background

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teething & Self-Control

Aren't these guys fun? We've had fun at breakfast this week, but I've learned Calvin can't wait for his breakfast. I had a little boy attached to my leg the other morning literally begging for food as I was trying to finish up the waffles, he was hungry and not letting me forget about it!

Calvin's been teething recently and I had caught a glance of the tooth he was getting earlier in the week and it was almost breaking through the surface. It had been a couple of days so I decided to check to see if it was up, I put my finger in his mouth and I was surprised to feel more teeth, his molars on the top and bottom are also coming in on both sides, so that makes 5 teeth coming right now. This would explain his fussiness and wanting to be held all the time, so I busted out the Tylenol last night. Lately he had been waking up several times a night and if I had known he was getting this many teeth I would have brought it out sooner. He slept so soundly last night, praise the LORD!

Calvin is also learning self-control right now. He's not very good at it, but I've caught him several times over the last week stopping himself do something he knew he shouldn't do. I know it's so hard for him, but I'm proud he is obeying. He did the sweetest thing yesterday, he confessed! I know he can't talk, but I went to the bathroom and when I came out he was standing in front of the door and he looked worried. Then he pointed towards the living room. We as we walked he had his finger on the side of his face and he kept the worried look, next he pointed at the floor. There before us were my coupons spread out on the floor. He had climbed up on a chair and gotten them off the table. I was very proud of him because he only got a few out. It was pretty sweet. I think we have a long road ahead of us, but it's nice to see he's starting to learn a few important lessons in obedience.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pass the Milk Please...one too many jalapenos

If you like spicy food this is a recipe for you. I'm a complete wimp and I gulped down two glasses of milk during this meal, I was so full I only ate 1/2 my bowl. (Don't worry I didn't waste it, I saved it for lunch the next day.)

When I make it again I plan to tone it down a bit. Poor Calvin was grabbing his tongue and crying because it was spicy, so his dinner consisted of cornbread and fruit. I guess you can't win them all.


Mexican Pork & Sweet Potato Stew $4.93
Adapted From Woman's Day Magazine 09.16.2008

1 T. olive oil (.01)
1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, cubed (2.66, I used 1 1/3 lb.)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1.19)
Fresh or Canned Jalapeno Peppers to your liking. I only added 5 and was dying (.10)
1 c. chopped onion (.25)
1 T. chopped garlic (around 5 cloves) (.10)
1/2 t. ground cumin (.01)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon (.01)
14 oz. chicken broth ( approx. 1 1/2 c.) (.10)
1/2 c. water (free)
1 c. frozen corn kernels (.25)
1 1/2 c. salsa (.25 purchased with coupon)

Heat skillet with 2 t. of oil and add pork, cook on medium high heat until browned, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 t. oil in large pot. Add potatoes, peppers (if using fresh), and onion. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring until peppers and onion are soften.

Stir in garlic, cumin and cinnamon cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Add corn, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Stir in salsa and pork; heat through. Serves 6

268 calories, 23 g. protein, 4 g. fiber, 5 g. fat

I served this with cornbread (.75) and grapes (.25) making our meal $5.93

Add some variety to your meal plan, for more great Recipes visit Grocery Cart Challenge.

Yum or as Calvin would say 'um'

I forgot how great these were, I haven't made them in a while. My parents sent some meat with my sister last week so I decided to seize the day and make some BBQ meatballs. After Calvin recovered from his little meltdown at dinner the other night he devoured these.

BBQ Meatballs $1.19 ($4.19 if you buy the meat)
1 ½ lb. Ground beef (free from grandparent's cattle-usually this would be around 3.00)
½ large can Evaporated Milk (free with coupon, stocked up at Christmas time)
1 c. oatmeal (.10)
½ c. chopped onion ( .20)
¼ t. garlic powder (.01)
½ t. pepper (.01)
1 t. salt (.01)
½ t. chili powder (.01)

Mix above ingredients and form into balls, makes approximately 15 meatballs. Place in 9x13 baking dish.
Sauce:
1 c. ketchup (.50)
½ c. brown sugar (.20)
1 t. Liquid smoke (.05)
¼ t. garlic powder (.01)

Pour over meatballs and bake for 45 minutes at 350. Serves 5 (3 meatballs=serving)
We served this with Salad (.25) and Valley Fresh Steamers (free). Bringing our meal to $1.44!
Want to make it cheaper?
I usually only use 1 lb. ground beef and increase the oatmeal to 1 1/2 c. The meatballs have a softer texture but they still taste great. I usually can only get 12 meatballs when I do this.
Add some variety to your meal plan, for more great Recipes visit Grocery Cart Challenge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catching Some Spring Fever

Spring Fever has officially hit, these warm days have inspired me to start our garden. I’ve never been one to keep anything alive, other than people, so I’m a bit nervous about this endeavor. Last year’s garden was a complete flop, our soil is worthless and nothing grew, so I’m trying a container garden this year. So here’s my game plan for the spring crop:

Lettuce
Spinach
Carrots
Broccoli

I have a tendency to go overboard, but I think this is a nice little garden that I can manage. So all you gardeners out there, any tips for me, perhaps the worse gardener in the world? When should I start my seeds? I think I should do it soon, but what do I know?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Nap or Not to Nap that is the Question

Calvin is 16 month's old and we're at a crossroads of two naps a day and one nap a day. I've never been one of those mom's who forced Calvin into a routine. He sort of put himself on a schedule. I nursed him when he was hungry when he was a baby, even when it wasn't "time", but he usually did this at regular intervals. Sleep was another story. It took a while for him to nap more than 30 minutes, but I stuck to trying to lay him down at certain times and now he's become pretty predictable. We also started a bedtime routine early: bath, bible, pray and bed when he was too tiny to care. We are thankful we stuck to it because he knows what is coming now, he even points to what comes next.

So this little transition is hard for all of us. Last night Marvin and I talked about bumping lunch up (11:30) and putting him down earlier so we could drop his morning nap. I was all set to do that today but he was literally falling over he was so tired. So I gave him a little snack and put him down, he was asleep in no time. Yesterday was another story, he acted tired so I put him down for his normal morning nap and he slept for maybe 20 minutes and was wide awake. He usually goes down again at 3:30 but he was so grumpy and just wanted me to hold him so I put him down again at 1:00 and he slept an hour and a half. But boy was he tired by bedtime, 7:30, he had a melt down at dinner when he discovered he had water instead of milk and we weren't going to give him any more milk.

So what do I do? How long does this transition last? How did you do it? I'm sure going to miss two naps a day, but I want him to get the rest he needs, even if it is in one chunk rather than two. Your advice please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heard 'Round These Parts

video

Calvin has been a bit obsessed by clocks the past month. We hear the word clock at least a 100 times a day, but I'm sure it's much higher if we ever counted. I was on Etsy looking for something to buy to support Cora's playground and I found a clock. We thought it was perfect and I have been wanting one for the kitchen so we ordered it and received it yesterday, I've never seen Calvin so excited. The excitment didn't end yesterday, he's still going on and on about the new clock today. We moved the clock that was in his room to the kitchen, so there is lots of excitement around these parts. Whoever thought clocks could be this exciting? Hopefully he moves on to something else very soon, we're a bit tired of hearing about clocks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meals for a Busy Week





It's a new week and a busy one at that. Marvin came home yesterday afternoon and it was neat to hear how his trip went. It was a busy quick trip and I only talked to him for a few minutes Thursday-Sunday so it was great to catch up. I was thankful Calvin was napping, I know Marvin missed him because the second Calvin made a sound Marvin was headed towards his room, but I needed some time to catch up with my hubby.

Today is a normal work day then it is off to 12-14 days to prepare for the garden show, so I tried to plan some meals he could take in his lunch since he won't be home for dinner at night. To make up for the lost family time we're having breakfast together this week.

Breakfasts:
Banana Muffins & Sliced Strawberries
Happy Toast (Eggs in the middle) & Pears
Waffles, Sausage links & Sliced Strawberries
French Toast & Grapes
Biscuits and Gravy, Bananas
Blueberry Muffins & Bananas

Lunches: leftovers

Dinners
Monday-BBQ Meatballs (recipe to come), Broccoli & Cauliflower, Tossed Salad
Tuesday-NEW RECIPE Mexican Pork & Sweet Potato Stew with Mexican Cornbread
Wednesday-NEW RECIPE Pasta Fagioli with Homemade French Bread & Salad
Thursday-Leftovers
Friday-NEW RECIPE Basil Cheese Polenta, w/ Meat Sauce mixed veggies, fruit
Saturday-Mac & Cheese w. leftover Polenta

For other great ideas visit here. Remember this is how I find most of my recipes I use, it sure is a handy way to plan your meals..

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Smiling's my Favorite

What a cutie! I love this little guy and we had so much fun together yesterday afternoon. We have tried to get out every nice day and go for a little jog. On Monday we discovered a park nearby and we had so much fun that we went back yesterday. The first time we made our way to this park we tried a new path home and it worked beautifully, this time around I got a little turned around and instead of a 30 minute walk home it turned into an hour walk home. This park is surrounded by a golf course and the neighborhood we walk through has these curvy roads so when I thought I was going east, I actually ended up going north. I really amaze myself at my ability to get lost.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cilantro Bean Burgers


As promised here are some great meatless recipes we've tried recently. Both recipes have my husband and my toddler's approval and are easy on your wallet. Want to find more great recipes? Visit Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes.

Cilantro Bean Burgers $1.47 (including guacamole)
From Country Living
(makes 4 burgers)
for one burger: 177 Calories 4 g. fat 6 g. fiber 8 g. protein

1 c. canned/cooked pinto beans (rinsed and drained if using canned) .25
1 c. canned/cooked black beans (rinsed and drained if using canned) .25
1/2 c. shredded carrots .25
2 T. Minced fresh cilantro .05
1 1/2 t. lime juice (I used lemon) .01
2 small garlic cloves minced .05
1/2 t. cumin .02
1/4 t. salt (add a bit more if they aren't canned) .01
1/4 t. pepper .01
1/2 c. soft bread crumbs (toast a piece of bread and then run it through the blender, it's a great way to use up those heals nobody ever eats.) .06
4 T. egg substitute (or two eggs) .22
3 t. corn meal .02
3 t. canola oil .03

Use a food processor and combine the first 10 ingredients, cover and pulse until blended.
(I just mashed it together with a potato masher since I don't have a food processor.)

Stir in bread crumbs and egg substitute. Refrigerate 30 minutes.Shape into 4 patties and sprinkle with cornmeal. Heat oil in pan then add burgers. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned. (It took me a bit longer to get them browned probablly around 7 minutes each side.)

Serve with guacamole .79 or salsa (free Christmas gift from Dad).
Also served with Chips .25 Pear slices .30 Quesadillas .50
Meal Total=$2.52

Baked Spinach Supreme

As promised here are some great meatless recipes we've tried recently. Both recipes have my husband and my toddler's approval and are easy on your wallet. Want to find more great recipes? Visit Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes.

Baked Spinach Supreme $4.18
From Country Living
6 Servings
251 Calories 20 g. protein 2 g. fiber 9 g. fat


In small bowl combine the following:

1 c. reduced fat baking biscuit mix .30
(I used biscuits from scratch, I cut the butter into the dry ingredients and just took out 1 c. of this)
2 egg whites .22
1 egg .11 ¼ c. fat free milk .10
¼ c. finely chopped onion .10

Pour into a greased 11 X 7 inch baking dish.

Next prepare the filling:
1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry 1.00
1 ½ c. fat free cottage cheese 1.00
¾ c. Monterrey Jack Cheese 0.50
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese .50
(I was out of Parmesan cheese, oops, so I added all the packets of Parmesan cheese I had from Papa John's, 4. It still tasted great, so you can decrease the amount for the Parmesan cheese if you want to lower the fat content.)
2 egg whites .22
1 egg .11
1 t. dried minced onion or fresh minced onion .02

Mix together and spoon over the biscuit mixture. Bake uncovered 28-32 minutes or until golden brown and knife comes out clean.

We served this with grapes .25 bringing our meal total to $4.43

Lentils with Garlic & Tomatoes

As promised here are some great meatless recipes we've tried recently. Both recipes have my husband and my toddler's approval and are easy on your wallet. Want to find more great recipes? Visit Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes.

Lentils with Garlic and Tomatoes $1.58
Serves 4
From the CA cookbook


4 T. olive oil .05
5 cloves garlic minced .15
1 can whole tomatoes 14.5 oz or 2-3 chopped & peeled fresh tomatoes .50
1 c. dried lentils, washed and drained .45
2 1/2 c. water
¾ t. salt .01
1 T. lemon juice .02
1 c. brown rice (prepared according to package directions) .30

Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat and add garlic. Stir and fry until garlic is lightly browned. Add tomatoes and stir and cook, mashing tomatoes until they turn into a paste about 5 minutes. Put in lentils and 2 ½ c. water. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat. Simmer gently for ½ hour until lentils are tender. Add the salt and lemon juice.

Serve over rice(.30), top with strained yogurt (.10) and garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro if desired.

We served this with homemade french bread (.25), and salad (.20) making this meal $2.03!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Homemade Convenience Mixes

This weekend I made some Blueberry Pancakes and since I had all my ingredients out I thought I'd mix up my dry ingredients to have handy for next time. I didn't stop at pancakes I also mixed up some waffle mix and biscuit mix. I'm so excited about having these handy. I doubled each of the pancake and waffle mix because if I am going to dirty my griddle/wafflemaker I want to make a bunch and then freeze them. They make easy breakfasts and snacks during the week. After you add all your dry ingredients to wherever you are storing them, make sure you note what else you need to add to them. Hooray for less dishes! Check out Rock's in My Dryer for more great tips this Wednesday.


Pancake Mix
Double Batch=approx. 16 4 inch pancakes, very thick pancakes
1c. whole wheat flour
1c. white flour
2 T. sugar (brown or white)
6 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
few shakes of cinnamon

Mix and Store. Then add the following wet ingredients when ready to cook.

2 beaten fluffy eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
4 T. vegetable oil

Waffle Mix
double batch-approx. 12 waffles

2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white flour
2 T. sugar (brown or white)
8 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Mix and store. When ready to prepare add following wet ingredients and mix until smooth:
4 Large eggs, beaten until fluffy
3 1/2 c. milk
1 c. vegetable oil or melted butter

Biscuit Mix
Makes approximately 12 biscuits
2 c. all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Mix and store. When ready to prepare cut in 1/2 c. butter or shortening until it looks like fine crumbs. Sir in 3/4 c. milk (1 c. for drop biscuits) until dough leaves sides of bowl. If cutting biscuits turn dough onto floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll out to 1/2 inch thick and cut out biscuits. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees F.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Deals This Week


Well I'm slowly starting to remember more of the prices of things. I usually try to guesstimate how much I will spend before I go to the store. Participating in Gayle's Grocery Round up has helped me pound the prices through my brain, as well as made me stick to our budget. So this week I'm only going to include some of the great deals I found with the picture. We have a budget of $50/week food $10/week household items.

Grocery Total: $40.03
Dillons $17.60

  • Manager Special 1/2 gallon milk .99 each
  • 3.07 lb. bananas 1.11
As I looked at my receipt I was disappointed because I bought some red tape bananas and they were more expensive than I thought, I was charged the full price for organic bananas rather than for the red tape price. So rather than eat the $1.67, I jogged myself over there to get things straightened out (Marvin had the car for the day and I needed to work out). Plus I got a nice jog in too and we stopped by the playground for a few minutes on our way home.

Aldi $22.43

  • 4 pears .79 (I bought 2)
  • Avocado .89
  • 8oz. bars of cheese 1.29 (I bought 4)
  • American cheese slices 1.49

I'm hoping to find some Manager Special soy milk later on this week, our Dillons tends to mark them down on Fridays. Which should push our grocery total to around $42 this week. Last week I was over about $4 (It was Valentine's Day so I splurged to make chocolate silk pie) and the week before I was over $6 so this week should balance everything out, and give me $48 for next week!

Household Items Total: 18.25

It's a good thing we didn't spend any money on household last week. We needed the extra for this week.


Target:

It's a bummer these light bulbs are so expensive, hopefully they will be worth the $9.54 I spent on them.

Lotion $1.24


Walgreen's Steal of the Week:

My Walgreen's gift card still was not loaded grrr, so I had to pay out of pocket for these diapers, but I believe they were a great deal.


They were $15.98 originally but this week there is a coupon for $3.00 off each package in their ad, which brings the total to $9.98 for two jumbo packs, not bad, but I had a $6.00 Register Reward from last week bringing these to $3.98 + tax! SCORE, now hopefully we'll like these. I'm a little bit of a name brand diaper snob but for this price I thought they were worth the risk.

I also picked up some valentine's for next year for .99. hopefully he will still be into trucks next year.

Check out the Grocery Cart Challenge to see how other's did this week.

5-5-5

I was tagged by Sherry a while back to pull the 5th picture from the 5th folder...


This picture has a lot of memories with it. This is our first place we lived overseas, and it definitely carries lots of memories, unfortunately mostly negative, we expereinced lots of culture shock here, could barely communicate and had a problem every week with this lovely apartment.

Here Marvin is working on putting together a shkoff, wardrobe, one of his least favorite tasks ever. I believe this was in our bedroom. In order to move things around we had to take apart these monster things, by we I mean Marvin. Even though I hated that apartment I'd live there in a heartbeat, minus the grouchy neighbor who always wanted money from us....ah the joys of being an American in a foreign country.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meal Plan Monday





This Monday morning started off with wonderful kisses from Calvin, that's always a pleasant way to start my week. I also found out this morning my friend Marie welcomed her second little one into the world this weekend. Congratulations Marie, I'm sure she is prefect.

Now onto our menu.......

Breakfasts:
Blueberry Pancakes-2Xs
Blueberry Muffins
Oatmeal-2Xs
Biscuits
Waffles

Lunches:
Rice and Beans X 2
Leftovers
Scrambled Eggs
Quesadillas
Grilled Cheese

Dinners:
Monday-Pork Chops, Potatoes, Green Beans, Biscuits
Tuesday-Lentils w/ Garlic and Tomatoes, Salad, Peas & Garlic Bread (New Recipe)
Wednesday-Cilantro Bean Burgers, Spanish Rice, chips and salsa, and guacamole
Thursday-Soup from Freezer
Friday-leftovers
Saturday-Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, corn, salad
Sunday-leftovers

Head on over to Organizational Junkie for more menu ideas. I often gather my ideas for meals this way. It's a great way to find some variety in your meals without scouring cookbooks. Check back later in the week for a few of these recipes, plus a few successes from last week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Seconds Please!

My mom made this casserole growing up and it was always a favorite. Since we have several meatless meals a week I thought I could revamp this. It originally calls for ground beef, but I substituted lentils and it worked and was very tasty. Calvin gobbled up 2 servings, so I think he loved it.

BBQ Lentil Casserole about $3.30 for 6 servings

1 c. dried lentils or 1 lb. ground beef (50 cents)
1 can Pork and Beans (I have no idea maybe 75 cents?)
¾ c. BBQ Sauce (50 cents)
2 T. Brown Sugar (pennies, you can substitute if you wish)
1 T. Minced Onion (pennies)
1 t. Salt (pennies)
Biscuits (75 cents)
1 -1 1/2 c. Shredded Cheese (75 cents)

1. Boil lentils in salted water about 20 minutes or until tender. When lentils are tender drain them.

2. While lentils are boiling, prepare biscuits if making from scratch. I used up the last of my Bisquick for this recipe, from now on it's biscuits from scratch. Once you make your biscuits cut them in half. (You can even use refrigerated biscuits, if you need some coupons let me know I never buys these but there are always so many of them in the paper.)
3. If working with a helper, make sure the opened bag of dried lentils is out of reach as well as all sharp objects, like the knife you used to cut the biscuits. (I learned the hard way, but thankfully only a few lentils were sacrificed.)

4. Dump everything into your casserole dish and mix well. (I didn't have any minced onion, regular onions would work fine, but I'm running kind of low so I just added onion powder.) I used a damp clean cloth to wipe the edge of the side of the dish above the BBQ lentil mixture to make sure it didn't leave a baked on mess.
5. Once mixed top with shredded cheese. Then add the biscuits to the outside of your casserole dish, forming a biscuit ring.
6. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. (Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the final product.)
For more great recipes Check out Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mail that makes me Happy

Yesterday was a bum mail day. We got the Dillons ad, which I am always excited to see unfortunately I made a trip to the store that morning and picked up a ciruclar already, other than that we just got our internet bill. No coupons, no freebies, bummer.

Today was another stories, not only did I get coupons, but I got a free sample, a few Valentine's cards and..... puppets. A few weeks ago I was a little obssesed with registering for things over at the Bloggy Carnival. Oh my goodness I could have spent hours looking at blogs, I'm little addicted.
I registered for quite a few and surprise I won, I was so pumped because I NEVER win. Now I can't say that again. I won two adorable puppets! I can't wait for Calvin to play with them. He recently has become interested the puppets I had from teaching. He'll love these penguins. The lady who made these is very talented. Check out her Etsy shop. Something else that I could easily be addicted to.


Also some of you asked about the CD Calvin was dancing to and I found that info. I was so excited to see they had a personalized Birthday CD. I had a tape when I was a kid and I still can sing you my birthday song. My mom woke us up to our song on our birthdays. Guess what Calvin is going to hear on his 2nd birthday????? I'm so pumped. Go here to find out more about personalized CDs. Oh and Sherry sorry they only have one of your childrens' names, bummer.

Leaving a Legacy

Tuesday was a hard day for many, especially Joel and Jess and their family, as they celebrated the life of their daughter. It was overwhelming how many people came to love them and to grieve together. It was heart wrenching looking at a tiny coffin, and it was so clear how eternity is written on our hearts. Life isn't suppose to end at 11 months. But what Cora did leave behind was a beautiful legacy, a life that has touched so many. Many of us never met her, but our lives were touched. As I looked at the picture they chose to include on the program I couldn't help but think how angelic her face looked and how sweet it was that she was now with Jesus. There are still times when I am broken to tears for the things Joel and Jess will never get to do with their little girl, but I am thankful that we serve a God who welcomed Cora into his loving arms and that this goodbye is only temporary.

What a legacy Cora has left. Her family has set up a fund to build a playground in her honor. I know I have been touched to help make that possible, even when times are tough financially. If you are interested please visit her website. I also found a few people who are donating the proceeds of items they have made to benefit Cora's playground. I haven't decided which one I will order, but it's neat to see how others are using their skills to remember Cora. A beautiful reminder of the body of Christ.

Joy's Hope
adorable Flower Headbands

The Busy Bee
Cute Button Flowers

I love Plum
Children's Tees and Onesies

Kissable Kreations
Headbands

If any of you would like to listen to her celebration of life go here. Their family's website does say that a video of the ceremony will be coming soon. Thanks for grieving with me and celebrating the legacy of this sweet child.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Today I am Blessed

My heart is still very heavy today. Last night I snuck a peek at Calvin sleeping and felt richly blessed, I wanted to scoop him up and hold him forever.

Today we dropped our car off at the repair shop across the street and Calvin and I began walking home hand in hand and I about lost it, I was overcome with the sweetness of the moment God had given us. So in the midst of this incredible sadness, I'm thankful for the time He has given me with my son.

It seems silly to post anything other than praises to God for all the good in our lives. May you cherish the blessings he has given you today.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Heartbroken

Cora is now resting with Jesus, free from painful operations, free from cancer, free to spend eternity with her Maker. Please remember her family at this time, they still need your prayers as they begin to grieve.

Lord you know the pain Joel and Jess are experiencing right now. Father I pray that you would grant them strength they need to go on in this life without their sweet Cora. Give them strength to bear each minute, may they keep their gaze on you. I beg you to wrap them in your arms. Jesus be near them tonight. Amen!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

For all His Fans

Calvin got this CD for Christmas and loves it, we took some time after dinner one night for a little dance break and he showed off a some new moves he's been working on.



video

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Adventures of a 15 Month Old

We ended our emergency trip to E-town last week by celebrating my mom's birthday. Calvin certainly has a special love for both his grandmas, his presence was a great birthday treat for my mom.


Last week he learned how to open the door to the bedroom on his own, it doesn't latch so it pulls open and he can fit little fingers in the crack to pull it open. He was always ready to find grandma and grandpa as soon as his eyes were open, he didn't inherit his morning brightness from either of us. Monday morning Mavin brought him to bed with us when he woke up because we were still tired and of course he didn't want anything to do with bed, he was ready to eat, so he wiggled off the bed and comes back to our room with one of those Gerber Graduates Entrees that I left out on the counter. (His reach is pretty amazing these days.) Needless I was feeling like a pretty horrible mom when he brought that in, our poor son was foraging for food. I need to get back in routine again of waking up early and working out, and stop staying awake until 1:30 reading.



Shortly after the new year he got his first haircut! We decided to try to do it ourselves, since Marvin is pretty good at cutting hair and honestly I think he did a great job. The trick is to figure out a way to distract him. We tried sitting him on the sink so he could see us in the mirror and he just wanted to turn around. We found out that if we turned on the water he was entertained. He's had a second hair cut since then, but we did it while he was playing in the bath tub, I think it worked much better.




And here is my curious 15 month old. He can now climb onto chairs independently, I didn't think about this until he emptied the salt on the floor. I was cleaning up the kitchen and surprise, Calvin was pouring the salt out. I am now reminding myself to push the chairs in. We've had to add a few more safety precautions to our house since his curiosity is growing everyday.

Calvin had his 15 month check up and he now weighs 21.4lbs and is in the 10th percentile for weight and he grew 3 inches since his 12 month check up, he climbed up to 31 inches, and made his way to the 50th percentile!

This is my favorite picture we've taken recently. He's very into imitating what you do and very interested in phones and clocks so I about melted when Marvin was on the phone and Calvin climbed up next to him just chatting away too. He has also added the word clock to his vocabulary and every place we go he'll find one.




Remember the part about how his curiosity is growing everyday? Well here's where I found him the other night. I had pulled out a new bath toy and he had so much playing with it in his bath that later on he just couldn't wait anymore. I guess I'll have to remind myself to close the bathroom door as well as push in chairs. He certainly keeps us busy.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Grocery Cart Roundup

Well I'm over budget by 6.47, because of the great deals at Dillons this week, I couldn't resist going back one more time. The good news is I've got lots of things for Marvin's lunches for the next several weeks and I found some great prices on meat this week. Our freezer is at maximum capacity so we better start eating some of it up.


I spent $56.47 on groceries this week. (Here's the menu for the week.)


Round 1


Price Chopper (e-town) 14.54
almost 5 lbs Ground Beef $8.88
Ken's Salad Dressing Free (coupon)
2 Kraft Dressing $.50 each (coupon)
16 oz. Highland Cheese $2.20 (coupon)

Dillons Round One 19.73
4 pkgs Cottonelle $.75 (3 coupons)
Soy Milk $2.49
Margarine $.77
Jar of Yeast $5.25
Bananas $1.68
Sweet Potatoes $1.11
4 Valley Fresh Green Giant Steamers FREE (used 4 coupons)
2 boxes Wheat Thins $1.78 (used coupon)
8 oz. Kraft Bar Cheddar Cheese $1.50
2 pkg Fiber One Bars $1.43 (used coupons)
1 pkg Nature Valley Granola Bars $1.09 (used coupon)


Round 2



Dillons again $14.61

Skirt Steak $2.81

Dannon Plain Yogurt $.63

2 boxes Fiber One Granola Bars $2.68 (coupons)

2 bags Chex Mix $1.78 (coupons)

8 oz. Kraft Mozzarella Bar Cheese $1.50

Kraft American Slices $1.50

3 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars $5.77 (coupons & got back 1.50 towards next purchase)

Kleenex Lotion Tissues $.20 (coupons)





Aldi $6.19

Gala Apples 1.19

2 bags Baby Carrots $.98

Iceburg Lettuce $.99

Flour $1.76

Bananas $.90





Want to check out what others bought this week?

Make sure you check out Grocery Cart Challenge.

Holding on a Little Tighter

Marvin and I were able to visit our friends Joel and Jess at the hospital on Sunday. I am amazed at their faith and I am so thankful to be a part of the same family of God right now. He's the God who formed Cora and he's the one who can heal her. I have shed many tears for their family and poured my heart out to the Lord for their little girl. I don't know if I could take seeing Calvin so worn out in a hospital bed, hooked up to so many machines. (His outpatient surgery about broke my heart.) Continue to lift up not only Cora but Jess and Joel too, it's physically and emotionally draining for them, you could see it in their bodies. Pray that God with give them rest only he can provide.

In light of their situation there are two things that have been impressed on my heart on top of praying for them. The first one being an overwhelmingly gratefulness for the body of believers I have had in my life. It seems like each season of life God has surrounded me with some amazing people to walk through life with. Now I must say that this takes some vulnerability initially, if you haven't allowed yourself to be transparent with others I'd encourage you to take that step, Father will richly bless you for it. Jess and Joel were part of our college community, and it's so neat to see that however long it has been since we have connected with some of those people, we are still connected in our hearts and Father has burdened us and those we know to pray for one another.
The second thing that God has impressed on my heart is to not take lightly this time I have with Calvin. There are times I get so frustrated with him. It's impossible to keep the house clean with his uncanny ability to make a mess in less than a second of waking up. Right now we are also in the beginning stages of tantrums and boy is he stubborn. But the past week Father has allowed me to see how precious this time is. I've found myself holding him a bit longer, rocking him to sleep, playing trucks a little bit longer, and finding more ways to engage with him. I am very thankful for these renewed mama's eyes.
Here's the one God has entrusted us. He's so proud because he got up on the chair by himself and was able to reach his snack. What a big boy!

Menu Plan Monday

Well our menu looks much the same as last week, since I unexpectedly left town. Marvin didn't stay with Calvin and I because frankly money is pretty tight right now with shorter work hours. It's amazing how God provides for our needs though. It's funny when I'm gone and he has to cook because I can automatically assume he'll have something very meaty. Poor guy, he does great at not complaining and being thankful for every meal I make (he learned that from his dad), but I know he'd love meat every meal. He's just too cute.




Here's what our menu looks like this week:

Monday-Italian Lentil Barley Soup with Biscuits and salad

Tuesday- Caribbean Pork with Rice & Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday-Belated Kansas Day Meal Steak, Potatoes, Salad & KS dirtcake

Thursday-Chicken Pot Pie, Salad

Friday- Left overs

Saturday-Leftovers for lunch, Dinner: Homeade Pizza, Salad & Cooked Carrots

Sunday-Sunday Lunch Guests! Baked Ziti, Breadsticks or french bread, Salad, Cooked Carrots, some sort of dessert