Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little Christmas treat

   So Baby Girl wanted to be a little elf to her classmates and give them each a little gift. We've been trying to instill more the giving side of Christmas, instead of just the "what's under the tree for me" side, so I couldn't really say no. But with Christmas less then a week away and the budget tight, what's a mom to do? Oh just recycle an old bridal shower party favor idea.

   I got some plastic spoons for under $2. A bag of Hershey Kisses for less then $4 and a roll of  Christmas cellophane for $1 for the roll. I put three kisses in the spoon then wrapped the spoon and Kisses with the cellophane and tied it all up with some curly ribbon from the Christmas wrapping bag.  My writing isn't something to brag about about so I went to the computer to print out a little saying to attach, well you know it can't be that easy, of course the printer isn't working. Up to visit my parents and borrow Pop's computer and printer. After I figured out how to make columns again (man I need to keep a little more up to date on Word) I was good to go. 

    So this is the final project, under $10 and a little treat for all 14 classmates...

This is a close up of the tag
  Baby Girl was thrilled to be a little elf to her friends and I hope they like their little gift. 

  Oh and just because I think she's just the cutest little girl I know, here she is all dressed up for her "Christmas Concert"

 Yes that's the same green curly ribbon in hair that we used to tie the treats with. 

                                   Merry Christmas

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some more "rules for grocery shopping

  So we're in the path of the up coming hurricane, we don't live on the coast, but we're close enough that people are in "panic at the grocery store mode" So I thought I'd give some simple rules out to those who don't know any better....

  • It's not the cashier's fault that the store is out of the cheap store brand white bread, don't take it out on them. Be nasty to a manager if your really feel the need, but not the cashier.
  • If you're buying a whole bunch of tuna cans so you'll have something to eat, make sure you've got a manual can opener at home ( I jokingly said Remember you won't have your electric can opener to open the cans. Poor guy was in a panic as to where to find a manual canopener)
  • Fruit is just as easy to eat with no electric as junk food is, do you really want you kids all hyped up on sugar from Oreos and that sugary cereal if you're going to be stuck in the house in the middle of a storm?
  • This last one doesn't really have to do with the impending storm, but since I'm at it.... If you have varicose veins and you're pushing the backside of 40, you might want to rethink that short denim skirt you bought at Forever 21, it's just not a good look on you.

   I am so not looking forward to work tonight. People are acting like we're getting a foot of snow. By the time I get to work a lot of shelves will be bare and I just know it will somehow be my fault (because we all know the lowly cashier is the one who orders for the shelves and that there really is more stock in the back, we're just too lazy to go back and get it (insert eye roll here)

 So all you East Coasters be safe in the storm and remember to smile at your cashier when you're in line buying your cart full of bottled water, bread and peanut butter (if there's any left on the shelf) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 2 (he poops)

  Day two Dozer showed us more of his personality, some good, some not so good. Dozer woke up fine, came out of the bathroom where he sleeps and went for his walk with me. I noticed there was a smell in the bathroom, but I looked all over the floor and there was no poop, so I figured he had some gas. Twin #1 goes into the bathroom and comes out saying uhm, did no one really notice what he did in the tub? Of course not, why would I look in the tub???? Dozer had pooped the size of a meatloaf!!!!!! (gag) So after much arguing discussing, Hubby and Twin#2(the one who's wanted a dog his entire life) cleaned up about 2 1/2 pounds of dog poop out of the bathtub. Then Twin#1 got the joy of scrubbing the tub out. (hey I'm always looking for family bonding!!!!) 
please commence the belly rubbing

     As a side note, Little Man has decided he'll never take a shower in that bathroom again. I didn't have the heart to remind him of how many times he poop in my bathtub when he was a baby!

  Dozer has also decided to find out where he fits into "the pack". He got aggressive with Hubby when Hubby was sitting on the couch playing with Dozer. That got the old heart pumping because Dozer is a big dog!!!, with a big mouth. Hubby did get firm with Dozer and show him who's the alpha male.  Dozer also tried this with the 18 year old twins as well. (we had warned them after Hubby's go'round that morning, so they were prepared) and Dozer did offer his belly to be rubbed by all of them so I think we're good.

  Dozer however didn't mess with me (smart dog knows not to mess with the mama!!) Dozer also puts up with all the love the little 2 want to give him.
I am king of all I survey!!!

  Oh and it rained yesterday, so we all got a chance to walk the dog in the rain (yeah we all enjoyed it about as much as the dog, but it sure beats cleaning up a mess in the house)

   So it looks like Dozer is winding his way into our household. We have to let the adoption agency know on Saturday if we'll be keeping him forever. He's such a sweet dog and he's already lost 2 home (the one that abandoned him and the foster home where he didn't get along with the other foster dog). 
    Our next adventure will be a trip to the vet!!! Fingers crossed that all goes well : )

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our New Addition

 So after my hubby vowing to never have a dog in the house, relented and we've gotten a dog (or maybe a small horse depending on how you look at it.)

   We had decided we'd rescue a dog instead of buy a puppy for a number of reasons. The most important reason being there are so many great dogs out there who need a loving home almost anyone will adopt a cute little puppy, the older dogs have lost some of their cuteness (at least to some people) Plus since my kids are not the best at picking up their toys and puppies love to chew on anything they can reach, there would have been some tears shed.

   So after browsing the petfinder site for over a month we found a dog we all like and that the foster "parent" would get back in touch with us. So this Saturday we got to meet Koby and bring him home if we all got along. Well we all got along and now he's snoring in my living room.  Since Koby's name is a little too close to one of the kid's names, we're renaming him Dozer (yes as in bulldozer)

   The car ride home wasn't too bad, he settled down in the car and with the help of Twin#1 petting him the whole time he had a great first ride. To show Twin#1 his gratitude for being so kind, Dozer sneezed on him (eeewwww gross).

  We decided to give Dozer a bath and that went really well, Dozer stood there like a good boy.So other then the "whole shake like a dog when it's wet", we did really good. Dozer smells like a nice dog and not the kennel anymore.

 Our first day with Dozer wasn't too eventful. Thankfully no accidents in the house. Dozer likes to pull on the leash sometimes, but he'll soon learn who gets to control the walking. Going to check into a special harness for him.

  Dozer seems to be a great dog. He loves to be pet and have his belly rubbed. The kids all think he's great. Other then reminding him Not for Dozer when he puts his nose to the counter we seem to all be getting along. I have a feeling this is going to be quite an adventure for all of us.


Friday, July 1, 2011

A Good Day at Work

    Ok I am under no illusion that my job is fantastic, or going to take me anywhere special in life, but it's a good job and I do it fairly decent, so with that being said, today was a good day. Actually I guess it's more like tonight was a good night. Since it's the Friday of a long holiday weekend lots of people were shopping. Lot's of teens who have no idea where anything in the store it. Lot's of picnic throwers getting all their rolls, meats, watermelons (by the way, I finally learned the register number for watermelons since I sold so many in the last two days)
      I had one lady tell me you are just so pleasant. Two Aren't you just so sweet to help me? And one Thank you so much for the conversation as I checked out my groceries, it seems like so many cashiers don't even want to greet a person any more. Ok that last one, I can't really take credit for because I'm at home with the little two for most of the day by myself and quite frankly I'm just happy to talk with an adult and not be interrupted by some little voice who needs a drink, food or a referee, so I'm a regular "Chatty Cathy" when I'm working for the most part.

    I had one customer who never used self check out before, and he was so nervous he'd mess it up (it's not the atom bomb folks, there's nothing you can do to that machine that can be undone with the turn of a key.) So I explain the basics, he goes through his whole purchase, with minimal help from me, and that was only because he had produce, and at the end, the look of pride/excitement on his face was priceless (reminded me of my kids and a good grade on a test). So now he's all excited and can't wait to use self checkout again!!! (I'm sure he went home and told his dear wife all about it.)

    So while I didn't cure cancer or balance the national debt, I did make some people smile today. And I helped one man face his fear of the self checkout and walk away with the feeling of victory. All in all, not a bad night in my book.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And now I can breath a sigh of relief!

       The twins are officially high school graduates! And that my friends is no small feat! They both had very bad cases of senioritis! In fact so bad, I wasn't so sure they were going to walk to get their diplomas. I think I got at least 30 more gray hairs in the last month (not that I didn't need to dye it already). I think I can write about it now, without crying (too much) so here goes.

       One June 8th they graduated from their vocational school (in our area the students have a choice to split their educational day between "home school" and "tech school") Now this wasn't the graduation that worried me. I knew they were passing their classes there with flying colors. Twin 1 was awarded the "Excellence in Machining" and given 2 tool boxes, with machining tools, that were gifted to the school from a retired machinist. Twin 2 was awarded "Excellence in Welding" from his employer and also given a bonus from them. #2 also won an award for writing a letter to thank a veteran for their service. This award is given to a graduating senior from his welding class every year in honor of a past student who upon graduation joined the Marine Corp and lost his life in Iraq. The mother of the Marine was there to present #2 with the $500 check to be used toward further education or tools for his trade. (as a mother, I can't imagine her loss and my heart breaks for her. The strength to go every year and meet these young men who must remind her so much of her own lost son) 

   So here they are all dressed up, ready to head off to tech graduation.

     So the next week we have the "home school" graduation. And this is the one that had me worried. But by the Grace of God and the skin of their teeth, they passed Economics and were able to walk with their class.
     Although they were irritated they had to miss their co-op jobs to make rehearsal, they suffered through their classmates being idiots. A little funny side note here is that because the class is so large (577) they have the kids come from either side to make it go quicker when they call the names. So Twin 1 finds his name on the side he needs to be on, but Twin 2's name is not on that sheet. Twin 2 now proceeds to almost hyperventilate because he thinks he failed his final and will not graduate with his class (which means he will have to face his parents who will not be happy at all) Finally after what must have seem like hours to him, but really only a few minutes, someone points out his name is on the other list that sits on the other side of the stage. Now as a mom, I know I should feel bad for my poor dear son, but, hey he shouldn't have cut it that close!!!!

    So there they are, all dressed in there cap and gowns, the grandparents have come, and even Hubby's brother and wife (who happens to also be my sister) hubby's nephew come to watch the graduation as well. And now it looks like rain. So I am texting all who pray and asking for prayers the rain holds off till the kids are done. Other then a few "spritzes" here and there, we made out alright and the rain held off (thank you Lord!!!!!)

       Twin #1 walking in with his class, so happy it's almost over

      Twin #2 has just gotten his diploma. The key to his future.

   After graduation the Pop Pop and Nana offered to host a little dinner party at the Texas Roadhouse!!! We had a great meal and a good time. If you've ever been to the TR you know they have a saddle you get to sit in for special occasions such as birthdays, etc. Well graduating is a pretty special occasion so the waitress wanted to know if  she should bring the saddle over for the twins.  Oh heck yeah, bring that bad boy over!!!!
    So with a little bit of coaxing each twin had their turn in the saddle as all shouted YEA HAW!!!!! Yes their faces turned a little red, but it was all in good fun and they laughed just as hard as the rest of us
                                                      Twin 2
  Twin 1
     And so now they're men and working in the real world. Twin 1 is a machinist, working for a company that makes surgical parts. His boss seems pleased with his work and he will be working full time (started today) It's a good job and the benefits are good. 
       Twin 2 will be working 3 days a week (his choice) for the month of July and goes full time in August. His employer also seems quite please to have him working there. They were happy to see he'd spent his bonus on a nice tool box that will help #2 to be a good employee.

   So we have 2 down and 2 to go. (although it's going to be a long while before the other 2 are even close) I am very proud of the young men who are my sons. They've struggled, but they've prevailed and they are on the road to success. Sure they'll have a little stumble here or there, but I beleive they've got what it takes to make it in this world. For now they'll stay living here at the house. I don't think I'm ready for them to move out just yet. Let me just enjoy not having to hound them to do their homework.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Feeling much more hopeful about the garden

  OK so finally the rain stopped long enough for us to get back in the garden!!!! I did have to replant the string beans and carrots, but the peas and radishes are thriving, the verdict is still out on the beets, but they like to be spread apart anyhow.

   With Dad's help we got the garden tilled till the dirt was nice and fine. Then twin #1 planted the corn (only a little curve to the row)

 We planted 4 rows of Butter and Sugar (bi-color) and 2 rows of  Silver Queen. The bi-color will come on quicker, so by the 1st week in August I'll have sweet corn!!! (YUMMY!!!!)
     I know we totally cheat using the bigger equipment, but hey, it sure does make my life easier to plant lots of corn that way. Plus it makes The Men happy to help in the garden!!

      It rained this morning, well actually a down pour, but hoping that didn't wash the seeds away and will just help them to jump up quick.!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My poor garden

    We've had nothing but rainy, cold, damp weather for the most part this spring. The few days of sun we've had, haven't really been enough to till the garden and get it planted. The up side to that was the lettuce reseeded it's self. So I got out the rototiller (the one my PopPop used on his garden) and tilled up a row to move the lettuce to. Onions had restarted themselves, so I put those in the row too.

    Last Thursday it was dry enough, Pop could disk the garden for me. It was too wet to plow, so I got the tiller out and tilled up enough for peas, radishes, stringbeans, beets and carrots. And then the dry weather was over. The lettuce is still fairing well. Some of the stringbeans came up, but I'm thinking I'll have to replant most the row. Not sure about the peas yet. I *think* they're coming up since it's a straight row of something growing there.

      This is what my garden should look like by now

I should have radishes ready to harvest. I should have lots of tidy little rows of green. The corn part of the garden should be ready to be planted in the next week or so

 But no, it's just a big muddy mess with some lettuce and a few string beans poking their little heads out. I can't even bring myself to take a picture of it right now.

   So here's hoping that this rain decides it's had enough of dumping on my poor little garden and by this time next week I can plant the tomatoes, peppers and cucumber plants that are sitting in their planting pots just waiting to grow some yummy veggies for us to eat. In the mean time, I'll just be happy my livelihood doesn't depend on the weather conditions and pray for the farmers who do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

   So ever since Baby Girl was 6 weeks old, we've had the tradition of going camping for Mother's Day. I know some women groan at the thought of camping, but keep in mind, I've got a trailer and my own potty, so we're really not roughing it too bad. Well this was by far one of the best camping trips we've ever had!!

    I think because  the men got to take their motorcycles on the trip it really helped. They were able to do some "big guy stuff" while I watched the little two on the playground (there's a huge wooden play structure were we go in Gettysburg). Plus they could take the bikes when we went to drive somewhere, so we weren't packed like sardines in the truck.

    The other reason was because the twins had a huge surprise planned for me. I had know idea those two had decided to surprise me with a Kindle for my Mother's Day gift (and we'll call it my birthday gift too). Sitting around the campfire on Friday night Twin 2 told me I can't wait to give you your gift on Sunday, it's so cool, you'll love it. OK so I'm thinking, great, they actually thought of me, maybe it's some jewelry, something unique, my interest is peeked, but now I've got two days to try to guess to myself what it is. 

   Mother's Day I woke to the smell of pancakes and a call of Mom where's the spatula? Twin 1 was making breakfast, but lack of a spatula had me concerned for the fate of the pancakes. Lucky for me, the little two ate the first crispy pancakes (hey, it's my day, don't judge me for not eating those pancakes!!!) Poor twin one was so disgusted at his attempt he didn't even make breakfast for himself (his pancakes got broken in the flipping) But Hubby did step in and make some egg sandwiches for the men.

   Ok on to gift time!!! Baby Girl made me two cards and I got bath salts in a little Chinese take out box (thank you awesome pre school teachers). Little Man gave me a bag of trail mix with the recipe, things like tiny marshmallows for all the squishy hugs, M&M's for times when it's just me and mom. (yeah I was choking back the tears reading that one). Meanwhile the twins are just standing there grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Finally they get to give me their gift. Twin 2 hands me a case of some kind???? Then Twin 1 hands me a Kindle box. I was speechless!! (something that almost never happens) I cried as I hugged them. They had all on their own decided to get me this gift with their own money they had worked for. I don't think I've ever had a gift given to me with so pride in the purchase of it.

    So I love my Kindle. Twin 2 keeps asking me what all I've got it to do. So far I've got the wireless set up (with the help of a Verizon tech) downloaded books and check my facebook with it. I feel bad I haven't explored all of it yet, but I'm just excited to have a new "book" to read.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mom there's a beaver in the yard

   No there isn't really a beaver in our front yard, it's a groundhog, but don't try telling Baby Girl that, she's sure it's a beaver!!!!

    I tell her don't worry, he's just eating, he's fine. He better not be eating my pretty flowers (the dandelions that are making our yard look like it's polka dotted) I tell her no, he's probably eating the clover. Oh no, he's not going to eat the 4 leaf ones is he? No Baby Girl, the ground hogs only eat the 3 leaf ones. They like to leave the 4 leaf ones for little people to find. That seemed to calm her ( at least for the moment)

     Yes we have a groundhog in our front yard, actually he lives in the hedgerow along the front property line by the road. His name is Bob. The deal is as long as Bob (or maybe it's Roberta, we did have some little groundhogs last year roaming around) stays in the front, away from the house and my garden, he's allowed to co-exist on our little 2 acres. And yes, I let the dandelions grow wild in my yard (keeps the little 2 from picking the real flowers). And yes I might have lied to my child. But hey, maybe groundhogs really don't like to eat the 4 leaf clovers?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I made some money

    and well I spent some too, but I think I almost broke even. I've been shopping at this local, three times a year, consignment sale for the past few years now. I always seem to find some good deals, but I knew I was missing some good deals too because if you are a consignor you get first dibs on the sale. So this time I bit the bullet and decided to spend the $10 consignor fee and sell some of Little Man and Baby Girls clothes at the sale as well as buy stuff.

    It's pretty simple you just fill out your registration on line, pay your $10 fee and start entering the clothes you want to sell. They do provide guidance on what prices to sell your clothes at. $1-$2 for basics from say Walmart, Target, $2-$3 for JCPenny, the higher end dept stores $3-$5 for gymbo, Janie and Jack, that type of place. If you're going to be a consignor, try to follow those guidelines, remember people are looking for deals, so if you're priced too high, you're stuff is going to sit on the rack. Once you've entered everything you want to sell into your computer (this really isn't that hard, I'm not very computer literate, but managed to make out just fine) then you can print out your tickets, use card stock, this way your tickets won't tear off and land on the floor.

    Some sales have their last day as a 1/2 price day, so you'll need to decide if you're going to do 1/2 price (I'd suggest doing that, you've already done all that work, at least try to re-coop some money for your efforts. Also you'll need to decide if you want to have the items not sold donated or if you'll be back to pick them up once the sale is over.

   The sale I did I got 60% of the sale price. If you volunteer you get another 10%. Also if you volunteer (at least at this sale) you get the 1st chance to shop. So it really does pay to take a 3 hour shift. Also for us SAHMs it's a great excuse to get out and talk with other mommies.

   In the end I made about $35. I spent about $33 between the pre-sale and the 1/2 price sale. So not too shabby. Yes, you could say after you factor in the $10 to register it cost me money, but... I didn't really spend a lot of money on the clothes I sold (most were from the last consignment sale) and I was able to get first dibs on the sale so I got some great deals that may have been gone before I got there had I not been able to shop the pre-sales. All in all it was a good experience and I'll most likely do it again in the fall. 

   So if you're interested google consignment sales in your area and see what pops up. You might just find a new way to make a few dollars on out grown clothes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pasta Sauce

   Ok fingers crossed I'm pretty sure I've got the right combination for my pasta sauce. I made lasagna the other night and it was the best one I've ever made (the men folk were all in agreement!!) Now I'm not Italian, so it's not some fabulous sauce like you'd get if you were in some fancy restaurant, but it's good and pretty simple to make (which are the two requirements for me making something)

    I start with store brand tomatoes, (I tried the name brands, but I really like these the best) 1 can each of Giant brand 14.5 oz Diced tomatoes, Italian diced tomatoes (has basil, garlic and oregano) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion. Then a 12 oz can of tomato paste. I put this all in my nonstick pot and mash w/ the potato masher (a plastic one so you won't damage the pan). I use McCormick's Italian seasonings, not really sure how much, I just gently shake it over the pot so there's a light coating on top of the sauce. I then let is simmer for a couple hours, stirring maybe every 1/2 hour 45 minutes. I would think you could also do this in the crock pot if you don't want to "babysit" the sauce. And that's about it (see told you it was easy). I taste it with some bread about half way through. I might add a little more seasoning to it if I think it needs it.

   This makes enough for a pound of pasta or a 9x13 lasagna. Both of which are just enough for our family with maybe a leftover bowl for Hubby to take to work for lunch one day (if one of the twins don't eat it for a snack)

  So there it is, my "I'm not Italian, but I'm going to make my own sauce and have it taste better then out of a jar" Oh and the good part is, it's cheaper then a jar of sauce for us because it takes a jar and a half to cover the pasta properly. So it tastes better and it's cheaper, what more could I want out of a sauce : ) 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

    I'm not sure if it's just moms or women in general, but why are we so hard on ourselves? Most of the woman I know are moms, so I'll just talk about the moms right now.

   I know women who have a kind encouraging word for all of their friends. They find a bright spot in a person's day, some little positive thing to tell a friend who's having a bad day, or just some way to try to cheer up a friend. They have no trouble telling you all the great things about their friends/family/etc, but when it comes to themselves, they only see the negative. Why is it we can find the good in everyone but ourselves? Why is it we don't want to believe our friends who have kind words for us. We feel like we must say thank you, but we don't really believe the truth our friends see about us?

   Is it the magazines that show us pictures of the "perfect woman"? Because we all know most of those pictures are photo shopped. Is it the movies where the women have it all? (I don't really watch anything that isn't drawn and has a musical sound track to it, so I'm no expert on the new movies) Is it because we see the "stars" out with their babies and they've dropped the baby weight so quickly? We know those woman have the money to hire a personal trainer and a nanny to watch the kids while they work out. So why do we make the comparisons?

    I don't know the answers? I wish I did. But I do know I have some fabulous moms for friends. They make craft projects with their kids. Some take them out to the playground everyday, weather permitting. Some have moved Heaven and Earth to get their child the special help they need to deal with a child's special needs. (and believe me that is no small feat!!!) Some of my mommy friends homeschool (those lucky kids have the best teachers ever). Some make home made meals every day, others married men who know how to cook a home made meal (go you!!!). Others are great just because they tell/show their children how loved they are every day.

   These are just a few examples of what makes them great moms, but if you were to ask them what's so great about themselves, they'd hem and haw, they'd be able to tell you 10 things they wish they were better at right off the top of their head. But they'd look at all the accomplishments I've just listed and say Well that's just what moms do.

   So to all my mommy friends, know that you are awesome!!! Know that you are doing great things for your kids, just by being there for them and enjoying their everyday antics. And please write down a list of all the great things you do and post it somewhere you'll see it everyday. Shoot put it in your undies drawer on the top so no one but you sees it. And know that you are fabulous women. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The best things in life are free

 It's funny how often this rings true when kids are involved. They love the big box a gift came in. They'll happily visit the park and just run amok on the playground. In short, they're just happy to be happy (boy howdy can we all take a lesson from their playbook or what?)

   This week has been a cold one, not so cold you can't play outside for a little while (once you're all bundled up) but cold enough to freeze the water puddles and make a nice place to "ice skate" I remember many a winter day "ice skating" on the big frozen puddles that were around our farm. I say "ice skating" because there were no ice skates, just ice and slippery soles on your boots. We did have a pair of ice skates here or there, but the slippery boots were just as fun. And as a child you're sure you look *almost" as good as Dorothy Hamill did when she skated. (yes I know I just gave away my age)

   So Little Man and Baby Girl have been having just as much fun on our very own puddles the last couple of days. They've used sticks and leaves to play hockey. They've spun *gracefully* in circles (ok so maybe more like whirling out of control tops on a freshly Pledged wooden floor). They probably spent as much time on their fannies as they did their feet, but that's ok. As for me, I've loved watching them "skate". It brings back memories from my childhood and makes me stop and smile for a minute. 
                               This picture is a little blurry, but I love the big belly laugh
                                                                                              Little Man is having

                                                                           Just "skating" along
    So in this time of everyone's house looking like Toys 'R Us threw up all over the place (or maybe that's just my house that looks like that after Christmas) it's been nice to be reminded of the simple pleasures in life. They're free and they're precious and as adults, we need to soak them up when we can.  I hope you cold weather moms are able to get out there, find a puddle and pretend you're Katerina Witt, if only for a short time, with your kiddos .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The self check out lane

  It's not rocket science folks, just follow the instructions and you'll be just fine! I really do try to keep a sense of humor about my job, but some nights the idiots are out to get me! I think there should be a basic list of rules you need to read before you walk over to a self check out area.
  • Do not try to operate this machine if you're drunk. Even though it's funny to watch you stumble over the pushing of the screen and the trying to open the plastic bag (that in it's self is hard enough when you're sober) you're only going to get mad at the attendant when we tell you to follow what the machine is saying. Oh and we have to do this with a straight face because you're drunk and we're easily amused!
  • The machine works on a scale. The bar code has a weight attached to it. If you're going to try to scan 1 item and put two in the bag an alarm will sound and we will loudly tell you to only put in the bag what you've already scanned. We're sure you're not trying to steal.
  •  If you're not going to listen to the machine and you're not going to listen to the attendant when we try to explain, then just keep moving along, none of us need the aggravation.
  • Please realize the machine can't hear you when you talk back to it. Although it amuses me and makes my night go faster, so by all means, please carry on your conversation. 
 To all the people who zip through the self check out with breeze good for you! I'll smile and really mean it when I tell you to have a nice evening.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Menu planning made easier

  Or at least that's what I'm hoping for. In order to help the food budget, I menu plan from the local grocery ads. I "cherry pick" from the two higher end stores (meaning I only buy what is on sale, not my basics) and then do the rest of the shopping at the cheapest store out of the three local stores (all within 5 miles of my house). This usually works out, but I still seem to miss a couple things I'll need for my menu. Which means I need to run out (or have Hubby stop on the way home) to get the missed item.

     Well I think I've come up with a better way to menu plan and make sure I've got everything I need for that weeks menu. I took 3X5 cards (that I already had on hand for the twins for school) and wrote one meal on each card. I then wrote every item I need to make that meal (not the actual recipe, just the ingredients). I color coded them for each meat with a pen, so black is beef, green is chicken, blue is pork and red is other (seafood or the recipe doesn't call for meat).  So for my stuffed shells recipe it looks like this
                         Stuffed Shells 
                     ground beef
                     pasta shells
                     shredded mozzarella cheese
                    bread crumbs
                    parmigiana cheese

 So now when stuffed shells is added to the rotation I look in the pantry to see what ingredients I already have on hand and what I need to buy gets written down on my grocery list. I will let everyone know how well this plan works out for me. I'm hoping I will be much more organized now.

   My other tip for shopping the grocery store is go on-line for the store you shop. Most stores allow you to view their ad on line and you can click on the things you want in the ad to create a list. Then you can follow the tabs to add the other items not on sale to your grocery list. When you print it out, most stores organize the list by isle. So you only go down the isles you need and you know exactly what isle everything is in. So when you're in isle 9 you know you're going to get your pasta, sauce, rice and beans. Make sure to take a pen to cross the items off as you go. If you're shopping with a little helper, have them help you with the isle number or how many of the item you are looking for.