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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forever Family

My cousin and her husband just adopted their foster kids today. When they started this journey about 2 years ago, I'm sure they never saw this path.

My cousin, let's call her Leigh, and her husband knew when they first got married that they didn't want children right away. They wanted to take their time together and in their careers (they are both in church ministry) and see where things went. They said when they were married 5 years, they would discuss children.

Leigh has never been a big "baby person". She's always said that if she could just get her kids at about 3 years old or older, that would be perfect for her. Well, once she and her husband started discussing children (after those 5 years) they talked about having babies, fostering, and possibly adopting. They felt like they had a lot to offer children who didn't have a family.

Well, they ended up pursuing the fostering option. They went through classes and went in with the intention to foster to adopt. They thought they might foster a set of siblings or several kids together. They were set to be open for fostering after a scheduled missions trip.

That missions trip was supposed to be to Haiti. The devastating earthquake hit Haiti about two weeks before Leigh and her husband were supposed to go. Their trip was cancelled. They got a call from the fostering agency. There was a young brother and sister who were adoptable and were looking for their "forever family". They thought Leigh's home would be great for them.

The brother and sister were placed with Leigh. It was a great situation. The kids were 3 and 5 when they came. The transition was tough, especially for the 5 year old girl. She remembered going to the last foster home (which was a great home), and she had memories before that too. The boy really only remembered the past foster home, so this was rough for him to think about getting a new "mommy".

For a year and a half Leigh and her husband worked with these kids. They formed bonds, went through intensive therapy, and always talked about how they would be these cihldren's "forever mom and dad". A few weeks ago the little boy (who has been through a TON of stuff in this time) told Leigh that "it's a good thing he loved Mommy, because she could be his 'forever mom' now". You have no idea what this meant to Leigh. When I heard this I cried. What a break through for this little guy.

These children are so precious. Leigh and her husband are fantastic parents. And today they finalized the adoption of their two children. I am so happy for their little family and I can't wait to see what will happen next. But I know these two kids are the luckiest to have amazing parents like this. And I know Leigh and her husband are very lucky to have these precious children in their lives too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Questions Answered

Pam asks: Do you want to be the house all the kids come to or not?

I haven't thought about that much. That actually is a tricky question. I like kids. I like talking to and working with kids...on a small scale. I don't mind when other kids come over...if it's for a short time. I guess I just get tired of having them around for too long. That sounds horrible, but it's strangely true. It's sort of the same way I know I would not make a good full-time classroom teacher. I could do tutoring, or specialized teaching or other classes, but I know I don't want to be a full-time classroom teacher. I just don't have it in me.

On the other hand, I'm hoping that this will be easier for my when Zachariah is older. I would love to be the teenage hangout house. I do like to entertain and since teens are better to do that with, I think that might work out. In the house we are in there just aren't any great places for kids to play or run around. We're hoping to be in the position to move in about 5 years. We would really like a place in the country. A basement or other area for hanging out would be fabulous. Then I think it would be great to have Zachariah's friends come and be able to be a big part of their lives like that.

Laura wants to know what my best posts are.

Well, that's hard to do. I've blogged here for almost 5 years now. I know there are some posts that I tell about myself, so here are a few I can think of that might give you a little more insight to who I am.
*Here is an oldie, but goodie with 50 facts about me. (Keep in mind this was written 4 years ago.)-
*Now I'm just being sentimental. This is some cute things about Zachariah when he was my nephew's age, about 1 1/2-
*Ooh, bad memories about a friend who stopped talking to me (we talk just a little now, but I haven't seen her in person since before this incident 3 years ago)-
*This tells about how Matt & I met-
*And this is a great story about how I broke a boy's heart once-

Whew, that was really fun looking back over past posts. I had forgotten so many things about when Zachariah was little. I'll have to remember to go back through my archives more often.

Monday, November 28, 2011

2 More Days...and I'm Out of Ideas

Wow, blogging for a whole month is hard. I did OK for the first half, but I've definitely hit a wall. I do have a few things that I'd like to write about and questions that I need to answer, but I need a little more time to sit down and work on those things.

It seems most days I put off writing here until late. Then I don't have as much time to put together the good posts that I really want. Plus when I am in the blogging mood, I'm playing catch up at my review blog. (That blog keeps me pretty busy!)

I am glad that I seem to be getting over my cold. I had much more energy today (even more than a normal Monday). It felt good to get a lot done. I still haven't tackled decorating for Christmas, but I did get all of Zachariah's presents wrapped. I'm pretty much done with gifts for him. The rest should be pretty easy, and I have some already. Now I just have to keep our holiday schedule under control and all will be well.

So before I wrap up my NaBloPoMo posts this week, do you have any more questions for me. I am going to work on a post to answer things tomorrow or Wednesday. And to the rest of you who are still blogging, keep up the great work! We'll finish strong together!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back to Routine

I have felt all out of sorts this last week or two with our routine. We went away for a weekend. Then Thanksgiving and no school last week made things a bit crazy. I need to get back to our regular routine. I think I'll feel more stable that way. Am I the only one who craves a routine?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


What books have you been into lately?

I haven't been reading too much in the last month, but I always have several books sitting around. I'm currently reading A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller. It's a quick read, historical romantic fiction.

Some of my favorites that I read in the last few months/year are Water for Elephants and The Great Chicago Fire Trilogy- The Hostage & The Mistress (I haven't gotten to the last yet). I guess I can't think of any others that really stood out to me.

I have been thinking about reading The Hunger Games books. And then I saw the preview for the! It looks awesome. I'll definitely have to read the books now. If I'm interested in the movies and want to read the books, I have to read the books first.

What else am I missing out on? What is something good you've read lately? What should I add to my wish list?

Oh, and I'm on if you want to add me.

Friday, November 25, 2011


My life has felt very hectic lately. The good news is that I don't feel too stressed about it. It's just been busy, and getting a cold (and feeling so tired today) in the middle of it doesn't help. Also the fact that there is a quickly approaching holiday doesn't help.

Right now I have no desire to decorate my house for Christmas. I can't figure out if it's because I am sick right now or I'm just not in the holiday spirit yet. I'm hoping it will hit at some point. (There was a Christmas, years ago, that I didn't put up our tree. I was not in a festive mood and didn't feel like dealing with it. Hoping I don't get to that this year.) I usually love putting up our tree and decorations. It's fun to have beautiful, festive house.

This week seemed like a big blur of activities. Monday was my usual busyness with Bible study at church and then trying to catch up on laundry, dishes and other chores that get put off over the weekend (especially since we were away last weekend). Tuesday I took Matt's truck to a neighboring town to have new tires put on. While they were working on it, I got a loaner car. I drove to Zachariah's school to help with his class Thanksgiving "feast". We had a great time there. I went back to the car dealership to pick up the truck, then home to get a few quick things done before Zachariah got home. Wednesday, Zachariah didn't have school. We drove to Columbus to pick up our family photographs that were ready. (They turned out so well. Have I posted my favorite here yet?) But we did make good use of our time

Thursday was Thanksgiving, which means running around to various relatives and stuffing ourselves, although it's not as bad as Christmas. We live a little way away from our families, so we end up driving the farthest to participate in family get-togethers. It gets very hectic and a little crazy, but I love it. Being with my family is such an important part of the holidays, I'll do it as long as I can.

Today Matt had to work, so Zachariah and I stayed home. I am not a big Black Friday shopper. I don't like all the crowds. We slept in and were pretty lazy all morning. Zachariah got to play video games for an hour or so, which thrilled him because he hasn't had time lately. After lunch I asked him to clean his room. It was driving me nuts, and with Christmas coming I don't want to deal with putting more toys and things into an already messy room. I couldn't believe that he readily went in and cleaned for about an hour or so with no help or complaining! He cleaned up everything and did what I'd asked. OK, so I did bribe him a bit, but still there is usually at least a little whining. Not today, so the room is clean and I let him spend the rest of the afternoon eating popcorn and candy while watching movies.

While today was a nice little break from all the hectic plans, the rest of the weekend isn't that way. Tomorrow I have to go to church early for a funeral. We lost a precious lady earlier this week, and I am helping with the dinner afterwards. Matt will come to the funeral, but he's heading home after that. The burial is a little ways away, so it might be a while before the dinner starts. Plus the Ohio State vs. Michigan game is tomorrow afternoon. I will miss it, but at least Matt will be able to get home in time to watch it. I know he has some other things to do around the house (like clean the gutters before the snow starts flying), so he'll have plenty going on. And Sunday is always busy with our involvement in church things.

Whew! I'm glad next week won't be quite this busy. Maybe that's why I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet. I think once I have a day or two to get back on a normal schedule around here and catch up on housework and chores, it will help. But we all know there are plenty of activities to keep us all busy between now and Christmas. Fortunately so far most of them are on the weekends (every weekend between now and the end of the year to be exact). Ahh...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so many things to be thankful. I thought I'd list a few. In no particular order...

1. My family
2. A warm home
3. Health
4. Food & Clean water
5. Nice clothes
6. Friends (like you)

I pray that you enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends. Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Little Puke to End the Day

Zachariah with Brutus at Cheryl's
Yep, I said that. I just used the word "puke" in a blog title. Ha! What are you going to do about it?

We had a pretty fun day today. We went to Columbus to pick up our prints of our family photos. Wow, they turned out very good. I can't wait to get everything hung up and framed.

While we were out of town, I took advantage of the opportunity to shop at Target and a few other stores we don't have here. And we ate lunch at Chick-fil-a. Then we got some yummy cookies from Cheryl's, and stopped to buy Matt some See's Candies before leaving the mall. (It's probably a good thing I don't live closer to these places that I love!) Sometimes it's fun to have a little spoiling, though.

About an hour after Zachariah went to bed he got up with puke all over himself. Yuck! He had been coughing (stinking colds), and I think he gagged himself. All over him, so he had to re-shower. All over the bed, which I had to change and wash. Ugh. I am just hoping and praying it was because of him gagging and not the flu hitting our house. I don't want to deal with that. Plus we have plans for Thanksgiving. So far, so good, but only time will tell.

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sick Again

Poor Zachariah had another cold this weekend. Fortunately he hasn't been too sick this fall, but enough with the colds already. I think going around to school has exposed him to germs he wasn't before. He seems to pick things up.

The bad part is that this time Matt and I seem to be coming down with colds too. We tried so hard to keep Zachariah's germs contained, but it didn't work. I just pray ours go quickly and neither of us end up too bad. Right now we have too much going on to even worry about it. So we'll do what we can to feel better faster and hope for the best.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cheesy Potatoes Recipe

Here is a recipe that I got from a friend. I've had similar things many different places, usually for potlucks and such. My friend and her mom make this a lot. She is a vegetarian, so when she goes to a potluck she doesn't always know what she can eat. If she brings something along that she really likes, she knows she can at least fall back on that. But these are so good we have had them for a lot of our get-togethers. I like to make them when we have a lot of people over because it serves so many. And it's very simple! You'll have to give it a try.

Cheesy Potatoes

2 lb. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of celery soup
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick margarine, melted
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased 1 ½ qt baking dish (or an 11x13 baking pan). Bake 45-50 min. at 350.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Today we had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's side of the family. It is always nice to see everyone. There were a few extra kids to play with this time, because my mom's cousin came. He and his wife have 3 little boys, so they alone outnumbered our family's (between my sister and me) 2 kids. They all had fun playing together. And their oldest boy is only weeks younger than Zachariah, and they get along pretty well.

I love family get togethers. As hectic as it can get, I'm looking forward to the other two that we have coming up on Thursday. And don't get me started on Christmas, we have so many family events that we can't always make it to them all. But I wouldn't change a thing. Especially since I'm lucky enough to still have 3 of my 4 grandparents with us. It's great to see them and spend time with them, because I know they won't be around forever. For now they are fairly young, so I hope we have a good many years left. But my 1 remaining grandpa is in poor health, so it's important to treasure those moments....even in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicago...the Town, Not the Musical

We were back in Chicago today. Remember last year when we went there? We went to the same event this time. It was the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier. So much fun! This year we participated as bloggers for our review blogs. I'm going to try to do a little write up there of all the fun things that we saw. And it was fun meeting a few new bloggers. (I actually ran into someone that knew my review blog. Eek! That was fun.)

It was a long day, which ended in me having a little temper tantrum before we left Navy Pier. Oops. But all is well that ends well...and it did.

Now we're on to a pretty hectic, busy week. I'm looking forward to all the things we have to do, and I'll try to keep myself in check too. ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little Trips

Matt and I have always enjoyed taking little weekend trips here and there. We've done this since we were first married (11 years and counting now). I can't even remember all of the little trips we've taken.

We've been to Mohican (Ohio), Kenosha (WI), Birch Run (MI), Grove City (PA), Shipshewana (IN), Flint (MI), Pigeon Forge (TN), Chicago (IL) and so many more. Some of these have been shopping trips (we love outlet malls). Some are sight seeing trips. Some are just the type of trip when we just drive and see where we end up.

There is just something about having a little time away from home and responsibilities. And it doesn't have to cost much to do this either. We love booking online with the sites that search for cheap hotel offers.

And now it's fun traveling with the kid too. It helps that Zachariah is (and always has been) a good car rider. He does really well in the car. And he doesn't even always need much to do either. He's pretty easy when it comes to that.

So, jump in the car and do a little one or two day getaway every now and then. You never know that adventures you'll find.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TV For Me

Here's what I've been watching lately:
How I Met Your MotherGleeParenthoodThe MiddleModern FamilySurvivorPrivate PracticeThe Big Bang TheoryChuck

And my favorite new shows:

Last Man StandingRevengePerson of InterestOnce Upon a Time

Are you watching any of these? What are you watching that I'm not and should be?

My two favorite new shows are Revenge and Once Upon a Time. If you haven't tried those, you really should!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


In my marriage there are things that I am good at contributing and things that Matt is good at contributing. I'd say all in all we make a great team. I do most of the housework, dishes, laundry, etc. Matt does the yard work and home maintenance.

Yesterday I washed dishes, then emptied the garbage to take outside. We store our garbage bags under the sink, and I noticed the top of the first bag was wet. Upon further investigation I found the tub I keep cleaners and odds and ends in was full of water. Thank goodness this was under there, or we would have had water everywhere. I caught it just in time. A piece under the sink drain had broken, so everything was draining under the sink into this tub.

This is where Matt comes in. He was able pretty quickly assess the problem, buy the parts, replace things, and put the sink back together. Tonight it's back to working order. I'm so thankful that Matt is handy like this, and I don't have to call a plumber when something like this happens. I could see what the problem was, but I would not have been able to fix it. He does stuff like this around the house all the time. He'd gotten to be quite the handyman over the years we've owned this house. I really appreciate that too.

I do my part, and he does his. I like that we balance each other out to keep our household running smoothly.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proud Momma

This evening we had our very first Parent Teacher conference. It went so well. I have adored Zachariah's teacher from the beginning. She is just great.

Zachariah is doing really well academically. He is doing fantastic in reading. He is reading beyond what she's doing in class, so she's challenging him with the next step up in books. He sounds out words so well and figures things out quickly. He's been doing this at home, and I'm constantly amazed at what he knows. I really appreciated her telling us about trying to challenge him and push him a little farther. She can see that he needs that. And he definitely likes to be challenged. He gets bored quickly if it's not challenging. He knows all his numbers and is writing well. He is doing well in Math too.

The problems that she told us about are things that he has issues with at home. They are minor and we will work on them and continue to remind him of those things. He rushes through some work, like writing and scissor work. Although, she said this has been happening a lot with a bunch of students lately. They want to finish first, so she's really working on quality work and not speed.

He also likes to be nosy about what other students are doing when he's supposed to be doing something else. (And he reports to the teacher when they aren't doing what they are supposed to be.) I think this is something that many kids have trouble with at this age. We decide just to remind him to focus on his work and not worry about everyone else.

And he sometimes charges into something without waiting to hear the directions. He thinks he knows how to do it, so he does. He has been doing this for a long time. He gets things done fast, because he can figure them out quickly. Then he doesn't want to wait for someone to tell him what to do next, he'll just do what he thinks he should. We'll reinforce this at home and she'll continue with the gentle reminders at school.

She also told us how much fun it is having him in her class. He's a funny kid with a lot of personality. And when he has a conversation with you, it's like talking to another adult. (He's always been like this.) It's always funny to me how this amazes people, we're just used to it.

All in all he's doing great. I was so glad to hear this. And I love that his teacher pays enough attention to know what he needs. I knew going into public school that there was a chance Zachariah wouldn't get the pushes he needed. He started kindergarten knowing so much already, but he is getting just what he needs. I know that he'll continue to excel. I'm very proud of my boy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fun Afternoon

I don't do it very often, but I'm thinking I should do more of it. This afternoon I baked with my son. I'm usually too controlling in the kitchen to let him help much. I do try, but it's so frustrating sometimes. I think I've learned to relax a little, and it helps that Zachariah is growing up. Today we had fun making Monkey Bread together. I need more moments like these with my son.

Do you like to cook or bake with your kids? What's your (or their) favorite thing to make?


And we were testing out a fun product. You can read more about it over at my review blog. And while you're there, make sure you sign up to win the $250 Paypal cash.You never know, you could be the big winner.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Few Questions for You

Tonight I have a few questions for you:

  1. The holiday season is upon us, what are you most excited about?
  2. What makes you first think about the holidays? Get-togethers? Shopping for gifts? Decorating? Baking? Cooler weather? Or something else?
  3. When do you do most of your gift buying for Christmas?
  4. Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?
  5. Do you go to family dinner for Thanksgiving? Or is it a small intimate dinner at home?
  6. What food/s do you make for Thanksgiving?
  7. Do you go to stores for Black Friday sales?
  8. Who is on your gift list?
  9. Do you host or attend any Christmas or holiday parties?
  10. What do you do to keep your kids busy during Christmas break?

Since I asked, I'll answer too:
  1. I love seeing my extended family during the holidays. My parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and more get together. Plus I enjoy Matt's family as well.
  2. I get the baking bug when the holidays get close.
  3. I have been collecting gifts over the last few months (probably a few things since spring). We don't buy a lot, so I'm pretty far along. Not too much else to do.
  4. I like having our little gift exchange before Christmas (with Matt & Zachariah). I like having our family thing with Matt's family on Christmas Eve then going to my parents' house and waking up Christmas morning with them.
  5. We have 3 Thanksgiving dinners. My maternal grandmother has dinner the Sunday before, my paternal grandparents have dinner Thanksgiving Day at 1:00, and Matt's aunt has dinner at 4:00 Thanksgiving Day.
  6. I usually bring a dessert, cookies or something similar. We travel a lot that week and live the farthest away from everyone else, so I keep it simple. Plus there is always so much food.
  7. No, I do NOT like the crowds.
  8. We buy gifts for Zachariah, sometimes each other, parents, siblings and nephews/niece. That's pretty much it.
  9. Not other than family functions. I keep thinking about hosting a Christmas party and inviting all our local friends. (I like to host parties, but rarely do it due to the expense.)
  10. I don't know, this is our first year with Christmas vacation from school. I need ideas! Help!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

OK, you asked for recipes, and I just got a great new one that you'll love. If you are a fan of the Pumpkin Cookies that I make (and I know many of you are), then you will like this one too! My mom made these and brought us some extras. They are delicious. She made hers into mini muffins, and I think they are perfect like that. Yummy!!


Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups pumpkin
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients and fill cupcake pans 2/3 full.

8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
12 oz. chocolate chips (use mini chips with mini muffin pans)

Beat sugar, egg and cream cheese together until smooth - add chocolate chips. Put 1 tsp. in center of each cupcake. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (12-14 for mini muffin pans).

Friday, November 11, 2011


Happy Veterans Day to any of you who have served, are serving, or are married to someone who is serving or has served our great nation. And a great big shout out to my cousin, Nick, who is currently serving in the Army. We're so happy that he's in the US now. Thank you for your service. We know what a sacrifice it truly is.

Tonight we went to a Phillips, Craig & Dean concert. (They were very good.) They had a big tribute to veterans which was so neat. It's moments like these that choke you up and make you realize how great we have it. And nothing is truly free.

I saw one of the best shows devoted to telling about the troubles veterans have when returning home from service. Lisa Ling has a show on OWN called "Our America". I was hooked when I heard about it, and now I look forward to each week. Last week (this week really) was about veterans and PTSD. Wow! I don't even know what to say about it. I bet they will show reruns on OWN at least until the next show airs (Sunday). Definitely DVR it or watch it if you get this channel.

I don't think I've been so emotional watching ANY show, let alone one about this. I just couldn't believe the sad stories. When she gave a statistic that said we've lost more soldiers from the Iraq war due to suicide after returning back home than to war injuries, I was shocked. She also visited a veterans suicide hotline. It was so sad to hear the operators talking to people (and SO MANY each day) and know these were the men and women who gave so much up to protect us. What can we do to protect them?

I can't really go into details (it's not my story to tell), but my cousin I mentioned about served overseas last year for about 6 months. This was it first and only tour of duty since being active military since about 2004. His job forced him to stay here instead of being deployed. But he did have a minor issue with PTSD when he came back. (I say minor, but it was really scary.) These men and women go through so much more than I can or will ever imagine. And I think my eyes have been opened to that even more.

Thank you to our service men and women. I will continue to pray for you! I can't thank you enough.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Kid...

*I know I start out a little mushy, but keep reading. There are some funny stories in here that you won't want to miss!*

He never cease to amaze me. This son of mine. He's an amazing kid. I am blessed beyond belief that God allowed him to enter my life.

I am so please with how well Zachariah has adjusted to school. First of all he had no educational experience outside of our home until now. We made the choice not to enroll him in preschool, but instead to teach him those basic skills he needed at home. I always thought home schooling was an option for our family. I know I would love to homeschool. But a few years ago it became evident that was not going to work for our son. He is a very social creature, and I could see that he craved a group learning environment that I could not provide at home. If we had other children it would seem more realistic to homeschool. But that was not the case, so we decided to enroll him in public school.

Despite Zachariah being one of the youngest kids in his class, he is thriving. Socially he gets along well with all of his classmates. He's already made plenty of friends and playmates from kids in his class and others from different classrooms too. He is learning to read at a very rapid rate. Of course his teacher is doing a wonderful job, but Zachariah is going above and beyond with his reading (even when he doesn't always realize it). And he was already ahead in math. I'm proud of how well he's doing, and I can't wait to hear more from the teacher at parent/teacher conferences next week.

This kid of mine is so funny too! He already has a nickname in his classroom. They call him Hot Dog. It all started from a shirt he wears. I got it from Old Navy late this summer. It says "Hot Dog It's Friday". He loved it when we were shopping for school clothes. They didn't have it in his size, but he loved it so much I ordered it online (and paid to have it shipped here...*gasp*). It was worth every penny. They don't make it any more, and I so wish I'd ordered at least one more. Anyway, he started wearing the shirt every Friday, and about the second week of school his teacher started calling him Hot Dog. He loved it and his classmates loved it. The name stuff. (I didn't believe it until I saw it myself when volunteering. They all do call him HOT DOG...way more than they say Zachariah.) He loves the nickname, and I guess it's better than others he could have gotten stuck with. I wonder if it will stick through high school. And I'm pretty sure I need to get him this shirt for Christmas. Very appropriate!

Tonight Zachariah cracked us up. Our high school football team is in playoffs. They play a team from Columbus this Friday in tournaments (the team happens to be Z's teacher's alma mater). So they had the football players come to the Kindergarten building today and had a pep rally for the little kids. (What a fun idea!) All the kids wore black and orange and cheered on the team. Zachariah was telling Matt about it this evening. He said something about the football players being pretty neat to see there. Then, completely unprovoked, he said, "I really liked the cheerleaders too!" Ha! I asked him why. I really shouldn't have, but I had to see what he'd say. He grinned this goofy smile and said, "Because they were really cute." Wow! It really does start young, huh!

Oh, just a side note. Last week there was a little girl from Zachariah's class who was chasing him and kissing him at recess. I told him that I didn't think they should be kissing. He shrugged his little shoulders, grinned and said, "Mom, I wasn't doing the kissing." What can I say to that?!!

I just can't wait to see what this kid comes up with next. I love his little personality. He really is a great kid. I know he'll turn out just fine. And I know that he'll never cease to amaze me...or crack me up on a regular basis.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've Been Gone Too Long...


I've been away from this blog for so long. I know there are "conversations" that I've started and not finished. I know there are stories that I've shared and not followed up on. And I know I haven't even posted pictures of my adorable niece. (My nephews got attention last year though.)

Have I missed or left out anything that you'd like to know about or see? Please let me know. I'm open to talking about almost anything. And I'd be happy to answer any questions for you. I'll be at this all month (and I'm hoping I'll pick back up on blogging here at least a little more than before), so I have lots of time to talk about things.

So let me know what's on your mind. Just something you want to know? Or do I need to update you on some things? Just ask!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 - Trauma

Day 8 - Has anything traumatic every happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event.

I can't remember any major traumatic issues in my life. There have been not so fun emergencies, like stepping on a nail when I was a kid (and it almost going all the way through my foot), passing out while newly pregnant and requiring immediate medical attention, and having my newborn baby sick in the hospital.

The worse for Matt and I both was having Zachariah go to the special care nursery shortly after his birth. He had an infection that showed more a few hours after he was born, which earned him a trip out of my room and into the special care nursery (where he stayed for a week). There was a lack of communication from the nurses to us and it had us worried. Really the whole week-long stay was like that. We would get conflicting information from one nurse to another. It was very annoying.

We saw this happen all over again (it was gut-wrenching) when my sister-in-law delivered her first baby. Like Zachariah he was taken to the special care nursery shortly after birth for an infection (in the same hospital). It was difficult to see, but we offered as much support as we could to them while he was in there. Matt was traumatized seeing our nephew in the same situation as our own son. In fact when his sister had her second baby, he said if she ends up in special care too I don't want to have any more babies. (Lucky for me little Grace was born perfectly healthy.)

In the grand scheme of things none of this made any difference. Zachariah is a healthy, thriving boy (and so is our nephew). In fact he's healthier than most kids his age. But that moment was one of the hardest of our lives. Ad yes, it does make us wonder if it would happen again for another child. Let's pray it doesn't.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7 - Family Time

Day 7 - Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and worklife?

As you can tell by my posts this weekend, family is very important to me. But for the case of this question, I'll write about my immediate family- my husband and my son. They are my life. Being a stay at home mom/homemaker makes this even more true. My life, right now, revolves around my family. So as far as balance it's not really too hard. Of course there are always challenges, but I'm not working outside the home and I'm glad to not have to worry about adding that to the mix.

In addition to taking care of my family's needs, I also enjoy spending time with them. My son loves playing games and doing puzzles, so I make time for that with him. After school, after supper, on the weekends are all great times to play a board game together and just have a little one on one time. Matt and I are usually alone together in the evenings. We talk, laugh and everything else. I'm glad that almost every day we have this time together. Those few hours can really refresh me.

And we all love to travel together. We don't have to go far, but it's fun to have little adventures together. This summer we did a lot of little trips and had a great time. Matt & I have always enjoyed little getaways. And now that Zachariah is a little older, it's easy to take him along. He's always been a good car rider, so trips that involve a little driving aren't too bad. And he enjoys seeing new things and going to new places too. For us this is great quality family time. I think this is the stuff memories are made of, and we'll always have fond memories of our time together. In fact soon we have a little weekend trip planned. We're going to Chicago to the Toy & Game Fair. We did it last year and all had a blast. It will be a fun weekend! I enjoy getting away with my two guys.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6 - Family

I love my family. I love my husband and son, but I also love our extended family. We are close to both set of our parents and our siblings too. I know we're not as close as some families, but I am so happy that we have a great relationship with everyone.

With Matt's brother in town this weekend, it was great to have everyone together. On Saturday Matt's parents, and all the siblings were present. Plus all the grandkids were together too. Only Ben's wife was missing (she stayed in Kansas since Ben traveled here from a business obligation). We did miss having her there, but it was fantastic to have everyone.

I know I am lucky. These aren't even my blood relatives. They are my in-laws. I have always liked my in-laws. They hold a very special place in my heart. I have been with Matt since I was 14, so I have been around them for years. (And our parents knew each other through common workplaces for years before that.) We have always been family focused and spent plenty of time with each other's families. And even better my family and Matt's families get along really well. My parents regularly invite Matt's parents to get-togethers and events. They will even invite each other over without Matt or I present. I love it.

I am so thankful for family!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5 - Brothers

Today we got to see my brother-in-law, Matt's brother, Ben. Ben lives in Kansas. We live in Ohio. We haven't seen Ben since his wedding about a year and a half ago. Ben is awesome. I wish he lived closer with his wonderful wife.

This was the first time that Ben had met his nephew, Patrick, and his niece, Grace. He was great with both of them. And he had fun playing with Zachariah too. Ben has always been a great uncle. And since he has no kids of his own (and his wife doesn't desire any), he does enjoy spending time with them when he can.

We're going to see him again for a brief time tomorrow. We see him so little that the time we have is precious. It's just fun to be around him. Matt always seems to loosen up and have more fun when his brother is around. Boy, I wish he was around more. I guess now it's our turn to take a trip to Kansas again.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 - Pen or Computer?

Day 4 - When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

I definitely prefer to write on my computer. I can type much faster than I can write, and I find it's easier to keep up with my train of thought this way. (My train is a fast one most of the time!) And when I type, I can look back at my writing and see if I made sense or need to revise anything.

What you might be surprised to learn, is that I wrote to penpals for years. Up until about 5 years ago really. I had penpals for at least 10 years. So I did a lot of writing with pen and paper. I loved collecting stationery too. In fact I still have a bunch. It's been all boxed up for a few months, so I can sell it. A lot of it is collectible to other penpallers, and one of my friends is interested in buying it. It seems a little sad to quit a hobby like that. But I just didn't have time to do that and everything else that I was involved in too. And I stopped penpalling about the same time I started blogging. He he, I guess this replaced that hobby.

So, I'm curious, do you only write on your computer (blogging)? Or do you like to write with pen and paper too?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3 - Music & A Visit

Today my mom came to visit. We just haven't seen as much of my family as we typically do. We weren't there very much this summer. We usually go up a lot and enjoy the pond and big yard, but we had so many other things going on this summer. Fall has been no different. With Zachariah starting school we're home more and careful about scheduling when we're not. He has to be in bed certain times, and he doesn't get the little holidays off either.

So my mom came for a while to see Zachariah. Well, she spent more of the afternoon with me. We went out to lunch and shopped for a bit. It was nice to spend time with just her, though. Then she got to play with Zachariah for a little while before she had to head home. It's always nice to spend time with her, and most times I wish we lived closer to each other. (At least it's only an hour and a half drive.)


Day 3 - Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today?

To be honest, I don't listen to much music. About the only time I have a chance to (or take the time to) is when I'm in the car. I always have the radio on in there. If I'm home and need noise, I turn the TV on. Even if I'm not watching a particular program, I'll have it on...especially if I'm alone.

And yes, I can write and listen, although I usually lose focus on one. Right now the TV is on (just background noise) while I type this in an otherwise quiet room.

I don't think I hear any songs today, other than ones my son sang to me. Do you have a song stuck in your head today? Wanna share it with me, so I'll have it stuck too?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2 - Food & more

Zachariah as Captain America with his little friend- the cat.

I think it worked how I did my last post. I had my rambling thoughts at the top, then I answered the daily question at the bottom. I'll probably stick with that layout for now. Then when I do have something to say, you'll be able to read it up here. And when I don't, I can just answer the daily question and be done. Work for you?

There is still time to join in the NaBloPoMo fun. I saw that they have the sign up open until November 5th. That's still a few days away. Join me.

Speaking of days. I am so off this week. Yesterday, Tuesday, I had in mind that it was Monday all day. No idea why. Then's Wednesday, right?...I keep thinking it's Thursday. I was rushing my son through his homework thinking it was due tomorrow, when it's really not due until Friday. Oh well, at least he got most of it finished. I guess it's already been a long week for me.

And speaking of school, Zachariah is doing great. But here's my concern...he's been a pretty healthy kid (all his life). Other than minor colds and the chicken pox when he was a baby, we've had it pretty good. I know we are just purely lucky, and I don't claim to know why he's been so healthy. I'll just take it. But now that school has started he's exposed to so many more illnesses. He was never in daycare or preschool before, and aside from the church nursery/playroom for an hour each week he wasn't around children much.

We are just barely past 2 full months of school. And to date his class has already been exposed to Fifth Disease and now Pertussis. A few weeks ago we got a note home from school saying that there was a case of Fifth Disease going around the school and possibly his classroom. He was getting over a cold then. I read about the symptoms, then the next morning realized that he had it too (when his rosy cheeks did not go away & we found rash on his arms too). Fifth Disease passes pretty easily for most children. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, and once you know they have it the contagiousness is already passed. He never seemed to notice he was sick, so I was thankful for that.

Today he brought home a letter from the school nurse saying that there is a known case of Whooping Cough/Pertussis in his classroom. Not just at school, but in his room. Ugh! Other than vigilant hand washing, there is nothing that I can do to prevent him from getting something that he might already have been exposed to. They just want us to be aware and watch for the signs of it. And of course, you have to go to the doctor for treatment if you suspect your child has it. It's only the beginning of November, and I'm so over illness.


Day 2 - If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

Wow! I think this is a really hard question to answer. I love to eat so many different things (Like you couldn't tell that by looking at me!) that choosing just one meal would be really tough. I'm sure it would have to include dessert, though.

See, I'm a pretty content person. I have scalloped potatoes and ham in the oven right now. They are really yummy. Is it my favorite meal? No, probably not. But if you told me that was the last thing I was going to eat, I'd be OK with that. I can't think of anything in particular that I'd eat if I knew I could never eat it again.

I would assume if I knew it was my last meal, I would be dying. And if I was dying, I think I'd be more worried about spending those last precious moments with my family than anything else.

I just don't really have a favorite meal, I guess. I'm thinking too hard about this, and I'm still coming up with nothing. There are certain things that I crave or want from time to time, but that changes often. I don't really have a solid "go to" meal/food.

How about you? Do you have a favorite meal?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 1 - Writing

NaBloPoMo 2011

I can't help it. I've done NaBloPoMo for so many years on this blog that I have to do it. I have written so little here this year, but I want to do it again. I've lost touch with blogging about my life. I've gotten very wrapped up with my review blog- PS Mom Reviews. Don't get my wrong, I love doing that. It's just that it's very time consuming. After I finish those posts I don't really have the mental energy to write here. And that leads me right into the writing prompt for today.  Knowing that there will be writing prompts each day for NaBloPoMo actually helped me decide to jump right in. I can do this!

Day 1 - What is your favorite part about writing?

Actually I've never really seen myself as a writer. Funny, huh! And I was a write and editor for several years on my small college newspaper. I loved the job, but I still didn't see myself as a writer.

When I started blogging, I did it so I could get out some of my feelings about parenting. It was such a big change in my life, but I had very few friends who were in the same place as me. I needed the community of other mothers and blogging seemed like a great way to find that.

I suppose for me writing is a release. Sometimes I can write about things that I can't really tell everyone about. Or sometimes I can't relate my thoughts and emotions in a conversation the same way I can write them down. When I'm writing it's like a stream of consciousness. I can say/write everything I need to all at once without interruptions. Writing/blogging is just for me. No one can interfere with what I want to say (at least most of the time).

How about you? What do you like about writing or blogging?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I can't believe how quickly time flies by. It seems like yesterday that I started this blog. Can you believe that it's actually been 4 1/2 years ago? Really! Go look at my first post- It was about my sweet little baby who had chicken pox.

Well, now that sweet, little baby is healed from the chicken pox and all grown up. He is 5 years old now. And this week...he starts Kindergarten! Talk about time flying.

It's all bittersweet that Zachariah is starting school. I'm not exactly where I pictured our lives to be. But I think I've raised a very good boy who is completely ready for school. It's going to be tough seeing him get on that great, big bus every morning. He's been really successful through the open house and orientation that we had today. He is ready for school.

I'm not sure I'm ready to send him. I know he's ready. But it's hard sending my only baby off to school. I have been around him 24/7 for his whole life. It's a very strange feeling sending him away from me for the majority of his day. He will get on the bus at 8:15AM and get off the bus at 4:10PM.

I know that I can do this. It will be an adjustment, but we'll do it. I honestly know he'll be fine there. Zachariah is a mature and smart kid. I just know I'll miss him so much. For now the hardest part will be getting him on that bus.

This all brings big, huge changes for me. I am a stay at home mom. This is my only child. Now what am I? (I need to explore this in another post, because there are so many things going on in my mind.) I do know that I'm still valued at home, though, so for now that's where I'll be.

Zachariah had open house Sunday. We love his teacher, his classroom is great, and the whole staff at the school are wonderful. The building he is in only houses Kindergarten, so I know the staff there is completely devoted to these little kids. Today was our orientation. We were at the school for several hours this morning. The kids took a tour of the school and got a very fun practice bus ride. The parents were briefed about what to expect this year in the school and in our child's classroom. I do feel really good about this school, and I'm excited for what this year can bring.

The rest of this week, while the rest of the school district is in session already, the kindergarten has staggered start days. They take 1/3 of each class for a full day the rest of this week. So, Zachariah will go all day Friday. He will get on the bus, then go to school all day.

I know if you've sent a kid to school, you understand my mixed feelings. It's such a roller coaster. And it's a big change in our lives. Here's the beginning of the end... I'll continue to do my best as a parent, and he'll work hard to get through school for the next 13 years.

Taken at open house 8/28/11

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I didn't sit down intending to write a blog post, so we'll see where this goes. Life has been pretty busy lately. I feel like the last week or so was a whirlwind. It's just the little things that add up. But all is good.


The Screen Free challenge we did went well. I plan to write about that on my other blog soon. I've already noticed differences in our routines without those distractions around. Are we (I really mean Zachariah here) watching TV/playing video games again? Yes, but definitely way more limited.


Kindergarten! Yikes! This might deserve a post of it's own. I can's coming soon. We're in the midst of preparing for it. I'm proud and nervous all at once.


On a related note, I was reading a book with Zachariah last night before bed. It was a simple book to help young readers that we got from the library. I know he can read certain words, but he surprised me last night. I would point to words that I thought maybe he would know. For instance I tried "go", "is", "are", etc. These are just simple sight words. He's pretty good at sounding out bigger words too. But he knew almost all the little words I asked him. I was seriously surprised. It's just that this is the first time he's "read" them to me like that with no hesitation. My little guy is growing up.


How was your Easter? Ours was nice. We had a great church service, then I made dinner and Matt's parents came over. I wasn't planning anything until early last week. I decided I'd just make a small ham for just us. I couldn't help it, I wanted ham on Easter. If I was going to make ham, I may as well make a meal out of it. So I got things to make ham, cheesy potatoes, rolls, deviled eggs, and no bake cherry cheesecake, plus we already made Easter cookies. When I realized how much food that was, I knew we wouldn't eat it all. Matt's parents don't generally do anything for Easter, so we called to see if they wanted to come over. It worked out well that their church was over in time and they came to join us. They brought along broccoli salad and sugar cream pie. Every thing was great, and we had just enough leftovers.

Zachariah enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs when he woke up in the morning. And this is the first year that I hid his basket (a tradition my parents always did). He loved trying to find it. (I made it easy this year it's on!) And to continue another Easter tradition of my mom's, I got him pajamas. Fun!

Tell me about your Easter traditions.

Monday, April 18, 2011


My family is taking on a challenge this week. It will be a big one for us. And my apologies in advance for being more absent on your blogs, Facebook, and twitter this week. Go see what we're up to and follow our journey here-

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just a Little Longer...

When will this end. I miss Matt so badly. He was supposed to be back in Ohio by this afternoon. We were going to the city where he's coming in to do a little shopping, go out to lunch, then go get him. Then we were going to bring him home. It was not meant to be that way...yet.

Yesterday afternoon we found out that the flight leaving the city they're in was canceled. And the next available few flights were booked full. The only possibility found (after hours and hours of trying to work this out) is to leave Monday instead. And even this plan is sketchy, because only one of the two of them has a seat on that flight. They are hoping and praying that another opens up by then. At least this is how I understand this all from where I sit. Ugh.

So the plan right now is for them to head our late Monday night. This would put them arriving home Tuesday afternoon. I'm glad that I don't work outside of the home, so it's easy for me to be available to get him from the airport whenever needed.

I am very thankful that they have a safe place to stay and aren't stranded in an airport in a 3rd world country where they don't speak the language. They found out just in time that this had happened and were able to stay put and take care of things. They should have no problems staying there for a few days, and there are hopefully some things for them to do while they are there. They have WiFi, power, and water. And I'm sure there is food available too.

I'm praying that the flights they are scheduled on stick, and they will have no problems getting back Tuesday. Matt is already worried about missing 2 more days of work, but he doesn't have many options at this point. He has time he can use, he just didn't want to. He's already been gone for two full work weeks, and we're going away for a week in the next few months for our family vacation. But things will work out.

I felt really helpless yesterday as I was receiving periodic updates about the situation. Fortunately Matt was able to get on Facebook with me, so we could chat for a while. I think it was a good distraction for both of us. I feel lucky, because 20 years ago we could not have communicated this way. In fact I probably wouldn't have known of the cancellation and might have waited at the airport for him not know what happened. Modern technology is wonderful!

So, I have a few more days to be a single mom. I need to pull some new tricks out of my hat, because I was not prepared for this. My mom is wonderful, and at least she's helping me salvage today. She called earlier to see if they could come here for the day. We can maybe go shopping and eat lunch together. It will give Zachariah someone else to play with. And she's bringing my adorable nephew, Easton, with her since my sister is working. I won't complain about that.

Here goes nothing. I can hang in just a little bit longer.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Only a Few More Days

Matt is finishing up his work in Africa. Today is their last day to work, and tomorrow they start their long journey home. We'll get to pick them up this weekend. And we can't wait to see him.

It's been a long two weeks, but it's gone by fast too. I have had lots of support and activities. When several of you offered to help distract us with things to do, it meant more to me than you know. I feel bad that it didn't work out to actually take you up on that, but it felt like I had a lifeline if/when I needed it. Thank you! (And I still hope we can get together sometime even after this....especially when it warms up and we can get outside.)

We have eaten out a lot! We went shopping a few times. We had lunch dates with new friends. We rented movies. We pulled out new games and movies that were saved for this occasion. We spent a weekend sick. We spent a weekend with my parents. We went bowling with my inlaws. We went to church and small group.

Zachariah is going to the local museum today with his grandpa (my father-in-law), so I can have a little break from him. We've had zero time apart for two weeks. I can't even leave the house alone to go to the store quickly. I'm used to being around him a lot, but this is extreme. I still have no idea what I'll do with my time this afternoon. I had several projects that I wanted to work on, but I didn't get to any of them. It seems like a waste to start now, when I know I can't finish. I might just run to the hobby store and enjoy the quiet of my house for a while.

Matt's trip has gone very well. If you'd like to read a little about his adventures, you can check out his blog. He's shared a little about what he was doing there and some of the things they did. I know he'll be happy to see us, but there is also a period of adjusting to being back in the US after a trip like this. Not only is there the travel weariness and jet lag that takes a long time to get over, but the cultural differences are huge and it takes some time to process. And he'll be in for a big weather shock as well. They were getting up to 115+ degrees during the day there. Here it's been cold...even for a typical March in Ohio. And now there is snow on the ground again. I hope for his sake it warms up here soon. (Who am I kidding? We all want it to warm up already.)

Things I've learned while Matt was away. Two weeks can go by pretty quickly, especially if you pack them full of activity. The house is cleaner when he's not here. My kid will go a little crazy at times without Daddy around. I've been calmer this time, so I can tell I've done it before. I sleep better when I can hog the whole bed. I am a big girl and can take care of myself and child when my husband isn't here. I do like his support (a lot), but I'm glad that I can feel like a grown up and know I'm capable of doing it alone from time to time.

With all that said...Matt hurry home! We miss you a lot and can't wait to see you again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is Normal?

I feel like life has been crazy these past few weeks. There have been so many activities taking up our time. Yet, when I do have the time I still don't feel like blogging or reading blogs. I have a few times. I do read your blogs, I do. I just don't comment as much as I think I should. And I don't feel like I should have to apologize, but it still feels like ignoring my friends when I don't comment. And I am sorry for that. I'm still here. I still care.

It always seems if we can get through these few days or the next few weeks or into spring, etc. that things will get back to normal. But I find myself really wondering what normal really is. Normal seems to be busy, so I may as well embrace that and learn to schedule life around it. I don't see things getting any calmer soon. Learning to manage my schedule is a must do. And finding a place in that for blogging (and review blogging) is important to me. Time with my family is also important, and that takes top billing. I just need to squeeze other things in when I have free time and use it wisely.

So, here are some things that you've been missing, especially if you don't follow me on my other blog, twitter, or facebook:

- Matt is leaving soon for another mission's trip. Some of you may remember when he went 2 1/2 years ago. He is blogging about it again, so if you'd like to see more about what he's up to while he's away let me know and I'll e-mail you the link for his Missions blog.

- Matt's well prepared for his trip, but we're sure going to miss him here. He'll be gone for two full weeks plus 2 full travel days, so almost 16 days. That's a long time for a stay at home mom to spend with no other adult in the house. We're planning a few distractions. There might be a trip to the grandparents for an evening or an overnight stay at some point. I'm also trying to think of fun things that we can go do just to break up the long day of being together all the time without Daddy around. But mostly I'm feeling OK about him being gone, and I'm excited for what he'll be doing on his trip.

- Last week we received a warning about people from our country going into the country Matt's going too (sorry I want to be a little vague). They were not telling people not to come, but they just wanted them to be on guard. While it did worry us a little, we still felt that it was safe and necessary for him (and the other guy who's going with him) to go. Then this week, we got notice that the threat was not a viable one, so there was no reason for alarm at all. Thank God! Of course I still have a few concerns about him going that far from home for that long, but I know that God has planned it all and things have fallen into place perfectly.

- My baby turned 5 two weeks ago! 5! It just seems so...grown up. He'll be starting kindergarten in the fall. We're getting ready to register for that and start that whole process. I'm nervous about it for sure, but I know it's going to happen whether I like it or not. I cannot get this kid to stop growing.

- Matt was sick two weeks ago. He was miserable for quite a while. The medication he was put on seems to have done the trick, and he's mostly better now just in time to leave.

- I hate to say this. We've had a pretty healthy winter. I know so many people/families have been really sick this winter. It's been a bad one. Zachariah continues (mostly) on the healthy path. I know how lucky I am that he's been such a healthy kid. See next item.

- Of course just before Matt leaves, Zachariah gets sick. He woke up yesterday morning with a fever, then threw up. Ugh! He took a nap in the morning, then he started to perk up. The fever went away right after he got sick, so that helped. We went out to dinner last night and he ate really well, probably because he didn't eat much all day at home. He was much better by bedtime. This morning...the fever is back. Poor baby. He's got a bit of a cough and this fever that did go down with some tylenol. I hope it doesn't get any worse.

- I'm starting to wonder today if I'm getting sick too. Of course! I sure hope it just passes quickly. Pray for me. I don't want to deal with being sick while I have no other adult help.

I know I have other things to share and blog some things happening with my sister and what my cousin just went through. But I think I'll save that for later. For now I just wanted to get some words written here on this blog. I want to get back to normal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meal Rut Help

Yep, you read it right. My family is in a meal rut.

When I started watching my nephew, Patrick, in the fall, I got away from meal planning and grocery shopping with coupons. I was doing so well with that for a while, but I was busier during the day with him here. Those things all got pushed to the side. Before that I had time during the day, so that's when I did all my grocery shopping. I would scan the ads of the local stores, look online, find the best deals and match coupons to save a lot on our grocery bill.

In January when I was no longer watching Patrick I still found myself in a bit of a rut. I was preparing meals and keeping the house stocked with groceries. But we were still eating out about twice a week (too much for us), and a lot of evenings I didn't think about dinner until 5:00. That doesn't work so well when you're used to eating at 5:30. It ended up being more work that way. There was no plan.

So last month my husband pointed out that I needed to get back to meal planning. I agreed. So I got to work.

It's difficult for me to plan meals for a week. There are only 3 of us, and to prepare something every night I would end up with way too many leftovers. Plus our grocery bill would be too large for us to handle. What I generally do is plan 3-4 big meals to make for the week. I try to keep a few easy extras on hand to make on a boring night. And I keep in mind that we will probably eat out one night a week. The other days we can fix leftovers from previous meals.

This seems to work pretty well, and it's working with our budget as well. I have a big dry erase board that hangs on the fridge. It has the days of the week and areas for menu and more. (It's the one I reviewed at PS Mom Reviews.) I don't worry about lunches, we do simple lunches here. (Need ideas? I can share lunches if you're interested.) So all I'm planning is suppers. It works, and I think things have run smoother since I started doing it.

The problem is by the weekend we're in a rut. On Saturdays we're often busy, and I don't really want to cook. Sundays we have church all morning, and we get home just in time for lunch. Then we take naps and head out to small group (church group/bible study group) for the evening. We try to grab something to eat quickly before we leave. We don't mind eating leftovers, but by Sunday the leftovers are a little too...left over. It's OK to eat them for one meal, but by supper on Sunday it's very boring.

Saturdays I'm working on. If we eat sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, I can make something easy for supper. Sunday is the biggest problem. Especially for Matt. He's really tired of two rounds of leftovers.

Here's where I need your help. What would you suggest for Sunday meals?

One thing I've considered is using the crockpot (which I do like), but I don't think I have enough time Sunday mornings to get things ready. And I think it would either be not enough time to cook (for lunch) or too long (for supper). Another option is just eating out for lunch Sundays. This would be easy to do, because we're already out and about for church. There are lots of options between church and our house. I would have to either adjust the budget or plan well for this. That is doable I think, but I wonder if we'd get tired of it too.

So, that's where I'm at with it. I could use your advice, though. Please, help a girl out. My family thanks you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Contest Redraw

Unfortunately Melissa is having troubles using the CSN gift code. She's in Canada and they add extra taxes that  don't really make it worth all the trouble. Anyway, after speaking with Melissa, she would rather pass the code back to someone else in the US. And we need to do it quickly, because the code expires at the end of the month.

I'm revisiting the post now and drawing a new number. The new winner is...#2 - Sarah @ No Whey, Mama. Sarah, I have an e-mail on the way to you. Just be sure to use this right away. Wouldn't want to let a $55 gift card go to waste. Plus many items have free shipping in the US.

Thanks everyone for entering!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Really Should Draw a Winner...

OK, I was going to close the comments on my little giveaway Tuesday. But things came up. I ended up going to my sister and brother-in-law's hockey game to watch my nephew. I know, such a tragedy that I had to hold a sweet baby for 2 hours. Terrible, I tell you. He he, OK, so I enjoyed each and every minute. He's such a sweet little guy. He cried for the last part of the game, because he was so darn tired. But he still kept trying to calm down and rest on my shoulder. I felt bad. I knew it was past his bedtime, but I did what I could. I'm sure he fell right asleep on the way home. Poor guy. The bad news is I was so busy with him that I didn't take any pictures. You wanna see one from the last time he was here?
Easton & Zachariah

Now that's a pretty adorable excuse, don't you think? Not that it accounts for Wednesday, but let's just say I wasn't feeling great and Aunt Flo came to visit too. The two might be related, but they might now. Either way, I didn't do anything yesterday pretty much all day.

Today is a new day. We have our last swim lesson...until the next session starts next week. Zachariah has come so far. He's doing amazingly well. I anticipate they will move him up to the next level. And he really wants to continue lessons, so next week we'll just keep going to the Y twice every week.

So, on to the business at hand. I am using to determine a winner for the CSN giveaway. Thank you all for entering. just picked number 18. That is Melissa. Hi Melissa! Congrats! You'll be receiving an e-mail from me with your gift code and instructions on redeeming it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Because I love you all!

It's time for a giveaway! I've been doing reviews for CSN Stores for a while now, but I want to share the fun with you. They have such a variety of products on their websites. With over 200 online stores CSN Stores has everything you need from a chic leather briefcase, fitness equipment or cookware.

You are all so nice. I love the friendship and support I get on my blog. So because I love you all, and I know you all probably like to shop as much as I do...I'm hosting a giveaway here. Not on my review blog where I get tons and tons of entries. Oh no, this is just for you faithful Mommy Daisy readers. I appreciate you and I want to pass it along.

So watch for a post very soon to see how you can win a Gift Card from CSN Stores!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I still want to write here, in my little space on the internet. Why do I find it so tough to put the words and thoughts in my head down into this tiny space in front of me?

Part of my problem that is there is so much to say that I know I can't possibly say it all at once. Do you know what I mean? I'm sure you've felt like that before too. I need to accept that I can't say it all. This blog is just a small peek into my life. I know there are parts that you, my readers, are missing out on. But the truth is, that's just the way it's going to be no matter what I do.

So, let me just give you a brief overview of what's going on in my life.
*Christmas was fun, busy, but fun. I enjoyed the family time.
*I am no longer babysitting my nephew.
*I enrolled Zachariah in swim lessons again.
*Swim lessons get me to the Y, so I'm actually getting some exercise again.
*I am overwhelmed by even the thought of sorting toys in my son's room.
*We were spoiled for Christmas.
*I've enjoyed more time with my nephews (especially the one I wasn't babysitting- we saw him a lot over the holidays).
*I'm working out our new daily schedules since I'm not babysitting.
*I'm trying to get my house in good, organized shape and a cleaning schedule.

That's what you have to look forward to. And more. I'm hoping to post on this blog twice a week. That's my new year goal. And you can always catch me on Twitter or pester me in e-mail to make sure that I'm still posting.