Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Layoff before Christmas

Let me start with some background.  A month ago I was laid off from my job of 5 years.  Completely blindsided,  and didn't see it coming.  I have actively been looking for a replacement career and have realized that 10 years in the industry is not as valuable to companies as a 4 year degree.  Basically I am no longer qualified to do what I have been doing my whole professional life.

It is a terrible time for something like this,  because even though I am a hard core optimist,  watching all the TV commercials about last minute gifts,  and even reading the blogs I LOVE with the gift ideas (which are great by the way) is getting me a little depressed.

I have noticed though,  that being forced not to be able to buy gifts,  has caused us to be more creative,  and focus on the other aspects of this holiday season,  namely,  you know our savior being born.

Now that you know that,  I wanted to share for those of you who may also have little or no income this holiday season,  some of the things we are doing to make it work.

Step 1:

We started Christmas early.  Maybe not the presents,  but we asked around,  got a fake tree,  and had it up and decorated before Thanksgiving.  Taboo I know,  but extending the d├ęcor longer has been great.

Even though my wife swore we would never have a fake tree (we live in the pine tree state after all) it has allowed us to keep it up longer, where a real tree would look pretty sad by now.
Also since her DoTerra business has been going so well,  we have been spraying the tree with white fir oil,  and since it's all natural, it smells just like the real thing.
Since Christmas is in a week,  I am going to keep sharing how we are coping on almost no budget, keeping the kiddos entertained,  and staying as happy as possible during "the most wonderful time of the year"
Tonight we have a fun activity planned.  Tomorrow I will share the details and pictures with you.
Enjoy the season!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Foliage Season - Leaf Peepers

As a kid, I never even knew that the trees didn't change everywhere in the world the way they do this time of year in New England.  It is one of those wonderful little things that are so easily taken for granted.

I never cared for the science of it all, photosynthesis and such,  but there is something about the turning of the leaves that is a fun safety net between summer being over, and not quite snowy season.

This morning,  the sun was gleaming on the bright colors, and I had to snap a few shots to share.

Its funny,  the giant maple in my yard, just turns a yellowish brown,  you would think it was a spicy mustard tree.  but some are bright red, or orange,  and look amazing.

I suppose I can take solace in knowing that what my trees lack in color this fall they make up for in syrup production in the spring.

Do the leaves change where you live?  If not,  do you ever come north just to leaf peep?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's not the dogs fault

Making signs is just fun.  It's a lot like seeing a bumper sticker,  and thinking,  who came up with that?

Where I live,  my garden runs adjecent to the sidewalk,  and being that we live in town,  many people walk their dogs past our house daily.  

Now,  I love dogs,  I just dont love all dog owners.  some are loving caring and responsible,  while others,  have a dog, and could not possibly pay less attention to what it is doing,  even while on a walk.

So the idea for this sign came.   My vegetables are constantly peed on by the walking dogs,  and there is even one unattended neighborhood dog who chooses to take his daily #2 there.  

I made it,  but never actually put it out.  I still love how it came out though.  

do you let your dog freely go on your neighbors lawn and garden?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Back To Romania

Do you remember the 10 days of Romania series from a few years ago?  My wife went on a missions trip there,  and I posted what the boys and I did while she was gone for those days.  One of the things we said when she got back was that we would love to take the whole family there one day.  Teach the boys to serve others,  and have a cross cultural experience they would remember for a lifetime.

Well...We are going!  We actually leave next month,  and are taking the whole family (even the baby).

This is an amazing opportunity we are very excited about,  and are working hard to raise the necessary funds.

If you have been looking for a way to donate toward helping those in other countries,  would you consider donating to our trip?   All sales from my Etsy shop go directly toward the trip right now,  and there is also a paypal link set up where you can donate,  if you feel so inclined.

I am looking at every possible avenue of fundraising,  what is your favorite fundraiser?

Take a look at the post Heather wrote after her last trip.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Carrot Fries

As you may remember we completed the whole 30 this past year,  and while we are certainly not 100% Paleo now,  we did find certain foods that we really liked and kept in our regular rotation.

Allow me to introduce Carrot Fries!

Super simple (in fact I could cook them,  and that's saying something)

Start with a whole bag of carrots.

Remove the carrots from the bag.  (skipping this step can cause the final product to taste like melted plastic)

Foil some cookie sheets or pizza pans,  and put a tablespoon of oil on each,  lightly coating the whole surface

Cut carrots in half making them french-fry length,  also peel the carrots

Spread carrots onto oiled cookie sheets and season evenly.  I like salt pepper oregano,  and thyme

bake at 400 for 35 minutes,  check to see that they are a little wrinkled (they will not get too soft like boiled carrots,  or actual potato fries.

place as a side with your favorite protein and consume.  If they are still hot,  you may want to blow on them