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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April, 2008

Apr. 25, 2008 - Happy Friday!
Although I better hurry I just wanted to jump on tell everyone, "hello"! We have had a humongously busy week....or past couple of weeks. As you know, last week was revival week at church. We had Saturday "off"(although we worked so hard blowing insulation in the attic)and then Sunday church began again. We went to a camp meeting Monday-Wednesday. Yesterday we spent catching up on laundry, cleaning a little, running a few errands and on a grand search for a library book, which entailed a reward for the finder. Brittany won!! Today we will have more laundry and cleaning. I am busy also with being with the children and staying on top of discipline. We begin school again next week.
The camp meeting was fabulous. Once again the hosting church made us most welcome and spoiled us to death. They fed us almost to death too. Funny, I gained a few pounds there but am slowly going back down again. The same thing happened with revival the week before. It's a lot easier to watch your weight whenever you have free reign in your own kitchen! Hopefully I won't have gained too much when going to the doctor on May 1st. Hopefully this will be a gain of only a pound or two from last month.
With being so busy with church we have just got a few things done here and there with the addition. Yes, I think it will sometime into May that we will be done. Right now we are staggering due to waiting for someone to do the plumbing. I do believe that James got under the house last night to do something along those lines. We are in hopes that James can take off a day or two to do some more work.....even if his coworker whines and pouts for having to work without him. James is entitled to a little time off.
I am thinking as far as computer time goes that I will come on to post here weekly. I think Friday is a good day, don't you? Then I can cap off the happenings of the week. I may peek in here and there to post photos.
Okay, I am precisely eight minutes over my allotted time of 30 minutes. So I better run and get all my endeavors accomplished.
Have a blessed week in the LORD!
Apr. 18, 2008 - Good Day!
Today was another long one but it went pretty well. We got a lot of school done, which is GREAT! I am happy to say that Samuel is now on his grade level for reading. Glory, glory. I oftentimes wondered if "we" would ever get there but with time and perseverance we made it. I cannot begin to tell you how good that feels.
As far as chores today, things got way behind. I guess with being engrossed in school and cooking, the chores went by the wayside. I really have to catch up in the morning. I can only stand chaos at a certain level! So, in the morning, during school when I am not instructing I have to do a hurry job on all areas.
Revival has been very good for us this week! I have really enjoyed all sermons. I didn't get to hear as much as the previous nights due to taking JA to the nursery but I can't complain. I have been blessed to hear a lot. The guest preacher is another spitfire, tell it like it is type of preacher(much like our Pastor). We like it like that. We only have one more night of revival. I am really sad in a way but glad in another. I am very tired, as I am sure anyone is at this point but I will miss the all week sermons. I think that the Lord worked through this preacher's sermons as he hit on a lot of stuff that he had no way of knowing about people. That's really neat.
As far as my diet plan. There has not been any following one, for a few reasons. I have been too busy this week with trying to be everything to all people. Also, I haven't had a chance to get some healthy food at the store. I really need to but we have been eating what's here.
Tomorrow we are to be getting our new washing machine. They are to deliver within a two hour window and I hope they do just that. The last time these people delivered something they called and said they were on their way. They showed up 4 hours later. I am excited about the new washer but won't be able to use it for a while as it's going into the addition. The plumbing isn't hooked up and of course we haven't had inspection yet.
Okay, I just got finished paying bills, balancing the checkbook and looking at those final expenses to get the addition done for the umpteenth thousandth time. I can't wait till this is done as my brain in so tired. It won't be too much longer.
Have a great Friday!
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Apr. 17, 2008 - Fitting It All In
Last night I was researching a new way of getting every one's school into the day, preferably before 2:00-3:00pm. I mean, hey, how can institutional school fit it all in from 8:00-3:00, take time to switch classes, eat lunch and have recess and get all classes in? Hmmmm......I guess my thing is getting all of the curriculum finished. We don't go just by 180 school days per year. We work till we are done whether it's 180 or 280. I know that institutionalized schools, for the most part, just slam the books shut once that 180 day mark hits, done or not. That's so unfair to the students.
Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah, fitting it in. What? What did you say? Yes, I can! Don't discourage me alright? So, last night I was brainstorming this once again while I was also talking with James about that classroom we'll have next school year and how to set it up. It's gonna be ssswweeeettttt.
Here's my tentative plan, which isn't off to a good start today considering the children are not wanting to get out of bed. We've had very late nights this week, but still they need to be out of bed.
6:00 Mom is up(that actually was the easy part), quiet time, focus on day, drink coffee, read paper
7:00 make breakfast (today is muffin day!), get dressed(hopefully with makeup?)
7:30 get children up, have quiet time and dress
8:00 eat breakfast, make beds, brush teeth
8:30 School begins! All: SOW(Bible), Hero Tales story(missionary stories), Little Visits everyday devotional(for the wee ones)
9:00 D and S do copywork. This consists of mainly Bible verses from devotionals, studies or sermons.This practices handwriting and Bible memory. Br does New Testament Survey(next year another elective goes here). The small ones are coloring, playing blocks or various toys.
9:30 S reads to me then does Easy Grammar, D and Br do Language Arts
10:00 Br, D, and S do Spelling Power with me
10:30 BREAK! Snack
10:45 Preschool/ Kindergarten with J and Be, Br watches JA, D and S read science together
11:30 B, D and S: Math
12:30 lunch
1:00 Br does Home Ec(next year another elective will go here), D and S does computer math "games"/ go over science with me, Have history/ geography lesson. JA, Be, and J nap/ quiet time.
2:00 next year PE might be added here
The rest of the day would be pretty much the same:
Play, chores, cook supper, kitchen cleanup, prepare for following day.

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Apr. 14, 2008 - Revival, Meat, and Cold - Oh My!

Yes, I know, what a title. There's so much going on that it's just crazy. This week we are having a revival meeting at the church. If you're in the area, please come~! There's some great singing(our family sang yesterday so you should be safe now,Ha!),worship and preaching to be a part of. If you're in the area and interested, the link to the church is on my sidebar. Email if you have any questions.
Today we are supposed to get our meat. So, once we get it we will have to split what's ours and the other to pass on to our friends. They are buying the other part. We are both excited about having this beef in the freezer. To cut down on the budget I have planned most of my "non-beef" meals at the beginning of the month and the beef meals for the later half. Anyway, I am hoping that the beef is ready before church versus after as this will make for a long night...sorting and splitting meat so late.
It's downright cold here! I am glad that we had not started our summer garden yet. I don't know what this will do to the gardens and farmers. I hope that we don't have another replay of last year. That really messed us up royally for the whole summer. It's forcasted to hit 32* tonight. Let's hope that is wrong.
So here is our tentative schedule for today:
Have school this morning
Lunch(mac and cheese)
Afternoon chores(kitchen cleanup, quick tidy of LR, fold laundry, iron clothes)
Have quiet time
Children play as I prep supper. We have leftover spanish rice from yesterday so I am going to put that with some creamy chicken with a wee bit of leftover tortillas.
As for what we're eating the rest of the week(in no special order):
oatmeal, peanut butter toast, eggs and cheese grits, muffins
ramen, baked beans, baked potatoes, chicken nuggets, leftovers
chili mac, chicken bog, cubed steak, manwiches, bbq leg quarters
Okay, I am off to shower and get these children rolling with school. Many prayers are going for a good and productive week!
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Apr. 12, 2008 - I Tried. I Really Did.
I promise. I tried to not do it but I just had to. You see, I was thinking of the future and how it would be more beneficial to us in later days. I mean, don't blame me. It was an uncontrollable urge that couldn't be helped. I mean, hey, what was a gal to do. We are talking about .99 chicken breasts! I had a choice to strive to stay below budget this month and not take part in it. Or swallow my pride and take the plunge of stocking up on a great day for next month as well. So, I am swallowing my pride in order to benefit later. Yes, a 40# benefit. Yes, I bought 40# of chicken breasts and really want to buy more. I have no shame. For the record, I did not buy all 40# at one store. I split between two stores and there was plenty still to spare.
I am actually happy that I did it. The excitement is immense as next week we are to get our beef to stock the freezer. Now with the chicken breasts, our grocery budget CAN be more doable next month. Right now I am at about $370 for the spending in April. I don't know how much more it'll be but hopefully not much more. If it will benefit us to stock up now, then I'll go ahead and cut back more so in May.
Like I said, I tried. But, hey, a deal is a deal. What's a girl to do? Buy chicken breasts for twice the price later? Oh, our beef is coming in at $2.25/#. That's for ground beef(very lean), steaks, roasts......yes, I am excited.
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Apr. 11, 2008 - Sweet Moments
Mama, are there any more dishes to wash? This is my little cleaner here. She LOVES to clean. I think that it is the sweetest thing. She is always wanting to help me clean something and gets frustrated when I explain that she's not quite ready for some things, like running the vac. She likes to "cook" too.
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Apr. 11, 2008 - Happy Friday!
Today is proving to be a beautiful one. I am about to open the windows at it's suppose to get over 80* later! Today we have quite a list to accomplish. First off, we will hit on school and get this finished for the week. Our school year is going to carry on a bit longer than normal this time. It will be worth it all when we are done. Then once we get that short break of a few weeks we will start up again. So when baby comes in September we can all relax.
Yesterday we made it to the library and the children all got their books. Then Joy-Anna decides she wants to show her true colors. There was this fellow sitting at one of the tables with paperwork and various office paraphernalia lined up neatly in a row. He was sitting in the children's section, mind you. Joy-Anna starts screaming. After a sweet talk(threats) and stern look she calms down long enough for us to exit. That man gave the meanest look. I felt like acting juvenile myself and sticking out my tongue to him. Well anyway, we didn't make it to the movies or the adult section.
With all that going on I still had a wonderful chance to work with Samuel on the dynamics of the library system. I showed him how to look up a call number, find a call number, which numbers are fiction and non fiction. He had the pleasure to share with James when he got home. That felt very good.
Since we didn't make it to the adult non-fiction section, I didn't get my plumbing book. So, when James needs to know how to remove a knockout element to install the toilet I couldn't help. Well, at least we had the Internet. Turns out that you knock out a knockout element with a hammer. Hmmm.....I'll have to remember that next time. Ha! That was a tongue in cheek statement.
The big news from yesterday is that we can now walk from the old part into the new part right from the living room! James removed the barrier and so therefore the two sections are now one. Brittany took pictures. Yes, she takes pics and it's rare for me to post them. I will have to make it a point to get to that very soon (maybe today???).
Over the weekend I really have no idea what we will be doing. James has been working very late and has been overly tired. So I am hoping that he will take the chance to rest a little. But, if you know James, that is not his nature. Also, tomorrow is our 18th anniversary! We had talked about going out to eat at Cracker Barrell. I would LOVE to go there but as said before, James has been working a lot. So, I am thinking of fixing Beaufort Stew here at home instead.
Anyway, on to today's to do list:
wash 3 loads of wash, hang on line today
fold and put away all wash plus what was leftover from yesterday
Today is my day for KP
conduct school
Work in and oversee the boys' tidying their room....maybe the use of a hard tooth rake would be suitable?
Oversee the girls cleaning their room
make bread this morning and make pb&j for lunch
make pizza for tonight
try to rake all construction mess that's in the back into a pile
general pickup
spot mop where needed
clean windows on the new part
wash door door on new part

Have a great day!

Apr. 10, 2008 - Library and Electricity!
Today is library day. This is true sacrificial love for my children.
No, really it's not all that bad. The children cooperate very well in and don't give me any flack. But I guess it's the stress of it all. It's so true, people tend to judge and scrutinize large families. People either hate or love them and if they are on the fence they watch your every move to place you in either category. Usually I have the attitude of "we are what we are and I have nothing to hide" but then sometimes it's stressful. A lot of times it presents interesting questions and gives opportunity to share our way of thinking. That's a whole other can of worms! Ha!
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, at the library! So, the children usually pick four books a piece but today it seems a child or two have a book missing. So until the books are found, they have lost privileges to check out any more. I would like to snoop downstairs in the adult section. I would like to see what kind of plumbing and household organization book are available.
Speaking of "household" reminds me of "home addition" which reminds me of "electrical innovations" which reminds me to tell you that we have power on the new side! Yeah! We have lights and outlets. Now, if we only had water. Our plumber is SO busy right now and needs to be with family as his wife is birthing a new wee one right this minute. So, I am threatening to crawl under yonder before my girth gets any bigger and figure this thing out. I am desperate to get this done. I am personally moving our final finish date to the first of May. James says that it'll be before then still. hmmmmmmm....
The rest of today will be spent doing general cleanup and pickup. I'll read with Samuel, work with Dalton one on one with math and supervise Brittany. Preschool mainly will only entail singing songs, oral counting and maybe a practice session of writing names, etc.
Oh, one more thing. It's official now that Dalton is through with piano lessons. I feel SO relieved. I love his teacher but will still see her sometimes at church. BUT we will save a cool $95/month of which I am having fun on utilizing. He also just wasn't interested. So thus far, Brittany is the music chic of the family.
Okay, off to shower and leave for town. Have a great day in the Lord!
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Apr. 9, 2008 - Wednesday, April 9th
It's 9:30am here and I have sat down to take a breather. Most of the main chores are caught up for the morning. I do have a mountain of laundry to fold. I think we will have another folding party! The electricians are suppose to come today and so really hate to have stacks of wash all over the living room. On the other hand, hey, who doesn't have wash? Besides, I have seen the back of their work trailer and it's a huge mess. I don't see how anyone could find anything in there. LOL They seem to find everything, though, and are excellent workers.
Right now it's 59 outside and it feels excellent! I have the windows open, the sun in shining and the birds are singing. It sounds, looks and feel wonderful right now! I may have to hang out some wash today. It's too pretty of a day not to.
Dalton's piano teacher didn't show up again yesterday. Her husband passed away 3 or so weeks ago and she hasn't been back since. Nor has she called to say either way whether she'd be coming. So the past few weeks we'd just make sure that we were prepared just in case. I think I am going to tell her that we are done with Dalton's lessons. He really doesn't care anything about the piano so it's best overall. Besides, we can utilize the piano fees somewhere else. Ha!
Here's today's to do list:
fold mountain of wash
wash 3 loads of laundry
It's my day for KP, so I'll be in the kitchen a lot today!
Put together a spaghetti sauce and cook in crock pot
Keep the children on top of their chores
have school with the littles
oversee school with the older two.... go over Dalton's math with him
Get clothes together for church tonight and as much of next week as possible(revival week!)
The electricians are here now so I'd better run and make sure that no children get underfoot. Also, Brittany has posted a few pics on her blog of the addition, if you'd like to take a peek. We have more pics coming here soon as well. Have a great day!
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Apr. 8, 2008 - Happenings These Days
This week has been somewhat productive thus far. I haven't been over to see but James informs me that all but two lights are now hung in the addition! He was to hang the other two but the one in the bathroom needs butterfly screws as the holes are 6" apart. This light is very old and I guess in that age the spacing of studs weren't a problem. Like over on the old side of our house, the WHOLE wall is nothing but pine. The other ceiling fan needs a bracket as well. He can get that out of the current girls' room/new dining room. As, I will be hanging a chandelier in there. Well, it was brass but I painted it black to look like wrought iron.
It's amazing what an .88 can of black spray paint can do! I have painted two light fixtures and a few plant baskets. They look classier to me that way. I fully believe we should keep a can of black spray paint around at all times. Oh yeah, years ago right after we were married I bought an old banged up tea kettle and oil lantern. I brought them home and painted them black. The kettle looks as if it's cast iron. I have both pieces still.
Tomorrow the electricians are suppose to come and finish up. This means we will have power on the new side! James said that after we finish sanding the final room that we can open up the entrance from the old part to the new! This seems like such an eventful affair. LOL It will be nice to be able to walk right in from the old part. Anyway, so tomorrow is electric day!
The last things on our list besides the electrical is:
finish HVAC system*
have friend to tie in the plumbing line from old part to new*
us to finish the rest of the plumbing*
have upstairs' window tempered*
blow insulation into the attic on both old and new sides*
build deck *
mud and sand last room and paint
install flooring and trim
install stair steps and stain the steps
grade dirt away from the sides of the house in a slope*
The ones with stars have to be done before final inspection. This seems so close, yet so far away! LOL
We trudging along slowly with school. I have to say that Samuel had a GREAT day with reading and he's really taken off. Glory! He seems to be more interested in reading now so this helps. Brittany is working in all subjects with great focus. For this, I am thankful. Dalton is the one that really needs pushing right now. He's gotten into a lazy mindset. I must sit with him more, one on one. Preschool/ Kindergarten is slow going right now as well. I have to pick up speed with that. Once I can pull this hot iron(home addition) out of the fire, this will all come much easier.
Please pray for my dad as he's been laid off from work. He doesn't know how long this will last. Construction is slow right now and it's hard to find work. This is what he's done all his life so it'd be very hard to make a change at this stage. He's into commercial construction and with A LOT of experience in building church buildings. Let's hope that work comes very soon!
These next few weeks will be very busy. We have revival each night next week. The week after we will be off for three days to a camp meeting. I am hoping that James will take off a few additional days to be here.
Okay, so I must go now and get everyone moving! Our sheep wonders around aimlessly without a helpful hand to guide them! Please have a blessed day in the Lord.
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Apr. 7, 2008 - Pregnancy Weight
Oh the dreaded words....pregnancy weight gain. This is the time that is trying for me. You see, I never have gained weight unless I am pregnant. BUT when I am pregnant I really run into trouble. It's typical for me to weight 40 lbs. or so from start to finish. Then I have an extra 10lbs. from THAT pregnancy to lose....and that is on top of weight from other pregnancies. While not pregnant, I'd love to lose 15-20lbs. I am a breast feeding mother until the baby is 12-14 months old and I am not one of those lucky ones to lose while nursing.
While talking to my OB about this, and a way to control an chance of maternal diabetes he talked of controlling carbs. That's easier said than done really. While I was pondering on what on earth to do--- that is truly doable with our lifestyle, I thought of once again simply controlling calories. Naturally, if you control calories you have to control sugar. On top of this I thought I would limit the white stuff. You know, when having a plate of spaghetti, have a little pasta and a lot of sauce. Anyway, here's my hope to have rules:
Control my calories.....maybe 1800-2000 daily???
eat every 2 hours...just a snack even if it's just a few bites of an apple
try to stick to whole wheat bread and pasta
eat a lot of salads and fruit
drink my water!!!!
eat real food and try a relaxed approach
if I fail on some days....know it's alright
allow for dessert once weekly....maybe make the whole meal dessert??? JUST KIDDING!
drink calorie free drinks...even if I do deaden brain cells from aspartame...I'll try to use stevia where possible
Well, I think that's it! The good news is, it's an easy time of year to watch the intake as it'll be hot and a perfect time for salads and fruit. The bad news is that I am human.
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Apr. 5, 2008 - Saturday's Musings
It's been a wonderful day of a lil' of this and that. I did a lil' laundry and a lil' kitchen cleanup along with a lil' cooking and tidying. It seems I have spent most of the day over on the old side and haven't done any work on the new. I think I am saving up for Monday. LOL Thursday evening I had done entirely too much. I was overly tired and was still recovering on Friday. Still yet, duty calls! So, Friday and today I did "normal" chores. We have also enjoyed this wet weather. I had the windows opened and could hear the birds singing and the rain falling. The breeze blowing in felt so good and it sounded like a tropical rainforest outside.
I am happy to say that we should be done with the home additioning in only a few more week. Glory, glory! I am coming up with an all new plan for the chores. Since we'll be more spread out with almost twice the house we will definitely need to rework the bearings on the machinery. I am thinking of assigning rooms to the children and myself but am thinking of how to go about it. I am researching as to how others handle the task with such a large family.
So, do you remember my telling you about our washer acting up? James called around for the part and it'd cost upwards to $200 to replace the part. James decided that we would get a new washer. Of course, naturally, the first thing that popped in my head was to get a cranberry red front loader. This was the lust of the flesh talking. LOL So, we make good use of our Consumer Reports membership and do some research. The best one that was in our price range was a little high on the energy usage, albeit still on the lower end. Then we read that these models aren't all that great on longevity. They last 7 years for normal usage(6-8 loads/week).We do 15-20 loads per week in our large, 3.2 cu. ft. washer. So we look at GE. This is the brand that we have here now and was a pretty good one. The energy usage was better (146 versus 203per KWH/year), was larger(4.2 vs. 3.5 cu. ft) and could handle larger items. So, I did have a choice of a red one but I chose white. I mean, hey, it'll go with the white dryer so it'll look better. We did entertain the idea of a top loader but they are really all thumbs down compared to front loaders. And I thought that front loaders were just a trendy thing! They are actually supposed to be better in all areas. Okay, so it's suppose to be here in few weeks...just in time to use in the new washroom. Now if only I can tinker with the old one till then.
So, now it's time to get the children baths, iron clothes, and finish dinner for tomorrow. I am baking a ham for tomorrow. Then there's jammies, teeth brushing, g'night prayers and kisses. After I am done I will be very ready to fall asleep myself.
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Apr. 5, 2008 - Pizza Time!
Almost every Friday night we make pizza. This is another frugal meal of ours that is super yummy and a big hit for the whole family. We make 3 large pizzas for under $5.
First we start with fresh milled whole wheat flour.

We also use bread flour.
We use the big mixer to mix the dough as we can mix all the dough at once.

I usually use tomato paste to make the sauce.
Of course we add yummy seasonings such as italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt and a bit of sugar to cut the tartness.
What we put on the pizzas vary. We put pepperoni on a lot of times but last night as had roasted turkey breasts.
Also, on the small, round pizza we put onions on for Brittany and myself.
Here's a pic of the small, round pizza crust rolled.
Here's the one of the large metal pan. You'll notice that this pan is turned upside down. Before I got my small roller, which was intended to roll out cake icing, I had to use a large pastry roller. The roller would not fit in the pan. So I made a habit of turning the pans over. It works great! Brittany asks why I still do it this way....dunno'...just habit I guess.
Toppings before the cheese.....

and after.

Now, I know what you're thinking. This pizza looks burnt. It's not. It's just bad lighting and I wish she'd taken a pic of the other two, larger pizzas. Oh well. It's all good.
So, this is how we make very, very cheap pizzas. I used 1 lb. of cheese for all three pizzas. Usually I am a little bit more liberal but I was trying to stretch it. Whenever I don't make the homemade sauce I buy the Del Monte' for under .90/can. To make it from the paste, we come out to about .75 a batch.....about the equivalent of one can. We had enough left over for the children's and hubby's lunch. I was attempting low carb at lunchtime so had something different(turkey and cheese roll up).
I'll be posting pics of the hallway, playroom and sewing area painted soon. It looks wonderful!
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Apr. 3, 2008 - Busy Yet Happy
This week has been another busy one. Yesterday I was going through, cleaning out stored clothing and have discovered one very significant thing in my life. Trash bags. This is my favorite cleaning tool. It's almost addictive, really. It's a sweet pastime of mine, to fill the bags and have a sense of......neatness. The children now have a look of overwhelming fear when they see my carrying the bags past their rooms. It's all for the good. The children have fear over losing their artwork. Paper---it should be a four letter word. So, the deal is that they must keep them stashed away in binders or they are out of here. I am thinking of writing an ode to trash bags. Plastic isn't all that bad!
I had my 16 week check this morning and things are going very well. I was able to hear the heartbeat for the very first time. I was thrilled and relieved. There comes a time to never-ever take things for granted no matter. There is none of that. I am thankful for each day that passes and things are okay. I relish in the sweet time of maternal being. With that said, I don't feel the same of "eternity" clothes! I hate getting big and I hate having to wear big clothes. Ugh. Some olive trees have it easier than others.
After leaving the OB I went to CVS to pick up a few things. They did not have the Softsoap SPA bodywash but I was able to get two packs of wipes(80ct. each), two boxes of freezer bags, and two 10 pks. of Wrigley's gum for .83 after ECB. I was surprised to get $4.50 ECB back as my quarterly reward. That's great as I'll use them toward diapers and "g'nites" during the camp meeting. Then I hit Bi-Lo with my $3 coupon off any shopping order. I need some more plain yogurt to make yogurt. Thankfully they had a single serve container of the plain yogurt there for .60. Then, I was brainstorming of what we needed. I couldn't think of much(needed mayonnaise but forgot) so I decided to treat us to some soda. I got (3) 3 liters for $1 each but with a coupon for .25 off one. Once I was checking out I paid .35 out of pocket. So for all this stuff I paid a total of $1.18.
So for the rest of the day I need to clean the kitchen, work with the children in a wee bit of school, take a nap and sand walls for maybe an hour or so. Then tonight when James gets home we will be able to paint the hall, stairwell, playroom and sewing room. I am excited to see what it's going to look like. Then it'll be time to work on the girls room---the last room of the addition. I've decided supper will be nachos and cheese with baked beans. Yes, it's an odd combo....don't ask. LOL The children or hubby doesn't complain. I will hopefully time to fill more bags tomorrow.

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Apr. 2, 2008 - Happenings These Past Days
Wow, what a very tiring week thus far! You know, I can't wait to see what it's like to be "just" a mom in a normal sized house for a not so normal sized family again. Once again the mudding and sanding is getting to me, but bless God, there's only a wee bit more sanding to do and then only one more room to go! Hopefully tomorrow night we will be painting the hall, stairwell, playroom and sewing room. This monstrous job can be taxing, no matter of what's ahead. Well, if it weren't for what's ahead I don't think I could make it. It's a true test of playing mind games to get to the next step.
Whenever I'm not next door mudding and sanding, it's the usual cooking of three meals, laundry, semi-teaching, semi-cleaning and trying to still be a semi- good wife and mom. This morning I did take a break from sanding to try to get the clothing issues a little bit more under control. Wow, what an issue that is! I have became ruthless this past while and if a piece of clothing even strikes me wrong I chunk it! I have packed 3 bags of clothing from just our bedroom this morning. This is to join the 5 bags of clothes from the boys' room. More is join these. I want things organized and minimal as possible when we move over to the other side.
If I ever When I get through this ordeal, I know I will be so glad! But for now there's another issue. It seems our washer is a bit temporamental right now and doesn't always want to rinse and spin. . We were under the impression that we had bought this things maybe only 6-7 years ago but James says once taking it apart, it appears much older. We are thinking it's maybe 9 or more years old really. But, with us doing twice as much wash as the normal family, it would be likened to it being double in age. . Yes, this is one chic that will not complain of the extra tax bonus coming....when? I think ours comes in July. Oh, but whenever I get a new one, I want one of those new looking front loaders. Cranberry red is nice. It'd look good with yellow walls.
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Apr. 2, 2008 - Blessings These Past Days

Once I sit down and think of all we have and how we have what we have, my heart overflows with gratitude. I think of the fellow who brought us a bunch of fresh strawberries on Saturday. We were all so thankful towards this man and enjoyed these tasty-sweet bits of joy with delight. On the very same day we had a church outing. Hamburgers and hot dogs were grilled and we were able to bring home leftovers of hamburgers, chips and hot dog buns. We are so thankful to the fellows who cooked this. We are thankful to the pastor's wife for suggesting we take some home. This made a fabulous lunch for us the next day. Another lady there had put some sub buns in our van seat to take home. There were six, just the right amount for our family--one whole wheat and five white---just as everyone would want. Funny I had some sub meat in the fridge. This same lady gave us a bowl of chopped lettuce and tomatoes. This was great for topping those burgers and subs. We are thankful for her sharing these things to make our meals even more palatable. With being thankful to these people, I was thinking of where the blessing are passed FROM. They are passed THROUGH these people but the LORD is the one from all blessings are passed FROM. Thank you, Lord, from whom all blessings flow.
Some people have so much more...lavious meals out everyday...never having to cook. They never really have to worry about what's for the next meal, lining up a menu, or stretching a budget. There's one thing they are missing though. They are missing seeing how the Lord blesses. They are missing being able to pray for their daily bread. They are missing gained faith in seeing how the Lord provides. I remember feeling jealous because I'd like to live like that...eating out all the time and being served, versus serving. But then I realize that what I have so much much more gain. It is of others versus self. Yes, this is what the Lord wants. Yes, we are blessed.

Apr. 1, 2008 - Shopping Lessons Learned

I have learned a few valuable things in order for me to make our budget for the month. This applies to me, personally, but could be applicable to others as well.
It's impossible to get every "good" deal out there and still stay under budget. There are really so many fabulous deals that one must become picky in which ones to use. Making sure that all nutritional categories are fulfilled is vital. Then extras can be just that....extra.
It's sometimes good to just sit and wait. Instead of buying almost all of the things needed to fill out the menus, sometimes better deals come along later in the month. So I think for the month of May, if I don't do Angel Ministries, I will try to buy partially of what we need the first two weeks. Besides that HUGE trip is a killer on the back. My Kroger buggy was literally sliding across the floor instead of rolling. There was 13 gallons of liquid(milk and juice) plus all the other loot that weighed down the buggy entirely too much. So, I think I will try to stagger the shopping a bit more for May.
I don't really care for Walgreen's so much after. Per conversation with a friend of mine, we were talking of how the deals sort of don't pan out for us. For me, I have missed filling out mail in rebates and thus, spent more than I would have normally on those products. For my lifestyle, I don't have time for mail in rebates. Once when I got $12 register rewards, they expired in 2 weeks. For those two weeks there weren't any very good sales going on. I had to go in and use or lose those register rewards. The groceries I found to buy with the RR came out costing more than I would have paid elsewhere. So, earning those RR was not all that great afterall. I wanted to roll them over into other good deals. No could do. Oh, also I have been in there to get good grocery deals before and they'd be out of what's on sale even though the sale had just started. Nothing is more frustrating in making a special trip into a store(sometimes with six children in tow) and they don't have their advertised sale items.

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