Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope all of you have or had a WONDERFUL Christmas this year.

Love Always,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Tour of my House

I have loads of pictures here so I hope you don't get too bored looking through them. Welcome to my home. How'd we do this year?

Friday, December 11, 2009

How Clean is YOUR carpet?

Yesterday I had two piano lessons scheduled for 5pm and 5:30pm so I used what I thought of as my "wonderful' vacuum cleaner to clean up the pieces of fake Christmas tree and garlands that were scattered across my front room's floor. I also vacuumed my hardwood hallway and the highest traffic area in my house - the pathway from the back door to the hardwood hallway. This area is the access to my kitchen, so, of course, it's always the dirtiest.

This is the vacuum I used yesterday afternoon. It's an Electrolux Harmony. My mother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas when Joseph and I were living in an apartment. It is SUPER quiet which made it ideal for the apartment. And it was supposed to be quite good for it's price range. ( I don't know exactly how much my MIL paid for mine because it was a gift, but this model runs about $300 new.)
My piano students showed up a few minutes early and we started lessons right away. While I was in the middle of my lesson with Chris, my doorbell rang. Now, I'm not a big fan of formalities so I kinda just "yelled" for the person to come in. In walked a 30-something woman and a 30-something man. The woman proceeded to tell me that her boss was going around my neighbourhood demonstrating a carpet cleaner and that he'd (the boss) like to stop by and clean one of my rooms in exchange for a good word from me if I liked the job he did. Of course, I thought it was a cleaning service of sorts, so I told the woman to come back at 5:45pm when my lessons were over.

She came back alright. With her boss in tow. Well, he WAS the "main attraction" after all. Turns out, her boss, Markeith, sells Kirby vacuums. So, for the next TWO hours Joseph and I watched as Markeith vacuumed different parts of our house. The high traffic area by the kitchen, the hardwood hallway, the first seven stairs to the second floor. Two area of which I had JUST cleaned myself only an hour before!

I've never seen so much dirt come out of a carpet before! I thought my floors were clean. Boy, was I wrong! The dirt that Markeith's Kirby pulled out of my carpet was enough to start a small mud pie feast. (By the way, before you start thinking that I don't clean my house well, let me remind you...I JUST vacuumed that carpet with my Harmony an HOUR before Markeith vacuumed it. Also, we have a cleaning service that comes into our house every other week to vacuum and clean. AND, we spot clean as needed in between the cleanings! We are NOT dirty people!) Of course, I was impressed. Joseph was too, but he was doing his best to seem nonchalant the whole time. What Joseph knew that I didn't, was that Joseph's mother owned a Kirby. OWNS a Kirby. Only my MIL's Kirby weight a half ton. The one Markeith showed us last night still weighs a good bit, but it IS solid metal instead of the typical plastic body of your everyday vacuum cleaner. See, there's a picture of the Kirby below:

I'm sure that you've guessed what I'm trying to say. Markeith walked away from my house last night leaving me with my very own Kirby Sentria. Of course, what's not pictured above is what I told Markeith that I really wanted. The demonstration "dirt meter". And a stack of filters. So now, after I vacuum a room with my Sentria, I can go back over it with the dirt meter (which hooks up to the Sentria instead of the bag) to make sure I got my room completely clean before moving on to the next room.

Now, my question for you is this:

Is $1,600 too much to pay for the peace of mind and knowledge that your house is as clean as any person can possibly get it?

Oh! I forgot to mention...The motor and transmission of the Sentria comes with a Lifetime Guarantee and the rest of it comes with an automatic 3yr. warranty. And the things this vacuum does AS WELL AS vacuum...that would take up a whole other post!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Box Tops Giveaway - Done

Question for you: Do you collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell's labels for Education? And if you do : Do you give them to the school your child attends or is your child homeschooled and you give them to a friend or local church group?

I collect both. Have since I got married. I was homeschooled and I intend to homeschool my future children so I know I can't use them myself, but I figure I'll find someone that can use them. My personal excuse for collecting and saving them...The more money I can collect through these labels and box tops is that much less that the schools are going to demand be taken out of my paycheck. (Not necessarily, of course, but still it's a start, I think.)

Anyway, the reason I'm asking is this. I have $3.40 worth of Box Tops and 52 points and 8 full labels from Campbell's that need a home. I'm giving them up for grabs here. If no one says they want them by Wednesday at 3:30pm EST, I'm going to take the Box Tops to my church and I'll find someone somewhere that wants the labels.

I'll continue collecting the box tops and labels for sure, it was just time to empty the Ragu container that I store them in cause it was getting almost too full to get them all out again.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Husband, the Dinner Artist

Joseph made me come home from Thanksgiving in PA early last month. I had hoped to stay until Sunday afternoon, but Joseph thought ahead and anticipated the traffic of people heading back home after the holiday. He told me that I had to be home on Saturday. So I left PA right after breakfast. When I arrived home safely in Virginia, Joseph proudly showed me his Pork Crown Roast. He just whipped it right out of the refrigerator and popped the lid off the container he had it sitting in waiting to be cooked. Then, he proceeded to hand me a lengthy grocery list of items that he needed in order to cook the Roast.
After a few false starts, Joseph's best friend Tres (said Tray) went with me to the store. (I lost my driver's license in the past two weeks, but never realized it until Black Friday.) Anyway, Tres and I hunted down the ingredients that we could find, and made a few necessary substitutions on the way. It only took us an hour! (yes, that was sarcasm)
Upon arriving back at the house, Tres called his wife to come over for dinner and to stay the night while Joseph started cooking. I am not ashamed to say that I did not help at ALL with this dinner aside from the shopping part. The following pictures are the end result of Joseph's hard work.

The cook, hard at work getting the utensils to dish the food out with. Shhh. Don't tell him I've got a picture of him on here!

Tada! The finished masterpiece. Joseph was, and still is, extremely proud and satisfied with how this turned out.

Isn't it Beautiful!?!

That's white rice on the left and corn on the right. So yummy!

If you had come up to me before I ate this dish and told me that dried fruit that was cooked in grape jelly would taste good I would have laughed in your face. Now, I know better. If you want the recipe, I'll ask Joseph where he found it. I do think it was on, but I'm not positive about that.
I'm going to leave you, with my mouth watering for a bite of that fantastic pork crown roast, hoping that I didn't make you as hungry as I am now.

Lily and Rocky - First Snow Winter '09

I know there's no sound and it's really short. This was only my second video ever. This is Lily's first snow ever too, so it was alot of fun watching her run around in it after she got over the wet, whiteness of it all.