Monday, December 31, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 12/31

I know it is the 31st but technically this will be the first week of MPM for the New Year.  I am excited, are you?

I am turning over a new leaf this year, Operation Shed Some Pounds has begun and my MPM posts will hopefully show that we are eating a bit healthier (not that we were eating unhealthy but...I am throwing in lots of exercise now too).  I am kicking the full on vegetarian eating to the curb because honestly I think that was more counterproductive than it was beneficial for my body and even my doctor agreed.  I will still be making some vegetarian meals but also eating leaner meats and barely any red meat still since that is where I have most of my digestive problems.

Here is what is on our menu for the first week:


Homemade Mac N Cheese*


Spacon Penne Pasta (Spinach and Turkey Bacon= Spacon)
Green Salad


Crockpot Pork Tenderloin
Baby Red Potatoes


Red Bean & Rice Burritos


Mexican Shepard's Pie (w/lean ground beef)
Tostitos Chips & Salsa


3 Bean Chili (w/low fat sour cream & cheese)



Yes, you may have noticed several Mexican dishes.  We like Mexican food as do the kids AND in honor of the Oregon Ducks who are in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday we tailored our meal plan accordingly.  Quack! Quack! 

*This is definitely not a healthy meal. My husband made this for dinner while I was at a basketball game with our older son.

What is cookin' in your kitchen this first week of the New Year?

happy new year 2013
I am linking my menu up with I'm An Organized Junkie and so can you!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Six Word Saturday

If you have been reading my blog at least since last year at this time, you know I chose a word,along with several other bloggers, that we wanted to *live* for the following year. 

To recap, my word last year was:  Gratitude.  I really tried to be grateful EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for all that me and my family had been blessed with and although there were still definite pity parties  (more so I think in the last couple months) overall I *think* I was *intentionally* more grateful than in years past.  I made it a daily priority to be grateful for whatever was thrown my way, good, bad or indifferent. 

My 6 words for this Saturday are:
My word for year 2013: Accountable.

Definition of ACCOUNTABLE

1: subject to giving an account : answerable <held her accountable for the damage>
2: capable of being accounted for : explainable
Although much of this post may sound a bit selfish...
and maybe it is, first and foremost I need to be
Accountable to myself and for myself.
Accountable to take care of myself; mind, body & spirit.

Accountable for vocalizing my own needs.
 Telling others when I need help rather than  
enabling them and then resenting them later.
Accountable to tell others no when
I am feeling overwhelmed;
only I can do this.
Accountable for my own actions AND reactions
therefore putting me on a better path of a positive well being.
In a nutshell, Accountable for putting my own health
and well being above all else;
knowing with that I can be a better
Lord loving, wife, mother, friend, employee.

I feel that these last couple years I have put everything and everyone
before myself and I have lost my mojo.  I have run out of steam and it
clearly is apparent in my lackluster motivation of late.

Obviously, I will still be there for my children, take care of my children,
be there for my husband, take care of my home, work, etc...
but I am going to be much more intentional about taking time for ME,
taking care of ME.

And I have already taken the first step down my ACCOUNTABILITY path.

Operation Shed Some Pounds has begun.

I went and bought a new pair of running shoes this past week
and I am heading to sign up at the gym today.


I have never been as heavy as I am now. 

My goal is to lose 75-100 lbs this year. 

No gimmicks. 

No weight loss pills, shakes, payed for eating plans. 
Just a whole lot of hard work at the gym,
a sensible diet and everything in moderation.

I plan on posting weekly about my weight loss journey and hope that
you can join in helping to encourage me and motivate me. 

I will post a before picture soon (when I muster up enough
nerve and then will post more as I progress).

I know I can do anything I put my mind to but encouragement always helps.

What is your word for 2013?

I am linking this post up with Cate's 6WS at

If you want you can join in too. 

Post what is going on in your life at the moment in 6 words. 

Elaborate, shows pictures, or not.

It is up to you.

Hope you all have a fab weekend and Happy & Safe New Year!


Monday, December 24, 2012

In The Midst of Chaos...

Let us not forget the reason for the season.
The Birth of Jesus.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

They Come In Threes

Bad things.  Tragedies.  They happen.  And I often times see them come in threes.  I am sure I am not the only one that *believes* that or has seen that...but this close together and this tragic?  Three tragedies in just as many days.

I started writing this post actually last Wednesday (12/12/12) after a local tragedy hit close to home; a shooting at Clackamas Town Center, a shopping mall that our family has visited numerous times over the years.  A mall that my husband and I often go to the movies at because it has one of the better sound systems.  Clackamas Town Center the *safest* of the two malls within 15-20 minutes of our house.  I am not sure that says much these days since nowhere is sacred these days. 

They come in threes. 

And since I began writing this post two more unthinkable, incomprehensive tragedies have taken place...Another on US soil and another travesty in China.  I am sure there were several others acts of violence that have occurred, just not as grand (as horrible as that sounds, calling a violent act grand).  

I have retitled and rewrote this post several times because it almost seems surreal all the violence that has been taking place.  Words can not even do justice to what people are feeling.  Sadness, fear, anger, grief.  All rolled into one and then some.  And these feelings are felt by the people that are not personally touched by the tragedies.  I can't imagine what the families of the victims are going through especially those families in Connecticut having to bury their 5 and 6 year olds.   I have a kindergartner.  My heart breaks. I can't even begin to imagine what those children went through, what the survivors are going through now.   

I remember after the Aurora shootings at the movie theater, I couldn't go to the movies for quite a while afterwards and even now the first thing I look for are the exits and pick my seat a bit more stratigically.  And the mall, you can bet you won't find me there anytime soon.  I know that might sound as if I am living in fear and maybe I am a little but how can you not?  When you can't even feel safe sending your children to school, there is a problem. 

And now, how to solve that problem is the question so many people have on their minds.  But why does it take another tragedy of this magnitude to get action?  That is what frustrates me.  A combination of drastic measures need to take place or this will not be the last tragedy that our nation will see, you can guarantee that.  

I know we can't repeal the Second Amendment of the US Constitution; right to bear arms but we can limit it further as to the types of arms. Why does anybody need military type weapons?  I am not necessarily anti gun, I don't like them, nor do I own any, but I think it is a right people should have in order to protect themselves if/when needed.  I however do not think there is any reason your average everyday citizen should have high powered rifles, AK-47's, etc.  It just does not make any sense.  And anyone living with a person with mental illness, SHOULD NOT have firearms accessible in the home, just sayin.

Not to make excuses for those that have committed these heinous acts but mental illness does seem to be a big factor in many of the recent cases.  Many of them clearly show a history of some type of mental illness whether formally diagnosed or not.  We can not rush to say that is the "sole" reason why they act out violently but we can't sweep it under the rug either.  Mental illness.  It leaves such a nasty taste in your mouth, doesn't it? It has such a stigma that nobody talks about it.  That has got to change.  We need to talk about it, get help for those that are suffering in silence.  The signs are there.  We, and yes, I mean you and me, regular individuals, need to be observant of those signs and reach out with compassion to those we see suffering.  One person can possibly make the difference.  Not always, but we don't know unless we try.

And funding, the government, needs to put funding back into social services.  How much more clear does it have to be to see that there are people out there that need help!  And often times without government assistance, they can not get help.  They need counseling to learn how to cope with things that you and I may think are trivial, but to someone with mental illness, the littlest things can send them over the edge. They need medication but do not have a job that provides prescription benefits.  They may need to be commited at some point but there is not enough funding for state mental hospitals so they are left to be taken care of by friends and family who are not trained in mental health issues.  They do the best that they can do, sure, but it is obviously not enough as you see in some of the most recent cases. 

I know that these are not the end all be all answers by any means, but we have to do something.  We can not just sit around in lie waiting for the next violent act.  And I do know even with banning certain guns, helping those with mental illness, that if people are bent on hurting others they will find other ways to do so.  But we as a nation, a government, need to come together and make it much more difficult to act in this way.  We don't need to lose any more innocent victims to a few sick individuals.

In closing, I am sure you may have already seen this blog post that has been all over the internet, Facebook, twitter, etc...but it really brings home, how it could as easily be you or I that has a child with mental illness and to make it clear that although I don't agree with Nancy Lanza and her having guns in her home with a son who *possibly* had a form of mental illness, she is also a victim.  Let us not forget.

Originally, this blog post was titled, Thinking The Unthinkable and was retitled I Am Adam Lanzas mother by media outlets.  I have never read this persons blog until now and I have read that there has been some controversy about her blog and this particular post but it still brings to light a serious issue that needs to be openly discussed.  It is a sad day when incarceration is the only alternative for getting help for someone with mental illness.

(slowly climbs down off the soapbox)

If you would like to help the victims/families of the Newtown tragedy, please send donations to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up 12/18

Bring it on! Tuesday Archive Link Up.

Sorry I have been a bit absent lately, the holidays are getting the better of me.

I have been writing a post for the last several days about all the tragedies our country has been seeing lately, one last Tuesday, right by us. I haven't finished but I hope you stop by again soon and check it out. It is a bit heavy, rightfully so. Until then, hold your loved ones closer and make sure they know that you love them no matter what.

Ok, on with the show.

TALU brought to you by me and these other fab ladies:

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Make sure to visit the other blogs and let them know you found them on TALU.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Welcome back to another edition of Menu Plan Monday hosted by non other than Laura over at I'm An Organized Junkie.  How I wish I could be like Laura....but I guess for now I will have to suffice with myself, a Lord loving, a somewhat completely disorganized homemaker, a nagging wife, an over worked, under paid employee, mother of 4 not so perfect children that I adore. 

This week I have decided to plan menus around things I KNOW my children will eat because lately they have been giving me a run for my money.  I decided a long time ago that I am not a short order cook but lately, they just won't eat many of the dinners I have been making so lots of left overs and lots of waste.  I hate waste. 

With that in mind I have come up with this  menu that they will be sure to eat hopefully eat.  Here goes nothing....I guess if I don't try, I won't know.


Bagels w/cream cheese

(We had a late lunch.  Nobody was very hungry so we opted for this simple snacky type meal)


Beefy Cheesy Rice Roll Ups
Apple Slices


Grilled Cheese
Tomato Soup
Carrots & Ranch


Beef with Sauteed Green Beans & Mushrooms
Apple Sauce


Vegetable Fried Rice
Mandarin Oranges


Cheesy Tuna Noodles
Pear Slices



What is the one go to meal that you are certain your children will eat?  I need some more "new" ideas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Gift of Love
By Ashes Remain

What's the season all about
When all we do is run around
Living for ourselves
Leaving mercy on the shelf
Walking by a homeless man
Who is holding out his empty hand

Doesn't anybody care
Does he even have a prayer

When will we realize and open our eyes

Salvation came to earth
Let us celebrate the birth
Make ourselves the offering
Meet the broken in the streets
The gift that came alive
To take the blame and die
For a world that lives in fear
Let us give the gift of love this year

What's the season all about
With everybody running around
Let's forget about ourselves
Take mercy off the shelf

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up 12/4

Good morning. Good day. How do you do?

I hope your week has started off well.

It is Tuesday so time for TALU!

It is a party and everyone is invited.

Link up a favorite post that you think deserves a second chance. Visit other links and let them know you saw them on TALU!

And then spread the word and come back again next week. Yup, we do this every week. Me and these other fabulous ladies.

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits
Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm
Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Christmas Tree. Decorating.Shopping. Ohh My!
Is what my day consists of.
Up at the crack of dawn.
To get the busy party started.
Throw in a bunch of cleaning.
A couple basketball games for Tyler.
I am exhausted thinking about it.
No rest for the weary, right?
I am linking up my list of 6 words with Cate at
You can too! 
Describe what is going on in your life in 6 words and then link up.
What are you doing on this lovely Saturday?
P.S. Check out my new pictures on the Other Non Superheros page.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rats, Kate & Ramblings

November, has been rough.  I feel like I have been put in the washing machine, stuck on spin cycle and then now hung out to dry. I am hoping that December gives me some reprieve but I am not sure it will, I guess we will have to see, right?

I had a dream a couple nights ago where I found a rat in my laundry room.  I don't remember what color it was but apparently that matters when it comes to dream interpretation.  I honestly don't even remember the rest of the dream just the rat.  I figured out pretty quickly not a good thing when you have a rat in your dream.  I looked up the meaning of having a rat in your dream and several of the interpretations I think hit the nail right on with some things going on in my life.  Funny how that works.  I have always been fascinated by dreams and the meanings behind them.

From, "To see a rat in your dream signifies feelings of doubts, greed, guilt, unworthiness and envy. You are keeping something to yourself that is eating you up inside. Or you have done something that you are not proud of. Alternatively, a rat denotes repulsion, decay, dirtiness, and even death. The dream may also be a pun on someone who is a rat. Are you feeling betrayed? "

I can honestly say that I have been feeling very doubtful, greedy, guilty....especially as we move into the holidays.  I see how truly blessed we are with our faith, health, family, food, drink, possessions and think of all the others that have nothing.  It sometimes consumes me.  I try not to let it.  But it is so hard not to.  And then I feel like I am slipping back into my "comfort zone" and I don't want to.   I feel it,  the need, the drive, to mix it up a bit, to stretch myself, my family, I am just trying to figure out how and who it will impact the most.  I need direction.  I feel a little bit lost.  Such an unnerving feeling this is.

As I was sitting there last night, kids playing quietly for awhile, I read some more of Kisses from Kate.  Have you read that book?  I have heard lots and lots about it, about her, so I finally started reading it and so far, WOW, amazed by the work she has done in Uganda over the past couple years.  She is an amazing young person!  And that is putting it lightly. 

I also finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan (a couple months ago).  I had a blog post almost done about it and never published it (not sure why; maybe I should just release it in its current raw form).  Another amazing person but on a different level.  This book really makes you take stock as to who you are as a Christian.  It really spoke to me and helped drive those rats into my dreams I think.  LOL. I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian.  I KNOW I have a higher calling and don't want to live the status quo Christian life.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with status quo, for some.  It is just not for me. I pray that GOD reveals his plans soon.  It is so darn hard being patient. You know.

So this weekend, we are heading out to get our Christmas tree.  Most likely from a nearby tree lot since we have grown out of the trapsing around in the mud, out in the boonies, cutting down our own.  I know not much fun but who said I was fun.  LOL. I will break out the decorations and hopefully be able to get the house decorated for the Christmas holidays.  Tyler has his first basketball tournament of the season so we will be there for a big chunk of the weekend too.  He is playing for an Oregon Prep team which only has tournaments every other weekend.  Plus he is on the 8th grade team at school and those games start this week.  Phew.  If it isn't football, it is basketball.  But it is all good because he loves it, is good at it, keeps him active and out of trouble. 

Ok, now I am just rambling.  I think I am going to go for now. 

What do you have on the agenda for this weekend? 

Have you got your Christmas tree?  Real or fake? 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up 11/27

And just like that...

Thanksgiving is over and onto Christmas.

But for now, Tuesday, let us focus on Tuesday Archive Link Up, sound good?

As you know this is a link up of one or two or even three of your favorite posts that you think deserves a second chance.

Link'em up, hop around and comment. Let those that you visit know you found them on TALU.

TALU is brought to you by myself and the other fabulous bloggers...

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Confessions Of A Non Superwoman #24

Confessions.  I love these posts.  Helps keep me in check and proves even more so that I Am Not Superwoman.  And I can't do it all and be all to everyone at all times.  And that is quite alright!

1.  The Thanksgiving dinner dishes, just barely got washed TODAY. 

2.  I did not get up at the butt crack of dawn and do the *normal* Black Friday shopping.  This is 3rd year in a row that I did not partake in this.  My sleep is to valuable not to mention too much chaos to save a few bucks.

3.  I just realized I have not changed my oil for well over the 3000 miles.  Yikes.  Is that really necessary for *newer* cars?  Maybe that is why my gas mileage sucks these days?

4.  Wednesday night.  I didn't make dinner.  We ate snacks and whatever else there was that was easy and handy.  Kids ate a yogurt, banana, some wheat thins...I think I ate a bowl of cereal.  Honestly, I don't even remember.

5.  Thanksgiving night both Kaylyn and I went to bed at 730.  We were T.I.R.E.D. 

Did you have a nice holiday weekend?  Have any confessions you want to share?  You know we like to keep it real round these parts.

Funny Confession Ecard: I planned to be productive today; then I got up this morning and didn't feel like it.

Hey, I posted some new pictures on The Other Non Superheros page. Make sure to check them out. The kids are growing like weeds!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Funnies

Is your bird in?
I just finished putting
ours in the oven for
a long warm nap.
Ulterior motives.
So that's why they serve minced pie and fruit cake.

Isn't that the truth.
Now grant it we don't need to eat like this everyday
but rather be thankful EVERYDAY.
From our house to yours, we hope you have a
Happy Thanksgiving shared with your loved ones.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaching Kids Compassion

Compassion: Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.

I recently received a comment on my blog from a reader about teaching (my) kids compassion.  And I decided to write a whole blog post about compassion and how it so easily can be passed onto your own children and other family members for that matter.

It really is a simple concept when it boils right down to it. 

Are you listening? 

Are you ready?

Practice it.  Practice it often, not necessarily just around the holidays.

If your children or other family members see you are compassionate for others and their needs, they will eventually get it and practice it as well.  Get your children involved in what you decide to do to give back. 

It doesn't have to be a big production.  You don't have to house all the homeless or feed the city. Start out small.

It could be as simple as taking a tag off the giving tree during the Christmas holiday and buying a needy child a small gift.

It could be getting an extra bag of groceries and donating it to your local food pantry.

It could be taking some baked goods to a local retirement center for the elderly to snack on.

It could be inviting a lonely neighbor over for dinner.

It could be volunteering at your local soup kitchen on a holiday or on a regular basis.

IT could be whatever you want.  However you want to give back to others.  But I implore you, if you have the means to or the time, do it. 

Nobody ever says I wish I could do "less".

If you choose to give your hard earned money to a charity, make sure to check them out with your local Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator.

How do you teach your children compassion?

Tuesday Archive Link Up 11/20


I am so behind....I didn't feel well yesterday and totally lost a day...didn't remember it was Tuesday and time for the Tuesday Archive Link Up. But you didn't forget, did you?

Glad that the other ladies that host this were on the ball!

TALU hosted by ME and:

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

So link up a post that deserves some more attention and stop by to visit some of the others. Tell them that you found them on TALU.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Man, it feels like I just got of the Tilt-A-Whirl.  Remember that ride?

I have been spun around this way and that, wobbled off holding my head and gut....wondering what the heck just happened.  What a week!  I feel like I haven't blogged much nor read many blogs but I guess I haven't. 

Our weekend started with the Winterjam concert Friday night where Toby Mac just "killed it".  If you don't know who he is, look him up.  You will be glad you did. He just won an AMA award last night.

Tyler's end of year football banquet was on Saturday where he was nominated Offensive MVP! 

And then we finished off the weekend with a Chili Cook Off where my husbands chili made grown men cry!  He won the award for the "hottest" chili!  Ahhmazing chili and fellowship with my friends in Christ.  Awesome way to end a weekend.

In between there was no slowing down....this weekend was the culmination of several outreach activities.

On Sunday our church delivered Thanksgiving Turkey Baskets to 21 families in our local community who wouldn't of had a Thanksgiving otherwise. 

21 families=95 mouths we fed!   

A successful drive however bittersweet.  The need is so great right now in not only our area but in many areas I am certain.  I know we can't feed everyone, but man, I will go down trying! 

We also finished up our Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive.  My good friend Jill headed this up and will be delivering 51 boxes to be shipped out TODAY.  Boxes for children near and far filled to the brim with lots of goodies to make their holidays brighter.

And last but not least, on Saturday in the mail, we received updated pictures of our 2nd Compassion daughter, Madeline.  Isn't she beautiful!  We think so!

Now it is time to slow it down a tad bit and get ready for Thanksgiving.  Only a few days left....(as if I needed to remind you, right?).  I am a little bit ahead of the game on this.  I did most of our shopping this past Thursday so will not need to go to the store during the rush (I hope).  And Black Friday, you will not find me there.  I will be at home, hanging out with the family, enjoying some quality time.

How was your week (end)?  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  The hustle and bustle of the holiday season?

Have a blessed Monday!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And Then I Laughed....


....the belly aching facial distorting rolling on the floor laughing kind of laugh. 

He said he wanted me to do what?  Is he nuts?  He obviously doesn't know this bread loving, pasta eating person very well.  I have Italian in my blood I KNOW somewhere, how can I not?  I can NOT live without grains, carbs, bread, pasta...I can throw down chips, don't eat those much, sweets, easy peasy...but Pasta! 
H to the E to the double L, NO! 

Yes, so my doctor, wants me to go grain free (essentially the Paleo diet) for 30 days (at least).  That means no bread, pasta, beans, rice, anything that has consumed grain or made with any grain.  Which also means that he wants me to incorporate meat (meat from grass fed animals) back into my diet for the protein that I will no longer be getting from legumes.  He forgot that I switched to vegetarian awhile back or did he?  Actually, he read the notes, from my last visit but apparently vegetarian isn't good might even be counter productive to my body type because of all the carbohydrates that I eat (read: pasta).  Those that eat diets high in carbs of course gain more belly fat and well that seems to fit me to a T of late.  My mid section...not pretty.  

My mid section is actually what landed me in the ER a couple weeks ago which is what started this whole visit and conversation with said doctor. I was having some abdominal pains and was extremlely bloated. I looked like I was pregnant, full term, no joke so instead of a rectangle at that point I looked more like a pear.

Here is my dilemma, I don't want to eat meat.  And if you read my blog when I decided to "go" vegetarian you know I decided to "go" vegetarian because of my own selfish reasons namely because I don't have one of these...


A gallbladder.  Don't get me wrong I love animals and hate the cruelty that is involved from getting them from the farm to the table but my reason to "go" vegetarian is mainly because of that.  No gallbladder.

The purpose of a gallbladder is that it stores and secretes bile, a digestive fluid that breaks down fats.  Without it, you got it, it is harder to digest fat.  A lot of people without gallbladders tend to suffer from a "dumping" syndrome where anytime they eat high fatty foods, it dumps into your intestine prematurely.  This is what happens to me when I eat "most" meat which is why I decided not to eat it.  It doesn't seem to happen much with other fatty foods, mainly meat so I am at a loss. 

So now what, I say?  He thinks "grass fed" meat and grain free will make a difference.  I am not so sure.  And I am really not sure about making another drastic life altering change in eating habits during the holidays.  I feel like I would be setting myself up for failure.
And I don't like to fail, I mean who does right?

So again, now what?  Here I sit, pondering my next step, eating a bowl of home made mac "n" cheese  (probably not my best idea this week). But it is soooooo good! 

Anyone out there who has jumped on the Paleo diet?  How's it working for you?

Tuesday Archive Link Up 11/13

Wow! It is Tuesday again! And just shy of a week until Thanksgiving. Yeah, sorry, if I just pointed that out and maybe you wanted to block it out. So much to do, so little time.

But for now we are going to focus on the Tuesday Archive Link Up, because that is much more fun, right?

So get linking! Link up any post that you think deserves a second chance. And then, of course, visit some of the other fabulous bloggers who have linked up....let them know you found them on TALU.

This link up brought to you by me and these other wonderful blogging ladies:

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crashers Book Giveaway


This fabulous giveaway is brought to you by 
3 Lucky winners will each receive a Signed Book from the author.
Open Worldwide
Ending on Saturday 1st December at 11.59pm EST

Crashers is a modern day cautionary tale in a true to life novel.  A riveting story of love and desperation, greed and redemption.

Fraudulent car accidents is a multi-million dollar racket, involving unscrupulous medical providers, personal injury attorneys, and the cooperating passengers involved in the accidents—and who also receive a portion of the illegal proceeds. Such is the fate of newly engaged, Nathan and Shari, whose joy is tempered by the dark cloud of mounting debt.

A chance encounter with a stranger in whom Shari confides her troubles proves fortuitous: he tells her of a get-rich-quick scheme that will put her and her fiancĂ© on easy street. Seduced by the chance to move from hard times to good times in no time, Sheri takes the carrot offered her, and finds herself acting as a “stuffed passenger”—the “victim” in a staged auto accident. The act goes according to plan and Shari gets her payday, but getting out and breaking free of the insurance fraud underworld will take nothing short of a miracle.

Across the nation, insurance fraud from staged auto accident schemes costs the insured more than $50 billion yearly. Crashers is a true-to-life novel that uncovers how the innocent get lured into the scheme of "cappers" and "hammers."

Enter to Win!!

Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Photobucket

Friday, November 9, 2012

Crashers By Lindy S. Hudis Book Review

I recently had the opportunity to review Crashers by Lindy S. Hudis.  I started reading it shortly after I received it in the mail and could not put it down.  A definite page turner and very intense.  It really made me think about the "real" innocent victims as well as the seemingly honest people and how they could easily get mixed up in something so ....illegal.

Desperate times, call for desperate measures?

Things like this could happen to you, maybe it has happened to you.  It may have happened to that person you saw rear ended yesterday or side swiped. It is an ever evolving and growing industry. All there needs to be is a few greedy or desperate "victims", a dirty lawyer, and a doctor who want a quick payday.  Voila!

You won't know what hit you!

Fasten your seat belt and keep your eyes on the road  so you are not taken for a ride.  Crashers by Lindy S. Hudis: A suspenseful drama about the everyday average person, swayed by greed that gets mixed up in the ever increasing scheme of insurance fraud.

You can purchase Crashers on Amazon here.
Disclosure: I received this book to review through Moms With Voices Media, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up 11/6

It is SUPER Tuesday.

Tomorrow by this time we will know who our next President of the United States will be. Are you excited? No more political "rants" on Facebook, on blogs, robocalls, campaign letters, etc...I am excited for that.

Soooooo let's get this party started! It is time for the Tuesday Archive Link Up Party!

Hosted by me and several other wonderful bloggers such as:

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

So link up a post that you feel deserves a second chance. And then hop around to check out some of the other links and comment. Make sure to tell them you found them on TALU.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

It is still technically Monday right?  I had every intention of posting this last night and then, the wind in my sails, just fluttered away...and I decided to go to bed early instead.  It happens.

But never fear (not that you would truly miss it; I can think you would, right?)
 I am posting it now. 


Spinach Lasagna
Sweet Corn


Left over Lasagna (made too much)


Un-Reuben Reuben Sandwich
Pasta Salad


Vegetable Stir Fry


Grilled Cheese
Tomato Soup


Vegetable Pot Pie
Banana Slices


Spanish Rice

There you have it.  That is what our family will be eating this week.  You will no longer be pondering what that lady over at I Am Not Superwoman is cooking in her kitchen this week.  Now you can go about your day/evening.  You're welcome!


Hope you had a great Monday and a fabulous week.   What are you making this week?

P.S. Did I tell you I went to my doctor last week and he wants me to eat GRAIN free, CARB free, SUGAR free for 30 days!  I laughed.  I will write more about this in another post.  There is lots to share.

P.S.S. I am linking this post with I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs....

Signs, Signs, everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign....
The song goes something like that...
I was walking up Burnside Street in downtown
Portland this afternoon, taking
in the fresh air and seeing the signs. 
I am not talking the No U Turn sign.  Right Turn Only sign.  
But rather something more alarming...

The doors that have become signs of the times for many in our own backyard. 
This is actually the enclosure to a local homeless camp.
Each door has a drawing, a poem, a saying....
I knew I liked that man (Nelson Mandela).
Poverty is not an "I" problem but a "we" problem.


Everyone including the homeless, mentally ill, addicted, ...
deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. 
Some may try to break them down,
but we can lift them up and allow them to...

I know it is easy to be cynical towards the homeless,
the panhandlers, the street kids...
I was "that" person at one time.
I am no longer.
Next time you see the signs, will you stop? 
I found this quote and it sums up my feelings in one sentence.
I would rather be disappointed in some rather than cynical about all.
Author Unknown


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up Party 10/30

Happy Halloween fellow bloggers! Hope you are having a spooktacular Tuesday!

It is Tuesday so time again for the Archive Link Up Party because every post deserves a second chance. Hosted by:


Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Angelica, author of My Daily Pages

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

So link up a post that you think should see the light of day again.

And then make sure to visit the other blogs and let them know you found them on TALU!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Times a changin' in this life.
(my 6WS)

I don't like change.  I am not sure many people do.  We get comfortable, complacent, used to the same ol', same ol' and there is nothing wrong with that HOWEVER I know that when times a changin' unless you adapt, you will get left behind...and nobody wants to be left behind, right?

Not to be too cryptic or anything but I "think" there might be some life changin' coming my way in the near future.  I can't divulge too much because I believe there might be some eyes reading this that would use the information to my demise as awful as that sounds but.... I need to protect myself and those around me.

Let's just say the ship is sinking and I refuse to go down with it. If you know me personally you will know exactly what I am referring to...if not, it will be divulged soon enough.

Other than the upcoming has been, good.  Crazy, hectic, exhausting but good.  The littles have been driving me a bit batty but that is par for the course.  Lov'em forever!  We *finally* found their Halloween costumes.  Hayden will be a dinosaur.  And Kaylyn a caterpillar.  Found them at the local Goodwill: both under $10!  Score!  And they are the warm costumes which is what we need around these parts since it has been getting very chilly at night.  It is supposed to be pouring down rain on Halloween so not sure how much trick or treating we will be doing. 

And I just realized my 2 year blogoversary is TODAY.  Happy Blogoversary to me!  Wow, it is interesting to see how far I have come but yet still have to go. 

Hope you are having a FAB weekend so far.

How do you adapt to life changes?  Kick and scream or go with the flow?


I am linking up with Cate at for 6WS.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Painless Budgeting Tips

I recently had a conversation with my cousin about budgeting.  Now don't misunderstand I am by no means a budgeting guru but I have picked up a few things over the years that have helped our family stay on budget (most of the time). 

Here are a few painless tips I gave her to help her family budget better.

:::::First and foremost you need to know WHERE your money is going.  Keep a journal and/or spreadsheet outlining all of your spending for a full month.  By knowing where it is going you can hopefully make a budget that is more realistic to your lifestyle and therefore not set yourself up for failure.

::::Once you have determined WHERE your money is going, then you can start trimming the fat.  You might be surprised where a good portion of your money goes.  Fast food trips?  Mini mart trips for soda, chips?

::::Sign up for a FREE online budget program such as  Here is a link to the top 10 FREE budget programs.

::::Menu Plan. Menu Plan. Menu Plan.  I can't say that enough!  I Menu Plan weekly.  Some Menu Plan monthly.  Do whichever works for you and your shopping habits.  BUT DO IT!  This is the #1 best way that our family stays on budget with our groceries and not eating out.

::::Take stock of your pantry/refridgerator BEFORE you make your Menu Plan and head to the store. AND make sure you bring a list.  A written list.  Not the one in your head.  If you can, order your groceries online for delivery.  I have done this and found it kept me on track because less chance for impulse buys.

::::If you work out of your home, PACK YOUR LUNCH!  Pack it the night before while making dinner.  It can be  left overs, a sandwich, piece of fruit, baby carrots.  But pack it!  Those lunchtime Subway runs ADD up quick.

:::::Make your coffee at home or at work in break room but DO NOT BUY coffee out everyday.  Again, this may not seem like a lot to begin with if you are stopping by 7-11 for $1.00 coffee.  Heaven help you, if you are getting a Mocha or Latte at Starbucks every day.  Every cent counts when you are trying to stay on track.

::::Buy used.  I love me a good  resale store.  The kids have been growing like weeds so anything that I can buy second hand clothes wise, I am all over it.  Amoung many other things.  Have you heard of thredup?  I have used them multiple times and I can say I am impressed.

::::If you want to *indulge* in a night out for dinner, hit a happy hour.  We spend 50% less (or more) by going to a happy hour and ordering off the happy hour menu.  Plus the items are so cheap, you can get a few items for the price of a normal dinner entree.  If fast food, order off the dollar menu rather than the full meal "deals".

::::Stop buying books!  Go to the library.  Most libraries even have ebooks now that you can download on your ereader.  Check it out!

Of course there are many more tips and tricks where these come from but these are just a few that have a quick impact to your bottomline.

What budget tips does your family use in helping make ends meet?


Disclaimer:  This is not a paid endorsement for any links or sites I have mentioned.  These are my own opinions based on using the services.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up Party 10/23

Goooooooooooood Morning Tuesday! Let's do this!

Here we are for another addition of Tuesday Archive Link Up hosted by:

Jennifer, author of I Am Not Superwoman

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits

Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm

Angelica, author of My Daily Pages

Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

So link up a post that you think deserves another chance at glory. And of course make sure you hop around and check out some of the other links. Tell them you found them on TALU.

Have a GREAT day!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Six Word Saturday

It's a sad day in Troutdale.
This past week our city and the surrounding City of Gresham
had been taken over by fear.
Fear of the unknown of what happened
to a beautiful 21 year old on her way to work Tuesday morning.
We were glued to the twice daily news conferences,
internet news sites, Facebook pages.
All wondering what happened to Whitney Heichel?
Now we know.
It is not the outcome that anyone wanted.
A beautiful, outgoing, compassionate shining star taken
from her family, her friends, her community senselessly.
She had so much of her life left to live.
Like her mother said in a recent news conference,
"She is not just a picture, she is a daughter, a sister, a wife."
Our community is mourning with you and for you Whitney.
Gone in body.
But will forever remain in spirit.
To her husband and her family:
May you find peace and love in the memories you cherish of Whitney.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal."
- Anonymous

I am linking this up with Cate at

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I love that word.  My dad used to always say it when I was younger.  I didn't know what it meant for the longest time.

Of course now I do.  And I am discombobulated.


That is me these last couple weeks.
Confused by so much that is going on.  Upset because the wind is blowing the wrong direction.
I had a weekend away this past weekend to our yearly Women's Retreat**and I thought that that would help clear my head, but it didn't.
I thought I had everything lined up, all the balls in the air, ducks in a row, doing the right things, giving all that I have and all that I am but yet it doesn't seem like it is enough.  A ball always drops somewhere, a duck gets knocked out of line.  Someone is disappointed.  Someone feels left out.  Someone is short changed. 
I am struggling.
I am a bit overwhelmed but I am not sure by what.  There in lies part of the problem.
It is almost as if I feel like I am having a bit of an identity crisis.  Not knowing all of a sudden where my place in the world is.
I have my faith.  I have my family.  I have my health.  This I know. 
But everything else?  Not so much.
Discombobulated.  My word for 4th quarter of the year.  My original word of the year was Gratitude.  And I have that.  Gratitude for all that I am.  All that I have, don't misunderstand.
Do you ever feel this way?  What do you do to get passed it?
**Did you know my 2 year blogoversary is coming up?  I started this blog almost 2 years ago after returning from our Women's Retreat.  The theme that was selected for the retreat was my suggestion....I Am Not Superwoman.  And voila, this blog was born shortly thereafter.  I am still a work in progress because I still fall into the "be all, to all" syndrome as you can clearly see from the post above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Archive Link Up Party 10/16

Good Morning Sunshine! It's Tuesday and you know what that means, right?

You don't? Well let me tell you then.....It is time for the Tuesday Archive Link Up Party hosted by me and the following awesome bloggers:

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits
Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm
Angelica, author of My Daily Pages
Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Link up a favorite post that you thinks deserves some more love. And then visit some of the others. Make sure to comment and let them know you found them on TALU.

Ready, set, GO!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Frigo® Cheese Heads®--America's Favorite!

This includes our family.

We love cheese, well, me the most, and since I am the *cook* cheese happens to end up in many (most) of my recipes.

I especially love Frigo® Cheese Heads®string cheese for my own "quick and easy while on the run healthier" snack.
Throw a few into my purse as I am frantically running out the door, no fuss, no mess.  Peel the wrapper back. Eat.  Easy peasy.  Fits perfectly into our crazy life style.  And the kids love them too!  They especially love the Swirl variety.  Mozzarella AND Cheddar.  What is not to love, right?

Frigo® Cheese Heads®

  • Made with real milk (so high in calcium)
  • No preservatives
  • Good source of protein
  • And 100 calories or less for many of the different varieties.
You can now get Frigo® Cheese Heads® 
  • Light
  • Swirl
  • Mozzarella
  • Variety Pack

Frigo® String Cheese also fits perfectly into several recipes.  Check out their pinterest page for some awesome ideas.

I recently made some Mozzarella sticks and dipped them into some homemade dipping sauce made from tomatoes fresh from our garden.  Delish!

I also make a mean String Cheese Pasta.  Yummy!

Check out the Frigo® website for more product details, recipe ideas and promotions.

Full disclosure:  Saputo brands provided me with Frigo® String Cheese products mentioned above for free. All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stop Bullying Now!

National Bullying Prevention Month Aims To Empower Parents And Community Members
October is Bullying Prevention Month.
It should be EVERY month.
I ran across a sad video on one my friends FB pages about a 15 year old girl who used to live in our area, she has since moved to Vancouver Canada to try and escape the bullying she was receiving on a daily basis, at school, on Facebook, everywhere she turned.
It followed her.
She ended her life on October 10, 2012.
This could have been prevented if the bullying was stopped early on
but the kids continued to haunt and taunt her everywhere she went.
Where are the parents of those that were bullying her?
How on earth can those kids/parents, think that this behavior is acceptable?
How can they sleep at night knowing they had a hand in
a young girl ending her life?
NO human being deserves to be treated like her.
She may have made a few adolescent mistakes but she didn't deserve this.
She was young.
She was vibrant.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
She ended her life on October 10, 2012.
Watch her video here.
She posted this a month ago.
RIP Amanda Todd.
Remember her like this.
Stand up to bullying.
Talk to your kids about it.
We have to stop this from happening to another daughter, son, friend, neighbor.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Archive Link Up Party 10/9

It's a party over here, party over there!

Come link up with us for the Tuesday Archive Link Up Party! Because every post deserves to see the light again. Make sure to visit the other blogs that have linked up and let them know that you found them on the TALU.

Hosted by me and these other lovely bloggers:

Jessica, author of Sugar In My Grits
Stephanie, author of Our Marriage Adventure
Anne, author of Life On The Funny Farm
Angelica, author of My Daily Pages
Debbie, author of Wrinkled Mommy

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Burnt out.  I have been burnt out on some of my vegetarian recipes of late.  We have had chili and veggie stir fry in our rotation for too long.  I am going to switch it up a bit. 

This week my plan is to not only cook a few different meals but also be very budget conscious.  I have picked some recipes that are less than $1.00 per serving. So here it goes...Are you with me?


Red Robin Birthday Celebration


Spanish Beans N Rice
Cheesy Tortilla Roll Ups


Rainbow Orzo (Orzo w/Green & Red Peppers, Spinach, Onion, Garlic)


Brocolli Casserole


Baked Spaghetti
Green Beans


Off To The Beach For Mom--Whatever Dad Is Making.


Still At The Beach---Whatever Dad is Making.

What are your budget friendly go to recipes?

I am linking this up with Laura at I'm An Organized Junkie.

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