Monday, November 30, 2009

I heart tooshies

The fine ladies at iheartfaces are turning things around this week. Literally! By popular demand, it's I Heart Tooshies week.

I'd hoped to use a cute one of the kidlet from her birthday party when she was crawling away from me and all you can see is the brown of her tights and onesie and then an explosion of tulle from her tutu. But that didn't look as good when I tried to crop and edit it (there were some toys in the foreground that were bothering me).

So I searched through my photos and found this one instead:

It's from our trip to the pumpkin patch in October and happens to contain my three favorite tooshies. The kiddo and the hub were pulling the wagon to pay for the pumpkins and the kidlet was having a blast "helping" by "pushing" the wagon. I tried out some different actions before I settled on this one. I like how it gives a faded feel.

Check out all the other cute tooshies at iheartfaces. You might even try and pinch a few through your screen!

Nervous and a new bed!

So last we met on Thursday, I was all excited about my new KitchenAid mixer and bemoaning the fact I had to get up early for insane Black Friday shopping.

The shopping went smashingly. Got all the deals I was looking for and my Christmas shopping is about 67% finished. Yay!

However, once we got home on Saturday, I started actually researching the mixer I bought. And I saw some unnerving things. That the motor burns out easily. That it leaks oil. That the gears strip and scatter metal shavings into whatever delicacy you're mixing at the time. Granted, out of nearly 700 reviews on Amazon, those only account for about 50 of them. But still, it's enough to give me pause.

And the kicker is that I saw the 90th anniversary mixer at the store (remember, they were sold out online) and was very tempted to buy it and then take the other one back once it arrived. But I decided against it. Now I really wish I would have. Argh. I'm always second guessing myself like that!

Oh well, as the hub tried to calm me down last night, he reminded me that ours could be perfectly fine. We don't even have it yet! Just in case, I've been hunting down old (and I mean old, like mid-60s) KA mixers on different auction sites.

One good thing came out of the weekend, at least. The hub and I bought a new bed.

Isn't it purty?

We've been using a cobbled-together monstrosity that the hub built himself with 2x6 boards and steel bolts the year he graduated college - 11 years ago. It does the job, but it sure ain't pretty. I saw the special in one of the furniture ads from this weekend and we went and looked at it yesterday after church.

It's solid, sturdy and looks a heckuva lot better than what we have now. Sold! It should be here tomorrow.

That will also be a good incentive to finally clean behind/under the bed and get rid of the army of dust bunnies that has slowly been mobilizing since our last major cleaning in May. We also need to fix and touch up some of the trim behind the bed. Just one (small) step closer to getting back to the farm!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful and I must be crazy

I am thankful.

I am thankful I have a loving and caring husband who drove two hours up to my parents even though he's not feeling 100% yet.

I am thankful I have two darling and hugely entertaining children that fill my life with love and smiles, even when they're crying and whiny and want to be held all the time.

I am thankful I have good health, a lovely home, a wonderful job, and a supportive family.

I am thankful for all of God's blessings He has given me.

I am thankful.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

A wonderful, large, tasty, filling Thanksgiving meal. And I've been grazing on pie the entire afternoon.

We browsed through the Black Friday ads after the meal. After my experience last year, I wasn't sure if I wanted to try it again, but there are some really good deals to be had.

The only problem is that we're at my parent's, which is nowhere near any major stores or shopping malls. So I will be getting up around 3 am tomorrow and driving half an hour to the nearest "city" so I can elbow people out of my way and grab my desired goods. Oy.

Thankfully, I was able to purchase one big item online. I've wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer for a long time, but could never justify the cost for one as we really don't have the room in our tiny little kitchen. But one of the department stores had a really good deal on one as a Black Friday special, and it was available online.

What I really wanted was the super cool 90th Anniversary mixer with the glass bowl, but that was sold out already. *pout* Instead, I got the 6qt professional series mixer for a good deal, including a $50 rebate, which made it just over half the original price.

Isn't it pretty? I still have no idea where I'm going to put it in my tiny kitchen, but I don't care anymore. Besides, I'll hopefully have a new, larger kitchen within a year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ode to a Crock Pot

Or the more fashionable term nowadays, the slow cooker.

Today was our annual Thanksgiving potluck at work, or as I like to think of it, the annual pre-Thanksgiving warm-up stomach stretch. We had ham, smoked turkey, party potatoes, baked beans, scalloped corn, rolls, potato salad, fruit, apple pie, caramel cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies.


As we have no oven and only have two microwaves at work, I brought my contributions (the ham and the party potatoes) in crock pots to heat them/keep them warm for the meal.

It worked wonderfully, even though I had to get up shortly after 6 to finish the potatoes and get the ham in so it would be thoroughly heated by the time we ate. Need I remind you I am *not* a morning person?

About 10 o'clock this morning, the lovely smell of ham was wafting through the office. By 11:30 the potatoes had joined them and I was practically drooling on my computer. It didn't help matters that my desk is right next to our "party" room (and by party room, I mean back office with the big table) so I was extremely close to the food.

I work with some great people, and we always have a good time when we have these little potlucks. Our hour-long lunch stretches an extra 30 minutes or so as we chit chat and give each other some good-natured ribbings.

The other bad thing about having a desk so close, is that the food is generally left out the rest of the afternoon, so I'll inevitably make my way back to the table three or four or five times for a bit of this or another taste of that or a mid-afternoon cookie.

Oh waistline, we had some good times this year. I'll miss you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh Lordy

I'm not used to little boys. I grew up with two sisters and all the accoutrements that accompany girls - Barbies, dress-up, playing Beauty Parlor, etc...

So I can't help it if I'm folding laundry and my darling little boy comes up to me and says "Hey mom, look at this" and has his pants pulled down to show off his goods, I laugh so hard I start crying. Even though I know that just encourages him and I should be parenting him. And I have to try and compose myself to tell him that we keep our private parts in our pants unless we're going potty. But I start laughing again, because little girls just don't do that!

And then, the hub comes in from taking the dog outside to go potty and I start laughing/crying again because I have to recount the entire story for him.

Oh Lordy. These children. I love my children, but oh man. They don't tell you about these moments when you're taking those prenatal classes at the hospital. And I think I want another one? I better hope it's another girl. I can handle those, I don't know what I'd do with another boy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My current obsession (which means that's what I do at work instead of actually working) is looking at house plans online.

As we're hopefully moving back to my little hometown in the next 4-6 months, we've been see-sawing on whether to build or buy a house. In the country. On an acreage.

There aren't that many houses for sale in my hometown on acreages. Not houses you'd let two troublesome children run around in anyway.

So I've been drooling over house plans instead. We (and by we I mean me) have a list of things we Must Have and things we Would Really Like.

Our Must Haves:
- two-car garage
- open floor plan
- 4 BR
- at least 2 bath, 3 would be better
- large kitchen
- fireplace
- some sort of outside entertaining space, be it a porch or deck or patio

Our Would Really Like:
- finished basement
- high ceilings
- lots of windows
- mudroom with shower
- some sort of separate office space

We'd also like to incorporate some "green" elements to the house, such as recycled wood floors and possibly geothermal heat. 

Our current house is charming. It's 90+ years old, has wonderful hardwood floors, 10' ceilings on the first floor and oodles of character. It also has one teeny tiny full bath and a small kitchen. And no garage. Well, it has a garage, but it's not large enough for us to park in. So it's a storage shed for the lawnmower and snowblower and table saw and all that good homeowner-y stuff.

Part of me is really excited about the prospect of building a new house that's exactly what we want. Part of me wants to throw up because it's also really expensive to build a new house and while the cost of living will decrease when we move, so will our income. Unless I can come up with some brilliant solution for what I'm going to do when we move.

So many things to think about!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Raising Arizona

A few photos of my trip to Phoenix. My camera was on the fritz, so I didn't get as many photos as I'd liked. Of course, it would choose to wig out during one of our hikes when I actually wanted to take numerous photos. Oh well...

The "mountain" we hiked on Saturday morning gave a great view of downtown Phoenix. Unfortunately, it was still hazy and the view wasn't very clear.

Put yer hands up! I just liked the shadow the cactus made behind it.

A weak attempt at sun flare. Need more practice with that one.

And Murphy, my friends' Great Dane.

I took the camera with me this weekend to the farm, but didn't take a single photo. How sad is that? I was gone all day Saturday and opted for a nap on Sunday afternoon instead. Next time, I guess...

This and That

I feel like I haven't had time for a proper post lately. We've been here and there and everywhere the last few weeks. I took the kiddos up to my parent's this past weekend so grandma could babysit and I could go to the final football game of the year (thanks Grandma!) The hub came up the next day and has been helping my dad with farm work. It's good practice for next year.

We have some big decisions coming up in the next few months:
- when to move
- to build or to buy
- what will I do? Stay at home? Freelance? Find a job in town/in a nearby town?

So many things to think about!

One of the good things is the outside of our house is finally DONE! We had the exterior repainted and a new roof put on. It took ages because the weather decided to quit cooperating sometime in mid September, but now it's finished and it looks lovely! The color went from a strange butterscotch to a lovely olivey-brown. The flashing around the chimney is fixed so that means no more water in our bedroom! And the hub has been slowly working on refinishing the screened-in-porch upstairs. We have some touch-up work to do inside (okay, a lot of touch-up work in some rooms) but then it will be all ready to put on the market. The most difficult thing will be keeping it presentable for showings. Not too easy with two boisterous children running around.

I'm excited about the next chapter in our lives. Nervous, but excited.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I heart faces - Thankfulness

Each month, the fabulous ladies at iheartfaces take a week off from the challenges and post a generic "My Story in Photos" theme  for the week. It being November and all that, it's only fitting the theme this week is Thankfulness.

I'm thankful for many things: my wonderful husband, my goofy kiddo and my independent kidlet. The warm, dry weather that's finally allowing for harvest. The gracious gifts that God has given me.

But right now I'm especially thankful for my family.

And for doctors. Because without them, I wouldn't have the sassy niece on the far right.

Right now my nephew (the one in the middle who's actually kind of smiling in a picture for once!) is on his way to a larger children's hospital 30 minutes away from where we live (and 90 minutes from where my oldest sister lives) due to complications from pneumonia he contracted after having the flu. I'm thankful they're doing everything they can to make sure he gets better. I'm thankful we have the resources nearby that allow for him to get better.

I am thankful that I am blessed with a wonderful family. We support one another, we care for each other, and we have fun together. I hope that I can build the same kind of relationships with my own children and they feel the same towards their siblings.

When my sister calls, saying they're at the hospital, I'll offer to do whatever she needs to make their stay easier. I know she would do the same for me. Because we're family, and that's just how we are. And I'm so thankful for that.

See what other people are thankful for over at iheartfaces.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where I've been

I managed to find a great deal on a ticket to Phoenix to fly out and see one of my good friends from college. So that's what I did last weekend.

I flew out on Thursday afternoon (with a layover in Denver) and arrived in Phoenix around 8:30.

I don't mind flying, it's kind of fun.

And you get to see some great scenery.

I had a great time in Arizona. My friend and I hiked two mornings, went shopping, went out to eat, went shopping again, and just had fun. I hadn't seen her since last March (more than 18 months ago), but it's always like no time has passed when we get together.

It was difficult to leave the 85-degree weather and come home on Sunday (on an early morning flight no less!) but I managed to make it, despite a very bumpy connecting flight from Denver to Iowa.

Home sweet home state.

The hub and the kids went to the ILs so the hub could help FIL with his field work and the kids could wear out Grandma. I do believe both were accomplished. This weekend we have plans to head up to my parents so the hub can help my dad with their field work. It's been an unusually late harvest due to weather, and help is always appreciated. Besides, it's good training for the hub for next year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fly by

With baking and Halloween and recovering from Halloween and the time change, I haven't hardly had a chance to post.

We had a muscle-bound Spiderman:

A darling butterfly (who wouldn't stand still for a picture):

A Progressive Insurance Flo:

And a live Rick Roll (which was great in theory, notsomuch in execution):

It was a fun weekend. And I think I could get used to wearing a bumpit more often, but can pass on the black eyeliner and red lipstick.