Saturday, November 30, 2013

Getting lots done

We had a great Thanksgiving.  We went to my mom's house and ate Turkey.  I did go Black Friday shopping and got most of my shopping done.  I only have a few gift cards left to get and then I am done.

I also did my big monthly grocery shopping on Wednesday.  I went to Aldi my favorite store and then to Sam's my next favorite store.  I rounded out the trip with Wal-Mart for a few odds and ends.  I spend $285 on this trip.  I will go back mid-month for some milk and fresh stuff, but most other things are bought up.

I thought that I would share about how I have time to cook a full meal every night after working all day and do it mostly from scratch.  I used to be a big coupon shopper and got lots of stuff for cheap or free.  Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to using coupons, especially for toiletries.  I started to realize that we were eating junk and that my grocery bill was not really all that low, so I started buying more whole foods and ingredients and making most of our foods. After I went shopping I went ahead and seasoned and cooked two chickens.  After they were cool I pulled all of the meat off and put the bones in a pot and make chicken broth.


I ended up with four packages of chicken and three packages of chicken broth.  From this I will make chicken broccoli casserole, chicken tortilla soup, chicken garbage bread (an inside out pizza crust with fillings and cheese), and some chicken noodle soup.
I also got some ground beef and mixed it with deer meat.  All of the men in our family deer hunt and we always have lots of ground deer meat but it is not the best for hamburgers and meatballs because it is so lean and won't stick together.  I mixed the two together with breadcrumbs and a few eggs.  I rolled out one pan of meat balls and 7 hamburgers.
I then stuck them into the freezer until they were hard.   I then put them in zip lock bags.  I then had enough meatball for two batches of spaghetti and enough hamburgers for two dinners.  Some kids prefer hot dogs so I will cook them a hot dog when we have hamburgers.
I also made a batch of granola and a half gallon of yogurt.  I will tell next time how I make the yogurt and granola.   Both are super easy and saves me tons.  We also make trail mix and what we call garbage bag snack mix.  The snack mix is just a bunch of crunchy snacks mixed together and then we store it in gallon Ziplocs.  The kids love it.
Most of this I will put in the crock pot frozen with the other ingredients and it will be ready in the afternoon.  I like having all of the prep work done.  It saves so much time.
Next time I will talk about the yogurt and granola and show how we eat it.  Yummy!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Slowing down

I am sitting here tonight with my feet up enjoying some down time.  We are almost done with soccer and there will only be a few more football games.  That is if they don't make it far into the playoffs.  I guess we will see.  I like being at a slower pace.  I like having time with the family in the evenings and curling up with a book or a knitting project. 

We made some cake pops that looked like eyeballs.  I got them at Aldi and it was fairly easy to make and they were good.

The little guy was so happy that he got all A's this time.  In our house if you get all A's you get to go out to dinner with a parent of your choice.  This is a big deal because we rarely take them out to dinner. 

Doesn't he look excited!

And last I did a monthly grocery shop this weekend.  I went to Sams and Kroger.  I spent $230 but that won't do us for the month.  I will probably spend another $50 a week for milk and fresh stuff.  I don't think that will be bad considering we feed seven plus all of the friends.

OH and this is Ashley and her sweetie during the game the other night.  I was working the concession stand and they put their heads in during their break.  Aren't they cute!


Saturday, October 26, 2013


We finally have fall here in Georgia.  I love love love cooler weather.  I like to wear sweaters and sweatshirts and I like to cuddle up in bed with  my hubby under blankets.  I also like to drink warm drinks and read by the fire or knit.  When cooler weather comes I really enjoy walking outside and enjoying the cool air.

Last night was our 8th football game and it was cold.  I was OK in my coat and gloves but the kids were cold.  We just haven't had too many cold nights yet and I think they were caught off guard.  Oh well, me and the little kids left after the band played at half time.  They did really well and I am proud of Ashley and the rest of the band this year.  They work hard but they also have fun.

Today they are at a band competition and won't be home until midnight.  The will be tired but have fun.  Tyler also shot our first deer of the season.  We need four to feed us during the winter so we are praying for some more.  Yes, we eat deer meat almost all year from the freezer and it is a blessing.  You can't get much more grass feed than that!

Well, we have church in the morning and I am tired.  Time to sign off!

Saving money on snacks

Well we are in full swing with school, band, soccer and work.  With all of that we are in full swing with snacks.  In the summer we mostly eat our lunch late and grab some fruit in the afternoon and then dinner.  During the school year several of the kids have and early lunch and then we might have a late dinner because of sports.  Because of this we have to have some healthy snacks around.  One of our favorites is trail mix.  It can be really expensive if you buy it already packaged and some parts of it may not be something that everyone likes.  We usually make our own.  This is what we like to use:

I buy all of the ingredients from Aldi and they are reasonably priced.  We like raisins, peanuts, cashews and M & Ms.  If we are feeling cheaper then we leave out the cashews.  This runs about $8.00 to make and we have enough for all 7 of us to snack on it all week.
Sometimes we will add Cheerios or dried cranberries or other nuts but this is our standard recipe.  We tend to make this twice a month and we really enjoy this.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Amost time for school to start.

Well. I go back to school in two days and the kids go back the next week.  I can't say that I am not ready.  We have had a good summer with beach trips, times in the pool, and church camps but now I want to get back to a regular routine.  I am tired of going to bed and leaving teens up.  I don't know why that bothers me.  I just like to know that everyone is tucked in before I go to bed, but with Steven having to get up at 5:30 for work we have to go on to bed and we leave the older ones up.

I did my monthly shopping trip this weekend.  I went to Sams and to Aldi and spent $350.  I will still have to pick up some milk and some fresh stuff so I am saying about another $150 for the month.  I think $500 to feed 7 people is not bad.  I could make it less by cooking more breakfast foods, but in truth during the school year we have to be out the door by 7:10, so I do buy cereal bars, pop tarts, and cereal.  I do cook scrambled eggs a few mornings a week and on the weekend I try to make muffins to eat, but those convenience foods for breakfast do get expensive.  I just decided to give myself a break last year in that area.  I work full time and have to cook and do laundry for 7 people.  The kids help when they can, but they stay busy with band, soccer and school and Steven works so much that I can't really ask him to help much in the house.  So there you go!

Ashley started marching band practice a few weeks ago and seems to love it.  She also broke up with the boyfriend.  Actually he broke up with her but I had the feeling that she has been want to break up with him for some time.  He was wanting to move the relationship to a more physical level and she doesn't want that.  I was proud of her but kid of sad that we won't be seeing him as much because he was a nice guy.

It is after  9:00 and these kids still aren't up.  I am just enjoying the quiet.  I told them when I start back on Wednesday that I am getting them up when I leave so that it is not such a shock next week to get up at 6:30.  Ha ha they should have fun with that!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Little Girl

Well little girl's birthday was this past weekend.  We celebrated with a movie and spend the night party and a cook out.  I let the birthday kid pick out special foods on their birthday.  One thing that she told me that she wanted was dirt dessert which is a family favorite.

Here are the ingredients:

I mixed up the pudding in a separate bowl and then creamed the butter and cream cheese in a separate bowl. 

I then stirred in one cup of powered sugar and stirred in the pudding.  I then folded in the cool whip.  We crushed the Oreos and then layered them with the pudding mixture and put gummy worms on the top.  Yum!
It never lasts very long around here.


Friday, July 5, 2013

July 4th

Well, our fireworks got rained out.  We were supposed to go to the rec department to watch fireworks with our church, but it rained and stormed so it was cancelled.  We went to my brother and sister in laws house instead and cooked out.  We had fun.  At first I didn't want to go.  Family gatherings have gotten weird in the last year or two.  Steven's parents won't come to anything that involves us.  They are angry at us and won't talk to us or discuss anything with us and when we ask for forgiveness from them they say no.  This has been hurtful to us and our family, but now I have decided that if they want to be that way then so be it.  If they want to stay home and miss gatherings and birthdays of their grandchildren then it is their loss.  We can have fun without them and we did.  Happy 4th!
Tomorrow we are going to the beach, so today we are packing and getting ready.  We don't have to pack much because there is a washer and dryer there and a Wal-Mart on the island.  We will cook in while we are there because it is too expensive to eat out, but we will go do some stuff like putt putt or the water park.  I would rather have extra beach time anyway.  We will also go shopping at a few places on the island and look into the quirky local shops.  Fun!  I have budgeted $250 for food for the week (how else can I get 5 pounds of shrimp and cook it) and $200 for things to do.  I will get out the cash today. I will let you know how it went with the spending.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Green Beans

Well no longer did I get done with the salsa then it was time for green beans.  A friend traded beans for some squash and cucumbers.  He let us pick and we got two five gallon buckets of beans.  This is what they looked like after I snapped them.

We then canned 30 quarts of green beans.
I would like to go and pick again because 30 jars won't last us a year.  I would like to do about 20 more but we are going to the beach next week so canning is out for that week.  I still need to do some peaches and some blackberry jelly.  Yummy!
Something that I think is funny.  Little girl gave me for mother's day some coupons for doing chores and today I cashed in one.  The girls bathroom really needed the shower cleaned so I put her to work.
So funny!  It got clean though.
Happy fourth!  The older girls are at the beach with my parents and we are supposed to go watch fireworks tonight at the rec department.  It is a little rainy and stormy outside so we might get cancelled.  I hope not.  My sister and her family is coming to eat and watch with us. We are having chicken wings and pasta and a yummy chocolate cake for dinner.  Yum!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Canning Salsa

Normally during the summer I try to get in as much canning as possible.  We eat it all through the year and it doesn't take up room in my freezer.  So far this season we have been making  pickles like crazy and this week I made a big batch of salsa.  The tomatoes were free from the garden as were the peppers so the only thing that I had to buy were some onions and another set of jars.  I figure that I spent about $15 on the whole process.  Here is the salsa cooked in the pot.

Here is the finished product.  17 jars of salsa.

I saw in the grocery store fancy salsa for $5.00 a jar, so I figure that this is $85 worth of salsa made for about $15.00 including an extra set of jars.  Not bad savings and so much better tasting.  


Every year my whole family participates in vacation bible school.  If you are too old to participate then you help out.  So far this year the little girl and little boy are participating, middle girl and big girl have been helping with the younger kids, and the big boy has been helping with recreation.  Steven and I have been teaching the three year olds.  He and I have a good system worked out.  I do the lessons and activities and he does crowd control.  I like for all of us to help as a family and do our part.  We can all learn by helping and teaching others.  It does make for a tiring week though.  I am just blessed that I don't have to work in the summer and can sleep in and let the kids sleep in.

These are some of the little ones enjoying the music.  We were having so much fun!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Three weeks into summer

Well we are officially three weeks into summer and I don't feel like I have relaxed yet.  Steven had his neck surgery and is going good.  The first four or five days was a little rough, but our church family rallied around us and brought us lots of food and prayer.  This last week he was up and around more and starting to get stir crazy.  The doctor released him to go back to work today with a lifting restriction of 10 pounds so he was happy.

We also started vacation bible school this week.  We go five nights and it is a lot of work and tiring but worth it for the kids.  Last night we had 180 kids which considering we only have 500 members in our church is great!  Steven and I do the three year olds and the teens help out in various places.  Tonight we do it again!

Friday, June 7, 2013


Yes I know that I took too much of a break, but now summer is upon us.  The kids have been at youth camp all week and the little boy and little girl went to the beach with Grandma.  I thought that I would have all this time to get stuff done in the house, but I spent most of my time in the road doing things for the youth camp.  Oh well, I have all summer to organize the house.

Tonight is the dress rehearsal for dance and tomorrow is the recital.  It is also Ashley's birthday tomorrow and Evan's is on Sunday.  He is just going to ask a few boys to go swimming and have some fun on Thursday night.  On Saturday we will do Ashley's.  I am going to take her to take her learners test one day next week.

Steven is having neck surgery on Monday.  He has been having so much pain with a pinched nerve that we have to do it.  I am a little nervous, but I am excited to get it done and over with.

Well, I have to get the kitchen cleaned up and shower and get breakfast for the kids.  We have to go pick up the girls at noon so that they can nap and shower before dance tonight.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Food Budgets

I guess one of the ways that I keep us living on a budget is that I prepare inexpensive foods.  I thought that for a few weeks I might try to calculate how much my meals cost.  What I do normally when I bring home food is to mark how much we paid for the item.  I usually by food items when they are on sale or in bulk so we save a lot of money.  I also cook from scratch and use coupons when I can.  I don't do a lot of coupons right now, but I do save them out of the paper and date them, and if something comes up I can use them.

As you know I work full time so most of my meals are simple or are cooked in the crock pot.  I mostly go shopping on the weekend, but sometimes I will make a quick stop in town when running errands. So here goes what I have done so far this week:

Monday:  Breakfast- cereal (I usually only by cereal for under $2.00 a box and we eat a box at breakfast)  $2.00,  Milk, coffee, or juice $1.00

                 Lunch:  everyone eats at school and Steven and I bring leftovers from the night before. 
                               We are on reduced lunch it cost $1.50.

                Dinner:  Taco soup.  Deer meat (free), frozen corn (half bag .50) can of tomatoes (.60),
                               spices (.50).  Dinner bread - free from my sister in law.

                               Total:  $5.10

Tuesday : Same lunch and breakfast $3.50,

                 Dinner:  Grilled chicken $4.00, baked potatoes $ 1.00, home canned green beans free.

                                Total:  $8.50

Yes, I know that this does not include snacks.  I usually have fruit on hand for snacking.  We also buy goldfish crackers and animal crackers from Sam's.  For dessert we usually have ice cream or popcorn.  My sister-in-law gets us some snacks and bread from Publix that is expiring but still good.  So I guess I need to add a couple of dollars every day for snacks.  To me that is not too bad considering we feed seven people.  Tomorrow I will let you know how much it is to feed the Wednesday night church crowd.  Usually there are 12-14 of us.



Sunday, March 31, 2013


Happy Easter!

The reason for Easter is to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead after his crucifixion.  It is not about eggs and bunnies and candy. Yes, we can have fun with all of the candy and eggs, but we have to remember the reason we celebrate.

To help us remember we get everyone up early on Easter and go to sunrise service.  It is usually a small gathering and the message only focuses on the risen savior Jesus.  Then we eat breakfast and we go to our regular church service at 10:00.  It is a day to worship the king and that is what it is all about.  I do get my kids an Easter basket but it is small.  This year they each got a book, an insulated cup with a straw and some candy.  It is just a little something fun.  Later in the day we will go to my Mom's house and hunt eggs and eat a meal.  My sister comes with his little boy who just turned 2.  We have a good time with him.

Oh, well we are going to church in a few.  The kids are singing and there will be lots of good music and a message.  I wish tomorrow started spring break, but we have another week.  Also, please pray that we don't get this flu that is going around.  We have been directly exposed several times, but so far the Lord has protected us.  We did get flu shots this year so I hope that helps.  I don't want us sick for spring break.  We are going to the mountains.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


We live in Central Georgia.  We rarely get any severe winter weather but we do get thunderstorms and tornadoes.  Last night we had some terrible thunder storms roll through.  It was only by the grace of God that we did not lose power.  The kids and I swear that the chimney got struck by lightening twice and I was surprised that the TV still worked last night because it is mounted above the fireplace.  This morning many in our county have no power and some of the roads are impassible because of downed limbs.  There is no school today for the kids, but I have to go in at 10:00.  At least it will be daylight so that if there is something in the road I can see it.  The sun doesn't really come up right now until 10:00.

I have been reading a few websites about families who only spend $50 a week on groceries or some other ridiculous number.  I want to find out how they do this and then I find out that it is only a family of 3 or 4.  When I look for large families that mostly eat at home because who wants to pay $100 for a family to eat out junk I see larger monthly totals of $600 to $800 a month.  I stay around the $600 a month category.  I would love to spend less, but we would have to cut back on some treats or other things and right now we don't want to do that.  If we had to we could cut it way back and eat fine, but there would be no good ice cream, no weekend sodas ( I let the kids have one a day on the weekends or when they have friends over) and we would have to cut back on cereals, nutragrain bars and such.  We have to run out the door so fast in the morning that I rarely cook breakfast. I like for it to be something that the kids can get themselves and I like to get the good cereals like oatmeal squares and life.  If I had to I could cook some eggs or make oatmeal or pancakes, but I don't during the week. I do think I will keep working on it.  There is always room for improvements.

It is so quiet in here.  We turned off the kids alarm clocks and they haven't gotten up year.  This makes me know that the kids never get enough sleep.  We do put them to bed at a reasonable time, but I just think that kids need more sleep than they think.  We all do probably.

Well, I might be nice and cook some French toast and sausage when the kids get up.  I better get cracking!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Busy But Good

We had a busy but good weekend.  It started for me on Friday with special Olympics.  I love that these kids get to compete and think that they are special.  Most of these kids can compete in regular sports or even do well in PE.  This is one time a year that they get to shine.  Yeah!

Then Saturday was our small town annual festival.  We had great weather.  The girls all danced with their dance studio and we just walked around and saw people we knew.  There were crafts and food and blow up slides.  We all had fun.

Today was church and even though the time changed we made it to 8:30 church.  We came home and I did laundry, mopped the floor and a few other chores.  Little girl and I took a walk down the dirt road.  We were just enjoying the lovely weather. 

Oh and we also added another pet to the family this weekend.

Middle girl just loves rabbits.  We have had others but they died.  They just don't live forever.  We were so happy to find this one and she is so sweet!
Well tomorrow is Monday again.  The kids only have four days this week.  Friday is a teacher work day so I have to work, but they don't have to go.  Kind of a day off for me and kind of not.  I really like being at home and getting things accomplished.  I also like sitting on the couch doing nothing. I do like being outside, but I don't like it cold or hot so that leaves me out of all but about 2 weeks out of the year.  The weather here in Georgia is either hot or cold.  It doesn't really get cold enough here to snow except once a year, but it is so humid here that the cold weather feels colder and the hot weather feels hotter.  I do like to plant flowers and keep the yard nice.
Well, I am going to go get a bath and hit the hay early.  School and work tomorrow!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lazy Sunday

Well, not lazy for me yet.  I am about to nap.  We had a great lesson at church today and then we finished up a ladies bible study about lies women believe.  It was really good.  Then we came home and had our usual, hamburgers and hotdogs with homemade fries.  Then I made a batch of fruit and cereal bars and a dozen muffin.  We will eat these for breakfast this week.  Yummy!

I just finished our taxes and yeah we got back enough to pay off the van.  Now we can save some money that we were paying on the van.  I hope to purchase our next vehicle in cash .

Well, nap is calling.  I got to go!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Night

Is it Saturday night already?  I really didn't get anything done today.  I spent my day taking people places, bringing people things, and shopping.  We did help a family move, but I didn't do much.  I did help clean out the kitchen and I did bring a big cooler for the freezer items, but then Big Girl needed black pants for band and a black shirt.  Do you know how hard it is to find black pants this time of year in her size?  Then we ate dinner at Steven's brother's house because some relatives were in town.

I guess that brings me to the reason that I am in a somber mood tonight.  Steven has already gone to bed.  I think all that moving did him in for the night.  I am just sitting here with the Big boy and he is watching TV.  Ah, I just sent him to bed.  You see, Steven's parents aren't speaking to us, and they haven't for about a year. They got their feelings hurt over some things that I don't even really understand and I think are really silly.  As a result we are no longer invited to their house when relatives visit, and that is hurtful.  It also makes the other relative have to pick and choose who they want to spend time with, and it usually isn't us.  I just hate that it has come to this.  We used to have a great relationship, and then something happened and now we are the outcasts.  I don't understand it.  We are raising these people's grandchildren and they don't care to see them. We have really good kids and the grandparents don't even know them anymore.  It makes me sad for them mostly.  They are missing moments that they can't ever get back.

I am envious of people who have grandparents that are active in their grandchildren's lives.  I never had that and neither did my husband.  My mom tries when she can, but she does not have the support of my father.  He does not care to go to kid's events or hang out with us. The other grandparents have closed us out of their lives so that leaves us pretty much on our own.  We don't need the grandparents, but it would be nice to have more participation in our lives.

Enough of that.  What is the verse, there will be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning?  We have to choose to be joyful.  We have to think of others and not ourselves.  We have to think of what we can do to show Christ to others.  We have to follow his word as much as possible and not worry about the rest.  I know that we live for him and we are raising our kids that way.  I love it that my kids love the Lord!  They are good kids and I can't complain too much.  So many have it so much worse.

Now, what do I enjoy?  Spending time with my kids, talking with my husband, reading, spending time with other believers.  I like to spend time in the kitchen and I love to do for others.  I also like going out to dinners and different restaurants, I like to look in thrift store and quirky antique stores.  I love the mixtures of old fashion and I also love technology.  Crazy huh?

Well enough of my rambling. I have to go to bed.  Church in the AM!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Shopping and little things

I did pretty well this week with my shopping.  I spent $64 on groceries at Ingles (which is our local grocery store).  It is usually more expensive than Wal-Mart and definitely more than Aldi (my favorite) but I shopped the sales and did OK.  I then went to Wal-Mart and spent about $75, but most of that was non food items (razors, shave cream, pet food, etc.)  My goal is for $125 on food a week, but there is sometimes a gray area when it comes to stuff bought at Wal-Mart.  So while I went over, I really don't think I did too bad.  I didn't take any pictures.  I went on Friday night after dinner and it was misting rain.  I was too tired it snap pictures.

I was thinking about saving money the other day, and it is the little things that save the most.  Like for instance, I make my own laundry detergent.  It takes about 15 minutes and it costs  about $2.50 to make it.  I also make most of our food home made, even our bread.  Yes it does take some time, but not much more time than shopping.  I also bring my lunch to work most days.  I work in a school and our lunches are $3.00.  That is $15.00 a week or $60.00 a month.  The food is not very good or healthy either.  I just bring leftovers from work or make a sandwich or a wrap. It's the little things that we save for that add up!

On a completely different note, we had a wild game supper at church last night and we had a man with reptiles come and speak. He also spoke at service today and had the snakes out.  This is my husband helping with the snake.

Not for me, but Steven loved it! Happy Sunday!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Frugal shopping Saturday

This weekend the youth kids went on a retreat and the little guy spent the night with a friend, so it was just me and little girl on Saturday so we went shopping together.  She wanted to get a new bible case so we went to Lifeway Christian first.  I did buy the new David Platt book.  It can be so dangerous for me to go in a bookstore, especially a Christian one.  After that we went to Aldi.  This is what we got:

I also got a 10 pound of potatoes that didn't make it into the picture.  I paid $54 for everything.  I didn't really need much this week so shopping was easy.  Aldi had those strawberries for $1.15 each so I bought four pounds.  I also bought a cantaloupe that didn't make it into the picture for $1.00.  That big container of organic lettuce was also $1.00.  I love the produce deals Aldi will have sometimes.  We try to buy those and eat it in the beginning of the week.  Now here is the menu
Monday:  Tacos made with meat and beans
Tuesday:  Crockpot chicken, mac and cheese, salad
Wednesday:  Church group pancakes and bacon
Thursday:  Chicken soup and grilled cheese
Friday:  Pizza
Saturday:  Sausage casserole
Sunday: Hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade fries
We usually have cereal, muffins, bagels or oatmeal for breakfast.  Sometimes I cook eggs and grits.  All the kids eat lunch at school and Steven and I bring leftovers.  If the kids want to they can fix a sandwich to take to school.  I usually have peanut butter, jelly, and bread and fruit.
Little girl and I also went to Kohl's.  We used my sister's 30% off and we each got a pair of tennis shoes, a new outfit for her, a new shirt for me, and a new set of queen sheets for $100 and I got back $20 in Kohl's cash.
Now we are all home and watching TV.  I think everyone had a good weekend and we have a holiday tomorrow. Yeah!

Friday, February 1, 2013

It is Friday night and I just got home after leaving the house at 7:15 this morning.  Of course I worked all day at the school, and then I took all of the kids to the larger city so that big girl could take a life guarding class.  She has to go back tomorrow all day and maybe Sunday if they don't get done.  I hope they do because they are going to be worn out, plus I don't want to have to go back to the bigger city on Sunday.  That is my day to chill!

So tomorrow the Older boy is doing yard work, the Big Girl is doing more life guarding, the little girl and Small Boy are going to the circus with Grandma, so for a couple of hours tomorrow it will be just me and the middle girl.  I guess we will go thrift store shopping.

Steven is at a men's retreat this weekend and so there is no man here to be the heavy.  I hope I keep my patience and don't yell.  I want him to have a good time with men and learn more about Christ.  I don't want him to worry about home or work just focus on God.

Well, I am going to go.  Have a good night.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

How I save money on breakfast

I am usually running out the door on school days.  I have to get five kids out the door by 7:15 and they have to eat before we leave.  I try not to cook on the weekdays, but I will do extra on the weekends.  One of our favorites are muffins.

These are banana chocolate chip.  The bananas were getting soft.  We also like apple and blueberry.  We just use up whatever fruit we have and make muffins out of them.  You can also use up leftover oatmeal and jelly.  Your muffins will taste a little different but that is OK.  We will make a double batch and put half in the freezer.  We do this for pancakes too.  We just thaw in the microwave.
I also have cereal available most days.  We usually buy generic from Aldi or Wal-Mart or I will use name brand if it is on sale.  We also make granola.  Here is some cranberry that I made last weekend.

We usually eat it with yogurt.  Yummy.  I will also do scrambled eggs and toast or grits or oatmeal.  Yum yum!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shoe shopping

I took the kids shopping today.  Evan needed some new tennis shoes so we headed to the outlet mall.  Now you would think that the outlets would be cheap, but not as cheap and I would like.  We did find him a pair of clearance Nikes for $30 and a pair of sandles for Emma for $7.  Here is what he ended up with:

They are not my choice, but he liked them.  Then the kids wanted to go to Horse Town.  I had to preface the trip with the fact that we were not going to buy anything.  The kids tried on some boots and really wanted them, but they are so expensive.  Especially when were are going to start wearing sandles and flip flops in two more months.  Emma liked these:

These boots were so Emma.  They were pink and sparkley.  Natalie found some that she liked.

She also liked these:

They also liked most of what was in the store which probably means that we are true country people.  Oh well, it could be worse.  We did have fun though.  Then we came home and did some housework. I cooked mac and cheese, squash casserole, and fried fish all from the freezer.  I also made a double batch of blueberry muffins to take to Leesburg tomorrow.  We are going to our old church to see our former pastor.  He is retiring and we love him.  We have to leave early in the morning so I better get kids in bed.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Food Costs

I went shopping on Saturday.  I spent $63 at Sam's and $122 at Kroger.  This is over my budget of $150 a week.  We are a family of 7 and we have teens.  That ends up to be a little over $20 per person per week and that does not include all of the company that we feed.  I don't think this is too bad, but I would still like to get it down.  I think $400.00 a month would be good.  It would really free up some of our money.  It is something that we are working on.

Speaking of company, we had plenty this weekend.  On Friday it was Steven's brother and their kids. Look at how sweet the baby is.

Yes the dog had to get in on it.  She gets so jealous.  Then on Saturday night our little nephew on the other side spent the night.  Baby girl and I were having fun reading to him.

Middle girl also had a friend spend Saturday night and we took everyone to church on Sunday.  I love to bring extras to church.  I love showing young people about God and that church does not have to be a drag.  My children certainly do not think it is.

You see, because we eat at home and already shop in bulk and cook in bulk it is no problem to have a few extra for a meal.  We almost always have extra and if we don't we just get out some bread and peanut butter.  We always have plenty of that.

Well, we are heading our to night church in a few.  I hope you all have a good evening.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We made it through the week

Yes we made it through the week but barely . I am not going into details, but we had some phone calls this week from school because of the boy and a bus suspension for not using good judgement . He is a good boy but always wants to play . I know that boys grow up slower than girls, but we are praying that he can grow up and mature soon.

It is hard to get back into routines but we have . The children have been tired this week because they got so used to sleeping in . On the plus side report cards were good .  Middle girl and baby girl had all A' s, big girl had one B, little boy had 2 B' s and the boy passed everything even math which we were worried about.

Well I am off to the store . Our fridge is bare!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back to work

Well tomorrow is the start of a new work week in a new year . We had a great Christmas and New Years Eve party . We had some family and friends over and played games and ate . We loudly greeted the new year and we had four friends spend the night . 

Steven then took the boys deer hunting in South Georgia for a few days . They didn't get anything, but they bonded and had fun . The girls and I had fun too . We went out for Japanese food one night and then met my sister and her family for frozen yogurt one night . We don't normally go out much because it expensive to take everybody.

Tomorrow it is back to work and school . I sure have enjoyed staying home the last few weeks . I miss staying home, even though I love my job . I feel like I am doing God.s work with my special ed kids . I love them all . For me the more difficult the better . 

I have heard people say that it takes at least 6 months for older foster kids to feel like family and I can say this is true . After 6 months I feel like we are making strives with the boy . Taking in an older foster kids is harder than you think .  They come with baggage that you may not be able to help with . Well we are making progress and that makes me happy . 

Well, I have to go get ready for tomorrow . 5:30 comes early!