Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack! Barack! Barack!

I wept through his infomercial tonight. Based on what it was called (infomercial?) I was fully expecting to call in to order a handheld sewing machine or a meat roaster or something.

We are so close.

And this charismatic man could be our president, in just a few days?

This beautiful family could live in our White House. This gorgeous dream. They could make it happen.

When I think of the magnitude. Of the historical significance.

The hair on my arms stands on end.

I'm teaching government this year for the first time (our social studies units run in four-year rotations and the government units always fall on election years, it is so fun!). My students now know the issues, the party platforms, and which candidate stands for what. They can name the democratic and republican party candidates and they can state which candidate falls in line with their beliefs.

I'm not allowed to share my personal opinion. With them.

I will tell you.
I am SO excited. So excited. That Barack Obama, he makes me happy. Tomorrow his ballot will go in the mail, I'm voting for BARACK!

In closing - an anecdote.

Our five-year old, B, to her father this evening. "I voted for Barack Obama to run around for our president. We did it at school and you can talk about it with your family but you can't talk about it at school because who you voted for is a secret and we'll find out who won at our school but I voted for that Barack to run around as president because we watched that on the tv so I hope he wins Evan talked about it and you're not supposed to so he got in trouble but I would tell him I voted for that Barack Obama because he should really run around for our president."

Amen, sister.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

We had a little Halloween party this weekend. The Hubs' sister, myself, and our five kids (her three, my two) made these spiders and created this web. We also ate pumpkin shaped sandwiches and jello with eyeballs for lunch. It was a great way to spend the day, while the dads were off hunting.

Then yesterday, the kids and I made a beautiful yellow cake that was, I think, a little bit healthy. You use pumpkin and yogurt with the cake mix. It's one of those Deceptively Delicious recipes from Jessica Seinfeld. I'm not sure if the cake is just that good (it is really, really good) or if I'm just being tricked because I used cream cheese frosting and I'd eat just about anything if it had cream cheese frosting.

Then tonight I made a quick and easy meal, which I felt deserved a mention. I'm skeptical of all quick and frozen meals because I'm terribly picky about mystery meat. I don't really like the chicken that comes in any of those frozen throw-together meals. Well, tonight I tried one and was not disappointed. The meat was not scary, the sauce was delicious, and it was truly quick and easy to make. It did not make a lot, so if your kids eat more than mine (which is not much at all) then you'd probably need two, which would be a little expensive. Anyway, Aliki just got me thinking the other day about easy meals for "those" days. And this meal would be perfect to have on hand just for that. Obviously not for the vegetarians in the bunch, but delicious all the same. My kids didn't really eat it because a) it's not orange mac n cheese and b) garlic = too spicy. Sigh. The Hubs and I thought it was yummo. The kids ate bread and butter and fruit. Whatever.

If you haven't checked out Family Education, you should. Aliki's blog there is great. She's informative, insightful, and educational. All of that while also being crafty and a creative cook. Alliteration anyone?
I digress. Go check her out.

This post was brought to you by no one. While it contains a few of my opinions, I received no free samples from T.G.I.Fridays, nor am I drumming up business for Family Education. I just like Aliki's writing, that's all. I'm just spreading the love, ya know?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Carving Day

Pumpkin carving has become an annual tradition. One that I particularly look forward to. Not just because roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite foods, but that is definitely important!

A quick trip to the grocery store, for our pumpkins to carve.

A long task of getting each precious seed from the ooey-gooey, as my children fondly referred to it.

Little man tried to use utensils.

B's design was ridiculously complicated, including spectacles for her jack-o-lantern. Her father obliged, being wrapped around her little finger as he is.

The Grand Finale. Yummmm!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm Aware

I didn't know that I would cry so much this month.

I lost my mentor and dear friend last Thanksgiving to breast cancer. I'd never known someone so brave.

I assumed that Thanksgiving would be difficult this year, thinking of Jacque. I didn't realize that the entire month of October would leave me crying puddles. Tearing up at the most unexpected times. At times, it feels so good to just let it out. Sometimes, I just get so sad.

It all started with Christina Applegate and Susan G. Komen's sister, Nancy, on Oprah. I don't usually watch, but did catch this episode. I didn't realize that I'd have to shut it off so that I could stop sobbing. I didn't know.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have been able to support breast cancer research when a friend at school hosted Lee Denim Day. And when a cousin ran the Race for the Cure. It feels good to get involved, even if it's not directly.

I assume that I will know others in my life who are diagnosed with breast cancer. It could even be me. The thing to remember is the hope. The fight. The survivors.

I'm a better person for knowing Jacque. I want to be a better person in her loving memory. No one ever wants to lose a best friend. I'm so very glad to have had that friend.

Even if it leaves me in tears every October from now to the end.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

I had read back in the summertime about Small Notebooks No Spend Month. Wow.

Last winter I did a piggy bank challenge and was fairly successful.

So now we're gearing up for Christmas and I'm issuing a new challenge for MYSELF. No extra spending this month. That includes clothes, movies, toys, trinkets, etc. We can buy fuel, pay bills, groceries, and necessary toiletries. That's it.

What I'm hoping is that we will be better prepared for Christmas and feeling less of the crunch if we stick to the bill-paying and stop purchasing things to improve our homes, lives, and so on.

I'll let you know how it goes. ;0)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

81 Days

It's not even Halloween yet, and I'm thinking Christmas. I'll tell you why.
I often just live in the moment and the season sort of knocks me over. I get overwhelmed and am maybe not able to enjoy it without stressing. I feel like I'm going to really celebrate this year with a little bit of organized planning. Not to mention, our break starts a full five days before the holiday this year, when we've only got two or three most years. I'm thinking of the gift wrapping, music playing, Christmas baking that I'll be doing in those days and it makes my heart sing!

There's a web site that I've been enjoying. 100 Days to Christmas. Of course, now it's down to 81 or something like that, and I've only been a few times. I know I'll use it more as we get closer.

Another goal I hope to accomplish by organizing my thoughts ahead of time is simplifying and staying in some sort of budget. Unfortunately we've dipped into our Christmas savings more than once and I don't have as much as I had hoped. But still, I want to make some gifts, use my talents, and show the true spirit of giving through a little extra effort and planning. Rather than grabbing some random gift at Target the week of Christmas because I've neglected someone on my list!

What are your planning goals this year? Do you budget? What works for you? I'm curious...