Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2011 prep

So I did a lot of things right this year but a lot incorrectly. One of the biggest things I did wrong was the lack of prep work I could have spaced out all year long. That is where I am going with this post. I am going to try to work on one craft idea a month in preparation for gift giving for Christmas 2011. January's project is going to be oven mitts. As I need them and everyone uses them. So I will post a few photos after the boys and I have a few hours on the sewing machine. I also should say that a constant goal of mine is to increase my boys sewing talent. The two ideas go hand in hand.

If you have any ideas that a mother of two boys with normal gift giving list could use please post in the comments.

Merry Christmas everyone

I want to take a minute to wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas. Usually I am a politically correct type of person but not at Christmas. For unto the day our savior was born, peace and good will to all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bloggers needed to Review books

I am borrowing this post "Sign up below and you’re on your way to receiving free books in exchange for your honest and thoughtful book reviews! You can also win cash prizes, autographed books, iPods and other great awards!

For full details on how the Blogging for Books program works please visit our FAQ page.

*USA only, book reviews are due within 30-90 days, can only request 1 book at a time."

but I just got an email stating that my book: The Dragon and the Turtle by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark; illustrated by Vincent Nguyen has been queued for shipment, I should have it in 7 to 10 days. Just in time for Christmas break reading with the boys. I love new kid's books that my boys will love for free.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The New Year is coming

The New Year is coming and is so full of promises of every thing starting over, like a clean slate. I am going to be brainstorming about how I want to save/make money in the new year, as that is going to be my main financial role again. DH is back to work and I will be laid off after the first full week of January. While there are tons of blogs that combine sales with coupons, or deal links, I will be taking advantage of those, of course. But my main goal with this blog in the next year is going to be about me keeping track of MY savings and money making, in so I hope to inspire others (and myself) to start or maintain a frugal lifestyle.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Please remember service members away from their families today, when your making the list of things you are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zero Food Waste Challenge

Alternative Name

I am about a week late or a day early depending on how you look at things. I am joining the Zero Food Waste Challenge hosted by pennilessparenting, and I am so excited. I have been practicing no food wasting for some time now, but happy to have found a place where this type of idea is common. My closest friends in real life look at me like I am nuts when I recycle food into other meals. It is so common now-a-days to pitch everything that is not eaten at a meal time.

I will post my last week's effort, after I tell a bit about my situation. We are pretty broke, but living well, due to frugalness in most areas of live. My DH just got a full time job after 18 months of unemployment. His job come with good points and bad points. It is wonderful that is he employed and will be getting full time hours with benefits. The bad news is that he was maxing his unemployment benefits and taking the job he will be losing about $250 a month, but a job is a job and unemployment can't last forever.

So after that long winded story, I work in a kitchen feeding 40 students two meals a day. Occasionally, we are given a chance to take home leftovers. Last week I took home 3 pounds of pulled BBQ Pork, 4 pounds of swedish meatballs with mushroom gravy, and 4 pounds of meatloaf.

Here is what I made with the meatloaf, one meal of meatloaf, one big pot of chili, and a taco pie. I froze the meatballs and the bbq pork.

Oh and BTW, I only work from Aug to Nov, so the leftover wagon train is over. :(

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratituesday: November 23, 2010

I cannot believe that is has been two weeks since I have written. Today I am joining Laura from Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday. I have spent most of the day putsing round the house. I enjoyed my DH's company before he had to go to work, he made me an excellent omelet. Then he went to work, I made fresh bread and cookies. It was just in the nick of time that I finished the cookies that the bus pulled up and dropped off my two boys. I got to spend snack time talking about their days, then help with homework.

So what I am trying to say that I am very thankful for my sweet men that I get to share the life with. I would not trade any of them for anything.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gratituesday November 9, 2010


Today I am grateful for my Gram, today is her 79th birthday and she is in pretty good health and strong.

Also, I think I have mastered bread making. Today I made 4 yummy loafs of onion, garlic bread. As you can tell from the photo, only 3 loaves remain.

For more Gratituesday posts pop over to Heavenly Homemakers to visit Laura's site.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Morning

So here it is Saturday morning! I feel pretty inspired. Last night after I picked the boys up from school. We went to pick up my Mom and Great niece who is 4 months old. We hit the library for a few books and videos. Then we all went out to eat. I really feel pretty frugal in doing so :) I did a survey for a $15 gc that I used and it was also a mystery shop :D So I will get ALL of the money I spent back and had a great time.

The boys and I finished up the gift for my Gram's birthday. It only cost money to mail it to her. She loves flowers and can NEVER find a pen. So this is what we made. I am thinking she will love it.

DH is out of town for the night completely the first of the bus driver education class. He took the school van, so no cash spent there, maybe even over time :)

OH yeah also in the picture is a cookie jar that I got Friday night from a garage sale for 50 cents. There is a tiny chip in the lid that I colored with an orange marker.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Nov 1st

Menu Plan Monday ~ Nov 1st

Can you believe that it is November 1, 2010?
I CAN NOT! but it is so there. I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween. My family and I sure did. The kids were so excited to go trick or treating and on the 9th house my youngest Noah asked if it was time to go home. In total I think we T or Ted at 18 houses and got way more candy then all 4 of us will eat ever.

So the Menu Plan for this week is:
Monday Turkey, mashed taters, candied carrots.
Tuesday Turkey rice, veggies soup and HM dinner rolls.
Wednesday skillet tacos.
Thursday breakfast, pancakes.
Friday pizza
Saturday tba
Sunday meatloaf, and something.

to see more awesome menu plans go to

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DH has a full time job

DH was hired a few weeks ago, as a part time custodain at the school district he graduated from. With a possibility of going to full time if he got his CDL to be a bus driver. So he did, he just got official word that he got the full time position last night

In all honesty taking this job is both good and bad news. Good it is a job! Bad is that he losing another $250 a month from unemployment, but the benefits are good, I am told. So we will have health coverage, but need to cut the budget yet again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Laura over at heavenlyhomemakers hosts Gratituesday so I thought I would join in this Tuesday. I am very happy today because my DH has a new full time job! After 18 months of unemployment this is very exciting news for us. He is now employed with the school district he graduated from. He is a custodian/bus driver. Way to go David, we are very proud of you, honey!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monday Menu Plan 10-25-10-a day early!!

The plan for the next week is this-
Monday Hamburger helper-steamed green beans
Tuesday-leftover spaghetti sauce over noodles, hm garlic bread with salad
Sunday-Halloween-frozen pizzas

I will update as I plan the TBAed (To Be Announced) days.

For more great menu plans hop over to

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is my first time joining Wordless Wednesday.

To see more Wordless Wednesday go here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homemade Christmas gifts that I want to try.

Homemade Christmas gifts that I want to try this year. I always tell myself that gift giving should come from the heart. Even while we are on a tight budget, I love to give nice, useful gifts. So I am going to post a few links that I want to try this year.

Soap all dressed up

I will keep posting ideas as I see them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

93 days until Christmas-did you know that?

yes that is the truth! It is 93 days until Christmas. Unlike other years where I join the 60 day, or 90 crap til Christmas, helper thing mahickies to help you prep for Christmas slowly, I have joined before, THIS year I am making it work!!! 100 days til Christmas is a web site that sends inspirational little tidbit to do today to make the holidays happy and stress free AND THIS is the year I AM making it work.

Visit 100 Days to Christmas

I am up on the missions, and all set and fired up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Meal Plan Monday September 13, 2010

This week we have another crazy week planned so I am sticking to easy things for dinner all week.

Monday- spaghetti with meat sauce, HM garlic bread, with salad
Tuesday - brats
Wednesday - meatloaf with baked red potatoes
Thursday - chicken sandwiches
Friday - Out
Saturday - pork roast.

to see more yummy menu plans hop over to

AND for my Money Making Mondays, I am doing all my coke points for the week and click thru emails. and requesting freebies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Great Curriculum Swap – coming up September 13

I am not an official home schooler, but at heart I am. I try to teach my boys every lesson they need to learn here at home. And at Heavenly Homemakers, Laura is hosting a The Great Curriculum Swap – coming up September 13 it sounds like an excellent source to home schoolers on a tight budget. I have nothing to offer and am not requesting anything, but just wanted to spread the word. :) Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Well, I have not stuck to my meal plan at all!

Life has handed us a curve ball this week. an out of town friend of DH's extended his stay in the area, so I did not stick to the plan at all, but no meals out but one, and my parents bought it.

Tonight, I fixed a new recipe for dinner, Creamy Mac and Cheese I served it with chicken and cucumber slices. My family LOVED it, thank you Laura for a great, healthy recipe. My family didn't even notice that it was whole wheat pasta. It was my first time cooking it, as I am trying to get healthy and avoiding the "white" foods.

I found out some news that just makes me sick to my stomach. A dear friend of mine was arrested for embezzling from her place of employment. Apparently she has a bad gambling problem as well. I am sick with the thought of theft but just heartbroken by the thoughts that as school starts her teenage daughters are going to be on the receiving end of such torment. We live in a very rural area and news spreads like wild fire. My prayers are with the family of this person.

Not sure of our plans for the Labor Day weekend. But, I did score a GC for a hotel room for the night for $50, that has a great pool, it is also about 2 miles from my parents house so it would include a ton of grandparent time for the two boys also.

That is all for now.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Aug 30th

Here is my menu for the next week.
Monday-nuttin' Honey
Tuesday-sweet and sour chicken
Wednesday- pork tenderloin
Thursday-soup& grilled cheese
Friday HM pizza
Saturday burgers
Sunday-brats and hot dogs.

Been so busy but with a plan I do much better.

For more yummy menus hop over to

Have a great week everyone!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Busy day.

It is about 9pm here and I am just out of the shower and ready for bed. Today was my first day of being the baker for 55 students and teachers at work. I am working (for now at least) Monday-Friday 7:30am-1pm. I am the baker, today I made onion-dill dinner rolls, peanut butter-butterscotch cookies and zucchini bread. I helped with lunch cooking serving and clean up. And I am completely beat!

The boys entered 4 of the chickens in the county fair and all of them won 1st place, the boys were so proud. Busy fun, crazy weekend.I am very happy to report beside the crazy admission fee, we spent NO money. We did make sure we got every cent worth also, enjoyed the horse riding, dog show, music, exhibits, mud bog, and my families favorite the demolition derby. Every day we went, I made sure the cooler was full of cold refillable water bottles, sandwiches and fruit.

My youngst with his prise winning chickens.

My oldest with his chicken,also award winning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A little up dateand a new cake photo

We are really struggling these past few days. Unemployment check has not hit the bank yet, it was due in on Thursday and the house payment was due on Monday, hopefully it will come soon. I do get paid on Friday but it is not enough to cover the house payment.

We went on a 4H bus trip yesterday to Duluth, MN. It was really fun and nice to put our cares aside for one day. My parents paid for the trip and gave me cash for meals. While in Duluth we toured the William Irvin ship, went to Imax and the Lake Superior Zoo. All of the places were very educational and exciting for our family. It did however start raining while we were at the zoo, so we only got to enjoy half of it.

Here is a photo of a cake I made for my niece's birthday.

Tomorrow I go to the VA hospital to the MOVE clinic, I am going to speak with a dietitian and a nurse. I am hoping they can give me some info on weight loss.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

in a funk-update

I am in my own little funk.

I am having doubts about this entire medical transcription thing, I am doing. All these long ass terms are kicking my butt. and seems like I never have time to study. I am 42% done with the courses and my average is 92%.

Job-wise I love my new job, I like working in the kitchen and the gals I work with and it will be nearly full time from mid aug-nov, so I will love that.

DH is talking about going to truck driving school, which is NOT ideal but we are getting to the point where things really, REALLY HAVE to change. A new class starts up every 4 weeks so he is thinking of going in mid Sept-mid Oct. The boys are back in school, I will be working a lot and not needing day care.

While we are not late on any bills, things are slipping, only one 1/2 way decent vehicle, everything needing to be replaced or fixed around the house.

So that is that! Sorry to rant. I am really trying to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. We have a safe, (pretty) secure home, wonderful marriage and delightful boys. I am trying to stay fulfilled by my spiritual readings, because there is a reason for everything, even if we don't understand them now.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oscar Mayer giveaway!

Crystal, over at Just another modest Mom is having a great Oscar Mayer giveaway! Her giveaways are so much fun, and I am very excited to say that I won the last one she had, (she included great extras! Thanks Crystal!!)

Good Luck everyone!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Monday a day early

27th Fish, baked taters and fresh steamed green beans from the garden
28 Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
29 steak stir fry(need to find simple recipe)
30 meatloaf and...........
1 fried rice( left over make over meal)
2 Pepperoni pizza wheels
3rd hot dogs and watermelon with veggie plate

so there is the plan, let's see how well I can stick to it!

For more yummy menus head over to orgjunkie

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I would like to take the Santas off my margins, but have no idea how to. Could someone tell me how, please?!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WHERE Is calgone when you need it??

What a $hitty day! I even was greeted by Aunt F. today :sniff

welll, I have a wedding to go to this weekend, I know that my Gram will HAVE to mention that I have gained 5500+ pounds, and HATE being at the wedding that we have travel 450+ miles to escort her there the 20 minutes it is away from her home. Our mortgage company screwed up our escrow AGAIN. so there is NO money to pay the $700 past due taxes from 2009.

I did kick Joel and DH out of the house for a few hours, and am doing what brings me comfort and true peace, dancing and farting around with Noah and cooking a nice dinner, including brownies for dessert, and have two loaves of bread rising. Listening to good ole' classic rock blasting. try to fight off the weeps Cleaning the pit that our home has transformed into over the past few days.

What do you do to make yourself feel better, when in a blue mood?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So I had a great day with my family today.

The boys and I got up early, DH slept in. While he slept in, the boys and I cleaned up the house, they did their summer daily lesson, and I made up a yummy quick lunch. It was kind of cool outside and I made a goal last night to move at least 4 miles in the next week. So the boys and I invited DH to join us for a family hike. We had a great time and got some great free exercise. We also took so great photos, I especially like this one.

Then DH planted the plants we bought yesterday for the garden. We should have loads of veggies come harvest time.

I hope to work on a menu and post it soon.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Johnny Cash - Ragged Old Flag

I had never seen this before, it made me weep. I am proud to be American, and also proud to have served my country for 8 years. Happy Memorial Day. Be sure to remember all those who gave their lives for your freedoms.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

some how

I managed to ditch the Santa boarders, still not sure how but I am glad they are gone :) Today I got to see my one and only niece graduate, I am so very proud of her and happy for her. She worked very hard for this occasion, she not only conquered the trials and tribulations of every teenager, but she graduated 9.5 months pregnant. So I am very proud of her determination and strength!

Also I quickly visited two graduation parties, and took my boys swimming and had planned to sleep in the camper, but we were rained out :( but we just started summer on Friday, officially.

I am going to try to post here on a more regular basis. I quit and offically done with my time suck job, so I should have time do it.
More soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today I am thankful for..........

Today I got some news that freaked me out, but I also had so much to be thankful for!!

On ONE trip to town I was able to:
walk my Kindergarten to his class, he was so proud to read me his favorite CAT book and show me all his hard work.
spend the day with my 4th grader on an ALLLLLLLL day field trip to one of the coolest places ever.
I sneaked in a quick but very productive grocery shopping trip that will help get us through the next two weeks
and a little trip to Vinny's and bought Noah a make believe cat carrier, his is totally nuts about cats and when we borrowed one to bring Kittu to the vet months ago, he was so said that we had to give it back, SO now he has his own for a quarter
OH and was able to drive two of the cutest little men home from school (something that I would do A LOT in yester years but not this year!)

:woot what a great day to be a MOM :swoon

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Long time, no action

here and only here. Life has been so busy with the early gorgeous weather we have had in the UP. I am still working two part time jobs and working on another one. But life is good and busy.

I am invited to a baby shower this afternoon for my niece, she is having a baby girl. I did her cake. I do have to mention that this cake design in NOT mine. I seen a nice cake and was inspired by it. I sure hope she likes it. I am also bringing CP sloppy joes.

I am still doing my study from home schooling, it is slow but steady.

Friday, January 29, 2010

time for an update and a plan for February 2010

time for an update and a plan for February 2010

ok, lets see, where to begin. The Dfamily and I made it through Christmas and had a WONDERFUL day, season. I did have a couple of Christmas angels. We spent what we could on presents and excepted that.

January, in a nutshell was ok, DH applied for many, many jobs, there are three that would be really GREAT, low pay but in his career field and enjoyable. But we shall see. UI is still keeping us a float along with my two part time jobs, I have been taking every single hour offered to me. Noah's birthday is coming up and we are going to splurge a bit for it. I have kept to NO eating out, no carry away and being frugal to the bone.

So now, my food stamps has went from $382 to $262 a month because I am working, I expected it and will just have to watch that again also. I am going through the steps to apply for a hardship for our mortgage and it is still pending, this will give us a bit of a break for 6 months. I applied for emergency heating assistance yesterday, still waiting on that also. I will update as we hear about things.

Oh my health, I have gained a bit more weight, ugh! I think I have decided to ask my VA doctor for something to help me in this department. It seems like I am fighting a loosing battle. My schooling is going pretty decently. I am fitting studying when I can and have been doing well. I did have to purchase another cd player with a rewind button that actually works. My trail version of Microsoft Office expires on the 31 so I plan to take my next test by then. Then worry about purchasing the actual program, later.

We swore to GF for the month of January and have done really well. Anything that was an extra, was paid by GC from the holidays or non neighiable item, my cd player, a new back pack for Joel, the zipper gave way after fixing it about 14 times.

so the plan for Feb, only spend food stamp amount on food, NO cash, it will be doable.

Take as much food as possible for Noah's birthday celebration, so less on restraunt food.We have all his gifts bought already.

talk to my doc about weight loss help. enjoy the simple things in life. I scheduled 3 4H meetings for the month, we all enjoy them and if we have snack be potluck and simple crafts, the meetings are free fun.

I took my mom shopping to the Dollar Tree and she told me to pick up what I needed, she'd pay for it. So we are set on Valentine cards and suckers for the boys at school. I have cake mixes for treats for parties.

so, with this plan we should be able to make it through February.