Friday, May 6, 2011

The Grunter

The other night I was sleeping peacefully and a sound woke me up.

I can only describe it as a grunt...

I opened my bleary eyes and tried to focus...

This is what I saw standing next to my side of the bed:

(Note: This is not a picture from 3ish in the morning, I am not together enough to grab my camera and snap a picture after being woken up out of a nice peaceful sleep.)

It grunted at me again!

I scooted my way toward the middle of the bed, he backed up, then jumped right up there next to me with his head on my pillow! We promptly fell back into a nice peaceful sleep :)

That my friends is what you get when you grunt on mama's side of the bed during the that on daddy's side and the response would be a bit different...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Well I waited a few months for the requisite exercise/get in shape post. I thought you might appreciate that :)

Around the end of last year and the beginning of this year we decided to get our butts in gear, work out and eat healthier. This was not a New Year's Resolution, though it was that time of year. I decided not to post about it, because I didn't want it to seem like the standard New Year kick that only lasts a couple weeks at most.

So here we are 4 months into the year, I can't believe it is May already! I have to say that so far so good!!!! We decided to go with eating along the premise of Body for Life. It allows us to eat regular food and is easy to follow. We've been going to the gym, initially using the weight machines, bike, treadmill and a few other cardio machines. Then James and my brother were talking about P90X, my brother decided that you can commit to anything for 30 days so they challenged each other to do "P30X". I decided to do the P30X with James since we usually workout together at least some of the time...besides I'll try just about anything!

Life got a little crazy and we all got delayed starting for a week or two, but then we jumped in. We stayed with the Body for Life eating and started P90X we made it through the first 30 and actually enjoyed it! We didn't always make it through the entire workout (especially the abs) both due to time and energy, but I think it went pretty well. Along with this James has been doing Couch to 5k which involves run/walk intervals. I've gone running a few times, not as much as I'd like (hopefully that will change) and playing hockey. After the 30 days we decided to continue, we chose to change to Doubles which has us doing cardio in the morning on lifting days. Some days it works out, others it is just too crazy but still good...we are down to a few weeks left and we are feeling good! Can I just say that I love lifting weights!!! Sorry, I'm a little odd but it really is fun! We started off using resistance bands, but quickly realized that it wasn't going to get the job done, so we've been using the free-weights at the gym and are enjoying it!

James has started swimming again; he's been getting up early almost every morning to go to the gym to swim before heading to work, I am very impressed and proud! I am looking forward to the summer hockey season starting as I will be playing two nights!!!!! We are also looking forward to Warrior Dash in August!

As a side note, we are going to need new kilts (or fairly major alterations) for this year; these are just way too big on us :)

We are feeling good and enjoying our time together whether we are just hanging out or working out! I am looking forward to a wonderful, active and productive summer!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I love when plants start coming up in the spring! It always amazes me that after all of the cold and snow; spring comes and plants start popping up! It is a beautiful sight to see flowers blooming, green grass and trees pushing out leaves; a great reminder of the blessings of life!

Last year we planted some bare-root strawberry plants and were excited to see that they took root and grew. Late in the fall they started to die back and go dormant, my wonderful in-laws brought us some straw that we needed to cover them during the winter. Somewhere around late March or early April we started to see green leaves come out :) and now this is what we have:

Strawberry plants!!!!! I hope they continue to do well and that we can get a decent crop of strawberries this year. I still need to build a cage for them in order to keep the birds and rabbits from eating the precious strawberries that grow, hopefully I can get that done in the next couple weeks.

We also started some seedlings to grow stuff in our garden this year (we still need to haul some more cinder blocks for that). So far they are doing well. We started seeds for tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet and hot peppers, cabbage and a few other things. Here are our 1 and a half week old seedlings:

This year will be mostly an experiment to see what grows well in our garden. As long as something (other than weeds) grow in it I will be happy :)

I have wanted to grow some herbs indoors for awhile now. However, our punk cat likes to eat anything plantlike that resides in our house (including pineapples). I am not opposed to growing herbs outside, except that it leaves me without fresh herbs in the fall and winter. I came up with a solution :) I got some hanging baskets at the Dollar Store and am going to plant them with herbs and hang them in front of our kitchen window. Jules could make it up to them, but hopefully will not. Right now I have the baskets hanging from the blinds until I can put the hooks in the ceiling, so I'll post a picture later. But for now, here are our little basil seedlings:

We had snow the other week, but the strawberries seem fine, we also planted some raspberries that seem okay so far. I am looking forward to some more home improvements this summer and hoping I can develop some sort of green thumb!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Soap Overload!!!

You would think that with only two of us, we would hardly have any laundry to do...but it seems that there is a never-ending supply. God help us whenever we have kids!

Thankfully my wonderful hubby does most of it. I usually fold and put most of it away or fold it and leave a nice supply of clean clothes on our table :D

Well, I've gotten sick of paying so much for laundry detergent. I've read several blog posts about making your own laundry soap and decided to try it. The final recipe is from a combination of the different recipes I read.

What you need:

1 cup of Washing Soda (Not baking soda)
1 cup of Borax
1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
a 5-gallon bucket
LOTS of Water

1. Grate up the bar of Fels-Naptha soap add to a pot with 6 cups of water.
2. Cook on Medium-Low until the soap melts (don't let it boil).
3. Add 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1 cup of Borax and stir.
4. Cook on Medium-Low for another 10 minutes or so (a couple of the recipes said to cook until it got thick -honey consistency- but mine never did and I lost patience, besides many recipes didn't mention it getting thick)
5. Add a gallon of HOT water to your bucket and carefully pour in your soap mixture, stir to combine.
6. Add hot water to your bucket until it is almost full (leave a little space so you don't spill).
7. Cover and let sit over-night or until cool. It will separate into a gel on top and liquid on the bottom.
8. Once cool you can either use an immersion blender to mix it all up....or use your hands like me :) just smush up the gel and mix it with the liquid as much as you can.
9. Take a clean laundry detergent container (or other container of your choosing) and fill it Half-full with your soap mixture, add water to fill up the remainder of the container, close and shake!
10. Shake container before each use and use 1/4 to 1/2 cup in your washing machine. I checked several places and found that this is safe for front loading washers.

So if you paid attention you've realized that this ultimately makes 10 GALLONS of laundry detergent!!!!!! We have been using it for a couple weeks now and are Extremely happy with it, it seems to work as good if not better than our previous name-brand detergent! WooHoo!!!

Now for the cost:
I got all of the ingredients (minus the bucket which we had and water) in the laundry aisle at Walmart:
Borax (box with enough for several batches) less than $3
Washing Soda (box with enough for several batches) less than $3
Fels-Naptha soap (1 bar) less than $1

Total is less than $7 for 10 gallons of laundry soap!!!

Okay, so back to the soap overload :) This is so cheap and makes 10 gallons of soap, even with our never-ending laundry supply it would take a lot of time to go through, so if you want to try it or have run out of laundry soap or whatever and live close....bring me a clean container and we will fill it half-way with soap (other half needs to be water) and you can try it out and help lighten our supply! I want to keep enough for a couple bottles, but that still leaves several gallons to give away.

Just so you know, the clothes come out smelling clean but no other scent, if you want a scent you can just add a bit of essential oil in your scent of choice to the soap container.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yummy Veggies :)

I like vegetables, my husband likes vegetables and actually our dogs do too :)

Anyway, just because we like our veggies, that doesn't mean they have to be boring....

I went to the store the other day and got a lot of stuff, including some brussel sprouts. I know most people cringe at the thought, but give them a chance.

I cut off the ends and took off any bad outside leaves (there weren't many, they were very fresh) and cut them in halves or quarters. Then I mixed up some dry ground mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, minced garlic and oil; I tossed the brussel sprouts in the mixture I made and roasted them at 400 for 20-30 minutes (Sorry I don't know the exact time, cause I just checked on them every so often and would just add a little more time. I let them roast so they got a nice golden color and some of the outside and loose leaves were browned.

I planned to grill some chicken for dinner and thought they'd be a nice side, but I don't know if they will make it that long.....They are awesome!

Here's a pic to pique your interest, give them a try:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Word.....

We missed church last week because I was sick. However, our pastor sent us the notes so we wouldn't miss out. One of the challenges was instead of the typical new year's resolutions (which most of the time get broken) was to come up with one word.

It is easy to think of things that I want to improve on, but narrowing it down to a single word was difficult. I spent the week thinking and praying and trying to determine what my word should be. It wasn't until we were driving to church in a heavy snow on slick roads that I committed to it.

The drive wasn't what committed me though, it was my husband asking me. I had been bugging him all week to tell me if he came up with a word and what it was, but he wouldn't tell me. Well, on the drive this morning he asked me; I said I wasn't sure yet. I finally told him that the word that kept coming back to me is "focused". However, once I said it, I decided that was it. I had wrestled all week long trying to come up with something else and I ended up where I started. I finally got James to tell me his word, but if you want to know you'll have to ask him :)

I am not entirely sure how my word will affect me, but it definitely gives me a lot to think about. I hope that when I get distracted by things in life that I can stop, think about what I need to be focused on and then follow through. Sometimes that may be the thing I was working on in the first place and other times it may be that I need to shift my focus somewhere else; but I hope that I will take the time to determine where my time and energy (my "focus") is best spent.

I think this was a great challenge and I encourage you to try it!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

I can't believe it is already 2011

2010 went by way too fast, I guess that means I am getting old :(

We had lots of people up to our house for Thanksgiving this year, it was a great time with LOTS of food! It was fun to cook so much in our own home and have family and friends come to visit. We missed seeing those that couldn't make it, but enjoyed not having to travel.

Christmas was again a great time with friends and family! Each time we get together I am reminded how blessed I am! I couldn't ask for a better family, in-laws, extended family and friends.

I hope to be better at updating my blog this year :) we'll see if I can keep up with it; I apologize in advance for any ramblings that may occur in my attempt to do so...

Since it is much more fun to see pictures than just read, here is a pic of my new "toy"

It is my hope and prayer that all of us will have a wonderful and prosperous year!