Saturday, June 28, 2008

I won!! I won!!

Earlier this week, I entered a giveaway over at FiddleDeeDee for a free ticket to this virtual homeschool conference. DeeDee emailed me today to let me know that my comment number was chosen as a winner. I am so excited!! First of all, I very rarely win anything. Secondly, this will be our first year of homeschooling, so I can use all of the information and encouragement I can get.

If you'd like to read more about the conference, go here.

Thanks, DeeDee, for hosting the giveaway! I'm thrilled to be a recipient of one of the free tickets!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supper in the Summer

Bigmama seems to have the same trouble I do. When it's hot outside, I don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen. And, some of our normal meals don't really sound that appetizing. So, when the Summertime cooking blues hit, here are a couple of things that I throw on the table.

My kids go crazy over this really simple pasta. Boil any type of pasta you desire and rinse it with cold water. Then pour Kraft Zesty Italian dressing over it. Sometimes we eat it just like this, other times we add parmesan cheese, croutons, tomatoes, or whatever suits our fancy. I usually pair this pasta with grilled chicken, steak or hamburgers.

The other thing I really enjoy in the summer is Frito Salad. Brown some hamburger and add a little taco seasoning to it. Toss together lettuce, cheese, drained kidney beans, and the seasoned hamburger. You can either add the Frito's to the mixture, or you can just put Frito's in the serving bowls. We like to serve the salad with Dorothy Lynch (which I think might be a midwest thing... it's like a french dressing) and Pace Picante Sauce. You can also add tomatoes, black olives, onions, or whatever else makes your mouth happy. Good stuff!

Bigmama has a Mr. Linky up over on her blog. You can head over there to read more Summer Supper ideas or share your own. I'm going to go over myself and look for some fresh summertime ideas.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Giveaway at Simple Mom

Simple Mom has been talking about zero-based budgets on her blog. Today she is giving away a lifetime membership to Pear Budget. Pear Budget looks like a really great program. I plan to give it a try (free for 30 days and then only $3/month). It looks like it will be just what we are needing. Head over to Simple Mom for more details about Pear and to enter the giveaway.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Country Dreams

I lived in a small town until I was 10. After my parents divorced, I moved to a city. I've always liked living in a city. I have so many things right out my front door. I can walk to a pharmacy, a convenience store and a department store, all within in blocks of my house. If I'm having a really bad day, I can go to the lounge right next door. I'm kidding. I could, but that's not my idea of bad-day relief. If I need bad-day relief, I'd probably go to the convenience store for chocolate. I love that I can drive a mile and be at the grocery store to pick up milk and $20 of things we didn't need while I'm there. I love that we have access to all sorts of entertainment, restaurants, parks, and paved bike trails. That's all good stuff. However, I'm finding myself yearning for something that I can't get in my city.

I want space. I want to walk out my front door and not see several other houses. I want to open the windows at night and not hear vehicles buzzing by or sirens wailing. I want to go outside to play with the kids and have space to run, ride bikes, and play baseball. I want to sit outside at night with my hubby and look at the millions of stars in the sky. I'm yearning for a little bit of country.

This dream has been in my heart for quite a while. I used to think that I wouldn't like being in the country because I liked to be close to the action. But, that's changing as I get older. My desires are different now. There is just something about wide open spaces that brings me such a peaceful feeling. I'm ready to break away from the noise and busyness of city life and find myself a quiet spot.

Aaron and I have talked about this for a while. He probably had this dream before I did. It's not going to happen right away, but it's definitely something we want to explore. Until then, it's kind of fun to dream of the possibilities. A cute little house with a nice big porch, a long gravel driveway, lots of trees and open space, and of course, 2 little dachshund puppies to play in the yard! Sweet, sweet dreams. They make me smile.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


C turned 3 on Sunday. He was sick the morning of his birthday. Poor guy. I had given him cow's milk the day before, and he generally drinks soy. He's never been diagnosed as having a milk allergy, but he sure does seem sensitive to it. I think we'll just avoid cow's milk from now on.

That's not really the point of this post though. :) Just lately, I'm seeing C change so much. He's definitely moving from the toddler stage to the preschooler stage. Listening to his talking, which has become so much more conversational lately, is so fun. I love to listen to him talk with his siblings. He really looks up to the older kids and he's enjoying that P is getting big enough to really interact and play with him. Last weekend we were at a family reunion. C wanted to go and pet these cute little dogs, and we were standing just a few feet from them. P was chattering excitedly, but was probably feeling a little nervous about approaching them. C kept gently nudging P forward, saying "P, go pet the doggies". I think he wanted P to check it out and then he'd join him if it all went well. I wonder how many other things P will be C's guinea pig for?? That's kind of a scary thought.

C is also looking older to me these days. We cut his hair last week and having shorter (but thankfully, still curly) hair always makes his face look more mature. I also notice him looking bigger when he's doing things like being brave at the playground, running around outside, helping to dress himself and things like that.

Oh, and then there's the whole independence issue. It brings along it's fair share of temper tantrums, which we're beginning to see. C has always been such a laid back child, so I was hoping we might avoid the tantrum stage that often comes with 3. But, I don't think we're going to be so lucky. Why do they call it the terrible twos?? Two is awesome. Sure they're little busy bodies at 2, but they're so fun. 3 though.... that can be terrible. Oh well, at least I know that 4 is waiting for us on the other side. :)