Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Here... Really!

Don't you worry my friends I am here still alive, breathing the fresh Autumn air. The past two months have been chaotic here in the family household. When I do have time I will post some more and visit so many of the blogs that I have missed these past few weeks.

Family comes first then computer. Life happens with all the twists and turns. Note to myself what really needs to be done this week:

- Send out way over due little girl clothing to a special lady with two little girls.

- Send out money to get health insurance to kick in (hoping very soon) My knee needs to be operated on once again and I can not tolerate this pain much longer.
Our home is getting pest-ified today- mice in the attic and it bothers me the pitter patter of little rodent feet. Our home is also getting carpet upstairs and downstairs so everything is in bunches in the rooms that are not getting carpeted.

It's a tornado like moving week yet everything does not go into another home it goes right back in each room. Taking everything downstairs from the three rooms upstairs has really irritated my arthritis laden knee so I had to ask for help...hard for me but did.

One thing I have to say for all the no credit card lovin people we saved money for the carpet with no debt to come out of this.

This fall my husband and I decided to put some hay that is stocked in our shed for our great dane Shane and we put it in the utility wagon. We either use the riding tractor the ATV and slow like a turtle pull the children around the mountain. They love it! And it's great seeing all the changing leaves and also the wildlife around here.

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Menu plans for the week include: homemade pizza with salad, crockpot beef roast with corn and mashed potatoes, roasted chicken with scalloped potaoes and green beans, mini meatloves with buttered rice and glazed baby carrots, stuffed peppers with garlic noodles, homemade chicken pot pie since we will have leftover chicken this week.

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What else are you cooks coming up with for the week?


Monday, September 15, 2008

~ Saving and Tips ~

Piggy Bank with Money, House, and Car on Top by Eric Kamp


Saving money has been on mind a lot lately. With prices going up on everything no wonder why I have taken saving money to the extreme. Some ways we personally save money as a family are:

- Get a local library card. We can rent 3 movies at a time for a week. There are many DVD's and VHS movie titles to choose from. Also there are many educational shows, exercise, and language titles as well.

- We shop at the local grocery stores that have gas savings attached. Buy items that we need, or can use for cheap since we use coupons then reap benefits of having money taken off at the gas pump on each gallon.

- Take inventory of your families household needs and wants. Keeping track of everything on paper/notebook really helps only to spend what is needed. Clothing inventory each season is a top lister on our agendas. Also just the everyday items like toilet paper, shampoo, and laundry items.

- Shop at thrift stores. My favorite is the Salvation Army. I outfitted our family of six very well with a lot of name brands for cheap. I strive for $1.00 or under for each item. And we go on Wednesdays since every tag but one is 50% off. Savings is great in the fact that even on new- clearance store clothing never reaches the savings on things we NEED at that time.

- Put all electrical items on a power strip. Not only are you saving your expensive electronic items from going caput during a storm, but you save money if you turn the power strip off while not in use. A lot of people do not know that even though they turn off an item that it still draws power. Using the power strip button makes a halt to the electricity.

- Pre-treating laundry stains before laundering your clothing. For us we get so many stains but with being frugal means using all kinds of inexpensive laundry detergent. So I don't take a chance that the detergent will get the stains out and I pre-treat and let sit awhile. Also use less laundry detergent and do not go by the back of the bottle. Fabric softener sheets cut in half, or use less of the liquid softener. Vinegar plus adding a few drops of EO (essential oils) is a great alternative to commercial softeners.

- Re-use your plastic bags from shopping for your little trashcans in the bathroom, or other areas in your home.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

UPDATE: Husband in Houston Texas



UPDATE #2 (9/15/08): John and our employees made it safe to Houston, Texas. They are working morning, day and night in the rain and taking trees off of houses. They are swamped with work. It has been raining non-stop so I am hoping they are able to at least eat a good meal. There is not really good cell phone communication at this time. So I talk to dh when I can. I am guessing he will not be home in three weeks like the original plan.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our tree service is almost ready to leave to go down south for hurricane relief work down south to hurricane Gustav. I imagine their will be tons of trees on house, debris to remove, and stump work. That's why we are heading down there. I will tell you how saddened I felt when looking on past articles, and videos on Katrina. My heart breaks every time seeing all of that. The panic, and uncertainty these people faced could now be very real with this upcoming hurricane in the next few days.

We have been preparing very hard to get ready for our guys to leave. Trucks are packed to the hilt, motor home, and another camper packed. Extra gas, water, and all our equipment. It has been very stressful but I do stick by my husband who I will dearly miss for at least his month or more stay. The children are sad, and don't want daddy to go but I think they understand why daddy does what he does.

We have to tell our local customers that tree work is halted until they get back. Some understand others are too much in a rush.

I do however feel so much better that we purchased a USED motor home for the guys to stay in and call home away from home in times like this. There will be 6 guys + my husband. So if you see us wave and send good thoughts and perseverance their way as they will need it.

I am scared....... as tree work is very dangerous especially in wet conditions but fear will not get me down this trip. I can still remember him going down for Katrina. There were some rough moments but then there were some bittersweet moments as well to follow. I will be posting pictures of our trucks and equipment.

They will have to fend for themselves with the cooking and hoping that they eat enough fresh veggies and fruits with their meat. The charcoal grill will be used a lot. I even put the right measuring cup for the coffee grounds where he won't forget. He is a just pour some grounds add water type of guy. But they deserve a cup of eye wakening coffee to start their hectic non-stop work through the day and evenings.

We are not sure exactly where they will end up but probably Louisiana near New Orleans maybe. It depends on the weather updates and where it is expected to hit.

Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.
Renee:)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Camping Summer






We have had such a blast this summer camping with our family of six! We purchased a motorhome that has dual purpose for us. The first was for our tree service for when the hurricane relief work comes and the boys need to go south and work. It is hard on the boys to leave their home, and loved ones behind. And after strictly looking over the expenses from when they went to Katrina, New York, and Oklahoma I was floored. The expense to house many men for weeks costs lots of moola. Food whoa nelly that costs lots too! Along with the indigestion, and other bodily problems from not eating well really can take a toll on budgets, and bodies.


So we are ready now. A home away from home. Everything at home and they don't have to sleep in a tent at Walmart! So what to do with a home that is not in use as of yet? Take the family camping. It really does tests limits, and that's a lesson to learn. Learning to bunk with 6 people in a small home and move on with your life.




Making Banana Bread: Getting the children involved

I have yet to find a child that does not like the idea of helping cook. I also have found evidence that sometimes, just sometimes if a child is real picky and will not try something they might like or at least try a new foreign food. I might just make good cooks out of these children (my two cute nephews, and my two sons)

They made wonderful yummy banana bread that lasted a mear hour before the whole loaf was eaten.














Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Potty Training Wars

Here she is the potty girl! This is another meltdown that has occured today but had to snap as it is a half on/off chair pic. Mind you she just got a quick bath after taking her cloth diaper off and having another accident. Then she says I have to go potty so she went to the chair after I said let's go on the big girl potty.

Why am I feeling like my 2 yr. daughter is somehow at a war with the potty? She detests it and does not want anything to do with it other then sitting on it with her big sisters big girl underwares.
I read and re-read the potty book although the potty in the book looks like a drinking pitcher and the way were going right now I don't want to give her ideas on peeing in places other then the potty.
Here's a rundown on toilet training my children. Well my 14 yr. old was already potty trained at age 4 yrs. when I met my husband and him, yet had the evening wets which I dealt with pretty well. My first born now 6 yr. old daughter had a few accidents but eventually learned to be at peace with the potty. Now my now 4 yr. old he had a musical potty and it scared him so much that I took the batteries out and on he went. Now this little sweet girl-ey-o of mine just does not want to be free of her disposables, and cloth diapers just yet. I hear ya honey loud and clear! Please give me a sign when you will be ok with your potty.
I have a trick today up my sleeve that I thought of. I will take another picture of this great trial that maybe you are going through or have went through yourself as a momma with your little tyke, or tykers
.
I am open for advice for that and.....
skin pinching (2 yr. old)
ear playing (4 yr. old)
Blessings~ Renee Nay

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blog Love


Every week I thought I would share the blog loves that I like to visit that serve inspiration, a laugh, a good recipe or two, or even a blog that shows purpose at it's best. There are many hundreds of millions and I will never be able to read them all in my lifetime.

I will put the title of the blog along with my love note of worthiness with the specific post that pulled me to these dear people.

And don't you just love the picture that I took this morning of my homemade rooster. It's homemade so you have to love it for what it is. Get use to it if you can as it will be up every week for this special occasion.

Renee Nay~

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Front Door How Neglected You Are...



Oh how embaressed , yet so relieved that I am planning to paint this neglected front door. This is the door that is suppose to welcome people?


I think not in this condition! It says many words and it will say welcome very soon! No great dane teeth marks, chewed door handle, or missing paint really sounds beautiful to me. After reading a post over at the Nester I am for sure selling or not selling a house my front entry needs a lot of lovin.


What color should I choose to welcome someone to stay and chat and have a cup of tea?


Post your front welcoming, or not so welcoming entry and put the plans of what you want to do if there needs to be a change in the very near future.


Renee

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What leads me?

Stone Walls Along a Path, Yorkshire Dales, England, United Kingdom by Panoramic Images
Stone Walls Along a Path, Yorkshire Dales, England, United Kingdom


I am lead to so may directions throughout the week that my mind goes to shambles, or is this what they call mom brain? Some people go to weekly mass and donate money to their church, others donate clothing, and food to the needy. Children and adults stop by nursing homes and visit with the elderly that have no one to share their last years with.

My good deeds are given to others without any strings attached. I have always loved helping people with any way I can without jepordizing our living situation. It makes me feel so good to do this and I look at it as another one of my pastimes.

No matter how busy our life seems their is always time to show people how much we care. Words are very powerful and I sometimes think writing is easier for me as I can get everything out on paper that I want to say at that moment.

I have a lot of catching up to do with so many things. Busier than usual this week.. with the past storm that hit us with high winds, a produced tornado that touched down, and tons of emergency treework to keep our business super busy for weeks to come.

My to do list: emails, send out cards, letters, laundry, and good ol' house cleaning:)

Renee

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

~ Nooks and Pieces of Our Home~

I was having a hard time on what do do up up here on top of the armoire. This is what I came up with and used what I had.
I finally got those floral $.49 cents a piece metal trays hung up by using 3M command strips which I love so much!
Nothing new here but my ever growing bottle love collection. Some found, and bought by others. The wooden shelf was made by hand with old barn wood by my talented woodworker grandfather. He is sadly missed but is thought about everytime I look at the things he made with his hands before passing in 2006.

Renee:)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Recipe: Renee's Favorite Bean Dip

White Bean Dip

19 oz. can of canelinii beans (drained)

2 cloves of fresh garlic or more depending on your garlic love

1/4 cup of olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


With those trusty electric beaters again combine drained beans and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Add your good quality extra virgin olive oil until well incorporated. Add your pepper and salt to taste.
Great protein rich dip to help keep me satisfied. I always get the whole grain pitas. I take each round pita get a pizza cutter and cut into bite size triangles. I then brush a light coating of olive oil on each side sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt.
I have also experimented and also love putting a little bit of rosemary for a different taste. I then put on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven until crisp but not burnt. Time varies but you do need to watch closely. Very simple and yummy!
Enjoy!
Nay:)

Recipe: Mini Cherry Cheescakes


Use 4 (8 oz.) Philadelphia brand cream cheese bricks
1 1/2 cup of sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla (no imatation here)
Around 36 Nilla brand vanilla wafers
1 can of cherry topping or water packed cherry pie topping, blueberry,peach, lemon curd with a few sprigs of grated lemon zest:)

Beat cream cheese until there is no lumps which is very important. I use hand electric beaters. Add the sugar, and then one egg at a time until blended. Add your oure vanilla extract.

Place paper cupcake liners in each muffin/cupcake hole and place 1 Nilla wafer in each liner. Pour batter until almost to top. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. Mine baked perfectly in 16 mintues. Time varies. I do place a glass pan filled with water underneath on the bottom rack to produce some moisture for the cheescakes.

Chill in fridge for at least 8 hours. Place your favorite topping on each before serving. Even the plain ones without topping are delish!

Enjoy:)

Nay

Thursday, May 15, 2008

~ Home Is Where The Heart Is ~

I see this saying many times but it is true HOME is where the heart is!

Nay :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Financial Times: Building A Nest Egg For The Future

With the financial instability at this point of what our future brings, it brings to my attention of what my family needs to focus on. What could I call this? A fresh start, or a budget and new savings plan? Whatever we all want to call it I need to start today as times might be changing Real soon!

With myself being a SAHM of four wonderful children I have felt the strain of a guilty conscience of what mistakes we have made with savings. Without proper advice and without looking into the different plans and intrest bearing accounts I am now looking into every possiable scenerio.

Many parents have built a large nest egg for their children. Numerous family members contributing to their little ones future, a little here and there with money being deposited when money is a little more plentiful. It makes me feel heard, and also understood when people give their time with our children instead of material items that seem to accumulate.Toys that are purchased with their hard earned money only to be in the trash because of ill care for them, or just plain because they are not made well. DVD's sitting on a shelf that have collected dust and really have no life lessons to teach my children. I just plain out feel guilty for depriving them of money that they could have had but chose to spend because they felt that was the best choice at the time. I do not feel bad when we are not given things.

I have felt so much joy in providing my close family, and friends with items that I have accumulated through the last few months. I feel great giving, even if it is thrifty, and not so much about the amount of money spent. My intentions are to show how much people mean to me, and for them to know that I have thought of them, yet doing this in a smart frugal kind of way.

I think that alot of us have struggled financially at some point of our lives. Some have lived pay check to paycheck for many years, and some folks have never struggled which I am very happy for them. It is easy to say our debt is from an illness, birth of a child, mortgage, a vehicle purchase and many other items that accumulate for potential financial disaster if the debt is not paid.

What is a family to do? Without the teachings from an experienced financial planner, or from the ministry of a family out of debt we need a better understanding of how money works and how we can use our money to help us make smarter choices for our future.

I am asking for input, on what works for your family what doesn't. I have learned a great amount of wealth through now many different blogs out there. I also have learned many life lessons, and alot of sincere encouragement through loyal readers of these blogs. Like others strolling on pay check to paycheck, I am strolling on by what feels right at this time, and what I have learned from others really making it work in their financial future.

May everyone that reads this thinks about what they have done to provide for their family's future.

Nay




Thursday, April 17, 2008

Over Population or Under Population?

Woman's Hands Holding World Globe by Angelo Cavalli
Woman's Hands Holding World Globe


This subject seems to be coming up alot on my mind latley. What is the truth? Can we find the REAL truth about where our mother earth is headed?
My Answer: I am not sure as every site I get to links to different scenarios from we are so populated here in the US that it is said we should limit child bearing only to one or two children, to we are making our way for an already underpopulated country. So what is the truth I ask?
My views on this is that I don't think the problem lies with bearing too many children. I feel the problem is what we are making of it. If we would gear ourselves more towards home life, more towards are family and not worry about the Jones's so much maybe we would consume less, drive less, waste less. Right as we speak everything has to be bigger, better, and newer.
A family with many children can clearly waste less, or learn to waste less then say, a single couple or a family with only one or two children. There are so many factors in why we have global warming and maybe that should be a very high priority in this next president's agenda. I say to officials if you want to talk the talk then step up to the plate and walk the walk.
I bet these officials that make their claims putting down larger families for our diminishing world are driving around in gas guzzling vehicles just like many other people. I also bet they use all the everyday conveniences like a lot of us that attributes to global warming as well, just like many of us.
There should be more companies providing communities with Eco-friendly adjustments into their daily lives while providing services with incentives. Showing people let's finally make a change, and stop blaming people for bearing children, but maybe blame people for what they are causing with their choices.
Where is this subject headed? What are your views?
Very curious Renee!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Laundry

Laundry on a clothesline by Steve Raymer
Laundry on a clothesline



Monday tips:
If you dry clothes in the dryer and you use either liquid fabric softener, or dryer sheets make sure once a week that you take out your lint trap, wash it in warm soapy water and let air dry before starting a load. All the softeners leave a film and not as much lint, hair, and particles stick to it. To test: Run your lint trap under water before you clean it and see how the water beads right off instead of going through the screen. Let's wash the lint traps!

Monday at Home

This week I am going through every one's clothing on each laundry day and assessing what are our needs for clothing now and for Summer. My 2 yr. old daughter went through a recent growth spurt and is 3T dresses, 3T shirts. She will also need shoes too. The other kids I have an idea of what needs to go in their closet and drawers but some things I know off the top of my head what they need.

Sometimes I wonder with only buying from thrift stores which is usually the Salvation Army, whether or not at times I am really saving money when the children need certain items. I hold out to purchase at a regular store because I am thrift and I am so use to buying used at used prices.

Today's agenda:

- Master bedroom including bedding (ideas on making my bedroom a haven)
- Master bath
- Our laundry
- Our walk in closet (which I have already 2 garbage bags of clothing and nonsense going that is clutter)
- Rachel's laundry

Breakfast: Egg salad sandwitches on toasted bread (made this for dh for his lunch today for work)
Lunch: Leftover Hamburgers, Hotdogs and Salad
Dinner: Tacos, Rice, and steamed veggies- mini cheescakes for dessert (all four children will be helping make these) Mint ice tea to drink

Renee

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Contentment


While the thoughts have been really on my mind lately, I am sad to say I struggle from time to time with being content. Being content in my eyes is being OK with your means in life. Your house, car, clothing, education, partner, children, and family, etc.

I sometimes feel like my mind wanders in a new direction wanting more, or wondering what would change if I had this or did something different. But then as I read blogs, stories of tragedy, and of loss I get back to my grounded self, and realize my life is wealthy with everything that I have. I have it all really, a roof over my head, food to eat, income coming in, and so many other things that we sometimes forget about. For example a dishwasher, electricity, a bathroom, running clean water.

Learning after others is the only key for me to realize that I can strive better but in a different way. Learning to be content and accessing wants over needs. A list of things off the top of my head that I will write down or I will forget with this mama brain of mine.

- Try to only make one trip a week for groceries, and other needed items. (Gas prices are going up)

- Reuse items that I have instead of buying all the time.

- Making each day of the week a special and fun day with our children. Every week switching the exciting fun for everyone to look forward to together as a family. Staying home can have perks that you don't need a car to get to.

Picnic day (inside or outside) Make your own Sundae day, Craft Day, Book Day (read to your children, and let them read to you under a kids tent made by them) Pick a toy or game day- ( Each kid pick a a toy, or game that the parents plays with each child for a certain amount of time) Movie night with all the fixing's... buttered popcorn and favorite drinks. Root Beer Float night- can we say more?

More later!
Renee :)

Irish Chicken Stew (Crockpot)

Cut about 3 chicken breasts into 1-1/2" to 2" chunks. Dredge chicken in a combination of 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dried parsley, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder; Saute till lightly in butter (not margarine). Add in crock pot 2 cups of chicken broth (homemade is best!). Add a sliced onion, sliced carrots, and diced potatoes. Cook in crock pot on low for 8 hrs. or until done. This very good over rice. I also like to have a salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Yummy, and pretty easy!

Renee :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Grandma's Red Potato Salad

Here is my grandmom Helen's red potato recipe. She passed away from cancer when I was in 2nd grade. So making this makes me think of her. I could eat this all the time but with everything this girl needs moderation!

Red Potato Salad

Cook approx. 5 lbs. red skin potato's (halve or quarter with skin on) for approx. 35 min. in boiling salted water. Test for doneness (should be cooked not mushy) Cool; Peel off skin. Add chopped onion, and 2 hard boiled eggs. Combine 2 cups of Hellman's mayo full fat kind with some sugar and about 2 tablespoons of Gulden's brown mustard, add a little celery seed to your liking. It should taste a little sweet. Toss mixture with potato's, egg, and onion. Add crisp bacon to the mixture. Mix well. Put in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Yummy! This is great for bbq's.The mixture of mayo, sugar and gulden's mustard is also the same mixture I use for egg salad, and deviled eggs minus the celery seed and other things.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Love Binders!


I have really enjoyed the benefits of keeping binders in my homemaking journey. Currently as we speak I have 3 binders.

- Coupons:

I have a take along to take with me that fits in my purse.

- Ideas:

* I clip pictures of decorating ideas, products, and articles and put them in clear sleeves for future reading.

- Home Management:

* Weekly cleaning schedule- Keeps me straight but I have been known to come off of this when sick, or something unexpectedly happens in the day. But I always know where to get back on track.
* House paint list- Keeps track of what paint we used in each room so no guessing.
* Menu lists- Broken into breakfast,lunch, dinner, snacks & sides.
* My husband's packing lists- For our tree service which I hand out also to our employees for reference if they need it. This I made up so when they have a short notice of a few hours before they leave for hurricane, and storm cleanup they can think of one less thing.
* Children's clothing lists- Keeps track of clothing so we don't have too much, or too little.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Goodbye Winter! Hello Spring!







Winter weather this year brought fun snow days, slick ice that homebounded us, and great family time together. Our most memorable highlight of winter was our family trip on our mountain to cut a tree for Christmas.

The kids and I sat in our utility cart that was pulled by my husbands ATV. It was like a hayride but better! We even brought our two great dane doggies Dutchess, and Shane. I realize now that with the passing of our sweetie Dutchess that she had spent great family time with us in her last months.


Renee (Nay)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

These Feet Were Made For Cleaning





This morning three out of my four children, and I washed the floors with our cleaning rags, and our feet. We slid all around like we were ice skating, and had a ball cleaning together. Who says cleaning has to always be with a mop, or on hands and knees?

:)Nay

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sleepytime

Do we need words?

Chicken Noodle Soup:)



My dear husband has been working so hard with our tree service business these past few weeks. He is run down, tired, and bone chilled. What to do? Take it easy, somehow get more sleep, and take in some homemade chicken soup. Warming, and nourishing especially during these very cold days of winter.

The start of the soup is simmering on the stove right as I am typing. Homemade stock first off with:

- chicken
- carrots,celery,onion
- water
- bay leafs
- fresh garlic
- coarse salt
- pepper
- parsley
- poultry seasong
- seasoned salt without msg

After straining veggies put stock in fridge and fat will rise and you can skim that off for better health. I also put a dash of vinegar into my stock whent he chicken carcass is simmering it. A good book to read Nourishing Traditions. Some things I very well agree with others I am so so on.

Cheers to warming health!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bristle Block Creation



My 13 year old son made this carrige with bristle blocks. It reminds me of a pioneer carriage back in the old days.He is quite creative with any type of building material he can get his hands on.

He made a homemade bow with string and a large stick the other day when he was outside playing. Little did he know that it was poison sumac. So we will look for the fuzz before using any type of wood material from our outdoor playland.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Following In Mother's Footsteps?


I found this picture from a few months ago. My daughter found the tub of Vaseline. That was fun! Dawn did say on the bottle gets the grease out. It worked beautifully four washings later. Now I see why they wash wildlife caught in oil slicks in Dawn detergent.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our wedding in 2001




My husband and I in Spring of 2001. I was 21 years old, and my husband was 29 years old. There's Austin he was 6 years old then. Awwww... memories!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Clothing



Just thought I would list some clothing brands that I really like, and what works for us.

Hanna Andersson

I saw on a blog just a little while ago that she likes Hanna Andersson clothing. The clothing from this company is in no way thrift store pricing.I have bought a few pieces from ebay well below what I would have paid new, and also I have had my luck at our local Salvation Army finding their playdresses,baby zippers, long johns (husband can voucher for these)cotton zip up jackets, and shirts.

Hanna Andersson: What works for us~
- cotton playdresses
- adult and kid/baby long johns
- baby zippers
- cotton sweatshirt jackets
- cotton shirts

Old Navy-


Old Navy is great for their soft cotton pieces,and their socks. But you really have to either go to their store, or be lucky and get them used which I always seem to do for the feel test. Their socks are very soft,and wash so well that they have went from one child down to the next. Their cotton shirts I like because they do not cling. They have scoop neck, and v-necks. I also like their long layering camis for under shirts.These are such a great investment in black and white for basics.

The best hat I have come across by far especially for toddlers/babies who don't care for hats is from Old Navy. They sell fleece hats that have a under chin strap. The hat keeps head warm, ears warm and under the chin. A+!

I have found a few pj sets with the top and matching bottom at thrift stores and I snatch them up when I know I can use them. If it's not at a great price I head to Walmart....



Old Navy: What works for us~
- kids/baby cotton socks (fold-over)
- basic long and short sleeve shirt
- children/baby hats (love these!)

Walmart-

Walmart is a great place if you want cheap, new, and snuggly soft cotton wear for your little ones. I love their brand Child Of Mine. It is just like Carter's but cheaper. Their company is another division of Carter's by the way. I buy a few footed cotton sleepers for newborns. Do newborns need to be in elaborate dress? And my favorite blanket by far is the Child Of Mine cotton baby receiving blanket. Talk about washable. So soft! With any baby or child I think the softer the better. But with some cottons they tend to get scratchy after a few washings not these.

My daughters wear alot of dresses so tights are a basic for us. I go for the George brand tights. I am pretty basic though cream, black, and white. Ok! so I don't get crazy over the colors but I do switch patterns smooth, ribbed, cableknit, lol! I like them all.

Walmart: What works for us~
- Child of Mine brand clothing
- Child of Mine cotton blankets
- George tights for babies/children

Lands End-

Oh! Lands's End your little girl cotton dresses are cute, comfy, wash well, and are modest. Everything all wrapped up. My 2 yr. old daughter above has a Lands End dress on in this picture. I am luck again to find these from time to time but not often in thrift stores. I also like their one piece's that button down for easy diaper changes.

Lands End: What works for us~

- Cotton short/long sleeve dresses
- One piece little girl outfits
- Women Tankinis (no belly showing)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Drastic Toy De-Clutter Day


This morning we awoke to sleet and another day off of school. What to do other then our daily schedule? Drastic Toy De-Clutter Day! I had all four children empty all toys from their playroom, plus their room which my 5 yr. old daughter shares with my 4 yr. old son.

I was just in complete shock when I looked at that pile let me tell you. The children had to learn a hard lesson: Too much toys cause a lot of bad things. So off they layed on the floor organizing and helping each other choose what to keep, and what to get rid of.

I currently have a few piles: Salvation Army (donation), dumpster (toys broken, or major pieces missing) and the keep piles. As far as needing organizing containers I will be on the lookout for things at the thrift store.

I will post more pictures of the progress :)