Friday, May 14, 2010

Chalk on greasy stains

This was too good to keep to myself:

Use chalk to get grease stains out. Read about it here.

via Apartment Therapy Main by Sarah Rae Trover on 5/14/10

051410-chalk.jpg Between cooking meals in the kitchen, working on our car and being self-confessed klutz, we learned to treat clothing stains early on in life. It wasn't until a friend visited recently that we realized one of our tricks was rather unusual and left them asking, "Why do you keep chalk on top of your dryer?"

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all of you women! I think days like these are fun--like Valentine's day, or Father's Day. Sure we should show our love and appreciation to our mothers on a regular basis. But it's fun to have an excuse (and reason) to do something out of the ordinary. Maybe some people think it's just another day for merchandisers to push their products, but I enjoy it anyway.

Lee surprised me with LOTS of yummy chocolate--from a Toblerone to Lindt trufles, a Milka bar to Hawaiin Host chocolates (plus a couple more!) YUM!

Adorning the box filled with YUMMY chocolate, were our kids, depicted in candy. He did a great job.

Clark is obviously the tallest, with Cal on the left. The twins in front (he made them the "same" for obvious reasons) and Elden is crawling in the middle.

Thanks Lee! You are so creative! We let the kids eat "themselves" while we listened to a conference talk.
I enjoyed the cards from my mom and Clark and the cute picture Clark brought me from school. (He made the boarder.) I also enjoyed hearing Lee speak today at church on the miracles of our Savior. I got to talk to Sheldon a little as he and my parents spoke during church in a classroom. He is currently on a proselyting mission in Italy for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We've enjoyed having my parents here for a short visit. I wish they could stay a little longer. Enjoy your week one and all!

Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

Cal taught Home-Ec on Wednesday. This week he led a baking class, choosing to do a healthy version of Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies.
Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies sound much better than the "soup" I would make as a small child.

Since we're on the subject of food, on Friday while doing laundry, I looked into the living room and saw this:
Yep, Shanna's moved up in the world. No longer does she feel the need to hide in the shower and eat sour cream. Why not do it in the open and enjoy a movie at the same time? Though the kids were looking suspicious as I saw them eating spoonfuls of peanut butter in the bathroom that same day.

Farwell to Great Neighbors

We had a fun, bitter-sweet week. The picture explains it all:

Just kidding. This is how the cake ended up last Sunday night (what was left after eating). Lee was the genius behind it.

On Tuesday we had a neighbor get-together for our friends the Cantrells that moved on Friday. Theresa provided an amazing dinner and we had such a great evening with our friends! We are sad that they moved. Andrew and Clark are great friends and spent many, many afternoons playing together. We wish the Cantrells the best of luck at their next duty station!

Normal events filled up the rest of our week: story time, craft time, a Hep B immunization for me, registering Cal for Kindergarten, ping-pong for Lee, gathering Visiting Teaching numbers, scrubbing clothes, getting free flowers, wiping up spills, cutting the kids' hair (minus Elden), preparing for Mother's Day, Lee planting free flowers, attending the temple, and enjoying a visit from my mom and dad.

By the way, if you are ever running low on adrenalin, here's how to pump it up quick: borrow my five kids and take them to the mall by yourself. Go to a small store and buy some things--at least four items (seven will do too). Oh, and remember to do a return first before you even shop. I guarantee that you will be alive and awake the rest of the day. (Okay, so it's not a "quick" process--quite lengthy actually, but it will keep you hopping!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Terrific Three-year-old Twins!

Happy Third Birthday Shanna!
Happy Third Birthday Haley!

At 3am Sunday morning everything was ready for when the girls would awake a few hours later...
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Lee was the mastermind behind the cakes. He built both of them, and did the Dora one by himself. Shanna couldn't have been happier.
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I did the purple princess train--as Clark called it. Haley wanted a Thomas train or a Henry train. No matter how much she wanted one, I was not going to make her a "boy" train for her birthday cake! I thought purple was a little more girly and she loved it!
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Birthday morning!
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She looks like a little Lizzy!
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Late Sunday afternoon, when the girls had pajamas back on, ha ha, we had their party!
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First Shanna (older by 1 minute)
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Then Haley (taller by almost an inch)
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They seemed to have a fun day. The boys were excited about it too.

Now that you've seen the good stuff, I'll attempt a boring log of what we've been doing. Last weekend Lee took the boys to the Fathers and Sons camp-out. The campground is just a few miles from our house, so Lee and the boys came home that evening, and then went back for breakfast. While the boys were gone, I hosted a girl's movie night. We watched Sense & Sensibility and ate yummy food--it was really fun! I am not a "girl's night" person, but if my man is gone I don't mind doing them at all. Last week my friend Kristi and I went to a surprise birthday party for our friend Jessica. She was really surprised too. It was funny because we saw her at Wal-mart right before the party.

I have gone crazy and have been waking up lately between 4:30am to 5:30am (depending on Lee's work schedule) to workout at the fitness center. I am not a morning person, but of course can be if really motivated. Working out at the community center was great for several months. but since Elden started crawling, it became difficult. And then Cal didn't want to go either. For a couple of weeks I would switch between working out at home and working out during Lee's lunch. I didn't like being gone when he was here, but I really wanted a good workout on a treadmill. (Yep, I am a treadmill person!) So early morning was really the only option as I don't like to work out later in the day, especially at night. I am reminded of the time when I was looking for a job at BYU. My options were janitorial, among others. I decided on janitorial, but I wouldn't work early morning. But as I kept looking at my schedule, the best option for me was to get a 4am janitorial job. I cleaned the F.A.R.M buildings if that rings a bell for anyone--and sometimes the Knight Mangum building too.

My personal reading has been going....slow. But I am doing it! One of my problems is that I have four different books that I am reading at the same time, plus some that I want to look at from the library and the Ensign and the Real Simple magazine that my sister got me for Christmas. It's been fun, but not too focused. I recently finished listening to The Big Four by Agatha Christie. I am currently reading Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. Very good and eye opening, but tedious for me. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. Amazing. All parents of EITHER gender should read this book! Doctrine & Covenants Institute Student Manual. LOVE IT!!!!! Everyone should read this. And Jesus the Christ. Superb. It is so amazing how Talmage explains the obvious that I never thought about. Another MUST read. What is funny is that I think Talmage's book is easy reading compared to Liberty & Tyranny!

We have been busy with other odds and ends: story time, babysitting, going to St. Louis, work meetings, etc. I got a new bike a few weeks ago. I rode it for the first time today! My helmet came and so did my bike shoes, so I tried out the whole sha-bang. (sp?) It was funny because I think the neighbor boy figured I'd never ridden a bike before. When he saw me riding he said: Miss Ruth, you're doing a great job!"

OH, and I can't forget! After all this time following Dave Ramsey's plan, we are finally doing the envelope system--well, one envelope: groceries. The envelope system involves using cash for everyday purchases. When the money is gone, it's gone and no more spending. It's used on categories like clothes and food and dining out. One of my good friends uses it for car repairs too, which I think is so amazing! But we are only doing groceries right now using cash. We don't want to do a dining out envelope yet, or personal money (among other categories), as we are trying to meet some big financial goals for the year for a three-month emergency fund, funding our Roth IRAs and saving for a down payment on a future home. Using cash has brought back the fun that I enjoyed while getting out of debt. It was a fun, challenging game staying in budget and plunking down $2000 a month towards debt. After getting out of debt it was kind of boring! I went back and forth using cash, but I think I am hooked. It's been very fun, and yes, definitely like a game! And the good thing, I haven't overspent! I would tend to do that with my debit card; a dollar here, a dollar there.

Enjoy the rest of the week. I can't believe it's almost Wednesday!

Last week I found Haley asleep like this. Doesn't look so comfortable!
Four of the five a week ago. It was about 11:30 and I didn't realize till I uploaded the pictures that Haley's hair was out of whack so soon in the day. I wasn't surprised though!
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