Showing posts from January, 2013

Goals for the week of January 20, 2013

Last week was a week that was both quiet and frantic.  My Dad started chemo, our schedule and routine went out the window, I realized just how much my energy level was just not back up to snuff and my children had Friday off for the end of their quarter.   Add to that frantically trying to finish Buddy's car for the Pinewood Derby, a million phone calls back and forth with my parents, the box I mailed my parents getting lost in the mail somehow, it taking just about a miracle to get my office moved at work and I didn't really know if I was coming or going.  

We had a blast at the Minnesota Children's Museum on Friday with our friends and ended up spending the entire day there (we'd planned to end with lunch).  We had two kids who fell asleep about 3 seconds after they crawled into bed that night and I'm betting our friends children did too!  Saturday was successful with Buddy coming home with a 3rd place trophy (you should have seen his smile!) and Missy and I find…

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 20, 2013, Pantry Challenge Week #3

This is our 3rd week of our pantry challenge.  I totally didn't get to posting the shopping trip from this week but we have just enough money left to purchase some fruit next week.  Other than that, I bought basically fruit (oranges and melon), 2 gallons of milk (coupon) and 2 tubs of Smart Balance (sale w/coupons).  I ordered TP using Swagbucks or we'd have been in trouble - we have 2 rolls left right now from the package we had at the beginning of the month and no way will that get us to the end of the month!  We were so blessed to be given 2 bunches of bananas, 6 muffins, 3 dozen cookies and a half a gallon of apple juice after the Scout's Pinewood Derby on Saturday.  So we have loads of bananas and have eaten waaaay too many cookies since Saturday. 

Anyway, we have $4 and change left from our original $50 for the month.  We'll just squeak in.   We seem to do really well with $80 for the month but $50 is a tight squeeze, especially now that the children are bigger …

Healthy Habits in 2013 - Habit #2: Drink More Water!

Ahh, water.

We all know our bodies are made up mostly of water.  And yes, it's salt water as someone pointed out in a conversation I had recently.  The salt is drawn from what we eat.  The water, from what we drink and from wet things we eat.  Those wet things include fruits, vegetables, soups, and anything else that has a runny consistency.  So what do we do with that?
Habit #2: Drink More Water
We've all heard the advice to drink 8 8oz glasses a day.  This is a general guideline and a good starting point and/or general rule to follow.   We do get liquid from what we eat and anything else that we drink so it's nice to think of this as a guideline.

The upshot of all this is that most of us don't drink as much water as we need to.  Some estimates even say that 80% or better of the population are walking around each day in a state of mild dehydration.  Who knew?

We don't like the taste of it.  Or coffee, tea, soda pop, or whatever are more readily available (in the b…

Goals - Week of January 13, 2013

Last week was a difficult one in many ways.  I had totally forgotten how emotional writing can be and I had a moment were I was literally ready to give up after looking at all I had to do.  Then I took a step back, took a deep breath and put together a very do-able schedule for getting everything done and got back on a roll.  It felt a little scattered as I wrote a little in several different areas of my dissertation rather than just finishing something but I didn't have all my materials with me and I had a few other things to attend to this week too. My medications were done for the pneumonia this week and I was back to my "normal" level of illness, medications, etc. Something went wrong and I spent Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday curled up in a ball in pain and very, very sleepy since the pain was keeping me from sleeping at night.  Very hard to work on things when you can't stand up, sit for any length of time or think straight. Then on Wednesday my Dad got h…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 13, 2013, Pantry Challenge Week #2

We're eating from the pantry this week again. Of course, there are lots of good sales this week when I don't have the money allocated to stock up. What's a girl to do?  Do what she can, of course!  We still have tons in our freezer, fridge and pantry so we're still eating good. I feel so blessed to have so much really good food in our house right now!

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Sunday, January 13:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch:  Baked Eggs, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Apple-Banana-Melon Salad
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Tossed Salad, Apple-Melon-Pear Salad

Monday, January 14:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Craisins
  Lunch: Hot lunch for the Children, Leftovers for Mom and Dad
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Baked Salmon, Green Beans, Rice, Grapefruit and Melon

Tuesday, January 15:
   Breakfast: Yogurt and Bananas
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for the Children, Leftovers for Mom and Dad
   Snack:  Yogurt
   Dinner:  Ground Turkey Taco…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Rainbows


I love rainbows.

I love rainbows - not the just in the sky rainbows but the colors that are in a rainbow.

My daughter has a hoodie in the colors of a rainbow and has had several dresses over the last few years that are rainbow striped.

I have 3 pairs of rainbow striped socks and each of my children have a pair too (hubby wouldn't jump on board with that one).

And the rainbow in the sky.
That's the most special one of all.

That's the one that reminds us of God's covenant with us. 
That he keeps his promise - always.

I love that one best of all.

What is your favorite thing this week?

Super Savings Saturday - Pantry Challenge Shopping Trip #2

* I'm having issues with photos so I will upload the photo of today's shopping trip as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding!

So John did the shopping today because I've been fighting side effects from my medication and spent most of the day in bed or curled up in pain on the couch.  I really don't like being sick.

Anyway, John did a great job buying a few things today.  We are using quite a bit of our budget but I'm okay with that for right now.  I might not be as we get to the end of the end of the month.  Honestly, it's been a tough month so far and we haven't done as well as we'd like with our budget or a few other things too.  But we can do it and we will do it.  And if we get really stuck I have  $5 Target gift card that I'm willing to use for some produce or toilet paper, whichever we need more - I don't want to but if it's absolutely necessary I'll cry defeat and use it.

Here's what John bought:

Store #1:
2.68lbs Braeburn a…

Healthy Habits 2013 - Habit #1: Sleep

So this year, 2013, I thought I'd use the Healthy Habits posts to highlight one healthy habit each week.  Each of these things are things that I am going to be working on myself as we go through the year, and I thought I'd share them with you as we go along. Enjoy!

So here we are:

Habit #1: Sleep There have been several studies out recently (and not so recently) about the importance of sleep in our life. 

Lack of sleep contributes to overeating and weight gain, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, decrease in mental ability, and a whole host of other things as well.  Sleepy driving is actually worse than distracted driving for causing accidents and fatalities, with some estimates putting that number as twice as high. 

How many times do we skimp on sleep because it doesn't seem as essential?  Or we have a new baby in the house or sick children and are up all night or most of the night?  So we medicate ourselves on caffeine or exercise or food to get through th…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 6, 2013, Pantry Chellenge Week #2

Our first full week of the new year!   We're in our pantry challenge month, and I have to admit that it hasn't been hard at all yet.  Does that make me crazy?  I hope it just means that we have a ton of food in our house and we are so very, very blessed!

Buddy actually said to me the other day that he liked all the meals this past week!  I'm not sure he really did but he liked the one that night and it was a really nice thing to say.

Here's what we eating for week two of our pantry challenge:

Sunday, January 6, Epiphany:
   Breakfast:  Cereal and Milk
   Lunch:  Waffles, Bacon, Blueberry-Banana-Pineapple Salad
   Snack:  Popcorn
   Dinner:  Hard Shell Ground Turkey Tacos, Tossed Salad, Pineapple-Banana-Orange Salad
   Baking:  White Bread (2 loaves),  Cranberry Cookie Bars

Monday, January 7:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds and Cinnamon
   Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Children
   Snack: Yogurt, Cranberry Cookie Bars
   Dinner:  Beef Stew in the Crockpo…

Goals for the Week of January 6, 2013

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - Dreaming

One of the things I love about a fresh start is the dreaming that comes with it.

The beginning of the year in January, the beginning of summer and the beginning of the school year are all 'fresh start' times for me.  I love coming up with plans, and ideas, and wishes, and dreams.

The best part of all that is the dreams.

What are my hopes and dreams for the future?
How do I make those dreams a reality?
How do those dreams change each year?
What dreams are now invalid, outdated or inappropriate?
What dreams are brand new at this time?

Sometimes my dreams are pipe dreams.
But most of the time their very reasonable.

A calmer schedule...
More time with my family....
Finishing my dissertation....
A trip to visit family...
Our summer camping trip...

The older I get the more I realize that sometimes the simplest dreams are the best.

A pretty bouquet of flowers on my kitchen table....
A nice meal with my family....
Less clutter so we have more time....

What are you dreaming of this y…

Super Savings Saturday - January 2013 Pantry Challenge Shopping Trip #1

Soooo..... I went to the store, bought my groceries, came home and put everything away.
And then realized that I didn't take a picture.  **Smack forehead!**

 So, you'll have to deal with a no-picture pantry challenge shopping trip!

Sorry about that....I'm making myself a big note for next week.  Because you know these posts are a lot more fun if I have pictures!  Just sayin'. 

So our pantry challenge is $50 for the month of January for groceries, toiletries and paper products.   Today we shopped at 2 stores.  Here's what we bought:

Store #1:
Fresh Express Lettuce 2 bags B1G1  $2.79  w/store coupon
4lb Navel Oranges $1.69 w/store coupon
Large Cantaloupe $2.50

Total Spent:  $6.98   Total Saved (from store receipt): $4.10

Store #2:
3.06 lbs Bananas @ $0.49/lb   $1.50
5lbs Russet Potatoes 2 bags B1G1 $2.79
1 pint Grape Tomatoes 2 pints B1G1 $2.49
1 Gallon Skim Milk $2.49  w/store coupon

Total Spent: $9.27   Total Saved (from store receipt): $6.39

Total Spent:  $16.25    …

Frugal Friday - Homemade Birthdays in 2013

I like being frugal.

Don't we all?

Saving a little money here and there is always a good thing.  And being able to be generous is always nice too.

Over the years I've had grand plans for making homemade, mostly inexpensive gifts.  I have items that were purchased and never used, things that were started and never finished, and gifts that were thought of but never got further than that.

That amounts to a household of "stuff" that isn't being used and a lot of money wasted when I had to go out and buy yet another gift since I didn't finish the one I had thought of/started.   It got so bad that the last couple of years I pretty much gave up.  I'd have ideas in my head and then decided that it just wasn't worth it - either due to time constraints or my being sick or something.

One of my intentional things for 2013 is to use up what I have, finish making projects that we started and just in general be a better steward of all we have been blessed with.  To …

Work, Home and Family - New Years Traditions

When I was a child, we had "traditional" things we did every year. Things like baking certain cookies at Christmas, particular meals for holidays and birthdays, and other things that just be better described as habits.  I looked forward to these every year.  John, on the other hand, did not have this (except for one Christmas 'tradition') and thought all of that sounded like a lot of 'extra work'. 

As we established our own household together, he agreed with me that having a rhythm to life and having things to look forward to was a great idea.  One of the things that John and I have been trying to do, especially since the children were born, is to establish some "traditional" things that our family does every year or for certain milestone events.

Our New Year's Day tradition has been watching the Rose Parade on TV with Buttermilk Coffee Cake, fruit and sparkling grape juice.  About 6 years ago I bought a "Happy New Year" banner on cle…

Hope List for 2013

I'm not quite sure where I stumbled across the term "Hope List" but I'm really liking it.  Instead of making a list of iron-clad resolutions or goals, it's a list of things I hope to do or hope to have done or that we hope for the future.  To me it just seems much more flexible and one thing I learned in 2012, is that I need to be more flexible with myself and my expectations.

If you've read here for a while, you know that we have pretty demanding schedules and lots of both internal and external obligations.  We've been sick a lot in 2012 and a lot of things that we usually do and want to do and hope to and need to do slid by the wayside. Having flexibility is something I need to train myself in as well as giving myself grace in my journey here on earth (my, how hard that is!) and I'm hoping this is the way to do it!

Everything on this list is based on the word "Intention".

What I hope for in 2013?
1. Deeper, more intentional relationships wi…