Friday, June 7, 2013

Celebrating Birthdays...

This year, in lieu of presents, we decided to try out a new way of celebrating our children's birthdays.

Truthfully, my children have very little need for more toys.  In an effort to make birthdays special memories instead of more materialism we have decided to forgo toys and instead treat our children to a special outing.  This year, for our 4 year old, Asher's, birthday we went camping at Camp Jellystone in Marion, NC.

For around $40 (not including food) we were able to camp out at the campground (which provided a campsite, grill, restrooms and showers) and enjoy all of the amenities that the campground had to offer.  This included an Olympic size pool, photo ops with Yogi Bear, miniature golf, huge sand boxes and playgrounds, fishing, paddleboating and kayaking, games with prizes, and a 300' long water slide.  Needless to say, our children had a blast! In the words of our 6 year old, "It's like a birthday present for all of us!"  I can't tell you how many time Asher said to me, "I'm happy we're at Camp Jellystone, mommy!"  I think that he enjoyed our little adventure much more than he would have any plastic toy!

The Birthday Boy

Ways we saved while celebrating:

1.  We let the family know of our plans.  Consequentially, many of them decided to give Asher money towards his outing rather than a new toy.  With this money we picked up one of Asher's favorite lunches on the way out, purchased some special "camping snacks" and treats for the boys, and allowed them a couple of bucks to play video games in the campground arcade.

2.  We kept the camping menu simple.  Hotdogs, chips, and smores for dinner; bacon and eggs for breakfast were purchased at a Walmart on the way to our site.

3.  We camped on a weekday.  Because of this we only had to stay one night instead of the usual two night minimum and we received free wristbands to enjoy the amenities for our entire stay at no additional cost.  We arrived to the campground at 1:00pm and left at 4:00pm the next day.  This was just the right amount of fun and excitement for mom and dad our small children and we were home in time to unpack the van, bathe, and go to bed at a decent time.

If you have young children, I highly recommend Camp Jellystone in Marion.  Clean Campsites  loads of fun for all of us, and a super sweet staff.  We will be revisiting!  Click here to see if there is a Camp Jellystone near your area.

 Canoeing with Daddy

300' Super Duper Triple Looper


 Elon Gets a Bite!

Asher Catches a "Shark"!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Menu Plan For The Week...

~Tortilla Soup~

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Oatmeal*
Egg and Cheese "McMuffin"
Strawberry Oatmeal
Bagels, Fruit
Blueberry Bread, Fruit

Triscuits with Summer Sausage and Cheese, Kiwi
Leftover Tortilla Soup, Quesadillas
Turkey Sandwiches, Chips
PB&J Sandwiches, Chips, Kiwi
Grilled Cheese, Pineapple

Baked Chicken, Whole Green Beans sauteed with Onions and Garlic, Salad, Biscuits
Tortilla Soup with Sour Cream, Cheese, Tortilla Shreds
Cheeseburgers with all the trimmings, Steak Fries
Waffles with PB and Maple Syrup, Grits, Eggs, Hashbrowns
Potato Soup with Homemade Breadbowls, Salad
Chicken Minis, Salad, Green Beans
Broccoli and Spinach Quiche, Fresh Pineapple and Mango
Homemade Pizza

Cheddar Penguins
Fresh Fruit (Bananas, Pineapple, Mango, Kiwis)
Dried Fruit

Olive Oil
Trash Bags
Toilet Tissue
Paper Towels

Amount Spent At Aldi's:

*Attempting to use up all of my canisters of oats!

**This amount does not reflect items I already had in my pantry.  I am simply using it as a tool to track my spending.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Elon's Campaign Speech...

...Mom, if I can't be the President when I grow up, I'm not gonna work in the sewer.  I WILL NOT do it!

*Well that's a relief*

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


This morning, as I enjoyed one of my favorite breakfasts to the accompaniment of Asher's soft chatter and the ticking of Adelaide's swing, I took a moment to read a little of the Bible.  I was reading in Matthew 6 about the areas of giving, prayer, and fasting.  Quite suddenly I realized something I'd never noticed before... did you know that we will be REWARDED by God for doing those things.  I guess I just never thought I'd be rewarded for doing something that I should be doing anyway.  What a loving Father!

Speaking of rewards, today I plan  on starting this dvd series:

The Brazil Butt Lift series!  I had a friend in AZ who was doing this workout and she was around 36 but had the body of a 16 year old!  Being a pear shape, when I saw her in a pair of short shorts I had to ask how she stayed so, *ahem*-- firm, and she told me about this system.  I have a Bally's membership, but there aren't any Bally's in NC so can't use it :(  So while the baby is tiny, I plan on utilizing this workout to tighten and tone my lower body.  I'm already thin, and I know I won't change my eating habits, so I'm interested to see if this workout will be effective even with me eating what I want.  We'll see if I receive my reward of passing the "pencil test"** by summer.  I'll let you know how it goes!

** Warning: This link directs you to a picture of a woman wearing a bikini bottom demonstrating the pencil test from behind.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My So-Called Life...*

Several years ago, when Elon was small, I had a dream that I was lying in bed as an open Bible descended and pages fluttered open to a passage that read, "And her days were spent with many things, but these were sent from the evil one to distract her."  The power of the dream immediately woke me, and I knew that the Holy Spirit was giving me a message.  You see, as a stay-at-home mom, I often find that the day has passed and I have spent little to no time with God.  So many things vie for my attention, and it often seems that when I wake up in the morning, I'm already behind.  I would love to tell you that I have no chance to pray and meditate on God's Word throughout the day, but if I did, I'd be lying.  Sadly, when I do have free time, all I desire is to sit and vegetate on something that requires no brain power and no activity on my part (YouTube!).

That dream has come to my mind many times over the subsequent years-- tonight as I prayed, "Oh God, help me get my life together so that I can focus on You," I realize the error of that prayer.

Daddy, help me to abandon my worship of the "god of this age" (likely ME) and fix my eyes on You.  Only You can make a life of broken legos into a masterful creation!  Oh God, help me to FOCUS ON YOU so that I can "get my life together"!

*Anyone who remembers that show is just plain old ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coffee Cravings...

Starbucks is offering a bogo on three of their drinks through Valentine's Day with a printable coupon.  Personally, I can only justify paying $5 for a cup of joe when I either have a gift card or they are offering bogo's.  Then I don't feel quite as bad for being frivolous!  For every other day, I use one of these:

Cuisinart Grind and Brew Thermal Coffeemaker

to brew this:

Sam's Choice Organic Decaf

I choose Sam's Choice because we have visited one of the plantations where they grow this blend, and decaf because I'm nursing.  Even though I drink the organic brew, I suppose I nullify that by adding flavored creamer with all sorts of delicious chemicals inside ;P

So, what is your coffee craving?