Friday, January 31, 2014


Tell ya Allergies SUCK! 

So we have been cruising in life. I thought we had found all our allergies, I thought we were doing OK? But nope. 

We were hit hard a few weeks ago. Not only major attitude from my middle son, just horrid behavior. Tons of tears, door slamming, screaming. And that was just Tucker. So I know I was dealing with something? Then it happened, I had sent the kids to bed and Ethan got up with a massive nose bleed. And when I say Massive. I mean we soaked towels. And after 40 plus minutes of bleeding you wonder at what point do you call for help? Yep, I was on the verge of calling 911 for help, because no matter what I was doing I could not get the bleeding to stop. 

90 minutes later, I sent him back to bed and I was cleaning blood from every inch of my floor. Well trying to think and debate and debate some more. What the hell happened? I start to wonder if I did something? Did a product change their label? I started to pour over everything. 

The only thing new I bought was cocoa. Now I have used this store brand for years. But it was the only thing newly opened in the kitchen. Hum? So after much googling I still can't figure out if it was a major CC issue and a major oops. Did they go GMO? I read that they are taking cocoa beans now and making a hole and feeling them with pesticides to help keep bugs out of the lot. So is this what is going on now? I really don't know. 

So to try things, I made vanilla cupcakes, and nope they didn't like it. So I got out a piece of organic chocolate, melted it and used it in my chocolate cupcakes. That worked. Since removing the cocoa, Tucker's issues have cleared right up. No more nose bleeds from Ethan. At this point I wont' be trying cocoa again. 

I may later on and make sure it's organic and I know the sourcing. BUT I'm busy and just don't have time for research like that. 

But it's surprising that an allergy can hit at any time. Any product can change in a blink of an eye. It could have been a simple CC issue. And I wouldn't know what the CC issue would be? I know pesticides and GMO's do this to Ethan. So do eggs and banana.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weekly Update, Mortgage Challenge & Happy Dance

So Fur Ball (black cat) has a boo boo. It seems he was attacked by the neighbor cat. We are talking a hole the size of a quarter. At first I left it, but he dug at it and made it bigger. So we had to take care of it. Gooped him up, guaze, and an ace bandage. At first he throw a fit, throwing himself around, like saying I can't walk. I walked off and left him, he would walk into the room I was in and started to throw himself around again. Um yeah. So in the end I won this fight and the ace bandage has stayed on. And now that he can't dig at it, it's healing really well. 

So Kirby who likes no other animals, has declared herself a care giver. And so this is a scene we find often right now. If fur ball is in the house she is right beside him. 

So yeah, this is another picture I see often as well. I just finally got the photo. Because if you move Vader jumps up, sending Buddy flying. 

So Mortgage Challenge, and well happy dancing as we are FINALLY out of the 122's and into the 121's. I looked and it took us 2 months to get here. It won't take that long to get into the 120's. Our budget is horrid this week. But it's about breathing and just saying no to everything we can. Focusing on what is more important. But current total 121,900.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Progess Day 2

Well the rain held off. So after School and lunch we headed down and got pavers. Came home and and put down pavers and built the rest of the beds. We have just enough room for 6 beds. So we gained a bed. Since I had two boys working we had enough time to dig up another bed. So we are hoping next Monday to dig up the last two beds. And do the other side. Then hubby needs to figure out a watering system and dirt. But I can't tell ya how good this all looks. So major progress today. Yeah.

Monday, January 27, 2014


We made MAJOR progress today on redoing the front yard beds. We cleared the last bed. We put down new weedblocker, on top of the old weed blocker. Our goal is to get the beds much closer as we had so much room in-between the beds. We then put a line of brick. 

I got to tell ya I'm sooooooooooooo in love with what we are doing. We have room for 3-4 more beds. Beds are running 4 foot by 12 feet. So these are big beds. The last bed may have to be a half bed, which would be fine because during all of this time I need to find a place for my ginger.

We still need to remove the beds behind the wishing well. But we will get there. If it's not raining we will work on removing those tomorrow. We are picking up more brick on Friday and hitting it hard again next week. Once all the new beds are in place, hubby has to figure out a watering system. These beds need to be self watering and on a timer. Then during someones time off next month we are doing nothing but moving dirt. 

Crazy amounts of work going on around here. But I'm so thrilled with how the front yard is shaping up now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spice Mixes

Last month I dug out herbs and went a wee bit crazy, making a few spice mixes. I need to use up my herbs so I can logically grow more! I did this for a few reasons. I never again want to buy a spice mix from a store. I want to know what is in my spice mix. I am also very picky about my spice mixes. So I wanted to test these out before posting them. But I will tell ya Ranch is my favorite, followed by Italian which we use in our pizza mix (recipe coming soon). 

Ranch Seasoning
(From The Fresh Energy Cookbook)
(First Picture)

1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix and use. 

Italian Seasoning
(Marcie Dingerson)

Equal parts of each

Dried Basil
Dried Marjoram
Dried Sage
Dried Savory
Dried Parsley
Dried Rosemary
Dried Oregano

Mix and Use. 

 Emeril's Essence
(Second & Third Picture)

1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy, use more)(I used less and it still has a kick)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mortgage Challenge and Weekly Update

So Tucker had a birthday. He is now the big 9. I allow them to pick out their own gift so he knows what he got for his birthday. BUT mom had a surprise. Mommy finished the quilt he was working on and someone just LOVES it. He also asked for money from Grandparents and he nearly at his savings goal for the year.

We we have started to work in the front yard. Tearing up beds, moving dirt. You can see none of the beds were taller then 4 inches. We are going to an 8 inch wood. The wood was just falling apart as we were moving it.

Hard to see but we have 2 beds totally gutted and wood removed. Plastic covering the empty spots, for now.

The back bed there is an Elderberry bed. I will be ordering some new Elderberry plants shortly. There are three there, but dang they are not growing worth beans. So I plan on ordering 4 new ones and see what I can do.

I have finally got the pillowcases started. Who knows when I will have enough for Etsy. Give me time (Because I have none), I will let everyone know. I didn't want to design new patterns, but I am. I will have a Kitty. 

Now to the Mortgage. So excited, next week we will be in the 121's. We are now currently at 122,030. Can't tell ya how hard this is. As the other day the vacuum went. With 5 dogs, 3 cats the hair is starting to build up. And we do a shop vac in the house, not a house vacuum. Because of the hair. So I'm hoping I can find something on Friday AND stay in budget. And no we don't have a broom, I tossed it when the cat peed on it, and just haven't bought a new one.

Other then that, it seems I don't have 5 minutes to sit. Between homeschool and trying to get stuff ready for the sewing machine, and sewing, and planning the garden, and well working in the garden. Trying to keep up with the house and kids and I drop into bed and I roll out in the morning and start going. I worry about when the garden is in full swing. We shall see? Not to mention worrying about budget and Mortgage and we will be ending the week with a dollar in the bank. Oh boy. 

You add in the truck, we are picking it up either Thursday or Friday, getting about a months worth of hay and then taking the truck right back. In the mean time hoping nothing major happens. But 121's next week come on, I'm soooooooooooooooo ready for it!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mortgage Challenge & Weekly Update

Well I can post photos again? IDK I don't like when things update and don't memo you. Took awhile to figure this one out. But we have photos again! 

In the first one Kirby now sleeps in the puppy's create, so you have to remove a cat before putting a puppy to bed. 

The second photo you find this scene often around here. 

And Third a group shot of the monkeys. Speaking of monkeys I was asked to make up a posse of them for an upcoming sale in May. We shall see? 

And our Mortgage Challenge update week # 3 so exciting, three weeks in and three weeks paid. Hubby would like me paying more, but it's like have you seen the budget? I did up it by 5 dollars. Do a few weeks at this and see, but logically I don't think we can raise it much more? I know I want to give it every penny as it is. We went from 122,295.88 to 122,165.88. We will be in the 121's at the end of the month. Ever so exciting. I think math wise it's about April we will be out of the 120's all together. That will be a good day. But one day at a time right now. Still waiting to hear on the truck sounds like it won't be major right now. Buying us time to keep saving money to do some major repairs down the road. Should know more in a day or two. 

But now that work is down to bare bones, our budget is at bare bones. No over time and be grateful for your 40 hours. Luckily I got some big things out of the way first like Tucker's birthday and such. 

Other then that trying to plan out the garden. It's nearly all I think about. We should have all our wood Friday for the front yard re-do. Then I start buying brick weekly. I want to aim for 10-15 a week on brick so we have a good stash for Feb, when we are setting up the new beds. I'm thinking a good 4-5 new beds out back. 1-2 out front, and from that, that will just be it. I am removing two small beds this year. One for walking purposes, and one is in a shade of a cherry tree and nothing grew in there last year. But after these new beds go in we are basically out of space. I will have to live within my means. Sad.

We lost both outside bunnies last year, and so we have that space now. After some debate we will either put one orange tree there or expand out the raspberries. So lots going on. I pretty much have most of my seeds. But I'm thinking of doing some planters around our new trees of some dwarf berry plants. That way I can move them when the trees are nice and big. But we will see on those. I'll be moving my thyme plants as the dogs are just killing them. We may be moving grapes as we lost the fence they were on. Just too much to do and not enough time.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mortgage Challenge

Well blogger won't allow photos right now. So hopefully tomorrow I can blog some photos???

Any who, second week of the year and second week we were able to pay the extra on the Mortgage. Going from 122,420.88 to 122,295.88. Not too bad. From here on out is where it will be tough. No extra holiday pay, no overtime, and life happening. But I want to be below 120k soon.

We should hear on the truck within the next few days. Praying it's not too much damage on the budget. After the truck I start to work on the massive list of stuff to buy/fix/do around here. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mortgage Challenge

(these two have become fast friends)
So a Mortgage Update. I can not tell you how excited I have been to get back on this road. We just have a short 52 weeks, if we can do it we are setting ourselves up to look pretty money wise. If not well phooey on us.
So started the year at 122.797.94 today we are at 122,420.88 a difference of 377.06. So our normal mortgage payment with the extra we normally do. And now the additional extra we are hoping to put towards the mortgage weekly.
So excited, by the end of the month we will be out of the 122 range. I'll be excited when we are out of the 120's all together.