Daily Life Captured: May 2013

Welcome to my once a month 10 picture sneak peak into my families daily life captured with my iPod because I don’t own a smartphone.

bike ride with a1. I started off the month with a almost 30 mile bike ride with my 12 year old son. We took it slow and made a stop for lunch along the way. At mile 26.2 I shouted out to him “you just completed a marathon” he was shocked at how long a marathon was and that his own mom actually could run that far (don’t tell him but I do start walking more than running right around mile 20).

outside office2. Although May has seemed more rainy than usual there has still been nice days tucked in between the rainy ones. I have taken full advantage of them by setting up my portable office outside whenever it has been nice.


3. Our original home finally sold and with it my husband lost his workshop. Our solution was to get a pre-made 12 by 20 shed delivered to our home. My husband was torn by this decision for a while as he really wanted the challenge of building his own but we simply did not have the money to build it before our previous home sold and once it sold we didn’t have the time to build it. He seems happy with it now although he still needs to do a major clutter busting challenge in there and organize what is left.

big lots score4. I love it when I score big at Big Lots. Odwalla bars are my favorite containing ingredients that I know how to pronounce and use in my own cooking. The granola pictured that is my favorite who wouldn’t love a bowl of chocolate for breakfast!

cookie beaters5. All month long I have been busy redoing pictures for recipes on the blog that are actually in focus and make the food look yummy. My photo skills have come a long way in a little over a year of blogging and the aid of my new camera. Redoing pictures meant baking a lot of cookies this month. Cookie baking leads to dough covered beaters. Dough covered beaters lead to well….yummy beater licking.

knitting evidence6. You know there might be a knitter in the car when…..

battleship7. Battleship has got to be one of my favorite board games to play with my children. Every time I play I try out a different pattern for my ships.

school calander

8. We got our 180 days of school in just before the Memorial day long weekend. Now we are enjoying family summer fun.

first yardsale score9. You are looking at our first yard sale find of the season. I love shopping yard sales.  These will be great for our family camping trips.

mcalister reading

10. What could be better than some me time coupled with a nice afternoon McAlister tea and a good book? My 30th book I have read this year! So amazed that I have read that many books in one year. I am now aiming for 75 total by the end of 2013.

What have you been up to lately?

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Daily Life Captured: April 2013

Welcome to daily life captured a monthly 10 picture peak into our lives, through the lens of my i-touch (because I don’t have a smart phone).



1. Dirt Cake: We had friends over last Sunday and I felt spring in the air, and decided it was warm enough again to serve dirt cake. I have no idea why I associate dirt cake with warmer temperatures, but I do.


2. Black Garbage Bag Warm Up Coat: If you are not a runner this might seem an odd fashion item, but large black garbage bags make the best jackets at the beginning of a cold spring morning race. I throw them over my outfit, and then at the last second I shed it. It keeps the body heat in until you start running.

cupcake3. Cupcake: I have brought 2 of my 3 children to a cupcake shop called The Flying Cupcake in Indy now. Both of them loved it. Courtney was busy stashing away ideas as to how to decorate our own wacky cupcakes better.


4. Ipad Schooling: We bought a refurbished Ipad for the children and I to use. I have found several great apps for schooling that the children do as part of their school day. What I love most about it is that most apps don’t require internet connection so they can be played anywhere including in the car on the way to a friends house.

coffee-beans5. Yum: If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably already know that I love coffee. I also love Aldi and now I can combine both my loves and enjoy dark chocolate covered coffee beans from Aldi.


6. Matching: I am always on the look out for more ways to streamline my life to buy back precious minutes from things that frustrate me to spend on my passions. Lately socks and gloves have been those “frustrating things”. I decide to streamline by making everyone wear the same style. You are looking at 5 pairs of matching gloves for the 5 people in our home, all bought on clearance. Hoping this ends the “I want to wear the…” arguments.

flip-flops7. Spring? It has been a cold and wet spring here in the mid west. My husband however decided to be a rebel and break out the flip flops one 40 degree morning. He just could not wait a minute longer.

new-nikes8. My New Nikes: I love Nike free run shoes for fitness classes, so when I saw this pair marked down to almost 50% off I had to grab them to replace my worn out pair.

swing-chair9. Swing Chair Season: In between rain and cold we have had a few nice warm days and I took full advantage of them by having my son help me drag the swing chair out of its’ winter home and onto the front porch.

run shadow

10. Me and some running buddies:  Saw someone on instagram take a photo like this one and just had to have my own.


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Daily Life Captured: A Birthday and Squid eating

Welcome to Daily Life Captured a once a month  10 picture peak into the events of our lives through the camera on my i-touch; because my smart phone is a two piece.


After 20 years of limping along first with a very old machine that died and then with a new machine that was a lemon, I finally bought a new working sewing machine. This is my first project based on this pin found on my Baby Gift Ideas board on Pinterest.


This is what it looked like out my bedroom window the last week of March while I was viewing everyone’s sandy beaches of Florida spring break pictures on Instagram.

stir-fryMy husband and I enjoyed a relaxing trip to a neighboring city just the two of us to eat at one of our favorite restaurants.  It is a stir fry place where you write your name on a stick and then fill up a bowl with all the things you want in your stir fry and they cook them up for you.  We kept the meal inexpensive by using a birthday coupon .

c-leproconMy daughter is styling in my clearance finds from after St Patrick’s day sales. I picked up all I need to be a Leprechaun this Halloween for $6 including hat with ears, necklace, wig, sunglasses, green tutu and neon green socks.

how to have a heart for your kids

How To Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids is one of several books I finished this month. I really loved the message within the pages of the book and would recommend it to all mother’s as an inspiring read.

thomas-squidMy children are extremely  picky eaters. So when I made them each a bet that they would not eat a baby squid at the buffet place I thought I was super safe. That is the last time I bet on anything with them. Holding to my promise on this adventure was tough on my wallet.

aiden-squidOnce his brother took the plunge Aiden figured he could brave it. You should have seen the looks on mine and my hubby’s faces, pure shock. This is the kid that won’t eat plain chicken and potatoes.


The most creative birthday gift I received this year was from my redhead runner. The paper scroll inside the ice-cream cone is a gift certificate for my favorite local ice-cream parlor.


My hubby has a job that sometimes means he is home for dinner sometimes and sometimes not. Since we never know when he will come home we always set a place for him. At first we use to jokingly talk to him about the meal even when he was not there, then we taped a hand drawn picture of him to his chair. Finally my daughter brought out the i-pad and opened the camera app. to a rather unpleasant picture of her dad, that we talked to while eating.


My dad always sends me money in the mail for my birthday and he expects me to spend it and tell him what I bought with it. I might have problems explaining a Jawbone Jambox to my non-techy dad but I sure do love it. Amazing sound, simple to use, portable, and incredible battery life. It can be used wireless with bluetooth enabled devices like i-touch too.

 What did you get up to this month?

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Daily Life Captured: February 2013

Welcome to Daily Life Captured a ten picture peek into what our family has been up to this month.

ice skating

My man rocks on ice-skates. Oh and that figure holding onto the wall that is my daughter, she let go shortly after this pic. and got her ice legs.

We spent one week of February on a Staycation.  We spent $550 on 6 days of activities and a meal out daily for our family of five. It was the most relaxing vacation we have ever taken.


My son celebrated 17 years of life. He spent some of his birthday money on a Big Joe Lumin Lounger I love these chairs, they have a zipper so you can add more beans and are made with an easy to wipe fabric, plus they are super comfy. My middle son decided to get one too.


Once we got back to school my daughter and I realized we only have 2 more weeks left of Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 before we can move on to Zoology 2. As much as we love these science books, we are anxiously awaiting being done with bugs and insects and all things creepy.


That is my son running his first 6 mile run. I love that boy. Oh and that is my view as we run together..well…sort of as you can tell he runs ahead of me.

sandiskLater that same week the weather turned cold again and I was forced to run on the dread tread. To make matters worse I forgot my beloved Sandisk Sansa Clip Mp3 player  which made for a very long 3 mile run.


During my warm up and cool downs of my dread tread runs I have been reading Pocket Your Dollars by Carrie Rocha who writes at pocketyourdollars.com and I love it. I recently finished the book, here is my review.

coffepicI have discovered as of late that I love bringing in a real mug to Starbucks, not only is it one more way to reduce the costs of Starbucks (you save 10 cents when you bring your own cup) but the coffee tastes even more amazing! This cup was enjoyed with a friend in celebration of her birthday.


The mug is also used at home filled with my favorite green tea as an energy source for my at home writing day. Starbucks is my second office, this set up is my current first office.


When I am finished writing  on Saturdays this is the food that greets me. My husband has taken our homemade bread machine recipe to a whole new level. When friends come over they tell him he needs to open up his own pizza place, it is that good. I am one lucky lady.


Before you think my man does all the baking and cooking around here let me remind you I bake and cook for the family Monday through Friday which includes baking all our bread machine products and most of our snacks and all our meals. To fit it in I have discovered workable short cuts like this faster way to make cookies from scratch.

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Daily Life Captured: BEECH Retreat

First let me apologize I realize that last Friday was the first Friday of the month so I am a week late in posting February’s edition of Daily Life Captured, however hopefully you can forgive me.

Although if you are like me and living in cold winter area after you see what made me late you may not want to forgive me.

Captiva Island beach

The beach I ran along Saturday afternoon

I was at BEECH Retreat last Friday which was held at the South Sea Island Resort on Captiva Island in Florida.


Thursday night opening dinner.

Myself and around 100 other bloggers were treated like kings and queens all weekend long.

foodatBEECHThe food was amazing. It included a lot of gluten free products from Udi’s gluten free. Since I am not a person that suffers from any sort of ill effects from gluten I had no idea what gluten free products tasted like. After this weekend I hope all gluten free products taste like Udi’s because their products taste amazing.


Sunset visible from our Luau Dinner on the beach

I know from the pictures it looks like all we did all weekend was play but believe me when I say there was a lot of learning going on.

With amazing keynote speakers like Crystal Paine, Dan Morris, John Miller and Michael Hyatt my mind was soaking up incredible knowledge all weekend long, and that does not include the workshops taught on Friday and Saturday as well as discussion panels.

view from run

Discovered this beautiful view through a hole in some bushes I was running by.

I did however manage to squeeze in some much needed me time during the weekend. I escaped early in the morning for runs along the marina, and Saturday afternoon I got out for a one hour long run through the resort and along the beech.

goodgreensbarAfter my Saturday afternoon run I discovered a plate full of these Good Greens bars set out for us to munch on and I must say I never knew ground up veggies and fruit could taste so divine. I raved about these Good Greens bars so much one of the event organizers gave me a whole box to take home, and they are now hidden from my family. These are all mine!

Courtney Watching dvdI did share some of the things I brought home though including the DVD “Art Projects with Pat Knepley:Tiffany Window” by See the Light. Courtney immediately unwrapped it and started following along.

Courtney'spicHere is what she created from watching the first lesson in the 4 lesson DVD.

snowI am now adjusting to being back in the land of snow. I told my friends perhaps if I can just pretend it is sand I won’t miss BEECH retreat so much.

crystal and IOh and I almost forgot one of my favorite moments from BEECH retreat. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Crystal Paine a.k.a. Money Saving Mom. I have to say she is the same giving, kind and vibrant person in person as she is online and I feel blessed to have her call me friend, and honored that I can call her one of mine.

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Daily Life Captured: Winter Fun

Welcome to Daily Life Captured, a once a month sneak peak into the life of our family.

Inspired by InstaFridays at Life Rearranged.

homemade-nativity-backdrop1. Christmas Gift

My husband surprised me Christmas morning with a handcrafted by him wooden backdrop for my Willow Tree nativity scene. I LOVE IT!

battleship2. Favorite Game Given

My daughter loves games so when I saw a chance to snag a few printable coupons and combine them with a sale at Target, I gave them to the boys to help them purchase a few for her for Christmas, so far Battleship is my favorite one to play with her.

first-light-snowfall3. First Sort Of Significant Snow Fall

We now have way more snow than what you see in this photo, but this is a picture of the first real snowfall of the season that made Christmas day a glimmer of white and a lot of green (since most of it had melted by then)

dog-on-child's-bed4. Dog Prefers To Stay Inside

While my daughter loves playing outside in the white stuff, our family dog would much prefer all the comforts of home indoors.

sugar-cookie-house-party5. Sugar Cookie House Decorating Party

Our annual cookie party is getting smaller and smaller each year as the children get bigger and bigger. The cookies are doing the opposite, they were once regular size, then giant now enormous, but oh so fun to decorate.

sugar-cookie-stars6. More Sugar Cookies

Since I only made one big cookie per child and only a handful of small ones to enjoy the day of the party my children and husband whined and complained that they did not get  their fill of my sugar cookies, so I gave in and made a double batch a few days before Christmas.

knitted-christmas-tree7. Knitted Christmas Tree Ornament

I realized the night before our Sunday school class Christmas party that the gift exchanged had a Christmas ornament theme. Not wanting to run out to the store, I hopped on Pinterest and found a photo of an adorable knitted Christmas tree ornament, problem was it had no instructions: turns out that wasn’t a big deal as I managed to piece mine together in just under 2 hours using a bit of experimentation and prayer.

box-of-chocolates8. Life’s A Box Of Chocolates

These yummy treats arrived one day by mail. The kids and I were good and saved 2 of my husbands favorites for when he got home, but we polished off the rest of the box in just 2 days.

new-locker-hooking-project9. New Locker Hooking Project

I sold all but one of my locker hooking projects from last year to my husband’s co-workers. Now it’s time to restock for this year’s Christmas season.

daily-devotional10. Daily Devotional

I found this page of my daily devotional very convicting and thought provoking. I spent some good time in prayer and reflection while reading both sides of the page.

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Daily Life Captured: Real Christmas Tree

Welcome to Daily Life Captured, a once a month 10 Instagram photo peak into our lives.

Up until now our family has used artificial Christmas trees bought on clearance and used year after year.

Until this year….

It all started with a coupon…. Well first there was a family vote…nope first my husband and I decided we could afford to add a real tree to our Christmas budget this year and then there was a family vote.

The men all wanted to get the tree from the local hardware store the women wanted to go to a tree farm.The women would have lost until I pointed out we were outnumbered therefore our votes should count twice.

In an act of desperation my hubby mentioned he didn’t know of a tree farm near us and that is when the coupon came in. It wasn’t good for the type of tree we wanted but it did give us an address.

It took us a while to pick a tree.I had to get over the sticker shock while my husband had to stop picking trees that would require us cutting a hole in the ceiling.

Finally we found it a tree that was priced within our budget and just the right size to fit without renovating our home.

While the tree was getting ready for its journey to our home….

Thomas age 16 just over 6 feet

Aiden age 12, 5 1/2 feet

Courtney age 10, just shy of 5 feet

I took advantage of a growth chart project that was at my snail pacing speed.

“Thank You for letting us be a part of your TREEMENDOUS holiday” love it!

Once we got the tree home Jack got right to work putting on the lights, and ribbons. Courtney and I helped put on the decorations. I don’t think my husband rearranged a single one, a pure act of love on his part, he loves a balanced tree, the kids and I well……

This is the first time we have ever had to get out a step ladder to put on the Christmas tree topper.

My favorite part, enjoying a Christmas light lit room with a mug of hot herbal tea in my hand and nothing but my reflections of the year gone by for company and perhaps a sweet Christmas treat or two.

Oh, and I should mention that before I went to bed that night, my hubby whispered in my ear, “that was really fun, we should make sure we add it to the Christmas budget next year”. Looks like tree farms beat hardware stores for trees.

How about you and your family? Real? Artificial?

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Daily Life Captured: Cannons,Crafting and Injuries

Here is my monthly 10 picture peek into our family life through the the grainy lens of my i-touch.

1. The Candy Cannon

Last year at the conclusion of our church’s trunk or treat my husband said to me ” I wonder if I could invent some type of cannon that could shoot candy into the air using compressed air”. Turns out he could, and he did, and the kids loved it!

2. My Office.

I am trying to write from 5 to 9 each morning, problem is the kids start waking up around 7:30 causing my productivity to go rapidly down hill.

Solution, hide behind only closed door in house that does not contain a sleeping husband nor a toilet, which leaves me with my craft closet.

3. My Love of Point Programs

My love of points programs is growing, it supports my husbands kindle habit, my need for Starbucks and  recently grew to include my love of Panera.

4. An afternoon of crafting

Recently my family visited a favorite family of ours. My friend and I spent the afternoon making button headbands for our girls (and some to sell) while my man played with his kindle fire and her hubby watched football. Aren’t we exciting?

5. My first close friend crazy enough to join me in running 26.2 miles

She did it, and I am so proud of her.

Unfortunately although I spent all summer training by my friend’s side for her first full marathon I was unable to join her for the race.

I pulled a muscle in the back of the leg (popliteus) and have not ran since end of September.

I loved seeing her cross the finish line even though I was wishing I was crossing it with her.

6. What every runner needs

I love this thing, it is called The Stick.

I got mine at the race expo, I told the demonstrator about my injury he sat me down and proceeded to rub my leg with this instrument. After what seemed like a way too intimate session with a stranger, I stood up and walked without a limp for the first time in days!

I bought it and am using it daily to help rehab my muscle.

7. One Dollar

I love finding fabric at yard sales. This piece cost me only one dollar.

8. What I am doing with some of that fabric

Dear Marthon Weekend Hotel Maid,

I don’t sit still well, so I like to craft while watching TV with friends. Sorry about the thousands of little fabric triangles that I created while doing so. I tried to pick some up honest but your plush carpeting and my current inability to kneel made it really hard.

Sincerely The Crazy Locker Hooking Lady

9. Random Patterns

I am a person of set pattern, so this creation was a work of therapy, It contains all the left over scraps from previous looker hooking patterns in sort of random order.

10. My Child’s Reaction

My children have been extremely forgetful about their daily chores lately. So the “Threat Mommy” voice came out. This time she said, “if you forget your chores one more time perhaps I will forget to feed you” (ya I don’t like her much either, she is mean). Next day I found this note written on my menu “12:00 children eat and 5:00″.

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Daily Life Captured:Homeschooling,Renovating, and Camping

This past month has been a whirlwind of activity. Here is 10 grainy and lovable instagram pics. to give you a glimpse into our lives.

One: I started my 11th year of homeschooling children. Aiden shown in this picture is being a model student, being both dressed and eating breakfast before he starts in on his school day. I am so glad to have this event in pictures, as it rarely happens, normally he is in PJ’s till noon and that is about the same time he decides to eat something too.

Two: Another rare and exciting event, I actually got a science experiment to work. In our household science experiments are normally done on dad’s day off since he can always make them work, me….not so much.

Three: I emptied out an entire container of Vinyl Spackling in a quick touch up renovation of our 100+ year old home that we once lived in, then renovated, then rented, now polished up and listed.

Four: After a very long week of renovating, and a hurried weekend of events, cleaning and packing our family enjoyed a 5 day long camping trip with the grandparents. One of  my favorite parts of the trip, taking off each morning for several hours of the time to the nearby Starbucks to spend my free gift cards and sit and write a while.

Five: Before we left on our trip I made the executive decision to treat ourselves to new luggage, as our old luggage is holding my craft supplies and I did not feel like emptying them out. Our family is high style, we have matching luggage with trendy lime green accent handles. Our media bag cooler, matches.

Six: This is what my children will put away as clean. Thankfully I found this cup before the house sitter came to stay with the dog while we were away.

Seven: The following morning after getting home from camping was an annual community wide rummage in a neighboring town. My daughters favorite find of the trip was this outfit that cost one whole dollar.

Eight: Courtney’s other highlight of the yard sale shopping day was enjoying a strawberry shortcake with me.

nine: Looks like Courtney is not the only one who loves ice-cream.

Ten: After all that hard work on our other home, and all that fun camping and yard sale shopping my own home is looking sadly neglected, I am back on my cleaning schedule this week and trying out a new cleaning tip  I pinned to my Homemade Cleaning Products board on pinterest.
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Daily Life Captured: Top 10 Highlights of Summer

We were at a water park with friends this week, when I heard my friend say “the water park closes weekdays starting next week”. Yet another reminder that summer vacation for school children is coming to an end.

We are a homeschooling family, but my students are not those enthusiastic love of learning model students you read about in all the “Benefit of Homeschooling” books.

Instead I face, tears, whines, power struggles, and numerous breakdowns daily until about day 3 or 5 of our school year. After that their fits start to subside and a daily rhythm is found. Till they find that rhythm, found memories of summer will help me get through those rough few days.

Here are 10 memories of this summer.

My 1st ever First Place in my Age Division Award for a 5K (there were 2 of us,LOL)

1. My son started running 5K’s with me.

2. For a period of 2 or 3 weeks the kids and I enjoyed daily visits from wild kittens on our front porch. 3. I started reviewing books for 2 different companies, and have spent many an evening curled up on my front porch reading great books.

4. Our family celebrated 10 years in our current home town and spent a weekend reflecting on the 3000 mile road trip we took to get here, with a newborn, 2 year old and a 6 1/2 year old. Perhaps one day I will tell you about the journey that almost took my sanity.

5. I  knitted many a dish cloth sitting in the passenger seat for several much enjoyed day trips.

After several taste tests the red head runner and I have decided Clif Chocolate Shots are the best tasting fuel for our long runs.

6. My red head running friend has been training with me all summer for her first marathon and my fourth marathon taking place this October.This week we will run 17 miles on Saturday.

Grated zucchini that is now in my freezer to enjoy in cakes and breads over the winter months.

7.After our long runs, I have enjoyed stopping  at the farmer’s market and purchasing a bundle of spray free veggies for very little money. Our family has enjoyed farm fresh corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, green beans and zucchini. I also froze some to enjoy later this year.

Courtney and her friend showing off their 4th of July themed button headbands.

8. My children have all enjoyed lots of friendship building time with friends both new and old.

9.Thankfully yard sale season will not be completely over yet for our area for a few more weeks yet. My favorite yard sale find this summer has got to be this huge box of wooden hangers.

10. My favorite day trip. Indiana Sand Dunes State park. It was spontaneous, included a large body of water and those I hold dearest to my heart. All the ingredients of a perfect day trip in my opinion.

How about you? What did you get up to over Summer Vacation?

This post is linked to Insta-Friday at Life Rearranged. All photo’s have been taking with my i-touch and displayed in their grainy glory!

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