Sunday, July 31, 2011

My baby boy turned 3

For Carter's birthday, he wanted to do three things: open presents, go to Applebee's and go to Dairy Queen.

First, we let him open the big present from Darek and I. It was the whole Sunnyside Daycare bunch from Toy Story 3. He was in heaven! He was so darned excited.

Then we went to Applebees. We had our supper- a couple of his new toys joined us as well as Uncle Craig, Aunt Mary and cousin Cole.

Then on to the best part: DQ ice cream. Carter had a mini cookie dough blizzard (a quarter of one before he got bored anyway). I even splurged and had an ice cream cone!

Anyway, we had a great time. I cannot believe my little Carter Daniel is 3 years old now. He is such a big boy and I look forward to planning many more birthday parties!

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A fun time was had by all....

{I made toy story themed cupcakes. They were delicious!}

{Sno cones!}

{Cutie patootie Miss Kinsley}

{No party is complete without a bounce house!}

{And party favors. My favorite favor was the sunglasses.}

Here is a small sample of the festivities. I will post more pictures at a later date.

Because right now I am hungover. Birthday hungover. The kind where no alcohol was involved but rather lots of energy was expended and sugar has been consumed.


Friday, July 22, 2011


No, not delusional. A bit ambitious, perhaps.
This picture is what Quenemo, Kansas used to look like. There were several businesses, restaurants, etc.
Today, there is a post office. And that is it.
I would post a picture of what Quenemo looks like today so you could make the comparison, but honestly, there is NOTHING to take a picture of. A lot of the houses are falling in, abandoned, or just not cared for. The buildings that used to house businesses are empty or completely gone. And a lot of the residents have moved out of town.
Thanks to Facebook, several of the remaining residents of Quenemo have decided to combine forces and clean up the town a bit. I am one of them. I have volunteered to scrape, paint, mow, or whatever is needed of me. It will be exciting to make changes.
We are also in the process of forming a non-profit organization so we can do some fundraising. We have our first meeting on Wednesday. I have been suggested for the secretary and spokesperson positions, which I will gladly accept if everyone agrees that those are the jobs for me.
I also am in the process of setting up a fair for next year. It will be small. And people may not go to it, but I will be able to say I tried. And who knows? Maybe it will be a success. Maybe this is all that this little sleepy town has been waiting for. A good kick in the bum to get goin'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On parenting

I think about 98.25% of parenting is problem solving. Why are they crying? Are they sick? Hurt? Angry? Just trying to drive me bonkers???

My latest issue has been feeding Kinsley. She HATES green veggies. And that has recently turned into ALL veggies. She spits and cries no matter how many times I try them.

So yesterday I was trying to think of why. Is it the flavor? The texture?

Last night I decided to try something a bit different. Maybe she wants to feed herself?

I made her some peas and carrots and put them on her tray (with low expectations). And she ate them! Peas no longer made her gag and carrots no longer made her shudder. Success!

I guess she is a bit more independent than I give her credit for.

Problem solved.

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Productive day

We had quite the day yesterday. We got A LOT done. And it was stuff that needed to be done for a while now.

Mom has the perfect place for a pantry. But without shelves in there, it was really just a place to throw stuff. So, yesterday morning we were talking about how nice it would be to have shelves in there. I looked up several different types on Home Depot's website and found some perfect shelves. Inexpensive ($89), easy to assemble, and heavy duty (it holds 3600 lbs!).

I called HD and they had some in stock so we made a quick trip to Lawrence. We got the shelves (3 of them), went and got groceries and then headed home to assemble our purchases.

It took about an hour to assemble the 3 sets of shelves- each set has 6 shelves. Not bad in my opinion! And no tools required. Even better.

We got the shelves into the former utility room and woolah! a pantry! (See pic above)

Then, after supper I decided that the garden needed a little tlc. Risking my life, I decided to weed and hoe the garden. (I could have seen a worm, had a heart attack and croaked.)

I ended up doing more than I had originally intended. And I am paying for it today. I can barely open my right hand (see other pic), and every,muscle is sore. Who knew that hoe-ing the garden works your abs??

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Self Discovery is a Funny Thing

It seems like I learn something new about myself everyday. It really is quite odd if you think about it. I mean, who knows me better than me?? Yet I still learn new things all the time.

I was thinking about this as I was watering the garden tonight. Everyone else had gone in and I had a (very rare) moment completely alone. Here are a few things I've learned/discovered/realized about myself:

I am a country girl through and through. I always have wanted to move back to (fun, exciting, hip) Lawrence. But now I realized I would MUCH rather live in the country. And maybe visit Lawrence once a week. {let me clarify something- my admitting I am country does NOT mean I like country music.}

I am a good mom. I may have days where I am impatient or grouchy. I may have days where none of us get out of our pj's. And I use spanking as as form of punishment. But I feel that I do the best job I can and that is what matters.

I dislike running. I wish I could be like Beth and just love it, but I can't. I dread it, but I do feel good afterward. And I LOVE the results, so I will continue to do it.

And last thing on my mind: I am happy I am married to Darek. I met a lot of Darek's high school friends this weekend. And most of them are single. Instead of being a smidge jealous of the single, free life they lead, I found myself thinking how lucky I am to be married and have our wonderful children.

I am lucky, indeed.

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Monday, July 11, 2011


I know everyone thinks that their kids are the cutest things in the world. But I am just POSITIVE that mine are.

These pics were from Kaleb and Julian's party at the fire station. (Except for chubby baby's nudie smiley pic and that was at home!)

Check out Kinsley's super cute headband. I made it!

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Happiness is...

...spraying everyone with the garden hose on a hot summer day.

...snack time. Even if it is cabinets you are snacking on.

But seriously, I feel like we have been happier than ever lately. And you know why? Because we are poor.


I never thought that would make us so happy. Who really WANTS to be poor? For us, it just kind of happened. It was totally our own fault. I feel like in our society, you get married, buy a house, have kids, get new cars, have new clothes, go on vacations, etc. Basically, spend beyond your means. And that is what we did. We got married. We bought a house, a new car, had kids, and spent, spent spent. Or charged it, charged it, charged it. (And we spent some for something we prob shouldn't have spent our own money on. But that's a whole 'nother story.)

Then we found ourselves in a pickle. We were struggling each month to make all of our payments. I would choose which bill I thought could be a month late so we could pay another one.

Darek and I decided to try to sell our house to make things work. We sold it and moved in with my parents. And we still had no extra money. It made me wonder how we made it as long as we did!

Now, we use all of our money for groceries, to pay of bills and go towards our savings. I make sure our bank account is as close to nothing as possible each week- that means we have put as much as we can in savings or in a payment. So far, we have paid off (and this may be too much info to put out, but since Beth is like my only reader I feel ok about it!) $700 from having Kinsley, a $3000 home depot card, a $1000 Sam's club card, a $1500 Best Buy card, a big chunk on our regular card and prob more that I am forgetting at the moment. We have also got a good start on our savings.

So, we are happy. We are happy that we are getting out of debt. We are happy to pay cash for anything that we may need. We are happy to save for a future home. And most of all, we are just happy to be poor.

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P.S. I LOVE to take ads into Wal-mart and they will, of course, match it. So, the other day I bought 25 bottles of powerade for Darek to take to work, saline solution, eye makeup remover, a case of water, several tv dinners, lots of cheese, my breakfast bars and a ton of other stuff for only $60. I was pretty impressed with myself.