Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I've been decorating for the holidays this week, and I realized there is no theme to the decorations! It may be a little jumbled, but it's fun and it makes me---and Jonathan---happy! Here's a few pictures of the kitchen.
I love these vinyl wall words, I have used them in the kitchen for the past three years. They peel right off after the holidays.
A little something in the kitchen window, I also love this "Milk for Santa" bottle.
A few winter berries up high:
Here is the kitchen tree. The crocheted red and white runner is a vintage estate find, and the folk art Santa is fun..

The little tree could use a few more ornaments. I'll add some if I happen upon any that appeal to me and fit in with what I want on the tree.
I love looking at blogs to see how everyone decorates for the holiday season. I see so many creative ideas,even though I am rarely able to duplicate them.
How do you decorate your home?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Use It Up, Wear It Out.....

Make it do, or do without! Ever heard that? My mom used to say that all the time! Bringing my older brothers and sisters up during the economic hardships of the Great Depression, I am sure she repeated that phrase to herself many, many times.
I don't wear things out nearly as much as I should, but lately I have noticed some things around the house that are truly starting to get worn out, and need replacing.
I have two of these laundry baskets, and I have had them for years, way before Jonathan was born. Plus they were second hand when I got them! They are cracked and broken all the way down, not too bad when empty, but when full of laundry they are next to impossible to carry without dropping things.
This mouse pad is not more than a couple of years old, but the sharp edges sticking up poke my wrist!
Other things needing replaced include my kitchen trash can and my mattress. Unfortunately, mattresses are way out of my budget now and will have to wait awhile.
What are your thoughts on making something last as long as possible? Do you want to replace something as soon as it starts to look worn, or do you make it last "just a little longer"?
I am thinking I am going to increase the lifespan of more items in my house when possible. Working on my resolutions for the coming year has me taking a hard look at my budget.
But I think I may spring for a new laundry basket soon...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Been Busy Around Here!

Wow, a week goes by before you can blink! I wanted to say it's getting to be "that busy time of year", but I realized that we are always busy! Here's what we've been up to this past week.
Friday night was a holiday open house at our local Kroger store. I thought it was a little early in the season, but we went anyway. Santa and Mrs. Claus were there, the store has been decorated, and there were yummy foods to sample all through the store.

On Saturday, we attended a wedding, Jonathan's first. He had such a good time! He loved the band and he danced the night away!

Monday night was his first basketball practice. Practice is later than I like for a kid his age, from 7-8 each Monday evening. His usual bedtime is between 8-8:30, so we'll see how this goes. At least it is only one night!

Karate classes are continuing, he loves it and we have been going about three times a week. Those kicks are getting higher!

This has been "Theme Week" at school. Monday was "Wear Red" day, Tuesday was "Crazy Hair" day.
Jonathan's hair is so thick, it wouldn't stay spiked no matter how much gel I used! Wednesday was "Favorite Team Shirt" day (Go Bengals!), today is "Crazy Socks" day, and tomorrow is "Camouflage" day.
In addition to Jonathan's activities, homework and reading each night, regular housework, cooking and laundry, I have also deep cleaned my bedroom and bathroom this week, taken the car in for an oil change and tire rotation, had lunch with a friend, worked on eBay and have my Christmas shopping 90% complete. This evening is my first parent-teacher conference.
No wonder this 50-something body is so tired every night!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday Night Fun: Tin Can Cooking

Friday evening was the Tin Can Cooking event at our library. Jonathan had been looking forward to it all week! Our neighbor and her daughter, who is in Jonathan's class at school, joined us for the fun. First, Miss Jenny read the kids campfire books. Then they got to make a grilled cheese sandwich and cook it on a tin can!

It took a little time for the sandwich to cook
Two children shared a "stove" to make their sandwiches. The "stove" design was pretty cool!
It was a little smoky when the wind blew just right!

Chef Jonathan

The finished product was actually very tasty!
It was a family size can with a door cut in the side. A smaller can, the size tuna would come in, had strips of corrugated cardboard rolled and placed inside. Melted paraffin wax was poured on the cardboard and allowed to harden, then that was used to start the fire. Kids had to have adult supervision and they were given gloves to wear to protect their hands. Drinks and dessert cookies were provided. After eating their culinary masterpiece, the children were given flashlights for a game of flashlight tag in the enclosed reading garden.
Before heading home, the kids spent a few minutes browsing through the books and choosing a couple to bring home.
Again, I cannot say enough good things about our library. This was so much fun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Dead Iron, Crashed Computer and a Winner!

You may remember this post about my obsession with ironing. Ironing is something I do almost daily, so when my iron died last Wednesday, I had to go buy one, even though it was not in my budget this month. And if an iron wasn't in my budget, a computer certainly isn't! However, on Saturday my computer totally crashed. I must admit I wasn't too surprised, it's been acting wonky for a few months. My computer isn't just for fun, I use it to supplement my income by selling on eBay. So Saturday I went to Best Buy to purchase a computer. A few days and some frustrations later, I am up and running! I had better spend a LOT of time listing on eBay!
I am sorry I am late announcing the winner of the "Family Fun" magazine subscription. Apparently you all already have subscriptions, don't want the magazine, or I have no readership (the most likely scenario)! :) So..the subscription will go to my only entrant, my friend Brenda, who was Jonathan's 3-year-old preschool teacher and a lovely lady! I am sure she will make very good use of all the craft ideas found in the magazine. I hope you and your class enjoy the fun crafts in "Family Fun", Brenda!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Jonathan has been asking for karate classes for over a year. I have checked at various places, and problem is, they are quite expensive. At his school's fall festival, I won a series of classes from a well-regarded academy less than five minutes from home. He will have classes through March 1st, but it is extremely unlikely we will continue after that.
He started last Wednesday and has been to four classes so far. He's loving it! I really didn't know what to expect and have been pleasantly surprised at the classes. I think it will be a good experience for him.

Striking a pose after class

Practicing kicks

Learning balance
What did parents do before Google? Jonathan has been asking questions about the history of karate. Who did it first? How long ago? Unfortunately, even with Google the answers are very vague!

Don't forget to enter to win a 1 year subscrpition to Disney's "Family Fun" magazine before Nov. 5th!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween on Hartland

When my little boy decided last summer he wanted to be a cowboy for Halloween, I started working on his costume by gathering pieces to pull it all together. He is wearing his jeans and shirt, and the cowboy hat and boots are Goodwill finds. Bandanna was purchased using a 40% off coupon at Michael's. The spurs and string tie are from a Halloween store. The big score was the real suede chaps, which I happened upon at the children's consignment shop where I sell Jonathan's clothes. I just loved the chaps, and so did Jonathan! He loved all the fringe. What he really loved, though, was the rope lasso. Many thanks to the employee of our local Ace Hardware, who sold me the rope then stood there and made it into a lasso---all for $1.65!
Before heading out to trick-or-treat, I took him to our local Kroger to enter a costume contest.

We drove back home and headed down our street for some trick-or-treating. We only went to a few houses.
Then we returned home to hand out treats, which is truly Jonathan's favorite part of the evening.
We ran out of candy quickly, so I took him to a local chiropractor's office, where they had some games, another costume contest, and they were offering X-rays of the kids' candy. He got a kick out of seeing the candy X-rays!
It was a fun evening, with perfect weather. So far, he hasn't eaten even one piece of candy (I can't say the same about me!). He really isn't a candy lover, but he loves to sort it into groups of candy bars, lollipops, gum, etc.
He is already telling me that next year he wants to be a scientist. We'll see if he changes his mind.

If you have young children, I am sure you will enjoy Disney's "Family Fun" magazine! Be sure to enter for a 1 -year subscription before Nov. 5th!