Blogging Break

I'll be taking a break for blogging for a few days, maybe up to 2 weeks. We are preparing for our upcoming 10th-anniversary trip to California and a quick trip to Wisconsin beforehand (to drop my daughter off up there with my mom, who will watch her while we're in CA... my son will stay with "the other grandma" here in Indiana). Busy times.

I'll post pictures and updates upon our return. In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of my favorite 10 year old pictures... actually a page from my wedding album. :-)

Blessings to you!

Family Photo Friday

Another Friday is upon us. Here are a couple of photos from our week.

A "family member" who gets very little press on Family Photo Friday... our pet Weezy, up close and personal.

My son regularly tries to share his sippy cup with Weezy. He is certain that she is thirsty for some of his milk. :-)

My son playing the guitar with Daddy. Daddy is a novice, but is getting better. The only problem is that whenever he pulls out the guitar to practice, the kids swarm him and practice never happens.

Somehow my daughter managed to avoid the camera this week, except at Chuck E Cheese where she was the star of the show.

Happy Friday to one and all!


Just a quick post about deals I've found lately.

Here's what I picked up at CVS last weekend for around $5 - package of Huggies, Crest toothpaste, Kotex pads, small Bayer aspirin, 2 Pantene shampoos, 2 Right Guard deodorants. 8 items. The diapers alone usually cost $8-10 so this was a great deal!

I've gotten about 20 free kitchen sponge/scrubbers at Walmart in the last 3 weeks, thanks to a coupon that Scotch put out for $1 off any Scotch product (kitchen sponges are 84 cents at WalMart so they are beyond free with the coupon).

Be encouraged. There are deals out there and ways to save money on things you buy and use on a regular basis. Check out for other store deals, coupons and freebies.

Last Day of First Grade

Last week we wrapped up 1st Grade! That means giving the 1st Grade Graduate a party night at the restaurant (or play place) of her choosing. She chose Chuck E Cheese, same as last year. She also wanted to invite her best friend/cousin to join us. Here are some photos to prove that we were all having fun while celebrating!

Kids in a cage... how fun! :-)

I loved this shot my hubby took of me and my son at the bottom of the slide.

Way to go, bright eyes! Second grade, here we come!

My Mother's Day

My wonderful children gave me hugs, kisses and some unique gifts for Mother's Day (with lots of help from my thoughtful husband who helped them with these projects!).

My daughter made me a card that is shaped like a purse. She painted it with green and purple stripes and used foam stickers to create the handle and "gem" latch for the purse. Inside the card she'd written this message: I LOVE YOU! YOUR THE BEST MOM EVER!

My son (with lots of help from his daddy) worked to make me a coat rack with hooks... with his little handprints on it with purple and orange paint.

It was a beautiful Mother's Day!

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, it's Monday again. Here is a plan for our week, as far as meals go.

  • Pasta primavera pronto
  • Meatloaf and potatoes
  • Homemade pizza
  • Chicken cordon bleu
  • Eat out (using gift cards received WAY BACK at Christmas!)
  • Breakfast for supper
  • Leftover Buffet
The week will go quickly, as we have some special things planned. Having this plan, though, will help my sanity throughout the week.

Need more menu ideas? Check out for hundreds of other Menu Plan Monday posts.

Family Photo Friday

The first Friday of May is here already... and Friday on this blog mean the posting of photos.

This is my little man showing off a little blueberry before he gobbles it up. We froze lots of blueberries last fall (that we picked in Michigan in my friend Leah's backyard). The kids are still enjoying these as a snack now and again.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but there are 2 ducks that my kids are watching and tossing bread at. They are in our front yard! We are nowhere near water, but these 2 ducks have taken a liking to our area and to our yard in particular (because we feed them, I know). These ducks have provided hours of entertainment in the week they've been around!

My kids in a chair, reading together. I never tire of seeing this sight and it warms my heart each time.

My husband and my son reading the Bible together. Another one of those precious moments.

I hope you had some precious moments with your family this week. Don't forget to thank your mom for making precious moments happen for you too!

Happy Friday!

Works for Me Wednesday - Homemade Apple Pie

Whenever I find cheap apples (or better yet, get some free), I like to make EASY APPLE PIE. As you guessed, it's easy and it's delicious!

Fit 1 refrigerated pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Mix together 6 cups of peeled, cored and sliced apples, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 T flour, a dash of salt and 1 and 1/2 t apple pie spice (I make my own using 1/4 cup cinnamon, 2 T all-spice, dash of ginger and dash of nutmeg - store in ziplock bag and just measure out how much you need). Mix until apples are coated and then put into pie crust. Spread evenly. Scatter 2 T chilled butter (cut into small pieces) over top of mixture. Fit top crust over apple mixture. Press edges together. Brush top crust with 1 T of milk or cream. Make slits in top crust for venting. Sprinkle with 1 T sugar. Bake at 425 for 40-45 minutes. Option: drizzle with caramel or butterscotch topping when serving.


Easy, even for someone who doesn't do a lot of baking.

A homemade pie! Works for me!

Kitchen Improvement

For those who don't know, we have lived without an oven and stovetop for the last year or so. Our kitchen is the worst room in our "new" house and is in major need of remodeling. However, we are committed to staying debt-free while we tackle home improvement projects, so the kitchen remains as is... UNTIL NOW!

We finally decided to buy a used wall oven as an intermediate step. It is not the $2,000 new model that would be AMAZING to put in the space and maybe someday will live in my kitchen (if I should be so blessed). But this used model meets our current criteria:
1) it is an oven
2) it works
3) it does not leak gas
4) it fits in the wall-oven hole in the wall (with a few inches to spare)

Yahoo! Good-bye toaster oven. Hello full-sized meals!

My feelings about this appliance are akin to those I experienced when we FINALLY got a washer and dryer in our first home (after a few years - yes, years - without). At that time, I had never been more excited to do laundry in my entire life.

And now, I have to resist the urge to cook a full blown Thanksgiving feast... just because I have an oven that can do it! :-)

Moments like these remind me that we (as in, we Americans... and you too, no matter where you may be as you read this)... are blessed beyond measure. The things we consider to be necessities are actually luxuries in disguise. We could do without them. Many people do. So whether your oven is the $2000 stainless steel model or the used make-do model or even the toaster oven model, be thankful for what you have and use it to be a blessing to many!

Menu Plan Monday

Time for a menu plan for this new week. Here's what we'll be eating.

Looks like a great week. With the exception of milk and mayo, all of the above will be made with items we already have on hand. At Pizza Hut, my daughter will get a free personal pan pizza (thank you, Book It) and I have a $10 gift card to get a pizza for the rest of us.

At a loss for menu ideas, check out the hundreds of posts for Menu Plan Mondays at