Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watermelon Salsa

Want to try something different? I made this yesterday to share at a cookout. It is very yummy. It is a sweeter salsa with a little kick. Plus, it tastes super fresh, which I love. In the words of Yo Gabba Gabba "Try it. You'll like it".

Watermelon Salsa


  • 3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 2 1/4 pounds with the rind) (see Tip)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, (about 1/2 small)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Place watermelon, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and onion in a medium bowl; stir well to combine. Season with salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The village

Have you ever heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, I was that child. I had a village. Mostly from my church, but I was one of those kids with lots of extra parents, aunts, uncles, siblings. Even though very few were by blood.

My parents are wonderful. They love me and my sister and took great care of us. But, the church I grew up in was a family. I still love all my extra parents. There was a group of girls who formed late elementary school. We were Honor stars. My year had 12 girls. We were all within a few years of each other. All came from different schools. But we all felt like sisters. We all live in different parts of the country now. We all are grown up and have separate lives that look very different. However, there is a bond there.

Monday, I got a call from one of these girls. She and I only get to talk a few times a year. She lives in Chicago with her hubby and their adorable little puppy. They both have jobs in finance and do things I don't understand. But I love her dearly and consider her a sister. I consider all her sisters my sisters. I call her mom Ma and her dad Gruffy. There was a play we did around 4th grade and Gruffy was the name of a bear, her dad played the bear and I have called him that ever since. Monday, my friend had to tell me though that I won't get to see Gruffy again until Heaven. He passed away.

This weekend I get to go to my home town to remember one of my other dads. I'm so blessed that he took the time to be part of my village and help raise this child. I love that he let me come and go freely from his home as if it were my own. I love that he always had a hug ready. I will miss his jokes and laughs, but I am so thankful that I know I will get to see him again some day.

It makes me think about the "village" we are surrounding our children with. We have some wonderful friends who love on our kids like they are their own. They are the extra parents there to lend a hand, an ear, or a hug. I am so blessed by these wonderful people. I am so thankful for the body of Christ that sees importance in loving on kiddos. Even when they may not be your own.

At my wedding shower one of my best friends pointed out how many ladies there were there that seemed to have taken part in raising me. She said she never like the idea of a village raising a child because it was the parents responsibility. However, in my case, I feel so blessed to have had an extended family. I had ladies who loved on me each in a unique way. I had so many moms and dads praying for me. I had so many extra grownups who cared about me that it is hard to imagine anything else.

So, thank you to my village. The ones who loved on me growing up and still. And the ones who are helping me love on my little guys and push me to be a better mommy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More free worksheets

I came across another site I wanted to share with you all. If you are looking for some fun concept worksheets for your kiddos this has a good mix. Plus, it is all free! TLSbooks.com has a lot of goodies.  Enjoy!

ball park hotdogs at Meijer

This week Meijer has Ball Park or Kahn's hot dogs for only $0.98! That alone is a great deal, but there are several coupons floating around for $0.50 off 2. I found this coupon for $0.75 off two.   Since most Meijers double coupons you are getting $0.50 off making them only $0.48 a pack.

We will be stocking up since my kiddos can EAT some hot dogs.

I also found a $0.55 off one coupon that I had printed a while pack so you may want to check if you have one of those laying around because that would make them FREE.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tomorrow a chapter in our life will be ending and we will be starting a new chapter. Tomorrow is Dan's last day at his current job. Almost exactly 6 years ago we moved here into our home. We had been married one year. It was a crazy week. Dan graduated from Purdue on our first anniversary. Two days later we closed on our home and the next day we packed everything we owned and moved into a house in a city where we knew not a soul.

We felt totally at peace that this is where God was sending us. For six years Dan has been at this company. It has been very good to us. However, a few months ago we felt another little tug and this time it was to start looking around for another job.

Once we had prayed for a few weeks we decided it was time to start looking. This is one of those thing that you just don't do on a whim. Especially not in this economy. Or when you have a good steady job. But, the first place he pursued ended up being the place for him. We are very excited. This is a smaller company. The ownership are all Christians, and this will be a good way for Dan to grow his skills.

I am curious to see what all God has for us from here. Dan will be leaving some very good friends. This job is a little further away from our home. However, we feel confident that this is the direction the Lord is leading us at this point. He is so good and we know he is faithful . So, here we go on to the next chapter!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baby blooms

Well, so far I have a few little sprouts starting. I am hoping they are not all weeds. :) I have my tomato planter hanging up and my herbs are starting. I have some peas and cucumbers starting as well. I am not seeing anything in the green pepper department yet, but hopefully they will come soon.

My big issue is pill bugs! I think I may try using egg shells. I read that that can keep them away, but there are a ton of them. I am hoping I can make them leave my seeds alone so I can hopefully have some yummy fresh veggies. Hopefully, I will have more pictures soon of healthy transplanted seedlings. :)

N is for nest Lesson plans

This week we are working on letter N for nest. 

I couldn't find a lapbook that worked well for us for this week. However, we will be using some of the bird printables found here and here.

It is a little colder out this week so I have a few crafts to keep us busy inside. I am looking forward to making a nest. This looks messy, but I think we will have fun with it.

Today we made birdhouses ( I know not letter N, but same theme.) Our friend had a BIRDay party yesterday and we each got a bird house kit to make at home. The boys had fun with this today. They have hung them up and put their bird whistles inside for now. :)

I did go with the dot paint to save some mess. However, I think Levi ended up with more on his hands and face than on his bird house. 

We will then be working on Isaac's Hooked on Phonics, A Beka math, and handwriting without tears. Those don't produce as many fun pictures though. :)

the 3rd child

This picture sums up some of the differences between my first and third child. You see, today we are staying home. What you can't see in this picture is that Levi's pants don't match his shirt. With #1 I sometimes would dress him in several cute outfits a day just to see how cute he was. #3 is lucky to be dressed in clean clothes.

Another difference you would notice is that the string cheese in this picture is whole. I didn't cut it up for easier to eat pieces. Nope, I just slapped it on the table and called it good. No plate needed.

I think that the thing that most screams at me as different are the toy GUNS.  When Isaac was small we didn't let him play with guns. Now, we are not morally or otherwise opposed to guns. I just didn't feel like my toddler should be wielding one before he could say the word. Ah, how times have changed. My house is strewn with little nerf bullets, swords, light sabers, and pirate hooks. It is not unusual for the dog to be taken captive before 9am.

I find the difference somewhat amusing. Levi is healthy and happy. He is well adjusted. He is not choking on his food, he has perfectly good clothes, and he is having lots of fun trying to keep up with his big brothers. I know that this is the way it goes with younger kids. It is just a little giggly that's all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


 Showing off our science project.
 They both had to have a turn.
 Labeling the parts of an apple.
 Counting seeds

This week our My Father's world lesson is about apples. We are doing some lapbooking and researching Johnny Appleseed. Today we dissected an apple. We learned the parts of an apple and counted the seeds. Then we had a snack, of course. I thought I'd share some of the links I used to find some fun extras for our apple lesson.

Johnny Appleseed lapbook
Apple Themed printables
Johnny Appleseed info

We hopefully will get to do some apple stamping and make a few yummy treats. 

It's a great day

The sun is shining! I love that the sun is shining. We went outside today for most of the morning. It was great. The boys rode their bikes. The baseball and other balls came out to play. And we pulled out the bubble box. I don't know what it is about bubbles, but they keep us all happy. Even me. I love blowing bubble. I know I'm a dork.

Then we ran to the store to pick up a few edge essentials. (That's what I call a trip that you don't need things down any aisles just dairy, produce, and meat). I had a coupon for a free Arby's sandwich so I picked up a really cheap lunch in place of leftovers (since we are having that for dinner anyway.) The kids just finished up and happily went up for naps without me even asking them too!

I have high hopes of mowing the lawn this afternoon and getting some work done in the yard this evening. Today is a great day so far.

Plus, it has been fun to watch the boys showing love to one another. I love that Levi shared his cookie from the store with Isaac. Asher kept helping Levi with his glasses. Isaac was helpful with snack. They all shared nicely with bubbles. This is a big deal because we have been struggling a little with sharing and loving our brothers.

I really think the change in weather has helped our change in attitude. God must have known we were in need of a nice day since the rain was making us crazy. I do think it's funny in some ways that I am loving this and my poor husband is already too hot. Our internal thermometers are on very different settings. :)

I hope everyone else is enjoying the sunshine and having a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


We took Levi for his follow up eye exam yesterday. The doc came in all joking and happy flashed a few fingers in front of Levi and said he needed to start wearing a patch. Apparently the glasses aren't fixing his lazy eye. So, for four hours each day I am supposed to put this little green dinosaur patch on my 22 month old's eye. Yeah, and I thought glasses would be a pain.

I was checking out and the receptionist asked me to fill out this pamplet thing. Midway through I decided to ask what it was I was filling out. She explained to me that it was the Ohio Amblyopia registry. They like to know who is diagnosed with it because it is the leading cause of blindness in children. WHAT?! The doctor didn't tell me any of that.

I got home and of course did a little reading. My baby is not blind and pretty sure he isn't going blind. But, we are trying to correct this. The doctor did say there may be surgery in our near future though...there it is. Each of our boys have had surgery and now we have found out what Levi's will be on. Maybe our daughter will have better luck since she won't have the same genes. :)

Now I just have to figure out how to get this patch to stay on. He hates it. He screams and pulls it off. He throws it across the room in anger. YAY! Plus, he is not feeling well any how right now. He is getting teeth and he has a fever and is miserable. Ah, the joys of childhood.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ready, set, grow!

This weekend we worked on some of our yard. We had to make a quick trip to the store to get a few things. My awesome hubby is working hard at knocking out my very long honey do list. While he was working hard on painting some shutters (it has been almost 6 years and we haven't done it yet...) I got going on pulling a ton of weeds and prepping our planter for a garden.

I would like to interject here that I have a BLACK thumb. I kill plants. I kill them fast and hard. I am proud to say that last year we planted some perennials and this year they are still alive! I managed to kill a plant that has been deemed hardest plant to kill. Yep, I killed it.

Now that that is out of the way I have another challenge. Space. We have a REALLY little yard. A few years back my hubby built me a flower planter along the side of our garage, and this is really all I have space for planted in the ground. So, this year I will be planting a few things in some pots. I have a few seeds I will try in my planter. And, I will be attempting some of these topsy turvy things to hang from our porch.
Felknor Ventures 82506 Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato PlanterI am excited to try Felknor Ventures 82506 Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter. I have heard from a few people these work really well. I was really excited though that they have a strawberry one! Felknor Ventures TT041112 Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter. I'm not sure how this will go, but we can put down some strawberries. Plus, this year the kids are super excited to do a garden. We are using it for some of our science this year. I like things that we will have fresh veggies and it teaches the kids somethings. I will hopefully get some pictures up soon and keep you posted as to how it is going. Hopefully we will grow some goodies this year. :)

Toy Story Preschool Pack

Do you have a Buzz fan or a Woody fan? How about Jessie? I am a fan of the Potato Head family personally. They crack me up. "Look I'm Picaso!"

Either way 1+1+1=1 just came out with a new Toy Story Preschool pack and it is again free! Looks like there are some things in this one. I think this one will be a big hit in our house.