Thursday, January 27, 2011


The first time I heard this word was when we started doing the newspapers. It appeared to mean that the area was unable to be serviced, I just assumed they couldn't find someone willing. That seemed to be the case with the route we acquired, part was to be deemed "unserviceable", since no one would be willing to driver the 9 miles. Well today I discovered that that is not what it means.  It means that we have made a corporate decision not to service that area even if it is possible.  Today is the last day the people of our town will have a chance to buy the paper as we have been warned that they will take the route if the papers are made available.  I may be wrong but aren't newspaper companies going out of business because of the lack of sales?  I guess we know why . . .

In other news, we got another car, the gas mileage on the van is ridiculously low.  It was your typical story, we were looking on craigslist for a car and found 2 possible options and after thinking we had a deal, the seller backed out at the last minute.  Bummed we began looking for another and we found one, freshly listed, 30 mins closer and began text messaging the owner for about 2 hours.  The following morning Dh went to test drive it and was able to get a great deal.

God is a God if even the little details so even though we didn't know it then, it turned out that the exact amount that we needed to pay off the Focus, is the difference between the cost of the one we thought we had a deal on and the one we bought. :)  Oh and wait till you see it

I may have mentioned, God is big on even the little details :)  I was stunned by the sliver strip, it was a great little touch to remind us that He will always take care.  

Well, that's it on this end for now, we are working on getting all the kids bikes.  Turns out this is a great time to buy them at a good price.  We can't buy all at once but we have gotten 3 so far and have 3 more to go, once we are done we should have just about every size, lol :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

busy busy busy

I've been busy so here are some pics to pass the time :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Newspaper route

I remember seeing kids on tv having paper routes and it seemed like such a great thing, a way to teach a kid responsibility and give them some freedom while earning some money. That was not an option for most of us growing up outside of the US. I had even given it a try when I moved to the US, but it wasn't very practical with a small child in tow so I didn't really get past the 1st day . . . I think. As you know, now that I at home money is much tighter and we are always exploring ways to add more streams of income. About a month ago Dh got to talking with the guy who delivers to his work and he mentioned that he was giving up his route, it seemed like such an easy gig dh and I figured why not.

Ok, let me start by saying it's not the work of itself that is hard. THe difficult part comes when you realize that committing to a route is like committing to milking a dairy cow except that a dairy cow is dry for a few months a year. This is a 365day commitment, regardless of the weather and/or your health. You might remember dh had an accident last month, it was on his way to deliver papers and when he got home he jumped into the van and got the job done. (That kind of commitment is just one of the reasons I love that man).

Anyway, all in all the job is a bit more work than it seems, the delivery is but one part then there is the paperwork and returns that make the job a bit of a challenge. Thankfully I handle those aspects of the job as they can take a couple hours a day and a bit longer at the end of the month. Some days I really wish he could get a snow day but I am thankful we have found another stream of income.

On another note: Head over to the review tab and check out my review of the 4.86qt Kincaid color cast casserole pan that we gaveaway on New Year's day. Hope your New year is shaping up to be a good one. :)

Oh before I forget: Some small towns do still have paper routes for kids 10 and older. we looked into one for our oldest but they are reserved for the kids in those neighborhoods and our little town doesn't have a daily paper.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And then life gives you perspective . . .

Sometimes we get so swept up with the hustle and bustle of life that we forget that this is not what life's about.  Last night dh's step dad died :(  I wish I knew him better, I wish we lived closer, I wish we'd had more money, so we could visit, I wish . . . we'd all had more time . . .  From the little I knew of him I liked and respected him.  He was a good husband and father.  He was a veteran of the Korean war and an entrepreneur.  A private man with a strong moral compass, always willing to help others and give a second chance.  He was a man, a good man.  He leaves behind a wife of almost 30 years, 2 sons, a daughter, 2 step sons and many grand children.  We will miss you always.

And we pray:
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Please keep my mother in law, his children and family in your prayers.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The joy of soap

One of the fun things we got to try over Christmas was hot process soap making.  After careful evaluation of the hot vs cold process methods, the hot won hands down for one simple but important reason . . . instant gratification, that's right, lol :)  I liked the fact that I didn't have to wait weeks for the soap to be ready to use.  Sure there were more steps but by then end of the process I only had to wait 24 hrs vs several weeks.  As I said, it was the clear winner :)

I am very sensitive to scents, so I prefer unscented when possible.  I didn't need fancy, just functional.  The old fashioned lard/lye soap seemed to fit the bill.  There were not very many ingredients to mess around with and I already had the lard (thanks Missy).  Finding lye was a bit of a challenge but I finally found it at Tractor supply.  The only other pieces of the puzzle was a good scale and stick blender.

I used Soapcalc to determine how much lard, lye and water was needed and after watching several videos (Youtube ROCKS) and reading several how to's ( is pretty cool), I felt ready to give it a shot.  I opted to use an oven method, as I was not to keen on using my crockpot, not to mention the oven cooks it faster.  Now, many people seem to dislike the hot process as the soaps are not as smooth or as easy to remove from the mold but I found that once you pack it into the mold and tap it to get any air pockets out that you can get it fairly smooth.  As for the removing it from the mold, stick it in the freezer for a bit and then it comes out very easily :)

Looking back I'm not so sure why soap making seemed so scary, I think has to do with the lye.  Once I got the first batch done, it was very addicting, I really enjoyed it and there are so many possibilities for variations.  For color I added cinnamon and vanilla to one batch, for another I used coffee.  Neither of these are scented just colored varieties of the basic white lard/lye soap.  Next on the menu, milk soap, but that has a few challenging aspect to it that I have to work out.