Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fan Mail

Lucky girl that I am, I received this picture of a honeypot in my email.  I kinda collect weird  pictures of Honeypots.  Hey, I have a blog called MY VIEW OF THE HONEYPOT.  This was sent to me by my dear hubby.  I am pretty sure you have to have a sense of humor to be in the portable toilet business.

Here are some my other memorable honeypots - Wizard of Ooze and Headquarters.

Friday, April 27, 2012

One Red Dot

Chuckles participated in the performance One Red Dot put by his school in collaboration with Western Washington University(WWU). One Red Dot is a pop up book by David A Carter.   Their music teacher wanted to introduce the kids to some real composers. So she used the One Red Dot book as a jumping off point and music students and their professor, Lesley Sommer helped compose the music. The kids depicted and performed each page.  It was very modern.  The WWU students created the background music though the elementary students did perform on the xylophones. The pages were displayed on the screen behind the performers. There were 83 3rd graders participating. Chuckles was in Four Flip Flop Flaps and he was part of the Flip Flop. He was in 5 Wiggle Wobble Widgets and he was part of a Widget.  He was a body percussionist in 6 Fluttering Flicker Clickers and 10 Coiling Curlicues.

The performance was at Western.  I did manage to get Chuckles there but not before turning around 3 times.  Chuckles finally told me this isn't the way.  LOL  They got to go during the day to practice the performance.  It made quite the impression on Chuck. I asked him if this was where he was going to college.  He said he didn't know.
Chuckles before the performance
Chuck performing 5 Wiggle Wobble Widgets

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Light it Up Blue

The month of April is National Autism Awareness Month. April 2 was actually World Autism Day. Autism Speaks has a Light it up Blue Campaign.  I thought I would be remiss if I didn't mention it on my blog.

I really love Floor Pie's take on " What Autism Awareness Looks Like."  She echos a lot of my feelings in a lot more articulate way on the subject.

This video also spoke to me. It will actually teach you a new word too.  This is from My Asperger's Child and is called Misunderstood Asperger's Child.

I have found the new blog My Asperger's Teen really helpful as her son and my are the same age and both transitioning to High School. That scares the you know what out of me. We are still waiting for the transition meeting.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I like big plants

I like big house plants. I cannot lie.  I love houseplants so when Nester had a planty linky party I had to join.

This is my newest addition.  This is so large it had to be repotted.  I looked around for large pot and the prices were astronomical.  So , I had a brain storm and repotted this in a shiny metal garbage can.  To tell you the truth this almost wasn't large enough.  This turned out to be a cheaper solution. More about the repotting here and what it looked like when I received it.

Above is my first large plant, I ever grew.  Don't I sound like a proud parent. It is a split leaf Philodendron.  My kids once de-leafed it.  I wasn't a happy Mommy. They use to call it the plant with the eyes. The kids thought the split in the leaves looked like eyes.

Above is a prayer plant at night the leaves close up. This also has blooms.

See the spikes.  Those are the blooms. I also have a hoya that is blooming.The blooms almost look fake.

I have been extremely lucky to be gifted or purchased distressed plants.  A lot of my stands and pots have been thrifted. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Forced Adventure

Yes, I am a mean Mom.  Yesterday, I made(forced) my children get out of the house.  The picture above is #1 Son at the beach.  He is writing a story which he told me is too complicated for me to understand. Of course, he said that when I asked to read it.  And he told me it is a rough draft.  He chose to write at the beach. Chuckles and I however were more interested walking along the beach.  Chuck made some impromptu art with rocks and shells.  We ate a little lunch and found a geocache.  Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Couponing Sanely

I had a really good couponing trip on Monday. I have always wanted to do a coupon beauty shot.  Above is mine - 4 boxes of cereal, 1 can of almonds, 6 apples, and a gallon of milk all for $3.62 from Albertsons aka Albies. Sometimes I fall off the coupon wagon.  I guess I should say I fall off the coupon wagon, often. Clipping coupons and seeking out deals is work. I have a love/hate relationship with couponing.  I love to save but I don't want to work to hard for my savings. I think I finally came up with the 10 commandments of Couponing Sanely.

1. No Deal is worth losing sleep over.  I don't do complicated coupon deals.  The more complicated it is the more stressful it is to me.  If this is your cup of tea, go for it.  I need my deals to be pretty straight forward.

2. Time is money.  I am a big believer in balance in my personal life.  I am not going to spend all day seeking out deals or clipping coupons.  I spend roughly 1 hour a week clipping coupons and seeking out deals. 

3. Meal planning saves you money.  It will save you more than couponing in the long run.  It saves you when you are not eating out.  I rather invest more time in meal planning and cooking ahead than clipping coupons.  I think over the long term this pays off more than couponing. I shop sales and plan my meals around those sales.

4. Make sure your coupon organization system works for you.  I actually clip out coupons.  I file them in a certain order.  This system works for me.  I was a file clerk in a very previous life.  My friend is a simple file the insert.  It works for her. Have a system and use it.  The more organization you have the less time you have to spend on couponing.

5. Don't buy foods/products you won't use.  No coupon is a great deal if you aren't going to use the product.

6. Use coupons ethically!!!!  You would think this would be common sense. Don't be a shelf clearer. Don't forge coupons etc.

7. Don't go it Alone.  I use coupon websites that help me pinpoint the deals.  I also have several girlfriends that share deals and pass the info on. 

8. Make sure you get the paper with the most inserts.  My local paper barely gets any coupon inserts.  I am lucky that my Mother-In- Law gets a paper that gets the most inserts and she saves them for me. I regularly buy Seattle Times to get more inserts.

9.  Be Flexible.  Deals sometimes don't work out.  Try new products.

10. Don't compare yourself to other couponers.  I am never going to be an extreme couponer. That is too much effort.  Any savings is better than no savings at all in my book.

 My bottom line is to feed my family cheap nutritious food with minimal stress and fuss.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One for the Numbers

My sad attempt to get a 300th cache picture with me in it!
30tth Cache Found!
We found our 30tth geocache Saturday.We also found the most caches in a day that we ever have found - 20.  I love the names of the caches - Yippy Skippy (peanut butter cache), Purple Tree Hugger, Gnome Home (log with a door).  The names crack me up and remind me how imaginative people are. We did most of our caching down near the Skagit Airport.  Next to the airport their are many many trails.  We walked and walked.  We wished we brought our bikes.  This is the perfect path for bikes and dogs as it is mainly flat and nice gravel surface.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Booking it - April

I am joining Life as Mom Booking It link up.  The book of the month was a The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.  I read that back in November.  It was an interesting read.  My review is here.  One thing I didn't add in that review was how hardworking  and how passionate these two were about the lifestyle. They are really living their passion. A book along this similar lines is Barnheart by Jenna Woginrich. This is about a single woman and how she manages some homesteading on rented property while working.  Jenna also blogs at Cold Antler Farm. I find the whole homesteading movement fascinating. A Washington Blogger, The Coupon Project, started an Adventures Homesteading series.  Check it out.

It seems like I am reading books with a similar theme - Adventurers aka Mavericks that attempt adventures with very little experience with a lot of passion and drive. I went on a mini book bender and read 3 books in 4 days at the end of March.

The first one was " The Cactus Eaters" by Dan White.  The sub title on this book is - How I lost my mind - and almost found myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail.  This was recommended on the library book buzz page as many people are waiting to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed(I think I am 56 on the wait list).  This is a story of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail which spans from the Canada to Mexico border.  Dan did it with his now ex girlfriend Allison.  Their trail names were "the Lois and Clark Expedition".  I think you have to  be a little crazy or out there to do this 2,650 mile trail.  These novices tackled this trail with some romantic ideal of what it would be and in the end the trail pretty much consumed Dan.  Dan did indeed lose his mind. I thought it was an interesting read .  Maybe I have been watching too much of that series "Out of the Wild." The Pacific Crest Trail was actually dreamed up by a Miss Catherine Montgomery of Bellingham, Washington in 1926. Bellingham, WA is the closest big town to my location.  Though Clinton Churchill Clarke is the one who made the Pacific Crest Trail possible and considered the "Father of the Pacific Crest Trail." More information about the Pacific Crest Trail can be found at Pacific Crest Trail Association.

Secondly, I read Night Road by Kirsten Hannah .  This one made me cry.  I won't lie.  The setting is also Washington. This story about teenagers and their choices will tear at your heart.  This is a box of Kleenex read.

Another Pacific Crest Trail Book, A Blistered kind of Love - One Couple's Trial by Trail by Angela and Duffy Ballard caught my eye and once again I couldn't put it down.  I think I enjoyed this better than Dan White's Book.   It was told in alternating voices of Duffy and Angela by chapter.  Maybe I like this one because this couple stayed together and seemed to have a better partnership.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Neat Lego Book

Chuckles checked out this Lego book, Cool Robots by Sean Kenney, from the library.  Both him and Big E were really inspired by it. They have been putting in lot of time building these Lego Robots.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt

We did a little something different this year for our Easter Egg Hunt.  We had a Saturday night glow in the dark egg hunt.  We took the blow in the dark bracelet's from the dollar store and put them in plastic eggs.  The kids loved it.  The weather on Saturday night was perfect for it too.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Caching at Dusk

We never give up.  We were thwarted on April Fool's day from getting all the geocaches along the path.  See our adventure here. We decided to go geocaching at dusk.  We decided to take Tigger with us.  We started at the opposite end of the path. Things were a little( a lot) farther.  The 1st geocache was about mile away.  OYE!  Did I mention that the parking lot has a gate that is supposedly locked when it gets dark.  We were walking at a very brisk pace.  We saw lots of beaver activity.

There is a marshy area next to the river.  Chuckles and I decided that must be where the beavers lived. We ended up walking a total of 3 miles.  This time there was only a little bit of rain and a lot of mud. Everyone however had the appropriate outer wear. We found all the remaining caches! Tigger was exhausted.  We all were exhausted. 
Tigger laying in the back of car exhausted
I just know when my kids are asked about their spring break.  They are going to say they went on a death march along the Nooksack but they got ice cream afterwards. Ahh, the Spring Break memories!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Project Life Weeks 10,11,12

This is a little catch up on my project life scrapbook.

OK, I fell off the wagon on week 10.   My hubby did capture this lovely picture of the moon. I made the picture into a 5x7 and put in a 8x8 page protector from American crafts.  The scrapbook paper is some clearance stuff from Target.

Week 11 found us doing St Patrick's day and Art Night. This week is in 3/4 of a baseball car

Week 12  is just a little of this and little of that. I went to transition night for my oldest son for High School.  That will make you feel old.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mother Nature April Fools

Yesterday was definitely an April Fool's type of weather day.  It rained in the morning and then was relatively beautiful in the afternoon UNTIL we were in the middle of nowhere.  Let me backtrack.  Hubby comes home early from a shooting competition (came in 5th - Wahoo) and we decided we need to do a little bit of geocaching.  We end up geocaching along the Nooksack river. 

We are in the middle of nowhere along the river and it starts sprinkling.  Did I mention that none of the boys are dressed for rain including the Giant Man Child.  I had my jacket with hood.  We decided it isn't too bad then it starts pouring.  The picture below is of Chuck crouched below a pine tree using the sad face to avoid the rain.

We turn back and pretty much as soon as we reach the car it stops raining.We were rewarded with a beautiful double rainbow.