Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today I learned...

a valuable lesson. I learned that when friendships are strained and you unfriend someone on facebook (damn you fb!) that that can set of a war of nasty exchanges. I did it quietly. I was then asked why I did it. I was honest. I said it was because the friendship had changed and I didn't feel that there was much there at the moment. I was tired of seeing things posted that seem to be passive aggressive.

I was then a victim of retaliation. Yes, I know. How ridiculous at our ages!? We try to teach our girls and kids that bullying is not ok, etc. With things like FB and Twitter and Yelp, the opportunities are endless for someone to be aggressive, passive aggressive or just plain mean. I found out that VERY soon after a message exchange, a picture was put up on this person's page about drama. A few girls (from that Mom's group I talked about before) immediately responded. One comment included calling a "female" "crazy". One said that they wish they could just start tagging people. It went on from there. I am sure you get the picture. Pardon the pun! :)

It was hurtful. I felt like I was back in the 5th grade, but I'm not. I am 35. How ridiculous is that? My daughter overheard me talking about this to my husband and said, "Let's punch her." I said, "Why would we do that? That isn't nice" She said, "Well, she is a mean girl. We should punch her." This shocked me! I don't talk like that. But, I also realized that maybe as humans, it is an instinct to want to get even? I don't know.

I asked this person why she would do this and to please stop. She denied it was referring to me. I don't believe her. I just chose not to argue with her about it because it would get me nowhere. In talking to my other half, he pointed out to me that I shouldn't want to be friends with someone who would allow other women to talk about me in that manner. If X was really my friend, even if she was mad, she should have stood up and said, "hey, not on my page" or "that isn't about her". But she didn't. Instead, she took on this Mean Girl mentality and they all chimed in like a pack of wild animals, chomping at the bit to badmouth someone. Me. I so wanted to scream, HEY GIRLS! X has said SO many things about you over the last year, even in the last month or so! She doesn't want to be "friends" with you, she wrote that, too! Would you like to read it???

However, I'm not going to. I want to. One day she will realize that they aren't her friends. That they are there when it works for them, not for good and bad. (Same as it was before)

In the meantime, I will move on. I will grieve, but I will move on. I have to set an example for my kids.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is October over?

I am not going to lie. This mom of 4 is ready to be done with October. I am over it. O V E R it. Yes, yes, I am bitter sounding, I know. Normally I want October to last and last. I love Fall. I love Halloween. This year I just feel like I haven't gotten to enjoy any of it. I know, boohoo.

I am ready for this:
Free Printables at Inviting Printables

and this:

I just think that is gorgeous, don't you? I busted my youngest son singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" yesterday. :)
How cool is that? Apparently, upside down trees are all the rage.
and this beauty... WOW. I got this off of Pinterest, but when I looked at the link, it brought me to this I am not sure if it is valid or not. I couldn't find the picture on their website. So I hope I am not doing something illegal, but like I said, I got that on Pinterest. I'd like to give credit where it's due, if I knew for sure. :) Thank you Pinterest! SO many ideas out there. I am looking forward to decorating my house in a few weeks. What are some ideas that some of you have? What is your favorite decoration to put up?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gas Hot Water Heater--Appliances hate me cont'd.

Have I mentioned that Hubs is not "handy"? lol.  Love him. But he isn't "handy". After spending hours looking up and looking at different water heaters, we lucked out and found a Mom and Pop shop that carried the same brand that we had. We had looked into getting a Whirlpool one, but weren't sure and Lowe's had NO ONE around in that department. NO ONE. It was annoying.

We headed out to St. Peters and the owner of this Plumbing Supply company was EXTREMELY helpful. We got a 50gallon heater to replace the 40 gallon. He made sure we had the right tape (Teflon) and the bolts, too. Just a side note: we realized that a 40gal is really only good for 3-4 people. We have 6 people in our family and technically our house has 4 bathrooms, including a garden tub (which holds 40 gallons itself), 3 showers and 2 tubs. (2 showers have a tub, too). At some point in our house, it is possible that 4 people will be showering or bathing. (I will have teens in a few years. I hope they shower!!)

The difference in price was only $40. SO WORTH IT. Hub's cousin came over on Saturday and they spent about 4 hrs putting the new one in. They accidentally flooded my storage area (grrr) but I forgave them. HA! I mean, in the end, a little water is a small price to pay when we just saved $600. Oh, and I had to make the cousin a bologna and cheese sandwich. :)

For someone who is handy or knows what they are doing, 4 hrs would probably NOT be a typical time. This was a gas one, too. They were extremely careful and took their time to make sure there wouldn't be gas leaks or anything else.

Needless to say, this was still an expensive weekend, but easily HALF the amount of what we would have spent if we hadn't done it ourselves. The heater is working great, in fact, we had to turn it down a bit because I burned myself when we turned the water on. ouch.

Youtube is your friend. I am telling you, it's what helped me fix my shower leak a few months back and what helped us hang our kitchen light when it crapped out, too, this year. :) If only it made ACs. Haha!

I wish I could give you a step by step, but I stayed away. They had blow torches out at one point because the old unit had a piece that would not come off and so they heated it up to loosen it. Or so they say. We all know how boys get around their "toys". Any excuse to use a blow torch!

The Appliances Hate Me

This past week my cell, my oven and my hot water heater crapped out on me. Thank you to At&t who let me do an upgrade 3 months early. (Their suggestion, not mine). Can you believe it???

Then came the bad part.... we had 2 estimates done on Friday for the hot water heater. One company said $1150. Another company said $1000. I then called Lowe's and Lowe's said $820ish. HomeDepot said $950-1150. I screamed and then I screamed some more. I broke out in hives on my neck. NO joke. I was a mess. A MESS. What the fudge, people? In a matter of 7 days, I needed $2k. Fuuuuuddddddge.

Let me tell ya, google and youtube are.your.friends. I googled "oven won't heat up" and a few other little plays on that and basically it said it is USUALLY one of 3 things. The baking element, the control panel or the broiler element. Well, hubs had already said he thought it was the baking element. I called a local appliance place and they had a NEW baking element in stock. YES! $50? Ok! Sold. When I called Marcone's, they wanted $76 plus shipping.

We get home with the element, hubs takes the backing off the stove and we see burn marks on the insulation. Again, WTFudge???

 So we both looked at each other and thought oh crap, we are going to need a new stove. I called my notso generally handy around the house dad and he said no problem, probably can be fixed, I have done this before and had to pull back a few wires or what not.  I was seeing hope. Real hope.
This is the part that broke.

Hope was good. My dad came over today and said ours looked a lot better than his ever did. *insert angels singing* Within 15 mins he had replaced the baking element and the stove hit 350* in no time. *HUGE sigh of relief* (Can you feel the stress start to leave????)

This is it's $50 replacement. :)
Tools! Must have tools to remove it!

Do'nt mind the dirty oven, we cleaned it after we got this out. 
ETA: See those silver connetors? My dad accidentally dropped one in the trash can and we couldn't find it. Lowe's and HD carry a packet of like 16, for cheap. CHEAP. So hubs and dad ran over there really quickly and grabbed a pack. 

I have pics: will post them tomorrow. It was a bit scary as to what we saw on our stove and I want you to see it, too. Not going to lie, we were thinking that it was shot and that there was going to be some sort of electrical fire. Apparently, this is normal.

to be continued... (plus, I will need to tell you about the hot water heater)
ETA: Updated with pics!  Oven is clean and is working just in time for all of the holiday baking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Frogs, Snakes and Grasshoppers

Good morning! We had a WONDERFUL weekend this past weekend. Saturday we went to Grant's Farm's Halloween shindig. It was a blast. I especially like the part at the end where each adult got their choice of 2 "samples" of AB/Inbev beer. :) I had Shock Top. YUM YUM YUM. The sample sizes were probably a good 10 oz. if not 12. Again, yum.

On Sunday my husband came up with the idea to have a picnic at one of our nearby favorite parks. This park has a beautiful creek. See how pretty it is????

Monday was our 2nd son's 8th birthday. He loves fried chicken, catching frogs, fishing, etc. He is ALL boy. :) I went and picked up some fried chicken for him and some juices and we headed to the park/creek. (they had no idea we were going)

Here he is, happily eating chicken. lol.

Then it was time to catch all of those fun boy things...

Eeeeew! But the kids had fun and that's what it was all about. We spent roughly 3 hrs there and there was NO FIGHTING!!! Can you believe it? NO fighting???? I about fainted. It was FANTASTIC.

What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaving the Mom's Group and Cutting Ties

So for quite some years I belonged to a Mom's group. It was really great in the beginning. Everyone got along and it didn't feel clique-ish or anything. In the beginning. Obviously when you get a group of 20 women together it doesn't stay that way for long. People left, some stayed, some new ones came. Things were changing constantly. I decided I didn't like where it was going and I left.

Then a year or so ago, I decided to rejoin. My 3 boys were in school and it was just me and my baby girl. At one point some of the originals (like me) left. So then it was me and a handful of other moms. Some of the moms that were left were...drama filled. I am just going to put it that way. 2 of the moms always rubbed me the wrong way. I never got a good vibe off of the one, for sure. They quit the group and then it was down to less than 10 moms. At this point, I was just plain aggravated. Things got better for a while and then at the end of the last school year...well, it started to go to hell again.

I think I am just in a different spot again. I don't NEED this group and I don't want to put up with some of the petty BS that goes on. Some women seem almost possessive of our friendships and it has gotten really hard for me to deal with. I don't like that. I think I have just outgrown it. Really. So I left. However, there's this thing called Facebook....somehow we seem to "invite" one another (or all 5 or so) to go to the park or go to dinner, etc. Some people seem really sensitive right now that if you don't reply within their certain time frame, then they get upset. They get upset if you write on someone else's board or go do something with someone else. In the meantime, they are doing that as well. My thought is that you can't have it both ways.

It's just become a pissing contest, in my opinion. It's very sad that we all seemed to have this tight bond and then POOF. It's gone. Things won't be the same. I am all for POSITIVE changes. I am. I have made some for myself this year, as a matter of fact. I don't feel like I need a million "close" friends. I am good with having a handful. I am also fine with staying at home with my family.

But how do you let go of some of the friendships when Facebook is involved as well? I am in a different spot than I was last year. I like a lot of these women, don't get me wrong. However, things have changed. Do you limit what they can see on your wall? Do you leave FB the same? What do you do? How do you move on without being mean or hurtful?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Fun

Good morning! (Well, almost afternoon). :)

Did you have a good weekend? We did! Thank goodness we are all over the HORRIBLE flu! That was one miserable week. We didn't have enough "sick buckets" to go around. (Not really, but you get the idea)

Saturday I participated in the city-wide garage sale. I guess I did ok, but was really surprised to find that people weren't grabbing up all of the 25 cent shirts I had out. There were quite a few BRAND NEW WITH TAGS shirts (from places like TCP) that I marked at 25 cents and people just weren't buying. It sucked. I am really disappointed I didn't sell more. I closed up shop at 11am. I was pretty disappointed, the kids were about done with it and I just felt the need to move on. I am NOT a good garage saler seller. :p I hate it. lol.

Yesterday we went fishing and I actually got burnt. Yes! A sunburn. I know, I know, imagine that on my pasty white skin. SHOCKER. It was a beautiful day and I could have easily stayed outside for hours and just laid there in the grass...but did not. Homework, dinner, cleaning etc were screaming at me. All of the things that I had neglected from last week. blah blah blah, A mom's work is never done!

I thought these flowers were just gorgeous yesterday. I wish I had had my camera and not just my cell camera. :)

This week is going to be busy with me trying to catch up on everything and get a few projects that I have half done, completely done. What do you have going on for your week?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rainy Saturday

Good Morning!

Hurricane Isaac has been in force for a few days now. Luckily where I live, it isn't near any of the places that will get/have gotten hardest hit. We have actually gotten rain here yesterday and now today. I have heard that we will be getting anywhere from 3-5 inches TODAY! Wowsers. That is a lot of rain considering we haven't seen rain for weeks on end.... I have to say, that except for the issues it causes me with my allergies, I am LOVING a lazy Saturday because of the rain. :)

I can NOT wait for John to get home. I love having a 3 day weekend! Although, for him, there is no such thing usually. :( He will still have to work Monday. But, that's ok, we need the "extra" money. 

I mentioned on Thursday that I was back in school. I am finally going to go for my Legal Studies degree. I would like to work as a Paralegal for a small law firm that deals with Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy. I love that sort of stuff. I don't want to work full time because I want to be able to be home for my kids for the most part. John has been offered a few times now to retire early, since he already has 30 years in at his job, but because our kids are so young (and really, he is, too, in the grand scheme of things) we can't afford for him to. Plus, the health benefits are SO worth him working. My income will be to help supplement for when he does actually retire. Does that make sense? I am sure some of you are going, WHAT? Just exactly how old is this guy? He's not 50....yet. :) He has only had one job his whole life and this is it. 

Anyhoo, gotta think of our futures and our kids' futures. What are you doing to prepare for the future?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Doing It All; A Balancing Act

As a mom and a woman, I think most of us feel like we need to be able to do it all. I know that at times I am really hard on myself if I can't do it all because I think I SHOULD be able to. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. 

This morning one of my friends on FB posted a link to a blog and another mom wrote about this. (Isn't it funny how things are put in front of your face at certain times when you need it??? Can you say God works in mysterious ways?) 

Anyhoo, I have been struggling with balancing everything. 3 kids in school, homework for them, homework for me for my classes, the regular "mom" stuff, things at home/during the day with my daughter, making sure I have time with my husband, time for other family relationships and friendships. 

This past week or 2 has been spent getting everyone adjusted to being back on stricter schedules. SO far, KNOCK ON WOOD, things have been ok. We had one morning where one of the boys couldn't find shoes and I took the other boys to school, and he came home and spent an hour looking for shoes. FAIL. But I was NOT going to do it for him. (Love and Logic works wonders at times for them and for my own sanity). We will do another post on that on another day.

I have realized that I CAN NOT DO IT ALL. Only God can. The harder I try, the worse it gets. So I have to let go of wanting to be Mrs. June Cleaver and realize that I am "only" Mrs. Claudia. My family is the most important part of my life. I am NOT perfect and I will admit that. I would love to have a sparkling clean house where you could eat off the floors if you'd like. I'd love to have all of the kids' clothes hung up and put away nice and neat (speaking of which, why don't dryers automatically fold clothes for you??). I'd like to have perfect meals made daily. I'd like to be the perfect wife to my husband. I'm just not perfect. But I try. I get up every day and I try. That's all you can do. 

This life isn't about having it all and it being easy. I feel like I have a lot. For the most part, I am content.  I am not one to try and keep up with the Joneses. Although, if we had more money, it would be alot easier, (haha!) but I think a lot of people are in our spot, too. 

So for all of you moms and women out there who want it all but feel like you will never get there or you have made a mess of things, you aren't alone. I have had to change some of my expectations and you know what? Once I did, things seem to be a bit easier. 

Today I am thankful for acceptance. I am thankful that I can accept the fact that I am where I am and can only do what I can do. :)

Just remember when you visit, *Don't mind the mess, our kids are making memories*

Have a great day! 

Linked to:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to school, Back to school

(said in my best "Billy Madison" voice).

Hello again, blogland! School is back in session today. It's awfully quiet here with just my baby girl.

I have been consistently working out at the gym on Mondays and Wednesday mornings for the last couple of months. Mmm April or May, I think. I hate cardio. Love weights. :) Go figure.

I DID complete my first 5k EVER this weekend. Didn't do wonderful, but did NOT come in last. It seems the 5k gods were against were wrong and my right arm and hand went numb and swelled up. lol. But I pushed through and finished. Hoping to start the C25K program here next week.

I have also registered for school this classes start next week. It's been 11 years since I have been in school. YIKES. I am nervous and excited all at the same time. I am only taking 6 hrs this semester though. I want to be able to be with my kids etc.

I promise now that we are in a routine again that I will start blogging on a more consistent basis. I have SO many projects and recipes to share that I did over the summer!!!

What are you guys up to??

Friday, June 29, 2012

SO far behind

Here I am again...I have a few "drafts" saved of blogs I was going to post or had started to post and never finished. Yikes.

We are in the middle of getting a new roof, well, dealing with the claims and the stupid mortgage company. Our insurance co is the BEST. THE BEST. We have had ZERO issues, ever, with them. However, the Mtg Co is a bit of a pain. Hopefully our roof will be put on next Friday. Then again, it has been 107* for the last 2 days and it doesn't look like it is getting any cooler than 95 in the next week. :( BRING ON FALL!!! I guess I forgot to mention that we had an AC that crapped out on us. GUH. We still have to get it replaced. If anyone has a few thousand dollars that you feel like throwing my way... :)

Speaking of Fall, I went to Michael's Wed. (do you hear the birds singing???) I haven't been in a few weeks so I just now saw that they have FALL stuff out! Yippeeeeee! I LOVE FALL. I have so many ideas floating around in my head, I need to just put them down on paper instead of having 500 bookmarks! lol.

Things have been good here, minus the Poison Ivy incident. Youngest son got PI and then had an allergic reaction secondary to the allergic reaction to the PI. I know, right??? It was a bad week that week!

How is your summer going? Any big plans? Hope everyone is staying cool!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Last night I made Shredded Chicken Tacos. I will have to make them again as I didn't take pics of each step,etc. Today I took some of the leftovers and piled them on top of my cole slaw mix. It was plain mix, with no dressing or whatever on it. :wink:

I took about 8 chicken breasts and put them in my crockpot with some seasoning. I put some water (about 3c) and a bouillon cube in there with it. (This was in case I decided to make something else with the chicken) Turned it on HIGH and cooked for 5 hrs. When it was done, it FELL apart. FELL apart, peeps. I didn't have to "shred" much at all. I did have to drain some of the liquid though. I then used 2 packets of Taco seasoning and mixed it all in together.

Took a taco shell, put some cheese on the bottom and then the shredded chicken on top. Oh...yeah, I did add a little bit of sour cream, too. I was out of salsa. :(

Even DH liked these and he is NOT a chicken kind of guy. He LOVES his beef. Seriously. Loves. Beef. He even had some today for lunch! That is the real test of whether or not it was good. Lol.

If I still have some left over, I will post a pic with the cole slaw mix. It is YUMMMMY.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Good morning! How was your Easter? Or your weekend, if you don't celebrate Easter...

My family and I all went to mass yesterday TOGETHER, which made me VERY happy. :) When Mama's happy, life is better, right? Or however that saying goes. HA!

Anyhoo. I needed to bring a dessert to my Mama's house and I was in the mood for cheesecake. I came up with this little diddy. Yes, I know it has been done before, but not MY way. :) Apparently chocolate crusts were on everyone's minds this weekend because Walmart was out of the ready made ones (gasp) and even the graham crackers that are chocolate. I had to improvise. This is what I found:
Yes, that's right. Chocolate Animal crackers.

 So I used those to make the crust, along with 1/4 c sugar and 1 stick of butter. I used about 2 cups (AFTER CRUSHED) animal crackers.
 Mixed them together (after melting the butter of course) and the results:

 Press that into the glass pan and Bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins or 300 degrees for 20 mins.
 OOPS, forgot to mention the chocolate chips! Throw 1 cup of choc chips on top!

  3/4 c sugar and 3 pkgs of lower fat cream cheese (AS IF that helps!~ lol) and 3 eggs

 1 cup of sour cream
 A beer for mommy....

 Mix with the mixer and spread on top of the crust.

Bake at 300 degrees for 50 mins.
I topped with melted caramel and melted chocolate chips as well as some non melted choc chips. :) no nuts as my sister is allergic!

 So from the beginning:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Take a sip of beer or wine. Whatever your preference is. 
While doing that....
2 cups crushed chocolate animal crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick melted butter
Mix and press into the pan/glass dish. Bake for 10 mins.
Take a sip of beer.

3 8oz pkgs of SOFTENED Cream Cheese (low fat, high fat, doesn't matter :)
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
Mix with your mixer until smooth. Take a sip of beer. Your crust should be done and let it sit and cool. (about 20 mins) Turn your oven down to 300 degrees. Take a sip or 3 of your beer.
Sprinkle a cup of chocolate chips on the top and then pour the filling over.

Bake for 50 mins at 300 degrees. Make sure the cheesecake does not wiggle or jiggle in the middle. It is done if it is wiggle free!

Let it cool in the fridge for at least 4 hrs. In the meantime, finish your beer!

I took 1 cup or so of chocolate chips (or you could use Hot Fudge Ice Cream topping) and melted it with 1 TBL of butter in a pan. I also used about 20 Caramels and melted those with about 2 TBL of milk in a pot.Heat the caramel up enough but not until it is boiling. Stir and drizzle over the top of the cheesecake. I did the same with the chocolate chips, but I also added a tiny amount of  Gulf Wax into the chocolate chips to give it a more smooth look (Did you know that trick???). I then drizzled over the top of the caramel.

It would have been easier to use the jars of stuff, but when have I ever taken the easy route??? lol. I then refrigerated it for another 2 hrs.

Monday, April 2, 2012

3 months sabbatical?

Yummmy. Can you tell it's lunch time? This is just one of the recipes I made in the last couple of months that I am going to post about. Wait until you see the finished pic. ;) 

::smh:: wow, a 3 month sabbatical? I have thought about blogging, but haven't gotten around to it. oops. :(

Since the beginning of the year, we have done a few things. Added a new kitchen light, took an old one down, painted my baby girl's room, hung a few pics, planted a few flowers, had a few pics taken, etc etc. ;) I hope I can get a few posts in this week to catch up on the last 3 months and my projects.

Oh and one project, eh hem, myself, hasn't really changed. Although I did buy a package of 10 workouts with my former trainer. So...I guess that is a new-old thing. Of course, it's a new month so a new start to my constant struggle with weight loss. More on that later....

For now, a sneak peek:

The Princess Room. Well, part of it.

Sneak peak for St Patty's day.

Part of the light fixture in the kitchen. One of those damn fluorescent ones.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Rules

Bought it at Kohl's so I didn't lose my $30 Kohl's cash. :) Normally I would make it but I thought hey, I have this "cash" and it expires Jan 2nd, so I bought it.

These are our "Rules" that we are adopting this year. I put this in our foyer, so everyone can see it when they walk in. Kids included. We all need a daily reminder of certain things.

I do hope that today is NOT a clue as to how 2012 is going to be for me. Goodness sakes. My phone stopped accepting text messages the last 3 days, I accidentally poured power steering fluid in the brake reservoir, and some creep just came by and took a pic of our house. ::blink:: If it wasn't 2pm in the afternoon, I would have a drink! Lol.

So that's what's new for me in the first couple of days of the new year. lol. How about you?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Eve

We had a great time at home last night. We had an indoor snowball fight, we built a fort, watched movies and had a Wii dance off with Just Dance 2. GOOD TIMES. lol. Of course, Hubby passed out right before midnight, but 3 of the kids were still awake at midnight. They finally passed out before 12:15 am though. Geesh! But we heard alot of fireworks so that didn't help. ;)

How cool is this? Santa brought it for the kids this year. I have realized after TRYING to put this up last night, that I am MUCH better at making forts out of snow. My inside fort was not. so. good. FAIL. lol. But my kids loved it and weren't critical of it, so I guess that's really all that matters.

The indoor snowball kit is THE BEST. My kids asked to do it again today. So we did. I am going to see if I can find more snowballs to add to it. Six snowballs really only allows each of us one to start. :)

Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years Eve!