Fix You

I am going to admit something to you tonight….I am a fan of Coldplay. Yes, the band. Particularly the song Fix You. It’s on right now, in fact. It is perfect doing the dishes music. I am sure that is exactly what Chris Martin had in mind. He thought to himself, “I am going to write something that a housewife in America is going to stop in her aproned tracks when she hears it.” Sometimes, I have to stop mid-scrub and sing along. There, I said it. Now you know a secret about me. Believe me, there are more.

Today was a great day of surprises and pleasant happiness for me. That is, until I took all three boys shopping for tennis shoes. Really, only firstborn was getting them, but all for one, one for all…blah, blah, blah. We trekked over knoll and stream to four different stores.  I wanted to smell the Yankee Candles. They wanted to push the automatic door openers. I wanted to look at 400 thread count sheet sets and imagine waking up, skinny, with perfect hair, in them. They wanted to ride in the cart. They wanted to hightail it out of there.  I wish they had a playland at Marshalls. Did you know that when I was young, they had a teeny-tiny room for kids at Ethan Allen? My sister and I knew it intimately. I finally understand why. As I was instructing the boys to “not pass this blue line” in the breakable aisle, I remembered the carpeted walls of Ethan Allen’s kids’ room. It probably had three toys in it. That was enough back then, wasn’t it?

I am constantly searching…searching in my mind to rekindle that feeling of three toys being enough. I am talking about three toys for myself.  When did I start believing that I had to have every color of everything?  Why isn’t it enough to have the same toaster for 25 years, like my grandparents did? Sure, it burnt the toast each and every time a slice of bread swept across the heating elements. You knew that and yet you still put your bread in and got a knife to scrape off the black side and another to get the butter. We loved that toast, too.

We all know that all that really matters can’t be wrapped in tissue paper or found in a robin’s- egg-blue box. We know it, yet we still long for the experience of squealing with delight as we open a package with our name on it. Why do we need that? Why does that feed a hunger in our soul?

We received gifts in the mail for the past three days. They were unexpected. They created happiness and joyful laughter. We are thankful.  We are even more thankful that we have people in our lives that care for us. They want to fix us in whatever way they can.

Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones…

~Janna

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swagbucks

Did you know about Swagbucks? I had heard of them, and even checked it out, but didn’t think much of it until I got an email from someone showing a picture of their brand new Wii that they bought with Swagbucks. Swagbucks are bucks you earn by searching online or other ways.  For instance, every time you earn 45 swagbucks (doesn’t take too long) you can trade that in for a $5.00 Amazon giftcard.  The email described how it took a couple of months, but she used Swagbucks only and got a new Wii. I’m hooked.

Here’s the info in case you want to check it out, too.  Lots of options besides Amazon, by the way.
Search & Win

Routine

Have you ever felt a little helter-skelter? That would be the best way to describe how I have been feeling about our new house. It still doesn’t feel like home.  Part of that is because we rent it, and part of that is because things are just not in place most of the time, it seems. We keep it tidy. Just not clean.  At our old house, we fairly regularly used the Flylady system. It really works. I made up a notebook with all of our jobs and zones – each page in a page protector – and had a dry-erase market next to it.  Since we moved here, I have not been able to find “the notebook.”  Last weekend, I made it my mission to locate it.  After an hour and a half of serious searching, it appeared, almost magically, in the cookbook section of my family room bookcases.  I promise you, I have looked there 400 times before and never saw it.  Boy was I glad!  We began the system again today and I cannot tell you how good it makes me feel using it.

Spinning Poultry

Spinning Poultry

I made rotisserie chicken tonight. Here it is on the grill. We are so very thankful for this lovely grill that we received from my folks when we moved here.  This is the first time we have used this function, and I know it will not be the last. We try and grill as oven as we can. I love the cleanup!! 🙂  Anyhow, the chicken was delicious. I got it at a great price which made it even tastier. As I type this, I have the leftover meat in the fridge for Wednesday and I am boiling the carcass (man, I hate that word) for chicken stock that I freeze. I feel so special!

I spent my spare time today printing coupons from various online sources to use for my shopping trip this week. I found a great one for Toaster Strudels (which I never buy) that H decided would be “the best” for his birthday party. Easy for me. They will be $.88 when I buy them. Yahoo! That’s the right price to feed 10 year old boys in the morning!

I am wondering how many of you ever purchase e-books? I have won one (it is great – all about preserving and canning) but never purchased one. What’s your take on that?

I think tonight calls for a bubble bath as Mr Wonderful watches the Cowboys game on television.  I will be able to tell how they are doing by the sounds emitted from downstairs!

Drop me note and say hello if you can…

~Janna
Search & Win

Thanksgiving

Yeah…you read that right. I’ve got it on the brain. Two days with cooler weather and it’s all I can think about.  I am already making lists galore! I love lists, they make me most happy.  We are going to be spending Thanksgiving 2009 in our new home with some new gorgeous dishes to eat our yummy food on. (Can anyone say “hello” to the Johnson Brothers Friendly Village?)

I have been taking requests from the guys on what they would like to see grace the table. You might be saying, “why so early?”  Here’s the reason: Budgeting. Since I will be doing the whole spread by myself, I have to plan ahead by purchasing items that are frozen or non-perishable in the upcoming grocery trips. For instance, Mac and Cheese was unanimously voted in. I can buy the pasta and evaporated milk and even the cheese (and freeze those) in the next grocery trips. This is good, as I am also planning on taking that very same item to our upcoming church potluck on “bring-a-friend day.”  I can’t buy the turkey early, but I can make some pies (like the requested apple) and freeze those. Get my drift? I like the planning. I like to look ahead.

I am thinking about the menu for the upcoming week and not feeling a lot of excitement. Ho hum. Mr Wonderful and I have had Pizza Hut Cheese Lovers Pizza on the brain for two weeks now but we keep resisting. (It helps that it’s not in the budget and it takes two large to feed this hungry pack of wolves!) I have pizza dough in the freezer, though.  Here is the menu:

Monday:

  1. Rotiserie Chicken on our grill (we have a rotisserie attachment, yahoo!)
  2. Mixed vegetables, tossed with garlic and butter

Tuesday:

  1. Spaghetti (meatless, but don’t tell Mr Wonderful)
  2. Breadsticks using the pizza dough in the freezer

Wednesday:

  1. Chicken and Rice (using leftover chicken from Monday)
  2. Broccoli (not a fam favorite)

Thursday: (grocery shopping day, yahoo!)

  1. Copycat Pizza Hut Pizza
  2. Salad
  3. Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars (just to make sure we want these for Thanksgiving)

Friday: (H’s Birthday party, he’s turning 10)

  1. Hot Dogs
  2. Chips
  3. H.E.B. Ice Cream Cake (at $14.99, I think it’s a steal, let’s hope it’s tasty!)

Saturday: (I will have extra boys for breakfast)

  1. Creamed Tacos (Special recipe from my amazing Mother-In-Love) It has Velveeta, whipping cream and Rotel…it’s horrible sounding but oh-so-good.
  2. Fritos
  3. Carrot Sticks to pretend this is a remotely healthy meal
  4. I am making coffee cakes and muffins for breakfast. I know, easy and unhealthy. 🙂 What can I say?

Sunday: (H’s actual birthday)

  1. Chinese Buffet (funny thing, we can only find Chinese restaurants that serve Mexican food, too!  So, who knows what all we’ll get?)

During the time it took me to finish this post, I decided to move my desk area around. It was next to the door of the half-bath downstairs. It was yucky. I asked the boys not to use that potty. BEGGED. Threatened. Pleaded. They still kept using it. Today, H asked why I don’t just move it. I told him to give me an alternative location – which he did!  My area is now in the eating area of our kitchen, which is pretty big. I turned my rolling island (also quite large) sideways, moved the barstools and am no enjoying the new view of the wall. It smells better over here. That’s all I’m gonna say. I think I am going to move a tv tray next to my Ikea desk for storage. It won’t be pretty, but until I find something I love in, say, distressed black, it’ll do!  I’ll try to post a picture tomorrow.

Some have asked how the Depression-Era week of cooking went. All I am going to say is that I know now why “depression” is the word they used.  It was not great, as I result, I failed my own challenge. I hated it. I’ve gotta come up with a better challenge. Maybe a week of chocolate in every recipe? 🙂

That’s all I’ve got for you. I am making some changes around the house (really going back to old routines) Flylady, here we come. The boys are thrilled. Not really. I am going to sew a fall table runner, too. Maybe even tonight! Also, Our white laundry is turning a horrible grey color-even with bleach. I don’t know what I am going to do about that.  Any suggestions?

~Janna



Mysteries

So, my last blog post disappeared. I saw it, posted, now it is gone.  I won’t try to recreate it. Here’s the gist: I took a couple days off – really really busy. Not as busy anymore. Needed to watch a sad movie so I could cry. Found one.  Need irobot to send me a free Roomba so I can review it. Tile floors really getting to me. Sweep, sweep, sweep – complaining. Shouldn’t complain. Chastised. Still want a roomba. Put it on Christmas list.

Phew! There it was! Now for today. We have had a great weekend. T was supposed to have his first scrimmage game yesterday but the other team didn’t show. So, his team scrimmaged against themselves. T didn’t care because he got to tackle people. Happy boy.  I made a delicious pot of chili this weekend and some 5 grain bread to go with it so we ate that Friday night through Saturday. I just put beef stew in the crockpot for our dining pleasures today. Last night after dinner, I made Fannie Farmer’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. I had never tried that recipe until last night and it was GOOD!

I dream of meat department sales at grocery stores now.  I’m quite serious. What do you think that means in dream analysis? Last night, I had a dream that I was downtown, next to the border and found a Kroger. I was so happy, I couldn’t talk. If you know me at all, you know this would be an amazing feat! I think I might need some counseling.

We had some great weather last week, but I think it might be all gone. Back to humidity. It’s okay when you know it’s what you are going to get. It’s a kick in the pants when you look at the calendar, think it’s fall and then go outside.

I will be writing later on to post our menu plans for the week and such, but I wanted to write more about the hiatus post. It kind makes me mad. It was heartfelt. Some of my best writing, I am sure.

~Janna

hiatus

I don’t know what happened. I wrote a ginormous blog on this and it is gone, gone gone. I took a hiatus. Wonder where the post went. It was published and then disappeared.  The mystery of it all…..

~Janna

So much

It’s Tuesday, and that can only mean one thing: (no, not make a cake day, that was yesterday!)

It’s GratiTuesday!!

I am especially thankful to not only have internet service and a fabulous laptop, but to be able to read the amazing blogs of likeminded happy homemakers like myself. It gives me such encouragement to read about someone else’s ideas or even struggles and know I’m not on the solo flight plan. Their children are not clean freaks, they didn’t make a menu plan for the week (I still haven’t done it) and they aren’t going to lunch at nice quiet restaurants with their friends twice a week.

We knowingly made a sacrifice to be a one-income family years ago when I was expecting our first baby.. We knew also, that the decision to homeschool could actually make the finances tighter sometimes. We knew that going into full-time ministry was not going to be the moneymaker career choice (but oh, the rewards!!)  So, all of these things we knew in our minds, but walking them out sometimes is a bit challenging, to say the least!  Hearing someone’s story-both real and in the internet world makes a world of differences on those challenging days.

I am grateful. And now I am going to read some blogs! 🙂

~Janna

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