Making grape juice

Posted 09-30-2012 at 09:30 AM by Heather8183

Go ahead and make fun of me that I’ve literally never juiced anything in my life.  I’ve had my Magic Bullet for probably 6 years.  It came with the juicer attachment, which just sat in the basket, unloved, for all 6 of those years.

My grandparents have a few grape vines.  They usually don’t produce much fruit at all, but for some reason this year they just exploded with grapes!  They told us we could have them to do whatever we wanted with them.  The kids were so excited!

I decided to break out the trusty Magic Bullet and try out that lonely juicer attachment.  Take what I have to say with a grain of salt, since I’ve already admitted I’ve never juiced anything before.  Overall, though, I was really impressed.  I will definitely juice more fruits and veggies with it!

Diaper Swapers

Transforming our kitchen!

Posted 09-29-2012 at 09:17 AM by Heather8183

Saturday DH and I went to Lowe’s to look at the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation kits.  I’d heard a lot of great things about them, and our countertops were in desperate need of transformation.  We’ve been here just a month shy of 4 years and they were in bad shape when we moved in.

We ended up choosing a dark color, “Java Stone.”  Everything we needed was included in the kit, except for 2 2″ synthetic brushes, drop cloths, 2 6″ roller sets (we only used 1), 2 different kinds of rollers, and a paint pan.  The kit runs around $300 at most places but it’s cheaper at Lowe’s, I think around $249, and it was on sale for $198.  On top of that, we used our Lowe’s card and saved an additional 5%.  Not too bad.

I think the worst part of the process was clearing the counter off!  My kitchen table is completely covered – Keurig, microwave, snack basket, fruit basket, coffee mugs, etc. etc.  Once everything is removed from the counter, you need to wash it with gentle soap and water and let it dry.  After the counter has dried, you use one of the enclosed sanding blocks, and using quite a bit of pressure with both hands, you have to sand the entire counter in circular motions.  This does require some elbow grease, but luckily I was, uh…busy…doing…other…stuff…and missed this fun part!  Don’t tell the hubs, but really I was just avoiding the kitchen at all costs.

Turning into a regular ol’ Suzy Homemaker!

Posted 09-28-2012 at 12:36 PM by Heather8183

Although I do quite a bit of baking and cooking, I have never canned anything before.  My grandparents have grape vines that grew an overabundance of grapes this year and they had us pick them and said to do whatever we wanted with them.

The kids were so excited to pick the grapes-and eat more than a few in the process!  They decided they want me to make grape juice and grape jelly out of them.  Yikes!  I hopped on over to Google and read up a little bit to make sure we have everything we need.  The website I checked out was pickyourown.org.  It’s come up a few other times when I was looking for canning advice (which I obviously never used).  My favorite part of the page was in the list of tools you’ll need:

“Blender, food processor or juicer - Yes, you could do it manually, if are only making a small batch, are insane, or you have access to child labor.”

I got a good chuckle out of that.

Home schooling on location

Posted 09-28-2012 at 12:16 PM by whitneywalters

I think the thing I love most about home schooling is the fact that we can go on day trips for school whenever we want. After finishing reading and writing I decided today was a good day for some outdoor learning. I packed the kids up and we headed to the park. We were going to have a bug hunt and learn about the environment they lived in.

We have a nice little park right on the outskirts of town, it has a camping area, eating area, two different play areas, baseball fields and a pond. It is the perfect place to have a bug hunt at.

Alex found his first bug in a matter of seconds. He found a walking stick. We spent some time talking about the bug, taught them about camouflage  and that it used its camouflage as a protection device to hide from other creatures that would try to eat it. We watched it climb around on a tree for awhile and then we went back to hunting for another bug.

Next, we found a dragon fly resting on a stick. We were able to get close enough that they could see it really well. I told them how a dragon fly is an expert flyer, it can fly straight up and down and even hover like a helicopter.

Destiny was the next to find a bug, she found a spider and was not very happy about it. Destiny is not a fan of spiders or really any bug for that matter. She had been hunting for a butterfly and found the spider by accident while climbing the ladder. I just told her that spiders are good, they eat a lot bugs that can cause problems for humans and then we took some time to study a spider web she found also.

Letting Go of Guilt

Posted 09-28-2012 at 11:48 AM by Krista

I don’t know about you, but I let a lot of people have power over me. I don’t do it intentionally, and truth be told, the people probably have no idea. I am huge on holding onto guilt. I just can’t seem to let go when I’ve made a mistake. I will say something that comes out differently then I thought and then feel just awful about it that I will obsess for days, wondering if I should apologize and if that person is mad at me. Odds are if I do ever mention it the person is surprised I even brought it up.

There was a situation recently where my husband and I ran into a guy I used to work with. We hit it off right away, and invited him to dinner. Before long, we were seeing him two to three times a week, and going on vacation together. This was in the time frame of a few months. Then, all of a sudden, he stopped answering texts, returning phone calls, or coming over when he said he would.

My feelings get hurt really easily, and I am a paranoid person by nature. I have spent a lot of time analyzing his sudden departure. I thought we’d all gotten pretty close. He and I particularly seemed to always have something to talk about, and he and my husband often went out for a beer or spent an afternoon playing video games.

What is it about tiny newborn diapers?!

Posted 09-28-2012 at 11:46 AM by Heather8183

Just what is it about tiny newborn cloth diapers that is so addicting?  DH and I will be TTC within the next few months, but I’m afraid by then there won’t be and diapers left to buy!

Right now, I’m pretty sure we have 13 xs BG AIOs, 8 NB Grovias, 8 Lil’ Joeys, 2 XS Fuzzi Bunz, a NB Blueberry pocket, and LOTS of preemie and newborn prefolds.  I also have a lot of K’s OS diapers left as well that I’m in the midst of refreshing with new aplix and elastic.

I know I sound like a loon but in my defense, we did have a miscarriage in February, so I bought a few back then and did trades for some as well.  I know I have more than enough, but the closer we get to TTCing, the more I want to get!  The good news is I haven’t actually spent much money on them at all.  Most of them were trades, and the ones I did buy I got at a great deal.

I love garage sales!

Posted 09-27-2012 at 12:12 PM by Heather8183

This morning we went out as a family looking for yard sales.  DH doesn’t usually get too into that type of thing but today he was all for it.  Come to find out, he was avoiding the other option for today’s plans – rearranging furniture.  Eh, either way it’s a win/win for me!

A town near us was having their semi-annual community wide sale, and there were lots of houses participating.  It was so nice to have DH along.  Not only did we get to spend a lot of time just talking about different stuff, but he was able to stay in the car with the kids for most of the houses so we didn’t have to get them in and out of their car seats over and over again.

One thing I don’t understand is why some people think their garbage is worth more than the item was new!  For example, a baby swing I saw today.  Granted, it was a nice one; I think the Fisher Price rainforest theme.  Anyways, it smelled like smoke, and they wanted $50 for it!  It’s going for $20-25 on eBay right now.  They also had the bouncer and wanted $40 for it.  The same house was selling children’s books for $2 and $3 each.  Maybe I’m just cheap but I wasn’t surprised to see all that just sitting there.

Still nursing to sleep

Posted 09-27-2012 at 11:45 AM by whitneywalters

A lot of people I know have been shocked when they learn that my fourteen month old daughter is still nursing to sleep for naps and at night. The conversation came up a few times with people I know when they were discussing the sleep habits of their kids that are the same age and another time when someone asked if she had spent a night away from me yet. Amelia is not ready to be away from me at night. She fights sleep if I am not near and I do not think it would be a happy time for anyone involved if I was not with her.

I have had a lot of people trying to push me towards weaning her telling me that I should not have to nurse her to sleep anymore and that if I did not break this habit now it was going to be even harder when I wean her. The thing they do not seem to understand is that I am not weaning anytime soon and that I think her habit is just fine. Normally, when I tell them I am not weaning anytime soon they will do one of two things, change the subject or try telling me all the reasons why she no longer needs to nurse. I am usually polite and hear them out but then I tell them all the reasons why she is not old enough to be weaned and remind them that all my other kids were still nursing at this age as well.

I did wean my three other kids at eighteen months, Alex actually weaned himself at that age. I had been tandem nursing him and his little sister and one day he just told me that it was for baby and he was done. My oldest daughter

Whining

Posted 09-27-2012 at 11:33 AM by Krista

You know one thing I can’t stand? Whining. It drives me nuts. My girls both have speech delays so whining is even worse for me because I have to strain to understand them as it is. When they’re upset it is certainly no easier. In our house I have officially put a ban on whining. It just doesn’t solve anything—they don’t really express what problem they have, so we can’t work through it, and I end up annoyed.

If a Whining Ban sounds good to you, then let me tell you what we do. Anytime the whining begins, I ask them to stop. If it doesn’t, I let them know I will be sending them to their rooms. Three strikes and they’re out! (Of course I am referring to three occurrences over the same issue…whatever that is) And personally, I only allow them so many chances because this is a new system to them and they are so young. When they’re older I think I will be done by the second time.

Scaredy cat

Posted 09-27-2012 at 11:33 AM by Heather8183

You see it on the news and read it in the paper every day…it just seems like it’s getting worse!  Yeah, I’m pretty much a scaredy cat.  Chicken.  Wimp.  I’m afraid of all the bad things that could happen.

When I list things for sale on Craigslist, I never list my real city.  I never give people my address and tell them to pick it up.  If it’s not worth the money if I have to drive and meet them somewhere like McDonalds, then I’ll give it to Goodwill;  I absolutely won’t tell people where I live.  On the same token, I won’t go alone to someone’s house to pick something up.  I always take DH with me, even if we’re meeting somewhere.  I was especially cautious when I was pregnant and buying baby things…you never know what crazy person wants a baby so badly they will kidnap and kill a pregnant woman.

Most of the time my front door is shut and locked.  On the occasion that the storm door is open, the screen is always locked.  I don’t answer the door if I don’t recognize the car, and <blushing> I’ve been known to make the kids stay in the kitchen or somewhere else away from the windows if someone’s knocking on the door so no one can see them.