Sunday, September 28, 2014

Field Trip to Blue Bell!!

Last week we took our first home school field trip of the year.  This is also the first time we have ventured far enough to need a hotel room.  I really want the little girl to have fun and enjoyable outings to foster a love for learning.  (Ha!  We went for the ice cream!)

 Picture time with the Blue Bell statue.

"Blue Bell Creameries, founded in 1907, is the manufacturer of Blue Bell brand ice cream.
Blue Bell sells its ice cream directly in only 23 states, mostly in the Southern United States, although Blue Bell ice cream has also been eaten aboard the International Space Station and at Camp David. Despite being sold in only 23 states, Blue Bell is the third highest-selling ice cream brand in the United States as a whole.
Corporate headquarters are at the "Little Creamery" in Brenham, Texas." -Wikipedia

 

Another view of the Blue Bell statue.
 

 The husband may be trying to to pick up the Blue Bell statue.
 

"Please give me more ice cream."
 

 During the 45 minute tour of the factory we weren't allowed to take any pictures.  They did show us every detail of how the ice cream was made.  They answered every question anyone on the tour asked.  They walked us through the entire production line from start to finish, past an employee break room, and administrative offices.  It feels a little like being in Willy Wonka's factory.  

At the end of the tour everyone gets a free scoop of ice cream.  There's many flavors to choose from.  Any additional scoops cost $1.  You can even walk in off the street and just buy a scoop of ice cream.  I picked Mocha Almond Fudge.  Wow!  That's delicious.
 

  The prize for this trip was meeting this guy.  This is the importance of being a good student.  I recognized him from studying all the pictures on the wall before the tour started.  As we were eating our ice cream I noticed him standing against the wall and said, "Aren't you the guy in the picture downstairs?"  He said, "Oh I hate when people recognize me from my picture."  Sarcasm of course.  

This is Paul Kruse.  He's the CEO of Blue Bell.  He is incredibly nice and loves to talk and make people laugh.  I know this because he came and sat down with us and talked about everything under the sun.  He answered all our additional questions about making ice cream.  We even got the inside scoop (get it?) on why they bake their own cookies for the cookies and cream ice cream.  Bet you didn't know it was one of the most troublesome flavors to make.  

Something else incredible was watching him interact with the employees.  After talking with us for about 20 minutes and taking pictures he walked around and talked to every single employee working in that area.  I can't help but think he must do this everyday.  So I highly recommend taking one of the last tours of the day and you might get to meet him.  Or you could probably just ask.

What could possibly top this field trip?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Budget Friendly House Selling Decor Ideas

In my last post I addressed the very basic information that we are selling our home.  After we got over the shock and wrapped our minds around it (not sure if we have completely), we had some work to do.  It would be real easy to blow thousands of dollars getting the house ready but I don't have thousands of dollars, or a million dollar house, and I have a hard time spending money on things that will ultimately be left behind for the new owners.  

1)  Light Bulbs.  We don't live like slobs, but a 100 watt bulb can sure illuminate a lot of things we overlooked.  Like dust.  On the ceiling.  Lighting can also change the mood/vibe of a room without additional decorating or painting.  Eco-friendly shmeeko-friendly, I'm trying to sell a house.  No one is going to buy a house if they have to view it by candlelight.  Box of 4 $6.  I'll need about $50 worth of light bulbs.


 2)  Small Decor Items.  I knew I needed to have updated decor items.  I spend a lot of time looking at other listings and their pictures.  Seeing items from the 1970's cannot be a good selling point.  I already owned this small key hook rack but had a kid's school picture hanging above it.  I'm removing personal items and replaced the picture with this doorknob and hook combo from Ross.  Cost $7.99
 

This rug can't be present during the house photo shoot but I do plan on leaving it out for showings.  I'll reveal later why we have this one spot of color.  I found it at Walmart for $6.


The impersonal whimsy factor.  I've had this sign forever.  I remember getting it at Hobby Lobby.  It resides in the master bath.  It would have to have been on sale so I'm going to guess I spent $10 or less.  

 

3)  Broken/Dirty Globes/Glass.  I needed to replace the glass on the ceiling fan since one had broken.  Of course they don't have the same one I already had so I had to replace 3.  Lowe's $3.48 each.


4)  Curb appeal.  I'm really loving these.  They'll only grow bigger and flower more.  I'm undecided on getting more because I'm afraid my dogs will get tangled up in them and drag them across the yard.  They're kind of dumb like that.  Walmart $3.98 each.  The yellow upside down pot is being used to elevate the other mum and was clearance priced for $1.

I'll continue to give updates and my reasoning for the choices I'm making.  Do you think I can pull this off for under $1000?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reaping God's Whirlwind

 Something happened in April.

I washed clothes.  

After that it was kind of a blur.  I mention that I washed clothes because that's where I can trace back this particular chain of events and changing our entire life course.

That day in April after I washed clothes I went to put them away in the little girl's room.  Her room was a disaster as usual.  I wondered why I even bothered with putting things away.  Then I decided to clean.  A deep clean.  The black Hefty trash bag kind of clean.  The kind of clean your kids live in fear of because you'll probably throw out all their treasures.


Once the cleaning was done I decided to finally redo her room.  When we moved into this house the little girl was 2 and other areas of the house needed more attention.  She also switched bedrooms several times.  Now she is getting into her preteen years and saying goodbye to all her "baby" stuff.


I painted her room and we got rid of so many toys and just plain junk.  She picked a pastel pink for her walls.  Two of her favorite things right now are Paris/French and horses.  That's how we started decorating her room.


We were working on her bedding because we also upgraded her bed to a queen size.  Her room is actually larger than the master bedroom.  That's kind of frustrating.  As we were doing that this arrived...
 

Yes, a baby kitten.  Then we went out of town for a convention. 


 

 Oops... I should have said 7 kittens!  While we were busy with those I kept working on the little girl's room.  Then I started getting ideas about the rest of the house.  I started tossing stuff and thinking I was turning into a minimalist.  We had a yard sale.  
 

We started home school for the year and took a trip to the zoo.  I continued cleaning and painting.  Cleaning and painting.  Cleaning and painting.  Why?  Why, why, why.  I had no idea.  

Things started coming together like the perfect storm.  The husband's job is ending.  The boss is retiring and there's no guarantee the company will keep him on.  We don't like the amount of money we will have paid for this house with a traditional mortgage.  We don't want to be paying a mortgage in 20 years.  We'd like to go back to the mountains.  

Things are moving quickly now.  We are officially selling the house.  We're not sure if we'll be staying in this area a little while longer or if we'll pack it all up and move right away.

Now my days will be consumed with cleaning and staging the house.  I'm bringing in help.  It's almost too overwhelming, which is why I'm eating Blue Bell and blogging.  Where do I start packing stuff for the storage unit?

All of this because I washed clothes one day in April.   

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cheap Summer Fun

Last year we started going to Movies In The Park.  This is a free activity provided by our Parks and Recreation department.  It's also sponsored by some local businesses.


We've continued going this year.  I think it's becoming a tradition.  There's no alcohol and no smoking.  Just good family fun.

We get there early enough to claim a good spot.  We bring a picnic dinner.  Last night we had fried chicken, potato salad, and some popcorn.  We ate it all before I thought to take pictures.

Last night they showed Despicable Me 2.  Next week they will show Frozen.  I can hardly wait!  Hundreds of children (and adults) all singing the songs.  I'm already menu planning for next week's picnic dinner.
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Garden Flower

 A beautiful bloom found in the garden.

  


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homeschool Picture

Why do people think homeschool kids are weird?


Yep, just another typical day.  While she does her work I'm usually cooking.  We're going to the movies in the park so I was making potato salad.  She doesn't like the smell of boiled eggs.  This was her solution.  She also threw them away later.  We don't use erasers with boogers.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teacups Part 1, A Yard Sale Find, Writing On My Old Blog Site

First, I will put the title all out of order.  I'm writing this on my old blog addy because frankly, it's easier.  I posted a lot more frequently here.  Honestly it's too tedious getting to my blog page through the host server on the other site.  I could spend time and learn some short cuts but I don't have time and in the end it's not really offering what I wanted.  So perhaps I will be coming back this addy for keeps.

Now let's move on to the first Teacup.  I wrote about unpacking teacups in my last post over here.


I decided I was going to pack some of them back up and rotate them out for different decorating themes.  My Granny was quite the traveler after my Pawpaw passed away.  Some of the cups are my only way of knowing where she went.

This teacup and saucer are from Estes Park, Colorado.  I didn't know she went there.  In fact, I bought my first collectible teacup in Estes Park 10 years ago.  Ha!  What are the odds?

There's nothing else particularly special about the cup.  No markings.  I never thought about buying a teacup and saucer with the location as a souvenir.


You see the elevation?  It's 7,547 feet...whenever the teacup was bought.  If you look up the elevation now it will tell you it's 7,522 feet.  So, Estes Park has sunk 25 feet.


I went to several yard sales last weekend.  I bought a microwave.  Right, we did not have a microwave.  We haven't had one for about 5 years.  The husband decided we should really get another one for reheating left overs.  I refused to pay the $70 I see a lot of them costing.  The yard sale I stopped by was given by a lady from a different congregation but within our same meeting hall.  Hence, she can be trusted.  The microwave was essentially new and works fine.  I paid $20.

One steal I got at another sale was a set, or most of a set, of Homer Laughlin china.  The shape, not the pattern, is Village Rose.  Trying to find the name of the pattern is not easy.  I've only found mislabeled pictures that don't match up with Replacements.com.  It is not Moss Rose or Fluffy Rose.  This set was produced over several years from December 1960-1962.  I considered it a good deal for $15 as I was looking for a nice set of dishes to use for dinner.






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