Friday, February 25, 2011

Graveyard Grind

Greg started working the graveyard shift this week. It has been rough. I am not liking it at all, neither is he. Thankfully, he should only have to work such a shift for the next 4-5 weeks.

I am a routine person. My kids wake up and go down for naps at a certain time everyday. We eat at a certain time. I workout during a certain time. I even have scheduled times for one on one play with the kids. My life works well following a schedule. Greg working nights has pulverized that said schedule.

I am slowly catching on that I need to shift things around to keep our life as a family working. This week I realized we need to eat dinner earlier, and I need to workout in the evening instead of afternoon. My errands should be run in the morning so that the house is quiet enough for Greg to sleep. Greg and my alone time will be during the boys' afternoon nap instead of after they go to bed in the evening, and my cleaning time will now have to be after the boy's bedtime. I need to start bedtime much earlier since I am doing it on my own, and so on and so forth.

Just a couple problems with my newly devised routine... it's just not working. I volunteered to bring two meals to families in our ward this week. I usually love doing so, but it turned out to be really stressful. I didn't think that we would have to eat our dinner an hour before the other families and therefore I would need to keep it all warm without overcooking it. I also didn't think that I would have to deliver the meals with my two kids in tow and therefore have to leave the boys in the car when dropping off the food, because I cannot hold on to two kids and three dishes of food simultaneously. I am too tired at the end of the day after putting the boys to bed to clean house. I just don't have it in me to scrub floors when at a time when I am used to relaxing and winding down with my hubby. Greg is supposed to be working four 10 hour shifts. Since starting graves he has worked a 12 hour, a 14 1/2 hour and a 16 hour shift. He is coming home later and later and while my plans to be out of the house are not falling into the place, the boys' rambunctiousness continuously wakes him from his desperately needed sleep.

I'm hoping it will get better. As of right now, I cannot find a way for any sort of regularity to continue on. I think I might just have to power through these next several weeks. Any advice from those who have had to meld family life and the graveyard shift together is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recipe - Quick and Tangy Roast Beef Sandwiches

I made these Arby's inspired roast beef sandwiches the other night for the first time in a long time. They are so incredibly easy, in fact, they are so easy to prepare that I believe I made them too often and consequently got sick of them. Winco had a sale on roast beef, which reminded me that I hadn't made these sandwiches for a couple years. Everyone who knows me knows I can't pass up a deal, so I once again pulled out my recipe for quick and tangy roast beef sandwiches. And we are so glad that I did. I had forgotten how good they taste. This is the reason why I make sure to rotate our meals so that we are not eating the same meal more than once a month; otherwise overused yummy meals get filed in the recipe box never to be seen again.

Quick and Tangy Roast Beef Sandwiches

1 can tomato soup
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound deli sliced cooked roast beef
hamburger buns

Mix soup, vinegar, sugar and Worcestershire sauce in skillet. Heat to a boil. Add beef and heat through. Serve on rolls.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Our ward's Relief Society birthday celebration is scheduled for next month. My committee and I are in the process of planning a fun cake themed (because if you know me, you know there needs to be a theme) night. It's entitled Let Them Eat Cake; thank you Marie Antoinette. The sisters are invited to eat cake (we will be serving dinner and birthday cake), take the cake (we are having a service auction where the sisters can show off their talents), make life a piece of cake (sisters can bid on others' services to make life easier) and a chance to win homemade cake for a year (my offering of service in the auction). I made up these cute posters on Saturday.

If you are planning on attending the date is the 16th not the 15th. I was kindly notified of my goof on the date after hanging them up at church. Yep, that's me... spent about three hours crafting the posters only to put the wrong date on them. I have since changed the posters hanging up at church to the correct day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love, Marriage and Relationships Panel Questions

Greg and I were asked to be on a panel for last night's Love, Marriage and Relationships Relief Society Activity. We both had a lot of fun and I was once again reminded just how wonderful my eternal companion is. I thought I'd record some of the questions asked and our responses.

How did you meet?
On Greg's first week in the singles ward, my father spoke during sacrament meeting. Greg talked to him in the parking lot afterwards. My mother was in the car, hot and impatient, and invited him over to the house to met her "two beautiful daughters."

Who does the bills in your family? Is one of you better at budgeting than the other?
We both sit down together each payday and budget out all our money. After paying bills, and budgeting an amount of money for groceries, entertainment and any other upcoming expenses, all remaining money goes to paying off debt. We are a cash only family. Once our budgeted cash is gone, we stop spending money. We both have stronger moments and weaker moments and help each other stay the course of our predetermined budget.

When you disagree, do you talk things out, fight it out, or go silent?
Greg will not fight; it is not in his personality. Sometimes I go silent if my feelings are really hurt, but we eventually talk out our problems.

Would you say you’re a good listener?
We both admit to being poor listeners (me especially when Greg is talking about computers), but are trying to be better.

What is your spouse’s love language?
Greg's is physical touch and mine is acts of service.

Did you talk things out to see if you were on the same page regarding kids, etc. before getting married?
We did talk about children. I wanted six, Greg wanted two or three. He was overwhelmed by the amount that I wanted at the time. After we had our first child, I said I wanted two or three, and he said he wanted as many as we could have. Haha! Currently, we have no set number and plan to continue adding to our family until it feels right.

What has been one of your hardest trials while married and how did you get through it?
We talked about job and money troubles. We pray through our trials, and just try to do the best we can to get through them. Looking back on them, they never seem as bad as they did while in the midst of them. Trial teach us so much; we wouldn't change them if we could.

What is one thing you have done to keep the spark alive in your marriage?
We make dating a priority and try to do so once a week.

What are some of your differences and have you come to love them in each other?
I am often high-strung, overly organized and a bit anal about things. Greg is really laid-back and sometimes not extremely motivated. We balance each other out well.

How has having children changed you?
Having children has made us less selfish. Everything we do, we do it for the good of our family, not just for ourselves.

What do you love most about your spouse?
I love what an all-around good guy Greg is. He is kind, sweet, patient, funny, and a worthy priesthood holder. He is genuine, and that is what initially attracted me to him. Greg said I am his best friend and the person he wants to be with always. He also said he loves that I am a good mother.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love is in the Air

There was a lot of loving going on in our home this Valentines Day.

Brody - loved eating the conversation hearts from friends in the daycare, loved that Daddy was home when he woke from his nap and loved being held by that Daddy, loved the buttons that make music and the star that lit up on his new Elmo book, loved dancing to his new Veggie Tales movie, loved his monkey stuffed animal from Pappy and Grandma Betty so much he played with it in his crib instead of napping, loved taking a nice warm bath before bed, and loved snuggling with Momma at bedtime.

Palmer - loved telling everyone "Happy Valentines Day!" and loved passing out valentines to his friends at the day care, loved opening his presents, loved his new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movie and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book, loved that his cousin Tamera came over to play (while she babysat), loved the new bath toys Daddy found - a.k.a. empty pop bottles, loved extra kisses from Momma and Daddy before going to sleep, and is still loving the huge amount of Valentines candy he received.

Lera - loved the beautiful roses that Greg had delivered and the super sweet note that came with them, loved that Greg got off work on time (first time in weeks), loved the excitement Palmer had for this new found holiday, loved going out on a date to T.G.I. Fridays, loves that she and Greg go to T.G.I. Fridays every Valentines day because that is where they had their first date, loved the Jack Daniels chicken sandwich she ordered, loved that Greg wore Aqua di Gio, and loved giving extra snuggles, hugs and kisses to her hubby and boys, and loved that the boys went to bed early.

Greg - loved the new ties he received, loved that Lera went ahead and bought him Mario Sports Wii with his birthday money so that he wouldn't spend that money on bills as he was planning, loves that Brody is going through a Daddy stage and often wants Daddy over Momma, loved going to T.G.I. Fridays, loved the Jack Daniels steak and shrimp he ordered, loved playing with the kids at bathtime, and loved getting himself to bed early while cuddling with his wife.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Recipe - Hot Sausage Dip

This scrumptious recipe is from my good buddy Betsy. She makes this dip whenever we have a potluck get together. It is divine. She and her family are also big football fans. It was at a Superbowl party that I first tasted this delicious creation. We spent the past Superbowl at a party of one of my coworkers. I was told to bring a favorite snack food. After some thought, I realized Betsy's hot sausage dip was the perfect pick for hungry sports fans.

Recipe - Hot Sausage Dip

1 lb. Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
1 onion
1 tomato
1 green bell pepper
1 can diced green chilies, drained (or jalapenos if you want it spicier)
8 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. sour cream

Lightly brown sausage, do not drain. Dice onion, pepper, and tomato. Add to browned sausage and cook until onions are clear. Add the green chilies/jalapenos. Drain the mixture and blend in cream cheese and sour cream. Keep warm in slow cooker. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Heart Scrapbooking

For the most part, I am an organized and practical person. I also consider myself to be a creative person. Every once in a while these two aspects of my personality conflict. This is the case in regards to scrapbooking in conjunction with blogging.

I update my blog regularly with pictures and the day to day events of our little family's life. And I greatly enjoy doing so. In my book, it is a good work, and it serves as an effective record for generations to come. Now that I've discovered my niche in the world of blogging, why continue to scrapbook? Why put in the hours and hours of time, the expensive materials, and all the effort when I have already basically documented the same thing on our blog? This conundrum has been bothering me for for the past year or so. I'm sure it's part of the reason why I don't scrapbook nearly as often as I used to. Why I continue to get farther and farther behind on our books, and why I more often choose to spend my free time online rather than with my Zig pen and deco scissors.

This year I made the resolution to scrapbook more. In order to make this goal real and measurable, I set a specific time each week aside for scrapbooking. Thursday afternoons, during my boys' naptime, is now cropping time for me. The past two Thursdays, I had every reason not to follow through. I was sick, the boys were sick, one boys didn't go down for his nap, the other woke up too early, the house was messy, and I had too many things on my to do list. I almost backed out of my commitment. However, I knew if I didn't follow through the first few times, I wouldn't at all. So I did it. I went against my practical, logical side, and made scrapbooking a priority. And I have to say, it felt great to let my creative juices flow; I enjoyed every minute of it. (If you'd like to see my work from the past Thursdays, as well as my future work to come, go here.)

So, to pacify my left brain, I have deduced a reason for me to continue scrapbooking. It's simple, but surely of value. I love it. I do it for me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

29, and Still Got it

We celebrated Greg's 29th birthday yesterday. He and I went out on a date to Texas Roadhouse and stuffed ourselves with their delicious ribs, bacon and cheese topped steak fries, and frozen peach lemonades. Yum!

I had bought his present back in December, originally as a Christmas present. However, when Greg found out how much I had spent on his Christmas gifts he instructed me to return some. I decided to keep the last gift I had purchased for him, a spiffy suit, to give to him on his birthday rather than return it. I just couldn't bare to let it go. It was so nice, a great deal (originally $300, I got it for $110), and he really needed it. So, needless to say, I've been extremely anxious to finally give it to him. He opened it, loved it, and then tried it on. Sadly, it was a little too small.

Okay, a lot too small. The hanger had read the size I had sought out - 48 long, yet the actual coat (which I did not check) was a 40 short. Big difference. I just about burst into tears. Since it has been so long since I had purchased it, as of yet, we have been unable to find the correct size in the same style and color. So it seems we will have to return the very nice, steal of a deal, highly needed suit and see what else we can get. Oh well, I tried.

A very happy birthday to my fabulous husband, and my boys' wonderful father Greg. Even though you are almost 30, *gasp* you still got it!