Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Library Day Monday

A little late this week, but better late than never?!! We went to the library on Wednesday as opposed to Monday! It just didn’t work with our schedule. While at the library today we walked up the stairs to the childrens department and then on our way down we took the elevator….and while in the elevator, Travis (21M) pushes a button. Oh what button you may ask? Well he pushed the one that was right at his eye level and says 911 Emergency…so we got off the elevator and a couple of librarians scurried over to the elevator and we heard loud noises from the automatic answering voice that answers the call. So we had an amusing time at the library! Never a dull moment here! I love it!  Just to say the least, this was not the first time that this button has been pushed by “us”. I believe has done it at least 2x in the past by Adam!

Our 3rd week went well, and the kids read more books than they had set for their goal! I love it! We ended up not finishing Charlotte's Web. They just didn’t seem to be into the book. So we will try again another time. They received their reward for their 3rd week. It is a ticket to go to the childrens museum here in town. They are excited about the ticket and begged to go to the museum today…well I apologetically said NO. So, we came home and they played in their pool, ate lunch outside, and are now NAPPING!!

So here we are in the 4th week of the Summer Reading Program.

Goals for Reading

Natalie 5

Adam 5

Travis 5

This means that Natalie and Adam must read 5 books on their own, it doesn’t count for the ones I will read aloud to them. Something new! Adam will read the words he knows, his sight words. Natalie on the other hand can read on her own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freezer Cooking

So, after reading on a few blogs about freezer cooking and seeing how much easier it would be for me to be able to pull a “meal” from the freezer on a busy night, I decided to try it out!

In my first attempt at this freezer cooking I used what we already had at home.  I learned a few things. I realized some things that I need to buy for next time. I have a plan for next time!

What I made..

3lbs of Taco Meat

3lbs of Hamburger seasoned with garlic, onion, and salt

1lb of Italian Seasoned Chicken

1lb of BBQ Chicken

Cinnamon Streusel Bread

36 Pancakes from scratch

Things I learned…

Clean as you go.

Don’t cook food when kids are hungry, they thought the pancakes were for lunch that day!

Chewing gum while cutting an onion does NOT keep you from tearing up!

Things I will need to buy for next time…


LOTS of plastic baggies

Aluminum foil

My Plan for next time…

Try out chicken burritos

Try making oatmeal packs

Buy lots of fruit to freeze for smoothies ( I should probably get a smoothie recipe also!)

I don’t know if I will do this weekly? I don’t know what other recipes would do well frozen that I could just pull out and “warm up”. I need to do a little more research along with trial and error!

Happy Cooking


Saturday, June 25, 2011



In my life this week:

I was very busy!! Mother by day and VBS teacher by night!

In our homeschool this week:

I have reorganized our supplies and materials! We have it all ready to go and workboxes are loaded, lesson plans written out for a week, and copies made. I even put together Tot School things for Travis. I still need to sharpen pencils…ahhh!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing:

This week we spent the evenings at my MIL’s church for VBS!

My favorite thing this week:

Definitely VBS! All my kids keep saying THANK YOU GOD!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have:

Any tips for my toddler while I am doing lessons with my older two?

I am currently reading:

The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson (this is the 3rd of 4 on my summer reading list)

I may need a few suggestions on books to read, I mean I only have one more to go!

Something to share:

Sorry, I would have put a picture of VBS. I forgot my camera all week long.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun Day Friday


Back Yard Bounce

Our Christian Radio station here in central Illinois was broadcasting live from a park in our town. The morning show sets up these gatherings in local parks in their listening area and its called Back Yard Bounce. They have bounce houses for the kids, we get to meet the morning show broadcasters, get free WBGL gear and see lots of people we know! This day was a little hot, we got their early, so we beat the heat!


The WBGL tent.

They collected shoes for orphans.


Natalie and Adam






The Adventures of Travis

022    004

015  027

He was so tired, fell asleep on the way home with his balloon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Simple Pleasure Thursdays



At our church, whenever a child enters Kindergarten they are given a bible. We have been through this with Natalie and well now its Adam’s turn. We made our “appointment” for Ms. Pam from church to come over and give Adam his bible and pray for him as he enters a new stage in life.  This was so precious! He carries this bible proudly and exclaims that “I can read it all by myself”, we thank Ms. Pam for taking the time to bring Adam his bible and look forward to watching him grow as a child of the Lord.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Natalie enjoys taking pictures as much as I do. I think she does pretty well. Here are a few of her recent ones…….



Her stuffed animals…




She made her own chore chart. She’s been giving herself checks for things like brushing her teeth, cleaning her room, putting up her dirty clothes.


Library Day Monday

We are entering our 3rd week of the Summer Reading Program. All the kids finished their goals for their 2nd week of the program and received a tattoo and a free ticket for a round of putt-putt, which we will use sometime this summer.

Week 3 Reading Goals

Natalie 8

Adam 8

Travis 8

Yes, they each pick their own number, except for Travis. One of the older ones will pick for him!

We are continuing with our Charlottes Web for the kids big book reading, and I am still on The Strong Willed Child.

Happy Reading


Monday, June 20, 2011

Last Day of Spring

Since this is the last day of spring, I thought it would be fun to make a list of all my spring cleaning! I can’t believe how much stuff we have accumulated since our last clean out, or maybe we just had them and skipped right over them before! I feel so much more organized although I still have a few more things to change around. All the changes I didn’t make as Spring Cleaning, will definitely be deemed as a Summer Project!

On to the list of things given to friends or people we knew would use it….

9 Totes of clothing (adult, kids, and baby)

1 Tote of Shoes

2 Baby Carriers

Infant carseat

Baby Bathtub

2 Exersaucers

Breast Pump


Coffee Pot

2 Cook Books

Don’t forget…………The Trash List

Baby Swing

Lawn Chair

Bouncy Seat

2 Garbage bags of toys (Kids Meal, broken, missing pieces)

That is the conclusion of my Spring Cleaning! I love to bless other people with our no longer needed items, instead of having a garage sale. Its easier for me! I don’t care about the money, I just like to see things go to other homes or even in the GARBAGE!

So, there are a few things that have moved to my Summer Projects List….

Clean out closet and hutch in dining room

Reorganize a few of our school materials

Clean out our storage area

Start to organize pictures that are in a few totes…yes all 10 years worth ( I might even get our wedding pictures into an album!!)

Happy Organizing!




Saturday, June 18, 2011

Couponing Adventures

Today I signed up for a membership at, I am looking forward to receiving free items and lots of coupons! My motto for the summer is FREE!! So here is a deal that is FREE! Go to and register for an account and then look for Motts for Tots and get a free sample and coupons within 4-6 weeks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

TheHomeschoolMothersJournal 7


In my life this week:

Nothing has gone as I have planned or scheduled.

In our homeschool this week:

We had planned on beginning our 2011-2012 school year on Monday. Well we did our work for that day and then the week got away from us. I don’t know what I was thinking? We have baseball going on, VBS next week and the rest of June is booked. I am going to hold off starting our new school year until after July 4th, when life as we know it slows down a little.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing:

We did our usual play group on Tuesday and had a picnic lunch. We went to a Backyard Bounce in a local park. This was  put on by our local Christian radio station, they had so many things for the kids to do. They got to go on a few bounce houses, hula-hoop, play on the playground, get balloons and run around with friends.

My favorite thing this week:

Date night with my hubby! We went to a free concert with Sanctus Real at a local church. It was a lot of fun and we even got to worship the Lord! My husband even arranged the babysitter! I am pretty proud of him for this.

What’s working/not working for us:

This rain that we have had here in town, um..we had two nights of baseball rained out. I mean we need Adam to play, he only has 2 games left. Hopefully we will get to play this week and no more rain!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have:

Any tips for my toddler while I am doing lessons with my older two?

Something to share:

Our Date Night


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Simple Pleasure Thursdays


I believe every married couple should go out on dates. We strive to go out at least once a month without children, as our budget allows. When we go out together, as a couple, we are able to concentrate on only each other. We are able to have conversations, have fun, and grow with each other! Mike and I have been married for 8.5 years and together for almost 10 years. We enjoy being best friends. Our marriage has not always been good, we have had some ugly parts, but we have had more better than ugly! As each of us individually grows with Christ we then, grow together with Christ and our marriage gets stronger.


Here is Mike and I on our FREE date night for June! We went to a local church here in town for a Rock the Lawn Concert, which featured three bands. The bands Love on Pages, Day 40, and then Sanctus Real were on stage that night. We had so much fun, and were really glad we didn’t have any children with us as we were able to sit and listen to music and worship our Lord!

Love on Pages is a local band, that are just starting out. They had wonderful music, but seemed a little nervous! I can’t blame them though, I would have been as well.


Day 40, this is a band from our own town and they have put out a couple of albums. We really like these guys! The guitar player goes to church with us.


SANCTUS REAL…these guys were phenomenal. They sang all of their most recent hits and some older ones. They also gave a few testimonies and backgrounds of their songs. Did you know this band has been around for 15 years and it has three of its original members! Then the other two members have been in for at least 5+ years.



Yes, they used a banjo and xylophone.



We had a wonderful time at our FREE concert and had a wonderful babysitter that was FREE! Thank you so much to her!

HMM…what should we do on our next date night?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Travis is now almost 21 months. His hair has grown a lot in the past few months, so there is only one thing we should need to do…right…cut the babies hair!

The before pictures……..



Aunt Pat cutting Travis’ hair





Final Project….just on snip left…


I know, I know definitely now wordless, but I felt I needed to explain a little!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Dinner



Cicada’s invade the Midwest.

We have cicada’s everywhere in our town. They will fly towards you in a swoop, make a screeching noise and are just obnoxious.

We have heard here in town that lots of dogs have been eating the cicadas. Some dogs have had so many that they had to have their stomach pumped.

People have also been making cicada ice-cream. Cicadas covered in chocolate and possibly cicada soup?

I personally haven’t tried any of these, and don’t plan too!

Here is a little history of the cicadas…

Life Cycle-Taken from University of Illinois Extension

Cicada Killer

Cicada Killer

Dogday cicadas emerge from the soil during the heat of the summer - the dog days of summer. The harvestfly name came about because some crops are being harvested at the time of their emergence. Once they emerge, they mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch and the nymphs feed on the sap in tree and shrub roots from two to five years. When fully grown, the nymphs emerge from the soil, climb a tree, building, or other upright object, and shed the exoskeleton that protected their body and wings while tunneling up through the soil. By pumping body fluids to the thorax area behind the head, the thorax swells and splits the exoskeleton. This allows the adult to emerge. Once free, fluids are pumped into their wings causing them to unfold and expand. Once the wings are fully extended, the cicadas let them dry before they fly.

Birds and other predators, including humans, feed on dogday cicadas. One of the more noticeable predators is the cicada killer. This is a large wasp that catches the dogday cicada. After catching and stinging the insect to paralyze it, the cicada killer carries it back to its hole and drags it underground to a chamber where it lays its eggs in the paralyzed cicada. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae feed on the paralyzed, but still living, cicada.

The damage done to a tree by the dogday cicadas is not significant enough to justify trying to control the cicada. Let nature take its course. As for the cicada killer, leave it alone and it will leave you alone.



MMM….Happy Cicada Summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Library Day Monday


We have finished our first week of The Summer Reading Program! The kids each received a coupon for a free ice-cream cone from McDonalds.  We haven’t used them yet, although I have been asked numerous times!

We went to the library on Friday morning for story time. We then got a few more books to add to our growing collection of returnables at home. We must have close to 60 library books in our dining room right now.

We are still reading through Charlottes Web, along with all the other books we have!

New Reading Goals:

Natalie 7 Books

Adam 8 Books

Travis 5 Books


Our couch in the dining room. Our normal reading spot. All the library books sit on the arm of the couch and the kids will go there at anytime and pick up a book.

Happy Reading, Jackie

Max’s 3rd Birthday

Max is my cousin’s son. He turned 3 on June 10, so we celebrated his birthday with a party and cook out! We had such a great time, considering we haven’t seen this part of the family for about 2 years.

I think the kiddos ate more cake than anything! And they drank a few Pepsi's! I didn’t care that they had all this sugar! They were having a great time! Sometimes you just got to have a Pepsi and cake! I did the same!


Cousins from both sides of Max’s family!


Hannah (6), Gabriella (8), Natalie (7), each of these girls looks just like their Mommies!


Natalie, Adam, Hannah, Joseph, Gabriella, and Dominic

(they were screaming WE WANT FOOD, WE WANT FOOD to uncle Nate as he was getting the dinner round of hotdogs and hamburgers cooked on the grill)

This was hilarious!


Checking out the bug collection


Natalie, Hannah, Gabriella (these three were inseparable all day)


Travis and CAKE!!



Travis and Baseball

098Adam and the Girls

Happy Birthday Max! We had a great time with family!


Nene’s Church Picnic

Over the weekend we went to Nene’s church for their Summer Fest.

Friday night started out with a bonfire and roasting hotdogs and s’mores. We ended the evening with Tangled, a family friendly movie!

Saturday was a fun time. We had a picnic style lunch in the church where hotdogs and hamburgers were made. Then each small group or a group of people provided different foods on their tables for everyone to sample. There was a table of Death by Chocolate, Paula Dean, Traditional Picnic foods, Mexican food, Dessert Table and Taste of Italy.

Paula and Michael Dean…007014

Paula made cheese grits, garlic shrimp, and lemonade cake!


Traditional Picnic Foods: potato salad, baked beans, rice crispy treats w/ chocolate, deviled eggs and  fried potatoes

Along with the great food there was a clown, slip-n-slide, and bounce house.

Face Painting







Bounce House



We had a great time at the picnic! The kids were worn out, which led to a great nap time!