Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 Yesterday was Sarah's birthday, the day before Halloween.  Because I was having to be induced, the doctor gave me the choice.  I could have her on Monday or Tuesday.  I really didn't want her to have her birthday on Halloween, so I went with Monday. 

The girl LOVES dressing up, she LOVES going trick-or-treating, and she LOVES pumpkins.  I guess she was born at just the right time of year!

Our lives have been so busy, that we didn't even get a pumpkin this year.  No trip to the orchard, no pumpkin patch, no corn maze!  I can't believe it!  All we have are three little pumpkins she wanted from the farmers market when we were in Nashville.

Life can get so crazy that we sometimes forget to stop and make memories...

This morning some of the day care kiddos came to the offices for their annual Parade of Costumes. I, of course, forgot the camera.  Thankfully, Brian was able to take a couple with his phone. 

I just love having the day care across the parking lot!

Tonight our church is participating in our town's big Halloween event on main street.  Our church gives out free hotdogs, usually about 500 of them!  We also give out candy bags with a little card in it just to share that Jesus loves them. This year we are doing a Trunk or Treat to give out candy.  It should be a blast and it can be such a great way to share the love of Christ with others!

I found this today and wanted to share it with you.

A lady recently being baptized was asked by a co-worker what it was like to be a Christian. 
She replied, "It's like being a pumpkin:
God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and 

puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

 I want to be Your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads
To see You set the captive free
Until the whole world hears
And I pray the day will see
More of You and less of me
Lord, I want my life to be
The song You sing

May the light of Jesus shine through you today and everyday until the whole world sees and hears!

Living thru faith,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Festivals and Other Happenings

This week has been full and it's not slowing down!

On Monday, I took Sarah to the Fall Festival at her day care (Brian was teaching class).

We love her school!  Sarah's teacher, Ms. Allison, is wonderful and we are constantly amazed at what she is learning.  She loves counting to ten in Spanish and writing her letters.  One night after supper she told us the story of Samuel from the Old Testament - in detail!

 She also loves the director, Ms. 'Chelle!  In the beginning she had a hard time saying Ms. Michelle and it all kinda rolled together.

Matt started baseball conditioning this week for spring ball, Daniel is in his last week of cross country, and we are getting ready for an insane weekend and start of a new week.

I made mini cupcakes for Sarah's class to celebrate her birthday today, Daniel has his last cross country meet on Saturday, we have a potluck after church on Sunday, Sarah's birthday party Sunday afternoon, Halloween activities on Monday, and Brian's birthday on Wednesday.  

My house is a beyond a mess, I haven't decided on how to decorate the cake, I have no idea what I'm fixing for the potluck, I still haven't bought Halloween candy, and I haven't even thought about Brian's birthday yet (so sorry, Honey!).

Oh, my sweet little girl is not so little anymore!

I have, however, wrapped Sarah's presents and decorated some little buckets for the girls to have at the party. I think they turned out so cute!  I can't wait to show them to you! 

For now, I better get busy getting stuff done!  

Living thru faith,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our Shed is Finally Up!

The boxes and supplies have only been sitting in our garage since the day we were given the keys to the house! But the shed is finally up!

 Saturday afternoon Brian and Matthew built the frame and then we worked on getting it level and filled in with pea gravel. We only had to make 3 trips to Lowe's to get it all finished!  :-)

Sarah did her best to supervise the boys.

 By the time it started getting dark, the foundation was finished and the floor was attached.

Sunday afternoon, they started building the walls.  It was definitely not a one person job!

Sarah was again right in the action.   
Her job was counting out the screws and handing them to Matthew.

About 4 hours or so later, it was finally done!

There was a chance of rain overnight, so we decided to wait to put everything in to make sure there were no water leaks.  However, it didn't really rain, so we just went ahead and put in everything (that would fit).  I didn't get any pictures of the inside because it was getting dark when we started loading things in and it was completely dark when we finished.  Of course, then it really did rain. So, still no pictures.

I, of course, want to organize it better.  Why? It's not like I'm even going to be in the thing!  This is Brian's domain.  Why should I be worried how it is organized?!  Ok, I might have to go in to get a rake or something.  Then again, I'll just send the boys to do that...

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Level Ground

I mentioned before how we moved all the dirt that was dug up for the paver patio 
to some low spots by the house.

We moved a lot of dirt.  
It was amazing how much dirt was needed to actually level out the section just by the house!

In order to help with drainage, we tried to grade it slightly so that water would drain 
toward the side of the house.

We will actually be putting in a rain barrel on that end.  We have the barrel, but Brian needs to outfit it with a nozzle and whatever else to make it actually function as a rain barrel.

There is also a section on the other side of the patio that needs to be raised and leveled off.  There were actually holes that had formed underneath the concrete.  

Unfortunately, we did not have enough dirt from the paver patio project to complete that side as well.  At least we were able to get the larger section done and ready for putting up the shed.  
(I'll show you that project tomorrow!)

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Big Deal for the Weekend!

I am so excited about the big deal I got this weekend!

I bought mums at Lowe's for 62 cents a piece!

Yep, that's right...62 cents!

They had just marked them down to 75% off that morning.
So now I have some flowers by the new patio!

And in my pots in the front!

I got 6 plants for less than 4 bucks!  I figured even if they don't come back next year, I still would have gotten my money's worth this year.

Yep, I was doing the happy dance!!

Living thru faith,

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Little Frugal Tip

We had not one...not two...not three...
but four jars of peanut butter open!

Three of the four had hardly any peanut butter in them, but still enough for a sandwich.

Sarah is our big peanut butter eater.  The only problem is that she typically eats it on a spoon for breakfast.  It was rather difficult to scrape out enough peanut butter on a small spoon without getting your hand all messy (and that's just a little too much to deal with at 7:00 in the morning!)

So, I decided to scrape all the peanut butter out and combine the three into one.

 It would have been very easy to just throw these jars away, but when I finished there was enough in those jars for at least 3 spoons or several sandwiches!

If you do not have a rubber spatula, you need to get one.

It's a frugal mom's best friend!

Living thru faith,

Friday, October 21, 2011

She's growing!

She looked so cute this morning, I had to have Brian take a picture with his phone.   
 I know I'm biased, but she is just so darn cute!

We've been thinking she was in a growth spurt.

She keeps saying "I'm hungry"...even after she's just eaten!

   Check out the arms.

You actually can't see how bad they really are in this picture.  
But believe me, the sleeves are definitely too short. 

Thankfully, the jeans were too big last year.  They are just a fit this year!

(That's a Saints shirt underneath that boa! And I've got to find some more pink cowgirl boots!)

The boys only have one pair of jeans each that fit, their sweat pants are almost too short, and I'm not sure if Daniel has any long sleeve shirts that still fit.  

I think I need to go shopping!

And I'm thinking it's going to have to be at Goodwill!

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Thrown Together Dinner Success

I am on a quest...

a quest to use up leftovers before I have to throw them away.

I hate throwing food away!  It's like throwing away cash!

Now, the first thing you need to understand is that I don't do well without a recipe.  I can make just about anything if I have a recipe with real measurements.  

A recipe without real measurements is a bit scary!
So, tonight's dinner was huge for me!

These are the ingredients I had on hand

white corn tortillas (left over from another recipe)
taco sauce
cheddar cheese
half a can of green chiles
left over grilled chicken (frozen, cut into strips)

I thawed out the chicken in the microwave, and then mixed it with the green chiles, some cheddar cheese, and some taco sauce.  The chicken had already been marinated in a great marinade before grilling, so I didn't think it would need any more seasoning.

I sprayed a 9x13 pyrex dish and then put a little of the taco sauce on the bottom. I tore the tortillas into strips and placed one layer of tortillas in the pan.  Next I spread out the chicken mixture, covered that with a layer of cheese, then a layer of tortilla strips, taco sauce, and topped with cheese and a few leftover chiles. (Sorry I do not have any pictures of the steps!  I just wasn't thinking!  And who knew how it would turn out anyway.)

I baked it for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Just enough to melt the cheese. actually turned out good!

Daniel even said I should make it again!

Miracles do still happen!  :-)

Living thru faith,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sarah's Curtains

I purchased some simple white tab top curtains for Sarah's window.  

I still had fabric from the dust ruffle she cut up, so I thought I would use it to accent the curtains. 
(I had already used part of it on her lamp.)

  I cut off two long pieces and measured off the halves to fold over the edge of the curtains.

I hemmed the edges and then attached them to the inside panels of the curtains.

 I only wanted a touch of the pink fabric since I also had it on the lamp. 

When I spray painted her lamp,  I also painted her curtain rod the same glossy white.

It won't win any sewing awards, but I think it turned out nice.

And it is one more project to mark off the list!

Living thru faith,

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fire Pit Area - Phase 1

I am soooo sore, but Phase I of our fire pit area is complete!
Matt and I worked and worked to turn this 

into this

Brian wasn't able to help too much.  He had some excuses like having to work on a dissertation, a sermon, and having problems with his shoulder.  Excuses, excuses....   :-)  

We marked the area

then dug the hole.

Sarah wanted to help, of course.

We moved the dirt to a low area by the house that we needed to build up.  From everything I've heard, it's not such a good thing to have drainage slopping toward the house.  ;-)

This is where the shed is going to go (hopefully, soon).

We borrowed a friend's truck for the run to Lowe's.  That's 16 pavers (we already had 9), 13 bags of crushed gravel, 7 bags of sand, and 5 bags of of pea gravel (for the shed project).

We put down the crushed rock and the sand, then started with the pavers.  Matt is a pro using the tamper.  He gets plenty of practice working on the pitching mound after each practice.

It was a time consuming process getting each one as level as possible.  
We were so excited for the last paver to go in!  
It was only 9pm!

 Sunday afternoon I was left on my own, but determined to get finished.  I adjusted a few pavers that were a little wobbly, then added the sand in the cracks.

I added some edging along the inside edges where the flower beds will be (that's Phase II), then washed down the pavers and added the fire pit and chairs.

The chairs will be serving double duty around the patio table as well.

Phase 2 will be putting up a privacy panel on the back side and planting some plants or shrubs or something in the beds (I'm really need help figuring out what to plant!).

For now, we will be able to enjoy some nice family time on cool evenings that does not involve sitting in front of a tv!

Living thru faith,