Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poor Neglected Blog!

What a whirlwind we have been on! I just wanted to say that November was a wonderful month filled with so many blessings! My brother returned safe and in one piece from Afghanistan!!! I can't think of anything better than that! We were able to visit with him twice in one month - a miracle! Spending family time with him, my sister in law and my super adorable nephew was so amazing! We had a lovely Thanksgiving and we are ready to enjoy the season of advent! We have so much planned for the coming month - I will try to be a better blogger :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


We are learning all about roots this week!

To make this fun experiment we wet a paper towel and placed it in a plastic baggie. 
Then we put a lima bean seed in the bag too. 
We taped the baggies up in a sunny window and then we watched. 
Thankfully this is a quick sprouting seed. 
By day 2 the bean had swelled to double it's original size. 
The next day there was a big crack in the shell and a little sprout was peeking out. 
After a few days we had a ton of roots! I love semi instant gratification!
A few days after that we had a nice green shoot popping out the top and then we had leaves! The kids have been so excited about this experiment! 
We have also learned about plant cells (yawn) and xylem. 
Photosynthesis was fun to talk about and ecosystems kept their attention too. 
We watched a cool DVD from Eyewitness that reminded me of the science movies we used to watch on projectors at school (sadly dating myself) . Do you remember the movies where they filmed a flower bloom and then sped it up? This movie was similar to those. It was really cool!
We made a chart of growth and the kids labeled the different parts of the plant. 
We mounted them on construction paper, I think they look very nice! 

The ONLY issue is that we are done with the plant chapter 
and I still have little baggies of lima beans taped to my window...
no one wants me to take them down....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meal Planning 101

Or something like that!

I am by no means an expert but this is what I do...

1st - I get my calendar out and I see what we have going on for the month.
Then I cry about how busy we are for a few minutes.
Then I pull myself together and get busy.

2nd - I get out a piece of binder paper, my pen, my cookbooks and food magazines and park myself on the couch by the laptop (in case I need a recipe or inspiration!) I number the paper from 1 to 30 or 31 depending on the month. Or 28 or 29 for those of you that are all technical like ;) And write the day of the week next to it ie M T W etc so it looks like this....
1 M -
2 T -
3 W -

3rd - Then I see how many quick meal nights we have on the books. These are sport nights, meeting nights, and whatever else we might have planned at night nights. On these nights I write in one of our quick and easy staples like baked potato, sandwiches, quesodilla etc

4th - This is the fun part! Once I am done filling in the boring "quick meal" nights, I start going over the meals I want to make. I buy mostly local foods so I cook whatever is in season. Right now the summer fruits and veggies are winding down but Fall is gearing up! I LOVE to cook so I try to add a few meals each month that challenge me with new techniques and some that will challenge my family with new flavors. This can take a while but it is fun for me so I don't mind. I have a bit of a cookbook problem, I can't stop buying them! I also love food magazines - right now I am loving recipes from Real Simple, Sunset and Yum ! I could spend hours pouring over the pages and rereading all of the recipes and articles - total joy!

5th - After I have it all figured out I make a grocery list. And voila! All done :)

I grocery shop in stages...
Once a month I go to Costco.
Once every 2 weeks I get a box from my CSA.
Once a week I go to the farmers market or other local fruit and veggie stand.
Once a week I go to the grocery store.

Sometimes I put the menu on a weekly meal planner that hangs on the fridge. Sometimes I just hang the binder paper on the fridge. It isn't a perfect system, sometimes I forget to thaw the meat or plans change. But, when that happens I just try to roll with it and swap meals if necessary or just flat out pull out something different. Anyway, this is what I do, I hope it helps!

Monday, October 4, 2010

October Dinner Menu

In an effort to be more organized and, therefore more relaxed, I am going to start making a monthly meal plan. October is a great month to start adding a few Fall recipes and comfort food so I am going to throw in a few of our family favorites. We have soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays so those days are going to be baked potato and panini days BUT I am going to mix up the topping and stuffings a bit. Wednesdays are noted with a "WNL" because we go to church on Wednesday nights and they bless us with a home style family dinner! So, this is what I have planned - if you want any of the recipes leave me a comment and I will be sure to post it for you!

October Dinner Menu

4 - CSA Chili
5 - Baked Potato - traditional
6 - WNL
7 - Panini - green apple and sharp cheddar
8 - Coq au Vin
9 - Crock pot French Dip with Tater tots and baked apples
10 - My Dad's 60th Birthday Dinner - fajitas!
11 - Baked chicken, summer squash and garlic bread
12 - Baked Potato - broccoli and cheese
13 - WNL
14 - panini - brie and peppers
15 - PW Sloppy Joes - these are divine!
16 - Cider braised pork loin
17 - Taco Soup
18 - Greek Pitas
19 - Baked potato - pizza style
20 - WNL
21 - Panini - bacon and avocado with Jack cheese
22 - Build Your Own Burrito or BYOB
23 - "Meat casserole" by Bobbly Flay (ok, it is meatloaf - don't tell my family)
24 - Apple Chicken Chili by Rachael Ray
25 - Stir Fry
26 - Baked potato - salsa and jack cheese
27 - WNL
28 - Panini - mozzerella and sundried tomatoes
29 - Stuffed pasta shells
30 - French dip, tater tots and baked apples
31 - Harvest Stew and CANDY!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Happy 9th Birthday Baby Boy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday!

3 years ago today my twins were born.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forgetting ... Forever Grateful

God Bless the USA
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota
to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas
from sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston
and New York to L.A.,
There's pride in every American heart
and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


In life, in my life, circumstances are always changing. Shortly after my Lovin' Man and I were married I became very ill with a virus called CMV. It made me weak and very tired, exhausted actually, to the point that I had to go on disability and eventually quit my job. Over time, with rest and a weird diet, I got better and rather than re-enter the work force we decided to try and have a baby.

Our sweet first born baby boy came shortly after and if you have kids, you know that they flip your world upside down. The first year was rough but soon we found our stride and I thought we would coast down Easy Street for a while. And we did... for a while. Shortly after his first birthday we found out that baby number 2 was on the way. Our second bundle of joy arrived without incident but when he was 4 months old he was hospitalized with a serious case of RSV. He spent a week in the hospital, it was an agonizing time. But, he got much better and soon began to thrive.

Then, we decided to move to a bigger home. It seemed like a good idea at the time anyway. Our sweet little girl came along shortly after and we soon found ourselves with 3 kids, all under the age of 3. That first year after she was born was a swirl of ups and downs, highs and lows, and general growing pains. But, again, we found our stride and moved along from day to day with little incident. Kids started school, lost a few teeth (gross!), friendships grew, and life in general progressed.

Then we decided it was once again time to move to a larger home. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We moved to our current house, feeling comfortable with our decision until "the bubble" burst. You know the one, the big housing bust that sent the economy in to a tail spin now known as The Great Recession. Our particular area was hit hard. We also found out we were pregnant.


With twins.

Yeah, soak that in.

So, while I was freaking out a bit I decided to take things one day at a time.
God has a plan for us, right?

There is something somewhere about closed doors leading to open windows, right?

My new mantra became "Bloom where you're planted" and I have tried to adhere to it every day. Over the last few years we have gone from a family of 5, to a family of 7, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have gone from a comfortable income, to a nearly non existent income, and survived and evolved. And soon, we will go from a roomy 4 bedroom home with a yard, to a small 3 bedroom apartment, and we will thrive.

 I know that God does not give us anything we cannot handle... I have had twins and lived, I know I can survive anything! I know I have not handled every situation with grace or elegance but when I have lost my way I have tried to learn from every lesson. You have to... if you don't learn, God gives you another opportunity... and another, and another, and another until you get it right. I know there are many bible verses about prayer, perseverance and overcoming hurdles but the one verse that helps me hold my head high and tells me in my heart of hearts that everything will be alright is this:

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.

In all of life's circumstances, as ever changing as they are, I can bloom because God has given me the power, love and self discipline that I need to thrive.

Friday, September 3, 2010

From the kids

Each Friday I would like to let the kids create a post. I am going to let them decide what they want to write and how they want to say it. Normally I would let Tyler go first since he is the oldest but I think I am going to shake things up a bit and let my Sweet Girl go first....... take it away Sweet Girl!

I really like to make crafts. I have a very cool cookbook that also has crafts in it. There is one craft where you make a box and decorate it with felt, glitter glue, paper, ribbon, sequins and stickers. Then you make some cookies or something and put them in the box. Then you give it to a friend. I want to make one this weekend and give it to a friend. I want to put cookies in the box. I want to make Banoclate cookies. I love to cook because I want to be a professional baker when I grow up and I like to practice!

* Here is the cookbook she is talking about - she LOVES this book!

Monday, August 30, 2010

1st Charter Day

We are homeschooling through a home based charter school. They offer a weekly workshop for the kids and today was the 1st day of classes. The kids were very excited! My darling daughter picked out an entire new outfit all the way down to the hair style and type of rubber band she wanted in her hair. The boys wore clean clothes and begrudgingly brushed their teeth and hair (it's a Mars/Venus thing). I had every intention of taking a picture of them by the school's welcome sign but alas, we were about 10 minutes late due to parking issues and I forgot the camera anyway. Thankfully I did bring my cell phone so I was able to take a pic of my crew before hurling them in to new classes at a new school with children they have never met. Yeah, I know...Mother Of The Year...

They had a good day. My sweet little girl made a friend. She can't remember the girls name but they own the same skirt  and she also wore her hair in a side ponytail - friends for life! My Babbalou had fun in his math class and then we worked together one on one doing his "dyslexia" exercises - that is tough work but he is doing better every day. T-man loved his math class and he thinks he will get used to his writing class, even if they have to write poetry. After the classes were over we all sat down to have a nice picnic lunch. When we got home the kids all crashed on the couch - 3 whole hours of learning outside of the home is just exhausting!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This is my very first post on my pretty new blog! I am super excited!

I have been wanting to recreate my blog and organize my thoughts for a long time and thanks to my very dear friend, Jen, I am finally able to make it all happen! 

This summer was a great summer for my family. We were able to take a lot of time to think about our priorities and our goals in life, about who we want to be and what we want to do. After a lot of talking, thinking, and praying I think we have figured out a thing or two about how we want to live our lives. This blog is a place to share those thoughts, document our progress and to hopefully laugh a little along the way!

So, who am I?

In a nutshell...
A stumbling but always faithful follower of Christ
A loving wife to my Lovin' Man
A stay at home mom that never seems to stay at home
A mom to a preteen son that has a heart of gold
A mom to an intelligent dyslexic son that loves to learn
A mom to a sweet little girl that loves dolls, ponies and rainbows
A mom to fraternal twin girls that go together like milk and cookies
A person who has chosen to school my kids at home... homeschoolers!
A wannabe chef
A sustainable shopper that loves locally grown, pesticide free produce
A blossoming gardener
A person that owns a sewing machine and is going to use it - soon.
A lover of all music but classic rock is my home sweet home
A crafty crafter, but not a scrapbooker
A friend... a sister... a daughter... and an auntie!