Sunday, August 30, 2009

Linen Closet

Check out this super-de-dooper organized linen closet!
I didn't plan on spending the majority of one beautiful morning organizing this particular closet.
Let me explain.
I was in the basement trying to conquer the never-ending pile of dirty laundry. In order to accomplish the task at hand, I decided to enlist some help. I asked my A to bring down all of the towels and washcloths.
I stepped into the storage room (my next organizing project), and upon re-entering the laundry room I spotted it...a pile of clean, folded towels and washcloths resting upon my dirty laundry. He had emptied the lined closet!
I was horrified for a second or two or three. I yelled up at A and asked, "Hey buddy! Were all of these towels dirty?"
He quickly pushed open the laundry shoot, peered down at me, and replied, "You didn't say anything about dirty!"
I wish that I had a photo of my clean linens lying on the dirty laundry or a photo of my face when I realized what had happened.
What can I say..he takes everything literal, and it is one of the many things that I love about him.

Thanks A for the initiative to organize the linen closet!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You might be wondering who struggled most with A being at school this week!
Was it A?
Was it mom?
Nope....she takes the prize!During lunch on Friday, she asked, "Mom, can't we call A just once and tell him hi!"
Her future husband has A LOT to live up to!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dollars to Disney Update-Week 2

Our weekly savings and extra income for this week=$174.00
-Our family LOVES Six Flags. In fact, last year we went there at least 6 times, and our kiddos were 2 and 4. We all REALLY wanted to go to Six Flags on Saturday, but we decided to go to a state park instead. Total savings=$109.00
-Our favorite baby turned 1 this week! I LOVE to buy fun gifts and wrapping that matches the b-day theme which happened to be Curious George. However, I remembered something that I bought on clearance a while back. It is not Curious George, but he will like it. So, the money saved on baby C's gift=$15
-Extra income from taking family photos this week=$50
It was a busy week, and I am proud of the sacrifices and creativity that we used!
Thanks for all the money saving ideas and advice. It is hard for me to find new ideas that I haven't been using for years. I am already so cheap that finding extra ways is proving to be quite the challenge!
I am starting to think about Christmas.
I am certain that I can squeeze more out of my money around the holidays!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The New Stage

Today was the day. The day we entered a new stage. I dropped my precious baby boy off at kindergarten for the very first time.As I was driving him to school this morning, my mind drifted to a similar drive that Scott and I made 5+ years ago.
A drive that marked a new stage in our lives.
A drive to the hospital resulting in the birth of our perfect, new baby.
I remember having so many questions.
What kind of baby will he be?
What kind of mother will I prove to be?
Today as we embarked on this new stage, I had similar questions.
What kind of man will he become?
What kind of mother will I prove to be?
At this stage, I am pretty confident in the answers to these questions.
Is he perfect?
Am I perfect?
But....we serve a perfect God!
Thank you God for guiding and teaching us during this first stage and all of the stages that follow!
He was so very brave today, and he LOVED kindergarten!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fall Family Photo Sessions

I am setting appointments for family photo shoots on Sunday afternoons/evenings this fall!
I am expecting to be busy!
I am still working to build my experience, portfolio, and confidence. With that said, I offer a really reasonable flat rate that includes an edited copy of the photos on a cd.
You are then free to order from the photo center of your choice (WalMart, Walgreens, etc) .
If you are interested in more information or wish to set up an appointment, send me an e-mail.

Ministering to Our Children's Teachers

Last year at A's preschool, I had the opportunity to participate in a group that recognized and ministered to the teachers. Each month, I was encouraged to recognize A's teachers in a simple, inexpensive, yet creative way. (For example: notes of appreciation, small gifts, snacks, etc) It was such a blessing to me, and I think that it was a great encouragement to his teachers as well. I realized how important it is to acknowledge the men and women who are pouring love, time, and knowledge into our children. This is also a great way to teach our children to become more appreciative and to value the people in their lives. What a great life lesson! We may not agree with our child's teacher, but that doesn't mean we can't be a blessing to him/her. I am going to continue with small expressions of gratitude this year even though there isn't an organized group. I encourage you to think about uplifting and ministering to your child's teacher this school year. As a teacher, trust me when I say that you will never know how much these dedicated men and women value your thanks and encouragement.

This is what I am sending to A's teacher this week. I found this cute idea at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Well, today I entered a new stage in my life. I am officially a working mom. I have been blessed to stay at home full time with my treasures for 6+ years. My miniature photographer took this photo of me before leaving the house this morning.
Isn't it just awful?
Did I forget to put mascara on my right eye?
Well, I never claimed to be a make-up artist.

Let me explain.....

Saturday, we visited a state park, and we had the opportunity to climb on enormous rocks. I would like to tell you that I fell off of one, and pulled a muscle in my back.

Instead, I have to explain to you that while walking down a perfectly straight trail, I tripped and pulled that muscle. I managed to make it through Sunday, but I spent Monday on the couch.

Did I mention that I had to start my first job in 6 years today?

I woke up this morning, and I was still in excruciating pain. I had no idea how I was going to be able to spend over 4 hours sitting in an uncomfortable chair.

As I was driving, the local Christian radio DJ read a verse out of the Bible. He talked about how when we are doing exactly what God wants us to do obstacles come. The details are really sketchy in my mind.

I said this prayer; "God I believe that I am exactly where you want me to be. You are going to have to show up and help me through this day."

When I stopped to put gas in my car, I realized that I was pain-free. God healed me! I was able to sit through that meeting today pain-free.

I believe that Satan tries to distract us when we are on the course that God has for us.

Is Satan trying to distract you today?

I am rejoicing in the fact that God is bigger than all of that liar's distractions!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shout Out Tuesday

There are so many people in my life who make a giant impact on a daily/weekly basis. People who give their all with little to no thought of themselves. They rarely hear thank you and that what they are doing is making a difference. My desire is to give a shout out to such unsung heroes on this blog. To know this man is to love him. His generous heart for children's ministry is a secret to many if not all. He surprises me often with gigantic bags of candy for the children in our ministry. A few weeks ago, he brought me several Oriental Trading catalogs, and told me to make an order...his treat. His thoughtfulness caught me by surprise and really blessed me.

Here is a photo of my guilt-free shopping spree! What a blessing to our kiddos and their appreciative teacher! Thanks "A"! Your generosity is contagious!

Grandma B

A and O helping grandpa in his garden.
Have I ever mentioned the fact that my mother-in-law LOVES butter? Scott and I take the no-butter approach to life, and this topic could quickly call for a family intervention. Yesterday, my A asked for a piece of fresh, sweet corn on the cob. Grandma B squeezed a good 3 tablespoons of butter onto his single piece of corn.Scott was speechless, but he had plenty to say! Andrew on the other hand was in heaven. He liked having a little corn with his butter!

Only at Grandma's!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I spent a portion of my evening taking photos of this adorable little girl and her brother. Isn't she sweet?
Maybe I should say, "full of personality"?

Full of personality and sweet!

Thank you "F" family for letting me capture a few minutes of your beautiful lives!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dollars to Disney Update

Here is how I saved $66.08 this week:

-Coupon for Plaza Tire oil change=9.99

-Decided not to rent a movie=$2.99

-Purchased dry erase markers at Wal-Mart for $3.81. Found brand new set at a garage sale for $1. Savings=2.81

-Grocery coupons=$29

-Free Whopper=$2.99

-Free 11x14 photo at Walgreens=$9.99

-45 4x6 prints from Walgreens for $0.25. Savings=$8.30

$1933.92 in 358 days

Risky Business

I have never actually watched the movie, "Risky Business" with Tom Cruise, but I am familiar with the ever so popular dancing in his underwear scene.
Several days ago, Andrew slid across the kitchen floor playing an air guitar in his underwear, sunglasses, and socks. I immediately thought of Risky Business. This photo doesn't quite do the scene in my kitchen justice, but I can't post a photo of my darling in his underwear......unless it is on his head!
Have a delightful weekend y'all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Tomb

I don't know about you, but I am sometimes overwhelmed at the task of raising Godly children...especially when they are yelling at each other, saying unkind words, or being downright disobedient.
-I want them to be giving, but conservative with their money.
-I want them to be respectful, but stand up for what they believe in.
-I want them to be independent, but completely dependent on God.
-I want them to be compassionate, but I don't want them to get walked all over.
-I want them to be and feel successful, but I don't want them to be prideful.
-I want them to love, but I don't want their hearts broken.

Every now and then, I am encouraged. A just brought me this lego creation. He told me that it is the tomb where Jesus was buried. The lego with the butterflies is the rock that was rolled away. He said, "Jesus is not inside. He is alive!" God, you see how overwhelmed I am at the task of teaching A and O Your ways. Continue to open my eyes so that I might be a light for You. They are yours God, and I will continue to remind myself of that!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Punkins dad can't grow "punkins." He also calls them punkins instead of pumpkins. Last fall, we tossed our rotting jack'o'laterns into our compostor. This spring, Scott sprinkled the compost in a corner of our yard.
Much to our dismay, a pumpkin vine started to grow and grow and grow.
When my dad saw the vine, he said, "You are growing cucumbers not punkins!"
Being the encourager that he is, he responded to the blooms by saying, "You aren't going to get any fruit!"
When small green balls started to form all over the vines, he said, "You are only going to have tiny punkins!"
Well folks....this photo speaks louder than a thousand words.!
We grew A LOT of relatively large pumpkins!
The vines are still covered with green balls and blooms.
My dad is in denial!
Here is a photo of the new pumpkin farmer holding the first of his harvest.

Every good pumpkin farmer needs a good pair of Crocs to wear with socks.
When I took this photo, he said, "I KNEW that you were going to take a photo so that you can make fun of me on your blog!"
What can I say....he knows me well!

Now, we have to figure out what to do with all of these "punkins."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The 1 Thing That My Dad Can't Do

This is a photo of my dad.
He is such a gift from God. Up until about 3 years ago, I thought that my dad could do anything! He is so creative, inventive, and handy.
He made this train toy box for Andrew's 3rd b-day.

He made this beautiful cabinet for me 10 years ago.

And to show off.....he built this extravagant playhouse for A and O.
So you ask, "What can't he do?"
He can't grow pumpkins. He has tried and tried and tried. pumpkins.
You may be asking yourself, "Why is Michelle writing about this?" will just have to wait for tomorrow's post!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Heart Check

I was reading a blog the other day, and the mother shared this idea. I thought that it was awesome. I talked to A and O about their hearts. We discussed who can see our hearts. I then asked them what their hearts might look like when they are obeying God, and what their hearts look like when they are not. I then gave them circumstances, and asked them if their heart would look clean or dirty. I then drew 2 hearts on a piece of paper. They were asked to decorate one to portray a happy, obedient heart and one heart to portray an angry, disobedient heart.

This is O's drawing!

This is A's drawing. Notice that the grass is brown, the sun is dark, the chocolate factory is closed, etc.

This is mine. I did have a little help from O.

Throughout the day, I would say, "Heart check!" They would then describe what they thought their heart looked like to God at that moment.

It was such a great idea that I wanted to pass it on.

Thanks Scrapin' with Jess!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Underwear Band

Yesterday, Andrew came into the kitchen very nonchalantly. I looked at him and asked, "Hey buddy....whatcha doing?" He glanced at me as if to say, "What do you mean?" I took his picture, and he went about his business.

A few minutes later he called, "Hey mom come listen to our band!"
I walk into the living room, and this is what I see.
What can I say, monkey see....monkey do!
I am a little concerned about what "bands" my sweetie is letting them listen to when I am not home!
This, my friends, will one day be used as bribery!

School Supplies

As most of you know, A will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks, and O will start her first year of preschool. I just completed one of the most exhausting tasks, and I remind you that I gave birth to a 9lb 13 oz baby vaginally. I just finished purchasing all of the needed school supplies! I feel accomplished, and I just needed to take a photo! Thanks for humoring me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Black Bean Brownies

On a day trip to Kansas City, a lady that I work with mentioned making black bean brownies for her family. She insisted that they were yummy and full of fiber too. So...yesterday we gave it a whirl. All you need is a brownie mix, a can of black beans, water, and a food processor.
You start by rinsing the black beans.

You then put the rinsed black beans and a can of water into the food processor. I would actually use about 3/4 of a can of water (our brownies were a little runny). You then process the mixture until you can't see the skins.

You add the brownie mix and nothing else. Bake the brownies according to the directions on the box. I actually baked mine for an extra 15 minutes.

This little gal will eat nothing that resembles a vegetable/bean, and she watched me make them. So....she is the true test!
She asked for a second one!
As Scott walked through the door, A said, "Dad those brownies look a lot yummier than I thought they would!"
Yep....he asked for two!
Scott on the other hand suggested that I just leave well enough alone.
The bean brownies were yummy and moist, but they were cake-like.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fred Bird

Last night, I had the unique opportunity to photograph families with Fred Bird. proved to be quite the challenge. He/she (I will never tell!) was by far my hardest subject to date. It was 10 times harder than photographing a 2 year old in need of a nap!

My honey was Fred Bird's host for the evening. I am concerned that he might quit his day job in order to pursue the profession of Fred Bird! I am REALLY afraid! H-E-L-P! Isn't he a cutie?!?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kid's Camp

Scott and I had the opportunity to spend several days this week at kid's camp with our wonderful group of kiddos. I had not been to camp in over 20 years, and I quickly remembered why I loved it so much. had nothing to do with the food or cabins, but growing closer to friends and experiencing God in such a real way! It was so awesome to watch it happen in the lives of these children. God still shows up, and He will continue to do so. What a privilege it was for me to experience the same feelings as an adult!
Now....this is a photo of the "cabins"! I don't think the cabins that I stayed in were so nice! The kids now days really know how to "rough" it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Thrifty Swimming Pool

If you know me well, you know how much I love to save a dollar! A trip to the city swimming pool is $ tub full of water is FREE! I think that I may have crossed the line (from thrifty to cheap) this time!?! I do think that I am going to have to invest in a bigger storage tub for next year...there goes $7!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I love this family which truly reflects God's idea of perfection! What a remarkable story of obedience, love, and acceptance of God's plan. They are an inspiration to me!