Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What do Stay-At-Home-Mom's Do All Day????

I have heard people say things of this nature and while every day isn't this crazy, most of them are!  This is another reason I have such a hard time updating my Facebook status - how do you pick just ONE thing and I find it difficult to resist the urge to "explain" everything. 
So today went a little like this:
Feed the children
Read a few verses from Acts
Clean the dishes
Answer the phone
Answer some emails
Marinate chicken for dinner - later
Get meals organized for a family in our church
Make grocery list (I cannot express the amount of mental energy that goes into this process)
Cut/print coupons
Put clean sheets on the guest bed
Do a birthday sign craft with the girls
Get myself ready
Make arrangements to get coats for a family coming in from Singapore
Pick-up coats
Drop off table
Pick-up costume that needs to be returned
Drive to Grand Rapids and drop-off costume
Refrain from road rage
Go to Costco
Pick-up last minute Christmas gifts/groceries
Stand in line for what seemed an eternity
Get gas
Refrain from more road rage on 28th street
Go to Meijer
Come home and unload a mini-sized Meijer store into my cupboards
Start cooking dinner
Make a Boston Cream Pie
Kathryn & Jesse arrive!! :)
Have a fun filled evening catching up with friends
Clean up more dishes
Think for a split second about waking up at 3am to see a red moon...naaaah
This is not an exhaustive list, I did leave out diaper changes, disciplinary chats, cleaning up spilled milk, etc. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Homemade Sanitizing Wipes

So I had heard of making your own sanitizing wipes, but what really pushed me over the edge to make these was when I discovered you needed to use your electric knife.  That poor electric knife sits in my kitchen drawer all year waiting for Thanksgiving and even then we traditionally go to my grandparent's house - it is indeed a lonely life being an electric knife in my home.   I also happened to stock up on paper towels at Costco the last time we went so I had everything on hand.  Here is what the before looked like:
You just cut the roll (you may need a partial roll, depending on the size of your container), add whatever mix of cleaner you want (some use vinegar for the "greener" option), I personally was only in on this project for the knife. :)  I used water and liquid Lysol, I wanted to use them to disinfect my counters and I like the throw away aspect.  I used Bounty paper towels and they held up amazingly well!  Let the paper towel soak up your liquid and then pull out the inner cardboard tubing...
And Voila! Wipes :)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Christmas vacation has officially begun for Chloe!  Unfortunately, in order to stay on tract, we had to "sneak" in school for Olivia.  If I state it really excitedly like "let's play school!!!!"  The girls are in almost every time.  Of course I try not to overuse that phrase and I was hoping Olivia would not realize that Chloe was in fact officially on "vacation."  Thankfully, Chloe loves school and she didn't mind "playing" with us.  I did Kindergarten at home with both the girls and I really did/do enjoy it.  It was a good experience, but it also makes me thankful that we have a Christian school option. 
So today as we were "playing school" Chloe recognized Olivia's paper and said "OHHHH, I remember that one!"  I didn't think much of it until we were almost done and Olivia was coloring these balls and was in no way making an effort to stay in the lines.  The thought crossed my mind "I wonder what Chloe's paper looked like when she was at this age."  I don't want to come across like it is a competition, but it is incredible to see the different personalities and developments that take place.  So I dug out Chloe's Kindergarten file and found that I did not have that particular page (of course I found the page before and after, but not that ONE).  Murphy's Law.  I did however find the penmanship paper for that day and what I found made me chuckle.  We have recently learned the letter "V" and Olivia does not like to slant her lines.  Can you guess who else did not like to slant??  
 It really cracked me up to see their work side by side.  It was good for Olivia too, to see that this big sister of hers (who she feels like she will never catch up with), was at her stage and made the same mistakes.  She was smiling like the Cheshire cat while we looked at her big sisters papers.  It was fun for Chloe to see her progress.  It made me a lot of things...sad that two years has already FLOWN by, happy that I have another six months with Olivia, amazed at how much they learn in one short year, privileged that I can teach my girls to read, ecstatic that I get a three year break before we even have to think about school for Megan, and lastly, longing to freeze time.
Olivia 5 yrs old

Chloe 7 yrs old

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hot Fudge Sauce

Probably my most favorite dessert - - no, by far my favorite dessert is vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce, and depending on the mood a warm gooey brownie is a wonderful addition.
My hubby and I had the benefit of a date night last night.  This involved dinner, Christmas shopping for the girls, and a Christmas concert.  It was a blast.   We ate too much at dinner to indulge in dessert and Eric had just tried on jeans and we were commenting on skinny jeans being all "the rage".  See, Eric is a very tall/lean guy and if he can't pull off skinny jeans - who can?!?!  He took a pair into the fitting room and didn't realize they were the "skinny" fit and he said he couldn't get them over his ankles.   Fast forward to Macy's and I was looking over a sweater (we were supposed to be shopping for the children, I know, I know).  I saw it on the mannequin and thought it looked cute, of course she had some sort of tights/leggings on and I sort of laugh and say "I could NOT get away with those", to which Eric replies "I don't get the waif look."  I said "you're right babe, you don't GET the waif look, you get the plumper version."  After laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes, I make my purchase and we really do finish shopping for the girls - I promise.
Now, on to the reason I can't pull off skinny jeans - Hot Fudge Sauce (see this did have a point after all!) :)....
This is by far the best recipe I've found for hot fudge and the secret wasn't found in the ingredients but in an extra step at the end - beating or blending the sauce!  Perhaps this is no secret to others, but I surely was "enlightened."  My crafty side got the best of me and instead of doing traditional fudge or cookies this year as teacher/neighbor gifts we are doing fudge...sauce.
Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 (or more for darker choc.) cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Combine butter, cocoa, sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Carefully pour hot mixture into a blender and blend for 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately. Store in refrigerator. 
*To make this in a large amount use the following measurements and it almost makes 5 pints: 1.5 cups of the cocoa, 1Tbs vanilla, double everything else and boil for 9-10 minutes.

Ready to go!