Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Party Time!

A few weeks ago, I got an email inviting me to enter for a chance to host a Schwan's House Party. You know all about Schwan's, right? The big yellow trucks that deliver tasty treats like pizza and ice cream right to your door? Oh yeah baby....gotta love delicious eats that you don't even have to leave home to get!

Well, after I read the info, I decided to enter. Did not figure I had a snowball's chance in Hawaii of being chosen from the tens of thousands of entries in this nationwide contest, but guess what???? I DID GET SELECTED!

This week I ordered my party pack, which contains over $100 worth of food to share with my friends so that they can sample Schwan's wonderful products for themselves. In about 3 weeks my home will be party central, with folks chowing down on things like Italian meatballs, Three Cheese Pizza, Chicken Cheese Quesadillas, Mini Corndogs, Fried Green Beans, Baked Chicken Nuggets, Guacamole, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mini Ice Cream Treats. Each guest gets an insulated lunch tote and coupons for Schwan's products.

I'm excited!!!!!! I had not heard of  HouseParty until now. Check them out HERE and sign up for a chance to be chosen to host a party of your own to showcase delicious foods and new products from cool companies like Gerber, Ball, Hasbro Games and many more,.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Mom

This year Earth Day has prompted me to think a lot about our Earth. My best friend and I had a conversation a while back about recycling. She said she doesn't recycle because she does not believe that it will be long before we are with Jesus in the Rapture and the Earth won't be out home anymore. I agree that the return of Jesus is probably a lot closer than we realize, but I also believe that when God created Adam and gave him dominion over everything in the garden of Eden, he also charged him with the responsibility of taking care of the Earth and all of His creation.

I wish that I were better about living green, but I am trying. Here are some ways I do my part to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  • I use reusable grocery totes. I bought several large totes at Save A Lot and I use them everywhere. At first I felt bad about using them at Publix or Kroger but once the baggers commented on how much they like the larger bags I felt better. They hold the equivalent of about 4 plastic bags and are much easier to carry. 
  • We recycle. Our city does not offer curbside recycling so we take our recyleables to the city recycling center which is less than a mile from our house. My husband and daughter load them into the back of our truck about every 2 weeks and take them to the center. We recycle aluminum cans, office paper, tin cans, glass, plastic, cardboard, magazines and newspapers.
  • We reuse things. We recently planted our garden seedlings in empty yogurt cups and applesauce containers. 
  • We shop at thrift stores. We find great deals on clothes and household items there and save money as well as reusing perfectly good items that someone else had no use for anymore.
  • We use Freecycle. We have gifted and received some really good stuff! This is a great way to keep stuff out of landfills!
  • I purchase a stainless steel water bottle for my daughter's lunch to limit the use of bottled water. 
  • I keep a clean dish towel hanging on my oven handle to use for drying my hands instead of using paper towels. 
  • I only wash full loads in my washing machine and dishwasher.
  • I dry my clothes on a short cycle, then check them. I am usually surprised to find out that the items dry in much less time than I thought. This saves money and energy over automatically setting my dryer timer for 60 minutes.
  • We use ceiling fans in every room. I read a study recently that shows that using a ceiling fan can lower the temperature in a room by as much as 6 degrees. In the hot humid summers of south Georgia, this really helps!
There are ways that I would like to improve in my Green (or sometimes not so green) life:
  • I would like to purchase new energy efficient appliances and low flow faucets and toilets. (I do have a large jar of water in my toilet tank to save water.) Unfortunately this is not a financial possibility right now.
  • I would like to be able to use public transportation but it is not offered in our city.
  • My biggest dream would be to have solar panels on my home to generate clean energy
  • I would like to eliminate paper napkins and paper towels completely in favor of cloth versions but I am too lazy.
  • I still take long hot showers. I enjoy them and find them relaxing. I really do not want to give up this simple luxury.
  • I would like to make a compost bin and make organic compost for our little veggie garden and my yard plants. I would like one of those kitchen counter compost pails as well. I found direction to make my own from a large plastic coffee can and a charcoal filter, but have not tried it yet. Just can't justify one of those spiffy $50 stainless steel numbers.
So what do you do to keep our planet clean? What are your thoughts on reducing waste, reusing things or recycling?
Happy Earth Day!!!!!
(image from Google image search)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pages to turn

My poor blog is so neglected. I feel like such a bad mom to my blog. Is there an agency out there like Blog Protective Services? If so I am pretty sure they will be knocking on my door and confiscating my keyboard any moment. Just seems like life has been so complicated lately.

Most people, with the exception of close friends and church family, did not know that I was having a hysterectomy until it was all said and done. I had been so sick for the past few months, even a year or more, that I was really hoping that I would feel a hundred times better after surgery.  Maybe that day is coming, but it isn't here yet. I do feel better, but I am still not me. I get tired very easily, and I can't seem to think clearly. Dragging myself through the day is about all I can do most days, and even then I feel like I am only doing most things half way.

My 40th birthday is this week. I am not looking forward to it. I know it is better than the alternative (LOL) but this is a very difficult time. Most people also did not know that we had tried for years to have another child, to no avail. I had always said no more kids after 30, then 35, then finally I set my deadline as 40. Now, due to health issues, that dream has ended. I am approaching 40 not so much as "old", but more the end of a chapter in my life. It isn't the end of the book, but it is the end of an important chapter.To be perfectly honest, I am really struggling with that. I don't understand how some women can have a dozen kids and can't/won't take care of any of them, while  so many women who would be wonderful mothers struggle with infertility as I (and my sister and most of our family) did.

I am so grateful that God blessed us with our daughter. She is growing into the loveliest young lady. She is funny, smart, talented and gifted in so many ways. She is sweet and beautiful and a real joy to be around. I wish that we had been able to give her a younger brother or sister, but obviously that is not meant to be. I have heard from well-meaning friends that I should be happy with what God gave me and not ask for more, that there are too many people on the planet anyway, that we should be grateful that we have one healthy child and not "test fate", and so much other unsolicited but well intended advice. I am incredibly blessed with my daughter, and I love her dearly. She is everything parents could dream of having and more.

But somehow, even though the surgery was necessary and I know in time I will be so thankful it was done, I feel sort of like I am spinning my wheels in life. And with 40 slapping me in the face, it's tough. I warned my husband and my best friend that if anyone tries to pull any of that "over the hill" or "lordy lordy look who's 40" crap I may just explode. They were both so understanding and I am grateful for their support. I know that turning 40 is not the end of the world, but when you couple it with other major life changes, it feels like it's pretty close. It isn't the age.......it's that I wasn't ready to write this chapter in the story of my life just yet. The worst part is it was written for me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter everyone!

Yesterday was a beautiful celebration of Christ's Resurrection! We had a PACKED house at church, then came home and rested a bit. I made dinner last night. Our best friends came over as well as my in-laws. My parents are still out of town. Jamie was working. :(

I cannot believe how much my daughter has grown. No more little girl here, she has grown into a stunning young lady. We still dyed a few eggs, and did the basket thing, but honestly my heart broke a little when her PaPa and Brenda and I hid the eggs, which she hunted, but then quietly said that "some of the magic was gone." I did not cry. (At least not when she could see me.)

I know that things are changing, and I love the young lady she is becoming. I am proud of her for the choices she makes and the attention she gives her schoolwork. She is a good friend, and is approaching this first boyfriend thing with great maturity and wisdom. I am grateful for these things and thank God for them several times a day. But seriously, where did my little girl go????