Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Herbal Bath Recipe

My midwife Becky gave me this amazing recipe before I had my daughter at home. She emphasized over and over how beneficial it would be for me and she even started the first pot of leaves boiling while I rested up after the birth. Other women who had delivered at home and had used herbal baths highly recommended them too. I've used it after having both babies, even though my second baby was born in the hospital and we don't have an actual bathtub in our apartment here. These herbs are especially beneficial for healing cuts/tears and the urninary tract as well as the garlic being a natural antiseptic against infection.
You may smell a bit like garlic and it may be extra work for your hubby or your mom to help you make these 2-3 times a day, but I can guarantee you that soaking for 15 minutes a couple of times a day in a hot herbal bath does wonders for your body and your mind after the rigors of natural childbirth. I healed very quickly after my daughter's birth because I started them right away just hours after giving birth. Note: This herbal soak is also a natural way to get rid of hemorroids you may have acquired during giving birth! I have yet to try it for yeast infections, but I'm sure it would help some and is worth trying before pursuing antibiotic remedies.

Herbal Bath

It’s easier to buy the leaves ahead of time and mix them together in a big bowl or gallon size Ziploc bag so you don‘t have to individually measure them every day.
2 Cups comfrey leaves
2 Cups uva ursi leaves
2 C. shepherd’s purse leaves

1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Turn off. Add ½-¾ C. of the leaf mixture and ½ C. sea salt. Also add 2-3 fresh, crushed garlic bulbs (it’s much easier to just buy a jar of fresh chopped garlic and add 2 Tablespoons). Cover pot. Let steep for at least ½ hour. (Preferably a few hours or overnight).
2. Strain water through colander, mesh strainer, or cheesecloth. Save the leaves to use with the next batch for the next pot. Pour about 5 oz. Of the herbal bath into your peri bottle (a bottle used to squirt yourself off every time you use the bathroom) and fill the remainder of the peri bottle with water. Pour the rest of the pot into the bathtub after you have plugged the tub and add 6-8 inches of hot water.
3. Soak in tub 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a day until healed.
4. Enjoy!!!
5. Use the saved leaves from the first batch in the second batch but then on the third batch throw out all the old leaves and start fresh. Save the leaves from the third batch to add to the fourth, but start fresh on the 5th, and so on and so forth.
6. What works nicely is if you or your husband put a pot on before you go to bed (but don't leave the burner on all night!) and then it will steep all night and you can take a bath sometime in the morning. Then after you finish your morning bath, you can put a pot on immediately after and use it in the afternoon or evening for a bath.
This recipe for one batch makes approximately 10 baths (5 days worth if you do two a day) and costs approximately $10-15.

Goals for More Natural Living

Since we're talking about being crunchy, I decided to just keep rolling with this topic since it's so much fun!

It may not be New Year's yet, but it's a good time of year to evaluate my habits and set goals for 2008. Here are my crunchy goals:


*Make some cloth diapers and go back to using cloth during the day to save on diapers.
*Drink herbal/green teas in place of or in addition to a cup of hot cocoa each day.
*Eat more quinoa/brown rice in place of white rice. Quinoa is yummy!
*Drink soy milk instead of cow's milk.
*Learn how to make hummus and homemade pita bread.
*Take evening primrose oil capsules to see if it helps with PMS
*Buy some eco-bulbs to conserve on electricity
*Eat more fruit in place of sweets

Far-fetched goals:

*Buy a juicer and make fresh juices (however, this would imply having fruit around! It's so expensive here!)
*Buy most, if not all, organic produce and meats
*Get my hubby and kids to like whole wheat spaghetti
*Learn to make my own laundry detergent
*Learn how to make all-natural soaps
*Buy all our drinking water in recycled jugs instead of drinking chlorinated tap water

For the future, when we have a house of our own:

*Dry my laundry outdoors, especially in the summer (but for now washer and dryer are free in our building)
*Have a large organic garden
*Use all-natural cleaners
*Teach my kids to reduce, re-use, and recycle!
*Start a compost pile

Okay...maybe I should copy what Meredith said on my previous post, and go hug a tree! *LOL* I'd love to hear YOUR goals for living more naturally, either in the comments section or on your own personal blogs.

Crunchy Mama?

How crunchy are you? I have heard that term thrown around a bit online and wondered exactly what it means. I found this definition:

crunchy mama

Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods. See crunchy and hippie.

In our town, we have a different term for this kind of person. We call them NOLSIES. This is because we have the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) here and this brings lots of "crunchy" people to our town.

I found this quiz, titled, "How Crunchy are you?" Check it out here.

I got a score of 112. I'm not extremely crunchy, or super crunchy, but I'm very crunchy. I have used both disposable and cloth, and at times disposables have been the more frugal choice for us and better for our sanity. I'm in the process of trying to sew some All-in-one cloth diapers for my son for daytime use to cut costs a little bit in that area. I try my best to breastfeed for a year, but I end up needing to supplement some with formula around 9 or 10 months due to a lagging milk supply. I'm very pro home-birth and have had one, but I also recognize many don't have that option or can't do it because of complications or don't want to. I love waterbirth and highly recommend it!
We can't afford to buy very much organic food, but my goal is to get us eating more of it and I'm trying to find it cheaply or on sale so that we can eat as natural as possible. When I have a home and a garden of my own, I will definitely mimic my mom's style of growing my own organic veggies and herbs. I'm leery of doctors, but use them when we have to, I'm a delayed vaxer, and very interested in herbal/home remedies. I'm very into the fertility awareness stuff for avoiding pregnancy/trying to conceive. Co-sleeping doesn't work well for us to get any sleep (though my husband is all for it--he loves cuddling with sleeping kiddies) and neither of my kids really liked being in the sling a lot. I've recently given up cow's milk (for myself, not the kids) in favor of Soy milk. I use some regular cleaners and detergent along with using vinegar water, but I'm wanting to use more all-natural cleaners in the future and quit buying commercial cleaners altogether. We do circumcise (unlike many crunchy mamas) and we do believe it is Biblical to spank our children (whereas the more New-Age crunchy types think it's teaching a child to hit). I'm excited that we might soon get a recycling service at our apartment building. I try to bike and walk where I can instead of wasting gas in my car. We don't eat a ton of meat (because of the cost), but we definitely aren't vegetarian.

I definitely won't be giving up make-up or shaving my legs, like some crunchies! I also don't need to worry about wearing organic clothes as no one in our family has skin allergies.

Being crunchy isn't my goal in life. Following God is! Most crunchy issues are non-moral ones and up to people's preferences. Life is short so we don't need to be too uptight! We also don't need to force crunchy tendencis on others. If I tend to be a bit crunchy it's because I want my family to be as healthy as possible and be a good steward of the earth's resources! If I get overly worried about eating food contaminants I remind myself that death is inevitable and God is in charge. Even if I bought all organic and ate the most healthy diet possible, I'm still going to die someday and so will everyone else. Reaching them with the Gospel is far more important than what's on our table. If you slack off in the food area and let your kids have junk food and candy sometimes (we do), oh well! Just don't slack in the area of teaching them Biblical values!

Take the quiz and let me know how crunchy you are!

For my friends in MN: I miss Harmony Natural Foods and Luekens (organic section) so much!

Tip for Crunchy folks planning to give stuff out to trick-or-treaters: My friend Lora is giving out little 100% apple-juice boxes she got on sale instead of candy. Since I already have some Snickers around, I'll have to try this next year. She also mentioned how little boxes of raisins or dried fruit or nuts would be a great idea too! I would take it one step further by wrapping a little Bible verse or invitation to AWANAS around the juice box on a piece of pretty paper!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Language Funnies

Our neighbors from Mexico provide us with lots of entertainment as they are learning English. Two recent examples:

Fernie came to the door last night and urgently asked, "Can I have a paper toliet?" King Jo was confused. "Please," she pleaded, "one paper toliet." She asked several times and I was just chuckling in the background. The funniest part was that King Jo, whom they refer to as Jose', kept asking if she meant "paper towels" or "paper." He didn't get it. They wanted a roll of toliet paper!

Today the girls were over playing and were bickering as usual. Fernie approached me to tattle on her sister and declared, "Lin-see, she is NOT telling the tooth!" (instead of truth).

Now that I've told on them, I can tell on myself. My Spanish speaking abilities leave a lot to be desired at times. Last fall when I was explaining how to make corn on the cob I told Lupe to put "manzanas (apples)" on top of the corn. She kept asking, "Si? Manzanas?" I would say, "Si! Manzanas!" What I meant to say was "mantaquilla (butter)!" We finally figured out my mistake!

Another blooper was when we were eating at their house and they were asking if King Jo drinks beer. I said in Spanish, "No, he doesn't drink "servietas" which means napkins/dishtowels, instead of saying, "serviesa" (beer).

Monday, October 29, 2007

I Luv Bein' a Mom.....Most Days!

The best mothering thought I've come across this week was written by a mother of 9 kids, somewhere online, I forget where. She said that with each child she got more disciplined and more organized and was a LOT more blessed! How true that is for me even with just 2! I get more accomplished in a day than I ever did before marriage, before kids, with one kid....etc. This must be the secret to how those seasoned moms do it!
Wishing all of you mommies out there a wonderful day!

My Deals of the Week

My Walgreens deals this week! I got all of the above for $10! I spent $26 (half cash/half register rewards) and will get $16 back in rebates. Because there are $2.50 coupons on the web for Playtex Sport tampons and because they are on a Buy one, get one free deal this week I got PAID 20 cents to buy them! I also got paid 50 cents to buy the Pert Plus after I get my rebate. The Garnier Fructis shampoo was free and so was the Pulsar Toothbrush. I had 2 coupons for $1.50 off Healing Gardens Organics products and since they are on Buy one, Get one this week, I paid very little for those too and they will make beautiful gifts, especially for my friends who are into the "natural, good" stuff!

My Smith's deals were pretty good too! Kroger shredded cheese is 4 for $5, so I got some of that. I printed some Armour coupons off the web (75 cents off any Armour product) and so I got 5 of these Lunchmakers for only 25 cents each, because they are 10 for $10 this week. Cheap lunches/snacks! I also printed some Purex coupons off the web this week ($1.00 off one Purex Natural Elements) and they were on sale for $2.49, so I got 2 jugs of natural detergent (32 loads each bottle) for $3!

One other great deal that ends tomorrow at Safeway: 93% meat/7% fat hamburger is on special for $1.99 a pound. That is $3 off per pound in our town! I bought 3 pounds for $6 and plan to go get some more. I spent $6 and saved $18! Since the kid who was going to give us some elk didn't get one this year, my hubby told me to fill up the freezer with this good hamburger this week!

Funny: One cashier at Safeway now calls me "The Coupon Lady." She told me yesterday, after ringing up my order and seeing I saved twice as much as I spent, "You just FREAK me out when you do that!"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What is Biblical Femininity Nowadays?

I so appreciated hearing this one hour message by Carolyn Mahaney, a famous pastor's wife and author. Here is the link:

If this link doesn't work, go to and look for the recent post relating to Carolyn's talk for her church's Friday Night Family Night on Biblical femininity.

The neat thing about her talk was how she explained a woman's unique role as a helper, not only in the context of marriage, but in the life of a young woman (teen), and single woman. I've NEVER heard anyone bring this word "helper/helpmeet" to light in context of the essence of a woman outside of marriage. I think I've heard a thousand people beat the helpmeet idea into my head referring to married women but not to singles. I loved the way she explained God's design for women and kept the cross central to all. There are a lot of Christian ideas out there proclaiming their "brand" or their "ideas" or their "doctrinal bents" of how to be a godly woman looks, but we must look to what the Word says above everything else.

She may not be the most riveting speaker, but the Truth she presented in her soft voice resonated with me and stung me where it needed to incite change.
Those of us with little girls desperately need to know what God thinks of and expects of women so that we can train them! Carolyn told young women to imitate their moms and consider them their "Personal Trainers in Femininity." Yikes, what a scary responsibility! A good reminder that my little girl is copying my every move and I need to be sure my example models God's design for women!

What do you think about activities for kids?

I've been thinking about this off and on recently as my daughter is nearing the age of "activities." Quite a few of the mom friends I meet talk about various pre-schools and classes for their kids. One mom I know takes her children to something every single day: swimming, Montessori school, music lessons, and she cannot wait to enter her in ballet. Her girls are 2 and 9 months! Many of my relatives are non-Christians and they spend every day and weekend shuffling kids around to things. When I mentioned I hoped to have four kids (or more), (which was shocking to them since they have the one boy/one girl mentality and I've already got a boy and a girl) , they chuckled, "Just wait until you have to taxi four kids around!" In my head I was thinking, "I'm not going to be a taxi mom! You CAN make choices about what you involve your kids in."

I'd like my kids to get exercise and I had fun as a child playing local league soccer. I am so glad my mom insisted I take music lessons so I have a basic knowledge of paino and classical guitar. I want my kids to have opportunities, but not be overwhelmed and stressed. I thought this article was really good:

I'm a very active mom when it comes to taking kids to play dates and out for fresh air at parks when the weather is nice. When you live in a claustrophobic apartment with little privacy and neighbors over constantly, this is a necessity for sanity. I don't think it's wrong to do things, but to do things constantly and be spending all your time in the car isn't how I want to raise my kids!

Please leave a comment about what you plan to do for your kids at the various stages regarding the endless activities available.

Edit Notice: I changed the link. Hope it works now!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who's the Boss?

Who exactly is a stay-at-home mom's boss? I know many of you will immediately jump in with, "Her husband!" Of course God has planned for the husband to be the wife's authority and we are to be our husband's helper. But, I don't think of him as my boss necessarily because he doesn't dictate what I need to do each day and lay it all out for me and check up on me, etc. I think I'm blessed in this area because I definitely wouldn't want to have a hubby like that!

Of course God is my main boss in the sense that I belong to Him and desire to do His will and please Him each day. His Spirit should be our Master and Guide for all things.

Yet, when I think of who bosses me around all day in the traditional sense of bossing, I'd have to say that I, Mrs. Jo, am my own boss, and boy am I ruthless at times! That inner drive to get stuff done, be productive, do important tasks, keep my kids alive and healthy and clean, have others think well of me, etc. sure does push me onward so that every hour of every day is filled to the brim! I do have days, like every mom, where I just want to leave my pjs on for a long time and kind of be lazy and relax a bit. But most days, I have my agenda, whether in my head or on my index cards, and I'm racing to complete my self-appointed tasks throughout the day, only alloting myself certain quick breaks, and going late into the night. I do take time for blogging (obviously), for my friends, reading, and crafts in addition to the endless daily tasks of serving my family. I just wish there were more hours in a day sometimes, but of course God knew what He was doing in only giving us so many minutes in each day and designing us to need rest.

I also have a couple of little people around all day, every day who would like to think they are my bosses. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part to say that they really aren't! One is very vocal about this in words, "Mommy, can you get me a snack NOW! Mommy, where is my shoe? I have to go potty, come wipe me!" and the other doesn't even think words are necessary as long as he yells or cries loud enough, "Waaah (Ali stole my toy, rescue me!) Grrr (I'm hungry and I want food now!) WWWWWWWWWWAHHHHHHHHH!!!! (Get me up out of my crib or else......)."

Freezing Food

Lyndi left a comment today on my blog asking about freezing food. So, I thought I'd write a list of things that freeze well off the top of my head. Please feel free to add to it in your comments!

Meals that freeze really well:

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Most soups (except the kind with egg noodles)
Sloppy Joe Meat
Barbecue Roast for sandwiches
Salsa Skillet
Some kinds of Enchiladas (experiment here)
Tuna Casserole
Beef Stew
Chicken/Brocolli/Cheese casserole
Homemade pizzas (uncooked or cooked)
Plowman's Share (a favorite recipe of mine, described here on my blog.)
Filling for Western Beef and Cornmeal Pie

Other things that freeze well:

Spaghetti (cook it and then freeze in ziploc bags--reheat in micro or hot water)
Homemade garlic toast-Make a bunch and freeze what you and your hubby don't eat so that the next time you need it quick you can microwave it
Spaghetti sauce
Homemade Refried beans
Flour tortillas (when they are on a good sale I buy a bunch and freeze)
Fruits (if you can't use up some pineapple or berries, or even bananas, freeze it and use it later in a smoothie)
Homemade baby food
Cooked meats (when you bake some chicken or do a crockpot roast, take half of it and freeze to use in meals later)
Hamburger (I bulk cook this when it's a good price and then I just have to pull out a little baggie and supper is done in a flash!)
Taco-seasoned hamburger
Homemade bread
Store-bought bread
Hamburger/Hotdog buns
Hotdogs, Lunchmeat
Desserts (Take half of the cookies, brownies or cake you make and seal it in individual little ziploc bags and then when a dessert craving hits you, just microwave for around 20 seconds on a plate (not in the bag).
Pie crusts/Apple pie fillings/Whole Pies
Bread dough/Pizza dough
Hashbrowns/Mashed potatoes

Need more inspiration? Take a notebook to the grocery store and browse the frozen foods aisles. If you see it there, you can probably make it and freeze it at home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby Bear's Black Eye

See my post from a couple of days ago to find out how Little Jer got his first shiner. Poor boy! I give him permission to give his big sister more than a few tickle tortures when he's bigger than her someday!

Power Shopping

This week Walgreens had some great deals! They had a bunch of items on register reward deals and all of these items had coupons for them, either in this week's paper or a previous one.
Here's what I got:
Pepcid AC Advanced
Buckley's Cough Medicine
Keri Milk Body Lotion
5 packages baby food
3 boxes of 100 ct. Excedrin
3 boxes of 24 ct. Excedrin
Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste
Crest Toothpaste
Crest Whitening Cinnamon Toothpaste
5 boxes gelatin
1 Adidas deodorant
2 boxes of Theraflu Cold medicine
3# of Epsom salts
1 package of To-go Beano
Saltwater Nasal spray

Here's what I did:
I took the Excedrin and 2 baby foods through the line. I used 3, $3 off coupons on the Excedrin and my total came to $11.90 with tax. I paid this on a gift card I got from my Sep. rebates. My register rewards on this order? $12 plus a coupon for 3 baby foods. So, I made 10 cents on that order. Next order, I put all my free after rebate stuff up with all the coupons and the total came to $28 something. I paid with my $12 in register rewards and some more on my gift cards. Third order I put the Theraflus, 3 baby foods, and Keri Lotion up with coupons for all of it, and the total came to $15.50, but generated another $12 in register rewards.
So, for those of you who are confused:
I spent (with cash or gift cards): $45
Rebates I'll get on this stuff: $28.50
Register Rewards (which is like cash): $12
Total spent: $4.50
Items: 27
Wal-Mart cost of these items at cheapest possible prices: $60
At Walgreens, this is $108 worth of merchandise
Added bonuses: The Crest and the 3 Excedrins were bonus packs with freebies attached so I not only got the big ones free, but got 3 smaller Excedrins and a smaller tube of Crest free too.

What did I pay for? I figured out that I paid for the 50 cent Band-aids, the Epsom salts on sale for $1.50, 1 package of baby food for $1, and the 5 packages of Royal Gelatin for $1. All other products were COMPLETELY free. I could yard sale some of the stuff and make money on it, but I think I will donate some to my grandparents who are on a fixed income and could really use the medicines.

I was headed to my mom's house this weekend when I noticed a yard sale, yes even on a freezing cold fall day! The yard sale happened to be at the most zealous yard saler-in-town's house (I know since I see her at EVERY sale all summer long and she holds 4 or 5 per summer herself!) She's known for having great stuff so I had to stop. Several of my kid's clothes are from her sales, and some of them were brand-new with tags still on them! I snagged an adorable, new pair of pink sneakers for Ali which should fit next spring and summer ($1) and this new-in-the-box scooter doll that really rides the scooter around when you put batteries in it. $3! This will be Ali's birthday present for her 3rd birthday in Feb. Anyone who knows Ali well knows she's obsessed with scooters and rides the little neighbor girl's scooters constantly. I've gotten all of Ali's B-day and Christmas gifts (and most of Jer's too) thanks to clearances and yard sale deals!

Update: Since our local Safeway NEVER restocks, I swung by the Safeway 30 miles away when I was in that town shopping Walgreens today. They had lots of crackers left so I grabbed another 10 boxes, remembered to use my coupon this time, and paid $1.45! I think we're set for a year now!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Poor Baby

Poor Baby Jer! For his big smile and sweet personality, this tiny little man has endured a lot! A few of the recent injuries that come to mind:

*Having his fingers slammed in a guitar case

*Ali accidentally whacking his head instead of the baseball with her bat

*A toddler friend accidentally breaking a mirror over his head (we love you C and know you didn't mean to!)

*Having Ali use his head as a leap frog post

*Toys thrown at his face by multiple toddlers

*People accidentally stepping on his fingers

in the past:

*falling face first out of his high chair when he pushed the tray off (completely my fault since I hadn't strapped him in due to being in a hurry. Hey, we've NEVER had a kid be able to get off the trays before, but he was in a newer high chair with a tray that pops off with little effort)

*Rolling off of our bed (this was when we discovered he could roll as a tiny little guy)

*Being flipped completely upside-down in his bouncy seat by none other than, you guessed it.....big sis!

*Being swung wildly in his Johnny-Jump up so that his little body hit both the fridge and the other side of the door jam (by the same culprit mentioned in most of these)

*Him rocking his rocking seat forward and hanging himself upside down from it, held in place only by his little legs, which were buckled in (this didn't hurt him though---just a strange stunt he pulled for us!)
*Being sat on several months ago by his sister. She was sitting so entirely on top of him that Daddy (who was watching them at the time) couldn't find Baby Jer in the room at first because he was buried under her on the couch.

and today's episode....the worst yet. My poor little boy got dumped completely over in his highchair, which is a baby booster attached to a real chair. His face bears the marks of the pain he endured as his cheek caught another chair on his way down.

Of course we were quite angry and upset with Ali and she was severely punished as she's been warned before when she's rocked his high chair or gotten close to knocking it over. She understands the severity of what she did and hopefully will NEVER, EVER do that again. I know she's a toddler and just being ....typical. But that's just it! Typical bothers me because toddlers bother me! This is just not a fun stage to be a mom! Not that motherhood is about having fun anyway and not that I don't enjoy the cute stuff and the sweet things. But sometimes I wish I could skip the years from 1-3, especially with a super strong-willed kid. God is really using this whole experience of having a toddler to refine me, build patience in me, and show me how worthless I am if I'm operating in my own strength as a mother instead of in His.

I hope that those of you with 2 or more will be able to protect the littlest one better than I have! My next kid will just ride in the back-back or sling 24/7 I think since there will be twice as many tyrannical siblings to cause these kinds of injuries!

Too Good To be True!

Thanks to Carrie's blog post on Money Saving Mom about this cracker deal, I walked away from Safeway tonight with 9 boxes of yummy crackers for exactly $2!!! Wowsers! My cashier was stunned, as usual, and wants to get this deal tomorrow! I even paid for one box of crackers twice....

Apparently the crackers, which are on sale for $2 a box, generate a $5 off when you buy 5 boxes. That would still be a GREAT deal at $1 a box. But, they are also part of a Kraft foods promo where you get $4 off of 4. So, when you go up to the register and use your Safeway card, it knocks $9 off your $10 order!

After this deal worked for me, I asked the cashier if I could run back and grab 5 more boxes. One problem: Only 4 more on the shelf. If I had just let her ring up 4, my total would have come to $4! So, I asked if I could pay for one of my first purchase boxes again! Hey, it may have cost me an extra 20 cents to buy it twice, but I saved $17.50 on each transaction! Spent $2, got 9 boxes of yummy crackers (5 of which are Whole Grain) and saved $35. The deal was so good, I'm not even kicking myself (too hard anyway) about forgetting my 55 cents off 2 boxes of Nabisco crackers coupon I left at home! Just think, I could have saved even more!

If they restock their shelves, I'll be back tomorrow with that coupon so I can get 5 boxes for 45 cents, and the next day and the next day...........

This deal will definitely help our church nursery stash of crackers!

Sis and Bro Love

One of my friends has been wondering if she should have had a second child so soon after her first (they are 21 months apart, just like my kids). She loves each of her kids, but always feels like she's cheating one or the other and not giving them enough time and attention. She isn't a Christian and has some very different mentalities than I do of course. I told her that her kids are so blessed to have each other and aren't a bit deprived because of it! I love my brothers so much and had so much fun with them when we were younger (of course we had many fights as well!) I just wish my folks had had a few more kids since I missed out on having a sister!
I'm glad my kids have each other to play with and share fun with. Here are two cute pics of them together.

However.....having more than one kid in the house can be terribly dangerous to the little one as you'll find out in my next post. (My poor baby boy!)

Getting Dishes Done

How on earth do you get dishes done with small kids around? If I focus on the dishes, Ali is off getting into stuff elsewhere. If I focus on her and am always checking up on her, it's impossible to get a full load done with all the interruptions. I don't want to spend naptime doing dishes either since it's my one break during the day to have a seat and rest/read, etc.

I've found the solution! I put the little dish basin on a chair next to the sink where I'm working and now Ali can play around in some bubbles and "help" Mama wash. At this age, she LOVES washing dishes! I just make sure to give her the plastic ones and have a towel handy at the end to clean up drips and spills.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Frugal Fridays--Fast and Frugal Dessert

Ever have a craving for a yummy slice of cake but you don't want to wait 40 minutes and heat your house up (in the summer) to make one? Here's my solution: Make a Microwave cake! I developed this recipe one night when I couldn't find any good ones on the web. It is tasty and most people never know it was made in the microwave unless you tell them.
Mrs. Jo's Microwave Cake

What you need:
1/2 of a cake mix (Duncan's Hines Moist Deluxe works very well, but anything will do)
1 egg
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. oil

Mix very well. Spray a glass 8x8 pan or a glass pie plate with cooking spray. Pour the cake mix into the pan and put in micro. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. My microwave is only 4 years old and very nice so it usually takes around 3 minutes and 30 seconds for us. If I've used a little more than half of the cake mix by accident, I shoot for 4 minutes.
When you take the cake out it will still look kind of un-cooked on the sides. This is okay. It will continue to cook and dry out for a few minutes. It's important you don't overcook. You will know you have overcooked it if it's very dry and tastes like sawdust!
After a few minutes of letting it cool, drizzle frosting, canned pie filling, caramel or chocolate ice-cream topping, or whipped cream on top. Sometimes if I'm having major PMS cravings I'll throw in some chocolate chips and marshmallows in the batter before microwaving! Yummy! This makes 4 LARGE servings for around 10 cents a serving if you get your cake mixes on sale. The taste and the price sure beat those Warm Delights bowls everyone is buying these days!

A great recipe to pull out when:

*Company stops by and you need a quick dessert
*You need dessert for a friend's birthday luncheon on a busy day
*It's hot and you don't want to turn on your oven to bake
*You want to make a special treat for Date Movie Night-In with your hubby

Note: All cake mixes and flavors work--not just chocolate!

Green Mountain Lava (Salsa Verde)

Neighbor Lupe has been at it again! Teaching me how to cook yummy things! Okay, so I admit I came up with the name Green Mountain Lava--because salsa this good needs a more exciting name than Green Salsa!
This was a double batch since I was making some for gifts so I bought a little over 2 # of tomatillas (in the produce section). I peeled the outer layer off of them and washed them and then put them in water along with 2 jalapeno peppers (average size). Cut the jalapeno peppers in half but be careful not to let the juice touch your hand. It's wise to use a rubber glove or paper towel when touching them. I learned this the hard way a few years back when I was canning salsa. In case you do get jalapeno burns, the only thing that really helps is dipping your hand in sour cream! After boiling for about 10 minutes, scoop out the tomatillas and jalapenos with a slotted spoon and stick in your blender. Important: Pull out the little center of your blender lid to allow steam to escape. Once again, I had to learn this the hard way a few years ago when making my own spaghetti sauce. (Boy, is this confessional time for me regarding kitchen disasters, or what?) If you don't pull out that little center, even if you think your sauce has cooled, but it hasn't, and you try to blend under pressure, let's just say you'll figure out how one little blender can cover your whole kitchen in hot spaghetti sauce within seconds!

Add 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped garlic, 2 t. salt, and 1/2 t. ground black pepper. Blend well. Taste it and see if you need to add anything else to preference. A little more salt? Want to experiment by adding some lemon or lime juice or cilantro?

Entonces, you are done! It's that simple! Once you've tried it, you'll be hooked!

Store in the fridge and use on top of nachos, enchiladas, tacos, or anything else that you think it might taste good on!

*This recipe makes a moderately hot salsa. I can't take super hot, but I like the hotness of this because it bites you, but doesn't make me choke or tear up. I usually need a glass of milk with it, but I like the heat, especially if I have a cold. If you want to make it hotter or milder, adjust the amount of jalapenos.


I keep forgetting to blog about two awesome things that God did for us. Remember my sob story about walking around town for 6 hours waiting for the guys to fix our windshield? Well, it seemed like it was going to cost us around $1,800 from the bids we were getting from lots of shops. In fact, no one really seemed to agree on how to fix a rusted pinch wield (the thingy that holds the windshield in place on top.) Some even suggested tearing the whole car apart and putting a new roof on from a car in a junkyard. We were pretty nervous about having to clear out a lot of savings just to get our nicest car back to being drive-able. Thank the Lord for a great friend in MN, Rick Steele, who owns a body shop and gave us sound advice!!! After a couple of quick calls to him during this process, Josiah prayed and waited, in spite of pressure by body shop guys who said, "We have to do it TODAY!" He finally found a guy who suggested the same thing as Rick Steele for the wonderful price of $341! Whew! As I type, our car is completely fixed and looking lovely out in the parkinglot. What a blessing! Don't you all hate car problems and repairs?

Another blessing: I've had a lot of problems with my neck in the last couple of years. It may be related to a minor fender bender or lifting kids constantly, etc. Anyhow, as most of you can relate, neck pain totally stinks and needing to see chiropractors, who are expensive, isn't fun for a tight budget. I've been so sick of getting adjusted only to need to go back within a few days or a week because of horrible pain. A couple of weeks ago at Bible Study I felt like God was telling me to share my need with the ladies. I usually hide it from others and don't bring it up because I don't want anyone's pity. However, the nudge was so strong, I shared it and the ladies prayed for me. (It's a study at my mom's where all the ladies are older than I am, but super sweet and encouraging.) The next day my neck felt great and the next...and the next... and a couple of weeks later I am AMAZED that I haven't needed to go in yet! I'm not sure when or if I'll deal with neck trouble again, but for now, I'm so thankful God gave me a nice break from it for a short time when I shared my need with others in prayer.

Kids are Fun

Pictures of Kids are worth a thousand words! Our friend's daughter Kennedy decided the other day that King Jo's guitar case was a good place for a bed during our Bible Study. Yes, we actually attempt to have Bible Study on Monday nights with 3 2-year olds running around shouting and laughing and our baby trying to keep up!

Ali thought she was pretty cool to have figured out how to put Duplo blocks on all of her fingers. We took this pic for Grandpa and Grandma Joel and Kathy in MN!

Pom-Poms for the Creator

When I was young I always imagined that the autumn trees were enormous and glorious pom-poms; their cheers rising to the heavens in praise for our great God who created such amazing beauty.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Have 2 Kids if:

You Must Have Two Small Kids If:

1. You secretly wonder if someone has snuck in and kidnapped your brain cells because you are so distracted and forgetful at times.

2. Your biggest concern for your second is that they make it through infancy without being killed by the older sibling.

3. Remember the days of feeling for breath under the firstborn's nose? Remember lying awake and wondering if your baby was going to die of SIDS? Now, you don't have time to worry. As soon as your head hits the pillow you are out cold.

4. The baby needs to scream for 20 minutes straight at the highest decible possible to rouse you from your sleep for a feeding.

5. You get more done than you did when you only had one kid. Ever heard that saying, "The more you have to do, the more you get done?"

6. Your conversations with friends are endlessly choppy. For example, "So, how was your (Ali, let your brother go!) vacation (Jer, don't put that in your mouth) last week? (Ali, stay close to mommy!) Did you (It's okay baby!) see your (Ali! Get in time-out right now and apologize to your friend) family while you were there?" If your friend happens to have a couple of kids, the conversation is even choppier! Or....

7. You've learned to talk over any and all noise. My mom marvels at how on the phone I can talk over screaming, whining, yelling, howling, etc. I'm so used to it all day and so grateful for a chance to talk to an adult at times that I don't want the conversation to end just because the kids are being their normal selves! What's a little background noise? Doesn't distract me anymore!

8. It seems faster to walk to the grocery store than to take 2 kids in and out of carseats. It helps that we live only a few blocks from either grocery store in town too!

9. You have learned to function very well with little or no sleep and continual fatigue. Don't think that if your kids are good sleepers you are immune! One will ALWAYS be sick, have a bad dream, be teething, be startled by a loud noise, etc. so you will frequently have interrupted sleep and can't catch up on it in the day if you have a toddler. Also, your toddler will frequently wake the baby or vice versa no matter how much you guard them like a crazed grizzly bear to protect your sleep.

10. You've learned to let a LOT of stuff go. So what if the baby eats his crackers off the floor as long as it is relatively clean? Other kid sucked on your baby's sippy? No big deal, his sister does it all the time.

11. You are very relaxed about the whole milestones/development stuff and don't even have time to read "What to expect the First Year" this time around. As long as the second kid looks mostly healthy and the doctors/nurses aren't concerned, you aren't either. You've learned to enjoy the stages rather than rush them.

12. You compare your kid's constantly (not in a bad way) but in typical conversations. "Ali was a better sleeper. Jer is a better listener." "Ali was 20 pounds at this age. Jer's only 19.9" "Ali was crawling by this age." "Jer thankfully isn't a biter like his sister."

13. Your love has multiplied so that you can love each child immensely, unbelievably, and equally and be thrilled to have these little blessings.

14. You have watched your kids hugging and giggling at each other and being friends in a way that warms the heart and puts a huge smile on your face!

15. You feel like a referee, always in the middle of a fight over a certain toy.

16. You are never without a kid on your lap or in your arms.

17. You feel like the Queen of No-No since you are not just saying it to one, but to two all day long and having to correct and train both of them.

I'm sure being a mom of 2 is NUTHIN compared to those of you reading this who have 3, 4, or lots more! But there's no denying that even the small number of 2 is a shocker compared to 1!

For more laughs, visit my post from back in April, entitled: You Must Have a Toddler If:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mommy Needs a Vacation When...

She serves her husband his juice in a sippy cup complete with a spill proof valve

She is dressing both kids at the pool and puts the skirt on her son and doesn't even realize it until the toddler protests, "That's NOT his!"

Yes, these are both real-life examples of things that have happened to day. Now...I had better go try to take a nap!

Frugal Friday Tip

Disclaimer to all my friends: I'm not pregnant, just trying to give a frugal tip to women on an issue that's pertinent to them and often costs them a lot of money!

Frugal Pregnancy Tests
My husband and I have joked about how we should have bought stock in pregnancy tests! When I'm hoping for a baby, I'm very impatient and can't wait to find out "yes" or "no." So, I've gone through a LOT of pregnancy tests, sometimes because I test too early before it even shows up or sometimes because I'm psyched out in my head that I'm pregnant when I'm just experiencing bad PMS. Then, when I'm actually pregnant, I'm so excited I usually take about 6 tests just to make sure, even though I know the positive tests don't lie!
So, how does one get pregnancy tests cheaply when the average test in our town costs $16?
Having worked in a crisis pregnancy center I have learned all kinds of information about tests, hcg levels, etc. and I can heartily recommend the dollar store brand! A lot of the dollar store tests even detect 20-25 levels of hcg (pregnancy hormone) while some of the $15 tests you buy don't detect until 50-100 hcg. If you don't have a dollar store nearby, Family Dollar carries them for about $4. The Wal-Mart brand (Equate) for around $4 for 1, $6 for 2 is a VERY good one to buy! If you're addicted to peeing on a stick and it's taking a looooong time to conceive a baby and you want a LOT of tests for cheap, you can order test strips in bulk online for less than a dollar a piece. Just do a search on pregnancy tests.
Of course it would be MOST frugal to wait until you're a few weeks late and then take a cheap test, but who can wait that long?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hotties vs. Ladies

I was reading a historical novel this evening when this idea popped into my head. Where once men tipped their hats to a lady because of their gender and womanly grace, now it seems that hotness (considered in today's world to be lots of skin, a tight body, and youthful sexiness) is the only way to get any acknowledgement from the average guy. I'm not harping on those wonderful, godly gentlemen who know Christ, but the culture in general. Is it just me, or do others out there agree that our culture has changed drastically because of TV, movies, and celebrity worship over the last 100 years?

This is not to say that men in the past didn't notice women's figures or faces, but I think that a woman's conduct and femininity (also known as lady-likeness) were prized and revered in those times in a way that they are not today. If someone wanted to compliment a woman back then they might have said, "She's a wonderful lady." "She's so gracious." "She's a true lady." "She's a beautiful lady." Most men were taught how to be gentlemen and be chivalrous to ladies, regardless of how old or plump or poor they might be.

Today, if you want a small glimmer in the spotlight of life, you need to be HOT. If the world doesn't think you're hot, too bad, so sad. Hotties are revered and treated with special honors. Hotness is always changing based on fashion and what the famous are doing and the latest new, young sensations. Instead of BEING beautiful, it's all about looking beautiful. The trouble with this perspective is that beauty fades, and every one of us has imperfections or things we feel don't measure up to the world's standards of hotness. So, young women starve themselves, get operations, experiment with tons of make-up and drastic hair changes and buy clothes and accessories galore only to feel empty inside. Proverbs 31:30 is right on, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

Let me tell you about women who ARE beautiful and lady-like. There's one I know who I'll call Kari. Kari exudes a humble and gentle spirit. She is a faithful mother and wife and serves where her talents lie in the local church. She isn't flashy, she isn't made up, and she wears simple clothes from yard sales. But she's feminine and sweet and everytime I see her I think how much I'd like to be like her.

Then there is Henrietta. She is an older woman whose passion for Christ fills all she does. She tirelessly serves and seeks to reach the lost. She dresses attractively and is pretty, but her strong faith and her lovely laugh make her far more beautiful than clothes ever could. I could list many, many women I know who are beautiful ladies, from the inside out! Have you ever met a lady who looked plain on the outside but positively sparkled on the inside so that every time you conversed with her she became more and more pretty to you?

Now picture some of the current popular movie stars. They look voluptuous and sensual and exotic, but imagine what their lives must be like. Are they still "hot" when you think about their drug addictions, spiritual emptiness, sexually transmitted diseases, poor relationships, filthy mouths, and bad examples? Are you impressed by their fancy clothing and endless money even though they are bankrupt when it comes to character?

I'm not saying physical beauty is bad. I think we should strive to look our best and hopefully all of your husbands (if you're married) think you're hot in their eyes. Nevertheless don't chase after the empty and worthless goal of being hot to those in the world just because our culture values hotness above all else. Strive to BE beautiful above all. Strive to be a lady in a world that has forgotten what that means. Mimic ladies of the Lord instead of hot celebrities.

I am striving to teach my daughter how to be a lady, not a "hottie." I will strive to teach my son to respect all women and treat them well and to prize the lady of character above the ravishing beauty.


I'm trying to find a better pic for my profile, so I have to host it here.

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Today Ali put a book in her mouth. She knows better than to do that, so I said, "We, never, ever, ever put books in our mouths." She promptly looked up at me and said, "And we never, ever, ever spank kids!" Sorry, Ali, but that one won't work on me!

She also said that she has a tummy ache and that she needs a chocolate chip to feel better.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Little Things that Broke the Mama's Back

A Stay-at-home mom probably won't lose it because of the kids. She probably won't be utterly exhausted by cleaning the bathroom alone. What she will probably break from is the little demands that add up to an enormous load.
You see, many people who haven't ever been at-home moms will assume that it's an easy job. They will assume that you are bored, lazy, unmotivated, and definitely "have the time" to do various things for them. They will sweetly request little things of you, never knowing that they are the 60th person to demand a little favor or little chunk of time from you that week, or even that day! Now, don't get me wrong, I love the extra time I have to be available for people and to serve them and minister to them. I love the fact that I can sew little gifts to bless people, cook things for church functions, babysit a friend's child when an emergency comes up, etc. Almost NO ONE in today's world is available and that's one of the best parts of being a stay-home mom. My mom was always available for us and always ready to listen to our chatter about our school day, was home if we got sick at school, etc. The other day my younger bro called me and I think it was mainly because he was lonely and knew that I WAS HOME! It was really cool, especially since he's often angry with me (he's not a believer). I think AVAILABILITY is one of the best parts of being in the home.

However, this availability causes many to try to take advantage of that. Earnest, honest people calling for favors or help. A lady from Bible Study asking, "Can you bring treats?" Not a big deal, but this is the 4th church/social event you've been asked to provide a treat for this week. Someone asking you to sub in a ministry role at church. Not a big deal, but what if you've missed the last few Sunday worship services because you were serving behind the scenes? A neighbor asks for a tiny favor (which with our neighbors is usually not at all tiny). Because I speak Spanish, I've ordered countless pizzas for them, the two different families insurances, and Satellite TV. We loaned them tools, helped them with their cars, loaned them the mixer so many times I wanted to buy them one, babysat their kids many times, etc. Some other people in my life who are very close to me are notorious for asking "little" favors. They don't have a camera, so I need to not only take all their photos for them, but also e-mail them to different people and/or have them printed off online. They also ask me to order stuff for them online, take care of their animals when they're out of town, go to the Post office, etc. You know people are getting a little co-dependant when they can't wait for you to return from vacation and show up with chocolate bars on your doorstep. Other people assume that because I'm home all day, I should be able to chat endlessly about aimless things. For this reason, I have to screen calls and limit any phone conversations unless the kids are in bed.

I guess my point in all this rambling is that we who are stay-at-home moms have a VERY demanding and challenging job and we need to learn the art of saying no. If you have little ones, your job of keeping them safe, fed, clean, and alive is enough to keep you overly busy all day and every day without extra demands from others. It's hard for me to say no to worthy causes, but so necessary to my emotional well-being and the structure of my family. If people think I'm mean, stingy, or lazy, then they obviously don't know me and why should I care what they think of me if I'm being faithful to God?
When you do say no to the good, you free yourself up to be available to help with what's BEST. What's best might be assisting your husband with a major project, reading lots of stories to your children, or spending time in prayer with other moms for your kids.

It is so scary in our churches today how being busy in the ministry is a really good thing and applauded by all but being busy at home is looked down upon. I tend to have the opposite view. If someone is involved in 5 different ministries in the church, I tend to pity their family and wonder what they are sacrificing for their involvement. I know there are many woman who must work full-time for their families to be able to eat, but if they are also involved in major ministry committments and have children too, they are probably incredibly stressed and who would want to live like that? I heard a Hamburger Helper commercial on the radio the other day where a mom said she was a full-time schoolteacher and a girl's basketball coach but her family was her first priority (and that's why she fed them Hamburger Helper.) Personally, I wouldn't feed Hamburger Helper to anyone, but I found it humerous that she would spend about 9 hours at work, 2-3 hours at basketball practice and maybe one hour with her kids if she was lucky, and then have the nerve to say that they were her first priority!
I can't tell you how much I admire women who refuse to be involved in too many things because they are focused on their family and home-life. I can't tell you how much it shocks me to hear people in my church demanding that busy women get busy and do more.
There is a desperate need in our churches today to have a Biblical view of marriage and family life. I refuse to have a frazzled, stressed family that can never sit down to eat together for the sake of "doing ministry" and can't do family devotions because they're always at church functions in the evenings. I refuse to please the continual stream of people asking for favors if it compromises my commitment to my family.

I Hope She Says No

My husband values and understands the role of a stay-at-home mom, and for this I am so glad. When I mentioned to him that a certain board in our church is targeting another mom for ministry roles, he said, "I hope she says no!" Why would he hope that someone declines a chance to serve God in their local church? Because this lovely and sweet lady has 4 children 7 and under and is already serving a little bit in spots like nursery and children's church. She has also expressed to me that her gifts and passions lie more in adult/counseling ministry. My husband recognizes that your family is your first ministry, and that sometimes the most godly thing you can do when someone asks you to teach Sunday School is say, "no."


It would appear that both of our kids are packed with personality. Lately Jer has been making tons of funny faces. He really resembles some of Josiah's family members with his little raised-eyebrow look!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Frugal Friday--Bullseye Prices

I used to think I was frugal, until I started hanging around you "black belt tightwads" (to quote another Frugal Friday poster). Now, my bullseye prices have changed. What are bullseye prices? These are my target prices that I shoot for and when these items go on sale, I try to stock up at these prices or less. Being prepared is the key since you won't always find these bullseye prices, you have to always be ready, checking flyers and using coupons. Look over my bullseye prices and if you have lower ones, leave me some tips on how to get this stuff for less! Keep in mind I don't have any grocery stores that double coupons in my area.
My Bullseye Prices Before reading Biblical Womanhood Tips on Frugality:
Toothpaste: $1
Toliet Paper: $5 for 24 rolls or 12 double
Produce: Whatever is on sale
Meat: What's on sale for the week
Medicine: Generic brand
Frozen Pizza (which we don't eat often since I make homemade): $5 for Freschetta/DiGiorno
Make-up: Regular price
Clothes: Clearance/thrift/yard sales/hand-me-downs
Baby stuff (not including diapers): Generic brands at Wal-Mart prices
Flour: $2-3 for a 5 lb. bag
Cereal: $2 a box or less
Gatorade/Propel for hubby's logging days: $1 a bottle
Feminine Products: Cheapest brand
Baby Wipes: $1.25 per package buying Wal-Mart brand in bulk
My Bullseye Prices After Reading Biblical Womanhood Tips on Frugality:
Toothpaste: 25 cents or free with coupons
Toliet Paper: $5 for 36 regular rolls
Shampoo: Free! At most $1 for the name brand stuff!
Produce: Organic bananas in the reduced bin that still look great for almost half the price of regular, non-organic bananas, also whatever is on sale or reduced
Meat: Manager's specials, which are even cheaper than sale meats
Medicine: Name brand for free, or almost-free at Walgreens
Frozen Pizza: $2.50-$3.50 for Freschetta/DiGiorno
Make-Up: On sale with coupons too! So, about 30-40% of normal price
Clothes: Clearance/thrift/yard sales/hand-me-downs
Baby stuff (not including diapers): Free from Walgreens using coupons or rebates
Flour: $1 or less for 5# unbleached flour or wheat flour
Cereal: $1 or less a box for Raisin Brand, Honey Bunches, etc.
Gatorade/Propel: 50 cents or less a bottle
Feminine Products: Nicest brand for the same price I used to pay for cheapest brand
Baby Wipes: Name-brand with coupons for the same or less as cheap brand or clearance wipes for 70 cents a package
These are just a few examples of my bullseye prices that I can think of off the top of my head!
For more great frugal tips from many other women, please check out Crystal's blog at today!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Funny Kids!

Kids do say the funniest things!

Ali yesterday: "Can I wear my Stinkerbell shirt?" (tinkerbell shirt) Stinkerbell sounds like a great new nickname for Ali!

Fernie (my Mexican neighbor-5 years): "Look at Yer's (Jer in Spanish) muzzles!" (muscles)

Fernie: "Does Ali like to eat pieces?" (Pieces are peas)

Ali, sternly to her dolls: "Now, if you get up off the bed I'm going to give you a SPANKING!!!"

After Grammy took Ali to McDonald's for breakfast, she came home and said, "Grammy cooks very nicely."

Baby Boys

Everyone always told me that I'd have a soft spot in my heart for my baby boy...

And even though I love Alathia with all my heart and EQUALLY to baby Jer Bear...

There is something especially endearing about a mama's baby boy...

Just as Daddy's have their soft spots for their baby girls.

A Life Full of Children

Here are some recent pictures of what we've been up to. Taking walks with the stroller with my friend Amy and her kiddoes, Elijah and Arianna. Ali showed Elijah the fourwheeler her grandparents got her and he got to drive it around my parent's pasture. The neighbor girls are over daily and are lots of fun. Their English is improving a lot and now Fernanda begs me to speak in English, not Spanish to her. I found matching sweaters in a hand-me-down bag we got and gave them to them since I don't have two little girls.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm Married To...

MY BROOM! I was thinking about Meredith's comment on her blog recently where she said she would be out of her office for a few days (aka the laundry room). Today I realized that I not only feel like the kitchen is my office, but I feel like I'm wed to my broom above all other cleaning utensils! My broom and I spend a LOT of time together. Way too much time, but what can you do when you have little ones eating meals/snacks 5 or 6 times a day making messes, neighbor kids running through with muddy shoes, a hubby covered in sawdust, and my own craft and cooking projects making messes on the floors? Someone needs to invent a self-cleaning floor, wouldn't that be nice? I can survive if there are toys all over and dishes piling up, but I just can't stand a dirty floor! Here's a picture of me and my "other hubby." Boy, I must be feeling really silly today to post this!

(Help! I've spent way too much time cleaning house today and must have inhaled some fumes!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


One way that we help our grocery budget is by doing breakfast food for supper once a week! It's usually pancakes, but last night I did French Toast made from our homemade wheat bread. As a variation, I added some oatmeal from a little packet we needed to use up (maple and brown sugar flavor) and some cinnamon to the egg mixture before dipping the bread in. It was tasty! Scrambled eggs with ham and cheese on the side.

I had to throw in a pic of a caramel apple because they just represent the FALL SEASON to me! I hope everyone who sees this gets an urgent craving for one and goes out and makes some too!
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