Thursday, February 25, 2010

Valentine Gifts

The children decided to get Mr. Simple and I Valentine gifts this year instead of just a Valentine card. It all started with Super (age 5) who decided that he needed to get me some gifts. He even told me what he was going to get me ahead of time, despite my protests to keep it a secret.

He said "I'm going to get you flowers, a car, and a sparkly ring. Oh, and a ticket to Disney World."

So on Valentine's Eve, Mr. Simple took Super out shopping, and I took the girls shopping.

The girls got Mr. Simple a travel pillow, and a blue Snuggie, and a stuffed Gorilla. They also got me a travel pillow and a stuffed Gorilla (I already have a pink Snuggie LOL)

And then it was time for the Super's presents - First were the flowers and the car, and then the sparkly ring.

All of my gifts

A close up of the ring

Mr. Simple tried to steer Super to a slightly "smaller" ring, but he would not be deterred. Once he saw that ring, he deemed it "the perfect ring" and that was that. He was SO proud when he gave me his gifts. I, of course, love them. (I love the girls' gifts too. )

I didn't want to seem ungrateful, so I waited until later to ask Super about the ticket to Disney World. He said "Well, Mommy, I was going to get you the ticket, but it was a million hundred dollars, and I couldn't afford it." I told him it was o.k., I was thrilled with my other gifts. And he gave me a hug. And reminded me to keep my ring clean so it would stay sparkly.

Will do, dude.

(Oh, if you too would like flowers, a car, and a sparkly ring - the flowers and car were purchased at our local Kroger grocery store, and the ring was purchased at Target.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another thing to help me get through February

is I start thinking about planting the garden. It helps me realize that it WILL be Spring one day. Even though, in Illinois, in the winter, it always feels like it will never be Spring.

Here are the vegetables that I like that can be planted in early Spring. I got the information on planting schedules at this website.

Zones 5-6 Planting Schedule

Broccoli: Mar 25 - Apr 5
Carrot: Mar 25 - Apr 10
Cauliflower: Apr 1 - 20
Kale: Mar 25 - Apr 5
Lettuce: Apr 1 - May 15
Peas: Mar 25 - Apr 10
Potato, Irish: Apr 1 - 15
Spinach: Apr 1 - 20

So 4-5 weeks and I should be putting plants in the ground. I planted broccoli and cauliflower last year. I'm probably going to broccoli again, but not cauliflower. I tried carrots at home last year, and wasn't overly successful. The peas never grew last year because it was so wet last spring. I am still trying to decide about peas, but I might do a row, but not a lot of peas. I probably won't do potatoes, but I probably will do spinach and lettuce. Maybe kale.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time Management

I am the first one to admit that I don't always manage my time well. I am often "just a little late" or I think that I can squeeze just one more thing in when I really can't. I all too often take too many things on, and then do none of them well. Not one of my better qualities, that is certain. Especially since it ends up making me feel bad about myself and it isn't good for the people that asked me to do it either.

I also tend to have my children do too many activities, although I'm finally getting to the point that I'm o.k. with the fact that my children are into swimming. The girls are also in Girl Scouts and a girls group at church. That is all that we are going to take on for the next while. It keeps us busy, but one is a physical activity, one is an activity to do with girls in our neighborhood and that they enjoy, and one is with church. I think it is a good mix.

Anyway . . . back to my time management issues. I think that I've honestly made things too complicated. I've given myself too many choices in what I take on. I don't always need to check my schedule and see if I can fit it in. I don't need to go to every event just because all the people I know are going. I need to realize that it is O.K. to say no. And sometimes, it is better for everyone involved to say no. And most importantly, it is often better for my family if I say no. I need to think about them first, always, before I say yes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Resource Management: Staying Out Of Debt

This quote comes out of the February Ensign by Joseph B. Wirthlin (I recently posted about an article I read of his where he talked about learning how to be happy. This person was a very wise man.) It is very good advice, not just for members of the church that I attend, but for everyone.

“May I suggest five key steps to financial freedom. …
“First, pay your tithing. … (or if you do not attend a church, contribute to a charitable organization)
“Second, spend less than you earn. …

“Third, learn to save. …
“Fourth, honor your financial obligations. …
“Fifth, teach your children to follow your example.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008)

Five easy steps. Well, easy if that is how you start out. Not as easy if you try and use these steps when you are already in debt, but they still work. I wish that I would have followed these steps from the beginning of my adulthood. It was so easy to rationalize things and then one day - it seemed so sudden, but it wasn't, it happened over many years - I was in debt. A lot of debt. It has taken years to get out, and I'm not quite there yet, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to never get that far in the tunnel again.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February . . . I always need something to do so . . .

it doesn't get too depressing with all the grey skies and cold, and mostly melted snow.

So I'm starting a project. I've got lots of fabric scraps - big enough for a square or two, but not really big enough to make into anything else. So I'm going to make a crazy block quilt out of it. It is not going to match, or be particularly cute or artsy or anything. But it will be functional, and it will use up some of that fabric that is sitting in my closet. I will probably end up donating it to Project Linus - a project very near and dear to my heart. (Please visit the link and donate blankets if you can - they are always in need of blankets and donations, but especially now. Project Linus is sending LOTS of blankets to Haiti, and their supply will be lower than it has been in a long time, so your help in replenishing their supply would be MUCH appreciated.)

The other thing that I am doing is having a Whole Foods month. I am going to try and make my meals out of whole foods as much as possible, and I'll list what we had that week on Sundays. The Wikipedia definition of Whole Foods is "Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat.[1] Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk." I won't be quite that strict - I'll still be using homogenized milk, and I'll be using some white flour, and some non-whole wheat pasta, and I'll be using sugar, salt or fat in my baking, and I WON'T be doing much of, if at all of the making my own pasta. But I will be making most things from scratch, and we will be eating things like oatmeal or eggs for breakfast. etc.

Are you doing anything to keep you busy during this dreary month?