Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New wardrobes...

So, I did all my Kids Closet shopping tonight. My total (to date) is $169. Not bad...not bad at all!

So this is what I got for Beth -
3 dresses (Toffee Apple, Just Ducky & MC Collection), lots of "holiday" shirts (Halloween, Christmas & Valentines), and lots of shirts and sweaters (Gap, Old Navy, Tommy, J.Kakhi, Copper Key, Ralph Lauren, one pair of Disney Jasmine PJ's (not pictured), shoes and a Hanna Montana microphone that she picked out and a Disney Princess scooter..also not pictured. Total spent on Beth: $72
And for Sarah -
4 dresses (Ralph Lauren, Polly & Friends, Eagles Eye and Sophie Rose), a Gap Valentine's shirt, and several 2-piece outfits (FlapHappy, Flapdoodles, LeTop, CWD, Gymboree & Fashion Classics. She also got a Dora book, a Polar Express DVD (for everyone), and lots of shoes in the size she is wearing now and the next size up. She's set! Total spent on Sarah: $77

I think I did pretty good! I'm sure I'll pick up a few other things from now until Saturday (especially Saturday when most things go 1/2 price). There are a TON of things this year...I'm sure I missed lots of great items just because there is so much stuff!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Its Kids Closet Week...

...and Sarah is sick. No of them is always sick Kids Closet week. ALWAYS. Sarah has Hand, Foot & Mouth least to best of our determination. Its going around her daycare room...again...and its the exact same symptoms as last time - fever hoovering around 100-101 (that will go down with Motrin or Tylenol, but comes right back up as soon as the meds wear off), and not much of an appetite, but very thirsty. She has a little red spot on the left side of her mouth, but she won't let me get a real good peek inside her mouth. No spots on her hands or feet...same as last time. HO HUM....I remember it lasting 3 days last time. I'm hoping maybe tomorrow (day 3) will be her last day and she can back to daycare Wednesday. Stay tuned...

And for your viewing pleasure - a "before bedtime" sister picture tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm drowning in hair accessories!

To date, I have made over $225 dollars in bows. My goal is to have $300 worth, which I MAY hit with special orders taken at the sale. I would like to sell at least 1/2 of them. (oh, okay, I'd like to sell ALL of them, but that is highly unlikely.)

These are the ponytail streamers- not as cute in the bags as they are actually IN a ponytail!

See something you like and want it custom to your kid's school color or team colors? Email me or leave a comment!
Basic medium bows: $3.00
Basic medium bows multi packs: $8.00 and $10.00
Large Polka dot/solid bows: $4.00
Ponytail Streamers: $5.00

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are you in my area? Wanna help?

If you read this blog and you live near me, are you interested in helping with the Kids Closet consignment sale??? We need help the Friday of the sale (Oct. 3) and the Saturday after the sale closes (Oct. 4) from about 11-5. Work 6 hours and shop the private helper's sale on Wed., Oct. 1st before the sale opens to the consigners or the public. (all the good stuff usually sells at the helpers' sale!)
Wanna consign some stuff, too? Let me know and I'll let you know HOW to do it!
Leave a Comment or email me if you are interested...or call me, too, I guess!
It all begins THIS SUNDAY! (which means one of my kids will be sick next week...always happens...every sale!)


We went "camping" this weekend. It was supposed to be an absolutely GORGEOUS weekend, so the original plan was to go to a local camping hotspot....all of us for the day, and then Sarah and I would come back home and Beth and Bob would stay the night. Well, after dwelling on it, it was decided that tent camping is just getting too dang hard, so what about a local state park cabin? That way, Sarah and I could stay, too. So, we made a couple of phone calls, packed the truck (with what felt like a weeks worth of stuff), loaded up the girls' bikes and off we went.

We got there at lunch, ate quickly, and then Bob and Beth were off to go fishing and Sarah took a nap. So, I lounged on the not-so-great cabin sofa, watched it rain and dizzle outside (so much for a GORGEOUS weekend), and surfed the TV channels for 2 hours....not watching more than 10 minutes of anything. Wow- weekend daytime TV is BAD!! After naps, they girls went up to the playground for about 1/2 hour, then rode their bikes...and rode their bikes...and rode their bikes. We grilled chicken, ate dinner, went exploring in the truck and then back home for bed. And putting Beth to bed was a CHORE (no nightlight!). After Beth was asleep, Sarah woke up for a good hour...just playing and singing in her bed. NO one slept well. Bob and I were in a full bed, which was WAY more cramped up then we are used to. BUT, it was MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than the ground, which was the alternative to the cabin!

At 7:30, everyone was up and we were out the door on the road home in an hour. (I had to be back for Church at 11:00 due to a prior commitment).

Fun? Maybe. A memory builder? Maybe.
But Sarah should had fun riding her tricycle up and down the street!!!
(oh yeah...and I forgot my camera, too. Sorry.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Apples, Apples and more Apples (recipes!!)

I have apples running out of my ears. There is a HUGE apple tree in a vacant lot near us and since no one else is utilizing the free fruit, we are! I KNOW we've picked close to 60-75 apples - I've already made 3 batches of homemade applesauce, and 3 loaves of Apple Spiced Bread. I plan to make a cake and freeze it for Beth's Nursery School Cake Auction and I will be making another double batch of applesauce this weekend for Beth to take to school next week for her "apple" show and tell day snack. Here are a few recipes I've used this past week. All are WONDERFUL, so far!

This was a nice fall dinner. And although it looks complicated, it came together really easily! The "hardest" part was chopping the apples! It was SOO GOOD! I highly recommend it - I promise, its not hard and not really too time intensive!

Caramel Apple Pork Chops
4 Thick pork chops
1 tsp Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
2 Tart apples-peeled, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp Chopped pecans (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan.
Cook for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until evenly browned.
Transfer to a warm dish and keep warm in a low oven.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add butter to skillet and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples.
Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until apples are tender.
Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops.
Keep warm.
Continue cooking mixture in skillet uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly.
Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans. (I just added the pecans to the sauce instead of sprinkling them on top)

This is my applesauce recipe:

Homemade Applesauce
Cut and peel 10 medium-to-large apples, put in crockpot.
Add 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 cup sugar.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Drain and mash apples. Cool.
Makes about 2-3 cups depending on size of apples used.

I usually do start the prep work for this after the girls go to bed and turn on the crockpot around 10:00 p.m. and just let it cook on low overnight. I take the top off for the last 20-30 minutes or so to let it thicken a tad.

A couple hints/tips:
Peel the apples and then cut into small chunks. Makes mashing easier later.You don't have to add *all* of the water - you may not need it depending on the type of apple used. Gala apples are pretty juicing - only use 1/4 cup of water maximum!You don't have to add *all* the sugar, either. Again, it depends on the kind of apple. Gala apples- 3/4 cup is plenty! Experiment to see what you need. Types such as Granny Smith and Fuji need almost all the sugar recommended.
The cinnamon and cooking of the apples will turn your applesauce brown - very brown! Don't be alarmed - it is supposed to look like that and it taste wonderful!

The Spiced Apple Bread recipe:

Spiced Apple Bread
Makes 2 Loaves

2 2/3 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 2/3 cups regular)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup oil)
4 eggs – beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups coarsely chopped apples -- Gala
1 cup raisins -- optional (I didn't use)
1 cup chopped pecans -- optional (I didn't use)
2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

PREPARATION:In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a separete mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then stir in chopped apples, raisins, and pecans. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Greased waxed paper (I didn't use waxed paper). Pour batter into pans, smoothing the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 20 minutes at 325°. Pull out rack and sprinkle loaves with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes; turn out onto a rack. Slice and serve (Better on day 2)

Original author's note: Absolutely yummy!!! So easy. I skipped the raisins. I also used walnuts instead of pecans. Instead of the ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, I just used 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. I used Gala apples.

...and one more of my favorites...I haven't made it yet this week, but I'm going to make a batch tonight for our camping trip tomorrow:

Apple Brownies

1 cup peeled, chopped apples
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1 tsp is good, too!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8x8 or 8x11 inch baking pan, greased

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix 1/2 cup of butter that is softened or at room temperature with 1 cup of sugar.
3. Beat in 1 egg.
4. Add in 1 cup of flour a little bit at a time while you stir it into the butter mixture.
5. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
6. Add 1 cup of peeled and chopped apples.
7. Pour mixture into a baking pan greased with butter. Try to distribute the apples evenly around the pan.
8. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
9. Cool before cutting them into bars.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Growing Up

Remember this picture of Sarah so desperately wanting to ride her tricycle from earlier this spring?

Well, she grew up this summer and can now ride the thing like a maniac!!

Today, she had to have her Dora purse, baby doll and baby doll backpack/sling with her as she was riding. God love her....

Monday, September 15, 2008

No news is good news, right?

I haven't updated the blog lately, because really, there isn't much interesting stuff to say. I'll see if I can't recap the past week or so:
1) Beth still likes Kindergarten. Her teachers speak highly of her. Yeah!
2) Bob and I visited a local private school to consider for Beth next year. We really liked it. Its small - 250 or so kids K-12. Each class has around 15-18, but can take more and they "split the class" which is what they'll have to do with the 1st grade class next year, if everyone on "the list" actually enrolls. Its somewhat expensive, but I think its worth it to us. I just don't think I can fight the public school system, and fighting is what I'd be doing. Its just too exhausting.
3) The remnants of Hurricane Ike hit us yesterday - no rain, just lots of strong wind. We didn't have any damage, but there was a lot of damage around town. We were kinda hoping a shingle or two would fly away - we need a new roof! :-)
4) Nothing new with Sarah. Boy, would I like to get her potty-trained soon.
5) Kids Closet prep is in full swing. All the advertising is done, so I can kinda sit back and relax for a while, with the exception of dealing with the radio stations. Oh wait, I lied, I still have LOTS & LOTS of bows to make. I'm also making ponytail streamers this sale - I'll get some pictures of Beth modeling them - I told her she could be my "bow model" and she got all excited, but Lord knows I don't make the darn things for her to actually wear! She hates all things frilly in her hair (and now, I'm starting to lose Sarah, too...she is hating her bows and barretts, too, and she NEEDS them to keep her hair out of her face- she's just a mess!)
6) It should be a somewhat quiet week. We have a big downtown event Friday night and then Bob wants to go camping Saturday. Oh yeah.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah for VP

I just ordered this shirt in a 2T for my Sarah. I figured it has a great double-meaning!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pulling out all the stops

Bob is in Baltimore...Maryland. My back-ups, my parents, are in Lexington. I'm at home...with the myself....ALL weekend. :-)

SOOO....I've pulled out all the stops to keep everyone in good spirits, not whiny, and not stir-crazy. Yesterday, we went to Blockbuster and I let each girl pick a movie for "movie night" in my bed, which Beth LOVED. And we also went to Wal-Mart to look for napmats for Beth, and ended up ordering on Ebay instead. We ate dinner on the floor, the girls had a long bath and we called it a night.

This morning, we stayed in PJ's till 9am, then we went for walk (since it was only about 70 degrees) up to mom and dad to get their mail and newspapers, and then we stopped by an empty lot and picked nice, ripe red apples off the tree (which I cut up during naptime and threw in the crockput to make Applesauce). We relaxed for a while at home, then went to McD's for lunch and what ended up as an HOUR on the McD's playground. A cousin of mine was there, so I chatted with her while the girls played. They both took awesome naps and then it was up and out the door again, to another local playground. Dinner in the den again, and the evening in the backyard...with sidewalk chalk...then buckets of water and paintbrushes...which ended up being a water fight. Bubble baths, homework for Beth...then bedtime!

And we get to do it all again tomorrow...and we are throwing Church into the mix. I'm tired.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Days Past & Present

September 2006 - First day of 3 Year old Nursery School

September 2007 - Frist day 4 Year Old Nursery School

And September 2008- First Day of Kindy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beth's First Day of Kindergarten

Our traditional "front porch" photos before heading off to school at the ungodly hour of 7:40 this morning. Ugh. If you look closely, you can really see how tired she is - she isn't a great morning child. This year should be interesting...

And followed by our traditional "Church front steps" photo on the first day of school! The sun was directly in her eyes - not many great shots here.

In front of her cubby in her classroom (she was SOO over me taking her picture at this point!).

I can't believe I have a Kindergarten girl! AUGH! I did okay this morning - no time for tears and she was SO ready to go. The one moment when I did almost cry was when I realized that on this day next year, I'd be taking my baby, Sarah, to 3-year-old Nursery school. Oh she growing that fast, too??

I'll dig up Beth's 1st day photos from 3-year-old and 4-year-old Nursery School and do a comparison soon - gotta find those pictures first!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Then & Now

This picture of Beth was taken at the Bass Pro Shop in Destin in July 2005. She was 2 (28 months old).

Same location- 3 years later. Beth is now five and Sarah is exactly the same age as Beth in the above picture - 28 months.

I just think its neat to see how much the girls have grown from year to year!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Sarah Palin, that is. The GOP VP candidate. Awesome!

Granted, three days ago, I didn't know squat about this woman, but now that we DO know who she is and I'm learning, I'm so excited. I think the one thing I'm most excited about is that she is a working mom....of five kids. Well, technically, 3 kids still at home, since one is in the army and heading to Iraq and the other one (17 girl) is getting ready to get married (b/c she is pregnant, if you haven't already heard). BUT, family drama is in every family, in one way or the other, so she is really no different than the rest of us....basically your real American mom, with the exception of maybe being the Vice President and the current Alaskan Govenor. She's "real" and I think that is why I like her.

I can hear all the chatter now, about her working and having five kids and "if she hadn't been working and been at home raising those kids where she should have been, that 17 year old girl wouldn't have gotten pregnant!" Whatever people....get a life. Its 2008. Everyone has their own opinion.

My opinion is I like her. I'm thrilled McCain chose a working mom to be his running mate. And from what I gather...she's a real pistol!!! That'll be my Sarah in 40 years!!