Thursday, February 26, 2009

There is still time....

I've been counting the days until the Apologia Live Homeschool Moms Conference! In just a little over 24 hours I will be in a vehicle on my way.... but who's counting? Ok...I am!! Just getting together with my group of homeschool friends is exciting. Add in guest speakers, many other homeschool moms and a little food....along with some worship time and you have a conference worthy of counting the hours.

It is NOT too late for you to decide to join us! I've been told you can register at the door. In fact, you can come Saturday morning and register just for that day. (there is no discount, though!) Check out the link above and see if you can fit it in your schedule. I am thinking that no one will leave Saturday disappointed.

Don't forget to add this conference to your prayer list. Whether you are attending or not, I would hope you would consider joining me in praying for a blessed conference time. You could pray for the many people that have worked hard on putting this conference together. They have spent countless hours preparing and working on details and this is their weekend to see the fruits of their labor. Pray for the speakers and the worship leader.... so many obstacles can get thrown in the way at the last minute. (because the enemy is just a tad bothered that women would come together and praise God) Pray for the hotel staff that has to do their part in making the conference a success. Pray for all those women attending.... May they be healthy, may their children be healthy and for plans to get away all come together for them, may they have safe travel and may they be open to being encouraged and refreshed. May connections be made during this conference that would bless those involved. Most importantly, please pray that the whole conference brings Glory to God and that His presence is known to all those involved in the conference...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time for a change?

Back at the end of November I eagerly unpacked my snowman dishes and set them up in the kitchen. My heart soared and I wore a smile for hours!! I was so full of hope and expectation. A wintry, snowy season was no doubt ahead. Heck, I decorated for it was sure to come. You want snow, you put out snowman dishes! Right??

I think this weekend we will pack these babies away. They just depress me.... sigh....I think they are broken or something.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It almost made it....

UGH! It was some yummy sauce, too. I made it the night before for ravioli and then used it the next day for some grilled cheese pizza sandwiches...and came to an end. Darn it!! I had dreams for that sauce.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a giveaway....

Erin over at $5 Dinner is having a giveaway. The prize is a $25 gift card from Wal-mart. I'm thinking I would love to get my hands on this baby...cuz, who doesn't like shopping for F.R.E.E.? If you want to enter, head on over there and check out the contest. Click HERE. And good luck!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's been one of those weeks....

A few weeks ago, I posted about the mid-winter blues that comes around this time of the year. It seems to hit homeschooling moms particularly hard. At least that has been my experience with friends over the years.

So, this past week has been one of those weeks for me. Sure we did some great stuff in schooling this past week and I plan to share that later, but the energy is just about drained out of my reserve tank. We had a little tease of Spring in this area and that seemed to make the return of the chilly air even worse! Ever feel like you could just take a nap day?? Hmm.... Nah, I must get that thought out of my mind or I just might try it!!LOL

Fortunately, there is one thing that I am excited about and it's helping me keep my focus. What's that? It's the Apologia Live Homeschool Mom Conference!!! It's just 11 days away, but who's counting?

I was taking a look at the list of speakers. They are all moms that have homeschooled. How cool is that? When you listen to them speak and hear their encouragement you KNOW that they understand! They have all had days where the laundry piled up, the phone rang off the hook, the fridge mysteriously became empty(like overnight!), the toddler knocked a glass of milk over on the homeschool books that child #1 was working on, child #2 made it known in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that the dreaded tummy bug had invaded the house and the dog picked just that moment to bring a little "present" from the great outdoors. Tell me I'm not alone on that last one!! They will speak from experience! They will speak as homeschool moms, as a wives and as daughters of the King. Who are they?


They are Rachael Carmen, Zan Tyler, Debra Bell, Sally Clarkson and Elizabeth Smith. You can read all about these lovely ladies right here. :) The topics for the conference are:

Walking in the Light of God’s Word
Walking in the Light of God’s Grace
Walking in the Light of God’s Wisdom
Walking in the Light of Joy
Walking in His Light Everyday

It's not too late to sign up!! (Click here to sign up) Hope to see you there.

Who me? Bring little presents from the great outdoors inside? NEVER!!

BFS #120- You Deserve A Break Today

Introduction: You Deserve a Break Today (McDonalds) –After all this crazy weather, the economy ups and downs and now a new President for the United States you all do deserve a break today. I want to give everyone a ‘break today’ and have the ANNUAL SHOPPING SPREE!!!

Assignment: I’d like to stick with a theme for the spree though. The marriage bedroom! I’m also being a little selfish on this one because my husband and I are getting ready to demolish our room, my office, and our ‘guest’ room and make ourselves a master suite. I need some great ideas on linen, wall colors, curtains, pictures…anything that would help me to decorate our new room. I do want a soft and sanctuary type theme. Are you willing to help me? Your budget is $1500! I gave you a raise from last year…since the economy is so bad right now…LOL. Make sure you use the banner and code on the right side of this page to show us your assignments!

I read about this assignment last week and haven't found the time to go "shopping". It's been on my mind and then I realized that I could just share our bedroom. So, maybe it's cheating a little...or a lot, but we have recently gone shopping and changed our bedroom. It's not finished, yet....and I am looking to make it more of a sanctuary, too.

Here is the view when you look in the bedroom. We painted our walls....ORANGE!! Yes, that's's orange. It happens to be one of my favorite colors and Mike actually likes it. (mostly!) It's all warm and relaxing in there in the evenings. Our carpet is a medium blue. We bought new furniture and a new bed. I love the metal headboard here. Our bedding is from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It's chocolate brown and then I went and got an extra set of blue pillowcases for our extra pillows. Someday, I would like to get some decorated throw pillows. For now, this has to do.

On a frugal note, shop at home before you go buying. This piece of artwork (which I love) had been displaced after a bigger remodeling project. It works perfect in here! Our furniture is the Attic Heirlooms Collection from Broyhill and we purchased it from Black Lion. If you live anywhere on the east coast and you need to purchase furniture, check out the Black Lion! We searched the furniture stores around here and no one could beat their price. They delivered, set it up and we even got the extended warranty and they will come in your home to fix it! :)

A key to making your bedroom a sanctuary is clearing up clutter. This dresser top is getting a little cluttered...but the big frame there is not going to stay there. I am working on getting the photos in it and I plan to hang it on the wall. Looks like I need to go clean a mirror, too!!

Here is a little homemade touch from our daughter. She made this leaf imprint in art and painted it after it dried. I usually keep my lip gloss on it.

Here's another frugal thing. Mike got this lamp as a gift from his company. It works really well with the colors. I was a little jealous about not having the light on my side of the bed, so.....

...I was really excited to find this at a yard sale on my street. It was just a few bucks and definitely fit the budget...and makes reading a whole lot easier!!

Here's one of the areas that is not quite finished. The wall on this side of the room and over our bed. I did get this beautiful candle holder for Christmas, so that is a start. It came from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Don't forget to save your coupons to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Did you know you can use the expired ones and that you can use as many coupons as items that you are purchasing!!

Homeschool Memoirs #25: How Many Loads?


This question was posted at a Large Family Homeschooling fourm, and I thought it would be fun as one of the memoirs.

Question: Watching the Duggars, and other mega families I was astounded at how many loads of washing. Do all large families do 7 loads a day and more, as I was thinking it sounds a little OTT? So share all about your laundry. It’s on very rare occasion that it’s suitable to air dirty laundry. Ha!

I've never had more then 4 kids living at home. Well, actually 5 for a time when my future daughter-in-law lived here....but it doesn't count. Not only did she do her own laundry, she took over and did J's laundry. ;) Anyway, at my peak of having 6 people's laundry, I remember daydreaming of having a REAL laundry ROOM! One with multiple washers and dryers and a big folding table and a bar to hang things. Funny that I only had 4 kids!! I just couldn't imagine having double or triple that amount of laundry. My dream laundry room never came to be and now that I am down to just 4 of us, laundry doesn't seem quite as bad. Son #2 will often do his own laundry which lightens my load. (haha, pun intended)

These days it seems that I do at least one load a day on weekdays and usually no laundry on the weekends. Lately, I have been a little better about doing several loads in one day and taking a break for a few days. I think I like that schedule better....but it isn't the norm around here, yet.

Last year we gave the laundry room a makeover and you can check here to see a bit about it. I noticed that I didn't show the new quote in there and my new, let me share those here.

Mike painted and hung cabinets (which are actually our old kitchen cabinets painted white). One of my favorite things in the laundry room is our new sign up there on the wall. It makes me smile.

We also got a new countertop to go over this base cabinet. The base cabinet is one that we purchased and we purposely chose a smaller base, so that the dog's crate could tuck up under the counter and be out of the way. It works well.

Last, but not least, I finally got a rod to hang wet clothes. This has made a huge improvement on my laundry routine.....and it makes me smile, too!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CVS Run...

Today I ventured out to catch a few deals at our local CVS. There really wasn't a whole lot that I wanted, but enough to make it worth my while.
Here's what I got:

2- Xtra Laundry Detergents
3 Suave Body Washes
2 Herbal Essence Shampoos
1 Gillette Shampoo
1 Colgate Total Advance

My total oop (out of pocket) expense was $4.66. I used $8.00 in ECB's to get my total down to that, plus a $4 off $20 coupon that printed out for me and $8.00 in manufacturer coupons. To top it off they gave me $9.99 in ECB's for next time!!

There were a few items that I looked for, but they weren't in stock. Still, I was happy with the deal. I love walking out spending less then $5 and have more ECB then when I entered, along with two bags of merchandise. Makes me smile!! :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another Yummy Dinner....

Last night I copied. Yep, I read a yummy dinner that someone (Pam) threw together and just knew that I had to throw it together for our gang. It was so good, so rewarding so satisfying and just so....much a keeper that I thought I would share.

And because I am so (just how many so's can you place in four sentences?) fabulous here it is for you with pictures. Oh Boy!!

The meal was Roasted Vegetables and Italian Sausage served over pasta with pine nuts and fresh Parmesan. Does that sound yummy or what? It's a very easy dinner. What I like is that is not fancy, but looks, smells and tastes fancy...and it's versatile.

The beauty of this dish is that you can use what vegetables work for your family. Why roast a pan of veggies that no one will eat? Here I have onion, whole cloves of garlic, halved tomatoes, yellow squash, mushrooms and broccoli. (If you happen to be vegetarian, skip the sausage and add extra veggies!!) I put the Italian Sausage on top, drizzled the pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Place your pan in the oven set at...

Well, here's where I have to admit one tiny mistake on my part. I didn't pay attention to how long it cooked. I checked on it after 20 minutes and then I turned the sausage over to get the underside browned. I just like them better that way. The veggies and sausage were done when they looked done. How's that for a direction?

Here it is in all it's deliciousness. Just look at those tomatoes. (go ahead, click on that photo...I'll wait....take a good look, wipe the drool, and now continue reading) They were so full of flavor. If you haven't tried roasted garlic need to not be afraid. It has such a mild flavor after roasting. After I pulled the pan out of the oven I took a little white wine that we happened to have on hand and poured some over the veggies while they were sizzling hot. Maybe about a half cup or so. You can do that...or skip it entirely. It was an impulse step on my part. ;)

I wish you could all just smell and taste this dish. I used a thin spaghetti and plopped it in the bottom of my bowl. The veggies went on top and I sliced the sausage, as you can see. Next I toasted some pine nuts. You can just put them in a small skillet on your burner set on medium and stir them around until they toast. Keep an eye on them or they will burn! (don't ask how I know!) I sprinkled on the pine nuts and grated some fresh parmesan. Now...on my serving I also squirted a little lemon juice....but it is entirely up to you. Hubby said to put it on the must repeat list. Doesn't get much better then that!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Loved this book...

I had no clue when I picked up this book at the library. No one had recommended it to me. I had never read a review or even heard of the author. I was in a hurry and the cover caught my eye. I quickly tossed it into my checkout pile and let it sit on my dresser for 3 weeks. I just finished it a few days ago and the story keeps popping up in my mind. It may not become a classic....but I thought it was really, really good. I'm not going to go into details, because I wind up feeling like either I am missing something important or that I am giving too much away! So, follow the link above and check out the book or check here for reviews. I don't think you'll be disappointed in Keeping The House.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's for dinner....

I love this dish!! First of all, you do NOT cook the manicotti shells. How great is that?? Plus, you can stuff a bunch of shells and put them in freezer bags without any sauce and freeze them. Then just pull out what you need and throw some sauce over them in a pan. Let them sit in the fridge for the day and then bake in the evening. Easy, peasy. :) I successfully froze a bunch of these and finished them off two months later. They were still great.

Here is the regular recipe if you are making a pan of manicotti and not bothering with freezing any. This has always been a hit. Enjoy!!

Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella, divided
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 jars (28 oz. each) spaghetti sauce (I actually make my own...but do what works for you)
1 ½ cups water
1 package (8 oz.) manicotti shells

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, ¼ cup Parmesan, egg, parsley, onion powder, pepper and garlic powder. Combine the spaghetti sauce and water; spread 1 cup sauce in an ungreased 13 x 9 baking dish. Stuff uncooked manicotti with spinach mixture; arrange over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until heated through.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just get up and do it....

I like to think that I am a "normal" woman just like the rest of you. So, I think I will be able to speak to everyone here today. There are little things all around us that just need to be done. They don't need to be thought about, discussed, put on a list, brought up in a family meeting or handed over to a professional. NOPE, they just need to be done. You, yes, YOU, just need to get up and do it. I am betting there is at least one thing....although there are probably many....that fits this category in your life. Something that just bugs you because it is undone. Yet, you have not made an attempt to fix it. Want to see an example? I'm exposing myself here sensitive!!

As I sit at our school table, which happens to be where my computer is, I often find myself looking to my left. Why? Well, to check the date. This calendar is just a few feet from me and I probably look at it a dozen times a day and it frustrates me.

Let's look a little closer to see why it frustrates me! hehe Yep, it's February 9th in my world, too.

So, today I just got up and did it. It took me less than one minute to go grab the 2009 calendar from the kitchen drawer and hang it up in place of the 2008 calendar. Seriously...what was I waiting for? Now, I will no longer feel like such a lazy slug a dozen times a day... instead, I might just find myself hungrier.

So, tell I "normal"? Do YOU have a few of these little undone things staring you in your face? Well...just get up and do it!! :) You will feel better.
Oh, and don't forget to tell me about makes me feel "NORMAL"!!!

Just one question....

Some days are all neat and orderly.....

and others are...

Yeah......she's always neat and orderly. Where did she come from???

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wouldn't it be great.....

....if this was really all there was to it?

(created by K.)

Apologia...isn't it just science?

I'm betting most homeschoolers have at one time or another heard about Apologia. They may have heard about the excellent middle and high school science curriculum or the wonderful elementary science curriculum. (I have to say, I just LOVE the elementary series!! But we'll save that for another day)

Whatever you have heard, you most likely associate Apologia with science and only science! So, what's this about a conference in February for moms? Are we going to sit for hours and listen Nope!! Back in June 2008, Apologia was purchased by Davis and Rachael Carman. (don't worry....Dr. Jay Wile will still be involved and will be doing what he loves best....speaking and writing about science) The Carmans have a vision for Apologia and part of that includes hosting live events.

The Apologia Live Conference in Baltimore, MD on February 27th-28th is the very first one of it's kind. It promises to be a special event with the goal of encouraging, renewing, and inspiring moms. Now, tell me...... who couldn't use a little bit of that??

The speakers are all homeschool moms who have been there and done that. They all have a heart for homeschool moms and sharing their faith. We'll look a little closer at the speakers next week.

Hope to see you at the conference! You can check here for details. Also, if you want to read a little more about the company's new owners and their vision you can check here.

How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. Ps. 89:15

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A little bit of old with the new....

Last week a local salon held a cut-a-thon to help raise money for our new church building. Hair stylists donated their time on a Sunday! We had 180 people from our church show up for hair cuts. It was actually kind of fun to show up at the salon and hang out with friends while you waited for your turn. Some of the stylists even donated their tips for the day. This cut-a-thon raised over $4500!!!

Ms. K showing off her new hair style.

Here she is ready to head out to church. I like this shot, because if you double click it and blow it up, you can see the color of her eyes. I usually have a hard time getting her real eye color to show up in a picture.

Notice her necklace? It's where the old in the title comes in to play. The necklace that she chose for her outfit came from her Great Grandmother's collection. K never got a chance to meet her Great Grandmother, but I have no doubt they would have had a special bond.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Assignment #118 - All You Add Is Love (Purina Dog Chow)

Memory Verse: Psalms 127:3 (New Living Translation)
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Intro: This week we continue with shaking things up a bit. Children are often so pure in what they say. There is no sugar coating it, they just say it as they see it. Their thoughts can make us laugh, touch our hearts and open our eyes.

Assignment: This week are going to do an “Interview With Mom” and post it to your blog. There are a list of questions below to interview your children with. You will then ask your children the questions and post the answers that they give you.

Empty the dishwasher.


When someone gets hurt.

She shows me funny pictures.


5 and a half feet.... which is close.

Work on her blog.

taking care of me

Thai Spring Rolls.... well, they are pretty good!

Because she takes care of me and she says she loves me. I can tell in her eyes. ;o)