Friday, August 31, 2012

Thinking Out Loud

The last couple weeks at work have just been brutal.  So many projects, so little time.  Burnt out.  I know I am lucky to have a job given the economy however you can only do so much.  You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.  You have heard that saying, right?  That is how I feel with regard to several things going on right now.  Change, people, just don't like change.  Even when it is CLEARLY for the better.  Why is that?

Home life has been a bit CRAZZZZZZZZY lately, too.  School is getting ready to start for Tyler (big man on campus; 8th grade) and Hayden (little man on campus; kindergarten).  Next week.  Yikes.  This mom better get on the ball. I still have not finished up school supply shopping. Wow, I can not believe Hayden is giong to be in kindergarten.  I can't believe we only have one more year for Tyler before he is in high school.   We went to Hayden's Back to School BBQ and Hayden, such a ham.  Here is what he wore:

What a goofball! 

This weekend of course being the unofficial end to summer, we hope to head out to yonder parts and have some fun.  Not sure what that will be.  Maybe the zoo?  Water fountain in downtown and Saturday Market?  The Columbia Gorge? I was just saying to my husband the other day, this summer weather wise seems like it only recently started.  And typically during the summer we head downtown quite a bit, spending afternoons at the market, playing in the water fountains, etc but not this summer.  Where did it go?

Anywho, I hope you all have a blessed weekend and thanks for listening to my rambling.

P.S.  Did I tell you we recently received a letter from our Compassion daughter, Milli?  And I forgot to mention that we are sponsoring another daughter!  Maddie!  I will share more about both of them soon! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oodles of Blackberries!

We are *swimming* in blackberries these days.  They are EVERYWHERE.  They are so luscious, juicy and sweet....

We eat them on Ice Cream. In and On cupcakes (thanks to my friend Shannon). Frozen all by their lonesome.

I plan on making some jam and cobbler this weekend with some.  Yummy!


A few tidbits about how to store your fresh berries:

1.  Always keep fresh berries in the fridge in a dry container but only for a couple days.

2.  Wash your berries, only when you are ready to use them otherwise they will turn to mush (unless freezing them) .

3.  If you are going to freeze them, wash them but dry them well. 

4.  To freeze them lay them out on wax paper or a cookie sheet, put them in the freezer until frozen and then transfer them into freezer bags. (This helps insure they are whole berries and not smushed berries in a baggy).

5.  When you are ready to use the frozen berries, no need to thaw them, put them directly into whatever you are preparing.

What are your favorite berries during the summer season?  What do you like to make with them?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Archive Link Up Party 8/28

Good morning lovelies.

Hope your week is going well.

Well if you are here you know what time it is.

Time for the Tuesday Archive Link Up Party.
Link up an archived post that you think deserves a second chance.
Then make sure you check out the others that have linked up.

And we LOVE comments!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

It is late in the day and I finally made my menu plan for the week.  And I am already tired but I have to still go to the store with two young children in tow.  I know that is nothing for some, two kids....but typically I either go on the weekend and go it alone or have only one child to contend with.  This ought to be fun {insert sarcastic laugh here}.

For the most part the family meals that I plan for at home are  still vegetarian.  I have been incorporating a little bit of meat back in my diet when we go out at times, not much, but some.  Depending on what it is, meat wise, determines how I feel afterwards so I have been very careful not to over due it.  Nothing worse than spending half of your day in the bathroom, I know probably a little too much information, sorry.

Here is what I have planned for this week:


Church Picnic


"Faux" Vegetables N Dumplins (link is to my "Faux" Chicken Pot Pie so omit the chicken)


Herb Mac N Cheese
Green Salad


Back To School BBQ


Taco Bake (without meat)
Tortilla Chips


Rainbow Frittatas
Vanilla Yogurt w/Blackberries (from our yard)


TBA--Possible Date Night.

What are you cooking this week?  I am sure lots of delicious things?

I am linking this post up with I'm An Organizing Junkie Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Girl's First Haircut

She is not really a baby any longer.  If you want to get technical she is considered a toddler through most eyes; she is almost 2 1/2 years old.  But she is still my BABY.  The last one, I think that is what has made it so hard.  She has needed a haircut for quite awhile but I kept delaying it for my own selfish reasons until it was finally apparent...

She couldn't see, her bangs hung in your eyes unless you pulled them up in a pony and since Daddy gets her dressed in the morning and doesn't do ponies very well she often times walked around blind.  Always pushing her wispy bangs to the side only for them to fall again in her eyes in a second.

So we did it. We got her haircut.  It was much more of an ordeal than I thought it would be.  She cried. She wiggled.  She screamed.  She tossed and turned.  She was NOT getting in that chair.  Not even a lolly nor daddy sitting in the chair could convince her. 

And then mommy sat down, put her in her lap and she was like a new little girl.  All was well in the hair cutting world.  The stars indeed aligned. 

And she even looked like a *new* little girl when we left.  She is so proud now when people comment on her haircut.  She smiles and says "ahhhaaa" bashfully.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Waterpik...Ohh How I Love Thee.

Braces.  One word:  EXPENSIVE. 

I know they are for the better good of your mouth, oral hygiene and overall look but man, you can buy a decent USED car for the cost of braces these days. 

And want to know what is even more expensive?   When two kids need braces. 

And EVEN more expensive? When after kid #1 gets said braces off, she then needs her teeth bleached because of the lack of good brushing and flossing habits, a whole lot of ickiness was left behind and in between brackets leaving plaque buildup.  I know YUCK! 

Fast forward a few years and now we are on kid #2.  This time I know better! Brushing GOOD & Flossing is happening every day round these mouth parts.  We are not going for another ride.

Now we are using the Waterpik Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush System.  And it is FABULOUS and so much more fun than *regular* old brushing and flossing for not only the little but for Tyler too.  Both Tyler and Hayden love using the flossers, they often times laugh while flossing because it tickles, subsequently they spit water all over the bathroom mirror, but oh wellThey are flossing ; that is what I have to keep in mind.  And the different flossing tips they can use make oral hygiene so EASY.

The tip that Tyler has been using the most is the Orthodontic tip which can get in between and behind the brace brackets the easiest to clean out the ickiness that he is not getting with brushing. Brushing with the Sonic Toothbrush system is 159% better than manual brushing. So between the brushing and flossing with the Waterpik Complete package I am crossing fingers, that there will be no need for bleaching when his braces are taken off. 

Hayden has been using the classic jet tip on the flosser which has 3 pressure settings and gets in between teeth and below the gum line with ease.  He just went to the dentist the other day and has a few minor surface cavities in between a few teeth,  I am sure because of not flossing very well.  Brushing is not enough.  I am hoping with the Waterpik Waterflosser this will be a thing of the past.  And his waterflosser base came with cute little removal decals so he can decorate it.  His very own flossing machine masterpiece.  I figure anything that I can do to encourage flossing the better off we will be.

The Waterpik Waterflosser is 50% more effective than regular floss in reversing gingivitis and improving overall gum health.  Now I am not a dentist or hygienist for that matter (but my aunt is) and she just raves about the Waterflosser and now we do too!  Ohh how I love thee!  Regular flossing is "like" so last year. 

Go back to school with bright white and clean teeth.   "Like" Waterpik on Facebook and get a $10.00 off coupon for the Waterpik Waterflosser for Kids.  And there is also a $10.00 off coupon for the Waterpik Waterflosser & Sonic Toothbrush Complete Care Package here.

Happy Brushing and Flossing!

I received free product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 24, 2012

12 in 2012~Being Accountable!

I know it is past the mid point of the year and maybe I should have done this in June...but I didn't...If there is something you should know about me, I Am Not Superwoman...I have tossed the cape to ths side and keep it real as much as possible.  I can not be all nor do all.  I fail at things, often. 

Drum roll please.

1. Lose 30 or more pounds and keep it off --- Work in progress.  This has been very difficult to say the least.
2. Hike Mt St Helens---Has not even been on my radar this summer.
3. Travel to Africa on a humanitarian trip  Went to Africa in Feb
4. Stop drinking soda (starting this Jan 1!)  Although I slip ocassionally by drinking soda while out  I am comfortable in saying I do not drink nearly as much as I had been.  And I have not had any coffee!
5. Go horseback riding--you would think this would be easy where I live but it has eluded me.
6. Take a wine tasting tour with my husband ---we had planned to do this a couple weekends ago but plans fell through at the last minute. 
7. Read to my small children at least 20-30 mins EVERYDAY  I have been very adament about doing this and it is part of our bedtime ritual.
8. Finish my scuba diving certification---Has not been on my radar.
9. Read my bible EVERYDAY-- I am either reading the bible or daily devotional 3-4 times a week.  Still working on making it an everyday habit.
10. Have a garage sale--almost accomplished this by having one with a friend but the dates conflicted. Working on this still.
11. Take a photography class at the college---Has not been on my radar but fall registration is soon.  Hmm....
12. Be content--Always a work in progress.  Some days it is a breeze other days, not so much.

So that is it in a nutshell.  I feel *pretty *good about things.  And of course this was just the tip of the iceberg of goals and accomplishments I wanted for 2012. 

What about you?  Have you crossed off items on your list?  Have you added to your list as you have crossed things off?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012


That is what it has been like around these parts of the blog world.  A whole lot of quiet.  Nothing; if you hadn't noticed.

Life has just been CRAZY these past couple weeks trying to get caught up on all things household wise, school is starting soon for our 8th grader and the big "K" for Hayden AND work has been obnoxious to say the least.  I *love* my job.  I *love* my job.  I *love* my job.

I have tons of posts simmering on the burner about things that have been on my heart & mind of late but just haven't finished cooking them yet. I want them to be raw, yet well done so I won't sit on them for too much longer.

I promise.

In the meantime, I have a few favorite blogs that you can visit:

Inspiration To Dream (My faraway friend Fi)

Compassion Family (My IRL friend Jill)

Sweetness in the Small Stuff (My IRL friend Mindy)

Housewife In Town (My IRL and Ethiopian Traveling Buddy, Laura, who I get to visit with tomorrow)

Shaun Groves

Root Ministry (Talk about inspiration!)

There are lots more from where these come from but this is a good start.

See you soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Good morning!  Good afternoon!  Good evening!

Ni-hao (Hello).  Welcome to my blog. 

Off To A Day At FishFest!

What is FishFest?

I thought you would never ask.

FishFest is one of Portland's largest 
Christian concerts that happens once a year. 

We have gone every year.

This is the second year that it is at Mt. Hood CC
which is within walking distance of our house.

Kutless will be there.

Jeremy Camp will be there.

Britt Nicole will be there.

Fireflight will be there.

(among many others)

I will be there with many friends of Christ, our savior.

I will also be working at the Compassion International booth for a few hours.

This is my first time working an event.  I am sooo excited!

I am excited to be part of Compassion and to share
with others all that they do for children in poverty.

Do you know about Compassion?  Check out their website for more details.

I will be sure to take lots of pictures and blog
about FishFest in the next couple days.

I am linking this up with Cate at

What is going on in your life in 6 words? 

Share and link up.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Just Plain Ol' UnAmerican

Apparently that is me! 

I am as American as they come and proud of it however I have to admit I did not watch but maybe an hour of the Olympics while it was on the last couple weeks and my husband just doesn't get it.

He took the day off of work to watch the opening ceremonies and every night he would come home from work and watch all the recaps til the wee hours of the morning, then wake up all groggy the next day.  This past Sunday night, he was up late again watching the closing ceremonies.

I don't tend to watch much tv unless Dora, Diego or Caillou are the main characters.  I don't have time and when I would have time at lets say about midnight, yeah I am sleeping.  Or trying to anyways.  Unless insomnia kicks in and then you can find me here blogging, sometimes.

Not too mention, why would I want to watch the Olympics when Yahoo (or other online organizations) ruined the outcome every time.  I would turn on the computer and BAM!  There were the results.  Then if I WAS to watch them; a bit anticlimactic, if you ask me.  No thank you.

I do however know that the US did dominate in the medals and of course I have seen tons of coverage after the fact of all the *stars* of the Games. 

Did you watch any of the Olympics?  What is your favorite sport?  Who is your favorite athlete?


Monday, August 13, 2012

Padded Walls, A Ravenous Lion & Dory

That is what I need right now.

Just me.  Quiet, serene even, temperature controlled 4 white padded walls all to myself.

I am not crazy...(although I guess that depends on who you ask and when)....but some days, this sounds so delightful not only for my own sanity but for my families sanity as well.

On the exterior all is well. 

On the interior not so much.

I sometimes feel like I have a ravenous lion inside just chewing and clawing on my innards trying it's best to claw it's way out.  And anyone in its path, watch out.  It is THAT time.

Yesterday, not a good day on so many levels.  Tired. Hot. Cranky. Argumentative. Sad.  Pretty much sums it up.

And then I lay there last night tossing and turning going over the day, more sadness, guilt, prayer, so today, tired, not off to a very good start.

And then I think of Dory.

Hey Mr Grumpy Gills
You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming.....

And that is what I do....

Just keep swimming.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mmmm Good...

What I made for dinner last night.

Stuffed Green Peppers & Corn On The Cob. 

Here they are with just the Spanish rice stuffing.

Dressed up with a little CHEESE.

Piping hot, coming out of the oven.

Mmmm, good.

I made some fresh bruschetta this past week too
with some fresh from the garden tomatoes.

It turned out FAB,
if I must say so myself.

(made with tomotoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Whole Lot Of....

Carousel Riding....

Sand Castle Building....

Splash Padding & Ice Cream Eating....

Bubble Blowing...

Belly Swinging....

Blackberry Picking....

More Ice Cream Eating....

That is what we have been up to this summer. 

What have you been doing?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Archive Linky Party 8/7

Hey, it's Tuesday. 
Time for the Archive Link Up Party....

Because every post deserves a second chance.

Link up one of your favorite posts and don't
forget to go mingle a little. 
Remember this is a party
after all.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Greek Pasta & Beans

This one was way easy.  And so delicious.

Greek Pasta & Beans


8-12 oz Penne Pasta
1 can of Garbanzo Beans
Handful of chopped fresh Spinach
1 can of Diced Tomato w/Garlic & Basil (or fresh if you have on hand)
1 sm can of olives
Feta Cheese


1.  Cook pasta al dente. Drain.  Set aside.
2.  While pasta is cooking, in a pan mix together beans, diced tomatoes, olives.  Cook   for 7-10 mins.
3.  Wash/dry spinach, chop up
4.  Add chopped spinach to beans/diced tomatoes in pan.  Mix.  Cook for 2 mins (don't over cook spinach because then it will become very soggy).
5.  Dish pasta into a bowl and add bean/tomato sauce.  Sprinkle Feta Cheese on top.

As you notice, big chunks of Feta.  I *love* Feta cheese. 

Pair with some fresh Italian or Garlic Bread.

This was a hearty dinner with both a good amount of veggies and protein.  Enjoy!

I will be linking this up with Not Just A Housewife and 33 Shades of Green Tasty Tuesday.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Famous Footwear 15% Off & BOGO

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.



I got to go back, back, back to school again....(I know I might have just aged myself if you know what movie that song is from). Anyone? 

August, man time flies.  School starts for us in a few weeks.  I know for many of you school may already be in session. Did you get your school clothes shopping done?  Me neither.  We haven't even started.  Such a procrastinator.  I am waiting for the good deals that I know have to be coming soon...I hope, because summer has been expensive and this mom could use all the help I can get with saving some cash!    Alas, I found one just in the nick of time...

Famous Footwear has a BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon sale going on from 8/2-8/18.  They have hundreds of brands of shoes and styles for your back to school shopping.  Their stores are easy to get in and out of for a quick shopping adventure.

And if you don't find what you are looking for in stock, they can order it and ship it to the nearest store at no charge OR directly to you at home.  SCORE!  (How cool is that?)  And If day light hours are scarce you can order on their website, in the middle of the night, when you should be sleeping.  Just sayin!


Join the Famous Footwear rewards program for extra discounts and perks PLUS earn 1 point for every $1.00 you spend; accumulate points to apply towards gift certificates to use down the road.  How does that sound?




Don't forget to print your coupon soon!  The sale is from 8/2/12-8/18/12.


Happy shoe shopping!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dinners On Me! $300 Gift Card Giveaway!

Are you hungry? Then this is the place to be!

I have teamed up with several other bloggers for the Dinners On Me! Restaurant Gift Card Giveaway from Aug 5-Aug 30th.

Dinner's on Me!

$300 worth of Restaurant Gift Cards Giveaway

The Prize(s): 1 Grand Prize Winner will get: $150 worth of Gift Cards (1) Olive Garden $30 GC, (1) Chili's$30 GC, (1) Pf Changs $30GC, (1) Red Robin $30 GC, (1) AppleBee's $30 GC 10 additional Winners will get: (1) $15 Subway Gift Card Event Hosts: ATD Surviving Mommy Hood | The Lucky Ladybug | One Sleepy Mom |Roasted Beanz | Nearly Nothing| My Frugal Wife| Kimberly's Thoughts

Rules: Open to US residents. If you click "Done" on the rafflecopter please do that task. All winning entries will be verified before announcing as the winner, if there is a discrepancy and the winning entry is not verifiable, a new winner will be chosen. Verified Winners will be announced on the Rafflecopter on or before 9/5/2012. The winners will have 72 hours to respond to an email in order to claim the prize. Please allow the RC widget to load below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The owner of {this blog} will not be held responsible of distribution of any prize(s) facilitated in this giveaway to the winners. For comments or concerns please contact the admin of this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Six Word Saturday

Trying to beat the heat here!

(One glass at a time)

It is suppose to be 90 here today.  That is very HOT for us Oregonians.

My dad lives in Arizona and he tells me that is a cool day for them.

I know.

I shouldn't be complaining though
because in a month or so it will start getting cold
and I will be wishing it was warm again.

To beat the heat I think we are going to
head out early to our local Farmers Market
and then head out to The Gorge
this afternoon for some sight seeing,
maybe some wine tasting? 
We haven't done that in awhile. 

Did you know that in my former life (ha!) I used to do in home wine tastings.
I had so much fun, met tons of new people and of course, drank A LOT of great wine.  Now I am not a wine snob by any means but I do know a little bit about it.

Oregon has some of the *best* wineries around and from Portland
you can go west to a mecca of them (as you head to the coast) 
or go east to the Columbia River Gorge for even more. 

Take your pick. 


What are you doing today?

I am linking this post up with Cate at
and you can to, if you want. 

Tell us what is going on in your life in 6 words and just DO IT!

P.S.  Did you see that giveaway in my sidebar.  Starts tomorrow. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Confessions Of A Non Superwoman #22

1.  I am typing this blog post as my children eat dinner, without me.   Mommy really needed a time out after the 250th, "Dinner almost done, mommy" from my darling, sweet, very talkative 2 year old.

2.  My son, loves watermelon, loves, loves, loves it so much...that I found a rind in his room.  Not sure what I was doing when he snuck that in there at some point during the past two days.  Hmmm...Big fat fail on supervision skills.

3.  Yesterday, it was so nice outside, I splurged and bought a carton of DQ Dilly Bars to bring home for outdoor snack time.  Hayden, he had two.  I let him.  Not sure what possessed me to do that.  Maybe the whining and crying made me crack. Yup.  I was tired.of.the.whining.and.crying.  I gave in.  I know, I did a bad, bad thing.

4.  I have pictures in a box that I have yet to hang up or display.  The box is sitting in the living room still.  We have lived here since mid May so plenty of time, right? 

5.  Clothes washing, apparently not my strong point lately....a couple things have come out of the washer with blue spots.  Maybe because of the blue shorts I was anxious to wash to wear?  My bad.

Where is my maid, my butler, my chauffeur, my chef, my nanny for that matter when I need them?  If you could choose one of those, cost not being an issue, what would you choose and why?  Drop me a comment.


Revenge Of The Vegetarian Book Review

AM a Vegetarian. 

That sounds so all consuming.  It is like IT (vegetarianism) is what defines me and who I AM.

I might as well be from another planet.  Can you see the little broccoli antennas coming out of my forehead?  So many misconceptions and untruths about vegetarianism can be cleared up in this satire take on a vegetarian lifestyle.

I was recently given the opportunity to review, Revenge Of The Vegetarian, by Jim Tilberry and I literally could not put it down. 

Jim, he covers everything from conversation starters (Tofu arm tattoo anyone?), removing "meat" out of your language (no more, "What am I chopped liver?"), ways to easily remove meat from your diet, your vegetarian horoscope (my favorite) to just in time for the Summer Games, the New Vegetarian Olympic Events.  Hummus Wrestling, who would have thought!  Got to love it!

It is a non stop ROFL (rolling on floor laughing) book that any vegetarian (or anyone with a sense of humor) can relate to.   I was hooting and hollering all the way to the produce section.

You can buy this book on Amazon right now for $11.95 and help support Jim and his vegetarian eating habits, lifestyle, whatever you want to call it. (You know buying "healthier" is more needs the money).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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