Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Menu

It took more time than I had hoped, but it is finally done!

I have completed the menu for the entire month of September!

Now, I think I need a vacation.

1 - Something Out 
(1st cross country meet & I have to do the shopping!)
2 - Snack Foods (Family Movie Night)
3 - Chicken kabobs, grilled corn-on-the-cob
  4 - Ham and Cheese Sliders, chips
5 - Hamburgers, baked beans (Labor Day)
6 - Ham and Potato Corn Chowder, cornbread
7 - Parmesan Crusted Chicken, carrots, salad
8 - Leftovers
9 - Fish Po-boys, fries
10 - Lasagna, salad, bread
11 - Leftovers
12 - Crock pot Jambalaya, cornbread
13 - Leftovers
14 - Chicken Enchiladas, salad 
15 - Chicken Fried Rice
16 - Pizza, veggies and dip
17 - Broccoli cheddar soup, bread
18 - Sloppy joes, carrots and dip
19 - Grilled chicken, green beans, salad
20 - Leftovers
21 - Grilled Chicken salads, bread
22 - Sensational rice, broccoli, bread
23 - Beef and Cheese nachos
 24 - Taco Cupcakes, chips and salsa
25 - Ham, mac-n-cheese, lima beans
26 - Spaghetti, salad
27 - Leftovers
28 - Quesadillas, spanish rice
29 - Chicken noodle soup, cornbread
30 - Calzones (Family Movie Night)

I'm trying all kinds of new recipes trying to give us some variety and not be tempted to eat out.  I'm sure I'll need to make some adjustments along the way, but my goal is to keep within my grocery budget and keep from eating out in September unless absolutely necessary. That, of course, is going to be the big challenge considering I have to navigate the cross country and baseball schedules.  My game plan is to have other items on hand to make quick things we can take with us (like homemade "lunchables", fruit and veggies, finger food that doesn't have to be heated up - if you have any ideas let me know!)

Now, to get that shopping list together...

Definitely think I'm going to need a vacation.

Living thru faith,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bandaids Make Everything Better

Sarah loves bandaids.  Bandaids and ice packs.
They make everything better.

She loves them so much Santa even put a box in her stocking.

So tonight when she scratched her toe before getting in the bath and then a scratch on her finger started hurting after the bath, the only way to save the day was...

2 all important and completely unnecessary bandaids.

But oh the joy and comfort they provided!

Living thru faith,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Boy Was I Wrong!

We thought we had a mild version of Sarah's virus last weekend; however, unless Matt brought home a new one, we obviously didn't.

Matt started Thursday night, I fell victim Friday afternoon (at my hair appointment - poor Karen!) , and then Daniel dropped Friday night.  

Thankfully, so far Brian has stood strong and we are praying this is the same thing Sarah had and she won't get something else!

I had the worst of it and stayed in my room pretty much all day.  Poor Sarah just didn't know what to do.  She was worried and kept wanting to help Momma feel better.  

She kept bringing me food and water.

And drew me pictures (which are now hanging on her wall, go figure).

We are so thankful to all of our friends who called or texted to see if we needed anything.  What a blessing to be part of a wonderful family of believers!

Hopefully, tomorrow we will all be feeling good and can get back to normal.

Living thru faith,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turn off the jets

For us "normal" is what we call "somewhat organized chaos".  We are constantly on the go.  My feet hit the floor in the morning and if I'm lucky I get to stop for a little bit about 9pm - in between switching out the washer and dryer - and get to work on paperwork or my blog or a menu...

Several years ago we owned a home with a whirlpool tub.  I hardly ever used it.  The previous owner did not take proper care of it and anytime I wanted to use it there was always a question if black gunk was going to come out of the jets.  No matter how many times we ran it, no matter how much we cleaned it out, if it sat for any length of time the black gunk would return.

I remember that it had been a really tough week and Brian worked hard getting a bath ready for me.  He even lit some candles and put my Enya CD in the player.  I spent the next few minutes just vegging and then started thinking about the craziness that had been going on.

As I looked at all the bubbles being formed by the air blowing through the jets, I realized it was all the "bubbles" in my life that was filling my life with chaos. How the bubbles "bubbled" and the intensity of the bubbles were not necessarily in my control, but I had to function in the midst of all chaos.

Right beside the tub I had placed a card with Psalm 22:2 written on it.   "...He leads me beside still waters." 

As I am sitting in the middle of all these bubbles, I suddenly knew what God was trying to tell me.  I reached up and pushed the button - the button that turned off the bubbles.  Immediately,  the waters were calm and the jets were quiet.  I hadn't noticed the noise surrounding me because I was focusing on the bubbles.

Matthew 8:23-27 tells us how Jesus calmed the storm - "then He stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm."

Rather than focusing on the chaos, we have to keep our focus in Jesus.  We have to be still, we have to turn off the jets for a little while, we have to let Jesus calm the waters. 

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's a Vicious Cycle

I thought I was caught up on the laundry... 
and then Matt emptied their laundry hamper 
(and probably the surrounding floor space).

Calgon, take me away!

(does that date me or what?!)

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New idea for my kitchen island

I want to put an island in the kitchen.

One with a couple of stools and some storage space.

There is plenty of room for a decent size island.  It can't be too big (or expensive).  
So, I've been looking for inspiration and found a few ideas.

I love to have things hidden behind cabinets or in drawers.  
However, since it is not a large kitchen I've been thinking 
something more open would be best.

And then I found this today on

She took inspiration from this Pottery Barn version...

and created this...

She is using hers as a potting bench, but I'm thinking kitchen island!

With maybe a butcher block top that overhangs a bit to put stools underneath.  Add some baskets for storage, a towel rod on one side...

And it would go great with the barn door!

You know, I haven't mentioned the barn door to my hubby. 

Hmm, I wonder how that one is going to go over...

Living thru faith,

Monday, August 22, 2011

It all started with a bike ride...

Saturday was an extremely busy day!

I dropped Daniel off at 7:25am for his cross country team bike ride. 
(I think they went about 5 miles!)

I dropped Matt off at 7:40am at baseball practice.

I picked Sarah up from the house about 7:50am and 
went back to the start location for the bike ride.

Another mom and I (with kids in tow) left there about 8:10 
to pick up ice cream and waters for the end of the ride.

Somehow, we managed to meet the riders along the route right when her daughter and my Daniel were passing by.  (We couldn't have timed that one any better if we had planned it!)

After safely weaving around bike riders, we took an alternate route and beat them back to the start location to hand out waters and ice cream.

By 10am, still no word from Matt so we headed home and, of course, 
Matt called right after we got inside.

After showers ('cause they was a stinkin'), I took them to McDonald's for lunch, went to Kohl's looking for Daniel some more tennis shoes, put gas in the car, and headed home. (Came home without shoes, but a nice backpack for Matt. Not a completely wasted trip.)

The afternoon consisted of various jobs around the house, giving Sarah a bath, and helping with some cleaning at the church for about 30 minutes. Brian spent the whole day at the library working on his dissertation.  We were both tuckered out by bedtime, only to be woken up at 12:30 with "Mommy, my belly hurts."

Needless to say, we didn't make it to church Sunday morning.  Brian took the boys to the youth family cookout that evening and then stayed home with Sarah and Daniel on Monday.  Hopefully, everyone will be where they are supposed to be on Tuesday and we can get back to our normal schedule - which is pretty much somewhat organized chaos...

Living thru faith,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mommy, My Belly Hurts

My poor little one has a stomach bug.  
Thankfully, it appears to be a mild one, but she still feels puny. 

I was awake from about 12:30 till 5:30.  
Even though she was only sick a few times, it was the time in between that I spent listening for signs she was about to get sick.  Mommy radar just wouldn't shut off.

We made a pallet in the living room for her this morning and she has slept most of the day.  Waking up periodically to watch "Strawberry Shortcake".  

I left Daddy in charge about noon and Mommy went to bed for about 2 hours.  Hopefully, everyone will get a good night's sleep tonight.

Living thru faith,

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Horse Machine

Sarah told me her whole plan this morning.

She wants to be build a horse machine.


It has to have a pink horse, a purple horse, a yellow horse, a green horse, and a blue horse.


With lots of sparklies.


And it will go around and around.


And Daddy needs to build it.


I'm sure he is going to get right on it, sweetheart!

Living thru faith,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Jesus Picture

I wanted share our Jesus picture with you.

It was given to us by our church in Baton Rouge 
where my husband served as an associate pastor.

At the time it was given to us, only two other ones had been made.
 One hung in the church prayer room and one was taken on a mission trip to be placed in a chapel in Russia. Each one lovingly handmade from various pieces of wood.

In the many places we have lived since we left Baton Rouge, it has always been hung in a prominent place in our home...dining rooms, living rooms, mantels. (Except for the time when the boys threw a ball, knocked it off the mantel and the bottom snapped off.  Thankfully, it was fixable!)

 It currently resides over our living room couch.  Each time I look at it, I'm reminded of how Jesus is always looking over us...protecting us, teaching us, loving us...and I am also reminded of the wonderful people of our Baton Rouge church and how they loved and cared for us while we were there.

May you always feel His presence no matter where life leads you!

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fairy Tale Night

Tonight we took Sarah to one of our local Chick-fil-A's for Fairy Tale Night.

She was beyond excited when I picked her up from "school" and told her what we were doing.

First, she took a princess carriage ride around the kingdom (parking lot).

The Prince helped her into the carriage and then she insisted that he help her get down.

She loved the cow princess.  
Every time we turned around she was heading back to give her a hug.

The beautiful Ms. Kentucky was there signing autographs 
and posing with all the little princesses.

She even got her nails painted for the very first time.

What a special time for our little princess!

Living thru faith,

Monday, August 15, 2011

How Do I Do It?

I get asked quite a bit how I do it.  How do I keep up with our crazy life?  Well, the truth is...    I don't.  There is always some balls that get dropped.  I just strive to keep as many as possible in the air and let the others fall where they may.

My husband and I both work full time.  He also teaches part time, is working on his PhD dissertation, and is the volunteer Missions & Evangelism pastor at our church.

Our oldest son plays high school baseball (which has become a year round sport), our middle son runs for the middle school cross country team, and our 4 year old daughter just gets dragged around to everything and for some strange reason loves it all.

One of my favorite baseball pics!  This is from 2008.

Add in various church activities, home projects, and other things that just pop up, and we are constantly busy and constantly tired.

In an effort to keep up with everything, I bought this white board from Walmart last year.  The idea is for us to sit down on Sunday, look at our calendars for the week, and put everything down on this calendar, including the menu.

When we actually do it, the week goes so much better. However, I didn't write in this week's until this morning!  What is not on there right now is baseball.  We haven't received any information on fall ball yet, but most likely Matt will be staying after school most days this week.  If they are not having an official practice, he and a couple of teammates may be staying to do some things on their own.

I've discovered that things also run better when I can make up a menu for the whole month.  I've tried other ways, but I'm getting back to the monthly one.  It takes me a little bit longer in the beginning, but makes grocery shopping and weekly planning run so much smoother.

You can print off a monthly calendar from several different places, but this one is from

No matter how much I plan, something comes up unexpectedly.  So, I just have to be flexible and go with the flow as much as possible.

And, regardless of my expectations, I simply cannot do it all.  In order to do all the other stuff, I have to let go of some things.  Typically, that is the cleaning and the cooking and the exercising.

So, my goal with this new school year is to try to at least do better with cooking so that we are not eating out so much.  I'm really tired of giving McDonald's my money. (Not to mention my expanding waistline!)

Living thru faith,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Supper is ready...finally!

Homemade pizza and a movie was the plan... 

I got home and headed to the kitchen to start pulling everything out.  
And that is when I remembered...
I never did go back to the store to pick up the pizza sauce.  
No big deal, I'll just make some.  
Oops, no tomato sauce...

Oh and while I'm looking...yep, I forgot to get the toppings, too!

So, I sent Brian and Matthew to the local IGA and I warmed up the oven.

No big didn't take them long and soon we had pizza.

Then I started making the brownies...

I poured the dry mix in the bowl, added the water, added the eggs.  I sent Matt next door with the promise of brownies in exchange for 2 eggs.

Finally....we settled in for pizza, a movie, and brownies for dessert.

And delivered some brownies next door.

Sometimes, it takes a village just put supper on the table!

(I'm happy to report that I did get to the store today and we now have tomato sauce, eggs, and other food items.  Although, I did forget to get the bread...)

Living thru faith,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hubby saved the day!

A couple of days ago when I first started this post, it had a much different title.  A couple of days ago I was in mourning...

for my showerhead.

Because the kids' bathroom wasn't finished when the boys got back, they had to use our shower a couple times.  For some reason I still do not understand, Matt tried to adjust my fixed showerhead and I ended up with a crack in the connector section of 
my little piece of heaven

Brian took it back to Lowe's since we had only had it for 4 months, but it had been too long so they wouldn't accept it.  They did give us the information to contact the manufacturer, so we will see what happens with that.

Sadly, they no longer had the same one, so he picked out another one that indicated a "robust flow of water."  I'm not sure what dictionary they were looking in, but their definition of "robust" didn't even come close to mine!  So back that one went.

We went back and looked again...and again...and again.

You see, as my husband says, my hair sheds water like a duck.  I have to have a strong stream of water or my hair ends up in a tangled, flat mess and it ends up taking me twice as long in the shower, which just defeats any water saving features.

 Brian wouldn't let me get the one I wanted which said "3X the pressure".  He just refused to pay $60 for a shower head. (Can't say that I blame him, but I was desperate!) So, we picked out another one and I tried it out before bed.  It left my hair frizzy...

So, we took it back the next day and got a different one.  It was a little better, but still not worth the price.  It left my hair flat...

So, we went back the next day and got a different one.  It was so bad, even Brian didn't like it.  You had to put the shower pouf up right next to it to rinse out the suds.  

And then....

He looked up to see if by some chance we could order a replacement part.  They had other parts available, but not that one.  And then he discovered we could order a new one online AND it was only $24 through Amazon AND we could get 2 days free shipping!

He was able to put tape around the connector or something, so we can use the old one until the new one arrives.

Momma is happy now...and so is my hair!  :-)

Living thru faith,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day back to school for the boys.  They, of course, were thrilled!  NOT!!!

Sarah picked out her own outfit for this special day.
(even though she wasn't starting school yet)

Gotta love those pink cowgirl boots!

Of course, I ended up with all the "homework" (x2)...

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wall Cabinet Redo

When we started talking about redoing the kids' bathroom, I knew I would paint the cabinets white.  But, one day I ran across a picture that gave me an idea...
what if I added beadboard to them!

I took the doors off and sanded them. 

Then we knocked the back off and Brian added the bead board to the back and the sides.

(My car is no longer in the garage! I've been kicked out by a new mower and new-to-us table saw.)

I painted it Behr's "Silk Pillow" (which I already had for another project).  
It took several more coats than I anticipated.  

I also had to Kiltz the laminate parts.  Because the doors and trim are wood, I never even noticed the inside and shelf were laminate.  It remains to be seen how the paint will hold up on that part, but I'm crossing my fingers!

I changed the knobs to some simple but sturdy black ones.  

I also purchased baskets to hold all of their daily stuff (half price at Hobby Lobby!!!).

They didn't have anything before the baskets, which meant everything was always an absolute mess!

So, here's the final product...

It's not perfect, but it looks so much better than before!


Living thru faith,