Monday, November 20, 2006

If you can't change one thing, then change another

Apparently the great delay in our move has bothered me so much that I decided that if I can't move, then I'll just change something else by golly...

So I cut 6 inches off my hair.

My hair grows pretty quickly, but I've had it below my shoulders or longer for...well...forever. I'm pretty sure the last time it was even close to this short was back in high school or shortly thereafter. Proof of this was when I walked in with my new do, and my 13 yr old said "that's kinda....creepy looking Mom." Gee. Thanks. My youngest said it was weird. But they've never seen me with short hair, so I'm sure it does seem weird to them. Luckily, everyone else who have seen it like it just fine. One lady even said it looked SASSY (which, of course, was just what I was going for. After all - when you're 41 and tired of having the same do you wore in high school - sassy is the way to go! No sense in looking old & tired when you can prove that even while old - you are still hip cool "with it," you know?)

And y'all - it takes me all of 5 minutes to dry it. FIVE MINUTES!!! This is seriously saving me time in the mornings.

As for the move, they finish the basement this week, and they are scheduled to set the house on it's foundation next week. I am so ready. I try to tell myself to be patient - even with the house being set next week, we still have to frame in where the garage doors were, put in the windows for that room, put in the new HVAC system, get the septic system installed and hooked up, pour the porch and back patio and *then* - rebrick it. That doesn't include fixing the sheet rock on the inside, repainting, putting tile down in the kitchen & utility room, and replacing the patio door.

And THEN we can move!

Yeah. It's gonna happen. Finally.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Great Cookie Bake

When my boys were small, I wanted to start a Christmas tradition that was all our own. Since I had such fond memories of cooking with my mom as a kid, I thought that making Christmas cookies would be fun. So - every year, we have the Great Cookie Bake.

Of course, when we started this tradition, Mama & I would make the cookie dough from scratch. But as the boys got older, and our life got busier, we found that you can get just as yummy cookies in other, easier ways.

My *first* choice was always the cookie dough we have to buy from our kids during those school fundraisers. I figure if I have to buy any, then by golly, I'm buying something I can USE! So always consider the sugar cookie dough bucket, and the day before you bake cookies, just put it in the fridge, and voila - it's all ready to go the next day. No muss, no fuss.

This year we don't have any cookie dough, because apparently small towns don't do 4 fund raisers like they do in the big city ;-). So we're keeping an eye out for the Pillsbury cookie dough to go on sale (and use a coupon for it), and that should do us. For last minute cookie bakes, don't hesitate to buy the pre-mixed packages either. We tried that one year, and the cookies were great! Just mix it up, chill a bit, then roll 'er out and you're good to go! I dig out all of my cookie cutters and we have ourselves a grand ole time. E & J still seem to enjoy decorating the cookies last year - we'll see if they're up to it this year.

Any and all of these options work great for us!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Counting our Blessings....

Reading this post this morning made me think I needed to do my own list of what I'm thankful for. And I *really* need to do it because I realized this morning that the earliest I can move will probably be during Christmas BREAK!!!! and that just bums me out. *sigh*

1. I'm thankful for the health of my children, my husband and myself.

2. I'm thankful that my mom-in-law is having so few negative side effects from her chemo. She's mainly just tired. And there's that whole losing her hair thing. And did you know that they don't *just* lose the hair on their head? Oh no. They lose it *EVERYWHERE* - yes - there too. Why my mom-in-law decided to share this with me, I'll never know, but as bad as it was for me, I think it's traumatized my poor hubby for life.)

3. I'm thankful for my job - which I truly do love as frustrated as I've been with it lately.

4. I'm grateful for my friends, who make me laugh on a daily basis.

5. I'm thankful that my beloved Cotton Kings pulled out two home wins this weekend!

6. I'm thankful that we can afford to get someone to finish out the basement work on our house, because the hubby simply doesn't have the time. And once the basement is done we can set the house!!!

7. I'm thankful that I found the perfect tile for the kitchen last Friday and it's HALF the price of the original tile I wanted to buy!

8. I'm thankful for Ropesville schools - last week when J was sick, as I picked him up, he asked if he would be able to go back to school that day. Because, you know, "school is pretty fun here." After 3 years of him absolutely detesting school at Hardwick, this truly is a blessing from God.

9. I'm thankful that I can go to God when I get down and let go - and he *always* takes care of us. (See item number 6 above).

10. Now I'm thankful for this being number 10! I need to be more thankful for stuff!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I'm gonna be brave and post something that makes my life easier. If you haven't made of habit of checking Shannon's Works for Me Wednesday, for pete's sake, what are you waiting for?? I LIVE for WFMW!!!

My kids love homemade pizza. My husband loves homemade pizza. I love the price of homemade pizza. And with both of us working, I tend to buy the package of pizza dough mix that you just add water, let it rise 5 minutes then roll it out on your pan. The instructions say you just "press the dough out with your fingers."

Uh huh. Unless you're *me* and you spend 30 minutes getting you hands covered in sticky dough and it looks like the most uneven splat of dough you've ever seen with it paper thin on one end and 3 inches thick on the other. Using a rolling pin doesn't work because my rolling pin is too big for my pizza pan. So instead of doing that, I just pull out my handy dandy jelly glass (you know - the glasses that you buy jelly in, then you soak off the label and voila! Free glass the perfect size for iced tea!), flour it, and use it to roll out the dough. It's quick, easy, and when I'm done, I just rinse it off, pop it in the dishwasher and that's the end of my cleanup.

Works for me!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Living in contentment

I saw this over on BooMama's blog this morning:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12

It was on her daily Biblepromise quote sidebar thingy. And it just made me catch my breath. Because that's how I try to live my life. To be content with what I have now, and not spend my life longing for the 3 story mansion, or the Lexus SUV, or diamonds aplenty, or perfect kids, or the husband who always remembers to bring flowers for every little occasion.

Because I've know people who have that, and you know what? They're not all that happy.

And for all my trials with the house and work lately, at the center of it all, I'm happy. I'm happy that we will eventually be in this other home that housed my grandparents for 40-someodd years. I'm happy that my kids are healthy, and doing well in school, and that they're happy with their new school. I'm happy with my husband the majority of the time (after all - it *is* deer season), and I feel loved by so many - family and friends. Life is good. And it is beyond cool to find a Bible verse that describes *me* so perfectly - what I'd like to be.

Because as you know - I love it when God sends us those odd coincidences.

Making Progress, and Kid Pride

It's been forever since I blogged here (I tend to blog more regularly over on that evil Myspace ), but I thought it would be nice to have something here just in case anyone pops in. Besides that, I've almost convinced myself to post something on WFMW tomorrow. Might as well have an update for anyone who happens to be like me - you know - reads the tip, then browses through the blog to see if it should be added to their bloglines. (Surely I'm not the only one who does that?)

Anyhoo - first up - I must brag on my kids. They had their first academic UIL competition yesterday, and they did so well! J placed 2nd in Ready Writing, and E placed 1st in Math, Science & Spelling! I'm one proud mama today. It's just one more example of how wonderful Ropes has been for my kiddos. Today they will go into school with a little more confidence. And that just makes me smile.

The house project is coming along slowly. Ssssllllloooooowwwwlllllyyyy. I don't know *why* I thought we'd be different. I'd always heard that these types of projects take 3 times longer than you think. I should have believed them. Currently, the basement has been dug, the basement walls poured, cleaned off, and the floor should (*should*) be poured this week. Hubby intends to order the ceiling joists for the basement today, and we're hoping (*hoping,* praying) that we'll get the ceiling done next week. And maybe by then he will have decided how to do the floor in what was the garage, but will eventually be our master suite. He can't decide - cement floors, or wood decking. But he has to decide before the house is set. (Did I mention that once the ceiling of the basement is done, we can SET THE HOUSE?????)

The other night, I re-drew the floor plan for the master bath because apparently the toilet has to be in the corner we were going to use for the tub/shower. Now I have to figure out what to do with the vanity. Apparently stock vanities only go up to 60". Double sink vanities that size have minimal counter space, and I need counter space! I'm a chick - I must have a place for my crap stuff. Husbands don't always understand the need for crap stuff space. I almost had him convinced that we didn't need double sinks, but then last night I was watching House Hunters and saw this bathroom, with a corner tub, that had two vanities - one on each side of the tub. Now there's an idea!!!

I've also picked out the tile for the kitchen (Grandma had carpet, and I am so not a kitchen carpet kinda gal), which actually is almost exactly the same color and pattern as the counter tops. Which boggles my mind, as those counter tops were put in back in 1964. Now I just have to decide on paint colors. I decided on a creamy white for the paneling, but decided against sage for the walls above it since Monty's office will be that color. The boys are deciding on colors for their rooms as well. Grandma always had white walls, but I'm in the mood for some color!!

I'm still packing a little at a time, but until we get the house set, I have boxes everywhere. I'll be ready to get those out of the house as well. Our current hope is to be moved by Christmas. (Actually - I hope to be moving Thanksgiving weekend, but Christmas is probably more realistic. *sigh*) I just can't wait to not only be out of the house we've outgrown, but also to be out in the country. It's so peaceful out there. I had to go out to water the two willows we planted a couple of weeks ago, and you could hear the birds chirping....and the quiet. It's so very quiet. All I could do is thank the good Lord for leading us to this place - and long for the day when I can go out on my front porch (you know - the one that will run the entire length of my house!?) or my back patio and

That's not too much to want, is it?