Wednesday, October 31, 2007


WFMW: Homemade Pasta Sauce...

Thankfully, my children don't read this blog (yet), because if they did, my secret would be out. What's the secret? Oh, just that I sneak in about seven day's worth of vegetable servings to my homemade pasta sauce!!

It's easy: I just get some carrots, zucchini, and sometimes squash. You have to be careful with yellow squash, though, because too much of it will turn your pasta sauce a suspicious pale color, and we don't want anyone (especially kids) asking questions, right?

Cut up your veggies and steam until fork-tender. Then put all into a blender or food processor and puree. Simply add to the simmering pot of pasta sauce and, voila! Vitamins A galore!

Head on over to see other great tips!


Sunday, October 28, 2007


100th post...

So, this is my 100th post. It has taken me quite some time to reach this milestone, unlike some of my friends! But you can't say I didn't warn you. I just don't post everyday. I'm not that interesting, and neither is my family (though they are dearly loved).

Our Suburban family has gone through many changes in these (almost) two years. We no longer homeschool- that isn't to say we won't again- I am teaching school again, Rob has a different employer, I have a child in Middle School (gulp!), and we are closer to being debt-free.

But those are just the outward changes. Hopefully, there are things in my heart that "look" a little different than this time two years ago. When I first started blogging, we had come fresh from a war zone (figurative, not literal). We were bruised, throbbing, bandaged, and probably bleeding in some places. But God, as always, has been at work! Hurts (and hearts) have been mended; bruises, cuts, and bandages have been replaced by scar tissue. That's a good thing, I think. Scar tissue tends to be a bit more tender than other skin, and that's what I want to be: tender. I want to be tender toward those who have experienced great hurt. We live in a fallen world, so we are all bound to encounter these people- we may even BE these people. I want to share God's work in our lives and extend hope to those who are crawling off the battlefield, so to speak.

Just ramblings here, I know. But I will keep blogging and, hopefully, encouraging.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Standing in the need of prayer...

Have you ever heard/sung this old spiritual? It's simple, but powerful. Do me a favor, will y'all? Go here and offer a prayer, scripture, or general encouragement to this young mom who realizes she can't do "it all." And who of us can do anything without the grace of God?

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WFMW: Holiday Baking Prep...

You know what it's like: butter and sugars creamed; eggs beaten; flour, salt, and baking soda combined- WHAT??!! No baking soda? Did I really use all of it last time? How could I forget to put that on my list?

Sound familiar? Well, there is a way to avoid that scenario. Starting this week, add two holiday baking items to your grocery list. All the stores are setting up "baking centers" even now. These areas usually have all the necessary ingredients for baking. I started this just recently. I bought two bags of mini chocolate chips and some canned pumpkin. Next week I'll grab some baking soda and baking powder. That way, I (hopefully) won't be caught in an unexpected shortage in an inconvenient time!!

For other great tips, go on over. Really. Go on!


Monday, October 22, 2007


Catchin' up...

Imagine this (times five). Add a white ceramic tile floor, a mounted clothes rod, a washer and dryer, and some storage cabinets, and you have a mental picture of my laundry room. We went out of town this weekend, so I didn't have the weekend to catch up on all the bits and pieces of laundry flotsam and jetsam. But now I am, and the sweet hum of the washer fills the kitchen. Ahhhh!


Friday, October 19, 2007


Waste not...

Here in the Suburban household, we do not use commercial shampoos and conditioners. Based on what I've read about sodium laurel/laureth sulfate (SLS), I really don't want to put that onto my scalp (or any other family member's) multiple times a week. So, I save coupons and buy Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner. If you compare them dollar for dollar to "salon style" products, they aren't too pricey, but they generally retail for $7.99 per bottle. Enter frugality tip: I slightly water down my conditioner. Really, I do. I keep the previous empty bottle and add about 1/4 cup water to the bottom and shake it up. This also helps grab that extra amount left in the bottle. Then I take the new bottle of conditioner and squirt it into the bottle with the water and shake to mix. It's a great trick that gives me approximately 10-12 more uses per bottle- not bad!


Monday, October 15, 2007


Singin' in the rain...

Okay, show of hands. How many of you have stayed overnight in a hotel or inn that had a fantastic shower head? You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind that makes you rationalize, "What the heck? I'm not paying the water bill. What's 10 more minutes?" Personally, I tend to tell myself how nice it would be if only I had one of those in my own bathroom at home. So then I find this sight that makes me think, "Well, why not?"

There are so many shower faucets available here. Of course, there are the luxurious rainfall ones, but I'm also partial to the hand-held ones too. So I say, if you have more than one bathroom then get one of each!

Go on! Get a fancy one and then see if you don't enjoy your shower more!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007


WFMW: Set that timer!

We all know that any given task will expand to fit the time alloted for it. For example, it really only takes me 5 minutes to unload my dishwasher, but if I dawdle, I can sure stretch that out to 15 minutes or so. The same is especially true for children's chores. A request of "Let's clean up our rooms" can fill up the better part of an hour, especially after a full day of school.

So here's what works for me: I tell the kids, "I'm giving you 15 minutes to clean your room to the glory of God. Ready, set, GO!!!!" Ooooh, you should see them scramble to beat the timer. However many minutes they save is the amount I add onto bedtime reading.

So, head on over- you know you want to!!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Let's talk spatulas...

Ya know, diehard "foodies" can be pretty fierce when it comes to the subject of spatulas. Which is best for sauteeing? Which is best for scrambling eggs? How about for stirfry cooking? Speaking for myself only, I have several types of spatulas that I use on a regular basis- for cooking.

Disclaimer- My husband is a wonderful man of whom I am unworthy. But in this one particular area I'm about to share, well, let's just say we don't see eye to eye.

I contend spatulas should only be used for cooking. My husband- not so much. I have seen him use my cooking utensils for outdoor projects, indoor projects, and for scooping up newborn baby bunnies that didn't live for more than an hour (don't ask). "Don't you understand those are for cooking?" I have urged. I have even tried to set up an analogy: would I use one of your theology books as a coaster or a stepladder? Would I rip the pages out of a rare commentary to use for cleaning mirrors and windows? Wanna lay bets at his response? "Apples and oranges, babe, apples and oranges." Yeah, it sounds funny now.

But I think that almost 14 years of marriage have affected my brain in this area. Because at the tender hour of 3:00 am there I was, in the kitchen, using a spatula to scrape off vomit from a pillow case. You know I couldn't put that thing in the washing machine chunks and all. I had two very sick boys in the wee hours of the morning, and we all know what throw-up sheets smell like after a few hours. But here's a warning: a nylon spatula (which is great for non-stick cookware) has a little too much...spring, shall we say, for this job. Because theoretically, one could use just a bit too much forward motion (in one's haste to rid the pillowcase of offending substance so as not to gag), resulting in small splatters landing on both lenses of one's glasses. Next time, I'll go for the metal one.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I used to say...

"I never win anything." Well, I can't say that anymore. It seems I have won for my daughter a hand-sewn princess cape. In the land of princesses and fairies, a cape is the perfect accessory. I'm so excited I might go buy a lottery ticket- KIDDING!


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