Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the not so best of times

I was going to say it was the best of times, it was the worst of times but that seemed a little overly dramatic.  Here is how my day went...

Both girls were up at 1am and did not want to sleep.  Grace ended up on the couch with Aaron and I had Abi in bed with me.  They eventually fell asleep.  I guess that turned out ok.

Woke up stressing out about an appointment that I had to be at with the girls.  It started at 1pm - the moment their heads usually hit the pillow for naps.  Turns out I didn't have to go today.  The appointment was yesterday.  Fail.  I reschedule for 9:30am next week so I guess that turned out ok.

Then I realized I had an application due today that I didn't have all the paperwork for and I needed things from four other people.  But I currently turned it in with most of the pieces and the assumption person #4 will do their part so I guess that turned out ok.

I have two phone calls that I am not looking forward to making.  One of them happened today and I didn't cry so I guess that turned out ok.

My emails never stay answered - they constantly come in which is good but makes me ALWAYS feel behind.  I did just get an offer to bring (Lil) BOW WOW and "Australia's Thunder From Down Under" to our teen center which made me laugh...hard.  I guess that turned out ok.

I cooked chicken with "lime and honey sauce" for dinner.  It was NASTY.  When you have to use a steak knife to cut chicken that should be evidence it will be bad. Fortunately my husband had to go to a church meeting so I can destroy the evidence - he's a good cook, he can fend for himself.  I guess that turned out ok.

I don't know - just one of those days where it seems like there is stuff every where, children are whiny, tempers are high, and we are all tired.  It'll turn out ok.

Monday, February 27, 2012

39.22 Reasons I Love Meijer

So, don't worry - this isn't going to be a how I conquered the coupon system blog.  I'm just excited :)  Tonight I got 89.24 worth of groceries for $50.02.  (That is a savings of $39.22)

Country Crock Butter (x2) = 4.28
On sale 2.50; 2x $1 off coupon = .50 (.25 each!)

Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent (x4) = 20.76
On sale buy 1 get 1 free; x2 $1 coupon = 8.38 (2.10 each!)

Philadelphia Cooking Creme $2.99
On sale 2/$4; .50 off mPerks; .55 off coupon (doubled to $1) = .50

Philadelphia Indulgence Spread 2.99
On sale 2/$4; .50 off mPerks; .75 off coupon (doubled to $1) = .50

Kraft Coat and Bake Mix 2.99
On sale 2.50; .50 off mPerks, $1 off coupon = 1.00

Dannon Crunchies Yogurt 2.89
$1 off mPerks/.75 off manufactures coupon = 1.14

Gelviata Coffee (or something like that) = 8.19
On sale 6.99; .50 off mPerks; $2 off coupon = 4.49

Pepsi and Mountain Dew = 15.98
On sale for $12; $2 off coupon = 10

Ground Beef 7.59
This IS the 20% off markdown price, don't know what original was
$1 off coupon w/ purchase of cooking creme = 6.59

Steak 6.33
Again, this was marked down 20%

Lime Juice .99
Potatoes 2.99
Asparagus 2.99
   On sale .99/lb = 1.04
Meijer Storage Bags (x2 Gallon Size) = 5.18
   On sale 2/$4 = 4.00

=50.02 Spent

Meijer Promos: 4.02
Non-Coupon Savings: 22.20
Coupon Savings: 13.00
=39.22 Saved

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #45

Hey all!

Again, sorry I've been a little sporadic lately.  I feel like I'm reverting to anxious me so I'm trying to be wise about how I spend my time.

1. I am thankful for storytime at the library.  Every time we go we have so much fun - I really like Grace interacting with kids and just watching her get so excited!  I would love to find another weekly activity to do for just a little more out of the house fun.

2. I am thankful my shopping/couponing/budgeting is going well.  So far I have kept to my weekly limit and I have pretty much only gone to the store once per week.  This means less out of the house trips for us and makes me pleased!

3. I am thankful I got to meet baby Harrison today!  What an adorable little man!  My kids were NEVER that small!! :) 

4. I am thankful for two more healthy, growing babies that I'll get to meet soon!

5. I am thankful for vacation coming up soon!

6. I am thankful that my Princesses graduate this Sunday and we get to go out to an AWESOME dinner.

7. I am thankful for girls who will do hair and makeup for me and be paid in cheesecake.

8. So this one is stupid.  For SO LONG I have washed my hair, put mousse in it, sprayed it and let it dry.  Did you know that parting the hair in a different place and a couple bobby pins can make SUCH A DIFFERENCE!?!?  I know, I didn't know either!  Thankful for my "new hairstyle".  (My little sister called it "old hollywood")

9. I am thankful for a husband who calls me on my crazy, eats really strange dinners that I cook and helps discipline our children.

10. I am thankful for my family.  For everything we have and that all our needs are taken care of.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What I've Been Up To

So I haven't posted in awhile and it isn't because I haven't wanted to post! Life has just been busy.  Last week I was sick Monday/Tuesday, Grace was REALLY sick Wednesday, Thursday was a catchup day, Friday we continued the catch up game then shipped the kids off to my mom's house and I spent the entire weekend with my husband!  Then after we picked the girls up Sunday we took them "hiking"...pictures sometime :)
We spent the weekend laughing, eating great food and enjoying each other's company.  It was wonderful. I think this needs to be an at least twice a year event.  It's good just to step back and reconnect.

In other news...

...I discovered "Fightin' Words" since I'm not cool enough to have an Android phone so I can't play Words With Friends.  However, you with Androids can download Fightin Words and play me on that one!  My username is elizabethK.

...I am contemplating making baby food and want to give it a go this week.

...I am watching my kid grow like a weed.  Might need to bust out the 12 month clothes soon (she is ALMOST 6 months old)

...I have been super busy with work.  I emailed 170 bands (did you know I book bands?) the other day...took awhile to answer all those emails! :)

...I have been doing better with eating healthy and smart although not all the time! 

...I have delighted in my children and watching them grow.

...I have continued to discipline the whiney.  I'm sooo hoping this stage passes quickly.

...I am still couponing, meal planning and trying to save my family money - mainly by staying out of the stores!

I am still seeking balance in all things.  It is so funny to me how easy it is to get off balance and how hard it is to get back on track.  I am praying that the Lord would show me the right things to focus on and the appropriate way to accomplish all I want and need to in the day for my family, my work and myself.

 k      0155.   <---Abi is sitting on my lap.  She says Hi.


Friday, February 17, 2012

This Week's Haul

This Week's Haul Included:

Country Crock Margarine 3.07 (x2)
   On sale 2.79 5.58
Coffemate Creamer 3.61 (x3)
   On sale 3.19 9.57
Dannon Yogurt 2.99 (x2) 5.98
Pillsbury Biscuits 1.95 (x2)
   On sale 1.29 (.30/2 coupon) 1.98
Ragu 1.79
   On sale 1.61 (free, store coupon) FREE
Colgate Toothpaste 1.00
  On sale $1.00 (.55/1 coupon) FREE
Kroger Milk 3.09
   On sale 2.89
Huggies Wipes 1.99
   (.50/1 coupon) .99
Eggs 2.09
Frozen Veggies 1.29
   (free, store coupon) FREE
Secret Deodorant 1.49
(closeout price, $1/1 coupon) .49
Baby Food .47
Gum 1.59 x2
   on sale $1, (2 x .55/1 coupon) FREE
Activia 2.04 x2
  ($2/2 store coupon, 2 x $1/1 manufacturers coupon) .08
Lotion .97
  ($1/1 coupon) FREE
Buy 10 Items, Get $5 -5.00

Total Spent: 23.20
Total Savings: 26.93

My numbers are adding a little strange...but I don't have time to figure out the extra dollar or so...but you get the idea.  If I didn't need things like milk and eggs that percentage would be MUCH better.  I was pleased though!  It is ALL stuff we will use and need or will hold until we need it.  I was just planning on grabbing milk and eggs when I went in :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #44

What happens when you say oh man, I need to write more?  Well if you're me, you write less.  Sorry about that!

Here are my thankfuls!

1. I am thankful for happy faces!

2. I am thankful that sickness is not often in my house and generally short lived.  (I was sick Monday and when I woke up Tuesday morning I realized I had slept 14 of the past 17 hours...I went to Bible study :)  Grace was sick yesterday with a pretty high temp but she hung out in PJs most of the day watching shows and thought that was pretty cool.  She is much better today)

3. I am thankful that I get to spend the weekend with my Hubs!

4. I am thankful for honesty and gentleness.

5. I am thankful for twirling like a princess and how much I learn from my Princess!

6. I am thankful for kids who wake up happy.

7. I am thankful that my Hubs often gets up with the kids.

8. I am thankful Grace takes such good care of Abi and loves on her!

9. I am thankful for all the things I learn everyday.

10. I am thankful for the healthy delivery of baby Harrison and that his momma is doing great!  They're headed home today and I cannot wait to meet that little man!

Link up here:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #43

Ready for vacation!

Sorry folks, I meant to post more but every time I sat down to write that nagging little "you have other responsibilities to take care of" voice popped into my head.  I have a couple half finished posts so hopefully next week will be better :)

1. Vacation
-my parents are watching the girls next weekend so my husband and I have some alone time.
-the girls, Morgan and I are going to Indianapolis soon to spend time with family, go to an indoor water park and the children's museum!

2. Spending
-Hubs and I were talking last night about my spending "game".  I think I mentioned the goal is to do all shopping one day a week and stay under a specific dollar amount.  If I think of it as a restriction, not so much fun.  If I think of it as a game it is quite entertaining!  My first week went out the window because I bought myself jeans (50% off with an additional 15% off...so $10) and diapers for Grace but this past week I did pretty well!

3. Story time
-we went to the library's story time on Wednesday.  Grace did a great job and had a lot of fun!  I think we're going to try to go every week.

4. Flexible kids
-they really need a better eating schedule but they do pretty well with what we've got now.  I need to be more purposeful about this though.

5. Babies
-my good friend is going to have a baby sometime within the next week (although if I had to put money on it I would guess tonight or tomorrow - don't tell her that though!)

6. Information
-tonight I have a meeting with some people that we work with to see what we can be doing better.  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time!

7. Dad
-my dad's birthday was last week so we are going out to dinner and to a hockey game!  I'm excited.  He's an awesome man and I'm glad he's my dad!

8. Princesses
-they are doing such a great job and we only have two Bible studies until we're done!  Then it's Princess Day!!

9. Experiencing God
-I think three of my girls are going to go through Experiencing God with me when the Princess Program is over

10. Truth
-I'm thankful there are absolutes out there and we can always fall back on them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Won't You See?

There is a little girl I work with who's story is not mine to share, but the way this girl hurts makes me hurt.  Her words, her actions, her demeanor just scream WHY WON'T YOU SEE ME?!?

Take a minute today and show kindness to a teenager.  Sometimes they are loud and crazy and rude and frustrating but I really believe that all the kids that we write off as being too difficult are really just the ones no one has taken time to love.

The ones that get loved on, really really loved on, love back and that is amazing.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolate Chips

I've been a little grumpy lately.  Hubs said its because I don't exercise.  I spent a few minutes being annoyed with him then decided he was probably right.

I find when I'm grumpy I tend to bake.  I think it might be for easy access to the chocolate chips.  I'm also sure that the sugar and not exercising does nothing to cure my mood.  I considered doing one of those trendy cleanses - but frankly if all I eat every day is green juice someone may get strangled before the cleanse is over and that would be bad.  I guess that means no more munching chocolate chips and figuring out a way to exercise.  Ugh.

Today I made some granola bars.  I didn't have walnuts so I just used extra oats and shredded wheat.  I also did a raisin/chocolate combo which I'm just not a fan of but the kiddo won't care.  I think next time I might try to work in some peanut butter and leave out the raisins.  We shall see. 

I'm finding that on Saturdays I try to bake muffins for breakfasts, figure out some new healthy snacks and get ahead of the game.  Tonight I'm working on a cake for church (pictures later) that I'm pretty excited about.  We'll see how it turns out.  I've been wanting to do another cake for awhile now.

Speaking of that list of wants, I have managed to:
write, plan (an awesome vacation for me, the girlies and a friend!), put down my phone and cuddle,  love on Abi, cook more, clean some...we'll get there, organize a bit, got a few decent nights sleep, bake that cake, almost finish my to-do list - ha!, paint my fingernails and a few other things.  It's been good. 

I'm excited about this vacation!  We are going to Indianapolis to stay with some amazing relatives.  The plan is to take the girls and spend a day at the indoor water park, then take a day off to spend with the family, then spend a day at the children's museum then come home!  Hopefully between the two of us we'll have a great time and we'll be able to share Abi duty to keep Grace busy and loving it!  I'm excited!  This does mean I need to dig out bathing suits, swim diapers and the like...but at least it's no sunscreen! :)

My little Abi just woke up so I'm going to go spend a few minutes kissing on that sweet face.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Recipes I'm Using

I thought I would share some of the recipes I've been using lately.

Applesauce Muffins
Like I said yesterday, I've followed this recipe exactly, I've substituted oil and apple juice for the apple sauce, I've added raisins, chocolate chips, carrots and apple chunks.  I'm pretty convinced you can't mess it up.  (I generally add 1tsp of both baking powder and baking soda.  I also use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and use a couple tablespoons to really get the flavor).  I also think that if you don't have a super picky kid you could probably add some cocoa powder or just more chocolate chips (and maybe go lighter on the spices), throw some cream cheese frosting on top and call it a cupcake! :)  Tricky tricky!

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
This one is super yummy.  I don't usually add as much butter as it says because I don't really like butter flavor, but play with it!

Pancake Syrup
I don't know what recipie I used, but I mixed equal parts brown sugar, white sugar and water - I think a cup each - and boiled them together for a few minutes.  Then I added 2tsp of vanilla extract (imitation so if you use pure you could probably just add 1tsp).  We used it right away but I poured the leftover into my syrup container and it thickened up.  You can also add butter and maple flavorings as desired.

"Healthy" Chocolate Mousse
Four ingredients, no raw eggs, coconut milk and yumminess.  I liked it.  It doesn't have the coconut taste I was expecting.  I think next time I make it I might work in some instant coffee (which is found in most mousse recipies) but I thought it was a healthy alternative to your usual calorie laden raw egg chocoalte mousse.

2 Minute French Toast
For this one, it is a similar idea to bread pudding.  I usually use a whole egg per serving and a little extra milk.  I think it's a good way to get Grace to eat eggs!

Let me know if you try any of them out!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #42

Doesn't she look SO OLD!?!?!?  Ugh.

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten

1. I am thankful that Abi slept 8 hours IN A ROW last night (she woke up once but only fussed for a few minutes then went back to sleep.)  I needed it!

2. I am thankful for my teenagers.  I love that they are willing to be honest with us and that we get to go through life with them.

3. I am thankful for my husband.  He works SO hard!

4. I am thankful for this muffin recipe - I have made it three or four times with a strange variation of ingredients (applesauce, oil and apple juice, apple chunks, carrots, raisins, etc) and they ALWAYS turn out awesome!

5.  I am thankful that the citrus thing really did seem to be Grace's issue.  We are still rash free and I am so thankful for that!

6. I am thankful that Grace was super well behaved when we were at the Doctors office for Abi's shots.  Although now she tells me "I have boo boo.  I go to Doctor."

7. I am thankful for a Doctor who listens to my concerns and actually talks to me about them.  (I hate shots!)

8. I am thankful for continued healthy pregnancies for two friends and those "final preparations" as they are getting ready to meet their new little ones!

9. I am thankful BEAUTIFUL flowers for my anniversary last Friday.  My husband is such an amazing guy.

10. I am thankful for my little girls being sisters.