Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How anticipated you are

I hate resolutions, but this time of year always seems to have me thinking about whats going on in my life and areas of improvement. Jared and I are in the midst of going over our expenditures for 2007. I wouldn't say that we like to do this, but we do it basically every year. We really don't budget in the traditional sense, but we review our finances and see what areas need work. This year there are 3.
1)Mid year we put ourselves on an alcohol budget and that worked out very well. We'll continue that into 2009.
2)We have been meal planning, but I still need to improve that. I try, but I tend to plan too many meals. This causes wasted food. I think for now in our family 3 is about the right number of meals. This will probably change seasonally as things we make in the summer tend to have no or very little leftovers. I also need to inventory the freezer and use that more efficiently.
3)Eating out. This can easily get out of hand. We don't tend to eat out a lot but the fast food thing can go crazy. We'll be out around meal time and it's "do we go home and make something or just grab a bite out?" Guess which one sounds easier? Well, it shouldn't be. We almost always have fruit at the house. I hope to get better at deciding to go home, and eat a piece of fruit while making sandwiches or whatever lunch I decide to make. Jared keeps a jar of peanut butter and one of nutella at his desk at work and only needs to remember to take bread and ask for more of either when he runs out. He said that he'd try harder to do that too.

1) As for me, I'd like to be more fit this year. I hope, in large part to achieve this by biking this summer. We got a bike trailer for Miles a couple of weeks ago. I'm hoping this works out well for biking to the library and such.
2) I'd also like to keep the house cleaner and more organized. I don't have plans no how to achieve this yet, but I'll get there!
3) Lastly, I've really got to stop biting my nails! It's getting worse, and also irritating. I've always bitten them, for as long as I can remember.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Year

Last year I set several goals for myself. Most of which I wasn't able to complete. I'll work harder this coming year.

Sew More...
Finish Miles' Baby Blanket
I made only a little progress on this, sadly it still isn't finished
Make Madison & Miles stockings
Nope, I don't even have the fabric from my mother
Make a Table Runner
Nope, haven't started this either
Bag from Bend the Rules Sewing
Nope, I did get the book for Christmas though! Yay me!

I haven't been working out regularly, but do get on regular work out jags! I hope to get a lot of exercise this summer on the bike.

Home Improvements
We have completed the flooring in the three bedrooms. Hope to do the game room this year.
We had a little garden this year but it was in pots. Before spring I'd like to get the beds done.
The grass is in much better shape but still needs work (as I'm sure it will for a while).

Personal Improvement

Daily Bible Study
I did very well with this for the first few months, then stopped. I've just picked the habit back up. I also got a lot of my family involved so we can hold each other accountable.
I didn't really participate much this year, and it is no longer being held.
Miles' website
I did this regularly this year. Yay me! I've just updated with lots and lots of Christmas pictures.
Take a picture a day
I took lots of pictures this year, but not daily. I'm ok with where I am on this though.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Menu Plan

I'm working on a post about goals for next year and a financial goal I've created for myself is to get better at menu planning. Just now I think that three meals is enough for my family. One of the problems we have is planning too much and letting food waste.

Here is my menu plan for the week:

Acorn Squash and Feta Casserole & Salad

Manicotti & Salad

Sole, couscous, and sauteed vegetables

Two or three other days we'll have leftovers from these and I have a bit of split pea soup left from last week too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Merry Christmas?

We had a fabulous Christmas. Christmas eve is Jared's Mother's birthday. She said that she'd like to have brunch. Jared and I couldn't see paying $20 a head to eat a breakfast that we could make better ourselves. Instead Jared invited everyone over for brunch at our house. I guess at the time he wasn't thinking about our plans for Christmas morning...when we planned to have everyone over...for brunch. Ahem, yeah.

So, we planned two slightly different brunch menus and had 10 people over first thing in the morning two days in a row. Then, as soon as we finished the second brunch we loaded up in the car and drove a couple of hours south to visit more family. Anyway, a couple of days later we headed home and tried to put the house back together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Dirty Little Secret?

I just read A Simple Equation over at Ordinary Days. Sarah says

"How many times a week do you vacuum? Did you know that there is a simple equation
to figure out how often you should? Well, there is and this is it!

# of humans in your house + # of pets = # of times a week you should vacuum"

3 Humans (do toddlers count twice?) + 2 cats = my dirty secret
(I never vacuum)

I have no carpet! I sweep and/or mop just about daily though.

I'm not sure that I won this one.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

HGP Overview

So, I'm glad I participated in the Holiday Grand Plan this year. I didn't get all out of it that I should have, but did get a lot of good from it. I think in large part, the reason I didn't get the most from it is that I didn't have the info printed out at the beginning. I've been having problems with my printer and decided to save whatever prints were left, so I didn't print them. They have lots of tips about things to be sure to clean and lists to keep etc. Because I didn't have them printed I didn't get the tips and didn't really feel like I was participating either. However, I already have a reminder on my calender to participate next year. While I'm thinking about it, I'm going to add a reminder a couple of weeks earlier to be sure that I have all the forms printed. I bought a new printer already, so I'm thinking about printing them now and putting them in a binder. But where would I sore it so that I could find it? If only I were more organized!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Here's the little guy with Santa last year...

Here he is this year...

What a difference.
This year I almost gave up in line a couple of times. He was not into it at first! We walked up to where you could see Santa, but you weren't in line and talked about him. He waved to Miles, but Miles wouldn't wave back. Then in line he started to throw a temper tantrum royal! I couldn't distract him and all he wanted to do was run off. Finally we were next (there weren't many people in line but they were taking FOREVER). Miles was playing with a little car and I told him that I bet Santa liked cars too. After the little girl in front of us was done, we walked up and said hi. After more prompting Miles held out the car for Santa to see. He oh-ed and ah-ed appropriatly and took the car to drive on his gloves. Once it was clear that the friendship hadn't geled, I pulled out our copy of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." I told Miles that it was Santa's story, and I bet if he asked nicely that Santa would read him a page or two. As soon as Santa took the book Miles was fine going to him. He loves books so much. He never really did smile, but he did great!

Every night we read a Christmas story. We have 4 main ones that we cycle through "A Christmas Carol," "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Nutcracker," and "The First Christmas." Miles really seems to like all of them. We talk a little about the difference between the real Christmas story and the others, but mostly just let him enjoy.

Here he is "helping" to decorate.
So far everyone is enjoying the holidays, and looking forward to next week!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


When my sister came in town, we took her to Ice!. It was super fun. They have hand carved ice sculptures which they keep frozen (and environmentally friendly) by cooling 14,000 square feet to a tepid 9degrees!

Here is Miles playing on a little train while we purchase tickets.

Here we are ready to go in to the exhibit. They loan you these huge coats to keep "warm."
Miles refused to put one on, but I took it anyway. I was hoping that once we were in he would acquiesce. He did but he wasn't too happy about it at first.

Here we are sitting on frozen Santa's lap. Miles was loving it!

These are cool ice trees with lights frozen inside them. Very neat!

There were a ton of cool sculptures but I won't bore you with pics of ice...

Here are a few from after.

We had a blast (ticket price was still steep though)! Grapevine has a ton of stuff both during the season and all year long!