Friday, July 10, 2015


My baby is six! When did that happen? I told him he couldn't grow up...he didn't listen!

I love this boy so much. It has been my tradition to share what I love about the birthday kiddo so here it is, six reasons why I love my 6 year old!!

1. That smile! The cute little cheeks, the bright eyes...his smile lights up any room he is in. I it!

2. He still SNUGGLES! While he barely fits on my lap, he will still climb up and cuddle in my lap. Or snuggle for stories. He will also snuggle with any of his siblings... as long as they let him! He is my love bug, for sure!

3. He loves to clean! He really does. I thought he would grow out of his "helper" stage but nope. He calls himself a "professional bed maker" and is always willing to wash a table, mop, sweep or vacuum!

4. He is nice to everyone. Even if he has a friend who annoys him, he is still kind. He will play with anyone and include them in his games. He would spend hours out at the park playing with whoever was out there.

5. He loves anything his brothers do! Legos, Minecraft, Star Wars...and doesn't let them tease him when he wants to watch a "baby show" like Paw Patrol, Jake and the Neverland Pirates...

6. He loves to read, draw and do puzzles.

Happy Birthday sweet six year old! Mom loves you!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Swedish Meatballs

The very first time I used my crockpot, I felt like I had cheated. I had made dinner...but I hadn't done anything. I pulled the lid off and we ate.

I felt like I had stumbled upon some great dinner cooking secret. But nope, it was just a crockpot! Now I use my crockpot all.the.time. I have had some hits and misses but I love that girl. So much so that the words have rubbed off the knob. Luckily I know them all by heart!

One of my dinner hits, that was loved by 7/7 Turners, was Swedish Meatballs. Yum!

I am sure that there are a ton of recipes floating around for these babies, but this is the one that I used. It is simple and delicious! I usually make a huge thing of mashed potatoes to go with it.

This recipe comes from a You Tube vlogger OCD Much, with a few tidbits from me, in pink.

What you will need:
*optional---> crockpot liner. One of the only items that I will pay FULL price for! Worth the money to me to not have to clean!
1 lb pkg of precooked meatballs (I use a bigger bag and fill my crockpot. My kids devour these!)
2 jars of Heinz beef gravy (we like lots of gravy so I add another jar)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 16 oz container of sour cream

So here is where the "hard work" comes in...
Put all the wet ingredients into your crockpot. Combine well.

 Then add in your meatballs. Coat them with your wet ingredients. Put the top on.

Because the meatballs are pre cooked, you are basically just heating this meal up. You can cook on high for a couple of hours, or let it simmer all day. Which is nice, if you didn't think about dinner until like 3:00.

 Not that I know what that is like...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Life changes

Life has changed so much since February! Being military, we received our orders and just like got busy. Really busy.

We are busy in our every day life as is, but throw in a move and life just got out of control. Packing up one house, house hunting for another, finishing school up with the kids, a funeral and then the actual packing, moving, cleaning...Need I say more?

Although we still have plenty to do to get settled, life has calmed. That calm has come with plenty of changes.

We are now homeowners.

We are now on a (modified) year round school schedule.

My kids schools & our church is much closer.

We now have a dog.

My grocery budget is still the same, although spread out differently, due to paying a mortgage.

Life is indeed different.

But my life, my interests & my goals have not changed. In fact, I have a renewed sense of wanting to save money! No longer are we able to just call housing if something breaks.

Ben & I have spent many a morning at Lowes or Home Depot picking out appliances, counter tops, paint...none of that is free or cheap.

Saving money and living on a budget will always be a part of our lives. Now, besides the normal, we have pet food and house "stuff".

Hopefully you will stick around as I rebuild my stockpile, feed & care for our new dog, updating our home, and everything in between!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bedtime stories

 My kids have had the very same bedtime routine their WHOLE lives.

It started out when Harmony was a baby and continued until last night.

We do skip on the weekends some times but other than that, it has remained...

Bath, pj''s, teeth and 2-3 stories. Depending on length.

Right now, I have 3 books that I have been reading over and over. And over again. Sometimes I hide them, so that we can read other things. They love them.

These three books are totally and completely 100%  Ivan & Mason approved.

image taken from Google

1.  "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. is an "oldie but a goodie".
After reading Mason's very first report card, and noticing that he needed to do some work on his letters, I purchased it. Again. My first copy of the book, after being read numerous times to my older children, was toast. My second copy, purchased in late January, is headed the same way! We don't just read this book. We recite the alphabet. We sound out the letters. We think of people's names who start with every letter. And at the end, when "a" gets out of bed? I tickle them like crazy on the "boom-boom".

image taken from

2. "Goodnight Ipad by Ann Droyd". It is a cute & contemporary parody of the classic book, "Good Night Moon." The boys love this book. They love when the book talks about You Tube and Facebook. They laugh when, after it is announced that it is time to turn all gadgets off, it is the Dad who replies, "do we have ta'?". It is a fun read!

3. "The Book with no Pictures" by BJ Novak. I bought this book for the boys as a Christmas gift, and have pretty much read it every night since. The book really doesn't have pictures, but it is colorful. This book, has the person reading the book, say funny things, sing silly songs and call themselves a monkey. BJ Novak, who was hilarious in "The Office" is just as funny as an author.

So there you have it. Three books that my boys are totally digging right now! What about you? Do you have these books? Do your kids like them as much as mine?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Just get me to the church on time..."

*** This is part 1 of a 4 part series! Each Sunday in February, I will be sharing something we do to get organized and out the door for church. On time.***

 This song from My Fair Lady, often runs through my head,  on my way to church.

My big boys, including my husband, have to be at church by 8:30 in order to set up chairs. Harmony, the younger boys and I, leave a bit later.

I often wonder, why we are late to church. We are never late to school. Which starts at 8:10. It is a good question right? Maybe because we don't get tardies for being late to church?

Growing up, if we were late to church (after we had our drivers licenses) we would get the stare down from my Dad as we made our way to our seat. It was even worse if I/we had wet hair, "because if you were going to be late, you might as well be fully ready". My Dad's motto? "If you aren't 10 minutes early, than you are late!"

I don't follow his rule, but I don't like to be late either.

So how do I get to church on time? By doing as much at night as possible!!! For the kids I:

Baths---> I only have one child who is allowed to take a shower in the morning. He is up by 6:00 every morning, so I never have to worry. Everyone else takes one on Saturday. No matter what.

Church clothes---> Before my kids are allowed to play video games on Saturday, they have to have their church clothes ready. We don't take them at their word, they have to physically show their Dad or I, their white shirts, ties, socks, shoes and make sure their pants are clean. Harmony has multiple church outfits (benefits of being a girl!) so I generally don't worry about her.

Church bag---> Yes, I still take a church bag. Many people don't. Many people do. Some it depends on the ages of their children. My two youngest, for my sanity, are still allowed to bring a few things to church. Everything is prepped the night before, including a water bottle and a bag with a snack.

Breakfast---> simple & easy only. Cereal. Toast. A yogurt. Also, no syrup. Its too messy. I don't need that mess to deal with! Aprons work too!

Do you have any ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear them! Stay tuned for next week when we talk about how to get yourself out of the house on time!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


There was a time when I wanted to have the perfect Christmas picture, card and letter. Now I settle. For whatever I can get.

One day, after pulling into the garage after church, I told the kids to not change clothes and to stay in the yard.

I ran in, got my camera and ran back out.

My threat bribe? As soon as you smile nicely, you can go take your church clothes off and eat. Worked like a charm.

However, I still got some cute ones...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


In all my life of blogging, I have tried to fit my blog into a little box.

Just a coupon blog.

Just a homemaking blog.

Just a challenge blog.

Just a family blog.

But it just isn't working for me right now. I keep thinking & wondering why, if I miss blogging so much...why don't I do it more often?

Yep, I am busy. But that is mostly in the evenings. Yep, I am tired. Yep, I have a lot on my plate.

No, I am not always exciting. No I am not the top Mommy blogger in the world.

But I want to get back to sharing a little more of my WORLD. Not just one or two parts. I have a lot of other things that I do. That I am interested in.

It amazes me that very frequently, I am asked for advice. Maybe because I have been married for almost 17 years (how is that even possible?!), or maybe because I have raised babies & toddlers and have now moved onto teenagers. Maybe it is because I have a child with special needs. Maybe it is because I am just cool like that.

Whatever it is, I am making some additions to my blogging life. More about family life, my continuing journey to becoming organized, more about the traditions that my family has, and I am also going to *gasp* add videos!! *gasp* keep talking about menus, my new obsession with the Dollar Tree & the .99 store, saving money and couponing, and all that homemaking stuff that I love.

2015 is going to be awesome!

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