Twenty Years

June 1,1990
I married my best friend...

Still kissing... after all these years.

I would marry him all over again...
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
Matthew 19:6

The Price

Taking time to remember them...

Time to reflect on the truth that freedom is never free...

God has blessed America - may America bless God.

The Museum

I was able to take the little kids to the museum before school let out for the big kids. We had a fantastic time. It is so neat to watch little ones take in all that is around them. I love watching their eyes look and learn.

Here we are at the entrance of the museum.

Dinosaurs! Zak was so excited to see this exhibit. (Anna was feeling the need to keep an eye on what was going on behind her.)

Here we are visiting South America.
(Anna still not sure she is able to keep her eyes forward)


Lunch time. We ate outdoors despite the 90 degree heat. (Anna kept her eyes on the museum doors. I am not sure if she was thinking that something big was going to be coming out of them!)

The favorite exhibit of all. We went there twice. The two loved walking through the room and watching the butterfly's flying around them.

Taking it all in.

Anna would put her finger out waiting for one to land - then if a butterfly would come near her she would run away.

The butterfly on Zak's right had just landed on his shirt. (It is in flight as I took the picture.)

Anna asking the butterfly that was on Zak's shirt to land on her shirt. (She even said please!)

Up Close.

Learning - even at 2.

My favorite picture from the day.

The weather here is hot and feeling much like summer. Trust you are enjoying your start to summer. Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did.

Please Pray

Please pray for Rachel. She has been diagnosed with mono. Things have been put on hold for now - and we are trying just to get her finals taken and the school year completed as best as we can.

She is in a lot of pain - and we were back at the doctor on Friday. An ultrasound of her spleen showed that it was very enlarged and also appears to be hitting the pancreas - the reason for so much pain. The doctor made it very clear that her spleen was enlarged enough that she is concerned that it could burst. Please pray that the spleen swelling goes down and she is able to be more comfortable.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks - and we are in for a long summer I think. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Hope all is well with you all too. Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did!



Chocholate Addiction Uncovered

Is it possible?

Can it be true?

Do I dare even think that the task is done?

A week and a half with no mishaps?

Do I dare go to the store without these?

She seems to be trained. We have given her enough M&M's to cause her to develop juvenile onset diabetes - (if consuming to much sugar is what caused it).

I got to thinking as we ran to the potty for the hundredth time this afternoon and she tinkled just a little tiny bit and then asked for candy - "Is this why us women love our chocolate? Because as toddlers we become addicted to it after we were successful in the bathroom?

Works for me...

Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you did.

Update on Rachel

Rachel is getting back on her feet and went to back to school yesterday. (She did come home and take a short nap after the school day. :)

She had a staph infection on her lip that took her down pretty hard. I have NEVER seen her so sick. I ended up doing 4 doctor appointments with her throughout the week. It felt like I was in a different world!! The did test her for mono and were watching the lip to make sure it was not MRSA. I am just glad the medication took effect and she is getting better.

Thanks for all of you for praying. It means a lot to me!! God is good.


Three Ways to Save

If you have not yet read it - you should! The Tightwad Gazette is the best book on the subject of frugality. In fact, within the pages of the book is written about everything that can be said on the subject. It the most comprehensive book on the subject of saving money. It is a must read for anyone trying to be a good steward of the money they are entrusted to manage.

Amy says in her book that there are three ways to save:
1. Buy it cheaper
2. Make it last longer
3. Use it less

The greatest amount of money is saved when we can combine one or more of these ways to save.

I have found this to be true in many areas of my home. Sometimes it takes time to think through and find the best way to save money.

Take dish soap for instance (no, I do not own an automatic dishwasher - I have 4 dishwashers and although they are not automatic - I am able to get them going in the evening without too much trouble. :)

I am picky about the soap I use for a couple of different reasons. I have found the cheapest soap out there is usually like water and it takes a lot more of the soap to get the job done. Also, I have two girls that have some allergies to different soaps. I have found that Dawn works best for their hands not to break out and it is quite a bit thicker than the cheap store brand stuff. The other reason I stick with Dawn is because I have had some issues with other soaps not rinsing well from off the dishes. One thing I hate it to take a drink of water from a cup and be able to smell (or taste euwwwww!) the soap.

So using the three ways to save money on my dish soap I have found this to be true.

First, I try to purchase my dish soap on sale. (I am just starting to try the coupon thing - but quite honestly am not sure how much it is going to work for our family) If I purchased the soap on sale and used a coupon, I would be effective in point one: BUY IT CHEAPER!!!

Then I have found that with the older children in school I do not have a sink load of dishes to do in the afternoon. I just leave the couple of lunch plates that we have neatly in the sink. I try to fill up a sink full of hot soapy water while I cook dinner - this way I can clean as I go. When I start on dinner preparations for the night, I quickly wipe over the few plates we had for lunch. In not filling up a sink full of water for lunch dishes, I am applying the third way of saving money: USE IT LESS

One of the best ways for me to save on dish soap has been incorporating the third way: USE IT LESS. I found that having a big bottle of dish soap sitting by the sink was not the best. I found that when the big bottle was sitting there - it seemed to run out really really fast. I have one girl who LOVES lots and lots of bubbles in her sink when she is on washing duty! That is code for saying she uses LOTS and LOTS of soap in her dish water! I tried everything I could think of to make her use less soap. I charged her from her allowance money for the extra soap she was using. I tied a tablespoon on the side of the bottle and told her that she needed to measure the soap when she put it in. (The spoon did not stay on the bottle - bringing that idea to a close!)

Finally I decided to try an empty hand soap bottle. I rinsed it out - took off the label and filled it with dish soap. The next several days when I was doing dishes I took care to see how many pumps I needed to have an antiquate amount of soap in my water to get the dishes washed but not have mountains and mountains of soap coming from the sink. I finally decided that three pumps was too much and one pump was not enough. The 'two pump' rule came into effect in the evening when the kids were doing their after dinner chores.

I can not believe how long the soap lasts! I also love that I am never running out of soap because when I fill up the small bottle and the big bottle runs out; I have a little time before I need to get another big refill bottle for my dish washing. I have found that the small bottle, on average, lasts about 2 weeks. On Monday's when I do my house cleaning, I just take note if I need to refill the bottle on the sink.

I love how combining all three of these ways has saved me money in this area of our budget. It is not a lot - but a little here and a little there starts to add up over time.

How do you apply the 3 ways to save in your home?

Thanks for stopping by - I am glad you did.


It was such a wonderful day. Her first day with us!!

I can not believe that it has been two years since God brought her to us. Spring will never be quite the same. Just feeling the breeze, smelling the fresh budding trees and hanging the clothes on the line to dry makes me think of that Spring. The spring we got her!

It still amazes me at how great of a God we serve!

It's been two years since she came into our hearts - and I am still enjoying her as much now as I was then!


Unwanted Visits

We have had a good track record for the past couple of years. Alas, it has come to an end! Two emergency room visits in the past three weeks makes me wonder if we will get to know the doctor's at our new ER as well as we knew those in Appleton. (I HOPE not!)

Zak took a tumble out of a tree. A pretty good tumble. He cut his head open and had a nice bloody mess. The mess got cleaned up and we opted to watch it and keep him quiet for the night. However, the next day he just wasn't himself; and we decided to have him get a good once over. Enter ER visit number one.

CT scan was done and, praise the Lord, showed no bleeding in his head. He just had a good concussion and we were ordered to keep him down and quiet; which, was not too hard. (I told you he was NOT himself!) He recovered fine and is back at keeping me on my toes.

Rachel came downstairs on Monday night crying. She had a sore on her lip that was getting worse. The pain was almost unbearable and I made a call to the doctor's after hours nurse. I just wanted to see if there was something that we could do to make her comfortable through the night. She recommended taking her in that night to the ER. I thought," You have to be kidding me!" Rachel, though, kept crying and I could tell she was in a lot of pain. Rob and I decided to take her in.

I felt a bit foolish as I checked in with the receptionist at the hospital. "Hi, I am bringing my daughter in for a sore lip..." I did make sure that I told her that a nurse told me to come! Well, it comes to be found out that the nurse was right. After the doctor came in an looked at the lip he seemed quite concerned. Rachel has a severe staph infection in her lip and is on antiviral and antibiotic medication. She also is taking Vicodin for pain - (she is in a lot of pain!)

She is resting today, and I have been busy getting familiar with all that Clorox can do. Every door knob in our house has been sanitized; along with toothbrushes, dishes and glasses. Sheets have been washed and are hanging in the sun to help with the sterilization process.

I am hoping that this will put an end to the ER visits! Please keep Rachel in your prayers. She is really having a tough day today.

Trust you are having a great day. Thanks so much for stopping by - under the circumstances, I think visiting me via blog land is a bit safer for your health than an actual visit face to face. (But I DO have clean door knobs - throughout the house!)


Frugality Focus

I have decided to start a new column on my blog called Frugal Female. I want to include some tips on things I have found that save money and help being a SAHM possible. I also think posting on the subject will help me stay accountable and keep the subject in the forefront of my mind. Thus, helping me to stay on track when it comes to watching my spending. (It is just so easy to spend a little here and a little there...)

So be watching for tips on frugality. Also, I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on the subject. Do you think about frugality? In the past year with the failing economy have you tightened your financial belt?

To start out this new column I thought I would leave you with a few of my favorite frugal links. Enjoy... I like Gayle's enthusiasm on saving money. Jenn's taken a little break; but I am glad that she is back!!

I will be waiting to hear from you all.