Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
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
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
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
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 called me.
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
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 tune....ahem....it 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
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
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
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*
Stop by I'm An Organizing Junkie for more menu motivation!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
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
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
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 hey...it 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
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
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
Saturday, October 13, 2007
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 help...it'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.
Monday, October 8, 2007
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 are...you know, "It's 10pm...do 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
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 Sunday...you 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
Saturday, September 22, 2007
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 dinner...you 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.
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
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 rest...in Him.
How about you? Has God smacked you between the eyes lately. I would love to hear how He has spoken to you.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
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.
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.
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.
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 happy...now 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 bequeath to you today one little girl...in 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 things...like 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 girl...in 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.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
My Frugal Friday tip? I love free stuff. How 'bout you? Did you know that you can get free samples from Wal-Mart.com? 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
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
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 Art.com
Tuesday, August 14, 2007