Sunday, October 31, 2010

The loving sacrifices of a Father

This is the TV the father bought
And this is one of the three children watching the TV their father bought

And this is the Father watching his live steaming Netflixs on his 3 by 5 inch ipod screen, while his son watches it on his big flat screen TV he bought. Oh the sacrifices of love a parent makes!
This month we added netflixs to our monthly bills. We were paying around $4 a month for 4 movies out of the redbox each month, and found out that netflix is only $9 a month, and includes not just movies brought to your door in record time (like a day after you order them) but also a huge selection of live streaming movies and TV shows that the whole family can watch using our wireless Internet connection (with no commercials) whenever they wish (well Jack and I that is, the kids have an hour a day till their weekly reading is done, then 2 hrs after that).
Right now we are enjoying the first month FREE. And I of course registered through our mypoints account so I will get 1000 points towards a CVS card, that I will in turn use to buy items for close to free by combining sales and store coupons stacked with manufacturing coupons, OH HOW I LOVE THE BARGAIN WORLD!
So far I give Netflix a thumbs up, their selection of live streaming is awesome their delivery of new releases is lightening speed. Jack is loving that he can watch it in on his ipod while on "the john" shall we say! You should have seen his face when he realized that!! it was priceless!!!

Our church's Trunk or Treat

My little butterfly
Aiden the most powerful wizard makes a hot dog disappear in 3 bites!
My princess daintily sliding!


My princess, my wizard, and my child who stated "he was too old for dress-up" but as you can see from the photo above his own dad wasn't!!
I don't remember churches in Canada doing these but around here Halloween is the perfect time for a church's free trunk or treat, and our church does a great one. With free hot dogs and apple cider, free horse rides, and free slides, free face painting, free petting zoo, and of course lots and lost of FREE CANDY. Yep, the whole evening is free, and it is fun for the whole family.

How I made $10 an hour yesterday

One of my 2010 resolutions was to unload more stuff out of our home than I brought in this year. That is why I have set goals such as those you have read about this year like the couples getaway in early June and the family camping trip in July, all were goals to help me put my energy into de-cluttering our home.
Now with just 2 more months of 2010 left I am stepping things up a notch. My goal, to keep Jack busy on once family home, now soon to be rental, while he is waiting for his work visa to come in.
We have several big items kicking around the old home that needed to be dealt with. Yard sale season is over, and they were to big to eBay so I ventured into the land of Craigslist. I had great success renting our last rental on this website but I have never listed anything else.
We have tried to buy things off it, but it has always been a wild goose chase, as the item has either already been sold when we got there, or its not like it was pictured. Still those goose chases have turned into great date time.
So last Saturday I spent the day dusting off all the big items we no longer use, then I took pictures of them all then I took measurements. That afternoon I posted them all on facebook for one week, so as to give my friends first dibs. Often I have sold things before only to have my friends say "hey, I wanted one of those I would have bought it off you!" so now I try to give them first dibs..
That week I sold a propane heater, which netted me about $5 an hr return for my time. Then this Saturday I sat down to about a 7 hr day of searching craigslist , then listing. So far just 24 hrs later I have sold our old washer for $80 or about $10 an hr when you add in jacks time to rewash it off (he was renovating yesterday so it got dusty) and meet the guy who bought it.
So far I would say I give Craigslist about a 7 out of 10. One great benefit, is it is free to list, and very simple to do. One major downfall, you get no shows (one lady said she would call me back this afternoon to pick up an item she looked at yesterday and she is now 3 hours past when she said she would call for pick up). I have also gotten a really weird e-mail that seemed like a scam to me, so I declined that offer.
For safety reasons, Jack and I choose to post our cell numbers and not our land lines so the kids don't answer potential weird callers. We also took all the items to our renovation home, so that we don't have to give out our home address. We also agreed that I would meet with lady buyers and he will meet with male buyers.
Still my opinion of Craigslist selling over the last 24 hrs is that it is worth it for larger items only.
A beautiful Autumn Night For a Pumpkin Walk
this picture does not do justice to the beautiful sky we saw
How come when I look at all the pumpkins at the bin in Walmart, I don't see this!! sigh...guess I just don't have a creative pumpkin mind.

Courtney and her buddy Landon checking out some of the pumpkins along the lighted path (oh and by the way this is the community path that I bike on and run on alot during the warm weather)

The candy throwing golf cart at the start of the costume parade.

My candy loving little lady who ran to keep up to the candy throwing golf cart above!

The Sweester pumpkin walk has been a tradition in our family for years, often enjoyed with the company of our favorite once neighbors the White's (also the owners of the White's resort, form a summer post, well at least I call it a resort, they call it the backyard).
Sometimes we do the walk in costume, sometimes without. Sometimes the weather is warm, sometimes its freezing. But whatever the weather there is just something about pumpkins all lit up and lined in a row that puts you in a great fall mood.

Last Trip to the Zoo for the season

notice that Thomas is now taller than his dad, he is even taller than me by a smidgen too, I would not be surprised if he hits the 6 feet mark by this time next fall.
Jack on the sky ride with me

Help the Kangaroo is smothering me!!

My 3 zoolings!!

Courtney brushing the goats.
We had beautiful weather for most of October, as you can see in these photo's it we were all able to wear bear toes, most of the month. I also enjoyed wearing Capri's and tank tops in the heat of the afternoon. We have slept with our windows open most of the time. All the great weather lead to being able to squeeze in one more great day at the Fort Wayne zoo before they closed their doors till spring.

My New Passion

Courtney enjoying a java chip frappe!!!
It all started in April 2009 just a little over a year and a half ago, when this daughter of a mother who could cook ya into a coma (especially with her baked goods), got a kitchen with space and light. Suddenly, those genes kicked in, maybe it was the light, maybe it was the space, or perhaps it was the gleaming new black appliances (that my mother would do nothing but grumble about if she were here to see them, she thought black did not belong on an appliance, I disagree).
Anyways whatever it was my cooking gene kicked in big time. I find myself drawn to
my kitchen for often hours at a time, experimenting with different recipes, first it was cookies, then it was bread goods..........and now its smoothies, frappes and protein shakes.
And I am not the only one who is hooked on these gems of the blender. Courtney loves them, she sips away my choc, banana peanut butter shakes for breakfast, and sucks down my java chip frappes for afternoon snacks.
I posted the Java chip frappe' recipe on my facebook page and within days I was hearing reports of fellow facebooks being hooked on them.
So I thought I would try to get a few more people hooked by sharing with my blogging friends and family the recipe I have created once more. (and yes I did create this all on my own, I love making up my own recipes, or following others very loosely)
Put the following as follows in the blender:
1/3 cup cold strong brewed coffee
1/3 cup skim milk (or whatever milk you got)
2 tbsp ovaltine (or choc syrup )
1 tbsp vanilla whey powder (my friends say it taste great without it if you don't have it)
2 tbsp choc chips (or skip)
1 cup crushed ice
Mix for at least 2 min's to make it really frothy, when made as above it has around 150 calories and lots of calcium protein and vitamins, but go ahead and make it to your own liking.
HUH perhaps now I should move on to pies!!! that would make my man happy!