Monthly Archives: June 2008


A friend of mine died on Monday. 

He loved music more than anyone else I know.  He was gentle.  He was fun.  He drove the bookmobile. He loved going to the Student Housing apartments at Western Michigan University because the kids were so cute when he brought them books, and the moms brought him food from their homelands, wherever that happened to be. 

I can’t believe I have to write about him in past tense.  He used to have an ancient cat named Eleanor, but she died too.  She was old though.  He was young.  I am stunned, and sad, and I’m going to fall apart when I see his little brother and other friends tomorrow. This post isn’t going to make sense, because I can’t make sense of Dale’s death…  I learned of his death yesterday, but when my Dad read me the obituary from the paper today, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that it was really Dale he was talking about. I am happy thinking of memories but so sad that there won’t be anymore, ever again.




Filed under Uncategorized

Menu Plan Monday

It’s been an interesting journey into the Milk and Dairy portion of my food pyramid improvement plan.  I thought the changes would be minimal, since my whole family generally likes dairy products.  I have been doing quite a bit of reading about ‘whole’ food (not to be confused with Whole Foods) and have switched to whole milk for the entire family.  Here is a good post for rookies like myself about dairy if you’d like to read more. Please don’t tell my kids’ pediatrician, as it will surely evoke the “childhood obesity” speech.

We also have switched to full-fat sour cream and cheeses.  We now use whipping cream instead (the kind that comes in the tiny milk carton) of whipped cream, and just use plain, unsweetened yogurt – not vanilla – and mix in a tablespoon or so of jam.


Lasagna with meat sauce(sauce is already frozen, made with ground turkey).  I have a box of whole wheat lasagna noodles and I’ll just follow the recipe on the box.

Served with green beans.


Crock Pot Chuck Eye Roast, served with Garbanzo Beans and Rice from the Simple Cajun Life. 


Grilled Swordfish was on sale a few weeks ago so I’m going to try it out in this recipe.  I’ll have PB&J handy in case it isn’t a big hit.  I will serve with grilled potatoes and onions from Our own International Multiples Club.


Ham and cheese omelets, served with fresh fruit.


Vericheesey Casserole.  I made this a few weeks ago and it was a big hit.  My kids love anything with “Eat A Mommy” (edamame) beans in it!

Another dish I made a few weeks ago was Jicama Mango Slaw from Cheap Healthy Good.  It was amazing, in my opinion and “pretty good” in everyone else’s.  It just has a really different and tasty combination of flavors.  I found jicama at Horrocks, but with the many Hispanic grocery stores around it shouldn’t be too hard to locate around town.

For more menu plans, head over to Laura’s Blog.


Filed under Menu Plan Monday

’tis a gift to be simple

A few years ago, I used the Belief-O-Matic to determine which religion I was most closely aligned with.  Much to my surprise, I was not Catholic, but Quaker.  It was suggested that my general pro-peace beliefs were a big factor, and I’m sure it was.  I think there was more the Belief-O-Matic picked up though.  I like pretty simple things, as it turns out.

As my sister and I set sail on the Vesper Cruise last week, I told her that this was the kind of thing that makes me feel like I am living the good life.  Since then, I have been thinking this week about creating a master list of my “Livin’ the Good Life” experiences.  It ended up being about one per month, which is very handy, and also gives me something to look forward to.  It’s always only 4 more weeks to something fun!

So here it is, my secret to happiness. Simplicity, gratitude, tradition, anticipation, and wine. That last one might disqualify me from the whole Quaker thing though.

January– MLK Day.  I wish Grand Rapids did a better job celebrating this man’s life, but my beloved town’s lacking in this area has created an opportunity for me to do it myself.

February– I am stumped.  Other than Free Pancake Day at IHOP, what  happens in February? This is my least favorite month, and now I know why.  I have nothing to look forward to! Note to self: plan a party next year.  Not like anyone else has anything good to do in February either.

March – Women’s Expo.

April – Our Easter party.  Sometimes, Easter is in March and I am bummed because it’s still too cold to have an egg hunt. Note to self: get with the Pope on making Easter always fall in April if he is still speaking to me after quoting a Quaker Song on my blog.

MayMother Daughter Tea at our church.

June – Vesper Cruise.

July – the National Baby Food Festival.  I’ve gone three years in a row now and I’m not going to stop until my kids beg me not to make them go anymore.

August – My kids’ birthdays are three days apart, and they get their Free Birthday Burgers from Red Robin the same week.  This is the cheapest meal out, ever.

SeptemberVineyard Tour at Fenn Valley.

OctoberFood, Wine, and All that Jazz.  The most expensive thing on my list; I realized I need to save my pennies and make this happen because I absolutely love this event.

November – A few tasty bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau.

December – The night before Christmas, at my Dad’s house.  It’s just fun.

What does the Good Life mean to you? Anyone want to create a year long list too?  Extra bonus point question – what does the Belief-O-Matic say about you?



Filed under Sanctuary Sunday

Things to do! Things to do!

As I am embarking on a vacation very soon, naturally I went to the gym and beach today instead of that boring packing stuff. I also made a special- request huge dinner (“carbs babe, lotsa carbs”) for my husband who is starting his 300 mile bike ride to Mackinaw tomorrow morning.  It is driving my insane that there are clothes all over the couch, waiting to be packed so I won’t spend much time blogging today.  I do want to point out that there are tons of things on the calendar for this weekend.  I spent quite a bit of time yesterday updating it, so head over if you are looking for some fun things to do.

As a possible indicator that I spent a wee bit too long on it, A.P. very politely asked me if I could “put a snack on the plan” for him.  I realized I had forgotten to give the kids lunch yet and it was way past due. Oops. 

Well, have a great weekend! Don’t forget to feed your kids though.  Oh, one more thing.  It is my friend Diaper Diaries birthday, and being the generous type, she is giving away a personalized scripture name (it’s very cool!) to celebrate.  Head over to her blog to enter! Happy Birthday Jill!


Filed under Things to do Thursday

Wordless Wednesday

Since all we can think about this week is biking.. here is a shot of the kids in the bike trailer.  Nothing like hauling 70 pounds of fun behind you…

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.


Filed under Wordless Wednesday