Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday!

My youngest won't be 7 (technically) until 11:17pm, but we'll celebrate all day that she came into our life. She is sweet. She is loads of fun. She is a wonderful gift from God that I am truly grateful for! She is  a little comedienne. She completes our family.

I couldn't imagine life without my youngest.

My wish for her is that she lives her life knowing that she is surrounded by people that love her and that want the best for her. I hope that she loves herself enough to respect her body and to treat it like the temple that it is. I hope that she feels God's Grace all around.

I pray that I can live up to the example that she deserves in her life. I hope she knows how much I love her. And always will. 

Happy 7th birthday to my Jaimee!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Facts On Kissing

*Clorox did not pay a dime for this post. But, here's some motivation and fun facts to get a Valentine lined up for next year.                                                                                                                                    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

I would like to say that I don't get caught up in all of the Valentines Day hoopla. I think that would be a lie. When Hubby and I were dating, and before we had kids we'd always go out. After kids it was a homemade dinner on some Valentine themed melamine plates and whatever flowers he picked up from Central Market. Nothing too extravagant, but always acknowledged.

But this year is a little different. I prepared! I've actually found some really cute printables that I just adored and framed them around the house*. My favorites that I found on some blogs are these: 
You can find the free printable here. Then I also added another version of the same verse.
I don't know how they made them, but I'm sure glad they did! The second printable can be found here.    

To add a little whimsy in the kitchen I added a couple of different conversation hearts and a little something else. Here goes:

I love the blog It always has incredibly cute ideas to share. That's where I got the "Be Mine always & forever" printable. Who could resist this blog just because of the title?

My kids Valentines were even DIY this year! I saw something on Pinterest and had to give it a try. It was a bunch of crayons cut up and put in a silicone heart shape mold. I went to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and then finally found the right size mold at Joann's Craft Store. The girls had fun helping me.

Some of my favorites were these:
I found the directions and a free printable to attach them here. Just think. Yes chocolate is good to receive, but when every single kid will be bringing it to school and handing it out? Here's a creative way to be in the Valentine spirit and not have my kids bouncing off the wall later. 

We'll even start off the day with some pink chocolate chip pancakes and a side of heart shape cereal. I'll put some fruit off to the side to even things out. 
Did you know that this even existed?

Why not make the ordinary, extraordinary?!

So this year we have some framed printables around the house. A fun breakfast is planned. And we'll have a special dinner on our Valentine themed malamine. We made our own Valentines to hand out. What could be around the bend for next year?  Love is in the air from sun up to sun down!                                                                                      

*Every other week frames are half off at Hobby Lobby, so I got them for almost dirt cheap!                      

This Puts Valentines Day Into A Whole New Perspective

Monday, February 13, 2012

Can we REALLY Do This, Week 1

We finally finished week one of frugal living. It wasn't THAT bad.

The good parts:
*I only went to the store ONE time. The weeks with daily trips to the store was grating on my last nerve. We used what we had.
*We had dinner at home every night.
*Money stayed in my wallet.
*Most things I bought at Aldi were as good as name brands, if not a little better.
*Our lunch on Friday was covered by a Genghis Grill gift card that Hubby received for his birthday. 

Unfortunately, we blew through almost all of our $50 entertainment budget on Saturday. Our oldest had a friend sleepover, while the youngest had an 8:00 volleyball game. I couldn't muster getting up early enough to take a shower AND cook breakfast. So donuts it was! Then after the game, we went out for a REAL breakfast with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Saturday night Hubby took the girls to the Daddy/Daughter Sweetheart Dance and he had covered the cost of the tickets with some of his birthday money. Sunday lunch was covered by the church in appreciation of the children's Sunday School teachers*.

The entertainment budget will have to be re-aligned.

Week two has started off with both of us getting gas. My car was $52. I'm not sure what Hubby's gas bill was. I made a trip to Aldi once again and spent $79. Plus, I went ahead and used the grocery budget to cover our idiot, sock-pooping dog's heartworm/flea pill. That was $26.

We made our own Valentines this year instead of buying them.
 We had a lot of fun making them!  Hubby and I might take advantage of some Pappas gift cards we have for lunch on Valentines Day. Pappas was running a special if we bought a certain amount of gift cards we would receive "bonus" gift cards as well. Hubby needed them to give to some of his team members after working some horrendous hours back in December. Thankfully, Hubby's boss said to expense them.

So bring on week 2!



Over the weekend we lost a wonderful singer. Some would say that her voice was of the angels.

I happened to love her in the movie Waiting to Exhale*.

When news of her death spread, we were inundated with "tweets" from celebrities expressing their condolences. Many expressed that they never saw this coming.

Really? How can they say they didn't see this coming?

As late as Thursday night she was on tape interrupting an interview clearly disheveled and not in her right mind. If you happened to catch any of the short lived series Being Bobby Brown, you saw first hand the madness that was the Bobby Brown/Whitney Houston household. Yes it could have been for the show, but there were demons in that household that needed to be exorcised. Unfortunately it provided a lot of fodder in my own household.

Is it the entertainment industry's responsibility to require the celebs to clean up their acts? This has happened way too many times. Money is their god and their demon. 

Those demons are pretty easy to spot for outsiders. Outsiders who happen to have a relative fighting the same demons. Or have fought and lost.

I'm the adult daughter of an alcoholic. One drink was too much for my dad. A thousand drinks wasn't enough. He lost his battle with the demons at fifty years of age. He did a 30 day stay in rehab. I was blessed with  about two months of glorious family life when he was sober. Then he relapsed for good. Maybe I should say he relapsed for worse. 

Either you beat the demons, or the demons beat you.

*so sue me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't Bother Stopping At THis House

Sometimes I get a glimpse of what my life will be like with teenage girls. Our neighbors across the street have two teenage girls and I'm not crazy about the glimpse they have provided. We've been in our house over eight years. We've seen them grow from little girls to the age of the oldest just moving out last summer*.

In my hood you don't come across people too often. Hardly anybody does their own yard work, if they do they're nose is so far in the dirt that they don't have time to say hello. These are one of the few neighbors that I could actually tell you their name.

Now their youngest is old enough to date. It's quite a sad thing to see**. I'm hoping this latest boy won't last long. He's a little kid in a teenage body driving a convertible Ford Mustang***. He can't spend the time to get out of his car and go up to the door. His way of calling for her to come out is to rev the engine or honk the horn.


Why is this ok? One time, the dad even escorted his daughter out to the car because he wanted to sit in the car. Where is the self-respect of this young girl? If I could I would go to her and just shake her and tell her she is worth so much more! Why is it that the parents are ok with this?

Why is she that desperate for this kid's attention? Does her dad not give her the attention that she should have gotten all of these years? Has her mother not told her that she is a gift from God and deserves to be treated like a lady?

I would like to take this young punk and give him some lessons on how it doesn't take one minute to get his lazy behind out of his stupid car to ring a doorbell. If she is worth the gas to go pick up, she is worth turning off the engine and going to the front door. Each and every time. This just screams to me (the outsider) there is nothing respectable about him.

Young lady, he may be the first but he won't be the last. Kick him to the curb. You deserve and should demand so much more!

Warning to any boy in my daughter's future:

You won't only have my husband to contend with. You will also deal with me. You will show us the respect that we deserve. You will treat my daughters as the precious children of God we have raised them to be. If you think it's ok to just rev your engine or honk, keep driving. Don't bother stopping.

*unfortunately she didn't move away to college.
**isn't it wild how other people's children grow up?
***it looks as if it's pretty spanking new.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Can We REALLY Do This?

Thanks to my recent passion for Pinterest, I've come across some great blogs that have craft ideas and DIY remedies for everything to do with house cleaning. I've started following several of the blogs and a recent post after the New Year caught my eye. The blogger had taken on a challenge of "31 Days of Nothing". Which is basically re-thinking every penny that goes out the door. Every. Penny. Instead of giving those pennies to someone else they chose to keep them.  You can find the post here. She had taken on the challenge brought on by another blogger.

Hubby and I hardly think twice when it comes to spending money. Shame on us!  We don't give going out to eat a second thought.

Yes, we've gone through a popular financial management class. But after several years we got lax about it. So I guess we thought it was time to shake it up again.

After reading how her progress went for week one I had to forward the post on to Hubby. We read each and every week! It sounded intriguing. What could it hurt if we tried it*? So Hubby broke out the budget and we tweaked and tweaked. Our goal wasn't necessarily the same as the one I got the idea from. We were shooting for a monetary goal.

The two things we couldn't touch, in my mind,  in the budget was the line item for children's clothing and the gift fund. Kids clothes DO wear out**.  And there will be a birthday party sometime, somewhere around the bend that the girls will be invited to.

This is how our  31 Days of Nothing budget looks:

Grocery $200/2 weeks
Entertainment $50/2 weeks
2e's blow money $50/2 weeks
Hubby's blow $0/2 weeks!

From the first paycheck we were able to scrape off $450. The second paycheck we're able to get an extra  $550. Paydays for Hubby fall on the 5th and 20th of every month. So the first week will start off on February 6th for us. I went to the bank and got what little cash I needed***.

I went to Aldi after going to the bank. I purchased 39 items for $84.41. Some of the items included, but not limited to:

turkey bacon $2.29
Moo tubes $1.99 (Go-gurt knock off)
milk $1.99
eggs .99/dozen (2)
chewy granola bars $1.59 (2)
raisin bran $1.89 (2)
honey wheat bread $1.29 (2)
bag of tilapia filets $5.99 
pork tenderloin $4.71

I also purchased three pounds of ground beef, chips, mac & cheese, pink pancake mix****, soda, produce, frozen veggies, butter, and other necessities. I didn't need any fruit because I still had plenty from a get well basket Hubby's office sent him. I also had just gotten some other fruit for my daughter's volleyball team for the after the game snack. I also had a big bag of chicken breasts in the freezer.

I have no menu written down, but I know tonight I have chicken breasts thawing and some bread crumbs. Throw in some frozen veggies and we're good to go*****. Tuesday night is always breakfast for dinner. Wednesday I'm thinking tilapia. Thursday will probably be salisbury steak and Friday might just be a free for all. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

The key this month is to eat what we have. No trips on a whim to the store. 

I'm glad this challenge happened to fall on the shortest month of the year! So here's to our week one. This could be a very interesting experiment!

* I ask with trepidation!
**or they need shoes
***aaaaahhhhhh!!! Can we REALLY do this?
****Valentines Day is coming
*****They won't be frozen when served, they'll be steamed.