August 30, 2008

Back from the Magical World of Disney

I have much to write about our trip to Disney... but that will have to wait a few days as I need a vacation from my vacation. Boy, am I pooped!

August 23, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Leaving for Disney World tomorrow morning at 6:30AM - got a date with Donald :)
I'll be back with lots of photos and video Saturday, August 30th!

Big Boy Bed!

Elijah is now in a big boy bed! He only got up once before he fell asleep.

Any advice on keeping your preschooler in their bed?

August 22, 2008

I Want to Take Away Her Pain.

Sara had a terrible fall off her bike yesterday. She looks like she got into a bad fight. Her finger is all bandaged up because she has a small fracture. She will also loose the finger nail. I wish I could make this all go away. Her face is swollen up bad. Poor thing! We fly to Disney World on Sunday - I'm grateful she has a few days to heal.


This is a picture of Sara's finger while changing her bandage today. I would trade places with her in a moment to take her pain away!
You can see where her nail has already come out from under where your cuticles are.


Please say a prayer for Sara. Pray for comfort and to let her body heal.

August 21, 2008

What's that?

We found this outside - Can you guess what it is?

Here's another photo... it's stuck to the siding of the house.

August 20, 2008

Waking Up

I am so "old school" when it comes to raising kids. I feel that everyone is against me. Has the world gone mad? Since when is it okay to let teenagers do whatever they want?

Either I'm getting really old or are teenagers just lazier then what I remember?

My step son John moved in with us 2 years ago. Tomorrow he leaves for boot camp. I wonder how they will get him out of bed in the morning? They should offer webcams for parents at boot camp.

Sara and Eli doing their best to wake up their brother.

How do you get a teenager out of bed? What time is reasonable for them to wake up?

August 19, 2008

Is it supposed to look like this?

Notice the bee having the time of it's life!

This is my first year successfully growing sunflowers. Normally the deer get to them within the first month.

We are growing mammoth sunflowers - it stands about 9 feet tall! But is the head supposed to droop like this? I know the head is heavy.. but will it snap off? Maybe the sunflower is depressed about the loss of another pumpkin?

I so do NOT have a green thumb.

August 18, 2008


Last night they struck again... who? BAMBI!

Every night I've been faithful "putting my pumpkins to bed" with a little TLC - aka soapy water. Last night I sprayed my soon to turn orange fall delight around the perimeter of the patch.. but not directly on the pumpkins themselves. Notice in the photo the deer actually had the nerve to move the pumpkins over to take advantage of their young flesh. I'm just grief stricken!
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Party at my place!

Saturday:I love to entertain - and it's been a long time since I've done anything. This weekend our house was a party home.

Saturday we had a Wii party with another family. Back in March of this year I found a store that had one Wii game for sale. I heard they were pretty rare to buy and a lot of fun. This was a huge expense for our family - in fact, I've never played a video in my life until this purchase. This game system is family friendly and just a whole lot of fun! If you get a chance to go to a Wii party don't turn it town.


Sunday evening we had a Bon Voyage Party for my step-son John. He leaves for boot camp with the US Navy this Wednesday. The weather was perfect - a hot summer day. We had an ice-cream social. I enjoyed serving up lots of sweet toppings including, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, butterscotch, crushed kit kat bars, crushed oreo cookies, gummy worms, bananas, nuts, whip cream, and marshmallows. Did I mention the ice cream flavors? - rainbow sherbet, mint chocolate chip, vanilla and chocolate marshmallow.
Did I go over the top? :)

I love an excuse to use my longaberger!

Do you have any party plans to end the summer?

August 16, 2008

I Won!!

Last night while driving, I was listening to my favorite radio station - Q90FM They were giving away Matthew West cds (which is so cool - because I just blogged about him the other day!!) They were looking for caller # 10 - AND THAT WAS ME! Sure, it's just a $10 cd - BUT I WON!

The funny part is I was also caller #1 and #6. :)

August 15, 2008

Dear Elijah

Dear Elijah,

Yesterday you wanted your sister, Sara, to get out of your way. So you did what most 3 year old boys would do - you pushed her. I stepped in to explain to you that the better thing to do is to say "excuse me" when you want to get by some one. Your reply: "Mom, I didn't burp!"

August 14, 2008

Six Sites to Use as a Research Tool

You need information.. where do you go? The yellow pages, an encyclopedia, the library? No way.. that's so last century!

The internet can be a great source of entertainment - but even better, it's an excellent resource tool for me.

Here are 6 sites I use as a resource tool on a (almost) daily basis: If you know me at all you know that I'm a little OCD when it comes to the weather. The fact that there is no hurricane that is scheduled to be called Dana in the next 6 years is very disturbing to me. Just a little bitter :)

All Recipes This site is invaluable to me! It works best when you create an account. You can save recipes, write notes on recipes, and get the nutritional information. You can search for recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand, you can post photos and upload your own recipes. I currently have over 6 pages of recipes! This site does it all!

Drudge Report
I'll let you know right now... I am not a liberal. I find sites like cnn or msnbc for news to lean a bit too far to the left for me. The Drudge finds the news for me. It's a news aggregation website. This way my news comes from more then one source.

My Public Library Most public libraries now have web sites. There's tons of information that you should research before you get into your car. At my library you can view your account online - see the due dates for your material and renew them (no late fees!) You can also reserve material. If my branch doesn't carry the item they ship it for free to my branch and call me when it has arrived! That's your tax money in action! So before you buy another book at amazon check your local library's web site to see if they carry it.

Two Peas in a Bucket This is one of my favorite craft sites. I use this site as a research tool for inspiration. Usually once, or if I'm lucky twice, a year I go away for a craft weekend. These weekends really recharge my batteries! Before I go I decide what I'm going to accomplish. I print my pictures then I go to Two Peas and get inspired! Two areas that I enjoy most on this site is the gallery where you can search by materials used (ie. ribbons, brads etc) or size (8 x 8 or 12 x 12) or caterogy (ie. graduations or babies) and the bulletin board where I can read about products and ideas. Check it out!

YouTube I know what you are thinking.. You Tube for research? You bet! I'm amazed at how much awesome information is at this site! A few weeks ago I bought a fresh pineapple. I watched multiple videos how to cut one! My husband, Jim, has used it to help him with his college algebra classes. (He's learned more on youtube then his textbook) I caught Amy over at The Mother Load showing us how to choose a coffee maker. Don't you wish you came up with the idea for YouTube?

I have many more sites bookmarked that I use as a research tool, including Wikipedia, Google Images, Bible GateWay, Google Analytics, and Flickr. I am thankful everyday to have access to the internet! Do you use your computer as a tool? What sites do you visit daily?

August 13, 2008

Matthew 28:15

Recently I posted that Matthew 28:15 is my favorite bible verse. I was asked by Rachel from SmallNotebook why this is my favorite - I hope this answers it.

Matthew 28:15
So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

It's kind of odd verse to be a favorite. A lot of people like the Psalms or Proverbs, I've noticed. I love those too. But Matthew 28:15 spoke to me.

Let me give you a little information about what's going on in the bible around this verse. The soldiers that were guarding Jesus' tomb went into the city to tell the priests and elders that His body was gone! The guards were told to spread lies saying they fell asleep and someone must have stolen His body. The guards were paid and the lies were spread.

Have you ever told a lie?.. of course you have! You may have lied about something small, that you thought wouldn't effect other people much. My guess is these soldiers felt the same way. No big deal, lets cover up our tracks. They took the money they were given and didn't think twice. Turns out, this lie - letting the Jews think Jesus' body was stolen - is the biggest lie of all time.

How could the future have been different if that lie was not told to the Jews?

* Would there still be Jews?

* How many gentiles would have become followers of Christ?

* How would WWII be different?

* Would the church have grown bigger and faster? Maybe the apostles would have died differently.

* Would the Muslim faith become what it has today?

Think, for a moment, how else this lie has changed history.

I don't want you thinking this is my favorite verse because of the lie. The lie shows the power that words and actions have. Our words and actions can change the future! The lies the soldiers told changed many people's futures. What we are doing and saying today has a direct impact on our future and possibly many generations too. Makes you think, eh?

The lyrics of Matthew West's song History express how the choices in what we say and do have an impact on the future. I love all of Matthew's music - this song has a special place in my heart.

Here is just a few lines from that song:

Would you believe that you are history in the making, in the making?
Every choice that you are making
Every step that you are taking
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making
Every word that you are saying
Every prayer that you are praying
Every chain that you are breaking
History is in the making
History is in the making
History is in the making

What kind of history do you want to make today? Are you making history like the soldiers in Matthew 28:15 or do you have something better in mind?

August 12, 2008

Big Thanks!

A big thanks to Jen over at Fstop Memories! She recently held a contest to guess how much "candy" was in a jar - and I won!! I was so excited. The prize was a mini version of her candy jar. It has tons and tons of ribbon in it. Now I need to start some craft projects. Thanks Jen!
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"Martyr Mom" gets good advice from fellow blogger

Sometimes I consider myself a Martyr Mom. I sometimes disguise it also as being a control freak. A martyr Mom is always willing to saciface what she wants to make others in her family happy. I now know it's not really about making making everyone happy - it's just to stop them from complaining as much. As Dr Phil would ask: How's that workin' for ya? Not really Dr. - in fact not at all.

This is not healthy and really doesn't help anyone - it certainly doesn't help me.

Last week I started to read a terrific new series at Simple Mom entitled The 6 Keys to a Disorganized, Unproductive Day at Home. Tip #2 was Neglect Yourself This post had my name all ever it.

Too often I put myself at the at the end of the food change in the King household. I honestly think it makes me a better Mom. How messed up is that? I understand the concept of "if Momma ain't happy, nobody happy" but feeling guilty if I put myself before others. I find it hard to balance being a good Mom and being selfish.

I asked myself - how can I not neglect myself today. Here is what I came up with - get out of the house, alone. Get my hair cut! I went to a wonderful new Aveda spa that opened up the street. I can not tell how wonderful the smell of their products are. There is nothing like it! The massaged my head as she shampooed it. The whole thing took almost an hour and a half! It was pretty close to heaven on earth for me.

Too often I wait to cut my hair, buy new shoes, or go out for lunch with a friend. The rest of the family does these things. They will survive with out me, right?

Do you neglect yourself? How do you give yourself some "me" time?

August 11, 2008

Why not Sara?

I have two beautiful children, Sara, age 8 and Elijah, age 3. While in my 20's no one thought I would have any children. Even my parents were surprised that I became a Mom. No one saw me as the mothering type. After I met my husband Jim I knew I was going to be a Mom :)

I get asked a fair amount why is my blog called Letters to Elijah? Why not call it Letters to Sara?

After having Sara in 1999 I thought I was done having children - that one would be enough. In 2000 I fell in love with the craft of scrapbooking. I did all my scrapbooks chronologically - I didn't have separate school books or Christmas books as some people do. I thought I was going to have only one child she would inherite the books. God had different plans. (and isn't His plan always better!)

Fast forward 5 years - along came Eli. While pregnant I started to stress - What am I going to do with these books? How can I cut them in half for two children? That is when the idea for a blog came about and the birth of Letters to Elijah.

So when all is said and done Eli gets the blog and Sara gets the books.... and no more children.

How do you preserve your family memories? How will you pass them on to your children?

August 8, 2008

Ameture Gardener Declares War on Local Wild Life.

I don't want to hear comments from a bunch of bambi lovin' fools this morning. I'm angry!

Last night - some snack hungry deer attacked my beloved pumpkin patch! These pumpkins have been my little babies this summer. I can't tell you how excited I was to go out and see how much they grew every morning. Jim had to mow around them. Eli would pet them and Sara spoke about how she was going to carve them in October. Right now I don't know how I can continue to garden. Sigh.

Thankfully, they only ate 2 of the 4 large ones I ate.

Now the question is how do I prevent the wildlife from doing any more damage?

An easy gift

A friend from church had a baby recently and I wanted to stop by. Never wanting to arrived empty handed I brought a little plate of Rice Krispie squares for her other 3 children. Bringing over a treat doesn't always have to cost a lot. A little thought and pretty presentation go a long way.

What are some other simple gifts you can give that say I care, or I miss you, or Feel better soon?

1. homemade jam - did you just make jam this summer? - what a sweet gift and you already have them on hand. I've given away 4 jars of strawberry jam this summer!

2. Vegetables from your garden - you couldn't possibly eat all those cucumbers and tomatoes on your own! Maybe add your favorite recipe for veggie soup.

3. A photo gift - I love to give photo gifts! They can be very frugal too! Here is an example of how to take an plain frame and customize it.

4. Time - this doesn't cost you anything! Bring over a movie and some popcorn and spend some fun time together. In the case of my friend that had the baby I will be taking some of her older children to the park next week to give the Mom some well needed rest.

What are some thoughtful, simple gifts that you give?

August 7, 2008

A Quiet Morning

I currently have a sense of a loss of control in my life. My head has been real scatter brain lately. I thought this feeling may be normal for us Moms in the dog days of summer - the few weeks before school starts up again. You know - the kids staying up late, eating dinner whenever we are hungry or just plain having no structure to our days.

I've let things just go...

I need to get back some control. I need to get some schedule going soon. I need to have a plan before the day begins.

Early this morning all was quiet. Jim had left for work and the kids were still sleeping (those late nights do have their rewards)

Then God spoke to me. I needed to read my bible.

God desires a relationship with me. I can't take the summers off with Him. It amazes me that I can so easily get wrapped up into the little things in life so easily. I worry about small things: grocery budgets, my husband's schooling, the trip to Disney World, my step son moving out (and his farewell party), and even my daughter completing his summer to do list. These things can be important and should not be ignored; however, my relationship with Jesus Christ must come first, always.

So in my quiet time this morning I opened my bible and spoke with God. He brings such peace into my life. He is always waiting to hear from me. He places my heart gently to where it needs to be. He reboots me :)

Let me share with you my favorite bible verse.

Matthew 28:15
So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

A summer evening

This is my first year growing pumpkins! I had no idea they were going to take over the front yard!

Pumpkins grow these little things - that stick like velcro to your grass. We can't pick up the vines to mow under them!

A baby pumpkin! Yeah!

Sara and Eli in front of the sunflowers! This is the first year the deer have not eaten them!

This sunflower should bloom soon!

Sara and Eli having a 3-legged race. I was impressed with their determination!

This looks like trouble to me!

August 6, 2008

The guy with the big ears!

Later this month I'm going to do one of the most un-frugal things you can do in America. I'm taking my kids to Disney World. Let me correct that - my Mom is taking myself and the kids to Disney World. If it wasn't for my Mom taking us, the kids would have to wait until they were adults and pay for it themselves!

So how does one do Disney frugal? (is it legal to put Disney and frugal in the same sentence?) I think it's going to be one of those times when I won't be frugal. Naturally there are going to be some souvenirs.

The exciting part is all I have to pay for is spending money. Everything is included. But the best part is my sister from Canada and my sister from Texas will be joining us too! Today my sister sent these luggage tags. Don't they make you smile?

Any of you been to Disney World? Any advice?

August 5, 2008

Auctions are exciting!

A local friend of mine asked for my help to sell some Packer Tickets online. We did this last year and after all the expenses he ended up making around $150 for 4 tickets. Not bad.

This year the tickets are doing a lot better! Check out the auction here and here and share in my excitement! It ends this morning!

Cover price per ticket is $59/ticket. Why are Packer tickets so valuable? Season tickets have been sold out since 1960! People around here put their season tickets in their wills!

Notice the photo of Brett Favre on the tickets - it's like we knew he was coming back - or is he? stay tuned.


August 4, 2008

Does frugal = cheap?

I used to always think frugal and cheap were the same thing. That is until recently.

When I looked up cheep in the dictionary it also said to see stingy, sleazy and tawdry. Ouch!
When I looked up frugal in the dictionary it also said to see sparing, economical and thrifty. That's better!

The other day I was in one of the places I hate to be - Walmart. In general, I think they sell a lot of cheap stuff - not frugal, cheap. I had to buy rubbermaid style containers for my step son. (He is off to boot camp in 2 weeks and needs to store his stuff) While in Walmart I saw a floor lamp (my husband has been wanting a pair for some time now) It was exactly the style he wanted - and the price I was wanted to pay. They were $7.50 each. Sound too good to be true? turns out, yes.

When I got home I was excited to assemble them. There were a series of tubes that needed to be threaded together. Problem was, they didn't thread that well - and if you didn't do it right the first time you ripped the threads then the lamp didn't stand straight. I packaged the lamps up and took them back to Walmart. They happily took them back. It's like they knew I was coming back.

So here is my question for you. How do you know know when you are getting a good deal vs getting what you pay for?

Are you cheap or are you frugal?

August 2, 2008

No Clerk Required

It's been a few months since I have purposely changed my life to become more frugal. Naturally, that meant staying away from the mall. Apparently I've been away a little while longer then I thought.

No clerk required here! There was a Proactive vending machine! All you had to do was swipe your credit card and chose the item you wanted.

I wonder if the machine put your product in a bag.

I wonder if you can return it.

Have you seen odd vending machines? or do I just not get out much? :)

August 1, 2008

Dear Elijah

This mornings conversation:

Eli - Mom, we have no snacks!
Mom - What are we going to do?
Eli - We can go to Woodman's (grocery store), they have snacks - lots of snacks. Let's go!

Eli, Sweetie, I am sick today - but for you I'll go anywhere. We went to Woodman's (w/ my fever) and purchased $81 worth of snacks groceries.

Tonight Dinner:
Chunchy Chicken Casserole
  • 2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large casserole dish, mix the chicken, mayonnaise, sour cream, condensed cream of chicken soup, rice, almonds, and mozzarella cheese. Layer with Cheddar cheese, and top with potato chips.
  3. Bake 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and golden brown.

It should be ready in about 20 minutes... yummy!
(btw, I halved the recipe)

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