Friday, December 31, 2010

It's almost a New Year!

I can't believe this year is coming to an end! I have good and bad feelings about 2010 as our family has had PLENTY of ups and downs.

We had months that were nothing but pure stress that almost pushed us to the point of giving up and giving in. We knew we were doing what was right and that is what kept us pushing on and we ended up coming out on top and getting exactly what we wanted all along. We still have our days where trying to blend a family is still hard but it gets easier as every day passes. We also had months of nothing but pure joy and happiness! We found out that we would be expecting baby #5! We moved a little bit closer to town...10 minutes give or take a few...but we now live next to Drew's mom and on the other side of her house is his sister's house. It's nice to have family right next to you!

Hopefully 2011 will bring a much better year for us in all areas of our lives. We have set quite a few goals for our family and I know that we can accomplish them! In just 2 short months we will welcome a new baby to our family and I couldn't be more excited.

What plans do we have for this New Year's Eve? ...............Drew and I just sitting at home together enjoying each other's company!

So from my family to yours we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and many good blessings! Please be careful tonight and every night for that matter.

See you next year!!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

A little bit about me!!

There is so much I can think of that I don’t know where to start! HaHa!

I am the youngest of 5 siblings (3 sisters and 1 brother). I was/am the favorite child although no one will admit it. It’s because I am the sweetest and never do wrong…at least that’s what my parents know and no one will tell them any different…ok?
Up until 7th grade I was a straight “A” student. My grades and views on school changed when I went to a private school. I have negative thoughts on private schools now but we aren’t talking about that!! I did go back to public school for high school and was 8th in my class. I was more interested in boys than in my school work then so grades definitely could have been better!
At 17 I had my first child and he changed my life in so many ways…wonderful ways! I never knew the love you could have for a person until I looked into his eyes for the first time! I also never knew a child could look so much like a parent until seeing him. He is a boy mini version of me! You can see us away from each other and know that we are mom and son!!
I was in a car accident on February 27, 2009 and it’s a miracle I’m alive today. I really can’t even tell you exactly what happened. All that I remember is that I started going around a curve and the back end of the car came around and I blacked out. When I came to I was sitting on the roof of the car in the back seat with my legs around the driver seat. I broke my back in 5 places, broke my right collarbone, and fractured my left shoulder blade. You never think something like that will ever happen to you and I learned then that I am not invincible. I always wear my seat belt now by the way. Although I think if I would have had it on in that wreck it would have killed me. I do know that I was speeding. I should have gotten the sign God was sending me when 2 weeks before the accident I got a speeding ticket for doing 74 in a 55 mph zone. I pay closer attention to what He tells me now. Without Him I would not be here.
I met Drew on January 9, 2009 and fell in love with him the next week. It was actually my son that showed me how wonderful Drew was. I was skeptical about Hudson meeting him because I didn’t want him to get attached but Drew was amazing with Hudson and has been ever since.  We got married on November 7, 2009 and I fall more in love with him every day.
Drew has 3 children from his previous marriage that we have every other week. They are just as awesome as he is!! His little girl Avery was born with a heart defect and chromosome deletion that has put her behind developmentally. She has speech, occupational, and physical therapy every week. Our life together is quite hectic at time but I wouldn’t change it for a thing.  So together we have 3 boys ages 7, 6, 5 and a little girl age 2 ½ and a baby boy on the way…he should be here in about 9 weeks.
This might be a little too much info for you but I have recently decided that I want to breastfeed this baby and it terrifies me. I tried with my son and it just didn’t work out for us so I’m scared that will happen again. I’m trying my best to stay positive about it because it is the healthiest option for him and of course I want the best for my kids!
This pregnancy has flown by so fast that it amazes me. Literally, we have not bought anything yet but a few outfits. So I’m starting to stress over that. I know it will all come together but I am not a procrastinator…at least I used to not be!  The baby shower is going to be February 5th and Jaxon is due on March 6th…sort of cutting it close!
Anyways…there is a little bit of information about me! Hope you enjoyed!
If you think you might would like hearing more from me and my homemaking adventures please consider becoming a follower!

To link up your story with other great people be sure to go to The Idea Room.

It's a busy day for me...and Spaghetti Pie Recipe

I'm pretty sure that Drew and I deserve the Aunt and Uncle of the Year Award! Well really just Drew because he did the most work! My niece came to stay with us for a few days and last night we went out to eat. Well we get home and she starts saying she doesn't feel very good. I give her some medicine and put her in my bed to watch tv...not 20 minutes later I hear **PUKING**! I swear I can hear it a mile away! I'm just not good with makes ME sick. So Drew cleaned most of it up and I scrubbed the carpet. I'm so glad I have a wonderful husband!

So today I have been washing all of our bedding and disinfecting the house just incase it is the stomach bug! I also finally got our cleaned and organized! This weekend we will be able to put up the baby bed! I'm so excited! Only 9 weeks to go!! It is going to be here before I even know it!!! It's getting somewhat stressful though because literally we have only bought about 4 outfits...and that's it! We are also going to be doing some baby shopping this weekend!!

I'm busy trying to get my menu plan, grocery list, and January freezer cooking list all together! Tonight we are going to have Spaghetti Pie! It looks wonderful to me but I LOVE spaghetti and could eat it all the time!

I got the recipe from The Happy Housewife. Be sure to check out all the other great stuff she has also!

Hope everyone has a great day!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Cleaning

Of course today is another cleaning day! When is it not?? Never around here!!

Today I will be in the Living Room.

First I am going to get out any clutter before I start to clean. You can't clean clutter, right? This room also has the most Christmas decorations but those are still waiting to be put up. There were quite a few decorations I didn't use this year so I am going to decide which ones I really like and which ones to give away. Then what I decide to keep will be packed up and sent back to the storage building!

Ok now the clutter is gone...what's next? The cleaning.

*Get my misplaced things basket and find anything that doesn't belong in the living room. Once I'm completely done with the living room I will take all the misplaced things to where they DO belong.



*Clean my desk off and organize everything...again...

That's another easy day right!! Shouldn't take any time!

Then of course there is another load of always...

I better get started!! Have a good day!


2011 Goals

Another year is coming to a close so it’s a great time to evaluate yourself and see what can/should be changed. This has been a somewhat tough year for me and my family. It’s been pretty stressful at times. 2011 will hopefully (definitely) be a better year for us!!
Before this year I have always come up with “resolutions”  but never stuck with them past the first few weeks. This time I’m thinking that I will set “goals” instead; it sounds like more fun! I’ve come up with a few for myself and some for my family. Each week I plan to update on them so that I know I’m working on it!! My blog will be my accountability partner!! I won’t want to share it with the world if I’m failing so it will keep me on track a lot better!!!
So here they are:  ***2011 Goals***
~Read through the Bible in 90 days (7/90)
~Continue with a new Bible Study daily after that (0/275)
~Exercise daily (0/365)
~After baby weight loss (0/60 lbs.)
~Read 25 books (1/25)
~Stop drinking cokes and sweet tea...only drink water!

~Weekly movie night (in home) (2/52)
~Weekly game night (2/52)
~Monthly outings (0/12)

~Getting the whole house completely organized and keeping it that way
~Setting up and maintaining a better cleaning schedule
~Redecorate entire house without spending a lot of money

~Set up a budget and stick to it
~Pay off all debt (except truck and house)
~Save at least $300 a month
~Go 31 consecutive days with no eating out

Hopefully after the baby is born I can generate some sort of income so that we can save even more money! We want to buy a bigger house within the next 2 years and would like a big down payment to keep our notes as low as possible. We also would like to buy another vehicle and pay cash for it so we don’t have a note for it.

Well there you go! Those are my goals for the New Year!! I might add to this if I think of more but those are what I’m working on for now!!  I will explain more of these in detail soon!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Cleaning

It's Bathroom Day!!! YAY!....not... ***Update...I'm done with my cleaning! Yay!

*Clean inside and outside of toilets
*Scrub bathtubs and showers
*Windex mirrors
*Disinfect sinks and countertops
*Disinfect toothbrushes
*Wash rugs
*Sweep and mop floors

I will also be doing more laundry today…as always! I should only have about 2 loads to do today though. I finished quite a few yesterday. I was so tired last night that I didn’t clean the kitchen after supper so that will be done first thing!!**DONE!

I’m also going to be working on my next menu plan and grocery list!

Well there is my day…a lot easier than yesterday!!


A new budget

This is definitely my least favorite subject to talk about but the most important one in my house. We have 6 people living on one income so we have to be careful of every dollar we spend. Drew and I have talked about a budget for the last few months but have had a hard time sticking to it. I’m not quite sure what our problem is but it is time to figure it out.
One idea that I have thought of was to open a second checking account for any money that does not go to bills. The paycheck is direct deposited into the checking account now so on pay day we can pay the bills that are due and transfer the leftover money minus savings into the new account. We figured out a few weeks ago that we hadn’t been checking the check register with our bank statements since about February and it’s pretty much impossible to get it back straight. So we figured if all that was coming out of the first account was bill money that within a month or so it would straighten back out. It’s an idea at least.
One of my top goals for 2011 is to come up with a budget that works for us and STICK TO IT! With a new baby coming we need to be able to account for every bit of spending that we do. I have managed to get our grocery bill down to a minimum without using coupons but it’s the other spending throughout the month that gets us down.
Here’s what I figure we can do:
*Pay all bills. An estimated amount = $1500 (That’s paying the minimum amounts)
*Take out $80 for spending money for the both of us. ($20 a week each)=$160/month
*Groceries = No more than $250 a month (Anything less will go towards the next month’s groceries)
*Gas for truck: I haven’t added this up yet so January will be my test month to see what we average.
*Kid’s allowance = $30
*Kid’s School Canteen = $30

Those are our main spending areas that definitely come out each month!! Depending on what the truck gas equals each month we should have a considerable amount left over after all of that. The day before the next paycheck is deposited we will zero out the checking account and put whatever is in there into savings.

To go along with this plan we would have to cut out all other spending. Of course we will still have to buy items for the house (such as cleaning supplies, paper products, etc.) and also baby items (diapers, wipes, clothes, etc.) That still shouldn’t use much money so we should be good. I’m going to attempt to make homemade cleaners so we can cut that out of spending also. I’m not much on the cloth diaper thing so we will definitely be buying diapers!!

I’ll keep you updated as I go to make sure I’m staying on track!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Bible in 90 Days

I recently came across Mom’s Toolbox through other blogs I visit and I was pretty intrigued about some of the things I read there. You should definitely check out her site!!
One of the posts I read about was reading the Bible in 90 days. As bad as I don’t want to admit this I must…I’ve never completely read through the Bible. I’m disappointed with myself as a Christian that I haven’t done this but soon that will change. I signed up on her site to join the challenge. So beginning next Monday January 3, 2011 I will begin! Through prayer I can do this and I’m very excited about it!!
Every Monday through the 90 days Mom’s Toolbox will post weekly updates, the week’s reading assignment and daily devotional links. There you will also be able to report on your progress, pray for others and be inspired by past Bible in 90 Days grads. You have to check in weekly to remain a part of the group. Having each other’s support and accountability will make it work that much better!
I am going to write about my experience right here as well so be sure to check back each week on Monday night. If you would like more information or to sign up to join the group go here. Or if you would prefer to just do this with me send me an email and we can still support each other and give each other the accountability that we need to succeed!
Go to Mom's Toolbox to check everything out and sign up here.
Hope everyone is having a great Monday!! I've been doing my kitchen deep cleaning but decided it was time for a break!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monday Cleaning

Usually on the weekends I try to keep cleaning to a bare minimum. I do so much of during the week that by the time Friday afternoon rolls around I'm ready for a nice break! Of course with 4 kids and husband my job is NEVER done.

One of the goals that I will be working on this coming year is establishing a better cleaning routine and keeping it. Like I said, I clean every day but there really isn't any order to the way it gets done. Sometimes I will deep clean the kitchen twice and forget to wash sheets...that could also be pregnancy brain but who knows. Anyways I have come up with a plan and I hope that it will work out for me. I suppose if I keep my head in the game and stay focused anything could be possible!

So from now on Monday's will be my Kitchen Cleaning Day.
     *Sweep and mop floor
     *Disinfect countertops
     *Wash rugs
     *Clean out refrigerator; wipe everything down
     *Clean stove and microwave
     *Make sure inside of cabinets are in an orderly shape

Also since my pantry/laundry room opens up through my kitchen I will clean in there.
    *Sweep and mop floor
    *Make sure pantry shelves are organized
    *Wipe down washer and dryer

I will also be checking all of my cleaning supplies to see if I need to buy any this week.

Of course I will still be doing my daily cleaning to make sure the house is always in neat shape.
     *Wiping down bathrooms and changing hand towels
     *Picking up stray items and returning them to where they belong

This seems like alot to do in one day but really it isn't. Usually I can have all of this done before late morning. The kids will still be home this week from school so it might take me a little longer than normal! ****OK today this is kicking my's definitely harder to get all of it done with the kids home...

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday morning!!


Declutter Challenge Update #1

I began this challenge thinking whole heartedly that it would be a piece of cake for me. Well honestly…it is pretty easy! I’m not the kind of person that gets too attached to “things”. There really isn’t a lot of space to have extra stuff just lying around. Let me say this though, my mother is somewhat of a hoarder (strike) keeper of everything. I guess she got it from my grandmother…now that woman had a lot of STUFF!! She would buy things “just because” with no intentions of doing anything with it…just because she wanted to. Thank goodness I didn’t take after her on that part…I doubt Drew or our budget would like that very much.
So anyways on to my update….
I began in my bedroom with the intention that I was going to get rid of anything and everything that I didn’t absolutely need. Once I got started though somewhere in my mind shut down and I lost all track of what I was doing and ended up moving furniture around. Brilliant idea being 29 weeks pregnant…and home alone. Before I could really think it through though I had it moved the way I wanted. So instead of cleaning the bedroom and clearing things out I just made an even bigger mess…and now it intimidates me. Every time I walked into my room I just wanted to turn around, shut the door, and walk away. Really…it was THAT bad…
That is quite embarrassing because nothing in my house usually looks like that. I swear I spend all day every day cleaning something. After that mess though I’m afraid of my own room!!!! I wouldn’t even make my bed. I know, I know…I should have just finished the room Tuesday but well…I went shopping instead. Wednesday? I cleaned the rest of the house…but I did get rid of some stuff…more on that in a minute!! So did it get finished? Yes, yes it did!
We really have such a small place but it’s what is home to us until we buy something bigger in the future.
Now in the boy’s room I did get half a trash bag (a BIG bag) of clothes out that they don’t wear. I went through their toy box and cleaned it out. I threw away 2 plastic grocery bags full of trash and little toy pieces that I had no clue what they went to. I also cleared out a plastic bin of junk too! Go me!!
That’s what I did this week. Hopefully next week I can get more accomplished…but the kids will be home from school so who knows.
I also think I am going to change the challenge a little bit to also include organizing….Once I get through the clutter I need to better organize everything we still have…if I’ve kept anything….

Friday, December 24, 2010

Family Friday

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful day!
Today is Family Friday….ok writing about it is new and well actually implementing it at our house is new as well. We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget about spending quality time with our family. By family I mean your spouse and children. I’ve been trying to figure out some new activities that we can do together so it’s not constantly the same thing over and over and over…let’s face it even the kid’s get bored sometimes.
Since today is Christmas Eve we really won’t be spending much time at our house until late tonight but I still have something planned for us!!!
But let’s start at present time…with me and Drew. The kids won’t be home until around 6 pm so we have the day just for us…putting “Santa” presents together. Last weekend Drew started on the trampoline but wasn’t able to finish tying the enclosure down so that’s where we will start! Then we have Little Girl’s 4wheeler. That shouldn’t take us too long because it’s small…just like her. For lunch I’m thinking about us making tacos then watching a movie and chilling out before the craziness begins!!!!
Once the kid’s get home we will go to Drew’s mom’s house for dinner and visiting. After we actually get to come back home I plan to make some cookies with the boys that they can leave out for Santa and Mrs. Claus (we can’t forget about her…she is pregnant, hormonal, and loves cookies)! We are also going to sprinkle Reindeer food in the front yard so they can have a little snack before leaving too.
By now things should start to settle down and it will be time for a story about the REAL meaning of Christmas! In our present society THIS is often forgot about and that is such a shame. Some kids only think Christmas is about toys…but the real gift is Jesus…and we are going to remind our children of that!
From our bible we will read Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
And that is our Family Friday. I hope everyone has a Merry CHRISTmas and happy holidays.
I’ll see you back Sunday with an update on my Declutter Challenge!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chili for a C-O-L-D night

Weather in Louisiana is completely psychotic...really it is. Earlier this week we had a record high temperature for this time of the year (can't remember exactly somewhere in the high 70s to low 80s) and today it was pretty cold outside. Well my kind of cold is probably different than some was like in the 50s maybe. So anyways I decided tonight that I wanted to eat CHILI!! YUM!

This may or may not be a frugal recipe to seems kind of iffy to me...but I still love it!

1-2 lbs hamburger meat, browned and drained
1-2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
2 pkg chili seasoning
Chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cool over low heat about 30 minutes or until beans are at a tenderness you like. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and enjoy! Don't forget the cornbread or crackers either!!

**Linking the post to Good Cheap Eats - What's on your plate?**

For more meal ideas be sure to check out the rest of their posts as well!!

Frugal Recipes

I began searching for frugal recipes earlier this year in an attempt to cut down on our grocery bill. Little did I know that there was an incredible wealth of information on not only frugal recipes but also on all aspects of frugal living. Frugal living has become a part of everyday life with my family now. With 6 of us living on one income we have to make sure that we can account for every dollar spent and make sure that it is spent wisely. I had never given much thought about reducing our grocery bill to give us a little more money each check but I’m so glad that I came across all of the information that I did.  I’m still experimenting with making my own frugal recipes and living tips but I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far.
So today I’m going to list a few recipes that should be easy on your wallet. Hope you enjoy!!
Beefy Mac and Cheese (I’m sure everyone has thought of this at some point.)
1-2 boxes of macaroni and cheese (or homemade if you prefer)
1 pound of hamburger meat
Butter and Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions. While macaroni is cooking brown hamburger meat; drain and set aside. After macaroni is done, drain and add hamburger meat to pot. Mix in the cheese powder, milk, and butter. Then add salt and pepper to taste.

Baked Potato Soup
4 cans of chicken broth
2 ½ cups of instant mashed potato flakes
1 pint half and half
3 cups shredded cheese, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a pot mix chicken broth, potato flakes, and half and half. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add 2 cups cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes still stirring. Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese to top.
*We added bacon bits to ours also…options are really endless on what you can add!

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 pound hamburger meat
2 (16 oz)cans tomato sauce
2 large cans veg all
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed

Brown hamburger and drain. Add remaining ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender. You might also have to add a little water to get it as soupy as you want!

~~~Most of the ingredients I have mentioned in these recipes are commonly found in your pantry so be sure to check before you go to the store. While I am not a couponer , some of you probably are and could get these ingredients on sale also…making it ever better on the budget!!~~~


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls....YUM!!

On Monday in between moving furniture and cleaning I got the bright idea to finally make homemade cinnamon rolls. It was sort of a long process to me but oh so good in the end. It was actually my first "baking from scratch" recipe!! I'm very proud of myself for how they turned out too!!!

I made the dough on Monday but actually finished the cinnamon rolls yesterday. The recipe also gave instructions for an icing but I didn't use it...I experimented and made my own and it was pretty tasty as well!

The recipe I used for the cinnamon rolls can be found here.

For the icing I used probably 2 cups of powder sugar, 2 tbsp. of butter, 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract, and enough milk to make it as thick/thin as you want. I mixed it all together and about 5 minutes after I pulled the rolls out of the oven I poured the icing over them and it was great!!

I'm debating on making some yeast rolls this evening so we will see!

Monday, December 20, 2010

What's on my mind - Monday and a CHALLENGE

The end of a year always sends me into deep thinking. I go over everything that has happened in the current year and what I want to change for the coming year. I can usually come up with a TON of things that I want to change but somehow I always fall back in to the old ways. That is making me think even harder this year about what I want to change and exactly what am I going to do to make those changes happen and stick!! As of right now I have a million and two things that I can think of that I want to change and honestly it sort of saddens me that I can come up with so many things that aren't right to me. I know though that if I can make these changes happen  not only will I benefit from it but so will my family.

Our lives are so chaotic and unorganized that it is stressful at times. We have been through alot this year as a family and I don't think we all quite recovered from the very stressful situations that we were put in. I hope that this new year can bring some much needed peace for us. In alot of ways we have forgotten about each other and merely focused on what we as individuals needed or wanted. That DEFINITELY HAS TO STOP! So as the next week and a half comes to a close I will be thinking about how I can change things for us. Obviously it will take the work of our family as whole to keep it going but as the family manager I can get the ball rolling!!

Now on to something else...kind of...

We are a large family living in a very small house. Right now there is nothing we can do about that so we must make do with what we have and be happy about it! We have to maximize the space available for everything to work properly! We have 2 adults and 4 kids plus a baby on the way which equals alot of stuff crammed in this little space. I try to go through the house every once in a while and get rid of a few things but it never seems to amount to much. Now adding a baby to the mix means getting alot more stuff that we have to find room for. Not an easy task. Our house really has no storage space...anywhere. Everything just kind of sits where it falls because nothing really has place of its own. I plan to change that!

Most of my plans of "change" will begin with the new year...why start now huh? (HA!) But I think this challenge will begin today. What challenge you ask? The Housewife's Declutter Challenge. I plan to go through our house room by room every day and get rid of EVERYTHING UNNECESSARY! Then as I can I plan to "redo" each room adding more storage space and also doing a little more decorating along the way. Since the baby will be in our room that is where I am going to start. Get rid of a little to add a lot more to it...can't catch a break...haha. It will be a little less than Extreme Home Makeover...but will feel just as good when it is all done!

So now I'm going to the bedroom and find some stuff that I can get rid of!! YAY ME!

Hope everyone has a great day!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Menu Plan (Dec. 15th-Dec. 29)

So I have been making our menu plan for a week at a time and I'm realizing that it is not working out so well with our family. Maybe it is my pregnancy brain but something always goes wrong!

I have decided to go back to planning meals from the day the paycheck comes to the night before the next paycheck hits the bank...usually a little over 2 weeks at a time! It makes my grocery shopping easier and helps keep my sanity!

As I was typing the title to this post I also realized that I didn't take into account that a few of these days will be spent with family for the holidays and not necessarily in my home so I kind of have to alter it....again! HA!

Here it is....

Wednesday (15th) - Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade french fries
Thursday (16th) - Cheesy Potato Soup, rolls
Friday (17th) - Date Night
Saturday (18th) - Parmesan Tilapia, seasoned rice, corn on the cob
Sunday (19th) - Crock pot Beef Tips, potatoes, carrots
Monday (20th) - Tacos
Tuesday (21st) - Boiled shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob
Wednesday (22nd) - Crock pot Salsa Chicken...will shred to make sandwiches, spicy oven fries
Thursday (23rd) - Chili
Friday (24th) - With Family
Saturday (25th) - Chicken Spaghetti...possibly...might change...with Family
Sunday (26th) - With Family
Monday (27th) - Quesadillas, Mexican rice, refried beans
Tuesday (28th) - Spaghetti Pie
Wednesday (29th) - Sloppy Joes

I will post recipes over the next few days as I have a little bit more time!! Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Menu Plan...Tuesday??

Doesn't quite sound as good as Monday! HA! I just realized that I had not posted our menu plan for this week.

And I hate to say...I haven't even planned a menu for this week....EEK!!! Well the kids are gone so it's just me and Drew...doesn't require a huge meal for just the two of us!!

Anyways...lastnight we just ate whatever we wanted...he chose some fish fillets...and I ate a tuna fish sandwich.

Tonight (Tuesday) we are going to Drew's sister's house for dinner. I really don't know my plans for the rest of the week! Can't believe I let this get by me!!

I know I don't have to go to the store for anything but milk, bread, eggs, and cheese...just ran out of all that! So figuring out what to eat shouldn't be that hard for me!

Next week will be better! I will do my planning over the weekend!!

Hope everyone has a good evening!


Banana Muffins

As I was cleaning the kitchen today I realized that I had 3 bananas that were starting to go bad. Rather than throw them away I thought about baking something with them. I started looking for some good recipes and just about all that I found needed more items than what I had here so...I improvised...and they actually turned out pretty great!

Banana Muffins

3 bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Mix bananas, sugar, egg, and butter. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, salt, and flour. Then mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Pour into greased muffins tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

You can see where I took a bite out of one of them to taste it! HAHA! They were really good. I'm thinking that I will keep a few out for us to eat in the morning and I'm going to freeze the rest!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Freezer Cooking

It's time again for some freezer cooking! My plan last month didn't go so well...I actually only made the pancake muffins so I hope that this month goes alot better! I'm keeping my list pretty simple this month because we are going Christmas shopping this weekend too! I will probably start working on some of this tomorrow while the kids are at school.

Waffles ( I bought an awesome waffle maker during the black Friday madness )
     - Just going to use Bisquick and cook according to directions this time...maybe next month I will make my own mix!

PBJ Sandwiches (I've made them this week for the kid's school lunch...plan to do many more)
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (also made a few this week)

---Each night this week I made a sandwhich for each of the kids and froze it over night to put into their lunch boxes. I wanted to try it out before I made a whole bunch and the kids not like them! The sandwiches went over VERY well with my picky eaters so I will be doing alot more this weekend so I don't have to make them every night!

Quesadillas (might do some with chicken and just some with cheese)
     --For chicken--
             4 boneless chicken breasts, diced
             1/2 tsp. garlic powder
             1/2 tsp. pepper
              2 c. shredded cheese
              (might also add green chilies?)
Cook chicken with garlic powder and pepper until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside. Use a small amount of olive oil and fry tortillas on each side in skillet. Place on a cookie sheet and top with chicken, cheese, and another tortilla. Press gently and place in zip lock bag then freeze.
*Cooking Day - Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Do NOT thaw the quesadillas. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve!

Black Bean Soup
-- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. chunky salsa
1 tsp. cumin

Combine all ingredients into blender and blend until soup is desired consistency. Place in freezer bag or container and freeze!

Mashed Potatoes ( cook potatoes and mash then place in muffin tins and freeze. After frozen pop out of muffin tin and place in freezer bag. When ready to eat take out however many servings you need. 1 "muffin" equals 1 serving.

French Fries
Grapes ( did these this week for kid's lunch and they went over well with them too!

That is my plan...hopefully it will work out like I want it to! I need to get my freezer stocked up before the baby comes because I know I will NOT want to cook for a little while and I can't let the other family members starve or live on ramen noodles!! HAHA

For more freezer cooking ideas/tips visit the following sites:
Life As Mom
Mom's Plans
Meal Planning Mommies
Goodness Gracious

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar and Elf on the Shelf

I quit procrastinating today and actually made an advent calendar...since it will start today! I already had my activities planned out on note cards to put in the Letters From Santa Box but I decided I didn't want to do that anymore. Our boys are getting a little older and were skeptical about the box appearing and I'm going to do something different!

I started with a large sheet of green foam. I then printed this sign that I found on this blog. Her advent calendar is really cute too! Then I glued the sign to a piece of red foam that I had cut out.

Then I printed off these numbers. I used plain printer paper because it's all that I have but they would look better on white card stock!

I then cut out all of the numbers. I was going to use the whole box but my foam sheet wasn't big enough to keep them that size. I found my scrapbook scissors that have decorative cutting edges and used those to cut out just the number with a little of the color left around it.


After I had all of the numbers cut out I wrote an activity on the back of them and arranged them on the foam sheet.

Then I took the ribbon and glued it to the back of the foam sheet so that I could hang the calendar up! And that's all it took....somewhere in between the two pictures the number 24 came off and I can NOT find it...I do believe it got up and walked away!

Also today our Scout Elf Ollie Elfkins showed up! I went to pick the boys up from school and when we got home he was sitting on the Christmas Tree with his Elfing License, a letter from Santa, and his Magic Elf Report.

The oldest boy (7) swears that I put the elf there but the other 2 boy (6 and 5) keep telling him there is no way because I have been at the school. They all keep telling each other that they have to be good or Ollie will tell Santa and they won't get any presents. Boys are too funny!

The boys and I are about to make homemade cookies. This is a first for me as well as them so we will see how it goes! If all goes well I will post the recipe pictures tomorrow!

Have a good evening!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 11/29

Well it's that dreaded day of the week again! Ours actually went fairly well despite the HUGE amount of rain we had. Our backyard is literally covered in 3 inches of water! Not fun when you have 3 little boys that LOVE mud puddles! And of course being that it is Louisiana weather today it was 63 degrees outside while yesterday it was like in the low 40s. It's a wonder we aren't all sick yet!!

Anyways...back to this...I had figured out my menu plan for this week like 2 weeks ago but when I was looking over it again today I decided I really didn't want anything that I had overhaul it was!

I'm not even going to discuss what we had for supper tonight because it did not go as I had planned. The kids all loved it but I was not impressed...could be the pregnancy belly talking though!

So here is our outlook for the week:

Breakfast this week will most likely be cereal or waffles...plenty of milk to get rid of before it expires!

Lunches will be: PBJ sandwhiches, cookies, frozen grapes...Hubby will probably take soup...

So now it's dinner time.....

Tuesday - Chicken Fried Rice (plenty rice left over from my flop tonight)

Wednesday - Spaghetti and garlic bread

Thursday - Fend for yourself night ( still makes it though)

Friday - Chili dogs and french fries

Saturday - Beef or Chicken quesadillas, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans

Sunday - Beef Stroganoff, green beans, rolls

Monday - Meatloaf, scallop potatoes, corn on the cob (haven't made this meatload so we will see how it turns out!!

Our snacks will be hard cooked eggs, crackers and peanut butter, popcorn, fruit!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!


***Check out I'm an organizing junkie for more menu planning inspiration and awesome recipes!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kids helping around the house

This is a constant battle at our house. Three of our four children are very well capable of helping clean our house. They don't like to think so. I believe what we ask them to do is quite reasonable and there is no reason for them to not help!

In my Home Management Binder each of the kids have their own Chore Chart. They are supposed to do the chores EVERY DAY but it doesn't always happen that way! We are working with them on it so they can learn to clean up after themselves.

The chores they are supposed to do are :
     -Make their bed (of course it doesn't have to be perfect...they are kids)
     -Take their dirty clothes to the laundry room
     -Make sure all toys are in the toy box
     -Put their shoes into the shoe bin in their room
     -Jackets and backpacks are hung up by the door
     -After each meal they are to put their dishes in the sink and wipe up their area at the table

That isn't a long list of things for them to do!! We just have some very stubborn children that have a mind of their own.....


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Letters From Santa Box and homemade Breadsticks

I posted the other day about our Christmas Countdown that we are going to do at our house. Today I FINALLY finished the box that will come to our house every day by Santa!

Again, my plan is to leave the box under our Christmas tree every night after the kids go to sleep. Inside the box will be a letter/note and an activity for us to do as family everyday until Christmas Day.

I just began using Mod Podge and I'm not wonderful at it yet but the box turned out pretty good in my opinion.

Here's what I did:

Gathered my supplies: Wooden box, scrapbook paper, mod podge, a brush, pencil, and box cutter (or whatever you use to cut with).

Then I figured out the size of the paper I needed for each side and cut it out.

Next, I began using the Mod Podge to cover the box with the paper.

After everything had dried I added the letters to the box.

Well there you have it! There is our Letters From Santa box!

On another note, last night I attempted to make homemade bread sticks. They didn't quite go the way I thought they would. I followed the recipe just like it said but my bread sticks turned out HUGE!!
Not sure how that happened but they tasted pretty good!

Bread sticks
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup milk
6 tbs. melted butter
4 tsp. sesame seeds
(I didn't use these)

In a small bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Gradually add milk and stir to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently 3 to 4 times. Roll into a 20x5x1/2"rectangle. Cut into 24 bread sticks. Place butter in 2 13x9x2" pans. Put bread sticks in butter and turn to coat. Sprinkle with seeds.
Variations: Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, etc. can be added, if desired. Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic and sprinkle with garlic powder before baking to make garlic bread sticks. Bake at 450°F for 14 to 18 minutes

As far as the rolling and cutting mine went a little different. Maybe that was the problem! Who knows! Anyways try them if you'd like!!


I also made some homemade croutons yesterday!

10 slices day old bread
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp garlic salt

~Cut the crust off the bread then cut the bread into bite size pieces.
~Melt the butter and garlic salt together.
~Brush the butter on to the bread pieces.
~Bake in over at 325 degrees until browned. I think mine were in there about 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them!

I put them into a zip lock bag after they had cooled so we can use them on salads this week!

I think that's all that I have today!


Happy 7th Birthday to Boy#1!!! We love you!!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - November 22

I actually do our meal planning for 2 weeks at a time because that's how often I do the grocery shopping. I give myself some options on what I want to make! Of course it seems that every week I never end up going by the meal plan! My MIL has been off of work due to a car accident so she has cooked quite a few nights and either brought us some of the food or we went to their house and ate. So some of what was on my plan last week is back again!

Monday - Vegetable Beef Soup
Tuesday - Beef and Rice Casserole
Wednesday - BBQ Cups and french fries
Thursday - Thanksgiving at different houses!!!
Friday - Baked Potato Soup
Saturday - Chicken and dumplings
Sunday - Chicken Fried Rice

I'm sure there will probably be some leftovers from Thanksgiving that we come home with so once again we most likely won't be sticking to the meal plan! If you look at last week's meal plan you will find a recipe or 2 for this week's plan!

I'm trying to help my niece work on her social studies fair project that is due next week so time to get back to that!! I definitely do not miss being in school and I'm glad that our kids have a few more years before we have to get into all this stuff!!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!


Linked to I'm an Organizing Junkie

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Countdown!!!

I know it’s a little early to start counting down to Christmas but I am SOO ready for it! This year has been about new beginnings in our family so we are starting new traditions for everything! It’s a family tradition overhaul!!

Thanksgiving is a little out of whack because of family members having to work so maybe we will start new things next year!

Anyways, I’ve decided to start a Christmas Countdown this year. We have our kids every other week throughout the year so this will be tailored to fit our situation. Yours may be different so make it fit your family! We are going to start on the day after Thanksgiving to give us 2 weeks of activities.

Here is what I am going to do:

I am in the process of making a box that will be “Letters from Santa”. Every day “Santa” will place the box under our Christmas tree with a letter to the kids and/or an activity for us to do together. This is sort of a way for us to keep up good behavior until Christmas.

November 26 – First letter from Santa. I have searched a few websites to find letters that I like. Since we have 4 kids obviously we don’t want the letter to say the exact same thing. You could type up your own if you like. Decorate Christmas Tree.

November 27 – Magic Elf; Letter from Santa explaining who the Magic Elf is and why he is at our house. I got the idea from Elf on the Shelf. You can buy an Elf anywhere you like but make sure he has arms and legs that bend so you can put him in different places around the house. I plan to tell you a little more about the Elf on another day! Our first activity will be to go to a nearby city’s Christmas Festival where there will be things to do and fireworks over the river that night.

November 28 – Letter to Santa – The kids will write their own letter to Santa telling him what they want for Christmas!

November 29 – Reindeer Ornament – Kids will use Popsicle sticks to make an ornament for the tree. You can google this and find different variations.

November 30 – Tin Can Santa Craft - See it here! 

December 1/2- Teacher Presents – We have 3 kids in school so this will take us more than one day to complete. We will fill a small basket for each teacher with different handmade/bought items.

December 10 – Reindeer Food – Use oatmeal, sugar and sprinkles. Mix together and place in baggies. On Christmas Eve they will sprinkle this in the yard so the reindeer can have a quick snack.

December 11 – Have pictures made with Santa

December 12 – Family Pictures

December 13 – Santa Hand Pictures - From family Fun

December 14- Color Christmas Wreath – Print a coloring page of a wreath and kids will color and decorate it with whatever you have.

December 15- Read Christmas books

December 16 – Hot chocolate and Christmas movie – Pick your favorite movie and make some hot chocolate.

December 24 – Cookies for Santa / Santa Tracker  – We will make cookies for Santa and track him at NORAD

December 25 – Make breakfast together and open presents!!

Hope you and your family have a great Holiday Season together!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!!!

So today is my wonderful birthday!! It has been a great day! Nothing too extravagant or anything but just the way I wanted it!

Went to eat Thanksgiving lunch with Boy#3 at school. The food was surprisingly pretty good! Not how I remember it from being in school!!! After school we did the boy's homework and played around the house. Then this evening I cooked an easy supper for us...baked fish and french fries. Hubby came home and brought me roses and a new watch! I've been wanting a new watch sooooo bad! He is an awesome husband really! The boys and I made milkshakes and popcorn and we are all about to watch a movie together!!

Best way to spend a birthday! My family is absolutely wonderful and I love every minute with them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday To-Do (Organizing)

In preparation of MY birthday tomorrow I've got a long list of to-do's to get done today so that tomorrow I can rest! Wait...did I just say rest?? Impossible!! I have 4 kids, a husband, and a house to take care of! Well maybe I can just have a few things to do tomorrow!

Making room for the baby on the way means a lot of organizing and planning so that everything fits together just right. Our house is on the small side so to have 7 of us living in here comfortably takes the work of a genius...yes...I am doing it all (well most of it).

We are also preparing for the holidays and that means getting rid of clutter too! Yay!! I'm not quite sure how we manage to even have clutter when there is barely enough room for us in here.

I've found some ways to help with organizing and thought I would share them with you along with what I will be doing today!!

Simple Steps to Organizing
1 Set a goal – know what you want to get accomplished.
2. Write out a master to-do list for each room.
-Divide that up into a daily list – only complete 4-6 items on your list a day so that you don’t get burnt out. You didn’t get everything in one day and you can’t get rid of it that fast either!!
3. Find 15 in the current room you are working in
5 things to give away
5 things to throw away
5 things to put away
-a little at a time goes a long ways!!
4. Work in 1 corner at a time. Do not pull out more than you can put up in 20 minutes.
5. Take a deep breath. Turn on your favorite music and get moving! Do NOT turn on the TV or you will get sidetracked!!
6. Know your limits- when you are tired…you are tired…clean up the mess you have and take a break. You can come back to where you are later or even tomorrow!

7. Keep track of everything you are getting accomplished! Don’t look at what you haven’t! It’s more motivating to see what you already have done!!

Here is my to do list for today: (I will cross things out as they are done!)
Clear Little Girl's room to be ready for furniture tonight
Vacuum living room, hall, bedrooms
Finish laundry
Clean bathrooms

The list doesn't seem long but there is plenty there to keep me busy! Most will have to be done before the boys get home from school or else it won't get done today! know how it goes...

I just might go out into our storage building and start finding our Christmas decorations too! I know it's still a little early but I just can't wait much longer...I'm so impatient!!!

Anyways hope you get your to-do lists done today too! Good luck with it!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well it's Monday again...and that least favorite day of the week. Our weekend was very relaxing and of course today starts off with TONS of rain. I definitely wanted to sleep in today but I had to get the kids up and ready for school!!

Anyways, today is Menu Plan Monday over at I'm An Organizing Junkie . If you need any help with menu planning she has that available for you here. Be sure to check it out!

So what's on my menu for this week??? My recipes are listed below the menu plan are noted with ***. If I got the recipe from somewhere else you can click on the link to find it at it's original home!

Pancake Muffins***

Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches

Bagel Pizzas***
BBQ Biscuit Cups
Beefy Mac and Cheese
Taco Soup***
Chili Fries***
Vegetable Beef Soup***

Not sure of my side dishes...I really don't like to plan those because my pregnancy brain changes it's mind too much! These probably aren't the healthiest of recipes BUT they are frugal recipes!

Bagel Pizza
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Topping of choice (for us it's pepperoni)

Assemble "pizzas" on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Taco Soup
(This recipe can easily be doubled and frozen)
1 lb ground beef
1 can corn
1 can ranch style beans
1 can rotel
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch dressing and seasoning mix

Brown ground beef and drain. Combine ground beef and remaining ingredients in pot and cook on Medium for about 30 minutes or you can cook in crock pot on low 6-7 hours.

Chili Fries
1 large package french fries
2 cans chili (with or without beans...your choice)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Bake fries according to package directions. Heat chili on stove top. When done add fries to bowl and pour chili on over them. Top with cheese. You can add anything else on top that you like!

Vegetable Beef Soup
(another recipe that is easy to double and freeze)
1 lb ground beef
2 cans veg-all
1 can corn
2 cans tomato sauce
3-4 potatoes, cubed
water as needed

Brown ground beef and drain. Add veg-all, corn, and tomato sauce to ground beef in pot. Add potatoes. Cook on Medium heat until potatoes are done. Soup may be thicker than you want...add water until it is how you like it!

Well that's what I'm cooking this week! If you read this post leave me a comment so I can check out what you are cooking too! Take a look at my previous post also my Home Management Binder!

Hope you have a great week!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Home Management Binder

At times my house can be quite the zoo! There is always somewhere to go or something to do. It is never ending!

Then bills...when are they due? Where are they at?

Cleaning? Oh my much to much to do...

What is their phone number? Do you know the address?

Any of that sound familiar to you??? Bells are going off in my head. We were VERY disorganized. I thought about it and did research to see what worked for others. I soon found out that at some point ladies everywhere were creating Home Management Binders. I thought...hmmm that could definitely work for me!! Let's give it a try!!!

The binder is easy to create and you can make it as small or big as you want/need.

Here's what I did:

I had a simple black binder at the house so I grabbed that!

Then I added a zipper pouch that includes some bank deposit slips, a few pens, start stickers for the kid's charts and a calculator.
Then I found a 3 hole punch for binders and added that to make it easier to add papers to my binder.
Now the fun part...actually filling it up! I have changed this up alot of the time I've been using it. You will find sometimes things work and then they don't. If it is something that doesn't work you won't use it so MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

1. Cover page telling what the binder is
     -Behind there is my phone number and address book

2. Family Information Sheet
     -This is just a page I typed up to include our mailing and physical address, our home and cell phone numbers, our dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver's license numbers. Below that is a list of family emergency numbers and the kid's school address and phone number.
     -After that is the kid's behavior chart. I found a template in Microsoft Word and tailored it to our needs. We have 4 weeks on each page so it saves paper!
    -Using the same template as above I created Chore Charts for each of the kids.
    -Then I made up another page to include everyone else's birthdays that we need to know...other family and friends.

3. Routines and Schedules
     -First I have my daily schedule. Now I don't stick to this exactly but it gives me somewhat of a guideline to follow to make sure that I get everything done that needs to be!
     -Then I have my morning, evening, and before bed routine. This is just some different things that need to be done daily.
     -Next is my daily to-do list. I have places for things to do, places to call/go, what needs cleaning that day, and my zone mission for the day from
The Flylady . I have a separate page for each day of the week.
     -Behind that is a 2 month calendar I printed to add appointments which would also be added to my daily to-do if it falls in that week.

4. Finance Information
     -I have the cover sheet in a clear protective cover and inside that is where I put all the bills as soon as they come in the mail. That way I always know where they are!
     -Account Info sheet - here I list each account, the account number, website if any and login information, and the phone number to each place.
     -Bill Payment Summary by Check - pretty self explanatory
     -Bill Payment Summary - I write EVERY bill that we have, it's due date, amount due, date paid, check #(if any), and the online payment confirmation code.
     -Printed Check Register - I will log in to our bank account online and write down everything as it shows up on there then cross check it will our checkbook register to make sure that everything is written down.

5. Meal Planning
     -Freezer Inventory sheet
     -Pantry Inventory sheet
     -Calendar where I plan out every day's meal from breakfast to lunch.
     -Grocery list for the week
     -Any recipes I need for the current meal plan

6. Cleaning
     -Weekly Checklist
     -Detailed Checklist for each room of the house; daily, weekly, monthly.
     -Detailed Cleaning List for each Zone (Check out
The Flylady to see what that means)
7. Holiday Planning
     -I have page printed for each child and this is where I will list the presents that we buy them for Christmas.
     -Then is a master list for other presents to buy or make.
     -Christmas Card List - who we plan to send them to with their addresses.

8. Inspiration and Notes
     -A Wife's 10 Commandments
     -A list of books I want to read
     -Craft ideas (soon will be in it's own category)
     -Things I want to buy for the house split up by room
     -Website that I want to look at

Soon I will be adding a section for Bible verses and daily devotions...but I might also make a separate binder for this.

I also want to add a section for the crafts I want to make and instructions and also for the ones I have already made in case I want to make them again for someone else.

If you are wanting to make your own household management binder it is super easy and makes a big difference in your life if you use it. If you would like any of the forms that I use you can email me and I will be glad to send them to you. Hope this helps you!!