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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Create an Organized Back To School Spot

In our house chaos and unorganization means only one thing trouble!!! If this is you as well tehn you may want to start gettting organized for school by preparing a place for everthing and everthing a place. We create our spot by the front door as the kids come in or go out they can easily take or put up what they use at schoo. There is a shoe rack for shoes, a bin for notes that come home as well as one for signed papers that go back to school. We have a shoe rack where shoes can be placed. To me there is nothing worse than being in a rush and having to look for shoes. Each Child has a shelf for their school work, books, etc.... This works out very nicely for us and makes mornings at our house less hectic.

If you have tips for busy school mornings I would love to hear them.

Are You Prepared for Back To School?

Wow!!! The summer has zipped by and now in a few weeks our children will find their selves back behind the desks in school. The time went very quickly and with all the summer business have you started preparing for back to school? There is so much to do not always enough time to do it in so being organized here is what is needed.

  • School Physicals are mandated in many areas when your child enters school and periodically there after. Athletes are often required to get a physical in order to play in sports at school as well. Make an appointment now instead of waiting to the last minute will save you some time and patience.
  • If possible pick up the papers required for you to fill out for school registration early This will save you time, patience, and help speed up the registration process. Make sure those you are listing for emergency contacts are aware of the fact. Parents of first time college students like me need to be sure that all paper work is filled out entirely and turned in. Sometimes this requires a bit of nudging your (adult ) child to get busy as well.
  • Shopping days are always fun but can require a bit of money. Being frugal is not always easy here but can be done. They always want to wear the latest styles but before you go out and purchase a whole new wardrobe look through their clothes and see what they need and what can be used Dressing up outfits that they all ready have will help you stay in the budget.
  • One of the best things to do to get your children ready for back to school is to get them in a routine of bedtime That way when the day comes the first day of school will run smoother hopefully.

Win Byrons BBQ

One thing that will please my entire family is a good BBQ sandwich. So when given the chance to enter a giveaway to when some you bet I entered and you can to. Simply visit the blog Leslie Loves Veggies and enter this giveaway. Be aware it ends August 18, 2010.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Finer Things Friday

This week I loved working at VBS and had a great time meeting children that I knew, some that I did not know and loving on all of them. One of the best parts this year was the fact that I got to work with some wonderful people. This year I had the chance to work with two of my oldest kids that are still living at home. they were great help and all went very well. Picture taken by one of my best friends.

Caramel Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups butter, softened and divided
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnish: Pecan Praline

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans; line with lightly greased parchment or wax paper. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Place 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, and 1 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and 1 cup milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating at low speed after each addition. Pour into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire rack. Place 1 layer on a cake plate.
Combine 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, evaporated milk, and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook (without stirring) until a candy thermometer registers 238°. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl, and beat 3 minutes or until thickened and easy to spread. Quickly spread filling over cake layer on plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 15 minutes or until set. Spread a thin layer of Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting over filling. Top with second layer. Frost cake. Chill 20 minutes or until frosting sets, then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Source: My Recipes

Aloha Friday:

Aloha Friday is a meme hosted by the blog An Island Life and is hosted by Kailani. Kailani shared with us that in Hawaii Fridays are reserved for day of rest to prepare for the busy weekend. In this meme bloggers ask each other easy questions that require easy answers.
I have been working with my family the entire week at bible school. My question for you today is:
Is there an activity that you do as a family to give back? What is it?

Friday5 : Oceans

When were you last in ocean waters?

Last year during vacation in Florida

When did you last fly over ocean waters?

never I have never been in an airplane

What ocean sports activity seems like the most fun?

surfing and beach volleyball is all I can think of

What are your thoughts or feelings about public aquariums?

no real opinion here

What are your thoughts or feelings about sushi?

I would never eat raw fish

Play along here

Frugal Fridays

The fair is in town this week and I would to share with you a few ideas that we do or have done as a family to keep the $$ at a minimum.
  • While my kids are older now they do not care to much for the rides. But when they did we would always go on armband night. Armband night is where they get to go and ride all the rides they want for one price, the price of the armband. This was always a great deal.
  • Food is normally higher at the fair. If you look around though you may be lucky to find a place offering free snacks or taste tests. Bring along a jug of drink if possible as the drinks at the fair (at least at ours) is 3x the price anywhere else. If you do decide to eat at the fair set a budget and look around at the booths you may find the same sort of dish for a better price.
  • Entertainment at our fair is found in a couple of different places. The grandstand is always a great place but the truth is it cost money to get in there. On the other end of the fair is free entertainment often a band and great music. Look around there are normally great deals to be found at the fair.

Do you have any ideas? Would love to hear them.

Bullies Go Back To School Too

When the school doors open in just a few weeks children will go back to school. Along with the students are those that have been bullied, will be bullied and the bullies their selves. The truth is you can not always be with your child to protect them. If you prepare your child now to protect their selves and fight back against bullies their school years may be filled with joy. I am a mother of six children and have seen a few of my children bullied and come home crying at night. One of my daughters is overweight and had a dramatic experience with bullies many boys who would call her names such as bowling ball, twinkie, and the list goes on. The teasing was relentless. It was not a fun experience for her she would cry, refuse to go to school, and the days of school were awful for her from about the third grade to the eighth grade. One day she had enough and fought back by throwing a glass of milk on one of them. After that they left her alone, she became friends with some of them and tried to always help those who were bullied. What can you do to help prevent this from happening to your child?
  • Be a parent that is aware of what is going on with your child. Children with active parents in their lives often gain more self esteem. The more self esteem a child has the better they can stand up for their selves and the less power the bully has over them
  • While my daughter did fight back after years of torment this is not something that always works. The truth is the more the bully sees your child suffering and getting mad the more they feel energized to keep the torment going. Your child's pain is their goal.
  • Teach your child that many children bully because they do not like something about their selves so by being mean to another they take the spotlight off their selves. Also many children that are bullies have been bullied their selves While this may not help at the time the goal of this is for the future and learning human behaviors
  • If possible visit school, volunteer, have friends over and watch to see how your child gets along with others. Allowing your child to be part of activities allows you to see if their social skills are up to their friends. It also allows your child to build social skills

With these points in mind I wish you and your child a happy new school year that is bully free.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Its Peach Season in Southern Illinois. The delicious fruit will be make into cobblers like I ate last night, eat fruit right out of the ice box is delicious, and the list for peach desserts goes on and and on. This delicious recipe from Cooking Light 2001 is a one of a kind Delicious and pleasing.
Peach Upside Down Cake

3 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cooking spray
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 1/4 cups vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
6 tablespoons fat-free caramel sundae syrup, warmed

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Spoon into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Place 2/3 cup sugar and next 4 ingredients (2/3 cup sugar through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
Spoon batter over peach mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake, and invert onto plate. Serve warm with frozen yogurt and the caramel syrup.

7 Quick Takes Friday

  1. This week me and the teens are all volunteering for bible school. While VBS is never easy it is always a great experience in the end. I am teaching a craft where we are making mexican mats and keychains. Hope to have pictures up soon
  2. money loss is money found at our house right now. WE just lost a source of income that will set us back a ways but thank goodness we always have a prepared budget with cracks that allows us to adjust if needed. While things will be rough it can be done
  3. Did anyone catch Oprah when she had individuals on that called theirselves freegans? This was a very informative show. I was suprised that our ladies group so many were talking about it
  4. My youngest daughter attended her college orientation. She is so excited and will start school in less that 2 weeks. SO proud of her she has struggled but keeps going.
  5. There is a big six flag trip coming up for the youth at our church my children will be attending I am debating on going or not. The cost is nominal but the heat and my feet are what I worry about.
  6. Tommorow is the first big shopping trip for the month of August. There are several new things on the list which states that it is back to school time.
  7. I recently was paid $30 from sponsored tweets. It really does pay off. YEAH!!!!>

CSN Giveaway

I love the CSN stores they have nearly everything one could be looking for. I also love the convenience of being able to shop with them from home. I have been sharing several giveaways I have found on many blogs and once again I have found another. The blog Lily Bean Designs is hosting giveaway for $60 gc

Dangers of ATVs even when your the flagman

This young man leaves just a short distance from me I know his mother well. I can imagine her in the stands scared for her son who after being flipped by an out of controll ATV came out with just a few bangs and bruises.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teleflora Giveaway

Often when I think about giving flowers to someone I think of a lady receiving them. The
'48 Ford Pickup Bouquet changed my mind. I know several men that would love to recieve a bouquet of flowers like this. Among that list is my daddy. He loved old trucks and the such and often had an old pickup parked in the driveway. The blog Minnesota Mama is hosting a giveaway where the winner recieves this very bouquet. Want a chance to win? Head over there and sign up before August 12. Another chance to win this bouquet of flowers can be found at the blog A Piece Of Me the giveaway there ends August 2, 2010

Individual Fruit Pizzas

These were delicious and they are so easy to make. I had them for the first time just tonight at a womans get together at church. it was really nice. Easy to make with a sugar cookie bottom, cream cheese/whip cream frosting and kiwi, strawberry, blue berry for toppings.

Popchips Giveaway

Popchips were created by people just like us. People who love to snack between meals anytime of the day. The most important thing to remember when snacking is that the snack must taste good. If it doesn't taste good then it is not a snack. There are a few other qualifications of a great snack that the makers of PopChips kept in mind. First they wanted to be sure that the snack was good for the snacker So they wanted to make the snack a natural snack. Along the search for the perfect snack and making sure that the snack still tasted great the makers learned that popping was the perfect method of preparing the delicious nutritious snack.

PopChips wants to give one of Annies Home readers the opportunity to the snack of PopChips on them. One lucky winner will recieve a prize pack that includes all the delicious flavors of chips.

To enter this giveaway visit the PopChip snack credo, read through the credo and create a snack rule of your own. Share your credo rule in the comment section.

Extra Entries:

  • I love to pair chips and dips let me know what flavor taste great to you and share with me a dip recipe that you think would fit perfectly (3 entries))
  • follow my blog via email or reader (2 entries each)
  • subscribe to my blog (2 entries)
  • grab my button and place on your wall (3 entries)
  • follow popchips on twitter (2 entries)
  • like PopChips on facebook leave message share your favorite flavor on their wall. (2 entries
  • follow my blog on twitter (2 entries)
  • tweet about the giveaway (1 entry per tweet unlimited must be at least 1 hour between tweets) leave link in comment
  • blog about this giveaway link back to this post (5 entries)

Giveaway starts now and ends August 12, 2010. Good Luck Email must be in comment for entries to count.

we recieved a sample bag of popchips for purposes of this review. Thanks PopChips. The words and opinions are those of mine alone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blue Angels

Pictures shared with me from an old highschool friend named Scott

WInning Wednesday

Winners this week on my blog are:

Riley Roos Shoes winner is

kenziesmum said...
jennifer m. likes rileyroos on facebook

Cooperstown Cookies Co. winner is...

Kristen said...
I know someone who would love the San Francisco Giants Sweet Spot Gift Tower

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Online Bandanas Review and Giveaway
Bandanas can be wore for play or work. Adults, kids and pets alike all wear bandanas. Bandanas can come in different colors, patterns, be patriotic or full of fun. Whatever bandana you are looking for you will love the great assortment of bandanas available at Online Let me show you a few of the wonderful bandanas available.

Only at Online will you find such a large variety of bandanas. The variety of uses include holding hair back in poney tails, keeping your head cool, tying around your dogs neck and using for table decor. We recieved a few of the wonderful bandanas and one of Annies Home readers a $15 e-card to shop their online store
Buy: you can purchase any of the great bandanas at
WIn: win a $15 e-card from online
Enter this giveaway by going to and letting me know three bandanas that you like
Extra Entries:
  • follow my blog (2 entries)
  • grab my button and place it on your blog (3 entries) leave link in comment
  • add me to your blog roll (3 entries)
  • follow my blog on twitter (2 entries)
  • tweet this giveaway (1 entry per tweet unlimited tweets but must have 1 hour apart)
  • share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, or another giveaway site (5 entries each) link or tell me what you do in comment
  • Giveaway starts now and ends August 11, 2010. Good Luck Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

Wordless Wednesday : Chubby Cheeks

Love these little chubby cheeks
shared on Go Graham Go

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Beat The Heat and Eat Good

We have made it through the first months of summer but we still have some heat coming up in the next month or so. Here are a few ideas of how you can eat good and stay cool preparing it.

Summer Salads
This is one of my favorite times of the year because fresh produce is located every where. If you don't grow your own then check out the local farmer market. Fresh fruit and vegetable platters can be sided with cottage cheese, pasta salads, yogurt, tuna salad, or egg salad for a delicious light meal. The nutrients in this type of light meal is great as well.

Grill out:

Some individuals grill out the whole year through. For me and my family the best time for grilling is during the heat of the summer. It is too hot to cook inside so grill outside where the heat can stay. The delicious food will make for a great meal.

Avoid Boiling:

If you have to do it early in the morning or late at night. I understand there are those dishes that we consider picnic fare that require boiling If you do this in the early morning or late evening you can store the dish in the fridge and reheat at a later point. Boiling has a negative point at contributing to the heat of the kitchen as well as to the humidity. One thing to do may be to use a pressure cooker that will cut down the time of boiling dramatically.

Be smart when cooking use the crockpot or cook once and eat twice. You may even consider a marathon of cooking for the entire week. Don't forget about the no cook meals or the microwave meals as well. Cutting down heat in the kitchen can be done if you use your common sense and smarts in the kitchen.

Random Thought Tuesday


Don't you just hate it when you oversleep? That is exactly what I did this morning. The alarm went off and I hit the snooze button I thought to give myself 15 minutes more sleep. I am not sure what I did because an hour after I hit the snooze button I woke up. That meant that me and the teens all had to hurry up and get ready to go to bible school. We did just fine I just hate to be in a rush.

We are in our second day of bible school All is going pretty well and we are all having lots of fun. There is a lot of work that goes into bible school before, during and after but it is all worth it to be able to tell the story of Jesus to children who may not other wise be able to hear it. I have been a craft leader for the past 4 years. This year we are weaving mats and making keychains in our craft room this year. Each grade has to be adapted to. We will do the same crafts each day this week with a different grade. I often feel sorry for the first group that goes through as they are like the guinea pigs and after that we try to get it all figured out.

Meals this week at our house are quick and easy. Using crockpot and getting all ready to eat the night before makes it all a lot easier. The washing, housekeeping and cooking is all still here when we get home from bible school. But we love it and we can talk about the days on goings for hours. That is why we do what we do.

Follow Me Back Tuesday

Want a great way to visit more blogs, find new friends and get more followers? Then join in Follow Me Back Tuesday at Survey Junkie If you follow me I will follow you back.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bryers Smooth & Dreamy ice cream giveaway

Want a delicious ice cream snack and still keep your figure? Then you need to try Bryers Smooth & Delicious bars and sandwiches. The taste is wonderful you will be surprised that they have such few calories. The Smooth & Delicious bars delighted our taste buds and we did not feel as if we were be cheated by eating a lower calorie ice cream snack. The Breyers Smooth & Delicious snacks come in 6 different varieties including Chocolate Caramel Brownie, Vanilla Caramel Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Vanilla Fudge Brownie, and Triple Chocolate Chip. With so many great flavors every member of the family should be able to find just the right one. Moms like myself can rest assure as well because the Bryers snacks have no artificial flavors or colors, 160 calories or less and 4-6g of fat per serving.
Want to try some for your self? Currently you can get a $1 off a package of your choice of Bryers bars & sandwiches at this link Thanks to Mom Central I also have a coupon for a free box of your choice of Bryers Smooth & Delicious bars or sandwiches.
To enter this giveaway you must tell me what your choice of flavor would be.
Extra entries:
  • follow my blog
  • subscribe to my blog
  • grab my button and let me know where you place it
  • place my blog on your blog roll

Giveaway starts now and will run through August 8, 2010. Good Luck Email must be on blog profile or in comment or entries will not count

We received complimentary Breyers Ice Cream for review and a gift card from MOM Central and Breyers Ice Cream

Do You Plan Your Meals

Do you know what you are eating tonight, tommorow, the next week? Well I for one hate to wake up in the morning get to lunch and not know what supper will be. As the mother of a large family it is my responsibility to get supper on the table and know what the plan is for the next night as well as the rest of the week and if it is a good time period even the month. So why do I like to know what we have planned?

  • I shop either one time a week or once every 2 weeks. Knowing what the meal plan is allows me to puchase what is neccessary.

  • Meal Planning relieves a lot of stress because I know what the meals will be and I also know that the ingredients needed are in the kitchen

  • You will know how much time the planned meal will take to fix allowing you to have more say on how your time is spent.

  • It allows me to plan meals on the nights that I will not be home and my kids can fix the meals that they know how to make.

Now you know why I create a meal plan and the benifits a meal plan can give you Here is my meal plan for this week.

  • roast and potatoes, roll, pudding

  • fish, mac n cheese, ice cream

  • chicken wings, salad, dressing, pudding

  • meatball sub, coleslaw, ice cream

  • cowboy beans, cornbread, coleslaw, jello

  • hash, bread/butter, peas, fruit

  • barbq, beans, cornbread, cobbler

What will you be having?

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
it is rather nice today not as hot as the past few days

Things that make me happy:
children they are contagious

Book I'm reading:
One in a Million

What I'm enjoying on TV:
no cable so watching lots of great movies

On the menu for dinner:
was a quick one hot dogs and chips first day of bible school

On my To Do List:

cleaning house

bible school all week

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
I have been posting lots on my blog go there to check them out

In the craft basket:
keychains for bible school

Looking forward to this week:
bible school all week

Tips and Tricks:
when dealing with children allow them a few chances at decision making but too many overwhelm them

My favorite blog post this week:
been lots of blog reading this week been leaving comments as I travel

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
there have been some and have loved them all

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):
I have been sharing pictures on my blog and have enjoyed seeing others

Pickled Green Beans

Lesson learned the past few days:
take life as it is any harder and it would be unbearable any easier it would be a bore

On my mind:
Bible school all week and end of month things to do

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:

one of the sweetest verses was read in sunday school this past week John 3: 16

Sparkling Summer Fun @ I heart Faces - theme purple

See more great purple pictures here

Play Room

My friend who lives in the city wanted to make her daughter a place to play but did not know how to do that in the house she lived in. So she created her one in the basement. I think it is rather cute what do you think?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer, every kids dream. Did you have one? I did when I was a kid and my daughter had purchased my granddaughter one as well. Radio Flyer is not limited to one product but actually has many within the company. To celebrate yesterdays memories, the joys of today and the excitement of tomorrow Radio Flyer has set up the worlds larges mosaic to let you share your photo of you or the ones you love enjoying their radio flyer. Visit this link to join in on the fun and add your own photos
Thanks to MomSelect for initially sharing this information.

Oxy Clinical Acne Solutions Pack Review and Giveaway

It seems that the children in this house took after their dad with the skin and acne problems. I sneaked by with minor problems but hubby had acne as a teenager and into his early twenties. My sons have taken after him and to an extent so has my daughters. It is my teenage son that was able to benefit by being able to try the Oxy Clinical Acne Solution Pack for this review. He started out slow not wanting to or not being sure how to use the product. It does seem at first to be a bit odd to use three products at one time. The thing is that the three products work together to form the Oxy Clinical Acne Solution. After the first day the routine of using the pack became an every day occurance. He was proud after the week to see some results that he was not for sure would happen

Living with acne is not an enjoyable experience. For many teenagers the ridicule and the pain can be more than one can handle. My son has been pretty lucky to not be called the names I heard my sister with acne in highschool. The teasing by classmates can be unruley and help to tear down the self esteem of a teen who other wise was proud of herself. Oxy Clinical Acne Solution can help your teen to not have to face the torture and pain of acne in school.

Benefits of Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment : ** from the Oxy website
  • Data show OXY® Clinical Clearing Treatment kills acne bacteria as fast as a leading topical prescription acne medication*
  • OXY® Clinical Clearing Treatment is proven to eliminate 99% of acne bacteria in just 8 hours
  • OXY® Clinical Advanced Face Wash means 25 times more medication remains on the skin to fight acne longer
  • OXY® Clinical Hydrating Therapy is a 3-in-1 formula that hydrates, exfoliates and controls oil
    Buy: you can purchase the Oxy Clinical Acne Solution at stores such as walmart and target Visit the Oxy website where you can request a coupon as well

    Win: we were sent 2 Oxy Clinical Acne Solution kits, one for review and one to giveaway to one of my Annies Home readers.

    To enter this contest follow my blog Thats it one way to enter follow my blog

    Giveaway ends August 1, 2010

    “I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxy Clinical and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Win a George Foreman Evolve

Grilling out is not something my hubby does a lot of. My son in law, brother, mother, and even I grill out more than my hubby does. He does have one secret weapon though. He loves his George Foreman Grill and uses it quite often. When the kids are invited over for a cook out they ask which one is it the foreman or the regular grill. Well now Leslie Loves Veggies has introduced me to another George Foreman product that I so want to win. The Evolve allows you to do so much more than what you could do before. This would be a great tool to have in the kitchen. This giveaway ends August 14, 2010