Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There's a storm a comin'!

I love where we live, but since we don't see snow and ice very often, people here PANIC when there's a threat of "wintery mix" in the air. Unfortunately, our local weathermen are saying we might get some light snow and sleet tomorrow night, and I made the mistake of going to the grocery store tonight. Needless to stay, the store was practically barren. There was very little bread, milk, lunch meat, etc. I ended up buying brands I don't normally buy and paying higher prices for a few things. Also, the lines were ridiculously long and the store wasn't staffed for it.

People here act like we are going to be shut in for days on end with no way out of our neighborhoods, when usually the snow (if it even accumulates) is melted by the end of the day and the streets are dry as a bone. It puts me in the worst mood!

I'm about to go to bed and settle in with a good book and hope the bad weather doesn't come! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Date Night

Ward and I don't get to go on many "dates" because we don't have any family nearby and we don't want to pay for a babysitter. Ward's mom and grandmother are in town this weekend and they insisted that we go out by ourselves. We had the best time!

We went looking at pop-up campers and I think we're going to buy one! We just have to wait for our tax refund first. :)

After we looked at them in the RAIN for about 2 hours, we went to eat at a locally "famous" hamburger joint we don't get to go to very often (the RV dealership is about 45 minutes from our town and we don't get out that way very much). Afterwards, we spent some time roaming the aisles of Hobby Lobby and Lowe's, and then we headed back home.

Ward's mom (Nana) made sugar cookies with Wally and Beaver and after they went to bed we played two games of Phase 10. We had so much fun. Now it's 1:00am and I'm still awake! Yikes! :) Good day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dads and Donuts

This morning is our annual "Dads and Donuts" at the school. The boys really look forward to this because it's an opportunity to "show-off" Ward to their friends. Since he works in the city, he doesn't get to come to the school very much, so they're always thrilled to see him up there. He went to both of their classes for 15 minutes each and ate breakfast with them and did a craft.

I'm so glad we go to a school that puts emphasis on family bonding and appreciation for parents.

If I haven't said it before, I LOVE their school. I'm so glad we are able to send the boys to a Christian School because they are getting so much out of it. They are learning respect for parents, respect for authority, the importance of obedience, and being a good friend. The boys have really changed for the better since starting there and I'm so proud of them!

I'm also so thankful that Ward enjoys his time with the boys. He's such a fun dad and they adore when he gives them special attention.

I know it's not Father's Day yet, but I'm so grateful for marrying a man that turned into a wonderful father!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beaver's birthday party

Beaver and Wally will be 5 and 7 this February and March, respectively. Neither has ever had a big birthday party with friends. We always just have a Sunday lunch and party at our home, and their grandparents and great-grandparents attend. I have a good time with this and I always make a neat "themed" cake from scratch. Recently we've done Transformers, Legos, Ninja Turtles, Buzz Lightyear, Elmo, Cars, etc.

This year, Beaver wants a SpongeBob theme. I have found MANY cakes online for SpongeBob and it looks like I'm going to have to learn to do FONDANT. I'm scared to death to do this because I don't want to mess up his cake, so I've decided to practice next weekend. If it looks good, I'll freeze it and save it for his birthday party. If it looks bad, it was a practice round and I'll know whether or not I can do it! :)

Beaver really wanted a party at Playworld this year, but he also wants a Nintendo DS and when it came down to it, he chose the DS over the party. Truthfully, I'm RELIEVED. I was afraid he might be too young for this type of party and few to none of his friends would come, which would devastate him.

I am, however, excited about having Wally's birthday party at Jumpzone this year. His birthday falls around Spring Break, so we'll have to make sure we accommodate for that. He's really looking forward to it!

Is it time to go RVing?

Ward and I have been talking about getting a pop-up camper or a travel trailer for some time. We first started looking around February of 2008, when I first learned I was losing my job. It was odd to be looking to spend money when our income was going to decrease, but it's something we researched pretty heavily.

I will say, when you go to see these things in person, it's very tempting to buy. They are nice and cozy and look like big "forts". We ultimately decided to buy a big tent instead and start there. We reasoned that if we used the tent enough and really enjoyed camping, we could always upgrade. Unfortunately, our tent is now almost 2 years old, and except for putting it up in the backyard about 3 times, we've never used it.

We decided that the kids were too young that first summer since Beaver was only three, so we were going to wait until this past summer of 2009 to get started. Well, it rained the ENTIRE month of June, so that was out, and on top of that we had to make up all of our baseball games in July so that month was out, too. Then August came and we had to go back to school. We planned to go camping in the fall, but we got overwhelmed with Cub Scouts, Fall baseball, church activities, carnivals, etc. and didn't make it out there.

We are determined to dive into our family hobby whole-heartedly this spring and summer and discussions of a travel trailer have come up again.

We're going to look this weekend!

Do you have a travel trailer? If so, what has been your experience with it

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's always something...

Ward and I have been trying for some time to accumulate an emergency fund, a vacation fund, and a good savings account. When I was working, it seemed we always had plenty of money, and since we thought I'd always be working, we shaped our lifestyle around that and didn't put much thought into savings. If we wanted something, we bought it, and if we wanted to take a 3-day trip nearby, we went. We thought we could always start saving "someday".

Even thought we're not broke, it often times feels like we're living paycheck to paycheck and keep telling ourselves we're very close to being able to pay down some debt and start saving. For the past few months, we've been waiting to get to January 15th, because that was when Ward started receiving his quarterly bonuses. We knew we'd be ok if we could just make it to that date. Well, that day came, and the very next day our water pipes busted outside (got way too cold here) and it cost $1200 to have them fixed. Just one week later, our lamp has gone out in our projection TV and it is costing $125 to replace it.

Again, we are back down to square one just like that. It's so frustrating, but we are praying that we can get back on track and eventually start saving more.

What do you do when you get the "no money blues?"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Copeland's Restaurant

After my friend and I went to the movies last night, we decided to hit a restaurant for dinner since we never get to see each other. We decided that when we go out, we will always try a new restaurant as a part of our "experience", so this time we chose Copeland's New Orleans Restaurant. I must say, it was WONDERFUL!

We started out with a crawfish and corn soup, had a "taster" plate for dinner, which is a small portion of a large meal and we chose the Copeland Burger (very small) and the steak and angel hair pasta. For dessert we split a Neopolitan cheesecake with yellow cake on the outside and new york style cheesecake in the middle with a banana's foster topping.

It was OUTSTANDING and I highly recommend!!!

A trip to the movie theater

When I was in my teens, going to the movies was "the thing" to do. A group of us went almost every Friday night in junior high, and on Saturdays it was the place to go if you were a "couple". There weren't many movies I didn't catch at the theater from 1990-1995, and if I missed it at the theater, I could rent it for 99 cents at our local movie shop a few months later. Because of this, I developed a deep love for movies. I wanted to see every romantic comedy, everything that was nominated for an Oscar, and every Disney movie. This fact helps me so much when we are playing Scene It Movies or Trivial Pursuit.

However, once I got into college, I stopped going as much, and then when I got married and things were tight, we stopped going all together. Throw kids in the mix, and no one to babysit, and here it is 2010 and I've probably only been to the theater once a year for the past 10 years, and Ward has been less than that because I normally only go with my girlfriends.

Over Christmas, my mom came up with the great idea to go see a movie on Christmas Day, so we all went to go see "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin. I LOVED it and it made me miss going to the movies to much. It brought back so many memories. Luckily for me, a girlfriend asked me to the movies for this past weekend and were able to go see "Up in the Air" last night with George Clooney. I absolutely LOVED it and I'm so glad I went.

We had such a good time that we vowed to go to the movies together every other month. If we go on Sundays, it's only $7.95 per person. We can afford that! I was shocked to see that movie prices are up to $11.00 per person in my area. when I was a young teenager (just 20 short years ago) it was only $3 per person. My mom always gave me $5, which bought a small popcorn and a coke. My friend and I went to share a popcorn last night and it cost $19 for a large popcorn and two medium cokes. We about died. Why in the world is it SOOOOO expensive to go to the movies now????

We vowed to sneak our own cokes and candies in next time! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trips to Home Depot

There's something about Home Depot that really gets my home improvement juices flowing. When I walk in there, I immediately want to reorganize the closets, build a shed, add a bonus room, paint the walls, and build some bookshelves.

We had to go in there today for a bucket and some weather-stripping for our back door, but the whole time I was in there, all I could think about was their beautiful gardening section. I really wanted to buy every plant in there and go home and re-landscape our yard. The problem? I have no green thumb and know next to nothing about gardening.

For years I've said I was going to plant a garden and grow some summer vegetables, but I always put it off because I worked and I knew I couldn't tend to it. Now that I can tend to one, we have a 7 month old Lab puppy that chews everything to shreds. So, I know that's not an option.

Do any of you garden? What do you do about pet invasion?

Friday, January 15, 2010

After School Snacks

I try to have good and healthy snacks waiting for the boys when they get home after school since they're always so hungry, but since we're on a budget, I never really buy anything "prepackaged". Most of their snacks are things like apples, bananas, blueberry muffins, cheese and crackers, string cheese, etc. We were getting PAINFULLY low on groceries this week and they were down to basically nothing to eat. Wednesday afternoon they ended up having dry cereal.

I went to the store on Thursday morning and saw that Kroger was having TONS of sales on 100 calorie things and healthy know for the resolutioners? So, I got my coupons and really stocked up. I am limiting them to two snacks a day, and one of them has to be either fruit or dairy (I ended up also getting grapes, strawberries, blueberries, string cheese, yogurt, and danimals smoothies.)

They were so excited when they came home yesterday. I told them not to get TOO used to it, though...once these go off sale, we're back to business as usual! :)


Wally loves Legos and he has found a friend that loves them as well. They were in K5 together last year and saw each other at the baseball park this summer, but Wally's never mentioned him much as a friend he plays with at school. Until now. Now that his little friend, we'll call him "Eddie", has admitted to getting a few Lego sets for Christmas as well, Wally is all about having him over.

I wrote his mom a note last week and we have set up a play date for this afternoon. I'm serving lunch at the school today, and then I'll bring Eddie home with us afterschool. Before we go home, since it's going to be 60 degrees here today, I'm taking them to a big park on the lake here. Then we'll come home and have pizza and brownies for dinner, and then Ward is going to take Wally, Beaver, and Eddie to the batting cages.

I think I'll be exhausted by the time the night is over, but it's nice to be in that phase of parenting where you get to watch your children play with their friends one on one. I think Beaver's still a little bit young to set up a playdate, but at least Wally let's him play with his friends. He really is the best big brother ever!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!!

I got this recipe from the mother of a boy I dated in high school, so I've been making this recipe for about 15 years. When done just right, this cookies are VERY moist and chewy and my family loves them so much that they are gone the day I make them. No leftovers!!! :)

June's FAMOUS chocolate chip cookies

2 sticks butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars, then add eggs. Mix dry ingredients, then add to creamed mixture. Mix until well blended. Add chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for one hour and only bake on perfectly smooth and clean non-stick light colored pan or with parchment paper on any other pan. If your pan is dark, the bottoms will get too dark and/or the batter will spread out all over the pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes until light brown.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

When I was in college and living in the dorms, we had 24 channels to choose from on the television. I wasn't in my room all that much, but I was always in my room from 2:00pm-4:00pm, as that is when I put aside time to rest and "zone out". Unfortunately during this time, there was very little to choose from. I think I could choose from old reruns of People's Court, Let's Make a Deal, or Dr. Quinn. I had never seen the show before, but I hated the other two, so this was my only option.

I remember the day I decided to watch just happened to be the very first episode and the station showed them in order. I watched the first two episodes back-to-back and decided I had found a new show! I only got to watch them for a few weeks before my schedule changed and I was no longer around when the show came on. Since this was before the age of DVR, I ended up having my Grandmother (who lived two hours away) record the show for me every day, and when I came home on the weekends, we'd camp out in front of the TV and watch them all together.

I absolutely fell in love with this show and in my opinion, it's probably one of the greatest love stories every shown on TV. I have never seen a TV show that makes me cry as much as this one has. There are so many touching scenes and great storylines with all of the townspeople. I have been watching this show in reruns and on DVD for 15 years and I still enjoy it as much today as I did when I first started watching.

I also love the medical cases, the food and dress of the period, and the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend this show!!

Reminisce Magazine

Ward knows I'm fascinated with life in the 1950's, I have been since I little. My grandmother was 16 years old in 1950 and that sounds like such a fun time to be a teenager. I have always told her that I wished I was born in her generation and she tells me she LOVED growing up in the 50's.

Well, about a year ago, Ward came across a magazine I had never heard of called "Reminisce". The ENTIRE magazine is nothing but pictures and stories from the 1910's-1960's. They have things like: Does anyone remember ________?, Old Remedies, How I Met My Spouse, When I Was in the War, School Days, etc. I relish this magazine each month and read every single page from top to bottom. I can't say that about any other magazine. I have saved every single one of them and I love to just sit on the couch and look through them.

What's your favorite magazine?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Joy of a CLEAN HOUSE!

My house is VERY RARELY spotless from top to bottom. If I'm being honest, it probably only happens about 3-4 times a year when we have family in to visit, but most of the time it's 85% clean. I usually have a messy closet, and my laundry room is NEVER clean, and the kitchen never seems to be completely clean, but I'm ok with that.

I do LOVE to come home from church on Sundays to find a nice clean house. It makes for such a relaxing day. Yesterday, after Wally's basketball game, we came home and had lunch and then cleaned for a few hours because we were having new friends over that had never seen our house. It was a lot of work, but it was really worth it. I made chili and bread sticks for the adults, with apple crisp for dessert. I also made homemade pizza for the kids and frosted brownies. I had the kids at the small table in the kitchen and the adults in the dining room. It was such a nice night and I loved having a clean house to entertain our friends.

But most of all, I loved that I did all of that work yesterday and get to do NOTHING today. We got home from church and ate some lunch and then cozy-ed up on the couch for some football playoffs! We did take a break during the games to play SpongeBob Memory with the boys, but for the most part I've spent the whole afternoon with a blanket and my favorite cookbooks, planning away! :)

What a great way to spend a Sunday!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Upward Basketball

Do y'all have Upward Basketball in your area? What a FANTASIC organization!!! Wally is in first grade this year and it's his first opportunity to play with the program. Upward is a Christian-based program that emphasizes character, sportsmanship, positive attitudes, and Christlikeness.

It is unbelievably organized. There are 9 kids on each team, three 6-minute periods in each half, and each kid wears a colored wristband that matches the colored wristband of a kid on the opposing team. The kids are matched up by size/skill level and are only allowed to guard THAT kid. It keeps things very fair. Each child plays 3 of the 6 quarters, and after the game is over they meet in their "team room" for prayer, snacks, and awards. Each child is given an award at the end of each game for things like effort, baskets made, Christlikeness, and sportsmanship.

We really enjoyed watching Wally play and have a good time. He ended up getting the effort award!

I am thankful for team sports and I'm enjoying this phase of parenting! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rushing the Seasons

I love all of the seasons where we live because we actually get to enjoy each season in it's fullest. We have a cold winter (with a little snow) a BEAUTIFUL Spring, a hot summer, and a crisp fall. I love when the weather changes every 3-4 months and look forward to each new season. I especially love fall and spring.

For us, fall represents the end of a long hot summer, football games, the county fair, the air show, school starting, hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, trick-or-treating, and apple pie.

But I also have an appreciation for the spring. For us, the spring brings daddy's birthday, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, hiking in the state parks, flowers and green after a cold and bitter winter, playing outside again, picnics, butterflies, and birds singing.

Even though I do love summer and winter, I have a tendency to "rush" the seasons when I'm tired of the one we're in. Take now, for instance. Winter has JUST begun and I'm already sick of it. I loathe dropping off and picking up at school with 12 degree weather and a windchill of -3 degrees. It's miserable. We're stuck in the house all the time and the wind hurts your face when you go outside. I have no desire to anything but sleep and watch TV. I'm ready for Spring!

What can I do to put these winter blah's behind me and really enjoy this wintery season before it's gone? Help! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DVR Guilt

About 5 years ago, when we first had the capability to record TV, I never gave it a second thought. Why would I need to record it, I can just watch it when it comes on? Then the kids got a little older and I got so busy I started missing my favorite shows. So, I started recording one or two here and there, but only when I knew I couldn't watch.

Then someone at work mentioned they watch all the Food Network shows before the go to bed and I can they watch all those shows that came on during the DAY? Then it dawned on me...I can watch shows I've never watched before or haven't watched in years and watch them whenever I feel like it!!! I started out taping The Young and the Restless, Oprah, Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, Dawson's Creek re-runs, etc. Then it got out of control. I added Laguna Beach, Trading Spaces, 7th Heaven, Friends reruns, etc. It got to the point where I'd have 100 hours of shows and I knew I'd never watch any of them. So I quit taping reruns and oldies and just saved my DVR for today's shows that I wanted to watch, but didn't have time for.

Now my DVR only has:
The Young and the Restless
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
Brothers and Sisters
Desperate Housewives
Men of a Certain Age
The Office

Here's the problem...I now have 96 hours of those shows recorded and I can't bare to erase anything. I am completely caught up on The Office and Desperate Housewives, but I have 2 episodes of Men of a Certain Age, 11 Brothers and Sisters, 9 Private Practice, 11 Grey's Anatomy, and 63 Young and the Restless.

I feel GUILTY every time I turn it on and see all of those shows stacked up. When am I ever going to have time to watch them? So I end up sacrificing sleep and some housework just to get them watched so I can clear my list a little bit. But then, each day, new shows just keep piling on. I'm secretly hoping some of my shows will end this season, just so I don't have to record them next season!

Do you feel "guilty" when you don't watch all the shows you record? Is this a sickness? :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I was recently at our local grocery chain (Kroger) and there was a man there with a big binder full of coupons. I had my index card box full of them as well and when we saw each other we laughed but struck up a conversation about the importance of coupon-clipping and how much money it can save.

I started couponing in April of 2008 when I knew I was going to lose my job...I worked as a credit analyst for a sub-prime third-party lender. My job was ending in June and I was going to be a stay-at-home mom for the first time and I knew for us to be able to do that, we would have to cut some corners.

I never bothered with coupons in the past because I always thought the savings were too small to be worth the effort...but I was DEAD WRONG. A coworker asked me if I had ever shopped at Kroger and I told her that I only shopped at Wal-Mart because Kroger was too expensive. She said she thought the same thing until she discovered Kroger's weekly circular and the fact that they DOUBLE coupons everyday up to 60 cents off. She also mentioned that because Wal-mart is a grocery and GOODS store, you end up spending way more than normal because you make non-grocery purchases that you didn't plan to make...impulse buys.

I got to thinking about that and researched my Wal-mart expenditures for the past 12 months. In my pre-planned budget, I ear-marked $500 a month for groceries, but was actually spending $900 a month at Wal-Mart!!!! I was shocked. That was $225 a week instead of $125 a week. Right then and there, I went to Kroger and picked up a circular. I spent about a week going up and down every aisle at Kroger and really looking at prices, and the next week I did the same thing at Wal-Mart. I am ashamed to admit this, but in the past, I never really looked at prices when shopping. I assumed Wal-Mart had the lowest prices and if it went into the cart we really needed it and when we got to the end, it just costs what it costs. HUGE mistake.

After I got to know what a "good price" on stuff was, I started clipping coupons in the Sunday paper, something I had never done before. I got my mom and grandmother and mother-in-law to give me their inserts as well, so I'd end up with 4 of a good coupon if I really liked it.

After a while, I wondered where I could get more, even better coupons. I had heard that people were downloading them and printing them off the internet, so I googled that and ended up finding something that has changed the way I shop. I found coupons on EBAY. I never in a million years would have guessed that you could BUY coupons on EBAY, but you can...and lots of them for very cheap. Did you know that cities with higher costs of living get better coupons? I had no idea. So when I see a coupon in our weekly insert for 25 cents off Pillsbury crescent rolls, I can probably find them online for 50 cents off. That doubles to $1 off at Kroger and you can use as many coupons as you like. Their only stipulation? They will only double up to 8 of an identical coupon. So, when they are having a great sale on something I have 20 coupons for, I just break it up into three separate trips to still get the savings (Kroger is very close to my house, so no added gas expense).

I kept a log in 2009 of how much I saved with my Kroger plus card and with my coupons. Are you ready for this? I saved over $7,000 last year and my monthly grocery bill went down to $300 per month.

Now, every Wednesday when the new Kroger circular comes out, I check what's on sale and compare it to my coupons plus what I already have "in stock" and then I make my weekly menu.

I have just recently discovered that through (partnered with Kroger) you can download coupons to your Kroger Plus card and the guy in the store with the binder told me you can also pair a PAPER coupon with the product and get double the savings. I am going to try this today with the Pillsbury crescent rolls. I have downloaded the coupon and I'm going to try to use my paper coupon as well and I'll let you know if I was able to save both ways.

Wish me luck!!! What are your couponing secrets????

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chick Lit

I have always said "I love to read" and considered myself an avid reader. But over the last few years with raising young boys and working, I hadn't really been reading as much as I had wanted, and in fact, last year I only read 4 books for the whole year.

For the past two years, my mother has really gotten into making her own library at home (hardcovers only) and has spent a considerable amount of time collecting all of the works of particular authors. She has an appreciation for biographies, medical mysteries, and a few classics, but for the most part, she really enjoys "ChickLit", and I do, too. We are suckers for things like "The Devil Wears Prada", "The Shopaholic" books, anything by Jennifer Weiner, and Janet Evanivich's "Numbers" series.

While creating her own collection, she decided to start one for me, and I was surprised with over 100 books these last two Christmases. I have all of them neatly lined up by author and I am desperate to dive into them. I made a New Year's resolution to read 2 of these books a week so I can be finished by next Christmas. Next Christmas my mom will buy me all of the books that my favorite authors came out with in 2010, so I'll probably end up with another 20 or so to start 2011, not to mention the books I randomly pick up throughout the year at garage sales that I never seem to get the chance to read.

Right now I'm working on "Deep Dish" by Mary Kay Andrews and "Slummy Mummy" by Fiona Neill. I should finish them both by Thursday night and then I'll start two new ones on Friday..."Bitter is the New Black" by Jen Lancaster and "Blue Christmas" by Mary Kay Andrews. What are your favorite Chick Lit books?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Staying home on a snowy day

Wally and Beaver are all set to go back to school tomorrow, but it sure has been nice getting to be home with them for 17 days over Christmas vacation.

Today we woke up to the most beautiful snow shower. It doesn't snow here very often and it only accumulates about once a year (usually only 2 inches or so) so we were very happy to see it coming down so hard today. Ward went ahead and went in to work since the roads seem to be ok, but I feel so blessed to spending this very cold January day at home with the boys, enjoying a fire in the fireplace and watching our yard turn white.

Happy 2010!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dressing up for church on Sunday

I have noticed, in the past 10 years or so, that people have stopped dressing up for church. In an effort to get more people in the door, it seems some churches are becoming very relaxed in their dressing standards. At first, you saw women stop wearing dresses ,then men stopped wearing ties, then they stopped wearing jackets, then everyone started wearing jeans, now this morning we saw some teenagers wearing sweatshirts and pajama bottoms.

I was raised to believe that we should always look our "Sunday Best" at church because we are dressing to show the Lord our respect. Wally and Beaver are 4 and 6 and we make them wear button-downs, sweaters or sweater vests, and slacks with loafers every Sunday. Ward wears a similar outfit and I always dress my very best with fresh hair and makeup and jewelry.

I'm so disappointed to see people coming to the Lord's house dressed for a sleepover or a hayride. I know I should be glad that people are even making an effort to come to church at all, but I just can't get on board with this lazy way of dressing. Our church films every sermon and it appears on a local network on Tuesday evenings, so I guess the next thing we'll see is that people stop going to church all together because they are watching it on tv at home, while eating popcorn and scrolling through their recent text messages.

What ever happened to old-fashioned Sundays at church? In our house, I wake up early and fix a big Sunday breakfast (today was sausage links with biscuits, gravy, and scrambled eggs), we get dressed up for church, we stop by the grocery store to pick up the Sunday paper (coupons) and then we head home. Once we get home, the boys change into their play clothes while I prepare a light lunch (today it was ham biscuits from the leftover ones at breakfast). After lunch, the boys have "quiet time" for 2 hours while Ward watches football and reads the Sunday paper and I clean up the breakfast and lunch dishes and do some light cleaning. We usually spend the afternoon relaxing and catching up on reading and I'll make a dessert for after Sunday dinner. Then the boys will play some board games while I prepare our big Sunday dinner (Tonight it's roast chicken and vegetables with yeast rolls) and then we'll eat our dinner in the formal living room.

Do other people not do this anymore?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hot Dog Pie recipe

I found this recipe a few years ago in a Taste of Home cookbook and my family went nuts for it. We probably have it about 6-8 times a year. It's very high in protein, so it's very fulfilling.

Hot Dog Pie

1 refrigerated pie crust
1 16 oz. can Boston baked beans
3/4 pound ground beef
5-6 hot dogs cut-up
brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5-6 slices american cheese

Brown the hamburger meat and drain. While the meat is browning, bake the pie crust (with fork holes in it) for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

After the meat has been browned and drained, add the baked beans, hot dogs, and cheese. Add as much mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar as you need to add flavor to the mixture.

Pour the meat mixture into the pie crust and make a lattice top with the american cheese slices. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolutions, Resolutions...

Every year I actually look forward to making my New Year's Resolutions. I think it gives me the opportunity to better myself and it really does give me a sense of accomplishment when I can cross one of those things off my list.

Here are my resolutions for 2010:

Read 2 books per week (I counted recently and have over 100 books in my library that I've never read!!!)
Read to the boys every night (we got them a bunch of adapted classics for Christmas)
Read my devotional daily
Read my Bible daily
Write 5 pages daily in a book I'm working on
Be purposeful in my quest for saving money
Be more organized at the grocery store with shopping and coupons
Keep my house clean!!!
Go on dates with Ward
Be more involved at church
Exercise daily
Organize my photos

I have already created a nice spreadsheet for my daily, weekly, and monthly tasks so I can really hold myself accountable.

What are your resolutions for 2010?