Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cold Flordia


I decided to check in real quick and give everyone a quick update.  We are still here in FL, I would say sunny but its been pretty chilly here.  Last week we were in Orlando and the weather was a little warmer.  We Loved every minute of our resort and trips to Disney and Sea World.  We made lots of good memories and have lots of fun pictures.  This week we are in Grandmas part of Florida. Palmetto to be exact.  We are enjoying our time with the grandparents.  We went to a museum today and saw Snooty the oldest known manatee in captivity.  Tomorrow were going to the ocean,,its supposed to be in the high 60's , warmest day we've had this week.  Yesterday it was in the 40's...brrrrrr!  I think we are all ready to be heading home though,, 2 weeks is a long time away.  Emma has been saying she misses her toy box :)   Thursday were headed back on the long 2 day drive home.  I was very pleasantly surprised on the way up here.  All three kids did great!  We only stopped 3 times the first day of driving and we went for 13 hours!  That's pretty good if I say so myself.  I think they were meant to travel.  Hopefully the ride home will go as smooth. 

I can not put into words how thankful I am that we have been able to go on this trip.  It was worth every penny of saving.  Hopefully we'll have many more vacations to come in the future!   I'll post pics when we get home!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday--"Food Matters"

Well here it is,, Thursday again already!,, That means 8 days til we leave for our 2 week vacation!  Woo HOO! 
Today's thoughts are about food and nutrition.  Yesterday I watched the movie called Food Matters.  It is a documentary and I enjoyed it.  In the past I have also watched Food Inc,,, which is another great one.  These movies can really open up your eyes to what we are putting in our bodies.  There is a lot of talk in these movies about organic food.  Now, I 100% totally understand and agree with buying/eating organic.  I want to do it for myself, my children, and the farmers that take the time to do it right.  The only thing stopping me from buying organic is the ridiculous cost of these items.  My food budget is already so tight,, I go to the store and stand in the  produce section and look at the fruits/veggies with great intentions of buying the organic ones and I just can not bring myself to put the so much higher priced item in the cart.  So I don't then I go home feeling guilty.  It tears at my heart and makes me feel like a bad parent,, especially when I know others that do buy mostly organic stuff.  But I can only do what I can, so I have a plan.  I am going to do the best I can with what I have and can do.  Food Matters, talks a lot about vitamin's, so I am going to start taking them regularly,, last night I went out and got a multivitamin, some calcium chews, and some b12(that said it is supposed to help give energy and boost metabolism.   My only problem is standing in front of the big isle of vitamins can be very intimidating,,, I don't know what I need and not sure if I can take to much of something.  so Im just gonna start out small with this and try to keep gaining more knowledge about it.  I already give the kids a vitamin every day so I will continue with that.  I am trying to talk Ben into taking some vitamins but he is a worthless cause.....he could care less about his health.    

I am going to try and cut out most of the processed junk that we eat,, that is the hard part with the kids. and keep introducing a variety of healthy foods.  If my budget allows I will keep slowly switching to organic on some items. I plan to do another bigger garden this summer and put up as much food as possible.  Drink more water and healthy juices.   I am hoping that for myself I might get a little weight loss that comes with this.  I've given up on the diets, I just wanna be healthy and comfortable.  I am hoping maybe with the vitamins it will give my body some more energy,, I've been dragging something fierce lately.  This is also what I hope for Ben, but he is just so negative about everything,, I don't know what to do about him. 
So there you have it.  I highly recommend this movie,, if you have netflix it is streaming on it now.  Do you guys feel you and your family are following  healthy guidelines?  Do you buy organic?  Any recommendations for me about vitamins?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday--Eating out

I decided Thursdays are now officially thoughtful Thursdays here at Everyday Life of a Mom.  It will be the day that I will share something that's been on my mind.  If you have your own blog and wanna do a thoughtful Thursday post feel free and just leave you blog address in the comments section and please link your post back to my blog, and of course please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of my post.  

Today's topic here is on "Eating Out".   My family LOVES to eat out.  I'm not sure why,,, I know I'm a fairly good cook and they always compliment me on my cooking.  I like to eat out because it leaves little to no work on my part :)  Plus the food is yummy,, but I was thinking and there are many disadvantages to eating out also...I'll name a few...

 1. costly----hardly anywhere can you go that you can get a well balanced meal for less than you can make it at home.  (I say that because some could argue that you could go to Mc Donald's and buy a cheeseburger for a dollar and you cant make a cheeseburger at home for a dollar,, but that is NOT  a healthy well balanced meal)

2. unhealthy,, fattening food  (when I go out to eat I am not thinking of any diet,,, I figure if I'm going out and paying for it I might as get something I really wanna eat.)

3.  stressful ---For me anyways,, when we go out with my kids in tow,, there is always some kinda drama when the little one is there.  If its just Ben and I then no its not stressful.

4.  Guilt-----  lately whenever we go out I feel so stinking guilty.  I view it my job to provide my family with their meals.  When we go out to eat that usually means I was to lazy that day and didn't feel like cooking.  I failed to suck it up and make something.  I mean really,, how hard is it to boil some noodles and throw some spaghetti sauce over it?  As a wife it is my job to help be smart with our money.  And going out to eat is really a waste of it.  For that $40.00 meal my husband had to work like 2 in a half hours...or if you look at if from what I make, that's watching one kid for 2in a half days!!!!!  Is it really worth it? 

This is what I need to think of next time I don't feel like cooking.  My money goals right now are to important and I need to keep my eyes on the prize. 

And one more thing,, this is not to offend anyone.  If you have the cash and its not hurting you to go out to eat than more power to ya.  I am not one to judge.  I am purely speaking for myself and my unique situation.

for more frugal tips visit lifeasmom.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fun in the snow and some other pictures

 Well we got some snow today!  It was freezing cold outside but the little one wanted to go out so bad .
 We only stayed stayed out about 15 minutes but that was good enough,, then we came in and had hot chocolate.  Emma sled down the hill and Gary cried cause he couldn't make a snow ball.
 We need to get Emma some new gloves, she was wearing mine, and some new boots, the ones from last year are to small but she wore them out anyways :)

Here is a pic from Thanksgiving morning,, Gary is crying cause I had just yelled at him for giving Emma bunny ears in the pic I took b4 that one.  I love that boy to death, but he really is a crybaby sometimes.  You can see here how funny the girls think it is.. LOL
 And here is a pic from the other day when I let the childcare kiddos paint.  Emma is always wanting to paint,, its fun, but messy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Laundry soap results

ugh,,,,I'm not feeling very well.  I have this nasty head cold and now its moving into my chest.  I should have posted earlier about our weekend and thanksgiving cause already it seems like it was so long ago!  We did have a great Thanksgiving,, spent some time at mom's house, then went to my dad's.  The boys hunted,,big surprise, lol.  Shot gun season is officially over and they didn't get anything.  But mussel loader season starts on Saturday so Ben will be out again.  I really want him to get one,, even 2 would be nice so we can start filling our freezer back up.  He gets so crappy when he doesn't get a deer and then is in a grumpy mood so it would be nice if he could get one and lift his spirits also.  The two of us have been having a rough time as of lately.  Isn't it funny how marriage has so many ups and downs.  I know we will get through it, we always do.  I just have to let go of my expectations. 

I've been using the liquid laundry detergent I made for over a week now and I am really liking it.  Seems to be getting all the clothes just as clean as anything else I've used.  Of course I still pretreat the stains,, I have been using Tide pretreating spray and it really works pretty well!  So I think I have found my new detergent to stick with.  I still use fabric softener so our clothes can still have a yummy smell.
I know I was gonna talk about more stuff but my brain is to stuffed up to think so this will be it for now.  Have a wonderful day all you people out there in bloggy land.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A weekend of firsts

Its Monday already...at least this will be a short week with the Thanksgiving holiday!!  We had a pretty good weekend.  Something major happened in our household.  Emma graduated to her big girl bed!!  No more crib.  We took it down Friday evening and she slept all night in her new bed without waking up once!  I'm so proud of her,, we had tried this once before but didn't take down the crib,, that night it only lasted 5 minutes before she was crying to go to her "old" bed.  But there was no old bed to go to this time and she did great! 
Saturday we went to my sister's house and celebrated my niece's 3rd birthday!  It was fun,, she got lots of great new toys, and I was very proud of Emma and how she reacted while Mira was opening her presents..I have such a great kid!  The other part of the party was she was having a slumber party!  Emma was invited to stay, I was nervous because Emma doesn't stay with people hardly ever,, the only one she has stayed with is my mom and only a couple times.  I guess she did pretty well though,, only woke up once wanting her mommy but went back to sleep after that.  It just does not seem right,, my baby is growing up.  Some might say a almost 3 year old is not a baby,,, but she will always be my baby, even when she's 25!  It was very hard for me coming home with the 2 older kids and not Emma, it just did not seem right.  I cant even imagine how its gonna be for me when she goes off to kindergarten.  I'm sure I will bawl my eyes out. 

Today will be another first for me.  As a boss in the core room I guess my husband is in charge of bringing in a turkey for the thanksgiving carry in at work.  So guess who gets to bake it??   I have never cooked a turkey before!  I think it will be okay, his carry in is tomorrow, and he goes into work at like 5 in the morning.  so what I'm going to do is cook the turkey this afternoon,, cut it all up and put it into the fridge,, then I'll get up at like midnight and put it all in the crock pot with a jar of turkey gravy and turn it on low,,then it should be all warmed up when he has to go to work and he can just plug in the crock pot and turn it on the warm cycle and it should be ready for all those hungry men when they start eating at 8:30a.m.   I hope it all turns out ok!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Productivity

Ahhh,, what a lovely weekend we had.  Friday night Ben and I got to go out and see a movie....then Saturday the boys spent the day hunting and us girls went and visited my sister and niece.  We had a nice time while there and the two little girls got along pretty good!(which always makes everything much more pleasant).  Sunday the boys went hunting again....I got a lot accomplished here on the home front,,, sweeping, moping, laundry, dusting,,all that fun stuff.  Then went we to mom's for dinner and Uncle Mike cooked us a very yummy meal!  I learned how to make mashed cauliflower,,, it was so good and everyone in the family Loved it,, even the ones that don't like cauliflower. .He cooked it in beef broth,, I think that's the secret!
The boys never did see any deer, so the hunt continues.  I sure hope they can get at least one this year.  It's been 3 years since Ben has got one. 

Today I've been plugging along on housework,, the kids have all gotten along great,, making things much easier on me :)   They are napping now, and I just put together my first batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent. The powder stuff didn't work for me so I am trying the liquid version. It was still very easy to make,, it has to sit for 24 hours so I wont be able to try it out until tomorrow.  After a few weeks of use I'll let you all know what I think. 
 I feel so good when I am able to be productive and get things accomplished around here!  After all, it is my JOB to keep the house clean tidy and organized,, and take care of the kids and my husband.  I think as stay at home mothers we need to look at our day just as that... a job.  If you were going out to work each day you wouldn't lounge around an watch tv...or surf the net most of the day.  I'm not saying we don't need and deserve a break, but the sitting shouldn't take more time than the working and time with our children.   Some days it seems that I've accomplished nothing, but when I stop and look at the things I've really done a lot.  Its just hard to see it sometimes due to little ones under foot constantly making new messes.  I am really concentrating on teaching the kids once they are done with something you need to put it away before moving on to the next thing.  It's a lesson that should be learned by all.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Wednesday!  That means this week is half over!!   I live for the weekends...there is just so much less stress around here.  Although I will loose my husband to the woods starting Saturday, cause that is the first day of shot gun season.  He is so excited.  We don't see much of him during deer season.  I can deal with that,, I just hope he can get one this year...he hasn't had much luck the last few years and it sure would be nice to have some meat in the freezer.  Even though venison is not my favorite....Beggars can't be choosers. :)

Last night we had a basket ball bonfire to go to.  Jessica's basketball team has a get together for all the parents and team mates... Kinda like a meet and greet.  The kids had a blast,,,it was right beside a playground so they got to play...oh,, and it was dark cause it gets dark here at 6pm now... I think playing in the dark was even more fun for them.  Its always kinda awkward for us at those things.....I don't know if Ben and I look stuck-up or what,, but no one ever really talks to us.  All the parents already seem to know each other and Ben and I are just kinda standing there twiddling our thumbs....luckily we had Emma to chase after so we couldn't really sit around the fire and talk anyways.  I'm kinda a shy person and I guess so is Ben.   I want to get to know other parents but am to scared to initiate the conversations.  That's kinda the story of my life.

Before the bonfire I ran to Owen's cause I noticed they were having some great deals....yesterday was the last day for them.. I went in and only got the best deals,,spent $24  and saved $24!  I love when I have those kinda receipts.  Most items were canned goods and pasta,,,they were all on sale for 49 cents if you bought ten(mix and match).  Plus ground chuck was 1.77 a pound so I grabbed some of that.  Good deals!

Right now I've got taco soup in the crock pot for dinner smelling Yummy!    Ta Ta for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend update and mommy fears

We had a pretty good weekend here in the household.   Saturday Ben worked,,, I took the kiddos and got their pictures taken.  Its been a really long time since they've had them taken professionally so it was way overdue.  I'm so excited to get them back,, they were all so cute!   My mom had gotten a picture package for us that has quite a bit of pictures with it but it only includes one pose.  They took a bunch of pictures with individual shots and together shots then at the end they showed them all to us.  If we wanted we could have gotten more poses but the cheapest package was $100!!!  Not in our budget right now.  It was very hard to say no but I did.  I guess thats why the run the cheap package and then they make their money by people ending up getting more pictures than whats in the package.  The lady actually said I was the first person to only get the package!!!   Sure made me feel like a cheap-o mom :(   

Our budget has not been going according to plan lately. Things keep popping up here and there that need bought or paid.  In the past 4 days I've spent over a hundred dollars just on Jess.  She had to have all this stuff for soccer,,t-shirts, sweatshirt, team pics,,,,then needed new dress shoes and then had a field trip for school that she needed money for.  I just feel so bad to tell her no to stuff for school cause everyone elses parentsdo it and I dont want her to be left out.   Times like these I see where home schooling would come in handy cause you dont have the pressure to have the cool clothes,, and everything else school related.  She still makes me feel like I dont get enough for her.  It seriously brings tears to my eyes cause I dont want my kids to feel "poor",, or left out.  I feel like we do a lot with the kids but I guess they just don't see it.  It's so hard!

Sunday we celebrated Ben's b-day over at moms house.  His b-day isnt til  Friday but it was easier for everyone to get together this weekend.  He had asked for clothes and a wallet and money for his deer hunting licence,, oh and hunting gloves.  Between everyone he got all that,, plus I got him a sweatjacket for work that he had been wanting so that was a surprise for him....   I think he was happy.   But with b-day presents comes more expense.    can you tell I'm stressing about money? LOL   Ben gets paid every other week and we only have 2 paychecks left b4 we head off to Florida!!!!   It's my whole fear again of the kids not having fun,,, wishing we could have done more than we did.  They are already upset because I told them we arnt getting them presents for Christmas because of the trip... we will buy them stuff there though,, souvenirs and such.  And I plan on sneaking some stockings in the suitcases and surprising them with those Christmas morning.  The big kids want big things though,,,like Ipod Touch,, and DSI XL.....well I hate to say it but with this trip I cannot afford to buy those things for them this year.    I thought I was doing good by taking them to FL for 2 weeks and going to Disney World........I can not ever win with them. 

Oh well.  I'm sure once we are there they will have fun.  I know I plan on having a great time,, I just hope the kids remember to pack there happy attitudes. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clutter be Gone

I'm feeling the itch again....time to purge some stuff around here.  De cluttering,,,,the chore that never ends..   I've been having trouble finding the time lately...and energy.   And when it comes to toys when I go through them the kids decide they need all of it!  Ugh.....   even when they haven't seen it in ages...   Being a mom is a tough job, but someones gotta do it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Torn

Lately I've been feeling like I have this internal tug of war going on within myself.  I've even been debating whether or not to post this in fear of what others might think.   But I decided I don't care......

A lot of the way I feel depends on the day,,,even the hour.  On one hand I'm striving to be the very best mom /wife I can be.  Clean the house, take care of the kids,, set a good example,,yadda yadda yadda....you get the point.  On the other hand,,,I really just wanna have some fun. Not to say doing all that isnt fun,, but I wanna go out with friends, be young and fun like the good old days.  I have a really hard time trying to balance the two.  I'm pretty sure Ben(husband) thinks I'm not all that much fun now adays.  Unless we are without the kiddos he thinks I"m boring.    When I was younger I had some pretty wild times..fun times...but I feel like I can't/shouldnt do that now.    I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel like I shouldn't let loose when the kids are around.         
Even when we are without the kiddos and having fun that normally consist of it just being the two of us,,which is fine, but sometimes I really miss being out in a group of people, letting loose and having a good time.  The problem is our list of friends has seemed to shorten dramatically since we've had kids because we started being more responsible.  Now the friends we do have don't really like to go out and have that kind of good time....I guess we need more friends, haha.....   But since I rarely ever leave the house I dont see how I'm gonna be finding any.    

Then I wonder,,,,,,will the friends we do have think were bad parents for going out, having a few drinks and a good time?    I know a few that would.       How do you mix being a parent and still being able to feel young every once in a while?   And please know,, I'm not saying being a parent is not fun,,,,I'm talking about a different kind of fun here..adult fun.  I love being a mom!

These are the things running through my head lately....along with about a million others,,,LOL

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Salads!!

As I'm sitting here typing right now I am trying to convince my brain that I am NOT  hungry!  I ate a perfectly fine lunch and do not need to eat right now.   I am trying very hard to get back on the right track with my eating and weight.  I need to shed some pounds,,, I feel like a lump, and when I see pics of myself it disappoints me.  Granted I'm still 70 pounds lighter than I was 3 or so years ago but I still need to lose quite a bit more to get back to where I started before I got pregnant this last time. 

I bought fresh veggies over the weekend and made up them all into a salad so it was all premade for me and ready to eat for lunches and dinners....even the kiddos have said the salad taste yummy!  I think already having it cut up and ready to go is the key for me cause during lunch time I'm to busy to cut up all the veggies, this way I can just dump them into a bowl and add a little dressing. 

I know its possible!  I've did it before,, Its just so much harder this time!   Anyone have any good healthy snack ideas that will not give to many calories, but still make you feel satisfied for more than 30 minutes?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Then and Now..11 years later

This is our wedding picture from October 22, 1999.
And this one is of us on Saturday, October 23, 2010!     Bennie's hair went from his head to his face.LOL  I think he is much cuter now! 
Oh how the time just flies by.  I can not believe its been 11 years that we have been married.  It is something I''m very proud of.  All to often in today's world I think couples view marriage as just a piece of paper that can be throw out with the garbage.  Yes I'll be the first to say marriage is HARD, very hard!  But with a little faith and a LOT of compromise I think couples can work through most things in a marriage.   My best advise I guess would be to not sweat the small stuff and pick you battles.  The last being very important.  Honestly Bennie aggravates me at least 20 times a day but I choose to let things slide by.  NO one is happy arguing and fighting all the time.  It's miserable for us and defiantly miserable for the children.  It's taken me most of our marriage to realize these things.  I have grown and learned so much just in the past year.   Another thing I would say, at least in my marriage is guys will be guys.  They are like little boys hidden inside a grown mans body.  The like there toys and hobbies and they defiantly have fears... Not all men will admit to those fears outloud, but a lot of times they are dealing with them on the inside and we wives have to realize that.  Men need to feel loved and appreciated.  If I can show him these things our life is just better because he feels better about himself and things and therefore shows me more love!

We celebrated Saturday night by going to our same restaurant as always on our anniversary,, Red Lobster! YUMMY!  We joked while there about if we will still go there when were 80,,,, walking in with our canes and grey hair excited about shrimp fest! LOL   We had so much fun.  Without the stress of the kids along with us things just flow better.   Every couple needs to get alone time every once in a while.  We also went to a couple stores that we dont get to very often, then came home relaxed and watched a movie.  Nothing to exciting, but we were together and enjoyed each others company, so it was a wonderful night for me!    Here's to many many more years together!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An update with pictures

Life has been busy around here lately...We had my mom's dog for a week while she was on vacation,, the kids really enjoyed having him around,,

 He did a great job with the kids, in the pic above Emma and Bree were playing babies with him.
 Here is my niece Mira on the left.  I watched her for my sister while she worked on Sunday.  We went to the park and let the kids play, they loved the Merry go round! 
On Saturday I watched a different childcare kiddo all day long until 9:30 at night.  I love babysitting but I've decided I defiantly need my weekends.  I need that time to recharge and just hang out with my own kids.  I've noticed this week has been so hard and I really think its just from not having a break. 

Tomorrow is Ben and I's 11th wedding anniversary!  Wow!  We'll go out Saturday to celebrate,,without the kids!  Woo HOO!  I'm so excited and ready for some alone time!  

P.S.-sorry for the quality of the pictures,, they were taken on my phone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Calgon take me away.....

Sometimes I think I should change my name,,,,,change it from MOM to DAD.....lol,,,,life around the house would be so much easier.  That's because whenever something goes wrong,,like God forbid someone looks at another the wrong way,,,or someone gets hurt,, or someones hungry, or something needs to be cleaned, when they say MMOOOOMMM I could just sit there and watch t.v. with my feet propped up and ignore it all.  You never hear them yell dad,,,its always mom!     Why?   

Sorry, I'm just a little grumpy and tired and in pain.  I was sick on Monday and Tuesday plus I've did something to my back and it hurts pretty bad.  It doesn't make a difference though cause this house doesn't clean itself and dinner doesn't cook itself. OH well.    Sometimes I just wanna run away...not forever, I could never live without my babies,, but just for a little while.  I really wonder what would happen,,,would the house fall apart?  Would the kids run around dirty filthy, and hungry?  I can just imagine the laundry piled up the the ceiling because if at least 2 loads don't get done everyday that's what will happen. Oh the horror just to imagine!!!  I didn't do much for 24 hours due to how I was feeling and you shoulda seen the house then! 
So am I a terrible mother for wanting to run away sometimes?   Anyone else ever feel like this?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Play dough fun

It's such a beautiful day outside.  The littles are all napping now but I think when they wake we will get outside and enjoy this weather before it disappears!  This morning they wanted to play with play dough.  We have a big tote full of play dough toys and they always have fun playing with it.  Well I went to get it out and.....oh no.....the store bought dough had dried up, someone forgot to put the lid on,,imagine that.  :)   But have no fear,  SUPER MOM is here (haha,,,yeah right).  I told the kids we could just mix up a batch all on our own.  I've did this before and honestly I like it better than the store bought.  I think it last longer and you can make as much as you want and choose the colors.  Here's a pic of the finished product.  This is only about half, they were playing with the rest already. 



Here's the recipe that I use.  There are lots of different ones out on the Internet but I like this one and it make just the right amount for us. 

Homemade Play dough:
2cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Tablespoons Cream of Tarter
2 cups hot water
2 Tablespoons veggie oil
food coloring of your choice

I dump the dry ingredients into a pot then add the wet ingredients, minus the food coloring.  Turn on heat to medium high and stir, stir, stir,,,,,until it starts getting clumpy and separating from the sides of the pot.  Your arm will feel like its gonna fall off.    Then I put on some thick cleaning gloves(cause its very hot) and kneed it like you were making some bread.  Then you can separate it into as many sections as you'd like and add the food coloring to it,,and kneed and kneed some more. 

That's it. Not to hard accept for feeling your arms gonna fall off. :)  My kiddos love playing with it and when I make a fresh batch it can keep them entertained for at least an hour!

Yesterday evening I was able to get out with some friends for dinner.  Just us ladies with no kiddos!  It was so nice and relaxing to eat our food and chat without having to worry about kids fighting or trying to get outta there seats!  I had a great time.  I think it's fun to get together with other moms and share kids stories and pick their brains on what works for them for this thing or that.  It was a great evening and my family managed just fine without me here at home.  Everyone was bathed and in there jammies when I got home waiting for me to tuck them in!  The kitchen was cleaned up, thanks to Jess, all homework was done.  I had left a list for them just in case Ben forgot to remind them what needed to be done.  I was very proud of them all!




Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday ramblings

We had a nice weekend.  We really didnt do anything,,, we went to my mom's house on Saturday afternoon and visited.  Sunday we stayed home.  It was great!  I think we needed to just hang out and relax.   I did a lot of cleaning on Sunday,,another advantage of staying home!  The greatest thing of all was since we stayed home we didn't spend any money! Woo HOo!  I am also proud of us because I stuck to my guns and we didnt eat out.  Sunday during dinner I said to the family,, I'm so proud of us we did really good this weekend.  My husband knew exactly what I meant cause he said, I know but it was hard.....that puzzled me,, I said I was talking about not eating out, and he said I know.   I'm not sure why it's hard for him to not eat out,,,,I'm the one cooking and cleaning up the meals. LOL   I guess he just enjoys the treat of having something different every now and then.   Last night after dinner I made apple dumplings!  They were sooo good,  and sooo fattening!    I'm gonna really try and start watching myself and what I eat.  Florida time is coming up and I don't want to feel like a big blob while were there.  I really wanna get back to where I was before I had Emma,, its just so hard for some reason!   Not much else to say today,,, Enjoy your day

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall decorations


I thought I'd show off my outside fall decorations. 

 This is a gourd that we spray painted white and colored the eyes and mouth to look like a ghost
 Our scary witch.
All free courtesy of grandma's pumpkin patch and my stepdad's bale of straw,,oh and the leftover corn stalks from the garden!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Frugal Friday tip--Reusing coffee grounds

In a effort to up my traffic on my blog I'm going to start participating in some blog carnivals.  Over of Life as Mom every Friday they have tips for being frugal.   My tip this week is about coffee. 

My coffee maker is kinda cool.  You can use it to make a pot of coffee or you can use it to just fill up those reusable themas cups.  You can see it here.  I didnt pay nearly that much though.  Through the week when its just me I make myself a themas full of coffee,,,,I'm a little addicted and one just isn't enough.   So when I go to make my second cup I reuse the grounds that are already in there and just add half as much as I normally would.  It taste just as good and strong and fresh!   Coffee is not cheap and this is a way to make it stretch.  I do the same thing on the weekend cause Ben and I normally go through two pots,,, he doesn't know though, I 'm sure he would think it was awful...so shhhhhhh , don't tell him. :)  hehehe

For more frugal tips check out Life as Mom

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray,, It's Payday!

Ahhhh.....every other Thursday I breathe a big sigh of relief.   Because that is the day Ben's check goes into the bank.   :)  
I really need to start doing a better job budgeting our spending money over the two week time period.  The problem is we tend to go a little crazy the first weekend he gets paid and then we are broke the next week and a half. 

Irresponsible you say....well yes maybe a little but in all honesty we never have that much money to begin with.  You think, now wait a minute,, your husband is in a supervisor position,, you should be doing fine.  Well yes, he does get supervisor salary but his place of employments pay is crap!  He makes a lot less than most of our friends/family that don't even have a supervisor job!  We have 5 people in our family and a LOT of bills.  I have a childcare business but that doesn't pay the bills.  The money I make pretty much goes to Ben for his spending money and the rest is for groceries.   We just can't keep up with "the Joneses",,, it's impossible. When I see people that I think are in a similar situation spending and getting things I find it hard to understand, but then I just need to remember....they have more money than us.  haha... It's fine I don't mind.  Although I do think people think we have/make more money than we actually do. 
Ok,,,don't know how I got off on that ramble, but what I was getting at is budgeting the money better,,, normally I pay the bills Friday online, then over the weekend try to get groceries that will last us close to the two weeks,, then with the money left we usually go out to eat or do something extra with the kids,, things like that.   This last week has been really tough,, we spent to much money the first week and we have been out of toilet paper for the last three days!  (Don't worry,, we've been using Emma's babywipes,,:) )  Plus short on food, I've had to be creative with the meals the last couple of days.  Yes there is money in the savings account, but I'm trying my hardest to not have to dig into that, and after last weekends trip to Ft.Wayne and our out to eat with the extra kid at a place we thought kids ate free and found out we were wrong, after we got the bill, i had already had to transfer money over to the checking account and I didnt want to do it again.  So I waited until today when Ben got paid.  Tonight I will go out and get some groceries and dog food---we ran outta that to but I have been feeding her leftovers and hot dogs so she hasnt been starving, and toilet paper!  Woo Hoo.  haha,, the thing I will not do is let us go out to eat tonight.  I've decided that maybe we should wait til the second week when he doesnt get paid and if we really wanna go out then if there is extra money left we can. 

Ive been trying to put one to two hundred extra dollars into savings for Florida every other week also and that has been working out.  That is where part of our money is going. The resort is already paid for,, I think I have enough money in there for our tickets for the parks now,  so now I need to concentrate on getting enough for spending money, gas, and food.  I've got 2 in a half months left so I think its all gonna work out!  

I was thinking, I've done pretty good getting the money for this trip.  Now after the trip I can put all that same hard work and get the rest of the credit card bills paid off!  Maybe that should be my goal for next year.....all credit cards paid off in one year!  Think I can do it?  We will see.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Final zoo trip


We made our final trip to the zoo this year on Saturday.  I had one of my childcare kids here so she got to go along too.  She loved it.  It was pretty chilly in the morning but once we got there the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.  The childcare kiddos dad was so scared I would lose his kid, lol,, I told him I haven't managed to lose one yet.  It was quiet crowded when we arrived .  So I decided to try out the buddy system.  I put Jess in charge of Emma and Gary in charge of Bree and said everyone was to stay with their buddies the whole time.   Of course Ben and I were right there too.

 Here is Emma and Gary all tangled up in the netting,
 Emma finally got it to where she would pose for me,, the netting had to be just right.


 Emma wanted to ride on the peacock this time,,
 She just loves those goats.

 Here is us around the fire pit..... since we purchased it we have been out there every single weekend night.  This isn't a very good picture but you can see Ben roasting the marshmallows.  We also had smoked sausages over the fire for our dinner.   Its so nice sitting out there relaxing.  The kids run around in the dark playing hide and seek and everything else they can think up. 

Today were going to go to mom's house and their gonna ride the go kart.  Emma has a serious need for speed already!  Then were gonna watch the Colt's game!   I'm not feeling to hot today,,kinda tired and just feeling bummed for some reason.  Hopefully getting out will perk me up. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin Picking

We went pumpkin picking last night at Grandma's house!  First we went to mom's and had dinner and then off to Granny's we went.  Cousin Mira was there and the girls got along nicely!


 Grandma planted pumpkins in her garden this year and the patch grew very nicely.  It was just like picking pumpkins from the pumpkin patch but these were FREE! Woo HOO!

 Isn't she just the cutest thing,, that's her cheese smile.
 There's a story behind this picture... Emma wanted to carry the pumpkin to the car by herself but then said it was to heavy, so Mira said she would help.  It was so cute they were both carrying it so nicely, so I grabbed the camera to shoot a pic but of course by the time I got it ready they were done wanting to carry it together so we tried to get them to pose but it didn't work out. :)
So now I've got a bunch of pumpkins and some corn stalk and a bale of straw and hopefully tonight I can get out and decorate the front lawn a little.   I just love this time of year!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Carmel Apple Pork Chops

This is what I made for dinner last night, Carmel Apple Porkchops,
They were super yummy and the whole family devoured them! I doubled the recipe so there would be enough.
I also made sour cream apple bars yesterday and here as soon as the kids lay down for a nap I'm gonna get to peeling and coring and cutting some apples to make applesauce in the crock pot!
I've been going through my cookbooks looking for apple recipes,,I'm thinking apple bread, apple muffins,, I really wanna try to make apple dumplings. I've found a few different recipes but was wondering if anyone has a tried and true one they would like to share with me.? Or any of your favorite apple recipes that you would like to share would be great!

Monday, September 20, 2010

An apple picking we will go

We made our annual trip the the apple orchard Sunday. Such fun! I love going to that place. Here is Emma with the caterpillar she found right when we got there. My 3 lovely babies. If you look back through the archives you can see how much these little ones have grown over the last 3 years! We've went each year

Emma and Daddy, he was truly such a great sport there!
Daddy is very strong! He can lift Emma way up in the trees,




Mommy, not so much, haha,,,, there was a a family beside us that had a long tree picker thing so you can reach way up and get the good apples. They offered it to us but we said, no thanks, it's more fun to lift up the kids ourselves. :)


Emma is becoming more and more daddy's girl!




We were one week to early to get a hay ride to the pumpkin patch but they still had the wagon set up with lots of hay in it. Emma loved it, we could barely get her outta there.






A rare pic of us together






My sillys












So much fun!!!!! And now I've got loads of apples to do lots and lots with!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Use what you've got

The other day we ran out of shower gel. It was the middle of the week so I was hoping to not have to run to the store so I decided to check the cabinets to see what we had. OH MY, I found lots of little trial sized shower gels. Jackpot! Then that got me thinking.......I wonder how many duplicates I have of some items. After looking around the house I decided I have a overabundance of things and I need to stop buying them until I actually run out of that particular item! Doing this will help me free up some space and save some money!

I took a little inventory of items and made out a list,, here it is:

Hygiene:
-lots of little sized shower gels,,,none bought buy me,,, most were given as gifts or just given to us by family not wanting them any more.
-lots of body lotion!
-3/4 gallon jug of hand soap refill, bought at Sam's Club

Laundry:
-around 2 cups homemade powder laundry det.
-1/2 full big bucket powdered Wind Fresh laundry det. from Sam's Club
3/4 container Wisk liquid laundry det.
-Big container Downey fabric softer, just recently bought from Sam's Club

Now I know what your thinking....who has 3 different open containers of laundry soap??? Well,,, me, lol, I have a little obsession with laundry and various smells and seeing how cheap I can go with it still working good. I love Tide but hate the price tag. I have had mixed results with the homemade soap. I think my main problem is it not having a smell to it,, that's the same thing with the super cheap WindFresh I bought from Sam's,, so I decided when I use the cheap-o soap I just need to use a good smelling fabric softener to be happy. I'm going to finish off all of these detergents and then try the liquid homemade version I think. :)

Air Fresheners:
1/4 bottle Febreze Downey Fabric Refresher
3/4 bottle Febreze Hawaiian Aloha air refresher
1/4 bottle Glade Cinnamon
*like I said,m I'm obsessed with smells

Cleaning Products:

Furniture Polish:
1/4 bottle Great Value polish
1/4 bottle orange glow almond polish
1/8 bottle Murphy's oil soap wood cleaner

Windex:
1/4 bottle

All purposecleaner:
1/2 bottle arm and hammer essentials

Toilet bowl cleaner:
1/2 bottle The Works

Bathroom/Tub cleaner:
-1and 1/2 bottles Comet
-Full Kaboom Foamtastic
-1/4 bottle soft scrub deep clean
-1/4 bottle the Works tub and shower cleaner
*that's a little embarrassing, lol, to my defense I am constantly trying new products because with Ben working at Dalton's the dirt and grim that comes off his body when he comes home and shower is disgusting and very hard on our bathtub!

And last but not least I have something from shaklee, its called Basic H . Almost a full bottle and u dilute it when you use it.. It would probably last me a year or more!!!

So as you can see I have a LOT! I am making a vow to not buy another one of these things until I am down to my last bottle and its empty! It might be awhile before I ever have to buy a cleaning product. so is this normal? Do you have a lot of cleaners around your house? Do you want to use it before you buy like me?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our weekend and a marriage breakthrough

We all had a very enjoyable weekend! No dunes trips though, even though the kids asked to go again. The weather was to chilly I thought for swimming in Lake Michigan. Saturday my Dad and Merry spent some time with the kids while Ben and I went golfing. It was very windy and cold and I had the worst day of golf in my life. It was still nice and fun to get out though. Then after dad's we stopped by mom's house. We call that killing 2 birds with one stone,,, getting our visiting done in one day. :)



Sunday we hung out around the house, I went grocery shopping at Alidi's and saw they had the fire pit we've been wanting for 2 years there. I called Ben and we decided to splurge and get it. Well worth it in my opinion. Sunday evening we got it going and ate smores, sat around the fire, drank and told stories from our youth. HaHa. Poor Gary got to hear all kinds of stories from when Ben was growing up and all the trouble him and his brothers used to get into. Jess missed out cause she spent the night at nana's house. We stayed out there til around eleven! Emma lasted til around ten then told me she was ready to go to sleep so I brang her in and put her into bed. It was great and I hope we can do it again this weekend!



Those are some pics from my phone. Remember my cameras broke :( :( :( I sure am missing it.


Monday was Labor day so both Ben and I had the day off! He got a lot accomplished. He fixed some air vents under the house, replaced some screens in the windows, and mowed the grass. All without me asking him too!


I've had a realization over the last week, and after following it our house has made a turn around! While I know as far as our marriage goes, I'm not the only problem,, but I was part of the problem. My husband feels hated by me and feels that I think everything he does is wrong. That's no good. Can you imagine feeling like that? NO wonder he has no desire to please me when he feels like its not going to matter to me anyhow. I did some research on being a wife and looked into some biblical scripture. I found this to be very helpful to me http://www.gotquestions.org/roles-husband-wife-family.html and this http://www.bibleriches.org/2002/marriage1.html#wife

I am making a concisence decision to be a submissive wife now. He is the leader of our household. I am a stay at home mom and he is the breadwinner. He should make the final decisions in matters. Don't get me wrong, if he is making a destructive decision you'd better believe I'll be stepping in, but for the most part he is the leader and I told him that this weekend. He needs to feel like "the man",, and he needs to feel loved and respected. That is just the way it is and as long as he's being a good father/husband/provider, then I will follow him. I am not a doormat, but I am his wife and it is my job to make him feel loved and respected.
Anywho....things have been going great since I've realized this.
Ben starts his bowling league tonight. I've got a whole chicken in the crockpot roasting,,, it smells so good! Then later this week we will have homemade chicken and noodles again! The family was very excited to hear that!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our weekend and a menu plan

We had a pretty lovely weekend. It sure went by way to fast! Saturday Ben worked a couple hours in the morning then went to a golf tournament. Mom invited us out to breakfast so the kids and I jumped on that offer, then we went up to the zoo with mom and Dave. It was fun. I'm so happy we purchased the zoo membership at the beginning of the season. We have defiantly got our moneys worth. I think we've been up there 5 times. The kids don't seem to get tired of it.

After the zoo the kids and I went shoe shopping. Jess said she needed a new pair of cleats for soccer and new soccer socks. She wanted certain shoes and I was so scared to see the price tag. First we went to PayLess and found a pair that fit her and was only 17.99! Of course they were only black and white and not really the ones she wanted. I told her we would go look at the other store but I wasn't promising anything. She found a pair she liked but they were 35. After much debating in my head I told her to ask if they had her size and if they did I was going to get them for her....I lucked out and everything was to big! So I asked her if she would like to go back to the other store and get that pair and she said yes! So back to payless we went,,, we got her cleats and Gary informed me that his shoes were coming apart... I said no way. He just got a pair not even a month ago. But I looked at them and the soles were barely connected ...ughhh.....luckly all shoes were buy one get one half off so he found a pair....then of course the baby Emma taken off her shoes in the store and trying on all the shoes while we were in there...she kept asking which ones she could get. Well,,, I'm a softy, and my own tennis shoes I've had for 2 or 3 years and every time I wear them they hurt me cause they are so worn out so I decided since the buy one get one sale I would buy myself a pair and get Emma one too. So four pairs of shoes later we were out of the store. I spent $64 in there,, but for 4 pairs of shoes I don't think that's too bad!

Sunday we went back up to the Dunes beach! We got to swim this time and it was so fun and relaxing! Again we only spent 5.00 to get in, and this time we didn't buy ice cream. We packed our lunch again. I LOVE it there and so does the rest of the family!

Because of the shoe purchase I'm skipping grocery shopping again this week. Seems like its pretty much been averaging about every other week around here. I spent a lot last weekend though on groceries so were not too low on much. I've got a menu plan layed out and you can see were still having plenty of yummy food with what's on hand...

-goulash with cornbread muffins
-deer steak, baked potatoes, corn
-roast with potatoes and carrots
-tater tot casserole
-easy Swiss steak with rice
-beef and noodles, mashed potatoes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frugal Fake

That's what I feel like. I big old frugal fake! I talk about saving money and making my own cleaners, saving at the grocery...and while I do a lot of those things, I feel like I screw up in so many other areas that I'm wasting my time with the other things.


Honestly, what difference does it make if I spend an hour making my own homemade laundry detergent to save a few bucks when the next day we go out to eat and spend $30.00? Does that make sense?



I feel like whats the point? I try so hard to scrimp and save and then it all gets blown in a matter of an hour. I am not blaming it all on others,,, I am to blame too. Last night we went out for ice cream when we had ice cream in the freezer. And I didn't even try to say no or talk anyone out of it. So I'm partly to blame to. But I realize the depth
of the situation now and if something doesn't change soon my family is going to be extremely disappointed come December. I have decided that I personally can do nothing about the way my family feels about money. I can argue and fight til my head falls off,,,,believe me I know, I've tried, but there is nothing I can say to change my husbands mind about saving money.




So there are only 2 options that I can see....


1. leave....since he is the major breadwinner and we have 3 kids, I can't really see how that would help my financial situation


or


2. do the best I can by myself,,,,be as frugal as possible by myself,,, put back every cent that I can and try my hardest to not let him talk me into taking it back out of savings. Be strong,, and keep positive about the situation, trying not to feel down or deprived.


And lead by example for my kids.



Obviously its number 2. Wish me luck.

Struggling

I'm feeling very sad and alone. How is that possible really?? To feel all alone when your in a house full of people? When your laying in bed beside the one you've been with for 12 years? I feel like they are all against me. Well everyone but the 2 year old,, she loves me, and when she misbehaves I know its just cause she's 2. They say I'm always complaining about something, never happy(HA, I hate to say it but I'm not the one that's never happy!). Maybe I am in the wrong,, maybe I should just let the kids do whatever they want. Treat each other like crap. Mouth off to anyone and everyone including me. Sit back and watch the one I love poison his own body and drink away the pain every single night. Yeah,,,,, I guess I should just let them be.


Obviously I can't do that right? All I want is for our family to be a happy healthy loving family. I am trying so hard to teach my children right now about why its important to do certain things and why we need to treat each other with kindness and respect. I want them to understand that we are family and need to stand with each other,,,not against.

I don't know what to do. I'm so worn down from hearing that I need to just let things be and not worry about it. How much do I take? How long do I sit and watch as my family slowly disintegrates? Either way something bad is gonna happen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lots of stuff.....

Oh my,, I can not believe its been over a week since I have blogged! Everyday I get a idea in my head of something to write about but then when I find the time to sit down and type the idea is lost,,, I need to start writing them down! Lots has happened since my last post..let's see...

Jess and Gary both tried out for the school soccer team.. Gary got cut after the first day of tryouts and Jess ended up making it. Talk about a hard situation. That was my worst fear when they both tried out and it happened. I actually think Gary handled it pretty well though. He was very bummed but he's gonna try out again next year and he will continue to play for the CCAC soccer league in the spring. Jess is very excited! It's a co-ed team and she is one of the only 2 girls! She's gonna have to be tough!

Saturday we had dentist appointments for the oldest 2 kiddos. NO cavities! WOOHOo! So now I owe them each $5.00, I made that deal a while ago with them that every time they came out with no cavities I would pay them because fillings are expensive and if I can give them a little incentive to brush well.....then that's still cheaper than paying to have extra dental work done.

After the dentist we went Sam's Club shopping and stocked up on a few things. Then went to Aldis for the rest of our groceries. I ended up spending 200 on groceries this week,,, but I hadn't been to the store in 2 weeks. Plus some things I got at Sam's club will last a long time. I was thinking of writing a post on Sam's club and what I get there,,,what I've found to be bargains,,anyone interested in that or not?

Sunday we went to the Indiana Sand Dunes!! It was sooo fun. Its about a hour and a half drive and its only $5.00 per car to get in. We packed our lunch. When we got there we found out the water was closed due to dangerous rip currants :( WE still were able to play along the shore line and get wet and splashed by the big waves though. It was fun,, even Ben sat there with the kids and let the waves crash on him. I could tell he really enjoyed it,, I think it reminded him of the ocean. WE also hiked up the big sand hills and buried each other in the sand. I took some pictures but not nearly as many as I'd hoped to because me camera broke while we were there. the lens wont go back in so I don't know if there is sand trapped in it or what but I'm lost without my camera. :(

I've got a chicken roasting in the crock pot right now and after its done I'm gonna debone it and were having chicken tacos for supper tonight, and tomorrow chicken and homemade noodles with mashed potatoes!! YUMMY!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First day of school 2010

Today was the first day of the new school year. Our summer flew by so fast. The kids were both so excited to be going back and seeing their friends! Here they are in front of the closet for our picture that I take every year. And here's them getting on the bus. I asked Jess if we could go out and sit and watch while they were getting on the bus and she was like,,,"uuhhhhh....I guess. Emma probably wants to watch." I asked what the problem was and she said nothing,,,so then I asked if she would be embarrassed...after hesitating a little bit she said no. I told her we wouldn't go out if it bothered her but she said it was okay. This means its starting.......she's gonna be getting the attitude that its embarrassing to be seen with her family :( NNNOOOOOO!!! I even made sure I was up and showered and all pretty so I wasn't going out in my jammies, lol. OH well,, I guess its part of life.

I just can not believe Jess is a 6th grader this year and Gary is in 4th. Where has the time gone? They were just babies not to long ago. When I'm with my neighbor she has kids the same ages apart that Jess and Gary are,, their still little though, 3 and 1 1/2. I often find myself thinking back to when I was in that stage of life with Jess and Gary. They were so good with each other back then. I've matured and changed so much as a parent now. Sometimes I wish I could go back to then,, but I think my kids have turned out to be pretty good kids! I'm so proud of them!!
After the kids left I set up the girls with a tea party and got to work cleaning up the house.



They had so much fun! We will get back into our normal routine now here with learning time for the littles, and other things. I got my new chore system book for my b-day that I wanted.. I'm so excited but I think its gonna take a little time to set up. The book is called Managers of the Chores and its great. It goes into detail why having chores is a good thing for children and so much more. It doesn't even get into talking about the chore system until the end of the book and its a pretty long one. I think I will have a little trouble at first with the kids but once we get going its gonna be great!!
I've got so many emotions running through me right now! The first day of school is always so hard for me:( I don't even want to think about Emma going...ugh.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Carrot Love and turning 30

I just had to share this picture of some carrots we got from our garden. Look, their hugging!! So cute! Today I"m making a roast with carrots and potatoes! Yummy. I'm also contemplating trying to make homemade noodles for beef and noodles tomorrow(made with the leftover roast meat). My neighbor has did the noodles a couple times now and says there so easy,, plus she let us have a taste test the other day and Emma likes them so much she cried when she couldn't have more, haha.

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 30!!! I have decided though that age is just a number and I don't feel any older than I did last week,, so who cares if I'm 30...I can still have fun with the rest of them. Jess says I'm way younger than most of her friend's parents,, there all like 40. Guess that's what happens when you start having kids at the young age of 18. :) I've learned so much in the last 10 years.....actually I'd say I've learned the most in the last couple of years. I wish I knew then what I know now, but oh well. I can't wait to see where were at in 10 more years. I had a great evening yesterday,, I was pampered by my family,, it was wonderful!!!! And Saturday Ben and I are having a night out alone!!!! We're staying in a hotel in Ft. Wayne,, doing dinner,, comedy club,, then going back to our room to soak in our whirlpool tub!!! I'm so excited!
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