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Showing posts from June, 2010

Bits of Frugal

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I've learned to be a frugal kind of gal. We have lived basically on one income for the past 9 1/2 years and what started out as being frugal by necessity has become a way of life. One thing I have found that helps though is to not sneer at the little ways to be frugal. All those pennies can add up to dollars after awhile. Does me washing out one baggie really save that much? Not if it's just one or two, but after years of doing it - Absolutely! Here are some little bits of frugal this past week: • Picked 2 cupfuls of black cap berries from our yard. It wasn't enough for a pie, but they were good on cereal for two breakfasts and the rest went into a fruit salad. • Took two pieces of leftover bacon and wrapped them up and put them in the freezer for a meal that requires crumbled bacon. • I have a large coffee can on my counter where I put all the vegetable and fruit peelings, as well as egg shells and coffee grinds. When it's full I take it outside and d

Work in Progress

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Yesterday began the start of a busy season of parades for Nathan. He finally got his uniform for marching and is one happy young man. You could almost visibly see his chest puff out and once he had the uniform on, he started strutting around the house. I could see his mind playing and replaying marching scenarios because he was in his own world, stepping in time to some unheard beat. It was so wonderful to see him happy and excited about this. He has come so far in a year and it's amazing to see the changes in him. In a year, he has crossed the following hurdles.... ► Gone to public school. ► Interacted with his peers. ► Carried on phone conversations. ► Initiated joining the fire department. ► Headed out to meetings each Monday night with a friend. ► Took and passed his driver's permit and now drives. ► Makes his needs known to others. ► Rides his bike to and from the fire house on his own. (This is HUGE! A year ago he wouldn't do anything like this on his own nor even

Happy Anniversary

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Twenty-two years ago I said, "I do!" to this man. We were young and still in seminary and very naive about the world. We have had our share of UPs and downs , good times and bad times. Through it all, our love has grown and solidified and remained strong. Do we get on each others' nerves at times? Absolutely! Are there times when we quarrel? Yep! However, we are committed to each other. We work through the issues. When we said, "I do." we meant it for life. After twenty-two years, the things that used to cause us to bicker just don't seem so important. We often look back and laugh at the issues that made us angry so long ago. We've been through so many things that those trivial issues seem so silly now. What has remained is.... Our love for each other. The ability to make each other laugh. Knowing what makes each other tick and what drives each other crazy. The experience of going through heartbreaking experiences and coming out the othe

Thankful Hearts

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Colossians 3:15-16 ~ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. When you get in the habit of praising the Lord and giving Him thanks, you find your whole attitude changing. It's hard to stay down and depressed when you are giving Him thanks! Here is my list of thankful things this week: ♫ A start on my summer plans. ♫ An early morning sanctuary to meet with the Lord. ♫ Nathan got a job working at a lumber yard. ♫ Learning new skills while having fun. ♫ An opportunity to finally meet face to face with a dear friend I've known for about 7-8 years. I know it sounds strange, but Jenni & I met through a homeschool website and it's like we were twins separated at birth. After years of chatting almost every day, we me

Happy Summer!

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It's hard to believe that today is the first day of summer. This year is flying by quicker than I can blink! The past three summers have been horrid with all kinds of drama or situations that took our time and attention. This summer I am determined to focus on my family and just have FUN! My children need to have a summer where they can actually do something other than pace around the house and the yard. So here are my plans for this summer...... ► Emily going to camp for a week in July. ► Stephen going to adventure camp for a week in July. He will be roughing it by backpacking in the Adirondack Mountains. ► Nathan is marching in a parade and helping out with the town carnival run by the fire department. ► Trip to the New York Aquarium & Coney Island beach and boardwalk. ► Hiking on the Appalachian Trail. ► Trip to a local lighthouse by the Hudson River. ► Taking Emily & her friends rollerskating one day in the next few weeks. ► Trip to visit inlaws and spend the day a

Crafty Creations

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Unlike Stephen, Nathan has had the same teachers all year since he is in a special education classroom. He has two teachers and an aide in there with him and they have done a fabulous job this year. I wanted to make something to bless them so I ended up creating a table runner for each of them. Here are the finished products. This one definitely needs to be ironed. I'm making Emily's teacher a baby quilt and I'm under the gun to get it done by next Friday. I'll show the finished product next week. I'm going to try to set this up as a linky thread each week so others can participate as well. Stay tuned for more details.

Thankful Hearts

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I Chronicles 29:10-13 ~ David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, "Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel,from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. I have so many things to be thankful for this week. I can say that my heart is truly full! ♫ Older brothers who are willing to let Emily hang with them. By the way, those are airsoft guns. We're not a hand gun (or any gun) toting family! ;-) ♫ The opportunity to bless the faculty and staff at Emily's school with homemade cookies. ♫ A blogging friend who blessed me by sending a gift, "just b

Field Day

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Emily had field day at her school yesterday morning and it was lots of fun. Even with a broken arm, she managed to participate in almost every activity and race. In fact, I was cringing at a few of them! She is supposed to get the cast off on Thursday, and I could picture her falling and doing even more damage. Fortunately, she got through the day accident free! Tug-o-War was done with one hand. Waiting for the sponge toss race. Emily & her teacher. On a side note: I felt bad for her teacher yesterday. She is due with her first child in early September. However, her contractions started this weekend and the doctor put her on medication to control them. She was very uncomfortable yesterday and really wasn't supposed to be there. Pray for Mrs. Setero if you think of it. She is very sweet and is related by marriage to a woman in our church. Emily's friend, Sarah getting ready for the hoola-hoop race. The ball hop and sack race were the two relays

Crockpot Enchiladas

Here is the recipe for Crockpot Enchiladas that 50shousewife asked for. Crockpot Enchiladas 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef 1 onions finely chopped 2 16 oz. can pinto beans 1 small can of minced green chilies 1 jar of salsa (med., mild or hot; whatever you prefer)sweetened with a bit of honey 1 package taco seasoning 1 lb block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack, grated freshly ground pepper and salt to taste 8 tortillas 1. Brown ground beef and onion 2. Add pinto beans, chili peppers, salsa and taco seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well. 3. In crockpot layer ingredients as follows: ground meat/salsa mixture on bottom, tortilla, and cheese 4. Continue alternating, ending with cheese on top. 5. Cook on high for 2-3 hours Garnish with sour cream or plain yogurt chopped scallions black olives Enjoy! I'm sorry I don't have a picture to go with the recipe.

Middle Eastern Beef Kebabs

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Dan's birthday was yesterday and he requested a Middle Eastern meal. This was the first time I made kebabs and they were delicious. This was definitely a recipe we would have again. Ingredients * 2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and cubed into 30 pieces * 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced large * 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced large * 8 white mushrooms, wiped clean and stems trimmed * 1 red onion, diced large * 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves * 1 tablespoon chopped garlic * 2 teaspoons dried oregano * 2 teaspoons onion powder * 1 teaspoon curry powder * 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon * 1 tablespoon kosher salt * 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper * 1 cup olive oil * 10 (10-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes * Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows Directions Once your meat and veggies have been prepped, you can begin skewering. Thread a piece of green pepper onto the skewer.

Foto Friday

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It's Foto Friday time again at Rebecca's blog . This will be the last Foto Friday probably until the Fall. It's that time of the year when everyone is busy, busy, busy. The challenge this week was to come up with a few of my favorites from the past challenges. That was difficult to do, but here are mine. For more favorites you can check out Rebecca's blog. I am going to miss this because it really helped my photography. It challenged me and made me think and learn some new techniques. And that was what it was all about!

Thankful Hearts

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Psalm 34:3 ~ Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. Today is the day when I reflect over the past week and think of all the Lord has done for me. I love this verse because as a body of believers we can reflect on God together and lift up His name in praise! Today I am thankful for..... ♫ Fun outings with friends. ♫ The winding down of a very successful school year. ♫ Plants that have taken root and are thriving. ♫ A successful community day at the park with about 75 children stopping by to do a craft and get a goody bag. ♫ Longer days to enjoy God's creation. ♫ Bird songs all day long. ♫ Flowers blooming all summer to lift my spirits. Can you give Him the glory today?

Regrouping

I've deleted my previous post. We had some disappointing news last night and I was up until midnight and then woke up at 3:00 a.m. and never was able to get back to sleep. After taking a two hour nap today, I'm in a much happier mood. I figured it was better not to vent. Or perhaps it was just that people pleasing part of me worried about what others would think that caused me to delete it? I never can tell! God is good and I'm encouraged so that is all that matters! :-) For those of you who commented, thanks for the encouragement.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!

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Dan & I spent the day at the Bronx Zoo with Emily and her two friends yesterday. We had so much fun and even though the day was very hot and humid, we stayed for about 5 hours. There were three new baby lions at the zoo and that was one of the first stops we made. We rode the monorail through "Wild Asia" and were able to see a tiger, rhinoceros, elephants, a red panda, and all kinds of deer. Author, Marc Brown was there and talked about his series, Arthur which my children used to love to watch. The girls pretending to be baby birds. Emily loved the petting zoo. They all loved the giraffes. I have about 150 pictures and there was no way to show them all. The girls had a great time and the zoo is definitely one of our favorite outings.

Foto Friday

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It's Foto Friday time again at Rebecca's blog . The theme this week was HAPPY. This first photo is technically a horrible picture. I only had a second to snap the picture and it's out of focus and not centered. However, I think it shows "happy" the best. My oldest Nathan is on the autism spectrum. For years he was afraid at parades and we haven't gone to many because even as an older child and young teen he was uncomfortable with the noise and crowds. However, this past year he joined the volunteer fire department and was able to ride the engine in the parade. I've never seen a bigger grin out of him and he was definitely happy! Parades and just about everything definitely make Emily happy. My husband has his "frown" on but is not unhappy at all. He just always looks so serious, unless I catch a candid photo of him. Happy hours spent reading. And trying to catch a bunny. A friend's happy baby. Finally, something that makes us all happ