Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Eve Food

Every year for New Years Eve we invite all of Steven's and my family over and have a big gathering.  The kids all play, the adults chat, and we watch the ball drop on TV.  We also make snacks.  We like to make sausage cheese dip.  It is always a hit.


One pound ground sausage, browned
One large block of Velveeta cheese, cubed
One can Rotel tomatoes.

Combine in a slow cooker and serve with chips

We also serve grilled chicken wings, little pigs in a blanket and every one's favorite, buffalo chicken dip!


One cup of chopped chicken
One block cream cheese
One cup ranch dressing
One cup of cheese
1/4 cup (or more) buffalo wing hot sauce.

Melt everything in a skillet on low heat and place in a small crock pot.  Serve with chips and veggies.

We have everyone bring something, and everyone has fun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Pictures

I wanted to put up some pictures of our Christmas day:

Christmas in sign language.

Christmas Eve PJs

Jesus's birthday Cake

Opening Gifts

Cute baby's first Christmas
 As you can tell we had a great day.  They must love the wii because they have been playing on it since Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a good Christmas this year. Ashley and Steven spent the week before in El Salvador and were really blessed. They realize how fortunate we are. They built a house for a 93 year old woman who had never had a wood floor. The house was simple, but she loved it. They said she sat there and cried for three days over that house.

We stayed home on Christmas Eve and everything was low key. We went to my mom's for Christmas breakfast and then onto church for a great service. We thought attendance would be low, but it was packed and we had to bring in more chairs! We then came back here and the kids finally got to open presents. We then ate a big meal and played all afternoon.

Instead of getting the kids a bunch of individual gifts we got them something the whole family could use, a wii. I feel like we are the last family in the USA not to get one. I also got a used balance board from game stop and we have been playing wii fit and mario cart. I also got Zelda, but I have not been able to get on it much. They are still playing it, so I think it was a hit!

We still are eating the leftovers from dinner, and tonight I think I will make leftover turkey bean soup. I have a pack of beans and we have the turkey carcase left in the fridge. Yum! We still have some sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, and squash. Yum except that I am on weight watchers.

I have to go get on the wii fit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

We had some friends over today to decorate gingerbread houses.

We also made cookies and decorated them with sprinkles.  I learned from another blog about putting them in muffin tins.  It makes it easier to pass.

After they were done, everyone had a plate of cookies to take home and a house.  They played outside when they were done and I cleaned up the mess,

Ashley and Steven have been on a mission trip in El Salvador this past week.  I have missed them so much, but I know that they have had the time of their lives, and have served the Lord.  They have built houses, served food, and visited orphanages.  I hope that they remember these people and how poor they are and how rich we are.  That is why I want all of my teens to go on a mission trip, so that they realize how fortunate we are.

We are going to my mom's tomorrow to let the kids do some crafts at her house.  The others won't be home until late, so I don't feel like we have to hang out around here all day.  We have tried to do lots of fun things this week getting ready for Christmas.  We have also tried to stay busy so that we don't miss the others so much.

Well, I need to go to bed.  I can't sleep late no matter what I do.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shopping trip week of December 13

Well I did a small shopping trip this week to Kroger.  They had a special that if you bought four boxes of Quaker cereal (Life is our favorite), you got a free milk.  You could also buy granola bars or oatmeal and get the free milk so I got four boxes of cereal, three granola bars and one box of oats and got two free milks.  I had coupons for the cereal so it made for a good deal.  The rolls are for Christmas.  They were on sale and I had coupons too.  I will keep these in the freezer until Christmas morning.  Here is what I got this week:
I spent $49.58.  I am not buying anything else until I get ready for Christmas dinner.  Steven and Ashley are on a mission trip to El Salvador this week.  They are my bigger eaters, so the rest of us are going to eat from the freezer and just make do.  I will need to make a trip to Sams next week to get supplies for a cookie decorating party they the kids and I are having on Thursday.  I am also hosting Chrstmas dinner here with my family.  I think that we are having 13 people.  Not really all that many.  I will post what my menu is this next week.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stomach Bug

We have been down for the last few days with a stomach bug. Ashley and I started with it Thursday morning and then Steven started with it Thursday night/Friday morning. We have tried hard to clean and keep the well ones away from the sick ones and so far the younger three are not sick. We have been washing hands and Lysoling where the sick ones were sitting, and using a bleach mixture on the bathrooms in-between people using it. That coupled with much prayer, and the younger ones are not sick yet. I may be back later to report something else, but so far so good.

So, with the sickness in the house there has been no bargain shopping. I ran to Wal-mart and got the bare essentials and extra Gatorade and Sprite. I spent about $60.00 and really didn't get much. Our local Wal-Mart is a small one and the prices are higher that the bigger ones. We have one grocery store (Ingles) who will run good specials, but overall prices are high. I usually make a run to the next town over (20 minute drive) to go to Aldi, Sams, and Publix or Kroger, but this week it wasn't in the cards. That's OK, we just adjust and it is OK.

When you have a family, you have to expect the unexpected. Your plans can change as soon as the baby is sick, or kids are throwing up. That is OK! Just be prepared for an emergency. We keep a few bottles of Gatorade, bottles of Sprite and crackers on hand for such an incident. I do not want to have to drag a sick child out to go shopping if we need these things. Steven often travels with his job and my parents live 20 minutes away. If I am prepared it is easier to deal with sickness. It is also a good idea to keep Tylenol, decongestant, and other medications ready. It always seems like you need these in the evening, and you don't want to have to run to the store.

My other two favorite things when we are sick are Clorox wipes and antibacterial hand gel. Even the kids can use the Clorox wipes to clean the bathrooms and the hand gel is good for kids who try to get out of good hand washing. Both of these products are cutting corners, but it is some protection.

Well, I need to find out what these kids want to eat for breakfast. Maybe some scrambled eggs or some grits.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Farm

We went to the Christmas tree farm today to get our tree.  We found a really nice one and cut it down.

They had to help Daddy get it to the van.

The crazy shot.

Natalie really wanted to get a blue spruce tree but she was the only one.  I told her that I would take her picture in front of it instead.  It wasn't the same, but everyone can't pick their own tree.

We enjoyed going out there and tree shopping.  It was a nice day and the farm is located on some beautiful property.  Now it is in my living room and we are working on decorating.  I am glad that I am not babysitting tomorrow because my house is not ready for little kids!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


There are times in your life that you open yourself up for criticism, weather it is ask for or not and you have to decide what to do with that criticism. This is an open blog to the public, but I don't care if everyone knows what we have been going through. My husbands parents have custody of his brother's children. They are ages 14, 16 and 18 and the grandparents have expressed that they are having a hard time raising them right now. They are getting older and the younger two are teens, couple that with some difficult background and these kids are hard to raise. They would be hard to raise for anyone, but for older people (I am sorry, but that is what they are) it is truly a struggle.

We have offered to let the younger one and the middle one (it would be her choice) come and live with us. We only live five miles down the road, so they could see the Grandparents on a regular basis, but could live with us who are more age appropriate for raising children this age. Steven mentioned it to them last week and he said that they were receptive to the idea and wanted to pray about it. This week we went out to dinner to talk about it more and it was very clear that they didn't think we could handle the job, in fact they are not impressed with the way we raise our own children. They think that we allow them too many privileges before they are ready ( we let our 13 year old have a cell phone so that when she is not with us we can call her) and that our kids are not respectful ( because they came to their house to go swimming at the river and wore bathing suits and didn't have shorts on and the boys could see the outline of their rear ends). These comments really hurt me because child rearing is the one area that I feel like we are doing the right thing in. Everyone at church and at school loves our children and want them in their classes. When we had this discussion, I was not prepared for criticism for myself and it hurt my feelings.

In the end, we think it is best that they stay with the grandparents. We are going to try to help them out when we can (if they will let us), but the grandparents need to finish raising these kids. They are not ready to let us or anyone else take them. All we wanted was for the Grandparents to have an easier time and for the kids to live in a happy household. If those things can happen and they can stay where they are then that is for the best. I am usually a giver and give with the attitude that it is from the Lord and from my heart. That is why it hurts for them to think that I would open my home to these kids for any other reason than because I love them and want what is best for them. Again I had to listen to critics that I wasn't ready to hear from.

Just pray for the kids involved. I don't know if the relationship between the grandparents and us can be completely mended (I am a forgiving person, it may just take a while) and that will make it difficult for us to spent time with the kids involved. They love our kids and love coming over here so I will make the effort. I don't want these kids to miss out on there cousins.

I know this is a money saving blog, but I also want it as a documentation of what we are doing on a weekly and daily basis. I want to go back and read my posts and see where I was compared to where I am. I think that is a great way to grow in the Lord and yourself.

I other news, we are going to go get our Christmas tree today and Ashley is in a parade today with her dance. I am hoping that we can make some memories an have a great day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Staying Home

I am staying home with Collin today. He has a bad cough and it is really cold outside today, so we are inside and at home. I have been cleaning out some things, so I may have to take some trash to the dump. We don't have trash service, so we just take a few bags every time we leave. It saves us about $20 a month.

I am trying to crack down on the kids and the work that they do around the house. They will do whatever I ask them like unloading the dishwasher and putting away clothes, but they are horrible about putting away their stuff and Ashley keeps her room like a pig sty. Yes, I know that she is a teen, but she has severe allergies and it is not good for her to be so piggy. It is also not a good example to the younger kids. When you have a big family you have to stay neat or it can get out of control.

Well, I need to fold some clothes and clean up some more. I want to start wrapping presents so that they don't see what I have in my closet. They are getting a big surprise that I am excited about!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I went and did my regular grocery shopping this week.  I did so little last week that I had to go and get some things this week.  Evan and I ran by Publix after the dentist and go bagels, popcorn, and pasta.

I spent $10.60.  Everything was on BOGO and I had coupons for the popcorn and pasta.

I dropped Evan at school and then went to Sams and to Aldi.

I spent right at $100 total at both places combined.  Yes, that is a 25 pound bag of flour.  I do alot of bread baking and other types of baking.  I also bought a big loaf of sliced cheese.  It seems like alot, but we usually eat this in about three weeks. 

This is our menu for the week:

Monday : Leftover spaghetti and salad

Tuesday: Crock pot chicken, mac and cheese, green beans

Wednesday : Grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks, fruit

Thursday : Chicken soup, bread (we have to go to the Christmas parade because Ashley is in it)

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday: Sloppy Joes, oven fries, salad.

Sunday:  Grilled hot dogs, chips (almost every Sunday for lunch)

I usually do something in the crockpot on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We normally have the daycare kids that day and I do not have much time to cook.  It looks like it will be a busy week, but we will be well fed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I am at my in-laws house today. All of the kids are having fun playing outside, all of the men are hunting, and all of the women are napping except for me. I did go black Friday shopping last night, but I did not stay out all night and I did get in bed by 1:00. I went to Wal-Mart and it was crowded but not really too crazy. There were some people who where fighting for small appliances and some were fighting for movies and video games. The main thing that I went to get was in a line with numbers (I can't tell you because someone might tell) and when 10:00 hit we just went and got our stuff. I then walked around and got a few more things and then helped my sister get a printer at midnight. It was fun and no too tiring this year.

We are going to get our tree tomorrow and then decorated the house. I am hoping that I can keep the daycare kids out of the tree. We are going to hang most of the ornaments high so they can't get them, but we still have to keep them from pulling the lights and pulling the tree over. We will see how that goes. I might be a crazy person by then.

By the way, we did well with grocery shopping this week. I only went once and spent about $10.00 on eggs, tea and frozen french fries to take out to my in-laws for a fish fry. I don't really expect to spend much next week. Just a few loaves of bread and some milk by weeks end. I will go to Publix on Monday and use some coupons. Just a normal week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Thankful List

I wanted to make a list of things that I am thankful for this year. This is in no particular order or is there a particular number of things.

1. The Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that we live in a county that we can worship in the way that we choose.

2. My husband. Yes he is different from alot of other men, but he treats me like a queen and he loves his kids and usually everyone else's kids.

Tacky night at church
 3. My children. I love the fact that they get along with each other and love Jesus and church. When we asked them if they would rather open presents in the morning on Christmas or open presents in the afternoon and go to church they said go to church. They acted like we were crazy to even ask that question. Christmas is on Sunday, we need to go to church, period.

4. The new addition to our family, my nephew. He is so cute and sweet and squishy!

5. Our church. When we moved here last year I dreaded church shopping. We found our church home on our second try and couldn't be more happy. We feel like we belong there and everyone treats us like family.

6. The town that we live in. We have only been back here for a year, but every time I go to town I see people that I know. I love being able to go to the grocery store or the library and I know the people working there and they know me.

7. Our home. We bought a four bedroom house last year on five acres. I never thought that we would be in the country and we love it!

8. The fact that we are close to the grandparents. We don't have to travel for the holidays and my kids can spend the night with Grandma!

9. That I have been able to stay home this year and babysit. I was depressed this year that I did not get a job at our local schools working with special needs kids. I did this in the last place that we live and I have a passion for kids with special needs, but the lack of job as kept me home and it has been nice.

10. Clean drinking water, plenty of food, and our health. I will lump all of this together because I need to go make sweet potato casserole. You don't realize how lucky you are to have your health until you spend time with people who are not healthy!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you have the best ever!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waffle House

Evan and Steven are hunting in Douglas and Emma spent the night with my mom last night, so I am down to two older girls. Last night we went to Macon and went to Joanne's and got some fabric for a few sewing projects. This morning they want to go to Waffle House. I am going to take them because it is so much cheaper to take the three of us instead of six. The girls and I tend to eat out a few times when Steven is gone. He hate to eat out and hates to spend the money, so we wait until he is gone and give ourselves a little treat.

We are going to a dinner fellowship tonight with the other people who are going on the El Salvador mission trip with Ashley and Steven. I am bringing potato salad since I have a ton of potatoes that needs to be used and plenty of mayo in my stockpile. The host is providing sandwich makings and everyone is bringing something. I might also make some brownies if I get around to it.

Well, I better go get into the shower if we are going to Waffle House before lunch time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Enjoying the Break

The kids and I are enjoying the Thanksgiving break even though all of the kids and Steven have colds. I even had to take Evan to the after hours clinic on Sunday to get him some meds. He sound like he had bronchitis to me, but the Dr. said an ear infection. She gave us a broad spectrum antibiotic that will take care of everything so I was happy with the visit. He is already feeling better.

We went stating with the youth group last night. I went and took the younger kids (except Evan) and drove some other kids because the church van was full. They seemed to have a great time even though it was crowded. The stating rink in Jackson plays Christian music on Mondays, so the youth kids loved it. We have also had some spend the nights, gone to a Thanksgiving fellowship at church, and the men have hunted every chance they have.

I want to do some cleaning out in the playroom today and maybe take a trip to the library. The guys are going hunting tonight, so we might get a red box movie and a subway sandwich, or if everyone is feeling better we might go visit my parents. My grandma is up here for Thanksgiving (she is 95) and we can't give her a cold, so we will wait and see.

We spend Thanksgiving at the Bertrams. I usually bring sweet potato souffle (with marshmallows) and I usually bring cupcakes. They will have smoked and fried turkey, broccoli casserole, sweet potato biscuits and whatever the others bring. They usually have pies, but my kids like cupcakes better so that is why I bring them. It is usually a fun day with over 30 people, half of those are kids.

I am still trying to decide on Black Friday. Many of the stores start on Thursday night. I usually get most of my shopping done on Black Friday, but this year I have started much earlier and I have much of it done already. I do want 4 specific things from Wal-Mart, but I don't know if it is worth it to go at midnight. I will have to wait and see if I can get a nap in during Thanksgiving afternoon.

Well, these kids will be getting up soon and this house is a mess. I better get off!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hanging Out

Ashley and I are hanging out. Evan and Emma are hunting with Steven and Natalie went to a birthday party. It seems that every weekend everyone has something to do. I want them to have friends (as long as they are the right ones) and go do things, but sometimes I want them all here.

Today we made cupcakes for church. I got a new cupcake caddy last weekend, so of course I had to make cupcakes for our church Thanksgiving meal.

 Look at my cute helpers!

Up close and personal!

I know they are not beautiful, but the kids had fun helping me and they like telling the kids at church that they made them.  I love doing turkey projects.  It is probably because we don't do Halloween and I feel like I want to participate in a holiday.

It is my nephew Justin's birthday tonight.  He is 18 and just got his drivers license.  He has got to be loving life right now.  He can drive and go where he wants.  He is an adult now.

Turkey Shopping

This past week I did my Thanksgiving shopping. Even though I am eating at my in laws I like to have my own Turkey to smoke and have at my house. I also take a sweet potato casserole to church on Sunday for fellowship meal and I take one to my in laws to eat on Thanksgiving. So, I went to our local Ingles (I am so over Wal-Mart) and this is what I bought:

I spent $55 but I did get 2 Turkeys and a box of mandarin oranges and four Cokes. We also got apples, sweet potatoes,and bananas.

I am hoping that I don't have to go back to the store until after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daycare Fun

I had almost decided that after Christmas that I did not want to keep as many kids in my home anymore. It is alot of work to keep three kids under the age of two and then have my own four come home in the afternoon. It is really not that bad. I only have three kids two days a week and I have one four days. I do have Monday off and that is the day that I volunteer at the special ed pre-k. My days are busy! Well, Steven has been trying to talk me into keeping the extra kids because we need the money. We do need the money, so that is why I am keeping them, but today it did not seem like that much work. We did some turkey crafts, read some books, played outside, and had fun. They are all sleeping right now. I just need to think of my days with all of them in terms of that it is a daycare, and that we need a schedule and we need to do some fun things. Today was good.

Ashley and Steven are going to El Salvador the week before Christmas. I am excited for them and a little nervous. This is a trip of a lifetime for them. They are building houses for the homeless, doing some Christmas parties, and working in some orphanages. The trip is expensive, but so many people have given us money and we have done fundraising. I just have to remember to be thankful for all that is given to us!

Well, laundry awaits. I hope to get a post up soon about our Christmas and what I am thinking of getting the kids. I am a little stuck on what to get my 9 year old girl. I don't want to get barbies or baby doll, but I don't really want to get electronics. Any suggestions out there?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shop unitl you Drop

I have just returned from a shopping weekend with my mother and my sister. We went to Charlotte, NC to the Southern Christmas show. This is a craft fair and it takes a whole day to go through it. We started about 10:00 on Friday and then finished at around 5:00. Then on Saturday we went to Concord Mills Mall which is a huge indoor outlet mall. We shopped there from 10:00 until 5:30. On Sunday we headed home, but we stopped and shopped at IKEA for a few hours before heading home. We got alot of Christmas shopping done and had a great time. We have gone every year for the past three years. It is good to get away from it all and enjoy my mom and my sister. My feet are really tired, but we had fun.

Yes, I spent too much money, but don't we always when we shop like this. I found some really cute clothes for the kids and some little crafts. A few little trinkets to put in stockings that I won't see around here. I did not buy any toys. I usually wait until black Friday for that! Yes we hit the stores at 4:00 am and shop until noon. I usually get my shopping done on this day!

The only bad thing about these trips is that we have to eat out the whole time. Now, I like to eat out, but after a day my stomach can't handle it anymore and the food just feels heavy. We rarely eat out, so this is usually something that I have to deal with when we travel. Yuck. Restaurant food tastes so bland. May be if we went to upscale places it would be better. No, we like to save some money, so the bland food it is.

Well, I better go and sort through my stuff and see what I want to give the kids now and what needs to wait. I hate having to wait for Christmas. I am terrible at secrets.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bouncing Meals

One of the ways that we keep our food bill low is that we have lots of what I call bouncing meals.  I will cook a roast or a chicken, and then use it for several meals.  I also often turn leftovers into another meal.  We try not to throw food away and stretching it into another meal makes it so that you almost eat for free a couple of nights a week.

My son called this mystery soup, because when i make it, it is a mystery as to what it will taste like.  It just depends on what I put in it.  This week I had a pork roast one night that I made into bbq sandwiches.  I had a good bit left over so I decided to make this as a base to the soup.  The first thing I did was to soak some beans overnight in the crock pot.  In the morning I turned it on high and added the meat.  I also added a chopped onion and green pepper and some garlic.  I then added some taco seasoning and ranch mix.  Once the beans are soft I added a big can of crushed tomatoes and a bag of frozen corn.  It turned out really good.  It was kind of like a Brunswick stew.  We served it with shredded cheese and corn chips.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I volunteered at the pre-k in my kid's school yesterday. They have a special ed. class there, and since I used to work with kids with special needs, I like to help in this class when I can. I usually stay for just a few hours on Monday, but the teacher asked me if I would help them with a field trip, so I said that I would. I didn't know how long the field trip would last, so I decided to make arrangements to stay for the day. Staying all day was tiring. On top of that we had three extra kids spend the night on Friday and Saturday so that they could go to our church youth party and fall festival. I don't mind the extra kids spending the night, but they won't ever go to bed and then the younger kids still get up early. It makes for a tiring weekend. Add working all day Monday with special ed. four year olds then by last night I was tired! I know many people do that kind of schedule every week, but not me and I don't want to. If I get a job next year(I am trying to work in the school next year) I will have to slow my weekends down a little and everyone will have to help out more.

I have three day care kids here today, but right now they are all napping. I hope they stay that way for a while. I usually won't nap during the day, but I like to have some time to relax for a while.

We have soccer and dance tonight. Steven is out of town, so it is up to me to get everyone where they need to go. We may not go to soccer if Emma is still coughing. I hear a baby I better go get him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Entertaining Children

We don't think it is very hard here to entertain our children.  We really don't watch much TV, we don't have a video game system, and we don't have tons of toys.  What we do provide is plenty of craft supplies, Lego's, pretend type activities, and outdoor play equipment.  We also let the kids have friends over on a regular basis.  I think building relationships with friends is more important than providing electronic entertainment.  Now, my oldest has a cell phone (my old one) and we did buy her an i-pod touch for her birthday, but we make her put these things up during homework time and we make her put them in the living room at night.  We also do the same when friends spend the night.  The phones come in the living room at night.

I read somewhere (I think the Tightwad Gazette) that this is called creative deprivation.  You let your kids get somewhat bored, and they will entertain themselves or each other.  I have found that out to be true.  Sometimes I have to hear for a while that we have nothing to do in this house, but then when I tell them that they can do some chores, they quickly find something to do to entertain themselves.  Ha Ha!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The $1.00 Dinner

Last night we had a soccer game at 6:00 and then Ashley had dance class at 7:15 that lasts until 8:45.  So obviously Ashley needed to eat before she went to dance, but Emma and the rest of us needed to wait until after the game.  Ashley has to go with us to the game because dance is just around the corner from the ball fields, so she had to take a portable dinner and  we needed a dinner that can easily be heated up when we got home from the soccer game.  We don't get home until 7:30 and the younger kids go to bed at 8: 30.  So what do we do?  We make soup and homemade bread.

I did chicken soup out of leftover homemade stock and some odds and ends.  These are the ingredients I used:

In the bag is frozen chicken stock that I made last week from a chicken that we had.  I took all of the meat off of the cooked chicken and then put all of the bones in the crock pot, covered it in water and added a tablespoon of salt.  I cooked on low for 24 hours then I strained it and put it in the fridge for a day.  When it was cold I pulled the fat off of it and put it in the freezer.  I consider the stock free for this meal because I already counted the cost of the chicken in the meal last week.  I then chopped some carrots, celery and onion and added them to the stock along with some poultry seasoning and a little pepper.  I chopped my veggies in the food processor so the they would be really small (the kids don't like chunks in soup).  I also added some chopped garlic and then let it simmer for a few hours.  I also had some leftover chicken in the freezer so I added that too.  When it was done I added the ramen noodles (broken up) and one of the ramen seasoning packs.  Then that was it.  I don't have a finished picture of the soup because my camera batteries ran out, but it looked like soup!

I figured that the stock was free and that I had about .75 cents worth of veggies.  Ramen packs are .12 cents so that makes $1.00.  We also at half of a loaf of homemade bread, in which it costs me about .50 cents a loaf to make.  So you can add another .25 cents for the bread.  This meal feed a family of six and we had three containers left over for lunches.  Ashley carried hers in a thermos to the ball field.  Everyone said that it was tasty!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Shopping Trip Monday

This week I did a small shopping trip since I did such a big one last week.  First I went to Sams Club for a few things:
I spent about $55.00, but $20 was medication and I have a $100 a month budge for meds.

Then I went by Aldi:

We needed milk, eggs, shredded cheese, sour cream, peanut butter, bread, plus a few other things to get us through the week.  I spent about $30.  I think that is pretty good.  That is why I love Aldi.

Even though it is Tuesday, I will post our menu for the week:

Monday :  Grilled chicken, mac and cheese, salad
Tuesday:  Chicken noodle soup and homemade oatmeal bread (the best)
Wednesday:  Grilled cheese sandwiches, chips and fruit (quick to get to church)
Thursday: Soft tacos or taco salad
Friday: Homemade spaghetti, salad and bread
Saturday: Sausage Casserole
Sunday:  Fall festival at church.  I have to bring two cakes for the cake walk and sausage cheese dip (yum)!

That should round out our week.  I will have to run get the Velveeta cheese and Rotel for the cheese dip.  I will go to Wal-mart on Friday for that!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things that Money Cannot Buy

I talk alot about money on this site because like it or not we have to have money to buy what we need and survive. There are lots of things however, that money cannot buy. One of those is our health. If we don't have our health, we don't really have much. Our health is something that we cannot buy with money. Now, don't get me wrong, the more money you have the more options you have for treatments, but still this cannot always assure that our health will improve.

We visited today with a young lady who has just had surgery for a brain tumor and is now is in rehab therapy. She is doing well considering what she has been through, but still has a long way to go. I said that we were going to see her to give her encouragement, but really she gave us the encouragement. She is in a hospital and hour from her home, away from her family fighting to regain a normal life and we did not here any complaints from anyone there. In fact, they are praising God in this storm. We were so touched. The kids were a little shocked at first to see her in that condition, and then they were fine with it. Her whole family was there and seemed to be in good spirits. The visit really blessed us all.

We even stopped on the way up and spent $30 for Chick-fil-a for our family and no one complained about spending that money either. Now that is also amazing for Steven who hates spending money on expensive food, but he let loose a little on Saturday. We even stopped off and bought the family some gifts and he didn't complain about that either! Good for him.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shopping Trip

This week I did my big monthly shopping trip.  It is not the only trip that I do each month.  I do go back to the store for fruit, milk, and other sale items.  I hate to miss a good sale with coupons.  My trip looked like this:

Most of the stuff came from Aldi.  The boxes of cereal, cokes, crackers and meat came from Kroger.  I am trying to piece together the cost of our meals, so we spent time marking the price of each item.  We store all of the can goods in the garage along with the pastas.  I have a closet I put snacks in and the rest is in my pantry.  This will last most of the month with a few add ons.  The cost at Aldi was $101 and the cost at Kroger was $41.00.  I will go back to Publix or Kroger a few more times this month to get deals and will make a mid-month trip to Aldi when we get low on milk.  While I am at Aldi I will also go to Sams and get cheese and sandwich meat.  I can't find cheese any cheaper than Sams unless I find a good sale with coupons.

People ofter ask me why we don't shop at Sams more often if we like to buy in bulk.  The answer is that I can usually get stuff cheaper per serving buy shopping sales and using coupons.  If I can't get a certain item on sale then I check the price of the Aldi store brand against the name brand at Sams.  Aldi is usually cheaper except for cheese and butter.  We like the quality of the sandwich meat at Sams also.  I will buy a two pound package and then put half in the freezer.

I budget about $500 a month for groceries and I usually go under that amount.  We will use the excess for going out after Sunday night church or for getting a quick bite at a restaurant.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spending too much

I have a hard time not spending too much on the kid's clothes. I want them to look nice at school and have what is fashionable. I also have to look at them and want them to look nice. We do get alot of hand me downs and yard sale and thrift store sale, but we still have holes in the wardrobe. Yesterday I went to the Tanger Outlets with some coupons. I spent $75 at Aeropostle and got Ashley a bunch of shirts. I spent $40 at P.S. Aero and got Natalie and Emma a few shirts. I then went to Old Navy and got Evan some shirts and a pair of pants for $27. They had some good deals at Old Navy. I bought myself two shirts at Wal-Mart. My long sleeve selection is sad. Last night I bought Natalie some $30 boots. She is a hard fit because she has narrow feet. No yard sale shoes for her. I also bought Ashley a $25 dress at Marshall's. For what I got at the regular stores I did pretty well, but I hate spending that kind of money on something that they will only wear a few months and then they will grow and the weather will change. Oh well, they have to have clothes and they are happy about it.

We have to go wash cars today to pay for Ashley and Steven's mission trip. I am hoping that we don't have to pay any more money out of pocket. Steven had to take Evan to cub scouts to hike at the Indian mounds, so I am washing cars for him with the girls. Well, we better get some breakfast and go.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back from Camping

We took the kids camping this weekend. The kids were out of school on Friday, so we went to a campground about 20 miles away. We took a trailer with canoes and bicycles and two days worth of camping supplies. We camped in tents and slept on the ground and had a great time. It was good to get away from the TV, ipod, computer and all the other techy type stuff that takes up our time. We went fishing, canoeing, hiking, and went to an animal refuge. How much did it cost? $25 a night for the campground, I probably spent $25 extra on food that I would not normally have bought, and then the gas to get there. Overall, probably about $100 for the weekend for a family of 6. Not too bad for a fun weekend. We reconnected as a family and that is priceless!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday quick shopping

I had just had a few minutes to run into Wal-mart today.  I am trying to cut the budget short for a few weeks to pay a few extra bills.  I have plenty of meat in the freezer, so I just got a few things to help us get through the week.
As you can see I bought nothing that was very exciting.  I got the ingredients for banana pudding for Steven's birthday.  I am making chicken soup tomorrow from the leftover chickens that we smoked this weekend.  Wednesday we will have grilled cheese sandwiches before we go to church.  Thursday we are having chili in the crockpot, that is what the corn chips are for.  We are going camping on Friday and we are having beanies and weenies.  I will need a few other things for camping.  I know we need some bottled drinks.  We usually bring water, Gatorade, and we make hot chocolate and instant coffee.  We also need to makings for smores and we might buy some chicken legs to cook on the grill.  Camping food always tastes good!  I need to go through my coupons and see what I have before I do any more shopping.  I have several inserts from the past weekend that I need to cut out and I have not filed last weeks.  I am behind in my couponing.  I have not really done any in the last month.  Oh well, I better get back at it.  I save so much money!


We went last night to see the movie Courageous and it was so good! We took our two nephews and our niece and Ashley and left the younger ones with my in-laws. It was a pg-13 and we didn't feel comfortable bringing the under 13 crowd. I think every parent needs to see it, especially fathers. Our church rented out a showing and we went instead of going to Sunday night church. It was great! We also took the kids out to Dairy Queen after the movie. Those kids don't get out much, so we go the extra mile for them.

I am going to take Collin to the doctor today for a check-up and maybe a trip to the store. There is a bunch of cleaning to do around here (yuck)! Well, the kids are going to start getting up soon so I better get going.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Great Find

I feel pretty safe posting this because my husband does not read my blog. He has an old motorcycle that he likes to ride. I sometimes feel like he is living his second childhood, but then he really never got to have alot of fun during his first childhood (another post, another day) so I really don't mind. I think he needs to have some fun in his life. So, his birthday is next week, and he really doesn't like for us to make a fuss. We really don't buy each other gifts, just usually do something nice for each other. Well, he has been wanting a leather jacket for the motorcycle (you know you have to look right on the cycle). We have a local thrift store that is like a treasure trove. You never know what you will find. I like to buy from them because it does help the community. Well, I found a leather jacket at the thrift store today. They wanted $25 for it, which I thought was steep for a thrift store, but a great deal for the jacket. I bought it and we will wrap it up for the birthday.

Tomorrow is yard sale day. Let's see what I can find! I will post some pictures. I think my yard sale budget is going to be $25. With my husband's birthday also comes our tag tax. Yuck!

Monday, September 26, 2011


We had a pretty busy weekend. The church had a yard sale this weekend to benefit the people going to El Salvador and since Ashley and Steven are going, they had to help. We were at the church until late Friday and Steven and Ashley were there until 2:00 Saturday. They didn't make as much as they wanted, but every little bit help us. Then Saturday night we ate at my parents house for dinner.

Sunday my nephew was getting dedicated at my sister's church. We were all planning to go, but Ashley woke up with strep throat. I knew it was strep as soon as I saw her throat. We had a change of plans and Steven took her to the doctor and I took the other three to the church and after lunch. I hate it that we all couldn't go, but we couldn't help it. Last night our church baptized six people and it was a great service. We left Ashley at home.

She is up already and says that her throat still hurts, but she doesn't have any fever so I am sending her to school. After you have been on the meds one day you are no longer contagious. She missed last Monday because of the dentist and the older you get it is harder to miss.

I am going to volunteer with the special ed pre k this morning, then come home and clean up. That is about it for today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yard Saling

One activity that we all love to do is yard sale.  Almost every weekend that we are in town and the weather is nice (we live in Ga so the weather is warm 9 months out of the year) we take in some yard sales.  We get incredible buys on clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, household stuff, and all kinds of things.

These are some of the clothes and shoes that we got this weekend.  The flip-flops and boots are for Ashley at $1.00 each.  There are two shirts for Evan, one for Emma and several items for my baby nephew.  Grand total $4.00.

We got this shelf for $5.00 for Evan to put his Legos on.  He already has the matching lamp.

Emma and Natalie also got Baby Alives for 50 cents each.  These are $50 in the store.  Emma also got two pairs of sanals for $1.00.  We often find birthday presents, stuff for school, crafts, you name it.  We couldn't afford half of the clothes shoes the kids have if we didn't yard sale.  Now, we do enjoy going to thrift stores and I find cute dresses at consignment sales and consignment stores, but yard sales give me more bang for my buck.  You do have to drive around, and you never know what your going to find, but for us that is the thrill of the hunt.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boy Scouts

Evan is going hiking at an animal refuge park today near our house. They have miles of trails there for hiking and biking, so the boys scouts go up there often. Evan is in cub scouts. He took a break from it over the summer, but now he wants to get back into it. I like boy scouts because they teach character and are a Christian organization. What we didn't like last year is that many of the boys were badly behaved, even with their mother or father with them. I think Evan and Steven got tired of them, so that was the main reason that they took a break. We are hoping for some maturity this year, ha ha.

I went to the MOPS consignment sale yesterday and got the younger kids some jeans and a dress for Emma. My kids have to wear slims, so I rarely find them anything at consignment shops, thrift shops, or yard sales. When I found a few slims I snatched them up. Evan and Emma are so rough on their clothes, that I hate to spend good money on them. I think spending $30 on a pair of kids jeans is ridiculous.

Well, I have to get up and get some breakfast for some of these kids. The girls and I are going to start some laundry, and then we are going to meet the guys at the park for a picnic. It is going to be perfect weather today with a high of 80. We just love fall! Then I have to take Ashley to get some tap shoes for dance. I tried to order her some, but they didn't work and now I have to return them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teacher Conferences

Today the kids get out early for parent/teacher conferences. I have two today and we scheduled one for Monday because I couldn't work it in my schedule for today. Emma has soccer today at 5:30 and I already had one scheduled for 3:00 and 3:30. These teacher have alot of students to deal with and don't really understand that I am responsible for my four kids and three others that belong to somebody else. Oh, and Evan's teacher goes to church with us and said that she would just have a church conference in passing with me. Everything with him is fine. In fact, they are all fine, but I feel like I should talk to as many teachers as possible. I mean, they did make the time for it. I just like to show that i am interested.

The brother/sister I babysit for are gettting picked up at 2:00 today. Collin will just go with me and Ashley will stay here with the others. Yeah for having a daughter old enough to babysit.

I guess I will get going and get Collin up and take these kids outside. I think that if they are getting picked up at 2:00, everyone will get an early nap. They are playing and watching TV right now, but they love outside and so do I when then weather is nice.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Menu for week of 9/11

Monday :
Pork Chops, ramen noodles, green beans

Crock pot venison stew and bread

Spaghetti and salad

Potato soup and bread

Pizza and salad

Grilled chicken, mac and cheese, broccoli

hot dogs, chips and coleslaw

Breakfasts are usually cereal, bagels or eggs.  Lunches are sandwiches, leftovers, or school bought lunches.  Snacks are crackers, fruit, granola bars or yogurt.  Dessert is whatever I happen to feel like making or we will have ice cream or Popsicle.  I try to avoid the sugary stuff as I am losing weight so when they has dessert I have a sugar free Popsicles or a piece of fruit.

My 911 post

I decided that the day cannot continue without my comment on the 9/11 attacks.  I had dropped my oldest child at pre-school for the morning and my one-year-old and I went to my aunts house for a visit.  When I got there she told me what had happened and while we were watching the TV we saw the second plane hit the towers.  Until then I really didn't understand that we were under attack.  I thought a plane got off course and hit the tower.  We live in Georgia, far from New York, but I was immediately afraid.  I didn't know if there would be other attacks or what to do.  I ended up going to my mom's house and waiting for Ashley to get out of school.  We then went home and I don't think the children and I went anywhere for about three days.

When I think about how frightened I was, I can't imagine how it was in New York for those people who had to live through that.  The Lord helped many people get though those days and I am assuming he still is.  I don't think you can live through an event like that and come out the same.  Our county changed that day.  I always wonder why some people are so full of hate, that they would die so that thousands of others could die.  It is something I hope I never understand.

God was with us and those people who suffered.  The attacks are the results of evil and not God.  He has helped us though, and will continues to help us.  He is the only one who can help.

I hope that you spent this day is church and praying.  If you are not a Christian, then my hope is that you will find a church and see how much you need him.  God is the only way to peace!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My dad picked pears from the tree at my Grandma's house last week.  Today I canned them.  It took a couple of hours but I ended up with 10 quarts and three pints of pears.  These will be great this winter.  These pears are really hard and the only good way to eat them is to cook them.

Aren't they pretty!  I am hoping for another batch to can up.  If I get another batch that might be enough for the  winter.  I have plenty of greens beans, squash, and salsa for the winter.  I am going to do a batch of applesauce if I can get apples cheap enough.  I love having fresh canned fruits and veggies around in the winter.  They taste so much better than what you can get at the store.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Aldi shopping

Well, with a quick trip to the beach and baby sitting all week I just made a quick trip to Aldi to get some stuff we needed for the week.  They had hamburger and hotdog buns for .25 cents a pack and milk for $2.25 a gallon.  I shouldn't need to go out again until next week, unless I make a trip to publix tonight to get some sale items.  It will have to depend on my stamina by then.  Here is a picture of what I got.

I spent around $63.00.  Not too bad!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beach Snack Foods

Well, I told myself that I would not spend any money at the beach except for gas, but when we got here I realized that we needed a few more supplies than I imagined.  My parents are on a low carb diet, which has been great for their heath, but doesn't really work for a bunch of kids.  There were no crackers or chips to have with lunch, nothing for the kids to snack on, and no bottles of water.  The water here is really gross (Florida water), so that was mostly a need.  The kids also love shrimp, and taking them out to dinner at a seafood restaurant will cost an arm and a leg, so I went to a local place and got 5 pounds of shrimp to cook tonight.  The shrimp was $20.00 and and the trip to Wal-Mart was $40.00.  I will just take the difference from my food budget for next week.  I have plenty of supplies at home and will only need mild and some fruit this week.  We will just make a trip to Aldi on Wednesday.  Well, we are going to the beach.  Bye and happy Sunday!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekend trip

The kids and I decided last night to make a long weekend trip to the beach.  My grandparents bought the beach house in the 1960's.  My grandma is 95 and doesn't go to the beach anymore.  My parents spend alot of time there and asked up to join them this weekend.  I did go shopping and spent $30 at publix and $50 at Walmart.  Some of the Walmart money were videos to watch in the car and some candy to eat on the way.  Anyhow, I still stayed within my $100 for the week.  We will probably buy some shrimp at the beach and cook it.  We are not going out or buying anything extra while we are gone. 

When we travel we will bring out big cooler and fill it with drinks and snacks.  It saves a ton of money to not have to stop at a convenience store.  We will stop and get fast food, but we don't buy drinks and share fries so it is not that bad.  When we travel we always stay where there is a kitchen, or we camp and cook over the fire or the camp stove.  It is so much cheaper for us to rent a cabin or a condo and cook then to rent two hotel rooms and have to go out.

Have a good and safe weekend.  May the Lord bless you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Glad for Friday

I am glad tomorrow is Friday and I only have one little baby here tomorrow.  I need to go to the grocery store, so I will post a picture tomorrow of what I bought and how much I paid.  I have only spent the $18 I showed you this week, so I should have plenty to spend to get what we need.  Well, we gotta to Wal-mart to get some note cards.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My favorite money saving book.

I guess the book that made the biggest difference in the way that I view frugality and saving money is the Tightwad Gazette.  She embraces frugal living, does some very innovative things to save money.  Now, I am not saying that I do everything that she does in the book, see does some really far out stuff, but I thing she has many good tip and recipes.  It is a book full of resources, that I tend to refer back to time and time again.  I have the link to the book on by sidebar, just in case you are interested in purchasing one.


I have been trying to clean this morning while the baby naps and now I am taking a short break.  I really hate cleaning, but love having a clean house.  So, since I don't have a housekeeper or a fairy godmother I guess I have to clean it.  I got in Ashley's room and found mounds of laundry, a ton of trash, and who knows what else.  We just cleaned it right before school started and it is already that bad.  I have to take her phone away from her to get her to clean up that room.  Yuck!  I don't know how she can stand it!  I got her room vacuumed, the girl's room vacuumed, and then the playroom done.  I have folded one load of clothes and I have one in the dryer and one in the washer.  I can't get much done on the days I have all three little kids, so this works out great to get it done today.  Friday I want to go to town and go to the grocery store.

I am going to go to the school and eat lunch with Emma.  I try to do one lunch a week and rotate my elementary kids. Once thy get to the middle school lunch is out!  Evan had his turn last week.

I got off the hook for dinner tonight.  Our church is having it's kick off for the AWANA program tonight and are serving pizza.  I am going to have three teens that I have to feed because youth group in not included.  I think that I will just make them some grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Easy and quick.

Well, I guess that I better make me a sandwich and pack my lunch and bring a bottle for Collin.  He is usually a pleasant baby, but don't feed him and watch out.  Have a pleasant day unto the Lord!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Menu plan for the Week

I thought that I would post what we are eating this week, as I am posting what I am buying. We tend to eat very simple around here with lots of fruit and salads mixed in with the other foods. I cook most of our meals from scratch and we rarely go out.


Cold cereal
fruit and cereal bars (when I have them)
scrambled eggs

*we are usually running out the door for school so we have quick, easy breakfasts. I usually let the kids choose and they pretty much get their own things.


Some kids take a lunch to school. It is usually a sandwich, fruit, chips or crackers, and then either a fruit roll up or yogurt tube. Steven normally takes leftovers or makes a sandwich at work. I do the same. On the weekends we fix corn dogs or cheese tacos.


Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas.
Tuesday: Crock pot chicken, mac and cheese, salad
Wednesday: Dinner at the bounce house with church
Thursday: chicken soup and grilled cheese
Friday: Spaghetti and salad
Saturday: Taco salad
Sunday: Hot dogs and coleslaw ( we always fix hot dogs after church)
Monday (labor day) Ribs, oven fried potatoes, watermelon (if I can find one at a good price)

Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to do a crock pot meal. This is the day that I babysit three little ones and I never know how the day is going to go. I also need something quick and easy most Wednesday nights because we have to leave at 6 for church.

That is the plan for the week. I will let you know if plans change.

Grocery prices

Have you noticed how much groceries have gone up.  I haven't really been paying that much attention lately.  We have been so busy with summer and back to school that I have just been running in and getting what we need and running out.  Usually doing this three or four times a week and not really totaling up the cost.  Well, we have got to get a handle on our spending.  My daughter and husband are going on a mission trip and we have to pay alot of money for the trip. 

Well, while everyone was at school yesterday (yes, everyone went) and I was done with my volunteering at the school, I went to Wal-mart to get us some milk and fruit.  Evan had requested some caps for his cap gun that he bought and the kids needed some of those grips for pencils.  Well, since I had time, I browsed the Ilse and I was shocked at the prices.  Dairy has gone way up.  Butter was $3.00 lb, yogurt was  60cents a cup, cereal was $6.00 for a big bag.  Crackers and cookies are $3.00 a box.

Well, I decided to buy just a few things.  I am going to keep a tally of everything I buy at the grocery store for the next month and hopefully post a picture.  You have to understand that my husband and family deer hunt, and we eat alot of that.  We grind it and use it like you would ground beef.  If I want to do a meat loaf or burgers I buy some cheap ground beef and I mix it with the deer.  Most people can't tell there is deer in our dishes, and we are used to the texture.  I buy everything else on sale or when it goes BOGO and I try to add coupons.  I won't buy name brand snacks, cereal, or breakfast food without a sale and/or a coupon.  I do coupon, but I tend to go in spurts.  I can usual do pretty well just shopping sales.  Well, here is the sad loot from Wal-mart yesterday.

The total was around $18.00.  You might not think the diet cokes as necessary, but if you had to chase three kids under the age of three two days a week you would need some caffeine too.

I am trying to spend less than $100 a week to feed 6 of us.  Will it work?  We shall see!

Monday, August 29, 2011


My normal Monday consists of taking the kids to school and volunteering for the morning. I help in a special education pre-k class. I worked in special ed in Lee County when we lived there, so I feel comfortable with these kids, and they seem to like me, so we get along. When I come the paras can work on other things while I help with the kids. When they go to lunch I will go to the grocery store and then come home and do a little house work or laundry until the kids come home. Monday is the only day that I don't babysit.

Today, since Evan had strep yesterday, I don't know if he will feel up to going to school today. The doctor said that he could if he woke up without a fever and felt good. We will just have to see. I know this is selfish, but I hate to waste a free day with staying home with a sick kid. I have to stay home the other days, so I like to get out on Mondays. Oh well, he and I can have special time together, in which kids in a big family don't get enough of.

Happy Monday! Make the most of it and live as the Lord would have you live!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We officially have strep.  Evan feels lousey, but we got some meds, so we should be on the mend by tomorrow.  I hope the others don't come down with it.  It is not very frugal for everyone to be sick.  $20 copay per kid plus $15 for meds.  Oh well, life with four!

Weekend sickness?

I don't know what it is about this weekend. I guess Natalie's birthday coincides with the two week start to school. The kids always seem to get sick this weekend. I know two years ago we had the swine flu. Two kids had to hid while the birthday guests swam. Last year the day after the party Ashley started with strep throat that ran through everyone. Now Evan got up this morning with a fever saying that his throat and stomach hurt. Strep? We will see. When they start cramming kids into rooms then the illness starts to spread. That is one reason that it is hard for me to work. We have so many sick days. I have to work on a team (like I did at Lee County High) or have a very understanding boss. Keeping kids in my home works out . As long as they are not too sick they can just stay away from the other kids. Our pediatrician has an after hours, so I can take them on the weekends or in the evenings. Works for us!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

School in full Swing

Well, school is in full swing around here. We have been in two week, and the heat hear is killing the kids in the afternoon. I have been making them ride the bus to cut down on gas money and so that I don't have to get my nephew out in the afternoon. These buses have no air ( yes we are in Georgia) and they just sit and sweat on the way home.

I am keeping my nephew four days a week and two others on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It makes for a long busy day, but the mom is paying me decent so I put up with it. We need the money. I have been trying to cut down on our expenses, but have not done really well. September is going to start a new budget. I will let you know how it goes. I want to spend only $100 a week for groceries. I can do it, but we may eat some boring meals.

We also have a birthday this weekend. I made the cake. I don't really know how much money it saves, but it does help out and it tastes better than store bought. I did take seven of us to the movies. It was $45 and then $7 for popcorn. We got free refills on the popcorn and brought our own drinks. We then are having the family over for hot dogs. They are sale hot dogs from the freezer and then we are having chips and sodas. We are doing a pinita. The candy ran around $15 and will serve as the favor. Overall, I think the party including a cook out for about 30 people will cost under $100. Not too bad.

Here is the cake. It is a Mama pig and piglets. Some of the piglets look a little creepy, but the kids don't care. The cake is an ice cream cake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Day Care Kid?

No, not my own. I have always done everything possible to ensure that my kids are not in the care of others. I think that they are my children and the Lord entrusted me and my husband to care for them. I do send them to public school. We live in an area that has good schools, and my children tend to do well academecly and well as socially. We have always said that if there was a problem at the school that we would pull them out to homeschool, but so far we haven't had a problem.

I did speak to my neighbor about keeping their two year old grandchild next school year. The mother is a college student and works part time, so the schedule will work with ours. I do want to keep Mondays open so that I can volunteer at the kid's schools. I just like to get to know the teachers and the students and we will go and eat lunch with them. Sometimes I will bring my daycare kids to eat with lunch with my kids, and sometimes not. We feel like we need the money this fall, so if they will bring him just four days a week we might do it. We will just have to let the lord work it out!

Today it is a trip to the orthodontist. I am going to put a pork roast in the crock pot so dinner is ready when we get home. I am going to go bake some muffins and try to catch up on the laundry today. We need to go to Papa's house and pick some green beans so we can can some more. We will see if any canning gets done.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Winding Down?

Yes, you read that right. We are winding down summer her in our household. School doesn't start until Aug 12, but the kids that I babysit start coming next week. One will be here three days next week and then I ad the other four days the next week. My three day a week baby will only come for a few weeks and then his grandma is retiring and going to keep him. I can't decide if I want to look for another child to keep. The extra money is nice, but two kids are alot more work and it really ties me down during the day. I really can't take two little one very far. If one of my kids has an appointment it is almost impossible for me to go with two babies in tow. I have some things listed on e-bay right now. If I can do decent selling the things that I got at yard sales this weekend I might try e-baying a little and not worry about taking in more kids.

Well, we are going to Grandma's this morning to wish Granddad a late birthday. He was out of town on his real birthday, and my kids love to make a big deal out of birthdays.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We are at the beach with most of my extended family.  We have swam on the beach for most of the day and will eat hotdogs and homemade ice cream tonight.  My uncle and his friends have a garage full of fireworks that they are going to shoot off on the beach tonight.;  It is legal in Florida to shoot them off, so we just watch their's and have a great time.  The kids look forward to the fireworks all year!  Happy 4th of July!

family fun on the beach

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Savings

We had a few bithdays in the past couple of weeks. I always make the kids birthday cakes. We usually pick a theme and then we try to come up with something creative to do with them. Evan wanted a camo/hunting cake and Ashley wanted a mermaid. I think they turned out fine. We took some girls to the waterslides and Steven took some boys fishing, then we had the family over for cake and ice cream. It was fun!

Ashley's Birthday Cake

Evan's Birthday Cake

Friday, June 24, 2011


We have had people in the past ask us what do we do for babysitters. Until this year we have not lived in the same town as relatives in seven years. For the most part, we haven't gotten babysitters unless it was absolutely necessary. We rarely went out by ourselves just for the fun of it. If we felt like we needed some alone time, we would put the kids to bed and turn off the TV and just talk or fix some decaf coffee and sit outside on our porch. When our kids started getting older, instead of going to bed, they had to go to their rooms with a book and read for a while until we told them "lights out"! I usually try to get up with my husband, even though I have not been doing that this week, so that we can get a moment together before he goes to work.

When we would have the rare occasion that we needed a babysitter for a function for my husband's work, we would usually hire two teenagers and pay them well. We could usually find someone from church who was wanting to make some extra money. This usually worked out well. We figured it would take two teenagers to watch four small children.

Now our oldest is 13 and our youngest is 7. We usually leave them at the house with instructions. The oldest is in charge, but everyone is in charge of their own behavior. I will usually pay Ashley a little bit if we go out, especially if the house is in good order when we get home. We do have family that they can stay with, but we rarely use them. Most of the time the kids want to come with us and do whatever we are doing. They don't get to see their father alot during some weeks because he has to travel and we get busy in the evenings, so if they get a chance to spend the evening with him, even if it is to go shopping, then they do. We also usually take vacations and short trips as a family. I figure that we will have plenty of time to travel alone when they are grown and I want the kids to experience vacations with us. The one time that we went off by ourselves for the weekend I was saying " Ashley would love this, Evan would love this" then I realized I would have enjoyed it more if I had brought them.

When I run errands when everyone is home I ask "who wants to go?" If they all want to go then I take them all. If Ashley want to go I take them all because she is the babysitter. If Ashley wants to stay Evan will usually stay because he hates to shop like most men.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Over at the website they are giving away a sport Berkey water bottle.
These are supposed to have a filtration system that is built in and can filter out almost anything harmful in your drinking water, even E-coli and pathogens. Steven and Ashley are going to El Salvador on a mission trip in December and I thought these would been nice to take to insure that they are drinking good, safe water. The mission compound that they will be staying in is supposed to have good water, but I would feel better about the whole trip if they had another layer of defence.

If you are interested go on over and enter her contest!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Camp Fun

Last week the girls and I went to a church camp and this week the girls are at a different church camp. The girls love these camps, and because they are through the church, they are reasonable in cost. Evan is not old enough to go to camp yet, so last week he hung with my mom and this week he and I are hanging out. This is a great way to have frugal summer fun and serve the Lord at the same time. We try to participate in every church activity that our church does. We try to do these first, before we do other activites because we think that this is important and we want to support our local church. By the way, this is a picture of Emma climbing a 40 foot rock wall.