Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

May your day be filled with more treats than tricks! 

My way vs Their way---whole wheat spaghetti

Yesterday I wrote about my big revelation that I don't have to do things the way that other bloggers and families do them as some things just don't work for my family.

Last night at dinner was the PERFECT example of how this has been playing out in our household.

I made spaghetti. One of my husband's all time favorite meals that I make (and one of the first meals I made for him when we were dating).

After sitting down to eat, he took a couple bites.

Then the conversation went like this:

Him: "Is this wheat spaghetti?"
Me: "Why?"
Him: "It tastes funny and not like your spaghetti."
Me: "Yes, it is wheat spaghetti. I bought it because it was cheaper with coupons than the regular spaghetti and it is supposed to be healthier for you. And just so you know over the last year I have been making the spaghetti with half regular and half wheat. I just ran out of regular spaghetti."
Him: "I noticed that something was different, but I fi…

Doing it MY way....

Last week something hit me upside the head....

This is a HUGE revelation for me! I have been feeling guilty because I can't get our grocery budget down to $50 a week like it seems all the grocery bloggers that I read can do. I don't have a great organizational or religious convictions to share like so many bloggers that I follow seem to have. I don't prepare extreme healthy, organic meal plans that seem to take forever to prepare. I have been feeling really guilty because I am trying to keep up with the blogging Jones'.

Well it hit me that the deals and things that most bloggers blog about are great, but in reality they are not good for MY family. I DON'T have to prepare organic, complicated recipes to feed my family well. That is  not who we are. I SHOULDN'T feel bad that my family is not doing what other families …

Menu Plan Monday

I did much better last week sticking to our menu plan! YAY ME! I hope to continue this trend. I have also decided to change the way that I go grocery shopping to see if it will help our budget. Instead of buying ahead and trying to stockpile, I am just going to buy what we need for that week. (Now if I find an amazing buy on something I know we use all the time, ie. canned green beans, etc. then I will break my rule). I am finding that I am buying things because it is a good price and only to have it sit in our pantry until I throw it out a year later. That is NO way of saving money and sticking to a budget so we shall see how this goes.

Does anyone else shop this way? Any tips for getting our grocery budget under control?

Now on to this week's menu (which I hope to stick to....)

Sunday: baked marinated chicken, corn, mixed veggies, pasta roni

Monday: Spaghetti with meat sauce

Tuesday: Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, rolls

Wednesday: Grilled cheese and …

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is a very sad memorial day for me and for millions of other women and men around the United States and Canada. Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance movement began in 1988 when then president Ronald Reagan designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. The movement has gained momentum in the 2000's as more and more women and men realize that this is not an isolated group of women. The awareness campaign, originated in the USA, has spread through Canada as well. Unfortunately it is not a world-wide remembrance campaign. In the future I personally hope that that changes.

I have a personal reason for hoping that this changes. I am the mother of a child lost to miscarriage in September 2005.  I am also the mother of a son who was born still into Heaven. Travis Omar was born silently into Heaven on September 21, 2008. That night my heart was shattered, and although time has passed and wounds …

Review: A Whisper of Peace

A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer, invites readers to visit a time in 1898 in the Alaska wilderness. In a time that evokes images of Indian tribes living among the forest regions and sustaining themselves off the land. A time when white missionaries, trappers and gold miners are coming into their regions to earn fortunes or souls for God.

In A Whisper of Peacewe are brought into the story of Lizzie Dawson, an Athabascan Indian, who has been exiled from her tribe because her father was a white man. Lizzie lives not far from the tribe in a remote part of the Alaska forests and has learned to live alone, taking care of her own needs throughout the years. She does have one regret and that is that she wants to make amends with her Indian grandparents, which was her mother's dying wish. However, she does not know how to make amends.

One day she encounters 2 white people walking through the forest on their way to the Athabascan village. Clay Selby and his stepsister, Vivian, are…

Letters of Intent


Dear Jacob,

I am not sure what your fascination is with hitting your sister and pulling her hair. But it is not nice. And I hate having to put you in time out several times a day for doing it. It would make Mommy and Daddy's life so much easier if you just stop hitting and pulling hair. Please?

Love you,


Dear Rebecca,

I am so glad that you are having fun in school and that you are learning so much. Now could you please learn not to tattle all the time at home? Daddy and I are watching Jacob and we know that he is hitting, throwing food, etc. You do not need to tell us or yell at Jacob. That is not your job as big sister!

Love you,


Dear Bill…

Wordless Wednesday: Jacob's Birthday Party

We held Jacob's 2nd birthday party last Saturday and I wanted to share some pictures of the festivities!

His party was a great success! He received a TON of fall/winter clothes for which I am VERY GRATEFUL! He also received some fun toys like his drum set. It was a great day for a special 2 year old little boy!

Happy 2nd Birthday Jacob!

2 years ago today I had my first major surgery. Unlike most surgeries though, I came out of this one with a gift far greater than anything I could have imagined. As my husband likes to say "I had a growth removed. A growth which 2 years later is running around yelling for Mama and Dada and beating up his big sister."

2 years ago I gave birth to my son Jacob. The first few months of his life were rough. He had days and nights mixed up. He was whiny and just had a bad disposition with life. When he was 6 months old he had surgery to fix a hernia and that made all the difference in the world. He was a different child.

Fast forward 2 years, he is now  lively, happy go lucky little boy who loves to play with his sister, is a Mama's boy to the tee, and is crazy funny. His favorite sayings are his own "knock, knock" jokes and he loves to tickle. He also loves to chew on his clothes and to take one arm out of his sleeve most days. He loves Bubble Guppies, Dora and Boo…

Menu Plan

After getting a reality check about our finances (and the fact that our dryer died last night) and needing to do better, I have decided that this week we are doing a pantry challenge. I am going to use what we have here to make food and not go to the store to get anything. We shall see how this goes....

That being said here is what we are eating this week:

Monday: leftover pizza from Jacob's 2nd birthday party

Tuesday: chicken, cheese and stuffing casserole, chicken patties, broccoli

Wednesday: pot roast, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans

Thursday: ham and cheese subs, tator tots

Friday: macaroni and cheese, veggies

Saturday: pork chops, julienne potatoes, corn

Sunday: baked chicken, rice, green beans

For more great menu ideas, please

Keeping your opinion to yourself when you are in someone else's home....

On Saturday we held Jacob's 2nd birthday party here at OUR house. (He won't be 2 until Tuesday, but we had his party early). Well we had a nice turnout.

There was just one downside.

During the party, my in-laws (mother-in-law and father-in-law) basically were bombarding my hubby with questions about whether this baby will be our last baby. They basically are all under the belief that 3 is actually too many children. That we are being irresponsible by having another. That we don't have room or the finances to take care of 3 children, etc. My hubby mentioned that there may be a possibility of me having my tubes tied or of him having a vasectomy because we are on the fence about whether we want any more children or not. He said that he may have the vasectomy since they are easier to reverse if we decide to try for more in a few years. Well that was NOT acceptable to my Mother-in-law. She would not drop the subject. She basically INSISTED that this be our last child and that…

I guess I just don't understand....

On Sunday morning, my sister-in-law gave birth to my new nephew at a hospital about 5 minutes from my house. (actually she gave birth in the van on the way to the hospital, but that is a different story). My mom was taking care of my brother and sister-in-laws other 2 children at their trailer about 20 minutes away. That night Bill, the kids and I went up to see my brother, sis-in-law and new nephew--who is adorable by the way!. I didn't think anything about my parents not visiting them or anything. I just assumed that they had.

Well yesterday my mom stopped by my house and she went to pick up Jacob and commented on how heavy he was getting. I said that he is definitely a lot heavier than her new grandson. She said that she wouldn't know because she hadn't seen or held the baby yet! She had been too busy. WHAT??!!!?????

I don't understand. No matter what you think about the decisions your son and daughter in law have made you still need to show your love and support.…

Book Review: Sweet Sanctuary

Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma is a wonderful gem of a story that offers intrigue, lessons in healing from your past, embracing your future and learning to trust in the Lord.

~From the back cover:

In tiny Cottage Cove, on the coast of Maine, Wren Evans is raising her gifted son, Charlie. A single mom, she's fought hard to give Charlie a stable, secure home life. When a prestigious music academy in Boston expresses interest in Charlie's talent, Wren is willing to move them again to make his dreams come true.
      But Wren doesn't know that Charlie has been praying for her. And the answer to her son's prayers will change both of their lives. As Wren plans their move to Boston, life in Maine begins to fall apart. Her job is threatened with budget cuts, and Wren's grandmother, Ruth, arrives unannounced, with an outlandish request.
     Ruth wants the family gathered together one last time, at the summer home, where, years before, an accid…

Menu Plan Monday: Hoping this week goes better than last.

Last week was a huge BUST when it comes to menu planning. I was tired a lot. Rebecca was sick for a couple days. I just didn't feel like eating what we had planned. I kept forgetting to thaw out the whole chicken....etc.  Needless to say we didn't go out to eat, but we just ate quick and easy stuff at home. I am hoping that this week goes more to the plan.

Monday: italian sausage and pasta skillet, macaroni and cheese

Tuesday: Buffalo chicken stromboli, chicken patties and waffle fries

Wednesday: hot dogs, baked beans, veggies

Thursday: Pork chops, julienne potatoes, corn

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Jacob's 2nd birthday party! (Pizza, salad, fruit salad, cake, etc. )

Sunday: Pot roast, potatoes, carrots, onions

For more great menu ideas please visit:

Falls Like Lightning Review

Falls Like Lightningby Shawn Grady is the story of smokejumper Silas Kent and pilot Elle Westmore. Silas is a man who doesn't like to stay put in one place very long. He loves to move around and often this causes strains in his relationships. Years ago, he had dated Elle, only to leave her to move yet again.
Fast forward a few years, Elle is a single mom determined to keep her daughter safe and healthy, and keep her career moving forward. Silas and Elle meet up again, when they are both assigned to combat a massive wildfire in the Sierra Nevadas. The two reconnect, only to be separated by a suspicious plane engine explosion. This sends them both on a dangerous, life threatening journey, complete with wildfires, bad guys, thieves, murder, etc. The question is will they both survive, and will they reconnect this time for good?

Falls Like Lightninghas potential, but..... there are several things that I found distracting and detracted from the quality of the story. The story line betw…

There is a reason I have been MIA....

Over the last several weeks, I have abandoned this blog, except for the occasional menu plan posting. This is not being done on purpose. I have a reason for being Missing in action here on the blog....

As some of you who are friends of mine on facebook know, I am pregnant! This pregnancy has been a MAJOR unplanned surprise!
It has also been a major headache when it comes to my health.I have been EXHAUSTED, nauseous all day and all night long, and just tired. I have had several doctors appointments due to bleeding. I was in the ER one night and put on 3 days bed rest because of a "threatened miscarriage." which is basically all the symptoms of a miscarriage but baby is fine. In fact during the ultrasound that night, the baby was dancing!
I am at the 12 week mark today! And honestly the last 2 days I have felt better than I have in the last 2 months. I have only been nauseous in the morning and I haven't been as tired. So hopefully this means that the first trimester sickn…