Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Autumn's first day in Kindergarten!!

Okay, I am typing through my tears! My Baby is in Kindergarten today! I have prayed and cried...cried and prayed! My kids are going up so fast! Trent is a Junior! Autumn in Kindergarten! Where is the time going?!
But, this starts a new chapter in both of our lives. Autumn is making new friends, learning new things and going to different places. She is excited and nervous at the same time. She will be great though, of this I have no doubts. When I dropped her off, she was fine. Ready to on the other hand....I walked out in tears trying to make it to the car before I totally let loose. I cried all the way home...praying through the tears for my babies to be safe and make wise decisions. Then I reminded myself that God loves them so much more than I. He knows the number of hairs on their head, He knows their heart and He is their Father who let me be blessed with them here on earth. I put my trust in Him!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Well, our vacation was a success! We stayed in our local area and had a blast!! Everyone agreed that while we loved the beach, this vacation was just as fun! We went hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway, played in rivers, and enjoyed all the fun that the mountains has to offer. The only expensive thing that we did was go to Dollywood in Tennessee. We went after 3 p.m. to get our tickets. We didn't have to stand in any lines to ride the rides and the best part was because we got there after 3, the next day we got in for free!!! So, we got a day and a half out of a one day ticket! Believe me when I say...that's plenty! We were all exhausted!!!
I was not looking forward to this vacation, I was upset we weren't able to go to the beach. But, I can honestly say this was one of the best vacations that our family has had in a long time. We enjoyed each other and we enjoyed nature. God is Good!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dreaming of the beach....

Usually our family goes once a year to the beach for vacation. This may not be happening. In fact, as I sit here and type this, I do not see any financial way that we can afford it this year.
I am really struggling with this because the kids really look forward to it...heck, I look forward to it! When we go... we do it frugally, I cook and we do free activities. But, looking at the price of accommodations...Geesh! It's not looking good. Then you add in that we are trying to get out of debt and any of our extra money needs to be going to chip away at that. Well, even if we could find a place should we go?
Again, it makes me so disgusted with myself for allowing us to get into the debt we have. I feel guilty for not being able to give my children special memories. Did I mention the kids talk about going to the beach all year?! Ugh!
I'm looking, hoping and praying to find some awesome and cheap activities for the family to do around here. I'm still bummed about not going to the beach! But, I won't allow myself to wallow in self pity. So, I am in search of cool things to do around here. Now to convince the family and myself that it will be just as fun as the beach....

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Fun!

Autumn had a blast on her slip and slide!

And her and Trent went swimming at their cousins house!

I confess that these activities were done Friday and not on 4th of July...I had to work! :-( But I was able to get off in time to grill out some yummy barq. chicken and feast on some ice cream. Later we all loaded up to go and watch it wasn't too bad of a day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Menu plan

I have been tweaking my menu plan just a little. I am trying to trim down my meat even more. In the winter it was easy, I just added more soups. Summer is a bit more difficult. We finally have propane for the grill, and I love to grill. But, our budget is not allowing a lot of meat. If anyone has any suggestions....PLEASE let me know!
Now on to the menu plan for this week:

Crock pot Mac-n-cheese and tuna franks
Beefy baked beans and potato salad
Homemade pizza
Stuffed shells (no meat)
Hamburgers (camping with Mom and Dad)
Lemon Pepper chicken (It was a HUGE hit with family)
Tuna casserole
Breakfast casserole

Homemade brownies
Homemade rice krispie treats
Cake with homemade icing

pop tarts
Egg sandwiches

Sandwiches and fruit

I found absolutely no deals in meat so far this week! Bummer! But, I want to start learning to cook vegetarian meals. I have no creativity in this I will search for some good cheap veggie meals. My garden is starting to grow and with it being summer, I'm hoping to really stock up on some awesome veggie deals to freeze. I am also wanting to learn how to can veggies. So, we tighten up our belt once again. Gas is starting to go back up and my hours at work has been cut way back. I must confess that I wasn't sticking to my grocery budget for the past month, but now that's not an option. Back to clipping coupons, looking for deals and being more frugal than I was in May!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Getting things ready to freeze!

I spent maybe an hour minus the cooking time to prepare dinners for the freezer. I usually buy the large family size packages of chicken (I use thighs because they are cheaper!).

I cook all the chicken then take the meat off the bone when it is cool. I then measure out a cup of chicken per freezer bag (most recipes only call for a cup of chicken) and freeze flat.

Then I buy the whole chicken (at Aldi these are .89 cents a pound). I clean them inside and out and rub them down with lemon pepper seasoning on the inside, outside and under the skin.

Then I wrap them up in foil and place them in a large freezer bag and freeze.

This little bit of time preparing now saves a whole lot of time when you are in a mad dash trying to fix dinner in the evenings. A lot of times I measure, mix and freeze all of the casserole ingredients in one large freezer bag. Dinner is simply defrosting during the day while you are busy with other things and then placing the ingredients in a casserole dish to cook when ready. This I would have showed you, but due to poor menu planning on my part I didn't have key ingredients for my casseroles! Ugh! Oh well, at least the meat is cooked and ready to go!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Gentle reminder....

I am sitting here listening to the rain fall outside my window. The sound is so relaxing and refreshing to me. I try to type the words that express the thoughts going around and around inside my head and the delete button is being used more often than not. I would say I am having a day of reflection...but that wouldn't be entirely true. A day of regret would truly describe my thoughts accurately. I find myself haunted by all my past mistakes. I find myself mourning the things that I missed out upon because of stupid decisions and bad judgements. I wonder about the "what ifs" and how things could be if those mistakes hadn't have been made. I wonder how I could have allowed myself to be distracted and deceived. I think the easy part was forgiving I struggle with forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for allowing my focus to be turned away from God. I compromised. It happened to me so slowly that I didn't realize it was happening at first. But, once realized...the damage and destruction had been done. My relationship with God suffered, friends that I held dear to my heart had been hurt, a job that was loved had been lost and my reputation tarnished. I believed man, instead of searching for wisdom from God. I allowed decisions to be made for me, instead of having the courage to decide for myself. I allowed myself to be controlled, instead of allowing my God to lead me the way I should go. I carelessly tossed away all that God had blessed me with to follow a person. Now, I am left picking up the pieces.
I cry out to the Lord to have mercy on me for putting someone else in His place. He rewards me with the sound of rain falling. It gently reminds me His love will cleanse me. Only He can wash and renew my mind. It reminds me that He can take these mistakes and have me grow and maybe even bloom because of them. So, I sit here listening to the falling rain....

Monday, May 18, 2009

My new toy!

My Mom has given us her old treadmill. Dad and Mom go out and walk with their two dogs now. So, she really didn't use the treadmill anymore. She asked one day out of the blue if I wanted it...which I jumped on! Isn't God cool how He supplies us with things?! Anyhow, I am playing around with it right now...I plan to become serious about using it regularly though. I just got off from it...I decided to run! What was I thinking?! My heart was pounding in my ears so loud I couldn't hear anything else! And this is a girl that used to love to jog and run track! Getting old is not fun! Lol! I am looking forward to incorporating the treadmill in my daily routine...okay, weekly routine! Lol!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Gift

My family thought long and hard on what would be the perfect Mother's Day gift to give me. After hours and hours of deliberating; they came up with the perfect gift!

Yea right! Now for the REAL story! I saw this baby on sale...I got it and told them it could be my Mother's Day gift. Lol!

Isn't it beautiful?!

The other curling iron was quickly dumped in the trash. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Goodwill make over!

Recently...well, over a month ago...I stumbled across a medicine cabinet at Goodwill. I had been looking for something for Trent's bathroom. I snatched it up at $6. It was missing knobs and was a bit beat up...but I knew I was going to paint it and that it would be okay if it didn't look the best in the world. So, I bought some spray primer and a couple of cans of white spray paint...and got Jeff busy! Lol! He lightly sanded it and then primer it...once dry it took a couple of coats of white spray paint, but it was finally done. We then went and bought new knobs for it...and there you go! A Goodwill makeover! I spent less than $16 total. The paint was around $6 and the knobs were less than $2 a piece! Now, Trent has all his "stuff" off the counter and inside the medicine cabinet. I love looking for Goodwill deals and makeovers! I am still a newbie at it, but it is rather addicting!!

Doors off and ready to sand and primer!

Primed and ready to spray white paint!

The finished product!

Now, I am on the look out for decorating ideas for the top of the medicine cabinet, it needs a little something. But, my house is always a work in just means more trips to Goodwill! Lol!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prom Memories!

My Mom was cleaning out the attic when she stumbled across my old prom dress from 22 years ago! As I took it out of the bag I was amazed how it held up! Autumn was immediately interested in this dress. Trent; however made a remark like..."Looks like something Laura would wear on "Little House on the Prairie". After working at the Bridal shop and seeing all the "new" styles, I could see why he said that. But, in my mind I thought it was a modest dress not like a lot of "todays" dresses where it all hangs out, but that's another blog! Lol!
I let Autumn try on my dress and floral combs that I wore on my prom....

Then I thought....Hmmmmm, I wonder if I can still fit in it! So, I tried it on! And guess what y'all! IT FIT!!! I got it zipped and everything without any effort! I was so proud I went around the house showing everyone...needless to say...Jeff really didn't care, Autumn thought I looked silly and Trent....well, Trent was really embarrassed that his Mom would even wear a dress that they wore so long ago!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

All Burned out!

Well guys, I think it's time to declare that my loyal and faithful friend is all burned out! It's time to replace her...she has been there for me straightening things out for a couple of years now. She has weathered through all the abuse that I have dished out. She has broke a couple of times under the extreme pressure that I have put her under, but we have been able to patch things up pretty well. But, she doesn't seem to have the hot passion for our friendship that she once with this I am looking for a new loyal and faithful friend (who is also cheap!).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stuck in my head!!

This song's chorus is so stuck in my head today!! I went looking for the song on Godtube and I think I have listened to it 20 times! I love how the Spirit will put a certain song in your heart!

Friday, March 27, 2009


I would say thank goodness it's Friday, but I have to work from open to closing tomorrow at the Bridal Shop. Ugh! Not looking forward to it. I have asked off for every Sunday, but that was denied. I do get this Sunday off though, I guess to pacify me. I asked to have my hours reduced so that I could spend time with my family...that was also denied stating the reason that they are short handed right now. So, I am praying on what to do. We still need the money...we still have debt that needs to be paid off. The sacrifice is my family time. I'm not sure what to do. Dave Ramsey says that it's only a "season" kind of thing. I'm just so concerned that I will miss my kids growing up years because of work, not to mention Jeff and I not having any quality time together. Let me just explain a little my hours....Jeff works during the day, he gets off at 4 p.m. (right now winter hours, may change to 5 soon!). Jeff doesn't get home until 4:20 or so...I have to be at work by 5. He comes in, I tell him about dinner or what Trent and Autumn has to do that evening and then I leave. We have maybe a 5 minute conversation. I don't get home until 10 p.m or later (depends on when we get to start closing). Autumn and Trent are in bed and Jeff is fighting to stay awake. I eat dinner (real healthy to eat before going to bed! Huh?!) and we chat for maybe 15 minutes and then head to bed because Jeff and I get up early for work and school. Then I work every weekend...Saturday I have to be there by 9:15 a.m. and I don't get home until 8 p.m. Then on Sunday I am there anywhere from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. until 7:30. I may have one night off during the week. My family is getting frustrated with me being gone so much in the evening and weekends...I'm getting frustrated. I know that retail jobs involve week nights and weekends...I just wasn't aware that I would have to work them all the time.It is going on 4 months since I have had a weekend off! Am I just being whiny? How long should I do this? Until my credit cards are paid off? That would be a year or more. I don't know what to do! Jeff is saying quit...God will provide. What if He provided this and I just throw the opportunity away? I'm so confused! Family is really really important to me! Not to mention, not being able to attend church!! I always promised myself that I would never neglect attending church and getting the spiritual nourishment that I so desperately need and here I am doing it! I always said family before work and here I am putting work before family! I beg you out there!!! Don't ever get into the bondage of debt!! This is just a little of the strife it brings into your life!! Nothing is worth neglecting your family and faith! No new car, no new clothes, or the latest and greatest little gadget you just have to have is worth the bondage it brings with it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Love this song!!!

Even though I have to work ALL stinkin weekend....this song gets me pumped!! God is so Good!! We need to share the love we have been given to everyone with JOY!!!! I pledge to share His love while I'm working!! I pledge to do it with JOY!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Catching up on cleaning up!

I decided I would do a quick post before I get back to my cleaning. I have worked a lot at the Bridal shop lately...and the house is a mess! In a earlier post I mentioned that I only have one day off now. Working every night and every weekend from opening to closing is getting old fast. Not only do I not have any family time anymore, I am tired! And when I am tired...I am very whiny! Lol!
I have asked to have my hours reduced and to have every Sunday off. I pray this will happen! Cause y'all I don't know how much more I can do this!! I will limit my whining...just because I'm nice that way! But, you get the point.
I would take a picture of my house and let you know what I'm up against...but, a picture would send you running away in horror! Lol! So, I'm off to clean and then I need to get myself together for another night at the Bridal Shop! God Bless!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Does your brain ever feel like this?

I think Autumn hit it right on the head with how my brain feels with her magnetic letters and numbers! Lol! My work schedule at the Bridal shop has increased again! Another person has quit and I am helping fill in. I have had 2 nights off this week, and well, that's it. I miss my family time. I love spending time with my family and this is really bothering me working so much. I have worked every weekend for 2 months now...Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. Now the weekday night hours are picking up and I am struggling to find balance. Ugh! I'm hanging in there for now. The Bridal Shop is in the process of accepting applications and doing interviews now to replace lost team members. Hopefully, I will have my family time back soon!! I know it's a blessing to have a job in this economy! I have to keep telling myself this is only a season of time. The increased hours will help with our money situation and paying off that blasted debt!! I know I'm just being whiney about this and I need to suck it up. Thanks for allowing me to vent and whine!

Making Amends...

A while back a dear friend of mine posted on her blog about making amends with people. Well, she really made me stop and think about my life. God had been dealing with me to ask for forgiveness from someone for quite awhile now, and finally after reading her brave post... I surrendered. I typed out my email and prayed over it...and prayed again and yet again for God to let me use the right words to express my regret of how I handled the situation. Yes, I was hurt, but did I really need to say that or act that way...the answer was a firm and definite "NO!". I could have handled things so much better. So, with a prayer being said...I pressed "Send". The response I got back was not really what I was hoping for. It wasn't mean. It was forgiving. I guess I was wanting this person to express a desire to discuss things and straighten things out...I was hoping a sincere reconcilation could occur. But, alias, I got a basic "you are forgiven" and that was it. I felt hurt flood in. I hadn't gotten what I had hoped for. I am praying that God may continue to work in this relationship. I would love for us to be able to sit down and discuss things...why decisions were made, why things were said and get down to the "whole" story and not just the side I was presented with. This should have happened when it first happened...I didn't allow it to. I jumped to conclusions about things after just hearing one side of the story. I reacted with hurt and anger. Ugh! Another screw up on my part! I look back on the past and think "What if..." so much. I get so frustrated with myself and what I have allowed.
At least I was brave enough to reach out and ask for forgiveness and express my deepest and sincerest apology over the situation. I won't have that regret hanging over my head (thanks to my brave friend and her blog!). I just pray that God will continue to heal both parties and that somehow...we can overcome the past.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I have my Internet back!!!!

Woooo Hoooo! I had lost my Internet connection off and on for the weekend into the week.....talking about withdrawals!!! Chocolate didn't even help! Lol! But, I hope I can say that I now have my Internet back! The Cable repairman came out (finally) and replaced some line where they think a squirrel might have chewed it...hmmmm, I wonder how it tasted?! So, now I am catching up on email, blogging and Ugh! paying bills online. Now, if you will excuse me...I have a lot of time to make up for!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Oh My Goodness!!!!

My family and I watched "Fireproof"! It is AWESOME!!! I hope EVERYONE has the opportunity to see this movie! My 4 year old liked it, my teenage son liked it and Jeff and I LOVED it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thrift Store Finds!!

I hit some thrift stores today looking for some bargains....I found the above! I got 3 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of carpi's, and 1 dress for Autumn AND a pair of shoes and a shirt for me!! I got all the above and a basket for $11!
I want to hit some more thrift and Goodwill stores soon. They are having HUGE markdowns on their clothes...getting old stuff out and making room! I got most of the above for 75% off the original price. The highest I paid for anything was for the name brand shoes and that was $3.50!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Snow Day!

Autumn, Trent and Jeff enjoyed some sledding!

While I was with Autumn sledding...I dropped my camera in the snow! I couldn't find it! Panic was sitting in! Then Jeff just walks right up to and it and asks if I was looking for it. Ugh! It still works as you can see! It's a tough little has survived a lot!

Cooking in the Great Depression!

I was on Hillbilly Housewife and she was talking about Clara. So, I went to YouTube to check her out. She is sooooooo sweet. I love hearing her stories and she shared lots of recipes from the Great Depression Era. We can learn so much from our elderly people, if we would just take the time to listen! I wished my Grandmother was still living. I never took the time or made the effort while she was living to learn....I missed out on so much! I think in this generation we are so spoiled and have a somewhat distorted view on what we need to survive. Clara puts a lot of things in perspective for me.

Earlier in my blogs I shared where I wanted to start stockpiling some food. I honestly believe that the Lord is leading me in this direction. I believe the Lord ALWAYS wants His people to be prepared. You never know when you may lose a job, economic collapse (yes, I listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh!), or a terrorist attack may happen. My Grandmother always had a stockpile of food....ALWAYS! I have been prayerfully seeking how to begin my stockpile. These videos put in perspective that I don't need to have a lot of elaborate things in my stockpile to feed my family. You will keep hearing Clara say that "Times were terrible, but we always had good food." During the times she made the videos she was 91 and 93 years of age....she must know what she is talking about! Check out her videos on YouTube! She is awesome!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A bargain or not....

While at Wal-Mart, I found this hair color for $2.97! Now, I am always on the look out for a bargain! My roots were starting to show a bit, so I gave it a try. I only color my hair once every 2 months or so...that would be around $1.50 a month for color! Lol!
It is a basic coloring kit, no thrills here. It had conditioner, but for only one application. The color was true to the box, I was completely satisfied with how it colored my hair. It took a little longer than I usually spend; I usually leave color on for 15 to 20 minutes and this called for 25 minutes. But, the color was nice and shiny! The only problem I have with this is the conditioner. It didn't have a pretty smell to wasn't bad, but it just wasn't a fragrance I would have chosen! Lol! I like the kits with the conditioner that has a weekly treatment for a month, this had only one application. Now as far as conditioners goes, it was I really can't complain about it...except the smell of it! Lol! But, I will have to buy an intensive conditioner or hot oil treatment for a $2 or $3 to make up for the fact I don't have a weekly treatment. But, my hair is fine and breaks if you don't have that problem you may get by without buying anything additional. So, it may have cost me $2.97, but you add the additional conditioning treatments for $2 or $3...and well, I might have saved a dollar or two. I don't usually spend a lot on my color kits (I'm cheap! Remember!). I never spend more than $8 for a color kit and MOST of the time it's less with coupons.
If your hair doesn't need a lot of conditioning like mine does...go for it! In my opinion, it's a nice product...just needs more conditioner with a different smell! Okay! Okay! I will be quiet about the smell!.

Yea! Grocery amount was under budget!

WOOOO HOOOO! I was able to get my 2 week grocery budget under $150! I spent around $130 this go around. I was able to find some great markdowns on some meat! Ingles had family packs of chicken thighs marked down to $3!! I can't remember off hand the price of my other meat find, but it was sirloin tips and I was excited! We hardly ever have beef because it is so expensive. It's usually chicken, ground turkey, and tuna for this family! Aldis is a life saver! I LOVE Aldis! They really help keep my grocery budget intact! When the cashier finished ringing everything up...and my buggy was all the way to the top with no room left, she asked me to guess my amount. It was $83! She was as amazed as I was! Then with the meat buys I got at Ingles and Super Wal-Mart...the total was $134. God is so good!
I had all intentions of taking a picture for everyone to see just how much I got, but my hubby and son went to putting away the groceries pretty quick!
I am wanting to start stockpiling some groceries...I just need to figure out how to budget it and what to get. If anyone can offer up suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. I have read where a case lot of food is the cheapest...but how do I go about getting that...where and how much am I looking at. I learn so much from you ladies on your blog!! Thanks for all the wisdom!!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Well! It's finally happened we have our first credit card paid off!! I'm so excited! We still have a very long way to go...but it feels like we are FINALLY making some progress! Our debt snowball is finally rolling!! Lucky for you can't see me doing my happy Snoopy dance!! Lol!
We have gotten used to our strict budget and (speaking for myself) I don't feel like it's a sacrifice to be on it anymore. I don't miss a thing! I don't miss eating out and shopping all the time at all. Our life has become simpler and more enjoyable. I LOVE finding bargains! I LOVE shopping at thrift stores, Goodwill and consignment shops!! I LOVE trying to improve my grocery budget and trying to get the money part lower and the actual groceries brought home to be more! It's such a RUSH to save money! I could really kick myself for not living like this before! Ugh! But, that is the past, and well....I need to stop living in the past! There is nothing I can do about it but learn. And BOY DID I LEARN!!! Lol!

God has been so good and gracious to us to allow us to pay off this credit card! So....ON WITH THE SNOOPY DANCE!!! And I hope there are LOTS more Snoopy dances to come!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I must apologize for my absence on the blog. I have been neglectful of it for quite a while.
I have no excuse really, I have been healthy and I have had time. I guess I have just been battling those inner demons that seem to haunt me from time to time. You may not be acquainted with them....low self esteem and depression. Those little voices that say "No one cares" or "You have nothing to give". I find it hard at times to blog about things because they seem so insignificant or silly. I have a pity party for a little while and then manage to dig myself out of this muck and mire. So, please be patient with me. God always helps me find the light switch and soon the darkness will disappear!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Adventure....

Whew! Okay....Breakfast Casserole in refrigerator ready to cook for dinner, Chocolate No-Bake Cookies made and setting up and last but not least I have Grape Jello in the refrigerator. I have all my laundry caught up and my house isn't the cleanest, but quite frankly I have ran out of steam!
This week has been a wild one! I blew a tire coming home from work Monday night. But, God was really watching out over me and it happened close to home and not on the interstate! It happened where there was no where to really pull off the side of the road, so I drove to a nearby parking lot about 100 feet away. So, not only did I blow a tire...I bent the snot out of my rim! Jeff believes it was either driving it the short distance to the parking lot, or when the tire blew, it jerked off the road and I jerked it back on. But, it doesn't change the outcome, the rim was bent! So, Tuesday Jeff spent the day trying to find a used rim, he called every local dealership, garage and junk luck. We had to order one off the internet. So, Tuesday I drove my Dad's Jeep! The Jeep hasn't been driven in about 6 months and is an old Jeep he fixed up. What an adventure! I couldn't keep the blasted thing running. Every time you stopped it would die...I called my Dad and he said that I had to let it "warm up". I know that people thought this crazy blonde has not a clue on how to drive...I had to keep one foot on the gas and the other on the brake when stopped. It looked like I was trying to drive a straight drive...and I wasn't doing well at it! Lol! Jeff took the Jeep Wednesday and today until my rim arrives and I am driving his car. Yes, I have the spare on my van...but I am uncomfortable driving it with that tiny tire! Ugh!
This situation was a huge inconvenience and a costly one too. But, I saw God working throughout it. God kept me safe! I wasn't on the interstate faraway from home, I was minutes away! I was going a slow speed...something that I wouldn't have been doing on the interstate! I was able to regain control of the van when the tire blew and not hurt or damage it (other than the rim)! My Daddy had his Jeep for us to use...which is running fine now that it's been driven a while! What an adventure! Not one that I want to repeat! Lol! But, God was there! Watching over me! Keeping me safe! God is Good!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm still here! I'm sorry that I have been blogging lately. Getting this part time job has thrown me off just a bit. I need to adjust. I have been working more hours, mostly on the weekend. I am now up to 4 nights a week. So, the nights I have been home I have been spending catching up with family. During the day I have been catching up on the housework and laundry.
My pay check has not become extra money like I would have hoped. Jeff's hours has been cut, so the little I bring home helps to supplement what he is not. But, this job is a blessing because I can bring home that money to help.
I just thought I would dash in here for a second to let everyone know that I am alive and kicking. I hope to post more soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's Monday! I have been cleaning the house almost all day today, trying to get caught up from the weekend. I woke up with a bit of a stomach, I haven't been feeling too well. But we Moms have to keep on keeping on even when we don't feel our best! Lol!
The Bridal Show went well. It was a long, long day. We were unable to take lunch or breaks because we were so busy. 9 in the morning until 4 o'clock is a long time not to eat or go to the potty!:-) But, I made it through. The break down of the booth went smoothly and we loaded up my van and took everything back to the store. Once at the store, I quickly punched out and left....this ol' girl's feet hurt and I was HUNGRY!! I ate my packed lunch on the way home! Lol! When I got home at 4:30 I changed and started making home made pizza for dinner. Afterwards, I crashed!
I didn't have to work Sunday, which was a good thing! I had a huge headache! We didn't even go to church! I am not sure if the headache was part of the stomach bug I have or not.
The goals that I have for this week include getting some summer clothes ready for the consignment shop. I also want to take down my dining room curtains and wash them and clean the windows....maybe even the bedroom curtains and windows! I am wanting to sew a tote for groceries too. When I go to Aldis I always take a laundry basket to place the food in (I don't buy the bags!), but I thought if I could make a couple of totes it would help too. I have some fabric that I bought a couple of years ago I can use! I have never made a tote this could get interesting! Lol!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekly Wrap-up

It's Friday already!!
I have just finished with all of my cleaning. I like to clean really well on Friday because during the weekend cleaning is not a priority. I have gotten caught up on all of my laundry and now just have to put it away. I will vacuum out my van today too before I pick up the kids at school. I was going to start digging out the summer clothes to take to the consignment shop....but, that will have to wait until Monday. I am cooking my chicken and will have chicken tonight; as well as; freeze some for other meals.
Now for the weekly wrap-up!
I did my menu plan for the next 2 weeks and went grocery shopping. I was able to lower my bill slightly, but this shopping trip there were no cleaning supplies like detergent. I called the cell phone provider and dropped my coverage to the lowest plan available. We did not eat out at all this week and I made everything from scratch. I was able to work at the Bridal shop more this week than I had in the past...a total of 10.5 hours this week and I will have the Bridal show this Saturday(I will take my lunch to this too!). There were no purchases made on anything! This week has been a success on the frugal front. However, emotionally it has been rather draining (note the prior post!). Spiritually, I feel God is showing me things and doing things in my life that will help me in the long run, but boy do they hurt now! I am trying to keep myself out of a shame spiral for allowing some things to go on in my life. I am surrendering things in Prayer more than I have in the past and trying to place my trust completely on my Heavenly Father! Each time I feel myself thinking about or trying to take the burden back that I just prayed about I remind myself of God's love for me and that He has it under control! Although this week was very trying in some areas, I feel it was a success!
I wish everyone a great weekend! I'm unsure if I will be able to post anything during the weekend. If not, I will catch everyone up on Monday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

UGH! Trying to hold it together!

I had a huge post typed out and ready to publish...but I then deleted it. It was about our struggle to do a lifestyle change and become debt free. We have ran into things that I was not prepared for. I guess the first and now deleted post was a "vent" about our decision being controversial with some people in my family's life. I was not prepared for the response that we have gotten from people we dearly love. I struggle with insecurities and self-esteem issues anyway...and to have dear friends make fun of and belittle our decision is something I was not prepared for. A lot of our debt accumulated trying to keep up with a their lifestyle...and now that we have placed ourselves on a budget that does not allow us to participate in eating out every weekend or shopping or continually going and doing, it has caused the friendship to go on a downward spiral. I find myself questioning things and people, it hurts to say the least. I won't go into details about the situation, let's just say that I wasn't expecting this blow! I'm hurt! I'm disappointed! I'm angry! My insecurities have grown! And I don't understand anything anymore!

Yes, this was an odd post....but this blog is to be honest and truthful about my struggles, so there it is in the raw emotional but edited post!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bi-weekly Grocery Shopping done!

This shopping trip was a small victory for me. I got my bill lower! I shopped at Aldis and picked up most of my list. I will list below what I got and the cost of each item. If you have never shopped at Aldis, it is much cheaper than our local Ingles Markets and even Wal-Mart!

Black Beans @ $.55
1 pound ground turkey chubs @ $1.19
Cream of Chicken soup @ $.49
Cream of Mushroom soup @ $.49
Canned Tuna in water @ $.57
Canned Pink Salmon @ $1.99
Italian Bread Crumbs @ $.89
Spaghetti Sauce @ $.99
Tomato Sauce @ $.25
Canned Mandarin Oranges @ $.45
Navel Oranges @ $1.99 (6 in a bag)
Baby Carrots @ $.99
3 cups of shredded Colby Cheese @ $2.99
Egg Noodles @ $.99
Cream Cheese @ $.99
House Blend Coffee @ $2.99
Roma Tomatoes @ $1.49 (6 in container)
Cooking Spray @ $1.29
Parmesan Cheese @ $2.39
1 gallon of 2% Milk @ $2.89
Popcorn @ $1.49 (microwaveable 10 pack)
Bananas @ $.45 a pound
Mini Marshmallows @ $.79
Bread @ $.89
Sweet Onions @ $1.79 (5 per bag)
Canned Mixed Veggies @ $.55
Raisins @ $1.79

I got 4 ground turkey chubs and several soups for casseroles, so I may have listed the item once, but I got more in some items. I quickly went to Wal-Mart (which is across the street)and found a pack of cut up chicken for $.98 a pound! I also got some luncheon meat that was on sale for $2.83, Southwestern Style Egg Beaters @ $2.89and a pack of 10 hangers for $1.25. I will use the hangers to replace the wire ones I have and use the wire ones to take some more clothes to the consignment shop. I made my Wal-Mart trip quick and stuck to the perimeter of the the store...meat, diary, fruits and veggies. That way I had no temptations to battle! Although I didn't get some items on my list due to price (potatoes are getting expensive!), I was able to buy a pack of chicken that can be cooked and divided for more than one meal to replace them.
So, here it is.....usually I spend around $150 for 2 weeks, this time I was able to spend $100!!! That is $50 a week and I have a small stock pile of some items. A small victory for the pocket book!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Plan for upcoming 2 weeks.....

Shepherds Pie
Pizza (Homemade)
Breakfast Casserole
Mexican Casserole
Pinto Beans
Potato Soup with grilled cheese bread
Salmon Patties
Beefy Baked Beans
Husband's Delight (new recipe)
Tuna Franks (new recipe)
Baked mac-n-cheese with broccoli
Pasta salad

I will buy ground turkey instead of ground beef, at Aldi the one pound ground turkey chubs are $1.19.
I will only use half of my turkey sausage for the breakfast casserole and the other half will go on pizza. Most of my dishes are casseroles, I can get by using a little bit of meat instead of making meat the focus of each meal. Tuna and Salmon are also cheap meats! I will post the new recipes if they turn out well. Now I have to figure out snacks, lunches and breakfast! If anyone has good non-meat recipes, please let me know...I am going to try to increase my non-meat meals....but the veggies cannot be expensive either or I won't be saving any money. Well, I guess I will get back at it...wish me luck!

I'm tired ALREADY!!!

Monday! Ugh! I am sipping on my coffee and trying to wrap my mind around things that need to be done!
My schedule has been thrown slightly. I have gotten a evening and weekend job at a Bridal shop to help pay our bills and hopefully pay down this credit card debt. My schedule is different each week, but so far I have only worked 6 hours each week resulting in a paycheck of $36!!! I am praying that my hours pick up where I can at least bring home an amount worth my while!! This job is only guaranteed until the end of March and then they will determine whether to keep depends on the economy. But, while I have it...I hope to make the most of it! It is an awesome job...hard on your body but awesome. I love seeing all the beautiful dresses and helping brides pick out dresses, veils, and accessories....then there are all the prom gowns and bridesmaid dresses....a girl can just get giddy looking at all the pearls, sequins and crystals! It's a rush! It's a great job too, because I can't buy anything! I am not in need of a bridal gown, veil, tiara or prom gowns, so for a recoving material girl..that is a blessing! It is rather hard on my body...lots of walking, standing and the dresses weigh a ton (okay they weigh up to 5 pounds a piece) but after carrying a couple hundred of them your arms get tired (okay, maybe not a hundred but at least 50! Lol!). My hours are usually one week day and then a couple of hours on the weekend. I worked yesterday for 5 hours. I may work Tuesday, I am "on call" and again "on call" for Friday and Saturday I work a bridal show! Fun!! But, I am hoping for my hours to increase...but not cross the line into me not getting to see my family in the evenings and weekends!
Now, back to the tasks at hand....I need to come up with a menu plan and grocery list today. I am trying to cut my grocery bill yet again! I need to clean my bathrooms and mop, catch up on laundry and dust and vacuum the bedrooms and living room. Ugh! I need another cup of coffee!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ready to start a NEW YEAR!!

2008 was a HARD year! I am ready to start this new year out with wisdom and strength that came from all those hard knocks that happened in 2008!
First on my list, pay off all my credit cards!! Those of you that has read my blog before, know that I struggle with materialism! I always felt like I needed to keep up with my friends (never mind that they are in a ton of credit card debt!). We did stupid things like eating out and placing it on a credit card, buying furniture when ours was in great condition, going on numerous "weekend vacations" and placing all of that expense on credit cards and we went shopping every weekend....because "they" were going shopping! Now I'm not placing the blame on my friends....I am responsible for this debt! I am responsible for letting it happen! I am responsible for feeling like I needed to keep up with them (I suffer from a poor self-esteem and tons of insecurities!). These are issues that I have to work on personally to try to battle those demons. I have turned a page! I "woke up" in 2008. I woke up to not being able to pay my bills, I woke up to seeing myself as a materialistic person who has spent thousands of dollars and not having ANYTHING to show for it! Ugh! If only I could have a "redo"!
So, I have placed us on a tight eating out! no shopping! NOTHING NEW!! I am on Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and I am determined to dig my family out of this mess! 2008 started this frugal journey and in 2009 it will continue. I will study and learn everything I can about living a frugal and smart lifestyle.
Second, I feel like I am in a spiritual slump. So, I am going to spend time in prayer...MORE time in prayer, trying to figure out what's going on!
Third, I am going to start reading more books! I have fallen away from reading a bit these past couple of years and I would like to get back to reading a book a month at least!
Fourth, I want to learn to sew, to can and to just be a lot more crafty.
Fifth, I want to start having more family time. I want to go on hikes, picnics, play games and just enjoy being with my family more!
Gosh, there are so many things I want to change...I feel overwhelmed. But, I will take it one step at a time.
I hope to make 2009 a great year!