Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
C.S. Lewis said "If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think this world as a place of training and correction and it's not so bad."
*Disclaimer: Please read this post with discretion. I am in no way suggesting you stay in a volatile situation where yourself or someone else is in harm's way. The trials I am speaking of here are the everyday, minor annoyances I allow to be much bigger than they should. If you are struggling with a more serious trial that is ongoing, harmful or desturctive, please pray and seek the help and advice of a pastor, counselor, family member, etc.
Monday, March 28, 2011
- Seems like a goofy question but really I have had friends ask me, "A menu plan? What do you mean by that?"
- A menu plan, simply put (no pun intended) is having a plan for several days worth of meals.
- How do I start a menu plan? There are lots of techniques: like having a month's worth of family favorite recipes and just rotating the same things, or making meal plans by using what you have on hand, or making a plan using what's on sale for the week at the grocery store. There's no wrong or right way to make a plan. Do what you find works best for you!
- A menu plan can look different for each one of us, let me explain. A menu plan to one woman could be buying for and organizing 3 meals a day for a week. Others, may just have a menu plan for dinner and plan for a month (this is what I try to do).
Want to start? Here are some great meal planning resources:
- I'm an Organzing Junkie-I know I included her link above but she really is the best place to start. She spells the menu planning process out in an easy-to-understand way.
- Money Saving Mom- This is probably my favorite blog because of all the great tips and tools she has on her site. The best part is she's real and doesn't pretend to have "it" all together. Make sure to also check out her video series on meal planning.
- Life As Mom- Jessica's speciality is freezer cooking and has lots of great tips and good recipes that make it easy. She's also in the process of writing a cookbook and she knows what she's talking about!
- The Happy Housewife-She's a mom of 7 kids where meal planning is a must! Need I say more?
- Just a Pinch Recipe Club- My new favorite recipe site. I've used All Recipes for while and still like it but this one is much more user friendly in my opinion.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
He also wanted to check out the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame. If you're a sports fan, like he is, it's great and FREE! He was in boy heaven with all the sports memorabilia everywhere. I try to act enthused but I am not a natural sports fan. I guess with having all boys I need to get with it huh?
Friday, March 25, 2011
I just love his toothless grin!
Happy Birthday Buddy!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
2. Set Limits
Ask to be put on their mailing list if they offer it. Sometimes you'll receive some great discounts on local dining and attractions.
- Be in the know. Check your local newspaper for local events, or become involved on local online Mom's forums, or simply ask around. Sometimes school office workers are more in the know than anyone.
5. Record your memories
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Doesn't he look like he's up to something? lol
So you can see we're enjoying the outdoors and don't have much time for blogging but I hope to get that post up on cheap spring break ideas soon! I have lots of people asking how we only spent $3.11!
Eian loved the new park we found.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I really lucked out at Dillon's though with the awesome specials they had! Here's a pick of what I purchased. I realized though, AFTER I took this picture and uploaded it, that I had put away 3 bags of Birdseye Steamfresh veggies and 2 bags of Gorton's frozen fish. I had also forgotten about the 10 lb bag of potatoes.
The price I paid may still seem like a lot to those of you who rarely spend more than $40-$50 bucks a week. However, if you look close you'll see I got two 3lb rolls of ground chuck, 2 family size packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts (enough for 4 meals), a corned beef brisket, a 1lb bag of honey ham lunch meat (we use for brkfast sandwhiches as well as for lunches), and a value pack of chicken thighs!
You may be wondering where some other essentials, like milk, are. Well I stocked up and purchased 4 gallons at $2.88 each on Tuesday before the sale switched. So that should last us a week! lol No, they might last a week and a half!
I was so excited when I left Dillon's and started breaking down all the meat into freezer bags. With all I purchased, and a few little things I still had in the freezer, we have enough meals for at least 20 days, and that's not including days we'll do leftovers!
I could list all my deals but instead here's the link I used to snag up most of these deals you see in the pic. Visit MotherhoodOnaDime for this weeks Dillon's specials with coupon match ups.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Since David and I are determined to get out of debt and pay off all our credit cards,my must haves are essential items that we use everyday. It's amazing what you learn to do without when you have no other choice.
David and I did determine last week that if we want to be in this Get Out of Debt Plan for the long haul we must give ourselves some play money. My husband especially is one that it makes him feel good to have a few bucks in his pocket and to take that away is way too restrictive for him. So after 6 years of marriage and many arguments later I understand this about him and respect his need for a little wiggle room.
There's a funny thing my husband says about me, "If you had it your way, we'd live barefoot, in a hut, eating ramen noodles and canned beans by candlelight!" Oh I love my man for pegging me even if he did go to extremes! He's right in that I'm a minimalist. The name of my blog isn't just a name, it's me...simple, simple, simple! Less is more has always been my motto.
However, I have been wanting a purse for sometime now. All the ones I have either have holes in the lining or stains that will not come out. Still, for me this is a WANT not a must HAVE so I've refrained from getting a new one or even a used one. Since my husband, in all his brilliancy, suggested the weekly spending money for each us, I decided to to keep my eyes out for a new one. So here's my new splurge. It may not be your style but I think she's beautiful and for only FIFTY CENTS!! She's almost brand new and I'm not sure why I'm calling it a SHE! lol
There's a little shop in town called Care and Share. It's a thrift shop run by volunteers and all proceeds go to people in our little town of 8000 who are struggling to keep their utilities on and buy groceries. I love supporting a good cause and getting a few bargains doesn't hurt either.
I snagged up a few other goodies as well. Like new backpack for Eian for $1, a bath towel that matches our colors,and two pairs of pants for Elias. My total was $5.37!
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
But until then I have yet another recipe to share. I posted the other day about my new/old best friend. These double chocolate cookies are the first of many recipes I tried using my "new" mixer. Actually the story behind these is it's a recipe we found in a Family Circle magazine at the doctor's office last week. David was drooling so much he asked the nurse to copy the page for us!
It was a very user friendly recipe and they are great cookies for bake sales or for gifts. You can find the full recipe at the Family Circle site here. Enjoy!
I'm ashamed to admit that I've had it since David and I married almost 6 years ago! We received it as a wedding gift and I was excited to get it. However, like many of my kitchen gadgets I tend to keep them boxed up or in the cabinets and end up doing things the old fashioned way.
David has actually used it a few times but I guess maybe I was intimidated by the big heavy mixer. I know it sounds silly doesn't it? But honestly I'm a simple gal and it seemed just as easy to mix things by hand. Well, that is until I decided to use it today. Oh my, I'm in love!
So now my mission is to find the user's manual that had some recipes in it! Hopefully I'll get time to experiment using it and can post some new recipes soon!
P.S. Thank you Uncle Ron and Aunt Debbie and sorry it took me so long to use it :)
Well I had one of those moments with my 9 yr old last night. It was just the two of us, which in itself is a rarity, and we were on our way home from his first 4H meeting here. We were chatting about the meeting and his projects, etc. when he asked me, "Mom did you ever take chemistry in school?"
I answered, "Yes, in high school but I didn't do very well." He then asked me why to which I answered, "Because it includes a lot of math and I am NOT good at math."
He candidly said, "Yep who's the brain's of this family operation? Uh huh this guy!" And as he said "this guy" he pointed to himself in a circular motion. Maybe it was one of those had to be there to get it moments but let me assure you, it was hilarious!
As I started to post this I hesitated, wondering if anyone would find it as funny since you can't see his facial expressions and such. But then I thought for those who read and know my son you WILL get it and get a good laugh!
I hope you all have a great, joy filled day!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I have been making beef stew for years now but it just never seems quite right or something's always missing. I finally think I have a good one to follow! I never really make it the same way twice (kinda like meatloaf) but I think I will be following this recipe for years to come. I know this isn't the best picture but trust me, it's good!
Beef Stew Meat
2-3 TBSP flour (seasoned optional)
2 TBSP cooking oil
4-5 chopped carrots
4-5 medium chopped potatoes
1 pckg dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 -2 cups beef broth or water
I coat the meat in flour and usually add a blend of garlic powder, seasoning salt and whatever else I have on hand. I'm not really sure if makes much of a difference though. I brown the meat in the oil on high heat just until slightly brown.
Combine soups and broth with a whisk in your slow cooker. Add meat, carrots, and potatoes to cooker and cover. Cook on low 6-7 hours and enjoy!
Monday, March 14, 2011
The only thing to share with you today is David's home still recovering from surgery. He can't go back to work until the doctor checks hom out tomorrow. I am amazed at how well he's bounced back though. The type of surgery they did is just amazing at how it all works!
We plan to pick up Eian's soccer gear today. He has his first practice tomorrow and he can hardly wait. There are also some HOT deals at Target this week and hope to snag a few!
So we're off and hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day!
A nasty respiratory cold hit Elias in the middle of the night and by 9am we're at the doctor's because his heavy breathing was starting to worry us.
David also had a scheduled knee surgery at 11:30 so it became very interesting when the doctor instructed me to take Elias to the ER. The good news is this is the pic I took this afternoon. Both Daddy and lil man are doing fine.
God in His divine plan worked out all the details just as they should have and I learned that no matter how much you plan, make a schedule or to do list, life happens!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
It was cold when we came into town but the weather here is starting to warm up but oh how I miss those beautiful beaches of Florida! We will see you again old friend, some day :). I have a ton of beachy pics of me and the fam from last week before we left but I am forced to use the apt complex business center for now until our cable gets turned on. I hope to have those up sometime next week either on here or facebook.
Monday was a day of lots of first for us. David started his new job and has "training" for the next two weeks. He doesn't really need training since this is a transfer of sorts but he still has to go through some processing and get updated on procedures, etc. He seems to like how they do things and the people he's met there so far.
Monday I took Eian to his new school to get registered. They were in the middle of state testing so he couldn't start until yesterday. He was tired of hanging out with Old Mom and was more than ready to head to school yesterday. I was really proud of him as he boldly and confidently walked into that classroom with the eyes of all his classmates on him. I always hated that feeling but he seemed fine. Oh and it probably helped that Elias went running in after him and grabbed his leg as if to say, "Noooo, Bubby don't leave me!" It was soo cute and there were several "Ahhh's" from the girls in the class. Eian just laughed and said, "This is my little brother. What can I say, he loves me. "
I also got to meet Eian's teacher and was more than pleased with her initial game plan for Eian coming in so late in the year. I'm excited to see how he will grow as a student under her care. Oh and you know you're in a small town when after I dropped him off I stopped by the local Dollar General and the cashier told me the teacher's life story! Gotta love small town life and I do, I love it here so far! I feel like I'm back home in Indiana.
As for me, I also began a first on Monday... life as a full-time stay at home momma! This will probably be short lived as I will begin job hunting once David is assigned a shift. I will just work part-time like I did in Florida and hopefully find something close. The one disadvantage to small town life is there's not usually many jobs available but we'll see. But for now I'm enjoying making our apartment a home and focusing on spending abundant time with the Lord and focusing on my families needs.
So this is all I really have to update you all on for now. I'll keep in touch as much as I can until we get our Internet and cable hooked up. Bye for now.