Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Friday, January 30, 2009

Yee-Haw



Did you know the expression "yee-haw" actually comes from terms for left and right when driving a horse? Gee and haw. Cowboys would yell these commands at their horses when driving cattle. So, naturally over the years, when imitating a cowboy, one would yell "Yee-haw." Apparently the g lost its place in the gee and became a y...




Here's my little cowboy, trying on my cowboy hat.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Couponing 101


I've been getting lots of questions lately about how the whole couponing works, with the main question being "Does it really work?" Yes, people, it works! It takes commitment and an hour or two per week, but if you are willing to do that, you'll save serious money. It's got a very little start up cost; most of you have scissors, and an empty binder or shoebox lying around. You can get fancy with it if you want to, but you just gotta find the right method that works for you.
To begin, you'll need to start collecting coupons. The biggest quickest way to do this is to buy the Sunday paper, preferably multiple copies. I typically buy two, take them home, and see what's in them. If it's a big coupon day (like 3 or more inserts) I'll go back to the store and buy two more. I have friends who buy four or six papers every Sunday regardless, but I haven't felt the need to do that every week. Spending $1.50 per paper will definately be worth your money. You can also ask family members and friends who aren't couponing to save the coupon sections for you.

The second way to get coupons is to go online and register at manufacturer's websites. All you provide is your name and address, and email address, and they'll send you a coupon booklet in the mail, and once a week they'll send you an email with recipes and coupons that you can print out. Here's a few of those sites:




The next thing you need to do is figure out how you're going to store and organize your coupons. As I said earlier, I use a 3-ring binder fitted with those baseball-card organizers. This way, I have all of my coupons where I can see them. They're not hiding behind each other or stuck to each other. I can fit multiple coupons in the same slot (if I've bought four papers, then likely I have four of the same coupon). Then, within the slot I organize the coupons by expiration date. In every single paper, there's going to be Pillsbury coupons, and I cut them out faithfully, so it helps to organize by expiration date so I don't lose any coupons this way.



Then, within my binder, I have them divided by category/aisle. My main categories are: non-perishable, frozen, dairy, soup, baking, pharmacy, health&beauty, baby, and pet. This way its a quick flip to that section when I'm on that aisle or when I'm looking in the sales papers.



A few of my friends do the shoebox method, which works equally as well. I just find that it's easier to carry a binder into the store than a shoebox. And the binder also eliminates the hazard of dropping the shoebox and spilling all your precious coupons all over the store. Here's a link to Laura's blog, where she has a recent post about how she coupons: Laura

Now that you've got coupons, it's time to search the sales papers! If you just straight up use a coupon on an item without looking to see if it's on sale, you will save money, yes. However, if you take that coupon and combine it with a sale, you'll maximize your savings.
For example:
If Cheerios are B1G1 (buy one get one), stores don't give you an actual "free" item, but you pay half price for each box. So, technically you are buying two boxes of cereal, not getting one free. If you had two $0.50 off one box, you could use two coupons, and you'd get $2 off your B1G1 (one dollar off each box). However, if your store doubles coupons, you'd get $4 off your B1G1. Which means you'd pretty much get both boxes for free, or very very little. And many times, with a sale and a doubled coupon, you can come out on top, or with an "overage." These are called money-makers in the couponing world. I've gotten lots of things this way! If you end up with an overage, it's sort of like a bonus coupon; the extra pennies (or dimes!) roll over to the next item. Last week Wal-Mart actually paid me to take a few items!

It takes a little bit of time to go through your sales papers to find items on sale, and match them up with your coupons. And if you get really into it, you'll start comparing sales papers from store to store, to really find the deals. However, this only works if the stores are close together, so you don't spend your 'savings' on gas and time driving from store to store. There are a few websites out there that will do the coupon-matching for you, so all you have to do is go online and look at the list. One of these is The Grocery Game. I have a few older posts that explain this in detail. It really works! The main thing about the Grocery Game list is that it has all sale items, including close-out items. Grocery stores can't possibly fit every item on sale in their weekly flier- they typically just print the ones that will either bring in more shoppers, or make them the most money.
Another good site is SouthernSavers.com. She does a good job of posting sales from a number of stores, both grocery and drug. Another good place to check is MoneySavingMom.com. The Money Saving Mom will make multiple posts every day about various sales and freebies. And, of course, there's CouponMom.com where you can print out hoardes of coupons for free!
The key to couponing is that it helps you build up your pantry and freezer so that you should never have to pay full-price for an item again. It's all about stockpiling. Sales run in cycles, about every 3-4 weeks. So, when an item goes on sale, I try to buy enough that I think I will need in the next 4 weeks, so I don't have to go out and buy it full price. And if I've bought multiple papers, I can use coupons on top of the sales, to get all the items at rock-bottom price. Here's a few photos of my pantry and freezer, to show that I've got a good stockpile going. If something happened where I couldn't go to the store (or we ran out of money), I wouldn't worry as much because we've got enough food stockpiled so that we could probably go two weeks without going to the store.


As you can see above, we don't have a spare inch of space left in the freezer, so I'm having to hold off on frozen items for a while. Hopefully in the next few months we can use our savings to buy a chest freezer.


And let me tell you folks, nothing tastes better in the world than FREE FOOD (or at least food you got really really cheap!)


Monday, January 26, 2009

Brown Sugar Twists

Here's a cheap recipe for a Saturday morning breakfast treat! All you need is one can of the crescent roll dough, some butter, some brown sugar, a little bit of powdered sugar, and milk.

Roll out the dough to erase the seams in the crescent rolls so you have one big piece of dough. Melt some butter, enough to put a thin layer on the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar onto the dough, and rub it in a little bit to smooth it out over the dough. Cut into 1" wide strips so that you have several strips of dough that are about 1" x 6". Take each strip and twist it to make a cute little twisty thingy (hard to explain!). Bake in the oven according to the dough directions. While it's baking, mix a little bit of powdered sugar with a little bit of milk to make the icing. You want it thick enough to hold its shape, but thin enough to drizzle. Once the twists come out of the oven, drizzle the glaze over the top. And enjoy!!

You can usually get a can of crescent rolls (with a coupon) for around a dollar, and the butter, sugar, and milk are all things that you most likely have in the pantry. So here's a breakfast treat for a dollar or two! One can of rolls will make about six or eight strips, depending on how wide you cut your strips.
Here's a pic from the Money Saving Mom website, this is what they look like before baked and glazed:

Honey-Baked Chicken

Here's a fast, easy, cheap, and yummy chicken recipe. It can be made two ways: quick, or a little bit longer.

Quick:

In a square glass pan, put one stick of butter, and oh, about a cup of honey. Put your chicken breasts in the pan, and cook until it's done (I usually flip the chicken halfway through). Here's what I do: I use the Tyson tenderloins that are individually frozen. There's about 15 pieces in a bag for around 8 dollars, and it lasts us a few weeks. I put about four or five pieces in the pan, and cook it from frozen for 30 minutes. I just make sure there's enough butter and honey to almost cover the chicken.
Average cost for the meal:
About 2.50 for the chicken, .50 for one stick of butter, and mere pennies for a cup of honey...so about 3 or 4 bucks, plus any sides.

A litte bit longer:

In a saucepan, combine one stick butter, one cup honey, one cup honey dijon mustand, and 1/2 cup finely chopped onion. Cook/saute' until onions start browning. Pour into glass pan, then add chicken. Cook until chicken is done! It's got a little bit more flavor, but you add more ingredients ($) and have to wash another pan (boooo!) However, you can get more than one batch of chicken (about 3) out of one thing of honey dijon mustard, and one onion doesn't cost much.

Enjoy!

Gazelle Intense

Here's the first update on how our Total Money Makeover is coming along: Fantastic!! You would not believe how well it is working. We've been at it just around three weeks, and have paid down $1,000 in debt, put a few hundred in savings, and have been able to put money in the collection plate at church for the first time in a looooong time. On top of that...we have money left over at the end of the pay period!!! And y'all, we don't have any more money coming in! I haven't gotten another job, we haven't had a yard sale...none of that. We just got smart about money, created a budget (and stuck with it), and decided we were going to get 'gazelle intense'. We've started to treat our money with respect, and watch every dollar we spend. And most importantly we've gone after this carefully and prayerfully. We've got the debt snowball rolling, and will actually have one (but probably two) of our three credit cards paid off in two months. We're going after this, guys! It's amazing to go to sleep at night not at all stressed. It's done wonders for our marriage (not that it was bad to begin with, now it's just better!) We've gone from having literally 5 bucks in the bank the night before payday, to having way more than enough. As Dave Ramsey says, "it's just gravy." It goes right into savings. I can't wait for the day when I can give to all the charities I want to...the SPCA, Harvest Hope (our local food bank), March of Dimes, St. Jude, and the list goes on...

For those of you out there doing this program too, get intense! You can do it. I can do it. Imagine that day when we are free from the burden of debt, and can give to our churches, give to our communities, and go to sleep at night with a full heart.

Deuteronomy 15:10-11
"Give generously to him and do so without a grieving heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command to you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Letter to the President

Like many of my friends, I find myself at a loss for words when talking about our new President. I've read many prayers, many letters, and many hate-filled articles, all concerning President Obama. It's been hard for me to find one that fits my feelings, but this one I saw on Shannon's blog says it pretty well.

Letter

While I didn't vote for him, it doesn't mean that I will be against everything he says or does. I don't dislike the man, but instead dislike the views. He's a loving husband, and obviously a devoted father. He's just a man doing what he thinks is right, and is providing for his family. Which is more than we can say about a lot of other men out there. I'm not going to be a sore loser and automatically criticize his every move. Just because I don't like what he's doing doesn't mean I can't respect who he is as a man. Everybody has their right to their own opinions and beliefs, and that's what makes this nation great.

However, as a Christian I cannot support a good many of his ideas, beliefs, and motives. As a Christian (and an American) is it my duty to pray for our nation's leader. And like the letter says, pray that President Obama knows that there is only one God here, only one Saviour, and that it's not him, it's the Lord.

So, pray. Pray for the President, his family, and our nation, as we enter a truly remarkable and historical era in history.

Seriously? Seriously!!!

Okay, y'all, I'm gonna make the first negative post in history of this blog. Please, don't hold it against me, in fact, just read, and you'll see why!
I'm really really big into using reusable shopping bags, and I take them everywhere. I refuse to use the plastic bags! They cost too much to make, and cost even more to recycle, so I just plain don't use them. Not to mention I don't have to store them, either.
So, today on my CVS run, I took a bag with me. I gave it to the lady and said, "Here's my bag." I suppose I was being bold and assuming when I thought she understood that I wanted to actually USE the bag.
Here's what I bought:
2 Shampoos
2 Lipsticks
One loaf of bread
One gallon of milk

All which would have EASILY fit in the bag. Here's how she packed it. And Andrew has the appropriate response!!


Yes, folks, she actually packed the cloth bag IN the plastic CVS bag. And then proceeded to put a gallon of milk in a bag of its own. Are you freaking KIDDING ME?! I had to take a picture of it so that all of you would believe me.

A Little Boy's Dream, Part II



Well, as if last week's big bulldozers weren't enough, today there was a real live fire truck parked in the street in front of the house! It even had its lights on! We took him out to the front yard to get a close-up. Of course, with everything these days, it was "MINE!"






My Buddy and Me

While we were at Nana's, Jackson came over for a few days! We're not quite sure what we call Jackson...he's not Andrew's cousin, not uncle, not brother....Let me explain. Jackson is my cousin, but he's three years old. So, Jackson isn't really Andrew's first cousin, so would he be second cousin, maybe removed a time? Who knows...what matters is that Andrew and Jackson are a year apart, so they've got lots in common.

This week we went to Monkey Joe's! It was Andrew's first time, and it was a little overwhelming, he's never been on inflated stuff, so he pretty much just stuck to the edges so he could hold on. He did enjoy driving the school bus with Jackson!




He was very interested in counting the letters and numbers in the toddler area (rather count than play...?...MIT here we come!) He did sorta get the hang of things after he found his "sea legs."








But, he decided he'd had enough...which explains the look of distress!

All this playing sure makes a boy sleepy. So sleepy, in fact, that you fall asleep with a sippy cup in your mouth!




Rub A Dub



We spent the week at my mom's house while Brian was out of town, and we had a great time! Nana has a great big garden tub with Jacuzzi jets. We've learned that you really don't need that much bubble bath to get some serious suds going!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rice O' Mania Revisited


It's a cold day. We're stuck inside on a Saturday. Any other Saturday we'd be all over town, visiting friends and their animals. Like the chickens, the goats, the occasional horse. But since it has yet to break the freezing mark, we're shut inside. Going slightly crazy.

I thought we'd bring the rice back out. For those of you who read the original "Rice O'Mania," you might be chuckling. No worries. It is under control. We've started using a cheap picnic table cloth under the rice, so clean up is a whiz. And we've definately started to understand what Mommy means when she says to "keep the rice IN the bucket."



A Little Boy's Dream



When you are a little boy, your life pretty much revolves around few things: food, Mommy, the dog, and trucks/cars/trains. This little boy absolutely lives and breathes cars, trucks, tractors, and choo-choos. So you can imagine what it would be like when there are no less than four tractors and three dump trucks parked in front of your house!
I came home from the grocery store last Saturday to see a little head peeking out over the windowsill, face pressed to the glass, staring at the street. The street department was doing routine maintenance on our road- scraping the edges, re-digging ditches, the general to-do. Lucky for Andrew, we have over 100 feet of drainage ditch along the front of our house! So you can imagine how he must have felt he won the lottery. All these trucks, at HIS house!

Even Duke got in on the excitement!



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Something Greater

I've gotten to the point now that when I go to the grocery store, I'm not at all embarassed to take my 3-ring binder full of coupons. I used to just pull the ones I needed out, and leave the book in the car. Which is fine, until I end up making 3 or 4 trips through the store because I found another deal, and had to go back to the car to get the coupon. So, I got over that! But you'd be surprised that it's turned out to be a positive experience, and it has started many a conversation! Mainly with little old ladies! Just a few days ago, an old woman saw me flipping though the pages and said, "Honey, they've just about taken all the fun out of life, haven't they? I remember when I was 9 or 10, I used to walk down to the store and get a 10 pound bag of sugar for 40 cents. You know what that costs now?" Sweet gal. But it's true, these days you have to work a little harder for a buck, and it doesn't stretch as far.
When I clip coupons, I clip just about every one, even if I don't use that product or don't have dentures (not yet, at least), because you just never know. I blessed a lady at WalMart yesterday with a honking-big coupon, $3 off a bag of dog food that she already had in her cart. I don't use that brand, so I gave it to her. (Another thing that wouldn't have happened had I not gotten over my 'this binder is dorky' complex.) It made me feel so good! I had a stupid grin on my face the rest of my Walmart trip. Which apparently is not a big deal at Walmart, walking around looking stupid. In fact, it was kinda like camouflage!
My biggest blessing so far was at Reid's (South Carolina's Food Lion). There was a young Hispanic couple with a little girl about Andrew's age, looking at Huggies diapers and counting their money. I pulled up next to them, and handed them my $1.50 of Huggies diapers and 50 cents off Huggies wipes. I knew they didn't speak English, but they were so grateful! They kept saying "thank you" repeatedly. My lil' ol' heart just swelled. All I did was give them a coupon! And it really wasn't a sacrifice, we don't use Huggies, but I clipped it anyways. Who knows, maybe it was a Divine thing, God wanting me to clip them to give to this couple. I just wish I knew Spanish, then I could tell them that they could use the coupon on the larger size (that was on sale) and it would save them more money. But they coulnd't read the coupon, so just picked the diapers that matched the picture on the coupon. I need to learn Spanish.
I'm thinking that maybe this could be my ministry? I like to leave coupons that are about to expire on the shelves. Maybe somebody will pick them up? You never know who is going to need it, who needs the blessing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cha-Ching!

I made a killing in deals yesterday at Bi-Lo (South Carolina's version of Kroger) and Food Lion. I got some great stuff! I wish I had taken a picture, because it even looked impressive! Here's what I got:

4 Juicy Juice, the large bottles
3 v-8 Splash
2 bottles of Huggies Toddler Wash
2 cans Campbell's Select Harvest Soup
2 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars
3 bottles (large) of Palmolive Dish Soap
1 5 lb bag apples
1 package of strawberries
1 Gerber Entree'
1 Stouffer's Individual entree'
bananas

All for the grand total of : $23.90
With coupon/store special savings of: $37.89

I did have to go to Wal-Mart to get milk, meat, and cheese, but all combined, my grocery total for this week is $56! And even better, these groceries (in addition to what I already have) will get me through THREE WEEKS. Next week Andrew and I are spending the week in Atlanta at my mom's while Brian goes out of town, so that is a free week!

Here's the menu for this week:
Monday- Beef burritos, chips & salsa
Tuesday-Chicken, Potatos Julienne, Corn on the Cob, Green Beans
Wednesday-Meatloaf, Whole Grain mac & cheese, green beans, mashed potatos
Thursday- Potato Soup
Friday- Spaghetti
Saturday- Leftovers
Sunday- Leftovers

Saturday, January 10, 2009

God's Working Here, Quiet Please!

Y'all, let me just tell you that God is blessing us today. And He is working some magic in our lives in ways we can't explain. Here's the story:
Lately I've been really feeling like God's been working in me, turning my heart and putting a desire in me to gain control of our money, and of our house. I've been couponing like crazy, working the sales, and have started Flylady, which has helped me gain control of the house. I've been feeling this desire to be something greater, to do something more, to free myself from the bondage of debt. Jesus himself abhorred debt (He hated those tax-collectors, and so do I!)

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided that we needed to literally type out our budget (before now it was just in our heads-not accurate at all, folks) and treat it as law. We've done great so far, coming in under for each week. Then I checked out Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover from the library. Let's just say I read the entire thing in two sittings. My husband is now almost done with it too. We've decided to make our "budget" into something bigger than we ever thought. We're going to be 100% debt-free. We've pledged to each other to stick to the budget, no exceptions, none whatsoever. We're in this together, we'll suffer together (although so far we really haven't suffered at all, instead we've realized how blessed we are). It's amazing what you learn you can live without when you're working towards a greater goal. Judging by our careful, meticulous calculations, we'll be DEBT-FREE, including, INCLUDING the mortgage...in six years. Can you believe that? Can you imagine how liberating that is? Now I can definately go without that Coke to know that our 30 year mortgage is really only going to be a 9 year mortgage in the end. Wow.
So after we had this big budget pow-wow last night, we decided that instead of trying to upgrade when we move, we should buy a house that costs LESS than the one we have now. Just playing around, we starting looking up houses in an area that we would love to move to, but never thought we could find anything in the price range. We really haven't even looked at houses at all since we've listed our current house, but last night I just started looking. Y'all, in the neighborhood we love, there are at minimum ten houses UNDER our max. price. We can do this. We can be smart with our money, accumulate less debt, and have more cash readily available. This was very encouraging. We were able to go to bed last night with a much lighter heart, and a greater appreciation for money.
Then, to ice the cake, we woke up this morning and went to work in the yard, to do a little 'sprucing up' because the house is on the market. You can never spruce up too much when the house is for sale! As we were loading up a trailer full of stuff to throw away, a realtor called to say someone wanted TO SEE THE HOUSE TODAY! God Almighty. The house has been on the market for three months with no showings. And you tell me that the very week we surrender our money to God and work a budget, and accept the sacrifice (not to mention the very same time I claim control on my life and my house and have my shiny sink)...that very minute we give it all up to the Lord, we have a showing? You cannot tell me that this is not God working in our lives! We had 3 hours notice to show the house, and we worked our tails off for 2hours and 50minutes cleaning. And I do believe the showing went well, though we haven't talked to the agent yet. We can only pray.
It's a real life, personal example that if you let God take control, and trust Him, things WILL happen. He will choose to bless you, and it's far greater a blessing than you would have imagined, but you have to be ready to accept the blessing. I cannot WAIT to see what's in store for us in these next few months. Never before has God been more front and center in our lives!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Shiny Sink

For those of you who know me, and have been to my house, you know that I am a neat freak and am almost obsessive about how my house looks. However, if you look a little harder, you'll also see that the house is teetering on the edge of going out of control! While the carpet may be vaccumed and toys put up, the floors are WAY overdue to be mopped, and the bathroom can be scary in a certain type of light. The beds are made, but if you look closer, you'll see they probably have a ncie layer of white dog hair. My refridgerator is clean on the inside, but don't you dare look in my laundry room.
This year, in order to gain a little bit of control over my house (and quite possibly my life), I'm going to take Baby Steps with the help of flylady. The FlyLady presents baby steps that you can take to keep things under control, especially when you feel like you've lost control! No more being overwhelmed by all the things that need to be done. The mess didn't just sprout up overnight while I was sleeping. It quite possibly took 3 years, so it certainly isn't going to fix itself in one day.

The first step is one I have CONQUERED! Every night before you go to bed, shine your sink. You don't have to wash the dishes, stack them on the counter. But shine your sink. It takes one very thorough cleaning, but after that, it's just a little bit of spot cleaning. Then, in the morning, you walk into your kitchen, to a clean, SHINY, empty sink. I've done this for about a week, and it really does make a difference. In the mornings, before you really and truly wake up, just the slightest little thing, like a mess in the sink, can set your mood for the whole day. Now, waking up to a shiny, spotless sink makes me feel like I've already conquered something for the day!

The other step I've mastered is to make my bed the moment I get out of it. And POOF! The bedroom looks clean, neat, and organized, just by making the bed! Just by spending 10 minutes the night before shining my sink, and 5 minutes in the morning making the bed, I have TOTAL control over two things! After working the BabySteps into your daily routine, by setting goals, little by little you add to your list of things you have under complete control. It's quite liberating!

And y'all, I really wish you could see my sink. It's something else!



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Got Expired Coupons? Check this out!

If you are anything like me, you HATE throwing away coupons! I mean, somebody, somewhere, would have used it! And I really hate it when they expire before I can use them. So, here's a way you can help others by passing the coupons you either don't use, or ones that are expired on!
Military bases and posts will accept expired coupons for up to 6 months after they expire! And, as an Army child, I know that being in the military can sometimes be tough on the wallet, especially if a spouse is deployed. In many cases, the spouse at home has to leave his/her job to take care of the children while the other spouse is overseas. And living on one income can be especially taxing (no pun intended!) overseas where some products are outrageously more expensive than here in the USA.
This website has a list of different military installations where you can send your expired/unused coupons. All it costs you is an envelope and a slightly more expensive stamp.
My goal is to cut EVERY coupon (even the ones I won't use) out, and send what I don't use overseas. It's better than throwing it in the trash!

http://www.ocpnet.org/base_list.htm

16 Things You Didn't Know

This was a fun little thing I had going around on Facebook. It's a way to get to know random things about your friends! Here it is, republished, for those of you who either don't do Facebook, or haven't read it. I'd love to see what your "16 Things You Didn't Know" look like!

1. I am the only person in my immediate family that has red hair. I hated it with a passion until just recently, when I finally accepted that it wasn't going to turn blonde (oh how I wished I were blonde when I was young!).
2. I have a horrible, horrible self-image. I feel like people stare at me all the time and judge me!3. I am sometimes so insanely empathetic and compassionate that it consumes me! I will cry my lil eyes out if I get to thinking that there might be a stray cat outside that is cold. I used to carry around a bag of dog/cat food in my trunk in case I found an animal that was homeless or hungry.
4. I do not like to watch sci-fi or fantasy movies, I just don't understand why watching the world being taken over by aliens would be entertaining. Isn't reality frightening enough? (One hugely major exception would be the Twilight series.)
5. I am an Army brat; I have lived in/or visted 48 of the 50 states. Hawaii and North Dakota are the two I have not been to. I lived in Alaska for four years.
6. I am secretly glad I had a c-section. The thought of delivering Andrew through the hidey-hole scared the daylights out of me! My next baby (no, not pregnant, just planning) will also be c-section. It's not a fear of pain (I have a very high tolerance, I didn't even fill prescriptions for c-section meds or surgery meds!) but a fear of unknown.
7. I absolutely love to sleep. I would rather sleep than eat or bathe. Not lazy, just looooove sleeping.
8. I am a speed reader. I can read entire novels in 2 or 3 hours, and remember details.I also have a photographic memory of people, mostly just faces but often I remember their names too. 9. I am a neat freak almost to the point of OCD. I probably don't sit down for more than an hour during the whole day because I am cleaning or organizing something. I love to rearrange furniture, and do it about every 3-4 months, just so I can clean underneath it and organize!
10. When I was 9 months old I went down concrete basement stairs in a walker, and fractured my skull!
11. I once went to Montana and worked on a horse ranch, learned to rope, and branded calves. It was the ranch that the Horse Whisperer worked at (yes, the movie). I wore chaps and a cowboy hat and rode horses through the wilderness in the snow. I LOVE my cowboy boots, and I still wear them. Even to Wal-Mart.
12. Re-read number 11, now read this: I am HORRIBLE at riding horses, BAD. And I don't enjoy it. I honest to goodness don't like forcing a horse to wear a saddle and bridle and bit, just for my human riding enjoyment. (Which goes back to #3). I am much happier cleaning out a stall, feeding, and grooming...making life MORE enjoyable for the horse. Oh, how I want to be a cowgirl, and live in a farmhouse in Wyoming, go to the rodeos on Friday night, and sit on my porch and watch the sunset while the kids are playing in the yard. But I don't want to ride the horses!
13. I am extremely frugal. Rarely do I pay full price for anything, especially groceries. I actually have a 3 ring binder with dividers to hold all my coupons. I also make a lot of food from scratch, I buy in bulk at the farmers market, I make my own bread, I can fruits, veggies, and jams with food I grew, and I make a lot of my own gifts like candles and stuff. I even collect fresh eggs from my neighbors, and steal poop from peoples fields around my house for my compost pile!
14. I have an over-active imagination. Sometimes I can imagine things in such minute detail that it feels real to me. For example, I might start thinking about a loved one dying, and will think about it to the point that I cry and feel actual pain.
15. I have helped catch and band three rare hummingbirds in my yard, and I've even gotten to hold them.
16. I was once an extra in a TV show called "I'll Fly Away" when I was in middle school. I was also a model for KMart (or was it Target?) when I was a toddler.

Pass it on!

This Week's Menu

This week we didn't have to buy groceries! Thanks to the Grocery Game and all my stockpiling, we were able to just buy perishables (mainly milk and yogurt) this week. Those first couple of weeks after Christmas are rough on the wallet, so I decided this week would be our week to use what we've stocked up on. So, for the entire menu, I only had to buy a gallon of milk!

Monday: Honey Baked Chicken, Broccoli & Rice, Mashed Potatos, and Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Tuesday: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Hashbrown Casserole, Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs
Thursday: Meatloaf, Corn on the Cob, Green Bean Casserole, Whole Wheat Biscuits
Friday: Chicken Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole, Mashed Potatos, Peas
Saturday: Soup & Grilled Cheese
Sunday: Leftovers!

So you can see that by stockpiling, I'm not just storing up stuff like chips and junk food. I have enough (and then some) to make a week's worth of good, nutritious, filling food. If I got creative, I could probably stretch it for two weeks. Seriously, y'all, THE GROCERY GAME!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

An Unlikely Scenario


This is a very RARE occurance: the cat, lying happily, in Andrew's lap. May (the cat) usually takes great pains to avoid Andrew, so we were very very surprised when we walked into the living room one night to see that she had put herself in Andrew's lap! May is a pretty ferocious being, she's got all her claws, and hunts and kills outside all day long. To see her willingly put herself up there was amusing! And Andrew obliginlgy allowed her to stay there, but he didn't move a muscle the whole time. Smart kid!


Movie Night



Here's the boys having a Movie Night! They put their PJ's on, made some popcorn, and camped out on the couch to watch "Ice Age: The Meltdown." It was a nice deviation from our usual "Cars" showing!



It's okay, Daddy, don't be scared!

Nana's House

We spent New Year's at Nana's house this year, and we had a lovely time. Nana and Bampa are very very good at spoiling. Here's a few shots of some things that were waiting for Andrew when he got there!
The first is a brand new big boy table and chairs, complete with the Cars characters! For those of you who don't know, we watch Cars at LEAST once a day. So sitting at a table with Lighting and Mater is a big deal! On top of the fabulous table was a dry-erase board that was just the right size! Here's Andrew overly worried about the marker on his fingers. He would point to it and say "Uh-oh, off"!





The next REALLY BIG thing was Andrew's very own recliner. Lately he's taken to wanting to sit on the couch or recliner by himself. My mom and dad found this kid-size one and bought it! He parked it right next to the big recliner, and stretched out.


I forsee many a night spent watching Cars and eating popcorn!