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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: December 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reading to your Babies

I don't know about you, but I see it, read it, and hear it everywhere. "Read to your children!" Yes, I get it. It is not always as easy as they would like you to believe. We are supposed to read to our children from the day they are born, but at some point they don't want to sit still anymore. Then what? Do I tie him down and make him sit through a book? Do I think that will encourage him to love to read? I don't think so!

I will admit... though I had high aspirations, I didn't read to my baby everyday from the moment of his birth onward. I kept thinking that I should be, but I didn't. As he got a little bit older, you know, somewhere between 4 and 6 months, and I did start too, he only wanted to chew on the books. I couldn't read or turn pages because he was pulling them into his mouth, so still it wasn't everyday. A month or two more and he was squirming to get away from me when we would sit to read. Another month or two passed by and he could turn the pages himself... before I was ready. Reading to your babies isn't as easy as we would all like, but it is such a special time.

In these past couple months I have seen my super active boy learn to love books. Many times he will choose a book over a toy and bring it over to me. Still he often wants to turn the pages before I am ready. Sometimes I let him, but most of the time I tell him it isn't time yet and finish the page (we aren't talking novels here... the pages aren't that long). Sometimes we will just look through it at his pace and other times we will read and point at pictures. He never lets me read one of the books. I decided it isn't important. It is a book of shapes, so instead of reading the story, we trace the shapes and talk about them.

The thing is... I don't think we need to take the "read to your baby everyday" thing as seriously as they make it sound. It is important that we are reading to our children, but don't make it something that makes them hate reading. Make it a fun time. Go with the flow a little. I work on the discipline of sitting still with him during reading time, but I pick and chose my battles. :)
You will notice in my side bar (at the top for now... we'll see where it ends up over time) that I have started a list of some of my favorites. Feel free to click for more information. I'm not making any money by telling you about them... I just wanted to share. I hope that as my list of favorites grows, so will my sidebar. :)

The book I am highlighting today is God Must Really Love Opposites. It was a birthday present from friends of ours and it is one of my favorites! The bright cheerful pages and fun rhythm are accented by the hand motions and vocal inflections I add to it. He really enjoys reading this book. I love that he is learning about opposites and about God. Try it out... and let me know what you think! I am hoping to get a couple more from the series soon... I'll let you know how it goes! :)

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Pregnant and Seeking Camaraderie

Are any of you pregnant??? I think I'm just looking for some camaraderie this morning. I am just about 30 weeks along with my second (my first is almost 13 months) and I have had the joy of having contractions every now and then since my second month (doctors say its normal... but its not fun). When I do have them, as I do this morning, it is really hard to stay motivated to get things done around the house (as it is more of a constant thing than come and go). Sitting is just so much more comfortable. Add to this that my DS is sick today and very needy! I am imagining I won't be getting much done. Sigh!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Regrouping after Christmas

The first few days after Christmas can be a lot of things. They can be a wonderful time of family togetherness. They can be lots of fun as we play with all our new "toys". They can be wonderfully exciting as we shop all those after Christmas sales and save for next year. For me, the days after Christmas are often chaos as I look around my home at the mess left from the day before. Dishes piled high from all the Christmas cooking and baking, paper and trash from present opening tossed around everywhere, and new toys and gifts strewn about.

This year has been different, and I probably shouldn't be the one posting on this topic, because I had a lot of help to make it that way. My wonderful mother has been a huge help in keeping things running and orderly around here since her arrival (which is great because my energy level is up and down). What I do know is this... it feels great to look around my home and enjoy the neatness that surrounds me. Not every corner is perfect, but you'd never know all that took place in my home this past week.

Not long after present opening, gifts were distributed and put away and toys were organized. Having family in our home this past weekend threw me into some kind of anti-clutter-mania! No clutter was allowed (except for a couple places I had little control over). So with the clutter of new toys etc. came my crazy running around to put them all away. I sorted through older toys and pulled out the ones DS doesn't play with as much or has outgrown and tucked them away for later. While I was doing this, my mom was pulling out all trash and bows, taking out the trash and stowing the bows for next year. Meanwhile, DH was organizing something else. Ahhh.... the house looked nice again!

Unfortunately, our bedroom was the catch all for the weekend while family was here, so today I have tackled that area (while DS was asleep ~ he's up again now... sitting on my lap with a book while I type). It looks so much better.

I encourage you... whether you have help or not... quickly clean up the Christmas mess... you will feel so much better! I know I do!

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Just Us Again!

I've got to tell you, though it is wonderful to have my mom here, and great to have as much family in town for Christmas as is possible, it is great to just be us! (That said, it will be nice to have my mom back this weekend too.) There is just something wonderful about being alone with your husband in your own home! No matter how much you love your company, cuddling down with just the man God gifted to you is the best Christmas gift ever! Mom will be back this weekend after a few days in Virginia with my sister, but in the mean time, life for us is back to normal. We will do a quicky grocery shopping trip (desperately need milk!) tonight and maybe plug in a movie. Ah... the life I am privileged to life with my dear husband!

Our Christmas was fun! What special treats we had. DH found me some bracelets and a couple necklaces... which I love! He was feeling like he shouldn't get me jewelry since he did last year, but I have been on a quest to become and accessory person these past few years, so I told him that I would love jewelry. I'm not a fine jewelry person you understand... I don't need diamonds or the like. I want fun things to accessorize my outfits. :) This get ready as fast as you can mom wants easy ways to look stylish when she wants to. :)

DS got tons of fun gifts! Our favorites were all the ones made by Leap Frog! What opportunities for him to learn while having fun! I do think that I am going to move some of them into his room though (for those times when I am cleaning/organizing in there). There is so much "stuff" out here in our little living room that something needs to be done!

Well... there is much to be done (especially since my little boy isn't up yet ~ and it's almost 10 am!) I'd better take advantage of the time. I just hope this doesn't mean he is loosing the fight against whatever bug he seems to be fighting these past couple days. :(

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Season of Receiving

I was contemplating Christmas today while DH was out doing his Christmas shopping (of course meaning his shopping for me). I was doing a different kind of contemplating than you would expect though... at least than I would expect. I would love to tell you I was sitting back pondering the birth of Jesus in my heart, or going down a list of things I praise God for, or something equally (and deeply) "spiritual".

The contemplating I was doing had more to do with thinking about receiving. As in gifts. Don't get me wrong... I get that it is better to give than receive, and I know the real reason for Christmas, but at the same time I get really excited about opening presents (the result of growing up in an affluent [aren't we all compared to others] society no doubt) just about any time. Really it's more about the surprise. I love presents at my birthday or Christmas, or just about any time.

This year though, I'm not really looking forward to anything in particular. I'm super excited to have my husband open his gift, and I know I will love whatever he found for me, but gifts overall are not important. I am feeling the need to be very simple, yet am surrounded by a deluge of gifts for myself, my husband and, mostly, our little boy. For myself I'm almost afraid to do the opening part of Christmas... knowing that I really don't need anything. As lovely as my gifts will be, I'm sure, it seems contrary to the simplifying and decluttering we are trying to do in our home and lives.

For our son it is even harder. DH and I agree (though it is something I have come by slower) that there is no reason for him to have a ton of toys. First, we have limited space for living in, let alone toy storage. Second, if we are to train him to be content with simple things, we don't want to surround him with every thing possible.

While we have personally bought very few things for our son, he never wants for anything! Between grandparents, great grandparents, friends and other family, our home is overflowing with toys etc! Please don't misunderstand me! We feel very blessed that the Lord has provided so many things for us and our little one. I'm just trying to figure out how to find a balance. We have so many things from other people that I haven't even felt like I could give him the one toy we bought that I was most excited about. :(

Anyway... this post has dragged on long enough I'm sure. And with all the family buzzing around, I'm getting distracted. I would love to know how you have dealt with similar situations in your families. Christmas is a time for celebrating Christ and his gift! I am blessed to have already "opened" that gift. If you haven't already "opened" the Gift God sent to the world, I'd love to tell you how! :)

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not the Day I planned!

It's amazing how company can change all your plans. Today didn't go the way I expected. But, the best laid plans of mice and men... as they say. :) I have noticed that is a little quiet around the blogosphere! Many have taken off for Christmas and left their blogs behind. :) I understand completely... however, I am hoping to at least be around some. :)

Today I was planning to do a quick CVS and grocery shopping trip with my mom in the morning. Then, while the baby napped in the afternoon, DH and I were going to go get the car (the new car) and do a couple little things.

Instead, DH decided he wanted to try to do the car thing before noon (so he could take advantage of the mechanics at the Saturn dealership before they got off work at noon. He wanted to see under the car.) So, we changed our appointment... and made new plans. Saturn isn't far from Walmart (where we needed to go sometime before Christmas to make some returns before all the after Christmas sales)... so we decided to ALL go. Crazy! 2 cars, and 6 people (with the baby) caravaned over the the dealership where we checked out the underside of the car... then to Walmart, where we took care of our exchanges and shopping (I got maternity pants... that actually fit... and don't hurt to wear!)... then to the pizza shop for lunch... then back to the dealership to sign the papers that weren't ready before. Unfortunately, the papers weren't ready and our guy was with other customers. No worries, everyone else took good care of us. It was however already an hour and a half later than DS's nap time!

Long story only moderately shorter... we got the car! and finally got home to put DS to bed (only 3 hours late for his nap!

Now... my house wasn't finished being readied for all the people (that are already here) so I have felt all day that I needed to be dealing with that, but I still needed to run to those two stores. DH and I took the new car (my first time riding/driving in it) and hit a couple stores. :) (Nice Car!) It was nice to have even that short time alone with DH... amazing how nice it is to have a few minutes alone when your house is full!

Upon getting home I finished completely clearing the kitchen table and straightening the house. My wonderful mother knew the importance for me and was a great help! Dinner plans were scratched as I didn't expect to be gone ALL day, so nothing was thawed! I didn't handle it well, but with help we figured out something and got everyone fed.

Now that the evening is complete... we have done all sorts of things, and... we even made the fudge needed to take goodie boxes as Christmas presents for the couples in our Sunday school class tomorrow!

Sigh... Maybe tomorrow will be a little more "normal"... though it is Sunday, so it already has that going against it. :)

Hope your family time is going well!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

100 things to do

Ok... My mom gets in this afternoon and DH's brother and sister in law will be here tomorrow. So many things need to be done that I needed to bring my list (only slightly smaller than 100 things) here to you all for accountability and encouragement. My need to de-clutter and clean has more to do with the need for everything to be tidy with so many people in such a small space than it does needing to "impress" anyone... so here it goes:
  • dishes (always dishes to be done... but not many this morning so it shouldn't take long)
  • clean bathroom thoroughly (with so many people using it all day it should at least start sparkly)
  • completely clear kitchen table (this one is tricky as I don't know where to put some of the stuff)
  • bake bread
  • clear desk (same situation as kitchen table) ~ Done!
  • stow anything that we won't need in the next week while people are everywhere :)
  • Updated: finish laundry and fold everything (includes making bed with clean sheets)
  • Updated: straighten bedroom

Ok... so it is only 6 bullet points, but it really is 100 things... and the more I can get done while DS is napping the better... oh, and did I mention that we are leaving to get my mom from the airport at 2? Yeah... I gotta go get started!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ice Storm Fall Out ~ Part 1

I said I would have pictures and stories... so here they are (though there are more stories than pictures).

This weekend weather reports were calling for a Nor'easter (a very cold storm coming from the North East that usually dumps lots of snow). In the last hours before it started we began wondering if it was going to miss us... and in fact, we got no snow! Very sad for me! We did however get quite the ice storm. The worst one we've had since I've lived here!

Sunday morning we received the call from our Sunday School teacher that church was canceled... not because of road conditions as we expected, but because there was no power at the church! Looking out the window we could understand. There was ice covering everything!

I wish I'd taken more pictures... but things were a little hectic once things got rolling!

We took the morning slow, enjoying the time with DH's dad who had come for the weekend. While they played with the baby I decided to work on some things. I started a couple loads of laundry and made plans to work on my snowman quilt so we can actually use it this year!

Around 11:30 everything changed! I was getting something out of the refrigerator when the "earthquake" like sounds/feelings started. I turned just in time to see the tree fall on our house! Here are a couple pictures of the damage!

Fortunately, our landlord returned (from being out of town) that afternoon. He informed us that this is an extra roof and the actual trailer we live in wasn't damaged... so no concern of weather getting inside! :) Praise the Lord! These two pictures were taken after the tree removal. Our landlord and DH worked to get it down.

Crazy!

More to come with Power outage stories!

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Bad News ~ My CVS Experience this week

I feel the need to share this with all you ladies who have been shopping the CVS deals with me all these months. The deals weren't great this week, but there were a few things I went to get. I had with me my $2/$10 coupons, a $4/$20 that printed out at the register last week, and a stack of ECBs. I had mapped out my shopping trip on 3x5 cards like I do every week (each transaction gets it's own card. On that card I write which items I am purchasing [and how many], how much it is if I know, and how many ECBs it should generate. I also include a list of the coupons [in order of use] I will use for that transaction.)

After picking up everything I had gone for (except the vial of Tylenol, that was out of stock) I waited in line behind a man who was unhappy and struggling with the cashier (a cashier I have found pleasant in all my dealings with him). I overheard mention of coupon problems and a new policy. "Hmmm... I wonder what they mean by new policy," I thought to myself.

When it was my turn I asked about it. I was pleasant (trying to give the poor cashier a more pleasant transaction than the one I had just witnessed) and simply asked my questions... assuring him that I simply wanted to know so I could do it right in the future. I, too, required the help of the manager as we walked through my transactions.

So here is the scoop... apparently they are no longer letting you stack CVS coupons as they did before. If you want to use a CVS $4/$20 coupon and a CVS $2/$10 coupon in the same transaction, you must be purchasing at least $30 worth of products! (This seems to apply to printed Internet coupons and printed receipt coupons together.) Does that make sense? Apparently CVS has noticed that they are loosing money and jobs are at stake here. The computers will no longer do it for you.

Unfortunately the CVS workers felt the need to blame us (the consumer) for the whole thing. They kept clarifying that if we would just use the coupons the way they say to use them we will be fine. I checked my $2/$10 coupon when I got home and noticed that it simply says "Limit one coupon per customer." Our understanding until now is that if the code is different, another CVS coupon should be fine. That is obviously no longer true. They also pointed out to me that they can "no longer just take everything we give them like they used to" (implying that we are trying to slip something past them). I chose not to point out that it is the computers job to double check things like that (or I didn't think of it until later... I'm not good in confrontational moments). Regardless... the computer is doing it's job now.

Does this mean deals at CVS are no longer any good? I don't think so. We certainly won't be able to save as much as we were, but I think we can still live frugally before the Lord with the opportunities he helps us to find.

Have any of you had similar situations with this? I would love to know!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And God said... Let there be light!

It seems my God ordained Blog Break is over! As is my break from vacuuming! I never thought I would be so looking forward to being able to vacuum! My last word about losing power held true for 3 whole days! I have had power back now a little less than an hour! This being true, I am not going to take much time right now to post (I really want to vacuum!) I will be posting (hopefully this evening), with pictures and all, about our adventuresome Sunday and some little stories of the last few days! God is gracious and truly does take care of us better than any of us deserves!

Thanks for your prayers! I hope to get caught up with you all soon!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Power's out again!

Power's out... we just watched a tree fall and take out all the power etc lines next door. DH called to let the power company know where it was (so they wouldn't have to search for it) and they have a recording saying they are too busy to take calls... call back later. That leaves me to believe it will be out for a LONG while! :) Typing on the little amount of battery back up remaining! Signing off now till power is back on.

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Earthquake?

I am from southern California, so what usually causes something like this... (note crooked picture)is an earthquake! I'll admit... from my personal experience, my first thought was "earthquake?!?" My heart beat fast and I got a little panicky... just like I would in an earthquake... only at the same time, I was thinking, "we don't have earthquakes here!" I was very confused. Then it hit me... well, us.

Yep, we really did get hit!

Praise the Lord no one was hurt, and as you can tell by the absence of an indoor picture, it hasn't done any inside damage yet. DH and FIL (father in law) headed out (on the crazy tree covered roads) to Home Depot for a tarp to keep the rest of the rain, ice and snow out of the hole in our roof. (You can see it a little in the picture from the front yard.)

We've called and left a note for our landlord (who lives next door), but haven't heard from him yet. While our church was canceled today (do to a complete lack of power), apparently other churches fared better through the nights ice storm.

I have to admit... this is the most brutal winter I've been through yet... and isn't today actually the first official day of winter???

I hope all of you are faring better than we are! Still, we have learned that we are among the few with power (so far... though there is lots of flickering!) in our area (praise the Lord for the heat we still have), and we are feeling very blessed by His presence, protection, and provision! I still hear the sounds of other branches falling around us... but we know these three things will continue!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Gift Idea ~ 2 for the price of 1!

Looking for Christmas gift ideas that won't end up in the bottom of a closet or on the shelf at Goodwill? I found this today through another blog and, though we may not do it this year, I wanted to share it with as many of you as possible! Check it out... yummy jams, jellies and the like can help provide for hungry children around the world!

Prices I've seen are really great! :)

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Company... first installment!

My father in law will be here this afternoon and is staying until Tuesday morning! What a fun treat! Living far from family I am always blessed and excited when someone travels to see and play with our little boy! :) I know they want to see us too, but I get most excited for DS to get to know his grandparents etc! Unfortunately my mother in law has difficulty traveling because of her back and won't be joining him this time!

DH and I are blessed to get along well with each other's parents! I know in large part it is because we each know we are accepted unconditionally by all! My parents love DH and DH's parents love me! It is no secret. In addition to being loved, none of them try to tell us how to live, nor do they put expectations on us based on their own opinions. They offer advice and help when we ask, and love us through whatever!

For any of you reading this with children in laws of your own... take note! Not all of the strain on "in-law" relationships is up to you, but you can make them so much smoother by just loving and accepting that person your child has married! Love them as God does... whether they deserve it or not! :)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Frugal Stocking ideas! ~ One Way I'm Saving Big!

Just a quick tip! :) In search of stocking stuffer ideas (for all my Christmas guests), I took Kacie's advice and did a quick (nothing written down though) inventory of my CVS stock. I found a number of things that could work quite well! :) I can't tell you what they are though because some of those people actually ready my blog! Crazy!

Each item I'm giving was part of another super savings ~ each item was free or almost free! Now, I'm finding another use for them, and saving again!

Visit Frugal Friday for more tips! Or Super Savings Saturday for more savings!

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Add more water to the soup... company's coming!

Ok, so I don't know if soup's even on the menu (though that is a great way to stretch a meal if you do find out about last minute company), but we found out yesterday that we may have the joy of adding several more guests to our Christmas season over the next couple weeks!

We have known for several months that we would have the joy of my mom's company for her entire 2 week Christmas break! This was a very exciting announcement as she lives all the way across the country in Oregon and has only gotten to see the baby a few times since his birth last December! Add to her my sister, who is living and in Graduate School in the DC/Virginia area, off and on as she can around her work schedule! We are hoping to have her here most of the actual Christmas Eve/Christmas days!

New to the roster... My father in law may be able to come, either this weekend or next weekend (keep in mind that my mom gets here next Friday). We are very excited about this and really hope he can make it. We knew it might be a possibility for him to come... and now my mom is hoping he will be here at the same time she is... she loves opportunity to see my inlaws! :)

After all that, we got a call from my husband's brother last night informing him that he and his wife (who is expecting) are hoping to come for Christmas! They will stay in a guest house nearby most likely, but would spend most of their days with us!

Wow... so much with so little prep time! Thankfully I've been working on the house! And thankfully, because we've been saving so much on our grocery budget as of late (we haven't changed our official budget of $300+ per month yet, though we still spend closer to $40 a week) we do have the extra in that budget to feed more people last minute!

Still... crazy! I'm looking forward to having this opportunity to be hostess to so many! :) If any of you have suggestions of how we can pamper our guests in a fun yet frugal way... I'm all ears! One thing is for sure... I need stocking stuffers for 2 more! :)

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Power's back!

Thank you to all who prayed for our power outage... thankfully it came back sometime in the night! :) I was able to sleep easy knowing my baby boy wouldn't get too cold!

When Something is Enough

It seems to me that you don't always have to accomplish everything you set out to accomplish to count your day successful. Sometimes, just doing something is enough! Yesterday's to do list was by no means long, nor one that seemed overly difficult to accomplish. Yet I never did make it into the bedroom (except to move things from other places in the house). Dinner was ready by six, but DH ran to test drive a car "real quick", so it didn't really matter. :) Oh, and all the bread I made yesterday flopped (the loaf I made to go around my meatloaf was still edible and I may try to make bread crumbs out of the flattened wheat loaf).

What did I get done? I made some progress on the kitchen table.

This is it before... though,
when I started yesterday it was much worse...
there was no place to sit and eat or anything!

And after...

Ok, so it's not perfect. I could have easily cleared a few more
that don't belong before snapping the picture... but the point is
that this is still WAY better than yesterday!

So what is my overall point? I may not have accomplished everything I set out to yesterday morning, but I got something done! If I had never put the kitchen table on my to do list, I may have never started. There are plenty of other things calling for my time each moment (DS is only one of them), but because I made this table my goal yesterday, anything I got done is a blessing to me and my family!

I am hoping this encourages you too! Make goals... and try to work toward them... but if all you get through is one stack of papers, you've done something! If all you do is make enough room to eat at tonight on your kitchen table, you've taken a step in the right direction! If all you do is clear a path to your bed before bedtime tonight, that is one more thing you don't have to do tomorrow! Don't beat yourself up over the things you don't accomplish today! Give glory to God for what he helped you to accomplish today!... then pick it back up tomorrow!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Power's Out! :(

I have just a few minutes of battery on my battery back up, but I wanted to let you know that our power just went out. We assume it is from the ice storm that has been here all day. I thought we were free... but apparently not. So... I will be off line until it comes back. Hopefully we can make do without the electricity tonight. That means lights... and heat! I know little ones are resilient... but it could get cold tonight... I hope my baby boy doesn't get too cold.

Anyway... my thoughts and prayers are with all of you who are going through the same thing... and perhaps have been for several days!

Blessings!

Make Your Home a Haven: Day 8

It is still almost noon as I get around to posting, but I have gotten a number of things done today already! :) I'm in the middle of my morning routine, and will tackle that next (after this post!) I did want to get my challenge post up before the day was over though! :)

I started my morning with a bowl of cereal and my Bible study. You can read about my time with the Lord on my other blog here. My heart was truly encouraged! I hope you find encouragement for your day as well!

Today's to do list:
  • Make Bread
  • clear kitchen table (no small feat!)
  • tackle a corner of our bedroom!
  • maintain order in the rest of the house
  • have dinner ready by 5:30-6! (Friend coming for dinner if the ice that is accumulating everywhere doesn't prevent her! ~ it's so pretty though... crazy that it can be so destructive!)

Yesterday was a good day! I accomplished all three things on my to do list! I'm thinking that if I keep today simple I may make it happen too! :) In addition to all of yesterdays to do list items, I also had the dishes done before bed and DH told me I was doing a good job keeping the kitchen up! I am thankful that he knows how hard I am trying... I think he appreciates that even more than the finished product! I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband! Thank you God!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seeing Progress one Corner at a Time

Well, this has been a week of craziness! I don't so much feel like I'm crazy busy, but because I've had appointments/ responsibilities outside my home almost every morning this week so far, I feel like I don't have time to accomplish the things I want. Yesterday I sat down for the first time to go over my day (you know the planning stage) at noon... and today it's almost 3! This morning I had my pregnancy glucose test (the one where I have to chug glucose and then sit in the waiting room for an hour before they take my blood). Fun! Then I ran to CVS... if I ever have time again I will tell you about my fun (no money spent) trip there. Then to the post office to mail a few things (Lesha, your cookbook should be there by the end of next week media mail!)

Finally home at 11:30, I fed the baby a "snack" the size of a meal, let him play a few minutes while I did something small, then put him down to his nap. Just as I was getting ready to do the dishes (not many of them because I have been keeping up), DH called to see what was for lunch. I am always so happy when he chooses to come home and eat with me. Most days he has an invitation to go out to eat on someone else's dollar, and today was not different! But he chose to come home and eat with me. It is always nice to have him home in the middle of the day, but having not accomplished anything yet today, my day got an even later start. I did get the dishes washed before making his lunch though, so if nothing else happens today, at least that was done. :) Oh, and of course I spent time with the Lord this morning!

Still to do today (my somewhat realistic goals):
  • wrap all Christmas gifts for DH's work friends and their families
  • Package portrait orders for delivery or pick-up (we got a shipment this afternoon)
  • have dinner ready by 5

If there is time, I would also like to make up a batch of sugar cookie dough to stick in the fridge, but with DS waking up sometime soon, I'm being realistic! :) Oh, and if I can have the kitchen sparkly again after doing all that, that would make my night!

Speaking of sparkly... I told you I got before pictures... and I have conquered one corner of my kitchen... so here are before and after pictures of that!



I didn't get to the toaster oven... so it's not sparkly yet, but everything else is great! I even got up a rust ring on the counter from a can of formula that ended up sitting in water (dumb leaky dish drainer!)

Anyway... on to today's list! :) Have a great day!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making My Home a Haven ~ Day 7 (Recovery Part 2)

Nope, I'm not skipping out on today's challenge! Just a little behind. We had to run out this morning for immunizations and that turned into one thing after another and we just got home... at noon! So... needless to say, my morning routine isn't done yet, tonight's dinner isn't started, and I'm running behind in everything else. I did take the time to spend time with the Lord this morning! Praise the Lord for that habit! Now I will start everything else! :)

For my personalized part of today's challenge, I'm going to finish what I started yesterday! I got lots done, but didn't finish! So today is day 2 of yesterday! Items remaining on my to do list?:
  • Finish Dishes (Most of them were done, there are just a few pans and last night's dinner dishes left) ~ Done
  • Declutter kitchen (living room is pretty much done except for the toys that are out yet again!)
  • Iron
  • Wash Sheets (I did get 2 loads done yesterday, but still have those sheets)

So much better than yesterday's list! It will feel so much better to have it all ship shape. IF there is time, and I get everything decluttered, I may even bring out more Christmas decorations! :)

I did get those before pictures yesterday, so I'll try to get the before and afters up when I'm done. :)

Join us over at Biblical Womanhood!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Recipe ~ Crustworthy Meatloaf

I don't know where this recipe originated, but it is the only meatloaf I can ever remember my mom making growing up (even before I liked it). As an adult, I learned to love! it. Now, since I've been married, it is one of our favorite recipes... and it's really pretty simple. I'm not sure why we don't have it more often!

Here is the recipe:

Crustworthy Meatloaf

1 loaf frozen bread dough
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 ½ c. soft bread crumbs
1 8oz. jar Cheese Whiz
¾ c. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

1. Thaw bread dough in fridge overnight, covered. Bring to room temp.**
2. Reserve 1 Tbsp. egg for glaze.
3. Combine remaining ingredients. Put in loaf pan and bake at 350˚ for 45 min. Drain.
4. Press dough into bottom of greased cookie sheet. Place loaf in center of dough.
5. Cut 6 strips in each side of dough and criss-cross over top.
6. Brush dough with reserved egg.
7. Return to oven and bake 20 min.

Micro instructions: Micro loaf on high for 20 min., wrap and bake in traditional oven for 20 min.

** Bread can be defrosted in micro—follow package directions.

Note:
  • I make my own bread dough in the bread machine (1 lb. loaf seems to work great)
  • I greased my cookie sheet with butter (this helps greatly with both serving and clean-up)
  • I used to mix/kneed the beef mixture by hand and it works but is messy... recently I have found that I can mix it with a wooden spoon and it works great (I don't even have to take off my rings!)
  • We use venison in place of beef
  • Don't loose heart if your meatloaf falls apart when you transfer it. I've never had it stay together yet (though this time I was able to put it back together more beautifully than ever before). It still tastes great... and the bread really holds it together!

DH took a couple pictures for me... but the memory card it's on is missing at the moment. I will update this post with pictures when I find it! :)

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MPM ~ Our Weekly Menu

This week's menu...
  • Tuesday ~ Lazy Lasagna Chili, bread (from last weeks plans... for whatever reason, this got replaced, so I already have the ingredients and everything!)
  • Wednesday ~ Chicken Alfredo over pasta (we don't have fettuchini noodles, but we have a bunch of other kinds so I will just pick one from the pantry)
  • Thursday ~ Crustworthy Meatloaf, Veggies, Mashed Potatoes (no, I didn't skip this one again! We have a friend coming for dinner and she requested this recipe... good news is the only ingredients I ever have to buy for this come enough for a double recipe... so I have these ingredients already too!)
  • Friday ~ Chicken 'n' Rice, Salad
  • Saturday ~ Homemade Pizza
  • Sunday ~ Church Christmas Party!
  • Monday ~ Pancakes, eggs, sausage or bacon

Hope my menu can be an encouragement. Oh... I'll post that recipe for the meatloaf today too! Check it out!

Visit MPM for more inspiration!

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Making My Home a Haven ~ Day 6 (Recovery!)

I have a huge list of things to accomplish today... but I am feeling really inspired to do them! As part of Crystal's Making your Home a Haven Challenge I have already refreshed my spirit with time devoted to God's word. It may have only been a few minutes, but it has challenged me to focus on the God-ness of God today! Pick your own verse or verses to meditate on during your chores today! :)

I did parts of my morning routine (the parts I didn't do are the parts of my home that are out of control and are on my project list for today), but I am dressed to the shoes (ok... they are slippers, but rubber soled slippers so I can go outside on a moment's notice ~ these are warmer!)

My to do list: (hmmm... stolen by baby...)
  • Do all dishes (from the whole weekend!)
  • Take out all trash (I will do a run through of the house, emptying all trash cans and gathering all little and big trash that is just around)
  • Laundry (at least 2 full loads ~ clothes for DH and DS and a load of bed sheets)
  • Iron
  • Store baby bottles and such for next baby
  • Meal Plan
  • Grocery list
  • Business work
  • Declutter/organize main rooms

We had a really busy weekend (I'll share that later if I am feeling accomplished or needing a rest), so the house seems like a mobile home sized bomb went off. :) I am hoping to really run around and tackle everything. DS seems a little Mommy attached today though, so we may have to confine some of these projects to nap time. :)

Dinner??? Left over Beef Stroganoff (DH's favorite) from the freezer. I always freeze half of it when I make it. DH likes it even better when we eat the frozen batch! :) All I'll have to do tonight is whip up some rice and a salad. :)

On with the day! Join us over at Biblical Womanhood for the Challenge!

I'll try to get some before pictures! :)

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

And the winner is...

Lesha was the very first person to enter this contest, and our number generator says she is the winner!!!

Send me an email Lesha with your address and I will get this shipped out Monday! I hope you find lots of yummy holiday recipes for your family and gatherings!

Congratulations!

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Busy Morning ~ Bookcase makeover... free!

It's been a real busy morning! Don't get me wrong... it is a good thing! Usually I have stopped to post here and read a few blogs before DH even leaves for work. Today we got a later start than normal... which means the baby was awake before I was out of bed. :( Oh well... but nap time was very productive!

So... a frugal tip? And a Make your Home a Haven post? I can do it... I didn't think I'd be able to, but I've got just the thing... I just wish I had a before picture for you!

How much does it cost to make over a little corner of your home, bringing a smile to your face? Nothing! This morning, with the knowledge that my house is still struggling with a clutter virus, I decided to pick one little place that has been making me crazy. At first I was simply going to organize the mess so it didn't look as bad when clients arrived at 1 (yeah... clients... not good to have the house a mess!) But then inertia kicked in and I just couldn't stop myself. Before long I was picturing it all clean with a little hint of Christmas in the place of the mess that was there before!

Ok... so a mental word picture of my bookcase before... Stuff everywhere, the 2 framed pictures (one from our wedding and the other from the first day we moved in here) were pushed way back to make room for the clutter. Rubber bands, cord ties, memory cards, batteries, etc were everywhere (as were a bunch of little choking hazard type things we stuck there out of reach). An OLD can of Texaco oil we tried to sell on ebay sat next to the digital camera and the video camera bag (the video camera was on my desk across the room). On the next shelf up were so many books that many of them were laying on top of the properly shelved ones and papers were shoved here and there. Do you have a mental picture?

So I cleaned it all up, got rid of the things I didn't want to be there anymore, moved the frames until after Christmas is over, and dusted. Then I put some of DS's "needs supervision" books in there and added one of my favorite snow man decorations... here is my after picture! :)

This little bookcase makeover was free! It makes me smile... and it will certainly bless my husband (who hates clutter!)! And... at least one corner of my home is ready enough to have a Christmas decoration in it!

For more frugal tips and Making your Home a Haven Challenge visit Crystal's Blog!

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

One more reminder!

Don't forget... tomorrow, Friday, is the last day to enter my giveaway!!!

My "I did it" list!

I am thankful to the Lord for our returned water! I got it back very late in the morning, but in enough time to get the dishes done and more laundry started! My house doesn't look like anything special yet (as the kitchen table is still piled with things and toys lay about the living room), but I did get a good bit done today! Here is my accomplishment's list... I'll try to keep it updated if I do anymore tonight. :)
  • Dishes
  • Made Homemade Bread (we don't buy bread anymore and we were out... now I can make sandwiches again.) :)
  • Folded all laundry (this was 2 big loads)
  • Switched laundry to dryer and started a new load (right now both slip covers are in... one in the dryer and the other in the washer waiting for the dryer to finish.)
  • Some clutter clearing (though there is plenty more)
  • Played with my baby boy (he is so big... we sat in the hall for a while and rolled his big ball around!)
  • Fed DS real meals (today is the first day without bottles or formula... eeek, that leaves all his nutrition up to me now! I will be posting about this soon!)
  • Some resting/blog reading (I started my day feeling weird... so I decided to take it easy!)
  • Prepared a "real" dinner... The famous (only because I keep saying I'm going to make it and don't) Crustworthy Meatloaf (recipe and pictures when it's done). It's actually in the oven! :)
  • An hour of business work
  • Birthday and Christmas Portraits of DS (DH and I did this this evening together... now we will settle in for a movie together!)

I'm sure there is more... check back for whatever else I finish if you are interested. :)

Blessings!

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Make your Home a Haven: Day 4 (and report from day 3)

Sigh... ok, so I didn't get many of yesterday's plans done. For those of you who didn't hear about what happened yesterday, DS and I were in a tiny car accident in the snow. Neither of us were hurt (aside from the burn on my wrist from the airbag), but being 26 weeks pregnant standard protocol calls for me to be monitored 6 hours at the hospital birth place. Unfortunately that didn't even start until nearly 6 hours after the accident.

My day began with an OB appointment (a regular one and everything was fine). Then DS and I drove back across town to meet DH at church for a funeral. The roads were kept up nicely in the snow, but the church parking lot was really slippery and our tires and my lack of snow driving experience just couldn't handle it. Instead of making the left curve in the driveway, we just kept going straight into the curb. Thankfully we weren't going fast, but we hit the curb (bending the frame or something and deploying the airbags). I decided to leave the car and walk the rest of the way up the driveway and through the parking lot to get my husband out of the funeral. I didn't get to be there for any of the funeral as, by the time we finished checking and moving the car and talking to the insurance company (as well as deciding if I was really ok or not) the whole thing was over.

Still we needed to decide if I needed to be seen by the doctor or not (since I felt fine), but by the time we called the doctor, they were just closed for lunch. Sigh! By the time I could call them again after 1, DH was expecting car and insurance people to call right back... so I waited. An hour later no one had called back, so I made my call. A half hour later they called back to say I should be seen and monitored for 6 hours at the Birthplace. It took another hour or two to get a car to use and find someone to stay with DS.

Needless to say, I didn't accomplish much yesterday. In the few hours I had in the afternoon I was wandering around doing little things while holding an ice pack on my wrist to keep the burn numb. (It's hard to do dishes or much else like that.)
The doctors said that I am fine though and didn't even make me stay the whole 6 hours! Praise God.

So... Today's challenge! (Sorry to make you read through all that to get to this)

First off, I did get my time in God's Word! What a nice time that always is!

Much of my to do list is the same as yesterday (though, with the help of DH last night, I did get one load of laundry done and another started). I will be (hopefully) making last night's meatloaf, I still need to do dishes, laundry, unbury my kitchen the rest of the way (and now everything that was in the car before it was towed away is in there too), organize and put away the toys, and bake bread.

Add to this a desire for DS to get a bath and me to get a shower and... wait!

We have no water again! A neighbor up the street says she has water, but I haven't heard from our landlord next door. They must have been out early this morning, so hopefully they will call back soon!

Ok... this changes things... I won't do the dishes, or the laundry, or the bath, or the shower (DH took his showering things to the office to get ready there). I can still work on decluttering, but todays plan of tackling the bathroom is on hold too. :) Evidentally God has more creative ways for me to bless my home this week... I'm looking forward to letting you know later what I come up with. :)

Hope you all have plenty of water to do your chores (and your tasks of bathing!) :)

Visit Crystal to be a part of this challenge!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We interupt this program...

I never expected my 100th post to be a quickly (I had plans... not big plans, but plans)... but it is after all. I know some of you are waiting for the next installment of DS's birth story, and others of you are waiting to hear about my pile of laundry (still in its pile form I'm afraid!), but I wanted to let you know it will have to wait until tomorrow. No dinner got started, the house isn't clean, etc.

I was in a very minor accident this morning (I still love snow... I just don't like driving in it!). The roads were fine, but the church parking lot was a little more slippery than I could handle. I slipped into the curb (going not very fast), but the airbags deployed (burning my arm ~ ouch!). I wasn't worried about anything... then when I finally heard back from my OB, she said standard protocol is to go into the hospital for 6 hours of monitoring to make sure the placenta is fine and all. Now I'm only a little worried. Every time my baby girl kicks though I am reassured that God watches over us! :)

Anyway... just a quick word to say I'm fine, but please pray for us... and I'll be back tomorrow (it'll be a late night for us tonight!)

Yey... lots of kicking all of a sudden... that can only be a good sign!

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Making Your Home a Haven: Day 3!

I can honestly say that without yesterday's Making Your Home a Haven Challenge, I don't think I would have ever accomplished all I did... and I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it in the right attitude! (As it was I was working on my heart a couple times.) In the end I did accomplish everything (including the bed sheets getting washed) in the little time I had. And... thank you to Crystal for reminding us that we need to be flexible with our to do list and schedule. When my husband came home and ended up taking an extended lunch hour to spend time with me, I kept thinking of all the things I wasn't accomplishing, but instead of shewing him out the door or working around him, I sat and spent the time he was wanting with him! It was a blessed time... and I still got everything done, even without that hour plus!

Well, today is DAY 3!

Step 1: Quiet time... what a great study today. I am learning about finding satisfaction in God alone... and how everything else is seeking idols! What a great reminder Ecclesiastes gives us about striving after the things of this world!

Morning Routine done... and without the reminder today. Well...sort of. I knew the reminder would be there when I turned on my computer, so I did it first! :)

Step 2: Planning! My list for today:
  • write thank yous for DS's birthday gifts!
  • un-bury kitchen
  • dishes
  • put away "baby" toys and organize new toys
  • clean up front facing car seat (since I can use it now!)
  • make Homemade Bread!
  • start dinner

Oh, dinner is Crustworthy Meatloaf! Look for the recipe later today! Yum!

Step 3: Do something! Today is a focus on the laundry area! I'll post a picture of my mountain later.


Before I can get to all this though I have an OB appointment this morning, followed by a funeral to attend... then back home and back to work!

Have a great day!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Free Pampered Chef Recipes!

I never thought I would have so much trouble giving something away FREE! Come on ladies (friends, family and stranger alike)... the odds are really good for you so far this week to win the Pampered Chef Celebrate Cookbook! Enter here!

A year ago today... part 1

For those of you who know me on a personal level... you know that I can be a bit long winded. Well... I wanted to post on my memories of the birth of my son, but since this is the first time I've ever really written the story down... it is a bit lengthy. I'm still not quite done and I'm well into the 3rd page. So... here is the first installment! Keep posted for more over the next 24ish hours. :)
__________________

Today my little boy is 1 year old! It is truly amazing how much can change in one years time. Some days flew by, while others stretched until I didn’t think they would ever end. What is really crazy, is to think about where I was one year ago today. I actually started thinking about this last night as we lay down to go to sleep. My mind reeled with all the memories.

I was set to be induced Monday morning at 7 am, December 4th. My little baby was one week overdue and I was very uncomfortable! :) My husband's parents and brother had come into town to be with us (since they could know when we were having the baby) and we had a lovely weekend with them ~ such a help around the house in my final days too!

DH and I went off to church Sunday evening for the much needed final practice before the children’s choir did their special number the following week. I would not be a part of that performance (even though I wrote the song and had been the one to teach them and help them through all the practices) the following week, so several parents had volunteered to learn it and lead the kids in their performance. Basically, I HAD to be there to teach the parents what to do and help the kids one more time. :)

It was between 6:30 and 7 when we moved into the music room to practice the song with the kids, and it was at that same time that I had my first contraction. I didn’t say anything to anyone because DH and I had spent several evenings counting minutes between contractions in the past few weeks just to go to bed after they had stopped. I didn’t even pay attention to how often they were happening (a number of times over the next hour of practice). I did get a chair to sit on when I needed it… but mostly I pressed on.

At home that evening (around 8ish) we had a quick dinner, cleaned up and sat down to play games. I was stopping every now and then to get through a contraction (still not telling anyone). They noticed a few times, but I said I was fine and we kept playing. It really was fun!

Around 11, we decided to head to bed (them in our bed and us on the air mattress in the baby’s room [note: don’t ever sleep on an air mattress when you could be in labor… VERY difficult to get up the 1000 times I did that evening]). Kitchen timer in hand, I finally told DH as we settled under the covers that I had been having contractions for several hours. We monitored them together for a while, but finally decided that I would continue trying to sleep/monitoring them, while he took out his contacts and tried to sleep for a while. He would need at least an hour without contacts to be able to put them in again to get us to the hospital if we had to go… so at midnight he took them out and went to sleep.

I would have loved to have slept! Every 3-7 minutes, though, I was having another contraction. I wasn’t supposed to call the doctor until they had been every 5 minutes for an HOUR! Yeah… just before 1 a.m. I decided to call. The nice man at the service said he would page my doctor on call and to call him back if I didn’t hear from her in 15 minutes. It really would have been great if I had paid attention to what time it was when he said that, but alas, no. It’s amazing how hard it is to pay attention to the passing of time when you are in labor (note the reason for the kitchen timer… but it was being used for other things just then). Finally I decided to start the 15 minutes over… and after what was officially more than 15 minutes I called again… and he said the same thing. After another 10 minutes the phone rang. I explained everything and the doctor said I should come in and they’d check everything out. Sigh!

To be continued...

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Make Your Home a Haven: Day 2

Except when removed (repeatedly) by DH, this teddy
sits here on the chest in our living room.

Day 2! Well, other than the fact that I did establish a morning routine yesterday (and did it this morning... well, after Crystal's encouragement), nothing else really seemed done (if you remember, the wind foiled my cleaning). But that is ok... because the point is more that I got out there and did something!
So today... I woke up and spent some time in my Bible Study (we are learning about being satisfied in Christ alone this week! Great stuff!) and ate breakfast. We are to be making tea or something and cozying in to our quiet time, but too much liquid makes me sick in the morning, so I eat my Cheerios while I do my study and prayer. :)
I did my morning routine!
I sat down and did my planning (according to today's challenge) and made my to do list! The list is very party related, as I have left everything it seems to the last minute. This was not my intention. In fact, my intention was to be so prepared and on top of things that today was really easy! Somehow it snuck up on me! So I was up at 7 this morning mixing cupcakes! For some of you who have been up a couple hours already by that time that isn't anything big... but DH and I are usually dragging out of bed sometime after 8:30 most mornings. This morning however I was laying in bed rehearsing in my mind all the things I have to have done today by 1ish this afternoon (when I head over to set up the party), so I decided to just get out of bed. Here's my list...
  • Finish baking cupcakes ~ Done!
  • Start laundry (sheets) ~ Done!
  • Bake cookies (from previously frozen batter) ~ Done!
  • gather party supplies and snacks (still looking for other snack ideas... anyone?) ~ Done!
  • Give baby a bath! ~ Done!
  • Frost Cupcakes (this can be done at the party site!)

So why am I sitting here blogging??? Devotion to the blog? Dedication to this Challenge? Perhaps it's that I'm letting one batch of cupcakes cool a minute and I've been up for 2 hours and am already tired! :)

The "Do Something" part of today's challenge is in the living room...
I am thankful that just the other day (when getting all our new furniture) I did a deep clean vacuuming with baseboard cleaning and everything. So today (if there is time) I would love to dust and do a quick vacuuming! :) Thankfully, because straitening the living room is part of my morning routine, that is pretty much done (until DS wakes up and toys are everywhere again. :)

Have I mentioned yet that today is DS's FIRST Birthday! :) I'm sure I'll make time to post on that later... I have a huge desire to sit and reflect on this day last year! Hopefully there will be time... then I can post on it! :)

Back to work!

Join us in the challenge!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Challenge #1 Update

For Day 1 of the Make Your Home a Haven Challenge we were supposed to tackle our entryways... go outside, step into the house with fresh eyes and fix it up a bit. Well... since my "entryway" is my kitchen/dining area/living room, I decided to back up a bit more and tackle my front porch. Here is a before picture:
Now... if I had really done a thorough job with this I would have scrubbed the side of our home and washed the lattice... but since this was to be a 5-15 minute project (and it was 35 degrees and really windy) I opted to sweep and hang a decoration on the door. :) The after picture:
Sadly... you can barely tell I did anything. :) I had just finished sweeping every leaf off that porch and stood feeling really great about how it looked when a big whirlwind of a gust brought a bunch more leaves onto my freshly swept steps. (Apparently spitting into the wind isn't the only thing you aren't supposed to do.) :) Here is a picture of my little door wreath! Isn't it cute??? It was a hand me down from special friends we have here. :)
Can't wait until tomorrow's challenge... hopefully it will bring me inside. :)
By the way... my little boy will be one year old tomorrow! Can you believe how fast time flies? I can't! There were several things I have been planning to accomplish before tomorrow (washing the front facing car seat, washing the used toy we bought him for his birthday) and somehow it has snuck up on me! I guess I have lots to do tomorrow!
Any idea about some snacks I can serve (with things on hand) to the guests coming to the party tomorrow night. I have a few things, but I'm on a zero budget for the party and this has snuck up on me too! :(

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December Giveaway Reminder


Don't forget to enter for a chance to win my December Giveaway!

MPM ~ Our Weekly Menu

It is my DS's birthday week!!! I just can't believe it!

This weeks menu:
  • Tuesday ~ DS's 1st Birthday Party... we are pretty much going to fake it. With snacks and cake, we can just fill in the holes after the party.

  • Wednesday ~ Crustworthy Meatloaf... this one fell off the list this past week due to hunting season and all the craziness that kept us from grocery shopping till Wednesday. We're going to try again. :) I'll get you the recipe this week! It is the best meatloaf I've ever had!

  • Thursday ~ Lazy Lasagna Chili... a great Pampered Chef Recipe we really enjoy with Italian Sausage, zucchini, pasta, etc... yum! (I'll be packing half of this up to take to one of the families in our church needing a meal this week.) Couple this with Homemade Bread and Salad.

  • Friday ~ Grilled Chicken... yes, I am typing this while watching snowflakes fall from the sky, but DH and I love grilled food, and he doesn't mind the cold... so out he goes to grill dinner. :)

  • Saturday ~ Homemade Pizza using this recipe. I'm thinking I may put it together Friday because Saturday is a really full day! Then I only have to preheat and pop it in the oven for dinner Saturday... this should ensure not faking it or ordering out after our crazy Saturday activities!

  • Sunday ~ leftovers... one of those fun meals should leave something left over!
That's my schedule! We'll see how it goes!
For more menu ideas visit MPM!

Have a great week!

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Making Your Home a Haven Challenge: Day 1

Crystal, over at one of my favorite blogs, is hosting a challenge to make our homes a haven for our families! As soon as she mentioned it last week I knew I was in on it! All I need is a little encouragement (and a team to walk the road with me) and I'm there! Ahhhh, an opportunity to focus for a couple weeks on making my home what I always wish it were! :)

Part of today's focus is to make a morning routine for ourselves! I used to do this, and have tried to do it again in the last year or two, but it doesn't seem to work for me anymore. Well... try and try again! Here is mine:
  • Breakfast (this really needs to be the first thing I do in the mornings or I'm sick! (I love the babies way more than the pregnancy!) :)
  • Bible Study (In case you get the wrong idea about my level of spirituality, I am going through a Beth Moore study that takes only 5-10 minutes each day ~ more than that and I feel as though I have bit off more than I can chew these days... so start small!)
  • Put dishes away (without a dishwasher they just hang out on my counter all day till I do this)
  • Straiten Living Room and Kitchen (in a perfect world this will be part of my evening routine one day too... but since that NEVER happens, it fits here)
  • Brush hair and teeth (maybe someday this will reach out to washing my face and putting on real clothes for the day, but I'm starting small.) :)

Well there you have it. I will post later about my entryway (/kitchen, /living room) and my first impressions when I come through the door later this afternoon. I think I hear my little one waking up! :)

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Slip Covers

I just realized something good that has come out of the slip covers we've been hating, I mean using, these last few years! (Don't get me wrong... the slip covers were great... we found denim ones... as the couches God graciously provided free did not match my decorating scheme. We just can't stand using slip covers at all... they get all bunched up all the time!)

Ok, so the nice thing? I'm getting ready to take one of them (the love seat) to church for them to use there and I just realized I don't have to vacuum it out because...

it's had a slipcover over it for it's whole time with us! :)

Ahhhh... one less thing to do today!

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Super Savings Saturday

I've got to tell you ladies... and I'm sorry to say... The savings is not the most exciting part of this weeks purchase! I know... heresy right? The savings is simply the means to getting to have what I got to get! New furniture! See:

Ok, so the chest (in the second picture) is for storing our photography gear (difficult to both live in and run a business from a small home so we got creative), so that is a business expense, but we got it for hundreds of dollars less than the custom one we were going to have built (and it only took the one day to get). The couches, though, we have wanted for more than a year. We spotted them last year around this time (I remember because DH was worried my water would break while we were testing them out ~ TMI??? Sorry!) and loved them. We decided that if they still had them in February we would go back... then decided we didn't "NEED" them, so we waited.

Then... someone pointed out the 20% off entire purchase coupon for Buzz Club members at Big Lots (I'm sorry I don't remember who... I looked to try to find the post I found it in but can't find it anywhere! Thanks to whoever you are!) so I signed us up and we went shopping! We saved $120ish on all this. It still cost just over $500... but I think we did good!

When the rest of the living room is done and rearranged I'll post more pictures!

Visit Money Saving Mom for more Savings this week!

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