Thursday, October 14, 2010

CSN Giveaway at Creative Disaster!

My friend, Emily, is hosting a CSN Giveaway over at her blog Creative Disaster.  The drawing is Friday, so hurry and get your entries in!!  Good luck.  =)

Monday, September 20, 2010

9.20 meal planning

Monday:  Eggplant Cacciatore, brown rice, salad
Tuesday:  Black bean burgers, salad
Wednesday: Chickpea and Pasta Soup with a salad
Thursday:  chickpea patties with roasted carrots, green beans and salad
Friday:  Left overs
Saturday: Broccoli pizza, salad
Sunday:  Split pea  and tomato soup with spinach

We've started following food guidelines found in Eat to Live.  Amazing book.  After eating this way for a week and a half, I already feel more energetic and healthier.  =)

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've realized my life is going through phases constantly, back to back, one right after another: 

getting ready for T to leave
getting adjusted to T being gone
finding a new routine once adjusted
getting ready for T to get back
readjusting once T gets home
finding a new routine when he's home
and then back to getting ready for T to leave.

And really, the phases overlap each other, no matter what phase I'm currently in, I'm trying to catch up from the last phase and simultaneously prepare for the next one.  It's no wonder so much time goes by without me realizing it. 

Anyway, with that being said, I'm currently trying to figure out a new routine for us.  I need more organization, really I do.  Surprised?  =)  I've got a new weekly schedule planned, reworking the budget, and starting meal planning again.  We'll see how long I'll keep it up this time.  Wish me luck! 

This weeks dinner menu:

Monday: Chickpea cutlets (Veganomicon,) mashed potatoes, and corn
Tuesday: Vegetable stir fry
Wednesday: Samosas
Thursday: Pasta with roasted veggies
Friday: Tofu hot dogs to take to Family Fun Night at church
Saturday: Summer squash soup, cous cous & black bean salad
Sunday:  Restaurant

See Menu Plan Monday on Organization Junkie
If only I could be that organized!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Waste Not... Want Not

That is the theme of my life!  So much so, that it's caused mild hoarding issues, but I am happy to say I am successfully dealing with those!  As a couple, my husband and I are very practical.  Sometimes we drive ourselves crazy with just how practical we are.  Our main thoughts when out and about are usually along these lines:  "Do we really need this?" or "Is it necessary to buy this or do this?" or "How long can we put this purchase off?"  or my absolute favorite, "I could easily make that myself!" 

This week, I crossed off a project on my "I can do that myself and for cheaper," list.  About a week ago, the girls and I were visiting a friend.  While they were playing outside, they found the sandbox, and fell in love with it.  I remember seeing those huge sandboxes at stores and thought, "Now really, my kids do not need anything that big.  I could make one myself."  And that's just what I did:

I bought a Rubbermaid container for $8 and a few bags of sand for $3.50 each.  (I ended up only needing one, so I saved the others for later.)  Compare that to the cheapest sandbox at $37 that holds 150 lbs of sand!  Really, my kids did not need that much sand.  It would all eventually end up in the yard anyway.  One thing I love about keeping the sandbox small is that I am still able to move it when I need to.  So wherever the shade is, that's where I'll put the box.  They also got a lot less sandy than they would if they were able to sit in it, which is good when diapers are still in use.  The lid should keep water and critters out, but even if they do happen to get in, I only have to replace one bag of sand versus a whole sandbox of it!  Not bad!  Best of all, my kids LOVED it.  I mean really loved it.  So much, that they played with it this morning for so long in the heat and humidity.  I eventually had to tear them away from it!  Awesome results from $11.50!

Another project is my basil plant "box."  I took another storage container that my grandma had given me, and repurposed it into an herb box.  I had my husband drill holes into the bottom for drainage.  He and my oldest daughter filled it with potting soil and planted my basil plants.  Within a day, the plants were flourishing!  What's awesome is since it's pretty much see through, I can tell right away if the dirt is moist or dry, and C can see the roots that ended up reaching down next to the side of the box. Great for a plant study!  And yes, we will be enjoying a lot of pesto this summer!

So, those are a few of my thrifty and repurposing projects lately.  The next one on my list is to work on sewing up some summer clothes for the girls.  I'll be trying to destash my fabric and clothes that need to be repurposed.  Anyone else out there have this habit?  Or am I just weird?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great Waves

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Hokusai  1832

The past month has been a tumultuous sea of emotions.  My family has felt devastated and happy, and everywhere in between, and at times, both extremes at once. On April 24th, my stepdad unexpectedly passed away.  My husband was out to sea at the time.  As soon as I found out, (on top of emotionally dealing with the news,) I was trying to price plane tickets for the girls and me.  A few days passed and T was able to come home and take emergency leave.  So, thankfully, we were all able to fly home to Texas for about a week and a half.  It was good for me to be with family.  I'm so glad we were able to help my mom out, and I was able to get some closure.  I could literally see God working and providing for all of us every day.  He never fails to amaze me.

After we returned to Virginia, T had to go back out to sea.  I was busy getting the girls back into a routine, then the following Saturday started my mom's visit here.  We had actually planned this visit months back to coincide with C's 5th birthday and her first ballet recital.  Only God knew well in advance how much we would both need that time together.

My mom and I took advantage of every single moment together.  We laughed, we cried, we talked (for hours!,) we played with the kids, took them to the beach, we studied the Bible, we worshiped together, we enjoyed the little things, and the BIG things.  It was so fulfilling.

C turned five this past weekend.  If my mom hadn't been there, I probably would have been an emotional wreck... ok, a BIGGER emotional wreck!  C's birthday fell on the same day as her ballet rehearsal for which she had to get dressed and made up.  I put as little makeup as possible, and yet I cried.  It was so hard to see her looking so grown up.  My emotions were really out of control that day.  Thankfully, C didn't seem to notice too much.

We only had to stay for C's class' dance, so afterward we came home to get ready for her birthday celebration.  My grandparents drove in for the weekend as well.  C felt so special to have everyone in town to celebrate her birthday and recital.  Since I didn't get a chance to plan the birthday party I wanted to give her, we had a small family dinner at the house, opened presents, and had C's requested strawberry cake.  I'm so grateful my family was here.  It really meant so much to C and me.  They all truly made C feel so special.

The next day, after attending church together, we all went to the recital.  C was beyond cute on stage, and I was very proud.  She had a blast.  The afternoon brought goodbyes to my grandparents as they had to go back home.  We enjoyed a Japanese take-out dinner and a family movie at home with my mom.  Then early this morning, we said goodbye to her as well, as she also had to get back home.

And now the house is quiet.

Ha! Who am I kidding?  The kids are as active and energetic as ever.  They are always who keep me focused and busy.  So, this week, we will get caught up around here.  Get back to our normal schedule, and patiently wait for Daddy to get home soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

one year

We've been back in the states for a year now.

I'm still waiting for things to slow down.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And so it begins....

Well, we got to have Daddy home for about 8 hours, 3 of those he had to nap thanks to exhaustion.  He had to go back to the ship tonight, and left right before I started putting the girls to bed.  They're taking it pretty well.  I'm really surprised, since this was somewhat all of a sudden for them.  We knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but found out pretty much last minute.  The ship should be starting her workups soon, so hopefully the girls will continue to be just as easy going about all this as they have been so far. 

I supposed I shouldn't put off C's study about Daddy's job and his duties any longer.  I've had the idea swirling around in my mind lately and just haven't done the planning yet.  I'm thinking about a scrapbook type project with the details of Daddy's job, the ship, his going away sometimes, etc.  I will also have pages of pictures of them, and a place where she can put letters she receives from him.  That sort of thing.  I think it will help her understand more, and also, hopefully, give her comfort in the unavoidable times of missing him.

I've definitely reacted differently this time.  When we were in Florida and he would leave for any amount of time I always felt somewhat devastated.  We were newly weds though, and I was completely new to the military life.  Every time he left, it broke my heart a little.  Now, though, I think I am much stronger.  I know what to expect.  I think my growing relationship with God is truly the main reason for the change.  He is giving me peace, and for me (since I've always dealt with anxiety,) that is such a faith building block.  Having the kids now is another reason I've reacted differently. (better?)  They make me want to be stronger, keep it together, and show them how to have faith that everything is in God's hands.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Last Minute Dessert - Raspberry Sorbet

At the last possible minute, I decided to make something special for the girls' dessert tonight.  They were both fairly well behaved all day (surprisingly,) and since today should end our week of not having Daddy around, I felt they deserved it.  I had a HUGE 16 pound bag of ice in the freezer that I really needed to make a dent in (thanks A!) so I decided to use the ice cream maker.  I also had a ton of frozen fruit in there as well.  I thought back to the fruit slushies we recently had at JoJack's (a local coffee shop,) and wondered if I could make a similar concoction and turn it into sorbet.  So, I asked C what fruit she wanted, and when she decided on raspberries, I set to work.  This is what I came up with:

Pretty Raspberry Sorbet

12 oz frozen raspberries (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 cups green tea
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Brew 2 cups of green tea in a small pot.  While it is still hot, add sugar and stir until it is completely mixed in.  Transfer tea and sugar mixture to a blender, add in the raspberries and lemon juice.  Puree mixture.   At this point, if you have time, strain the mixture through cheesecloth in order to get the seeds out.  (I didn't have the time.  The seeds didn't bother the girls or me too much.)  Cool in refrigerator, and then process in an ice cream maker until you remember it or your kid says, "Mom, I think the ice cream must be done by now!"  (Obviously, I forgot about mine, but I would say 20 minutes should be good.)  If you want a really sweet sorbet, you might want to add another 1/2 cup of sugar.  Because this was for my kids, I kept it to the minimum; the 1/2 cup of sugar was just enough to balance the tartness of the raspberries without adding extra sweetness to the flavor.  Hope you enjoy it, I know we did!

Friday, March 26, 2010

the girls

Because I know my family is going through withdrawal from pictures of the girls...  =)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Look what came in the mail today!

My Associates!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My daily battle

Most days, I try my hardest to be organized.  I really do.  It does not come easy for me.  I try to get my meal planning done, my chores prioritized, and my errands ran.  It truly takes extreme effort on my part to know what I need to do and to actually be able to get it done.

If a truly organized person would come into my home and watch me for a full day, she would probably evaluate me running at 20% efficiency in the area of organization.  Twenty percent.  That's probably being a little generous with the estimation, too.

On days like today, I wake up and organization is a giant monster that wants to eat me alive.  I lay in bed not even wanting to fight back.  I don't even where to begin.  The to-do list has no end and I have no motivation to even start.  Even if I did, every single thing that has to be done is flying around my mind or glaring right at me, all screaming and vying for the number one priority spot.

It's enough to make me scream, "I quit!  I'm done trying to get it all done.  I don't care."  But just as I open my mouth, a sigh escapes instead of the scream.  I realize (once again) that I can't quit.  I have a husband (who I love more than I can describe) who is an absolute neat freak and born organized, and kids (who I also love, of course!) that need structure and a clean place to eat and play.  I have to keep trying.  Every day, I have to start this battle over.

So, I get out of bed, brush my teeth, and face the monster head on.  Hopefully, I'll get at least 20% done today. 

Obviously, blogging has been extremely low on the priority list.  =)