Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Memories 2013

Well its done!  I made it to the Christmas day of 2013 and got what needed to be accomplished, accomplished.  Yay me.  Here sits our humble little tree.  Our bigger tree or what the guys  affectionately call the "elegant tree" is in the dining room.  This is the tree they call the "fun tree" or "family tree".  This tree encompasses everything we are as a family.  It has the ornaments given for first Christmases, Homemade ornaments created in art classes, simple but reverent ornaments celebrating Christ's birth, the fun Santas, Gingerbread men etc. 
 Christmas eve started with the tearing of wrapping paper, opening the traditional Christmas eve gift of jammies Mom made, but WAIT!  A surprise awaits because it isn't it is

  Rubic says he looks like a Jedi and Einstein says he looks like he should be smoking a cigar sitting next to a fire and reading stories to little kids.  "gather around children"  He says.  After the opening of the gifts, it was time to eat junk food and watch "A Christmas Story". 


No Christmas would be complete without the cutting out of cookies.  That is my oldest grandson with Rubic.  Just call him DL.  He is 5 now!  Can't believe it.  After the cookies were done we all piled on the big bed and watched "The Polar Express".  DL was good until it was wrapping up and then he decided he was ready to go do something else. 
This is my newest grandson.  We could refer to him as DL as well, but that would be confusing.  We will call him Bruiser.  Can you believe that child is only 5 months old? 
No Christmas is complete without the obligatory cat on the presents picture.  Here is Nermal.  She loves Christmas time cause she can lay on the gifts (Messing up bows).  This is her normal spot during the holidays. 
I would love to say I got pics of Christmas morning, but the light wasn't so good.  I can say it was a morning filled with laughter , love, wrapping paper and general mayhem.  Some wants were covered, and some needs as well.  These times are becoming bitter sweet for me.  My boys are men now and will soon be out on their own.  I want to try and remember these times; savor these moments.  Tomorrow the decorations will begin to come down and thoughts will turn to "to do" lists, schedules, Spring and all that entails.  I also received an aerobic step which will begin to be broken in (poor thing) tomorrow.  It is time to pay the piper so to speak.  Time to work off cookies, dressings, candies, desserts, and other bad for you stuff.  Not a New Years Resolution, but a necessity or I can't wear my clothes anymore.  So anyhoo, I hope you guys had a great Christmas.  I am looking forward to 2014.
  The future isn't scary if you know the person who holds it! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"To every season, turn, turn, turn..."

So things are beginning to slow a bit here at the ole homestead.  Well at least I am getting caught up.  I have one more thing to make for this holiday, wrap a couple more gifts, and do the final cooking/baking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I am hoping to have my check list completed today and can just enjoy the next few days of Christmas. 
So because of that, my plans start to trend toward things I need to do starting in January.  It isn't a New Years Resolution list.  I don't do those.  But there are changes coming.  I have a feeling a season in Dh and my life is changing.  Diva left the nest a few years ago and has since started a nest of her own.  I added a Son in Law and two grandsons in exchange for her leaving my nest.  A positive to be sure.  Now I am looking at Einstein starting Technical college in a couple of weeks.  Rubic will be going down to the same area on those same days and plans to take his GED.  Soon after he is going to be going to tech college.  As a result, things are changing.  We are having to coordinate DH and I going to work, Einstein going to school and Rubic's GED and studies, all with one car.  FUN!  In addition to that, the holidays instill a desire, after much heavy food, to eat and act healthier.  We have added to our home gym and now have one that looks pretty nice.  We have an Elliptical , treadmill, air bike, and free weights.  I should use it don't ya think?   So all of us are getting back on the health bandwagon after our food hangover.  Still no weird diet food.  No artificial stuff, but definitely whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meats, etc.  In order to coordinate everyone's schedule, still eat healthy and use the equipment (I mean it's there!),  I am needing to change some things I buy.  Packing 4 lunches as opposed to one or two means I need to find items that are quick to pack.  So whole fruits, yogurts, cheese sticks etc. will be on my grocery list; as well as the individual packs of baked chips.  That's for starters.  Most of my baking will have to be relegated to the weekends and so that cuts back on days of mammoth baked goods prep.  Time will be precious.  Gardening season will be upon me in a couple of months and I need to be able to focus on that.  It saves more money in the long run.  I can already feel the gardening bug biting.  I should be starting my cold weather crop seeds indoors soon.  Yay. 

There will be other seasonal changes in our life for sure.  I need to enjoy, for now, the presence of our two youngest still at home.  In a few years that may change.  I am past the days of Santa visiting my kids, and I do miss that.  I still enjoy Christmas and all the joy it brings to us.  I think, when the time comes that our kids are on their own; the difference in our Christmas will be the hardest to face.  So in the mean time, I will focus on this and every season and enjoy it to the fullest.

 I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

We hate to interrupt this program...

But I think for a little bit I am gonna have to break from blogging.; until Christmas or until I catch up which ever comes first.  If I get a chance I will post, but I just wanted you guys to know why I won't be posting as much during the month of Dec.  Until then  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When it comes to grocery shopping, be ever vigalant

On a day looooong ago ( we won't talk about how long ago), my mother and I went grocery shopping for my first grocery shopping trip as a homemaker.  I remember her words as we exited the car; "Let the battle begin".  Make no mistake.  The grocery stores job is to separate you from as much of your money as possible and your job is to not let them.  Period.  As consumers it is our job to make sure as little money as possible is taken from our wallet for merchandise which, lets face it, ends up in the septic tank.    I have remembered those words over the years, and tried to live by them when it comes to providing food for my family.  That being said, even I have fallen off the vigilant band wagon periodically.  Such a time happened to me this week and I wanted to share what I learned. 

I usually shop once a month and throw in small really good sale purchases if they come up during the month.  Since I shop once a month I will usually grab a few pounds of lunch meat.  I leave one in the fridge and the others I freeze,  The draw back to freezing lunch meat is it ends up kinda watery.  Well the other day I was making lunch for Dh and I thought to myself, "I am gonna drain off the water of this package and weigh it to find out how much it is taking off the over all weight of the lunch meat.  So I weighed the pkg of lunch meat after draining off the extra water and found it only weighed 11.58 oz.  At first I was shocked thinking "I can't believe I lost that much in a 1 lb pkg of lunchmeat!".  Right on the tale end of that I looked at the weight of the pkg and what I used to buy as a 1 lb package was now 14 oz.  So the good news is I only paid $2.99 for 11.58 oz of meat and 2.38oz of water as opposed to paying that for 11.58 oz of meat and 4.38 oz of water.  I am being sarcastic right now.  Neither one is great but I do have a lesser of two evils.  So my answer to this?  I roasted a turkey last night an will use it for lunch meat.  The turkey cost me .59 a lb and no extra added water.  So my being asleep at the wheel maybe will help you as well.  So the lesson learned is to pay attention to package sizes especially when it looks like the sale price is better than normal.  I wouldn't be surprised to find that the package size has shrunk and you are being scalped.  When you think about the price per pound I was willing to pay for lunch meat ($4.13 lb) I could by the round or sirloin tip roasts, cook it and carve it for lunches and come out better!  My Dh will be thrilled with that one!  Always, always, always re-evaluate purchases.   Okay, resume your normal day.  See ya guys!