Author Archives: Jean

Happy Homemaker Monday, The Super Late Edition

Yesterday was a long and busy December Monday.  One that started off rough but finished nicely.

Today was another work day. I’m not even sure about the rest of the week. Glad to be making my plan and linking as always with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

Breakfast Time…What Is Was On The Plate This Morning:

A Peach Crisp Yogurt.  Of course, we also had breakfast for dinner yesterday. Does that count?

Right Now I Am

Simmering taco meat and trying to get this post written and published before it becomes the Wednesday edition.

The Weather Outside

Who knows?  It could be warm one day like yesterday and cold another like today. I admit to being slightly jealous of those of you with all the snow.  I’d like a little (or a lot) but not until my Christmas shopping is done.  Maybe next week?

Looking Around The House

Nope. Next thing! (I’ll look on Wednesday when I’m off work).

On My To-Do List

  1. Go to grocery store for a “real” trip at some point (just picked up lunch stuff last night)
  2. Look around house and clean it
  3. Go to G’s band concert on Wednesday evening
  4. Go to my work Christmas party on Friday evening
  5. Get my secret Santa gift for the work party
  6. Still need to do cards
  7. Christmas shopping!
  8. Give the cat some attention (she insisted I add that item)
  9. I don’t even know…

Currently reading

Didn’t do so well with that last week between working a lot more days than I planned (every day but Friday) and my lingering cold.

On The TV Today

Haven’t watched it all day.

On The Menu This Week

Ah, December menus….SIGH.  Here’s my attempt for this week. Completely subject to change.  At this point, I’m simply shooting for not eating out every single night of the week.

MONDAY:  We had French Toast, Bacon, and juice *I worked 8:15-3:45*

TUESDAY:  Tacos *I worked 8-4*

WEDNESDAY: Going to try making pork chops in the crock pot *G has a band concert at 7*

THURSDAY: We’ve still yet to have the fish I keep putting on the menu.  Maybe this will be the day! Or I’ll throw a roast in the crock pot.  Depends on my husband’s schedule. *Could it be a free day?!*

FRIDAY: I have a work Christmas party (I’m taking a cheese ball and crackers) so I think I’ll leave my husband and kids on their own for dinner planning. *I have a work party at 6*

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself, I Will

Still need to work on the blog! Get outside if it’s a nice day.

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try

I bought all the stuff to attempt making Wassail last week.  Maybe this weekend?

Looking Forward To This Week

G’s band concert tomorrow night! A few days off work! My work Christmas party on Friday night!

Favorite Photo(s) From The Camera

Finally set out my Nativity scene over the weekend.  One of my favorite decorations.  I set this one out as well as the one that used to belong to my mom and dad (the photo of that one turned out too blurry. I’ll have to try again.). The Santa on the tractor belonged to Doug’s grandpa, his mom made it. Loved the birthday cake my husband made me (even though I told him not to make a cake since it was just the four of us). White cake with white icing with almond extract in the icing. YUM! And yes, I’m old! Our sad Christmas decorations.  May be time for the sleigh to retire as well as the deer (wind keeps blowing it over). A different house not far from us that did things right! Do you have lights up on your house?

Quote for the Week

Seeing is believing but sometimes the most real things in the world are things we can’t see. (The Polar Express)


What’s on your agenda for this week?

Happy Homemaker Monday, The Sniffling Sunday Edition

Since I work all day tomorrow, I thought I’d get a jump on my Happy Homemaker Monday planning post. It’s going to be a busy December week and I’ll need a bit of planning to get through.

If you couldn’t guess from the title, I’m also battling a nasty cold.  Our aunt had it in Oklahoma over Thanksgiving, the boys had it early last week, and as I was driving home from work on Friday, my sore throat started.  Trying to be smart about it and rest so it doesn’t turn into something worse.

Let’s get straight to the categories.

Breakfast Time…What Is Was On The Plate This Morning

Coffee, bacon, and canned biscuits.  Not very exciting.  Couldn’t really taste it anyway.

Right Now I Am

Trying to get the dinner I’m not making worked out for my family.  We all had a big lunch from McDonald’s, please don’t judge, and aren’t super hungry. My direct quote to G who said he’d figure out something: “Please at least eat a banana or other fruit or vegetable so I won’t feel like a complete failure as a mother.”  Cup of soup may or may not be my meal of choice.

Probably going to just go to bed after finishing this post and making sure everyone gets fed.

The Weather Outside

Beautiful! Didn’t even wear my coat when I stepped out on the deck after lunch. Wanted to go for a walk but my husband reminded me that resting might be better so I don’t get super sick again. Resting is over-rated. And boring. Did it all day yesterday.  Looks like a good chance of rain tomorrow as the cold front moves through, goodbye warm weather. Highs in the high 30s and low 40s the rest of the week.

Looking Around The House

Still working on putting Christmas up around here.  It’s in a state of transition.  But bit by bit it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  J helped me put out our Christmas book basket yesterday and my husband caved and put our Christmas yard decorations out this year.

On My To-Do List

  1. Work today and Thursday so far
  2. Go to J’s band concert
  3. Go to grocery store
  4. Put out more Christmas decorations (Thanksgiving is all put away at least!)
  5. Decide what I want to do for my birthday on Saturday
  6. Send out Christmas cards
  7. Birthday  shopping for my fellow December birthday family members
  8. REST! Sigh
  9. A bit more Christmas planning (don’t want to do baking while sick)
  10. Clean house
  11. Write and publish some blog posts

Currently Reading

Ignoring my stack of library books, and realizing I may have a slight problem with ordering e-books, to read Tending The Family Heart Through The Holidays by Marie Hartwell-Walker (finished it) as well as How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing With Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K White, owner of the A Slob Comes Clean Blog.

I’ll probably share my thoughts about the first book in a blog post later this week. I’m barely a quarter of the way into other book but she does seem to be speaking my language.

On The TV Today

Watched lots Friday night and yesterday ( Petterson and Findus, Stick Man, Fuller House, Santa Claws, a few Doctor Who Christmas specials) so not as much today.  Part of the Chiefs game (UGH! They are not exactly popular in the city tonight) and part of a Jackie Chan movie from the 90s (Rumble in the Bronx).  I doubt I’ll watch anything on Monday, probably just read.

On The Menu This Week

No idea. Hoping I have energy by tomorrow to get something made. Looks like we ate exactly 2 of the planned meals last week so I guess I have some choices.

MONDAY: Maybe I can talk my husband into cooking the fish we never had last week.  If not, maybe French Toast  *I work 8-4*

TUESDAY:  Roast in the crock pot (maybe) Or I think there is one final fundraiser for the middle school, a pizza night or something.

WEDNESDAY: Pork chops, baked potatoes (may switch this to Tuesday) *MNO*

THURSDAY: Probably OUT or I’ll reheat the chicken legs in the freezer *I work 7:15-3:45* *7th Grade Band concert*

FRIDAY: Leftovers. We may go do something Christmas-y if I can talk the family into it.

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself, I Will

Work on the blog!

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try

Made my own simplified, pared down version of the Turkey Cranberry Sliders. Made a great lunch with a side of microwave sweet potato chips!

Looking Forward To This Week

Lots of Things: Mom’s Night Out on Wednesday (had to miss the last one due to a schedule conflict so I really hope I get well in time for this one), The middle school band concert on Thursday, and my birthday on Saturday!

Favorite Photo(s) From The Camera

I know it’s sort of silly but I just love my Netflix fireplace. The downside is no mantle.  The upside is it sure is easy to get a fire going. The little gray cat enjoys it as well.

Probably shouldn’t have been out in the night air but I couldn’t resist playing around with the moon setting on my camera Saturday night.  Did you see that moon???!  Cloudy tonight so I suppose I’ll behave and stay inside.

Quote For The Week

For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; but ye would not. (Isaiah 30:15)


Don’t forget to visit Sandra, our host, over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom!



Back To Backyard Birding

This week it was back to backyard birding.  Didn’t get out as much as I wanted.  Really wasn’t even sure I was going to post as my photos didn’t turn out very well.

However, J helped edit one of them and I thought I’d go ahead and share his artistic editing efforts: backyard birding One of our backyard robins: backyard birding And sadly, those were the two best photos of my birding week.  My original plan was to go north to an Eagle Days event but then this cold (Yes, I’m sick yet again) arrived. A two-hour drive while sick didn’t seem like the best idea.

The rest of my backyard birding results:

I was so happy to capture a chickadee! Too bad the photo didn’t turn out very crisp. backyard birding And then, I captured it in flight! Except the tree branch blocked his head.  I suppose it would have been a perfect Halloween photo, the beheaded chickadee: backyard birding See the silly Nuthatch up there in the corner?  Didn’t even know he was there until I pulled this photo up to edit it.  Here is my nutty Nuthatch on the tree: backyard birding They don’t stay still for long either!

Other birds spotted in the backyard during the course of my week but not on camera: Cardinals and snowbirds, right on our deck! My little Carolina wren, sparrows, a downy woodpecker, and it appears the Cooper’s hawk now resides in our neighborhood. Yikes!

Spotted while driving: Starlings, ducks on the lake in a park, a rather large flock of seagulls flying north, a king-bird keeping watch.

I noted a different hawk flying over the wooded area behind the playground while working on Friday and my husband saw pelicans while on his hunting trip Saturday (I was quite jealous!). His phone photo came out too blurry to really share.

At least my little brown creeper came back to visit this afternoon although once again, no photo as I didn’t have my camera handy at the time.

What birds did you notice this week?

Holiday Coupons: Taming The Chaos

While I don’t really coupon any more, I love the holiday coupons!  holiday coupons

What I don’t love is hauling around a bunch of crumpled up pieces of paper in my purse.  What often happens is I’m in the store and making my purchase when I remember, Oh, yeah, I have a coupon! Said coupon is usually at home on the kitchen table.

I love the stores kind enough to load the savings on my reward cards. Thank you, CVS and Hy-Vee!  However, even my beloved CVS and Hy-Vee sometimes insist on mailing me paper coupons.

My tech savvy should be better but it’s not. I confess I usually print the e-mail coupons even when I know I could just show the bar code on my phone.  Sorting through a ton of e-mails on my phone while trying to make a purchase isn’t my style.

So how do I tame the chaos of all those holiday coupons?  Make a meticulous plan and go from store to store with coupons sorted and ready?  Ha! If you thought that would be my answer, you must be a new reader to this blog. Welcome to a place where things are usually anything but meticulous.

My Trick For Taming The Chaos Of The Holiday Coupons:

A folder!  It’s a bit scary how many times a simple folder solves problems over here.   holiday coupons

I put all my store coupons that I may want to use in my folder.  Then, when I’m going to go on a big holiday shopping spree, the folder lands on the front passenger seat of the car.

Upon arrival at each store, I simply take a minute to look through my folder and if I have a coupon, I throw it in my purse.

Having all my coupons in the folder, means if I end up near a store I didn’t originally plan to visit, I don’t have to worry about the coupon sitting on the kitchen table.  Usually in December, the folder will simply stay in the car.

Mostly, I limit my coupons to retail but it might also be a handy way to handle the restaurant coupons as well.


Do you use coupons for your holiday shopping?  How do you keep track of them?

What’s Going On Wednesday: Trying To Get Through The Week

Thought I would do a What’s Going on Wednesday post.  Maybe it will help motivate me.  Anyone else having motivation issues this week?

The entire week so far (we’re halfway through it!) has felt a bit like a long uphill climb. Wednesday If each of those steps in that photo above were an item on my to-do list, I’d be standing on the bottom one.  Still.

I thought maybe sitting down to share a post would help me over the hurdle of my procrastination.

What’s Going On This Last Wednesday In November:

  • While I got a break this time, the boys both came back sick from Thanksgiving.  J stayed home from school today.  The school probably already mailed my nasty letter regarding his attendance.  The kid has straight A’s so I’m not really all that concerned.
  • I made cranberry sauce yesterday.  Just for me.  I missed it at Thanksgiving.  Not one to complain (much) but the canned stuff is nasty. Tried not to be too miffed that when I offered to bring it, family said the good kind would be there.  It wasn’t. Turns out it freezes so I’m all set for Christmas at least.
  • My fall decor is sitting in a big pile on the sofa and on top of the bookcase beside it.  I need to take it downstairs.   Put the Christmas tree up and half-decorated it on Sunday evening.  The tubs still sit in the living room.
  • G said he’d add his special ornaments on December 1st.  And when he had his own tree (if he even bothered) when he was an adult, it wouldn’t go up until at least December 15th.  Teenagers!  Apparently, I put the tree up too early for their tastes.
  • I still need to clean the house and gather items for the charity truck. That job feels even more daunting than the staircase on the trail.  Feels more like this: Wednesday Wednesday
  • Blog business?  Work? Fun? Not sure what I want to call it.  Have a few e-mails that need replies, long-overdue replies.  Some very kind offers but since I do this for fun and not profit, I will likely decline most.  Some posts percolating in my brain: a half-written one regarding hard holidays, a fun Christmas movie list (we tend to favor offbeat movies over the classics), and the story of our Elf on the Shelf.

Well, my timer sounding tells me it’s time to hop off here and at least clear a surface somewhere in hopes of a more steady path to getting things done: Wednesday

What does your path look like this week?


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