Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Goodies!

Haystacks!

Another simple recipe!
Butterscotch chips, Chow Mein noodles and salted peanuts
Melt one package of chips until creamy and shiny add one can of chow mein noodles and a jar of salted peanuts. Mix until they are coated completely. Place on wax paper in mounds (You will have to use you fingers to shape them a little). Let them harden and enjoy!


These are fun for kids!

Take large marshmallows and melt some chocolate...coat one side of marshmallow with the chocolate and while the chocolate is still wet place it in a bowl of sprinkles or nuts...the options are endless. Autumn loved making these!

Making Goodies!

Chocolate Covered Cherries!

These are really easy and kids love them!
You need a jar of Maraschino cherries and some chocolate!
You need to drain your cherries well! Any moisture will make the chocolate not coat the cherry....as you probably see in my picture. I drain the cherries and place them on a paper towel. Then place them on a plate and stick them in the freezer for just a little while. Melt the chocolate and take the semi-frozen cherries place a dab of chocolate on the wax paper and place cherry on top, then take a spoon of chocolate and pour on top of cherry. Cool and let them harden...that's it!Your done! To make them look pretty (which mine really don't...)you can trim excess chocolate from cherry and drizzle with white chocolate or while the chocolate is still wet put holiday sprinkles on them. I fixed 2 jars of cherries and between the kids and hubby...well, I might have one left!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A trip to Hollywild!

This weekend we went to Hollywild in South Carolina. It is a zoo type place that takes in animals that have starred in television shows or commercials and since retired. But, that's not the reason we went. They decorate the whole park and you drive through at night to see the lights and decorations. This isn't a good shot of the lights...but you get an idea.

At one point you get a bag of deer feed and drive into a field and the deer run up to your car and eat out of your hand!! Really cool! We opened up the van doors and the kids who were in the back with Grandma and Grandpa had a blast feeding them!




Then you drive to Santa's village where you can buy baby bottles and feed the goats. You also can purchase crackers to feed cows, long horned steers, buffalo, horses, ponies and camels!

The buffalo and I had an encounter, I'm just glad I had on gloves when he took the cracker from me with that long tongue! The camel and I had a special bond! He slimed me with his saliva! Ugh! It was almost a kiss...almost! Jeff caught the picture above BEFORE the sliming took place. Needless to say...I was kinda grossed out and stayed away from all other animals except the goats and ponies!
They had a huge bonfire where you could roast marshmallows and hotdogs. It was a cute trip to take with the family. Autumn and Trent are still talking about feeding the animals. I enjoyed the time with my Mom and Dad. This time last year, Daddy was still sick with the chemo and radiation...this year we are savoring every moment! I am so thankful that he is still cancer free and we are able to enjoy family outings and make lots more memories!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't forget the consignment shops!

Recently, I took a car load of clothes to a consignment shop to sale. The yard sale days has passed and we still had tons left. A consignment shop is a little more tricky when selling. The clothes need to be clean, pressed and hung on hangers. So, this does take a little more time (especially if the clothes have been packed in boxes for a while). But, the reward is you are clearing out your closet; as well as; making some money.
Also, don't forget to do your shopping at the consignment shop. You can find name brand clothing for a fraction of the price. Consignment shops are just like traditional stores and run "end of season" sales where you can really come out with some bargains!
This particular consignment shop where I take my clothing has household items too. So, you aren't limited to just taking or buying clothing. I have found brand new items with tags still attached and items still in sealed boxes! So, this holiday season...look in the unexpected places! Consignment shops, Goodwill, Pawn shops and thrift stores may offer some relief to your pocketbook while allowing you to purchase great gifts!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Christmas tree is FINALLY up!!



We finally got our Christmas tree up! Yes, it did have some accidents that resulted in the death of several Christmas ornaments. They paid the ultimate price in letting a 4 year old place them (or try) on the tree. The first time I heard the glass shatter on the hard wood floor....I cringed...I then did the "Let's all be careful" lecture. As soon as the lecture was complete an ornament slipped from my fingers crashing on to the floor...Jeff smiled and raised his eyebrows...Trent did his "Way to go Mom!" in the typical teenage voice that does no wrong and Autumn....Autumn repeated the "Let's all be careful" lecture. But, even with the deaths of some beloved ornaments the tree is up and ready to be enjoyed.

Saturday we all bundled up and went to the Christmas parade. Trent was a great big brother and sat down on the sidewalk with his sister pointing out things in the parade and chasing after candy...finally Autumn got brave and would grab up some candy thrown to her. By the time the parade was over, we were all frozen! But, this was the big "Group date" night, so we headed out to the theatre. The kids saw "Twilight". It got mixed reviews...those that read the book, thought the movie was awful, those that didn't...really liked it. I wasn't too thrilled with a choice of the vampire movie, but I did allow it. It is really sad that there are so few movies for kids to see these days!

We had a busy weekend...but, I did get to squeeze in a Christmas movie on television. Christmas movies have really changed since I was a kid. I remember the focus being on Christ and love. I love the "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart and "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!". I haven't seen them this year though. But, it seems that the movies now leave Christ out....the love part is there, but somehow diluted. A sign of the times I'm afraid! I am searching for ways to bring the true focus of Christmas into my home for us and the kids in new and different ways. A challenge for me to say the least!

I am gearing up for my goody baking for gifts. I am making the list...checking it twice! Yes, a pitiful attempt of humor...work with me people! I will post some recipes later this week hopefully. Now, it's back to cleaning house before picking up the kids at school. I hope everyone has a wonderful evening! God Bless!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Catch up!

I have been MIA for a couple of weeks....there is nothing wrong, I have just been busy and when I haven't been busy....I have been too lazy to blog! Lol!
Our family has had a whirlwind of activity for the last couple of weeks. We got to go to Bristol Speedway to see the wonderful display of Christmas lights. Afterwards, we went to the Christmas city in the in field and smelled some homemade candles and looked at crafts. We warmed ourselves around the fire and ate popcorn. The kids had a blast and we all enjoyed spending time with Grandma and Grandpa!
Later that week, we traveled down to South Carolina to spend a day with Jeff's brother and family. We had a wonderful meal and a great time chatting.
This Thanksgiving, Jeff had a week off for vacation. So, after taking Trent to school, we would go window shopping trying to get ideas and prices for Christmas.
We still have not put up our Christmas tree...I hope to do that tonight. Trent has a "group date" this Saturday to see a movie. Now, for those who are unsure what this is...as I was! This is where a group of friends, some are girls and some are boys, go and do something together. The catch is they are grouped as couples. Hmmmm, we used to call this a "double date". Lol! This is Trent's first "group date". We are taking him and picking him up to and from the theatres. I have met his girlfriend and her Mother and we have chatted for a while now. However, I have not met the other couples going. But, we will be supplying the transportation to and from and they are not allowed to see any questionable movies. So, I do feel comfortable about the situation. It is hard to believe that the "group dates" have begun! Yes, I know, he is 16 years old...but he is still my baby!

I hope to once again start blogging regularly. I am back on a schedule...well, for now until Christmas that is...once Christmas is here...all bets are off!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My kitchen

I read recently in www.$5dinners.com where she posted pictures of her kitchen. So, I thought I would post some pictures of mine...nothing glamorous, but it gets the job done!

Notice the very over grown Aloe Vera plant in window that desperately needs thinning!

The "Catch all" area where mail, keys, and cell phones are collected. The "change" jar is also located there to catch all the loose change to be rolled and used later!Trust me! It will be used!!

Last but not least, our dining area.




Well, that was a peek into my kitchen. I am a visual person and like to have a visual when reading about someone. So, when I write about being in the kitchen...now you can see in your mind's eye the kitchen! Lol! Yes, I am an odd bird!

The end of the week already!

Gosh! It's Friday already! Where did this week go?!
This week was my grocery shopping week. I went over budget by $20!! I found meat on clearance and was able to stock up on some with money from my gas budget due to gas prices being lower.I was going to move the extra money to the credit card payments, but I decided to stock the freezer with the clearance meat. Hard choices to make this day and time! Ugh!
I boiled all the chicken up, separated from the bone and placed a cup of meat in each freezer bag. That way it will be ready to throw into a casserole or fried rice. Then I found some bananas on sale...did anyone know about the growers were having a hard time with the bananas this year due to weather conditions?! I didn't! Anyhow, I sliced and froze 2 bananas per freezer bag. These can be thawed and used for smoothies, breads or muffins later. I have a picture of the last batch that I did just to give those who aren't familiar with freezing foods an idea. The chicken is cooled and then placed flat in the freezer, this gives you more room.

The bananas are sliced, laid flat and then frozen. Some people place the bananas on a cookie sheet for flash freezing then place in bags. I just slice and lay flat and freeze.

I am also going to make some cookie dough and freeze. These will be used during the holiday season. I will just have to thaw and bake!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off to the Festival of Holidays!

This evening I get to enjoy a Women's conference at Biltmore Baptist called the "Festival of Holidays"! The church is decorated in a beautiful holiday theme and each table has a different theme of holiday decorations! They are awesome...each year different and unique ideas! The guest speaker is Cindy Wood. This is a women only event...No men! No kids! and No cooking!! It is catered! (Trying to hold back a girly shrill!)
I will try to take pictures of the festivities and post them tomorrow. Now I'm off to do my hair and make-up before picking up the rugrats from school!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saddened!

I am saddened by the results of the election. I am saddened to see that my country does not value a precious life of a child. I am saddened that conservative radio my be a thing of the past due to the elected administration. I am frustrated that my country disregards the fact that a man is associated with people that has condoned 9/11, people who stand on the American flag and denounce this great country that has given them the freedom to do so. I am saddened that my country feels that they are "owed" another person's wealth. I am frightened that this elected administration has commented that they would not coddle Israel the way America has done in the past. I am concerned that the elected administration would meet with terrorist countries with no preconditions. I am confused that my country picked a man that they really have no clue what he stands for or against because his views and opinions changes when talking with different people. I am frustrated that my country is more concerned with making history than voting on issues. I am frightened when the elected administration has stated that the constitution is open for interpretation and it was written by white elitists. I am saddened that so many are willing to compromise our freedom and to have the government control us in a socialistic manner. I am angry that the elected administration mocks Christians calling them bitter and clinging to their religion. I am so confused with the American people and the morals and values that this country is now representing.

I pray that this will wake Christians up! That we will grow strong and bold, no longer tolerating liberalism that is forced upon us.

I pray that America will humble herself and seek the face of God and repent!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I just got back from VOTING!!!!

First, let me say...this is my opinion! I really don't want to debate, I have made my decision and I stand FIRM!
I just got back from voting. No line! I was the 144Th person to vote in my district. Yes, we live in a very rural area. I took Autumn to vote with me...she got to cast a kids vote. She was excited! She hollered "Sara Palin!" It was cute!
Yes, I am a strong McCain/Palin supporter. I am not apologetic about it. I am Pro-Life! It does matter which candidate supports abortion and which doesn't. I do think it matters also what friends a person has and what spiritual leader they sit under. You can tell a lot about one's character by the friends they keep. With that said, I think it is important to vote! Stand up for what you believe in! Let your voice be heard! I thought about not sharing this in my blog...but you know what? My blog...my beliefs. I'm tired of keeping quiet worried that I may offend someone because of my beliefs. They certainly don't care if they offend me by taking God out of the schools, or prayer out of the football games and other school social events or saying His name in vain on television or in music. Nor do they care that they push their agenda into the school system where my children attend. Why are they allowed to express their beliefs loudly and openly, but Christians are sowing hate and are judgemental when they express theirs? We have allowed ourselves to be pushed aside. We have been told repeatedly that we need to "not offend". I go back to scripture...Jesus was very open with what He believed! He did NOT compromise His beliefs because they offended others. I think it's time we stand up and be heard! We don't have to be ugly, we don't have to stoop to a low level. What is wrong with stating your beliefs and convictions openly? Don't be ashamed! Stand up for your rights! Stand up and be heard! VOTE!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another successful grocery outing!

My schedule has been thrown off just a bit keeping Rachael this week. But, I wanted to report the grocery total for the next 2 weeks. I have in the budget $150. Well, last night we went (we...meaning hubby and kids!). Yes, I know...I was just asking for trouble taking the whole bunch! But, we did fairly well. The total was $150.27! This included all dinners, lunches, snacks and I started picking up baking supplies for the Holiday goodies that are going to be made. Now, there were some things slipped in the buggy...ice cream being one of them, but for the amount of groceries we got I am very pleased! We just shopped at Aldis this time...and I am so impressed I may do that from now on. Just stopping to get detergent and hygiene things at Wal-Mart. I cut down on the sweets and replaced it with extra sugar, flour, coconut, cocoa, vanilla and chocolate chips. This will be made into homemade goodies for consumption for now and for gifts at the Holidays.

I am starting to put together my Christmas list for goodies to be made. I am also still working on my homemade gifts. I promise I will post some pictures when complete! I know that this Christmas is going to be a very...very...very frugal one! My hopes is to have Christmas complete by the end of November! Fingers crossed!!

My Baby is 16 today!!



God has blessed me with my wonderful adorable son! He is 16!! Ugh! Just yesterday I was bringing him home! I don't feel that old! How is it the kids get older while we stay the same age?!

I am truly blessed with Trent! Even now in the teenager years, he is a good boy. Yes, there is the eye rolling and the occasional sassy mouth....and the dirty bedroom....but he is a awesome child! My baby is growing up! Driving...Girls...school work that I no longer understand! Lol!

I am honored and blessed to be able to call myself his Mom!

Happy Birthday Trent!! I love you so much! And I am so proud of you!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our first snow!!



Today we had our first snow! I can't remember it snowing this early in the year before....but I woke up this morning and there it was!
Trent still had school....which I heard whining all morning about how "unfair" it is to make them go to school while it's snowing! Lol! I am keeping Rachael(a friend's 3 year old daughter) this week and her and Autumn are running to the window every 5 seconds to see the snow!


After taking the kids to school, I made the girls pancakes and they sat and discussed the snow and what snowflakes must look like. So, as you can tell there is a buzz in air at the Moore home....the first snow has arrived!!

Celebration time!!! Matt's home!!

Saturday was the big day we got to see Matt; our nephew that just recently joined the Army. He had been gone for a while to complete his basic training and this was his first leave! It is still up in the air whether he will be home during the holidays, so his Mom and Dad (Jeff's brother) wanted to have a huge family get together. There was a ton of food! Lots of family and friends! And we were all so proud and brought to tears to see Matt!





I took so many pictures of him....I got "the look!"





Autumn wanted to look her very best for Matt!


I am so very proud of my nephew! Thanks Matt for serving our country!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Think outside the box!




I couldn't resist posting this picture of my little Tinker Bell from last year. We dress up to go to the church's Fall Festival.

She is into anything that is sparkly! Glitter is her best friend! The more it shines the better she likes it. She likes having her nails and toes painted. She is my little diva child!

This year, we have plans at my brother in laws home while the church is having it's Fall Festival.(We don't do Halloween) My nephew is in the army and this is his first leave since enlisting. We are having a good down home feast to celebrate!

I am hoping to catch the costume clearance sales and snag me some dress up Princess costumes for a good price for Christmas. I will let her have one now (if I find some at a good price)to dress up in so she won't totally miss out. I am also keeping my eye out in fabric and craft stores for sales in all things that sparkle so I can make some Christmas gifts. Now I didn't come up with the idea about buying Halloween costumes on clearance for Christmas presents (I'm not that creative! I tend to think inside the box! Something I'm trying to overcome!) but I thought this was an awesome idea for dress up whether it's for boys or girls. Just something to keep in mind while going after the Halloween Clearance sales...it can be more than just about the candy! (Did I just say that!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trying to keep the faith!

Mark 14:38 (NLT)

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!

Whew! Does this hit home!

Ephesians 4:23 (NLT)

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.


God is really working in my life. Sometimes it isn't very pleasant! I have really been hit hard on how much the world and people have influenced my life. I bought into the "More is better" and the "Happiness is stuff" mentality of the world. Our family lost our way and now we are paying dearly for it! Literally! We have debt that we should have never allowed ourselves to have! All to keep up, have fun, and to fit in! Hmmmmm, funny thing is....we never kept up, the fun didn't last, and we fit in only for a moment. Now we have massive debt and really nothing to show for it. Sad! Thankfully, God opened our eyes...even though it hurts, we are better for it. Nope! It's not fun! It hurts! And it is embarrassing! Your friends are going and doing and living the life you used to live and you say "no, we can't" way too many times. But, I have to keep reminding myself that God put in his Word that debt is bondage for a reason. Boy! Do I know that reason! I worry over the money, bills, and the "what ifs" in life. I let it crowd out my joy! I let it overshadow my blessings! It hangs over me in a cloud of depression! All because of this debt mess we have allowed ourselves to get into.

But, now let's look at the positive that this crisis has brought into my family's life! It has brought us closer! Closer to each other and closer to God! (sad that a crisis has to be what drew us closer!) It has made us stop to examine our life and our priorities and readjust them. We now appreciate what the Lord has given to us! We stop to enjoy all the blessings that we used to overlook.

As we walk through this fire that we created, my prayer is for the Lord to refine us! To weed out our heart and minds of all the unrighteousness. To keep our focus, thoughts and hearts on the Lord and not the world! And I hope to help friends and family to wake up to the deceit of the world that we got sucked into. I hope we can inspire them to become focused on God's way and not the world's way. This is a hard walk! I hate that it took this to wake us up....but I have to put my trust in the Lord and pray that He will give us strength and wisdom to get through this!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cold Yard Sale!

We had decided to have another yard sale today. The rain cooperated and the skies cleared....we thought we were in good shape as we loaded up the van to drive to Jeff's place of business to hold our yard sale (we live in a rural area with not a lot of traffic). So, we got there and started setting up. The wind started blowing and our clear skies turned into a gray cloudy one. But, yet we continued to set up. We had a total of 4 people!!! No one was stopping! It was so cold that we spent most of the time huddled together in the van trying to stay warm! But, on the bright side, we made $27! Hey! That's $27 more than what we had! We packed up after 2 1/2 hours and made our way back home where I enjoyed a piping hot cup of coffee! I'm afraid that our yard sale Saturdays have drawn to a close with the cold weather setting in. I have had no response from any of my many evening job applications either. I guess the economy has slowed that down too. Ugh!
But, on the bright side, I love fall and the many colors it has to offer. I love the chill in the air (except during yard sales! Ha!). I love the warm stews and soups that now can be fixed. I just need to focus on my many blessings and not the negative stuff. So, with that said....I think I will go and enjoy another cup of hot coffee!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why is it?!

Why is it every time you think you have a plan...or that you might be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, something happens?!

Jeff got word today that his winter hours will be starting a month early! October will be the last month with overtime hours!! I'm trying hard to suck it up! I'm trying hard not to panic! I'm trying hard not to cry!! Ugh!

I am hanging on for dear life to the verse: I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

I'm trying to have faith and I am trying to be strong!! Okay....I just had to vent! I had to whine! I had to freak out before I go and pick up my son from school! Now I am putting on my brave face and trying to assure myself and my family that it will be okay.

Enjoying God!

I have noticed the wonderful colors starting to appear on the mountains here in Western North Carolina. Is God not awesome?! He created such breath taking beauty for us to enjoy! These are pictures from my front porch....




All of this beauty and I don't even have to leave my front porch! I'm trying to slow down and appreciate all that God has given me. How many times have I not looked at His beautiful and wonderous creations?! How many times have I let life distract me from this beauty?! Again, I have been distracted by the world and what it offers! I challenge myself every day now to slow down...look at the beauty of creation! Have you noticed the beauty in your husband's eyes as he looks at you? Have you heard your children's laughter...I mean REALLY heard their sweet giggles? Have you savored the loving hugs and kisses that come your way from your kids and hubby? Have you thought about the clean water that you drink? The food you eat? God has provided so much and created so much beauty for us to enjoy! May we all slow down and enjoy!


Psalm 34:1-3 NLT
I will praise the Lord at ALL times.
I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness;
let us exalt His name together!

Bi-Weekly Shopping trip

Well, another grocery shopping trip has come and gone. I went over my budget of $150 by $.39! 39 cents over is not too bad...but when you consider Aldi was out milk and I was unable to get any, well, the overage is going to be around $5. I buy 2 gallons of milk and Aldi has milk around here for $1.99 each.
I have checked and rechecked my list and I have tried to figure out where to cut even more. We don't use a lot of meat....and have meals with no meat at all. I think the next step will be....I can't believe I'm saying this....the sweets! GULP! I am a chocolate addict! I mean... I am really a chocolate addict!! But, it is not a necessity. When times get tough...you have to cut until it hurts! Boy! is this going to hurt! I can save an average of $20. I usually buy 2 packs of cookies, granola bars, fruit bars, cereal, chips and cheese crackers...now mind you all of this is bought at Aldi where not one is over $2, but it adds up. I am looking for cheap, home made recipes for these items this week. Can I beat the prices at Aldi making them home made? That is something else I'm going to check into...I would love your input! If anyone has any suggestions or recipes, please share with this sweet tooth, chocolate loving gal!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Heavy Heart!

A dear friend of mine has had a tragic accident in her family. Her daughter in law has been killed in a car accident and she does not yet know the condition of her son. Her and her husband are flying out to Kansas City to be with the family.
Marcia has been a blessing to me in my life and my heart is hurting for her and Bob. I pray their son will recover from his injuries and that their 3 granddaughters will still have their father! Marcia talked frequently of Tisha and I had only met her briefly while they were on vacation here in the mountains. But, I felt like I knew her through Marcia's words. I struggle with my thoughts of why this has happened; but I know that we are each held in God's hand and I need to place my trust in Him. Today I mourn for Tisha and pray for Marcia and Bob! I am praying that Bobby Jr's injuries are not serious and he will recover quickly and most of all that his 3 daughters will experience the indescribable peace that only God can give them during this time of loss!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yom Kippur is at sundown!

Well, I must say that Rosh Hashannah was really a neat celebration. Of course, it did involve a lot of pastries....apple pastries! Yummy! But, the whole point of Rosh Hashannah was to reflect on your life, on your walk with the Lord and on the choices you have made! The things I saw was NOT pretty! I am embarrassed and ashamed, but I felt relieved that God had showed me things that I had denied or tried to cover up for so long! It was like a weight had been lifted!
Now at sundown, Yom Kippur begins. It is the day of Atonement, the most holy of days in the Jewish calender. Again, I'm not Jewish (except through my faith in Jesus Christ) but I felt lead to study and incorporate Jewish festivals in my family's life. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and praying. I have low blood sugar, so complete fasting won't be an option for me. So, I am searching for something that I can fast that would be a sacrifice to give up....chocolate! Sugar! Yep, no sweets at all after sundown! No blogging or computer! And right now....I am saying no coffee! Ugh!!! Talking about PAIN and TORTURE!! This is my plan for myself tomorrow....raw fruit and water for breakfast, raw veggies and water for lunch and Dinner is after sundown so a normal dinner(Yom Kippur is from sundown Wednesday to sundown Thursday,24 hours). Tonight no eating after sundown...only water. During this time I will also try not to do any housework (except that which is necessary to take care of Autumn, she is 4 years old and will not be participating in the food fast!) and spend the day in prayer and the reading of God's word.
Trent is asking questions and is very interested in Yom Kippur, it is so cool to see your teenage son interested in the things of God!
Not as much fun as Rosh Hashannah, but I'm sure the Lord will show me even more during this time of fasting and prayer and I am looking forward to it (did I actually say that?!). Until then.....I am going to overdose on coffee where I will have enough in my system to get me through the next 24 hours of no warm caffeine goodness!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monkey Munch!!

The banana bread turned out great yesterday! But, what I really want to share is the chocolate peanut buttery goodness of Monkey Munch!! I tried to take a picture, but with the powdered sugar, I think it was hard to distinguish what it was!
This is a simple and cheap sweet snack that makes a ton of the yummy goodies!

9 cups of Chex cereal (I use Aldi's brand rice chex for $1.69)
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Aldi's brand $1.19)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter in a microwavable bowl...microwave for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted and smooth.
Add vanilla and stir.
Pour over cereal while stirring.
Place in Ziploc freezer bag and add powdered sugar and shake until coated.
Spread out on wax paper and cool.
Keep refrigerated in airtight container for storage.

*Wendy's helpful hints*
I combine a little cereal and a little chocolate mixture at a time to coat instead of the whole cereal mixture at one time.
I microwave chocolate when it starts to harden with a 1/2 tsp. or less of oil and stir and continue to pour over cereal.
I seemed to mash my cereal a lot when I did it all at one time and I found it coats the cereal more evenly when done this way.

When cool, I separate in Ziploc snack bags and store for quick snacks. Yummy! Now, I need to go and wipe the powdered sugar from my keyboard from where I did a taste test!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend update!

This weekend was a very busy one! We got up early on Saturday morning and we went to set up our yard sale. We have to go somewhere besides our house because we live in a very rural area. We set up outside of Jeff's work (permission was given!) and started the yard sale. We did okay....not as much as I would have liked. We didn't even make a $100. But, we did make some money. What was really sad was an elderly lady stole some belongings from us. She had a box of curtains in which I was selling and I guess she stuck some things under the curtains. She waited until I was busy and put the stuff in the car and then told Jeff she owed him $2.50. We had bagged up each individuals items so we knew exactly what was sold and what was not...well, we got to missing sweatshirts and jeans. Jeff asked if I sold them...I had not, and we concluded that this lady was the only one that neither of us had totaled up her items. It made me mad, but at the same time I have to think how desperate she had to be to steal from a yard sale! How sad! We packed up after 4 hours of selling and headed home. We arrived home and ate lunch and set out to Mom and Dad's to help them put new siding on one side of their house. We worked until dark and still didn't get it all done! We were exhausted!
On Sunday, we had church. Afterwards, we had to unload the van of yard sale stuff that was not sold and put away for a future yard sale (I am following Dave Ramsey's advise about selling so much stuff your kids grow nervous that they are next! Lol!). I made lunch and we took a long deserved nap! Weekends go by so fast! You blink and they are gone!
Today I am having to play catch up on housework and laundry from the weekend! I am hoping to be caught up enough to make some banana bread later this afternoon! Yummy! I guess I better stop and get busy or else I won't get my list completed! I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed weekend! Happy Monday! Yes, that was sarcasm! Maybe with another cup of coffee and handful of M&Ms....but, I'm not holding my breath!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Already thinking Christmas!

Yep! I am making myself think Christmas! I have been making lists and checking it twice...me and Santa are very close! Lol! But seriously, I have been working on some Christmas projects.

What do you think?



First time....not too bad!

I have also been working on another project, but unfortunately I haven't gotten it completed yet. I just need to do a little more! But, I will post it soon.
One thing I have noticed is when you are trying to save money, you become tuned in to your creative side! Lol!

The focus in our family never really has been about gifts....well, in my immediate family that is. As a Christian, I try to celebrate the "true" meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. However, I was watching the news one evening and they were discussing the fact that Christmas decorations were already being displayed in stores. The hopes of the stores is that the earlier you see these items, the earlier you will buy them. It all comes down to spending money. Sad! But, let me stop and say until recently I was right with the masses of consumption! I know I have mentioned before that I struggle with trying not to become materialistic. I have had my eyes opened to how greedy, self centered and world focused I have been and it's not pretty! I found myself following the world's idea that if I didn't own or have the newest or best that somehow I was less than those around me. Somehow I lost focus that it's not important how the world sees me, but how God sees me. I was NOT a good steward with my resources! But, with the Lord's help, that is changing! All of that said to say this....some of the best presents are not those bought in a store. Get in tuned with your creative side! I am sure that the person who receives it will appreciate the time and effort you took to make or bake their gifts. I hear my mind saying to me....not all people some of them will look down their noses, and if they do? If expensive presents or the amount of money is the most important thing to them....should we even have them in our lives? Just saying!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Low Rise Jeans!!! UGH!

Okay! Please allow me to vent about these ridiculous jeans! These jeans mock my body and all it's squishy parts! Once I had these jeans on, I thought that they looked pretty good. I was in style! I was pleased with my thrift store find. A pair of LEI jeans that looked hardly worn, they were dark blue with the appropriate faded areas and a flare leg and they were only $2!! I was pumped!
I couldn't wait to wear my freshly laundered jeans. I excitedly pulled them on and admired that I still fit (or so I thought) in a size 4. I looked hip! Well, as hip as a Mom age 39 with 2 kids could look anyhow. Then I went to take the load of kids to school (I drive my nieces and son to and from school). Once I sat in the van I noticed the horror!! The explosion of squishiness that spilled out over the top of my jeans! Ugh! I pulled at them trying to stuff it all back in but it was in vain! I then frantically pulled at my shirt to cover the mass of squishiness! Maybe I somehow put the jeans in a bind or twisted them when entering the van that caused them to fit differently (yes! when faced with the squish factor you try to rationalize things!). As the day continued I was constantly tugging, pulling and adjusting but to no avail! What kind of stinkin jeans were these?! Ugh!
I soon realized my age! I no longer had a firm tummy, two kids took care of that for me and I am not willing to be uncomfortable to be hip! So, where are the jeans you ask...well, yes, I will wear them again. No! I don't like to torture myself; however; I am a tight wad and the jeans were $2. So, they will be paired with a large shirt that covers the white, squishy mound of flesh that protrudes from them when sitting...or bending...or reaching....or MOVING!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Finding good deals is exhausting!



Not even a bag of miniature marshmallows could help!! Lol!

A successful grocery trip!

Okie Dokie! I'm back from my shopping trip. It took longer than usual because I surfed the clearance racks at Wal-Mart. But, here is my total....are you ready? $149.97! I was 3 cents under my budget!! Yea me!! Yes, it's the small things in my life! Lol! But, really I am very encouraged to hit under my budget this time because this trip had things that my future trips won't have. I had to get detergent, bleach, freezer bags and I got a $5 Christmas gift. So, I am hoping the next trip will be even lower than my $150 for 2 weeks. Jeff was saying that his winter hours will start soon; which means even a lower paycheck. Ugh!
Now I have had people (the mockers and nay sayers to living on a budget) say that I couldn't have possibly gotten enough food for 2 weeks (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for that amount. First, let me say that there are those that can feed more people for less than that! My heroes! But, here is pictures of my haul!


And another angle of my haul!


I know that you can't see a lot of the things clearly because they were stacked on each other; but this is just for you to get an idea of how much food there was. I have been told so many times how impossible it is to stick on a budget. It is hard! Trust me! I struggle everyday! But, you can eat well and live well without all the stuff! Something I wished I realized a lot sooner than I did! I could have saved us so much money!! I could have been debt free!! Ugh! I could kick myself!
There is lots of room for improvement and lots of tweaking that needs to be done to my budget, but I will NEVER EVER do without a budget again! (picturing "Gone with the Wind" while typing that! Lol!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The verse that was laid on my heart today!

Psalms 1:1-3 New Kings James version
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

Menu plan for Oct. 1st-14th

I have finished up my dinner menu plan for the next 2 weeks.

Beef Stew with biscuits
Breakfast dinner
Baked Spaghetti (No meat dinner)
Chili and cornbread
Loaded Baked potatoes and salad (no meat dinner)
Pinto Beans and fried potatoes (a southern no meat favorite)
Lasagna
Quesadillas
Pizza
Salmon cakes
Tater Tot casserole
Potato Soup and cheese melts (no meat dinner)
Beefy Baked Beans
Cheesy Chicken and Rice casserole
Mexican casserole (using leftover pinto beans)

Most of my dinners I use very little meat. I use beans, noodles or rice as my fillers. I also use my veggie side dishes to help with big appetites. Most of the time I am planning a salad and a fruit for dessert.
I am wanting to switch up my breakfasts and lunches a bit. I would love to try smoothies for breakfast, but I'm not sure how cost efficient it would be. I have become quite lazy and have not made any pancakes (for freezer), muffins or chewy oatmeal bars. So, I'm hoping to change that and have a cooking for the freezer day! I may become brave and try homemade bread again. The last batch turned out heavy and doughy! Yuck! I am still on a search for a bread machine at the thrift stores or yard sales. So far, no luck! :-(
I tend to get in a rut with meals. My family doesn't complain, but I like to switch things up. My air conditioner is kept on 78 to 80 degrees to save money,
now that it is becoming cooler I am wanting to cook more.
I am still tweaking my grocery budget and menu plan. I will post how well I did tomorrow after my shopping trip.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Rosh Hashannah!

Nope, I'm not Jewish...well, not exactly (I have been adopted through the blood of Jesus!). I am learning more about the Jewish festivals. I'm not sure why; as Christians; we moved away from celebrating these festivals. I mean after all we tend to celebrate everything else! After learning a little about this festival I love it! It is a time of reflection, a time to look deep inside, to examine your life and see if you are living your life with God directing your path. Are you following God or man? It is a time for repentance!To turn away from sin and make amends!
Yes, we should be doing this everyday, but how cool is it to have a festival where the main focus is becoming closer to our Lord! Awesome! The festival starts at sundown today when it becomes the official Jewish New Year!
What am I going to do to celebrate? I am going to make more time to study the word of God, pray and worship. I am going to introduce my family to the Jewish festival and try to incorporate some Jewish customs from the festival. If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear from you! I pray that this will be a special time for my family! I am excited to see how this will strengthen my walk with the Lord! Happy Rosh Hashannah!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a small update

What a beautiful Friday in North Carolina we have today! Chilly in the mornings and warming up in the afternoons. I love the Fall weather! It is truly one of my most favorite time of years!

I have once again been missing in action on my blog. I must confess that I have been going through the past couple of weeks in a "funk". I don't know if anyone goes through those times where you feel depressed, alone and just sinking in the muck and mire; but that is where I have been. It's been hard pulling myself out! I put on my "happy face" for family and friends but inside I am struggling to free myself of the gloominess. I know some of my mood is due to money...or should I say the lack of. But, there is more to it than that....it has taken me awhile to figure out...but I think that I have become spiritually cold. That's hard for me to even type, but there it is. I have been doing my Bible studies, I have been praying and I have been attending church faithfully. But, my relationship with my Heavenly Father is distant and cold. How did this happen?! How did I get here?! I am in a place where I am even doubting God's love for me. I see myself as lacking. Lacking in what? Everything! I see all my failures, my short comings, my defects and mistakes. I know that the love of God is there...but it feels so distant right now. Ugh! I am praying that God will help dig me out of this! Gosh, this has turned into a depressing post! Sorry!

On a lighter note...Everyone is healthy and Jeff's work is going well. They are still saying they may have to down size, but business has picked up in the past couple of weeks. Trent is suffering from a black eye from football. I wanted to take a picture but he was not thrilled by the suggestion. Teenagers! Lol! Autumn is planning her wedding! Yep, my 4 year old has decided that she wants to get married and kiss a boy! We watched the movie "Enchanted" and from then on this is what she obsessed with. Needless to say, her Daddy is not as amused as I am by this!

My grocery budget has been going pretty well. I am still adjusting and tightening; but with the rising cost of groceries; I think I am doing well. I am still trying to get in the hang of when to use my coupons. I am not as coupon savvy as some of my blogging friends.

What a boring and sad post!? Lol! I promise with God's help I will get back on track. Thanks for allowing me to vent (and drag you down with me! Lol!)

Psalm 25:1-5
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me.
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Going a little political!

I usually don't discuss politics. I am not very knowledgeable in them. I know who I like when it comes to values and morals, but when we start talking about taxes....well, all I can tell you is I don't like them! I can't tell you anything else about the economy, the environment or foreign policies. So, in all fairness...I just go with the shared moral values and standards of the candidate.
But, I am excited and totally stoked about Sarah Palin! I watched her speech and she blew me away! She was funny and very sassy! (personality traits I love!) She has faced challenges head on! She hasn't ran away....she hasn't cried in a corner....she has stood up and let people (media and the "other" party) that she is no door mat! That she is qualified! That she is smart! That she does not play by the rules! When something is wrong...she calls it wrong! Yes! She is out of the box(Something I admire)! I see her being a type of person that I personally could become close friends with. Maybe that is what I find so appealing. I respect her (hard to do that with people in the political world)! Now, I'm not saying she is perfect...who of us is? But, my sister in-law's aunt is from Alaska...she knows all about the investigations, all about her voting record, all about the so called "dirt" and she sings her NOTHING but praises! She loves her!
So, all I have to say in the loudest most proudest cheer that I have.....GO SARAH PALIN! YOU THE WOMAN! YOU SHAKE THEM UP! YOU TURN WASHINGTON ON IT'S EAR! GO GIRL!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Found some awesome Deals!

Well, after much coupon clipping....I am happy to report that I found some awesome deals!
Chocolate Silk (Yummo) $2.98 at Wal-Mart. I had a coupon for $2.25 off. Total price=$.73!
Coffee Mate creamer (Jeff's weakness!) $1.78 at Wal-Mart. I had a $1.00 off coupon. Total=$.78!
Go Lean Crunch cereal- $2.98 at Wal-Mart. I had a $2.00 off coupon. Total=$.98!
Land of Frost Family Pack Luncheon Meat-$3.98 on sale at Wal-Mart. $.55 off coupon= $3.43 (This should do at least 2 weeks worth of sandwiches for lunch!)
Yo+digestive yogurt- $2.12 at Wal-Mart. I had $1.00 off. Total=$1.12!

I was pretty impressed with the savings. Yes, it did take a little time with the clipping of coupons. But, I am very willing to do it to save money! By the way; I had read where the magazine at Wal-Mart "All you" had loads of coupons and it's only $1.97 an issue. I went ahead and got one today. I am excited to say with the coupons inside I will get back the $1.97 I spent on the issue and save even more! They had a $1.50 off Colgate toothpaste coupon....CVS has a ECB deal on this as well! Yea! Be sure to check out the CVS sales this week. Dawn dishwashing soap is $.99 this week, use the $.50 coupon from paper =$.49! Tide is $5.49, use the $1.00 coupon=$4.49! Purex detergent is $2.99...you receive ECB's with this purchase! Cascade dishwasher detergent is $3.49, use $1.00 coupon=$2.49! Suave is buy $6 worth and recieve ECBs of $2.

Okay! Okay! I will stop! But, remember in all this shopping to make a budget and STICK to it! It does no good to find awesome deals and go over you budget! The whole idea is to save money! (Yes, I'm preaching to myself! Lol!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I have been MIA (missing in action) lately!

Gosh! I have been so busy that I haven't posted in 2 weeks! Sorry!
It is time for another grocery store trip, which means coupons, sales, menus and shopping lists need to be prepared! We all loaded up and went to Target on Labor Day and I found a organizer that I am going to use for my coupons in the "Dollar Spot" area.



I have it all ready to use!


Speaking of sales! Target has their school supplies marked down! I got 10 spiral notebooks for $1, 10 pocket/prong portfolios for $1 and a 13 cent ruler! I tried to keep myself from going absolutely crazy buying things....a no no when on a tight budget! But, I was very pleased!

I am also making some Christmas gifts...some of which I may post when complete. I need to make sure they are not readers of my blog first!
AND I have been getting ready for a yard sale. I have been sorting and cleaning every room to remove all clutter and get rid of all the clothes that we no longer wear and things we no longer use. Ugh! And now the weekend planned for having this yard sale that I have been working so hard on....well, Hurricane Hanna is coming through and expected to bring lots of rain to our area!! A friend is scrambling trying to find an inside spot for us to use just in case it hits during yard sale time!

Well, that's the update for our family no more missing in action! I will be more faithful in my postings! I promise!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A rare family shot!

A very kind elderly man, whom we didn't even know, had noticed I wasn't in a lot of shots...so he graciously offered to take a picture of ALL of us. As quickly as this man came and took the pictures he left. What an angel he was! I didn't even get to properly thank him. God sends us unexpected blessings! It was awesome that in todays world that someone takes the time to help a complete stranger get a rare family photo. What an angel in disguise!


Family Fun!

This Saturday we went to the Biltmore House. We were not allowed to take pictures inside the house, but I can share some we took on the outside!













Wild week last week!

Gosh! Last week was crazy! Trent getting ready to go back to school and Autumn having a friend over threw my schedule out of whack. But, this week should be calmer. I am going to organize my coupons, make a menu plan and a shopping list today.

On a entirely different subject, I cleaned out my jewelry box last week. I found lots of earrings that did not have a match, some broken rings that I forgot I even had and some broken necklaces. I called my local jeweler and asked if he knew who I could possibly sell these things to for the gold and he quickly responded that he would take them. I stopped by and he weighed and tested each piece and gave me $58! Easy money for things that I could not wear anymore! So, check those jewelry boxes!!

Autumn and her playmate playing with play doh!


Isn't my little rugrat cute?!