Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Sad to See January Go

When I was a child, January and February were my least favorite months of the year. The build-up to Christmas was over and the winter doldrums had set it. I guess is didn't help that I spent 99% of my childhood in Alaska and Washington.

As an adult, I have come to love January. For the last few years, I start getting excited about the new projects and goals that I want to do. Life also slows down a little in January, the boys aren't involved in sports and we spend more nights at home. My new projects/goals included: Organization, meal planning, couponing, working on our food storage, and expanding my doll clothes business.

This is what I did this month:

Organization- Last year I worked on organizing and purging my whole house. Many boxes of stuff left this house, but for some reason I need to do it again. I started by tackling the biggest challenge I have, The paper tiger. I am still working on finding a system that works for me, but this is a job that needs to be done every time paper is let into the house.

I discovered several wonderful blogs and websites on organizing. One of the coolest ideas that I have adopted is the Household Notebook. I have a thing for 3-ring binders, and page protectors. I already use them to organize recipes, decorating ideas, scrapbooking ideas, fashion inspirations and other things. I bought a cool binder at Office Max and some specialized page protectors. It has a calendar, to do lists, medical information, addresses and phone numbers and many other categories. I am very excited about this project.

Meal Planning- I am in the process of organizing my recipes and trying new recipes. We had a lot of meals made in the slow cooker this month. Most of them got two thumbs up from the family.

We finished off a #10 can of wheat. We ate wheat berry casserole, blender pancakes, and I baked bread twice using my new Bosch mixer and the grain grinder that I bought two years ago and had never used.

I make hot cereal at least once a week. Nathan loves oatmeal and vanilla ice cream in the morning.

I used up a few things in the freezer that needed to get used, crab cakes, slow cooked ribs and strawberry rhubarb pie in the winter were a hit.

Couponing- I decided to try to shop the sales at the local grocery stores and use coupons with them. That lasted a whole two weeks because when I compared the sale prices at Safeway with the commissary's prices, the commissary won. I'm clipping more coupons though and found some great coupons online for things that I buy all the time, but never see coupons for. I am also expecting a $25.00 rebate check in the mail. Sweet!

My Doll Business- I finished 24 of these and sold 18 of them in two days. I kept 4 for myself. I also finished two patterns. I started working on my long list of commissions and hope to be done with them soon.

We also threw an awesome, disco rollerskating birthday party for Travis and Marcus. Never mind that their birthdays were in November. I am calling it a late/early birthday party. Shhhh don't tell them that it counts for this year too!

I didn't lose much weight this month unless I count the stuff I got rid of in the house. My house may be even messier than usual, since I started Spring cleaning the entry way of the house, but I feel good about what I got done in January.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Negative Weekend

It really wasn't as bad as my title suggests, but I dealt with a lot of negatives this past weekend. Bert's change of command is in three weeks and one of the traditions at the dinner the night before the outgoing skipper's change of command is a slide show of photos of the skipper's life. I have been thinking about this project for a long time and I finally got around to gathering up Bert's childhood, navy career, and family photos. We didn't buy a digital camera until 2003, so there are a lot of negatives to go through.

Since I am a scrapbooking geek, most of my pictures are in scrapbooks. I lifted a few photos out of the books and scanned them, but I use to crop my photos a lot. Bert bought me a scanner years ago that scans negatives, but it is very time consuming. This weekend I multi-tasked on the computer. I scanned negatives, edited photos, organized them into categories, blogged, sold doll clothes, and read blogs about organizing my house all at the same time!

Here are a few beauties I found in the archives.

1996, Bert and Nathan the day Bert came home from his six month cruise.

Bert holding my bouquet

Bert going through naval flight school

Darth Bert

Bert at about 5 years old

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

I started this blog almost a week ago, but I was rudely kick off the computer by my 9th grader who needed to do his math homework. Whatever! What is more important? Hmmm.. Then I forgot about my unfinished Christmas post and was about to write about all my awesome ideas for the new year, but I need to finish this post first.

I spent most of Tuesday finally taking down Christmas. My kids were bummed, Travis said the house looks bare. I am usually glad to put all the Christmas decorations away each year. I love having them out, but after a month I am ready to declutter.

We had a wonderful Christmas, the best part was having Bert home. Being married to an airline pilot usually means you never know what the holidays are going to be like.

I let him put up the tree. He was so excited!

The boys didn't let us forget about St. Nick's day.

Lego's are always a hit with Travis

Travis was an elf in his school winter concert. I had to order him an elf costume, he wore it non-stop during Christmas.

Marcus at his first piano recital.

I had to work harder than usual to get my yearly photo of the boys with Santa. For the past few years I have been able to take them to the Navy Exchange for a free photo with Santa. A couple of weeks before Christmas I went into the NEX to find out when Santa would be there. I looked everywhere, I finally saw Santa working at one of the registers. I asked him about the photos and he told me that the powers that be at the NEX had decided that they didn't have room this year in the store for his chair. What!!!!!!! No room for Santa!!!!! They filled his usual spot with more shelves of those stupid gifts like tins of cookies, and body wash sets. Bah Humbug! Is what I say.

So we had to take the boys to the mall. Price of one photo- $18.00, price of Nathan's bribe to agree to be in a photo of Santa-$5.00, Mommy getting her yearly Santa photo- priceless. I haven't missed a year yet.

Our ward did something very different this year, they had a nativity play on Christmas Eve. I loved it. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve. I wish more people had attended and felt the wonderful spirit that was there. Travis played all three inn keepers, and Marcus was one of the Three Wise Men.

The Three Wise Guys.

The boys tried to get Bert and I up at 4:00 am Christmas morning. I was so mad! I put my foot down and made them all wait until 5:45.

Travis and his loot.

Santa gave everyone suckers with scorpions in them. Travis actually ate his.

Nathan was jealous of Marcus' Boba Fett helmut. Maybe next year you can get one if your very good Nathan.