Monday, December 31, 2007

A Quiet New Year

We are planning on a very quiet New Years Eve at our house. The three older kids will be at a lock-in with their Campus Life group, so it will just be me, my husband and S at home. I am so glad the older kids have somewhere safe to go with people I trust, and they won't be driving home until the morning.

For dinner we are just going to throw a couple of frozen pizzas in the oven, and watch a movie with S. Maybe we'll play some board games. (Have I said that my husband and I are two of the most boring people you'll ever want to meet? Well now you know.) We will watch the New Year festivities in New York on TV and will be off to sleep by 11:05 our time. See, we are boring. It's a good thing we both like it that way.

What are your plans for New Years Eve?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A New Start

As the New Year approaches, I am confronted with the usual "New Years Resolution" hype with the knowledge that I have never once kept my resolutions. And I have spent the last several months with the realization that I just let life happen to me. I kind of go through life with no plan or goals, just trying to get through the day. It is depressing to realize that I have spent over twenty years of adulthood this way.

I am realizing that I need to make a change. Not a "New Years Resolution" type of change, but a way of life kind of change. I got the book Discipline The Glad Surrender by Elizabeth Elliot for Christmas and reading through it I am finding that what I need is to be disciplined. I need to be disciplined in every area of my life.

First I want to start by being more consistent in my devotional life. I think I need to get my spiritual life in order and then move on to the other areas of my life.

So that's it. I want to make a new start in my life. Anybody else want to make a new start?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Etsy Advice

Now that Christmas is over, (and once I get my house back in order) I am working towards opening an Etsy shop. What I would love is some advice. So, here are some questions for all you Etsy crafters out there:
  • What do you find sells best?
  • How do you decide on prices?
  • How do you decide on shipping charges?
  • Do you get many custom orders?
  • Do seasonal items sell well?

OK, thats all the questions I can think of right now. I would love to hear from you all with any advice you have! Thank You!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


We had a wonderful Christmas this year. Here's a few pictures. I haven't downloaded the pictures from Christmas day at my in-laws yet.

The boys brought Rock Band to Grandmas house on Christmas Eve. They had a great time playing with their Uncle.
K & S goofing off.

A was Santa on Christmas morning.

K hugging her new turntable.

J with his new guitar. He found out quickly that playing a real guitar is a lot harder than playing Guitar Hero. I think guitar lessons might be in order.

S with his new Nerf gun

A little extra gift for me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Random Thoughts Before Christmas

Today I am going to try to get all my Christmas baking done, and tackle the mountain of laundry in my basement. I am hoping that if I concentrate on those two things, maybe I have a chance of getting them done.

My husband and I did the last of our Christmas shopping last night. What a relief!

Oh yeah, I have to wrap presents today....or maybe tomorrow....or at the latest, Sunday.

After getting over the absolute terror of having your kids get their drivers licences, it is actually rather nice. The other day, K (16) took S (8) to do his Christmas shopping. One less errand for me to do. She also actually enjoys running last minute to the grocery store for that one ingredient that I forgot to buy!

S's wound on his arm is healing nicely. It isn't "gaping" anymore. I haven't heard from the Dr about the lab culture testing for a staff infection, so I figure no news is good news.

I am going to take a little break from blogging for a few days. I will try to be back on Wednesday.

I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Great Party and A Gaping Wound

Well, the party for S's teacher went great! She was totally surprised and we all had a great time. She loved all the Christmas ornaments too. Thankfully, it all turned out wonderfully! I was quite nervous because I'm not usually an "in charge" type of person. I'm usually more of a "worker bee", you know, tell me what to do and I'll do it, but don't make me decide anything! So, heading up this party was out of my comfort zone, but all in all, it was a great experience!

So, you're asking, forget about the party, get to the "gaping wound" part! OK, OK. S has had this weird bump on his arm for weeks. I have kept meaning to take him in to have it looked at, but never got around to it. At first, we thought it was a bug bite that he was scratching, then it didn't go away, and we thought it was a cyst. So, yesterday afternoon I noticed that it had gotten a lot larger and looked very inflamed and infected. I called and made an appointment with the Dr. for this morning.

In the mean time, S had picked a little bit of it and it was bleeding slightly, so I put a band aid on it. Later in the evening, he took the band aid off and.....lets just say there was some drainage. Lots. I got a cloth to clean it up, and that's when I saw the Gaping Wound. OK I may be exaggerating a little, but honestly, there was a HOLE in his arm! This merited a trip to Urgent Care, which I had to do by myself because my husband is in Mexico on business. Fortunately, when you bring an 8yo boy with an open and oozing wound in to Urgent Care, you get seen rather quickly. He is now on antibiotics, and seems to be healing well.

When we got home from Urgent care, the older boys were quite impressed with S's wound. Apparently, according to my 18yo, "Chicks dig guys with scars"

So atleast he's got THAT going for him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wedding Shower

This afternoon I'll be in my youngest sons classroom. His teacher is getting married on Saturday, and I am heading up a surprise bridal shower from the kids for her. We are having the kids each bring her a Christmas ornament. S made this one for her. I think it turned out quite cute!

Here's S being his typical hammy self!

I am hoping that all goes well. I'm not sure if she has any idea about this. It is quite hard to get a group of 23 8yo's to keep a secret! The school secretary is going to call the teacher to the office during afternoon recess so a few other moms and I can set up for the party. We are serving cookies and juice, and have a few games planned, and I made up an activity packet in case we run out of things to do.

Anyway, I will let you know later how it all went!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Survivied The Mall

Yes, I returned safely from the mall. I bought quite a few gifts, and I am hoping that I will not have to return there again before Christmas.

In other news, My wonderful husband took me out on a date last night! (One of the great things about having teenagers in the house is that they are free babysitters for the 8yo) We went to our favorite Italian restaurant. Its a great little place run by a wonderful couple. They have fantastic pizza! Now, I am from Chicago. We are serious in Chicago about our pizza. I never had much hope of finding fantastic pizza in Wisconsin, but this place has great pizza. Turns out the husband if from Chicago....see, that explains it!

Anyway, it was a wonderful to spend some time together, especially since he leaves Sunday night on a business trip :(

Now I'm off to catch up on laundry and such. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Confession Time

I love Christmas. The decorations, the Christmas Carols, the cookies and especially the Reason For The Season. I love it all. But, I have to confess, I am not even half way done with my Christmas shopping. That's because I hate, loathe, despise, shopping. (except at thrift stores, fabric stores, book stores, and Target) I especially hate the mall. Can't stand it. Avoid it at all costs. And guess where I am headed today?

So, If you think about it, say a little prayer for me, for I will be at The Mall (((shudder)))

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 8 of the Challenge

Today was a fairly productive day. I did my morning routine, ran errands, went thrifting (not much luck there today), volunteered at my son's school and baked cookies after dinner. I did not get to the Master Bedroom. I took a nap instead.

Dinner turned out great. I kind-of winged it with the green beans, luckily, they turned out great.

Making Your Home A Challenge: Day 8

Good Morning!

Today for Crystal's Challenge:

Refresh Your Spirit:

Did this first thing this morning. I am really starting to enjoy waking early and spending time with the Lord. I did my usual Psalms and Proverbs reading, then 2 chapters from Genesis. Todd Friel over at Way Of The Master Radio has been challenging his listeners to read Romans 6 every day for the rest of the year, so I read that too. I spent a while in prayer, praying specifically for my dd as she is struggling with some tough choices today.

Do Your Morning Routine:

I am in the middle of this. I just have to finish the breakfast dishes and make the bed.

Take Time To Plan:

Here's the list for today:
  • Finish morning routine
  • laundry
  • Go Thrifting!
  • Clean master bedroom
  • Volunteer at S's school
  • Bake cookies for A's homeroom

What's On The Menu For Dinner?

  • Salisbury Steak
  • Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Bread

Project Of The Day:

Work on cleaning up the Master Bedroom. I have my craft area and sewing machine set up in my bedroom, so I will have to organize that too.

So, I'm off to work on my To-Do list! Hop over to Biblical Womanhood for more information on this challenge!

Sideshow Bob

My husband has a recording of Max McLean reading the Bible and we have been listening to it during breakfast. And I was really feeling good about this. Like I was giving them a wonderful start to their day, and that they would always remember this. But do you know what their reaction was?

"Max McLean sounds like Sideshow Bob"

And I can guarantee you, this they will always remember.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


At our house, I am all about saving time and money. I was always annoyed when I wanted to make a recipe that needed cooked chicken because before I could put together the dish, I had to cook the chicken. Well, now I buy a jumbo pack of chicken at Sam's and roast it as soon as I get home from shopping. When the chicken has cooled off, I shred it and put it in individual freezer bags and toss them in the freezer. Now I have cooked chicken whenever I need it. I works for me!

Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more WFMW!

A Sauce Extravaganza!

I had a very successful shopping trip today! I hit 6 stores and got a few good deals. I have been meaning to start stocking up on staples because I am trying to reduce my grocery budget. Right now I'm spending $140-$150 a week. I want to reduce that to around $100. This won't be easy since I have 3 teenagers (aka the bottomless pits) (BTW, I bought 6 gallons of milk at Sam's Club. A lady passing by actually asked "Are you thirsty?" I am just hoping the milk will last until Monday!)

Anyway, back to the sauce. Sentry had Ragu on sale 10 for $10! And, I had 2 coupons 3/$1, so, I got 10 jars of sauce for $8.00!

Then I went to CVS and got $35 worth of stuff for $1.45! I didn't take a picture of that.

I guess we'll be eating Italian food for a while!

Boring Post

The kids are all back in school today, so I can catch up with all I didn't get done yesterday. We had quite an ice storm here in Wisconsin. My husband still went in to work, and I was supposed to go to a work party with him in the evening, but I stayed home. I usually don't mind driving in snow, but all the sleet and ice was scary.

Anyway, I'm off to do some Christmas and grocery shopping. This was a really boring post......sorry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow Day Fun

Today has been a lazy day. The kids have a snow day, (by the way, is there anything that will give a child pure, unadulterated joy like a snow day? ) we have a fire going, and I baked beer bread. I also had a chance to finish this little project. Isn't he cute?

And yes, that is wooden furniture out on my patio. Weathering gives it character. Either that or we have just been too lazy to put it in the garage.

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge: Day 7

Today Crystals challenge is, as she said, "short and sweet." I am very grateful for this because the kids have a snow day today, or should I say ice day. The last I heard, the local news said there were 65 school closings in the viewing area, with more to come! Here is what Crystal has for us today:

1) Clean out, declutter, and organize a drawer, shelf, or closet.
2) Tackle a project you've been procrastinating on for too long.

Or, you can do both!

So, I am going to tackle the Master Bedroom closet, and work on a sewing project I want to finish. Maybe I'll post pictures later! Until then, I'm going to enjoy a lazy day home with my kids!

Head over to Biblical Womanhood for more on today's challenge!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge: Day 6

1 - Refresh Your Spirit

Today has been a chaotic day. And its only 9:00. The day started off well. A got up at 5:00 and spent time reading my bible and praying. So, I have done the first part of of the Challenge.

After breakfast with the family, (homemade banana bread made last night. YUM!) I had to drive the older kids to school. Usually they take their own car, but that's in the shop. And, usually in this situation, my hubby would take them on his way to work, but he meets with a group of men from church on Monday mornings. So, I was going to take them (because when you get to be a senior and a junior in high school, you're just too cool to take the bus, don't ya know) Anywho, we were all ready to go, when my daughter couldn't find her insulin pump (she's a Type 1 diabetic) Now, we can't leave until we find that pump. So I'm wading through the waist deep laundry scattered on her floor trying to find her pump! Finally found it. This all made us late, not to mention crabby. So after I drop the older 3 off at school, I rush back home to put the 8yo on the bus. Then I had to run right back out to drop the key to the vehicle that needs to be repaired off at the repair shop. So, I have gotten NOTHING done at home.

I think I need to refresh my spirit again.

2 - Morning Routine

This will be done as soon as I'm done with this post.

3 - Take Time To Plan

Here is my to-do list for today

  • morning routine

  • laundry

  • clean kitchen

  • run errands

  • clean bathrooms

  • bake cookies for Campus Life meeting

4 - What's On The Menu For Dinner

  • Turkey Tetrazzini

  • Corn

  • Bread

5 - Project of the Day

Today we are to straighten up main living areas and clean up the kitchen. Mine really needs it. Here's the before:

It needs a good clean. You know there's a boy in the house when you find a toy gun on the kitchen counter.

So, I'd better get going! I have my work cut out for me. I'll try and post the after pictures tonight! Check out Crystals blog Biblical Womanhood for more ideas for Making Your Home A Haven!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Scripture

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Proverbs 9:10esv

Friday, December 7, 2007

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Over at BooMama's there is a soup extravaganza going on! Here is our favorite soup, the recipe is from my mil. It's not your typical really thick version of Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

6 C. chicken broth
1 C. chopped celery
1 C. chopped carrots
1 C. chopped leeks
1 C. chopped broccoli
1/2 C. chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 C. shredded Havarti Cheese
1/2 C. half and half
dash Cayenne (optional)

Heat broth to a boil. Add vegetables & simmer for 5 minutes. Mix butter with flour until smooth. A flour mixture to broth and simmer until slightly thickened. Add in cheese and simmer until melted. Stir in cream. Serve with warm sourdough bread. YUMMY!

Hope you enjoy it! Head on over to BooMama's for more great soup recipes.

Making Your Home A Haven - Day 5

Today at Biblical Womanhood, Crystal is encouraging us to plan something fun for our family. I'm thinking I'll follow her lead and plan a family movie night. It will only be me, my dh and the boys as my dd has show choir practice until 9:00. I'll have to check if there is a good Christmas movie on tonight.

As for right now, I'm exhausted! Remember yesterday I said that I had to sew buttons and snaps on shirts for show choir? Well, I stayed up until 12:30 working on them, and got up at 5:00am to finish the last one. I do not do well on 4 1/2 hours of sleep. So, excuse me if this is short, but I'm off to nap!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Making Your Home a Haven Challenge - Day 4

I'm getting a late start today (see post below) I had to drive my son to school today because I realized 5 minutes before the bus was coming that he hadn't done his spelling pre-test that was due today. So, we forgot about the bus and he did his pre-test and I drove him in. (I can't believe I forgot! I volunteer in his classroom on Thursday afternoons and I help with the advanced spellers and you'd think that I would have remembered)

For today's challenge:

  1. Refresh your spirit

Continued reading in Psalms, Proverbs, and Revelation.

2. Take time to plan

After planning my day, I'm to plan something special for my family this weekend. I'll have to think about that. My Daughter will be at show choir practices all day every day this weekend, so it will be busy. As for my plans for today, I have to take snaps and buttons off of 5 shirts and sew them on to 5 other shirts (Why you may ask? Well, its another show choir thing. Since they do costume changes for the show, the boys need their shirts to have snaps, and of course they got new shirts this year.) I need to clean my kitchen (AGAIN! It never ends!) I need to wash towels, and work on the notes that I didn't do yesterday. And I'm at the school this afternoon. I think that's enough for today. Dinner will be Broccoli Cheese soup (recipe to come tomorrow) and sourdough bread. Yum.

3. Do Something

Today we are to keep up with the rooms that we've worked on the last two days, and tackle the bathrooms. We'll see if I get to that.

Check out Crystals blog for more details on Making Your Home A Haven Challenge!

Thrifting Thursday

OK. I haven't even had a chance to check out Day 4 of the challenge yet. I've been out all morning and I wanted to share all my thrifting goodies! I got a sled, a stack of Crafts 'n Things magazines, and a bag of fabrics:

Check out this fabric:

Oh. My. Goodness. I LOVE IT! And, there's 2 yards of it!!!!! I think I'll make a new tree skirt out of it. Wouldn't that be fun?

Anyway, the sled was $1, the magazines $6, and the bag of fabric was $2.50! That's less than $10 total! It has been a happy thrifting day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day 3 of the Challenge

Today I got most of my to-do list done! The only thing I didn't do was write the notes. I need to buy new note cards. (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) Below are the pics of my laundry room clean up. I didn't quite finish all the laundry, but I did most of it. The hanging clothes aren't put away but that's because the kids treat the basement like a family closet. I figure, if its good enough for Michelle Duggar, its good enough for me!

Forgive Our Dust

I am playing around with the template on my blog. Bear with me while I try things out.

Making Your Home A Haven: Day 3


Well, we are on to day 3 of Crystals Making Your Home A Haven Challenge over at Biblical Womanhood. I didn't get very many things on my list done yesterday. But, today is a new day so I'll just go from here.

1 - Refresh Your Spirit

I read Psalm 3, Proverbs 5, and Revelation 2 this morning. Then I spent some time in prayer for my kids and husband and that I would be more productive today. And I prayed for a family around the corner from us that had a house fire last night. I don't know the people at all but I guess the house is a total loss. (if you think about it today, say a little prayer for that family. I don't know them, but God does)

2 - Take Time to Plan

Here is my to-do list for today:

3 - Do Something

Today we are to catch up on our laundry. My laundry area is in my basement and its a mess! I can't believe I'm posting pictures of this. Maybe this will motivate me to clean it up. The storage bins that I need to organize are in this area too. Stay tuned later today for some after pictures! (hopefully!)

So, there you have it. I have my work cut out for me today! Check out Crystals blog for more homes becoming havens!

Update - Oops, I forgot to post 3 things I'm thankful for!

  • Jesus Christ
  • My wonderful husband and kids
  • My home (especially after the house fire in our neighborhood)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Boy In The Mask

Thank You Amanda!

Harry arrived today!

Here's me and Harry!

Thank You Amanda! You ROCK!

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge: Day 2

Today for Crystals challenge we are to 1-Refresh your Spirit. I did this 1st thing this morning. 2 - take time to plan. Today we are to plan out our day so here is my to-do list:

  1. laundry

  2. vacuum 2nd floor

  3. clean tubs & shower

  4. clean bathroom mirrors

  5. do daily chores

  6. run errands

  7. clean out purse

And for 3 - Do something. Today we are to clean up our living room. Here are the before pictures.

The living room wasn't too bad. Its important to my husband to have that room clutter free, so all I did was straighten up, dust, and vacuum. Here's the after:

So, there it is, day 2 of the challenge. This is exciting! Making my home a haven for my family has really been on my heart recently and I so appreciate Crystal for taking the time to put together these challenges. Head on over to Biblical Womanhood to join in!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge

Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood is hosting a Making Your Home a Haven Challenge. There are three things to do today for this challenge: Refresh your spirit, Take time to plan (plan 5 things to do everyday for your morning routine), and Do Something (clean & de-clutter entryway) Luckily, I am already in the routine of waking up before my family and having devotions. For Take time to plan, I have decided on the following Morning Routine:

  1. Do morning devotions & prayer time
  2. Make family breakfast
  3. Clean up kitchen after breakfast
  4. Make lunches for kids
  5. Make bed

There, that wasn't too hard! The hard part will be waiting to get on the computer until that is all done! Now I'm off to clean and de-clutter my entryway. That shouldn't be too hard since its not that bad today!

Run over to Biblical Womanhood to read the details of Crystals challenge and join in!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lazy Sunday Morning

Well, it a lazy Sunday morning here in Wisconsin. We had quite a snow/ice storm yesterday and everything is frozen! We have decided to not to attempt the drive to church since our town doesn't always find it necessary to salt the roads. It's supposed to warm up a little later in the day, so hopefully the ice will melt. Currently my back patio is a solid block of ice about an inch thick.

So, it is quiet right now with only me and S awake. Its kind of nice sometimes when we are forced to stop everything and just stay home. I do feel bad about missing church, but since our pastors sermons are posted online, I can listen later this week. I think I'll start a fire in the fireplace and curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book!

Sunday Scripture

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:23 ESV