Monday, May 31, 2010

Henry the VIII

Just finished this book. Very interesting. Hope to read this one next.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This past week in pics

Ok, yes, we are totally redneck. Evidence in the pics below:

Cute bare bunners.

So discrete.

Following daddy while watering the trees.
If these pics don't convince you, come on over and witness Noah pulling down his pants in the middle of the backyard taking a leak. He had an audience of about 10 people in the neighbor's pool today. Oy.

Precious daddy time at the piano with Joel.

Andrew did this new puzzle totally by himself. So proud!

Joel had a slight fever for a day and a half. Here he is laying in my bed with his paci, "gankie," and drink.

All the boys and 2 girls (Julia's missing from the pic) at Millenium Park beach.
Caleb, Hadassah (my camera kind of misses her), Colton, Levi, Noah, Andrew, and Joel. I think Casey is behind Andrew.

Andrew playing frisbee.

Noah in the water.

Joel loving the sand.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Go Rick Barber!

Check out this guy running for congress in Alabama. Why don't we have anyone like this in Michigan?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Water Fun in the Sun

It was warm today! High of 89 degrees with humidity of almost 50 percent. Perfect day to try out Andrew's new sprinkler toy he got from his cousin Adrienne for his birthday.

Andrew setting up.

Noah loved running in the water. It helped it was so hot.

Both boys having fun.

Joel wasn't too thrilled to get sprayed with water but he had a great time with a bucket of cold water and a measuring cup.

After awhile we turned the sprinkler off and the boys just played with big buckets of water. Very refreshing!
Tomorrow we hope to go to Millenium Park with some friends. I'm sure the boys will have a blast in the sand and water and I think mommy might get in too. :-)

Family Zoo Trip

My parents gave the boys a zoo pass for their birthdays this year so we decided to go as a family on Saturday. John Ball Zoo added an alligator and baboons this year to their exhibits so we saw those for the first time on Sat. Not too many pics, but here's a few.

Outside the aquarium looking at the big fish.

The zoo pass is perfect for our kids since a quick look is all they are interested in. We're able to get through the zoo in about an hour, but we can come every day if we want.

Joel, interested in the bears. The are the best exhibit at the zoo and they were both moving around on Saturday.

Trying to get a group shot.

A little better. :-)

Here's Nessie, firmly entrenched in the pond outside the zoo. It is now a permanent part of the zoo after being fixed up since it was taking on water. It was part of the big Artprize competition in Grand Rapids last fall.

What's Cookin'

Some dinner options...

Tacos with salad and fruit
Grilled steak, potatoes, sweet corn
Mac and cheese with hot dogs
Grilled burgers, chips, baked beans, carrots
Grilled chicken alfredo, green beans
Frozen pizza, salad

Meijer Deals this week

Here's what I see:

Tony's Frozen pizza on sale for $1~Go here to print a coupon for $1/2. I was able to print two coupons. Final cost: 50 cents each

Breakstone sour cream on sale for $1.29~Go here to print 55 cent off coupon. Final cost: 74 cents each

Bertolli Pasta Sauce on sale for $2 each~Go here to print $1.50 off 2 and print $1/2 from Meijer Mealbox to get these for 75 cents each (the coupon at redplum says 75 cents off 1, but it prints as $1.50 off 2)

Friday, May 21, 2010

If you like enchiladas, make these ASAP!

Found this recipe on They were truly awesome!

Here's the recipe:

Angela's Awesome Enchiladas


  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into chunks
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package mild taco seasoning mix
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 (12 inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives


  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken pieces are no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Shred chicken by placing two forks back to back and pulling meat apart. Set the shredded chicken aside. Meanwhile, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
  2. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, half of the bunch of chopped green onion, and water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, onion powder, and garlic powder; simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Stir 1 cup of the soup mixture into the skillet with the chicken mixture. Spread the remaining soup mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the chicken filling before folding the tortillas, reserving half of the shredded cheese for topping the enchiladas. Fold tortillas over the filling and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
  5. Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Cover with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the reserved chopped green onions and the sliced olives on top of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25 minutes.

*Changes I made: Instead of using whole chicken breasts, I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot with a little chicken broth, garlic powder, and pepper. I cooked it on low for about 8 hrs and it was fall apart tender.
I also used only 2 cups of cheese in the recipe instead of 3 and thought that was plenty.
I omitted the green onions and olives.

Instead of using store bought tortillas (which believe me, would have been a lot easier!) I used the recipe below from my newest Taste of Home magazine.

Homemade Tortillas (recipe from June/July Taste of Home)

2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1 c of water
3 T oil

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface, knead 5-6 times. Divide dough into 8 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7 in circle (mine was a heavily floured surface since my dough was kind of sticky).
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook tortillas over medium heat for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm.

These turned out good, but I may try store bought next time to save some time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 Homeschool Track Meet

Last week Andrew and Noah participated in the 2010 Homeschool Track and Field day at Hope College track. I think they were overwhelmed with all the people! There were over 200 kids there from age 3-14. Now they know what to expect for next year. Their events were the 50 yard dash, obstacle course, broad jump, horsie relay, and tennis ball throw.

Here's Andrew. I think he's getting ready to do the broad jump.

Andrew with his group and "big person" leader getting ready to do the tennis ball throw.

Gearing up for the 50 yard dash. Its hilarious watching these kids run. They haven't grasped the fact that they are supposed to run as fast as they can so they kind of lollop along, watching everyone else at the same time.

Joel found a friend and a spare tennis ball.

Noah with his ribbons. He received one for participation and a 3rd place ribbon for the only event he would participate in, the tennis ball throw.

Andrew, waiting to see if he got any ribbons. I think he's getting a little anxious. There were 5 boys in his group and 3 of them got the majority of the ribbons.

But he placed 3rd in the broad jump and got a red popsicle! I think he had fun and it was good for him to be around other kids. There were a lot of homeschool kids from church there also and it was a beautiful day! Looking forward to next year.

Good Granola

Not sure where I got this recipe, but we really enjoy it.


3 c rolled oats
1 c slivered almonds
1 c pecans
1/3 c coconut
1/3 c sunflower seeds
1/2 t salt
6 T brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/4 c vegetable oil

*Preheat oven to 250. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, pecans, coconut and sunflower seeds. Toss in salt.

*Heat brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and veg oil on high 1 min in microwave. Pour over granola and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over granola and stir. Dump mixture onto sheets and press down lightly. Cover lossely with foil. Bake for 40 min and switch sheets. Uncover after 1 hr and bake 15 minutes. Cool completely.

~I leave out the sunflower seeds and I've substituted walnuts for the pecans. I made a double batch yesterday and its a third gone already. :-) Not sure how good this granola really is for you, but its really yummy. I like to add more coconut and eat mine with raisins or dried cranberries. Yum!

One of the many problems of abortion

Story about a man who forced his wife to get an abortion. Read it here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's Cookin'

Dinner options...

Chris's bday dinner tonight~Spaghetti, brussel sprouts, carrots and broc, salad, his mom's white cake with white frosting
Mac and cheese with hotdogs for boys and daddy
Wed is church dinner~need to bring a side or salad
Angela's Awesome Enchiladas from
Leftover frozen pizza, salad
Grilled steak, baked potatoes, spinach (I have a huge bag!)

The Best Lemon Bars

Recipe from here:

The Best Lemon Bars


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/12 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and adding a drop of green food coloring to give a very pale green. After both pans have cooled, cut into uniform 2 inch squares and arrange in a checker board fashion.

*Change I made: I used 1/2 a cup of lemon juice in place of lemons and 1/3 cup of flour in the filling instead of 4 T of flour. Next time I may up the lemon juice to 2/3 of a cup like other recipe commenters did.

From (I find tons of great recipes here!)

False Alarm

I felt like I was having contractions Sat night so we spent a couple of hours in triage at the hospital. I was having contractions 3 minutes apart, but when I left they were 5 minutes apart. I came home and drank lots of water Sunday and haven't felt any contractions since last night, so things have slowed down/stopped. We are thankful that all is well and are praying for a safe delivery whenever this baby comes.

Meijer Deals this week

*Crystal Light~Look here to see how to get 3 Crystal Light Pure Fitness and a 12 pack of Meijer bottled water FREE!

*Kraft Mayo $2~Use $1 off 1 from Meijer Mealbox to get it for $1

*Kraft dressing $1.89~Use $1 off 1 from Meijer Mealbox to get it for 89 cents. There were also 55 cent off coupons in the Sunday paper recently which would make the dressing 34 cents!

Here's where I go to get my Meijer Mealbox coupons. I can choose exactly how many I want to print and it prints off much easier than the Meijer Mealbox website. You do have to become a member of the forum.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Andrew: "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not have any other gods before Me."

Mommy (thinking): "Wow, that's great that he knows those."

Andrew continues: "Thou shalt not pop a balloon. Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Mommy (thinking): "Ok, maybe we have some work to do."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Great Pro-Life Story

Read it here.

I like how the pro-life advocate went out of her way to help this young woman. The pro-abortion side likes to paint pro-life people as uncaring, which is totally untrue.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meijer Deals

Got some good deals at Meijer this week.

*Oscar Meyer Lunch meat $2.50~Had 2 $2 off coupons so paid $1 for two packages of lunch meat

*Keebler Wheatables~On sale for $2.59. Many boxes have a buy 1/get 1 free coupon on them, plus I used a Meijer Mealbox coupon for $1 off 2, plus there is $1.50 off coupon on So I think I paid about 9 cents for 2 boxes! I was only able to print one $1.50 off coupon, but I know others were able to print 2. So you should be able to get 4 boxes of crackers for less than 20 cents!

*Bulk 1 lb roll of ground sausage (forgot what brand) is on sale for $1.89. I had two coupons for $2/2 (somewhere on the internet) so I got 4 packages for 89 cents each. Will be making this into spaghetti sauce soon.

*Mott's apple juice~my sister-in-law says this is the best, is on sale for $1.66. Meijer mealbox has $1 off 2 coupon.


4 weeks and 1 day until this baby arrives, DV. I'm waiting...

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's Cookin'

Tonight we had dinner with Chris's folks. Was so nice, especially since I was planning leftovers again! Andrew ate almost two hotdogs, a hamburger on a bun and ice cream. But he needs the protein and fat. :-)

Some dinner options (so not inspired this week):

Pea soup, breadsticks (I've had this on the plan for almost a month and I still haven't made it yet!)
Chicken nuggets, fries, salad for Wed when my sister and mom come and help me clean for the day. I doubt I'll feel like moving by the end of the day!
Worcestshire chicken, au gratin potatoes, carrots
Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli
Frozen pizza, salad
Spaghetti, breadsticks, salad (make a double batch to freeze, especially since bulk sausage is on sale with a coupon this week at Meijer. Final cost will be 89 cents per roll.)

A Salute to a Veteran

Check out this story.

"The Brisenos are proud of their son's service despite the price they all pay for it now."

Friday, May 07, 2010

Meijer Moneymake on Nabisco 100 Cal packs

Check out this deal at Give Me Neither. I just tried it and I made $2 on 4 boxes of Nabisco's 100 Cal packs. Become a fan of Nabisco 100 Cal packs on Facebook and print off 2 B1/G1 free coupons. Spend $4 bucks and get $6 back OYNO. Yay! These come in very handy when I take the boys out for an extended morning or day. Just enough for a little snack and they love the individual packages.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tomorrow's Dinner

I'm really excited about tomorrow's dinner. I'm actually salivating right now. Here's what we're having:

Cuban Chicken, corn tortillas, black beans and rice

Pioneer Woman's Restaurant-style salsa (This is really good and super easy to make!)

Cranberry Iced Tea

Pineapple, strawberry, and mango fruit salad

I hope to post pics of the process tomorrow night!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Meijer Catalinas this week

My absolute favorite ice cream is Edy's double chocolate brownie. This week at Meijer if you spend $12 on Edy's (there was also other pint ice creams included in the deal), you receive $4 OYNO. I bought 5 containers of Edy's at $2.50 each for a total of $12.50 and received $4 off my next order. So $1.70 per container. Definitely worth it to me.

Also, you can still buy 3 Breakstone's cottage cheese doubles for $3 and receive $3 bucks off your next order. I believe this goes through 5/12. These have 1/2 the sugar of yogurt.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What's Cookin'

Dinner options...

Chicken Alfredo, carrots and broccoli
Grilled hamburgers, fruit, potato salad
Pea soup, breadsticks
Grilled chicken, wild rice, veggie
Tacos, salad