Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are you ready for Christmas?

I have been asking many this question this year and so I thought this was fitting...a good friend of mine wrote this and gave me permission to post it here...

Are you ready for Christmas?

How many times have you heard that question this year? How many times have you asked it? I’ve been pondering that question for a while now. The more I think about it, the more I am ready to answer the next time I hear it. Not only am I ready for Christmas, I’ve already had it.
After all, what is Christmas? It was the point in time when God sent His Son into a dark and dying world. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God came to men, as a man, because there was no other way for men to come to God.

Men had tried other ways. They tried to live perfect lives, but they, like all of us, failed. They had tried to find the perfect religion, but man-made religion will always fall short of God’s perfect standard. They had tried to obtain perfect wisdom, but man’s wisdom is foolishness to God. There was only one hope for mankind, and that hope took the form of a baby in Bethlehem.
It is that baby, God incarnate, that we celebrate at Christmas. He did live a perfect life. He practiced the perfect religion, because He, unlike anyone else who ever lived, fulfilled God’s Law. He was perfectly wise, because in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He was perfectly obedient to His Father – obedience that cost Him His life, given freely that we might live.

Whatever you do to prepare for Christmas, remember that there is only one perfect Christmas. It is when you recognize the darkness of sin in your life and you turn to the only One who can truly do anything about it – the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, that was the whole point of it to begin with.

Are you ready for Christmas?

I hope you all can say YES with me...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No More Brace Face

Mr. Techy got his braces off yesterday...we knew it was coming soon, but figured when we got checked out on Monday that they would schedule an appt for after the first of the, they really wanted them off soon, so we went in yesterday...and now, braces are a thing of the past.
So, here are some picts of before and during and during the removal and, not after yet....
You'll have to wait for that....

Before...well sort of...the molds from before he got braces:


And the Getting them off pict shows how the gals working at scraping away the binding compound or whatever they call the cement that holds the brackets on...the other shows him getting an impression done for temporary retainers...looks a little creepy

I will post the final result when I have a good picture...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A beautiful Post

A friend posted this on her blog and it is a beautiful story.
Read here


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all the Happiest of Thanksgiving and may you recall the blessings of our great Lord...
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Excellent Twilight article

I have been very quiet about this series of books...I have never read them and cannot really speak on them intelligently...
Many people I know rave and rave about them...
but they have seemed to me to be the type of book that I should flee from, not run to with open arms...
I read an EXCELLENT article on this, that really articulated my thoughts so beautifully.
All this fantasy type reading is very dangerous...our husbands cannot compete with our daydreamings of what the "perfect" husband should be and he should treat us...etc...and so WE fall into depression, discontent, we grumble, and so much more, because our man is not like this pretend ideal...
This is not is not just an escape into putting aside our "dreary" lives for a few's like taking very tiny sips of poison to see how much it will take to kill you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hello again

Well, how have you all been? I have been okay...getting ready for Christmas now...planning all my plans...I will have to post most of what I am doing after Christmas, but I have been giving a few ideas here, so keep checking...and NO KNOW who YOU are...
have had some pictures to post for a LONG TIME...
Remember that shower I was getting ready for...well, the day before, I had a friend come and do some last minute helping...I went to bed with a clean house, but woke up smelling something BURNING...I never did find out what it was, but Prince Charming did...

Which makes me much longer before we had a fire???? Thank you dear Lord for protecting us! Her son was playing with these trains and when he was done, she set these up against our fireplace insert WHICH comes on automatically at a certain temperature...

We have been having some history fun...for the unit on the Byzantine Empire and Muslims, we made Pita was VERY Easy and VERY Tasty...

And then, we have had some preschool fun: No, this is not an intro to shaving...

And HOME EC??? Nutrition 101???

I guess that is it for now...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy over at Dollars and Sense

I have been so busy over at my other blog that I have been neglecting this one a little bit. Nothing is really new...I have been getting ready for a baby shower...lots to do, so little time. It is so hard to believe that it is almost Thanksgiving...where has the year gone...I always say, "Time flies when measured by growing babies!"
On my mind lately is what is going on at Boeing...I have heard that Boeing is moving to one of the Carolina states...I can never keep those straight...anyway, I am wondering how many people this is going to affect. I remember back in my retail days, one year when Boeing was on strike near Christmas seems that we live and die by what is going on at Boeing...
Well anyway...that is really all I have to say today...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dollars & Sense

So, here is what is new...a new blog with a new focus....this blog will stay here and be a place for whatever is on my mind at the time....
Dollars and Sense will be the place for ideas to make that budget stretch just a little bit farther...
I am hoping to do giveaways for things...I have a Dave Ramsey book that I am giving away this week... share recipes, give tips for saving money, let you know of great deeals and more,so take a peek and let me know what you think...and if you have any great ideas, I would love to post them...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good, Good News

We got EXCELLENT news oldest had an appt. at the Rheumatologist and we were told that there was NO swelling in his joints and his arthritis is inactive. Now they will probably keep him on his meds for a year and then he can be off if everything still looks good. Arthritis has flare ups and then kind of goes into remission.
He has been hoping for a trip to Dick's for some of the BEST burgers in his opinion...and I guess he ate TWO and TWO fries and a to see him eating so well....well, maybe not WELL, but eating so much...
Praising the Lord for His hand of healing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working on something new

Well, I am working on a new project and hoping to give a peek soon, but life is full and some things are just more important right now...but soon...
Today, my techy guy has an appt. at the Rheum. Dr....pray that that goes well. He also has been wanting a particular burger at a particular restaurant(Dick's) near-ish to said we'll see...
I have a baby shower coming up...working on that...and need to get the house company ready...thankfully, the big heavy work is done!
And then, we are transitioning right into the favorite time of the year!
Well, that is all I can think of right now, but be watching for the "NEWS"...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great Recipe and more

So, it has been a little while since I posted...haven't had much to say...haven't had time to think it through...etc...
First, I would like to share a GREAT recipe...I will post it how I make it...and you can try it that way...but it is VERY family likes the meat the best, so I do add a little more than the recipe calls for, but I would try it the way written first. Also, it takes and hour of cooking time, but do not let that deter you...30 minutes is just cooking on the stove. I serve this with rice, because it FEELS like it needs a starch to go with it.

Bavarian Sausage and Apples
Serves 6

3 Tablespoons butter
12 links sausage of choice, Polish, bratwurst, etc. You probably do not want a strong Italian flavor or something like a Cheddar jalapeno, but I think most types would work fine
2 medium onions, sliced
4 apples, unpeeled cut into 1/2" wedges
2 tsp. brown sugar, heaping
2 T. flour
1 c. beef broth
1 c. unsweetened apple juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

(and, if you do not eat sausages for whatever reason, I am sure that there are veggie options that would work, or you could try it with a similar meat, I am just not sure what that would be....I am not a big lamb person and do not know if that would over power the flavor...maybe a ground beef, ground lamb mix that you make into small meatballs...let me know what you think...)

Take sausages and cut into slices...I like to cut them on the diagonal, maybe 1-1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch thick...this is not obsessive, just a good mouth sized bite.
Brown sausages in skillet with butter, until browned, remove from pan, set aside.

Add onions to skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apples and brown sugar; cook 5 minutes. Remove apple slices and set aside.

Add flour to skillet; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Return sausages and apples to pan; bring to boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes

I just got (LAST NIGHT) from the Library, Mary's book, Family Feasts for $75 a Week and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!! I read the WHOLE thing last night...this is SO much more than a cookbook...she gives SO many practical and helpful tips for cutting your grocery budget down...I WILL be buying this book...many delicious looking recipes. I am looking forward to my next meal planning session with book in hand!

Also, just in case you have never heard...pre-grated cheese has both an antibiotic in it (Natamycin...can read here for more info) and, that seriously makes me sick that there are antibiotics in pre-grated cheese...but if that does not bother you, eat freely. I think that most people do not know this and because the price of grated VS block are almost the same...even cheaper for the grated at times, we all go for what is easier. a big thank you to my Pampered Chef lady for letting me know about this one...the ingrediants are right on the back of the package.

So, I think that is all that is on my mind today...I will be back when I think of more things!
Happy Fall...oh and the time change is coming up...I think we FALL back on October 31! Don't forget...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chris Klicka

Chris was a lawyer with HSLDA who lived a life devoted to Jesus Christ, devoted to his family and devoted to homeschooling and homeschoolers...I will never forget his description of a person suffering the anguish in hell...for eternity...and his anguish over that as well as his passion for sharing the gospel. What an amazing and gracious, humble and tenacious man...He will be sorely missed in this place...
Now, I would like to encourage all of those touched by his life to reach out to his he has blessed us, let us bless them...Please remember them even beyond the next few weeks...
The Klicka Family
6779 Riley Rd.
Warrenton, VA 20187

This is a link to a tribute to Chris at the HSLDA Leader's is in three parts...
For some reason, I cannot put the video you can watch all three parts here:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Potty Training Blues

We have been making strides with our DD...towards being diaper free...but there are frustrations that go with achieving you either...go entirely throughout your day (the child that is) in your birthday suit...which has been giving us the greatest success but has the obvious drawbacks...or do you wear clothes which seem (to the untrained trainer) just like his diapers, therefore I (the child, silly) do not make it to the correct destination...hmmm...that is the question of my day...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cookbook Giveaway

Mary at Owlhaven is having a contest giving away SETS of her cookbook that I have are the details...

I’m giving away three sets of THREE copies each of my book Family Feasts for $75 a Week. Be one of the three winners of this giveaway, and you’ll have a copy of the cookbook for yourself, PLUS two copies to give away to friends. (Christmas gifts, maybe???)

You can get up to 5 entries to the Family Feasts giveaway by doing any of the following 5 things:

1. Blog about the contest and share a direct link to your post in comments.

2. Twitter about it, and share a link to your twitter in comments.

3. Request that your local library purchase FAMILY FEASTS, and tell me which library it is.

4. If you’ve already read FAMILY FEASTS, post a review of the book on or

5. Mention the contest on your Facebook page.

I’ll be picking 3 winners using Be sure to comment using a valid email address. The contest ends Monday morning, October 26th! I hope to hear from lots of you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grocery Challenge Wrap up

Mary at Owlhaven posted a challenge at the beginning of September to spend $75 a week on groceries this month. I was excited about the challenge and jumped on board...we lost track of our spending because my hubby did some of the shopping, meal planning, etc...and I couldn't find receipts, that is a flop...but...I did learn things this month...
The greatest thing this challenge did was made me aware of my spending...we would often buy things because they looked good, were on sale, etc with no plan...and I am sure many of those purchases are still on my shelves...stocking up during a good sale is good, but there must be a plan somewhere.
The next thing that I realized was that when there is a plan for meals, life is so much easier...the brain wracking frantic 5 pm hunt is gone...I know what is on the menu and am prepared to pull out the things I need.
From many of the other participants, I realized that some people were able to stock up and buy extras even on that lower dollar amount...I am hoping to stock up on some things over the next several months too...sugar, flour, butter, etc...all those things that you go through so quickly during the holidays.
I am excited to see what this means for future months of grocery shopping...I think Mary may have just started something!
Thanks for the challenge Mary~!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pray for the family

Please pray for the Klicka family. Chris has been suffering with MS for quite some time now and it looks like he has taken a turn for the worse quicker than the family anticipated.
This is from Doug Phillips Blog:

The hearts of America’s home school leaders were turned to our beloved friend and homeschool hero, Chris Klicka, who has suffered from MS for more than fifteen years, and was admitted into a Colorado hospital during the event. Chris has suffered greatly for years now, but this weekend his condition became life-threatening when his temperature dropped to eighty-five degrees. Though he has recently showed some positive signs, he remains in very serious condition. Both he and his dear wife Tracy have supreme confidence in the sovereign God, and are prepared for His will to be done, be that life or eternity.

It was my pleasure to serve with Chris on the legal staff of HSLDA for six years, during which time we had many adventures serving the Lord and fighting to defend home schooling families. Chris’ love for and principled commitment to Christian home education is legendary, and his tenacious efforts in defense of family freedom equally so. HSLDA president J. Michael Smith gave me the great honor to join a handful of other leaders in addressing the state leaders to share my love and appreciation of Chris in the context of a few very choice memories we have shared together. The evening also included a stirring hymn to God presented by Tracy. It was remarkable to see her courage and strength.

In 2007, I presented Chris with the John Smith Quadricentennial Award at the Jamestown Quadricentennial. He received a five-minute standing ovation from the more than 4,000 home educators present for the event.

Please remember to lift up Chris, Tracy, and the Klicka children in prayer at this time.

And this is from Christian Heritage:
Please pray for Chris Klicka and his family.
Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel and Director of State and International Relations for HSLDA, has been one God’s most powerful warriors on behalf of the Christian family and homeschooling in in our nation for many years.

As many of you know, he has been fighting multiple sclerosis since 1994. Last week he became very ill at the HSLDA National Leaders Conference in Colorado. He was taken to the emergency room with high temperature, low blood pressure and a lack of responsiveness.

Today his wife, Tracy, writes:
“Chris is close to going home we believe. He is fairly unconscious, non-responsive and has had no nutrition since Thursday except hydration and electrolyte and glucose supplementation.
He is not stable or responsive enough to move from the ICU unit here at St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs. With almost complete certainty, he will not be coming home to Virginia.
Because of this, we flew Bethany, Megan, and John out here to be with their daddy. Chris parents just flew in early this morning. In addition, our family life pastor is flying in today at noon.
We don’t know how much time we have left with Chris, but we believe it is not long. As a family, we all knew that Daddy was getting worse; we just didn’t expect him to be getting ready to go home to be with his Abba Father quite this soon. We are all at peace with whatever God has planned, knowing that because He is there, it is all good.
Thank you for your prayers as we prepare and spend our last days and hours with Chris. May they be filled with many precious moments and
sweet fellowship with him!”

His CareBridge Address is:

And they are updating his progress there...

Chris has been such an advocate for all homeschoolers...fighting for our rights, speaking at conferences...he has done such amazing work on our behalf while this disease has been taking its toll on his body. He is a humble man and has a heart for the lost...please remember their family at this time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Suess-y Celebration

Welcome little Zach....We had a fun night of fellowship, games, sugar and holding babies as we celebrated a life...a boy...fearfully and wonderfully made...known from before the foundation of the world...who has a purpose to the glory of God...truly, an awesome thought...
As a very wonderful closing husband could not even tell we had a party here when he got home...well, except for the streamers...thank you to all of the ladies who helped put this together and to all of those who helped with the clean up afterwards! It was a good night!

Another picture...

Two of these....full...Yahooooo!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

One Cart, Two Cart, Empty Cart, Full Cart

Well, I have been on a rampage in my house because of a Baby Celebration that is going to be here...that was what started the motion...but the real cause of the rampage is all the energy it takes to deal with, I have been PURGING is what I have gotten rid of...TWO of Goodwill's Rolling blue carts that they store stuff in as they sort...TWO of them...FULL...two full carts that are NO LONGER IN MY HOUSE....Hannah...are you proud...I wish you could see it! Thanks for the help in getting it all started...Hannah is an amazing organizer and it was such a treat to watch how she worked...stuff we've all heard before...but she had a basket that she would put things in that didn't belong in the room...then she was making stacks of like things...paper, pencils, crayons, books, etc...and she just started in one corner and went methodically around the room...focused...not stopping to put things away until she was done picking made me see how off track I get as I am running from one thing to another...
So, my life is getting simpler...somehow...even though it was tough...I don't think I am going to be missing any of the THINGS we got rid of...and I KNOW I won't miss picking them up!
Pictures a little later...

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Clutter that Stole my house

Many of you know, I am a clutter bug...I have been trying and trying to keep it under control, but when there is too much stuff...there is NO I have been frantically far, it has been relatively easy...things I am tired of shuffling from here to there...clothes that don't fit and puzzles missing pieces or that we have never used...that kind of thing...but I know I need to go deeper...It is amazing to have about 7 boxes and 2 large bags go out of the house, but while you can doesn't really even scratch the surface.
But today...I have someone coming to help...she is really a dear and precious girl...but I have heard she is RUTHLESS...Now, while I say that in all fun...I know I need to be ruthless too...I am tired of the chaos that a bunch of clutter causes. So, the rule of the day is a place for eveything, and everything in its may want to pray for me!
I will see if there is anything picture worthy to post later....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grocery Challenge

Well, It is challenge time again...the day of reckoning, so to speak...and I have just completely lost track...and here is why...the wonderful man I am married to can do two things that are related to, he does most of our shopping, which allows me to stay home and do the things I need to do...LIKE CLEAN (always a challenge with a houseful...and a Momma who would rather be sitting on the floor doing a puzzle with the 3 year old), and homeschool, and love on our blessings...and second...this man can COOK...and I don't mean like top ramen, or mac and cheese type "box" cooking...I mean, he can REALLY cook...last week he made Chili Verde...I am REALLY hoping that he will make Pork Carnitas on Sunday...those are my ABSOLUTE favorites...he is also wonderful with grilling...burgers, steaks, I have lost track where we are. What I appreciate about this challenge that it is challenging me to be more creative, think more in advance, use what we have, even if it is not our preference for that meal. It's helping me to look ahead for maybe what I will need for holiday gather staples now when there is a little more money in the budget rather than when everything is busier and money is stretched far too thin...use seasonal things that are cheaper and fresher and to REALLY watch the specials.
So, even though I have lost track of where I am, I have been reminded of some valuable lessons and I am so thankful for this challenge...and I tell you soon as I can, I am going to get Mary's book...Family Feasts for $75 a week...


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gleaning, again

I forgot to mention in my Gleaning post that there is a yearly fee to be in Gleaners...last year, it was $20 per family...this year, it was $50 because we had some unusual expenses, the roof being the biggest...
Now, I am not 100% sure, but I think I got well over $50 worth of items in just one shopping trip...very well worth the money spent.
Another thing I did not mention...probably because I forgot to ask if there were any...I USUALLY get diapers and sometimes wipes during a specialty was CRAZY when I was dropping off my run yesterday, and I completely forgot about asking.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Mary at Owlhaven has an abundance of pumpkin, so I thought I would post this is such a delicious bread....not at all as healthy as it does freeze well, but usually does not last that least in my house it doesn't. This is also a great bread to give to friends and neighbors at Christmas.

5 eggs
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 packages (3 ounces each) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.
Pour batter into five greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 5 mini loaves (8 slices each). Editor's Note: Bread may also be baked in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans for 75-80 minutes.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well, we have been SO blessed to have Gleaners in our area...I thought I would show what I got today...this includes a Specialty Glean, which memebers get when they work over so many hours per month, that is why there is so much...

So, some of the things I got were:
Borax (Score for making laundry soap)
Dish Soap ( I really needed this...Thank you Lord)
2 lipsticks and a compact
2 bottles of lotion
1 bottle of body wash
Pregnancy Test- you just never know...
a quart of sour cream
a pint of whipping cream
1 gallon milk
1 doz. eggs
1 package sausage patties
1 lb bacon
4 pack. hot dogs
2 pack. apple gouda sausages (THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!)
1 lg. can tuna
3 boxes pop tarts
2 boxes ritz type crackers
bag of jelly beans
2 bags frosted animal cookies
4 small bags chips
box of brownie mix
2 boxes cereal bars
bag of lollipops
5 pkg. gum
bag of cheese puffs
pkg. oatmeal cookies (these look real interesting with chocolate covered sunflower seeds on them)
a pkg. of oreo type cookies....double stuff!!!!
2 lbs coffee
5 cans soup
box of penne noodles
2 bottles hot sauce
bottle of salad dressing
can of pumpkin
qt of strawberries
freezer jam
4 Dove ice cream bars....YUMMY
2 Deli sandwiches
1 dz. biscuits
a bouquet of flowers
1 pr. pajamas...a Christmas gift for my nephew....shhhh....don't tell!

I am sure there were a few more items, but my brains aren't quite all there and so...this is it...I know that this has blessed our family TREMENDOUSLY...There have been a couple of really lean times when we have had to create from what we get from gleaning.
Well, I need to get ready for dinner...