Wednesday, October 31

win a Dyson!

Pink Dyson Vaccuum Giveaway by the Domestic Diva

Ooh, ooh! You guys have gotta enter this contest! Can you believe? Hurry, it ends today!!!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, Dyson has agreed to give away one of their Dyson Vacuum Cleaners in the Pink color. Dyson is known as the vacuum that never loses suction. Out of each PINK DYSON VACUUM CLEANER that is sold, Dyson donates $40 to help Breast Cancer Research. Not only is this vacuum for a great cause but it also does a great job of keeping your home clean.

Click on the picture to be taken straight to the contest!

Tuesday, October 30

Fifteen Months

Today was Aaron's 15 month checkup, and we are praising the Lord that he is healthy as can be. Dr. Jordahl was happy to see that he has been steadily gaining - and I guess he's not as much of a porker as I would have thought. He's 23 pounds, which puts him right in the 25th percentile for weight, and 30 inches tall, which qualifies him for the 50th percentile for height. And also means that we've got precious few months before putting something up on the counter will not be the solution to "off limits" items. Every day is an adventure - we are so grateful for the blessings of God!

Monday, October 29


Read this. Really. Especially if your daily life is giving you a bit of frustration.

giveaways! (it's fall, y'all!)

Some of you may not know it, but this week is one of monumental giveaway proportions. You can give, you can sign up, you can do whatever. But please, please visit Bloggy Giveaways and see what's goin' on!!!

and the winner is....

I know I've made you wait in agony through the WHOLE WEEKEND, but I wanted to make sure to notify the winner first...and surprisingly enough, I was able to do it IN PERSON! Cindy Bright is the winner of the Pantry Clean Out Challenge. She planned a menu from her pantry and freezer through December 8, and has the Excel spreadsheet to prove it.

This thing is impressive, you all. It has categories, food groups; it is a work of art. If only I could figure out how to post links to Excel spreadsheets. Then you could see it for yourself.

Honestly, I didn't intend for the winner to be local. I didn't even know Cindy read my blog until I got her magnificent masterpiece in my email box. But you have to admit, free shipping is quite the bonus for me! :-)

An honorable mention goes to Aunt Rosemary, whose menu was fun & creative with "made up" holidays to celebrate their lives. She also planned through December 8th.

My condolences to all of you with pantry bugs. I'm so, so sorry. I can't even imagine the creepiness of all that. Not to mention the frustration to all of your frugal souls.

So what do you think? Should we have another Pantry Clean Out Challenge in the Spring?

Friday, October 26

only a little while left...

OK, I'm extending the Pantry Clean Out Challenge until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT for all of you who haven't yet gotten around to cleaning out the pantry...So, hop to it

I'm happy to report that although this has not been a Five Nap Friday, it's been MUCH better. Amazing what a little sleep can do for all of our dispositions, and our thinking processes. And our vocabulary.

Thursday, October 25

don't forget ...

The Pantry Clean Out Challenge ends tomorrow at 5pm! Can't wait to get more of your menus!

no nap Thursday

Obviously, I'm all done with dating, at least for the purpose of finding a spouse, but I came across this series a few weeks ago that I find slightly, um, well, interesting. (Sorry - my vocabulary is challenged today. Aaron has not taken any naps. Must. Give. Tranquilizers. KIDDING!!) This is not the "interesting" that sways either negatively or positively depending on the tone. It is simply interesting, with no overtone of good or evil, in a thought provoking way. Not at all in the way that this no-nap Thursday has been "interesting."

Anyway, I started at the beginning, read through the series, and am still mulling it over... any thoughts you'd like to share?

Wednesday, October 24

just because I'm curious...

*DISCLAIMER: the versions are listed in random order*

Tuesday, October 23

"land sakes!"

You are all coming out of the woodwork for the Pantry Clean out Challenge!! I really had no idea how many people (and WHO) read my blog. I have been blessed to read of God's provision for you all! Keep those menus coming!!!

too bad, so sad...

Last year, I found these fabulous baby shirts. Plain, long sleeved, soft, wonderful...almost good enough to wish they came in my size. Almost. Those envelope shoulders might present a little problem.

Well, I found out today that these little gems are not available in the next size up for Aaron (as in, they ran out). *LOUD SIGH* And of course, when I contacted customer service, they were not of much service. "We do not have any information on the status of this item" And of course, they are an online exclusive, making the possibility of my tracking down a few packs in various colors an impossibility. And RATS they were clearanced for a STEAL.

I personally think that stores should not be allowed to discontinue or run out of shirts that I love. I know, "the world does not revolve around me" and boy am I glad. But just this once, I wish there was a rule about running out of my favorite shirts for Aaron. Especially since I was counting on it. Especially since I love them. Did I mention that they are my favorites?

Maybe instead, I should just let go of my ingenious plan to clothe the Muth child in basic solids, avoid screen printing at all costs, and pass on the classics to the next child (should God send one). Maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and buy the Blues Clues shirts already.

I think I'd rather pray for a comeback.

Monday, October 22

gardening with kids

One of the participants in my Pantry Clean-Out Challenge is my great aunt Rosemary, who highly recommends gardening with kids - something I look forward to! She sent me these cute stories, and I wanted to share them with you!

When my granddaughter Amanda was about 2 and had just learned some of her colors, we were planting the garden. I was planting the corn seed and she was toddling along behind repeating 'yellow...yellow...yellow'. I kept putting the seed in the row and saying, 'yes, the corn is yellow'. At the end of the row, I turn to see her little hand held up - full of 'yellow' (the corn seeds that I had just planted!) and her proud, smiling little face saying 'yellow...yellow...'

Better keep an eye on your "helpers" this spring!!

Our grandson Alex has a few speech challenges - maybe it is it more 'hearing challenges'. You be the judge... His grandpa was working up the garden with the rototiller one spring when Alex was 6. It was a really nice day, but for some reason, Alex really wanted to stay in the house. He was sitting on the floor playing with his Lego and asked, 'Grandma, what are rotos?' I did my best to explained, 'I don't know, I guess a roto is something that goes rotates.' Frustrated with my answer, Alex said, 'No, what ARE rotos? What IS IT that Grandpa is killing out there with the ROTOKILLER?' So now when it it time to work up the garden in the spring, we say, 'I am going out to kill the Rotos'.

Don't forget to clean out your pantry this week, and
feel free to share YOUR funny kid stories, too!

in honor of toy manufacturers...

(Click to enlarge)

Friday, October 19

pantry clean-out challenge

OK friends - I'm hosting my first ever pantry clean-out challenge in honor of my happiness at the menu I've created from our surplus. Really, I'm SO excited that I won't have to do major grocery shopping. Or think about what is going to be for dinner. I can hardly stand it.

Here's the challenge:
1. take inventory of the food you have in your pantry (& freezer, too!)
2. plan a menu based on your findings
3. email your pantry-cleanout menu to me (twomuths at gmail dot com) Please put "Clean Out Challenge" in the subject line.
1. No fair grocery shopping before making the menu. This is a clean-out-your pantry challenge.
2. It's ok if you have to buy something (produce, dairy, etc) to make your menu work, just be sure to mark it on your menu. I put mine in all caps, then made a list of what I have to buy but you do whatever works for you - make sure you include this in the email, though.
3. It's also ok to repeat items. You can bet our "last til' December" menu has a few repeats.
4. I only did a dinner menu. If you want to do more, that's great, but not required.
5. Just because I'm curious, email me your estimated savings - how much can you save with your "clean out the pantry" menu?

Just for participating, I will send you an e-copy of a recipe book my mom & I put together to give as a gift. Nothing fancy - it's in Word. But who doesn't like new recipes? Then I will select the most impressive menu, post it, and send an extra gift to the winner!

DEADLINE: Friday, October 26, 5:00p EST. You have ONE WEEK!

Be sure to check out more ideas for saving money on this Frugal Friday.

Thursday, October 18


Please continue to pray for Nate & Lissa.

Monday, October 15


Please pray for Nate & Lissa. And for the rest of us as we grieve. God keeps reminding us, doesn't He? He is good, all the time.


This week at church, the Steve Pettit team is holding evangelistic meetings. I've been blessed already, and I know there will be more to come. And, I just have to say, it's very encouraging to hear an evangelist say loudly and explain clearly that salvation is all about God. I've heard too many whose message seems to be contrary to this truth.

This morning I went through our freezers and pantry and came up with enough food to make meals through December 1st, purchasing only a few basics plus produce. Talk about blessed! This will allow us to save a LOT of $ for holiday travel and other expenses. Who knew we had that much food as a surplus?!

Saturday, God provided a couch. For free. It's a nice neutral green, and very comfy. We had decided to just use our futon and be happy with it, as other things (like, say, siding the house) are more pressing. I'd been praying that if God wanted us to have a couch, that He would provide one, and sort of selfishly prayed that I would like it, too. I almost cried as we drove home with the couch. The same people are also giving us a dresser. I've been scouring garage sales all summer for a solidly built tall dresser to replace the shaky particle board one we're currently using. With a fresh coat of paint and some new knobs, this will fit the bill perfectly.

How have you been blessed this week?

Saturday, October 13

Friday, October 12

it's Friday

I'm goin' on a date with the world's hottest hottie tonight! It sure is fun to date your spouse. All the fun, none of the weirdness of pre-marriage dating. (not that I did much of that) And thanks to mom & dad, we get free babysitting! I lined up the sitter, and Michael's planning the date this time.

In the past, we've gotten free birthday Coldstone, run errands (everything's more fun together) and we've used gift cards that we have for restaurant dates. We usually share an entree (more than enough food for 2, usually) and order water to drink to save $. We've also done our share of coffee shop dates.

So, what's your favorite thing to do for a frugal date? I need some new ideas!!

follow up

Ever since our taboo discussion, I've been "accidentally" coming across similar discussions on the web. If you're interested in reading what I've "happened across", you can read this post, or this one

John Piper also has some interesting things to say on this topic.

Thank you, everyone, for your gracious input on this delicate subject. I enjoyed reading each unique perspective, and rejoice with each of you at how God has led your families.

Thursday, October 11

retro what?!!?

Today I found Retro Food, a blog devoted to the recipes our moms and grandmas had in their recipe boxes. I just spent a good 15 minutes over there, laughing at some of the recipes, and thinking, "ooh, I've just got to try that one" a few times as well. I will go back. For sure. Especially if I need another idea for our menu. Yes, I am still on that kick. It might be more of a phase now.

I found the site through Frugal Hacks, which is definitely a blog to subscribe to in your Google Reader if you've any desire to save money in creative ways. I've found so many ideas and tips via that site and others who are listed in the sidebar.

So now I'm curious - what's one of your favorite sites?

Wednesday, October 10


I know I'm biased, but isn't he just the cutest? I think he's starting to look more like Michael again!

Tuesday, October 9

book by book

Several months ago, my mom brought over a registration form for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program and practically begged me to fill it out - I have to admit, I thought it was too good to be true, but I filled it out and sent it in. Today, Aaron received The Little Engine That Could. Apparently, he will receive one new book every month until he is five! I'm fully expecting that some of these books will not be my favorites, but I am excited that these FREE books will expand our library!

See if the program is available where you live!

Monday, October 8


Here is me, before the haircut. Notice my foolproof method for creating sculpted cheekbones?

And here is me, after the haircut. A little shorter than I had planned, but hey, anything is an improvement over the "shaggy curtain" look in the above photo.

Saturday, October 6

try it for practically nothing

Don't know if any of you have ever tried Silk, but I got a sample of the chocolate flavor in a recent "goody bag" from Curves. It's creamy and delicious. And today, I found this printable coupon offer for $2.25 off Silk. This week at Meijer, Silk is on sale for $2.50. I already bought some with another coupon, but this deal is good enough that I think I'll be getting some more. You can't beat a 25 cents!

Friday, October 5

the week

This week, I've been a "lady of leisure" as my job was put on hold. Not enough projects to keep us all busy. It was great - although I'm sure we will miss the income, and I really didn't do too much "leisure-ing," I did get a lot done.

Monday we had some friends over - they have a daughter about 2 months older than Aaron, and they played together much better than any of us expected. A few sharing issues with "Pooh's Dress up Day" but other than that, it was adorable watching them play. We even had an impromptu concert. These kids have Got It, let me tell you.

Tuesday was interesting. I'm still in my "try a new recipe" kick, and we had chicken spaghetti, modified from a recipe I've had forever and one at this site. Don't ask me how I found it. When I get sucked into the vortex of blogs, home improvement and cooking websites, it all gets a little blurry.

Wednesday was church. I made pizza pockets with a bread machine dough recipe I gleaned from a friend. I tried substituting whole wheat flour for 1/2 the bread flour, and it worked out very well. I just have to figure out how to get them not to be so thick and bready on the bottom after I seal them and flip them over. Any suggestions?

Thursday was grocery and errand day. I scored some fabulous deals at Meijer - 10 avocados for $2 on the reduced produce rack, bananas for 29 cents a pound, and kiwi at 25 cents each. We took a little trip to see Michael, who was working in Midland this week, then I came home and made quiche and cinnamon rolls and guacamole. Aaron only took one nap, and -

What, you don't think quiche, cinnamon rolls and guac go together? What are you, crazy? I didn't plan it that way,'s the deal - for some reason, we have a LOT of eggs right now. I am not really sure how that happened. Michael's not a big fan of quiche, (I think I've made it all of 4 times in our 3 plus years of marriage) but it is probably one of my top 10 favorite foods. I really didn't want the eggs to go bad, so TA DA a great excuse! I planned quiche. And then I found those avocados - and I had to use them. After all, they WERE on the reduced produce rack for a REASON. And no, I didn't make all 10 avocados into guac. I gave some to my parents, and there are a few left here.

Today has been a whirlwind of laundry and dishes. And it's weeks like this that I wonder if I really WOULD get that much more done if I didn't work.

And for all you family members interested on Aaron's progress: He is talking a L.O.T. He's just 14 months, and has probably 20-25 words that he uses frequently, along with the typical baby babble and accompanying facial expressions. We still work with him on sign language (a little) but he's much more verbally advanced than I ever expected at this age. This is good - it helps me be more confident that he is understanding MUCH more than he can communicate.

He's not a shrimp anymore, either. I think he's probably close to 22-23 pounds, and eats like a...BOY. There are days he can out eat me. I'm not exaggerating.

And, I still haven't gotten my hair cut. Right, I asked you guys in May for your opinions. And in the 5 months since I asked, it's gotten quite loooong. I finally settled on a style, and am getting it cut next week, hopefully. I will be sure to post before and after pictures.

This weekend I am going to be a roofing widow. Michael will be gone all day, helping a friend re roof the house. We're so thankful for the help on our roof that he's glad to help another family get the job done. I think a trip with my mom to a semi-distant town to visit Aldi will be a good way to break up the day.

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, October 1

works of God

THE BEST NEWS THIS WEEK - remember the family God has brought our way? This Saturday, the two boys (M & D) attended Harvest Fest here in Michigan and made professions of faith! We are BEYOND ecstatic! Please continue to pray for their mom to have clarity in her understanding of Biblical truth, especially related to matters of salvation and baptism.

the damage

Total spent at Walgreens - $6.10

(although, I truly appreciate your estimates of my ability to pinch the pennies.)

If you haven't already heard, Walgreens will no longer be carrying Luvs diapers, and so they are liquidating their stock by taking 75% off. Our Walgreens stores only carried sizes 4 & 5, and after I left on Friday, only had 3 packs of 5's left. You might want to check your Walgreens just in case they might have a few packs left. The clearance price was not marked on the shelf. I asked for a price check and rushed back to claim my (ehem) booty.

Aaron doesn't wear 4's yet, but you can believe that at $3.68 plus a few $1 off coupons ($2.68 for 52 diapers? um, YES!) I took the opportunity to stock up - and I was even able to snag a couple extra packs for some friends.

And for those of you who are thinking, "I thought the Muths used cloth," well, we do. I'd say we're a part time cloth diaperin' family. The (ehem) bottom line is, I have 7 fancy schmancy diapers. When they are all dirty, I wash them. If I run out, or have too much laundry piled up to even think about extra wash cycles, we use disposables. I'm not going to stress about it. There are other things more worthy of my energies.

accidental favorite

Ground Chicken was on sale last week for 99 cents a pound. I was looking for something easy and yummy and different than what we had on our menu (anybody else get sick of the same ol' recipes?) I'd seen Rachael Ray make chicken burgers before, and so I thought I'd try out something like that. Here's what I came up with that ended up being soooo delish! Next time I'd probably divide it into 6 or 7 patties. I only divided them into 4, and these were HEFTY burgers!

Chicken Burgers

1 lb ground chicken
1/3ish cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2ish cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp minced garlic
a generous shake onion powder
worcestershire sauce - about a tablespoon
salt & pepper

Mix well, divide into patties, cook on high heat until browned and the juices run clear - use oil or they will stick badly!

We didn't have buns, I took some bread and used a cup to cut circles out of the middles. (the scraps will be an Aaron-snack or croutons) It ended up being fancy-looking and so so yummy. We were sad to see the burgers end. I served them with sliced tomatoes and mayo for Michael.

I also made some oven fries which cooked while the burgers were prepared & served.

4 small red potatoes
seasoned bread crumbs
grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper

I cut the potatoes up in wedges, gave them a rinse with water, tossed them with somewhat equal parts bread crumbs and cheese and drizzled them with olive oil, then baked at 350 for probably 15 minutes or so, then sprinkled with salt & pepper after they came out of the oven.

The consensus is that we will be having this meal again.