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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Little Photo Shoot

It's been a long time since we've done a post-church service photo shot, so we decided to do one this weekend. I know everyone knows this - but taking pictures of two little kids is next to impossible. So here's what we got:



This is what happens when you ask a two year old to smile:
Yah, that looks natural.

At least you know what they look like. And they still do look pretty darn cute.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Donut Meet & Eat

Tonight the girls went out on a date with their daddy to Krispy Kreme. {And before you go and feel bad for me, I got to stay at home, crank up the ABBA and clean/dance the evening away with no interruptions. And they brought me a chocolate sprinkled donut when they got home.} While walking into the store, Charissa saw a poster of some donuts and said to Britt, "I've never met those donuts!"

She met, she ate, she conquered.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Guess There Are Worse Comparisons

Tonight I was putting away some clothes and CJ asked me what I was doing. I said, "I'm just cleaning up a bit." She paused for a minute and then said, "Mama, I give you time to clean up. Like Cinderella." She then shut the door, but through the door she said "You can come out when you're done."

Funny kid, funny kid.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Research Before You Buy

A couple weeks ago we thought we were going to have to buy Verity a new carseat. She was barely squeezing in with a normal shirt on, and she couldn't wear a jacket at all. Not a good thing with winter quickly approaching.* We have a Britax Marathon for Charissa which we love because it's so easy to install, and we thought we'd just get another one of those. But, being the crazy person that I am, I wasn't going to do anything until I did a little research. One of my favorite resources is Consumer Reports because they are an independent company that tests products in lots of different ways so you can get a very well-balanced assessment. For instance, for carseats CR checks crash protection, ease of installation, durability, size, and tons of other things. After looking over all the carseats they tested, I wasn't surprised to see that the Britax was high-ranking, but I was surprised that it was #2. And I was even more surprised when I saw what was #1 - the Cosco Scenera. I've seen the Cosco brand around, and I know people that have their carseats, but I was really shocked that the $70 (!!!) carseat beat out the $280 one. The Britax and the Cosco scored the same on every test except one - the crash safety in which the Cosco got a higher score. What in the world! So save $210 and then have a safer car seat? You can bet that we will be buying the Cosco Scenera.

So a half hour at Barnes & Nobles sipping Starbucks with my husband ends up saving us $210. That's a pretty good deal to me. It just goes to show that the most expensive thing is not always the best product. Moral of the story: do a little research before you purchase.

*It turns out that one of the straps was caught on the underside of the carseat and so once we fixed that Verity has a lot more room.

Sometimes We Fall

Today I took the girls to the doctor to get their flu shots. The medical building hires people to drive around in golf carts and pick people up in the parking lot and drive them to the building (it's a really big parking lot). I normally choose to walk, but today we hitched a ride. When we got up to the building, I was getting up when I stumbled over something , and then fell over the rail on the side, but since I was holding Verity I couldn't do anything to break my fall. I ended up landing directly on my right elbow and somehow hurting the back of my left knee. In a way it was kind of funny because I was laying there on the pavement when all these very nice people start running over to me to make sure that Verity and I were ok, making me feel like I was in a movie. But then the pain set in and nothing was funny anymore. It's been 14 hours and my elbow is still throbbing.

The interesting thing about this whole thing was that I didn't have time to consciously react to what was going on, but instinctively I held onto Verity. In fact, I landed in such a way that she was on top of me, hardly even effected by the fall. It's good to know that my instincts are to protect my babies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Teacher Discounts!

A friend of mine recently let me in on the fact that AC Moore and Joann's give discount cards to teachers. You get 10% off at AC Moore, and 15% off at Joann's. Plus you can still use your coupons! Immediately I said, "Sign me up!" Well, actually sign Britt up.

Here's how it works. For AC Moore you just copy your teacher license or home school certificate and mail it in to this address. For Joann's you print off an application here, mail it in, and then when you receive your card you have to have it signed by a store manager before you can use it.

Isn't that a great tip for you to know?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Finally!

About 4 months later, I've finally listed my products on etsy.  While I'm not going to be trying to make a career out of crafting, I do need to sell these things just to get them out of my house.  

And I haven't posted anything over at Flowers of Verity in a long time, but a return is in the works!  It's not because I haven't been doing anything, it's that I've been doing so much I haven't had time to blog about it.  Hopefully I'll be able to update this week.  

Monday, October 05, 2009

Silly Kid

I had put the girls down for a nap, and had started working on some sewing when Charissa came rushing into my "crafting room."  She seemed worried and agitated so I asked her what was wrong.  And this is what she said: "Mama!  I lost it!  My belly button is gone!"  

I try very hard not to laugh at my children when they are upset, but this was a tough one.  When I had my voice under control I showed Charissa that her belly button had in fact not disappeared.  Much relieved, she trotted back off to bed.

What do you do with a kid like this? :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Praying They Are Always This Close

The other day I let Charissa watch a video for a bit while I was getting dinner ready.  I walked back in to check on her and saw that Verity had joined her.  





They stayed like this for the longest time.  It amazes me how much those two love each other.  I'm praying that this continues throughout their lives.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tip - WD40 - Apparently It Can Do Everything

I read this article over at Repurposeful today and thought it was worth sharing.  I love when I find a product that has not one use, not two uses, but about 20+ uses.  Which is why I have fallen in love with vinegar and baking soda.  But more about that another day.  Enjoy!

The Many Different Uses of WD40!

On your car:
  • Removes road tar and grime from cars.
  • Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
  • Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
  • Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
  • If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

In the kitchen:
  • Protects silver from tarnishing.
  • Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
  • Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
  • Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
  • Keeps scissors working smoothly.
  • It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
  • Removes splattered grease on stove.

Outdoors:
  • Keeps flies off cows.
  • Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
  • Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
  • Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
  • Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
  • Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
  • Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.

In the bathroom:
  • Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
  • Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.

Laundry:
  • Removes lipstick stains. And, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash.
  • Loosens stubborn zippers.
  • Removes tomato stains from clothing.
  • Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.

In the garage:
  • Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
  • Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.

Kids’ stuff:
  • Restores and cleans chalkboards.
  • Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
  • WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.

Around the house:
  • Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
  • Untangles jewelry chains.
  • Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
  • Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
  • Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
  • Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
  • Removes all traces of duct tape.

Alternative health care:
  • Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
  • Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Word!

I'm not kidding.  At nine months Verity can say "Mama."  And not in one of those nonsensical ramblings where babies just go "mamamamamamamama" forever.  She calls out for me and says "Mama."  You can ask Charissa and Britt - they've both heard it.  Actually, Charissa was the one that heard it first.  Apparently Verity said "Mama" and Charissa got really excited and kept asking her to say it again.  And true to Treece Girl Form, Verity is pronouncing it with a whine.  "Daddy" gets to be a happy sound, but "Mama" is a whine that seems to convey "I'm in need of some help and I'm going to make this pitiful sound until you meet my needs."  

Tomorrow we go to the doctor for Verity's 9 month check up so hopefully we'll hear that all is well and she's growing on track!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Med School Starts Early

Last night I repurposed an old white, short-sleeve, button-down shirt of Britt's into a doctor's lab coat for Charissa.  It was actually really easy.  I followed a pattern I had recently done for a jumper, added sleeves, and moved the breast pocket to the bottom left side.  
She's been practicing giving shots and listening to hearts on us all day so I think she likes it. 

Fun Songs on Marriage

This past weekend we went to a dinner and talk with our church on marriage. Our pastor shared these two songs during the evening and Britt and I have been singing them ever since. You'll see why. :)



Monday, September 21, 2009

Finally!

Verity finally got a tooth!  Her left bottom tooth came in yesterday morning.  It's actually the same tooth that Charissa got first, but Charissa got it at 4 months instead of 9 months.  Oh well.  I do think that Verity is getting the other bottom tooth, but based on how long it took her to get this last one, it might be a while before we see it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My New Favorite Thing

I love freezer paper!  There are so many wonderful things that you can do with it.  The first thing I learned to do with it was freezer paper stenciling.  But I only used about 2 feet and I had 28 feet left over, so I started thinking of other things to do with it.  Then I used it to cover the table when Charissa and I do arts and crafts because her paints and play-doh don't stick to it and won't seep through.  So after I used freezer paper for all sorts of things that it wasn't designed for, I finally used it for what it was - and I really fell in love with it.  It's wonderful!  I can wrap my portioned out meats, cheeses, and other things like like presents and when I write on it, it doesn't rub off!  No more mystery meat!  

Go out and get some freezer paper!  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm Not Sure He'll Be Getting a Promotion Soon

This is an actual news clip from Cleveland about a bear sighting.  It's absolutely ridiculous - and really funny.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Tip - How to Make a Starbucks Frappacino at Home


I'm not a real coffee drinker, but I have come to really love a Starbucks' Blended Carmel Frappacino.  It's so delicious!  But at $4.50 a pop, it's not a treat I get to enjoy all that often (that and it's not really convenient to pop in and out of a Starbucks with 2 kids in tow).  Anyway - I searched online and found a recipe to make a homemade version.  I was a bit hesitant because 1) I don't even know how to use my coffee maker, and 2) I didn't want to be disappointed with a horrible copycat.  It ended up that my neighbor brewed the coffee for me (another reason I love living next to Julie), and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  Again, not the coffee expert, but it tasted spot on to me.  I no longer feel compelled to go to Starbucks to get my favorite drink.  

So for those of you who want to try this at home, here's the recipe.  Enjoy!

Starbucks' Blended Frappacino Recipe:
2 c. ice
2/3 c. double strength chilled coffee (the recipe actually calls for triple strength, but I used double strength and it tasted just fine to me)
2/3 c. milk
¼ c. caramel ice cream topping
2 tbsp sugar

Mix it in the blender to the preferred consistency.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Beautiful Girls

These are some pictures we had taken while we were at the beach in June.  Aren't they beautiful?



Charissa actually pulled Verity the whole way home in this wagon.  It wasn't just a posed picture.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sorry Folks!

So my very good (and helpful) friend Samantha let me know that the link I posted to my Flowers of Verity blog wasn't working.  And that's because I didn't do the link right.  So for the other 3 of you that want to see it you can go to Flowers of Verity (flowersofverity.blogspot.com) and see what's going on there.  

Sorry for the confusion!

Don't Be Jealous Nathan

I went out to get the mail today and this is what I saw:

Charissa and I watched them through the window for a long time this afternoon.  We thought of our friend Nathan and knew that if he was in town he would have been loving the new addition to our yard.  

Tuesday Tip - An Easy, Mess-Free Way to Dust Ceiling Fans

I really don't like to dust my ceiling fans.  It seems that more dust gets knocked to the ground and on my head or on my bed than gets on my dust cloth.  So it just turns into a sneezy, messy affair.  But I ran across an easy way to dust the blades without all the mess!  Simply use an old pillow case and slip it around the blades one at a time and wipe them off.  The dust goes in the pillow case and not anywhere else.  Then all you have to do is take the pillow case outside, turn it inside-out and shake the dust out when you're all done.  

Clean fans without the mess!  Now all you have to do is muster the desire to go do it.  :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Britt's Seminary Completion Party

This weekend we had a party to celebrate the fact that Britt finished seminary.  To be honest, I don't think a party is enough for all the work he did - I wanted fireworks and spontaneous choreographed singing and dancing focusing on his diligent work and sacrifice.  Since that wasn't an option, we had hotdogs instead.  But it was pretty fun. 

I made little tank tops for the girls that said "I love you" in Greek and Hebrew (Greek for Charissa, Hebrew for Verity).  
We had LOTS of people show up for the party ...

... and lots of cars.
We went through over 80 hotdogs that night! One friend even showed us how to eat when your hands are full of children.
A certain baby bundle couldn't handle all the fun and she conked out about halfway through it.  It's funny to me that Verity can still fall asleep anywhere.  (And I know my mom looks kind of sad or worried in this picture, but she really was having fun.)
The kids were enjoying some basketball, even though most of them couldn't reach the goal.  

It was a great night for us just to relax and celebrate 6 years of hard work, sacrifice, commitment and faithfulness.  Now on to the next challenge!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

She's Really One of Us

If you asked Britt what his favorite meal was, he would probably say "Rice & Beans."  That man is ridiculously easy to please.  He loves rice and beans.  White rice and black beans.  Oh he'll mix it up a little and add salsa, or cheese, or Texas Pete, or a pepper, or corn, or whatever else he can scrounge up, but basically it's still just rice and beans.  He'll eat that everyday for lunch.  Every day.  And then wonder of wonders - Charissa likes it too!  She started off with the cheese and black bean quesadilla, but now she's on to just eating plain black beans cold for lunch.  I offer sandwiches and other things, but she prefers beans.  And since there is so much lovely protein in them, I just let her chomp away.

So now it's Verity's turn at black beans.  Our pediatrician recommended feeding her more proteins because she's so hungry all the time.  I know there are all sorts of pureed meats, but I just can't bear the smell of them.  Beans will have to do.  This week I made up a batch of pureed black beans and rice (a complete protein) for Verity and let her have her first taste of it.  Do you think she likes it?


She ate every last bit of it up and then wanted more!  She is definitely her daddy's child.

I am so thankful for my family that is easy to please!  They are such a blessing to me.  

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sweet Sisters

I don't know if two girls could be any sweeter.

Friday, July 24, 2009

He's Done With Seminary!

Britt finished his last course in seminary last week!  We had a little celebration on Thursday when he came home from class.  




I thought it would be fun to decorate the car for Britt as well.  




It's hard to believe that we're all done with seminary.  It's been a constant part of Britt's life ever since I've known him.  But I couldn't be happier.  No more classes, no more papers, no more nights away from the family.  

Now we just have to find a job ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Love Two-Year-Olds!

Two-year-olds are full of boundless energy and crazy sayings.  Life is always crazy, but usually fun.  Sometimes when we have people over and Charissa is running around crazy and Verity is squealing and the noise is so great that conversation is hard, I look at our guests and say, "I'd like to say that they're acting up for your benefit, but this is just our life."  

My friend Dana once made a list of things you could hear her saying throughout the week.  Things like "Don't play the piano with your gun" and "Don't wear a blindfold down the stairs."  Well I think I'm going to start my own list.  Last night you could have heard me saying, "Charissa, don't ride your sister.  She's not a horse."  Poor Verity.  So long suffering.  Actually, I think Verity enjoys her sister's company so much that she doesn't care what they do. 

And another joy of two-year olds is that they are a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.  They know everything!  Like tonight we were talking before dinner and Charissa was very excited about her chocolate milk and we were talking about how it comes from "cow milk."  She then got very serious and said, "Cow's milk is hot dogs."  ??????  What is that about?  Totally bizarre.  

She keeps me laughing that's for sure.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Tip - How to Check for Rotten Eggs

Just a quick tip for you guys this week - but it can be very helpful.  

We don't eat a lot of eggs in our house since Charissa and I don't really care for them.  That means that a dozen eggs can sit in our refrigerator for a long time.  So how do you know if an egg is still good?  It's not like it goes brown around the edges or gets soft.  The way to tell if an egg has gone bad is to see if it floats in water.  Isn't that cool?  Just put the eggs in a large bowl of water and see if they sink or swim.  The swimmers get tossed.  

Simple, but helpful. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visiting my Grandparents

This week we are in Kentucky staying with my grandparents while Britt takes his last class of seminary (YAY! YAY! YAY!).  It's so nice to be with them while Britt is having to work so hard this week.  The girls love playing with Pop and Granny and there are plenty of things for them to do here.  My grandparents live on a farm, so Charissa and I have been taking long walks out in fields and having so much fun just walking around and talking.  

Here are some pictures:
My grandparents house.
The front yard
A couple of the barns
Charissa and Verity love playing out on the glassed-in porch.
My grandparents have a golf-cart type thing to drive around their property.  At this particular instance they were using it to sit on while they bubbles.
We filled up a pool most afternoons and let the girls go swimming.  They loved that!
CJ loved seeing goats and chickens while we were here.  
 

We'll be here until Friday, but Britt is done with this class tomorrow.  Pray that he perseveres through this final day!  And that the girls let him sleep tonight so he is rested!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Tip - A Year of Real Simple

I really enjoy reading Real Simple Magazine, but I don't often get it.  Well that's going to change!  Amazon is having a sale and you can get a year's subscription for $5!  FIVE DOLLARS!  Ridiculous!  

The sale is until July 18th so get it while you can!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Finally Started!

I finally started a blog for all my creative ventures.  You can go to Flowers of Verity to keep up with all the things that I've been making.  I'm going to be cutting down on the crafts and projects that I usually post on here and start posting them over there.  It's called separation of crafts and family.  :)  

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Our Week In Review

I know I meant to blog earlier this week, but it just didn't happen.  We've been crazy busy.  So I thought I would just do a little pictorial review of our week:

Charissa had a friend over and they played lots of dress-up.
Verity had a moment of unsupervised time near a dinner roll and she tore it up/devoured it.
A beautiful stray kitten has claimed us as her family.
Verity learned about the greatness that is Steak 'n' Shake.
And Charissa discovered that she can fit inside the sink at her play kitchen.
As always, it's been a fun/crazy/bizarre/laughter-filled week.