Sunday, August 31, 2014

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - The August Wrap Up Edition

August was a very busy month for us with two weeks of Vacation Bible School (VBS) - each at a different church, camping and then John starting Internship.  In there we also had back-to-school night, my cousin's book signing and a few other things as well.  It was a good month and I'm so grateful for so many things.  Here are a few of the things I was grateful for in August this year:

My mother-in-law, me, our nephew, my father-in-law, two of my cousins, and my youngest brother-in-law all have August birthdays.  That means lots of cards and gifts being sent around.
The children and I made my mother-in-law a necklace using things we had on hand as a gift. It turned out cute but I totally forgot to take a photo.  She liked it, which is the best part!
My mother-in-law sent me these cute kitchen towels as a gift.
John bought me these beautiful flowers (only $5 at the farmer's market!) and some super decadent chocolate.  That's all I wanted this year!
And this hysterical little guy was my cake - its actually just a regular cupcake with a TON of frosting.  Super Yummy!  This made me laugh so hard when I saw it.

Ignore the fingerprints on the table please!

I didn't get many photos from VBS and most of them were pretty crummy.  I did get a couple of videos of the children at their final programs for John, who couldn't make it to either program. He really appreciated being able to see what the children were up to even though he couldn't be there.
My daughter's best friend was able to join her for VBS again this year - she was thrilled!
Listening to my children sing their VBS songs whenever they feel like it.
The super cool decorations that both VBS's had - they were AWESOME!
Getting time to get ready for the semester while the children were at VBS.
I had purposefully bought two gift cards last spring so I could work at a coffee shop while the children were at VBS at our Internship church.  It was such a blessing to enjoy some fancy coffee and work in relatively distraction-less space for a couple of hours each day that week!  The coffee shop is just a couple of blocks from the church, so it's nice and convenient and I got a short walk in too!
That week meant that I am basically ready for the semester start - other than last minute stuff (copies, uploading items, etc.).
My cousin's book signing went really well and it was SO good to see her.  It was a lot of driving for one day, but we felt it was worth it.
Her Dad, my Uncle, was finally admitted to a memory care facility. This is a HUGE load off her mind and she was looking forward to doing some things that she hasn't been able to now that she doesn't have to worry about her Dad so much.  I'm so happy that she doesn't have that stress anymore!
We've gotten to eat outside so many times this August - always love that!
Digging in our garden.
Finally getting the mulch laid in all the flower beds.
Making freezer meals for a relative who really needs them.

Being able to take a week and go camping with my family.
This is always a highlight of the summer and we had a good time this year too. 
The weather was not quite as nice as we would have liked overall and we spent one day reading and napping because the weather was icky.  We did get to go on a couple of hikes and got to do a little swimming - after the icky weather the algae was so bad we didn't dare actually go in the water.
Here are some of the other highlights from our camping trip:
This amazing little fort-thing on the beach near where we were camping.  The children want to build one in our back yard now!
The children were jumping over the waves when we went to the beach on the first day.  This is great photo of Buddy, I'm not sure what Missy is doing though!

Hiking!  We always enjoy hiking and this day was BEAUTIFUL for hiking.  Mid-70's F with a nice breeze.  Can't beat it! 

John trying to teach the children to skip rocks.  I'm not sure they succeeded but they sure had a good time!

Other random blessings from this August:
John's graduation from his summer program.  So nice! 
And it was so nice to meet the people he'd worked with all summer.
My daughter making cookies with me.
Clean laundry! And a clothes washing machine.  I'm SO thankful for these!
Central air conditioning.  Summer finally kicked in for about a week here. And it was brutal.  I don't think we could ever live in the southern half of the US - the heat bothers John way too much and I have trouble with humidity.  Good thing we live in Minnesota!
Sore muscles from working around the house and my Jazzercise classes.
Waiting for a friend's baby to be born.
My son making dinner and washing dishes with my husband.
My husband's stress level going way, way down.  LOVE THAT!
Hot coffee in the mornings.
Sunflowers brought home by the children from a children's sermon at church.
Herbs drying in my kitchen window.
The baby birds in the nest on the downspout next to the garage.
My roses blooming like crazy.
The children being so excited about the start of school next week.
My daughter finally learning how to wash her hair (this has been a huge struggle!)
My son's morning cuddles with me.  I hope he never gets to big for this!
Tomatoes ripening in our garden.
Thirty-eight gladiolas with buds in along my fence.
What have been your blessings this August?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Super Savings Saturday - CSA, $39.95 shop with $13.48 spent OOP

We had a surprise yesterday - John got paid!  

We totally were not expecting to get paid - either one of us - until September 15th so that was a very nice surprise. 

He gets paid very little and almost all of it goes to pay for our medical and dental insurance, we only have a little left from his paycheck for other things.  So that's what I took to the stores today - a little! 

I took $30 and bought hose for me to wear to work next week (I had one pair left and that had a huge run in them - I'm not someone who likes to wear dress shoes without socks of some sort), Q-tips and a package of index cards that we needed.  I also took $1.50 from an envelope of cash that I'm using to buy supplies for 6 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and bought 6 notebooks, one for each envelope for $0.25 each.  That leaves me with $5.67 to spend on goodies for the boxes (I started with $20 back in May). 

I had $15 left after that to spend at the grocery store along with $26.45 in gift cards.  We both felt it was important to buy a couple of particular things (flour, butter and shortening) that we hadn't planned on buying so that was what that money was to go towards.

We also picked up our mostly veggie CSA this week.  Here is what we got:

Clockwise from top left: yellow, orange and red cherry tomatoes and yellow pear mini tomatoes  (all in the basket), purple and green kohlrabi, three softball size heads of cabbage, eggplant, green onions, Swiss chard, a large zucchini, yellow bell pepper, green bell pepper, broccoli (in the bag), a tiger melon, tomatillos (in the bag) and cucumbers in the middle.

My son is so happy about the tomatoes and my daughter is delighted with the cucumbers!  I'm just delighted that their eating garden-fresh veggies!

Here's what I bought today at the grocery store:

Sorry about the picture quality - we had a cloudy day today and the lighting in our kitchen was abysmal! 
Here's what we have:
Store #1:
Goldfish Crackers 3 @ 3/$5 = $5 (for the children to take to school for snacks)
Total store #1: $5
Store #2:
Dakota Bread Flour 10# $6.19
Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening Sticks $3.79
Hot Dog Buns $1.59
Oscar Meyer Turkey Franks 2 @ 2/$3 (with store coupon) = $3
Dole Celery $0.89
2.65lbs Bartlett Pears @ $0.99/lb = $2.62
1.92lbs Large Black Plums @ $0.99/lb = $1.90
6 ears of Corn @ $0.25/ear = $1.50
Gallon Kemps Skim Milk $3.99
Smart Balance Spread $2.49 (my husband's doctor asks that he use this)
2 Bags Shredded Cheese (one mozzarella and one cheddar) @ $1.99 ea = $2.98
18 count Eggs $2.99
Total Store  #2: $34.93
Used $26.93 in gift cards
 Paid: $8.48 out of pocket (OOP)

Total Spent Out of Pocket: $13.48

I'm hoping to buy only milk next week! We'll see - it hasn't been working so far this summer.

Honestly, I haven't been that happy with my grocery shopping this summer but I have learned A LOT about our shopping habits and what things we needed to buy.  I'm hoping to write a post on that next week since John will have an "extra" $50 in his pay in the next week or two that we can take to Sam's Club and stock up on a couple of things.    I had felt pretty confident going into this summer that we wouldn't need to buy much and I totally miscalculated on a few things.  Fortunately, we did have the gift cards to get us through (we had planned that!) and going forward we're going to have to plan better since we won't have that extra to give us a boost.    More on that later though.

Come back Monday to see what we're eating!
What did you do for shopping this week?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Frugal Things We did this Last Week

Boy, this week has just flown by - starting internship, back-to-school night, a meet-and-greet, and getting ready for all the "stuff" that goes into teaching a new semester.

Here are some things we did this last week in the "frugal" category:

* I  made chicken broth in the crockpot using the carcass from the chicken we roasted on Sunday night for dinner.

* I made Irish Soda Bread, biscuits, and pancakes from scratch.

* John and I blanched and froze green and purple beans, broccoli, and yellow and purple beets.

* I hemmed 7 pairs of pants for my children for school.  I ordered them unhemmed (5 for my son and two for my daughter) which is slightly cheaper so I could order them for the sale price early in the summer and still have them fit length-wise when school started.

* I added ribbon and decorative patches to a uniform skirt that had glitter glue spilled on it.  Someone had brought it in for the swap and it had been put in the "throw out" pile because the glitter glue doesn't wash out.  It was all around the front left side and hem and up across the back from hem to waist on a diagonal.  My Aunt gave me a whole bag of sew-on flower patches a few years ago that I haven't used.  I made a shower of flowers across the skirt and added ribbon to the bottom and along the button tabs.  It didn't turn out quite as cute as I had hoped but my daughter likes it and that's what counts!  She can't wear it to school but she can wear it elsewhere.

* Used a coupon to get the children's hair cut before back-to-school night and school pictures. Their pictures always turn out good and it's a relatively inexpensive way to get photos of the children to share with my husband's large family (around $50 total for enough photos).

* Accepted two split melons from our CSA - the melon is still good but others didn't want them because they were split. It did mean we had to eat them in a short amount of time, which was fine.  I made popsicles with the flesh of one that we weren't sure we would finish in time by pureeing it and putting it in molds.

* We attended a church pot luck one night and I took a salad using what we had in the house.

* The children were given 8 mini-cinnamon rolls to bring home after our meet-and-greet on Thursday. John and I got two really delicious apple-strussel muffins.  I will have to ask around for the recipe!
* I froze several large tomatoes for making sauce later this fall when I have a spare second.

* We picked several tomatoes and two purple sweet peppers from our yard.

* I made up a menu for the next few weeks with what's in our house.  We will be buying milk - a gallon or so a week and we have one $25 grocery store gift card left for anything else (flour is at the top of my list right now!).  I needed to revamp the way I was doing menus since John is now eating breakfast with us in the mornings (he used to eat them at work) and his breakfast tastes are vastly different than mine and the children (big one - he hates oatmeal!) so I have had to be inventive!  He doesn't like most "breakfast" foods so we'll see what we can do over the next few weeks!

* John took a few canned soups and a bag of crackers to his office for days when he's rushed or forgets his lunch or gets stuck.  He packed a lunch every day - this is huge! He was used to buying lunch at work and we had spurts of him packing but since he could buy, usually he did.  Now, he doesn't have the cafeteria so he needs to pack a lunch every day. 

Our schedules are changing drastically this fall from what they have been.  John's schedule is much more flexible in some ways but it also means more evenings and weekends.  I am teaching early rather mid-day or afternoons, so John will be getting himself and the children breakfast and taking them to school.  This is something I have done since the children were babies in daycare and I am definitely going to miss it.  I will be picking up every day which is also a change for us - John's previous job ended at 3pm and he worked five minutes from their school so it was his "job" to pick them up most days.

I'm hoping that we can ramp up our frugal-ness some more once we get into a routine this fall.  We have a couple of things we would like to save up for. Also, this is our "practice year" for what being a Ministry family is like and I'm hoping I can learn a lot going through this before having to do it "for real"!  Not just with being frugal, but being frugal will be a great help with ministry salaries being what they are.
What did you do this week to live frugally?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 23rd, 2014

Fruit Salad - blueberries, strawberries, and apple.  Simple and yummy!
How did we get to the last week of August already? 

It's a busy week this week - John started his second phase of Internship (Vicarage) on Sunday, complete with a reception after Worship for all of us, and we have a meet-and-greet with the Internship Committee on Thursday this week.  The children have back-to-school night on Wednesday night which includes school photos.  We also wind up summer swimming lessons and my cousin wrote a book and is having a book signing at her local library this week!  Missy was invited to a pool party on Friday and Buddy is just hoping for a play date with a particular friend before school starts.  We'll see.  I also have two meetings at work to attend this week and another meeting with my advisor in addition to figuring out John's new schedule and what that means for childcare and school pick up and drop off!

Anyway, it's a busy week with more driving than I'd like, but it will be a good week too and we'll start school with a bang next week.

Here's what we're eating:

Sunday, August 24, 2014:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Welcome Reception at Church
   Snack: Popcorn, No-Bake Energy Bites
   Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Roasted Zucchini, Two Grape-Orange-Plum Salad

Monday, August 25, 2014:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Orange Wedges
    Lunch: At my cousin's house after the book signing (she's having a small reception)
    Snack: Rice Crispy Treats or No-Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: BLT's, Carrot Sticks, Cucumber Slices, Peaches

Tuesday, August 26, 2014:
    Breakfast: Pancakes with Peaches and Almonds
    Lunch: PB&J, Carrot Sticks, Cucumber Slices, Orange Wedges
    Snack: Rice Crispy Treats or No Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: Chicken Flavored Rice with Added Leftover Chicken, Zucchini, Grape-Plum-Apple Salad

Wednesday, August 27, 2014:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds
    Lunch: Leftover Rice with Carrots and Zucchini
    Snack: Rice Crispy Treats or No-Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: Pot Luck at Church: Bring a Salad

Thursday, August 28, 2014:
    Breakfast: PB Toast, Banana-Blueberry Smoothies
    Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup, Bread, Grapes
    Snack: No-Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: PB&J, Sliced Apples
    Dessert: At the Meet-and-Greet at Church

Friday, August 29, 2014:
    Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
    Lunch: Scrambled Eggs, Waffles
    Snack: No-Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: Potato Soup, Bread, Grape-Plum-Orange Salad

Saturday, August 30, 2014:
    Breakfast: Cranberry Orange Scones, Orange Wedges
    Lunch: Leftover Soup, Cut Veggies
    Snack: No-Bake Energy Bites
    Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks
    At-home Date Night Dessert: Apple Crisp

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Super Savings Saturday - The No Photo Edition! (And $0 OOP!)

I sadly neglected to take photos of our groceries this week because, well, there were other things that were way more urgent!  We got both CSA boxes this week and I did a quick run to one store with a gift card to pick up a couple things.

CSA #1 contained the following this week:
Patty Pan Summer Squash
Sweet Peppers - Yellow an Green
Tomatoes - big, little, Roma and yellow pear, and yellow and red grape and cherry - these literally take up a whole shelf in our fridge this week!  (And, yes, Buddy was WAY happy about this!  And I think I need to make either sauce or salsa.)
Green onions
Yellow Onion
Clove of Garlic

CSA #2 contained the following:
4 oranges
5 peaches
2lbs red grapes
2lbs green grapes
5 yellow plums
6 purple plums

At the store I purchased with a gift card:
1 gallon milk
18 count eggs
2 packages of bacon (gotta have BLTs with all those tomatoes!)

From our yard we picked;
A handful of green beans
3 purple cherry tomatoes
3 green peppers
2 purple peppers
1 red tomato
1 yellow tomato
5 strawberries (our strawberry plants are continuing to bear fruit surprisingly!)

I spent $0 out of pocket this week and we're hoping we can keep that up.  We have approximately 3 weeks until our paychecks start up again and we should be able to do it just fine.  We have some chicken, pork, shrimp, cod and a turkey along with already cooked chicken, turkey and salmon in the freezer.  We're holding fine for veggies and fruit as well as dairy and our pantry is still full of canned goods.   We'll see how creative I have to get by the end of the three weeks!
Come back Monday to see what we're eating this week!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Frugal Things We've Done the Last Few Weeks

I am pretty positive by now that I live in a time warp.  I blink and *boom* two weeks (or more!) have gone by!  Yikes! 

These last few weeks have been so busy that I feel like I've lived about a month and half in the last two-to-three weeks! They've been good, but busy!

In the middle of all that we're still trying to stretch the budget until we get paid again - which won't be until the middle of September by our calculations.   That means frugal is still the name of the game around here!  Here are some of the things that we've been doing lately around here to save money and live more frugally:

* Ate almost all meals at home.  Exceptions have been: The weekly potluck at church on Wednesday nights (we've brought food we already have in the house), a dinner out with a gift card for our 16th anniversary, and the coffees I bought myself with a gift card while on the other side of town.  We also used a refund to treat ourselves to our favorite Chinese Takeout after our camping trip.  I had grand plans for dinner that night but we were pooped and since we got a refund that would be more than the meal, we decided to go for it.  The rest of the refund was put away for groceries over the next couple of weeks.

* We've been to the library 12 times in the last three weeks.  We decided to see how many books we could read over our camping trip and then that continued with the children wanting to see how many they could read before the start of school. 

* I used online sale promotions to order the rest of the children's school clothes (my son needed pants that weren't available through the swap at school this year).  I got them for 30% off with free shipping and used a gift card to pay for part of it.

* We have been blanching and freezing the extra veggies from the CSA and the garden. So far we have beans, peas and broccoli.  It's been a tough year for gardens this year so I have no illusions that we'll have a stuffed freezer but every bit helps!  I also diced and froze the green, yellow and purple sweet peppers from the garden.  My "pea" plants turned out to be beans instead and we have had enough for two meals of those.

* Made homemade breakfast sandwiches with homemade biscuits and leftover ham and cheese and fried eggs.  We have enough in the freezer for two meals for the four of us this fall sometime. 

* The children attended two weeks of VBS  - one week at each of two different churches.  They brought home some neat craft projects and I got some "free" time to work on my school work and class preparation.  Both weeks included a program with treats and fruit afterward.  I brought home a bag of shredded lettuce from one that was leftover from the morning snack (some type of salad). 

* We attended my husband's graduation from his first phase of internship and enjoyed a really nice ceremony with treats afterward.  It was super fun to meet his classmates and instructors. 

* Took the children to watch a local parade and came home with a plastic grocery bag full of candy.

* Attended a free two hours of swimming at the place where our children take swimming lessons.  It was their way of saying "Thank you!" to all the families who have swam with them over the past year.  My husband taught the children how to do a flip turn while we were there.

* Used food we had for most of the food on our camping trip.  I did buy a bag of potato chips (on sale), and a box of graham crackers (also on sale) just for the camping trip but everything else came from our regular grocery shopping we've done over the last few weeks or from our CSA or the garden or all three! Some things (like the marshmallows for S'mores) were purchased with that idea in mind several weeks or a month or two ago.  I had also deliberately saved two boxes of Girl Scout cookies for the camping trip.  I had bought a box of juice boxes earlier this summer that we took along and then we drank water for the rest of the time.  I did have my morning coffee - made over the fire by my sweet husband with coffee grounds from home.

* Had friends over for lunch one day and made homemade pizza and a salad for lunch.  The children played and I got to have a nice visit with the other Mom.

* The children had one of their cousin's over to play one day.  They had a blast and allowed his Mom and Dad (who both work from home) to get some appointments/meetings taken care of without hiring a sitter.   My husband took them to the local Splash Pad while I made dinner. 

* Downloaded a couple of free ebooks for my Kindle for PC.

* Played a lot of card games and board games as well as charades.  The children have been really enjoying this and I have to say I have too!

* Used our parks pass to go swimming, hiking and playing on the large playgrounds they have.  We've done this few times and the children thoroughly enjoy it.  We've had really nice weather which has been helpful.

* The children brought home candle holders from one VBS and I put them on the kitchen table with candles I already had and a spray of roses from the garden.  It looked lovely and the children were so proud of their creations!

* We've been doing quite a bit of cleaning out as we moved John's things into his office for this next year.  We donated several books and put lots of paper in the shredding and recycle bins.  I decided to wear some things from my closet that I rarely wear and decide whether to keep or donate. So far I've donated everything - they either fit funny or I don't feel comfortable or I don't like the way they look on me.  I'll keep that up until I've worn everything in there. 

* Used a rebate credit to buy the rest of the mulch we needed for the yard.  Finally done with that project! Yay!

I'm sure there's other things that I can't remember but that's the highlights.  We've been trying to restrict the driving, dryer and light use, and have been continuing to wash and reuse plastic bags and other containers.   Going camping always makes me come home and look at what I have and wonder why I have it.  If I can live for a whole week without it, it might  just be a candidate for letting it go!

What have you been doing to save money and live more frugally lately?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Menu Plan Monday and a Little Shopping

Our CSA boxes have looked pretty much like this the last two weeks - though in varying amounts and this last week we got green onions too.  Here we have in the front row: Broccoli, raspberries, green & purple beans, and peas.  Back Row: Lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, a mutant cross between a zucchini and a patty pan squash, green and purple kohlrabi and a clove of garlic.  We'll see what we get this week!  I blanched and froze the peas since we have a ton of those and we can't seem to eat through them fast enough.  I have a whole head of cabbage leftover from a few weeks ago in the crisper drawer too.  Two weeks ago we got 5lbs of cherries - they're all gone now (I was hoping to freeze some) having been eaten by my parents and my children!  I can't eat cherries so I was okay with that!

I went to the store this weekend with a gift card and spend $22 on milk, peaches, apples, carrots (those aren't ready yet in the garden) and some frozen meatballs that were on killer sale.  We spent another $1 and a few cents on a large bunch of bananas marked 38-cents/lb at a gas station this week!  They were pretty green so we're hoping they make it most of the week (bananas seem to age a TON in our house!).

We've got 2 more weeks of this phase of internship left then one off and then into our placement for the next year of internship.  We're excited to see what this transition holds!  My parents went back home early due to some medical issues my Mom was having - if you have a minute can you please say a prayer or three for her? Thanks.  So that means we're back to just the four of us.  I'm hoping to eat mostly from the pantry and the freezers as well as the CSAs for this month.  I will be buying some things this weekend to make some freezer meals for a family whose husband and father is waiting for organ transplant.  I think that's going to be grocery money well spent!
I sat down yesterday afternoon and put together the menu for the next three weeks, assuming we get what we're expecting in our CSA boxes!  So here's this week:

Sunday, August 3, 2014:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Salad with Peaches
   Snack: Crackers
   Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Monday, August 4, 2014:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: PB&J, Peaches, Sliced Veggies
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Veggie Stir Fry, Rice, Sliced Apples

Tuesday, August 5, 2014:
    Breakfast: Pancakes with Almonds and Peaches
    Lunch: Calzones
    Snack: Cookies
    Dinner: Couscous with Roasted Squash and Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Apple-Peach-Banana Salad

Wednesday, August 6, 2014:
    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast
    Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup, Bread, Apples
    Snack: Cookies
    Dinner: Pot Luck at Church: Bring Cole Slaw

Thursday, August 7, 2014:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Bananas
    Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Sliced Veggies
    Snack: Cookies
    Dinner: Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Waffles with Sliced Peaches or Nectarines

Friday, August 8, 2014: Our 16th Wedding Anniversary
    Breakfast: Leftover Waffles
    Lunch: Tuna Lettuce Wraps, Sliced Veggies and Apples
    Snack: Cookies
    Dinner: Out for Mom and Dad, Chicken Nuggets and Sliced Veggies Fruit for the Children

Saturday, August 9, 2014:
    Breakfast: Cranberry Lemon Scones
    Lunch: At a Church Function
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

We are so blessed to have an incredibly stuffed refrigerator right now with all the veggies we've gotten through our CSA - I've been eating salads with lunch just about every day and John and has been taking them to work for lunch as well.  I'm starting to run low on white flour but I have plenty of whole wheat flour so we've had wheat bread and wheat biscuits rather than white.  The children like those, just not as much as some white bread types, so that's been fine!  I will be doing a mix of white and wheat flour for the waffles and pancakes this week.

John and I are celebrating our 16th Wedding Anniversary this week and are planning on using a gift card to eat a nice dinner out someplace.  If we can't find a sitter in our price range, we'll go to breakfast instead (also with a gift card) during the time the children are at Vacation Bible School in the morning.  I'm so amazed that it's been 16 years since we were married and even more amazed that we've been a couple for 21 years!  I don't feel like I'm that old.  I also had a birthday last week (as did my mother-in-law and one of our nephews!).  I'm hoping to do a post on that later this week!

What are you eating this week?