Monday, January 28, 2008
Devotions and Prayer with kids-done
Folded 3 loads of laundry-done
Catch up on some e-mails-done
Supper Plans: Make a Spaghetti Bake Casserole for a Bible Study potluck tonight
Need to Yet accomplish:
Clear off kitchen table
Wipe down wall and vent behind stove as it's accumulating some grime
Wipe down my white kitchen walls, baseboards and cupboards as they need cleaning every couple of weeks
Work on some Sewing Projects
Work on Alphabet with Ali
I really hope to get all of these things done today! If these get done, I will also try to do a load of laundry and clean my oven too. We'll see what happens since my energy levels are zilch these days!
At Walgreens this week I got 2 free Aquafreshes due to the printable coupon online. I had a manufactor's coupon for $6 off Afrin but because it only cost $5, I made a dollar on it! The make-up was not only free with sales and coupons but I got paid $1.50 to buy the gloss, eyeliner, blush and bronzing powder! Yeah!
Last week, thanks to Peggy's tips on MoneySavingMom I got 23 items at Safeway for only $22! This included two blueberry muffin mixes, some brownie mix, and lots of granola bars and healthy Fiber cereal.
Friday, January 25, 2008
She wouldn't let us get away with anything and she always made us work hard and take responsibility. She drilled common sense and caution into our heads too! Yet she also knew how to teach us to have fun and party heartily, hosting family picnics and dinners and events even though she really doesn't enjoy cooking. She made family dinner time a priority. She always took time to listen to our stories and endless chatter after school. She saddled my horse countless times so my friends and I could ride after school (we had a Horse Club in 5th Grade and of course all the girls loved coming to our house!)
She always threw very fun birthday parties for us, like my backwards birthday party when I was about 10 or 11. When I was 11 she taught a Christian Girl's Charm Course for me and a couple of my friends and let us have tea and fancy snacks while we studied the lessons on etiquette, beauty tips, and having godly character. When I was a Junior and I begged to be homeschooled, she jumped in and started homeschooling all 3 of us without any prior experience and did a wonderful job.
Being avid outdoor enthusiasts, she and my Dad taught us about the outdoors and camping in the outback wilderness and being careful and responsible campers. I have always known she is way tougher than I will ever be. After all, who else would take 2 small kids and a 5-month old infant horse-pack camping about 30 miles into the wilderness in the cool month of May? Who else would volunteer to backpack in the Moab desert in their early 40s, being the only one in the group not male and not in their 20s? Who else would go back to school in their mid-forties and work tirelessly on endless reports and tests to get a teaching degree so she could fulfill her dream of teaching at a Christian School once her kids were grown?
My mom's gift from Dad this year is to go on a dogsledding trek for her birthday. She is always one for adventure! Happy Birthday Mom!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Ideas for Saving Time:
*When my kids are taking a bath I usually try to scrub the toliet, clean the shower walls or straighten things on the vanity.
*I don't fold underwear! Why take the time when no one sees it and it takes up lots of time? Instead my daughter is trained to cart off the undie piles to the various owner's bins or drawers.
*Cook two meals at once. This week I made an elk roast in the crock pot for our favorite casserole, "Plowman's Share." I made twice the amount of rice and roast so that I could use the roast later this week for BBQ sandwiches and the rice for tonight's meal, Sherry Chicken.
*I prefer clothing bins over drawers. We still have a few dressers, but my goal is to weed out our dressers and instead just use attractive, cloth-lined baskets to hold all of our clothing in our closets. Bins make things much faster when you are putting stacks of clothing away. Dressers are nice for some things, but for my main clothes I like the bin idea. My daughter can choose her own clothes and pajamas out of the bins too.
*When watching a movie I try to clip coupons, mend, or do another mindless project.
*When talking on the phone do some cleaning or picking up.
*Clump your errands together so you can get a bunch done at the same time on the same side of town and save yourself the gas and time of going out multiple times.
*Make up a big pot of pregnancy tea or ginger tea and store in a pitcher so that I don't have to brew a cup a couple of times a day. I can't tell you how many times King Jo has "accidentally" grabbed a glass, thinking it was apple juice and gone, "Uhhhggg!" (He thinks P. Tea tastes like hay--which it does since it's made from alfalfa!)
*Cook several pounds of hamburger at once and freeze in 1 lb. portions. I also do this with beans. Make a couple of pounds at once and then freeze. This will save both time and heating energy.
I'm sure there are lots more ideas I use that I can't think of right now. So, please help me out and contribute to my Time Saving List!
Monday, January 21, 2008
This recipe is for bread machines, but I'm sure you can adapt it to use without one if you don't have one.
1 1/4 C. water
4 C. bread flour (or all-purpose works too!)
1 C. shredded cheddar
1/4 C. chopped fresh or dried chives
2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 3/4 t. yeast
Measure ingredients and add to the bread pan in the order listed.
Choose the dough function on your bread machine (1 hour and 30 minutes)
When time is up, scoop out dough and form into breadstick shapes in desired size. I have also done letter-shapes or hearts for variety sometimes. For example: Valentine breadsticks! Place on a greased cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about 30-40 minutes. Bake at 375 until done and lightly golden on top (11-20 minutes). When they are warm I like to butter them and sprinkle them with garlic salt to give them a tastier breadstick flavor (like Olive Garden's *smile*) You can also try pressing some extra cheddar into the tops of them before baking for an extra cheesy taste!
Enjoy! These breadsticks are also great with soups. If you would rather not do breadsticks but want to do cheddar-chive bread, just hit the Basic setting on your machine instead of the dough cycle.
You'll get a little bit softer, fluffier breadstick if you skimp on the flour a little and make sure not to add too much!
Another favorite recipe for the bread machine:
1 1/2 C. water
4 t. olive oil
4 C. bread flour
2/3 C. Parmesan cheese
4 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 t. yeast
Choose the Basic setting for a loaf or the dough setting for breadsticks!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Add 1 cup of sugar and 3 C. of water to the lime juice in a pitcher and stir well.
Fill a glass with crushed ice or cubes if that's all you have. Pour about 2/3 C. of the limeade into a glass. Pour grape pop on top to fill the glass. Throw one of the squeezed lime halves into the glass for added flavor. If it's a little too tart for your tastes, add a little more pop and less limeade or vice versa. If grape isn't your thing, you can do this with cherry pop to make a Cherry Lime Ricky.
Needless to say I apologized and asked for her forgiveness and told her Mommy has been a crabby and mean Mommy but that is going to change. I assured her I loved her very much and then she happily went on to name each member of the family and say she loved them too. I told her I am not feeling good today but that's no excuse. If there's one thing that has been hard for me to learn, it is how to manage my emotions where I'm inclined to let them control me and the situation. For example, when I'm very inclined to be cranky during a certain time of the month when I'm not pregnant, it's all too easy to go with the chemicals in my body that are causing me to be irritable. Finding God's grace to OVERCOME hormones has been something I have often struggled with. But I realized today that I absolutely MUST learn to trust God in these difficult times so that I can have a godly and peaceful home. I don't want to be a child's worst nightmare for a mommy. I don't want to let the difficulties of life drag me down because there will ALWAYS be difficulties as a mom. Yes, right now is probably the most exhausting time of my life thus far, but later down the road I might be even more exhausted or drained or circumstances may be even worse and I need to know how to live for God in spite of what is going on around me or inside of me. He has provided all that we need for any and every situation. I need to remember one of my favorite verses: "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:9
My little girl proceeded to make my day very sweet indeed by throwing her arms around me and saying, "I'm so glad you're here." It was such a blessing after what a crabby person I've been today to know that she is glad I am here for her, no matter how tired or sick I am. I will endeavor to be a loving and kind Mama to her, no matter how I'm feeling.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Jer and Daniel, cousins 6 days apart, with their little Curious Georges they got from Grandpa and Grandma.
Ali and Daddy
It's been a while since I've posted kiddie pics and I decided to show off some of the cutest pics from Christmas time.
Monday, January 14, 2008
What an incredible gift to be given in this season of great fatigue! God truly does provide and bless us when we are weary! My mom planned it so that my Mother's Helper will be here during the worst of my pregnancy nausea (which as you all know has been controlled this time around thanks to Unisom!).
Our entertainment center, "office" and Ali's little table all squeezed into one side of the room.
In the right rear corner is my "sewing corner" where I do all my crafts. The big stack of coats next to the chair is our coat basket and it's annoying and not very neat-looking but we have no closet or hooks or anywhere else to put coats so it will have to do for now.
Since the Lord provided a miracle cure for my morning sickness, I am able to do a lot more around the house and don't feel miserable every waking moment. I am still very, very tired and can't get nearly as much done, but I'm so glad that I am now mostly nausea-free for making my home a haven.
Refresh my Spirit:
I did devotions with the kids but didn't have time for my own reading until they were down for naps. Read a passage in Romans that our pastor preached on yesterday and was greatly inspired by reading a beautiful prayer in my new book, "The Valley of Vision."
Since I became pregnant my wonderful hubby has been getting up with the kids and getting their breakfast every week day so this is no longer part of my routine! So, my morning routine looks like this:
Shower w/ Ali
Get kids dressed
Put Jer down for nap
Ali's 30 minute video
Computer time or catching up on paperwork/bills
School time with Ali (today we did numbers)
Clean-up and de-cluttering
These days it is about all I can do to just get through the basic routines, so I didn't add a lot to my morning, but I did try to do some extra de-cluttering and simplifying and vacuumed up the living room and straightened the house because Bible Study is at our house every Monday night. When I'm not pregnant I also tend to clean the bathroom and do about 5 loads of laundry on Mondays, but I just don't have the energy now.
One thing I'm happy about today: I was planning to go to the thrift store to find a couple of extra containers for things (we needed a dirty diaper bin and a bin for my dirty dishtowels.) Instead of having to make a special trip out (which is exhausting) and spending money and probably being enticed to buy other things I don't need, I found some containers at home that work fine; I just had to shuffle some other things out of them and into boxes or paper bags. More and more in my house is being container-ized, which is great!
Supper: It will be very simple: Frozen ravioli with some spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese on top thrown into the microwave. If I'm ambitious I'll throw some stuff in the bread machine for breadsticks to go with it. My main goal is to get a batch of chocolate chip cookies baked for Bible Study.
Friday, January 11, 2008
In a world where people frown on big families and having lots of children, this video is an encouragement. It is such an encouragement to me right now as I have been dealing with a lot of mixed emotions with this latest pregnancy. I have been nervous about telling some people and some non-Christian family members about it because we got some disappointing reactions last time when we announced we were expecting #2. I actually had one uncle (who is childless) ask me if I was happy about the pregnancy (with Jer)! Many of my cousins automatically assumed that we were totally done after getting our girl/boy, "typical" American family. Sadly, we even felt that people in our own church looked down on us for having our first two so quickly in our marriage (and they are almost 2 years apart!) Even my own Dad teases me endlessly about where babies come from and was calling me a "BabyMaking Machine" even before I announced #3 was on the way.
I have a LOT of support online from many of you out there who believe that MANY children are a blessing and I have many friends in MN who are pro-big families too. Please watch this video of a family welcoming their 6th child into their lives and be encouraged!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
What is the miracle cure? Well, I'm sure most nausea-sufferers have heard about the unisom/B6 cure from their doctors/nurses. I heard about it in my second pregnancy when I was losing tons of weight and feeling horrible and like I was starving. I was told to take it at intervals throughout the day. After one day of doing that and feeling like someone drugged me and feeling worse than I did without it, I gave up. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to drive or care for my one-year old daughter on it. However, recently a friend told me that she was always instructed to take it at NIGHT! The usual half-a-pill didn't work for her so she takes one full pill before bed and it keeps her nausea-free most of the next day too! So, I've been trying the before bed thing and IT WORKS!!! Half-a-pill seems to work fine on my medicine-sensitive body. I start to get a little nauseous around lunch and then around supper and of course before bed, but then it's time for another pill! It takes away almost all of my nausea so that I can at least eat to help combat the nausea (at lunch) and drink ginger tea and other things that will help fight nausea. I am sold on it! While it's my goal to have as natural a pregnancy as possible, doctors, nurses, and midwives okay this medicine, Unisom, which is a sleeping pill, for pregnancy and if I can feel this good I'm all for it! It feels amazing to be able to get some chores done again and be able to keep up with the kids and enjoy food again! Yesterday I even cooked raw meat and made a delicious, spicy, Asian meal and baked brownies from scratch! Unheard of in the first trimester for me normally!
I still feel the usual pregnancy fatigue common in the first trimester but I feel so much better that I just can't believe it! Is this what it feels like to be pregnant without the horrible sickness? No wonder some women say they love being pregnant and no wonder some women have a dozen kids, if they feel this good during pregnancy!!! So many women have told me about the Unisom cure in the past but NO ONE ever mentioned the taking it at night thing! One side note: I stay away from B6 during the day or at night because for me, it makes me super nauseous, so I only take the Unisom before bed, not the B6/Unisom combo that's usually talked about.
If you suffer from continual and relentless nausea, please talk to your practitioner about trying this!
Monday, January 7, 2008
My home has been anything but a haven lately as we returned from a big trip recently, had to sort and put away new things, and I've been on the roller coaster of morning, noon, and night sickness. However, I've had my limit of clutter and mess and so yesterday and today I have been forcing myself to get chores done and organize and put away. My husband helped a lot yesterday too, which got the ball rolling. Today's goals were:
*Have devotions with the kids--done
*Clear the endless clutter/papers off the table--done
*Fold 4 loads of laundry we did yesterday and put away--done
*Do an enormous sinkful of dishes--not done yet
My to-do lists are quite comical during this season of my life due to feeling so sick. I used to accomplish about 30 things in a day and now I'm doing good if I get one or two chores done a day. Tomorrow I plan to scrub the floor as I've been putting that off for a couple of weeks!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Something funny was, the librarian asked me if I was running a daycare or if I just had a bunch of kids of my own! My kids weren't even being that loud while I called either! What are people going to say when I have even more?
I was making lunch today (my meal prep lately involves frozen dinners or things that can be made very quickly) and I realized that I was standing in my kitchen, cooking, while pregnant and barefoot in a long dress! I chuckled to myself, imagining what the library lady would say if she could see me. From my many observations of her she is a die-hard liberal and feminist. She would be appalled at my life! But rather than feeling sorry for myself or feeling like I don't have a life, I smiled because even if I am "just a mom" I love my job, find it challenging and fulfilling, have a husband who cherishes me and takes wonderful care of me and two little ones who fill my days with happiness and humor. So what if I'm barefoot? I don't like wearing shoes in the house! So, what if I'm in the kitchen and pregnant? I normally love to cook (when I'm not horribly nauseous) and it is a miraculous thing to have a life growing inside of you that God Himself has created!
These are just my random thoughts of the day!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Even though we don't have a Target, I decided to take the Money Saving Mom site's tip and print off the Johnson Kid Soap's products coupons and see how much the soaps were at K-Mart. They were the same price at K-Mart as at Target so I got both soaps completely free. Ali loves using them for washing hands.
I just happened to notice that swim diapers were marked down to 69 cents at K-Mart so I grabbed a few packages. I was SO MAD at myself for not having a coupon for them because I know there are printables on coupons.com for Huggies Little swimmers. I could have gotten them free! Oh well, still so cheap. Even though I don't use them (Jer wears the trunks with the built-in cloth swim diapers, they will make good gifts for Ali's toddler friend's having birthdays or I can sell them at my yard sale this summer for a couple of bucks and make money on them!
I've been wanting a jingle bell wreath for over 3 years and I just couldn't bring myself to pay full price for one. The last couple of years there haven't been any left after Christmas. So, I was thrilled to find this one at Family Dollar for half off, costing me $2.50, one fourth of the Wal-Mart price!
Other Good Deals this week:
Safeway had some markdowns on Organic Oatmeals, all-natural yogurts, meat, Nature's Valley granola bars, and some frozen meals. They also had Scented Oil Candles on sale for $5, and I had several $4 off coupons so I filled up my gift stash! I got to the register and my total (with lots of other groceries too) was $77. After using my Safeway card and my many coupons I paid $37! When the cashier's mouth hits the floor and she tells me I saved $40, I just break out in a goofy grin! Deal shopping is so much fun! And I have to confess that I bought a lot of stuff we didn't actually need due to my continual nausea and I was grabbing stuff off of the shelf just because it sounded good at the moment.