My Mundane Musings

Growing up I longed for the fast paced life of big city life and corporate America. Now I’m a stay at home mom of 4 in a small rural community! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! (At least for now).

Goop on my hands… September 10, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,life,Nifty Stuff,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 11:22 am

I love to cook. Really. Hate my kitchen, but still love to cook. Especially after discovering vinyl gloves!

We went to a friends house for dinner one night and as we walked in, she was chopping garlic and had gloves on her hand. Not big gloves like dishwashing/cleaning gloves (do those things make anyone else’s hands sweat like they do mine?), but latex/vinyl gloves like doctors wear.

My mind screamed BRILLIANT! And starting racing with the possibilities.

So, I went out and bought a box. They were buy the first aid supplies at my Target. And now I find myself using them almost daily.

I use them any time I have to do anything with dough. I don’t even have to take my rings off anymore. I use them any time I have to handle raw meat with my hands. I use them any time I might otherwise find myself washing my hands over and over and over again while I prepare a meal.

And you know how it is – as soon as you get your hands dirty, one of the kids needs you. The phone rings. There is a knock at the door. When you’re wearing gloves, you simply pull them off and go! GENIUS!!!

What’s your favorite kitchen tip?

 

Laundry help… September 3, 2008

Filed under: family,home improvement,kids,life,marriage,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:30 am

Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer (which is probably one of my favorite blogs I read) is having a backwards sponsored week. We get to ask y’all questions – which is something I’m pretty good.

And I need some help y’all! You see, I live with a bunch of messies!

And my main delimma is laundry. If they weren’t all still sleeping, I’d go take pictures of their drawers. I fold the laundry and then it is their responsibility to put it away. And for 3 of the 5, it’s their responsibility to get themselves dressed. (Yes, I’m including my dear sweet Chip in this one. But I do *not* count him as one of my children. Bothers me to know end when people do that to their husbands).

I fold their clothes, nice and neat and then send them on their way. Chip always gets his in the dresser. The older kids (11 and almost 9) get their clothes in the dresser 9 times out of 10.

But y’all – if by chance I forget to give them an item of clothing and go up to put it away for him, what I find is usually something like this…

A bunch of pulled out drawers. Clothes are not placed neatly in said drawer, but shoved in. Smashed in.

And by the middle of the week, the clothes are all unfolded in the drawer. Because of all the inherited traits my kids have picked up, this is the one that they get from their father. They see the tshirt that they want – which is in the middle of the pile. They just grab the edge of it and yank it out. Which unfolds both the shirt on top of it and underneath it. And by mid-week, what they have is a drawer full of clothes that look like they were never folded in the first place.

And I soooo hate folding laundry! Y’all, I really hate it and this just makes me think I shouldn’t even bother to fold the laundry and just leave it in the baskets.

Which is why, if you were to pop over for a visit, you would likely find at least one load of laundry that needs to be folded in my dining room (where the basement steps are) sitting on my table.

So, how would you handle it. I’ve tried making them fold their own clothes, just not looking (which I could do if they were to actually SHUT THE DRAWERS), leaving the clothes in baskets (they just end up on the floor), etc…

What would y’all do?

 

Works For Me Wednesday – Couch covers… July 16, 2008

Filed under: family,home improvement,kids,life,meme,pets,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:58 am

Have y’all gone out anytime recently to price a slip cover for a couch? Sofa? Davenport? Whatever you want to call it? Even the “cheap” ones (imagine the air quotes there) are $35 for a LOVESEAT! And when you get into the specialized ones like we need for our sofa – because it has two bottom cushions and three across the back – well, you’re looking upwards of the $200 range.

Did I mention that I need couch covers because my couch is a disaster because we have FOUR kids? So, selling me $300 worth of slip covers for a set that we only paid $600 (because oh the deal we got on that one!) just isn’t going to happen.

But I was so absolutely sick of looking at the furniture in my living room. It was such a mess. And we are holding out to be past the whole toddler spills/peeing-in-his-sleep thing to be done before we even consider getting new living room furniture.

So, I set out on a mission. A mission to find something that I could cover my couch/love seat with. Something that would coordinate with the rest of the fabric in my living room. Something durable that would hold up against 4 kids, 2 dogs, a cat and whatever other chaos gets added into our home on a daily basis.

And it all has to be machine washable! Which those slipcovers I mentioned before are not!

So, I started to look at material. Do y’all have any idea how much fabric costs these days? Because oh my word! I apparently saw one too many episodes of Trading Spaces where they fail to mention that a thrifty family of 6 cannot afford the beautiful fabrics that hold up so well when the kids are jumping from one couch to the other. Oh! And I don’t sew. At all. At least not on a sewing machine. My sewing machine is currently a step stool in my room that Seth uses to reach the light switch.

I had almost given up home of ever having a slip-covered couch.

Until one day, while walking through Target, I had an idea. As I stood there pleading with my t-shirt clad clan to please not honk every bike horn in the store and to please put that movie back, I had a wonderful, glorious idea. An idea, that if it worked, was going to solve my problem.

Jersey sheets! Because isn’t half of putting on a slip cover just pushing the fabric into the cracks anyway. And even if a set of sheets cost me $50, I’d have enough for not just one couch, but the loveseat too.

So, I took a quick left with a crazed look in my eye. My husband was pretty dazed as I explained my genius plan. He wasn’t convinced that it would work. He tried to talk me out of it.

Until we found a set of sage green jersey sheets on clearance for $15! Because there isn’t a crazy scheme he won’t let me try if it costs less than $20.

Not only did it work, but it worked WONDERFULLY! Flawlessly! The corners from the fitted sheet stretched perfectly around the corners. And all the way up and over the back cushions – with plenty of fabric left over to tuck into the cushions! And the one for the loveseat has a bit too much fabric, but who cares.

And those pillow cases? Oh the joy they’ve brought my kids! They are the big king size pillow cases – way too big for any of our pillows. But perfect for a sleeping bag for an indoor fort on a rainy day. Great for packing away an unruly sleeping bag for an overnight to Grandma’s. Great for packing a bag to run away (oh wait – that was me, not the kids! ROFL).

What’s your favorite household tip? What works for you?

 

Works For Me Wednesday – doctor’s appointments… July 9, 2008

Filed under: family,kids,life,Nifty Stuff,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:01 am

For some reason it seems like someone is at the doctor all the time for the past few years. If it’s not Chip, it’s one of the kids. Between Kait’s reflux, Elijah’s asthma, Noah busting his head open and Seth’s well-child checks, I’m the only one who hasn’t had to go to the doctor.

And it seems like they want to retake your history every time you are there. Especially those pesky meds that have super long names and various dosages and all for various people. It gets a bit confusing from time to time. I can always remember what people are taking meds FOR, but not always which ones they are.

So, I started keeping them in my phone in the notepad. Each person has their own list and every time we get a new Rx, I just add it to my phone before I file the paperwork in the file cabinet. That way, whenever we go to the dr, I have the list at my fingertips (I also keep a list of the antibiotics Chip has taken in the past since he’s allergic to penicillin and can’t take them all).

And my phone is also handy for punching in different things that I might want to look up or ask Chip’s sister about (she’s an RN) when we get home.

So, that’s what works for me. What’s your best “going to the doctor” tip?

 

 

Works For Me Wednesday – 5 ingredients or less… July 2, 2008

Filed under: food,life,menu,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 6:27 am

The thing about summer that plagues me the most is the fact that we just don’t eat much. I honestly think the kids and I could live on cold cereal and/or peanut butter sandwiches! Right now I’m not even missing our oven (it broke a little over a week ago – the stovetop still works).

One of our favorite summertime meals is Italian Beef in the crockpot. I love it because I can put it on first thing in the morning and forget about it. If we have a ball game or something, it’s waiting for us when we get home. Normally we have it with fresh garden veggies and potato salad the first night. And then finish it off the next day (or two if it’s a big roast) as sandwiches! YUM-O!!!

Rebekah’s Italian Beef
1 large BEEF roast (I so do not like pork roast – too much fat)
1 head of garlic – minced (or half a jar of the already minced stuff)
4-5 pepperocinni
1/2 cup of water

Throw it all in the crockpot on low for 10 hours (or until it’s falling apart) and then pull apart. I pull it apart and then leave it in the juices in the crockpot so it’s super moist.

And now I’m off to add this to my menu for next week!

What’s your favorite 5 item or less recipe?

 

 

Works for me Wednesday – baseball season… June 11, 2008

Filed under: life,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 6:20 am

I guess I could post all about how meme’s and carnivals work for me after this week! If nothing else, they come in VERY handy when you commit to blogging 100 days in a row. But that’s not what this is about.

We are in the THICK of ball season. A very rainy ball season that is resulting in make-up games that only add to the madness of our already insane schedule. Which means that uniforms must be washed every night. Ball bags have taken up permanent residency in the back of our minivan. And we eat dinner on the go more than I’d like to admit.

Which has led to emptying my pocketbook into various ball park concession stands. I have FOUR kids. If I give them each only $1 and then give Chip $1 to spend at each game (I only add Chip into that mix because it’s so much easier to do multiples of 5) and average 5 games a week, that’s an easy $25 a week for JUNK!

So, I’ve started packing snacks. Because I can’t stand the thought of spending $1 for a candy bar that I really don’t want them to eat anyway. And I really can’t imagine spending $25 a week for candy! So, I’ve been on the lookout for healthy (or semi-healthy) snacks that we can bring along with us. Pretzels, Pirate Booty (which is GREAT – google it if you don’t know what it is), cheese crackers, and I’m seriously considering making Chip make up some popcorn to bring along since they can’t seem to get enough of it!

Ok – and a quick WFM shout to the maker of the DVR. I’m not sure how I ever watched TV without it. Especially during ball season! This week, we have games on 5 out of 7 days and church on Sunday. I’m really thinking that companies who don’t do product placement are going to have to find some new ways of advertising on television after this whole “digital signal” thing happens. More and more people will be switching to cable and satellite I think and with that comes free DVR type products and well, do peple actually still watch LIVE television? And if they aren’t watching live, I can almost certainly assure you that they are not watching commercials. I love the DVR! Because how else am I going to find something to watch at 6am? (That’s right Suzanne – the time stamp on this one is in real time. And I’ve been up for an hour!)

 

“Mom, I’m bored…” June 4, 2008

Filed under: entertainment,family,kids,life,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 1:10 pm

Nothing makes me want to throw things more than those words out of my kids mouths! My house on a normal day looks like Toys R Us threw up in it and then a tornado came through and spread it all around a little bit more. We have inside toys, outside toys, video games, a larger variety of balls than most sporting goods stores, and I won’t even get started on the stuff that is actually upstairs in their rooms (where I’m afraid to even walk).

One thing that we don’t have during the summer though are friends who are home all the time. During the school year, we know that friends are going to be home at 3pm. During the summer, friends are home some days but not others and you never know whether they doorbell will be ringing at 9am or not (because my neighbors and I have a pact – nobody rings a doorbell before 9am. It is summer afterall!).

So, I keep back some special toys for those times that the kids just really want something different to do. As long as they aren’t whining at me because I’m bored (because for that my rule automatically becomes “I will find you something to do!”), I’m always willing to help them find some new adventure to embark on.

Right now we have two activities that will bring them all running.  Elijah has a science kids complete with a microscope. Nothing brings more joy to a boys heart than being able to a variety of insects under a microscope. Or flowers for the girls – who agree that making bugs look bigger is just too icky!

We also save Play-Doh for an outside, summery activity. I probably won’t win any mother of the year awards, but I don’t let my kids play with play-doh in the house. It’s just more mess than I’ll willing to introduce into the chaos of our house. So, I take a great big plasticy tablecloth and spread it out on the porch outside and give them 100 tubs of play-doh and let them do their thing. And it will keep them busy. For hours.

And that’s what works for me to keep my kids from getting bored during the summer.