The Strategic Homemaker

learning to follow the Father, care for the clan, and redeem the resources


Party for a Little Girl

(The third trimester, terrible twos, a cold, and the home renovation push before the winter have me wiped these days, but I’ll be back with a report on the house progress next week.)

We did a letter P-themed birthday party for PG and a bunch of her two-year old friends. It involved several of PG’s favorite things: the pool, face paint, and puzzles, as well as pizza and pineapple-flower topped cupcakes. She actually had friends here from four in the afternoon the day before, so she had a fun-packed two days.  We tried to keep the presents from getting out of hand by prohibiting presents from party-goers, but a couple people couldn’t resist, and PG’s aunts, uncles, and grandparents loaded her up. These are not the greatest of pictures, but they do show a glimpse of our day:

Checking out the stack of presents (The table and chairs from IKEA were the big one from us, although there were a few other small things including a family height chart/stick that I painted.) IMG_7515

Pancakes with blueberry sauce for breakfast. I love these two.IMG_7522

PG and her friend E showing off their coordinating skirts. (sewn by E’s mom)IMG_7528

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple flowers. (recipe from Annie’s Eats)


The girls choosing which designs they wanted on their faces.


Another guest modeling the face paint.


PG refused to smile for any pictures from this point on.


PG with some of her friends from church. (PG wanted to stay in her swimsuit after getting out of the pool.)


Thanks to all those who contributed to our sweet girl’s special day!



Birthday Bonanza and a Recipe

This week we celebrated the strategic husband’s birthday. I am not really into throwing large birthday bashes or spending lots of money, but this guy is pretty great, so we did try to do some special things. For one, I registered him for the Color Me Rad 5K. I asked him ahead of time if he would want to run a race for his birthday, but I didn’t tell him what race. And, for those of you who are thinking, “ugg, that is the last thing I would want to do for my birthday,” let me tell you that last year this boy trained all summer for his first official race, a half marathon, and then, due to a series of unfortunate events involving false labor and a long distance from the hospital, missed his chance to run it officially. He got up the next morning, and ran the whole 13.1 miles around town by himself, with me driving ahead to provide drink stations. Here is a picture from that:

All that to say I wanted him to be able to finally run an official race for his birthday. Although when he found out what race it was from the signs posted around town, he did mention that it probably was not the type of race he would have signed himself up for :-/. Oh well. He got in the spirit, ran the race, and said it was a lot of fun. Here are some pics, thanks to the professionals (Our camera turned up without batteries in the opportune moment. Womp-womp):

Then we made TSH’s favorite food for dinner: Easy Macaroni and Cheese (NOT Easy Mac from a box: recipe below):
Later, we had a couple of his colleagues over to help us eat this birthday cookie from his sister, and critique his presentation for an important proposal the next day. Ah, the joys of being a grad student!

All in all, I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Babe! I love you!

Easy Macaroni and Cheese (His family’s favorite recipe)

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 lb Colby cheese

4 cups milk

Melt butter in large baking dish. Pour macaroni into melted butter. Stir until butter coats macaroni. Chunk cheese (with a paring knife, cut it into small wedge-like chunks. Shredding works of course, but the chunking is better in the end). Add salt, pepper, cheese to macaroni and mix. Pour milk over top. Bake uncovered at 325 F for 1 1/2 hours (or at 350 for ~1 hour).