Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to encourage and yet prepare one for failure...

I struggle with this one. I want to encourage Little Man in everything he does. I want him to pour his heart out into whatever is his passion at the time. I want him to give his best--to be the best that he can be--whatever that is on that day.

Yet, I want to ease the blow of failure. I don't want to take it away. Not ever. I think when we fail at things or do less than what we expect of ourselves, we learn. Yes, I do feel that we learn though failures and hard times. But, as a Mom, it hurts to watch that struggle and the heart break that comes with it. Yet, I know through those times, God is working, too. So, I would not take them away.

Little Man, entered some pictures that he took into a contest. He didn't place. No ribbon was hung by his pictures as we looked at them hanging on the wall. Yet, I told him how proud I was of him for putting himself out there. The fact that he tried and did his best was what counted. My words were heard, perhaps even taken to heart. But, sadness still fell on his little face.

I was worried  and wondered would he feel so defeated that he wouldn't want to try again? If so, how would I handle that? What words of wisdom would I have to offer him that he could grasp on to at that time? I didn't have to worry long though. Instead of total defeat, he proclaimed that he was trying again next year. Not only was he trying that, but he was trying another contest as well. In my head, it was Ahhh, that's my boy! I told him how proud I was of him--my husband and I both did. Then we cheered him up with petting a few animals. Nothing like animals to cheer my kid up. He is in his glory when he is around animals. You can tell he is at total peace and fully happy surrounded by them. Sometimes I joke that we should really be living on a farm with our kid.

Anyway, the lesson out of this? He's determined. He's willing to take the risk again. He'll keep trying his best knowing his best is all he can do. I could not be prouder. That drive and determination will take him further than what one ribbon could have done.

By the way, here are the photos he entered. Minus one of two sisters because I didn't ask their Mom's permission before this post and I don't post pictures of kids without permission. It was pretty--just take my word on that one.

A boy with his camera and his own sense of editing and style. Doesn't always match mine (and it shouldn't), but I do LOVE it. Yes, that's my boy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saving Money...

First, before the links to the store deals, let's talk about saving Money on Back to School Clothes.
So, how do you do that?
1. Go through what you have already. You may be surprised to find what you already have that still fits.
2. Decide how much is enough of everything. I have a check off sheet for this, so I know buying ahead as well what I have already stored for the next season.
3. Yes, buy ahead when you can. This took me a while to get used to.
4. Shop discount stores, but look for quality. I prefer to buy better quality and only have a few than cheap quality and buy more. The better stuff holds up and if you really love it, you love to wear it more.
5. Burlington does have the sales they say they do on TV. Just scored some great NFL wear from there for Little Man for cheap. Good quality stuff at a GREAT price.
6. Organize a swap with some friends.

Here is a video from the Today show on decluttering your closet and simplify your life.
Find it here!

In September, I will be getting a blog roll going on the side bar. Links to some of my favorite sites and places that I go for inspiration as well as money saving ideas.

STORE DEALS:BI LO - I think I have a reader that has this store near them. :)
Don't forget the extra Darrenkamp coupons that are happening right now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Tastes like Cottage Pudding Sauce...

Yum Cottage Pudding Sauce....well, actually it's a bit too sweet for me usually. However, if you are in the mood for something sweet. This fits the bill. The boys at my house can gobble this up no problem. It's a Grammy treat--something that Little Man always asks his Grammy to make when we visit.

I tried making it myself recently and was actually successful!!!  Like I always say, if I can make it you certainly can. :) By the way, this is to be served over warm yellow cake or cupcakes.

Here is how you make that yummy goodness...

Cottage Pudding Sauce

1 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/4lb margarine or 1 stick (I used butter--when it has this much sugar does it really matter?)
1 tsp vanilla

Oh and I doubled the recipe for lots of warm, yummy goodness.

Combine margarine, sugar, egg yokes and vanilla in bowl and beat. Set aside.
In second bowl, beat egg whites stiff. They look cool don't they?
Fold the egg whites into the first mixture. Should be looking something like this...
Then, you set the bowl into a pan of boiling water to melt. You must stir constantly, until melted. It looks something like this now...
Then you poor the warm, sweet, yummy goodness over the warm yellow cake and forget the word calorie exists! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Taking a stand...

I came across an article on a photographer that took a stand on photographing "ugly" clients. I decided to head on over to her blog to read what it was all about. I always say beauty shines from the inside out. She is sending a message for sure and I agree bullying is NOT cool!
The Blog and Her Post
By the way,  I didn't know of her or her business until this article. But, stop on over and take look at that stunning work!!! It rocks!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Freebie for teachers and other Money Savers!

Organized Teacher, Happy Classroom
Amazon image
Organized Teacher Happy Classroom is currently free as a kindle download. Know someone who might enjoy it. Send them this link. :)
Stress proof your life (52 Brilliant Ideas)
Amazon image

This is another free book that could come in handy. Stress Proof Your Life

Perhaps the kids could use this:
The Everything Guide to Study Skills (Everything Series)
The link for this book is found here.

Another book for kids or teachers alike:
Robert's Rules of Writing

Here is your LINK. Think I might get this one for myself. :) So, if you see improvement on this blog, you will know I have been reading! Or at least proof reading my posts. ;)

Free website to help with School Supplies:
There is also website that is free to use and teachers can post needs on there for supplies. Let me tell you, as a teacher, they put out a lot of their own money to get supplies for special projects and those treat jars for the kids. Here they can put their needs out there and we as parents can help them.
I Love Schools is the website. Click here!

More teacher resources in the upcoming weeks! Feel Free to share the blog with others that might find this helpful.

Food Deals this week:
Weis Deals are found here. LINK
Giant Deals are found here. LINK

Friday, August 19, 2011


Summer is ending and I am not ready for Little Man to head back to school. I feel like our summer has gone by in a flash. But, signs are all around us that school is just around the corner. There is the back to school sales, teacher assignment letters, fall sports practices starting, etc. Everywhere you look there is a sign that summer is ending. So, how do you all handle this time of year?

On another note, we had our camp. This year it was ART camp. It was a great day for it and I am pretty sure the kids had fun. Might have to post some photos for you all to see in the future.

Speaking of photos Little Man is getting some printed that he has taken to enter in a contest. Excited for him. I love his eye. It's got something magical to it, of course it could be that I am his Mom and just a wee bit proud of him.

Next week, I will be back to posting on a more regular basis. But, don't expect anything too regular until September. (Keeping it real)

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back after being "away" for over a week!

We were not physically away for over a week. But, we did escape for a magical weekend as a family. It was truly a memorable weekend with a once in a lifetime experience.
I have to admit, it's been great not blogging for a while. I needed the break. I needed to feel like I had a fresh set of ideas to come back with and take time to decide the direction the blog would take in the future.

Do you know what I realized in that break? I realized that the only thing I want to do is share. Share the journey of life with others. I want to offer a place where you can come for tips on things (saving Money, fun things to do with the kids, recipes, inspiration, faith, etc.). But, instead of worrying all the time about what my readers want me to share, I decided that it's best just to share what I feel I am compelled to share. You see the goal of this blog was to help others and to offer a small, tiny space where you could come to feel welcomed as you are and leave feeling a bit inspired or refreshed. So, what's going to be happening? Here is the short of it:

  • If you came to find the money saving tips--great. I'll still be doing that because that's part of helping others.
  • If you came for inspirational stories, songs, ideas. Awesome, there is more of that to come for sure.
  • If you came for the recipes. Great, I will share more of that. I like sharing recipes with others. it's fun. Plus, you get the bonus of knowing if I can cook it you certainly can!
  • If you came to read my marathon posts. Yep, I'll kick some of them in here too. Did I mention, I just added another kind of race to my bucket list? So, the fun will continue. What on earth am I thinking?!? 
  • If you came for the guest blogger and his photography, that will be coming back soon. Can't wait to share his eye with all of you again.
  • If you came for something else perhaps a reason you are unsure of but something keeps drawing you back. Welcome and know you are in good company because I sometimes don't know why I am posting anyway! :)

I don't publicize this blog, yet somehow it has reached many other countries and I am always wondering how. I am not on facebook--I know I am in the stone ages here. So I wonder, how do people find this blog? Care to share? Leave a comment. That's one thing I am always happy to get, comments. A girl needs to know she isn't talking to herself. And if you feel this blog is worth sharing, pass it along.

I will be back again soon with more. But, for now, I wanted to let everyone who is still here and looking for a post know that I am OK and I am ready to start posting again.

Have a super day, everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hard time of year...

This time of year is hard for many reasons:
  • Back to school comes upon us and I hate the thought of losing little man and my extra time with him. I adore our time together. Come fall, I have to share him again. But, I just keep reminding myself that others deserve the blessing of knowing him and having him in their lives, too!
  • It's a hard time of year because it's around this time that our second child should have been born and yet I visit a grave instead of planning a birthday party.  Not easy.
  • Life just feels extra rushed this time of year--not sure why as we are always rushed.
  • This year, it's extra hard as I am watching my Gram suffer and can see the end coming near. My Gram has always been more like a Mom to me, so it's so hard to watch this happen. She's not only been like a Mom--she's been an amazing one at that. I always said to meet her is to love her. She's easy to love and is loved and adored by many--as was my Grandfather.

So while in this blogging world I don't often get too personal, today I let my guard down a bit more. Not something I am totally comfortable with in "blogland" or real life for that matter, but taking the little leap here today. Speaking of leaps, I am going to be deciding the direction of this blog. I feel like it doesn't have one right now...but, maybe that is good. I don't know.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Training and a Laugh...

Earlier this week we (Little Man and I) were out training. I was training; he was "coaching". That day, I was practicing the pace that I want to keep at the marathon. It's not my fastest pace, but I read something about training your body to know the pace so your muscles can remember it. Hope it works!!!

Anyway, we were out and his inspiration that day for me to move faster was this:
Mom, just think there is a pack of hungry wolves behind you. Think about them closing in on you and know that all they eat is ladies.

I am going to try NOT to think about that next time I am out in the dark!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Freezer Meals

So, I have done freezer cooking in the past and once you get past the day of doing it, you will be thankful the rest of the month!

I am planning on doing a freezer meal prep again soon. (Taking it on in a different way this time though. I'll explain that in another post.) I just know when fall hits and we are all super busy (who am I kidding we are busy now) but, when I am off doing 20 miles the last thing I am going to want to do is cook that night. So, since the miles are increasing, I will want to have healthy meals and options on hand that we can use.

I am going to get my lists and such together and even share what I will do as far as the recipes with all of you.  Anyone care to share their freezer success stories with me? Recipes your family loves that work well in the freezer? I have some, but I am always open to new ones. :)

I'll get my labels rolling as well. I've always had my bags with typed labels of what was inside. Again, once I get the plan together, I will share it with all of you. Organization of something like this is fun for me. I know, I have that sick obsession with organization.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reading and Reading

Sometimes I feel like I've read more than I've train for the Marathon thus far. OK, that's not true, it's just a slight exaggeration! I've been reading about what to eat, how to dress, what to do leading up to it, is it enough miles, too many, pace in training, not pace, the list goes on and on. Seriously, there is more planning than meets the eye to this thing. Everyday I am learning something new. It's good to learn new things and adjust along the way. Sometimes, I have to remember it all depends on the person and what will work for me may not work for someone else. But, I won't know what to do if I don't read up on it. If you all have advice, leave it. I'll read it. :)

I took a friend out with me for an easy walk and enjoyed her company greatly. She got to experience the night time critters! This time it was the smell of a skunk (we never saw one and escaped without being sprayed - thankfully!). She also got to experience how scary a sweet dog can be when you don't know that you will see them. Honestly, when it's that dark out, you just never know what is lurking around the next corner. It was so great to go out for an easy walk that was relaxing and fun. Who would of thought 6 miles could be relaxing and fun.

I am collecting some quotes to get me through the marathon. Just sayings or inspiration from people or friends. I plan to carry some with me that day, so that I can pull them out when I need them. Anyone have any they want to share? Silly, funny, serious, I'll take them all.

Here is one from my list so far and I will look forward to reading yours.
"Don't stop -- people are watching."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Money Saving Monday--Back to School shopping

So, back to school shopping is just around the corner or perhaps you started. I have not started, but will be "starting" soon. My first step in that process is making the list of what Little Man really needs. Then, I check the items that I have already. I've begun buying ahead a little so now is the time, I check the stock of what was bought. By now, I am fairly confident in his growth pattern. Which seems to have settled into a cycle. Maybe it will stay the same, maybe it won't. We will see.

Two links for you to check out:
Here is an article on Kids Clothing advice that you may want to read. LINK
Here is an article on best time to buy kids clothes based on seasons. LINK

What advice do you all have on back to school shopping and clothing shopping in general? Do you consignment shop? Shop off season in sales? Shop in season sales? All of the above?

Food shopping this week and your deals: