Storm Damage

A week ago we had a serious storm go through our area. Not sure if it was officially a tornado, but it definitely an almost-tornado! :-) Wind gusts up to 100 mph. Trees in our neighborhood were uprooted. Power lines were down, some in the streets. A tree fell in our neighbor's backyard and crushed his patio deck, but thankfully missed the rest of his house. The extent of our damage - two broken windows in our sunroom. But we sure had a mess in the yard to clean up the next day!

The storm gave us a natural opportunity to talk about fear with our kids. While huddled in the basement with only a flashlight, we compared things eternal with things temporal. We prayed together. My daughter was very scared and didn't want to pray, but asked if Dad and I would pray. She said "I like hearing you pray" as she shivered in fear.

Our power was out for a day or so due to this storm. The down tree limbs in our backyard severed the line completely, laying it down in our backyard. Having a line on the ground made us a higher priority case and the crews showed up to begin work within 12 hours of our call. In the meantime, we were fine - thanks to my husband's handiwork with the re-wiring project. Switching over to the generator went smoothly, thanks in huge part to my husband's foresight. We had a similarly bad storm last June which resulted in loss of power for 4 days. That's when we purchased a generator. I'm so glad we did. Apparently storms like this are a regular June occurrence. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Power On!

A few weeks ago my husband tackled our most recent home improvement project - upgrading our electrical breaker box. Whenever he works with electricity, I worry more than when he does any other project (for example, painting a wall seems mighty tame compared to electric shocks!) But, as always, he tackled it like a pro! And he lived to tell about it! :-)

The need for this upgrade was two-fold: first, we needed to create a safe (and up-to-code) way to transfer power to our generator in case of a power outage. This is so that we do not electrocute a lineman working on restoring power lines. Secondly, our old box was full and had no space for more breakers. We needed more space in order to add a few things, like an electric stovetop for the kitchen.

There's a before picture, with the wires disconnected and waiting for the switch over. Would you stick your fingers in there?!? I sure wouldn't!

The final product. A transfer box on the left that can be turned to "Power Source One" or "Off" or "Power Source Two." This makes it impossible to electrocute a lineman when we have our generator running. On the right is the new, bigger breaker box with plenty of room for expansion.

To my husband, I give a hardy pat on the back and a "job well done."

My husband's timing on this project was perfect... because little did we know what was coming down the pike!

To be continued...

Monday Monday

Summer is flying by. July is just around the corner. And life seems to have sped up a bit lately. Blogging has had to take a back seat to the rest of life. So bear with me as we make some adjustments and transitions.

For now, a prayer request: for grace and strength as we handle what's on our plate and for God to be glorified in all and through all.

Family Photo Friday

Hear ye, hear ye!

The big news around our home this week: my daughter lost her first tooth! As all children do, she is growing up before our very eyes. How fun that not of a child's "firsts" come in the baby stage. We're loving all the milestones along life's journey!

Enjoy life today!

A Post About Me

25.I have 2 adorable children
24.I have been married for 10 years to my wonderful husband.
23.Out of all the jobs I have had being a stay-at-home Mom is the best.
22. I love to read books.
21. My favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
20. I met my husband while working at summer camp.
19. My goal for the next few months is to complete the paperwork part of the foster-parenting process.
18. Except for 3 months of my working career, I have always worked for religious non-profit agencies.
17. My husband and I were officially engaged over a campfire.
16.I enjoy connecting with friends on Facebook.
15. I always choose reading a book over seeing the movie.
14.I home schooled my daughter in Kindergarten and 1st Grade and we have started 2nd Grade as of last week.
13. I consider it a duty and a privilege to vote... and I always do.
12. I attend a great church with many others striving to live out their love for the Lord.
11. I hate shopping for myself.
10. We are working on paying off our school loans in the next 5 years - before my hubby's 40th birthday.
9. We live in Indiana, but my heart remains in rural Wisconsin where I grew up.
8.My guilty pleasure is chocolate.
7. I used to be an early riser... not I cherish sleeping in whenever possible.
6.I do not follow any sports whatsoever.
5. I am most happy when I am with my family.
4. I look forward to date nights when my hubby and I enjoy our favorite restaurants.
3. I would love to learn how to quilt or sew.
2. I am a very fast typist.
1. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ...without Him I am nothing.

Family Photo Friday

It's that time again - time to post some family pictures for the world to see. It's been over a month since I last posted family shots, so here are a few.

My kids were happy to see each other again, after our trip and their stays with different grandparents. The day after we returned, I shaved my son's head so you can see his super-short summer hair cut here.

My son, the ham. Yogurt on his nose, intentionally. Just to laugh at himself. Such big happy smiles.

My son LOVES babies! While visiting family in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, he was able to hold his newest cousin Titus. He loved it! This week, our church friend Julie and her 7-week-old son Eli came to visit. My son held Eli and was just in heaven. He didn't want to let him go when the time came and he continually was asking to hold him again. He LOVES babies... and I love watching him love babies so much!

We have had some hot summer days lately. My kids have begged me to let them play in the sprinkler and to "get out the pool" (aka a turtle sandbox that we fill with water). Now that my daughter is almost 7, I don't expect much more mileage out of the turtle pool... but she isn't asking for anything else, yet.

I'm enjoying my kids at these stages - lots of laughs and fun times served up on a daily basis!

Happy Friday, one and all!


Here are some deals I have taken advantage of recently. In case anyone is still wondering, clipping coupons DOES SAVE MONEY!

For everything in this picture, I paid $9. $6 of that was the pair of shoes for my son. The other $3 went to: 10 free Scotch-Brite sponges, Pull-Up wipes for 64 cents, 2 boxes of Creamette pasta for 62 cents each, KC Masterpiece sauce for 42 cents, 3 large containers of Pampers baby wipes for free, 2 packages of Rolaids for 23 cents each, 1 energy bar for free and tax on all the items.

Sorry for the brightness of this picture... these were free items from CVS last week. Skinny Cow ice cream cups were free after coupon. The Dawn dish soap is often on sale at CVS for 97 cents, which I pair with a 25-cents-off coupon to get it for even less. And then if I have some Extra-Care-Bucks (ECBs - like a CVS gift card to use on future purchases), then I use those to buy the Dawn and it costs me nothing out-of-pocket.

Two Gillette shampoo/body wash bottles for FREE! This is a current CVS deal, so you could take advantage of it until Saturday. Learn how here.

All that to say... there are deals to be had. Go get 'em!

Destination: California

Our anniversary trip to California was wonderful... everything we thought it would be and more!

Experience beautiful weather and scenic views - check.
This is the view from of our hotel pool... I loved the palm trees and the beauty of the foothills visible everywhere we went. The weather, I expected it to be great. But the natural beauty of Southern California was a surprise to me.

Spend time reconnecting and remembering all that we love about each other - check.
I love my hubby's sense of humor, though he always catches me off guard. Here he is "eating" a cactus sandwich... nice photo opp, but getting out of this cactus bush proved to be a painful experience.

Put my toes in the Pacific ocean - check.
Here we are in Santa Monica on the beach. It was so windy and chilly that day that we wore sweatshirts most of the day... no chance of actually getting into the water!

Visit the Reagan Presidential Library - check.
My husband really wanted to visit this Library, which is really more of a museum. We spent a day there and I'm so glad we did. They have a retired Air Force One plane inside the museum that visitors can tour. Definitely worth seeing if you ever get the chance. This picture is me holding President Reagan's hand. :-)

Go out to eat at a fancy restaurant on our anniversary - check.
The friends we were visiting in the area recommended the Black Angus Steakhouse. We were not disappointed.

I'm already looking forward to our next big anniversary trip - probably in another 10 years! I'm so thankful that we have a great marriage relationship. We actually enjoy spending time together. We dream big dreams and achieve them together. But I don't want to leave God out of this, as we both know that He is the One who brought us together and holds us together. It is His love in our hearts that sustains us and makes us both loving and lovable. Thank you, Father, for the beautiful gift of marriage!

Menu Plan Monday

Back to blogging for a new week.

Awhile back I won something online - The Pocket Full of Posies Monthly Meal Planning Pocket System. I've been trying out a few of the included recipes and so far, so good! My family has enjoyed the new meals and the recipes have been easy to prepare. I doubt that I will completely replace some of our family favorite recipes but I will gladly incorporate new recipes into our rotation.

So this week, we will be enjoying:

  • My friend Kate's tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Chicken roll-ups (from Pocket Full of Posies Recipe)
  • Homemade beef and noodles
  • Tuna melts, salad and baked beans
  • Breakfast for supper (french toast, sausage links)
  • Sweet and sour chicken (from Pocket Full of Posies Recipe)
  • Leftover buffet
If you're at a loss for what to serve up this week at your house, check out Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of other meal plans.

Happy Eating!

I'm back... sort of

Yes, we're back from vacation.

We did have a wonderful time and I hope to post some of our California pictures next week. In the meantime, I am playing catch up - catching up on laundry, catching up on things around home but most importantly catching up with my kids!

So I'll be back around next week. Catch you then.