Monday, April 20, 2009

Whine and Cheese (well, yogurt!)

The kids and I went on a hike this weekend. I've been trying to take pictures of me and the kids together because I feel as though they are growing so fast that I don't want to forget these times. I've never been camera shy before, but lately I see pictures of me and it makes me want to cry. It's funny because my mirror tells me that I look fine, but the camera is telling me a whole different story. Oh well, I'll just keep working harder!

Some good news - I won an AWESOME Yoplait kids pack full of fun stuff to play with the kids. Megan over at Megan's Munchies was having a give-away and I was one of the winners. The kids were so excited to see that there was a box on my front steps today after work/school. We opened up all the fun sporting equipment and played around with it all. Then Megan (my Megan) claimed the lunch pack for herself and asked me to pack her lunch in it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Movie Night Snacks - Bento Style

Movie night at our house is usually on Saturday night. Since we eat a large lunch on Saturday, nobody is hungry for dinner. So popcorn and fruit is our Saturday night staple.

Last Saturday's movie treat was: plain air-popped popcorn, mixed green/red seedless grapes, 3 dark chocolate Newman cookies, 2 oz of 2% colby jack cheese. Yummy!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Buns - He is Risen!!

Originaly from Saturday, March 22, 2008. We did not make these this year, yet. I'm considering doing this for a Wednesday night worship type activity this week, as we continue to talk about what Easter is all about.
Resurrection Buns

Grands biscuits
Melted butter
Cinnamon Sugar

1. Flatten out each Grand biscuit. Brush with butter and place marshmallow inside. Discuss the relation between the while marshmallow and the purity of Jesus. Annoint with spices and seal up tomb by wrapping biscuit around marshmallow and pinching to seal. (I brushed tomb with more butter and sprinkled more cinnamon sugar.)

2. Cook according to biscuit directions (350 degrees for 18 minutes worked for us). Take out of oven and let cool - if you slice them too soon, they will collapse, they need to cool for it to work right.

3. Once cooled (about 20 min or so for us), slice in half. Notice that the marshmallow is gone. Discuss why the tomb is empty.
These were so fun last year. I ended up doing the activity for Joshua's Sunday School class last year. I miss our church family in Alaska.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thanks all and other thoughts

Thanks so much for the kind comments and the emails. I am more upset at my reaction to the situation, than the situation itself. I had a nice humbling quiet time earlier today and I know that I'm just going to take things one day at a time - or else I run the risk of sliding down that slippery slope of being overly dramatic. However, I reserve the right to pass out sparkly invites to pity parties every few weeks or so when reality creeps up and rares it's ugly head, reminding me that I have the potential to have a really full plate if I'm not very careful.

I struggle all the time with my faith and my times of lack of faith. Around this time last year, the pastor at the church I was attending gave a fantastic sermon about the passover. It moved me to tears. Basically the bottom line was that it was up to the parents to be strong in their faith when it came time to decide if they were really going to put the lambs blood on their doorways to be "passed over" - it was essentially a very visual life or death situation based purely on faith and believing. I thought of that service today and I could hear Pastor Mark's voice in my head and I remember how emotional I felt that day - just pressured worrying if the decisions that I'm making every single day are the right decisions. It used to be so easy when I only had to worry about myself. Now I have a husband who is fighting his own demons, 3 children who are just old enough to begin to really misbehave and push buttons and now parents that need attending to.

On the way home from work today, "The Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns came on the radio. I've heard this song hundreds of times, and it moves me to tears each time. Faith - that's my prayer need lately, to just be still and have faith.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just call me Balogna

My younger sister, Pam and me.
*sigh* Here is goes...
First, allow me to mention that I don't eat balogna.
Secondly, I fully understand now where the term sandwich generation came from.
I lost my father nearly 6 years ago. He died of pancreatic cancer. The bittersweet part of the story is that I got the call that he passed away and then just a few days later, I found out I was pregnant. Megan was then born on Dad's birthday (by my choice since she was an elective C-section).
This past week, my step-father (which I don't ever refer to him as that, I usually just call him Bill, or Mom's husband - and he is wonderful to her) was diagnosed with multiple cancers in his abdominal cavity. Mom had to call me to ask me what Palliative Care means. I could do a fancy wikipedia link, but the reality is that palliative care means comfort treatments without the intent to cure. Bill has lost 23 pounds in just under 2 weeks. Realisticly, I know we will be losing him soon.
This means that my mother, albeit she's only in her 50's, will be living alone. This wouldn't be an issue, however, in the past 2 months, Mom has had 4 TIAs. A TIA is a mini-stroke. We first realized Mom was having these mini-strokes when she was driving to go meet the other grandkids somewhere last month and she ended up having to pull over to the side of the road to call Bill to tell him she couldn't remember what she was doing and where she was going. Obviosly, Mom cannot live alone.
My husband has already decided that Mom will come live with us whenever she is ready. I can't help but feel incredibly selfish because I don't know if I can handle having one more child. I'm so overwhelmed as it is already with 3 kids.
I just needed to get it all out there so that I can try to clear my aching head. My little sister and I had a meeting today (while the kids all played under the supervision of some friends at Chuck E. Cheese) and the reality of it is that I am the only sister that could handle Mom living with me. I'm just tired of being the responsible one. I'm tired of being the middle-child peacemaker. Maybe I'm just tired....Maybe I'll go re-read Matthew 11:28.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Uncompromised Savings

Let me first say that the snacks that Joshua picked out were a huge hit in the lunchboxes this week. And he felt so great picking out healthy snacks that are also fun!

Our Publix trip today was super-successful! I paid $129.63 out of pocket for the week's groceries. I saved $73.66 in coupons and other deals. I'm noticing that it could be very easy to get caught up in the couponing thing and start purchasing unhealthy items just because they are Buy One Get One Free (B1G1). I pass by coupons all the time for foods that would be cheap, but also not nutrient packed.

A great example of coupon use today was my purchase of Tropicana 50. Tropicana 50 has 50% less sugar. We rarely drink any other juice than orange juice. The only reason why we drink orange juice is because I mix the kids' fish oil supplement in it. Anyhow, Publix has Tropicana 50 on sale for B1G1. There was also a coupon holder right under the Tropicana 50 for $1.00 off one carton.

So my purchase looks like this:
1 carton at $3.79 and one free = 2/$3.79 - 2 $1 off coupons (one for each carton)= 2/$1.79 or about $.90 each. I purchased 4 of the cartons spending about $3.60 for all 4. If you are following the math - it means I purchased 4 cartons of healthy orange juice for less than the regular price of one carton.

Another great advantage today is Publix's Buy Theirs, Get Ours sale. Which means I purchase a national brand and get the Publix equivalent for free.

So my purchase looks like this:

Purchase Newmans Own Salsa for $2.59, get the more expensive ($2.99) Publix Greenwise Organic salsa for free.

Yippee for savings!