Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pumpkin Crunch

This is my favorite seasonal dessert. Thought I'd share the goodness ;)

1 can 15.5 oz solid pack pumpkin
1 can 12 oz. evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour 13 x 9 inch pan.
Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in large bowl. Stir until blended. 
Pour pumpkin mixture into prepped pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture & drizzle with butter.
Bake 25 minutes; remove from oven & sprinkle with pecans. Tightly cover with aluminum foil & bake for an additional 25 minutes. 
Cool & Serve.

Monday, September 19, 2016

My People

It's safe to say that when you are homeschooling, scrutiny is something you just learn to deal with.  As for me, those who come at me with questions like, "When will your kids go to REAL school?," usually get many laughs and an extra dose of sarcasm.  The money my husband & I have spent over the past 4 years of homeschooling would astonish these folks. Yet, it's not even something we consider as an "expense", it's a necessity.  Our children are exceeding all expectations I had when we first began this journey.

Today, I got to spend some quality time with many of my friends at co-op. For those of you who don't know what a co-op is, it's a homeschooling group where we teach classes and fellowship. We joined co-op last year after being invited by my cousin. At first, I was very hesitant. I mean, who wants to add more to a full plate?? Josh insisted it would do us ALL some good, so I jumped on board. The first few weeks resulted in plenty of tears from a clingy Kyleigh. Kade was on board with bells on. Last year, I saw just how much I needed support from other "crazy, brave ladies," like myself. My kids made a ton of new friends, but what it did for me was above and beyond what I expected. I got to just sit and talk and pray with ladies whose struggles were similar to mine. And we just got to enjoy adult talk for a change of pace. 

After one day, I am completely exhausted, but I feel like life is just completed again for the kids & I. We missed everyone over the summer. And we are surrounded by people who just understand our lifestyle and don't question any reasons. I also started teaching a class this year, rather than just helping. I'm very artsy fartsy, so naturally, I picked Art. My class is filled with awesome kids who are excited and love to draw their favorite things and people. 

To each of you at co-op, I've missed you terribly & look forward to our year together!!

Friday, September 16, 2016


Okay y'all, so I recently got my most recent Influenster box.

My kids are PB-aholics. Spoonfuls, on Nilla Wafers, on Ritz Crackers, sandwiches, you name it.

So when I opened my email and found out I'd be a lucky Influenster to try this, I was stoked!

Who doesn't like FREE Peanut Butter???

So, Simply Ground has tiny bits of Peanuts in the PB. My hubby and I made fluffernutter sandwiches. LOVE is the only word that comes to mind. I'm telling you, once you try Simply Ground you may not go back. Take this as your warning.

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Petition to Benefit Homeschoolers

I started a petition today to help end discrimination against homeschoolers. I've shared a link, please read, sign & share folks. Thanks in advanced!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Replacements

I'm having a particularly sentimental day today. I'm realizing more and more of how this season of life, motherhood, is constantly changing. If you feel it's going slow, take thirty minutes and flip through the thousands of pictures and videos you have of your babies. It's a blur. The pregnancy pictures, birth pictures, birthday and school pictures, lost teeth, etc. 

It's a hard pill to swallow. Knowing that those sleepless nights that seem to drag out and the days packed with tantrums end as quickly as they started. And then we are left with the documentation to keep, but babies just don't keep. Right now I'm sitting on the field at my son's soccer camp writing this. And it seems like just yesterday (last year) we were here. He's become a phenomenal player since last year. I watched videos today of my daughter at 18 months old posing for pictures and videos unprompted, saying about 80% of her ABCs in correct order. Today, I realized how quickly that beautiful, chubby girl grew into such a gorgeous, caring young lady. 

But think of the changes you go through as well.

As I've grown into a mother, here are just a few of the replacements in my life:

As a teenager, I wanted a nice, new car decked out with tinted windows and an aftermarket CD player with subwoofers. Today, I drive an SUV with factory tint, factory speakers & a playlist on my iPhone full of Frozen & Fall Out Boy (picked by Thing 1 & Thing 2.)

I traded days spent watching TV, wondering when Prince Charming would come along for playing pranks on my husband and late nights spent watching UFC when I know only a few of those on the cards. Because this makes him happy. Being with me and watching his favorite things. I've also got him hooked to Glee, Desperate Housewives, Sons of Anarchy & American Horror Story over the years. 

I traded full nights of sleep and sleeping in for sleepless nights cuddling scared, bored and sick children. 

I traded name brand bags for diaper bags and then to a huge Thirty-One bag big enough for couponing supplies & everyone's Apple devices. 

I once had a huge circle of friends and realized through my children which ones were truly friends in the first place 😍 For this change, I am especially grateful. I am able to focus my time and energy on those who truly care for and love my family. I've made friends homeschooling, I've made a whole new family at church, and brought those friends who stuck around that much closer. God has truly blessed me. 

I traded in my experience of being a substitute teacher/staff assistant/aftercare worker for full time mommy. I was working with kids who I knew were being mistreated at home and spending my days encouraging and praying for them. I now spend my days cheering my kids on, snuggling with them every chance they will let me & spending rainy days piled up on a couch watching TV just because. I have always loved children. I teach at church as well. But I've never felt as blessed as I have being at home with Kade & Kyleigh. God truly knew my calling was to be at home with my kids. I resisted for a while, but after 6 years at home full-time, I have no regrets. My family is thriving and well taken care of. 

I gladly traded in my plans to be a working mother who would have her child in daycare or school from day one for a job as teacher. Homeschooling is a passion of mine that is NOT supported by many, but those most important in my family's lives do support us. 

I traded a full closet with endless combinations for blue jeans and t-shirts. Let's be honest, the kids spot those fancy clothes from a mile away and seek to destroy them.

But most importantly, I traded my selfish and immature ways to put my children first. Their needs are always met. They also have about 97% of their wants as well. They never have to question if mommy will make time for them. My dedication to them and to my husband makes my family unit stronger and more fluid. 

I won't say it's easy. There are days I need a breather. Many of them. But there's not a single day I can say that life would be easier without my family. It would be absolutely impossible to live a single day without my husband and kids. They are my reasons for breathing. 

As I continue to replace things, I know that one thing will forever change. How much I love my family, how much I pray over my children & those who come into contact with them & most of all: how thankful I am that God put Josh, Kade & Kyleigh in my life. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tide at CVS this week

This week CVS has Tide for $2.94 a bottle. I got 8 bottles, used $1, $2, and $3 coupons along with $3 in ECB (downloading the App!!!). I got my haul for $8.05 😉

Herbal Essences & Aussie deal this week. Run!!!

This week's paper had a $3/2 for Aussie and a $3/2 Herbal Essences. This week my Rite Aid had particular items for $5/2. I stacked 9 of each with a $4/$20 purchase and a 10% shopping pass for a savings of $91.40 and a total of $44.43 for 36 hair items and a bottle of Lavender oil.