Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last day of May

Today is the last day of May (but it is hot enough outside to be mid July.) It is crazy how fast the months slip by.

This weekend was the official summer kick off weekend (especially since I live by Jersey shore.)

Fri. I watched Kaiden during day, then worked at Temple at night. Sat. I was off since we had Kaiden's first birthday party. Sunday we were also off and we went to my cousin's pool. Yesterday I finished a cleaning job and then went out to an awesome lunch.

It was a good balance of work and play.

Today we are going to Great Adventure. Having the season passes is awesome as we can just go for a few hours. My kids love Great Adventure. And I am going to try and see if Kaiden likes the baby rides.

How was your May? How was your Memorial Day weekend?


Remember he just turned 1

I am so innocent

Or maybe not

I can not believe how smart he is that he knows how to escape. We are in trouble!!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

May working hours

I have worked a lot of hours this month. I started watching my nephew full time Mon.-Fri. from 7:00am-4:00pm (9 hours each day.) I also worked three Fri. nights at a Temple setting up and cleaning up their ONEG services. I work 7:00pm-11:00pm (4 hours.) And I still work Sat. nights doing childcare from about 5:00pm-9:00pm (4 hours. I did 3 Sat.'s this month.) Plus I did two cleaning jobs this month, adding another 6 hours of work.

The total hours I worked in May:

75 hours worked

I am grateful for the work, but it can be draining.

So I have set up some boundaries:

no working Sunday (I have worked Sundays in the past)
8 hours a night of sleep (still working on this one)
I am not taking any new cleaning jobs

My goal is to get all bills paid up (they are not unfortunately, but that will be another post) and be at the point I can pay all my bills every month. I want to continue to be able to work and homeschool and am praying about God's will about this.

How is your work load?


No drive days

I like to stay home at least one day each week and not drive in my car or anyone else's. Walks are ok, but the focus is on relaxing, and getting stuff done, plus saving gas and wear and tare on my car.

This month no drive days were:


Total 6 no drive days for May. That makes me very happy!!!

Do you try and stay home any days in the week/month? If so what is your motivation to do so?


This makes 22 days in 2011 of no driving, my goal is 4-8 a month or 48-96 this year.


In past week I have read three books in a series:

A Single Thread
A Thread of Truth
and A Thread so Thin
all by Marie Bostwick

I love reading series books, especially about the lives of woman. I especially enjoyed these books as they were told by different woman in the story, chapters were alternated from each person's voice.

This makes me think about summer reading. I have a goal of reading 10 non fiction books and 4 fiction books by Sept. 1st.

Do you enjoy reading? What are you reading now? Do you read more during summer?


Declutter update

I have boxed up and ready to donate to a friend's yard sale (not enough stuff for my own sale) 19 more items. This added to the 241 items I gave away so far is 260 items given away in 2011. This does not count all the stuff I have thrown away. It also doesn't count stuff given to me in 2011 and then given away (i.e. I was given 2 comforter sets recently. I didn't need either, and am giving away but am not counting in give away total.)

My goal is 365 items given away (not thrown away or sold) in 2011. I have 105 more items to go. I think this will be a goal I actually meet this year.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday!

Kaiden is 1 today! Horray!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Joshua's stuff

We just cleaned Joshua's room. We tossed an entire garbage bag full of clothes. We put a garbage bag full of fall/winter clothes in shed. We washed, dried, folded, and put away all his clothes for now through the end of summer. Josh has:

20 t-shirts
1 nice church shirt
5 sleeveless shirts
2 sweatshirts
14 pairs shorts
1 pair pants
20 pairs underwear
7 pairs summer pj's
15 plus pairs socks

So he can go 1 week without needing to do any laundry, and 2 weeks without washing clothes other than the pj's. Awesome!!!

He also has play sneakers and new sneakers as well. We found a bathing suit, plus a water shirt. So the only thing he will need from now until fall is water/beach shoes.

Praise the Lord!!!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Into the Wild

Tonight the kids and I watched Into the Wild. It was a pretty good movie, based on the story of a college graduate who decides to give up everything and live in the wild (eventually Alaska.) The man, Chris, who renames himself Alex on his journey, seems to be suffering a serious depression from his troublesome upbringing and abusive parents.

He also is extremely selfish in that he not only severs connection with those parents, but of his sister, who based on what I saw in the movie, was his greatest companion as a child.

It was interesting to see his travels throughout the US and Mexico, and then on to Alaska. Seeing the relationships he formed along the way seemed he was creating a new family (which is not entirely a bad thing.) But once again he moved on from each each person without any further contact.

Spoiler alert:

Only on his death bed did images of his family and those he inducted into his family along the way, flash through his mind (as seen in the movie as no one knows his actual last thoughts.)

Of course I expected him to live and have amazing relationships based on his experiences, not die in the Alaskan wilderness, alone. It all seemed so pointless.

I agree we all need more sustainable living, but we all have to come to the idea of what that means to us. Also it is not worth dying for.

To me sustainable living means:

knowing how to grow food from seed (something I have yet to master)
harvest said food
prepare it for cooking
cook it
feed ones family and ones self

I am no where near a place where I can do any of this. Last summer in my garden I grew maybe enough food for 5 meals. My garden is about 5 x 6, so it's not that small. If I was depending on that for summer meals or to preserve for fall and winter, no way.

to me sustainable living also means:

being able to make ones own clothes

Even though I can sew a straight line, my skills pretty much stop there. I know I could sharpen those skills with practice, but I can't make fabric or thread, so I rely on someone else to provide those for me.

to me sustainable living also means:

creating and maintaining one's own shelter

Once again I would need materials for this I can not make (tools, wood, glass, etc.) In theory I can create something very simple out of items found in nature, but would that sustain me or my family?

This movie, Into the Wild shows how he could not survive in the wild, as he was ill prepared. I don't think I could either.

However, I am not in that extreme situation and I can do things to be a better steward of this earth God gave us like:

educating myself on how to live sustainably within my means
educating myself on how to grow, harvest, and prepare plenty of food
educating myself on how to sew actual items
learning how to build basic things with real tools
reusing everything I can
harnessing power of sun and wind to provide my heat and electricity
support those who are also trying to live sustainably (like work at home moms, local business's, etc.)
buying only what I need, and even less than I think I need
consuming less (stuff, food, gas, etc.)

What is your thought on sustainable living? What are you doing about it?


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Date with Joshua

Joshua and I just had a special date. I took him to see GodRocks, a Christian kids band. We also took a nice walk, and planted my plants in my garden. 6 hours of just me and Josh time (Jason is with his grandparents.) I didn't yell once. I tried really hard to listen to every word he said (he talks a lot, so sometimes it is hard to hear and process it all.) I tried to give him lots of physical touch (hugs, etc., he even let me hold his hand while we walked.) One of his love languages is physical touch and another is attention, so I hope I filled him with love today.

Joshua really is am amazing kid, and I am so blessed to have had this special time with him.

Now he is outside skateboarding. I am going to rest a bit before going to work at 5.


Prank phone calls

What did I expect giving an 8 year old a cell phone? Well, he has had his phone taken away for making prank phone calls. The worst thing is they were really funny and I had to try so hard not to laugh, or tell him about the prank calls I made as a kid.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Lucy by Skillet

I heard this song on the radio recently. I immediately knew what the song was about. After googling it tonight I confirmed what I already knew.

I am listening to this song online as I type this (for about the 15th time.)

Sometimes I need a sad song and a good cry.

Even more so because I have lived with the pain described in this song for almost 17 years now.

I know that God has forgiven me, and I have forgiven myself, but it still is sad. It still hurts. The what ifs and longing never fully go away.

As I look back over the past 17 years of my life that I have journeyed and still am into adulthood, I wish I was more arrived. I wish I was closer to God. I wish I had it more together. I wish I knew who I was and what I stood for (it changes from day to day.) I wish I was a better mother. Even after all the longing, there are so many days that I don't see the kids I do have here with me on earth as the blessings they are. Some days I am so selfish I still am that young girl I was 17 years ago. It was all about me. Sometimes it still is.

But that is so wrong. Old habits do die hard, I still am such a sinner.

Dear Lord,

I am hurting. I need more of you and less of everything else. Help me as I am still grieving the losses I have had in my life Lord. You know them all too well. You were holding me through each one, even long before I knew you were there. Thank you for that Lord. Help me to be better. Help me to be so full of your love that it overflows on everyone who crosses my path, but firstly my children, who also need it so desperately. Lord, tonight I am empty. Please fill me up!


Lucy lyrics
Songwriters: Cooper, John Landrum;

Hey Lucy, I remember your name
I left a dozen roses on your grave today
I'm in the grass on my knees, wipe the leaves away
I just came to talk for a while, got some things I need to say

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I'd give up all the world to see
That little piece of Heaven looking back at me

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I've gotta live with the choices I made
And I can't live with myself today

Hey Lucy, I remembered your birthday
They said it'd bring some closure to say your name
I know I'd do it all different if I had the chance
But all I got are these roses to give
And they can't help me make amends

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I'd give up all the world to see
That little piece of Heaven looking back at me

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I've gotta live with the choices I made
And I can't live with myself today

Here we are, now you're in my arms
I never wanted anything so bad
Here we are for a brand new start
Living the life that we could've had

Me and Lucy walking hand in hand
Me and Lucy never wanna end
Just another moment in your eyes
I'll see you in another life in Heaven
Where we never say goodbye

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I'd give up all the world to see
That little piece of Heaven looking back at me

Now that it's over, I just wanna hold her
I've gotta live with the choices I made
And I can't live with myself today

Here we are, now you're in my arms
Here we are for a brand new start
I got to live with the choices I've made
And I can't live with myself today

Me and Lucy walking hand in hand
Me and Lucy never wanna end
I've got to live with the choices I've made
And I can't live with myself today

Hey Lucy, I remember your name

It's raining, it's pouring

What do you do when it rains for 5 days straight?

Play in the puddles of course.

Joshua and Kaiden



I played barefoot in the puddles too (Lady also tried to join us.) Jason thought we were nuts (but when he was little he loved puddles.)



Lady last Fri. morning

Lady last Fri. evening

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Visit this cool blog

A friend's daughter has a cool blog and is hosting a free contest. Please check her out here.

Happy Birthday to one amazing 8 year old

Today is Joshua's 8th birthday!

Sunday we had a barbecue at the house for him and he got tons of presents. He is so blessed. Today I gave him a new prepaid cell phone. Not that I think an 8 year old should have a phone, but sometimes life should be fun too. He also got a special breakfast of cinnamon rolls and bacon. He is getting his favorite lunch of egg salad as well. And we will round out the day with dinner at the Chinese buffet (all his choices.)

I am so blessed to have Joshua in my life. He is so an awesome kid. He loves to talk and can hold a pleasant conversation for quiet some time. He is always very concerned that Jason has things (like if he gets a treat, he wants to make sure to get one for Jason.) He is a great big cousin and is frequently helping me care for and play with Kaiden. Joshua prays often for our sponsor child, and wants to visit him some day.

Joshua has had an opinion about stuff since day one. From yelling at us at 10 months old while at the dinner table (we were eating steak, it was clear he wanted some.) Or from his need to wear something orange from ages 2-5, and pick out his own clothes whether they matched or not (more often not.) Or even now when he tells us how to properly care for Kaiden, or how he wants stuff done. He knows what he wants wants, and is not afraid to tell us.

Joshua has spunk. When he is around you know it, and I pray God will use that to do great things in his life.

Happy Birthday Joshua!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Jason still hates to have his picture taken:


Kaiden is almost 1. Here are some updated pics:

Joshua playing soccer

Joshua is playing spring soccer. (He has played before.) Here are some pictures:
Josh is in red jersey
He's the goalie
Joshua kicking

Monday, May 9, 2011


So I have a goal to declutter 365 items from my home in 2011. By declutter I mean items given away (not thrown away or sold.) Also it doesn't count if I give away an item and replace with a similar one (for example I replaced one tv stand with another, so that doesn't change amount given away.)

I just gave away a box of clothes, about 42 items. I also gave away an end table last weekend. Plus the 198 given so far, for a total of 241 items given away in 2011. 124 more to go.

I have also thrown away alot, but still it seems my home is overflowing.

I was reading a blog of a couple who owned nothing more than 100 items. I can't even wrap my head around that (I think I have like 100 utensils), but I do like the idea of less and having some empty spaces.

Are you trying to declutter this year? In general?


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Moms rock!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Great Adventure

Yesterday another homeschool family, they boys, and I went to Six Flags Great Adventure. It was homeschool day and not open to the general public. The boys love riding rides, so they would go there everyday.

Great Adventure had all these companies set up and questionnaires for the kids to ask the companies. Plus they had workbooks the kids could do to figure out some of the roller coasters (building them, money, etc.) I appreciate when companies recognize homeschoolers. Especially since statistics show about 5% of kids in USA are being homeschooled (and it is hard to track because many do not register that fact.)

The weather was so nice, cool, but sunny as well. And the rides had almost no lines. We all had a great day.

I got the boys each season passes to Great Adventure for Easter. If bought before Easter they were only $99 each for a 3 park pass (Great Adventure, the Safari, and the water park as well.) So now we can go anytime they are open until they close in Oct. Admission for one day to Great Adventure only is $59.99, so the season pass pass for itself if you go twice.

In addition to rides they have daily animal shows (dolphins and tigers, two separate shows), weekly events (like a skateboarding show), and a summer concert series (most cost a few dollars extra, some are free with park admission or season passes.)

Do you live near any Six Flags? Have you ever been to one?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Raw food only

For the next three days I will be eating raw food only. I have been working my way to this since Thur. of last week (5 days now) by not eating meat, and by eating about half my daily food as raw.

Why am I doing this? Honestly, I am overweight and I need to jump start losing weight.

Plus I need more energy and raw food (especially green smoothies) gives me lots of energy.

In addition to needing to lose weight and wanting more energy, I have been sick with digestive issues for years. Not to mention depression, and insomnia. All things that I think are relate to bad food choices and improper bacteria balance in my gut (and stress.)

I am coming to the realization that most of us (myself included) aren't eating much real food daily. Processed food processes out most of what are bodies need. It is sad, especially since these foods are so cheap. These foods are almost void of nutrients, and my body especially is screaming for these nutrients. It tells me so when I start to crave my green smoothies after missing a day.

So I have decided that I will eat raw food only for the next three days.

I bought some raw cashews for protein, but I am sure a few days without would be ok too.

Some other items on my list for the next three days are:

brussel sprouts
flax seed
wheat grass
extra virgin olive oil
apple cider vinegar
raw honey

This is what I have in house, but basically I can eat any fruit or veggie or raw (not cooked or heated in any way) nut or seed, as much as I want to feel satisfied. I can drink water, fresh juice, and green smoothies to my heart's desire.

I will not be eating:

any meat (cooked or raw)
any cooked food
any sugar
any processed food
pasteurized milks, cheeses, or juices
eggs (cooked or raw)

The only flaw in my plan, I just bought yummy gourmet marshmallows from Wholefoods. I will have to eat one tonight and hide the rest till Saturday.

Now, of course if I mess up no one will know, but I am doing this to get a jump start on my health, so I will only cheat myself if I do mess up.

If this stuff seems to intrigue you go to this site. I ordered the 12 step program and it is so good. It is about educating ourselves and eating real and raw food.

Tell me what you think.


Can you do me a favor?

Please go this blog and become a follower, they need more followers asap. Plus they are real, amazing people. Courtney and I have been friends since high school and even with her kids, homeschooling, etc., she is always there when I need prayer or encouragement. She is the real deal!

So please go follow them asap.

And if you really like me post there blog on yours as well so your friends can follow them too.

Thanks so much!!!



The boys and I went to the park the other day. Who doesn't like the swings?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

7 Quick Dinner Ideas

Here are 7 meals that can go from fridge to table in about 30 min.

1) Tacos
Cook meat in crock pot so it is ready when you get home.
Chop lettuce, tomatoes, and other toppings. Heat shells and you are ready to go. Even without crock pot I can get this entire meal from fridge to table in 30 min. (if meat is defrosted.)

2) Salmon (or any fish you prefer)
Place salmon and asparagus or broccoli (or any veggie) in foil. Squeeze lemon juice over entire thing. Close foil around, bake in oven or on grill about 30 min. Super easy and no clean up (just toss the foil.) (I get the salmon at Costco for about $20 which last us 4 meals.)

3) Stir fry
Make rice. While rice is cooking make stir fry.
If you want chicken cook those pieces first, add any veggies (broccoli, snap peas, carrots, etc.) Add any sauce you may like (soy, etc.) By the time the rice is done the chicken and veggies will be too. I can make all this in about 30 min.

4) Potato Bar
Preheat oven. Start potatoes in microwave (pierce with fork first) for about 15 min., then finish off in oven for about another 15 min. While they bake prepare any toppings you like (cheese, sour cream, salsa, butter, etc.) Steam any veggie you have on hand and you have a quick meal (which is surprisingly filling.)

5) Nachos
Preheat oven, place tortillas on cookie sheet, add cheese and any other toppings you like. Heat for about 10 min. While they heat make a quick salad. My kids love this as dinner.

6) Pizza
Preheat oven. You can use English muffins or dough, both are easy. Add sauce (I use left over pasta sauce) and any toppings you like and cheese (out of mozzarella add any.) Cook and in about 20 min. enjoy. If you wish toss a salad while pizza is baking.

7) Breakfast for dinner
Eggs, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal all can be made in 30 min. or less (even from scratch.) Add some fresh fruit and maple syrup and you are good to go.

You can make these meals with ingredients from scratch, organic ingredients, or whatever you fancy. (If cooking from scratch make things like tortillas and pizza dough in advance and freeze, take out night before you will need.)

The most important thing is to keep it simple and enjoy the time spent with your family.