Sunday, February 20, 2011


Date Night!!!!
date - n.

a. An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.

b. One's companion on such an outing.

This is our 2nd edition of SURVEY SUNDAY. Our 1st survey on Family Dining was very well received! Thanks again to everyone who participated.

Today's topic is is on date nights. I made a new year's resolution to have more date nights with the hubs. We use to have so much fun trying new restaurants and frequently visiting our faves. We also went to LOTS of movies and enjoyed checking out local theaters for plays and ballets (don't let Shan know I just told you that). Any who... that was in our former life.

After Sam was born Shannon's parents so graciously would keep him one weekend a month. It was wonderful!!! We always knew we'd have a weekend coming up to do WHATEVER WE WANTED! We didn't find ourselves getting as harried as we do now. We NEVER hired a sitter because we rarely went on any other "dates" during the month. We'd just save our $$ for our "off" weekend. If we needed to scoot out for a bit, my parents lived literally a stones-throw-away and welcomed little Sambo.

When Fulton was born things changed a little. Money was a little tighter and hiring a sitter made us feel like we were stretching our budget too much, so we rarely used one. We still felt fortunate that his parents would keep the boys about 1 night a month or 1 weekend every couple of months. As our date nights dwindled, we REALLY looked forward to our time together... just the two of us, to regroup and rekindle.  In lieu of date "nights" we did lots of date lunches. I would leave the boys for lunch at preschool and we would meet at favorite lunch spots around town. We did the best we could to spend some time together.

As for now, three boys later, it's REALLY sad!!! We are lucky if we have a date out of the house every three to six months (YIKES!!!! Did I just admit that???).  Our belts are much tighter, as we are saving for so many other things. I know that sounds terrible, but sadly, it's true. The boys still get to visit Shan's parents for a weekend here and there, maybe twice a year (if that). If we get in a pinch we can ask my parents to help, if necessary. But truth be known...out last "date" was to a Christmas party (which in my opinion doesn't really count because it's an obligation. I think of a date as time with just the two of us doing what we planned for ourselves.) If you go back to the last time we planned something for ourselves... I'd have to go back to August 14, 2010... Shan's birthday.

And I'd like to slap whoever decided that $12/hour was a reasonable rate for a babysitter of three children who are asleep the majority of the time. It costs us a fortune just to go to dinner!!! Our last "date" when we went to the Christmas party cost us SIXTY SMACKERS and that doesn't include the appetizers I prepared and the BYOB! We simply cannot justify spending that kind of money. If we had gone to dinner it would have been double that. Now, we find ourselves doing LOTS of date nights in with take-out sushi and netflix! While I do enjoy that time with Shan, it sure would be nice to get out every now and then... maybe even every other month... ya know???

So, I want to know how in the world you people handle your date nights!!!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Happiness is...

looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing THIS face singing as many lyrics as he knows of Half of My Heart by John Mayer.

This little boy's momma is a HUGE John Mayer fan. So it doesn't surprise me that he isn't afraid to belt out one of his little diddies.

A while ago, when I heard this song for the first time it was it's catchy melody that caught me. It's sorta addictive... like this little face.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The results are in!!!

Ok... It's kinda like American Idol or DWTS results shows...BUT BETTER!

This is the moment you've all been waiting for!!!!

My first What's Bakin'? Survey Sunday results are in!!!!

1. How many people are in your family (living in your home)?:
1-2 16.2%
3-4 43.2%

5-6 40.5%

7+ 0.0%

2. How much do you budget for groceries each week?: (I wish I had done a <$100 option instead of $400+ choice...that's kinda ridiculous unless you're talking about my budget in about 10 years when all my boys are teenager-----YIKES!!!!) 
$100-200 89.2%
$250-350 10.8%
$400+ 0.0% 0

3. Do you prefer to shop...
Online with convenient pick-up/delivery 10.8%

In the store 89.2%

4. How many times per week do you go to the grocery store?

1x 43.2%

2-3x 54.1%

4+x 2.7%

5. When do you usually brave the store?:

Weekday A.M.--- Sans Kids 24.3%

Weekday P.M.--- Sans Kids 16.2%

Weekend A.M.--- Sans Kids 8.1%

Weekend P.M.--- Sans Kids 13.5%

Weekday A.M.--- Kids in tow 5.4%

Weekday P.M.--- Kids in tow 2.7%
Weekend A.M.--- Kids in tow 0.0%
Weekend P.M.--- Kids in tow 0.0%

It Varies 29.7%

6. How many meals do you prepare at home for dinner each week?:

7 2.8%

5-6 36.1%

3-4 47.2%

1-2 13.9%

0 0.0%

7. How many times per week do you and your spouse eat lunch prepared at/from home?:

7 2.7%

5-6 35.1%

3-4 37.8%

1-2 16.2%

0 8.1%

8. How many times per week do your children eat lunch prepared at/from home?:

7 2.9%

5-6 51.4%

3-4 20.0%

1-2 11.4%

0 14.3%

9. How many dinners do you eat out per week (excluding church)?:

7 0.0%

5-6 5.6%

3-4 19.4%

1-2 72.2%

0 2.8%

10. What's the average amount your family spends on a meal out?:

<$15 2.7%

$2)-25 35.1%

$30-35 43.2%

$40-50 18.9%

$55+ 0.0%

I was really surprised at the number of participants. A survey wouldn't be a whole lot of fun (or accurate) if only my 5 readers took it. So here's a HUGE thank you to all of you who participated. Be on the look out for the next Survey Sunday. It'll be a fun topic!!!

Any who. After doing this, Shannon and I realized that we are pretty typical for a family of 5. Where did y'all fit in? Discuss amongst yourselves. ;-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


* In case you're wondering about the not-so-normal-for-what's bakin' music's a tribute to my sweet dog, Linus, who I wrote about in an earlier post. I'll change it when I'm feeling a little more spunky.*

Ok. I am going to try something new with my blog.

But first...

I'll tell you a little confession. I was in the car with my momma the other day. I was driving. She noticed my neck breaking as I turned to look at every couple of houses. She said, "Honey, what are you doing?" I said, "I'm looking in people's carports and garages. I like to see how people live and what kinds of "stuff" they keep." I went on to tell her that I like riding by a well-lit, open house at night and seeing how people decorate. I wonder what they're doing and what they might be eating for supper.

So close your blinds...I just might be on the prowl ;-).

As I was eating supper out with my peeps the other night and our bill was being totaled, I wondered how much the average family of 5 spends on a meal out... and NOT on kids-eat-free night. I feel as though my family spends more than necessary when we eat out. It then led me to wondering if our grocery/food budget was average... and so on.

So, to satisfy my curiosity about "how people live" and to allow myself a little peek into the way others do things, I've decided to do random (maybe weekly) surveys for all FIVE people who read my blog.

Most of y'all know I'm a sucker for a survey... especially an anonymous one! No, I have not joined the Census! I'm just curious.

So this week's survey is on FAMILY DINING!!!!

All answers are COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. If you have any comments or suggestions for my 5 readers, then I'd love it if you'd leave those below!

The survey will close on Wednesday and I'll attempt to deliver a report at some point, but no promises.

Welcome to the very first edition of...

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Farewell Linus

dear linus,

you'll never know how heavy my heart is right now. my eyes are so cried out that my contacts have a haze over them. everywhere i look in the house i see something that reminds me of you. we are going to miss you so very much, sweet little friend. we were so blessed to have loved you all these years. you were no trouble EVER and a delight to have around. ALWAYS.

when we adopted you in your 5th year, i never imagined that you would be with us for TWELVE.  you definitely lived your life to the fullest. you were certainly a lucky dog too. your favorite game was when we'd play "tough guy" and you certainly proved to be one. you survived being hit by a car not once, but TWICE! you lived next door to mom and dad then and i just knew you were a goner and that dixie would really miss her "prom date". you survived a couple of doozie infections that i thought were going to take you out. BUT no! you persevered and lived a very long happy life with us. we were looking forward to celebrating your 17th birthday very soon. you had surpassed the life expectancy by several years and in human years you'd be almost 119 years old!

thank you for making me smile. thanks for being dixie's best friend. she already seems lost without you and you've only been gone for several hours. thanks for being the butt of so many jokes that we will laugh about for years to come. thanks for being so loyal and for seeing me through so many tough times. thanks for being excited each time we brought another baby home. you so humbly took the backseat with dixie, yet continued to love us unconditionally. when you came to live with us you were wearing a tag that said "good dog" and that my precious little linus, you were... a good dog. we all loved you so much!!!!

i have a hard time accepting that pets are the beasts of burden, but i know that God has a special place for your little soul. i hope you are now at "the rainbow bridge", running in a beautiful, sunny field with your fluffy snow-white coat blowing in a warm breeze. you deserve it, sweet doggie.

i'll miss you, sweet boy!



 trying out the crib for sambo in 2002

 Christmas 2008

scrapbook picture 2001

Christmas 2000