Sunday, October 28, 2012

Barbara's Birthday

A few weeks ago, Melanie mentioned that all her mom wanted for her birthday was a homemade chocolate cake. I had seen this cute candy corn cake in a magazine, so I volunteered to make the cake. I called grandma Vonne and got the recipe for Moist Chocolate Cake

It was a pretty simple cake to design and it turned out so cute. Preston wanted to know if it would taste like candy corn. ;) 

Last year, I saw this cute block kit and decided to get it for Barbara. But then I forgot about it until I found it a few months ago when I was deep cleaning. So I made it up and gave it to her this year. I figured later was better then never. 

Afternoon with the boys

A few weeks ago, I talked to my sister, and we decided to make a play date for a cancer carnival the Jr. High was putting on. I didn't get there until that afternoon, but that morning I got a message from my sister that Valex was talking on a pretend phone. When she asked who he was talking to, he said "Nana". 

They might have been just a little too young for the carnival, but we still had fun. We couldn't talk Valex into the jump house or the inflatable side, but Daxsen and I were able to go down the slide. We also did a bean bag throw, a fish pond, and won some cupcakes in the cakewalk. 

After the carnival, we decided to head to the park. I miss Daxsen being my baby, but it was fun to watch him try to keep up with his brother. They are the cutest boys. 

Valex was excited when I found this ball someone left. It was almost bigger then him, so each time he picked it up, it would fall behind him before he could throw it. 

The ball was bigger then Daxsen. But it didn't stop him from trying to pick it up for several minutes. 

Just before we left, we got to watch the life flight helicopter take off. Both boys thought it was pretty cool. Vanessa and I were just having to much fun watching their reactions. 

 I'm so grateful for my sister and how well she does raising the boys. They are turning into such precious sweeties. We weren't close when we were young, but I feel like we are now. I've realized its because we finally have a big thing in common; being in love with two little boys. :)

My favorite picture from the day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Party 2012

This weekend, we had our 2nd annual Halloween Party with the EECO's. I had a harder time getting into it this, because I had hoped we'd be in a new house by now. But since its my favorite holiday, I decided to still host my party. (Which means clean my house, which I rarely do anymore because I just want to move.)
This year, I decided that we would be pirates. I looked into buying costumes, but decided to make them instead. I LOVE how they turned out (and can't wait to dress up again on Halloween).
The table

The glasses, dripping in blood. I ordered these wine glasses just for this, but decided to get a design I could use year round. 

The feast.

Monster Mash Bites. They were my favorite thing that night. They were a little bit of work, but I will be making them again. 

I had everyone else bring the makings for a veggie tray, veggie dip, fruit tray and I made the fruit dip. I used THIS recipe, but then mixed in some poppy seeds and called it Fruit Dip with Ants.
We also had Pickeled Eyeball Punch (minus the eyballs because I couldn't find what I needed) for the guests and Happy Hallow-Tini for Josh and I. I forgot to get a picture of either, but they were both good. We did agree that the orange drinks showed the dripping blood on the glasses better then the red punch. Something to remember for the future.

Everyone's costumes turned out super cute.
Andrew was Bob Ross and Jessica was Julie Child.
Brandon & Kim were minnions.

Randi was a farie. (Todd had to go out of town, but we are so glad she joined us anyways.)

When I saw this recipe for Trash Mix w/ Worms, I decided to make it as a party favor. It was so YUMMY! I had to buy 2 extra bags of popcorn because I ate them before mixing everything together.

Then I made these cute Witch Broomstick bags to put the trail mix in. 

We had a great time and can't wait for next year. Espceially since, after the party, I remembered I had bought a Jenga skeleton game just for this party, but then forgot to pull it out. Oh well, there is always next year. ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

40 Bags: An update

Even though I have not kept very good track of my progress, I'm still always slowly working on my dejunking process.

One big thing was a few months ago, I went through the kitchen cupboards. I already knew we were very wasteful, but it was a good reminder. I found cans of stuff that expired in 2006! I threw away tons of food that was no longer good. I really have done pretty good this year to only buy what I need and try to use it up, so most of what I threw out was very old. That weekend, Josh opened the cupboards and commented on just how bare they were.

I know I need to be better at food storage and food rotation. I used to have food storage issues (our coffee table was made up of canned foods and it embarrassed me), but I think I'm willing to try now. Except I want to wait until we move. The whole point of this denjunking has been to make it so we have less stuff to move when we (finally) find a home.

I've also been working on organizing decorations better. All those kits I've made over the years, they were in 2 totes. So each holiday, I'd get out my regular stuff that I've had for years, but then I'd have to dig through those totes to find the kits. As each holiday as come and gone, I've made sure to put those kits in the holiday tote.

I am still trying to figure the best way organize my cake stuff. My cake pan collection continues to grow, but my kitchen space remains the same. So for now, all my cake stuff is stored in a tote. When I need a pan, I just go and grab it; and since I don't use them that often, this seems to work well.

This really isn't dejunking, but we finally got rid of the piano. I've had it for years and years, but a few years ago, I decided I really didn't want it, not even as an inheritance. My mom let my sister choose which piano (of the 2 she owned) she wanted, then donated the other to a church. My sister choose the one at my house, but didn't have anywhere for it, so we agreed to hold on to it.

Then a few weeks ago, Vanessa had to get it to teach piano lessons. The down side was, October is the one month I actually like it because I have so many Halloween decorations. I know own a sofa table with a coffee table on the way. ;) I've wanted those for a long time, but never thought we had room for them. I do realize the irony in that we went from having to move one big item to two big items instead when that day comes.

Another big thing I've been working on is selling most of my books. Since getting my Kindle, I just don't read them anymore. At one point, I boxed them all up when we thought we had a house found. But a few weeks ago, I unboxed them, took pictures and listed them on a facebook group. I have sold quite a few that way.

I think, for now, we've decided to spend winter where we are. We are anxious to move, but really haven't been able to find something we can agree on. Now that its getting cold, we've realized, we have little wood to heat our home this winter. We didn't haul any this summer because we didn't think we'd need it. But Josh think he can get that done in a few days, as long as the weather holds.

Hoping that we find a home soon. And that when we do, I will have so much less stuff to throw away and pack then I did when we started looking for a home this spring.

Playdoug Spiders for the nephews

This year, I decided to go through my YEARS worth of Halloween magazines, tear out the ideas I liked, and then throw the magazines away. The only exception was my Taste of Home Magazines and a few Pillsbury Magazines that were strictly recipes. Those I will hold onto forever. I started with a pile of magazines about 2 feet high and ended up with a stack of papers about an inch thick. It felt good to dejunk and I know that I will make better use of the ideas because I won't have to dig through countless magazines.
Then of course, I bought new magazines this year. So I did the same thing. While looking through them, I found this really cute spider and decided I just had to make them for the nephews.

They were so simple to put together. I found a pack of mini play dough at Walmart. Using hot glue, I wrapped each in a fun Halloween ribbon, then attached pipe cleaners for legs and some googly eyes. Easy Peasy!

Each boy will get three each in their goodie bag. Yep, I said bag. They are spoiled. ;) I still need to find something else for Daxsen since I figured all he would do is try to eat the play dough.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Josh's Elk Hunt 2012

Josh spent all summer getting ready for the hunt this year. He ran almost daily (and ran three 5K's) so he would be in shape for his hike up the mountain. A week before the hunt... he got sick with walking pneumonia. The ONLY argument I could use to get him to the doctor was "your hunt is in four days, if you want to be able to be able to attempt this hike, you better go see a dr." This was after FOUR days of my begging him to go to the doctor.
Of course, the only thing that could keep him from hunting is his own death (and even then, I think he'd find a way around that). So Friday morning, he and his buddy left to go elk hunting. They had planned to stay until Tuesday. Or until they got something.
Saturday was the first day of the hunt. I was jumpy all day long waiting for him to call and say they got one. Instead, they called that afternoon to say they would be home in about 30 minutes. Too many hunters and not enough elk where they were.
They spent the next few days hiking around different areas, but with no luck. Monday evening, his buddy had to head back to work. Josh, of course, had the entire hunt off.
Tuesday, Josh called to say he had decided to hike to another place and spend the night. He was sure he would get one this time. Tuesday night, I was at a furniture store when Josh called to say he got one. I took advantage of the moment and asked if I could buy a coffee table. His response: "Whatever, I got one!" I took that as a yes. They had to order in the coffee table I wanted, but that night I was able to bring home a new sofa table.
That night, he called again around 9:00 to say he would be spending the night. When I questioned him why, he told me it was because he couldn't find his flashlight. I asked if he knew where he had lost it. He told me it was in his back pack. So I asked where his back pack was. He wasn't sure. It was too dark to find his back pack. (This from a man who SWEARS he can go on the mountain alone because he knows everything he needs to be ok.) He had a few matches in his jacket, so he had built a fire and was going to sleep by it, then come home at day light.
He was so cold, he figures he slept for about an hour total. He also slept so close to the fire that it burned holes in his jacket AND the shirt he was wearing underneath. Hopefully, he learned his lesson.
The next morning, he hiked out and was able to take the horses up later to bring it down.

So glad he was able to have another successful year. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nephew Halloween Shirts 2012

This weekend I went out to the city to do some shopping. First item on my list: find stuff for a pirate costume for me and the hubs. Check. I still need to fix a few things, so more on that in a different post.
The second item on the list was to buy my annual Halloween t-shirts for all the nephews. I don't know about them, but I LOVE this tradition. And of course, since they are spoiled, they all got 3 shirts instead of just the one I swear I'm going to buy.
For Preston: Its getting a little hard to shop for him now that he's not in toddler clothes. It seems like when I can find a Halloween shirt, its gory. I don't do gory. And its getting harder to find a shirt that I can get it in matching for every one. But I did manage to find a matching shirt at one store. At the last store, I decided to buy them each a 3rd shirt, but they had nothing in Preston's size. I could have just put the others back and bought only 2 shirts each, but I spoil them all too much for that. ;) I did find a shirt with a skull on it so I decided it was close enough. And its a blue shirt, which is his favorite color, so its double good.
For Tyler: The mummy one glows in the dark. ;)
For Valex: The mummy and Mickey Mouse glow in the dark. Vanessa's boys love Mickey, so I was excited to find those shirts.

For Daxsen: I wanted to get him the mummy shirt too, but they didn't have it in his size.  But then I got to see them for just a minute last night and he was already wearing a shirt with the same word play. ;)

Can't wait to drop these off to them over the next few nights. I also started buying some gifts to put in their treat bags. Cause they are also spoiled enough to get more then a little piece of candy. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Club - "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" by Joanne Fluke

This month, Randi choose "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" by Joanne Fluke.

The book includes a few recipes for cookies that are mentioned in the book. We decided to each choose a recipe to try and bring samples to book club. I choose Black & Whites.

Every one's cookies turned out yummy. Randy made sugar cookies, Vanessa made Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies, Tammy made Pecan Chews and Jessica made Regency Ginger Crisps.
Randi also made a yummy dinner of BBQ chicken sandwiches. So good, that I made them for Josh 2 nights later. Can't wait for next month.