Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla!
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

SO HERE GOES:

We went apple picking this weekend. It was Jacob's first time ever. The last time Bill and I had been we were going to tell my parents that I was pregnant with Rebecca. The weather was perfect and the kids had fun.

What are you.....

Reading?




Watching?
 
and many other NFL games as Hubby has control of the TV. :) 

Listening to?
Rebecca and Jacob playing!
The TV.
The dishwasher washing dishes. 

Cooking/Baking?
I made my first ever apple pie this weekend using apples we picked this weekend at a local orchard. It was super YUMMY!!!




Happy you accomplished this week?
Got the laundry caught up! Had a good weekend with our family.
 
Looking forward to next week?
Having a good NORMAL week at work.
A Fall harvest party next weekend.
 
Thankful for today?
For a husband who is trying very hard to better our marriage. 

Bonus question:
What is the grossest thing you've ever eaten?
Nothing that is nasty to look at or think about it. But the grossest thing taste wise was shark. I had some in North Carolina while on vacation and it was AWFUL!
 
So there you have it. A little glimpse into my world on this Sunday night! Hope everyone has a wonderful week and remember to link up to our wonderful chat host Carla! :)

Rebecca's Catholic School's Week Festivities

My daughter attends a Catholic school. This past week they celebrated Catholic Schools week. I remember growing up this meant being out of uniform for the week as we got into the spirit of the week. Rebecca's school is no different. This week each day had festivities associated with the day.

Monday there was NO SCHOOL as the teachers had an inservice retreat.

Tuesday was "mismatch day" and Bring a Friend to breakfast day. Rebecca took her Daddy to breakfast with her.



Wednesday was dress as your favorite book character day. In the afternoon, the spent time reading with their school buddies (Rebecca's Kindergarten class has buddies in the 7th grade!). Rebecca chose to dress up as Snow White.



Thursday was a uniform day with a field trip to the town square to take non-perishable food items for Interchurch Social Services. I love how the school is even teaching the youngest ones about service to others less fortunate. Unfortunately they were not able to go on the field trip due to rain, however they were able to meet the director of Interchurch and give her the food to take to the poor.

Friday was school spirit day! The students were to dress in the school colors of blue and gold. Rebecca is blessed to have an aunt (graduated) and uncle (currently in 7th grade) who attend/ed her school, so she has a couple sports shirts that have been passed down to her from them! She wore her basketball shirt!


I think Rebecca had a great week of dressing differently each day.

Does your school do a spirit week? What are some of their themed days?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday!

 
It is Monday again, which means that it’s "Happy Homemaker Monday," a project which is hosted by Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Each week, she hosts "Happy Homemaker Monday" as a way to highlight what is going on in her world. This week I have decided to join in....So here is a little glimpse into my world on this Monday! 
 
 

The Weather:::
This morning it was COLD out...there was frost on the ground! BRRR...During the day it is in the 60s and sunny! Fall is officially here, so I will take it!
On my reading pile:::
When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall

On my tv:::
Cartoons (for the kids)
On the menu for this week:::
Monday: Pork Chops, green beans , salad
Tuesday: Chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole, and salad
Wednesday: Fish, salad, broccoli, macaroni and cheese
Thursday: pepperoni rollups, veggie
Friday: grilled cheese, veggies, omelet for me
Saturday: Not sure
Sunday: Not sure
On my to do list:::
Laundry
Paying bills
Prep veggies for the week
Change sheets on all beds and add fall duvet cover to our bed
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I am coming up with designs for the kids' birthday cakes for October and November.

Looking around the house:::
Jacob is watching cartoons. Benjamin is asleep on the floor. Rebecca is off school today and is sitting at her art table creating something. Laundry is on the table and needs folded.  

From the camera:::
 
Rebecca had some friends over on Saturday afternoon and their mom and I let them paint their own fingernails and toenails. Here are Rebecca's toe nails after she was done with them.
On my prayer list::: 
For my friend Sara, as she is going through chemotherapy for breast cancer that she find peace this week and healing from her treatments. For positive energy throughout this week. For guidance on decisions that need to be made.  
Bible verse, Devotional:::
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


There you have it. A little glimpse into my life on this Monday. Hope everyone has a great Monday!
 
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2 polar opposite reads!

The other day I got an email to tell me that 2 of the books that I had requested were in.

So I went in and picked them up. When the librarian went back to get them, she came back with a look on her face like she wasn't sure what to think....

The 2 books that I had to pick up:



Could there be any books that are such polar opposites? LOL

What are you reading these days?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla!
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

SO HERE GOES:



What are you.....

Reading?




Watching?
Cartoons with the kids.
Later, Bill will have football on.
DVRed "Dolphin Tale" to watch this week.

Listening to?
Rebecca singing. Jacob playing with his toys. Benjamin rolling a toy on his baby chair.

Cooking/Baking?
Was very lazy this weekend...had chinese takeout with my in-laws last night and ordered pizza in tonight. So nothing....

Happy you accomplished this week?
Lost 2.2 lbs!
Got all our bills paid!
 
Looking forward to next week?
Cooler temperatures!
 
Thankful for today?
That Rebecca had a fabulous first soccer practice and game!

Bonus question:
What website could you NOT go a day without checking in on?

Facebook.
 
So there you have it. A little glimpse into my world on this Sunday night! Hope everyone has a wonderful week and remember to link up to our wonderful chat host Carla! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I am an official "soccer mom"

Today I joined the ranks of million of other women who cart their children back and forth to sporting events and other events. Today I became a "Soccer Mom."

Rebecca had her very first soccer practice and game today. She is playing for the Kindergarten league of the YMCA in our city. They are sponsored by Tim Hortons and they are called the Timbits! She was excited to play not only because she LOVES soccer, but her Daddy was her coach. When we arrived she was even more excited to find out that a friend from school is on her team!

My little soccer star

practicing

concentrating

Coach Bill telling them to go towards that goal
playing the silver team

Good game!
Are you a "soccer mom?" What sports do your kids play?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer--a review




For a description of Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer, the publisher, Bethany House, has put together a Youtube video:



My thoughts:

After living for years with the resolve to protect their family land, the Archer boys have become recluses with a reputation of being trigger happy angry men who can't stand people coming on their land. What we find as the story unfolds is a group of men who are loyal to family and to promises made to their father. We find that things that we may hear are not always the truth. Someone else who shares their loyalty is Meredith Hayes who risks her life, literally, to tell the Archer boys of some trouble coming their way and tries to help them when trouble arises. What follows is a funny, witty, serious, down to earth tale that had me in tears of joy and sorrow.

Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer brought out many emotions in me. There were many parts where I laughed out loud. There were parts where my heart ached for the Archer boys and their pasts. There were times where I had to keep myself from getting too mad at some of the characters in the book. Because of all these emotions that the book made me feel, I can HIGHLY recommend that you too go out and read this. You will NOT be disappointed.



Disclaimer: I was provided this book by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Sandal Artist by Pelley (and a bonus picture from my daughter!)

I LOVE the fact that my children love to read and to be read to. I am always on the lookout for new books that I think that they will enjoy.

I was so excited a couple of weeks ago to find out that I had won a book giveaway from Curious City

I received the beautifully illustrated The Sandal Artist by Kathleen T. Pelley and illustrated by Losi Rosio Sprague.



From the inside flap cover:

Though Roberto-a young artist-struggles to put bread on his table, he believes that he will soon achieve wealth and fame by creating beautiful scenes with his paintbrush. Roberto refuses to paint images of the poor village children or Old Stefano and his donkey. One day, a cobbler lends the artist a pair of sandals to wear while he mends Roberto's shoes. The cobbler then whispers: "There are some who say that if you wear another man's shoes, you will see the world with his eyes and feel it with his heart." When Roberto returns to his village, he suddenly perceives the splendor in everyday life and begins to paint with inspiration. Illustrations reminiscent of works from the Renaissance complement this story that reminds us all of our own inner greatness.



My thoughts:

I read this to Rebecca one night before she went to bed. She LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! She said that her favorite part was when the man watched a little boy help his crippled friend play in the stream. And she absolutely loved the pictures!

As for me, I loved that the story had a good moral to it. It made me think about how I have been acting and if I was viewing the world in the right way. I thought the illustrations in the book were breath-taking.

This will definitely be added to our home library and will become a must read many times!

I also loved the fact that this book inspired Rebecca to paint her own pair of sandals. Here is a bonus: a picture of the sandals picture that Rebecca painted the next day.


Have you read any good books to your children lately? Do you have a favorite children's book?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Benjamin eats food for the first time

We started Benjamin on real baby food! I don't think he is too sure about it! :)

Getting ready!

First bite of real food---sweet potatoes!

Not too sure about them!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 from a Kindergartner's perspective

Today, as usual, after Rebecca ate dinner she went off to color. As her Dad and I were sitting talking, she came up to me with a picture that she had drawn and told me that she wanted to tell me a story that her teacher had told her today.



She proceeded to tell me how "Once Upon a Time there were two large buildings called towers. One day a plane crashed into one tower, causing it to have a break in it. It fell to the ground. Then another plane crashed into the other tower and it fell to the ground. The people who got out went to another building for safety. But a lot of people died because the planes crashed into them. Today there are waterfalls in the buildings. But it didn't happen in our town. And the story was sad. And it was a true story.Oh and there was a flag on top of one of the towers."

I will say that I teared up as she was telling me this. I remember where I was and the fear. I hope and pray that my children never have to experience the terror and fear that we experienced on that day 11 years ago.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday

 
How is it already Monday again? I’m not sure but I do know that it means that it’s "Happy Homemaker Monday," a project which is hosted by Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (one of my new-to-me favorite blogs to read!). Each week, she hosts "Happy Homemaker Monday" as a way to highlight what is going on in her world. This week I have decided to join in....So here is a little glimpse into my world on this Monday! 
 
 
The Weather:::
This morning it was COLD out...48 degrees! BRRR...but it is supposed to warm up to the low 70s today and then be in the high 70s/low 80s this week. I will take it! Feels good to have the a/c off and the windows open!
 
On my reading pile:::
Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Choose to Lose: The 7 Day Carb Cycle Solution by Chris Powell

On my tv:::
Football (for Bill)
Cartoons (for the kids)
 
On the menu for this week:::
Monday: Fish, broccoli, salad, mac and cheese
Tuesday: Pork chops, baked potatoes, salad, cucumbers
Wednesday: Grilled chicken, veggies
Thursday: ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans
Friday: grilled cheese, veggies
Saturday: Spaghetti and salad
Sunday: Dinner out with extended family
 
On my to do list:::
Laundry
Paying bills
Prep veggies for the week
 
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I am working on getting photos ready for photo books for the grandparents for their Christmas gifts
 
Homemaking Tips:::
One thing that is working for me is to make sure that every night before I go to bed, dishes are done and the tables (end tables, coffee table and kitchen tables) are all cleaned off. Makes for a less stressful morning.

Looking around the house:::
Jacob is watching cartoons. Benjamin is asleep on the floor. Dishes need to be put away. The mail is sitting here next to me to sort.

From the camera:::

 
On my prayer list:::
For my husband that he is able to get sleep this week. For my friend Sara, as she is going through chemotherapy for breast cancer that she find peace this week and healing from her treatments.
 
Bible verse, Devotional:::
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman-- a review

 
 
From the back cover:
 
A grief that knows no boundary.
A love without any limit.
A need that doesn’t end at death.

Corrie Saunders grew up in a life of privilege. But she gave it all up for Jarrod, her Army husband, a man she knew was a hero when she vowed to spend her life with him. She just didn’t expect her hero to sacrifice his life taking on an Iraqi suicide bomber.

Six months after Jarrod’s death, Corrie retreats to the family home her husband inherited deep in the Missouri Ozarks. She doesn’t know how to live without Jarrod—she doesn’t want to. By moving to Saunders Creek and living in a house beloved by him, she hopes that somehow her Jarrod will come back to her.

Something about the house suggests maybe he has. Corrie begins to wonder if she can feel Jarrod’s presence.

Jarrod’s cousin Eli is helping Corrie with the house’s restoration and he knows that his dead cousin is not what Corrie senses. Eli, as a believing man and at odds with his mystically-oriented family members, thinks friendly visits from beyond are hogwash. But he takes spirits with dark intentions seriously. Can he convince Corrie that letting go of Jarrod will lead to finding her footing again— and to the One she can truly put her faith into?


My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman. In actuality I could not put it down! There was something magical about the interaction between the religious world and the "ghost" world that I found to be fascinating. You felt for Corrie and you felt her pain as if you were right there. Bateman allows her readers to connect on many different levels with the different ideologies of different characters, while allowing each character to be likable. Even though this is a Christian book, the ideology of ghost and ghost acting like humans even when they are inherently evil, was handled with grace and care.

Overall I would HIGHLY recommend this book!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Press Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September Savings Challenge Week 1 wrapup


When Carla from My 1/2 Dozen Daily decided to offer up a September Savings Challenge I decided to sign up.

As I was thinking about what my goals should be this is what I came up with....

Use my paychecks to pay Rebecca's school tuition.
Be able to make at least double the minimum payment on credit card #1 (CC#1).
At the end of the month, take whatever is left over from my paychecks and put on CC#1.
Spend no more than $400 on food, $50 on diapers, and $25 on household supplies.

So now that week 1 is over and done with, the question is HOW DID I DO??

Use my paychecks to pay Rebecca's tuition
  • I will use the paycheck on the 20th which will be more of a normal pay. The pay I got on the  5th was for only a few hours.
Be able to make at least a double the minimum on CC#1 and take what is left at the end of the month and put toward this CC.
  • Haven't gotten the bill yet. Hoping to make a double payment!
  • End of the month not here yet!
Spend no more than $400 on food, $50 on diapers and $25 on household supplies
  • On food, we spent $132.41 this week partly because of throwing Benjamin's baptism party. So we have $267.59 left for the month
  • We have spent $17 on diapers
  • $25 on household supplies....This is a FAIL!!!! I did not take into account the paper goods for Ben's party (that was $20), ran out of Tide ($15), had to get 2 lawn chairs for Bill and Rebecca's soccer game ($18), and today as I am making out my list for the store tomorrow, we are out of trash bags.
  • I also DID not take into account back to school expenses (pictures for school, pictures for soccer, etc.)
What I have learned after week 1: In some ways it was a success, in that I did not go overboard for Ben's party and I incorporated the leftover food into our menu plan. I SEVERELY underestimated household use. I need to rethink this and see where I can cut corners or lower this. I need to plan better for extra expenses (such as sports, school, etc.) This first week has been eye opening for me about how much I need to get working on a budget for us. The good news is I think I will still be able to get my CC goals done for the month so that is a positive!

Here is to a good week 2!

To see how others are doing and to see Carla's week 1 recap you can go here.

Thank you Carla for bringing this on!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A few of my favorite things

Life as Mom posted a collection of her favorite things the other day, and that has inspired me to share with you some of my favorite things.


This curio cabinet was the first piece of furniture that Bill and I bought together. We each brought most of our furniture together from our respective apartments when we moved in together. This was our first official couple purchase.


This afghan was crocheted by my Grandma Rose. I remember it laying on the back of her couch at her home. I would cover up with it when I was a little girl. When she died, I asked for it. Now it is on the back of my couch.


This is a photograph of Bill proposing to me. We didn't bring our camera to the baseball game. However a lawyer sitting in front of us had his and offered to take our picture and mail it to us. It was such a sweet gesture and makes for a great memento of that day.


My collection of Nicholas Sparks books. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. These are books that I read over and over and he is the only author that I will pay full price for his books when they come out.


And finally, these 2 stuffed animals. The little doggy was left for me one day outside my apartment with a dozen roses and a card by Bill when we were dating. And the teddy bear is a Vermont Teddy Bear that was "delivered" to me on our first Valentine's Day while I was teaching a class of 1st and 2nd graders. It was so thoughtful of Bill.

So there you have it, some of my favorite things. What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Benjamin's Baptism

I am Catholic, Bill was raised Lutheran, but does not practice any particular religion right now. However, we have decided to raise our children Catholic, meaning they are baptized in the Catholic church, they will go to Catholic school from K-8 grades and they will receive the Catholic sacraments (much to the chagrin of Bill's side of the family).

We had Benjamin baptized on Sunday, which also happened to be the day he turned 5 months old! It was a lovely ceremony. (I don't have any pics of the ceremony itself as I forgot to give my camera to someone to use). Benjamin was smiling at Father throughout. It was so sweet. We are so blessed to have wonderful friends who agreed to be Benjamin's Godparents.

Bill, Benjamin and I with Father and Benjamin's Godparents.

After his Baptism, we invited everyone back to our house for a party.

Benjamin's Baptism cake (not bad for decorating it at 1am the morning of)


There was lots of food and cake.





There was lots of laughs and good conversation.

We tired him out! Sleeping in Grandpa's arms.


It was truly a day of blessing and friendship!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine's Day! The sun is out today and I am feeling a little bit better. Still coughing and have not a lot ...