Sunday, January 28, 2007

God's Will

The preacher talked on Sunday about God's will. And I'm not talking about what God wants us to do. Not that kind of will. I'm talking about the kind of will that is read by the executioner of your estate.

Have you ever been to the reading of a will? I have not. But it was so interesting to hear the stories of different people who had. They didn't know if they would be in the will. They didn't know what they would be left, if anything. And some people simply refused to go, maybe for fear of being humiliated.

You may never be called to the reading of a will in this lifetime. But we can guarantee that we will be called to the reading of Jesus will. And we are promised *everything*, beyond what we can hope.

Have you ever thought that Jesus left you *everything* in his will? And how sad to think of someone now showing up to claim it.


Is Your Glass Half Full?

Did anyone watch 20/20 Friday night? It was about childhood poverty in America. And particularly in the town of Camden, NJ.

Now, I'm no where close to New Jersey. I'm in southern TN, just on the northern tip of GA. So it's not like this was in my backyard.

I know that we all know in our logical minds that there are poor in our country. But something about this particular program touched me in a way that I can't seem to get out of my heart and mind.

I've watched programs before about the poor. And I've always felt God trying to tell me something when I've seen them. I'm still not sure what God has been whispering to me, but I do know that my interest in those less fortunate has grown over the years.

There was a little boy on the program. They showed him hungry. Hungry! Can we really imagine? Can we imagine what his mother felt? Her *child* was hungry, and she had nothing...nothing... to feed him. And he was in clothing that was entirely too big for him (and grateful for the clothing!). He was homeless and they showed the family preacher taking them to different houses that the church was trying to help them get into. And the excitement overwhelmed this little guys face as he looked around these places that would, most likely, scare the pants off of any of us. The places were pretty awful. Dirty. And the child's face shown with hope at each one. And each one was denied him for various reasons.

He ended up in a single room with nothing but a bare bulb, and he was all smiles from ear to ear.

How many of us, given so incredibly much more, smile when we look at our homes and lives? How many of us literally beam when we look at our blessing every day? How many of us go to bed having eaten just a little too much to snuggle down in our fresh sheet and down comforters? How many of us have the luxury of not wearing a coat in our house in the winter because we have lovely heat with no more work than a touch of a button? How many of us thank God for our blessings when we turn the shower on and hot water comes out? Or we push a button and our garage opens so that we can park our *cars* in more of shelter than a lot of God's *children* have at night?

I turned the TV off and felt true shame for every *want* I've ever had. And then I looked around me and noticed my abundance. Really noticed it.

And my heart has been so full ever since.

My glass is more than half full. My cup truly does runneth over.

Sharon wrote a beautiful post on contentment. I urge you to read her post and see if God speaks to you as He has to me.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Very First Meme

Since both Eileen AND Sharon did this, did I really have a choice?

Aprons - Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like?

Absolutely YES! I love aprons. I suppose it reminds me of my Great Grandmother who raised me. She always wore an apron. I only have one. It's bright red and I needed a pocket so I sewed a dishcloth onto the front of it. Yes, I really did.

Baking - Favorite thing to bake

I really like to bake, but my favorite right now would probably be the nutritionally void, feather lite, white rolls that always makes the family come running.

Clothesline - Y/N?

If an inside clothes drying rack counts, then yes.

Donuts - Have you ever made them?

When I was a little girl, maybe 12 or so, I was making doughnuts and had poured the oil into a metal container. While cleaning up, I picked up the container before the oil had a chance to cool and it burned my fingerprints off for a long time. So, short answer, yes. But not since then.

Every day - One homemaking thing you do everyday


Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze?

Yes, a small one.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N?

Yes. Love it.

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking source?

Home Comforts : The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. I've never seen a more thorough book. Ever.

Ironing - Love it or hate it? Or hate it but love the results?

Don't love it. Don't hate it. Only iron what is necessary. I air dry most of our clothing and shape it when it's drying.

Junk drawer - Y/N? Where is it?

Of course, in the kitchen, just like everyone else. ;)

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme

I don't really do decorating schemes in my home, but the majority of the room is oak and stainless.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking?

Knowing that I have blessed my husband and family.

Mop - Y/N?


Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine?


Oven - Do you use the window or open the oven to check?

I *try* to use the window. But I usually end up peeking inside.

Pizza - What do you put on yours?

I'm not picky. DH loves tons of meat and the girls like cheese. I can do either (or both!)

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

I like to sit with a cup of tea and read the bible. Sometimes I'll read new blogs! Or do a meme. ;) Quiet moments don't come too often yet.

Recipe card box - Y/N? What does it look like?

No card box. I have a HUGE folder. I definitely need a new system. It takes me forever to find anything.

Style of house - What style is your house?

A 1980's tri-level.

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N?

No cloth on the table. But cloth napkins, yes.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?

Reasonably organized.

Vacuum - How many times per week?

I try to vacuum the den several times a week. The rest of the house, at least once a week.

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do per week?


X’s - Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?

Only if there are things out of the ordinary that need to be done.

Yard - Y/N? Who does what?

Oh yeah, love the yard. We garden a little. DH and I are in the planning stages of planting more fruit trees and berry bushes. DH usually mows. Though I did it for years. I don't mind it a bit. He cares for the pool.

Zzz’s - What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?

Loading any last items into the dishwasher and running it.

If you're reading this and haven't done it yet, consider yourself tagged! Please leave a comment so I can come read yours!


This is my 11th year of homeschooling. I'm pretty fortunate to live in a place that (now) is moderately tolerant of us homeschooling families. Years ago, when I first started homeschooling Jessica, it wasn't so easy. Curriculum was hard to find. I'm not saying "good curriculum was hard to find". I'm saying "curriculum was hard to find". It was there, but certainly not like it is now.

And the extracurricular activities? Forget about it. There was almost nothing. And that was hard on a child that had been in both private and public schools through 3rd grade. She really did miss having kids her age around.

The younger two have no idea what it was like back then. They have this tremendous support system. They have been in a YMCA homeschool program for over 6 years. Lots of the same children are there that started with them. They are also in a GirlScout troop that has several homeschooled kids. They are in a brand new youth group formed at our brand new Church. They started this incredible co-op this year. The teachers are unbelievable. And lets not forget all the new "strangers" they've gotten to meet there.

I love homeschooling. I love that I get to spend the majority of time with my girls. I love that I know their friend and their friends parents. And I love that I can trust what they're learning, even when they're not learning with me.

It seems that kids that are homeschooled get to be kids longer. As a generalization, they're kinder in nature. They seem to value home and family in a way that is, unfortunately, not so common anymore. They seem perhaps more vulnerable to me, because they've not had to deal with many things that children have to deal with in school settings. Their hide hasn't had to "thicken up" so to speak.

Which brings me to the point of this ramble.

As the girls get older, they do more things with their friend or groups (like GirlScouts, youth, etc). I have 2 daughters, almost 3 years apart, that I still run around (and one that runs herself around :)) so I can't possibly be with both of them on every outing they have. And I'm finding, especially with the older one (and her older homeschooled friends), that she's asked to "prove" herself maybe a little more than other (not homeschooled) children. Nothing harsh, don't misunderstand. But it's like there are adults "out in the world" that seem to want to push these girls a little harder.

I have a friend, a homeschooling mom, who adores her children (like we all do). And she seems to think that this isn't a bad thing. She says that her children need that conflict from positions of authority to learn conflict resolution. They they need to learn to deal with someone who might be in a bad mood, or grumpy, or maybe just doesn't particularly like them for whatever reason.

I just couldn't disagree with her more.

There are some downsides to homeschooling for the children. There is no prom. There is no lunch line. There is no school bus. There is no football games.

At the same time, there is no bullying, or cutting in the lunch line. No unfair grades because the teacher was in a bad mood, and there should be no adult in a position of authority asking more of my 12 year old simply because we homeschool. She should not have to prove herself beyond the scope of what's she doing at that moment, or beyond other children whose parents choose to school outside the home.

I *like* that my 12 year old has "thin skin". I like that she's not world hardened.

Isn't there plenty of time for that once they are adults? I'd love to hear any thoughts on this (even if you *gasp* don't agree with me!)


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Quick Thoughts

Reading the heartfelt comments from my last post has got my head just swimming with thoughts. I wish I had time today to hash out these thought into a coherent post, but, of course, I don't. Julia has co-op in just a little bit. We have youth this afternoon. Girlscout cookies are due today and **I'm** one of two "cookie moms", and our OWN cookie sheets are not yet done. I promised Mike I'd find a place for some things I'd left out in the bathroom *today*...and it's my precious Jessica's 20th birthday (and I don't yet have her gift).

Chaos reigns today.



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Was it Always Like This?

Julia, my 12 year old, is in a GirlScout Cadette group. Jillian, my 9 year old is in a Junior GirlScout group. They both meet at a neighboring church, together and at the same time, but in different rooms of course.

Julia's troop had an outing yesterday at the Service Center. Downtown. Not at all close to the church. So the leader graciously drove them, knowing that many of us had to be at the church with younger siblings.

We met early to drop Julia off and then Jillian and I went out to dinner. Pretty nice. And then came back for her meeting.

A couple of the moms had asked me if I could hang out at the church after the Junior meeting with their girls until the Cadettes got back from their downtown outing.

No big deal.

But the moms *kept* asking me if I was sure. Did I really not mind? Did I feel safe? Finally I got a clue and asked what was going on. Seems that the church parking lot has been a place of crime lately. That people have been breaking into cars and stealing whatever. With the last happening in broad daylight!

I did notice that they've been locking the doors more lately, but didn't really think anything of it.

After the Junior meeting was over, and the parents started slowly leaving, I started to feel weird. So I took the extra girls and we sat in the van. With the doors locked. And the van running. We were there for over 30 minutes waiting on the Cadettes to get back. It was fine. There was a basketball game going on very close and people were out.

But what on earth? Shouldn't we feel safe in a church? I know I'm being naive. I know it doesn't work like that anymore. People who are looking to do criminal behavior won't limit it for reverence of God's house more than likely. But something feels awfully wrong to me about having to scoop up little girls and watch your every step *AT CHURCH*.

I just don't remember things being this way when I was a girl.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Is There a Tired Bug?


Yesterday was so weird. I'd slept well the night before. Nothing unusual (well, my *life* is sometimes "unusual", but you know) going on. But when I got up yesterday I was *so* tired. I had my coffee and still couldn't get going. Well, I got going, but I didn't *feel* like going.

We got to church and I could barely concentrate. We came straight back home and I sat on the couch pretty much all day with a heating blanket. We watched a movie with the girls, but still. I. Sat. All. Day. Mike even took the girls to youth *alone* and picked them up.

That is so not like me. I was so fatigued.

I was asleep before 11 and slept all night long. We'll see how today goes.

Totally on another subject, on Saturday there was an Education Expo downtown. I went with a couple of girlfriends and a few of the kids. It's always interesting to me, being a homeschooler, how the schools market themselves. It's interesting to see how many people are at each booth.

I'm still in a bit of sticker shock at the prices of the private schools. I have a daughter in *college* that doesn't cost as much as many of these private schools cost. I don't see how the average family can afford it. Not if you have more than one child especially.

We left there and one of the girlfriends and I went shopping. Another oddity in my life. I rarely "go shopping". And even more rarely with a girlfriend. But the kids wanted to hang out for a while and she needed to take something back to the mall, so we decided to lunch there.

It just so happened that the mall was having a 75-90% off sale. No, the 90% is not a typo.

I like to think of myself as fairly frugal. I once got a letter published in the Tightwad Gazette after all! : D But my friend has me outdone. She's amazing. We hit the stores like mad women. And got some amazing deals.

Probably my best deal was those really nice, thick, BIG, Christmas bags, originally $7 guessed it... 70 cents! And some smaller but equally nice ones for 30 cents.

We ended up with these HUGE bags full of bargains that we had to eventually take to the van because it was too much to carry around and we truly didn't spend much at all. I don't think I spend over $35.00 the whole day combined and that was with lunch and coffee!

And we were there for 5, yes five, hours.

Our girls are sure troopers.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Snacks I Feel Good (or at least better) About

I definitely have my own ideas about food and nutrition. I would like to say that we eat only organic and whole foods, but that would be a lie. :) We do, however, try to eat as healthy as I can possibly make time to do.

It's awfully easy to open a bag of chips. And there are some pretty healthful things you can scoop up with a chip. Spinach dip comes immediately to mind. But I dislike giving my family chips for a variety of reasons.

So I'd always heard that it's super easy to just toast some tortilla's. Brush them with a bit of oil (we use olive oil) and then sprinkle them with whatever you like. Garlic Salt. Spicy seasoning (my family's favorite). Or just good old chunky sea salt. Even fresh ground pepper is *wonderful* with the olive oil.

Anyway, I decided to give it a try.

I didn't think to make pictures when I first started. But here is both a whole wheat tortilla and some regular (very cheap at Sam's) ones. Sliced in a big pile, into 8 chips.

Spread out on a pan. I then brush them with olive oil and then seasonings. I've heard that a spritzer is much better, faster and easier than a brush to get the oil evenly divided. Be careful to not put too much oil, it only takes a little.

These are baked at 350F for approximately 10 minutes. Just watch them as they brown pretty quickly. You just want the edges to start to brown.

They cool quickly and they they're ready to eat!

I also made some whole with melted butter and cinnamon sugar for the girls. When they came out, I drizzled them with honey. I wish I had a picture of them scarfing them up.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I used to use a pocketbook calendar exclusively. But as the girls got older, I found that they were asking about this or that activity and I was having to pull out the calendar several times a day.

Mike suggest that I get a couple of write-on-wipe-off calendars for the refrigerator.

This has simplified life so much. You can't really tell the size of them in the picture but I'd guess they are about 11"X14". Not teeny. And I keep track of so *much* with these. Even down to changing the central air filter and checking the plants for water.

I still keep my pocketbook calendar to note things when I'm out, but I transfer it to the refrigerator calendar when I get home.

When this month is over, I'll erase the January board, move February to the top and then fill in March on the old January board.

I spend approximately 5-10 minutes a month on this. It really helps to keep my family organized.


Week's Total

This weeks food total seems to be about $63.50. Since last weeks was $66.00, I'd say that's pretty much on course. So my plan is to work on the food budget some and then, hopefully, repost in a few months with different (read: better) results.


Tuesday's Meals

Breakfast: eggs, meat

Lunch: various

Baked potatoes with butter, cheese and sour cream, leftover pork chops, leftover slaw (for the family...I had a bologna sandwich. :)



Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Monday Meals

Breakfast: eggs, meat

Lunch:Fruit, cheese, peanutbutter

Thin sliced pork chops, marinated in a dark, spicy sauce, grilled. Homemade coleslaw. Creamed corn. Banana pudding.



Monday, January 15, 2007

Beautiful Sunday Sermon

Rom 14:1

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [but] not to doubtful disputations.

Rom 14:2
For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Rom 14:3
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Rom 14:4
Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Rom 14:5
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Rom 14:6
He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Rom 14:7
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

Rom 14:8
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Rom 14:9
For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Rom 14:10
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Rom 14:11
For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Rom 14:12
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Rom 14:13
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in [his] brother's way.

Rom 14:14

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.

I've talked with Mike about this many times, but never knew the scripture. If something feels wrong for me to do (or not do) then it's wrong for *me* to do or not do.

Please understand that I'm not talking about rationalization here. I don't think I get to say that I feel it's wrong to watch the ballgame. ; ) Or that it felt "wrong" for me to clean that day. I'm talking about real heartfelt convictions. I believe they are there for a reason.

And I don't believe that my convictions have to be your convictions. I believe that something can be wrong for me, and not wrong for you. I'm not sure why this is, but I believe it.

Our preacher talked on this yesterday. About the stumbling blocks we, sometimes even unknowingly, try to put in others paths. How we judge them. Or how the only "right" way is our way.

It really made me think.

When I stand before God am I going to be worried about what music my neighbor listened to? Or about the guy who cut me off in traffic? Am I going to be thinking about others sins and transgressions?

Not likely.

I worry for those that think their way is the only way. That they have the secret key for everyone. Those that think they have it figured out for everybody else.

We all have to find our own way. And if we're doing it to the glory of God, then I believe that we are on the right path.

I welcome anyone that feels differently to give scripture backing for their thoughts.


Saturday Meals

I promise not to do this forever. Maybe one more week and then try to do it once a season to see if the bill changes in different seasons? Also, breakfast and lunch rarely change. If we eat something particularly fascinating, I'll post it...otherwise just a dollar amount.

Breakfast:eggs, meat

Lunch:fruit, peanutbutter

Meatloaf sandwiches (leftover meatloaf and bread)
Homemade tortilla chips with bean dip (Christmas gift) with cheese and sour cream.
Huge, green, garlic stuffed olives



Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saturday's Meals

Scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and chunked sausage, cooked in olive oil and butter

I was at the store and had a health bar, the girls picked at leftovers.

Meatloaf (leftover) sandwiches made on homemade rolls, chips.



Saturday, January 13, 2007

What's it Worth?

Food for last week? $66.00

A full tank of gas for my van? $35.00

A husband that brings flowers home for absolutely no reason what-so-ever?

There are somethings money can't buy.
Ain't that the truth.
(ETA - And yes, that is my back door standing wide open on Jan.13th in southern TN. It was in the lower **70's** today. Amazing.)


Friday's Food

I almost forgot to document today!

Eggs with all the trimmings, bacon

Hotdogs with slaw (leftover)

Meatloaf with onions, peppers and tons of those breadcrumbs from the other day ; )
Sauteed cabbage
Rice cooked in chicken broth and butter
Chocolate Pie



Friday, January 12, 2007

Updated Blogger

I finally broke down and updated blogger. Yeah, I've heard the horror stories. But I figured it would have to be done eventually. And since I'm trying to learn my way around here, I figured it would be better to learn in the new format.

Time will tell if it was prudent.

I'm slowly adding links to my sidebar. It's working here, but I realize that doesn't mean it's working to anyone reading. So if you happen to run across one that doesn't link, would you please let me know?


Thursday's Meals

We *all* had something different yesterday. Fruit, cereal, hot cereal, etc.

Homemade guacamole with tortillas

Grilled hotdogs on homemade hotdog buns with chopped onions and homemade coleslaw
Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips

Total: $13.00


Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm Getting Carried Away, I Know

I'm busy out of the house on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So Thursday and Friday I typically work in my home. Housework, working with the girls on various homeschool projects, cooking, etc.

It's late in the day and I still need to clean a few things but I've got several things done today.

Today I have:

Worked with the girls on homeschool
Worked with the girls on cleaning their room
Done the bills
Made homemade (grated cabbage, carrots and all) coleslaw
Made homemade hotdog buns
Made homemade guacamole (we had some ripe avocados that needed to be used)
Made homemade tortilla chips (using healthy tortillas spiced and then baked) to go with the guacamole
Made homemade breadcrumbs

Does anyone NOT make their own breadcrumbs anymore?

When bread gets too old/stale for us to eat I pop the pieces in the freezer. When I have a bag full, I pull out the food processor (this time I already had it out for the coleslaw and decided to go ahead and grind the bread and then make the guacamole).

Old stale and still frozen bread

I break it in half or so and then put 4-5 pieces at a time in my food processor. I use the grinding blade.

After literally just a minute I have a processor full of breadcrumbs!

And after doing this a few times, I have a huge ziplock bag full of nice breadcrumbs waiting to be used in meatloaf or tuna patties or any of a number of my staple recipes that require breadcrumbs.

I store these in the freezer and just get out what I need as I'm making meals for my family. It doesn't add a cent to my food bill and these can be spiced however I want them so I like the versatility.


Doodie Plops

Beth asked if the cookies I mentioned yesterday were no bake. They absolutely are!

They are quick, easy and frugal (notice I did NOT mention healthy anywhere in that). They are also made with ingredients that I usually have on hand. Which is always a plus. These can also be made without cocoa and the peanut butter plops (as we call them) are delicious in their own right.

; )

You must have all the ingredients measured out beforehand. Down to having the waxed paper ready to go. You simply will not have time to do this otherwise.

Doodie Plops

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (I know) of butter
3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

Mix all together in a large pot over medium high heat. Stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Remove stirring instrument and allow mixture to hard boil for exactly two minutes. Set a timer. Trust me.

At exactly the two minute mark, pull the pot off the heat. Working *very* quickly as this will set up super fast, add:

1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix (quickly, again, trust me here) until peanut butter is almost totally dissolved. This should take no more than 10-15 seconds. Then quickly dump in:

3 cups oatmeal

Stir as fast as possible. As soon as it looks mostly mixed (again, not more than 10-15 seconds) "plop" these out on waxed paper.

They should be ready to eat in just a few minutes.

If you want something prettier, you can always pour them into a pan and then slice them like cookie bars.

After writing this out, it sounds complicated and finicky. It's really not. It's super quick and easy and I can usually get this made for my family in under 10 minutes, including clean-up time. Don't let all of my "warnings" scare you. This is definitely worth learning to do.


Wednedsay Meals

Eggs with peppers, onions and garlic cooked in olive oil and butter, bacon

Me-flax cereal
Girls-Apples, peanut butter, cheese and crackers

Girls-leftover stir fry chicken dish wrapped in a tortilla
Mike and I-leftover pork dish from the night before
$.25 (for the tortillas)

Total: $5.00


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Water in my Trunk?

It's a good thing! Really.

I'm a HUGE believer in drinking water. So much so that I tend to have appr. 40oz *before* even a cup of coffee in the morning. I'd heard years ago that that sluggish feeling that people had in the morning could be related to dehydration. Made sense to me. So the first thing I do, while my coffee is brewing, is take my vitamins with *lots* of water. I have this huge plastic glass that I use and I know it's appr. 40oz. I try to drink it all before the coffee is done.

I digress.

When I'm out of the house for a large part of the day it's way too easy to run through a drive-tru and pick up a diet this or that. How often do we order water when we go somewhere? Not enough here.

So a while back I found the flats of bottled water at Sam's. They're less than $4 for 24 bottles. Think how much you'd pay at a convenience store.

And it's what we do now when we are out and need a drink.

Just remember that when people find out, everyone will be asking for bottles of water!


Last Weeks Total

Last week's food total seems to be about $66.00.

Please realize that I do tend to round the numbers a little. Everything isn't going to come out exactly at the quarter dollar mark, but for simplicity purposes that's how I add it.

Our grocery bill is significantly higher than $66 a week. Of course we purchase other things in our grocery cart (toilet paper, soap, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc). We also purchase some things to drink which I haven't mentioned or added in to our grocery list here. Coffee, teas, frozen juices, bottled water (that I keep stored in my van - more on that in the next post), and sometimes things like V8 juice or small bottles of Gatorade as treats. We'll also buy Slimfast drinks at Sams. I don't drink them but sometimes the girls or Mike will if there isn't time for a proper meal.

I've also not mentioned dessert. And my children have it several times a week. Ice cream or I'll make a cake or brownies or these *fabulous* cookies that are super simple, quick and easy. We call them "Doodie Plops".

I'm also not figuring in snacks. And we do snack here. If supper is going to be late. Or if someone is just hungry for some reason. We keep nuts, cheese, olives, pickles, fruit, Mike's trail mix, etc. And I'm sure that adds significantly to some days budget.


Tuesday's Meals

Girls- cereal, milk and fruit
Me-Health drink
Mike- His trail mixture and fresh fruit

Girls at a homeschool function
Cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, cheese cubes
Me- Hot flax cereal

shredded bbq pork with turnip greens, bean medley and baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon sugar sprinkle.

Total: 16.25


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday Menu

Steel cut oatmeal with butter and turbinado sugar
Me-hot flax cereal with butter
$0.50 (the oatmeal was leftover)

Jillian has co-op on Mondays and Julia is here on her own pretty much working. I tend to run errands. It's a hodgepodge.
Chicken noodle soup (thermos), cheese, crackers, apples - peanutbutter
Me-healthy drink

Onions, peppers, broccoli and (leftover frozen) chicken sauteed in olive oil with homemade chicken rice.

Total $4.25


Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday's Meals

Eggs with all the trimmings, bacon

Family had a big bowl of steel cut oatmeal (it was rainly and cool and that's what they wanted) with turbinado sugar and lots of butter. (I make this up in a big pot, and make enough for a week or so at a time because it takes about 30-40 minutes to cook it. I'll count the total on the day I make it and then the other days will be $0)
I had my hot flax cereal.

Prime Rib slices pan seared in olive oil, cabbage cooked in olive oil and butter, burgundy mushrooms and green olives stuffed with garlic.
The girls had taco's at youth.



Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Years Thoughts

I suppose I'm one of the odd ones. I tend to make resolutions. And I tend to keep them. I look at it like a promise to myself. And I like keeping promises to myself.

It's simple things. Eat better. Grow in my relationship with God. Take the time to make each of my children feel as important to me as they truly are.

I've read many "un" resolutions this year. Things that people are not going to do. I think that's great too. I think that's probably harder to do. I'm almost scared to say things that I'm not going to do.

On my accidental journey I've found that so many times when I say that I'll never do this or that, it's exactly what I end up doing. Either because I'm put in a situation that I feel I have no choice. Or there is temptation there to do it where it was never there before. Or perhaps it's just God's way of showing me who is in charge.

I admire those that say they "won't" and then they "don't".

When I was in my 20's and even into my early 30's I thought I had it pretty much figured out. ; ) I was living my life in such a way that I would have no regret. Or so I thought. I used to boast to people that each decision I made, I did it was serious thought to that decision and that I made the best choice at the time with the information I had. And I believed this.

How ridiculous.

Not that I did anything that smacks of blatant disregard for anyone's wellbeing. But some of the decisions I made were purely out of self interest. Or laziness. And I do feel regret. And shame.

But, as my preacher pointed out today, to wallow in that is another form of sin. It's not honoring God to continue to look back and let that be the controlling factors in my life.

I fall down but I get back up again. I brush myself off, knowing that I'm forgiven and that I simply (ha) have to learn to forgive myself.

So I won't say I "won't" do any specific thing. Not yet.

But with God's help, I will say that I will try to get there.


Saturday's Menu

Scrambled eggs with 2 kinds of peppers, onions and garlic with olive oil and butter, bacon

Fresh fruit and nuts

The girls ordered pizza (pineapple cheese) and Mike and I went out to dinner because we had errands to run and because it was my birthday. : ) We brought home chocolate cherry ice cream (which is the only part I'm counting toward the grocery budget and it was buy-one-get-one free)



Saturday, January 06, 2007

Friday's Meals

hot flax cereal for me
boxed cereal for the girls
hubby had this incredible fruit and nut mixture he make (I need to make a picture of that too)

Out of house, we used our Christmas gift cards at the mall
(just to document, Jill had a slice of cheese pizza, Julia had Chinese chicken and I had a healthy drink)

Pork slices pan friend in olive oil with onions and peppers, topped with Parmesan and cheddar cheese
Huge green garlic stuffed olives
Fresh avocado slices
The rest of the family had leftover rice dish as well



Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday's Meals

Just to document.

Scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and jalapenos cooked in lots of olive oil and real butter, bacon

Me-hot flax cereal
Others-Apples, cheese and peanut butter

A rice and pasta dish that I threw together to go with leftovers.

Total: $4.75


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Things

There are some things I'd like to keep track of here.

I've always been a little proud of my ability to budget. Particularly grocery budget. I happen to really like to cook and we eat a diet that I consider extremely healthy. It's *not* what many others think of as healthy.

We tend to eat very few carbohydrates. And the ones we eat are whole grain. We eat as much protein as we desire. And we eat as much fat as we want too. But only certain kinds of course.

I do not think that "good" fat is "bad" for you. I think that sugar is bad for you. Pretty much any kind.

Where did I get all these weird notions?

Well, I started off with a nutrition class. ; ) Then I looked at a diabetic diet (a good friend of mine has insulin dependent diabetes). Then it was mostly trial and error. Things that worked for me and my family in the area of weight control (something I've struggled with my whole life), blood sugar, mood swings, ability to concentrate, and then of course the "major" things like blood pressure and cholesterol, iron levels, etc.


And let me just say that we are *far* from perfect. We have sweets here sometimes. We eat the "bad" stuff around the holidays like fudge, cake, cookies, etc. We eat fast food sometimes. But overall we try to eat healthy.

A typical food day generally looks something like this:

steel cut oatmeal
scrambled eggs with garlic, onions and peppers cooked in olive oil and butter with either bacon, sausage, or meat that was left-over from the last nights supper
an "instant" hot flax cereal (for morning that we have no time)

Leftovers from last nights supper
tuna or chicken "salad" with raw vegetables
apples and peanut butter
canned soup

some type of meat and vegetables (most often cooked in the crockpot in the winter or on the grill in the summer)

Snacks are usually cheese cubes, olives (preferably with garlic), a homemade fruit smoothie, frozen juice pops, a piece of fruit, a spoon of peanut butter (the real kind), etc.

Nothing spectacular I know. But it seems that the grocery budget has gotten bigger and bigger. And it's time to scale it down if possible while still following our convictions on nutrition. And I fully realize that it may not be possible to do that.

But I hope to have the fortitude to bore you to insanity with first, what we've eaten the day before. And then to be disciplined enough to do a grocery menu a couple of weeks in advance (to be followed loosely).

So. Yesterday.

eggs with onions, peppers, garlic in olive oil and butter with bacon.

hot flax cereal for me and ham and dressing for everyone else (leftover)

We ate out last night at a little Thai restaurant that we've been wanting to get to. The girls were at a youth function.

Total: $4.50
(Not including the meal out or the leftovers. With the leftovers, I will count the whole meal in it's entirely the day it's made. Subsequent days will be $0.)

Anyone else want to share a typical day's menu?


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wednesday Wisdom

I don't really have time for a proper post today. I slept in for the second day in a row. I'd not slept well for several nights and then the last 2 night I've fallen into such a deep sleep that I can't seem to get up before 9:30!

I awoke to the smell of bacon and eggs. My wonderful husband had made breakfast for everyone (including my lazy self) and had the girls started on a pretty deep cleaning of the downstairs.

Tell me I'm not a lucky wife.

I'm not really sure where this blog should go. What direction it should be heading. I've been here for several months now, and I've met some really precious women. I've said it before, but it seems like most of the Christian moms that post here are so *young*. And I happen to think that's great. But I can't seem to find where I belong among them. It's hard *for me* (not that it should be for you) to feel like a peer to women that are my daughters age.

And it's not that I don't admire and respect them. I really do. I suppose I'm just in a different season of my life. Yes, I still have what I consider to be young (9 is my youngest) children. And I homeschool. And I stay at home. But I also have a daughter who will be 20 this month. And I'll be 41 in 3 days.

Somehow it seems to matter. I'm not sure why.

Wow. Where did that ramble come from?

Anyway, I like the rhythm of blogs. So for now (or at least today ; ) Wednesday is going to be Wednesday Wisdom. I've got lots of things I'd like to share. Things I think about as I go about my day. But they never seem to gel together in a way that is working for me. So the wisdom can be anything from a household tip to something profound that I've learned in my 21+ years of marriage.

Yours to take or leave as you wish.

Todays Wednesday Wisdom is certainly the former.

Does anyone not know the absolute easiest way to clean a microwave? When I clean the kitchen I run a few inches of very hot tap water in the sink and then pour in a couple drops of dish soap. I use this to clean everything in the kitchen. When I work my way around to the microwave, I put the very damp cloth inside the microwave and turn in on for 22 seconds (your microwave may vary). Leave it closed for about 5 minutes to let the steam come off the cloth and get the inside of the microwave all moist and steamy. Also this allows the cloth to cool enough to handle.

Please be careful as this cloth can get *very* hot.

Most anything in the microwave can then be simply wiped out. Depending on how long someone has left the fried spinach in the microwave without a cover and blown bits of spinach to the ceiling of the microwave and ignored it for 4 days as they continued to warm their tea and various other holiday may have to repeat the above process a couple of times.

But it certainly is, in my opinion, the easiest way to clean a microwave. harsh chemicals to inhale.

That's my wisdom for today. Profound huh? ; )