Monday, January 29, 2007

My Home Management Binder

Here it is! I had fun putting this together. I got the instructions from an e-book I purchased from It is an excellent book that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to better organize their time at home. Her first rule is that you can't start working on the inside of the binder until you have finished the outside of it, and it makes you smile when you look at it. I love that rule, because now I actually want to go pick up my binder and go through it. I did a scrapbook front (imagine that!) and the pictures definitely make me smile. The pictures are (clockwise from top left):
Me on my bed with my cat Sassy when I was 10
Sammy after his first bath
Sammy's first time in his new swing
Mike's first mud puddle
"Monkey Mike" climbing the doorpost
Griffin's two-toothed, drooling grin
There are some more things that are special to me on the cover, too. Under the picture of Mike's first mud puddle there is a black-and-white snapshot of Griffin's feet when he was a baby. I just love little baby toes! And above Griffin's picture is the little dump truck that was on his birth announcements. Behind some of the pictures is a picture of a beautiful flower I found in a magazine that was in an aqua blue vase. I smiled when I saw it, so I thought it would go well on my cover, even if you can only see a tiny bit of it. :)
Here are the sections I chose to have in my binder:
1. A zippered pouch for pens and extra divider tabs
2. Sections for:
Phone numbers
Other (just in case I forgot something!)
3. Extra page protectors so thatI can add more to each section
4. Blank notebook paper
5. My Blessing Book -- at the end of the day, I'll write down the things that blessed me, made me happy, brought joy to my life and a smile to my face. Nothing negative allowed!
6. In the front pocket of the binder I put a thin 2007 calendar so I can keep track of personal things that happen on a monthly basis (if you catch my drift). :)
I loved getting up this morning and opening my binder to check my schedule and see what to do next. Someday I'll have it memorized and won't have to refer to it so often, but for now it's a lifesaver! I can't wait to see how it grows and changes with our family.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Things That Make Me Mad, a.k.a. Why Can't We All Just Get Along? :)

I'm going to post some things that make me mad. I'm not trying to stir up trouble or anything, I'm just going to post this for my own benefit, and I'm going to have fun looking back over the things I've written 10 years from now when my life will have changed.

The first thing that makes me mad is the website I checked out yesterday, which I won't post the link to because I don't think it is worth your time to go there. It is the sole intent of the woman who started this blog to poke fun at and criticize "housewives", as she condescendingly refers to us as. Wow. What a waste of time! I would think that someone so educated as she so apparently is would not stoop to devoting an entire blog to making fun of those who choose a different career than hers. I realize that some women who choose to stay home to raise their children -- and yes, I do call it a career, because if she weren't taking care of her children, she'd be paying someone else big bucks to do it -- believe that ALL mothers should not work, and that, in my opinion, is not correct. There are some mothers, like this woman, who would not make good stay-at-home mothers, for the simple fact that they would make their children feel that they aren't worth her time. This woman criticized a stay-at-home mom who was with some friends at Starbucks and had her young daughter with her, and the mother apparently didn't look at or speak to her child in the 20 minutes she was there. I believe that children should be able to sit still and be quiet and listen to adult conversation for 20 minutes! If they can't... well, let's just say that MY children can't do this yet, so I admire any mother who has the patience to teach her children to sit quietly while she has some time with other adults. God bless her! So I guess the thing that really makes me mad is that a woman can look at someone else's life and say that it isn't worth as much as hers because that woman isn't doing something the same way that she is.

It makes me mad when my children disobey me or blatantly disregard something I have told them to do. This is why I am working so hard with them to teach them obedience. I'm not going to follow anyone's "instructions", but I'm using many different ideas and instructions to find what I agree and disagree with as far as raising my children goes. I love the way children obeyed in the 1800's -- and am reading (along with many other books) a book called The Mother at Home by John S. C. Abbott. He wrote it in 1833. What an inspiration! When a mother can tell her children to play quietly with blocks in one part of the room while she is busy in other parts of the house, and they willingly obey her and don't fight with each other or throw blocks across the room or get bored or start running around, she has really accomplished something. Her children obey her!! Now, I wouldn't want my children to "play quietly with blocks" all day; I like the noisy rowdy times just as much as the quieter times. But if I needed to get something done around the house, how nice it would be to know they wouldn't be running around trying to get my attention in so many different ways! I believe that I do know what is best for them, even though I am not perfect. It is my job to instruct them and guide them and ensure that they come to know Jesus as their personal Savior and have a wonderful relationship with God as His children. I take this job very seriously!

Okay, I can't finish this entire post because Sesame Street is over and I need to finish getting ready for Sammy's party tonight. I don't know if I really had much more to say anyway! :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Training to Obey

Wow, I haven't posted in over a week! I will not be spending time on the computer during the day anymore, unless the boys just happen to take a nap at the same time and I don't have anything pressing that needs to be done. So my posts may become more infrequent. I have been spending the majority of my time with the boys, teaching them and training them to be obedient. I have been studying the website and have learned so much about how to train my children to be godly, and it starts with obedience in the home. Griffin and Sammy both have rebellious streaks, and it is easy to just let them have their way and not fight them. But the harder way is usually the better way, so I'm going to buckle down and work with them. It is hard for me not to sit down at the computer and check e-mail or browse the web while they are awake, but I've already noticed a difference in their behavior. The true test will be Sammy's birthday party on Friday. We'll see how they do. I'm not expecting them to be perfect angels, but I would hope that the hours I'm spending teaching them will pay off. Griffin's Bible verse for the week... Deuteronomy 27:5... "We will listen and obey."


Monday, January 15, 2007

Family Pictures

We were invited to dinner at Bonnie and Caleb's house last week, and had a wonderfully yummy dinner of chicken fettucine alfredo, Greek salad, rye rolls with butter, beets, and broccoli. Griffin loves broccoli. It was all so good! While we were there, Bonnie took pictures of us. I didn't know she was going to do this, but it was a nice surprise! She wants me to put more pictures up with me in them (I'm always the one behind the camera), so here they are! I will consider these my "before" pictures, since I still need to lose about 70 pounds before I'm at my goal weight. But I've lost 15 so far (I lost the 5 pounds I gained back over the holidays), and I'm working out at the gym more regularly now. I like to go after the boys are in bed. The gym is open until 10, so I have plenty of time, and it's not too busy at night. It doesn't keep me awake like I was worried it might. It just makes me even more tired. I love how I feel when I'm done! I don't like getting to that point, but I love being done and feeling so good about myself. That's enough to keep me going back for more.

Cooking, Baking, and Playing

The last few days have been pretty uneventful. Cozy, but not much going on. I don't like to drive on snow and ice, so unless Mike takes us somewhere, I pretty stay at home. Mike worked from home Friday afternoon and all day today. It was nice for him to not have to drive to and from work, but he worked from 8am 'til 7pm tonight, with two hours off for a break. So we didn't see him much! Griffin got to go outside and play with him in the snow today, though, and it was his first time of official "snow play". We went to Target last night and found some mittens for him (and a matching hat that makes me laugh every time I see it... he looks like the court jester). He had boots, but his little tiny fingers get so cold so fast that he couldn't really play until he had his mittens. They had so much fun! My pictures of them playing didn't really turn out that great with the combination of the sun shining off of the snow and the reflective windows (I got a great picture of the camera, though!).
We have only eaten out once this year! I love saying that. But hey, two weeks is a long time for me to not eat out. I did go to Spin Neapolitan Pizza with Bonnie last week (was it last week?). That was SO yummy. She also took me to see Charlotte's Web, and I wasn't ready for how sad it was! It has always been one of my favorite stories, so it was a very special thing to go see it again after so long. It makes me not want to eat pork. I haven't since I saw it, it just hasn't appealed to me. We'll see how long that lasts.

We had these little mini meatloaves tonight. SO good. Here's the recipe. It's from Kraft Food & Family magazine.

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

1 pound ground beef (or beef substitute)
1 box stuffing mix
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix first 4 ingredients together, then press mixture evenly into 12 cups in a muffin pan. Make an indentation with a spoon in the center of each meatloaf. Put in a tsp. of BBQ sauce. Bake pan in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. Take out pan and put a bit of shredded cheese on each meatloaf. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
We all loved these! There are also Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian variations to this recipe. Very versatile. The stuffing keeps it moist, too.
I cut out all of the recipes from their magazine and started a new recipe book. To sign up for their free magazines which have tons of awesome recipes, go to Their website also has tons of recipes. I want to have all of my recipes in plastic sleeves in a 3-ring binder (thanks for the inspiration, Mama G!) so that I can just pull out however many I need for a week's (or a month's) worth of dinners and put them in order in my binder and write my grocery list from them. Then I won't have to find all of my recipes in various cookbooks. Oh, I almost forgot. I wanted to post this recipe here, because it was truly amazing, and we loved it. I didn't know what to make for dinner a couple of days ago, so I started to cook some chicken, thinking I'd do something Mexican, but it turned into this.
Chicken A La Carody

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen, but fresh would work too)
olive oil pan spray (any kind of pan spray should work)
2 tbps olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp jerk or cajun seasoning (optional)
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk (more for thinner sauce, less for thicker)
4 tbsp sour cream
white or brown rice, cooked (optional)
Spray a skillet with pan spray. Drizzle olive oil in skillet. Turn heat to medium and place chicken breasts in pan. Chop onion into little pieces (or big if you prefer). Smash garlic cloves under knife; peel. Cut off the hard end of the clove and throw it away. Okay, I didn't know anything about garlic cloves until about a year ago, I always used garlic powder, so I thought I would just describe the whole process. Put the onions and garlic into the pan with the chicken. Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt, pepper and jerk seasoning. Turn over multiple times (I'm quite the "flipper" when I cook.) while chicken cooks so that the seasonings are distributed fairly evenly. Cook chicken in pan until onions are soft and chicken is cooked through. Remove just the chicken from the pan. Add cream of mushroom soup and milk to onions, stirring continuously to get up all the little chicken bits from the bottom of the pan. Put chicken back in pan when sauce is completely heated through and is thickening. Spoon sauce over chicken until it is almost covered. Put one spoonful of sour cream on top of each chicken breast. Turn chicken over so sour cream is on the bottom. Serve over rice, or by itself with veggies.
Hope you like it! Let me know if anyone tries it.

Sammy is fully stocked up on baby food jars. He still doesn't like many of them, but we're getting him used to them slowly but surely. He needs to eat more than just bottles! He loves our food, but he really can't digest so many things that we just need to stick to baby food for now. He'll get used to it soon, I hope. He seems to take it better if it's cold, so we'll just keep doing that for now.
Sory I haven't posted in so long, I'm working on getting organized. It's a slow process, one that might take my whole life to complete! :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bathroom News

So the toilet paper dispenser-holder-spring-thing went missing from the bathroom a couple of weeks ago, and about a week and a half ago I noticed that the water wasn't draining properly from the sink. Hmmmm... Guess what Mike found in the sink drain pipe today?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Griffin's First Pictures

No, they're not pictures OF Griffin, they are the first pictures he took all by himself. The first one is one of me at the computer in my skirt (!) and the second one is... well, it must be "the view from down there" or some such thing. Anyway, he had fun taking them! :)

Sammy's First Word

Okay, he said his first TWO words today. Mike and I thought, oh, how cute, he's saying "Daddy" instead of just Dada -- we don't count mama and dada as his first words, because he's been saying those for months now, they're easy. But when we all came downstairs this morning, Sammy saw Miles and went ballistic, giggling and squealing, and saying "Kitty!" I should have known that would be his first real word, as excited as he gets whenever the cat is in his line of sight (and touch).
Also, while we were still in the bathroom, I was trying to see if Sammy could say any other words (since we assumed at that point that he had expanded his vocabulary to now include Daddy, not just Dada), and I said Ball, and he said, with great certainty, "Bah!" and went and picked up a little red ball from his bathketball set. Oh, he's so smart! And not even one yet. I can't wait until he's talking to Griffin so that I will be able to listen in to their little-boy conversations. What fun!

My Favorite Places

These are some of my favorite places in my house. I love my clean kitchen, it is so nice to cook in it when the counters are clear and there is room to work! Mike took the second picture, he knows how much I love my kitchen to be clean, and he has been such a big help in making sure it stays that way! The island is another of my favorite places because it is where I blog and read e-mails, and there is also a bit of counter-space there as well. Miniature apples, leaves, sticks and small red berries make up the snow-covered ornament hanging beside my garage-sale clock. I'm going to leave it up all Winter, I love it so much! I don't want to take down the Christmas cards that cover both sides of our kitchen/dining room doorway, either. I might just leave those up until Spring, too! It is a bright place in the dreariness of Winter. The three pictures on the wall beside the Christmas card doorway I found at a local antique mall. You just never know what kinds of treasures you'll find in places like that!

The Penguin Bucket

"The Penguin Bucket" is what we lovingly call this metal pail that also corrals the toys that end up strewn around the house at day's end. Griffin decided that it could also be fun to sit in. It lasted all of about cfd x bbbbbbbbgugttvv v c vc v c v... excuse me, I had a bit of an interruption by Sammy, who REALLY wanted to type something... where was I? Oh yes. It lasted only about 30 seconds, then he was out of there and on to bigger (haha!) ventures. We didn't think he'd fit in there in the first place, so it amazed us when he fit, except for his head of course.