Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wishing You All

Recipe For A Wonderful New Year

Take twelve whole months.
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy.
Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.
Now cut each month into 28, 30 or 31 parts,
but don't make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients:
Mix well into each day one part of faith,
one part of patience, one part of courage,
and one part of work.
Add to each day one part of hope,
faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation,
and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
and a cupful of good humor.
Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
Cook thoroughly over radiant joy,
garnish with a smile,
and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
and cheerfulness.


Wishing everyone a happy,
prosperous and frugal New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We're still here. A wonderful holiday followed by a not so wonderful virus. I have downloaded nothing. I'm just now keeping my head above water. I'll post tomorrow. Maybe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Small World

Seen in Bejing

I was sent this interesting article.
Who knows?

"There is so much we do not know, about the history of this world of ours. There is so much to discover, both about the most far off places and those that are under our own noses. And between the "heres" and "theres", between the "nows" and "thens" there are ties, lots of them, hidden and manifest, connecting each of our small worlds to the wide world, that is - when all is said and done, a single, unique world.
Let's remember, let's rejoice and let's give thanks for all this.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year." Viviana

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

The Shortest Day
Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Why am I up at 4:22 am? Got me. Could be dh's snoring or the ice cracking I hear outside my window. The predicted apocalyptic ice storm seems to have come but I've got power so it's all good. Now if dh can make it to work and they don't cancel school (a delay, please a delay) my day can go on as planned. I need to speed sew some things and get to a store while I am kid free (well, except for Addie) but she usually just sits in the cart and flirts with people so she can receive the adoration that is her due. (It is, just ask her). I hear dd's phone alarm. I will be so glad when today's finals are over. I know people think they would love to have a grade obsessed teen who studies all the time but really, you wouldn't. I have repeated and repeated that the world will not stop revolving if she's not valedictorian but....she is her father's daughter. Now ds is not troubled by these thoughts. TIme to find a snack and have another cup of tea. I swore I wouldn't turn the coffee on until 5am but tea's okay, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just A Little Scroogy

Tonight is the middle school band concert and I'm looking like this

Bad mommy confessions. I don't really like music much. I really don't like it when it's played by 7th graders in a gymnasium with acoustics that are just about what you'd expect. You get to listen to said music in a metal folding chair that makes it impossible to even see your child. Quite frankly, if I never attend another recital, concert, ceremony or graduation it'll be a-okay with me. Humbug.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Because Nothing Says Christmas

like a fence.

At least we know the tree won't make a sneaky get away in the night.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thirteen Years Ago

I was hugely pregnant during what was being touted as the snowiest December in years. I trudged through the knee deep drifts that morning, carrying S who was 20 mo. After our trip out I gave E and S lunch and put S down for a nap. I laid on the couch and E laid her head on my hip. All of a sudden my water broke. I made for the bathroom with a little voice asking why I peed my pants, lol. C was born after 4 hours of labor. He weighed 9-8 and had a huge head. That was the first thing I noticed about him, lol. He's smart, really smart, weirdly smart. He didn't want me to take his pic this morning but here's one from last summer when his baseball team won the local championship.

HIs birthday request this year...a tube of pre-made cookie dough to eat all by himself with a spoon. YUCK!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


What you make when your kid has snacks and you forgot.

How is it better than a bag of pretzels with a chocolate kiss and an m&m thrown in. I don't know, it just is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A New Song

12 Cookies Baking
11 Socks a Drying
10 Cups of Coffee
9 People Griping
8 Pans a Soaking
7 Children Needing
6 Errands Waiting
5 Concerts to Attend
4 Appointments Scheduled
3 Meals a Day
2 Drinks I Need
and a
Toddler Getting Teeth Today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What I Did Do

Wrap gifts or maybe even buy some? NO. Get and decorate a tree? NO. Attend festivities? NO
I firmly ignored Christmas yesterday. I did plan menus though, since I have dentist, eye and vet appointments this week.

Sunday-swiss steak, rice, carrots
Monday-pancakes&sausages, oranges
Tuesday-spaghetti&sauce, garlic bread, broccoli
Wednesday-popcorn chicken, fries, corn
Thursday-meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Saturday-stew, biscuits

Thursday, December 04, 2008


It's Thursday already? And not one stinkin' exciting thing to post. I'm continuing the bake-a-thon because evidently my family KNOWS food is love. Poor Ad has a bleeding diaper rash. I don't think my other kids have had so much as pinkness. I'm coating it with white pasty substances and giving lots of bath time (like 3 quick dips/day) and if it doesn't resolve I'll take her to the doc. It seems rather ridiculous that I'm a newbie at diaper rash. Tomorrow night I'm taking 4 of the kids to a Walk to Bethlehem. I can't believe it was the 16yo's idea. It should be nice. Saturday said 16yo is going to Chicago and I'm taking the Girl Scouts to Scrooge. Somehow after an afternoon keeping them in line and wondering what horror could have befallen the oldest I believe I'll set aside Saturday evening for drinking. At some point I might consider dragging out some Christmas decorations too. Maybe. Sorta. Later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not Cloris

You can't hear it but she's jamming to The Itsy Bitsy Spider. She's not Cloris Leachman but, well, that's OK.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Monday

The economy, the government, my irritating family. Meh, let's focus on something that doesn't matter. Sticking my fingers in my ears *lalalala*

the usual here
hot cocoa &toast
coffee cake
a special treat of bacon and poptarts (store brand) on Thanksgiving

Sun-pasta & meatballs, spinach salad, garlic toast
Mon- ground turkey stroganoff, green beans, canned oranges
Tue-bbq sandwiches, corn, cole slaw
Wed-pizza, ice cream
Thur-All the treats
Fri-chili, cornbread
Sat-leftover buffet

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Week

Yuck! This was Tuesday and we had more this morning.

Guess who wants to go out too.

This one likes summer and opted to stay inside.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Peed A Little

This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Dh asked if I'd been hitting the flexaril. It's just that I remember the '70's and my mother's foray into Weight Watchers and I think I remember some of these foods.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan

I actually made it to the grocery and did a big grocery stock up on Friday. All the goodies I have makes it harder to menu plan than my usual squeaking by with what I've got. Ok, tentatively

Sunday-Best Lasagna Ever (see Pioneer Woman Cooks), homemade garlic bread
Mon-venison meat loaf, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin pie
Tue-brats, macaroni&cheese, broccoli,grapes
Wed-chicken, rice, peas&carrots, oranges
Thur-hot dogs, pork&beans, corn, apple slices
Fri-pizza, relishes, ice cream
Sat-popcorn chicken, french fries, green beans, cookies

Saturday, November 15, 2008

For the 8th Year

Cub Scout food drive today-in the rain, the sleety rain, the very cold wet, wet rain. ~sigh~ We only collected about half what we did last year too. Times are not good, but please don't sit in front of your TV and refuse to answer your door. ~grump~
At least the boys learned that you keep your commitments, even if the weather stinks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In a Different Time

he'd have been dumping tea in the harbor.

*note this was his own thing. I'm not sure how I raised a political child.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Today is the last decent fall day predicted. Yuck! So, feeling maudlin I'll yet again pull out one of my favorite poems.

Spring and Fall (1880) by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghosts guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meal Plan Monday


pumpkin pie
peanut butter toast

shepherds pie, carrots&peas
hot dogs,macaroni&cheese, green beans
roast, potatoes, carrots
chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, corn
beef pot pie
leftovers or grilled cheese

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

So that people will attend the town sponsored Halloween Festival they had trick or treating last night. Meh, whatever. I was sad that only three walked with me, two being too old and the 12 and 10 year old went off on their own.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Amy over at The Motherload is organizing a big give in her area to help a local mission. This really hit me since I just live a hop,skip and jump from her in another part of IN. IN is doing pretty well compared to many mid-west states but we still have entire towns dependent on auto industry factories. Not a good thing right now. Here in our little bit of the Hoosier State my Cub Scouts and I are gearing up for our annual food drive for the local food pantry. This is a really grass roots little place, one room in an old school. They have had requests of course go up while donations are down. Hopefully we'll be able to help and teach the boys about being good citizens at the same time. Take some of your own time to do something good for your community.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I've Been Doing

While they were having fun, I was cleaning the gutters. Yuck! Note the five year old's red glittery shoes. What could be more appropriate for raking?
I've live with a one year old. Really, I don't need any other occupations. Note the clean clothes have been removed for more one year old comfort.
I let my children play with black food dye, and did you know that if you squeeze the middle of the tube it'll come out both ends. Way cool.
I have not included a picture of the final soccer games. All three hours of them, spent in the frigid wind tunnel. I couldn't quit shaking to take a decent picture. Also not included are a picture of the car my husband went deer hunting with. The deer won, the car lost. (He's fine, the same cannot be said for my beloved station wagon.) Then there was tonight's apple bobbing, cub scouting fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LOK Kitchen Challenge

I finally remembered to do the LOK Kitchen Challenge. To make it fair I just picked a day and then tallied it up. It was a close thing. I came in $1.00 under budget but it gives a true picture of what we eat. It also doesn't figure that there are 2 more breakfasts in that canister of oatmeal, or leftovers for dh's lunch from the spaghetti. Here's my entry.

Oatmeal and an orange. This is pretty typical for us. I really try for the five-a-day thing. It would be cheaper without the oranges. I could have bought canned oranges, peaches, applesauce. Something cheaper but this is what we really had and I wanted this to be true to life.

Bag Oranges-$2.99
Canister oats-$1.39

Peanutbutter sandwich, carrot sticks,and a banana. Lunches are pretty simple here. My older kids take their lunch to school. I usually make a bunch of sandwiches (peanut butter, hummus, jelly, ham) and keep in the freezer so they just have to grab some. Dh usually takes leftovers if possible but his favorite food on earth is a peanut butter sandwich so he's easy to feed.

Peanut butter $1.29
Bread $0.75
carrots $1.50
bananas $0.86

Spaghetti&sauce, salad, homemade bread. A favorite and filling. We probably have italian pasta weekly. I don't usually put meat in our spaghetti. Our oldest is a vegetarian and this way she'll eat. With the carrots and banana from lunch and the tomato sauce and salad I just made the five-a-day thing. I just wanted to prove you can eat a balanced, reasonably priced diet. We dress our salad with oil/vinegar, a very small amount so I didn't include that.

ww pasta $1.50
sauce $0.99
saladx2 $1.98
hm bread $0.75 (may be cheaper, figured store cost)

Total Day $14

I do need to note that my family really will eat an entire loaf of bread with a meal. It's that 14yo boy! Don't let your babies become man sized!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Miss Mel is five today. Insert all the things you think when this happens ie. where did that five years go?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Finally we were all well enough to go somewhere fun. I took the little girlies to Mother's Meeting this morning. It was good to speak to other adults for awhile. The weather is cooler today. We've had an unusually warm fall (not that I'm complaining.) It has been so nice to let the kids play outside for hours after school. We are not a family that takes well to staying inside. Another plus is that the garden is still spitting tomatoes and green peppers at me. I made this soup yesterday. It was really good and used up all those ping pong sized tomatoes.
Not too much else going on, E is stressing over possibly getting an A-, C&S are going camping this weekend, we have our next to last soccer game Saturday. I guess that's about it. Life is always busy here, yet it's just ordinary busyness. That's the best kind though. Hear me fates, I am NOT tempting you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mutation and Monday

The thing about viruses is they mutate, and continue to attack in new and amazing ways. So I'm continuing my new career in nursing. But since it's Monday..

eggs &toast
sausage&hash browns
pumpkin muffins

pan roasted chicken, potatoes, grapes
ground turkey stroganoff, green beans
swiss steak, rice, carrots
beef&noodles, corn
mac&cheese, broccoli
pasta w/onions&peppers, oranges
milkshakes, peanut butter sandwiches

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lazy Man's Pierogi

If anyone has ever made pierogi, you know it takes forever. They make frozen ones but it takes 3 bags to feed us. Not frugal so, I googled around and found this. We like it. I usually add crumbled, cooked bacon or some sliced kielbasa. I like mine with sauerkraut too.
10 to 12 potatoes, boiled and mashed
14 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 sticks butter
2 onions, diced
1 lb. lasagna noodle, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes. While still hot mash and add cheese. Beat with mixer. Saute onions in melted butter until soft. Add 1/3 of onion-butter mixture to potatoes and season to taste. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Put a layer of noodles on bottom of pan, spread a layer of potato mixture. On top alternate layers ending with noodle on top. Pour rest of butter and onion over top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. May be microwaved.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Of Viruses and Menus

Ah, autumn. The season when children willingly share their viruses with each other. Evidently my children only choose to play with sick classmates. Oh well, I just picked up C from school sick and Ad has had a fever since Saturday. They are the last two so hopefully we will be DONE. Until next time anyway.

Menu this week

cinnamon rolls
cold cereal
sausage&hash browns
pumpkin raisin bread
french toast

Sun-spaghetti&meatballs, homemade garlic bread
Mon-shepherds pie, apple salad
Tue-bean burritos, corn
Wed-roast, carrots, potato
Sat-Lazy man's pierogis

Friday, October 03, 2008

Another Runner

Yesterday was the county wide elementary mile race. L participated and did very well actually. Not bad for a kid wearing her younger brother's t-shirt, her older brother's shorts and her cousin's old shoes. So much for a big investment in kids sports.

Monday, September 29, 2008


It's Monday again. How did that happen? I keep meaning to post and compose one in my head at a soccer game or girl scout meeting or... you get the idea. Anyway here's this week's

Most of this will be based on our Angel Food box we got on Saturday

cheerio-like cold cereal
blueberry and corn muffins
monkey bread
pumpkin pie (hey, it is too a vegetable)
french toast
hash browns&sausages

breaded tenderloin sandwiches and french fries
chicken breasts, rice, broccoli
beef pepper steak, rice, mandarin oranges
macaroni&cheese, brats in buns, apple salad
roast pork loin, baked potatoes, carrots
pizza rolls, ice cream
pork stew, corn bread

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Got Popcorn? Plea to the Relatives

It's Cub Scout popcorn time. You can order it online and have it delivered to you. I have a special code so my F gets credit.

Monday, September 22, 2008


cocoa and toast
raisin bread& sausage

Mon-busy day so milkshakes and peanut butter sandwiches
Tue-hamburger stroganoff, green beans, grapes
Wed-tacos,corn, orange wedges
Thur-mac&ch, hot dogs, apple salad
Sat-breaded chicken patties, french fries, banana pudding
Sun-roast, carrots, potatoes, apple crisp

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last Day of Summer

A wonderful day today. Phil and I took L, F, and Mel to the reservoir swimming since it was about 80. They had tons of fun digging in the sand and splashing. F made friends with some little boys who didn't speak english and yet all 7 yo boys seem to know the rules of their obscure games. Testosterone knows know language I guess. I sat in my lawn chair and soaked up the sun and breeze. It was darn near a perfect day. Afterward we stopped by the root beer stand and got coney dogs and root beers. Ah, the last gasp of summer. And no, I have no pictures because I was too busy enjoying the day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is It Just Me?

So, I made a flying stop at a Big-Box mart the other day to pick up a few items. Like the items I was supposed to bring to the party I was attending in 10 minutes. I'm looking up at the signs to find my items I notice this store carries...wait for it, wait for it....FROZEN ICE CREAM. It said so right above aisle 3. And I wondered, somewhere in this giant mega store is there unfrozen ice cream?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making Do Monday

It's clear out the freezer week here so

french toast
blueberry muffins&canadian bacon
egg casserole

Mon-popcorn chicken, hm baked fries, orange slices
Tue-spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread
Wed-beef&bean burritos, corn
Thur-mac&cheese, hot dogs, peas&carrots
Fri-grilled cheese or grilled peanut butter, apples&grapes
Sat-ground beef&potato casserole, broccoli
Sun-chicken&noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Obvious

It seems frugality has become a fad. At least I was on the leading edge of this one. Of course I'm going to hang on to it long after it has passed. I get that the economy has converged with simplicity which has converged with the internet to create what I think of as 'frugal mania.' I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I am just flummoxed at the things people don't know. I see tips and think, um well duh! So in no particular order the things people say that just amaze me. And if these were new to you, I want to be you!

1) Save first-yes, if you don't save you won't have extra money.
2) Eat at home-check the price of a whole chicken, even pre-roasted at the grocery and compare to a McChicken sandwich.
3) Turn off your lights-even my dad was hip to this one in 1976.
4 ) Don't drive so much-why yes, that would reduce gas usage. This of course doesn't take those of us who live 20 miles from
anything (including my kids school) into account.
5) Use the library-I lurve my library. I probably have an unhealthy relationship with my library, but considering the number of
books I could be buying, I'll risk it. That doesn't count music, movies, kids programs, all for free.
6) Disposable are expensive-mop heads, diapers, plates. All of the above. If you buy it to throw it away you'll be hard pressed
to get a deal. Now I have used all of the above when dictated by the situation, but hey, I knew it wasn't cheap.
7) Bring your own coffee-They charge $5 for sugary milk coffee. Bring your own, it tastes better. If you crave the flavor buy a
bottle of flavored syrup.
8) Water-use the tap. A close corollary of #7.
9) Try used-yep, when people can't afford their stuff they'll sell it to you cheap.
10)Try store brands-that's why they list those prices there on the shelf.