Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No Garden!

We didn't get any gardening done yesterday. It started raining mid morning and didn't stop until late into the night. While the sun has been shining today and its beautiful, I have the energy of a turtle! I am soooo tired and just wanna sleep. Of course my babies don't so I guess I'll just wait until bedtime. :(

If you are feeling "crafty" and have more energy than me you might want to try your hand at making your own shopping bags. It can easily be done using old t-shirts.

Go here to find out how!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gardening Anyone???

Ok, finally (I think) my seedlings are ready to go to the garden. I will be spending most of today planting my garden and cleaning the always dirty kitchen. I hope to take a break and head to CVS for some great deals today. Nothing like getting paid to shop! Keep a look out for the pictures of the garden later today.

We have planted:
Various flowers

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sticking with your budget...

I have found it more difficult to stick to our budget these past few months. With higher prices at the grocery store and at the pump it is easy to make excuses to spend more. Since we are expecting another baby soon, I have also found myself spending more on things I really don't need, but make life a little easier. One thing we have adjusted in our budget is the grocery category. Since we are growing as a family and groceries are getting more expensive we have increased our grocery budget by $40.

Below is our general budget, although it does change with different seasons of our life. And assuming my husband will bring home a little over $2,300 a month. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. we adjust the categories accordingly. Lately we have found out selves living the bare minimum with only $1,600 a month.

2008 Budget:

Rent- $600
Groceries- $200
DSL- $65
Phone- $55
Electric- $160
Water/Trash- $70
Van Pmt.- $200
Gas/Auto- $140
Auto Ins.- $90
My allowance- $60
Husbands allowance- $150
Clothes- $20
Kids- $20

If we bring in less than $2,300 then we don't have an "allowance" that month and we use grocery money to pay for any Rx's we have. We also don't tithe as much, as we tithe 10% of his income. The Clothes, Kids, and Savings category may be omitted as well. My husband's allowance is much greater than mine as he takes any work related expenses like uniforms and dry cleaning out of his allowance. We have found if we give ourselves a larger allowance we find it a lot easier to stay within budget. If we find extra money that month we try and put it either into savings or towards the van.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cleaning the clutter!

Here are some after pictures of what took several hours to re-arrange and clean up! I wish I could call this post "Clearing out the Clutter", but really it was just cleaned up. I got rid of a few things but it was only a few. ;)

Yes, the post board does need to be fixed, but I'm feeling rather lazy right now, so its gonna stay like that for a while.

I didn't do this on my own, well, I really didn't do much at all. A good friend of mine came over to help me clean, and clean she did. She did a wonderful job for which I am very thankful! You can actually see the floors and tell there is a wall back there.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I was blessed today to have a friend come over and help me clean and de-clutter. Well, really she did it as I watched. She insisted that I sit down and rest....how can argue with that?? Our office which was really needing an overhaul is now soooo clean and pretty! I wish our camera didn't die on us so I could post some pictures. The master bedroom is re-arranged for a new little baby and looking good! Hopefully we will get a new camera soon and I can post some pictures. I plan to continue cleaning daily, of course not at the rate we did today but at least focus 30 minutes a day on good cleaning and hopefully the house will look in order by the time this baby arrives.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Free Groceries!

All of this = FREE! I printed my Food Lion coupons from www.afullcup.com Used 2 Active $2.00 coupons. Made 2 different transactions, and got $4 back for buying Live Active cheese products. Can't beat $26 worth of groceries FREE!

1-Angle Food Cake $4.49

8-pkgs. Corn bread .49ea

2- pkgs. baby food $1.09 ea

2- pkgs. cheese $2.99 ea

1- 100 ct. box of sandwich bags $3.84 on sale for $1.80

1-baby wipes $1.49

1-toddler cutlery $3.87

Safe Plastics??

If you are paying any attention to the news I am sure you have heard a lot about plastic safety in the last few months. In what I have read and seen, one source says a certain "number" is safe while another source says it isn't . I have come to the conclusion that we will start phasing plastics out of our house, starting with plastic cups! We have made the switch to all glass for us, but for the littles they still have plastic. Our daughter doesn't do "sippy" cups but rather uses a straw. I haven't yet found one that is either glass or metal.

Glass storage containers are expensive, so we will be buying these gradually as our budget allows. There are a few places were you can buy stainless steel "sport bottle" type cups. Of course plastic is the cheap version of all of these but instead of having a cabinet full of plastic ones, one or two stainless steel cups will do. I always carry a bottle of water with us when we go anywhere, two if hubby is going (he drinks mucho amounts of water and isn't good at sharing!).

To see if your plastics are safe go here.

If you are looking for baby bottles or sippy cups born free is a good resource.

More Savings...

All of this for only $60.52! Without coupons it would have cost over $130. That's over a 50% savings. I am now loaded up on quick dinners and lunches thanks to Healthy Choice and frozen pizzas! Generally we don't buy these things, but I got them cheap and that just means the first couple of weeks after the baby comes my life will be a little easier.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going Organic...

Its been a while since I have done a "Going Organic" post. While we get some things organic, I don't make it an idol. With "earth day" coming up, I am seeing a lot of folks who are more worried over "mother earth" than Father God! There is no "mother earth", only Father God! I do want the best for my family and I want us all to be eating healthy. There are ways to eat healthy even if you can't afford organics.

We have a very modest grocery budget of $160 a month, which includes toiletries and dog food. I can get most things we need that isn't food from CVS for free....we haven't bought toilet paper in over a year, and still have a garage full. (Thank you Lord!) A trick to saving money is going to the store LESS, unless you are just super good and only get whats on your list....ahemmm...that isn't me, so the less I go the less I spend on things we don't really need.

If you make everything possible from scratch, you not only save money but are feeding your family more healthy foods! I try and make all of our bread from scratch ( I haven't done this in a while, because I am trying to stay off my feet). I have been making 3 dozen muffins a month, all in one day. This only takes about an hour and gives us a freezer full for the little one. It makes a quick breakfast when you add a banana and a glass of milk. I make all of our bread and muffins with no sugar and use only whole wheat flour. Sometimes its organic if I get it on sale otherwise its just the King Arthur brand flour.

I only buy organic butter, I will pay the $5 a lb. to me it is worth it and since we don't use a lot it doesn't break the budget. Some other things we get organic is pasta sauce, our commissary has this for .79. Its Hunt's brand and a "traditional" sauce in a tin can. It works because we can easily add garlic and a small amount of ground beef.

When buying our groceries I always look for an organic version for whatever I am buying. You will be surprised that some organics are actually cheaper than the conventional product or very close in price. If that's the case I go with the organic product. I am always on the look out for organic coupons as well. I have gotten really good deals before using coupons for organic items and gotten the item for just pennies.

I hope this helps you when you are deciding whether or not to make the organic switch. We feel blessed that we have freezers and cupboards full of food, organic or not. There are many people around the world who aren't as blessed, especially with food prices rising. Some people spend 75% of there income on food! We spend about 12% of our income on food and we can feed our family well, with healthy foods and a stocked pantry.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mommy Lesson #1

This is what happens when your toddler gets quite for 5 minutes! I guess she thought the towels looked better on the floor. Perhaps this is why I feel like the house doesn't stay clean?

This is where the towels SHOULD be! Hmmm....

This is after mommy spent 10 minutes cleaning up her mess. This is what they looked like before her "5 minutes of quite time". Of course when I asked her what she was doing, she said"Ahh ker aii jkk gee errr" hands in motion and everything.

Lesson learned, if your toddler is quite, there is a GOOD reason! And probably means he/she is into something he/she shouldn't be. Annabelle is always trying to re-arrange things in our house to suite her needs. I don't think she likes the way I have it. Oh, the joys of having a daughter! I hear boys don't care how the towels are put away.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gotta love FREE stuff!

I got all of this tonight for just $0.87! And $0.65 of that is tax! LOVE IT!


2 Baby wipes $1.64 each used the $3/2 Huggies Clean Team products

5 Johnson Buddies soaps .94 used various coupons for $1 off Johnson's products and got a .06 overage!

Gerber NUK Baby bottle $4.87 used a $1.00 off coupon from Gerber plus this rebate.


2 Gerber 2nd foods $1.09 each used 2 $1 off 1 food lion coupon.

Gerber tossable cutlery $2.19 used $2 off $1 Gerber acces. food lion coupon.

Italian Bread $1.79 used FREE bakery product food lion coupon.

Apple Crumb Pie $4.99 used FREE bakery product food lion coupon.

Where are the Kleenex??

This is a must read! Please go to Angie's blog and take time to read this story.
Very touching and throughout their whole ordeal they remembered that God is in control and his will is perfect!

Its never ending!

Ok, I need lots of motivation! I have been cleaning forever it seems. I am in "de-cluttering" mode right now. With spring upon us and a new baby coming soon, I feel the need to CLEAN! Although with our little house not everything has a place, so this means some things need to go. Even though I spend hours in one room cleaning, it still isn't satisfactory to me. Not sure if that's the nesting part or not.
Bare with me as I will be posting more cleaning pictures throughout the week. It helps me to know that I am liable to someone or something. Then I HAVE to clean, no way of getting around it.

Mrs. Breyers is hosting an anti-procrastination week over at The Pantry

If you want feel free to join us and many others as we take this challenge!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Child Activities

Since Annabelle is getting older we are adjusting our schedule to make more time for child activities. Something that we have done since she was 3 months was let her watch a reading video. She loves this and we do it every morning just after breakfast. After that's done with she has about an hour to play before I put her back down for a mid morning nap. She is getting better about playing by herself during this time, so I can either clean up our breakfast dishes and get lunch somewhat started. She will sleep from about 9:30 to 11:30 and then its time for lunch. After lunch I have nothing planned. So its just free playtime. She is acting like she wants more structure during this part of her day. My struggle is what do you do with a 13 month old child? We play together with her toys, but there is only so long I can sit on the floor, and sometimes its hard to get back up.
I plan to start reviewing her ABC's daily with the ABC bible memory book.
We have tried "coloring" and she seems to want to bang the crayons together more than "color".
Any ideas for activities?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stocking the Pantry!

Ok, I know I have been talking a lot about my pantry. Bare with me. This is part of the nesting phase, ans soon we will have a baby and you won't hear about my pantry for another year or so. ;) I got all of the above for just over a hundred dollars. Using coupons and shopping at our commissary makes this possible. I can get brand name products cheaper than what the generic cost at Walmart.

After being put away this is what my now stocked little pantry looks like.

This is our bigger pantry, although it is bigger in size the bottom half is taken up by a water heater, actually making it much smaller since there is only two shelves for items to go.

We made another trip to the store this week for flour. I have been trying to order wheat berries in for a month and can't seem to find anyone that has any in stock. I've looked online and at our local stores. The store near me says they have been trying to find some for two months now, but everyone seems to be out. So we went to the store and bought about 20 5lb. bags of whole wheat flour. It is actually much cheaper to buy it this way, but you don't get all the nutrients you do from grinding your own wheat.

Besides flour we stocked up on pasta, with the wheat shortage it didn't occur to me that this too would go up, but one brand of pasta at our store went up .50 from last month.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Van Payment

As of April 2008 we owe $6,661.81 on our van. We have owned this van since Feb. 2007 which we bought used for $12,000.
So far it has been good to use, needing only minor repairs such as:brakes, tires, and regular maintenance.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


From time to time, I have people ask us, how we do it! We live on only $1905.04 a month. We have a budget and most of the time we stick to it. Below is our budget for a family of three with one on the way.

2008 Budget
Tithe- $195
Rent- $600
Electric- $170
Water- $70
All phones- $120 (includes cell phone and Internet)
Van Pmt- $200 (this includes $30 extra that we pay each month)
Ins.- $95
Gas- $120
Groceries- $160
Shane's Allowance- $50 (He uses his allowance to buy any military equipment, clothes that he needs)
Katie's Allowance- $20
Clothes- $20
Entertainment- $20
Savings- $60
Total: $1900
We put all extra money we may receive either into savings or towards our van payment. Our goal is to have the van paid off by 2009.
Our medical insurance is through my husbands job, which is free for us and pays 100% of all medical bills. Any Rx's we may need are only a couple dollars for a co-pay. We rarely ever have any Rx's so this isn't something we budget for, instead we take this out of the grocery budget.
Dental insurance, life insurance, and savings bonds are taken out of his check, so we never see this money.

Church of Oprah???

This makes me sick!

Get on your knees and pray! God will bring his wrath one day if we as a nation keep this up!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Are you content?

I have been struggling with contentment for some time now. I really want a house with a fenced back yard and a bigger kitchen. While reading the word of God, I realized that the more God seems to give, the more I want. How selfish! I find that most people are generally like this and the ones who are most content are those who are barely getting by and collecting pennies just to buy groceries. While thinking of how great it would be to have a bigger kitchen, I should instead be praising God that I even have a kitchen!!! I forget that many people in this world don't have what I have and aren't as blessed as I am, yet they are more thankful than me.
I have made it my goal to "de-clutter" our home this month and give away what we aren't using to those less fortunate.

Proverbs 22:9
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A homeschool family!

This is so funny! You must watch it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Menu's from the pantry!

We are getting down to just some canned goods and boxes of cereal. But we still have a lot of meat and veggies in the freezer. I am not a "meat person" I could live off bread and pasta. I have had the same 2lbs of ground beef in the freezer for almost 3 months now! Hmmm..what to do with it.


Breakfast- Baked Oatmeal

Lunch- PB&J Sandwiches, chips

Dinner- Popcorn Chicken, baked potatoes, salad

Breakfast-Cereal, milk

Lunch- Hot Dogs, chili

Dinner- Steak, baked potatoes, salad

Breakfast-cereal, milk

Lunch-soup, salad



Breakfast- Cereal, milk


Dinner- Chicken nuggets, green beans, mashed potatoes

Spring Cleaning Master Bedroom

Ok, I now have half of the room done! Now, onto the other half = /

We bought the glider rocker in the corner two days ago for $18! I made some covers for the cushions last night, now I just need to do the ottoman.

I hope it will last many babies. It is very comfortable, and I must say that already I sit in it to relax. Check back tomorrow for the final pictures of this room.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Cleaning Master Bedroom!

Ok, I am back on track for more cleaning! We really need it too.


Notice that we moved the dresser over to the left. I am planning on putting a rocker to the right of the dresser for those late night feedings.
All the clothes you see in the floor were getting ready to be washed...we don't just throw clothes in the floor ;)...well most of the time we don't.

Menu Eating from pantry

Menu for Wed. 04/02/08

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal, milk

Lunch: Hamburger Helper

Dinner: Orange Berry Salad

Orange Berry Salad:
Romaine Lettuce
Baby romaine lettuce
Mandarin oranges

Grated orange peel from orange ( I grate the whole orange)
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
pepper to taste
about 1/3 cup of oil ( I don't measure the oil, just pour until it looks right and I use olive oil)

Poppy seeds would be good with this, but I didn't have any.

Mix in blender until well blended, store leftover dressing in fridge.

Hard times ahead?

(Taken from http://www.theamericannightmare.org/FOOD_SHORTAGE__AAK.html)

..PREPARE..FOR. HARD..TIMES..AHEAD.. .Any person watching the evening news can see it coming.. ..Those who prefer to keep their head in the sand so they don't have to.. consider the facts, will no doubt call us fear mongers, and not prepare. ...

... H O W E V E ROur grain reserves are at their lowest since World War II Due to high prices caused by shortages abroad, our stockpiles of grain are now being exported fifteen times faster than expected, and we have committed to sell ALL of it to foreign countries, leaving our own wheat reserves at the lowest level since 1946, when we had half the current population to feed. In fact, it seems our farmers have probably committed to sell more grain to foreign countries than they've actually planted !! . To make matters worse, America's farmers have switched to growing corn for ethanol, in place of food grade crops. Couple this with worldwide damage to farmlands and crops from droughts and floods, and it's obvious that the worst will come this summer.

These two ABC news articles confirm the above: February 5: . .http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=4269201 February 8: . .http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=4263281The shortage of ALL grains, even hay, is so severe that we now have horses starving - even dying - in Kentucky, Tennessee, and at least five other Southeastern states; The price of hay has doubled, even tripled. Grain wholesalers from as far away as Central Kentucky are getting calls every day from people all over the eastern part of the United States looking for hay. Horses are being abandoned on federal land, and even in city parks. People are literally giving them away.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/26/eveningnews/main3971281.shtmlIt was just announced that Arkansas (and five or six other large farming states) have now lost their entire winter wheat crop due to the recent floods. It was also announced that a box of plain vanilla cereal is going to cost you nine dollars.

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2539588620080325 Rush For Biofuels Threatens Starvation On A Global Scale "The rush towards biofuels is threatening world food production and the lives of billions of people, the Governments Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday. Professor John Beddington put himself at odds with ministers who have committed Britain to large increases in the use of biofuels over the coming decades. In his first important public speech since he was appointed, he described the potential impacts of food shortages as the elephant in the room; a problem which rivaled that of climate change."
The Sunday Times Says - We Are Running Out ! (U.K. Times) "THE WORLD is only ten weeks away from running out of wheat supplies after stocks fell to their lowest levels for 50 years. The crisis has pushed prices to an all-time high and could lead to further hikes in the price of bread, beer, biscuits and other basic foods."

Half Our Bees Have Died ! Half of America's honeybees are now dead and gone! So, do not expect abundant fruits, nuts, and vegetable crops as they will drop to as little as thirty (30) percent of normal production, for lack of pollination!

Per CBS - Sixty Minutes, Feb. 24, 2008. See: .http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/25/60minutes/main3407762.shtmlSummation: Without grain, livestock cannot be fed. Without livestock there is no meat. Without bees, vegetables and fruit cannot grow. Without all three, a nation cannot survive.
. Our Trucking Industry Is Struggling: The dwindling food supplies destined for our grocery stores just may not make it anyway. One more increase in the cost of diesel fuel just may make it economically impossible for our truckers to survive. Many independent truckers are parking their rigs. See how desperate their situation is:

Our Nation's Economy Is Faltering: America's economy is in far worse shape than anyone ever suspected: Thirteen BILLION dollars each month go to finance the Iraq war: We are hemorrhaging jobs at a rate approaching 100,000 a MONTH: Over ten percent of American homeowners now owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth: This condition has not existed since the great 1929 depression: Our economy is faltering: And we as Americans are on the brink.., it's up to YOU to prepare.

See: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=4332334&page=1
On March 15, 2008 the U.S. Government had to TRY to bail out Bear-Stearns, one of America's largest investment banks, with no guarantee its efforts will even succeed. Not since the great 1929 depression have our banks been in such dire straights.
In March of 2007 Bear Stearn's stock was selling at $159.00 a share. One year later, on March 17, 2008, AFTER securing a commitment from the government for a loan so they would be financially able do so, the JPMorgan bank bought the entire Bear Stearns company, building and all, for just TWO DOLLARS a Share.
Which means our fifth largest investment bank just sold for .LESS THAN TWO CENTS ON THE DOLLAR !. ,,http://www.theamericannightmare.org/Bear-Sterns.html..
The money brokers in the greed parade down Wall Street can fabricate just any "rally" they please, in their efforts to get small investors to pump even more money into their schemes, .but if you will just look around, the little guy is on his way down the tubes.
Some will try to "pretend" that because these events were prophesied,.. the facts being reported on the evening news are somehow less valid...
However, that won't alter the fact that Delta Airlines now plans to eliminate 2,000 employees, our auto makers are closing plants about as fast as they are selling cars, and we are still hemorrhaging jobs faster than the government can keep track of them.
Moreover, it's interesting to note that in the 1990's Vince Diehl prophesied in public, in writing, over 150 events that would take place in America, to include that God would "sic" the Arabs on us; To include that our jobs would be outsourced; To include all our droughts: and, to include every detail pertaining to America's war with Iraq, right down to how it will end. See his "Woe To America" prophecy in the index at the bottom of this page. (section "A" - article 02) AND, to include that our financial institutions would be plundered !! Also see: Daniel Prophesied our Wars With Iraq
Prepare for the following scenario:
After America's economy crashes in midway to the third quarter of 2008: After she has squandered all her grain on making ethanol, to include depleting her national grain reserves: and finds out that neither China, Australia, nor any of her other sources will sell her grain due to shortages at home: We as Americans, will experience the most severe famine in all recorded history; Intertwined with which, will be a severe strain of flu which science will eventually determine has been spread by the droppings of birds who migrated north after becoming diseased by the stagnant, toxic waters of Katrina, whose feces has found its way into our food supply through produce.
After which, The Most High God will destroy America with a fire that can never be quenched, by igniting the Hugoton Panhandle Natural Gas Reserve, which will eventually burn America and both her neighbors off the face of the earth.
All of which will take place before George W. Bush leaves office.
Vince Diehl (January, 2008)
If you think the last part of this prophecy is not scientifically possible, may we suggest you consider the documentary at the bottom of this page titled "The Great Abyss". .
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (Revelation 18:8-11)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

To the store we go!

Ok, now I know I said I wanted to wait at least until mid April before making a trip to the store, but I have only 7 pre-natal vitamins left. I will only take the pre-natals from Whole Foods. Out of all the ones I have tried Rx and OTC this seems to be the only one that stays down and doesn't make me sick or give me adverse effects.
Tomorrow is our only "open" day this week so we may make the trip then, or I may just hold off until Monday. I dread going. It is about a 3 hour drive for us, and I am tired of driving and just wanna stay home! When I go I will stock us up on our essentials, leaving a little extra money to get fresh produce in May. I plan on spending about $300 which I'd rather save. I'll let you all know when I do indeed make the trip and I'll take pictures of what we got!

Were has the time gone???

We have been so busy this week and I'm afraid the rest of the week looks booked too! We had Dr.s appointments yesterday and today both took a couple of hours :( It seems that I won't be able to stay home one day until Sat. We generally do all errands in one day and sometimes I may only leave the house two times a month...except for church. So all of this running around is running me down! We have been good and are still eating from the pantry, but it seems like we are living off sandwiches. Thankfully, that is dd's favorite, nothing beats a grilled cheese or PB sandwich. I guess if I only had 6 teeth, I would like them a lot more too.

Today's Menu

Breakfast- Toast w/ butter and jelly egg

Lunch- Peanut Butter Sandwich

Dinner- HUGE salad with leftovers

All from the pantry or fridge