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.