Monday, August 31, 2009

Applesauce!



Yesterday while the kids were napping Mike and I made and canned applesauce. His parents have an apple tree and they are kind to us and share their apples. :)

Making applesauce is pretty easy... but it takes some time and can be a bit messy.

You start out by cutting the apples and boiling them until they are soft.



Then you put them into the "thing"... I have no idea what it is called for real but it is amazing and makes the job so easy. All you have to do is turn the crank and it takes out all the junk (seeds/peel/core) and leaves you with some yummy, yummy applesauce.



Then you fill up your jars and put them in boiling water for 20-25 minutes. When the time is up, pull them out to cool and listen to the popping of the lids as the seal.



It takes time but the applesauce is the best we ever had... so it makes it all worth it. Not to mention that it is fun to work with Micheal while making the applesauce. It's like a project and we accomplish something together.









Workin it out.

I've been going to they YMCA four or five mornings a week now for some time. I enjoy it. It fits great in our day. The kids get to play with other kids, I get to be around some adults... and the days we don't get to go just seem REALLLLY LONG.

Well this week the gym is closed... for their annual cleaning. No kidding. They shut down the whole place. You would think they would be smarter than that. Don't they know that if you take a week off of exercise and get out of the routine that it can be VERY hard to get back in to it!?!? Of course they gave us a list of other YMCA's that we could use for the week but they are 45 minutes away. No thank you.

So I will be missing my aerobics classes this week... BUT... I have made a friend in those classes and we are walking at the park instead this week. :)

Yay for a new friend for me and one for Liza and Jason as well!



Sunday, August 30, 2009

I am blessed.

I have the most wonderful husband in the whole world! No kidding... he takes first. I'm standing by that and you won't be able to convince me to budge. (I also have the cutest boy and cutest girl in the world haha.)

It is so great to be married to someone who knows me... knows my heart, knows what I am and what I am not. He is supportive, understanding and often my voice of sanity.

He is patient when I need him to be patient. Strong when I need strength. Understanding all the time. He listens as I ramble on and on about nothing... really actually LISTENS! He accepts me just as I am and encourages me as I grow and change... but never forces or demands the change. He loves me unconditionally. And I never have to tell him to take the garbage out. :)

He is my best friend and I couldn't imagine spending my life with any one else.





Saturday, August 29, 2009

Walls.

I've dealt with a lot of hurt in my life. I used to have walls around my heart... and not just little walls... MASSIVE walls. Thick and high. No one was aloud in. It was safer to keep them on the outside. They couldn't hurt me from out there. I wasn't necessarily happy living this way... but I wasn't adding any extra hurt.

Then I met Mike... and God used him to do a demolition job. I'm much softer than I used to be and obviously a lot more open. I let almost everyone in. I love people. I love sharing my life with them.

I've learned a lot about boundaries. I've got a nice little white picket fence around my heart. Some people I still meet at the fence and I leave the fence between us. But no walls. Most people are more than welcome to walk right through the fence and stay as long as they want.

But recently I have been remembering why I liked the walls. If I have walls and you decide you no longer want to be a part of my life it doesn't hurt as much because I didn't allow you to be a part of little pieces of my life. Because through the walls you couldn't hear my secrets and know my weaknesses.

I never take my friendships for granted. I've spent too many years without good friends to know life is better with people in it and I appreciate everyone in my life so much. I am so thankful for people who love and accept me as I am. But having people in my life also means having hurt... because we won't always all see eye to eye and sometimes relationships end and we don't understand why.

It seems that what people often see me as is a strong, confident person that can handle anything. I guess I usually am. And I will always come through any situation that is thrown at me and I will let the process make me stronger. (I used to let it make me harder and add another layer to the walls.) But just remember that I am human too. I have a heart and hearts are fragile. Please handle mine with care as it has been broken and shattered too many times.




Day off.

Today is my day off. I'm doing nothing. Just relaxing and resting.

I've been so busy lately. It's strange... I always have little things going on and every once in a while something bit. But lately it seems like everything big is happening at once.

Last weekend I went to Ohio for the alumni staff reunion so I spent the week before figuring everything out that I needed to do for that... food, hotel, babysitter, packing (which means getting laundry done), times, etc. This weekend was the baby shower I hosted for my friend. That meant I spend all of last week planning for that and that kept me pretty busy. Next weekend is my sister-in-laws wedding and she asked me to be her photographer (which still makes me a little bit nervous because I soooo do not want to mess up.) That means that I will spend this week looking at photographer websites, getting ideas, charging batteries, making lists... and mentally freaking out once a day. But that's just part of the process for me.

I'm exhausted. And that is why I am taking the day off. I'm not cooking. I'm not giving the kids their baths. I'm not cleaning or doing laundry. I'm relaxing, reading a book and taking care of me.

Of course this is going to get a little bit complicated since Mike is going out with the guys tonight. But I'm prepared. I'm ordering pizza for dinner and I got some movies for the kids. We are going to have a relaxing evening of snuggling... hopefully. They are both napping now so they should be in good moods for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow it's back to work because we have a bunch of apples that need to be made in to apple sauce and canned!



Baby Shower

When I moved to my current home a little over two years ago I noticed that shortly after someone was moving in across the street. I got a little bit excited when I saw them moving in a changing table because I knew for certain that just HAD to mean that they had a little baby and Liza was only six months at the time... I was just hoping for a friend for me and a buddy for Liza. Little did I know that Chelsea and I would become GREAT friends and we will remain friends when the day comes that one of us moves out of the neighborhood. And her little girl Ava is only two months younger than Liza and those two click like they were meant to be friends.

Chelsea is due with her second baby in a few weeks and this time she is having a boy. I thought it would be fun to throw a little baby shower for her and we had it last night. I spent the week getting everything together and planning it all out in my head. Showers can be tricky because there is a fine line between super lame and lots of fun. I did not want to have throw a shower and have everyone leave thinking "that was another boring one."

It was a lot of fun making everything in little boy colors and coordinating the entire night. I made these party favors and didn't have to spend too much on them. Probably ended up being a little less than a dollar a person. It's sixlets and the stars are kind of like sweet tarts or something. I got them at walmart and I found the tulle circles at the dollar store.



We started out the night having every one address their own envelope because it's always so hard to track down everyone's addresses. Then they all wrote a note of encouragement to Chelsea.

After that we had some good food from Panera Bread since that is where we had the shower. Too bad all if it was sugar and I couldn't eat it! (Read more about why I don't eat sugar here.) Then we played some games. We did the memory game with baby items and then played a Scattegories type game. Most people had never played that at a shower so it was fun to have something new for them. After that we did a simple activity called Mother Knows Best. (You can read about it on this site.)



Then Chelsea got to open all her presents. Everyone got her really great gifts and she got three home made blankets... the best kind to get! Here is the one that I made for her... (it's not a very good picture.)





She got her most necessary item... the pack-n-play. It is the one thing that was really REALLY needed because they have a small house and this will be baby's bed for a while.



Daddy and Ava showed up toward the end and a few people had brought presents for Ava. (So thoughtful!!)



We ended the night with some yummy cupcakes. (At least I hope they were yummy... once again I wasn't able to eat them since I am not eating sugar. But at least they looked cute!)



I'm pretty sure that everyone had a good time and didn't leave thinking it was lame. I had a lot of fun with the whole process and would do it all again if I get the chance. I was able to stay in my budget even though I had to get restaurant food. And it was fun to be in a room with a bunch of women just laughing and enjoying our evening together while we all did our part to make Chelsea feel special.

Congratulation Mike and Chelsea! I can't wait to meet Baby Ryder!! (And babysit for you!)





I'll just end with this photo. I have made some really great friends over the past year or two and these are some of my favorite people that make my life more enjoyable!





Friday, August 28, 2009

Conversations with Liza

When I was potty training Liza we used her bear to teach her the process. She had to pull it's panties down, have it pee and wipe it's bum. Then pull the panties back up and pretend to wash it's hands.

Every morning after breakfast I have her play in her room. I put her potty in there so that she can go when she needs to.

This is the conversation we just had....

LIZA: (while holding her bear over the gate butt up) I hafta wipe his bum.
ME: Just pretend.
LIZA: NO! I HAFTA WIPE HIS BUM!!
ME: Fine. (I handed her a small piece of toilet paper.)

She wiped it's bum. Crumpled up the toilet paper.

LIZA: Here. (holding the toilet paper out to me.)
ME: Gee. Thanks.
LIZA: You welcome.

At least she is polite haha.



Thursday, August 27, 2009

My wish list...

I have a wish list. Things I want. Things I need. Things that I think would be nice to have. The problem is that I never want to spend money on most of these things and the things I do want to spend money on are expensive and I don't really need yet.

I want a new Mamasan Chair.


I have one. It's old. I picked it up at a garage sale a few years ago for $30!! That's a bargain!! They are about $300 new and you need to find one at a store or you will be paying an arm and a leg for shipping. You are probably wondering why I want a new one if I already have one... well I am certain mine won't last a whole lot longer. Michael is constantly adding tape, rope and dow rods to keep it sturdy. And the cushion is getting less and less cushiony. I don't think I can live without a chair like this now that I have had one. It's great for cuddling, napping, relaxing. It was awesome to sleep in when I was pregnant (and hard to get out of) and it worked wonderfully on those nights when the kids were just babies and wouldn't sleep... we just snuggled up on the chair and fell asleep together... no one was going anywhere.




I don't quite NEED a new washer yet but I will soon. Mine is still dying but working if I beat it enough. I will be buying a new one soon. I should probably do my research so when mine actually does die I know what I want and can go get it.


I want a new camera lens.

The two I have (that came with the camera) just don't do it for me. I am missing the zoom range that I would most use. But this one costs $300 so I am going to have to wait. Maybe Christmas? Or tax return time? Or maybe I should just save up and get the $700 one I would like. Probably not. That would take too long.


I want a pearl ring. I just like pearls lately. I'm picky about my jewelry and I haven't seen a ring in a store I like yet. I like this one... in the picture anyways. Maybe Mike went and found one already and will surprise me someday. Maybe. haha.



Mike has been saying he wants a toaster oven for a long time now. I kind of want one now too. If I liked it enough I would put away my microwave and toaster and just use the new little oven. Microwaves aren't that great for you.


I would like these books... and many many others...










I want a lot of other things too. Like new clothes, new shoes, a vacation on a nice sunny beach somewhere. I want a house. I would like to be able to eat out every night so I never had to cook again. I want another crockpot... maybe a 3qt one so I can half my recipes and not waste so much food. I need new towels, new pans... especially a skillet... we haven't had one of those for a few months now. I threw ours out because it needed to be thrown out and I have just never bought a new one.

You see... we budget. We try to stick to it pretty well. We've been out of debt for almost a year now and we LOVE IT! We are saving for a down payment on a house... so that makes me stop before buying the new camera lens, or the new chair. I think I want a house more. Priorities. It's not always easy. And it is especially hard when you see others getting everything you want. BUT... when I do get these things that I wait and wait for I will enjoy them sooo much more. For some reason something you have to work for always seems sweeter and more rewarding in the end and you appreciate it more.

I had to wait for probably a year and a half to get my camera... maybe longer... but it was worth it. My camera is now just an extension of my arms and I use it almost every day. The wait was hard... but I don't think I would do it differently if given the chance to do it again.

So I will eventually get all the things I want. It just might take some time.




Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The big purple park!

Mike had an early day of work yesterday so we were able to get caught up on everything and still have time to take the kids to the big purple park. I never want to take the kids to this park because it is so big and there is so much and it's just a bunch of running around after the kids making sure they don't decide to walk right out an opening and fall a few feet. There are smaller, much easier parks nearby.



But we felt like having an adventure last night and it wasn't so bad. (The last time I took the kids to this park was a year and a half ago... I was alone, Jason was still a baby and Liza was wild crazy. I was exhausted after five minutes and swore I would never go there again haha.)



Jason found the dinosaur and gave it a few roars... but as soon as it started moving he decided it was a horse and started "HA haaa-ing". (That would be his yee haw. It's pretty cute!)



I think Jason's favorite part was just walking back and forth on all the bridges. Thankfully he isn't too too fast yet and is pretty easy to keep up with.



Liza looooved the slides. There were so many of them and they were all different. This one was her favorite... it was bumpy and knocked her around a bit.





Mike and I were amused by this fun mirror. Check out my hunky husband hahaha!


I love getting out with my family. I don't do it enough because honestly... it's easier just to stay home sometimes... especially when we are all tired. But you know what... soon it will be winter and we will be wishing we had gone out more during the summer. So maybe we will start going to the park more often. The kids love it.





Humor

Yesterdays blog hop was so much fun and I haven't even gone halfway through the list yet. So I know I will be doing a lot more laughing in the next few days.

A few people posted videos of Tim Hawkins and I was enjoying them so much that Mike and I ended up spending about an hour on youtube watching more of his videos and getting some really good laughter in. No kidding... my stomach got a workout. So of course you know what that means... I have to share some of his stuff with you guys! No point in keeping something good all to myself. :)










Hope you laughed at least as much as I did!!



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I know they say you shouldn't have favorites...

...but I'm not gonna lie... I had a few. :)

When I worked at camp there were definitely a few kids that have managed to find themselves a permanent place in my memories and my heart. Miss Mary is one of them.



Mary was in my cabin my first summer at camp and I knew from that week that I would never forget her. Then she came back to camp for the next two summers!



A while back Mary found me on facebook and I just had to accept her to my friend list. I was so excited to hear from her! I learned that she didn't live far from camp so when I was planning my trip out for the weekend I also planned to meet with Mary for lunch. (James and Nicola came with us too because they are like me and just love Mary!)



It was really great getting to catch up with her. It's strange because she is all grown up now. I think the last time I saw her she was ten! And she is beautiful... inside and out!

I know a lot of people have wondered the same thing as I have... You spend your summers working at camps, staying up late, waking up early, giving everything you have and pouring your heart into these kids and you wonder if it ever mattered. It DOES matter! Maybe not to every single kid that you ever met... but there are a good number that will never forget you or something you did or said. They will hang on to the memories just like you do and tucked away in a safe place are a few pictures that keep those memories alive.

This weekend, more than anything else, made me realize just how much I miss working with kids and I definitely need to find some way to work with them again.




MckLinky... Laughter

This week's Blog Hop theme is "TIME TO LAUGH". Post your favorite joke, cartoon, funny picture or video. We all need a good laugh sometimes, what a great way to start the week..

I love, love, LOVE to laugh! And therefore I think this weeks Mcklinky blog hop is an awesome idea and I can't wait to browse around and see what others have posted!

When I need a good laugh I go to askaninja.com. There are a ton of videos and they all make me laugh. It's just plain silliness. I wanted to post one here for you but it wouldn't size right. :( Click the link to check some out. :)

As a backup I found some videos of Liza. I know this first one looks a little crazy and dangerous... but she was REALLY good at walking around with a hat on her head and would do it all the time.

Crazy kid


And this one is Liza when she was about two or three months old. I was making the stupidest sound and she was cracking up. It makes my heart happy to watch it.

Easily Amused









MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just a vent...

It's really not fair to tell someone "When I am around you I always end up feeling like poo and emotionally shut down" and then not give any examples, hints or clues as to what it is the person actually does wrong.

Yes. This happened to me. I thought we were friends. Everything was fine. And then one day I get that and the friendship is over.

When did things start going wrong? I have no idea.

What did I actually do or say? I have no idea.

So now I get to guess. What is it about me that would make a person feel that way? Now I am paranoid that everything I say or do is upsetting or offending someone. I'm often afraid to share my opinion or thoughts about something. And when I do I feel like I need to preface it with "this is just how I do it. I don't care how you do it. I'm not judging you." And I am sure that can be kind of annoying.

This person thought they were "helping" me by telling me that I made them feel that way... But really... what does it actually tell me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And how do you work on being a better person when no one will ever explain to you where you go wrong? It's tough.

But I just wanted to say that I think that was a really crap way of dealing with things. I feel better now that I got that out.



Memory Lane... It's a good place to be!

I spent four summers working at Akron Rotary Camp in Ohio and made some great friends along the way. We don't keep in touch real often... but we do keep in touch.

This past weekend James (who I worked four summers with) and his wife Nicola (who he met while working at camp!) were flying in from New Zealand and wanted to meet up with everyone. So we planned a little staff reunion.

This is James...



This is Nicola...



This is all the wonderful staff that showed up!!!



I worked with most of them at some point... except for the family on the left. The guy worked with bossman Dan back in 96 or something like that. He's from Australia and his family was in the states and just happened to be in the area the same day as the reunion.

And that is the thing about this camp... once you work there (even if it is only for a weekend) you are family.

This is the bossman... and I have to say that I really think he is the best person to work for. He takes care of his staff and like I said... once you work for him you are always welcome in his life. He has been the director of Rotary Camp for ten years now! He started my second year and he has done a TON of great things for the camp.



And this is Bossman's fantastic wife!! I love Wendy! I am so glad that we became friends and even though we hadn't talked for a while when I showed up we just fell right back in to that easiness of conversation and fun that seems to accompany great people.



I have always believed that camp people laugh more and this weekend seemed to prove that. I hadn't seen most of these people in six to ten years and I laughed more than I have while hanging out with anyone else I know. I don't know why that is the case... but I loved the laughter!

It was such a great weekend and so much fun to visit with old friends. I need to do a better job at keeping in touch (thank you facebook for allowing us all to find each other again!) and hopefully we can call this the First Annual Alumni Staff Reunion. I know I would be willing to plan it if it meant it would happen again!



(I'm sooo glad that I thought to take my tripod!!)




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