14 January 2013

Yikes, it's cold out there!

I think we have had more than our fair share of cold this year.  Our overnight low was -21 and it was -16 when the kids left for school this morning. As I type, the temperature still hasn't reached 0.  Let's hope we make it to our projected high of 8 degrees today.  I am very thankful that our furnace is working.  Our little house is very toasty right now.

The other day, as I was sitting in the car with the kids in back, waiting for daddy to run an errand inside a store, I was trying to stay relaxed and fighting the urge to bang two heads together in the back seat.  To distract myself from the insanity, I started watching the snowflakes falling on the windshield.  They were like mini paper cut out snowflakes.  The kids and I had recently read a book about snowflakes and we knew that each one was different, but I had never seen snowflakes that actually looked like that.  I guess I thought you had to look through a microscope or something.  I think Wyoming snow has been driven by the wind so much, it doesn't look so pretty when it lands.  Anyway, this is the first time I noticed individual snowflakes looking like the snowflakes we draw or cut out or hang on our Christmas tree. When my husband returned to the car I pointed them out to him and he hadn't noticed snow flakes looking like that either.

A few days later, we noticed the same kind of snowflakes on our car as we were going someplace, so I ran back into the house to get my camera.  The pictures are a bit fuzzy because the flakes really are small.

Now I'm just waiting for some nicer weather so I can go cross country skiing!

10 January 2013

Our Happenings

I find it funny that every time I make a goal to either go to bed early, or get up early, I get thwarted by my dear, lovely children.  There have been several times in the past 8 years that I have decided that I will get up before the kid(s) do and have some quiet time for myself to get organized and ready for the day.  Without fail, the baby at the time will suddenly alter their schedule to wake up before me, no matter what time I have picked to rise.

This time around, I determined I would go to bed earlier and no sooner did I make that goal, then my little girl suddenly started waking up just before midnight to make sure I didn't get to sleep until late.  I'm guessing she is having night terrors.  Her big brother had them for a while at this age.  It's not a very fun evening activity, usually striking one to two hours after the child goes to sleep.  They are difficult to wake when having a night terror and touching or holding them seems to make it worse.  Last night, I put some soothing music on repeat and there was no night terror.  I don't know if the music helped or if she is simply past them, but I think I'll play some music again tonight.

We had some very cold temperatures this past week, coupled with a furnace that only works when it feels like it.  Thankfully, I have a large sweater collection.  I discovered that the cold weather had penetrated the garage and frozen about 25 pounds of potatoes I had out there.  I decided I would try to do something with them before they thawed and I had a nasty pile of mush to deal with.  So, I turned them into fries for the freezer.  I wasn't sure how it would work out, since the potatoes were already frozen.  I thought they might just fall apart, no matter what I tried, but I couldn't stand to just throw out that many potatoes.  I tried two different methods of preparing the fries, one was much faster than the other so we have more of them.  The first method was to slice the potatoes into fries and soak them in hot water.  Then put them in boiling water for 2 minutes, dry and place on baking sheet and put in the freezer.  The other method kind of followed this recipe for baked oven fries, but I didn't bake them for the entire time.  I put them in the fridge to cool and then put them into freezer bags.  I have cooked up both varieties in the oven using the method in the linked recipe and I do like the baked first fries a bit better, but the boiled fries worked very well thrown in some stew I was making.  I was so very happy that both methods turned out perfectly edible.  We ended up with 10 quart bags of fries, plus what we ate for our taste tests.

Another adventure in my life this past week was making deodorant.  I've seen recipes for it all over the internet and I just kind of tucked it into the back of my mind to try someday.  So I finally tried it.  I haven't been using it long enough to have a great opinion, but I don't dis-like it.  My armpits are much more moisturized than usual, but I don't sweat a whole lot in the winter, especially with a moody furnace.  We'll see how I like it as the seasons move on.

Last, but certainly not least in our happenings, we celebrated our anniversary yesterday.  Or maybe we just observed our anniversary.  Nine years isn't generally the center of a huge party, although I have to say that I'm very excited for our 10th, since it will come right after my husband finishes school for good and ever (if I have anything to say about it.)  If I was a more thoughtful and organized wife, I would have created a cute and thoughtful gift inspired by pinterest... and I do have some things pinned with him in mind, but we obviously weren't thinking clearly by getting married so soon after Christmas.  We pretty much doomed the creative gift giving without even knowing it.  But who needs gifts?  I have a wonderful husband who just seems to get better as the years go by.

Have a  lovely blog week!

02 January 2013


I'm always a bit taken by surprise when a month or year is suddenly gone and I'm left feeling totally unprepared for the next one.  Suddenly, it's 2013 and I haven't even evaluated the past year, let alone figured out new goals for the next year.  It isn't as though I didn't know it was coming, it's just that I get so busy, I lose sight of what day or year it is.  We ease into it in November; my husband's birthday and then Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday (food and family, what else is there?)  Then I remember that the advent is coming up, thank goodness we had an extra week this year.  Throw some college finals in for my husband with my late night sewing projects.  I cancelled several because I wanted to enjoy Christmas Eve this year.  I guess the kids will get super hero capes for Valentine's Day.  We don't get to relax after Christmas though, because my son has a birthday two days later.  Then, suddenly, it's a new year and I'm sitting here with blurry eyes and laundry piled all around me.  The kids are all fighting off various sicknesses and ailments that pop up when running with cousins, staying up late and getting up early, not to mention getting soaked in the snow at least twice a day, so it was early to bed tonight.

Now that the house is quiet and the dishes are done, I'm letting myself think a bit about what I would like to work on to make this year better than the last.  I saw this little quote on facebook and thought it fit me so well.

So far I've come up with 3 things:
1. Early to bed.  I am a natural night owl, just like my mom and my sisters.  I am energetic late at night and I can get so much done after the kids are down for the night, but the kids get up early, or at least too early for me to get enough sleep, so I drag myself through another morning, most likely resembling a grouchy bear coming out of hibernation.  I can't make the kids sleep longer (I've tried keeping them up later.  They still wake up at the same time, only grumpier.) but I can go to bed earlier, so I'm going to try.  Perhaps 2013 will be the year of cheerful mornings.

2. Meal plan.  I shouldn't need this as a goal, but I have fallen off the wagon and into the trap of throwing something together at the last minute.  It causes me stress and it causes us to eat the same meals over and over.  Tonight we again had hot ham and cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.  This is in rotation with spaghetti and homemade pizza.  Along with this goal, I want to bake bread more often.  I kind of stopped for a while when we discovered a cheap bread outlet, but when it closed down (keep your twinkie, I want my cheap bread back) bread became expensive again.

3. While my forgetful self will be writing 2012 for the next few months, my brain has a tendency to live in the future.  I have so many plans and hopes for my family, and we're getting closer to them, but I tend to spend too much time wishing I was in my "someday" instead of paying attention to now.  It's going to be a crazy year, with at least one move, but possibly more, depending on job situations.  I want to fully enjoy the area and friends that I have here and now before I move on to the next.  I'm sure when the stress mounts, you'll find me sketching out my dream homestead, but until I am living there I hope to keep it to a minimum.

I hope this year brings you optimism and happiness.  What goals or resolutions have you set this year?