Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thrifty Tuesday

I had to stop by the thrift store yesterday because I needed to look for a cheap putter for the school carnival and to see if I could find some replacement gym shoes for Spencer.   Don't even ask about the gym shoes.  They have apparently run off with his gym shorts to a better life.  I have no idea how long his shoes have been M.I.A. since he just confessed to losing them after I asked him which tennis shoes he had at school.  See if you can picture this in your head - Spencer and his shiny nylon basketball shorts running around the gym wearing hiking boots with most likely black socks.  I can't believe he has been getting credit for dressing for gym.  His gym teacher must think that boy is something special.
I have a great weakness for shoes and coats at the thrift store.  The two MAIN things my husband claims we have too many of - don't show him this photo.

I found two pairs of tennis shoes for Spencer.  The brown ones are Merrells (like the lost ones).  I got Hailey a pair of Lands End wet/dry sandals and a cute pair of slip on shoes.

Just a fancy picture because I am artsy like that so you can see how cute the black shoes really are.

I found Hailey three pairs of shorts for two dollars each.  A cute girly camo pair, some plaid Lands End shorts and a grey pair from Old Navy.   She might be set for summer now.  One goal for the rest of the week is to get through her dresser and closet. 

I found two shirts for Hailey.  A cute summer blue shirt with butterflies from Old Navy - it should look smashing with the shorts.  I fell in love with this owl print Hanna Andersson long sleeve.  I think it is a little big for her now, but next year. 

I also found this other Hanna Andersson short play outfit.  It is size 110 which I think might be a little small for Hailey.  I haven't tried it on her yet, but if it is we have two little cousins that would get some use out of it.  You can't pass up six dollars for a Hanna Andersson outfit - I could probably get double that for it if I sold it on Ebay.

So it turned out to be a good day of thrifting.  I even found a putter for the carnival for one whole whopping dollar!   I have a doctor appointment with the orthopedist tomorrow on the east side of town so I may have to hit the Goodwill out that way for Thrifty Thursday....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why you should never throw anything away...

My kids have a hard time keeping track of their things.  All of their things - hats, mittens, boots, gym shoes, lunch boxes, snack cases and the most recent thing - Spencer's gym shorts.  His gym shorts are lost.  How you might ask?  As far as I can tell the shorts are either on his body or locked up in his basket in the gym cages.  I guess there is the small window of time when they leave his body and go on the locker room bench or floor while he puts his pants back on.  Apparently in that time someone decided they wanted his stinky gym shorts or Spencer forgot to put them back in his basket and they wound up who knows where.  Stuff like this drives me INSANE!
That turned into quite a tangent from the story I was going to tell.  So my kids lose things.  Lots of things.  Because they lose things is part of the reason I try not to spend lots of money on items that they take out of my sight.   This year I decided that I was going to spend decent money on getting them all a pair of good gloves.  I got the boys each a pair on clearance last year that didn't even make it through the season and Hailey has been stuck wearing those dollar store stretchy knit things.  So when she loses them, I am only out a dollar.
I happened to be in Target back in late October or early November when they had an outerwear accessory sale going on.  I know that Target is no outdoor outfitter store and these gloves I was looking to purchase were not going to keep them warm to twenty below or anything, but spending fifteen dollars on a twenty dollar pair of gloves is kind of a big deal when you are buying three pairs and spending fourteen dollars more a pair then you usually pay.  Does that make sense?  In re-reading it kind of sounds like an intense math story problem.
So I purchased the gloves and in late November while playing outside in our first snowfall, the kids could not have been happier.  The next morning when the were getting all their gear on for school, Hailey could only find one of her gloves.  We looked all over the house with no luck and then she finally fessed up that she had taken it off and set it on the bumper of Dad's car -the car that had already taken off for school an hour before.  We looked all around outside and down the street hoping it had fallen off - the glove was gone.  Her brand new gloves had made it about a half a day in her care.  Back to the dollar gloves for her. 
Spencer lost his gloves sometime in January.  They might have been left on the bus.  He might have left them in the hallway at school.  I don't have access to the middle school lost and found on a weekly basis like I do with the little ones.   Another pair bites the dust.  I am thrilled to report that Evan still has his gloves.  The are starting to rip out a bit which I guess after a winter like we have had a fairly cheap pair of gloves is bound to do.
Now that spring is hopefully here, I was thinking the other day that I need to go through all the hat and mitten bins and weed out and throw away.  We have so many ripped gloves and unmatched pairs that just need to go away.  I was actually kind of excited about the purge.  The only thing that stuck in my mind was the one glove of Hailey's.  A brand spanking new hot pink glove hanging out in her cubby all winter long because it's mate was lost after it's first official wearing.  It just seemed like such a waste to throw it out, but what would I ever do with it?  The match was long gone.  The fact that we still even had the glove after we knew what happened to the mate was part hoarder.  Maybe just sending it to Goodwill would make me feel all right with getting rid of it.  Just let them throw it away.
A few days ago - Good Friday - it was a beautiful afternoon.  Trent rented a power rake and was "mowing" the lawn with it.  I was pulling weeds and getting leaves out of the flower beds.   Our neighbor on the hill was working in his yard and then walked over and said to me "This must be Hailey's.  I just found it over there in the rocks" and held out his hand and gave me a wet, dirty, hot pink glove.

I about fainted!  That darn glove had been right under our noses all along.  I guess I never realized that after that first snowfall, the snow never really melted and then just kept on coming. 

The glove is now reunited with its mate.  Hailey will have a practically brand new pair all ready for next year - at least for a day or two.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mud balls

Look at me on this blogging roll!  I guess with my PT cut down to three times a week and not being called in to work all this week I actually have some time to post the pictures I take!  Though being called into work a little would be nice for our checkbook.
I have always lamented the fact that Hailey doesn't play by herself very well - if at all.  Over the weekend I realized that statement isn't exactly true.  She doesn't play well by herself with Barbies, or dolls or magnets or puzzles or anything remotely quiet and self contained.   What she does play by herself are things that make an awful mess.  The girl can make a mess for hours.   Give her glitter, glue and paints and she will use up the whole bottle on one eight by eleven sheet.  The paper will wind up glued to the table, but she will be entertained for hours.  She will glue crayons or marker caps to paper without thinking twice.  She has a vision.  A vision of artful messiness. 
I found her this weekend outside all by herself doing this.....

Elbow deep in making balls of mud.   I tried to look on the bright side that at least she was entertaining herself with something besides watching a movie on the ipad.  So I left her to it - after asking her politely to change out of her light pink jacket that I had already washed twice over the weekend.  

I think we may need to clean out the sandbox and get it back in working order so she can at least make her mudballs in the back yard and the neighbors don't have to see her lovely creations all over our driveway.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thrifty Tuesday

I found myself drawn into the Goodwill on Tuesday and was glad I listened to the Siren's call. 
I found Evan a great pair of Merrell shoes in his size.  Perfect for the Spring and early Summer.
I found Hailey a size 7/8 jacket that she can use as a "play coat".  One that is darker than the pastel ones she currently owns and can stand up to a bit of mud.  (That post to follow at a later date...)

That afternoon Spencer had an orthodontist appointment across town.  He finished up pretty quickly and since he was done with school for the day and we had some time to kill before the Littles came home, we stopped at another Goodwill.  Spencer was thrilled.  Insert almost teenage eye roll.

I found Hailey this cute sweater.  It looks red but is actually more coral colored.  I thought it would be perfect for between seasons.

I also found her these cute skorts for summer.  They are not as hot pink as they look.  My phone camera is lacking for accurate color representation I guess.   She will live in these this summer.

I found a metal water bottle for one dollar.  We go through water bottles like crazy around here.  I also picked up this calculator for one dollar.  The one that I currently use I have to bend the screen to get the numbers to show up without missing some of their "lines".  It makes balancing the checkbook quite an adventure.

By far my best purchase of the day was this brass mirror for Hailey's bedroom.  It is so "mirror, mirror on the wall". It was fifteen dollars but solid brass and I couldn't pass it up.  I think I am going to paint it either white or hot pink.  I can't get over how much I love that thing.  Hailey does too.  When Evan saw it he thought it made perfect sense for Hailey's room.  His reasoning - she already has a chandelier now with this it is almost like her room is a castle.  Soon she will be like a real princess or a wicked queen.

It was a very successful day of thrifting.  I only wish I had my mom with me so I could have cashed in on her senior discount!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I sort of dropped the ball (or should I say egg) on decorating for Easter this year.  I don't know why it seemed to arrive so quickly, but here we were just about a week out with nary a rabbit or egg to be found in our house.  I thought about skipping the decorations all together but knew I couldn't - the kids LOVE to get holiday stuff out. 
So I rallied and brought up the tubs.  I decided since it would all come down a week later that we would decorate light this year.  Since it was a warm day, I sent Hailey and Evan out to adorn the egg tree.

Evan showing off his war wound from his bike accident the night before.   He and the neighbor boy crashed into each other on bikes.  The neighbor boy was unscathed since he fell into a snow bank.  Evan messed up his knee and his chin pretty bad.

We got the egg tree decorated and looking beautiful a few hours before gale force winds ripped through the neighborhood and blew about half of them off the tree.  This morning we woke up to a snow covered winter wonderland.  Oh Mother Nature!  Why do you have to tease us so?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Biking to the beach

On one of our last spring break days, the boys were off frisbee golfing and Hailey and I decided to go for a bike ride.  She rode, I tried to keep up with her while walk/running.  She made it on her bike down our street until her bike started making a weird squeak sound and feeling like the tire was grinding on something forcing her to keep stopping.  We trudged her bike back up the hill to our garage and I told her that we could both just walk and enjoy the day.  She was having none of that, she wanted to ride and she had her sights set on Evan's bike.
We found a wrench and lowered the seat for her.  The bike is a bit bigger than she is used to, but she rode it like a champ!  I know it doesn't really look big for her - her bike - the one she rides all the time is just way too small for her.

As we went by the road to the beach Hailey asked if we could go see the water.  I was afraid it would be a little chilly down there, but we went anyway.  I was so glad that we did.  There was no wind.  The sand was warm and toasty.  It was perfect!

Those "islands" in the water are still icebergs covered with sand.  It looked crazy down there. I have never seen it like that.  At least that I can remember.

It doesn't really feel like spring until you have made your first visit to the beach.

I have to admit that seeing people's pictures on "Facebook don't talk about Facebook" of their Florida vacations and fun times made me a little envious.  But on this Friday when Hailey and I were hanging out on the beach,  a beach that so many around here take for granted - it felt like we were on a mini vacation.  And all those travelers that had such grand times still had to or were in the process of making their LONG journeys home.   That is why we are so lucky  - THIS is our home.

What a great afternoon! Can you believe all the ice still on the lake?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Where did March go?

I can't believe that I haven't posted anything since February. Then when I go back through my photos for the month, I can't believe that I have not had a nervous breakdown.  We have had so much going on this month. 

It all started with Spencer's Willy Wonka show.  

He did a wonderful job.  They had lots of rehearsals and some of them were LONG rehearsals.  I never heard him once complain about having to stay after school or practice on a Saturday or whine about missing something because of rehearsal.  He LOVES this. 

Hailey and Daddy attended their second Father and Daughter dance.   She looks forward to this night for weeks.  Especially the dance night "spa" that Mommy has ready for her when she gets home from school.

Evan raced his "Blood Fin Rex" car in the Pinewoood Derby.  He was so close to winning third place in his division.

He ended up with a trophy anyway for "Pack Pick" - which is the favorite car chosen by the kids.  This is the second year in a row that he has won this award.  That kid knows how to build a great car!

Trent put on his production of Joseph. It was a huge hit.  Everyone that saw it could not believe that it was a high school production.

On Saturday night, Hailey had a cameo role as Potiphar Jr.

And what did I do all month?  This....

Ibuprofen, xrays, MRI, physical therapy, ice packs, heating pads.   Finally a visit to an orthopaedic doctor to diagnosis me with Adhesive Capsulitis - frozen shoulder.   Two weeks ago I had my shoulder manipulated and now I am back in physical therapy.

It has been a long road.  My shoulder has been bothering me since November.  It is finally feeling like it might be on the way to recovery.  My shoulder muscles are really messed up and my scapula is crooked and not turning the right way.   I know I am lucky and could be dealing with much worse and I keep reminding myself of that when my arm just aches from therapy and I can't sleep at night because of the pain.

That was our March - just a few things going on.  We are all so ready for Spring and for things to calm down just a little bit.