Friday, November 28, 2014

Game Night

We played the kids' version of Tri-Ominos. I love the adult version, but it is too difficult for Sabrina. The kid version has animals on it as well as numbers.

Next up was Don't Spill the Beans. I think it is supposed to be a two player game, but we made it work for the four of us.

We played several rounds of Zingo. I really like Think Fun games and we have a lot of them.

Our last game was All Around Town. I picked this game up at a teachers' store a couple years ago, according to the box it is supposed to make your kid into a genius, but really it's just a fun game.


Wetlands Park

Frank worked from home, Alex played with neighborhood kids, and Sabrina and I went to Wetlands Park. We took our time and also took trails we normally don't. It was so peaceful, we totally avoided the stress and madness of Covetous Friday.

Sabrina and I saw lots of birds and heard other animals moving about in the reeds. It was a very relaxing time and I enjoyed spending time alone with "My Shadow".

It was fun having girl time. Most of the time when it is just the two of us; it is at home when the boys go out. So this was a nice change of pace.



We spent Thanksgiving with family and friends, (not in stores). We ate good food and enjoyed good fellowship. We have so much to thank God for.


We also joined Pastor Jones' church for a desert fellowship and game night. It was a very good day.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Game Night

We haven't had Game Night in a while. Our first Game was the Berenstain Bears Learn to Share Game, which is still a family favorite.

Next up was AcroBats. The top bat is magnetic and then it's a balancing game. Tonight we managed to get more bats than ever before.

We also played the Old McDonald PopNMatch Game.

Our final game was a kids' version of Jenga.

We need to get back into the habit of having Game Night.


Homemade Laundry Detergent

After years of reading how cheap and easy it is to make homemade laundry soap I finally made it. It was super simple and only took minutes to make. All the ingredients and the measuring cups together cost $9.79 and will make dozens of gallons of laundry detergent.

I got the recipe from the following link:

My purpose in making my own is partly the rising cost of laundry detergent, but also every time they come out with a "new and improved" formula or a new scent I worry if Frank will be allergic. I vividly remember the time he was allergic to the dyer sheets- it was horrible. I washed everything we owned using those dryer sheets before we figured out they were causing his reaction! I never want to go through that again!

I only washed a single load until I was sure Frank wouldn't have a reaction. He gave it the thumbs up, and our clothes are clean so it works for us.

An added bonus is that this homemade version is more natural than the kind of detergent we were buying. Also there will be less trash to recycle.

Update: One gallon of this laundry detergent lasted about a month.


Green Valley Potter's House Update

The church is growing. We had ten people on Sunday, three of which were visitors.  One of the visitors came back Sunday Night and he is excited to go street preaching with Frank later this week.

We invited the church over for lunch at our house. I made BBQ chicken sandwiches, (I almost always use the crockpot for fellowships), chocolate chips cookies, a veggie tray, and we had individual size bags of chips.


Pet Store Visit

We visited a pet store on Saturday and now Sabrina is trying to convince us she needs a pet bunny- nope, not gonna happen. Nibbles was a good teacher, I learned my lesson! I did, however, agree to take her back occasionally so she can hold bunnies.


Saturday, November 22, 2014


This year has been one of decluttering for us. We have had Big Brothers Big Sisters make multiple pick-ups and we also have dropped off multiple donations at the thrift store. We have gotten rid of a LOT of stuff. We have gotten our house pretty much decluttered, except the kids' bedrooms and the garage.

These are the donations we will drop off at the thrift store in a little bit.
I also decluttered the pantry. These two bags will be donated to a food pantry.
How did we collect so much unwanted stuff? Well, some things we outgrew and didn't need anymore, some were gifts, some we just didn't want to deal with, some things we thought we'd need then later found out we didn't...
At first the task of decluttering seemed overwhelming because I knew we had too much stuff, but didn't know what to do with it. It was also hard to admit that we, as a family, had collected so many things we just didn't need, it seemed to be admitting we were wrong about so much.
The one area in our home that is not decluttered are the kids' bedrooms.  They want to keep almost everything, but we have drastically slowed down the amount of things coming in. Frank will be building shelves for the garage soon, then we will tackle the big project of decluttereing the garage. We will also put a toy rotation system in place, because we will have a place to store the toys not in use.
I now keep a box for donations in the garage. Whenever we come across an unwanted item we simply put it in the box. I also make time to occasionally go through each room and see if there are more things to get rid of. Another change I made was I now go through the mail right when it comes into the house and junk mail goes into the trash immediately.
Now that the house is mostly decluttered; its freeing. Cleaning up takes much less time and even when it is messy there's not much to pick up; since everything has a place, it is much easier to put everything back in its place. Not only that but the house looks better too. Decluttering is hard work and a continuous process, but the rewards are worth the effort.

A short hike in the desert

When we picked Frank up from work yesterday, Sabrina wanted to take a hike in the desert. So we took a short hike and enjoyed being outside together.

The kids wanted to race on the way back.


Lego Night at the Library

Of course, Alex still loves Lego Night. It has been very good for him to be able to get together with other kids who love Lego and build.

This week they built Balloon Powered Cars.


Chloe the Not so Hero Dog

Sabrina has been putting the cape on Chloe and calling her, "The dog that was a hero, but not a hero."


Friday, November 21, 2014

Operation Christmas Child

Several years ago Alex saw an ad for Operation Christmas Child and wanted to participate. I suggested that we could use their joint b-day party for a fundraiser and he agreed.

This year we collected enough for four boxes! We also had a big bag of toys that wouldn't fit in the shoeboxes that we will donate to Toys For Tots! That brings our grand total for Operation Christmas Child to 14 boxes in the last four years, (we skipped last year). Way to go Alex and Sabrina!!!


Pastor Rendla has a monkey on his back

Sabrina's toy monkey snuck a ride.


Whitney Mesa Recreation Area with Wayne and Audrey

On the last day of their visit we took Wayne and Audrey to Whitney Mesa Recreation Area for a hike.

The kids found lots of small pieces of quartz. Audrey found one that looked like California so, after that,  the kids were on a quest to try to find all 50 states.

We hiked longer than we had ever hiked there. It was good exercise and good fun, though the kids got tired toward the end. I even gave Sabrina a short piggyback ride.


Bounce U with Wayne and Audrey


Bounce U is a favorite place for the kids. This time they had a new challenge.

Of course, the slides were tested as well.

We tested our skills at basketball.

This difficult course has resulted in tears. Yet the determined kids keep trying. That is Sabrina near the top of the first picture.