Monday, June 11, 2012


Well it is Monday.  We had Ashley's birthday party, Evan's birthday (his party is next weekend) and church and a family over for fellowship lunch on Sunday.  We had a busy but great weekend full of family and friends.  I feel great about what we accomplished this weekend and look forward to a great week.

In a side note, my niece is back in the hospital.  As you can say, the party is over.  All I can say is that I feel for her, not because what she has done, but because of what she gave up.   She could have had a great life with us, but chose differently.   I don't know where she will go from here.  Somewhere for troubled teens to be sure.  I will just keep praying and hoping that she can change her life and really let Jesus in. 

Enough on that note.  We are going to the beach on Saturday, so my goal is to not grocery shop this week and to finish up anything in the fridge and eat from the freezer.  I will combine my grocery money from this week and next to let us eat well while we are gone.  I will probably go buy some shrimp and fish from the docks which is so much cheaper than eating out.  We may go out once, but last time we it was so expensive and we were disappointed in the quality.  I would rather buy it myself and cook it.  We will see.  I usually bring alot of food from home, but this time I think I will bring a small cooler with milk and bring cereal and muffins and then shop when I get to the island.  I need to see what is down there because my parents go often and tend to store up stuff while they are there.  We will see what is in the pantry and freezer there and then go shopping.  Don't worry, I will bring my coupons.  I never like to spend more than I have to even on vacation.

Well, I am off to finish addressing Evan's birthday invitations.  His party is on Saturday and we are getting a blow up water slide and sharing it with my nephew.  We are praying for good weather!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is Ashley's 14th birthday!  I know I sound old, but where has the time gone?  I remember bringing her home from the hospital.  She was so tiny and I didn't know what I was doing.  Now she will be in high school next year!  Yikes!  I am proud of the young lady that she has become and I can't wait to see what she does in the future.  I know alot of people say that they hate the teenage years, but so far I am enjoying them.

So for the birthday party we are taking a van load to the movies to see Madagascar 3.  When we are done we are coming back here for a cook out and cake and ice cream. The cake is a rainbow cake.  I can't wait to post pictures, but we have to wait until it is cut because it is the inside that will be so cool.

For a birthday party i normally spend around $50 to take the kids to do something special.  We have been skating, to the water park, gotten nails done, and movies.  We then normally come back here an invite the family to come over for a cookout with hotdogs and cake and ice cream.  It usually is another $25 for the cookout, but that is usually my total expense.  The birthday kid also gets to pick the meals for the day on their birthday.  Sometime it is some strange combinations of food, but usually it is pretty good.  The point is to make the day all out them, and to focus on them for a day.  We usually buy simple gifts and a few items that they need.  If they are wanting something expensive we will encourage the family to give them money and they can pool that and go get what they want.  I personally would rather them have one nice thing than a bunch of junk.

I don't think my niece is enjoying her run away life like she thought she would.  We tried to tell her that, and we tried to convince her not to act the way she did.  Unfortunately for her we do not have custody of her and if she wants to make other choices we can't help her too much besides talking to the Grandparents.  People have to some day learn that you have consequences for your actions.  You can't lie, steal and run away and then come back and live your old life like nothing ever happened.  You have to pay the consequences and then try to make things right, but you can't go back to where you were.  I don't know what will happen with her. It is out of my hands.  Prayer is the only thing that will help her get her head straight and get through everything.

Well, I have to get started on some things for today.  Babysitting this morning and movies this afternoon.  Yeah for us we live a blessed life because of the Lord Jesus.  He is our rock and salvation!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Moving on

Yes, we are moving on with life since my niece left.  We are all left with a hole in our hearts, but she is 17 and we can't make her come home or realize what she left.  She will probably realize it one day.  The Lord God is deep down in her heart where that seed has been planted.  I am still left with guilt and the what ifs.  What if we hadn't let her get on the Internet, what if we didn't let her use the phone, what if we didn't let her have access to car keys, but truthfully she could have left if we didn't let her have open access to these things.  She was getting online at the grandparents house with a stolen ipod.  She made an extra copy of her car key without our knowledge.  We try here to let the kids have access to the Internet and cell phones, but not with sneaking around and with safeguards in place.  We try to have an open relationship, because we believe if you don't let them ever do these things they will sneak around and do things that are wrong when they are not with you.  We do let our kids spend the night with friends and friends come over here and they all have smart phones and ipods and are all on the Internet.  Yes, we probable let Brianna have too many privileges too fast, but when we saw it was a problem we restricted her on those privileges.  We never thought she would leave and I won't let anyone make me feel guilty for her leaving.  It could have happened on anyone's watch.

So like I said we are moving on.  Ashley has her dance recital today.  They are doing the Lion King and she if Rafiki the monkey.  It was a little rough on the dress rehearsal, so I guess the recital will be good!  After we are going out for Mexican food.   It is cheap and good and I just am not coming back here after the recital and cooking for a crowd.  I think Ashley's friend is coming and spending the night.  More fun fun!

I went to Aldi shopping yesterday and spend over $100.00, but it was also stuff for a cookout next weekend for Ashley's birthday.  It still seems like alot of money.  I also went to Publix and spent $30 on meat.  I only buy ground beef from them since I found out about the pink slime.  I know theirs is good.  I am hoping no grocery shopping except for a few fresh things for two weeks.   We will see how that goes.

Well, it is 9:00 and only have the crew is up.  I think I will make them some pancakes.  Pancakes on Saturdays are so good!  Have a great Saturday!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Well, this weekend has been interesting.  My niece that was living with us ran away on Friday.  She took the car, my daughters cell phone, and some money.  She left while I took the others to school and she was supposed to be doing her homeschooling work.  We had no idea that she was plotting to leave.  She went to stay with a guy that she knows (we don't know how she knows him or if she had ever seen him before Friday) and he lives three hours away.  We did find his address and went and picked up the car, but at 17 we can't make her come back home.  She legally can live where she wants.

I am still upset.  We feel betrayed and used.  We gave her things and tried to let her live a life of love and compassion.  Then I have to remember that she is 17 and doesn't understand about sacrifice and being hurt by loved ones, she is only interested in the moment.  She can't see that her future was going to be bright here, with schooling, and friends, and the things that a teen needs and wants.  She can only see that she wants to be with someone else right now.

I was telling Steven the other night that I felt like the last 6 weeks that she has been here has been a waste.  That we wasted all of our time, energy and money on her and she just runs off and steals from us, and then I said no it wasn't.  The bible says that his word will not return void.  I shared scripture with her daily and we had discussions about how God wants us to live as Christians.  We took her to church, youth group, and to the Rush weekend at rock ranch.  We showed her the love of a Christian family and what that love can mean.  I believe that one day she will turn to that word and remember what we talked about.  She will want in her life what we have here.  I will be there to show her how to come to the Lord when she wants it.  We will always love her, even if we don't love her actions.  We can show the love of Christ through us.  We don't have to let her exploit us again, but we can help her get the help she needs and to fully engage in Christ.  He is the one who can heal her.  He is already healing our family from this.

On a positive note, we are going swimming today if the weather cooperates and we are cooking our with family.  My parents are at the beach, but we invited my sister and her family and Steven's brother and his family over to cook out and churn ice cream.  We are going to continue to have fun and make family memories and just pray for the lost that they would one day return.  Have a blessed memorial day and remember the sacrifice that our forefathers made so that we could have the freedoms that we have here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Routine

I am trying to map out a summer routine for my kids.  I don't want anything too structured, but I also don't want everyone laying around doing nothing all summer.  I don't want to waist a bunch of time, but I also want them to have plenty of free time to do what they want.  Here is what I have come up with for this summer.

9:00 Breakfast - if someone is hungry before they can eat, but I want everyone up and eating by this time.

9:30  Clean up Kitchen, get dressed, make beds, clean up rooms, morning chores.

10:30  Those still homeschooling will work on schoolwork, others will have time to journal and read books from the library.

11:15 - 12:30  Free time, work on project of choosing, legos, free play time, (no computer or tv) finish up school work.

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Clean up lunch, put away laundry, clean up from free time.

1:30-4:00  Summer fun time.  During this time we will go swimming, go to the river, go to the museum, go to the library, etc.  If it is poor weather or we have more to do at home we may watch a movie or we might do some crafts or have game time. 

4:30-6:00  Dinner prep - one child will help with that every night, free time, computer time, tv time.

6:00 dinner, family bible time at table.

6:30 clean up table, clean up other messes

7:00 - 8:30  Family time - work in garden, swim at river, go for walks, play outside, etc.

9:00 - 10:00 Bed

I think this is structured but loose at the same time.  I am not tight with the schedule, but just want our days to flow nicely.

We will take some days and go to a state park, water park, have friends over, etc.  We will also have appointments and such so this is loose, but just something to strive for.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tye Dye Cake

Brianna asked for a tye dye cake for her birthday.  I normally make my kid's cakes and we spend lots of time looking for the right one and trying to make it.  I think this one turned out really well.

The good thing was that it tasted good and we had fun making it.  Happy Birthday Brianna!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day

This year the make up of my family has changed.  Change can be good and this definitely has been a good one.  He is our family this year on mothers day:

I received some wonderful heartfelt cards and notes, and the kids didn't let me lift a finger today.  We went and visited my mom and we went out for ice cream.  Yummy and fun!  I don't want to ever forget my first mothers day with my new child.  She has come a long way and is turning into a wonderful young lady.  I hope she along with all of my kids will reach her full potential and just love the Lord and her family.  You don't have to birth kids for them to take up space in your heart!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


We are adjusting to having an extra kid in the house.  Brianna is working hard on her math, and trying to finish it before the end of the school year.  School will be out in two weeks, and then what?  I hope I don't have to entertain everyone this summer.  I have a feeling that it will be a summer full of having friends over, swimming, beach, church activities and fun.  It will be a new summer of fun for my two new kids (yes, Brianna's brother is moving in next month.  Oh, it will be interesting,  but I am looking forward to it.

We are closing in our garage to make another bedroom.  We don't want the kids to feel crowded.  Luckily we have a large living room where we can all be together.  We have never been crazy about kids spending time by themselves in their room.  We think everyone should spend as much time together as possible.

I went to town and went grocery shopping.  I spent $30 at Publix (best meat), $80 at Sams (cheese and meds) and $80 at Aldi (everything else.)  I still have to get some bulk macaroni from Ingles but they were out.  All of the cheese I got will last the month and most of the meds I got will last a year.  Sams has super cheap over the counter meds.  My grocery bill is growing, but so is my family and my heart.  I just have to remember that.

Well, I need to go get ready for bed.  Mothers day is tomorrow.  I love my own mother so much, and I love my mother in law even though she is not in love with us right now.  I keep praying for some reconciliation, but it hasn't happened yet.  She doesn't want us to come see her for mothers day.  It stings to hear that, but in a way it is a relief.  I don't really want to deal with all of our emotions tomorrow.  I want it to be a happy day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Affording more than four

I think that I am going to have to change the name of my blog.  My niece has come to live with us.  She is almost 17 and we are enjoying each other.  Right now she is home schooling for the rest of the school year, but we went today to get her into school for next year.  She is looking forward to high school.  She has been at this school before and she says that she knows alot of the kids.  I also think that I found her a babysitting job for the summer.  Watching three older kids four hours a day.  She likes kids so it is all working out perfectly.

Well, since we have been so busy with moving in a teen, baseball, babysitting, and general stuff I have not been bargain or coupon shopping and it has shown.  I am going to Publix tomorrow with my coupons after baseball and I will let you know how is goes.  I have got to get back into saving money.  We sure don't have any extra to burn at this time.

I am going to eat lunch with Emma and let Brianna work on her school work.  Geometry, Yuck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


We are leaving today to vacation in the mountains for three days. We have rented a cabin. We have found over the years that it is cheaper for us to rent a cabin or a condo than hotels. We are taking all of our food. We might eat out once something like pizza or go and get a dessert or snack somewhere, but mostly we are going to be together with the nature. We are taking my nephew. He is 14 and love the outdoors. The kids love him like a brother so it works out great.

I don't know if I will be able to hike with the family. I hate not to. I love seeing their faces and experience times with them, but with my ankle just getting healed I don't want to reinjure it. We will see how it feels. I can just stay behind and read and work on my bible study.

I might bring my computer and post pictures. I hope the weather is nice and we can all relax.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


My grandma passed away yesterday. She was 95 and a believer in Jesus Christ. We will miss her but I think she has been wanting to go for some time. My grandfather died seven years ago, and I think she has missed him and wanted to be with him since then. Her passing was peaceful. In fact my mother said that she was arguing with her (she was so stubborn) and then she just stopped and was gone. I am sad that she will no longer be with us, but I am so happy imaging her in heaven with Jesus and my granddaddy. They were both orphans and I think they were so proud of the family that they built. We will all see them again some day.

Well you know that I have to post about going to a funeral frugally. We have to travel two hours out of town, so I got us two hotel rooms online. It is only $50 a night so we got two rooms so that we don't have to have someone sleep on the floor. It it supposed to have free breakfast. I am hoping that her church will bring food to the house so that we don't have to eat out a bunch. I am packing sandwiches and snacks for traveling and a cooler with water, juice and soda. So, we may have to eat out once, but not too much.

I still want to write a post about coupons and my opinions on them. I will do that after Easter.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Healing Foot and Spring

My ankle is just about healed, thank goodness. I have another week wearing the brace full time and then I have to wear it when I am out walking or exercising for another month. I am glad that it is almost well, but sad that it is not complete yet. I want to get outside while it is nice, especially before the heat sets in. We are in Central Georgia and it get unbearably hot here in the summer. I love spring and the breezes and getting outside when it is nice. In the summer I only go out early in the morning and sometime late in the evening if it cools off enough. We also spend alot of time in water, either at my mom's house or anywhere we can bum a pool. The kids like to go swim at the river, but I hate to swim in ponds and rivers. I just like to be able to see what is swimming with me.

I am hoping to sub a few days this week. The little kids that I babysit are on spring break. I also hope to get some housework and some organizing done. We will see how it goes. All of my meal for next week are either freezer meals or crock pot, just in case I get called in.

I am going to post later about my reformed way that I am shopping. No more coupons (well, maybe a few but not heavy). That is for another whole post. We have church tonight so I don't have time. Look for that to come later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Adventures in Sourdough

I have been trying to get some sourdough going. I have tried this before and had little luck with it. I know it is frugal and it is supposed to be very healthy, but I have always had trouble getting the starter to work. Well, I have researched and read alot about sourdough and I tried it again. The first set of bread rose, but I did put a little yeast in the starter. My second rose some, but not great and the third batch did not rise at all. So, then I took the started out of the fridge and started feeding it again and after a few more days it looked like good starter and a was bubbly again. I mixed up some honey whole wheat sourdough last night and now look at it.

I think it looks pretty good. I hope it bakes well. I am so excited that this is working. I did not put any more yeast in it, so it is true sourdough. I am hoping to incorporated it into more baked goods. Yummy yum yum!

I other news, we are heavily into baseball right now. I think Evan is doing pretty well considering that he is the youngest on the team and the shortest. We are only practicing right now. I don't know how they will do as a team but I really don't care. I just like watching them. I don't care if they win or lose, I just want them to have fun and learn the game.

Well, I guess I will go and put this bread in the oven. I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Catching up

Do you ever feel like you spend most of your time trying to play catch-up? Steven and I doled the kids out to different people on Friday night and we spent the night with the youth group with our church. I stayed at the church with the girls and Steven stayed with the boys across the street in our old pastoral. We didn't sleep much, but the girls had fun and got to go to a conference and learn about the lord. I was glad to serve, even if I was tired the next day.

We had our town's annual festival also this weekend. Ashley usually dances at it, but since she was with the youth group we just watched my niece dance. We then walked around, ate a gyro and a fried Oreo, and went home. My foot wouldn't allow for much more, but it was enjoyable. We had my sister in law and brother in law over for homemade pizza for dinner. Busy but enjoyable. Now is the catch up time. I made the little kids clean their bathrooms and their rooms since we were not here this Saturday to do it then. I hate it but there is no maid and the week starts tomorrow.

We are doing a women's study at church on Sunday nights. I feel guilty that I am going and not helping Steven, but he said that he didn't mind. I love a good women's study. He knows this and supports me in this. He is a great husband!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Well, I got the boot off of my foot this week and I am now wearing a brace.  I still have some weakness and soreness in my ankle, but it is doing much better.  I can walk much easier in this brace, so I decided to go the the grocery today.  I went to Aldi because I saw that they had .99 cent pineapples and .79 cent strawberries and I was not disappointed.  We have already eaten one of the packages of strawberries and made a dent in the pineapples.  I also got some other staples:

I spent $48 total.  I thought this was a good price for what I got :  four boxes of cereal, sugar, lettuce, cans  of tomatoes, 2 milks, oil, pasta, chips, crescent roll, and  few other odds and ends.  I still need to go to Kroger.  They have whole chickens on sale and I need some ground chuck for hamburgers.  This is the menu for the week:

Monday:  Chicken wings, mac and cheese, carrots (Emma's request).

Tuesday:  Spaghetti and salad

Wednesday:  Chili

Thursday :  Whole chicken, pasta salad, green beans

Friday:  Chicken/broccoli braid

Saturday:  Pizza

Sunday:  Hamburgers and hot dogs  (Sunday regular)

We eat cereal, bagels, eggs and toast or oatmeal for breakfast.  Some of the kids buy lunches at school and some pack a sandwich, chips and fruit.  Steven and I usually eat leftovers or make sandwiches.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sourdough Bread

I have been trying to get back into the kitchen after breaking my ankle.  I love being in the kitchen and organizing my home, but the last few weeks everything has been put aside.  I have been wanting to make sourdough bread for a while.  The last time I tried it, it was a flop.  The bread never rose and I hated that all of that work went out the window.  Well, this past few weeks I have been researching online other people's sourdough.  I got many tips and tried it again.  Well, this time it worked.

I haven't baked it yet, but it has risen up nicely.  It is honey whole wheat and if we like the taste I will post the recipe.  I am super excited.  This kind of bread is supposed to be great for you.

I am also trying to make some yogurt.  We have been eating two huge containers of yogurt a week.  That runs about $5.00, but I can make the same amount myself for about $1.50.  I cooked it on the stove and now it is sitting in my crockpot with a towel around it.

The last time that I tried this it didn't set up good.  I am hoping for better results!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gas Prices

Have you heard that gas prices are supposed to go up to $5.00 a gallon this summer? What is the deal with that? We drive a mini van and it gets 20 miles to the gallon which is good for that type of car. We can't get anything smaller and we actually could use something bigger. We are always taking extra kids to church and other places with us. We just can't afford the gas for a bigger vehicles. We sure can't go any smaller. We barely fit in the van.

I guess this summer we will be staying home more and more. I hate it, but what choice will we have? When we lived in Leesburg we had a pool, but here we do not. My mom has a pool, but she lives 20 minutes away from here. They spend alot of time in the summer at the beach, so we may just stay at her house a few days at a time just so that we can swim and be closer to town for outings. I have also thought about spending some extended time at the beach this summer. My grandma has a beach house and lets us go. We will have to share some with my parents, but extra time in the water would be great! We do live 5 miles from the river, so we can take a picnic lunch and let the kids go swim there. I do worry about snakes. Yuck! I like pools better, but there is not one around here to join.

I don't know why I am worried about summer already. That is four months away.. I guess I should worry about this week first. Like, what am I going to wear to my cousin's bridal party this weekend with this boot on my foot?

Presidents Day

It is Presidents Day today and the kids are out of school. I love these one day holidays. I usually take the kids to the movies or out to lunch or at least to a park with a picnic, but right now with this ankle I really can't take them anywhere. I could take them to the movies, but there is nothing really out right now that we want to see, so we are just going to stay home. I might let them bake and decorate cupcakes later. I don't know. We will just wait and see.

I am babysitting the crew this week again. Luckily, my sister is out of school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so I will only have him two days this week and the other kids are coming on Thursday and Friday. I will have two days free with no kids. I am going to go and get my hair cut one of the days. I would love to go poking around Goodwill, I will just see how my foot is feeling. I can't walk a long way, only a short distance.

Well, I guess I will get in the kitchen in a little bit and fix these kids some breakfast. I might bake some biscuits for them. That would be a treat!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shopping with a broken foot

Well, since I broke my ankle I have not been able to go shopping. I have sent Steven to the store a few times to pick up stuff to get us through, but no big shopping trips. I did send him to Publix with coupons and he did pretty good. He didn't like the selection of items that I sent him for (granola bars and fruit snacks) but he bought them on sale with a coupon, so I didn't think that was a bad deal. I can't stand in the kitchen for a long stretch right now, and the kids take the snacks to school and eat them on outings, so I don't think it is a bad thing. It did get me to thinking about what we are eating and what we are spending our money on. Would I be better to make some granola bars from scratch? Would it be better to eat home baked cookies. We already eat alot of homemade bread and scratch goodies, but should they all be from scratch? I don't know the answers to these things, but I am going to think about them.

Steven is going to take Evan to buy a baseball bat and pick up some items for me at Aldi and Kroger. He hates shopping, but hates eating out more and hates spending the money to eat out.

The guys are going to a monster truck show tonight. The girls and I are going to my parents house to cook out. Nothing big. Maybe hot dogs and hamburgers. That is our usual Sunday lunch so I guess I will fix pizza for tomorrow. I think I will bake the crusts today and wrap them and put them in the freezer. Then we just have to thaw them and put the toppings on.

Well, I need to go shower and get moving. I love to lounge on Saturday a little too much.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Time to Reflect

While I have been laid up with the broken ankle I have had time to reflect on things. I was upset when I first broke my ankle that it seemed like no one was really concerned about our situation. With my ankle broken, I couldn't get in the kitchen and cook or do any house chores. I am starting to be able to hobble around the house now, so we are doing some simple dinners and the kids are helping with the heavy housework on the weekends. My mother in law did not even call me to see how I was (she is still angry with me over other issues I guess), two of my sister in laws did not even call me, and some other family members just made some half hearted requests to help us. My mom did bring us a roast and my sister brought us a lasagna and took off of work to keep the baby at home so I could recover. Then, two families from church brought us dinner, and several called and asked if we needed anything. I realized that we live in a selfish world. Most people don't mean anything by it, but they think only of themselves and what they have going on at that moment. We have a bread basket ministry at our church that takes food to those in need, and I try to do what I can to help with that, and even though the church did not do organized meals for us (we really didn't need alot) we were blessed with enough to get us through. We can count on our church family even when we cannot count on our own family. This is when being in a body of believers is nice.

Steven has been doing the shopping. He is not enjoying it, but he has been doing OK. I am hoping that I can walk well enough to shop for myself next week. We will see. I am getting cabin fever so I am hoping I can.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It is broken

Yes, I did brake my ankle. It is in a big black boot. I am just starting to be able to walk on it a little. It feels like wearing a ski boot. It is not very comfortable, but at least I am not in alot of pain anymore. I just have to be careful how I walk. If I turn my ankle at all then there is the pain. I am slow, but at least I am not on crutches anymore. Those things are a pain. I have to wear the boot until March 6 and then I have it re x-rayed. I hope I can go back to regular shoe then. I am glad that they did not cast it. At least I can put it in the bath and shower.

Valentines was nice and low key. Since I really can't go anywhere, we got some Chinese take-out. We really never get take out, so that was a real treat. Then we just sat around and watched TV and the kids worked on their AWANA books for church tonight.

I took Ashley to the orthodontist today. It was my first real outing by myself since I broke the ankle. We did OK but now I am tired. I hear a nap calling me. I think I am going to but clothes in the drier and try to nap for a few minutes. We have church tonight, but I am not doing the little kids. I don't think my leg is up to it. I think I will try to help out and listen for the AWANA kids to say a verse of something. Maybe I can be helpful and not walk.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Is it broken?

Yesterday afternoon I feel and hurt my ankle.  What was I doing?  Nothing!  I just stood up, walked about four steps and fell in my living room.  Don't ask me what I tripped over, I  don't know.  All I know is that I injured it.  It really swelled up and I could barely walk on it so off we went to the urgent care.  They said at the least is it is a third degree sprain at most a crack in the small bone.  So for now I look like this.

Yes, I have on a plaster splint and I am on crutches.  I have to call today and see if the radiologist thinks that it is broken.  They showed us the x-ray, but he couldn't decide if the fracture he saw on the x-ray was an old injury or a new one.  I broke this same ankle when I was 13.  I didn't think it would still show on the x -rays.  You know that I am the big 40 now.  If it is broken I will go to the orthopedic doctor.  If not I stay off of it for a week.  Either way it is going to be a pain!  I really can't do much on crutches, so the kids and Steven are going to have to pick up the slack.  It is probably going to drive me crazy!  Steven said the Lord is trying to teach me to let some things go.  I know he is right, I will have to just relax  and like it!  I will let you know if it is broken or not.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

This week at Publix

I went to Publix this week just to get a few sale things.  That is what I do in-between my big shopping trips, I just stop in various stores when I have time and pick up sale items and coupon items.  This week I went to Publix when I was already going to the bigger city.  We live 20 minutes from the bigger city that has Publix, Kroger, Sams and Aldi.  These are all of my favorite places to shop, but I only go when I am already going to be in town for something else.  The cost of gas right now is too much for me to make special trips.  Anyway, this is what I got:

I paid $5.33 out of pocket.  I had another box of pasta, but I gave it to my mom.  The crackers were the Wednesday penny item and the celery was on sale for $.99.  It came just in time as I was making chicken and rice soup and needed some celery.  My kids also love it with peanut butter. The only time I really buy cereal is when I can get a great deal.  If not we eat oatmeal, bagels, toast, or eggs and grits.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Night

I am relaxing on a Friday night with my family. I am sitting in the living room with the family watching NCIS (which is the new favorite). We were doing Just Dance on the Wii. If you want a workout, try working out with Just Dance. It is also fun. Every time we have friends over the kids end up dancing. It is really funny to watch some of the guys. I need some relax time. The babies did not nap much at all this week, and while I do enjoy little kids, I do not enjoy tired little kids who won't nap. I told my sister to get Collin's ears checked to see if he that is the reason he is not sleeping. If there is nothing wrong with him I guess that he is just spoiled or rotten. Either way we need to nip it in the bud.

I am taking the kids to an animal refuge tomorrow if it doesn't rain. They are bringing a friend and we are hoping to bring our cousins. We never know if they are going to be allowed to go with us when we go somewhere. The grandparents are weird that way. We are also going to take a picnic. I might stop off and get them a movie to watch tomorrow night. I guess we will see what kind of mood we are in when the time comes.

I did really good with the shopping this week. I spend $6.00 at Publix and $28 at Wal-Mart. I price matched at Wal-Mart and used some coupons. The lady tried to tell me that I couldn't use both coupons and price match. I told her that I could, to just scan the coupons. She finally did and it worked. I don't know why some checkers hate to have you used coupons. All they have to do is scan them. It is not much more work. I often have to tell the clerks how to do their job. It gets to be annoying. I will put up with it because I save so much money shopping sales and using coupons. Combine that with trips to Aldi and Sams and I don't spend near as much as most of my friends. I also cook more than most and spend lots of time in the kitchen . We rarely go out and that is fine with me. I usually don't really like restaurant food and I hate spending that kind of money for one meal when I know that I usually spend that much for a whole week of groceries. Yes, I am cheap!

Well, the kids want popcorn. We pop it in the air Popper and put butter on it. Yum and so much cheaper than microwave. The kids are so spoiled with good popcorn and real butter that they don't really like the other kinds. I guess I will make them some right now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Busy Busy

I am still here, just busy with life. We had strep throat last week and this week we are working on some colds. Collin had a cold last week and gave it to all of the kids. Love of a baby! I haven't been able to find any time to write right now. Nap time with the little kids has turned into a time of going from one kid to the next trying to get them to go back to sleep after only sleeping for a little while. I am sorry, but a 10 month old needs more than two 15 minute naps a day! The brother/sister pair that I keep have emotionally been a wreck. Their parents are getting divorced and they don't get to see their parents together anymore and it is really making them anxious. They are not sleeping well and acting out. I am just trying to show them love, that is what they really need. We have been reading books and playing! That is what they seem to need from me so I give it to them.

My kids have been busy having friends over, visiting with cousins, church activities, and whatever else they can find to do. They are really enjoying life right now and I am glad!

I have been doing pretty good with our finances and saving money this month. I am still not sure what to do about work for next year. For the past two school years that we have been here I have not been able to get employment in the schools. I have enjoyed watching Collin this year, but we need more money. I can sub next year if I don't get a job. I really don't enjoy subbing, but the pay is good and I can pick and choose day. I would prefer to get a job in the school system so that I can get paid through the summer. I guess I will apply and just see what happens. I will just leave it in God's hands!

Well, I guess I will go get some clothes out of the dryer and fold them before the kids get home. One more day until Friday. I am hoping to take the kids to do something fun this weekend. We will see how the weather holds up!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


It is quiet right now. I was blessed to be able to watch my little friends this week. We love having that extra money! We are trying to save to pay off our van and then buy a camper. We love camping and going on vacation, but I hate hotels. The beds are never comfortable and I always think that they are dirty. I would love to camp and not be on the ground. I would love to be with the nature, but not sweat all night. I would also like to cook and not be in all of the dirt and bugs. I know, that is half of the fun for kids, but not for me.

We are still trying to eat from the pantry. I have only spent $35 this week at the store and $5.00 of that was on a container. I may go back tomorrow for salad fixings and a few things for the weekend. Steven's sister is coming to town. They were supposed to come last weekend, but the little boy got sick. We are also going to celebrate his birthday. I told them I will make a cookie cake for him with blue icing. Yummy!

We are still trying to help my nephew with some of his stuff. He is living with my in laws, but they are charging him $300 a month rent. He can barely pay that and go to school. I am praying that we can talk them into reducing the rent. I keep hoping that we will find some money somewhere that we can use to help him with. He has no car and is barely getting by. We might add on a room here or let him live in the camper if we get it. We are just praying about what to do.

Well, I have to go stir up the rice and broccoli for our chicken broccoli cheese casserole for tonight. I don't think the little kids are getting picked up until 5:30 and it is hard to get anything done in the kitchen with them here. My kids help, but they have homework and it is not really their responsibility. I will share the recipe later. It is so good and easy and it uses up leftover chicken.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eat from the Pantry a Bust

Well, I went shopping yesterday at Sams and Aldi. I spent too much and busted my eat from the pantry challenge. I was going to lie and say I did great, but I thought that I ought to keep it real. I our defense, we have been feeding extra people most meals, and we are having company for the weekend. We still plan to come under budget for the month, but not like I had hoped. Oh well, we have to live and we have to eat!

This is what I got when I shopped yesterday:

I spent $180.00 at Sams and $60.00 at Aldi, but we should only need a few things to get us through the rest of the month.. Maybe some milk and some fresh stuff.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nothing Interesting

There is nothing interesting going on today. I say that because I like have our regular routine back in place. Kids going to school, Steven going to work, me staying here with Collin. The mother of the other two kids that I keep two days a week called me out of the blue the other night and said, by the way, I am not bringing the kids this whole month. What? I was counting on that income for the month. It is not alot, $300, but it is money for the kids to have some fun on. It is a handful to have three kids here under the age of three, but the money is so nice. It is a little cushion that we need. Oh, well. The Lord always provides our needs.

I don't have the baby today because we switched days, so I am going to go and volunteer at the school with the special ed pre-k. I was bummed last week to find out that the lady in that class who was going to retire decided to stay another year. I am still going to apply for something for next year, but I am not getting my hopes up. Jobs in schools are so scarce right now. I really want to go back and work with the special kids. Maybe something will open up. I am getting together my new application.

After that is church tonight and just picking up around the house. I feel like I lead a boring life. I wish sometimes that we lived in the 1950's when most moms stayed home and knew their neighbor. I hate not having ladies to go and visit during the day. Everyone I know either works, or homeschools and large family and really can't make time to visit much. Don't get me wrong, we have made some good church friends here, but I really would like some ladies to visit.

Well, I have to get the crew up. Justin (my nephew) is starting classes for his GED today. Wish him luck. I hope it doesn't take him a terribly long time to get done. He would like to take some college classes next year. Well, the kids have FCA today and no one is moving. I better get off the computer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Monday and Pantry Update for Jan. 9

So far this week we are doing well on the pantry challenge.  I was going to have tacos tonight, but we were low on flour tortillas so I changed it up.  I don't want to do unnecessary shopping.  This weekend I made two trips to the store.  I went to CVS to get dish washing detergent.

I only paid $1.78 for all 4.  I had coupons and extra bucks.  Love this stuff. I run my dishwasher twice a day and we have well water.  This stuff gets my dishes clean with no film.

I also went to the grocery and got lettuce.  They were on sale for .88 cents.  I am not a big fan of iceberg, but everyone else is and it was cheep.

 Now, here is our menu for the week:

Monday:  Spaghetti and salad

Tuesday: Crock pot turkey breast, mashed potatoes, peas

Wednesday : Chicken soup and homemade bread

Thursday:  Crock pot roast beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions

Friday: Pizza

Saturday:  Grilled chicken, mac and cheese, and salad

Sunday:  Hot dogs and hamburgers.

Our breakfasts are usually scrambled eggs, oatmeal, muffins, or cereal.  I always let them choose cereal if they want.  Evan always wants cereal.

I will make a trip to Wal-mart for some coffee creamer and some mayonnaise later tonight.  That is about all for the week.  I will probably head to Aldi on Friday or Saturday.  I know by then we will need milk and eggs and fresh stuff.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eat from the Pantry Update

Well, we have been eating from the pantry but I have also been shopping. There were some really good deals at Kroger on Tide detergent and I had $2.00 off coupons. They also had a sale on bone in chicken breast, bacon, and had it so that you could get free milk with the purchase of Nurtra Grain cereal bars. I got all of this plus a few extras for around $50.00. I also repeated the scenario at CVS, but I only bought two toilet papers and six shampoos. I spent $16.00 and got another $10.00 gift card. Now we are stocked up on TP and shampoo. I really didn't want to spend this much on a bunch of non foods, but I really hate to pass up a deal.

Last night I made chili for a crowd. We always have extras stop by right before church, so I try to make a soup or casserole that can feed a crowd and can be cleaned up quickly. I cooked the beans from scratch, and added ground deer meat, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and spices. My chili is never the same twice in a row. I just add stuff until it taste well.

Tonight I made potato soup and two loaves of bread. We ate one with dinner and can toast the other for breakfast with homemade jam!

Tomorrow is pizza. I have everything we need for that. We are off to a good start even though I have overspent a little this week. I just have to make up for it next week.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beans for soup or chili

We all know that dried beans are frugal and good for us, but many come to my house and say they don't know what to do with dried beans or say that they always forget to soak them.

The good news is that you don't have to soak dried beans.  In fact I really never do.  I just rinse them, pick out any trash, and then start cooking them with a teaspoon of salt.  If I am cooking them on the stove I check them after an hour or two and they are usually getting soft.  I then add my other ingredients to make soup or chili.  If I am using the crock pot, I cook them on high for about four or five hours and then add my other ingrediences.  Important tip, don't add tomatoes to beans before they are soft or your beans will not get soft.  I have learned this the hard way.  Tomatoey rock beans, yuck!

Last day of Vacation

Well, the kids go back to school tomorrow and their winter vacation will be over. We have enjoyed the break. We have stayed in our PJs until noon and played wii fit in the evening. I am looking forward to the return of routine. I am a routine kind of person wether I like to admit it or not.

The kids want to go to a fast food place today so they can play on a playground and the older kids want to go to the mall. I don't know if we will go or not. It is really cold out right now and our mall is outdoors. Our nice indoor mall has gotten trashy and is now not in a good part of town. I won't go over there unless we have to.

We do have church and AWANA tonight, so we can't be gone all day. I have to look at my lesson for the 2 year olds. We don't do anything fancy, but I do have to gather materials for them and a snack. Never forget a snack with little ones.

Well, that is about it. Tomorrow the kids are in school, but I don't have any kids here so it is vacation for me! I am reading the bible at church in the morning (we are reading through the whole bible as a church) then I am free. Maybe a trip to Kroger to use some coupons but that is it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Good Cheap Eats is hosting an eat from the pantry challenge,

I have never formally participated in anything like this, but we do often just eat out of the pantry and freezer.  We have a deep pantry that I keep pretty full and a deep freeze that also stays full.  We are pretty well spent out right now because of Christmas and the El Salvador trip, so this is great!.

Most people are trying to spend about half of what they normally spend so I will go with that.  I normally spend about $500.00 a month at the store, so this month I will go with $250.00.  That includes household and grocery items.  I will, however, stock up on bargains when I find them, I just won't be spending as much on food items that are not necessary.

Last night I went to CVS and did my first shopping of the year.  This is what I got:

I spent $13.50 out of pocket and I got a $10.00 gift card back.  I was so glad that the toilet paper went on sale because we were down to the last pack that I got on sale last year.  I used coupons and some extra bucks that I had to bring the cost down.  The skinny cows were almost free.  They came just in time as I have started a new weight loss program.

So, I have spent $13.50 and that leaves me with $236.50 left for the month!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Goals

Well it is the new year and everyone is setting some goals for the new year. Everyone needs to make improvements in certain areas, and setting goals is a great way to do this. My biggest two goals are financial and and to do with weight loss. These are mine:


  • I hope to really trim our budget in several areas, mostly in food and household spending. We do pretty good most months, but I want to do really good. I am going to cut more coupons for our household items (soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.) and cook more homemade items when I can.

  • I want to pay off our van. It is a peace of junk van that we paid way too much for that has given us problems, but I want the payment gone!

  • Pay cash for another trip to El Salvador. We would like for Ashley and I to go next year. We would love also to add Natalie and Steven to go back. We will see if we can save or raise this much. We do not want to rely on fund raising and donations again for trips. We want to have the cash up front.

Now my weight loss goals and heath goals:

  • Ultimately I want to lose at least 30 pounds. More would be nice but I want to keep it real. I have already signed up for weight watchers online . New Years Eve kind of crashed the two pounds that I had taken off. Oh well, we start over today.

  • Get some exercise daily. I tend to be a couch potato. I do work around the house all day, but outside yard work and strenuous stuff I leave to the men. We have a wii fit and on nice days I am going to try to get out and walk. I feel so much better when I exercise I just don't like to make time for it.Drink more water.

I think these goals are reasonable. I don't like to make goals that I cannot reach, but these are doable.

On another note, the kids have three more days until they go back to school. I hope they enjoy them and don't get too bored. I don't really have anything planned for them to do. Natalie is going to Emily's house today and Ashley and I are going to clean out her closet and dresser. We were given two huge bags of clothes last week and we need to figure out what to do with them. Wednesday is church, so we will have some kids over for dinner and then go to awana. That is about it. Not an exciting week, but we will be busy!