Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday...on Tuesday

Yesterday was filled with laundry, errands, grocery shopping and somewhere in all that...I forgot to post my HHM. So although I am a day late, I decided to participate anyway (:

The Weather: Our weather doesn't change much here in So. Cali but when I woke up there was a pretty dense layer of fog, followed by sunshine, 70* with a slight breeze. In my very humble opinion...perfect.

On my reading pile: I started reading The Husband Project and am excited to particpate in a blog challenge based on the book.

On my tv: watching the very first Pirates of the Carribean with my boys

On the menu for this week:
Monday: Papa Johns provided dinner (for a fee of course!)
Tuesday: leftovers
OK honestly I haven't even thought about dinner for the rest of the week! :( I need to figure it out asap!

On my to do list:
  clip & organize coupons
   clean kitchen
  laundry, laundry, laundry

What I am creating: Last week I decided to spend two hours every Saturday crafting...then thanks to my daughter having head lice...I didn't do anything. So this week I am determined to get some scrapbooking in!!

Homemaking tip: "Inspect what you expect" has become my new motto in dealing with my children. They do a much better job when they know Mom will be checking their work.

Looking around the house: I see lots of little piles of clutter and it is driving me nuts. I need to put everything away. However the house is somewhat quiet as my daughter is off on a week long church camp.

From my camera: The last time I participated my husband hadn' yet returned from his deployment. But now he has! This was our family at the airport after finally getting to be with him again. We are having so much fun as a family!

On my prayer list: my Grandma who is not doing very well and my daughter who is off at camp...and of course my family.

Devotional/thought/scripture: On the chalkboard in my kitchen I have a daily reminder to my family, "Have you done any good in the world today?" It is also a good reminder for me (:

If you have a blog and would like to participate, or just want to read more, you can find more Happy Homemaker Mondays (or Tuesdays) at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Sunday, July 29, 2012

weekend family update

walking on Stearns Warf in Santa Barbara

It is amazing how life can be boring and yet busy at the same time. Maybe a family of 7 can never have a truly boring life? That is probably it...

Harmony has spent the past week preparing to go to Girls Camp. She is so excited. Being a 2nd year means that they move up from tents to cabins. Harmony listens to music from the minute she wakes up (because it plays all night) until the minute she goes to bed...because yes, her music plays all night. She constantly has her ear phones in her ears. There are no ipods allowed at GC so she is not sure how she will survive the week!

Ethan was pretty bummed that there were no Scouts this week. However he managed to fill his time, as always, with video games. The kids drive us crazy because it seems that is all they want to do. I know it is summer, but I am afraid his brain has turned to mush. He has been having a lot of fun swimming and so at least there is that!

Connor has earned a new nickname..."the Mason whisperer". He can get Mason to do anything. Calm down, go to sleep, stop crying...the kid has the patience of a Saint. I have no idea where he got it from! Connor had a tough week with earning his allowance and then spending his money on something he didn't really want. Life is full of dissapointments and hopefully he learned his lesson!

Ivan is still a Lego building, Wii playing, run around like crazy 7 year old. This past Friday our family made a trip to the zoo & aquarium. Ivan got in big trouble at the aquarium when he ignored me, and ran off to a different section. Many "safety violations" later, he said, "Sorry Mom." Ugh. He scares me. He really enjoyed the aquarium as we haven't been to one since he was little. He loved the new Jellies exhibit.

Mason hasn't let Ben out of his sight. He follows him around everywhere and asks, "what are you doing?". He loves to feel Bens whiskers (when he has them) and plays with his "scratchies". He has turned into a bossy little thing and is constantly telling the older kids to do things. For the most part they just ignore him, but it is pretty cute to see him bossing them around!

Ben is in a word...bored. He has officially checked out of NMCB3 and is now a grad student...although school doesn't start until the end of August. He is filling his time with honey  do lists. Cleaning out his garage, working on the yard and designing and building projects & furniture. He is so talented and built me a gorgeous picnic table. We have all enjoyed eating outside.

Life is good and we are enjoying the somewhat relaxed schedule of the summer.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Military Family

Kids squished into the car for a road trip to San Fran

Yep, that is our family. A military family. Having my husband gone often means that I have had to do plenty of family trips on my own.


However, we love to go places and don't want to spend all of our time at home staring at the walls (:

Not only are we a military family, but we are a larger family. Sometimes budgets don't allow for all the trips I would like to take. So what is a family to do? Well Military Family may just have the answer for you!

Military Family is giving 5 (military) families the chance to win a road trip prize package! Including over $700+ worth of goodies to help you get out the door!

Make sure to enter this awesome contest! What have you go to lose?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jello Jigglers

Connor, my 10 yr old, has been begging for jello jigglers since I don't know how long!

It is one of those things that I see all the time BUT have just never made.

I had a few boxes of Jello and had just planned to use cookie cutters when I found this cute little mold at Wal Mart for $1!What kid doesn't like Phineas and Ferb...or parent for that matter?!

Can you tell who that purple blob is? Dr. Doofenshmirtz!

We made grape (my favorite flavor) and put them in the fridge. I think I made them a little too thick as it was really hard to get them out! Even after placing themold in warm water.

But it didn't stop the kids from eating their favorite characters (: Mason really enjoyed them if you can't tell! lol

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Hoppin'

Today I am participating in a Fun Friday blog hop! If you are new here, welcome!! I hope you come back often!  If you are interested in joining in, head on over to Life with Twins and a Drama Queen.

I am also hopping over at Let Them Eat Cake


We put him to work right away (:

It has been a week since my husband returned from deployment. We have had a week full of

**yard work
**family dinners
**snuggly movie nights
** celebrating a birthday
**running errands (BY MYSELF!!)
** naps
** sleeping in
**just hanging out

It has been pure bliss. Family life at its best. However, I haven't quite figured out a new routine/schedule. One day I am up until midnight, and sleeping in until 8:00. The next I am in bed early and up early. Other days I am taking huge long naps (oh the convenience of having another adult around!) and other days I don't. Other days I am getting all my blogging and facebooking done, and others...

As much as I want to be a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of a gal, I am just not. I like routine and schedules. I like to know what is coming next.


This is where I am right now. Trying to readjust to a family life. What about you? Are you a routine person, or do you just take it one day at a time?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Amazingly enough, it is almost the end of July!!

enjoying Tom Sawyer

This summer has flown by and I am just not sure what we have even done! I feel like we have played a lot of video games and watched a lot of tv.

Not very good. At all.

There is one thing that we have been doing that has been so nice. It is my favorite part of the day!

It is D.E.A.R!!

I am not sure where we first heard of this, but I know it was through a school.


My kids always read at night before sleeping but during the day...they are more interested in their video games or the pool or...whatever.

For our D.E.A.R. time the older kids have to read for at least a half an hour. Of course they are always allowed to read more than that (: My youngest reader, couldn't sit still and read for half an hour if I paid him too. So he is required to pick out 5 books to read. He is at an akward age where he can read really well but still wants to stick with stories that have pictures instead of chapter books. He will get there, I know it. But for now he chooses 5 picture books and reads them to me.

I love having that quiet 30 minutes where the kids are feeding their brains!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

chicken divan...kind of

Who doesn't love the yummy creaminess of Chicken Divan?

You have cream of ______ soups, (I have seen a variety of ones used), mayo, chicken and broccoli. It is just yummy stuff.

The other day I was trying to use up some items in my fridge and came across...leftover broccoli, and cubed ham.

Here is what I did...

Ham "divan" bake:

**empty a bag of  frozen steak fries or southwest hashbrowns into a 9x13 dish
**chop up ham into small cubes
**broccoli ( I had a lg freezer bag from Costco that was thawed out) and chopped it up into smaller pieces and put them on top
** then throw a couple of handfuls of cheese in, and mix it together ( I just use my hands)

In a small bowl, mix 1 can of cream of ___ soup ( I used cream of broccoli but you can use cream of chicken, cream of celery...) a soup can filled with milk and mayo to taste. You want it to be liquid-y.

Whisk it together and pour it on top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and generously add cheese and then bake for another 20 minutes.

Totally yummy gooey goodness! I served it with rolls, fruit and tomato slices.

Oh and by the way...the kids DEVOURED it (:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

" I help you"

He is pretty stinkin' cute...but I don't always want his help. However, when it comes to Mason and his bannana bread, it is all hands on deck...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Family update

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to start doing a weekly family update. With everyone off doing various things, now is the perfect time to share.

I found out last week that Ben would be returning on the 18th, but wasn't allowed to say anything online. Some people knew through phone calls/emails/texts etc but for the most part, no one knew.

We spent most of the weekend, and Monday and Tuesday preparing for him to come home.

My friends husband was also coming home on the same flight. Unfortunatley, they were arriving at LAX at 7:00 which would put us in LA traffic at 5:00. Yuck, sooo not happening.

Instead we decided to eat an early dinner at a nearby mall. Besides running into some traffic, everything was smooth sailing. We were doing great on time. No one spilled dinner all over themselves. We were doing good.

Until we left the mall parking garage. I was following my friend when she broke the cardinal rule about someone following you..."don't run a yellow" especially when it is a left turn. I completely lost her. Even worse, I hadn't bothered to look up directions for myself, because I was the one following.

We went the wrong way. Harmony gps'ed it for me and we had to turn around. Then we got a little mixed up near the airport. Then we had to find our parking garage. Then we had to find where to go. We ran around like crazy, with me freaking out the whole time, when my friend called to say that they had landed and where was I?

You guessed it, I started to cry. :( I had wanted soo badly to be there. We went to baggage claim, and the next thing I see is Ben walking towards the doors. More tears. We laughed, hugged, cried...and all was right in the world.

After getting all the bags but one, he was told one of his bags was on a different flight coming in within a few minutes. So we all waited very patiently for the bags...

We finally got everything, had crossed the insanely busy crosswalk at the airport, when Ben turns to me and says, "oh yeah, Happy Anniversary".

Yep, it was our 14th wedding anniversary. We were so excited to be together. It was the best anniversary gift I could have asked for!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dry Idea product review & coupon giveaway (:

** I recieved the sample and coupons to facilliate my review. I was NOT paid for my review and all opinions are my own.**

Awww deodorant. We all need it. We all use it...hopefully!

One of the very first lessons you learn as a couponer is to never be brand loyal. It will cost you more almost every time.

Deodarant is free after coupons 99% of the time.

There are so many different brands, types, scents...So many options.

I was recently able to try the new Dry Idea Advanced Dry roll on.

When this came in the mail, I was excited to give it a try...because I was not very happy with the kind I had been using. I had been using one that was free after coupon/store rewards etc.

I like to be able to smell the deodorant scent while I am wearing it and knowing that it works. The other one I felt like I could smell was sweat. ):

So I gave this a try and...was really happy with it.

1. No white residue. I wear a lot of black (you know that whole black is slimming thing...) and so I have had that happen more than I would like to admit.

2. It wasn't a really strong smell, but it was there. I felt it working all day. (I tried the powder fresh scent).

3. It wasn't harsh on my skin at all. I don't know if it is my razor or my skin or...whatever but when I get red bumps, and use certain deo's...ouch!

So all in all, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

How would you like to try it out for youself? I have 2 coupons for a free full sized deodorant to give away!

Here is what you have to do...

1.) leave a comment saying you want in & what type of deodorant you normally buy
2. ) follow MarthaWannabe on facebook
3.) follow MarthaWannabe on twitter ( I am trying to get better about using my account!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good Monday to everyone (: I am spending the day trying to get my home back after "hurricane Turner kids" came through! But I wanted to take a few moments to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday (:

Weather: BeAuTiFuL!! 75* and sunny with a nice breeze. I am lovin' it!

On my reading pile: I am reading the book, "The Proper Care and Good Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura. I really like this book and I  re-read it when I need a reminder of what a loving wife should be. With my husband coming home soon, it is at the top of my to be read pile.

On my tv: Unfortunatley, my kids are watching the SpongeBob Movie.

On the menu for this week: I am going to take the lazy easy way out and simply link it to my meal plan post here

On my to do list: laundry, laundry, laundry

What I am creating: sadly...nothing :(

Homemaking tip: Something I am dealing with right now, cleaning up as you go is a lot easier than big clean up days! Washing a set of lunch dishes is a lot easier than washing 6 sets of lunch dishes at once!

Looking around the house: Lunch has been eaten, and now it is time for quiet relaxation time. Ahhh

From the camera: Cute kids playing at the pool. We hadn't gone to the pool once and then we went 4 times in one week (:

On my prayer list: my family. Always.

Scripture or devotional:

For more Happy Homemaker posts you can head over to Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Weekly Family Update

Because I am no longer keeping up my old blog, "Maries Hectic Life" I have decided to do a nice family re-cap on Sundays so that I can share about the other things going on in our lives...

Harmony- This girl is growing up way too fast. I can't believe she will be a teen, next month :( Where has the time gone? She loves foreign languages, writing, reading, drawing, watching anime...She has so many amazing talents and I am so in aw of her. Is she perfect? No, but she is pretty stinkin' cute. We did a "girly" shopping trip and she has a new favorite store...World Market. How many teenagers have a home goods store as their favorite place to shop?!

Ethan- This kid is video-game obsessed. Seriously. It is hard to drag him away...but this week I did. Tuesday was hot. And I got some bad news. And some friends of ours moved in and we were keeping their kids entertained. So we went to the pool. That night he went swimming for Scouts. Wednesday we went swimming for playgroup. Friday evening, some friends took the 4 older kids swimming. He spent a lot of time in the pool!

Connor- He is just the cutest kid. A Lego maniac. An awesome big brother to Mason. He found himself grounded this week after throwing a fit about having to clean up. The next day however, he was very sweet and helpful. Did he learn his lesson? Only time will tell I guess. He is bummed to be missing Cub Scout camp this week. I had planned to be in OR/WA for the summer and so I didn't sign him up. Hmmm, maybe next year...

Ivan- "Is it Wednesday, Mom?" "Its July, right?" I have been answering these and similiar questions for a few weeks now. Why? Because Ivans favorite show, is coming back for the summer. Lego Ninjago. He has been watching all of the first season episodes over and over and over... Ivan is such a funny kid and just cracks me up. He threw a huge fit about me taking him to Costco vs Sams Club and informed me, " I am assuming you won't be taking me here again." Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or wash his mouth out with soap!

Mason- just turned three! I can't believe how big my baby is getting! He is a typical 3 year old...one minute he is as happy as can be...and the next, he is whiney and pouting. He has turned into a bossy little thing and we have a hard time not cracking up when he tells someone to "go on timeout" or that we are "bad boys/girls". He has been having a ton of fun playing with his friend Brian and having playdates with him. They are so cute playing together!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

My husband has been gone for over 5 months. Five long, long LONG months. Well guess what?

He is coming home this week. I can't say when. I can't say what time. You are not allowed to talk about troop movement...although it is just him so maybe it doesn't matter....

My hubby and I on the day he left :(

Not one to take any chances, I will just say this week.

Now while life has been anything but easy with him gone, there is a benefit...dinners.

My kids would be happy to eat pizza or pancakes or macaroni and cheese every single night, my husband... not so much. Hard to believe, I know.

I need to start really, really planning my meals again. Making sure there is plenty of variety, man friendly and family friendly food.

I am so excited to have family dinners again. To share our day around the table.

Right now I am perusing all my cookbooks, looking through my pantry & freezers/stockpile etc.

So here is my plan for the week....

B: eggs, biscuits & sausage,
D: homemade "beefaroni" salad, baby carrots

B: cereal & fruit
D: crockpot enchilada chicken, corn on the cob, rice

B: waffles (from the freezer)
D: eat out

B: cereal/leftovers
D: salmon, pasta slad, fruit

B: muffins and smoothies
D:grilled chicken & hamburgers/hot dogs, potato salad

B: pancakes, bacon etc (we always do big b-fasts on Saturdays so I can put some away for the week)
D: leftovers/pizza

What about you? What are you having this week? If you have no idea...go over to OrgJunkie and look at all the other menus people have shared!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dumpster Divin'

Have you ever dumpster dived?

Big swallow...I have. I confess. Only three times.

Once on Guam, a neighbor put an awesome wicker basket on top of her trash. It still had the tag on it. I was honestly not sure if it was trash or she had set it there. I waited. I watched them walk past it a few times. No one moved it. When it was dark...I snatched it. And guess what? I still use it every.single.day.

Another time, my husband was putting the trash out, when he saw a shelf in our neighbors trash. He brought it inside, fixed it up and...we still use it every.single.day.

The other time was just the other day. However, it wasn't a trash can.

Near our Target, there is a donation bin. I was dropping some items off. One of the bins wouldn't close all the way.Kind of like a library book drop off bin. I opened it to see if something was stuck in there...and right on the door was 2 pairs of shorts.

They are 5T, which my son is still a little too small for, but hello adjustable waists! These were Old Navy and great quality. So...I snatched them. I did. I confess. My son who was with me, told me he would never tell.

What do you think, if you had been in the same situation, would you have grabbed them?

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at hecimommy@gmail.com