Monday, June 29, 2009

Starting weight watchers

I signed up for 3 months of weight watchers at home. I will start tomorrow. I am hopeful that this will be the time I can stick to this. I will make a grocery list tomorrow and have Ray pick up what I need for 7 days at a time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just whining

I just need a moment or two to feel sorry for myself and then I will brush myself off, shake it off and go on with the rest of the day.
I usually just take things as they come and I know I have limitations and pain and can not do stuff that I really wish I could do. I usually just move onto something I can do and enjoy the hobbies and crafts that I can do.
When I see other people my age doing active activities that I wish I could do I just brush it off but I am just struggling a bit this past week with just how much stuff I am missing out on.
I am trying to focus on the things that I can do and will try to find some new things that I can do so I feel like I am not just doing the same thing day after day. I think maybe partially I am just bored. I love my hobbies but I think I just need something new to do for a bit. Maybe I will break out a different lens on my camera and try out some new settings and see if I can have some fun with my Nikon...maybe I will load the photoshop program I have and finally figure out how to edit photos. Maybe I will make a special effort to sign onto my yahoo messenger so I can chat with my online friends...that always helps me feel better.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

pain in my....

pain in my everywhere. At least that is how it felt today. I have had a rough day with pain today. Everything hurts and I am sore everywhere. I feel like I have been dropped off a cliff and then trampled on by a herd of horses and then run over by a train. My hips hurt, my feet hurt, my neck and shoulders hurt etc. I really hate being in pain. It makes me miserable and grouchy and I feel like I get really impatient with the kids and they do not understand why I am snapping at them for no reason. I try my best to still be pleasant but it does not always work. I got 3 hours of sleep last night because I could not get comfortable. I am heading to bed in a few moments and am hoping I can get a good night sleep. I think I may go soak in the jacuzzi tub first.
I plan to start weight watchers on monday. They have a sale on signing up now and I just can not get and stay motivated on my own. I know I do better when I go to meetings and have to be weighed each week. I really want to lose weight for quite a few reasons and I just know that I will feel so much better emotionally and physically once I lose weight.
No plans for tomorrow really. I have quite a few projects I want to get sewn but that just depends on how my pain is tomorrow.
I have been watching the 2nd season of whale wars today. It is on my on demand program from comcast. I never saw the first season so was not even sure what it was really about but there was nothing else on. I think I will see about getting the first season from netflix. So far the second season looks interesting. I just watched the first, second and part of the 3rd episode. I think if I saw the first season then it would make more sense to me because I still can not quite figure out exactly what they plan to do to the whale hunters. It almost seems like they are trying to solve something with more violence but then again I did not see enough of it yet to fully understand.
Ray is off the next 5 days. We need to sit down and work on a better written budget and also make a few lists of things that we want to get done in the future.
It looks like mom is going to be moving to california. She went there last week with my brother for a visit and while she was there she found a cute home she liked and it was for rent and so she signed a 1 year lease. She is hoping to be moved in by july 10th. I have moving companies coming to give estimates on how much it will cost to pack up and move her stuff. I got 1 estimate on friday and 2 more are coming monday. So far it seems like it is going to be quite a bit of money to move but there really is no other option for moving her stuff unless Brad can take off a few days of work and fly here to help. I can not do much of the lifting or packing because of my health so I can not be of much help.
As soon as we have all her stuff out of the house I will schedule a professional cleaning company to do a deep clean and then will have the carpets shampooed and possibly hire somebody to paint some of the walls and somebody to do some light yard work. After that I will see if I can find anybody from one of the homeschool groups who is maybe looking to rent a place. This would be perfect since it is on an acre of land that is also horse property. I am really hoping to find somebody who has similar intersts as mine and has kids around my kids ages. It would just be really awesome to have somebody living next door who would want to hang out and chat and stuff from time to time.
I will have the property managment company handle the lease and all that stuff but I plan to be involved in the interviewing of the people who are interested in renting the house. I have to live next door to whoever rents it and I want to make sure it is a good fit for us. In this day and age it is sad that I can not fully trust people and so we will also have a background check ran on whoever wants to rent the place. I just need to do that for my own peace of mind and for the safety of my kids.
OOps, it is midnight, I planned to have gone to bed quite awhile ago but got carried away again with my ramble.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


126.00 that is the cost of 3 new pairs of pants for Ray. WOW. I should not complain though because he usually only has 3-4 pairs of pants total and they last him for maybe 9 months or so. He wears the same type of jeans that he has worn since he was 12 years old. Levis preshrunk 501 buttonfly straight leg jeans. In any shade of blue and also black. NO gray or white or any other color.
I would love to find some on ebay or at a thrift store but it just seems like there are never any in the size he needs. I bought him 3 pairs in october and one pair was totally worn out with holes in it and the other 2 pairs are wearing out but he still can wear them if need be. I was hoping to hold off until next month to buy them but I feel bad that he hardly ever asks for anything and he does not even complain that he only has 2 pairs of pants and they are wearing thin so I went ahead and bought him 3 pairs online tonight.
When we first met, finding levis for him was very very hard. The internet was not a household word so we actually had to go to the store to buy them and it was very rare to find his size. When we met he wore a size 32x36....yeppers he was tall and skinny. Now it is still not the easiest thing to find his size but he now wears a size 36x36 and so it is more common to find his size.
I just am realizing that everything has gone up in price and that things are expensive. We have had to be careful with money ever since I could not work but the past few years there had been more breathing room in our finances and we have been able to spend money on things that we did not need to. We got cable tv and netflix and the boys and Ray go out to eat every other thursday. I have been able to buy yards or fabric and other sewing items I have wanted. Of course we still had to be careful but it was nice to be able to buy some extra items. Now with the cost of things going up we are slowly having to cut back down on things. I lowered our netflix account to 2 movies at a time. I cancelled our housecleaning service. We are going back to a more strict food budget etc. It seems that this is a common concern with just about everybody.
I am usually cheap when it comes to spending money so I buy almost all of my clothing and the kids clothing used but since it is so hard to find Rays size of pants I do have to buy his new and it just seems like a huge amount to spend when I get mine and the boys clothing for only a few dollars.

Building shapes

You can click on the pictures to get a better look at them. Sterling is building different shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows...real high tech lol. He had a blast and also had a snack..since he ate some as he was building. This 2.00 craft kept him busy for an entire day.

Sterling and his books

These are books that Sterling made. These are only SOME of them. I have an entire bag full of these books that he has made. I will take more pictures and add some more to another post. His most recent books he has put written stories in them and I am really pleased with his writing and the way he is interested in spelling new words. Sterling has never gone to school..he has not spent one day in preschool, daycare or regular school. A few years ago I was less secure in the fact that he would learn as he was ready and that he did not need to sit down and practice writing over and over so I tried to get him to write his letters when he was about 4 almost 5. He hated it. He got frustrated. This was right around the time that I started leaning more towards unschooling instead so I just stopped trying to get him to do any writing or any other type of school type stuff. I was a bit nervous about if it was the right thing but each day I saw him learn more and more just by discovering things on his own and from him being curious about stuff. He amazes me everyday with how much he learns. Well, the writing thing, I just never brought it up again and figured he would write when he was ready. He sure did....he just picked up a pencil one day and started drawing and then started adding words and then started making short stories etc. It is really amazing to me. I can almost see his little brain just processing stuff.

On another 20 year old was looking over my blog a bit the other day and mentioned that I do not write much about Curtis my 12 year old. She thought that it was not fair to him that I do not mention him as much and mention everything that he is doing. There is a reason for it though...the reason is because Curtis has asked me not to write about him unless I ask him first. He is at the age where he worries about what I would say about him and if it would embarrass him etc. He does not want me making a big deal out of pictures he has drawn or if he has a new hair cut or any of the other sort of things I would blog about and I will respect his wishes.
So, anything that I do write about him has been approved by him.
Curtis took a cpr and first aid class 2 weeks ago. It was a 6 hour class at the fire station and it was for homeschool kids his age. He had been asking awhile about taking a class like this but we had never really found one that was for a 12 year old until the homeschool group set up this session of classes. He did really well at the class and he enjoyed learning something so important. He learned CPR for babies, child and adults as well as various first aid techniques.
One of his favorite things to do was to go to boys club. It is a group of boys his age from the homeschool group and they met every thursday from 1-4 and he loved it. The group was about 6 or 7 boys and they all had very similar interests. The group is not going to meet over the summer so it will start back up in mid august but Curtis sure misses meeting up with his buddies every week.

Oreo needs her exercise

Oreo is the funniest cat ever. She does some of the silliest things. Sterling took an awesome video of her walking on the treadmill. She walked forward and then she walked backwards and she did all sorts of funny things. Somehow though Sterling accidentally deleted the video from his camera before I loaded it onto the computer. He was so upset because he wanted to send teh video into Americas funniest home videos or one of those shows. I tried to get her to walk on the treadmill again so I could get a video and this is what I got. It is nowhere near as long or funny as the one Sterling had gotten. He will try later today to get one of her again and hopefully it will be as funny as the first one he took.

Missing my dad

It has been 3 months since my dad died. In some ways it seems like it was just a few days ago and in other ways it seems like it has been a long time.
Fathers day was last week and it was the first year that I did not have my dad here for me to cook for and buy a gift for. The only thing that made it a bit better was my brother flew in from california and we spent fathers day together. My dad would have been happy to know that my brother and I are getting along and have become close again. It is sad that it took my dad being sick to bring us back together.
I really did not think that I would miss my dad this much. I guess that I was in denial that it would bother me.
My dad lived next door to me and it is just odd to look out and not see his car or to call him everyday to see if he was ok.
I am glad that he is not in pain anymore though. The man that I saw over the past year was not my dad that I knew. It was a very sad weak sick version of my dad. I know my dad would have given anything to have kept living and he did fight until the very end with everything he had in him. He was always stubborn and a tough man who overcame many many obstacles in his life and he was stubborn all the way to the end.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sterling plays the drums...ummm pots and pans

Video of Sterling playing the pots and pans. He is really good at least I think so. He has never had any lesson or even seen anybody else play the drums so all of this is just what comes to him. It amazes me how he set these pots and pans up in a certain way and how he knows to hit on different parts of each pan to make a different sound.
He played on and on for hours a day. I know some people would cringe at the thought of a kid banging on pots and pans for hours a day. I welcomed it and actually encouraged it. I think it is great that he enjoys this.
I plan to get him a drum set. I promised him one for his birthday, a few months ago, and he knows as soon as we find a used set on craigslist or somewhere else that we can find for a good deal.
Sterling has liked drumming on stuff since he was little. He would tap on stuff and bang on things. The oddest thing was that about a year ago all of a sudden he just stopped banging and tapping on things. I asked him about it and he just did not want to do it anymore. This lasted about 6 months and then all of a sudden he woke up one morning and starting tapping and drumming on stuff again as if he had never stopped.
He seems to like all sorts of musical instruments and switches around from one to the other. His current favorite besides the drums is a harmonica for now.

Another purse

I have been in the mood to sew purses...I have one cut out now and will sew it and take pics of it tomorrow. 2 days ago I made this purse from the switch it up pattern from THAT DARN KAT. I liked the looks of it from the pattern but after it was sewn up I did not really care for how flat it was. I generally make the bottom of my purses squared so I cut the bottom of the purse and squared the corners and sewed them up. It gave it a bit of a better look to me. I think the reason it looks off to me is that the proportion of length to width is different then what I usually sew. I do love the shape of the way it curves though and the way I can adjust the handle. This was one of the easiest patterns to sew. It went together different then any purse I have ever sewn but the directions were good and it ended up being really easy and I could probably sew another one in an hour or so.
I love the way the purse crosses along the top and I think that next time I will add some sort of embellishment to that part of the purse, maybe a cute ribbon closure or something similar.
Oh, the purse also is reversible.

Monday, June 15, 2009

3 months...

3 months...that is how long I wait until my next appt with my psych dr. This may not seem like a big deal but for me it is a pretty big step. For almost 5 years that I have been seeing the psychiatrist I have never made it to the point that I was well enough to go 3 months without seeing him. When I first started seeing him I saw him 1 time a week until I got on a regular dose of a medication. Then I saw him every 2 weeks and then every month. Once the medicine would stop working and I had to change meds or if I had a set back I would go back to seeing him every week and then every 2 weeks etc. So far in all 5 years I have not made it to where I could go for 3 months. The furthest I made it to was seeing him every 8 weeks and that only lasted for 2 or 3 appts and then I had to change meds and start over. see him every 3 months means that the medication is working and that I am doing good. Of course I worry that I will have a set back or that my medicine will stop working like it has in the past. So far though my medicine combo is working well for me and not terrible with side effects. One of the worst side effects I have ( besides weight gain) is strange dreams. I never realized that could be a side effect from these meds but according to my doctor is can be. The best way to describe the dreams I have is that they are anxiety dreams. They are dreams about stuff that I would normally become anxious over. Things that I worry about or that I fear could happen. I wake up and am usually pretty good at being able to just tell myself it was a dream and that it is ok but there are times that it takes me awhile to calm back down.
Fathers day is coming will be my first fathers day without having a father. It is still hard to believe that he is not here....the one thing that makes it seem better is to know that my dad is not in pain anymore and that he is not being held back by a body that does not work.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Made another purse

Ok..this one did not turn out exactly how I would like it. This style is not my kind of style but I made it for my daughter. I love this fabric and this is the perfect size to just carry a few things. I need a much larger sized bag though. I like to carry lots of junk with me lol.
I found this pattern here It is easy and quick to sew up. The one thing I messed up on is the interfacing for the handles. It calls for lightweight but I did not think that it would matter much if I used something stiffer so I used fusible fleece( I like fusible fleece much better then interfacing because it is so much easier to get ironed onto the fabric without making wrinkles and stuff) the fusible fleece made the handles really way to stiff. I would for sure make sure to use a lightweight interfacing next time. I also would put a magnetic style snap on the top and would probably sew up the sides a bit higher.
I still think it turned out cute and not bad for my first time trying this pattern.

Friday, June 05, 2009

fruit salad...

Sterling and I decided to make some fruit salad ( well, actually just cut up fruit because we did not add anything other then fresh fruit). We put mangos, nectarines, cantelope, red grapes, and strawberries. Turned out very yummy and we have enough of the fruit left to cut up more and make another bag of fruit salad tomorrow.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A few crochet washcloths

Here are a few crochet washcloths I have made over the past few days. I made some more but they have already been used. I made the pink one for kim and made her a few others. The green one is for Sterling but he informed me he wants the next one green and blue striped. The varigated yellow and white are for my bathroom and I already have a few in my bathroom that I made the other day. I love these to wash my face with. I am going to make some for the kitchen also. I have a big laundry basket full of cotton yarn that I would love to use up and this sounds like the perfect way to do so.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Weds 6/03/09

Well, it is still the 3rd of june technically but it is about 10 minutes before midnight so nearly the next day already.
I had a better day today then yesterday. I slept better last night and so felt better. Ray had to work and so it was just the boys and me. Heather came over this afternoon and stayed for a few hours. She brought a few books for the boys that they just love. They had the 1st book in the diary of a wimpy kid but she got them book 2 and book 3. She also got them each a drawing book and she got Curtis the 2009 world records of video games and Sterling a really cute explorer guide.
This morning Sterling wanted to study sun dials online so we looked at a few. He really wanted to make one but he wanted to make a big one outside with rocks and stuff so that will have to wait for Ray to be home to do that with him. BUT, we made a small one, more or less a replica. It turned out really cute and Sterling had so much fun just playing around with it. He understands that it is not really the way one would work and he is looking forward to making a real one tomorrow with Ray. I think it is so awesome the way Sterling just wants to learn all different things. I love that we do not have to follow a schools schedule and adhere to what all the other kids are doing and we can just do our own thing.
Curtis played with his Gromitis today( some sort of action figure) and he played some video games online against some friends. BOth of the boys went swimming. After they swam they came in the house and lounged on the bed for awhile reading their new books. I am so happy that they both love books.
Here is some pictures of Sterlings sun dial

It is hard to tell by the pictures but there are small drawings and marks on the sun dial that Sterling made.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

June 2, 2009

I had plans to get some sewing done and some organizing done. I had wanted to try to take the boys to a bowling and movie get together with some others from the homeschool group. What did I end up doing instead??? NOTHING. Yep, NOTHING. I have felt icky all day. My pain level is bad and I have been way tired. I think maybe I just have not rested enough the past few days. Last night I went to bed about 1am. I tossed and turned until I finally got out of bed at 2am. I got up and sat on the couch for a bit with the dogs and watched a bit of tv and then finally felt tired enough to go back to bed. I climbed back in bed about 3am and fell asleep right away...woke up at 7am because Sterling woke up and I could hear him in the kitchen trying to get a bowl of cereal but the milk was new and he could not get the sealed lid off of it. SO, part of why I am so tired is because I did not actually really sleep last night. I did take a nap today from about 10am until 1PM or so...which of course the Kids and Ray think that I got a huge long nap and should be wide awake but I still am tired. I could probably sleep a few more hours. I also have not had an appetite today. I had some coke and am now drinking a cherry limeade that Ray picked up from Sonic.
I have gotten NOTHING done today. I can not believe it is almost 5pm and I have not even gotten dressed or done one thing.
Hopefully I will get a good night sleep tonight so I feel better tomorrow.

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Year of CrockPotting: CrockPot Cowboy Stew Recipe

A Year of CrockPotting: CrockPot Cowboy Stew Recipe
This is my favorite recipe from the entire year of crockpotting site. We all love it and there is plenty for dinner and then lunch and dinner the next night. I put the potatoes in whole from the can but then when I serve it I cut them up a bit with a fork so we can get a bit in each bite. We do not use the hot peppers because I am not a fan of something so spicy but this still has a fair amount of spice to it from the ro-tel tomatoes. We have varied the type of beans we use, we have used chili beans, pinto beans, kidney beans and use more then what the recipe calls for. I have passed the recipe on to a few people and they all have loved this also.
I love how easy it is, basically just dumping cans. I also love how I can change it up a bit by adding a few things differently.

crockpot chicken and dumplings

I have been trying to use my crockpot at least 2 times a week. It has been great to have a plan of what to make and then have it all ready to eat by dinner time. 99% of the time there is some sort of leftovers. When we make a roast in the crockpot I love to make soup the following day with the leftovers. Sterling calls the leftover soup fridge soup because we look through the fridge to find what sort of veggies are in there. A week or so ago him and I came up with our best batch of fridge soup ever. We used left over beef roast and we added carrots, onion, a variety of canned tomatos, can of corn, beef boullion, a can of beans and then Sterling's secret ingrediant 2 cans of V-8 juice. We added a few other seasonings. It turned out really good. Basically we just add stuff as we feel like it and it is NEVER the same once.
One of my favorite crock pot recipe sites is a year of crockpotting. The blogger decided to cook something in her crockpot every single day for a full year.
We have tried probably 10 or so of her recipes and have loved them all....all except for the crockpot chicken and dumplings.
Here is the recipe
I followed the recipe and used canned cream of mushroom soup and canned biscuits ( instead of the alternate recipe for homemade cream soup and homemade biscuits). It smelled so good while cooking. I had high hopes for this. It tasted pretty good as I sampled a bit or two. I added the biscuits the last hour or so of cooking. They did get a bit brown and looked done. When I served it into bowls it looked great. It did not taste good. I think it was the biscuits or something that ruined it. I think they just added to strong of a taste and not only were they on top but the flavor of them soaked into the entire pot of food so we could not just take the biscuits off. This was actually quite a bit soupier then any other chicken and dumplings I have ever had.
I may try again making this again but instead of putting the biscuits on top I may even put the chicken stuff into a pie pan and put a pie crust on it because this reminded me a lot of the filling of a pot pie.
I will post some of the other recipes that we have tried and loved from this site. ( Our favorite is the cowboy stew...we have made it 4 or 5 times)
I know this picture looks was taken before I added the biscuits