Monday, December 31, 2012

on this last day of 2012...

I will...

  • take down the Christmas tree.
  • wash bed sheets.
  • dust.
  • go to the country store for chicken feed.
  • go to the grocery store for black eyed peas...pretty sure I already have a ham hock.
  • think and pray and decide on my One Word for 2013. I may already have it...but I need to make sure. 
2012 has been...interesting. Both good and bad in so many different ways. And at the risk of sounding pessimistic, I will admit, I'm not sorry to see it go. Even though I don't feel ready for 2013. I can't quite put my finger on why

Maybe because I have no idea what to expect. (I know, we never do, but somehow, each new year, I feel like good things will happen. This year? I don't feel as sure.)

Maybe because I know that 2013 is going to require a lot of work and a lot of discipline. 

It's also going to involve BIG change in particular...sending Seth off to college in the fall. And for that, I am not quite ready. 

Either's all going to happen. 2013 is going to be here whether I'm ready or not. Seth is going to go off to college whether I'm ready or not. Life is going to go on whether I'm ready or not

So I may as well get ready..I may as well live it - rather than fighting it. 

I think I will add to my list of today's "to-do" list...get will only make my days easier, don't you think?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I want to live where it snows.

Some of my flickr favorites of snow.

I have been in snow a handful of times. I've driven in it once...maybe twice. I am intrigued by it.

Someday I want to live where it snows.

Not a lot. Just enough to cover everything in a blanket of white.

It seems like a good excuse to cuddle up inside and sit by a fire...reading or creating or watching romantic comedies.

I suppose that means I would need a wood stove when I live where it snows.

That would be nice, too. A tea kettle on top...maybe a loaf of bread cooking in the oven door. It sounds romantic, doesn't it?

Yeah, I think so, too.

Friday, December 28, 2012

and just like's over.

Christmas was so nice. Everyone was happy with their gifts...we spent lots of time with family...ate lots (and lots) of delicious food...unbuttoned our top buttons more than once...and moved our way through the holiday nice and slow. It was a nice change from the days prior.

Isn't that always how it is, though?

I figured something out this year. I have been saying that I "don't like Christmas". But that's not true. I DO like Christmas. I just don't care for the hype and commercialism and stress that leads up to Christmas.

I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love giving gifts. I love being with family. I love good food. And that is really what the holiday is about. All good things. And just because society has tried to ruin it and make it a crazed, rushed, selfish season doesn't mean I have to go along with it. From now on...I won't.

And now the days after?

Slow, slow, slow.

The day after Christmas I didn't leave the house.
Yesterday I left for a while with a friend but we took it pretty easy.
And today? Not much more than that. Laundry...oh, the laundry. (I think it's time to go through drawers and put together a donation bag.) And I will clean our room. It became the wrapping station and it shows. Yikes!

I thought about taking the tree down, but honestly, I am still enjoying the lights. I love Christmas lights and will miss them when they're gone. Maybe I will take the tree down Sunday...we'll see.

Oh yeah...and did I mention that I am off for two weeks? Yeah...I love working for the school district.

How was your Christmas? What are you up to today?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012


How are you doing? Almost ready? I am. Almost.

It's raining today. I'll be heading up to Folsom for a wrestling tournament all day...I gotta say, wrestling is growing on me.

I will take my list and check it twice (or five times). And then I will make a new list...of everything left to do and buy and make. And then I will fold them ALL up together (why I don't replace the lists, I don't know...but I never do) and rummage through them all each time I pull them out.

I will take a Sudoku book. I don't leave home without one. I do them while waiting in parking lots for practices to end.

And I will take my camera. Trying to get better at taking it with me more often...wherever I go.

So, I was standing in line at a store yesterday, finding myself getting very frustrated, hot, irritated. (Have I ever discussed my anger issues here? Ahem...anyway...)

I was standing in line. My feet hurt. My back hurt. Everyone was moving too slow for my liking. I was huffing and puffing and rolling my eyes. (Mom knows this side of me all too with me is FUN. Right mom? Right?)

My temperature continued to rise when I stopped and thought to myself, "What are you getting so worked up about? It's Christmas. The lines will be long. You will have to wait. You will have to be patient with the old man buying lots of $20 gift cards. You will have to be patient with the woman assisting him who couldn't speak very good English but who has a heckuva lot more patience than you do. Why not just enjoy this down time? Why not just enjoy the fact that you don't have to move and run and scuffle and chase?"

I took a deep breath, released the tension in my shoulders and turned to the family behind me, the one with the fussy baby (that wasn't helping with my rise in temperature only moments earlier) and asked, "Are we having fun yet?" And we all laughed...kinda hard.

Enjoy your matter what. xo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And all of a sudden Christmas was 5 days away.

The past few days I have been so busy...working, shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, washing, cutting, pasting, folding, photographing, gathering, wrapping, feeding, laughing, crying, visiting, missing, robbing (Peter to pay Paul), balancing, juggling, breathing, wondering, hoping, fighting, wishing, trusting, believing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

sometimes I have too much to share and don't know where to start...

When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
~ Mary Oliver ~

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


driving on a cold and foggy morning.
Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange
sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again
and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands
of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it
the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---
there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---
each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.
-Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 9, 2012 last.

Whew. What a week. Busy, long, productive, fleeting, good. I feel accomplished, even though my floors are still dirty. That'll get remedied sometime today...hopefully sooner than later.

I attended a training for my job last was good. So informative. It gave me a lot of information and confidence to do my job well.

The week's seem to fly by, don't they? Between work and kids and commitments and errands and everything in between, next thing you know it's Sunday morning and time to start all over again.

Ian had a wrestling tournament in Concord yesterday...all day. Wrestling tournaments are in a class all by themselves. It's a lot of sit and wait until your wrestler competes. Luckily, the place was nice, it wasn't all hot and steamy like some gyms can be during tournaments and I was with good company all day. Then when it was all said and done and Ian received his medal he and I took a nice drive home as the sun set, stopping for a bite to eat, just the two of us. Good times...I cherish them as I know they, too, are fleeting.

Now here it is Sunday morning...and I slept in until 8! Seeing as how I am usually awake anywhere between 4 and 5am each morning, this was a treat. So far I have shuffled around in my slippers, sipped coffee, watched man shows with my husband and now I'm taking a little time to catch up here.

We are going to rake leaves today...hopefully this wind will let up a bit. And I have floors to mop and laundry to do and meals to plan and make. Not sure if I'll venture out at just might be a stay at home day...which is fine by me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

the call.

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, 
who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, 
and gave to it neither power nor time.” 
- Mary Oliver

Monday, December 3, 2012

born to do this.

Joan of Arc is my hero.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

day by day.

This is a busy week...and so far, so good. I'm about halfway through.

I actually remembered all my errands after work today...which included a trip to the next town over...which for some reason always seems so.far.away. And I can only go there if I have more than just one thing to do. It's only about 10 miles away. Not sure what that's is what it is.

There is a big wrestling tournament this weekend at the high school. Ian won't be wrestling as it's for varsity only. But he will be working at it...keeping time, keeping score, etc. I volunteered to make pounds and pounds of chicken thighs for the snack bar. I'm doing that right now...I'm just about to chop up the last many pounds and I will be ready to deliver them to the lady in charge. Then tomorrow and Saturday I will work a couple shifts in the snack bar to help out.

I like helping out with kid related things. I have since the boys were in grade school. Now that they're older there aren't as many opportunities to help but I do a little here and there. I figure I better get in all my volunteer time over the next four years until Ian graduates. Crazy to think about that!

And as if it's not enough to think about that...Seth just applied for four colleges last night! He'll apply for two private schools in January and then we'll wait patiently. I don't even know where the time has gone....

Tomorrow afternoon is our office party. It should be fun...I work with so many great people. There will be food, of course, a white elephant gift exchange, and plenty of laughter, I imagine.

It's supposed to rain all weekend...which is great. You know I love the rain. But it would be even better if I didn't have obligations! Rainy weekends beg for warm soups simmering, cozy sweaters and baking. But no worries, I have a feeling I'll squeeze a little of that in, too...gonna make the most of this weekend!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Artist. Mother.

Came across this trailer via enhabiten
(It was 10 minutes well spent.) 
The women make sense to me, perfect sense. 
(Oh, and there's a little language, just so ya know.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday morning...

* * * * *

He covers the sky with clouds;
    he supplies the earth with rain
    and makes grass grow on the hills.

Psalm 147:8

This week off went by so fast. It was nice. And quiet. I stayed close to home...that's always good in my eyes.

I made a list of things to do at the beginning of the week...and I didn't do so bad checking things off! I didn't get them all done...but there's still today. The fat lady hasn't sung yet!

I ended up getting a migraine Friday of the worst I've had in a long time. I get them all the time, but I am usually able to catch them right away, take my medicine, lay down for a bit and it usually goes away. This one? No. I was down for the count. And since I didn't catch it in time (which really isn't fair to say, as it didn't give me much warning this time at all.) I have been in a bit of a migraine haze all weekend.

Even still, today is the day to get ready for another week of work and school. There's laundry to do and menus to plan. The house needs a good dusting and the vacuum needs to be run. But that will have to wait as everyone else is still sleeping away.

Come to think of it, I think I will take advantage of the quiet a little longer...a hot shower, a quick breakfast and a little more coffee. Sounds good to me...

Enjoy your day. xo

Friday, November 23, 2012

The problem with being creative... that I want to try and do and make so many things!

I have loved to create as far back as I can remember.

When I was four I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.

I loved cutting and pasting and finger-painting in kindergarten.

In the first grade my friend Nick and I made a whole family out of clay, along with many household accessories like chairs, tables, baby bottles, pillows, even a pacifier. Mrs. Tarr was so impressed she had Nick and I march our little selves, along with our clay family, right down to the office to share with Mr. Palmer, our principal.

In the second grade if we finished our times tables test first we got to choose which activity we wanted to do next. I chose Art...every.single.time.

In the third grade I wrote and illustrated a book. It was titled Kathy (?) and it was about a girl who wanted a baby brother or sister and ended up getting both because, wouldn't you know it, mom had twins! My mom still laughs about it (and even still has it)...but hey, I was 8!

Over the years I have continued to be creative, always dabbling in something...sewing, painting, collage, assemblage, print-making,  photography. But dabbling can be problematic. To dabble in many things means to not master any one thing.

I have been wanting to do something creative for...months. Photography only satisfies my creative side so much. I want to make things. Tangible things. But there are so many things I want to do that I can never decide just what to do.

I came to this realization the other day while looking through my Pinterest creative files. I figured I could look through my Pins and decide what I wanted to make based on ideas I had seen. But the problem is that I want to do so many things that once I start looking I can't decide where to even start.

So...I don't.
And then nothing gets made.
And then I get frustrated.

I have made lists. I have made files. I have Pinned until I can't Pin anymore. I have ripped pages out of magazines. I have purchased supplies. I have printed tutorials. I have done everything but make something for some time now.

What's a girl to do?

Thursday, November 22, 2012



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; 
you have become my salvation.

Psalm 118:21

Giving, tomorrow, and every day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

on break.

I am up and at 'em....ready for the day. I'm showered, dressed and I even have mascara on.

I have already dropped Ian off at wrestling practice and will soon be at the grocery store. I was going to go straight to the store after dropping Ian off but realized that I was hungry...and we all know what happens when we shop while we're hungry. So I came home and ate a bagel.

Then, I made the mistake of turning on Live with Kelly and Michael. Now I'm not sure if I'll be heading to the store before 10am. Michael Strahan is hilarious. I got hooked on this show over the summer and don't get to watch it now that I go to work early. So this is like a treat!

Anyway...eggs are on my grocery list. I don't like to buy eggs. I have chickens for crying out loud. But they are taking a break, I guess. And it's not even that cold yet! But I don't blame them...they're coop is a muddy mess, they haven't had any good greens in a while and I haven't let them out to free-range for a long time.

So...buying eggs it is. Especially if I want to do any baking.

I know, I know...baking isn't my "thing". But I've been making muffins for us all to take in the morning for our breakfast and it's working out great. So I will keep that least while the weather is cold. Not to mention I have some ripe bananas that are begging to be turned into banana bread.

Remember the list of things I will be doing over the break? So far I'm off to a good start! We painted the bathroom yesterday! I'll share the results's nothing fancy, but it's a lot better than it was. to the store.

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This week I will... off of work for the week...a school district employee perk.
...spend time in the, baking, organizing.
...paint the bathroom (with my hubby's help ;)
...take time to do something creative.
...fill a few more bags for donation.
...enjoy the rain.
...spend the holiday at mom's with my family.
...miss family that won't be there.
...sleep in.
...enjoy being around my boys.
...avoid crowds.
...move slow.
...organize some paperwork and take care of some business.
...take pictures.
...purge...there is too much stuff in this little house of ours.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


“ was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials.” 
-Grapes of Wrath

Sunday, November 11, 2012

deep thoughts and gray days.

I was in the backyard gathering more pecans a little while ago. The air was cold and still. And it was quiet, save for the leaves crunching under my feet, an occasional pecan falling from the tree and the chickens scuffling over a few more tomatoes I'd found ripened in the compost heap.

I gathered the pecans, dropping them into an old coffee can. And I the quiet sounds of things getting ready for a winter's rest.

My thoughts are all over the place, still. It seems to be the norm as of late. Thinking, thinking all the time...about things I can control...and things I can't. About change...and the direction my life is taking without my consent, really.

It just happens, doesn't it? Change. Growth. Life...and death.

It just happens...whether we like it or not. Whether we are ready or not. Life goes on, as the saying goes. The second hand on the clock continues to move steadily round and round. It never stops. Sometimes I just watch it go and go. Sometimes I can't.

It's so crazy to think about, really. Do you ever feel like that? Sometimes I just think about time, and life and how strange it all is and how day after day we just move along...sleeping, waking, working, eating, feeding, moving, worrying, breathing, pressing, crying, laughing, missing, living.

Life is weird. And hard.

And sometimes, if I'm honest, I don't get it.

And if I'm real honest, sometimes I feel like a pawn in God's big game of life. I don't think it would make God mad to say that...He can handle my doubt.

I don't doubt Him. Or His existence. Ever.

But sometimes I doubt the process. Sometimes I don't get it. I don't always feel a part of it. Sometimes I feel like I am just outside of it and it's all a bit muffled and out of reach.

I wish I could blame the gray skies and the chill in the air on this melancholy. But for me these thoughts are a constant undercurrent...maybe the depression that lurks...maybe just life.

Maybe I think too much.

Maybe I need to realize that some things just can't be figured out...or controlled. They just need to be lived through...pushed through...moved through.

Maybe I need to realize that God is in control...and time is in His hands.

And so am I.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,

Isaiah 43:2

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do you ever get tired of thinking about food?

Food. Sometimes it seems like it's all I think about.

Read the grocery ads. Make the lists. Prepare the (very tight) budget. Check what I have on hand. Make more lists. Make a menu. Go to the store. Walk up and down the aisles...yes, even the middle ones. Try and stick to the lists...but usually don't...a few good deals sneak their way into the basket.

The menus are only for dinners. Lunch is another animal altogether.

When the boys were in grade school I packed their lunch every day. They didn't like the yucky school lunches. They bought them for a while but three lukewarm chicken nuggets and chunky chocolate milk didn't satisfy them (duh) so they'd come home starving. I ended up feeding them a full meal after school anyway so I figured I'd save us the couple of bucks we were paying for school "lunch" and send them with a healthy bag lunch.

(On a side note, I cannot believe what they feed children in our schools. It is not nutritious. It is not satisfying. It is not FOOD. It is garbage. Empty calories. Some of these kids have to eat it every day...sometimes twice if they are on the free food program. And we wonder why kids are bouncing off of walls and having trouble focusing? They don't need a pill, they need healthy, nutritious FOOD. To call it a "nutrition department" is a joke.)

Once the boys got into junior high they preferred to buy their lunches. Middle schools sell "better" food....nachos, burritos, soft pretzels, pasta. And honestly, when I was working at the middle school, while the food didn't look the most healthy, it looked fairly edible if you look from the eyes of a 13 year old. Was it filling? For a while. Was it nutritious? I don't think so.

Now that the boys are in high school and our budget has tightened up a bit I have been compromising with them for lunch. I give them enough cash to buy a chicken Caesar salad, a slice of pizza or a sandwich  and then they take a bottle of water or Gatorade, a granola bar or some nuts, some chips or Chex mix and some fruit. (And a treat if I have any!)

I have been making muffins for us to take on the go, too, now that the weather has cooled down enough to use the oven. (Although I made some the other day that contained no flour and they turned out concave and chewy. Won't be using that recipe again!)

I don't plan breakfasts. Many mornings I whip up a smoothie for the boys and myself (Chris doesn't care for them...he opts for a banana and a muffin, if I've made some.). Ian supplements with a couple of waffles. And on days when I have time I will make them a breakfast sandwich. OR when I am really organized, they can warm up a frozen breakfast burrito that I made over the weekend in an attempt to think ahead.

As if that's not enough, now I have to help Ian maintain his wrestling weight. This requires not just planning a menu, but planning a healthy, low-fat menu. We eat mostly healthy and balanced meals most of the time. But sometimes something is on the menu because it was on sale. And came in a package. (Gasp!) Or it includes gravy. And butter. What can I say?

See what I mean? Feeding a family requires a LOT of thinking about food.

And sometimes I don't want to think about it.

But most of the time I love feeding my family. I am grateful that I am able to think about it, plan for it, acquire it and feed my family. Not all mothers can say that. Some mothers have nothing to give their children. And many of them are reliant on (or at least take advantage of) free food programs to feed their children. I could go on and on about this...but I won't. Not today.

Because you know why? I have the day off of work today...darn furlough days....and I have to run to the grocery store. Imagine that?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Today is the day.
I haven't always cared about politics.
Or about who led our country.
Now I do. Very much.
And I feel fortunate to be able to cast my vote.
I'm excited to get to the polls.
And a little nervous about the outcome.
Either way, GOD is in control.
And I will trust Him no matter what.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween my pretties!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday in the Word
"Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen."
Psalm 72:19


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

and then the rain came.

Today is going to be long. I will be on the move from start to finish. But I'm ready. And I slept pretty well last night so that's a plus.

On the weather front? Rain. Rain, glorious rain. I love it. And I'm glad to see it. But I'm not gonna does make me a little sad knowing that another summer is gone. Not so much the heat itself, but the goodness that comes with the heat...fresh tomatoes, bountiful gardens, sun tea. will all be missed.

But I am going to plant a few winter veggies to keep me in the garden loop and I'll dig the Earl Grey out from the back of the cabinet. I'll be adjusted to hot tea with milk and honey in no time.

Enjoy the day...xo

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's for dinner?

sorry it's a little blurry!

Last year I found a notebook style calendar organized by months of the school year...August to August. I liked it. It worked for me. But then this year I couldn't find one again. So...I decided to wait and get a planner for the new year.

In the meantime, I needed calendar pages...for date keeping, for appointments, and for the weekly menu. 

Enter Calendars That Work. I have been printing out blank calendar pages and paper clipping them together and it's been working splendidly. Granted, it's not as cute as some calendars are, rather it's very utilitarian...and that's OK. I needed a job done, and these pages do the job.

Maybe someday I will add them into a nicely organized binder with cute tabs and handmade pockets made from cute scrapbook papers. But until then, printed pages and paper clips are working for me.

And now...on to the menu plan.

This week I decided to plan the menu for two weeks rather than just one. I did this for a few reasons: one, I had a lot of meal ideas; two, I am on a tight budget and wanted to make sure I used what I have on hand; three, I wanted to test it out and see if it was twice as helpful planning for two weeks as it is planning for one week. We shall see.

This is what we will be eating for the next two weeks...

MON: Pork Burritos with Guacamole
TUE: Leftovers
WED: Pot Stickers/Rice/Broccoli
THU: Clam Chowder/Corn Bread
FRI: Potato Skins/Salad
SAT: Pinto Beans with Ham hock/French Bread
SUN: Pork Tenderloin/Roasted Potatoes/Salad

MON: Chili/Corn Bread
TUE: Leftovers
WED: Ravioli/Salad/Bread
THU: Tamale Pie/Salad (using leftover chili)
FRI: Deluxe Quesadillas
SAT: French Toast/Bacon
SUN: London Broil/Fried Rice/Green Beans

There ya go...two weeks of meals. And would you believe I have all but salad fixings and french bread? If I do this right, I should only need to buy milk, salad fixings and fresh fruit, breads, frozen fruit and juice for smoothies, and cheese.

And now that I list it out, it seems like more than I planned. But I've got to be realistic. I am feeding hungry men around here!

This does not include lunch items for the boys. But the plan is to make muffins and homemade granola/snack bars. This does include lunches for Chris as he has been taking leftovers almost every single day. I eat leftovers for lunch, too, when I get home from work.

So let's see how this works out. I am feeling good about it.

Now, to post it on the fridge so everyone knows "What's for dinner!"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday night.

  • Friday has always been my favorite day of the week. Gotta admit...not so much now that the boys are big and like to spend time with friends instead of us.
  • Gotta admit...I'm kinda bored.
  • I am working on a budget. It's not fun.
  • Did I ever mention I'm a Giants fan?
  • I came home from work today and cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, organized a drawer and did a load of laundry.
  • Did I mention I love my job?
  • Since the boys are both hanging with friends I decided not to make dinner. Instead I ate waffles. That'll help the budget.
  • I shopped the sale ad at the grocery store today...BOGO meats and free sausage and toothpaste for spending at least $25. That'll help the budget, too.
  • The weather is finally supposed to cool down...for good. It might even rain next week. I am so going to bake muffins and cook comfort foods for dinner this coming week. I'll share the menu on Monday.
  • Until then, I will enjoy the weekend...I'm looking forward to waking up without the alarm tomorrow morning!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Why is it that making a menu plan, even though it's extremely helpful and beneficial, is such a major task? I go over and over what I have on hand...I make lists and potential meal ideas and jot them down for this day or that, only to move it to another day due to a commitment or hot weather.

I think one thing that is making it a bit more of a challenge is that I am trying to use what I have and not shop. (Although I did shop today to utilize a was worth it.) I have a feeling that once our finances level out and we get a good budget in place, meal planning once a week, and being able to shop for that specific menu, will make it less of a challenge I think.

All that being said, I did make a menu for this week.

Mon: Tilapia/Fried Rice/ Steamed Broccoli
Tue: Super Burritos
Wed: Chicken Sandwiches/Fries
Thu: DIY/Leftovers
Fri: Sausages/Cheesy Orzo
Sat: Calzones (we never did have them last week!)

So there it is. Nothing too exciting this week since I am working around lots of outside activities...youth groups, concerts, meetings, classes. So it's better than nothing. If nothing else, at least I have a guideline!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

good Saturday morning my peeps!

Garden clean up and future garden plans.

The weekend is here. The weather is beautiful. You can find me doing the usual today...taking care of my home and family. I won't list it all seems that's all I write about here, anymore. The daily grind...chores, food, life, I guess.

Life is so busy lately...and my brain is always full, it seems. So much to do and remember and think about. Maybe it's one of the reasons I am in bed and asleep by 9 many nights lately. Early mornings contribute to that, as well.

But I don't mind.

I actually do better when I have to be something...when I contribute. I feel more accomplished at the end of each day. I don't have to stop and ask myself, 'What exactly did you do today?" I know what I did. And I know that I did my best.

That's a good feeling.

I have a lot to do's all close to home. I love home days. I enjoy puttering around the house. Especially in the cooler makes me want to be in the kitchen more. (Who wants to cook when it's a thousand degrees outside? Not me!)

Speaking of being in the kitchen, we didn't end up making calzones last night so we'll have them tonight. I am waffling between buying the dough and just making it myself. I don't really like to make dough...anything that needs to be rolled out, actually. I hate rolling. Maybe because I don't have a decent rolling pin? Or because I hate that flour gets everywhere? Or because the dough never seems to do what I want it to do? Ya know, like stretch?!

It's all very frustrating. Some people make it look so easy. I probably need to get over this aversion, eh?

Either way...we will have calzones for dinner tonight. As for the rest of the week? The menu is still in the planning stage. I need to take a peek into the freezer again today and see what I want to use.

Last weekend I started organizing one of my cabinets and then it snowballed into organizing three cabinets...during which I uncovered lots of pasta, some orzo, different rices, sauces and seasonings. I have a lot to work with here. So I am going to really limit my shopping. I will need milk and yogurt, and some produce and cheese. But other than that I can "shop" my freezer and pantry and we will eat just fine.

Better than fine, really, as it always seems when I cook with what I have on hand I have to be more creative which results in trying new recipes. And this usually has a good outcome. Usually.

Wow...and just like's 10:30...I better get this day started.

Enjoy your Saturday. I know I will enjoy mine...

Monday, October 8, 2012

This week's menu plan.

I have been making a weekly menu for the last 3 or 4 weeks or so and it is SO helpful! It's so nice to know that one of my daily responsibilities is already planned out and ready to last minute rush to the store, no running to the drive-thru (unless we choose to!), no getting frustrated at my family as they look at me wondering, "What's for dinner?"

Nope. It's all right there...scribbled onto a scrap of paper and displayed on the fridge for all to see. I think it let's us all breathe a sigh of knowing it's planned and ready to go, them knowing they get to eat something other than cereal or quesadillas for dinner...again.

Here's this week's menu...planned based on what I have in the freezer and an experimental tomatillo salsa Ian wanted to make!

Sat: Super Burritos with homemade tomatillo salsa
Sun: BLT's and frozen fries
Mon: Fish tacos with homemade tomatillo salsa and cheesy beans
Tue: Crock Pot Chili and cornbread
Wed: Roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots
Thu: Ravioli, salad and garlic bread
Fri: Calzones and salad

I am a bit off with my days...but I will just post menus when I can. I like to think I could do this consistently each week...but in case you haven't noticed, my blogging lately has been sporadic at best. But I will do my best to share.

And feel free to share your menu plan,'s always nice to get new ideas from other busy moms!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday morning...


  • Spent lots of time in the kitchen yesterday.
  • I made pink cupcakes with white frosting...because I could, because the weather has finally cooled.
  • Ian made tomatillo was delicious on our chicken super burritos at dinner.
  • I took some pictures. But didn't cut and paste. There's always today.
  • I made a menu plan. I am considering sharing it weekly to keep me accountable.
  • Woke up to a clean kitchen sink this always makes for a good start.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the light is shifting.

The light is shifting. The shadows are different. Rather than beating down on us overhead, the sun is coming in at an angle...letting me know that summer is over. I just breathed a deep sigh...cooler weather makes me feel like I can breathe better.

Seth is taking the SAT this morning. We are talking more and more about colleges, applications, scholarships, essays. It's exciting...and completely overwhelming. We are going to visit a nearby college on Thursday...even though he would love to go to school down south. Really, we just want to see college campuses and get a feel for what he (and I) can expect. (Mostly me, if I'm honest.)

The summer garden is in need of attention. The zucchini is basically composting itself...which is fine.

The tomato plants are gigantic and crazy and wild...with maybe 4 tomatoes on them. Not sure how that works? At a certain point the plants go nuts but stop producing fruit. Interesting.

The pepper plants have TONS of peppers on them. I am wanting to harvest them all, chop them up and turn them into...something. A sauce? A chutney? Not sure yet...I'm thinking it's a good day to peruse some preserving books and come up with something interesting. I'd hate for them to go to waste.

I bought a few cauliflower and cabbage starts yesterday. I am the only one who will eat the cauliflower. I also want to plant some greens of some sort...and garlic...and onions.

Not sure what else...if anything. I'm still at the "let's try this whole winter gardening thing and see how it goes" stage. I'm wishing now that I'd grown some sort of winter squash. Butternut would be good. Next year. I really need to get that garden journal going...maybe I can work on that today, too.

Speaking of a garden journal, I have been itching to be creative lately. Every time I pull out scissors at work I get an urge to cut and paste...collage. I haven't made anything in a long time. I've taken lots of photos...and glued them to notecards. And I love that. Photography is a great form of creativity...especially with limited space. But there's just something about taking little bits of paper that mean nothing and turning them into something interesting that gives me satisfaction.

I have tubs full of collage supplies...origami papers, tapes, fabric scraps, vintage newspapers and books, outdated calendar pages. I tucked them away years ago...and there they've stayed. Maybe it's time to get them out.

First things first, of course...clean up the garden, start some laundry, boil some chicken for tonight's dinner (Super Burritos), dust and run the vacuum...and then maybe I can cut and paste.

I think I see why I haven't been creative in a while...first things first.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

where ya been?

some favorites.
Good Saturday morning...

Sausage is sizzling...english muffins are toasting...eggs are about to be fried...homemade mc muffins are a hit around here.

Chris scheduled today a "work on the cars" day...change wiper blades, tighten the bed on Seth's truck (it's loose? what?), possibly change oil.

I don't know about that last one...seeing as how this month is breaking records for most days of temperatures over 90. Come on Fall...I'm waiting on you.

The week's are slipping by...days revolve around getting up early, turning on the coffee maker, hopping in the shower, taking a bit of quiet time before turning on the very loud blender to whip up some smoothies. The mornings are quite's nice that everyone has to leave at a different time. This way showers are staggered, bathroom time is's working out pretty well.

I am still loving my much. I work with amazing people. Honestly. I feel very blessed to have this job. I do wish there were more hours...and benefits, of course. But all in good time...

I am technically off at 11:15...but usually end up staying a bit longer to finish up whatever I had started. Then there's usually an errand or two to run...pick up milk, exchange someone's pants or shoes or something, pay a bill. By the time I get home it's just enough time to grab a bite to eat, get a load of wash started and run the vacuum or wipe down the bathroom before the boys get home from school.

Then there's the flurry of hungry boys making noise (oh, and food) in the kitchen. They are starving after school. Honestly, they are starving all the time.

Speaking of which, I've been making weekly meal plans for the past few weeks. I am always amazed at how helpful it is to make a weekly menu. Matter of fact, I think I'll work on that today.

It's Saturday...and so far we're off to a good start.

All in is good.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

catching up.

Sweet Bear. sure got a hold of me, now didn't it? I've been away from this little space for almost two weeks! Good things have been happening...and I'm just trying to keep up with it all.

I am loving my new job. A lot. I feel very blessed to be working in a nice place with such nice people. I look forward to going to work every day. I don't necessarily look forward to getting out of bed at 5:30...but once I'm up and showered and have my coffee, I'm good to go. I even have time to make each of the boys a smoothie and get lunches together.

The garden is done. And what a mess! The beans are brown and ugly, the zucchini plants are white with powdery mildew, the tomato plants are wild and gangly with a few straggler tomatoes clinging to the vines. The season is coming to a close and I have yet to plant anything for winter. My intentions are good...but my follow-through needs work.

I didn't preserve one thing this summer. No dilly beans. No pickles. No jam. No tomato sauce. Nothing. I am already regretting it.

We have one tomato left...sad, isn't it, that we have to wait a whole year for garden fresh tomatoes?

Today is a home, laundry, getting ready for the week to come. I made a meal plan for last week's dinners. It's always so helpful to have that little list posted on the fridge. It removes one thing from my mind for the day...I look at the plan in the morning, get whatever I need from the freezer and then I don't have to think about it until it's time to cook.

Making a weekly menu is so helpful. When I don't make a plan I think about what to make for dinner all day...and I weigh out all of the options...and I think of this combo and that combo...and then when the time comes, all I've done is THINK about dinner and then I still don't know what I'm actually going to MAKE for dinner and then we end up eating something like mac and cheese or quesadillas or...cereal!

And there's nothing wrong with mac and cheese or quesadillas, as long as it's on the plan. (Cereal is pushing it, in my opinion. :) Mac and cheese could be a great side or even a main dish if you make it from scratch. And quesadillas are great when you add fresh guacamole and a nice salad on the side. You know...turn it into a meal.

Sheesh. Sometimes it feels like all I do is think about FOOD. Part of being the mom of the house I suppose.

All in all, life is good. I feel like things are as they should be and that we are headed in the right direction. I feel confident and's a good feeling.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Can you say...lazy?

Man. I have been so stinkin' lazy this whole weekend. I took this 3-day weekend seriously! As did the rest of my family.

And you know what? It felt GOOD.

I got another job...already. I am now a secretary at a local charter high school.  I feel bad that I was at the Health Clerk job for such a short time...but when I took the job, unbeknownst to me, it was a substantial cut in pay. So when this secretary job came open I applied as it would get me back to what I was making before. A little bit more actually. (Just a little.)

I actually applied for three positions...and finally got the third one. pays off, I suppose.

So, I start tomorrow. I have to be in the office by 7:30am. That is ea-ear-ly for this lady of leisure. (Ha!) For so long now I haven't had to report to work until 9 or later. Now I'll be the first one leaving the house. Well, second. Seth is the first one to leave at 6:40...but that's by choice so he can get a good parking spot in the school lot.

It'll take a while to get used to my new morning routine. I've been able to get everyone else out the door...with lunches and smoothies and such...then get myself ready, just me and Good Morning America. Now I will get ready before everyone else.

Like I said, this will take some getting used to...I am not really a morning person. I don't hop out of bed ready to greet the day. I sort of ease into it...grumbling a bit along the way. I think the saving grace is that my job is part-time, which means I will be off at 11:15am. Not bad, eh? Still plenty of time to run errands and to get a few things done around the house before everyone else gets home.

But...we still have some time left to this long weekend. I will do more laundry (one of the few things I did do this weekend), do a little ironing, maybe bake some muffins to "grab n go" in the mornings, make a little dinner...and slowly gear up for the coming week.

It will be nice to settle into a job, finally. I feel like my job situation has been in such limbo for so long...having something permanent is going to be really nice. I am grateful...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

feeling quiet..

The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
Psalm 145:13
God made me a promise. And I knew it when He made it.
So I am going to believe His promise.
And when I begin to doubt His promise, because there will be times,
I will remind Him of the promise He made to me.
And we will both know that it is a reminder for me...not Him.
God is good. And His promises are true.
Thank you, God. Amen.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Bear...our new family member.

It's Monday...already. The weekend was good...productive...restful. Can it be both? Yes, I think so.

The boys are off to school. Chris is off to "the office" weird to say after having a husband that's been in some form of construction for the past 18 years.

I have been making smoothies for the boys for breakfast for the last week or so...berries, yogurt, juice, protein powder, a little bit of banana (it can be quite overpowering)...they are a hit and reportedly keep them full until lunch. I haven't added anything green yet...we might have to experiment with that a bit first.

My job is going well...the time flies most days. Elementary school kids sure do get hurt a lot...or so they say. Bumped heads, skinned knees, tummy aches and mysterious aches and pains...amazing what an ice pack and a band-aid can do!

I thought I had more to talk about this morning...but suddenly I am drawing a blank. I think it's because it's Monday...I'm still getting adjusted to them. Summer hasn't quite worn off, yet.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Tempted to worry and fret...but will purposefully focus on goodness instead.
slow, restful morning
81 degrees with a cool breeze
an afternoon with a friend
a big dent made in the laundry piles
a few home repairs here and there
kids hanging with friends
guitar strumming and singing
ceiling fans moving cool air
sweetened sun tea
fresh vegetables from the garden
reminders to trust Him

How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?
Psalm 116:12

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday in the Word

11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
Psalm 85:11-13

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday morning.

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers. 

Psalm 1:1-4

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

well whaddya know...

Future cantaloupes, I hope.
It's almost 10am and I am still in my pj's. Can you say lazy?

Our first week back to school was good. We all made it through in one piece. I had a good initiation at my new job as Health Clerk in an elementary school. As I walked up to the school to report for my first day, I am not even in the front office doorway yet, purse and tote bag still in hand, and here comes a little girl holding a garbage can she had just thrown up into. Welcome to your first day! It was laughable...definitely.

I have some things to do today...drop a few bags at the thrift shop, pop by the pet store, make a run for some fresh peaches and strawberries before they're no longer available and, as always, laundry.

I still need to figure out what to make for dinner. I may make a chicken recipe I saw on Pinterest and serve it with a side of, what else? Zucchini!

We have grown quite a bit of zucchini this summer. I'm enjoying it while I can because the plants are beginning to look powdery with mildew. It'll be time to pull them soon.

The green beans are dying back and lots of the pods are dried up. I wish I could remember what type of beans I grew because I'd like to save the seeds to plant next summer. I'm just not sure if they're heirloom or not...seriously need to get on that darn garden journal I keep threatening to put together. Or get serious about only planting heirlooms.

I gotta say though, we are not having good luck with our heirloom tomatoes. Anything we plant that is heirloom just doesn't produce much, if at all. Some of them haven't produced one single tomato. Literally. It's frustrating really. We really must find some productive heirlooms. Suggestions are welcome...:)

Anyway...we are sticking close to home today. Readjusting to our new schedule. Trying to stay out of the heat. It's a sad day when you are happy that it has cooled to 98 degrees.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday in the Word.

“Because of the oppression of the weak
and the groaning of the needy,
I will now arise, ” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
purified seven times.
O Lord, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.

Psalm 12:5-7

Feeling raw and exposed lately. So many changes...good things happening...prayers being answered. And in the middle of it all I just keep trying to catch my breath.

Life is moving fast...I know I say it like every other day. is. And I am just doing my best to keep up.

My boys head back to school tomorrow. And I head off to the first day at my new job. Everyone will be heading in their own direction. That is life, I suppose. But it still can make for some anxious feelings.

So...I remind myself to look to the trust in believe that He will keep us safe and protect us...always. Thank you Lord.