Dollar Tree and Rainy Days

I confess, I was a Dollar Tree snob, for most of my life.  I went in by suggestion of a friend looking for some props for the stage.  I laugh now because I go in to the Dollar Tree almost once a month.  Have you been lately?

Need reading glasses?  Dollar Tree has them, for a measly dollar.  Grab a few pair because they are a dollar and lets face it, they seem to walk away, get broken, or become too loose.  Ok, Ok I know they are not going to last forever,  but for $5 you now have 5 pair to keep in your purse, your car your bathroom, and next to your bed.  Same with sunglasses, someone who will remain nameless in our home looses or breaks his sunglasses all the time.  I refuse to pay more than a few bucks for his sunglasses now because they will get washed away in the tide, broken in the car or left some random place.

Do you need Poster board or Foam Core Board for that due tomorrow school report?  They have basic and some bright colors of poster board, and basic black and white foam core.  The poster board is less than a dollar and foam core is only $1 each.  I grabbed a few for summer craft projects.

Do you need travel snacks or little candy bags?  Check out the Dollar Tree!  Right now my favorite is the Whoops Jelly Belly jellybeans  (name brand) it is a bag of mistake beans, mostly misshapen beans.

Going on a trip and need a few cheap’o toys for your kids to play with in the car?  Check out the Dollar Tree they have army men, and little puzzles and scratch art.  ***Here is my favorite travel trick***  Grab a few cookie sheets from the dollar tree, they make great travel trays,  the edges are just enough to keep the play doh from rolling off the tray and the crayons stay put while coloring. As a bonus just wash with a wet wipe and now you have a travel lunch tray. ***

A few weeks ago, when I was stocking up on reading glasses (because even though I buy 5 at a time they seem to get lost or broken…  But I only paid a buck so I’m okay with it)  I walked down the kids toy aisle, and noticed some new to our store painting crafts.  I grabbed a bunch for a rainy day.

Today was that rainy dayHere is a few of the things I grabbed.  I actually grabbed 3 of each style of thing because… well because I have 3 little girls who would likely all want the same thing.

Today the rains came in earlier and longer than our normal afternoon thunder showers.  So we crafted, I did not want to get soaked on a trip to the library.

Painting her Unicorn and Castle canvas.

The little canvas prints are from Crayola, they come with 4 little pots of paint and a cheap brush, we just used our own craft paints and brushes.A little fairy door (wind chime that will not become a wind chime) also painting in your ballet leo is the best way to relax…

The rainy day did not get us down, we got our craft on!

What about you?  Have you been to the Dollar Tree lately?  Found any good deals.
***I should caution, if you buy food at the dollar tree be sure you know where the food was made and if it was shipped from another country, just because a store carries it, does not mean you should buy it.***

Go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

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Fathers Day 2019 at least the House did not catch fire… yet

FathersDay
2019

We should note first of all. The house did not catch fire. But if I’m being honest that would have just been fitting for how our evening was going.

While I began making our Trick Daddy Tacos Dinner, our little PS was helping unload the groceries.  Because cooking dinner at the same time as she helps put away groceries is super easy.  She put the healthy cereal in the storage container and she decided she needed a bowl, a few minutes later little A came in the kitchen looking for that healthy cereal. (Cinnamon Toast Crunch- not the chocolate that is just too much…  healthy is the regular kind)The rule is milk in bowls at the table. Since Keith is educating the children in classic television and Gilligan’s Island was on, both girls took dry cereal in their bowls to the family room to watch with him.  I have no idea what actually happened but I heard glass breaking, little A called out “its good”. I came back to see a Correlle bowl smashed on the edge of the rug in the family room and on the wood floor. Since most of the family was now trapped by glass J and I cleaned, swept, and vacuumed up the tiny shards of glass.

Not knowing that was just the beginning of the events I went back to the kitchen to continue making ‘tacos’ for dinner. ( we were actually going to have steak, the little kids wanted to trick their daddy)  I had the evening meal planned out so the cooking ended all at once.
steak
loaded baked potatoes with mushrooms
bacon wrapped asparagus
corn on the cob
mini baguettes
caesar salad
chicken for the non steak eaters
root beer floats
dessert by E

The corn cob water was beginning to boil, the potatoes had 10 minutes left, the table was mostly set.  The glasses had scoops of vanilla ice cream chilling back in the freezer. It appeared that the Father’s Day trick dad taco meal would be a success.

And then…

I wrapped the asparagus in bacon, slinging bacon grease all over the counter and floor, the timer for the potatoes dinged, I turned off the oven and went to start the grill.
Three.
Two.
One.
Ignition.
Nope.
No ignition.
The grill would not start.
The sprinkling turned into rain and the detailed timed out plans were quickly crumbling.

Keith took a crack at starting the grill for grilled ‘tacos’, it did not start for him either.

We opted to pan-sear the steaks, (because we had no other choice) sticking the asparagus in the hot oven, the skillet was heated to smoking hot for the steaks.  The kitchen, sitting room, dining room and family room all filled with smoke.  The oven was not cooking the bacon (I HATE MY OVEN) the smoke had not yet set off the fire alarm, because the boys grabbed all the fans in the house and began opening windows.  Rain was coming in the kitchen window as smoke billowed out.  Oil splattered on the floor from the pan of steaks, they were a little crispy on one side.  The bread did not go into the oven to warm, and a glass of root beer float fell on the dining room.  The loaded part of the potatoes was still in the fridge.  J set the meat to rest, I put the bacon asparagus in the hot pan to finish cooking.  R almost slipped taking food from the kitchen to the dining room.  My plans were shot and all I wanted to do was cry.  R saw me leaning over the oven, and checked to see if I was okay.  I sucked it up and declared that next year we really were having tacos they are much less stress.

Dinner was delicious, Keith was showered with love notes and gifts.  Both J and E spent their own money to gift him with things they knew he could use or would love.  Their sweet selfless love of their daddy touched my stressed heart!

We played a few games and even let him win!

What about you, any Fathers Day cooking disasters?

Go hug your kids, and maybe someday we can laugh about this disaster meal.
jen

p.s. follow me on Instagram Overholt9
(because I never changed the blog name and the baby is 5 now)

 

I am not okay

I am not okay.(Don’t let the smiles fool you)

Those 4 words were in a text I sent my husband late last week.  I was dropping off our 3rd child for college.  I was alone in the hotel room with the 4year old, and I was not okay.  My heart was breaking and I was so sad.

He replied back that he was so sorry.

His first College porch picture

I knew the inevitable was coming, I was going to be going home with out our son.  I was leaving him to his adventure without me.  I knew how hard it would be to drive away without him.  I had done it before, I knew the change that was going to happen in our family dynamics, and I was not ready.  To be honest I don’t know if I will ever be ready to let my children grow up, grow away and to seek their own adventure.  For this mama I hate that they leave.  I hate the change, I miss seeing them, talking to them, listening to them, and being able to hug them when they need it (or when I need it)  Oh I let them go, I encourage them to follow their dreams, but the whole time I am encouraging them I have a huge cannot swallow lump in my throat.

Our Last Family Picture until Thanksgiving.  ( I cannot wait for us all to be together again)
We all took O up to her 3rd year at that University in the south, but north of us.  She was ready to get back to classes, and start this year.  Hearts were broken and plenty of tears were shed at the goodbye.
All the kids saying goodbye to R

R and PS stayed with me while Keith drove the rest of the kids home, they just could not miss the week of school.  We spent the next few days shopping before taking the final trip to his college.  True to family travel adventures it took us hours longer than the map said.  PS and R in his room.
She wanted so hard to be helpful while he unpacked and settled into his room.

We helped him settle, while we were unpacking Keith called R to see how it was going, he said “mom is not really doing okay”  I thought I was doing a pretty good job faking ‘doing okay’  I guess not.Kisses Goodbye from PS.

Keith flew up on Friday to help with the long drive home, I was so thankful to have him with me.  I needed him to drive since I could not actually see for the tears in my eyes.Saying goodbye is never easy.
I will miss this man-child more than ever the next few weeks.  For now I will survive on phone calls, texting, and face timing.

Go hug your kids, they need your love and time just moves too fast.
jen

Cereal with Iron(y)

This morning I was asked what is for dinner.
(I should mention that earlier in the week I asked each child what they wanted for dinner this week,  E chose nachos, J chose fried shrimp, O chose pumpkin pancakes and breakfast stuff, R chose shrimp scampi and little A chose cereal)  Tonight is little A’s choice.  Which brings us back to the question I was asked as E stood in the kitchen this morning before school.
What is for dinner.
I looked up at her and said Cereal.
She instantly took on the face of an annoyed middle school girl (she has this look quite practice!) I asked “what?” she did not want cereal for dinner, she wanted “real food” (I am using quote marks because she said it in a tone that implied that cereal is not food)

Now for the IRON(Y)
I know you will enjoy this!
At least once a week she looks at the ‘real food’ I have prepared for dinner, and says in a middle school girl tone, “can I have cereal?”
Did you see it?  When I make ‘real food’ she asks for cereal, but when I decide that cereal is an actual family meal, she wants “REAL FOOD”
So for now, she is annoyed with me for making cereal for dinner, when I could have made “real food” that she would not eat but ask for cereal instead.

Go hug your kids and enjoy what ever ‘real food’ you choose to have for dinner
jen

The First Day

Happy First Day of School my children. I pray that you are kind, to others, I pray that you are the one that people know they can trust, I pray that you speak to the lonely and that you include those left out. I pray that you know more of Jesus this year. That you will grow and learn and that you apply the things you learn. The world measures your success but God measures your heart. This year I pray your heart grows.

Go hug your kids, time moves too fast for this mama!
jen

January Snow… or not

So we live in the south, almost deep south, but not quite.  Sure we have had snow here in our area, but the last time was the late 70’s and the people who were here for it, still talk about it.  Frozen pipes, yup, we’ve had that, but actual snow… not since I’ve lived here for the last 35 years.  Carline drop off of 27degrees, sure every once in a blue moon, but only about 2x a calendar year.  When it is that crazy cold, I say we should have snow, because cold is cold is cold but snow…  sigh.  Most of my kids have never seen snow, and the time one of them saw snow he was  not yet 2 years old.  The oldest who has loved being in the big city, bright lights and all has had a few very snowy days, the college girl has had a few snowy adventures, going to open fields to ride sleds, and building snowmen on canceled class days.  The senior is looking at universities all to our north (but there is really not much to our south) he is sure to get snow and cold, at any of the places he chooses.

In order to celebrate January and snow, which I’ve established we don’t get…  I decorate for it.  Years and years ago I noticed how very sad my house looked after I took down the Christmas decorations.  I decided to leave up my snowmen, it grew after that.  Today I am going to share a few of my favorite Snow decorations with you.  My fire place, I love my fireplace, We have burned 1 fire so far this year.  It is lovely when we have one, and according to the weeks weather forecast we might get another chance to burn one this week.  (one day we will hang up the curtains over the book shelf but right now I love the light coming in)E made this super sweet snowman when she was in Kindergarten.To the right of the fireplace.  O and R searched for an app to store our books on, to make them easier to remember so I don’t buy duplicates like I did this year at Christmas.  At last count we have a grand total of 1698 books in our house.  (I have a few new ones to put on the app, pushing the total up when I get them all in)A close up of the shelf.  My sister gave me the birch bark vase last year, this month it is filled with sparkle sticks. To the left of the fire place.  I copied the sparkle houses from a picture I found online, I would link it up if I remembered where I found it.  I just know that she had no directions and they were in the middle of something, not the focus of the picture.The top of the cubbies found a little snowman fun this year.  I can’t decide if the gum ball jar of snowmen and bells is working or not?  
Look at all the cute glitterness!  Those are the little houses PS and I made the other day.

So there you have it
how was your January, did you make your own snow, or did you get real snow?
go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

Chasing My Thoughts…

Sometimes my mind races, in circles or down rabbit trails.
Sometimes it races towards disaster, the ‘What if’s’, and the ‘What will I do when…’  road.  That road is stressful, and often I start to panic and get upset.  It is very unsettling, I blame it on my creative mind.
Sometimes it slowly wanders all over the place, a ‘what about a beach trip, right now?’ or “I wonder how long it would take to drive up to C in that Great Big City and surprise him?’ ‘How will I ever survive with R gone next year?’ Sometimes messy, ‘so, if I want to make a dresser into an entertainment center, where can I get a hole saw? It is always fun to wander, often the plans are not even laid out, just day dreaming, all in good fun.

When my mind is wandering sometimes it is good for me to do a thoughtless task.  Scrubbing floors is the best thoughtless task I know to do, I don’t need to think, I just need to scrub.  Being down on my hands and knees facing the floor takes me away from distractions, lets my mind look inward, to pray, and let scripture chase away the cobwebs that are fogging up my mind, giving it a chance clear itself.  I have prayed hard for many situations down on my knees scrubbing the floors.  Sometimes I scrub them even when they are clean just so I can think and pray.  The benefit of that process is a clean floor and a clear mind.  I might not come to a solution but I can at least fully give that problem to God.  As scripture chases through my head, snippets of songs, and wise words spoken have a way of re-directing my thoughts and letting my anxiety ease up.  Another way I clear my mind is by crafting, or making things, sometimes with spray paint and brushes, or hot glue and a sewing machine.  I can focus on the task at hand and let my mind clean up and rest without forcing the issue.

Today my mind was racingSo I just let it create.
I had a few ideas I had been thinking about and today my mind needed a relaxing outlet a chance to create (really the floors could use a good scrub, but paint…much more fun)  I actually had planned on cleaning out, sorting, and organizing the craft areas (yes there is more than 1) so it looks more presentable, instead of like Hob’Lob threw up in my dining room.  But as soon as I picked up the first paintbrush to put it away, I blinked and we were in painting clothes.  We only painted white.  I had an idea, from a friend, and when I could not find what she suggested I went off-road and grabbed some cardboard and metal house ornaments, and 2 larger houses from HL to see if I could make my own idea work.

We worked together, PS and I, mostly in silence, while we painted, it was lovely.  A bath was needed to get all the paint and glitter off.  There are some ‘start point’ projects (A large February LOVE sign) and some things were completed, I just need to  glitter the larger houses when the paint is dry, then tall the houses will be done, I can display them in my January decorations for a few more days before it is time to pack it up for February.Glitter is my favorite!Over all I am pleased with the job and cannot wait for them to be fully dry before I display them in my January decorations.

What about you? What do you do when your mind is racing?  Do you work off your worry, do you drive through the country side, do you walk it off?
Go hug your kids, they need your love, and look for a way to help them when their minds race along faster than they can think.
jen