Friday, October 26, 2012

WIgs, and stomach churning Halloween Treats!

Here in the South, Bunco groups are huge! When I first moved here, I tried to join one, however, I couldn't even manage sub status, so my girlfriends and I decided to make our own group. We're not exclusive, but our group's just grown so large, that we had to stop inviting people. This part always hurts our hearts, because we don't want to make anyone feel left out. I had to put that disclaimer in, because I am really excited to share these pics!
 This is POKENO, it's a lot like BINGO, except using a deck of cards. (And by a LOT, I mean exactly like) Every month, we pick a theme for food and our gift. The gifts are between  $5-$10 and each member takes a turn hosting. Every Christmas, we have our annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.. Here are some shots from a few of our Christmas extravaganzas:
 As you can see, we're pretty stylish gals. True story: Last year, one of the girls ran into a couple of older members of her church, and she told them we were having a holiday sweater party. The person with the winning ensemble wins a free dinner. Yes, we actually wear these outfits out in public. The waiter votes on the ugliest one. 

Last year, we started a themed Halloween POKENO night. We had to wear a wig, and bring a gross food. Lemme tell you, one woman brought "Kitty Litter" in an actual kitty litter box, with a poop sifter to serve he desert. She won hands down. Even though I KNEW the box and utensil were brand new, I just couldn't stomach eating it!
  How nasty is this?

Last night, we had our annual gross food, and wig night. The moms pulled out all of the stops on this one!
 Eyeballs, ghost strawberries, a baby face cheese ball, and.. well, let's just say the ones on the top left as supposed to be something only used by women, AND this is a GIRLS only club!
One of our moms just made a regular cherry pie. An certain mom exclaimed, "Ewww! Gross! What is that?" Um, cherry pie?
Green spinach dip!
Dried Bat Wings
Fondue fountain.. we tried to make it look bloody, but it just ended up looking like a Valentine's Day fountain!
Blood punch with bugs!
 It was such a fun night! Can't wait to see what girls bring next year! <3 Suzzy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My bad week and big idea: Yet to be named

The week before last, was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Remember this book we read as kids? After studying for a week and half, I bombed my chem exam. By bomb, I mean 56%. I down right failed that baby. Mr. Man had to pick up another guy's shift at work, and I was left studying for hours on end while the boys tore up the house. The drive home from my exam was surreal. I cried and cried. The ugly kind of cry where you don't care who sees you and you feel like I failure. I went through all of the dramatics. "I quit. I mean it. I'm done." After my tears, my friends, family, and Mr. Man talked me back to reason, and I hired a tutor. $30 an hr. Are we rich? Absolutely not. But Mr. Man works his tail off to provide. My tutor, turned out to be a God send. Literally, I feel it was divine intervention. She lives in my town, and is a fellow believer. She's amazing, and so sweet. (Side note: Chemistry aside, she also babysits, and we've been looking for a sub, double plus!)
I'm not much of a crier. Don't get me wrong. If I watch a sappy commercial, or see one of those "Like if you believe he's a hero" pics on Facebook with the paraplegic solider, I will be bawling like a baby, but when it comes to people and relationships, I just don't cry. My mom would say it's because I "cried everyday" until I was 12, but I think that's a slight exaggeration. The past two weeks, I have been crying at the drop of a pin. My BIG meltdown was on my birthday. Now, before I tell this story, I must say, I had been struggling with Chem, been juggling the boys by myself while Mr. Man worked 13 days straight (12 hr shifts) and trying to keep my head above water. On my birthday, Mr. Man arrives home with a cake for me. All I wanted for my birthday was a yellow, butter cream icing cake. My house is divided on the icing issue. Half of the boys love the butter cream icing, while the other half sides with Kevin favoring the whipped icing. Well, Mr. Man, bless his heart, had just finished a 12 hour shift and ran by Walmart and grabbed my cake. He swears up and down he asked the toothless lady behind the counter three times if it was butter cream and she assured him it was. However, one glance at this cake, and my 4 year old could tell it was whipped icing. Commence 1 hour cry festival. My mom and I often say we say things to our husbands that we'd never forgive them saying to us. I cried and cried. I went from cake, to how he never listens, and how he purposefully got the wrong kind, and by the end of my emotional rant, I was convinced my husband didn't love or care about me.... because he bought me the wrong kind of icing. A few hours later, a few phone calls with my girlfriends later, I apologized to Mr. Man after his nap. I say all of this to explain my state of mind lately.
This wreath started it all. This woman in my neighborhood always decorates her house so nice. I bought some items at a craft store and made this wreath. I really enjoyed it, and thought, "Why not make these for a little extra money?" 
Reasons why Suzzy needs some extra cash:
#1. To send support $ to my Zimbabwe missionary friends
#2. To pay for my sweet Chemistry tutor that charges $30 an hr
#3. To help out Mr. Man who works so hard for our family
When I first toyed with this idea, Mr. Man wasn't too keen on my grand plan, however, when I have my mind set, there's usually little one can do to deter me. Maybe it's my way of making up for my youth. Growing up, I was so insecure, I would never try anything out of my comfort zone. I was scared that I would look like a fool trying anything new, and so I would just say, "I don't like it" and stand on the side. The adult me is starkly different. I will try anything, and if I look dumb, well, I firmly believe that after experiencing the labor and delivery room saga, there's nothing that can embarrass a mom. I digress. After researching *obsessing* my idea, googling, pricing, and looking at endless pictures, I decided that I was going to start making wreaths for money. Today, I went to hobby lobby, 4 kids in tow, and spent at least 2 hrs picking out everything I would need to start up my side business. I must say, my boys are pretty extraordinary. I asked them what they liked and didn't like and gave them tasks to find me certain items. When I came home, this is what I had: 
 I also bought about 20 wire frames to make wreaths, and I spent a scary amount to buy this stuff. When I say scary, I'm talking atleast 2 weeks worth of groceries for us. As I was unloading the last bag, I heard Mr. Man stirring. (He works nights) I organized my items, and waited until he was done with his shower to go talk to him. 
"Well, what's the damage he asked." I tried to gauge his mood. 
"Um.. a scary amount. Way more than I anticipated." 
"Uh hu.. well, what's the return? How much profit do you think you can get?"  =) This is my husband. Mom calls him Hinestein, because he's very frugal and very wise with money. He followed me out to our dining room where I had my loot spread out on the table. He asked me about costs, time, supplies, etc, and said, "Well, I guess that's not too awful bad." Phew. 
 "You're not brave, unless you're scared." I don't know where this came from, I know it's from a movie, but this line has stuck with me. After I saw my receipt, I was scared. In fact, the boys and I loaded up the van, and we proud over the supplies, and my wreaths. Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit your plans to the Lord, whatever you do, and you will succeed." I prayed this as the boys and I head to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Will I become rich off of wreaths? No. Is that my goal? Not at all. But if anything, this journey has taught me that I am blessed beyond belief to have a husband that supports all of my crazy ideas, that trying and failing is better than not trying at all, and that if you've been praying for the Lord to send more support to certain missionaries and He's been silent, it MAY be because He's already sent YOU.

I've saved the best for last. Next month, my 2 Mamas are coming to town: my Mama and my Mama in Law. and guess what they're going to help me do? Oh, yes, put wreaths together. They've been carrying on back and for on my Facebook page about how much work I already have lined up for them, but in all seriousness, these women are live savers. On a completely random note, I am at a loss for a store name. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I was thinking "All Glammed Up", but it's already taken, as is "Mom's fun money." To my Mama's reading this, be brave. Be willing to step out of that box. You will never do anything great if you listen to opposition. Be confident. Be adventurous, and remember, you're only brave if you're scared. <3 Suzzy