Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's for dinner...

Much to the disgust of the children, I've harvested some beautiful bountiful bundles of brussels! Can't wait to steam these up with a little garlic butter! This will be our last harvest until our spring garden comes in. Time to turn everything under and get ready for planting again!


While waiting for my hundredth load of laundry to dry, I put together a few scrapbook pages. I'm off from work this weekend and it is one of my goals to get everything from Thanksgiving til now creatively documented and scrapped (we'll see how THAT goes!) Check back in a couple of days for more!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hiding in my pantry...

I found this when I opened up my pantry door this morning:

Not sure if the intention was to hide the toy monster from another sibling or to scare me! It made my morning, though!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My "new" mirrors

I finally woke up from my melatonin induced coma and made the garage sale rounds this morning. I got this cute pair of mirrors ($5), an awesome sheet set-of which I'm going to make some more lounge pants ($1), a linen table runner ($1), and a rolling pin:

I knew just where I wanted my mirrors and put them up as soon as I got home. Doug thinks I should leave them as they are, but I think I should paint them with black laquer to match the frames. What do you think?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Welcome to my day

Last night, I had the brilliant idea of taking some melatonin to help me sleep better. I figured if the recommended dosage of one tablet worked, then two must really work good! So I take two and have a blissful night's sleep. I get up at 7:30 am, and although a little groggy, I go about my day. I nodded off while making my morning cup of tea and actually fell asleep when checking my email! I have been in a fog all day totally unable to physically keep my eyes open! I finally gave up and went to take a "short" nap around 2pm....I just woke up now at 6pm! It's going to be a looooong night tonight!
While I was napping on the couch, Shorty, the neighborhood dog, hopped up on the couch and snuggled up on my bum (much to John Paul and Danny's delight!)
Thanks to Doug for taking this lovely picture of me and for letting me sleep allll day long!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Overheard at our house...

The other evening, John Paul was asking if he could play outside with the neighbors the next day. I said he could, but he'd have to wait until after 3pm when they got home from school. Ryan piped up and said, "Not tomorrow, it's MLK day and the kids are out of school." There was a bit of whispering and then Ryan exclaimed, "No Kyle, ALL the kids are out of school, not just the black ones!"
Hey, we don't call him "Special K" for nothin'!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Make mine grilled cheese

Thanks to Dawn at the Three B's, I took this little quiz!
Hmmm....I wonder if I can put grilled cheese in my bento?
You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.
In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.
You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!

Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich

Breakfast & Lunch Bentos

Trying out my new bentos for breakfast and lunch tomorrow! Packed away is instant oatmeal and peach halves for breakfast, then shrimp eggrolls, sticky rice and chicken with sweet and sour sauce for lunch. It really is a nice little treat to sit down to neatly packed (and cute!) food for lunch...especially when one works a 12 hour shift!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The birds

Our birds have returned! The feeders have been full for a week, with just visits from the squirls, but today we had the return of our favorite birds: Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadee, and several pairs of Mourning Doves. They have been busily eating at the feeders all morning, even fighting each other for prime perches! The Mourning Doves line the grass below the feeders gleaning the seeds that fall. I could sit in the rocking chair and watch my little birds all day long!
...and speaking of gleaning, I think I'll borrow some ideas from this family as we start our own birding lapbooks:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Out in the garden...

This is what happens when you neglect your garden for a week!
Your broccoli goes to flower:

and your cabbage splits open:

Thankfully, the brussel sprouts don't mind being neglected!

I guess I'm spending the afternoon trying to salvage what I can and freeze it! While I'm in the garden, I'll also be snipping rose hips. You can snip and clean these little goodies and dry them in brown paper bags over the next few weeks.
When dried, you can steep them in boiling water for a mild woodsy tea that is packed with vitamin C! Just in time for cold season!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Bunch of Sickos!

A nasty 12 hour stomach bug is making it's way through the Creamer household. Thankfully, Doug and Danny have thus far escaped it's wrath. Doug has been WONDERFUL at caring for everyone! You know it's true love when he holds your hair back while you're violently puking! His poor hands are raw from washing them and cleaning everything we touch with bleach water! Today, we seem to be on the mend and I have the kids on pallettes in the living room watching movies for the remainder of the day. I'm sure that qualifies me as a bad mother, but I'm going to be joining them on the couch shortly!
Please say a prayer for us, especially Doug and his mom! This morning he got a call that his mother wasn't feeling well and he went over to take her to the doctor. I'm sure he'll be at her house the rest of the day helping her...
God bless my husband, he's a good man!

Monday, January 14, 2008

My birthday gift to myself!

I went to ebay in search of some bentos and accessories and found this cute little set! It's a small two tiered set with chopsticks and a case. I also purchased these little sauce containers, rice molds, pics and an extra bag. Now I'm rumagging through the pantry looking for something cute to pack for lunch tomorrow in my new bento! If you are looking for bentos, check out seller Aramonoya on ebay or at her website

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Family Altar

I just gave our family altar a good dusting and cleaning and thought I'd share with you:

It's an old bookcase that I made a cover for from a very large remnant. I made the small white cloth and several other identical ones in blue, purple and red to celebrate the liturgical feast days. We did have a green one, but it was involved in an unfortunate candle accident!

Our altar is located in our family room and it helps to keep us mindful that God is always present in our home!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I love a man in uniform!

Doug and Ryan recently joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) which is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Through CAP, they will be serving our community in a variety of projects as well as learning about aerospace and engineering. Their wing could be called up in the event of disaster to perform search and rescue or humanitarian aid. Ryan is hoping to log enough flight hours by the time he finishes high school to earn his pilot's license! I think this will be a good thing for Ryan, it has the potential to channel his energies into a fulfilling career, along with teaching him self discipline and working for a common good!
Check it out at:

Is it just me, or does my baby look 25 yrs. old?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Play Day

The weather has been just beautiful this week so we scrapped the school books for one day and played hookey! The Colorado River runs right through Wharton on it's way to the Gulf and there is a great little park perched on it's banks. We took a picnic lunch and played all afternoon...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bean Sprouts

I love bean sprouts! I finally got around to sprouting the mung beans we got from the Asian market. They add a great texture to sandwiches, wraps, soups, etc. You can sprout just about any dried bean. Our favorites are lentils and mung, and here's how you do it:
Put 1/4 C. beans in a jar, rinse a couple of times, then fill the jar and allow to soak overnight:

The next day, drain the water and rinse again. Poke several holes in the lid or wrap the jar opening in cheesecloth and a rubber band. The idea is to let air flow through the jar. I usually lay the jar on it's side in a warm part of the kitchen. Rinse the beans daily in the jar and in a couple of days you will have sprouts! When the sprouts are as big as you want them to be, stop rinsing and place in the fridge to slow the growth and to keep fresh. The sprouts will last a little over a week stored this way. As you can see, 1/4C. beans yields a packed jar full of sprouts!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Make your own kettle corn!

Doug bought me a digital camera for Christmas and it has a video feature! I decided to try it out and show you how to make your own kettle corn at home. We LOVE kettle corn and now we can make it ourselves for just pennies a batch! Have fun watching our little video!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Feeding my addiction...

Hi, my name is JoAnn and I'm a thrift store addict.
The local thrift stores reopened today after the holidays and I couldn't help but get out and see what they had to offer! I think I scored pretty darn well:

From left to right: Five boxes of stationary and cards ($3), three tart pans ($2 for the set), a nice sturdy basket ($1), two brass candle sticks ($1 each), a sweet little oil painting of roses in a vase (.75), six small metal frames (.25 each), a decorative birdhouse and canister ($1 each), and some vintage children's books (5 for a buck!)
Then I found a kitchy little table for ten dollars:

I got home and packed away all the Christmas decorations, then set up this little thrifty vignette in the corner of the den:

So pardon me while I go make some hot chocolate, curl up under the afghan with the little ones and read books all afternoon....
Good way to start the new year if you ask me!