April 30, 2009

ThIRteeN on ThUrsdaY!

Thursday Thirteen:

1. rainy, cold, damp day. but everything is looking so green! finches bright yellow!
2. grateful for the applebee's gift certificate we had... used it tonight- didn't have to cook. i had oriental chicken wrap.
3. 3 miles on the treadmill.
4. wondering why obama is so proud he's created 150,000 jobs in 100 days...when there is hardly a pulse left here in the metro detroit auto industry. and more job lay-off's announced daily.
5. thinking i really enjoy fox news' shepard smith.
6. happy that rite aid is offering a huge selection of seeds, 5 for $1. see snap. i will be going back for more.
7. concerned for Marla and keeping her in my prayers.
8. something about hawaiian tropic sunscreen reminds me of my teenage years.. kmart had spray on spf-80. see picture.
9. happy Lisa loaned me the book, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio." the plan is to read it all weekend.
10. grateful for couponing and stocking up with odds and ends in my pantry...see last picture.
11. tired, real tired of hearing about the swine flu.
12. our wedding anniversary is tomorrow. 27 years. yes, i was a child-bride.
13. looking forward to this weekend.... stay tuned.

April 29, 2009


about Tuesday: more muddy feet- both of us playing in the muddy garden, listed five things on ebay..selling homeschool products on ebay are on fire in the month of april and may, lesson planning, pizza and salad for dinner, no exercise, watched glenn beck, tommie had a friend over, played with the turtle, planted birdhouse gourds- seeds pictured above, boy scout meeting, watched my favorite show, the dugger's... i love michele's grace..i know a lot of people loathe this show- but i think it's nice and refreshing to see an upbeat family with Christian values and family values, helped tommie decide on which boy scout merit badges he'd like to earn and how?? horseback riding this weekend. off to start wednesday!

April 27, 2009

I was so darn excited on Saturday...when I found this very, very vintage pillowcase, at a garage sale for a dollar. The print looks like something right out of the 40's. In real life...it screams shabby chic! When I came home and washed it... I noticed an inside label... this is far from vintage, it by Tommy Hilfiger. I am still thrilled with it! Sure doesn't take much to make me happy... just a cheerful pillowcase, should do it.

While double couponing last week at Kmart...I spotted two really healthy looking blueberry plants for just under $5. a piece. The price was right...and I'm looking forward to planting them after all dangers of frost are gone...which means about June!
Monday highlights: spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for dinner, a beautiful, windy day today, light rain- just enough to pop out my flower bulbs...i have four tea candles burning and all the lights out, found a June bug, one orange tulip blooming, 4 miles on the treadmill, thinking about the swine flu...lilacs are getting purple buds and happy to be able to homeschool what i want, when i want, and where i want... outside!
How was your Monday?

April 26, 2009

dancing through the mud, spearmint and lime basil and other weekend highlights!

Okay, this picture is for Warrington... who left a comment in the last post! Even though I don't know who you are, I thought of you today and played in the muddy garden and squished my toes in the mud..like you suggested...
Below is the little treasure I found in the plowed up garden. It's a heavy piece a crock-type dish. Today I found a beautiful blue piece, too. I know it doesn't seem like much...but if you saw how deep it was buried and in the middle of a desolate field...you'd kind of get excited, too. I think.

I had a couple of wooden clementine boxes leftover from winter. I got this big idea to plant spearmint and lime basil in them. I'm really hoping the seeds sprout! We were blessed with 24 FREE raspberry plants last week... we're all very excited about that! They're already planted and showing promise of survival!

Other weekend highlights: church had a powerful message again this week, I made two loaves of chocolate zucchini bread, planted a healthy row of snap peas, found a couple of crayfish, went to yard sales, cleaned out the basement and organized the pantries, threw out two big garbage bags of junk, received a new pet painted turtle from Tommie's friend Riley, coupons in Sunday paper, not so good for me this week... Tommie and his patrol worked at their Boy Scout Troop Yard Sale... holding signs up and flagging people in, Brad found a new-used rotor-tiller at the salvage yard for a hundred dollars and is fixing it up and babying it like it's his new toy on Christmas morning... funny how things like that give him a spring in his step! smile, wink, nod.

April 25, 2009

The best shoes I've ever owned, plowing and digging up a treasure!

These right here, are my favorite shoes ever! They're ropers. I bought them at the Tractor Supply Store a few years ago...they're by Ariat. They're not much to look at. In fact they look as if they've seen better days. But, if I could...I'd wear these everyday, all day.. even with dresses! Seriously, if you need an excellent fitting shoe, with all day support.... you need to try on a pair of Ariats, they were founded by a lady who spent something like 15 hours a day in her horse barn. They have to be good!
Here's something to be excited about... my ultra-conservative husband...decided "we" should make a gigantic vegetable garden this spring! I didn't have to think twice about that! The boys plowed up this jumbo plot in our field...the topsoil is just beautiful- rich and dark and very clean! I found tons of enormous earthworms... about as fat as my pointer finger-- which makes me think we should do a mini-unit on earthworm and dissection- sometime next week. I followed the plow around... playing archaeologist. You see this used to be a big farm- the only house on the road at one time- and throughout our years of living here, we've dug up some pretty interesting treasures- all of which I've kept in a big glass jar. This dig didn't let me down... I found.....

(dramatic music)..... STAY TUNED... I'll show on my next blog entry! I bet you'll be wondering all weekend, won't you? smile, wink, nod.

April 24, 2009

Pink Friday, how to coupon and a good freebie!

Yesterday, my mom stopped by to give me this prize... just look at this beautiful stack of wool pieces! Just 5 for a dollar! Some are even tye-dyed and marbleized! They are almost to beautiful to use! I plan to use them in my penny rugs or felt crafts. For now, they sit neatly folded, on a shelf in my kitchen...where I can enjoy the colors! Thanks mom!
A few posts back, I was asked how to "begin" couponing and finding good deals? The first thing I suggest is... (and I'm by far not an expert) buy a Sunday paper or ask friends/family to save their coupons for YOU, scout through the coupon section to see if there are items you will use- if so- then go back and buy several more copies.
For example: last weeks paper had ANGEL SOFT toilet paper 4 pack for .50 cents off. Krogers was running a sale for it for just a dollar. Our Krogers doubles... that means I got it for free. Actually, I purchased several papers last week and used 3 Angel Soft coupons and received 3- four packs for free. Plus of course, lots of other coupons in the papers. And, if you go to my sidebar- Hot Coupon World link, there is a big message board that keeps you updated on the deals! Click here for...Freebie of the day: Nivea Body Wash Sample from Walmart! Thankfully, I always receive the freebie's that Walmart sends out... so will you! The form is quick and easy. Happy Friday, smile, wink, nod.

April 22, 2009

free laundry detergent!

free organic laundry detergent!
just fill out the form- it's quick and easy- no survey's.
several scents to choose from!

Just another day-- except KMART IS OFFERING DOUBLES!

I don't have a lot to blog about today. No great recipes. No big nature discovery. No mad dash through a thrift store. Not even a craft. No miraculous-life changing freebie's. Not even a good movie.. to suggest. Oh, but wait....there is this.... our K-MART store is offering double and triple coupons! Did I take advantage? You bet your sweet bippy I did! Yesterday- late afternoon- I went alone...so I could really concentrate on the deals... I don't know which I like better... scouting for deals or watching and eavesdropping on other shoppers! Some are real die-hard couponers...complete with an ultra-organized 3-ring binder. I actually wanted to strike up a conversation with one lady- but she looked a little intense and high-strung. So, I shuffled away from her. I saved around $80. spent $60. My biggest expense was purchasing six jars of Folgers coffee for $4. each. I did find FREE deals on: Vitamin Water, Band-Aids with antibiotic cream, Carefree pantyliners, and six packs of Trident gum. Other deals for just a handful of coins? White Vinegar, Ragu Sauce, Kleenex, Fiber One Bars (for Boy Scout Camp), Aqua Fresh toothpaste, Kellogg's cereal, Post cereal, a box of Ziplock Freezer bags and tea mix. I'm sure there's a lot more...but, my super-organized husband unloaded everything in the pantries. Yes, that's right...I said pantries...we now have two. Maybe I should take pictures? By the way, Krogers is having an insane sale on meat! smile, wink, nod.

April 20, 2009

monday, monday.

i'm really enjoying this rainy monday. i cleaned and organized, today. watched the movie, a series of unfortunate events...wonderful! i blogged about it over at my twisted education blog. went to wally world, took advantage of the free redbox code and will soon be watching the movie, swing vote. lasagna for dinner- i used up the last of my homemade spaghetti sauce, from last summer's garden. i read half of the book of Job. i found a fun blog that you might like, it has a lot of money saving tips and coupons...econobusters. i'll be adding it to my sidebar! happy monday night.

April 19, 2009

wild weekend

On Friday, I left to spend the weekend tent camping with three excellent friends, Brandi, Holly and Matt. Our sons are in Boy Scouts together-- they have been for several years...now they're in the same patrol...and, this weekend was their first official Boy Scout camp! The boys were on their own- and so were "us" parents. We had as much fun as them! Will I do it again? You betcha!
tent camped - had air mattress
unbelievable daytime weather - sunny and 70
hiked a lot
saw a huge box turtle
couldn't get my nose warm all night
think it was about 39 degrees during the night
only bathroom choice? out house
holly kept me giggling
holly and i shared the air mattress
i bossed her around since i'm old enough to be her mother
matt slept in the tent beside us
he hiked with us, too.
brandi came on saturday
went for another hike
only saw a nuthatch and robin
i kept my eyes straight ahead or up...too many snakes on the ground
brandi like snakes
i don't
neither does holly
matt acts like he does
i know he is more afraid then me
saw one swan
had pancakes for breakfast- passed on the greasy sausage
grilled cheese for lunch- must remember to take my homemade canned pickles next time
brandi's six months pregnant
she is such a trooper
she slept on a thin air mattress with Holly and I Saturday night, in my tent
she brought some really good board games and cards--didn't get to play
wanted to
Holly brought Arbonne foot spa supplies-- wanted to take a foot spa- didn't get to it. will next time.
Brandi brought snacks... I helped myself to them
Holly knitted
Brandi knitted
I worked on felted change purses with the blanket stitch
Matt made a hemp bracelet
super excellent lasagna for dinner, garlic bread and salad
we girls did the dishes
another hike
saw this dead wood chuck (picture above)
wanted matt to pluck the teeth out for me for my nature collection
he wouldn't.
used the out house again
after 30 boys using it all weekend
i must think of something else while i'm using it
like i am in hawaii
night time
brandi wore really cute polka dot pajamas
holly wore really cute fleece pajamas that she made
i wore my coat
came home sunday morning
i was disappointed i had to miss church
super hot shower with bath and body works body wash
sweat suit
unpacked, did laundry, regrouped.
a fantabulous weekend...full of giggles, food and friends.
i can't wait to go again.

April 17, 2009

Do you ever wonder what a homeschool kid does at recess? Especially, if he's an only child. No neighbors to play with? If so, then read more about it on my Twisted Education blog... (see my sidebar to go over there... my hyperlink doesn't want to work this morning!)

That same mischievous little boy... snuck out into the barn everyday last week after homeschooling and made this huge red birdhouse for me, for Easter! He did everything on it, even designed it, but did not cut the wood- way to dangerous to do alone. Dad helped. I put it next to our stone birdhouse...which already has a next in it... hoping my new birdhouse will attract another family!

Last night, after our dinner of loaded nachos..we set off for a nice hike at a local nature trail. There is nothing better then noticing the world waking up after a long winter. People were playing baseball, dogs were being walked, roller bladers and joggers. Oh, and these pussy willows above, were smiling at the heavens! Happy Friday.

April 16, 2009

Tea, Movie and Eggs!

Yesterday, I took advantage of our local TEA PARTY in town. It was held on our historical court house lawn. I saw this as an awesome opportunity to expose Tommie to! Events such as this, make the bumpy homeschool days worth it. I am so happy to have the freedom to homeschool...to explain things the way we see it.. instead of a government institution appointed educator, with really liberal views.
There were tons of homeschool families in the crowd... exposing their kids, too. Many, many from our co-op...others distant acquaintances.
If this wasn't an educational opportunity, I don't know what is? The crowd was a mix of blue collar workers, older people, many young mothers with strollers, family people, and even a few radical looking people...who clearly were disgusted with the government. I even wore my tye-dyed tee shirt. But, I didn't hold a sign or yell. There was a reading of The Constitution, talk of freedom, Pledge to the Flag, The National Anthem, a short sermon and prayer, any many, many quotes from Thomas Jefferson. There were local government servants.. who in fact informed us that Michigan's stimulus package money is being spent by our Governor to bail us out of debt... this I didn't know...and the crowed roared with anger. How is that stimulating the current economy and jobless issue? There were several independent speakers...giving their opinions as well. It felt very American. And, so nice to know there are so many like-minded people- who clearly object to what is happening. Not just me and Glenn Beck!
On another note... I have two words to describe the movie we watched last night (thanks to Redbox), SLUM DOG MILLIONAIRE.
Strange and Brilliant! I hated the abuse. Even made me sick to my stomach. But, the whole story was incredible. I can't believe things like this... are happening at this very moment in India. Regardless of the Tea Party I attended and how I view our government... we still live in the best country on the planet. EYE-OPENING!
On a softer note... check out my egg people with the grass seed hair! It sure makes washing dishes a little more cheerful with these sweet things smiling up at me!

Have a Happy Thursday!

April 15, 2009

To say that I love Redbox and am taking full advantage of it...is a bit of an understatement. I am addicted. Monday, I trotted up to the local Meijers and entered my free promo code and pressed Nights in Rodanthe, with Richard Gere and oh heck, who cares who the leading actress was (Diane Lane)... I just stared at Richard and that fabulous beach house! It was a perfect, predictable, typical Richard Gere movie. But, very sweet on a cold, damp rainy Michigan afternoon.
Last nights menu was soup and salad....quick and easy.
Then it was off to a Boy Scout meeting.
My purple crocus are finally blooming.
I watched two robins building a nest yesterday...
it was amazing and something I never tire of.
Filled out two class proposal forms (to teach) for our homeschool co-op next Fall.
Look at this cute little picture that my cousin gave me on Easter!
I just love it. It makes me smile when I look at it.
Happy Wednesday!

April 12, 2009

Lily, coupons and party favors!

Look at this beautiful Easter Lily that I received last night, from my second dad! You see my dad passed away about 12 years ago. My mom remarried this wonderful man- excuse me- he's a wonderful gentleman. He has been a God-send and has blessed my family and my mom, in so many ways! We all love him!

I had my in-laws and favorite neighbor over for Easter dinner last night...it wasn't the traditional dinner..but it was what I had on hand...stir-fry chicken, salad and homemade bread. We played the card game 7's and had pineapple upside down cake for dessert. We all had a good time.

Today, we went to an awesome church service and then headed to my aunts for a traditional Easter dinner! It was a beautiful day. Family is everything to me. And, so are my friends. I'd love to hear what you did on your Easter day!

Yesterday, I made up these little Easter favors to give to my aunts, mom and cousins, today! They're white chocolate-oatmeal cookie dough. I rolled them into logs, wrapped them in saran wrap (nice and tight) and then wrapped the Easter cellophane around them...tied them off with ribbon and attached a "how to bake" homemade card to them. I thoroughly enjoy making them....and let me tell you this...THEY'RE ALWAYS APPRECIATED! I got a great deal on Nestle White Chocolate Chips, at Krogers.. 2 for $4... plus a $1.50 off coupon and then another $1.50 off from the Krogers coupon's that you get in the mail.

Speaking of cheap deals... I was able to feed my family of three for .60 each. Walmart had a sale on this salad dressing for $1.58, I had a $1.50 coupon which equals .08 cents for the dressing. Also, went to the day old bread rack and bought our favorite French bread $1.20 and picked up a bag of Asian Salad mix -- on sale for .75. I just love figuring out coupon deals! I really feel like I'm helping with the income.

So tell me what you think of this very retro-shabby chic oil lamp, that I found at Goodwill? I couldn't pass it up... .99 cent special. No chips and in mint condition. I'll enjoy it until my garage sale and then try to flip it for a few more dollars. smile, wink, nod.

April 10, 2009

new blogs and freebies!

i've found a few new favorite blogs on the internet!
they're all artsy, crafty homemaking -type blogs!
i hope you like them as much as i do! i'll soon be adding them to my sidebar!
i'm still doing the freebie thing. about three days a week, i get something in the mail. sort of makes going to the mailbox fun! here are some of my current links... remember, i'm lazy when it comes to this, i refuse to take those lengthy surveys....so i'm only going to post quick and easy -no survey forms... for you.
coupon cabin- lots of printable coupons!
"the picture above is our Easter tree!"

April 08, 2009

recycled gardening post!

all winter long, i've been saving paper towel and toilet paper tubes! i read a good gardening magazines, where it explained how to recycle them into seedling-starter planters! all you do is cut the tubes into 2 or 3 inch pieces, cut one end about 1/2 inch intervals and fold them up- to create a bottom that looks like the one above!

next you plant your seeds.... i planted peas. i still need to plant poppies, dill and carrots! i also read where you can recycle plastic fruit and vegetable containers like the one below... with the attached lid... this works as a mini greenhouse!

have you seen this movie? tea with mussolini. i found it last week at the .25 cent store. i haven't watched it yet...but it sounds like something our entire family will enjoy.

other stuff? i made chicken enchilada's for the first time, for dinner. they were excellent. everyone liked them! we spotted one sandhill crane in the backyard. taxes are done. 2 miles on the treadmill. baked two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread. had a good hair day...but man oh man, do i need to get some rub on tan on this lily-white face and body. smile-wink-nod.

April 07, 2009

simple living!

Sunday's newspaper was loaded full of coupons! In case you're a newbie to couponing...do you know the trick is to buy one paper... flip through the inserts and see if there are coupons you use? If so...then head back to the newsstand and purchase several more copies! This past weekend, there were so many coupons on products that we DO use...I bought four copies! And, clipped away! We were completely out of groceries on Sunday...so, I bit the bullet and headed into Meijers (crazy!) to shop. I ended up saving $80.00 with coupons.

I've always and forever wanted one of these see through planters...for viewing roots! On Friday, at our homeschool co-op... one of the members was selling this- new in the box-for just $2.00! I snatched it up! Started brain storming, how I could turn it into something shabby-chic...and remembered my spring paints stashed in my basement! This is how it turned out! (below). I'm growing radishes, onions and carrots. I plan to use this each and every Spring...until I'm 90.

On my nightstand this week, is this terrific book titled, Coloring Outside the Lines. The author addresses answers that I haven't been able to discuss with anyone. Are kids smarter because they've mastered the periodic element chart? Or because they can classify the phylum's of marsupials? Does teaching to the test and testing well, guarantee success or failure? Or should we be teaching our children to be problem solvers? I love how this author thinks. Two thumbs up! If you'd like to read more...just click HERE!

Now....what do you suppose I am doing with this below? Tune in tomorrow! smile, wink, nod!

April 06, 2009

playing catch-up!

I didn't get to it today...but, tomorrow my plans include putting potting soil in these egg heads and a little bit of fast-growing grass seed! It's something I've done since the homeschool preschool days...and I plan to do this until I'm 90. God-willing.

And, speaking of God... I just have to tell you something He's done in my life! We've had a apartment rental unit empty since December. There was remodeling to be done... and Brad spent a lot of time pampering and fixing up the apartment into a beautiful place! He really worked sooooo hard on it. I felt led to subtly say a little prayer...a prayer for someone to come along and be blessed by his hard work. Someone who would really take care of it and find the place to be a blessing to them. We hung out the sign. We didn't get any calls for a week. I reminded Brad about all that we've learned at the church services and that we should let go and just trust in God. Sunday night, 6 pm...I'm frying up hamburger for taco's and I got a call on it. Handing my spatula over to Brad...I went to show the unit. Long story short.. the person I rented to is a Christian and works in a Christian field. After signing the deal, I mentioned my prayer... and this person too, admitted to praying for three months to find a "good" place to call home... Isn't this just a God-thing?

I recently went to the twenty-five cent store! This isn't the best picture I've ever took, but you get the point... all this for two dollars: 2 Abercrombie tee shirts (we're not a name brand driven family... well, unless you count John Deere stuff), I found a really cute blue tee shirt and 2 solid black scoop neck tees for me. I found a soft blue gingham pillow case- I'll either use it just for the fabric or maybe actually use it for a pillow case!, a pair of cargo blue jean shorts for Tommie, a jello mold that I intend to use as a winter candle holder...just fill with water, freeze, thaw just enough to remove from the container and stick a candle in the middle...

Yesterday, I made sloppy joe spice mix. A double recipe even! If you'd like me to post the recipe... let me know in the comment box!

Here's a picture of the emu egg painting! Tommie learned how to play Rummy at homeschool co-op Friday, and taught us how to play! We love it! It's quick! A new family favorite!
I'm off to my Twisted Education blog... I'll be telling you about The Blessing Box! You'll like this idea! See you over there!


i have a lot to share! but, not a whole lot of time to blog this morning! in a nutshell, i'll be back tonight telling you about church, how God and prayers worked in my life this weekend, thrift shop finds, making handy-dandy mixes, a new card game, coupon savings, easter decorating, new read-alouds and just maybe a little bit more? have a happy monday...i'll be back on tonight... by the way...we're in the middle of a big snowfall! 6-10 inches is expected. it's a great wet snow...perfect for easter bunny snowman building!
smile, wink, nod!

April 04, 2009

next phase!

tommie crossed over from cub scouts to boy scouts, last saturday! we're so happy for him. he is so proud.

my friend holly made this beautiful cake. it melted in your mouth!

see below? the parents (us), crossed over behind the boys. look how old the boy scouts are compared to tommie! as holly reminded me..."our boys will be hanging around boys with whiskers!

i told you i was proud. darn proud.

we're especially happy that most of the boys he's been with the past 5 years will be in his boy scout patrol. they're all really good kids. all good Christian boys from really good homes. several are homeschooled-- the others are parochial. and best of all... all of us parents have developed great friendships. we trust each other. we all know each others kid's personalities. and, we parents have a fun time when we're together. we look so forward to enjoying the next phase of our son's journey! we're just giddy!