Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Thank you for all of your kind words!  I think what really hit me with Kaia's journal (which she completely shrugged away and laughed when I asked her about it) is that I haven't been living life with a purpose recently.  Life has been reactive.  I just keep putting out fires and that makes me unhappy and those around me unhappy.

So today, I thought I'd share something that makes me happy.  My favorite scents.  My good friend Jenny doesn't have anything scented in her home.  Her husband doesn't like anything to smell.  When she told me that, I was thankful that God gave me a husband that likes scents and lets me make the house smell however I like.  And I do use the word "smell" because he dislikes my Green Tea Patchouli linen spray, but still lets me use it on the furniture.

Have you ever watched the movie "The Lover?"  If not, don't.  I'm not recommending it.  I actually stumbled across it while flipping through the channels and it's just movie channel  pornography.  However, the scene I saw, and the reason I started to watch, was a beautiful young woman walking through a crowded outdoor market in Saigon.  My favorite scents make me think of some faraway market, in some exotic place.

I love jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, and incense. My favorite perfume is Opium. The suburban is nicely scented by having 2 sticks of incense just sitting on the dash.  A nice breath of one of those scents lifts my spirits and makes me happy.

What is something that makes you happy?

Monday, March 29, 2010



It's time to refocus on my priorities.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Resting the Rumors

I haven't blogged much this past week.  Contrary to what you may have heard, I was not:

Out on tour with a rock band.
Enjoying time at the spa.
Recovering from plastic surgery (although I could really use some).
Tanning on a beach in Hawaii.
Tied up and held hostage by my older children who are desperate for more attention.
In treatment for internet addiction (another thing I could probably use).

No I've just been busy at work, exhausted at home, and I couldn't blog on my lunch breaks because I either haven't had one, or my laptop was out with a nasty virus.

Things seem to be getting back to normal here, and in 2 weeks exactly I will be on a plane to Fort Worth, Texas! So it could get a bit crazy very soon!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Boys on my Birthday

Photos were taken by my dad

Brendon at 5 months

Bryce at 5 months

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Phone Rang

The phone rang, and before words were said, I knew it wasn't good news.  All she said was, "Sweetie, Paul passed away." 

My mom was at the hospital with my aunt Linda.  Paul has been my uncle for many years now, and to say he was in poor health is an understatement.  Linda's note to all of us later was please do not wish he were back here.  She is right.  He is where he is meant to be, and in a new body that isn't broken.  So please keep her and all of Paul's family in your prayers, as the grief is for our loss here on earth. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What do you think?

I made my very first blog background!  It's pretty simple, but I like simple.  I'm still not sure that the colors of my background match the header.  But, now that I know how to do it, I'll probably play around more.  Hopefully the cream background is much easier on your eyes.  Also, if I can ever find some free digital frogs that I like, I will try and add them to the site.  So tell me what you think... even if you hate it. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday on a Budget

My cousin texted me last week saying she could use my help.  Back when we were both at Central Washington University, we'd go grocery shopping together, and I'd always find all the amazing deals to help us both feed ourselves and hubbys on the cheap.  She wanted to start doing more eating at home, and using the extra money for other things.  I enjoyed searching the ads and creating a meal plan for her family, more than I do when I'm just figuring out my family's menu.  The benefit was, we both went shopping together Saturday, and I had created a menu for my family in the process.

Monday: Tacos (hamburger, refried beans, cheese, lettuce, fresh salsa, avocado on corn tortillas)

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Pork Steaks, rice, salad (pan fry the pork with green pepper chunks, add sweet and sour sauce, and chunks of pineapple)

Wednesday: Corned Beef and red potatoes in the crock pot with fresh veggies. 

Thursday: Roasted Chicken thighs, grilled potatoes and carrots

Friday: Easy Huevos Rancheros

Saturday: Roast Beef with potatoes and Carrots (with half the roast reserved for next weeks meal)

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday:  BBQ Beef Sandwiches (from Saturday's roast) with salad

Tuesday: Pork steaks with cream of mushroom soup in crockpot, served over rice with broccoli and cheese.

I'll complete next week's menu,  next week.  But we still have plenty of ground beef, round steak, chicken, and chicken fried steak patties to use. 

On Saturday I purchased- Roast, avocados, re-fried beans, corned beef, broccoli, red potatoes, pork steaks, spaghetti sauce, bananas, radishes, green onions, lettuce, sweet potato, mini carrots, chicken thighs, tortillas, sausage for breakfast, crackers, cheese, sweet and sour sauce, bbq sauce, cream of mushroom soup and more for about $48.  It would have been more, except I had a WIC check for $10 worth of veggies. 

So have any of you non-menu planners, decided to give it a try yet?

For more menus visit

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Northwest Profiles

I have shared a few of these before, remember the Blue Tarp Camper video?  These are radio and tv commercials for the Northwest.  I love to listen to them, because so often they are completely true of people here in Washington State.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Please be patient

I have some kind of wild hair to change up the blog.  But, can't decide what to make it look like at this time.  I'll be playing around over the next week.  Feel free to chime in at anytime on whether you like it or not.  Right now is just a "time to leave it alone for a bit" look.

Steak Strip Marinade

Here it is the yummiest marinade ever.  I had my choice of any restaurant I wanted for my birthday dinner, yet I wanted to eat these!  You can use most any cut of meat.  Even tough meat will be tender after this treatment.  I am going to savor every bite for my dinner tomorrow! Thanks to my mom for calling me with the recipe, since I keep losing it.

Steak Strip Marinade
1/2 c chili sauce
1/2 c tomato juice (or ketchup with water)
1/3 c oil
1/4 c vinegar
4 T brown sugar
1 T mustard
2 t instant coffee (or just add about 1/4 cup of leftover coffee)
1/2 t salt
1/2 small onion chopped

Mix together and marinade meat for at least 8 hours.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I hope you are Rockin the Red today for Jackson.  Today is his MRI.  Today they will find out if his tumor is responding to chemo.  Today we really need to pray for this brave little guy!  He has lost his hair and looks sick now, but he's also begun to enjoy McDonald's nuggets and fries and cheese balls.  And his mom shares a great story about that on her blog.  You can read the story and more at

You can also help Jackson's family by purchasing some handmade items at Jennifer's Etsy Shop.  She will be donating March's proceeds (listed on each item) to Jackson's family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Growing Up

There is so much growing up happening in our house this week.  The boys started on a new solid; sweet potatoes.  I was going to wait, but Brendon spent quite a bit of the weekend red-faced and grunting with no results.  So I started the sweet potatoes to help.  They did, and the boys were like little birds waiting for their next bite of the yummy potatoes.

Mo is still working on his potty training.  He has the peeing down!  He is so good at that, he doesn't even go when sleeping or napping.  It's the other business we are working on.  Dana also made a deal with Mo this week.  If he sleeps in his own bed for 7 nights in a row, he will get the Hot Wheels of his choice.  Mo really wants a Jeep Custom Motor, not enough to sleep in his own bed yet, but I think he's working up to that.

Kaia finally has a loose tooth!  But, in true Kaia style, one loose tooth wasn't dramatic enough.  No, she decided to have two loose at the same time.  So now both of her bottom front teeth are wiggly, and she's eagerly awaiting their loss and the arrival of the tooth fairy.

Finally, I had to grow up too.  Only in years, though.  This week I turn 32. 

Dana opted out of growing up this week, he's going to wait until July. 

Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I was negligent in posting my menu plan last week.  Probably because I only had a partial plan.  That worked out pretty well when I came down with some sort of stomach thing on Wednesday, and the boys stayed with Grammy and Papa, and Dana and Kaia ended up getting microwaved frozen meals.  I ate a turkey sandwich.  Actually I ate several turkey sandwiches, and turkey is one of my least favorite lunchmeats.  But, it was bland, and that was what I needed.  I created a plan for the rest of the week, and followed it and was glad I did.

So back to business this week!

Beefy Barbecue Macaroni and peas

SOS and asparagus

Tacos with homemade salsa

Round steak and potatoes in the slow cooker with veggies on the side
Hamburger patties or chicken nuggets with salad on the side

Birthday Dinner at my parents' house.  I've requested my mom's steak strips (I'll share recipe later this week), baked potatoes, asparagus, and salad


For more Menu Plan Monday, visit and have a great week!

PS So many of you are amazed at my organization with these posts.  But, I'm not organized, this meal plan thing is helping me to be just a bit more.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sandwich Party Wrap Up

Saturday was my first ever House Party, and it was so much fun.  I asked all of my guests to bring their favorite sandwich toppings, and I used the coupons sent to me to purchase 3 packages of Sandwich Thins.  We all agreed that they are fantastic!  We tried the whole wheat, honey wheat and multi-grain.  I have personally eaten all of them, and think the whole wheat is my favorite.  At only 100 calories per Sandwich Thins, and plenty of fiber, they make a healthy base for your sandwich.  Cheap bland white bread is 70 calories a slice, making them 140 calories a sandwich and no fiber (or next to none).  Whole wheat and other breads have more fiber but are also higher in calories.  The Sandwich Thins also offer portion control, due to a slightly smaller size.

My biggest surprise was how much the kids and Dana liked them!  I'm usually the lone wheat bread eater in my house, but not anymore.  We all had sandwiches for lunch and dinner Saturday.  Kaia and I ate the bread with cream cheese the next morning for breakfast.  Mo grabbed one for a snack after church.  Kaia and Dana had sandwiches on them for lunch Monday.  I bought a new bag Monday night, and we are already out again!  That's a record for any bread product in our house.

Here is one of the healthy sandwich toppings from Saturday.  This is my mom's recipe and I didn't get all the measurements, but you can just add to taste.  She was nice and substituted the icky cashews for almonds, so that I could eat it.

Chicken Salad
shredded chicken breast or 1 can of chicken
slivered or chopped almonds
dried cranberries
lite mayo
Mix together and enjoy!  I am not usually a big fan of dried cranberries, but they were really good in this.  It was especially good topped with red onion, sprouts and lettuce.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We've gone bananas!

28 weeks pregnant and at the beach.  Back when the boys were eating whatever I ate.
The boys have a new favorite food!  The boys have been eating rice cereal and oatmeal cereal for about 4 weeks now.  I wasn't going to give them fruit and vegetables for a few more weeks, but I broke down this weekend and gave them some bananas.  They aren't big fans of the oatmeal cereal I have, and I didn't have any rice cereal.  So I opened the jar of bananas, and gave it a try.  The bananas were met with lip smacking, smiles, and open mouths whenever the spoon came near.  Now the hard part is not introducing any more new foods for awhile.  It's so much fun watching them experience new tastes and waiting to see what they think.