Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quick! Time's Running Out!

If you're fast you can still make it! Laced With Grace is holding a great give-a-way that's sure to start the winners' new year off just right! Be sure to stop in and register.

Peace out, Stranger-Friends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Did You Keep Track & Other Christmas Questions

Well, now that it's all over (around here there are several stops before Christmas Day even arrives!) and I've had a chance to sit back and reflect on it, I have one word...Wow! Even when we try to pare it down it seems so overwhelming as I sit amongst so much stuff. Next year, I want to be more like Meredith at Like Merchant Ships or Milehimama at Mama Says!

So, my question to you. Did you keep track of your spending? Did you stay in budget? I'm a little afraid to actually sit down and tally it up at this point. As usual
Meredith did a fabulous job and I'm truly in awe of her abilities to acquire such fabulously frugal finds.

Which brings me to my next questions. How do you organize your kids gifts? Does Santa bring everything? Are some wrapped and some not? Are some from Mommy & Daddy? I'm curious how others do it. We've tried to stick with one from Santa and three from us and it usually works.

One last question, do you and your spouse exchange gifts?

Ok stranger-friends, let's hear it! How was your Christmas?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I know I've been really quiet lately, but I wanted to take time out to wish you all the Peace of Christ during this holiday season. Regardless of what the year has brought to your life tomorrow brings new beginnings.

Aimee over at Historical Christian has a great post up about the struggle we all seem to go through trying to have the "perfect Christmas". It expresses my sentiments so eloquently.

Merry Christmas Stranger-Friends!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Refreshed, Rejuventated, Revived

We are still in OKC, but, this morning, The Coach told me he felt refreshed! He even said he's ready to get back to football. Wow. Amazing what a few days away from everything will do for ya. We even turned off the cell phones!

As we gathered around my mother-in-law's dining table on Thursday, I was reminded that no matter what you do or how far you stray, a family is always there. We had 4 generations in the same room. From Big Mama (Grandma) to our 2 month old cousin - a sweet little girl who snuggled on my chest and slept (oh, it was pure yellow!); all walks of life were represented. I don't always agree with the way everyone lives their life as I'm sure they have thoughts about me ;-)...BUT, we're family and that's what will always bring us together. Love - a tie that binds!

We will head home this evening AFTER the OU vs. OSU game, of course! We will get back to our lives - schooling, dancing, cooking, cleaning, football & winter sports. I will start Christmas projects and continue traditions as the next few weeks pass by. Life is but a season and if we fail to refresh our spirit, breathe in the goodness and bask in the joy that is our family it will pass us by all too quickly. God has richly blessed us and, for that, I'm eternally grateful.
Blessings & Peace Stranger-Friends!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow morning we are heading to OKC to visit my in-laws for the holidays, but before we go I'd like to leave a little bloggy link-love!

You've seriously GOT to check
out fellow Coach's Wife, Megan, over at Sorta Crunchy. Her post is so great. I know it will give you a little laugh!

Happy Thanksgiving Stranger-Friends!

Monday, November 19, 2007

God's Calling

Ok, Stranger-Friends. I've got to share. Are you sitting down? OK, ahem...

God called me.
Sunday morning.
On my cell phone.

Oh, I know what you are thinking..."this crazy blogger woman has lost her ever-loving mind". But, I submit to you the following:


That's the phone number (I deleted the area code for bloggy safety) that called me at 5 am. I answered and nothing. Then click. I immediately called the number back and it's a recording (not the usual recording lady either) saying that I've reached a number that is not in service! What? How could a phone that's not in service call me?

I've been in heavy prayer and contemplation about 2 particular subjects and I think He was responding.

I'm sure lots of you cynical sceptics will explain this away, but I choose to believe God called me.

Sunday morning.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Update: Family and Football. Or is it Football and Family?

Saucy Girl is sick. Again. Second time in less than 2 months. Gosh, how I love the little germy kids at her school!

Today is Day 2 of her quarantine and she's not happy about it. At 5:30am she asked if she could go to school! She's convinced that "G", her little friend, is just missing her somethin' terrible. Saucy Girl is the social butterfly of the family so it's no doubt that she's worried about her lack of socializing during this week. Forget the academics. She's concerned about her popularity status.


Please step away from the stadium. Football season is officially over. It was a looonnng one, stranger-friends. We finished the season 0-10. Yeah. Not so great. We know. (But a HUGE congratulations to my good friend Carolyn on an undefeated season! Go Scots! We'll be watching!)

Now it's time for the reflective season. The one where The Coach can, mid-conversation, start talking about the mistakes, the personnel decisions, the changes that need to be made, etc. He is feeling mentally drained and is craving a vacation. So, next week we are packing it up and heading to OK to visit his parents. Nothing like spending some time with your mama to make you feel better. However, a 4 hour car ride with the little people isn't my idea of fun. OK. Comment all you want. I love my little people like I love my next breath; however, being crammed into a vehicle for 4 hours? Ummm, I'd rather not. And my littles don't sleep on road trips, they just talk. And talk. And talk. (you get the idea?)

So, what are you planning for the Thanksgiving holidays? Anyone taking any road trips? How do you maintain your sanity on the long car rides?

Blessings, Stranger-Friends!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Sunday's are relatively quiet around here. We attend church together, we eat lunch together, and then we nap together! Yup. The Coach instituted "Family Nap Time " several years ago. 2 hours of quiet!!

After nap time this past Sunday I insisted that the kids clean their rooms. You know the drill..."we're not starting another week with a messy room...blah, blah, blah..." Anyway, after about 30 minutes of "cleaning time", I was presented with this":

Veggie Boy: "Mom, I've been writing a song [while I was supposed to be cleaning my room]. Hear this." (mom's note: I absolutely looooove that he says, "hear this"...he's done it since he was tiny)

When reading this just hum to any song as the more he sang the more it sounded like a song from one of our Seeds CD's...

I will not go
For He's the Lord.
I will never disobey
He's the leader of our people

He's the Holy One,
The greatest God you will ever know
That's how we get our miracles
Like having a little girl or a baby boy
And they're so beautiful words can't even explain it
They're like a miracle from above

And that's why you should believe in God
He's the greatest person you will ever know
I can't believe how great He is
You should never give up hope
Because God will be there for you.

Saucy Girl: "Mom, I wrote a song too!"
Veggie Boy: "No, you didn't."
Saucy Girl: "Yes, I did. Be quiet. Moooommm, listen to mine."
Mom: "Ok, go ahead I'm listening."

I can't quite describe the breaks my heart to admit this, but I can say that my baby was fulfilling her scriptural duties of making a joyful noise (noise being the operative word here, folks)

I got alived
Because my mom got me alived
That's how everyone gets alived
From God

What more can I say, stranger-friends? My children are soooo talented! :D

For more Tiny Talk Tuesday, head over to Not Before 7!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Musings

cash advance

Okay, it's Monday; we've finished our schooling for the day and I was checking out some of my favorite blog reads when I found this one. I curiously input my url and was quite surprised to get this rating. Wow! A little bit of affirmation for this new bloggin' mom.

Have a great day, stranger-friends!

Hat Tip to Nutmeg!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Last week was just crazy around here. We had plans every day and were even away from the house several days during school hours. We're are getting back on schedule tomorrow morning, though!

The Coach and I are
enjoying the Cowboy game and Chocolate Shakes and I thought I'd post our menu for the week - be assured it will include another batch of these shakes!

Monday - Italian Chicken over Rice*
Tuesday - Cheeseburger Rolls
Wednesday - Fettuccine Alfredo
Thursday - Pizza
Friday - Baked Potatoes
Saturday - Burritos

Italian Chicken over Rice
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 lg boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (or sliced...your choice)
14.5 oz can of Italian style diced tomatoes w/basil & oregano
Parmesan cheese

Saute' first 2 ingredients in EVOO until soft; add chicken and cook until white on the outside. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes on low; sprinkle cheese on top, cover and continue simmering another 5 minutes or so. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Stop by I'm An Organizing Junkie for more menu motivation!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Faith & Family

I have to take this time to tell you just how beautiful this magazine is! I signed up to receive a free copy (it's published 6 x's a year) and just got the November/December issue yesterday.
Ladies, it's gorgeous!! Glossy pages, sturdy composition, fabulous color...Oh. My. Gosh. I just love it! Yea, Faith and Family!!
Of course, I crave good Catholic material. We went to the library yesterday to get a few books for my son and I picked up one of Mother Teresa's books, No Greater Love. It's like water to the thirsty soul.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Do you find yourself wading in the waters of your faith and experiencing a disconnect of sorts? Maybe it's just me, but society today seems to be either secular or mainstream Christian. Where does a good Catholic mom fit in? How can we live our faith and grow relationships with other moms? Can we be in the world, but not of the world?
Let me first say that I am absolutely, positively an amateur on this subject as I am a convert of 3-1/2 yrs. So, with that out of the way let's figure out a way to swim in the deep blue waters of our Catholic faith.
For me, committing myself to pray the Rosary on a daily basis has been an enormous help. I find that I always go to Our Lady when I am feeling the weakest. She knows. She's been there, done that, got the t-shirt! But...She was bathed in the Lord's graces. She can lead us to her Holy Son and we need her intercession. If at first you don't succeed, try Our Lady!
A bloggin' Catholic mom whose post I most enjoy also has a divine love for Our Lady. She has an email group you can join where she publishes, "Mary Vitamin, Your Daily Recommended Allowance of Marian Devotion".
I also try to devote at least 1/2 of my daily reading - blogs, books, magazines, etc. - to Catholic material. I enjoy so many Catholic Moms' blogs and have learned so much. Although I've never actually met any of these moms, you begin to feel a closeness and a faith connection. It's great to hear how they deal with life in their home and how they are cultivating our Faith in their families.
I also enjoy podcasts from . I can't even begin to list the available topics at this site, but suffice to say it's loaded with great Catholic stuff!
Well, stranger-friends, these are just a few things that have helped me to grow in our Faith, remain loyal to the Magesterium and maintain a Catholic culture in our home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Beth Moore GiveAway!!!

I just love a GiveAway, don't you? Well, Lisa over at The Preacher's Wife is having a GiveAway that is gonna absolutely, positively bless someone's socks off!! Go check it out!
The drawing will be on Monday, October 29th, so enter now!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Frugal Olive Garden Dinner

I don't know about you but I love going out to dinner. The prices, though, can be steep to feed the entire family. One of the kids favorite places is Olive Garden so I've come up with a few recipes to re-create the Olive Garden experience at a fraction of the price!

Pasta e Fagioli
1lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 sm (1cup) onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg (1cup) carrot, julienned
3 stalks (1cup) celery, diced
15oz can of tomato sauce
12oz can of V-8
2-14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
15 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can great northern beans (or navy beans)
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 pkg Datali pasta (or any other small tubular pasta), cooked and drained

Sweat onion, garlic, carrot and celery in large soup pot for 10 minutes. Add beef and simmer 3-5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients (EXCEPT PASTA) and simmer for 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes add cooked pasta.

Serve with garlic butter bread sticks (I buy a box of 6 or 8 at Wal-Mart for less than $2) and Caesar salad.

If that's not enough to satisfy you or if you're entertaining, try adding Spaghetti or Lasagna or Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.

Quick Alfredo Sauce (from my favorite...The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)
1/2 cup butter (I wouldn't substitute margarine...hey, I didn't say this was the 'healthy' version)
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Cook butter and whipping cream over low heat until butter has melted. Add cheese and next 3 ingredients; add nutmeg if desired. Pour over pasta and toss well.

(one note - this sauce will separate as it cools; it is best eaten the same day it is made as in my experience it does not reheat well)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Works For Me: Color Coded Calendar!

Well I've already admitted to being a freak of sorts when it comes to organization so I might as well let you in on one of my favorites.

I color code my calendar! Veggie Boy is blue, Saucy Girl is red, The Coach is orange (school colors) and I am green. By using colors I eliminate the need to write names with activities. My calendar has one week on two pages so each day is...well, not small but not huge either. By not writing names with everything I save space and can fit all the activities, appointments, reminders, etc. on each day! And, at a quick glance I can see who has something scheduled without trying to visually wade through the blue/black ink.

On Monday I asked for your input in creating a Home Management binder (by the way, I've not heard from you yet!) so my calendar will be a part of a larger notebook come January. I can't wait to get started on it.

So, I admit it's a little neurotic but Work's For Me!

Don't forget to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more Works-For-Me Wednesday tips!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tiny Talk Tuesday

During a conversation regarding whether or not we'd attend a homeschool fieldtrip...

Me: Do you want to go see Slim Goodbody?
Veggie Boy (9) : Mom, he's been doing that for, like, a hundred years and I saw him last year. He's lost his luster.

(ok, Veggie Boy is not so tiny anymore, but he still says the funniest stuff sometimes.)

Check out other Tiny Talk Tuesday postings at Not Before 7.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Recipe Update

Last week I tried out a new recipe for Spicy Beans and they were GOOD. I had to separate out a couple of servings into a small crock pot for Veggie Boy and the kids enjoyed their version.

Here's the recipe...roughly anyway...I'm not very good about measuring stuff out.

One pound of pinto beans into the crock pot (with plenty of water) on high
Add jalapenos (I used half a jar of the nacho-style with juice)
Add a chopped onion
Add chili powder (maybe a tablespoon?)
Add salt & pepper to taste
Add a splash or two (or three) of Worcestershire sauce

Brown one pound (more or less) of ground beef and drain. Add to beans.
Add any other meat you'd like :-) could add in ground sausage or smoked sausage...I added about 7 strips of raw center-cut bacon (I cut them into bite size pieces)

Cook on high for 6+ hours - the longer the better

Top with grated cheese and serve with cornbread (and sweet tea, of course!)

Happy Eating!

Home Management Journal

Ok stranger-friends, I freely admit to being an organizational freak. So in that spirit I am requesting your wisdom and experience with home management journals, binders, notebooks, etc. I've read of some calling it their "control journal". Do you have one? What do you include in it?
I know that Crystal uses a Homekeeping Journal and I've seen a few posts regarding it. I might have to buy one of her ebooks to get the 4-1-1. I thought maybe a few of you are as crazy about organization as I am and would have some fab idea's for me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sit Down, This Is A Big One!

I've decided to take the plunge and announce that .... drumroll, please ... We are homeschooling! (well, Veggie Boy anyway) Wow. That's wasn't as scary as I had been anticipating.

In "A Change in Perspective" I shared how God was working on me through my weekly bible study. The topic for the week that followed was 'control'. Ouch. Those first two weeks were really hot topics for me. Each day was difficult to open the study guide and delve into another day of soul searching and realizations. It wasn't easy, but I did it. I released the idea of homeschooling to God. I had to completely trust that He would let us know when/if it was to happen.

Because I had done a lot of reading about homeschool, we had begun to develop goals and expectations for our children's education. It was becoming increasingly apparent that they were not being met at Veggie Boy's school. I conferenced with the teacher, counselor and principal all on separate occasions to no avail. Without going into the details and reasoning for our position, I'll give one example...his teacher (whom I might add was a PE teacher for 15 years, a sub for the last 2 yrs in another district and now in the classroom - 3rd grade TAKS no less) told me that her teaching "style" was to do a lot of boardwork followed up with worksheets to reinforce the lessons...80+ worksheets in 3 weeks of school!! Again, 3rd. grade. Eight and nine yrs old. Enough said?

When I requested a syllabus/scope & sequence/curriculum outline from his teacher I told her that it was difficult to bridge the gap between home & school if I don't know what school is doing. Once I get a graded paper, I cannot's graded. Anyway, she promptly printed out all 42 pages of TEA's TAKS guidelines for 3rd grade. When I told the coach about this situation, he said that we should homeschool.

I released the situation to God, quit carrying the homeschool card in my back pocket and trusted that He would show us when/if.

Blessings, stranger-friends!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Provided by
How 'bout them Cowboys?!

Okay. I know I've been away from the blogshere for a while, but keeping with up daily life and a blog can sometimes get a little hairy. I truly enjoy writing my thoughts and sharing the on-goings of our life, but sometimes I need to just direct my attention elsewhere. Thanks for sticking around!

This week's menu will be pretty normal. I am trying to add a new recipe each week, so I'll let you know how they turn out.

MONDAY - Spicy Beans (*New Recipe*), Rice (for the kids), Cornbread

TUESDAY - Ritzy Chicken & Fresh Spinach

WEDNESDAY - Pasta (this is a busy afternoon/evening full of dance so we eat a light dinner between classes)

THURSDAY - Southwest Chicken (Crock-Pot) over rice or in a tortilla

FRIDAY - Dinner at the Fieldhouse...The Coach's game is Saturday night, so he is hosting "Dinner & A Movie" for the players on Friday night (he likes to know where they know, "It's you know where you're football team is?" He will.)

Be sure to check out the other menu's at I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Daddy & Daughter Donut Day (can you say that 5 times fast?)

Monday morning was "Daddy & Daughter Donut Day" at Saucy Girl's school. And Mommy and Daddy forgot! Ouch! I even wrote it on my calendar.

As I pulled up the school and started into the drop-off line I noticed there were cars parked everywhere and there were very few in the line itself. "What's going on here?" I said outloud. Then just as quickly as I said it, I remembered. I gently explained to Saucy Girl that today was Daddy Donut Day and that the Daddy's who either didn't work or worked from home or worked closed to town could come. (She knows her Daddy works a good 30 miles from her school). She said "ok" and headed into the building.

As I left the school I cried for her and then I called The Coach. I told him how I felt awful for forgetting. I was having a "Sabbath" on know, a day of rest. :-) Unfortunately, I rested all day and didn't pull out my calendar to review the week on Sunday night. "I'll make it up to her" said The Coach and with that we hung up.

Cut to 7pm that evening...The Coach walks in the door and, as usual, the kids run to him. Saucy Girl notices he has a box of donuts in his hand. He looks at her and says, "Someone told me that today was Daddy & Daughter Donut Day". "Yes it was" said her little voice. So The Coach said, "Well, let's go have a donut".

My heart was full as I sat and watched The Coach have a donut with Saucy Girl (before he'd even had his dinner). I am so blessed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Here's what will be on the table this week at The Coach's House!

Monday - Cheesburger Rolls & Homemade French Fries

Tuesday - Chicken Italiano & Rice

Wednesday - Quick Picnic Pasta (we eat between dance classes)

Thursday - Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas & Spanish Rice

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Be sure to check out the other menu's at I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

POINT 1: We have an older model Whirlpool washing machine and this past Monday it quit agitating and spinning. I don't know about you, but we do lots of laundry here at The Coach's house. Each family member goes through approximately 2 sets of clothes per day! The Coach has dress clothes and practice clothes each day, Veggie Boy is a walking mess, Saucy Girl is apparently always doing a fashion show and needs to wear multiple outfits, and me, well, some days I have "cleaning clothes" and then a set of regular clothes for errands, bible study, etc. Needless to say the pile starts to stack up! Point being...I cannot go without a washing machine.

POINT 2: The Coach is a fabulous husband and father - but, a handyman he is not! Not to mention his time schedule. Let's just say he was a handyman. I guess he could get up at 4am to repair the washing machine before he left for work or he could repair it after he came home and ate know, around 9pm. The Coach is in season and that makes our life a little bit crazy. (Fellow Coach's Wives...Can I get an Amen?) He works very long days and weekends too. Point being...The Coach is very busy and not handy.

So, what's a frugal coach's wife supposed to do with a broken washing machine and a no handyman within 30 miles? D.I.H. Yes, Do It Herself!

A quick phone call to the local, U-Fix-It and I, with the help of the sales associate, had diagnosed the problem and knew what part I needed. I paid the $18.65 for a new coupler and headed home to make the repairs. 1) Remove the washing machine casing 2) Remove the motor and pry off the old coupler lodged onto the motor and the other piece that was attached to the transmission 3)Install the new coupler and reattach the motor 4) Replace the washing machine casing and voila! Repair Complete.

Yeah. If only that easy. I started my repairs Tuesday afternoon and had a relatively easy time of it until I couldn't get the motor back into place. At which time I was flooded with emotion. My body ached from working in a very small, hot, cramped area. I felt defeated because I wasn't able to complete the job and I sat there moved to tears. (Disclaimer - I am normally this emotional :-)) What was I going to do? A new washing machine just isn't in the budget right now and I really wanted to repair this myself for The Coach and our family. I sat there...dirty, sweaty, crying...and cried out to the Lord. (He said we could take even the trivial stuff to Him, right?) I asked God to give me physical strength to hold the motor and reattach; I asked for His help in making this repair for my family. I dried my eyes and tried again. Nothing. I still couldn't get it.
Wednesday passes, Thursday passes, Friday passes...Saturday morning arrives and I know I've got to get back in there to finish my repair. I say a little prayer to start my work. Within 15 minutes...V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! I was so excited I shouted it out loud. The kids thought I was crazy for sure! I called The Coach and held the phone to the washing machine as it agitated and told him I had done it!
Frugal Friday Tip - Don't think you can't make a repair! Do It Yourself! Say a prayer and stick with it.
By the way - By my calculations this repair saved my family approximately $300!! (and that's doesn't account for delivery, taxes, extended warranties, etc)

Hat Tip to Debi Pearl's book, Created to Be His Help Meet for the idea of being my husband's helper.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

God Loves You!

A video that is as timely as the bible study! A visual reminder that God is always there for us. He wants to be with us and His love is amazing and never ending!

A Change in Perspective

Do you ever think you have everything under control just to have God hit you between the eyes and remind you to check yourself?

I'm a part of a women's bible study here in our community and today was our 2nd meeting. We are studying Cindi Woods' Victoriously Frazzled and last weeks' topic was very timely for me. In our study we focused on the idea of keeping God and our relationship with him a top priority. Ok, seems like we should know that by now, right? I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to get so wrapped up in the daily business of our life that I don't consistently make time for God. We needlessly stress ourselves out because we fail to rely on Him. We fail to take everything, even the tiniest stuff, to Him in prayer. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still" -- and some translations even say, "... you need only be silent". This is where God smacked me between the eyes. Everyday of the study seemed to reiterate this theme. It became more evident to me that there is a lack of balance in my life. I short-change myself and my relationship with God and put my husband, kids, family-life, home, etc above everything else. God was calling me home this week.

In my previous post I shared my homeschool desires and frustrations. Last week I was ready to homeschool in light of the "obvious concerns" I had with the kids schooling. But God has really been trying to speak to me this week.

Apparently I am the one who needs to be 'schooled'. I need to learn to find myself in Him. I need to trust that we are living in His will as he has blessed us immensely. I need to calm down, relax, rest in His arms and take it all to the cross. I need to release the idea of homeschooling (for now anyway) so that it doesn't become a weight dragging me down emotionally. I have to quit carrying it in my back pocket, bringing it up everyday with The Coach. He carries his own stresses this time of year. Our children are receiving a good education in a good district.

I need to teach my son to pray for his teacher. I need to be the example for Veggie Boy and Saucy Girl. God richly blessed us with our new home and a great school system. He has blessed me with the gift of time. I haven't had time alone in several years and I think the idea completely freaked me out. I truly believe God is teaching me the concept of 'sacred balance'.

So, in obedience to the promises in Exodus 14:14, Psalm 91:1 and Matthew 11:28 I am releasing my children's education to God. I am taking a deep breath, relaxing in Him, and "keeping silent". Sometimes I just need to shut-up (but, ask my husband and he'll tell you that I probably don't know how ! :-) and quit over-thinking things. I am taking one day at a time. I will be thankful for each day God gives to my family. The kids are in the middle of a semester and we will be actively involved in their education. Taking it step by step, holding God's hand the entire way. He will reveal to us what the next step is and when it should happen - BUT, in the time being, I will Him.

How about you? Has God smacked you between the eyes lately. I would love to hear how He has spoken to you.

Blessings, Stranger-Friends!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Putting It In Neutral

I have so many thoughts running through my head that I'm not quite sure where to start. My "brain in overdrive" is not a new situation for me so it's a very familiar feeling; however, where I struggle is slowing it down and organizing the thoughts for others.

Thought 1:
A little over a week ago, our computer decided to die. I'm not very computer savvy, but it's broke. Yes, that's the technical term (in case you were wondering). Broke. Fortunately, I have a fabulous connection and we have a loaner!!! Even my husband admits that when I have the computer as an outlet I am a much happier person. It's very weird, I know. I really miss my stranger-friends when I don't check in with my daily blog reads. It was a long week without so much as checking my email, but I survived.

Thought 2:
The Coach is really struggling. The season is has started and it's been rough. The first game was so promising and exciting. We were all looking forward to the rest of the season and could really see the hard work paying off. But then Game 2 came and we recorded another mark in the "L" column. Thursday was Game 3 and much to my hearts dismay, we now sit at 0-3. The kids and I met The Coach at the edge of the field and they wrapped their little arms around him and offered their love. "I love you, Daddy". At 9 & 5 they understand how a loss feels.

As his wife I want to make everything okay for him. It breaks my heart to see my big, strong Coach welling up on the sideline. It is so hard to hear him question himself and his program. I stand with him and hold his hand and tell him that I believe in him. I believe in his goals and dreams for this group of kids. 'Tis but a moment. By the end of Friday he had renewed his spirit. He is there to change lives. For My Coach, it's not all about the win/loss column. It's about making a difference in the lives of young men. His heart is for these boys who come to him and need so much...a friend, a father, a role model and more.

Thought 3:
Back in March , The Coach and I began thinking about the possibility of homeschooling Veggie Boy and Saucy Girl. In the form truest to my nature, I jumped into the research with both feet. I delved into several books (Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, Catholic Education Homeward Bound, etc.) and found online information regarding every aspect you could imagine. The Coach and I NEVER had entertained this idea before. As a matter of fact, when my sister began mentioning it for her family, I probably discouraged her..."you'll never get a break"..."you'll be completely responsible for their education"..."education is something you only get one shot at - if you mess it up you'll regret it"...(I know I was relentless). But God was now stirring something in me. So,I began a novena (9 day intensive prayer for a specific intention) and really sought God's will for our family. After a 2 month discernment process The Coach and I made the decision to homeschool our kiddo's. Which is why I know struggle with the fact that our children are attending the local public school. ugh! We made the homeschool decision prior to buying our new home in June. We felt compelled to reevaluate home education since we are now in a small community (still only one elementary school in town). We felt our kids might be cheated of relationships if all the neighborhood kids were attending school together and ours weren't.

All of that said, the last 3 weeks have been so hard...for me! I am very sensitive to everything happening at the school. When Veggie Boy speaks, daily, of how his teacher "yells" at them I cringe inside as I tell him that there just isn't anything I can do about it. I cannot sit in the classroom each day to ensure she isn't raising her voice. When Saucy Girl brought home a note from the school principal stating that parents could no longer accompany their children into the building, she feel apart and climbed into my lap while we sat in the carpool line to pick up Veggie Boy and it was all I could do to not loose my emotions too.

The parenting decisions we are called to make are sooooo hard! I really need the handbook! I could create a list of things The Coach and I are unhappy with - academic and administrative as well - but, that won't help matters. Talking last night in the dark of our room, The Coach shook his head and said, "let 'em finish the 6 weeks".

We need to talk again - just to be sure we are on the same page - but I think my kiddo's are coming home!! I feel a sense of relief and peace (even though the work is just beginning) :-)

I hope the kids are as excited!

Well stranger-friends, thanks for letting me talk it out. It's getting late, The Coach is out scouting and I don't think I'm gonna stay up waiting on him tonight. He's working tomorrow so the kids and I will attend Mass without him (2nd week in a row) and I hate that, but............ 'tis but a season.

Good Night!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I cannot believe it's Monday! School started today and I'm officially depressed! Veggie Boy is starting 3rd grade at a new school and didn't have much good to say this afternoon. My heart breaks for him, but I know he'll be okay. Saucy Girl started Kindergarten!! Oh, my heart is breaking...My baby is in school now. There were some tears this morning (hers & mine) but after a few minutes she was ok and enjoying her day. She was full of stories this afternoon. I'm so glad she is if only Mommy can adjust to the quiet house!

This weeks menu will include a few things that never got made last week...things got a little crazy in preparation for school. The Coach has his first game of the season this Friday night, so dinner will probably be concession stand nacho's and hot dogs! Enjoy your week and check out the other menu's at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Monday - Pasta takeout from local Italian Restaurant - YUM!

Tuesday - Skillet Steak w/Mashed Potatoes & Veggies

Wednesday - Sour Cream & Onion Chicken Strips w/Onion Straws

Thursday - Lasagne Rolls

Friday - First Game!! Concession Stand Dinner!! Go Team!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

Dear World,

I bequeath to you today one little a crispy dress...with two brown eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day long.. and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sun when she runs.I trust you'll treat her well.

She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning...and skipping off down the street to her first day of school. And never again will she be completely mine.Prim and proud she'll wave her young and independent hand this morning and say "Goodbye" and walk with little lady steps to the schoolhouse.

Now she'll learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called. She'll learn to tune her ears for the sounds of school-bells...and deadlines...and she'll learn to giggle...and gossip...and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy 'cross the aisle sticks out his tongue at her. And now she'll learn to be jealous. And now she'll learn how it is to feel hurt inside. And now she'll learn how not to cry.

No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch on a summer day and watch an ant scurry across the crack in the sidewalk. Nor will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn and kiss lilac blooms in the morning dew. No, now she'll worry about those important grades and which dress to wear and whose best friends is whose. And the magic of books and learning will replace the magic of her blocks and dolls. And now she'll find new heroes.

For five full years now I've been her sage and Santa Claus and pal and playmate and mother and friend. Now she'll learn to share her worship with her teachers ...which is only right. But no longer will I be the smartest woman in the whole world. Today when that school bell rings for the first time...she'll learn what it means to be a member of the group...with all its privileges and its disadvantages too.

She'll learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud...or kiss dogs...or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...or even watch ants scurry across cracks in sidewalks in the summer.Today she'll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. And I'll stand on the front porch and watch her start out on the long, lonely journey to becoming a woman.So, world, I bequeath to you today one little a crispy dress...with two brown eyes...and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.

And I trust you'll treat her well.

Author...Victor Buono

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Who Made This List??

We've been shopping all week for school supplies...Veggie Boy is entering 3rd grade and Saucy Girl is starting Kindergarten. Maybe I'm frugal ( or maybe I'm getting older, but I don't know when teachers started adding their school supplies to my child's list. My husband has been a public educator for 10 yrs and we've always had to buy his chalk, dry erase markers, red pens, etc., etc. Now it seems the students provide this stuff for the teachers. On Veggie Boy's list we had to pick up 4 dry erase markers and Ziploc bags. I can't quite think of a time when he has brought home something in a Ziploc? (Oh, did I mention that they specified Ziploc brand??) Saucy Girls Kinder list actually specified, "2 Black Chisel Tip Dry Erase Markers" in addition to the, apparently standard, Ziploc brand bags.

I know elementary schools still have a clinic, right? Yet we are providing band-aids from our school "supply" list. Surely, the school can afford band-aids in the budget?

I must be getting old because I remember going to school with the little cardboard "pencil box" with the flap lid. You would bring your box full of pencils, crayons, scissors & a bottle of glue, some construction paper and kleenex. Geesh, times have changed! Saucy Girls list is sooo big that her stuff wouldn't fit in my little cardboard pencil box. What 5 yr old needs 4 boxes of crayons, 2 packs of 10-count markers, 8 glue sticks and 2 bottles of glue - oh yea, and 6, yes six, packages of manilla/construction paper. I know she's not coming home with 6 pkgs of art by the time the year is up. It all seems a bit much to me.

Am I off-track on this one? Please set me straight if I am, but this seems to get more excessive each year.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I am soooo excited to contribute to my very first FRUGAL FRIDAY post! I have been reading Crystal's blog for a while now and have enjoyed it thoroughly. She has challenged my thinking, inspired a deeper spirituality, given great tips and recipes and more importantly she has served as an example of a Godly wife. I'm blessed since finding this blog! Check it out for more "Frugal Friday" posts.

My Frugal Friday tip? I love free stuff. How 'bout you? Did you know that you can get free samples from Click here for the latest offerings. Last time I requested Tampax Pearl tampons & I receieved a box of 4! You can request one of each sample they offer, but I'm not sure how many times you can do that. Check the website periodically to find the newest products! Enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ok. Confession time. I LOVE planning things...parties, vacations, menu's, and really just about anything. Plain & simple...organization makes me happy. I know it's very strange on a whole other level and I'm willing to accept that. So, in honor of my love of all things organizational, here's what on our plates this week at The Coachs' house.

Monday - BBQ Smoked Sausage, Over-The-Rainbow Mac & Cheese, & Mixed Veggies
Tuesday - Lasagne Rolls & Salad
Wednesday - Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Thursday - Skillet Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans
Friday - Pizza

Be sure to check out everyone else's menus over at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And We're Off...

5am is really. early. I roll from the bed and make my way to the bathroom. I try to stay as quiet as possible. I do not want to wake the kids. With a clean face I wake The Coach and he heads to the shower. After his clothes are laid out I groggily make my way to the kitchen to whip up some kind of breakfast for him. I make pancakes in the light of the hallway lamp (again, I do not want to wake the kids.) and serve him in our room. By 5:40am I'm standing in the garage kissing him goodbye.

This is our life. At least for the next two weeks while we finish Fall Ball (you may know it as 2-a-days). The kids and I will immerse ourselves into The Coachs' life - we will be at every scrimmage and game and we will pop-in at practice occasionally. This year we are doing Popsicle Thursday's - we'll deliver popsicles to the players at the end of practice each Thursday. This keeps us involved with The Coach and helps to keep the family bond strong.

When school starts The Coach will be home just in time for bedtime prayers. Veggie Boy & Saucy Girl have had their Daddy home and available for most of the summer and these first few weeks will be hard on them. I have to admit that it is hard on me too! After 10 years of having my life interrupted by football season you'd think I'd be used to it. I think the only thing that is different from the first year is that I now know what to expect - but it doesn't make it any easier. There is always an adjustment period.

'tis but a season, right?

Graphic from

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I've Caught the Bug

Well, I've officially caught the blogging bug, but I'm still working on setting it all up. Please give me some time and check back periodically. I so enjoy your blog and hope that mine will be a blessing of equal measure to you.

Pax Christi,