Monday, December 29, 2008

The Silent Blogger

All's quiet on the Southeastern Front - sorry about that.

It's been a rough season this year; I'm not sure why exactly. Things are looking up now. A fresh New Year is always good for a fresh new outlook.

We had a nice and quiet holiday at home. We kept it really small and the kids loved everything. I loved it as well (well now that it's over I can say that - Phew!).

Casey is home until next week and I am loving every minute of it (except this afternoon when I had a hormonal meltdown and bit his head off - sorry honey). I really love his company and we are a couple that can spend every waking moment together and NEVER tire of the other - it's very comfortable.

This week is filled with trips to the museum and board games and crafts, and movies, and naps - I wish it could go on forever.

These are a few of the items I crafted for the holidays - I enjoyed making them all and the gifts were well received.

Holiday Craft Mosaic

There were PJs and tote bags and American Girl Doll clothes and placemats and stacks and stacks of library books that I am poring over even now. It was a wonderful holiday. In a few days I'll have some pics of the wonderful items that were made for and given to me - I am a blessed girl indeed!

Love to all!

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I need all the planning and help I can get as the holidays approach and menu planning is a life saver this week. In a season marked by tradition and family I focus on the tradition of bringing the family together at the dinner table. I look forward to a week without grab and go or answering "Where do you want to eat?" During a crazy busy time of year I cherish the indulgence of being HOME for dinner.

Sunday: Garlic-Cinnamon chicken with toasted pine-nut cous cous and mixed veggies (It was good!)

Monday: Black beans and smoked ham with rice, green salad, and apple sauce

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Penne Bolognese, salad, glazed carrots, and apple slices

Wednesday: Grilled Tuna, Mixed veggies & rice

Thursday: Tuscan Chicken and bean soup, carrot sticks, fruit

Friday: Steak, Baked potatoes, glazed carrots, fruit

Saturday: Homemade chicken pot pie (with fewer peas;-) and pineapple casserole

For lunches we'll have leftovers, homemade pizzas, PB & J, or soup.

What are you eating this week? What helps you stay sane during the holidays? I love to read your comments.

Please enjoy more menus HERE or by clicking the logo above.

I'll keep you posted!


For My Friend...

"He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds."

Psalm 147:3

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday Gifting

If like me you are making some of your gifts be sure and check this out. Lots of fun and very inspiring!

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Frustrating Day


Ever have those? A Day when companies, and services, and computers, and projects, and children, etc. don't behave the way they should ALL AT ONCE?

Yeah - it's one of those.

Time to regroup and start over.

Time for another cup of coffee!

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Like This

I found this today over at Owlhaven. It's good. It's what I was getting at in last nights rant.

A radical concept this Christmas indeed.

Be sure and check out the source: Advent Conspiracy Blog.

Worthy Causes:
Heifer International
MUST ministries
Cobb Christmas
Living Water International

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, November 29, 2008


NO - it's NOT talk like a pirate day. I am enraged by THIS article, idea and campaign!

This is NOT an advertising problem. This is a PARENTING problem.

"Unfortunately, I will not be able to purchase many of the toys that my sons have asked for; we simply don't have the money," wrote Todd Helmkamp of Hudson, Ind. "By bombarding them with advertisements ... you are placing parents like me in the unenviable position of having to tell our children that we can't afford the toys you promote."

I don't know what's wrong with people - why is stuff more important than education, or character, or integrity, or limits. We wonder why people hate America and Americans - could it be that we're a bunch of spoiled brats who think we're entitled to everything we want just because we want it?

The part that gets me most is the parent whining "It's just not fair - blah blah blah" Yeah well duh! Stop letting your kid watch that cable TV service you seem to always find the money to pay for - or even better - tell your child "No."

I understand that this year (and all the rest for that matter) is hard financially and I am NOT unsympathetic to those who are struggling to give their children Christmas or you know - pay for things like food or shoes, or a safe place to live. These are NOT those people.

Thanks for letting me vent. I usually stay away from topics like this, but sometimes something has to be said!

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just for Fun...

Name That Dog Breed

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, November 21, 2008

100 Down and the Sky's The Limit

It's nearly 3 months into the 'official' homeschool calendar this year and I finally feel like we're getting somewhere.

There are many ways to homeschool and a zillion places to sell you a zillion products you NEED for a proper education. While every method had its merit and most of the products are useful and helpful - taking a cue from the ever wise Matt Damon (Ha!) - we have rediscovered our love for the Library and we read. We read everything.

So far:
  1. A Grain of Rice - Helena Clare Pittman
  2. Dolphin Treasure - Wayne Grover
  3. Dolphin Adventure - Wayne Grover
  4. My Father's Dragon - Ruth Styles Gannett
  5. The Light a Tern Rock - Julia L Sauer
  6. A Big Ball of String - Marion Holland
  7. Put Me In The Zoo - Robert Lopshire
  8. A Fly Went By _Mike McClintock
  9. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
  10. Beatrice's Goat - Paige McBrier
  11. Junie B. Jones 1 - Barbara Park
  12. Junie B. Jones 2 - Barbara Park
  13. Junie B. Jones 3 - Barbara Park
  14. Junie B. Jones 4 - Barbara Park
  15. Jame's Herriot's A Treasury for Children
  16. The Magic School Bus - Inside a Hurricane - JoAnna Cole
  17. Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Author of Anne - Jimmy Lindsey
  18. Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See - Eric Carle
  19. Sketching Outdoors in Autumn - Jim Arnosky
  20. Rooster's off To See The World - Eric Carle
  21. Mister Sea Horse - Eric Carle
  22. The Happy Lion - Louise Fatio
  23. No Laughing, No Smiling, No Giggling - James Stevenson
  24. Cowby Ned and Andy - David Exra Stein
  25. Dinosaurumpus - Tony Mitton
  26. Papa, Please Get The Moon for Me - Eric Carle
  27. When Will I Read - Miriam Cohen
  28. Maisy Goes Camping - Lucy Cousins
  29. Silly Tilly's Valentine - Lillian Hoban
  30. Maisy's Snowy Christmas Eve - Lucy Cousins
  31. Unique Monique - Marla Rousaki
  32. Shark in the Park - Nick Sharratt
  33. Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs - Megan McDonald
  34. Trouble at the Dinosaur Cafe - Brian Moses
  35. Dog Breath - David Pilkey
  36. Baloney (Henry P.) - Jon Siezka
  37. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - Laura Ljungkvist
  38. Frida Khalo:Painting Her Life - Lila Guzman
  39. Hugo & Miles in: I've Painted Everything - Scott Magoon
  40. I'm a Manatee - John Lithgow
  41. Carnival of the Animals - John Lithgow
  42. Down the Back of the Chair - Margaret Mabry
  43. Henry's Freedom Box - Ellen Levine
  44. The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars - Jean Merrill
  45. Moog-Moog Space Barber - Mark Teague
  46. Pierre, A Cautionary Tale - Maurice Sendak
  47. A Bargain for Frances - Russell Hoban
  48. A Pussycat's Christmas - Margaret Wise Brown
  49. Red Rubber Boot Day - Mary Lyn Ray
  50. A Box Full of Kittens - Sonia Manzano
  51. Winners Never Quit - Mia Hamm
  52. Changes, Changes - Pat Hutchins
  53. The Day The Babies Crawled Away - Peggy Rathmann
  54. Smash Mash Crash There Goes the Trash - B. Odanska
  55. Russell The Sheep - Rob Scotton
  56. The Lotus Seed - Sherry Garland
  57. We All Sing with the Same Voice - Phillip Miller
  58. The Very Best Bed - Rebekah Raye
  59. Howling Hill - Will Hobbs
  60. Junie B. Jones #5 - Barbara Park
  61. Super Fly Guy - Tedd Arnold
  62. Hi Fly Guy - Tedd Arnold
  63. The Monkey and the Crocodile - Paul Galdone
  64. The Promise Quilt - Candice Ransom
  65. Peek! A Thai Hide and Seek - Mingfong Ho
  66. Morris The Artist - Lore Segal
  67. Russel and the Lost Treasure - Rob Scotton
  68. The Tiny Seed - Eric Carle
  69. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle - Eric Carle
  70. The Reluctant Dragon - Kenneth Grahame
  71. Have You Seen My Cat - Eric Carle
  72. The Very Busy Spider - Eric Carle
  73. Tikki Tikki Tembo - Arlene Mosel
  74. WOW! America - Robert Neubecker
  75. The Crack of Dawn Walkers - Amy Hest
  76. Willie Takes a Hike - Gloria Rand
  77. Oscar Otter - Nathaniel Benchley
  78. Pancakes Pancakes - Eric Carle
  79. Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears - Verna Aardema
  80. Flotsam - David Weisner
  81. The Purple Pussycat - Margaret Hilbert
  82. Tell Me Some More - Crosby Newell Bonsall
  83. Rain Flowers - Ann Turner
  84. First the Egg - Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  85. This is The Stable - Cynthia Cotten
  86. Shall I Knit You a Hat -Kate Klise
  87. Yoon and the Christmas Mitten - Helen Recorvits
  88. The Long Red Scarf - Nettie Hilton
  89. The Grouchy Ladybug - Eric Carle
  90. The Very Hungry Catterpillar - Eric Carle
  91. Dinosaurs Before Dark - Mary Pope Osborne
  92. Counting Our Way to Maine - Maggie Smith
  93. Otters Underwater - Jim Arnosky
  94. With You Always Little Monday - Genevieve Cote
  95. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers - Mordecai Gerstein
  96. The Memory Cupboard - Charlotte Herman
  97. 1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving - C. O'Neill Grace
  98. Beauty and the Beaks - Mary Jane and Herm Auchs
  99. The Very Quiet Cricket - Eric Carle
  100. Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Said the Sloth - Eric Carle
And if you've made it this far - thanks! Our Favorites are highlighted in green and I've included some interesting links. What are you reading and what are your favorites?

I'll be adding a list to the sidebar of our favorites and our current 'in-box'. Until then - I have to run. I just got the call that my reserved books are in now.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

The Homeschool Helpers Edition:

This week I've got helpers in the kitchen. The kids are helping from the menu planning to the preparation and clean up. It's a lesson for all of us. The kids will practice their kitchen skills (they help out fairly often) and I will practice my patience (I don't like help in my kitchen whilst cooking). I can't wait to report back next week on the results. Pray for me (really) as I enter a week of shared control which I find REALLY difficult.

The Menu:
Monday: Chopped steak, glazed carrots, peas & rice
(the children will chop carrots, measuring rice, working the microwave, and seasoning the steaks)

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup with green salad & applesauce
(the children will chop carrots and celery, add pasta, season soup, make the salads, and help brown the chicken)

Wednesday: Beans and Ham with cornbread, fruit, and carrot sticks
(the children will sort and soak the beans, measure and make the cornbread, and help chop carrots)

Thursday: Tacos with fruit
(the children will grate cheese, tear lettuce, help brown the meat, and chop olives)

Friday: Make your own pizza night, with fruit and carrot sticks
(the children will grate cheese, and assemble their own pizzas)

Saturday we'll probably go out and for lunches all week we'll have sandwiches or leftovers each day.

It's an adventure everyday right?

Forget luck, wish me patience! Please explore many more fabulous menus HERE.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's THAT Time of Year

Time to think about holiday cards (except you Andrea - since you're finished).

If you haven't made your plans already (even if you have) Check out Skip to My Lou's site for some fun contests and for some unique card ideas to make life easier.

I'll Keep You Posted!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Mimi is my Angel

This weekend Casey and I had the rare opportunity (first time in 8 years) to get away for a weekend alone because Mimi, my SIL, came to watch the kids and pets for us.

I struggled with the decision to go. "Where to go? Where to stay?, Can we really afford it?" thoughts like those. Why is it so hard to take time out and enjoy life - EVEN if it means the credit card won't be paid off for an extra month. I'll tell you - this weekend was needed - more than we realized before we left. Time away and alone is a wonderful gift. Mimi is officially our Angel!

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. Fall finally arrived here in the south and the trees and weather are just gorgeous. We had a wonderful time in Birmingham, AL.

I'd share pictures, but we didn't take any!

Angela - Sam says hello to you and Ray and sends his love (awesome sandwich - thanks!).

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

More Cutie-Patootie Socks...

Cutie-Patootie 2

I love making the baby socks! They are cute and quick and use up leftover yarn. Unfortunately I am out of leftover yarn so I better knit up more actual socks. I have more projects in the works, I'll have pictures soon.

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Worthy Cause

As you consider the gift giving season I'd like to point you to a site I found through my affiliation with

Visit Hope for Women

This is just one of many many cottage industries bringing hope to women and families around the world. Specifically for knitting interests I know of Himalaya and Mango Moon. Supporting companies like these offers not only a unique and quality gift, but also a unique and quality experience.

Please check out these sites and seek out others - in the spirit of Christian giving that is maybe just a little bit bigger than the gift itself.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Like Jet Fuel for Mommies

Ah, coffee!

I could sing it's praises from mountain tops (forget that it stains teeth, is hard on my kidneys, and effects of over consumption of caffeine v. calcium absorbtion are still in question -scroll down halfway). Coffee is my friend.

I'm not a regular morning coffee drinker. This week I began making coffee in the morning as things are kind of chili around here until about 11 when the sun warms things up. [Casey and I are in a 'heated' debate over when to turn the heater on b/c it's still so warm during the day - I'll probably have to cave this weekend if rain comes in] I am finding myself more productive and energized (and quite possibly unbearable to those around me, though no one has mentioned it yet). Who knew? All those "It Moms" must be drinking coffee by the gallon.

I know there are those who do not like coffee (freaks) or even prefer *gasp* TEA (so what if that's my favorite Yerba Mate cup in the photo), but for me, for now, coffee is my energy drink of choice.

What is your 'Mommy Jet Fuel?'

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Planning Monday - The Pantry Edition

This week I am using up what we have in the pantry and fridge (I see a HUGE grocery trip on my weekend horizon). I got industrious (so I can be lazy all week) and planned breakfasts and lunches - maybe Casey should take the kids out of the house for 6 hours more often?

B: Cereal w/milk
L: Hotdogs with carrots and apples
D: Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie (thank you RR it's a fave)

B: Oatmeal/Juice
L: Soup (maybe PB crackers for Toby who doesn't like soup)
D: Chicken Pot Pies

B: Muffins/milk
L: Quesadillas and fruit
D: Ham and Bean Soup with cornbread and fruit

B: French Toast/juice
L: Leftovers
D: McDonald's (Toby's birthday choice)

B: Cereal/milk
L: Boiled eggs, fruit, crackers
D: Summer Sausage & Rice w/mixed veggies

B: Sausage & egg scramble
L: Out - after puppet show
D: Grilled Tuna over salad

It feels good not to have to think about meals for the rest of the week. Everything I need I have (or will after a 10 min trip to the grocery) and it's all planned out. All I have to do now is put it together and that's the part I enjoy.

Check out the inspired menus of other Monday Planners HERE or by clicking the logo above.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Can I Do?

Blog Action Day: Poverty

Casey called me last night with a statistic he heard on NPR. Families (of 4 or more) in America are considered the 'working poor' if they earn less than $41,000.00 annually.

I find this staggering, but perhaps not for the reasons one thinks. $41,000 is a LOT of money. 80% of the world lives on less than $10.00/day (source) yet here in America $41,000 for a family of four is the breaking point - the point where one earns too much to qualify for help, but not enough to really do more than (and sometimes not even as much as) make ends meet. Now I'm not naive. I know that there are HUGE differences in standards, economies, governments, scale, and SO many other factors that the $10.00/day statistic is NOT a comparison by any means - I just find it interesting.

Casey relayed the 'working poor' information to me in a moment of prayerful gratitude that, by God's grace, we are no longer part of that statistic.

*It makes me wonder (and I don't KNOW - these are ONLY my own thoughts) if life really IS so expensive? Or is our over-advertised, over-privileged, over-expected, over-processed American lifestyle inspiring us to feel 'poor' instead of blessed and abundant?

*Are we blessed and abundant - even when we struggle to make ends meet?

*How do we help each other when times are uncertain? How do we help others - those living on less than $10.00/day here and abroad?

*What inspires us to truly believe that we are a people and a country blessed with Freedom and abundance and choice?

Some of my favorite places to help:
Heifer International
World Vision
Angel Food Ministries
MUST Ministries

To read more "Blog Action Day" posts please click the logo above.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cutest Darn Socks EVER!

bitty baby socks

Is there any cuter knitted item than itty-bitty baby socks?

for scale

No, NO bebes in our future - these are a gift.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What is your occupation right now?
Home Maker
What color are your socks right now?
Pink and white, but the ones I'm knitting are much more interesting.
What are you listening to right now?
The background music to Anna's Wii Game 'Dogz"
What was the last thing that you ate?
Peach Yogurt, Coffee & A B-Complex
Can you drive a stick
Last person you spoke to on the phone?
My Father
Do you like the person who sent this to you?
Love Her! Nina is a fabulous girl!
How old are you today?
What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
College Football
What is your favorite drink?
Have you ever dyed your hair?
yes (and I need to again soon)
Favorite food?
What is the last movie you watched?
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Favorite day of the year?
March 21
How do you vent anger?
I yell (not entirely healthy - I know; working on it)
What was your favorite toy as a child?
Roller Skates
What is your favorite season?
Early Spring
Cherries or Blueberries?
Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
Who is the most likely to respond?
My Blog friends as it's an easy post!
Who is least likely to respond?
Living arrangements?
Wishing to move, but happy where we are in our small home
When was the last time you cried?
When don't I cry? Last night (I think) watching TV of some sort.
What is on the floor of your closet?
Uh, stuff? I try not to go in there - it's scary.
Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?
What did you do last night
Played Crazy 8's with my honey
What are you most afraid of
Being average
Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
Favorite dog breed?
Komondor, but we'll probably always have mutts or rescues.
Favorite day of the week?
Any day that Casey gets to work from or be at home.
How many states have you lived in?
Just the one!
Diamonds or pearls?
Emeralds (I know I broke the rules, but hey it's MY blog).
What is your favorite flower?
Lilacs or Dasies

Please consider yourself "tagged" and link back so I can read your answers!

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, October 06, 2008

Menu Planning Monday - Hoping for the Best

Considering last week's menu went a little like this:
Zaxby's (at least it was salad)
Ham Sandwiches
Frozen Pizza
etc., etc.

I think Menu Planning Monday is especially important this week - both waste wise and waist wise.

So I'm making it (really) easy this week and hoping for the best:

Baked Chicken with glazed carrots and green beans and fruit
Spaghetti with meat sauce with green salad and fruit
Meatballs and gravy with rice and peas and fruit
Chicken noodle soup with crackers and fruit
Inside Out Bacon cheeseburgers with carrots & celery and fruit
Chicken Fried Rice with fruit

A week of no-recipe meals sounds perfect and everything (except egg noodles) is already in the pantry so no big shopping for the week - phew! Rachael I promise I'll re-visit you next week and make your fabulous 30-minute meals, but this week - home cooked from memory is just right. For great recipe ideas and everything under the sun from vegan to budget friendly to feeding large or small families please click the logo above and visit the links on the Menu Planning Monday page.

Sometimes I struggle, do you struggle with the day to day? I try to stay within a relative schedule, budget, etc. but sometimes I just struggle. Convincing myself that everyone else does it ALL perfectly (whilst knowing they really don't) doesn't help.

Do you do that? Do you ever feel as though others must be doing it (whatever 'it' is) better and more and with a bigger smile? What are your struggles and how do you overcome them? Let's share and help each other (or just gripe together and know we are NOT alone).

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, October 03, 2008

I'd Rather Go to the Gynocologist...

Than go to the dentist.

I know - more that you EVER wanted to know.

Even considering my feelings for the dentist's office I HAD to go yesterday - due to the giant hole in my tooth.

After anxious anticipation I arrived (certain that my future held a root canal) and the Dr. said - "Oh, that's a tiny hole." Not in my book buster - I swear entire meals got trapped in there (eeewww). Within and hour it was drilled and filled - or "Restored" in dentist lingo. Get this - it also didn't cost me an arm, leg, or first born child. Praise God!

While in the euphoric state of "Restored" (and perhaps more notably NOT broke) I made all four of us cleaning appointments for next week - I KNOW - and not even on nitrous!

I feel much better now that I have a plan and a restored tooth.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh MY GOSH!!!!

She Knits!

Short Row to Mexico

It's true that you learn something new everyday. Above is my very first short-row heel. I used More Sensational Knitted Socks as reference and away I went. It was easy (if a little tedious) and will fit Casey's heel more comfortably than a heel flap/turn. Yeah - buggar complained about having "ears" on the heels of the last pair - sucker is lucky to get handmade socks in the first place right? {Honey, I'm just kidding - I am enjoying making these and am glad to learn something new so they fit perfectly - after all that's the point of custom clothing}

This yarn - Fortissima Socka Color Mexico something (I don't know it's called Mexico and we (the shop) ordered it through Skacel so it's made like trekking only it's a little thicker than trekking) is a DREAM to work with. it's rugged and soft and super sproingy. Oh the colors! I almost wish I had more. Almost.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I talk good...

Your Linguistic Profile:

45% Dixie

45% General American English

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

I think I got that 5% Yankee because I say "Rotary" instead of Round about or something else. Oh well - I'd never experienced on until we were in BOSTON so I guess that's ok. I think otherwise it's right on the money. I'm born and raised a southern girl, but my mother was a speech pathologist so that 'corrected' for much of my southern dialect. Now the southern rythym to my speech - well some things shouldn't be tampered with.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WFMW: Homeschooling

We Homeschool!

There I said it. Why does that feel like such confession - like coming out of some proverbial closet? I'll tell you why ('cause you knew I was gonna).

I've heard people day that there are two types of families who homeschool:

1. Those who are religious fanatics and want to keep their children "away from the ho-mo-sex-uals" [Please be advised that I truly do not endorse or denounce ANY family's reasons for homeschooling. The above statement is something I heard in a movie somewhere and it always struck me as funny - in sort of a disturbing way.]


2. Those that are elitists and think they are too good for public schools.

We are neither of those people and frankly MOST homeschooling families are NOT those people (though there are a few and everyone in this country is free to have, voice, and exercise their opinions at will).

ARE we Christians, YES. Is that why we homeschool - nope. Are we elitists, NO (well maybe a little). Is that why we homeschool - nope!

We homeschool because it's fun. I love my kids and I want to be with them as much as possible. I like the flexibility of learning through experience. I like being able to travel whenever or go where-ever or take the morning off when things are just not coming together. We read and we sing and we laugh and we play. We cook and we shop and we explore and we learn through it all.

Basically what it all boils down to is that we homeschool because it Works For Us! If your schooling situation isn't working for you give homeschooling at look with an open mind you might be surprised at what you find.

Please click on the logo above for more WFMW ideas.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am France???

You Are France

You are very proud of the culture you come from. You can't help but be a bit snobby.

You cherish your food, history, language, and art. You feel like other people can't match your taste.

Elegance is important to you. You rather stay with the past than love a new trend.

When in public, you look good and say the right things. Only your close friends and family know the real you.

OK - whatever! I did study the country and language for 4 years and I'm desperate to go to Paris so maybe I AM France. Who knows?

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Family Favorites Week: This week at Organizing Junkie everyone is posting their Family Favorites menu which should be wonderful I can't wait to check it out.

I made my menu based on an entire week of our favorites. It's hard for me to come up with actual or technical recipes because these are all things I just cook - I don't really follow a recipe - I just put them together. I included directions for my Daughter's requested birthday meal, but it is by NO means a recipe.

M: Chicken & Dressing Casserole with green beans and glazed carrots
T: Maria Tortilla with fruit salad
W: Inside-Out Bacon Cheeseburgers with fruit salad, chips, and carrot sticks
TR: Roast Beef Hash with Peas, Peaches, and biscuits
It's shameful to write a "recipe" for this as it's all out of a can! It's one of those quick-heat-something-up-before-we-run-out-the-door meals and it's what my turning 8-yo daughter requested as her birthday meal. It consists of the following (literally everything from a can):

Canned Roast Beef Hash (the reduced fat one at least)
Frozen Peas (ok not a can, but...)
and 'sink' biscuits (those are the ones you have to bang on the edge of the sink to open)

Heat everything up accordingly and dinner is served! I heat the hash for a long time in the skillet so it gets crispy in places, but it's really all about how YOU like it (or maybe you don't and that's OK too).

F: Homemade Make-Your-Own Pizza with carrots & celery & cupcakes for the sleepover
S: Taco Casserole with green salad, and peas for the kids
Sun: Chicken Noodle Soup with crackers and salads

Sounds like a yummy week if I do say so myself - some of our true favorites from my Mom, my friends, and some of our own. Food really is a scrapbook of your life.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 15, 2008

That's Not All....

Menu Planning Monday is not ALL I do I promise. MPM just seems to be the only thing I blog about - gets very boring I know. I am sewing up a storm this week and will have some photos and more interesting posts resulting - I promise.

"What else does she do?" you ask (or maybe you didn't, but you're already here so indulge me).

I've returned to my coupon adventures over he past couple of weeks. I am using the Grocery Game for now as it makes life easier when I don't have to hunt it all down on my own. There are some really great blogs out there about grocery budgeting and coupon savings - these women are truly inspirational! Me, I just want to have some fun (yes for me it's fun) and save some bucks. So far so good. If you do sign up for The Grocery Game please use my email as a referral eemayde AT gmail DOT com.

This morning I braved Wal-Greens and Publix. I've heard some horror stories about Wal-greens and the coupons+sales not matching up, but I had a delightful experience. I got everything on my list and the cashier (use the cosmetics cashier) had some extra coupons for me.

To put it into perspective:
I have shopped three "list" (those on the GG list) stores this week and my totals were:

Shelf Prices: $174.26
OOP (out of Pocket - the amount I actaully spent): $74.02
ECB/RR earned ("cash" for next visits): $8.00
Rebates (due @ end of month): $24.20

Total Savings this week (not including rebates): $100.24 or 57.5% (include the rebates, etc and it's $132.44 saved or 76%)

The trick with all the coupon "deals" is

1. Make sure you are getting a deal - if you won't use it or have to spend money JUST to get it when you normally would NOT - then it is NOT a "deal" at all.

2. Understand the difference between "stockpiling" and "STOCKPILING", by which I mean - even if it's free how many of one specific item does your family really need/want/use... If you are donating, by all means buy all the deals, but for my family - I know what we'll use before it goes on sale again and I'm trying really hard not to get caught up in the "dealio frenzy" (this time).


3. Stay organized - also realize that if you miss a bargain it's not the end of the world - it will either come around again or hey, with all that money you are saving you can afford to buy it at a higher price if you really need to.

There are tons of resources out there and I'm having a good time. If it gets too hard, time consuming, or tedious (or I become the crazy mom with 478 cans of 'free' air freshener that we can't even use because it gives Mommy migraines) I'll back off for a while.

Bottom Line: Casey works hard to earn this family a living and MY job (you know aside from lovingly educating the children and keeping them from destroying the house and/or each other on a daily basis) is to make sure I get the best value from his earnings. If I get a new pair of shoes out of the deal then so be it - these things happen.

I do have a menu planned, but this has droned on quite long enough. Tonight we're having "Maria Tortilla" a dish from Casey's childhood. I'll post more about this week's menu tomorrow.

So go check out the coupon sites linked above and see if it's for you. Let me know what you think and what you do to spend less.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I've got a cold, but the family still wants to eat - what's up with that?

The menu planning is such a help. I stay on track with our spending goals better and we eat better and healthier. I love sitting down around the table every night to an actual meal instead of to take-away. With the trying of new things we became a fine dining establishment and we now serve "whine" with every meal! I'm sure Toby will come around - eventually.

Last week went very well - the island chicken was delicious and easy. I adapted the recipe to our tastes and according to what we had on hand (didn't realize ahead of time that I was missing a couple of ingredients).

This week's menu is as follows:

Inside Out Bacon Cheese Burgers
Grilled Tuna w/Mixed Veggies
Pork Tenderloin w/Apple Stuffing & Egg Noodles (leaving out the fennel as we don't care for it)
Lemon Apple Baked Chicken w/Scalloped Potatoes
Black Beans & Rice w/diced Ham
Easy Spaghetti & Salad

Remember to check out other Menu Planning links on the Organizing Junkie site - these gals are REALLY creative; many have wonderful budgeting ideas as well.

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Following Up: Girly Hair

Thanks for all the comments and personal emails about my learning some girly-dos. For more detailed information try the following links:

Knots (basics of what I did)

Here's how to do rows of the knots:

It's really kind of fun - you just have to make sure your kids will stick it out through the pulling (Anna gripes, but I just tell her to "toughen up!" does that make me a bad person?). Also be sure and have a really full spray bottle and a good comb - those combs with the little metal sticks on the end are called "tail-combs" so when you go to Sally's they don't look at you like you're an idiot (or like me you spend 10 minutes 'just looking').

This past Sunday we did a row of knots (all I've braved so far) across the entire front of Anna's head (sideways) with a braid hanging down on the ending side; she was thrilled! I think I'm going to make some of these bobby-pin bows soon just because they are so cute and make the work look even fancier without more actual work.

Hope you all try some out and I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who is girly-hair challenged!

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, September 01, 2008

Oh Yeah, It's Monday!

That means it's time for menu planning: (I totally forgot until just about 5 minutes ago that it's Monday - no work, no mail, whatever...)

Tonight we had breakfast, bacon, eggs, and blueberry pancakes.

This week let's try some new things alongside our favorites:

Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Swordfish Burgers with Lemon, Garlic & Parsley (link is for Salmon Burgers, but it's fairly similar)
Island Bird: Pineapple-Rum Chicken (two links to blogs with the recipe & a pic & review)
Quick & Easy Chicken Quesadillas
Beef Stir Fry with brown rice & lots of veggies that we'll have to "encourage" the children to eat

I think it's a nice mix of new and faves, quick and involved. I'll let you know how that Rum Chicken turns out - that one has me interested!

Please check out the other fabulous menus and recipes HERE to see what others are having for dinner and get inspired.

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Looky What I Learned...


girly hair 2

I did - I learned how to do something girly to Anna's hair. I learned from HERE and mine isn't as tidyb ,ut I tried it and it worked. Best of all it keeps the hair off her face and looks super cute (if I do say so myself).

I am NOT a fru-fru type gal. Pigtails and ponytails I get pretty good - I'll even put those cutsey little do-boppys in for her, but braiding or fancy stuff - NOT the first clue. I am glad to have resources and guts to try it and a girl who can deal with more than a little pulling. Anna is thrilled (even if I pull some) and I am willing to spend the time it takes (which is a while) to make her happy. I figure I'd better get all this in before she sarts with the "MOM - Puh-Leeese" when I ask to do her hair.

Here is a close up (please ignore the messy and un-even parts - we're still learning).

girly hair

There are more ideas I'd like to try so I guess I'd better learn to make a decent french braid. Fortunately I know just the gal who can teach me and hopefully it will only cost me a Grande Vanilla Latte.

Oh - if you are into super girl hair - check out this site and the contest she's having right NOW!

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Lighten Up would ya? OK - OK - it's gotten very serious around here lately - what's up with that?!? BUM-MER!

Works-for-Me-Wednesday OR Me, Working-for-Wednesday - some crafting updates:

The yo-yos are still taking shape and will make their debut next week (they are very excited and cannot wait - they've even been giving me photo tips - the divas).

I've got 4 current (we won't discuss the long-time UFOs) sewing projects in various working stages:

2 sets of placements - these again need to be quilted and bound, but are also simple to finish so I'll work on them this weekend.

Coasters - I have several sets of coasters at the 50% mark - they need to be stuffed (tedious therefore unfinished) and quilted.

A Quilt top - finished the top just need to buy backing/binding fabric and then do the quilting, etc - I like th patchwork process so much better than the quilting - wish I could afford to pay someone to do ALL my quilting and finishing, but I have to save that for the really fancy ones.

I'm also cleaning out the craft room (again) and purging LOTS of stuff including books, misc. crafting items, maybe my knitting machine (maybe), and more. I have too much stuff and I can't use any of it because I have NO room to work.

On Deck for the rest of the summer/fall are the following projects (many for holiday gifts):

  • Finishing 3 quilts (did I mention I stall out after piecing the tops?)

  • Making 2 new quilts

  • Reupholstering the couch & chairs

  • Reupholstering the chair & 1/2 for craft room

  • Making clothes for the children

  • Embroidering dishtowels and napkins

  • And More

Between all that crafting, homeschooling, cleaning, and new activities for both the children and myself - I'm excited. I know this will be a busy and productive time and I can't wait. What have you got planned for the fall?

I learned something new this week too - I'll show you tomorrow.

Be sure to leave a comment about your plans and be sure to check out Works for Me Wednesday links.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In THIS Moment Today

As I listen to the rain and plan my day the world keeps turning as:

A friend battles red tape and paperwork while watching her hero disintegrate mentally and physically before her eyes. One welcomes a perfect new life into this world, while yet another makes the decisions preparing for the final days. Still others struggle to find their way after God has called home their compass, their beacon, their safe harbor. As one dissolves an unfulfilled dream and marriage another anticipates an anniversary and a birth.

My children grow and play and learn and laugh everyday overcoming the great obstacles of life and I pray for them. I pray for their safety and their wisdom and their strengths and their courage to face all of the challenges that life will present. I pray that they will have the courage and the strength of character and the support of loved ones and friends that each of my friends mentioned above possess. I pray for those friends and others and those without friends to pray for them. I pray for myself, as sometimes I still feel so unbearably lost and all I want to do is call my mom.

While you plan your day remember that wherever you are in life - you are NOT alone and someone is praying for and thinking of you.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking for Me?

Find me HERE today talking about finance and my personal struggle with keeping it all in perspective. Also be sure and add Lynnae to your google reader or bloglines; I learn something new and useful there everyday.

My two week menu plan had a little fall-down this weekend (lunches on the weekend elude me), but we got back on track last night with taco casserole (YUM - thank you Andrea) and I'm making soup today so everything is headed in the right direction.

Remaining on the two week plan I have:

Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup (Rachael Ray favorite)
Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast for Dinner (including pancakes)
Tuna Steaks
Baked chicken with Brown rice
Tuna Salad
Turkey Burgers
Summer Sausage w/Mixed veggies & rice
Cheese Tortellini alfredo (yum it was good last night)
Chicken & dressing casserole
Taco Casserole (thank you Andrea for the recipe)
Salmon croquettes

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, August 22, 2008

And One More Thing FREE!

SimpleMom is having a HUGE giveaway! Please check it out and participate HERE! Visit before Midnight (CDT) August 25th to enter.

Even if you aren't in to free prizes (what's wrong with you about that anyway :-0) check out her blog - it's a wonderful resource!

I'll keep you posted!


From the Mouths of Babes

Photo credit: Shortstuff411

I don't like ironing clothing - so I don't usually do it.

This morning, to avoid the "I just pulled this out of the laundry basket, where it's been sitting for 3 days" look, Casey's outfit needed pressing (don't like to fold laundry either). So being the dutiful wife that I am (and because the iron was already out for crafting) I began pressing Casey's clothes. Then I hear an incredulous 5-yo voice at my side.

T: "Mommy, what's that?"

M: "Daddy's shorts."

T: "WHAT are you doooiinng?"

M: "I'm ironing them."

T: "Why?"

M: "They're wrinkled."

T: (befuddled) "Oh"

Just another proud mommy moment!

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

When is Your Time?

Photo credit: Wikipedia Here

Me? I like to wake up early. I wake by at least 5:30 every morning; some of you may think I'm stark raving mad, but let me explain. It's quiet at 5:30 a.m. It's quiet in the house, quiet in the neighborhood, quiet in my little part of the world.

I love early mornings and I love sunrise - it's like watching the day being born and growing up. I am not super creative at this time or even all that productive between 5 & 7 (time for that is between and noon) I'm just still and that's BIG for me.

Now if I could only get the dogs to stop snoring I'd be all set!

When is your time? When are you productive or reflective, or just still? I look forward to reading your comments.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Planning Monday - finally

Finally back to the menu planning - we've been eating out and going out and bringing home and NOT cooking - time's up for that.

In no particular order for the next two weeks:

Turkey Burgers
Summer Sausage w/Mixed veggies & rice
Cheese Tortellini alfredo (yum is was good last night)
Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup (Rachael Ray favorite)
Chicken & dressing casserole
Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast for Dinner (including pancakes)
Taco Casserole (thank you Andrea for the recipe)
Salmon croquettes
Tuna Steaks
Baked chicken with Brown rice
Tuna Salad

Of course there are sides, etc. with all of that, but with all the lesson planning I'm doing for the next school year (it's a hard age spread this year) a list is as good as it gets - but it isn't take-away! Check HERE for even more menus and meal ideas.

Thanks for your support while I'm busy planning - this homeschool thing is a tough job (SO worth it for us) - especially when you're not an "color within the lines" kind of family.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Neck Deep in Lesson Planning - So...

One Word Meme - I found this whilst looking at the lovely Sweet Jessie's lovely blog!

1. Where is your cell phone? charger
2. Your significant other? shower
3. Your hair? walnut
4. Your daughter? sleeping
5. Your son? curly
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your favorite drink? coke
9. Your goal? contentment
10. The room you’re in? bedroom
11. Your church? visiting
12. Your fear? average
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? away
14. Where were you last night? Shogun
15. What you’re not? average
16. Muffins? sure!
17. One of your wish list items? Barrowman
18. Where you grew up? here
19. The last thing you did? hug
20. What are you wearing? p.j.'s
21. Your TV? ginormous
22. Your pets? barking
23. Your computer? silent
24. Your life? perfect
25. Your mood? expectant
26. Missing someone? Mom
27. Your car? ideal
28. Something you’re not wearing? pants
29. Favorite store? gone
30. Your summer? hot
31. Like(love) someone? always
32. Your favorite color? red
33. Last time you laughed? now
34. Last time you cried? yesterday
35. Who will repost this? unknown

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, August 08, 2008


Yep - spent last night cleaning up water - plumber is here NOW so hopefully no more COLD showers!

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Humblest Apologies...

To some of my favorite "Hot Sexy Men" whose invitation to the "Hot Sexy Men Dinner Party" were apparently lost in the mail. For that please forgive me and know that you are welcome ANY time!

Apologies to the following:

David Boreanaz, Julian McMahon, Johnathon Frakes, Val Kilmer, and Michael Shanks

Please forgive me one and all!

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Screaming Hot Sexy Men That's Who!

You know that icebreaker party question - "What 5 people would you have over for dinner...?"

Well, Let me just say that I would waste no time on historical, political, or the so-called "important" people of our past or present. Nope, Not me - I can read about their contributions. Me? I want hot sexy men at my dinner party - including (but certainly not limited to) the following:

1. John Barrowman - to crack bawdy jokes and sing whatever he wants as I swoon (plus he's been in the Tardis!)

2. David Tenant - because you can't have Captain Jack without the Doctor and he's really cute too!

3. Todd English - to create and cook a magnificent dinner wearing an apron - only (ok, the apron is optional)

4. Matthew McConaughey - I'd just like to watch him do yard work with his shirt off (YUM!)

5. Brendon Fraser - he's so charming, do I really need a reason?


6. Harry Connick Jr. - Piano, Singing, Community Rebuilding, Acting, Married to a Victoria's Secret Model (though she can stay at home) and so much more

Oh My! I think I might need a moment.

OK - as is plainly obvious I like men - I like talented, smart, sexy men. Who do you like? Who will be at your fantasy "Sexy" dinner party - and why? Let me know in the comments - I can't wait to find out.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, August 04, 2008

Thank You!

A heartfelt, giant "Thank You!" to all who voted for me in the blog makeover give away. It appears to have done the trick, but I'll wait to hear the official results before celebrating. Thanks especially to my Casey's techie posse at work who responded to his "random favor" request - I truly appreciate all of you.

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Utterly Shameless Self-Promotion!

Truly, utterly, shameless, pandering - I know - it's not pretty, but then neither is the blog layout - Ha!

Pick Me! Pick Me! Please go Here and vote for me in the blog makeover contest. Voting closes Sunday August 3 @ 11:59 edt.

Thank you so much!

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Not To Blog...

I feel like I need Stacie and Clinton for my Blog. If I ever went on "What Not To Wear" I'd just go ahead and throw all my own clothes in the trash and beg Stacie & Clinton to shop with me from day one - oh and then Nick with my hair - Help me please oh god of the scissors!

Anyway - I feel the same way about my blog. I have NOT THE FIRST CLUE! I chose blogger as it was free and easy. I chose the pink template because it was - well - pink. I did think I was very clever when I got my genius hubby to modify the html so that the block was wider and I could post pics without them overflowing the text frame.

Now though I'm here in this blogworld nearly 3 years and things are different. I've rewritten and redirected and repurposed and re-goaled (new word) my content, but I have NOT redesigned.

I am overwhelmed by all of the tools and tricks and hosting sites and social networking and feedburner and analytics. I am trying to read and study and learn it all, but honestly I think my brain might explode. I am a very smart girl - there is just so much really great information out there it's difficult to know where to begin.


Please please pick me for an Extreme Blog Makeover!

I am on the brink of real change and a makeover feels right; necessary. I am grateful and hopeful for the opportunity to enter the makeover contest. Thank you for offering such a grand prize to design-challenged (clueless) gals like myself - really.

Oh and friends, if you feel so inclined nominate me in the comment section of THIS post (you're tired of pink too aren't you?).

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

6 Random Facts Meme

Paper Dolls for Boys tagged us all for this Meme - so here goes:

1. I sang in several choral groups in college under the fantastic direction of Dr. Z and now I have an incredibly difficult time singing in a church choir because I am such a COMPLETE choir snob.

2. I CANNOT see those stupid Magic Eye pictures - even after hours of standing in the mall staring during the early 1990s. Come to find out it's b/c of a eye-dominance problem that I cannot see them - I still maintain that there is nothing there.

3. I like to make more than one (sometimes many more) of any craft I make because I like the production and assembly process. One of those personality tests (you know the ones you take to find out if you have any personality) would probably determine that I am well suited for factory or assembly line work (don't know though - never taken on just in case it tells me that I in fact have no personality).

Yo-Yo's galore
hence nearly 350 yo-yos made over the past two weeks

4. My first car was a Yellow VW SuperBeetle that was made the year I was born; I still miss it.

5. I don't believe that hell is a place so much as it is a state of total separation from God.

6. Toast is one of my favorite foods.

7. (for bonus points) My SIL once told Casey and I that being with us was like living in a musical because we spontaneously "Burst into song."

I didn't find that difficult at all - my life is pretty random.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I am sorry I fell off the planet last week. The kids and I are recovering from a summer cold - nothing major just sniffles really, but when you're tired from a week of running - even sniffles will take you out.

That's ok - Casey is well (thank goodness) and he ordered pizza and brought us burgers (and aleve) when we needed it. He's the VERY BEST and I am a very blessed girl!

Feeling much better this morning I've tackled menu planning for the week - I even assigned days and planned ALL the meals - I really do work better with a plan.

This Week:
Banana Bread (homemade - can you believe it Andrea - I baked)
PB & J Sandwiches with grapes
Grilled Swordfish w/brown rice and mixed veggies & cut watermelon

Oatmeal with Maple syrup
Cheese Pizzas (make your own)
Maple Glaze Pork Tenderloin w/roasted potatoes & peas

Toast w/Jam
Leftover Pork Tenderloin
Chicken with Corn & Potato saute and green beans (a Rachael Ray, but I can't find it online to link)

Oatmeal (Pancakes if Casey works from home)
PB & J with fruit
Chicken Noodle Soup (homemade)

Biscuits w/Jam
Leftover soup
Steak with baked potatoes, green salad, and peas

Sausage & Egg Scramble w/biscuits
PB & J Picnic after Fernbank visit
Dinner Out

For more menus and ideas visit HERE - LOTS of inspiration

I'll keep you posted!