Friday, December 31, 2010

Let me explain...

When revisiting my goals from last year I mentioned that I was no longer using my reusable bags when shopping as the plastic bags had now become our main source of trash bags.

(FYI... I hate using plastic bags as trash bags for the mere fact that they are horrible for the environment, but trash bags are also horrible for the environment right? And if I'm going to use something horrible for the environment it might as well be free... just saying)

When we moved into our new house we had a small cabinet near the kitchen sick which didn't have alot of options as far as how it could be used. We had originally decided to store baking sheets vertically there, but as I was unpacking I had a great idea :) It was just the right size for a small bathroom trashcan. And small bathroom trashcans are just the right size for the plastic bags you get when grocery shopping.

So in my kitchen we have both a small trashcan and a traditional somewhat larger trashcan. We use the larger trashcan for larger things and the smaller trashcan for the majority of our trash. With our garbage can being right out side the kitchen door it works really nicely to use a small bag and immediately take it outside when it is full. This has helped tremendously with the number of garbage bags I have had to buy lately and therefore helping on the road to save money :)

For more frugal tips visit Lifeasmom.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Goals

With a new year upon us here are some things I would like to accomplish in the new year...

1. More slowing down when reading the Word of God. With the hussle and bussle of life if I'm not careful my quiet time can all so quickly become something to check off on my to do list. This year I want to take time and meditate more than what I have been when reading my Bible.

2. Learn to make my own yogurt/butter. Preferably I would like to do this with things I have on hand. No fancy equipment to buy. I've tried to make my own yogurt before and it's been horrible. So this year I'm gonna figure it out :)

3. Learn how to can veggies from the garden. We always end of having more than we can eat so this year I would love to learn how to store some away for the winter. I would also to plant some fruit trees/bushes so we could have fruit to freeze. Do you freeze fruit?

4. Complete Baby Step 3 in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Steps. This step is to save up 3 - 6 months of living expenses. I can testify first hand why this is important. We had completed this step back in 2008. In 2009 when my husband was between jobs I was so glad we had this money to fall back on when needed. But, we also came close to depleting it. It's time to start saving away again for a rainy day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blast From the Past

Today at Works for me Wednesday I'm going to repost to something I wrote earlier in the year. Check it out here.

And don't forget to check out the link at the bottom of the page. It's a mans perspective on modesty.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Goals Revisited

As 2010 winds down and 2011 approaches I thought it would be a good time to look back at how I did on my 2010 goals

1. Complete The Bible in 90 Days study with the ladies over at momstoolbox - Sadly to say this didn't happen. When I would touch base with the other moms about how they were able to get all their reading in on during the day their response was to underline things in your Bible you wanted to come back to and keep going. To be truthful, this isn't how I process things. If I come across something that I don't understand I immediately want to research it. So underlining and coming back to a passage so I could finish an assigned reading was not for me.

2. Use reusable bags when shopping - This went well. I used my reusable shopping bags for the majority of the year. When we moved into our new house I began using plastic bags as they became our main source of trash bags. On a strict budget buying trash bags when you don't have to seems crazy to me.

3. Make my own kitty litter - Check! This actually worked... my cat didn't like it, but it worked. As an update, we had to surrender our cat as he needed to be in a home with no small children.

4. Become better with my cash system - This went well, but I would love to improve where we are at this point. I used the cash system well, but the budget we had set was off and will be changed for the new year.

So there you have it... my 2010 goals. Keep an eye out my new goals will be posted sometime this week :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's on our plates

If your new to menu planning this can be a great way to save money! To start make a menu based around things you have on hand and then determine what you need from the grocery store. Stick only to that list for an easy way to save money :)

For some reason coming up with a menu this week was hard... here's what I've got

Monday - Broccoli and Cheese soup for me/Turkey Sandwiches with mac and cheese for the hubby

Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff - I've never made this before, it should be interesting :)

Wednesday - Cheeseburger Soup made with sausage instead of ground beef - Oh so yummy!

Thursday - Potato Soup

Friday - Eggs and Toast

We also have things on hand to make Chili and Fried Rice as back up meals incase we change our mind one night.

For more menus check out OrgJunkie.

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

As promised... her are pictures from our snow experience yesterday. On a different note my little one is feeling much better today!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

All things new

Just an FYI... this is a lengthy post, but lots have happened in the past few days.

Christmas at our house was great... for a little bit, then sickness set in.

To back up a little bit, Thursday my little one came down with a low grade fever and a feeling of pitifulness. Friday there was more low grade fever and the hope was that Christmas morning she would feel better. And she did. For a little bit.

This was the first year that our little one really got into opening presents. Every time she would open a present she would save "Mama I wuv it". Actually she enjoyed opening presents so much that she opened mine for me and my husband's for him.

Our Christmas tradition usually consists of Christmas at our house, breakfast with my family and Christmas there, and lunch or dinner with the hubs family and Christmas there. This year at my parents house the sickness returned. For quite a while she did nothing but cry. After a while she finally feel asleep only to wake up as we returned home and sleep some more. Four hours later she woke...

As a mom that was kinda scary for me. Even when my little one is sick she doesn't act sick. But this time she could barely stay awake. We considered an ER visit as all other options were closed on Christmas, but praise The Lord, she started feeling better after she woke up.

Christmas afternoon it started snowing and I mean really snowing. Where we live we barely get a dusting every year, but yesterday it started snowing and continued until around lunch today. Here I was torn, we never get this much snow and my little one is to sick to enjoy it. Should I let her play in the snow knowing she might not get this chance again for a while or leave her inside since she wasn't feeling well? We ended up waiting until the Tylenol was making her feel better and took her outside for just a few minutes. She LOVED it. She kept throwing snowballs at us :) We took lots of pictures which I'll have to upload later.

One things about the snow... It was absolutely beautiful!! I am always amazed at just how beautiful God's creation is! Thank you Lord for being such an amazing God and thank you for taking such good care of my little one!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas All!

Merry Christmas!

May you take this opportunity to reflect on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. His birth was the start of the greatest event in history!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Worst Mom of the Year Award

So... I totally get The Worst Mom of the Year award.

But before I tell you what happened let me start by saying my daughter can be a bit dramatic when she gets hurt if you let her and with having a high pain tolerance she is rarely ever hurt.

A few days ago at a Christmas party with some co-workers my little one was running around like a wild child. As she turned the corner in the kitchen she ran SMACK into another little boy. She whimpered, I proceeded to tell her she was OK, and sent her on her way to play.

2 or 3 minutes later I got a good look at her and WOW she had a huge knot on her head. I mean this thing was already black and blue and completely sticking out about 1/2 an inch. I tried really heard not to cry when I saw it. It had to hurt.

Yeah... the Worst Mom of the Year Award!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Ever wonder what to do with all of those wonderful art and crafts your children do? How about the beautiful pictures that they color in Sunday School?

One quick and easy way to preserve them forever would be to make them into Christmas ornaments.

To make an ornament take a picture that they have recently colored (make sure to write the date on it) and laminate it. Then hole punch a hole in the top and lace with ribbon and viola! There you have a homemade ornament of your little one's artwork!

Not only will it be a nice trip down memory lane when setting up your Christmas tree, but they look great in the bows on top of presents for grandparents!

For more great tips visit We are that family.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Parenting with a Purpose

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 NASB

As a parent, I have a responsibility. My daughter is constantly taking in and learning from everything that I do... from the words that I say and how I say them to the way she sees me interacting with others as well as my interactions with her.

Everything that I do should point her to The Lord. Every action and word should come only after thinking about how what I am doing and what I am saying will affect (or is it effect?) her.

This can be extremely hard! My little one is two. She is constantly pushing the boundaries. How I react to her actions will be extremely important to her as she grows. Do I scream and loose control easily? Do I talk to her in a way that is pleasing to The Lord? How about how she sees me interact with others. Do I show God's love to others that I meet or do I hurry about in the business that is life?

My prayer is that God will use me in a way that leads her to him.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's on the menu?

OK.... Here's what on our plates at our house this week

Monday - Mac & Cheese

Tuesday - Dinner with coworkers :) I'm bringing chips and dip as well as sausage croissant rolls

Wednesday - Homemade Pizza

Thursday - We're having our family dinner at my house and I'm brining Mac and Cheese, but it will be a good Christmas dinner with all the fixins

Friday - Christmas Eve!!! We'll be eating Chili

Saturday - Merry Christmas!! We're eating with family again :)

For more menus this week head on over the

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm back :)

Oh My.... Where have I been???

Everywhere! That's where!

Hopefully I'm back for good now, but while I was gone we've...

1. Started a new school year with new middle schoolers at my job and new youth at Rusty's work
2. Moved into our new house
3. Began potty training our oh-so-cute two year old
4. Started a new school for our little one
5. Had some great family time!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Menu Planning August 2

This summer I did horrible at menu planning... and it showed. I ate horribly and as a result was more tired than when I was in school.

Here's to jumping back on the wagon:

Monday - Dinner with friends at a local restaurant or Mac and Cheese with broccoli (depending on if my little one is feeling better)

Tuesday - Side dishes - French Fries/beans/fruit

Wednesday - Frozen dinner with the hubby at work

Thursday - Homemade Fried Rice

Friday - Shrimp and Grits

Saturday - Cookout with Friends

And so it beings....

My daughter has been going through a stage lately. At least I hope it's a stage. She's up at least once in the middle of the night.

Tonight she got up around midnight and ran into our room. I'm OK with that. Well... right around 3:30 this morning she fell in between the pillows on our bed. This means it scared her half to death and she woke up screaming. And then she was wide awake. Which means I am wide awake. At 3:30. It's now 4:35 and she is still going strong. I am suppose to get up in 25 minutes. Here's to running on adrenaline my first day back at work!

Oh - I was reading some old posts and saw quite a few typos. Sorry about all those :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A new year is upon us....

This time of year is bittersweet for me. After spending the summer with my family, a new school year is here, and that means it is time to go back to school.

I love my job. I get to teach math to middle schoolers :) But I also love spending time with my family.

Here are some of the things we did this summer:

~ Went to the beach (which the little one hated)
~ Got some major organizing done
~ Had quite a few playdates with kids
~ Did some school work
~ Started our family notebook
~ Completed a Bible study with some wonderful ladies from church
~ Got some GREAT jewelry from my friend Angie

And now.... work starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

In the last week

In the last week I have.....

~ worked more than I thought possible during the summer
~ cleaned the whole house (except for mopping, I hate mopping)
~ bought some new cloth diapers to try
~ joined a gym
~ worked out in above mentioned gym

This week I will rest :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Saving some money!

I read a great post over at Money Saving Mom today. Who is money saving mom you might ask? Only one of the best money saving resources ever!

Money Saving Mom is written by a mom named Crystal who is constant giving money saving tips and ideas. As a matter of fact Crystal and her husband are so committed to being debt free that they saved up 100% of a mortgage. That's right folks! They saved up for a house and God provided them a way to be mortgage free :)

I came across an article here about the things that this family does in order to stay debt free. After reading her article it made me stop and think about all the things that my family and I currently do in order to save money.

So in no particular order.....

1. Make our own soap

2. No Paper towels

3. Cloth diapering (this one will be started up again as soon as we find some new ones we like)

4. Keep our air set around 85 in the summer

5. Keep our heat set on 65 in the winter

6. Use the cash systems for our groceries

7. Use a weekly menu plan

8. Grocery shop using a list

9. Shop consignment sales

10. Replaced our dryer sheets with tennis balls

11. Wash clothes in cold water (except for the cloth diapers)

12. There are also some more things that I do to save money but they border on the crazy side so I'm not going to list them for now :)

I realize that we do alot of things to save money, but there are some more things we could be doing

1. No more candy bars and soft drink snacks

2. Eat out less

3. Eat less meat

4. Fans only instead of AC

5. No cable

6. Line dry clothes

All in all we do pretty well, but could always do better :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yummy :)

I just made the best homemade BBQ sauce ever! That's right folks... I cooked something from scratch and take it from me I will never by BBQ sauce from the store again :)

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My grandpa

I love my grandparents tremendously! I have one I never met, one that passed away when I was young, one that lived a few hours away from me and one that lived next door and my family took care of. Not to mention the grandparents I received when my husband and I married.

I could spend hours talking about all of them. I was named after one ya know. So was my daughter. One set of grandparents had 9 kids, 8 of them girls. What stories they must have been able to tell :)

I want to talk tonight about my grandpa though: Papa. He was such a wonderful man. I can remember him teaching us how to go about bottle feeding a calf or how to make sure we did everything we could to be as frugal as possible (yes folks the cheapness I have runs in the family).

My papa knew the definition of hard work. At any given time he worked multiple jobs yet was always willing to give the shirt of his back to someone who needed it.

My papa had trees in his front yard where he would rest every afternoon. This is where he would offer visitors a seat when they happened to stop by. This is where we would hang on to every word as he was telling stories and what a good story teller he was!

As papa got older he suffered from Alzheimers . My family took turns taking care of him along with my aunts family and my papa's brother. Before he passed away it became nearly impossible to take care of him so he was placed in a home for Alzheimers patients.

I know that nursing homes bring up strong emotions in people and that is neither here nor there right now. It was a last resort for my family and yet somethings that had to be done. Thank goodness it was close to where we live.

My family took turns visiting the Alzheimers home. Boy was that an experience. As crazy as it sounds I liked it there. It was a chance to reach out to people who needed it. I heard wonderful stories about many a childhood. They enjoyed the company that we were able to provide as well as the occasional visit from our family dog :) It was always a great experience to see someone's face light up from bringing them something as simple as a soft drink. The people who worked there were good people who loved my papa dearly.

if you ever get a chance to visit someone in a nursing home please do. It is more beneficial than you realize. I came across this article tonight that describes how wonderful this experience is. Check it out here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

A Veteran is someone, who at one point in
their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America
for an amount up to, and including, their life.

I am thankful:

-that God would allow me to live in a country as great as the USA
-for all the people who fought to make this country great
-that I have the freedom to worship God whenever and wherever I want

I believe that we live in the greatest country in the world! Thank you to all the people who make all of our freedoms possible. Your sacrifices allow us these freedoms and for that

I am truly grateful! :)

P.S. I'm not sure who the author of the quote is

Thank you!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Random facts about me

For Facebook I was tagged to put together some random facts about me. Here you go :)

1. I worry way to much!!! I am always putting the cart before the horse and want to be prepared for just about anything. LIke right now, I have about a month worth of extra food in the panty ... just incase I get sick and can't make it to the store. But really, when am I ever going to stay away from the grocery store for a month???

2. I love grocery shopping!!! It makes me feel good that I am doing something for my family.

3. When I am with my little girl I try to freeze time in my mind and remember everything about that particular moment so I won't ever forget it.

4. My husband is by far my best friend ever. I thank God everyday that he put the two of us together.

5. My husband watched the little one so I could take a nap today.

6. I love my dog Bella. She is wonderful :)

7. Saving money is an addiction. I get a high from it. Really!! Being on maternity leave I became addicted to money saving blogs. You would be amazed a what people do to save a few pennies.

8. I am trying to become more "green".

9. My job is wonderful. I love working with middle schoolers, but I wish I was more creative.

10. I enjoy trying new cooking recipes.

11. The people at my church are wonderful. I love being there.

12. God is far better to me than I deserve. His goodness never ceases to amaze me!!!

13. I have way to many things on my plate right now.

14. I tend to go 100 mph in life. I don't have a slow down pace.

15. I can't relax in a dirty house. It stresses me out like nothing else.

16. I love to organize things.

17. I am a PACKRAT!!! I hate to throw things away because one day I might need it and would hate to waste money on something that I once had and threw/gave away.

!8. I think there is nothing wrong with re gifting if someone will get more use out of something than you will.

19. I would do anything not to hurt people's feelings. If I even think I have done that to you I will make myself sick worrying about it.

20. I worry to much about what people think about me and my family.

21. My really want my dogs to become inside dogs again, but they are big and we live in a small house.

22. I need about 10 hours of sleep a night to function normally. Right now I am stocking up on Saturdays.

23. I like the fact that I grew up in the country and have a twang in my voice.

24. I think that $1 vending machines are one of the best inventions ever.

25. My husband and I have a garden, but he hates veggies and I can't can. We end up donating or giving away alot of the garden.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Singing and Praying

My little girls new favorite song is Jesus Loves Me. It is absolute precious to hear her sing. She doesn't get all the words, but she has down the melody. She also says the words Jesus and Bible. If your listening to her sing it might go something like this:

Jesus um um um um Bible um um um um ... but completely hummed to the correct tune. And while doing her version of dancing I might add :)

She has also starting folding her hands together when she prays. As we pray she'll sit real still and then when were through she loudly says "A". That's all she can make of the word Amen right now.

What is oh-so-cute-as-a-button is when she combines the two. She'll fold her hands and close her eyes as she sings "Bible um um um". She starting doing this tonight and as we would talk about how much Jesus likes her prayers at the mention of the word pray it would start all over again :)

It's wonderful to see your little one's having a love for Jesus at such an early age. I know that right now she is learning about Jesus and God and I pray that she continues growing in this knowledge all of her days.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Playing games

My little one has learned the wonderful game of ring-around-the-rosies :) We played this for an hour nonstop yesterday.

Yes folks you read right: One hour. Sixty minutes. Three thousand six hundred seconds.

This was the most fun workout I've had in a long time!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Taking time for me

I love teaching! Working with middle schoolers is one of those jobs you either love or you hate: and I love it :)

I also love though, the break that is coming up. This has been an extremely stressful year for me, both personally and professionally. That is why the upcoming break is all the more important to me.

With all that I have going through lately I have taken no time to take care of myself like I should. I am relying all the more on candy bars and soft drinks to get me through the day instead of sleep and nutritious meals.

This summer I am sending my little girl to the sitters two days a week. I stressed over this decision for a long time. Does it make me a horrible mom to send my daughter to a sitter's when I don't really need to?

That's when I realized I DO need to. I am a better mom when I am not stressed. I'm planning on cleaning my house top to bottom those two days a week (those of your who know me know this is a big deal). I'm also planning on reorganizing my house as well as getting some much needed rest. :)

I'll be a much better mom to my little girl when I feel rested and stress free!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My husband

I know this is the second post in a row about my husband, but gosh I sure do love that man :)

Let me start by saying marriage is hard. My husband and I just celebrated our 4th year of marriage this week. It hasn't all been easy and there were times we both wanted to lock the other out of the house, but by far he is one of the best gifts God has given me.

I came across a great blog recently. The Generous Wife is a blog where women are daily given a tip about how to be a better wife.

I don't know about you guys, but I sure need to work in this area. I am very excited as our church is beginning a summer class on this very subject. I can't wait to dive into the word of God and do further study about exactly what God says about my role as a wife.

If you know me personally and want info about the class feel free to contact me. We would love to have you: married or single.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What a wonderful husband :)

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an amazingly huge sweet tooth. I could eat sweets all the time. For that reason, I typically don't keep sweets at home. I have spent many a nights wandering aimlessly around the house begging my husband to go to the store just to get something for my sweet tooth.

Every holiday my husband knows he can't go wrong with sweets. Mother's day was no different :) Except this time he also told me that he put some candy on standby for the days I'm craving something sweet.

How thoughtful is he? My husband is the best!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

My first freezer meal :)

I saw a wonderful recipe here on Heavenly Homemakers: Meat and Cheese Burritos!

I thought that my family would really enjoy this and most of the ingredients were on sale this week at the grocery store.

I had no meat thawed, but did have some breakfast sausage. I used the sausage and made a nice breakfast burrito if I do say so myself. This was really good and right now I have 6 in the freezer for a quick breakfast or dinner :)

Whoo - Hoo to my first freezer meal!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Planning for April 26, 2010

Here's what's on the menu for the week.

Monday - Cheese Lasagna

Tuesday - Hamburger Helper

Wednesday - Fast food on the way to church (probably Wendy's)

Thursday - My first time cooking a roast. I'm going to use the recipe found here and add in some assorted veggies.

Friday - Leftovers

For more menu planning head on over to Orgjunkie.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yogurt, Applesauce and Potato Chips?

That was by daughter's diet for today! I'm hoping the yogurt and applesauce cancel out the potato chips :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tackling the grocery store

I love grocery shopping. It's one of the most relaxing things I can do. Even when I am on an extremely tight budget wondering how the money is going to make it, I love grocery shopping.

Under one arm I have my grocery list, coupons, and reusable bags. Under the other arm I have my one year old, a diaper bag, and a pocket book. Really, the grocery cart looks kinda full before I make it into the store :) When I get like this I feel like a woman on a mission! It makes me feel good knowing that I am providing for my family while being a good steward of the resources God has given me (I feel like I've wrote that in a blog before).

One thing that tends to come up is getting everything in the buggy with child in tow. My little girl tends to want to hold things as they are being put in the buggy or after 15 minutes she is extremely tired and wants to be held. So what's a mom to do? Have a snack!

That's my money saving tip for today: Always have a snack for the little ones on hand before you go into the store.

By doing this I am able to spend a little more time in the grocery store. I can make sure I am getting the best bang for my buck and not having to grab the first thing I see on a speed race out the door.

This also helps from getting my little one a snack at the store spending and ending up spend more money convenient items. I can pack some cheerios that I got for $1.00 a box or I can pack some apple slices bought on clearance right before they went bad.

By doing this I am able to make sure and get the things that I need while still being able to keep my little one happy :)

For more money saving tips visit Lifeasmom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Preacher says it best

I think a lot of of women don't understand the importance of how they dress.

When I met my husband he was completely aware of how women dressed. That's when he introduced me to the book, "Everyman's Battle". After reading this book I became of aware of how important it is for women to be concerned about how they dress. It completely changed my outlook on how important this was.

Yesterday the preacher at our church wrote a wonderful blog about this topic from a christian's man view. He wrote about how young girls are looking to us as role models for how to dress and all to often we lead them down the wrong path, even christian women. (I'll post his link at the bottom of the page).

Dressing modestly brings up lots of heated feelings. I don't feel to dress modestly you must be in a skirt down to the floor (of course if that is your personal conviction then that is what you need to follow). I do however feel it is important for short or skirts to be appropiate lengths and for tops not to be low cut.

Dressing modestly should be something that works for all christian women.

For more WFMW visit We are that Family.

Here's the link to a Christian Man's view on modesty! Check it out :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My family loves a good pizza :) For a long time we had pizza every Friday night. As I'm making the switch to more natural food one thing that I'm at a loss for is a good pizza dough recipe that we all like. If you have a good pizza dough recipe I'd love it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Planning for April 19, 2010

This week we're trying to use up some stuff in the pantry. My husband is having a busy week at work so it will probably be me and the little one most nights.

Monday - Eggs

Tuesday - Hamburgers

Wednesday - Spaghetti

Thursday - Left overs

Friday - Roast

For more menus head on over to OrgJunkie.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I've been doing lots of research lately about the various things that are found in our food. Just a word of advice... don't do this research unless your really ready for it. It's kinda scary. Everywhere you look you'll find various things that are put into our food to preserve, to flavor, to color etc... The more research I do, the more I am trying to find a way to feed my family wholesome nutritious meal that aren't loaded with lots of chemicals that shouldn't been eaten.

If you do research on where your meat comes from it's frightening. My family is a big beef eater. There's nothing better than a grilled out hamburger with baked beans :) In my mind I had an idea of cattle being raised on a farm grazing grass until time for butchering, which I imagined was as humane as possible.

Apparently though most beef we eat comes from a farm where cows are fed a diet of corn. Now, keep in mind cows are made to eat grass, not corn! When animals are forced to eat things that are not part of their natural diet imagine all that does to one's system.

(Side note....I didn't plan for this to become a post on the problem of where our food comes from so I'll stop now)

A few weeks ago I discovered a wonderful meat market located in near my house in Georgia.

This meat market only carries grass raised beef with no artificial anything added, and boy does it taste wonderful. I bought some ground beef a few weeks back so I could make hamburgers. As I left the store the checkout lady said she would see me back in a few weeks. She was right. I went back today to take advantage of one of their family packs where you can buy meat in bulk at a cheaper per pound price.

I am so glad that I found a way to provide meat for my family that isn't loaded full of artificial ingredients!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring is in the air :)

I love spring time! Birds chirping, trees blooming... the whole nine yards. I love yard sailing on Saturday mornings and cooking out on Sunday afternoons. I love the fact that we're gardening this year. I love the smell you have after freshly cut grass. I think if I could bottle the smell of newly cut grass it would be wonderful. Yep I love spring!

Spring is a time of new beginnings. There is newness everywhere you turn. This time of year I am always reminded of the newness we have in our Saviour. It never ceases to amaze me how when we were in the middle of our darkness he gave us the opportunity of life.

What a mighty God we serve!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where have I been?

Everywhere it seems! Life has gotten away from me, but with spending last week on spring break and with being able to catch up with everything I plan on posting again. I have to catch everyone up on the crazy happenings I have had lately :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Planning February 15, 2010

Monday - Tonight I came home to a wonderful pot of chicken and dumplings. My husband really is the best :)

Tuesday - Mac and Cheese with broccoli

Wednesday - Chili

Thursday - Chicken Fried Rice

Friday - Noodles and Alfredo Sauce

Saturday - Fried Chicken, corn, potatoes

We really do tend to eat the same things over and over again :(

Doesn't this menu look remarkably similar to some of the old ones???

For more menu's head on over to Org Junkie's Menu Planning.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Completely unprepared yet having a wonderful time

Last week I posted about an emergency bag I had started preparing in case of a small emergency: loss of power, various weather warnings etc.... This weekend I realized just how behind I was.

Where I live in the south we rarely get a snow dusting each year. When the weatherman called for one to two inches of snow on Friday I didn't give it another thought. Maybe I should have been listening to the weather more frequently or maybe I should have made a run to the grocery store just in case.... but whatever the reason why we were caught drastically unprepared for the snow that arrived on Friday.

Some things I learned must be kept around the house (and probably in the emergency bag just so I know where they are):

-Infant Tylenol - Wouldn't ya know that my little girl came down with a teething fever as soon as the first snow flake fell. We used up the last of her tylenol then and luckily the fever stayed away until we were able to make it to the store to get some more

- Black Eyed Peas - This is one of the only thing that my little one will eat. Saturday is my normal grocery shopping day and at this point we were out of everything that she would eat. We had no Cheerios, Goldfish, Black Eyed Peas, Yogurt, or Applesauce. So until we could make it to the store she ate cheese :)

- Milk - I know this one can't be kept in the bag, but it might be a good idea not to run so low on milk. We go through 2 gallons a week so it might be better from now on to make sure that we have at least 1/2 a gallon on hand. I have heard that in a pinch you can use equal parts of evaporated milk and water to make whole milk, but I would rather not find out if it works.

Thank goodness that the snow melted just as fast as it accumulated and by Saturday my husband was able to make a store run for the above items as well as a movie.

Despite not being prepared we had a wonderful weekend.

We spent the time teaching our little one to jump on the bed: something I'm sure we will regret later, but thought was oh so cute at the time. My husband and I had a valentine's lunch at one of our favorite restaurants before the snow came in and we cleaned the entire house top to bottom :0)

Hopefully we can have a repeat of the weekend tomorrow as the weather man is calling for one to two inches of snow overnight... this time we are prepared :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kitty Litter Part 2


this goal is not going as well as expected. Due to a pretty stubborn cat it seems we will not be going with our homemade kitty litter after all :( I'm thinking that we will go with a more natural pine kitty litter and then be able to recycle the newspapers I was shredding. Hopefully this will work.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Emergency Bag

A few weeks ago the emergency sirens went off in our neighborhood. As I went downstairs (which is where we go in the event of a tornado) I was frantically trying to remember where I had put a flashlight in the event of a power failure.

After the ok to return back upstairs I decided it was time to put together an emergency bag for when something like that happened. This way we would no exactly where everything was and wouldn't be searching around for things. I started the emergency bag today with an old book bag we had lying around.

Right now in our emergency bag we have: a knife, 2 wind up operated flashlights and some water. Over the course of the next few weeks I would like to include: waterproof matches, a few granola bars, a wind up radio, first aid kit and other miscellaneous supplies.

What about you? Do you have an emergency bag and if so what's in it?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Tonight was a night of good fellowship with God's people! How wonderful it was :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I wonder if I could do this?

Somehow I stumbled across one of the most interesting websites I've ever see. A man by the name of Colin Beavan and his family decided to try living one year without leaving any negative impact on the environment. They ate only local food, used no electricity, and made no garbage all in the middle of NYC! I have spent the past few days pouring over the website, reading as many excerpts from the book as possible and wondering how many of these things I could possibly do.

Almost a challange if you will...

Could I go without using our HVAC unit for a year? Probably so... we rarely used it before our daughter was born and now only use it to keep her comfortable. Hopefully next year we can be a little more better at this.

Could I eat only locally grown things for a year? I'm not sure about this one. My husband will not eat anything that grows. We did a huge garden last year and he didn't eat one thing from it. While I could completely beef up my local eating I'm not sure I could depend on it entirely.

Could I go without electricity for a year? Maybe. I believe I could cut almost all electricity out of the picture. I don't think it would be hard to reprogram ourselves to go to bed and wake up with the sun. We have lots of windows in our house so lights would not be a problem. Refrigerator and washing machine however would.

I know it sounds crazy but I would love to see how much of his experiment I could how to get my husband on board? :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I signed up for swagbucks yesterday. I'm not really sure how they work, but apparently there all the rage amongst frugal moms. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon and be on my way to making some money :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goals for 2010 revisited

Now that we are officially through the first month of the year I thought it would be nice to revisit my goals and see how I was doing so far.

1. My first goal was to complete The Bible in 90 Days study with the ladies over at momstoolbox. Unfortunately I have not been able to keep up with all the reading, but I'm not giving up. While I might not finish with the original group that started, I'm not giving up on this goal. I have read through Deuteronomy and will be starting Joshua this week. I am excited to have read through the first 5 books and can't wait to see what God reveals through my reading this week.

2. My second goal was to use reusable bags when shopping. This is going OK. I always take my bags in with me when shopping and only a few times have I bought more than would fit in my bags. I think only taking about 5 or so plastic bags so far this year is a good start!

3. Goal three was to make my own kitty litter. This is a goal completely implemented. I wrote a post on it here.

4. My last goal of the year was to become better with my cash system. This goal is going remarkably well. I really have saved lots of money this month by paying with everything in cash. It has also allowed my husband and I to start putting money away to send to some friends of ours who desperately need it.

This month I also found some super cute thin wallets at a local store. They are really thin so I knew that would be perfect to use one wallet for each category. When I was checking out at the store the cashiers actually made a comment about how they were glad some one had bought the wallets. They were to thin for most people to buy.

All in all, not a bad month.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh my!!!

It sure has been a long week! You know.... one of those weeks where you can't wait for it to end. Trial after trial at work....those weeks :) Sorry about not posting in a week, hopefully that will change now!

This week I put into practice the things that I learned from the coupon class that Allison from Fabulously Frugal Moms and I went to. The class was wonderful. It was held at a church about 25 minutes from where we live and provided free childcare. All we had to do was to bring a snack. So with my $2 box of crackers I headed into what was one of the most productive 3 hours I have had.

Through the class we learned about how to add coupons to current sales and get the most bang for your bucks. We learned about Buy 1 Get 1 Free. We learned about Extra Care Bucks.

Putting into practice the ideas we learned I headed to a local grocery store before work one day this week and got $38.33 worth of groceries for $12.26!!! That's right folks I saved 66% on my groceries for the week!!!!

For $12.26 I got:

2 boxes of Ritz crackers
6 cans of tomato sauce
1 box of oatmeal
2 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats
3 lbs. of potatoes
2 cans of Organic Spray Pam
1 package of cheese

I had not originally planned on getting cheese, but threw it in the buggy at the last minute. When I got to the register, I completely was having one of my savings highs! It was wonderful :)

After work I ran back to the same store to pick up some milk I didn't get that morning so I wouldn't have to put it in the refrigerator at work. I completely fell into the trap of buying things I don't need. Right after I had such a money saving morning I went back to the same store and spent $15.

For $15 I got:

I gallon of milk
1 pack of cheese sticks
1 soft drink
1 candy bar

Oh my!!!!!!

Two shopping trips to the same place in the same day with much different results!!!! This showed me the importance of making sure that I stick to my list and only my list the next time I go grocery shopping.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A day of rest

At a church my husband and I have been attending recently, the preacher was speaking about how he and his wife had really struggled with making Sunday a day of rest. Since then this has been something that I have been giving a lot of thought to.

I am a teacher and am typically at school around 45 hours a week along with all the work that I bring home to work on after my daughter has gone to bed. I am typically tired ALL of the time. Between work, being a mom and wife, and trying to be the homemaker I am called to be, I am exhausted.

When the weekend rolls around if Saturday is not jammed packed with activities I am cleaning house, grocery shopping, and catching up on my sleep. By the time Sunday comes I spend it trying to get ready for the upcoming week. This means lesson plans, menus and cooking for the week, and washing clothes and getting my daughter ready for daycare.

As I have been reading through the Bible (even though I am a few days behind the other ladies) this has really stuck out in my reading. Over and over God says that people need a day of rest. God recognizes that we need this time. Why do we put so much into our lives that we take away this day of rest that we given to us?

I have spent a lot of time in thought and prayer lately and have realized that if I spend Sunday as a day of worship and rest, the rest of the week will be much more productive. My Sundays should be spent worshipping not completing lesson plans. I should be taking a nap, not doing laundry.

So right now I am giving myself permission to take a nap tomorrow (even though I took a small one this evening). Tomorrow there will be no dish washing for me. There will be no laundry tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes what it was intended for: Worship and Rest :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kitty Litter Part 1

I love saving money! I understand that most people like saving money, but what makes me different from everyone is that I will go to some extreme limits to save money. My husband (as well as most of my family and most of my friends) thinks that I am a bit crazy in my money saving ideas, but I think that I'm being a good steward of what God has given me :) Let's take the kitty litter for example....

One of my goals this year was to make my own kitty litter. When my husband got our cat last month from our local humane society he had a coupon so he went and got some kitty litter. My goal was never to have to buy more when that ran out. At the humane society the cats are kept in cages lined with newspaper and a handful of shredded paper in the corner of the cage. At this point my cat was use to using shredded paper, why would I want to change this? Because I wasn't use to a newspaper filled litter box!

I started the journey by putting a small layer of litter in the bottom of the pan and then using shredded newspaper on top of the litter. This went beautifully and I almost thought about stopping my journey here. I pressed on however and for the last week I have been using no store bought litter whatsoever. The key to making this work: changing the litter every night (or sometimes more)!

Every night I line the pan with layers of newspaper and place the shredded paper on top. Sometimes this will last until the next night, sometimes I change the litter box the next morning: either way I'm saving some money.

Again, my husband thinks that I'm crazy (not to mention gross) to make my own kitty litter and you very well may think this too, but I'm ok with people thinking this. I'm a little bit of a better steward for it :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ever wonder what's in your stuff?

I have mentioned before that after I had my daughter I became much more aware of the things (chemicals) that I brought into my house. Many people think that I am crazy buying all natural and organic things, but I believe that it is super important to be aware of the things that you are being exposed to, especially on a regular basis.

A great resource to help with this is a website that I came across: Skin Deep. This website takes all soaps, makeup, lotions etc... and looks at each ingredient. It will then tell you the effects (affects?) that the various ingredients have been known to have.

Let's take a look at our soap. When you look at the website each product receives a number grade with the better more natural things having lower numbers. The soap that I use (used) had a grade of 5! The company found ingredients in the soap that have been linked to cancer and lots of other things. YIKES!!! As much as I love my soap I don't love it enough to risk hurting my family.

I encourage you to take a look at the website to look how what you are using stacks up with other things. Again, you may think I'm crazy, but at least I'm a little healthier than I use to be :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So.... I didn't realize that when you published a post that you had started on an earlier date it was published when you originally wrote it.

For some very interesting thoughts on dryer sheets scroll down to the post titled "Tennis Balls?"


Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Giveway

Hi All!

Passionate homemaking is having a book giveaway: Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit. It has received wonderful reviews. If your interested click here to enter :)

Menu Planning January 18, 2010

Here's what on the menu for the week :)

Monday - Scrambled Eggs and toast (what an economical meal - this is the best!! Even if you get free range chicken eggs this meal is still super cheap)

Tuesday - Crock Pot Chili

Wednesday - Rice with cream of mushroom soup and veggies

Thursday - Pancakes

Friday - Eating out with a gift card we got for Christmas!!!!

For more lovely menus hop on over to Orgjunkie.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Super Excited

Tomorrow Allison from Fabulously Frugal Moms and I are going to a money saving class. The class is designed to teach you all about how to save money while grocery shopping. I can't wait to find out what new tricks and techniques I can learn to use to save some more money. This way we can continue to lower the amount of money we want to spend on groceries and put towards something else.

This leads me to my next big money saving technique. To give you a little background about myself I come from an extremely frugal (cheap) family. Seriously you would be amazed at just how tight my family is. While I have always been trying to save money in various ways this money saved would simply sit in the bank and then be spent on some trival, usually useless things. When we started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University he really focused on budgeting and paying for everything in cash. Once we started this we have really been able to use this to assign a place for all the money saved.

Now I'm learning to lower my grocery budget and the money that we are saving on groceries will be put towards building up our savings account. We now how a goal to put our pennies toward and having a goal and seeing it happen is a great place to be.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Planning for January 11

Last week having a menu worked really well. We stuck to the menu mostly and what we didn't eat in came from gifts cards to restruants we got for Christmas. Those extra meals are on the menu again for this week ( Along with many other repeats or similar meals because my lack of culinary skills is incredible).

Here's what on my menu for the week :)

Sunday - Mac and Cheese

Monday - Chili

Tuesday - Eggs and Toast

Wednesday - Rice, Cream of Mushroom and Sausage

Thursday - Cheesy Beef Taco Meal

Friday - Spaghetti

For more wonderful menu ideas head on over to Orgjunkie.

Tennis Balls?

A few years back when my husband and I became serious about getting out of debt we looked at where we cut expenses and would put that money towards our current debt. As silly as is sounds we decided to cut dryer sheets out of our budget forever. Silly right? But if you think about how much money these costs you realize that this is an example of how nickels and dimes really add up.

Let's say you spend $3 a month when you buy a box of dryer sheets. Over the course of a year that is $36 we could put towards paying down our debt. That's without doing anything different! It's like a free $36, and who couldn't use that!

To begin life with out fabric softener with we started using white vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine. This left our clothes just as soft as if we had been using dryer sheets. After a few months of buying vinegar I realized I wasn't saving to much so step 2 in the journey was to replace the vinegar with tennis balls in the dryer. Yes you heard right, we use tennis balls in the dryer.

What a wonderful solution this was. No more spending money on dryer sheets and we still get super soft clothes at the same time :)

P.S. I read about tennis from an online blog, but can't remember which one. If it was you I am truly sorry about not being able to give you credit. Email me and I will be sure to give credit to you!

P.P.S. For more info about the things (chemicals) found in dryer sheets go here.

For more Works For Me Wednesday hop on over here to We are that Family

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saving money on meat

When my husband and I first got married, we had hamburger helper every night. Seriously I mean EVERY night. When I went to the store I would buy 7 boxes of the stuff and some hamburger meat for the week.

During this time I would buy one package of bulk hamburger meat a week and buy the time the weekend rolled around we had eaten everything. While this was great for a person like me who can't cook, eating that much hamburger meat was not good for our health, pocketbooks, or the environment.

To help lower our carbon footprint and make our newly made grocery budget last a little bit longer, we are now eating considerable less hamburger meat. While this has been going wonderful, I still wanted to find a way to buy the meat that we do eat in bulk to save some money.

Here's what I do: Once a month now (instead of once a week) I buy a bulk size container of hamburger meat. When I come home from the grocery store I immediately brown all the meat. Once it is drained I separate the meat into sandwich size plastic baggies. Each plastic baggie holds about a pound of meat. These then go into the freezer and when I need hamburger meat I thaw one bag and am good to go.

Saving me both time and money :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A laugh at my expense

Today I decided to do a few loads of laundry. Normally everything other than diapers wait until Saturday, but with the chance of being snowed/iced in from work tomorrow I decided I was in a productive mood and decided to do a load of towels first. FYI.... out of all the laundry I do I love towels the most. I hate folding laundry, but absolutely LOVE folding towels.

As I was switching things from the washer to the dryer a towel hits the liquid detergent and down it goes straight into the dryer. Wouldn't you know this would be the time I had forgot to put the cap on and there is now detergent forming a giant puddle at the bottom the dryer.

It takes a good 30 minutes to mop up at least two cups of thick, slimy detergent. The entire time this is happening I am thinking that maybe the detergent has some chemical that is flammable under high temperatures and when I start the dryer again it will catch fire. Or maybe detergent is going down every nook and cranny (believe me there are more than you think inside a dryer) and is going to tear up the machine.

My husband had a good chuckle at my expense and then proceded to tell me I would not indeed burn the house down when I started the dryer. Even though, there was not a lot of comfort taken from those words because I am a person whose house burnt a total of 4 times when they were growing up. To make me feel better though he did put both fire extinguishers outside the laundry room in case we needed them :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A change in thought

For those of you who live near me you might have heard about a wreck that happened yesterday in front of a Grocery Store that is famous for wrecks tending to happening outside. Truly this is such a horrible intersection wrecks tend to happen far to often.

I came upon the aftermath of that wreck yesterday and it has been in my thoughts all day. Thinking about what I saw yesterday I have been thinking about somethings that God had laid on my heart. Previously when I drove up on a wreck my immediate response was to pray and ask that everyone was able to walk away from the accident and thank God that we have people that are willing to rush in and help those who need it.

One day a few years back I was driving to town and I saw a wreck happen and again my response was to thank God that we lived in a county where people were able and willing to help those who need it. As I was praying God immediately told me not to be as concerned about people physically, but to be concerned that someone might not have gotten to them with the Gospel before it was to late. I had been so worried about the physically well being of those who might have been injured that I wasn't at all thinking about their spiritual well being.

We never know when something might happen. We might be the last chance someone has to hear about the gospel. Why is it that we are willing to rush to someone's aid physically when they need it, but are not as eager to rush to their side to share the gospel, especially when that is so much more important.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Saving money on baby clothes

So, I absolutely love a good deal! When I find one I get what I call a "Savings high"! You know, the feeling you get when you know you are stretching your money a little bit further and doing better to serve your family while being a good steward of the money that God gave you. That feeling :)

Well I get that feeling every time a new season rolls around. That means it's time for Consignment Sale Shopping! I was introduced to a local consignment sale a while back from a friend that I work with and it was love at first sight. All the name brand, barely used clothes at a fraction of the price. It couldn't get any better than that.

The local consignment sale that I shop at happens twice a year and I can typically get my daughter's entire winter/summer wardrobe for around $75. Considering that I typically make that much when I sale her clothes/toys there you could say I get her wardrobe for free. It doesn't get much better than that!

For more wonderful ideas visit We Are That Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

P.S. I know it's Tuesday when I'm writing this, but I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. Sue me :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Planning January 4, 2010

After my experience at the grocery store on Saturday I knew that I needed to take what I had and put it into a menu quick so it wasn't eaten as people were looking for snacks :)

Here's what we're eating this week

Monday - Macaroni and Cheese with broccoli

Tuesday - Crock pot Chili

Wednesday - Chicken Fried Rice

Thursday - Rice with Cream of Mushroom Soup and Sausage

Friday - Spaghetti

For more menu planning take a look at Organizing Junkie's site

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saving money at the grocery store

Today I went grocery shopping. It was a disaster. Plans changed at the last minute and I didn't have time to make my menu for the week and to go with that the list for the grocery store. I know that making my menu for the week saves me money. As a matter of fact this concept alone has saved me more money than any other technique I have tried.

When I went today I decided that I would make my menu as I went. What a horrible idea! I ended up just putting things into the buggy that I know we will eat. By the end of the trip while I was still under budget I don't think the food will go as far as it would if I had planned ahead.

The best way to save money at the grocery store:

Plan your menu for the week and only buy what you need :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1

So today I (along with many others) started The Bible in 90 Days study with the ladies over at momstoolbox. I began reading thinking of how overwhelming it would be to read so much every night. I barely have time to brush my teeth, yet alone read. As I began reading though this was not the case, I became so hooked on what I was reading that the time flew by. I got to read my Bible while my daughter sat beside me reading one of her books :)

One thing stuck out to me during my reading time was Genesis 7:7

"And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood".

As I am reading this I began to think about exactly what Noah and his family were going through. More specifically I began to think about how they felt knowing that they were inside the boat while members of their family were outside. We read in Genesis 5:30 that Noah had brothers and sisters. Noah sat inside the boat knowing that he was spared from certain death that will come with the flood while his brothers and sisters were not. That had to be heartbreaking for him to go through. What would it be like to know that you were saved from death while there were members of your family who were not?

I have been saved from eternal separation from God and there are many of my friends and family who have not. Does my heart break for them the way I think that Noah's heart broke for his family?

Please God give me a heart for the lost! Let me see them through your eyes! As I go about my day help me not to look at people through worldly eyes, but help me to see them as people "outside the boat".