I feel so blessed - I am blessed and I recognize that not everyone is!

I have recently joined a small fellowship group (bible study) through my church and I love it. It is exactly what I have been looking for! It is an all women's group and a mixture of ages, but such a wonderful bunch!

I am on a journey right now to learn more and gain a closer relationship with God and this group is working its magic. We are reading "The Shack" right now and have a lesson/discussion along with it. We know it's fiction and aren't necessarily taking the words to heart, but we are reflecting on it with trials and relationships in everyday life mixed with our faith and love for God. It is a thought provoking book and just an interesting read.

Last night some topics were discussed along the lines of poverty and discrimination and the like, and we reflected on our personal feelings and prejudices that the world has. Some of the stories that were told were heart wrenching and really give you a sense of appreciation for what we DO have. In addition to tangible things that most of us take for granted, like homes, clothes, food, and jobs, we also have our faith. I can't begin to understand feeling no connection to God - How lost a person is without that.

I help around the church, give to Goodwill and other organizations, try to volunteer for things and just do my part, but there is so much we can do and should do. After hearing some of these stories and testimonies of others, it makes me want to do more and I realized that even doing what I already do, it's so small in the scheme of things.

Are you doing your part?


All I Wanna Do -oo- oo- oo -oo

Is go see Sugarland in concert!!! And that's what we are gonna do on June 26! Hubby and I got tickets last week! I'm so excited! We love them and Little Hauss even sings along too - um, but he'll be staying with Mauggie that night. Not quite ready for a concert and not worth the money to deal with that!


Not frozen yet!

So, we, meaning my hubby, turned on the A/C today! Now, for most, that is a simple switch to ON, but not so much for us. It's not terrible difficult, but with having a wood stove, we (hubby) have to change out the ....oh whatever, I have no idea what he has to do, but I do know you can't just turn it ON! Either way, its cool in the house. SOOOOOOOOOO much better than the muggy heat coming in through the windows mixed with all the fans going. NOW, I know I said save on the energy, but at 90 degrees, you have to draw the line. AND even with the A/C on, we don't turn it down low...usually set around 72 or so.

So, this is a huge deal for us because towards the end of last summer, we had some issues with the A/C unit freezing up (inside). The coils were cleaned, freon added, and some very expensive part replaced, but they couldn't really figure out what was going on - it only took them 3 trips to figure that out! They told us we needed a new unit, of course. We have never called them back! We are going to get a second opinion. The guy totally contradicted himself when he was here one time and said that we needed a new unit, but then later said he really didn't know, and probably would be ok!?!?!?! What? We just figured they were trying to hose us for a new unit....news flash! I don't do hosed! So, we (hubby) turned it on and we'll just see what happens.

I even cooked dinner and got to the grocery store tonight! See what a difference a little A/C can make!

Miss Piggy

I can deal with spinach, tomatoes, hot peppers, even some peanuts, but not with my pig! I love pork - all kinds, so they better be right when they say you can't get this swine flu virus from ingesting pork products!

And the fact that I have 15 pounds of boston butt sitting in my freezer to cook up for this weekend's birthday bbq for the hubby!


Heat slump

I started this post...wrote quite a lot and then just erased it all because it was boring! I didn't even like writing it.

It's the heat. I'm spent.

I didn't even cook dinner - I made a tomato sandwich and let Little Hauss eat cold pizza (for the 2nd time today - dont' judge).

I've neglected laundry.

I didn't go to the grocery store.

I didn't wash the car.

I ate ice cream.

Maybe I'm not ready for summer. I can't even seem to function in this heat!



So, I feel like I've turned into this crazed woman hunting down deals, coupons, and freebies, but I assure you, I haven't! I'm just on a roll and wanted to pass along a few more things!

First of all, in honor of Earth Day, Reynolds Wrap is now making foil completely of recycled aluminum! They are giving away a FREE roll TODAY ONLY!!! It's actually a rebate! But still, it ends up being FREE after you mail it in. Check it out at www.reynolds100.com and enter your info to print off the rebate form. Only one per household!

Another freebie is the reusable shopping bag from Kroger. You need to go to www.kroger.com and enter to win teh $1000 in free groceries!!! Who couldn't use that? So, in order to enter, you need to "design" a shopping bag for the contest. It doesn't take too much time and it's very simple. Once you enter that, you get a free bag!

Ok, this last one is interesting and I warn you that I've not tried it and my source was an E-mail forward, so I can't say if it is true! If it works as good as it says it will, it will be my new best friend for the next few months!

Use Listerine for bug spray? I know it sounds completely wacko, but at about $2 a bottle, it might be worth a try instead of those pricy yucky smelling bug sprays! So, the idea is to pour into a sprayer/sray bottle and douse the deck, furniture, door frames, swing sets, standing water, you name it! It did say to not spray directly on wood, like a door, but the frame instead! I'm anxious to see if it really does a good job! I'll let you know!

Pretty in Pink

I'm going to be a aunt in September! September 7th no less - Little Hauss' birthday - more on that later. And I'll have a NIECE! My brother and his girlfriend just found out yesterday that they are having a little girl! I'm so excited. They are very excited too! My parents are thrilled because now they will have one of each to spoil. My mom is on her way up here today so I'm sure they will have a boat load of new girly things by the time she goes home on Sunday!

So, dad came in yesterday for work and took us all out to dinner to celebrate the good news. Little Hauss was full of himself as usual. He loves Sherry (my brother's girlfriend) and was attached to her hip the whole time. They gave us little ultrasound pictures and even gave one to Little Hauss! They told him the baby was a little girl and that they would be cousins and that she could possibly have the same birthday! He was ok with the girl part, but cousins is kind of tricky for him right now and he was less than thrilled about the sharing a birthday!

He's having a hard time figuring out how boys and girls can be cousins. He has told me that "they can't be cousins because he's a boy and she's a girl" when we were talking about some friends of ours. He only knows his cousin, who is a boy just like him. I think that'll be easier to deal with once she's here - but this birthday sharing business is gonna be crazy!

In my family, we share lots of birthdays - I share my birthday with my cousin's daughter, but thre are so many more! So, it is very possible that this little girl will in fact share her birthday with Little Hauss! I guess we'll just have to wait and see and deal with it when it comes!

Speaking of birthdays, this year will be his first "real big boy" birthday party. I want to invite friends of his from school and church, but don't really know if I can have all those people at the house. I also don't want to spend tons of money at a place to have it....so any suggestions? He's going to be 4, and there will be about 10-12 kids invited plus parents? I obviously want something that will be fun and not too crazy for me to deal with - like Chuck - E - Cheeze. I know it seems early, but like I said, I'm a planner!



To clarify on the new cleaning products, I haven't tried these solutions yet. I am using up all the other cleaners I have now before I start making these because I don't want to waste anything.

I have used baking soda and vinegar for other things before and have seen positive results. I am not a big fan of "anti" bacterial soaps and all that! I feel that a little bit of bacteria is useful and without it, there can actually be more sickeness and issues. I think that a little dirt never hurt anyone - in fact, its almost necessary to have a little so the body can learn to fight off the germs.

Also, I've got a few more things to add to my saving money list:

Foam soap - Little Hauss does so much better with the foam than the regular pump soap - and its a lot less messy. I just got the suds pump from Pampered Chef and it is amazing. I only use a fraction of liquid soap and then fill the rest with water - presto, foam soap. You can also try this with old bottles of the foam soap from places like Bath and Body Works or even just the drug store foam soap bottles (if they will open). Put about 1 inch or so of liquid soap (the PC suds pump gives you a fill line) and then fill with water - leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. Put lid on and gently shake/rock back and forth to mix. This little trick is cheap!!! I think I can buy a large refill soap container for about $5 and it'll last forever! So much better than spending at least $1 or more on each soap dispenser!

Teeth Whitening - Instead of spending tons of money on those kits and high priced procedures, try mixing baking soda and water to form a "paste" and brush with that. A dentist told me this once. A DENTIST TOLD ME THIS!!!! Now, it might not be as dramatic as the others, but it should definitely be noticable. Do this in addition to regular brushing!

Reuse Plastic Bags and Foil - I'm starting to sound way cheap I admit, but I can't stand throwing away ziplock bags and barely used foil! IF the bag contained something dry like cereal or snack crackers, then I have been known to wash it out and reuse it. Same with foil. IF it was used to just "cover" a dish in the oven or tent it to keep it warm, it can be rinsed and reused! I really prefer to use plastic containers for packing snacks and lunches. I try not to use bags if at all possible.

Ok. That's all I have. I think I've exhausted all my cheap tricks for now!

I'll keep you posted on whether or not these cleaning products really handle the job.

Clean Machine

Ok...here are the "recipes" I promised for the green - cleaning products:
You will need these basic ingredients for most household cleaning:
Baking Soda
White Distilled Vinegar
Liguid Detergent (soap)
Washing Soda - the one I've found is Arm & Hamer and this should not be confused with powdered detergent!

Bathroom Scrubber (bathtubs, etc)

1/2 c. baking soda
add liguid detergent to make a texture similar to frosting

use with sponge to clean

to store: add 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin and store in glass jar

Window Cleaner:

1/4 - 1/2 tsp. liquid detergent
3 tbsp. vinegar (white distilled)
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Shake until well mixed.

All Purpose:

1/2 tsp washing soda
dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot water
Spray bottle

Shake until well mixed.

Oven Cleaner:

1 cup or more baking soda
1 squirt or 2 of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water over bottom of oven. Cover with baking soda so surface is totally white. Sprinkle more water and let sit overnight. Wipe up mixture. Dab a bit of liquid detergent on sponge and wash remaining residue.

Furniture Polish:

1/2 tsp oil (olive)
1/4 c vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix in glass jar. Dab soft rag into solution and wipe on wood.

Good luck!

I will also post the bread recipe after I attempt it this weekend!!! I want to make sure its worth it first!


My new favorite color

Green! In honor of Earth Day, which is tomorrow, for those of you living under a rock! I'm not a tree hugger by any means, but I do want Little Hauss to be able to enjoy our planet for as long as possible. I'm also happy to save money however I can. There are few ideas I have that might not be genius by any means, but will allow us to do our part no matter how small they may seem!

Here are my goals for this year (yes, YEAR, because some might take time and a little extra cash upfront but will save tenfold in the long run):

1 - Start converting light bulbs to the CFL's - replacing when necessary
**CFL's last up to 10,000 hours compared to a regular incandescent light bulb which is 1,500 and uses 1/4 of wattage - 14 watts compared to 60

2 - Turning down hot water heater to 120 degrees from the normal 140

3 - "Air" dry or half dry clothing when possible. We have such a great space for our clothes to hang in the laundry area, so we should be taking advantage of this instead of using all that energy by using the dryer

4 - Install a 'low flow' showerhead

5 - Make my own cleaning supplies for windows, oven, all purpose, bathtub scrubbing, and even furniture polish - replacing when necessary. The basic ingredients for non-toxic cleaners are baking soda, vinegar, liquid soap/detergent and washing soap (powdered laundry detergent). I have "recipes" for these and will post them later.

6 - Try really hard to start unplugging unused items - laptop during the day, tv's, radios, kitchen appliances, etc. Sometimes this one is hard because Hubby works nights and we are on opposite schedules, but even most of the time will help.

The biggest reason for all the change is to try and save money and it doesn't hurt that it will help the environment at the same time!

Other things I plan to do that will save money:

1 - Make my own bread. I have a perfectly good bread machine that probably hasn't come out of the box in over 3 years, so I have found a whole wheat recipe with very few ingredients that I'll try out this weekend.

2 - Plan better menus. I love planning menus and I do fairly well with coordinating sale items (meats & veggies) with our weekly dinners, but we still have a lot of stuff in our pantry - some of which is opened and needs to be used before it goes bad. So, I am going to take an inventory of what items need to be used and try to incorporate them in our meals.

3 - Not eat out as often. We do fairly well with eating at home most nights, but sometimes we just don't want to cook - so I really want to maximize our eating out experiences. I plan to find out when local restaurants will have specials or buy one get one free/half off, look for coupons and also kid's eat free nights!

4 - Plant a very small, itty bitty garden....might just have tomatoes and fresh herbs in it, but at least its a start. I'm not quite the green thumb, but I love fresh veggies and herbs, so I thought I could try that for now and work my way up to more next year. If not, then there is always the farmer's market - grown locally and organic - and open every day in the summer, so I don't have to stock up weekly!

That's about all for now, but I feel that its a good start and like I said, planning on taking this next year to implement these things. It won't feel so overwhelming and I won't be wasting any of the items I already have to use (cleaning supplies and lightbulbs for example).

Some things that we already do but are good things for you all to try:
1 - wash clothes in cold water only
2 - only wash full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine
3 - don't leave water running (cleaning up kitchen or brushing teeth)
4 - don't flush EVERY time - "if its yellow, let it mellow, if its brown, flush it down" - kind of gross, but with tiny bladder, it wastes much less water by not flushing every single time
5 - turn off lights when you leave a room
6 - open your windows - don't run heat or a/c if not needed - fresh air is good for everyone
7 - use a programmable thermostat - and set a few degrees higher in summer and a few lower in winter - it really does make a big difference in your monthly bill
8 - get on a budget plan with your utility company/gas company - same monthly payment and ours actually went down last year by $10 a month - so that means, we saved $120 in utilities last year!! We are pretty sure it'll go down even more this year!
9 - Eat vegetarian or leftovers at least once a week - beans are the way to go!!! Very cheap and versatile.
10 - Use reusable shopping bags. I have 4-5 that are from all different stores. I take them ALL into the stores. I don't care that only ONE came from that particular store - they work and they hold lots more than regular plastic bags.

Enjoy your Earth Day and hopefully you and your families will implement some of these things as well!


neVer forgeT

This is a day I'll never forget as long as I live. It is one of those days that I will know exactaly what I was doing when I heard the news - similar to the 9-11 events many years ago. I can tell you where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing when I found out!

Two years ago 32 wonderful and bright people lost their lives at Virginia Tech. Most students, some faculty, but all very special. ALL HOKIES!

Take time to tell your family and friends that you love them and make as many memories as possible beacuse you never know what the next day holds.

I'm proud to be a Hokie forever and always!

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Or cheetos and popcorn!
Tonight, Little Hauss and I ventured to the local minor league baseball game and had a wonderful time! I hadn't planned on staying as long as we did, but he was having so much fun and doing great! It was a double header so we got there towards the end of the first game, grabbed some drinks and watched some of the game while waiting on our friends.
During the break, he got to go in the bounce houses! All four of them! We then met up with our friends and headed to the deck area where the kids could run free and not bother anyone. He did absolutely amazing! He was the perfect gentleman and shared his cheetos and she shared her popcorn! They were too cute! They played and entertained themselves and I got to chat with the girls!
By the time I told him it was time to go home, I realized it was 9:00!!! Good thing tomorrow is a lax day and we don't have to get up to an alarm! Hopefully he'll sleep in a little - my luck, he'll be up at 6:30 as usual!
Here are some memories from the game!

Me and Beff
Little Hauss LOVES his Beff!

Such a gentleman!

Little Hauss and one of his friends from school got to watch the team warm up!


Life is Good

Our trip was wonderful and we had some really great weather! We enjoyed a few days on the beach and on the cloudy days, the MIL and I shopped while the boys played golf and did other boy things! Little Hauss was amazing the whole time - ride down and ride back and everything in between! We ate dinner out every night and I had enough shrimp to feed a small village!!! We also had nightly ice cream trips and I even got to read an entire book!!! We missed daddy lots and are glad to be back! Now, I guess I'll start counting down until my next trip!!!

Little Hauss checking out the water - FREEZING by the way, but he didn't seem to notice!
This was way more effective than using a shovel!

My future Heisman Winner!

The ONLY time I touched the water and did you notice my reverse flip flop tan? This is what happens when you spray on your sunscreen while you are still wearing your flip flops!!!

Little Hauss enjoyed about an hour or so nap under the umbrella and about 4 towels!! It was a little chilly in the shade!


I'm pretty sure he forgot his pants! Not sure what he was trying to accomplish with this "fashion" statement, but it wasn't good on any level!!! Oh, the things you see at the beach!

I'm almost 30 and lets just say, I'm very blessed with my "assets"! I've always had 'em, don't mind them, most of the time, and wear flattering things that depending on the occassion, flaunt them in the most respectable way!!! I have changed my fashion over the past few years now that I'm a married woman and a mother and it is NOT acceptable to be showing your stuff too much! I don't think that some of the people we saw on the beach got this memo. You know the ones I'm referring to - besides the grandpa in the above photo ! Now, I know I don't have the same body I did in my college days and even if I did, I'm not sure that I would run around in a string bikini - I wouldn't go so far as to say, that at my age, even being a mother, if I could, I wouldn't wear a modest two piece, but nothing that has barely there nipple covers and has shoestring straps!

I was embarrassed for these women that I saw and I didn't even know them.....grandmothers wearing the tiniest bikini you ever saw!!! High cut legs, or really low rise string bottoms leaving absolutely NOTHING to the imagination with either strapless - yes, I said strap LESS tops or itty bitty triangle tops - I'm sorry but after a certain age, you need SOME support! The one that I knew was a grandmother (because her daughter and grandson were there with her) was also wearing daisy duke denim shorts with a way too small tank top showing off her tummy! I found out later that she was a stripper - yes, the grandma - So I guess she thinks she looks good!


I hope I survive

In less than 2 hours, Little Hauss and I'll be on our way to the beach! We have to make a stop on the way to pick up my mother in law from work but from there we'll only have about 4 1/2 hours or less until we are breathing in the salty air!

I will NOT be taking the laptop with us. This is going to be a REAL vacation! Family, Fun, Sun, Sand, Water and NO internet - I hope I can survive a week laptop free! I am so excited though, I can't stand it! I'm a little sad that Hubby can't join us and will be stuck here working and such while we are soaking up some rays! Don't feel sorry for him yet....he enjoys the quiet time and he's even got a day trip planned on Saturday to the hills of Charleston, WV. Hopefully he wins big in his card games!

A few other things before I forget -

First of all, I passed my test!!!!!! I got the letter in the mail yesterday!!!!! Now, onto the next and final test - probably in June!

Second - We finished our audit at work yesterday and passed with flying colors! The actual audit process wasn't difficult because we were so prepared, but it was mentally exhausting. I worked over 35 hours in 3 days! My brain was mashed potatoes and I went to bed before 9 last night!

Third - I chopped my hair again!!! I love my new do! Check out the new profile pic and you can see!

Happy Easter to everyone...I'll fill you in on all the beach events when we return!

Eggcellent Fun

Last weekend we went to our Church Spring Festival and had a wonderful time hunting easter eggs, juming in the bounce house, and playing with friends!

Little Hauss was very excited about his easter egg hunt! This year they divided the parking lot and grounds into sections based on age, so every child had a fair chance of getting plenty of eggs! Well, we were a little late, so we missed these instructions and Little Hauss was too cute when he started picking up an egg in the wrong section - I told him that wasn't his section, and he sweetly placed the egg back where he found it! Wouldn't want to get caught snatching an egg that wasn't in your designated section - especially at church!

Here are some visuals of our beautiful day!

Finally - a family photo
Fun in the bounce house

Cool orange and yellow easter egg!

Found one!

I think he has a mouthful of candy!!!!


Locked Out

This is what happens when you grow up and try to become repsonsible. You get married, buy cars, and have babies. All of these events come with documentation. All this documentation needs to be kept in a safe place - like a safe deposit box. Simple enough. Fairly inexpensive for the reassurance that all of your personal information is kept locked up tight!

That is until you LOSE your keys to get you in that safe place!!!!!!! Aaaaaggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!! Hubby says don't freak out. Apparently he forgot who he married almost 7 years ago!! I'm beyond freaked. Now, I wouldn't be as freaked out if I didn't NEED to get into said safe deposit box! That wonderful cruise we booked requires passports to board which requires certified copies of birth certificiates which are in box with no key!

This will consume me. Well, it will consume Hubby who will use his alone time this weekend to look for lost keys! I will be drinking lots of alcoholic beverages on the beach while Little Hauss is playing golf or fishing or whatever he does with his Papa! I am so ready for this vacation!


Blast from the Past

I love movies. I have tons that I can watch over and over. I have a good friend who is the same way. She had a great collection that was lost a few years ago in a move and has been slowly replacing them. Mostly she uses Netflix but sometimes you just need to have your own. Since I will be working non stop on this Audit next week and then heading to the beach, I will miss her birthday on April 13. Normally we don't do gifts with our group (we are too busy having cocktails), but I couldn't resist this one! One of her favorite movies is one of mine as well, so I couldn't pass it up when I found it on Amazon - one of the best websites ever!

You know you've seen it, loved it and danced along with it - I don't see how you couldn't!


Personal Ad

Married mother of one seeking bright yellow ball of fire that sits high in baby blue sky surrounded by few clouds and a slight breeze. I love long walks on the beach, picnics, watching Little Hauss play at the park and wearing flip flops. If interested, please respond asap! Long rainy days are making life barely functional.


Goo Goo Gah Gah

Oh, babies are in the air and I love it!

THREE sets of twins - yes, you read that right!!! I have a friend who has a little boy and girl turning ONE today, another friend recently had a set of girls, and someone else I know had a boy and girl about a week ago! On top of that, I have SIX friends having babies between now and September!!! This is so exciting! I'm hosting 2 more showers and just attending the rest! This is really making my fever spike! I just have a few more months and then we will hopefully start trying (HUBBY: DID YOU GET THAT?????)

I'm in party planning mode already. Even though the shower I helped with last weekend was easy peasy at the Country Club, these next two will be more low key at the house, but I love it! Its so fun doing invitations and deciding on the food, decorations, etc. I love to come up with menus and drinks for the event as well as games or activities! But best of all is the shopping!!! I just melt when looking at itty bitty clothes and toys!

So much fun is coming our way - Cant' wait!