Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year Blessings!!

Pyzam Glitter Text Maker
Glitter Graphics Maker & MySpace Layouts

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goal Setting Sunday

Finished all my sewing last week in time for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day :) The only thing I did not get done, because we had to go shopping late Christmas Eve, was to make Santa some cookies. But, that worked out because our neighbor blessed us with some wonderful treats early that day and they were perfect for Santa! He had a small plate full of treats to enjoy that night!

This week's goal is to get some deep cleaning done. Im not exactly sure why it happens, but in the main bathroom, the baseboards get very dusty-then, of course, with showers and baths, the steam turns the dust into dirt-ewww! So, I plan to make that my first task. Not a big one, and they are not totally disgusting, but I want them done :) Another chore will be to go around and clean all the windows and the frames around those windows. They really sweat in this cold weather, so they need to be wiped down. This is something I was doing once a week, but with Christmas coming, they got put behind. So, I need to really get in and wipe each one down nicely.
I also want to wash my mini blinds-this will be the last thing I do, but this week we have a couple days where the weather will be sort of warm. So, I am hoping to get out the hose and spray the blinds down and let them dry outside. They were dusty--actually-filthy--when we moved in and I have tried everything else to get them clean. I believe the people before us smoked in the house, I can sometimes smell old smoke in the closets-ugh! They smell awful and that is another thing I need to do-figure out some way to make my closets smell better-lol!. Anyway, I think the residue on the blinds are from not only dust, but cigarrette smoke :( I have tried cleaning them, but I think they just need a good outside scrub and spray! We have long vertical blinds hanging over our sliding glass door, which I was able to easily wipe down with rubbing alcohol, but it didn't work as easily with the mini blinds....I will try to post a before and after pic of these :)

Have a great week everyone!! Be blessed and enjoy the rest between now and New Years!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reasors and Food Pyramid Sales

I thought I might start listing some good deals I find at Reasor's and Food Pyramid. These are two local stores around the Tulsa area. Of course, these stores are in other areas as well, but these ads will reflect the sales within my area :)
Right now, Reasors has a small ad due to Christmas. I believe their new ad comes out on the 31st. The best deal they have this week is Best Choice chunk cheese, assorted varieties-8 oz, 2/$3. I usually buy the 2lb bag of shredded at Walmart for a bit over $7. It is the best deal I can find without a sale in either shredded or chunk cheeses. But, when there is a sale, like above, I buy it instead ;)

Food Pyramid has a lot going on it seems:
Ground Chuck-$1.59/lb
Hiland sour cream or dips-$.69 for 8oz
Fresh Avocado-$.39 each
Chex Mix or Bugles-7.5-8.75 oz -2/$3 (could save more with a coupon-double coupons up to 50 cents)
Ole South Roll Sausage or Links- $.79 6.4 oz-16 oz
Fresh Baked French Bread-$.69 each--we love to use these for subs :)

And of course, there are other sales :0) These are just things that caught my eye and I know are good prices for these ads. Here is a link to Reasors http://www.reasors.com/ and a link to Food Pyramid http://www.mypyramidonline.com/ads.php

Friday, December 26, 2008

Picture of Jess...

With Jess :) Here is that shirt, on Jess, that I made and forgot to take a pic of before wrapping it. I had some happy little (and big) girls on Christmas over their American Girl items I made for them and that made me happy :) Katy was happy how well the cape fit Felicity. That made me feel good since I didn't really think at her age, she would get too excited over something like that anymore-lol!
The pants I made Josh worked out great! I had to make them using some other jammie pants since the pattern I had was too small for him. I went on a wing and a prayer with those but they turned out terrific! I thought they would be too big, but they are almost perfect, with a little growing room! YAY! I was unable to find him a shirt at Walmart when I went on Christmas Eve-could not believe I could not find a single long sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt in his size--ugh! I will look after the Christmas crazies are over :)
Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!

Rayovac Coupons

A couple weeks ago, I listed a link for what I thought was a great deal on Rayovac batteries...ugh! I guess the coupon changed from what the original posters had. They were able to get free packs of batteries...if you go to Walmart, or even Target, from what I have seen, the deals are not that great :( The Rayovacs that are about 94 cents at my Walmart are not alkaline, which is what you need to buy in order to use that coupon. And, at Target, in teh $1 Spot, they do have the alkaline batteries, but in 2 packs for AA or AAA and you have to buy 4 packs in order to use these :/

Of course, you can always buy a 4 pk of alkalines and still save a nice buck-and I think-'think'- these might last longer than the 94 cent ones, but I have never tested it, so don't count on that to be true-lol!

Sorry about the misinformation :( I was pretty bummed myself-I love a great deal and love passing them along, sorry this one didn't work out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Done with sewing--I hope!

I finished the pajama pants for Josh yesterday afternoon. I didn't have enough material for a shirt, but hope to find a nice black or red long sleeved t-shirt as a substitute--plus, I think it will feel nicer under his robe made of fleece he got last month....
And, here is Levi's stocking :) Not very "Christmas-y" but, since he loves anything that has to do with cars, he is going to love it!
Have a blessed day today and have a very blessed Christmas Everyone!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bad Blogger! Bad!!

I know I promised a pic of the AG shirt I made, but I wrapped it-lol! I will post a pic, perhaps with the intended doll wearing it (and the hopefully happy little girl holding the doll ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Caring Bridge

I received an email about this little girl this morning: Hannah
She is a very sick little girl and is asking for cards for Christmas. Read under Our Story and look through her dad's journal. I am sure you can find more info on her through a websearch, but this has been verified through Snopes.com as well. Please, if you can, it doesn't take much, send her a quick Christmas Card.
In her journal is where you can find one address listed by her dad.

Goal Setting Sunday

As I have shown all week long, I have been working feverishly on my sewing projects. Yesterday, I sat down to make that AG shirt--I modified a pattern that was originally for an AG coat-instead of cutting two separate pieces, I just put the edge of the pattern on a fold, as you would do for any regular pull on shirt, and cut it out. Guess what? It wouldn't go over the doll's head when I tried it. Thankfully, I had not sewn the whole thing or I would have been upset. But, I had attached the hood-sort of making a hoodie shirt. SO, I snipped a bit in the front, down the center, adjusted the hood a bit in the front and sewed that all up. Well, that made the front of the shirt low cut....Jess, the American girl would not like cold air on her chest in the winter, so I had to fix that! A bit of ribbon and ...voila!

I will post a pic later on since it is still dark here and our old doggie is in the playroom keeping warm and I don't feel like battling her-she may be old, but sure is strong and even more head strong-lol!
My goal this week is pretty much the same as last week's. I still need to sew a stocking and perhaps a nightgown for one of my kids. I also have to prepare for Christmas dinner, as well as still do some Christmas shopping and it looks like most of this will all be done on Christmas Eve-not to mention wrapping gifts. So pray for me for strength and peace to get through this week. It's all pretty much up to me, so Im freaking out a bit-lol!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More American Girl items done :)

Just wanted to share what I did this morning-ohhh-it's after 1 now, so I guess this morning and part of the afternoon-lol! I did start the dishwasher and helped kids with school work, so I wasn't sewing ALL morning :)
This is Felicity's cape. I think it turned out wonderfully! After I took this pic, I added an embroidered trim around the edges and it really makes the cape much nicer!
Kaya is modeling :)

Here is Kaya again-though not the Kaya who is to receive the actual winter coat and mittens--it HAS to be a surprise!
There is a bit a variation in the material, but I figure it adds to the 'reality' of what would have been really worn in Kaya's time-they would have not have perfection in their furs :) Stretching it a bit? Yea, probably :P
But, Im proud of myself-since we could not afford AG clothes this year, this was the next best choice and I think I did pretty well-no, they are not perfect, but my girls will be happy I think. I still have to make a shirt for the jeans, which I am going to cut out now-I think. My back is hurting, so it might wait for later :0 Have a blessed day everyone!

American Girl creation pics

Oh yea-got the camera to work!! So, I took a couple pics of what I have done so far. I made some mittens for Kaya yesterday and got started on a wrap (though the 'rabbit' I am using may not have enough fur for me-hey! It's a stuffed play rabbit-not real. but I figured it Kaya has a 'rabbit' fur wrap, I should stay as close to the original as possible ;)
So, here are the mittens and the jeans I made the other day. Im still trying to decide on the shirt for the jeans-or the material I want to use, I should say. Oh, and I forgot to get the pajamas, but will add a pic of those next time. I must say, if I make another pair of mittens, I will add some 'fur' to the mittens on the ends before sewing the two mitten sides together. I was too lazy and have too much sewing to get done to do that now-plus, I don't think I have enough bunny 'fur' to do it :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stupid batteries--and American Girl Clothes

Ugh! I went to take a pic of some Am. Girl jeans I made the other day and my camera won't work due to those rechargeable batteries not working :( :::grumble grumble:::  I am thinking I need to ask Santa for some new ones...

Anyway, I finished the nightgown for the Am. Girl and went ahead and made jeans. I recycled some old panties (they were clean) to use for the elastic in the doll jean's waistband-it worked amazingly! I used the elastic from one of the legs, but I imagine the waist elastic would work just as well! I need to make a shirt and I think Jess, the Am. Girl will be happy and stylin' for atleast a little while!

Now, I need to figure out an outfit to make for Kaya-he is tired of her same ol' dress. She needs a new one. I don't have a pattern for this-perhaps I can use the dress she has on as a pattern, but then I need to find material for it. I don't have any good material that looks like something Kaya would wear...and time is closing in on me before Christmas! I also have to make a stocking for the child who's name I drew on the 1st day of Advent...ok, Im stressing out a bit :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Swagbucks-search & win

Search & Win

I have been using Swagbucks a few months now. It did not take me long to build up points to redeem for prizes. I use it often to search for things online-no, not every time I need something, but for most searches. I have been able to get 3 $5 gift cards to Amazon.com. Two of those I used to download a cd my girls want for Christmas. The other is waiting to be spent :) Of course, you can let these points just add on up, which is what my plan for the coming year will be. I will save the points here and the money I get in my PayPal account for Christmas next year. Im hoping it will be quite a bit. I think that along with places like Ebates.com, I can get some pretty good deals and perhaps earn cash back at the same time ;) Anyway, check it out. I do get points along with you when you sign up under my name, but, when you invite folks to join under your referral number, you get their points :) So, it keeps on giving ;)

Goal Setting Saturday-umm-let's change this to Sunday :P

I enjoyed a week of no goals! It was lovely! We did school work, but we spent three of those days making cookies :) FUN!! Well, we did not spend all day making cookies-no way-my waistline would not handle that! But, we made a different batch each of the three days and one batch was for a Christmas party on Friday. I still did my regular chores and my kids have been pretty good at keeping my kitchen clean for some reason-perhaps one of those kids drew my name at the start of Advent?

Im going to change this to Goal Setting Sunday-why, you ask? Oh, I know it's obvious :) I seem to get my goals done by Saturday and set a new one on Sunday. Mostly due to the fact that dh is off Sundays and Mondays, so I try to be sure most of my work is done by Saturday so I can spend his days off pretty much chore free (other than dishes or a load of laundry that magically appeared on my laundry room floor ;)

This week is to finish that silly little Am. Girl nightgown and perhaps find enough material to make Jess a nightgown for Christmas Eve. I also need to find some material to make Levi a stocking-I drew his name and he only has his small baby stocking. He loves it, but I would like to make him one a bit bigger that he can treasure ;) I hope to find some car material and use some extra flannel I have -car material for the top of the stocking and the flannel for the bottom, foot part.

So pray it stays warm enough in the playroom so I can do this. For some reason, it doesn't heat well in there, and that is fine, except when you need good blood flow in your hands for sewing-lol!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Well, I met one goal this week-almost. We have been fighting a nasty virus here-started before Thanksgiving with one of my kids and has gradually hit each of us. Im still feeling full of snot in my head-lol-and it is not fun!

But, I did get to work on one gift for one of my kids-I was able to get most of a nightgown for an American Girl. I will post a pic as soon as I can wrestle my rechargeable batteries from my hubby who is using them in his flashlight :) Did I mention I found the batteries, after thinking they had been thrown away? Yup :) Then, DH took them -oh sigh-

I think this week I am going to take it easy-perhaps work on more sewing, but I need to just heal from this cold and not worry about sewing, cleaning, etc... we will do school work and the everyday chores. Hopefully I will be back to a new challange next week :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some great deals with printable coupons

You can always count on some amazing bloggers to give great deals online-and also, to share deals with coupons. Right now, you can save $1 on Ray-O-Vac batteries-which means free or almost free. I believe these are about 94 cents at Walmart, though I have heard they are also $1 at Target in their $1 section :)
Get Your Rayovac Coupon here

Next really terrific deal are some Goody Ouchless coupons-save $2 on one packet. At my Walmart, these are about $2.12 or more. I bought 2 packs of the cheapest and paid 12 cents per pack. You can use these as stocking stuffers. Or if you know of a place taking donations-how great would these be for teens?! And for only 12 cents-you can beat that :)
Goody Coupon

Arby's Extras-yes, go to this site-Arby's Extras -Join up and get a coupon for a free minty shake-yum! Im going to get dh to sign up so we  have a quick date night sometime soon ;)

Johnsons Buddies Soaps-Use this coupon-Here- to print off $3 off 3 items...then use it to buy some Buddies Soaps which are right around $1 each. You can get them for free-or almost ;) Another neat little stocking stuffer for the lil ones or perhaps a good donation to a food pantry that might even hand out personal care items!

Check out the blogs on the right to find other great coupon offers.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Ideas

Every year, we celebrate Advent. This year, it started yesterday, November 30th. We celebrate this a couple of different ways. The big one is our Advent Chain made from paper strips. On each strip is a different activity for the day-for instance, yesterday's activity (and this is always our 1st activity) was to put up the Christmas Tree and draw family names. The other way we celebrate Advent is "What God Wants For Christmas"-a neat interactive nativity-very sweet and really puts meaning into this busy time of year when we might otherwise forget what the ultimate gift is!
Here is a link to learn more about the game:

We also carry on a tradition I grew up with-every year my mom would buy me an Advent Calendar with chocolate inside. This is one tradition my kids and now, my hubby, look forward to every year! My husband is famous for saving up his chocolate and torturing the kids as he opens each one and eats them-of course, then he shares too, which is nice ;)

Here are some sites I like to visit to get ideas for our chain-the first one is more for adults with Christmas money saving ideas, recipes, etc..
Cindy's Porch: Advent Calendar

Promo From Home School in the Woods



http://www.teachingmom.com/features/advent.html (this is from 2007-has not been updated, but you can still get some wonderful ideas and there are lots of links to many other sites with more ideas or activities :)

Have a blessed and wonderful time this year celebrating the birth of our Saviour!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

My house was nicely cleaned-floors mopped, carpets vacuumed, counters clean...that was until Thanksgiving-lol! Then, the messes started from all the cooking and baking :) Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
Hoping to get back into the swing this week! I was able to get all but one day made for our Advent Calendar which I hope to finish today-we will start tomorrow :0) Later on today, we are going out to our old house to get our tree and other Christmas stuff.

This week's goals will be to get back to sewing. We have taken breaks from it due to all the other things happening here. I need to make jammie pants for Eric and probably two of the kids. The other three I got great deals on during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Few Good Deals This Morning

I headed on out with the youngest for some Black Friday Sales. I was able to get everything i wanted, which wasn't alot, but Walmart was insane!

I headed on over to Home Depot, but saw it was early and decided to go to Walgreen's. They have 3 rolls of Hallmark wrapping paper for $1.99-technically the sale is buy 1 @ $1.99 get 2 free. I bought 6 rolls, used one $2 register reward and my total came to $2.32 :) So I got 6 rolls for about 39 cents a piece!! Good deal :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Internet to the Rescue

Man! You can find anything you need at the click of a mouse (well, after you type a search in ;)

I have only made one turkey completely on my own in my lifetime. Other times, I did it per my mom's instructions. The one I made myself, I just made for use in other meals and soups-it wasn't a special Holiday Bird.

So, I needed to know wher eto stick the thermometer. I did this before, but I forget where and wanted to be certain....Then, I wanted to check on some other things-like what is the right temp, how long to roast, etc..



Yes, they have that hotline too :) But, you can also get on their website and get info as well. Perhaps you don't want your MIL, Dear Old Aunt So-and-So, Grandmother, etc... knowing you need that help (or perhaps she has been telling you all you are doing is wrong and you need that extra reassurance)--you can secretly get online and get on their website without her knowing (if she comes in the room, minimize the website :)

Or, the other benefit for us moms---it is so hard to have a friendly conversation on the phone, imagine how hard it is with excited kids waiting for all that food in a few hours and you need to know if this thing your turkey is doing is supposed to happen :) You can check out their website instead and not worry about having to yell into an operator's ear as you tell little Timmy to stop sticking the serving spoons over his ears...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Laura and I took the time last Monday to work on her sewing project. Katy went with her dad to run some errands. The rest of the week went sort of nuts for me-including breaking down again in our Suburban-ugh! Of course, it was one of those where Eric touched the truck and it worked just fine-lol! I am thinking cars just do not like me very much-ha!

This week, I will be busy-not just with Thanksgiving preparations, but with getting ready for Christmas. I plan to move the computer desk to another wall, away from the fireplace, so we can place the Christmas tree in that spot :0). I also am going to do some major house straightening because next Sunday and Monday we will be having visitors-one is a friend of Eric's whose truck he will be working on, and the other are friends of mine :)

Busy already and the Holidays have hardly begun!!

My main goal this week is to make sure I have our Advent Chain ready for next Sunday. I will do this in spare time between regular chores, school work, and all the extras this wee-did I say extra time? I haven't even started and I am already tired-lol!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tough Times for Big Corporates? Why not a Mom Take Over Your Budget?

I just read a headline where the big wigs of the car companies took their private jets to Washington to beg for help with a bail out for their companies...awww-they are hurting so badly and need to comfort of their private jets? How about when Washington helped out those other companies a month or so ago with a $700 million (or was it billion?) bail out and they went on a spa trip? Gee, I wish I could hit the spa!!

This is so sad, and frustrating to me-as Im sure others-or it obviously would not be a news article! You can search the internet for info on frugal living. Many blogs are out there to tell you how to save money. Lots of mommas (and of course, dads, people who are not parents, etc...) are giving advice or sharing their stories on how to save money. They are passing along deals. In this day and age, it is so easy, even if you can afford to take a trip on a plane, to search for the best deals. Come on, private jets? How much would they have saved had they used one of those price quote websites to get a good deal on a plane ticket instead of using their private jet? Awww-would they ahve had to travel beside the average 'joe'? Or perhaps dealt with the uncomfortable whines of a crying baby while thousands of feet in the air?

What is the deal? And, then, Washington is bailing them out? Who eventually pays for all this? Where does Washington get their money back? Perhaps from these companies, but I can't help but think this will pass on to tax payers somehow...

Many of us are already struggling--shoot, these car companies are needing help in order to not send millions of folks to unemployment lines-how scary for those people and their families...yet, the big guys are wasting money-money they could use toward keeping their companies open.

I have a solution-send a frugal momma in there to clean up the mess! Let her come in and cut corners where corners can be cut, pinch a penny till it screams. Private jet--noooo...you take a commercial flight-and no 1st class!  Big meeting-well, no fancy catering here. Deal with cheap sodas and cookies or sandwhiches from a local grocery store-lol! How about those big wigs cutting their immense salary for awhile in order to keep their factories going, in order to pay the machinist who runs the machine, or the worker who assembles parts...

Think about how us moms take a budget and make it work, day to day, week to week, month to month...we could straighten these companies up :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Walmart.com and Aldi

I was on Walmart's website yesterday and noticed they have a new grocery section (which is in beta form right now). Im not sure which way this might be going-perhaps you will be able to order food from their website? Or, what a great way to price check items you might buy-or something new you want to buy and might have a coupon for. I often get a coupon on a new item I would like to try, but don't know if the coupon would be worth it. It would be nice to check the price at Walmart, at the least, and see if that is something I would like to try :)

Also, I went to Walmart yesterday (after dh got home because when I went out with the kids, our Suburban started to overheat and I had to turn around and come home :( Not fun! But, it was a simple fix-and we know what it is, so dh can fix it easily and inexpensively-yay!) At Walmart, I had coupons for the Green Giant Vally Steamers-printed from the internet. It was $1 off one bag, and they were on sale 2/$2!! So, I got the veggies (peas for my creamed peas at Thanksgiving) for free! Since Eric was with me, he got to see 1st hand how much I save with coupons-if even at Walmart! Not sure how impressed he was, but I know I was :) I also have a coupon from Iams for a free 4lb bag of cat food -that saved me almost $8! Then, I had another coupon for $4 off any Purina cat or dog food-bought a small 3lb bag which cost exactly $4-so in cat food alone, I saved almost $12--Im so giddy-lol! I bought two Glade candles-some nice Holiday scented ones-had a coupon for $1.50 off on the two (from a Sunday paper). I paid $2.50 for both after the coupon. These last up to 27 hrs they say, so I think that was a pretty good deal.

Now, on to Aldi. In the Tulsa area, they are now accepting all debit and credit cards! YAY! Before, it was only a few they accepted, so really, you had to bring cash and if you were new to Aldi, that could be frustrating. But, once you got used to what they had and knew what you would be buying, you could pretty much have that cash amount ready when you went in the store :) But, for people who have put off going because of the cash issue, you can now feel free to check out your local Aldi and not worry about having enough money! Only remember to have that quarter for the shopping cart (which you get back) and bring along your own bags or buy them from there (which the plastic ones do hold up nicely! They also have some nice big cloth-like bags for around $2 each-very big bags!).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Laura and Katy set forth to making their quilts last weekend. Laura was able to get most of hers sewn in one setting :) We will be working more on these this weekend since that seems to be when I have the most time to sew.

This week, I am going to work on my kitchen cupboards. There have been a couple that are driving me nuts-lol! I am figuring out a way to re-organize them and make more room in one, while filling up hidden space in another...

I will send pics of the quilts, the girls sewing and also, my cupboard goals later on (yes, I realize I have promised pics before but none have appeared-I have an excure-My dog ate my camera-no? Ok, one of my children, in their quest to be helpful, threw away my rechargeable batteries! So, Im hoping to remember to pick up some today at the store :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday--went flop this week-lol!

My goal went a completely different direction this week! I ended up with a gift from my hubby which I will post a pic on later. It is a display that they were going to throw away. It held bottles on the top half which is like a metal rack. The bottom, which the rack is attached to, is wooden and thick...and it will work nicely to hold two pairs of shoes for each kid :) Yea!! I am trying to figure out how to make the rack part work to hold coats. I have a temporary idea, but I might figure out a way to get someone to weld hooks on for me later on! I am also using clips to hold scarves and gloves! It's nice.

So, I worked on making an area for that.

Then, I ended up clearing a nice spot in the garage for Eric's old Trans Am :) I arranged all the boxes in one corner, also condensed some. I also found more school books :) It looks great in there now, well, now Eric's car is in the empty space-lol! Still looks good though ;) Today, I plan to get the girls started on their sewing. SO, my new goal is an old goal, but I feel good about atleast getting a couple major projects done and also doing something that made my hubby happy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

I made some whole wheat pita pockets yesterday and they are SO yummy! I did have a problem with most of the pitas not blowing up to make the pockets inside, but I know that the more I make these, the better I will get on rolling them out and getting good pockets inside. But, even without the pockets-oh, man! Store bought really does not compare!! I made Levi one with a slice of cheese and a couple pieces of thin sliced lunch meat-we just cut the pita in half, placed the cheese and meat on one side and folded it over. I took a bite and mmmm!!! He then took a bite and mmmm (which surprised me-lol). I used the recipe from Tammy's Recipes--here is the recipe from her site and here is a link to her site (also on the right side under blogs I like to visit :)

http://www.tammysrecipes.com (lots of terrific recipes-please visit her site!)

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

Soft whole wheat round breads with a pocket inside!
Yield: 8 whole pita pockets (or 16 halves)
1 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup gluten*
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

1. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Add the gluten and 1 cup of the flour, along with the yeast, and stir to mix. Add remaining flour and knead to make a soft dough. (Add additional flour if necessary during kneading.)
Alternately, if you have a bread machine, you can put the ingredients in the pan in the order listed and use the dough cycle. Skip to step 3 if using your bread machine! :)
2. Put your dough into a bowl, lightly oil the top, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise, until almost double (about an hour). I like to turn my oven on for a minute or two, then turn it off, and let the dough rise in there, since our house is cool.
3. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle.
4. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured countertop or table, and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for about 25-35 minutes, until slightly puffy. (The rounds will still be thin though! :D)
5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)
6. Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.
7. Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired. :)
8. Store pitas in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge for a few days, or place in the freezer for longer storage. To re-warm pitas, wrap them in a damp towel and then wrap in foil. Place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven for about 20 minutes.

My note--I didn't use just whole wheat this time. I used one cup all purpose flour and and the rest was whole wheat. I also did not use as much gluten. I found that when I rolled them if I didn't roll them too thin, they puffed up better. That might be the trick. For the puffier rolling, I guess I rolled them a little less than the thickness for pita bread that is baked (if that makes sense). These really do not puff up much after you roll them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ahh--they do grow fast!

This weekend (which I consider for our family from sometime Sat afternoon to Monday night :) was a big one for us! Levi learned to ride without training wheels! He just took off! Eric was a bit disappointed because our neighbor's son actually first started teaching him. He wanted to be the one to do it-especially since this is our last one to teach. He still got the opportunity Monday when he took Levi's training wheels off :) Here are some pics of our lil guy ridin' off...
Then, for a couple of days, Levi has had a *very* wiggly tooth! His first one. It was just hanging there yesterday-ugh!- but was just not quite ready yet. Well, all it took was some peanut butter cereal yesterday morning to make it fall right on out (actually, I think he could have breathed once and it would have fallen out too-it was *that* wiggly!). So, we will have a visit from the toothfairy tonight :)

Fabric Garlands

I want to make this! Actually, I want to make a few ;) I have lots of fabric that I can use and to pick up a bit of other fabrics here and there would be no problem :) I have raffia and I have old light strings that would be cute as well! Im excited!
Here are the instructions--I wish the picture was a bit better, but I think I get the general idea!!
Fabric Garland Craft Idea

You can do this for different seasons, different holidays, etc... I want to make a couple for Thanksgiving and I will just take apart the fabric pieces from whatever I tie them onto, pack with the Thanksgiving decorations and then make a Christmas one ;) I figure I can reuse the fabric pieces next year and also add to them. I think little pumpkins of some sort hanging from the raffia would be sweet. And I have some jingle bells somewhere I can add to the Christmas garlands. I want to make one for the entertainment center, one for over my kitchen window and probably one for my front door-maybe the door knob? That one will ahve the jingle bells so they can irritate my husband everytime the door is open and shut (a tradition I have set in place for the past few years-lol! Poor Fella!).

Monday, November 3, 2008


Im so glad my kids don't mind hand-me-downs :) Over the past couple of months, I was blessed with clothes for my youngest daughter and my youngest son...very nice clothes and so adorable. Now, I know, you are probably saying she has older kids, can't she use the clothes from them--well, yes, I do in fact use them :) But, with my older son, he went through clothes quick while living in the country. And, with my girls, well, the clothes went through two girls and some are worn a bit. Or, stained. Or, well, all kids have different body shapes, so what might have fit the older kids well, don't fit the youngers the same way :)

We also got blessed with shoes for the youngest son-two full bags and they are practically new, or a couple pairs were new!

Im writing this today because, well, I need to see God in something right now. Christmas is coming, and this year, Thanksgiving is also my oldest son's birthday. Times are tough and I am not seeing the silver lining on how to afford Christmas this year....But, deep down inside, I know God has big things for us. No, I don't mean we will have this crazy spending spree for Christmas-lol! No, I mean God has those blessings ready to flow for us :) I just know it. And, seeing what we have been blessed with just the past couple of months, well, I know it will continue.

And, we are not just getting here...no, we are giving too. Where we can, what we can. It isn't always alot. It might be a simple offer to help pull a trailer for a friend who is moving. It might be offering to fix a car for free if that person buys the parts needed. It could be just sitting and visiting with a neighbor who might not get that many visitors, or offering to mow her yard.

I saw someone mentioning coupons she got in the mail and how she shared them with other friends...then she got blessed with more coupons (they were *really* nice coupons ;) She called it Paying Forward. Well, no matter what you call it, it's blessings overflowing :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

No pictures to post, as of yet (need to charge those batteries again :) but I was able to get my playroom/sewing room all set up. The toys are neatly put away (mostly anyhow) and my sewing machine is on it's table. Next to the table are two small boxes full of fabric--that will have to do for the time being :) Boxes that were leftover from the move-mostly filled with Katy's winter clothes-are now unpacked and switched out with summer clothes that needed storing. The boxes are moved to our garage for the time being. Next week, the older girls and I will start sewing :) Im looking forward to it and I think they will enjoy it!

So new goal-get to sewing. I will be teaching Katy and Laura the basics and they are going to make small quilts for gifts. I plan to get started on some gifts for the kids as well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog List

You might see some changes on my Blog List...reason being? OOPSIE!! I was trying to add a couple blogs yesterday and instead, hit the wrong delete button in the process of taking a blog off :( So, I have some new blogs added, but am missing some of my faves...need to remember those since many held such great info on Walgreen's deals and Walmart deals...oh well, Im sure I will find them again :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Couple Christmas Ideas

Yesterday, I mentioned I would be teaching my older girls how to use the sewing machine. As I was running this through my head, and after I told them my idea, I got more ideas for gifts I could make. I have had these ideas before, but decided it was time to put them into action ;)

My kids all have certain shirts that became their faves and will not, under any circumstances, or threats by mom, pass them down to their siblings-lol! Laura loves monkies and horses, so any shirt with either of those creatures is not to even be considered as a pass along shirt to her little sister. Katy got a shirt from her grandma with dolphins on it when she was about 3. She never let me pass that shirt on...

Well, time for new life! I found instructions for different types of pillows to make with these shirts. Also, I could make quilts they would use to cover up with :) Though, I was considering that option for when they are older and move out-how cool would it be to have a quilt made from mom when you are off to college or a place of your own, and it holds such childhood memories ;)

I also found some adorable tote bag ideas! They could make some cute purses for the girls-or a neat library bag!

Here are some sites I found:



I also have another idea going through my head for Katy. Laura has had a nice recipe book for a long time. I actually use it to hold all my recipes-lol! Katy had a small one that we never expanded on. Since she has been doing Home Ec this year for school, I decided it was about time she had a nice recipe book of her own. I have pretty much all I need to get started except the binder, which I know I can get for a few bucks if I cannot find one around the house :) Make a pretty cover for it and add the recipes we use alot. She will love it, I know :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Im thinking this should be goal setting Sunday instead-lol! Im giving myself another week on this one. Why, you ask? Well, the playroom is clean as far as toys go-they are pretty neatly put away....But, when I went to set up my sewing machine on my little table, the hole that was cut out for the original machine is too big for mine. So, Im waiting for Eric to cut me a piece of wood to just cover that-no big deal. And, Im thinking of an idea for my material-I found tons while digging through boxes of winter clothes in the garage! I have no idea why I put that material in those boxes, but, who care?! I found material-YAY FOR ME!!!! So, Im going to wash it this week, and figure out a nice solution to hold all these fabrics I have :) And, I already know what my goal for the next week is--teaching my girls to sew a bit. Laura was asking over and over yesteray if I could teach her to sew. Katy has been doing Home Ec this year and I knew around November we would start on some things she could make for gifts...so we will start a couple simple projects next week and I will start on a couple ideas I have for stocking stuffers for Christmas ;)

So, next Saturday, expect-EXPECT-to see my finished playroom/sewing room. Cleaned and organized :) Give me an internet thump on the head if I miss it this time-lol!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Project Pics I did Yesterday

 We sort of skipped school yesterday. It was rainy and dreary and no one was wanting to do any school work. So, I set forth to getting my soup in the crockpot and my two loaves of bread going. Then, I went into the playroom and looked around. Katy's bed has been in there since we moved because the loft was just too hot in the summer. Im not really sure how well an a/c will work in there, so we will probably buy a portable a/c for her next year, but that will be after we just try some fans to try circulating the air...a suggestion from a friend I want to try :)

Anyway, I realized the evenings are pretty cool, so I asked Katy if she wanted to move up to her loft. You could tell she was having to restrain herself from jumping up and down as she said YES!

This is her area-see all the papers crumpled on the floor from her writing and drawing-lol!
She was using those boxes as sort of a night stand. Well, one of those boxes hold my sewing machine-lol!
I started looking at an old microwave cart we have in that room that was pretty good for holding toys. I wondered if cute boxes could slide in there. I found a beer box, cut off the top flaps and covered it with fabric...
Oh, and Katy had the idea for those little flowers in the front. I was able to find two boxes that worked quite well and Eric brought me more home last night. Of course, the cat on the top decided they were HIS boxes and I will have to wait until he is finished with them-or sneak them away while he is not watching :P
I will paint the cart next Spring-primer it, then paint it-so it will look nice and cute. The boxes hold her smaller clothes nicely and she uses the white dresser for her other clothes.
Right now, her mattress is on the floor-she likes it that way, but I hate it. Eric and I debate if a bed frame will fit up there, but after seeing her mattress up there, I know for certain it will now :) I won that debate-lol!  So, I will look around for a bed frame, or perhaps a captain's bed with drawers to give her more storage space (like for all those books and drawing stuff she owns ;)
So....part of the playroom is done! YAY! Hopefully a bit more today as Im still working on where I want my sewing machine :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goal Setting-Playroom Pics

Well, I asked Laura to take some pics of the foyer for me-and she did, but they were not of the whole foyer-just the one wall, so I will try again to post those later :)

Here is the Before pic of the playroom. Not too bad-just needs to be re-organized. Of course, I also asked Laura to take these pics for me and she only got one small corner-lol! I plan to also make a small area of this room my sewing area. I have a small sewing table that I got for free-YAY! I will put that up as soon as I can. Right now, Katy is in a corner of this room because her loft was so hot and her a/c didn't work when we brought it here. But, with nights being cooler, she will be able to move on up to that Deeelux Apartment in the Sky-i-i-iiii...ahem...sorry about that :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday (Late Again!!)

I do have a VERY good excuse-lol! Our dryer broke last week, so I had been hanging out clothes. Well, I wasn't able to do it this week, so I got behind. Eric and I decided to just wash all the clothes at home and dry them at the laundromat. So, I washed all the clothes yesterday while doing my bi-weekly Sat shopping trips (did a load before we left out and two more after I got home). Then, when Eric got off work, we headed on up to the laundromat and dried. We also had to take a trip to Wallyworld-again-to return a remote that was not working when I tried to program it at home. So, my day was pretty well taken up.

I did, however, straighten and weed out the shoes in my foyer. There are still quite a few, especially since DH and I prefer to keep ours near the door. Katy does, as well. I've got some ideas running through my head...I really want something that hides the shoes pretty much. I will figure it out, Im sure. A picture will be posted later, once my camera's batteries are charged (which is why there is no before pic since my sweet kidlets kept taking them out of the charger to take pics, but never putting the batteries back in the charger to be recharged-did I say I needed new batteries? Yea, think I did, but it is one thing I keep forgetting when I go shopping-lol).

Next week will be the playroom. It needs to be reorganized and cleaned up-it's a mess considering the kids rarely play in there...I will post that Before pic later when I post the foyer picture :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Whoops! Late Goal Setting

Gosh, we have been busy this weekend, so I missed setting my goal on Saturday, then Sunday :/ But, I also really did not know where I wanted to move onto next...then, waling into my front door, I figured it out-actually, I stumbled over shoes :P The hallway by my front door is a mess with shoes! We really have no organization there and I dream of the day I can afford what I want to organize my shoes :) I would love a nice bench seat where the seat has storage under it. That would hold our shoes :) But, I will have to figure out something until then and I can't keep ignoring the shoe issue just because I do not have my dream storage bench :) I will upload a pic later when there is a bit more light and my headache is gone-lol!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday

Here are the areas that I had for my goal this week. I moved all the toys beside my desk (and behind the couches) so they are hidden. Of course, now I have a big empty wall-lol! But, I have a plan for what I want on for that wall, it will just take time :) The picture beside my son will go up on a high part of our wall once I get Eric to help with it-or a ladder, which ever comes first ;)


And, here is my entertainment center...Actually, just the are that was driving me nuts-the bottom! The kids throw stuff in there, or play with toys on those bottom shelves and they get quite messy.

Now the game consoles are neatly in the middle-also allowing me easy access to the power strip to unplug things easily ;) My books are on the shelf to the right and the kids' books are on the left :)

Im not sure why that little purple ghost keeps showing up on the entertainment center (there in front of the dvd player)...think he has a favorite program he wants to see?

Now, for my next goal...well, Im not really sure, yet. Im thinking my bedroom, but I might have to look around and see what it really driving me nuts! LOL! I will have a new goal by tomorrow. Or, I might just start working on some crocheting projects I have been wanting to do for Christmas...I will have to find my yarn ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coupon Organization Tip

I often get coupons in the Sunday Paper. On Oprah the other day, The Coupon Mom (www.couponmom.com) suggested the real way to save with coupons is to buy a few Sunday papers-well, with the price of the paper in our area now going up 50 cents, that is alot unless I am able to get some really great coupon deals out of it. But, I usually cut out the coupons I need and forget about the rest. Then, weeks down the road (so to speak) I come across a blogger who shares some of the great deals she is getting at some store and she will use one of those coupons from a past Sunday paper. Well, I'm out because I do not have that coupon section anymore. Well, I came up with a solution to that. I am now taking my coupons that are leftover, you know, those ones not cut out and still dangling from the other pages in the coupon section, and folding them in half slightly, then, I place them into an accordion folder. These sections each get placed under the month they came in, because that is the best way to go back and find those coupons. For instance, this week's paper had a coupon for Green Giant Steamers-$1 off. Well, we have not tried these and I was not sure of the price and if I would ever buy them, so I didn't cut it out. One another blog, I found that Walmart sells these for $1.27. The final price with the coupon will make it 27 cents! Great deal for some frozen veggies. So, I went to my Sunday paper, took out the coupons, cut that one out and now the rest of my coupons are folded and inserted into the month of Oct in my accordion folder--for when I come across another great deal using a coupon I didn't cut out before :)

Can't wait to try those Steamers and only spend 27 cents on them! YAY! Now, I am wishing I would have bought a couple extra papers. That suggestion from Coupon Mom would have paid off this time around! Not only would the Steamers coupon made it worthwhile, but, of course, there were many other good coupons in there and in the long run, I would have made the money back, plus more, by using the coupons!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Experiment in the Works

I was watching Oprah yesterday and they were talking about America's Thriftiest Families. These people were sharing things they were doing to cuts costs, save money, and just how the economy is affecting their lives right now. One lady shared how she cut her electric bill from over $200 down to about $60! One thing she did was unplugging things when they were not in use. I had started that a couple months ago, and our next bill after I started this was down about $100. But, that month, we also had not used the a/c much due to nice cool weather and being able to just open windows and the front door to allow the cool air inside. So, I will compare it to this new bill that should be coming in a few days.

I also realized there are things plugged in that we do not use all the time-the kids' game consoles, the stereo, the dvd player, and even our surround sound. So, yesterday, I unplugged those items. I also realized our computer, printer and even the speakers for my computer could be unplugged when not in use. We'll see how much this effects our bill next month. Since my dryer is not working, Im sure that will affect our bill too...

Here is a link with lots of info you can read through and see if there are ways you can cut your costs to save money :) http://www.oprah.com/dated/oprahshow/oprahshow_20081008_thriftiest

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Spider Went up the Water Spout!! EEEEKKKK!!!

I made this fella today. He is hanging on my front porch :) I got the idea from From Cindy's Porch: Our Halloween Spider He hangs over my pumpkin and cute lil gargoyles :)

Frugal Tip-Stretch That Chicken to the Limits!

Use every bit of a whole chicken that you can-if you roast it, after you are done picking it clean, place the bones in some water and simmer for a while. Not only will it make a nice broth, but will get those last bits of chicken off the bones that you might have missed. Strain the broth (don't worry if it gels up when it is cool, that is a sign of a nice broth from what I understand :) and put in a freezer bag, or pour into ice cube trays until frozen, then place in baggies :)

I did that last week-cooked a chicken in the crockpot with some water (just about half way up the side of the pot) until done. Stained the broth and placed it in the freezer for a meal this week (chicken chili). I then picked all the meat that I could off the bird (this was actually the next day after it had cooled in the fridge overnight). Then, I placed the bones in more water and simmeredd for a bit, making another nice broth, as well as getting that last lil bit of chicken off :) This was strained and put into a freezer bag for anotehr meal-probably a nice chicken tortilla soup next paycheck :)

I got about 2 good dinners from this bird-but, I had leftovers which made 3 lunches for the kids and two sandwiches one night for Eric after work. Then, with a good chunk of breast I saved and the broth I made chicken chili, which I still have leftovers for a couple lunches this week...So it stretched and more-lol!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Aren't these lil guys cute?

These lil gargoyles are watching over my pumpkin :) I got them from the Dollar Tree for, of course, $1 each :) The pumpkin was purchased from Aldi. I love the one covering his mouth like he is hiding a laugh-so cute :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Goal Setting Saturday!!

Here is my organized closet! There is still some stuff at the bottom, but those are some things that I plan to sell in a yard sell. The box contains Laura's winter clothes which we will be digging into soon! The top shelf looks disorgainized, but it really isn't. On the right are fabrics, some of which are just scraps mainly and cannot be folded easily. Once I get a sewing station of some sort set up, I will move those. On the left are things like bed ruffles and matress covers. I have a hard time reaching that shelf (yes, Im a bit short :) so I tried my best to lay them up there nicely.
During this closet organization, I was able to take sheets/blankets from a plastic storage container which had been taking up space in my bedroom closet. This freed up a bit of room in there-nice! It also allowed that storage box to hold some toys the kids keep in the living room. Below, the big blue box is the new toy box. And, this also shows my new project for the week! YAY!! I was trying to figure it out and I think this is it :)
And this-my entertainment center
My new goal will be organizing my entertainment center, and also, organizing those toys to a different location. Oh, and finding a new home for my vaccuum-lol!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pioneer Woman-Marry Me Please?

Ok, so I love this woman! If you have never visited her website (to which there is a link for on the sidebar over yonder under Favorite Places to Visit) you are missing something! Lots of somethings as a matter of fact! She is funny in her writings-even in her recipes. She makes some of the yummiest looking foods and I am looking forward to making Marlboro Man's 2nd Favorite Sandwich for my hubby :) Pioneer Woman takes amazing photos also and I really, really want to live on her ranch-I don't want to muck any stalls, I just want to live on the ranch...probably not going to let me freeload off them, just eating and eating and eating...oh and enjoying the beautiful scenery...

But, when my oldest was about 2, I made these muffins for her every once in a while. I lost the recipe somehow during a move and could never find it again...until now (did I say I love Pioneer Woman?).

Here is the link to French Pastry Puffs--fattening but oh so good :) Would make a Christmas Morning breakfast :)

And be sure to check out her other recipes! You could gain 5 lbs just looking at them!!

PS-My friend at Living the Good Life Blog has a review on one of PW's (Pioneer Woman's) recipes that she made-it looks so yummy, so check her blog out (also over yonder under my blog list :) But, that is how I got started out this morning looking at the PW's website. I usually try to refrain from visiting it when I want to watch what I eat...but I guess I can watch what I eat while I put the food into my mouth-that is watching it right?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Linen Closet

Ok, here it is-my linen closet. See all the sheets pretty much wadded up and thrown in there. Not my doing, of course By the end of this week, I plan to have a nicely organized closet where one can easily go in and see the sheets for their bed and grab them :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goal Setting

I have decided to start setting one goal each week to get some things done that I need to get done. I figure a week would let me do it little by little, not make me feel overwhelmed (which happens and I give up) and yet, I would still get things done.

My DH did this with the garage while he was on vacation. He did it little by little, going through boxes that we still had left over from the move. Some were boxes from his old pick up truck, some were boxes of tools, and some, well, some were my boxes of things Im just not sure to do with right now :) I will figure those out when I am able to get more storage ideas for inside the house---or.....

When I organize my linen closet :) That is my goal for next week. Two reasons-
1-it needs it!! Things are shoved up there, not only from the kids, but me too!!
2-this way I can see where the flannel sheets are that will go on everyone's bed soon :) The weather has been in the 80's this week, but I can see soon we will be ready for those snuggly, cuddly sheets!

This week, I took the time to clean up around my fireplace. I had thrown printer paper up there, just willy nilly--it is right by my desk at the moment, so it was nothing to do. I decided if I wanted to use that fireplace this winter, I better clean it up. So, along with straightening my desk and printer stand (which is part shelf, part filing cabinet), I got it done! It looks nice. I have a couple books that need to find a home in my room with the school books and three boxes to go out in the garage for recycling.

But, I realized when I was thinking about this post, you do not have to limit this to some chore around your house--you can make a goal for the week of reading a book you ahve been meaning to read for awhile now. Or, perhaps make it a goal to try a new dish two nights one week in order to shake up your menu. Or, and this is another thing I am doing when I am online, just once a day-go through all those emails you have been meaning to look at, or perhaps all those links in your Favorite Places and clean them up a bit. Right now, for me, it is my email box--ugh! At one time last week, I had over 500 emails! My DH asked why so many-he must think Im an online addict or something. Honestly, it is because I have begun to send myself a site I want to look over again, or use later on, then I forget about it, lose it, or it stays in my inbox patiently waiting for me to give it some attention :) I have decided to do that now and I have been able to knock my emails down by about 150 emails in the past couple of days. Now, Im down to about 250--still many to go but I will get there. I made folders to save what I wanted to look at-hopefully I will remember where they all are!!

A friend started me thinking about this-she is doing this with her family. Her goal ideas are much different from mine, but it is all the same concept. Make a goal for yourself-whether it is a month long goal, or a lifetime goal...write it down and do it. Her daughter had a goal with music. She wrote it down, stuck to her goal and within 2 weeks had mastered her goal and moved up to where she wanted in band class.  

Anyone can do this, and as I said, it can be as simple, or as detailed as you like. So, for me, to keep some direction for myself, I will take a pic of my linen closet tomorrow-totally untouched. When I am done at the end of the week, I will take another pic to show my results. This will help me feel like I need some accountance for myself ;) Oh, and the other good thing with cleaning my linen closet-I have a laundry basket and a rubbermaid tub that would be used for other things, but have linens in them...so this will be a two fold satisfaction or me!! YAY!!

Krazy Kitty!!

See the crazy kitty?! LOL! I could not resist adding this today. This is Joey, our kitten. He is full of spunk and really brings us alot of joy. He can also be pretty mischievious! He adores Katy and hates it when she goes to the bathroom and shuts the door, keeping him out. He will meow and meow-like cry almost- until she comes out :) He did this the other day-playing with my laundry room rug. He wrapped himself all up in it, then, either because he could not figure how to get out, or he wore himself out, he fell asleep :) It must be all that good free Iams I got last week at the store-lol!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Today is Love Note Day

It is also Shamu Appreciation Day, so don;t get these confused with the person you might send a love note too ;)

How nice would it be for someone to find a love note in their lunch, or hidden in their sock drawer? Maybe you could slide it under one of your kids' doors (love notes are not just for spouses, ya know ;). A hand written note is nice, but, even a love note-email would work. Anything, just to let that certain someone know you appreciate them, you love them and you took the time to think about them today-and not just with a phone call...you sat down and wrote or typed out your appreciation for them. Besides, if they really like it, they might just keep it ;) They might print out that email and keep it in a special place to look at later on in life when they need to remember.
So, take some time and share your love for someone-or 'SomeOneS' :)

My Savings Bottle

Hee Hee-Check this piggy bank out! My husband brought this home from a meeting at his work (he works for Anheuser Busch), so yes, it is a large beer bottle. Well, like a large beer bottle-it never had beer in it and the lid just pulls easily on and off-well, you get the idea :) It is a large piggy bank, just not in a piggy shape ;)
So, we decided we would pitch in our change to this jar-whether it be a penny here and there, all the way up to any quarters we might have. My husband brought this home two weeks ago, and so far, we have $10-at the least. I dug into it because I need to buy more sugar and I don't want to dig into our bank account for a few cents-lol! I plan to put that change back next paycheck when I do my grocery shopping. I shop with cash pretty much, so I can accumulate lots of change most of the time. And, honestly, I have started to pick up a penny when I see it.
I remember years ago when my sister was little, she started saving for a bike she wanted. She didn't have a job-after all, she was only about 5 at the time. But, she would pick up change whenever she saw it on the sidewalk, street, etc and put it into a piggy bank. My mom would add some of her change into the bank. In no time, she had enough money to buy that brand new, shiny bike!!
I'm not sure what we will do with the money we are saving-perhaps a camping trip, maybe a big family activity like fun at the Fair next year, or perhaps something that will benefit the whole family like a bigger kitchen table, a new dryer...well, who knows. But, I'm just so thrilled that we were able to save $10 in only 2 weeks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Links and New Blogs Added

I have meant to do this for awhile now--updating my list of blogs I visit. Some are new to me, some are not, but I enjoy the content on these and wanted to share with others. Most are frugal living blogs and have a wealth of information to share :) I also added in a couple Homeschooling blogs-some of which are also Frugalists like me :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Glow In the Dark Yarn!!! Cool!!

I got the Bernat Newsletter in my email last week and they were announcing their glow in the dark yarn. They also had links to different projects you could make. One was for stars. That got me thinking--I could make lots of stars to hang on my Christmas Tree! Then, when the lights are out, my tree would glow with these little stars-how cute! But, my mind has been going full blast with the thoughts of all I could make with this yarn. How fun would it be to make some slipper socks for the kids with this yarn?! I also thought about making some flower shapes using the yarn for the girls' rooms. Stars would again be cool for the boys and the girls too :)
Here is a link to the free patterns on Bernat-look under accessories for the star pattern.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Making Pretty Binders

A friend of mine shared this with me and Im hoping to do it as soon as the weather cools a bit (I don't know why, but I love sewing when the weather is cooler for some reason). You take fabric and cover a binder making it look pretty, cool, or whatever. I am thinking what a great way to take my shopping binder and kicking it up a notch to not just functional, but attractive!! Im also planning to get fabric each of my kids like and covering their school binders.

There are many instructions out there for this simple project, but I like this one, especially for my shopping notebook, because it has little pockets right on the outside of the binder-convenient for coupons, pens, or even bills that I might be taking with me that day to drop off at the post office :) But, you could also do this with your Household Notebook.

I know many of us use those binders with the covers you can slide a decorated paper into. I love those, and all our notebooks have that, but after a while, these binders can start to split. By doing this method, you can cover those splits with some duct tape (maybe you can find colors to match your material ;) and then, make your cover for your notebook.

Recycling-Reusing? Well, either way, nice for the environment!!

Here is the link for the instructions my friend sent-
Lola Again-Binder Cover Tutorial   (and please check out Lola's purses-SO cute!!)

And here are some other instructions I found online-
Free Pattern & Directions to Sew a Binder Cover

Beat Up Binder Make-over

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Haven't posted for awhile-for good reasons

I haven't posted for awhile-and with a good excuse. My oldest daughter has been having eye pain in her left eye-not around the eye but actually inthe eyeball. We had her checked out for this back in May, but I had her rechecked a few weeks ago. The newest dr requested she have an MRI. Then, at her eye check up the next week, the Optomitrist saw elevated, or swollen, optic nerve heads and requested the MRI be done quickly. It was done the following Monday and the results were normal-praise God, she is fine :) We are still heading to an Opthamologist to discuss the eye pain and see if there is something that still needs to be treated as this is quite painful for her and has no real reason for setting off the eye pains.
Anyway, that all kept me busy and kept my thoughts for the past few weeks. It's funny how when we face things like this, it is SO hard to give it to the Lord and let go of it. We fret and worry and wring our hands-the whole time never thinking to just hand it over. My mom used to tell me to not go fishing for those problems. Throw them out in the sea and let the Lord wash them, rinse them and just take care of them. I always tried to picture myself throwing that problem out into a huge ocean, watching it fly through the air, and *plop* there is would land way out in the water....of course, then as I started to worry again, I could picture myself with a big ol' fishin' pole, with hook and bait, trying to catch that problem again to take care of myself. Why? I know God is mightier than me. I think it is a Steven Curtis Chapman song that say something about God is God and I am just man...He is so mighty and already has those things bothering us under control. He already knows the plans He has for us, what issues we will face in our lives and hwo to best deal with them. We don't....
Ok, so I say all this, will I remember this next time I have a trial to face--probably not. It's so easy to tell this to others, than to do it yourself. Practice What You Preach-yes, practice it. Practicing is doing something over and over until you accomplish what you set out to do. You practiced riding that bike without help until you could take off without falling. You practiced baking until that first cake came out so yummy you almost ate it all by yourself! You practiced that sheet music until you got every note perfect. One day, it won't take practice to let God have complete control over all aspects of my life-I won't worry or fret and I will just hand it over and let go-or throw it into that sea and not grab that long stick to fish it back out ;)
It's also nice to be able to depend on a few close friends-those you know will stand in faith with you that all will be well. Who will uplift you in prayer. Who will support you and listen to you vent again about whatever-lol! It's also nice when you know you can do the same for them when they need it ;) I have a few special friends like that and it means the world to me to be blessed with such special people in my life!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Crockpotting Challange

I'm going to do it-I'm going to jump into making myself plan one meal a week, at least, that is done in the crockpot. A few reasons why I am doing this.
1) It's pretty easy-put ingredients in crock and go on about my day.
2) I can make dinner in the morning, and especially when we are gone during the day, have a meal ready for my hungry clan almost immediately :)
3) Better than heating up the stove/oven and heating up the whole kitchen (which is next to the living room where we all retreat in the evenings)
So far, I have accomplished this goal this week :) On Saturday, I placed a whole chicken in my big pot, added water to cover the bird and turned on the pot :) That was it. Yes, I did check on it now and then, and as the water sort of cooked down (it was becoming a nice, rich broth), I would carefully turn the chicken over to be certain it was cooking all around--probably not necessary, but I felt better about making sure ;) When it was cooked, I let it cool a bit before putting it into a baggie and into the fridge to be picked clean on Sunday. I drained the broth and put it in the fridge-I plan to drain it a bit more-strain it really-and save this yummy broth for some soups when the weather is a bit cooler.
On Sunday, I picked the meat off the bones and shredded it a bit. Placed it into my now clean crockpot and made bar-b-cue chicken for BBQ sandwiches that evening. This did not need to cook long-just get the sauce which I made sort of marinated into the chicken pretty well. I would say about 4 hours on high-started this about 12:30 and we were eating about 5. It was a simple dinner-well, except for picking the chicken off the bones, but I'm pretty good at this job now ;) And, I was able to have enough left overs for a couple lunches this week ;)
I also tried making rice in my crockpot-using the info on it from A Year of Crockpotting Well, needless to say, we did not have rice with our meal on Saturday (which was my other plan on Saturday-had two crocks going). The rice turned out partially over-cooked and sticky, with lots of mixed in pieces uncooked-ugh! Not sure what I did wrong, but I will probably try this again in the future anyway ;)
So, while I will never be able to crockpot everyday for a year, I do feel like putting myself to the challenge of having one meal, even a new meal to us, once a week, from my lovely favorite kitchen appliance will work! We shall see and I will be using online resources like Stephanie, the Crock Pot Lady , AllRecipes.com, and CrockPot Recipes from this site.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Frugal Summer Jammies

I remember a friend telling me about this a while back, but forgot about it until I read it on another blog (think it was ParentHack.com). Men's or boy's boxers make great summer jammie bottoms. Buy them a bit bigger than you think you might wear (or your child might wear), stitch up the little hole in the front nad there ya have it! I bought one package of 4 (it was a bonus pack which are so prevalent right now before school starts) and it was only $5! I originally about them for my oldest son, but they were too small. My youngest dd tried them on and they fit her perfectly! They are camo design, but had two pairs of blue camo that look great for a girl too. My youngest son wears the other camo designs and they are huge on him, but he will grow into them somewhat next year. Pair these with some t-shirts bought on clearance or that youmight already have and it works nicely (I suggest buying the t-shirts a bit bigger for a growing child so they last a bit longer than just this summer). My sister used to do this to years ago and she and my mom would tye-dye them....very cute :)

Happy Chocolate Day!!

Oh Yummy! Today is Chocolate Day!! Enjoy it by eating some yummy chocolate :) Make something with your kids or learn where chocolate originated from and how it came to our country.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Boredom Busters

Whew! It's HOT!! Wow and it's a bit hot to just play outside at times, but the kids get bored and just end up argueing with one another. So, I started thinking of things we could do. We have no sprinkler and I really do not want to waste a whole lot of money in water run off-lol! So, I started searching and started thinking. Here are a few ideas I came up with-warning, these are probably very frugal ideas in most cases, or will cost very little, but hopefully will be enjoyed by the kids anyway ;)
** Make a treasure hunt-this can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can even enlist one of your older kids in the hunt (like I am enlisting our 14 yo who isn't into treasure hunts so much but would be into making and hiding clues). I plan to set up clues that will lead us to a picnic lunch at the local splash pad not too far from our house. But, on another day, I can easily switch this up for another quick trip to a playground close by as well. It's all free except for the gas, but won't take much gas since we are so close to the parks :)
** Check out your local $ stores-yes, this can cost some money, but you can set a budget beforehand and plan to only spend that amount. You can buy packs of bubbles, little bug catchers, frisbees, etc that the kids can share and get outside with. If you give them one activity/toy a day, it's like a new surprise and who knows what they ccan do with them-or even learn-especially when you find some new weird lookign bug and look it up online. Let them use the digi camera if you have one to take pics before releasing the bug. Also, you can enjoy some science with bubbles-try using different objects in the bubble solution and see which makes the best bubbles. Here are some ideas for fun learning-Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles for the younger kids and Bubbles for Learning for older kids.
**Just Way to Hot for Outside Play-Indoors- Hit your library-again, cost of gas but you can combine it with another trip out. Pick up some books on a certain area-for instance, why not have a Hawaii Day. Get some books on Hawaii, maybe a dvd or video about it, or get corny and get an old Elvis movie-lol! Don't forget a couple cookbooks so you can make some foods from that area too! Get online and print out some things for that area, or make crafts that relate to it. For Hawaii, you could learn to hula, plan a luau, and well, you get the general idea. Oh, how about making a volcano (this might be great for done early outside to avoid a huge mess ;) Or, if you happen to find them at the $ store, get some shells and put them in the child's sand box for them to dig up and enjoy a 'day at the beach'-spread beach towels out on your living room floor, get an oceans sounds cd and make some icy/slushy drinks to enjoy while keeping cool. You could also have a seashell hunt in your living room to give the kids a bit more activity. Even put a fan up so you can pretend it is a ocean breeze :)
** Neighbor Cook Out--why not let the kids get involved with you and set up a cookout with some neighbors-as many as you like. They can help you plan what you all with bring, decorating, etc. They might even enjoy thinking up some game ideas for the other kids who will be there (and maybe the adults will join in too).
** Make a fort-again, as elaborate or simple as you want. Have some extra wood (or know where you can get some-perhaps found some on Craigslist)? Make a cool treehouse (with adult suervision of course). Or, you can use boxes, chairs, blankets, sheets, etc to set up a simple fort. This could be done both inside or outside. It can be permanent or semi-permanent... but can keep the kids busy for the longest time! Do your kids argue ove who gets to be where in the fort? Well, make mini forts-one for each child or two (this is SUCH an issue at our house, but it helps alot when I make mini ones and they can visit back and forth from fort to fort-offering a whole new take on thsi project).
** Find a New Craft Idea Online--there are TONS of craft websites and you can find simple fun ideas to do with your kids. These can also be used for making gifts for the Holidays as well. Why not get a jump on Christmas? Let the kids help you find things and think about some things you have laying around the house that can be recycled into gifts. I made my dh small picture frames one year using cardboard cut into shapes with holes in the middle for the picture to be viewed through and then a cardboard backing. I covered the front with some stuffing and then covered that with fabric I had left over. I covered the back with fabric (just used regular school glue to hold it all down). Placed the pic onto the inside of the back piece and covered it with the front piece, carefully glueing the back and front together. It was cute, and simple. You could attach some magnetic strips to the back and they could be a neat little gift for Grandma and Grandpa or another special person...Here are some Summer Craft ideas, and you can use this site also for looking at Christmas ideas Summer Crafts
**The Olympics are Coming!! --Have your own Olympic Games. You can take one day for each different game, learn about China, eat Chinese food, etc...and just pretend you are right there with the Olympians. Get out and play some Volley Ball, show off some gymnastics routines of your own (or that your child has made up), if you have a pool-put on your own swim races or synchronized swim routine :) This can be endless and at the end, you could even give away some medals made up by you using ribbon and juice can lids Winner's Medal  Make your own winner categories for these like "Best Flip" "Goofiest Jump in the Pool" "Wildest Floor Routine" etc...
Just a few ideas...Im sure with some thought and searching you can come up with your own great ideas. It doesn't have to take much in planning or spending in order to give your kids a break from boredom and sometimes, when you start something, they end up going their own way and mixing it up a bit :) Then, they have learned to make their own fun (and given you a break ;) Have a fun and blessed day!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Forced to be frugal...

I am being forced to be frugal-ok, no one has a gun to my head, but sometimes I feel as though there is-lol! No, really, I was thrilled when I went through my cupboards and drawers looking at what needed to be restocked and I saw that we had enough baggies from last shopping trip to where I did not need to buy more this time around! YAY! (yes, Im easily amused) It was a thrill though. I saved a couple dollars. Of course, at the store I usually buy milked marked down, they didn't have any, so I had to buy it for full price-but Walgreen's had it on sale and it was Hiland, so that was nice. I like to try to get hormone free as much as possible. So, how did we have enough baggies left over? I have been diligent in washing them out. Usually, they are used for lunches-especially DH's and I guess he has become very good at bringing them back home because we had alot! I wash them in soapy hot water and hang ot dry. I do not reuse them if they still feel icky after I wash them (some just feel sort of 'sticky' I guess-won't keep those but they could be used for cleaning doggy presents in the back yard I guess ;) Plus, I am helping the environment a bit by reusing. We have also been very diligent about putting leftovers into plastic containers instead of baggies-something I have been trying to drill the kids to do :) So, yes, even though it sometimes feel being frugal and trying to pinch a penny till it screams is going to drive me nuts, when I see results (even small ones) like that, it makes me happy. It lets me see my hard work is not in vane. And, it isn't just with baggies. We are using vinegar and baking soda to clean with. Vinegar is so inexpensive as is baking soda. I don't mind the smell of the vinegar and it dissipates quickly leaving a fresh, clean smell when dry.
Of course, I did spend money out of the norm this shopping trip...I have been stocking up on all those school items for sale! I have come home from Staples or Office Depot with a bag or two full of stuff for less than 30 cents! LOL! How cool is that?! Or, I take my ads to Walmart and comp ad things like notebooks, crayons, etc... Walmart here in our neck of the woods really stinks on their school supply prices this year and I am very disappointed. In years past, I could get crayons for 10 cents-not this year! No where even close to that. What is the deal? Are crayons made with crude oil? And the markers are not priced cheap enough compared to years past....huge disappointment when I told the kids no markers this year :(.
Well, life will go on and I am pretty well stocked for school...of course, that is if I can keep those pencil monsters at bay.
Now, I need to learn more about Walgreen's and saving money using their ads, rebates and coupons!