Friday, November 20, 2009

I HeartTwilight

Yes, you read it right, I Heart Twilight. I'm one of those people who have read all 4 books about 20 times. I've listened to them all on CD as well. I own the soundtrack to Twilight the movie and New Moon the movie. I've watched Twilight so many times I have lost count and I was a brave soul and attended the midnight premiere of New Moon last night. Confession is good for the soul, right? :)

I'm not alone! In fact, many ladies in my church all Heart Twilight. So much so, we're having an "I Still Heart Twilight" party tonight. We're going to play the Scene-It Twilight game and the Twilight board game (which I own) and eat Twilight themed snacks. What is a Twilight themed snack? I'm glad you asked! If you're on Team Edward you are supposed to bring something cold. If you're on Team Jacob you are supposed to bring something hot. If you're on Team Switzerland, you can pick what you will. I'm not quite sure what the "hecklers" are bringing, but I'm sure it will be fun finding out. Yes, we have hecklers coming tonight. We don't want to be exclusive and want to have fun with all the ladies at church. So some gals are coming to make fun of us Twilight fans.

Oh, if
you don't know what Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team Switzerland is... ask a teenager. Any teenager!

I'm very much so on Team Edward's side. So tonight I had some fun creating my Vampire snacks. I made Vampire cookies that bleed when you bite into them and have fang marks.
I also made a bloody cake! It even is supposed to ooze blood when you cut it open!
Don't worry, all of the blood you see is just raspberry jam. But it sure does the trick! I can't wait to show off my snacks tonight. And try to win the games as well!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Military Life

In December, my husband will be leaving for one year. He'll start off by heading to Indiana for a month of training before he goes to Afghanistan. He'll spend about 10 months over there and will finish with one more month back in Indiana.

Being a military wife, I know the possibility of my husband being deployed is always there. It's hard knowing that he's about to leave for a full year. Our son was upset that Daddy will miss his birthday in December. I told him I'm upset too. Our 10th anniversary is in March.

All I can do is support my husband. I will pray for him. I will make videos of the kids and I. We will make him care packages to send to him monthly.

I am also blessed by a wonderful church family who has already offered to help before and during his deployment. Someone offered today to watch the kids overnight so my husband and I can have a full evening together before he leaves. Yes, I cried when I heard that offer.

I know that no matter what, my husband, my kids and I have been, and will be, blanketed in prayer during this deployment. I know that God is in control of our lives and I will put my trust in him. Please continue to pray for us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cooking Day Recap

Once again my freezer is full of yummy food! I'm so glad too because I'm feeling a bit run down and definitely am not doing much of anything today. I successfully cooked all 30 meals, doubled each one, and delivered the extra 30 to my aunt. It was nice to be paid to cook, and I hope to put that money toward a new freezer so I can freeze the meals before I deliver them. That was the only downside, one of the meals wasn't so happy in my cooler and kind of leaked on the others. It was one from an aluminum foil wrapped pan, not one of the Ziploc bags. Had they all been frozen first, the leakage wouldn't have occurred.

In other news, this afternoon the boys are heading out of town for the weekend. Seth is taking our son camping with the Cub Scouts. It's his first camping trip and he's really excited! I'm glad the two of them are going to get some guy time in. The little lady and I will be hanging out and going to ballet tomorrow morning. After ballet, a youth from our church will be coming over and we'll be baking cookies together to take to our church Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow evening. Sunday should be a fun day with a joint Sunday school and worship service in the morning, the boys come back after lunch time, then we have AWANA in the evening. Overall, it's going to be a fun weekend, provided I can get over this feeling of yuck!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Broke 1000!

I can't believe it! I guess I haven't been paying too much attention to the numbers, and I'm really excited to see I've had over 1000 hits. That's so cool!

Thanks everyone for checking out my blog! Enjoy!

~Elizabeth

Cooking Day with a Twist

It's time again for my monthly cooking day. I've planned my meals and I'm doing all 30 this month. I've got a few new ones in the mix, like Catalina Cranberry Chicken, and of course, by popular demand, Stromboli is back after taking a month off. My kids had a fit last month when I didn't make it.

So here's the twist. I'm making double the meals. My aunt contacted me and asked if I could do a cooking day for her. Specifically she wanted me to just double my meals, which will make this first time easier for me. She is paying for her food, as well as paying me a fee for my time. I'm excited to be doing this for her and don't mind cooking for others while I'm cooking for myself.

Here's my cooking list for this month. If you're interested in a recipe just post a note here. Or if you live close enough to me and would like me to cook for you as well, just let me know!

1. Almond Chicken
2. Bird’s Nest Pie
3. Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Casserole
4. Catalina Cranberry Chicken
5. Cheesy Corn Casserole
6. Chicken and Tomato Rice Bake
7. Chicken and Broccoli Rotini
8. Chicken Nuggets
9. Chicken Pie
10. Crab Shells
11. Crock Pot Peppercorn Steak
12. Dijon Pork Chops
13. Fragrant Sticky Chicken
14. Goulash
15. Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
16. Ham, Vegetables and Bows
17. Italian Slow Cooker Chicken
18. Maple Glazed Stuffed Roast Pork
19. Maple Glazed Turkey
20. Marinated Flank Steak
21. Meaty Corn Bread Casserole
22. Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
23. Oven BBQ Chicken and Cheesy Biscuits
24. Pasta and Sausage Bake
25. Pork Chops w/Brown Sugar Cidar
26. Sausage Pizza Twist
27. Steak Fajitas
28. Stromboli
29. Stuffed Sausage Balls
30. Sweet Onion Pork Chops

Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday, Family Visit, School

It's been an interesting few weeks since my last post. My parents came in from California to visit for my birthday. We had a wonderful visit and I had a great birthday. The best gift I received was of course a whisk. I'm an avid whisk collector. I don't know why, but I just think all sorts of fun, different and weird whisks are neat. For my birthday my parents gave me the biggest whisk I have ever seen.
Oh, I'm in heaven! I haven't counted my whisks in a while, but I do believe I own over 20 whisks now. Unfortunately, this one is too big to go with my other whisks, and too big to fit in a drawer. I want to mount it on the wall above the stove, but my hubby doesn't agree. We'll see who wins that argument. It's my kitchen right?

While my parents were here we got to go to a corn maze, pick pumpkins, and carve those pumpkins. They also attended ballet with my daughter and went to Cub Scouts with my son. They enjoyed having their grandparents here and cried when they left. Well, I cried too so I don't blame them for that!


Now that they are gone we are getting back into our normal routine. The kids are doing school work each day and I'm finding it surprisingly easy to teach both at the same time. I love the curriculum we use and the online charter school was definitely the answer for us.

Since our routine has us finishing school around 2:00 each day, it's given me ample time to work on my schooling. I'm happy to say that today once the kids finish their school, I will be starting my final transcription class. I've been working for a couple of years now in trying to get a medical transcription degree. It's so exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now I'm carrying a 94 average and am hoping to keep that or raise it with my final classes!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dining Room

With the front room almost finished, we decided to paint the whole first floor to make it all look nice. We can't afford to rip all the walls out and insulate right now, but at least all the rooms look nice. The kitchen has been painted the same as the dining room, but I don't have any of those pictures here. In the dining room, we refinished the floor to match the front room, but we left the railing as it was. It's beautiful, but now it really stands out against the new paint colors. I can't wait until we get the molding and tile in the front room. But for now, it's perfect. And yes, I actually did help!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to the Grind

The school year is back in session and things are returning to normal around my home. We finished painting the dining room only to move everything from the kitchen and breakfast nook into that room. The kitchen has new paint on the walls and is awaiting the ceiling and trim paint. Hopefully by Sunday we will have those painted as well. Maybe, just maybe, we'll be at the point where we can have friends back over to the house. No wait -- still need to stain and poly the floor in the dining room. Please let it be finished before my mom gets here on October 1st!!

In the mean time, we need to eat. I've put together my next meal list and I'm sorry to say there are no new meals this month. The good thing is we know and like these meals so that makes meal time a bit easier. I'm only doing 26 this month because I'm sure we'll eat out for my birthday while mom is here and also we'll have leftovers some nights.

I'm hoping to start shopping tomorrow, prep some on Sunday and cook on Monday. Will be interesting trying to cook while I'm teaching school to the little ones, but I'm sure we'll make it work. If you're interested in the recipes for any of these meals, leave me a message and I'll send it your way. Enjoy!
  1. Baked Chicken Pecan
  2. Bird's Nest Pie
  3. Broccoli Ham Bake
  4. Cheesy Corn Casserole
  5. Chicken and Dumplings
  6. Chicken Caesar Casserole
  7. Chicken Pie
  8. Crock Pot Easy Swiss Steak
  9. Dijon Pork Chops
  10. Fragrant Sticky Chicken
  11. Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  12. Grilled Orange Chicken Fingers
  13. Hamburger Rice Casserole
  14. Italian Stuffed Meatloaf
  15. Layered Italian Casserole
  16. Maple Glazed Turkey
  17. Oven Baked Pork Chops
  18. Pasta and Sausage Bake
  19. Pineapple Glazed Chicken
  20. Sausage Casserole
  21. Sausage Pizza Twist
  22. Stuffed Pizza
  23. Sweet Onion Pork Chops
  24. Taco Pie
  25. Upside Down Pizza Casserole
  26. Wild Rice Chicken

Friday, September 4, 2009

The President's Challenge

While I don't necessarily stand behind the policies of our current president, there are some things that are good. For instance, many of you probably remember doing the President's Challenge when you were in school. This is that terrible time at the beginning of P.E. class where we had to run a mile in a certain time, do so many curl-ups, chin-ups (or push-ups), the V-sit and stretch and the shuttle run. My brain is saying ouch already!

So my boy is in 3rd grade and he's participating this year. He has to complete 40 curl-ups in under a minute, 17 push-ups taking 3 seconds each (or 5 chin-ups, he opted for the push-ups), the shuttle run in 11 seconds, has to stretch 3 inches past his feet in the v-sit and stretch and do 1/2 a mile in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I'm not sure I can keep up with him. I know, I'll just do the timing part!

Here are a couple of videos. Mind you, this is only day 2 of our practicing. #2 is showing off his curl-up ability and #3 is showing off her push-ups. Yes, I realize they both need a lot of practice!

video

video

Time Goes By

Well, time just keeps moving on and on and on... My hubby turned another year older on Monday, my step-daughter started her junior year in high school, my son started 3rd grade on Tuesday and my youngest daughter started kindergarten. Man I feel old. (I'm turning 31 in exactly 1 month.)

With my youngest starting school this week all the thoughts of idadequacy swamped me. Have I been a good mother? Was the time I spent with my kids before school began quality time? Would they remember their early years as good times? I can't answer those questions except to say that I love them and I tried my best. I've trained them and will continue to train them to make the right choices, to follow God's word and to love others and love God. I continue to pray for my family and myself as wife and mother.

So I'll go cook dinner tonight, make sure they eat their vegetables and complete all their school work. I'll read to them from the Bible and continue to teach them about God. I'll listen to my husband, be a support to him and pray for him. I'll do this job as God has seen fit to call me and just keep moving along as time goes by.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We Did It!

I can't believe it! After 7+ years of trying, my son has stopped sucking his thumb. Not only that, but my daughter stopped sucking her fingers too! It was a little more difficult with my daughter, since she switched to each thumb after stopping her fingers, but we managed to stop all sucking!

How did we do it? Band-aids. We spent 2 weeks in band-aids. My daughter had 4 on and my son just had one, but they were on all day and all night for 2 weeks straight. I think the constant part was my problem before when I tried them. Before we would take them off in the morning and when I caught them I would put another one on. This time as soon as they got up, they took them off to eat, washed up and immediately put another band-aid on. There was no opportunity for them to suck at all.

It's been a week since we stopped putting on band-aids and there is no sign of sucking. I've checked when they've gone to bed and there has been no secret sucking going on. I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am! My daughter's fingers have started healing from the teeth indentations and my son's thumb nail is growing properly again. Can you see me dancing my happy dance from where you are? On second thought, maybe you don't want to see me dancing!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summertime Fun!

It's been a few weeks since I posted but I have a good reason! Kid #1 is out here for 6 weeks from California and we've been having a fun time. We've baked cakes, decorated a float & walked in a parade, went to a carnival and saw fireworks, gone to the park with friends and have participated in the summer reading club at the library. Needless to say, we have been busy! Check our family blog for more pictures and stories of our vacation together! Here are a few pics.

Monday, July 6, 2009

We Moved In!

We actually did it. We moved into our front room! Well, I should say "back into" since we've only been out of it for just over 8 months. But that doesn't spoil my excitement at moving back into our new room. In fact, I'm sitting here on my laptop, on my couch, in my front room! Some how, my couch even feels more comfortable in here. I know that's not possible, maybe it's just the relief to not be crammed into one little room. I can breathe!

So here's the good part for you! I've got pictures! Here's the cause behind this madness. Take a look at our new curtains!


Aren't they beautiful! They are a gold and cream color which ties in the sand color of the ceiling and the percale of the trim (not in yet).


The above 2 pictures are a before and after shot. Mind you, the first is in daylight and the other is evening, but I wanted you to get a basic idea. This will be the sitting room, but for a little while it will serve as our dining room as well. I'll explain that at the bottom in another picture. Obviously we need to reupholster our wing back chairs. They looked good with the peach flowers in the wallpaper, but they don't look so good with the red paint.


Here are the before and after photos of the family room side of the front room. A few big things on this side: #1 - the doorway to the kitchen was moved to the left by about 3 feet. It now lines up with the basement stairs which will make getting things up and down the steps easier. #2 - We added a fireplace. It may be just an electric one, but it doesn't look cheesy at all. There will also be built-in bookshelves that will flank the fireplace. We are still deciding on tile that will go around the fireplace, but until we pick them, the primer is still showing. #3 - That tv isn't staying in this room. As soon as all the tools in the basement are picked up and the basement given a good cleaning, that tv is moving down there to make our media room. We have a flat screen in our bedroom that will go on the wall where that big tv is in the picture. There is a hole in the wall behind that tv so all the cables will be hidden. There is also a hole above the fireplace so if we ever want to put the tv up there, the cables can be hidden as well. Additionally we think we need a new couch cover or better yet a new couch for in here.

So here's the explanation on the dining room table. The above picture was taken where the french doors are. The floor on the left is the newly refinished floor, the floor on the right is what the floor looked like previously and what the floor looks like in our dining room. Once we opened the french doors and saw this, we decided immediately to refinish the other floor while we still have the sander. Once that floor is finished we will move the dining room table into that room and the we will have our formal sitting room.
I hope you like the pictures of the renovation, I sure like sitting here on my comfy couch!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Calling All Moms - Again!

Hello to all the wise mom's out there! Once again I am calling upon your help. This isn't a terrible life-threatening issue, it's just a nuisance. My kids are suckers.

My 8 year-old son has sucked his thumb since he was born. My 5 year-old daughter sucks her middle & ring fingers on her right hand. She sucks and bites and has indentations from her teeth on her fingers that I think might not ever go away.

We've tried rewarding them when they don't suck. We've tried ignoring it. We've put on gloves, band-aids, soaked fingers in lemon juice, even one episode of Tabasco sauce in which my son said it tasted good. Nothing has worked to make them stop sucking. We've been told that other kids pointing it out to them would make them stop. Well, that hasn't worked either. We've caught them on video and in pictures and it doesn't phase them when they see it.

We read in a friend's blog today that her 4 year-old has stopped sucking her thumb. My kids were excited to hear that she stopped, but haven't made any effort to stop themselves. I really want them to stop. My son is starting to have dental problems because of it.

So what has worked for you? Please leave me a message letting me know what you have done to help your kids stop sucking. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MRI Results

So I realized that I didn't post my results of my MRI. Here's the deal, it was way cool to look at! I was able to see the pictures which were really quite interesting. There are 2 definitive "white spots" in my foot, these are bruises that aren't healing. The bones in my foot are rubbing together causing the bruises, the bruising and swelling are causing the bones to rub together. So the one is causing the other and vice versa. Not fun. I've also got a small chip that there is nothing we can do about.

So what's the solution? I've been on an anti-inflammatory called Voltaren since last week. Boy does it have some nasty side effects if I don't eat a big meal with it, but as long as I eat a lot I'm fine (well, not fine in my hips). I told the doctor today about my side effects and he is taking me off the Voltaren and switching me to something else. Not sure what it is yet, but I'll pick it up from the pharmacy later and start taking it.

The anti-inflammatory will help with the pain and somewhat help with the bruising. What will really help? Not using my foot of course! How can I do that? Well, if you can figure out how I can keep off my foot then please let me know. I don't have crutches because I was told to keep using it, just as little as possible. I was also told to go into more supportive shoes, like sneakers, rather than using the post-surgical boot or the walking cast/boot. The post-surgical boot was not helping at all and the walking cast makes me use my ankle less and weakens it. With the amount of problems I already have with my ankle, it's best to stay out of the walking cast.

I've got to just keep on going, just at a slower pace. I wish I was able to get around more, especially since the kids are part of the summer reading club at the library and one of the things they need to do is get rubbings from rubbing stations at the different parks throughout the county. Not sure if I'm up to walking around in the woods on unlevel ground. Grandma got them 1 rubbing from Codorus, maybe I can convince her to get some more.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lemonade Award

My friend nominated me for a Lemonade Award! It's an award given to people who exhibit an attitude of gratitude in their lives and on their blogs.
Here are the rules for this award:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude
So, I now pass along the Lemonade Award to the following bloggers: I'm listing mine in alphabetical order. I don't follow that many blogs, so here are my 4 picks.
I have an attitude of gratitude because of Christ living within my heart. I strive to serve the Lord in all that I do. Thanks Nikki for sharing the Lemonade Award with me!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Post MRI Blog

I wish I had good news to report about my MRI. I don't actually get my results back until Tuesday afternoon so I've got a few days to wait. As for the claustrophobia, it hit me in full force today.

Only my legs were in the MRI machine, but it was enough. I was stuck in a room with no windows and I was unable to move at all. I did have music to listen to, but it didn't help. In fact it got to the point where I wanted to throw the headphones across the room, and I would have if I could have moved.

Thankfully the MRI only lasted 30 minutes instead of an hour. When the technician told me that we were over I yelled for her to get me out of there. She came in and found me crying and she started moving the table out but I couldn't wait that long. I moved myself back, yanked my foot out, jumped off the table and ran from the room. I really feel bad for her because she felt so bad for me. I repeatedly told her that she was not responsible and there was nothing she could have done to make me feel better. She helpfully suggested to me that next time I have an MRI, I need to be sedated.

I hope I never have to have an MRI again. If I do, I'll take her suggestion and get sedated. Now I'm going to have another cup of tea to try to calm my nerves and read or watch a movie. I'm sure I'll calm down in a bit. I'll post the MRI results on Tuesday.

Relay for Life

This weekend Seth and I will be participating in the Relay for Life. The Relay for Life is a fundraising effort on behalf of the American Cancer Society. We are part of the York Young Republican Team and our goal is to raise $1,000 to go toward Cancer research.

So far our team has raised $310. Would you consider helping us meet our team goal? You can click on the links below to reach our personal donation sites online. Thanks for your help!

Donation site for Seth Benge

Donation site for Elizabeth Benge

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nerves

It's been a month since I fell and I'm still in quite a bit of pain. I went to the doctor today and he scheduled me for an MRI tomorrow on my foot with a follow-up appointment on Tuesday where I'll get the results.

I pretty much know my foot is fractured. I can pin point the exact spot where the fracture is because I can feel it with every step. What can they do for it? I have no idea. So what's my problem? The MRI.

I am claustrophobic. Extremely claustrophobic. I can't even play hide-n-seek with my kids anymore. The kids don't seem to mind because I find them awesome places to hide that they wouldn't think of on their own. But I digress....

The MRI is not an open MRI tomorrow, but the doctor said that my head will be out since only my foot is being scanned. I hope that is in fact the case. I've had 2 MRI's in the past, one open and one not open. I flipped big time during the closed MRI. It wasn't pretty and I don't want to think about that again. So needless to say, I'm a bit nervous but trying to be comforted that the doc said my head will be out.

So keep me in your prayers that I won't be flipping out tomorrow. It's an hour long scan that starts at 5:15 tomorrow night. Now, to find clothes that don't have buttons or zippers to wear so I don't have to wear an icky little gown. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

5 Favorite Wedding Gifts

Today's Housewife has been talking all week about their favorite wedding gifts. I've been thinking this week about what my favorite gifts from my shower and wedding are and I can safely say these are 5 things that I received 9+ years ago and am still using.

1. My crock pot. I received my crock pot from my bridesmaid Amanda. She gave it to me for my bridal shower. This thing is a beast! It holds so much food it is ridiculous! I've broken and glued and re-glued the handles on, but it still keeps kicking. I love it!

2. A crystal bowl. Not just any crystal bowl, this is a punch bowl size crystal bowl. (Not a punch bowl because it has no glasses.) Being Southern Baptist, we eat a lot of potlucks and I love to make desserts. My favorite (and the favorite of my church for me to make) is Death By Chocolate. It can only be made in a huge bowl and this bowl does the trick.

3. My microwave. My mother-in-law bought us our microwave for our wedding. It still runs like brand new. I've had people come over and use it and tell me it heats faster and hotter than their brand new microwaves.

4. Our dining room table. My grandparents gave us money to put toward a dining room table as their wedding present to us. In fact it was clearly stipulated that we had to put it toward the table and not blow the money on our honeymoon! We found a cherry wood, Queen Anne style table with a leaf and 6 chairs at a resale shop for $150. It was an amazing find and with just a few scratches, 9+ years later it is still in great shape.

5. A whimsical picture frame. My family and friends know how much I love to hang pictures in my home. My wedding photographer showed up to let my mom & I see my wedding pictures at her office and one of my mom's coworkers saw the picture in this frame, took it out of the package, framed it in this frame and gave it to me. I haven't changed it because it is perfect.

There are other gifts that we received for our wedding that we still have and use, like our electric carving knife and a set of 3 canisters we keep in our kitchen. But these 5 are the most important to my hubby and myself. And yes, I did ask him what gifts were most important and still useful to him and he said the microwave and the dining room table.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June Cooking List

I am still having difficulty standing for any length of time since I hurt my foot 3 weeks ago. Walking is getting easier, but frequent stops are needed. It's going to be rather interesting on Friday since we have tickets to go to an amusement park, but at least with my injury I won't have to wait in line for the rides. :)

So here's my menu for the month of June. I'm going easy on myself and the majority of my meals have 5 or fewer ingredients to make for speedy mixes. Quite a few of these are new and I'm looking forward to trying them out. Of course Stromboli and the Sausage Twist are kid favorites and are habitually in the mix. I'm only doing 28 meals because I know there are a few nights that we'll eat leftovers or will be eating out. If you'd like the recipe to these meals please send me a note and I'll send the recipes your way.

1. Red Beans and Rice
2. Vegetable Rice Skillet
3. Dill and Lemon Pepper Fettuccine
4. Chicken Manicotti
5. Ham, Vegetables and Bows
6. Maple-Glazed Turkey
7. Parmesan-Dijon Chicken
8. Oven BBQ Chicken & Cheesy Biscuits
9. Marinated Flank Steak
10. Jack Burgers
11. Cheesy Corn Casserole
12. Teriyaki Burgers
13. Chicken Nuggets
14. Ham and Cheese Quiche
15. Pork Tender Wellington
16. Oven Baked Pork Chops
17. Italian Slow Cooker Chicken
18. Sausage Quiche
19. Fragrant Sticky Chicken
20. Sausage Twist
21. Easy Chicken Bake
22. Raspberry Glazed Chicken
23. Stuffed Sausage Balls
24. Sweet Onion Pork Chops
25. Upside Down Pizza Casserole
26. Teriyaki Chicken
27. Parmesan Garlic Chicken
28. Stromboli

Monday, June 1, 2009

Painting


It's only been since October, but an end is finally in sight. The front room has been painted and we can now buff the floor out before we move back in. The rest of the work to be completed can be accomplished while we are living in the room. We plan to add the bookshelves that will flank the fireplace, tile the fireplace, add a mantle, refinish the front door, add crown molding and base boards. But as I said, all of that can be finished with us moving into the room. Here are some pics of the painting and the finished job. Even kid #2 got in on the fun. The colors we went with are Merlot for the walls, the ceiling is Bermuda Sand, the trimwork and the built-in bookshelves will be Percale and Sweet Annie will be the green that will go into the dining room and kitchen. In these pictures you can only see the Merlot and the Bermuda Sand. The gray is the tinted primer that allowed us to only use 3 coats of red instead of the 6 that it took in our last house.


Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Been A While

It's been over 2 months since my last post. What can I say? I've been busy is an understatement. Our remodeling is coming along nicely. Seth has started painting this weekend which means we have finished the speakers, drywall, spackling, skim coating and sanding. We are happy about our color choices, however we wanted flat paint for the walls but the color we chose only came in satin. So we'll start putting it on and if we don't like the satin then we have a color that is close that we like in flat.

We've also celebrated some birthdays! Kid #1 celebrated her 16th birthday and Kid #3 celebrated her 5th. Kid #1 is going to go on a shopping spree while #3 decided to have 3 friends spend the night. Here are some cute pics of the 4 little girls.



#2 also had a very important night. He received a very high honor of completing all 3 Sparks books in Awana. He also completed an extra workbook each year of Sparks to earn bonus pins for his vest. Upon completion of the third book he received a special plaque to hang on his wall. We are very proud of him!



Mom celebrated Mother's Day by receiving a new mp3 player and treating herself to a new hair cut and a dye job. I like having dark auburn hair every now and then! 3 days after Mother's Day I had a little accident and fell. Long story short, I tore the muscle in my foot that extends from my ankle to my toes. In the picture above with Seth, #2, Miss Chelly and I, you can see a black thing on my leg. No, it's not just a fashion statement, it's a walking cast to keep my foot immobile. I fell back on the 13th and today is the 25th and I'm still in quite a bit of pain. So tomorrow I'll be heading over to the orthopedic doctor for an evaluation.
So there's the update. I hope to get back into blogging again now that I'm stuck off my feet for a while. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks. #3 graduated from preschool on Friday and #2's last day of school is next week. Summer can't come soon enough!

Friday, March 6, 2009

15 Things

Today's Housewife would like to know about their readers. So I've complied this list of 15 items about me for you all to learn.

1. I'm claustrophobic.
2. I love to sing but I can't dance. I have no rhythm. I don't know how that works with singing because I need rhythm, but I can't make my body move.
3. My hubby and I ignored each other when we met. It took a mutual friend setting us up after she found out we had met for us to go out.
4. We were married 1 year and 5 days after our first date.
5. I hate needles and cringe every time I have to have one, but I try to give blood as often as I'm allowed because I'm O+ and CMV negative so the Red Cross calls me CONSTANTLY!
6. I love to fly, especially alone.
7. I love to bake and will spend all day baking if I could, but I dislike cooking meals.
8. I love to sing and act and do both in church, but I can't stand speaking in public. I get nervous and get the shakes and start to studder. It's not pretty. I don't get that way when acting, just when the speaking is actually coming from me.
9. The only time I went rollerblading I got hit by a car. I won't rollerblade now.
10. I prefer driving stick-shift cars.
11. I've lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Pennsylvania, California, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, and I'm back in Pennsylvania.
12. I've lived in 15 different homes throughout those moves.
13. I have a small heart tattoo in a place that only my hubby can see. I want to get another tattoo but don't have the money for it and can't quite decide on the design.
14. I didn't think I'd like Twilight and just finished reading it and can't wait to read the rest of the books now.
15. I love Chemistry, especially Organic Chemistry. I'm not so hot with the math part and can't stand English and grammar even though I'm not terrible at it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Relief & Pondering

Cooking day is over and once again my freezer is full of food. What a relief to know that for the next month I don't need to worry about what we're going to eat for dinner. Now just to remember to defrost something every day...

Anyways, my mom suggested to me that I should offer to other people to do this. I already offer other people to join me and we cook together, but she suggested that I shop, cook and deliver the meals to others, for a small fee. The more I think about it, it's not a bad idea. I have an extensive list of meals people could choose from, I don't mind doing the shopping and cooking, and anything to help out the finances is a plus.

So I'm asking everyone out there what you think of this? If you had the extra money is this a service that you could use? Anyone know what would be involved with me starting a "business" of preparing meals for others?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cooking Week


I am Blissfully domestic! This week I am doing my once-a-month cooking. It's amazing. I spend one day putting together dinners, freeze them, and eat for a month. It's wonderful. My husband loves it too! If I have something going on one night and can't be home, he knows that I will have already defrosted something and all he has to do is pop it in the oven. And one of the best parts... it saves us money.

It is a bit of a pinch budget wise the very first time. For our family of 4, it costs us about $300 for me to shop. Over the course of the month, I still have to buy perishable items, but for the most part, I'm saving money because I'm not impulse buying once a week. I'm working on getting my cost even lower than that by starting to use coupons and hitting sales.

Here's what we are going to eat this month. If you would like recipes for any of these meals, send me an email or leave a comment with your email address and I'll send it to you.

1. Grilled Orange Chicken Fingers
2. Ham & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
3. Chicken Noodle Casserole
4. Chicken & Tomato Rice Bake
5. Chicken Pie
6. Oven BBQ Chicken & Cheesy Biscuits
7. Glazed Pork Tenderloin
8. Baked Chicken Pecan
9. Crock Pot Peppercorn Steak
10. Crustless Spinach Quiche
11. Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
12. Peking Pork Chops
13. Macaroni and Cheese
14. Chicken Broccoli Rotini
15. Heavenly Chicken
16. Stromboli
17. Chicken Caesar Casserole
18. Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches
19. Farmers Casserole
20. Sausage and Rice
21. Italian Stuffed Meatloaf
22. Lasagna
23. Upside-down Pizza Casserole
24. Black Bean Soup
25. Marinated Flank Steak
26. Chicken Nuggets
27. Meal-In-One Potatoes
28. Cheesy Ham and Potatoes
29. Steak Fajitas
30. Stuffed Sausage Balls

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Title Winner

Congratulations to Debra for the suggestion of Elizabeth's Treasure Chest! My hubby and I really liked that one. Debra has declined the photo album because she said she has several that she hasn't filled yet. So I'm going to hold on to the album and give it away another time.

Thank you for the suggestions on the title, but now I have another request. Please read yesterday's post and give any suggestions you might have regarding my daughter's medical mystery.

Keep an eye out as I'm going to be updating this blog. If you have any cool suggestions or pictures feel free to leave a comment or email me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calling All Moms!

My 4-year-old daughter threw up yesterday. Just once, then she was fine and back to playing like nothing happened. I wouldn't be too concerned if this were a one-time deal, but unfortunately it's not. My daughter does this every 2 months. That's right, every 2 months she has a good vomit, and then goes about her business. This has been happening since she was a baby.

My 4-year-old is allergic to shellfish. She had a reaction to something Saturday night that we're thinking was mayonnaise. (We had hot roast beef sandwiches and Amish macaroni salad for dinner. She ate the roast beef and 1 bite of the mac salad and broke out in hives.) Other than that she's not allergeric to anything else we know of. I've started keeping a food journal (only since Sunday) to see what she is eating. She doesn't have any other problems during the 2 month span other than the cold bugs being passed at preschool.

I've talked to the doctor about it and he said that since it is not more frequent, there is nothing that he is going to do about it. Just what a mom wants to hear. So I decided to call upon other moms for advice.

Do you have any ideas of what could be wrong with her? Have you experienced something like this? Someone suggested that she is building up something in her system that just needs to come out every 2 months, but I have no idea what it could be. So please put on your thinking caps and give me some ideas. Any thoughts you might have would help a bunch. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Need A Title

I need a title for my blog. I follow and read a lot of blogs, most of which have fun names. Elizabeth Benge just seems so blah. I did recently update my tag line which I like, but I need a real name.

So I'm hosting a name contest! Help me pick a name for my blog and you could win a prize. Leave me a comment with your name, email address and a suggested title for my blog and you will be entered to win this cute photo album.
This album holds 100 4x6 photos and is perfect for a wedding or anything else girly. The picture of my cute daughter is not included.
Once the contest is closed my hubby and I will go over the suggested titles and pick a winner. So please come up with creative & fun names for my blog. I will post the winning name and email the winner by Thursday, Feb 26th.

Rules:
1 - Contest will be open until Tuesday, Feb 24th at midnight.
2 - You must leave a valid email address & suggested title for my blog.

Good luck and thanks for helping me pick a title!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Front Room Update

Can you believe it has been 4 months since we started ripping out the wallpaper? It really seems like forever since we started. I know I am tired of living without a table to eat at and dining room chairs in my spare bedroom. Oh yeah, and not being able to use my front door. That's annoying too.

But there's hope!
Thanks to Seth's cousin and a friend, we have drywall on the ceiling and 1 wall. Yea!! After a little more electrical work we're hoping to have the drywall finished one night this week. Or possibly next weekend. Just seeing the ceiling finished is enough to help me keep going until it is finished!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chocolate Truffles

Who doesn't like chocolate truffles? I mean seriously. They have got to be one of the best things that God has created. Ok, well, maybe He didn't create them, but I firmly believe that God made everything and He put smart people on this earth to know how to crush up some cocoa beans and mix them with stuff and voila... you've got truffles.

Did you know they are extremely easy to make? I love making them. I like to give them out as cheap Christmas presents. It takes a little time to make them (mostly waiting time as they freeze) but throw them in a cellophane bag, tie some pretty ribbon on them and you've got a homemade gift that is cheap and easy. I mean, who wouldn't want to receive chocolate truffles? (Hint to my hubby!)

So tomorrow I am participating in a Sweets For Your Sweetie Swap with some ladies from my church. We're all making different sweets, sharing them, and bringing some home to our Sweeties. I've decided to use my very easy recipe for truffles and bring them tomorrow.

Chocolate Truffles

6 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 TBSP butter
white chocolate squares or white chocolate candy covering

In a microwaveable bowl, mix the 6 squares chocolate, whipping cream and butter. Heat for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds, stir. If chocolate is melted, stop heating. If it's not melted, go another 30 seconds. Don't overcook.

Put bowl in freezer. Boy this is tough.



Layer baking sheet with wax paper. After 1 1/2 hours take the chocolate out. Roll chocolate into 1 inch balls and stick in freezer for about 30 minutes more to firm back up. Dip in melted white chocolate. Put in fridge to set. Easy huh!





If you want to decorate them, melt some chocolate chips and drizzle on your truffles. You can also add different extracts to make them even more yummy. You can see 3 different truffles in this picture.

The ones with the heart are the basic recipe truffles. The ones with the swirl of chocolate on them are almond flavored. The ones with the 3 lines on them are raspberry flavored. Just throw a couple of teaspoons of extract in with your chocolate before you melt it in step 1 and you're done. You could also roll in crushed nuts before coating, or coat with shredded coconut, or decorate with tiny candy pieces. Do whatever you want! What I want right now is to eat one with my little helper. Yum!!