Monday, January 31, 2011

A month of prayer for our Children

In February, I have committed myself to pray for 1 virtue every day that I want to instill in my boys. (I'm using "A Parent's Prayer Program" from Focus on the Family) I thought I would post daily in my blog and hopefully some of you will join me. We Mama's have power in prayer for our little guys...I believe we can change the future, one child at a time :) If you do embark on this journey with me, I would love to hear from you.

Today's prayer...
God, please prepare my heart for this journey. To often I run to you in times of crisis, and you are so faithful to respond, but now I want to spend this time praying for the future of my boys. Help me to raise them to be Godly men, strong in virtue, and, dependent on you. Amen.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Menu Planner...January 31 - February 6

Next week will be a busy week for us. The boys & I are going out of town for our dear friends Adoption (yay!), then we are bringing Granny back home with us for a few days. We are also expecting a Friday night sleepover from Aunt Mana! In addition, I'm trying to become a little more intentional about Breakfast & Lunch plans to see if it helps Cole eat better...this is my trial run.
What an exciting week :)

Breakfast: Biscuits & Gravy
Lunch: Hot dogs, Homemade Mac-n-Cheese
Dinner:Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Homemade Potato Chips (first attempt!)
Breakfast: Toast & Bacon
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets & Orange Slices
Dinner: eating out (Alfonso's Pizza!!)
Breakfast & Lunch we will be out of town
Dinner: Potato Soup (in the freezer from last week), Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuits
Lunch: leftover soup & salad
Dinner: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Corn & Homemade Bread
Breakfast: Hashbrown Casserole & Toast
Lunch: Meatloaf Sandwiches, Cheesy Potatoes
Dinner: Fettuccine Alfredo, Salad, Garlic Bread
Breakfast: Pancakes & Sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Steak, Baked Potato, Green Beans & Salad, Homemade Rolls
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: leftovers or eating out (not sure yet!)
Dinner: Chili-Frito Pie

$39 for a 16x20 Canvas Print from Zulily!

Zulily is a one-day-only deal site that I frequent often (like Groupon). Today's deal is great..a 16x20 canvas print, plus a 5x7 canvas print...for $39!
The way this works is you create an account on - then you purchase today's deal. 48 hours later you receive your "deal" code via email - log on & start designing!
The reason these sites can offer these deals so cheap is because so many people get these emails, are exposed to their company. Volume = Profit, and, of course - if they like what they get...a likely repeat customer.
The cool thing is...we get to decorate our home, and, preserve our memories CHEAP!
Enjoy :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Steals & Deals with Online Photo Printing

If you have paid attention to any of my facebook posts lately you know that I have enjoyed several nice freebies lately from online photo companies, most of the time paying only S&H. And so far, I'm really happy with the products & prints :)

Here are a few tips to start putting those memories on paper for your family...

First, sign up with all the online photo companies you can find. Most of them offer FREE prints for new customers. (you may want to wait to sign up with a lot of them until you have enough photo's stored up for printing - most offers do have expirations on them). I got 75 FREE prints with Shutterfly, and, another 40 I think with Snapfish.

Sign your spouse up for his own account. Each email address qualifies for their own account! (just remember to check his email account hubby would automatically delete these emails if I didn't deal with them!)

Watch your email for specials & be ready to ACT FAST with your prints. This week alone I got 10-5x7 Photo cards with Envelopes, and 2-20 page hardcover photobooks...all for less than $15 S&H. In both instances, I had less than 24 hours to complete my project and submit my order.

One of my coupon websites ( gives FAST alerts to photo deals. This website does cost $12 a year to subscribe too - but is a must have for a serious couponer (if your only looking to do photo deals, I wouldn't pay an annual subscription for that).

LIKE coupon sites on Facebook. They update all day long & offer the fastest notification to fast moving deals. A few that I like are "Penny Pinchin' Mom" & "Frugal Coupon Living" - they seem to stay on top of all the deals.

Pay attention to the weekly fliers for CVS, Walgreens, Alco...these stores often offer great deals on prints, photobooks, etc in store. You can also order online on these sites!

Some of the sites I frequent the most... (25 free prints for new accounts) (several offers to choose from for new accounts) (25 free photo cards) (20 free prints for new accounts) (25 free prints for new accounts) (50 free prints for new accounts) (16 free prints for new accounts) (always lots of freebies on this site! tshirts, totebags, mugs, etc)

And the list goes on & online search will help you figure out which sites are best for your needs.

If you have any tips for great online photo deals, I would love to hear them!

Confession Friday...Wasn't me!

It's Confession Friday! My version "Wasn't Me"...a fun way to confess the hand-slapping convictions of the week in the Lenczycki Household :)

Wasn't Me ... who left wet clothes in the washer for 2 days and let her husband be greeted by a lovely mildew smell when he opened the washer at 1am.

Wasn't Me...who realized 10 minutes ago that it's Friday and Cole hasn't graced the bath tub since Monday night. (Ewww!)

And the person who ate every last bag of Cole's peanut M&M's that were left from Halloween...nope...Wasn't Me

Most certainly Wasn't Me who put Jacob in bed with us last night to get some extra sleep.

Would love to hear some of your weekly confessions....if your brave enough :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Garlic Tortellini

I got this from my girlfriend, and, it is a FAVORITE in this house. So yummy, so easy, so fast!

2lbs Cheese Tortellini (My favorite kind is Schwan's, but, I may be partial!)
2 Sticks Butter
1 pint Half & Half
1/2 pint Heavy Whipping Cream (about a cup)
Small can of Mushrooms OR FRESH mushrooms sliced (fresh are my preference when I can get them reasonably priced)
1/4 Cup Minced Garlic

OK here's the cool part....
Toss ALL of it into a crockpot on high for 2 hours, or low for 3-4 hour, stirring every so often.
Add 1/3 Cup Parmesean Cheese before serving.

Yep, that's it. And it's YUMMY!! I also 1/2 the recipe if it's just Jason & I. It's VERY filling!!

Enjoy :)

PJ & Movie Day at PreK!

Cole is all smiles for his PJ & Movie day at PreK!

This was originally scheduled for before Christmas, and, Daddy went out and bought Cole special new PJ's just for this day...well, then we had a snow day :( I'm so happy they are able to go ahead & have it now, Cole was pretty excited to wear his Batman Jammies to school!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No more pokes!!

As exciting as it is to see my baby boy smiling, cooing and starting to also meant that we would soon be visiting the Pediatrician for those dreaded first shots. When Cole was little I was fortunate enough to get his first shots on a day Jason was on vacation - so I didn't have to bear that hard visit all on my own. I wasn't so fortunate today.

Here is my beautiful baby boy BEFORE they stuck him...

And here he is after he cried himself to sleep :(

I of course was too busy holding & rocking him to get the immediate after pics...although I doubt anyone would want to see that anyway!

So far he's doing OK - just sleeping A LOT. I don't really remember Cole having any problems so I'm hoping that will be the case with Jacob too :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cole's Big Brother :)

I know what your thinking, and, No...Jason doesn't have kids from a previous relationship! But, Yes, we officially have our first imaginary friend in the Lenczycki House.
I honestly was surprised it took so long...I kind of thought that happens sooner, but maybe it's different with boys.
Cole's imaginary friend is his "big brother", who's name is also Cole.
Big Brother Cole has been getting blamed for a lot of thins lately! But, it's so cute to hear him talk about him. Cole has always wanted a Big Brother and a Baby Sister. Unfortunately, he lucked out on both :( However, being Foster never know what God may plan for us in the future...I just personally hope it's not for awhile ;)

How did this happen?!

Saturday Jacob turned 2 months old. As I was rocking him to sleep last night, that was the thought going through my mind "How did this happen?!". It seems like just yesterday we were still in the hospital (begging to leave by day 5!), and, now Jacob is starting to hold his head up by himself.

This little Vtech Busy Bee was a Christmas Gift for Jacob from my Mom & Dad. He loves it! I have to say they pick out the best baby gifts. Cole & Jacob both love the activity gym & peek-a-boo eeyore that they got for Cole as a baby, and, now the Busy Bee just fits right in. Jacob is starting to reach for the buttons on the the bee to turn it on, and, smiles ear to ear each time we put it in front of him.

Menu Planner...January 24-30

Last week I caught an amazing last minute sale on a Beef Roast so I ended up substituting homemade Beef & Noodles that we ate for a couple of you will see a couple of repeats this week that we didn't get to last week.

Monday...Loaded Baked Potatoes & Salad
Tuesday...Grilled Chicken Breasts, Twice Baked Potatoes, Steamed Veggies
Wednesday...Chili-Cheese Dogs, French Fries
Thursday...Turkey Pot Pie, Mashed Potatoes
Friday...Garlic Tortellini & Garlic Bread
Saturday...Birthday Party at Chuck-E-Cheese!
Sunday...Chicken & Stuffing Casserole, Green Beans

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cole's Surgery

Last Wednesday Cole had his Dental Surgery. He had to have a few cavities filled - they were small ones, but, in between molars in the back which meant a longer process, so the Pedi-Dentist suggested we go the route of full sedation. Of course Cole's diagnosis factored into this - by putting him totally to sleep, at the hospital, he "hopefully" won't relate this back to the Dentist or a normal Dentist visit.

Because I have a TERRIBLE fear of the dentist, I was very worried & anxious for Cole. But, I have to say - he did amazing :)

This is Cole right after we checked in to the hospital. He had special "scrubs" to wear, and, he loved that he had full access to the nurses. In this shot he was calling the nurse asking for Doritos!

This picture is right before they wheeled him into surgery. They gave him a little cup of "juice" to drink that was a medication that would make him very tired and kind of out of it. They didn't want him to really remember the operating room at all before falling asleep - and, didn't want to put an IV in his arm before he was asleep. This medicine worked like a charm! As you can see in the pic, he's feeling a little loopy :)

The other cool thing about the drink they gave him before surgery was that most of the time kids don't even remember their surgery due to this med. Cole remembers going to the hospital - but has no negative thoughts at all - indicating to us he really does not remember it. That is great to us!

The Pedi-Dentist we found is AWESOME. I will use him for all of Cole & Jacob's visits in the future. He just knows how to work with kids and did excellent with Cole's needs as well.

On another note, Cole is doing great flossing now too. I have to admit that was our fault to start with, neither Jason or I are good flossers - so we just kind of passed along our good brushing, but stinky flossing habits. Hopefully this prevents any future cavities!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Christmas Morning Tradition...

One of the things that I love most about Christmas is traditions. I have worked so hard to start traditions with our family that our boys can look forward to and count on every year. One of our favorite things is FOOD - so it's only fitting that we have a traditional Christmas Morning Breakfast :) I make the same things every year, and, my boys gobble it up!

Sausage-Cheese Bread

Egg Bake

Cheesy Potatoes


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Bread Recipe

This is my all time favorite bread recipe. We go through 2 loaves a week usually. It holds up wonderful for sandwiches - which is not usually true with homemade bread. Jason hates for me to buy store bought bread anymore!

3 & 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (plus a little more for surface dusting)
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)...i have also used 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
3 TBSP honey
2 & 1/4 tsp instant yeast (or 1 envelope)
Crisco for greasing bread pan & bowl to rise in

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place flour & salt in bowl of kitchen aid mixer, using bread hook - begin to mix on lowest setting.

In one sauce pan, melt 2 TBSP Butter
In another sauce pan, add 1 cup milk & 1/3 cup water & raise to EXACTLY 110 degrees (this is REALLY important!)

In a bowl, mix melted butter, milk/water mix, honey & yeast until dissolved. Slowly add this to the flour & salt mix while mixer is on lowest speed.
Once it begins to incorporate, turn the mixer to a med-high setting & allow the bread hook to knead for 10 minutes.
Turn the oven off.

Remove dough, place on lightly floured counter & knead a few turns. Place in a HEAVILY greased bowl, turning a few times to coat the dough with the crisco. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the oven. Let rise 40-50 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, and, place on a lightly floured surface. Pat to a rectangle shape as below.

Begin to roll, sealing edges & ends as you roll.

Place bread dough in the heavily greased bread pan & press dough to sides of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place on top of oven allow to rise an additional 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees during 2nd rise. Boil 2 cups of water & place in a pan on the lowest oven rack.

Bake Bread for 40-50 minutes on highest oven rack. Bread should be 195 degrees when finished.

Allow bread to sit in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack. The key to a good sandwich bread is NOT to cut the bread until it's cooled.

I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Prayer Requests

Just an update on Cole...
1. He's having a few cavities filled tomorrow - but, because of his situation, they are putting him completely under at the hospital so it will be full surgery. Praying Mommy can handle it as well as Cole not having too much anxiety :)
2. We have also had to start him on a new medication to help him at school. It's an ADHD med, which scares me, but, I've done a lot of research on it and they are administering it appropriately. We are just praying this helps him "feel" better & more like himself :)

Update an Jacob...
He's having major feeding problems. I had to go on an antibiotic which caused him to completely reject nursing. At the same time, he started getting unbelievably fussy & spitting up all the time so we switched to a soy based formula. That severely constipated him :( Tummy problems continued so we are now trying Alimentum, a hypoallergenic formula. It seems to be working better, but he's still really constipated. AND, Alimentum is really (really) expensive :(

And, for with 2 kids is a whole lot different than I expected! I love being a Stay at Home Mommy...but, I sure wish Jason could at least come home everyday. I miss him a lot. I am personally praying that someday we will be able to have Daddy home a little bit everyday :)

If there is anyway that I can pray for you or your family - please let me know. You can post it here, or email me privately at I would LOVE to pray for or with you :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Menu Planner...January 17-23

Monday...Hot Dogs, French Fries, & Baked Beans
Tuesday...Lasagna HH, Garlic Bread
Wednesday...Chicken Breast, Steamed Veggies & Baked Potato
Thursday...Beef Stroganof, Homemade Bread, Salad
Friday...Chicken & Stuffing Casserole, Salad, Homemade Bread
Saturday...Pizza & Chips
Sunday...Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes & Corn

I have no idea what our sweet treats for the week are yet, maybe Chocolate Chip cookies :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I had a really nice CVS run Sunday afternoon. I got $57.70 worth of stuff for $29.26 OOP. Including 12 packs of pepsi produts for $1.67 each! Here is out it breaks down...

Transaction #1
- 3 boxes of Electrosol Dishwasher tabs
- 2 bottles of Jet Dry Rinse Aid
- 1 two-pack of AirWick Scented Oil Refills
Total $20.00
Used $5.50 in CVS/Manuf. Coupons
Paid $15.66 OOP
Got back a $10 ECB (for Spending $20 on the combined items above)

Transaction #2
- 3 twelve packs of Pepsi
- 3 twelve packs of Mt. Dew
- 1 Snickers Bar
Total $20.93
Used $10 ECB from Trans. #1
Paid $12.20 OOP
Got back a $10 ECB (for spending $20 on Pepsi Product), and, a $.89 ECB (for buying the Snickers Bar)

Transaction #3
- 2 Similac Ready to Feed Formulas
- 2 10 pks of CVS AA Batteries
Total $16.77
Used $5 in Manuf Coupons
Used the $10 & $.89 ECB's from Transaction #2
Paid $1.40 OOP

Just with my manufacturer coupons & the ECB's back, I ended up getting these great deals...
- Pepsi 12packs for $1.67 each
- Qt. Ready to feed formula for $2 & $3 each
- Electrosol Dishwasher tabs (20) for $.83 a box!
- Finish Jet Dry for $.58 a bottle!
- Free Snickers Bar

Overall, it was a worthwhile trip :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Planner...January 10-14

A few of my friends have asked about how I plan my I decided to add this to my blog. If anything is a recipe..It will be in italics and I'm always happy to share recipes.

Our weeks are a bit different than some, with Jason gone 2 nights a week - we do a pretty light meal those nights, and usually, kid friendly :) And, if your looking for extremely healthy food - this isn't the blog for you! We are a house of boys & kids, and, at this time in our life, getting a veggie or fruit in the meal is peace enough for me :)

Monday...Salad, Spaghetti & Garlic Bread
Tuesday...Salad, Pesto Gnocci & Homemade Bread
Wednesday...Italian Beef & Potato Salad
Thursday...Chicken Patties, Tater Tots & Corn, Fresh Veggies & Dip
Friday...Salad, Garlic Tortellini, Garlic Bread
Saturday...Loaded Baked Potato Soup & Homemade Bread
Sunday...Deer Steaks, Baked Potato, Green Beans & Bread

Our Breakfasts are very low key here...cereal, toast & bacon, fruit, and, (yes, bad I know) Chocolate Donuts.

Lunches are usually pretty boring too since it's just me & the boys. Chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sandwiches, leftovers. The only thing is we always have either fresh veggies or fruit.

Our sweet treats this week will be brownies & lemon cookies.

If your having something great to eat this week I would love to hear about it!

2011 Reading List

Since I became a SAH Mom last April, I have barely picked up any book other than my Bible (and that certainly hasn't been as often as I would like). I should have time to ready, right...after all I am home all day! But, alas, NO I do not. My life is crazy busy all day long and then I sleep as much as I can at night so that I can get up & do it all again the next day!

Reading has always been very important to me, so I've decided that in 2011 I want to make it a priority. To help make that happen, I have put together a list of books that I would like to read, and, hopefully - I can get a few of them done this year :)

If you have any feedback on any of these I would love to hear it!

1. Made to Crave (Lysa TerKeurst)
2. Home to Holly Springs (Jan Karon)
3. In the Company of Others (Jan Karon)
4. Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
5. Surviving in an Angry World (Charles Stanley)
6. Radical (David Platt)
7. The Christian Atheist (Craig Groeschel)
8. Choosing Gratitude (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)
9. Lord, Change my Attitude before it's too late! (James MacDonald)
10. The Excellent Wife (Martha Peace)

In addition to these great reads, I also want to revisit some additional bible studies with the family.

1. The Book of Ruth...I started this in a group bible study at church & loved it, I would like to dive further into this on my own.
2. I would love for Jason & I to revisit Love & Respect. Marriage changes after you have kids!
3. Jason & I need to work through Bringing up Boys again. We are raising Little Men!
4. Our Bible Study group is now working through the Book of Esther, which I love, because of the amazing message (God can use ANYONE), I would love to do a kid friendly study with Cole.

I know this is a lot, and, by no means do I expect to get through even 1/2 of it, to be honest - if I made it through two it would be a BIG improvement from last year! But, these are investments into my life, my family, my I think it's worth putting on paper & making some goals!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dear God, PLEASE no more...

Dear God, It's me again. Mommy is really exhausted. PLEASE no more puke or poop for a long, long time. I'm OK with small amounts of know the manageable stuff. I will even take the blowouts from Baby Jacob. I just ask that we avoid the contagious flu anymore.
Yes, for the 2nd time in 1 month...Cole & I have been hit by the stomach flu. I seriously am exhausted. I have slept for almost 24 hours straight and am finally starting to move normally again. Still haven't ate or drank much...I'm very cautious.
I'm also running out of family willing to get infected to help us!
Lord, I know that you only give us what we can handle, but...I think you have more faith in me than I deserve :(