Penny Pinching Peach


12 Comments

Happy Birthday, My Big Little Brother!

Brother & His Daughter A Few Years Ago

Brother & His Daughter A Few Years Ago

Today my big little brother turns 31.

Most of my childhood memories involve my brother one way or another.

I still remember him at 3, chasing our youngest uncle around practicing his ninja moves on him because someone thought it was a good idea to give him a karate costume. Watching that scene in my mind, it was pretty doggone cute and funny, but then I was just glad he was attacking our highly amused and much stronger than he was uncle rather than my scrawny little behind. 🙂

I recall my kid brother at 7, with that classic gap toothed grin, chattering up a storm at everyone who entered the pool hall and bouncing around the pool table whacking the balls in right and left, earning the nickname “Little Lightning” for both his prowess at the game of billiards and the fact he was always talking and moving at a rapid pace.

I can see in my mind’s eye my crazy 12 year old brother, soaring over fences, propane tanks and woodpiles he was jumping all over the farm with our Blue Heeler dog. He was all arms, legs, speed and energy…and guaranteed that dog would never make a good city pet.

Mom & Brother At a Family Reunion, 2005

Mom & Brother At a Family Reunion, 2005

I have memories of my bottomless pit of a growing brother at 16, sniffing around the kitchen to see where I hid the batch of cookies he smelled from all the way outside, then happily devouring all of them when he found the stash. That kid could (and still can, the brat! LOL) eat as much as he wanted and not gain an ounce.

I see my brother as a man, when he held his beautiful new daughter in his arms and beamed at her with pride and wonder. She opened a whole new part of his heart the moment he laid eyes on her, and it was amazing to watch.

My Brother Playing

My Brother Playing

I remember walking down the aisle to become my husband’s wife, to the sound of my talented brother strumming beautifully on his guitar exactly as I’d requested.

No matter the ups and downs life brings, I remember.

Life is a gift. Celebrate. Happy birthday, my one and only forever kid brother!


8 Comments

Let’s Celebrate Food Day!!!

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

You love food, I love food, we all love food! I mean, who can help it? We’ve all gotta eat! October 24th is an extra special day in the world of food. It’s not only the official celebration of Food Day, but also the birthday of one of my all-time favorite food lovers- my dear ol’ Dad! It’s only fitting that he was born on the day we celebrate one of his most beloved things (other than his darling children, of course! 😉 ). He sure loves himself some good vittles! Love you and a big happy birthday holler, Daddy!

Food Day isn’t just about any food. It’s about making an effort to eat real, healthy food and about the people who work hard to make sure these choices are readily available. It’s about encouraging families to choose more natural and less processed. According to http://www.foodday.org : In 2014, Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers

I just finally got my late autumn garden of kale, broccoli and butter lettuce planted a couple of days ago to give us a continued supply of some fresh healthy green veggies for a couple more months while produce is getting more and more expensive. I wanted to plant spinach, too, but I waited too long to start the seeds and couldn’t find the plants anywhere locally. I’d love to have more in, but life interfered with my larger plans for this year. The only thing still producing well from my summer garden is the jalapenos you see pictured. They are doing amazingly well! 🙂 If you want to know how I made those yummy unfried poppers in the picture, just click the photo for instructions.

What are you doing to make healthy food choices for your family? How knowledgeable do you think you are about things related to the growth and production of the food we eat? Take this quiz, and let me know how you did! http://www.foodday.org/food_literacy_quiz I took it, and got 12 out of 15 right. A couple of my wrong answers surprised me! Can you outdo me?

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! :)

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! 🙂


3 Comments

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, we decided to read his whimsical books in a nook with a look for ideas to cook up for activities to do that go along with the stories. Today we read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”. That is one of my munchkins ‘ favorites! I didn’t want to do a bunch of printing and searching activities yesterday, so I just free styled it. Maybe it will give someone else some inspiration.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com” 

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a favorite read at our house!

One fish, two fish was simple. I drew a large one and a large two on each side of the picture with the word fish, and let her draw. She decided to go rogue on that one, so I’ll skip a picture, but she did understand the concept. LOL

Red fish, Blue fish

Red fish, Blue fish

For red fish, blue fish, it was pretty easy, too. I grabbed some red and blue markers, using the appropriate colors to title and illustrate a coloring page. My little artist colored them opposite colors, but she enjoyed herself. 🙂

So that it wasn’t just about the fish on the cover, I chose another of my daughter’s favorite parts of the book for the closing activity.

By the light of a star, by the light of the moon...

By the light of a star, by the light of the moon…

I drew a moon and star, sketched a rudimentary sheep, grabbed a bunch of cotton balls, rolled pieces of tape and stuck them to each, and turned my little princess loose. Glue would be easier, but we have issues with glue, curls and an independent streak. 😉 My kiddo was pretty tickled with the results of her project!

Is anyone else doing any fun activities in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday? Am I the only lifelong fan of his books? I was actually excited to read them to my babies, since I enjoyed them so much growing up! 🙂 If you want to get your own copy to do these fun activities with, just head on over here: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish


6 Comments

Happy Birthday Freebies!!

First Birthday

Three out of five members of our family have birthdays coming up in the next three weeks, and I’m already seeing some of the fun free stuff we are going to get in this year. There are alot of birthday freebies out there, and many of them have perks all year long. I’ve seen alot of them, but haven’t take advantage of them all. Some are not in my area, others I’m not interested in, some I just wouldn’t use. I’m only sharing a dozen of the birthday freebies I’ve actually signed up for, used myself and liked, so I can vouch for them. I’m aware of alot more, and plan to sign up for a few new ones I discovered while looking up these links to share with you, so I’ll probably update this list in the future to share some new favorites. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Which birthday freebie are you most excited about getting for your birthday or someone in your family? For free clothes, check out  Schoola Discount Clothing

First Birthday

First Birthday


11 Comments

Share the Kindness

 

All of my mama's girls

Share the kindness through the generations!

I’m not sure if anyone noticed that I missed my normal “Cooking With Coupons” blog of the week or posting anything else for a few days. I apologize for the silence. What should have been my mom’s 51st birthday was a few days ago. My brain just hasn’t been able to churn out any creative thinking in the little time I’ve had to attempt to use it, and nothing I have written was inspiring me to post it.

My mom was one of the most kind and caring folks I have ever known.

She was radiant, and I only wish she were here now to continue to share that radiant sweetness she had with the next generation. She isn’t, but I am, so I’m doing my best to pass it along. Today, I’m going to just share a few thoughts and issue a challenge in her honor.

First, I’ll share my daughter’s reaction to my mom’s birthday:

Princess Peach was upset that I didn’t make a cake for my mommy’s birthday, and was quick to let me know about it. She said I needed to make a cake right now so she could put a candle in it and make a wish for her grandma. When I asked her what she would wish for Grandma, she replied “I’d wish for her to be able to come down from Heaven to visit so she could meet her beeeeauuuuutiful grandbaby!” as she patted her own little chest. Her mommy wishes her wish could come true.

Moving on…

All of us know someone who needs encouragement in one way or another.

Take a few minutes out of your day and just do it. Some ideas?

  • Send a card to a widow whose husband passed a couple of months ago, sharing a fond memory you have of him (if you knew him). By that point, most folks have forgotten she is still alone and needing something to help fill the void, but she hasn’t and the loneliness is probably kicking in at a new depth.
  • For the teenager who struggles with school, but got a great report card, send an email or a note on social media letting him know how proud you are of his efforts. It helps teens to know others notice when they are doing well, and not just when they screw up. (We all know they get in enough trouble! 🙂
  • If you know a child who is painfully shy, take a minute to speak to her and let her feel heard and noticed, whether commenting on her drawngs or complimenting her outfit. Don’t push her too much and scare her, just pay attention. Your acknowledgement could help her come out of her shell, and will at least help her to know she isn’t invisible. (Spoken as a former social phobic young girl. 🙂 )
  • If you see a mommy struggling to get into the grocery store juggling little ones, cuppies, purse and diaper bag, open the door and compliment her on her cutiepies. You’ll help her feel better about the tough job of being a parent.
  • Encourage your children to be kind. Have them color pictures for grandparents, do thank you notes for those who do nice things for them, hug the elderly woman who always sits on the pew in front of you at church, or other little things that can brighten lives.
  • If you know someone is going through something you’ve been through already, share with them how you got through. Not in a judgmental way, just in a manner to let them know they aren’t alone and someone else has been there and survived.
  • Smile. Just smile at people. It takes less effort than scowling, and the trickle effect of your sunny mood can brighten someone’s sour face. 🙂

I could go on all day, but I won’t. The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to do anything huge. Just do something small every day you’re blessed with the precious gift of life to spread kindness in the world. It makes a much bigger difference than you may ever know.

Now for the challenge:

I want to ask anyone who reads this to share at least one “small” kindness someone did for you that made a difference for you. Maybe it will inspire others to do the same for someone else, continuing the kindness bestowed on you. Please, please share!

Remember…

“You can change the world one act of random kindness at a time.”

To see the beginning of this series, head on over to Acts of Kindness.