Wednesday, December 5, 2012


 Last week we celebrated Olivia's 8th birthday!  

It was filled with family, decorating, cake and fun.  
I love who Olivia is becoming.  
Such a lovely young lady. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Olivia's Name








I LOVE holding my kids.

Does a 5 foot 1/2 inch momma look silly carrying her kids who are almost as tall she is?  Probably.  

Soon (very soon) they will be too big to carry.

Holding them a lot lately.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Color, Picnics, Saving Money and the Earth

Ask and you shall receive...

We have a steep, narrow staircase leading to the second story of our old home.  It is quaint and functional, true to the time-period it was built.  
I saw a picture in a magazine one day of a stripe that was painted up the stairs to give a little color.  I mentioned it to Tommy and 2 weeks later I had a stripe up the stairs (love him.)  and then he added a warm color on the walls and I love it!  

Our favorite family picnic spot is on top of the bluff in South Haven.

The amazing view of God's creation, coupled with a homemade, picnic lunch and my three blessings from heaven, provides a wonderful afternoon.  .

And then a quick visit to the playground.

BIG playground = Happy KIDS!!  :)

I must note that right after taking this picture, Tommy laid the camera in my lap. I was on the phone and therefore distracted.  I stood up and SMASH the camera (NOT expensive to begin with, but an important tool we use to document our lives) fell to the floor.  Ugh.  

Not to worry.  When we got home I got onto and found a USED camera, almost EXACTLY like the one we had for $40.  Sold.

My new motto - when AT ALL POSSIBLE, buy used!

Buying used: Saves money and resources.
Saving money and resources =  Happy pocketbook and happy earth :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

A litte of our summer

Love this of Olivia and Tommy :)
This little guy melts my heart.  Every time.

This is our annual picture of Tommy and the kids on top of Tower Hill at the Warren Dunes in Michigan.  They look so different each year.  LOVE these three!!!

Now that we live ALOT closer to Lake Michigan, we go ALOT.  Sometimes we run over after dinner and spend the evening.  Sometimes we go early, like 9 am early and spend time throwing rocks and building sand castles.  LOVE that the kids love the lake as much as they love the ocean.  Closer and LOTS cheaper :)

Olivia and her K12 virtual teacher, Mrs. Moore.  LOVE HER!  Olivia gets to hear her voice often during class connect session.  Hopefully we will see her a few times this year.  I love the way they keep close tabs on their students.

Logan and Mrs. Baker.  She is WONDERFUL!   Logan also gets to hear her voice often as he listens and participates in her class connect sessions.

Can't believe summer is almost over.  We had a great summer, staying close to our new home.  School started 4 weeks ago for K12 so we are in full-swing.  Hugs and happy school year!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting ready for school

Free bookshelf

Plus free paint (from paint left by the previous owner)

plus help from the kids

Turns this (K12 supplies)

Into this!  organized school supplies = happy momma :)

Hugs and happy start of the school year!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Costco Deal!

On a recent trip to Costco we found this nice-size world map together with a U.S. map for $14.95!  My mom treated us to this great find and we will use it DAILY for homeschooling the kids. (Our last world map didn't quite make the move, it was wel-used and worn) 

Although this may not be considered "art" it has quickly become our favorite wall.  As we talk about the places we would like to research and one day visit. 

Just this morning Logan was busy plotting a road trip to Ethiopia (not sure you can do it, but he tried :)

Hugs and happy learning!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cafe Stacey = Money in our pocket :)

I would have to say that for our family, one of our BIGGEST budget busters is eating out. 

I love to eat out.  Could be part of the reason its a budget buster. :)

Before kids, Tommy and I ate out like it was our job.

So after analyzing and re-analyzing our budget I have to say that the temptation to eat out is a potentially big budget-buster for us.

Some days, I am energized and perfectly content to fix an entire meal (along with dirtying an AMAZING amount of dishes in the process).  But other days I just want the ease of eating out.


When I'm tempted to go out, I figure up the cost of a meal at home so I can see how much we SAVE by eating in.

Today I made a pot of chili (yes I realize it is summer, but we love chili :)  ) and I totaled up the cost of ingredients to be $7.61.  (plus a little for sour cream and cheese). 

We typically eat 3 full meals from a pot of chili.  (just Tommy and I, picky kids.)  

At our favorite sandwich place we would spend about $6 each.

A chili meal at home would be approx $1.27 each

To recap:

Chili at home for 3 meals (for 2 adults) = $7.61
Eating out for 3 meals (for 2 adults) = $36.00

Savings of $28.39.

Yep. its worth it.

If you did something similar and opted to eat in 3 meals a month instead of going out (for 2 adults) you would save $340.68.  And that is just a "lunchy-type"  place.

Could be a total time-waster for others but doing the math really helps me.

Hugs and happy saving!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Exploring Notre Dame

This guy lost is 2 front teeth!  Momma LOVES the grin!

One of our very favorite places to walk (almost DAILY) and explore is Notre Dame.   

Growing up my grandma lived just a few blocks from ND, so we often enjoyed walking all over campus. I have always loved the history and the beauty. Its so fun to now take my own kids to enjoy it now.

The kids love to look inside the Basilica.  BEAUTIFUL.  A great opportunity to talk about the traditions of different religions.

We dog-sit Gracie (Aunt Nancy's Dog) often and love to take her walking there. :)

Love having such a fun place to take the kids to play.  So many sidewalks and hidden staircases to explore.  And don't even get me started on the Notre Dame Bookstore, they think its the BEST PLACE ON EARTH! ha! 

Hugs and Happy Exploring!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

United Wine Partners

So excited to be sharing the link to Tommy and Jeff's new company,  United Wine Partners.  So excited for their new venture!

Friday, June 15, 2012

From the Vines to the Wine Cellar


Beautiful vines.

There is something so amazing about vineyards.

Tommy is creating a wine cellar in our basement. 

Love it :)

Hugs and happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gem in the city

Crown Hill Cemetery - Indianapolis

We were so blessed in our home sale.  We listed our home with Mike Duncan Real Estate Group and had 7 showings in the first week, a full-price offer in 8 days (which fell through) another full-price offer the follow day (which went through).  So in the 2 weeks we were showing the house we had something like 10 showings.  What a blessing!  We could not have asked for a better home-sale experience.  We are still pinching ourselves that it went so fast and so smoothly.

ANYWAY.  The point is we had to get very creative with our little "outings" because we were constantly leaving the house for hours at a time, trying not to spend very much money, but needing to entertain two children.

For those who have sold a home, you know the craziness involved in showings.  You get the call "We would like to show your house in 2 hours" - then comes the FRANTIC cleaning and picking-up.  Then you leave the house EXHAUSTED when all you want to do is crash on the sofa.

One day when we left the house for a showing we visited Crown Hill Cemetery.

BEAUTIFUL isn't even the word. 

The highest point in the city with AMAZING views

This is Tommy's toy, our Hummer H3.  :) 

Tommy says its our first married-car that he has LOVED.  and he does.  He loves it.

At first I felt like I was driving a tank, but now I am used it and  really enjoy it. 

I think its funny that he tried to convince his co-workers, at the time, that I picked it out because I loved it.  What???

I can't believe I lived in Indianapolis for 13 years and never visited this landmark. 

Breathtaking, gem in the city.

Hugs and happy new discoveries!