Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EGGS!!

Our chickens are laying finally!  We got 7 eggs yesterday.  They started laying last week, and we are getting 3-4 a day.  Yesterday must have been a fluke.  I don't know which bird is laying those lovely dark brown eggs, but they sure are pretty.  Most of the eggs are a medium pinkish/brown.  Some have light speckles.  But yesterday we got one dark brown one.  I love it!  And the little banty silky is laying too...tiny little eggs about half the size of the others.

We are having smoothies for breakfast this morning.  Then school and chores.  Lunch around 11:30.  A quick stop at the library (maybe), then off to a playdate for the afternoon.  I plan to make a Cobb salad for dinner.  Mental note - boil some eggs this morning, for dinner.

Michael and I are starting to talk about vacations this year.  We want to go to visit his old high school buddy in Montana this year.  That will probably happen June or July.  We also talked with other friends about doing a joint vacation - renting a beach house in Texas.  That seems like it will be later in the summer - maybe August or September.  Those are 2 big trips...not sure we can manage both.  It will depend on our taxes, I think.

Well, kidlets are getting up.  Gotta go!

Friday, January 16, 2015

It was lovely...

My birthday was very nice.  My favorite six year olds made the cake.  My DH gave me a new pillow I've been wanting (I have pillow issues - they're never quite right.)  But this pillow is super-de-duper.  I love it!

My little girls gave me a stitch holder and a needle gauge.  I have loose needles rattling around and have no idea what size they are.  Now I can fix that!  And really, you can never have too many stitch holders.  Or stitch counters.  Or stitch markers.  Or yarn.  But I'm on a yarn diet.  Sigh...

So, I read the Yarn Harlots blog and she mentioned she was doing something or other for her local guild.  WHAT!?!?  There are guilds for us crazy knitter types?!  Why did no one tell me this?  So, I Googled my area and found that we do indeed have a guild.  The Camellia City Stockin-ettes.  Is that the mostest adorablest name ever?!  I sent in my application and fee At Once.  The next meeting is the first Thurs of February.  Guess you know where I'll be.

In other news, I got a hair cut today.  And not just a hair cut.  A Style.  Auntie Kay gave me a new do for my birthday (well, not her personally.  She just paid for it).  It's the same length, but with some layers and a whole lot of the heavy taken out.  Michael says it's my '50's hair.  I didn't try for that, but it makes me happy.  June Cleaver and Donna Reed were my childhood heroines.  I still make my children watch old re-runs.

Well, I have a problem.  Perhaps you will advise me?

I told Hannah she could attend a birthday party, and we went ahead and RSVP'd.  Only somehow I missed that we are having company that evening.  What to do?  The only save I can come up with is to call and ask the lovely hostess if I can drop Hannie off early (perhaps help with setup?) so that the drop off doesn't come just as we are supposed to sit down to dinner.  Would that be cheesy of me?  Would it bug you if you were the hostess?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday to me!!

I am 42 years old today.  I am no longer the perky 26 year old I used to be, but I am a vibrant, healthy, intelligent, highly organized woman.  I like to read.  I love to knit.  I like to homeschool when the children are co-operative!  I like to have people over for dinner.  Actually, I like that last one a whole lot.  I like to go over to other people houses too, but when you have 6 children, most people are a little scared to invite you over.  But I'm okay with that now.

I told the children that I am taking the day off.  I did put some Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal in the oven for breakfast this morning, but they get to cover for me today on all my usual chores.  Laundry, unloading the dishwasher, dishes, diaper duty, etc.  And Hannah gets to clean the chicken coop today!  I will try not to chuckle gleefully as they see what a day in the life of mommy looks like.

I am going to work out this morning, and shower.  I will sit and read.  And knit.  And MY friends are coming to play this afternoon, and bringing spicy chocolate with them!  I have the best friends EVER!

Then, after a lovely dinner of baked pork chops and roasted veggies/potatoes (made by my number 1 son), Auntie Kay & Co. will come over for Yummy Lemon Cake and Ice Cream (cake made by my number 2 daughter!).

It's going to be a lovely day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It started well...

Well, I got my budget all set up, and have been logging purchases faithfully.  So that's good.

I weighed myself and took my measurements.  I did not lose any weight, but I did lose 1/2 inch in the tummy and a 1/2 inch in the hips.  So that's good.

But now I'm sick.  Just a cold, but I'm just really lethargic today.  Seth is sick too, but is on the upswing now.  But 3 other kidlets are starting to sneeze and get really whiney.  That is not good.

I got the Christmas decorations packed up and waiting to be shlupped out to the shed.  The tree is ready to dismantle, but the box it goes in is buried under an equipment rack that I cannot lift solo.

We did not do school today.  I really should have.  But I was tired.  And sniffly.  But mostly tired.  I roused myself for an hour or so to get the Christmas stuff done, and now I'm really tired.

So.  Michael is putting the little ones to bed (because he's awesome that way) while I sit here waiting for a decent time to go to bed.  Somehow, 7:30 seems obscenely early.  Maybe 8.

Well, I am going to listen to Nathy read, then I will check the BBQ pork in the crockpot.  Then perhaps bed.  Good night.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Well, I've been thinking about my self-improvement goals for the new year.  I listed a few in my last post, but since then I've solidified my resolutions.  Hold on...my timer is beeping.............


Ok, the homemade Mac 'N Cheese needs 5 more minutes.  So. Resolutions. Here they are:

Short Term (Jan-Mar)  (we talked about these already)

  1. Lose 5 lbs
  2. finish my sweater
  3. Potty Train Joe (this starts tomorrow, actually)
Long Term for the year:
  1. Get a better grip on our finances by:
    1. budgeting in more detail
    2. listing our real expenses at least once a quarter to see how our spending matches up with the budget
    3. get that credit card paid off ASAP.  We will all eat rice and beans for a month if necessary.
  2. menu planning faithfully so as to keep our food budget down.  There has got to be a way to feed a family of 8 for under $800 a month.
  3. Oh!  Potty training Joe will save on diapers!!  
  4. I will start taking advantage of CVS (our local drugstore) sales/promotions/coupons. They often have decent diaper deals, as well as good coupons for toiletries, and the occasional seasonal items.  I have not done drugstore shopping in the last couple years because it's yet another stop, but I think I need to start this.  
Each of the children have made goals too, or had goal assigned.
Hannah: Write a book.  She's had a whiz-dinger of an idea for a story and is well on her way.
Nathan: Read out loud to someone every day.
Leah:  Learn to read (well on her way), learn cursive (working on it) and learn to roller skate.  She's our overachiever...
Olivia:  Learn her alphabet and numbers up to 25.
Josiah:  Potty train, learn to put on clothes and shoes by himself.
Seth:  Learn to walk, maybe a few words by next January. 

I haven't asked Michael if I can share his goals, so I won't for now.  Also, I have some knitting goals (of course!).

I putting myself on a yarn diet.  I hereby swear that I will not buy any more yarn until I use up 10 skeins in my stash.  I plan to use 6 skeins on my sweater, and I have 1 more skein on a planned project.  Hannah will use up 1 skein for a project she is working on, so that leaves 2 more that I need to find a project for.  I'll think more about that when my sweater is done.

Well, that's our plan.  How about you?  Any resolutions?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It was lovely...


Aren't those some cutie kids?!  This is Olivia and Seth a couple weeks ago.

Christmas at our house was lovely.  I was able to complete all my Christmas gift knitting.  I have had no feedback yet on the one gift I was most nervous about, so I can't share on that one yet.  But the girls loved their hats.  And Josiah likes his scarf very much.  He wore it most of the day yesterday.

We had dinner at my Aunt's house, just us and them.  It was quiet and nice and peaceful, but slightly sad that the extended family doesn't gather anymore.

Michael surprised me and got me a yarn bowl for Christmas instead of my birthday. We got him 4 items, and 3 have to be returned.  Sigh...

Aunty and Uncle got the 4 middle kids ride on toys.  They spent most of Friday and Saturday outside and it was fantastic.  They got exercise, I got quiet!  The floors were swept and mopped in minimal time.  But you can't tell anymore.  Clean floors rarely last more than an hour around here.

Poor Sethy got sick last night.  He threw up about 4 times, and was just fussy most of the night.  But he was fine this morning.

In knitting news, I ordered an Elizabeth Zimmerman book from the library...should arrive late next week.  Can't wait!!  I also got some help on my sweater and can pick that up again - using the new yarn bowl, of course!

I've been thinking about my New Year's Resolution.  I have a few short term goals, but haven't come up with a true, year-long resolution yet.  My top 3 short term goals for Jan-Mar are:

  1. Potty train Josiah
  2. Finish my sweater
  3. Lose 5 pounds
I think all are do-able.  Potty training might take longer than March, but we will be well on our way.  I plan to start that again after my birthday in mid-Jan. This will be our second round. 

The sweater should be no problem.  Those 5 pounds, though?  Hmm...I've been doing pretty strenuous workouts, but they are only 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week.  Hey, I have 6 children and have a hard time doing anything for more than 2.5 minutes.  I've been feeling stronger, and can do harder workouts now, but the weight isn't budging.  I'm going to have to go up to 4 times a week, I think.  And get a little more serious about my calorie intake.  Hopefully now that the holiday season is over, I can resist the sweets temptations. 

I just finished putting together a menu plan for the coming week based on food already in the house.  I did pretty well.  I still have to go shopping for some basic things like milk and eggs and a few condiments we ran out of, but I think I can keep this week's groceries to $50.  

A local KMart is going out of business, so I've been able to stock up on a bunch of toiletries.  I should n'thave to buy lotion, razors, shampoo, etc for several months.  I want to go up there tomorrow and check out diapers.  Last time I was there, they had a pile of size 5 diaper boxes at 30% off.  I should have grabbed a couple boxes, but for some crazy, unknown reason I didn't.

Well, my friends, that's all I can think of for now.  Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas update...

All things Christmas are going well here.  I've finished and wrapped both hats and the scarf.  I cast on for one more hat...a manly sort of one for...well, for a man.  Who is not my husband.  But who is related to me.  It's a dark foresty green.  It's called a Raglan style with a ribbed brim.  This is the gift I am most nervous about.  My extended family doesn't really make gifts.  It seems to be frowned on, in some mysterious, unspoken way. I don't know if a made gift is good here, and I don't know if he would like a hat.  Guess we'll find out!

This has been a very relaxed season for us.  Our gift purchases were started long ago, and there are not many to buy for.  This hat I'm making is the last gift.  Unless I suddenly remember someone else...

Even so, I have been unusually tired the past almost-two-weeks.  My first thought was pregnancy, but the test turned up negative.  So - not pregnant, not stressed.  Been getting decent sleep - Seth sleeps 8 to 4, nurses, and goes back to sleep until about 5:30 or so.  I don't know why I am so tired.  Michael insists I see a Dr, so I'll make that appt today.

You know what?  I could work all day, every day and not even do school.  I am not schooling this week or next and I'm having trouble deciding what to work on.  There is an endless list, of course.  I just find myself waffling on projects I want to do, verses project I probably should get caught up on.  For instance, should I make Sethy his Christmas stocking, or organize the linen cabinet that hurls items at me when I dare to open the door?  I can't quite decide, so I sit and knit instead.

Speaking of knitting, I have recently 'discovered' Elizabeth Zimmerman.  She seems to be the nearest thing to a patron saint that knitters have.  She wrote several books and I want all of them of course.  And then there is something called the Yarn Bowl.  I'm getting one for my birthday!  I just need to find a suitable storage solution for DPNS and for circular needles.  Hmmm...