Monday, April 25, 2011

Goals Update - April 25, 2011

These last few weeks have been seriously busy!  I haven't had time to get more than about 4-5 hours of sleep many nights much less blog, clean or anything else that isn't absolutely vital for our existence and current deadlines.  Buddy had the flu (again), John had a major test, and I had a migraine yet again.  When I was putting together our menu plan for this week, John commented "I don't care what we eat this week, as long as it isn't soup!"  We had soup 5 out of 7 nights for the last two weeks (in spite of what the menu plan said!) and take out or leftovers the other two. *Sigh* 

God is very good. 

He placed someone in my life at the very right moment who knew exactly what I needed without my knowing. I am currently planning on writing about that on Thursday here so you can know too.  I was able to head into Easter with a clear head and no tension and a smile on my heart and soul. 

In terms of productivity, it's been the "crisis of the day" for about a week and a half.  I absolutely hate living in that mode, but it happens sometimes.  Especially when I am so emotionally weary.

Physically weary, I get that part.  I can get some extra sleep, eat some extra protein, get an extra workout and I'm good for a while. 

Emotionally weary is something else.  I have a tendency to depression and I've been getting dangerously close again lately. 

We have made progress in cleaning out the house and I have been keeping my head above water with grading, teaching and schoolwork. 

Today, I am energized and ready to tackle a couple of things for school and a couple of things for teaching that I have been putting off.  I am hoping that I can get the ironing caught back up (I swear that stuff multiplies while hanging on the rod in the laundry room!) and John and I have a big project that we're hoping to get done in the next week (before my parents come for the kids' birthday the first week in May).   I'm hoping that next week I can post some pictures.

I was really inspired by this post and am hoping to have some pictures to share what my completed goals look like in the near future. If you haven't had a chance, click on over and read it. Emily's video clip at the bottom made me cry.  And quite honestly I was relieved that I'm not the only one who's desk isn't perfectly clean at the end of the day!  I hope you can be inspired too.

Menu Plan Monday - Week of April 24th, 2011

Did you have a good Easter Sunday?  We sure did!  I am so very, very grateful for all of the Lord's blessings - this year especially. 

We are eating very well this week:

Easter Sunday, April 24:
   Breakfast: Easter Brunch at Church
   Lunch/Dinner: At a Friend's House: Bring Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
   Snack:  Strawberry Short Cake

Monday, April 25:
   Breakfast:  English Muffins with Peanut Butter, Bananas
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Dinner:  Crunchy Topped Tilappia, Golden Beats, Melon-Blackberry-Strawberry Salad

Tuesday, April 26:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas
  Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries, Carrots or Tomatoes, Apple and Pear Wedges

Wednesday, April 27:
   Breakfast: English Muffins with Peanut Butter, Orange Wedges
   Bag Lunches:  Apples with Peanut Butter, Cheese Stick, Carrots or Tomatoes, Cookie
   Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Blueberries
   Dinner:  Oriental Chicken Wraps, Salad, Melon-Strawberry-Blackberry Salad

Thursday, April 28:
   Breakfast: Banana Bread with Orange Wedges
   Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Bread sticks, Salad, Pineapple-Strawberry-Banana Salad

Friday, April 29:
   Breakfast: English Muffins with Peanut Butter, Apple Slices
   Bag Lunches: PB&J, Carrots or Tomatoes, Pineapple, Cookie
   Snack for Mom: Yogurt with Granola
   Dinner:  Leftovers

Saturday, April 30:
  Breakfast: Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Bananas and Orange Wedges
  Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, Pineapple
  Dinner: Chicken Divan, French Bread, Pineapple
  Desert for At-Home Date Night:  Rhubarb Crisp and Vanilla Ice Cream

What are you eating this week?  Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! to share and be inspired!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Goals Update - April 11, 2011

We've been busy, productive, ill and weary here at our house over the last few weeks.

I have had the terrible head cold that's been running around - it lingers.  And, given my lovely sinuses, it had to turn into a sinus infection too.  I'm on the mend, but it's been a long two weeks.

John's spend more of the last 4 days at the hospital (working) than at home.  He's frustrated with unnecessary tests, cranky patients, lack of sleep and unhelpful co-workers.

The kids have been cranky with endless appetites and not sleeping well - a sure sign they are growing yet again.  Missy's shoes don't fit her again and Buddy's pants seem to have shrunk overnight in the wash.  Buddy lost his glasses about a month ago and we have yet to find them.  We're pretty sure they were lost at school, it's just where at school that is the question!  Ugh.

In all of that, there have been lovely,  wonderful and good things too.

*Lots and lots of work done a two side projects for me - one at school and one at work.
*Excellent school conferences for the kids - and their 'preliminary pass' to first grade this fall.
*A very nice amount of extra overtime pay for John's paycheck from all the overtime he's done.
*The start of a grant to be written at work - exciting times there!
*An entire van load of items donated to the church garage sale (or the "Holy C*!%p Sale" as Pr. B. likes to call it!).
*News of our new nephew or niece on the way this fall for my SIL who has hoped for another baby for a long time.
*Lots of family time - we've been trying deliberately to make more time together as a family and we've succeeded!
*The gift of a large pail of beef stew and ham and cheese sandwiches leftover from a Lenten supper, which meant we had lunches taken care of for 4 days!
* A wonderful conversation with someone about the situation at our home church.
* More work done on my dissertation.
* The irises, daffodils, and tulips making their way up out of the ground.
* The last of the snow melted.
* Buds starting to come on the lilacs.
* New summer dresses for Missy, courtesy of Grandma and her sewing machine.
* My children's school getting close to their total for building their well in Africa.

I have been continually amazed at the Refining Fires that God uses on me. 

These last few weeks have been hard. 
Harder than I ever thought normal life could be. 
I have felt adrift and lost - as though I had no home. 
I was getting so frustrated with not really having a church 'home' at the moment, with the sheer mountain of work that I have to scale every day, the constant vigilance of raising children, the endless of chores of managing a home, the challenge of teaching students who sometimes just don't want to learn, the frustration and endless path of writing a doctoral dissertation, the call of uplifting and helping my husband, and the desire to still take care of myself. 

Tonight I will be up until at least 1am - making rolls for sandwiches later this week, trying to catch up on tidying the house and finishing the never-ending laundry, doing the necessary ironing and trying to make myself tired enough to go to sleep in spite of the fact that John won't be home until about the time I head to bed.

I had time tonight to cuddle with my children and read stories and then do sweet devotions before tucking them into bed.
I spent 15 minutes mixing up a batch of whole wheat dinner rolls - my finger nails getting dough-y in the process and making my kitchen smell lovely indeed.
I will be able to wake up to clean, comfortable home in the morning and know that my children and my husband (as well as myself) are ready for the day ahead with clean clothes, packed lunches and a welcoming house to call home.

God is so good!

I may be weary, but He still blesses me with my weariness and gives me strength to run my race.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Super Savings Saturday - $25.50 for kids' clothes

Saturday at our house is "Errands Day" - we run all our errands including grocery stores, bank, post office, drug stores, and any clothes shopping that we need to do.  Today was the garage sale for our Community Education Family classes group, held at one of the local schools.  I didn't go right when it opened because I knew the crowds would be huge and I didn't want to fight them.  I arrived about an hour and a half after they opened and got several things:

For Missy:  Pink Pants, Teal long-sleeve T-shirt, Denim shorts, Navy knit shorts, a pair of red knit pants and matching top, and that really cute white denim skirt pictured on top.

For buddy: Brown Corduroys, Tan Pants, Star Wars Lego Pajama, and Spider Man Pajamas.

My find of the day!  For Buddy: A 100% Wool suit for $1

These three adorable baby outfits are a gift for a baby shower.

Total Spent at the Garage Sale for All of the Above:  $25.50

And the Groceries!  I took $60 out of my $80 for this two week period because I need to get Kleenex, soap, and crackers for the snack donation at school.  That leaves me with $20 for next week plus the $3 I didn't spend today!

Store #1:
Wesson Canola Oil $2.99
Hormel Sizzler's Sausage $0.99 with Store Coupon = $0.99
Arctic Shrimp (Salad Size) $4.99 with Store Coupon = $4.99
1.95lbs Braeburn Apples at $1/lb = $1.95
3.33lbs Bartlett Pears at $1/lb = $3.33
Eat Smart Pre-Cut Broccoli and Cauliflower B1G1 = $2.29
2 Kemps Ice Cream 2/$5 = $5
Kemp's Gallon Skim Milk Free after Catalina from last week = FREE
Kemp's Gallon Skim Milk Free after Catalina from last week = FREE
Youplet Greek Yogurt 4pack $2.50 - $1 = $1.50
Also used 2 $1 off Catalina

Total Spent: $21.04
Total Saved: $19.25

Store #2:
C&H Light Brown Sugar 2 at $1.89 = $3.78 - $1 - $1 = $2.78
Gold Medal All Purpose Flour $2.29 - $0.41 = $1.98
Clear Value Oyster Crackers = $0.99
Tide HE Liquid $.6.99 - $1.01 - $1 -$1 = $3.98
Ritz Crackers 2 @ 2/$4 = $4
Thomas English Muffins $2.50 - $1.22 = $1.28
Simply Jif Creamy Peanut Butter 2 @ 2/$4 = $4
Celestial Seasonings Tea $3.04
Steam Fresh Peas 3 @ $1 = $3 - $1 - $1 = $1
Glide Floss Mint $2.50 - $0.75 - $0.75 = $1
Soft Soap Refill $3.98 - $1.20 - $0.50 - $0.50 = $1.78
Men's Sauve Shampoo 2 at $1.66 = $3.32 - $0.50 - $0.50 = $2.32
Navel Oranges 10# Bag $6.99 - $1.01 = $5.98
Strawberries 1# 2 at 2/$3 = $3

Total Spent: $34.69
Total Saved: $31.43

Store #3:
Puffs Plus 3 at $0.99 = $2.97 - $0.50 = $2.47
Dawn Dish Soap 10.3oz $0.99 - $0.25 = $0.74
Purex 2x 32 Loads $1.99 - $1 = $0.99
No Nonsense Hose B1G1 = $4.49
No Nonsense Knee Highs $0.20

Total Spent: $7.90
Total Saved: $5.24 +

How did you do this week? Check out Money Saving Mom to share and be inspired!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Healthy Habits in 2011 - 14 1/2 Inches Down!

The last couple of weeks haven't been so hot for working out. 

I pinched a nerve in my neck 2 week ago and last week only got in 2 workouts instead of 4. 
This week I have a colossal sinus infection, so I missed my weekend class since I was running a fever. 
Today I missed most of class since I did something to my ankle and it hurt to put any weight on it (I did do the arm and abdomen parts though and then went for a walk later today with my family when my ankle was feeling better). That means, unless I drag myself to class at 730am on Saturday, I'll have worked out once this week.  *Sigh* 

The good news?  I had to measure myself in order to cut out my Easter dress.

Here's what I found:

Waist: 3 inches down!
Hips: 6 inches down!
Left Thigh: 3 inches down!Right Thigh: 2 1/2 inches down!

That's a grand total of 14 1/2 inches down!  Whoo hoo!

I am so psyched about all of that! 
Who cares of the scale says only 5 lbs down (which I've managed to stay at in spite of eating like a horse over the weekend)?  

When I've lost that many inches the scale can say whatever it likes!  :)

What more can I ask for?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Super Savings Saturday - $42.41 from a $43 budget!

After my shopping trip this last week, I had $43 and a handful of change for groceries this week.  I spent $42.41 for the entire bounty you see above!  Four of the boxes of cereal are heading to the food shelf.  We've decided to spend roughly $5 each week to bless the food shelf. So this week, cereal it was!

Here's what we bought:

Store #1:
6 boxes Kellogg's Cereal @ $1.66 each = $9.96 - $1 - $1 - $1 = $6.96 ($1.16 per box)
Apple Juice $1.88
2 Loaves white bread $3
2 Hormel Lunch Meal $5
Organic Pink Lady Apples (3lbs) $3.99 - $1 = $2.99
Total: $19.37
Saved: $9.28

Store #2:
20oz Mayonaise $2.99
Palmolive Ulta 23oz $2.00 - $0.50 - $0.50 = $1
State Fair Mini Corndogs $3 - $0.55 - $0.55 = $1.90
2.44 lbs Red Grapes @ $1.29/lb = $3.15
2lb Whole Carrots $0.98
1 gallon Skim Milk $2.69
2 blocks Cheese @ $1.66 = $3.32 - $1 - $1 = $1.32
5 boxes Nutrigrain Bars @ $1.88 ea = $9.40 - $1 - $1 - $0.75 - $0.75 = $5.90 ($1.18 per box)
Total $20.04
Saved: $25.09

Store #3:
Purex Crystals $2.99 - $2 = $0.99
1 block cheese $1.80
Total Spent: $3 including tax
Saved: $2.40

Total Spent: $42.41
Total Saved: $36.77

I also received 2 $1 off next purchase catalinas and 2 free gallon of milk catalinas good through April 16th!

Not so bad if I do say so myself!

A couple of quick notes about this shopping trip:  I usually bake my own bread. The last few months have been very stressful and time crunched for me.  Since I came down with another sinus infection on Friday night, John and I decided to take advantage of a 2/$3 coupon and buy 2 loaves of bread this week, rather than making them.  Buddy also loves Apple Cinnamon Nutrigrain bars and I had some coupons, so we decided to busy 5 boxes (the number required for the price deal).  This is a very quick in-the-car breakfast or an on-the-go snack for us.  Very handy if we're running out the door late.  Usually for breakfast I pair them with a banana or apple so we're not eating totally terrible. :)   The mini-corndogs are another treat - which we're saving for the kids' birthday in about a month.  I wouldn't have bought them without the sale and coupons.  Everything else is fairly typical and, like I said before, 4 of the boxes of cereal are going to the food shelf. 

For more shoping inspiration and to share your own deals, check out Super Savings Saturday at Money Saving Mom!