Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I was going through my IPad2 the other day and look what I found. This is only 3 of about 20 pictures my kids took. So funny!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What to do, What to do?

My children are all in school now. I am loving my time at home. Every day I have a new job that I wasn't able to get done before. Yesterday I cleaned my freezer. Today I'm cleaning under my sink and throwing out old food that I canned years ago and then forgot about! lol I was getting prepared to make freezer blueberry jam but realized I was missing an ingredient. I'll get to that tomorrow. I did make my dh shortbread cookies and I made more maple syrup for our waffles. Tomorrow I will make ranch dressing and the blueberry freezer jam. What odd jobs have you begun working on now that the kids are back in school?

Maple Syrup Recipe (I can't remember where I found this to give credit ( maybe?)! doh!)

2c water
2c sugar
1 tsp maple extract

bring sugar and water to boil, stirring often. Then pull the pan off the stove and add the extract. Let cool and bottle. One bottle of extract makes a lot of maple syrup!

I'll post the blueberry freezer jam after I make it and I see that it turns out! lol

Very excited about my lunch with friends tomorrow. It's my "old" church group and should be fun. I can't wait to see some of the people who I had lost touch with. Are there any foods that you prefer to make at home instead of purchase (like my maple syrup)? Feel free to share your recipes or links here. I love looking at new recipes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

This nation's budget...

we were talking about how much our country owes and whether it's going down the same path as Greece or not. My girlfriends and I decided if they'd give the budget to the stay at home moms of the world we would have never gotten into this mess in the first place. We don't spend what we don't have. Why is the government allowed too? I am sure I could slash that budget in no time. (I realize that it would be a monumental task but hey we could break it down and give each stay at home mom one area to fix and the problem would be solved and quickly). :P one ever asks me for my opinion. lol

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Does anyone need a smaller cell phone bill?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Um, yes I do! We are paying all kinds of medical bills right now. So we are cutting costs every where we can! With StraightTalk by TracFone you can lower your bill and be the recipient of no activation fees, no contracts and absolutely no cancellation fee. Why would anyone want to be under contract anymore? With StraightTalk you get everything you need. You can call a friend overseas and use the StraightTalk International Plan from your home, cell or work. They have all kinds of flexible plans available to meet your needs.  

Even mom knows best and she has the all you need plan. It is 1000 calls and 1000 texts and 30 mb of web for $45.00 a month or $499.00 a year. What a deal! What could you do with the leftover savings when you compare this to what you are paying now? I could pay off a medical bill before the year was up! 

The only thing left to do is pick your phone. You can get great reconditioned phones for as little as $10.00. They also have smart phones, mp3, camera, bluetooth capability and even navigation apps to help you. The navigation would be such a huge help in the summer when we travel. With their no contract, no connection fees, no surprise bills (great for the younger set!) and no credit checks you can't go wrong. They have great nationwide reception and service. My friend's phone was with another carrier when she switched to StraightTalk they could finally use a cell phone at their house (and they are not in the woods either!). What a huge help for her. 

Watch what a customer said about their bill when they finally switched. <iframe width="420" height="345" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I think with this plan you will be hooked for sure, Hook, line and sinker!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Thankful for this picture of me and my hubby when we first started long ago!

I had the nicest brunch with some good friends today. You need your friends to get through this crazy life. Here's a few things I'm thankful for today.

my crazy dog who makes me feel safe at home

my friends who love me as I am

mountain dew and diet coke...I know terrible choices...they are my one vice. Stop yelling at me about how bad they are...I know already. :P

my son and how well he's settling in at school (he's staying for chess club today)

my son who talks to me...a lot..

my daughter who wears clothes like madonna did in the 80's...where does she get her fashion sense...not from me!

my garden which is still giving me such yummy fresh food

the little bit of gas left in my tank (gotta hit the gas station in the morning)

eating lunch with my kids at their school...ok they'll eat and I'll watch.

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cell Phones for kids?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The opinions vary greatly on getting your child a cell phone. I have one for my 14 year old and he's had it since he was 12. In my opinion, I always want him to be able to get ahold of me. The TracFone helps me stay in touch with him in an inexpensive yet reliable way. He chose the TracFone with the qwerty keyboard for his constant texting. Their phones also have the capability for videos and photos. With so many features, reliable coverage and nationwide calling you can not go wrong with these phones. They also have no contract, no activation or cancellation fees. But don't believe me, check out for yourself what real TracFone customers have to say about that no contract. You can purchase double minutes on the life of your phone, 800 minutes for one year at $119.00. You will never go over either. One month with another carrier I had a $487 phone bill at Christmas. That made it a very hard month for us. With children, it's so great that you can not go over on these phones. 

You can get simple phones with simple plans starting at $10.00. Or you can get web access, texting, mp3, app capabilities, camera/video recorder and the qwerty keyboard beginning at $29.99!  You set the price for your plan. Here's a great video with real TracFone customers.  You can also call internationally to 60 different countries for the same price as any other phone calls. For me with a sister in Africa that is so helpful! Thank you TracFone! Check out this video on how good their reliability and coverage are!

<iframe width="420" height="345" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you are looking for a inexpensive reliable phone for your children, TracFone is the way to go!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I love these Thankful Thursdays. It makes you appreciate life if you reflect on it at least once a week...or daily.

Today I'm thankful my dad is here from the hospital.
My son was supposed to begin riding the bus but looks like I'll be taking him today until his friend rides with him.
Thankful for the beautiful not too hot weather we've been having.
My garden.
My dh's job.
My health.
The ability to get the house cleaned/laundry done in a quiet house.
My dh making dinner last night while I went and had my dad's prescription filled.
A really good nights sleep.
Sweet friends.

What can you think of to be thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do you do when you are in the middle of 2 people you love who want two different things in life?

I just had this dilemma in my house. My mom bought 10 acres a few years back. We were all supposed to build one big house there. They were all excited and I was dreading every second of it and couldn't tell you why. We went a few times and looked at houses being built. They were all so gorgeous. We were so pumped about building a house. Well, the closer it got to paying out any kind of money for any test (soil, etc) I began to freak out a bit. See, my mom is a bit messy and my husband is a clean freak. I knew how this was going to turn out. Me in the middle of both of them fighting. I finally broke down and told my mom that I wasn't building a house with her. I could build on the same land if it perks for 2 or we can stay in the house we are in. I really couldn't tell you why I was balking on building. Mom seemed a bit shocked. But the more she thought about it the more she realized I was right. It would have been a huge mistake. We still have the land and we may or may not build. And it is ok. She said she's fine with moving or not moving. So, she has basically said, you were right and I'm glad you made the decision you did. Whew, it was a hard decision to make I tell you. But if you know it's going to cause discord in your family you have to make those hard decisions. Building a house puts almost as much stress on a marriage as a divorce. I couldn't deal with building and trying to please two people I was in the middle of. Would we love to build a house? Yes, we've never done that. Would we love to live on land in the country? Absolutely. Is it worth building when you know in your heart you should not do it? No, absolutely not. If you feel you are going to be stuck in between two people you have got to stand up for yourself and tell everyone, this is a bad idea! Best thing I ever did!

Have you been in a similar situation? What did you end up doing? How did it turn out?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Woohoo Boohoo breakfast

is at school this morning. Oops, sorry I made banana bread and am too busy whoohooo'ing to boohoo. My baby is in kindergarten for a full day today for the first time. No turning back now. Have a great schoolin' sweet girl.

Today, as my first day of freedom, I shall do a little laundry, try to workout, make a grocery list, mop the floors, turn tomatoes into diced tomatoes for chili later, visit my dad and then eat my lunch. All in the quiet of my home. Don't be surprised if I have the country music video channel on all day and am singing at the top of my lungs. Just walk on by my house and ignore really don't stop here, it's my day off! Get out of my yard! JEEZ! Some people.

My dad's surgery went great. He's recovering in the hospital and his intestines were confused after waking from anesthesia. They have now realized that they go the other direction (had to put a drain in his stomach to get rid of the bile). Hopefully, he'll be able to eat soon and come home in a few days.

On another note, my neighborhood lost a great neighbor yesterday. It was sudden and unexpected. Please always remember to hug your family and tell them you love them. Leave nothing unsaid. You never know when it will be the last time.

Have a wonderful day friends. Thank you for being such a blessing to me. Now that noise you hear is not me singing. Here's my new favorite song in honor of my kids being in school all day. Enjoy, til Summer Comes Around ....again!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quick and easy Crockpot Pork

Pic courtesy of HEB store.

On Tuesday of this week when I was still without an oven I made a huge 9lb pork shoulder. It was so big that the lid of the crockpot was askew until it was able to cook down a bit. Once it cooked all day I decided to turn it into a reuben sandwich. OMGosh it was such a good and easy recipe! I put sauerkraut on the stove heating in a separate pan added it to the sandwich and added thousand island dressing on top of the sauerkraut on the pork on the bun. It was so good. (so good I'm thinking I may have it for breakfast today! lol). I didn't even add anything to the pork or the crockpot (not even water because of how fat the pork shoulder is). I hope you enjoy and try this recipe. Happy crockpot-ing friends. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am about to go and sit at the hospital hoping my dad does well at his cancer surgery again. I'm thankful that I've had 2 more years with him than I thought I was going too. I pray he does well and I get to bring him home on Saturday. If I don't post much these next few days that's why. Here's the rest of my Thankful list.

I'm thankful:
that my son has a good attitude about a new school
that my son isn't complaining about it (what a trooper)
that my youngest 2 have good teachers this year
that I am able to take them to and from school without having to worry about who will be there for them when they get home. I know it will be me!
I'm thankful for being a sahm and my dh not complaining about it and letting me with a great attitude.
that all bills are paid and food is on the table
that my crazy dog is here all day to keep me company
that I made fudge last night and it's so good
my children are healthy and happy and all in school (mostly the all in school part! Does that make me a bad mom? lol! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

So I bet you are wondering what one eats with a broken oven...

Free Clipart Picture of a Canister of Flour. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart

So far we've had: bacon,lettuce, tomato sandwiches
chicken sandwiches (from chicken I had cooked the day before the oven broke)
grilled hamburgers
tonight we had baked potatoes (microwave) with a little chili I had frozen from another day. They were yummy!
And tomorrow we are having a pork roast cooked in the crockpot.
We did make one big breakfast with biscuits cooked in the oven on broil with a pan over the top of them so they didn't burn and I made blueberry pancakes one day (I so wanted to make a quiche for breakfast but too scared to burn it in the broiler, so I passed on this one).

I am so hoping my part comes in on Tuesday but in the event it doesn't I really need to plan dinner now. A good pasta dish would be good. Sometimes we have veggie night with like green beans/broccoli/tomatoes and macaroni and cheese. Funny thing is a lot of times when I make pasta they don't tend to notice I didn't put meat in it. lol Yeah, I'm sneaky like that. :) I'll update you if my part comes in! Otherwise I'll keep cooking creatively. Has this happened to you? How did you get by?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Have you seen the breastfeeding baby doll?

What is your thought on it? The show I was watching said 74% of Americans thought it wasn't a good idea for their children. Ummmm, why? This, I have to say, irritates me to no end. I breastfed both of my boys and all of my children have pretended to breastfeed their babies. It's what they were made for. My daughter watched her Aunt breastfeed and she imitated breastfeeding too. Why is this a bad thing? We are the only animal in the animal kingdom to give our babies another animal's milk (think about that for a minute). I just don't get it. Ok, carry on folks, vent over. Nothing to see here.

PS in the event of Political Correctness I am not saying that you should only breastfeed. I did both. I almost always did formula (especially when working) and breastfed. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with feeding your baby formula (that was all my daughter drank). I just don't see the big deal about having a doll that simulates breastfeeding. :)

What are your thoughts? Am I out there on this topic?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How do you make brownies without an oven...Crockpot...of course.

I've been wanting brownies since I planned on making them on Thursday night for the kids and found out my oven is broke. Needed a new element. So we're waiting on our element to be shipped to us. I will have me some brownies! Here's what I did: All of the sites I looked at had recipes that called for a mix. Well, I didn't have one so I just made this brownie recipe I used off of

Friday, August 5, 2011

Breaking appliance at a time...

My son had some friends over last night. I went into the kitchen to make dinner and noticed that the stove wasn't heating up so well. Yeah, it's broke! I had planned on making brownies and decided not to start them and held off. My dh comes home and is so excited to have to fix an appliance after working all day. Anyway, being broke isn't as glamorous as one might believe. Roseanne and the tv show Still Standing make it look so nice to struggle. Yeah, not so much. This payperiod we've had to purchase a new computer for him to use at work (new software not compatible with any computers that were already there), a $100 calculator and now stove parts. That's in addition to the 5g worth of doctor bills we have. Yeah, we struggle but that gives you an appreciation of what's important. Sitting down to dinner every night (having food in the house!), kissing your children before bed, being healthy and even playing board games. These things that allow us to make memories do not cost money. Yeah, I'll keep telling myself that until we win the lottery. :) Danggit to win you have to play and it costs money to play. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Registering children for School (my not so wordless Wednesday)

Well, it's that time of year. Can you smell the school supplies in the air? I love the smell of new clothes in the morning. This year I have one beginning kindergarten, one in 3rd grade and one starting high school (really think I should have planned my kids better, of course it wasn't my plan but God's). How is that possible all my kids will be in school? It really seems like yesterday I brought him home from the hospital wrapped in a blanket. I laid him in his cradle and awoke in the middle of the night to him crying from the cold. Now he's beginning his high school career. It goes by so fast.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gardening in Tn so far this year

My garden has done so well this year. This is a record of what works and didn't from May to August for me in Tennessee. The crops that did well: peppers (bell and jalapeno), cucumbers, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, cantaloupe, basil, zucchini, yellow squash and we've gotten a few acorn squash. I'm not really impressed with acorn squash...I mean the taste is good but it doesn't yield much fruit at all. I think I'll pass on this next year and just buy it at the store...cause man it is good. I've not had luck several times with cilantro. My peas and beans did ok but lost out to the taking over of the squash, might need to move the squash next year. I did leaf lettuce and got one meal off of it. Kale has done ok and cabbages are still growing. I'm ready to replant where my squash and cukes have died off. I think I'll try spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, more lettuce and kale and maybe sweet potatoes and onions.

I've already put up 5 pints of salsa,4 pints of spaghetti sauce, 6 pints of tomato sauce, 6 quarts of pickles and I've frozen zucchini and squash. It's been a good gardening season so far. :) How does your garden grow?

I've often thought during the summer when I buy very few fruits and veggies what people must think when I get groceries. lol We eat healthy I swear. :P

Here's something I made with dinner last night. It's called a caprese salad. I had basil and kale from the garden added tomatoes and mozzerella. You're supposed to add balsamic vinagrette but I added ranch and cucumbers. My family wouldn't touch it because it didn't look like a normal salad. Sigh. Two years from now they'll be eating it...right? It was a really good salad.