Wednesday, March 31, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Just a few of the probably 100 projects I have bookmarked, but don't have time for.

One of these cute reversible aprons by Grey Umbrella

So what about you? What do you have bookmarked these days?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Made by Me Monday

Wow! Less than a week till Easter? Do you have your menu ready yet? I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.

But this is what I'm planning:
Pork Tenderloin (I crave this at Easter)

Sweet Potatoes

Rolls (maybe homemade, maybe not)
Cabbage Salad
Creamy Lime Jello Salad
Frozen Cheesecake (?)--Old family recipe at Noah's request, but I'm not sure I'll have the time

Well, I have to tell you that you can't beat my Cabbage Salad recipe. The kids and I ate an entire HUGE mixing bowl full of it in just over two days. It was gone. And that's saying a lot for a four and two year old. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Cabbage Salad
1 head cabbage
4 green onions
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1 c. peanuts or almonds
2 pkg Top Ramen Noodles (raw)
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. sugar (or 3 pkg artifical sweetner)
Chop cabbage and onions. Sprinkle in seeds and nuts; toss together. Break up noodles into small pieces and toss in salad. Dress with vinegar and oil. Refrigerate until serving.
*Cabbage Salad photo mine
*All other photos from Taste of Home website

So what about you? What have you been crafting this week? New recipe, new project, something fun you've been working on... Let's start sharing!

Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back to this post so others can join in on the fun. Then add a link with McLinky to your blog post- not to the blog itself, but to the individual posts! You can post more than one project; just add more links! And don't forget to invite your readers to join in as well.

Happy Creating!

Linked to:
Talented Tuesday
Works for Me Wednesday

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Link Love

I love the prints in this Sweet Soire Dinner Party (@ Creative Party Place). So pretty. So elegant.

Beautiful Toddler Ruffle Apron (@ Pretty Cool Life). I'd love to be this talented. Any little girl would be lucky to have this one.

This Scarf Organizer (@ Dollar Store Crafts) is a great entry level project and would definately get me more organized. Cute, frugal gifts as well.

Mojito Chicken Review (@ Family Stamping Food) makes this recipe look incredible. I'm gonna have to surprise my husband with this one.

Friday, March 26, 2010

LOST (6x9)--Let's Recap

*Disclaimer: If you've not watched the LOST episode that aired on 3/24, discontinue reading this post. It contains ALL the answers to the LOST series.

*In a flashback, we see Jacob and Iliana talking about her need to protect the Candidates. Jacob tells her to ask Richard what to do. When she says this to Richard in the present, he just laughs and says he doesn't know what to do.

*Sun tells the others in her group about the Candidate theory. Jack questions Richard and he blurts out,"We're dead... Everything is not what you think it is... We're in hell." So the connections between LOST and theorolgy continue.

*Richard's story is told. His wife died and he was shipped to the new world as a slave. On The Black Rock, a ship that the passangers found in Season One. As the shipwrecks, a few passenger spots the four toed statue and says he see "The Devil." Once the ship stops, the same passenger says, "God spared us," not long before he's killed by the captain and the smoke monster kills everyone else.

*Later, Richard's dead wife appears and tells him that they are in hell; he must escape because the devil is coming. She runs, the smoke monster appears, and we hear her screams. Later as the MIB appears, he says he didn't kill her, but we already know that he is Smokie. He frees Richard and says, "It's good to see you out of those chains", a reference to the statement Smokie/Locke made to Richard in the first episode of this season.

*MIB too confirms this is hell. He tells Richard that Jacob is the devil and to kill him before he can talk (Dagon said this to Sayid about Smokie in an earlier episode). MIB promises what Richard wants the most, to be reunited with his wife, a common tactic of Smokie.

*Jacob tells Richard that he brought him, designates Richard as an intermediary between Richard and those he brings. Jacob is looking for someone to take his place in keeping Smokie on the Island. Jacob wants the people he brings to help themselves. He can't promise to absolve Richard of his sins or to reunite him with his wife so Richard asks to live forever.

*MIB/Smokie tells Richard that there's only one way to escape hell: kill the devil. This is confirmed by Richard's wife later in the episode. My suspicion is that Smokie is materializing as the wife to manipulate Richard. When she first appears in the episode, MIB appears right after her. When she appears a second time, the scene flashes to Smokie/Locke standing at a distance. Smokie ability to change forms has been confirmed on many occasions.

*After Richard turns Smokie down in joining his "team," Richard hides his wife's cross. In desperation for answers, he digs it up and puts it back on. That's when his wife returns for the second time. What could this have to do with "returning to faith?"

*Again we're tossed between who is good and who is evil. It would appear that Jacob is trying to protect the world from evil (Smokie). He says that the Candidate must keep Smokie on the Island. But then again, this is LOST. I'm afraid to commit to anything for fear I'll be thrown on the last episode.

*And I'm still wrestling with where Whitmore fits into all of this. Hopefully we'll learn more next time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes, your children will eat fish.. and so will you! Part Three

While reading posts a few weeks ago, I came across another good looking fish recipe that I had to try with my kids. In all honesty, it's been hard to work in eating fish even twice a month. Not because we're such picky eaters, but because I'm so used to thinking it's out of our price range. We've long been out of the habit of eating it, so much so that I forget how versatile and easy it truly is.

Back to reading blogs... I bookmarked the following recipe from Newlyweds and was delighted at how easy to truly was.

Fish Tacos with Lemon Butter Sauce
Ingredients for the fish:
1 lb filet’s of white fish (cod, halibut, tilapia, orange roughy)--I used cod
Fajita seasoning (salt free)--I used taco seasoning
8 warm corn tortillas (wrap in towel and microwave)

Garnish: shredded cabbage, cilantro sprigs, optional, Mexican Muenster, Chihuahua, Cotija or Jack cheese, shredded, pico de gallo, avocado

1. Cut the fish into four equal pieces and season both sides with seasoning.
2. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter into a large skillet and add your fish.
3. Cook on med-high heat for 3-4 min on each side.
4. Remove fish from skillet and set aside.

Ingredients for the Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
1/2 onion, diced,
1/2 cup white wine,--used chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter,
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped,
1/2 of lemon juice

1. Add oil to the same skillet you cooked your fish in and saute the onion.
2. When onion is softened, add white wine.
3. Scrap the fish bits off the bottom of skillet to add to the flavor of the sauce.
4. Cook until wine is reduced to half.
5. Strain out the onions (I skipped this step) and melt in the butter.
6. Add cilantro, salt, and juice of half a lemon.
7. Set aside until you're ready to serve.

We served our fish with the sauce, tomatoes, cabbage, and cheese. Because white fish is so mild, this made a perfect meal. My kids not only gobbled it down; they also asked for seconds. The flavor was tasty, but not overwhelming, and these tacos weren't fishy at all. My kids didn't ask what it was and I'm not sure they ever figured it out either. This will definitely be going back on our menu soon.

How about you? Have you tried any good fish recipes lately? How are your Nutritional Goals going?

For January's fish recipe, check out Shrimp Stirfry.
For February's fish recipe, check out Shrimp Quesadillas.

Guest Blogger: Lil Daisies

Bella, from Lil Daisies, and I are friends in "real life." We've known each other since college and see each other at least once a week. She throws fantastic parties and is currently planning a Wizard of Oz theme party for her soon to be five year old. Her Shrimp Quesadilla recipe was also recently featured on Creative2xmom as well. As the mother of three girls with one on the way, she's a great resource for all things "Mom" and I'm lucky to know her.

Celebrating Easter

"They will celebrate your abundant
goodness and joyfully sing of your
~Psalm 145:7~

How do you celebrate
Easter with your children?

I have had several people ask me this question. And, I think it is an important question to reflect upon -- Let me share with you our journey of celebrating Easter in our own home.

There are some that have the unsettled feeling about celebrating Easter with baskets and bunnies with little else to pass on to their own children. I have felt this way many times.

Since my family has a relationship with Christ, I desire for Christ to be a part of our family's daily life -- not just Sunday only -- everyday. I am finding ways to to bring the message of Jesus' resurrection into our home to our children.

I do want my girls to experience some of the "fun" of Easter, but I also want them to grow up learning WHY we celebrate Easter!

Just like Christmas, we develop traditions -- traditions that celebrate Easter in a fun, tangible way that still portrays the true meaning of this season: The Resurrection!

Traditions -- especially those children can see, hear, feel, smell and taste -- provide vivid impressions on which parents can build year after year. I will share with you some of our traditions that will hopefully enrich your own family's celebration of what might be more accurately called Resurrection Day.

Choose a few traditions from this collection that you think might suit your family. Share their meaning in whatever words your children will understand. Then, keep the traditions you like as part of your family's Easter heritage.

Whatever your activities or traditions that you create for your family, they should clearly include something meaningful and pointing to the true meaning of Easter and the Gospel.

Some excellent ways to teach your children why we celebrate Easter are through books, poems, crafts, activities, and object lessons.


Explanation of the story: Read the account from Scripture (Use a toddler bible if children are younger). Be creative with ithe telling of the story and use props such as a grave cloth, stems from a rose bush for crown thorn, 30 dimes for pieces of silver, etc.

Make a tomb out of couch cushions -- act out the part of the story to give them an idea about the tomb and why it is so great it became empty on the third day!

Use Puppets or Flannel Board if you have them. Be creative!

Make a special breakfast for Easter morning ~
cinnamon rolls baked on a cookie sheet in a cross shape.

One way that we are using to teach our kids about the death and resurrection of Jesus is throughResurrection Cookies. Each ingredient and each step symbolizes a portion of the events that led up to the resurrection.

Good Friday - make hot cross buns.



  • Resurrection Eggs - You can make these eggs yourself. Each plastic eggs contains an item that symbolizes a part of the Easter story along with the appropriate scriptures.
  • Easter Surprise - On Easter morning, your kids will get a surprise because Jesus has risen from the tomb (shoebox) in which he was buried only a few days earlier.
  • Resurrection Rolls - This project symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Jesus. The only ingredients needed are crescent roll dough, marshmallows, butter, cinnamon and sugar.
  • Jelly Bean Prayer

The NEW Jelly Bean Prayer

Red is for the blood He gave,
Green is for the grass He made,
Yellow is for the sun so bright,
Orange is for the edge of night.

Black, white, brown, yellow and red is for the children He made
All of these colors receive the grace He gave,
Purple is for the hour of sorrow,
Pink is for the new tomorrow.

Give a bag full of jelly beans,
Colorful and sweet,
Tell them it's a Prayer....
It's a promise..
It's an Easter Treat!


We still give our children Easter Baskets. They still have some typical items in the basket such as candy, stickers, and/or stuffed animal. But, I will also throw in creativity and do something a little different. I like to create themed baskets sometimes -- that are useful, especially as we head into the Spring/Summer seasons.

In the past, I have made:
"Garden Basket" with shovels, seeds, gloves, watering can
"Jesus": Coloring Book, Bookmark with Scripture, Puppets, etc.
" Artistic" : Coloring items, pens, pencils, paints, playdough, etc.
"Beach": Sand Bucket, Sand Toys, Bathing Suit, etc.
"Spa" : Fingernail polish, Fingernail stickers, Lip gloss, Hair pretties, etc.

From LIL DAISIES, we hope you and your family have a WONDERFUL and BLESSEDEaster!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning Routine

Quick little note to let you know I'm still thinking about you.
Right now, hubby has been gone for 3 days of his 10 day trip and I'm sure I'm pulling my hair out... or going gray. Good thing he took the camera and computer with him otherwise you might be see time progression photos of this crazy process.
Oh, I'm sure we're doing fine. I have lots of things planned to keep the kids and I busy, and we'll take a trip to my mom's this weekend to break up the time.

Anyways... back to what I really started this post for...
Mornings in our house can be hectic. The boys are morning people, but us girls certainly aren't. But even with my four year old being a morning kid, it's still nearly impossible to get him going in the morning. So I sat down last week and made a pictoral morning routine chart for him. I'm hoping this will get us out the door with less fuss as the school year is winding down, and getting ready for the fall. I included:
1. Turn off the nightlight (I don't know why, but it always bugs me when it gets left on in the mornings)
2. Eat breakfast
3. Get dressed and put away jammies
4. Brush teeth
5. Put on shoes

I'm hoping that this will be a simple reminder that there are still things to be completed, right up until those shoes are on. I have plans to put it in a page protector and tack a dry erase marker next to it to check stuff off, but for now, this is where I am.

What is your secret? How do you get your stragglers out the door in the mornings?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guest Blogger: Hey what's for dinner, Mom?

I'm so excited for Creative2xmom to be hosting our first ever guest Blogger. Laura, from Hey, what's for dinner, Mom?, comes to us from the beautiful, and cold, frontier of Alaska. I started reading her blog about a year ago and have been delighted with every post. She strives to feed her family food that is both nutritious and tasty as well. Her blog is a wealth of information running the full gammit of food, all written with an honesty that is quite endearing. She also host a weekly roundup of meal ideas called "Meatless Monday." We're very blessed to have her joining us today.

Sharing the Joy of Vegetables with Kids

Hi everybody! This is Laura from Hey What's For Dinner Mom? I'm guest posting for Lee today, lending a hand and helping out while her husband is gone. I know how that goes, mine works a full time job and then has rush projects when he'll work 20 hours a day for 3 weeks straight. It's exhausting trying to be both mom and dad to 3 boys.

The number one question I get asked in person and on my blog is “how do you get your kids to eat vegetables?” My short answer is easy “I expect them too” but the long answer is, well, long. I have broken it down into important components:

1. eat raw vegetables with them on a daily basis, let them see you eat them, share in the goodness with them

2. let them help you prepare the vegetables, we have a serrated butter knife and one or both of my little boys make crudites at least once a day, this is simply chopped fresh vegetables they clean and 'cut', have them work close to you so you can keep an eye on them

3. join a CSA, take them to pick up the vegetables, let them pack the box up-be excited!

4. provide 2 vegetables with each meal then they have a choice, mine usually choose both, having

a choice is important

5. we require each person has to have 3 bites of each dish from dinner, they can have seconds of

their favorite ones

6. we remind them that they should take those bites because you NEVER know when your taste

buds will change and you might be missing out on something you like!

7. if other adults HATE VEGETABLES speak with them in private and remind them that their

choices will influence small children and to please refrain from making snide rude remarks

about certain things-in other words grow up!

8. avoid carrots who have spent time on a lathe these 'baby' carrots that are usually old and

tasteless, try real fresh baby carrots for the ultimate treat!

9. fresh, local, organic is best, frozen second, canned third, processed last

10. grow a small box garden, let them grow one too

11. spend time on a farm, go to a u-pick farm

12. learn to roast vegetables they taste fantastic

13. constant exposure ensures they will have had plenty of chances to become familiar

14. attend a farmers market with kids and let them shop 15. avoid the temptation to LABEL vegetables as good or bad food they are simply food

Relax! Don't make forcing vegetables down their throat the ultimate goal! The ultimate goal is to have fun and enjoy your kids while bringing them up to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

If you have any questions feel free to pop on over to my blog and drop me an email, I love to hear from my readers and try to answer all the email I get quickly. Thanks for coming by today.

I also have a fantastic giveaway on my blog right now until the 28th of March. I am giving away a Le Creuset French Oven! Come on over and enter to win.

Peace and Love,


Monday, March 22, 2010

Where am I???

From March 22-April 1, my husband will be on a mission trip to China. Yeah, I'm so excited for him. Wow, I'm a little overwhelmed for me. In preparation for his absence I've lined up several pre-posts and guest bloggers so that I can be a better mommy to my two little ones. Posts will still be coming daily, but I will be slow in replying to comments. Sorry! But don't let that stop the conversation. I'll be in and out as I have access to a computer.
Additionally, I'll still be posting LOST recaps, but they will be coming late Thursday evenings during those two weeks. It was the earliest I could schedule computer time. So you'll just have to wait for my insightful revelations into the world of LOST.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Made by Me Monday

Spring is here and I've been working on Easter stuff. It seems like it came up so quickly this year. The sun just came out a few days ago, we just had St. Patrick's Day, and if I don't want Easter to get lost in the rush, I have to be moving now. Resurrection eggs were an idea that I heard about last year, but I didn't have enough time to pull them together. I kept them in the back of my mind all year and finally finished this project this weekend. Just in time. We should start opening this on Wednesday to finish with the last egg on Easter Sunday. The idea behind it is using a symbol that's familiar to our kids (Easter eggs) to tell the story of Easter. Each day you open one egg that has a small token that coinsides with the story and scripture for that day. The tokens range from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and follow the events of that timeline. You can purchase them online or in stores, but they are so easy and frugal to make at home.

I started out with a dozen eggs from the Dollar Tree. Took them home and sandpapered them because I wanted to paint them. They were several patterns and didn't match so I wanted a nice set. I setting on brown ... well, just because. But they could really be any color you want. Mine took two coats of paint and when they were done, I started filling them.

I didn't decorate my egg carton, but you could do that too. Finally, since I plan on storing my set afterwards, I numbered each of the eggs and and arranged them in the carton. Super simple. The most time consuming part was actually gathering the pieces to go inside the eggs. But even that didn't take very long. This is the list of items and scriptures I used:

Into each egg place the item and scripture reference written on a small piece of paper.

Egg #1:

Message -- Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches.
Passage -- Matthew 21:1-11
Item -- Piece of palm branch. Another option for those of you with extra leggo parts or plastic novelty beads would be to place a small plastic leaf in the egg

Egg #2:

Message -- Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet.
Passage -- John 12:2-8
Item -- Small perfume sample or cloth with perfume or a piece of cotton with cologne on it

Egg #3:

Message -- Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples.
Passage -- Matthew 26:17-19
Item – a piece of Chex cereal; or take clay and make a small bread-like shape

Egg #4:

Message -- Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Passage -- Matthew 27:3
Item -- 3 dimes or plastic “silver” money

Egg #5:

Message -- Jesus carried His own cross.
Passage -- John 19:17
Item – toothpicks or Popsicle stick cut and glued in a cross form; or, a small plastic cross from a Christmas ornament or necklace.

Egg #6:

Message -- Soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus' head.
Passage -- John 19:2
Item -- Small thorny branch, or a large thorn all by itself.

Egg #7:

Message -- Soldiers parted Jesus' garments and cast lots for His coat.
Passage -- John 19:23
Item -- Swatch of burlap and a nail. I’ve also seen miniature dice used for this one.

Egg #8:

Message -- Jesus was nailed to a cross and pierced in His side.
Passage -- John 19:18,37 & John 20:25-29
Item -- A nail

Egg #9:

Message -- They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall on a sponge to drink.
Passage -- Matthew 27:34
Item -- A small sponge

Egg #10:

Message -- Spices to prepare Jesus for burial.
Passage -- John 19:40
Item -- 7 or 8 whole cloves, or other whole spices

Egg #11:

Message -- The stone covering Jesus' tomb was rolled away.
Passage -- John 20:1
Item -- A small rock

Egg #12:

Message -- The napkin around Jesus' head was lying separately from His linen clothers. He was not there. He has risen!
Passage -- John 20:6-7
Item -- A scrap of linen-type fabric

Original Article: Resurrection Eggs @ EasyFunSchool

So what about you? What have you been crafting this week? New recipe, new project, something fun you've been working on... Let's start sharing!

Write a blog post highlighting your project with a link back to this post so others can join in on the fun. Then add a link with McLinky to your blog post- not to the blog itself, but to the individual posts! You can post more than one project; just add more links! And don't forget to invite your readers to join in as well.

Happy Creating!

Linked to:
Motivate Me Monday
Weekend Wrap Up Party

Menu Monday 3/22-3/28

Yogurt and fruit
Scrambled Eggs and toast

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Greek Veggie Salad
String Cheese
Carrots and Dip

Monday: Tomato Soup, fruit
Tuesday: Zucchini patties, homemade applesauce
Wednesday: Simple Perfect Chili, homemade bread
Thursday-Sunday: At my Mom's
Bread for sandwiches
Yogurt and fruit

Crackers and Easy Bean Dip
Pumpkin Bread
Homemade Popcorn
PW's Homemade Ranch
Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Link Love

Lovin' this Portable Felt Play Set (@ Wool and Flax). Especially after all the felt stuff I did last Christmas. This looks like a great travel idea.

I'll be putting this Chicken Salad (@Southern Domestic Goddess) on my menu this week. Always on the lookout for new twists on old favorites.

These ideas for Keeping a Toddler Occupied During Homeschool Lessons (@ HomemakingJoyfully) are great ideas even if you're not homeschooling. I'm bookmarking this one for Lydia.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Frugal Friday

With spring just around the corner, I'm dreaming of hanging my laundry outside. I love the simplicity of fresh laundry swinging in the breeze. There's something endearing and sweet about seeing baby girl dresses hanging next to little boy pants (often without knees).

Throughout my life, I've grown up using unscented laundry soap. My mother was always highly sensitive to scents. Often times, something as simple as laundry soap could put her into bed with a migraine. I've carried that with me over into adulthood. On occasion, I might wear some perfume. But I'm still very aware of the cleaners and soaps that I use in my home.

It's become increasingly less and less common to find unscented products on the market. Everything from baby wipes to hand soaps have been invaded by some kind of scent. Often times, every type of scent you can imagine. So last fall I took the plunge and decided to start making my own laundry soap.

My biggest fear was that it just wouldn't work. After all, what did I know about making laundry soap? So I looked up a few recipes, found one I liked and went shopping.

I first thing I realized was that store stockers were going to look at me like I was really crazy. When I explained to them what I was doing, they would help for a few minutes, but ended up shaking their heads. The hardest thing for me to find was the Arm and Hammer SUPER WASHING SODA. You don't want baking soda (which is what they all wanted me to buy). I finally found it at my local grocery store.

This is the recipe I use:
Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: You can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps.

I use Ivory 'cause I found a good deal on a large box of it. I have a friend who uses Fels-Naptha, but has read reviews that it could gray your laundry after several washings. The Ivory has a slight scent to it, but it's very hard to smell.

The only equipment I had to buy was a cheese grater (I wanted on especially for laundry soap) and a rubbermaid storage container with a snap lid. I found both at the Dollar Store. Minimal price to pay to get started.

If you're looking to be even more frugal, you can use this recipe for liquid laundry detergent:
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I've been leery to try this one because I didn't want to buy a bucket to store it in. I recently spoke to a woman who washed out and used an old kitty little jug. So that's an idea as well.

I hope you enjoy these laundry tips. Tell me, have you ever considered making your own laundry soap? What motivates you?

*original source of recipes: Duggar Family Website

Linked to:
Frugal Friday @ Life as Mom

Grouchy Days

You ever have those days where you're just grouchy? The kids are grouchy, you're grouchy, the cat is grouchy... the laundry still needs to be folded... dinner is burning on the stove... the repair man is banging on the dryer... and your husband is pulling into the driveaway.

And, if you're like me, for a brief second, you picture yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen, head thrown back, screaming at the top of your lungs.



I feel much better.

Some days are just stinky. Not necessarily today thankfully. But some days.

Those are the days I climb into bed and think, "Lord, Help Me. Help Me. Help Me. Help Me!"

The point is some days are good days. Some days are grouchy days. Don't let the grouchy days define you. Accept that you screwed up, ask for forgiveness, and pick yourself up.

Don't lean on your own limited abilities; lend on the Lord's limitless possibilities.

Ask your kids to pray with you; ask them to pray for you.

Look beyond today toward the bigger picture.

And celebrate that tomorrow is a new day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LOST (6x8)--Let's Recap

Disclaimer: If you haven't watched the LOST episode that aired 3/16, discontinue reading.

*We open to Sawyer and Jin talking. Sawyer doesn't seem to be in a trans like the others, but says he's with Smokie. He gives Jin his word that he won't leave till they find Sun. I gotta think that there's hope for Sawyer yet. After all, he tells Kate that he isn't with anyone.

*We flash side-ways and find that Sawyer is pulling the same cons that he was before. Only this time he's working for the cops. And working with Miles. He uses the code name Lafluer (his Dharma name) to call in back up.

*Smokie tells the OTHERS that the "black smoke" killed those that were at the temple. There are children that he comforts.

*Sawyer and Miles are partners. Sawyer seems to be tracking someone down, but is very vague with Miles. Miles knows he's lying, but Sawyer won't tell him.

*There's conflict brewing between Smokie and Sawyer. Smokie reveals his true identity. Smokie says it's either kill or be killed; he just wants to leave the Island. Smokie asks Sawyer to spy on Jack and the Survivors, but instead Sawyer runs into Widmore's people. Sawyer cuts a deal with Widmore to deliver Smokie, but then tells Smokie, playing both sides against the other. He tells Kate that they are going after the submarine.

*Miles sets Sawyer up with Charlotte. She looks at him and asks for the truth. He says he was at a point of being a criminal or a cop. So he chose cop. Telling the truth gets him the girl. :-) But looking for a shirt, she finds Sawyers file on the man who killed his family. He looses it and kicks her out. Even in this alternate reality, he's still consumed by his need for revenge.

*The Hydra Island turns out to be where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were held by the OTHERS in season 2. Sawyer finds Kate's shirt and mourns for her. One of the most telling parts of this episode is how Sawyer (both on the Island and off) realizes his behavior is keeping him from real relationships. Off the Island, he reaches out to Miles and on the Island, he's looking after Jin and Kate.

*Kate asks Sayid if he believs "Locke." He stares at her in a trans and says that he does. Claire grabs Kate from behind and tries to kill her. Smokie rescues Kate and tells Claire the truth. He asks Kate if she's alright to which Kate exclaims, "No I'm not alright." I don't think there's a lot of hope for them.

*Charlie's brother shows up at the police station... :-)

*Smokie find Kate in her weakness, crying on the beach. He confesses to having lied to Claire about Aaron. He says Claire needed someone to blame, something to hate. Smokie tells kate that he mother was crazy and now he's working through problems. He relates it to Aaron and Claire. Claire reaches out to Kate, thanking her for taking care of Aaron. I can't help but think Smokie put her up to it. There's been talk on message boards about Lilith, a mythical storm deamon. And the Biblical parallels continue.

*Flash to Sawyer side-ways, ... Little House on the Prairie scene on Sawyer's television.. Laura and father Charles Ingalls are talking. Her father is telling her that people aren't really done when they die. Sawyer ponders that for a moment then goes to Charlotte's house trying to make up. She shuts him down. Tells him he blew it. What a sad existence.

*Sawyer accuses Widmore of killing the passengers, the people on the freighter... interesting that Widmore didn't deny it. So Smokie isn't working with Widmore???

*Side-ways Sawyer shows Miles the file on the man who conned his family. He confesses that he's going to kill him when he finds him. A car slams into their car and they start chasing down the driver: Kate. Sawyer recognizes her as the woman from the airport.

*I personally thought this was a better character storyline than anything else. It was a tell story of isolation and "looking out for one's self." One can only hope that Sawyer will realize this before he finally escapes the Island. And this seems to be the reason for which the Island took him.

*Wow! It looks like next week we're finally going to learn something about Richard. Yeah!!!

For more intelligent conversation regarding LOST, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yeah! I Won An Award!

Thank You Rachel, from Rachel's Random Ramblings, for my first award!

Of course, there are some conditions to such a high honor. Here they are:
1. Answer the survey below in one word answers.
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers.
3. Alert them that you have given them this award.
4. Have fun!

And now the fun part:

*Where is your cell phone?-- I don't have a cell phone! How weird is that? I don't like them.

*Your Hair?--brunette and in a ponytail

*Your Mother?--awesome!

*Your Father?--

*Favorite Food?--Oh, too hard. Healthy? Summer fruits and veggies... Take out? Chinese... Junk? French fries or Pizza

*Your Dream Last Night?--nothing, just sweet exhaustion

*Your Favorite Drink?-- water

*Your Dream/Goal?--writer/ famous blogger

*What Room are you in?--living room

*Your Hobby?--all thing crafting and nutrition

*Your Fear?--being a bad mommy

*Where do you want to be in 6 years?--right here

*Where were you last night?--at the grocery store

*Something that you aren't?--a morning person

*Muffins?--blueberry or chocolate, chocolate chip

*Wish List Item?--so many, yoga mat?

*Where did you grow up?--California

*Last thing you did?--put the kids to bed

*What are you wearing?--orange t-shirt, blue jeans

*Your TV?--on, waiting for LOST

*Your pets?--Annie, my kitty, laying over my arms as I type

*Friends?--at home with kids

*Your Life?--fast-paced, full

*Your Mood?--tired, busy

*Missing someone?--yes, hubby at work

*Vehicle?--one sedan, one SUV

*Something you're not wearing?--makeup

*Your favorite store?--the nearest scrapbook store

*Your favoite color--red or blue, depending on my mood

*When was the last time you laughed?--reading to the kdis before bed

*Last time you cried?--this weekend

*Your best friend?--too far away

*One place that I go to over and over?--the gym

*One person who emails you regularly?--my mom

*Favorite place to eat?--not sure, love Red Lobster and Red Robin, love Deja Vu (will tell you about it soon), Shoji's,, any place with fresh fish

As for my 6 bloggers....







Garden Update

Way back at the end of January, I told ya'll that I was working on my Summer Garden. Well, I'm in the midst of stumbling my way through that.

I purchased the seeds, then forgot all about them. It wasn't until the end of February, that I actually got them planted. So they slowly making their way along. I tried to choose my vegetables carefully for what I thought would grow best in the area I have. As I've said before, we have a pretty well landscaped yard so I wanted to keep the structure of what we have and just fill in. The greatest thing I've learned is starting them in cardboard egg cartons.

Starting them in egg cartons, they are small and portable to start inside and move outside when the sun come out. I love them. Only problem is: we don't seem to go through eggs fast enough.

I started cucumbers. My plan has been to place them near the roses in a space right against the fence. My hubby's next job is build me a trellis for them to climb. I'd also like to do peas, but I think they are more cold weather veggies. So I'm holding off on that one.

I've got some tomatoes started that are doing "ok." We love tomatoes and spend a lot on them. My plan is to pick up a couple of hanging plants for them. I have the perfect place for them on the side of the patio near the kitchen window: full sun, good spot for keeping an eye on them, and hanging planters make them doable in a smaller space.

The lettuce is doing great. It's starting so well. My plan is make them planter veggies, perfect for small places. If it really takes off, I have a place for it between some of the landscaping in the back.

I've also started bell peppers, jalapenos, and basil. They are all growing in varying successes. Nothing more significant to report. I'm looking into making my own hanging planter for those tomatoes. Not sure it will work, but I've got my fingers crossed. I'd love to try pumpkins and watermelons next year, but for now, this is what I have going. it will give me a good idea of what I want to pursue next year. I'm really hoping those tomatoes take off, as well as the peppers.

The following are a few articles that I used in planning for this season:
How to Start a Vegetable Garden
Seed Starters Easy Way
Edible Landscaping
Getting Organized in the Garden

So what are you up to? Garden plans this year? How's it all going? Let us in on your secrets.

Linked to:
Works for Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family

Monday, March 15, 2010

Public school, charter school... What's a Mama to do?

Well, it's that time of year again and this year I'm participating. What is it, you ask? Lent, St Patrick's Day feast, some insane bikini wearing contest? No...

It's school application time and believe you me, I feel like I'm in way over my head. You see, where I live, we have too many choices: Public school, charter school, private school, home school, or some combination thereof. I've always believed that parents know what's best for their children. Health involved parents anyway. But with so many options available to us, I long for the simpler days of "Here's your neighborhood lines. You will place your child... HERE."

My husband and I have been checking out schools, asking lots of questions, putting in application, and praying for a divine letter from God as to where to enroll Noah. We've seen things we like and things we don't. Things that excite us and things that just leave us shaking our heads.

To complicate matters, we're not only making this decision for one child, but for two. I can't help but think of Lydia in the back of my head. Sure she's two years younger than Noah, but those two years will fly by. And she quickly reminded us the other day how fast she's learning when at 27 months, she spontaneously started counting to 15 through no teaching from my husband or I. She just picked it up.

She has a late December birthday, putting her in line to start kindergarten a year late. But can I really hold her till she's 6? I'm afraid she'll become bored.

Anyways... back to the school question... School A has a great second language and arts based curriculum, with plenty of opportunities. However, no part home school option and won't take Lydia till she's nearly 6 years old. Home school part time is important to us as our weekends run Friday and Saturday with my husband's job. It's nice to have the option of homeschooling the kids on a Friday to see family out of town. Or even for just the four of us to get away. School B is smaller with the option of part home school and would take Lydia in Jan after she turns 5. They'd then evaluate if she's ready for Kindergarten or 1st grade the following year. But here, because it's smaller, there's not as many opportunities for cross-curriculum learning.

Can't I just combine the two? That sounds like a solution, huh? For us, private school is not an option due to finances and home schooling full-time has a huge intimidation factor for me. Part-time I have no problem with. Full-time??? WOW!

So how have you handled this decision in your family? What works for you? Any advice?
I'd love to hear your experiences...

Linked to:
Tackle it Tuesday @ 5 Minutes for Mom

Made by Me Monday

Spring seems to have arrived here in Northern California. Well, sort of. We're in for glorious 70 degree weather this week. This after rain for the past several weeks and on one occasion, hail.

But with the new weather, I'm looking around my house and needing some color. This is what I came up with:

Do you like it? I still haven't hung it yet. There's still a chance of rain and I'm not real confident that it would stay dry on the front door. But if this gorgeous weather keeps up, I won't be long till it's gracing my front porch!

So what have you been up to lately? New recipe, new project, some fun you've been working on... Let's start sharing!

Add a link to your blog post- not to the blog itself, but to the individual posts! You can post more than one project, just add more links!

I'm so excited to see what you come up with.

Linked to:
Motivate Me Monday
Market Yourself Monday
Talented Tuesday
Tackle it Tuesday
Weekend Wrap up Party

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Monday 3/15-3/21

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Peanut Butter and jelly sandwiches, carrots and dip, pretzels
Dinner: Pea Soup (we never got to this last week)

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, salads, string cheese, applesauce
Dinner: Tortellini and pesto, marinated veggies

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit, homemade popsicles
Dinner: Crockpot Corned Beef, cabbage salad, Irish soda, rainbow cupcakes

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, salad, carrots and dip
Dinner: Baked Potato Bar

Breakfast: Oatmeal and applesauce
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Thai Chicken Wraps

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Lasagne

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Out with friends
Dinner: Something Quick for the kids and I

Orange Smoothies
Sugar and Spice Twists
Homemade Popcorn
Mocha Brownies
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