Friday, October 31, 2008

I have been Boo'd!



Thanks, Heather!

A first

It's a first here. The kids did H-ween parties last weekend, and since nobody T-r-T's door-to-door around here... I think we are gonna enjoy a nice relaxing evening at home! I'm sure they will want a friend over or to go somewhere.. but no H-ween mess! WOW.

I bought NO candy. NONE. ZIPPO. And my waist things that is just great.

Time to get the shuttle running.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Menu Monday - on Tuesday

This week's menu:

Monday - Chicken Enchiladas/corn
Tuesday - Tacos/trimmings/spanish rice, apple crisp for dessert!
Wednesday - hot dogs/trimmings/chips
Thursday - pork steaks w/rice & gravy, blackeyes
Friday - Every man for himself! We are usually going in different directions on Fridays.

recycled foods

Recycled, but not in the way you may be thinking. I hate to waste stuff. Anything. So I'm always looking for different ways to use things, including food!

You know when bananas are going bad you can freeze them for later and make banana bread, smoothies, pancakes. MMM So good!

What do you do with apples? I have a few apples that need to be used up. I also noticed apples were on sale at the store. Hmm.. I bought enough to eat fresh and some to use in either applesauce in the crockpot... apple muffins.... or...

APPLE CRISP II

And wouldn't you know it, Sarah picked up some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Icecream last night at the store. I'm thinking of mixing up some of the "topping" and store it for later use - even if it's on just one apple. Will have to look into this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thanks

Thanks so much. I feel so smart right now. My broth is cooling and I"ll have lots to put in the freezer for cooking. I love doing this kinda thing.

Sarah and I finally made it to the grocery store. I need to update my price book. Making progress. Damage this week was 131.00.

I really need to look at my Holiday Binder and get moving. I started out full steam ahead, but it seems to be coming quicker than I'd like.

It's windy and cool. The temp is supposed to be 38 in the morning. Wow!

My satsumas are ready to be picked and the tree is loaded.

The oranges should be next.

Goodnight people!

In a bit...

I'll post my menu for the week in a bit. It's in my binder in the other room and I really should be working.. but this is on my mind and I gotta get it out! Yes, I am an extrovert.

I have been doing really, really well with cutting back the waste we have with food in the house. I only buy fresh veggies/fruits for the week. If we run out, we move to the canned stuff. No more coming home to find a head of cabbage already in the fridge. I make sure and buy just what I need for my menus.. nothing more... because chances are I am not going to cook it. That's what the menu is for! DUH!

I have chicken boiling on the stove. It's 3 chicken breasts. The kids have requested Heather's Enchiladas again. Funny how 3 breasts can feed us all with leftovers when used in a casserole and if I were to bake the chicken instead, the family would be complaining there was not enough meat. Crazy. So anyway, my chicken is boiling with some salt, pepper, dried onions, and garlic powder. I'd like to debone the chicken, put the bones back in the water, and add carrots, celery and simmer for a bit. Then I'll strain it and freeze it for the broth. MMM.. that just sounds so yummy.

Maybe later in the week I'll get to make Nicole's chicken and dumplins and use up some of that broth. We tend to go through many cans of broth a week and the sodium.. egads! I do buy low sodium.. but still.. I am thinking if I could put some up for myself that would be even better.

Anyone ever do this??? Thanks!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things I want to share with you

There are a lot of things on my mind, some of which I want to share with you today.

UPCOMING ELECTION:

If you are worried about the upcoming election, I can give you a powerful tool to help ease your mind. At least for me, when I am actively doing something about whatever it is I am worried about, I tend to feel much better - like I am making progress. Crazy, I know, but it's how I work!

I am Catholic. This is a prayer that was given to me by my husband's aunt. She is a very religious person. Her faith is evident in her everyday walk of life. She is amazing. She figured I would have a few people to share it with on the internet :) Please say this prayer daily until the election. A rosary wouldn't hurt too.

Mary, Refuge of Holy love, intercede for our country with your immaculately-conceived Heart during the upcoming elections. Since you are the Ever-Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from the Blessed Trinity a president and other elected political leaders who will help the United States become a country of great purity and high morality.

O Sweet Blessed Mother, intercede for us that our next preseident will support life for each individual at every stage, uphold family life, and influence other countries throughout the world to love God above all else and neighbor as self, to serve Him, and to live for Him alone. Time and again you have given us your gracious assistance, and thus we humbly and gratefuly acknowledge you are our Patron.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and all those who do not have recourse to thee!

May our eternal Father shine His light upon our country and the whole world.

Amen.


Another thing... Years ago I took a course called "How to talk so your kids will listen, and how to listen so your kids will talk." If you EVER get the chance to take this course.. DO IT!! It in no was reflects on you as a parent. In fact, it will help you become a BETTER parent! I think everyone should take this course. I don't see it advertised like it use to be, and that is sad. It use to come home with the kids as a flyer from school. It was offered by a wonderful woman at our local YMCA when I took it. You can check out the books with the same name, but you will be really missing out on something much bigger if you cannot find/take the course. It is amazing! Seriously. The videos, the discussing things with other parents, the work books.. all wonderful tools. I use to have a list of the different things you use on your children. I can no longer find it. I am pretty sure it got tossed out when the hurricane hit our house. (will my life always be defined by that time frame???? ugh!) Anyway... the list use to be online, but I was unable to find it. Instead.. they have a breakdown here.

HOW TO TALK SO KIDS WILL LISTEN, HOW TO LISTEN SO KIDS WILL TALK!

I still use these tactics.. and well.. they work on adults too! hahaha Check with your local schools/school board and see if there are materials available to check out. Ours had the books, or you could get them at the library. I prefered the vidoes.

If you have taken this, I say THANK YOU AND CONGRATS! If you have not, please check into it! You will learn so much! And let me just say... those teen years are really trying and these tips work. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Zoom

This week has just flown by! Thank goodness I get today off to do some catching up on things. Work has been so busy that I have not had time to blog, read email or pay bills! YIKES! The pay is good, so I won't complain.

I have managed to cook ever day this week - with exception to Wednesday, due to a migraine. UGH. So, sweet Sarah cooked! I am so blessed to have a 13-year-old who will take the initiative and cook. She cooked frozen burritoes in a casserole dish with enchilada sauce poured on top, slices of cheese, and a jalopeno pepper! MMMM Oh, and a side of corn :)

The house? Well.. that's another story. I'm working on that today. So far so good. I have gotten lots done: Filing, paid bills, cleaned out my purse!!, picked up house, did some laundry, fixed the bed!!, ran the dishwasher, and even lit my oil burner to enjoy while cleaning.

The weather is foggy, damp and cool. I think we will be having gumbo for supper. YUMMY! A neighbor gave us some smoked turkey wings and necks for Richard working on his blower. We love bartering.

My grandmother is doing awesome!

Time to go look at grocery ads online and try to put together a menu for next week. I have to work this weekend, but hopefully I will be able to make it to the store - or the kids will hang me up by my toes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Playing tag with memory loss

Heather at Want What You Have tagged me for this meme.

The instructions are:

* Go to your Sixth Picture Folder then pick your Sixth Picture.

* Pray that you remember the details.

* Tag 5 others.


My 6th folder only had 2 pictures, so I'll post the second one. This is my grandmother. My children's GREAT grandmother. This picture was taken for her 84th birthday. We had a party at my house and my sister's family came over. My parents were out of town (another post for another day!).
My grandmother recently had a TIA (mild stroke). You couldn't even tell 24 hours later! She stayed with me this week while my mom took my dad for a heart test. All is fine with dad. My grandmother is a bit weak, but recovering very quickly from that! It was a true pleasure to have her here with us overnight. She informed me she will be 88 next month!!! She is still sharp as a tack.
I will tag:
CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED AND LET ME KNOW! :) I really need to broaden my blog friends LOL

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tightening up on wasting!

Being frugal comes very natural to both of us. Always has. I can honestly say we have never argued over money. The bills were always paid, the food was purchased, money was set aside for savings, and the rest.. well.. it sat there until one of us needed it for something. Most of it just sat there. Starting off poor really helped. We were very thankful for the things we did get.

Twenty years later it's pretty much the same way. We do splurge; we went to breakfast this morning. What did we talk about? You guessed it! Being more frugal.

Is that possible? Sure! We decided to give a tweak to grocery shopping after looking at all our other expenses and seeing that we are already very frugal in every sense of the word.

So groceries it is! I can say that we are pretty tight already based on this chart. We fall within the thrifty plan. This includes our paper and cleaning products. It does not include our eating out. I didn't add my oldest in the calculations because she really isn't here much to eat. While I am very proud of how we are doing, I'd really like to cut back even more.

Today I took inventory of the freezers and pantry. What an eye-opener. I found meat that should have long been thrown. Bought on sale or not, it's wasting when it gets freezer burnt. Hubby agreed we really need to focus on rotating foods and not buying more than we can eat.

I really started noticing a savings when I started menu planning. I bought only what was needed to make these meals, snacks for the week, and stocked up on the sale items.

I am able to defrost the food well in advance now because I know what I will be cooking. This ended the 5 o'clock panic of not knowing what to cook and not having all the ingredients to cook what I wanted. Leftovers are frozen and will be eaten on weekends or when I'm short on time.

I am really trying not to waste food. Leftover veggies are put in an icecream bucket in the freezer. When it's time for soup the veggies are there waiting. Bananas getting overripe? Peel and put in freezer for later use in pancakes, muffins, bread. Berries can be flash frozen for smoothies later on. Don't forget about your food sealer. What a great way to store that extra cheese so it doesn't go bad. Hotdogs and lunchmeat freeze well too. Apples can be cooked in the crockpot for apple sauce and eaten like that or used in place of oil in baking cakes, breads, etc. Sometimes I freeze grapes and then use them as icecubes in my water. :) Think outside the box and see how you can save more than you waste.

Don't forget to use these foods in your future meal planning. Things don't keep forever just because it's in the freezer (a lesson I'm trying to teach my husband).

Nerdy Friday

Hubby and I are off today. We went out for breakfast and talked about our plan for the day, ways in which we can cut corners on spending, needs, wants, and that being frugal all our lives is paying off.

Today we are taking stock of our cabinets and seeing what we need to replish. We have always had a stash of food on hand, but it was just odds and ends. We are really working hard to have foods on hand to make complete meals. Going thru the hurricanes was a great test run. We are organizing the freezers, sorting thru the canned goods, and will start a good rotational system. I'm armed with my label maker and sharpie!

Life is good!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Menu Monday

Monday - Pepper steak, rice, pot stickers, egg drop soup

Tuesday - Porkupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, carrot sticks

Wednesday - either red beans and rice or 10-bean soup, French bread

Thursday - Chicken enchiladas, broccoli salad, broc for the kids (they love that stuff)

Friday - Left overs! or maybe I'll finally get around to making Sarah's long requested steaks and gravy this weekend.


My kids don't eat breakfast, but they do love this: Heather's Baked Oatmeal. I'll make some up tonight and bake it. Cut into bars and have on hand for the kids. They really do like this stuff :) And it smells heavenly when cooking.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tools for the job

I have come to realize you need to have the right tools to get the job done. I wouldn't want my husband to work on the vehicles with a butter knife and an ice pick. Why do I try to skimp by on the things *I* need to do a job right?

I bring you, the label maker! I have had so much fun with that thing today. My oldest asked if they were gonna wake up with labels on their foreheads HAHAHAHA

I have lots of rubbermaid tubs with our stuff from when cleaned out our old house from Hurricane Rita. today I went thru several of those tubs and tossed out a lot of stuff. I then seperated the stuff I wanted to keep, put in tubs and appropriately labeled them. What a difference it makes! I instantly know what's in there. Now, hubby can stack them back in storage and I'll be able to find things quickly. Hopefully it won't take me long to go thru the rest of the stuff! This has only been dragging on since. uh... 2005!!! I cannot believe the stuff I have tossed. I know there are lots of tubs with clothes in them. It's all outdated and needs to be tossed. I'm so excited to be making progress.

I organized the laundry room. Looks so much better. It gets out of hand so fast. I'm also making great headway on organizing for the holidays. I printed up some more pages for my CHMB (christmas home management binder). I'll be working on that some later.

Now I need to go organize the bottom cabinets.

So productive!!!