Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Read It ::: The Mysterious Benedict Society


Okay, so technically I don't know if this post will qualify for an I Read It post ... but I did, and I enjoyed it, so I'm going to tell you about it. :) Thanks to a suggestion from Carrie, I plunged into The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Her review is here on her personal blog, and her review of the sequel (which is waiting for me today at the library) is here at 5M4B.

This is the story of four unlikely friends - four extremely gifted children - and how they are brought together to stop a worldwide threat. This isn't your normal threat though. It involves brainwaves and brainwashing and the children find themselves on an island left with only their wits to battle the evil Mr. Curtain. I won't say much more about the story, but suffice it to say it was great and kept me turning pages.

I highly recommend this book ... this is a great upper-elementary age book for both boys and girls. In fact, as soon as I finished book 1, I immediately emailed a friend with a 4th grade boy and said he needed to get this book from the library. That good. I'm up to my neck in books over here, but I may just have to set them aside for a bit after our library run today. :)

For more I Read It posts, head over to Five Minutes for Books and tell us what you have read and enjoyed!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Low Spend/No Spend - Week 4 (The Last Week)


Maybe it's just because I've been doing this for a month now, but the last two weeks were definitely easier than the first two. It also helped that I had a couple weeks of very limited out-side-the-house activity. The rundown looks like this:

Sunday, 3/22 - $0

Monday, 3/23 - $0

Tuesday, 3/24 - I didn't even withdraw cash this week ... I had a little check from work that I just cashed instead of depositing and worked off that for the week. No withdraws from the bank account made me happy. :)

Wednesday, 3/25 - $0

Thursday, 3/26 - $0

Friday, 3/27 - around $30 (but I'm not really sure). We went out to dinner with some good friends and ate at Applebees. They had a super special - two dinners plus an appetizer for $20 and there was so much food!

Saturday, 3/21 - $0 (I'm not counting the massive grocery run since that's techinically our monthy food run for April). :)

Another good week ... finding that I do better at the end of the month rather than at the beginning. Now the goal will be to see if I can curb some of that the first two weeks of April. Overall, I saw some improvement in my careless spending, but I can see this is an area that I need to pay more attention to ... especially as throughout this project, I've been inspired to start doing some saving (on my own) towards a goal. We have a 10 year anniversary coming up (in 3 years so it's not terribly soon), but I want to do something special and doing my part to help save for it now seems to be a great first step. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

April Meal Plan

To be honest, I am not in the mood to make an April meal plan. However, tomorrow is our once-a-month shopping day and I need to be prepared. I have a feeling this menu may get a shake-up as we go through the next 4 weeks, but I have a jump-start on it. (You can download April's menu here.)

What do you do when nothing in your cookbooks or menu plan sounds good to you? I have found from past experience that sometimes, for the sake of being organized, I have to plow through the planning part. By the time it comes to make the meal, I've usually moved past the mental block and am thankful that I did the work beforehand. And, there is a lot of grace in the menu. While I have the meals scheduled for certain nights, with the exception of my crockpot meals which are scheduled on ballet day, I can rotate and shuffle as needed.

So thankful to have that task off my list for this Friday. Off to read a few minutes while I have some of the girls' rest time left!

This post is linked with Company Girl Coffee @ Rachel Anne's and Food on Friday's w/ Ann.

Friday Felicities ::: March 27


Things that make me happy...
  • morning coffee
  • days of playing outside with baths for dirty girls before bedtime
  • dinner tonight with friends and a grandma willing to come babysit
  • watching one become more independent
  • finally succumbing to a tug from the Lord to let something go and it feels good
  • moving forward

Link up at Becky's if you have a happy list.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Fling ::: 2009 Version

A couple years ago, the girls and I invited a few friends over for a little Easter egg coloring party. At the time, I wasn't really sure how it was going to work out, but it turned out so much fun! Honestly, I was not looking forward to coloring eggs with the girls because it can be so messy, but throw in some other mamas and several more kids to play with when it's all done, and it can be a great time.

I wasn't able to have a get together last year so we are very excited to have friends over in a couple weeks to color eggs with us! I made some SIMPLE Spring invitations that would work for any kind of a spring get-together and that I can use again next year if I don't have time to come up with something new. (If you are wanting to get together with friends in the next few weeks to celebrate Spring, feel free to download and use ... for personal use only). :)

Next up is planning the menu ... last time we had pb & j and ham sandwiches, veggies and dip, fruit kabobs, and a chocolate bunny cake. Very easy and kid friendly. I'm trying to decide whether to just repeat the menu or come up with some new ideas. Any thoughts? What are some of your favorite kid friendly party foods? I am pretty sure I'm not going to do the bunny cake and do something smaller (individualized) like cupcakes, but that's as far as I've gotten.

Do you have any family spring celebrations? I mentioned in my last low spend/no spend post that we got the girls a few little "first day of spring" goodies instead of doing Easter baskets. (We've not ever done Easter baskets, but I liked the idea of a few new toys for the backyard now that the weather is getting nicer). I planning on making Resurrection rolls with the girls on Easter weekend and am putting together some Easter and spring book lists that I want to rummage the library for. My girls are still little enough that we are still in the try-and-see stage of family traditions ... try it out this year and see if it's a good fit for the family. If we like it, it may hang around, and if not we'll try something new next year! :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Randomocity ... on Shopping for Girls

Yesterday the girls and I went to buy summer sandals for everyone. Everyone under the age of 6. (New flipflops for me will have to wait until another day!) Up until this year, I've made by with hand-me-down shoes and consignment shoes and we've done fine. However, this year, N1 needed both sneakers and sandals and we've had a hard time finding shoes at for her at some of our favorite 2nd hand stops. She's also getting to an age that she wears out her shoes and really needs to start with a fairly new pair to get any good out of them. (And for us to have any hopes of handing them down). The little two also needed new sandals as their 2nd and 3rd generation hand-me-downs couldn't go on any further.

All that to say, all I bought yesterday was little girl shoes and I am glad that we don't do that often. Ouch. I remember right before Travis and I were married, I told him that girls were expensive ... meaning me. Everything a girl needs seems to cost more than a boy - underclothes (of all sorts!), shoes, haircuts. Everything. I think I was warning myself of that as well. N1 also needs some new summer clothes as she will not quit growing. :) I've found her several consignment dresses, but she needs some good play shorts and the ones I've seen are just TOO short! I found one skirt/short at Walmart that I snatched up and if they had had more than the one pair in her size I would have bought two or three. Target has all sorts of cute bermuda shorts but they seem awfully expensive. Or maybe it's just me? It could just be the shock of now having to buy her some things.

That's about all I have for today. :) I have an email inbox that I WILL be tackling at some point. We're also going to get out and go to the library shortly (free books, yea!) and eat lunch with Grandma and Aunt Kathy. Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ::: March 23

Outside my Window ... it is once again beautiful. I'm going out on my deck and reading here in just a few minutes and soak up a little vitamin D.

I am thinking
... a nap. I have a few precious moments of rest time and I can't decide whether a power nap or sunshine is what I need most.

I am thankful for ... a weekend that had absolutely nothing on the schedule. We haven't been so laid back and relaxed in several months and it was so wonderful.

In the learning room ... a spring and Easter book list and lost of talking about the changes that come with spring. The flowers are not blooming fast enough for N1 right now - she's ready for some color.

From the kitchen ...

: leftover BBQ lentils and rice with the addition of some lettuce and various toppings to make a salad
Tuesday: crockpot pizza soup, garlic bread
Wednesday: quesadillas
Thursday: BBQ beef & beans with cornbread (from the freezer), corn, salad or green beans
Friday: pizza night
Saturday: shopping day; planning for stir fry for dinner but who knows

I am creating ... a few goodies for some friends that have been tested and stretch of late. Just a few spring-like reminders that He makes all things new again in His time. What a promise. Also playing catch-up on my 365 album.

I am going ... to have another quiet week this week. Yes'm. It is good.

I am wearing ... mid-calf lenth blue & white skirt, white top.

I am reading
... The Mysterious Benedict Society. So far, very good! Also Ministry of Motherhood. Those are the top of the stack right now, but you can see my full reading list in my Spring Reading Thing post. That will keep me busy for a few months, anyway. :)

I am hoping ... For another week to catch-up and unwind. Need to get my bedtimes and waking times back on their proper scheduled. That is one area that I don't care for much deviation ... I can really tell when I'm off.

I am hearing
... the dryer humming. It's about to sound off for me to switch loads so must. type. quickly. :)

Around the house ... several jars of dirt adorn our end-tables and coffee table. N1 has taken to digging and searching for snails and worms and has several jars of her new pets. Hmm. She is loving it though ... and I'm doing my best to save jars and things as we empty them so I'm not forced to sacrifice my tupperware for her "friend" collections. (I'm sorry, but it doesn't matter how many times I wash it, I won't be using it again).

One of my favorite things
... little girl toes peeking out of summer sandals.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ...
not a whole lot. The regular routine of dance and Bible study. Travis and I have dinner plans with good friends on Friday night that I'm looking forward to - long overdue catching up and conversation. Other than that, another quiet week stretches ahead of us.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you ... a couple cute girls. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Low Spend/No Spend Challenge - Week 3


Sunday, 3/15 - $0

Monday, 3/16 - $0

Tuesday, 3/17 - $20 cash withdrawal for my Bible study babysitting and this was my limit on expenses for the week.

Wednesday, 3/18 - $0

Thursday, 3/19 - $0

Friday, 3/20 - $17 (bought the girls a few first day of spring things for outside play - it's been beautiful the last couple of days ... this year I decided to try doing a few little goodies for the 1st day of spring as opposed to going back and forth about Easter baskets. I'm liking this new tradition!)

Saturday, 3/21 - $0

A good week ... but to be truthful, I rarely left the house this week. :) Amazing how much better one does on their spending, hmm?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Spring Reading Thing!

Spring is here! I have little girls that have been asking for WEEKS when spring would arrive and today's the day! And with that is the anticipated Spring Reading Thing hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. And with that ... here is my list. :)



With my girls:

Link up over at Katrina's and share what you are reading this spring! :)

A Little St. Patrick's Day Grace

I had big plans for some St. Patrick's Day fun with my girls. Green eggs, wearing green outfits, special Irish themed dinner ... all that and then some. Little did I know how much that this past weekend with my church's 20th anniversary homecoming would wear me out, or that we would be up until 4 a.m. with N2 on Sunday night. That left me little to no energy to muster up much for Tuesday. We still had a good St. Patrick's Day around here with our wee folks and I think the girls were okay with it. :) Sometimes I think I put too much pressure on myself to come up with the PERFECT way to celebrate a day. I spend so much time on my lists and to-do to make it all come together, that when the time comes, I'm too busy to just sit and enjoy and talk with the munchkins. That's what their memories need to be of ... not the frantic last minute trip to the grocery store for whatever I've forgotten. Just needing to give myself this little pep-talk and reminder this week! And can I share with you something a little funny ... we were playing outside at dance class and I was looking around at all the other moms and thinking how odd it was that EVERYONE had on a green shirt on Tuesday ... including myself. Duh. I really was tired. :)

I thought I would share with you a few of the books that we have read and are reading this week to give us a taste of the Irish. :) And, just as a fair warning, I myself felt compelled to read most of these books with a somewhat pathetic Irish accent. Luckily, my girls have never heard the real thing so it was all good. :)

I do want to say (I guess as a disclaimer) that some of these books are written from a Catholic perspective. I am not Catholic and do not pray to the saints; however, St. Patrick is a wonderful example of a man that trusted in God even as a small child when he was kidnapped by pirates. He later dedicated his life to telling others (specifically his captors who were Irish) about Him. A story worth passing on.

Some other fun links and ideas:

Lastly, this is probably one of my all-time Veggie Tale cartoons ... the Tale of St. Patrick. (It's on the Sumo Wrestler video if you have that one).

A happy belated St. Pat's day to you and yours! :)

This post also ties in with Hope is the Word's Read Aloud Thursday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Spend/Low Spend Challenge ::: Week 2


Sunday, 3/8 - $0

Monday, 3/9 - $0

Tuesday, 3/10 - $50 cash withdrawal ... ouch. Some of this is for my Bible study babysitting (about $6) the rest is for a babysitter we have to have on Saturday. There is a reason that we don't get a babysitter very often!

Wednesday, 3/11 - $42 ... replaced a few clothing items at Walmart. I love new clothes ... I hate spending money on new clothes. Which is why I wait until I'm well past the point that I need to replace something.

Thursday, 3/12 - $0

Friday, 3/13 - $40 ... haircut.

Saturday, 3/14 - $15 ... lunch out for me and the husband (and paying the aforementioned babysitter from the cash on Tuesday).

I might come back and break down more of this, but I'm still recovering from my big weekend with our church and a really ROUGH Sunday night with the girls (now THAT is a story that I am too tired to blog right now). :)

Bloggy Book Tour ::: Breach of Trust

This is another recent book that I was sent for review that I enjoyed. Suspenseful (think Terri Blackstock, Mary Higgins Clark, Dee Henderson) with a slight budding relationship between the main character and the high school football coach. Actually, I think this book did a great job of making the relationship very believable. Not that I don't think it's possible that relationships can't be born and maintained in a high-pressure situation; this one moved along slowly and didn't find the couple at the altar as soon as he/she (not giving anything away!) solves the problem and catches the bad guys. As the time is soon coming for folks to be making their book list for the Spring Reading Thing or for stocking a bag for a road or beach trip, I think this one would be great to add to the list. :)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Breach Of Trust
Tyndale House Publishers (February 5, 2009)
DiAnn Mills

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies. DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008. DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild. She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.


Paige Rogers survived every CIA operative’s worst nightmare.
A covert mission gone terribly wrong. A betrayal by the one man she thought she could trust.

Forced to disappear to protect the lives of her loved ones, Paige has spent the last several years building a quiet life as a small-town librarian. But the day a stranger comes to town and starts asking questions, Paige knows her careful existence has been shattered. He is coming after her again. And this time, he intends to silence her for good... Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent who lost all she treasured seven years ago when her entire team was killed in a covert mission. She blames their leader—Daniel Keary—whom Paige believes betrayed them. Disillusioned and afraid for her life, she disappeared and started a new life as a librarian in small town Split Creek, Oklahoma. But her growing relationship with high school football coach Miles Laird and the political ambitions of her former boss threaten to unmask her. When Keary announces his candidacy for governor of her state, he comes after Paige to ensure that she won't ruin his bid for office by revealing his past misdeeds. He threatens everything she holds dear, and Paige must choose between the life of hiding that has become her refuge . . . or risking everything in one last, desperate attempt to right old wrongs. If you would like to read the first chapter of Breach Of Trust, go HERE.

Kid's Pick ::: Books by James Mayhew

As I have been preparing for our homeschooling journey with my girls, I have done a little looking around for books that introduce them to art. And by art, I mean the works of some of the masters ... Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Rembrant. I want them to appreciate art as something more than a cleverly craft Pixar image that comes across their screen and know that sometimes you might have to work a little harder to study the picture or to see what the artist is trying to get across.

With that, I stumbled across the books of James Mayhew. Mr. Mayhew's series about Katie is one that my girls love and is continually checked out of the library. Katie and her Grandma take trips to the museum to look at wonderful art. While there, Katie has delightful adventures as she climbs into the picture frames to meet the characters of the paintings. The photo above is of Katie and the Mona Lisa - Katie wonders why the Mona Lisa is smiling in her picture and then the two of the cause all sorts of chaos in the museum as they hop in and out of the different pictures. (Well, the Mona Lisa doesn't cause the chaos ... that's all Katie!) :)

At the back of each book, there are small paragraphs about the different artists and styles of painting used. I know these will come in handy down the road as we learn more about the artists and their works.

If you are looking for children's books to introduce artists, we recommend these! For more Kid's Picks, visit Five Minutes for Books.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Worthy of Praise

Worthy of Praise - Christ Fellowship Music Team

You can listen to clips from our church's worship CD at the link above. :) If you
really want to know, I wrote tracks #1 & #10. :)

If anyone is interested in one, you can order a copy from me for $11.68 (and that includes 1st class shipping). You can send me an email at the link over on the left.

Other places you can get a copy:

DigStation. Use this site to download .mp3 files and incorporate them into your digital music library. Album is $9.99, tracks are $0.99 each. Available 3/12/09. This is the link for samples above.

iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, etc. Through CDBaby our music will be distributed to these online download retailers and many others. Album will be $10.99, tracks will be $0.99 each. Available at the end of March.

We truly hope God is glorified in this project. :)

Friday Felicities ::: March 12 (in pictures)

737178547_9b171bda7c_o.jpg image by herdofsteph

Things that make me happy...

chocolate ... brownies!

a little girl that made breakfast eggs all by herself

scrapbooking, even though I'm not doing nearly enough of it to suit me right now

hard work coming to fruition ... info here

having the hair straightened by someone else (along with a little trim) :)

a delicious new baby that is perfectly adorable

this one that is going to be the death of me ... so thankful for her but that doesn't stop me from predicting that she will be the first trip that we have to take to the ER someday

and this cheesy silly girl, even with her stopped up nose and sweet little hoarse voice

Are you thankful and happy for anything? Link up at Becky's. :)
Also crossposted with my Company Girl's update for the week ... just a few of the events of this week that I'm sharing with you all. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hospitality Out of the Home

Question:  Do you have a go-to meal that you make when you take dinner to someone? I would love to have 2-3 dishes that can be my standard "baby meal." In the past, I've made a big pasta salad (this is great in the summer when it's hot) or Pioneer Woman's chicken spaghetti, but would love another suggestion or two. Other ladies in my church have the rotisserie chicken and roast departments covered. :)

What do you take? If you have been brought a meal for a new baby or illness what have you enjoyed the most?

I have so been blessed by this ministry at my church - after the birth of each of my girls and after my husband broke his elbow last year and required unexpected surgery. This is one small way that as a mama to littles (where it's sometimes hard to do something) I can show I care.


PS. I was moving some blog posts this morning so please forgive me if you get all sorts of random posts in your feed reader. I need to do some bloggy maintenance at some point and keep putting it off!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now releasing...

Our church's worship CD. Produced by my incredibly hard working hubby. Two songs that I have written are on here ... it's all very surreal. :)

Praise be to God!

Bloggy Book Review ::: The Passion of Mary-Margaret

This book was wonderful. It was one of those that lived and breathed and the characters came alive for me. As you can see from the story description below, one of the characters is Jude ... a man that is hardened and walk a rough road during parts of his life. I appreciated how the author took a character that had sinned - and sinned in a way that most of us don't - and yet showed such grace. She didn't go into the details of his sin (the veiled references were enough to know that it was bad), and the character Mary-Margaret didn't need to know most of those things either. She was just obedient to God when He called to walk alongside Jude and love him. Isn't that we are called to do with those sinners in our lives? A great reminder to me of the awesomeness of God's grace and when one person is obedient and shares that with another, how it can be truly life changing.

Like I said, the author does not go into a lot of details about Jude's situation, there is enough that I suggest any parent preread (for your teen).

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Passion of Mary Margaret

Thomas Nelson (March 10, 2009)


Lisa Samson


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."

Her novel Embrace Me has been named as one of Library Journal's books of the year.

She lives in Lexinton, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.

She stays busy by writing, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying...some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.


Mary-Margaret accepts a calling that surpasses her wildest dreams . . . and challenges her deep faith.

When Mary-Margaret Danaher met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper's son, she was studying at convent school on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude-rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.

After sojourning as a medical missions sister in Swaziland, Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her final vows. Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret can hardly believe it when the Spirit tells her she must marry the troubled boy who befriended her all those years ago, forsaking the only life she ever wanted for a man she knows she'll never love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Passion of Mary Margaret , go HERE

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 on the 10th


Mer is hosting her first 10 on the 10th today, and true to form, I can't figure out what to post ten of! You wouldn't think this would be so hard would you. :) Thinking, thinking...

A few weeks ago, I was telling my husband that I was shocked and slighly appalled that we were missing certain songs from our music library (we are iTunes folks all the way). Specifically, the lack of 80's music was glaring ... and as I am a child of the 80's there were certain songs that I felt that (over time) must be added or our children would be scarred for life because they had never heard them and they would miss that link with their mother's past. Okay, slight over-exaggeration, but still. :)
So, in no particular order, and most definitely probably forgetting something that will strike me as soon as I push the post button, ten songs that I LOVED in high school:

1. You're the Inspiration, Chicago
2. Only in My Dreams, Debbie Gibson Oh, yes, I loved Debbie Gibson and so wanted to be her. :)
3. Invisible Touch, Genesis

4. Anything by Huey Lewis. Power of Love? Hip to Be Square? Huey was so cool.
5. Soldier of Love, Donny Osmond.
6. How Will I Know?, Whitney Houston. Big voice, big hair, big song. I knew that one backwards and forwards.
I'm Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul.
Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley.
9. Kyrie Eleison, Mr. Mister.
10. La Bamba, Los Lobos. I realize this song wasn't technically an 80's song, but it was rereleased then and I felt pretty cool being able to sing a whole song in Spanish. Go me. :)

To link up your list of 10, visit Mer's! (Any songs that would have been on your list? And if you were only 3 in the 80's *coughlexiecough*, please don't make me feel old!) :)

Beatrix Potter


I love, love, love Beatrix Potter stories. The sweet slightly-dated English language, the dainty drawings, the tiny size of the books ... they are just perfect for children and I've thoroughly enjoyed introducing my girls to the stories over the last year. For one of my girls' birthdays, we were given the complete tales in one very large volume, and there is something they love about pulling out the big book and finding our place where we left off.
Instead of sharing our favorite story today though, I'm going to tell the one that I don't like to read very often ... because it makes this mama so sad.

Jemima Puddle-Duck wants to be a mama so badly. The farmer's wife would not let her hatch her own eggs so Jemima tried to hide them. However, they were always found and taken away from her.

So, Jemima tried to be a little sneaky ... which, unfortunately doesn't work out like she thinks it does. She is "befriended" by a gentleman fox who "kindly" helps her find a quiet, dry place to lay her eggs. Jemima is also encouraged to help herself to the various herbs that are growing around her nesting place ... herbs that were most suitable for stuffing a duck.

I'll leave the rest of the story for you to find out yourselves if you haven't had a chance to read this tale yet. Needless to say, it does not end well for Jemima, but not in the way you think (or the way I want)! :) Oh well, I guess I'll just skip over this story for the most part, and we'll spend most of our time with other characters such as the rascally Peter and Squirrel Nutkin.

For more thoughts on Beatrix Potter, head over to Five Minutes for Books!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ::: March 9

Outside my Window ... it is beautiful. (Sorry, Pattie). :) The weather is supposed to get into the 70*s again today, and while they are forecasting rain, the skies are blue, blue.

I am thinking
... of things green (St. Patrick's Day plans), of coloring eggs, and numerous spring things.

I am thankful for ... good health, time this week to get done what needs to get done (if I'm a good steward of my time), friends that will be coming into town this weekend.

In the learning room ... I'm working on pulling together some St. Patrick's Day things for next week. I'm also putting together a list of books I want to search for at the library on Easter and springtime. It's time to put away our winter/snow books!

From the kitchen ...

: easy beef tips (crockpot) over rice, salad
Tuesday: chicken soft tacos (crockpot), lettuce, tortillas, etc., fruit
Wednesday: quesadillas
Thursday: BBQ keilbasa, corn, something green?
Friday: pizza night
Saturday: Church Homecoming Dinner! Catered meal! Someone else cooking! :)

I am creating ... a few goodies for some friends that have been tested and stretch of late. Just a few spring-like reminders that He makes all things new again in His time. What a promise.

I am going ... in circles! :) Not really, but this week is busy. Today takes us to the dentist for N1 (and where I will hopefully duck the question of when I am coming back in again...)

I am wearing ... knee length denim skirt, red (bandana-y print) shirt

I am reading
... Mrs. Sharp's book ... perusing the chapters on March and April right now. I have several books on hold at the library that we'll pick up tomorrow so I'm not sure what I'll start next.

I am hoping ... for a wonderful weekend with church friends as we celebration 20 years of God's goodness. Hoping that all the logistical pieces come together, that no one gets sick, and for a testimony of God's faithfulness and just all sorts of fun seeing old friends.

I am hearing
... the washing machine and dryer, birds chirping like crazy outside, little girls running in and out the back door up to all sorts of good mischief.

Around the house ... today is laundry day and there is so much today ... we must have gone through an extra amount of clothes at the end of last week. Crazy.

One of my favorite things
... good news about my husband's job in the midst of uncertainty.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ...
so many good things, well, other than today's dentist appointment run (but N1 is looking forward to it so that's good!) :) Tomorrow the girls and I are making a day of it with a bunch of errands - Sam's (to order Homecoming cakes), the library, lunch with Grandma and Aunt, dance class, etc. Wednesday is Bible study. Thursday and Friday look very light on the calendar right now - purposefully so as I will be busy pulling together the last pieces for our weekend. Oh - and our church worship CD is set to arrive here on Thursday ... I can't wait to see it! :)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you ...

Obviously I'm not the only one enjoying this great weather!

March 5, 2009

Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

No Spend/Low Spend Update #1

Can we just call this week a do-over? The forces (and myself) were against me. Here's the run-down...

Sunday, 3/1: $0. Well, I take that back. :) I would have spent $0, but my husband was finishing up our church's worship CD (on sale! this week! buy one!) and mixing and mastering. I went in to check on him and see if needed anything ... he needed a coke in a bad way. :) So, Betsy-Boo and I headed to Kroger with some caffinated sustinance for the husband. (Spend around $20 while there, but I'm going to consider this groceries).

Monday, 3/2: $0

Tuesday, 3/3: $10 - made a cash withdrawl today. I have Bible study on Wednesday and we all pitch in for babysitting. It will be interesting to see how long I can make what I don't spend last.

Wednesday, 3/4:
  • out of yesterday's $10, I spent $6 on babysitting for Bible study.
  • $17.64 at McDonalds. *gasp* Totally not a planned expenditure. We had someone working at the house and they weren't done when I got home from Bible study. I needed to kill another hour with the girls and it was lunchtime, ergo, we went to "Old McDonald's" as they like to call it.
  • $2 for a Route 44 at Sonic. Spend from my leftover cash from Bible study. Sort of forgot about the "no spend thing."
    Off to a good start this first week, hmm?
Thursday, 3/5: $0

Friday, 3/6: $10 for some spring cards for an egg coloring party that I'm having for my girls in a few weeks. Trying to get a jump start on my planning, but I totally could have waited. Bad me.

Saturday, 3/7: $14.97 at the Parent-Teacher Store and $12.09 at Target. On one hand, as most women can attest, to get out of Target for only $12 shows great restraint, so I am giving myself points for that. :) However, I can do better!!

All in all, not so hot for my first week. However, I am going to try again, and I think in all, I did make some changes. I only got one Diet Coke while I was out running around over the course of a week and those add up. This week ... take two! :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Little Bits

  • Sitting outside with my girls this morning. The temp is hovering around 60* with a promise of 70* later today. The girls are hard at work bottling up sand in all the empty jars and bottles around the house. They have a plan, of sorts, and I'm just excited that we're all outside enjoying this weather.
  • Made these breakfast pizza muffins this morning. YUM. I ended up leaving out the green peppers because I have little girls that balk at green things in their food, and I may add them the next time anyway. 
  • I uploaded my March menu plan on the computer today. Last month I had a beautifully planned February menu (for an especially busy month for our family) and about 10 days into the month I lost it. *insert gasp of horror here* So this month, I'm planning ahead with a backup copy online. I can relax now. (I don't know that my menu is anything brilliant, but you are welcome to download it). :)
  • I just finished a great book ... A Miracle for St. Cecilia. If you are a fan of the Mitford series or Miss Read it's totally worth checking out. Small town, small church, salt of the earth people. My kind of book. (And there is four more books in the series for me to explore = bliss.)
  • Callapidder Days is gearing up for the 2009 Spring Reading thing. I thoroughly enjoy this read-along every year and need to get to work on my list. I don't know that I've ever finished my list completely, but I love making lists and this reminds to be purposeful and spending a little time reading daily.

Have a wonderful Friday. :)

This post is linked up with the Company Girls Coffee Talk, too!

Friday Felicities

737178547_9b171bda7c_o.jpg image by herdofsteph
Things that make me happy...
  • ripe avacados
  • this book that I just finished : A Miracle for St. Cecilia by Katherine Valentine. Delightful. (And recommended if you are a fan of the Mitford books or Miss Read!) Oooh, and when I went to Amazon to find the link I discovered that this is a series with 4 more books in it!
  • the 70*+ weather we will supposedly have for the next three days.
  • going to bed early
  • being at home
For more felicities, link up at Becky's. :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My No Spend/Low Spend March

A few weeks ago, I decided that in March I wanted to challenge myself to keep track of my spending. February was an expensive month for us - new glasses and an eye exam for me along with several very necessary items of clothing that needed replacing. It also seemed like I was off my game when it came to our meals and was running to the store every few days for something that I forgot or needed. (Losing my paper with my entire February menu plan probably didn't help with that. Oops.)

This month, I'm going to keep up with what is going out and also, try and keep those little purchases that I don't even give a second thought to, to a minimum. I'm hoping to do a weekly summary post to see what I've spent and how well I did. I'm not going to include my groceries in this. This past Saturday I did my huge once-a-month run to Aldi's and Sam's for most of our groceries. Everything from here on out should just be little things to supplement as we run out, i.e., milk and produce.

Wish me luck! :)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook ::: March 2

Outside my Window ... sunny and very cold. Last I checked, we had not yet gotten over 30* outside. I have a disappointed little girl who is dying to go outside, but it is just too cold.

I am thinking
... of so many things.

I am thankful for
... the end of a long project that is in sight. And with the end of it should also come some warm weather. Both of which I am eagerly looking forward to.

In the learning room
... lots of talk of Easter (reading through that section in our children's Bible right now). Lots of reading and coloring and such.

From the kitchen

: rodeo chicken sandwiches, french fries, salad
Tuesday: easy beef tips (crockpot) over rice, salad
Wednesday: It's my turn to make food for my Bible study so I'll be making a big morning meal and we'll probably do leftovers for dinner. I'm making hashbrown breakfast casserole, fruit salad, and snickerdoodles to take.
Thursday: honey pecan chicken, green beans
Friday: pizza night
Saturday: southwest stir fry

I am creating
... not much. I have been so busy this weekend ... I need some time at my desk with paper.

I am going
... to try and go to bed early this week. I am generally in bed around 11, but I want to aim for 10 p.m. this week. I'm getting over my 2nd cold in a row and I will be doing quite a bit of singing this week and next. It is not the time to be sick.

I am wearing
... *ssshhhhh* I'm still in my jammies. I promise, I'm getting dressed soon. :)

I am reading
... Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott.

I am hoping ... to keep doing the next thing.

I am hearing
... the washing machine and dryer, the printer humming, rest-time sounds.

Around the house
... not too bad right now, all things considered. If I had written this a couple hours ago, I would have been compelled to tell you about the ENTIRE box of cereal that E dumped on the floor and how I found her and N1 laying on their tummies, surround by cereal, pretending to be dogs. We lead a klassy life. :)

One of my favorite things
... homemade quacamole (today's lunch) and peanut m&m's. Not together, of course, but they compliment each other nicely.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ...
ummmm. Lots o' things. Tuesday: ballet; Wednesday: Bible study (bring food) and Awana; Thursday: music team rehearsal (the first I've gone to in about 18 months - yikes) and Grandma is coming to babysit; Friday: pizza and family night; Saturday: staff meeting at church and hopefully remembering to SPRING FORWARD!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you ...

March 1, 2009

Do visit Peggy's to see all the other daybook posts this week!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bloggy Book Tour ::: The Deuteronomy Project

I was recently sent a copy of The Deuteronomy Project to review. The author, Richard B. Couser, took the book of Deuteronomy and rewrote it in novel-form ... giving the reader the truth and understanding of Deuteronomy, and through it, the entire Bible, from the discussion and experiences of the fictional characters of Hal, a retired Pastor and Moses figure, Chris, a young lawyer, and their friends. The entire text of Deuteronomy is presented, chapter by successive chapter in each chapter of the book. The Deuteronomy Project moves beyond the traditional commentary or study guide to take the reader into the fictional “reality” of the characters, and, through them, a real understanding of the mind of God.
This looks like a incredibly book to me. I will be honest ... I have not read this one. (It's huge! and I had several other books that needed finishing first.) I have read Deuteronomy several times, and am eager to read this book and see how well his fictionalized version matches up with the Scriptures. Most of us are familiar with, or have at least run across on the shelves of the church library or local Christian book store, a novelized version of some of the spicier characters of the Bible ... Mary Magdaline, Hosea & Gomer, Esther ... all come to mind. I am looking forward to seeing a fictionalized take on the words of Moses - those words where God again and again reminds His people that if they just are faithful to Him, He will exceedingly bless their nation.
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."
Deuteronomy 6:4-12