31 January 2011

Meal Plan Monday

We're coming off a gorgeous weekend with spring-like weather...it was glorious! Too bad the forecast for this week is cold & dreary. Back to winter-reality I suppose.

Trying to clean out the freezer and use what we have in the pantry, so here's what we're eating this week.

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: Turkey Tettrazini
Wednesday: Pot Roast
Thursday: Leftovers or Sandwiches
Friday: Pizza

Find plenty of other meal plans at OrgJunkie.

29 January 2011

A Great Segue

I somehow managed to turn this 6-week Bible Study on Ruth into a 6-month study, but let's not focus on that. Let's focus on what an amazing segue it is to my current study on David. Definitely a transition that I did not even consider (or realize) - certainly God-orchestrated. 

A little background on Ruth, in case you're not familiar. Ruth & her mother-in-law, Naomi, were both widowed. Ruth decided to go back to Naomi's homeland with her even though she would be an outcast because of her heritage. Through hard-work, a redeemer-turned-husband Boaz, and God's amazing hand, Ruth married again a bore a son, Obed (not my favorite biblical name). Turns out, Obed was the father of Jesse, who is the father of David that I'm currently studying! Such a cool transition between studies. Also, they are in the lineage of Jesus - pretty amazing what God can do with someone who is obedient, even if they don't seem perfectly suited for the job in our eyes. 

I have been praying for God to make scripture alive to me and that I would have an intense desire and hunger for His word. I am so thankful my prayers are being answered and He is doing this in me! I have seen scripture in a whole new way recently, which is just amazing! Even just this week I read the story of David & Goliath, certainly not the first time I'd heard this story, but the details were revealed in such a new and interesting way to me. If you ever feel like you're starting to tune-out when scripture is being read or you start to skip ahead because you've already heard or read this passage, then I'd encourage you to pray for a renewed love of God's word - it truly is amazing!

By the way, if you're looking for a great study that isn't too intimidating with tons of homework or too long, I'd definitely give a Kelly Minter study a try. I loved this study and intend to do more of her's!

26 January 2011

ABC Quilt: It's finished!

After 2 years, the ABC Quilt is finally finished!

I wrote a little about this quilt here. So thankful we got this finished. It is so whimsical and fun! Little Man asks to see "his letters". We're keeping it in the family room so we can get plenty of use out of it. In fact, as I write this it's laying on our couch from where we were curled up under this just this evening. 

Love when a project is finished! And it checks off one of my 101 Goals (#30)!

25 January 2011

Organizing Toys

Our family room is truly that - a room that our entire family enjoys. However, it's so easy to get overwhelmed with toys. I'm sure other moms know what I'm talking about. Recently I cleaned out our coat closet (in the hallway off the family room) and moved all his toys from the family room into the closet. This allows me to control what toys are out when, so we're not walking in a sea of toys.

We moved his big play table up from the basement (which has convenient storage containers underneath) and now he has one major toy out at a time. Either his barn & animals/tractors or his trains & track go on top of the table. 

This new system is working out wonderfully!! By only having one set of toys out at a time, he's actually playing for long periods of time with his toys. He's not constantly distracted by the million other toys around. Aside from the table, he usually has out his matchbox cars or "wegos" (LEGO Duplo Blocks). He plays independently with all those very well. When I feel like he needs some extra attention or he's getting bored with those toys, I'll put out his books, puzzles, games, or art supplies that he needs a little mommy-help with from the closet. 

He's also learned that to get another toy from the closet, he must clean up the toys he already has out so we can put those up. He's even insisting on cleaning up before nap & bedtime (which may just be a stall tactic), but I'm really excited about this. Love when my child learns great life skills - like cleaning! :)

23 January 2011

Project 365: Week 3






My new favorite picture of my boys!!


21 January 2011

Seeking a Heart Like His

I started a new Bible Study for the spring "semester" (pretty sure I'll always define my life by school terms after being a student, then a teacher for most of my life). We've already established that I love Beth Moore. I feel like God has gifted her with an amazing ability to share His Word in a spectacular way. Plus she's just cute as can be. Well, the study I'm just starting is Beth Moore's, David: Seek a Heart Like His. It seems like it's going to be a great study. I've been into the Old Testament a lot lately, studying Esther, Ruth, and Jeremiah in the last two years. Glad to add David to the list!

After our introductory video, they showed a video clip that I had seen before. I think it's worth taking the 8+ minutes to watch. And maybe grab a tissue!

19 January 2011

DigiScrap - Progress & Printing

If you follow along with my spin-off blog, 101 Goals in 1001 Days, then you know I've finally finished our 2008 Family Scrapbook. I'm BEYOND excited for all the progress I've made! Just in the last few months I've finished 4 albums...yay!!

Well, I'm a digi-scrapper and need to either (a)get these pages printed or (b)have a book created. I'm trying to determine which is going to be more economical. The least expensive place I found to have these 12x12 pages printed is Persnickety Prints for $1.99 per page, which is even less expensive than Costco or Sam's. Another blogger I follow used them and was pleased, so I'm hopeful for their quality. She also mentions a semi-annual 25% off sale. I'm going to be ordering a LOT so I may just have to wait and catch the sale.

Do you know of any other quality, but inexpensive places to print pages or entire photo books?

18 January 2011

Family Room Updates

I mentioned in my 2011 Home Decor Goals post that I wanted to update the fabric & accessories in our family room. Well, after a bit of time behind my sewing machine, it's (mostly) updated! Just a few new fabrics to replace our curtains, couch pillows, and hearth cover.

Our previous curtains were a dark reddish-burgundy from Pottery Barn Outlet (love that place!).

Our new curtains are a simple quilting fabric from Joann's (on sale for $3.99 a yard!). Tiny white dots on red fabric, which really brightens it up. It's called "Small Dots on Lipstick"

Here's a comparison - new curtains on right, old curtains on left. So much brighter & cheerier!

Our old pillows (under Little Man's head) had to go...

 They were replaced by these new yellow & red pillows I made. These are both heavier-duty fabrics, canvas I think, which is great considering they take a lot of abuse. That yellow-stripe fabric came from Ikea and they only charged me $0.99 for the yard! I should have bought more! The solid red fabric is a remnant I picked up somewhere and the polka-dot is leftover scrap from a quilt.

The hearth cover (made by my in-laws & is a safety God-send with a very active toddler) needed to be updated as well. I ran across this fabric at Joann's - it's an outdoor fabric from the Better Homes & Garden's line. Again, sturdy and can withstand the daily abuse. Plus the navy background pulls our navy leather furniture in perfectly.

Here's a close-up, so vibrant & fun!

Little Man also loves it. He immediately made a bed out of it...silly boy!

So the only thing left to do with my fabric update is the curtains for the backside of the room. I have the fabric but need to pick up two short matching rods (from Target - they were out last week). I think it will really tie it all together! 

17 January 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Last week we were snowed/iced in from Monday-Thursday. My car was stuck in the garage and I couldn't make it out to the grocery store (I'm scared to send my hubby for major shopping trips), yet I still managed to do a lot of cooking - 3 full meals a day, plus chocolate chunk cookies (essential!) just on what we had around. I guess buying whole ingredients (as opposed to a lot of boxed/processed foods), stocking up on meats, and using coupons really paid off! And thank God I had plenty of coffee and a bottle of wine...they were both needed!

Here's what's on our plates this week...

Monday: Turkey, Dressing, Gravy, Broccoli Casserole, Potatoes
Tuesday: Leftovers (I have a meeting)
Wednesday: Cashew Chicken (if I can find the sauce), rice & broccoli
Thursday: BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Green Beans, Roasted Carrots

Friday: Pizza Night!
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: Potato Soup (only serve this only Sundays when calories don't count!)

Check out lots of other meal plans at Org Junkie.

15 January 2011


It's the 15th, so it's time for a new memory scripture verse for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team. This is our MOPS verse for the year, one that really spoke to me while dealing with my miscarriages, and just a good one for me to remember always.

14 January 2011

Extreme Couponing

Did you see the Extreme Couponing Special on TLC? It was C-R-A-Z-Y!!! I love saving money and do some pretty good couponing when Harris Teeter runs a Super Double or Triples special, but they take this to a whole new level.

Here are their savings on the shopping trip that was recorded:

Amanda Ostrowski - Cincinnati, OH 
Retail value: $1,175.33. Amanda's cost after utilizing her coupons: $51.67.

Nathan Engels - Villa Hills, KY 
Retail value: $5,743.00 Nathan's cost after utilizing his coupons: $241.00 - 95% savings! 

Joanie Demer - McKinleyville, CA (http://thekrazycouponlady.com/
Retail value: $638.64. Joanie's cost after utilizing her coupons: $2.64 - 98% savings!

Joyce House - Philadelphia, PA
Retail value: $230.38. Joyce's cost after utilizing her coupons: $6.32.

I originally saw this clip on Good Morning America, then recorded the special on TLC. I kept it, so if you're local friend reading this & haven't seen it, you're welcome to come watch it with me. I am just amazed! I have no desire to have a garage-full stockpile or anything like that, but it is rather fascinating. 

I have been inspired to up my couponing. I may even venture into the drugstores...even though that game seems a bit intimidating! Any advice??

According to my cable box, it will be on TLC again on January 15th at 10pm, so try to find it & watch it or record it.

13 January 2011

Contoured Burp Cloth Tutorial Mash-Up

Anyone else a Glee fan? I love a Mash-Up, so I had to use it in my post title.

For the Sip & See, I needed a simple, yet useful baby shower gift (actually we've had a baby BOOM lately & I've needed lots of gifts & some I'm not done with yet, but that's besides the point). I knew I wanted to make something (because I love handmade gifts!), but I wasn't quite sure what. I had bookmarked several baby-gift tutorials, but finally decided on contoured burp cloths.

I combined this tutorial with this tutorial to make something that was just right!

I started with a few flannel receiving blankets (regular flannel yardage would work too, but these colors were perfect for our shower theme), a yard of chenille, and some batting I had leftover from a quilting project.

When I finished, I had three contoured burp cloths with batting, making them extra absorbent.

They fit perfect over your should and contour around your neck while still giving you plenty of coverage for spit-up.

 The burp cloths, a package of those sweet Pampers Swaddlers diapers, all wrapped up in a cute personalized tub was quite a useful gift. Fashion & form - gotta love it!

12 January 2011

"Sip & See" Baby Shower

My friend, Lori, and her husband just adopted their second child. They have a truly amazing story and I hope she eventually writes about it on her blog because it is just an awesome testament to God's faithfulness. Anyway, we wanted to have a little something special to celebrate Baby Sam's arrival, so we hosted a "Sip & See" for her this weekend. 

In case you're wondering what a "Sip & See" is, it is a casual floating shower where light refreshments are served (Sip) and guests can meet the baby for the first time (See). I have never actually been to a "Sip & See" but I had read about it on other blogs and we thought it would be the perfect way to welcome & introduce Baby Sam to those who had not been able to see him yet.

Simple Decorations

Light Refreshments 

We had a table set-up (which I forgot to take a picture of) near the bassinet for the baby. Of course he was only in there for a few minutes since there were so many willing hands to hold him! Since it's cold & flu season, it's important to keep those hands sanitized, but of course I had to imply this in my most polite, southern way...

Gifts were simple & useful...a personalized tub with his name & a few boyish embellishments, filled with diapers & handmade burp cloths (post coming soon about that!)

This was my lovely co-host and best friend. I loved this picture because I think it captured her lost in her memories of when her own babies were that small. Her third (and final) child is only 3.5 months old, but they just grow & change so fast! I know I can relate, I'm sure other mothers can too.

11 January 2011

Project 365: Week 1

I've seen many "Project 365" around the internet, I love Becky Higgin's Project Life concept, and even encouraged a friend to do one for a very exciting year she was embarking on, but I just never quite got to it myself. Well, I decided this was the year! I'm going to do a digital scrapbook for the year using the pictures, but I thought it would be fun (& keep me accountable) if I posted them weekly here. 

My plan is to capture my weeks from Monday-Sunday, so here are my introductory photos from New Year's weekend



And here are my Week 1 photos.