Thursday, April 29, 2010

$10.00 Challenge

I haven't posted a $10.00 Challenge in a while. Not because we haven't been sticking to our food budget, but because we have been busy! I have been sharing some shopping tips with friends of ours and thought it would be good to share with all of you as well.

Above is a shot of a quick trip to Shaw's today.

Six boxes of Ronzoni Smart Taste - FREE, actually they paid me to take them out of the store

Six cans of Contadina tomato paste - $0.19 each

Seven bag of Birds Eye veggies - 4 for $0.75 and 3 for $0.66

Two 20 oz packages of ground turkey - $1.25 each

Sargento Cheddar Cheese Sticks - $2.09

Wise All Natural Chips - $1.00

It is kind of hard to read, but you can see that I spent $9.86 on this order. The shocking part is that I saved $31.41. Honestly, can you imagine paying $41.27 for this? I hope you aren't paying full price for your groceries. If you need some tips on saving money try checking out Money Saving Mom and A Full Cup. And if you have tips or websites to share I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I have been admiring this pattern for a while now. It keeps popping up places I like to visit - Waldorf Mama's rainbow version is beautiful. So when I was lucky enough to purchase some yarn from Heather at Shivaya Naturals I knew just what to make. It is an easy pattern and really quite quick, even you you knit only a few rows at a time. I'm hoping to have it finished before Alyssa's graduation next weekend.

I have a few sewing projects in the works as well, but I will have to share them later. Hope all of your projects are coming along. I would love to hear what you're up to.

Tennis Anyone?

Spring is here and that means it's time for tennis. The rain held off and we had an awesome turn out for the second week. Everyone starts off with a quick warm up. You can see them all stretching. It was so cute!

Then it is drill time. First they had to balance the ball on their racket. Logan did a great job. You can see Rebekah chasing her ball in the background.

Bekah giving it another try.

Check out that form.

I just love Logan's concentration. Wait for it. Wait for it.

Hannah winds up as her friends look on.

James connects!

Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to next week. A big thanks to Mrs. T. for organizing and teaching!
Did you get outside today? I hope so. Check out what others are doing outside this month at the Great Outdoor Challenge hosted by 5 Orange Potatoes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yummy Yarn Giveaway!

I have developed a passion, an addiction - yarn! I just can't seem to get enough. Knitting has become a form of meditation for me. I love to do it. I love to create! I can take it with me. I work a stitch or row at a time. I have been building my stash of yarn slowly. Beautiful, quality yarns can be pricey, but they are so worth it. So when I saw this giveaway for YARN I just had to enter. Take a look and enter yourself. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Puppy Love!

Beau has become such a part of the family. He has chosen to be Hannah's dog. The two are inseparable. I love peeking in on them in the morning, both sounds asleep in a twin bed. However, Rebekah is convinced that Beau likes Hannah best. And she spends lots of time trying to convince Beau to be her buddy.

Here she comes.

Beau waits. He knows what is coming.

A BIG hug.

All the while Hannah was on the hammock with her school work! Not to worry you can bet Beau will be in Hannah's bed tonight.

Earthday Giveaway!

Little Acorn Learning is having an awesome Earthday Giveaway: A copy of their May 5 day Childcare Guide! I would love to win this for all my little ones.

Check out Little Acorn Learning. You can even download some free samples. Tons of really cool, really fun stuff for your little ones.

From their site:

The Little Acorn Learning Guides are an Affordable and Complete Childcare Program which gently guides the caregiver through a healthy rhythm each day. This is a holistic, whole life program warming and nurturing both the children and the provider. This program is as much for the caregiver as it is for the children. The guides assist caregivers in all areas of their lives with Weekly Caregiver Meditations, Daily Housework Suggestions, Recipes, Grocery Lists, Crafting Lists and Ongoing Encouragement and Support.

Our goal is to reconnect children with nature while supporting the caregiver's soul - helping providers find true meaning and purpose in their work with young children. We inspire a love for nature and the home arts.

Every day is planned for you and can be used at one price regardless of the amount of children you care for. In addition, most of the activities are done using common household supplies. It is ideal for a mixed age program with the younger children being the "helpers" during the more difficult tasks each day.

Sounds like a dream to me.

WIP Wednesday

There has been a bunch of crafting going on as of late. Spare moments here and there spent knitting and sewing. It really is something I enjoy doing. Stolen bits of time for me to express myself, find myself, ponder and breath. All good things when most days are spent going in a million different directions. And in the end I love the having something made with my own hands to bless someone with.

Above are the knitted and then felted bowls I have been working on. They nest inside each other which is really cool. I am making a set of rainbow bowls for Bekah. The blue one still had a class bowl in it which is why it shines. 

These are some crayon rolls I whipped up. Bekah takes crayons everywhere and I was looking for a better way. I found a bunch of tutorials on line for these roll ups. As always, I took what I liked and left what I didn't and here is the result. This one holds crayola crayons just fine, but the pockets aren't big enough for Bekah's Stockmar crayons, so it is back to the drawing board.

This little bag is now one of my favorites and I can't wait to make more. It was made from a pillowcase rescued from the dump store! So a little time, a little thread and I have a new bag. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a bag. Hannah and I are headed to the thrift store in search of some vintage pillow cases. I'm hoping to make a collection of these for shopping trips as well as to put some in the shop. And of course the girls all want their own.

What have you been making? I would love to see. So leave a comment with a link to your projects. I'm always looking for inspiration!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Get Out and Ride

Hannah needed a new bike helmet this year so we headed off to Walmart. Well, wouldn't you know it while we were looking at helmets for Hannah, Rebekah found a two wheeler just her size. She gave it a try in the store and really couldn't peddle it at all. She kept pushing backwards which applied the break. Well daddy is a softy and thought she needed the bike (I agreed) and so we came home with a helmet for Hannah and a new bike and helmet for Rebekah.

That was six days ago. Since then we have had snow and rain and a day of travel. Rebekah has only been able to ride her new bike in the kitchen for a total of about seven feet. So it was hard to see if she was really getting it or not.

Today we woke up to sun and spring temps in the 60's. So after lunch we headed outside with the new bike. She was so excited. You can just see her smile peeking out.

She was trying so hard to keep up with her big sister.

Finally she realized that her pace was just perfect for her. She rode all by herself for over an hour. Up and down the road in front of the house. She was so proud of herself, and I was proud of her.

I see a summer full of family bike rides. I can hardly wait.

Head on over to 5 Orange Potatoes who is sponsoring The Great Outdoor Challenge to see how others are getting outside with their families.

A Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today… Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Outside my window... the sun is shinning finally. The temperatures are trying to climb, but it is still chilly. The birds are happily chirping as the snow is gone again.

I am thinking... about these next two crazy weeks with Sarah's play and Doug's school. How to incorporate family time and meet everyone needs.

I am thankful... for good friends to share a cup of coffee with.

I am wearing... my favorite denim skirt, long sleeve t, and a fleece pullover.

I am remembering... sweet conversations with my oldest daughter, what a delightful young woman she is growing up to be.

I am creating… lots!!! More felted bowls, crayon rolls, pillow case bags.. Also designing curtains for the upstairs bath and kitchen.

I am going... to run Sarah down to meet her ride to rehearsal.

I am reading... The American Frugal Housewife (1833 edition) A dear friend lent me this little book after I taught a make it for less class at our church.

I am hoping... the snow is really gone for good this time.

From the learning rooms… the usual, reading, math, science, history, map skills and art, not too much today though as we have a couple of friends coming over.

Noticing that... Rebekah is nursing less and less. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not or if I'm ready for her to stop completely. The little ones just grow up too fast.

From the kitchen… Making tortillas for tonight's dinner. Also need to make some sort of sweet for my sweets.

Around the house... cleaning and decluttering! Spring is here.

One of my favorite things: the sound of my children's laughter and playing

A few plans for the rest of the week: Getting Doug prepared to leave for school, making sure Sarah gets to play rehearsals, cleaning the chicken coop, and planting spinach and lettuce~hopefully.

From my picture journal...

See what other women are up to this moring: The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan -

Breakfast: Cereal and Fruit
Lunch: Picnic
Dinner: Hot Dogs

Breakfast: Yogurt and Granola
Lunch: Egg Salad and Watermelon
Dinner: Italian Roast Wraps, Sweet Potato Fries

Breakfast: Crepes with Ricotta Cheese Filling and Fruit
Lunch: Tuna Wraps and Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Chicken legs, Brown Rice and Broccoli

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Toast, Sausage
Lunch: Mac & Cheese, Cucumber Slices
Dinner: Hamburgers and Onion Strings

Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins
Lunch: Salad with Chicken Strips
Dinner: Pizza and Salad

Breakfast: Pancakes and Bacon
Lunch: Orzo with Pesto and Tomatoes
Dinner: Chili and Cornbread

Breakfast: Bagels and Cream Cheese
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Red Potatoes, Carrots & Celery, 90 Minute Rolls
Need more ideas for your weekly menu plan? Hop on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for TONS of ideas.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Moment

A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Spring Nature Table

We changed over our Nature Cubbie to reflect the changes we are seeing outside. We chose a blue silk as the sky has been quite blue lately. We are all anxiously waiting for the green.

There is a felted nest with three blue robin's eggs. Our yard is full of robins. We are hoping that one chooses to build its nest in one of our trees so we can watch.

Mother Earth is my first 3D needle felted piece. She was so much fun to make. Hannah and I are planning to make a bunch of little animals next.

Rebekah added the pink bunny.

Sarah added the shells and driftwood from our trip to the ocean.

I'm sure the girls will be adding and taking away all spring. I love to see their interpretation of the season.

I'm sharing our Nature Cubbie over at The Magic Onion's Friday's Nature Table. Stop by and see what others are up to.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Egg Salad

Egg salad has to be one of my favorite sandwiches. So simple! Such a staple! And oh so yummy! This is the egg salad recipe I grew up with. The addition of curry is what makes it special.

  • six hard boiled eggs - pealed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayo - to to your taste
  • 1 tsp curry - I like to use a little more
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper - fresh ground is best

Mix all ingredients! You're done! We like it on homemade bread, spread on crackers, or in a pita. Heck! Sometimes I just eat it out of the bowl.

Remind me the next time I take pictures of food not to cut a sandwich with a knife I used to cut an avocado. The green isn't real appealing, but it tasted good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Time Joy

Our days have been so crazy this week. Lots of travel in the car as Sarah gets ready for her play in a couple of weeks. I have been feeling bad for the others that get dragged along. So we stopped at the playground to fool around for a couple of hours after we dropped Sarah off. The kids had a blast and made a few new friends as well.

I thought these two pictures captured the joy of being outside so they are the ones I'm sharing for the Great Outdoor Challenge over at 5 Orange Potatoes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... the daffodils are finally starting to bloom even if it was a chilly 33 this morning

I am thinking... How truly blessed I am

I am thankful for... for my husbands new job

From the learning rooms...
we're reading the third in the Mysterious Benedict Society aloud

From the kitchen...making three bean salad and blanching broccoli, green beans and wax beans to freeze

I am favorite denim skirt and brown cashmere sweater ~ both thrift finds my favorite kind

I am creating...knitting a sweater for Sarah ~ my first BIG sweater

I am going... take the six kids for a nature walk and Hannah to sewing class

I am reading... Animal Farm in preparation for teen book club

I am hoping... the weather warms up so that I can get the spinach and peas planted outside

I am hearing
... the spring birds

Around the house... dusting, bathrooms and planting

One of my favorite things... this chocolate as dark as possible ~ yummy!

A few plans for the rest of the week: managing to get Sarah to play rehearsal for the remainder of the week - the show is so close!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Join in at The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan: April 12-18

The weather is starting to warm up and I am itching to make some summer type food. So you will see a couple of summer salads this week along with some sandwich type dinners. We also have a few busy weeks coming up. Sarah is in the final couple of week of production for her play and Doug is gearing up for school. That means a lot of running and not a lot of time in the kitchen for complicated meals.

Monday Breakfast: Sour Cream Banana Cake
Lunch: Egg Salad and Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Breakfast: Smoothies and Toast
Lunch: Mac and Cheese and Peas
Dinner: Hot Dogs and Three Bean Salad

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Oatmeal Wheat Toast
Lunch: Tuna Wraps and Apple Slices
Dinner: Spaghetti, Salad, and Garlic Bread

Breakfast: Yogurt and Granola
Lunch: Orzo with Pesto and Tomatoes
Dinner: Taco Pie

Breakfast: Cereal and Fruit
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Pears
Dinner: Pizza

Breakfast: French Toast and Bacon
Lunch: Chicken Fingers, Cucumber Sticks and Grapes
Dinner: ? Dad's Night to Cook

Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins
Lunch: Left Overs
Dinner: Italian Roast Wraps and Potato Salad

For more meal inspiration head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for "Menu Plan Monday"

Climb, Swing, Smell the Flowers

Climb a tree!
Climb the monkey bars!
Swing to the stars!

Stop and smell the flowers!

It was a beautiful day and so nice to get out after being stuck in the doctor's office and pharmacy for most of the day yesterday.

Need some more inspiration to grab your kids and get outside? Hope on over to The Great Outdoor Challenge and see all the fun you can have outside.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Showers

Thanks to the Great Outdoor Challenge we headed outside even in the rain. It was damp. It was chilly. But the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and to my surprise so did I.

The spring flowers are just starting to show themselves. Beside the forsythia we spotted crocus, daffodils, and scilla. I just love all the fresh spring colors. So much life, happiness, and joy is those colors after the long grey winter.

Exploring the puddles was every one's favorite activity. I'm not sure what they think they found but it entertained them for quite a while.

Hope all of you were able to get out and explore today.

We're linking this to this week's Friday's Nature Table over at The Magic Onions. Stop by and see what others have been up to.

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by Soule Mama

Thursday, April 8, 2010

4H Sewing Class ~ Week 2

This was the second week of 4H sewing class. I was able to get there early and snap a few pictures. They are still working on their bags. They are almost finished. It is hard to see in the picture above, but if you look closely you can see the kids have embroidered their names on the strap of their bag. Pretty cool!

Hard at work embroidering her name across the strap. They had to be careful to make it straight.

All done!

If I could only get her to iron at home! I can't wait to see the finished bag!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Get Out and Explore!

I mentioned in an earlier post that we were joining 5 Orange Potatoes' Children and Nature Awareness Challenge aka The Great Outdoor Challenge. So we set out today to explore the neighborhood. The weather was a little cool and overcast.
Right around the corner we discovered this patch of little blue flowers. I would love to know what they are. Any guesses?

Of course we had to jump in ALL the puddles we found.

And for our horse lover we had to visit the horses we spotted along out walk.

By the time we got home the temperature had climbed to about 78! Incredible for April in the White Mountains. So we brought our lunch outside and then chased the chickens around for a while. I was even able to hang a load of laundry out to dry.

It was fabulous to get outside and explore. We collected a few flowers, rocks and nuts along the way. They have found their way to our spring nature table. We are looking forward to our next outdoor adventure.