Thursday, January 15, 2015

Moving Right Along...

Pin It!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letting It Go: Re-prioritizing to Enjoy the Gift of Christmas

Way back in say, September, when I start to go a little crazy and just can't wait for Christmas, I started envisioning sugar plums and everything fabulous I would do to decorate our house for Christmas.  

It involved something like this...
 I found it on Pinterest.  By the way you can check out my pinterest boards here.   Vastly exciting, I know.  Anyway, so I purchased giant Christmas ornaments, mesh, springing glittered things, festive picks, you name it.  I was a regular shopping Ninja, watching for the 50% off at Hobby Lobby to to get in and get out to check it out and then when it happened, out of nowhere I pounced :)

So as I was saying back in September I decided on this and in October I bought all of the supplies.  I was ready.
 But here the ornaments sit today...on a bench in our foyer.  Ready to be hung, already.  Hello?
And here is only ONE of the bags of mesh and supplies from Hobby Lobby, still just waiting to be dragged out of the closet and hung up.  Still waiting...

And so here it is the 15th of December and I've made a decision.  There are only 10 days left until Christmas, folks.  And with gifts to wrap, a guest room to ready, menus to plan, and children to love on by the light of the tree, I am saying enough already.

Because whether I've realized it or not the stress of a to-do list still needing to be to-done is hanging over  my head like an albatross.  So no more.  Tonight I am returning all of the materials.  I could keep them, yes, but I am really trying to minimize the amount of crap I have laying around for projects I may one day get around to. And so, quite frankly, I just don't need it hanging around or over my head for another year.

I encourage you to do the same.  Maybe you don't have all of the Christmas decorations up yet.  Maybe you have this and that and that and this to do before the big day.

Let. it. go.

Go snuggle with your children.

Pour yourself a glass of milk chocolate coconut milk (available at Whole Foods and AMAZING!!) and address some cards to loved ones.

But cut yourself some slack, remember the true meaning of Christmas and try to simply enjoy the moments while you can.

You have my permission to blow it off.  Until next year :)
Pin It!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stay tuned :)

Exciting things are happening with my blog, yo.

Can't wait for you to see them!

So stay tuned...and dressed.  It's the law :)
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and kickoff to the Christmas season.  I hope you did too!  As has been our tradition for the past 10 years, we met Nick's mom and dad the day after Thanksgiving to pick out our tree.  I can't believe it's been 10 years that we have been doing this!  So much fun!!!
 We go to a lovely Christmas tree farm called Hensler's.  It's been featured in Midwest Living and other publications and is just spectacular.  They have a Santa and for the past two-ish years Cal has wanted the first thing he does upon arrival to be visiting Santa.  Three years ago he was a little shy, and last year and this year he had no problem.  Here he is standing in line.
 He always whispers to Santa which is just adorable in my book.  Top secret stuff, right there ;)
 And we got a great photo of him and Santa.  Love this little boy's spirit so much.  He told Emma he told Santa what she wanted too since she was too much of a "scare-dy cat to tell him".  Sweet boy.
 Once outside the workshop we went to see how the reindeer were doing...
 They seem to be just fine :)
 Then it was off to wait for the tram to take us to the Christmas tree fields.
 It's all fun and games until people start getting nuggied...(and how do you even spell that word?)
 Here are our boys ready to go!
 She melts my little heart.  She is just so silly when you give her a saw.
 Gotta make sure that blade is straight.
 Here's my hottie standng next to our the left of him.  Yep, Griswold and his tree :) Do you see how tall that tree is?  My husband is 6 feet 4 inches tall, ladies and gents :)
Here are my boys next to our tree.  Seriously, doesn't it make Nick look super short?  I love them so much!  I wish Emma could have been in this picture but alas, she was chopping down the tree with her grandparents.  Every year her and Cal switch off and they love helping them. So cute!  

I wish I had the photos of Cal helping his Daddy cut our tree down but this Mom forgot to check the battery situation and my battery pack died right after this picture.  I've never had the huge Canon die before, it has a HUGE battery life so it must have been dead.  Dead, dead.  I was trying to remember but I think I had charged it last before our vacation, you know a month and a half ago.  I know you were just on the edge of your seat for that little tidbit of knowledge.  ;)
And then we went home and decorated it.  Or rather, we decided we would decorate it, none of our old school vintage lights would work so Nick went and bought a kajillion dollars worth of new LED lights but they had harvest gold colored bulbs and no "gumdrop" colors so we all schlepped to the store so Nick and I could bicker on the east side of lowes for the better part of an hour about lights and how many lights we need, and how the vast benefits of LED versus traditional will benefit the world for decades to come, only to buy lights EXACTLY like the ones my husband had purchased while braving Black Friday crowds with two children, except for the fact that they had purple bulbs instead of the dastardly harvest gold. And they were twice as much. So now kajillion x2.

 And breathe.  

Oh, I got an outdoor rug too.  So it was worth it.  :)

But we got home, decorated the tree with kitten safe ornaments and have gone on our merry way.  But we have this beautiful beast of a tree in the corner and it makes me happy.  We don't have much of a theme but I love it.  It's a reflection of our life and all of the memories we've shared.  I remember my friend Lisa giving me an "Our First Christmas" ornament before we eloped to Hawaii and I hang that and say a prayer of thanks for such an amazing marriage.

I hang the ornaments my Aunt Jan gives every year and I thank God for her and our family and our memories.  And then I remember I must buy more sprinkles!

I hang all of the precious ornaments my mom and Nick's mom have bought the children every year and I say more prayers of thanks...for healthy babies and safety for them.  For the naivety of childhood we've been able to afford them.  For the warmth our home and snuggly clothing envelopes them in.  For God always providing for their every need.

So for us our tree on Thanksgiving weekend makes perfect sense because we are whispering into the boughs plenty of prayers of thanks for His giving.  It all comes together for a gorgeous tree I just adore.  And that hopefully won't set our house on fire.  Fingers crossed folks!  :)

Hope you are enjoying your Christmas tree too and I hope you had a great holiday!

My love to you all!

Pin It!

Monday, November 24, 2014

What I Wore Mondays: Church Potluck Edition

Sunday we had an all church Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was such a fun time and we met some really great people :)

 So here's me with my lovely outfit!  It was actually just a super quick throw together.  When I need to get ready fast, if the kiddos are having a hard time waking up or what not, throwing all black together with some different shoes always seems to do the trick.  And when going to a potluck and bringing two sides one must always wear flats as it is hard to carry pumpkin roll and potatoes in heels.  Not a rule :)  Plus the fact I had to use my quick ninja moves to keep Cal away from the lemonade stand at the church made it a good thing I wore black :)  Have to be sneaky with that kiddo!
Okay, here's what I wore and as always if it's still available I've provided a link:
Black Pants (Hilfiger)   
Black Turtleneck Sweater (GAP)
Animal Print Flats (Payless)...the print is not available anymore but you can buy the same shoes here.  I also must tell you that I love these shoes!  I have them in multiple colors and patterns!  I can wear them all day chasing kiddos and teaching and they are so cushioney!  If you are in doubt be sure to read all of the reviews.  They are amazing!  This is actually the only shoe I buy from payless but they are made by Dexter shoes and are super wonderful! Okay, PSA on the shoes, done!  
Last but not last let's talk about my purse, or should I say diaper bag because that's what this puppy is.  This is made by Skip Hop.  When are babies were actually babies we bought so much stuff from here.  So fun and vivid!  

But this bag is amazing!  Now that I am homeschooling it still has a place for everything!  And I can shove a binder or a planner and books in there for learning on the road with no problem!  The side pockets which were for bottles not accommodate water bottles with ease.  In D.C. I took a water bottle and a bottle of hand sanitizer around with me in these pockets and it was perfect!!!  I just love this bag!  The solid black and leather is no longer available that I could find.  But you can still buy the same style bag in a different print.  It is the Skip Hop Studio bag if you want to google it to purchase.  I found them for sale on the Layla Grayce website here.  

So that's what I wore.  Again, this isn't about being the prettiest or the skinniest or the best dressed, but rather being an encouragement to dress up and feel fabulous for you and to show your family you love them :)  

*What?  Did you notice our fireplace is different?  There'll be more on that later so stay tuned! 

Pin It!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dear Mama, Babies Don't Keep

I am in the middle of creating my annual photo calendar for my grandmother.  While looking through photos to select I found these and realized I never posted any.  Here are some, just to document that these blessed children of ours are, in fact, growing up entirely too quickly.  

This creek turns into a waterfall a little down the way and has a very special place in my heart.  I played here as a little girl during church picnics and later splashed through it as I ran a cross country course.  And now my babies are here, with their long legs and good balance, ready to take on the top of the waterfall.  

 This girl is getting so big!  I have another picture to illustrate her lanky legs but she always takes the cutest pictures with her Grandma Peg.  They are just adorable together and I love watching their relationship grow.  Plus, Emma is sillier with her Grandma than with most others :)
Cal looks like he's sneezing but really he's just goofing off. And this is Emma's "I'm tolerating my brother because he's my brother and I have to" look.  But look at her.  Why does her face look like she's 17?  Excuse me as I go cry...

Okay I'm back.  I'm okay.  But seriously, she is gorgeous.   
Look at this big girl.  She is so grown up!  I just can't deal.  She does the foot pop thing on her own.  It's like she screams "my cousin's Miss South Carolina y'all". Geesh, ya try the crown on and you turn into a model :)  Thanks Caro for apparently giving this girl staging advice or something!  :)  

Our babies aren't babies anymore.  But I love them.  I think I'll keep them :)  

I'm just trying to savor each and every day a little more.  They will be out the door before we blink.  
Pin It!

Thankful For My Babies

What a rollercoaster of a year this has been!  

As we roll into the week of thanks, I find myself particulary thankful for these precious children of mine.  

So blessed God chose me to be their Momma!

As we go through life doing this super, crazy busy life, I am thankful for the opportunities God has afforded us...that I can stay home, that I have such an amazing husband, and such a great family network surrounding us.  It's just amazing.

Not sure how much I will be on here this week with Thanksgiving preparations under way.  So in case you don't see much of me I hope you have an amazing holiday with your family and stay safe!

Count your blessings, name them one, by one, count your blessings...
Pin It!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Taylor Swift Told Me to Just Shake It Off!

I always pause when I write things on here because I don't want to offend people.  But when it comes right down to it this blog is about me sharing my heart, my struggles, my goods, and my bads.  I always hear feedback of how you all appreciate my openness in struggles.  So in the spirit of that I hope you'll understand that sometimes you just need to write and vent.  

Last night it was brought to my attention that someone hates me.  

Hates me.  


  When I heard this at first I just kind of shook my head.  

Then I replayed everything that had been said.  

Then I cried. 

Then I looked on Pinterest for solace.  

It was a real rollercoaster of emotions going on, let me tell you. :)

You know that's true when it includes Pinterest, right? By the way that is where I found these lovely sayings which are my graphics today.Apparently I'm not the only one who is bothered by these feelings! 

You see, I cannot stand when people do not like me.  

Is it petty?

Is it just the reality of life that not everyone is going to get along with everything else? 

Should I just try to shake it off? (cue the Taylor Swift music...) 

 I think the real hurt comes from the fact that the person who doesn't like me is not a Christian and therefore doesn't share the same views as Nick and I.   I'd love to be a light for that person and I have strived to do that.  Was I always perfect?  Of course not!  I make mistakes, big mistakes!  But I have reached out to this person twice to try to open the lines of communication, to try to mend fences, and work through things.  Mending fences due to who knows what is always hard.  It would be so much easier if I knew why they hated me. Each time I approached my words coming out with prayer and after myself and Nick reading and rereading things, I then hit send. 

But last night I found that each time I tried was met with bitterness and what quite honestly feels like pure hatred.  The person has no intent on liking me or trying to like me. 

So with heaviness on my heart I pray for this person and the situation but I also pray for peace that I will accept the things that I cannot change.  After all I have no idea why they don't like me, what I have done or said to make them dislike me.  It's hard to change yourself, if necessary, if you don't even know what you need to change. 

I hate dealing with issues like this because it feels so High School.  The worldly part of me wants to pull out my mean girl clothes from school and make fun of someone.  To bring it to the world's attention that this person is not playing nice.  Or fair.  And quite honestly sometimes it all just seems like a big waste of time.  I mean, why should I worry about what mean people say or think?  I've got babies to care for, school to teach, a hot husband to remind a million times of what he needs to do.  Things, people.  I've got things!

But God reins me in to remind me that seeking justice is not my job.  That I can't make people like me.  That my worth is not in what they think but in what He sees in me.  I know that is enough.  I live in that being enough. 

But the sting is still there. 

And so today has been a day of staying under the radar.  Of trying to mend my heart and remind myself that not everyone is going to like me, my thoughts, or my feelings.  I feel like I am in middle school after a big fight and my dad had to try to console me that it is okay if someone just doesn't like me, as long as I'm being the best me I can be. 

Sorry about the big meaningless's just a rant of me letting my feelings show.  But know...If you are feeling like someone doesn't like you, take heart that God still does. And I like you!  I think you're pretty great! 

Love you all!  xo
Pin It!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Rough Day and Remembering God's Blessings

Yesterday was rough.  At 9 in the morning Emma and I went out to shovel (Cal was sick in bed with the stomach flu) and I just had to measure it.  Nick was at work half an hour south of us and reported when I called that they had only a light dusting and some flurries.  But at home we had 7 inches!  When he left home at 6 he said it was just a few flurries and nothing on the ground which means that in 3 hours we had 7 inches of snow fall. Unbelievable!  Well, I wish I could say unbelievable but truthfully this is the way it is in Northern Indiana.  The weather comes to us from over Lake Michigan and all of this was lake effect snow.  
Welcome to Indiana :) 

I didn't mind shoveling aside from the fact that once we were done brushing off cars and mailboxes and shoveling walkways and driveways, you couldn't even tell we had done anything because it had snowed so much more. Great.  

Then I had to drop Emma off unexpectedly for her to attend the symphony with friends.  I saw multiple school buses in accidents trying to drop kiddos off at the same events.  The roads were ice covered and terrible.  

I realized I forgot to pay a bill the day before that was due. 

I remembered I needed to order Christmas cards from a place with REALLY expensive christmas cards who was offering free cards...only to see that the code had expired and I was late. 

I screamed at Calvin and then we sobbed together.  

My final crushing blow was melting something in the dryer.  I thought I had stuck it in with no heat but I guess I didn't and my item is ruined.  I called the manufacturer 4 times speaking with different departments but alas, they don't sell the replacement pieces seperately.  Or even have them at all.  A search on ebay and online produced nothing either.  So I sulked.  

Then I cried.  

Then I texted Nick "I've failed you as a wife and mother.  I'm leaving you all now,  Good bye." 

I'm thankful I've got the husband I have because Nick texted back "go do your  God always meets you in the bible right where you need."  

And of course he is right.  


And my day did get better because even though this could be bad...
 It brought this in the late afternoon, along with lots of hot cocoa breaks and laughing:
 There are times that it feels like God is practically shouting...

"I love you, Silly Goose!  See?  I told you I would provide!  Your patience pays off!  Just trust me already!"

And Monday we saw one of those times.  See these beauties?  These were the EXACT tiles I wanted for the fireplace front two years ago when we painted the living room.  But they are $16 a square foot.  We were shopping at Lowe's and I saw them sticking out behind some other piles of tiles.  (say piles of tiles three times fast...go! Bleh) They were on clearance for $3 a square foot!  There were ten squares of them!  So we loaded up the cart and hauled them to the front.  The edges were kind of ragged and Nick asked if they could knock off any more on the price.  The sales clerk took them down to $1 a square foot!  Unbelievable!  We looked when we got home and we might have to order one more sheet of them but other than that we have enough to do the entire fireplace!  How amazing is that?  Granted we waited two years but the patience paid off.  And if we end up needing 11 sheets, what originally would have been a $176.00 project will now cost us $26.00!  I just can't believe how amazing God's favor is!
My last piece of awesome-sauce news is that we have a legal team that is going up against our insurance company about Calvin...for what will be free for us!  I am so speechless.  It is just something we never could have imagined except in our wildest dreams.  It's a huge long story and I'm not sure how much of this I'm allowed to speak of but for now just know that God is providing.  And yesterday, through small glass tiles He reminded me again, that he is in charge of the little and the big.  It may not be my time or choice but He will always be there and is always working for the good of those who love Him.

So here's to today.  I'm so thankful that God's mercies are new in the morning.  I get a second chance!  May it be better than yesterday.  May we be able to block out the thoughts that we can't do this.  And May we be able to focus on the good rather than the bad.

Now go do your!  :)
Pin It!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'm Lindsay and I'm an Usborne Books Consultant!

I realized last night that I've never talked about this on my blog...
But the cat's out of the bag....
I'm an Usborne Books & More Consultant!

Y'all I am so excited about these books.  Have been for years!  

To me there is nothing better than books, except for Children's books!  

My mom and dad brought me up with a thirst for reading.  I loved reading so it was super important to me that our children love to read.  I've been reading to them since they were in the womb.  

When Emma was two and before Cal turned one my mother-in-law and I attended an Usborne home party at my friend Mindy's house (hi Mindy!).  I know Cal wasn't even one yet but up until this point he had wanted nothing to do with books.  Boo!  

I don't know what it was about that silly Usborne book my Mother-in-Law gave to him but that was THE book that sparked his interest in books.  It was the only book he would carry around and gravitate towards.  

Whatever it was, it worked and now both of my children love, love, love books!  

Last November I had an Usborne book party that I booked off of my friend Nicole's party (hi Nicole!!!).  I was able to get a ton of free books for homeschooling through this party.  It wasn' t that there was a lull in our love of Usborne between Calvin's first year of life and his fifth but rather that we had been getting them from the library.  So when I had this party I was able to get all of these awesome books for free from hosting so now I could stop schlepping to the library every three weeks for the same books.  (Seriously, the Usborne Encyclopedia of history is a book we have used in homeschooling for 4 years now so I would get one copy for three weeks, return it and get the next copy.  It was a sad life for me!) 

Fast forward to this September.  We had started this new curriculum for us (Classical Conversations, whoop, whoop!) and I was thinking forward to what we would be studying thinking we are going to be needing some new books!  

I was this close to scheduling a new party and was looking at their website when I saw they had a special price on becoming a consultant.  

Why not?  I thought to myself.  A quick fill out of paperwork later and bam, I am now a consultant.  

For me I thought it would be weird trying to encourage friends to have book parties.  I am pretty shy and I don't like to push things on people.  But honestly I am so excited about these books that I think my love for them just spills through!  

My kids and I LOVE when an Usborne Book Box is delivered to our doorstep!  I always try to order something for our kiddos when I order someone else's books, be it a fiction, non-fiction, or an activity book.  New books keep kids excited about reading and learning new things.  

Be sure to check out my website and feel free to post questions here in the comments section...I'd love to help you with a particular book or to offer reading tips for your little reader!  

Pin It!

Monday, November 10, 2014

What I Wore Mondays: Cozy Cardigan Edition

So let me just start this right off the bat by saying that glamorous woman, I am not.  However, when you spend your days in nasty yoga pants and then when you do happen to take your homeschooled children to an event and find yourself amid cork-shoe wearing, denim jumper wearing women, you feel like you need something, some type of incentive to actually get yourself dressed and attired in something fashionable. 

And so I thought of doing this.  At least once a week I'll be dressed.  Well I am dressed every day thank you very much :) 

I don't think I am the queen of fashion but at the same time I think I can figure out what goes well with what.  So I'll show you what I am wearing. 

  So here you go...


I know, I know, I'm gorgeous :)  

Here's what I've got on...if you can get it still, I'll link it up. 
Cardigan (Chaps, 3 years old)
Bandolino Cognac leather boots (2 years old)
Sapphire diamond ring (3 years old) 
Vintage Denim Purse (Coach)

So there you have it!  It was a blustery, cold day today and it felt so good to put on a thick sweater and feel cozy while running errands and taking care of the house.  

Anyway, I don't feel like the prettiest Momma in the world, but like I said in my last blog  I am trying hard to rid myself of the lies that Satan has been feeding me...because by golly I am God's and I am precious in His Sight!  No where in the bible does it say God wants to gouge out His Mind's Eye when he sees me :)  Whew about that, right?  

As my husband took photos of me and then I went through them to find the best one and then I posted it and then I told y'all what I was wearing I was trying so hard to not apologize.  To just blurt out "never mind, I'm a big ugg-o, no one wants to see this!"  Because even if no one wants to see this, I am doing it to hold myself accountable to having a good enough image of myself and enough confidence to post away on this little blog of mine.  

So I challenge you to stand with me and dress yourself so you feel pretty, take a picture and post a link in the comments section.  I'd love to see other Momma's  standing up and feeling pretty in their every day role, whatever that entails for you!  

Hope you have a fabulous Monday!  God loves you very much, xo
Pin It!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kicking Satan to the Curb After Moms' Night Out

Last night my good friend, Amber, invited me to a Mom's event at her church.  It was so cute!  They had an adorable popcorn bar and little bottles of water.  It was such a neat idea.  

This is the movie we watched. If you haven't watched it or heard of it allow me to congratulate you for finally coming out from under your rock.  This was the second time I've watched it and it is so, so funny.  If you ever want to feel like someone else just get's you then you need to see this movie.  I'll wait...
 Growing up as a Pastor's Kid I totally related to the Pastor's Daughter.  And I can totally get the main character.  I mean,the woman homeschool's for pete's's like she's a friend of mine and doesn't know it yet!  
One of my favorite scenes from the movie is the one in jail.  I love the quote below said by Trace Adkins' character: 
On the way home I was thinking of how great and how sad this event was.  I mean, about 100 mother's came together who all have at one time or another (or every single day) felt like a complete and utter failure in this job of motherhood God has given us to do.  

How sad is that?  

I got to thinking of why we find ourselves beating ourselves up, unable to find satisfaction in our "job performance".  Unable to feel happy in this life we wanted for ourselves.  

At first I thought it was society.  And to an extent it is...pinterest, facebook, instagram...we moms need look no further than our phones and laptops to find other moms seemingly doing this journey through motherhood better dressed, smarter, cleaner, and more organized.  

What a world this is.  But even more than that I think there is an underlying cause.  He's always's Satan.  

When I realized that it was kind of a "duh" moment for me. 

 After all John 10:10 says " The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." 

 I read this blog a while ago which had spoken of this, but somehow over time I had forgotten how it happens.  (It's a wonderful read and all moms should read it! Go now.  I'll wait... :) )

And there it is.  So clear.  With the press of facebook when I feel imperfect and lonely throughout the day, I am opening the door to let Satan come on in and take my joy.  He steals from me and destroys my confidence and kills and thought that I could ever do this mom thing right in the first place.  He gets me right where he wants me.  

But here's a thought... what if I can fend him off?  What if my children could just have me do what God made me to do and see joy on my face as I live life as their Momma?  Well that would be living out the promise God gives in the second part of the verse...I would have life and would be living abundantly. And I wouldn't be living just for me but my daughter would be seeing how much joy motherhood brings.  

 And so with the help of movie night my sweet friend invited me to, I've come to realize what I need to do...I need to be more vigilant in watching for Satan's attacks.  I need to show joy in being a Mom.  I need to serve the Lord through scrubbing toilets, changing under-jams, and making beds.  And I want to encourage you too.  Just think, if we could stop the devil in his tracks with this, we might spare our girls from growing up feeling these same crummy thoughts of not being good enough. Not being able to get in front of it. Always being a failure.

That is something I will gladly do.  In Jesus' name!

Love you all!  :)
Pin It!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Nina and the Pinta!

Well, this past week we officially started homeschooling for the year!  And we survived!  Just barely but we survived.  Two days in both of the kids were sick...colds.  By the end of that day I was sick.  Like, I can't survive, just hold me while I die, sick.  

But we got through, we're only a little behind so I guess I just need to cut myself some slack and breathe!  

Anyway, for those of you paying attention we are doing Classical Conversations curriculum this year.  We don't have a group we are meeting with as our schedule with Cal at his Autism school does not permit it so we are just winging it and doing it at home, alone.  Which by the way, so far, I am loving!  We may not get a group because we are plugged in in other areas.  But we will see :)  

Anywho, the first week of Classical Conversation (this year CC is in cycle 3 where we are studying American History) was about Christopher Columbus.  We studied, we read, we memorized.  And at the end of the week we drove for a field trip to a neighboring county where replica's of the Nina and the Pinta were docked for tours.  How awesome of God was that?  To have them here just when we were studying??? Awesomeness!  

So off we was a gorgeous day.  
 Hi!  I'm your teacher for the year...  :)
 Here we are!
 Hi Daddy!

 Okay so these boats are tiny!  I mean, TEENY tiny!  There were 26 men crammed on these boats when they took off in 1492.  And they had to take so much cargo that the men all had to sleep up on the deck.  Seriously, I could not imagine going through that.  No memory foam there, folks.

So we've survived our first week, we've had our first field trip, and all is well in our little neck of the woods.  Hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying school too!
Pin It!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September's Monthly Meal Plan

September's one of those weird wonky months.

I'm all in the mood for Fall but the weather just ain't having it.

So...what's a woman to do then combine summer and fall recipes?  Chowder one day, grilling out the next.  So's life in the great Hoosier state :)

Here's my plan for feeding the family this month:

Week 1:
Monday: Little Caesar's new pretzel pizza.  This was so gross and so yummy at the same time.  I feel like I should be telling you this under some cloak of darkness or something.
Tuesday: Oven Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday: Northern Beans and Ham and Jalapeno Cornbread
Thursday: Pork Loin, coleslaw, green beans, and biscuits
Friday: Carbonara
Saturday: White Chicken Chili
Sunday: Pot Roast with root vegetables and mashed potatoes

Week 2:
Monday: Grilled Cheese with Ham
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and Summer Squash
Wednesday: Spaghetti Bolognese
Thursday: Cheeseburgers, Homegrown Tomatoes, and Sweet Potato Fries
Friday: Calzones (I use this pizza dough for the crust)
Saturday: Fettuccine Alfredo with homemade pasta
Sunday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas

Week 3:
Monday: Homemade corn dogs...don't judge :)
Tuesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Wednesday: Cream of Potato Soup and Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Thursday: Biscuits and Gravy
Friday: Orzo Salad and Grilled Chicken
Saturday: Quesadillas
Sunday: Roast Chicken with root vegetables and mashed potatoes

Week 4:
Monday:  Tater Tot Casserole
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie made with leftover roast chicken
Wednesday: Chili
Thursday: Grilled Brats and Oven Fried Zucchini Fries
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday:  Chicken Tortilla Stack
Sunday: apple picking trip...picnic lunch :)

Ta-da!  Sorry it's a few days into Sepetember and here I am finishing up my Sepetember menu but such is life :)  Hope this gives you some ideas to add to your meal planning.  I'd love to know some of your recipes too!

Pin It!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Monthly Grocery Shopping Trip

So Saturday I posted this picture on Facebook...
mentioning I spent less that $160.00 for almost a month's worth of groceries and I started getting questions on where I get things, how I do it...etc.  

So...I am here to tell you how I do it!  
 First, let's talk budget.  We feed our family on $300.00 a month.  That comes to $75.00 per person.  According to Indiana's SNAP website, if we were receiving SNAP (food stamps) we would be given $632.00 for a family of four per month, so in essence we are feeding our family for less than half the amount the government deems necessary per person.  I know that's crazy, isn't it?  Plus please note that we eat well!  Dinner every night, lots of fruits and veggies, packed lunch for Cal and Nick every day.  Plus we strive to eat whole foods and organic, natural foods as much as possible.  (Note here...this doesn't mean that we don't have snacks or junk food, etc).  It's just a general guideline we strive for.

With that said here are some of the deals I snagged this month...
 Organic milk, $0.99 per half gallon (normally running between $3.49-$3.99/half gallon) Completely not price related but fat free organic milk is so much creamier than ordinary skim milk...amazing!
 Organic Juice boxes, $1.19/case ($3.99 at target)...lunch box item for us
 GoGo Squeez pack, $0.99/box (normally $3.59)...for lunch boxes
Pad Thai noodle bowl, $0.99 (regularly $3.49)

 HUGE bag of Natural cereal, $2.29 (no idea the price of this size but the smaller size is in the $5.00 range at Whole Foods)
 A box of 8 yogurt pouches, $1.00 (one pouch is $1.50 at the store) Perfect snacks for on the way to Ballet or Tae Kwon Do!
 Monterey Jack Cheese $1.79/pound (those shredded cheese bags at the store with half a pound are around $3.00!) I use this cheese in the Pioneer Woman's Corn Chowder Recipe.  Yum!
 Full Circle Lasagna's, $0.99 (at whole foods these go for around $5.00 each).  I send these with Cal to school and if I am really running late they will heat one up for him to eat.

So I shop at all of these places and then I keep receipts and my cash in an envelope.  Out of my $300.00 for the month of September I have $148.47 left meaning I spent $151.53.  Here's where I went and the order I went to them in.  I'm also noting what I can consistently find there but I look through everything to find deals. Here you go:

1. Rentown, 1533 3rd Rd, Bremen (I get cheese and lunch meats from here...and sometimes they have awesome butter prices!)
2. Rite Choice, 1303 E. Market St, Nappanee (This is where I get yogurt for uber cheap.  I also get juice, gucacamole, eggs, and random things)
3. Dented Can, 25743 SR 119, Goshen (starbucks!, canned goods, cereals)
4. E & S, 1265 North State Road 5, Shipshewana (So.much.stuff!...yogurt, butter, meats, noodles, fruits, rice, cleaning products)
5.Forks County Line Store, 7900 W 310 N, Shipshewana (cereals, dairy products, meats, frozen goods)
6. Forks County Line Store, 508 E Warren St, Middlebury (cereals, dairy products, meats, frozen goods)
7. Aunt Millie's Bread Outlet, 206 W. Ireland Rd, South Bend (bread, buns, bagels)

I found lots of meat today at these stores but often I'll go to a butcher for meats.  Butcher's I like are: 

These are discount grocery stores where, from what I can gather and what I have learned, they buy bulk foods all Auction style from places like Sam's and other locations.  Like if a product says "new!" on the packaging but it isn't new anymore then it gets sold to one of these places.  

Please know that these places do sell outdated products too.  So check labels!  Some things I am okay with being a little outdated, other things, no way.  It's all up to you.  

As I mentioned before I have $148.47 left in my budget.  I will divide that money by 4 weeks (some months it has to be 5 weeks and then it kind of gets dicey!  This month it will give me $37.11 a week.  With this I will buy milk, oj, fresh produce, and if I find some amazing deal along the way at a local supermarket then I can try to free up some of the leftover money to stock up.  

So that's how I do it.  I hope that that helps with your grocery shopping adventures!  And for pete's sake if you have any questions, please let me know :)  I'm just one Momma happy to help other Momma's!  
Pin It!