Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cooking Adventure

Those that know me know that my hubby Chris does the cooking 98% of the time. The other 2% is when I tell him I will handle dinner---which translates into--"Honey I just called _____ and it will be ready in 20 minutes to be picked up". It isn't that I don't know how to cook (even though I have forgotten alot of things) it is just I don't find real enjoyment chopping, peeling and cutting...and don't even get me started about raw chicken---yuck. This wasn't how it always was. For the first 6 years of our marriage I did the majority of the cooking (and I do mean REAL cooking). Then I got a job at a bank and it became "who ever got home first starts dinner (that is when I started to drive real slow and take the scenic route home--just kidding)". I still made dinner most nights. About 8 years ago I started nursing school full-time. That is when it turned into Chris cooking for no other reason than he and the kids (only 2 at the time) like to eat. I was WAY to busy with school to even think about cooking. My Honey was a real life saver back then. After nursing school I worked 4 evenings a week from 3-11:30. At first I did try making some meals in the morning but Chris preferred to just make them himself.

So that is how this all started. I am really lucky that I have someone that doesn't mind cooking. And just so people know, he is home everyday by 1:30 p.m.. Also, I don't MAKE him cook.

I have been trying here and there to take a more active roll in cooking. Last week I cooked 2 meals and helped Chris with the cookout we had on Monday. This week I made dinner 3 times including making 2 Lasagnas---one for dinner and one for the freezer. It was actually very interesting. I don't think Chris knew what to do with himself while I was cooking. He kept trying to "help". I think he gets nervous when I am cooking. I told him I felt like I was in cooking school and he is the teacher always looking over my shoulder. But to be fair I guess I sometimes do deserve it. After I got him to finally sit down we were talking. At this point I finished browning the hamburg and in a separate pan I was now cooking onions and garlic. I do get distracted easily and I forgot they were there. I went back running to the pan. Thankful everything was alright. I then looked at Chris and said to him---totally seriously mind you---"you know, someone should come up with a book on how to cook an onion". He is usually really good about keeping a straight face and not making me feel totally stupid but he couldn't help himself. He busted out laughing and said "that would be a short one page." That is not exactly what I meant. I mean a book that is "kitchen lingo" and basic things. I should go and look...they must have one of those books "Cooking for Dumbies". Anyhow, here are the lasagnas.

Top one is to eat tonight. BTW--the pan is not dirty, it is Pampered Chef and it is "seasoned"

Everyone sitting down to dinner--I made a salad too.

I will be the first to admit though that I forgot or just don't understand "kitchen lingo". An example--I decided to try to make a yummy Avocado dip we had the weekend before at a friends house. I got the recipe from All Recipes. I went on the site, got the recipe, made out my list for the market and had everything I needed. Monday came around and it is time to make the dip. It was the first time I had ever handled an avocado before. To my surprise it was pretty easy to peel and cut up. I was doing well with the recipe until I came to "2 plum tomatoes, chopped". I stood there thinking to myself that my tomatoes look really big and I don't remember seeing oddles of tomatoes in Lisa's dip. Then it dawned on me. When I went to the market I saw the recipe called for "plum tomatoes" so I got the 2 biggest tomatoes I could find....maybe plum was not the size but a type of tomato. I called my sister and when she got done laughing at me she did tell me there is a difference between "plump" and "plum". WHO KNEW!!! Atleast I found my mistake BEFORE I put it in the dip. When Chris called me on his way home from work I asked him to stop and get me "plum" tomatoes. He handed them to me with a straight face and a kiss----that's love.

This upcoming week I am going to try to make not only a few dinners myself but also breakfast too. Since I am laying it all out there I will admit that if you tell the kids that Mom is making breakfast they all know to go and grab the bowl for cereal.

Atleast I am trying : )

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Subway Apologizes

Subway has apologized to homeschoolers. You can read it at

See---our voices can make a difference!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boycott Subway

I use to love Subway sandwiches. Notice that I said "use to love". Well that is because Subway is discriminating against homeschooler. They are having a contest Every Sandwiches Tells a Story. It is open to "public, private and parochial schools that serve grades Pre-K-6. No home schools will be accepted." That is a direct quote from the contest website . When I first heard about it this weekend I couldn't believe it, until I checked it out myself.

Yesterday I did something about it. I called Subways Corporate customer service number and gave them my opinion about all this. I asked them if Subway was discriminating against homeschooler because hsers are known to score higher on standardized tests, win national spelling bees and in general do better. I asked them if they were afraid that homeschoolers would make their counterpart look bad. I also told them there is close to 2 million children schooled at home and they have picked the wrong group to discriminated against. I was told that by the end of the day there should be something on the Subway website about this situation. I just checked. I didn't see anything....only the previous rules I stated about.

So now I am Boycotting Subway. I will no longer go there until they fix this. Not only that, I am asking that you pass along this customer service number and call them and let them know you don't think it is right they are not letting homeschoolers enter this contest.

There number is 1-800-888-4848. Let our voices be heard!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's Been a Tough Week

It has been over a week since I posted. Last week was a horrible-horrible week. Do any of you have one child that just brings you to your knees? Well I do. Sometimes I just don't understand what it will take to get through to them. We have been reading "Wisdom and the Millers" lately and it is all about the book of Proverbs but brought down to a kids level. Some real truths coming through this book, piercing that child's heart. I would like to say that I have handled it all in a way that was glorifying to God, but to be honest, I had a total meltdown myself last week on Monday and still had a bad attitude on Tuesday towards this child. Wednesday night the buttons were pushed again. THIS TIME though was different. I sent them up there room and I got to work finding scripture verses for them. I then said a quick prayer going up the stairs to prepare my heart. I talked to them about the Bible, asking if they knew who wrote it. I explained that men God had picked out wrote what He wanted them to. It is a book that can not be changed and as Christians we live our life according to this book....the WHOLE book. We can not pick and chose what we want to follow. I then helped them open up the bible to the scriptures I had picked out and had them read them. After doing about 3 scripture this child looked at me with amazement. I asked what they were thinking and I was told "I didn't realize that was all in there". Could this be the turning point I have been praying for? The rest of the week was better with this child.

My Mom has been spending ALOT of time over lately. I love my Mom dearly, I am thankful for her because she does do alot to help us (like babysit), BUT I do need some space. For some reason, when my Mom (or anyone else for that matter) is over the kids tend to think all the rules, chores and schedule are just thrown right out the window. It can be hard to reign them back in. So even though today is my Mom's birthday and I know she wanted to stay over again last night through tomorrow I had her go home with my sister last night after the cookout (BTW--just so you don't think I am totally mean, in the last 11 days she has been here 9). I have to get things back on track. Unforutunetly, I am afraid that Mom will see this as a sign of rejection. IT'S NOT!! REALLY IT'S NOT!!! My sister and I are taking her out for dinner tonight. Hopefully that will make up for it.

I do have a lot to blog about from the time I took off. I went on a "Surprise Date" for my birthday. Co-op has ended for the year. CJ had his last baseball game for the town's high school team that he plays for. We had a cookout to celebrate that along with 2 families. We had a cookout yesterday with family. We started baseball season for the town's recreational baseball for both Zachary and CJ---BTW, CJ hit an out-of-the-park Home-Run in that game (Go CJ!!).

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Swap Sister

This time around I got the privilege of having 2 Swap Sisters. My first one is Jaynee. She just had her 11th baby last month. Her family is really awesome. 4 years ago they decide to become missionaries to Mexico. You can read all about them at 10 Little Missionaries. This is what she sent me...isn't it great!!!

I will post my second swap when that comes in.
Yesterday was my birthday. I have to show you the cake...

The running joke in my house is every year when it is getting closer to my birthday I talk about how I can't believe I am going to be 29. This year makes the 6th year I turned 29 (get it...I really am 35). It was a fun, relaxing day. CJ and Zachary both had baseball so Chris made tacos for lunch (it was after all Taco Tuesday) and we had cake then.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today at church they passed out a goody bag full of treats for Mother's. It included: A Tootsie Roll, a Thyme Seed Packet, a Peppermint Pattie, a Charleston Chew, a Emery Board and a Starburst. Along with it was a card that explained the meaning behind each one.

Women of Faith are a Blessing from God
~Tootsie Roll--Because women of faith are terrific "roll" models.
~Thyme Seed Packet--For giving so generously of your "thyme" and tenderness.
~Peppermint Pattie--To remind you of your commint-"mint" to your faith every day.
~Charleston Chew--For always "chews"-ing to follow in God's footsteps.
~Emery Board--To remind you that when the going gets rough, you can turn to God.
~Starburst--Because special women like you are shining stars!

Hope everyone has a Wonderful Mother's Day!!!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Congratulations Duggars!!

It was just announced today that the Duggar family is expecting their 18th child!! Yes, you read right....NUMBER 18!!!! The baby is due New Year's Day 2009. This is one amazing family. They are Christian homeschooler who live in Arkansas debt free!!! Discover Health Channel has done some shows following them and their lives. Some new episodes will be out in the fall. You can find out more about this family by googling their name or going to

Congratulations to the Duggar's!!!!

A BIG Thank you President Bush

Where should I send the Thank You note? Today we received our rebate check. YAHOO!!! YIPPY!! We are very thankful for this check. With this check we are going to finally get the car fixed. Hubby's engine blew out months ago and we haven't had the extra money to get it fixed (see why we need a financial makeover). The car got picked up yesterday (I am sure the neighbors must have been cheering for that one). Today I plan on ordering the engine. Someone from hubby's work has a garage and he will be installing the engine at a pretty good price.

I can't wait to have a second car again!!! My reasons:

--The car gets much better gas mileage than the van. So we should save some $$ on gas.

--I have had to pull out or not sign up for some activities due to having only one car---piano lessons, swim lessons, sewing, and cake decorating class just to name a few.

--My hubby works EVERY Sunday (not by choice but due to the type of work he does. His days off are during the week) so my Mom has been nice enough to sleep over on Saturday night so she can bring my hubby to a co-workers house to ride into work with.....She brings him AT 3:30 IN THE MORNING!!! Can you believe Mom has been doing this for us so my children can go to church.

--CJ won't have to walk to practices for high school sports anymore in the rain (he did it in the snow too). Not that he ever complained about doing this...not even once.

--Freedom to go grocery shopping on Saturday mornings.

--Not having to make two trips to the baseball field (or many other places when Mom is with us) so we can all go to the game.

I looking forward to the weekend. I am going scrapbooking tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.. I can't wait. I don't seems to get very much scrapbooking down unless I go somewhere. Mother's day is of course Sunday. We are planning on just making in a relaxing day. Chris is either going have the kids cook dinner for me or we are going to get take-out. I don't really like going out on days like that when everyone and their brother is out. I am looking forward to just enjoying the day with the family. As far as favorite gifts are the ones the kids make. Give me a craft over a piece of jewelry any day. One more thing

I do have a few splurge things I like for this day...massage, pedicure or facial--hint-hint.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5 More Days until My Birthday!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Gotcha Day!!!!

Today is Gotcha Day!! If you have adopted or know someone who has you may have heard of this day. Today is 4 years ago Jessie and Alex came to live with us.....get it...we Gotcha (got-you) Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

7 More days until my Birthday!!!!

Shopping Galore!!

Monday I finished up my grocery shopping. I usually go every other week. My first trip for the month is usually the bigger shopping. That is when I pick up things I may need throughout the month instead of waiting until I run out.
As an example: 20 pound bag of rice was on sale for $6.99. I am not quite out yet but I will be by the end of the month so I picked it up.

Spaghetti sauce was on sale for $1 a jar. I make alot of pasta during the month (it's an easy, cheap lunch for me and the kids). So even though I had 5 jars left in the cabinet I picked up another 10 at that price. Better to spend $10 now and have it for the rest of the month than when I go back in 2 weeks I get stuck paying over $2 a jar.

My last example is paper towels. I had a bounty coupon for $1 off plus the market was having a sale for a jumbo pack of 8 for $9.99. I had already been to Target and Wal-mart and found the market was the cheapest for this. I still have 3 in the closet but the coupon expires at the end of the month so I figured I should just go ahead and get it. I won't buy paper towel again until my first July trip.

When it was all said and done, I spent $563.70 so far. OUCH!!! That leaves me $263.30. I have to admit...I am nervous about this one even though I shouldn't need baby products or meats until next month. I I NEED to take a hold of this area of our finances. I can honestly say that groceries was one area I have not budgeted myself on in a VERY long time. Now that I am thinking about it, not since I started working as a nurse.

Finances have always been an area that I have been anxious about. For the 3 months after we got Emily in June I only got a pay check for 6 or 7 of those weeks. I quit my job totally in September. It was definitely a step of faith. I didn't know how we would ever make it on just Chris' pay. 8 months later I am still worried that we somehow won't make it. But that is where trust and faith come and faith of the Lord not man. God has been so good throughout the years. What I have to remind myself is: There were plenty of times when I did work that things were tight. I am sure you have heard the saying----the more you make, the more you spend. How true. If things got "bad" I know there are areas I could "tweak" things. Phone service on our home phone could be down graded. Cell phones could be shut off. Switch from Direct TV to basic cable. The computer...oh wait...I have to draw the line somewhere : )

What is important to me is the blessing I get daily for being home with them.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Boy, am I tired!

The last 3 days seem to be a blur. Saturday I went to pick my mother up, went to the meat market, grabbed a pizza (it was 4:30 and I realized that I had only had a glass of orange juice and some chocolate chips), came home to drop off my mother and meats, went through my grocery list again and headed out to Wal-mart. I had left my house to get mom at about 2:30 and got home from Wal-mart at 10:30. While out, one of the tires kept going low. I put air in it 2 times.

By Sunday morning it was low...again. We were suppose to go to the anniversary party for my uncle and aunt. We ended up staying home. Chris had gotten a ride into work so I could have the van. When I saw the tire going flat again it didn't sit right with me to fill it up again, put 5 kids in a car and drive 30 minutes on the highway in the rain to go to a party for people that I haven't seen in a decade. Part of me was disappointed but I had to put it into perspective. My phone hasn't been ringing off the hook--in fact, I don't talk or see the family unless it is a wedding or funeral. Go or don't is all the same to them. HOWEVER, I get into the car with the tire the way it is, something happens to my mother or one of the kids---it would bring devastation to my family---and when I say my family I mean my household, my sister and my parents. Our lives would be changed FOREVER. The family at the anniversary party...uh, they wouldn't know the difference...all their lives would go on just the same. Okay, I know that sounds kind of cruel of me...but it is the truth. In all honesty, the main reason I wanted to go was to be nosy and kind of proud (WOW!! THAT IS HARD TO ADMIT). I was always the one in the shadow, got married young and no one gave much thought to. This was my chance to go and 1--see all the family gossip first hand and 2--show everyone "hey, look at me. I got my life together. Married for 16 years, 5 pretty good kids--that I homeschool and a RN degree." You know what...doesn't God have a way of fixing our wagon when we need it. My intentions were not God Honoring. I just have 2 things to say about that---Thank God for the cross. I can see my sin, ask for forgiveness and know that it was wiped clean. Secondly, I am thankful that God chose to only use a flat tire to humble me. I am thankful He didn't use something more painful to get my attention.

My sister did come pick up my mother at my house to bring her. I decided to use the rainy afternoon to get some cleaning done that---well lets just say it was overdue. I can't believe I did this but I took before and after pictures. How crazy of me to want to show the world my disaster! Here goes:

First up...what is suppose to be Emily's pack and play/changing table. Don't ask me how it became such a mess. Usually we put stuff in there to keep AWAY from Emily (isn't that a little backwards).

I emptied it, sorted everything out and put the stuff away in the right place. After that I disinfected it. WOW!! Now there is actually room for her in it!!

This is the spare room off the dinning room (you see the changing table in the corner). This room has been pretty much a mess since I got home from the convention. NOT to this extent though. I had started separating things into a few piles when I took the picture. BTW..ALL that soda you see isn't for us. My niece's graduating party is this month and I am in charge of beverages.

Tah-dah!! Look...there is a rug under all that!!!

Here was a biggy. Cleaning out the kitchen (food) cabinets. I had taken things out of this cabinet and THEN thought to take a picture. Believe me...this cabinet WAS much worse.

Yes, if you look closely I do have medication in the kitchen cabinet. The bathroom is one of the worse places to store meds because of the steam. It can change the potency of the meds. I am looking for a new place to put them. I was thinking of in my bedroom closet.

This was all the food I took out of the cabinets. It is amazing what you find when you clean cabinets out. Like: 3 packs of egg noodles, 3 cake mixes, 6 jars spaghetti sauce, 8 can kidney beans, a box of cereal not open that you didn't know you had, 4 lasagna noodle packs (which is really funny because I only make lasagna a couple of times a year if I am lucky) and 2 jars of peanut butter each 1/2 full (that drives me crazy). That is just to name a few. Then of course you find all the expired food too.

Are you ready for this....drum roll please......

Beautiful isn't it. Now ready for the fun part, I did all this yesterday. Today I finished up my grocery shopping since I couldn't on Saturday. I hit 4 stores (Target, BJ's, Stop and Shop, and Shaw's) plus ran into Michael's. I have a atleast a 1/2 of a table full of food that needs to be put away in the cabinets. (My hubby is wonderful. He puts away the fridge and freezer things for me because I have a hard time dealing with the coldness (I have Raynaud's). I have given up though and I am waving the white flag right now. I can't use that much energy, physical or mental, to do it. It will get done in the morning.

I am not sure what the night is going to bring either. While I was out Emily started getting fussy for Chris and cried when put to bed. This is VERY unusual for her. Sure enough, when I got home I took her temp. Axillary it was 100.6 so if I took it rectal it would be about 2 degrees higher. I gave her some Tylenol and we did some cuddles. After about 45 minutes or so she went to bed without any problems. I will be up during the night checking on her to make sure her temp doesn't rise. With us not knowing if she has a seizure disorder it puts me a little more on edge when she gets a fever. I never know if this could set one off.

One last thing, CJ got his braces FINALLY off Wednesday. I wanted to post a picture last week for Wordless Wednesday but he asked me not to. He wanted me to wait until after co-op last week so we could see if anyone noticed. I will be posting a picture of him with them off this week on Wednesday.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Weekends can be just as busy as during the week!! Weather permitting we will have LOTS of baseball this weekend, along with me going to the grocery store, all of us to church and an anniversary party for my uncle and aunt. I need to get some school planning in this weekend too.

Today I plan on going shopping. I use to go to a meat market. When we moved a year and half ago it became inconvenient to go (it would be about a half hour trip each way and with gas as high as it is, usually not worth it). HOWEVER, I need to pick my mother up today to sleep over. The meat market isn't that far from her house (less than 10 minutes). I decided for fun to look up the meat market online. To my amazement, boneless chicken is on sale. I usually get my meat from BJ's--which is lower than the market. But not today. BJ's boneless skinless--$2.79 a pound...30 pounds will cost= $83.70. Meat market has it on sale for $1.98 a pound..30 pounds will be $59.40 for a savings of $24.30!!! Well worth the trip today!!!!

In other news---CJ is over the moon right now. He got invited to go with another homeschool family, The Rocks, on a 10-12 day trip. The Rock's son is going to be in a national competition in Alabama. They decided to make this a family vacation and not only go there but to the Creation Museum. They are looking into going to other places too while down south. What a great opportunity for my son.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's May!!

I LOVE May!!!! This is my favorite time of the year...and not just because it's my birthday month either! Yes, it is 12 days and counting to my birthday. I can't believe I am going to be 35. It seems so--so---so middle of the road. I am at the place that I look at a 40 year olds as having maturity (remember being a kid and thinking 40 was ancient) and 20 year olds still have alot to figure out (partly because I have a niece turning 20 in August). 35 seems settled to me. I just can't believe I will be 35. I am NOT saying anything negative against it. I learned that lesson when I turned 30. Leading up to 30 I remember thinking "WOW 30!! I am old". That year had some awful turns in it. My health wasn't the greatest that year and I ended up having 2 surgeries within 7 weeks of each other. I am not cursing myself again.

So besides my birthday, I love May because of the sense of new beginning. It is starting to warm up, the sun is shining, birds are chirping, trees and flowers are is GREAT!!! I am not good with extremes (hot or cold) so May is perfect.

We are hoping for a better lawn this year. Last year we ended up with grubs. The grass looked horrible. Chris just put down grub killer. Next week he will put down the seeds and fertilizer.

Co-op is winding down. We have 2 more classes. When we finish we will have made it through the whole Apologia Biology book. I am VERY proud of my class (even though half of them weren't prepared for class today). I am planning on getting some pizza's for the last class. Maybe I will attempt to bake something too.

Toni over at The Happy Housewife is doing a feature this month called 3 Moms-3 Kitchens-31 Days. I have been following her blog now for about 2 months. In that time she has decided to challenge herself and her food budget. Last month she met her goal of feeding a family of 8 on $575. That is unbelievable to me!! This month she has joined forces with 2 other woman. Each day this month these woman are going to give us a peak into their planning, lists, meals, sounds great. I look forward to reading it. I encourage others to read up on it too. With this in mind, I am looking to make a goal for myself for groceries. I have narrowed it down to around $800 a month or less. This will include food, meat market and household things like cleaning products and diapers. I know to some this might seem like a lot to be spending. Believe of 7 in Massachusetts....I think I will have my work cut out for me. If you have any great ideas that have helped you cut your grocery bill I would love to hear it.