Monday, August 31, 2009

My Tastebuds Are Thanking Me!

Today, I am thankful for the new product I found in our local Walmart dairy department:

Coffee Flavored Yoplait Yogurt!

Yes, you read that right. COFFEE flavored YOGURT!

Apparently, this product is so new that the official Yoplait website doesn't even have it listed as a flavor yet. I'm not sure if this is a test run for the flavor, but I better find out how to let the company know I'm *loving* it!

Now I just need to figure out how to smuggle more into my home without a dear little boy spotting it. Mr. Coffee Hound that he is.

If you live in my area, I apologize in advance. By tomorrow evening you probably won't be able to find this product on the shelves in any store in the surrounding 25 miles.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thank you Yoplait!!

Summer Salads

Okay, so this week is the last week of summer vacation and my calendar is looking like blogging will have to be short and sweet.

So, I'm hoping to provide at least a couple posts this week of some summertime salads that I've been making. Recently, in the course of one week we had three potlucks to make something for and I found a boatload of simple salads to choose from in my treasure trove of cookbooks.

Spaghetti Salad

1 lb. long spaghetti
1-2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 cucumber (peeled & sliced)
2 T. Shilling Salad Supreme seasoning
1 8 oz. bottle Italian Dressing

(more or less according to your taste)

(I'm not a big fan of either of these, so I skipped them)

1 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)

Boil spaghetti until done. Rinse until cool and drain well. Add vegetables. Pour dressing over; add salad seasoning and mix. Chill and serve cold.

Enjoy! It's Simple & Delicious!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hi Lo: August 28th


1) I started painting my kitchen & dining room this week. I'm hoping to get it all finished up before school starts in a little over a week. I'm *loving* how it's turned out so far! I'll be posting photos when I'm all finished.

2) Jamie welcomed her sweet baby girl this week. I'm hoping that I can see her sometime soon. Congrats again, Jamie and hubby!

3) I heard wonderful news from a dear friend that she is expecting! She's just 7 weeks and has had a few issues of concern already, so please keep her in your prayers and for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

4) Stacey is out of retirement and back in Blogville! Welcome back Stacey! I always hold Stacey dear since she is the reason I started blogging. We were old acquaintances and a couple of years ago I came upon her blog and it was the first one I ever read. After a long time of following her, I started finding other encouraging blogs and eventually started my own. I'm seriously indebted to Stacey for all of the enlightenment and opening me up to the world of blogging!

5) My FAVORITE Christian recording artist released a new album, 'Come Alive'!(Yes, this really makes it in my Highs for the week. Is that pathetic??) Mark Schultz is my ultimate favorite artist and Reed's as well. His music has been an inspiration to me for many years, way back to his first album I bought when I was single! There are so many of his songs that touch my heart and have comforted me in some very tough days. We've been to several of his concerts and are excited to attend another one in November as part of his 'Come Alive' tour with Point of Grace. Can't wait!


1) It doesn't look like I'm going to finish my Mother's Rule of Life book before school starts. I was hoping to in an effort to have some better guidelines before putting together my daily schedule. Oh well, I'll figure something out.

2) I had some time this week to do some pondering and it brought up some very raw emotion with my infertility situation. And perhaps a not-so-startling revelation, but one that I probably just hadn't identified until the other day. There's a post in there somewhere, but I don't have it ready just yet.

How was your week? What were your Highs and Lows this week?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Congratulations Jamie!

See pictures of Jamie's new baby girl over at Christine's blog. She is too precious and looks absolutely perfect. Thank you for your prayers, it sounds like Jamie and baby are both doing well.

You can congratulate Jamie over at her blog.

Congratulations Jamie on your new baby blessing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prayers For Jamie

My friend and fellow blogger, Jamie, could use your prayers this evening. She is going in to deliver her sweet baby TODAY and we all cannot wait to hear the news of the arrival of healthy baby Bridget.

Jamie will have a c-section and she could use special intercession on her behalf to our Blessed Mother Mary for her and baby's safety since this is her fifth c-section.

Please join me and pray for sweet Jamie, won't you?

If We Ever Win

Do you pay attention to those sweepstakes and surveys on your sales receipts? You know, the ones frequently on your Walmart and Target slips? We do! Well, actually, for a long time I just disregarded them and threw them in the trash. That was until Reed started filling them out online EVERY TIME we got one and made it his part-time job. No, seriously. Now neither of us lets a single one go into the trash unless we've filled it out.

I realize that we're probably like a million other people who fill those out every day. Our chances of winning these $1,000 and $5,000 gifts for in-store use are really slim, but it's worth the effort. The surveys are really quite simple and take just a few minutes, so what's there to lose?

Do you do online surveys in hopes of winning? And if not, I suppose I've just inspired you and now I've got even more competition in those sweepstakes, huh? Oh well. Every man/woman for themselves!

Any way, I was thinking the other day about what I'd..oops, excuse me..I mean what WE'D get if we won. It seemed that my items were more WANTS than NEEDS. I predicted that if I had the chance to choose anything I wanted, I would. Things on my 'maybe one day' list or my 'wish list' of things that we normally would have to save some money for.

I'd really like this T.V. for starters. And well, with that new T.V. we could really enjoy the Wii system and then the Wii Fit would also be in order. I guess if we are getting all of that we'd need some games for it too. And the accessories.

That added up quite quickly, didn't it? And now I suppose I am looking quite greedy and consumerist, rather than the conservative and frugal woman I really am. But then, I'm just playing the 'what if' game with the potential of MAYBE ACTUALLY day. We'll probably continue to fill out those store surveys, but in the meantime we'll also keep watching our budget and try to save up for those things instead.

I must say though that this post came to light around the same time that our parish priest had a homily on 'wants' and 'needs'. Coincidence?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hi Lo: August 21st


1) We enjoyed lunch on Sunday with friends and then took off for a last minute overnight trip a couple hours away. We spent the night at a hotel and part of Monday at an outdoor water park. We all had so much fun and I was glad we took the impromptu trip. There's nothing like family time, just the four of us!

2) I am closer to my goal in our schoolroom. I've been working on organizing/rearranging the room off and on for the last few weeks. I'm hoping that it will be completely finished and ready to go in the next few days.

3) The kids and I were able to join Reed and his co-workers yesterday for lunch at the office. They do monthly grilling with two staff people in charge of bringing food each time and it was Reed's turn. We were in town doing errands any way, so we joined in. The kids get lots of attention (although they aren't particularly fond of it all), but usually have a good time any way.


1) I'm thinking that a little painting is in order for my kitchen. That's more of a High for me, but not so much for my husband. Not that he really cares what I do for painting/decorating, but he's always fine with just leaving it the way it is. So, the Low for me is more the actual job of painting. Once I start, I just want to be able to finish it and be done. We'll see. I'm sure I'll keep you updated!

2) We're going through another 'funk' in the sleep department. I think the only one getting a good night's sleep around here is Jonah. Lily's having difficulty again and I'm bummed since we had been in a better pattern for a week or so. I'm hoping we can get things turned around pretty soon since school will start in two weeks. I don't want to have a crabby student on my hands at the beginning of the school year!

Colleen shares her Highs & Lows each week too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From The Back Seat Of My Mini Van

Girl: Do you know what smells I like?

Diesel fuel, tar, gas, new baby and concrete.

Boy: Me too. I LOVE all those smells!

I chuckle, but wonder how on earth a sweet little baby gets thrown into the same mix as petroleum products?

And how come there isn't a 'New Baby Smell' air freshener I can hang from my rear-view mirror?

I'd certainly buy that before one that smelled like diesel fuel in order to appeal to my kids' little sniffer!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids' Bedroom Makeover

I was quite inspired by Jessica's post and pictures on re-decorating her girls' room the other week and figured it was time for a little bedroom re-do at our house.

It's a little different though, since I wanted to makeover Lily and Jonah's room and with it being co-ed I couldn't go girly or all out boy either. I presented the kids with the idea of a slight makeover and changing things up a bit, but not too much. They are much like their father and don't like to change things unless absolutely necessary, so I was met with a little resistance. That was okay. My budget couldn't afford a TON of changes, but I wanted to create more functionality and space for each of them to enjoy.

With all of the dorm room/college decor and accessories available right now in stores, it proved to be perfect timing! I started by changing up the comforters on each of their beds and went from there with the rest.

They each settled on wall appliques that suited their tastes and they are peel & stick, so nothing permanent. Perfect.

The white bookcase was already in the room, so I just purchased the other one to allow each child to have their age appropriate books on their shelf along with some that they each share. I was thrilled to find the bins that are on Jonah's shelf since they hold the paperback and Little Golden books so much easier than just having them on the shelf with the others.

Although a little bit of painting was part of the original plan, after the room was pulled together and I took a look I decided that we could fore go that. The green wall on the window side of the room that I was most concerned about seemed to match just fine. In the end I was glad I could skip another painting job, especially if it wasn't needed.

While taking on the makeover endeavor, I decided that a little re-organizing of toys and 'stuff' was also needed. Some of the toys that were overtaking our living room were brought into the kids' room (kitchen set and dishes, blocks, little cars,etc.) and either stored in bins under the bed or in the closet. We also put in a lower hanging rack for the kids' shirts so that they are more easily accessible for them. These changes allowed for our dear living room to be a little less cluttered and most toys that need to be in there are now in one corner or stashed in the toy box.

All in all, it all turned out great and we are loving the change. It also left us with a new look for the kids' room and the living room; a cleaner/more organized living space; no more shirts wrinkled and stuffed in the dresser drawers; and a clear reminder of how much I LOVE bins and baskets for organizing!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Or otherwise titled, 'Why You Should Never Take Your 4 Year Old Son Bra Shopping With You'...

Because, he just might run around in and out and all around every bra/panty display in the whole section and then spot a certain larger size bra in a leopard print, pull it off the rack and declare:

"I'm a cheetah, I'm a cheetah"

While still running around of course.

You may not be able to contain your own laughter, while trying to maintain order and demand that your son put that away 'right now'.

And wondering how many people just saw him do that and are staring at you as you shamefully return to your bra shopping.

While steering clear of a certain leopard print item.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Simple Summer Treat

While scanning the covers of the latest mags at the Walmart check-out aisle, I found the latest Taste of Home: Fun Food edition. It looked like it contained some pretty easy and fun recipes to try with my kids.

This one was our first to try since we had all of the ingredients at home already. What a tasty treat! Simple and Delicious.

Chocolate Marshmallow Squares

8 whole graham crackers

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons caramel or butterscotch ice cream topping

* Place whole graham crackers 1 in. apart on a baking sheet. Top each cracker with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Drizzle with ice cream topping.

* Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until the marshmallows are puffed and the chips are slightly melted. Cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blogger's Tea

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the annual Blogger's Tea for mommy blogger's from Minnesota. Yes, I am now officially a certified blogger! C'mon, they don't just invite any ol' bloggy mommy out there. Kidding, really, but seriously I was most definitely HONORED to be a guest.

I met Jamie half way to the Mad Hatter Tea Room and hitched a ride. Jamie and I know one another from days gone by, but have recently reconnected through blogging. She is a sweet friend who is on the verge of delivering a dear baby girl in a couple of weeks. If you are blessed enough to know her IRL, she is easy to converse with and quick to pick up right where you left off.

Being a committed blogger, I couldn't let threatening weather like this keep me away from a blogger gathering (or miss out on this photo either!):

Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door by Tracy and Margaret. I was so excited to finally meet these wonderful women in person! I tried not to let it show and kept myself contained. I mean, they are nearly famous as far as I'm concerned. How fun it was to hear their real voices--not just the imagined ones I hear as I read their posts. Trust me, they are every bit the charming ladies in person as on their blogs.

The rest of the ladies arrived and we entered the Tea Room. What a delightful, beautiful group of ladies I was blessed to be surrounded by! In true blogger form, we all grabbed our cameras as we sat down and snapped away at everything from the place settings to our delicate luncheon to the ladies around the table.

Looking back, I think I spent most of our time together just listening and being in awe of such faithful, Catholic women. I probably didn't give an accurate portrayal of my real personality. I was enjoying my time so much and being a part of conversation varying from children and husbands to faith and blogging. In truth, it's not every day or perhaps even every week that my life is blessed with such wholesome conversation and therefore I may revel in it a bit silently when it does happen with women such as these.

Tracy, who was our hostess and organizer of the gathering, even came equipped with door prizes! Not to mention prayer cards at each of our place settings. What a thoughtful woman she is. (I think she may have also been in cahoots with Margaret and gotten her assistance as well) I won the prize for the furthest drive and received Mondays with Mary and it was also autographed by the author! I cannot wait to use it!

It was a relaxing and peaceful Saturday with friends, old and new. Precious moments with faithful women who inspire, encourage and support me and so many others. It was only fitting that we sit together enjoying our lunch and chatting. Afterall, it's what I normally do with them every day any way, except that they're usually miles away and on the other side of a computer screen.

Thank you ladies, I look forward to meeting you again!

The Lunch:

The Ladies:

Around the table (starting from my left):

Jamie: Lord, Make Me A Saint

Josefa: My Farm and Home

Margaret: Minnesota Mom

Tracy: Pinewood Castle

Kristina: Sweet Mercies

Meredith: Heavenly Perspective

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hi Lo: August 7th

Inspired by Colleen who shares her High's and Low's every week!


1) Feeling inspired for a bit of a bedroom re-do, the kids received a bedroom makeover over the weekend. Everything came together quite well and everyone was happy with the end result. I'll have to share more next week.

2) The kids and I enjoyed the last Story Hour at the library. I'm fine with that and so are they. It was a lot of fun every week, but we're ready for a little break before school starts up again.

3) I returned to my exercising this week, but only a couple of days were actually fit in. My new DVD was the kick-in-the-butt I needed. After slacking off the last few weeks, the workout was brutal. Now I've got to get into a better routine of it.

4) This week brought a much needed Mom's Night Out with a friend. It was our motivation meeting before we both start our second year of homeschooling. Enjoyable and relaxing. Reminded me why we need to do it more often!

5) I've been working on the coming school year's lesson plans all week and I'm almost finished. Hooray! I'm excited at all of the potential for the next year.


1) Lily still has not lost her second loose tooth that she has been working on for weeks. It seems like it should be any day now though.

2) After a bit of a longer cycle, I was beginning to feel hopeful...but then another cycle began again. That's okay, it was the first cycle with new meds. We'll keep working with the physicians and keep on the meds. and see what happens.

How was your week? What were your High's and Low's?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quick Observation

Ever wonder what's going on in your child's mind?

Well, while preparing for noon Mass today, this is what Miss Lily was thinking about:

(She whispers)

'Hey Mom, we're the only people here without glasses!'

And I *chuckle* as I look around because, well, while that's true we're also the YOUNGEST people there too.

Now I know where I can go to feel younger. With our daily Mass crowd, I'll always get a good ego boost. But then, that's probably not what I'm suppose to be thinking about while preparing for Mass.Hmm??

Monday, August 3, 2009

And Then Comes August

by William H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I'm feeling a bit perplexed as I look at the August calendar realizing that summer will soon be over. And then I found the above poem and it dawned on me that I have basked in the beauty of the season and had the chance to stand and stare. The season has been full and busy according to our calendar, but yet I have had plenty of days to ponder and be content. It is all but a season and when autumn arrives and school days begin again, I will figure out how to revel in that as well.

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