Tasty Plans

10411311_10152268430726786_4452291925342614325_nYesterday afternoon I scrolled through back a few years on this blog… re-reading about things I wrote about; recipes I shared and pictures of the boys.   Time sure does fly by!  I can’t believe Punky will be NINE next month!  WHAT?!?!?!!?

Life here is hectic and crazy.  Punky is in tackle football this year and loving it!   Our kitchen is nearly done.  Our bathroom will be worked on soon; and I am already spinning my wheels a million times too fast with the start of another school year.

This week, I am going for organization and simplicity.  So, I just sat down and planned out our week’s dinners and lunches.

Here it goes:

Sunday: Hubby picked up yummy steaks at Costco yesterday so I think we’ll grill those with baked potatoes, green beans and a salad.

Monday (Punky has a game and it’s MONDAY NIGHT  FOOTBALL for DA BEARS!): Lemon Chicken, mashed potatoes, a vegetable and a salad.

Tuesday: I’m going to try the Creamy Chicken Mushroom Skillet over at Laughing Spatula.  I’ll serve it with buttered egg noodles, a veggie and yep…a salad.

Wednesday: We’ll try the Olive Garden Alfredo sauce recipe over at Damn Delicious with shrimp and fettucine.  (Have I told you how much I am loving the organic fettucine noodles at Aldi?  <3 ) We’ll have a salad and garlic bread too.

Thursday: Parmesan Chicken from over at Damn Delicious.  Looks tasty!


Friday, it’ll be perfect way to end the week at Maverick’s in Champlin with my buddies from school for “Choir Practice!”

Hopefully, having a plan will allow me to spend some time with these little boys I have that are growing up WAY too fast!

Have a wonderful week everyone!


Updates and a recipe!

13903_10152200440701786_3473053442852829486_nThings are crazy busy here!   School is around the corner…so I am working 24-7 getting my department ready for the first day of school.  Football is also HUGE right now. Punky has practice 4 days a week for 2 hours each day.  He really likes it, but my gosh, it is hard  core!  Almost seems like a mini-boot camp! But, he is loving it!   The smile on his face and sparkle in his eye at the end of practice each night is so worth it!

The kitchen is coming along…. Should be done later this week.   I promise to post pics!  :)  Our AC went out last week, so my counter-depth fridge purchase is on the back burner for now…. but I still like how the fridge looks in its new home.

Tonight, on the menu plan was spaghetti.  I have to say that since I started making this sauce, my boys do not want sauce from a jar.  So, I thought I’d share the recipe!   I got the base of this from allrecipes.com, and I tweaked it a bit for our taste.

Enjoy!   Super easy, super yummy, and cheaper than the jar!  I always make this size (it’s doubled from original recipe) as my boys LOVE sauce on their pasta! 10625108_10152203263181786_8871573470266918284_n

Yummy Spaghetti!


Servings: 8
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 8 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley  <—– from our garden!
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 finely diced onions
  • 1 cup white wine (i use red since that’s all I ever have!)
  • 1 package italian sausage, ground (I use turkey italian sausage! Yum!)


  1. In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat brown sausage with the olive oil. Then add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and wine.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve with your favorite pasta ar garlic bread (Great dunking sauce!)



Grandma’s Hands

I have put off writing this post for as long as possible. It makes me sad. That huge lump in my throat will not go away.  So, here I sit to tell a story. A beautiful story about a wonderful woman.  My Grandma.

Ever since I was little, I have been enthralled with my Grandma’s hands.  They always seemed so warm and incredibly soft.  I loved when she would scratch my back at night (I slept over there when my parents were at the hospital when my brother was born).  She would make me a snack after I walked to her house on Tuesday afternoons after school when my mom was on her weekly bowling league.  Her hands always busy…

As I got a bit older I would watch her hands on our special car rides.  She would pick me up when her odometer was going to change to a big number.  We would honk, sing, and celebrate as the numbers changed on her dashboard.  I would watch her hands on the wheel as she drove me around.

I watched her hands as she would open gifts.  We always teased her as she always took her time opening gifts, savoring every unwrapping step – one flap, then another, then another, etc until the box was unwrapped.   She endured countless badgering on those late Christmas Eve nights when it was her turn to open.  Her hands simply and gracefully open her packages.

As I got even older, I would watch her hands whenever I visited.  I loved when she took my hands in hers.  Always comforting. Always strong.  Always there.

As my grandma transitions into her next chapter of her life, I am left with the warm memories of those beautiful hands.

The hands that helped me as I was growing up.   The hands that hugged me on my wedding day.  The hands that held each one of my kids.  The hands that will soon remain still.


I love you Grandma!  We were so blessed to have you in our lives for so long.  I love the fact that Punky has had you in his life as well.   Little Kirby will have to rely on our beautiful memories, and we will certainly share them with him.  I have so many more memories and stories to share, but all I can think of tonight, are her hands. (pictured above with Kirby’s hand last summer)

I pray that you will soon be at peace and be with Grandpa, Uncle Timmy, Uncle Matt and all of your siblings and your parents.  I envision you entering Heaven with the same smile that is on little Kirby’s face here…and God is reaching out his hands to welcome you…  as you were here with Kirby.  I  love you so very much.




Happy Birthday to my Amazing Dad!

I sure wish we could be in Illinois today to spend the day with my dad on his birthday.  We’ll be there Mother’s Day weekend…

I will be calling him a bit later to share his gift with him… but I had to post it so he could access it when I call! ;)

Happy Birthday, Dad!   Thank you for all you have taught me.  You are one amazing role model!  My favorite thing about you is your love for your family (and your sense of humor!) I love you!


Ninety-eight percent…

I let it all out tonight, and you know who helped me through my sadness, worry, and tears?  My 8 year old.  He never fails.

My grandma has a brain tumor.  She has undergone many tests to make sure that is the only one in her body.  It is.  So, tomorrow morning, she undergoes a biopsy on that tumor.  Brain surgery.  There is a small chance she will lose her language skills.  When Punky overheard me say that to someone, he wanted numbers.  My mathematician.  I said 2 % chance.  Seemed like a number that would leave my little worrier alone.

Grandma has been in and out of the hospital and care center for almost 2 weeks now.  We call her every few nights to chat.  She loves talking with Punky.  They have a super special bond over the Chicago Cubs and baseball.  Makes my heart smile as I had that with my Grandpa, her husband.   Punky has written a poem for her.  During hospital stays, we send her e-greetings that the staff print out and deliver to her room.  Punky loves Grandma Smart.  (Remember why he calls her Grandma Smart?  If not, refresh your memory here.)

Punky and Grandma Smart – 2010

So, tonight, after I chatted with Grandma for awhile, Punky wanted to talk to her.  Man, how she perked up as they talked about the Cubs and Baseball.  Then, Punky wished her luck tomorrow.  He assured her that her surgery would go well.  She told him to sleep with the special Cubs blanket she gave him last fall… just to think of her and send up more prayers.  She told him that she loved him.  He replied, “No, Grandma Smart, I love you more.”

He passed the phone to me and I was soon flooded with so many what ifs…..

What if this was the last time we heard her voice…

What if this is the last time Punky talks with her… will he remember her?  I should have grabbed my cell and recorded their sweet conversation…

What if she can’t talk when this is over?

What if….what if…what if…..

I quickly pushed those thoughts away as I then had my turn back on the phone.  Grandma assured me all would go well tomorrow.  She kept saying she was very at peace with everything.  She said that she had “angels” who would be holding her hand during surgery.  I’m sure it will be grandpa, Uncle Matt, and maybe some of her siblings, like Aunt Margie.

Grandma had to hurry off the phone as the nurses were there to help her take a bath.  I quickly said good bye and told her I loved her.  She told me how proud she was of me and my family.  She said she can’t wait until we are there in May to visit.  She said she loved me more… and we hung up.

And the tears flooded.  Those what-ifs came barreling back to my brain.  I sat at the kitchen table silently sobbing.  Punky heard me from the living room and came and gave me a hug.  He whispered in my ear, “Ninety-eight percent Mama. Ninety-eight percent…”  As I tried to collect myself to get his dessert, he added , “Mama, that means only 2 things could go wrong and 98 will go right!  She’ll be ok!”

Thanks, buddy.  I love you!

Dear blog readers, please send prayers to Grandma tonight and tomorrow…





I have kind of been in a funk all day.   I hate April Fools’ Day.  I used to love it.  Then, 2008, on April 1st, I miscarried.  Now, I hate April Fools’ Day.

Although, it is refreshing to see the glimmer in Punky’s eyes and hear the laughter after a prank has been played.

Maybe one day, I will like April Fools’ Day again.

So, in memory of Little Schad baby… until we meet again…

The lyrics are below…

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

I did get to spend some time with Kirby tonight after dinner…just me and him…and giggles… it was priceless.  I so love my little spitfire!




And who can resist this super awesome kid….Punky… I love him to the moon and back times infinity.


I am so truly blessed.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work I Go!

Yes!!!  We are above zero degrees tomorrow and the wind chills will all be gone.  :)   YAY!!!!!   So excited to get back into a routine.  It was nice to have a few days off, but I need my routine back.

The past two days, Kirby has just been taking off with his “talking.”  He just babbles with an occasional “Ball” thrown in there.  But, it’s so stinking cute.  He just keeps talking like you should know what he is saying.   He spent a few minutes the last few days “talking” on the phone to my mom, my sister, and Hubby.


Tomorrow, I will miss my boys as I head back to work… The giggles, laughter, banter, and screeches are priceless.




Things I will miss come tomorrow morning…
Everyone sleeping til 8(Sorry, hubby)
Yoga pants
Comfy sweatshirts
Good Morning America
Kelly and Michael
Snuggly little boys
Multiple coffees from my Keurig
Giggles from my boys…all day long.
Nap time
Leisurely cooking dinner
Eating lunch with my boys

Have a great night!