Thursday, March 31, 2011


My Walgreens trip:

2 Folgers coffee @ $2.79 each
2 Skintimate shave gel @ $2 each
1 Speedstick @ $1.99
1 Gummy Lifesavers @ $1

Minus family and friends discount: 15% off total order, before coupons (only available today)
Minus coupons: $2 off each coffee, 55 cents off each shave gel, 50 cents off Speedstick
Minus RR: $5
Total: 39 cents + $3 in RR

They also have toothpaste on sale that I will be able to get free with coupons and RR, but they were all out. I'm going to check another Walgreens while I'm out tomorrow. I will also pick up some more deodorant since I have more coupons.

Groupon: Fazoli's

One of our favorite restaurants to bring the kids is Fazoli's. Today's Groupon is $5 for $10 at Fazoli's.
Buy one here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What's Cookin'

This week I plan on doing all my freezer cooking. I finally purchased the rest of the ingredients yesterday so now I can get cooking! I currently have chicken cooking in the crockpot and all my ground beef is cooked so I am going to try to do the gb dishes today and the chicken tomorrow. We're eating ham for dinner tonight and I'm making a couple of dinners with ham for the freezer too. So here's what we're eating this week:

Mon~We had roast beef in the crockpot, mashed potatoes from the freezer, corn and carrots
Tues~Ham, potatoes, green beans
Wed~Out for dinner! I'm hoping to cook most of the day.
Thurs~PW's cube steak sandwich with onions, green peppers, etc.
Fri~PW's beef stew, french bread, salad with friends
Sat~We'll be at the blue grandparents' house. :-)
Sun~Meatball soup, bread

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Baby

Aaron's not quite sitting, but he loves to be propped up with all his toys. He's a pretty happy baby most of the time. :-)

Freezer Cooking Day

Here's what I hope to accomplish next week:

Chili (Already made and in the freezer, but it was a bit spicy. I'm going to heat it up in the crockpot and add a can of tomatoes when I reheat it.)

These recipes are all from the book Once a Month Cooking:
Chili Verde
Wild Rice Chicken
Chicken Packets
Mexican Stroganoff
Balkan Meatballs
Chili Hamburgers
Chinese Chicken Morsels
Joes to Go
Green Chile Enchiladas
Oriental Chicken
Saucy Hot dogs
Chicken Tetrazzini

And if I find a good price on ham:
Linguine a la Anne
Bird's Nest Pie

If I end up making all these meals, I think I will have about 25 dinners in my freezer! I'm pretty excited about that. I ended up going way over on my grocery budget this month because I was buying ahead for these meals but I think it will even out in the end when I won't have to buy much meat next month. I'll let you know how it turns out!

My Meijer Mis-experience

(I made a new word. Like it?)

I usually go grocery shopping on Monday nights, sometimes by myself but more often with 1+ children. The original plan was to take Noah and Andrew and let them get the "special" cart (the ones you pay $1 for and kids can watch Bob, etc.). I've only allowed them to do this once before and so they were pretty happy about it. Unfortunately, Andrew misbehaved after dinner and so he had to stay home. Fortunately for Joel, he was elected to take Andrew's place. So off I went with Noah and Joel. First stop was Family Fare where they were perfect. Second stop was Walgreens where I spent $3 and got $7 in RR (Happy face over here!). Last stop, the big one, was Meijer. Boys were super stoked and hopped into the special cart. All was well for about 90 seconds. Unfortunately, Joel does not really like to watch videos. And so he started being a pest about 90 seconds into the adventure. And Noah doesn't like to be pested. So he was rather vocal in his protests. And everyone in a 5 mile radius of Meijer decided to go grocery shopping last night. So it was rather busy. I decided to zoom through my shopping. I grabbed my 10 lbs of ground beef from the butcher for my freezer cooking day, taking 7 lbs in one package since I was just going to brown it all up. Got to the checkout and the cashier discovered their was no bar code on the package. No problem, I just showed him one of the 1 lb. packages with the price. Unfortunately, when I got home, I discovered he charged me regular price, not the sale price. So I lost 7 bucks there. And Joel went into meltdown mode in the checkout. Not a pleasant experience. To make matters worse, the special cart decided it didn't want to turn one of its wheels on the way out. So I had to stick my hip into it and forcibly slide it across the entire front of the store to its parking spot. Believe me, I was sweating by the time I left. Joel and Noah will NOT be accompanying me together to Meijer any time soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bangers and Mash

Not sure how this recipe got its name, but it was pretty tasty!

Bangers and Mash
3 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (I did about 1 1/2 lb)
salt and pepper
4 T butter
1 c milk
3 T Dijon mustard
1 1/2 lb cooked chicken or turkey sausage links (I used 1 lb of smoked sausage)
1 T oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 T flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth

1. Cook potatoes in a large pot with water until tender. Drain, return potatoes to pot, mash with butter, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
2. Prick sausages all over with a fork. Warm oil in a skillet over med-high heat and brown sausages on both sides. Remove to a plate.
3. Add onion to skillet and saute until softened, about 3 min. Add flour and saute one minute. Slowly stir in broth and cook until sauce has thickened (mine didn't thicken much). Return sausages to skillet, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until sausages are warmed through. Slice and serve over potatoes with extra mustard for dipping.

This was quite good and a very cheap meal considering I paid $1.45 for the sausage and 50 cents for the potatoes. Throw in a few large carrots and homemade applesauce (free) and this meal definitely came in under $5!

Recipe from April 2011 All You magazine

What's Cookin'

Mon~Bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes), carrots
Tues~Taco salad, peaches
Wed~Spaghetti, biscuits, green beans
Thurs~Coconut-Curry Beef (excited to try this!), salad
Fri~Boys are on their own
Sat~Pizza, salad
Sun~PW's Italian Meatball soup, bread

*Next week I hope to spend a full day cooking meals for the next month. Stay tuned for the list of meals I hope to accomplish. :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sacred Marriage: Some Thoughts

I recently started reading this book. The book isn't so much about making your marriage better, but about becoming a better Christian through your marriage (which in turn helps your marriage). In chapter 6, The Cleansing of Marriage, I found this quote interesting. When discussing how people run from their weaknesses, Gary Thomas says, "May I suggest an alternative to running? Use the revelation of your sin as a means to grow in the foundational Christian virtue of humility, leading you to confession and renouncement. Then go the next step and adopt the positive virtue that corresponds to the sin you are renouncing. If you've used women in the past, practice serving your wife. If you've been quick to ridicule your husband, practice giving him encouragement and praise."
He also quotes John Owen earlier in the book: "The person who understands the evil in his own heart is the only person who is useful, fruitful, and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches and all other relationships. In their self-pride and judgement of others, they show great inconsistency."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Visiting Bob Jone University

Our friend Steven Lee gave us a tour of BJU while we were in South Carolina. Beautiful campus.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's Cookin'

Its good to be back! We went to SC last week and I didn't have to cook for a whole week but now I'm ready to get at it again.

Mon~Meal from my sister-in-law. Thank-you!
Tues~Chicken parmesan, salad, carrots
Wed~Roasted potatoes, carrots, sausage, salad
Thurs~Chili, french bread, carrot sticks
Fri~Taco salad
Sun~Dutch meatball soup, salad, bread

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why kids from lower-income families retain less over the summer than kids from higher-income families

According to the lady on the radio, its because they don't have access to museums and other cultural places to stimulate their brain over the summer. I have almost rolled my eyes out of my head. People have to have excuses for every thing (me included). But that is NOT the reason kids don't retain stuff over the summer. Ever heard of a library? They're free. My kids have learned so much from me just reading to them. Since we homeschool, I plan on taking a break in the summer, but we are still going to do school at least a few days a week, even if its only a review math sheet every day or so. I'm not sure what the exact statistics are, but I heard that teachers spend like the first 6 weeks of the school year reteaching material the kids have forgotten over the summer. Yet another reason to homeschool. :-)