Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Coma

As I begin to recover from the turkey coma, I reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. Obviously, I am thankful for my friends and family, food to eat and a place to live. But there are a lot of things that I take for granted and I am truly grateful for all my blessings. And not the "God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food" kind of grateful either!! So here goes another one of my lists...

1. Freedom. I might complain about the government and the state of the union but there is no other place that I can openly profess my faith, read my Bible, go to the church and send my kids to free public school than right here in the US. And I can complain because I vote! 

2. Dirty underwear and socks on the floor, band aids that once covered the slightest scrape now stuck to the floor, stickers stuck to my shirts only to be washed and end up on every single piece of laundry in the machine (I mean really, how does a Princess sticker the size of a quarter cover an entire load of laundry when accidentally tossed in with the wash??), hall lights being left on, half full cups of wasted milk, the toilet unflushed after a certain boy uses it (no, not the hubs, he actually knows how to use that little handle on the throne!) and last but not least the arguing over petty things like who got jelly on the counter. For one day in the too soon future I will only wish I could scrape a used bandaid that once soothed an overly dramatic 6 year old's boo boo off the floor.

3. Trees. I like to breathe.

4. Coffee. Without it, my mornings would be very different! 

5. The farm. It has all the natural resources we need; wood for the stove, soil for our garden, streams and ponds for the cattle, plenty of acres to ride our four wheelers and privacy from the rest of the world. 

6. My health. I don't eat as healthy as I should nor do I exercise regularly so obviously I take this for granted. I know it offers a freedom I might not have when I get to a certain age. I really should try harder to maintain it. 

7. Last but certainly not least: my faith. Without it I would be like a lost sheep in this life. The most important thing I am thankful for is a savior who was willing to go to the cross and pay my debt. I'm so unworthy! 

So there you have it. I'm sure I'm leaving something out. There I go taking something for granted again! Hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving yesterday. I know I did.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Table What!?!

Every year hubs and I begin our Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  We normally get 75% of our gifts bought in one day! So I did my normal combing through the ads and I found this interesting table item....

Table panties?? This brings a whole new meaning to tableware! I have heard of table salt, table runners and table center pieces but table panties are a new discovery for me! These probably won't make my list this year, sadly, but they are sure to make someone a great gift!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Small Town Tragedy

I don't watch the news. Call me disconnected, out of touch, whatever but it's always negative and I don't like negativity. I know what's going on in this world because it has been foretold in the best selling book of all time. However, I have been glued to the local news today trying to glean any facts that would explain the events that took place last night in our small, very rural map dot.  Our community is in a complete state of shock after learning that one local man is believed to have shot and killed another. This might be a common news story in the big city but in a place where their are more dirt roads than paved ones and everyone knows your name, this comes as quite a shock. I can't get it out if my head. My heart is broken for both families involved. What's worse is the man that is believed to have pulled the trigger was in my class in school and was one of my very best guy friends growing up. The boy I remember is nothing like the man portrayed in the mugshot and news coverage.

I picture him as a 9 year old boy who has just rode the middle bar of his bike down a very rough hill causing some pain where the sun don't shine. He had to wear special supportive underwear and he was so proud of them he pulled his pants down right there in my living room to show my mother and I!

We used to live in the same neighborhood and would dress up and trick or treat together.  

He was my escort at our 6th grade graduation. 

He's also the same guy who had a single cab Nissan pick up when we were teenagers that we crammed 7 people in and got stuck down by the lake. We didn't have cell phones so we all hoofed it back to civilization to call for a tow.

Most Friday nights he and I, along with a few other friends would head to town and cruise. 

That boy in all the pictures of my birthday parties, prom, homecoming, graduation's unbelievable that it's the same man on the news. 

Of course my heart is heavy for the victim's family too but I didn't know him personally. However, I do know his family and I can't begin to fathom the pain they are experiencing.  The whole thing is such a complete and utter tragedy.  

Sorry for the doom and gloom but I had to write about it or I was going to explode.  Now I do the best thing I know to do and pray for all affected. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Meltdown Heard Round the World

Okay so maybe it was just heard round the shoe store. It just felt like it was heard round the world! 

Does this face look like it belongs to someone who could pitch a fit like that?? Don't let her cuteness fool you.  This little lady had an epic meltdown in Shoe Carnival just the other day that made me want to point at her and say "someone needs to control their child!" Then, turn and run! 

It all started at the end of a tiresome, day long hunt for jeans and work boots for the hubs. Hubs wanted to swing in and see what they had real quick so I took sass master to the back to let her try on shoes. Lo and behold she fell in love with a pair of Steve Maddens. I have to agree with her here, they were super cute. However, they just weren't something she needed so hubs told her to take them off and put them back. Queue tears. Again she is asked to put them back on the shelf.  Queue begging, tears and thick laying of guilt trip AKA we don't love her and never buy her anything! By this time people are staring. Hubs tries to grab her and pull her close to talk to her and that's when it happens. She started running around the shelves crying and screaming so that we can't catch her!!!  At this point the Moon family is quite the spectacle. I just want to bend her over my knee and wear out her rear end then and there which is probably why my non reaction was a good thing.  Like circling vultures the other customers are now tuned completely in just waiting for us to do something. To be honest I was so shocked at her behavior that I couldn't do anything but stare at her in complete disgust and humiliation. She was acting like a spoiled rotten little brat! 

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, her daddy got ahold of her. He calmly but sternly took her hands in his, placed his forehead on hers and told her she would absolutely sit down, dry it up and put the boots back otherwise when we got home she was in MAJOR trouble. She did as she was told. 

Once safely in the car, out of earshot of any bystander, she got the lecture of a lifetime about being grateful for the things she has because there are children that only dream of having one pair of shoes much less multiple pairs. She didn't get a spanking though she needed one. I think both of us were so appalled at this child, that at the time didn't even look like our spawn, we couldn't react! So next time some kid is having a meltdown of Mt Vesuvius proportion I WILL NOT judge the parent. Lesson learned. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Confessions of a Cheapskate

When I was in college I would spend my last dime on something that I wanted. I had no money skills really. If it was shiny and caught my eye, I would stagger checks and hope they didn't bounce to buy it! Then I met my husband, Tightwad Extraordinare. He worked a minimum wage job at the time and had money in savings..what!? He would go hungry rather than shell out $3 for lunch! We married and he converted me to his cheap ways. Well, most of his ways; this girl does not go hungry! Fast forward 11 years and we still maintain our frugal ways. 

I am always looking for ways to save even more money so I watched a season of Extereme Cheapskates, the TLC series, on Netflix. I'm not that extreme! My kids will never have to worry about eating dumpster dive food or wiping with cloth toilet paper but I did pick up a few good ideas anyway. Here are some of the  thrifty things I do:

1. I comp shop and use coupons whenever I can. I try to get at least one thing free or almost free each time I go to the store. I only do this for things my family will use. I don't hoard anchovies and pickled eggs just because I can get them for free!

2. We only have Netflix and rabbit ears. Hey, at least the kids don't have to stand outside in the snow and turn the antenna. 

3. I reuse my freezer bags and foil as long as they are easily cleaned. 

4. We buy clothes on the cheap from clearance racks doubled with % off coupons and I am a yard sale junkie!! 

5. I make my own laundry soap. It smells great, works better than store bought and it lasts nearly a whole year even with having two kids and doing daily loads of laundry. 

6. I sign up for free stuff. Companies are just dying to send you free stuff in hopes that you will run right out and purchase whatever sample it is they send. And, they always include coupons in the sample pack. Double score!!

7. I let my dishes air dry instead of using the heated dry on the dishwasher and we heat with wood as our main source of heat. I also unplug anything easily accessible to avoid using unnecessary electricity. 

8. I do surveys for money. Sure it takes awhile to score enough points to earn money or a gift certificate but every bit counts. 

9. We grow a garden and I can and freeze the food we get from it. It saves money, is healthier and tastes better. Wins all around! 

10. I sell stuff at consignment stores. When my kids outgrow those clothes mentioned on #4 I take them to the consignment shop and make my money back!

That's a pretty healthy list so I will stop at 10. Cutting corners may not be up everyone's alley but it has allowed us to fulfill some of our hopes and dreams and we will continue to be cheap, frugal, tight, thrifty, whatever you want to call it! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Secret Bunco Society

When I was a kid my best friend's mother was in a Bunco group.  We were strictly forbade from attending said bunco group!  I remember wondering for one what bunco even was and for two what in the world these women talked about or did that was unfit for the presence of young teens. Especially since this family was and still is very faithful, Godly people. My mind ran wild at the possibilities. Did they tell their deepest darkest secrets? Did they sit around and drink and smoke and tell dirty jokes?  Maybe they went skinny dipping in the nearby river. I never thought I would figure this mystery out but then it happened. A year ago I joined a bunco group at church.

I call it fight club because there are only two rules: no husbands and no kids!  Bunco is a real simple game. You roll dice and try to get sixes.  When someone rolls three sixes at the same time the fight is on to snatch up the die. I'm talking flying across the table, chairs falling over, drinks getting spilled, fingernail induced injuries type fighting to snatch up a die!! It's serious business! There is tons of delectable, fattening food; door prizes; a sinful dessert and most important of all the sanity inducing, stress relieving fellowship between 12 outstanding women.  I have finally figured this whole secret bunco society thing out and tonight it was my turn to herd my husband and kids out the door and host these women! Fun was had, food was devoured, all tables survived and no blood was drawn. We left after this all female party feeling recharged and refreshed.  Hubs and kids were thrilled that there was some leftover banana pudding!! Now my kids are left to wonder what in the heck it is that makes monthly bunco such a huge deal.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So, I Quit my Corporate Job...

This is my first week as a homemaker, co-owner of Capstone 27 Realty and hopeful substitute teacher.  Most people are very supportive, but there's a few that think I've gone mad. After all, who in their right mind would walk away from a job they have dedicated ten years to, a job that pays well and has stellar benefits? Not many, but I chose to. Here's why:

1. Those books and magazines, they say you can have the best of both worlds. They lie. Who is "they" anyway? When you have a 30 minute commute (one way) and your work day is 9.5 hours long, including lunch, your career defines your entire life.  I just watched several people who had devoted 20+ years to this company retire. When I asked them what they would do, they didn't know because up until that point their entire life revolved around their career which is fine for some, but I want to leave a different legacy rather than: she was a great pricing analyst.

2.  To elaborate on #1, I'm not getting any younger and neither are the kids God so graciously blessed me with.  The babysitter, who we call Mimi still to this day raised them until they started school.  Thank God for her because she spared my sanity knowing she loved my kids as I do.

3. The hubs needs help. Not the kind that I would need a PhD and a couch for, but that of an office manager. Our business is growing and the one man show that he has been for the last few years just isn't cutting it anymore which is a great problem to have!!

Basically, I want to be the wife and mother that God intended for me to be; not this stressed out, worn out, impatient, crazy person I am when I have had a rough day.   And, I want our house to look like it's actually inhabited by humans, not animals!  So, here I go on my new journey...