds of food, so why am I overweight? See yesterday's post: I love sugar.

Here is where I am really in the minority. I hate coffee, of any kind. Hate it black and hate it fancied up with frothy things and additives. It stinks, literally. I don't like how it smells. Don't worry, Angie, that Starbucks gift certificate I won in your give-away didn't go to waste!! They have great cookies and such! See above: I love sugar. I don't drink any type of tea, either. However, Diet Pepsi is my friend.

I hate spiders. Too bad, because they seem to to think my house is a fine place to be. I see more than a few here. But I hate snakes much more than spiders. Fortunately, so far they realize I have not rolled out the welcome mat for them, and I've never seen one near the house. I allow Jonathan to enjoy their company in controlled circumstances, such as the zoo and Natural History Museum. One day the nice museum lady offered to bring out a snake for me to touch and get over my fear. I politely declined her most generous offer.

I hate mud. Dirt and water should never marry. Enough said.

These are just a few of the things that I could happily live without. What's on your list?

Things I Love

Lots of bloggers are doing daily posts right now of things they love, and I like reading their lists. Since I am new to all this blog business, I do not know how to link up with them--I am sure I will eventually figure this out, or maybe not! Anyway, I want to get in on the fun, too, so I will tell you some of the things I love!

It goes without saying my family tops the list. My children and grandchildren, but also my sisters, sisters-in-law, and the most wonderful bunch of nieces and nephews in the world! As a group, and individually, they helped me navigate through the roughest waters of my life. They were there for me. They still are. I can't even bear to think of what I would have done without them.

I love to read. Just about anything! Books. Magazines. Mail. Menus :). I don't have the time to read as much as I would like, but I get my daily fix with magazine articles and blogs.

I love pretty paper of all kinds. Greeting cards. Stationery and notecards. Wrapping paper and gift tags. Stickers. Just makes my heart sing! This niece inherited her love of paper from me, I swear!

I love feminine nightwear and lingerie. I love the way it makes me feel. You never get too old to feel pretty! I think the above mentioned niece may have inherited that gene from me, too.

I love history and learning about the people who came before us. That probably influences my love of antiques and collectibles. I love obscure little thrift shops in out of the way places. I love yard sales, too.

I love babies, everthing about them. Always have. I especially love their baby smell (most of the time!) and their newborn yawns and wiggles, you know what I'm talking about.

I love sugar. Unfortunately. I love candy and beautifully decorated cakes. I wish I didn't.

I love country music and I won't apologize for it. I like the twang, and if you ask me, country music needs some more of that! I love sweet harmonies, like the Statler Brothers. Maybe I should say I love classic country.

There are so many more things I love, things that bring moments of joy every day. This is just a little peek at some of the things that combine to make me, well, ME.

What are a few of your favorite things? (Oh, I love broadway musicals, too! Phantom of the Opera, Cats, etc, etc....)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Preschool Chronicles #99

I think I should have titled my blog "The Preschool Chronicles"! I think most casual bloggers (as opposed to "professional" bloggers) post about their everyday lives. At the moment, alot of my days revolve around preschool. It makes me sad to think I only have about 3 more months, and preschool will be over. Then on to "The Kindergarten Chronicles"!

Yesterday, in honor of letter "Q" for queen, Jonathan's Thematic Learning class had a Renaissance day. The children were asked to dress as members of royalty. They made shields with the family Coat of Arms and the day was filled with lots of medieval fun. I suggested Jon go as a court jester, he was having none of that. He insisted on being King Jon! The queen mother then had to scramble to find kingly attire in less than a week. What did we do before Ebay? The costume arrived in the nick of time, on Saturday, and he was very pleased with his outfit!

For Show & Share this week, we made a question box with several questions inside. Finding something to take as treats for the kids beginning with letter "Q" was my second challenge. Of course, I don't have to take anything, and often I don't. But, never one to back down from a challenge, I set out to find something other than a quarter to take. I happened to drive by a Quizno's restaurant yesterday, and inspiration struck! I stopped in, found chocolate chip cookies with a "Q" on the packaging, and sweet-talked the manager out of 10 kid's meal bags. They say "Q Kids" so they were perfect! Mrs. McDaniel and all 10 kids have a treat today!

What on earth will I take as treats for letters U, V and X? Any suggestions?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do You Have a Gift Shelf?

Do you look for things on sale and keep a gift shelf or closet at home? If you see something at a great price you think would make a nice little gift for someone, do you buy it? Where are your favorite places to shop?

I have a bin on a shelf in my closet where I store little goodies I find on sale, at yard sales, etc. It came in handy this week when the letter came from school concerning the spring basket auction. Jonathan's class is assigned the "Boys Will Be Boys" theme. I was so happy to have a Toy Story puzzle and a Buzz Lightyear toy in the basket, purchased on clearance. That will help the budget this month!

My little gift supply is almost depleted, I haven't found very much lately. Time to pay some attention to the clearance corner!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Antiques & Collectibles For Sale!

I have always loved antiques, even as a young girl. I love the history of the pieces, and always wonder about the places they have been and the stories they could tell!

I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually sell them. I have had booth space in various antique malls, off and on, for almost 25 years. I rented a booth in the Florence Antique Mall ( when they opened in August 1998. I was there until a couple of months before Jonathan was born in 2006. At one point, my late husband and I had seven booths there, and we spent most week-ends on the search for inventory. I always loved it and hoped to return to the "business" on a limited basis when Jon was a little older. That time came last April, when my sister and I joined forces and rented a booth.

It is very different this time around. My sister lives and hour and a half away. The economy isn't in good shape, and I can't devote the time to it I used to. I don't deal in large furniture pieces, and I don't paint and refurbish things like I did before. We deal mostly in small items, so we aren't making very much profit. But I love it! I love the thrill of the hunt and just being back doing what I love, even on a limited basis. I am sure when yard sales are in full swing this spring, I will be sharing finds with you!

Here on Hartland this morning, we were busy getting some things priced and ready to go! The first picture shows some of them, and the others give a little glimpse of our booth. Inventory is low right now, it's harder to find things in the winter. I am looking forward to getting the booth all ready for spring soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Obsessions.....or maybe addictions?

As I was putting away laundry this morning, I realized, once again, that I may have just a slight obsession with buying pajamas for Jonathan. I can't seem to stop myself, I LOVE a child in cute, comfortable pajamas! Nothing like a kid fresh from the bath, sweet smelling with damp hair, in a pair of soft jammies!

I have some other obsessions, too, which I will share in future posts. Some I need to rein in (like pajamas!), some are just me and not likely to go away.

What are your addictions.....umm, obsessions?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preschool, Popcorn and Pajamas

This has been a busy week at preschool! Jonathan was chosen as "Student of the Week" for the first week of the program, of course, every child will have a turn. He is still quite pleased and more than a little proud of himself. Mom is, too!

The kids are on alphabet letter "P" this week, so today was declared pajama day. All of the children wore their pj's to school. They were all so cute!We decided to take popcorn for everyone, and Jonathan really wanted to make it himself. He did a really good job, too! He put each bag in the microwave and started it. I got the hot popcorn out, of course, and put in in a bowl to ccol. He filled the bags, I "zipped" them and put them in the paper popcorn bags. He folded the tops down, and we were done!

I try to use this time as a learning experience, too. We discussed popcorn and where it comes from, plus I added in a little math by occasionally asking how many more bags we still needed to fill to make eleven, 10 for the students and one for Mrs. McDaniel.

Jonathan loves going to school and I love doing all these fun extra things to enrich the experience for him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You Can't Do Anything About the Weather...

Last night was not a very restful night. Winds howled all night and it sounded as though the roof was going to blow off. Since this actually happened once, I really thought it might! Lawn chairs are all over the yard this morning, and I have no idea where the grill cover is.

I can't complain, because we are not buried under several feet of snow. My son and his family reside in the Chicago area, and this morning my daughter-in-law tells me there are snow drifts to the top of their 6' backyard fence. My son is out of town for work, and she is alone with the kids, but thankfully they are fine. My son may have difficulty getting home tomorrow, as the Chicago airport is shut down at the moment.

Wherever you are, I hope you and your family are safe and snug. If you are in an area hit by these blizzard conditions, stay in and be safe!

Hurry springtime!!