I’ve moved

I am moving to a new location

come visit me at http://mommanolte.blogspot.com/


Keeping Christmas Simple

The holiday season is underway!!!  It is so easy to get caught up and swept away with everything there is this holiday season.  I am so thankful that a few years ago my husband and I decided to keep it simple.  I cannot remember where we saw the idea, so my apologies to the original poster of the below.  For Christmas our kids get 4 gifts

1) something they want

2) something they need

3) something to wear

4) something to read

Once the slot is filled, that is it.  The way we have it the following:

1) something they want – this is the present that the kids ask Santa for

2) something they need – this is our misc. slot.  It may be something they actually need (shoes, clothes, etc.) or something to go with the something they want.

3) something to wear – we have decided to give our kids PJs every year

4) something to read – each year they get a new book.

It has really helped to keep our spending in check.  How do you keep Christmas simple?

Talk to you soon,



I love long weekends.  The entire family has enjoyed visiting family for Thanksgiving and relaxing for the weekend.  Two great weekends rolled into one.  The best part of today – doing nothing.  absolutely nothing….  Well nothing planned anyway.  There is always laundry, I baked cookies, I baked 1/2 a birthday cake for my daughters 1/2 birthday, the bills paid, the dishes done.  While that seems like a long to do, it didn’t feel busy or rushed as it was all by choice (other than the laundry or dishes) and all done in my time frame.

What is your favorite part of long weekends?

Talk to you soon,


Crazy Cleaning part 2

So in a spin off of last week’s magic eraser,  I took some lysol wipes and kept them at the top of the stairs.  When I went down – I wiped down the banister.  I also wiped down the light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.   All are heavy traffic items that often get forgotten on cleaning.

Talk to you soon,


crazy cleaning

So this week has been crazy busy, but then again what week isn’t?  I am so thankful my husband has had a few days off during the week.  While the kids are in school and I am working, he has been cleaning.  Cleaning inspires cleaning!

Mr.Clean® Magic Eraser® Original

so I got a magic eraser out and started wiping walls down.  I was amazed how many scuffs there were.  I carried the magic eraser around with me so I could wipe walls as I noticed them.

What did you clean this week?

Talk to you soon,


I am back!

This is not the forgotten blog – sorry for the long pause in posts.  We were preparing for a family vacation and then gone.  I have enjoyed vacation and am ready to hit the ground running.  The coming months are filled with fun and craziness with holidays and birthdays and school and work, and well, life.  But in order to enjoy it all and not let the stress get to me I will stay organized.

Starting this week, I will be sharing small tips to help keep life under control and organized so that we all have time for the fun things!

Talk to you soon,


If you give a mouse a cookie….

If you give a mouse a cookie, or in my case if you give a mom a few hours…  It is amazing as what can get accomplished!

My amazing husband took the kids out of the house for the day.  I was so excited to actually clean the house, and I mean clean!  I vacuumed the rugs, washed the rug in the family room, cleaned the toy room, dusted all downstairs, washed the kitchen floor, put dinner in the crock pot.  Baked chicken so that dinner would be easier to prep later in the week and settled on the couch for a nap.

But wait…

just as I settled in, my husband called.  One of the boys had thrown up and they were on their way home.  As soon as they got home the other boy threw up.  So here I was with a clean house and two sick boys.   Our daughter was set to go to my parents today for a week of “Nana Camp” so I called them and they took her a day early.    So quick packing and a 5 hour drive for me (2 1/2 hours each way).

Thankfully, when  I got back home at 9pm, the boys were feeling better and sound asleep.  Phew!  A little cleaning and we would be good as new!

Think again…

About this time, my husband was hit with the bug and joined the ranks of the sick.

So today, I am thankful for the time to have to clean the house yesterday, that two boys are feeling better today, that my daughter is off enjoying camp and away from the germs.  My husband is still down for the count upstairs.

The boys and I will play and do laundry all day!

Talk to you soon,


Taco Pie

My sister shared this with me and it could not be any easier!!!!  Taco Pie.  yummy.

Prepare your taco meat to your preference

place in an unbaked pie shell (add cheese if you like)

bake 20 minutes at 350

top to your liking!


Have you found a new easy recipe?

Talk to you soon,


I’m Back!

Did you miss me?!

Our whirlwind week is over!  Portfolio night at school went well, our ballerina was brillant on the stage, the neighborhood garage sale a success (thanks to all who did the no rain dance), our daughter’s birthday party was fun and everyone had a blast.

The house is “almost” back to normal.  The cars are in the garage again.  Kids clothes that didn’t sell went to Goodwill.  We are starting to clean up (When our cleaning lady returns from vacation we will need a once over downstairs) and get back to routine.  I should say that our “cleaning lady” is my sister 🙂  Gotta love family who is willing to come and help out!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Talk to you soon,


what do you call it?

Do you ever rename foods so your family will eat it?  Over the weekend I made a taco ring for dinner.  My 5 year old son wouldn’t touch it.  I don’t like tacos he decided.  After hearing it was just hamburger meat (my husband and I “forgot” to tell him it had taco seasoning on it – wink, wink) and a crescent roll, two things he likes, he decided he liked it.  He wanted to call this sunshine hamburger.

So my do it by the books daughter will call the dinner taco ring.  My 5 year old son will call it sunshine hamburger.  My 2 year old son is still debating it merits.

We are trying to come up with a family name for this recipe so that we all know and like it.

Talk to you soon,