Friday, July 31, 2009

Not Helpful......

On this Faithful Friday, it's been on my heart to touch on worry, fear and apprehension.

Right about now, I know I'm a little fearful and apprehensive about giving birth.  Even though I've done it two other times, the apprehension doesn't seem to go away.  I will hopefully be trying for a VBAC, (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean), and if that doesn't pan out, then I will ultimately have to have a C-Section.  Neither option is ideal or 100% safe, because there are risks involved with both and that does put a little fear in me.   Sometimes my mind can't stop thinking of the things that COULD go wrong.  I'm not dwelling on these things all the time, but I have to admit that my mind wanders to the "dark" side of giving birth and I start to worry.

We ALL worry at times.  None of us can say that we have never been fearful or apprehensive about something in our lives, including myself!!  So, I ask us all to contemplate on these four things:


I don't know about you, but I don't have any time to waste these days, and worrying is a waste of very precious time. Worrying won't help you solve a problem or bring about a solution, so why waste your time and energy on it?

Matthew 6:27-29
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.


Worrying is destructive to us in many ways. It becomes a mental burden that can even cause us to grow physically sick.

Proverbs 12:25
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.


The energy that we spend worrying can be put to much better use in prayer. Here's a little formula to remember: Worry replaced by Prayer equals Trust.
    Matthew 6:30
    And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Philippians 4:6-7
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.


When we keep our eyes focused on God, we remember His love for us and we realize we truly have nothing to worry about. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and part of that plan includes taking care of us. Even in the difficult times, when it seems like God doesn't care, we can put our trust in the Lord and focus on his kingdom. God will take care of our every need.
    Matthew 6:25
    That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?

    Matthew 6:31-33
    So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Worrying is basically thinking on things that aren't true.  All of our fears and worries are things that haven't even happened, things that we are fearful that might happen, or might fail, or might go wrong, but, all we're really focusing on is a lie.

About a year ago I was watching a Dateline-type show on Randy Pausch.  Have you heard of him?  Among many other things, he was a man given only a few months to live.  He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and was trying to fight it as hard as he could.  I won't go into his history or background, because it's quite an extensive and amazing one, but if you have time, do go HERE to see his "Last Lecture."  (You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be inspired!)  But, as I was watching this show on his life, they did an interview with his wife, and I'll NEVER forget what she said.  As she was being asked questions about how she's getting through this, how the kids are coping, etc, she said it was hard to even get out of bed, it was hard to see Randy with the kids, laughing and playing, knowing that it might be the last time that happens.  She said she cried non-stop and just was in a horrible depressed state, until she saw a therapist who gave her two simple, yet, very powerful words.  "NOT HELPFUL."

None of her depression, crying, thinking and worrying on the future was helpful to her.  She was "wasting" her time with Randy NOW, because she was so worried and fearful for the future.  So, everytime she wanted to worry about herself or the kids, be fearful about her husband's disease, or worry when he was going to die, she always said to herself, "NOT HELPFUL."  And, ultimately, those two simple words helped her to get past the worry, fear and doubt, and enjoy the time that she had left with her husband.

So inspiring.

We all worry, but I urge us all to stop.

When is worrying helpful??  Never.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wendy's Twisted Frosty--Twist and Win Game

wendys_logoClick HERE to head on over to play Wendy's Twisted Frosty--Twist and Win Game!

How it works:

Until August 30th, you can log on once a day to play the game.  There will be a total of 2,004 winners!

The Grand Prize is:  $10,000


4 Runners-up will receive:

1.  A Year's supply of Twisted Frostys

2.  A Year's supply of Oreo Cookies

3.  A Year's supply of M&M's candy


4.  A Year's supply of Nestle Tollhouse Morsels


But, don't forget, there are 2,004 INSTANT prizes along with these top four!

AND, just for playing, you get to print a Coupon for $1 off a Twisted Frosty!!

Jack-in-the-Box: Two FREE Tacos 8/4

jack-in-the-box-coupons Jack-in-the-Box is giving away 2 FREE TACOS on Tuesday, August 4th!

Just click HERE to print the coupon!

One coupon, per guest, per visit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Save Energy

I totally spaced on Tip Tuesday today!!  But, since it's still Tuesday for a few more hours, I have time!!  :-)

I have compiled a list of a few ways to SAVE ENERGY, which equals SAVING MONEY!  Many of these are no-brainers, and things many of us do already, but sometimes we can all use reminding!!

1.  Turn the lights out anytime you are leaving a room.

2.  Same with the TV.....turn it off when no one is watching it.

3.  "Sleep" your computer when you're not using it.

4.  Use Ceiling fans instead of the A/C.  (Although, I'm quite enjoying our A/C these past few days!!)  :)

5.  Wash your laundry in cold water instead of hot or warm.

6.  Use a clothesline or a laundry rack instead of your dryer.

7.  In the colder months, use a space heater to heat just the rooms you're in.

8.  When you're not home, turn the heat off.

9.  Don't leave the refrigerator door open.

10.  Run the dishwasher only on FULL loads and don't use the Dry cycle.

11.  Clean the lint screen on your Dryer everytime you use it.

12.  Unplug any electrical device that's not being used.

13.  Turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth.

14.  Make sure outdoor lighting is turned off during the day.

15.  Flush the toilet less often.  (I know, I'm sure there are some turned-up noses on this one, but if you really think about it, it makes total sense.  I teach Ava, that, it's a great practice to always flush the toilet after she goes "potty," but, at home, if it's pee-pee only, she just needs to put the toilet seat down and she can flush it the next time she goes.  There really is no need to flush down that small amount of pee-pee.  It saves tons of water and energy in the long run!!)

There are HUNDREDS of energy-saving tips, but I hope these help get you thinking about all the ways you can save money (and the environment!) by using less energy!!


We have decided on a NAME for baby girl!!!!!

But, no.......I'm not going to tell you!

(Not yet!!!)  :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

OK, so I'm REALLY not trying to go overboard.....



I just couldn't help but share this OUSTANDING video of NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK singing two of my most favorite songs at their most recent concert tour that my sister and I attended.

If You Go Away and Stare At You.

Amazing video work that showcases the very handsome men with their VERY amazing voices!!!!

AGAIN, I'm really not trying to overload you with NKOTB!!!!!  I just couldn't help but post this video!!!!!!


It's Monday......


So, last week I did OK without a Meal Plan, but I think that's ONLY because we were gone 3 of the 5 nights, and I made a Mexican Lasagna that we ate on for the other two nights.  It worked, but just by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.  I still KNOW that a Meal Plan is best for me and what's going to keep me organized and sane!!

I can officially say that I have LESS than 2 weeks to go until my due date!!!  13 days to be exact!  I have been having a few signs, here and there, of my body preparing for labor, but nothing really concrete.  Friday was a day of pretty severe contractions and some other "fun" stuff going on in my body, but the contractions didn't turn out to be the real thing.  At my appt on Friday, we found out that the baby has definitely dropped, but my cervix hasn't made much progress......but, I know that can change at ANY time!!!  I have purposefully not planned much these next two weeks so that I can stay close to home, cherish these last few days with my two precious ones (before they become 3!!), and get the house and everything else prepared for baby.  This heat is wreaking havoc on me, but I'm sooooooo thankful for AC in our bedroom!!  I have to give props, too, to our Select Comfort Sleep Number Bed.  We bought this about 18 months ago and I truly believe it is one of the best decisions we could have made.  This is one pregnancy where I have not been tossing and turning all night long trying to get comfortable.  I can make the bed as hard or as soft as I'd like, and it's just been a God-send!!!  Now, granted, I haven't been sleeping as well, period, just due to being 9 months preggo, but it's not because I'm too uncomfortable, sore, or from tossing and turning in bed.  It's been a LIFESAVER!!

Well, let's get back into Meal Plan Monday!!  Here's my plan for the Week:

Monday:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches (I'm using THIS recipe.  It's been in the Crockpot for about 4 hours, now, and it smells HEAVENLY!), Coleslaw, Chips and Fruit Salad

Tuesday:  Homemade Mac and Cheese, Kielbasa and Green Beans

Wednesday:  Grilled Chicken Breasts, Grilled Potatoes, and Grilled Zucchini and Squash  (All done on the BBQ)

Thursday: Pizza and Green Salad

Friday: Going out to dinner!

Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed week!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


August is National Breastfeeding Month!

I know it's not August, yet, but, I thought it'd be nice to dedicate a post to it, even if it is still July!!

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and beneficial acts a mother can do for her child.

I am a HUGE proponent of Breastfeeding.  My mom breastfed me and all three of my sisters, for, at least a year, each, if not longer.  I breastfed both of my children and plan on breastfeeding #3.  There are hundreds of websites that detail all the AMAZING things that breastfeeding does and gives to your child, (and to you!!!), but here are some to get you thinking:

Breastmilk is constantly changing in its composition to meet the changing needs of the baby. It has the EXACT combination of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and sugars needed for the human infant at various stages of his growth.

Breastfeeding protects your baby from gastrointestinal trouble, respiratory problems and ear infections.

Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.

Breastfeeding may boost your child's intelligence.

Children who were breastfed are less likely to need orthodontic work, such as braces, due to the unique sucking action required with breastfeeding. They also seem to have better overall dental health than formula-fed children.

Breastfeeding promotes facial structure development, enhanced speech, and enhances vision.

Breastfeeding may protect against obesity later in life.

Breastfeeding may protect your baby from childhood Leukemia.

Breastfeeding may protect your baby from developing Type 1 Diabetes.

Breastfeeding may lower your baby's risk of SIDS.  Statistics show that, for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed.

Breastfeeding helps you lose weight.

Breastfeeding can lower your stress levels and reduce postpartum bleeding.

Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of some types of Cancer.

Breastfeeding may protect against Osteoporosis later in life.

It develops a special emotional relationship and bonding with your child.

It's FREE.

BUT, don't get me wrong!!!  No one said it always comes easy to do!!  To some mothers and babies, breastfeeding may very well come easily, and with my second child, Luke, it came veeeerrrrry easily.  He LOVED to nurse, (maybe too much?!!!), he latched on right away, never had any issues, and I nursed him until he was almost 2.  It was wonderful!!  He loved it, and so did I!!

But, my breastfeeding experience with Ava, my first, was pretty rough.  She latched on very well, at first, and did quite well the first week or so, but then it really went was TORTURE getting her to latch on.  We tried every trick in the book, and often it ended up with both she and I in tears!  It was a tough time for us, but I stuck it out and things got better......perfect, no, but better.  I ended up breastfeeding her until she was about 14 months, which, for how not-so-great of a feeder she was, that was a HUGE feat for me!!  There were times we did supplement with a bit of formula, just out of desperation, but that's OK.  As a parent, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your child.   If you have a little one that is not nursing well, DO get he or she checked right away, or see a lactation consultant  ASAP!!  Ava's breastfeeding woes could have been "cured" by a quick little snip of the tongue.  Along with Ava's Speech Apraxia, she was diagnosed with a bit of a tongue-tie, but not until she was 2 years old.  If we would have only had her checked sooner, things might have been a little different.

As wonderful as breastfeeding is for you and your child, I wanted to make sure that I made the point that it can be "roses" with no struggles at all, but there are times that it's not always as easy as people think it's going to be.......BUT, DON'T GIVE UP!!  The benefits that it gives FAR out-weigh the hardships.  The benefits to you and your child are in the NOW, but are also things that will benefit you and your child in the FUTURE.  There are many great websites you can go for support and information, there are groups, such as La Leche League that you can join for support, or ask your doctor for any information that they might have.

To breastfeed or not is a very personal decision, and I respect any mother's decision.  But, if you were waivering as to your decision to breastfeed, or not, I hope this might have made your decision a little clearer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faithful Friday

This video speaks for itself.  It's a performance set to the song "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns.  Many of you have probably already seen it, (over 8 million people have viewed this youtube video!!!), but it is so touching and always brings tears to my eyes.

"You told me who I am.........I am YOURS."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FREE Minute Maid Frozen Novelty

minute-maid-frozen-noveltyGo HERE to receive a coupon for a FREE Minute Maid Frozen Novelty!

$5/$25 Babies R Us Coupon

babiesrusBabies R Us is offereing a $5 off a $25 purchase Coupon.  Go HERE to print yours!

It is good for Online or In Store purchases.

It's valid until 7/29.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Macaroni Salad

macaroni salad

Because it's hard for me to let a great recipe go without being recognized, I wanted to share this EASY and simply DELICIOUS recipe for Macaroni Salad!!
1 1/2 cups dry salad macaroni

3 ribs celery, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 pound cheddar cheese, cubed

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

salt and pepper to taste
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well and allow to cool. In large mixing bowl, combine macaroni, celery, onion, mayo, and cheese cubes. Season with dill weed and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009



For Tip Tuesday, I thought I'd talk about WATER.  Bottled water, that is!!

Did you know that a 16-oz bottle of "spring" water goes for about $1, which works out to be about $8 A GALLON!!!!!!  That's TWICE the cost of Milk and close to being on par with Soft Drinks.  In my opinion, it's ridiculous!!  The Bottled Water Industry has us convinced that we need to pay around 800 times more to purchase water in a bottle that get it from the tap!  It's craziness if you really think about it!  Convenient, yes.  Rational??  No!!

Did you know this:

Sixteen 8-oz glasses of tap water cost about a PENNEY.

On this Tip Tuesday, my advice to you would be:  Lay off the Bottled Water!!!

There are a few options that will end up saving you so much money!!

1.  Get your water delivered to your home.  Home delivery, according to online averages, is about $40 a month, which, is less per gallon than what I mentioned above, but still a little pricey in my book.  But, it's a cheaper option, nonetheless.

2.  The next time you feel thirsty, RUN. TO. THE. TAP.  Don't like the taste of your water??  Invest in a filter pitcher, like a Brita Filter Pitcher.  Brita puts out coupons for their filters and pitcher periodically, so look for that, and you can get your pitcher for a fraction of the price.   Or, install an inexpensive faucet filter.  There are many, many options that could work for you, and you'll still come out waaaaaaaay ahead.

3.  And lastly, if you find yourself buying bottled water more often when you're out and about, on trips, at the park, etc, then BRING IT WITH YOU.  There are some amazing containers available now that will keep your water nice and cold, fresh and ready to drink!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meal Plan......or not

This is not very frugal, simplified or planned, but...........I'm going to be skipping my Meal Plan this week!  (I know, HORRORS!!)  :-)  I love doing my Meal Plan, and it totally helps me, but, I'm at a point, where, this week is too jumbled, not totally planned out, and may have a few nightly events going on, that I just feel it might be more of a hindrance than a help.  Do you have those kinds of weeks??  I think it happens to the best of us!  So, I'm just going to "wing it" and see what happens.  (I may regret this, so I'll let you know how it goes!!!!)

Here's to NEXT week's meal plan!!!!  :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Breyers Icecream!!


Breyers pint

Did you know that Breyers now has Pints??  I just found this out, and was sooooo excited!  We love Breyers icecream around here, for the taste, and especially for the fact that it's all natural!!  So, do you want some virtually free Breyers ice cream? Go to and print out your two Breyers Icecream coupons, and in the transaction detailed below, you can score some free treats!

The Breyer’s pints are on sale at Albertson’s for $1 each!

Remember too, this catalina deal is still valid:

Buy (2) & get $2/3 Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle, or Good Humor
Buy (3) & get $3/4 Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle, or Good Humor
Buy (4) & get $4/5 Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle, or Good Humor
Valid through 9/23/09

Here’s a transaction idea:

Buy 4 pints Breyers, $4.00

Use two $1/2 coupons (coupon doesn’t specify size!)
Use two doubles  (which were in the newspaper, or they will be at the customer service desk at your nearest Albertons!)
Grand Total: FREE!
Then you’ll get a $4/5 catalina! (Catalina doesn’t specify a size either!)

Buy another 5 small containers and you’ll pay $1 total for 9 containers of ice cream!!!

And you’ll get back another $4/5 catalina!!

HELLO!!  Sounds like a deal to me!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009



Here's some pics and a video from the MOST AMAZING New Kids on the Block Show!!!

[caption id="attachment_997" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My sister, Martha, and giddy in anticipation for the show!!"]My sister, Martha, and giddy in anticipation for the show!![/caption]

I have to explain these next two shots:  While we were goofing around, waiting for our NKOTB, I was getting picture-happy!  I kept taking self-portrait shots of us!!  When we looked at the first picture, we laughed so hard, because, unbeknownst to us, my eyebrows were up and hers were down.......So, it was only fitting to take a shot of the opposite!!  So, the next one is us purposefully trying to do the eyebrows down and hers up!!  HILARIOUS!!  (Probably more hilarious to us, but maybe you'll see the humor in it!!)

[caption id="attachment_998" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="So EXCITED!!! Sarah's eyebrows=UP....Martha's eyebrows=DOWN"]So EXCITED!!!  Sarah's eyebrows=UP....Martha's eyebrows=DOWN[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_999" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sarah's eyebrows=DOWN, Martha's eyebrows=UP!"]Sarah's eyebrows=DOWN, Martha's eyebrows=UP![/caption]

Now on to some great shots from the show, and I just have to say that the guys sounded EXCELLENT!!  Their vocals were GREAT and I could tell that they sang EVERY song live!!!

[caption id="attachment_1000" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Opening of the show. This is actually computer-generated on a screen--They lifted the screen, and there they were!!"]Opening of the show.  This is actually computer-generated on a screen--They lifted the screen, and there they were!![/caption]




[caption id="attachment_1005" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jordan and Joe singing, "If You Go Away." Oh, that Joe...."]Jordan and Joe singing, "If You Go Away."  Oh, that Joe....[/caption]


The next three shots are when the guys CAME INTO THE AUDIENCE!!!!!!!  Just ask my sister.......I was literally HYPERVENTILATING!!!  They were RIGHT BEHIND US!!!  Of course, at this primo time, I couldn't get the flash on my camera to work!!!  So, these next few shots are a little blurry/dark, but SO WORTH having!!!

[caption id="attachment_1008" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jordan!"]Jordan![/caption]

joe arm up

[caption id="attachment_1010" align="aligncenter" width="182" caption="JOE!!!!!"]JOE!!!!![/caption]

Ok, I found this video on Youtube, and it's HILARIOUS!!  This is the MAYHEM that happened in the crowd when NKOTB came out into the audience.  If you don't get sick by her camera work, watch this video!!  First she gets a good shot of Jon, then JOE!!!!! This is EXACTLY how exciting it was!!!

[caption id="attachment_1011" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Joe during his solo set."]Joe during his solo set.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1012" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Confetti!!"]Confetti!![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1013" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Yup, that's the 9-month preggo dancing away!!"]Yup, that's the 9-month preggo dancing away!![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1015" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The end of the show."]The end of the show.[/caption]

I have a ton more pictures, but I'm pretty sure that these pics mean a lot more to me, than they do to you, so I thought I'd spare you!!  Thanks for "sharing" in my amazing evening with a group that I have loved for over 20 YEARS!!!!


Dahlia Bouquets

It's that time of year again!!

We are SO BLESSED to have an AHH.MAY.ZING Dahlia Garden.....I mean, SPECTACULAR!!!  There are so many different varieties, colors, shapes and sizes of Dahlias that I couldn't even tell you all the differences!  I just know I LOVE them!!  I think I've mentioned this in an earlier post, but just in case I haven't, I'll let you know that this home we live in used to be Mark's Grandparent's "Homestead"......they lived here for, I think, 60+ years.  They were the MASTER Gardeners and the TRUE examples of 'Frugality at its Finest'!!  The Dahlias were the most magnificent things you had ever seen when they were tending to them!!!   We, unfortunately, are not that skilled, yet, and the Dahlias may never flourish quite as much as they did as when they lived here.  But, that being said, they are still so beautiful, so plentiful and, I'll say it again, AHH.MAY.ZING!!!

Last summer was our first summer in this home and we were just getting used to the "lay of the land."  We enjoyed the Dahlias immensely, and, me, having a somewhat 'entreprenuerial spirit,' was trying to figure out a way for others to enjoy them, all the while--figuring out a way we could make money.  So, I started making Dahlia Bouquets!!  Mark made a cute little flower stand made up of scrap wood and plastic roofing (talk about frugal!!) and I started proudly displaying my bouquets and sold them for $5 each.  I am not a professional bouquet-maker, by any means, but I just did my best and made bouquets that I thought were beautiful!!  Each bouquet had, at least 10-15 Dahlias, so $5 a piece was a pretty great price!!  I advertised my stand by homemade signage on poles, light stands,etc, and on local websites.  I couldn't have imagined how GREAT "business" was!!!!  I almost couldn't keep up!!  I sold close to 75 bouquets, making close to $400 in just about a month and a half!!  For my first try, I was thrilled!  And, not only was it fun to make money, but I realized my new LOVE for making bouquets!!  It wasn't a "job" for me, it was something I truly loved to do!

So, that being said, I AM AT IT AGAIN!!  I started a few days ago and have already sold quite a few bouquets......people are even paying $10 for them, which is so unexpected!!!  It's quite humbling, that, little old me, a non-professional bouquet-maker can get business like this.  It's so fun and so rewarding!!

I thought I'd share a few pictures of our Stand to let you get an idea of what it looks like!  Mark's handy-work is still holding up!!  I took the pictures at the wrong time of day, so there is a slight shade cast over them, and a few might possibly be blurry, but you get the idea!  I will try to post pictures of the Dahlia garden and more of the Stand, too, in the near future!!



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Freezer Stash--Progress Report

As you can see below, I'm making slooooooww, but steady progress on my "stash."  As I said in an earlier post, if this seems like too much for me to do, I'll have no problem scaling it down.  But, until then, I will just keep plugging away!!!  Just wanted to give a little update!


Macaroni and Cheese (Quadruple Batch!  This is our favorite Mac and Cheese recipe!! We eat it all the time!) DONE!

Lasagna (Double)

Brown Bag Burritos (Double.  These will also be great for Mark to grab and take to work for his lunches)

Tamale Pie (Double)

Meatloaf (Triple batch, and I’ll be making mini-loaves, as well, in muffin tins.)  (ONE batch is done!)

Farmhouse Chicken (Double Batch)

Enchiladas (Both Beef and Chicken)

Chili (Double) DONE!

Spaghetti Sauce (Double Batch) DONE!

Pizza Dough (I’ll make a quadruple batch, and then just freeze it out in four portions.  I pull it out and thaw it in the morning.  It tastes just as great as making it the same day!!)


Raspberry Cream Muffins (Triple batch….our VERY favorite muffins!!) DONE!

Wheat Bread (Six Loaves) DONE!

Rhubarb Muffins


Pancakes (Quadruple Batch)

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Whole Wheat Waffles

I’m also hoping to make a few more batches of THIS Rhubarb Berry Jam to use up my abundance of Rhubarb, too! I made Raspberry Jam, instead!!

Tip Tuesday

brown-bag-lunch PACK YOUR LUNCH

Or, your dinner, or your breakfast.....depending on the time of day!!!  I couldn't find the exact figure, but did you know that, on average, buying your lunch out every day is about $6-$7 a meal and if you times that by 5 days a week, you could be spending $35/week, $140/ month or $1820 a year!!!!!  That's quite a bit of money!!

When Mark and I started being "hard-core" about packing his lunch every day, I couldn't believe how much money we kept in our pockets!!  The difference is amazing.  Granted, we went through our food at home a little quicker, but the difference that you're saving on NOT buying out everyday, FAR out-ways what you are paying to buy groceries at the store.  Plus, what an awesome way to use up LEFTOVERS!!!

Another twist on this, is not just packing your lunch for work, but being smart about bringing your meals with you other places.  I've found that it's not only cost-effective but so convenient to pack our meals on some of our outings, ie:  the Zoo, the Children's Museum, Baseball Games or to the Park.  Oodles of money could be saved!!  Or, to save some money, but still get the experience of, let's say, ball park food, bring a sandwich and just buy those garlic fries you've been craving, or bring a bag of chips and buy that mouth-watering Hot Dog.  You're still going to save money and you'll get the "experience" all at the same time.

It's fun, and not to mention, yummy and convenient to buy your meals out, but consider packing your lunch/meals more often and you might just be surprised at how much money stays in your bank account!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Here's just a snippit from the AMAZING New Kids on the Block Concert my sister and I went to!!!  I am currently editing my pictures and hope to have them up soon!!  But, in the meantime, enjoy my Joe........This song debuted on their VERY FIRST, self-titled album in 1986.  I don't believe he has EVER sang it at a concert before, but during his solo set, he did!!!!!!  I am in love with this song, and even danced to it at our Wedding!!!  Enjoy Joe, in all his retro, 80's-stlye glory, singing "Popsicle"!!!

Meal Plan Monday

It was a long, exhausting week, but it's ALWAYS great to get SO.MUCH.DONE!!  I have a long way to go to get this house exactly where I want it before baby's arrival, to get all my meals/food prepared and get the yard harvested and "in shape", but progress was made and I'm so thankful for that!!!

Our Garage Sale on Saturday was pretty much a success!  It was a SUPER hot day, but we all managed to stay fairly cool throughout the day.  You never know who your audience is going to be, or what they will be looking for, and it seemed as though it wasn't really the "baby" crowd.  We had TONS of baby/kids clothes, shoes, toys, etc, and even though a lot of it got sold, there was still a lot left.  But, other than that, most of our furniture sold amongst much other stuff!!  All in all, it was a success!!  It was fun, but I'm glad to be over with it!!  :-)

Now, we're on to, yet, another week!!  I'm 36 weeks pregnant!!!  Whew!  I'm definitely feeling it, too!  We're getting SO EXCITED for baby girl's arrival!!  We had new carpet installed in our bedroom and in the baby's room last week, so things are slowly starting to come together.  The kids just love saying how "cozy" it is!!  Mark is now working on the trim in the baby's room and once he is done with that, we can move EVERYTHING in!!  (The part I've been DYING to do!!)  I'll be posting pictures, soon!!

Hope you had a great week!!

Here's my Meal Plan:

Monday:  Mexican Pasta Bake, Chips and Guacamole, Refried Beans

Tuesday: Crockpot Chili Pork Chops, Steamed Red Potatoes, Corn

Wednesday:  Adobo Chicken, Rice and Veggies

Thursday:  Homemade Pesto over Spaghetti, Salad and French Bread

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Here's to another, great, productive week!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


My father-in-law is growing Basil and he gave a bunch of it to me!!  I haven't worked a lot with Basil and am not as "schooled" on it as I'd like to be, but I do know that I LOVE Pesto!!  I'm sure many of you have made Pesto before, but this was my first time!!  If you can believe it, I don't have a food processor  (I know....what am I thinking?!)  We got one for a wedding gift, but I never used it, so we sold it in a garage sale years ago.  Then, a few years later, I realized I wanted one, so I bought the mini Kitchen Aid one.  I loved it, but ended up losing the blade and never got a replacement.  I have supplemented here and there with my Baby Food grinder/processor for other recipes, but for this recipe, it was waaaaaay too small.  So, I tried to think positively, and I pulled out my blender!   It actually turned out beautifully!!!

I used THIS recipe.  It's Ina Garten's from the Food Network.

Here's the beautiful Basil:


And, here's the finished product!


For 5 cups of Basil, it doesn't make a lot, but it will make enough for, at least, 4 meals.  I put one container in the fridge and am freezing the other three.  It is DELICIOUS!!!  Can't wait to eat it!!

AMAZING Diaper Deal at Rite Aid!!


I couldn't help but share this awesome deal with you!  If you have little ones still in diapers and have a Rite Aid near you, I'd say, RUN and grab this deal!!!  There are MANY different scenarios, and I'll explain them more, but, first, here's how it works:

There is a promotion running at Rite Aid through the end of July (see rebate #61): Buy $50 in participating products and get a $25 Rite Aid gift card.

Items include: Huggies Supreme or Huggies Snug and Dry diapers (34-60 count); Pull-ups Training Pants (33 count); GoodNites Underpants (27 count); Little Swimmers swim diapers (10-12 pack); Huggies Wipes (184-232 count), among a number of other products. Go HERE to see the entire list.

There is also Rite Aid rebate for $2 when you buy a Huggies Mega Pack (see rebate #53).

I only bought 4 packs of diapers on this shopping trip, BUT, there is another Rite Aid rebate for a FREE pack of Huggies when you buy 5 packs of participating Huggies packs (mega packs and swim diapers--see rebate #800). You can submit for ALL OF THESE rebates to really sweeten the deal!  (If you don't know how, it is SUPER easy!!  Go to www. and sign up for the Single Check Rebate program.  Again, it's SUPER easy and not confusing AT ALL!!!!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!!  It's as easy as entering from your Receipt: the store #, transaction #, Register # and Date.  They will figure the rest out for you

PLUS, go HERE to print out as many $5 off a purchase of $25 or more Coupons to use on each of your transactions!!

(By the way, to get this deal, it does not all need to be purchased in one transaction.  It just has to be purchased between the July rebate dates, which is from now until 7/24.)

Huggies Mega Packs of Diapers and Pull-Ups are on sale for $14.99 this week.  This is definitely the week to buy them and do the $50 Gift Card Deal!

I don't want this to confuse anybody, so I'm going to break it down for you.

So, here are my 2 Transactions that I just did:

Transaction #1:

2 Pkgs Huggies Diapers--$14.99/each

----I had 1 coupon  $3/1 Huggies Diapers

----I had 1 coupon $1.50/1  Huggies Diapers

1 Crest Pro-Health--2.69

----1 coupon 50 cents /1 Crest Pro-Health

PLUS 1 coupon $5/$25

(Remember, because I had the $5 off a purchase of $25 or more, I needed to make sure that my total BEFORE coupons would equal $25 so that I could use it.  That's why I added the Crest Pro-Health to my transaction.)

so, here's the breakdown of this transaction:

$14.99-$3.00=  $11.99

$14.99-$1.50=  $13.49

$2.69-.50=  $2.19

$5/$25 coupon used

Total:  $22.67 (There is a $2.00 Rebate I will get back for one of the packs of Diapers, and the Crest Pro-Health has a $2.69 Rebate, so because I used a .50 coupon, once I get my rebate back, I will have MADE 50 cents on the toothpaste.)

Here's Transaction #2, and then I'll explain the REST of the Huggies deal!!

Transaction #2:

2 Pkgs Huggies Diapers--$14.99/each

----I had 1 coupon  $3/1 Huggies Diapers

----I had 1 coupon $1.50/1  Huggies Diapers

2 Boxes of Kotex Lightday Pantyliners  2 for $6

----I had 1 coupon for $1.50/2

PLUS 1 coupon $5/$25

(Again, because I had the $5/$25 coupon, I added the Liners to just make sure my total was over $25 before coupons)

so, here's the breakdown of this transaction:

$14.99-$3.00=  $11.99

$14.99-$1.50=  $13.49

$6.00-$1.50=  $4.50

$5/$25 coupon used

Total:  $24.98 (Plus, there is a $1.00 rebate back on the Pantyliners.)


Submit for the Rebates I mentioned above:  $2.00 Huggies Rebate, $2.69 Crest Rebate and $1.00 Kotex Rebate

Also submit for $25 Gift Card Rebate, since you spent over $50 on participating products.

Final Price after Rebates:  $16.96-----That's for:

4 60-count Diaper Packs

1 Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste

2 Kotex Lightdays 28 count packs

(That would be an AWESOME deal for the Diapers, alone!!!  It would equal $4.24 per MEGA PACK of 60!!!!  But, as you can see, I also got the toothpaste and the two packs of Kotex for that price!!!  HELLOOOOO!!!)

You can also bet I'll be going back to buy my one more pack of Huggies Diapers so that I can have a total of 5 purchased to get a voucher for one free!!!!!  And as stated above, there is a link of the other participating products, so if you don't need the Huggies, there might be other products you can purchase to get your sweet deal, as well!!

Hope you guys understood this deal and can take advantage of it!!!  Let me know if you have any questions!!

Friday, July 10, 2009



Don't forget, it's another FREE CHOCOLATE FRIDAY!!

Sign up HERE

I have just learned that there is a 4 coupon limit, per household.  But, 4 free candy bars isn't so bad!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Still here!!

Just working so hard these past days with my sis, Martha, to get tons of stuff done around the house, and get all the Garage Sale stuff done!!  She has been such a HUGE help in every way possible!!!  I could not have made it without her!!

We'll be at it again, tomorrow, and then the sale is on Saturday, so, busy, busy for the next couple days..........but, don't you worry!!!  You better believe I'll be posting some NKOTB Concert pictures!!!!  (I'm sure you have all been waiting with baited breath!!!)  :-)  We had THE MOST AMAZING TIME!!!!!  It truly was a fantastic concert.

I will definitely be back in a few days!!!   Hope you all are having a blessed, wonderful week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What to do with these:

containersOnce you're finished with your sour cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese containers, what do you do with them??

For Tip Tuesday, I thought I'd share some ideas of what I do with them, and some ideas that I've heard about, but I'd love to learn more and hear your great ideas!!  Please feel free to share!!

Here are some things that I like to do with these containers:

1.  The obvious:  Recycle them

2.  I use them as leftover containers.  I don't feel bad writing in permanent marker on these guys, so I often will put leftovers in these containers, write on the side what is in it, and that way, as soon as I open the refrigerator door, I know exactly what is in the container.

3.  I like to poke holes in the lid of the containers, fill them with water, and let the kids use them as their "watering cans."  They love to follow me around and water the plants as I do the same thing!

4. They're great storage for homemade Play dough--keeps it nice and fresh!

5.  Use them as storage for little things, ie:  buttons, paper clips, sorting beads, etc, and the kids can play with them as sorting cups, too!

6.  Sandbox or tub play.  They work great as scoopers!

7.  Use them as paint cups.

8.  Why not try starting seeds, or having the kids start a plant in these containers?  Make sure you poke a hole in the bottom!

9.  Cover the outside and/or let the kids decorate paper and cover the outside.  Use it as a container to give away home-baked goods, candy, etc.

10.  Make Plastic yogurt container drums!  Go HERE to find out how.

Just in case you forgot.......

......what is going on in my life tonight, let me refresh your memory:



Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Monday.....

I am definitely having "issues" getting out of bed in the morning.  The kids literally have to yank me out of bed!!  Whew!  It never used to be THIS bad!!! :-)  I'm assuming being 35 weeks pregnant has a lot to do with it......I am ever-so-tired all the time, now.  But, I must remember, I AM IN THE HOME STRETCH!!!  Baby girl is almost here!!

We had a jam-packed weekend, but a great one!  I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July weekend!!!

We have another busy week this week.  I'm getting a little stressed out and concerned that I'm not going to even get close to getting everything done that I want to, before baby arrives.  But, as I've said in previous posts....I'll get done what I can get done!!  If some things have to be taken off the list, then so be it!!

Tonight we have the carpet people coming to take a look at our room and the baby's room to get some carpet in there.  Hopefully that can be completed by THIS week!!  That will be a huge step to getting baby girl's room set up and ready to go!  Tomorrow, of course, is the infamous NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK concert!!!  (CAN'T WAIT!!!)  I also have an OB appointment on Wednesday, which, are now, once a week, and I also work on Thursday morning.  Through my "free" time" this week I'll be preparing for the Garage Sale that we and my In-laws are having on Saturday!!  And, hopefully in there I can find time to work out in the yard, prepare more food for the "After the baby's born" freezer stash, make Raspberry Jam, and let's not forget.....taking care of the house and my precious kiddos!!   'Tis life, isn't it...........but, I've vowed not to get overwhelmed, and if something can't be done, then it can't be done.  I'll transfer it to the list for next week, or scratch it completely!!  :-)

So, here is my Meal Plan for the Week!!  How are you all doing on your meal plans???  I've found that through all the chaos life can bring, having a Meal Plan has really helped!  At least that is one thing I already have planned and don't really have to "think" about!!

Monday:  Homemade Mac and Cheese, Green Beans, Texas toast

Tuesday:  Out to dinner with my Sis before NKOTB!  (Daddy will make Tacos and Cheese Quesadillas for the kids)

Wednesday:  Baked Potato Bar

Thursday:  Teriyaki Chicken over rice, Veggies

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Hope you all have a really blessed week!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Faithful Friday

We have a pretty regimented night-time routine, and part of the routine consists of "getting cozy" on Mommy and Daddy's bed, singing a few songs, and praying.  Every night we ask the kids who they want to pray for and so many times they'll say things like "Pray for Blankie" or "Pray for Trains."  (So, we always add blankie and trains into our prayers!) And, we always ask them where Jesus lives.....they both always point to their chests and say "Heart."  And we try to talk to them about asking Jesus into their hearts.

But, two nights ago was a little different, so sweet, and just too precious for words.

We asked Lukie who he wanted to pray for, and instead of telling us "who" or "what", he started praying on his own, and he said five of the sweetest words I have heard in a long time:

"Dear my heart."
We truly think that Lukie was asking Jesus into his heart!!!!

And, right after he prayed his prayer, instead of saying his usual, "I'm so proud!"

He said:

"Mommy, I'm soooooo happy!!!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FREE Blizzard Coupon


I am a HUGE Dairy Queen fan, not to mention, Blizzard fan!!!

Dairy Queen just came out with a new coupon for BUY ONE Blizzard, GET ONE FREE!

Go HERE to claim yours!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Raspberries and Cherries and Dahlias.....OH MY!!

It's out of control!!!!!  (Ok, not REALLY!!)  Maybe I'm the one out of control?!  But, I am feeling quite overwhelmed with all the tasks and chores that need to be done outside in this huge yard, all the tasks and chores that need to be done inside the house, all the things I have to prepare and get ready for, for our new bambino,  along with having two toddlers and feeling the extreme strain of being ready to give birth to #3!!!!!  Not to mention, the sicknesses that the four of us have had and the fact that my leg swells up to the size of a tree trunk when I've only been on it for an hour!!!!  WHEW!!

Ok, so I know that most of what I'm saying is nothing that most of you have not already experienced or are experiencing right now!!  And, I know it  sounds like I'm complaining, but, really, I PROMISE I'm not!!   I just feel so bad and stressed out that some things have to take a backseat while other things get done.  Some things are suffering now, but honestly, I really have to be OK with it and know that it's the way it has to be.  There are priorities in life and I have to remember that.  We all face these types of challenges everyday, having to prioritize things and get done what we can get done......I guess today I just feel more overwhelmed than usual!!

The kids and I did have a great couple hours outside today, though, so I have to feel some sort of accomplishment!!  (Albeit, while we were outside, Ava and Luke got into a huge dirt fight and found it fun to eat it too, Ava pooped her pants (and didn't have a diaper on!) and had it coming down her legs while she was on the slide, Luke decided it was ok to pull out any and all vegetables he could get his hands on, and while I was trying to get the sprinkler to work, I got all of us drenched in the process!!!!!  But, if you don't count those things, it was a great time!!!)  :-)

We picked a HUGE bowl or raspberries, a HUGE bowl of cherries and I did some weeding out in the Dahlias.  It's just amazing, though, that there are still HUNDREDS of Raspberries to be picked, HUNDREDS of cherries to be picked, and weeds are starting to overtake our lives!!!!!!!  Again, I'm just venting, here, because I know we all face these challenges of getting "everything" done.  And, it's hard for me, because I truly enjoy this yard, harvesting all the fruit, tending to all the flowers, harvesting the's just with everything going on, sometimes I feel like my head is spinning!!!

I am constantly being reminded, though, (or maybe it's God reminding me!!), that it's COMPLETELY OK that there are weeds in my yard, and it's COMPLETELY OK that my house isn't 100% clean, and it's COMPLETELY OK that I can't get to every raspberry on the bush.........THIS IS LIFE.  I have a million other things going on (like we all do!!), and I will do what I can do!!!   Whew......OK, so that being said, I really meant for this post to be an encouragement to all of you dealing with the same sort of struggles that I am--to keep everything up!!  For one, YOU'RE NOT ALONE!!  And, secondly, don't sweat the small stuff.....keep things in perspective and DO WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!

Ok, so I'll leave you with a few shots of the Raspberries, Cherries and Dahlias.......OH MY!!  :-)