Family Photo Friday

Family Photo Friday - the True Love edition :-)

I rarely post pictures of my husband on here because I rarely take pictures of my husband. He's at work all day. The kids are the ones around, so they are the ones in most of the pictures. So this week I had one goal: take at least one picture of my husband and try to get one of the two of us together as well. Mission accomplished. :-)

My handsome, hard-working man!

The two of us on the swing in the backyard on a beautiful spring evening.

Love is in the air!
Grab the love of your life and take a picture together!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Works for Me Wednesday - Homemade Waffles

We enjoy hot breakfasts at our house pretty much daily. We like pancakes, french toast, waffles, sausage links, scrambled eggs... mmmmm! But who has time to make something from scratch every morning?

I used to be a morning person, but since becoming a mom I have a bit harder time getting up and at 'em. So, we resort to cold cereal for breakfast every day... NOT!

About once a week I now spend an hour or so making enough waffles to last us about a week. Then we freeze the extra (think Eggo frozen waffles only healthy, bigger, cheaper and all around better). Sometimes I do the same with french toast or pancakes.

When breakfast rolls around, even my 6-year-old daughter knows how to get out a waffle, nuke it for one minute in the microwave, pour on syrup and enjoy!

You can make whatever your family enjoys and add in fruits like banana or blueberries. I've been "healthifying" ours by using 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 white flour. No matter how you do it, it is much cheaper and healthier than what you'll buy in the store. And making one big batch (or double or triple batch) saves time in the long run.

Works for me!

Tuesday Thoughts

It's been a while since I've just written about life. Today is the day!

My husband is in the last days of this semester's class (he is working towards his Masters of Library Science - a requirement for his job). For whatever reason, this semester has been tougher than ever before, on him and on us. And that is saying a lot, as he's been a student most of our married life! When we were first married, we planned a "we made a through the semester and we're still happily married" date at the end of classes. Definitely feeling the need after the last few months, but even better than a date night...

In just one month we will be taking a weeklong trip to CALIFORNIA! On May 27th we will celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss (and stress)! We have never been on a plane together, so this will be a first! Our good friends John and Kate (no, not the Plus Eight ones) live in CA but will be moving soon. Now is our chance to visit while they are still there and for us to reconnect. We have very little planned for our days there, which is probably just what we need!

One other item of significance: we will soon be taking classes to learn more about foster parenting. Classes are the first in a long line of steps to take to being licensed foster parents. For now, we are trying to be obedient to where we sense God is leading us. And for years, adoption and foster parenting have been on our radar. We continue to desire more children and a bigger family, but at the same time struggle with infertility. Last year God practically gave us a bigger house with spare room and we have been asking Him from the start how to use this home for His glory, His kingdom-building purposes. We'll see where this all leads.

The Christian life has been called The Great Adventure. I am excited for what life holds - not because I know exactly where we'll be and what it will look like 2, 5 or 10 years down the road. But I know Him. I know His plans for me are good. I know He is trustworthy. And I know He is worth it - whatever it may cost me to follow Him. I will answer His call and I will follow.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday again. New menu plan again. These few seconds of planning save me hours of headaches and stress as dinner time roles around each evening.

  • diced ham and pasta
  • ranch chicken strips and butter-baked potatoes
  • zesty cheeseburger mac casserole
  • tuna swiss pie
  • cheesy chicken cutlets with rice
  • breakfast for supper
  • leftover buffet
Simple as that. All of these recipes will use ingredients we already have on hand (in pantry, in fridge or in freezer). We are about $20 under our food budget for the month and probably won't spend any more this week (and therefore, this month). Yahoo!

Family Photo Friday

Another week coming to a close. Here are some pictures of how we spent it.

My son, superstar! :-)

My little guy is only 2 but he thinks he can do anything his 6-year-old sister can do, including riding a scooter. He does it, though. Slow and steady, he just loves it!

We spent many hours outside in the yard and garden this week. Here are my happy helpers, with shovels and ready to work!

Happy end-of-April, one and all!
[End of April? What?! Where did this month fly off to?]

Works for Me Wednesday - Bedtime Quiet Game

Last weekend my niece spent the night. She is 5. My daughter is 6. They NEVER go to sleep when they should, but stay up talking, giggling, whispering, etc.

After about 30 minutes of such activities, I came up with the brilliant idea of THE QUIET GAME.

Here are the rules. "When I say "START" then the game begins. The first person to speak a word loses. To win the game, you have to be completely quiet - not even one word. I have a prize waiting for you in the morning. You can report to me in the morning who wins the game and gets the prize. If it's a tie, you both get a prize. Any questions? No? Then... START"

Not a peep out of them after that and I was overjoyed to give out two small prizes in the morning! :-)

Works for me!


I scored some big deals at WalMart last week! Everything in this picture was free, with only one exception - the fish sticks cost me $1.50. Total spent for 14 items in this picture, including tax, was $1.81. Yeah! That was 6 free kitchen sponges, 3 free packages of dental floss, 2 free packages of Tucks, and 2 free Benadryl itch-sticks. I love free!

At CVS this week I purchased 10 cans of tuna for NOTHING (thanks to Extra Care Bucks - CVS coupon that is like a gift card). I generally buy tuna at Aldi for around 39 cents a can, but free is even better!

So, just in case you needed a reminder, there are great deals out there to be found... and they can truly help you stretch your budget!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday means making a plan for the new week, as far as meals go. My days go smoother if I have made a plan. I can...

  • set out meat to thaw in the morning for that evening's meal
  • know in advance that we have all the ingredients on hand for all this week's meals (no last minute trips to the store)
  • know in advance how much time I will spend each evening on the meal
So, I am a firm believer in menu plans. Here is mine for this week:
  • creamy baked chicken with pasta
  • tuna cakes (made with stuffing) with some tuna I got for free this week at CVS (check out the CVS deals here)
  • chicken cutlets with rice
  • Thursday - serve meal at the rescue mission; leftovers served at home
  • breakfast for supper (sausage links, waffles/pancakes/french toast, scrambled eggs)
  • pita pizzas
  • diced ham and pasta bake
At a loss for what to serve at your home this week? Check out all the Menu Plan Monday postings here for some ideas!

Family Photo Friday

Friday is here again. This week went fast. So fast, in fact, that I didn't have time to grab the camera for many pictures. But I do have 2 to share that I took this week.

My son showing off one of his favorite books. He is all about trucks, trains, tractors and all things mobile.

My beautiful daughter doing some handwriting practice. We are getting very close to finishing 1st Grade (more on that when we make it to the end)... but she is quite motivated these days to get it over and done with!

If you have the wonderful warm weather we've had lately... get off the computer and get out to enjoy it!

Happy Friday to all!

Wordless Wednesday - April Showers...

Hobbies for Kids

My daughter is 6. My son is 2. He still naps each afternoon. She doesn't... but she does regularly have a "quiet time" in her room. Recently we decided together that she needs a hobby, or something to do in her room that is quiet and productive. I'm not all that crafty, but I can use plastic canvas to make some simple things. So plastic canvas it is! My daughter's first creation was the flag above - she picked out the colors. Her second creation was entirely her idea - a small slice of pizza. :-)

We'll see where this goes from here... but it is fun to see my daughter able to create things all by herself!

Menu Plan Monday

Another week = time for a plan for this week's meals. Here is my plan. You are welcome to share yours!

  • Tuna casserole
  • Homemade pizza
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Tater tot casserole
  • Friday night = dinner out with my hubby's coworkers and their families
  • Crispy country chicken, potato wedges
  • Leftover buffet
Here's to a great week and great eats! :-)

Family Photo Friday

Friday, I'm so glad you're here! I've been waiting for your arrival for days! :-)

As is my Friday custom, here are some family photos from our week.

My son discovered headphones for the first time. And you can see here that he got his summer hairdo this week - the buzz cut.

I have started adding in some "school" activities for my son to do while his sister does her 1st grade schoolwork. For my son school = puzzles, lacing cards, some sorting games, coloring/drawing, and playdough (as seen above). In the near future, I will start working more with him on his ABCs and 123s.

I love the pretty pastels in this picture! This is my son, my daughter and their cousin in their Easter Sunday best. So precious to me!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Works for Me Wednesday - Eggshell Art

I originally posted this idea last fall, but I wanted to mention the idea again now that we all have colored Easter eggs in abundance!

The idea is simple: separate different colored eggshells into bowls. Glue eggshell pieces to a pre-printed design on paper (or draw or create your own). Let it dry and you have beautiful eggshell artwork!

This year my husband is also starting composting, so adding the eggshells to our compost pile is another option.

It works for me!

Menu Plan Monday... a day late

I know, I know. It's Tuesday. But here is my menu plan for the week - better late than never! I'm found some great new recipes that we'll be trying this week. For some reason, I'm in the mood for adventures in food! These are actually just new twists on old favorites, but they sound delicious!

  • Pasta alfredo with chicken, salad on the side
  • Tater Tot Casserole
  • Leftover buffet
Here's to eating well!

My Easter Darlings

My Easter darlings, before heading out to celebrate our Risen Savior, on Resurrection Sunday morning.

Family Photo Friday

It's Friday already! I have just a few pictures to share from our week - we've spent close to 20 hours outside this week, working in the garden areas so I didn't get many pictures.

Grandma K sent an Easter package containing small toys for my kids. Here they are smiling for a "thank you" picture for Grandma.

We went to Ag Days last week (free ag fun at the county fairgrounds). There were MANY soft rabbits to pet. My daughter even got to hold this fluff-ball!

In our backyard we have a large mound. The mound is made up of (no kidding here): old bricks, old decaying garbage bags, an old woodpile that is half-decayed, a gazillion roots and some soil. After digging and digging, we unburied all of the bricks in the above picture - enough for the kids to build this brick house!

Happy Easter to everyone! Take some time to contemplate the death and resurrection of Christ... and praise Him, as your Risen Savior!