Monday, May 31, 2010


Jason with Kaiden on Wed. or Thur.
Jason with Kaiden
Josh with Kaiden on Wed. or Thur.
Josh with Kaiden
about an hour ago in his mom's arms. SO SWEET!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

One of my best smoothies yet

I just made a super yummy green smoothie. I used:

1/2 cup organic collard greens
1 cup organic baby spinach
1 1/2 cups water
1 very ripe organic mango
1 organic banana
1/4 cup ground flaw seed

I put in collard and spinach and then water. I pulsed until liquid looked like green water. I added flax and the mango (I did peel it.) Then I added the banana. I blended and pulsed until creamy. It is like a yummy dessert. I didn't use anything frozen because I prefer my smoothies slightly cold or room temp.

This makes about four small smoothies or two large. If you make two large you will get two servings veggies, and two servings fruit in each glass.

And it sure beats the beet smoothie I had this morning.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

What can you do?

They are half way to their goal. Find out how you can help 26 adoptive families bring home their kids. Go here


Friday, May 28, 2010

Way to go

I don't do too much testing. My boys each have weekly math tests, but otherwise I usually go over material until they know it and move on. But I was teaching (using a DVD curriculum) Latin to my boys and kids in co-op, so today they all get tested to see if they get a class certificate. Both boys passed. Jason, being older, had to get a higher score to pass, but they both got better than what they needed. I am proud of what they have learned.

We did Latin this year to help learn English better and other languages as well. In Sept. we will start Spanish.

It feels nice to have accomplished something!


My Garden

front view
side view
I finally finished my garden. Soil has been turned over (by Scott and Jason's grandfather, thanks so much,) weed fabric has been put down, and plants are in!

I planted:

cherry tomatoes (some organic, 8 plants total)
regular tomatoes (some organic, 7 plants total)
lettuce (from seed)
radishes (from seed)
carrots (from seed)
eggplant (organic, 2 plants)
peppers (organic, 2 plants)
spearmint (bought plant)
orange mint (bought plant)
apple mint (bought plant)
a purple plant that attracts butterflies (I know I can't eat this)

Some I started from seed. Some I bought as plants, the ones I bought as plants were organic.

Here is what I spent:

$35 weed fabric (which will last years, the roll is huge)
$10 tomato cages (also reusable)
$36 organic veggie plants
$10 organic mulch
$20 organic potting soil (the herbs I put in containers on deck)
$11 butterfly plant
$10 braided tree (also in container on deck)

$132 total

This is not too bad. Last year I got tomatoes for about 10 weeks. I usually spend $5 a week on these alone. That is about $50. Plus if everything else comes up I will defiantly save $132 over summer and early fall to cover the cost of this garden. Next year my garden will cost even less as I will not have to buy weed fabric or tomato cages. Plus I plan on starting all my plants from organic seeds, saving even more money. And in reality my veggie garden was really less, but I wanted butterfly plant and tree, and since I bought together am including in my garden cost.

I also want to buy some marigolds for trim to keep critters out, but I am out of money until June, so we will see.

How is garden going?


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I just went Whole Foods again (for only my second time ever.) I assumed all the fruit and veggies they sold there were organic, but I assumed wrong. I just bought strawberries I usually buy at Shop Rite for like a $1.50 more than I usually spend. After I paid I realized they were not organic.

I am not sure I will be shopping there too often as I spent about $250 today and $170 last time, which is over my entire food budget for the month. And I only got about enough food for one week, plus a few things that lasted a bit longer.

I did get some beef there that is much healthier (in that cows were allowed to be normal cows with no synthetic hormones, and were fed only grass.) But it was almost twice as much as I usually spend for beef. I know my health is worth it, but I have to figure something else out.

I also got frozen acai berries and wheat grass to add to my smoothies. The wheat grass was $15.99 for ten servings so I am unsure if I will be able to buy that again, but it is supposed to be super healthy. The acai berries were $5.99 for six servings. Again these smoothies are adding up. AHHH!

Now we are off to church (right after I make another smoothie.)


How is it possible?

A huge homeschooling annoyance of mine is pencils. Just today Josh broke three doing his schoolwork.

It seems we break or lose so many pencils. And now we have no pencil sharpeners, so when I found the 300 or so unused pencils we couldn't quiet find last week I couldn't actually sharpen them unless I let the kids whittle them. Which although sounds appealing to them doesn't help the fact that they need to finish their schoolwork in a timely matter.

It seems a small inconvenience, but it is so annoying.

Where are you when I need you?

We even got an electric pencil sharpener, but it already broke. I wonder are we doing something wrong? Did I forget to teach my kids pencil care?

At least we are finally done with schoolwork today (after Joshua finished his math in pen.)


f.y.i. My kids each have there own school supply box that gets returned to same spot everyday. At beginning of year, they each had two new pencil sharpeners plus lots of unused pencils. Now the pencil sharpeners have all broken, and my boys still lack the ability to put their pencil back in their boxes, so the boxes never seem to have pencils. AHHH!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Kaiden Eric V
9lbs. 7 oz.
21 1/4"
born at 6:00am via c section
ten fingers
ten toes
cutest little ears
full head dark brown hair

I have been an "aunt" for a while, but now it's official

(I am "aunt" to friends kids and cousins kids, but this is the first nephew from a sibling.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


This morning every time I closed my eyes I saw Eric, mostly at the funeral home. Not the way you want to remember your brother. I recall how intensely I wanted to touch and hold him. I did touch him. Before I lost him I never wanted to go near a body that was without a spirit. But in that time I didn't even want to leave the funeral home. I wanted to stay all night with him, after all those people were gone.

Before we lost Eric I loved people. I loved talking to them and praying with and for them. I loved being around lots of people. Since we lost him I find it hard to even look people in the eye. I don't want to be around people, especially large groups. I still do it, but on a day like today when all I wanted to do was cry I don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but it took all I had to get dressed and go to church this morning. Conversation was not possible.

At the homeschool convention I went to last weekend one of the seminars the veteran homeschool mom said when she was depressed she would try and act happy, so at least her kids could have a normal day.

I tell you I find that incredibly challenging, but I love my kids so I will try anything. I also tried it at church. With tears streaming down my face and the red face aftermath that remains with me a while after crying I just smiled. If someone talked at me I just smiled and motioned like I had to get somewhere.

Losing Eric is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. Things have changed I never imagined would, like me not wanting to talk to people, but an especially hard thing is how little if anything I have to give. I can't even be loving and supporting to those I love. I just don't have anything to give.

I especially think of my best friend, who I have spent so little time with the past year. Don't get me wrong I love her so and am so grateful for her, but we used to talk about 3-5 times a day, now that does not happen. I used to always pick up when she called or text her back immediately, now days can go by.

Another thing that has happened that I would not expect is how angry I am at people for things completely out of their control. I am angry at my friends who house I was at the day my brother died, because I was having fun with them the day Eric died. I am angry at the person who told me he was dead, because somehow it's her fault. I am angry at Eric's girlfriend because she is seeing someone else and expecting a baby now. I get angry at people when they ask me why I am sad. The reason has not changed.

These are not rational thought, I know, but still it is how I feel.

It has been over 11 months since we lost Eric. Yet in an instant I am back to that day again. And all the pain and heartache comes flooding back as well. Even more so as we go through another day without new memories of him.

And as we anticipate the birth of my sister's baby, I can't even fathom a new family member who will have no memory of Eric. No times with Uncle Eric. No skateboard lessons. It is not fair.


Friday, May 21, 2010


I am finally down 10 lbs (10.2 to be exact.)
It is a small victory (as I still have about 50 more lbs. to lose,) but a victory nonetheless.

I have been going to Weight Watchers about 8 weeks. So that averages a little more than a lb. a week. But it really was down 8 in first month, and 2 more the second month.

I have decided that I am only going to do WW for 4 more weeks, because I would rather spend the $40 a month on organic greens to put in my green smoothies. My goal is to drink a quart a day (as recomended by Greensmoothiegirl.) Having daily green smoothies has already given me more energy, plus is making me more regular (I know too much information.)

I also want to give up processed sugar and corn syrup, soda, white flour, cold cuts, hot dogs, and bacon.

I feel God has been convicted me about the sugar (it is a stronghold in my life) and it adds no value to our diets. Soda has no value, but this one is not too hard we don't buy soda and barely ever drink it anyway. Wheat flour (especially if I grind it myself,) is much better for us. What is left in white flour sort of has a glue effect on our system. Cold cuts are processed and not healthy. Hot dogs, need I say more (I never really liked hot dogs, so this is no big deal.) Bacon again is processed and not healthy.

I am also debating going no dairy, except plain fat free yogurt. I do think it kind of strange to drink the milk intended for baby cows. I actually stopped drinking cow's milk a while ago, but for now my boys still drink it.

I am realizing it is not good to put food into our bodies (the holy temple of the Lord) that do not give benefit. Candy and junk food have no value. They actually make our bodies sick. Believe me I love junk food, but that is my problem with it. I feel it is unhealthy, that it is like an addiction and that gets in the way with my walk with the Lord.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think God wants all of you to give up certain foods, if they are not a stronghold for you that is. I would encourage you to flee from any sin in your life (yes, loving chocolate more than God is a sin.) But this is an issue I have.

I am taking baby steps though. I am starting with continuing to drink as much water daily as possible (my goal is about 80 ounces,) and adding green smoothies. I am glad to get at least one 12 ounce smoothie in daily, but my goal is 36 ounces daily.
We also have eliminated soda completely (my boys have also not had soda all month.) And we are not going to fast food (especially Burger King and McDonalds) anymore (except the boys went with relatives to BK twice already this month.) I also got wheat berries and will bake with only wheat flour. In addition I gave away all the food in our house that had corn syrup. And I gave away all the regular pasta, keeping the whole wheat.

This is enough for May. Believe me my boys are not happy. But they both are drinking their green smoothie (3 ounces for Jason, 6 for Josh) daily. Josh gets more because he actually likes them. And they gave up soda pretty easily.

I will update frequently.


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Today I actually got up at 8:30am. The boys and I had breakfast and did some schoolwork. Then I had a focus group (to earn money.)

When I got home we took the rest of our schoolwork down to Sandy Hook. We finished our work outside, enjoying an awesome cool ocean breeze and amazing view. We finished just in time to take the last (free) tour to the top of the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. This lighthouse was built before the Declaration of Independence was even signed. Amazing!

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

view from top

The view was so great from the top. It was such a clear day. You could see so much of Sandy Hook and New York.

Next we toured some of the beach trails and old army fortresses. We see something new every time we go.

walking along trail

boys climbing old army wall
they made it halfway to the top (Jason threw down his hat and sweatshirt. By the way notice his haircut?)

My big fear was the poison ivy which is everywhere. I am highly allergic and don't want to miss my sister's baby's birth because I am covered in it. But otherwise we had a great time.

Then the kids and I decided to go to Applebee's for dinner since Josh got a gift card for there for his birthday. We had a relaxing, yummy dinner. Plus the manager was so impressed (he stopped by to check on us) that Josh was paying he gave him a free dessert. Josh was so excited. Josh let Jason pick the dessert and they shared it (alright I had a bite or two too.)

Now I am exhausted, but I want to take a relaxing bath. Of course Jason is still up waiting for me to lay with him. So much for the bath or folding the clean laundry that I was going to do after the bath (once I lay with Jason I will fall asleep.)

How was your day?


p.s. my sister is officially past her due date. She went to the doctor's today and the doctor did something to try and move things along, but baby looks and feels and is doing well, so it is just a waiting game.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What can you do to help 26 adoptive families?

Go to here and find out (please!)

The family hosting this blog are friends of mine since high school. God is using them in mighty ways. Find out how here.



Costly Mistakes

I have made some costly mistakes in the past thirty days. I thought I would share so maybe you could avoid them too.

1) Started selling Pampered Chef -$563.25
2) Forgot to return 15 library books -$30.00
3) Did not bring cash to homeschooling convention -$200 (on stuff not on my list)
4) Spent more than I had in my account at homeschool convention -$70

1) I thought starting to sell Pampered Chef would be a good way to make money, and maybe one day it will be. But in the past thirty days I have spent $813.25 on the starter kit, business supplies, and more product, so I could have more to show at my cooking shows. I have made $250 in commission (which I will have direct deposited in my account in June.) I also have earned $415 in free Pampered Chef products. So out of pocket I have actually spent $563.25. Plus I have over $1,200 worth of Pampered Chef product.
I really didn't have an extra $563.25 to spend so having all that product doesn't really ease this costly mistake. Plus I would not have bought all that product anyway (although I do love lots of it.)
Hopefully I can sell some of the free product I got (I still have $300 left in free product) and pay myself back some of the $563.25 I lost.
The real goal is to not buy any more pampered Chef product!

2) In my car I had 15 library books on different states. We used them for state reports, but apparently it has been 40 days since the were due. This cost me $30 in late fees at the library today. Keeping track of when they were due (and even renewing online) would have saved me $30.

3) I decided that I was not going to buy anything at the homeschool convention, so I only brought enough cash to get in, buy lunch, and a drink. Mistake! I spent about $450 at the convention (plus the entrance fee,) $250 on stuff I actually planned to buy for fall. I should have just brought $250 cash (plus the entrance fee.) Because I used my debit card I went overboard and bought stuff I would not have with cash.

4) The worst part was because I was not keeping track I overdrew my checking account, costing me $70. I got charged $35 twice from my bank for these two transactions $13.99 and $10.69. Yikes! Fortunately I had a direct deposit today and my account is all in the clear. But if I had cash and kept better track I would have saved myself $70. I also probably would not have spent the $13.99 and $10.69 in the first place. (By the way I have only overdraft my account three times ever, so this was a shock.)

Have you made any costly mistakes lately? What have you learned and what will you do different next time?


Monday, May 17, 2010

Contest Winners

Hello! I am a little disappointed I only had four people enter my contest. I also gave one entry to each of my existing followers. So here are the winners...

Ellebee is the winner of the clock

Liv is the winner of the $25 gift certificate to Pampered Chef

I will email you each now, but if you don't get it or read this first please email me asap with your mail address.


Happy 7th Birthday Joshua myspace graphic comments
Myspace Happy Birthday Comments & Graphics


Last night for the first time I ground my own wheat berries. I used them to make pancakes for Josh today. They are pretty good. I am so excited.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Please enter my contest below!!!

Tomorrow we will be announcing the contest winners! Please enter today! -Becky

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homeschool Convention

I am off to our local annual homeschool convention. I am so excited.

I just hope I don't pay to get in and that get the call that my sister is in labor.

I am privileged to be in the delivery room with her when my new nephew is born. I will forgive her if that's the case. LOL.

I am especially excited about the Mommy burnout class and teen class I will be taking at the convention. Because in six months I will actually have a teen (ahhhh!!!)
I will blog about the convention later.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Please enter my contest

Want to win this clock:
1st prize

This clock retails here for $50

or win a $25 gift card to Pampered Chef with items shipped for free to your house (must redeem gift card through me) 2nd prize

Here is how to get free entries, you can do one, two, or all:

1) Follow my blog -worth 2 free entries
2) Email five friends my blog link -worth 2 free entries
3) Post a blog post on your blog about my blog, with a link to my blog in post
-worth 4 free entries
4) Add my blog to your favorite blogs on your blog -worth 4 free entries
5) Sponsor a child from compassion -worth 10 free entries

Leave a comment and tell me what ones you did (you can do them all) and I will add your free entries to the contest.

Winner will be chosen randomly on MAY 17th. Then I will email winner for address so I can send the clock or gift card.


More official rules:
-everyone who is already a follower of my blog will automatically be entered (but I will need your email addresses) with two entries
-to get the sponsor a child entries it has to be a child you began sponsoring after you read about contest, but I am so excited and amazed at those who already are sponsoring a child. Go You!)
-the emailing your friends and sponser child entries are on the honor system, but you can earn double or triple if you email more than 5 friends (entries for each set of five friends)
-leave a comment with any other questions or concerns

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weight Watchers Update

I am still down over 9 lbs. But I haven't been able to push beyond. I have been laxed all week. I missed weighing in last week and two meetings in a row, so I realize that the meetings and weigh ins do help.
But am back on track this week. Went to weigh in last night and have been tracking all my points today.

Pampered Chef product reviews

I want to say I love the Pampered Chef citrus press. I just made the boys their green smoothies. Josh's had orange, banana, spinach, and milk. Jason's had banana, spinach, and milk. We also made fresh lemonade with dinner (sweetened with pure stevia.) The Pampered Chef citrus press got so much juice out of the lemons and oranges. Much more than my plastic hand juicer. And I didn't have to pull out my electric juicer (which is a lot to clean for such a small amount of juice.)

I have to say though I am not loving the grilling baskets. Tonight was the second time I used them and the veggies I grilled were horrible. (I ate them, but didn't even make the kids eat them.) They were so dry. I even put oil on them. When I put my veggies in foil with a little water they come out delicious on the grill. I bought the grilling baskets so I didn't have to use all that foil.
I also put the pork chops on the grilling tray and they were very hard to turn when it was time too.

Just found this on Pampered Chef website and I didn't do any of it (oops):

"Use and Care
Wash prior to first use; dishwasher-safe. Use a kitchen brush between uses to remove food build-up from mesh.
Pre-heat grill following grill manufacturer's directions.
Spray Grill Basket with vegetable oil or non-stick spray.
For best results, allow basket to pre-heat by placing on hot grill for approximately 30 seconds.
Carefully place food into basket and cook following recipe directions. It will be necessary to use a heat safe tool to stir food periodically for even cooking.
BBQ Basket will naturally darken with each use."

Just found this online, looks yummy:
Grilled Mushroom & Onion Basket
1 lb (500 g) mushrooms, halved
2 medium onions, sliced 1/4 in. (6 mm) thick
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) grape tomatoes
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped parsley
1/4 cup (50 mL) crumbled goat cheese

1. Prepare grill for cooking over medium-high heat. Place BBQ Grill Basket on grill and preheat 3 minutes. In large bowl, combine mushrooms, onions, oil, salt and black pepper; mix well. Add mushroom mixture to basket. Grill, undisturbed, 7 minutes. Shake basket using tongs; grill additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to basket; grill 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and onions begin to caramelize. Remove basket from grill.

2. Return mushroom mixture to large bowl. Add lemon juice and parsley to mixture; mix well. Pour into serving bowl and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 110, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Carbohydrate 12 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 620 mg, Fiber 3 g

After I use basket properly and try this or another yummy recipe I will post another review of the grilling tray and basket


Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Contest - Win a Gone With the Wind clock, or Pampered Chef gift card

Want to win this clock:
1st prize

This clock retails here for $50

or win a $25 gift card to Pampered Chef with items shipped for free to your house (must redeem gift card through me) 2nd prize

Here is how to get free entries, you can do one, two, or all:

1) Follow my blog -worth 2 free entries
2) Email five friends my blog link -worth 2 free entries
3) Post a blog post on your blog about my blog, with a link to my blog in post
-worth 4 free entries
4) Add my blog to your favorite blogs on your blog -worth 4 free entries
5) Sponsor a child from compassion -worth 10 free entries

Leave a comment and tell me what ones you did (you can do them all) and I will add your free entries to the contest.

Winner will be chosen randomly on MAY 17th. Then I will email winner for address so I can send the clock or gift card.


More official rules:
-everyone who is already a follower of my blog will automatically be entered (but I will need your email addresses) with two entries
-to get the sponsor a child entries it has to be a child you began sponsoring after you read about contest, but I am so excited and amazed at those who already are sponsoring a child. Go You!)
-the emailing your friends and sponser child entries are on the honor system, but you can earn double or triple if you email more than 5 friends (entries for each set of five friends)
-leave a comment with any other questions or concerns

Compassion Child

We sponsor a child named Edelson through Compassion Child. He is 15 years old. We have been able to sponsor him for over two years. We share letters and we send him photos and other flat items (bookmark, etc.) It has been such a blessing to our family.

Today God put it on our hearts to sponsor another child, so they boys just picked a 10 year old boy living in Africa who has been waiting over 6 months for a sponsor.

I wish we could sponsor many children, but the reality is money is very tight here. Truthfully I am not sure how I am going to afford another $38 a month, but Jason is going to give $10 and Jason is going to give $8 from there allowance (this was there idea.) I will come up with the other $20. I am sure God will allow me a way to do so, by providing extra work, things I no longer need and can sell, or some other way.

So I ask that you would pray about sponsoring a child as well. Check out there website. This is a legit company with Christ as the center. The even let all sponsors share in there annual financial report. I trust they are using the funds to glorify God. I trust they are very good stewards of this money as well.

Leap Year and Julie & Julia review

thumbs up!!!

thumbs up!!!

In the past few weeks I have watched both of these movies and they are so cute. In Julie & Julia I loved how both woman had good marriages. Jason & I watched Leap Year and both were cracking up.

See any good movies lately?


Magic Bullet

This morning we used my new magic bullet to make green smoothies. It was so simple and cool. I like that we can drink from cup we made them in, so less to clean up.
Josh and I had mixed fruit, spinach, & flax seed. Jason had just strawberry and spinach (two ounces took him about an hour to drink. I made him, he needs more vitamins.)

I told boys everyday we are going to drink one and they can pick any fruit they want, but the smoothie must also have some green veggie or veggies. Jason thinks this is torture. Josh was naming all the fruit he is going to buy.

They are too cute!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

My mother's day

My mom got me a magic bullet and helped the boys make me breakfast, which they served me in bed. They made pork roll and cheese, and yummy carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting and carmel drizzled on top. So good!!! But I think anything served in bed would be delicious.

Then we went to church.

When we got home we made soup as it is chilly.

Now I am going to watch a movie and later I am going to visit my mom.

How was your day?


My awesome MOM

My mom kept the boys again last night (I was at work.) So I had two whole nights of not putting kids to bed and two mornings getting to sleep in. Yesterday I slept until 8:30am and today I slept until 9:30am (although last night I didn't go to bed until 3:30am.)

I feel so grateful.

My mom is amazing. I have never doubted her love for me. She has always shown her love for all children so clearly and evenly. She played with us and had tea parties and let us have friends over. She took an interest in what we were doing. She even took interest in what our friends were doing, thus becoming a second mom to many of my and my brothers friends.

I can not thank God enough for blessing me with my mom.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my mom. I pray you would bless her beyond anything imaginable. I pray you would comfort her and remind her you hold her in Your mighty hand. I pray she would get some down time, some rest time, and some time to be still before you. I pray she would praise you despite all the sadness and heartache and stress here on earth. Lord, I love you and I love my mom!

In Jesus Name,

Happy Mother's day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today I got to sleep until 8:30am. The kids were at my mom's, so it was really quiet when I got up. I spent a few extra minutes putting on make-up and fixing my hair. Then I met my mom, grandma, sister, two aunts, step grandmother, cousin, and niece at our church's annual mother's day brunch. All the men cook and clean for the ladies. It is a lot of fun.

Afterwards my mom, sister, and brother went to Best Buy to help my sister get a new laptop. Outside was a blood mobile. If you donated blood you got a $15 Best Buy gift card. So I made my brother do it with me. After a questionnaire, having my temperature taken, and having my fingers pricked I was denied (they said my iron was 12.4, but for them needs to be at least 12.5.) But Kevin passed. So this cracked me up that he had to give blood, but I didn't and yet it was my idea.

While Kevin was giving blood I walked with my mom and sister to Ulta. It is a beauty supply store on steroids. It is big. Plus they have a salon inside it. And cosmetic counters like at the mall. I felt so out of place. Plus there were lots of smells (perfume and such) that overwhelm me. But I did buy myself two turquoise made in America hair barrettes because as I got dressed this morning and did my hair I had nothing pretty to put in it. And turquoise is my all time favorite color.

Now I am at work, babysitting two adorable 9 year old twins. They will be 10 in June. I have been babysitting them since they were 4 years old. I come about two times a month on Saturday and occasionally on other days as well. We painted a pot and planted an herb garden for the mom who loves to cook really healthy stuff. We also made a herb plant care guide book with recipes using fresh herbs. I added the kids picture to it. It all came out so cute.

aren't they so sweet



The ants go marching one by one hurrah hurrah.

I have so many tiny ants in my kitchen. It is driving me crazy. I have tried vinegar. I have tried cinnamon. I have tried borax. None of these have worked. Almost every time I walk in my kitchen there is a line of them walking somewhere. I am not a clean fanatic, but I do clean my counters daily (actually more than daily, since I also wipe them down after I prep food.)

Online I keep finding advice on sealing holes they get in, but under my house is a dirt craw space and lots of places for ants to get in, so that is out.

I can't afford to call an exterminator, and I don't want to use harsh chemicals around my house.

I need your advice please!


Friday, May 7, 2010



Daycare license appointment went great.
Boys got almost all schoolwork done (except spelling and current events.)
I got veggie and herb plants at garden center.
Homeschool group went well. I had preschoolers plant sunflower seeds for moms.
Tastefully Simple / Watkins party at my house went well. I had five people come, plus my cousin who is the consultant.
Went to diner after party to hear Jason's friend play guitar for open mike night.
After diner I came home and cleaned up.
House is still clean.
I feel so relaxed.

How was your day?


I didn't recognize it

You won't believe this but I just saw the bottom of the laundry basket. I haven't seen that in a long while. I officially have done all the dirty laundry in the house. I even did the bathroom rugs and towels and such. I know tomorrow will bring more dirty laundry, but for tonight I am so proud. I even put away all but two loads of it as well. Laundry is my nemesis.

I also threw away 5 bags of clutter. Some was fall/winter clothes I haven't worn in years. It wasn't bad stuff and I wish I could have given it to someone, but I needed it gone now and tomorrow is garbage day. I also donated 3 large boxes of stuff to a friend who is having a yard sale to raise funds for SJS. She lost her three year old daughter to it 6 years ago (so sad.) I donated the stuff before I decluttered my closet or I would have given her the clothes too.

And my entire downstairs is clean. I just have two boxes in my room that I need to relocate. One is painting supplies (like room painting), these will go in the shed. The other is homeschool stuff we haven't touched in 6 months, so I am sure we can do without.

Even my kitchen cabinets are all decluttered and organized. I had to, to fit all my new Pampered Chef stuff.

Tomorrow at 9:30am I have a in home daycare inspection. I still like to maintain my license. It will be good because actually this summer I am going to do 2-3 days a week of a mini camp for school age kids (mostly my friends kids.) But I will get paid, so I like my house to be up to state daycare standards.

Then from 1:00pm-5:00pm we have our homeschool group. Then Josh has soccer at 5:00pm, until 6:00pm. And at 7:00pm I am hosting (at my house) a Tastefully Simple / J.R. Watkins party. My cousin, Charlene sells both. I am excited as the boys are sleeping out, so it is like a girls night in for me. We will have snacks and chatting and such.

Now I have to get to bed, I just wanted to post that even if for just a moment things are completed, and that feels good.


p.s. Apparently decluttered is not a word, it keeps coming up on spellcheck. Who knew?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shampoo Free

I tried an experiment to give up shampoo and conditioner. I did this to save money, plus I do not like all the chemicals in shampoo, and can't afford the pricey organic / natural stuff.

No, my hair is not all a funk. I have been using the no poo method (why they come up with that name I'll never know.) Anyway you can read all about it here. But the jist of it is I wash my hair with old fashion baking soda mixed in water (about a teaspoon) and rinse with apple cider vinegar diluted with water (about a tablespoon.)

I have been doing this for over a month (including on my trip to Ohio and Washington D.C.) Honestly I don't think my hair looks or feels any different. Also it really feels clean. Plus I only have to wash it every other or even every few days, as it stays cleaner longer. I do need a trim, my ends are a bit split, but that was even before I gave up store bought shampoo.

The one downside is I have a very sensitive head and it is a bit knottier as I brush it, which hurts at times, but not enough to give up this new method.

I usually spend $10 on shampoo that last me 2 months or $60 a year. Now I am spending $1.00 for baking soda and another $2.00 for the apple cider vinegar which will probably last all year. Saving me about $58.00 a year is pretty good. Plus I am not putting all those chemicals on my head.

Trust me the vinegar smell goes away very quickly! And not one person has said my hair looks dirty or different all month. So I am going to continue with this method.

What do you think?


Delicious Smoothie

My new favorite thing to drink / eat is a green smoothie. (I say eat because they are filling.)

It is so simple to make, here's what I do:

add 1 cup spinach (fresh) and 1 cup water
add banana, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (everything except banana was frozen)(any fruit will do, if not frozen add a few ice cubes)
add 2 tablespoons flax seed (optional)
blend again

Makes two huge smoothies that are only 2 Weight Watchers points each. Plus they give you lots of natural energy. And you are getting one serving veggie and two servings fruit with each serving.

Josh and I love these. I made them for all the kids and moms in our homeschool group on Tuesday and they were a big hit there as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A mess

I just tried to change my blog with a free blog template I got online. It was a mess. All my stuff was everywhere. I just spent 45 min. putting it all back together. AHHHH!!!! So much for change.


Monday, May 3, 2010

May budget

10% tithe
$60 offering (to sponsor child & local pregnancy center)

$400 house taxes
$400 mortgage
$100 home insurance
$100 gas bill (budget option)
$100 electric bill (budget option)
$60 phone/internet
$50 water
$50 sewer

$82 car insurance
$112 gas

$100 freedom account
$72 allowance

$300 food
$30 non food

$40 me Weight Watchers
$40 payment on steam cleaner (I put it on 5 easy pays)
$11 HSLDA monthly fee

also need:

$100 Josh's birthday party
$46.50 car registration (I have in my freedom account)
$30 Enoch homeschool convention fee (may not go, depends on when Sam has her baby)
$50 to buy veggie plants

Based on the money I have coming in for May (all my jobs, child support, and such), I will have the money to pay all above bills. I do, however, need to have no extra spending this month.

Do you have a plan for this month in regards to bills? Do you have any unbudgeted for events coming up (graduations, births, parties, etc?)


April unbudgeted for spending

$24.95 Summer kids bowling program
$39.95 Weight Watchers monthly pass
$165.85 Pampered Chef starter kit
$45.28 Chinese food
$12.40 Mailing Pampered Chef catalogs to out of state friends
$50 Mets fan club and game tickets for boys
$37.45 boys fish oil vitamins
$16.55 McDonalds
$4.88 Shoprite (non food item)
$5.42 stuff for Sam's shower
$23.43 more stuff for Sam's shower
$43.50 part of Sam's baby gift
$17.76 Burger King
$8.13 Pizza
$24.00 more school stuff for boys
$49.98 Spelling program for boys
$190.00 tickets to Star 99.1 summer concert at Great Adventure
$45.00 Pampered Chef paperwork supplies
$235.00 Pampered Chef products
$110.00 Pampered Chef products

$1149.40 total

Again ahhhhhhh! I have to get a better hold on this stuff!!!!

I hope to earn all the Pampered Chef money back in sales. So far I will get back about $150 in commission next month. Only $450 more to go. Still I overspent way too much!

This does not even include the $1,000 I spent going to Ohio and Washington D.C., but my dad sent money so I was able to do these things.

I have to come up with a better plan!


Wow, it's May

I can't believe it is May.

All my April bills are paid in full.

I also paid my annual life insurance policy of around $400 for 1/2 million dollar policy (after losing my cousin and brother I realized the need for life insurance, so a funeral, all my bills, and my boys would be cared for.)

How are your finances?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pampered Chef

Tonight I used my new Pampered Chef grill basket and grill tray to grill veggies. Veggies were a bit dry, but I forgot to add any olive oil.

So far I have done two Pampered Chef shows. One was at my house. I had some sales, but I am finding I am buying stuff myself too. This was not the idea.

I had to put out $165 for new starter kit (which includes lots of product,) plus $45 for paperwork supplies (catalogs and order forms.) Then I spent another $300 ordering more product (like my grilling baskets that I used tonight.)

I got into this to make money, but now I have spent over $500. My commission (which I will get next month) is 20% of all sales, so that will be about $100 so far, so that makes my out of pocket expenses about $400.

I have to commit to not buy anything else until after I have made another $400 in commission. My thought behind it was the more I have to show when I do shows, the more I will sell. But I can't get too carried away.

I currently have a catalog show out that will conclude tomorrow. And another that will conclude at the end of the week. Hopefully that will bring in more sales.

I also have a cooking show booked May 21st. But I need to book more cooking shows.

My goal is to make all the money I put out back (the around $500 so far) and then decide if I will continue. If no then at least I will have gotten all that product for free, plus whatever I don't use I can sell.

Anyway if you'd like to host a catalog show let me know and I will mail you catalogs. As a host you get free product (if you have sales,) discounted products, and a 10% discount on anything you buy from Pampered Chef for one year. The items would be shipped right to you.



p.s. if you do any direct sales, please share some tips for success!

My weekend

Yesterday I slept in as my kids slept out. Then I mowed about 1/2 my yard. I had never used a gas mower before so it was challenging. It was harder to push then my old electric one, plus the gas stunk so bad. I have to look for a used electric one. Anyway my yard looks ridiculous because I left triangles of unmowed areas. I will get those areas next time around. And the baby in me has to say, it was hard work. I don't remember it being so hard mowing my old lawn. I was hot and sweaty (but at least it counts as exercise.) I guess the fact that my new yard is at least 2X's bigger than my old yard makes it more challenging. Or maybe it was because it was about 85 degrees out yesterday, and I did grass at 1:00pm which is about hottest part of the day.

Ok, enough whining. After I did the grass I went to work and the kids I babysit for and I made pillowcases and water bottle holders. It was fun.

cat fabric he picked

she picked polka dot fabric

water bottle holder with left over fabric

Last night I could not fall asleep, so again this morning I did not get up in time for church. Instead I did go food shopping and I had my mom and sister over for burgers and veggies on the grill. That was really nice.

Now I am going to put the kids to bed and fold and put away about 6 loads of clean laundry (WHERE DOES IT ALL COME FROM?)

How was your weekend?