Monday, August 30, 2010

A Great Find!

I've had a hard time since I got back to school finding something to blog about every day or every other day, or every two days for that matter and I'm sorry. I've become one of those blogs that I end up deleting off my list because they slack on their posts.

I don't want to be one of those on your list, so today I thought of something I could share.

We have a room at school that every once in awhile becomes a place where other teachers leave things they no longer want/enjoy. Other teachers can take these things (usually for free) and use them as they see fit.

The first day back I stumbled on some gems. Now, before I show you these items I just have to preface by kids are HUGE Looney Tunes fans. Since we don't have cable in our "amish house" a couple years ago at Christmas, my mom got the kids 2 DVD's of old Looney Tunes cartoons. To say that they love them is an understatement. They do, and we all get a laugh out of them. They love them because they've never seen cartoons like them, and Brent and I like them because they are funny and remind us of the cartoons we watched as kids.

That being said, this is what I came across on the free teacher table.

A tape dispenser, a stapler, and a small box to store stuff in. I had NEVER seen anything like them before and knew my kids would LOVE it if I used them. They did, and think they are hysterical!

Just for kicks I decided to look up on eBay tonight to see if anyone had anything like this for sale and how much it was going for. Needless to say, I didn't find any Sylvester the Cat items, but the little Tweety bird jewelry box was going for $16.50! and the Daffy Duck tape dispenser was going for $9.99.

Not HIGH DOLLAR items, but rare none the less.

This reminds me of our black dog Sadie. We tell people not to look her directly in the eyes because she usually jumps up on you if you do. Daffy seems to stare anyone down who dares to pull tape out of his bill.

So, thanks to that teacher out there who so lovingly gave up these items....we're having a ball with them!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Evolution of a Grocery List

Ya'll notice I've changed my blog background again. It's the 2nd one this week. I guess I'm a little fickle. The other one just wasn't as great as what I originally thought.
Anyway, that's NOT what this post is's about makin' a grocery list. Something that takes WAY too long for me every week.
You see, I'm not one of those people (and you know who you are) that can enter a grocery store, and just make up their list for the week in their heads while they browse the aisles. The thought of doing that makes my hands sweat. I'm an organized person, but not that organized. Guaranteed I would go over my $100/wk. budget, or I'd forget an ingredient.
No, I'm much more of a logical/pen to paper kind of person. It's all about the lists, baby, and you know my obsession with lists!
Here is what my meal plan for the week is:
TODAY (SATURDAY) - tuna patties, cottage cheese, roasted potatoes, homemade applesauce, green beans
SUNDAY - sandwiches for lunch, supper out with friends
MONDAY - Orange chicken and wild rice, green beans, mac and cheese
TUESDAY - breakfast
WEDNESDAY - shredded pork/chicken tacos, chips, and homemade salsa
THURSDAY - (softball practice) leftovers
FRIDAY - (football game) hot ham and cheese sandwiches, watermelon
SATURDAY - homemade chicken strips, corn, strawberries, homemade biscuits (maybe...)
SUNDAY - ?????
MONDAY - (labor day) grill hamburgers and hot dogs
Whew. This is the longest part of my list making....thinking of original stuff every week. I once added up all the homemade meals I've probably made in the 13 years I've been married, and the number was way too BIG! But I was spoiled as a kid, I'll freely admit that. My mom made us a homemade meal almost every night of the week. I decided early on I wanted to do the same thing for my kids. Family dinner (AT THE TABLE) every night is when we find out the most about our kids, and I like making something healthy for them to eat.
So, after the 1/2 hour to one hour preparation time that it takes to MAKE the list, this is usually what it looks like.

I first check the sales fliers for the grocery store, make sure I have coupons for the week, and synchronize it all to our calendar for the week, and then I make sure it doesn't exceed my $100/wk. budget. I know, it sounds a little OCD of me, but it's also....laid out according to the aisles in the store. (you can all stop laughing now!) I do this because it's easier to find things, and since I basically go to the same 2 stores every week, this isn't hard to do. The hardest thing about it is keeping it to $100/wk for the 4 of us. Come on, can anyone say Toilet Paper? Good grief! This and Kleenex and Shampoo and Conditioner and TOOTHPASTE could break the bank!
So, this is just some of the things I brought home today.
As you can see, I'm not a brand name snob. This is some of my most favorite coffee...

AND it's from ALDI'S. It tastes like a cup of DUNKIN DONUTS coffee, and it's only $3.99/bag. Not bad if I do say so myself!
Don't these look good too?
The yellow ones are GINGERGOLD. Really? GINGERGOLD. Sounds like a made-up name. I mean, who actually gets to make up apple names. Hope they taste good!
So, what I guess I'm trying to get at is...making a grocery list is hard. If ya'll have any ideas on how to help me out with this...let me know.
Oh, and have a great weekend too!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Collection

Some of us have collections, and some of us don't. If you were to ask me what I collect....I wouldn't know what to say. I do collect enamelware, but my collection, for lack of space, has kinda fizzled out...

Grace, however, collects eeyores. She started when she was pretty young, because, and these are her words..."Eeyore is a donkey, which is pretty close to a horse, and I love horses." Who woulda thought! Anyway, this started off her collection.

It has grown and grown and grown over the years.
She has pillows...

and stuffed animals. Pens and alarm clocks.

I guess you could say she's a little big over the top with her collection, considering we painted her room the exact purple color of eeyore's feet.

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. It could be troll dolls!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Who I am

I was a Sommers 13 years ago. I'm a Yoder now. Have been for awhile, and I guess technically I'm still a Sommers....and I reunited with the rest of the Sommers' yesterday in a very small little town an hour and a 1/2 away.

These reunions are something I haven't attended since I got married. I supposed I'm a little ashamed about this, especially since we were so warmly welcomed yesterday by family we haven't seen in years!

It was the 89th annual Sommers Reunion.

It was in honor of my great grandpa, Noah Sommers. He has one living brother, Clayton who will be 98 in October. He got up and told us some memories. He was very funny, and I don't think he even knew it.

We went in honor of my grandparents...who live just down the road from us.

Here is my grandpa.

I love him very much, and I learned all about his family yesterday. Some things made me cry, but mostly I'm glad I found out so much! It was a surprisingly great day. The kids played outside at a park while we socialized inside. I even met some people we went to college with that I found out we're related to. Small world after all!

Families ARE important. Very important, and you are who you are because of them. I'm proud of mine. They are great singers, great Christians, they are all hilarious, AND they love to READ.

I heard this story yesterday about my great grandpa that really made us all laugh. My dad's cousin stood up and told us that she went to visit my great grandpa just a day before he died. He was 94 and living alone. He LOVED to read, and she had taken him a library book just a few days before. When she visited him, she noticed that he had set out his plate, etc. the night before, for breakfast, (apparently he had done this all his life...and my husband wonders why I lay out my clothes the night before....runs in the family...the urge to prepare I guess...) and his book was beside his plate. He was almost done, and they talked about if he would finish soon or not. She went home, and was told the next day that he had died. She said the first thing she wondered was, "I wonder if he finished his book." He had in fact!
It made me cry, but also laugh. He loved to read THAT MUCH!

I'm glad I'm a Sommers.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday Night Lights

We like football. Correction...Brent likes to watch LOTS of football on TV....and we like some.

We might be fickle, or we might just be local fans....but....last night was our high school home opener and we all went.
We all got a little bit excited, even though it was so humid outside. (TOTALLY sick of this weather....can't it just be fall...)
Grace wanted her face painted.

We've done this before for homecoming...but she wanted it again for the big game.

Our most recent football experience has been on TV...not a real team...but our favorite one...THE EAST DILLON PANTHERS ON FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!

THIS is our FAVORITE show (Brent's and mine that is.) It has an incredibly good storyline and you can't help but love all the characters in the show... and the football of course. The show always ends with a football game and football is BIG in the small town of Dillon, TX. This show is one of the best and is only one for one more season. Why oh why do they always have to end the good shows? It's over for the season (due to regular season football we think), so we went to our own local football game last night.

We could've used Coach Taylor from the show, but we did alright, and ended up winning 52-0!

We didn't see our own kids all night. They were off walking around with their friends for the night so we hung out in what is becoming "our section" of the bleachers. It was a good game, if not a tad uneventful.

I'm looking forward to the next home one.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Little Somethin' Somethin'

The last couple days before school started, my friend Jen called and asked me to help her with ideas for decorating her daughter's room. She is making her a new quilt for a "bigger girl" room and wanted my opinion on what to paint the wall color, etc. I LOVED the prospect of helping her, and did give her my opinions, but I'm sure she'll do a good job on her own, and I can't wait to see it.
I did tell her, though that I wanted to make her something. Something I've seen as an idea for wall art.
You all know I love to use my creativeness (when I'm feeling creative that is....seems a lot less frequent lately... :-( ) but I made her these.

I've seen the idea to either hang a picture of your loved one on them, on the wall, or maybe artwork your child has done, etc.
The colors of this little girl's new quilt are black and white, tangerine, aqua, and shades of pink. I tried my best to come up with these combinations...

I would suggest hanging these in a grouping on the wall. A 5x7 or 8x10 picture would look very cute on them.

I'm not sure if Jen will read this blog or not, and I hope she doesn't feel pressured to use these if they are not "her thing," but I had a lot of fun making them.

If anyone else would like some, I do make these according to your preferences. I make them as clipboards to use for teachers, gifts, etc. or as wall art.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tomato Thieves

I know I've talked before about my weird dogs. Rudy and Sadie are great, but a little off sometimes.

I've told you before how much they love to eat tomatoes. Strange. I know. This never happened until about a year ago.

I've never been able to catch them actually getting them OFF the tomato plant until tonight. If I'm out in the garden, they are all around me when I'm picking tomatoes, just hoping I will toss them one. Sadie is the most aggressive about it, but Rudy is getting more so.

Anyway, I was mowing tonight and spotted them sneaking in a couple times. When I was done, I ran inside to get the camera to see if I could catch them at it.


Sadie shows no qualms about stealing the tomatoes. She LOVES them!

Ah ha. Caught ya Rudy! I think his eyes are closed in pure delight.

Seriously. Dogs and tomatoes, I just can't wrap my mind around it. Seriously?

Oh, he knows I've been snapping pictures, and he knows he's caught. He's looking out of the corner of his eye to see if I'm gonna snatch it.

Before I posted this, I looked all over the Internet to make sure tomatoes weren't poisonous to dogs. Thank goodness they are not, because my dogs can't get enough. They are major thieves!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome Night

The first day of school, or in our case, the first night before school (aka Welcome Night) always has mixed emotions, for all three of us.

I started this morning as Kindergarten aide. I've had this same job for the last 4 years. I'm not complaining, it's just hard to break myself back in to the 5:30 wake up calls! We met the new 5 year olds and saw their scared yet exhilarated faces, and just a glimpse of that excitement, however small, started in me too.

I can't help it, I love the thought of school. When it's time to go buy school supplies, crazy as it may sound, I like to buy some too. (I'm a little off, I know...) I'll buy a notebook or two and some pens, and some post it notes. (I DO actually use these at least that's what I'm tellin' myself)

Anyway, back on subject, the kids had Welcome Night tonight, and met their teachers and put their school supplies away, and saw where their desks are, etc. Evan was a little put out by the whole experience....until we went to his classroom...

and he saw his friend Steven.

This boy is just a little bit fickle, or maybe just not easily excited!

Then there was Grace. She's a 5th grader this year.

There was a little bit of embarrassment on her part....I'm not sure why, maybe it's just the age...but she wasn't nearly as thrilled, and kept asking why I was taking her picture. Oh, dear heart, don't you know me by now? I always keep a camera near by.

Anyway, she has a really good teacher this year, and we're both excited!

I basically was only allowed these two pictures. Oh, little does she know there will be a photo shoot tomorrow before we all leave for school. It's tradition after all. Pictures of the two of them on the front porch in the same spot every year with the number of fingers held up for what grade they are in.

I'm just excited they can both pack their own lunches for the most part. Thought that would never come to pass!

So, we're gearing up for an earlier than summer bedtime, and an earlier mornings. Wish us luck.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cookies will cure anything!

Yesterday Evan went to the zoo with a friend. You would've thought my oldest, Grace, had her limbs removed one by one.
All I heard was, I'm so bored, what do I do? Are you SERIOUS? When your brother is here, you fight like cats and dogs!
So, after some of my chores were finished, we decided to make cookies. The jar on the counter, according to her, was empty, and it was time to make more.
I usually always have the jar filled with some kind of cookies. When school rolls around, I slip one into their lunch when I can. However, this summer, it's been store bought ones, crazy logic, I know, I should have more time in the summer to make them, but I just find it's not a priority like it is during the school year.
So, we baked cookies. Butterscotch/chocolate chips cookies to be exact, because that's the kind of chips I had in the cupboard.
It's ridiculous, though, what preparation you have to do to actually get READY to make the cookies.

I should just go ahead and premake a bunch of cookie mixes and put them in the cupboard so all I have to do is add the wet ingredients. (3 more days till school starts....we'll see!)

Grace is looking down to see the big lump of brown sugar she let drop on the floor. Great!

It cured the boredom for least.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My goodwill find a year ago for $6. I love this bag!

This is only sold in stores around here about once a year. It is THE BEST tasting drink, and I don't like Pepsi. It reminds me of when I was a kid and drank out of glass bottles. It's THAT good.

Grace's cute school bag for the year. We've moved on from backpacks apparently!