Spokane, Washington, HERE WE COME!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already know that my li’l gymnast qualified for Nationals over the weekend!

Nationals gymnastics

WOOHOO! We are so proud of her! She qualified for level 6 in trampoline and level 7 in tumbling. (Is it just me, or does the above pic look like she has a set of flannel arms and a set of leotard arms???)

That means she and I will be flying to Spokane, Washington for 5 days for the USA Gymnastics National competition, also known as the Junior Olympics!

It also means that my husband’s (AKA the money earner’s) excitement is slightly tempered by, “How in the world are we going to afford this unexpected expense?”

His job is going well, and we have some money socked away for emergency room visits and college tuition, but you probably feel the same way we do when an unexpected expense pops up: A little anxious about what this will do to the budget.

That’s one reason I’m super excited to be an author in this soon to be released (on April 23rd) ebook bundle.

FOR YOU: 78 ebooks, 2 eCourses, 2 audio files, and 2 printable packs PLUS over $200 worth of FREE bonus products, memberships, and store credits from Dayspring greeting cards, Dizolve laundry detergent, Hope Ink art prints, Once A Month Meals and many more!

The topics of the ebooks in the bundle include

  • homemaking
  • food
  • motherhood
  • faith
  • parenting
  • finances
  • healthy living
  • homeschooling
  • pregnancy
  • working from home
  • and MORE!

Authors include

FOR ME: Since I am one of the contributing authors in this bundle (my “How To Manage Your Mouth” ebook is included) I will be getting 75% of any sales generated through my links to the bundle.

So, if you are thinking of buying this Library of all Things Home, I would love for you to purchase it through my links! Then I will be able to add to our Spokane flight fund, and you’ll be able to add to your knowledge of a multitude of subjects. It’s a WIN-WIN!

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Moms’ Night Out Movie

Moms' Night Out movie

I was recently invited to an advanced screening of the movie “Moms’ Night Out,” which is being released on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9th.

Moms' Night Out movie

So I roped this lady into going with me.

We went to first grade together in 1972. That’s right. During The Age of the Dinosaurs.

We were college roommates in 1984. We were maids/matrons of honor in each other’s weddings.

She is the one who called me in 1986 while I was out of state on vacation with my husband to tell me to come on back home because my daddy had died suddenly. She was there at the funeral home when I broke down.

She has been at the hospital to be the first to see my babies when they were brand new.

She is the ONLY one who told me recently that I needed to get to a salon stat when I tried to highlight my own hair and it looked like I had fallen headlong, but only with half my head, into a vat of peroxide.

I am so blessed with her friendship, and I wish each one of you had a friend like My Ellen.

Just spending the evening with her at dinner and driving to a movie was treat enough, but once we got to the movie theater, we were in for an even bigger treat: a wonderful (and hilarious) family movie with an important message!

Moms' Night Out Movie

When we got seated, we each looked in our bags full of swag that had been handed out. (By the way, the screening and gifts were complimentary and I’m sure the producers are hoping bloggers will write about the movie. Please, know that I have received complimentary movie passes before, and ended up NOT writing about the movie because I didn’t feel like it was “family friendly” as billed.)

As soon as I looked in my bag of gifts, I was surprised to see some little keychain tags with scriptures and prayers on them. I immediately wondered, “Who made this movie? What is it about again?”

It turns out Patricia Heaton, from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle, and her husband both produced the movie, and it has some wonderful messages about how important the job of Mother is.

It also has many side splitting, Coke spitting, gut busting, laughable moments. As in, Ellen and I were wheezing, we were laughing so hard. If you’ve ever scrubbed crayon off the wall, been called out of a church service because there was a problem with one of the kids, or had to clean up a huge mess from the kids making you breakfast in bed… all on Mother’s Day, you’ll be glad you can relate to this movie with some all out guffaws. We’ve got to laugh, right Moms? Otherwise the only thing left to do is cry!

The best part of this movie came in between the laughs, during the tears. The main character is a mom at her wits end, feeling overwhelmed, like a failure, unhappy with her inability to cope with the often overwhelming demands of motherhood. Haven’t we all been there?!

Her mentor and pastor’s wife, played by Patricia Heaton, tells her life isn’t about being happy. It is about honoring God with what he has given us. She reminds the young mother that God is with us always, even in the craziness and the messes.

Then, later in the movie, a tattooed biker, played by Trace Adkins, cuts to the heart of the most important message of all. He tells the young, overwhelmed mother that she is enough, she is exactly who God made her to be, and Jesus loves her and is waiting for her.

And I didn’t feel like these inspirational messages were delivered in a heavy handed or awkward way, at all. They were brief, inserted in just the right spots, and woven in seamlessly within the action of the movie.

WOW! I was so impressed with this movie! The message, the hilarity, the God-honoring, family friendly tone. Every bit of it!

Moms’ Night Out is the perfect movie to go to with a bunch of girlfriends, and I think that’s what I will plan to do on May 9th! (I’m looking at you, Kelly, Jami, Sarah, Marlita, Rachel, Suzie, Tracy, Michelle, Cintheya, Emily, Victoria, Jenny, Jennifer, Sonya, Heather, Marci, etc. Mark your calendars!)

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New and Improved Exclamations!

New and Improved Exclamations!

My 14 year old daughter is lovable and care-free and quirky and nerdy, and she constantly cracks me up with her observations about life.

For instance, recently she was wondering where the common exclamations that are used today came from.

“Why do people use ‘good grief’ or ‘good night’ or ‘goodness’ as exclamations? Where did those come from?”

She thought she could do much better than those with these Bible-based exclamations. They are simple to use. Just insert them any place you would use one of the above exclamations.

Rachel’s ugly sister!

Rachel’s ugly sister, it’s raining hard!”

Rahab’s red rope!

Rahab’s red rope! Did you see that bear?!”

Gouge my eyes out and call me Samson!

“Well, gouge my eyes out and call me Samson! You made it to church on time for once!”

We’re thinking these will be all the rage once they catch on.

Remember, friends, you heard them here first.

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The Best Laid Plans

Remember when I told you about all the hard work we did fencing our chicken yard?

Teaching children to work hard

We spent the better part of 2 days cutting wires, stretching yards and yards of fencing, and securing it into place.

photo-37

And this is where our chickens are today.

That’s not the chicken yard, in case you are wondering. It’s my front yard. Where they aren’t supposed to be.

I was hoping fencing them in would actually keep them in, but they are flying the coop, literally.

It looks like our next step will be clipping their wings, which I was hoping to avoid, not because I’m tender hearted (it doesn’t hurt the chickens anyway) but simply because I dread having to catch and wrangle 19 chickens.

The children have been begging to bring home some of the new baby chicks we see whenever we go into Tractor Supply, but we will have to see if we can keep these ladies where they belong before we bring any newcomers home.

I’ll keep you updated on our wing clipping adventures and hopefully add pictures here of some new, fluffy peepers.

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Easy, Elegant Dinner with HoneyBaked Ham {GIVEAWAY}

This is a sponsored post.
Easy, Elegant Dinner with HoneyBaked Ham

We all have those occasions when we would like a nice family dinner at home, only without the huge mess a nice family dinner at home creates.

I go all out on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in summer we like to have cookouts with potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans and the works.

And let’s face it, all that prep work and cooking leave the kitchen a MESS. Am I right? If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’!

So, when you would like the nice dinner at home without the hassle or clean up, HoneyBaked Ham has gotcha covered!

HoneyBaked Ham Company

I recently stopped by my local HoneyBaked Ham store in Fort Worth, and browsed the selections.

HoneyBaked Ham sides

There were so many sides and desserts to choose from!

HoneyBaked Ham purchase

I made my selections and checked out. Easy, peasy. Mac and cheesy. Dinner’s ready!

HoneyBaked Ham buffet style dinner

I chose a bone in ham, green beans almandine, green bean casserole (What? We like green beans!), potatoes au gratin, and cinnamon apple slices. Someone was a little excited to get to the goods.

photo 2

This easy, elegant meal was a big hit with the kids. They especially loved the cinnamon apples!

It was a big hit with me because it was SO simple to pull off! AND to clean up! I opted to keep the side dishes in their heat and serve containers, and we ate off paper plates.

This is the perfect solution for a “company” meal when you have other important things to do that day. Whether it is church, an Easter egg hunt, or visiting with family on the front porch rocker that is keeping you out of the kitchen, HoneyBaked Ham comes to the rescue with easy, elegant dinner options.

And here are some HoneyBaked Ham coupons for you to use!

Now, how would you like to win your very own HoneyBaked Ham for an easy, elegant Easter dinner? Enter the giveaway below. 20 PEOPLE WILL WIN A $50 HoneyBaked Ham gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels {RECIPE}

turkey and Swiss Pinwheels Recipe

My friend, Kelly, was describing the perfect finger food to take to a party, shower, or brunch, turkey and swiss pinwheels. She said this was always her moms “go to” party food and they were sure to be crowd pleasers.

They sounded so yummy, I decided to make up a batch to check them out for myself.

Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels Recipe

Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels ingredients

Turkey and swiss pinwheels dough2

Unroll the crescent rolls, and separate them into rectangles. (1 can of crescents will make 4 rectangles.)

Turkey and swiss pinwheels toppings

Spread the spicy brown mustard on the rectangles of dough, and top with thin sliced turkey and Alpine Lace Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese.

Turkey and swiss pinwheels cutting

Roll up each rectangle and cut slices.

Turkey and swiss pinwheels before baking

Lay the slices out. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect. The dough will puff and cover up any imperfections.

Bake at 350 for 12 – 15 minutes.

Turkey and swiss after baking

See? Y-U-M!

turkey and swiss pinwheel gooey

The were little pinwheels of deliciousness! Little bite-sized cheesy bits of heaven!

turkey and swiss pinwheels gobbled

They didn’t last long! Everyone loved these Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels!

What’s your favorite way to eat swiss cheese? Check the Alpine Lace site for some cheesy inspiration.

Thank you to Alpine Lace for sponsoring this post and helping me find a new easy cheesy recipe!

Alpine Lace Swiss

 

Here are my daily nutrition needs. What are yours? Go to the Alpine Lace website and make your own personalized nutrition label! After you do, share it on my Smockity Facebook page, and while you’re on Facebook, be sure to “like” the Alpine Lace Deli Cheese page and check it for recipes and snack ideas.

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