Showing posts from August, 2013

Super Savings Saturday - September, Here We Come!!!

We have been having a couple of full and busy weeks here - the twins started 3rd grade, my parents are visiting, three of us caught some kind of fever bug (thankfully, short-lived!), and the semester starts for John and I next week.  Wheee!!!

The good thing about having a CSA this time of year is that we've gotten a TON of veggies.  Here is our CSA two weeks ago:

There was (clockwise from bottom left): two HUGE tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, cherry, grape and pear tomatoes, green beans and in the middle we had spaghetti squash, green and yellow bell peppers and chili peppers.

This week was another BIG box - big enough that we needed two photos! - with the following inside:

This photo clockwise from bottom left: kale, spaghetti squash, mint, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, parsley and, in the middle, onions.
This photo was what didn't fit on the stove the first time around. :)   Here we have, left to right, broccoli, yellow bell peppers, chili…

Menu Plan Monday and Our Weekly Shopping Trip

We're getting ready for company here - and we're SO excited!  My Dad is healthy enough that my parents can come for a visit and we're absolutely thrilled that they're coming up for the first day of 3rd grade - which is next week already.   I know some places have already started school, but we live in a "vacation and farming" state, where school typically doesn't start until after Labor Day.  Between the my folks coming and school starting, I feel like we have a very full plate this week!

We got our CSA this week and have a few "new" things this week.  Here's the photo:

Clockwise from upper left: mint, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, cauliflower, corn, onions, garlic, turnips, cabbage and, in the middle: potatoes and tomatoes.  Bounty for sure! I spent $16 and change at the grocery store this week.  I had $14 and change from last week and then had two extra dollars in my purse from something (no idea what!) so I splurged on two limes and a…

Frugal Things We Did These Last Two Weeks

Okay, so not the best photo - very blurry, ugh - but you can see how big our zucchini are.  The day before they're too small to pick and then - zip! - they're huge!  We've been picking zucchini and tomatoes in abundance these last two weeks.  Good thing there are a lot of zucchini recipes and that zucchini bread and minestrone soup freeze well! :)  And good thing that Buddy loves tomatoes!

Additionally, we've been making sure we're cooking and eating or blanching and freezing what we have from our CSA so we don't waste the food.  We've blanched and frozen green beans, peas, and cabbage these last two weeks.  We also had blueberries that were starting to look a little iffy so I froze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then bagged them to use in smoothies and baking later this fall and winter.

We weeded and weeded and watered and watered.  We don't water the grass but we have lots of flower beds and the vegetables.   We also moved rock from one…

Goals - Week of August 11th, 2013

Sorry this is up so late - we got home from VBS waaaayyyy later last night than I thought, and I had to finish the post! 

Anyway, here's the recap from last week:

* Edit the packet for major project 1.
* Optional: Start outlining Unit 2

* Schedule meeting with my committee
* Do one thing on my dissertation to-do list
* Finally finish this proposal (REALLY)

* Teach 3 times this week
* Learn 2 new routines
* Attend CPR Renewal class and send in my paperwork afterward

* Swimming Lessons
* Family Night
* Our 15th Wedding Anniversary!  (I can't believe it's been that long already!)
* Date out on Friday night to celebrate our 15th Anniversary

* Finally finish up those kids bedrooms  Almost done - not quite, but really close.
* Weed and remove rock from the rest of the front flower bed (won't get this completely done but I'm going to work on it).  I got a bit done but not much.
* Blanch and freeze produce as necessary
* Make granola

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 11, 2013

I'm still trying to type "July" at the top of these posts. Sheesh.

Our little garden in the backyard is starting to produce in full force now - tomatoes and peppers and it even looks like we might have a butternut squash sometime soon too. YUM!!!

Here was my new-to-us recipe for last week.  You can find the recipe here.  It was SUPER tasty and we all just loved it.  Into the recipe box it went!  I used crumbled, dried rosemary rather than fresh since that was what I had on hand and I ended up sprinkling a little bit of cheddar in with the Parmesan since I didn't have quite enough of the Parmesan.  Next time, we'll try it with just the Parmesan. I'm guessing it will be even better!

We will definitely be making that again sometime!  I think I'm going to try a flourless zucchini brownie for some variety this week, though.

We had so many leftovers in the fridge - from our meal out and an unexpected 2nd meal at church this week that after getting home way lat…

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - 15 Years of (Happy) Marriage

So, this last week John and I celebrated 15 years of marriage.

I've known John for 20 years now.  Since we started "dating" a month after we met, we have been a couple now for 20 years.

It truly seems like it was just yesterday that we met at college and I was calling my friend and saying "There's this guy.  And he's so cute!"  :)

We've been through so much together and I'm so very, very grateful that I have had him to go through all these difficult things with.

A friend of mine who has now been divorced for a few years asked me what we were doing over Memorial Day 2012 and I said going to visit my in-laws and getting family photos taken to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  She asked, in all seriousness, "How do people stay married that long? Do they just put up with a lot of s&$t?"

After a bit of discussion, since I was truly puzzled by what she meant, it was revealed that her ex-husband was mentally, verbally and emoti…

Super Savings Saturday - I spent $45.36 ($14.64 left of 2 week budget)

I hope you all have the lovely weather today that we have had.  Even more fortunate we were able to spend some of it out-of-doors, which was lovely!  I think the weather has officially moved into the "fall-ish" category - mid to high 70's F - but we're loving it and enjoying our patio, yard, and various outdoor events.

We had a lot going on this last week, though less than we've had the past few weeks.  We had VBS and John and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary!  It's really hard to believe that 15 years have flown by (and I do mean flown) and now we're here. 

We are still working to figure out this whole grocery budget thing - mainly in preparation for internship starting in May 2014 - and right now we are using $30 and change each week for groceries or $1600 for groceries, toiletries, and paper products.  We decided to drop the change from our weekly cash grocery month to make the math (and the envelope) easier for the cash part.  Yesterday star…

Goals - Week of August 4, 2013

Uff-da! I am just plain tired of computer stuff! I've almost got it finished, but there are a few more things that I need to get done. SIGH. 

We're already in the first week of August. How on earth did that happen?  The children will be back in school in 2 more weeks and John and I will be back in school in three!  WOW.  I keep looking at all the things we need to do and what we had hoped to do over the summer and...*Sigh*.  That's about it.

We are blessed with lovely weather and hopefully rain, though I could do without the projected strong storms.  Here's hoping we have lovely weather and nice rain overnight, when we can still work out in the yard! :)

Here's last week's goals:

* Finish assignments for Unit 1.
* Finalize hiring of my Teaching Assistant.

* Meet with my advisor.
* Do one thing on my dissertation to-do list.
* Finally finish the proposal I've been working on.

* Teach 3 classes this week.
* Learn 3 new routines.   I le…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 4th, 2013

Another week!  Is anyone else just puzzled as to where July went?  I keep wondering where the time goes.  It just seems like - zip - one day were in January, the next we're in August!   Ah, well, I guess that just means we have to enjoy each day as it comes, right?

We are still definitely enjoying the bounty of the Lord's creation, with both the harvest from our yard and from our CSA.  We still have lots of zucchini and I got another great deal on yogurt this week so we still have a lot of those in the menu.  I totally missed that I was almost out of white flour - oops - so I won't be doing the baking I had planned until next week.  I knew I was getting low on sugar but not white flour.  I have lots of wheat flour and rye flour too but no white. 

With all of that in mind, here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, August 4:
   Breakfast: Rhubarb Cake
   Lunch: Baked Eggs, Bacon, Strawberries and Peaches
   Snack: Rhubarb Cake
   Dinner: Ham, Lemon Kholrhabi, Melo…

Super Savings - $30.75 budget plus some stocking up!

We had some good store sales this last week and we, after cleaning out all the change in the envelope, $20 and some change for stocking up!  Whoot!  We spent almost every single penny of it too, though we did have some change left.  Between the stock up and the CSA produce, you think we'd be all set for the week. Alas, I totally didn't realize that I was almost out of white flour - I noticed that we had a tiny amount of white sugar, but not the flour.  So making sugar cookies this week is out, but I do have quite a bit of whole wheat and rye flour as well as a few other things that I can bake with too, so we're all good!

Without further ado - here's what we got this week:

Our CSA bounty:

 Starting with the carrots and traveling clockwise we have: Carrots, loose-leaf lettuce, purple beets, kale, green beans, raspberries, kholrhabi, cucumbers, and cilantro.  In the middle sugar snap peas.  Quite the bounty! I made kale chips and will be blanching peas and beets this wee…

Frugal Friday - Frugal Things I Did These Last Two Weeks

It's been a while since I remember and was able to put up a Frugal Friday post!  So here's one!  I'm still working on a post about frugal gifts and I'll get to that once I have all my photos transferred to my new computer - which is mostly up and working right now - YAY!!!

In the meantime, here are some things we've done the last few weeks in the "frugal" end of things:

* Picked 15 (no kidding) zucchini.  Gave 5 of them away and made two loaves of zucchini bread, salad, grilled zucchini, stuffed zucchini and minestrone soup with the others.  Still have 3 in our fridge to do something with!

* Received a strawberry-rhubarb pie from the church pot-luck one night - they had one left over and sent it home with us!

* Used my birthday money and a 15% off my entire purchase coupon coupled with a killer sale to order two new dresses, two lovely shirts, and a new pair of jeans for under $100 including shipping from my favorite store!  LOVE that!

* Accepted purple b…

In the Refiner's Fire - Leaning On Him - Come and Share!

This past year I have been reminded time and again at how much we as a family, and me in particular, rely on our own worldly things, abilities, friendships, people and "stuff" to be able to function on a day-to-day basis.

One of the things that has really struck me is that I spend too much time worrying. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that it's at least partially a product of being chronically ill.

I worry about what will happen if I don't meet my obligations to my work.
I worry about what will happen if I don't meet my obligations to my family.
I worry about what will happen if I can't cook dinner on a particular night.
I worry about what will happen if I don't get the laundry or the ironing done this week.
I worry about what will happen if I become so ill that I need 24-hour care.
I worry about burdening my husband and my children with taking care of me.
I worry about burdening my husband and my children with things that "should" be my responsi…