Friday, June 22, 2012

We *heart* free

It never ceases to amaze me, how many things you can get for free. Truly.

I am not just talking about food & hba items. Nope. I am talking about:

Movie tickets, toys, games, books...even Legos.

Yep. Even my boys absolute favorite item in the world. Legos are not cheap. It is hard for me to shell out money for them when:

1.) They cost a lot.
2) My boys don't keep the models together and so we have Legos EVERYWHERE.
3.) They hurt like a son of a gun when you step on them. Trust me on this one.

However, they keep my boys happily entertained for hours. Which if you ask me, makes them *kind of*...worth it.

A friend of mine, knows how much I like free, and how much my boys like Legos. So she told me about the fun event going on at Toys R Us. Free Legos for the boys? Oh yeah, we were all over that one!

I called the store ahead of time to see if they were participating and they said yes. We got there about 20 minutes early and there was no line.

The boys had so much fun building their Lego Super Hero shields. They were also given Lego Batman posters and comic books, in honor of the new Batman game.

While the workshop was free, I knew it would take a miracle to get out of Toys R Us without buying anything. The boys were given a very small budget, so at least I didn't spend too much.

It was really fun and I can't wait to do more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day

cookies my boys made for their Dad...which they just ate (:

I just wanted to take a little bit to wish a Happy Fathers Day to all the men in mine/my reader lives.

I am a lucky girl to have so many amazing men in my life.

My own Dad, who is an amazing, amazing example to me. He is kind, strong, hardworking, loving, smart...I could go on forever (:

A father in law who welcomed me lovingly into his family. Who always surprises me with the sweetest compliments.

My father in law helping the kids carve pumpkins

Brothers and brothers in law, who are strong, fun, good men who take care of their families.

And last but not least, my sweet husband. He works from sun up until sun down, is frequently deployed in very uncomfortable circumstances, who enables me to be able to stay home. Who sacrifices so much for our family. I love him and am so thankful for who he is.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Herb Italian Cheese bread

Growing up, every Thanksgiving, I looked forward to eating my Moms yummy rolls.

When I got older, I asked my Mom about them and she looked at me quizzically. She had no idea what I was talking about. Then she laughed and said, "Oh those are Rhodes rolls!"

Since then, I have enjoyed Rhodes rolls many, many, many times. My husband decided that it was required to have warm rolls with butter after church every Sunday.

While visiting my Mom over Christmas, she used Rhodes to make some really yummy cheesy breadsticks.

The dough is so versatile...and fail proof! You have a money back guarantee if they don't turn out. But trust me, they will.

Rhodes has a great blog, full of yummy ideas posted from other bloggers. I found this one on there, and changed it up a little for what I had.

I poured between 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil into the bottom of a bowl. I then added a variety of seasoings. I added Italian seasoning, garlic salt, basil, oregano and parsley.

Whisk it all together.
You want your dough to be thawed but not completely. Having it still cold helps when you cut the rolls into 4ths.

 Mix carefully to cover completely.

 Add in shredded cheese. I only had cheddar so that is what I used. Mix that in to coat.

. Place mixture in a baking dish. I poured all the extra oil on top. You then want to cover it with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

 Let rise until double in size, for an hour or so. My favorite way to do this is by turning my oven on and putting the rolls on top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*.... and devour!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

munch mouths

sucking down a juice box

My kids have only been out of school for around a week. Yet, they have made a serious dent in my stockpile!!

Summer has always been a tough time on my budget. Having kids home all day is a serious wake up call as to how much they eat!!

Here is the thng, while it used to just be a "summer thing" it is now my life. My son Ivan was the last hold out for being in public school. Now I am a full time homeschooler. All 5 kids will be home all day long, for...a long time!

So now more than ever, I need to be on the ball. Snatching up every good deal I can. Feeding my munch mouths for as cheap as I can.

Here are 10 of my kids favorite (somewhat) inexpensive snacks, and they are filling to boot!

1. Popcorn. My kids love microwave popcorn. It is quick, easy and filling. Depending on what kind you buy, it can be also be healthy!

2. Quesadillas. I get cheese & tortillas pretty inexpensively when they are on sale. Some of my kids like to put sliced ham in also. Some of my kids are salsa fans but not all of them.

3. Homemade quick breads. I love to use up fruit in breads. Zuccini, bananas...yum.

4. Baked potatoes. I bake mine in the crockpot, and they are ready to go. Favorite toppings range from person to person but we love: chili, cheese, bacon/chopped ham, brocoli, sour cream...

5. Its summer! Fruit and veggi's are plentiful...and cheap!! Whether from a road side stand, pick your own patch, farmers market or the grocery store, fruit and vegi's are healthy and yummy.

6. Pasta salads. Most couponers have a ton of pasta in ther stockpiles. I make quick and easy pasta salads and we can eat them throughout the day. Our favorite: Bacon & Ranch. Betty Crocker makes a boxed one, but it is really simple to make your own.

7. Sandwiches. From pb & j to ham and cheese... It's a quick and easy snack.

8. Homemade...anything. Work together to make cookies, muffins, breads...whatever. Not only will you kill some time (some summer days seem to drag on don't they?!) but you get a tasty treat.

9. Popsicles. While some are more filling than others, these are on sale everywhere right now. Or make your own. You can use juice, crystal light, kool-aid, or get fancy-shmancy.

10. Smoothies. We love smoothies. This is also another great way to us up fruit that is going bad.

How about you? What do you make to keep your kiddos fed on these long summer days?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

teacher gift

I was tearing up listening to her say goodbye to the class.

My son had the MOST amazing teacher this year. AMAZING.

He just got out of school on Friday and I sooo wanted to do something fun but that also showed how much I appreciated all she did this year. Trust me, it was a lot!

I saw and idea to fill a water bottle with Crystal Light packets and attatch a note saying, "thank you for quenching ______'s thirst for knowledge this year." It was cute but I wanted something just a little more. I found my inspiration while walking around Target. It is very easy to do isn't it?

After I had all the items, I had to come up with some sort of note to make sense of everything! You know how some things make sense in your head, but then once you have shared it out doesn't quite sound right? I do that a lot!

When I shared it wth my daughter (12 )and asked what she thought, she shrugged her shoulder and said, "hmmm, it's not as bad as what others do." Nice.

So here we go... ( I didn't write out the whole thing, sorry!)
" I know it took a lot of ENERGY to have Ivan in your class"= V8 Energy drink

"You deserve to relax in STYLE (People style watch magazine

"while SOAKING up some SUN" (beach towel and some Sun chips)

 "You are SIMPLY the best" (Simply brand lemonade)

"we would CHEWS you again for a teacher" (gum)

" You have QUENCHED Ivan's thirst for knowledge" (water bottle)

"Although every day was not a PICNIC (the basket it came in)

"and some days were full of lemons but you turned them into LEMONADE" (individual lemonade drink packets)

"It was such a TREAT for him to be in your class" (Rie Krispy treats)

"We hope you have a wonderful summer BREAK" (ice breakers)

I grabbed some inexpensive ribbon at Michaels and tied it all over the basket handles.

Ivan wanted to do something just from him so we got a Lego City book (he is a Lego maniac)  to donate to her class and put his picture inside of it. We wrote a little note and he wrote his name with the date.

How about you? Did you do anything for teacher gifts this year? Do you do a gift? Card?

Sigh, this also made me cry as she told Ivan how much she loved him and how proud she was of him.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


When most people head to So. California for a vacation, they want to go to places like DisneyLand, Knottsberry Farms, Universal Studios or one of the other bigger and well known parks.

Not us though! When given the chance to visit an amusement park, my kids have unnanimously voted for LegoLand. I have tried convincing them to go to Disney (maybe because I want to go) but their hearts belong at LegoLand.

The first time we went, I was not sure what to expect. Well I was pleasantly surprised!

Legoland is a fun park with something for every age. From water areas, rides, Duplo town (for toddlers), Miniland, areas to design Lego creations...

 Famous movie/tv characters built all in Legos are one of my favorite things to look at. From Harry Potter to Star Wars to Bob the Builder...

Me & Han Solo

One of my favorite things about LL, are able to bring your own food into the park! What an amazing money saver. There are plenty of places for a family to sit and eat a picnic lunch. Although, the food choices to buy are yummy as well. Overpriced, but yummy.

I know that Disney, and a few other parks stay open late, for light parades and such. It makes for a fun day, but a LONG one. You don't want to miss anything, but dragging exaughsted kids everywhere isn't exactly my idea of fun. Well LL is only open until 6pm (summer hours) and 5pm (fall/winter hours). There is a lot of time to relax and recooperate in the evening!


If you get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it! You don't have to be a huge Lego fan to go, but you probably will be after you leave!

** This is not a sponsored post. These are my opinions, however if Lego would like to give us free tickets, I wouldn't say no!**

Friday, June 8, 2012


Here is the situation:

Take 1 tired Mom and add in 5 kids = Turner family

Then add a trip out of town= Legoland

Add about a billion activities= church, school events, field trips

Add in a broken laptop = kids in big trouble

Add in a non-working wireless connection= annoyance

Add in a new router  = fight with kids at Best Buy about why I wouldn't buy an X-Box, M&M's or a new movie.

Add in a visit from the cable guy= halleluiah

And that is why I haven't blogged. Whew. Today our wireless is working. My new laptop is never going to be touched by my children. All school events are over in T-2hrs and 3 minutes.

I am going to be taking a nice long nap today and then get my house back. Bring on summer!

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at