Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm Back

Hey I'm back! My original plan was to blog every day, but sometimes life gets in the way of writing. Imagine that! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was good. I had all my chicks in the nest, everyone was healthy, no major fights or meltdowns, no injuries or trips to urgent care, & all the food turned out well. Hey with 5 kids ,those things aren't as simple as they sound. Now everyone is back to work & school, except Cory who stayed home today cuz his tummy was hurting, but I think he's fine now. Just needed to um take care of some business & now he seems Ok.

It's always hard taking Michael back to school. I mean I'm not in the depths of depression or anything, but there's this little twinge in my heart every time we drop him off & say goodbye. I wonder if it will always be that way with all my kids, or if it's just something you get used to. Not overwhelming sadness but just this little melancholy that lasts for a short while. I'm fine now, but definitely looking forward to Christmas break which will be in another 3 weeks. Then he'll be home for 3 weeks! Of course, he does spend about half his time home with friends, but I'll take him half time. Hey it's better than nothing.

Well, during these last several days, I really haven't made any forward progress. I have been making meals , so at least I'm keeping up there. I've spent ALOT of time skyping, texting, & talking with friends online. Also just hanging out with Jim, playing Scrabble, which btw I WON BOTH games last night, beating him by over 100 points in one of them,and scoring over 300, thank you very much.

So today, it's a new week, & my plan is to keep moving forward. Nothing new to add at this point. So it will be making meals; tonight's dinner is chicken parmigiana (Don't be too impressed cuz I'm using the frozen one that comes in a box, something I very rarely do cuz with a large family, premade frozen stuff gets expensive fast cuz I need to buy 2 or 3 of the entrees. At close to 6 ft & over 180, & playing sports, Cory definitely eats a lot as does Jim who also isn't a small guy at 6'2''& while not at all chubby, is definitely no stick figure either). But hey I'm making my sides from scratch: zucchini rice casserole & applesauce.

I also will do laundry & continue to work on my room: picking up, washing bedding, dusting& windexing, & vacuuming. Then I'll make plans with someone to go see a movie. I'm not sure who yet. I was gonna ask if any of you faithful followers wanna go, but none of you are local people. Let's see the closest one is about a 2 hour drive from my house. But hey if any of you wanna come on over from your part of the world I'd be glad to go with you. I haven't even checked out if there are any decent movies playing. I still haven't seen Courageous, but I think I'd like to see that one with Jim, & I don't know if it's the kind of movie I'd like seeing twice.But hopefully, there might be something playing that isn't disgusting, stupid, or filled with people flashing their personal body parts or inventing new ways to use swear words. Also, a plot would be nice.

Well, guess it's time to make myself presentable & actually work on DOING the plan I've written about.

Ruby Tink :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Michael comes home today! YAY! It's been a few weeks since I've seen him. I'm just glad he didn't choose a school much farther away. This has been enough of an adjustment for me. Of course, he probably would have done just fine. lol Me? Who knows? It really has been harder than I thought it would be having him gone. Yes, being an 18 year old who knows everything, he can irritate me at times (as I'm sure I do, him), but I miss that kid. He truly is an incredible person, very unique, and not afraid to be himself, and quite honestly, I like people who aren't afraid to simply be who they are, and not fit into all the little boxes we like to use to categorize people.

Yesterday Jim had to work late, and he was dog tired when he got home, so other than dinner, we really didn't spend much time together. I know that's not uncommon for a lot of couples, but Jim and I aren't exactly typical. We are each other's best friend, and still very much in love even after 21 years of marriage (though we aren't mushy gushy in la la land with each other every second, lol . We have our moments when it's not all romance & cuddly wuddly & sometimes we can even irritate each other. Mostly him though since I'm ALMOST perfect. :-) Hey it's my blog. I can make a visit to Make Believe World every once in a while. But the thing with us is even though we still have our moments or hours, we always come back to the feel good kinda love. Yes, it's work, but it's not hard really. It helps that we genuinely do basically like each other and get along and stuff. I mean, if he were a girl, I'd pick him for a friend. So while I do believe having a good marriage definitely takes work, for me it doesn't usually feel like some major sacrifice. More like working at a job you enjoy. And he feels the same way, which helps. Anyway, all that to say that we usually spend most of our free time together.

Yesterday, I did my Bible study, made the meals, had Kelley clean up the kitchen (Praise God she was totally feeling fine when she woke up!), and worked on my room. I made a lot of progress there. I got everything in the visible areas picked up, got rid of trash, moved stuff that belonged other places, sorted the mountain of laundry sitting on my closet floor, took one of the laundry baskets downstairs to the laundry room, and then I actually went through my entire wardrobe and really weeded it out. I got rid of anything that was stained (even a little bit) faded, really worn or torn in any way, or that just plain didn't look good on me. I ended up filling two and a half plastic trash bags. I really don't wanna donate this stuff cuz I don't wanna wish it on anyone else. It's bad enough to be broke. You shouldn't have to get stuck wearing icky clothes on top of it. The nice thing is that now I actually have this thing called room in my dresser drawers. And things are organized instead of all mixed together. Tshirts in one place, tanks in another, sweaters somewhere else. Hey I'm liking this. It's kinda cool being a little bit normal. What I noticed though is that I have a lot of dressier clothes. Not like evening wear dressy, but like stuff you'd wear to work or church. Though these days pretty much anything goes for most churches, but I usually still like to dress up a little. Mainly cuz I like pretty clothes, and church is about the only place where I go that a bit dressier clothes aren't out of place or impractical. I definitely need more casual clothes. The challenge of course, being that I really don't wear pants. While there are plenty of skirts and dresses for sale, most of them, esp winter ones are pretty dressy. But they are around. Mostly online though. I also wanna get some full aprons. I have one that I love but could use a couple more because I'm kind of a messy person when I cook, clean, do projects, etc. , and now that I got rid of the stained stuff, I'd really like to keep even my casual at home clothes nice looking. I also need more socks and tights and maybe another couple cardigans and thicker long sleeved shirts. Then I should be totally set. Oh and maybe another couple shapers to hold it all in til I lose the weight, although I still might need em cuz then I'll be left with the jiggly skin like a deflated balloon cuz I dont have a gazillion bucks sitting around for plastic surgery. Oh and jumpers. I'd like a couple of those cuz I don't have any and I could use another dress or two. So if you know of any 3X or size 24 Or 22s that run a bit lrg or 26s that run a bit small that have any of those things that they want to declutter, hey I'm here to help. lol.

Today I decided that I need to make it a habit to eat within an hour of getting up. I've been blogging first thing, which still wouldn't be a problem, but usually before I manage to get downstairs I end up getting texted, skyped, emailed, and it's just so much fun to talk to people that I get sidetracked and by the time I get down to the kitchen to grab coffee and breakfast, it's lunch time. So starting tomorrow I'm gonna head downstairs as soon as I wake up, and get my coffee and breakfast. Today in addition to my usual making meals, doing my Bible study lesson, and continuing to work on my room. I still need to wash the bedding, dust, windex, & vacuum. Also, I wanna keep going with the laundry. This getting the house in order so I can have someone over to dinner is gonna take a while, and I would like to have some fun with a friend before that's all done. So I'm gonna check with Jim about when we might have the money available just so I can get together with a girlfriend or potential girlfriend and go see a movie. I haven't been to the movie theatre in ages. I'm trying to even remember the last one I saw. Oh I think it was Megamind. Jim and I love Pixar and Dreamworks movies. We are kind of overgrown kids at heart.

Tonight I'll have everyone home for dinner. I'm making Italian Turkey Sausage pasta and a salad. Simple fair that everyone should like.

Well that's the scoop for today. Jim has to work tomorrow, but all the kids will be home. Except Cory has basketball practice at 8:00 am. Sheesh! C'mon coaches, there's not even school, and this is only the freshman team, not Varsity. But what can I say? One of his coaches is a student teacher who was on the Varsity team here at the high school when they won the state championship in 07. So he might be a little intense. lol. Nice kid though. Man, you know you're getting older when you realize you could easily be the mom of some of your kids' teachers. Oh well getting older isn't all bad. It means you aren't dead yet.

RubyTink :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ah good ole Monday morning. Well , it's a short week for my out of the house people. Jim gets Thurs & Fri & the weekend off. Cory is off from Wed on, & Michael's last class is finished Tues. @ 10:30AM. I have all the food bought for Thanksgiving. Just need to remember to take the turkey out of the freezer today.

Yesterday the kitchen was really a mess. Cory hadn't done a very thorough job of cleaning up. He did do several dishes, but there were others left undone, the surfaces , like counter tops & tables weren't cleaned and there was stuff that hadn't been put away (thankfully not food though). I would have had him take care of it,but he was gone all afternoon and part of the night keeping score for a basketball tournament, and I just wanted it clean. It took me forever too, but that's cuz I was also texting with a friend, which I'm not complaining about cuz really it made it feel like I had company while I was working & it made things a lot less tedious. This week it's Kelley's turn for kitchen clean up, but she wasn't feeling well yesterday, and is still asleep, so we may have to cover for her today, but instead of doing it all myself if that's the case, I'm going to have Haley and James pitch in. James doesn't know how to do kitchen clean up, but hey , my lightning quick mind has had the revelation that I can teach him. He'll be 6 next week. He can learn to at least do some of the tasks. LOL I had my girls washing dishes, standing on a little stool , when they were 4. I guess the baby tends to get a little coddled. Sometimes, I'm bad about that. He's just so cute and cuddly and well, little, compared to my other kids, that I forget he's really NOT a baby.

Well, the kitchen and my Bible study and making dinner was about all I got done yesterday. Some of my cyber chick friends kept wanting me to skype. I resisted for a while so I could at least get the kitchen done before starting on dinner. I prefer to work in a clean kitchen, but then in a moment of weakness, I fell into the skype trap, and Jim had to drag me out with his pleas to feed him and the kids. Sheesh! That family of mine just seems to want food EVERY day. LOL! So I was a good girl wife and mommy and made burgers, corn, and one of Jim's favorite salads, cranberry spinach with toasted almonds. It's SO yummy!

Need to remember to take steaks out of the freezer for dinner tonight. We're having rib eye Italian steak, homemade applesauce, and asparagus. It feels good to know what I'm making for dinner instead of just trying to pull something together on the fly. Today after breakfast, I'm going to have the kids do the kitchen clean up. Then I'll shower & do my grooming, etc., do my Bible study, & clean my bedroom that I never ended up getting to yesterday. I'll take care of that myself cuz it is MY room. I'm not adding in anything else cuz I think that will be enough for today in addition to making meals and dealing with life as it happens.

Now onto coffee then let today's adventure begin!

Ruby Tink:-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Usually, I blog first thing in the morning, but today I didn't have time. Well, we have our car back, so that's a good thing. We were able to go to church, which made me very happy since I haven't been in service for four weeks. One time we had a blown out tire, the next weekend I subbed for the prechool teacher, then we were just wiped out tired (It was right before I got sick), and last Sunday I was full on sick. And of course, we missed last Wed cuz of the critters in my kids' hair. So it was really really good to be there today. We weren't able to make it to Sunday school cuz I had to make the dessert this morning since I didn't get it done yesterday, but actually that worked out for the best. My original plan was to make an angel food cake from scratch, but by the time I got around to doing it last night, I just wasn't feeling well, wiped out and just generally icky. So I was just thinking, "Forget it. I'll do it in the morning." Well then this morning I looked at the recipe, and saw it needed 2 hours to cool inverted. Ooooops. So much for that idea. On to plan B. I went online to find a different recipe that used ingredients I had on hand. (I usually have the basics for baking in my pantry) and found this caramel apple dessert. It was a much faster and less fussy recipe and was apparently well liked cuz I doubled it but still came home with an empty pan. I actually didn't think it tasted particularly caramely, but it was still good. It worked out for the best cuz it turns out someone else brought angel food cake. lol.

Once again yesterday, yes to Bible study, but no prayer time with Jim . I did make breakfast for myself instead of either skipping it or eating junk like I have been lately, but by the time I ate, it was noon, so I didn't end up making lunch,and Jim made the sandwiches for dinner since that's what we usually do on Saturdays. I did some picking up and clearing off tables in the kitchen and dining room. I was going to tackle the dishes, but really that's Cory's job this week, and Jim said he needed to do them. Of course, that didn't go over so well with Cory. Apparently, having to do dishes is a surefire way to ruin a teen's life. Wow! Who knew? Anyway, although I was willing to do them, I think Jim was right to tell Cory to take care of them, and even if I HADN'T agreed, I still would have backed him up cuz we support each other in front of the kids, and really avoid intervening or going against the other's decision. That's not to say we never disagree, but when we do, we work it out in private, with him as head of our home having the final decision when we can't come to a mutually agreeable solution (but since we are both, for the most part, flexible and reasonable we usually can).

We spent a lot of the day playing Scrabble. Before I go on I should probably explain that Jim and I are uber competitive, and very into board games, especially word games, and most especially Scrabble .We play for blood. We don't even usually include our kids cuz we show no mercy, and quite honestly, we are WAY out of their league. lol Jim and I are pretty evenly matched, so it makes it much more interesting. Really, it's not very fun to play this kind of game with someone who's either way better or way worse at it. Often, there's only a point or two difference between the winning and losing scores, and I will own up to the fact that especially with Jim, I don't lose very graciously, and he gloats. So I was not a happy camper when he beat me two out of three yesterday. Hey I'M the one with a degree in English, so it's a little humbling to lose to an ART major. And it didn't help that he won by a landslide or that he scored over 300 in the final game. We always feel pretty proud of ourselves when we hit in the 300s. lol. GRRRRRRRR!

The movie was OK. Judy Moody. I had never seen it before. It was clean, kinda cute, and fairly entertaining, but more importantly family friendly. Hey it's not easy to find something appropriate that will keep the interest of adults, teens, tweens, and a kindergartener.

This morning I made the dessert, got dressed and prettied up, and went to church. It was SO good to be in service again. We had a great dinner afterwards in honor of our pastors. The girls at this church can definitely cook! Kelley wasn't feeling well so Cory stayed home with her cuz she didn't want to be alone, and he doesn't like church anyway. (We are mean parents and make him go, but since Kelley doesn't like to be alone, we made an exception today.)

Today I will continue with the goals I already have: doing my Bible Study lesson, praying with Jim (yes, I'm still keeping it on the list), and doing the after meal kitchen/dining room clean up. I also am adding something new. I have a lot of friends and extended family but very few that I actually DO anything with. Staying in touch and/or getting together is one of those things that so easily falls by the wayside because of all the other stuff of life. While it's true that time with God, Jim, the kids ARE higher priorities than other people, that doesn't mean friends and extended family aren't important. So I've decided the only way that I'm going to make new friends and develop deeper relationships with current friends and family is to be deliberate. So this is a biggie for me, I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and invite someone or some family to dinner at my house. It's not because I'm shy or uncomfortable with people that this is such a nerve wracking thing for me. Are you kidding? I enjoy and can have fun with most people. It's the state of my house. It's old and has a lot of stuff wrong with it. Our furniture is ugly, mismatched, torn, and worn; our home isn't decorated really, and it's a mess (both the cluttered stuff all over AND the dirty dusty sometimes stinky kind). OK but this is what I figure. I may not have money right now to make it pretty or repair things, but I CAN clean it up. I'm not talking perfection here, just reasonably clean so that people don't have to fear tripping over stuff or catching malaria or something when they come over. And hey, I can throw a blanket or something over the torn upholstery. The Bible says to practice hospitality, and there's no little asterisk that says, "Unless everyone you know has better furniture or newer and prettier homes than you," Hospitality is about blessing people and making them feel comfortable and welcome, not about impressing them. I'll admit that's hard for me to swallow cuz I've been pretty impressed whenever I've gone over to anyone else's home. It IS cleaner and prettier and newer and in better repair than mine. But so what? I mean, yeah OK I DO need to clean first cuz I don't think it's very hospitable to gross people out. My own family is used to the yuck, but I realize many people would not be. So I will take care of THAT, but as far as the rest goes, here are my thoughts. While I am impressed with all the other homes I've been to, it wouldn't have bothered me in the least if they had been much less impressive. It's the people I'm going to see, not their home. And if I feel that way, maybe other people do too. Most people are probably not going to judge Jim and me just cuz our house isn't impressive, and the few who might, well sorry, then they aren't really the type of people I care to become closer to. There are other fish in the sea.

Well this cleaning thing is a big elephant, so I'm going to need to break it down into bite sized pieces. First of all, I don't have to do every single cleaning task under the sun just to have people over. For instance, I highly doubt anyone will be pulling out my fridge to see whether the coils in the back ate dusty. And if they're that nosy and persnickity , then they deserve the deluge of dust bunnies that will attack their nostrils. lol. Pretty much what needs to be done is picking up, getting rid of dust and dirt and items that don't belong in a room, emptying trash, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping floors, cleaning surfaces, and making sure nothing smells bad. Also any really glaring rips, tears, or repairs that can be taken care of pretty cheaply would be good to complete. And my worst room, which is a small extra room way at the back of my basement, which right now we're using for storage really can wait. It has a door that can be shut. I do wanna get to it, but the priority is to work on places guests are most likely to see.

Still even this is going to be a lot of work to do as well as maintain, so my plan is to do one room per day. Once a room is done, I will then stay on top of the daily and weekly stuff so that it doesn't become unmanageable. I realize with some of the bigger and messier rooms and some of the busier days, I might have some days when I can't finish a room, but I will do my best, and if a room ends up taking another day or two, oh well. What's that in the scheme of eternity?

So today's plan after I do my other stuff will be to do my bedroom. I realize guests might not even see it, but it is right next to the bathroom, so they might. Besides, I got a lot of it picked up the other day, so this should be a fairly easy one to tackle, and it will feel good to be able to say I have one room complete. So I need to pick up the stuff ,and put it where it goes, throw out the trash, do laundry, wash my bedding, dust & Windex, and vacuum. Once that's done, I will make it a habit to tidy up my room, make my bed, and do laundry each day. Then once a week dust/Windex, wash the bedding, and vacuum. So that's the plan anyway. We will see how it goes. Life may interrupt it, but at least now I will know where to go back to after an unexpected event occurs. lol Much better than running around like a guilt ridden crazy woman screaming at everyone or becoming paralyzed like the infamous deer staring at headlights, right?

Ok I'm thirsty. I've already had my coffee so now time for a cool drink. Hope all readers are having a fabuloso weekend.

Ruby Tink, Domestic Diva Wanna Be :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's the weekend. Yay! Jim was supposed to work today, but we are having car problems. Yay that he's home. Boo for the car. Thankfully, though, there's a mechanic within walking distance since we only have one vehicle. It's just the $ thing. I'm so hoping this won't cost an arm and a leg. The good thing is that this mechanic is very reasonably priced (always cheaper than anybody else) and we have an established relationship with him. Hey when all you can afford are prehistoric vehicles, you end up at the mechanic a lot. Oh well, at least I know he won't rip us off.

Yesterday, I did get my Bible study stuff done. So far, so good in that dept. The prayer thing, not so much. It didn't happen yesterday. When Jim got home from work, he fell asleep, and then I took a shower, got dressed, and did all my prettying (I know that's not an actual word, but hey it's MY blog, so I can do what I want). Then I had to grocery shop, and I had a lot to buy. Then put away and make dinner, and by the time everything was done, it was like 10:30, and Jim was ready for bed. I also didn't end up cleaning the kitchen at all. First menu planning 3 meals a day for a week and making the grocery list took longer than I thought. Then Jim asked me to clean our room (which was also a PIT) and THAT took a while. I'm working on being more accommodating to his requests, which usually isn't a big deal cuz he doesn't really ask a whole lot, nor is he demanding. It's just that I often have my own plan, and if I'm not careful, I can view his requests as interruptions. And I don't want to get that kind of attitude toward him since he's the most important person in my life, other than God.

So today (unless Jim has other things in mind that would prevent it), in addition to doing my Bible study, getting myself dressed and prettied up, I will also prepare meals, clean up the kitchen, and pray with my hubby. Plus, we have a dinner at church tomorrow so I need to make a dessert and garlic bread for that, and tonight is family movie night at my house. It's Kelley's turn this week.

OK my morning coffee has been delayed WAY too long. It will now become afternoon coffee, and I'd better get it before anyone gets hurt.

Ruby Tink :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday already? Wow! Time flies whether or not you're having fun. Ok I know I had said that I don't want any anon comments, but I do have someone I know following privately, and I totally understand her reasons for doing so and appreciate her loving heart. I also greatly value her input, so I told her she could comment anonymously. So if you see an anon comment, that's why. So while I would prefer with other people that I know who's talking, I have decided to allow anon comments. As far as I know, I only have one private follower though. I guess I'm just a little concerned about someone being mean or rude and than being too chicken to even own up to it, but I don't think this is even the type of blog that would draw people like that, so it's probably a non issue.

Yesterday I got my Bible study reading and questions done, but we didn't end up going. Wires with our ride got crossed. Apparently she WAS here, but neither the kids nor I saw or heard her. Bummer. But life happens, right? So we'll try again the week after next. No meeting next week cuz it's Thanksgiving.

I think we have removed the plague from our home. The kids have all been treated with the turbo bug death gel, stuffed animals packed away in garbage bags for the next 10 days, and bedding and pillows washed. Now we just need to dump the brushes and get new ones ,and we should be good to go.

Jim and I forgot to pray together last night, so we'll have to remind ourselves to do it today. My mind was elsewhere cuz a friend introduced me to skype, and I got to see her and her lovely fam, including the pets ( 3 cats, 2 lizards, and a dog) and hear their voices for the first time. We've been texting for what seems like forever but really has just been like 2 or 3 weeks, but she's just one of those people with whom there was an instant connection. We are alike in SO many ways it's almost scary. She thinks we must be long lost sisters. But I haven't been able to talk to her cuz she's a foreign chick (Ok just Canada but I like to razz her cuz I'm just that way) and Verizon would charge me 69 cents a minute to talk to her. GULP! I'd have to sell a kid or something to pay for that. (not that I haven't been tempted----- Hey don't judge me; I have teens.) But skype is free. Gotta love that. Um Laurie, are you reading this? Skype Girl! Anyway Jim and I (OK mostly me, but Jim talked for a little bit too) spent the evening skyping. It was a blast!

Oh I found a devotional to use as a family and ordered it from CBD yesterday, and it's already on it's way. It's for advent, so doesn't start til Dec 1. Technically I know Advent is a few days earlier, but this is how the book is set up with enough devotions to last from the 1st til Christmas, so we'll go with it. But I still need to find something for after that, but this buys me a little more time. I think the Advent devotions will be a good first choice cuz it's not just reading and questions, but also has activities to go along with the day's reading. I really like the devos that have an activity or object lesson or something other than just reading & discussion. Even if the activities aren't every day. I just think kids, at least my kids, tend to get bored with the same old same old, day after day. It's nice to mix it up every once in a while. So hopefully I can find a resource that does this.

Today I will continue to work on my Bible study, remember to pray with Jim, and I'm going to add another goal. Quite honestly, my house has become a PIT. I know it's bad when it starts bothering Jim cuz he is by no stretch of the imagination a clean freak. He hasn't said anything cuz I've been sick & am still dealing with this blasted cold, but I can just tell he's bothered. I mean when you've been married to someone for 21 years, you can kinda read them. Honestly, I would be REALLY embarrassed if someone came over right now, and seriously, is it just me, or does it seem like NO one shows up unexpectedly when your house is reasonably clean, but let it become like the cover shot for Ransacking Monthly Magazine, and lo and behold everyone and their mother comes knocking on your door? Murphy's Law at work in the housekeeping arena. OK so I need to do something here, but the thought of taking it all on makes me want to lie down before I even get started, so I think I'll start eating this elephant in the kitchen cuz that's the most used room and gets dirty the fastest and really is not sanitary or nice smelling to let that go. I will get back into a daily routine in the kitchen. Not getting into any deep cleaning or organization or decorating or that kind of stuff, but just the basic everyday stuff. This is what I'm planning for now anyway. Plan and shop for a week's worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), prepare said meals (haven't really been cooking for over a week and that's a biggie to Jim), clean up after each meal, which would be wash, dry, and put away dishes, clear and wipe tables, counter tops, stove, and sink. Tidy up kitchen and dining room, put away food, sweep kitchen and dining room floors. Today this will all take awhile because my kitchen looks like a tornado swept through, but once I get it back in order, it won't be such a major project to maintain it. If I stay on top of it, it won't take long to keep it nice. I just have to take care of it after each meal. So that's the plan anyway. Hey that in itself won't turn my home into a place of beauty, but it's a start. But first coffee.

Ruby Tink :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday morning. It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is only a week away! But have I done anything to get ready? Of course not. Really though, I don't have much to do. It's just my own family, and we keep things pretty simple. Nothing structured. We do have a turkey dinner and share what we're thankful for, but that's about it. We are looking forward to having Michael home for a few days though. Jim will pick him up after work on Tues. Yay!

Yesterday I had a few challenges. First, I found out my youngest 3 all had head lice. Gross! Yuck! And such a pain in the patoot to deal with. I know it can happen to anybody, but it still feels like a stigma, like we're not clean enough, or I haven't been a watchful enough mom, or we're just gross disgusting filthy people. Especially cuz this is the second time we've dealt with this. I learned a few things from last time though. This time we went straight to the prescription stuff that you leave on with a shower cap overnight. Too bad the stuff's so expensive. Even with our insurance, it still cost $40 cuz the bottles are so small that we needed two. I guess I shouldn't complain though cuz without insurance it's like $120 per bottle. Insanity! And the stuff smells terrible. I had to have Jim put it on cuz the odor is so strong it gives me a headache. So this morning before Bible study I get to deal with cleaning that out of their hair. Happy happy joy joy!

OK then I ended up having a mini meltdown cuz dinner didn't work out the way I had planned. On Sunday night I had asked Jim to take cube steaks out of the freezer so I could put them in the crockpot Monday morning. But Monday I was still too sick to do anything, so I had him put them back in the fridge. Tuesday we went out to dinner, and yesterday, I just decided I'd wait til night and just cook them on the stove or in the oven. So when it was time to make dinner, I went online to find a recipe, and my computer was just being incredibly slow. Then it took me awhile to find something I actually had the ingredients for. OK I finally found something and went to the kitchen to get started. I was gonna make mashed potatoes, so I grabbed the sack of russets and they were all sprouting. So that was out cuz I'm not sure but I'm thinking potatoes that have started to sprout are probably too old to use. So then I'm thinking OK we'll do rice. I start heating the oil for the steaks, take them out of the fridge and notice parts of them were brown. Then I check the date: use by Nov 12, and I start thinking maybe this isn't a good idea. So I had to do some quick thinking about an alternate plan. Spaghetti? Ok but no spaghetti noodles. Hey that's OK we have elbow macaroni and spaghetti sauce. That'll work. Then I go to get the pot to cook the pasta in and it STILL hadn't been cleaned from when the kids had mac and cheese on Monday! Now there are very few foods I absolutely loathe and that literally make me gag, but THAT is one of them. I can't even make the stuff. If the kids want it, they or Jim have to prepare it. I had specifically told Jim , PLEASE if you guys are going to have that disgusting stuff, make sure everything gets cleaned up cuz it grosses me out so badly to have to deal with it. I do have one other big pot but for some reason it was sitting in the basement bathroom and I had no idea WHAT it had been used for. I guess looking back I could have just thoroughly scrubbed a pan, but by that point I was just frustrated, grossed out, and feeling wiped out. I'm still not fully recovered. So yes, over something absolutely stupid, I burst into tears and had a bit of a meltdown, and Jim picked up pizza for dinner, and I felt like a slacker wife and mom. Oh the mini dramas in the life of a perimenopausal woman!

But yesterday, I did get my entire week's worth of reading and questions done for Bible study, found a ride for us, and had Jim pick up some cookies for brunch. I was gonna make something, but just had so little energy as the day wore on. I decided to hold off on doing my daily portion of reading through the Bible for now cuz there's Bible reading 5 days a week with the lesson, and I figure that's good for now, esp cuz you don't just read the passage but have to answer questions, look up other verses, etc., so you go a little deeper. So now part of what I'll be doing each day is that day's portion of the lesson and sticking with that. So I'm caught up there and can move forward. One tiny area under control, but hey it's something.

Also yesterday I asked Jim if we could start praying together each day. It doesn't have to be long. Even a few minutes is fine. We just need to be consistent. btw--- Consistency over the long haul is a HUGE challenge for me. So we had a great prayer time last night! It was long, but I think that's just because we haven't prayed together in a while. I'm glad we're doing this now because I really believe that when a husband and wife pray together, it's very powerful.

Today I'm going to ask Jim if we can start having family devotions each day too. The younger 3 kids usually enjoy that, but Cory is VERY resistant, so that's going to be a challenge. But I think he still should be required to at least listen respectfully. So we've gotta figure out what to use for devotions for our wide age range of kids ,almost 6 to 15, and when we're gonna do them. I'm thinking after dinner would be good. So in addition to doing my Bible study lesson today and praying with Jim, I need to find some suitable devotional materials. Any ideas?

Well I need to go get ready for Bible study, get the kids up, have some coffee, deal with lice removal and other fun stuff. Happy Thoughts Everyone!

Ruby Tink :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey guess what. I figured out how to delete myself and the extra Jim. Does this mean I'm a tech wizard now? Woo hoo!

Yesterday didn't go as planned, which wasn't a bad thing cuz there was fun involved, so I didn't end up doing anything I had planned other than taking a shower and making myself presentable enough to go out in public without scaring small children. Kelley is finally all done at the dentist! Hooray! It had been quite the ordeal with her two bad teeth, one needing oral surgery to extract and the other a root canal. The first couple of visits she was really anxious and I had to stay with her, but she's been a real trooper, and by yesterday, all this was old hat and no big deal. The last couple visits she didn't even need me to come in with her, and she was fine just having the local anesthetic, no longer asking for the gas or to be put under.

I had planned to work on my Bible study lesson and do my daily portion of reading through the Bible at the dentist, but I just had trouble concentrating with all the distractions, and then a friend came in for her appt, and I started talking to her. By the time she was called in, Kelley was done, and then we had to pick up Cory from school. There wasn't much time before his appt., so I got to read all of about one sentence. Again too much outside noise in the waiting room for me to focus. After that we went to our home away from home aka WalMart. Jim calls it our cabin, lol. Here in MN many people have (or at least have a relative who has) a summer cabin and during the non frigid time of the year, they spend a lot of time there. We don't, but we do have Walmart less than a mile away, and I confess I love Walmart. Hey it's the cheapest place within reasonable distance to grocery shop. Yes, I know Aldi is cheaper , but I don't like it. It's a long drive for us, the selection is REALLY limited, It's a pain in the butt to deal with those stupid carts you have to pay for. (Hey when it's 20 below I just wanna RUN inside. Dink around with releasing a cart? I don't think so.) Plus you have to bring your own bags and bag your groceries. I HATE bagging my stuff. And then they don't have half the things on my list, so I end up having to go to Walmart anyway. So by the time it all adds up, and hey there's the extra gas cost too, I don't really save much if anything. Plus there's the time and irritation factor.

We couldn't find a suitable sweatshirt or jacket for Cory there, but did that stop me from spending $? Of course not. I have determined that it's next to impossible to walk into Walmart without buying SOMETHING since they sell just about everything. I needed lipstick and thought I'd try some root lifter. I'm growing my hair out. A year ago it was jawline length. Now it hits a little below my collar, which is such an awkward length that I'm ready to cut it short again, but so far I haven't. I do have a lot of hair so I think I'll be able to wear it long without it looking all stringy. I hate that look when I see it on other women. Just cuz your hair is long doesn't mean it's pretty. Lush shining long hair IS gorgeous, but the stringy limp dull colored mane? Not so much. The problem I'm having now, besides the irritating length, is flat roots. When it was shorter, it wasn't a big deal to get volume, but now it's heavier, and while I do have a lot of hair, the individual strands are fine, so the top goes flat, which wouldn't be so bad if I had perfectly straight hair, but mine is wavy in spots. Anyway, I'm hoping this root lifter helps cuz hairspray really isn't doing a whole lot.

OK back to the original path here...... so we ended up going to the outlet mall. Cory really likes label clothes, but we do not like label prices. But there just so happens to be an Aeropostale store at this mall, so we thought we'd check it out. Well, there also just so happens to be a Dress Barn, which is one of my favorite stores, and I just so happen to be in desperate need of clothes. I did get some money for my birthday and ordered some stuff online and was going to place a second order as soon as the check cleared, but since I was at Dress Barn anyway and since it's an outlet store and since it even has further deals, I thought I'd take a look and see if they had the stuff I was looking for (I'm trying to build a basic wardrobe and then add in pieces as I can rather than just continue to randomly shop for whatever looks good on me and I can afford without thinking through what, if anything, that I already have would work with it. I guess you'd call it shopping with purpose.) And I did indeed find some things that were reasonably priced, in my size, and pretty. I got a black turtleneck cotton shirt, a black thicker knit (almost like a thin sweater) tank, a really cute white lace covered tank, a black leather purse with a cute bow on the side, a shaper (not sure how good it is cuz it was only $24 but the saleslady who looked about my size said she really likes it so I thought I'd give it a try), a hip looking hammered silvertone coins necklace and earring set, and 2 pairs of black tights, one a thin knit, the other just regular tights. It's getting colder here now, and I pretty much wear just dresses or skirts. So I got all that for $151, which I think was a pretty good deal. My order included a few other things as well, but was going to cost close to $300, so I think I did pretty well. So now I can delete that second order I was going to send. I do need a few new bras which were in that order, but actually I think I can get a better deal at Lane Bryant (for all you petite people that's a plus size store). So once I do that and my order arrives, I will have my very basic core wardrobe and can start building on it. I will need to get rid of most of my casual clothes currently in my closet cuz they've become faded and/or stained and/or too worn. My dressier clothes are mostly pretty nice, but other than church, I don't have much occasion to wear them. Oh I also found a black kind of thin velour material collared button shirt at Walmart for only $16, so I picked that up too cuz I figured I could wear that on it's own or or layered over a tank with just about any skirt. Oh and I picked up a packet of those clip on mock camies cuz so many shirts and blouses that are otherwise great are so low cut, and a lot of my shirts tend to show more than I'd like cuz even though I'm more than pleasingly plump, compared to the rest of my body, I have narrow shoulders so my shirts tend to hang down lower than I'd like. So I think these little fake cami things will be great. Oh and btw this little journey out to the outlet mall did not leave Cory disappointed either. He got the sweatshirt he wanted plus 2 shirts since the shirts were on clearance. Hey $4 for an Aeropostale shirt is too good to pass up. That's cheaper than Walmart stuff (and much better made). Now that I think of it, it's probably even cheaper than the consignment shop which sometimes has name brand clothes.

Jim also took me out to dinner at Applebees. I was supposed to go out on my birthday, but I was too sick. So this was my belated birthday celebration. We had their new whiskey mini steaks and French onion soup. YUM!

So today I HAVE to do my entire week's worth of reading and study questions as well as make a dessert for Bible study tomorrow. Plus, I need to see about finding a ride. And I wanna do my daily read through the Bible portion as well. So that's the plan anyway. As I've said before, comments are always welcome. I probably won't say that with every post cuz I don't want to become tiresome (Now we dance! Sprockets. Sorry couldn't resist. If you don't know the reference, you must never have seen Sat Night Live before it became utterly disgusting). But I'm always open to hearing any input you might have to any post. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday.

Ruby Tink

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where to Begin

Well so far, so good with this blog thing. But I have another tech question. When Jim was reading here yesterday, I was still signed in, so when he clicked follow, guess who got added to my list? I'm thinking I really don't need to be following my own blog, lol. So, how do I delete myself? Also, Jim ended up putting himself on there twice. While I LOVE that he supports me and likes my blog (the entire one day's worth of it), I think he only needs to be listed once as a follower. So, how can I delete one of him but keep the other? See I told you that I was technology challenged. Now you know I really wasn't kidding.

Everything feels chaotic to me right now. I've been sick for almost a week and really haven't done diddly squat. Seriously, I've stayed inside and have been living in my jammies. And you all know what happens when mama is down. Things get all wigged out and out of order. This morning I'm starting to feel somewhat human again. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet. But I'm not all the way there. I still have throat issues. Got that lovely hoarse gravelly voice at the moment and the lovely perpetually dripping nose. Still coughing some, but at least I no longer feel that I'm going to cough up an entire lung. Maybe only half. But most of this has seemed to move out of my chest and back into my throat and nose, which I guess is good, right? And hey if I have to be sick, at least it's not a tummy virus. I'd rather have just about anything other than that. I think being nauseated and all that follows is worse than being in pain or having a terrible cold. So I'm thankful that it's not the puking deal AND that I'm on the upswing of this. OK enough talk of my ailments. I'm starting to sound like an old lady, and I've decided that no matter what my age, I'm not gonna get old. I'll probably be one of those 100 year old ladies who still gets highlights in her hair and wears pink rhinestone glasses and fully enjoys life, cuz at that point who cares what anyone thinks?

So here I sit. Martin Luther said, "Here I stand!" But he must have already had his coffee and probably hadn't been sick for the past week. Life feels very out of order because I've gotten behind on everything. It's probably not as chaotic as it feels, but I get easily overwhelmed when I see all the mess, both literal house messiness and undone other stuff like kids' school work and my Bible study lesson for Thursday and not being anywhere near where I want to be in all my life areas. I know the advice is to break things down into small bite size pieces and go from there, but sometimes it's hard for me to figure out how to do that. Yes, I know you eat an elephant one bite at a time, but exactly how do you carve it up? How big should those bites be? And which part of the elephant should you start eating first? Should you just pick something and go with it? I've heard the advice start with the highest priority or what bugs you most. But it ALL bugs me. I've heard some people say start with the internal and the external will naturally follow; I've heard others say the exact opposite. Do you pick an easy thing first? Or do you pick something that shows , is more obvious? Cuz these things give you a quicker sense of accomplishment, right? Or do you pick a hard thing first cuz after that the other stuff will be easy? And how many goals or different areas should you tackle at once? And do you need to totally complete one goal or change before adding another in? But what about those things that are just sort of ongoing, that you never really complete, but they are things you want to add in or move out of your life? Do you count that goal as accomplished once you start doing it, or do you wait awhile til it's pretty much something you're used to doing before bringing on the next challenge? And if you wait awhile, how long should it be before you say, Ok I've got this pretty well established. Now onto the next adventure? So now you can see why I have a hard time implementing goals. Sometimes I feel like I'm just not normal because other people seem to know this stuff intuitively. Was I absent when they taught this in Life 101? Is this maybe an ADHD thing? But do I really even have ADHD cuz aren't hyper people skinny cuz they're always bouncing off walls? My mind feels like it's hyper but my body isn't. I can sit still if something isn't too boring, and I'm not like those hyper little kids that are perpetual motion machines.

So the question is: what about today? what about right now? Do I sit here and continue to allow my unanswered questions to keep me in the "deer caught in the headlights" motionless state? Yep.( Just kidding! Gotcha.) Well duhhhhh, no. Something's better than nothing. So I'll start with today. First step will be the question"What's going on today that has a particular time frame attached to it?" (Time is a challenge for me, which drives Jim crazy. God has a sense of humor putting someone like me together with Mr. Prompt, lol) OK, Kelley has a dental appt, and Cory a dr's. Kelley's is first @ 1:30, which means we should leave the house by about 1:10. Now before we leave the house, I need to take care of my appearance cuz after just hanging around at home sick for a week...... well I won't go into graphic details, but suffice it to say I'm a little scuzzy at the moment. So top on my agenda for today is to shower, do all my personal grooming stuff, get dressed in clean clothes, fix my hair, and do my make up. I'm really not a particularly pretty person, but I FEEL prettier when I do all that stuff, which then helps me feel more upbeat and confident. I mean everyone looks and feels better when they've put themselves together. Beautiful, gorgeous people look even more lovely, and ugly people even look presentable. And it works for that vast majority of us who fall at various places between those extremes.

The other thing I'm gonna do is my lesson that's due on Thursday for Community Bible Study. I'm also going to see if we can start getting a ride from someone since the weather will be turning colder and this week is a brunch, so I'll also have to bring something, and that can be a pain when you're trying to walk there with 3 kids. In addition to reading for Bible study, I'm working on reading through the Bible. Ok technically, it's a read through the Bible in a year plan, but there are some days I don't get it done or finish only part of it, and besides I didn't start it in January anyway, so for me it's more like read through the Bible in a decade. Ok I exaggerate, but maybe it's more like read through the Bible in 15 months or something. I'm not really hung up on the gotta do it in a year thing. I'm just not that rigid of a person. The main thing is to read through it. Period. If it's 15 or 16 months instead of 12, I think the universe will continue to run. But I haven't been doing that,( reading my Bible that is, not running the universe---- Trust me, I would SO not be the right person for that job. You would need highly developed organizational skills, and besides it probably requires things like math and physics, and oh I do not wanna even THINK about going there) Anyway, so today I'm just gonna jump back in where I was at.

Ok for starters anyway, we'll go with those 3 things for today anyway. It's a beginning, right? Hey feel free to give input here as that's part of the reason I'm doing this blog and opening it up to whoever.I would like to glean from the wisdom of others. I'm really not a stupid person. Actually, I'm kind of smart. It's OK to say that cuz I know I didn't do that myself. It's something God put in me, although sometimes I wish He had given me the gift of being gorgeous or artistically or musically talented cuz those things seem SO much more FUN than being smart, but the grass is always greener somewhere else, right? Besides, I'm quite sure He knew what He was doing when He created me. But although I'm intelligent, this whole "getting it together" and having all areas of life functioning well and moving forward toward excellence has ALWAYS been a struggle for me. Partly I think because I'm not great at multitasking. I know women are supposed to be good at that, but this is an area where as an individual I don't fall into the generalization. Anyway, that's enough ramblings for now.

Ruby Tink :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011


Welcome to my blog! I'm brand new at this, so I thought I'd just share a little bit about myself and the nature of this blog. First of all, several people have been telling me I need to start a blog, so if any of you are reading this: See I'm FINALLY actually doing it. Aren't you proud of me? I will warn any and all readers, however, that I'm technology challenged, so if the blog doesn't look like other people's fancy ones with all the bells and whistles, it's cuz I have no clue how to do ANYTHING but write. So you tech literate people will have to help me do the other stuff. I'm not even sure what all you can do on these blogs. lol. Ok enough for the technical details. Onto a little about moi.

Well for starters, read my profile. But since they limited me to 1200 characters, and I tend to be long winded, I'll share a little more here (Little is a relative term with me as many friends already know and the rest of you will soon find out.) . My faith in Jesus Christ is the major component of who I am. Christianity isn't just a label for me. It's who I am. It permeates every aspect of my life and being. I've been created first and foremost to glorify and fellowship with God. I believe the Bible. Every word. Even the unpopular and hard parts. I believe God created me not only to worship and glorify Him, but to be Jim's wife and my kids' mom. Those are my highest calls and most important areas of ministry. If I were to succeed in everything else but fail there, then I haven't succeeded at all. I am madly in love with my husband, and he with me even though neither of us look like Vogue cover models or fit the world's standards of success, popularity. etc. We have an uber traditional marriage. We are so politically incorrect that I think Oprah would probably ban us from planet earth if she could. We have 5 amazing but definitely imperfect (as are their parents) children. The birth order is 2 boys, 2 girls, boy. Right now they are 18, 15, 12, 10, and soon to be 6. I have a BA degree in English and used to teach school. I need coffee to function properly. This wonderful bean allows my children to live, so it's a win win situation. Don't mess with mama before the caffeine has kicked in! But I can't drink it black. YUCK! WAY too bitter. I must have it sweetened. Jim says I have a little coffee with my sugar.
The stuff I listed in my interests are NOT all things I'm good at or actually do at this time, but they are things I'd like to learn, do, and/or continue to improve in my life.

So why the blog & what's it about? OK part of who I am is a writer. I haven't published anything and haven't made $ writing, but I enjoy it and just sometimes feel this need to express myself in this format. I guess maybe it's kind of like a creative outlet, though for me, it's just like talking, so I don't really view it as anything artistic. Just talking, using my keyboard. Warning here. This blog is casual, so yes, I might use slang, sentence fragments, etc. And I'm not going for any poetic effects or beautiful prose. That's not the purpose here. If I really want to and if I work hard enough and go through enough drafts, I could do that, but hey I don't want to. It's a blog not a novel.

I just celebrated my 47th birthday (yikes getting close to Five O, Hey does that mean I get a free trip to Hawaii? Book em Dano. Those of you under 40 won't get it, but that's ok. Just indulge me.) and decided that it's going to be a fresh start for me. I pretty much want to improve or makeover or at least tweak all areas of my life. So this is the year I begin the rest of my life journey. And guess what. I need help! So I figure a blog where I can write what I struggle with, how I think/feel, and various topics that are going through the labyrinth of my mind might be a good place to help me get focus, clarification, and direction, as well as allow other people to add their input. Sometimes, a fresh perspective helps when a girl feels stuck. And if that doesn't work, there's always chocolate. :-)

Now about the name. I LOVE all things Tinkerbell. I know she's marketed for 4 and 5 year old girls, but I don't care. (I'm not cool and that's OKayay ay ay. My God loves me anywayayay. That's from a song I like.) I'm an overgrown kid anyway. Very embarrassing to teenage children so I try not to indulge my not so inner child too often when in public with sons #1 and 2. Jim's nickname for me is Tink. He never even calls me Annette except when he's talking ABOUT me to other people. It's either Tink or Honey. He claims I have the same feisty personality as that infamous pixie. However, I will say that's where the resemblance ends since I'm neither blonde (except for the highlights my stylist puts in) nor tiny. I'm a very plus sized girl at this time. I know I know :women always SAY they're fat when they're not, but I really am seriously (as in 100 lbs to lose) overweight. One of the many things I need to work on this year. I chose Ruby for a few reasons, a couple of which I'll share. Others I will not. First of all, ruby is a term used in the Bible to describe a woman of great worth. In Proverbs it says that an excellent wife is worth much more than rubies. Also, it's a beautiful precious stone. And so I want to become a more sparkling ruby in the hands of my Lord as He continues to take me through the polishing process. A ruby isn't some blend into the woodwork bland looking stone either. It stands out and is vibrant red, the color of passion, and I believe in doing things wholeheartedly and living an exciting passionate brightly colored life. Also the ruby is my first daughter's birthstone, the baby they thought might have a chromosonal disorder, yet who was born absolutely perfect. Plus, it's pretty.

I called it ramblings cuz I don't really have one particular subject in mind. In general, I'd like to talk about the things I need to work on, how it's coming along, challenges, triumphs, etc. as well as the stuff and subjects that interest me, but I'm also open to ideas about what readers may want to talk about or to answering questions or sharing my perspective on pretty much whatever. And I tend to ramble, sometimes jumping from one subject to another and going off on little trails. So we'll just see where this goes. I'm open to suggestions. Ok now I'm hoping for comments. Just a couple rules though. No swear words please. No cutting down me or another commenter. You can disagree, but please do it nicely. Just common sense stuff. Also, please no anon comments. At least give yourself a user name. If you wanna say something but don't want it for public view then just email me or if I know you, call me. Sorry if this sounds like obvious stuff, but sometimes what's obvious to one person is revelation to another. lol

So what should we talk about in the next post? Let the adventure begin!