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 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 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 :) (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, 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.