"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Calming Down the Holidays

I'm just as guilty as Princess Sparkley when it comes to wanting to go overboard with holidays.  All holidays.  The difference is that I have limits.  And I know what are our actual traditions vs. what she thinks are our traditions.  Some how, this year, the kids all made leprechaun traps (they did last year as well) on their own and expected leprechauns and candy.  Because it was a tradition.  But it actually isn't.  Jed was nice and drew them all a leprechaun that their traps caught.  But all I did was make sure we all wore green and we had Irish pasties (hand pies) *for dinner (because I refuse to make/eat corned beef).

That being said, this article struck a chord: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-howerton/can-we-bring-the-holidays_b_2903040.html

And now with Easter approaching, I'm hoping we can keep things calm, simple and Christ-centered.  Here are some ideas for Easter that hopefully keep it focuses not on the Easter bunny, but also don't make it even busier than it needs to be.

Our hometeacher from church shared these Easter eggs scriptures with us last night (Thanks, Alanna!).

Similar to this idea.


This book about focusing on Christ for Easter looks neat.

And we've been celebrating Passover following the guidelines in this book for several years now.

*Alexia Oven Reds are DELICIOUS!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Grocery Shopping

A few years ago, we instituted legal and illegal family shopping days for the family in an effort to save money.  We've since abandoned that plan and then taken it a step further.  We're allowed to shop one day a week.  One BIG grocery trip in which my cart (and poor Mystery Baby) look like this. 

There are several downsides to this:
1. My cart is overflowing, sometimes requiring I use a second cart. :\
2. I have to be super organized about my week's menu.
3. I forget something, or it is out of stock and I have to make a tiny trip during the week.
4. It takes forever to get all this stuff.
5. It also takes forever to check out.
6. It's making me want to make multiple, shopping list specific trips.*
7. We run out of milk and bread each weekend.
8. Produce doesn't tend to last a week.

1. It's one trip a week and then it's done.  Usually.
2. It's easy to stick to a budget when all the shopping is happening right then.
3. Saving on gas.
4. Saving on those little extra purchases we'd be making on each grocery trip.

We've recently decided there needs to be a second shopping trip with summer nearing and us planning eating a lot more fruits and veggies. 

*A grocery trip.  A food storage trip.  And a household items trip.

Friday, March 08, 2013

New favorite thing

Read about it here.
Natural.  No High Fructose Corn Syrup.  And so yummy.  Even my kids will eat it .  (They're weird and prefer grape jelly.  Bleh.) This is the next best thing to homemade freezer jam or this mail-order jam from Bithell Farms that my mom gets.
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