Home Sweet Home

This post is mainly for family who have not seen our place yet. It’s a nice day outside so I thought I’d take a few pictures of our place to show you around a little. Enjoy!

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This next one here is a picture of my garden. The zucchini plants have really taken over. In fact, that is what’s mostly in this shot. I made a makeshift fence out of chicken wire after I planted to keep the critters out. The idea was courtesy of my friend, Gale.

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Another picture of the garden. The lighter green patch is my lettuce. I was all excited about it until one day I fixed a salad, having washed each leaf carefully (or so I thought) and David found a caterpillar on his lettuce. The excitement of my lettuce has since dwindled considerably…

Here is a picture of my tomato plants. I’m so excited about these! No bugs have gotten to them yet and if things keep going well I’ll have lots of tomatoes!

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This is a picture of my rhubarb plant. I’ve picked some already and made a strawberry-mulberry-rhubarb pie. It turned out really yummy! I think I may be able to pick some more rhubarb here pretty soon. It is growing my a tree stump, kind of protected and out of the way a bit in our back yard.

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A picture of my other rhubarb plant (and weeds…). I have not been able to pick any from this plant yet. I’m not sure how well it will turn out.

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This is the mulberry tree in our back yard, where we picked the mulberries for the pie. There are quite a few on this tree and our neighbor said the kids could come and pick some from her tree as well. It brought back memories!

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This is our shed behind our house. The picture is sideways but you get the idea. It’s nice to have a place to store stuff.

Our shed

And now to introduce you to a friend of Miriam and Isaiah’s. This is General Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller. The family we bought the house from left him for the kids to have. Miriam and Isaiah have fun riding on him.

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Here is the back of our house. I restained the back deck on Friday. It was looking pretty shabby.

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Here is the front flower bed. I have no clue what all is growing here but it sure is pretty! I know that clematis is growing up the trellis and on the far right is a day lily.

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And there you have it! That’s pretty much the outside of our house. I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures. I’m excited that I actually figured out how to put these up! Come on out for some zucchini! I am going to have tons of it.

When the Dawn Comes, Tonight Will be a Memory Too…

June 15th was the 9th anniversary of our first date! Sigh. I can’t believe it’s been 9 years already. David was only 21 back then and I was 19! He used to tease me and call me a teeny bopper. Take a trip back with me if you will to the summer of 1999…gas was dirt cheap (as low as $0.75/gallon on Fort Riley), the economy was good, and I was on cloud 9! That was probably the best summer I’ve ever had. Who knew six months from that time we’d be hitched? On our first date, David picked me up in his Nissan Stanza. That car had definitely seen better days. :o) It leaked some sort of fluid all the time and couldn’t go too fast without being really loud. But it got us from point A to point B most of the time and that’s the important thing! I was SO nervous that day and my stepmom was trying to calm me down a bit, to no avail. Anyway, he picked me up and we went to Subway and then after that to the park to eat. I was too nervous to eat anything, only taking a few bits of my 6″ sub while David snarfed down his 12″ sub! It wasn’t until I got back home that I realized how hungry I was. After that day, we slowly got to know each other more, a lot of the time staying up way too late talking on the front porch. That was so fun. And that was the very beginning of our relationship. It truly has been a blessing all along. Of course we’ve had some difficulties, but David loves me so much and shows me all the time. He loves our children as well and is a good daddy. I am very thankful for him. It is fun to think about that first summer we were together. It seems so far away but just like a blink at the same time. When I was dealing with fussy babies, changing diapers, teething, sleepless nights, tight finances, and all that, sometimes I would wish to go back to that time when I didn’t have all the responsibility that I do now, all of the cares and issues that accompany being a mother and a wife. But, I can’t go back, and there really is no use in thinking those thoughts. I strive to be content with the day that God has given me.

And that’s all folks. Until next time, adieu.

Shopping at CVS

Life has been busy and maybe the novelty of this blog is wearing off slightly which may be why I haven’t written in awhile. But, alas, here I am again!

I promised that I would write about my shopping trips to CVS Pharmacy. Here is my feeble attempt at it. They have certain things on sale each month where if you buy them, you get all or part of your money back for that item in Extra Care Bucks. For example, I bought two boxes of CVS brand band-aids for $1.99 a box. When I paid for them at the cash register, I got $1.99 back per box in Extra Care Bucks which is “free” CVS money to use on your next purchase. If you have coupons for the item you buy, you can reduce your out of pocket expenses. I bought some Listerine mouth wash for $3.49, used a $1 off coupon making it $2.49 but got $3.49 back in ECB’s so that ended up being an even better deal. On my first shopping trip there, I spent $29.40 out of pocket after coupons and got $18.49 back in ECB’s! It was fun, a little confusing at first, and I don’t think I have it all completely mastered yet but I am hoping this will help with non-grocery items to reduce our expenses a little. I was also able to get Johnson’s Buddies soap completely free with a $1 off coupon! Yay! Free soap! So, I may be posting more about my purchases there in the future.

It’s a tarnader!

People talk about the weather a lot and so I’m not exactly looking for this blog to be Lisa’s Official Weather Spiel, but springtime in Kansas has been giving me quite the sudden and long-lasting surges in adrenaline of late. We had gotten home from church a little bit late last night because we ended up going to Dairy Queen afterwards (waffle bowl sundaes rule!). We also hadn’t eaten dinner before church because I made a stew and my potatoes weren’t quite done yet. So after a very late dinner (after 10pm) we bedded the kids down and I was looking over some coupons I’d just received and then went back into the kitchen to do some last-minute cleanup when…the sirens went off. I ran into the kids room, grabbing socks and shoes for them, trying to rouse them. I kept telling them they needed to get up, very loudly in fact, but those kids were out! Isaiah especially. After a few minutes of me breathing rapidly, my husband trying to tell me to calm down, and the kids dazed and confused, we managed to get ready to head over to the storm shelter. David told me to go ahead and go as he was trying to cram some blankets in his bag. I grabbed the kids’ wrists and started to run. The storm shelter is just across the street so it wasn’t a very long run but one of them managed to fall down twice. I was probably going too fast and the fact that I had a vice grip on both of their wrists probably didn’t help either. But I was trying to save their lives…they’ll thank me later. Anyway, we got to the storm shelter, dodged some bugs that were hanging out by the light, and found out we were the first ones there. Someone wisely put a radio in there so i turned it on to hear…weathermen excitedly telling folks to head for a shelter because the tornado was in Topeka…NOT! They were still playing music. I was trying to find a station that had the weather report and finally found one, only to hear the man say that the city of Topeka would not be affected by the storm. Huh? That was a bit frustrating. We walked back outside and headed back home. The sirens started to go off again when we got across the street but the radar showed the storm to just pass us to the west. Of course, it was not easy to go to bed after all that. I ended up staying awake until after 1am. Unfortunately, I heard this morning that the town of Chapman was heavily damaged. That town is pretty close to where we used to live and we actually know some folks there. As far as I know, they’re okay and so is their house just barely as the tornado destroyed houses just a couple blocks away from them. The tornado was 1/2 mile wide, pretty big. According to the weather folks, we may have some severe storms today, tonight, and tomorrow. I am thinking we should just camp out at our friends house for the next couple days. They have a basement (here we come, Cara!).

I need to go get some lunch underway. On a side note, I am listening to the kids talking to each other, if you can call it that. They are pretending to speak in a different language and some of the words they are saying are very…interesting to say the least. On my next post, I hope to go into some detail about my CVS Pharmacy shopping trip the other day. It was fu-un!

Lesson Learned

Note to self: Next time I decide to tiptoe through the tulips in a tank top with the goal to get a tan, knowing that my pasty, white Anglo-Saxon shoulders have not seen the sun in years…wear sunscreen! Zoinks! It hurts!

An Update

I mowed the lawn yesterday. It was really long. We’ve had so much rain that it hasn’t had a chance to get dry enough to mow before it rains again. And I’m not just talking a few sprinkles either. These have been some pretty impressive storms. So my grass was beginning to look like the rain forest. It also wasn’t as dry as I’d hoped and kept clogging up the blades on the lawnmower. But, I got it done…just in time for it to rain again! At least it’s good for my garden, which is slowly taking over my little plot. I suppose I should say my zucchini is taking over. I never knew zucchini plants got so huge! And I have 6 or so plants. We should be having plenty of zucchini this year. Too bad nobody in our house really likes it but me! I might slip it into some dish unbeknownst to the rest of my family for some extra nutrition. David says I need to take a picture of it. I would like to post it on here too. It’s pretty neat. To add to some excitement, the kids and I discovered that a tree in our backyard is producing berries! I think they may be mulberries. I remember having a mulberry tree in our backyard growing up. We would eat the berries right off it (yes without washing them first…and we’re still alive!).

I need to get going. I could sit here and type for awhile but have some things to do. Up next: hopefully a picture of the garden and a new exciting find…CVS Pharmacy and Extra Care Bucks! You can read more about it here

It’s a pretty neat system.

Of Ramblings and Writer’s Block

You know, for some reason I cannot type tonight. Okay, technically I can type (which is obviously why you can read this), but I just can’t get my thoughts from my brain to my fingertips. I’ve typed and retyped I don’t know how many times, but it all comes out sounding kind of jumbled and boring. I actually have a few things I need to do tonight so better cut this short anyway. Maybe that’s why I’m having so much trouble.

Briefly though, some excitement around here (no, Mom, I’m not pregnant). I’m getting my hair cut! I know, I know, can you stand it? Just too much, isn’t it? But wait…there’s actually more excitement if you already haven’t fallen off your chair…I’m going to Worlds of Fun this Saturday! And guess what else? No kids! That’s right, it’s just going to be me and my two good friends sans children. Whoo hoo! The kids weren’t too happy but I think they will have a nice day with their Papa. He is not working so much right now so may have some free time (if that word is even in his vocabulary anymore). I haven’t been to Worlds of Fun since I was 15. I think I still have a picture floating around somewhere of me on a roller coast, eyes closed, knuckles white, mouth open…screaming. Oh yeah, it’s going to be great.

We are finished with school for the year. I learned a lot (and hopefully they did too) without too many bumps along the way. I have a couple months before I have to start thinking about first grade so am just going to enjoy my summer. But it’ll go by fast, I know. I have my 10-year high school reunion next month. Sigh. I really don’t know where the last 10 years of my life have gone. Also, I was looking at our wedding pictures today and it does not seem like 8 1/2 years ago that we got hitched. That’s just too weird. Ah, 1999, when gas was under a dollar a gallon. Remember those days?

I really was going to keep this short. Mom gave me some Tae Bo workout videos, so I’m going to go off and “glow” in the other room. Good night all!

I Will Sit Me Down Awhile and Think Me on This Matter…

Okay, the title was just a little bit ‘o fun. ‘Twas just a wee bit ‘o the Queen’s English.

Anyway…I’m a bit of a coffee connoisseur. I am also really fond of ice cream. Combining the two, however, really makes me sigh with contentment. My dear husband went and got me some Haagen Dazs ice cream the other day…coffee flavored! I am sitting at my desk enjoying it right now. I have not yet looked at the nutrition info on the carton (it’s a pint). That side happens to be facing away from me. Knowing how bad this stuff is for my hips would only burst my little bubble of contentment. I really don’t plan on eating that much of it right now anyway. I just want a few more bites…hey, I had salad for dinner so now I’m just hitting the dairy group!

About my salad at dinner…it was from my garden! Some of my radishes were big enough to pick and I was SO excited. Miriam and I were outside this afternoon squealing with delight with each juicy, red radish I picked. It was really fun! We had a bit of rain over the weekend and I think that helped my radishes to grow leaps and bounds.

In other news, this past weekend our house got attacked by ants, probably because we had a lot of rain recently. They started coming in from a little area by the ceiling in my kitchen and have just been making their trek down my wall, onto my counter tops, and wherever else they please to go. I got this stuff called Terro which is really kind of neat in how it works. It has a little container of poison on top and when you turn the container to the right, there is a little pokey thing underneath that ruptures the underside of the container and it slowly leaks out the poison into a little reservoir. For whatever reason, it is an ant magnet! The worker ants bring the poison back to the ant hill so it will eventually kill the entire ant hill. The bad part about it is that it’s not instantaneous. I have to watch all these ants flock around this Terro stuff and resist the urge to squish them all. It’s been difficult knowing that the little creepy things are being allowed to run freely around my kitchen, but the stuff is actually working! I have definitely seen fewer ants since Saturday evening. I just hope they stay gone. In the meantime, I’m trying to be especially careful about keeping my counters clear of any crumbs or other things that might attract their attention. I must say though that I’d much rather have ants than roaches. I DON’T even want to think about that. We had also had quite a few gnats buzzing around our kitchen. The kids finally found out the source of them today…my dying plant. I have a black thumb when it comes to indoor plants I guess. My friend gave me this plant a few years ago because it is a mother-in-law’s tongue – you can’t kill the thing. Ahem, well, most people can’t kill it, but just leave it to me. I proved them all wrong! So now, the sad plant is hanging out on my back porch, waiting to be thrown into the trash. I found out on Saturday when I went to visit my mom that I come by it naturally so I guess I will just use that as my excuse. Now that the plant is outside, we have significantly fewer gnats buzzing around the kitchen.

I think I’ll wrap this one up for now. Everyone is asleep but me so I better take the hint. So until next time, “Before I prattle on incessantly, fair thee well.”

Of Leisurely Evenings and Earlier Bedtimes

This evening has been good. I actually got off work at 6 and dinner was already in the crockpot. Have I mentioned that I love my crockpot? So, we ate dinner, even dessert (Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! yum!) and got done before 7! That’s like a record for us, especially because we have two very slow eaters. They apparently liked what I fixed (chicken and sausage gumbo) because they gobbled it up quickly. I’ll have to remember that recipe.

Short post tonight. I have a busy weekend coming up. We’re going to my Mom’s tomorrow after work and I would like to have a reasonably clean house before Sunday. We’ll see how that goes!