Featured Story

Lotsa candles!

Frugal Friday

It's almost Christmas! I've been wrapping like crazy and still have a tiny dab of shopping to do for a few folks that I'm feeling clueless about, but I'm getting there. We also got another birthday celebrated -- hard to believe, but our oldest son is now 23.  Happy birthday, Jared! Here are some quick frugal highlights this week. I returned something that we've never … [Read More...]

Featured Recipe

Royal Icing for Candy Houses

Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses

Each December in our homeschool craft co-op we get together to make candy houses, which we put together using graham crackers and royal icing.  Once the houses are built, it's best to wait 5-10 minutes before adding candy-- regular frosting works … [Read More...]

Parenting Feature

Books

Book ideas for kids

We're down to the last full week before Christmas--does that seem crazy to you?  I'm getting close to done with my shopping, but have at least half a dozen more items to find. If you're in the same boat and are on the hunt for books for your kids, I … [Read More...]

Recent Posts

Wendy's coupon books are here!

Buy a sweet treat and support adoption

This post was sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. I have something really fun to tell you about this week. Every year, Wendy’s sells Halloween Frosty™ Coupon Books and gives $3 million of the profit to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Not only is this a great cause, but the coupon book […]

Toward the tub and toilet

Bathroom reveal, finally

There was once an upstairs bathroom with a crowded floor plan and a shower that had been needing to go to the dump for at least a year or five. But since it was neither the guest bath or the master bath, the project got delayed and delayed. But then this summer we finally decided […]

Gathering

Being Real

I’m preparing for a couple of different get-aways during October. I already mentioned the adoptive momma retreat that I’m planning locally, which I hope is going to bless the mommas attending. I’ve also been invited to attend a different adoption retreat in Seattle soon, also quite small and intimate. At each retreat there are mommas […]

Em at 12

My girl at 12

This girl of mine. I got a few pictures of her at her little niece Ali’s first birthday, and I just love how they capture her. She’s growing up on me lately– is only half an inch shorter than I am at barely 12. I think she’s going to be a tall lady. Two years […]

Canning

September grocery challenge, week 3

I spent $129 shopping this week, bringing our total for the month to $231. Given the fact that it’s Sept 19th, I think we’re doing great. I still have $70 to spend! This week I bought milk, eggs, oil, vinegar, cheese, butter, potatoes, oatmeal, raisins, yogurt, day-old bread, corn tortillas, onions, avocados (a splurge), and […]

applesauce

canning craziness

We canned 14 quarts of tomatoes and 35 quarts of applesauce in the last two days. And still we have at least 3 bushels of apples to process, with more on the tree. So. tired.

birthday time

September grocery challenge, week 2

This week I went to the store twice, but didn’t spend too much either time. Saturday I bought milk, butter, potatoes, onions, coffee creamer, and Kleenex for a grand total of $37. Sunday we had the family over for dinner to celebrate Lidya’s 19th birthday.  We had barbecued hamburgers, salad, pickles, cucumbers, watermelon, jello ice […]

On the road

Our day, in miles

aka: why I’m so tired. I suspect this could be deathly boring.  Read at your own risk. 6:30AM- 18yo Lidya leaves for college classes in the ‘teen’ minivan, about 40 miles round trip. 8AM=everyone else up, breakfast, school. 9:15AM =John leaves in the Festiva to take Josh (16) to his college class (20 miles round […]

When love isn't enough

Why it (sometimes) doesn’t matter how you feel about your kids

In the midst of the challenge of parenting many teens, inevitably there are moments where my kids see me as enemy number one, the  one thwarting their dearest-held wishes. Moments like these frustrate me as much as they frustrate them.  I want them to be happy and to grow in wisdom, and to never doubt […]

Almond Butter

September spending challenge, update #1

After just 6 days of eating out of the pantry and freezer, I can already find things in the freezer SO much more easily. I hadn’t realized how often I’ve been frustrated trying to find things in my overly crammed space. We’re eating much more variety than usual, just because I’m trying to use things […]