Friday, October 31, 2008

Part II- Once a Month Shopping

Here is the second part of my last weeks shopping trip for the month of October. Although I initially planned not to shop during the month of November I have learned that our family "Thanksgiving Dinner" will be hosted at our house this year. I will need to create a dinner list and shop for Thanksgiving.

Here is what I purchased for a grand total of $93.48. This shopping trip along with this one should allow us the eat cut back on trips to the grocer.

Into the freezer.

Just about everything is put away...

The cabinet over the stove is done.
And the dry goods cabinet by the stove.
Wheew! I'm glad that's done. Good thing for me, I picked up some frozen meatballs and fries for dinner for the children. Meanwhile hubby picked up some Chinese food for he and I since today (10/24/2008) is his birthday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are NoseBleeds Worth theTrouble?

My sweet husband, the wonderful man that he is, has been blessed in the past to get tickets to two college football games and a pro basketball game. He is interested in purchasing two season tickets , but I have a few reasons why I believe it's not a good investment to settle for nosebleeds.

Of the three games that we've attended, two of them were nosebleed seats so high up, that I still could not make out the players even with my glasses on. When we've had nosebleed seating in the past no one but my husband was able to enjoy the game since we could not see well, it was hard to follow. My husband seemed to enjoy himself despite the lack of clarity, although I think that it was attributed to his addiction...I mean admiration for sports.

I noticed that some of the other people had already knew what to expect and had come prepared with binoculars like the ones sold through sites like Free ATB Pro While I sat through the game trying to distinguish one player from another, I wondered "why in the world would someone but tickets to sit this far away from the football field?"

Is it for the shear privilege of being able to say that you were actually at the game? Another thing that makes the cost of the tickets seem outrages compared to the benefit is the amount of time it takes to get to the stadium and then to your seats. It felt as though we had waited in traffic for over and hour before parking. We then had to walk for about twenty to thirty minutes before we arrived at our seats.

Maybe my lack of interest in sports has caused me to be a little biased. I don't know.
What do you think. Is nosebleed seating worth the trouble?

Getting Caught Up on Homekeeping

Waking up to couch full of laundry can really put a damper on my mood. I try my best to stay on top of chores but sometimes life interrupts my plans and things get thrown out of whack.

Whenever this is the case I try not to fret and implement a "clean as you go" plan. What I do is I ditch my schedule for a day and focus solely on getting the house back into tolerable order.

This laundry has been sitting here for two days. It's clean and folded but I had not had a chance to put it away. The basket is beginning to overflow since I have continued to add more clean folded clothes to it over the last two days.
I woke up this morning determined not to let another day go by with these clothes sitting on the couch. Not only did I have to clear the couch this morning, I also awoke to an untidy breakfast table. It took me all of 10 minute to get everything back into it's place.

Now that's a welcoming breakfast table.

When things get out of hand, don't fret. Take time to create a workable emergency clean-up plan that will help you to get back on track in less than 24 hours.

What a Girl Wants

I have an imaginary list of things that I'd like to own before I die. Amongst the items on my list are a luxury car less than five years old, such as a Cadillac, BMW or Mercedes. I have had the opportunity to have in my possession my brothers Cadillac for a few months last year and I must say that their is a difference between driving a luxury car and a mini-van.

Well, another item on my imaginary list is considered the luxury watch of all watches which is the Rolex. These watches are the Rolls Royce of watches. They are timeless and classic.
At 16 years old is when I first learned about these beautiful watches. My preference is the Oyster perpetual with only diamonds surrounding the face of the watch.

The time piece below is equally as beautiful.

A Rolex time piece is the perfect accent to a classic look. A watch, a pair of diamond earring's, a necklace and my wedding band is all I need in my jewelry box.

To learn more about these and other Rolex watches please visit Perpetual Diamonds

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Thorn in My Side

This is the blessed blanket that my husband and children love to leave on my couch. It gets so chilly in our downstairs den that my lovely family finds it necessary to pull this King Sized down comforter from the closet in order to keep warm while watching television.

I am not saying that I want them to freeze or anything...I just wish that they would put it away each evening or at least fold it and lay it nicely on the couch. But this would be asking to much. I have been told by my husband, that putting away the blanket doesn't make sense since he is only going to need it again tomorrow. Well then should we not brush our teeth, since they are only going to get dirty again tomorrow? Or should I not do laundry every morning, since the basket will only be filled again by sundown?

I guess in those instances his reasoning would become null since they would violate his code of acceptable hygiene standards.

Nevertheless, I fold and put away this blanket day after day awaiting the return of warm days when there will be no more drafty dens or a need for a cozy blanket.

Bath Time=Stress Relief

Each week I like to plan something special for m children. I try to come up with activities that will help them to wind down from a long week of school. One of the first things that I do to end a long stressful week is to plan a soothing twenty-minute bubble bath for each of my children. In my home baths are a special treat that we do not get to take advantage of on a day-to-day basis. We normally take showers because they are quicker and easier to manage for a family of six.

On the Friday nights when I do give, those baths I like to add products that give off a relaxing scent and products that include skin-soothing ingredients such as natural plant extract and oils. One product I particular that I have been researching has been Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath sold by Mustela. Their products seem to be specifically designed with children in mind. Although my children are getting older, I find that I am still concerned about what chemicals their skin is exposed to.

The bubble bath products are $10 for a 6.7-ounce bottle. I was also used the product ‘Recommendation Tool’ under the ‘Parents Corner’ link to find information on other products, such a baby wipes. I still purchase baby wipes for my children, which I use when we are out and about. For some strange reason, dried white milk mustaches magically appear just as we are pulling into the church parking lot. So having a wet wipe is always helpful for last minute cleanups.

Taking this extra step to plan calming activities helps teach my children how to relax and also how to pamper their stresses away.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Laundry Day

I love to start my laundry early in the morning when everyone is still asleep. The house is so quiet at this time. As listen to the hum of the water filling the washing machine tub, I think about the piles of fresh smelling folded laundry that will await the children at the end of the day. I think about what a blessing it is to be able to pray for each member of my family as I fold their clothes.

I am so very grateful that God has blessed me with children and laundry.

May the Lord bless you as you look well to the ways of your household.

After Graduation

After graduation, the main thing that was on my mind was landing a job in the field in which I studied. I must admit that I had a lot of misconceptions as to how the job market worked. I thought that a degree would guarantee as slot in my field of study, but I quickly learned that it takes more than just and education.

One of the areas that I did not take advantage of was the services offered at my school that assisted with graduate jobs and careers information. I always had a good idea of what I wanted to do, but I did not take advantage of the resources that could help me to achieve my career goals.

Now as a parent of my own teen who is preparing to go enter college in three years, I am working closely with her in order to show her how to familiarize her self with job hunting, resume writing and interviewing. My daughter wants to become a Psychologist, therefore, next school year she will take a course in Psychology as one of here electives. As part of her course, she will have a chance to meet with professionals in her desired field. In addition, she will also be able to join a nationally recognized group for youth who are interested in becoming psychologist.

We are both really looking forward to this experience. This opportunity will allow her to see first hand what a career in her field truly looks like. An opportunity such as this will help her to prepare by becoming equipped with the details of the educational requirements for the field of psychology. It will also provide her with the career information necessary for her to choose her classes at college. As a homeschool mom my role extends beyond just being a teacher I must also act as a guidance counselor by providing experiences that will help her to be successful after she leaves home.

This Week at our Dinner Table

Oatmeal (make a double batch)
Black bean & Tomato soup (make double batch in the crock pot)
Roasted Chicken, Steamed Rice, corn and gravy (roast 2 chickens)

Homemade Granola with Yogurt (double the granola, 1 for freezer)
PB&J Sandwiches
Sloppy Joes with Fries (double the sloppy joe, 1 for freezer)

Banana Bread w/Tea (make 2 loaves, 1 for freezer)
Spinach and Chicken Ziti (from the freezer, made on 10/25)
Spaghetti and meatballs with Garlic Bread sticks

Oatmeal (from Monday)
Black bean & Tomato soup w/ steamed rice (from Monday)
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and gravy (from double batch cooked on Sunday)

French Toast, bananas & tea
Ham fried rice w/BBQ wings (from the freezer 10/24)
Homemade Pizza salad and (maybe bread sticks)


Sunday Night
~make a gallon of powdered milk (14 y.o. daughter)
~defrost two whole chicken in fridge over night
~soak black beans over night

Monday Night
~make a double batch of granola (14 y.o. daughter)
~take out 2 lbs of ground meat from the deep freezer (1lb. ground turkey & 1 lb. ground beef)
~replenish milk supply

Tuesday Night
~make a double batch of banana bread
~defrost chicken & spinach ziti in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch
~defrost 2 lbs. of ground meat in fridge

~defrost meatloaf
~replenish milk supply

~defrost ham fried rice and wings for lunch
~soak french toast over night

Shopping on Black Friday

I am a huge fan of Black Friday. I am the person who is on the 'Black Friday' alert list and has even saved the sites saved in my favorites. I have saved fifty percent on high ticket items in the past and I have been hooked ever since. Last year I posted about Black Friday and one of the gifts that I was looking to purchase was an XBox360. Needless to say there were no great deals on the XBox so it carried over to this years Christmas list.

I am hoping to find the Xbox this at below market value, that I'll get some free accessories thrown into the deal or a percentage off. I will scourer the sites directly although I am also planning to visit a few of the local stores as well. The main site that I will be focused on will be stores that sell the XBox system. I am hoping to cash in on a great Toys "R" Us.

I would highly suggest that you subscribe to the mailing list if you haven't already done so. This is especially good for learning about inexpensive gift items that you may not have thought about and also for keeping track of the lowest black Friday deals on those high ticket items.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I will be posting any deals that I find that are just to good to pass up. Please visit bfads as black Friday approaches to find some great deals.

Monday Meanderings

1.) Bible Study: Proverbs 9, Psalms 9 and 138

This Weeks Memory Verse

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

2.) “MUST Do” List:
• Complete at least half of the raspberry colored dishcloth
• Take children to the dentist Wednesday
• Laundry: washing, drying, folding, ironing, putting away.
• Pay home school association fees $65.00
• Ask God to direct week so that I use my time, energy, money and any other resources to glorify Him
• Mend pants for hubby, son (4) and daughter (6)

3.) Taking Care of My Home:
Complete daily and weekly chores listed below.
• Monday – Sweep and mop floors, clean master bath & sink, complete one quarterly task (sweep laundry room).
• Tuesday – Take all trash outside for pick-up, clean all bathrooms, and complete one quarterly task (clear and wipe desk in MB).
• Wednesday – Bring all trash receptacles to the back of the house, vacuum and complete one quarterly task (clean & change A/C filters).
• Thursday – Sweep all floors, dust one room, and complete one quarterly task (clean & change A/C filters).
• Friday – Clean all tubs and showers. Complete one quarterly task (dust den furniture). Wash all sheets sets, air out mattresses and remake beds. Wash and braid youngest daughter’s hair for church Sunday.
• Saturday – Take out clothes for church Sunday, calculate tithes, make sure undergarments and work clothes are clean for Monday.

4.) Training My Children:
• Teaching my 6 year old daughter to crochet a chain stitch
• Working on Responsibility and Service: Reading Leviticus 6:8-13 & Galatians 5:13
• We are studying the book of Luke 13-14 and Exodus 10. We will continue practicing memory verses

Coping With Substance Abuse

I grew up in a family where "getting high" was popular and as a result I have experienced some things that no child should ever have to experience. Drugs and alcohol can cause people to morph into something they'd never dreamed possible. Those things that they may have once held dear, are replaced by their addiction.

If you or someone that you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol please seek help for them. Don't continue to let them suffer or those who are close to them. Contact a local substance abuse facility and find out what you can do to help.

My mother has been clean for 10 years because I cared enough to do something. She is living proof that a person can overcome their addictions. Take the steps today to support your friend or loved one overcome their addiction.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Once a Month Shopping

I went to Kroger this week to stock up on meats and pantry staples. I spent $98.35 and this is what I bought.

18 lbs or 12 packs of Perdue chicken breast @ $36.00 ($1.99 a lb.)

6 packs or 11 lbs. of Tyson chicken wings @ $14.68 ($1.29 a lb.)

8 boxes of Celestial Seasonings Tea 20 ct. 10/$10 ($8.00)

3~ 16oz. packages of shredded cheese ($8.97)
4~16 oz. packages of dried beans and peas @ $1.09 ea. ($4.36)

Raisin Bran for Hubby $2.50 and 2 boxes of snack cakes for the children 10/$10 ($2.00)

4 lbs of peanut butter @ $5.49 and Yogurt @ $1.99
My mother-in-love blessed me with 2 loaves of bread and two packs of buns. Also, when my daughter was taking her Physical Education class at the YMCA, there was a lady in her class that bought bread for everyone. Her husband works at a bread company and she gives it away at the YMCA classes that she attends. So my daughter brought home sour dough and (not shown) cinnamon raisin.

Below is my beef purchase.

7.37 pounds of ground chuck at $1.86 a pound=$13.70 a pound
divided into thirds

5 sections are wrapped and bagged for the freezer and one goes into the fridge for tonight's dinner.

Finally, the freezer is half way filled. there was only about 5 pounds of flour in there, 1 pound of dry yeast and two frozen gallon jugs of water. Now I have enough meat to begin pre-cooking some meals for November.

I'll finish up my monthly shopping by heading over to Sam's and Aldi tomorrow. I'll pick up some ground turkey, fish and some bulk pantry items. This is my first time planning a menu for 30 days and I am really excited about not having to go grocery shopping every week during the month of November.
Have you ever shopped for the entire month at one time?
What has been your experience with OAMC (once a month cooking) or OAMS (once a month shopping)?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

I went out into the garden today and picked a fresh Dahlia for the my children's table in the kitchen. It was also time to bring in those beautiful unripened green tomatoes.

The Basil has begun to flower. I decided to try and dry my own Basil seed this year. These are the fresh seeds. I'll just tuck them into a brown paper bag and let them dry for a few weeks.

All of the parsley has been rinsed, dried and bagged. This will be tucked away in the freezer for use this winter.

Now on to the best part...making fried green tomato. I found this recipe on Sarah's blog Sarah’s Cucina Bella (dot) com. Below are my pictures, but for the actual recipe click on Sarah's link. Thanks Sarah, they were delicious.

Umm. Ummm. Ummm. Delicious.

May the Lord bless you with a wonderful week.