Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'll be back soon...

Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Just wanted to let you know that I'm still eating ridiculous amounts of food and just now getting a chance to be with my extended family... I'll be back in a few days with new posts... but for now, I gotta get back to the chocolate. Happy New Year to you and yours! :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cookies & Milk with Santa

Here's a quick post of the kids at Cookies & Milk with Santa sponsored by the Library... I like this picture. It fits Cole's eating personality perfectly... he is eating the frosting straight out of the frosting cup....

And here they are with their visit to Santa...

Also I wanted to link you to an excellent audio Christmas Story for Kids over on the girltalk blog. I'm going to have my kiddos listen today while they eat their lunch. It's about 10 minutes long and really great! Merry Christmas, friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My heart is full...

I love these girls... great day with my besties! Aren't they beautiful!?

We spent the day talking, eating, laughing and making these...

The three of us became friends back when Sadie was born... they both had baby girls that were a year older than Sadie and we learned to do life together. There is something to be said about friendships that are made when your children are young... there is authenticity in those relationships... I mean, after all, you get no sleep and spend most of the days in your pj's... you need people that love you for you! We have so many good memories together... and I'm thankful that although there are now miles between us, we can still pick up where we left off!

Oh... and here's our kiddos, too...

4 boys... 4 girls... even steven. Great day... great friends.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm so glad, you're in my family...

One of our friends took our family pics a few weeks ago... and some with just Eric and I... love them. Thought I'd share... after all, family pics was on my 30 B4 30 list.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just a bunch of random thoughts...

Here are a bunch of random thoughts that aren't nearly beefy enough for a post of their own. :) Welcome to my brain.
  • When we were a double income family, I had a method of Christmas shopping that would drive Dave Ramsey crazy. It was the BOGO approach and went something like this... buy a gift for my mom, buy something for me, buy a gift for Eric, buy something for me, buy a gift for my brother, buy something for me... this method kept me motivated through the mall. Now my motivation is to stick to the list, use as many coupons as possible and try to get most of my shopping done online.
  • Oak Ridge Boys is my all time favorite Christmas Album. I have not listened to it once this season. That needs to change.
  • When we were doing advent last night, we were reviewing all the alphabet. We were on the letter P and were reviewing that Jesus was the only perfect person to walk the earth. Cole strongly disagreed with, "No! I perfect, I perfect." We tried to explain otherwise, but gave up to avoid a major meltdown.
  • Today is Sadie's first school program. I nearly booked myself to substitute today... that would have been terrible. Can't wait to see the adorableness that oozes from her little class. So thankful for her incredible teacher.
  • My favorite dessert right now - s'mores... I make them in the oven and they are with a Dr. Pepper, of course.
  • Today I need to clean my bathroom, dust the floors, vacuum and wrap packages... I wonder how much of that will be accomplished??!! Bathroom must be done - hands down.
  • Tomorrow two of my besties are coming for a visit!!! I can hardly wait! They are each bringing their three kids... how did I get so far behind on the child production??? Hmmm... anyway, I am praying that all of us wake up healthy in the morning so our wonderful day together can actually happen!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Menu Plan - Christmas Week!

Christmas week is upon us!!! Can you believe it!? I am so excited... this is the first year in awhile were we have not been overbooked and in a hurry. I intentionally blocked off weekends this month to keep things a little more low key... I feel like I've been able to really soak in the season, and that is refreshing.

Last week I planned our menu for two weeks and did two weeks of grocery shopping at once (trying to see if I can knock a few bucks off the grocery bill this way)... that means this week I will only need to stop for produce and milk... and that my friends, is a beautiful thing.

Speaking of milk... I think we either need to take out stock in Braum's or purchase our own dairy cow... just sayin'.

Okay... onto what we are eating...

Lunch: Chicken Tetrazzini, Snap Peas, Fruit
Supper: Christmas Party - I am bringing Peanut Butter Chocolate Treats

Lunch: Egg Sandwiches, Carrots/Dip
Supper: Hamburger Noodle Soup, Corn Bread

Lunch: Grilled Ham and Cheese, Chips, Fruit
Supper: Penne w/mushrooms, Italian Sausage and Broccoli, Salad, Fruit

Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: Taco Squares, Carrots/Dip, Fruit

Late Lunch: Pizza
Supper: Snacks - tortilla rolls, rye bread & dill dip, carrots, celery, apple slices

Breakfast: Sweet Sausage Rolls, Breakfast Bake
Late Lunch/Snacking - BBQ Meatballs, Cheese Ball with Crackers, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Fruit

Celebrating Christmas with Family... not sure what I'm making yet. :)

I'm not sure how much I'll be around here this week... we'll just kind of see how things go! If I'm not back too often, have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Something that makes life easier... at lunch.

Every now and then I'm going to start posting a picture of something that makes life a little easier around here. It's no rocket science, just some things that I've picked up along the way. :)

So for the first edition (Doesn't that sound so professional??? HA!) I am presenting (drum roll please) Muffin Tin Lunches. This is an idea I stole from someone along they way, but I love it. Basically it's just a bunch of odds and ends thrown into a muffin tin and served to your children for lunch. AND in case your wondering, I secretly like to eat out of a muffin tin, also.

Usually we eat right out of the tin, but last week I gave everyone a plate... Eric was not home for lunch on this particular day, but this tray fed all three of us. Sadie wanted me to take a picture of her "circle of food." She was quite pleased with herself.

Whoever it was that I stole this idea from used 6 cup tins and each person ate out of their own tin instead of sharing. That would be kind of fun, too... I should start looking for 6 cup tins at Goodwill! Happy Munching!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spreading A Little Christmas Cheer

Last week our house was an M-E-double S. Something had to be done before I needed admitted to the crazy house.

I decided to turn on Relient K's Christmas CD to help us get in the cleaning/organizing spirit. Within the first two notes Cole was throwin' up his rock fist. We caught a couple minutes on Flip... this ought to warm your heart with Christmas cheer (or at least make you smile)... ignore the spastic dancer on the right. I don't know her, but I'm pretty sure it's where this little boy picked up his best moves. :)

Coley Dance from Eric Franklin on Vimeo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Menu Plan - Better Late Than Never!

Sunday's are normally my uber relaxing day of the week.... but yesterday, It was a fun day, but busy, which kept me from getting my menu done until today! Here's what we're having this week...

Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: Eric & I - DATE NIGHT and Christmas Shopping & Sadie and Cole Scrambled Eggs and Biscuits

Lunch: Muffin Tin Lunches
Supper: Just the kids & me - eating my leftovers from Date Night @ Logan's - The meatloaf meal from there will literally feed me one meal and then all 4 of us at another meal. It's so yummy, too.

Lunch: Egg Sandwiches, Carrots, Fruit
Supper: Laughing Cow Chicken, Green Beans, Fruit

Lunch: Mac & Cheese with Hot Dogs
Supper: Savory Steaks & Sauce, Baked Potatoes, Fruit

Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit

Lunch: Chicken Chili
Supper: Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Snap Peas, Fruit
Supper: Pancakes with Berries, Eggs

Hope you week is off to a good start!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread Baby

Sorry I'm a little late in getting here today! We actually did the activity I'm going to share with you tonight.... and then went out to look at Christmas Lights... and then we went to Walmart to get toilet paper (somehow we've run out)... and I might have thrown in some Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream along the way... I've heard that Blue Bunny's Peppermint Ice Cream is heavenly, but haven't found any around here, yet. That very well could have been the longest sentence I've ever written... but I digress.

Anyway... the last book for the Preschool Christmas Play Party is Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. This is a story about a little boy who opens the oven door too early while baking cookies. Expecting to check on his baking Gingerbread Boy, the boy is surprised to have a Gingerbread Baby jump right out of the oven. The whole town works to catch the Gingerbread Baby, but he is too fast and clever for everyone. The little boy finally captures him by luring him into a Gingerbread House and then shutting the doors up tight... and that is where the Baby stays.

I'm sure you can tell where the activity for this book is heading... you guessed it... decorate a Gingerbread House. Normally when we craft around here the expense is minimal, but sometimes you just have to splurge. I had considered constructing our own Gingerbread House out of graham crackers and candies, but when I found a kit at Aldi for $6.99 we went that route. It was a lot of fun, but I think more candy went into the kids' mouths than onto the house. They loved it...

I hope you've enjoyed this week's mini series... more than anything, I hope you find time to just be with your family this season teaching them of the wonderful gift we have in Jesus. Many Christmas Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Mitten

Today's post is going to be quick and pictureless... this was an activity we did last week and I failed to photograph the fun.

The books that will be featured today and tomorrow are both Jan Brett Books. Jan Brett has a great website that has many resources that go along with her books... you outta check it out.

Today's book is called The Mitten. This is a story about a little boy who looses his mitten in the snow... while it is lost a group of animals squeeze in the mitten to find warmth until finally a little mouse follows a bear inside. The only spot left inside the mitten for the mouse is on the bears nose... this tickles the bears nose, he sneezes, all the animals in the mitten come flying out and the little boy finds his mitten drifting in the air. It's really a very sweet story.

On Jan Brett's site, Brett provides a printable mitten and the animals in the story. Have your children assemble the mitten (glue together like a pocket), color the animals and cut them out... they will all store snugly inside the mitten. This is fun to use as you read the story together or for your child to retell the story!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Zoo Flakes - ABC

Happy Wednesday! Welcome back to the Christmas Play Activities for Preschoolers Par-tay! I hope you are having a lovely week!

Today's book and activity is centered around the book, Zoo Flakes - ABC by Will C. Howell. This is a book that we checked out at the library this past week. Zoo Flakes is a very creative ABC book. Each letter of the alphabet features a zoo animal that is cut into a snowflake shape. Some snowflakes are really quite incredible! I was hoping that Amazon would have the "choose a page" feature for this book so you could actually see the inside because it really is quite impressive.

If you have older kids, you could actually make animal shaped snowflakes... it would be a fun after dinner activity for everyone to do together! Here's one that I made... I must admit, it took some thinking! :) Here is what I could use for "L is for Lizard." Sadie was quite impressed with my skills... I was too, actually.

Since our scissor skills aren't as refined here, we made snowflakes out of Popsicle sticks, buttons, sequins and star beads... you could really stick anything on that you have around the house... noodles, pony beads, pom-poms (I totally would have used pom-poms, but we are out... I love those brightly colored poms... they take me right to my happy crafty place.).

I pre-glued the sticks together....

...and then let the kids glue on the bling.

They turned out pretty cute and with a little ribbon attached to the back, they will make a nice, cheerful decoration! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Animals' Christmas Eve

I hope you all enjoyed the fingerplays and songs that were posted yesterday! Sadie and Cole loved the Santa's Chimney fingerplay and found it to be a novelty that I would actually draw a face on their little thumbkin. I also wanted to mention that last year I posted an advent idea on my blog... the link for it is right here if you are interested... it's had a lot of hits this season, so I'm hoping that families are able to use this or adapt it for their family worship times!

The story I want to share with you today is called, The Animals' Christmas Eve. It's actually a Little Golden book that I found at a second hand store a few years back... I might have a small obsession with children's books.

I think the first page of the book sums up what this sweet story is all about...

In the barn on Christmas Eve,
After all the people leave,
The animals, in voices low,
Remember Christmas long ago.

After sharing this book with your kiddos, take some time to make a paper bag barn. Here is a picture of ours.

We used a full size brown paper bag and cut open doors. The kids and I colored some animals (Cole made a sheep out of his hand print), a star, Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus.

I contemplated just printing off animals for them to color... I'm glad I didn't... have you ever seen such a sweetly drawn camel or Baby Jesus?

(Sadie shining her flashlight in so you can have a closer look.)

Lastly, we glued some of our nativity creations to the outside and some of them to the inside. Sadie wanted to leave some of them loose so she could walk them in and out of the barn... some days I just have to put my OCD ways aside... I mean, who really cares if all the animals are glued perfectly in place. :) It never needs to be perfect to be a blessing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Play for Preschoolers...

Before Miss Sadie came along, I spent my days teaching 1st grade. I loved teaching. I loved the kids. I loved celebrating the holidays with my class and all the special things we were able to do together. Now that both of my kiddos are getting a little older, we are able to do some of those same things together... and it satisfies my teaching itch for this season of life. :) This Tuesday-Friday, I am going to feature a Christmas Story with an activity for you to do at home with your kiddos. Hopefully it will encourage you to slow down, snuggle with your little ones and read, and just have fun together.

For today.... I thought I would post a few songs or fingerplays that I have picked up along the way! Enjoy!

Reindeer Pokey
You put your antlers in,
You put your antlers out.
You put your antlers in,
And you shake them all about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey and you turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about!
(repeat with hooves, red nose, fluffy tail)

Ring the Bells - Use with instruments
(to the tune of "London Bridges")
Ring the bells it's Christmas time,
Christmas time,
Christmas time
Ring the bells it's Christmas time,
Merry Christmas time!
(Play the drums, Pat the sticks, Clap your hands)

Here is the Chimney
Here is the chimney (make fist hiding your thumb)
Here is the top (put your other hand over the "chimney")
Open the lid (take off your hand)
And out Santa will pop (pop up your thumb... you can even draw a face on your thumb:)

Wise Men & Baby Jesus
Wise Men traveled from afar, (walk with your fingers)
Following the Christmas Star. (make a diamond with your fingers and move it through the air)
When it stopped they jumped for joy, (jump up and down)
And worshiped baby Jesus boy. (pretend to cradle a baby in your arms)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Menu Plan - Plans Bumped

Last week we ate a lot of leftovers! I am not sure how we got away with so much extra food, but it worked out great. Even my not-so-crazy-about-leftovers husband went along with the plan! That being said, this week, we have a few items bumped from last week's menu...

Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Carrots with Dip, Applesauce
Supper: Spicy Orange Chicken, Brown Rice, Snap Peas, Grapes

Lunch: Bean Tostadas with the fixings
Supper: Chicken Noodle Casserole, Salad, Apples

Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: BBQ Meatballs, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit

Lunch: Muffin Tin Lunches
Supper: Turkey Burgers, Grilled Zucchini, Apples

Lunch: Leftovers
Supper: Mexicali Meatloaf, Green Beans, Oranges

Lunch: Chicken Quesadillas
Supper: Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Lunch: Out to Eat
Supper: Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes, Fruit

Hope you all are off to a lovely start this month! Remember to slow down and just enjoy the season!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Save the Silly Bands

First off, I would like to say that if I had known shaped rubber bands were going to be the hottest trend in 2010, I would have invented them myself. They remind me of the POG craze of the 90's... they have no purpose AND they cause a lot of clutter.

As I was tidying up today I was terribly annoyed to see that we have Silly Bands all over the place. I found 2 by the coffee pot, some on the living room floor, a generous handful of them hiding in the corner of the doll house and about 6 or 7 in our bedroom (for the record, Eric and I do not wear Silly Bands). They are just the right size to be overlooked as you clean and before you know it, Silly Band's begin to take over the house.

I understand that the Silly Band clutter is partially my fault because I have not given the Silly Bands a "home." Honestly, how does one store Silly Bands??? Please, share how you organize your Silly Bands because my children's are about to find storage in File 13.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I think I'm maturing... or getting old and sentimental.

I used to have this thing with Christmas trees. In order for a tree to be beautiful they had to have white lights, coordinating bulbs and the garland hung just right. Also... they had to be without a corny angel tree topper that flashed enough to send someone into a light induced seizure.

Things have changed. I now have a 4 year old and a 2 year old who love crafting gluey and glittered ornaments that they are oh-so-proud-of. I've inherited some ornaments from our childhood and a few from my grandparents personal collection. There are memories attached to each ornament and they seem to run deep. So, this year, our tree has all the garb on it that I used to love (and still do) and old memories strewn throughout... and it's beautifully perfect.

Here's my Baby's First Christmas Ornament from 1981. I did have a white little dog like that but lacked in the hair department until about 1983... I was one bald little critter for the longest time. Maybe someday I will show you my baby pictures... wouldn't that be fun?! Back to Christmas...

This was the Mr. and Mrs. Clause that hung on my grandparents tree for as long as I can remember. I loved taking them out of their wrapping this year. I couldn't help but think that maybe my grandpa was the last one to hold Mr. and Mrs. Clause as they were wrapped up for me.

You know that I'm loosening up when Raphael makes a Christmas appearance...

Doesn't get any better than a hero in a half shell on your tree. He's hanging low getting ready to guard my gifts from sneaky little fingers.... good thing Eric picked this one out as a little guy.... hey... maybe I'll show baby pics of him too! *insert evil laugh*

Wishing you the most wonderful Christmas season yet! May we truly embrace the deep love that God has for each of us in His precious Son, Jesus.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Been thinking on this a couple weeks...

1 Kings 3:9 (Message)

"Here's what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?"

Monday, November 29, 2010

What's your shopping style???

I haven't ever been big on Black Friday sales. There is nothing appealing to me about getting up at the crack of dawn and fighting millions of people in order to save a couple bucks. PLUS... I have never even really seen anything in the ads that I just can't live without.

Since we've moved to our new city, there aren't many options for shopping, so I've started doing a majority of my Christmas shopping online. Cyber Monday... now that's what I'm talking about. I had a lovely morning shopping online in my PJ's snuggled in my big chair. I got several items checked off my list in less than a half hour and saved me a lot of $$$... bliss.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What's your shopping flavor???

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Plan - Must Restock


Well, I hadn't intended on taking a break from blogging last week, it just kinda happened. We did a little traveling last week and our trip was cut short by the stomach flu. I started feeling terrible at the end of the week and we ended up heading home so I could be in my own bed with my own bathroom... there's something therapeutic about being in your own home. I am on day number 3 of feeling crumby... but so far, no one else has come down with the ickyness. Eric has done a great job taking care of me and keeping the children alive and well while I've just laid around with my sad face.

Here's something to make us smile, though! There's nothing like a friendly game of preschool chess...

So... it's Sunday, and it's Menu Day! Quite frankly I am ready for a new start and a new week! I am also hungry... but my tummy hasn't jumped on board with that yet... at least it was easy to pick out what sounded good for the week! :)

Lunch - Leftovers
Supper - Pizza Noodle Bake, whatever veggie I can scrounge up before grocery day on Tuesday, Fruit

Lunch - PBJ on Tortillas, Applesauce
Supper - Spicy Orange Chicken with Brown Rice, Sugar Snap Peas, Fruit

Lunch - Leftovers
Supper - Chili & Cinnamon Rolls (if I'm operating at full speed)

Lunch - Mac N Cheese with Hot Dogs, Carrots
Supper - Chicken Noodle Casserole, Salad, Fruit

Lunch - Spaghetti, Salad
Supper - Penne with Mushrooms, Italian Sausage & Broccoli (don't be fooled... my kids will totally only eat the noodles out of this), Fruit

Lunch - Tacos
Supper - Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Lunch- Out to Eat with Friends
Supper - Mystery Meal (that means I'm not sure what we'll be eating! ;)

This is going to be an expensive week at the grocery store! Not only is our pantry bare, but I also need household items... shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent AND fabric softener... oh, happy day... I'm afraid I'll go over budget this week on groceries... will have to tighten up next week.

*Double Sigh*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Run, Run, As fast as you can! You can't catch me...

Oh, who am I kidding, you probably could catch me, but at least I'm running! :)

My friend Lauren and I started running a month or so ago. Up until this stretch of running, I used to really hate to move so quickly. I loved to exercise, but running was not on my list of most wonderful options. Step aerobics, now that's what I'm talkin' about... I can step with the best of 'em. But I digress...

So... Lauren invites me to run a few weeks ago and I accept because, well.. I have a hard time telling people no... and I thought it would be beneficial for my health and for the wonderful moods that I experience (please don't misunderstand... I did not say that I was MOODY... just that I experience different moods:).

Anyway... I think the reason that I've enjoyed running this time around is because of the way we have gone about it. We didn't go outside on our first day and try to plow through our first couple miles, go home exhausted and then never run again (I may have done that before). Instead we've been gradual and it has made such a huge difference! We've been using a program called From Couch to 5k... it's awesome! Check it out... their program can even help train you train for a marathon if you are crazy like that.

So, once you get all trained and in shape... come on down and we'll race! ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Picture Day

So... today is Family Picture Day! Checking off another item on the 30 B4 30 list!!! Our friend Jason has graciously taken time out of his week to photograph us! I have our clothing laid out and shoes ready to go... now we just need smiles and beautiful weather! Does anyone else find Family Picture Day slightly stressful??? Deep breathing... here we go!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Menu Plan Week - Thanksgiving Style

Hello Everyone and Happy Sunday! It's Menu Planning Time again... this week is easy since we will be spending some time with family. My goal for the week is to clean out some food in our freezer and fridge and to save a little money at the grocery stores this week! Here's what we'll be eating...

Lunch: Sandwiches & Leftovers
Supper: Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries (not the same recipe as last week... don't try grilling sweet potato fries), Fruit

Lunch: Nachos w/beans, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream & salsa
Supper: Thanksgiving Feast #1 - I'm making Pumpkin Pie and Twix Cheesecake

Lunch: Egg Sandwiches, Carrots, Fruit
Supper: Savory Steaks & Sauce, Baked Potatoes w/Cottage Cheese, Green Beans, Fruit

Feasting, Feasting, Feasting

More Feasting & Family
Supper: Leftovers???

Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Snap Peas, Fruit
Supper: PBJ Tortillas, Applesauce

Lunch: Spaghetti, Green Beans, Fruit
Supper: Popcorn, Cheese, Apples

Friday, November 19, 2010

How do I respond to THIS!?

S: "Mom! I have an idea...we can put my 4 year old fingernail in a baggie and you can put it in my book."

Me: Really? I don't think that would be a very good idea.

S: Why?

Me: It just sounds kinda gross.

S: Oh, you just know, chicken roll?!

Me: Yeah, I just know.

*and WHAT is a chicken roll? and why am I being referred to one???*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Well, it's official....

I no longer have a baby to hoist up into the high chair three times a day. *sniffle, sniffle*

He went from this....

To this...

Just another step toward independence... which, I suppose is the goal. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just my luck...

Last week I spent a couple days cleaning the windows inside and out... they were so shiny and clean... and then look what happened today...

Dumb bird.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My first review...

So... I've never done a review on Daisies 'n Dump trucks before... BUT by taking some time to shout out and tell you how much I LOVE Shutterfly, they will credit me with 50 FREE holiday cards... yet another reason to LOVE them! :)

I LOVE sending Christmas Cards and receiving them (or any card for that matter), but my favorites are by far the ones that have pics on them... cards with pictures on them make it to my refrigerator and then I smile at them all year long... a great reason to choose a photo card from Shutterfly!

This year I will be (obviously) printing Christmas Cards through Shutterfly. Next week we are going to try to get a photo that is card worthy (or maybe it will look like this) and then I'll pop it in a Shutterfly template, order it and send them off to our friends and family. Easy breezy.

Why I choose Shutterfly for photo printing:
  • They store my pics FOREVER! I never have to worry about them becoming lost in cyberspace.
  • The print quality is top notch... bright and crisp.
  • They are quick! I ordered some Photo Wall Calendars for Christmas last week and they were at my door within 2 days! That was with FREE shipping! Holla!
  • They have great offers... and send FREE things to your inbox.
Besides photo printing and Wall Calendars, I have also purchased Picture Mouse Pads through them... and you want to see the newest thing I am wanting??? Yeah, this Canvas Wall Art. Too cool! Swing over and give Shutterfly a try if you haven't... I think if you are a first time user, you even get some prints for FREE!

If you are a blogger, you can do this too! Check it out here!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Menu - Week of 11.15.10

Lunch: Leftover Buffet
Supper: Chili, Homemade Bread & Fruit (bumped from last week - needed to clean out the refrigerator!)

Lunch: Turkey Turkey on Pita - I'm going to try to make it as tasty as Spangles
Supper: Steak, Grilled Potatoes, Grilled Zucchini, Fruit

Lunch: Mac N Cheese, Hot Dogs, Carrots
Supper: Turkey Burgers, Crispy BBQ Sweet Potatoes, Grilled S'mores (all new recipes)

Lunch: Tostadas
Supper: Spinach Stuffed Shells w/Red Sauce, Salad, Fruit

Lunch: Eric & Cole eat out, Kristen & Sadie on the road :)
Supper: Baked Potato Bar, Cottage Cheese, Fruit

Lunch: Penne w/Mushrooms, Italian Sausage & Broccoli, Fruit
Supper: Popcorn, Apples, and Cheese

Lunch: Out to Eat
Supper: Minestrone Soup, Crackers, Fruit

Have lovely week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Potty Training... Probably Not.

The top 3 reasons Cole will probably not be potty trained before the New Year...

1. He's still completely satisfied with sitting and playing in a squishy, poopy diaper.

2. He's absolutely terrified to sit on the potty.... arches his back to quickly make his escape.

3. He's still about 6 inches away from being tall enough to stand and make a successful "shot" into the toilet.

Sigh.... maybe by kindergarten round up we'll have made the necessary progress. ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"The beauty of childhood. Children do not know what cannot be done. They have not yet defined what is and what is not possible. No assumptions. No impossibilities. The only limitation they know is their God given imagination."
Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

These made my day last week....

I love prizes... but with a tight budget, I request that prizes from my husband remain thoughtful, yet inexpensive... I don't ask much, do I?! Anyway, Eric came across a deal this week, and it made me smile! :) I was pretty surprised...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crunch, CrUnCh, CRUNCH

All of our neighbors are on the ball with their leaf raking. For the last 3 weeks they have been out there raking, raking, raking (and probably wondering when we were going to do the same)... but Eric and I have been trying to figure out why! All of the leaves just FINALLY fell out of our trees... wouldn't it only make sense to rake them after they are all of the trees??? I don't get it... but there's a lot of things in life that I don't get.

Anyway... we decided this was the weekend that all the leaves would be picked up and bagged... but not without one last trip into the yard to jump, roll and lay in the leaves.... and then itch like crazy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bubba's Back!

Last year when we moved to Salina we began renting a duplex until we could find some more permanent housing. The duplex was hot in the summer, extremely cold in the winter, had amazing goldenrod appliances, and would not allow dogs (I am not complaining about the duplex... it worked great for a season... just stating the facts;). Since dogs were not a part of the package, Boston the Wonder Dog (aka Bubba) had to stay behind. Eric's parents graciously took him in for a whole year and I think he enjoyed his stay.

Now that we are more settled in the new house and life is looking a little more "normal," we decided to go and pick up Bubba. The kids were ready for him, I was ready for some "help" keeping the dining room floor clean... and Eric, well, he could have cared less about poor Boston. Boston has adjusted well to his new home and doesn't seem to be upset with us for leaving him so long... I was a little concerned he might turn on us! He's been happy to play with the kids again, has been enjoying going on walks, and STILL annoyingly nudges your hand when he wants to be loved on. We're happy he's back... and I think Eric secretly is, too.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A menu plan that's taking some effort...

So here I sit listening to some Zac Brown Band and trying to figure out what on earth to fix for meals this week. Some weeks it just comes... other weeks nothing.sounds.good.

Lunch - Leftover Buffet
Supper - Deep Dish Pizza, Carrot Sticks w/hummus, fruit

Lunch - Turkey Deli Flat Sandwiches, Pepper Slices
Supper - Ranch Tilapia, Honey Carrots, Fruit, Bread & Butter

Lunch - Egg Sandwiches, Applesauce
Supper - Taco Squares w/lettuce & tomato, Chips/Salsa, Fruit

Lunch - PBJ on tortillas, chips, yogurt
Supper - Sassy Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

Lunch - Mini Pizzas on Deli Flats
Supper - Chicken Tetrazzini, Green Beans, Fruit

Lunch - Bean & Cheese Tostadas
Supper - Leftover Buffet after church

SUNDAY - Our first Sunday Service at CrossPoint Salina!!!
Lunch- eat out
Supper - Chili & homemade bread

What kind of fruit are you all eating this season??? We are eating A LOT of fresh apples and homemade applesauce... but I'm needing something new, in season and interesting. Any ideas???

Friday, November 5, 2010


I've been reading For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn with a friend of mine from church. I think it's always good to read books of this nature as a gentle reminder of what being a wife looks like. Our crazy world gives us a mixed of version of what women should be and how we should interact with the men in our lives. I've only read through chapter two, but Feldhahn shares some stuff that makes you's a few good reminders on respecting your husband.
  • Don't compare your husband's abilities/skills/attitudes to those you've seen in your dad or brother (or other men, for that matter). God gifts us all differently. Focus on what your husband does well!
  • Stop reminding (BURN! This was convicting!). It's not the reminder that's degrading to your husband as much as the implication... sometimes the reminder is hinting that he is being lazy or plain stupid. Your husband often already know what needs to be done around the house without the reminder... practice waiting... sometimes the torn apart refrigerator isn't the most important thing that needs to be accomplished for them that day (I may or may not know this from experience :).
  • Soften what you say. A women's tongue that goes uncontrolled comes across as harsh and disrespectful. Remember that rule of think before you speak? Apply it.
  • A great way to show your husband respect is by bringing your his great qualities to light... at home and in public.
So thankful for a husband who loves me deeply. Lord, help me respect him accordingly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So long Halloween Candy!

So... I may be a little guilty of sneaking Halloween goodies out of my children's trick-r-treat buckets... but I think those days are done. I only like the good stuff... the stuff that starts with the /ch/ sound and ends in /ocolate/. Not only is that stuff about gone, but it's been hanging out with the cheap fruity stuff too long and is beginning to smell and taste a little bit, um... fruity. I don't like my chocolate and fruit to mix. Nasty (unless of course we are talking chocolate dipped fresh strawberries... then, mix on). Just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tooth Brushing

I was reading the October edition of Real Simple (gasp... I actually found a moment to read a mag!) this last week and came across an article that interested me. Brainpower Boosts. Although staying at home with my children is incredibly rewarding, I sometimes feel like my brain has become a little mushy... a brainpower boost sounded very intriguing.

Most of the article talked about doing things out of routine by exercising your 5 senses... switching lunches with a coworker, having a silent supper (I almost started rolling on the floor laughing out loud at that... hello, I have a 2 and 4 year old), trying to remember your grocery list when shopping (puh-lease... I would literally end up spending 5 hours getting groceries with 2 unhappy preschoolers... don't think so).

Anyway... there was one that I felt like I could try... switching up my tooth brushing routine. Listen to this... using your non dominant hand while brushing your teeth "challenges your brain to exercise nerve cells on the side that you don't typically use. Fighting cavities and memory loss." So, I tried it and I must report.... IT IS SOOOOOO HARD to brush your teeth with your left hand! Really, it is. But, if I do say so myself, I feel like my brain is firing at crazy impressive levels now. ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A song that takes me right to my happy place...

So... before you think I have some great new worship song that takes me right to my happy place, I have a confession to make... I love country music. It started in high school with a little Deana Carter's "Did I Shave My Legs For This." My greatest memories of that song are cruising, windows down, with my friend Jenny in her Geo Metro... that girl... her and I could sing it... and I'm pretty sure you couldn't get much cooler than us back in '99. Anyway, I'm not the classic country type, but I love the country with a groovy beat that makes you want to bust out your best moves.

I love this song... and for the record... I'm stuck on my husband... through the ups and downs... stuck like glue.

So... here ya go... getcha groove on! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick R Treaters

I have to do a little reminiscing before I show you this years Halloween pictures. It seems like every holiday or milestone we have, I have to look back. I can't believe how much Sadie and Cole have grown! I sure love being their Mommy.

Here's Sadie on her 1st Halloween as a sweet little strawberry....

And Cole, on his 1st Halloween as a dragon... I miss those gummy smiles.

For several months, Sadie had wanted to dress like a giraffe this Halloween. Usually when she decides on something, she is not easily swayed, but the Fairy costume won over this time! Here's our little white fairy...

And here's a close up of her hair... she wanted me to make it look like Tinkerbell... I DO NOT do hair, so I felt like this was quite the accomplishment.

Cole didn't seem to care about what he would dress up as (he was more concerned about candy in his bucket), so we chose one of the only costumes we could find in his size... Superman. He was pretty cute... loved the cape.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whatcha Got Cookin'

We are getting ready to head out to set up for Trunk R Treat and then off to a post-trunk-r-treating party tonight! Thought I'd post our menu before I get our little white fairy and our Superman decked out for the festivities! Pics on them later this week!

Lunch: Leftover Buffet
Dinner: Chicken Fajita Casserole on Toritillas (bumped from last week), chips/salsa, fruit

Lunch: Bean & Cheese Tostadas, Carrots/Hummus
Dinner: Smothered Steak & Peppers, Mashed Potatoes, Fruit

Lunch: Pizza Sandwiches
Dinner: Marinated Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Fruit

Lunch: PBJ on tortillas and applesauce
Dinner: Chicken Burrito Soup with sour cream and cheese, Fruit

Lunch; Popcorn, Cheese, Apples
Dinner: Garlicky Meatballs with noodles, Corn on the Cob, Fruit

Lunch: Quesadilla Burgers, Tator Tots, Fruit
Dinner: Leftovers

Lunch: Out to eat
Dinner: Baked Potato Bar or Pizza Night - I haven't decided yet.

I hope you all have had a wonderfully relaxing weekend and ready for the great things a new week will bring! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A word from one of my favs....

"Dear one: You have not gotten this far in your journey with God without his footprints planted all over your path and without his fingerprints all over all the doorknobs to every season. You have not arrived accidentally in your present place on the map of your holy land. You have an amazing ride with God, whether or not you realize it."

-Beth Moore, Believing God

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We made some Pumpkin Muffins this last weekend that were oh-so-good. Even picky little Cole likes to eat them... as long as you refer to them as cupcakes. :) Thought I'd pass along the recipe for you baking types!

Pumpkin Muffins
Whisk Together:
1 can (mine was 15 oz) pumpkin
1/3 cup oil (I subbed applesauce)
2 eggs
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup sugar
1./2 t. baking soda
1/2 salt

Stir in:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking powder

Fill 12 muffin cups half full with mixture. In a separate bowl make a topping of 1 t. cinnamon and 1 T sugar. Sprinkle over muffins Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes and ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quote worth the repeat

"Waiting on anything in a world that constantly urges us to hurry is one of the hardest disciplines of going deep with God. First, it's hard because it requires patience. Second, it's hard because there are so many noises and pseudo-urgencies that seem to drown out God's voice in our lives. And third, it's hard because, if we're honest, we're probably waiting on something or someone else to bring us the "desires" of our hearts."
-Maggie & Duffy Robbins, Enjoy the Silence

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roll a Pumpkin

I really enjoy holidays. Like, really, enjoy them. I love decorating, I love cooking to match the season, and as my kids get older, I love the holiday games, activities and conversations we get to have.

This week, I was trying to think of something to do with Sadie. Sadie's favorite things to do are play board games, do crafts and bake... but I was looking for something that wouldn't require a huge mess or 111 board game cards strewn all over the living room floor. I remembered a game I used to play with my 1st graders... "Roll a Pumpkin." Actually, we played it every season, just switched it up a bit.... you know, "Roll a Turkey," "Roll a Snowman" etc.

You will need a dice, some paper and crayons. As you roll, look at the chart to see what part of your pumpkin you get to draw. If you roll a number you've already drawn, skip your turn. First person to make a complete pumpkin wins!

Happy Pumpkining! :)