Friday, July 17, 2009


When I began this blog, it had some purpose. See previous blogs to understand. My purpose was mainly balance. Or shall I say, to report my growth in the area of balance. This shows progress. Also, see previous blogs. There has been a lot of progress in my life in the last year, but I really want to make progress in my passions. Writing and reading being two of them.

I was speaking to my friend Maia, a true and beloved confidant, we came to some defining conclusions. We have both discovered that becoming mothers and wives and the simple act of growing older, we have lost some of our identifying personality traits. It seems being a mom and a wife is the easy part. Being ourselves, ironically, is nearly impossible. We decided to hold each other accountable for our desires. She has a love of writing as well. She writes amazing stories, but she also is a composer. One of the best I have ever heard. I am a former musician and have played my share of music, so I can safely say that and make an impact. That being said, we are going to have a deadline every week when we will submit our week's work to each other. Our first deadline is next Wednesday by midnight. I am continuing my novel which has been completely and utterly removed from my life since before Mackenzie was born. I will be continuing the rewrite process and editing. My goal is to have it submittable by November. Progress. Balance.

A few people have asked where I get my coupon stuff and how i figured out the money saving "stuff". I follow a blog called "Money Saving Mom" and "Coupon Mom". The coupon mom site has a great, free download that is basically saving money with coupons 101! You may have to find a similar blog that works around the stores in your area. Each of the blogs I read have tons and tons of links to other similar blogs. Honestly, it has been a matter of trial and error and I have also done some reading. Others I know, (ahem, Annette,), seem to be more natural at it! Its a process!

I have joined the dance ministry at our church. First off, I have eight, count them, 8, years on the next person in age to me. It only goes downhill from there! But, I am really having a great time and I feel like I am doing something great with a talent I love utilizing! It also helps that they are all limping too!

Here are some pictures from a trip to the Celebration fountains today. We had such an amazing day. Just the girls!

Here are my moments:

-playing "hot potato" with a floppy, bright pink, jelly toy with Madi
-Mackenzie playing in the fountain, bouncing up and down on my knee with glee
-Seeing Harry Potter. If you know me, need I say more???
-A perfect day with my girls in the sun and water that will fall in the books as a perfect memory
-Staying up way too late to hang out with Mike who has been working way too much
-my clean kitchen and quiet house for a few moments alone. I don't usually like when Mike isn't home, but if he has to work, those are moments worth treasuring.

Progress is evident. The scale balances periodically. Being held accountable may help with my entire purpose.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This week has been pretty normal. The only difference has been Mike is back to working 7 days and some double shifts between Disney and Universal. Today is the first of the double days. Madi, Mackenzie and I occupy ourselves very well with school, cleaning, cooking, reading, pool, friends, and shopping.

This week, I made my shopping trip a big priority. I have made it 2 weeks without grocery shopping. I used to have a grocery budget of $100/wk, but in recent months, I have been down to $80. This month, I really wanted to challenge myself. So I skipped a few weeks, utilizing my stockpile. The only time I bought stuff was the essentials. Eggs, milk, breads and some fruits and veggies, but a lot of those were even stocked up either in the freezer or cans. Needless to say, to make a long story short, I coupon clipped and found all the stores with items on sale. I also found the things that Kmart was offering that I needed using double coupons. Target did some amazing Kashi sales making their cereals and waffles so cheap! I bought some big items that we needed like a huge box of diapers and the 3 liters of olive oil (more expensive than you think), I got tons of cereal and waffles (less than $1/box, stocked up on ice cream (very cheap), fresh fruits and veggies (which can be frozen if you buy in bulk), and managed to fill my pantry and fridge and deep freezer back up after 3 weeks so I will not need to shop again for 2 more average is down to $40/wk!!! I plan to keep it that way...even work my way down further. It can be hard when I have to add larger items. But I plan on keeping my stockpile up and my grocery cart cheap!

Madi is progressing with her butterfly lap book. She is also really enjoying her comparison of farm life. We did a dollar store lesson this week using her earned money from watching Mackenzie (while I shower or go in the garden), and doing extra jobs around the house. She is learning about the coins and their values as well as what it means to save. She could choose to buy slippers that she wanted which would cost most of her money or get 3 items at the dollar store saving some to put back in her piggy bank. She chose option 2!! I was very proud!

Today we are able to finally reorganize Mackenzie's room as we got the guest bed out. We are going to do some baking, paint our nails, make a new London Broil recipe and go in the hot tub! Just us girls tonight!

We are planning our first family vacation. We have to plan carefully as we are a cash family and need to make sure we know every penny we will be spending. So exciting to plan together. Looks like we will be heading to Boston with a great possiblity of seeing a Red Sox game at Fenway!!! A website called has been a huge help for our budget...we'll keep you posted.

I will wrap up with some small moments.

-Madison holding Mackenzie on her lap
-an entire night of fun with Mike as adults!!! right here in our home
-realizing at church, the things that make me feel valid and strong came from God Himself
-dancing again for the church ministry
-some new successful recipes
-a sunset out our sliders that took my breath away

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Monday, July 6, 2009


MILWAUKEE - JULY 3:  Fireworks explode over th...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

4th of July weekend was a fantastic family time. Mike had his last 3 days off before going back to his 7 day a week schedule. So we made the most of it. We spent a lot of time in the pool. He got some gardening done and we went to see Ice age Dawn of the Dinosaurs. A holiday always presents its own issues. Who to spend it with, where to know? Instead of doing all of that, we made other plans. We are in the process of rearranging the garage to get all of the baby stuff into Mackenzie's room. Walking toys, blocks. scooters and such. We had the intention of getting all of that accomplished on the 4th, but ran into a small detour and didn't get as much done as we had hoped...BUT our 4th turned out fantastic anyway. Early in the morning we went to some estate/garage sales and purchased to desk organizational stuff for Madi's new desk. Later in the day, we went to a festival in Winter Park and ate hot dogs, drank lemonade, and spit watermelon seeds and listened to patriotic music! It was perfect! Madi got to go on a bouncy obstacle course from which she now believes she can compete on the show Wipeout. Then, after melting our behinds off, we went swimming and had a bbq. The only thing I really wanted to do was watch big fireworks!! So we headed off to the Boardwalk at Disny and watched the fireworks with ice cream. There was a cute little magic man, as Madi called him, that was hilarious! Captivated Madison and Mackenzie. Afterward, we got to have a dance party with a DJ and all! Madison and I danced our booties off! So much fun and a perfect 4th of July memory. It was her favorite part of the day...secretly mine too!

Our garage....not so organized yet. Better not yet.

No great shopping deal this week. We were able to skip a whole week of shopping! I will report back next week on any new deals...but I can report that this week, K Mart is doing double coupons which is unheard of here in our town. Betcha I will have something great to report!!

Madi has begun our lapbook on Caterpillars this week. I am so excited and she loves doing it. Such a fun thing. We are also learning about the difference in time periods. For instance, we are reading about farms of the past verses farms of the present. Hard for children to fully grasp that people used to live off of their land out of necessity and that they had to plow by hand! OH NO!! But it is a great lesson! We will continue on that same idea with things like electricity and building and other such comparisons of time.

Here are my small moments:

Madi dancing to the music
Mackenzie touching my face after I fed her
Mike and Madison playing obstacle course in the pool
Madison flying through the air as he threew her
A song in church on Sunday that showed me how far I have come, and how far is still to go
Mackenzie sleeping 7 and a half hours
The breeze this morning while out at the garden with Mike and Mackenzie
An absolutely breathtaking sunset in our need to travel anywhere

And last but not least and perhaps the most important moment of our week...our faith that paid off!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This will be quick! I promise! I just have to blog about last night. You see, I was getting ready ti make dinner and was on the scour, when my stock pile came into play. YEAH! I made whole wheat angel hair pasta with homemade pesto sauce from the garden and tilapia and shrimp with a lemon, white wine, butter sauce. I had every single ingredient on hand and used herbs from the garden. The dinner was great, but the amazing part was how well prepared I was without even having to go to the store!!!

SUCCESS is in all the little things! I was so excited that I failed to take a picture. But I can tell you, I felt so accomplished with making a dinner that good on a whim with on hand items!!

Madi, Mackenzie and I ran some errands yesterday. It was pouring. We got sopping wet. But it was fun and the girls handled it so well. One of our trips was to Blockbuster. We got the movie Inkheart. Now, if you have been reading my blog, you know I love to write and read. Inkheart encompassed everything I love about reading and the style I love to write. I felt insignificant since I could have written something that well! I could have done that. Could have. But haven't done it yet. It was pure and challenging to my mind and inspirational to my fingers. I did not know much about the movie when I got it other than it looked good. I now learned there is a series of books in relation to that movie. So you can be sure I will be reading those.

I return to the small details. Life is made up of a series of moments and small details. Those small details need to be remembered. I will also remember this one...