Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I know as a Christian, I'm not supposed to love Halloween but I do. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I love everything about it. Yes, we do let our children dress up and we do trick or treat. I know that there are lots of churches (especially around here) that do the Halloween alternative thing but we don't. We do, however, trick or treat at my parents' church (they call it Trunk or Treat) but we also go downtown and go from house to house. Anyway, this is the first year that I have not had to get all creative and try to make and buy different pieces of costumes. I spent a total of $4. Maci Clare is going to be a skunk. The skunk costume was made by my mother in law (thanks, MIL) for Gabe when he was 1. All of my children have worn the costume so I just couldn't break the tradition. And it is sooooo cute.
Jack is going to be a the big, bad wolf, which is also a hand me down costume from Zane. Zane is going to be a Army soldier and Gabe is going to be a hunter. Of course, our house is covered with camo stuff so we had that covered. The only thing I had to buy was an Army hat and I found one in a thrift store for $4. So we are ready and the kids are excited. I am going to try to get some good costume pictures tonight before we leave so I will post them this weekend.
I made cupcakes for Gabe's class last night and we carved three pumpkins.The older boys cleaned out pumpkins. Gabe is always trying to make goofy faces in my pictures.

Jack "helped" his daddy carve was quickly bored with it.
Maci Clare was not interested in cleaning or carving but she did try quite a few bites of pumpkin.
Here are two or the three we carved. The one Zane carved was a little bit to dark to get a good picture.
This is Jack's. It is a silly bat.
This is Gabe's. It is 4 silly ghost.
I think they turned out really cute. But the boys were up really late so they will be tired today at school.
After the kids were in bed, I made these cute cones to hold candy for the teachers. I thought they turned out cute. The idea came from Skip to My Lou. You should really go over and see all her crafty ideas.

If you don't celebrate Halloween, you don't know what you're missing. If you do, have a great time tonight. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekend Part 2

We awoke to freezing cold weather. Poor Jack only had a little thin sweatshirt with no hood. The other kids had hoodies which was a little better. I thought it would get warmer as the day went on. Little did I know it was supposed to snow Monday night. We checked out of our cabin about 9:45 and we drove up to Cherokee, NC. Cherokee is an Indian Reservation that is right over the mountain from Maggie Valley. There was absolutely nothing to do there. We tried to visit the Oconaluftee Indian Village but it is closed for the season. We headed back to Hendersonville. On the highway we saw a sign for a military surplus store in Clyde, NC. Being in a car full of boys, we had to stop. They thought it was great. I was very uninterested. But we did get a couple of cute pictures.

We stopped at Wendy's and grabbed a bite to eat. We also went through the drive-thru at Krispy Kreme (the best doughnuts in the world) and bought 2 dozen doughnuts. Jim took one dozen to work.
After everyone was full, we headed for Sky Top Apple Orchard. Picking apples has become a fall family tradition. We love to pick apples. Out front, they had lots and lots of pumpkins. What is fall without pumpkin pictures.

But it was so cold on top of that mountain that we could barely stand it. We walked through the orchard and found a pen with some goats and sheep. The sheep actually ate some of the apples that the kids gave them. Jack and Maci Clare decided riding the wagon was a bit better than walking but we soon realized that it was much too cold to be out there picking apples with the small amount of clothing we had on. Jack spotted a giant pumpkin slide and a spider made from a hay bale and he quickly lost interest in the apples. So I took him there and waited for Jim and the two older boys to pick a small basket.
Maci Clare only cared about eating her apple. She ate and ate
and even when she was back in the car she was still eating. We ended up buying more apples when we got back to the barn just because it was way too cold to be out there.
We had a really fun weekend and brought back more apples than we know what to do with. We are going to make applesauce in the crock pot this weekend. And I will make a Apple Crisp (recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef) so they won't go to waste. Of course, we have caramel dip for our apples too. So they may be gone before we ever get to cook any of them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Cold, Colorful Weekend

We had so much fun this weekend. We decided on Saturday morning to go on a local trip. So we headed downtown Greenville for some fun. I forgot to even take my camera out of the car but I'll just tell you about our day.

  • The Mellow Mushroom: Awesome pizza but had a horrible time with Jack because he was kinda tired. I had to spank him and then things started looking up.
  • After lunch, we decided to try the Mice on Main Scavenger hunt. For those of you not around here, there are little mice statues all over downtown and there are a list of clues so you can search for them. We didn't find them all but after a stop at O.P. Taylor's Toy Store no one cared. We actually ended up giving our list of clues away when we were back toward the car.
  • We stopped in at Spill The Beans for some ice cream. Delicious!
  • Then we headed to The Children's Garden. I did get my camera out and snapped a few pictures.Maci Clare sitting on baby bear from "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" "The Secret Garden" (No one was really cooperating for picutres and Maci Clare ran.)Sadly after being there about 10 minutes, Jack pooped his pants and we headed home.By then it was 4:15pm anyway. We stopped at the grocery store so I could try to get some last minutes sales and then headed home for supper and a movie. It was a great day and we had a lot of fun.
We decided on Saturday we would head to Maggie Valley, NC. Jim has wanted to visit Ghost Town in The Sky as long as I can remember. So guess where we ended up? Ghost Town in the Sky! Not quite the spectacular amusement park that I remembered from the 70's but the kids had a great time.This is the way you are supposed to get up the mountain to the amusement park but every child under 12 must have an adult to ride with and we didn't have enough adults. Jim and Zane rode up the chair lift and Gabe and I took the babies and rode a van. Gabe was secretly glad we rode the van. He is not much on heights. The boys thought it was "awesome" because there was a gun fight in the middle of "town".
You can see the result of the fight.

This was the view from the top of Ghost Town. The view was the worth them money especially on such a beautiful day.
We stayed there about 3 hours and rode almost all the rides and saw 2 shows. It is not very big but it was pretty fun. We are planning on going back in May because the kids ended up with 3 free tickets.
We decided to stay the night in Maggie Valley and we found a cute little log cabin in the woods that was very moderately priced. It was perfect for our family. There was a master bedroom with a queen bed and big living room/kitchen with a fireplace. Then there were stairs that led to a loft with 2 twin beds and a double bed. The kids liked it and Jim and I were very pleased. The man who owned the place even brought us firewood to use. We found a restaurant and grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back to crash. I will post about Monday's activities later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Finally Over!

Football came to a screeching halt (and I mean, screeching) last night. Let me explain "screeching". We had our end of the season football banquet. WE had it at our Town Rec building. It is an awesome place for any kind of party or meeting. One side of the gym was set up with tables and fabulous decorations. The other side was for the kids to play (basketball or whatever). So, of course, a group of kids started playing tackle football on the hard floor and what follows? Several fights. It was crazy. These 1st and 2nd grade boys were pounding each other. Thank God, my boys chose to do something better with the time they had. I think as a general rule, the world (parents) has made kids so aggressive, they can't even play together anymore. The parents were even starting to get into it a little bit when we were called over for trophies to be presented. It was a great night. Zane had a lot of fun. And we got a chance to know several families in our community a little better which is always a good thing. Of course, I have a few pictures to share.Each player had a cupcake with his number on it. Zane wouldn't share his.

This is the cake they had made. The boys really like it. And it was very tasty.
This is Zane excepting his trophy. Our coaches were so gentle and kind with the kids this year. I had heard that there was a lot of yelling and screaming but we did not have that at all. I hope that becomes the norm for little league football.
Zane likes his trophy. It has a hologram on the star so he thinks that is "awesome".
When we finally made it home, all the kids (with the exception of Maci Clare) crashed and this is what I did.
This is my one of my favorite things to do at night. And Maci Clare is following in my footsteps. So Jim snapped this picture of the two of us reading in bed last night.

BTW, this is what a microwave for 10 seconds does to a frozen Hershey bar.
It tasted pretty gross too. So much for getting my chocolate fix today.
We are probably heading for the mountains tomorrow for a couple of days. The kids have a long weekend and we are going to take a much needed rest. So I'll be back next week. And I have another giveaway coming soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cute Pumpkin Cupcakes

I found a picture of really cute cupcakes on the front of my mom's Family Circle magazine and I swiped the magazine. Today Jack was having a pumpkin party at his school so we decided to try to make some. They really turned out cute and the teacher said they were a big hit.
Here is how we made them. We made cupcakes out of a box mix. Let them cool. Then took a container of vanilla frosting and colored it orange with food coloring (red and yellow, for those of you who didn't learn about mixing colors in Kindergarten.) After frosting the cupcakes, I rolled the top in orange sugar and stuff the end of a big, fat pretzel in the top. These were super easy and turned out really cute. If you have a party or something coming up this is definitely a fast,easy treat.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Fun Family Weekend

We had a really fun weekend. It all started on Friday night when, unfortunately, I did not get any scrapbooking done. We laughed and talked and played with my new printer, and played the Cricut and the Cuddlebug, and the sticker maker. But as far as actually putting pictures or embellishments on a page. Nada! Anyway, here is one picutre of the girls with the printer.

On Saturday morning, we decided to ride to the mountains and we are so glad we did. We drove to a place called Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina. In this valley, a herd of elk have been released. It was really cool. This was the first time we had ever seen elk. They were standing in an open area just grazing. There were tons of cars and people walking around and the elk were oblivious to what was going on .

There were park rangers parked in several areas letting the kids hold elk antlers and giving some information about them. My boys thought that was awesome.

This was the view in the valley.

Gabe took this picture of me and Jim at the top of the mountain where we stopped at a little overlook. Can't you see I really look so wonderful for the occasion? I really didn't do much because it was so cold.
The leaves were really pretty and we really had a fun day. If you live close by, Cataloochee Valley is right outside of Canton and is a great place to spend an afternoon. I would highly recommend this fun, free activity to anyone no matter what your age.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And the Winner(s) is:

I couldn't help myself. Y'all are all so sweet I decided to give away 3 sets of the bows. Two of the winners were picked randomly. By "randomly" I mean I wrote numbers 1-40 on a piece of paper, cut them up, and picked two out of a hat. The other was chosen just because I loved her comment so much. So here it is. Drumroll, please:
The 2 random winners are:

1. Southerner at Southern Seven (and ya'll really should check out her blog. She's awesome and one of my first and committed readers.)

2. Renee at Under the Weeping Willow

And the girl I chose because I loved her comment (and I will be adding her blog on my favorites list) is:

Huse Yo Mama at Huse Blog Is It Anyway.
(I'm holding you to those promises about singing my praises. Heehee!)

You girls, let me know where to send these and I'll mail this week.

Stay tuned for another giveaway coming this week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tonight is Full of Promise

I am so excited because tonight is a scrapbooking night. I am finally going to get some things done. (At least, I hope I do.) We are planning on starting about 6 and I have my brand new printer (which I will share with you later). I'm not that organized. That is the only problem. We will see what happens and I hope I have pictures to share.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Am Hooked

I kept reading about Facebook and everyone seems to have a Facebook page but I just couldn't make myself do it. Until Now! The reason you get addicted is because you are never left alone. There is always someone asking to be your friend and I'm talking people you haven't seen or heard from in 20 years. Amazing! People I don't even really remember or can't tell who they are because they look so different. So, needless to say, I have spent quite a few hours on Facebook this week.
Remember to enter for the giveaway below. Tomorrow is the last day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Booby! Literally !

After almost 19 months of nursing Maci Clare, she is finally weaned. Well, sorta! When we went on our special weekend to Savannah, I thought this would be the perfect time to wean her. She would constantly ask for "booby" in public and try to pull up my shirt. I have never been one to be embarrassed to nurse in public ( I nursed all 4 of my children where and when they wanted without hesitation. And I was very discreet. Most people did not have a clue, that I had a baby latched on.) But, come on, when the baby is a toddler and she is screaming out booby and trying to expose you in public, you gotta draw the line somewhere. So, needless to say, I had no relief the whole weekend and my boobs were sore when we got home. But I did not give in. She wanted to nurse almost as soon as I walked in the door. She started asking. And 3 weeks later, she is still asking. My boobs have decreased to the size of golf balls (and I think that is being genreous. I'm sure Jim is quite disappointed.) And Maci Clare is relentless. She cries and screams out "Booby! Booby!" But I am not giving in. It has made it rather difficult at nap time and bed time. There have been several times I have put her in the car and drove until she fell asleep just to keep her from asking to nurse. The boys were not nearly as persistent. Once it was gone, it was gone! So any suggestions on how to make her forget? Or do I just keep telling her no and let her cry it out?

By the way, you need to check out my giveaway here and leave a comment on that post by Friday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My 2nd Giveaway

I am finally getting my giveaway posted. So here it is.

I am giving away 3 Fall bows. The picture is not that great but you get the idea. These bows are toddler size and made on alligator clips. They are handmade by me and I thought I might like to share them with someone else. (It is a little hobby and I have an over-abundance) The one on top is orange with black flowers (perfect for Halloween). The other bow is orange with white polka dots. And the orange and brown one is a Turkey. (you could glue little googly eyes on it and it would be really cute but I didn't have any small enough.)
So just leave a comment. I will pick a winner on Friday, Oct. 17. Good luck!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Good Cup Of Coffee Makes For A Good Day

I am definitely addicted to caffeine (as I shared in a recent post). Maybe that was part of my problem yesterday. No Coffee! But this morning after Jack screamed for 20 minutes about wanting chocolate milk (in the car after we got to school and had to wait that long for them to come get him out of the car), I decided to drive-thru McDonald's (yeah, one more time) and get a large, steaming cup. I must say, my day was better almost immediately.
Maci Clare has not cried and the house is looking a lot cleaner and the laundry is almost caught up. Jack was picked up with a big smile on his face. So I can't say enough what a good cup of coffee will do for you.

I have a couple of giveaways coming up so you must stay tuned to see what you could win. Don't you just love it that I'm keeping you in suspense.
I'm actually going to try to post one this afternoon. If I can get around to it. So be sure to check back.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Still Having Walgreen's Problems

I cannot get the hang of Walgreen's. There are so many issues. They do not post the sales and coupons and Register Rewards. I need that so I can be sure it is what the sales paper says it is. I don't like getting to the cash register and finding out that things are not what they appear to be. Anyway, with my list, coupons, gift card, and cash (which was given to me in place of RR a couple of days ago), I headed to Walgreen's.
This is what I did.
My first transaction was:
Glade Flameless Candle on sale for 5.99 and I had a coupon for $5 off. I paid $1.47 OOP and was supposed to get $3 RR but of course, it didn't print. So once again a manager was called and he had to take the receipt and ask someone else and we waited and waited. Finally, when he came back he told me that the RR didn't print because they would be paying me to buy the candle. That just can't be right because the cashier had just told me the RR were not printing for anything. I just said Oh well, it's okay. But he was so kind. I'll tell you why in my next transaction.
Transaction #2:
1 pop up Laundry Hamper $2.50
1 Mesh Shower Organizer $2.50
Manager told me he was taking $1.50 off the hamper and $1.50 off the organizer but in reality he took $2 off.

1 Crest Toothpaste $1.99 used $1/1 Walgreen's coupon and $1/1 Manufacturer's coupon. Free

1 Oral B Indicator Toothbrush $1.99 used $1/1 Walgreen's coupon and .75/1 $.24

2 Diego Colgate toothbrushes $2.99 ea. Clearanced for $1.50 each but they still charged me full price for both. Jim is going to take them back after work tomorrow and get the refund.

2 boxes of PopTarts 2.99 each B1G1

1 bottle of vitamins $4.99 (which were also B1G1 so I should've bought 2)

So after all was said and done, I still paid $16.62 OOP. I wanted to use the cash that I got back last week in place of the RR so I handed the woman $6 and my gift card. She scanned the gift card first and I ended up not getting to use the cash. Even after I asked her about it before the transaction was complete, she still did it. So she just handed me the money back.

Next, we went to McDonald's and I ordered 2 Hamburger Happy Meals one with chocolate milk and one with a soft drink and an extra chocolate milk. My total should have been $6.33. But it was $5.89. I did not question it because she read my order back to me. When we got our tray there was only 2 chocolate milks. No soft drink. So I asked about it and the manager said, "she didn't ring it up." And guess what she did? She charged me for it. So I thought I just paid too much. My opinion is if they screw up they should fix it free. But that never seems to happen around here.
Anyway, we sit down and pull out our food and, lo and behold, I have 2 cheeseburger Happy Meals instead. So I have to go back because Maci Clare only eats the meat and won't eat it with cheese. So they really should have given me a refund but they just handed me the hamburger. I just ate the cheeseburger. Come on, people! How many mess ups can happen in one day? So after we picked Jack up, we came home where I will mess up my own things.

Am I wrong in saying that if they mess up at the cash register you should not be required to pay again? What if I had only had my debit card? I would've then had to turn around and put a $1.10 on my card. Tell me what you think about that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Curled Up With A Good Book...

Right here!!!

That is what I wanted to do this morning when I awoke to pouring rain. But instead I went out in the pouring rain, trying to take kids to school and Maci Clare to the doctor for a high fever which I thought was an ear infection but turns out it's not. (Boy, that was a sentence, wasn't it? I'm not even sure about grammar and punctuation in that sentence so let's just pretend it's okay.)

This is what Maci Clare did all day yesterday.
But there was a bright little ray of sunshine to our day. We went to Starbuck's where we had the perfect bowl of oatmeal (free, I might add) and a nice Venit White Chocolate Mocha Latte. AWESOME. BTW, the perfect bowl of oatmeal is just a package of instant oatmeal and they give you little packs of brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts. I decided I can make it at home for a lot cheaper so I probably would never pay for it. But it was really good on this cold, rainy morning.

Next, we made a stop at Old Navy to buy a couple of Halloween t's. I got 3 for $15. Can't beat that. When we were leaving Old Navy it started raining really hard and I did not have an umbrella. So, needless to say, we were pretty wet.

Then I made a stop in Greenville that I don't normally make. I went to the Flower's Bakery Thrift Store. I was told to go in and ask for the $3 or $5 cart of bread. So I did. OMG! We now have bread in two freezers, a lot saved for feeding ducks (I'm still trying to find room for in another freezer, some on the counter top, and a box for Jim to take to work tomorrow to give away. It was a Walmart-sized shopping cart filled to the rim with different kinds of bread. I did save the bagels (5 bags), 2 packs of party rolls, 1 pack of Hoagies (for Philly Cheesesteaks), 2 loaves of Organic whole wheat, 2 loaves of White Sandwich bread, and 1 loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread. I think next time I'll try the $3 cart. But, for now, the ducks will have a feast.

When I got back to town, I realized that I had not gone to Publix (in our neighboring town) to pick up Maci Clare's medicine. So I went in Walgreen's and had the prescription transferred and it was awesome. Because our Walgreen's is new, they had a coupon for a $25 gift card for a new or transferred prescription. So I paid OOP $6.83 for the medicine and received a $25 card. I will put that thing to good use tomorrow morning (only if it is not raining).
When I finally got home, I was so wet I had to change clothes. So much for curling up with a good book. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What A Game! And Other Things Going On

We finally won a football game. We drove about an hour to get to the field and we actually scored two touchdowns. WE ended up winning 14 -0. Zane hurt his ankle and didn't want to go back in to the game but being the mean mama I am, I made him. He cried but he did finish the game.

I call myself a mean mama but listen to this. A kid on the other team threw up all over the front of his jersey and in his helmet. The coach sent him to his mom and she wiped him off and sent him back out to play. What a mom! Now after all the touching, tackling, shaking hands we will all probably have a stomach virus. Several of our team members gathered in the bathroom after the game to scrub really good. Can you imagine? It is one thing to send your child back in after getting knocked down but come on! To send him back him after throwing up. Some parents need to get a grip and realize they are still just kids.

And speaking of bad mama! I almost burned our house down Sunday night. I found this awesome recipe in Family Circle magazine. Buffalo Chicken Dip! It looked so good and I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided to try it. So I put the chicken on to boil. I must add here that it was cooking on high. Jim was working outside while the boys played. So I went outside to speak with them. Jim said I think I'll go ride the 4-wheeler. So what's a girl to do? Get on the 4-wheeler and forget the chicken. Of course! We rode around the golf course and we came home, the smoke alarms were screaming. The boys were running in and out of the house and the house was filled with smoke. We threw the whole pot away and opened all windows and doors. Our house still has a bit of a smoky smell. I'm just glad there was no actual fire and Jim got to it in time.
BTW, I started all over and the dip was great. Here is the recipe.

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 pound)
6 tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot (which happens to be my favorite)
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese cut in 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup Ranch or Blue cheese dressing (I used Ranch)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place chicken breasts in a medium-size skillet and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. (I just boiled the chicken in a pot and let it cook all the way) Reduce heat to medium cover and poach for 6-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees on a instant-read thermometer. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Shred using 2 forks.
Place chicken and hot sauce in a medium-size skillet. Heat through. Add cream cheese and dressing and heat until well blended. Add half the shredded cheese stir until melted.
Place in a crock: Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Serve warm with crackers. Can be re-heated in the microwave. I think you could just put it in a small crock pot and keep it warm on low.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Computer Issues

My computer has been a little funky lately and it seems when I have something to say I can't get it to work. Of course, today, I have nothing. I have blogger's block (Is there such a thing?). Hopefully the computer will be up and running the right way soon and I can fill your days with my wonderful, happy thoughts again.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I decided to day to let you in on a few of my little secrets.

1. I am still tired even though we had a very restful weekend. (What is wrong with me?)

2. I have not read a blog since last Wednesday.

3. I long to get some scrapbooking completed but everytime I think about it I become so stressed out that I shove those thoughts to the back of my mind.

4. In the last year, I went from drinking no caffeine to drinking several cups of that addictive drug daily. And now I get headaches if I don't have it.

5. I have fallen off the budget wagon. But on a positive note, I am more than determined that the strict budget starts back up next week. And so will the CVSing and Publix shopping.

I think 5 is enough for today. I'll have to tell you more another day. Right now, I've gotta get back to housework.