Monday, July 30, 2012

The Pool Is Finally Ready

For the past two or three years,  our above ground swimming pool has been a frog pond:(  The filter was broken,  the pump was broken and hubby didn't have the "ponds" ready to transfer his precious frogs to.  Well, the "ponds" still aren't finished, but I've had enough of the frogs, so I finally got hubby on my page and we decided to fix the pool for the kiddos - the froggies are on their own!!!

After a day of pumping and dumping out NASTY, and I do mean NASTY, algae tadpole filled water and many, many trips to Pool Pro; we finally had everything we needed to get it up and running.  THEN, there was a hole in the liner, and hubby broke the pump (AGAIN), I had to make another trip to Pool Pro, and football practice started!!  I thought hubby would never get it together.  So, I took matters into my own hands.  Hubby had pretty much placed everything where it needed to go, so I grabbed Mr Helper and got started.  After what seemed like FOREVER in the hot sun,  we got it all put together, let it sit the required 3-4 four hours so the silicone could dry, filled it up with water, PRAYED, and then turned it on.

 HALLELUJAH - It worked.  No major leaks,  but a valve is cracked, so ANOTHER trip to Pool Pro!!  That hasn't stopped us from swimming though, it's just a little leak!!
Finally, some summer fun in our "frog pond". 

Another Busy Week

Only two more days left in July?  Really, where does the time go?  This week proves to be another busy week in our house.  Football is in full swing around here, practice three days a week with some events on Saturdays.  This means juggling schedules and children to get everyone where they are suppose to be, all while trying to get housework done, meals fixed, laundry finished, getting ready for the next year of school, and WORK (yep, still have to do that to do everything else). 

Thankful I was able to get a bit of organizing done last week.  I think this week will be focused on the everyday cleaning and LAUNDRY!!  It's not as easy as some think to keep 8 people in clean clothes, esp. when three of those are girls who like to change clothes at least three times a day!!! 

Meals will be SUPER easy this week.  As a matter of fact,  the boys and daddy only snack before football practice, so meals will consist of things like fresh fruit, veggies, and finger foods like pepperoni rolls, chicken tacos, chicken nuggets, etc. on those nights. 

Here goes the plan for the week:

Monday - FOOTBALL practice = fresh fruit and chicken tacos

Tuesday - FOOTBALL practice and the girls are having a sleep over = fruit and chicken nuggets

Wednesday - CHURCH = crockpot pork chops, mac n cheese, green beans, rolls

Thursday - FOOTBALL practice (and I work all day) = PIZZA night

Friday - teen outing for daddy and the boys and birthday party at Chuck E Cheese for me, the girls, and baby.

Saturday - hotdogs and burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, fruit salad

Sunday - I work, so it will be Zaxby's for everyone else after church!!

I'm tired already!!!  Hope everyone has a fun and productive week!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let's Get It Cleaned Up - Day 3

Yesterday showed a little more progress and I got to use POWER TOOLS!!!!!  That's right,  I used hubby's power tools, without him even knowing (well, until Mr Gamer told on me). I think I did a pretty good job too. 

Let's start with what the two closets looked like before I started:

 This is the kitchen closet (pantry).  That's so embarrassing!! It most certainly was a "catch-all", throw it in there closet.    I don't even use a swiffer anymore.
 One of my little helpers had already tore everything out of the hallway closet before I got a picture, but you probably have a pretty good idea of what it looked like.

 This closet is where the power tools came into play.  I cut the two shelves and the boards to hold the shelves up.  I'm so proud!!  Then,  I had a couple of hooks and put them under the shelves to hold my work bags and cooler bags.  The shelves are to hold cleaning stuff, paper towels, reusable shopping bags, and sweeper parts.  I cut the shelves a little short so that I could put my steamer and floor vac in there as well.
 The hallway closet is suppose to be for towels and linens, however, there were all kinds of things in there. We sorted and folded and I'm pretty pleased with the results.
The floor can store our carpet vac, spot steamer, and extra bathroom necessities.  Now,  if I can get everyone to keep it this way.  

Today's task is a little more paper oriented.  My hubby owns a small business and a lot of his paperwork is scattered over my living room on two tables.  The goal today is to sort through and put info into the computer, so he can file some of that stuff away and get it out of the main part of our house.  Oh,  and continuing on in our bedroom.  It's a mess in there.  However,  I'm afraid it will be until we get the shelves in the closets.  I have NOWHERE to put our clothes, so they are in baskets all around our room.  SOMEDAY!!!! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let's Get It Cleaned Up - Day 2

Well, as usual, yesterday did NOT go as planned.  I only got one of my three tasks completed :(  I started out pretty well, but then had to run an errand for hubby,  a dear friend came over with her two children, fix supper, football practice (for the boys, not me lol), swimming, showers and bed.  By then,  I was ready to fall in the bed myself. 

However,  I was able to keep the sink cleaned out, the counters cleaned off, and I did get the main bathroom drawers and cabinets cleaned out and organized.  Here are the before pictures.  Be warned,  it wasn't pretty!!!

Everything was just kinda thrown in there,  what a mess.  It is amazing anyone could find anything in there. 


I filled an entire garbage bag with things out of these drawers and cabinets.  Once again, the challenge will be getting everyone to keep them like this!!!  Now, on to today's challenge: the kitchen pantry, the hallway closet, and hopefully my bedroom!!  If you don't hear from me in the next couple days,  send out the search and rescue!!! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's Get It Cleaned Up - Day 1

So,  I have to admit it,  I do not like housework.  I could go as far to say I hate housework,  but since I don't let my children say they hate things,  I guess I can't do that.  I can tell you I've NEVER liked housework,  I would rather be outside mowing grass than cleaning a toilet!!!  However,  with 8 people living in this house,  someone has to oversee the chores, and being MOM,  I guess that someone is me!!

There is only about 3 full weeks left before the "normal" schools get back into session,  so I'm taking a couple rooms each week and getting them cleaned up and "organized".  The trick here will be keeping the completed rooms together while moving on.  I'm going to document the progress (or lack thereof) here to keep myself honest. 

Week 1, Day 1  -  Kitchen counters

I'm ashamed to say my kitchen counters are the catch all for EVERYONE!!  I could try to explain it,  but it's easier to just show you. 

 Ignore the mess under the sink,  I cannot help that!  There were some flooring and plumping issues that had to be taken care of and the built-in cabinets were pretty much tore apart.  I'm awaiting new doors to be put up, but in the mean time, I may get a curtain to cover that up!! Note the 2 dishwashers and I still have dirty dishes in my sink :(
 The counter right beside the front door, notice my purse and camera (shame on me).
The appliance counter that seems to also be the snack counter!!??

I went into cleaning mode and it took all of 45 minutes to get the counters cleaned off, wiped off, and what was suppose to go on them back.  The other stuff was either put away or just "moved" to another location, waiting on that rooms turn!!

 Much less clutter, only the canisters, silver fruit bowl, silver ware holders, baby monitor, and a candle!!
 No dishes in the sink!! 
Only the appliances on the appliance counter!!  
While this counter still seems a little cluttered,  it is the bread, chips, and paper products spot!  At least the purse and camera were put away!!

Today's challenge is the small pantry cabinet in the kitchen, the main bathroom cabinet, and my bedroom!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let's Get Hopping!!

Checking out some other blogs.  I love to find new recipes and new ideas.  Let's get HOPPING!!  Feel free to hop around my blog.

Fabulous Friday Foto

I'm so glad I can say that now.  For about the past 5 years,  I have worked every Friday night, 12 hours shifts,  on my feet......well, you get the picture.  I was able to cut it to only every other Friday for the past year,  but praise the Lord,  I don't have to work night shift at all (unless I choose to), and I haven't worked a Friday period in over a month.  Time to spend with the family doing normal Friday night things: watching movies,  eating popcorn, going out with the hubby, and it's about that time for FOOTBALL.  So excited.

I also love taking pictures,  and I found this fabulous friday fotos   over at  .

  So,  here are my Fabulous Friday Fotos, taken this week while we were visiting family in WV :

Beautiful View - 
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads

My crew!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Operation Kitten Rescue July 13, 2012

This is what my Friday the 13th revolved around. 

Isn't she cute?  I'm a softy, I admit it!!  I get this call from one of my boys at their dad's shop.  He asked me to bring milk and some cat food for this little kitten that has been hanging around.  As you all know,  if you feed them,  they will stay!!!  But,  being the good mommy I was, I took him just what he asked for, after all,  it wasn't at the house!! 

Of course the story doesn't end there.  I get to the shop,  see this poor, sad-lookin', little kitty with drainage in her eyes and a nasty wound on her neck.  She doesn't even look old enough to be away from her momma.  How in the world is she gonna survive?  My boys of course are doing the "can we keep her"  bit and all I'm thinking is, she'll never make it here,  she'll get hit on the road.  BUT,  what if she has some terrible kitty disease?  I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on this little kitten. 

Here's where my loving boys come in.  They want to keep little kitten (now named Roxy) so they offer to pay the vet bills up to $200.00 ($100.00 each).  Aren't they sweet?  So, off to the vet we go.  Turns out,  Roxy is about 4-5 weeks old,  in very good health for a stray, with an upper respiratory infection, and apparently some pretty nasty puncture wounds (most likely where another animal bit her).  We are sent home with eye drops and antibiotics that she has to have 2-3 times per day and another appointment in 2 weeks. 

Roxy's first road trip is to see grandma in WV.  We had to go pick up our girls and couldn't very well leave this little thing in the house without her medicine,  so she came along.  Turns out, she's a pretty loving little thing and likes LOTS of attention.  Good thing there are 6 kiddos at my house who are willing to give her just that!!

Welcome to the family Roxy!!  Hope you're a good kitty!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Southwestern Steak Marinade

I love summer time grilling.  It is one of the only things I truly enjoy about summer.  Hubby does most of the grilling.  It's a guy thing, I think.  I gladly turn it over to him anytime!!! 

Here's a great marinade I found, just tweaked a bit:

        1/4 cup lime juice
         3/4 tsp garlic powder
         4 tsp chilli powder
         4 tsp canola oil
         1 tsp salt
         1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (cut this in half if you don't want "spicy" steaks)
         1 tsp black pepper

Mix it all together and let marinade for at least an hour, longer is better!! 

Get your grill ready!!  Ours takes a little longer since we have charcoal, but we love the smokey flavor it provides.  Then, grill the steaks to your liking.  My family prefers medium,  that's why hubby does most of the grilling because I tend to "overcook" them; not burnt mind you, just well done. 

 Delicious!!!  We had grilled corn on the cob, green beans, and watermelon with ours.  We will definitely be using this marinade again (may even try it on chicken). 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jello Flavored Popcorn

In continuing with my carnival party theme, we made some flavored popcorn.  At first,  we had hoped to get a popcorn machine to have at the party,  but that didn't work out.  Probably just as well since we really didn't have anyone to run it and hand out the popcorn.  This worked out pretty well and the popcorn was delicious.  The blue was berry blast, the pink was watermelon, and the red was strawberry.  I think we had around 40 containers of the popcorn and this was all that was left!

To make the popcorn you need:
       10 cups popped popcorn
        1 3oz package fruit flavored jello mix
        1/2 cup butter
        3/4 cup sugar
        1 tbsp corn syrup
        3 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease a 1/4 sheet pan or 2 8X12 inch baking dishes.  Generously butter a heavy 2 quart saucepan.

Spread the popcorn out evenly on the greased baking dish.

In the prepared suacepan, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, water, and jello mix.  Stirring constantly,  bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes.

Pour mixture over the popcorn and stir until coated.  Place popcorn in oven and bake 5 minutes; stir then bake 5 minutes more.  You will need to watch this step carefully as oven temps vary.  When this burns,  it turns a nasty brown/black shade and does not look very appetizing!!

Once done,  pour popcorn out onto large piece of foil to cool,  then break up into clusters, and serve.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Popcorn Cupcakes

Such a cute idea!  Guess where I found it?  On the internet of course.  I wish I could take credit for it,  but I'm just not that creative on my own.  However,  when we decided on the carnival theme,  I thought these would be PeRfEcT!!  And,  I was right (as usual)!!

Quite simply mix up your favorite white or yellow cupcake recipe, top with white icing (we used cream cheese), and then popcorn???  The popcorn is simply mini-marshmallows cut almost in half (you just want to snip one end, but not all the way through) and then the other end is pinched together making them look like popcorn.  Then, dilute yellow food coloring and brush on top making it look buttered. 

They were a hit for the most part.  The funniest part of the entire party was one little girl would NOT eat them because she thought it really was popcorn and popcorn does not go on cupcakes.  So very cute.  We were unable to convince her they were just marshmallows.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Carnival Birthday Party

I've been a little absent lately,  but I've have a good excuse.  I've been super busy!!  There's the new job,  6 kids, trying to get the house cleaned up and a new coat of paint on a couple rooms,  and of course......  the big birthday bash.  Two of my girls have the same birth date 2 years apart, and their cousin (hubby's sister's girl) was born on the very same day as Princess 1.  So far, they enjoy celebrating their birthdays together.  This year's theme was a carnival.  It was a lot of work,  but with the help of Grandma, Aunt Marsha, and the hubbies,  we pulled it off. 

Here's a look at some of the fun!!  I'll post a couple of the recipes and party ideas later.

 The Birthday Girls!!
 Welcome to the Birthday Carnival.
 Let the games begin!!
 Popcorn cupcakes?
 A lot of hot air there :)
The ticket cake.  It was suppose to have "Admit" and then their names.  However,  in the midst of our rearranging rooms to paint,  I had misplaced my cake decorating tips!!  I had to "wing it"!!  This is the best I could do with a sandwich baggie!!  Not too bad.

All in all,  I think it turned out really well.  It was super HOT,  but it could have been worse.  I believe the kids had fun,  and I'm exhausted!!