The Messier The Merrier

I posted this photo to my Facebook account the other day. Really didn’t think to much of it until a few moms mentioned how they hate stickers. It got me thinking about how this time around in raising my granddaughter things are different than when I had my eight children in tow.

Back then, I hated stickers. I really didn’t care much for most messy play unless it took place out side. When there was messy place I would often hover watching the clock until it had ticked long enough that I could swoop in a clean at least some portion of the said mess up.

As an older parent I see messy play for what it is… learning. She is peeling the stickers from the page. Something a week or so ago she would beg me to do for her. Her hand eye coordination is far improved. She can do it her self now. Yes, she stuck them to my table and it is going to require some peeling and a hot wet hand towel placed over them. But for fifteen minutes she was still and happy while I did dishes. She will also learn to help clean her messes and for the most part she is happy to sit and help because she has also figured out if she chooses not to help there will be no more sticker play for some time. So she is a mess maker and most often times a willing helper to clean her messes up.

Children need to make messes. They need to explore the world hands on. They need to paint and color. Splash and stomp in puddles, They need to feel play doh between their tiny fingers with out being told no, no, no, stop making a mess. Because, messes clean but you can not go backwards in life and relive what you lost in avoiding these messes that are dripping with laughter  and curiosity.I love seeing her face light up when she figures out a task for her self for that very first time. When she plays with some new messy thing and she is right in there focused and busy. I love seeing her make huge gains in language as she learns new words that describe what she is feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting and experiencing.

Really watch your child the next time they are knee deep in mud serving you plates of mud cakes and a side of dirt soup. Watch as they pour, scoop, splash and splatter. Then remind your self that this is childhood and they are washable. While your at it…Join in.


Breakfast Potatoes

There are times when we eat a lot of potatoes. Money being low is one of them. This has always been a family favorite.

Mama’s Poor Lady Potatoes

Vegetable Oil

Two good sized potatoes diced small.

Two eggs

Cheese (We used a couple Kraft slices)

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion powder.

You could also add in any of the following bacon, sausage, green peppers, onion and so forth.

Add enough oil to just cover the bottom of a nice deep frying pan. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper and other spices to taste and, fry the potatoes until soft and golden brown.  Half way you can add green peppers or what ever you like. In a separate pan scramble your eggs. You could cook them into the potatoes but we dislike that. Once done add to the fried potatoes and cover with cheese.

Simple and cheap.



Things We Purchase at the Dollar Tree

My husband has generally never liked this store. He referred to things there as trinkets or bad quality. However, over time their items have vastly improved.

Below is a list of things we do buy and have tested ourselves.

  1. Mylar balloons: They have a bunch of popular characters as well as many other picks. You are saving upwards of at least $2 per balloon. They will even blow up a fresh one for you so it will last even longer!
  2. Shaving Cream: They sell a large non-name brand red and white can. My husband used it and swear by it. It smells nice and he hasn’t cut himself while using it to shave with.
  3. Kitchen hand Towels: I skip the microfiber I can not stand how that material feels but, the ones with printed on designed wash and wear well. They are cotton. I bleach mine and the designs seem to stay put.
  4. Windshield Wash Fluid: This is a great deal when they have the gallons. Not a great deal when it is a half gallon. Works as good as anything else.
  5. Party Stuff: All of the cups, plates, streamers, plastic ware, banners, tablecloths, wrapping paper and so on. Super cheap and good quality. If we do a character party they do not carry we do a pack of plates OR a banner from another store with that particular character then we match up our other needs with matching colors for the “theme” at the Dollar Tree.
  6. Kids Socks: They carry cute prints for children and they hold up well. I always buy the three packs because they are the very best value. I also purchase the woman’s three packs for myself. However, I find once those are stained they seem to stay that way.
  7. Cards: My husband has been a purchase the most expensive card you can guy for years. To me it is pointless. These are nice,  good quality, and at two for a dollar are easy on the budget. However, I would avoid the boxed Christmas cards. We bought a box of twenty and of course the quality was off. (Weird folds and so on) My husband is slowly getting on board 😉
  8. Betty Crocker cooking Utensils: I can only speak for the red ones the quality is nice and they hold up really well.
  9. Glass Cleaner: Works just as well as any name brand.
  10. Dog leashes and Collars for our miniature poodles: I only know that these work well for small breeds of dogs because that is what we have for pets. Be careful if you purchase for a larger stronger breed because I do not know how well they would hold up. We had one leash last close to three years so they are made pretty well.
  11. Pet Bowls: Same basic things you can get at a pet store but at a fraction of the cost. They often even have cute little stoneware ones.
  12. Tape and Tape Dispenser: I buy the cheap six pack of tape rolls and purchased their tape dispenser. Both the tape and dispenser work well. My husband is a Scotch fan however with kids wasting it often times I refuse to spend extra on such things. So he just keeps a roll of Scotch for himself in his briefcase to seal up his top secret mailings he he he.
  13. Seaseme Street Lavender Scented Baby Shampoo: We use this for the grandchild and it leaves her hair soft, manageable and smelling quite nice.
  14. Six Pack of Scrubber Sponges: They are only good for washing dishes or anything you intend to get wet and stay very wet as they are synthetic sponges. I love the way they glide over the dishes you are washing and have the scrubber side for tougher jobs. They are cheap enough to toss and change out often.
  15. Brooms: Maybe it is just person preference but everyone in my family owns one.  I was the last to buy one. They are light but hold up really well and sweep in hard to get in areas with a larger broom. Frankly, I tossed my more expensive one after I got this just because I love the way it sweeps. However, avoid their mop.
  16. Plates and Bowls: I was convinced I wanted Corelle dishes. You know the very thin unbreakable ones? Guess what? If you eat hot foods anywhere other than the table and we often do those thin plates burn you! I gave mine away and purchased a set from the Dollar Tree. They are stoneware and are holding up quite nicely other than I have chipped one. They have a great color selection too! They are thick and keep the heat at bay. They are also easier to wash foods don’t seem to stick to them like the other set.
  17. Coloring Books: They have tons of licensed ones and even some really great adult coloring books.
  18. Children’s books: We often purchase board books and books for older children. They often have a really nice selection.
  19. Work Books: They have a great selection for younger children and once in a while a handful for older children. They are a great saving when you can find what you need.
  20. Gift bags: Every size, color, occasion for way less than anywhere. Though my daughter once time did buy one with a horrendous chemical smell. But, I have only ever seen that once.
  21. Hand Soap: Their big bottle. It works fine and smells nice.
  22. Batteries: They are not good for anything that is a huge power drain. But, work fine for things such as wall clocks, non-remote control toys, flashlights. So just don’t throw them into your digital camera and expect to take more than a picture.
  23. Makeup: Sometimes they stock Elf, Cover Girl or other name brands. If they are a color you need it is a great buy.
  24. Hair Dye: I will ONLY say the dark brown works well because that is the only color I use.  I have longer hair and use three packages. It was easy to use. It covered my grays well. It did not fade fast. It has gloves. It does NOT contain conditioner . So you will need to condition your hair after at least that is what I did. My hair seemed MORE healthy after using that dye for a long time. No idea why. Just know there is not a lot of product so plan to need extra.
  25. Tooth brushes: We generally purchase name brand for family and a pack of multi toothbrushes for anyone staying over who forgot to pack theirs.
  26. Barbie branded Detangler Spray for little girls: We use this daily with no build up for a toddler with curly hair. It leaves her hair shiny, and removes any snarls.
  27. Hair Decorations: Clips, bows, head band and so on. We buy all this sort of stuff right here.
  28. Ouchless Hair Ties: I pull them a bit to check for the stretch and hold I need. I always manage to find what will work. They get lost fast so this is the best way to go for us.
  29. Body Wash: We purchase this for or teen boys add they can be a bit wasteful. They seem to like the way it smells and they always smell fine so I assume it works well.
  30. Plastic Organizing Bins: These hold up well. You can get them in current popular colors. A great buy for getting all your stuff all pulled together.
  31. Bread: A great buy. It’s always soft and fresh.



This New Year I Will Try To

Blog more.

Play more board games with the kids.

To drink less soda.

To start meal planning.



An Open Letter To The Woman Who Shamed My Son For Trick-Or-Treating

Dear Lady,

I am sure that when you went out and you purchased Halloween candy and you turned your porch light on you were excited to see all the small children with their little goodie bags and their cute costumes at your door.  As were they excited to go door to door and collect treats and show off their costumes.

There is an issue though. My son, the quiet sweet kid that he is looks forward to Halloween too. Yes, He is 15.  He followed all the rules. He dressed up, he had a treat bag. He said trick or treat and I know he was polite to you. However, you my dear where not polite to him. You scoffed at him for being 15. You scoffed at him for going out with the other children in our family and having a fun night. You actually hurt his feelings.

Maybe , next year you should not bother with the candy. You should leave your light off and simply not be bothered by anyone’s child. Halloween is supposed to be fun. There is not an age limit. The boy you hurt, my son. Would hold a door open for you. He would pick something up and hand it to you if you dropped it. He says please, excuse me and thank you. He has a tender heart. Yes, he is 15. So what? And yes, maybe I went a bit over board painting his face but Halloween is about dressing like someone else. You know in fun.


You would rather he be out causing mischief? Egging homes? Toilet papering someone’s trees? Stealing candy from small children? My guess is that is a no. And regardless of weather he went out last night or not he would not do that. I understand that maybe in the past you have had some experience some where with someone’s teen, maybe it was not a good one. Maybe as a teen you were not so nice so that is what you expect?

Regardless… No worries we will skip your home next year. You have been heard loud and clear. All we heard is you don’t see people for whom they are you are judgmental and it is sad. I try not to surround myself or my children with that. I try to let my son be a kid and have fun while he can. The adult years are long ones and we never get to reclaim our childhood years. So next year enjoy those extra five pieces of candy.  We did not “need them” we were simply out enjoying a fun night in our neighborhood. My hope is what ever made you so bitter towards others gets resolved in your heart.


Mom of That 15 Year Old Who Trick-or-Treats


No Messy Meat Balls

I hate the mess of shaping meat balls. Just not my cup of tea. Tonight I tossed all the ingredients in the freezer bag with the hamburger. Then squished it all together to mix it will. Afterward I cut the tip off the bag and piped them out onto a pan. Super easy and far less mess.20160919_200244


How Not To Spill The Bubbles

It was a perfect day for blowing bubbles. With a busy, bouncy, bubble spilling toddler we both sure love Pinterest for the idea we saw many times of securing the bubbles to something. It worked like a charm. We taped them right to the porch spindle. Perfect!

Bubbles Trick