Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

Here it is! 2009!!!! Well in 1 minute anyway! I need to post fast or I'll miss it! Happy New Year Everybody! Wishing everyone the best for 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Reclamation of My Bedroom!

Today I have cause to celebrate! You see, we moved into our house back in May and this whole time I have been avoiding unpacking our bedroom. The rest of the house has been done for months but I've just never been motivated enough to tackle the boxes full of useless junk that's lined my walls for over 6 months. Over time it's gotten even more cluttered with new junk and piles of abandoned clothes and toys and all sorts of things! This has been a dark cloud hanging over my head for so long. Miraculously I managed to stay away from the computer ALL day and it was a lot of work, but I FINALLY got it done! I feel so much better and I actually have a bedroom again instead of just a place to sleep! It's surprising how having a nice clean space of your own can just make you feel good! My poor husband's probably long since given up on the hope of ever having an uncluttered bedroom. Hopefully he'll get home sometime tomorrow because I'm really looking forward to surprising him! Now it's time to figure out how to decorate on a budget!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Read This Funny Letter!!!

I'm sharing a funny letter with you. I came across it the other day when I was perusing blogs. It really gave me a good laugh and I thought maybe you could use one too!

I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery

I no longer open a public Bathroom door without using a paper towel. Or have them put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of Trans fats I have consumed over the years. I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open because of the rat Pee on the lid.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time. I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program. I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers. I won't touch margarine, as it is just one molecule away from being plastic. I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I Forward an E-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains, nor do I drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I can no longer buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer. And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

Neither will I go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me. I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise. I won't shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but my own because a big Brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 14,000 people in the next 14 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM tomorrow afternoon and the fleas from 1,000 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day....

Oh, by the way.....A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.:-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bloggers Block!

I think lately, I've had a bit of bloggers block. I'm not sure if I can actually claim this disease or not since I've only been blogging for about a month now, and to use it would actually infer that I am officially a blogger. So far I just consider myself a wanna-be blogger. I could say I have wanna-be bloggers block, but that's just too much of a mouth full! In some ways I'm still trying to figure out which way I'm going to direct this blog. I read a lot of other blogs and get some really good ideas. I'm just not completely sure what I'm doing. I guess I'll figure it out as I go...... As always, I'm more than happy to accept any advice you'd like to bestow upon me! Here's an idea I borrowed from someones blog, I honestly can't tell you who's because I've been reading so many of them! The idea's theirs, but the content is mine anyway!

Ten Things I Hate:
  1. A husband who has a few too many, and suddenly wants to be up in your business about anything and everything imaginable.
  2. A house that no matter how long you take to clean it, only takes the kids 30 minutes or less to make it look like a cyclone went through it.
  3. Unsolved mysteries in the fish tank....."The Case of the Missing Fish (as in plural)"
  4. A wood stove that makes it like 90 degrees in my house.
  5. The voices in my teenage daughters head that tell her that her own vast array of knowledge far surpasses that of her imbecilic parents.
  6. The fact that my 10 year old son thinks he's old enough to have a girlfriend....
  7. Folding clothes, but mostly putting them away.
  8. The remote control thief, that keeps robbing us of ours, and occasionally returning it in the oddest of places.
  9. Small paychecks that never seem to stretch far enough.
  10. The Oregon Department of Revenue.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twinkies Don't Last Forever!

Well I didn't get around to making the Latkes.......there's always tomorrow I guess!
My step-daughter found this video about making homemade twinkies. It's pretty funny. Apparently they don't last forever.....who knew? I have a feeling the homemade ones won't last nearly as long as the store-bought ones though!

How to clone a Twinkie - with Todd Wilbur @ Yahoo! Video

Monday, December 22, 2008

Latkes for Hanukkah!

The Jewish Holiday Hanukkah began yesterday at sunset. Although I'm not Jewish, I think the miracle God preformed for the Maccabees is inspiring for all. It shows us that as long as we keep on trying and doing our part, God will provide whatever we lack. That's a comforting thought for me! I also think some of the Hanukkah traditions are cool too. One thing I've always wanted to try is Latkes! Tomorrow I'm planning to try these recipes I found on http://www.chabad.org/. I'm really looking forward to trying the Apple Latkes!

Levana’s Perfect Potato Latkes


vegetable oil for frying
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 medium onion, grated in a food processor
salt and pepper to taste
pinch nutmeg
8 large, peeled, potatoes

(yields 24 latkes)

Heat 1/3 inch oil in a heavy frying pan until very hot. While the oil is heating, place the flour, eggs, onion, salt and pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl, and mix thoroughly. Quickly grate the potatoes in a food processor, using the thin grating blade for soft latkes or the thick grater blade for crunchier latkes. Immediately add them to the batter, mixing with a spoon and without pressing on the solids in order not to draw unwanted moisture. Work very quickly so they do not have time to get discolored. Form small patties with both hands without ever squeezing, and lower them into the hot oil (at this point reduce the flame just slightly: leave it on high but not the highest), or drop the batter by heaping tablespoons. Fry until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve with applesauce, yogurt or sour cream.

The direct link to this recipe is: http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/452580/jewish/Potato-Latkes.htm

Apple Latkes

2 eggs, well beaten
1-1/2 cups orange juice, yogurt or milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar depending on taste
3 medium apples, peeled and coarsely grated
Vegetable oil for frying
Confectionery sugar

Mix eggs with orange juice, yogurt, or milk in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture and grated apples. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet. Drop about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into the hot oil. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until slightly golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with confectionery sugar, and serve.
Makes approximately 36 latkes.

The direct link for this recipe is:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Helpful Mommy (or Daddy) Tips!

Today I found a website that had posted a lot of parenting tips. I looked through and pulled out some of the ones I thought might be helpful. The website I got them from is http://mom.lifetips.com/, if you want to see more.

"Emergency" Diaper Bag..
Great advice for new moms - keep an extra diaper bag in the trunk of your car. In it have one of everything: diaper, small container of wipes, change of clothes, pacifier, etc. You never know when you´ll need it, and when you do, you will be very happy that it is there!!

Dirty Diaper Disposal Advice
Great idea for moms- keep a ziploc bag with a fabric softener sheet enclosed in your diaper bag. For those times when it is not convenient to dispose of a dirty diaper right away, the scent of the fabric softener sheet will replace the smell of the diaper.
*I'm not sure how well it would hide the smell, but I figured it'd be worth a try.

Reading to Your Children - Great advice
Encourage reading at a very early age. Even if you think your child is not listening, he or she is hearing different sounds and words when you read to them. Very good advice for new moms.
*My favorite tip on the list!

Errand Rounds to Improve Time Management
You will amaze yourself with how much you can get done in a short amount of time if you follow this advice for moms. Make a list of places you need to go to. Now place them in order from closest to home to furthest away and start the clock. This way, if an alternate stop is en route that you forgot, you will save even more time.
*I've done this a time or two and it really helps a lot.

Kitchen Safety
Try using this great idea - cook using only the back two burners on the stove. Practice turning pot handles towards a side or the back rather than at your body.

Crayon Marks on the Walls
The one and only thing I´ve ever found that will successfully remove crayon marks from a wall is a nifty little product called Goo Gone. I think you can get it at home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowe´s, etc.). It´s also great for removing stubborn price tag and sticker adhesive.
*I use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, they clean crayon and smudges off super easily!

Relaxing tip for moms - time for yourself
Try this great advice for moms, by moms, as hard as it seems, take 10 - 15 minutes each day for yourself. Read a book, take a bath, whatever makes you feel relaxed. A happy and calm mother is a wonderful thing for a child. If you schedule this in as you do other things, it will happen. If you need help, enlist your mom, husband, or a babysitter. This is a good tip for moms with children of all ages.
*This one makes me think of the Tracy Byrd song "When Mama Ain't Happy"!

Always Pack a Nightlight
Try this great advice - pack a small night-light when traveling with small children. When staying in new places, it makes for easier moving around in the middle of the night. It can also help young children more comfortable falling asleep in a strange place.

Picking Out Clothing
Pick out your outfit and your child´s the night before. This will save time (and possible fights!) in the morning. If they are old enough, let them set out their own outfit.
*whenever I do this it makes my morning go so much smoother!

Independent Children
Let children do all they can by themselves. This helps them feel independent, and frees your time to do the things you need.
*So true!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Diet 7up - The Un-taxed (Un-Cola)

Okay, I try not to get too concerned about politics, and for the most part, I don't. Today though, I just can't help myself. I read that New York governor, David Paterson, is proposing a tax on the likes of non-diet soda and twinkies! What'll be next, additional taxes on meat and dairy so we can all become vegan vegetarians? This is beyond ridicules. Here is the link to the article in the New York Times if you want to see for yourself; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/nyregion/17sugartax.html?ref=nyregion

First of all, if I remember right, part of the reason why our once great country came in to being in the first place had to do with unfair taxes being imposed by Britain, now we are doing the same thing to ourselves. It's one thing to levy new taxes on something because the income it will generate will help our country, but when they practically come right out and say it's an "Obesity Tax," that's taking it a little too far! I don't know about you, but I don't need the government to tell me what I can or cannot eat. I'm not sure if they realize it or not but there are plenty of over weight people who don't even drink soda or eat twinkies. Hey, if the twinkie tax doesn't do the trick maybe the government should instill a payday weigh-in to determine what tax bracket we fall into - the higher the number on the scale, the higher the tax bracket. My personal stand point on the junk food is that it is junk and nobody should be eating or drinking it, but this is America and we do not need the government to punish us if we choose to.

Secondly, if we allow our government to control what we eat and drink it won't be long until they are controlling everything else. Ultimately I don't think the eighteen percent tax is really going to make much of a difference in how people eat, the problem is that the government thinks it's their call. Before we know it we will be the Communist States of America. Maybe we should just give up all of our freedoms, we can just rely on the government to make all of our choices for us, that'll be swell. This country is heading down hill fast, especially when Uncle Sam's got one hand in our pockets and the other over our mouths.

Last of all, they say that an effect of this tax would be that it would generate funds to help out the health programs. Just maybe, if our government would stop fueling the auto industry and financial institution's blunders and stop padding their pockets and all of the good political agendas with special interest perks, using our tax dollars, they'd have the funds they'd need to help with the health programs and what not. Or here's a thought, they could even begin making the school lunch programs provide healthy lunches for our children, instead of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. ......Just a thought.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Less-Stress Band Practice Suggestions

My son Levi had his first band concert last night. It went well. I was very proud of him! There was some squeaking involved but thankfully only 1 or 2 of them came from my sons saxophone! A couple of weeks ago he was so discouraged. He was convinced that he'd never be able to play in his concert. His biggest problem was playing along with everyone in band. When he would practice at home he'd do alright but when he'd practice with the band at school he just couldn't follow along or keep from squeaking. His teacher didn't help matters. He didn't even try to help him, he just expected him to be able to do it. He wasn't very nice about it either. I had a very hard time trying to keep his moral up. He was so frustrated that he wasn't doing well enough. He didn't want to practice and I hated making him do it because I knew it was making him feel bad about himself. I knew it was temporary and with more practice he would get better and then be proud of himself but sometimes it's so difficult to see past the here and now. It was a very stressful situation. A couple of times Levi even wanted to quit but he stuck it out and now, the difference is amazing! He loves playing now and he has much more confidence. The struggling was well worth the end result. Today I found an article about reducing stress and how to keep from getting overwhelmed by it. http://livswahmblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/relieve-that-stress.html I wish I would have read it before those stressful days of practicing, I might have come through with more of my sanity intact!

Here are 5 things to know when helping your son or daughter succeed in band:

  1. Get some ear plugs, but not the bright orange kind, you may not want them to be seen!

  2. Expect you'll need much patience!

  3. Don't expect the band teacher to actually teach them to play the instrument.

  4. Use youtube videos of other people playing the songs as a way for them to practice with others. (Unfortunately the cracked song flute from the toy box doesn't quite do the trick.)

  5. Expect you'll need much patience!

Just in case that doesn't help, you can use this handy kit!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Make A Paper Mache Snow Man

Yesterday the kids and I were so excited about the snow! They played in it for a while and I helped them build a snowman! He turned out pretty good! When it was time to come in I went surfing to find a fun snowman craft to do with the kids. I found this really cute paper mache snowman! I got it at: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/winter/papermache_snowman.htm. Parts of it were a little challenging for my 5 year old and I ended up having to do more of it than I bargained for! But in the end it turned out pretty good without too much headache! I'm writing my own version of the directions because the ones I found left a lot out that was important if you've never none paper mache before.....like me!

I'll give some short directions first, for people who've already done this kind of thing and then I'll give the long winded ones for people like me, who are a little craft-challenged!
Craft Whiz Directions

  • Blow up 3 balloons of 3 different sizes.
  • Make paper mache (I followed the recipe given; 4 cups water 1 cup flour whisked on heat until thickened and then poured into another bowl, adding 4 ice cubes.)
  • Coat each balloon separately with newspaper. Let it dry.
  • Tape the sections together in snowman fashion. And then cover entire snowman with another layer of paper. White paper is best so you don't have to paint him later.
  • Let dry and then decorate it with construction paper, beads, pebbles, or whatever you can find.>

Craft-Challenged Directions

  1. Blow up 3 round balloons 3 different sizes, appropriate for making a snow man.
  2. Whisk 4 cups of cold water with 1 cup of flour in a pan. Continue to whisk while heating until it thickens.
  3. Put the flour/water mixture in an other bowl with 4 ice cubes and stir until no longer piping hot!
  4. Tear up strips of newspaper. This is a great part for the little ones to help with! (We had an easier time with bigger sections of newspaper rather than the strips for some reason.)
  5. Dip the ripped paper, one or two at a time into the flour/water mixture (you can use your fingers to kinda squeegee some of the excess sticky stuff off so it's not so drippy).
  6. Lay the balloon in a bowl and begin laying and overlapping the strips (or sections) of newspaper. (We did ours without a bowl and that didn't work so well!)
  7. Continue covering the balloon by overlapping the papers.
  8. Do this to all three balloons. Let them dry overnight. Save the flour/water mixture.
  9. Tear up more strips of paper. (If you use white paper you won't have to paint it when you're done. We used white paper.)
  10. Use masking tape to connect the balloons together, snowman fashion! (This was slightly difficult. We ended up cutting the bottom of the circles out so it would stand upright and so they would stack on top of each other better. It was still tricky taping them together!)

  11. Use the flour/water mixture you saved and the white paper and layer the entire snow man, being careful where each different snowman section comes together. Make sure you overlap the pieces from section to section so it will hold together well. (Be careful also at this point because the paper mache becomes a little soft when it gets wet with the new layer. It can cave in and it's hard to get it back out!)
  12. Let it dry again. Then decorate him or her with construction paper or beads or pebbles or whatever you have around that is worthy!

    1. Here is how ours turned out. Let me know what you think!

      Friday, December 12, 2008

      Go Check Out This Awesome Giveaway!

      First I have to say, It's finally snowing! Yay!It's our first snow this year! I can't wait to make a snowman with the kids tomorrow! Hopefully it'll snow enough that we'll be able to.

      So, about the giveaway.....one of the blogs I follow, http://www.dointheworkingmomthing.com/ is doing a really cool one for some super cute stuff from Precious Girls Club. It would be a great gift! Any little girl would totally love it! It's easy to enter her giveaway too. You only have to comment her blog and say who you'd give it to if you were to win. You better hurry because you have to post your comment by December 14 at midnight eastern time. Here is the description of what's up for grabs:

      "A plush dog like that of the main character's puppy.
      A charm bracelet with a charm.
      An extra charm for the bracelet.
      Friendship bracelets.
      Instructions on how to start your own Precious Girls Club.
      Your own Precious Girls Club sign for your room.
      Certificates of membership for your members.
      A cute Precious Girls Club bag."

      Hope you win.........or me! That would be cool too! ;)
      ~Good Luck~

      Wednesday, December 10, 2008

      The Yummiest Peach Cobbler Ever!!!

      Okay, here is the recipe for the cobbler I told you about! It is the quickest homemade dessert I have ever made. It's also one of the yummiest! It has a sweet, buttery, slightly crisp topping. I found this recipe at a really great recipe site called http://www.allrecipes.com/ . I modified it a little, but the original recipe is called "Peach Cobbler IV". A warning though; it is really sweet. If you don't like things real sweet you might try cutting back a little of the sugar or using the peaches in light syrup instead. I'm not sure how it would turn out, I've never done it that way. Let me know how you like the cobbler!
      The Yummiest Peach Cobbler

      1 cube of butter

      1 cup of self rising flour ***

      1 cup of sugar

      1 cup of milk

      16 oz can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup

      Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Put the butter in a 8X8 square baking dish and put it in the oven to melt while you prepare the batter. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients , then add the milk and mix until well blended. A few lumps are okay. Once the butter is melted coat the bottom of the pan by tipping it slightly in different directions. Next pour the batter right on the butter. Then put the peaches, along with most of the liquid from the can, right on top of the batter. I space them out so they aren't all clustered in one area.

      Bake in the 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.
      *** If you don't have self rising flour you can just add 1&1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2tsp. salt to the dry mixture. I know this works out fine because it's what I do!

      Tuesday, December 9, 2008

      Welcome To "Thoughts of Peace" Blogspot!

      Hello! I'm really excited about starting this blog. I'm looking forward to sharing recipes, cleaning secrets and all sorts of fun and helpful stuff with you! I think the giveaways that some people have on their blogs are a great idea. Once I get settled in here I'll have some from time to time! In my next post I'll share a recipe I found awhile ago that is the best Peach Cobbler I've ever had and it takes less than 10 minutes to make! Probably closer to 5 depending on how long it takes to melt the butter!

      A little bit about me: I'm 32 (for a few more days!), I'm a sahm, I have been for nearly 12 years! (Wow! That makes me feel old!) We are a blended family, we have 5 kids total, 3 his and 2 ours. We have a little chihuahua/terrier mix, a kitten (whose into everything!), and about 4 fish! I'm a Christian and I keep the Sabbath, but I'm not Seventh Day Adventist (most people ask me that. =) ). Also I keep the Biblical Holy Days and not most traditional Holidays. I live in Southern Oregon. I've lived here for almost 2 years now and I'm beginning to realize that I'd better become an Oregon Ducks fan, or move! I guess, the Ducks it is, because we love it here! Go Ducks!!!

      I bought a new camera recently and I LOVE taking pictures with it! This evening I took some pictures of the sunset from my yard. I thought this one turned out pretty cool, let me know what you think! I also like doing crafts and decorating. I can't say I really have a knack for it, I'm definitely still learning. I learn a lot from other blogs. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be good! ;-) Just before Thanksgiving I got some crafty stuff from the Dollar Tree and made a few things. They actually turned out pretty good, I thought ! I'll take pictures and post them.

      Thanks for reading! Come back soon! And remember, awesome cobbler recipe with my next post!!!