Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The day I forgot to read the meter

The days are getting longer and it's almost 2010. With the new year comes new goals and resolutions. Plant a bigger garden, chickens, finish some projects on our to-do list, make more spend less are topping our list. Our goal to be more self sufficient is stronger than ever.

Our home is designed well, no special bells and whistle screaming "I'm Off-Grid, please use the power wisely", I sometimes forget there is not an endless supply of power without the generator, on cloudy days. This normally is not a problem, just plan your days accordingly and there shouldn't be an issue. Unless you don't read the meter and then there is a problem. Our Tri-Meteric meter is located in the kitchen for easy accessibility.

3 AH Laptop
5 AH Pump
5 AH Lights
40 AH Dehumidifier
50 AH Vaccum Cleaner
2 AH Internet
30 AH Washing Machine

Total - 140 AH

1 Hour of this type of useage is equal to a full days power consumption.

Lesson learned Use the meter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We Made it Friday- Rice Krispies Houses

The kids are so excited about Christmas. We have a dusting of snow on the ground from last night. This morning we made Rice Krispies Houses. Grandma Cindy bought us the kit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November Thoughts

Fall is my favorite time of year. Though with fall comes preparing for winter. I still need to go our and do a little work in the garden and wash windows. We put in an outdoor wood boiler this year, the wood shed is full and is working great.

We have been able to use the sun to heat the house the past week. The batteries are finally charged. We bought a new Honda 3000 watt generator.
The kids are all doing well. Derek had his camouflaged birthday party.

Jenna has been pretending to cook for her dolls and loves new clothes. Dylan is starting to have quiet a personality and loves to growl.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Novemeber 9, 2009

Monday: Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken, Rice Pilaf, and Spinach Salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Green Beans
Wednesday: Beef Stew
Thursday: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Friday: Pea Soup

Friday, November 6, 2009

Easy Turkey with Feathers

Easy Turkey Craft

We started out the day making some art for our Creative Wall.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween Craft Projects

Halloween Projects 2009

Muffin Tin Monday Halloween Style

New Computer

I am thrilled to have a new computer. It is actually my first computer, minus the NMU laptop and the use of my husbands old one. It's even pink. It is an Asus netbook.
Lots of things to get done today. Derek's at school. He loves going. Dylan is bouncy in the bouncer babbling away and Jenna is still asleep.

Dustin has been working on the wood burner outside for the last couple of weeks. We have the wood all stacked and it is hooked up to run the radiant floor heating.

List of things to do today:
MOMS Club Paperwork
Carrots and Onions
Hoses Outside
Craft Room Window
Store Paperwork for 2009 Sales

Menu : Meatloaf and Garlic Red Potatoes

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Menu Plan- Week of September 21

Monday: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuesday: Beef Stew
Wednesday: Pork Chops and Apple Sausage Stuffing
Thursday: Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches
Friday: Black Bean Taco Salad

To find even more great menu plans, visit Menu Plan Monday on

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday- Apple Theme

My apple muffin tin creation.

Menu Plan Monday- Week of Septmeber 14th

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: In Marquette and School Open House
Tuesday: Grilled Whitefish
Wednesday: Spicy Chinese Chicken Tacos
Thursday: Eggplant
Friday: Mexican Pizza

Derek's 1st Day of Preschool

What an exciting day! Our oldest son is going to school. He was a little sleepy with the earlier wake up call at 6:45. He got ready really good and was very excited. He got on the bus and waved goodbye. No tears (from mom or Derek). He didn't say too much when he got home. He said he made one new friend and wants to go back.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday- Bird Theme

There was no theme for muffin tin monday this week- so I choose to do a bird theme, since we were working on bird projects. Derek was excited to see we were having lunch in the muffin tins again.

We had mac and cheese nest with Easter Eggs, Chicken Feed, and Make your own nest with peanut butter and potato skins.

The chicken feed idea is from Family Fun Magazine- very tasty.

Make sure to check out Her Cup Overfloweth
for more Muffin Tin Monday's

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Random Early Morning Thoughts

The weather here has been great the last couple of days so hopefully it is going to be another nice day. My list of things to do continues to grow. I am looking forward to another day of cleaning and hopefully some cooking.

Goals for a Great Thursday
Pack Derek for a trip with grandma and papa
Fold Laundry
Wash Sheets
Clean Bathrooms
Clean Tile in master bathroom
Reorganize freezer
Make a list for donations to Goodwill (due by Sept. 14)
Send back MOMS Club stuff
Oil Cabinets
Clean out cat litter boxes
Finish Organizing Bills

Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan- Week of August 31st

Another week of meals. Menu planning is going really well. I don't fret about what I am going to cook at 5:00 and dinner is normally ready early.

Dinner Menu
Monday: BLT's
Tuesday: BBQ Ribs, Potato Salad, and Corn
Wednesday: Spinach Lasagna
Thursday: Grilled Whitefish with Avocado and Cherry Tomato Salsa
Friday: Grill Out Night

Garden News:
We had a super heavy frost this morning. Some of the plants are looking pretty sad.

First Muffin Tin Monday

The kids had a great time with their first muffin tin Monday. The theme this week was Circus.

I made lions, popcorn, fruity Cheerios (for circus rings), and peanuts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of August 24th

B: Breakfast Sandwiches
L: Chicken Salad
D: Nachos
B: Cereal
L: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup
D: Veggie Stir Fry with Rice
B: Breakfast Skillet
L: Veggie Soup
D: King Ranch Chicken
B: Cereal
L: Seven Layer Salad
D: Southwestern Pasta Salad with Fish or Shrimp
B: Bagels and Smoothies
L: BLT's
D: Pizza Night

Monday, August 3, 2009

Menu Plan Mondays- Week of Augst 3rd

Monday and Tuesday: Green Bay Trip

Breakfast- BB Muffins and Smoothies
Lunch- Turkey Sandwiches
Dinner- Spicy Chinese Tacos

Breakfast- Egg Mc Muffins
Lunch- Spaghetti (Company Visiting)
Dinner- Loaded Baked Potatoes

Breakfast- Cereal (Hot or Cold)
Lunch- Fried Rice with hopefully FRESH peas
Dinner- Cuban Chicken Salad Pitas

2 Months of Updates!

I sure am behind on updating the blog. We sure must be enjoying our summer.

A quick recap:
Jill started her new job at the USPS (The Post Office). It is a great job and an opportunity I could not pass up. Dustin's keeping busy with his job too.
We planted the garden. We decided to go back to raised beds which we had in Marquette. We mulched between the rows to keep the weeding to a minimum. It is growing well. We have eaten lettuce and radishes so far. Peas should be ready this week.
Dustin turned 29 (Time to start thinking about his 30th Birthday Party :-)
Jill turned 26. For some reason I am beginning to feel old. Maybe it's the 3 kids but 26 just seems old. We also attended Jason and LeeAnne's little guys birthday in Petoskey one weekend.
Summer Fun:

We took a camping trip (One of our goals this summer) on Lake Michigan. We had a wonderful time. We even went swimming in June. We had a wonderful 4th of July as well. Lots of fun activities including a pancake bar, for breakfast. We played a round of golf as well which was a blast and something we hadn't done in years. We attended the orchestra in Manistique.
The Kids:
Dylan is getting so big! He is 11 weeks old and such a blessing. He sleeps through the night and is starting to coo and laughs out loud.
Derek is enjoying being able to be outside, picking bugs, fruits, and even dinosaur bones. He is starting to get excited about school.
Jenna tags along with Derek outside and is learning to count. We are still working on Potty Training.
Picking Fruit:
Jill went and picked strawberries at a local farm, the berries were pretty small. We have went blueberry picking a couple times. The kids love to go too. Derek is a great picker and Jenna is a great eater.
The raspberries are amazing this year. We have 60 quarts of berries put up in the freezer. I have to start making some jam.
Grace and Michelle went and picked cherries so I was able to make 8 pounds of cherry pie filling as well.
Denkins' Family Camping Trip:
16 members of the Denkins Family took a bike ride (motorized) camping on the Indian River. They had a wonderful time, minus the rain and bugs at night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Welcome Dylan!

We are so thrilled baby Dylan has arrived! It was an great delivery and he is an amazing baby. Such a blessing.

Dylan's Birth Story by Mom

On Sunday morning, May 17th, I woke up to contractions every 5 -7 minutes. It was a perfect morning to go into labor because my parents had Derek and Jenna for the night. I woke up as I couldn't sleep through the contractions and took a shower. At about 6:00 I woke Dustin up and he made a yummy breakfast. Still feeling all right we decided to take a walk to Grandma Helen's where the family was having breakfast. Dustin recently bought a new motorcycle so we wanted to take a ride after breakfast, I thought it was a good idea as I just wanted to rest. Grace and I ended up watching a movie. About noon, I was on my ball when I stood up and my water broke. This was strange for me as with Derek and Jenna, they broke my water right before I had them. So, I called Dustin and he came right home, and we packed up and headed for the hospital. The ride seemed pretty short and my contractions weren't too bad. We arrived at the hospital at about 2:00 pm, on the way from the car to the OB floor, my water continued to leak, and I was soaked when I got to the OB floor. We were able to go right into a room. I was 4 cm when I arrived, and 25% effaced. I was still feeling pretty good at this point. I was hooked up to the monitor and the baby was doing great and I was contracting every 2-3 minutes. I decided I wanted to take a walk, and let gravity do some of the work. We walk up and down the halls a couple times. At 4:00 pm, I was dilated to a 5 and got into the tub. It felt great, but did slow my contractions down a bit but I was ready for a break. At 5:00 I was dilated to a 6 and was in a little more pain. At 6:00, I really was ready to be done, I was starting to get really tired and the contractions were closer together and much more painful. I was dilated at this point to an 8. I am sure I got very loud at this point, Dustin says I kept repeating "no no no" and DUSTIN. At 7:00 pm, I was fully dilated and was able to push. I pushed through 2 or 3 contractions (7:05) and he was born! I went from a very unhappy crazy lady to the happiest women ever. I was thanking the doctors and nurses, and had all ready begun to forget the pain. It was such a relief to have him out. He seemed so big when they laid him on my belly. He was 8 pounds 3 oz. and 20 inches long, the biggest of all of the babies. He had perfect apgar scores. He came out looking perfect. He is really cute (all the nurses reassured me not all babies are cute, but he was pretty cute). It was wonderful to have him during the day, and not lose a nights sleep. This delivery was easier then Jenna's with no drugs! I did it. Dustin even told the doctor before hand I didn't want any drugs so they just let me talk about them until it was too late. Dustin went and got us Jimmy Johns at about 8:30, and we enjoyed relaxing the rest of the night. They took out my IV at 11:00 and we were able to sleep by 11:30. Dylan was up once in the night to eat and then went right back to sleep. Yes, we do have perfect children.
The next day, I woke up and showered. James and Grace came to visit about 10:00 and then Dustin went to Menards with them and had lunch. Dylan and I just chilled, took a nap and visited with Hooper and Carol. My parents came up about 6:00 and then about 8:00 Dylan had his newborn screening. Michelle came to visit about 9:00. At 9:30 it was quite and relaxing. Dylan was up about 2:00 and then slept until 7:00 am. We were both ready to go in the morning. We were able to get discharged at 10:30 and took Dylan to Target and I did some grocery shopping and then went to Union Grill for lunch. Dylan slept the whole time and all the way home.
Derek and Jenna have been wonderful with the baby. Derek is full of 100 questions and Jenna says baby about 1000 times a day.
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Waiting for Baby Denkins

10 days left until my due date. I can't wait! I just want this little guy to come out happy and healthy. I am having some issues with a high protein level so we are monitoring the baby. We had a non stress test which he passed with flying colors. I am having contractions but nothing painful. I am actually looking forward to them increasing intensity.
The weather is starting to look beautiful. We have been able to be outside with the kids and walk around the field in the morning.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of April 27th

Easy and Pretty Quiet Week. Maybe a Baby ??

Monday- Mexican Lasagna
Tuesday- MOMS Night Out
Wednesday- Patty Melts
Thursday- Chicken Salad Pitas
Friday- Fish

Butterfly Bash- A Sucess

Whew, the party is over. We celebrated Jenna's 2nd Birthday today, with a butterfly bash. We had lots of friends and family over. We played flower walk, butterfly toss, and skittle count for games. Jenna got lots of nice gifts and seemed to love the experience. Dustin said she was a little princess.

I am starting to wonder where Spring went. Today it is 30 and raining! YUCK! We had a great lightning show the other night. I am really looking forward to some sunshine. We were able to take a couple walks and go on the go cart with the kids.

37 weeks pregnant today, and I am ready to be done. Starting to get more uncomfortable and looking forward to being able to see my feet again. Some contractions are starting and still have heartburn.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Mondays

For months I have been reading about Menu Plan Mondays. In hopes to keep to my menus, I thought I would join.

My goal for my weekly menus is to reduce the amount of waste and cost of grocery shopping.

This weeks menu:
Monday: Spaghetti
Tuesday: Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
Wednesday: Grilled Steak with Red Garlic Potatoes
Thursday: Baked Tortellini & Chicken Gratinati
Friday: Taco Salad
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Jenna's Birthday Party

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beautiful Day !

The sun is out, and the weather is warming up! YEAH! The kids are enjoying playing outside. Easter was lots of fun with the kids. It looked like Christmas with all the toys they received. We were able to spend time with family which is always my favorite part of the holidays.
I am looking forward to not being pregnant! 33 more days, yes I am counting. The baby still moves a ton and sleeping is getting to be a big challenge. The baby stuff is washed and ready.
Derek has an ear infection but hopefully is on the mend. We are trying to decide what we are going to do for school next year with him. I am leaning more towards keeping him home another year. He is only 3!
In other news, I am getting a new part time job. I am going to be working a couple hours a week at our local post office.
Jenn and Alex came to visit this week. It sure would be nice if they were closer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Loving Spring

Spring looks like it is finally coming! I am so excited for the kids to be able to go out and play. We have started to see some animals returning, including a skunk. I started hanging clothes on the line again which is great! The valleys are starting to have mini rivers flowing. Today the kids and I even started working on some yard work.
Dustin was in Boston last week for work and then he enjoyed a couple days off. He is happy to be home.
For St. Patrick's day I made a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. It was very tasty!
Baby #3 is getting bigger all the time- only 9 weeks to go. I can't wait to hold the little guy.
I have started to work on Jenna's birthday party - a butterfly theme.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Wintertime Update from the Denkins Family

It's finally March. We have enjoyed spending most weekends outside playing in the snow. Dustin has done some recent "mods" to his snowmobile which he is enjoying. The Denkins Family spent a day playing at the Thunder Bowl. The kids have been enoying building forts and snow angles, our most recent addition was a snow dinosaur.

We have had a couple of great parties, including a New Years Party, Super Bowl, and Valentine's. We have a great time with the kids.

We are enjoying more sunny days and the house is performing great. We often are able to turn off the heat turn the day and rely on the sun. We recently got back to working on the house- we need to put more sinks in as well as lots of shelfs.

Derek is getting taller. He loves his dinosaurs and joe-guys. He can count to 5 in Spanish.

Jenna is starting to put three words together "up daddy please", loves her dolls, and follows Derek everywhere. She is definatly a daddy's girl.

Baby #3 is due in 11 weeks! We are getting very excited. I am feeling rather large but enjoying feeling the baby kicking around.

Dustin is starting a new team at work and is going to Boston for a few days this month.