Monday, May 31, 2010

Mingle Monday - Happy Memorial Day!!

Hello again. Just wanted to let everyone know that I am taking part in Mingle Monday, proudly brought to us today by (can you tell I watch a lot of Sesame Street?) Our Homeschool Home.
Thanks for checking out my page. Click the banner above to see who else is participating this week. You never know, there might be blogger just around your corner (or peeking in your window...we have to get our dirt somehow. just kidding!) 
Hope to see you on the next go 'round. And if you enjoy my blog, use the link at the right to share it with your friends, either through Facebook or Twitter.Thanks for stopping by! 



New Site Design & Button!

I'm so excited! Finally got a new site design I truly like. Took long enough (I can be picky, but who isn't). I have a few thank you's to dish out, since I couldn't have done this without help. Okay, maybe I could have, but it was so much easier just asking (and searching).
So, my thank you's go out to the following: Shelley, from Shelley's Swag, who recommended the site I used to find my template (yes, it's a freebie), Jill, from Sneaky Momma Blog Design, who has some excellent how to pages up for bloggers, both beginning and advanced. Another thank you goes out to Karen. Karen, I cannot remember the name of your site right now, but I will get a link up as soon as I do (sorry for the inconvenience). Karen's site was the source for my button image.
So, if you have a blog, please grab my button and if I don't have yours already, let me know and I'll get it up.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pur Minerals Giveaway! by Allison from You Have HOW Many Kids?

If you like mineral make-up, then you should definitely check out this giveaway. Have to hurry though, it ends tonight at 9pm Eastern Time.

Allison, from You Have HOW Many Kids? is being so generous as to give away a Starter Kit from Pur Minerals Makeup. You can check them out on Facebook by clicking the link.

The starter kit includes :
4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup (.15oz)
Mineral Glow (.12oz)
Universal Marble Powder (.10oz/3g)
The Chisel Makeup Brush

This is an awesome give away with so many ways to enter. Go check out Allison's site at You Have HOW Many Kids? for more details and all the different (oh so easy!!) ways to enter. And Good Luck!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Not Bribery, Is It?

Bribery, as defined by Webster's Online Dictionary, is the act of giving or taking a bribe. Okay, next word. Bribe, as defined by Webster's Online Dictionary, is order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust; something that serves to induce or influence.

So technically, what I am doing with my girls is bribery, maybe. It could be considered an allowance, who's amount is based upon the amount of chores completed and how well they were done. Chores can included watching little brother for 5 minutes while I take a shower (the 1st in 4 days), taking diapers to the trash (so I can get the new diaper on baby boy before he sprays me, and to save me a trip), picking up toys (there really is no other way to get them to do this. they've told me they'd rather me throw them away before we started this).

So what's the payout. Well, that depends. Never more than $1 each, unless it's something funny, like sending them to dog-pile on hubby when he just layed down, thinking I didn't see him sneak into our bedroom. Most time's it's a few pennies to a quarter. Whatever I find in the wash. They aren't getting rich from this, I can assure you.

They also lose money. Our middle child, Waterbaby, likes to play with stuff. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it isn't a toy, she wants it. And apparently watching stuff flow down the drain in the bathroom sink is more entertaining than an hours worth of cartoons because I emptied that jar and couldn't replace everything she dumped in a course of 2 days. They also lose money for bad behavior, like back talk or not sharing.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you give your kids an allowance? How much? When did you start (forgot to add, my girls are 4 and 3), do they have to do anything to get it?

Thanks for weighing in on this. Its always nice to know what others in the parenting bubble are doing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden Update

Finally! The garden party has begun. I've been out twice a day for 3 days (couldn't yesterday because of the blisters on my hand) and I finally got one bed done. I know what you're thinking. One bed? Yep, one. With a baby, it's really hard to find the time.

So, our first bed in the big garden this year. We have about 8-10 short rows of Black Aztec corn, and 3 Seminole Pumpkin hills. Once the corn gets big enough, I may plant some pole beans down the south side of that bed. Give the three sisters a try and see how it works.

So, the vine growing out of the compost bin is not a loufa gourd vine. Not quite sure yet. The leaves look like squash leaves, so I'm thinking it's an 8-ball squash. They are dark green and get about the size of a kids head. They are excellent stuffed or cut into chunks and sauteed in butter.

Next step is planting the onions up front and putting in okra, green and yellow squash, water melon, orange melon (can't remember the variety right now), lemon balm (to go in with the squash), wild strawberries going I don't know where, and some more butter beans.

That's about it for now. I harvested some rosemary a while back and it's almost dry. I'm so excited. We've never dried any before, so I hope it turns out okay. I tried my hand at drying mint, but I must have left it up there too long. We'll see if the second time's the charm.

I'll post some photos as soon as the stuff starts to sprout and get pretty. Grow something this year. It'll be one of the most rewarding things you do, I promise. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

There's a Sucker...I Mean, Customer, Born Every Minute

"There's a sucker born every minute." attributed to P.T. Barnum (by one of his competitors in the circus business). He stated his actual quote was "There's a customer born every minute." Well, the situation that went down today fits better into the first scenario. And guess who the sucker was ladies and gents. That's right, yours truly. 

It all started with a simple trip to the flea market. One of mine and hubby's favorite activities when we are childless for a few hours on the weekend. Started off normal, found some really cool stuff that hubby wouldn't look at, so I didn't buy. Really kicking myself for it now...but that's getting ahead. Let me continue...

So, we continue on our stroll, not seeing anything really out of the ordinary. Then someone (a lady, with long blonde hair and sunglasses) walks up and hands me and hubby each a ticket for our "free" chance to win cash and prizes. (Hint #1 that this was a scam....The first one's always free!) So, we go over, take our rolls, and low and behold, we're pretty darn close to winning (Hint #2 that it's a scam, the guy will add up your numbers really fast and all of sudden, you're soooo close to winning...all you need is *x* number of points)

. So, I pay a couple bucks to get another roll and see what luck will bring must have been her day off. A couple bucks and 1 roll (toss actually, some sort of balls in the hole, add up the numbers, get to 100, win a prize type deal. in plain english - The Odds Are On the House!)...anyway, 1 roll turned into more and yada yada yada, I now own a very expensive stuffed bunny rabbit. Now, being that this not an 'anonymous' blog, as in, my family reads this, I will not disclose how much I got taken for. Let's just say I should have known better. 

And what was hubby doing during all of this, you ask? Standing back and watching. You see, he knows, the odds are always on the house. He let me learn the hard way, like normal. If he had been paying a little more attention, I think he would have stopped me sooner, but that's how it goes. Guess we both learned a lesson today. 

So, remember kiddies, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The odds are always on the house. The first one's always free. And the most important rule of all, because it's printed somewhere, just so tiny you can't see it...NO REFUNDS. 

Well, I hope some of you learned something from my experience today. I know I did. A lesson I will never forget. And I have a large gray stuffed rabbit next to my computer to remind me, just in case. 

I added a couple links through amazon, some good financial sense books (just from what I've heard. I have not read these books, but I've seen the author speak and trust her to give sound advice).

Enjoy your week, and don't let Monday get you down. 

love from the swamps

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting to Know YOU

I am joining up with Mann Land 5 today in her blog carnival. Get to know me, get to know others, and let others get to know you. 
Check her site for the link up list. It's super easy to link up. And you never know, you might make some new friends along the way. :)

The questions..

1. The most expensive thing hanging in my closet is.....?
One of 2 things, depending on how you look at it. The thing I paid the most for is a Bob Marley Hoodie from Soul-Flower which was on clearance (FINALLY) for $38, so $45 with shipping. The other one that might qualify is a designer black wool dress that I bought at Rugged Wearhouse for $2. The original price tag was still on it...for $198! Gotta love a bargain. So, take your pick. :)

2. Have you ever played a team sport?
1 year of softball, 1 year of basketball, 1 year track&field, 1 year soccer (wasn't really a sportsy kid)

3. If you were a bug, what kind would you be?
A gigantic spider. The ultimate predator of insects (and yes, I know, they aren't actually insects...)

4. Where on your body is the worst place to get sunburned? (thanks Ian)
either on the back or bottoms of feet

5. Are you happy?
I'm not sad. :)

6. People are always abbreviating..are there any abbreviations that make your skin crawl when people use them?
FTW, unless they are using the newer connotation "For the Win"

7. Do you love where you live..or could you live anywhere?
I love the area, because it's my home. But do I love our neighborhood...not so much. I want to be a little further out in the country. Gotta have some breathing room.

8. What, if any, extreme measures do you go to to keep yourself from overeating when you're full?
 I don't. When I get full, I stop eating. Unless it's molten chocolate cake, then I just overeat and pay the price later. Because it's so worth it. :)

Well, that's it. Random information about the productive nonconformist. Hope you at least found it amusing. Don't forget to check out MannLand5 to see other answers and add your own. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Thursday

Lunch today, as requested by my 2 little girls.

Sausage patties from last night, half a pear each, and 1 cherry. Milk to drink. 

My kids make me so proud.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faithful Provisions Personalized Notecard Giveaway

Faithful Provisions is giving away a set of 24 personalized note cards from On Your Time on Etsy.
A set of these cards normally runs about $25, so this is a wonderful chance to win some super cute cards to send those thank you notes for the wonderful gifts you get for Mother's Day (or for sending a gentle reminder that Mother's Day has passed and you haven't heard from whoever...) :)
Check them out by clicking the title of this blog. It will redirect you to their post on the giveaway and ways to enter.
Good Luck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Are You Sure Your Floor's Are Clean?

How do you clean your kitchen floor? Do you use a sponge mop, an old fashion cotton mop, or maybe you have one of those new-fangled electronic do-hickies that you have to keep buying those expensive cleaning pads for. If you are using any of the above methods, your floors are not as clean as you think they are.

When you mop with either version of the standard mom, not long after starting, you will be "cleaning" with dirty water. When you use those gadgets, you might get a little better job done, but they are expensive, and you still aren't going to get up the tough stuff, unless you are using a super harsh cleaner.

What cleaning agent you chose is up to you. I prefer non-toxic, preferably plant based, cleaners because I have 3 young children running around, and I am sensitive to many chemicals. But that isn't what this is about. This is about the "how" of cleaning laminate floors.

Let me start by saying, I didn't come up with this. I was taught this by someone I know, we shall call her *E*. She use to clean houses with one of her friends. This is how they always cleaned the floors, how *E* cleaned her floor, and now, how I clean mine. ~~The instructions I provide are simply that, mine. This is how I clean my kitchen floor. Probably not exactly like *E* taught me, but it works.~~

You will need:
broom/dust pan
hot water
old clothes

Instructions for a sparkling truly clean floor:
1. sweep really well.
2. spray cleaner onto the really dirty spots on the floor
3. put hot hot water on the rag, get on your hands and knees, and attack the dirty spots. rinse rag as soon as it gets dirty (you can use a bucket, but this goes back to cleaning with dirty water...)
4. once you have all the tough spots done, lightly spray the rest of the floor. you don't need to over spray, or your floor will end up slippery
5. more hot water, back on your knees, and scrub the rest of the floor. rinse rag as necessary.
6. (optional) you can either let your floor air dry, or for an even better clean, you can take a dry rag and dry it as you go.

End result: floors you could eat off of (not that you would, but you could...)

Again, this is how I do it. I just wanted to pass this tip along. And it really doesn't take any longer than regular mopping, if you are mopping to get your floor absolutely clean. Give it a try and see what you think. And, thanks *E* for teaching me this method.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Learning Can Be Fun....And Tastey!

My girls love fruit, so we go through a lot of it. But for some reason, the bag of oranges I bought just sat in a bowl on the counter getting bad.
So, this morning, when my youngest came to me and said she wanted to make juice with her (toy) juicer, I decided, why not?

our oldest, C-belle, taking her turn with the juicer.

our middle one, water baby, taking her turn (notice the Sharpie red 'nail polish')

Finished product (approx 2 cups, from 5 oranges and 1 lemon) and supplies. I wasn't kidding when I said a toy juicer.

The girls had a blast helping, and especially drinking, our homemade creation (it was really good). As I can't stand peeling oranges, I think this might be the next big thing at our house. Guess that means I should spring for a real juicer.

Do something fun, and educational, with your kids TODAY! They will remember it for a long long time.

from the swamplands